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401. Harriet A. Chapman to William H. Herndon.

Charleston Ills Dec the 10th 66


Please pardon my long delay in answering your letters received Some time Since. The Cares of my family prevented my doing So Sooner. The Scraps of paper taken from the Lincoln bible that my Husband had in his posession when you was here, he gave to Father Hanks and he let Gen Black have them. If you are really desirious of obtaining Said papers I will get Father to write to Mr Black for them.

You wish to know if Mr Lincoln read news papers. He did yes and often vary late at night. he was not a vary early riser. his usual way of reading was lying down in warm weather he Seemed to prefer the floor he would turn a Chair down on the floor and put a pillow on it and lie thare for hours and read. He was remarkably fond of Children one of his greatest pleasures when at home was that of nursing and playing with his little boy. Mr Lincoln was what I Call a hearty eater and enjoyed a good meal of victuals as much as enny one I ever knew. I have often heard him say that he could eat corn cakes as fast as two women could make them. although his table at home was usually set vary Sparingly. Mrs. Lincoln was vary economical So much So that by Some She might have been pronounced Stingy Mr Lincoln Seldom ever wore his Coat when in the house at home. and often went to the table in his Shirt Sleeves. which practice anoyed his wife vary much. who by the way loved to put on Style

I have often herd Grand Pa Lincoln tell what a jovial fun loving boy Abram was. when Small. I remember his telling of one time. In the early Settlement of


Indiana that one day they had nothing for dinner but rosted potatoes. after Grand Pa L. got through returning thanks, which duty he never neglected. If he only had dry bread or potatoes he would ask the Same blessing when he Sat down to eat So this time uncle Abram put on a long face. and looked up at his father and papa I call these meaning the potatoes vary poor blessings.

I never knew him to make a garden, yet no one loved flowers better than he did. I have not been able to get down to See Grand Ma Lincoln yet, the roads have been So dreadful bad but I think I can get down in a few days. after which I will write you again

Yours with respect —
H A Chapman

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2883 — 84



1. Augustus H. Chapman.

2. "Father Hanks" is Dennis F. Hanks, the writer's father. "Gen Black" may refer to John C. Black, a Lincoln associate who served in the Union army and was practicing law in Champaign.