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Near Springfield in Washington County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Lincoln Homestead State Park

 
 
Lincoln Homestead State Park Marker (side 1) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 17, 2011
1. Lincoln Homestead State Park Marker (side 1)
Inscription.
(side 1)
Pioneer Spirit

The westward movement was an enticement felt by many nineteenth century families, and the Lincolns were in the heart of it. A friend of the family was the infamous frontiersman Daniel Boone, and it has been reasoned that his stories of the lands to the west of civilization helped influence Captain Abraham Lincoln (grandfather to our sixteenth president) to pack up the family and make the great adventure to the new lands. Passing through the Cumberland Gap in the Appalachian Mountains, the Lincolns left their settled lands for those of the bluegrass.

Abraham Lincoln was a veteran of the American Revolution, having served as a Captain in the Virginia Militia. He and his wife, Bersheba Herring, were wealthy landowners in Virginia who left that life behind in 1781 when they moved to Hughes Station in Jefferson County, Kentucky. By 1785, Abraham and his three sons had cleared enough of the 400-acre tract of land they owned to move to Long Run Creek, just a half-mile away.

An unfortunate and life changing event occurred one day in 1876 for the three brothers, Mordecai (age l5), Josiah (age 13), and Thomas (age 8). While they were in the fields with their father, a small band of Indians attacked the group. Captain Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed instantly.
Lincoln Homestead State Park Marker (side 2) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 17, 2011
2. Lincoln Homestead State Park Marker (side 2)
According to tradition, Josiah ran to Hughes Station for help, Mordecai escaped to their cabin to retrieve his father’s gun, and young Thomas dropped to the ground beside his father’s body. As an Indian approached the body of Captain Lincoln, Mordecai raised the gun and shot him. Josiah returned with help and the rest of the family was saved.

The task of raising three young sons and two daughters in the wilderness was left to Bersheba. Bersheba and the children stayed in their Long Run Creek home for another five months before moving to Beech Fork in Nelson County, which later became Washington County.

As the oldest son, Mordecai became the heir to the family lands and possessions. Listed in the estate of their father were: a Dutch oven; one small, iron kettle; two pot trammels; one dozen pewter plates; two pewter dishes; a candle-stick; two feather beds and furniture; one bed and turkey feathers; a flax wheel; a pair of smothering irons; three guns; a good supply of tools; two horses; three cows; three calves; a bull yearling; a heifer yearling; and the land in Jefferson County.

Thomas Lincoln, the youngest of the three boys, lived in the Beech Forks home with his mother and siblings until the age of 25. He was skilled in the use of his family’s tools and soon became quite the carpenter and cabinet maker. In 1803 Thomas purchased a 238-acre farm
Lincoln Homestead State Park Marker (side 1) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 17, 2011
3. Lincoln Homestead State Park Marker (side 1)
on Mill Creek, in Hardin County, for $574.07, where he, his mother, sister Nancy and her husband, all moved. Later that same year, Thomas moved so Elizabethtown to take a carpentry job building a flatboat for use on the Ohio and Mississippi River.

(sidebar)
Thomas Lincoln was a skilled wood worker, carpenter and furniture maker. He is believed to have built the cupboard and bed on display in the Bersheba Lincoln cabin. The initials “TL” are carved into the back of the cupboard.

(side 2)
Thomas and Nancy Lincoln

Nancy Hanks Lincoln is best known as the mother of President Abraham Lincoln, however her own parentage has been a controversial subject to historians. Her father is believed to have been James Hanks. Nancy was born on February 5, 1784, in Virginia and it is believed that after her father died, her mother, Lucy Shipley Hanks, moved west to Kentucky. The trip across the mountains and over the Wilderness Road to central Kentucky must have been quite an experience for the young mother and child. Nancy and her mother went to live with her mother’s sister, Rachel (Shipley), and her husband Richard Berry, Sr., in Beechland, Kentucky. When Lucy later remarried, Nancy stayed with the Berrys.

Richard Berry, Sr. was from Virginia and was a well respected man on the frontier. He and his wife took
Lincoln Homestead State Park Marker (side 2) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 17, 2011
4. Lincoln Homestead State Park Marker (side 2)
young Nancy and treated her as their own. Nancy met a young man living in the area named Thomas Lincoln.

Thomas began courting Nancy at the Berry home and soon proposed to her in front of the fireplace during one of his visits. The wedding was planned for June 12, 1806.

The Wedding

In planning for hi wedding, Thomas Lincoln made use of a $200 credit he earned with the firm of Bleakley and Montgomery in Elizabethtown, for whom he had built a flatboat and carried a 1oad of merchandise for them on a two month trip to New Orleans. The old account books show that he purchased: “one-half calf skin (presumably for new boots), 2 yards of cloth, 3 yards coating, 5 yards Brown Holland, 3-½ yards Cassimere, 1-¼ yards red flannel, 5 yards linen, 9 skanes thread, 4 skanes silk, 2 yards tape, ¼ yard scarlet cloth, 6-5/12 dozen buttons, 1-¾ yards Jane, and 4 sticks of twist.”

Just like today, Thomas Lincoln needed a license to make the wedding legal and official. The marriage bond was filed in the Washington County Court House in Springfield, Kentucky on June 10, 1806. The bond was signed by Thomas Lincoln and Richard Berry, Jr. (son of Richard Berry, Sr., who died in 1798), as guardian for Nancy. Richard Berry, Jr. was a good friend of Thomas Lincoln, and his wife, Polly Ewing Berry, was a friend of Nancy. The marriage bond
Lincoln Homestead State Park Museum image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 17, 2011
5. Lincoln Homestead State Park Museum
notes that they paid the sum of fifty pounds for the bond and “...The condition of the above obligation is such that, whereas there is a marriage shortly intended between the above bound Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, for which a license has been issued…”

The wedding was a grand affair and the local Reverend Jesse Head performed the wedding. Rev. Head was pioneer Methodist Circuit Rider and Justice of the Peace in Springfield. He was a man of God and well known throughout the region. A common verse recited about the Reverend went, “His nose is long and his hair is red, And he goes by the name of Jesse Head.”

As the bride and groom stood before Rev. Head he pronounced them man and wife. Rev. Head later wrote for the county clerk, “That on June 12, 1806, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks had joined together in holy state of matrimony agreeable to the rites and ceremonies of the Methodist Episcopal Church.”

The following description of the wedding feast was written by wedding guest Dr. Christopher Columbus Graham, “We had bear meat; venison, wild turkey and duck; eggs, wild and tame, maple sugar, swung on a string to bite off for coffee or whiskey; syrup in big gourds; peach-and-honey; a sheep that the two families barbecued whole over coals of wood burned I n a pit and covered with green boughs to
The Berry Cabin image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 17, 2011
6. The Berry Cabin
keep the juices in; and a race for the whiskey bottle.”

 
Location. 37° 45.657′ N, 85° 12.87′ W. Marker is near Springfield, Kentucky, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of Beechland Road (Kentucky Route 438) and Lincoln Park Road (Kentucky Route 528), on the left when traveling east on Beechland Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5079 Lincoln Park Road, Springfield KY 40069, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Lincoln Homestead State Park (a few steps from this marker); The Nancy Hanks Memorial (a few steps from this marker); The Berry Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lincoln Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lincolns Move West (within shouting distance of this marker); Nancy Hanks and Thomas Lincoln (within shouting distance of this marker); The Marriage of Nancy & Thomas Lincoln (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Lincoln Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
 
More about this marker. On side 2 are images of the "Lincoln marriage certificate" and "Rev. Jesse Head"
 
Also see . . .
The Nancy Hanks Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 17, 2011
7. The Nancy Hanks Memorial

1. Lincoln Homestead State Park. Kentucky State Parks (Submitted on August 20, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail. (Submitted on August 20, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
The Lincoln Cabin (replica) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 17, 2011
8. The Lincoln Cabin (replica)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 20, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 551 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 20, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   6. submitted on August 21, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   7. submitted on August 20, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   8. submitted on August 21, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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