Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Another Land of Lincoln
We spent our weekend visiting friends Jim and Helen in southern Indiana. This is our second visit since we met them at the Chicago Winnebago Rally last June. Since they have a spot to park our motorhome with full hookups, it makes for an easy stay. We had a great time catching up on what has gone on since our last visit and discussing future travel plans.
Since they have lived in the area all their lives, they have a great deal of local knowledge. So, like last time, we got to explore some sights that we had not heard of before.
We started at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. Abraham Lincoln moved to the frontier of Indiana with his father, Thomas, mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln, and his elder Sarah at the age of 7. The many personal tragedies of Abe’s life started here with the death of his devoted mother just a short time after settling in the area. She died of the milk sickness, which is caused by cattle eating the toxic white snakeroot. The milk from these cows often proved deadly to those who drank the milk. Nancy was one of many who died that year-1818. The family carried on without her, with Sarah, age 12, taking on the household duties. After two years, Thomas Lincoln returned to Kentucky to find a wife and new mother for the family. He returned with the widow Sarah Bush Lincoln and her children to form a blended family. She proved to be a loving and supportive mother to Abe. He often spoke of her kindness and support in his quest for reading and learning.
Before the family would move on to Illinois in 1830, where Abe Lincoln would spend the next 30 years of his life, he suffered his next personal tragedy with the death of his sister Sarah during the birth of her first child, who also died.
The park has created a memorial building and a living farm on the site of the Lincoln farm just as it would have been during their time there. On the farm is the community cemetery where Nancy is buried along with other victims of the milk sickness outbreak. Near the living farm is the actual foundation of the original Lincoln cabin.
This is the place and people who formed the mind and spirit of Abraham Lincoln, which would propel him into history as the person who produced the emancipation proclamation and persisted during a long and bitter battle to preserve the Union.
Finally, we visited the town of Santa Claus, Indiana. Not surprising there is a lot of Christmas related shops and a nationally recognized amusement park-Holiday World.