Wednesday marks the 205th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Several activities are planned at the Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville. As a part of the commemoration, Lincoln historian Carl Howell will donate an artifact to the park – the grave marker for Abraham Lincoln’s only brother – Thomas Jr. – who died in infancy.
“I think it needs to be displayed in Larue County at the National Park where people can see it on a daily basis because of its extreme importance and significance to the Lincoln heritage,” said Howell.
Howell, a Hodgenville attorney, says he purchased the limestone grave marker in the 1970s from the owner of the small Redmon family cemetery as he was preparing to sell the property.
“This ‘T.L.’ grave marker, in my opinion, is the most significant surviving object that links the first years of Abraham Lincoln’s life to the commonwealth of Kentucky and his early boyhood days at Knob Creek farm,” said Howell. “The stone is the only tangible evidence that confirms Abraham Lincoln’s autobiographical statement as relates to the birth and death of his only brother.”
It’s believed Thomas Lincoln Jr. died in either 1811 or 1812.
A wreath laying ceremony is set for 2 p.m. EST Wednesday at the Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park. There will also be a screening of “Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit” at the visitors’ center. The 25-minute Ken Burns documentary tells the story of the formation of Yosemite National Park, including President Lincoln’s signing of the Yosemite Grant in 1864.