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Lincoln in Indiana
08-18-2019, 09:37 PM (This post was last modified: 08-19-2019 09:19 AM by Gene C.)
Post: #1
Lincoln in Indiana
part of the 'Concise Lincoln Library' series

Written by Brian Dirk (author of Lincoln the Lawyer), copyright 2017, with about 90 pages of text.

The Concise Lincoln Library series, is several short books about different events and aspects of Lincoln's life. They seem to be an abbreviated collection and summary of different authors work on a specific subject.

In this book, Dirk points out there is little information about specifics of Lincoln's early years in Indiana. Most of the first chapters deal with the hardships facing Thomas Lincoln in starting a farm from scratch, the primitive conditions that existed, background and the social/economic conditions of the time. As Abraham grows into a teenager, works for others in the area, more specifics and remembrances are mentioned.

One little detail I have never seen before about Lincoln's early jobs....
" With his step-brother, John, he went to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1827 and found work on the Louisville and Portland Canal, a long-standing project to create a two-
mile bypass around the Falls of the Ohio River near Louisville....Abraham and John were probably day laborers, and the work was surely hard. But the pay was good, and the two were compensated with silver dollars."

Several passages from Hendon's Informants are quoted. All of these are memories from 35-45 years in the past, by people in their 60's, 70's and 80's, who's memories may be fading, and not written down until after Lincoln's death. Passages from Herndon's Informants are a key source for much of what we know about Lincoln's time in Indiana. Several quotes are from Augustus Chapman, the son in law of Dennis Hanks and Sarah Elizabeth Johnston Hanks (Lincoln's step sister). Chapman married their daughter, Harriet Hanks Chapman, who lived with the Abraham Lincoln family for a year and a half during the mid 1840's.

A good, short book on this period of Lincoln's life. I found the last chapter about Lincoln and his desire to leave home, the most interesting.

Available on Amazon,
I was able to find a used, like new condition, for $1.11
The Amazon product description is misleading regarding the number of pages in this book, it has 135, with only 93 of text.
Amazon includes title pages, publisher info, etc.

Other books of more detail on this period of Lincolns life that I have read and recommend are, "There I Grew Up" by William Bartlett and "Lincoln's Youth" by Louis Warren. An interesting older book that I have only glanced at is on line at Internet Archives titled "Lincoln in Indiana" by Edward Murr, written in 1917.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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08-19-2019, 10:32 AM
Post: #2
RE: Lincoln in Indiana
Just to add to Gene's review. This is from my article in the Indiana Magazine of History on Tarbell's study of Lincoln's views on democracy.

J. Edward Murr was a Methodist minister born December 20, 1868, in Corydon, Indiana, Murr entered Depauw University in Greencastle in 1897 to study theology and was graduated in 1901. He served various churches throughout southern Indiana and later became superintendent of the Methodist Church district in that region. Murr’s interest in Lincoln was due, partially, to the accident of birth. “I chanced to have been born and reared in the general community where Josiah Lincoln, a brother of the President’s father lived and died. I thus personally knew the older Lincoln’s [sic] who were cousins to the President,” Murr wrote. Beginning in December of 1917 and running through June of 1918, Murr contributed a three-part series on Lincoln’s Indiana years to the Indiana Magazine of History, which was generally well received. It's that series that Gene was talking about. Here is a photo of Murr.

[Image: nb25tx.jpg]

Murr had a strong dislike for Tarbell. Again, from my article:

In January of 1920, Tarbell spoke in Evansville on “The Making of the World.” The Evansville Courier reported, citing Murr as its source, that during a visit to the region at the turn of the century, Tarbell was “worsted” in an encounter with the Lincoln family’s Gentryville neighbor, James Gentry, who lived in Rockport at the time of the newspaper report. As Murr told the story, he asked Gentry if he had ever met Tarbell. When Gentry curtly replied that he had, Murr asked, “And you didn’t think much of her?”
Gentry reportedly said he did not, adding, in the reporter’s imagined vernacular, “That woman came here with her preconceived ideas of Lincoln as a boy and attempted to tell me things I ought ter know about Abe.” Murr then told the reporter that Gentry grew so angry with Tarbell that “he sent Ida Tarbell off the premises with a curse.” Gentry’s descendants refuted Murr’s claim in a follow-up article discussing Tarbell’s visit, claiming Gentry would never curse at a woman. Another family member claimed to have witnessed the encounter between Tarbell and Gentry, noting that when Tarbell left, the two shook hands and Gentry invited her to come back. When she left, Gentry reportedly said, “There’s a mighty smart woman.”
That any of this ever happened is questionable, given the fact that Tarbell never stopped in southwestern Indiana while researching her McClure’s articles. In the article detailing her 1920 visit to Evansville, Tarbell told the Courier reporter that, while she didn’t visit Lincoln City, she did stay for “several days” in Rockport and interviewed a number of people, and that she sent her Illinois researcher J. McCan Davis into the region to do research. Tarbell never mentioned her Indiana researcher, a Vincennes schoolteacher named Anna C. O’Flynn. Whether Tarbell felt it necessary to embellish her early travels due to Murr’s allegations, or she was misquoted by the reporter, neither corresponds with what Tarbell recorded in her papers several months later.
In August of 1920, in the Footsteps memorandum, Tarbell wrote that she never spent a day in Spencer County. “I never stopped in Spencer County myself. A. Hoosier [O’Flynn’s nom de plume] had sent us her manuscript. She was there one day, and she made notes that seemed to me desirable.” Tarbell noted that because of Herndon’s previous work, a trip by her would have been unnecessary. One is left to wonder, as Tarbell later did, if it was O’Flynn who visited Gentry and who was sent “off the premises with a curse,” if, indeed, it ever happened

I would second Gene's view on the Dirck book as well as the entire series. Forum member Ed Steers wrote the book on Lincoln's assassination.


Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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08-19-2019, 12:21 PM
Post: #3
RE: Lincoln in Indiana
Rob and Gene,
Visit the Indiana Magazine of History, click on archives, find the three issues with the articles on "Lincoln in Indiana" and you can read the entire Murr articles. I did that a few years ago and also printed it so it was easier to read. However, it was about 150 pages total.
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08-19-2019, 03:06 PM (This post was last modified: 08-20-2019 09:37 AM by Gene C.)
Post: #4
RE: Lincoln in Indiana
Here are the 3 links to the Indiana Magazine of History with the articles Joe mentions above. I was not aware this was on line here.

If for some reason that doesn't work for you
If you go to the home page for the Indiana Magazine of History (it's being updated) the articles can also be found under the "archives"
issues for Dec 1917, March 1918, and June 1918

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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08-20-2019, 08:31 AM
Post: #5
RE: Lincoln in Indiana
Great information!

Bill Nash
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