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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Rutledge, Robert B. 'Robert B. Rutledge 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=herndon381.html


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which existed between herself and Mr Lincoln. My sister Ann was born January 7th 1813 and died August 25th 1835. She was born in Kentucky and died in Menard Co Ills. In 1830 my sister being then but 17 years of age a stranger calling himself John McNeil came to New Salem. He boarded with Mr Cameron and was keeping a store with a Samuel Hill. A friendship grew up between McNeil and Ann which ripened apace and resulted in an engagement to marry — McNeil's real name was McNamar. It seems that his father had failed in business and his son, a very young man had determined to make a fortune, pay off his father's debts and restore him to his former social and financial standing. With this view he left his home clandestinely, and in order to avoid pursuit by his parents changed his name. His conduct was strictly hightoned, honest and moral, and his object, whatever any may think of the deception which he practised in changing his name, entirely praiseworthy.

He prospered in business and pending his engagement with Ann, he revealed his true name, returned to Ohio to relieve his parents from their embarrassments, and to bring the family with him to Illinois. On his return to Ohio, several years having elapsed, he found his father in declining health or dead, and perhaps the circumstances of the family prevented his immediate return to New Salem. At all events he was absent two or three years.

In the mean time Mr Lincoln paid his addresses to Ann, continued his visits and attentions regularly and those resulted in an engagement to marry, conditional to an honorable release from the contract with McNamar. There is no kind of doubt as to the existence of this engagement David Rutledge urged Ann to consummate it, but she refused until such time as she could see McNamar — inform him of the change in her feelings, and seek an honorable release.

Mr Lincoln lived in the village, McNamar did not return and in August 1835 Ann sickened and died. The effect upon Mr Lincoln's mind was terrible; he became plunged in despair, and many of his friends feared that reason would desert her throne. His extraordinary emotions were regarded as strong evidence of the existence of the tenderest relations between himself and the deceased. McNamar however, returned to Illinois in the fall after Ann's death.

5th. Ann was as before stated 17 years old in 1830. My age at the same time was 12. She went to school to Minter Graham, who was a successful and popular teacher, in 1832 and 1833. My sister was esteemed the brightest mind of the family, was studious, devoted to her duties of whatever character, and possessed a remarkably amiable and lovable disposition. She had light hair and blue eyes.

6th Question — I have already written you in relation to my acquaintance with Samuel Hill, Offatt, Green & others. Perhaps too much credit is awarded William Green for Mr Lincoln's Knowledge of grammar. Mr Lincoln clerked for Offatt in 1831 & 1832. James Rutledge owend an interest in a grocery in New Salem — a remnant of a stock belonging to Rutledge and Sinco. [1] Sinco bought a lot of horses, took them south and broke up, Rutledge sold out to Lincoln and Wm
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Rutledge, Robert B. 'Robert B. Rutledge 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=herndon381.html
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