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Abraham Lincoln to Solomon Lincoln, 6 March 18481
Mr Solomon Lincoln,Dear Sir:
Your letter to Mr Hale, in which you do me the honor of making some kind enquiries concerning me, has been handed me by Mr Hale, with the request that I should give you the desired information– I was born Feb:[February] 12th 1809 in Hardin county, Kentucky– My father's name is Thomas; my grandfather's ^was^ Abraham,– the same of my own– My grandfather went from Rockingham county in Virginia, to Kentucky, about the year 1782; and, two years afterwards, was killed by the indians– We have a vague tradition, that my great-grandfather went from Pennsylvania to Virginia; and that he was a quaker– Further back than this, I have never heard any thing– It may do no harm to say that "Abraham" and "Mordecai" are common names in our family; while the name "Levi" so common among the Lincolns of New England, I have not known in any instance among us–
Owing to my father being left an orphan at the age of six years, in poverty, and in a new country, he became a wholly uneducated man; which I suppose is the reason why I know so little of our family history– I believe I can say nothing more that would at all interest you– If you
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shall be able to trace any connection between yourself and me, or, in fact, whether you shall or not, I should be pleased to have a line from you at any time–
Very respectfullyA. Lincoln2

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[enclosure]
03/02/1848Hon. Artemas Hale,Dear Sir,
Our attention has been arrested in this quarter of the country by the able speech of Hon. Mr Lincoln of Illinois made this session, in the House of Representatives– and it has been a source of gratification to those bearing his name to know that the old stock has not degenerated by being transplanted. On the contrary it exhibits fresh vigor in the fertile soil of the West.
I have often been inquired of by persons here– as to the family from which Mr Lincoln sprung, and having the curiosity of an antiquarian, as well as of a Yankee, I have thought that gentleman would not consider it impertinent for me to ask him through you, to enable me to answer the frequent inquiries made of me concerning him, from the circumstance of my having devoted much time to the compilation of the genealogies of the first settlers of this town and their descendants– among whom we hope to be able to number Mr Lincoln.
I have some recollection of seeing his name among the members of the Illinois Legislature several years since & possibly he may be the same gentleman of whom Samuel Whitcomb, Esq[Esquire], had some information when on a Western tour some ten or twelve years ago.
May I venture to ask you to signify my wishes to Mr Lincoln—that he would inform me of
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the time & place of his birth—the names of his father and grandfather—their residence—and so much of his personal history as he feels inclined to impart.– I suppose that if I can be aided by him in tracing his ancestors for two generations, that I may be able to supply the connecting links which connect him with the early settlers of Massachusetts–
I remain very truly,
Your friend & servant
Solomon Lincoln3
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.
2Solomon Lincoln wrote Abraham Lincoln on March 21, and Abraham responded on March 24. Solomon’s letter of March 21 has not been located. Solomon wrote Abraham another letter in 1849 regarding Lincoln genealogy. Abraham did not respond, but he did make reference to Solomon’s inquiries in a letter in June 1860.
Lincoln’s interest at this time with his paternal ancestry and genealogy also extended to Lincolns in Virginia. See his correspondence with David Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln to David Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to David Lincoln.
3Solomon Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.

Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Rosenbach Museum and Library (Philadelphia, PA),