When Abraham was six years old he and his sister Sarah walked two miles to a log cabin schoolhouse where he learned to read, write, and do arithmetic. Abe liked writing best of all and practiced it wherever he went. He wrote with charcoal on the back of a wooden shovel and even in dust and snow. There was little time for play, but between chores Abe liked to climb the rocky cliffs at Knob Creek Farm. There were no close neighbors so he was used to being alone and played by himself.
In December 1816 the Lincoln family moved to the backwoods of Indiana. The Lincolns settled near Pigeon Creek in Spencer County, which was about sixteen miles from the Ohio River.
In 1818 and epidemic of the milk sickness broke out. Drinking poisoned milk from cows that had eaten the wild snakeroot plant caused this sickness. Abe's mother Nancy was one of the first victims she died October 5, 1818. The next year Thomas Lincoln married Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow with three children. Abe was very attached to his kind stepmother and he referred to her as "my angel mother."
Abe's stepmother always encouraged his quest for knowledge. Whenever Abe's father could spare him form chores he attended school where he learned to read, write and to cipher. Though Abe had less than one full year of formal education in his life. Abe made up for his lack of schooling by reading, he always had a book by him. His first books were the Bible and Aesop's Fables.
Abe always kept teaching himself new things. He soon became interested in law reading all the books he could on law. Abe even walked miles to the nearest courthouse to hear lawyers try cases. He even crossed into Kentucky to listen in court.
When Abe was nineteen James Gentry, the local country...