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The Recollections of Abraham Lincoln


Lawrence, Kansas, May 20, 1885.
Ward H. Lamon, Esq., Denver, Col.
Dear Sir, — There are now but few left who were intimately
acquainted with Mr. Lincoln. I do not call to mind any one who was so
much with him as yourself. You were his partner for years in the
practice of law, his confidential friend during the time he was
President. I venture to say there is now none living other than
yourself in whom he so much confided, and to whom he gave free
expression of his feeling towards others, his trials and troubles in
conducting his great office. You were with him, I know, more than any
other one. I think, in view of all the circumstances and of the growing
interest which the rising generation takes in all that he did and said,
you ought to take the time, if you can, to commit to writing your
recollections of him, his sayings and doings, which were not
necessarily committed to writing
[vi]
and made public. Won't you do it? Can you not, through a series of
articles to be published in some of the magazines, lay before the
public a history of his inner life, so that the multitude may read and
know much more of that wonderful man? Although I knew him quite
well for many years, yet I am deeply interested in all that he said and
did, and I am persuaded that the multitude of the people feel a like
interest.
Truly and sincerely yours,(Signed) J. P. Usher.
In compiling this little volume, I have taken as a foundation some
anecdotal reminiscences already published in newspapers by my
father, and have added to them from letters and manuscript left by
him.
If the production seems fragmentary and lacking in purpose, the fault
is due to the variety of sources from which I have selected the
material. Some of it has been taken from serious manuscript which
my father intended for a work of history, some from articles written in
a lighter vein; much has been gleaned from copies of letters which he
wrote to friends, but most has been gathered from notes jotted down
on a multitude of scraps scattered through a mass of miscellaneous
material.
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