Armstrong, John (Jack)

Born: 1803-01-13 White County, Tennessee

Died: 1857-09-09 Mason County, Illinois

Armstrong's family migrated to Illinois when he was a child. He and his wife Hannah settled in Clary's Grove, where Armstrong became the leader of the "Clary's Grove Boys." In 1831, Armstrong challenged Abraham Lincoln to a wrestling match, which likely resulted in a draw. The two subsequently became friends, and Lincoln roomed with him for a time and borrowed his horse. In August 1831, Lincoln voted for Armstrong as constable, and Armstrong won election to the office. The following year, Armstrong served as a sergeant in Lincoln's company in the Black Hawk War. Following Armstrong's death, Lincoln served as defense attorney for his son William Duff Armstrong.

Benjamin P. Thomas, Lincoln's New Salem (Springfield, IL: Abraham Lincoln Association, 1934), 42, 44-46, 54; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:61-62, 79, 342-46; The History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1879), 629; Gravestone, Old Concord Cemetery, Petersburg, IL.