In October, 1844 Abraham Lincoln saddled up his horse and set out from Springfield, Illinois, for a trip back to his boyhood home in Spencer County, Indiana. It had been 14 years since he had left, and his term as a state legislator was over. He was an elector for Henry Clay, who was running against Democratic nominee James K. Polk. Incumbent President John Tyler failed to receive the nomination of his party, The Whigs. Lincoln's mission was to campaign for Clay, making speeches throughout the area. After several weeks of campaigning, visiting his mother's grave and seeing old acquaintances, he delivered his campaign speech at the Rockport Courthouse on Oct. 30, 1844. He left town the next day, but later wrote a poem about returning to his boyhood home in Indiana.
[ Excerpts of the Poem by: Abraham Lincoln ]
"My childhood's home I see again,
and sadden with the view;
And still as memory crowds my brain,
There's pleasure in it to. . .
"Near twenty years have passed away,
Since here I bid farewell
To woods and fields, and scenes of play
And playmates loved so well;"
By the Way:
An observer of Lincoln's courthouse speech noted: ". . .He was so gangling, tall and awkward. He had on a brownish suit and an old fashioned cap. Of course, he hadn't gotten famous then but attracted attention."