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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Whitney, Henry C. 'Henry C. Whitney 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=herndon627.html


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-- 629 --

You are in error in supposing that I attribute any errors to you in Lamons life: not so: any errors are those of Chauncey F. Black who wrote it: and arose from not knowing Lincoln and from misconceiving you. I will get Lamons life soon and inform you of what I consider errors. If I knew the plan and scope of your Book I might help you more. My memory is good and I took to Lincoln on the Circuit from the start and happened to have rather more intimacies with him than ordinary. Davis and Swett were more intimate — Lamon, Weldon, Parks, Moore, Hogg, Voorhees & McWilliams [8] less so. Oliver L. Davis at Danville he despised and Oliver hated him: Lincoln had no love for Voorhees: but you are in Indiana and must look out. One reason I think likely, for his not liking D. Davis [9] & C. H. Moore better was their sordidness and avarice. I could narrate incidents of Lincoln by the hour which occurred on the Circuit as my memory is good, but I don't know the scope or design of your work. I understand it is a social, & not a political history: The idea that Allen G. Rice should publish a Book of Remeniscences of Lincoln [10] & go to such codfish as Ben Perley Poore Dan Voorhees Walt Whitman: and not seek you John T. Stuart & Jim Matheny shows how humbug rules the world. The mode of getting out your book — who publishes it and how extensively it is advertised will largely determine how great a run it will have. I have not been able to do anything with my lecture of late: I have been away and have also been busy and shall be for some little time but I want to get at it and get into the lecture field this winter and I rely on you to aid me. I don't think L. considered Davis a suitable kind of a lawyer for the supreme bench.

Swett says that the reason why Lincoln did not act in the matter of the appointment of a Supreme Judge when Davis was appointed sooner was that it got the goby &c. and that he vacillated between Browning & Davis and that he intended to appoint Browning all along: and that in Bloomington they heard definitely that Lincoln said: "If I had made the appointment before this time, there was no single day in all the time that I would not have appointed Browning": upon hearing this a consultation was had in Bloomington & Swett said "I am going to Washington": Davis said "don't go: its of no use": (that was shrewd way he had of not paying his expenses.) Swett went however & talked with Lincoln ½ a day about it: they went over the whole subject of his former relations with Davis & covered the whole ground & the result was that Lincoln at once made the appointment. I think you may safely say that Davis [11] fully intended to appoint Browning and simply did not do it from not having fully made up his mind about it's effect on Davis; or rather had nothing at the time to offer Davis as a counterpoise and while in this condition Swett came along with his wonderful persuasiv powers & converted Lincoln over and thus Swett rescued Davis from utter oblivion and made him
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Whitney, Henry C. 'Henry C. Whitney 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=herndon627.html
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