Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Solomon Lincoln [1]

Mr. Solomon Lincoln, Washington,
Dear Sir: March 6- 1848

Your letter to Mr. Hale, [2] in which you do me the honor of making some kind enquiries concerning me, has been handed me by

Page  456Mr. Hale, with the request that I should give you the desired information. I was born Feb: 12th. 1809 in Hardin county, Kentucky. My father's name is Thomas; my grandfather's was Abraham,---the same of [sic] 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-grand father 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 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 respectfully



[1]   ALS, The Rosenbach Company, Philadelphia and New York. Solomon Lincoln was a citizen of Hingham, Massachusetts, whence Abraham Lincoln's ancestors had come, though the fact was unknown to him at this time. Solomon and Abraham were distantly related.

[2]   Artemas Hale, Whig representative from Massachusetts. Solomon Lincoln's letter was dated March 2.