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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Edwards, Elizabeth Todd. 'Elizabeth Todd Edwards (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=herndon443.html


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-- 444 --

lunacy he declared he hated Mary and loved Miss Edwds. This is true, yet it was not his real feelings. A Crazy man hates those he loves when at himself — often — often is this the Case. The world had it that Mr L backed out. and this placed Mary in a peculiar Situation & to set herself right and to free Mr Lincoln's mind She wrote a letter to Mr L Stating that She would release him from his Engagements. Mr Edwards & myself after the first Crush of things told Mary & Lincoln that they had better not Ever marry — that their natures, mind — Education — raising &c were So different they Could not live happy as husband & wife — had better never think of the Subject again However all at once we heard that Mr L & Mary had Secret meetings at Mr S. Francis' — Editor of the Spfgd Journal. Mary Said the reason this was So — the Cause why it was — that the world — woman & man were uncertain & slippery and that it was best to keep the secret Courtship from all Eyes & Ears. Mrs Mrs L told Mr L that though She had released him in the letter Spoken of — yet She Said that She would hold the question an open one — that is that She had not Changed her mind, but felt as always. The whole of the year year the Crazy Spell Miss Edwards was at our house [4] — Say for a year. I asked Miss Edwards — Subsequently Mrs Strong if Mr Lincoln Ever Mentioned the subject of his love to her. Miss Edwards Said — "On my word he never mentioned Such a Subject to me: he never even Stooped to pay me a Compliment."

Mr Douglas used to come to see Mary — probably: it is quite likely that his intentions were true & Sincere. Mary was asked one day by some of her friends which She intended to have — "Him who has the best prospects of being President Said Miss Todd. The marriage of Mr L & Mary was quick & sudden — one or two hours notice.

Miss Edwards one dy was asked why she married such an old dried up husband — such a withered up old Buck: [5] She replied: "He had lots of houses [6] & gold" Mary was present at this question & answer and She then remarked — "Is that true — I would rather marry a good man — a man of mind — with a hope and bright prospects ahead for position — fame & power than to marry all the houses [Note] — gold & bones in the world." Mary Lincoln has had much to bear, though she don't bear it well: she has acted foolishly — unwisely and made the world hate her: She opened a private letter of mine after I left Washington & because in that letter my Daughter gave me her opinion of Mrs L She became Enraged at me. I tried to Explain — She would Send back my letters with insulting remarks. Mr Lincoln Shed tears when I left Washington — had been Solicited to Come to Washington by Mr & Mrs Lincoln. Mr Lincoln Said to me — Mrs Edwards — "do Stay with me — you have Such a power & control Such an
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Edwards, Elizabeth Todd. 'Elizabeth Todd Edwards (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=herndon443.html
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