"Honest Abe" Makes Appearance
in Sulphur Springs, Thursday Night
by: Bobby McDonald
Sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, better known as "Honest Abe," made a "surprise visit" to Sulphur Springs, on Thursday night, as he appeared at the Hopkins County Genealogical Society meeting, on Main Street. Portrayed by Rob Rutledge, of Bryans Mill, in Cass County, Lincoln told of his early life in Kentucky, Illinois, and on the Mississippi River, before becoming president. The program was designed to complement the "Lincoln Exhibit" that is now on display in the Sulphur Springs Public Library.
Rutledge, as he portrayed Lincoln, told the group about being the second-born child in his family and his birth into a poor farming family, that lived in a small log cabin, on the Kentucky frontier. His mother died when he was only 9 years old and he and his siblings attended "blab school," where they recited their lessons aloud, in class.
The Lincoln family moved to Illinois and Lincoln's step-mother was another early influence on his life, of the young boy who was shy and preferred to read than associate with large groups.
Lincoln, with an axe in his hand, cleared timber and developed into a "strapping" young man, who enjoyed a good fight, but wanted to be your friend when it was over. His father and sister both joined the Baptist Church, but Lincoln never associated with any one group, in his lifetime, although he depended heavily on his creator, during crisis in his life.
Rob Rutledge portrays Abraham Lincoln, at Thursday night's Hopkins
County Genealogical Society Meeting.
Lincoln's formative years transformed from a hillbilly boy to a statesman, and brought him local acclaim in the little village of New Salem, Illinois, where he settled, following two voyages on the Mississippi, where he cleared timber along the pathway of the ships.
Lincoln served as Postmaster of New Salem, when postage was paid by the recipient of the letter, instead of the sender. He ran and lost his first bid for the Illinois Legislature, but was successful in future elections. He studied law and obtained his law license in 1836. He fought in the Blackhawk War and rose to the rank of Captain, and learned the trade of a land surveyor.
Lincoln explained that one of the major tragedies in his life was the death of his sweetheart, Ann Rutledge.
One of the tragedies of his life, as a young man, was the death of his sweetheart, Ann Rutledge, who he was engaged to be married. Ann died in the summer of 1835 from "Brain Fever," later called Typhoid Fever. The tragedy shaped his life and served to influence other decisions in his later life.
Rob Rutledge ended his program with the speech that Lincoln gave, upon being elected the 16th President of the United States, during one of the most difficult times in America's history.
Rob Rutledge told the Genealogical Society, that his fifth-great-grandfather, was the brother of Ann Rutledge's father, making him have a family connection to the sweetheart of Abraham Lincoln.
In other action at the Hopkins County Genealogical Society, it was announced that the annual History Based Cemetery Walk will be hosted at the Sulphur Springs City Cemetery, on Sunday, November 4th, 2012.
Genealogical Society President, Ronny Glossup, made several announcements, including the annual
Cemetery Walk to be hosted November 4th.