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470. Chauncey F. Black to William H. Herndon.

York Apl 30. 1874

My dear Sir.

I send you herewith [a clip?] sent me by Mr Dana of the New York Sun. The writer is evidently on the wrong scent, or else given to much lying.

I met the other day in Washington Col Dick Wintersmith, born and raised down there — His theory is that Ben Hardin was Mr Lincoln's father and gave facts and incidents which go far to support it. He says he will come here to see me and I shall then write down what he says. In the meantime I hope you will find out that fellow you heard about in Kentucky.

But have you heard nothing from Lamon or anybody else? Have you consulted with any publisher? Or making any progress? This letter of inquiry has been on my mind a long while, but I have been so very busy that I couldn't get it done. Mr. Dana offered me a large salary to go to New York and take charge of the Sun — I declined chiefly because I have some prospect of going to Congress from this District — and at all events can't abide the thought of living in a city — He then offered me a smaller salary for six articles a week & to remain at home — I have accepted that and it keeps me as busy as a [nailor?] But I shall never die happy unless we get something done about the Life of Lincoln. Do you see that John Hay and Nicolay are said to be preparing a Life.?

Most truly / as ever
Chauncey F Black



1. Marginal note: C.S.H.V. is Mr. C. S. Hobart Vawter of Indianapolis.

2. Presumably Richard M. Wintersmith.

3. Black and WHH were contemplating collaborating on a revision of Ward H. Lamon's Life of Lincoln, which Black had ghostwritten.

4. Marginal note: Confidential.