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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Whitney, Henry C. 'Henry C. Whitney to Jesse W. Weik' 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=herndon642.html


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-- 643 --

gallery. I think I will be here all through this & next month & Swett likewise. of course I will aid you in any way with your book: and properly published it ought to have a run: but the number of trashy Lives of Lincoln is somewhat prodigious. on reflection it seems to me that you had better consult the publishers here first: then: you can determine if or not you should go East for one. I think you had better meet Herndon here when you come to see a publisher.

As to anecdotes &c. — probably the only way I could do that effectively would be to have a stenographer take down whatever was needed: and then a type writer reproduce it: but it would be better for Herndon to be present in order to determine what he wants to preserve & what reject: as it would not [be w]ell to write a lot of stuff in vain. of course I Know a great deal about Lincoln & remember much of it — and I suppose even such gossip as I could narrate would be quite acceptable to the public. I notice that often men with quite as good a capacity as I had to acquire information cannot narrate it either from treacherous memories inattention or some other cause. I remember a great deal about Lincoln and shall never forget it: and I have an idea (altho' others have the same) that Lincoln confided his opinions about men to me more fully than he did to most of his friends: and I Know that he had more faith in Herndon as a friend & adviser than in any other man in Illinois if not in the world. other men that he beleived in strongly were T. Lyle Dickey — Archie Williams — O. H. Browning Leonard Swett Ward H. Lamon. [1]

of course when Dickey abandoned our political faith in 1858, Lincoln no longer had any faith in him. But Lincoln felt very much grieved when I informed him that Dickey was about to leave us. I Knew it beforehand from one occupying the same office together. (I don't want anything said about my opinion of Lincolns feelings for Davis) Lincoln despised Douglas. All that I ever heard him say about John A. Logan was to tell an anecdote thus: — "When John was in the Legislature a Committee was raised to meet some one or body to discuss the subject of Dram Shop license: some member proposed to pass a Resolution to the effect that the Committee had no right to adopt or propose any ultra temperance policy &c: but John squelched it by saying Oh! that is needless: the noses of the Committee are an emphatic declaration of their anti temperance principles."

The first story I ever heard Lincoln tell was in Court. Court stopped to hear — "its like the lazy preacher who used to read very long sermons: When asked how so lazy a man used to write such long sermons, one of his deacons said; "Oh! he gets to writing & is too lazy to stop."

Lincoln & I were once puzzled in a case to Know how the Court would hold: so Lincoln solved it thus: in the Judge's room that evening Lincoln said to the crowd: "Fellers hows so & so? — Davis promptly answered as Lincoln had hoped: and we then found out how the man who was going to decide the point would decide it. When Lincoln returned from Cincinnati after appearing before Judge McLean in a Patent Case he said to me "Judge McLean is a man of considerable
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Whitney, Henry C. 'Henry C. Whitney to Jesse W. Weik' 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=herndon642.html
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