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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Ellis, Abner Y. 'Abner Y. Ellis to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon189b.html


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135. Abner Y. Ellis to William H. Herndon.

Moro, Ills Febr 1st 1866

Freind Herndon

Your 3rd letter dated Jany 30th is before me and Contents Noticed and I am Much pleased to hear from you that My humble efforts are of Some assistance to you

On Yesterday I Mailed to you address a package Containing 6 pages of the Same Subject

You ask Me in the one just recevd to relate Some of the Storys & anecdotes as told by Mr Lincoln whether smutty or chast this is hard to do as there is but few if any who can tell them so well as he Could. however as You have promised that No one Shall ever see them but Your Self I will endeavor do so though Many of them you have heard before

First; Bap McNabbs Red Rooster

I early times the Boys in and about old Sangamon Town Got up a Free chicken fight or free to all to Enter his rooster by payin 25 cts entrance fee

Well Bap had a verry Splendid Red Rooster and he with others was entered

Well the eventful day arrived and Bap with his little Beauty was their in all his splendere.

The time arrives and into the ring they toss their chickens Baps with the rest but no sooner had the little beauty discovered what was to be done he droped his tale and run

Bap being very much disappointed picked him up and went home loosing his quarter & dishonored chicken

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and as soon as he got home he tossed his pet down in the yard on his own dung hill — The little fellow then stood up & flirted out his beautiful feathers & Crowed as brave as a Lion. Bap Viewed closely & remarked

Yes you dam little cuss you are Great on a parade but you are not worth a Dam in a fight

it is said that Mr L remarked to a freind soon after McClellands fizzle before Richmond That Little McClelland reminded him of Bap McNabbs Little Red Rooster.

Do you remember his Ground Squirl Story. for fear you May Not I will try and tell it as best I Can

Well an American an Irishman and dutchm was to Gether and the American proposed that one of them should ask a question each for the others to anser and if they failed to anser it they wer to Stand treat and it was agreed to Well ask the American "how is it the little Ground Squirl digs his hole in the ground without leaving any dirt at its Mouth

I can tell that Shure it is because the squirel begings his digging at the Bottom all right said the American

Ah Said the dutchman but how dose the little fellow get down there Oh said Paddy that is a question of your own asking and for you only to answer

Well lets have the Lager said the good natured dutchman

I am fearful that My Selection of Storys are Not good and will be rather tiresome so I will colse with

Daddy Can Hold me

Yes, daddy Can hold Me

Two brave young Men was going to fight and were both stripping for the Contest and both Equally Eager by all outward apearances to get to gether but their freinds interfered and was holding the Most Noisey one back when he discoved his antagonist coming towards him he Said to his freinds Why dont Some of you hold the other Man Daddy Can hold Me, Yes Daddy hold Me daddy For You Know My temper

I Suppose you have heard about the young Democrat that was Willing to Swar that he ought to have a vote but he Wanted to Explain

He Said he Was honestly 21 but he had been cheated out of one Year by his Mothers having a miscarriage the first time and he blamed the Black republicans with it

they had Made his Father drunk and he frightened his Mother

Here is a little Irish Song I once heard him repeat he said he wished he could sing it It tells how St Patrick came to be Born on the 17th of March and as Near as I can recollect it run in this Way

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The first factional fight in old Ireland they say
Was all on account of St Pattericks birth day
its somewhare 'bout Midnight, without any doubt
And certin it is that it made a great rout

On the 8th day of March as some people Say
St Patrick at Midnight he first saw the day
While others assert 'twas the 9th he was born
Twas all a Mistake between Midnight and Morn

Some blamed the baby and some blamed the clock
Some blamed the doctor and some blamed crowing Cock
With all these cross questions Sure no one could Know
Whether the babe was too fast or the clock was, too slow

Some fought for the 8th for the 9th More would die
He who would not see right, should have a back Eye
At length those two factions so positive grew
They both had two birth days so Pat he had two

Till father Mulcha who shewed them their sins
he said None could have two birth days but as twins
and boys dont be fighting for the 8 or for 9
dont be allways but sometimes combine

Combine 8 with 9 — 17 is the Mark
let that be the birth day, Amen said the Clock
So they all got blind drunk which completed their bliss
And they have Kept up the practice from that day to [this]

Dont Speak to Me

Josh Beasley and Sam Meeks had been at logger heads for a long time but on day they met in a lane

And Beasley spoke to Meeks and M. indignantly replyed dont speak to Me Sam Beasley for I consider Myself intirely beneath your Notice

Store Tea & Baughton Sugar

Old Mrs Pattengill a selfpossessed old Lady in the Back woods in Indiana went to Town for the first time & stoped at a Tavern for Supper The Land Lady politely ask her Which she Would have Tea or Coffee her reply Was Store Tea & Baughton Sugar in it if you please Mam

Their Was once an old toper in Salem (I have for gotten his Name) complaining to Lincoln and Jack Armstrong — that he had out lived all of his freind But

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said he I have one yet that is in this old Jug pulling out a quart Jug & taking a horn at the same time

Jack Said to him Look hear old feller if you dont quit drinking you will Not Live to see — Christmas I bet you Said he 50 Bushells of Corn I will Live to see Christmas it is a bet said Jack and Lincoln was the Witness The old chap Wun the Corn and went & gethered it in Armstrongs Corn field this was in the fall of 1833 the bet was made

Bob. once Sold John Burnap he asked John how it was that the Sailors New that their was a Man in the Moon John Said No he could not tell — but how did they Well said Bob they had been to Sea.

He told John that he got cured of the Cross Eye by peaping through the Key hole of the door

Do you recollect Mr Lincolns favorite pece of Poetry
"oh why Should the Spirit of Mortal be proud"

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2457, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2459 v/r, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2458 v/r, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 5288; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:418 — 24

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Ellis, Abner Y. 'Abner Y. Ellis to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon189b.html
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