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Kelso, John A.

Flourished: 1834-05-05 Sangamon County, Illinois

Kelso moved to New Salem, Illinois, in 1832 and became its blacksmith. He was an avid reader of William Shakespeare and Robert Burns and is credited with introducing Abraham Lincoln to literature. He moved to Petersburg in 1836 and eventually opened a hotel there.

Benjamin P. Thomas, Lincoln's New Salem (Springfield, IL: Abraham Lincoln Association, 1934), 10, 29, 37, 48; The History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1879), 311.