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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Speed, Joshua F. 'Joshua F. Speed 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=herndon430.html


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318. Joshua F. Speed to William H. Herndon.

Louisville 30 Nov 1866.

Dear Sir

I enclose you copies of all the letters of any interest from Mr Lincoln to me [1]

Some explanation may be needed — that you may rightly understand their import —

In the winter of 40 & 41 — he was very unhappy about his engagement to his wife — Not being entirely satisfied that his heart was going with his hand — How much he suffered then on that account none Know so well as myself — He disclosed his whole heart to me —

In the summer of 1841. I became engaged to my wife — He was here on a visit when I courted her — and strange to say something of the same feeling which I regarded as so foolish in him — took possession of me — and kept me very unhappy from the time of my ingagement until I was married —

This will explain the deep interest he manifested in his letters, on my account —

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If you use the letters (and some of them are perfect jems) & do it carefully, so as not to wound the feelings of Mrs Lincoln —

One thing is plainly discernable — If I had not been married & happy — far more happy than I ever expected to be — He would not have married —

I have erraced a name which I do not wish published — If I have failed to do it any where strike it out when you come to it — That is the word Sarah [2]

I thank you for your last lecture [3] It is all new to me — But so true to my appreciation of Lincolns character that independant of my knowledge of you I would almost swear to it —

Lincoln wrote a letter (a long one which he read to me) to Dr Drake [4] of Cincinnatti discriptive of his case. Its date would be in Decer 40 or early in January 41. — I think that he must have informed Dr D of his early love for Miss Rutledge — as there was a part of the letter which he would not read.

It would be worth much to you if you could procure the original —

Chs D. Drake of St Louis may have his Fathers papers — The date which I give you — will aid in the search —

I remember Dr Drakes reply — which was that he would not undertake to priscribe for him without a personal interview —

I would advise you to make some effort to get the letter

Your friend &c
J. F. Speed

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2826 — 27

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Speed, Joshua F. 'Joshua F. Speed 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=herndon430.html
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