Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Salem Offers Look at Young Abe

It was a beautiful day for our trip to New Salem. About half the class and all five teachers enjoyed a full day of going back to the 1830s. Imagine young Abraham Lincoln coming to this place, on his own now, to establish independence from his family and start his own life's journey. It certainly was varied in the six years he lived in New Salem as a laborer, store owner, post master, surveyor, soldier, and politician. Here Abraham Lincoln tasted the fruits of the American democracy, taking advantage of opportunities, continuing to educate himself, and earning the respect of the villagers. Here he took initiative, responsibility, and leadership. Perhaps he found love, too! That "Abe loves Anne" story continues to be disputed, but I think during such a glorious time of awakening for Abe he probably had his first crush. Each of you can decide.

While there we saw fascinating displays of soap and lye making, woodworking, barrel and basket making, cooking, washing, spinning, and carding wool (individually and at the mill with the help of an ox), and grinding grain at the old grist mill. We heard intriguing information from many of the people acting as villagers.

Overall, it was a wonderful day for learning about some very formative years in Abraham Lincoln's life and for spending time together.

1 comment:

Lincoln1 said...

I vote for Abe as someone who had a great fondness for Anne Rutledge. Whether it was a true romance is up for debate.