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541. Stephen M. Warner to William H. Herndon.

Centralia, Ills. April 5" 1888

Dear Sir.

I understand that you are writing the "Life of Lincoln". A little instance happened at the State fair, held in Central City (one & a half miles north of this place) in 1858 to which I was an Eye witness.

I was attending the fair, & when I learned that Lincoln was on the ground, I had a great desire to see him, & hear him talk. So for some time, I kept close enough to him, to hear him talk: after spending some time, I left to take in the other attractions. Had gone but a short distance when I met James McKee (father of Gen. G. C. McKee [now?] of Jackson Miss. & who for two terms was a representative to Congress from that state. & P.M. when Cleveland came into office.) James McKee was a noted abolitionist, and when I met him, I said to him, did you know that Lincoln was on the ground: "No, where can I find him". I said, come with me, & I will show you. In a short time I came where he was, surrounded by a group of gentlemen. We stood a short distance from them, looking up to Lincoln. When Lincoln spied, or saw Mr McKee (We always called him "Uncle Jimmy") he at once, stepped out from those about him, & reached out his hand, grasping McKees hand so earnestly, & said, "Why is this you, You that founded Joliet. what are you doing down in Southern Illinois"

This may be of no use to you, but I trust you will excuse me for troubling you, but I could not suppress my desire I had to add my testimony, to the many others showing how from the goodness of his heart, he never forgot his old friends, Even


though in the lower walks of life. Should you wish to know more of James McKee, or myself, I refer you, to Hon. G. A. Sanders of your City.

S. M. Warner

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3445 — 47



1. Marginal note: Weik look over this WHH.

2. James McKee, a native of Kentucky, lived in Jacksonville, Ill., before moving to Joliet in Will County in 1834. He was the first justice of the peace in Joliet Township.