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328. Isaac Cogdal (William H. Herndon Interview).

[1865 — 6]

Isaac. Cogdale.

I Knew Abe Lincoln the first week he came to Salem in 1831 — June or July. He Kept Store for Offutt in Salem in 1831 & 2. — Saw Offutts goods opened — Lincoln boarded with Jas Rutledge at the time he was a Clk of Offutt. Rutledge lived in Salem — Kept tavern — small frame one story house made of Clap boards — fronting south and on the Main street — which East & west — but one Street in town — house had 4 rooms. The house was on the north side of the Main Street — fronting South The first book I ever Saw in L's hand was Blackstone — in 1832 — He surveyed for Calhoun & Neal — one in 1834 to 1836 — the other from 1836 to 1838, I think — Salem was a great place for fighting and Lincoln was called the Peace Maker: he always interfered. He became acquainted with Miss Ann Rutledge in 1831 — 2, & 3: he courted her — and after he was Elected Presdt. he said to me one day — "Ike Call at my office in the State house about an hour by sun down. The Company will then all be gone"

Cogdale went according to request & Sure Enough the Company dropt off one by one — his, Ls, Clerk included.

"I want to enquire about old times and old acquaintances" Said Lincoln. He then said — "When we lived in Salem there were the Greens, Potters Armstrongs — & Rutledges. These folks have got scattered all over the world — some are dead. Where are Rutledges — Greens — &c."

"After we had spoken over old times — persons — Circumstances — in which he showed wonderful memory I then dare to ask him this question —

May I now in turn ask you one question Lincoln Said Cogdale Most assuredly. I will answer your question if a fair one with all my heart. then it was that he answered — as follows

Abe is it true that you fell in love with & courted Ann Rutledge" Said Cogdale. Lincoln said, "it is true — true indeed I did. I have loved the name of Rutledge to this day. I have Kept my mind on their movements ever since & love them dearly" — said L

Abe — Is it true — Said Cogdale, that you ran a little wild about the matter:

I did really — I run off the track: it was my first. I loved the woman dearly & sacredly: she was a handsome girl — would have made a good loving wife — was natural & quite intellectual, though not highly Educated — I did honestly — & truly love the girl & think often — often of her now."

Bakers praire comes up — on the East side of the river just Even with Salem — a little north — The forest on the hill eastward joins Bakers prairie and is East & South of Salem —


The Able house was a frame house — it is the same house under the hill now: it was once on the top of the hill — fronted East — looked into Bakers Prairie —

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3856 — 57; Huntington Library: LN2408 1:469 — 71



1. This sentence is in the margin.

2. This paragraph is written in the margin and seems to represent the result of WHH's cross-examination of Cogdal on this point.

3. The house of Bennett and Elizabeth Abell, where AL sometimes stayed.