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434. John McNamar to William H. Herndon.

Menard County Ill Jan 20th 1867

My Dear Sir,

I receved your Letter Some time since The intervention of the Holidays and other causes have prevented me from answering sooner, I now proceed categorically to answer, the Questions you propound

1st My Mother Died in the month of Oct 1845 I was confined by Sickness Some time before and after My Mothers Death and scarcely realized it at the time

2d That portion of My farm where I reside and Some other tracts were purchased Dec 9th 1831 I will here mention that in Looking for dates I made some unexpected discoveries one was a letter from Mr Lincoln Dated Vandalia Dec 24th 1836 informing me of a Design of Some of the Setters East of here to have the State road changed from its original route advising a prompt and vigorous remonstrance and Saying moreover that he would write me a long letter on political Subjects but finally refered me to the News papers &c My Next Discovery was that Mr Lincoln & Chas Maltby were witnesses to my Deed Maltby the Last I heard of him was Superintendent of Some of the Indian Agencies in California. an other Discovery was a small Braid or Tress of Ann Rutleges Hair much worn and aparently moth eaten

3d with regard to the motive for purchasing the farm I intended it for a home for my Fathers family intending Myself to pursue the Mercantile Business and in which I reentered in company with Dr Allen in the fall of 36 but the crash of 37. induced us to close out with considerable Loss. consequently all the association which have rendered it dear to me have attached since I owned it the Rutleges were induced to occupy and take care of the place by my Friend and agent Dr Allen

with regard to your Last question concerning Mr Lincoln's Religious writings and the summary manner in which they were disposed of by Major Hill I can only answer in scotish prose "I dinna Ken" about the time I received your Letter I saw a Notice of your Lecture in the Chicago Republican from a Boston Paper and correspondent, The Scotchman is good so is the "Aristocracy" and Literary attainments of Miss Ann, undoubtedly She was about as Classic a Schollar as


Mr Lincoln at that time I think she attended some Literary institution at Jacksonville a short time or was intending so to do in company with her Brother who adopted the profession in which you have become so eminently distinguished the sickness of Sauny was well put only it was not himself, but his Fathers family. One of those Long interminable fevers that Sometimes occur in the East came into My Fathers family and prostrated Every member thereof except myself and continued for Months making victims of three of them one of whom was my Father — so — you see. "There is a Providence that shapes our ends and aims rough hew them how we will" There are several other equally veracious Statements which I have not Space to Mention.

Turn we now to our old Friend who we left Parsing, one more anecdote concerning him and we will take Leave of him and his sect with the passing remark that they believe in election but ignore Forordination our Friends' Father in law an inteligent old gent from Gorgia he questioned John somewhat Doubtingly in regard to his call to Preach John answered promptly that it was all right no mistake the old man said it may be so but I think it was some other John

There were not many of the "Simon Pure" Presbyterians here my Friend Dr Allen was the respresentative man here of that persuasion, he introduced Sunday Schools and Temperence Societies at which our baptist bretheren turned-up their Pious Noses in disdain our old Friend Minter Graham became a member of the Temperance Society and he being a member, of the Baptist church they turned him out, a short time after Mentor got "Tight" and the Temperence Society expelled him then the Baptist brethren took him in again however they expelled members some times for other causes than Temperance as an old gentleman informed me once that they turned him out because he would not own to a Lie not for lying but because he would not own up

You will perceive by the date that I prepared a paper some time ago in answer to your inquiries, but intending to add some thing more. I have neglected Sending it untill it is undoubtedly to Late have any significance if it ever had any it is with a great deal of reluctance that attempt writing at all on any subject and more over I have been unwell since I commencd this communication you are that I have not the facilities of a Lawyers office for writing that I seldom Leave home and often Lack the material for writing

You will see by some comments that I have a prety good Idea of your celebated Lecture, I received a Letter from my Son in California a Short time ago who verey inocently informed me that the scotchman is Identified very readily by several of the old acquainance of Mr Lincoln myself who reside there

he moreover thinks you Life of Mr Lincoln will sell rapidly in that region and wishes an agency for the sale of your Book


You will confer a favour upon me by giving him as extencive an agency as your business arrangements will permit

his address is John B Mc Namar
Petaluma Sonoma County Cal

send me a copy of your Lecture by all means

Yours Truly
John Mc Namar

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2955 — 57



1. CW 1:60.

2. Samuel Hill.

3. WHH's lecture on Ann Rutledge.

4. McNamar refers to the way he is denominated in the Ann Rutledge lecture.

5. David Rutledge.

6. Apparently another reference to himself, the "Scotchman" of Herndon's lecture.

7. See his previous letter, §310.

8. Some predestinarian Baptists disapproved of temperance societies, whose activities were considered efforts to alter matters predestined by God.

9. Apparently a word was omitted.