Lincoln Sightings

Below is a list of all the former slaves interviewed by the Federal Writers’ Project who claimed Lincoln came down South shortly before or during the Civil War. Each name is followed by a citation from George P. Rawick, ed., The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography (41 vols. and index; Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1972–79). If the short citation reads American Slave, that means it can be found in the original series published in 1972 and is also accessible on the Library of Congress website (in which case names are linked to the digitized pages); if the short citation reads American Slave, Supp. Ser. 1 or American Slave, Supp. Ser. 2, that means it can be found in one of the two supplemental series published in 1977 and 1979.

Charlotte FosterAmerican Slave, 2 (S.C., pt. 2), 82

Lucretia HeywardAmerican Slave, 2 (S.C., pt. 2), 281

Sam MitchellAmerican Slave, 3 (S.C., pt. 3), 203

Sam PoliteAmerican Slave, 3 (S.C., pt. 3), 275–76

Sam RawlsAmerican Slave, 3 (S.C., pt. 4), 6

Mary WilliamsAmerican Slave, 3 (S.C., pt. 4), 207

Jordon SmithAmerican Slave, 5 (Tex., pt. 4), 39

Wade OwensAmerican Slave, 6 (Ala.), 308

Charlie DavenportAmerican Slave, 7 (Miss.), 38, 40

Alice DouglassAmerican Slave, 7 (Okla.), 74–75

Bob MaynardAmerican Slave, 7 (Okla.), 225–26

H. B. HollowayAmerican Slave, 9 (Ark., pt. 3), 295–96

Pinkey HowardAmerican Slave, 9 (Ark., pt. 3), 326–27

Margret HulmAmerican Slave, 9 (Ark., pt. 3), 357–58

Adrianna W. KernsAmerican Slave, 9 (Ark., pt. 4), 193

Frank A. PattersonAmerican Slave, 10 (Ark., pt. 5), 278

J. T. TimsAmerican Slave, 10 (Ark., pt. 6), 341

Tom WindhamAmerican Slave, 11 (Ark., pt. 7), 215

Lou GriffinAmerican Slave, 11 (Mo.), 143–44

Charlie RichardsonAmerican Slave, 11 (Mo.), 295

Charity AustinAmerican Slave, 14 (N.C., pt. 1), 59–60

Mary Wallace BoweAmerican Slave, 14 (N.C., pt. 1), 150–51

Georgianna FosterAmerican Slave, 14 (N.C., pt. 1), 317

Amy PennyAmerican Slave, 15 (N.C., pt. 2), 160

Dilly YelladayAmerican Slave, 15 (N.C., pt. 2), 426

Mary WooldridgeAmerican Slave, 16 (Ky.), 107

Irene CoatesAmerican Slave, 17 (Fla.), 76–77

Salena TaswellAmerican Slave, 17 (Fla.), 372–73

Louis Meadows, American Slave, Supp. Ser. 1, 1 (Ala.), 255

Sarah Walker, American Slave, Supp. Ser. 1, 2 (Wash.), 281

Ellen Miller, American Slave, Supp. Ser. 1, 2 (Wash.), 284

Elizabeth Russell, American Slave, Supp. Ser. 1, 5 (Ind.), 179–80, 184–85

Joe Bouy, American Slave, Supp. Ser. 1, 6 (Miss., pt. 1), 181

Henry Gibbs, American Slave, Supp. Ser. 1, 8 (Miss., pt. 3), 829

Tom Hunley, American Slave, Supp. Ser. 1, 8 (Miss., pt. 3), 1067–68

Maria Heywood, American Slave, Supp. Ser. 1, 11 (S.C.), 188

Rose Mercer, American Slave, Supp. Ser. 1, 12 (Okla.), 230

Virginia Newman, American Slave, Supp. Ser. 2, 7 (Tex., pt. 6), 2907–8

Also of note are the account of Sam Doyle, along with his painting Lincoln at Frogmore (1982), in Alice Rae Yellen, Passionate Visions of the American South: Self-Taught Artists from 1940 to the Present (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1993), 236, 243; the accounts of Sam Doyle, Elizabeth Glenn, and Maggie Smalls cited in Joseph E. Holloway, “The Sacred World of the Gullahs,” in Joseph E. Holloway, ed., Africanisms in American Culture, 2nd ed. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), 211; and the account of Annie Joyner Gavin quoted in Gregory P. Downs, Declarations of Dependence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861–1908 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011), 71, 73.