81. William Wood (William H. Herndon Interview).
Septr 15th 1865
My Name is Wm Wood — Came from Ky in 1809., March, and settled in Indiana — now Spencer Co — Settled on the hill "yonder" — about 1 Ë m north of the Lincoln farm — am now 82 ys of age. Knew Thomas and Abm Lincoln & family well. Thomas Lincoln & family Came from Ky Hardin Co, in 1816 according to my recollection. Mrs Thomas Lincoln — Abes mother was sick about 1 Ë years after she came. I sat up with her all one night. Mrs Lincoln, her mother & father were sick with what is called the milk Sickness. Sparrow & wife
Abe wrote a piece Entitled the Book of Chronicles — a satire on a marriage — , Infair and putting the pairs to bed &c — : it showed the boy — this was in 1829. A wrote a piece on National politics — Saying that the American government was the best form of Government in the world for an intelligent people — that it ought to be Kept sound & preserved forever: that general Education Should fostered and Carried all over the Country: that the Constitution — should be saved — the Union perpetuated & the laws revered — respected & Enforced &c (Mr Wood Said much more which I can recollect) This was in 1827 — or 8. Abe once drank as all people did here at that time. I took news papers — some from Ohio — Cincinnatie — the names of which I have now forgotten — One of these papers was a temperance paper. Abe used to borrow it — take it home and read it & talk it over with me: he was an intelligent boy — a Sensible lad I assure you. One day Abe wrote a piece on Temperance and brought it to my house. I read it Carefully over and over and the piece Excelled for sound sense anything that my paper Contained. I gave the article to one Aaron Farmer, a Babtist Preacher:
124he read it — it Struck him: he said he wanted it to send to a Temperance paper in Ohio for publication: it was sent and published I saw the printed piece — read it with pleasure over and over again. This was in 1827 — or 8. The political article I Showed to John Pitcher an attorney of Posey Co Indiana who was travelling on the circuit — on law business — and stopt at my house over night: he read it carefully and asked me where I got it. I told him that one of my neighbor boys wrote it: he couldn't believe it till I told him that Abe did write it. Pitcher lived in Mt Vernon Indiana. Pitcher in fact was struck with the article and Said to me this — "The world can't beat it."He begged for it — I gave it to him and it was published — can't say what paper it got into — Know it was published. Abe was always a man though a boy. I never knew him to swear: he would say to his play fellows and other boys — Leave off your boyish ways and be more like men. Abe got his mind and fixd morals from his good mother. Mrs Lincoln was a very smart — intelligent and intellectual woman: She was naturally Strong minded — was a gentle, Kind and tender woman — a Christian of the Babtist persuasion — She was a remarkable woman truly and indeed. I do not think she absolutely died of the Milk Sickness Entirely. Probably this helped to seal her fate.
Abe came to my house one day and stood around about timid & Shy. I Knew he wanted Something. I said to him — Abe what is your Case. Abe replied — "Uncle I want you to go to the River — (the Ohio) and give me Some recommendation to some boat." I remarked — "Abe — your age is against you — you are not 21. yet." "I Know that, but I want a start said Abe". I concluded not to go for the boys good — did not go. I saw merchants in Rock-Port and mentioned the Subject to them. In 1829 — this was
Abe read the news papers of the day — at least such as I took. I took the Telescope.
125powerful: he could strike with a mall a heavier blow than any man: he was long, tall and strong.
Mr Woods told me an axe story about Abe's bravery — which I can recollect 'Tell it.
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2332, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2337, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2336, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2335, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2339; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:129 — 33