242. David Davis (William H. Herndon Interview).
Sept 20th Contd.
The democrats name I spoke about was Joseph E. McDonald Indianapolis — Joseph E. McDonald — good man — is true — .
As to the Press I told Lincoln, telegraphed him that the suppression of the Times Chicago was an error. Lincoln was too good a lawyer to know that this proceeding was Constitutional. The Vanlandingham
Lincolns Statesmanship adherence to principle: he studied where the truth of a thing lay and so acted on his conviction: bent his whole soul to that idea and End. He looked far into the future and was philosophical truly scintific in his inductions — wherein was his forte —
I informed Lincoln that the [Military?] trials as above Spoken of Could not Stand the test of Law and Constitution as I thought — and Said.
Lincoln could bear no malice — nor could Thomas. Thos wrote to L. "Lincoln said I am sorry that I made that Thomas Speech."
Lincoln loved Clay — see Hollands life:
As a lawyer when he attacked Meanness & littleness — vice & fraud — he was most powerful — was merciless in his Catigation —
When Lincoln was Elected as Presdt he swore in his soul he would act justly: he said he intended to appoint democrats & Republicans alike — that the Republican payto
Lincoln was a Man of strong passion for woman — his Conscience Kept him from seduction — this saved many — many a woman.
Lincoln was peculiar man. McWilliams
351for their failings — and sympathised with them — He used such men as a tool — a thing to satisfy him — to feed his desires &c. McWilliams came up to Lincoln one day, and Said — "By ging Lincoln I don't intend to belong to any party in which I do myself & friends any good and to do no harm to any one Else. Lincoln said Good McWilliams — good — good.
The meanest man in the bar would always pay great deference & respect to Lincoln —
He never took advantage of a mans low character to prejudice the Jury. Mr Lincoln though that his duty to his client Extended to what was honorable and high minded — just and noble — nothing further —
Lincoln shrank from Controversy as a general rule. — hated quarrell — hated to say hard & sharp thing of any man and never Stept beyond this Except that his duty — his honor or obligations — principles demanded it
Lincoln had no power of organization — thought he had no administrative ability till he went to Washington. A man when forced to do Can do more than he or his friends dream of. & had administrative and Executive ability — to a certain degree — more than any man dreamed of.
He was Slow to form his Opinions — he was deliberate — Cool & demanded the light of all the facts Surrounding the Case — When he formed his opinions he was firm, Especially about questions of justice — principle — &c.&c.&c —
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2660 — 63, Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2659; Huntington Library: LN2408, 2:48 — 52