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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Ellis, Abner Y. 'Abner Y. Ellis (statement for 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=herndon170.html


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-- 170 --

[Enclosure]

127. Abner Y. Ellis (statement for William H. Herndon).

I, Abner Y. Ellis,

First became acquainted with Capt. Abraham Lincoln in New Salem then Sangamon County, shortly after his return from the Black Hawk war — but not intimately untill the Summer and fall of 1833, in that year I went to New Salem with a stock of goods belonging to Mr N A Garland now of Springfield I then became I may say intimately acquainted with him We boarded at the Same log Tavern Kept by Henry Onstott and afterwards by Mr Nelson Ally During my stay their he was not engaged in any partcular business, but I think he was preparing himself of Surveying I remember he had an old form Book from which he used in writing Deeds, Wills & Letters when desired to do so by his freinds and neighbours, he also used a Small Size Dictionary when engaged in Writing. He also used to assist Me in the Store on busy days, but he allways disliked to wait on the Ladies he prefered trading with the Men & Boys as he used to Say

I also remember that he Used to sleep in the store on the Counter when they had two Much Company at the Tavern.

I also remember that Mr Lincoln was in those days a Verry shy Man of Ladies — On one occasion while we boarded at this Tavern there came a family Containing an old Lady her Son and Three stilish Daughters from the State of Virginia and stoped their for 2 or 3 weeks and during theer stay I do not remember of Mr Lincoln Ever eating at the Same table when they did. I then thought it was on account of his awkward appearance and his wareing apparel.

I well remember how he was dressed he wore flax & tow linnen pantaloons [1] — I thought about 5 inches too short in the legs and frequently he had but one Suspender — no vest or Coat he Wore a Calico Shert Such as he had in the black Hawk War he wore coarse Brogans Tan Couler Blue Yarn Socks & straw Hat — old style and without a band

Salem in those days was a hard place for a temperate young Man like Mr Lincoln was and I have often wondered how he could be so exremely popular and and not drink and Carouse with them he Used to run footraces & jump with the boys and also play ball I am certain he Never Drank any intoxicating liquors he did not in those days even smoke or chew Tobacco. He was Great at Telling storys and anecdotes & I think that was one great reason of his beaing So popular with It has been Said by Some that Mr Lincoln used to Keep a Dogery in New Salem, I think I Can tell how that story originated during Mr Lincolns resedence ther a young Man by the Name of Wm Bery Kept a store there and he had Liquors to sell and he became so fond of it himself that his freinds got Mr Lincoln to take an interest in the busines Which lasted only a few Months — to get red of the liquor trade — Berry however died and his freinds took charge Concern Berry & Lincoln I understand Make No debts — & Berrys freinds paid

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Ellis, Abner Y. 'Abner Y. Ellis (statement for 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=herndon170.html
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