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196. John McNamar to G. U. Miles.

May 5th 1866

My Dear Sir

I have Seated myself in order to answer Some of the Enquiries made by Mr Herndon Esq Respecting Mr Lincoln My Self and other persons, My answers must necessarily be unsatisfactory for the reason that I was absent from here when the affairs transpired in which he Seems Most interested

I left here in 32 and came to the State of Newyork for the purpose of assisting My Father's family my coming west being principally to obtain the means I did not go by steamboat nor Stage if that has any thing to do with the Matter, but rode old Charley a hero of the Black Hawk war, who had one Grievous — fault he would go to Sleep accasionally fall on his nose and pich me over his his head which occasioned some profanity no Doubt, about it, Circumstances beyond my controll detained me Much longe away than I intended

Mr Lincoln was not to my knowledge paying any particular attention to any of the Young Ladies of my acquaintanc when I left there was no rivalry between him and myself on that score on the contrary I had every reson to consider him my Personal friend untill like Andy Johnson's Tailor Partner in Tennessee I was left so far behind on his rapid and upward strides to that imperishable fame which


Justly fills a world that I did not deem myself to further notice, I corrected at his request Some of the Grammatical Errors in his first address to the voters of Sangamon Co his principal Hoby being the Navigation of the Sangamon river, the first time he presented him seff as a candidate for the Legislature, this production is no Doubt to be found in some of the old files of the Journal

I never heard and person say that Mr Lincon addressed Miss Ann Rutledge in terms of courtship neither her own family nor my acquaintances otherwise

I heard simply this Expression from two prominent Gentlemen of my acquaintance and Personal Friends that Lincoln was Grieved very much at her Death

I arived here only a few weeks after her Death I saw and conversed with Mr Lincon I thought he had lost some of his former vivacity he was at the Post office and propably Post master he wrote a deed for me which I still hold and prize not only for the Land it conveyed but as a valued Memento

Miss Ann was a gentle Amiable Maiden without any of the airs of your city Belles but winsome and Comly withal a blond in complection with golden hair, "cherry red Lips & a bonny Blue Eye"

I know nothing of Miss Owens nor of Mr Lincons intercourse with her would Refer you to Bennet Abel her Brother in Law with whom She resided at that time I know of nothing more to add that would be of any Benefit to any one

Very Respectfully Yours &c
John McNamar.

[Postscript by Miles to William H. Herndon:]

I went to See Mr McNamer as you requested he Said he Knew nothing of the matters you wished to know after he read your letter I prevailed on him to take his time and write what he Knew of the Several questions you asked which he agreed to & to day he sent me the above which I inclose to you — all well

Yours Truly
G. U. Miles.

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2572; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:502 — 4



1. McNamar first wrote "or 33" then crossed it out. The date of his departure for New York is problematical, but it was probably in the late summer or early fall of 1832.

2. President Andrew Johnson once had a tailor partner in Greeneville, Tennessee, named Hentle W. Adkinson.

3. "Communication to the People of Sangamon County," published in the Sangamo Journal, Mar. 15, 1832, in CW 1:5 — 9.