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William H. Herndon, Jesse William Weik, Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life, Etiam in minimis major, The History and Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln by William H. Herndon, for twenty years his friend and Jesse William Weik 5 1 Browse Search
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s whom he met in his daily walks. The sentiment of the majority in Springfield tended in the other direction, and thus environed, Lincoln lay down like the sleeping lion. The future would yet arouse him. At that time I was an ardent Abolitionist in sentiment. I used to warn Lincoln against his apparent conservatism when the needs of the hour were so great; but his only answer would be, Billy, you're too rampant and spontaneous. I was in correspondence with Sumner, Greely, Phillips, and Garrison, and was thus thoroughly imbued with all the rancor drawn from such strong anti-slavery sources. I adhered to Lincoln, relying on the final outcome of his sense of justice and right. Every time a good speech on the great issue was made I sent for it. Hence you could find on my table the latest utterances of Giddings, Phillips, Sumner, Seward, and one whom I considered grander than all the others -Theodore Parker. Lincoln and I took such papers as the Chicago Tribune, New York Tribune, An
to me this, The Republican standard is too high; we want something practical. This may not be interesting to you, but however it may be, it is my duty to state what is going on, so that you may head it off — counteract it in some way. I hope it can be done. The northern men are cold to me — somewhat repellent. Your friend, W. H. Herndon. On my return home I had encouraging news to relate. I told Lincoln of the favorable mention I had heard of him by Phillips, Sumner, Seward, Garrison, Beecher, and Greeley. I brought with me additional sermons and lectures by Theodore Parker, who was warm in his commendation of Lincoln. One of these was a lecture on The effect of slavery on the American people, which was delivered in the Music Hall in Boston, and which I gave to Lincoln, who read and returned it. He liked especially the following expression, which he marked with a pencil, and which he in substance afterwards used in his Gettysburg address: Democracy is direct self-gove
n of assassination lurked near. In the midst of the general rejoicing at the return of peace Mr. Lincoln was stricken down by the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, in Ford's Theatre at Washington. The story of his death, though oft repeated, is the saddest and most impressive page in American history. I cannot well forbear reproducing its painful and tragic details here. For the details of the assassination and the capture and subsequent history of the conspirators, I am indebted to Mrs. Gertrude Garrison, of New York, who has given the subject no little study and investigation. J. W. W. Mr. Lincoln for years had a presentiment that he would reach a high place and then be stricken down in some tragic way. He took no precautions to keep out of the way of danger. So many threats had been made against him that his friends were alarmed, and frequently urged him not to go out unattended. To all their entreaties he had the same answer: If they kill me the next man will be just as b