heard of outside the limits of the neighborhoods in which they lived, were intelligent, well-to-do men. In Thomas
, roving and shiftless, to whom was “reserved the honor of an illustrious paternity,” are we alone interested.
He was, we are told, five feet ten inches high, weighed one hundred and ninety-five pounds, had a well-rounded face, dark hazel eyes, coarse black hair, and was slightly stoop-shouldered.
His build was so compact that Dennis Hanks
used to say he could not find the point of separation between his ribs.
He was proverbially slow of movement, mentally and physically; was careless, inert, and dull; was sinewy, and gifted with great strength; was inoffensively quiet and peaceable, but when roused to resistance a dangerous antagonist.
He had a liking for jokes and stories, which was one of the few traits he transmitted to his illustrious son; was fond of the chase, and had no marked aversion for the bottle, though in the latter case he indulged no more freely than the average Kentuckian
of his day. At the time of his marriage to Nancy Hanks
he could neither read nor write; but his wife, who was gifted with more education, and was otherwise his mental superior, taught him, it is said, to write his name and to read — at least, he was able in later years to spell his way slowly through the Bible
In his religious belief he first affiliated with the Free-Will Baptists
After his removal to Indiana
he changed his adherence to the Presbyterians — or Predestinarians, as they were then called — and later united with the Christian
--vulgarly called Campbellite--