Thomas Lincoln and John D. Johnston to Abraham Lincoln, 7 December 18481Coles County Ill Decr 7th 1848Dear 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 gainYour Father in hasteThos LincolnA. LincolnDear Brother,
<Page 2>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,
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 inYour BrotherJ. D. JohnstonA. Lincoln2
<Page 3>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^
<Page 4>CHARLESTON Ill.
FREEHon. A. Lincoln, M. C.[Member Congress]
From his father & step Brother
Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Lincoln Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Box 6, Folder 51, University of Chicago (Chicago, IL).