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Ignorance of the law is no defense. How did Abraham Lincoln learn this fact?
04-27-2020, 04:33 PM
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RE: Ignorance of the law is no defense. How did Abraham Lincoln learn this fact?
(04-27-2020 12:38 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  
(04-27-2020 12:07 PM)David Lockmiller Wrote:  Does anyone know when and by whom the original story was first published?

David, here is an earlier version. In 1866 Josiah Gilbert Holland's The Life of Abraham Lincoln was published. Holland wrote:

"He (Lincoln) had learned the use of tools, and possessed considerable mechanical talent, as will appear in some other acts of his life. Of the voyage and its results we have no knowledge, but an incident occurred before starting which he related in later life to his Secretary of State, Mr. Seward, that made a very marked and pleasant impression upon his memory. As he stood at the landing, a steamer approached, coming down the river. At the same time two passengers came to the river's bank who wished to be taken out to the packet with their luggage. Looking among the boats at the landing, they singled out Abraham's, and asked him to scull them to the steamer. This he did, and after seeing them and their trunks on board, he had the pleasure of receiving upon the bottom of his boat, before he shoved off, a silver half dollar from each of his passengers. "I could scarcely believe my eyes," said Mr. Lincoln, in telling the story. "You may think it was a very little thing," continued he, "but it was a most important incident in my life. I could scarcely believe that I, a poor boy, had earned a dollar in less than a day. The world seemed wider and fairer before me. I was a more hopeful and confident being from that time."

Thank you, Roger, for finding and posting this story. It contains the same line that I favor for an ending.

I also found in the same Chapter II at pages 29-30, the following story regarding the sermon by Parson Elkin over the grave of Lincoln's mother in Indiana:

[N]either father nor son was content to part with [Nancy Lincoln]
without a formal Christian tribute to her worth and memory.
Both thought of the good Parson Elkin
whom they had left in Kentucky; and Abraham's skill in
writing was brought into use in addressing to him a message.
His imperfect penmanship had been acquired partly in the
schools he had attended, and partly by practice in the sand
and on the barks of trees on anything and with any instrument
by which letters might be formed.

Several months after Mrs. Lincoln died, Abraham wrote a
letter to Parson Elkin, informing him of his mother's death,
and begging him to come to Indiana, and preach her funeral
sermon. It was a great favor that he thus asked of the poor
preacher. It would require him to ride on horseback nearly
a hundred miles through the wilderness ; and it is something
to be remembered to the humble itinerant's honor that he was
willing to pay this tribute of respect to the woman who had
so thoroughly honored him and his sacred office. He replied
to Abraham's invitation, that he would preach the sermon on
a certain future Sunday, and gave him liberty to notify the
neighbors of the promised service.

As the appointed day approached, notice was given to the
whole neighborhood, embracing every family within twenty
miles. Neighbor carried the notice to neighbor. It was scattered
from every little school. There was probably not a family that
did not receive intelligence of the anxiously anticipated event.

On a bright Sabbath morning, the settlers of the region
started for the cabin of the Lincolns ; and, as they gathered
in, they presented a picture worthy the pencil of the worthiest
painter. Some came in carts of the rudest construction, their
wheels consisting of sections of the huge boles of forest trees,
and every other member the product of the ax and auger ;
some came on horseback, two or three upon a horse ; others
came in wagons drawn by oxen, and still others came on foot.

Two hundred persons in all were assembled when Parson Elkin
came out from the Lincoln cabin, accompanied by the little
family, and proceeded to the tree under which the precious
dust of a wife and mother was buried. The congregation,
seated upon stumps and logs around the grave, received the
preacher and the mourning family in a silence broken only by
the songs of birds, and the murmur of insects, or the creaking
cart of some late comer.

Taking his stand at the foot of the grave,
Parson Elkin lifted his voice in prayer and sacred song,
and then preached a sermon. The occasion, the eager faces
around him, and all the sweet influences of the morning, inspired
him with an unusual fluency and fervor; and the flickering
sunlight, as it glanced through the wind-parted leaves, caught
many a tear upon the bronzed cheeks of his auditors, while
father and son were overcome by the revival of their great
grief. He spoke of the precious Christian woman who had
gone with the warm praise which she deserved, and held her
up as an example of true womanhood.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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RE: Ignorance of the law is no defense. How did Abraham Lincoln learn this fact? - David Lockmiller - 04-27-2020 04:33 PM

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