Abraham Lincoln 3 Essay Research Paper Abraham — страница 2
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young Abe climbed the rocky cliffs at Knob Creek, roamed among the dark cool pines and cedar trees in the valley, or waded in the pebbly creek. Sometimes he stood in the hot, dusty clay to watch the covered wagons carrying settlers along the nearby Cumberland Trail. His buckskin breeches were pulled high on his spindly legs and his thin arms stuck out from his rough linen shirt. There were no close neighbors. Abe got used to being alone. He did not mind because he loved the hills and the quiet hollows and the trees–especially the trees. He learned so well to tell the many kinds that many years later, on his walks around Washington, he would point out their differences. He smilingly told visitors, “I know all about trees in light of being a backwoodsman.”Lincolns Move to IndianaIn December 1816 Thomas took his family across the Ohio River to the backwoods of Indiana. For the last few miles Thomas, probably helped by Abe, had to cut a trail out of the wilderness of trees and tangle of wild grapevines. That winter in Indiana was so cold that people remembered it as the year of “eighteen hundred and froze to death.” The Lincolns settled on Little Pigeon Creek in Spencer County, about 16 miles from the Ohio River. Young Abe and Sarah helped their father build a “half-faced camp.” This was a shed of poles and bark, with one side left open toward a roaring log fire. They had to keep the fire burning day and night. They needed it for warmth, cooking, and drying their snow-soaked clothes and moccasins. While the family huddled in their lean-to through the freezing winter, Thomas and Abe worked every day building a log cabin. Abe was only eight years old, but very large for his age, and he quickly learned to swing an ax. They cut and hewed logs for a cabin 18 feet by 20, then chinked the logs with clay and grass. Once in a while the boy shot a wild turkey, for the family lived mostly on wild game, with a little corn. He never became much of a hunter, however, as he did not like to shoot to kill. With Sarah he picked berries, nuts, and wild fruits for the family and trudged a mile to a spring for water. All around them was the unbroken wilderness. Abraham’s Fine Stepmother–SarahIn the autumn of 1818 Nancy Hanks Lincoln died of the dread frontier disease called “milk sickness.” Sarah, only 11 years old, took over the cooking and cabin chores while Thomas and young Abe cut timber to clear farm land. After a year the little family was in sorry shape. They needed a woman’s help. Thomas rode back to Elizabethtown, Ky., and married a widow, Sarah Bush Johnston, whom he had known since boyhood. He brought her and her three children to the shabby little log cabin in Indiana. Abe and his sister Sarah quickly learned to love their second mother. She was a big-boned woman, with clear skin, friendly eyes, and a quiet way of getting things done. She cleaned up the untidy cabin. She had Thomas make a wood floor and chairs and build a bed for the feather mattress she had brought from Kentucky. Young Abe and Sarah had never lived in a cabin so homelike. Thomas did better on the farm, too, and the children began to eat and dress better. Sarah Lincoln did all this without any criticism or impatient words. She knew well that the family needed her. Best of all, she encouraged Abe to study. She was not educated, but she saw how eager he was to learn. In later years he said of her: “She was the best friend I ever had. . . . All that I am, I owe to my angel mother.” Sarah Lincoln told people: “He was the best boy I ever saw. I never gave him a cross word in my life. His mind and mine, what little I had, seemed to run together.”Abe Grows Up with BooksSarah made Thomas send the gangling 11-year-old to school. There was no regular teacher. When some man came along who knew a little about the three R’s, he might teach the boys and girls for a few weeks–usually in the winter when farm work was slack. Whenever “school kept” at Pigeon Creek, Abe hiked four miles each way, his cowhide boots sloshing in the snow. He did not mind this long, uncomfortable hike to and from school because he was glad to be learning. All subjects fascinated him. In all his life his schooling did not add up to a year, but he made up for it by reading. A cousin, Dennis Hanks, who came to live with the Lincolns, said: “I never seen Abe after he was 12 that he didn’t have a book somewheres around.” By the time Abe was 14 he would often read at night by the light of the log fire. His first books were the Bible, ‘Aesop’s Fables’, and ‘Robinson Crusoe’. When he was 15 years old he was so tall and strong that he often worked as a hired hand on other farms.