206. Mary Owens Vineyard to William H. Herndon.
Weston Mo. July 22d. 1866.
I do not think you pertinacious in asking the question, relative to old Mrs. Bowling Green, because I wish to set you right on that subject. Your information, no doubt, came through my cousin Mr. Gaines Green, who visited us last winter. Whilest here he was laughing at me about Mr. Lincoln, and among other things, spoke of the circumstance, in connection with Mrs. Green and child. My impression is now, that I tacitly admitted it, (for it was a season of trouble with me,) and I gave but little heed to the whole matter. We never had any hard feelings towards each other that I knew of. On one occasion did I say to Mr. L___ that I did not believe he would make a kind husband, because he did not tender his services to Mrs. Green in helping of her carry her babe. As I said to you in a former letter, I thought him lacking in smaller atentions. One circumstance presents itself just now to my minds eye. There was a company of us going to Uncle Billy Greens, Mr. L. was riding with me, and we had a very bad branch to cross, the other gentlemen were very officious in seeing that their partners got over safely; we were behind, he riding in never looking back to see how I got along; when I rode up beside him, I remarked, you are a nice fellow; I suppose you did not care whether my neck was broken or not. He laughingly replied, (I suppose by way of compliment) that he knew I was plenty smart to take care of myself. In many things he was sensitive almost to a fault. He told me of an incident; that he was crossing a prairie one day, and saw before him a hog mired down, to use his own language; he was rather fixed up and he resolved that he would pass on without looking towards the shoat, after he had gone by, he said, the feeling was eresistable and he had to look back, and the poor thing seemed to say so wistfully — There now! my last hope is gone; that he deliberately got down and relieved it from its difficulty.
In many things we were congenial spirits. In politics we saw eye to eye, though since then we have differed as widely as the South is from the North. But me thinks I hear you say, save me from a political woman! So say I. The last message I ever received from him was about a year after we parted in Illinois. Mrs. Able visited Ky. and he said to her in Springfield, Tell your Sister, that I think she was a great fool, because she did not stay here and marry me.
Characteristic of the man.
Mary S. Vineyard.
Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:535 — 37