en-de  The Story of Abraham Lincoln by James Baldwin Easy
Dieses Werk ist in den Vereinigten Staaten gemeinfrei, weil es vor dem 1. Januar 1923 veröffentlicht wurde.
Der Autor starb im Jahr 1925, d.h. dieses Werk ist auch in Ländern und Gebieten gemeinfrei, in denen die Schutzfrist des Urheberrechts der Lebenszeit es Autors plus 80 Jahren oder weniger entspricht. Dieses Werk kann auch in Ländern und Gebieten mit längeren inländischen Copyright Bedingungen, die die Regel der kürzeren Bedingungen für ausländische Werke anwenden, jedermann frei zugänglich sein.

1. Die Heimat Kentucky.

Nicht weit von Hodgensville in Kentucky lebte einst ein Mann, dessen Name Thomas Lincoln war. Dieser Mann hatte für sich ein kleines Blockhaus neben einem Bach errichtet, wo es eine immer sprudelnde Wasserquelle gab.

In dieser Hütte gab es nur einen Raum. An der Seite zum Bach hin gab es einen niedrigen Eingang, und auf einer Seite gab es einen großen offenen Kamin, aus groben Steinen und Lehm gebaut.

Der Kamin war am Boden sehr breit und oben schmal. Er war aus Ton, mit flachen Steinen und schlanken Stäben, die man außen herum gelegt hatte, um ein Auseinanderfallen zu verhindern.

In der Wand, auf einer Seite des Kamins, gab es ein rechteckiges Loch als Fenster. Aber es war kein Glas in diesem Fenster. Im Sommer war es die ganze Zeit offen. Bei kaltem Wetter wurde ein Rehfell oder ein Stück groben Tuchs darüber gehängt, um den Wind und den Schnee draußen zu halten.

Bei Nacht und an stürmischen Tagen wurde das Fell eines Bären über den Eingang gehängt, denn es gab keine Tür an Scharnieren, um sie zu öffnen und zu schließen.

Der Raum hatte keine Decke. Aber die Bewohner der Hütte konnten, wenn sie nach oben schauten, die blanken Sparren und rohen Dachbretter sehen, die Mr. Lincoln selbst gespalten und behauen hatte.

Es gab keinen Fußboden, sondern nur die nackte Erde, die geglättet und gestampft worden war, bis sie eben und hart wie Straßenpflaster war.

Als Stühle gab es nur Holzblöcke und eine grobe Bank an einer Seite der Feuerstelle. Das Bett war eine kleine Plattform aus Stangen, auf denen die pelzigen Felle wilder Tiere ausgebreitet waren, und ein Flickenteppich von handgestrickten Waren.

In dieser ärmlichen Hütte wurde am 12. Februar 1809 ein kleiner Junge geboren. Es gab schon ein Kind in der Familie - ein Mädchen, zwei Jahre alt, dessen Name Sarah war.

Der kleine Junge wuchs und wurde kräftig wie andere Babys, und seine Eltern nannten ihn Abraham, nach seinem Großvater, der vor vielen Jahren von den Indianern getötet worden war.

Als er alt genug war, um herumzulaufen, spielte er gerne unter den Bäumen an der Hüttentür. Manchmal ging er mit seiner kleinen Schwester in die Wälder und beobachtete die Vögel und die Eichhörnchen.

Er hatte keine Spielgefährten. Er wusste nicht, was Spielsachen oder Spielzeug waren. Aber er war ein glückliches Kind und hatte viele angenehme Verhaltensweisen

Thomas Lincoln, der Vater, war ein gütiger Mann, sehr stark und mutig. Manchmal nahm er das Kind auf seinen Schoß und erzählte ihm seltsame, wahre Geschichten über den großen Wald, über die Indianer und die wilden Bestien, die zwischen den Wäldern und Hügeln umherstreiften.

Da Thomas Lincoln schon immer im wilden Grenzgebiet gelebt hatte, war es ihm lieber, Hirsche und anderes Wild im Wald jagen, als irgendetwas anderes zu tun. Vielleicht war das der Grund, warum er so arm war. Vielleicht war er deshalb zufrieden, in der kleinen Blockhütte mit so wenigen Annehmlichkeiten zu leben.

Aber Nancy Lincoln, die junge Mutter, beklagte sich nicht. Auch sie war inmitten der rauen Landschaften der Hinterwälder aufgewachsen. Sie hatte niemals Besseres kennengelernt.

Und doch war sie von kultiviertem und sanftem Wesen und Leute, die sie kannten, sagten über sie, dass sie sehr gut aussehend war. Sie war auch eine vorbildliche Hauswirtschaftlerin; und ihr ärmliches Blockhaus war das gepflegteste und bestgeführte Haus in der gesamten Nachbarschaft.

Keine Frau konnte fleißiger sein als sie. Sie wusste, wie man spinnt und webt und sie fertigte sämtliche Kleidung für ihre Familie.

Sie konnte mit Axt und Hacke umgehen, und sie konnte auf der Farm oder im Garten arbeiten, wenn ihre Hilfe gebraucht wurde.

Sie hatte auch gelernt, mit einem Gewehr zu schießen, und sie konnte einen Hirsch oder anderes Wild mit so viel Leichtigkeit erlegen wie ihr Mann. Und wenn das Wild nach Hause gebracht wurde, konnte sie es ausnehmen, sie konnte das Fleisch für das Essen kochen und von den Fellen konnte sie Kleidung für ihren Mann und ihre Kinder herstellen.

Es gab noch etwas anderes, das sie konnte - sie konnte lesen, und sie las alle Bücher, die sie bekommen konnte. Sie brachte ihrem Mann die Buchstaben des Alphabets bei und zeigte ihm, wie er seinen Namen schreiben konnte. Denn Thomas Lincoln war nie zur Schule gegangen, und er hatte nie das Lesen gelernt.

Sobald der kleine Abraham Lincoln alt genug war, las ihm seine Mutter Geschichten aus der Bibel vor. Dann, obwohl er noch sehr jung war, brachte sie ihm bei, die Geschichten selbst zu lesen.

Die Nachbarn fanden es wunderbar, dass ein so kleiner Junge lesen konnte. Das konnten nur sehr wenige von ihnen. Nur wenige von ihnen glaubten, dass es von großem Nutzen wäre, lesen zu lernen.

Damals gab es in diesem Teil Kentuckys keine Schulhäuser und natürlich gab es auch keine öffentlichen Schulen.

In einem Winter kam ein reisender Lehrer des Weges. Man stellte ihm kostenlos eine Hütte nicht weit von Mr. Lincolns zur Verfügung, und er kündigte an, dass er zwei oder drei Wochen lang Unterricht geben würde. Die Leute waren zu arm, um ihn länger für das Unterrichten zu bezahlen.

Der Name dieses Lehrers war Zachariah Riney.

Die jungen Leute im Umkreis von Meilen strömten zur Schule. Die meisten von ihnen waren große Jungen und Mädchen und ein paar waren heranwachsende, junge Männer. Das einzige kleine Kind war Abraham Lincoln, und er war noch nicht fünf Jahre alt.

An dieser Schule gab nur ein Buch zum Lernen und es war eine Fibel. Es gab am Ende einige leichte Leselektionen, aber diese sollten nicht gelesen werden, bis jedes Wort in dem Buch buchstabiert worden war.

Man kann sich vorstellen, wie die großen Jungen und Mädchen sich fühlten, als Abraham Lincoln bewies, dass er besser buchstabieren und lesen konnte als einer von ihnen.
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1.
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The Kentucky Home.
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Not far from Hodgensville, in Kentucky, there once lived a man whose name was Thomas Lincoln.
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There was but one room in this cabin.
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The chimney was very broad at the bottom and narrow at the top.
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In the wall, on one side of the fireplace, there was a square hole for a window.
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But there was no glass in this window.
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In the summer it was left open all the time.
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There was no ceiling to the room.
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For chairs there were only blocks of wood and a rude bench on one side of the fireplace.
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In this poor cabin, on the 12th of February, 1809, a baby boy was born.
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There was already one child in the family—a girl, two years old, whose name was Sarah.
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When he was old enough to run about, he liked to play under the trees by the cabin door.
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Sometimes he would go with his little sister into the woods and watch the birds and the squirrels.
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He had no playmates.
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He did not know the meaning of toys or playthings.
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But he was a happy child and had many pleasant ways.
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Thomas Lincoln, the father, was a kind-hearted man, very strong and brave.
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Perhaps this is why he was so poor.
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But Nancy Lincoln, the young mother, did not complain.
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She, too, had grown up among the rude scenes of the backwoods.
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She had never known better things.
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No woman could be busier than she.
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She knew how to spin and weave, and she made all the clothing for her family.
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She taught her husband the letters of the alphabet; and she showed him how to write his name.
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For Thomas Lincoln had never gone to school, and he had never learned how to read.
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Then, while he was still very young, she taught him to read the stories for himself.
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The neighbors thought it a wonderful thing that so small a boy could read.
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There were very few of them who could do as much.
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Few of them thought it of any great use to learn how to read.
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One winter a traveling schoolmaster came that way.
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The people were too poor to pay him for teaching longer.
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The name of this schoolmaster was Zachariah Riney.
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The young people for miles around flocked to the school.
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Most of them were big boys and girls, and a few were grown up young men.
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The only little child was Abraham Lincoln, and he was not yet five years old.
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There was only one book studied at that school, and it was a spelling-book.
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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.
The author died in 1925, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

1. The Kentucky Home.

Not far from Hodgensville, in Kentucky, there once lived a man whose name was Thomas Lincoln. This man had built for himself a little log cabin by the side of a brook, where there was an ever-flowing spring of water.

There was but one room in this cabin. On the side next to the brook there was a low doorway; and at one end there was a large fireplace, built of rough stones and clay.

The chimney was very broad at the bottom and narrow at the top. It was made of clay, with flat stones and slender sticks laid around the outside to keep it from falling apart.

In the wall, on one side of the fireplace, there was a square hole for a window. But there was no glass in this window. In the summer it was left open all the time. In cold weather a deerskin, or a piece of coarse cloth, was hung over it to keep out the wind and the snow.

At night, or on stormy days, the skin of a bear was hung across the doorway; for there was no door on hinges to be opened and shut.

There was no ceiling to the room. But the inmates of the cabin, by looking up, could see the bare rafters and the rough roof-boards, which Mr. Lincoln himself had split and hewn.

There was no floor, but only the bare ground that had been smoothed and beaten until it was as level and hard as pavement.

For chairs there were only blocks of wood and a rude bench on one side of the fireplace. The bed was a little platform of poles, on which were spread the furry skins of wild animals, and a patchwork quilt of homespun goods.

In this poor cabin, on the 12th of February, 1809, a baby boy was born. There was already one child in the family—a girl, two years old, whose name was Sarah.

The little boy grew and became strong like other babies, and his parents named him Abraham, after his grandfather, who had been killed by the Indians many years before.

When he was old enough to run about, he liked to play under the trees by the cabin door. Sometimes he would go with his little sister into the woods and watch the birds and the squirrels.

He had no playmates. He did not know the meaning of toys or playthings. But he was a happy child and had many pleasant ways.

Thomas Lincoln, the father, was a kind-hearted man, very strong and brave. Sometimes he would take the child on his knee and tell him strange, true stories of the great forest, and of the Indians and the fierce beasts that roamed among the woods and hills.

For Thomas Lincoln had always lived on the wild frontier; and he would rather hunt deer and other game in the forest than do anything else. Perhaps this is why he was so poor. Perhaps this is why he was content to live in the little log cabin with so few of the comforts of life.

But Nancy Lincoln, the young mother, did not complain. She, too, had grown up among the rude scenes of the backwoods. She had never known better things.

And yet she was by nature refined and gentle; and people who knew her said that she was very handsome. She was a model housekeeper, too; and her poor log cabin was the neatest and best-kept house in all that neighborhood.

No woman could be busier than she. She knew how to spin and weave, and she made all the clothing for her family.

She knew how to wield the ax and the hoe; and she could work on the farm or in the garden when her help was needed.

She had also learned how to shoot with a rifle; and she could bring down a deer or other wild game with as much ease as could her husband. And when the game was brought home, she could dress it, she could cook the flesh for food, and of the skins she could make clothing for her husband and children.

There was still another thing that she could do—she could read; and she read all the books that she could get hold of. She taught her husband the letters of the alphabet; and she showed him how to write his name. For Thomas Lincoln had never gone to school, and he had never learned how to read.

As soon as little Abraham Lincoln was old enough to understand, his mother read stories to him from the Bible. Then, while he was still very young, she taught him to read the stories for himself.

The neighbors thought it a wonderful thing that so small a boy could read. There were very few of them who could do as much. Few of them thought it of any great use to learn how to read.

There were no school-houses in that part of Kentucky in those days, and of course there were no public schools.

One winter a traveling schoolmaster came that way. He got leave to use a cabin not far from Mr. Lincoln's, and gave notice that he would teach school for two or three weeks. The people were too poor to pay him for teaching longer.

The name of this schoolmaster was Zachariah Riney.

The young people for miles around flocked to the school. Most of them were big boys and girls, and a few were grown up young men. The only little child was Abraham Lincoln, and he was not yet five years old.

There was only one book studied at that school, and it was a spelling-book. It had some easy reading lessons at the end, but these were not to be read until after every word in the book had been spelled.

You can imagine how the big boys and girls felt when Abraham Lincoln proved that he could spell and read better than any of them.