Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln



Sarah Bush was born on December 13, 1788, in Hardin County, Kentucky. At the age of two, she moved with her parents, Christopher and Hanna Bush, and her eight siblings to Elizabethtown, where she grew up. On March 13, 1806, at the age of eighteen, Sarah married Daniel Johnston. Daniel died of cholera in 1816, leaving Sarah with no money and three children.


Thomas Lincoln, father of Abraham Lincoln, and a prior acquaintance of Sarah Bush Johnston, returned to Elizabethtown in 1819. Thomas had recently become a widower because of the death of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Abraham Lincolnís mother. Upon learning that Sarah Bush Johnston was widowed with three children, Thomas called on Sarah, courted her, and asked her to become his wife.


On December 2, 1819, Thomas Lincoln and Sarah Bush Johnston were married in Elizabethtown in an old log house which stood at the present address of 117 North Main Street. A copy of their marriage bond may be found at the Hardin County public library. Thomas, Sarah, and her three children left Kentucky and traveled to Indiana, where Thomas had settled. Upon their arrival, Abraham and Sarah, Thomasís children, met their stepmother for the first time. Abraham was only ten years old. Sarah was twelve.


The Lincoln family remained in Indiana until 1830, when they moved to Illinois. Sarah and Abraham always spoke kindly of each other. Abraham described her as ďa good and kind motherĒ and addressed her as Mother in his letters.


Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, Abraham Lincolnís stepmother

Courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Museum of Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN