219. Benjamin F. Irwin to William H. Herndon.
Pleasant Plains Ills Aug 27, 66
Yours of the 24 Recd In Reply Peyton Harrisons Memory is not six Inches Long or he would no Better I am quite certain Preacher Shorts wife never saw Lincoln certain she never Lived In sangamon untill about 15 years ago and was Married Before she came to Ills The facts of the case I think is about this in 1832 or 3 Lincoln was wofully in Love with a Remarkable hansome young Lady by the Name of Rutledge 2 other men was in the same fix all three Paying their address to her who was first in her estimation I know not In the mean time she died and Lincoln took it so hard that some of his friends really thought he would go crazy, or was Partially so about it Lincoln told Isaac Cogdal all about this in the Secretarys office in 1860 a portion of this I remember about and the Ballence I get from his old Personal and Political Friend Josiah Combs I will make further Inquiry and if this is not substantially true I will correct the Error I could give you the Names of the two opponents after the young Lady but that you dont wish or desire
B F Irwin
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2623; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:564 — 65
1. William H. Herndon is presumably following up on the testimony of John T. Stuart that Lincoln courted a woman named Short. See §46, note 3.