Nancy Hanks Lincoln

Nancy Hanks Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln’s Mother)

Nancy Hanks Lincoln was the mother of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of U.S. She was born in the year 1784 in Hampshire County in Virginia. Her mother was Lucy Hanks and was raised by her Grand Parents Ann and Joseph Hanks. After the death of her grandfather while the family lived in Kentucky, she moved with her Uncle and Aunt (Henry Sparrow and Elizabeth).

Nancy Hanks was employed in Richard and Rachael Berry’s house along Beech Fork in present day Washington County, Kentucky. Reared in the Berry household, Nancy Hanks acquired the skills needed to manage a frontier home, becoming widely known as an expert Spinner and Seamstress. While living with the Berry’s family she met Thomas Lincoln who was working there as a Carpenter, they loved each other and got married in the year 1806, June 12th in the Berry’s Home. They got three kids of which their 2nd son was Abraham Lincoln.

Childhood Passage (Birth and Parents)

Nancy Hanks was born on the tear 1784, February 5th in Hampshire County, Virginia, now Mineral County (West Virginia). She was born to Lucy Hanks. Details of her early life are sketchy. Nancy Hanks born to Lucy Hanks and raised by her Grandparents,(Ann and Joseph Hanks). At the age of 9 she was orphaned and moved with her Uncle and Aunt (Henry Sparrow and Elizabeth) to Mercer County, Kentucky.

Marriage and Family

Nancy Hanks when working in Berry’s Household met Thomas Lincoln who was employed as Carpenter by the Berry family for their house. Both loved each other and got married in the year 1806, June 12th in the Berry’s House.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln and Thomas Lincoln established their home on a farm owned by Thomas Lincoln along Mill Creek, about eight miles north of Elizabeth Town, Kentucky. Soon the Lincoln’s moved into a cabin in Elizabeth town, where their first child, a daughter, they named Sarah was born in the year 1807 February 10th 

In December 1808, Nancy Hanks and Thomas Lincoln with their growing family moved to sinking spring farm what was then Hardin County, Kentucky. Within 2 months time their second child, a son born on February 12th in the year 1809. And they named him Abraham Lincoln. (He became the 16th president of U.S).

In 1811 the Lincoln family moved to the little Pigeon Creek settlement in Perry County, Indiana where Thomas Lincoln purchased land directly from the Federal Government. Nancy Hanks Lincoln helped in clearing the land and taking care of the crops as well as maintaining Lincoln’s household.

Nancy Hanks Appearance and Character:

She was tall, smart and motivated handsome young woman of humble circumstances.  She was known for her intellectual and curious. Although she had no formal education, Nancy stressed the importance of learning and reading, in shaping the man (Abraham Lincoln) who became the 16th president of United States. She educated and taught Abraham the virtues of honesty and compassion and instilled in him a sense of intellectual curiosity that made him one of the most respected leaders of the Nation.

Nancy Hanks was a woman of piety and excellent judgments, she left an indelible impress on her son. From her Lincoln inherited the serious temperament, brightening by the spirit of playfulness that was so prominent trait of him throughout his troubled career. Lincoln was very close to his mother than his father.

Nancy Hanks Death

In the year of 1818, an outbreak of “Milk Sickness” spread throughout the Little Pigeon Creek Community taking the lives of many. Being a neighbors who had contracted the illness, and while Nancy Hanks was caring for her neighbors, she drank milk from their cow and got sick, after 2 weeks the first symptom appeared and Nancy Hanks Lincoln died ( October 5th 1818 ). She was just 34 years old. This loss deeply mourned the Nine year old Abraham very much. Then he turned towards his sister Sarah for the guidance.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln’s body was prepared for burial in the Lincoln’s log cabin, while Thomas and Abraham Lincoln whipsawed the logs into planks to construct a coffin for Nancy. At the age of Nine Abraham whittled pegs to be used in the coffin of his mother. Nancy Hanks Lincoln was buried on a hill quarter of a mile south of the family farm.

In later years Abraham Lincoln said about his mother “All that I am, and all that I hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”. This shows the deepest love Abraham Lincoln had for his mother.

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