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

Springfield Decr 9. 1873.

Mr Matheny told me that he said that he understood that up to the time Lincoln left Springfield Ills in 1860 that he was a confirmed infidel, but that after he got to Washington and associating with religious People that he believes that Mr Lincoln [thought?] became a Christian — Knows nothing of Mr Lincolns investigations into the Subject of Christianity — He — M — says he told Reed & Melvin the histories of this — Reed — Melvin & Matheney were talking about the home of the [illegible] — Reed wrote the letter which I signed — Matheny


told me he thought Lincoln played a sharp game on the Christians in 1858 to 1860, and I somewhat coincide with him —

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3108



1. Marginal note: Mr Matheny told me in this conversation that he told Mr _____ ? This is apparently an unfinished version of the marginal inscription given in p. 583, note 4.

2. Rev. James A. Reed and Samuel H. Melvin. Reed engaged in a public controversy in 1873 with WHH over AL's religion. See Donald, 272 — 82.

3. Refers to a statement Matheny gave Reed, recanting some of the testimony he had given WHH on AL's religious beliefs. See §472.

4. Marginal note: Mr Matheny told me in this conversation that he took Mr — Doct Smith to be a [pirate?]. For the "sharp game," see §464.