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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Gourley, James. 'James Gourley (William H. Herndon Interview)' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: interview]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon451.html


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343. James Gourley (William H. Herndon Interview).

[1865 — 66 [1]]

Jas Gurley

I Knew Lincoln as Early as 1834: he used to Come from New Salem afoot & get books at Stuarts & Dummers [2] office: he was Post Master or D.P.M at that time: he used to Come to Stuart & Dummers office and tell his Stories: he once helped box a fellow up in a hogshead and roll him down — Jack Armstrong was the leader — I run a foot race in 1836 with H. B. Truett — now of California — got Lincoln to be my judge — Truett had a running Suit — Indian Style — . Lincoln felt good as I beat Truett — a boaster. Lincoln loved to see the wind out of the windy fool. Col E D Baker and I used to run foot races. I Know when Lincoln Came to this City — in 1837 — probably in May 1836. We played the old fashioned town ball — jumped — ran — fought & danced. Lincoln played town ball — he hopped well — in 3 hops he would go 40.2 on a dead level. He was a great wrestler — wrestled in the black Hawk war: his mode — method — or way — his Specialty was Side holds: he threw down all men. Lincoln was a good player — could catch a ball: he would Strip and go at it — do it well —

I heard Lincoln make a Speech in Mechanicsburg Sangamon Co in 1836. Jno Neal had a fight at the time — the roughs got on him and Lincoln jumped in and Saw fair play — We Staid for dinner at Greens close to M — drunk whiskey sweetened with honey. there — the questions discussed were internal improvements — whig principles — : he peeled _________ [3]

I heard Mr Lincoln during the Same Canvass. Early was a candidate — Lincoln skinned Dick Quinton in the Court in July 1836, I think. It was at the Court house — where the State house now Stands — . The whigs & democrats had a general quarrel then & there. N. W. Edwards drew a pistol on Achilles Morris — During the Congressional race between Jno. T. Stuart & S A Douglas they had a fight in Herndons grocery — the brick layer: they fought in a grocery: [4] they both fought till Exhausted — grocery floor Slippery with Slop. Stuart ordered out a barrel of whiskey and wine — . I became acquainted with Douglas in 1836 when he first Came here as Register of the Land office — Douglas & I wrestled many and many a time — When Harrison White & Co run their race I was a Har—n man — Lincoln was a Clay man — Heard Douglas & Lincoln Speak on the questions of the day many times: heard Lincoln & Calhoun in their great Tariff debate in the Court house [5] — a rented room in Hoffman's row — N.W. Corner of public Square: This debate lasted 3 or 4 nights or more. Lincoln's arguments were profound — Calhoun was an able man — No mistake — one of the ablest men that ever made Stump Speeches in Ills — He came nearer of whipping Lincoln in debate than

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Gourley, James. 'James Gourley (William H. Herndon Interview)' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: interview]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon451.html
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