329. Isaac Cogdal (William H. Herndon Interview).
[1865 — 66
I Knew Lincoln — Knew him in 1832 — you ask about the Crazy spell. It is my opnion that if Mr Lincoln was craz it only technically so — and not radically & substantially so. We used to say — you were Crazy about Ann Rutledge. He was then reading Blackstone — read hard — day & night — terribly hard — did love Ann Rutledge for he told me so — was terribly melancholy — moody.
I have often talked to Mr Lincoln on the question of Religion in his own office & in your presence too (This is true Herndon). Mr Lincoln believed in God — and all the great substantial groundworks of Religion — Believed in the progress of man and of nations — He believed that nations like individuals were punished for their Sins — there violations of fundamental rights — &c —
He did not believe in Hell — Eternal punishment as the christians say — his idea was punishment as Educational. He was a Universalist tap root & all in faith and sentiment. I have talked this often and often with him Commencing as Early as 1834 and as late down as 1859 — (This is Correct Herndon). He did not believe in the orthodox Theologies of the day —
I do Know that Mr Lincoln did write a letter, pamphlet — book or what not on the faith as I understand he held — denying Special & miraculous Revelation — Inspiration & Conception — As I stated Lincoln thought that God predestined things — and governed the universe by Law — nothing going by accident. He could not believe that created
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3858 — 59