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1 Most biographers of Lincoln, in speaking of Mr. Lincoln's sister, call her Nancy, some — notably Nicolay and Hay — insisting that she was known by that name among her family and friends. In this they are in error. I have interviewed the different members of the Hanks and Lincoln families who survived the President, and her name was invariably given as Sarah. The mistake, I think, arises from the fact that, in the Bible record referred to, all that portion relating to the birth of “Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Nancy Lincoln,” down to the word Nancy has been torn away, and the latter name has therefore been erroneously taken for that of the daughter. Reading the entry of Abraham's birth below satisfies one that it must refer to the mother.
2 Regarding the paternity of Lincoln a great many surmises and a still larger amount of unwritten or, at least, unpublished history have drifted into the currents of western lore and Journalism. A number of such traditions are extant in Kentucky and other localities. Mr. Weik has spent considerable time investigating the truth of a report current in Bourbon county, Kentucky, that Thomas Lincoln, for a consideration from one Abraham Inlow, a miller there, assumed the paternity of the infant child of a poor girl named Nancy Hanks; and, after marriage, removed with her to Washington or Hardin county, where the son, who was named “Abraham, after his, real, and Lincoln after his putative, father,” was born. A prominent citizen of the town of Mount Sterling in that state, who was at one time judge of the court and subsequently editor of a newspaper, and who was descended from the Abraham Inlow mentioned, has written a long argument in support of his alleged kinship through this source to Mr. Lincoln. He emphasizes the striking similarity in stature, facial features, and length of arms, notwithstanding the well established fact that the first-born child of the real Nancy Hanks was not a boy but a girl; and that the marriage did not take place in Bourbon, but in Washington county.
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