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424. Henry McHenry (William H. Herndon Interview).


Henry McHenry — aged 64 —

I Came to Salem or near it in 1823 — Knew Lincoln the 2d day he came to New Salem in 1831 — came in July or August — Berry and Lincoln owned a horse in partnership — Berry traded for Radfords Groceries — put the horse in as part pay with Lincoln's Consent. Berry bought the goods — don't think Lincoln had anything to do with it — the store — grocery. Berry owned the goods. Lincoln never had a dry good store in his life — think — He sold good for Offutt. Don't think Lincoln Ever had any dry goods — Lincoln surveyed in 1832 or 3 — studied law as Early and both together — Surveyed my land in 1836 — surveyed the Wadkins race track in 1833 — Read law in 1832 or 3 — walked to Spgfd for books — borrow them of Jno. T. Stuart — This is true — first Lincoln Said So — others who saw him do it said so and I Know we plagued Lincoln for it and he never denied it. In his surveying jobs & trips he needed a horse — told him so — He said he didn't need one — was somewhat of a "hoss" himself. He used to read law in 1832 or 3 barefooted seated in the shade of a tree — would grind around with the shade — just opposite Berry's grocery store — a few feet south of the door — Bails house is North of Berry's grocery — was so once — Hills store was west of it — town one straight gut of a street — 60 or 70 feet wide — about 20 houses — 100 people. Lincoln's grocery so called was North of Hills — across the Street 60 or 70 feet. — Salem once was Covered with large timber — trees scattered — cut down to make place for the town in 1829. I think — Salem gut ran East & west — Country barreny a little — I have seen Miss Rutledge a thousand times — had blue Eyes — fair skin — Sandy — rather, living Auburn hair — slender — nervous — quick — good — Kind, social — goodhearted & was really a beautiful — a pretty woman would express my ideas better — was an ordinary height — weighed about 120 pounds — Straight as an arrow, and as quick as a flash. Lincoln would have been happy with Miss Rutlege.

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3839, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3838; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:385 — 86



1. Thomas Watkins trained racehorses on his farm north of New Salem (Onstot, 142).

2. Jacob Bale.