"I found it an inspiring thing to trace the roads these seven successive generations of Lincoln pioneers traveled, to look upon the remains of their homes, reconstruct from documents and legends their activities, judge what manner of men and women they were, the place they held among their fellows. In these wanderings the whole history of the United States seemed to unroll before me. In this Lincoln migration we have the family history of millions of our contemporaries."—Ida M. Tarbell, in her preface.
Young Samuel Lincoln, who had been apprenticed as a weaver in England, arrived in the Puritan colony of Boston Bay in 1637. Ida M. Tarbell traces the generations from Samuel to Abraham Lincoln, offering rich details of character and circumstance and showing that the president’s ancestors were not precisely as his detractors painted them. She takes Abraham Lincoln from the cabin of his birth to the White House, where he is introduced to a nation in crisis.