History & Culture
Abraham Lincoln and his family moved from Kentucky to Indiana in 1816 and stayed until 1830 when they moved to Illinois. During this period, Lincoln grew physically and intellectually into a man. The people he knew here and the things he experienced had a profound influence on his life. His sense of honesty, his belief in the importance of education and learning, his respect for hard work, his compassion for his fellow man, and his moral convictions about right and wrong were all born of this place and this time. The time he spent here helped shape the man that went on to lead the country. This site is our most direct tie with that time of his life. Lincoln Boyhood preserves the place where he learned to laugh with his father, cried over the death of his mother, read the books that opened his mind, and triumphed over the adversities of life on the frontier.
For over thirty years, the State of Indiana administered and operated the memorial to Abraham Lincoln and his mother, but in 1962, in recognition of its national significance, Congress authorized the creation of Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. That act was the climax of nearly a century of increasing interest in appropriately honoring and preserving the home and gravesite. The National Park Service assumed responsibility for maintaining and operating the park. Since that time the park has evolved from a primarily commemorative site to a place where people can come to honor the memory of the man and learn something of his life as well.
Did You Know?
In 1868, a Civil War veteran named William Q. Corbin visited the boyhood home of his former commander-in-chief. Corbin was dismayed by the unkempt appearance of Nancy Hanks Lincoln’s gravesite and wrote a poem. It was among the first known public accounts of the grave’s condition.