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1 “Abe was a good boy — an affectionate one--a boy who loved his parents well and was obedient to their every wish. Although anything but an impudent or rude boy he was sometimes uncomfortably inquisitive. When strangers would ride along or pass by his father's fence he always — either through boyish pride or to tease his father — would be sure to ask the first question. His father would sometimes knock him over. When thus punished he never bellowed, but dropped a kind of silent, unwelcome tear as evidence of his sensitiveness or other feelings.” --Dennis Hanks, Ms., June 13, 1865.
3 Mr. Lincoln used to relate the following “coon” story: His father had at home a little yellow house-dog, which invariably gave the alarm if the boys undertook to slip away unobserved. after night had set in — as they oftentimes did — to go coon-hunting. One evening Abe and his step-brother, John Johnston, with the usual complement of boys required in a successful coon hunt, took the insignificant little cur with them. They located the coveted coon, killed him, and then in a sportive vein sewed the hide on the diminutive yellow dog. The latter struggled vigorously during the operation of sewing on, and being released from the hands of his captors made a bee-line for home. Other large and more important canines, on the way, scenting coon, tracked the little animal home, and possibly mistaking him for real coon, speedily demolished him. The next morning old Thomas Lincoln discovered lying in his yard the lifeless remains of yellow “Joe,” with strong proof of coon-skin accompaniment. “Father was much incensed at his death,” observed Mr. Lincoln, in relating the story, but as John and I, scantily protected from the morning wind, stood shivering in the doorway, we felt assured little yellow Joe would never be able again to sound the call for another coon hunt.
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