|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
President-elect Abraham Lincoln departed his home in Springfield, Illinois on February 11, 1861 to travel by train to Washington, D. C. for his inauguration as President of the United States. His first stop was at State Line, Indiana to give a speech.
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865)
Abraham Lincoln, a self-educated lawyer and native of Hodgenville, Kentucky, Abraham had Indiana roots also. Abraham's father, Thomas moved the Lincoln family from slave-holding Kentucky to the free territory of Indiana in 1816. Land title disputes forced the family to move several times in Kentucky and Thomas Lincoln decided to move to Indiana, which had better land title laws. They settled in the unbroken forestland in Perry County. Abraham Lincoln lived in Indiana until 1830, when the family moved to Illinois, because of a fear of "milk sickness," fear. This was a malady that had killed Thomas' first wife and Abraham's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Two years later, Abraham would begin the political career that culminated in his election as President of the United States in 1860.
Cattle eating a plant known as white snakeroot impart a toxin to the milk that can cause trembling, vomiting, and severe intestinal pain. The poison can eventually kill afflicted individuals. The plant is common in and around woodlands. Since settlers frequently allowed the cattle to roam free, the cattle could ingest the abundant plant. Anyone that drank the milk or any product made from it could be poisoned. The disease killed many of the early settlers.
State Line, Indiana
Two rail lines, the Great Western Railroad and the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway crossed paths on the Indiana and Illinois State lines. Robert Casement platted State Line at this intersection on June 29, 1857. By the time of Lincoln's visit, the town had grown to almost 500 people. The town became known as an unsavory spot due to the riotous escapades of drinking railroad men.
For more information about the Lincoln years in Indiana, see the authors book, A Visit to the Land of Lincoln, Indiana.
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning