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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Hill, John. 'John Hill 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=herndon061.html


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44. John Hill to William H. Herndon.

Petersburg Ills 27th June 65

Dear Sir

Yours of 21st came duly to hand. Have awaited an opportunity to see Capt Wright in relation to Matheny's Speech before replying. [1]

The article in the Mo. Republican in relation to Mr. Matheny's speech at this place in 1856 was written by Capt Wright. Also, an article in the "Index" of corresponding date. [2] The articles excited considerable sensation at the time. They were not verbatim, but substantially correct. I think I remember that before the publication of the article in the Index it was submitted to Matheny and he endorsed the report of his remarks. The reports in the two papers very nearly correspond, and I think, aside from party coloring, are correct in every particular.

As to Mr Lincoln's book on Infidelity, I gave you all my knowledge verbally. Since my early childhood I remember to have heard it alluded to, hundreds of times by different old settlers. Of late years I have heard less of it, as these old men have many of them passed away. I have a better remembrance of it by my father's connection with it. You know that there are always some few things that strike into the minds of a child at early age which time will never eradicate. This is one of the circumstances from which I date my earliest remembrance. It could not have been on account of Lincoln's position, as that the time I knew no more as to who he was than I did of the inhabitants of the Fejee Islands. When I heard of my father having morally compelled Mr Lincoln to burn the book, on account of its infamy &c pointing to Voltaire, Paine &c, the circumstance struck me so forcibly that I

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have never heard the word infidelity, Paine or Voltaire, since, without thinking of it. My mother was strictly religious, and before hearing of this I had always thought my father to be averse to religion. I was so surprised that I suppose it made the deeper impression. As to date I do not know. It was in the winter time, as tradition says it was done in fathers store, while there was fire in the stove, & that there it was burned, Your friend

John Hill

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2217; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:514 — 16

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Hill, John. 'John Hill 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=herndon061.html
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