Abraham Lincoln to David Lincoln, 2 April 18481Washington, April 2nd 1848.Dear Sir
Last evening I was much gratified by receiving and reading your letter of the 30th of March–2 There is no longer any doubt that your uncle Abraham, and my grandfather was the same man– His family did reside in Washington county, Kentucky, just as you say you found them in 1801 or 2– The oldest son, uncle Mordecai, near twenty years ago, removed ^from Kentucky^ to Hancock county, Illinois, where, within a year or two afterwards, he died, and where his surviving children now live– His two sons there now, are Abraham & Moredcai; and their Post-office is "La Harp" Uncle Josiah, farther back than my recollection, went from Kentucky to Blue River in Indiana– I have not heard from him in a great many years, and whether he is still living I can not say– My recollection of what I have heard is, that he has several daughters & only one son, Thomas–3 Their Post-office is "Corydon, Harrisson County, Indiana–["]
My father, Thomas, is still living, in Coles county Illinois, being in the 71st year of his age– His Post-office is Charl Charleston, Coles, co. Ills– I am his only child–4 I am now in my 40th year; and I live in Springfield, Sanga-
<Page 2>mon county, Illinois– This is the outline of my grandfather's family in the West–
I think my father has told me that grandfather had four brothers, Isaac, Jacob, John and Thomas– Is that correct? and which of them was your father? Are any of them alive? I am quite sure that Isaac resided on Wataga, near a point where Virginia and Tennessee join; and that he has been dead more than twenty, perhaps thirty, years,– Also, that Thomas removed to Kentucky, near Lexington, where he died a good while ago–
What was your grandfather's christian name?5 Was he or not, a Quaker? About what time did he emigrate from Berks county, Pa– to Virginia?– Do you know any thing of your family (or rather I may now say, our family) farther back than your grandfather?
If it be not too much trouble to you, I shall be much pleased to hear from you again– Be assured I will call on you, should any thing ever bring me near you– I shall give your respects to Gov– McDowell, as you desire–6Very truly yours–A. Lincoln–
A Letter of Abe Lincoln B President Elect of the United States
2David Lincoln’s letter of March 30 has not been located. David was responding to correspondence initiated by Abraham Lincoln in a letter dated March 24.
3Josiah Lincoln actually had four daughters and two sons. Thomas was the oldest son, and Jacob the youngest.
Waldo Lincoln, History of the Lincoln Family: An Account of the Descendants of Samuel Lincoln of Hingham Massachusetts 1637-1920 (Worcester, MA: Commonwealth, 1923), 329-33.
4Thomas Lincoln also had a daughter, Sarah, who died in 1828.
5David Lincoln’s paternal grandfather’s name was Mordecai Lincoln.
Waldo Lincoln, History of the Lincoln Family: An Account of the Descendants of Samuel Lincoln of Hingham Massachusetts 1637-1920, 43.
6James McDowell represented the Eleventh Congressional District of Virginia, which included Rockingham County, where David Lincoln lived. Abraham Lincoln got David Lincoln’s name from McDowell.
David’s response to Abraham, if he penned one, has not been located. There are no other known letters between the two, but Abraham Lincoln did make reference to their brief correspondence in two later letters, one in 1854, and another in 1860.
Lincoln’s interest at this time with his paternal ancestry and genealogy also extended to Lincolns in Massachusetts. See his correspondence with Solomon Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln to Solomon Lincoln; Solomon Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln;
Abraham Lincoln to Solomon Lincoln; Kenneth C. Martis, The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts, 1789-1983 (New York: MacMillan, 1982), 78, 79.
Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Brown University (Providence, RI).