Primary tabs

441

329. Isaac Cogdal (William H. Herndon Interview).

[1865 — 66]

Cogdale

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 a world and that the result of that would be Eternal damnation &c — His mind was full of terrible Enquiry — and was skeptical in a good sense —

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3858 — 59

nts

Notes.

1. This interview would appear to be later than the one given in §328.

2. The subject of "created" appears to have been inadvertently dropped.

3. On the docketing: I think the with in about true W H Herndon.

Share