Monday, November 30, 2020

Origins of the Lincolns in England, the move to the Colonies and into Modern Times.

In historical writing and analysis, PRESENTISM introduces present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. Presentism is a form of cultural bias that creates a distorted understanding of the subject matter. Reading modern notions of morality into the past is committing the error of presentism. Historical accounts are written by people and can be slanted, so I try my hardest to present fact-based and well-researched articles.

Facts don't require one's approval or acceptance.

I present [PG-13] articles without regard to race, color, political party, or religious beliefs, including Atheism, national origin, citizenship status, gender, LGBTQ+ status, disability, military status, or educational level. What I present are facts — NOT Alternative Facts — about the subject. You won't find articles or readers' comments that spread rumors, lies, hateful statements, and people instigating arguments or fights.

When I write about the INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, I follow this historical terminology:
  • The use of old commonly used terms, disrespectful today, i.e., REDMAN or REDMEN, SAVAGES, and HALF-BREED are explained in this article.
Writing about AFRICAN-AMERICAN history, I follow these race terms:
  • "NEGRO" was the term used until the mid-1960s.
  • "BLACK" started being used in the mid-1960s.
  • "AFRICAN-AMERICAN" [Afro-American] began usage in the late 1980s.


The name "Lincoln" derives from the Welsh element lynn, meaning 'Lake' and the Latin word colonia, meaning 'settlement or colony.'

Those unconvinced of the laws of heredity can only imagine a vague and curious interest in Abraham Lincoln's origin. The idea of "a self-made man" has become a widely held belief to many Americans who have delighted to see Lincoln, unschooled, unpretentious, rising from obscurity to the nation's highest place by the elemental force of character. But there must be some well-defined reason for the character, whether it be heredity, circumstance, or experience—there is an underlying law for everything in nature.

Abraham Lincoln was schooled for one year, but he was not uneducated in any true sense. He was formed by biblical study (the Torah or Tanakh [1] and the New Testament), upon which American civilization rested in its pioneer days for its world history, law, polity, and science. Lincoln's deep dive into the principles of human law and its humane application, as written in the U.S. Constitution and in many of the older legal systems from other countries. His intellect and thrust for knowledge affirm Lincoln's superior mental discipline.

Abraham was raised in the ruggedness of poverty and hardship, as his father and mother did on the frontier. Abraham Lincoln's superior drive was his persistence, which contributed to his ability to understand most people's opinions. He also possessed the gift of storytelling, his way of gentle persuasion. 

Heredity must be considered in Lincoln's gift of mental acuity, logic, and the art of deduction.

Whether the Lincoln family was of Norman blood or old Saxon stock is still being determined. One of the earliest Lincolns, of whom there is a record, bore the Saxon name Alfred. Still, his family intermarried with Normans, and it is probable that he was of the conquering race, for he held many lands, which was not usual among Saxons in the first years after the conquest of England. 

Colswain de Lincoln was recorded in 1086, and his son, Picot, in 1111. Alfred de Lincoln, living in 1086, was followed in the lordship of his "great Lincolnshire barony" by his son, Alan de Lincoln. Another son was probably Thorold, who bore the office of sheriff. Thorold married the daughter of William Malet, one of the great nobles who came to England with William the Conqueror. It was to Malet that Harold's body, the Saxons' leader, was buried after the battle of Hastings. Another Alfred de Lincoln was living in 1130. He was succeeded by his son, Robert, who was followed by a third, Alfred, living in 1165.

The exact time when the ancestors of Abraham Lincoln settled in County Norfolk, England, is unknown. In the fourth year of King John's reign (1202 or 1203), Ivo de Lincoln figures in the "Pedes Finium" of the county, receiving for twenty pounds sterling a messuage (a dwelling house with outbuildings and land assigned to its use))in Lenn. In 1298, Thomas de Lingcole bestowed upon the Church of Saint Mary Coslany at Norwich, a lamp, a candle, and "the rent of Colegate" for the service of the high altar. Adam de Lincoln, son of William, of Great Yarmouth, while with his wife, Johan, in London, February 3, 1289-90, received a grant from Walter de Wyndsore of the manor of Codesmor in Rutland, and of land in Essex. For these estates, a specific yearly rental was to be paid until the death of Walter, after which a flavor of romance is brought into the formalities of the transaction, for thenceforth, in lieu of money payment, a rose was to be offered each year by Adam and Johan, or their heirs, to the heirs of Walter de Wyndsore. 

Another early Lincoln in Norfolk was Sir John Lincoln, parish priest of Weeting in 1387, whose title may have been one of courtesy rather than by right of birth, for "Sir" was not infrequently added to a priest's name in the Middle Ages in England. The name frequently appears in various documentary remains of Norfolk in the sixteenth century. Nicholas Lincoln of Rollesby was fined threepence in 1507 for poaching in waters belonging to Padham Manor. In 1537, another Nicholas Lincoln was rector of Caistor-next-the-Sea. 

During Queen Mary's reign, in 1555, one Clover, a schoolmaster of Diss, and three brothers named Lincoln started a little insurrection in Norfolk. It was soon suppressed, and the four leaders were hanged. The cause of their grievances, real or imaginary, is not clear. Norfolk, as a whole, had been loyal to the Catholic faith during the religious changes of Henry VIII and Edward VI and had joyfully welcomed the accession of Mary to the throne. Hence, it is not probable that this disturbance was due to religious reasons. It may, however, have sprung indirectly from the suffering that had come to the poor and to farmers and tradesmen with the dissolution of the monasteries, which resulted in much bitterness of class feeling born of the resulting hardships and the impotence of the people, clinging to the old order, crushed by the king's will. In some cases, this indignation turned to visionary dreams of more or less socialistic government conditions. The Lincolns were scattered throughout the county, but Hingham, Swanton Morley, Carbrooke, and Norwich are the Lincoln homes of most interest to Americans, for in them lived the ancestors of Abraham Lincoln.

I — The earliest known ancestor was Robert Lincoln I (June 1, 1496-1543) of Hingham, Norfolk, England. He probably was born in the fifteenth century, as he had a grandnephew living when he made his will on April 18, 1540. His wife was Johanna Bawdiven (1490-1555) married in 1516. Their son was Robert, also of Hingham.

II — Robert Lincoln II (1525-1554) and his wife, Margaret Albereye [or Alberye] (1529-1558). Their children were John Lincoln, Richard Lincoln, Katherine Lincoln, Agnes Lincoln, John Lincoln, and Unknown Lincoln.

Ill — Richard Lincoln (abt. 1545-1620) married four times. His first wife was Elizabeth Remching of Carbrooke, England. At his marriage with her, he made legal provisions that certain land inherited from his father, Robert Lincoln, who, in turn, had received it from his father, Robert, senior, should pass upon his own death and that of his wife to the children of their marriage. This matter became an important one in the life of their son, Edward Lincoln, who was the father of the immigrant ancestor of Abraham Lincoln. 

Richard's second wife was a widow named Hobbs, and his third wife was Margery Dunham, also a widow. He married another widow, Anne Smale, whose maiden surname was Bird. She was of the Bird family of Great Witchingham, Norwich, England.

In his will, on January 3, 1615, Richard Lincoln called himself "of Swanton Morlie," but he was buried at Hingham on December 23, 1620. In many ways, his will is an interesting document. He bequeathed certain sums to Hingham Church, the poor of Hingham, Swanton Morley, and Great Witchingham, his wife's home. He provided for the bringing up of his youngest son, Henry, "unto literature and good education," and there were legacies to his godchildren, as well as to members of his family. 

Although the youngest son, Henry, was not in the line of Abraham Lincoln, it is interesting to note that he was called in later legal documents both "Yeoman" and "Gentleman." The humbler title was clearly not considered incompatible with gentle hood in those days. And "Gentleman" bore then, as still in arms granting countries, a definite meaning understood of all. Gentlemen were those who had the right, either by inheritance or by direct grant, to bear coat armor. It is beyond doubt, therefore, that the Norfolk Lincolns, ancestors of Abraham Lincoln, possessed a coat of arms.

There are seven known blazons of coat armor under the name Lincoln or Lincolne. They are as follows: (I) Argent, a leopard rampant sable. (II) Or, a leopard rampant sable, armed argent. (Ill) Azure, a lion rampant sable, gorged with a ducal coronet or Crest: A lion rampant as in the arms. (IV) Gules, a lion rampant or out of a ducal coronet or, a demi-lion proper, crowned with an antique crown of the first. (V) Azure, on a cross vert an estoile pierced argent. (VI) Argent, on a cross azure five mullets or. (VII) Quarterly, per pale indented, or and gules; in the first and fourth a cross of five lozenges of the second. This last coat-of-arms was of the Lincolne family of Dorsetshire and Somersetshire in the time of Richard I.

IV — Edward Thomas Lincoln (goes by "Thomas") (February of 1580 - February 11, 1640) was the sole surviving son of the marriage of Richard Lincoln and Elizabeth Remching. Born at Swanton Abbott, North Norfolk District, England. Edward married Bridget Gilman Lincoln (1582-1665), daughter of Edward Gilman, in 1600. She was born and died in Hingham, England.

He was not mentioned in his father's will, and an estrangement had probably arisen between father and son in connection with Richard Lincoln's fourth marriage. This supposition is based on a suit in chancery brought against Edward Lincoln by his half-sisters, children of this fourth marriage. The occasion of this suit was the desire of the guardians of these young girls, for they were minors at the time, to win for their possession of the land which Richard Lincoln had arranged should go to the heir of his marriage with Elizabeth Remching. The documents in this suit contain proof of Abraham Lincoln's four generations of English ancestry: Robert, Robert, Richard, and Edward.

Whether Edward Lincoln's defense of his patrimony was successful is unknown. Little further is recorded of him. Two of his sons were apprenticed to learn the weaver's trade, which indicates that he was unable to maintain the social position of his ancestors. His burial in the Hingham churchyard is recorded on February 11, 1640. No trace of his wife's name has been found, but they had eight children. Thomas, the eldest son, came to America in 1633 and settled in Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1635, the same year Hingham was incorporated on September 2. Daniel Lincoln, another son, also came to the same settlement. 

Edward And Bridget Lincoln came to the colonies in 1637 on the ship "John & Dorothy" as servants to the Lawes family. Edward's brothers, Daniel and Thomas, were already in America. Neither he nor Thomas left issue, and Samuel, the third of the three brothers who sailed to the colonies, was, therefore, the American ancestor.

V — Samuel 'Weaver' Lincoln Sr. (August 24, 1622 - May 26, 1690), the son of Edward, was baptized in Hingham, England, on August 24, 1622. As was the custom among the middle classes in England and in those families whose loss of property obliged them to depend upon trade for their living rather than on the income from land, whether as farmers or landlords, Edward Lincoln had apprenticed his youngest son, while still a child, to learn the weaver's trade. He was bound as an apprentice to Francis Lawes of Norwich, England, and it was with him that he came to America. 

Samuel embarked for the New World with Lawes' family on the ship "John & Dorothy," at 15 years old, from England on April 8, 1637. Samuel is described in the shipping list as "Samuell: Lincorne; aged 18 years," in order to be permitted to make the voyage. He was working at Francis Lawe's farm for some time in Salem, Massachusetts. Eventually, he settled in Hingham, where his two brothers lived. Here, he followed his weaver's trade, bought land, and founded the family to give America one of her greatest presidents.

Mordecai1   (1657–1727)  Son of Samuel and Martha Lincoln.
Mordecai2   (1686-1736)  Son of Mordecai1 and Sarah Jones. 
Mordecai3   (1771-1830)  Son of Capt. Abraham Lincoln and Bathsheba Herring.

Samuel helped build the "Old Ship Church" in Hingham, Massachusetts. He married Martha Lyford (1628-1693) of Ireland around 1649, possibly the daughter of the Rev. John Lyford, and the couple had eleven children; Samuel Lincoln; Daniel Lincoln; Mordecai1 Lincoln (June 14, 1657–1727); Thomas Lincoln; Mary Lincoln; Martha Lincoln; Sarah Lincoln; and Rebecca Lincoln, three of whom died in their infancy, but another three of whom lived into their eighties. Lincoln's eldest son, born August 25, 1650, was named Samuel Lincoln Jr. Over the next generations, his ancestors moved south, eventually settling in Kentucky. Samuel was the first Lincoln forebearer of the President to settle in the United States of America. After his death, he left a great deal of his property, including several house lots, to Samuel and his nephews.

Among their eleven children, Samuel Lincoln and his wife, Martha, were born Mordecai1 Lincoln on June 14, 1657. He moved from Hingham to Scituate, Massachusetts, where he was a prosperous and esteemed community member. He owned ironworks and grist and sawmills. Mordecai1 Lincoln died in 1736. His first wife was Sarah, the daughter of Abraham and Sarah (Whitman) Jones.

VI — Samuel Lincoln and Martha's son, Mordecai1 Lincoln, left Massachusetts and went to Monmouth County, New Jersey, where he married Hannah, the daughter of Richard and Sarah (Bowne) Salter. Later, he moved to Coventry, Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he was employed in the iron industry. He owned ironworks and grist and sawmills. Mordecai1 died at Amity, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, in 1736. That he had been able to maintain the social traditions of his ancestry is evident from the fact that he was dubbed "Gent" in the inventory of his estate.

VII — John Lincoln, the eldest son of Mordecai1 Lincoln and Hannah Salter, was living at Caernarvon, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1748, but removed to Augusta County (now Rockingham County), Virginia, where, in 1768, he bought six hundred acres of land. His wife was named Rebecca, and one of their sons was Captain Abraham Lincoln, the President's grandfather, born in Pennsylvania on July 16, 1739.

VIII — Abraham Lincoln was a Captain in the Virginia militia. He fought in the Revolutionary War, and it may have been his soldier life as well as the impulse strong in so many of Lincoln's ancestors to probe with pilgrim-staff or hew with the ax of the pioneer the secret of the wilderness, which led Captain Lincoln, near the close of the war, to sell his Virginia lands and make his way over the mountains into the wilds of Kentucky.

Captain Abraham Lincoln married Mary Shipley, whose sister, Nancy, became the wife of Joseph Hanks and the mother of Nancy Hanks, President Lincoln's mother. He married a second woman, Bathsheba Herring, the mother of his youngest son, Thomas. When Captain Lincoln sold his large Virginia estate for five thousand pounds and became the owner of two thousand acres of land in Kentucky, he no doubt felt as secure in his children's protection from poverty as in his own. Little did he dream that his youngest son would have no share in the broad acres by himself reclaimed, probably to a great extent from the wild forests by a gallant struggle with nature, fighting for her own, and with the savages helping their mother to keep out the stranger.

One day in May 1786, Captain Lincoln was working in his field with his three sons when he was shot from the nearby forest and fell to the ground. The eldest boy, Mordecai3, ran to the cabin where a loaded gun was kept, while the middle son, Josiah, ran to Hughes' Station for help. Thomas, then about five years old, stood in shock by his father. From the cabin, Mordecai3 observed an Indian exit the forest and stop by his father's body. The Indian reached for Thomas, either to kill him or to carry him off. Mordecai3 took aim and shot the Indian in the chest, killing him. Thomas was left without parents (his mother seems to have died before her husband, but the date is unknown) and apparently without any kinsfolk who cared about his fate. Abraham's property was passed to one or both of his elder sons. Captain Abraham Lincoln's sudden death during Thomas' childhood and the consequent loss of protection and property made the life of Thomas, President Lincoln's father, a laborious struggle, unbrightened by the relief that education and cultivated tastes may bring.

IXThomas Herring Lincoln was born in Rockingham County, Virginia, on January 6, 1778. So far as can be learned, he was utterly neglected by his two half-brothers, who were young men at the time of their father's death. He grew to manhood with apparently no care or education except that bestowed by the sisters of his father's first wife, Lucy Shipley (Mrs. Richard Berry) and Elizabeth Shipley (Mrs. Thomas Sparrow). Mrs. Berry brought up Nancy Hanks, daughter of her sister, Nancy (Shipley) Hanks. The love consummated by the marriage of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks probably began with the children's hours of play beneath Mrs. Berry's kindly roof.

They were married by the Reverend Jesse Head, a Methodist minister, at Mrs. Berry's home on June 12, 1806. Nancy Hanks has been described as medium height, fair-haired, gentle, and sweet. Thomas Lincoln was very strong and famous in the countryside as a great wrestler. His son inherited from him his fondness for this sport. Thomas is said to have been relatively short and thick-set, with dark hair, gray eyes, and a prominent nose. This last feature was also inherited by his son. 

Thomas Lincoln had studied carpentry with Joseph Hanks, Nancy's brother. While he had neither the means nor the opportunity for education such as would have been his, without doubt, if his father had lived, he was not at all the letterless boor usually depicted by most of the biographers of President Lincoln. The signature on his marriage bond is clear and well-written. Before he was twenty-five, he had saved enough money to buy farmland destined to fame as the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. This farm was at Buffalo, on the borderline between La Rue and Hardin counties, Kentucky, where the Lincoln Farm Association dedicated a memorial shrine on May 30, 1911. When Abraham was about four years old, his parents moved to a large farm of two hundred and thirty-eight acres at Muldraugh's Hill. Here, he had his first schooling, save that his mother had given him, from Zachariah Riney, a Catholic schoolmaster of the pioneer Kentucky days. 

In 1816, Thomas Lincoln was appointed road surveyor from Nolin to Bardstown, but the following year, the family left Kentucky and made a new home near Gentryville, in Spencer County, Indiana. To us, this removal seems a tragic mistake, for living in the new settlement was hard, as all pioneer life must be, save in tropical climates, and to the hardships was added an epidemic of malarial fever. To this, Nancy Lincoln's delicate, worn spirit succumbed, and here she died on October 5, 1818. 

Thomas Lincoln's second wife was Mrs. Sarah (Bush) Johnston, a widow he had known as a girl in Kentucky. She brought much of ordered comfort and welcome cheer to the little frontier home, which had been without a woman's care for over a year. She was a good woman and lovingly fulfilled to Thomas Lincoln's children the service of mother care that she had undertaken. No children were born in this marriage. Sarah Lincoln died near Charleston, Illinois, in 1869. Her home, where she died, had been a gift from her loved and loving stepson, Abraham Lincoln. 

In 1823, Thomas Lincoln became a member of the Baptist church, a society of that denomination formed in his home neighborhood. Those who knew him have said he was an earnest and devout Christian, as were President Lincoln's mother and stepmother. That a year passed before a funeral ceremony was held for Lincoln's mother was sad evidence of the isolation of the Western settlers. It was her loving little son of nine years, the son to whom his mother's sweet memory was always a holy inspiration throughout his after-career of fame and sorrow, who wrote the pathetically childish appeal to the Reverend David Elkins, the minister, who journeyed a hundred miles to hold a Christian service over Nancy Lincoln's grave. When Abraham Lincoln attained his majority, the family moved to Illinois, finally settling at Goose Neck Prairie, Coles County, where Thomas Lincoln, an old man of seventy-three, died on January 17, 1851. 

XI — Abraham Lincoln's life was filled with death like many others who lived on the frontier. His little brother, Thomas Lincoln Jr. (nicknamed "Tommy"), died days after birth in 1812. Abraham Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln (February 5, 1784 - October 5, 1818), died when Abraham was just nine years old. Then, in 1828, his sister Sarah Lincoln Grigsby (February 10, 1807 - January 20, 1828) died while giving birth to a stillborn boy, subsequently named George. Lincoln also grieved his first love, the woman he intended to marry, Ann Rutledge (January 7, 1813 - August 25, 1835), when she died of Typhoid fever (a specific type of Salmonella) in New Salem, Illinois, leaving Abe severely depressed.

After Abraham married Mary Todd in 1842, the couple settled down to start their own family. They had four sons. Abraham and Mary's first son, Robert Todd Lincoln (August 1, 1843 – July 26, 1926), lived a long and prestigious life. 

The Lincolns' second son, Edward Baker Lincoln (March 10, 1846 - February 1, 1850; 47 months), died just shy of 4 years old of what was believed to be Tuberculosis (then commonly known as Consumption).

Their third son, William Wallace (nicknamed "Willie") Lincoln (December 21, 1850 - February 20, 1862), was born 10 months after Edward's death while the Lincolns resided in the White House. A favorite of Mary and Abraham, Willie's death was a harsh blow to the family. His body was eventually exhumed and accompanied his father's body to be buried in Springfield, Illinois.

The Lincolns' youngest son, Thomas (nicknamed "Tad"), was born in 1853. Tad outlived his father by only six years. He died at the age of 18 on July 15, 1871.

When Abraham Lincoln was elected President in November of 1860, many viewed him as a man who managed to rise to the highest position in our nation despite being born the son of a lowly farmer. In reality, he came from a long line of England-born landowners. The first American-born Lincoln men also became landowners in modern-day Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky.

XII  Robert was a lawyer, President and Chairman of the Board for the Pullman Company and had a political career. At its height, he was appointed Secretary of War under President James Garfield. Tragically, Robert's long life was marred by encounters with America's calamitous history. After being present at the Petersen House when his father died, he witnessed the assassinations of President Garfield (July 2, 1881) and President William McKinley (September 14, 1901).

The Lincolns' only son to marry and have children was Robert. He married Mary Eunice Harlan in 1868 and had three children: Mary Todd "Mamie" Lincoln Isham (October 15, 1869 - November 21, 1938); Abraham Lincoln II (August 14, 1873 - March 5, 1890); and Jessie Harlan Lincoln (November 6, 1875 - January 4, 1948). Abraham II was the final Lincoln to own the name Abraham.

Robert's two girls each lived well into the 1900s. His daughter Mary had one son, Lincoln Isham, who did not have children. Robert's daughter Jessie had two children: a daughter, Mary, and a son, Robert. Mary never married; she died in 1975. 

XIII — Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith married three times but had no children. In 1985, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln, died with no heir to carry on the family name. With his death, an American family that had lived and worked in this country for generations ended abruptly.

The element of personal sympathy is mingled with our thoughts of Nancy Hanks, the mother of Lincoln. A gentle spirit bravely enduring the hardships of her life until death gave her victory, and our pity and affection go out to her and make the pathetic aspect of her story more vivid. Bereft of father and mother, we fancy her a sad little child growing up in the rough surroundings of a pioneer settlement; then, as a serious and charming young girl married to a frontiersman, Thomas Lincoln, who lacked the education she had managed to acquire; and later, a fragile mother, falling wearily to death as though to sleep, worn out with the harshness of life the toil, which had been her lot as the wife of a fighter of the wilderness. Nancy Lincoln seems to have been forced into a forlorn struggle with nature and circumstances, a struggle in which she yielded her life.

The efforts, both of Lincoln's enemies and of many of his friends, to convince his countrymen that his origin was of the utmost obscurity and that in the technical gentle hood, he had no part have fixed firmly in many persons' minds the idea that his mother's family was as lowly as they unjustly contend was his father's. To those who have accepted this opinion, it may be surprising to learn that the Hanks family of England were gentry with the right to bear coat armor. The Hank's arms are blazoned: Bendy of six, azure and a chief ermine. While proof has not been found that these arms belonged directly to the ancestors of Nancy Hanks, the theory of the social insignificance of the lineage is thus upset. 

Investigations prove that Nancy Hanks is descended from a family living in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, in the sixteenth century. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Benjamin Hanks was an immigrant ancestor in Pembroke, Massachusetts. His son, William, moved to Virginia and was the father of Joseph Hanks. He was living in Amelia County, Virginia, in 1747. Joseph Hanks made his will on May 4, 1793. In it, he speaks of his "Wife Nanny" and his "Daughter Nancy." Nancy Shipley was his wife, but it may have been a second marriage for the daughter, Nancy, born in 1784. This would make Joseph Hanks a very old man if he was the same Joseph who sold land in Amelia County in 1747, then a grown man.

Both of Nancy Hanks' parents died when she was a child, and she was brought up in her aunt's home, Mrs. Richard Berry, as noted above. She was twenty-two years old when she married Thomas Lincoln and thirty-four when she died. To her, Abraham Lincoln probably owed much of the patient strength that helped him through the agonies of his country's struggles.

Abraham Lincoln's grandmother, Mrs. Joseph Hanks, was a Shipley. The Shipleys were an old family in Leicestershire and in Hampshire, England. The Hampshire branch bore the following coat armor. 

Arms: Lozengy, argent and sable, a bordure of the last. 
Crest: Out of an earl's coronet or, the bust of a Moorish prince proper, habited of the first, wreathed about the temples argent and sable. 
Latin Motto: "Nec placida contenta quieta est."  
English: "Neither peaceful, contented, is quiet."

It is believed that the Virginia Shipleys came from Leicestershire. Robert Shipley, the father of Nancy Hanks' mother, who married Joseph Hanks, owned over three hundred acres in Lunenburg County, Virginia, but after the Revolution, he and his wife, Sarah Rachael, and their family were among the many Virginians who at that time braved the perils of "The Crossing" and founded new homes and, eventually a new state Kentucky.
Thomas Lincoln ─ President Lincoln's Father

Practically all Lincoln's ancestral families were pilgrims and pioneers, which was not without purpose in his making. They followed truth as they were able to see afar off. Perhaps it's light. Some, wayfarers for liberty, marched bravely along the perilous ways for the right to live as freemen. Some, perhaps, had in their hearts that one red drop of blood which beats to the road call, the world call, the song of the wilderness. In Lincoln was the patient Pilgrim, surely the lover of freedom and that touch of kinship with wood-folk and forest ways, which made him understand animals, love children, and which, alas, may have made him uncomprehended, unloved by the world-bound, too spoiled by an artificial and corrupt standard to revere his simplicity. 

Abraham Lincoln's grandmother, the wife of Captain Abraham Lincoln, was Bathsheba Herring, the daughter of Leonard Herring of Heronford, Rockingham County, Virginia. The research of Mr. Lea and Mr. Hutchinson established the Herring connection with the Lincoln family. Leonard Herring was the son of John, who is said by family tradition to have been a younger son of an English family that belonged to Thomas Herring, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the eighteenth century. He was born in County Norfolk but seems to have been related to the Heron family of Croydon, Surrey, where the archbishop died. The coat-of-arms of the Croydon Herons were: Gules, a chevron engraved between three herons, close, argent. Crest: A heron close, argent.  

The great-great-grandmother of Abraham Lincoln was a Salter. Richard Salter was a notable Monmouth County, New Jersey, lawyer in 1687. In 1695, he became a member of the House of Deputies, and in 1704, he remained a member of the Assembly of Representatives. His legal achievements won him the high office of Chief Justice in the Supreme Court of New Jersey. In military service, he held the rank of captain. Captain Salter married Sarah Bowne, and their daughter, Hannah, became the wife of Mordecai2 Lincoln. 

Among the Lincoln progenitors are the Bownes. William Bowne came from Yorkshire to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1631 with his wife, Anne, and their son, John, Lincoln's ancestor. Salem was scarcely a "city of peace" to those whose minds and temperaments were not cast in the mold of the Puritans. The passion of the time for forcing souls and bodies into a harsh prisonhouse of uniformity made the little settlement a seething whirlpool of sects and enmities. Half-crazed perhaps by persecution, the Quakers, it is said, ran naked through the streets. The Baptists vainly protested against the intolerance of those who fled to New England for conscience's sake. In following the records of those days, the modern descendants of the Puritans seem to be looking at a gloomy Ibsen play viewed from the comfortable security of the orchestra chairs of our twentieth-century "laissez-faire" or perhaps an Ibsen play combined with a blood-and-thunder melodrama thrilling at the Indian massacres, appalled by the desolate horror of witchcraft, alternately indignant at the cruelty, and pitiful to the terrors which perhaps were a cause of the cruelty. But let us not forget, in the revolt of sensibilities made tender not so much by Christian tolerance, possibly, as by indifference to the value to souls of right thinking, that the Puritans were men and women of splendid valor, who dared peril of sea and savage fury, and the blighting rigor of life in a northern wilderness, for the sake of a principle which, although it was afterward shadowed by cruelty and persecution, was high and holy in so far as it recognized the paramount rights of eternal principles over human governments and personal opinions. 

About 1645, a little band of Quakers and Baptists shook from their garments the unfriendly dust of Salem and began their pilgrimage for conscience' sake to Gravesend, Long Island, then under Dutch rule. Among these wayfarers for the rights of the soul was one of the most interesting figures who passed across the stage of our colonial history, Lady Deborah Moody, recognized by the authorities as the chief of the proprietors at Gravesend, a valiant woman, strong in the will to do and to suffer for her Quaker faith. 

To Gravesend, with the Salem exiles came the Bownes. William Bowne was named one of the seven patentees in 1670 and a magistrate of Gravesend in 1657. In 1663, a colony from Gravesend settled in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The "Monmouth Patent" was granted on April 8, 1665, and two of the twelve grantees, John Bowne and Obadiah Holmes, were ancestors of Lincoln. William Bowne, the father, was not one of the original grantees, but he received land two years later at Portland Point in Monmouth County and died there in 1677. One of his sons, James, was a deputy to the General Assembly and a judge. Another, Andrew, became deputy-governor of New Jersey in 1699 and governor of East New Jersey in 1701. Major John Bowne, the eldest son of William and Anne Bowne, was born in England, probably in Yorkshire. He has been called "the most prominent citizen of the county [Monmouth], esteemed for his integrity and ability." He was a deputy to the Assembly and major in the Monmouth County militia. His wife was Lydia Holmes, and their daughter, Sarah Bowne, married Richard Salter, as recorded above.

Abraham Lincoln also had the blood of Holmes in him. The Reverend Obadiah Holmes was a man of extraordinary ability in many directions. He was of scholarly education, a zealous preacher, a worker in glass, and, as the events of his life prove, enterprising and courageous, with the qualities that make for business success. He possessed a capacity for leadership in public affairs, which won him a high place in the government of the Rhode Island colony. He was probably an Oxford graduate, as in an account of his life, which he wrote in 1675, he says that his parents sent three sons to that university. In this account, he mentions a brother, Robert Holmes.

The result of research in England of the ancestry of Obadiah Holmes made known by Colonel J. T. Holmes recently, shows that the American immigrant was baptized at Didsbury, near Manchester, Lancashire, on March 18, 1609-10. On November 20, 1630, he married Katherine Hyde in the Collegiate Church in Manchester. His name is not found among lists of Oxford students, but two of his brothers matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford; John in 1625 and Samuel in 1632-33. The father was Robert Hulme (not Holmes) of Reddish, in the parish of Manchester. He made his will on August 11, 1602, and it was proved on January 28, 1604. His wife was Alice, and she was buried at the Collegiate Church of Manchester on September 7, 1610.

In 1639, Obadiah Holmes came to Salem with his wife, Katherine, and their son, Jonathan. In 1646, he moved to Rehoboth, and at about this time, probably, he adopted the tenets of the Baptists. In 1650, he was accused of holding house-to-house meetings on Sunday, and in 1651, he was arrested, sent to Boston for trial, and sentenced to receive thirty lashes. His specified offenses were baptizing on Sundays and praying with his hat on. In his "Diary," he describes the suffering he endured in this punishment, which he refused to escape by paying a fine. In 1652, he became minister of the Baptists at Newport, Rhode Island. He served as commissioner for several years, was sent as a deputy to the General Court, and was one of the most eminent men in the Colony.

Obadiah Holmes has been imbued with that wanderlust that impelled so many of Lincoln's ancestors to leave the old country for the New World and organize settlements here for the wilderness. He was at Gravesend, Long Island, with Lady Deborah Moody's settlement in 1664. In 1665, he became a patentee of the new settlement in Monmouth County, New Jersey, though he did not settle there, as did his family. He returned to his old home in Newport and died there in 1682. Lydia Holmes, daughter of Obadiah and Katherine (Hyde) Holmes, married Major John Bowne, and their granddaughter, Hannah Salter, married Mordecai2 Lincoln. 

Abraham Lincoln's heredity includes that of the Jones and Whitman lines. Thomas Jones was one of the first settlers of Hingham, Massachusetts. Abraham Jones, Lincoln's ancestor, is believed to have been the son of Thomas. Abraham was born in 1629 and lived in Hull, Massachusetts, in 1657. In 1689, he was a deputy to the General Court. He died in Hull in 1718. His wife was Sarah Whitman, the daughter of Ensign John Whitman, who was made a freeman of Weymouth in 1638, was the Deacon of the first church of Weymouth and was an extensive landholder there. Sarah Jones, the daughter of Abraham Jones and Sarah Whitman, married Mordecai2 Lincoln, son of Samuel Lincoln, the immigrant ancestor.

The Lincoln lineage traces directly to the Remchings of England. Richard Remching (1520–1567) was Lord of Carbrooke Manor, Norfolk in the sixteenth century. He died in March 1567 and was buried in Carbrooke Church. In his will, dated March 12, 1566-67, he mentioned his daughter, Elizabeth, who later became Richard Lincoln's wife and Samuel Lincoln's grandmother, the American immigrant ancestor. The wife of Richard Remching was Elizabeth; her maiden surname is unknown. Her will, made April 14, 1595, and proved May 24 of the same year, is an interesting human document. It is the last will and testament of a kindly old woman, speaking her affection for her family, son and daughter, grandchildren, the son-in-law and daughter-in-law, and many of the quaintly worded bequests show a most feminine appreciation, even in the solemn hour of death, of her "gown which came from London," her pretty kirtle of "silk gregorian," and "petticoat with a red silk fringe." To be sure, this note is sobered by the many "little prayer books" bequeathed as precious legacies, the bequests to numerous ministers, and the "book called Beza, his testament," which was to go to one of the granddaughters together with "one says gown with a velvet cape."

But one grandchild received no token, no last loving thought. Edward Lincoln, son of her dead daughter, Elizabeth, then a young man of twenty, was as completely ignored in his grandmother's will as he was in that of his father. We may account for the father's forgetfulness by the jealous influence of the stepmother. This estrangement would naturally make the ties between Edward Lincoln and his mother's kinsfolk closer and warmer. In those troubled times, when households were so often divided because of religious strife, was it perhaps some such matter which brought about the isolation of a boy, who sorely needed the kindness of kin, from those whose place it was to befriend him? 

The Remching connection with Abraham Lincoln's English ancestors was discovered by Mr. J. Sidney Lea and Mr. J. R. Hutchinson. This is the story in the outline of some of the men and women to whom America owes a part of Lincoln's greatness. It is not a story of kings and nobles, of brilliant achievement glowing against a splendid background. It is a history of English families of gentle blood, of hardy American pioneers, of men and women who lived their lives simply, bravely, and honestly, who bequeathed to Lincoln something of that ardent flame of loyalty to an idea that was his, as well as the tranquil courage which can meet death but never surrenders.

These investigations may disprove the popular fancies of his lack of "gentle" lineage, but they should not make him, in the eyes of any American, less indeed a man of the people in the best sense and the truest. He loved all humanity and gloriously manifested his love for his people since he died a martyr so that we might preserve a nation.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

[1] THE TORAH (or Tanakh; pronunciation) is part of the sacred Scriptures of the Jewish people. The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, is typically divided into three parts: the Torah, the Navi'im (the Prophets), and the Ketuviym (the Writings). The Torah also explains how Jews are to worship God and conduct their lives as witnesses of God.

To the Jewish people, there is no "Old Testament." The books that Christians call the New Testament are not part of Jewish scripture. The so-called Old Testament is known to Jews as the "Written Torah" or the "Tanakh."

This is a list of the books of Written Torah, in the order in which they appear in Jewish translations, with the Hebrew name of the book, a translation of the Hebrew name (where it is not the same as the English name), and English names of the books (where it is not the same as the Hebrew name). The Hebrew names of the first five books are derived from the first few words of the book. The text of each book is more or less the same in Jewish translations as what you see in Christian bibles, although there are some occasional, slight differences in the numbering of verses and there are some significant differences in the translations.

TORAH (The Law):
  • Bereishith (In the beginning...) (Genesis)
  • Shemoth (The names...) (Exodus)
  • Vayiqra (And He called...) (Leviticus)
  • Bamidbar (In the wilderness...) (Numbers)
  • Devarim (The words...) (Deuteronomy)
NEVI'IM (The Prophets):
  • Yehoshua (Joshua)
  • Shoftim (Judges)
  • Shmuel (I &II Samuel)
  • Melakhim (I & II Kings)
  • Yeshayah (Isaiah)
  • Yirmyah (Jeremiah)
  • Yechezqel (Ezekiel)
  • The Twelve (treated as one book):
    • Hoshea (Hosea)
    • Yoel (Joel)
    • Amos
    • Ovadyah (Obadiah)
    • Yonah (Jonah)
    • Mikhah (Micah)
    • Nachum
    • Chavaqquq (Habbakkuk)
    • Tzefanyah (Zephaniah)
    • Chaggai
    • Zekharyah (Zechariah)
    • Malakhi
KETHUVIM (The Writings):
  • Tehillim (Psalms)
  • Mishlei (Proverbs)
  • Iyov (Job)
  • Shir Ha-Shirim (Song of Songs)
  • Ruth
  • Eikhah (Lamentations)
  • Qoheleth (the author's name) (Ecclesiastes)
  • Esther
  • Daniel
  • Ezra & Nechemyah (Nehemiah) (treated as one book)
  • Divrei Ha-Yamim (The words of the days) (Chronicles)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Three Lincoln Mothers.

There were three mothers who greatly influenced Abraham Lincoln: his own mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln; his stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln; and the mother of his children, Mary Todd Lincoln.

All three women spent their girlhood days in Kentucky. When Abraham was but nine years old he saw his mother for the last time. Just before leaving for the Inauguration at Washington in February 1861, he made a special trip to Coles County, Illinois, to bid his stepmother good-bye. On that fateful night in Ford's Theatre, he sat beside the mother of his children. Nancy lies buried close by her Indiana home in a beautiful state park, Sarah rests not far from her Illinois home which has also become a state park, and Mary lies beside her husband in the mausoleum at Springfield, Illinois.

Nancy Hanks

Lincoln's own mother was once despised and censured by most of those who wrote about her. She has now emerged from the purely traditional and misty background which made her a waif and an irresponsible wanderer, to an honorable place in the family history of her noble son. This has come about only by the untiring efforts of several historians who were not willing to allow her place in history to become established by the gossip about her collected by William Herndon. 

This mother had the privilege of tutoring her son, Abraham, but nine short years before she was snatched away. She was a young mother just in her early twenties when her first child, Sarah, was born. Two years later Abraham came, and then after another two years a child named Thomas for his father. The youngest boy died when about two years old so there were but two children left for the mother to care for, an easy task compared with the lot of so many pioneer mothers with large families.

When Nancy Hanks Lincoln moved with her husband to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, immediately after her wedding, there is every reason to believe that she found a close friend in a young lady of the town, Sarah Bush Johnston, who had been married but a few weeks before. Nancy Lincoln's first child and Sarah Johnston's first child were born about the same time. In the rearing of these infants, the young mothers would have much in common to discuss. Little did Nancy Lincoln dream at this time that her friend Sarah Johnston would become the stepmother of her children.

Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy, contracted "milk sickness" after drinking milk from a cow that had been poisoned by White Snakeroot or Milkweed, and died on October 5, 1818.

Sarah Bush Johnston

The brother of Sarah Bush, Elijah, and Thomas Lincoln were very close friends in the early Kentucky days and they made a trip to New Orleans together in 1806. While they were away on the trip Sarah, but eighteen years old, married Daniel Johnston. When Thomas and Elijah returned, both purchased gifts for Sarah at the Bleakley and Montgomery Store. 

Thomas Lincoln as a young man had received the appointment as a patroller for Hardin County as early as 1803, and Sarah's father, Christopher Bush, was captain of the patrol. Thomas must have met Sarah who was then but fifteen years old, and he had probably known her as a growing child, as she was but nine years of age when he first went to Elizabethtown to work.

Nancy, Thomas Lincoln's first wife, died in 1818, and in the following year, he went back to Elizabethtown to marry a second wife. He chose the woman whom he had known from his childhood, Sarah Bush Johnston, then a widow. Abraham Lincoln's second mother or stepmother was even younger than his own mother. 

After the marriage, Sarah immediately became the mother of three orphaned groups: her own three children, Thomas Lincoln's two children, and a boy by the name of Dennis Hanks whose foster parents were dead and who therefore found lodging in the Lincoln home. It was no small task to mother three groups of children, yet she played no favorites in this Southern Indiana orphanage. 

No stepmother could have shown more kindness in bringing up a child than Sarah displayed in her rearing of Abraham Lincoln. She was richly rewarded for her motherly attention to the needs of this boy, as in her last years he was to establish her in a home which he had provided for her. She died in 1851.

Mary Todd

The name Mary has often been associated with motherhood because of the Nativity scene at Bethlehem. There is no evidence that Mary Lincoln was other than a good mother for Abraham Lincoln's four boys. She brought them all through the difficult years of early infancy and three of them passed from the period of childhood to youth.

When Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln she was but twenty-four years of age while her husband was nine years her senior. No one in Springfield has even ventured the suggestion that she was not a capable mother in every respect. She was the intellectual superior to most of the mothers of the prairie country. She had always lived in a home of culture. There had always been new babies coming into the Todd home in Lexington during all the years she was growing up, and she must have known more than the average woman about rearing children.

Mary Todd was a good mother, in that she kept her own mind alert and was of tremendous help in bringing at least one of her sons to occupy a prominent place in government affairs, and the possibilities are that if Robert Lincoln had permitted his name to be used as a Presidential nominee, she might have reared a president as well as married one.

Mary Lincoln of course never knew her husband's own mother because she died the very year Mary was born. She did know Lincoln's stepmother, and a letter which she wrote to her, a copy of which was discovered in Charleston, Illinois, several years ago, might suggest the attitude towards the good woman who took care of Lincoln as a youth by the good wife who mothered his children when he became a man. She died in 1882.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Booth Saved Lincoln's Life. For Real.

Booth saved Lincoln’s life. The statement is true, but the incident to which it refers did not involve President Abraham Lincoln and his assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Instead, it refers to Edwin Booth (1833-1893), John Wilkes Booth's older brother, and Robert Todd Lincoln, the president’s oldest child, and the only Lincoln child to reach adulthood. 

As a general rule, historical anecdotes that seem a little “too perfect,” like “John Wilkes Booth’s brother saved the life of Abraham Lincoln’s son shortly before Lincoln was assassinated,” but, when researched thoroughly almost never turn out to be true. This, however, is one of the exceptions to that rule and it was no less than Robert Todd Lincoln himself who, in a letter to the editor of Century Magazine, Richard Gilder, in 1909 recounted the story of how Edwin Booth had saved his life.
Robert Todd Lincoln, Circa 1865.

The exact date of the event isn’t known, but it apparently took place sometime in late 1863 at the Jersey City railroad station, shortly before the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. Robert Lincoln recounted the tale as follows:
"The incident occurred while a group of passengers were late at night purchasing their sleeping car places from the conductor who stood on the station platform at the entrance of the car. The platform was about the height of the car floor, and there was of course a narrow space between the platform and the car body. There was some crowding, and I happened to be pressed by it against the car body while waiting my turn. In this situation the train began to move, and by the motion I was twisted off my feet, and had dropped somewhat, with feet downward, into the open space, and was personally helpless, when my coat collar was vigorously seized and I was quickly pulled up and out to a secure footing on the platform. Upon turning to thank my rescuer I saw it was Edwin Booth, whose face was of course well known to me, and I expressed my gratitude to him, and in doing so, called him by name."
John Wilkes Booth (left), as Marc Antony; Junius Brutus Booth Jr. (center) as Cassius; and Edwin Booth (right), as Brutus, all critically acclaimed actors of their day, only once all three appeared in the same play together, in “Julius Caesar, performed in New York in 1864.

Edwin Booth, a strong supporter of Abraham Lincoln and a Unionist, was a point of contention between him and his brother’s relationships. Edwin did not know the identity of the man whose life he had saved until some months later in 1865 when Edwin received a letter from his friend, Colonel Adam Badeau, an officer on the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant. Badeau had heard the story from Robert Lincoln, who, at the time, was serving in the Union Army and was also on Grant's staff. In the letter, Badeau gave his compliments to Booth for his heroic deed.
Edwin Booth, Actor

Gen. Grant, who heard the life-saving story from Col. Badeau, wrote to Booth to congratulate him on his heroism. Grant not only praised Booth’s quick actions but also said that if he could ever serve Edwin, he would gladly do so. Edwin reportedly replied that when Grant was in Richmond, Virginia, the actor would like to perform for him.

While the rescue was clearly a significant event in Robert's life, there is no existing evidence that he ever told his parents about it. This may not be too surprising, given that he and his father were not particularly close and he thought that the President already had enough to worry about. Robert probably feared his mother’s reaction to the story. Mary still seemed fragile after the death of the Lincolns’ third son, Willie, in 1862.

After the assassination, Edwin Booth saw his famed family name ruined; lost his brother; lost his President, whom he staunchly supported; and nearly lost his career, due to his association with his brother—all in one day, and with none of it due to anything he had done.  It was reported by his friends that he was brought stricken to the ground and only with time and the aid of his friends taking turns keeping a close watch on him in the coming months did he begin to make a recovery. He eventually made a successful return to the stage in January of 1866, about 8 months after the assassination. It was acknowledged that the knowledge that Edwin had saved the President’s eldest son’s life gave him some comfort going forward with his life.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Mary Lincoln Surprised Abraham with a Home Remodeling Project.

In 1856, Mary Todd Lincoln pulled off the greatest surprise on Abe. Mrs. Lincoln apparently was no exception to the rule of women being admittedly the prime movers in home improvement. In fact, she had the Lincoln home in Springfield, Illinois, completely remodeled from a story and a half to a big two-story house while Circuit Lawyer Abe was out of town. She wanted to surprise her husband when he came home, and she certainly did. She had spent $1,300 ($375,000 today) on her modernization project. That was a lot of money in those days. It was about as much as Lincoln had originally paid for the house. Keep in mind that Lincoln traveled the Eighth Judicial Circuit for nearly six months of the year.

According to the story, Lincoln came striding up to his property at the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets (413 South 8th Street, Springfield), carrying a beefsteak under his arm, and he didn't know his own house. But he got to like it all right. The family sitting room, which measured 16 by 20 feet, and the adjoining formal parlor that opened through a large double door, soon became a frequent meeting place for Abe's political associates.
Mary Todd Lincoln had that house remodeled because she didn't like it. You've probably heard that reason in connection with modern remodeling jobs. And she seemed to be a woman who could get what she wanted. She always said Lincoln would land in the White House. 

But Mrs. Lincoln had been very disappointed when Abe bought the house in 1844 from the Rev. Charles  Dresser. Even though her husband would show her the solidity of its hand-hewn oak construction, wooden pegs, walnut clapboards, and shingles, she thought the house was ugly and wanted a bigger house.

However, the house had seven rooms and several fireplaces and occupied a lot 50 by 152 feet, which also contained a woodshed, privy and carriage shed. In order to save up enough money to buy the place, Lincoln spent virtually nothing on himself, even giving up his handball games which had cost him 10¢ per game. 

One drawback to the house was that the two bedrooms upstairs had such low ceilings that Lincoln could stand erect only in the center under the ridge of the roof. Mrs. Lincoln fixed that. She raised the roof 12 feet, added several bedrooms upstairs, installed new wood stoves in place of fireplaces, and had bookshelves built for Abraham's law library. 

The exact amount that Lincoln paid for the house is not entirely clear. Carl Sandburg in "The Prairie Years" says the deal involved $750 in cash, plus a lot Lincoln owned which was valued at $300. However, Sandburg notes there was a mortgage for $900 on the 'property which was not mentioned in the deed, Lincoln apparently trusting the Rev. Mr. Dresser to get rid of it.

A contract in Lincoln's handwriting mentions $1,200 as the price, but some historians say the final price was actually $1,500. 

We asked Myron Matthews of the Dow Service Building Reports to give us an estimate of what it would cost to build that house today. He figured that $20,000 might do it, with $5,000 added for the lot. In some ways, this puts a pretty low value on the 1850s dollar.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

The First Statue of Abraham Lincoln and his Wife, Mary in the United States.

In late June of 1867, Mary Todd Lincoln traveled to Racine, Wisconsin. Her sons, Robert and Tad, had been called to Washington to testify in the trial of John Surratt. (Surratt had been an accomplice of John Wilkes Booth. Surratt escaped after the assassination but was later caught and brought to trial.) Racine was the site of an Episcopal secondary school, Racine College, which had been recommended to Mary for Tad. Mary took advantage of her sons' absence to spend time relaxing in Racine and looking over this school.

Many years later a pioneer resident of Racine, Miss Lena Rosewall, who had studied the lives of the Lincolns, felt Mary had done much to further her husband's career. When Miss Rosewall passed away in 1935, she left her entire estate of $20,000 for the construction of a memorial of Abraham and Mary together. The executors of Miss Rosewall's estate chose Frederick C. Hibbard, a well-known artist, and sculptor, to make the statue.
The statue's base is of Minnesota pink granite five feet high. The Lincolns are chiseled from Elberton gray granite from Georgia. Mary stands seven feet high.

Hibbard, who completed the two-year project in his Chicago studio, said he wanted to portray the Lincolns "before Abe became president in 1861, before the president's face became seamed and furrowed in the struggle to save the Union, and while Mrs. Lincoln's future was unclouded." The statue portrays Abraham seated with Mary standing beside him. They are dressed for a formal occasion. The statue was dedicated on July 4, 1943. The work stands in Racine's East Park in front of the Gateway Technical College campus on Main Street.
NOTE: A second statue of the Lincolns together, which was patterned after the Racine statue, is located in Phillips, Wisconsin, at Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.
Contributor, Abraham Lincoln Research Site

Monday, November 23, 2020

Abraham Lincoln's Favorite Dessert: Gingerbread with an Apple and Brown Sugar Topping..

Lincoln was extraordinarily fond of gingerbread. A plain man with tastes to match, Lincoln once said, "I don't s'pose anybody on earth likes gingerbread better'n I do—and gets less'n I do.
This is the kitchen Mary Todd Lincoln cooked and baked for the man who later became President of the United States. Their modest home at Eighth and Jackson Streets in Springfield, Illinois, is a National Historic Site. The Lincolns lived here from 1844 until 1861.

This was in the days before the package mix. Otherwise, Mrs. Lincoln surely would have catered more closely to her husband's food likes. And here is one of the best possible dress-ups for it, a buttery brown sugar and apple topping particularly compatible with the spicy goodness of gingerbread warm from the oven.

If it's for company, or even if it isn't, a puff of whipped cream makes it even better.

  • Take two pounds and a half of flour
  • Mix an ounce of beaten ginger with it, and half a pound of brown sugar
  • Cut three-quarters of a pound of orange peel and citron (a citrus fruit) not too small
  • One ounce of Carraway seeds
  • Mix all these together
  • Take a mutchkin and a half (a Scottish unit of capacity equal to a little less than a pint or 14.5oz) of good treacle (treacle and molasses may both be by-products of the sugar refining process, but they are not as interchangeable as many believe) 21.75oz of treacle, and melt it on the fire.
  • Beat five large eggs
  • Wet the flour with the treacle and eggs
  • Weight half a pound of fresh butter, "Scots weight" (8 ounces)
  • Melt it and pour it in amongst your other materials
  • Cast them all well together
  • Butter a frame and put it in the oven. (NOTE: There is no oven temperature given because they used wood to bake and cook.) All these cakes must be fired in an oven, neither too hot nor too cold. 
  • This gingerbread won't fire without frames. (not important in today's ovens)
  • If it rises in blisters when it is in the oven, run a fork through it. 
  • It makes very fine plain bread without the fruit, with a few caraway seeds.
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 medium apples, sliced very thin
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
Combine brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, then add apple slices and simmer just until tender. Spoon out the apple slices and arrange on baked gingerbread. Combine cornstarch and cold water and stir into syrup in which apples were cooked. Stir over low heat until thickened, then pour over apples and gingerbread. Serve with whipped cream if you like.

Research by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

The Real Story About a Tavern License for the Berry-Lincoln Store in New Salem, Illinois.

In the spring of 1831, at 22 years old, Abraham Lincoln arrived in a flatboat in New Salem, where he would live for the next six years. He soon made friends with William "Bill" Franklin Berry, a hard-working young man who was the son of Reverend John McCutchen Berry, founder of Rock Creek Cumberland Presbyterian Church and a Christian leader. Apparently, the business attracted Lincoln for lack of other plans. 

In August 1832, Abraham Lincoln entered into a partnership as a storekeeper with Berry in the town of New Salem. William Berry was noted as being a very astute businessman. Contrary to popular belief, he did not leave a large debt for Lincoln to pay off and is, in fact, noted for having paid off some of Lincoln's personal debts. Bill died of Malaria fever on January 10, 1835, at the young age of 24.
The two men were thriving merchants for a short time until they bought Rubin Radford's stock of goods, then moved across Main Street into the second "Berry-Lincoln Store." The second Store was probably the first building in the original village of New Salem, being constructed in 1829. The building was sold to Berry and Lincoln as a General or Dry Goods Store in January of 1833. 
The second Berry-Lincoln store was north on Main Street and was a one-story frame building, twenty feet square on the outside, and consisted of two rooms. One was a large room in front with a smaller room adjoining on the north. The smaller room had a fireplace. Mr. Lincoln stayed there. When it was slow, as it often was, Lincoln would get lost in the pages of a book.

This venture in the 2nd building didn't last long. A liquor license was issued on March 6, 1833. According to Lincoln, the business simply put him deeper and deeper in debt. According to the New Salem tradition, Lincoln was more interested in reading and talking politics, while Berry was interested in drinking the spirits. In April of 1833, Abe sold his interest in the Berry-Lincoln store to Berry after only 3 months, and Berry sold out to the Trent Brothers.

A printed document featuring a tavern license taken out in the name of Berry and Lincoln at New Salem has circulated for years. Many posters of various sizes have presented this information, which has become known to Lincoln scholars as "The Tavern License Broadside."

This reproduction of two early documents associated with Lincoln's New Salem days, which may be found in many forms and sizes, is usually captioned "Abraham Lincoln's Saloon License" and has been given nationwide circulation. A picture of Lincoln is often associated with a facsimile of the tavern license taken out by William F. Berry and another facsimile of a "good behavior" bond purported to be signed by Abraham Lincoln, William F. Berry, and John Bowling Green. Without careful scrutiny, the observer would conclude that there is positive proof that Abraham Lincoln at one time ran the general or dry goods store as a tavern/saloon or a "grocery, as it was then called. It is apparent from notations on the broadsides and the feature of the alleged Lincoln signature that the purpose of the broadsides is to convey this idea.

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln should be accepted as a final authority on the genuineness of all original documents that have come to its editors' attention. Roy P. Basler and his assistant, Mrs. Harry Pratt, who are experts in the field of Lincoln's handwriting, in passing on the authenticity of writings submitted, also have had the professional advice of three other Lincoln authorities, Paul M. Angle, the late J. G. Randall, and Benjamin P. Thomas. 

Appendix Two in the Collected Works presents a list of documents where someone other than Lincoln signed his name. The first manuscript noted where this occurs is on the peace bond mentioned above. The comment of the editors of the Collected Works who had before them this original bond is now in the archives of the Illinois State Historical Society.
This commemorative print features the tavern license for the New Salem, Illinois store, owned by William F. Berry and Abraham Lincoln in 1833. They obtained a license on March 6, 1833, from the [Sangamon] County Commissioners Court to keep a tavern in the town of New Salem for one year. The license was in Berry's name only. The rates they were allowed to charge were also listed. A note just below the price list reads, "Facsimile of tavern license issued to Berry and Lincoln. Certified by Chas. E. Oppel, Clerk Sangamon County Court, Springfield, Ill. Date April 25, 1908." A second note below the paragraph stating the condition of the $300 bond reads, "Facsimile of Bond given by Abraham Lincoln, William F. Berry and John Bowling Green binding themselves in a penalty of $300 not to sell whiskey to negroes, Indians, or children, i. e. to obey the liquor laws of the State of Illinois." Below this note is a paragraph of explanatory text about whiskey typically sold in grocery stores then. The License and the bond are each shown printed on an illustrated scroll.

Here, these authorities substantiate what leading Lincoln scholars have claimed for years that the signature in question is not that of Abraham Lincoln. In his book Lincoln and Liquor, William Townsend, published as early as 1934, states: "Apparently Berry subscribed his partners' name to the document since an examination of the original shows that it is not in Lincoln's handwriting."  

Although not given much prominence, the other manuscript usually displayed is the license that was issued on the strength of the bond. It, however, was taken out by William Berry and apparently issued to him personally to do business in the name of Berry and Lincoln. An excerpt from the license follows:
Springfield, Wednesday, March 6, 1833
Ordered that William F. Berry, in the name of Berry & Lincoln, have a license to keep a tavern in New Salem to continue twelve months from this date and that they pay $1 in addition to the $6 heretofore paid as sub-treasury receipt and that they be allowed the following rates: 
French brandy, per pint, 25¢
Peach brandy, per pint, 18¾¢
Apple brandy, per pint, 12¢
Holland Gin, per pint, 18¢
Wine, per pint, 35¢
Rum, per pint, 18¾¢
Whiskey, per pint, 12½¢
Breakfast, dinner and supper, 25¢
Lodging for night, 12½¢
Horse, for night, 25¢
Single feed 12½¢
Breakfast, dinner or supper, for stage passenger, 37½¢
As an example of another liquor license, the Green Tree Tavern, established in 1833 at Lake and West Water Streets in Chicago, a Cook County Liquor License, costing $5, which permitted the recipient to not only sell carryout pints of spirits but to also keep an inn and tavern serving drinks at a bar and with meals. My Green Tree Tavern article includes an eye-opening first-hand account of an overnight stay. The Green Tree Tavern license contained printed regulations and maximum charges:
For each ½ Pint; Rum, Wine, or Brandy - 25¢ 
For each Pint; Rum, Wine, or Brandy - 37½¢ 
For each ½ Pint Gin - 18¾¢ 
For each Pint Gin - 31¼¢ 
For each Glass of Whiskey - 06¼¢ 
For each ½ Pint Whiskey - 12½¢ 
For Cider or Beer: 1 Pint - .06¼¢; 1 Quart - 12½¢
For Breakfast and Supper - 25¢ 
For Dinner - 37½¢ 
For Horse single feed - 25¢ 
For Lodging for each person one night - 12½¢ 
As was customary in those days, most general or dry good stores sold spirits, some having a serving license for shots and glasses of liquor at the business's bar or tables.

While the documents seem to designate the firm name of the tavern operators as Berry and Lincoln, it is evident that Lincoln was not present when the bond was signed, or it would have contained his actual signature. The same conclusion might be drawn regarding granting Berry the license individually instead of the partners Berry and Lincoln. 
UNFOUNDED CLAIM: "I [Daniel Green Burner] clerked in the [Barry-Lincoln] store through the winter of 1833-34 {, up to the 1st of March. While I was there they had nothing for sale but liquors. They may have had some groceries before that, but I am certain they had none then. I used to sell whiskey over their counter at 6¢ a glass—and charged it too. N. A. Garland started a store, and Lincoln wanted Berry to ask his father for a loan, so they could buy out Garland; but Berry refused, saying this was one of the last things he would think of doing." —Abraham Lincoln the Man of the People, Norman Hapgood, page 37, published 1899. 
NOTE: The 2nd Berry-Lincoln store was open from January 1833 and closed in April 1833; the liquor license was obtained on March 6, 1833. William Berry sold out to the Trent Brothers shortly thereafter, so Daniel Green Burner has the owner or time-frame wrong.
During the first debate with Lincoln at Ottawa on August 21, 1858, Douglas made this statement early in his speech: 
"I have known him (Lincoln) for nearly twenty-five years. There were many points of sympathy between us... I was a school teacher in the town of Winchester, and he a flourishing grocery-keeper in the town of Salem. (Applause and laughter)."
Mr. Lincoln opened his argument with Douglas in these words:
"When a man hears himself somewhat misrepresented, it provokes him—at least, I find it so with myself; but when the misrepresentation becomes very gross and palpable, it is more apt to amuse him. (Laughter)."
Lincoln then goes on to discuss some politically important questions in which he had been misrepresented, passing by the more personal allusions until later in the speech when he says:
"Now I pass on to consider one or two more of these little follies. The Judge is woefully at fault about his early friend Lincoln being a 'grocery keeper.' (Laughter). I don't know as it would be a great sin, if I had been, but he is mistaken. Lincoln never kept a grocery anywhere in the world. (Laughter)." 
Abraham Lincoln, in his speech at Charleston, Illinois, during the debate on September 18, 1858, gave the definition of a forgery: 
"What is a forgery? It is the bringing forward something in writing or in print purporting to be of certain effect when it is altogether untrue."
With this definition before us and the statement of Lincoln's that he "never kept a grocery," we are inclined to look upon this whole tavern license transaction as it is now so widely publicized as a forgery. There is a tradition extant that Berry's procedure in securing the tavern license was responsible for the immediate dissolution of the merchandise partnership of the two men at New Salem.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.