LIKE ABE: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Lincoln's life was not particularly unique. More than one president
was raised in a log cabin. Some may have been raised in a sustenance
lifestyle that resembles poverty, and had suffered with death of family
members, but Abraham Lincoln was special in that he learned to read,
stump speak, figure mathematics, survey, and would study law to get his
license to practice in Illinois. All these would be accomplished with
one year of actual schooling, and years of self-learning. Abraham would
learn from his birth mother and step-mother, but they were illiterate.
Dennis Hanks, Abraham's ten year older cousin, would actually live with
him and the Lincoln family in Indiana. He told stories of teaching
Abraham his ABC's. Dennis must have been literate, and was raised in
the pioneer environment at Abraham. It makes one wonder how he could be
educated. Abraham was perhaps taught to memorize from his birth mother,
Nancy Hanks Lincoln. She could recite Bible verses, as well as sing
Christian songs. Abraham would memorize the words of people speaking,
and after reading, would memorize what he read. From this, he would use
the knowledge in developing life experiences and later speeches,
Abraham's law partner Billy Herndon
described Abraham as a reader, who read the newspaper "out loud" during
the mornings in the office. It has been said that he read "out loud."
Personal reading included works of Shakespeare, and Euclid's works on
Another point to bring out is that
illiteracy does not mean un-intelligent. These two women were a
tremendous influence on the boy Abraham by encouraging him to read and
study. Abraham's father, on the other hand would teach him humor, how
to work hard, and attempted to keep him from reading. Abraham's father,
Thomas Lincoln, also disliked education, surveyors and especially
lawyers. Abraham would go against his father on all these career
If Abraham Lincoln
learned by "Littles," maybe that is the best way for a
person to learn. It means he only went to school a total of one
year. All of the other things he learned were also by littles:
a little bit at a time over his lifetime.
"Keep Reading and Learning"
Lessons from Abraham Lincoln, Dean of
Lifelong Learning by
knows the story of Lincoln doing his schoolwork by candlelight in his
boyhood home, taking his schoolwork into his own hands. Yet many may not
know that Lincoln was an avid reader  and took time out his stressful
day to read Shakespeare and other classic literature. During the summer
of the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates, Abe could be found with the Iliad in
his hand. He knew that staying sharp meant learning about things
unrelated to politics.
Lifelong learners must be persistent, robust, confident and open-minded
if they hope to achieve their personal and professional goals in life.
But reaching that success can have a positive impact not just on those
around you, but on the whole world. Just look at Abe.
"11 Lessons to Learn From
Honest Abe, the Bumbling Entrepreneur"
What Lincoln Learned
in One Year as a Young Person
CAN WE LEARN AS MUCH, AS WELL?
to Study Lincoln's One Year in School
Including the Reading Writing, and Ciphering
that our 16th President learned in his childhood.
A young Abe doing his homework
using the "Light of the Fire"
We are going to do some of the same things young Abe did to learn
Click Abe's Book to get your assignment.
STUDENTS: START YOUR JOURNEY STUDY BY
CLICKING THE BOOK
LINCOLN'S EDUCATION IN SANGAMO: CLICK
THE LOG SCHOOL
Learning Lincoln Topics
Learning On-Line Home Page