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William Johnson, a Black laborer in Springfield, worked various jobs for Abraham Lincoln. Here the president recommends him for employment in Washington. Johnson later accompanied Lincoln to the Gettysburg Cemetery dedication but died of smallpox shortly thereafter. Lincoln ordered him buried in Arlington Cemetery, where Johnson’s gravestone bears his name with only the inscription “Citizen.”

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Transcription of artifact / document:

The bearer of this, William Johnson (colored) came with me from Illinois; and is a worthy man, as I believe.

Oct 24, 1862

A. Lincoln

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