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630. Clifton H. Moore (Jesse W. Weik Interview)


"In the summer of 1858," said Mr. Moore to me, "Douglas made a speech at Pontiac during the course of which he venture to quote from Holland's ‘Life of Van Buren.’ A day or so later Lincoln passed through here and among other things told me that Douglas in his speech at Pontiac had seriously misquoted Holland, a fact he could easily establish if he only had Holland's book; but unfortunately not a copy was to be found in Clinton. The next morning he pushed on to Bloomington. He was still so wrought up over Douglas's misrepresentation that David Davis was finally induced to send a man on horseback to Springfield with a note from Lincoln asking for the book. In due time the messenger returned with the desired volume which he turned over to Lincoln, who took it with him, threatening to confront Douglas with it at the earliest opportunity."

As indicative of Lincoln's real opinion of Douglas, Mr. Moore related this circumstance which so deeply impressed me that I made a note of it at the time: "On the day Mr. Lincoln delivered his speech at Clinton during the campaign of 1858 he was in my office; and I shall always remember with regret one thing he said about Douglas, which was this: ’Douglas will tell a lie to ten thousand people one day, even though he knows he may have to deny it to five thousand the next.'"

Weik, 230-31



1. JWW says he visited the informant in Clinton, Illinois, and heard this story.