311. John M. Rutledge to William H. Herndon.
Birmingham Iowa November 25th 1866
I received your lecture & a letter also thankfully. with much embarisment I attempt to answer from the fact I have no learning of any consequence I Should have done this Some time ago but I have ben vary busy geting in my corn, and am not vary well at presant hope you will excuse me if I am a little Short in writing. I believe I am not able to detect any error in your description of New Salem & her Suroundings, all is rite as far as I know, thare is one thing in the Lecture that Seames to deviate a little that is if I understand the meaning whare it Sais he purchased the farm on the account of the memories that cluster over it I think he purchased the farm before he left the country the first time, however he bought I think more to the farm after Annys death the Lecture I am well pleased with, a part of it was read with a full heart to here the past seans brought fresh to memory I often herd Mother Say the last time She herd Anny Sing was a few days before She was taken sick up Stairs in that old house of McNamers like this.
vain man thy fond persuits forbare
Repent thy en is nigh
Death at the fartherst cant be far
Oh think before thou dye, & so
but I must close for I feel more like Saying to my Self,
O my Soul when shall I be delivered from this body of clay, if I have said any thing rong I hope to be corected.
John M. Rutledge
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2801; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:464 — 65
1. William H. Herndon's printed lecture on Ann Rutledge.
2. McNamar himself is the person referred to, though not named in the lecture.
3. A hymn written by Joseph Hart (1712 — 68).