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396. Samuel Haycraft to William H. Herndon.

Elizabeth Town Ky 7' December 1866

Dear Sir

I am in recept of your two letters in relation to the letters written to me by A Lincoln just preceding and immediately after his election

They were written Confidentally to me But really Contain nothing of importance and as you are his personal friend and writing his life I will under stand and Mason's injunction against thier exposure will enclose the originals? to you & to be returned again to me after you have gathered all you Can from them —

Altho they Contain nothing of importance yet I regard them highly for the Respect I entertain for the writer. I admired him for his kindness of heart as shown in granting my request in relation to some men who had been betrayed into the rebellion

In his cruel Murder the South lost the best friend they had. Had Mr Lincoln lived the South would ere this have been restored and Conciliated, He had the Confidence of the North, and the South were beginning to learn and acknowledge his sense and justice and he could have done for them what President Johnson Could not effect. Mr Lincoln was born in 1809, as you will see by his letter to me. It was the same year I went into the clerks office boy then 14 years old, and his father with whom I was intimately acquainted. leave the County at an early age of his son Abraham I Cannot answer the enquiries of your second letter except


that Abraham was a tall spindle of a boy — and had his due proportion of harmless mischief — After he left Ky I heard and knew nothing of him until I heard he was elected to Congress which was Matter of great surprise —

His father was a house Carpenter a plain unpretending and scrupulisly an honest man, there is a house two miles from Town with the Original work on it originally done by him, the house he lived in, has since been used for various purposes — It was pulled down & rebuilt as a Slaughter [house?] [illegible] and this removal has brought it back within 50 yards of where it originally stood and is now owned by an Irishman named Thomas Callahan & used as a Stables in the various removals some logs were lost or rotten & replaced by others. But I can point out all the original logs

Abrahams oldest sister was born [illegible] he removed to a place 11 miles from this Town where Abraham was born & if my recollection is not at fault Thomas Lincoln the father with his family returned to his old house for a time and then left the State, lost his wife and about 1819 returned & married a widow Mrs Sarah Johnson, who I am informed is still living

Yours very respectfully
Saml Haycraft

Since writing — I remember that I cut the name off of one of the letters & sent it to some person not now recollected who wanted his Autograph

I also find a memo I kept in these words "Daniel Johnson & Sarah Bush 13 March 1806 / B Ogden / [married?] Thomas Lincoln & Sarah Johnson 2d Dec 1819 Widow lives with her son in law John Hull Effingham Co. Illinois 8 miles from Charleston 18 from Mattoon Ill

She raised A Lincoln, he bought a piece of land & gave it to his father & Step Mother,

PS. Old Mr. Lincoln, (whose name was generally pronound Linkhorn) made a very short Courtship, He came to see her on 1. Dec 1819 & in a plain Straight forward Manner told her that they knew each other from child hood, that he had no wife & she no husband and that he came all the way to Marry her & if she was willing he wanted it done right off She replied that she Could not right off as She owed Some little debts which she wanted to pay first. He replied give me a list of them, he got the list, paid them off that evening next Morning I issued the license and they were married in 60 yards of my house & left right off

S. Haycraft

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2863 — 64



1. AL to Haycraft, May 28, June 4, Aug. 16, [Aug. 23], Nov. 13, 1860, in CW 4:56 — 57, 69 — 70, 97, 99, 139.

2. Haycraft's meaning is probably "I will understand and, invoking the Mason's injunction against their exposure, will enclose."

3. Marginal note: Marriage.