438. Elizabeth Abell to William H. Herndon.
February the 15th 67
as I told you in my short epistle I wrote you some time back if I come across your letter I would write you again and answer all your questions that I am capable of doing the first question what month and year did I first know Lincoln in October 1833 in my little log Cabbin on the hill South of Petersburg 2d was he a sad man I never considered him so he was always social and lively and had great aspirations for his friends always decided and good natured 3d the Courtship between him and Miss Rutledge I can say but little this much I do know he was staying
with us at the time of her death it was a great shock to him and I never seen a man mourn for a companion more than he did for her he made a remark one day when it was raining that he could not bare the idea of its raining on her Grave that was the time the community said he was crazy he was not crazy but he was very disponding a long time I Think that was in the year 34 or 35 Mc Namars & Hills I know nothing about. I lived on the hill on the bluff in 1836 & 37, in the log Cabin. as for his Christian habits he was truly a Christian not in the common term of Christianity now of days long face on Sunday and grind the poor on Monday but he was always doing good the same to day and to morrow I never heard him use a profain word drink a drop of spirits or chew tobacco in my life and he was neither eccentric or visionary, he was very sensitive and backward nothing rash about him and certainly he was the best natured man I ever got acquainted with he stayed at our house on the bluff when he was surveying all those Hills between us and Petersburg our oldest boy carryed the Chain for him when Lincoln would come in at night all ragged and scratch up with the Bryers he would laugh over it and say that was a poore mans lot I told him to get me a Buck skin and I would fix him so the Bryers would not scratch him he done so and I Foxd, his pants for him, if I could see you I could tell you a great many things I can talk better than I can write, your hand is a very difficult place for me to read all and that I could make out I have answered to the best of my knowledge it is very poorely done and I guess you will throw it by with a great many other letters,
Mrs E Abell
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2999 — 3000
1. Probably refers to John McNamar and Samuel Hill, both suitors for the hand of Ann Rutledge.