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 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