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Lincoln, Abraham, Mother of

  • By: Tiffany A. Willey
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Nancy Hanks Lincoln (1784–1818) was born in Hampshire County, Virginia, to Lucy Hanks. Nothing is known for certain about her father. Nancy grew up in Kentucky, and became a skilled seamstress known for her work ethic, neatness, cheerfulness, and intelligence. She married Thomas Lincoln, a carpenter, on June 12, 1806. They had three children: Sarah, Abraham, and Thomas, who died in infancy. Nancy was a loving mother with many ambitions for her children. She encouraged reading, especially when young Abraham showed a preference for books over farm work. Later, Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, credited his mother with “all that I am, or ever hope to be.”

A 1963 portrait of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, owned and displayed at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial ...

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