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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Rutledge, Robert B. 'Robert B. Rutledge 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=herndon426.html


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315. Robert B. Rutledge to William H. Herndon.

Oskaloosa Nov 30th 1866

Dear Friend

your letter of 29th inst, is received, and I take pleasure in answering your intarogatories, so far as my recollection Serves me,

you asked 1st What books did Mr Lincoln read & Study at New Salem,

He studied first Kirkhams Grammar [1] and the Arithmetic, then Natural philosophy, Astronomy & Chemistry, then Surveying, and Law, In the mean time read history & other books, the news papers of the day, in fact any and books from which he could derive information or knowledge, You asked 2d what month & year did he read each one in course, So long time has interveaned that I cannot give dates, but he studied Grammar, philosophy, Astronomy &c during his first years residence in New Salem and while clerking for Offatt, [2]

you asked 3d "What Method — way — manner &c, did he read," He had no regular teacher, but received more information from Minter Graham than any other person, While clerking for Offatt as Post Master or in the pursuit of any avocation, An opportunity would offer, he would apply himself to his studies, if it was but five minutes time, would open his book, which he always kept at hand, & study, close it recite to himself, then entertain company or wait on a Customer in the Store or post office apparently without any interuption, When passing from business to boarding house for meals, he could usually be seen with his book under his arm, or open in his hand reading as he walked, he frequently would seek young female company for entertainment & amusement, On such occasions he uniformly carried his book, Would alternately, entertain and amuse the company by witicisms jokes &c, and study his lesson, He never appeared to be a hard student as he seamed to Master his studies with little effort, until he commenced the study of Law, in that he became wholly engrossed,

I think he never avoided men until he he commenced the study of Law, further than to read & study at late hours after the business of the day was disposed of, in the Summer season he frequently retired to the woods to read & study, you asked did he read newspapers, More than he did books, he read papers incidentally for the news of the day, if there was any wit or good stories he was certain to

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find them & to read to others, he took great pleasure in reading Jack Downings letters,

I have endeavored to condense this letter as much as posible, and the result is I have rendered it very unsatisfactory to me as it will no dout be to you, so I will close it, by promising you that at some other time when I feel in a better mood for writing, I will enlarge on this, Will be glad to receive two or three copies of your lecture [3] as also an other copy of your former lecture as the Editor of the Hawk Eye borrowed the one you sent me,

Pleas excuse all blunders as I find they are too numerous for me to correct at this hour

very truly yours
R B Rutledge

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2824; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:568 — 70

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Rutledge, Robert B. 'Robert B. Rutledge 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=herndon426.html
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