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[7] the Presidency Mr. Lincoln received from Kentucky many inquiries about his family and origin. This curiosity on the part of the people in one who had attained such prominence was perfectly natural, but it never pleased him in the least; in fact, to one man who was endeavoring to establish a relationship through the Hanks family he simply answered, “You are mistaken about my mother,” without explaining the mistake or making further mention of the matter. Samuel Haycraft, the clerk of the court in Hardin county, invited him to visit the scenes of his birth and boyhood, which led him to say this in a letter, June 4, 1860:1 “You suggest that a visit to the place of my nativity might be pleasant to me. Indeed it would, but would it be safe? Would not the people lynch me?” That reports reflecting on his origin and descent should arise in a community in which he felt that his life was unsafe is by no means surprising. Abraham Lincoln,2 the grandfather of the President, emigrated to Jefferson county, Kentucky, from Virginia about 1780, and from that time forward the former State became an important one in the history of the family, for in it was destined to be born its most illustrious member. About five years before this, a handful of Virginians had started across the

1 Unpublished Ms.

2 Regarding the definition of the names “Lincoln” and “Hanks” it is said, the first is merely a local name without any special meaning, and the second is the old English diminutive of “Hal” or “Harry.”

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