From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, April 21, 1932

Lincoln’s grammar

An intimate memento of Abraham Lincoln and his youthful sweetheart Ann Rutledge was recently received by the Library of Congress, where it will be preserved with other relics of our first martyred president. It is the Kirkham’s Grammar which Lincoln and Ann studied in New Salem, Ill., 100 years ago.

Textbooks were scarce in those days and Lincoln obtained the grammar second-hand from its former owner, walking a dozen miles to secure it. This was in 1831 when he was clerking in a New Salem store and boarding with Ann’s parents. When he had mastered its contents, he gave the book to Ann, writing on the title page, “Ann Rutledge is now learning grammar.”

It is said that Abraham and Ann became engaged on July 4, 1833, shortly before Lincoln’s election to the state legislature. Ann was stricken with malarial fever and died on August 25, 1835, and intimate friends of Lincoln declared he never recovered from his grief for the only woman he ever truly loved.

The book was preserved by the Rutledge family, finally coming into the possession of William Rutledge of Milton, Mont., a nephew of Ann. From him it was borrowed by Miss Jane Hamand for the public library of Decatur, Ill. Not long ago, with Mr. Rutledge’s consent, she presented it to the Congressional Library. There it may now be seen in the case which also contains Lincoln’s Bible in which he inscribed his family records with his own hand.

-Darnall’s Service

Rasco’s Cash & Carry
“Luxury Foods at Poverty Prices”
Rice, Fancy Blue Rose – 6 pounds for 25¢
Salt Meat for Boiling – per pound 5¢
Lard, Pure – 8 Pound Bucket 57¢
Flour, Jack’s Special – 24 Pound Bag 50¢
Mackerel, Nice and Fat – 8 or 9 ounces each 5¢

As a side note, The Southern Democrat published two April 14, 1932, issues. The first was the actual April 14 paper. The second was supposed to be April 21, but someone forgot to change the date on the printing plate. Maybe our modern errors will make some future newspaper employee smile knowingly like I did. -ms