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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Hanks, Dennis. 'Dennis Hanks (William H. Herndon Interview)' 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=herndon103.html


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-- 105 --

To the question put by me to Hanks — "How did Lincoln & yourself learn so much in Indiana under such disadvantages" he replied — "We learned by sight — scent & hearing — We heard all that was said & talked over & over the questions heard — wore them slick — greasy & threadbare — Went to political & other speeches & gathering as you do now — we would hear all sides & opinions — talk them over — discuss them agreeing or disagreeing — Abe as I said before was originally a Democrat after the order of Jackson — so was his father — so we all were — Abe turned whig in 1827 — 8. — He preached Made Speeches — read for us — Explained to us &c — sang from Watts hymns — from Dupay's [6] — . Abe was a cheerful boy — a witty boy — was humorous always — sometimes would get sad — not very often — He would Joke — tell stories — run rigs — &c on the boys — Didn't love the Company of girls — didn't love crowds as a general rule — was a retired boy — & a good listener to his Superiors — bad to his inferiors — that is he Couldn't Endure Jabber — Could good [sense?] while he was learning —

One day a Yankee came round and said to Thomas Lincoln that he could find water on his farm — would do so by a divining rod &c. for the sum of five dollars — Old Man Lincoln couldnt beleive such stuff — Thos Lincoln had dug his hill to find water with a honey Comb as it were — wanted water badly — but said to the Yankee this — "Do you suppose I am going to give you $5 — for a pig in the polk". In Gentryvill about 1 m west of Thomas L's farm Lincoln would go and tell his jokes — stories &c. and he was so odd — original and humorous & witty that all the People in town would gather around him — He would keep them there till midnight or longer telling stories — cracking jokes — & running rigs [7] — &c — . I would get tired — want to go home — cuss Abe — &c. most hearty Lincoln was a great talker — a good reader & was a kind of news boy — Hanks went to Indiana about the time of the 2 marriage in 1819 of Thos Lincoln. Abe was so attatched to reading that we had to buy him — hire him to work — bought him, I think the Columbian Orator or American Preceptor. [8] We were Excellent bow shots — a squirrel couldnt Escape unless he got in his hole and then if Abe took the notion he would pull him or it out of his hole — Abe was born on Knob Creek [9] which runs into the rolling fork — thence into & then into the Ohio River —. Abe made no mark in Ky worthy of being Known: when he left there he was only 7 ys old — The date of the Copy book which you have got or a leaf of which &c — is dated 1824 — one part & the 2d pt 1826 — This book he made in Indiana — I bought the paper — gave it to Abe — Barclay's dictionary is dated 1799 [10]
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Hanks, Dennis. 'Dennis Hanks (William H. Herndon Interview)' 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=herndon103.html
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