Thursday, May 19, 2011

Where Captain Abraham Lincoln Died In Kentucky

 Tying in with our recent visit:

From "Abraham Lincoln, The Prairie Years, Volume I," by Carl Sandburg:

"In the year 1776, when the 13 American colonies gave the world their famous Declaration of Independence, there was a captain of Virginia militia living in Rockingham County named Abraham Lincoln.  He had a 210-acre farm deeded to him by his father, John Lincoln... ".

"Abraham Lincoln had taken a wife Bathsheba Herring, who bore him three sons, Mordecai, Josiah and Thomas, and two daughters, Mary and Nancy.  This family Abraham Lincoln moved to Kentucky in 1782."

"Abraham Lincoln located on the Green River, where he filed claims for more than 2,000 acres."  "One day about two years later, he was working in a field with his three sons, and they saw him in a spasm of pain fall to the ground, just after the boys heard a rifle shot and the whine of a bullet."  "The boys yelled to each other, 'Indians!"

From the plaque at Long Run Baptist Church cemetery and ruins:


This spot was frequented by the ancestors of two Presidents of the Unites States of America, namely Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), and Harry S. Truman (1884-19_ _).  The old church ruins occupy a site selected by Captain Abraham Lincoln (1738-1786), grandfather of Abraham Lincoln, for a home in 1780.  Prior to May 29, 1780, Captain Lincoln erected a cabin where the ruins now stand.

This marker, the ruins of the Old Long Run Baptist Church and the cemetery are on one acre of the 400 acres of land, the original title of which was obtained by Captain Abraham Lincoln on a land-office Treasury Warrant No. 3334 issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia on March 4, 1780.

It was here on May 19, 1786 that Captain Abraham Lincoln was, as President Lincoln wrote in 1857, "killed by the Indians, not in battle, but by stealth, when he was laboring to open a farm in the forest."   The ambush was witnessed by Captain Lincoln's three sons, Mordecai, Josiah and Thomas Lincoln (1778-1851, father of the President, then only eight years of age).  Mordecai, the eldest son, shot at the Indians, killing one of them.  Josiah ran one-half of a mile to a stockade known as Morgan Hughes Station for assistance.  Hughes Station was located about one-half of a mile northeast from this spot.

The church area is the traditional site of Captain Lincoln's grave.  After the death of Captain Lincoln his widow and five children moved to what is now Washington County, Kentucky, where Mrs. Lincoln's relatives resided leaving an empty, untended log dwelling.  The abandoned cabin was used by the settlers for a school and meeting house for religious worshippers.  Eventually the building was used exclusively as a meeting house of the Baptists.

The story of the death of his grandfather made a profound impression on the mind of President Lincoln.  After relating the tragic incident in a letter dated April 1, 1854, the President wrote that the story was "more strongly than all other imprinted on my mind and memory."

President Harry S. Truman's maternal grandmother, Harriet Louisa Gregg Young, two of his maternal great-grandfathers and numerous other relatives frequently came here to worship and attend religious services.

Mordecai Lincoln, heir-at-law of Captain Lincoln, and Mary, his wife, by deed, dated April 2, 1822, conveyed the 400 acres of land to Benjamin Bridges, senior.  Benjamin Bridges by a deed dated July 4, 1834, transferred one acre to the trustees for the Regular Baptist Church on Long Run.

County Judge B. C. Van Arsdale, Robert A. Fife, Mark Beauchamp and Philip P. Ardery, Commissioners of the Fiscal Court of Jefferson County, acquired these premises by deed dated August 23, 1961, from the trustees of the Long Run Baptist Church for the purposes of establishing a historic shrine.

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