Chapter III. The New Mother
The log house, which Abraham Lincoln called
his home, was now more
lonely and cheerless than before. The sunlight of his mother's
had gone out of it forever.
His sister Sarah, twelve years old, was the housekeeper and
father had not yet found time to lay a floor in the house,
or to hang a
door. There were great crevices between the logs, through which
and the rain drifted on every stormy day. There was not much
such a house.
But the lad was never idle. In the long winter days, when
there was no
work to be done, he spent the time in reading or in trying
There were very few books in the cabins of that backwoods
But if Abraham Lincoln heard of one, he could not rest till
borrowed it and read it.
Another summer passed, and then another winter. Then, one
Lincoln went on a visit to Kentucky, leaving his two children
cousin, Dennis Hanks, at home to care for the house and the
I do not know how long he stayed away, but it could not have
weeks. One evening, the children were surprised to see a four-horse
wagon draw up before the door.
Their father was in the wagon; and by his side was a kind-faced
and, sitting on the straw at the bottom of the wagon-bed, there
three well-dressed children - two girls and a boy.
And there were some grand things in the wagon, too. There
split bottomed chairs, a bureau with drawers, a wooden chest,
feather bed. All these things were very wonderful to the lad
who had never known the use of such luxuries.
"Abraham and Sarah," said Mr. Lincoln, as he leaped
from the wagon, "I
have brought you a new mother and a new brother and two new
The new mother greeted them very kindly, and, no doubt, looked
gentle pity upon them. They were barefooted; their scant clothing
little more than rags and tatters; they did not look much like
happy children, whom she had cared for so well.
And now it was not long until a great change was made in the
home. A floor was laid, a door was hung, a window was made,
between the logs were daubed with clay.
The house was furnished in fine style, with the chairs and
and the feather bed. The kind, new mother brought sunshine
and hope into
the place that had once been so cheerless.
With the young lad, Dennis Hanks, there were now six children
family. But all were treated with the same kindness; all had
motherly care. And so, in the midst of much hard work, there
pleasant days for them all.