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Abraham Lincoln and his Ancestors

Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address play an important role in the children’s audio book all Walking Boston tour participants receive called One April in Boston The Gift of the Spyglass. Did you know Lincoln’s ancestors were from Massachusetts and one relative was even a member of the Boston Tea Party? Here is a quick look at the Lincoln family genealogy. Samuel Lincoln settled in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1637. Hingham is a town 16 miles south of Boston. Samuel had four sons – Samuel, Daniel, Mordecai, and Thomas. Great grandchildren of the second Samuel Lincoln (1650-1720/21) include Levi Lincoln (Attorney General for Thomas Jefferson); Amos Lincoln (a participant in the Boston Tea Party and Revolutionary War soldier who married Paul Revere’s daughter Deborah and later her sister Elizabeth); and Jedediah Lincoln (who married my relative Betsey Edwards and later Paul Revere’s daughter Mary). Both Amos Lincoln and his brother Jedediah are buried at Boston’s Copp’s Hill Burying Ground in Tomb #7 which is unmarked. My ancestors are right near it in Edwards Tomb #5.

President Abraham Lincoln descends from the first Samuel Lincoln’s son Mordecai (1686-1736). Mordecai was born in Hingham but he eventually moved to Pennsylvania. His grandson Abraham Lincoln (1744-1786) was killed by Indians in Kentucky. This Abraham’s son Thomas (1778-1851) was President Lincoln’s father. President Lincoln was born in a small log cabin in Hardin County Kentucky on February 12, 1809.

Was the future 16th President ever in Massachusetts? Yes. In 1848 Abraham Lincoln, then a thirty-nine-year-old congressman from Illinois, visited Massachusetts to campaign for Zachary Taylor, the Whig candidate for President of the United States. During that trip Lincoln met William H. Seward for the first time in Boston and both men spoke there at Tremont Temple on September 22. In 1860 Seward would become Lincoln’s main rival for the Republican nomination for President and later his Secretary of State. View a map of Lincoln’s visit in 1848.

Revolutionary War Artillery Company Report from Amos Lincoln, Relative of Paul Revere and President Abraham Lincoln, and Member of the Boston Tea Party

From John Hancock’s Personal Retained Files (The Hancock-Chase Collection)

January 1, 1781, Autograph Document Signed, “Amos Lincoln, Capt.” to John Hancock, one page, 8″ x 9.5″. A report from Captain Amos Lincoln to John Hancock, who was then Commander in Chief of the Massachusetts Militia, detailing the location and number of men of each rank in a matross (artillery) company commanded by Lincoln. At that time, the company had only 27 officers and men and needed 77 more men to complete its ranks. Lincoln and his 2nd Lieutenant were in Boston, while the rest of the company was in Hull (commanded by the other 2nd Lieutenant) and Dartmouth (commanded by the 1st Lieutenant).

Note: Amos Lincoln was a Private in Colonel John Stark’s Regiment at Bunker Hill and later served in Colonel Thomas Crafts Jr.’s Artillery Regiment. He had been an apprentice to Thomas Crafts Sr. who helped 20-year-old Amos Lincoln obtain his Mohawk Indian disguise prior to the Boston Tea Party. This story was told by Amos Lincoln’s grandson Frederic W. Lincoln Jr., the 16th and 18th mayor of Boston, who was the first person to speak out publicly about his ancestor’s participation in the Destruction of the Tea in Boston Harbor.

Provenance: The Hancock-Chase Collection, formerly housed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History before it was consigned to Butterfields for auction. Today this wonderful piece of American Military History is part of the Edwards Family Collection.


Embedded: The Trailer for ‘Lincoln’ (2012)

Embedded: Lincoln: An American Journey

Website: The Official Website for ‘Lincoln’