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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Matheny, James H. 'James H. Matheny (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=herndon576b.html


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-- 577 --

Lincoln used to quote Burns. Burns helped Lincoln to be an infidel as I think — at least he found in Burns a like thinker & feeler. Lincoln quoted Tam O'Shanter — "What send one to Heaven and him to Hell all &c. [2]

From what I Know of Mr Lincoln, and his views of Christianity: and from what I Know as honest & well founded rumor — from what I have heard his best friends say & regret for years — from what he never denied when accused & from what Lincoln has hinted & intimated to say no more he did write a little Book on Infidelity at or near New Salem in Menard Co about the year 1834 or 1835 — . I have stated these things to you often Judge Logan — Jno. T. Stuart — yourself Know what I Know and some of you more.

Mr. Herndon you insist on Knowing something which you Know I possess & got as a secret and that is about Lincoln's little book on Infidelity. Mr Lincoln did tell me that he did write a little Book on Infidelity. This Statement I have avoided heretofore, but as you strongly insist on it — probably to defend yourself against charges of misrepresentation I give it to you as I got it from Lincoln's own mouth. (Mr Matheny after strong & repeated solicitation from me, as it were under protest told it to me — evidently hating to do it — Herndon)

Huntington Library: LN2326

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Matheny, James H. 'James H. Matheny (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=herndon576b.html
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