- An amusing courtship. -- Lincoln meets Mary S. Owens. -- her nature, education, and mind. -- Lincoln's boast. -- he pays his addresses. -- the lady's letters to Herndon. -- Lincoln's letters. -- his avowals of affection. -- the letter to Mrs. Browning. -- Miss Owens' estimate of Lincoln.
Before taking up an account of Lincoln's entry into the Legislature, which, following strictly the order of time, properly belongs here, I beg to digress long enough to narrate what I have gathered relating to another courtship — an affair of the heart which culminated in a sequel as amusing as the one with Anne Rutledge was sad. I experienced much difficulty in obtaining the particulars of this courtship. After no little effort I finally located and corresponded with the lady participant herself, who in 1866 furnished me with Lincoln's letters and her own account of the affair, requesting the suppression of her name and residence. Since then, however, she has died, and her children have not only consented to a publication of the history, but have furnished me recently with more facts and an excellent portrait of their mother made shortly after her refusal of Lincoln's hand. Mary S. Owens — a native of Green county, Kentucky, born September 29, 1808--first became acquainted with Lincoln while on a visit to a sister, the wife of Bennet Able, an early settler in the country about New Salem. Lincoln was a frequent visitor at the house of Able, and a warm friend of the family. During the visit of Miss Owens in 1833,