77. S. T. Johnson (William H. Herndon Interview).
Indiana — Septr 14th 1865
S. T. Johnson — say — I am aged 34 years — resided in this County 25 ys — from the year 1821. to 1830. the County seat of Warrick Co was Boonville about 15 m from Gentryville N.W — Lincoln used to attend Court in that place. He became acquainted with a Jno. Brackenridge there — heard in which Brackenridge was Counsel. He was a fine lawyer. Lincoln attended a murder Case — trial & proceedings — was young — aged about 18. or 19 years. B. noticed the calm intelligent attention that L. paid to the trial. B moved to Texas in 1852 — Lincoln had not seen B from 1828 to 1862. B went to Washington. L. saw B. L. instantly recognized B. — L told Brackenridge that he at that time, the trial, formed a fixed determination to study the law and make that his profession. Lincoln referred to the trial — said to Brackenridge that he had listened to his, Bs, Speech at the trial and said Brackenridge — "It was the best speech that I, up to that time, Ever heard. If I could, as I then thought make as good a speech as that, that my Soul would be satisfied"
Summers used to attend court there and frequently saw Mr Lincoln there — Knew he always attended Court and paid strict attention to what was said and done. The murder Case took place in 1828. L complimented Brackenridge at that trial, saying it was a clear, logical and powerful Effort. &c — Brackenridge looked at the Shabby boy —
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2329; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:124 — 25
1. Marginal note: (First written in pencil and then Copied word for word — Herndon).
2. These dates apparently refer to the tenure of the county seat rather than Johnson's residence in Spencer County.
3. Possibly Thomas Summer, a neighbor and contemporary of AL. See Francis Marion Van Natter, Lincoln's Boyhood: A Chronicle of His Indiana Years (Washington, D.C., 1963), 62.
4. Marginal note: From Gentryville to Elizabeth 4 m. N.E a little Population of Each 300.