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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Terry, Oliver C. 'Oliver C. Terry to Jesse W. Weik' 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=herndon658.html


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-- 658 --

546. Oliver C. Terry to Jesse W. Weik.

Mt. Vernon, Ind., July 14, 1888.

Dear Sir

Your letter of inquiry, regarding the whereabouts of one "Pritchard," "a lawyey of 1828, who rode this Juditial district about that time, and an associate of Abraham Lincolns," is received, and in answer will say, that I cannot assertain from any of our old citizens any thing that would throw any light upon "Pritchard," I will say however, that the party you refer to is no doubt the Hon Judge John Pitcher of this City. I have Known this Gentleman for the last thirty five years, and will without further preamble Give you a condensed history of this Gentlemans career in this state, as give me by him, on more than one occation. Judge John Pitcher was born in the State of Connecticut, in August 1795.

The Judge informs me that he was born in the "Old Nut Meg State," about ½ mile from the old Cider Mill, where our Puritin fathers would whip the cider barrels for working on Sunday. And in the year 1819 married there, and in the year 1820, removed to Rockport Spencer County Ind. where he began the practice of law.

In 1819, Thos Lincoln father of Abraham Lincoln had settled in Spencer County on a farm not far from Rockport. Judge Pitcher soon became acquainted with the Lincoln family Abraham being yet a boy, or verry young man, would frequently call at Pitchers office at Rockport, and was very desirous to read law with Pitcher, but his family being verry poor he could not give his time off the farm, but would borrow books from Judge Pitcher and read at home during leasure hours. After the death of Lincolns mother the family moved to Ills. and Judge Pitcher left Rockport and went to Princeton Gibson Co. where he lived and practiced law until 1835, when he came to Mt Vernon Posey Co. where he has lived ever since.

Pitcher received letters occationally from his friend Lincoln, after they had left spencer County, but did not meet him again until the summer or fall of 1840, when Lincoln came to Rockport and delivered a whig Speech during the Harrison Campaign of that year. [1] Lincoln wrote Pitcher he would be at Rockport and the Judge went up and met him and heard (using the Judge's own language) "hered one of the best political speaches he ever listened to."

Pitcher and Lincoln did not meet again until 1862, when Pitcher called on him at the White House in Washington, and at that time informed Lincoln that he only called to shake hands with him and to Congratulate him upon his success in life, and upon the policy of his administration, that he was asking nothing, wanted nothing and would not accept any thing. Lincoln has written the Judge prior to this, to Know what he could do for him?

Judge Pitcher, like Lincoln, was a Whig. And in 1836 received the nomination for Congress in this (the 1st) district by his party. The Democracy nominated Ratliff Boon, who defeated Pitcher by 21 majority in the District. In 1840 the Whigs nominated Pitcher for state senator to represent Posey and Vanderburgh Cos to which office he was elected and served until 1844.

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Terry, Oliver C. 'Oliver C. Terry to Jesse W. Weik' 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=herndon658.html
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