--painful as it was-called up the recollection of his mother, and, as the buggy jolted over the road, he added ruefully, “God bless my mother; all that I am or ever hope to be I owe to her,” 1
and immediately lapsed into silence.
Our interchange of ideas ceased, and we rode on for some time without exchanging a word.
He was sad and absorbed.
Burying himself in thought, and musing no doubt over the disclosure he had just made, he drew round him a barrier which I feared to penetrate.
His words and melancholy tone made a deep impression on me. It was an experience I can never forget.
As we neared the town of Petersburg
we were overtaken by an old man who rode beside us for awhile, and entertained us with reminiscences of days on the frontier.
was reminded of several Indiana
stories, and by the time we had reached the unpretentious court-house at our destination, his sadness had passed away.
In only two instances did Mr. Lincoln
over his own hand leave any record of his history or family descent.
One of these was the modest bit of autobiography furnished to Jesse W. Fell
, in 1859, in which after stating that his parents were born in Virginia
of “undistinguished or second families,” he makes the brief mention of his mother, saying that she came “of a family of the name of Hanks