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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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-- 68 --

Thomas Lincoln the father lost his wife in Indiana, he came on a flying trip to Kentucky to see a widow lady named Sally Johnson (her maiden name was Bush) a poor woman but of spotless character her 1st. husband Daniel Johnson died in April 1814 of the cold plague, as was called I issued the license (being then Clerk) and they were married on the 2d day of December 1819. Abraham then was a little more than 10 years old and of course his early training was under this good woman, for I knew her well. she was scarce a half mile from myself & I know she was a good woman & when a girl her mother thought she was too proud, simply because the poor girl tried to make herself look decent & keep in the fashion of that early day — As soon as Abraham began to prosper in the world. he remembered his father & Step Mother, bought & presented to them the farm on which Thomas Lincoln died. The widow now upwards of 80, lives with Isaac Hall her son in law in Efngham Co Illinois 8. miles from Charleston & 18 from Mattoon. These last facts I have from my Townsman Isaac Radly Esqr who saw her about 3 weeks ago —

Some of the facts I give are from my own knowledge & the balance from letters from Abraham Lincoln himself — He wrote me five letters in 1860 [3] — one of them after his election.

Although I have written a long letter. I feel conscious that it affords but a meagre account of that great & good man our late President.

I was opposed to his election, but before his death I was Convinced that he was the very man for the place. and look upon his assassination as wicked beyond description & one of the greatest calamities that could befall the nation & particularly the South. I always was a Union man. a proslavery man — & wanted all things restored as they were at the Commencement of the war, but the South made the abolition of slavery a necessity & I am now willing for the Constitutional Amendment — It may be called fanaticism in me but it looks to me as if the Lord had raised up A Lincoln for the special purpose of blotting out Slavery, that God had permitted Slavery to exist too long. to Christianize Africans & then let them go free.

This letter is private & not to be used in publication, but the facts such as they are are at your disposal.

I fear my hand writing will puzzle you. I will be 70 years old 14. of Aug. if I live to see it, & age must account for this scrawl

Respectfully Yours
Samuel Haycraft

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2266 — 67; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:33 — 37

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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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