John Moore and the Cart
Speaking of the relative merits of New England rum and corn juice, as he called it, to illuminate the human mind, he told me this story of John Moore, who resided south of Blooming Grove, and subsequently became state treasurer: Mr. Moore came to Bloomington one Saturday in a cart drawn by a fine pair of red steers. For some reason he was a little late starting home, and besides his brown jug, he otherwise had a good load on. In passing through the grove that night, one wheel of his cart struck a stump or root and threw the pole out of the ring of the yoke. The steers, finding themselves free, ran away, and left John Moore sound asleep in his cart, where he remained all night. Early in the morning, he roused himself, and looking over the side of the cart and around in the wood, he said: “If my name is John Moore, I’ve lost a pair of steers; if my name ain’t John Moore, I’ve found a cart.” After a good laugh together, Lincoln said: “Morgan, if you ever tell this story, you must add that Moore told it on himself.”
From a speech of Richard Price Morgan, Pontiac, Illinois, 12 February 1909 in Emanuel Hertz, Anecdotes By & About Abraham Lincoln, p. 138 — supposedly from jokebook.