Post Reply 
Mentor Graham by Duncan Kunigunde
01-31-2022, 02:37 PM
Post: #1
Mentor Graham by Duncan Kunigunde
Mentor Graham was the local school teacher when Abraham Lincoln lived in New Salem. He was a strong influence on Lincoln and encouraged him to improve his education, especially with grammar and public speaking. Much of the material from the book seems to be from family reminisces and former students.

The book started out a little slow, the first 80 pages having to do with his family background, his youth, education and years leading to his move to Illinois. It's not till they get to New Salem that I found the story became much more interesting.

Mentor Graham was about 9 years older than Abraham Lincoln.
Before moving to New Salem, Mentor Graham and family lived about 30 miles from the birthplace of Lincoln.
As well as a school teacher, Graham was a talented carpenter and brick maker.

There are some many interesting details about the village of New Salem, the surrounding area, and the people who lived here. Many of them were relatives.
As the town of New Salem starts, about half of the settlers of the area were somehow related to Mentor or Kentucky neighbors.

The book goes into some detail on what life was like for a school teacher (you needed a second source of income to survive) being married at 17 to a fourteen year old, and then having 10 children. Mentor taught school in Illinois until he was 78 and at the age of 82 he was cheated out of his life savings by his nephew.
His association with Lincoln is covered in some detail.

I purchased this book upon the recommendation of Joe Di Cola. Joe has an infectious enthusiasm for Abraham Lincoln, especially for his years at New Salem.
This book is available on Internet Archive -
written in 1944 it has about 240 pages of text

I was able to purchase my "very good" copy from Amazon for $10. They seem to have gone up in price since I got my copy last year

A second book about Mentor Graham, "Lincoln's Teacher" was written by the same author in 1958. It appears to be written for a younger audience and more of a story telling format than his earlier book.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Messages In This Thread
Mentor Graham by Duncan Kunigunde - Gene C - 01-31-2022 02:37 PM

Forum Jump:

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)