Simple chores had important cultural significance for men in Lincoln's day. A neighbor reports that Lincoln "kept his own horse—-fed and curried it,—-fed and milked his own cow." It was customary for men of all stripes to care for horses, but for those from Southern backgrounds (which in pre-Civil War Illinois was the majority—-including Lincoln) milking was strictly women's work. In following the New England custom of men milking, Lincoln reflected a willingness to adopt "Yankee" attitudes that some of his Southern neighbors found degrading. No one could fault him on cultural grounds, however, over horses. His bodyguard claimed Lincoln was "passionately fond of fine Horses." His opponents ridiculed his appearance in the saddle as being awkward. But Lincoln was apparently a skilled rider. He matched the horsemanship of dashing Gen. George B. McClellan at troop reviews during the Civil War—-much to the General's dismay. And years after Lincoln was dead, no less an expert on horsemanship than Gen. Ulysses S. Grant proclaimed that Lincoln was indeed "a fine horseman." having easily handled Grant's own mount, Cincinnati.
Lincoln "loved his horse well."
So said Lincoln's next-door neighbor, James Gourley. Lincoln owned several horses over the years—-Tom, Belle, Old Buck, and finally Robin, whom Lincoln nicknamed "Old Bob" to distinguish him from his son Robert, "Young Bob." Old Buck and Old Bob, in particular, spent long hours trodding across many miles of Illinois prairie during the years when their owner was a circuit riding lawyer. A fellow lawyer once described Lincoln riding to court "behind his own horse, which was an indifferent, raw boned specimen." This was probably Old Buck, as others described Old Bob as a "pretty horse" of "bright reddish brown." When Lincoln visited Springfield in 1836, his horse strayed or was stolen. It is not known if he got it back. He was still a resident of New Salem at the time.
Strayed or Stolen
From a stable in Springfield, on Wednesday, 18th last, a large bay horse, star on his forehead, plainly marked with harness, supposed to be eight years old; had been shed all round but is believed to have lastsome of his shoes, and trots and paces. Any person who will take up said horse, and leave information at the Journal office, or with the subscriber at New-salem, shall be liberally paid for their trouble.
|Series||This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 9:52pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16S E 273509 N 4408731|
|Decimal Degrees||39.79841667, -89.64543333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 47.905', W 89° 38.726'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 47' 54.30" N, 89° 38' 43.56" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 801 E Capitol Ave, Springfield IL 62701, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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