Sunday, February 12, 2012

at a tavern where Abe Lincoln slept

Abe Lincoln was 'here': New Salem, Illinois
Happy Birthday to Abe Lincoln!

When I visited Illinois for a library talk in Champaign, friends drove me on a side-trip to New Salem. They knew I'd love this reconstructed village where Lincoln spent his early adulthood and earned his living doing odd jobs: boatman, rail-splitter, shopkeeper, surveyor, and post master. For a while he owned a general store, but apparently not his own home, so at night he slept in this store or in a tavern. For meals, he boarded with families in the village.

My friends were right. I loved wandering through these shops and houses, taking in the humble beginnings of our 16th president.

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