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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Ray, Charles H. 'Charles H. Ray 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=herndon208.html


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146. Charles H. Ray to William H. Herndon.

Chicago, Feby 11th 1866

My Dear Foolish old Fellow,

— Foolish because you suppose that I have any cause to "cut" you — most foolish in the assigning of a reason for that cutting which never happened. Your letter came to me in Canada when I was digging oil. I had, before its receipt, read your admirable lecture on Lincoln; [1] and if I did not immediately answer, it was because I had nothing to add to your able and comprehensive estimate of that great man's character.

There, now are you satisfied that all your old friends have not deserted you?

I do not see how I can aid you. You knew Mr. L. far better than I did though I knew him well; and you have summed up his leading characteristics in a way that I should despair of doing if I should try. I have only one thing to ask — that you do not give Calvinistic theology a chance to claim him as one of its saints and

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martyrs. He went to the old school church; but in spite of that outward sign of assent to the horrible dogmas of the sect, I have reason from himself to know that his "vital piety," if that means belief in the impossible, was of the negative sort. I think that orthodoxy, if that means the Presbyterian doxy, was regarded by him as a huge joke; but he was far too kindly and cautious to challenge any man's faith without cause.

I have really nothing to add to what you have said. Volumes, it is true, would not exhaust the subject; but you have given the heads of chapters and have the fullness of knowledge to fil in the details.

It is another Ray who is a college Professor here. I am an oil miner and general speculator.

With many kind wishes for your success, I am as of old

Yours very sincerely
C. H. Ray,

Illinois State Historical Library: Weik Papers, box 1; Huntington Library: LN2408, 2:282 — 83

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Ray, Charles H. 'Charles H. Ray 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=herndon208.html
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