The marriage of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks took place on the Beechland property of Nancy's uncle, Richard Berry Sr., in Washington County, about twenty-five miles southwest of here, on June 12, 1806. The ceremony was presided over by the Reverend Jesse Head, a Methodist minister.
This story was lost to the annals of history until 1878, when the Washington County clerk discovered the marriage bond of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. However, it was not until the spring of 1911 that attention was given to the marriage cabin. Harrodsburg resident N.L. Curry visited the Beechland property in Washington County and stumbled across a dilapidated cabin owned by W.A. Clements. After learning of the history of this cabin, Clements granted permission for Curry to present the cabin as a gift to the Harrodsburg Historical Society, in May 1911. The logs were soon transported to Harrodsburg at a cost of seventeen dollars. In May 1913, the cabin was reerected on the historical society's Old Fort Hill property at a cost of $261.
The enshrined cabin before you is thought to be the cabin in which the Lincolns were married.
The Reverend Jesse Head was born circa 1768, in Frederick County, Maryland, migrating to Kentucky in the mid-1790s. He lived in and around Springfield, Kentucky, during the late 1790s and early 1800s, where he was elected president of the city's municipal Board of Trustees. In addition to these duties, he fulfilled his ecclesiastical duties and his work as a carpenter in and around Springfield. However, the Reverend Head is primarily remembered for presiding over the marriage ceremony of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, the parents of President Abraham Lincoln. The gravesite of the Reverend Jesse Head is located here in Harrodsburg at the Spring Hill Cemetery, where he was interred following his death on March 22, 1842. Also buried in this cemetery is former Kentucky governor Beriah Magoffin (1859-62).
Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail
1809 Abraham Lincoln born at Sinking Spring farm, in present-day Larue County, Kentucky.
1816 Lincoln family moved from Kentucky.
1841 Abraham Lincoln visited his friend Joshua Speed at Farmington, the Speed family plantation, in Louisville, Kentucky.
1842 Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd of Lexington, Kentucky.
1847 The Lincoln family visited Lexington, Kentucky, en route to Abraham's only term in Congress.
1860 Abraham Lincoln elected President of the United States in November.
1865 Abraham Lincoln assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.
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A project of the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission produced by the Kentucky Heritage Council in partnership with the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet