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Solomon Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln, 26 February 1849
Hon. Abraham Lincoln,Dear Sir,
In a letter which I had the pleasure of receiving from you nearly a year since, you gave me some information of your ancestry and relations, and mentioned that you would make inquiry of Govr McDowell as to the existence of any of the name of Lincoln in his District.1
Feeling a strong desire to perfect an account of all the Lincolns I venture to renew my application to you to learn whether Gov McDowell is able to refer me to any person in his District from whom I could probably attain any information on the subject, or will he permit me to address him. The names which you gave me Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Mordecai &c[etc] are all family names here and I hope yet to link you to a New England ancestry.
I suppose you will in a few days leave Washington—and hence my desire to mention the subject to you before you shall lose the opportunity of seeing Gov McDowell.
If upon your return home, or at any time you should be able to devote a little time to
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aid my investigations; I should be pleased to learn whether—
1. Your grandfathers brothers Isaac, Jacob, Thomas & John emigrated to Kentucky?
2 If they or either of them did so emigrate to what places in Kentucky did they emigrate & did they leave descendants?
3 Did your Uncles Mordecai & Josiah live to be heads of families?
4 If they did—have they descendants & where?
I find in reference to your letter of 24 March 1848—that your Uncle Mordecai had three sons vis—Abraham James and Mordecai
5 Did they settle in the West?
I cannot expect of course to intrude these matters upon you amid the bustle of the close of the session— but I thought from your kind expressions of a willingness to aid me that you might have an opportunity to see Gov McDowell before your departure from Washington & to communicate to me the result.

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—If I shall be able to complete my investigations, it will afford me very great pleasure to communicate to you full information on the subject at any time hereafter—and if I shall be permitted to know your address I may be glad to avail myself of an opportunity to address you again—
It was a subject of regret to me when you were in this part of the country, that I was so situated that I could not do myself the honor of seeking your personal acquaintance—2 It will be a great gratification to me if you shall be able to find opportunity to reply to such parts of this letter as may be in your power3
I remain with great respect
very truly your obt servt[obedient servant]
Solomon Lincoln
1Solomon Lincoln first solicited Abraham Lincoln’s assistance in his genealogical research in a letter given to Lincoln by Artemas Hale, a fellow Whig and member of the Thirtieth Congress from Massachusetts. Lincoln responded to this inquiry with a letter on March 6, 1848. James McDowell represented the Eleventh Congressional District of Virginia.
Kenneth C. Martis, The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts, 1789-1983 (New York: MacMillan, 1982), 78, 79.
2In September 1848, Lincoln had spent eleven days in Massachusetts stumping for Zachary Taylor in the presidential campaign of 1848.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:280-82.
3Abraham Lincoln did not respond to this letter, but he did make reference to Solomon Lincoln’s inquiries in a letter in June 1860.

Autograph Letter Signed, 3 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).