422. Thomas L. D. Johnston (William H. Herndon Interview)
Thomas L. D. Johnson — aged 29th
Am the Son of John D. Johnson who helped Lincoln to make a flat boat near Sangamon Town in Sangamon Co. in 1831. My father is — was the son of Mrs
532Lincoln by her first husband — My father is the brother of Mrs More,
Dennis Hanks is fast failing in body & mind — has quit his liquor — is more foolish than Grand Mother Lincoln. Grand Mother Lincoln is a little childish — yet she is much smarter than usually thought: she needs rousing: thats' all. and when roused she talks well for she remembers well. Dennis Hanks so his own children say is Crazy — nearly so — is decidedly foolish — has to my mind been so for 3 or 4 years.
I hand you Mr Lincolns old copy book to use in your history of Mr Lincoln It was a copy book as I and family Know it made up of Mr Lincoln's labor when he was — & was not going to school: he worked out his sums & problems at various times — & places. The latter years of the book is gone: It took 5 or 6 years to make the book as we understand it — Know it: I give you some of Mr Lincolns private letters to my father. One was printed in the Charleston Courier in the year 1865
Mr Lincoln took a fancy to one of my bros — Abraham — wanted him to come to Spfdgd — stay at L house — go to school — L saw his wife about it — refused furiously — caused hard feelings — L wrote to my bro that what he had proposed could not be filled on his part on account of domestic difficulty, but to go on and he L would give him money — books — pay schooling &c — &c my
533bro did not do as wished — got a good Common English Education — died in 1861 — aged 22 —
The Lincoln farm is 8 Ë miles South of Charleston — & 3/4 mile from Farmington. It is called 8m from Charleston to Farmington.
I dont think that Thomas Lincoln was a witty man — a humorous man: he was a social man — loved Company — peeple & their Sports very much: he seemed to me to border on the serious — reflective — He read his bible — told Indian Stories — that thrilled my young nature — was about 16 years of age — he died in 1851. I was then in my 15th year. The Indian Story as told me by Thomas Lincoln — the Father of Abm is true as related to you by Dennis & Jno Hanks. I Know the story because I was young: it interested me much & is now vivid in my mind. Thomas Lincoln — my grand father told me in what Co in Ky it took place, but have forgotten it. Thos Lincoln was the boy that the Indian had and was running off — 2 or more Indians were Killed then & there.
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3936 — 39, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3940 — 43 (Springer transcription)