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Lincoln's Biography

Boyhood and Migration, 1815-1830

By R.D. Monroe, Ph.D.

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Like so many other Americans, young Abraham Lincoln's family migrated westward. Leaving their Kentucky home in 1816, the Lincolns crossed the Ohio River to Indiana and began farming there. In 1830 the Lincolns again removed to Macon County, Illinois.

Frontier life demanded hard work, and the entire Lincoln family performed arduous labor on the farm. These exertions often met with few rewards, as farming often proved quite unprofitable.

Many frontier settlers faced an unhealthy environment without adequate medical care. In 1818, Nancy Hanks Lincoln succumbed to illness, leaving Abraham and his sister Sarah motherless.

Most American youths received little formal education, and Abraham Lincoln largely educated himself. When he left home in 1830, little about young Abraham Lincoln suggested his future accomplishments.

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