Reflections! Lincoln's Visit To Washington County!
Lincoln's Visit To Washington County!
By William L. Bulla
Every time we make a purchase, more than likely, we will get a penny or two in change. These pennies are designed as a tribute to Abraham Lincoln.
February 12th is the birthday of, Abraham Lincoln. Our 16th President. He was born on February 12, 1809, in a small log cabin at a place called Sinking Spring Farm in rural Kentucky, to Thomas and Nancy Lincoln. He was named after his paternal grandfather.
This humble start in life would also mark the first time that a future President would be born outside the original 13 colonies.
At 2 1/2 years of age, the Lincoln family moved to the nearby Knob Creek Farm, where they would remain until Abraham was 8 years old. It was of this place that Abraham later recalled:
"The place on Knob Creek...I remember very well."
These developmental years would find Abraham growing bigger and stronger, and required to do chores around the farm, as any boy of his age would do. These included chopping firewood and carrying water.
Over the years we have heard the stories of him growing up as a child in this wilderness of Kentucky, and later as a youth in Indiana. We have read stories about him living in a log cabin, and reading by the light of the fireplace. We have heard of his life as a young lawyer, his debate with Stephen Douglass, and many other stories of his life on the frontier.
But are we aware of the time he spent here in Washington County? It was a time when our world was torn apart by a Civil War. He came here during that stressful time for our nation. Are we aware of what impact the Battle of Antietam had upon him? And on this nation?
We should be aware of the events that took place in here during his administration. It was in the year 1862! In the fall of that year, Lincoln had become desperate for a victory, Up to that time, the South had achieved victory after victory. Bull Run, Wilson's Creek, and Shiloh had all been strong victories for the South. President Lincoln realized that if the North did not achieve a victory soon, the survival of the Union would be in doubt. Lincoln prayed that if God would grant him victory on the battlefield, he would free the slaves.
Slavery had haunted Lincoln for some time. He fully realized the cruelty and brutality of this corrupt institution, but he did not have the strength to stand up against it. He prayed to God, asking that the North would have a victory so he could abolish slavery.
And it happened! Shortly after this, he received news of McClellan's success at Antietam. Despite huge losses, McClellan was able to drive Lee out of Maryland, and back into Virginia. The battle of Antietam was fought on September 17, 1862. Then, on September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln honored the promise he made to God, and issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states should be free as of Jan. 1, 1863.
On October 3, 1862. Lincoln traveled to Washington County and surveyed the Battlefield of Antietam. The following day, October 4, 1862 his Emancipation Proclamation appeared for the first time in print.
Last year, the Lincoln penny was redesigned for the first time in 50-years. The design portrays Lincoln's early life and humble beginnings in Kentucky from the years 1809-1816.
This 2009 Lincoln Penny features the log cabin design symbolic of Abraham Lincoln's birthplace and childhood. The inscriptions on the reverse, or tails side, of the coin include the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM and ONE CENT, as well as the inscription 1809, the year President Lincoln was born.
The first Lincoln penny was designed and circulated in 1901. Now, 100 years, later we are in its fourth design.