NIU Libraries Digitization Projects
Lincoln/Net Prairie Fire Illinois During the Civil War Illinois During the Gilded Age Mark Twain's Mississippi Back to Digitization Projects Contact Us
BACK

Wilson, Douglas L., ed; Davis, Rodney O., ed. 'Register of Informants' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: history]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon737.html


Previous section

Next section

Speed, Joshua Fry (1814-82).

Speed has been called "Lincoln's only intimate friend." He was born of a prominent family near Louisville, Kentucky, and attended college for a year before moving to Springfield, Illinois, in 1835. He was a partner in a general store when AL moved to Springfield from New Salem in 1837 and began to share his lodgings over the store. Speed's store became a popular evening gathering place for the young men of the town, with AL often at the center of attention. Speed accompanied his socially awkward friend on visits to the Edwards home on "Quality Hill," where they met the Springfield belles of the day. Sharing similar temperaments and anxieties about women and marriage, Speed and AL's intense friendship survived a brief rivalry for the hand of Matilda Edwards before Speed returned to Kentucky in 1841. Speed helped AL through a period of suicidal depression following his breakup with Mary Todd in the winter of 1840-41, and AL returned the favor when Speed became apprehensive about his own forthcoming marriage in 1842. Speed

-- 772 --

made a fortune in the Louisville area in real estate and business and, though disturbed by the Emancipation Proclamation, remained loyal to the Lincoln administration during the Civil War. Speed's older brother, James, served as AL's second attorney general, from 1864 to 1865. (ALE; BEK; Douglas L. Wilson, "Abraham Lincoln and 'that fatal first of January,'" Civil War History 38:2 [June 1992])

Previous section

Next section


Wilson, Douglas L., ed; Davis, Rodney O., ed. 'Register of Informants' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: history]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon737.html
Powered by PhiloLogic