341. Russell Godbey (William H. Herndon Interview).
[1865 — 66]
I first Knew Abe Lincoln in 1832 — I Saw him — the first time I Ever Saw him with a law book in his hands he was Sitting astraddle of Jake Bails wood pile in New Salem — Said to him — "Abe — what are you Studying" "Studying law" — replied Abe. "Great God Almighty — " Said Godbey. Lincoln surveyed the first piece of land I Ever owned or Ever had Surveyed. He Stopt with me all one night after Surveying. I Sold two Excellent well dressed buck skins. He — Abe wanted them to fox his Surveyer's pants. to prevent thorns — briars — bushes & vines from cutting them — &c — . Mrs Armstrong did the foxing and Sowing.
When a fight was on hand Abe used to Say to me "Lets go and Stop it — tell a joke — a Story — Say Something humorous and End the fight in a good laugh". We never failed to accomplish the End.
One time Abe and I were on the North Side of the River and a man Came a long who got down & hitched his horse &c. It had martin gails
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3877 — 78; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:394 — 96