1 Abraham Lincoln is remembered as a man of sincerity, character, and strength. He was born into a poor farm family in the backwoods of Kentucky on February 12, 1809. From these humble beginnings, he built a reputation of honesty and service. Eventually, he earned the right to serve as President of the United States.
2 Lincoln loved to read. However, finding books to read was difficult. His family couldn't afford such luxuries. Throughout his young life, he borrowed as many as he could. It is told he once walked twenty miles - just to borrow a book! His favorite book was The Life of Washington, a story about our first president, George Washington. He read it many times in his life. One time, he borrowed a copy from a friend. After reading it before bed, he put it between the studs of the wall in his room. In the morning, he discovered it had been ruined by rain leaking through the wall. He went to his friend to explain what had happened and offered to work to pay for the book. After three days of shucking corn, he was rewarded with ownership of the book. Lincoln felt his work was nothing compared with the value of owning his own copy.
3 Other stories also show the integrity of this great man. He once had a job at a country store. Closing the shop one evening, he counted the money for the day. As he finished, he discovered he had taken a few extra cents from a customer. He walked a long way to return the money and make things right. Another time, he incorrectly weighed some tea for a woman. When he realized what had happened, he brought her the amount that was missing from her purchase. She had never known there was a problem.
4 Through reading and self-study, Lincoln became a lawyer. Lawyers had a reputation for being dishonest, and Abraham Lincoln set out to change that. When his client was innocent, Lincoln worked very hard to prove it. During one case, a witness testified that he could identify Mr. Lincoln's client as a murderer. The witness explained that a full moon on the night of the murder gave him full sight of the person who committed the crime. Mr. Lincoln questioned him, but the witness stuck to his story. Later, during closing arguments, Lincoln presented a farmers almanac to the jury showing that the night of the robbery did not have a full moon. The witness had lied, and his client was proven innocent. Protecting the innocent was very important to Mr. Lincoln.
5 During another case, Mr. Lincoln discovered his client's case was not good. He refused to continue with the case. His associate represented the man and won a decision in the client's favor. However, Mr. Lincoln refused to accept his half of the fee.
6 Many times, Mr. Lincoln would represent a poor client without charging for services. Some considered him a fool, but his strong belief in doing what was right earned him a solid reputation. It also helped him to win a seat in the state legislature of Illinois, the House of Representatives, and the presidency.
7 During a speech in 1858, Mr. Lincoln opened with words, "A country divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free." This was against all counsel from his friend and partner, Mr. Herndon, who felt it was not the time to say such things. The country was in turmoil over the issue of slavery. Mr. Lincoln replied that the words were true and had always been true, and he refused to take the words out of the speech. This speech later became known as "The House Divided" speech. When Lincoln was convinced of a truth, he did not waiver.
8 Mr. Lincoln was also a kind, compassionate man. A story is told about a little girl who was crying as she stood outside her home next to a large trunk. Lincoln stopped to ask what was wrong. The girl explained that she was supposed to go to the train station to take a trip to Decatur. But the wagon had not come to pick her up, and she couldn't carry the trunk all the way to the station. Mr. Lincoln picked up the trunk, walked the little girl the half-mile to the railroad station, put her on the train, checked her trunk, and bid her farewell.
9 When the Civil War ended, a crowd gathered at the White House in celebration. Mr. Lincoln appeared and asked a nearby band to play "Dixie" in tribute. A favorite song of his and the Southern States, Abraham Lincoln showed his deep commitment to a united America.
10 There are many other stories of Mr. Lincoln's honesty. He was an unwavering defender of truth throughout his life, thus earning him the nickname, Honest Abe.
What did Abraham Lincoln do when he discovered that a book he had borrowed was ruined?
Gave the book back to the owner
Bought another copy to replace it
Worked to pay for the book
How did Lincoln become a lawyer?
By going to law school
He didn't become a lawyer
By being an apprentice
By reading and self-study
What do you think Abraham Lincoln meant when he said, "A country divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free."
Why do you think Abraham Lincoln returned the money to the woman he short-changed?
Which word in paragraph three is a synonym of honesty?
How did Mr. Lincoln prove the innocence of the accused murderer?
He convinced the jury he was innocent with a fancy speech.
The witness admitted he had lied.
He found the real murderer.
He used a farmer's almanac to prove a witness had lied.
Which of the following events did not happen in Abraham Lincoln's life?
He became President.
He lived in Illinois.
He became a lawyer.
None of the above
At the end of the Civil War, President Lincoln had a band play the song "Dixie." This was a favorite song of his and a favorite of the Southern States. Do you think he was right to do this? Why or why not?
Life on the frontier was difficult and the opportunities for education were limited. Lincoln spent every spare minute learning on his own. Much of his reading was done by candlelight or oil lamplight. If a homemade candle burns at the rate of 0.25 inches in 36 minutes, how long will an 10.2-inch candle burn?
Early in his life, Abraham Lincoln worked on a farm with his father. One of his chores was to split logs into rails for building fences. If he split each log into 5 rails and worked from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., what other information, if any, is needed to find out how many rails he could make in that amount of time?
In the election of 1860, Lincoln received 1,865,593 popular votes, 38% of the total votes cast. How many people voted in the 1860 election? Round your answer to the nearest whole number.
In May of 1844, Lincoln and his wife bought a house for $1,393. If the current average cost of a house is $131,185, find the percentage of increase in the cost of purchasing a home between 1844 and now. Round your answer to the nearest tenth.
In March 1830 Lincoln and his family made a 200 -mile trip to Illinois where they settled. If they traveled at the rate of 24 miles per day, how many days did it take them to make the trip to Illinois?
As President, Abraham Lincoln received a salary of $25,000. George W. Bush had a salary of $400,000 during his first year in office. What is the ratio of President Lincoln's salary to that of President Bush? Express your answer as a percent.
Honest Abe - Answer Key
1 Worked to pay for the book
2 By reading and self-study
6 He used a farmer's almanac to prove a witness had lied.
7 Helping the little girl get to the train station
9 None of the above
Honest Abe: Math
1 24 hours and 29 minutes
2 # of logs Mr. Lincoln can split in a given time
3 4909455 people
4 93.2 %
5 9 days
6 6.25 %