“There were two elements in the place,” wrote historian Benjamin Thomas about New Salem. “One was a rough and boisterous, happy-go-lucky crowd known as the Clary’s Grove boys. They lived in and around the community of that name, but came to New Salem to drink, gossip, trade and play. Physical strength and courage were their ideals. In individual and free-for-all fights they had demonstrated their superiority over the boys from other settlements, and they ruled the town when they chose to.”1 Senator Stephen Douglas made a similar observation in the 1858 debate at Ottawa, saying Mr. Lincoln could “beat any of the boys wrestling, or running a foot-race, in pitching quoits or tossing a copper; could ruin more liquor than all the boys of the town together; and the dignity and impartiality with which he presided at a horse-race or fist-fight….won the praise of everybody that was present and participated.”2
In the autobiography that Mr. Lincoln prepared in June 1860 for John Scripps, he wrote: “A’s father, with his own family and others mentioned, had, in pursuance of their intention, removed from Macon to Coles county. John D. Johnston, the step-mother’s son, went to them; and A. stopped indefinitely, and, for the first, as it were, by himself at New-Salem, before mentioned. This was in July 1831. Here he rapidly made acquaintances and friends. In less than a year Offut’s business was failing – had almost failed, – when the Black-Hawk war of 1832 – broke out. A. joined a volunteer company, and to his own surprize, was elected captain of it. He says he has not since had any success in life which gave him so much satisfaction.”3
New Salem gave Mr. Lincoln his first set of adult friends. The respect of that group of young men meant a great deal to him – even nearly three decades later. Some of these men were men of education and accomplishment – Dr. John Allen, Preacher John M. Berry, Justice of the Peace Bowling Greene and farmer James Short. A key group in Mr. Lincoln’s social and political development were the young men he came to know in New Salem and Springfield in the 1830s.
Mr. Lincoln’s popularity with “the boys” was not tied to his indulgence in their vices. Indeed, he eschewed gambling, smoking and drinking. Mr. Lincoln managed to be one of the boys without being exactly like the boys. “Salem in those days was a hard place for a temperate young Man like Mr Lincoln was and I have often wondered how he could be so [extremely] popular” without drinking and carousing. One friend wrote that Mr. Lincoln “did not in those days even smoke or chew Tobacco.” 4 Contemporary biographer William H. Herndon concluded that it was “difficult for a young man of ordinary moral courage to resist the temptations that beset him on every hand. It remains a matter of surprise that Lincoln was able to retain his popularity with the hosts of young men of his own age, and still not join them in their drinking bouts and carousals.” 5
There was a code of conduct by which Mr. Lincoln lived. Biographer Alonzo McDonald wrote of an incident during his Lincoln’s first legislative election: “A crowd of voters that had collected at Papsville, getting full of whiskey and enthusiasm, began a general fight. Among those who were roughly handled was a follower of the New Salem candidate. Jumping from the platform, Lincoln rushed through the melee, seized his friend’s assailant as if to make him ‘walk Spanish,’ tossed him off ten feet or so, resumed his place on the stand, and calmly began his little speech. This prelude, it is safe to say, did not lessen the warmth of his welcome from an audience akin to ‘the bare-footed boys,’ the huge-pawed boys,’ or ‘the butcher-knife boys,’ who, in the elections of those days, so often held the balance of power.” 6
Some of those whom Mr. Lincoln met in New Salem took a somewhat paternal interest in Mr. Lincoln. Democratic Justice of the Peace Bowling Greene was called a almost a second father to Mr. Lincoln by businessman Abner Y. Ellis and as a lending library by James Short. 7 Ellis said that Mr. Lincoln said that “he owned more to Mr Green for his advancement than any other Man.”8 New Salem chronicler Thomas P. Reep wrote how Justice Greene gave Mr. Lincoln an unusual lesson in the law. The case involved ownership of a hog that was claimed by both Jack Kelso and the Trent brothers. “Lincoln, appearing for the Trent brothers, proved by three witnesses that the hog belonged to them. Kelso testified that the hog belonged to him, but he was unsupported by witnesses.” To Mr. Lincoln’s surprise, Greene ruled for Kelso. “Mr. Lincoln “then called the attention of the court to the rule of evidence, which required a case of fact to be determined in accordance with the greater weight of preponderance of the testimony. Green replied, ‘Abe, the first duty of a court is to decide cases justly and in accordance with the truth. I know that shoat myself, and I know it belongs [to] Kelso and that the plaintiffs and their witnesses lied.”9
Historian Michael Burlingame noted that “In Greene’s court, Lincoln argued minor cases even before he had obtained a license. The rotund judge loved jokes, and Lincoln’s sense of humor amused him vastly; he also respected the young man’s intellectual ability and allowed him to peruse the law books in his small personal library. Although he was the leading Democrat in New Salem, Greene urged Lincoln, a Whig, to make his second run for the state legislature [in 1834]. A temperance advocate, Greene was a cultivated man of refined manners, and his authority as an arbiter of disputes was widely respected.” 10
At Bowling Greene’s Masonic funeral in 1842, Mr. Lincoln was called to give a eulogy: “He looked down a few moments at the face of his friend,” wrote fellow attorney Henry Rankin. “His whole frame began trembling with suppressed emotion. He then turned and faced the friends who filled the room and crowded the doorways and stood outside around the open windows. He spoke a few words, – broken sentences only, – tremulous vibrations of the thoughts he found it impossible to coherently articulate. Tears filled his eyes. He vainly struggled to regain that self-control under which he had always held his feelings before these friends on so many occasions. He had no words that could express adequately the thoughts that thronged him as he stood beside the body of his friend whose life had been so near his, and had meant so much to him.”11 At the funeral’s conclusion Mr. Lincoln took Mrs. Greene on his arm and escorted her to the cemetery.
The man who brought Mr. Lincoln to New Salem was entrepreneur Dennis Offut who was described by one resident as a “gassy – windy – brain rattling man”12 and by another as a “wild, harum-scarum kind of man.”13 Mr. Lincoln first brought a raft of goods down the Mississippi River to New Orleans in 1830 and later served as a clerk in Offut’s store. Judge Thompson Ware McNeeley met Mr. Lincoln’s first New Salem employer in Mississippi in the late 1850s:
“When I told Offut…that I resided at Petersburg, Ill. on the very edge of New Salem, and had frequently seen Mr. Lincoln, he lost his interest in his crowd and the horses. We had a long talk about Mr. Lincoln and the old settlers, but Mr. Lincoln was the center of Offut’s thought and conversation. Offut had not seen any one who knew Mr. Lincoln for about twenty-four years. He had heard something of Mr. Lincoln in politics during the Fremont campaign of the preceding year. He said that after leaving Lincoln at New Salem he had gone South and taken up the business of treating wild and fractious horses and had followed it. The crowd with horses to be tamed became impatient and broke in on the conversation with calls for Offut. As we separated I told him I was going back to Illinois in May. Offut’s parting request was: “Go and see Mr. Lincoln and tell him about me and give him my best wishes. Tell him for me to quit his damned politics and go into some honest business like taming horses.”14
The truth was that Mr. Lincoln enjoyed and excelled at both physical and mental games. Mr. Lincoln was a participant in the debating club organized in New Salem in 1832. And he was one of the founders of the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield. G.W. Harris recalled: “Mr. Lincoln was fond of playing chess and checkers, and usually acted cautiously upon the defensive until the game had reached a stage where aggressive movements were clearly justified. He was also somewhat fond of ten-pins, and occasionally indulged in a game.”15 Mr. Lincoln was a regular participant in chess games – especially with federal judge Samuel Treat. In New Salem, he found many mentors for his mental development. Jack Kelso, for example, was the fishing bard of New Salem. Kelso appeared to work no harder than necessary – hunting, fishing and doing odd jobs. “Lincoln had no musical ability, but had an ear for rhythm. He fished now and then with Kelso, and oftener sat with Jack and visited in the evening. Lincoln’s taste in poetry up to this time had been principally for jingles, and rhymed nonsense. He began to appreciate some of the real beauties to be found in the writings of great poets,” wrote Lincoln biographer William E. Barton.16
But the youthful Mr. Lincoln was better known for physical challenges. “Attaining manhood entailed more than reaching a certain age; in practice it meant proving oneself physically in contests with other boys and eventually with other men.” wrote Lincoln biographer Douglas Wilson in Honor’s Voice.17 Mr. Lincoln was a good athlete – well remembered for his skill in jumping, running, wrestling and playing ball.18 “His playful hours for these years,” recalled New Salem resident Mentor Graham, were spent “pitching quoits – jumping – hopping – Swimming – Shooting – telling Stories…”19 Another resident, Hardin Bale, said Mr. Lincoln would play at various “games – jumping – running – hopping.”20 Abner Ellis knew Mr. Lincoln in New Salem where he used “to run footraces & jump with the boys and also play ball.”21 Rowan Herndon said Mr. Lincoln was fond of exercise and all kinds of fun.22
On more than one occasion,” recalled Springfield contemporary Thomas W.S. Kidd, Mr. Lincoln’s head came “in contact with heads as yet unknown to fame in his eagerness to catch the flying ball. He argued in earnest; played his game of ball in earnest; tried his case, made his political speech, or told his humorous story, each characterized by the same peculiar earnestness.”23 Mr. Lincoln’s neighbor James Gourley recalled playing ball with Mr. Lincoln and Edward D. Baker in 1844 – “the game was Called fives – Striking a ball with our hands against a wall that Served as alley. In 1860 Lincoln & myself played ball – this game.”24 Fred T. Dubois, son of State Auditor Jesse Dubois, later wrote:
The game would start with one player throwing the ball against the rick wall below the chalk-line, and the next player would take it on the bound with his open hand and drive it against the wall, always under the chalk line. It was a very strenuous game, quite similar in some respects to the present game of tennis. These men would play it in the evening just before the evening meal, and there was always a large crowd on the sidewalk and in the street outside of the vacant lot to watch.25
Illinois State Journal employee Joseph D. Ropers remembered Mr. Lincoln’s “love of handball. Immediately south of the Journal office there was a vacant piece of ground some 85 x 100 feet, the south end of which was the solid wall of a three-story building. The door or entrance to the ball alley as it was called was at the north end.” According to Roper: “My memory is clear that Mr. Lincoln got as much or more real enjoyment in these games than any of the others. His suppleness, leaps and strides to strike the ball were comical in the extreme.”26 Another Springfield observer, John Langdon Kaine, was more complimentary of Mr. Lincoln’s athletic style: “His agility was surprising in view of his usual deliberate, almost indolent manner; and his long legs and long arms gave him a remarkable range of play. He was entirely democratic here, taking the inevitable chaffing of the Irish players and spectators amiably, and sometimes returning it.27
Helen Nicolay wrote of the scene in Springfield on the climatic day of the 1860 Republican National Convention: “There is a legend, entirely in keeping with his character, that on the 18th of May, the day the nominations came before the convention, he was playing a desultory game of ball with some boys, when a young messenger, carrying a telegram, came charging down the flight of steps that led from the telegraph office, shouting at the top of his lungs: ‘Mr. Lincoln! Mr. Lincoln, you’re nominated!'”28
A famous part of the Lincoln legend is Mr. Lincoln’s wrestling match with Jack Armstrong of the Clary’s Grove boys. “This was the turning point in Lincoln’s life,” attorney John T. Stuart told a Columbus, Ohio newspaper reporter in 1860 – thus determining its place in the Lincoln mythology.29 Biographer Benjamin Thomas wrote that the fight gave Mr. Lincoln “the reputation for courage and strength that was so essential to success on the frontier, and convinced his associates that he ‘belonged.'” Historian Douglas L. Wilson wrote an extensive analysis of fight in Honor’s Voice:
The Clary’s Grove boys, Stuart explained, were the regulators of the neighborhood and ‘took it upon themselves to try the mettle of every new comer and ascertain what sort of stuff he was made of.’ But Lincoln had proved an exceptional case, and it didn’t take Armstrong long, according to Stuart, ‘to discover that he had got hold of the wrong customer, and when it was evident that Lincoln was getting the better of their champion, the whole band pitched in and gave Lincoln several blows which had no very salutary effect on the strength of his legs. Lincoln however took all this in perfect good humor, and by laughing and joining displayed such an excellent disposition that he at once won their hearts and was invited to become one of the company.30
In 1860 James Q. Howard interviewed other New Salem residents whose somewhat different accounts were incorporated into a campaign biographer written by William Dean Howells. According to Wilson, “While [Howells] modified Stuart’s version of the story (in which the match ends with Lincoln’s pummeling) and merged it Green’s, Howells did not hesitate to draw the conclusion suggested by Stuart: that in giving Lincoln ‘a reputation for courage necessary in a new country’ and gaining him a core of loyal and politically useful friends, his wrestling match with Armstrong ‘seems to have been one of the most significant incidents of his early life.'”31
According to fellow store clerk William Greene, Mr. Lincoln’s election as captain of his company during the Black Hawk War was partly a reflection the animosity that the Clary’s Grove Boys felt toward his opponent, William Kirkpatrick: “At one time, Abe had been employed by Kirkpatrick for a few days to move some saw logs. It was customary then, in moving logs, to have what was called canthooks, and Kirkpatrick was to furnish one of these. When Lincoln was ready to start the work, this hook had not been furnished. Kirkpatrick agreed that if Lincoln would move the logs without it, he would pay him $2 additional at the end of the job, which is what the cant hook would have cost. But when the job was completed Kirkpatrick refused to do this.”32 The result was that the company choice between Kirkpatrick and Mr. Lincoln, the Clary’s Grove sentiments were not only overwhelming for Mr. Lincoln; they were against Kirkpatrick.
Henry Clark, who served with Mr. Lincoln in the Black Hawk War told William Herndon that he was Mr. Lincoln’s friend and “he was my frind [sic]”33 Mr. Lincoln once served as Clark’s second in a fight with Ben Wilcox after Clark and Wilcox had engaged in a lawsuit. “After the conflict the seconds conducted their respective principals to the river washed off the blood, and assisted them to dress,” Robert B. Rutledge later told William Herndon. ” During this performance, the second of the party opposed to Mr Lincoln [John Brewer] remarked – ‘Well Abe, my man has whipped yours, and I can whip you.’ Now this challenge came from a man who was very small in size. Mr. Lincoln agreed to fight provided he would ‘chalk out his size on Mr. Lincoln’s person, and every blow struck outside of that mark should be counted foul’. After this sally there was the best possible humor and all parties were as orderly as if they had been engaged in the most harmless amusement.”34 The match was to have important consequences for Mr. Lincoln’s social acceptance and political success.
When New Salem friend William G. Greene went to Washington during the Civil War, he told the President that Clark was opposing him in the upcoming election. “Bill, when you get back home, go see Henry Clark and tell him I sent you,” said the President. “Say to him that at one time when he had a hard fight on his hands, I stood by him and now that I have a hard fight on, I want him to stand by me!” When Clark got the message, he told Greene: “Tell Abe Lincoln that Henry Clark remembers, and that he and his house will stand by him!”35
About 16 years after he first came to New Salem, Mr. Lincoln tried to convey the lessons he had learned coming up the political ladder. “Now, as to the young men. You must not wait to be brought forward by the older men. For instance, do you suppose that I should have ever got into notice if I had waited to be hunted up and pushed forward by older men? You young men get together and form a “Rough and Ready Club’ and have regular meetings and speeches,” Congressman Lincoln wrote Billy Herndon in June 1848. “Let every one play the part he can play best – some speak, some sing, and all hollow.”36
The advice fell on disgruntled ears back in Springfield. In response to a complaint from Herndon about the old men of the party, Mr. Lincoln replied on July 10: “I suppose I am now one of the old men; and I declare on my veracity, which I think is good with you, that nothing could afford me more satisfaction than to learn that you and others of my young friends at home were doing battle in the contest and endearing themselves to the people and taking a stand far above any I have been able to reach in their admiration.” He added that “I was young once, and I am sure I was never ungenerously thrust back…The Way for a young man to rise, is to improve himself every way he can, never suspecting that any body wishes to hinder him.”37
As he got older, Mr. Lincoln’s concern for the development of young men was also dramatically evident in his work as an attorney. George Minier recalled this incident;
“In the spring term of the Tazewell County Court in 1847, which at that time was held in the village of Tremont, I was detained as a witness an entire week. Lincoln was employed in several suits, and among them was one of Case vs. Snow Bros. The Snow Bros., as appeared in evidence (who were both minors), had purchased from an old Mr. Case what was then called a ‘prairie team,’ consisting of two or three yoke of oxen and prairie plow, giving therefor their joint note of some two hundred dollars; but when pay-day came refused to pay, pleading the minor act. The note was placed in Lincoln’s hands for collection. The suit was called and a jury impanelled. The Snow bros. did not deny the note, but pleaded through their counsel that they were minors, and that Mr. Case knew they were at the time of the contract and conveyance. All this was admitted by Mr. Lincoln, with his peculiar phrase, ‘Yes, gentlemen, I reckon that’s so.’ The minor act was read and its validity admitted in the same manner. The counsel of the defendants were permitted without question to state all these things to the jury, and to show by the statute that these minors could not be held responsible for their contract. By this time you may well suppose that I began to be uneasy. ‘What!’ thought I, ‘this good old man, who confided in these boys, to be wronged in this way, and even his counsel, Mr. Lincoln, to submit in silence!’ I looked at the Court, Judge [Samuel] Treat, but could read nothing in his calm and dignified demeanor. Just then, Mr. Lincoln slowly got up, and in his strange, half-erect attitude and clear, quiet accent began: ‘Gentlemen of the Jury, are you willing to allow these boys to begin life with this shame and disgrace attached to their character. If you are, I am not. The best judge of human character that ever wrote has left these immortal words for all of us to ponder:
‘Good name in man or woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.
Then rising to his full height, and looking upon the defendants with the compassion of a brother, his long right arm extended toward the opposing counsel, he continued: ‘Gentlemen of the jury, these poor innocent boys would never have attempted this low villainy had it not been for the advice of these lawyers.’ Then for a few minutes he showed how even the noble science of law may be prostituted. With a scathing rebuke to those who thus belittle their profession, he concluded: ‘And now, gentlemen, you have it in your power to set these boys right before the world.’ He plead for the young men only; I think he did not mention his client’s name. The jury, without leaving their seats, decided that the defendants must pay the debt; and the latter, after hearing Lincoln, were as willing to pay it as the jury were determined they should. I think the entire argument last not above five minutes.”38
William Green said of Mr. Lincoln in 1860: “Whenever he could find a young man he put him on right course, encouraged morality integrity and honesty – all that have looked up to him as an oracle have succeeded well….”39 At the end of his 1860 trip to New York City for the famous Cooper Union speech, Mr. Lincoln visited the “House of Industry” in the infamous Five Points section of Manhattan. After the 1860 election John V. Farwell recalled that Mr. Lincoln visited a Mission Sunday School which Farwell ran for delinquent children in Chicago. Although Mr. Lincoln had asked that he not be called upon to speak, he did, according to Farwell: “My little friends, I am glad to see you in such a place as this, surrounded by men & women who seem to be intent upon nothing but doing you good. While I have never made a profession of religion, I do not hesitate a moment in recommending you to follow the advice of these teachers, and to say to you that the poorest boy among you may aspire to the highest positions in the gift of the people if capacity & energy are linked with honesty in the development of character.”40
- Michael Burlingame, editor, “Lincoln’s Humor” and Other Essays, p. 75.
- Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume III, p. 6 (Stephen Douglas’s opening statement at Ottawa debate, August 21, 1858).
- Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume IV, p. 64 (Autobiography prepared for John Scripps)
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 170 (Statement by Abner Y. Ellis, January 23, 1866).
- William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik, Herndon’s Life of Abraham Lincoln, p. 97.
- Alonzo Rothschild, Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character, p. 50 (See William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik, Herndon’s Life of Lincoln, pp. 85-86).
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 502 and 74 (Letter from Abner Y. Ellis to William H. Herndon, December 6, 1866 and Letter from James Short to William H. Herndon, July 7, 1865).
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 502 (Letter from Abner Y. Ellis to William H. Herndon, December 6, 1866).
- Thomas P. Reep, Abraham Lincoln and the Frontier Folk of New Salem, p. 119.
- Michael Burlingame, The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln, p. 102.
- Henry Rankin, Abraham Lincoln: The First American, p. 54.
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 13 (Letter from Hardin Bale to William H. Herndon, May 29, 1865).
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 73 (Letter from James Short to William H. Short, July 7, 1865).
- Walter B. Stevens, Michael Burlingame, editor, A Reporter’s Lincoln, p. 190-191.
- Francis Fisher Browne, The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln, p. 219.
- William E. Barton, The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Volume I, p. 193.
- Douglas L. Wilson, Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln, p. 295.
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 451 (James Gourley interview with William H. Herndon, ca. 1865-1866).
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 10 (William H. Herndon interview with Mentor Graham, May 29, 1865).
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 103 (William H. Herndon interview with Hardin Bale, May 29, 1865).
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 170 (Abner Ellis Statement, January 23, 1866).
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 92 (Letter of J. Rowan Herndon to William H. Herndon, August 16, 1865).
- Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln, p. 91 (Thomas W. S. Kidd, speech to Bar Association of Sangamon County, April 25, 1903).
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 453 (James Gourley interview with William H. Herndon, ca. 1865-1866).
- Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Lincoln Among His Friends: A Sheaf of Intimate Memories, p. 97 (Fred T. Dubois, New York Tribune, February 12, 1927).
- Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln, p. 141 (Joseph D. Ropers, Illinois State Journal, January 30, 1909).
- Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Lincoln Among His Friends: A Sheaf of Intimate Memories, p. 89 (John Langdon Kaine, Century Magazine, February 1913).
- Helen Nicolay, “A Candidate in His Home Town”, The Abraham Lincoln Quarterly, September 1940, p. 130.
- Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Transcribed and Annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois.(James Q. Howard, May 1860, Statement by John T. Stuart)..
- Douglas L. Wilson, Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln, p. 20.
- Douglas L. Wilson, Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln, p. 21.
- Thomas P. Reep, Abraham Lincoln and the Frontier Folk of New Salem, p. 60.
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 528 (Henry Clark interview with William H. Herndon, 1866).
- Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 385-386 (Letter of Robert B. Rutledge to William H. Herndon ca. November 1, 1866).
- Thomas P. Reep, Abraham Lincoln and the Frontier Folk of New Salem, p. 45.
- Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume I, p. 491 (Letter to William H. Herndon, June 22, 1848).
- Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume I, p. 497 (Letter to William H. Herndon, July 10, 1848).
- William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik, Herndon’s Life of Abraham Lincoln, p. 491-492.
- Roy P. Basler, editor, James Quay Howard’s Notes on Lincoln, “James Quay Howard’s Notes on Lincoln”, The Abraham Lincoln Quarterly, Volume IV, December 1947, No. 8, p. 396-397.
- Allen C. Guelzo, “Holland’s Informants: The Construction of Josiah Holland’s ‘Life of Abraham Lincoln’”, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Volume 23, Number 1, Winter 2002, p. 37 (Letter of John V. Farwell to Josiah G. Holland, July 6, 1865).