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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Ellis, Abner Y. 'Abner Y. Ellis (statement for 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=herndon170.html


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-- 171 --

Mr Lincoln for his Servces by the Month In the year of 1834 Mr Lincoln was persuaded by his old freind Bowling Green to become a candidate for the State Legislator He was then in intire stranger to the people of Springfield in fact I am of the opinion that he New Very few persons except Myself and Blankenship [2] when he came their he in those days put his horse in My old Jail stable that now stands Just back of Mesrs Withers & Bros shop — I Had a room Just whare Concert Hall Now stands [3] and he staid with me Nights. I introduced him to the Leading Men of the old Whig party and they Elected him — and he afterwards removed to Springfield and read Law with J T Stuart I think

I Must tell you of Mr Lincolns appearance and Costums when he first Made his debut before the Sangamon audience

He wore a mixt Jeans Coat Claw hammer stile, short in the sleaves and bob tail in fact it was so short in the tail he could Not sit on it, Flax & Tow linnen Pantaloons and a Straw Hat I think he wore a vest but I do not remember how it looked he then wore Potmetal Boots [4] — I accompanied him on one of his electionarying trips to the Island Grove and he Make a Speach which pleased his party friends Very Well indeed — though some of the Jackson Men tried to Make sport of him, He told several anecdotes in his Speach and applyed them as I thought Verry Well He also told the Boys Several Storys which drew them after him remember them but Modesty and my Veneration for his Memory forbids me to relate I have a coppy of his first speach hear it is

Gentlemen and fellow citizens I presume you all Know who I am I am humble Abraham Lincoln I have been Solicited by Many freinds to become a candidate for the Legislature My politicks are short and sweet like the old Womans dance. I am in favor of a National bank. I am in favor of the internal improvement system and a high protective Tariff — These are my sentiments and politicle principles if Elected I shall be thankful if not it will be all the Same [5]

As to the questions you ask concerning his habitts &c &c. I shall endeavor to do so the best I can

I think Mr Lincoln Was Not as high minded as a man of his honor and Integrity ought to have been for instance Just think of his low flung, black guard story Many of them was redicilus as we both Know

Mr. L. — I think had no desire for strange woman I never heard him speak of any particular Woman with disresect though he had Many opportunities for doing so while in Company with J.F.S. and Wm B two old rats in that way.

As to the books he read I do Not Know Much. I recollect of one Novel he read and recommened to Me it was George Balcomb [6] your Brother Elliot procured it for me and I read it The plot commenced in and about St Louis and ended in Virginia I was interesting and exciting — I think he read some of Tom Pains
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Ellis, Abner Y. 'Abner Y. Ellis (statement for 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=herndon170.html
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