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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Haycraft, Presley Nevil. 'Presley Nevil Haycraft to John B. Helm' 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=herndon086.html


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66. Presley Nevil Haycraft to John B. Helm.

[Enclosure B]

July 19th 1865 —

Judge Helm,

After my respects to yourself and family I will acknowledge the receipt of your letter to ___________ requesting my sister and myself to answer certain questions relating to Abraham Lincoln and his father & wives &c to which I hasten to answer according to my recollection Question 1st. What was the name of Abraham Lincoln's father? Ans: That is hard for me to answer, but his reputed father was called Thomas Linkhorn, but I presume it is properly spelled Lincoln, 2nd The name of his mother, Ans: Nancy Hanks. 3d. Were they ever married? Ans: They were; I was a boy and remember very well of hearing of their marriage. and hearing it said at the time "that there could be found a match for any one" She was a woman that did not bear a very virtuous name, and it was hard to tell who was the father of Abe. I Knew her brother Jo Hanks, who had a red head and associated with the lowest class, Old Tom Linkhorn and his wife lived, or rather breathed awhile near Hodges Mill on Nolin Creek then Hardin County Now Larue He then moved to Elizabethtown and settled in an old Cabin on a mill race. Abe was then a babe. I was twelve years of age when Abe was born and knew his reputed father. He was a perfect greenhorn but stout and able but of no respectability When Abe was about seven years of age Tom Linkhorn moved to

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Indiana from that time until I was a young man, writing in the clerks office occassionally I heard nothing of the old man until he Came to the clerks office to procure license to Mary Sarah Johnson, stating that his wife was dead and that he had Courted Sarah Johnson before his first marriage but she had preferred Johnson, but that now he was dead and they were at liberty to marry — He secured liscence and was lawfully married, Her name was Bush before her first marriage, She came of a family that did not stand above mediocrity, but so far as her personal character was concerned nothing could be said against her individually. She had several children by Johnson. He had been a jailor for several years and was such when he died, He took her to Indiana where his first wife died and as for Linkhorn living with a Miss Bush there was nothing of it, As for why any of their children retained the name of Bush I know not, but it likely that some of them might have had their grand father's Bush's name as a double name and he might have been called by that As for his reputed son I know nothing since he was a little shirt tail boy — I wrote to ___________ [1] about the time this was was commencing if it was possible that Abraham Lincoln the President of the United States, was old Linkhorn's Son he answered that it was even so, or his reputed son as he had written to Abe Lincoln about the matter and he answered him stating the whole fact relating to his birth It is very doubtful whether he was Linkhorns son or not. A Bush might have been his father for aught I know But for that this deponent saith not There must be a mistake about any of their children being called Bush, as he was lawfully married to both women, and his last wife had no illigitimate children while I Knew them, I dont Know whether Tom's last wife is still living or not — but while I Knew her she was considered honest and industrious and I now Know individuals who were acquainted with the family in Indiana who say they passed for honest people there but very poor [2]

Here our correspondent stops short — And says he knows some things he does not wish to tell not even under the seal of Confidence. It amounts to this old Tom Linkhorn was not an honest man and never should have been called such by any boddy having regard for truth. His wife and wifes [money?] and family saved him from public prosecution

Here again it is Stated that Abe Enlow always claimed Abe Lincoln as his son from the birth of Abe Lincoln to the death of Abe Enlow

Here again is a discription of Nancy Hanks — not very perfect — she had several red haired relations — was of good size comely and was old Abe Enlows first and only love Married Tom Linkhorn when she was encient with Abe Lincoln the man of destiny yet unborn.

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2268 — 70; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:10 — 17 (Helm letter); Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 4498 — 4501; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:22 — 26 (enclosure A); Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 4502 — 3; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:18 — 21 (enclosure B)

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Haycraft, Presley Nevil. 'Presley Nevil Haycraft to John B. Helm' 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=herndon086.html
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