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Abraham Lincoln: Railsplitter for President Elect Honest Abe

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1 Abraham Lincoln: Railsplitter for President Elect Honest Abe
His Story in my words, his words, and his peers’ words By Howard Taylor, Teacher from Illinois Play two songs from CD no talking here

2 Earliest pictures from and during the Civil War, "He enjoyed the brief distinction his exhibitions of strength gave him more than the admiration of his friends for his literary or forensic efforts. Some of the feats attributed to him almost surpass belief. One witness declares he was equal to three men, having on a certain occasion carried a load of six hundred pounds. At another time he walked away with a pair of logs which three robust men were skeptical of their ability to carry. "He could strike with a maul a heavier blow - could sink an axe deeper into wood than any man I ever saw." is the testimony of another witness.“ Billy Herndon, law partner "When he walked he moved cautiously but firmly; his long arms and giant hands swung down by his side. He walked with even tread, the inner sides of his feet being parallel. He put his whole foot flat down on the ground at once, not landing on the heal; he likewise lifted his foot all at once, not rising from the toe, and hence he had no spring to his walk. His walk was undulatory - catching and pocketing tire, weariness, and pain, all up and down his person, and thus preventing them from locating. The first impression of a stranger, or a man who did not observe closely, was that his walk implied shrewdness and cunning - that he was a tricky man; but in reality it was the walk of caution and firmness." 1848 1862

3 Actual signature and wax envelope seal and the 33 star Union flag

4 The Beginning of the Story
Part One The beginning of the story Part One

5 My cousin Dennis Hanks, started out my life story when he announced to Nancy and Abe, after seeing me as a babe, that ,”. . .he’ll never come to much, fur I’ll tell you he wuz the puniest, cryin’est little youngster I ever saw.”           This was my birth day, February 12, 1809.  I was born in a drafty rough hewn log cabin in Kentucky.  I always kind of wondered if I could ever amount to anything.  I so much wanted to read and write, and get out of hard labor on a farm.            I started my life out on a stormy morning on a Sunday.  I was born on a bed of poles covered with corn husks.  I was named after my great grandfather, Abraham.  My father was Thomas and was uneducated.   He could do carpentry work, but preferred working the working the land.  My father did not believe that “eddication” was necessary for success as a farmer.  "...he'll never come to much, fur I'll tell you he wuz the puniest, cryin'est little youngster I ever saw."   Said by Dennis Hanks

6 A photo of the Lincoln birthplace cabin. The original does not exist.
The Lincolns' rough-hewn cabin on Nolin Creek near Hodgenville, Kentucky

7 Bronze sculpture at Hodginville, Ky: the Lincoln Family
Nancy Hanks Lincoln Thomas Lincoln Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Thomas Lincoln, sister Sarah and Baby Abraham. The infant Thomas died at childbirth. “My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families-- second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks, some of whom now reside in Adams, and others in Macon Counties, Illinois.   In the autumn of 1818, my mother died.”  Bronze sculpture at Hodginville, Ky: the Lincoln Family

8 Lincoln Birthplace National Memorial, near Hodgenville, Ky
A replica of the birth cabin rests in this Greek style building. Some wood in it’s foundation were found on the site of the original cabin Lincoln Birthplace National Memorial, near Hodgenville, Ky

9 Mostly, I learned on my own by stealing any moment I could find, including by the “light of the fire,” at night-time reading all the books I could get my hands on.  I especially liked Aesop’s Fables, The Life of George Washington, and the Holy Bible.  I know them from cover to cover.    A young Abraham reading by the “light of the fire,” in his Indiana Family Cabin. Drawing by Lloyd Ostendorf

10 Lincoln Family Church “Knob Baptist Church” Hodgenville, Ky
Abraham and Sarah would attend church in Kentucky at the Knob Baptist Church. Nancy and Thomas were members. They had to get permission to leave the congregation, and had to prove that all their debts were paid. Abraham knew the Bible by memory and understanding. He would quote from it throughout all aspects of his personal and political life. He never “joined” a church. The Lincoln’s servant left a book of memoirs in which she says that Mr. Lincoln was baptized during the night in the Sangamon River near Springfield. Lincoln Family Church “Knob Baptist Church” Hodgenville, Ky

11 Books that the young Abraham read “over and over”
The books that the very young Abraham would read and re-read. His new step-mother brought some books with her. He would borrow from neighbors. His birth mother could quote scriptures and sang several hymns to Abraham and Sarah. She started his life with a good spiritual upbringing. She was illiterate. His father was illiterate.

12 Pastor Wheems’ Biography of George Washington with Curious Anecdotes
New Step-mother, Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln brings books to 10 year old Abe We would move to Indiana in 1817.  “We reached our new home in Indiana about the time the State came into the Union .It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals, still in the woods. There I grew up. There were some schools, so called; but no qualification was ever required of a teacher beyond "readin, writ'n, and cipherin" to the Rule of Three. If a straggler supposed to understand latin happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon as a wizzard.”   A. Lincoln           “While here I went to A B C schools by littles, kept successively by Andrew Crawford,--Sweeney, and Azel W. Dorsey.”    Pastor Wheems’ Biography of George Washington with Curious Anecdotes Abraham learns to read, Discovers George Washington. Honesty is learned

13 Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, Abraham’s Step-Mother
Thomas and Sarah’s cabin near Charleston, Illinois . . . I always addressed my step-mother as "Mother."   I visited her "every year or two," when I lived in Springfield.  After my father died, I maintained the family's farm in Coles County, Illinois, for her and supported her after my father's death. Sarah died at age 71 while still living in her cabin at Goosenest Farm. Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, Abraham’s Step-Mother

14 Abraham the “rail splitter” and log builder
The Indiana Cabin Indiana was a wild country full of animals and big trees.  In order for a family to make a farm in Spencer County, a lot of wood cuttin’ had to be done.  Good straight hardwood logs would be made into logs for cabin building, and rails for fences.  To clear the fields for corn and other crops, many trees were burned out.  Whatever I could earn outside of his own father’s farm would be given to his father until age twenty-one.              At age nine, I was very tall and strong.  I could weal an axe as any man could.  To survive in the wilderness of Indianny, the whole family had their duties and chores.  I knew the arts of log building, fence building, and making a crop.  I did not like any of them.  My father tried to prevent his me from becoming an “eddicated” person, and leaving the profession.  Abraham the “rail splitter” and log builder

15 Lincoln the young man Part Two Lincoln the young man, Part Two

16 "By the time he had reached his seventeenth year he had attained the physical proportions of a full-grown man.” Billy Herndon "He enjoyed the brief distinction his exhibitions of strength gave him more than the admiration of his friends for his literary or forensic efforts. Some of the feats attributed to him almost surpass belief. One witness declares he was equal to three men, having on a certain occasion carried a load of six hundred pounds. At another time he walked away with a pair of logs which three robust men were skeptical of their ability to carry. "He could strike with a maul a heavier blow - could sink an axe deeper into wood than any man I ever saw." is the testimony of another witness.“"When he walked he moved cautiously but firmly; his long arms and giant hands swung down by his side. He walked with even tread, the inner sides of his feet being parallel. He put his whole foot flat down on the ground at once, not landing on the heal; he likewise lifted his foot all at once, not rising from the toe, and hence he had no spring to his walk. His walk was undulatory - catching and pocketing tire, weariness, and pain, all up and down his person, and thus preventing them from locating. The first impression of a stranger, or a man who did not observe closely, was that his walk implied shrewdness and cunning - that he was a tricky man; but in reality it was the walk of caution and firmness."

17 Captain, Illinois Militia
Lincoln at New Salem, and the things he did Flatboat Operator Store Clerk and Owner During my years at New Salem I worked at many jobs including suveryor, postmaster and riverboat operator. I worked as a store clerk, and owned my own store. Post Master Captain, Illinois Militia Blackhawk War Land Surveyor

18 Abraham Lincoln is the only President to have received a patent for his invention. Patent # 6469 A buoyancy device to help flatboats navigate the rivers. It had bellows to lift the river boat over sand bars. Abraham Lincoln invention Patent # 6469 A buoyancy device to help flatboats navigate the rivers

19 Abraham Lincoln, lawyer
Inside the 1830’s Macon County Courthouse at Decatur "I am not an accomplished lawyer. I find quite as much material for a lecture in those points wherein I have failed, as in those wherein I have been moderately successful. The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for to-morrow which can be done to-day. Never let your correspondence fall behind. Whatever piece of business you have in hand, before stopping, do all the labor pertaining to it which can then be done."  Hard work will make a lawyer successful."  Abraham Lincoln, lawyer From log courthouses to the Illinois Supreme Court at Springfield

20 Abraham Lincoln in the 1840’s
At New Salem I started studying for being a lawyer. Mentor Graham, at New Salem, tutored me. I read the blackstone Law Commentaries, and later went into Springfield and passed the Illinois bar exam. Abraham Lincoln in the 1840’s

21 Enter Miss Mary Todd Part Three
Mary Todd met the young Abraham at Springfield in She was the southern belle of Springfield. She would be courted by more than one of Springfiels’ beau’s. Abraham would win her heart. The problem was that they would become engaged in 1841, would split up, and then would get re-engaged in She was very outspoken, highly educated, and knew how to talk politics to the men-folk of Springfield. Her brother in-law would become the governor of Illinois. Abraham and her were the perfect couple. She always said that her husband would be President some day. She did believe in spiritualism (talking to the dead), but her husband did not.

22 Mary Todd from Lexington, Abraham’s wife and mother of their four boys
Physical Appearance: 5’2”, blue eyes, reddish-brown hair, blue eyes As a girlhood companion remembered her, Mary Todd was vivacious and impulsive, with an interesting personality--but "she now and then could not restrain a witty, sarcastic speech that cut deeper than she intended...." A young lawyer summed her up in 1840: "the very creature of excitement." All of these attributes marked her life, bringing her both happiness and tragedy. Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian; Mrs. Lincoln was also an adherent of spiritualism, believing the living could be in contact with the dead. Mary Todd from Lexington, Abraham’s wife and mother of their four boys

23 The Lincoln family during the Civil War

24 President Lincoln and Tad looking at a family scrapbook

25 Willie Robert Eddie Those Lincoln boys! Tad, as a teenager

26 Abraham and Mary’s home at Springfield, Illinois
After my duty as captain in the Illinois Volunteers in the Black Hawk War, 1832 ". . . I was elated, ran for the Legislature the same year (1832) and was beaten--the only time I ever have been beaten by the people. The next, and three succeeding biennial elections, I was elected to the Legislature. I was not a candidate afterwards. During this Legislative period I had studied law, and removed to Springfield to practise it. In 1846 I was once elected to the lower House of Congress."  A. Lincoln     "I Was not a candidate for re-election. From 1849 to 1854, both inclusive, practiced law more assiduously than ever before. Always a Whig in politics, and generally on the Whig electoral tickets, making active canvasses--I was losing interest in politics, when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again."    A. Lincoln     "I was reelected in 1836, 1838, and 1840," to the Illinois General Assembly as Representative.  In 1846 I was elected to the lower House of Congress, and served one term only, commencing in December, 1847, and ending with the inauguration of General Taylor, in March 1849.  In 1854 his profession had almost superseded the thought of politics in his mind, when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused him as he had never been before."  Abraham and Mary’s home at Springfield, Illinois

27 “We have been elected! Part Four
We have been elected! As the new President-elect shouted to his wife Mary when coming home from the Springfield state house. He had received word of his election via telegraph.

28 Politician and Presidential Candidate, 1860
Remember Abe’s George Washington influence from Pastor Wheem’s book I became a national candidate for the Republican Party after a speech in New York. I did have many friends and supporters who worked the delegations at the Republican convention in Chicago. My cousin Dennis Hanks and brother in law John Hanks entered the convention carrying actual wood fence rails from Indiana, and the name “rail splitter” would go with me throughout my election. I actually did very little in the election process. I did not travel at all. My helpers and friends got the word out for me. My Illinois friend Stephen Douglas would be my opponent. Politician and Presidential Candidate, 1860

29 . . . On January 31, 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln would make a secret journey back to Coles County, Illinois to visit his step-mother, Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln and to go to his father's grave at Shiloh Cemetery.  No written record was recorded as to what was said by the President-Elect at his meeting of his mother and visit to Shiloh.  President-Elect Lincoln visits his step-mother, Sarah Bush Lincoln, at Charleston before leaving for Washington

30 Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that, in legal contemplation, the Union is perpetual, confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed in fact, by the Articles of Association in It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in It was further matured and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution, was "to form a more perfect Union." But if [the] destruction of the Union, by one, or by a part only, of the States, be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity. It follows from these views that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union, -- that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances. First Inauguration: “and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.”

31 “. . .this old mansion”

32 wrote presidential aide William O. Stoddard
"She is absolute mistress of all that part of the White House inside of the vestibule on the first floor, and of all the upper floor east of the folding doors across the hall at the head of the stairs. She has had varied assistance in the management of her domain since she came into possession of it," the President also declared it was "better than any house they have ever lived in." For the four years and one month of Mr. Lincoln's presidency from March 1861 to April 1865, it was home to the Lincoln family and the center of efforts to restore the Union and abolish slavery. "She is absolute mistress of all that part of the White House inside of the vestibule on the first floor, and of all the upper floor east of the folding doors across the hall at the head of the stairs. She has had varied assistance in the management of her domain since she came into possession of it," wrote presidential aide William O. Stoddard

33 A new beard, and many problems on his shoulders in 1861
The U.S. capitol and Washington Monument was under construction in The new president decided to finish the capitol dome during the war. It was finished. He did not allow the secessionists to control the Union capitol. A new beard, and many problems on his shoulders in 1861

34 A Great Civil War Part Five A Great Civil War Part Five

35 CIVIL WAR WHEN LINCOLN BECOMES PRESIDENT, 1861
Ft. Sumter attacked; the Union dissolves; Lincoln protects Ft. Sumter CIVIL WAR WHEN LINCOLN BECOMES PRESIDENT, 1861

36 The Commander and Chief
A series of ineffective generals would help to cause defeats for Union troops. The short man on the far left is Allan Pinkerton, private detective and chief of Union spies. The Commander and Chief

37 Needed: One Great General
Part Six Needed one great general Part Six

38 President Lincoln Gen. Benjamin Butler Ulysses S. Grant
Gen. Ambrose Burnside President Lincoln William Tecumseh Sherman Gen. Winfield Scott Generals who attempted to lead for the Union. In the far left lower corner is the President sitting with General George McClellan. McClellan was fired by Lincoln. He would later run against the President for the second term as a Democrat candidate. Lincoln won. Pres. Lincoln and Gen. George McClellan Gen. Philip Sheridan Pres. Lincoln and Generals in the White House

39 Field Commanders, Antietam
Lincoln often made horse trips to the battle front to see first hand what was going on. He also would use the new telegraph system to communicate with battlefield commanders and others much like our modern s. These messages are now called T-mails. Field Commanders, Antietam

40 Slavery was not the original issue in this war
Part Six Slavery was not the original issue in this war Part Six Lincoln took the Union to war after Confederates blasted Ft. Sumter. The purpose of the war in the beginning years was to maintain the Union. Lincoln considered secession illegal. All the confederate state stars remained on the Union flag. After Emancipation of the southern state slaves, slavery would become the big issue.

41 Emancipation President Lincoln would write the Emancipation Proclamation months before releasing it. He wanted to wait for a Union victory. Finally that occurred and he freed the slaves in the Confederate states. The slaves in Missouri, Maryland and Kentucky were not freed.

42 Slavery and then Emancipation
Lincoln’s cabinet had to approve and support the Emancipation Proclamation.

43 The First Modern War Part Seven The First Modern War Part Seven

44 The First “Modern War” Telegraph and T-mailing, Ironclads,
Repeater Rifles, Air Balloons for Surveillance, The Railroads The First “Modern War”

45 A New National Cemetery Needs Dedicated
Part Eight

46 The President riding into Gettysburg to give his short speech
A very recently discovered “second” photograph of President Lincoln arriving at Gettysburg by horseback. The photo was discovered by a Library of Congress technician. It is the only other picture in existance. Lincoln’s very short address did not give the old-time photographers time enough to get pictures of him presenting it. The President was a very good horseman. The President riding into Gettysburg to give his short speech

47 The Gettysburg Cemetery

48 A General is Found Part Nine A General is Found!

49 U.S. Grant, new General of Union Forces
A letter from the Executive Mansion from the President announcing the nomination of General Uslysses Grant as General of military forces for the war.

50 General Ulysses S. Grant would be appointed General Commander of Union Forces. He was as “. . . As a bulldog,” never letting go of the enemy. He would lose thousands of troops in his battles, but would not give up until winning. He was a great horseman, and is depicted in the memorial statue on his horse. He was accused of being an alcoholic. Gen. Sherman was supposedly “insane,” Lincoln once said about his new general, that he needed more of them. Grant probably did not drink while commanding his forces.

51 General William Tecumseh Sherman
General Sherman partnered with General Grant to bring the war to an end. Sherman’s most famous war effort was his march through Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah. For several weeks Sherman and his army would travel a route of destruction until finally arriving at Savannah around Christmas time. When finally taking Savannah, he would telegraph the President and announce that he was “. . . Presenting Savannah as a Christmas present to the President.” Many freed slaves would follow Sherman’s army to Savannah for protection. General William Tecumseh Sherman

52 President Lincoln entering Richmond
The President, with Tad, made a short journey to Richmond (from Washington D.C.). The former Confederate capital was generally in ruins, but the capital building, itself, was still standing and in good shape. President Lincoln would enter it and sit at Jefferson Davis’ desk. This represented the near-end of the great war. When entering Richmond the hundreds of freed slaves would line the streets and greet their “Father Abraham” as they called him. President Lincoln entering Richmond

53 At Appomatix Courthouse Robert E
At Appomatix Courthouse Robert E. Lee in his sharp General dress uniform, and Ulysses S. Grant in his dirty field uniform, agree on terms of surrender. The war was pretty much over. A few events would occur, but this surrender represented the conclusion of the Civil War. After leaving the courthouse General Lee was honored by Union soldiers outside. Confederate soldiers were allowed leave and go home.

54 After an afternoon carriage ride and dinner, Mary complained of a headache and considered not going after all. Lincoln commented that he was feeling a bit tired himself, but he needed a laugh and was intent on going with or without her. She relented. He made a quick trip to the War Department with his body guard, William Crook, but there was no news from North Carolina. While returning to pick up Mary, Crook "almost begged" Lincoln not to go to the theater. He then asked if he could go along as an extra guard. Lincoln rejected both suggestions, shrugging off Crook's fears of assassination. Lincoln knew that a guard would be posted outside their "state box" at the theater. Ford Theatre in 1865

55 The fatal shot. Lincoln’s guard was told by the President to take a break. The President knew he was in danger, but had decided years earlier that if he was to be assassinated, there was little anyone could do to protect him. Mary was very frightened of the thought of her husband dying.

56 Villain of the century, John Wilkes Booth
Villain of the century, John Wilkes Booth. Booth was the “Tom Cruise” of the theater in He was very popular. Lincoln’s last speech from the

57 Our Nation Mourns Part Ten Our Nation Mourns Part Ten

58 President Lincoln’s Funeral Train
The deceased President Lincoln was taken by train from Washington D.C. to Springfield. He had 21 funeral services on the way back. The whole nation mourned. He was the first President to be “embalmed.” His wife, Mary, had collapsed in grief, and couldn’t take part in the services. President Lincoln’s Funeral Train

59 One morning several days after the assassination, Tad faced up to his new situation in life. He said to a White House servant, "Pa is dead. I can hardly believe that I shall never see him again. I must learn to take care of myself now. Yes, Pa is dead, and I am only Tad Lincoln now, little Tad, like other little boys. I am not a president's son now. I won't have many presents anymore. Well, I will try and be a good boy, and will hope to go someday to Pa and brother Willie, in heaven." One morning several days after the assassination, Tad faced up to his new situation in life. He said to a White House servant, "Pa is dead. I can hardly believe that I shall never see him again. I must learn to take care of myself now. Yes, Pa is dead, and I am only Tad Lincoln now, little Tad, like other little boys. I am not a president's son now. I won't have many presents anymore. Well, I will try and be a good boy, and will hope to go someday to Pa and brother Willie, in heaven."

60 A Tomb and Five National Memorials

61 Lincoln’s tomb, Springfield, Illinois

62 Gutzon Borglum’s Mt. Rushmore National Memorial
Gutzon chose four of America’s greatest Presidents that could represent leadership at the highest level Gutzon Borglum’s Mt. Rushmore National Memorial

63 Lincoln Memorial at Washington D. C
Lincoln Memorial at Washington D.C. This Greek temple structure has hosted huge Civil Rights and other demonstrations and marches. Martin Luther King gave his “Free, Free at last” speech on its steps.

64 Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

65 Part Twelve The Conclusion
“Now he belongs to the Ages” as Secretary Edward Stanton stated at Lincoln’s deathbed, after the President’s last breath. Part Twelve The Conclusion

66 “. . . Now he belongs to the ages,” or the angels, as some historians think was said by Secretary of War Edward Stanton at the death of the 16th President Secretary Edward Stanton was present at the bedside of the dying President Lincoln. At his death he made the statement: “Now he belongs to the ages.”

67 Thank you for watching and listening to my Lincoln Powerpoint.
Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Bi-Centennial birthday will be celebrated starting February 9, 2009. Learn from Abraham. He was not perfect. He was a politician, but always was honorable and truthful as far as we can tell. Historians like to write new history to say otherwise, but the results of the 16th President’s actions will stand positive in history. Thank you for watching and listening to my Lincoln Powerpoint. Howard Taylor, Illinois Teacher and Lincoln Scholar Here I am with a bunch of Lincolns at the Hodginville, Ky (Lincoln birthplace) fall festival a few years ago. The shortest Lincoln at the right is my friend from my hometown. He has been in movies and documentaries about Lincoln.


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