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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=herndon408b.html


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

Oskaloosa Nov 21st 1866

Dear Sir

I have just received your two letters, of 18 & 19th insts and hasten to answer,

you ask, first, Do I truthfully paint the Old pioneers, with classes — the Oldest Class, and our Fathers. [1]

I answer, you do, you ask, secondly do I get the condition of Mr Lincoln's mental Suffering and Condition truthfully? I cannot answer this question from personal knowledge, but from what I have learned from others at the time, you are substantially correct, you ask thirdly Do I truthfully describe New Salem her surroundings from 1825 to 1837.

I answer, your picture is well and truthfully drawn, as it appeared to me from 1828 to 1836, the time in which I was familiar with the place.

you ask Forthly Do I get the facts all correctly — and tell them truthfully, I answer, substantially you do, but probably a little in error in detail in one or two

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particulars, to wit, In your lecture you say three men, fell in love with Ann Rutledge simultaneously, the facts are Wm Berry first courted Ann and was rejected afterwards Saml. Hill then John McNamar, which resulted in an engagement to marry at some future time, he McNamar left the Country on business, was gone some years, in the mean time and during McNamars absence, Mr Lincoln, Courted Ann and engaged to marry her, on the completion of the sudy of law, In this I am caroborated by James Mc Rutledge a cousin about her age & who was in her confidence, he say in a letter to me just received, "Ann told me once in coming from a Camp Meeting on Rock creek, that engagements made too far a hed sometimes failed, that one had failed, (meaning her engagement with McNamar) Ann gave me to understand, that as soon as certain studies were completed she and Lincoln would be married He says you & Mr Cogsdell [2] talked with him on this subject, but he did not tell you as much, as he thot you had a design in it," you can correspond with him and say to him that this is no longer a delicate question, in as much as it must of necessity become a matter of history, that I desire the whole truth to be recorded.

I think you are in error as to the Cause of Ann's Sickness, You will pardon me for my frankness, as I wish to assist you in developing the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth,

I have no dout but Ann had fully determined to break off the engagement with McNamar, but presume She had never notified him of the fact, as he did not return until after her death.

you are also in error in relating the conversation had with McNamar on 14th Oct 1866. you will bare in Mind, McNamar left the country in 1832 or 1833 to fetch his Fathers family to Menard Co, and did not Return with them until the fall of 1835 after Ann's death, his Mother died some years after he brot her to Menard Co and was buried in the same grave yard, McNamar had purchased the Farm on which we lived at the time of Ann's & Fathers death, prior to his leaving the country in 1832,

you aske me how I like your lecture, I answer, I like it very much, the great wonder with me is, how you have unearthed, developed, & brot to light & life So much dead matter, and made so few mistakes, I Am Dear Sir truly

your Friend,
R B Rutledge

(PS) In folding this Mrs Rutledge, suggests that she would be pleased to recive your Photograph for her new album, as she desires to fill it up, with new as well as Old friends

Yours
Rutledge

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2762 — 64; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:466 — 68

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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=herndon408b.html
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