Learning Lincoln On-line
Abraham Lincoln, "The Rail Splitter"
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. . . Abraham Lincoln, "The Rail
Cowden and Herrick Elementary Schools were
host to the Lincolns (presenters Dorothy & B.F. McClerren a.k.a.
Abraham and Mary Todd) and upon their encore visit, we had a
double joy . . . beautiful Spring-like weather in January and an
Abraham Lincoln, which could split rails for us.
Mr. Howard Taylor, greeter of the President, shakes hands and asks him to go ahead with the demonstration of skill and strength. The President demonstrated he had not lost his touch. The log would be converted into 7 rails. The future of the rails will be a triple section of actual Lincoln Split Rail Fence placed upon our Herrick School grounds . . . a fitting reminder of when the President visited our school.
Our principal, Steve Goebel and Supt., Len Defend also took the tools and helped to split a rail. They will help to lead the splitting of many more rails for our commemorative fence, later in spring, when warm weather visits us again. At right the storyteller Lincoln introduces the tools of rail splitting. The wooden object in his hand is a GLUT, which helps to separate the rails after splitting.
The Rail--Splitting Event
Proof of the "Rail Splitter" nickname would be provided soon.
The glut would be used to get the rail to finally split from the
main log. Abraham, in his youth would win all rail-splitting
contests he would enter. The 6 foot 4 inch youth was very
CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS OF THE SPRING, 2002 RAIL FENCE "BUILDING EVENT" AT HERRICK BY B.F. McCLERREN, THE HERRICK STUDENTS AND PRINCIPAL
Some Facts About Abraham Lincoln "the
. . . According to recollections of old law partner Billy Herndon, "Mr. George Close, the partner of Lincoln in the rail-splitting business, says that Lincoln was, at this time, a farm laborer, working from day to day, for different people, chopping wood, mauling rails, or doing whatever was to be done. The country was poor, and hard work was the common lot; the heaviest share falling to the young unmarried men, with whom it was a continual struggle to earn a livelihood. Lincoln and Mr. Close made about one thousand rails together, for James Hawks and William Miller, receiving their pay in homespun clothing. Lincoln's bargain with Miller's wife, was, that he should have one yard of brown jeans, (richly dyed with walnut bark) for every four hundred rails made, until he should have enough for a pair of trousers. As Lincoln was already of great altitude, the number of rails that went to the acquirement of his pantaloons was necessarily immense."
This was a fun and educational activity for the kids and teachers at my school.