President Lincoln’s Birthplace Cabin in Hodgenville, Kentucky

Abraham Lincoln Image:

Abraham Lincoln


As head of Koch Asset Management in St. Louis, Missouri, Donald L. Koch has extensive experience in financial services investments and community banking. Through the Koch Charitable Foundation, he regularly sponsors presentations on topics pertaining to America’s founding documents and executive leadership. Donald L. Koch’s foundation recently sponsored a talk by Clark Beim-Esche on his book Calling on Presidents: Tales Their Houses Tell.

Undertaken by Mr. Beim-Esche and his wife, the project involved extensive travels around the country to the childhood homes of presidents, from Ulysses S. Grant’s two-story brick residence in Georgetown, Ohio, to Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace cabin in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Set within the neoclassical Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, the cabin is diminutive and humble and speaks of pioneer roots. The Lincoln family moved to Sinking Spring Farm from Elizabethtown only a few months before the birth of Abraham, with $200 paid for nearly 350 acres of “stony ground” near Nolin Creek. The name of the property came from a deep cave on the property, from which fresh water emerged.

The cabin did not play a major role in the future president’s life, as his family moved when he was 2, and he could not remember it as an adult. Dating from the 19th century, the current cabin on display is not the original, but a reconstruction of a dwelling that had fallen into decay even before Lincoln was elected president.


The Constitutional Convention and Bolstered Federal Powers

Constitutional Convention pic

Constitutional Convention

Donald L. Koch is a respected St. Louis financial services professional who heads Koch Asset Management and guides the Koch Charitable Foundation. Through this nonprofit organization, Donald L. Koch sponsors a range of educational events designed to provide students with a strong foundation in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

One of the pivotal unifying events prior to the American War of Independence was the Constitutional Convention, which was held in Philadelphia for several months in 1787. The gathering of legislative leaders focused on bolstering the powers of the federal government, which were left vague and weak under the existing Articles of Confederation.

Hammered out with often contentious deliberation, the Constitution emerged as a document that provided expanded powers for the federal government in managing foreign affairs. With the legislative branch retaining treaty ratification and other powers, significant power was vested in the executive branch. This was a far cry from the weak powers of the presidency envisioned by the original framers of the Constitution.