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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Miles, George U. 'George U. Miles 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=herndon236.html


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178. George U. Miles to William H. Herndon.

Petersburg Ill March 23d — 1866

Dear Sir

in answer to yours of the 19th I have to Say that the references you gave me knew little or nothing of what you wanted to know So I called on the old women whoes heads are always clear & recolection good Especially on matters of courtship in Early life —

Mrs Bolin Green Says that Mr Lincoln was a regular suitor of Miss Ann Rutledge for between two & 3 years next up to August 1835 in which month Miss Rutledge died after a short ilness that Lincoln took her death verry hard so much so that some thought his mind would become impared & in fear of it (her husband Bolin Green went to Salem after Lincoln brought him to his house and kept him a week or two & succeeded in cheering him Lincoln up though he was quite molencoly for months She Misses Nancy Green thinks they would have ben married had She Miss Rutledge not have died & probably would have been married long before her death had it not have ben that She had a nother Bow by the name of John McNamer who She thought as much of as She did of Lincoln to appearances McNamer had ben the partner of Maj Samuel Hill in the dry goods buisiness but they had desolved Hill buying him out he McNamer had a farm Seven miles north of New Salem on which Col James Rutledge the father of Miss

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Ann Rutledge resided & had for 9 or 10 months previous to that time he Col Rutledge had resided in New Salem for a number of years — Mrs Wm Rutledge who resides in Petersburg and did reside in the neighbourhood at the time of Said courtship and who is an Aunt to Said Ann Rutledge & acquainted with the parties & all the circumstances of the prolonged courtship coroberates all the above Except She thinks that Ann if She had lived would have married McNamer or rather She thinks Ann liked him a little the best though McNamer had ben absent in Ohio for Near two years at the time of her death though they corrospanded by letter

Mrs Parthena W Hill coroberates all the above Except She thinks as Mrs Green that Lincoln would have got her had she lived & it was so generally believed

As to Miss Mary Owens Mrs Hill Seamed unwilling to Say any thing, & Said Miss Owens was yet living & a widow & she thought would not like to have her name used — but Mrs Bolin Green Said She Miss Owens was here at Bennet Abells on a visit for about one year next preceding the death of Miss Rutledge — that Lincoln went to See her frequently during that time She living handy to Salem that near the End of the year & a Short time before the death of Miss Rutledge (perhapse Some months) Lincoln went down into the neighborhood of Col Rutledges to do a job of Surveying and Remained there about 3 weeks — that Miss Owens got miffed at his long stay there & left Abells & went to Minter Grahams & that Lincoln never went to See her any more

As to Lincoln going to See a Miss Berry or a Miss Short it Seams to be a mistak those woman Say he did not & I can find no one that does know of it Bolin Green died February 13 — 1842 — His Masonick funeral was that Summer [1] at which Lincoln delivered the finest address and Euligy I Ever hurd on such occasion — by calling on Lavely who was master of lodge numbe 4 in Springfield at that time you can get the date of the funeral as that lodge has it on record

The above statements I think you may rely on but if you Should undertake to write a history of my life after I am dead I dont want you to inquire So close into my Early courtships as you do of Mr Lincolns

All well — Nomore Yours Truly G. U. Miles.

NB in 1835 when Miss Rutledge died & when Lincoln was going to See Miss Owens this was Sangamo County — Menard being formed at the Session of 1838 & 9

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2529 — 30; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:489 — 92

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Miles, George U. 'George U. Miles 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=herndon236.html
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