Learning Lincoln On-line

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CONTENTS--INTRODUCTION TO LEARNING LINCOLN ONLINE

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Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, was our 16th President, and one of the few Presidents born in a log cabin, and was not college educated.

       This series of learning activities and resources is dedicated to the miracle of a young boy, overcoming great hardship and achieving the highest position in our country: President.   The underlying theme of all of my Abraham Lincoln material is Abraham's lifelong zeal for learning "by the light of the fire."

The Learning of Lincoln:  “By Littles”

In his own words:

       "My father, at the death of his father, was but six years of age; and he grew up, litterally [sic] without education. He removed from Kentucky to what is now Spencer County, Indiana, in my eighth year. We reached our new home about the time the State came into the Union. It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals, still in the woods. There I grew up. There were some schools, so called; but no qualification was ever required of a teacher beyond "reading, writing, and ciphering’" to the Rule of Three. If a straggler supposed to understand Latin happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon as a wizzard [sic]. There was absolutely nothing to excite ambition for education. Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher to the Rule of Three; but that was all. I have not been to school since. The little advance I now have upon this store of education, I have picked up from time to time under the pressure of necessity."  From the second autobiography for Jesse Fell, a long-time Illinois Republican friend who was a native of Pennsylvania. Fell used his influence to get the piece incorporated in an article appearing in a Pennsylvania newspaper on February 11, 1860.

Early photograph of Abraham Lincoln

 

Portraits of Abraham

 Lincoln

 

1848, left

 1862, right

     A very important and exciting historical event is coming upon the United States and the world.  Abraham Lincoln was born 200 years ago, as of February 12, 2009. 

            Our nation has built at least five great memorials honoring the 16th President.  We annually celebrate his and Washington’s birthdays in February, on Presidents' Day.  The purpose of this collection of Lincoln learning activities is to provide the teacher and a school with fun and exciting learning activities to enrich the teaching reading, arithmetic, writing, and all the subjects. 

     Perhaps the teacher or school could conduct a special Lincoln Festival during the Bicentennial year to provide an experience that the children and adults will always remember.

The young Abraham Lincoln splitting rails.  Illustration by Lloyd Ostendorf

      Abraham was very fast and efficient at splitting rails for fencing.  He actually would use this skill to make a living in Illinois.

  A very important and exciting historical event is coming upon the United States and the world.  Abraham Lincoln was born 200 years ago, as of February 12, 2009. 

         Our nation has built at least five great memorials honoring the 16th President.  We annually celebrate his and Washington’s birthdays in February, on Presidents' Day.  The purpose of this collection of Lincoln learning activities is to provide the teacher and a school with fun and exciting learning activities to enrich the teaching reading, arithmetic, writing, and all the subjects. 

  Perhaps the teacher or school could conduct a special Lincoln Festival during the Bicentennial year to provide an experience that the children and adults will always remember.

 

In his own words: "What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?" Lincoln's Cooper Institute Address, February 27, 1860.

 

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At the 2002 Lincoln Festival at Cowden-Herrick Schools, rural Herrick, Illinois

Abe then built a fence, and he and his wife would perform Mary and Abraham for Lincoln Presenter B.F. McClerren actually split rails for the students,  us.  We had a favorite foods Lincoln dinner, played pioneer games, and did a study of the President via the Internet.  This was for the whole school, grades K-8.

      The legacy of Lincoln applies to children of all ages.  We can learn of how a frontier boy, with little real hope of becoming anything, could grow up to become the President of the United States. 

Through these suggested activities, you can learn:

  • How this poor boy built up personal hope and confidence in becoming someone, by personal study and learning through self-initiative and encouragement from his birth mother and step-mother.

  • How a young man, training himself to be a lawyer, and then became a law-maker in the State of Illinois.  His legal case wins set law precedents that still apply in modern-day business and personal cases.

  • Of losing many battles (personal and in the Civil War), but never totally giving up, and winning in the end.

  • Study Abraham Lincoln and include all aspects of life during 19th Century America including pioneer life, as well as in the higher society of life (in Springfield and Washington).

  • Of a family man who had very pleasant and funny times with his sons and at the same time suffered through the deaths of two of Eddie and Willy.

  • Of leadership during the Civil War.  Thousands of men were killed in all of the major battles.   Decisions were made, together with the generals, to try to find ways to win the battles with honor.

  • Of the various nicknames of Abraham Lincoln, including, Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, and Father Abraham. These are just a few of the good names he was called.  We can also learn about his thick skin when he was called less honorable names. 

  • About Abraham Lincoln the destroyer of slavery in the United States.  Some think he started out weak in this area, but as the Civil War went on he made the end of slavery the final goal.

  • About Abraham Lincoln’s love of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and how he based his political philosophies and platform around the truths in these old documents.  They were some 87 years old when he gave his famous Gettysburg Address.  Lincoln’s Republican Party began the legacy of conservatism, which is popular today.

  • About Abraham Lincoln the great debater, speaker, and poet through the thousands of written documents left for us to read.  We can’t hear him, but we can read what he said and thought.

  • About Abraham Lincoln the inventor and leader of the first modern war, the Civil War.  We can read his T-mails to generals and others, introducing the first electronic messaging during a major war, for our nation and the world.

  • As you can see the list goes on and on.  Even if a person disagrees with Lincoln’s politics or specific actions taken during the Civil War, great respect should be felt for the single “poor little boy in the wilderness” who could accomplish great things during his short fifty-six year lifespan.


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