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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; McNamar, John. 'John McNamar 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=herndon420.html


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-- 420 --

310. John McNamar to William H. Herndon.

Petersburg Ill Nov 25th 1866

My Dear Sir

Since receiving your rather Flattering request to write up some of the Ancient reminicences of this Locality the Great Political Battle has been fought and won "Saved we the Gods" for the victory Let Andy [1] swing as Ben Butler would say the higher the Better, he might have been a great man had not the Tayler that made him up, cabbaged the proper Trimmings [2] "There is a tide in the affairs of men" which Andy did not take at the Ebb" but which Mr Lincoln without having read Shakespear in Early life, triumhantly [flooded?] on to lasting fame; if not to fortune. I remember Mr Lincoln's first miscellaneous Reading he got possesion of a Copy of Burns and repeated with great Glee "Sic a wife as willy had I wudna Gie a button for her," others, yourself perhaps would have joined with Tam O Shanter, in admiration of the "Cutty Sark" [3]

There was not many Books in the region at that time I had a copy of Shakespear Popes Homer and essay on man and Don Quixotte [4] I dont remember whether Mr Lincoln ever read Either of them when I went away I locked up Shakespear in a trunk with some other articles among which was a few packs of cards. It was afterwards Broken open Shakespear was not disturbed and I have him yet, But the cards were among the missing, you can infer which was the most popular but what I considered very remarkable at the time was seeing a copy of Homers Oddessy quite old and torn and printed with ancient type in the hands of Some of the old setters I cant remember whom now its history, the manners habits and customs of the People of those days was of that Primitive order that usually characterize New Settlements with an abundance of the necessaries of life, its Luxuries were unknown or uncared for Lavish hospitality and Brotherly love abounded and every where the Latch string hung out to all comers, The Majority of the Citizens were professing Christians or church members a second Class though not belonging to the churches associated with Church members in preference to the

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; McNamar, John. 'John McNamar 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=herndon420.html
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