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295. Robert B. Rutledge to William H. Herndon.

Oskaloosa Nov. 18/66

My Dear friend,

I Sometime Since Recd. your very kind letter of 3d inst., and owe you an apology, for not answering sooner, but know you will pardon my seeming indifference, when I tell you, I have been moving from Burlington to this place, You suggest that the probable cause of Ann's sickness was her, conflicts — Emotions, &c, as to this I cannot Say, I however have my own private convictions, the character of her sickness was brain fever,

I am glad to know that you feel as I do, that injustice is done Minter Graham, and trust largely to your sense of, justice, to place him in his true light, before the Reading World, and award to him that meed of praise that is due the man, who assisted in laying the foundation of Mr. Lincoln's Greatness, I know of my own knowledge that Mr. Graham contributed more to Mr L. Education whilst in New Salem than any other man,

If Mr Graham is living & you should meet him, tell him, I remember my Old teacher with gratitude,

I received a copy of your lecture, a day or two since, which is bold manly and substantially true, I will take the liberty to throw a little light on one point, for your future use, to wit, Samuel Hill first courted Ann, She declined his proposition to marry, after which, McNamar paid his addresses, Resulting in an engagement to marry, after McNamar left Menard Co. to visit his parents and during his prolonged absence, Mr Lincoln courted Ann, resulting in a second engagement, not conditional as my language would seem to indicate but absolute, She however in the conversation referred to by me, between her & David Rutledge urged


the propriety of seeing McNamar, inform him of the change in her feelings & seek an honorable releas, before consumating the engagement with Mr L. by Marriage,

I hope to be able to visit you this winter, as I assure you nothing would give me more pleasure than to see & talk with the man who appreciates the virtues & character of Abraham Lincoln

I Am My Dear friend
Very truly yours
R B Rutledge

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2753 — 55; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:444 — 45



1. William H. Herndon's Ann Rutledge lecture, delivered on November 16, 1865.