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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Speed, Joshua F. 'Joshua F. Speed (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=herndon474b.html


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-- 476 --

Mr Lincoln in reference to Internal improvements & the best interest and advancement of this State, that his highest ambition was to become the De Witt Clinton of Ills.

Messr Douglas — Baker — Lincoln and others were in Speeds Store one Evening in Decr 1839 — . They got to talking politics — got warm — hot — angry. Douglas Sprang up and Said — Gentlemen, this is no place to talk politics — We will discuss the questions &c publicly with you — Then the banter came — see Journal. Decr. 1839. [4]

Religion — Beard of Ky was a Know nothing — went into a catholic Section of Ky to make Speeches against Foreigners — was making a Speech — Some one in the Crowd — a revered and gray haired leader — and Said — "Have you any Religion" — Beard Said it — the question was a poser — a Stumper — Yet gather himself Beard said — "Yes Stranger — thank God — I have got Some Religion — I had better be without money than with out Religion So far from home. From this time he swayed the crowd "for there was a great truth in this reply said" Lincoln. Speed you had better be without money than without Religion Said Lincoln. Speed is Satisfied that Mr Lincoln was a growing man in Religion — (this is true as to Religion though not so as to Christianit

Lee had surrendered — Davis had fled. and Lincoln joyous — Called his Cabinet togethe about the only one he Ever had. and asked Each one of his Cabinet what had better be done. Some were one way & Some an other — Speed [5] was Sharp & hard on the Traitors — Said they ought to be hung — Each one Expressed his own opinions. After all had Expressed their Opinions — Lincoln turned to Speed and Said — Speed you are hot after the Rebel. I Should have though that you would have been for mercy — Kindness — tenderness &c — Speed Said — Mr Presdt you asked me my opinion and I gave it honestly — Tut — Tut Said Lincoln patting Speed on the Shoulders I Know that and admire you the More for it, yet I say I am mistaken. Mr Lincoln made a Speech to his Cabinet: it was sublime for it was in spired. (I can't get this — H.) Lincoln Said I can describe my feelings by telling a story [6] "I feel" said Lincoln jokingly — like a litte neighbor boy of mine in Indiana his father was a hunter: he was tender & chicken hearted: his father one night Caught an old Coon and her young — Killed the old one — and all the young Except one — tied a little rope around the neck of it and told the boy to watch it while he the father went & got a chain — the boy was afraid his father would treat it Cruelly — Lincoln went over to see the boy — the boy was apparently crying — was tender — never would throw at a bird — Said to Abe — "I wish this Coon would get away — , but if I let him go, dad will whip me — I do wish it would run off — So I feel by these leading rebels.
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Speed, Joshua F. 'Joshua F. Speed (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=herndon474b.html
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