it has been supposed by some that she, remembering the rumor she had heard of his determination to marry her, and not being fully certain of the sincerity of his purposes, may have purposely left him in the earlier stages of his courtship somewhat in uncertainty.
Later on, however, when by his manner and repeated announcement to her that his hand and heart were at her disposal, he demonstrated the honesty and sincerity of his intentions, she declined his offer kindly but with no uncertain meaning.
The first letter I received from Mrs. Vineyard
--for she was married to Jesse Vineyard
, March 27, 1841--was written at Weston, Mo.
, May 1, 1866.
Among other things she says: “After quite a struggle with my feelings I have at last decided to send you the letters in my possession written by Mr. Lincoln
, believing as I do that you are a gentleman of honor and will faithfully abide by all you have said.
My associations with your lamented friend were in Menard county
whilst visiting a sister who then resided near Petersburg
I have learned that my maiden name is now in your possession; and you have ere this, no doubt, been informed that I am a native Kentuckian.”
The letters written by Lincoln
not revealing enough details of the courtship, I prepared a list of questions for the lady to answer in order that the entire history of their relations might be clearly shown.
I perhaps pressed her too closely in such a delicate matter, for she responded in a few days as follows: