Saturday, April 18, 2009

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."
~Abraham Lincoln

Something tells me that President Lincoln's mum, Nancy, would have approved of a Gettysburg Address sampler.

In the early 1800s, Nancy Hanks was working as a seamstress when she met Thomas Lincoln, a carpenter. Historians describe Nancy as a top-notch needlewoman who crafted all manner of clothing, from wedding clothes to funeral attire and everything in between. Nancy and Thomas were married in 1806, and three years later Abraham was born.

Nancy strived to give her children the opportunities she and her husband never had. Intelligent and hard-working, she was loved by family and friends. Sadly, she died young of milk sickness. Nancy Hanks was only 34 years old.

I had planned to save today's quote for Mother's Day, but I thought -- why wait for a Hallmark holiday to show appreciation for our mothers? I love Lincoln's quote because he expresses my feelings for my own mother -- she is my hero. My mom is a seamstress who taught me how to stitch and sew -- but more importantly, she taught me how to learn and take risks. Thank you, mom!

Now, here's a wild bit of trivia . . . Tom Hanks, the actor, is a distant cousin of Nancy Hanks, the mother of the 16th President of the United States. He is related to Abraham Lincoln. Imagine that -- Sleepless in Seattle Tom Hanks, You've Got Mail Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan Tom Hanks!

I always liked Tom Hanks and I wonder if he'd consider playing Abraham Lincoln in a film. Can't you imagine him wearing a stovepipe hat?


  1. First time visitor to your blog - very interesting! It's rare to find stitchers from NYC it seems. I too love Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address which I memorized many years ago and can still recall. I have the chart by Erica Michaels and will be checking in on your progress for your original sampler.

  2. I live in Indiana, not far from Abe Lincoln's boyhood home in Dale, Indiana. When I was growing up we went every weekend to Lincoln City and camped. There were many pleasant hours spent romping through the woods to Abe's boyhood cabin and visiting his mother's grave. Thank you for highlighting his devotion to his mother, few know of all she was to him. Because of her, he was the man he was.

  3. Jeanne, what a great idea -- I'm going to follow your example and memorize the Gettysburg Address. I'm glad you mentioned Erica Michaels' wonderful chart, which features the Gettysburg Address in its entirety. I've seen at least two other samplers/quilts/textiles that focus on the complete text of Lincoln's speech, which has been a source of inspiration for many artists. Thanks!

  4. Vonna, I've never been to the great state of Indiana -- I want to immediately visit the sites you described so beautifully. Thank you for reporting about President Lincoln's boyhood home -- it's one of our great national treasures.

  5. I ve been passing from your blog for the very first time.I like your latest pillow for your mother, and I liked your history lesson very much indeed.

  6. NIKY, welcome and thanks for stopping by. Abraham Lincoln's life is fascinating and it's a joy to stitch his words. The little pillow is called "Mum's The Word."