SARAH BUSH LINCOLN Biography - Polititians


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Name: Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln                                                   
Born: 13 December 1788                                                               
Died: 12 April 1869                                                                 
Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln (December 13, 1788 - April 12, 1869) was the second     
wife of Thomas Lincoln and stepmother of President of the United States Abraham     
Lincoln. She was born in Elizabethtown, Kentucky to Christopher and Hannah Bush.     
She married her first husband, Daniel Johnston, in 1806, and they had three         
children. When he died in 1816 she was left penniless.                               
Thomas Lincoln had met Sarah while living in Kentucky. After his first wife,         
Nancy Hanks, died in 1818, Thomas married Sarah on December 2, 1819 and brought     
her and her children to his farm in Indiana. She treated the two children from       
Thomas's first marriage the same as her own, earning the lasting affection of       
Abraham, who always addressed her as "Mother." She encouraged his appetite for       
reading and learning. He visited her "every year or two," and was apparently         
closer to her than to his father. After Thomas died, Lincoln maintained the         
family's farm in Coles County, Illinois for her and supported her until his         
death. Their final visit occurred on January 31 and February 1, 1861, just           
before Lincoln left Illinois for the White House.                                   
Lincoln's legendary sense of humor was probably influenced by his stepmother. He     
recalled that she was a firm but kind-hearted woman who loved to laugh. When he     
was eighteen years old, Lincoln, at 6' 4", was so tall that his head nearly         
touched the ceiling of the family's farmhouse kitchen. His stepmother repeatedly     
joked that Lincoln was so tall that she was afraid he would leave footprints on     
her ceiling. Lincoln decided to have some fun with this idea. One day, when his     
stepmother was not home, Lincoln got together a group of younger boys and had       
them dip their bare feet in the mud outside the farmhouse kitchen. Then Lincoln     
took each of the boys inside, held them upside-down, and had them walk their         
feet across the ceiling, leaving muddy footprints. When Sarah Lincoln saw the       
muddy footprints on her ceiling, Lincoln recalled, she "took a broom to my head,     
but I could tell she was very amused by it."                                         
The homestead where she and Thomas lived is preserved as the Lincoln Log Cabin       
State Historic Site. Sarah is buried next to Thomas in nearby Shiloh Cemetery,       
just south of Lerna, Illinois. Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Coles County     
was named after her.