• Inside the Lincoln Sitting Room

    Lincoln Home

    National Historic Site Illinois

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  • Lincoln Home Tours During Busy Season

    Please be advised that tours of the Lincoln home fill rapidly during our busy summer season. We suggest that you visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Visitor Center early in the day for your best opportunity to receive a tour of the Lincoln home.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln [Mother]

Nancy Hanks Lincoln was born in Virginia in 1784. Her family later moved to Kentucky where, on June 12, 1806, she married Thomas Lincoln. She gave birth to three children: Sarah (February 10, 1807), Abraham (February 12, 1809), and Thomas (1812), who died in infancy.

In 1816, the Lincoln family migrated to what is today Spencer County, Indiana. Two years later, on October 5, 1818, she died of "milk sickness," an illness contracted by drinking milk from a cow that had consumed the poisonous white snakeroot. She was buried in a hill-top, pioneer cemetery near the Lincoln farm.

Lincoln probably knew little of her background, since she died when he was nine, and his father quickly remarried. In later years, he referred to her as his "Angel Mother," that is, his deceased mother.

Sources: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, (1982) by Mark Neely and Lincoln's Youth (1959) by Louis A. Warren.

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Did You Know?

Photo of Model of Lincoln's Patent

Abraham Lincoln is the only president to hold a patent. His patent was for a system of chambers designed to refloat boats that had run aground. He received Patent No. 6469 on May 22, 1849. Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois