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291. Henry C. Whitney to William H. Herndon.

Lawrence Kas. 13th Nov. 1866.

Bro Herndon

Some of our friends (I forget who) told me that you were prepairing a life of our lamented best friend and that you were desirous to get copies of all documents of his production which might illustrate his singular character an entry of his on the "Judges Docket" of Champaign Co. Circuit Ct. ought to be reproduced: — he was holding Court for Judge Davis in '59, I think & there was a writ on a suit in which some dozen of the leading men of Champaign were Defts. & one "Chaddon" or "Chase use of Chaddon" was plff. — the defts. really had no legal but a good moral defence but desired to stav it off: we bothered the Court about it until late on Saturday day of adjournment when he adjourned till after supper with nothing left but this Case to dispose of: — after Supper he heard our twaddle for nearly an hour & then made the Entry in the case which is so odd that your book will be imperfect without it: if you desire to get it write to "Wm H. Somers Esq." of Urbana (he was then Clerk): — As the debate with Douglas forms a leading incident of Lincolns life, I herewith send copy of letters to me which may prove useful "Springfield Nov 30. 1858 H.C. Whitney Esq. My Dear Sir: Being desirous of preserving in some permanent form the late joint discussions between Douglas & myself. ten days ago I wrote to Dr Ray requesting him to forward to me by express two setts of the Nos of the Tribune which contain the reports of the discussions — up to date I have no word from him on the subject — Will you if in your power procure them and forward them to me by Express? If you will I will pay all charges and be greatly obliged to boot — Hoping to meet you before long I remain as ever your Freind

A. Lincoln"

"Springfield Dec 25. 1858

H C Whitney Esq. My Dear Sir I have just received yours of the 23d inquiring whether I received the newspapers you sent me by Express I did receive them and am very much obliged. There is some probability that my scrap book will be reprinted and if it shall I will save you a copy — Your Friend as ever A. Lincoln

under date of July 9. '56, he writes

It turned me blind when I first heard Swett was beaten and Lovejoy nominated but after much anxious reflection I really beleiv it is best to let it stand This of course I wish to be Confidential.

Under date of Dec 18. 1857

Let me say to you confidentially that I do not entirely appreciate what the republican papers of Chicago are so constantly saying against Long John — I consider those papers truly devoted to the republican cause & not unfriendly to me: but I do think that more of what they say against "Long John" is dictated by personal


malice them themselves are conscious of — We cannot afford to lose the services of "Long John" and I do believe the unrelenting warfare made upon him is injuring our cause — I mean this to be confidential. —

under date of June 24. 1858.

Give yourself no concern about my voting against the supplies unless you are without faith that a lie can be successfully contradicted — There is not a word of truth in the charge & I am just considering a little as to the best shape to put a contradiction in — Shew this to whom you please but do not publish it in the papers"

Shortly after Bull Run I spent a whole afternoon with him alone — he excluded every one & relaxed himself by telling me stories & giving me his whole theory of the rebellion & his plan for putting it down if it was indeed possible to do so of which he had the gravest doubts: if your Book goes deeply into details you had better know in detail that interview.

It having been asserted & denied that McClellan declined once to see Lincoln when the latter called upon him — Lincoln desired once that I should see McClellan & wrote a note to him now in my possession asking him to see me a moment (not stating for what) & McClellan sent down word that he was busy & could not see me: it was Lincolns own desire that McClellan should see me: — I am glad that you are going to write Lincolns life as you can write a truthful one which is a thing not yet come to pass

Your Friend
H. C. Whitney

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2744 — 45; Huntington Library: LN2408, 2:348 — 52



1. John Wentworth (1815 — 88), congressman and mayor of Chicago (1857 — 63).