Birth and Childhood of Sarah Lincoln

Sarah Lincoln was born to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks on 10th February in 1807 in a log cabin, Elizabethtown, Kentucky. In 1808, Lincoln’s family moved to Spring Farm, Hardin County, Kentucky. In 1809, a second child, a son, named Abraham Lincoln was born in the year 1811. Lincoln’s family moved to Knob Creek Farm.

Sarah spent more than five years there, she was sent to a subscription school, which is two miles north of Lincoln farm, her little brother Abraham Lincoln was sent with her to the school to keep her company.

Sarah Lincoln – a mother more than a Sister

Thomas Lincoln, the father of Sarah Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln, purchased land in Perry County in Southern Indiana from the Federal government directly, and Lincoln’s family moved to little Pigeon Creek in Perry County for survival.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln helped Thomas Lincoln in all the works like clearing the land, taking care of crops, and maintaining the household. In 1818 it was recorded a severe spread of “milk sickness” throughout the little Pigeon Creek County, taking the lives of many. Nancy Hanks also got infected by the disease by drinking the milk of the cow which ate the snake gourd plant and died. Sarah Lincoln took the entire family household responsibility after her mother Nancy Hanks death, also she was taking care of her younger brother Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Lincoln went to Elizabethtown, Kentucky in late 1819 to find a wife and a mother for his children, Sarah and Abraham. Thomas married Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow with three children

Herndon’s interview with Lincoln’s teacher Zachariah Riney’s daughter Susan Riñey

Susan Riney revealed “Both myself and Abe went to the same school where my father Zachariah was the teacher, the old schoolhouse was built of rough logs, all the schools of those days are dwelling houses made of mud. The school had no windows, one log lengthwise was removed to serve light and ventilation. The floor was dirty, leveled, and beaten with solid, the benches were made up of split logs placed in the middle and along the walls.

She continued that she was ten years old and Abraham was seven years old. He used to come with his sister Sarah, Sarah Lincoln was very much caring for her brother both in studies and playing, she used to have an eye on him, telling him to keep away from the big boys as they hurt him by rough play.

Nancy Hanks advice to her Children

Both Sarah Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln were brought up by their mother Nancy Hanks with care and culture. They learned scriptures from their family Bible, Sarah Lincoln learned housekeeping works from her mother, she was very protective and loving about her little brother Abraham Lincoln. Nancy Hanks died from milk sickness, her cousin Dennis Hanks recollected that Nancy called their children Sarah and Abraham Lincoln to sit beside and advised them to be kind and good to their father, to each other, and the world. Although Sarah was 11years old, she looked after cooking, cleaning, and keeping the clothes in order. These responsibilities would last until Thomas Lincoln married Sarah Bush Johnston in 1819.

The Stepmother – Sarah Bush Johnston

On the arrival of the stepmother in the home, Sarah Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln can attend school for brief periods. During winter in 1820, they attended a school taught by Andrew Crawford. In 1822, Sarah Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln walked four miles to attend a school taught by James Swaney. In 1824, the Lincolns went to a school taught by Azel Dorsey. Sarah continued to look after her young brother Abraham Lincoln.

Words of Elizabeth Crawford about Sarah and Abe

Crawford hired Sarah to work in her home iñ 1825 and told the following story to William Herndon.

“One day Sarah Lincoln and her friends were playing, Abraham Lincoln was bothering the girls, Sarah Lincoln got angry and she scolded Abraham saying”Abe you ought to be ashamed of yourself” what do you expect? To become “President of U.S” and this was proved by Abraham Lincoln in his later life.

The appearance of Sarah Lincoln

Sarah looks more like her father than her mother, she was solid in build and had dark brown hair which was straight and rather coarse. Like Abraham Lincoln she had gray eyes, most people agreed she was good-natured, kind and a wonderful companion for her younger brother. She was a hard worker, intelligent, modest, and good-humored.

Sarah Lincoln’s marriage with Aaron Grigsby

On August 2nd, 1826, Sarah Lincoln married Aaron Grigsby. Reverend Charles Harper, minister of the little Pigeon Creek Baptist Church, conducted the marriage ceremony. The Grigsby family was neighbors for many years Lincoln’s family, Sarah first met Aaron in late 1816 at the wash place below the spring on the Grigsby’s property, when they met Aaron was 15 yrs and Sarah was 9 yrs, they met regularly on the wash place, one day Elizabeth Crawford’s 4-year-old son told his mother that he saw the couple together stating “I saw Aaron sparkling Sally (Sarah), I saw him kissing her”. This incident resulted in their marriage.

Sarah Lincoln’s Death and the Grievance of Abraham Lincoln

Sarah and Aaron after their marriage moved to a new cabin just two miles away from lincoln’s home, 1827 Sarah Lincoln Grigsby became pregnant and in January 1828, Sarah experienced severe labor problems but unfortunately, the doctors could not save her life, both Sarah and her child died in childbirth. This loss of Sarah Lincoln affected Abraham Lincoln very much. he cried in burning his face in his hands, the death of his lovable sister impacted Abraham Lincoln much.

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