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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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-- 387 --

to the warmth, protected against rain and rendered them more durable in performing the labor necessary to his calling. His other clothing was such as worn by all the inhabitants of the village.

Trials of strength were very common among the pioneers. Lifting weights, as heavy timbers piled one upon another was a favorite pastime, and no workman in the neighborhood could at all cope with Mr Lincoln in this direction. I have seen him frequently take a barrel of whiskey by the chimes and lift it up to his face as if to drink out of the bung-hole.

This feat he could accomplish with the greatest ease. I never saw him taste or drink a drop of any kind of spiritous liquors

I am Very Respectfully
Yours &c.
R. B. Rutledge

I have omitted an incident in the early life of Mr Lincoln which I will here relate

The only man who was ever successful in bringing Lincoln to the ground in a wrestle was Lorenzo D Thompson, a very large and powerful man. This match took place at Beardstown Ills, the general rendezvous while waiting for orders to march against Black Hawk and his warriors — In this match Lincoln was taken by surprise and in the first trial Thompson brought him to the ground but in two successive matches Lincoln came off victorious [6]

R. B. R.

(Copy)

Wintersett Iowa Oct 22nd 1866.

Having seen the statements made by R B Rutledge in reference to the early life of Abraham Lincoln and having Known Mr Lincoln & been an eye-witness to the events as narrated, from my boyhood, I take pleasure in saying they are literally true.

As to the relation existing between Mr. Lincoln and Ann Rutledge, I have every reason to believe that it was of the tenderest character, as I Know of my own Knowledge that he made regular visits to her. — During her last illness he visited her sick chamber and on his return stopped at my house. It was very evident that he was much distressed. I was not surprised when it was rumored subsequently that his reason was in danger. It was generally understood that Mr Lincoln and Ann Rutledge were engaged to be married. She was a very amiable & lovable woman and it was deemed a very suitable match — one in which the parties were in every way worthy of each other

(Signed) John Jones

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2923 — 37; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:306 — 23

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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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