NIU Libraries Digitization Projects
Lincoln/Net Prairie Fire Illinois During the Civil War Illinois During the Gilded Age Mark Twain's Mississippi Back to Digitization Projects Contact Us
BACK

Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Pinkerton, Allan. 'Allan Pinkerton Agency (Report Furnished to William H. Herndon)' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: report]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon267.html


Previous page

Next page

-- 282 --

do it". I said to him "By the By, friend Hillard, talking about your Company, you remind me of one thing I wanted to say to you, which is this: "Yesterday you contradicted yourself in your statements to me in regard to your Company — now you know I am a frank man, and have no desire, for it is none of my business to ask you questions about your Company, and no desire to know anything about it only so far — that I of course feel an interest in the cause, that you know is natural, being a Southern Man." He replied, "Yes my friend — I have told you all I have a right to tell you — and I tell you all I dare without compromising myself, my friends, and my honor — I have unbounded confidence in you, and know you to be a gentleman — I am a judge of human nature — I have been asked by my friends who you was, what you was &c — , and I have replied, that you was a gentleman, and that was all I knew about it, and all I wanted to Know."

We had left my room while this conversation was going on, and on arriving at the corner of Baltimore and Holliday Streets, Hillard said to me "I will go to supper and from there to the National Volunteer room, and will return at 9.00. p.m. to your room. I persuaded him however to go to supper with me at Mann's Resteraunt, where we went up stairs to a private dining room and there resumed our conversation — He said to me "ever since I went to Washington I am very careful in what I say — there are Government spies here all the time, (in Baltimore) even now, do you see that old man at the other end of the Room?" "this is the first time I have noticed him — just as likely as not he is a government spy — there is no telling — and may be before this he has my name down, and what I have said — We are all more careful (meaning the National Volunteers) — twenty times more careful than we were previously. I never recognize any of the boys now in the Street when I see them — We have to be careful — Do not think my friend that it is a want of confidence in you that makes me so cautious — it is because I have to be — I do not remmember to have spoken to a person out of our Company, and the first thing I knew I was at Washington before that Committee [28]We have taken a solemn oath, which is to obey the orders of our Captain, without asking any questions, and in no case, or under any circumstances reveal any orders received by us, or entrusted to us, or anything that is confidential, for instance I was called to Washington City before the Committee — I must not divulge the object nor the nature of our organization, but evade and if necessary decline to answer their questions."

I asked Hillard what was the first object of the organization. He replied "It was first organized to prevent the passage of Lincoln with the troops through Baltimore, but our plans are changed every day, as matters change, and what its object will be from day to day, I do not know, nor can I tell — All we have to do is, to obey the orders of our Captain, whatever he commands we are required to do — Rest assured I have all confidence in you, and what I can and dare tellyou I am willing to and like to do it — I cannot come out and tell you all — I cannot compromise my honor".

Previous page

Next page


Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Pinkerton, Allan. 'Allan Pinkerton Agency (Report Furnished to William H. Herndon)' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: report]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon267.html
Powered by PhiloLogic