These quotes are among the many positive comments made by those attending the
Lincoln Origins Forum hosted by the Bostic Lincoln Center, Inc., which was held
on April 14, 2007, the 228th birthday of Rutherford County.
people attended the forum held at Cool Springs School Administrative Offices.
The program and facilities were excellent, even in light of the absence of one
of the speakers. BLC wishes to thank Rob Neufeld who was unable to appear
due to a family emergency, but who had written
Lincoln's possible Carolina origins and our Forum for
The Asheville Citizen-Times. Many attended after learning of the Forum from the
Attendees came from as far away as Highlands and Pinehurst. Ernest
Lincoln, the last living direct descendant of Thomas Lincoln, came from
Virginia. Forum Speaker Dr. Aaron Hyatt traveled from Sarasota, Florida.
Dr. Hyatt said, “I have not found proof that Lincoln was born here, and I
know of no method of proof that he was, except through DNA. I have long
been interested in the story that Abe was born here at the old home place of
Dr. Hyatt located the direct descendants of three of the potential fathers
who are willing to contribute DNA for testing. Besides Ernest
Lincoln, who attended in person, there was Frank Enloe, a direct descendant of
Abraham Enloe. Frank Enloe recently died, but left DNA to be tested.
Andrew Calhoun of Savannah, Georgia, is a descendant of John C. Calhoun.
Andrew Calhoun could not attend the Forum due to health issues, but intends to
visit Rutherford County at a later date.
“Hopefully, one of these will be successful,” said Dr. Hyatt. “But, if not,
it will be the responsibility of others to resolve the question through a
continuing search. I believe the question regarding Lincoln’s paternal
lineage will continue until the truth is known.”
Also introduced as a potential father was Richard Martin. Martin family
tradition says that Richard courted Nancy and went to dances with her. The
Martins have a similar physical appearance to Abraham Lincoln. Lydia
Clontz, Vice-President of BLC, introduced this possibility by videotaping
individuals who hold this belief in Rutherford County.
Jerry Goodnight, Forum speaker and co-author of
The Tarheel Lincoln (Tarheel Press, 2003) contributed immensely to the
panel discussion. Goodnight is working on a second book which discusses
some of the regional legends about Lincoln’s parentage, and the communities
where he was purportedly born.
Congressman Heath Shuler (D-NC) spoke
briefly at the Forum saying “I encourage you to continue working to come to a
resolution; I certainly hope that my colleague, Mr. McHenry, and I will be able
to work in a non-partisan way to see if there’s a way that we can help,
Congressionally.” Before leaving for a full day of events, Rep. Shuler and Nancy
Ferguson, Rutherford County Historian, lead the group in singing “Happy
Birthday” for the 228th birthday of Rutherford County.
Other distinguished attendees were Rep. Bobby England (D-Rutherford); NC
State Sen. Harris Blake (R-Harnett, Moore); Chivous Bradley, Rutherford County
Board of Commissioners Chairman; Jimmy Gibson, Mayor of Forest City; and Tom
Melton, Rutherford County Official Lincoln Story Keeper.
Everyone attending were treated with a box lunch before the afternoon
tour to “Lincoln Hill,” near Bostic. The weather cooperated and
approximately 50 people enjoyed the tour with a stop at Washburn Store.
Toney Tours of Bostic provided the transportation on one of their deluxe buses.
The Bostic Lincoln Center Board wishes to express appreciation to all the
volunteers, speakers and participants who made the Lincoln Origins Forum a
A video of the forum will be made available by request at a future date.
For further information, contact BLC by email at