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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Smith, James. 'James Smith 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=herndon547.html


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435. James Smith to William H. Herndon [1].

Dundee 24th Jany 1867

Sir.

Your letter of the 20th December was duly received. In it you ask me to answer several questions in relation to the late illustrious President, Abraham Lincoln. With regard to your second question, I beg leave to say, it is a very easy matter to prove that while I was Pastor of the 1st Presbyterian Church of Springfield, Mr. Lincoln did avow his belief in the Divine Authority and Inspiration the Scriptures; and I hold that it is a matter of the last importance, not only to the present, but to all future generations of the great Republic, and to all advocates of civil and religious liberty through out the world, that this avowal on his part and the circumstances attending it, together with other very interesting incidents, illustrative of the excellence of his character in my possession should be made Known to the public.

I am constrained however most respectfully to decline choosing you as the medium through which any such communications shall be made by me. My reasons are as follows: —

Early in December last an article went the round of the Papers in this Country purporting to be part of a lecture delivered by you on Mr. Lincoln and his past history which I read with feelings of mingled indignation and Sorrow, because coming as it did from his intimate friend and law partner, it was calculated to do the character of that great and good man an incalculable injury, deeply to wound the feelings of his heart broken widow and her orphan boys, and to place that whole family both the dead and living, in their family relations, in a most unenviable light before the public.

In the article referred to speaking of the death and grave of Miss Ann Ratledge you represent Mr. Lincoln as having said "that his heart Sad and broken was buried there." You give it as your opinion "that he never addressed another Woman Yours affectionately". That he generally and Characteristically abstained from the use of the word love. That he never ended his letters "Yours affectionately" but signed them "Your friend Abraham Lincoln"

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Smith, James. 'James Smith 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=herndon547.html
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