Abraham Lincoln in Macon County

Abraham Lincoln in Macon County

Abraham Lincoln and Macon County

In March 1830, Abraham Lincoln and his family began their 200 mile journey from their homestead in Indiana to Macon County Illinois. On their travel west, the Lincoln family passed through the site of the Ulery Farm which sits on the south end of Woodbine Estates. There, the family settled on uncleared land along the Sangamon River about ten miles west of Decatur IL.

The Lincoln family lived here only a year, discouraged by sickness and the harsh climate. The following spring, Lincoln moved to New Salem Illinois where he worked as a clerk in the village store. He slept in the back of the store. In March 1832 he became a candidate for the Illinois General Assembly but lost the election in August of that same year.

In 1834 at the age of 24, Lincoln is finally elected to the Illinois General Assembly as a member of the Whig Party. Two years later, he earned his law license.

In 1837 Lincoln helped moved the Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield where he eventually settled and became a law partner of John T. Stuart.

In 1846, Lincoln was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and moved into a boarding house in Washington D.C. with his wife Mary Todd and his sons.

It wasn't until November 6, 1860 that Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th U.S. president and the first Republican. He received 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40 percent of the popular vote. Less than six months after his election, the Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston, marking the beginning of the Civil War. Woodbine Estates holds a special connection to Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Heritage Trail runs by the Ulery Farm, moments from Woodbine Estates. In fact, Eli Ulery Sr. was friends with Abraham Lincoln.

Here is an excerpt in which Abraham Lincoln himself described his life at the Lincoln Trail Homestead,  which he wrote for John L. Scripps of the Chicago Press and Tribune to be used as a campaign biography:

"March 1, 1830, Abraham having just completed his twenty-first year, his father and family, with the families of the two daughters and sons-in-law of his stepmother, left the old homestead in Indiana and came to Illinois. Their mode of conveyance was wagons drawn by ox-teams, and Abraham drove one of the teams. They reached the county of Macon, and stopped there some time within the same month of March. His father and family settled a new place on the north side of the Sangamon River, at the junction of the timberland and prairie, about ten miles (16 km) westerly from Decatur. Here they built a log cabin, into which they removed, and made sufficient of rails to fence ten acres of ground, fenced and broke the ground, and raised a crop of sown corn upon it the same year. These are, or are supposed to be, the rails about which so much is being said just now, though these are far from being the first or only rails ever made by Abraham."

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