Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin on the frontier in rural Kentucky in 1809, to parents of low social standing and little education. Life for the family was lonely and hard. There was little time for play for Abraham. Most of the day was spent hunting, farming, fishing, and doing chores. When Abraham was seven, the family moved to Spencer County, Indiana. At the age of eight, little Abraham already was chopping wood for the home. When he was only 9 years old, his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died. The next year his father, remarried to Sarah Bush Johnston, who had a tremendous influence on young Abraham Lincoln. When his father could spare him from chores, Lincoln received little formal education at so-called ABC schools. Lincoln had less than one full year of education in his entire life. Abraham's stepmother encouraged his quest for knowledge. (Whitney, 135). At an early age he could read, write, and do simple arithmetic. When Lincoln was twenty-one, the family walked 200 miles behind an ox team to migrate to Illinois. Young Lincoln split fence rails and worked aboard a flatboat to earn a living. Later, he was to serve as clerk and postmaster at New Salem, Illinois. (Miller 1851, 444). Lincoln began to court Mary Owens. But after a failed courtship with her, Lincoln moved to Springfield for legal, political, and perhaps social reasons. It wasn't until the end of 1839, well into his thirtieth year, that Lincoln met his future wife at a Springfield dance. Mary Todd, was twenty-one years old from a distinguished Kentucky family, had recently arrived in Springfield to stay with her sister. After a long courtship, they were married on November 4, 1842. For the first eighteen months, the newlyweds live in a modest Springfield boardinghouse. Finally, in early 1844 they purchased a frame house in the city that would serve as their home for the next sixteen years. The Lincolns had four sons.