Lincoln in Jefferson County

Date in History: 1832

Did Abraham Lincoln really sleep here in Jefferson County? He sure did.

In the spring of 1832 Abraham Lincoln was a 23-year-old clerk working in a small store in New Salem, Illinois. When the Black Hawk War broke out, Lincoln joined the Illinois militia to help General Henry Atkinson chase the renegade Sauk warrior back west across the Mississippi River.

As the war moved north into what’s now Wisconsin, so too did Lincoln, reaching the Fort Atkinson area by early July. On July 10th, Atkinson stopped right here and issued three orders. Some of his men were sent to Fort Winnebago to get supplies, others were ordered to build a Fort along the Rock River, and finally, unable to keep feeding so many men in the field, he dismissed about one-third of his men – including the young Abraham Lincoln.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 02/16/2004.

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