Posts tagged ‘Abraham Lincoln’

September 13, 2009

Abraham Lincoln and John Wakefield, BFFs?

Hon. W.H.T. Wakefield

Mr. Wakefield, our first witness, is a son of the distinguished jurist, Judge J.A. Wakefield. He is a prominent journalist, and was the nominee of the United Labor party, for Vice-President, in the Presidential contest of 1888. In a letter to the author, dated Lawrence, Kan., Sept. 28, 1880, Mr. Wakefield says:

“My father, the late Judge J.A. Wakefield, was a life-long friend of Lincoln’s, they having served through the Black Hawk War together and been in the Illinois Legislature together, during which latter time Lincoln boarded with my father in Vandalia, which was then the state capital. I remember of his visiting my father at Galena, in 1844 or 1845. They continued to correspond until Lincoln’s death.”

“My father was a member of the Methodist church and frequently spoke of and lamented Lincoln’s infidelity, and referred to the many arguments between them on the subject.”

“The noted minister, Peter Cartwright, boarded with my father at the same time that Lincoln did, and my farther and mother told me of the many theological and philosophical arguments indulged in by Lincoln and Cartwright, and of the fact that they always attracted many interested listeners and usually ended by Cartwright’s getting very angry and the spectators being convulsed with laughter at Lincoln’s dry wit and humorous comparisons.”

“Lincoln’s legislative career at Vandalia extended from 1834 to 1837. It was about the beginning of this period that he wrote his book against Christianity. He was thoroughly informed and enthusiastic in his infidel views, and it is not to be wondered at that on theological questions, he was able to vanquish in debate even so eminent a theologian as Peter Cartwright. Ten years later, Lincoln was the Whig, and Cartwright the Democratic candidate for Congress. In this campaign a determined effort was made by the church to defeat Lincoln on account of his infidelity. But his popularity, his reputation for honesty, his recognized ability, and his transcendent powers on the stump, carried him successfully through, and he was triumphantly elected.”