Abraham Lincoln

Today is Abraham Lincoln's 202nd birthday. Born in Hardin County, Ky., on Feb. 12, 1809, Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States.

He was also a man who endured an uncommon amount of loss, at least by today's standards.Abraham Lincoln

The son of a Kentucky frontiersman who himself had seen his parents murdered by Indians, Lincoln lost his mother, both siblings and three of his four sons to untimely death before he was assassinated in 1865.

Lincoln's mother died in Indiana when he was nine, poisoned by milk tainted with white snakeroot. Cows ate the plant when grazing was bad in a fairly narrow area west of the Appalachian mountains. No one understood the danger of white snakeroot at the time.

Lincoln's brother Thomas died in infancy.

His sister Sarah, married to Aaron Grigsby, died in childbirth at the age of 20. Her baby died, too. Lincoln was furious with the Grigsbys for not calling a doctor when Sarah's labor went on and on. "They let her lay too long," a neighbor said.

Three of Lincoln's four sons with his wife, Mary, also died young — Edward, William and Thomas. Only Robert lived into adulthood.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

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