23. J. Rowan Herndon to William H. Herndon.
Quincy June 11th 1865
i recievd yours of the 5th inst — you say that Bill Grims says that Lincoln Lest the Bote at salem and went to Clerking for Offet and others say that he went to neworlens Now to Prove the fact that he went Down to New orleans i take Mr Lincolns own statement Greely or some other Person wrote Mr Lincoln from
Newyork for a history of his Life he Writes Back and says i have Been one trip on a flat Boat to Neworleans and Served as Capt in the Black Ware have Been a member of the Legislator several times and once a member of Congris and the Ballance you Know there fore Mr Grimes is Mistaken Capt Josep Aartes says that Mr Lincoln Came up on his Boat from Neworleans in January 1832 or very Early in the spring of 32 that Mr Lincoln told him that he and his Company went Down with the intention of Remaining through the winter But a Part of the Company got Sick which Caused his and their Riturn Back again and During the trip he Became acquainted with him and Became much attached to him as Did the Pasengers Both Cabin and Deck and that he was a very Plane and Modst young Man it is Not often that the Capt of a Steam Boat and the Cabin Pasingers make them Selves farmilar with deck Paingers unless there is something atractive i think Mr Grimes must Be mistaken and Reference to the Steem boat Talesmen that came up the sagamon River in the spring of 32 very Early of that spring there was a Company from springfield that chartered the Steamboat Talismen to Navigate the Sangamon and she met the ice at the mouth of the River held there By Back Warter from the illinois River i think and shure that Mr Lincoln was one of the Company that Met hur at the mouth of the River and help Poilet hur up when she Came to Salem the Mill Dam was in the way and they tore a part of it away and the Boat was goten over and went as high as Boges Mill with the understanding that she was to have $50-00 a Day for Every Day that She was Detained By Low water when She Left Boges Mill the River was falling fast and the Boat only made about 3 or 4 Miles a Day on the acount of the high wind from the perary and the Capt was in Know hury as he was to have the $50-00 a Day for Every Day that she was Detained By Lowe warter. i was sent for Being & old Boatman and i met hur some 12 or 15 Miles above Salem Mr Lincoln was eather on Bored when i Got to hur or went with me we got to salem the Second Day after i went on bord when we stuck the Dam she hung we then Backed off and threw the ankor over the Dam and tore away a part of the Dam and and Raised steam and Run hur over the first trial as soon as she was over the Company that chartered hur was Done with hur i think the captain Gave Mr Lincoln $40-00 to Run hur Down to Bairdstown i am shure i Got $40.00 to Continue on hur untell we Landed hur at Bairdstown we that went Down with hur walked Back to Salem the flat Boats that was Built at Salem in the winter & Spring of 32 failed to Get over the Dam for there was But the one Wrise that come that Spring to Let a Boat over and that one was when the first Brakeup of snow & Raine During that winter & spring he was Mr Offetts Clirk untell he volentered for the Blackhalk ware had he Been at home in the Spring of 31 in Plase of Being Down to New orleans he would have sertainly have Benn in the Campain of 31 that i am Shure of from what i have heard him say Capt Artis and myself agrees about the time and year that he Came up with him in Jany 1832 iff there is any thing more that i can explain i will willing Doe it you must Excuse me for not ancering you sooner as i Belong to the Quartermasters Department
here and have Been Confined there During the Day intierly as thay are Preparing to Mustery out solders
J R. Herndon
NB i will get the Capt to write you the Boat the Cpt comande was Not the one that went up the Sangamon.
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2161 — 62; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:523 — 26
1. William G. Greene. See §§11, 15.
2. See p. 6, note 2.