Mother’s Day was not celebrated until May 9, 1914, but President Lincoln acknowledged his own mother in a letter to a young woman whose father died in battle in 1862. He wrote:

“All that I am or hope ever to be, I get from my mother — God bless her.”

When she died, he was nine, and he thought of it as his introduction to “the back side of this world.”

“In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it,” he wrote.


He told the woman that she would feel better again, and said he knew that because he had enough experience with death to know:

“The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer, and holier sort than you have known before…”

Source:, the website of the  Shapell Manuscript Foundation