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What was Abraham Lincoln's childhood like?

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Quick Answer

Abraham Lincoln's childhood was very difficult, as his mother passed away when he was only 9 years old. His family also moved multiple times from his birthplace in Kentucky, to other states including Indiana and Illinois.

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Full Answer

Abe Lincoln was born in 1809 to Nancy Hanks and Tom Lincoln, and he had a sister, Sarah. His father was not an educated man, although he was fairly successful at farming. As more people moved into the area of Kentucky where the Lincoln family lived, issues with others poaching drove the Lincoln family to Perry County, Indiana. The area was fairly wild and difficult to farm, requiring Tom Lincoln to provide for his family through hunting. It was here in Indiana that Abe Lincoln's father built a one-room log cabin with no flooring and very little furniture, and the family had to sleep on beds of corn husks at night.

For a short period of time, there was a small school near the area, and Abe would walk approximately nine miles each way to attend, taking two to three hours each way. Shortly after the school closed, Abe's mother became sick after consuming cow's milk tainted with a poisonous plant. After Nancy died, Tom Lincoln was overwhelmed with hunting, farming and caring for the children. Abe and his sister were often left alone, skinny, dirty, hit by their father and once abandoned for a six-month period, although Tom Lincoln returned with a new wife eventually.

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