Listen: Abraham Lincoln Said He Owed Everything to His 'Angel Mother' and His 'Mama'
"Is considered by historians to be one of America's greatest presidents. He overcame childhood poverty to ascend to the country's highest office. He signed the emancipation proclamation. He led a divided nation through civil war. The the sixteenth president's accomplishments may not have happened. Were it not for two very important women in his life. His mother and stepmother. Lincoln kept most details about his family to himself. When a newspaper editor brought up the subject during the eighteen sixty presidential campaign he said only they were poor but privately he told his law partner and future sure biographer William Herndon God blessed my mother all that I am wherever hoped to be I owe to her. Liquids mother was named Nancy Hanks the ANC seemed to be the opposite of Lincoln Dad in just about every way. Liens father was short his mother tall. His father was dull and aimless his mother smart and motivated Hernan says that Lincoln's well documented propensity penalty for melancholy may have also come from her though she was kind and friendly neighbors told him that she was often be clouded by a spirit of sadness sadness when Lincoln was seven the family moved from Kentucky to a new settlement in Indiana where his days as were filled with farming chores and mischief with neighborhood kids in the wilderness but two years in tragedy struck his mother consumed Camila that was accidentally poisoned with whitesnake rid seven days later at age thirty four. She was dead. Lincoln was a man of many public words a skilled order who even wrote poetry but he left no record of what it was like like to lose his mother still there are clues historian David Herbert Donald points to a letter Lincoln wrote to a child who had just just lost a loved one Lincoln wrote in this sad world of ours sorrow comes to all and to the young it comes with bittersweet agony because it takes them unawares. I have had experienced enough to know what I say. Lincoln led a dreary existence after his mother's death. It was a dismal winter and his sister struggled to take up domestic duties in their one room dirt floor cabin but the following year their father moved the family to Kentucky a step. MOM quickly entered the children's turns lives. Her name was Sarah Bush Johnston a widow. Lincoln's father once had a crush on when she arrived at the family's log cabin with her three children from her first marriage. Lincoln was filthy hungry and starved for attention. Sarah was exactly what he needed. She whipped family into shape. She soaked down her new step children and outfitted them with her kids own clothes. She also insisted her husband been install a floor a proper door and windows to their home. Perhaps most importantly even though she herself was illiterate. Lincoln stepmother other made sure he had books to read and a school to attend. Lincoln had a difficult relationship with his dad but she convinced her husband that Lincoln should study at home as well at school. Lincoln attributed his newfound happy childhood to step mom's love he called her Mama as an adult to distinguish between them. Lincoln referred to his Biological Mother Nancy S. his Angel Mother Lincoln Step Mom last saw him in February eighteen sixty one on his way to Washington to assume the presidency it was not a happy visit from the time he had declared his candidacy she worried endlessly she later told Herndon I still felt and my heart pulled me that something would befall Abe and that I should never see him again. Of course she was right. Lincoln was assassinated in April eighteen sixty five just as the civil war was coming to a close his step. Mom died four years later. She was buried and address. Lincoln gave her the last time the two saw each other."