A word about Hannah Armstrong, the mother who appears in The Lincoln Moon. The more I wrote about her, the more I fell in love with her and the loving heart which motivates her throughout the story. My character was fictional, but here’s some back story on the real Hannah.

Hannah’s family lived in New Salem, where she worked as a milliner at the general store where Lincoln clerked as a 19-year old. Hannah took an interest in the all gangly clerk. His sister, whom he had been close with, had died in childbirth, and Hannah appears to be the first female he had bonded with since her death.

Hannah mended Abe’s tattered clothes and saw that he got decent shoes to replace his moccasins, When the general store closed, Abe was homeless. So Hannah and Jack Armstrong, newly married and starting a family, >\invited him to live with them. He repaid them by helping with the children, doing chores, and at nights he studied law by their fireside. In time, he came to call her “Aunt Hannah.”

Lincoln was intensely loyal, and years later when Duff was charged with murder, he responded to Jack’s plea and represented the young man in court. To do this, he put his planned Senate run “on hold.” (My editor had trouble believing this, but I assure you it’s true!) Months after the verdict, Lincoln began his Senate campaign he participated in his now-famous debates with Stephen Douglas. He lost that election, but persevered, as we know!