Pioneers of Menard & Mason Counties|
Including Personal Reminiscens of
Abraham Lincoln & Peter Cartwright
By T.G. Onstot, 1902
Cartright Gets a Little Boozy
Brothers Walker and Cartright were out once together. The started early in the morning, traveled twenty-five miles and arrived at Knoxville about noon. The rose to a tavern, but finding a great, noisy, drunken crowd, Cartright said to Walker: "This is a poor place for weary travelers; we will not stop here." The rose on to another tavern, but it was still worse, for the people were drunk and a real bully fight was going on. Cartright proposed to Walker that they go on where they could find some private entertainment where it would be quiet. So they went on. Presently they came to a house with a sign over the door of "Private Entertainment and New Cider." Cartright said: "Here is the place; if we can get some good light bread and new cider that's dinner enough for me." Walker said that was exactly what he wanted. They accordingly halted and an old man came out. Peter inquired if they could have their horses fed, and obtain some new light bread and some new cider. "Alight," said the landlord, "for I suspect you are two Methodist preachers and have been to Baltimore to the conference." They replied they had. The horses were then well fed, and a loaf of good light bread and a pitcher of new cider was set before them. The landlord was an Otterbean Methodist. His wife was sick and she sent for the preachers to come and pray for her. They did so, and then returned to eat their bread and drink their cider. The weather was very warm, and soon they were laying in the bread and cider at a rapid rate. It seemed to Cartright, however, that it was not only new cider, but something more, and he began to rein up his appetite. Walker laid in liberally, and at length Cartright said to him, "You had better stop, for this is surely something more than cider." "I reckon not," replied Walker.
Cartright was not in the habit of using spirits at all. He knew that very little would floor him, and presently he began to feel light headed. He instantly ordered their horses, fearing that, for once, both himself and Walker would get a little boozy. They then mounted their horses and started on their journey. When they had ridden about a mile Cartright rode up to Walker and cried out, "Wake up! Wake up!" Walker roused up, his eyes watering freely. Cartright then said, "I believe we are both drunk. Let us turn out of the road, and lie down, and take a nap till we both get sober." But they rode on, not drunk, but they felt it flying to their heads. I have thought it proper to mention this in order that others might be put on their guard.
Transcribed by: Brenda Hamilton Johnson