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Sunday, December 24, 1848.+-

Washington, DC.

Lincoln responds to family members who seek loans. Lincoln's father, Thomas Lincoln, of Charleston, Illinois, requests $20, to "satisfy a judgment." Lincoln complies, but cautions, "Before you pay it, it would be well to be sure you have not paid it." Lincoln denies a request for $80 from his step-brother, John Johnston, and instead offers, "You are not lazy, and still you are an idler. I doubt whether since I saw you, you have done a good whole day's work, in any one day. You do not very much dislike to work; and still you do not work much, merely because it does not seem to you that you could get much for it . . . You are now in need of some ready money; and what I propose is, that you shall go to work, 'tooth and nails' for some body who will give you money . . . Now if you will do this, you will soon be out of debt, and what is better, you will have a habit that will keep you from getting in debt again."Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Lincoln and John D. Johnston, 24 December 1848, CW, 2:15-17.