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476. Isaac N. Arnold to William H. Herndon.

Chicago Nov. 27. 1883

My Dear Sir

I have Your letters of Nov. 24 & 26th.

The expression in the P.S. of Your letter of 24th is "I dont think Mr Lincoln had a broad & Universal affection for men." I will change the word "universal" to generous.

The story of "Tilda" is very interesting. I had never seen it before. I think I shall use it — . Truth, integrity — honesty, these were indeed the basis of his charactar — The story of the P. Office money, which Dr Henry told me — & other new-Salem anecdotes — shew his sterling honesty, as the story of Tilda does his truthfulness.

I never asked about Lincolns virtue, because I never had any reason to doubt it, & I thought on this point I knew him, but Your knowledge is far greater & I am glad You confirme my impressions.

I rather agree with You — about Lincoln's affection for men — if you mean personal attachments. He had warm friends though.

But take men as a whole I think he thought better of them than they deserve. He had more faith in mankind, the masses than any other man I ever knew. He was never directly acquainted with the vice, corruption of our great cities — man as he knew him best on the frontier — was as Lincoln believed — disposed to do right — but in these great corrupt cities — there is always a large class far below Lincoln's general Estimate of humanity.

With many thanks / I am

Very truly Yours
Isaac N. Arnold

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3191 — 92



1. See §74.

2. Dr. Anson G. Henry.