This past week a letter surfaced written by William Herndon in 1866, which tells us nothing new about Abraham Lincoln’s faith. You can purchase it for $35,000.
“Mr. Lincoln’s religion is too well known to me to allow of even a shadow of a doubt; he is or was a Theist & a Rationalist, denying all extraordinary — supernatural inspiration or revelation,” Herndon wrote in the letter, signed Feb. 4, 1866, a year after Lincoln’s assassination. “At one time in his life, to say the least, he was an elevated Pantheist, doubting the immortality of the soul as the Christian world understands that term,” continued the letter, addressed to Edward McPherson, Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. “I love Mr. Lincoln dearly, almost worship him, but that can’t blind me. He’s the purest politician I ever saw, and the justest man.”
Note: Civil War Memory is not an affiliate of this company. I just think it’s a hilarious video.
I couldn’t be more excited about this talk. This is my first public presentation on the subject and my first opportunity to formally outline my own thinking about the kinds of questions that need to be explored as well as the pitfalls involved in the current debate and reliance on the Internet as a reliable source. The story of Silas and Andrew Chandler is the perfect case study for such a presentation.
I did my best to dump as many books as possible in light of my move to Boston at the end of June, but new titles just continue to pour in. In addition to recent review copies, I’ve listed some books that I am reading to brush up on my Massachusetts/Boston history. I can’t wait to explore the incredibly rich history in and around the city. Thanks to those of you who are purchasing Amazon books through Civil War Memory. Sales have been steady, which has allowed me to purchase what I need without having to dip into my own pockets. I truly appreciate it.
I missed having the opportunity to comment on this story last week. First, let me say that I couldn’t be more pleased that developers will be prevented from building a casino at Gettysburg. That said, I’ve always thought that the battlefield preservation debate is best understood as a negotiation between legitimate competing interests rather than a moral crusade. Gregg Segal’s photography project in which he situates re-enactors in various scenes of urban sprawl is perhaps the most extreme example of this tendency to offer a mutually exclusive choice between preservation and commercial development.