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567. Edward L. Pierce to William H. Herndon.

[ca. October 15, 1889]

Lincolns visit to Mass in 1848 is made too little of in the biographies of him. His first speech — made at the Whig convention at Worcester, was quite fully reported in the Boston Advertiser, with a sketch of his person and manner. He spoke also at Dedham (day time) Cambridge, Chelsea & Dorchester. — also twice in Boston — once at Faneuil Hall with Seward. A single passage — that he had thought out some things at home and wished to compare notes & — makes me think that he was conscious of his powers and wanted to try them on a different theatre — that is, before more cultivated audiences He was greatly liked. It was a style new to our people — and there was a general call for him as a speaker. His speech at Dorchester was in our own village — and I have talked with several who heard him.

At Worcester he gave offence by saying "I have heard you have abolitionists


here. We have a few in Illinois, and we shot one the other day. The Free Soil papers criticised the passage and he did not repeat it. He had a humorous passage in his Worcester speech with reference to the Free Soilers as having one doctrine only. their platform reminding him of a tailor who advertised a pair of trousers as large enough for any man and small enough for any boy.

I have wondered how Mr Lincoln happened to come in '48. Mr Winthrop to whom I spoke on the subject does not remember, but thinks Mr Charles Hudson MC may have asked him. Mr Lincoln in Congress did not make much impression on Mr Winthrop.

I sent you the other day a paper of mine on the Convention of '60

I have written currente calamo and in haste — simply to indicate points.

Yours truly
Edward L Pierce

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 4744



1. This leaf may be a fragment or it may have been sent to WHH without salutation. The dating is conjectural, based on the internal evidence.

2. Apparently the article, not identified, referred to in §571.

3. At the bottom of the page, in WHH's hand: written by Edward L Pierce See his letter saying he wrote it W.H.H.