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392. John D. DeFrees to William H. Herndon.

Washington, Decr. 4 1866.

My dear Sir:

Your letter of the 29th ult reached me a few days ago.

I cannot remember ever having heard Mr. Lincoln converse on the subjects about which you require.

A Convention of Preachers held, I think, at Philadelphia, passed a resolution asking him to recommend to Congress an amendment to the Constitution directly recognising the existence of God. The first draft his message prepared after their resolution was sent him, did contain a paragraph calling the attention of Congress to the subject. When I assisted him in reading the proof, he struck it out, remarking that he had not made up his mind as to its propriety — I think he had several conversations with the Rev. P. D. Gurley, Pastor of a Presbyterian Church of this city, on the subject of religion, about the time of the death of his son Willie. Mr. Gurley would, no doubt, give you an account of it.

I read the lecture you Sent me with great interest. It presented Mr. Lincoln in a new light to me.

I am anxious for your book. — Have you read "Carpenter's 6 months in the White House?" There are some good things in it

Yours Truly,
Jno. D. Defrees.

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2845



1. William H. Herndon's Ann Rutledge lecture.