Lincoln Discussion Symposium
Happy Mother’s Day to all! - Printable Version

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Happy Mother’s Day to all! - LincolnMan - 05-09-2021 08:52 PM

Celebrating mothers everywhere past present and future. Our heartfelt thanks go out to you all for that you do!

RE: Happy Mother’s Day to all! - RJNorton - 05-10-2021 04:41 AM

I second Bill.

RE: Happy Mother’s Day to all! - Gene C - 05-10-2021 06:57 AM

"All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother"

RE: Happy Mother’s Day to all! - RJNorton - 05-12-2021 08:32 AM

Gene, I am curious about the word "angel" in that particular quote. This quote was reported in the biography of Lincoln that was written by William Herndon. Herndon reported that Lincoln said of his mother, "God bless my mother; all that I am or ever hope to be I owe to her." According to Herndon, Lincoln made this comment while the two men were out riding the circuit c.1850.

I wonder if authors (I've seen the 'angel mother' in many books) add the word "angel" to embellish Herndon's quote? Or is there another source where Herndon himself adds the word "angel?"

RE: Happy Mother’s Day to all! - Gene C - 05-12-2021 10:09 AM

This is from -

QUOTATION: All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to ABRAHAM LINCOLN.—Josiah G. Holland, The Life of Abraham Lincoln, p. 23 (1866), and George Alfred Townsend, The Real Life of Abraham Lincoln, p. 6 (1867). According to the latter, Lincoln made this remark to his law partner, William Herndon.

Lincoln’s natural mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died when he was nine years old and his father remarried the following year. His stepmother, Sarah Bush (Johnston) Lincoln, was loved and respected by Lincoln throughout her life, as evidenced in the many biographical studies of Lincoln. Benjamin P. Thomas says in Abraham Lincoln, p. 12 (1952): “The boy Abraham adored her. Recollection of his own mother dimmed. And in later years he called this woman, who filled her place so well, ‘my angel mother.’”

The Macmillan Book of Proverbs, Maxims, and Famous Phrases, ed. Burton Stevenson, p. 1627 (1965), comments that the remark referred to Lincoln’s stepmother. But the biographers of Lincoln’s natural mother claim the remark referred to her: Caroline Hanks Hitchcock, Nancy Hanks, p. 105 (1899) and Charles Ludwig, Nancy Hanks: Mother of Lincoln, p. 84 (1965).
WORKS: Abraham Lincoln Collection

I have read one author state the "angel mother" was a way to differentiate from his mother who had died and had gone to heaven when Lincoln was 9, from his stepmother, who he also adored, who was still living at the time.

RE: Happy Mother’s Day to all! - RJNorton - 05-12-2021 10:40 AM

Thanks for this information, Gene. I am still not clear as to a possible source for Holland, Townsend, and Thomas for adding the word "angel" to the quote as reported by Herndon. Was Lincoln's quote purposely altered to try to show which mother he was referring to? Herndon didn't include the word "angel" in the quote, but the attribution is still to him. I guess I am missing something.