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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Short, James. 'James Short 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=herndon072.html


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-- 73 --

I first saw him. When Offut came back from N.O. in 1831 he started a store in N.S. and Employed Lincoln as clerk or assistant; but what wages he paid Mr. L I do not know. Mr. L clerked for him about six months. Offut was a wild, harum-scarum kind of a man, and I think not much of a business man. After Mr L's return from N.O. he piloted a little boat to Beardstown for Dr Nelson, who was then removing from New Salem, on this boat. Do not know what became of Dr N. This was in 1833 I think. Mr L. did once foot it from Beardstown to N.S. but whether on his return from N.O. or from piloting this boat to Beardstown, I have forgotten.

The Black Hawk war first broke out in 1831. I enlisted in April 1831, & was gone about a month. Mr L. did not go out this year. The next year, 1832, Mr L. raised a company, of which he was elected Captain. The Company rendesvoused in Beardstown. I did not go out this year. I did go to B. to volunteer, but Majir — afterwards Col — E D Baker, having lost his horse, I sold mine to him, and before I could get another one & return, the Company had gone. I don't know whether Mr L was Deputy Post Master under Hill or not. He was P.M. himself in New Salem two or three years, I think, commencing in 1833. He resigned his office. [3]

Mr L. boarded with the parents of Miss Ann Rutledge, from the time he went to New Salem up to 1833. In 1833 her mother moved to the Sandridge & kept house for me, until I got married. Miss R. staid at N.S. for a few months after her mother left, keeping house for her father & brothers, & boarding Mr L. She then came over to her mother. After my marriage, the Rutledges lived about half a mile from me. Mr L. came over to see me & them every day or two. I did not know of any engagement or tender passages between Mr L and Miss R at the time But after her death, which happened in 34 or 35, he seemed to be so much affected and grieved so hardly that I then supposed there must have been something of the kind. Miss R was a good looking, smart, lively girl, a good house keeper, with a moderate education, and without any of the so called accomplishments. She was about 20 years old when she died. I knew nothing of Miss Owens, [4] or her footing with Mr L. There was no Miss Short in this part of the country from 1832 to 1837, that Mr L went to see. [5]

Mr L. was very fond of out door recreations & sports, and excelled in them. He lifted 1000 pounds of shot by main strength. He never played cards, nor drank, nor hunted. New Salem & the surrounding country was settled by roughs and bullies, who were in the habit of winning all the money of strangers at cards, & then whipping them in the bargain. Offut in '31 made bet of 5$ that L could throw Jack Armstrong. Armstrong was a regular bully, was very stout, & tricky in wrestling. Lincoln was a scientific wrestler. They wrestled for a long time, withough either being able to throw the other, until Armstrong broke holds, caught L by
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Short, James. 'James Short 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=herndon072.html
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