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men struggled for." Even at this age, he was not only an interested reader of the story, but a student of motives.
Lincoln and His Gentle Annie-A Touching
The following interesting particulars connected with the early life of Abraham Linclon, are from the Virginia (Ill.) Euquirer, of date March 1, 1879:
John Mc Namer was buried last Sunday, near Petersburg, Menard County. A long while ago he was Assessor and Treasurer of the county for several successive terms. Mr. McNamer was an early settler in that section, and before the Town of Petersburg was laid out was in business at Old Salem, a village that existed many years ago two miles south of the present site of Petersburg. Abe Lincoln was then postmaster of the place, and sold whisky to its inhabitants. There are old-timers yet living in Menard who bought many a jug of corn-juice from Old Abe, when he lived at Salem. It was here that Annie Rutlege dwelt, and in whose grave Lincoln wrote that his heart was burried. As the story runs, the fair and gentle Annie was originally John McNamer's sweetheart, but Abe took a "shine" to the young lady, and succeeded in heading off McNamer, and won her affections. But Annie Rutlege died, and Lincoln went to Springfield, where he some time afterwards married.
It is related that during the war a lady belonging to a prominent Kentucky family visited Washington to beg for her sons pardon, who was then in prison under sentence of death for belonging to a band of guerrillas who had committed many murders and outrages. With the mother
was her daughter, a beautiful young lady, who was an accomplished musician. Mr. Lincoln received the visitors in his usual kind manner, and the mother made known the object of her visit, accompanying her plea with tears and sobs and all the customary dramatic incidents.
There were probably extenuating circumstances in favor of the young rebel prisoner, and while the President seemed to be deeply pondering, the young lady moved to a piano near by, and taking a seat commenced to sing "Gentle Annie," a very sweet and pathetic ballad, which, before the war, was a familiar song in almost every household in the Union, and is not yet entirely forgotten, for that matter. It is to be presumed that the young lady sang the song with more plaintiveness and effect than Old Abe had ever heard it in Springfield. During
its rendition, he arose from his seat, crossed the room to a window in the westward, through which he gazed for several minutes with that "sad, far-away look," which has so often been noted as one of his peculiarities. His memory, no doubt, went back to the days of his humble life on the banks of the Sangamon, and with visions of Old Salem and its rustic people, who once gathered in his primitive store, came a picture of the "Gentle Annie" of his youth, whose ashes had rested for many long years under the wild flowers and brambles of the old rural burying-ground, but whose spirit then, perhaps, guided him to the side of mercy. Be that as it may, Mr. Lincoln drew a large red silk handkerchief from his coat-pocket, with which he wiped his face vigorously. Then he turned, advanced quickly to his desk, wrote a brief note, which he handed to the lady, and informed her that it was the
pardon she sought.
The scene was no doubt touching
in a great degree, and proves that a nice song, well sung, has often a powerful influence in recalling tender recollections. It proves, also, that Abraham Lincoln was a man of fine feelings, and that, if the occurrence was a put-up job on the lady's part, it accomplished its purpose all the same.
Incidents Illustrating Lincoln's Honesty. Lincoln could not rest for an instant under the consciousness that he had, even unwittingly, defrauded anybody. On one occasion, while clerking in Offutt's store, at New Salem, Ill., he sold a woman a little bill of goods, amounting in value by the reckoning, to two dollars six and a quarter cents. He received the money, and the woman went away. On adding the items of the bill
again, to make himself sure of correctness, he found that he had taken six and a quarter cents too much. night, and, closing and locking the store, he started out on foot, a distance of two or three miles, for the house of his defrauded customer, and, delivering over to her the sum whose possession had so much troubled him, went home satisfied.
On another occasion, just as he was closing the store for the night, a woman entered, and asked for a half pound of tea. The tea was weighed out and paid for, and the store was left for the night. The next morning Lincoln entered to begin the duties of the day, when he discovered a four-ounce weight on the scales. He saw
at once that he had made a mistake. and, shutting the store, he took a long walk before breakfast to deliver the
remainder of the tea.
These are very humble incidents,
but they illustrate the man's perfect conscientiousness— his sensitive honesty-better, perhaps, than they would if they were of greater moment.
How Lincoln Helped to Build a Boat, and How
While a laboring man, Lincoln, Hanks & Johnston on one occasion contracted to build a boat on Sangamon River. at Sangamon Town, about seven miles northwest of Springfield. For this work they were to receive twelve dollars a month each. When the boat was finished (and every plank of it was sawed by hand with a whip-saw), it was launched on the Sangamon, and floated to a point below New Salem, in Menard (then Sangamon) County, where a drove of hogs was to be taken on board. this time, the hogs of the region ran wild, as they do now in portions of the border states. Some of them were savage, and all after the manner of swine, were difficult to manage. They had, however, been gathered and penned, but not an inch could they be made to move toward the boat. All the ordinary resources were exhausted in the attempts to get them on board. There was but one alternative, and this Abraham adopted. He actually carried them on board, one by one. His long arms and great strength enabled him to grasp them as in a vise, and to transfer them rapidly from the shore to the boat. They then took the boat to New Orleans, according to contract.