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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Hall, James. 'James Hall 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=herndon580.html


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-- 581 --

cunning searches for him, in any future edition. But, were he living in /61 I doubt not Mr Lincoln would have heard of him [2] — I met a gentleman, Lawyer, resident of Vicksburg or Natchez last year, who claimed to have loaned Lincoln his first law book [3] — & in this wise. He & his partner were sitting one afternoon in their office, unemployed, door open, when Lincoln appeared with compass & staff. "Well how now Abe, whats up?" "I'm dead broke — enough surveying, but all on tick no pay — " "Well, better study law — you see how busy we are." "If you'll lend me books I will." Thus commenced the law — The gentleman professed to have for years ridden the circuit with Abe — & told many anecdotes of him, rehearsing his bon mot — if they could be called bon. Will you be kind enough to drop a line to my address, advising me if a Springfield Lawyer of about that time afterwards moved to Miss. & if so, what name — ?

Now after this opening trespass I beg you to permit me to say a word as to the way the assassination story is treated by Mr Lamon. Without going into details or attempting to prove which was intended allow me to express my conviction that mischief was meant, and might or might not have been executed — Mr Lamon bases his disbelief of it on three grounds. 1st The character of the parties Suspected. 2d This open manner of speaking of it — 3d That the parties were not afterward [restricted?] — Two of the parties were well known to me, & more fit men for such a purpose could not be found: but the agents were merely agents, men & women of the highest standing in Balto. could have [schemed?] the assassins of Lincoln then, as did Dr Mudd afterwards — & tis not absurd, or does not appear so to those on the spot to believe that the agents had high support — [Lucket?] [4] was not a common man or common drunkard — He was from the lowest origin in Charles Co. M'd, but made his way up. married into one of the most aristocratic families of Md. a daughter of Gov. Thomas He became a merchant in Balto. of high standing at one time. was a state director in the Bank of Balto. a vestryman in Christs Church &c — However, he failed just before the war & became addicted to drink — He lived in good style at a Country Seat near the Relay H. on the ? R.R — & was elected Capt of a Company of horse to be raised to reject the Yankees in Nov./60. He was a most rabid secessionist — Capt Ferrondina [5] is an Italian, & a man of energy & pluck. headed a company of volunteers under the Com. of Safety after 19th Apl. & although a Barber by trade ambitious of distinction — & quite as likely, "poor knight of the Soap Pot," as he is styled by Mr Lamon, as was the Knights of the Buskin & sock, Booth, to do the damning & damn'd deed — True, he might have cowed, as did Asterolt, [6] in doing the assigned duty, but most who know him, believe, he would have rather Come to time, like Brother. As to the public manner in which the subject talked — nothing
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Hall, James. 'James Hall 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=herndon580.html
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