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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 12 0 Browse Search
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last day of the term, ask to plead to the merits, which is denied by the court on the ground that the offer comes too late, and therefore, as by nil dicet, judgment is rendered for Pl'ff. Clerk assess damages. A. Lincoln, Judge protem. H. C. Whitney, Ms., letter, Nov. 13, 1865. The lawyer who reads this singular entry will appreciate its oddity if no one else does. After making it one of the lawyers, on recovering his astonishment, ventured to enquire, Well, Lincoln, how can we get thihe prosecutor never found out the dodge until the trials were over, and immense fun and rejoicing were indulged in at the result. The same gentleman who furnishes this last incident, and who was afterward a trusted friend of Mr. Lincoln, Henry C. Whitney, has described most happily the delights of a life on the circuit. A bit of it, referring to Lincoln, I apprehend, cannot be deemed out of place here. In October, 1854, Abraham Lincoln, he relates, drove into our town (Urbana) to attend co
een United States Senator for several years, and had influential friends holding comfortable government offices all over the State. These men were on hand at every meeting, losing no opportunity to applaud lustily all the points Douglas made and to lionize him in every conceivable way. The ingeniously contrived display of their enthusiasm had a marked effect on certain crowds — a fact of which Lincoln frequently complained to his friends. One who accompanied him during the canvass Henry C. Whitney, Ms., July 21, 1865. relates this: Lincoln and I were at the Centralia agricultural fair the day after the debate at Jonesboro. Night came on and we were tired, having been on the fair grounds all day. We were to go north on the Illinois Central railroad. The train was due at midnight, and the depot was full of people. I managed to get a chair for Lincoln in the office of the superintendent of the railroad, but small politicians would intrude so that he could scarcely get a moment's
oft on the wonderful progress of man, delivered in the preceding November. Sometime later he told us-Swett and me — that he had been thinking much on the subject and believed he would write a lecture on Man and His Progress. Afterwards I re a~d in a paper that he had come to either Bloomington or Clinton to lecture and no one turned out. The paper added, That doesn't look much like his being President. I once joked him about it;, e s? id good-naturedly Don't; that plagues me. --Henry a. Whitney letter, Aug. 27, 1867. The effort met with the disapproval of his friends, and he himself was filled with disgust. If his address in 1852, over the death of Clay, proved that he was no eulogist, then this last effort demonstrated that he was no lecturer. Invitations to deliver the lecture — prompted no doubt by the advertisement given him in the contest with Douglas — came in very freely; but beyond the three attempts named, he declined them all. Press of business in the courts afforded <
ashington, Just where I thought he could do the most good. I told him to do as he chose, but that he could probably do best in Illinois. Upon that he shook hands with me and hurried away to catch the next train. I never saw him again. --Henry C. Whitney, Ms. letter, November 13, 1866. Mr. Lincoln's military knowledge had been acquired in the famous campaign against the Indian Chief Black Hawk on the frontier in 1832, the thrilling details of which he had already given the country in a Congay. Everything is drifting into the war, and I guess you will have to put me in the army. He looked up from his work and said, good-humoredly, I'm making generals now. In a few days I will be making quartermasters, and then I'll fix you. --H. C. Whitney, Ms. letter, June 13, 1866. The Secretary of State, whose ten years in the Senate had acquainted him with our relations to foreign, powers, may have been lulled into the innocent belief that the Executive would have no fixed or definite view