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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Friend, Charles. 'Charles Friend to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon674.html


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564. Charles Friend to William H. Herndon.

Sonora Ky 20 Aug 1889

Dear Sir:

Your of 10 Inst received 10 Oclk this morning. Where could have been? There never wer but One family of Hanks in this County that I ever hear of. And they wer all women. I never heard any thing against the women except Nancy. Judge J. F. Cessna Cousin of my father told me that Uncle Isaac Friend was once in love with her and at a party at night after a log rolling in the day he (Isaac) was laying with his head in her lap and swore that he feld the Child kick in her belly when talking to the boys about this matter Later he learned that his brother Charles Friend had done the work for her, Dennis Friend Hanks was the boy that did the kicking, which kicked Uncle Isaac out of marrying her, I hav written Uncle Dennis several time and asked him what relations he bore to President Lincoln and he will never answer it. The first letter he ever wrote me he sayed "My mother was a Hanks she sayes your Grand father was my father this don't doubt," Evry old person that I ever talked to on the subject agree by saying that Nancy Hanks Denis' Mother was A Lincoln's mother.

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Married
Nancy Hanks Thomas Lincoln
Betsey " Thomas Sparrow
Pollie " Jessey Friend
" Livi Hall [1]

These women wer all Sisters Uncle Jessey Friend moved from here to Paris Ill and died there one of his daughters married a Mr Hatfield and returned to K

Thomas Sparrow raised Uncle Dennis

A Lincoln calling Dennis Cousin can be accounted for easy enough, In this County all bastard Children are taught to call their mothers Aunt, and of course he would naturally call Lincoln Cousin, I have asked Denis if his mother was not a Sister to Betsey Sparrow if they wer there would have, to be 2 Nancy's sister in one family which I cannot believe, Know I am right I heard my brother-in-law A. H. Redman of Glendale Ky. ask Old Uncle Abe Enlows if he was A. Lincolns father, there was present New Dr. Holt Mr W. H. Holt and myself. The old man drew himself up to full height over 6 feet and stroked his long white beard and sayed it was an honor to be thought to be father of President, but sayed he I never touch more than her hand in my life never had carnal knowledge of her or intercourse with her in my life. She was older than I, I was only 15 years old when Lincoln was born, Redman spoke up and said you mean to say you could not have been. No sir dont be too fast I could have been his father as well then I as at any time since up to the present time", I believe that he was the son of Thomas Lincoln, and this whole matter grew out of the name being the same as mine, But he was named after his grand father Abraham Lincoln who was killed by the Indians not far from where now stands Shepherdsville at the old Salt mills on Salt River. Though if he was an ilgitimate child he was one of 3 mens son George Brownfield Wm Cessna or Charles Friend. Certin Circumstances would point to Charles Friend that boys grand father (pointing at your correspond) was the father of her first child Dennis F Hanks, but the Friend are of a low heavy set people and so are the Cessna's both being of the same Pennsylvania stock. His shape features & likeness point to the Brownfields."

I will say here I saw the remains of President Lincoln "in state" at Indianapolis and if any one had have taken me to the coffin and sayed there lies Your friend Geo. Brownfield Jr. I would have sworn before any Jury that it was he. If I had not known better, The resemblance was that close. Judge Jonathan Friend Cessna told that his father Wm Cessna told him that one if not both of Thomas Lincolns testicles we not larger than a pea. He Wm Cessna also sayed that Chas Friend was father of Denis a half if not whole brother of A Lincoln but did not believe it possible that Thomas could have been his father.

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During the war Larue County sent Dr J. H. Rodman to Washington to see the President to have the number of men corrected that was called for from the County under the draft. He sent up his Card and Mr. Lincoln sent word to Dr Rodman that he would see him. Rodman sayed that there was men there waiting to see the Pres' that had been there for weeks but could not get a glance, In Course of the coversation, Dr Rodman told him that the County had sent him a nice cane from near where he was born and that he would send it up as soon as the Silversmith put a gold head on it. Lincoln sayed how will I know who gave it to me, Dr Says the names of the Donars will be imposed on it to the President A. Lincoln, "Abe sayed what a fool, I am like the Irishman that went to the Post Office when the Post master asked his name sayed faith and my name on the letter" of Course my name will be on the cane, President asked Dr. Rodman about the Cessnas Brownfields Friends Ashcrafts Kirkpatricks & at last sayed where is my old friend and playmate Austin Golliher, Sayd Abe I would rather see Golliher than any man living, he played me a dirty trick once and I want to pay him up, One Sunday Golliher and another boy and myself wer out in the woods on knob Creek playing and hunting around for young squirels when I climed up a tree and left Austin and the other boy on the grown [shortly?] Golliher shut his eyes like he was asleep I noticed his hat sat straight with the reverse side up I thought I would shit in his hat Gollier was watching and when I let the load drop he swaped hats and my hat caught the whole Charge. At this recital the President laughed heartily." Dr J H Rodman sayed he seemed to know more about the general topography of the County than any person he ever say discribed ery house and farm hill Creek and family that lived here when he was a boy. He (Lincoln) asked about an old Stone house that stands on Nolynn Creek about 1 ½ miles east of Hodgensville near a fine spring where the young people used to hold there dances. Rev John Duncan a Baptist preacher told me that he and Abe used to go hunting both night and day and at one time they worked all one day trying to dig som kind of a "varment" out of the ground. [2] I guess the man you allude to is Abes old friend Austin Golliher of Larue County he lives about 20 miles from here. He is the only person now living that knows anything abot Lincoln or the Hanks. I could go and see him some day if it was not for the expense of going. I would visit him and get all he knows. He is very old and what is done must be done quickly as his days are few.

Yours Truly
Chas Friend

Could you send me any of A. Lincolns writing or his signature. CF [3]

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3575, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3576r, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3577, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3576v, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3578

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Friend, Charles. 'Charles Friend to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon674.html
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