Search      Hot    Newest Novel
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
Springfield, Ill., Sept. 10, 1887.
J. E. Remsburg, Oak Mills, Kansas.
Friend Remsburg: Today I send you Speed's lecture on "Lincoln," which you can keep till I send for it—and this will probably be never. It is a very poor lecture if the lecture contains his knowledge of Lincoln, and, I guess it does. It shows no insight into Lincoln at all, though it is well enough written. It is said that Speed had a world of influence over Lincoln. This may be so, and yet I never saw it. It is said by Nicolay and Hay that Lincoln poured out his soul to Speed. Bah! Nonsense! Probably, except in his love scrapes, Lincoln never poured out his soul to any mortal creature at any time and on no subject. He was the most secretive, reticent, shut-mouthed man that ever existed.
You had to guess at the man after years of acquaintance and then you must look long and keenly before you guessed, or you would make an ass of yourself.
You had to take some leading—great leading and well-established—fact of Lincoln's nature and then follow it by accurate and close analysis wherever it went.
This process would lead you correctly if you knew human nature and its laws. Lincoln was a mystery to the world; he loved principle, but moved ever just to suit his own ends; he was a trimmer among men, though firm on laws and great principles; he did not care for men; they were his tools and instruments; he was a cool man—an unsocial one—an abstracted one, having the very quintessence of the profoundest policies. Lincoln's heart was tender, full of mercy, if in his presence some imaginative man presented the subject to him. "Out of sight, out of mind" may truthfully be said of Lincoln. If I am correct,[Pg 337] what do you think of the stories afloat about what Lincoln said in relation to his religion, especially said to strangers? I send you two "Truth-Seekers" which you will please read where I speak of Lincoln in three letters, pages marked at the top. You will learn something of Lincoln's nature in those three letters of mine—two of them on Lincoln's religion, and one to a minister. Please read them. There are some quotations in these letters which I have never had time to send you as I recollect it. They are good things—one on Laws of Human Nature and one on the Pride-Haughtiness of Christians. Lincoln delivered a lecture in which these quotations are to be found. I heard him deliver it.
W. H. Herndon.
P. S.—Mr. Speed was my boss for three or four years and Lincoln, Speed, Hurst, and I slept in the same room for a year or so. I was clerk for Speed. Speed could make Lincoln do much about simple measures, policies, not involving any principle. Beyond this power Speed did not have much influence over Lincoln nor did anyone else.
I wish to say a few short words to the public and private ear. About the year 1870 I wrote a letter to F. E. Abbott, then of Ohio, touching Mr. Lincoln's religion. In that letter I stated that Mr. Lincoln was an infidel, sometimes bordering on atheism, and I now repeat the same. In the year 1873 the Right Rev. James A. Reed, pastor and liar of this city, gave a lecture on Mr. Lincoln's religion, in which he tried to answer some things which I never asserted, except as to Mr. Lincoln's infidelity, which I did assert and now and here affirm. Mr. Lincoln was an infidel of the radical type; he never mentioned the name of Jesus except to scorn and detest the idea of miraculous conception. This lecture of the withered minister will be found in Holland's Review [Scribner's Monthly]. I answered this lecture in 1874, I think, in this city to a large and intelligent audience—had it printed and sent a copy to Holland, requesting, in polite language, that he insert it in his Review as an answer to the Reed lecture. The request was denied me, as a matter of course. He could help to libel a man with Christian courage, and with Christian cowardice refuse to unlibel him.
[Pg 338]
Soon thereafter, say from 1874 to 1882, I saw floating around in the newspaper literature, such charges as "Herndon is in a lunatic asylum, well chained," "Herndon is a pauper," "Herndon is a drunkard," "Herndon is a vile infidel and a knave, a liar and a drunkard," and the like. I have contradicted all these things under my own hand, often, except as to my so-called infidelity, liberalism, free religious opinions, or what-not. In the month of October, 1882, I saw in and clipped out of the Cherryvale Globe-News of September, 1882, a paper published in the State of Kansas, the following rich and racy article; it is as follows:
"Lincoln's Old Law Partner a Pauper
"Bill Herndon is a pauper in Springfield,............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved