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Thomas Lincoln and John D. Johnston to Abraham Lincoln, 7 December 18481
Dear Son
I will in form you I and the old womman is in the best of health at this time and Soe is all of the relations at presants I belive I injay as good health at this time as I have for many years past and I hope these few Lines will find you enjoying the same State of health, I was gratly in hopes that you would have Came a past here on your way to washington as I wished to see you, but as you faild to come a past, I am compeled to make a request by Letter to you for the Lone[Loan] of, Twenty Dollars, which Sum I am compeld to rayes[raise], or my Land will besold, I have beged time Till I could wright to you for you to Lend me that a mount of money by Letter Lend it to me if you can, for neither I nor Johnston can rayes it for we have nothing that will bring money, I doe expect you will think strang at this request, for that much money & it was eaquely as strange to me & John when I was cold an for it not Long sence for it was an old Transcript of a bout eigh years standing that we thought was paid Long a goe & Still think so, but we have Lost the recpt[receipt] if we ever had won[one], & all, the Plantif & officers Denies it ever being paid so we have it to pay a gain
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and I now[know] you Cant aprciate the reluctance that I have made this request of you for money but I am compled to Doe so & I hope you will grant it, & excuse me for Soe Doing and I am in hopes & will be a ble to make you requempence[recompense] for all of your favours, I sopous[suppose] it would be of sattisfaction to you now how I have Disposed of them notes you gave me, the one on James Gill I got the money for & the one Robert Mattison I tried to Sell it for 15$ in cash and coudent[couldn't] Doe it So James M Miller offerd John Twenty Dollars in goods at his Trade prices & Monroe advised him to take it, so he Sold it to him with out recourse on any bodey & the two Small notes we ar Likely not to do much with, but I am glad that I have Lived to see a nuther Whig Presadent a Lected & hope Live to see monarcha or Locofoco principals Crumble to Dust be of good cheer four you ar on a good cous[course] and I think old Zak will make all things right, we have rased this summar as much as fifty bushels of corne to the Acer & our Wheat was very good,
Your Father in hasteThos LincolnA. LincolnDear Brother,
I & family is well but I am Down in Spirits becous I owe something Like 70 or 80 Dollars in small dribes & I have Kept from paying them by not having any property & have maid no new contracts but Traid alltogether on Fathers property & I am Dund & Doged to Death so I am all most tired of Living, & I would all most Swop my Place in
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Heaven for that much money I now you will think Little of this for you never had the Tryal, (but Abe) I would Drother Live on bread & wotter[water] than to have men allways Duning me for Just contracts & if you can lend me 80 Dollars I am willing to pay you any Intrust you will ask, & to make you safe Father will make you a Deed for all of his Land when you come in the spring my reason for maken this proposal is becous you Dont want us to sell out & I cont pay my Debts without, so if you will lend us a hundred Dollars you Shall have a Deed for all of the Land and if I cant rays the money for you at Fathers Death or before I am & Shall be willing to give you up Possesion of all of the Land & improvements with out charge for any Improvement maid on said Land by me or my ares, and I will comence Claring[Clearing] & Improveing righ off and be contented to goe to work, with Some hart[heart], and not be a fraid of the officer Taken the bread and meet out of my childrens mouthes, I, have faith that I can rays you that much money in Three years when the Time would come that I could rayse a calf & Pig of my owen for Tom & Abe can now Doe nearly as much work in a Crop as a man, I candadley[candidly] would Drother never own a foot of Land than to not pay my Debts, nor lave any to my Children Indeed I would Drother give possesion now than to Live here and have men a watching me, to See if I hadent something the Law would take, to set a man worst be hired hand in this country & no other way to make a Living only by his Laber it will take him his Life Time to git out & pay the cost if he has a Large famly ^wright soon & Let us no & send me some of all of the Dockments you must excuse this painful Letter^
Your BrotherJ. D. JohnstonA. Lincoln2
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CHARLESTON Ill.
DEC[December] 1[?]
FREE
Hon. A. Lincoln, M. C.[Member Congress]
Washington City,
D. C.
[docketing]
From his father & step Brother
1John D. Johnston wrote and signed the letter on behalf of his father and wrote and signed his own letter.
2The insertion, closing, signature and address appears on the first page of the letter.

Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Lincoln Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Box 6, Folder 51, University of Chicago (Chicago, IL).