Louis Paul Hennighausen.

Abraham Lincoln or Linkhorn; online

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Online LibraryLouis Paul HennighausenAbraham Lincoln or Linkhorn; → online text (page 1 of 1)
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WAS it a blunder of tlie clerk in the liiml office at Richinoiul,
Y-d., ill 17S0, Avlieu he issued the Laud Warrant to the
urandfatlier of Abraham Lincoln by the name of Al)raliam
r.inkhorn. as alleged by his biog-raphers ^ —

'I'he only historical information we have of the ancestry of
Al)raham Lincoln is his own saying that his ancestors originally
came from Berks County. I'a., ami moved from tliere to Rock-
ingham County, Va. That his grandfather Abraham about
1780 with his wife and children left Rockingham County to
establish himself in Jefferson County on a farm about twenty
miles east of the present City of Louisville. This grandfather
was a man of some means, -for we find that before he left for
Jefferson County, he obtained from the lanil office of the Com-
monwealth of Virginia in payment of the sum of one hundred
and sixtv pounds current money, tlu' Land Otiice 'fi-easury
Warrant ]S'o. '.VS'-U, bearing date the fourtii day of March, 17S(i,
and dii'ected to the principal surveyor of any county within
the Connnonwealth of Virginia to surve\ and hiy off in one
or more surveys for Aijkaham Linkhokx, his heirs and
assigns, the (|uantity of four hundred acres of iynd, due to the
said Liiikhorn.


I lici'c ot"t\'i' a fac-siiiiiK,' of said Laml ^\an•all(.

/v/r^/tf tde Cox-

^S%Ttf /I5tf principal Survej/or of anj/ County
I|m ^^M^^ mottwedw of ^Virginia.

nrmS fliall be your WARRANTlo Sur-?i
■■• vcf^dlar,ofF ia one or niMc Surveys, ^
for tyd^ff-a^.in*a/%^<. r:k^i^f^^ ^^^^^in^^

. hcsJEieirs or Affign^j

the Quantity o{ §^^H'i^ff'''Pt -c^c-^yi^
Acres X)fJLand, due unto -the liaii^.

^,;V|Y-:j;n Confidepaiion of the Sum of^2|e^^i^^K?V^^?^^ /^»<^^'^P

'^^^'^'> current Money pti'd into the publick Treafutyi the Paynvent ^

J whereof to the Ticafurer hath been duly certified by the Auditors '^

of publick Accovints, and their Certificate received into tfcc Haod ^

Office, GIVEN undc? my Hand, and the Seal of,rhe faid ^

; Ofii'cc, on this f'iyt4yr^4^ Day of j^-^^ .<*^ e,yA^~in the _^

i Year One Thoufaad Seven Hundred and -i^^ '^^Ci^ -^

Kriilnckv was at thai time a part of N'irii'iiiia. st ill iiihaliili'd
l)V the Indians, who insisted tlic white inxadcr t)\ v\v\-\ ci'aft of
v\-\\v\ w arl'ai'c know 11 tn tln'in. Tlic I'cpoi'ts (if 1 he w undci-riilly
fci-fili' soil and salulirious climate of the tm-itory. Iti'oiii^lit home
li\ ad\ cnl ui'oiis liiintri's from the WCsti'iai frontier set t Icnicnls of
Noi'lli ('ar(diiia. \ iri^inia and Maryland wci-c the cause of (he
endiiration of maii\ from these parts of the country to i\entu(d\y.
Western .\iar\laiid. West \'irL:inia and \\'estern North Carolina
arc repoi'ted lo he lii'st and and principally settled liy (Jermans
I'roiii r>ei-ks, Lancaslei-, l)n(d\s and ot hei- ('ounties of Pennsyl-
vania in t he JSth centui-v. ' )

li llujili .Iniics ill hi-; hook ■' 'riic I'rcsciil St, lie iiT Vir;;iiiia," publishcil IT:.'!
ill l.Diiiliiii (Icscrilirs ii tliiurisliiiif^- cnloiij- i)l' ( ici-r.iiins in Madisdii ('(iiiiit>' iit llic
liidt (il the I'.liie MdiMiliiins. Augusta. Uorkiiijiliaiii, l''r(ili'ri(l<. Mailisdii, Slicii
iiii'leali wire in a lar^je mi-asurt' settled liy (icrniatis.

'■ \ii)^iiiiM. Iiir I'asI, I'rcsciit and l''nlnrc,'" li.\ SaiiiucI .\. .laiiiicy, ISill, ii ;.'7;


Alii'aliaiii Liiiklioi'ii iiiii. - l have taken liis I iiiie to select his
fiitmv hoiiK-stead, foi' it was five years hiter on Mav 7, IT''^-"),
tiiat lie I'eceived his certitieate of the sni'\('y of 40(1 acres of
hind in .left'ei'son Count v. hy virtue of said Ti'easui'v Mai'rant
No. :5:5:U on the Fork of bMoyd's h'ork. The cei'l ilicate. a fac-
siinih' is lierewitli offered, is recoi'ded in K'ecoi-d IJook '• I'),"
])aii'e 'id, in the oMice of .letferson ('ouniy, KentU(d\V.

^{cc//C^ ^^ dL^>\,a Vtyiyia-t- /^ac\x.n^>^^o a/ o-tr^-^^u-,

\ ^\\\ will see from tiiis that the name of Ahraliam Link-
hoi'u aj)pears in the hod\' of the Wari'aiit, and it is also sii;iied
hy hiui as l.inkhoru, whilst two officials who hud to affix their
siy-iuituri's to the warrant and named ('. Ananiah Lincoln and
• losiah Lincoln sii;n as su(di aiul not as Linkhorn.

'I'he next year, 1780, tin's Ahi'aham Linkliorn was killed
hv the Indians. His son Thomas, the father of I'l'esident

'•Physical Survey of Viifiiiihi"' by Prof. M. F. Maury, p. lii, Kiclunond, Va. ITS.
In 1741) and 17+7 the (iLMinaii uiissiouaries Kov. Miehaol Schlatter ami Ke\. Dr.
M. Miihieiiberg- travellerl throujjh Western Mar.\lanil ami the Slienaudoah Valle\-,
Va., and preached to numei'ows C.erman, settlements, ami rciiorteil to tlie Mission
Homes in Germany, llev. Gerhard Henkel was the Pastor o( a (iernian settle-
ment on tlie Yadkin l{i\-er, \. C, in 17;U.

llallische Nachrichten. AHentown, Pa., :.' Vols., IsSd, l.s'.i'). Sclinriclil's llisioiy
of the German Element in \'iit>inia, 1 \'ol. '.U. Kerchevafs Historj- of llic \'al-
ley. Winchester, Va., ls:i.;.


r^iiicolii. was then onlv seven years of age; he ^vas allowed to
<,n-()w II]) without any scliooliiio;. he never learned to write, and

we aiT not infui'nicd whcthii' lit- could iTad : lie was known as

During- the life- rime of President JJncolu no one e\cr
appeared to ( laini or was recognized by him as a relative on
his father's side of his ancestors. It is only since the death
of that great man, that the attempt is made to connect him
with a certain ^fordecai Lincoln, ''Gentleman'" of .Massachu-
setts, who removed to Monmouth. New Jersey, where he is
said to have died in 1735. AVhenever President Lincoln was
asked al)out the genealogy of his family, he loved to ([uoti-
the line fi'om (Jray's Klegy on a countrv church yard:

" You nuist look into tlie short and simple ainials of the jjoor."

The greatest fume of the President is that he was honest.
Llonest, not in vulgar sense of finance onlv. hut honest in all
he said and acted. If he had been a descendant of the New
Kngland gentleman. Lincoln would have known it and said so.
We know, rich people are likely to forget poor relatives, but
the poor for many generations remember and ( herish tradi-
tions of former wealth and social standing of their ancestors;
and most all mankind has a remarkable faculty to trace the
most distant relationship to a Jiian of great fame and who has
many thousand offices, with honor and salaries attached, to
dispose of. The laborious effort of the !)iographers of the
President to make him a descendant of a rich gentlenum from
New England, who died only seventy-three years Itefore Lincoln
Avas born, antl the absui'd assertion that the name and signa-
ture of his grandfather was by an ignorant or mis(diievous
clerk changed from the well known historic English "rj'ncoln"
to the (xerman sounding •• Linkhorn," especially when two at-
testing officials named Lincoln also, affix their signatures, be-
longs to nursery tales and not to historical researches, 'i'he
fact that the Wan-ant and ci-rtificate are the only muninients
of title to the 4()0 aci'e homestead of Abraham Linkhorn is
coiudusive. without the cdearest jiroof to the contrary, that
Linkhorn. and not the more familiar and cominoii Lincoln,
the name of an old Kni'lish cit\ and countw was the faniilv


name of the grandfather of the President, and was changed,
like an untold number of German names, hy and during tiie
life of his illiterate son Thomas.

Lincoln said, his ancestors came from Berks Conntv, Penn-
sylvania, and emigrated from there to Rockingham countv,
Virginia. We know that Berks county Avas settled by Germans ~)
at the end of the 17th and tirst decades of the 18th centurv,
and the German language is to this day the common vernacular
of the people of the county. Further we know that in the
third decade of the ISth century an emmigration set out from
Berks and adjoining counties to Rockingham countv, Virginia,
and that many of these German emmigrants were German
Quakers or non-combatants, Menonites, etc. •^) Lincoln stated
his ancestors were (Quakers. From the church records and
school houses erected by these new settlers in Virginia, as well
as from many family bibles, hymn books, certificates, letters,
etc., still preserved, we know that they were not illiterate, and
if Abraham Linkhorn was one of them, he could write his
name and neither the land office in Richmond, nor the sur-
veyors in their certificate, are gnilty of clerical errors.

Whether the ancestors of our illustrious Lincoln were of
German descent I leave to the fair judgment of mv hearers;
for me it is sufficient that he was a true American, and a great
one; the reason 1 have made this argument is, that our would-
be historians as a rule often ignore, and some falsifv and
pervert plain truths and facts of American history in favor
first of New England and the l*ilgrims, and next in favor of
the fantastic fiction of Anglo-Saxon in its latest development.
The great and important part of the Germans in colonial times
and later formation of our nation is not mentioned, and the
names of the actors in our historv. if of German origin, arc,
as a rule, anglicized.

It is to be regretted that this changing or anglicizing the
German familv name bv the descendants has lieconie to a larse

i) Ditfenflerfer's "The Oeniuin Iiiimigration into Poiiiis\ haiiia. Laiuiistcr,
Pa., 1900. Part II, p. 9ti.

3) Bittinger, "The Germans in Colonial Times." Ptiilaileliiliia and l.oinlon
1901. Kupp's "History ot Meiks Counts ." .T. K. Saehse. "(i.Tman Plulists."
Philadelphia, lH9.->.

>^ - .


exlt'iil a lialiil. and leads to iiuist iiiconiiriKnis. alisui'd I'l'sults.
'I'hf dcsct'iidaiits of a woi'tliv (Jci'iiiaii. who settled in the
eightei'iitli eciiturv in AuL;iista county, \ iri;iiiia. and w lio now
numtx-i' several thousand |»eo])le. scattei'i'd over many States of
the rnion, reci'iitly held one of theii' family fe-unions at Tri-
nity (diurch. Auausta county. X'iryinia, neai' whicdi the pro-
genitor of the multitude. Kaspar Koynath. lived and died and
lies l)iiricd. More than a thousand descendants luul assembled.
However. I believe not one of them bore the true name of
their common ancestor Kovnath, tiu'y had all anglicized their
name in the most ca})ricious manner. Thei-e were Koiners,
Koviiers. Coyners, Coiners, etc. 'i'hey erected a monument, a
great S(|uai"e blo(d\ of gi'anite. ten feet high, surmount»'d with
an immense s})here of granite, and a])proi)i"iately inscribed, ovei"
the gi'ave of their honored ancestor; a noble act of piety, but
not one of them cai'ries his true family name.

In my )>ersonal e.\])erience the curious case occurred that
the descendants of a (iermun. Avhose innne had been an.glici/ed.
(dianged it and adopted the real family name again, ^vhicil was
the cause of an inheritance of .Mi.OOO Marks coming to them
from Westphalen. (iermany, where a relative of the father's
side had <lied without leaving any known heirs, and the author-
ities had advertised for tlie unknown heirs. The Americans,
niv (dients, had no knowledge of tlieir relative. It hapix'ued
that a very old (ierman who had known their deceased fathei"
in his vouth, and knew the famih relation, attracted ])y the
familiar old (iernum name on the business sign of one of them,
made himself known, and heai'ing of the notice for tiie un-
known heirs, informed them of their relationship to the de-
ceased, and I was able, although the notice had ( \pired, to
collect the money foi' them. Had the\ continued to live under
the anglicized name they would never have known of their
iniieritance and tlie nK»ney would have gone to the descendants
on the mot tier's side (»f theii' "I'andfat her.



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Online LibraryLouis Paul HennighausenAbraham Lincoln or Linkhorn; → online text (page 1 of 1)