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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Davis, David. 'David Davis (William H. Herndon Interview)' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: interview]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon349.html


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-- 350 --

I informed Lincoln that the [Military?] trials as above Spoken of Could not Stand the test of Law and Constitution as I thought — and Said. [3] Lincoln was not a well read Man — read no histories — novels. — biographies &c — Studied Euclid — the Exact Sciences — His mind struggled to arrive at moral & physical — Mathematical demonstration. He Studied the Latin Grammar on the Circuit. He had a good mechanical mind and Knowledge. He never Complained of any food — nor beds — nor lodgings — He once Said at a table — "Well — in the absence of anything to Eat I will jump into this Cabbage. He hated drunkenness: Mr. Lincoln had unsurpassed reasoning powers — his Logical faculties were great: He reasoned from his own mind — his nature — and reflection rather than by. His analogy was great — his Comparison. When he believed his Client was oppressed — such as the Wright Case [4] he was terrific in denunciation — had no Mercy. Remember the Jessie B. Thomas Case [5] — Speech — Terrible — This was in 1840 —

Lincoln could bear no malice — nor could Thomas. Thos wrote to L. "Lincoln said I am sorry that I made that Thomas Speech."

Lincoln loved Clay — see Hollands life: [6] it is all false. He did not go for Clay because he Knew Clay Couldn't be Elected: he told me so: he loved & adored Clay — I Know this — all other Statements are unmittegated lie — Lincoln never visited Clay.

As a lawyer when he attacked Meanness & littleness — vice & fraud — he was most powerful — was merciless in his Catigation —

When Lincoln was Elected as Presdt he swore in his soul he would act justly: he said he intended to appoint democrats & Republicans alike — that the Republican payto [7] Composite — made up of all parties associations &c — Justice was Lincolns leading characteristic, modified by mercy — when possible.

Lincoln was a Man of strong passion for woman — his Conscience Kept him from seduction — this saved many — many a woman.

Lincoln was peculiar man. McWilliams [8] was a low vulgar man — yet Lincoln loved sharp — witty things — loved jokes &c and Lincoln atatched himself to this poor unfortunate Creature — This is how Lincoln happened to draw to him Some of his low vulgar & unscrupulous Men. It was wit & joke meeting & loving wit & Jokes — not the man for the men. Lincoln used these men merely to whistle off sadness — gloom & unhappiness. He loved their intellects. minds and felt sorry
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Davis, David. 'David Davis (William H. Herndon Interview)' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: interview]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon349.html
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