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619. Stephen Whitehurst (William H. Herndon Interview).


Mrs Lincoln & Lincoln — "a fuss"

Stephen Whitehurst, Editor of the Conservative & brother in law to Judge Matheny, told me that one day in 1856 or 7 a man by the name of Barrett was passing by Lincoln's house and saw a woman chasing a man with a table knife or butcher knife in her hand: they ran down through the Lincoln garden going from the west to the East and towards Whitehurst's house. Barrett did not pay much attention to the parties, thinking that what he saw was sport or fun. Just as the man & woman were running down the Garden walk going East some men & women were in the street going from East to West, so that all were meeting face to face. Mr Whitehurst's back yard & Lincoln's back yard looked onto each other — ie one in Lincoln's back yard Could see into Whitehursts & vice a versa. Whitehurst on that hour & moment saw what was going on between the man & woman. Lincoln, for it was he, saw the men & women in the street Coming from the East going west meeting Lincoln & wife nearly face to face & he knew that he & wife had been or would be discovered, turned suddenly around, caught his wife by the shoulder with one hand & with the other caught his wife at the heavy End — her hips if you please and quickly hustled her to the back door of his house and forced — pushed her in, at the same time, as it were, spanking her heavy end, saying to her at the same moment — "There d — n it, now Stay in the house and don't disgrace us before the Eyes of the world." Whitehurst saw & heard all this & when the affair was quite over Barrett told Whitehurst what he saw just a moment before & a part of what Whitehurst had seen. Whitehurst & Barrett are men


of truth, if I have the right Barrett in my mind. Whitehurst is at all Events. This story was told to me in 1867.

W. H. H

I recorded these facts the hour they were told me and put them in a little book which I loaned to Lamon. This is my recollection / H

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3771



1. A paper begun in 1856 to support the Whig party, opposed to AL and the new Republican party.

2. James H. Matheny.

3. Possibly W. T. Barrett, Sangamon County assessor and treasurer, or J. H. Barrett, his deputy.