Monday, December 3, 2007

Abraham Lincoln's Father's and Stepmother's Gravesite


From a small town Illinois newspaper website comes this interesting story about the cemetery where Abraham Lincoln's father, Thomas, and his stepmother, Sarah Bush Lincoln, lie in eternal rest. The Thomas Lincoln Cemetery is located in Coles County, Illinois in the village of Janesville.

The article quotes a gentleman who claims that his ancestor showed President-elect Lincoln the location of his father's grave just before Lincoln departed for Washington, D.C. to take the oath of office. While this story is probably a family legend with no basis in fact, it is indeed known that Lincoln did not attend the funeral of his father Thomas.

Although Abraham Lincoln absolutely treasured his step-mother Sarah, his relationship with his father was never good to begin with and the two grew far apart as Abraham attained adulthood. David Herbert Donald in his masterpiece biography "Lincoln" details the estrangement between father and son, which seemed primarily to stem from the younger Lincoln's ambition and drive for learning, concepts which were alien to Thomas. Additionally, Thomas was a member of a Baptist church and seemed to fault Abe for never joining. It's also known that Lincoln did visit his father and stepmother from time to time while riding the law circuit, but he had very little contact with Thomas most of the time.

The article in question is of interest but it does contain some inaccuracies. It claims that Sarah Bush Lincoln was deceased by the time Lincoln left for Washington, but she of course outlived him, stating "I know'd they'd kill him" when she received news of his assassination. The article also quotes a gentleman who claims that Lincoln and Thomas got on a lot better than historians claim. This contradicts what the facts seem to support.

Nonetheless, I found the article to be informative and it further added to my Lincoln knowledge. I hope it added to yours as well.

3 comments:

Jane said...

I'd like to know if Sarah Lincoln attended her step-son's burial. Is this known?

Geoffrey M. Elliott said...

Hi Jane,

I've read many books and articles abotu Lincoln's funerals and burial. Nothing has ever mentioned about Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln attending his funeral and burial. She was very old by then and would not have been able to travel.

The only Lincoln family member to attend the funerals was his oldest son, Robert.

mike shifflett said...

Then who are the lincolns buried at lacey springs cemetery?

 
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