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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Hall, James. 'James Hall 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=herndon580.html


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-- 580 --

467. James Hall to William H. Herndon.

St Denis P.O. Md. Sept 17th/73

Sir.

I am Sure some apology should preface the infliction of a letter from a Stranger upon you on the biographer of Mr Lincoln, Mr Lamon: but I have none to offer except as you may infer from the page or two enclosed.

On page 145 of "Life of Lincoln" in speaking of Denton Offutt, [1] "The most cunning & searching enquiries have failed to discover a spot where he lingered" &c — Of what consequence to know or learn more of Offutt I cannot imagine, but be assured he turned up after leaving New Salem. On meeting the name, it seemed familiar, but I could not at once locate him. Finally I shed up from memory, that some 20 or 25 years since, one "Denton Offutt" appeared in Baltimore, hailing from Kentucky, advertising himself in the city papers, as a veterinary Surgeon, & horse tamer, proposing to have a secret to whisper in the horse's ear, or a secret manner of whispering in his ear, which he could communicate to others, & by which the most refractory & vicious horses could be gentled & controlled. For this secret, he charged five dollars, binding the recipient by oath not to divulge it. I knew several persons, young fancy horsemen, who paid for the trick. Offutt advertised himself not only through the press, but he appeared in the streets on horse back & on foot in plain citizens dress of black, but with a broad sash across his his right shoulder of various colored ribbon, crossed on his left hip under a large rosetta of like material, rendering his appearance most ludicrously conspicuous — Having occasion to purchase a horse at this time, I encountered him at several of our Sale Stables & was strongly urged to avail myself of his secret — So much for Offutt — Therefore if Mr Lamon sees fit, he can add a note to relieve the anxiety of any who may have made such

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Hall, James. 'James Hall 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=herndon580.html
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