Lincoln Law Library Historians Re-Examine `Honest' Abe Biography Written by His Partner

By Nicole Ziegler Of The | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), July 4, 1996 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Lincoln Law Library Historians Re-Examine `Honest' Abe Biography Written by His Partner


Nicole Ziegler Of The, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Of the many Abraham Lincoln biographies published after the president's assassination, William Herndon believed only his gave an honest look at the life of Honest Abe.

Lincoln's law partner for more than 20 years penned "Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life," and he hoped the book would become a best seller.

Instead, its controversial accounts of Lincoln's religious skepticism and early romances infuriated Lincoln supporters, experts said. The book, as well as Herndon's speeches about Lincoln, angered Mary Todd Lincoln so much that she called him a "dirty dog."

A first edition of "Herndon's Lincoln" is among several items now on display as part of a rare Herndon exhibit at the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site in Springfield.

Organizers hope the exhibit will spark an interest in Herndon, the junior partner in Lincoln's law firm.

Herndon had "always admired Abraham Lincoln, and when the assassination took place, he was especially appalled at the sanitized biographies that came out," said Kim Bauer, a Lincoln expert at the Illinois State Historical Library.

Letters on display from Lincoln's family, including Mary Todd Lincoln's "dirty dog" accusations, hint at the controversy surrounding Herndon's accounts of Lincoln.

"Revenge is sweet, especially to womankind, but there are some of mankind left who will wreak it upon him," Mary Todd Lincoln wrote soon after Herndon gave well-publicized speeches on Ann Rutledge, a woman he called Lincoln's "true love.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Lincoln Law Library Historians Re-Examine `Honest' Abe Biography Written by His Partner
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?