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458. Andrew H. Goodpasture (statement for William H. Herndon).

Petersburg, Illinois March 31. A.D. 1869

About the year A.D. 1855 in the town of Clinton Dewit County Illinois pending the investigation of a suit in the circuit cort: in which a Mr. George Tanner was plantiff and some 15 or 16 ladies of Marion Dewit County Ill. were defendent

The atterney for the plantiff urged the tecnicalities of the Statute law in all caces of destruction of property (The ladies having been indited for knocking out the heads of some whiskey barels owned by Mr. Tanner who kept a grocery at Marion where they resided) In defending the ladies the atterney evinced some want of tack to meet the case, and Mr. Lincoln became restless, placed his head forward and rubed his hair with his hands, and before the jury retired he addressed the Cort sayin he wished to make a few remark (before the jury retired.) And first, he would change the order of inditement and have it read The State against Mr. whiskey instead of the State against the Ladies. And tuching this case there were 3 laws, First the law of self protection. Second the law of the land or statute law: & Thirdly the Moral law or law of God.


And first the law of selfprotection was a law of necessity as evinced by our Fathers in casting the Tea over board, and aserting their rights to the persuit of life liberty & happiness. And that in this case it was the only defence the Ladies had: for Tanner, neither feared God nor regarded man.

Secondly, the law of the land or statute law: and that the Plantiff was recrelient to both. Third the Moral law or law of God, and this was with out any efect in the case before the jury. Gave some of his own observations upon the effects of Whiskey: and its ruin in society and that it should be arested: his feelings became deeply inlisted and such was his power in presenting truth and carrying his audiance with him that before he closed his speach many were bathed in tears, the Judge not excepted. When he sat dow the judge said "Ladies go home and if there is any fine wanted of you we will let you know it: but no fine has ever yet been called for.

These statements are substancally the same as given to the undersigned By Rev. R. D. Taylor who was present at the time.

A. H. Goodpasture

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3036 — 37



1. On May 18, 1854, AL and John T. Stuart defended nine women in DeWitt Circuit Court who had been indicted on charges of riot for dumping a grocer's supply of liquor after he had refused to close his establishment. The women were tried by a jury and found guilty but were fined only $2.00 each (Earl Schenck Miers et al., eds., Lincoln Day by Day: A Chronology, 1809 — 1865, 3 vols. [Washington, D.C., 1960]).

2. William H. Herndon's note below the signature: Herndon says, Judge David Davis presided — Archer Herndon's wife — his mother — was one of the defendants.