Our meeting on January 19, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. will feature Joshua Claybourn on “Abe’s Youth.” Abraham Lincoln spent a quarter of his life—from 1816 to 1830, ages 7 to 21—learning and growing in southwestern Indiana. Despite the importance of these formative years, Lincoln rarely discussed this period, and with his sudden, untimely death in 1865, mysterious gaps appear in recorded history. In a new book titled Abraham Lincoln’s Wilderness Years, Claybourn collects and annotates the most significant scholarship from J. Edward Murr, one of the few writers to cover this lost period of Lincoln’s life. A Hoosier minister who grew up with the 16th president’s cousins, Murr interviewed locals who knew Lincoln and his environment. Of all Lincoln’s biographers, few knew his boyhood associates and Indiana environment as well as Murr, whose complete Lincoln research and scholarship have never been published—until now.
Joshua Claybourn is an attorney and author or editor of several books, including Abe’s Youth and Our American Story. He serves on the board of directors of both the Abraham Lincoln Association and Abraham Lincoln Institute and is host of the Lincoln Log podcast. Claybourn frequently serves as a featured speaker on Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War. He lives in Evansville, Indiana.