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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 — but not much.

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.

Yours Truly
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.




1. This is presumably a response to a query about the report in the enclosed newspaper clipping (§216).