Thomas Lincoln [Father]

Thomas was born in Virgina, and his family soon brought him west to Kentucky. Indians killed his father, named Abraham Lincoln, while he was clearing farmland, leaving young Thomas and his family fatherless. He moved to Hardin County, Kentucky in 1802, and one year later, purchased his first farm. Thomas married Nancy Hanks on June 12, 1806. They had three children: Sarah (February 10, 1807), Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809), and Thomas (1812) who died in infancy.

Historical documents show that Thomas was a responsible citizen and community leader, but he repeatedly fell victim to Kentucky's chaotic land laws and was constantly frustrated by the presence of slavery. In 1816, Thomas and his family crossed the Ohio River and purchased a farm directly from the Federal Government in what is today Spencer County, Indiana.

Two years later his wife died due to milk sickness, and Thomas married a widow, Sarah Bush Johnston.

Although Lincoln developed a close relationship with his stepmother, his relationship with his father was strained. In 1830, he moved with his father for the last time when they travelled to Illinois. A year later, he set out on his own. His father continued farming in Coles County, Illinois until his death in 1851. He was buried in the Shiloh Cemetery, near his Illinois farm.

Sources: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, (1982) by Mark Neely and Lincoln's Youth (1959) by Louis A. Warren.

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Last updated: April 10, 2015

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