215. John D. DeFrees to William H. Herndon.
Washington, Aug 21st 1866.
My dear sir:
There is a little truth in the telegram to the Tribune
The State Convention at Indianapolis, Feby 22d 1864, was the first one held on the opening of the Presidential Campaign of 1864. There was a combination among some prominent men in our State (who ought to be ashamed of it) to prevent our indorement of Mr. Lincoln for a second term. This was well understood by Mr. Lincoln. I did go to Indianapolis a few days in advance of the meeting of that Convention, with Mr. L.' knowledge and approval to do all I could to get such an endorsement, — but, I did not take out an autograph letter from Mr. Lincoln appealing to his friends to take steps to make Mr. Johnson vice President — nor, did I ever hear Mr. Lincoln express a preference for Mr. J. or any one else — but, on the contrary, I heard him say that, on that question, he would say nothing.
I did think it was good policy to place some one living in a Southern State — who had been true — on the ticket and favored Johnson — for which the Lord forgive me.
Jno. D. Defrees
P.S. When your book is out, I must have a copy. I have all the lives yet written. Dr. Holland's, I think the best yet published — but, you have advantages over any one else — and will write the best book.