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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Speed, Joshua F. 'Joshua F. Speed 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=herndon341b.html


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-- 342 --

I had nothing whatever to do with the composition or arrangment of the speech — The thought, style Composition and arrangment were all his own. so far as I know — Certainly so far as I was concerned —

My recollection of the circumstances under which the speech was made was about this — An arrangement was made between the Whig & Democratic parties for a discussion of the principles then at issue before the country —

Logan Baker & Lincoln were the Champions of the whig party & Douglas Calhoun & Lamborn the chosen champions of the Democratic party — I remember the debate — The whigs were so much pleased with Lincolns speech that it was published by private subscription in pamphlet form [2] & circulated as a campaign document —

I remember also that you were living with me then and that you one evening expressed the opinion that I had had some hand in composing the speech — It certainly was not true — I remember also that Blankenship who was rooming in the house about that time was also under that impression — I may have read it in manuscript before it went to press. But do not now remember that I did — even so much as that — as to my having originated an idea or written a line in it I never did —

I sold out to Hurst 1 Jany 1841. and came to Ky in the spring —

Lincoln came to see me & staid sometime at my mothers in the Summer & fall of 1841. I returned with him to Ills and remained till the 1st of Jany 1842.

When he was in Ky he was at times very melancholy — My Mother observed it — and one morning when he was alone — she with a womans instinct being much pained at his deep depression — which she had obsirved — presented him a bible — advising him to read it — to adopt its precepts and pray for its promises —

It made a deep impression upon him — I often heard him allude to it — even after he was President — As an evidence of the impression made upon him — Soon after his election he sent her a photographic likeness of himself — with this inscription in his own handwriting

"To my very good friend Mrs Lucy G. Speed from whose pious hands I riceived an Oxford Bible Twenty years ago

A. Lincoln

How touching! to Christian a woman! How beautiful & how simple — The old lady now 80 years old prizes above all price

Your friend
J. F. Speed

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2646 — 47; Huntington Library: LN2408, 2:329 — 32

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Speed, Joshua F. 'Joshua F. Speed 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=herndon341b.html
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