When young Abraham was 9 years old his mother died of tremetol (milk sickness) at age 34 and the event was devastating on him. The 9 year old Abraham grew more alienated from his father and quietly resented the hard work placed on him at an early age. A few months after Nancys death, Thomas married Sarah Bush Johnston, a Kentucky widow with three children of her own. She was a strong and affectionate woman with whom Abraham quickly bonded. Though both his parents were most likely illiterate, Sarah encouraged Abraham to read. It was while growing into manhood that he received his formal educationan estimated total of 18 monthsa few days or weeks at a time. Reading material was in short supply in the Indiana wilderness. Neighbors recalled how Abraham would walk for miles to borrow a book. He undoubtedly read the family Bible and probably other popular books at that time such as Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrims Progress and Aesops Fables.