When Did Abraham Lincoln Start School?

Abraham Lincoln first attended school in the fall of 1815, at the age of 6. In a tiny one-room schoolhouse, teacher Zachariah Riney taught Abe and his sister Sarah until they both stopped attending a few weeks later. From then on, he attended only sporadically.

Lincoln's first education was from his mother, Nancy Todd Lincoln, who taught him how to read and do math without the benefit of books. He continued this home-educated tradition for most of his life. Lincoln "thinks that the aggregate of all his schooling did not amount to one year," he said in a biography published in an 1860 edition of the Chicago Tribune. He made up for his lack of formal schooling by voracious reading and writing, teaching himself both Latin and the law.