19. Joshua F. Speed (William H. Herndon interview).

[by June 10, 1865]

Speed (Speed) Joshua F. Speeds' Statement to me

Lincoln on Suicide — about 1840 — See journal 1840 Lincoln loved The Bride of Abydos — Devils drive

Piece Put in was Inez — Spanish maid — Lincoln [said?] it was a mistake

Forsook Byron — never Shakespear — & Burns Went into partnership with Stuart — Jno. T. Stuart.

Judge Henry Puertle


Mordica Lincoln — Abes Brother — went to Legislature of Ky — was somewhat Military man — great good Common Sense — Was Entitled to genius — inherited it — fairly —

Sam Haycraft

Logan } Lamborn
Lincoln } Douglas
Baker } Calhoun
All dead

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3976; Huntington Library: LN2408, 2:249 — 50



1. On June 10, WHH sent letters to Henry Pirtle and Samuel Haycraft, both of whose names and addresses appear in this memorandum. This suggests that Herndon was prompted to write these two Kentucky informants at Speed's suggestion on or before June 10, 1865.

2. The first word in this heading, and all of the text, is in pencil; the balance of the heading is in pen and was surely added later. The next item (§20), which is also in pencil and on the same distinctive paper, may have been part of this one.

3. The word "Byron" is interlineated directly above the dash, with a caret directly below.

4. Interlineated above: & p. 758.

5. This passage refers to AL's fondness for Lord Byron. "The Bride of Abydos" and "The Devil's Drive" are both poems by Byron. The reference to the piece that was put in apparently refers to the lyric "To Inez," which Byron inserted in the narrative of another AL favorite, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (canto 1, following stanza 84). Editions of Byron's poems appearing in the 1830s revealed that Byron's first draft of Childe Harold originally had another lyric at this point, which was first printed in 1832 as "The Girl of Cadiz." WHH's reference to "p. 758" would appear to refer to the location of "The Girl of Cadiz" and an explanation of Byron's substitution in a then-current edition, The Works of Lord Byron, Including the Suppressed Poems (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott and Co., 1859).

6. Mordecai Lincoln was AL's uncle.

7. Probably refers to the opposing political debaters of Springfield in the late 1830s and early 1840s: Stephen T. Logan, AL, Edward D. Baker — all Whigs; Josiah Lamborn, Stephen A. Douglas, John Calhoun — all Democrats.

8. This line was apparently entered later.