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200. Mary Owens Vineyard to William H. Herndon.

Weston Mo. May 23d. 1866.

My Dear Sir:

Really you catechise me in true lawyer style, but I feel that you will have the goodness to excuse me if I decline answering all your questions in detail, being well


assured that few women would have ceded as much as I have, under all the circumstances.

You say that you have heard why our acquaintence terminated as it did. I too, have heard the same bit of gossip, but I never used the remark which Madame Rumor says I did to Mr. Lincoln. I think I did on one occasion say to my sister, who was very anxious for us to be married, that I thought Mr. Lincoln was deficient in those little links which make up the great chain of womans happiness, at least it was so in my case; not that I believed it proceeded from a lack of goodness of heart, but his training had been different from mine, hence there was not that congeniality which would have otherwise existed. From his own showing you perceive that his heart and hand were at my disposal, and I suppose my feelings were not sufficiently enlisted to have the matter consumated. About the beginning of the year thirty eight, I left Illinois, at which time our acquaintance and correspondence ceased, without ever again being renewed. My father, who resided in Green Co. Ky, was a gentleman of considerable means, and I am persuaded that few persons placed a higher estimation on education than he did.

Respectfully Yours
Mary S. Vineyard.

Mr. W. H. Herndon:
From the date of this letter you will perceived that I thought it was in your possession weeks ago, but through some mismanagement it was sent to Washington, and has just been returned to me.

Respectfully Yours
Mary S. Vineyard.

Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:537 — 39



1. Probably a reference to her reported remark to AL that he would not make a good husband. See the interview (§421) with her cousin, Johnson Gaines Greene.