Primary tabs


13. John Hill to William H. Herndon.

Petersburg Ill June 6th 65

Dear Sir:

Yours of yesterday is at hand. I will be more prompt this time.

Miss Ann Rutledge died within a few days of September 1st 1835. Certain. Lincoln bore up under it very well until some days afterwards a heavy rain fell, which unnerved him and — (the balance you know) As to the Lincoln & Smoot story I know it to be true as it was told me by Mr Lincoln himself, and I afterwards told Mr Smoot of it and he remembered it. I remember Lincoln's words, but will see Smoot, & then give it to you. Whatever he says is as true as the word of man Enclosed I send the printed slip I published it in 1862. Every item in it I believe to have been true except in relation to keeping a stallion I made good enquiry before writing & think I arrived at the truth. The order of succession may not be technically true.

As to keeping a Stallion the origin of this was that Old Joe Watkins (now dead) kept a horse at Salem, and Lincoln requested him that when ever a mare come he would be sure to let him know it, as he wanted to see it. Watkins did so, and Lincoln always attended, &c. — I have this from W. G. Greene & others as the truth.

Mother informs me that when Jas Short arrives that he will be able to give you more information than any or all the men in the county, if his memory serves him well.

Should I learn anything of interest I will advise you. I will hunt up the books Lincoln kept for Father, &c. He (L) was Post Master at Salem a short time

Yours truly
John Hill



1. Marginal note: Don't destroy this slip of printed paper. J.H. This refers to the newspaper clipping, the text of which follows the letter.

2. See §§102, 197.