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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Swett, Leonard. 'Leonard Swett 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=herndon636.html


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-- 636 --

523. Leonard Swett to William H. Herndon.

Chicago, Aug 30 1887

My dear Sir,

Mr Henry Whitney, of this city, called upon me saturday Evening, Either to ascertain what I know of the circumstances of the appointment of David Davis, as one of the associate Justices of the Supreme Court, or to settle a law suit, we have in hand & I do not know which. Of course he put the Davis matter ahead & talked it over & over, and it seemed as though he never would come to the suit, but when I mentioned it, he tumbled to it so kindly that I still am in doubt which was his real object.

I have concluded, however to write out the Davis matter, which I have done. I sent it herewith for such use as you may cho[o]se.

I reread my letter, of twenty one years ago. [1] It comes back to me like one from the dead. I cannot remember of writing it at all I have a shadowy [&c?] remembrance of dictating something to a reporter. and as this is in some person's hand writing other than my own. I presume I did dictate it. Even the corrections are so hastily made that they, in some instances destroy, rather than correct the sense.

Notwithstanding these facts it is, in my judgement, a better analysis of Mr Lincoln than I could make without it, and I return it with some slight alterations for such use by you, as you chose to make of it.

You will note that I have striken out all allusion to Mr Lincoln's swearing, and reading the Bible, & the reason is that I am satisfied the public does not want to hear them Lamon's book fell flat, every body connected with it lost money & the public have not yet forgiven him for making it, because it stated things which the public did not want to hear of its hero. There is after all some sense in this. History is made to perpetuate a man virtues or hold up his vices to be shuned. The heroes of the world are its standards, and in time, all faults and all bad or

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Swett, Leonard. 'Leonard Swett 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=herndon636.html
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