D. Pat Henderson

Submitted by Ray Henderson

The following is an excerpt from a letter, written by D. Pat Henderson in November 1860 to a friend in Georgia, concerning Abraham Lincoln's election as President of the United States.

D. Pat Henderson came from Lexington, Fayette Co, Kentucky to Jacksonville, Morgan Co in 1831 where he served as pastor of Antioch Christian Church in the 1830s and as Probate Judge in the 1840s. In 1841 he became partner and associate editor of the Christian Messenger with Barton W Stone, and in 1855 he was appointed Consul to Carrari Italy. He worked as an Evangelist throughout his life and in later years he championed education for women and went on to help found what is now Culver-Stockton College in Canton MO. He, along with several other family members, is buried in Diamond Grove Cemetery, Jacksonville, IL.

...I am personally acquainted with Mr. Lincoln - have been for a quarter of a Century. He was an old line Clay Whig. Like Mr. Clay, he has always been, what thousands of Southerners are this day, an Emancipationist. He looks upon Slavery as an evil to the white population, but a blessing to the black race. He is for remuneration to the masters, and a country in which to colonize the African race. He is for gradual Emancipation. These I am sure are his sentiments. He is no more of a modern Abolitionist than either you or I. He thinks slavery retards the progress of this nation, and engineers strife among our citizens. This is the "irrepressible conflict" of which he speaks. . . . Mr. Lincoln is not an extremist. . . . I differ with him on many points. I voted against him with all my heart. But I do not fear his administration

He and I commenced our public lives in Illinois. He practiced law in my Court. I was on the bench four years and to some extent mingled in politics. He and I were of the same school, and next to Mr. Douglass, he was the strongest political speaker in the state. What I say of him, therefore, is from personal knowledge. . . . I am for the Union as it was, as it is, and I hope as it now will be, till Messiah shall come. God gave us this great heritage, and we must not sell it for either supposed or real injuries. We must seek a redress for wrongs in the Union, not out of it. If we have bad men in the Church, we must not secede from it, but execute the laws, and put out the offenders....

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