Friday, August 14, 2009

Looking for Lincoln in Kentucky

While working in Troy, Indiana, Lincoln was involved in his first legal case. He ferried two men from the Indiana shore to a steamship in the middle of the Ohio River. After he received $1.00 for doing so, he was arrested for illegally ferrying people across the Ohio River. The Dill brothers who had the license to ferry across the Ohio River in the area took Abraham to Judge Samuel Pate in Kentucky. Lincoln argued that he broke no law, because he did not ferry anyone ACROSS the river. The judge agreed. This morning I found the home of Judge Pate and the small cemetery behind it where the judge is buried.

I then drove to Hodgenville, KY near the place of Lincoln's birth. While there I visited the Lincoln Museum on the square; the museum features twelve life-sized dioramas on events which occurred in Lincoln's life. The village square has two statues of Lincoln: one has adult Lincoln sitting in a "throne-like" chair and one a statue of Lincoln as a boy.

I then drove three miles south to the Abraham Lincoln National Historic Park. At the Visitor Center I viewed a video on "Lincoln in Kentucky", viewed a replica of the inside of the Lincoln birth cabin, and viewed the actual "Lincoln Family Bible". From there I walked to the actual site of the Sinking Springs Farm where Abe was born. I first visited the Sinking Spring which still flows today. The Birth Cabin is housed within a large impressive stone building. It is a cabin similar to cabins of that time and it does contain some logs from the original cabin, but it is not the true cabin. The Lincolns lived at this site from 1809-1811.

In 1811 the Lincolns moved a few miles away to the Knob Creek Farm. I also visited that site.
The cabin there is NOT the Lincoln cabin, but it is the cabin lived in by the family of Austin Gollaher, Lincoln's best friend at the time. Austin is given credit for having saved Abe from drowning in the nearby Knob Creek. I also located the burial site of Gollaher in a nearby community. The Lincolns lived at Knob Creek Farm until 1816 when they moved to Indiana.
I then returned to Elizabethtown, KY to spend the night. A year following the death of Nancy Lincoln, Thomas Lincoln returned to E-town to ask an old acquaintance, Sarah Bush Johnston to marry him. She accepted and she and her three children moved to Indiana with him. At a park in E-town is a replica of the cabin where Sarah was living when Thomas returned. I visited that park and photographed that site as well.

Tomorrow I move on to Louisville, KY to visit Lincoln sites there (and also to visit a steamboat museum).

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