In every century are born men whose lives bring messages of help and hope to those who come after. Such an one was Abraham Lincoln. The year of his birth, 1809, was a lion-year. Charles Darwin was born the same day; Mendelssohn, Edgar Allen Poe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Alfred Tennyson, and William Ewart Gladstone in the same year. Few boys of today start life so handicapped by hardships or with fewer opportunities. Lincoln knew little about his ancestors. In later life he said that he was more concerned to know what his grandfather's grandson would be than who his grandfather had been.
One of his grandfathers was named Abraham Lincoln, and went as a pioneer to Kentucky—then the "Dark and Bloody Ground" claimed and guarded by fierce Indian tribes. There, near where the city of Louisville now stands, he cleared a field in the forest, not far from a stockade erected by other settlers, and built a cabin. A schoolmaster of that time remem-