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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Vineyard, Benjamin R. 'Benjamin R. Vineyard to Jesse W. Weik' 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=herndon599.html


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488. Benjamin R. Vineyard to Jesse W. Weik.

St. Joseph, Mo., Jany 13 — 1887

Dear Sir,

Your letter of 10th inst. has been received. I have no picture of my mother (who died July 4th 1877) except a photograph taken a few years before her death and about the time she was sixty-five years of age. This picture is reasonably true to life, and if you desire, I will have a reprint taken of this photograph and send you. I wish I had a picture of her when young, as I have often heard her spoken of by those who then Knew her as being very handsome. Most biographers of Mr. Lincoln, so far as I have seen their references to my Mother, whose Maiden name was Mary S. Owens, have been very Kind and fair. Once only, and that in a newspaper article wherein language was attributed to my mother insinuating that she was an uneducated woman, have I thought myself called on to say anything in her defense. What I then said was published in a local paper here (The Gazette) in its issue dated June 12th, 1881, and a clipping therefrom I send you inclosed, with a request that you return it to me again. I Knew my mother to be a woman of good education, reared in good society by a wealthy father, and that she could not have made use of the illiterate language attributed to her; and so I wrote and had published the article inclosed, and which, I believe, was quite largely copied into other papers.

If you will tell me in reply all (in detail) that you wish from me, I will as far as I can comply with your request, simply bespeaking for my mother, whose memory is dear to me such reference as a good woman who in all things, I am sure, acted honorably with Mr. Lincoln deserves. I do not mean by this the suppression of

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truth, but such fair treatment as a young lady of good standing, who had the honor, after a courtship in which she took no unladylike course, to reject the offered hand of Mr. Lincoln.

I think most of the letters to my mother from the ex-president, except those published in Lamon's work, were destroyed. I will, however write my sister, who has Mother's old papers and learn. Hoping to hear from you again, I subscribe myself, Yours truly,

B.R. Vineyard.

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 4595 — 96

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Vineyard, Benjamin R. 'Benjamin R. Vineyard to Jesse W. Weik' 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=herndon599.html
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