AMOS S. KING
- Grant Recipient
- 113 County Rd 56, Port Byron, NY 13140, USA
- 43.035083, -76.623528
Village of Port Byron Historian
After winning the 1860 presidential election, Abraham Lincoln was faced with the daunting task of leading the United States during a period of heightened tension and instability within country. Upon leaving Springfield, Illinois with his family to move to the White House, Lincoln gave the following remarks on February 11 1861:
My friends – No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe every thing. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being, who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail. Trusting in Him, who can go with me, and remain with you and be every where for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
Upon reading the words of Lincoln’s farewell address, Port Byron native and local farmer Amos S. King mailed a copy of the King James Bible to the newly elected President. Enclosed with his gift was letter from King to Lincoln which reads:
The donor of this humble gift having read the farewell remarks of the President elect on his departure from his home in the West, to take upon himself the high responsibility of the most important task of this great people in which speech he desired his friends to pray for him that he might have divine assistance in the execution of that trust, therefore the donor begs leave to present to his Excellency, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, this Bible as a small token of the high esteem and kind regard in which the giver holds the honored recipient. To his Excellency, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States Amos S. King, Port Byron, Cayuga County, NY March 4, 1861.
Less than one week after sending the package, Amos S. King received a letter of thanks from Lincoln’s Private Secretary, John Nicolay, who conveyed Lincoln’s sincere gratitude for King’s kind gift as follows:
Amos S. King Dear Sir Mr. Lincoln desires me to acknowledge the receipt of a bible which you had the goodness to send him, and to express to you his thanks for the present, as well as for the kind wishes with which you accompanied it. Your Obt. Servt John Nicolay, Washington, 8 March 1861
The bible given by Amos King became a treasured family heirloom and was passed down through the Lincoln family. The Amos King bible still exists and, as of 2020, was on display at the former summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln aka Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home, located in Manchester Center, Vermont.