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Manuscripts about Lincoln, 1866-1938

1866

Memorial card printed shortly after Lincoln’s death. The picture features George Washington embracing Lincoln in heaven. The card states that it was entered by an Act of Congress, 1865, by J.A. Arthur in the clerk’s office of the Eastern District Pennsylvania District Court, published by Phil. Pho. Co. 1866. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 12.

1869

Letter from William Henry Herndon from Springfield, Ill., to Mr. Hanks. Herndon believes that the Lincoln family came from Pennsylvania around 1680. He states that Lincoln’s grandfather came to Kentucky around 1780. He notes that Lincoln’s father came to Indiana in 1819 and moved to Illinois in 1830. Herndon notes that Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks, was from Virginia and was of southern blood; she died in 1819. 27 March 1869. William Henry Herndon Letter, 1869 (SC 2068), Folder 1.

Ca. 1880

Letter to the editor written by Mrs. S. Clay Brown (Susan Louise McLaughlin). Brown describes her experience petitioning O.P. Morton to write a letter to Lincoln for her brother’s release from a prisoner of war camp. Morton wrote the letter (described above under Certificates and Endorsements, 1865) and Brown went to Washington, D.C., to meet with Lincoln. Lincoln asked her on what grounds she asks for her brother’s release, and upon approval he gave her very explicit instructions to find the commissioner of exchange and to give him the letter. n.d. [ca. 1880?]. McLaughlin-Jordan Family Papers (SC 1030), Folder 6.

1881

Notes taken from sources with knowledge of the Lincoln family. Notes give a description of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, as well as Abraham Lincoln. Sources cite that at age 8, Lincoln was regarded as a “prime reader” and “honest but not industrious.” Mrs. Josiah Crawford recalls that Lincoln once said, “Well, I can tell you I intend to be President before I die.” 1881. William Fortune Collection (M 0462), Box 4, Folder 4.

Interview with Mrs. Josiah Crawford. Crawford speaks of the time Lincoln spent in their house. She describes Lincoln as a “smart, honest, and mighty good boy,” not quarrelsome, and pleasing. Crawford tells that the Bible was the only book Lincoln owned, so her husband often lent him books. Autumn 1881. William Fortune Collection (M 0462), Box 4, Folder 5.

1915

Affidavit of Capt. William Jones, Spencer City. Jones’s father, Col. William Jones, and Lincoln were friends and Whigs. Lincoln worked for Col. Jones in Jonesboro, and Col. Jones made speeches on Lincoln’s behalf. Capt. Jones also tells of the Lincoln family moving to Illinois. 16 April 1915. William Fortune Collection (M 0462), Box 4, Folder 7.

Typed unsigned copy of the above. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Sworn statement of Jacob Clark, Warrick City, son of Masterson Clark. The Clark family was acquainted with Lincoln. Clark writes that Lincoln borrowed a book, which then was damaged by rain. Lincoln wanted to work to pay it off. Clark also notes that the road by his father’s house was the road the Lincoln family used to travel to Illinois. 29 April 1915. William Fortune Collection (M 0462), Box 4, Folder 7.

James W. Phillips, Spencer County. Phillips had been well acquainted with his father’s cousin, Edmund Phillips, who had known the Lincoln family through the Pigeon Baptist and Little Zion churches. Edmund Phillips had frequently told James Phillips that the Lincolns spent a night at his family’s home on their way to Illinois. 16 April 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Mary E. Floyd, Warrick County. Floyd’s mother, Susan (Langford or Lankford) Mundy, claimed to be well acquainted with the Lincoln family through connections made in church. Floyd remembered stories her mother told her that Thomas Lincoln would hunt game with the men in her family, and how the Lincolns left stock bells on their horses, so she would hear them approaching their farm whenever they came to visit. The Lincolns stayed overnight with Mundy’s father during their move to Illinois. 20 April 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

George W. Roberts Sr., Warrick County. Roberts’ uncle, George Carey, had seen the Lincolns as they moved through Boonville. He discusses the route that elder members of the community claim the Lincolns took on their move to Illinois. 29 April 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Jacob Clark, Warrick County. Clark writes that his father, Masterson Clark, had been well acquainted with Lincoln as a young man and greatly admired him. One event that impressed Masterson Clark, and a story he often told, was that Lincoln had accidentally damaged a borrowed book and wanted to work to pay the owner for the damage done to the book. Clark also told his son that logs from the Lincoln home had been used for a Lincoln glee club wagon during Lincoln’s 1860 presidential election. 29 April 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Elizabeth A. Goad, Warrick County. Goad mentions her father’s recollections of which roads the Lincolns used on their journey to Illinois and local farms where they spent nights along the way. 30 April 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Francis M. Carlisle, Warrick County. Carlisle writes that he had been well acquainted with William Phillips, who had known the Lincolns. Phillips had told him stories of the Lincolns and had said that Abe Lincoln was “quite entertaining,” as he proudly explained how he had built a wagon without iron. Carlisle, a former Union soldier, also remembers where his unit was stationed on the night of Lincoln’s assassination. 30 April 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Sarah Gray, Warrick County. Gray’s father, Henry Hart, had been a longtime preacher at Pigeon Baptist Church in Warrick County. He knew the Lincolns well since they were members of his church and Thomas Lincoln had been a deacon there. Hart often told his children the story of the time he had been preaching inside the church, and Abraham Lincoln made a speech on a tree stump outside “until he had as large a crowd as there was at the church.” 30 April 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

James Blackford, Warrick County. Blackford writes that his father often discussed the route of Lincoln’s family on their move to Illinois, and that the Lincolns had spent the night at Edmund Phillips’ farm during the trip. 8 May 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

L.B. Barker, Boonville. Barker was related, through marriage, to the Phillips family and had lived on part of the Edmund Phillips farm where Lincoln had stayed on their journey to Illinois. Barker had been present when part of the Lincoln home was torn down for souvenirs and had also helped carry bricks for the first monument to Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks. 10 May 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Jacob Oskins. Transcribed statement from the Boonville Standard. Oskins relates a story he heard of the Lincolns trading John Romine their 80 acres of land for a young horse in anticipation of their move to Illinois. Joseph Gentry had told Oskins that Lincoln, as a young man, had made a political speech on a stump outside the Pigeon Baptist Church. The speech was, according to Gentry, “as good a speech as he ever heard.” 14 May 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Bartley Inco. Transcribed statement from the Boonville Standard. Inco heard many stories from his father-in-law, James Grigsby Sr., who had been a brother-in-law to Lincoln’s sister, Sarah Ann Lincoln. Grigsby recalled the burial of Nancy Hanks Lincoln and how they had hauled her body on a sled from the Lincoln home to the burial place. Thomas Lincoln, a cabinetmaker and carpenter, had helped build the local Baptist church. On the morning of Lincoln’s departure for Illinois, “quite a number of neighbors met at the Jones’ store” to bid them farewell. Grigsby and others saw them safely across various creeks in the area. Inco testifies to his lengthy friendship with Col. William Jones, the owner of the Jones store, who also said the Lincolns had stopped there on the day of their departure. Col. Jones led the 53rd Regiment Indiana Volunteers during the Civil War, and Inco, who was in the regiment, witnessed his death at the battle of Atlanta. 20 August 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Louella Ashley. Transcribed statement from the Boonville Standard. Ashley writes that she discovered a paper signed “A. Lincoln, Agent” in a log cabin that had been torn down on their farm. The daughter of the farm’s previous owner told Ashley that her parents had bought small items such as pocketbooks and tableware from the Lincolns when they passed by the farm on their way to Illinois. 14 May 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Joseph L. Phillips. Transcribed statement from the Boonville Standard. Phillips states that as a young man, his father, Joseph Phillips, knew Abraham Lincoln and the Lincoln family through attendance at both the Pigeon Baptist and Little Zion Baptist churches in the area. Joseph Phillips (the father) and his brother, Edmund Phillips, often related the story when their father noticed the Lincolns preparing to camp on a nearby road, he sent young Edmund to invite them to stay at their house. The Lincolns accepted the invitation to spend the night and continued on their journey the next day. 14 May 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Isaac G. Cissna, Boonville. Transcribed statement from the Boonville Standard. Cissna writes that one night, due to the misadventures of his runaway horse, he stayed overnight with his friend, John Chinn, who was at the time living in the Lincoln family home after the Lincolns had moved away. The principal topics of discussion that night among Mr. Chinn and his neighbors were Lincoln and his family, particularly which roads the Lincolns traveled on their move to Illinois. 28 May 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

James E. Stephens, Boonville. Transcribed statement from the Boonville Standard. Stephens writes that his brother-in-law’s family (Oskins) had been neighbors of the Lincolns. He remembers hearing stories of the Lincolns; one in particular involved the trade of a young horse for 80 acres of land. Mr. Stephens mentions that he has visited the Lincoln home and has seen visitors take pieces of the log house as mementos. 11 June 1915. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Sworn statement of Robert M. Gentry, Rockport. Gentry writes that his father, James Gentry Jr. (of Gentryville) and Lincoln were playmates. He states that Lincoln worked for James Gentry Sr. Gentry also notes that the Gentry family had a deep bond with the Lincoln family, and even though they were Democrats, always voted for Lincoln. Gentry also relates the story his grandfather told of the day the Lincoln family moved to Illinois. 28 July 1915. William Fortune Collection (M 0462), Box 4, Folder 3.

Typed unsigned copy of the above, with strikethroughs and comments. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

 

 

Sworn statement of Allen Gentry, Rockport, son of James Gentry and grandson of James Gentry Sr. Gentry states that the Gentry family were friends with the Lincolns. He also mentions that his father often said that Lincoln was the “best educated young man” in the community. 28 July 1915. William Fortune Collection (M 0462), Box 4, Folder 3.

Typed unsigned copy of the above, with strikethroughs and comments. John E. Iglehart Collection (M 0153), Box 8, Folder 8.

Ca. 1920

Typescript biographical sketch of Lincoln by Richard Dobson, Marion. In this 23-page legal-size typescript, Dobson discusses Lincoln’s life before and after his mother’s death. He attributes Lincoln’s success to the kindness and spirit of his stepmother. Dobson describes where Lincoln received the nickname “Honest Abe” and earned his reputation as a storyteller. Dobson’s papers discuss Lincoln’s life in politics, the government, and his assassination. n.d. [ca. 1920?]. Richard Dobson Papers (SC 2066), Folder 1.

1933

Letter of Fannie Foster to John Boos (author of Abraham Lincoln: “Farewell to Neighbors,” ca. 1942) discussing the times when she saw Lincoln. Foster writes that she saw Lincoln in Indianapolis in 1861, with O.P. Morton riding with him. Foster notes that she saw Lincoln speak at the Old Bates Hotel, now the Capital Hotel. She was able to see Lincoln again in 1865 when his body lay in the old statehouse in Indianapolis. 18 January 1933. Fannie Foster Papers (SC 2713), Folder 1.

Three documents: There are two letters from C.C. DuBois of Kokomo to John E. Boos (author of Abraham Lincoln: “Farewell to Neighbors,” ca. 1942), and there is one letter most likely written by John E. Boos. The first letter dates from 18 January 1933. DuBois writes that he had made the trip to Indianapolis in April 1865 to see Lincoln’s body in the old statehouse. He mentions that he got on a train that traveled from Noblesville to Indianapolis. At the end of the letter, DuBois says that he had four brothers in the Union army during the Civil War. The second letter is similar in content to the first. The third letter, possibly written by Boos, is written as an interview of DuBois about his encounters with Lincoln. 18 January 1933. C. C. DuBois Papers (SC 2712), Folder 1.

1938

Oral history tape of William Rathvon. Rathvon speaks of seeing and hearing Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the National Cemetery. On the morning of Nov. 19, 1863, a procession gathered in the center of Gettysburg. Rathvon saw Lincoln riding a gray horse of medium size that accentuated his height. He says that there were at least 20,000 people in attendance. Rathvon was able to stand in front of the stage, about 15 feet from Lincoln, where he was able to see the seriousness and sadness in Lincoln’s eyes. 1938. William Rathvon Speech, 1938 (CT 1494).