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194. James H. Matheny (William H. Herndon Interview).

(May 3d. 1866)

James H. Matheny

Says —

That Lincoln and himself in 1842 were very friendly — That Lincoln came to him one evening and Said — Jim — "I shall have to marry that girl." Matheny Says that on the Same Evening Mr & Mrs Lincoln were married — That Lincoln looked and acted as if he was going to the Slaughter — : That Lincoln often told him directly & indirectly that he was driven into the marriage — Said it was Concocted & planned by the Edwards family — : That Miss Todd — afterwards Mr's Lincoln told L. that he was in honor bound to marry her — : That Lincoln was crazy for a week or so — not knowing what to do — : That he loved Miss Matilda Edwards and went to see her and not Mrs Lincoln — Miss Todd.

Matheny further Says that soon after the race — the political friendly race between Baker & Lincoln — which was in 1846 or 7 and after Lincoln was Married that Lincoln took him — Matheny to the woods and there and then Said in reference to L's marriage in the Aristocracy — "Jim — I am now and always shall be the same Abe Lincoln that I always was — " Lincoln Said this with great Emphasis — The cause of this was that in the Baker & Lincoln race it had been charged that L had married in the aristocracy — had marrid in the Edwards — Todd & Stuart family —

Matheny further says — he remembers L in 1837 — 8.9 &c often quote Burns — quoted Holy Willies prayer with great pleasure: That it was L religion: That during 1842 he though that L would Commit Suicide. Mr remembers L's old office up stairs above the Court Room — a small dirty bed — one buffalo robe — a chair and a bench — L would lounge in it all day reading — "abstracting" — "glooming"&&c — Curious Man — good Man — Mind Equal to any occasion — always rose So — Seemed Equal to the occasion —

L wrote out and published the Tailor Trial Case of circumstantial evidence about 1857.

Mrs Lincoln often gave L Hell in general — Says the Baker girls have seen it & heard it and told him So. Ferocity — describes Mrs L's conduct to L.

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2559 — 60; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:492 — 93



1. Edward Dickinson Baker.

2. AL's account was published anonymously in the Quincy Whig, Apr. 15, 1846, in CW 1:371 — 76. See also AL to Joshua F. Speed, June 19, 1841, CW 1:254 — 58.

3. Presumably Julia Edwards and Mary Wallace, two cousins who were nieces of MTL and who married Edward L. and John P. Baker, brothers who became proprietors of the Illinois State Journal.