“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.”
Life was very hard for them. Sometimes we fantasize that we would like to have lived in those simpler times, but upon reflection- “I don’t think so.” Life was short. It was often painful-and filled with many dangers. In my readings of those days- I have noticed that women, in particular, often died young. Two families of note, illustrate it so well: The Crocketts and the Lincolns.
David Crockett (yes, that David Crockett) had married Polly Finley in August 1806. They had 3 children together. They were both young, energetic, and probably full of future dreams- but fullfilling those dreams was not meant to be. Polly died March 1815. Interestingly enough, Crockett didn’t wait long to find a new bride. He married a widow woman named Elizabeth Patton. Life went on for them. Obviously, the success of a family surviving in those days was greatly enhanced with two parents in the household.
In the year 1818, another husband lost his wife-Thomas Lincoln. Nancy Hanks Lincoln died leaving 2 young children-one of them, being, of course, Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Lincoln, like David Crockett, didn’t really waste much time finding a new spouse. In less than 15 months after the death of Nancy, he married Sarah Bush Johnston. I wouldn’t argue with anyone over whether or not those kinds of marriages were more for practical reasons than out of love. Yet, the Lincoln family did carry on. Young Abraham loved his stepmother very much and she was a great influence on his life. Abraham would lose both a brother and a sister to early deaths before his adulthood. Yes, life was hard then-no picnic. I wouldn’t go back if I could.
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