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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Hanks, Dennis F. 'Dennis F. Hanks to 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=herndon035.html


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he Thomas Lincoln went to Kentucky and married Johnson whose maiden name was Bush. When Thomas Lincoln married her she had 3 children — 2 daughters — & 1 son. The family Came to Indiana with their Step-father and their own mother. There was now 5 Children in the family — Sarah — & Abe. Lincoln — Elizabeth, John D — & Matilda Johnston — . I married the Elizabeth. I was just 21 — She was 15. Thos Lincoln now hurried his farming — his Calling & business, always remember hunting. Now at this time Abe was getting hungry for book, reading Evry thing he could lay his hands on. The marriage of Thomas Lincoln & the widow Johnson was in 1821 — Abraham being now 12 years old. Websters old Spelling Book — The life Henry Clay. Robinson Crusoe — Weems Life of Washington — Esops fables — Bunyan's Pilgrim's progress —. I do not Sy that Lincoln read thse books just then but he did between this time & 1825. He was a Constant and I my Say Stubborn reader, his father having Sometimes to slash him for neglecting his work by reading. Mr Lincoln — A bs father — often Said I had to pull the old sow up to the trough — when speaking of Abes reading & how he got to it, then and now he had to pull her away" From the time of the marriage Thos Lincoln & Mrs Johnson, Mrs Lincoln proved an Excellent Step mother: When she Came into Indiana Abe & his sister was wild — ragged & dirty. Mrs Lincoln had been raised in Elizabethtown in somewhat a high life: She Soaped — rubbed and washed the Children Clean so that they look pretty neat — well & clean. She sewed and mended their Clothes & the Children onc more looked human as thir own good mother left them. Thomas Lincoln and Mrs Lincoln never had any Children, accident & nature stopping things short. From 1820 to 1825. Mr Lincoln & Mrs Lincoln Each worked a head at their own business — Thomas at farming — Cabinet making — & hunting: She at Cooking — washing — sewing — weaving &c. &c — About the year 1825 or 1826, Abe borrowed of Josiah Crawford Ramseys life of Washington [15] — which got spoiled as specified generally in The Presidents life and paid as therein described — : he pulled fodder at 25c per dy to py for it. He worked 3 or 4 dys — . Abe was then growing to be a man and about 15 or 16 ys of age. He was then just the Same boy in Evry particular that he subsequently Exhibited to the world from 1831 — to the time of his death — at this Early age he was more humerous than in after life — full of fun — wit — humor and if he Ever got a new story — new book or new fact or ideia he never forgot it. He was honest — faithful — loving truth, Speaking it at all times — & never flinching therefrom. Physically he was a stout & powerful boy — fat round — plump & well made as well as proportioned. This Continued to be so up to the time he landed in Salem. Sangamon County. In 1825 or 1826 he then Exhibited a love for Poetry and wrote a piece of humorous Rhyme on his friend Josiah Crawford that made all the neighbors, Crawford included burst their sides with laughter. I had it was lost in the fire. He was humorous funny — witty & good humored in all times. Sarah [16] married a man (Aaron Grigsby): she married
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Hanks, Dennis F. 'Dennis F. Hanks to 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=herndon035.html
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