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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; McHenry, Henry. '9. Henry McHenry 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=herndon014.html


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9. Henry McHenry to William H. Herndon (interview) [1].

Petersburg Ills, My 29 1865

Mr. Lincoln came into Sangamon County — now Menard Co in the fall of 1830 — : he came down the Sangamon River in a flat boat with Offut in the summer of 1830 [2] — went down the Sangamon to Beardstown on the Illinois and from this last he Came to the little town of New Salem: Offut brought some goods wares & merchandise up from Beardstown and Lincoln put them up — unboxed them & put them up on shelves — , he being then 21 ys of age & some few months — He attended — clerked for Offut, attending store and a mill at the foot of the Hill on the Sangamon River. He stayed with Offut from the fall of 1830 to about August 1831 — this was during the winter of the deep snow: He was a good — obliging clerk & an honest one: he increased Offuts business much by his simplicity — open — Candid — obliging & honest — Evry body loved him — . Soon after this and during the same year 1831 — he was deputy P. M under Saml Hill in New Salem — At this time he borrowed law books of Jno. T. Stuart: he read He read law sometimes — always during good weather — in the open air: he sat on a goods box under a large white oak tree in Salem, barefooted as he came into the world — : Lincoln would come out & stay with me a week or two at a time, reading law — hunting squirrels with a gun. In the Spring or Summer of 1832 I had a horse race with Geo Warburton. I got Lincoln, who was at the race to be a judge of the race much against his will and after hard persuasion. Lincoln decided correctly and the other judge said — "Lincoln is the fairest man I ever had to deal with If Lincoln is in this County when I die I want him to be my admr., for he is the only man I ever met with that was wholy & purely and unselshly honest". Soon after this and during the latter part of the year 1832 — or first part of 1833 he studied surveying and went at surveying practically during the same year. He studied surveying under Mentor Graham who now lives not more than two hundred yars from my residence in Petersburg Menard Co: he is a good, truthful & honest: he did not learn surveying of Calhoun, but became Calhoun's deputy surveyor. He still Continued reading law at the same time: he read so much — was so studious — took so little physical exercise — was so laborious in his studies that he became Emaciated & his best friends were afraid that he would craze himself — make himself derange from his habits of study which were incessant. I then moved to Cass and did see him only occasionally till 1836. We — the neighbors — had a disputed Corner in Town 18 N. of 8 R west. [3] We agreed to send for Lincoln & to abide by his decision as surveyor & judge: he came down with Compass — flag staff — Chain &c and stopped with me 3 or 4 days and surveyed the whole section. When the disputed corner arrived at by actual survey, Lincoln then stuck down his staff and said — "Gentlemen — here is the Corner." We then went to

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; McHenry, Henry. '9. Henry McHenry 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=herndon014.html
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