Several men have been named as Abraham Lincoln's father. Until recently, Samuel Davis was not one of them. The Davis family members that knew of the affair between Samuel Davis and Nancy Lincoln wanted it kept secret. If knowledge of the affair became known, it would destroy Samuel's marriage. Family members that knew the truth continued to kept it a secret from the public for over a hundred-and-fifty years. In 1970 some family members decided to go public. The news received little or no attention.
Not many people realize that Thomas Lincoln was castrated in childhood and could not have been Abraham Lincoln's biological father.
William Cessna was
a friend of Thomas Lincoln. He said after seeing Thomas bathing in a stream that
Thomas Lincoln could not have been Abe's father. He said that one or both of his
testicles were no larger than peas.
Dennis Hanks and Nancy Hanks were cousins. They were both raised in the home of Thomas and Elizabeth Sparrow. Dennis said that Thomas Lincoln when tolerably young was castrated.
From the letters of William H. Herndon (Lincoln's law partner) in a book by Emanuel Hertz: The Hidden Lincoln. On page 354 Herndon says "Thomas Lincoln was castrated I admit."
When Herndon was writing a biography on Abraham Lincoln. He told A. Orendorff about his concern over Lincoln's legitimacy. Orendorff told Herndon, "the People wished and greatly wished to have the story of Lincoln's legitimacy well settled and forever fixed".
Later he wrote to Judge Matheny about his concern over Lincoln's legitimacy. Judge Matheny said to Herndon, "If you can clearly make Lincoln out to be a legitimate, a lawful child of Thomas and Nancy and make it out that Nancy Lincoln, Thomas Lincoln's wife, was chaste, etc., I would do it by all means." Clearly an attempt to conceal the truth and make Lincoln a legitimate child of Thomas Lincoln. They rationalized that a child born in lawful wedlock was a legitimate child no matter who was the real father.
Another author, Ward Lamon, wrote The life of Abraham Lincoln. Ward was Lincoln's best friend during the war years. Lamon's book was nearly ready for publication when he submitted the book to Swett and Davis for their criticism. They found a chapter saying that Thomas Lincoln was not the father of Abraham Lincoln, but some other man. Swett and Davis where horrified and convinced Lamon to remove those parts that told of Lincoln's illegitimacy. Ward decided that since Lincoln was born in wedlock, that makes him legitimate no matter who the real father was.
All the men named as Lincoln's father, except Samuel Davis, have week claims and poor supporting evidence. Their timeline, place of residence, and the time of Lincoln's birth are all different and unsupportable.
There is one man we have to consider. He lived a few miles
from the Lincolns. Their families knew each other. His name was Abraham Enloe of
Kentucky. Supposedly, he was seeing Nancy Lincoln when Thomas discovered the
affair. A fight ensued and Thomas Lincoln bit off Enloe's nose. Fearful of
Enloe's revenge, Thomas Lincoln moved his family to Illinois.
A newsman wanting to get the story straight from the Enloes, went to see the family. Nobody in the family knew of any such fight. None of them knew of any family member with a facial disfigurement. All of the Enloes remembered the Lincoln family with fondness. The newsman determined that the story was a complete lie.
Thomas C. Walters was Abraham Enloe's friend. He said that
Abraham Enloe told him that "he rendered the Lincoln family many little acts of
kindness and that he believed they named their infant son for him 'Abraham'
because of the kind treatment he had given the family".
When Nancy was a young woman of 22, she was an attractive, friendly, carefree sprit. She was working in a farmer's tobacco field when the farmer made sexual advances toward her. The farmer wouldn't take no for an answer and she gave in to his desires. She got pregnant by him.
Elizabeth wanted to give the baby an honest, respectable
name. She gave a man five gallons of whiskey to marry Nancy. The man was a
drunken looser with no ambition. He was castrated at ten because he developed
genital warts (genital mumps, genital bumps) and he could not have children of
his own. His name was Thomas Lincoln. Thomas and Nancy were married at the home
of Richard Berry.
Thomas moved his new wife into a 14'x14'
shed in one of the alleys of Elizabethtown. It had four walls, a roof, and a
dirt floor. They had a wood stove to keep warm and to cook with, and nothing
else. Nancy was living in wrenched poverty. She gave birth to her daughter on a
bed made of straw. When Nancy's baby was born, the baby girl was given the name
Thomas Lincoln, Nancy's new husband, was somewhat of a
carpenter and would travel alone for months looking for work and/or whiskey.
Nancy described her husband as a no-good drunk. To support herself and her baby,
Nancy worked as seamstress. Thomas showed Nancy little or no affection. After their
first year of marriage, Nancy would not let Thomas touch her. She hated him.
One day in Elizabethtown, Nancy was viewing an auction of
beautiful Arabian stallions when she noticed a handsome man selling some of his
prized horses. His name was Samuel Davis. They struck up a conversion and an
attraction. With Thomas gone for months, a romance between Nancy and Samuel
Samuel divided his time between his wife and his lover.
Every few months, Samuel would return to Elizabethtown see Nancy. One day, Nancy
was telling Samuel that she was pregnant with his baby when Thomas overheard.
Thomas was hiding behind a tree, watching them. Thomas seemed more upset with
Nancy than he was with Samuel. To appease Thomas, Samuel offered to give Thomas
some land near Nolin Creek. Thomas accepted the offer and he and Nancy moved
there to farm the land. Nolin Creek was a good place to raise horses, but a poor
place to farm. Thomas later called it Sinking Spring Farm. On this farm, Nancy
gave birth to Abraham Lincoln on February 12, 1809.
A lawyer named Joseph Davis discovered his father's affair with Nancy Lincoln. He knew that if the affair became known, it would destroy his family. He made certain that the affair would remain unknown to the public.
Author of Lincoln, Davis, and Booth: Family Secrets
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