123. Abner Y. Ellis to William H. Herndon
[ca. Jan. 1866]
With the assistance of Such Men as Bolin Green, James Short and Denton Offutt Mr Lincoln Commenced his Carear first as Post Master & Surveyor & Captain in the Black Hawk War.
afterward in the State Legislatur after that he paddled his own Canoe With a good Supply of Good humor & affability He was a Man you Know, that was allways Susceptible of improvements in his own homespun way he Would Use acquirements He Made No display only as in imitation in telling in Story He was a good Mimic in Words & Jestures do you remember his Personating J. B. Thomas how he Made Thomas Cry
Mr Lincoln took great delight in in amusing others at times. His Way of Laughing two was rearly funney and Such awakard Jestures belonged to No other Man they actracted Universal attention from the old Sedate down to the School Boy then in a few Minnets he was as Calm & thoughtful as a Judge on the Bench and Was ready to give advice on the Most Serious and important Matters — fun and gravity both grew on him alike See how Much Such Men as Judge Davis, N. B. Judd & Smith of Indiana resected his opinions in Political and Judical Matters herd Joseph Galaspie Not Long Since Say he used to differ with Lincoln in some points but finally foun Mr. L. was right and He Galaspie was rong
I, was once in Peoria and Douglas was to Speak their Next day as he Mr. D thought alone and of course had his Speach Studded out
But the Night before the day appointed Mr Lincoln Sliped in about 2 oc in the Morning unbeknown to any one but the Land Lord Mr King & his Night Clerks
Mr Douglass friends Called Erly in the Morning to see him and were having a good time in his Company, & thinking what a clear field he was to have that day all to himself, but all attone in Comes Mr King & informs them that Mr Lincoln was in No 84 having Come in that Morning from Indiana (I think)
Mr Douglas went imedately to Mr L. Room Shook hands with him & Mr L. Says and observed to him I am Sory Very Sory that you have Come as I well Know you business, however Mr D Went on with his Speach I did Not hear him but Mr L said it was the poores speach that Douglas ever Made & he himslf did Not Speak More than Å¾ of an hour
Oh I forgot to say that I recived a Letter the other day from Geo. W. Glasscock Now a Member of the Texas Legislator and in Speaking of Mr Lincoln he Says he used to Boat with him and he Mr L in his younger days was a Man of good habits he Says Mr L Never Drank a drop of Liquor to his Knowledge — Never Swore an oath had No desire for strange Woman and allway Spoke the trouth You May rember Mr Glasscock he Was My first Wifes Brother. he Say Mr Lincoln Pardoned him before he was assassinated
Mr G's Crime was he lived in Texas and while a Member Voted with the Majority he was allways Easy to be convenced of allmost any thing.
He is Now a very rich Man So Tom Iles says of him
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 5286 — 87