Mighty Good Water in Tennessee

In 1856 Abraham Lincoln was a Circuit-riding attorney who made stops in Metamora, Illinois on his usual rounds. That summer Metamora resident Melissa Goings, aged 70, was defended by Lincoln on the charge of murdering her 77-year-old husband by striking him over the head with a large piece of firewood. The husband, well-known for his heavy drinking and quarrelsome ways, was not well-liked in Metamora, and town sentiment favored Melissa heavily. On the day of the trial, Mrs Goings was released on bail for a conference with her attorney, Abraham Lincoln, and was never seen in Metamora again.

The court bailiff, Robert Cassell, accused Lincoln of "running her off." Lincoln replied, "Oh no Bob.  I did not run her off.  She wanted to know where she could get a good drink of water, and I told her there was mighty good water in Tennessee."


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