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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Haycraft, Samuel. 'Samuel Haycraft 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=herndon067.html


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50. Samuel Haycraft to William H. Herndon.

Elizabeth Town Kentucky [June 1865]

Dear Sir

Yours of 10. Ins Came to hand in due time. but it was at the Commencement of a 3 weeks term of the Hardin Circuit Court (of which I am Clerk) press of business has therefore prevented an earlier answer. I am really anxious to see a Correct History of the life of our late President, who was truly one of natures great men

In the years 1805. 1806. 1807. & 1808. I was intimately (though a boy) intimately acquainted with Thomas Lincoln father of Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Lincoln then called Linkhorn (but it was always spelled Lincoln) was a house Carpenter by trade done the joiners work on my fathers house — & the entire joiners work on the house of Hardin Thomas 2 miles out the work still exists to show for itself. He was an uneducated man. a plain unpretending plodding man attended to his work, peaceable good and good natured, He was a square stout built man of only ordinary height. He married a Miss Nancy Hanks in one of the years above named. say 1807 She was a woman of rather low stature but heavy & well set. and has many relatives now living in this County. of the Young family her mother was a "Young" [1] Some time in 1808. Thomas Lincoln moved to Nolin Creek at a place between Jos. Kirkpatricks & Hodgenville then Hodgens Mill (the house now gone) on the 12th day of February 1809 Abraham Lincoln was born, (he had an older sister born in Elizabeth Town before removing to Nolin) — Shortly after Thomas Lincoln moved about miles off to a cabin on the head of Knob Creek, Abraham Lincoln wrote to me that his first recollections were of Knob Creek residence. [2] He must have resided there several years, as it was from that place that young Abraham Commenced trugging his way to school to Caleb Hazle — with whom I was well acquainted & could perhaps teach spelling reading & indifferent writing & perhaps could Cipher to the rule of three — but had no other qualications of a teacher except large size & bodily Strength to thrash any boy or youth that came to his School, and as Caleb lived in a hazle nut switch country, no doubt but that young Abraham received his due allowances — The house in which Thomas Lincoln lived in Elizabeth Town is yet standing but has been removed three times — used twice as a slaughter house & now as a stable & within fifty yards of its original locality, about 14 feet square

I think that Thomas Lincoln moved to Grayson County Kentucky, before he went to Indiana & afterwards to Illinois. To all human appearance the early life of Abraham Lincoln was as unpromising for becoming a great man as you could imagine, indeed I would say it was forbidding, and proves to me that nature bestowed upon him an irrepressible will and innate greatness of mind, to enable to break through all those barriers & iron gates and reach the portion he did in life

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Haycraft, Samuel. 'Samuel Haycraft 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=herndon067.html
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