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Lincoln and Duffy Armstrong

            The appearance of Duffy Armstrong, drunk, on the streets of Mason City, this state, revives some memories of interest concerning Lincoln, as a private citizen and president.  Several of the old citizens were talking over the matter on Tuesday last, and their memory of the circumstance is about as follows:  Armstrong and his companions were “making a night of it,” under the influence of whisky.  One of them was killed, and Armstrong was arrested, charged with the crime.  Lincoln and Armstrong’s parents were very intimate friends, and the mother appealed to Lincoln to save her boy, and Lincoln defended him.  The evidence by several witnesses was that Armstrong was seen to strike the man with a neckyoke, witnesses saying that they could see plainly “by the light of the moon.”  There seemed to be no way out for the defendant, but when Lincoln came to argue the case, he produced an almanac which showed that the date on which the murder was charged was in the dark of the moon.  The prisoner was released.  It was afterward learned that Lincoln had “doctored” the almanac.  The current belief is that only the back of the almanac bore the year date, and that that the back of another year was skillfully substituted.

            Later, Armstrong joined the army, and the mother desired him to come home.  She wrote to President Lincoln, and the boy was sent home, with an honorable discharge.  She was a loving mother of a wayward son, but had the good fortune to have a great man for a friend.

            The old lady is not seen of late, about Mason City, and your correspondent was informed that she had gone west, but up to a few years ago, she was a frequent visitor to the berg, and would sit for hours in the stores where acquainted, and smoke her pipe and talk of “old times.”  Her boy still lives near Mason City, where raised, and although advanced in years, and turning gray, has not abandoned his enemy, strong drink.
Illinois State Register
- May 29, 1885

            A very beautiful mirage was noticed in the western sky about 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon, lasting about three minutes.  To parties standing at the corner of Fourth Street and Capitol Avenue, the State House appeared faithfully mirrored in an inverted position on the sky above.
Illinois State Journal - August 12, 1885

            Springfield, Ill., October 2. – Early this morning the water-works overseer found the body of a man floating in the city reservoir in the northern limits of the city.  From all appearances the body had been in the water several days.  The unfortunate man was a man evidently between the ages of 40 and 45 years, and comfortably dressed.  No letters, writing or other means of identification were found on or about his person.  There were no evidences of violence and it is believed it is a case of deliberate suicide.
Quincy Daily Herald – October 4, 1885