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290. Thompson Ware McNeely to William H. Herndon.

Petersburg, Ills Nov 12th 1866

Friend Herndon

I have talked with Bennett & other men who became acquainted with Mr Lincoln and lived near Salem shortly after the period of his reported insanity

They say that they learned from the people — the immediate associates & friends of Mr Lincoln that he had been insane — that his Mind had been shaken — that disappointed love was the cause — Her name Miss Rutledge — It was then talked of as a part of the history of the men of the town. The extent of his insanity was such that men were then occasionally talking of it & still remembered by them.

Lincoln — Old Maj Hill & McNamer were in love with the girl — She died and Lincoln for some time after So acted that every body who Knew & saw him pronounced him crazy — as they called it —

If you will write to Z C Ingram — St Louis, you can get much valuable information. He is the man of whom Ed L. & I spoke to you when in Springfield.

Father asks me to say that he never was in Lincoln's House — but then understood it to be a common grocery — whiskey shop — by the drink — He knows nothing of the present residence of Kelso — Doct Duncan or Jason Duncan — Radford & Sincho are dead — He thinks Doct Duncan lives in McDonough — He says write to Z C Ingram, St Louis —

Yours truly
T W McNeely

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2743; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:435



1. Probably John Bennett (1805 — 85), a former legislator and Petersburg merchant.

2. Samuel Hill and John McNamar.

3. Possibly Ed Laning, referred to in Onstot.

4. Robert T. McNeely.