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150. Benjamin F. Irwin to William H. Herndon.

Pleasant Plain Ills Feb 14 1866


yours of the 12 Inst is Recd requesting me to put in writing what I heard Mr Lincoln say about an agreement made Between himself and Judge Douglas after the Peoria Debate in 1854 where he said [it what he] did say and who was [present Wha]t I heard him say wa[s in the office of ] Lincoln and Herndon in [Springfield Ills] about 2 days W H Herndon Myself P [L Harrison an]d Isaac Cogdal was present what Lincoln said was about this that the day after the peoria Debate in 1854 Douglas came to him (Lincoln) and flattered him that he Lincoln understood the Territorial Question from the organization of the Government Better than all the opposition in the Senate of the U.S. and he did not see that he could make any thing by debating it with him and then reminded him Lincoln of the trouble they had given him and remarked that Lincoln had given him More trouble than all the opposition in t[he Senate co]mbined and followed up w[ith the propos]ition that he would [go home and] Speak no more [during the] campaign if Lincoln would [do the sam]e to which proposition Lincoln acceded. If you will run your mind Back you cant fail to Remember that in the Debate Between Douglas and Lincoln in Springfield on the 4th and 5th of October 1854 the friends of Lincoln thought that he proved himself equal to the task and really that he was more than a Match for Douglas on that occasion as an evidence of our Belief a written request was filled out By Wm Butler ex Treasurer and Signed as I Remember by Myself Wm Jayne P [P Enos] John Cassady and a Number of


[others now forg]otten and handed to L[incoln urging] him to follow Douglas [up until the ele]ction On the day this Co[nversation too]k place he was giving t[he re]sult I Believe this fully answers your Interrogatories

Your Obt Servt
B. F Irwin

NB I interline a word I have forgotten

I do believe the foregoing Statements to be true to the Best of My Recollection [as made] in my presence at the time by Lincoln —

P. L. [Harrison]

I was present at [the time referred] to and heard the above stat[ements made] by Mr Lincoln Feb 1866

[Isaac] Cogdal

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2492 — 93; Huntington Library: LN2408, 2:457 — 58



1. Text missing because of a rent in the original document supplied from the Springer transcription.

2. See §142.