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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Ficklin, Orlando B. 'Orlando B. Ficklin to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon058.html


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40. Orlando B. Ficklin to William H. Herndon.

Charleston Jun 25th 65

My dear Sir

I am in receipt of two letters from you touching your preparing to write the life of our mutual friend Lincoln, but courts & business have kept me going ever since the first was received.

Dennis Hanks is now at Chicago exhibiting log Cabin &c &c, will be at home in two or three weeks. On him & on Col Gus Chapman his son in law & John Hanks you will have to rely to a large extent. I spoke to Chapman yesterday in your behalf & he & Dennis could visit & stop with you long enough to furnish all the facts & fictions traditional or otherwise in their possession The Step Mother is too old & infirm to give much reliable information & her offspring & their descendants are not remarkable for their truth honesty or chastity, & it would be better to rely upon the Hanks who are blood relatives of Lincoln

By very close & direct reply, you can gain from Dennis Hanks much needful information & if you will say to him that I refered you to him for a truthful narrative he will talk freely to you.

It will be 30 years next Decr since Lincoln and myself met at Vandalia as members of the Legislature, a friendship then commenced which remained unbroken by political differences or personal interests or otherwise, up to his death.

I knew him well as a Lawyer a Statesman & citizen, valued him highly & deeply deplored his death. He was a case Lawyer but in a case where he felt that he had the right none could surpass him.

As a Statesman, he was deeply imbued with the Principles of Henry Clay, but was conscientously opposed to slavery all his life, & he expressed his views honestly & truly to the Ky delegation when he urged them so strongly to accept compensated emancipation. He had a nice & keen perception of right & wrong & did not wish to see rich men made poor by having their negroes freed without compensation

If I could be with you I could give many incidents which might be of interest & it would give me infinite pleasure no less on your own account than on account of a deceased friend to do all in my power to present fully & fairly a perfect life.

Very truly yours
O B Ficklin

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2209 — 10; Huntington Library: LN2408, 2:298

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Ficklin, Orlando B. 'Orlando B. Ficklin to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon058.html
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