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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Greene, William G. 'William G. Greene to 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=herndon017.html


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11. William G. Greene to William H. Herndon (interview) [1].

Elm Wood May 30th 1865

My Dear Sir:

I came to Illinois in the year AD 1820 and settled on the Sangamon River above Petersburg and near the town of New Salem, then in Sangamon County — Now Menard County, this last County having been cut off Sangamon County in the year AD 1838 & 9. Abraham Lincoln Came to Sangamon Town in the fall of 1829 [2] and to New Salem in the Spring of 1831. Mr Lincoln built a flat boat on the Sangamon River for Denton Offutt at Sangamon Town, about 7 miles north west of the City of Springfield. Before landing at New Salem: He then Came down the River on the flat boat with Dennis Hanks — Jno Johnson a step brother of Lincoln, & Offutt. The boat in coming down the Sangamon River grounded & lodged on the New Salem Mill dam at the foot of the hill on which Salem was built. I Saw the boat soon after it landed — on the same hour or day. and then and there for the first time I saw Abraham Lincoln. He had on a pair of mixed blue jeans pants — a hickory shirt and a Common Chip hat. He was at that time well and firmly built: his thigs were as perfect as a human being Could be. and weighed 214: his height was six feet four inches. When I first saw him he was endeavring to pry the boat over the dam. Whilst straining every nerve to push the boat off the dam Mr Lincoln having noticed by his quick river eye that the River was falling remarked to Offut — "We will have to get the boat to the shore and unload it or it will sink". Offutt submitted — the boat was got off the dam and brought to the shore and unloaded. It was loaded with wheat — dry goods —. [3] Offutt then rented the grist mill at the foot of Salem hill, owned by Cameron & Rutledge. Here he ground his wheat and put up his goods in the store. Lincoln was made Offutts, Chief and head Clerk. Within a few days after the goods were put up in the store at New Salem I went down there and was Employed by Offutt as clerk to keep the store. Mr Lincoln & I clerked together for Offutt about 18 months & slept

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Greene, William G. 'William G. Greene to 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=herndon017.html
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