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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=herndon625.html


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then stated I based my inference mainly: then my reasoning was that Lincolns melancholy was illogical & unexplainable by any course of observation or reasoning — it was ingrained & being ingrained could not be reduced to rule or the cause arrayed: and was necessarily hereditary — but whether it came from a long line and far back or was simply formed during the period of gestation cannot be determined. Stuart said it all arose from abnormal digestion — from the failure of his liver to work while Matheny said he wasnt melancholy at all. I can't help you on this & please don't mention me in connection with it. The thumps kicks [3] &c. I know nothing about: really my ideas on the whole subject I got from Lamons life which really on that subject is not very clear: You owe an apology to the world for not having written that book after doing so excellent service in gathering such a world of material. I think if you had written such a work it would have been the most graphic American Biography of anyone.

You touch me on a tender chord when you ask about Lincoln & Davis. The latter is now dead: he had many virtues & some defects & I can never forget his kindness to me in the first years of my acquaintance: but I dont think Lincoln held Davis very close to his heart: he was too loquacious — too vain — too vacillating in his friendships: look at Davis' array of posthumous friends & where are they? & who are they? we tried to raise $1000.# to pay for a bust of Davis & I will tell you of the success so far as I pursued it: and I pursued it through all his friends that I knew.

Weldon cheerfully subscribed $100.# Bishop ditto: Frank Orme $50.00: Swett $100.# & then the thing stuck: altho' the widow Davis expressed some desire to pay for the whole thing. Clifton H. Moore refused: Jno. G. Nicolay refused: George Perrin Davis refused: Mrs Swayne refused: Jesse Fell refused to try to do anything: so you see that when Davis' autocratic force was withdrawn, all love must also. I think Davis had no influence on Lincoln: he believed in you — Swett — Williams — Browning — Judd — Logan — Stuart: but he despised O. L. Davis — & only barely tolerated D. Davis Weldon — C. H. Moore: he liked Cullom & Lamon — both: this he told me himself in 1856. when both wanted to run for Pros Atty. Look at Thurlow Weeds autobiography [4] & you will there see Lincolns feeling of contempt for Davis portrayed. I think Lincoln meant just what he said & what might be implied from what he did say. I can give you some further facts about Lincoln & Davis (not very significant) from my own knowledge: and will do so if you desire when I get a moments leisure. I have forgotten what office Dubois wanted: but it was no secret in Springfield & elsewhere that he did want a specifically named office. It seems to me it was 5th Auditor: but I am not clear: but any one in Springfield will recollect. He made a strong effort for it & was greatly chagrined when he got defeated. I don't recollect what the office was or who got it. Nicolay can inform you on both points: [5] I think Lincoln never had any intention
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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=herndon625.html
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