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The obligations that we have incurred defy a full accounting, for the scope and duration of this project have been such that our indebtedness has multiplied beyond our ability to properly record it. While we recognize this delinquency, we nonetheless take pleasure in acknowledging those obligations of which we are most keenly aware.

By far the largest portion of the letters and interviews gathered by William H. Herndon are in the Herndon-Weik Collection at the Library of Congress, and we pay tribute to the steadfast support and assistance of the staff of the Manuscript Division during our numerous visits. Oliver Orr helped launch the project by providing valuable assistance at the earliest stages, and John R. Sellers has faithfully aided us at every step along the way. To Mary Wolfskill and her helpful staff in the Manuscript Reading Room we owe a special debt of gratitude. James Gil-reath, of the Rare Book Division, lent his considerable expertise and support, and for welcome hospitality during our sojourns in Washington we add thanks to Emily Gilreath.

The Huntington Library generously provided fellowships for our study of the important Herndon and Lincoln-related materials in the Ward Hill Lamon Papers and elsewhere. Martin Ridge, John Rhodehamel, Paul M. Zall, Virginia Ren-ner, Robert Skotheim, and the late William Moffitt were all very supportive of our project and helped in various ways to make our visits to that great institution extraordinarily productive.

Some Herndon materials are in the Weik Papers at the Illinois State Historical Library, whose former director, Janice Petterchak, cheerfully and promptly responded to many queries and where Cheryl Schnirring in the Manuscript Department obliged us when our schedules were tight. Thomas F. Schwartz, curator of the Library’s Henry Horner Lincoln Collection, State Historian of Illinois, and coordinator of the Abraham Lincoln Symposium, offered us early opportunities to speak about this project and its progress and kindly made some of his own unpublished work on Lincoln available to us. For these and many other valuable services we stand greatly in his debt.

At the Filson Club in Louisville, the splendid repository of Kentuckiana, we are under obligation to James Holmberg, Mark Wetherington, and Dorothy Rush. At the Willard Library in Evansville, where many of the records of the Southern Indiana Lincoln Inquiry are kept, we owe much to Lynn Martin, Susy Kiefer and Carol M. Bartelt.


The Knox College Library was an indispensable resource for us, particularly its special collections on the Civil War and the Old Northwest. The library was our major workplace as we brought this project to completion, and we are especially grateful to Jeffrey Douglas, Sharon Clayton, Carley Robison, Bonnie Nie-hus, Irene Ponce, and Kay Vander Meulen. The collection of Illinois local history materials at the Galesburg Public Library proved a rich resource, and Enid Hanks was untiring in aiding us in our numerous visits there.

Other libraries and librarians that offered aid and earned our gratitude include the Charleston, Illinois, Public Library: Barbara Krehbiel; the Illinois Historical Survey at the library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: John Hoffmann; the Lincoln Library at Springfield, Illinois: Ed Russo; the Peoria Public Library: Elaine Pichaske; the River Bluffs Regional Library, St. Joseph, Missouri: Sue Horvath; the Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, Virginia; and the Petersburg, Illinois, Public Library.

Lincoln’s memory is perpetuated at a number of historic sites and commemorative institutions across the country. We found cordial assistance to be the rule at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Indiana, where Jerry Sanders and William Bartelt were our hosts. Mr. Bartelt has continued to serve us in a variety of ways. The same welcome has always been forthcoming at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, where the late George Painter and Linda Norbut Suits were especially helpful. At the Historic Sites Division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and at Lincoln’s New Salem State Park, Mark Johnson, James Patton, and Richard Taylor have answered our queries and shared their own research and other resources on Lincoln’s early years in Illinois. The assistance of Cullom Davis and William Beard of the Lincoln Legals Project has been indispensable in attempting to make sense of the allusions to Lincoln’s legal career. Leo Landis at the Conner Prairie Museum in Indiana answered an important question about plows used during Lincoln’s lifetime.

Numerous historical and genealogical society officers have responded to our inquiries since the early 1990s, as we have sought information about some of Herndon’s over 260 informants. They include the Cass County, Illinois, Historical Society: Mary Ann Bell; the Cincinnati Historical Society: Anne B. Shepherd; the Clackamas County, Oregon, Family History Society: Sandy McGuire; the Clinton County, Illinois, Historical Society; the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois: Philip Germann; the McLean County, Illinois, Genealogical Society: Joy Craig; the Madison County, Illinois, Historical Society: Deanna Kohlburn; the Madison County, Iowa, Historical Society: Lorraine Kile; the Maryland Historical Society: Mrs. I. W. Athey; the Rock County, Wisconsin, Historical Society: Maurice Montgomery; the St. Clair County, Illinois, Historical Society: Diane Kenner Walsh; the Sangamon County, Illinois, Genealogical Society: Wayne Temple and Jacqueline Stites; the Spencer County, Indiana, Historical Society: Becky Middleton; and the Tazewell County, Illinois, Genealogical Society: Lorie Bergerhouse. We also acknowledge the assistance of the University Archives at the University of Illinois: Robert T. Chapel; the Oberlin College Archives:


Brian A. Williams; the Central Illinois Conference, United Methodist Church: Richard Chrisman; and the Office of Congressman Lane Evans, 17th District of Illinois.

Some of our Knox College colleagues kindly answered our calls for help and provided much-needed expertise: Lance Factor, Mikiso Hane, Edward Niehus, Jorge Prats, Dennis Schneider, and Ross Vander Meulen. Such interdisciplinary collaboration is routine at Knox College, and it is one of the reasons why we have found it such a rewarding place to teach and work.

Paul Verduin has spent several years working through the maze of Hanks family genealogy, and he has generously shared his findings with us. We are especially grateful that he agreed to permit a brief outline of the Hanks genealogy to appear as an appendix in this work. James Harvey Young helped us with some nineteenth-century medical and pharmacological terminology. Michael Burlingame unselfishly shared important materials that were of great benefit and supported the project in many ways. We are especially grateful to him and to our friends and fellow scholars Robert Bray, Robert Johannsen, Mark Plummer, and Terence A. Tanner for the advice and encouragement that they have provided.

Three organizations have provided financial support in the form of subventions toward the costs of publication: the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Illinois State Historical Society, and the New Salem Lincoln League. We are honored that the officers and members of these organizations chose to endorse our efforts in this unequivocal form, and we thank them for their vote of confidence.

We must acknowledge the genealogical help that has been tendered by diligent and generous family historians across the country: Marilyn G. Ames, Champaign, Illinois; Janet H. Anderson, Houston, Texas; David Braswell, Belleville, Illinois; Lola G. Clark, Kilbourne, Illinois; Marie T. Eberle, Edwardsville, Illinois; Anna J. Foley, Greensburg, Indiana; Genevieve Goodpasture, Victoria, Texas; Phyllis Hodgen Hansen, Springfield, Illinois; Barbara Hevron, Newburg, Indiana; Margaret Hohimer, Springfield, Illinois; Mark D. Irwin, Belleville, Illinois; James P. Jones, Raleigh, North Carolina; Eileen R. Keithley, Bath, Illinois; James Steven Miles, Chicago, Illinois; James E. Remer, Leawood, Kansas; Rosella H. Rogers, Petersburg, Illinois; George E. Ross, Sandoval, Illinois; Star W. Rowland, Sterling, Virginia; Mary McMillion Sauerhage, Mascoutah, Illinois; Wendy Saul, Baltimore, Maryland; Ora E. Strom, Medford, Oregon; Debbie Walker, Omaha, Nebraska; William Reese Walker, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas; Judith L. Weber, Greenfield, Iowa; Jean Stevens Wiggin, Palm Coast, Florida; Frances M. Winston, Las Vegas, Nevada; and Elfred W. Worms, Belleville, Illinois.

Finally, we are grateful to the staff of the University of Illinois Press and in particular to Richard L. Wentworth, director of the Press, and Theresa L. Sears, managing editor.