Washington: A 19th-century letter which resurfaced recently has brought the question of former US President Abraham Lincoln’s religious faith on the forefront.
Lincoln is known for many things. He led the nation through the Civil War, emancipated the slaves and delivered eloquent speeches about democracy and liberty. But his religious views have long been a matter of debate.
Now, the three-page letter, which was written by Lincoln’s old law partner, William Herndon, and just went up for sale for a price of 35,000 dollars, claims that Honest Abe was driven not by faith, but by politics, reports Discovery News.
The letter offers a rare view of Lincoln’s inner life from someone who knew him before he went to Washington.
"Mr. Lincoln’s religion is too well known to me to allow of even a shadow of a doubt; he is or was a Theist & a Rationalist, denying all extraordinary -- supernatural inspiration or revelation," Herndon wrote in the letter, signed Feb. 4, 1866, a year after Lincoln’s assassination.
Notably, Herndon’s personal experience with Lincoln was limited to his pre-presidential period, when religion was completely absent from his life. After Lincoln left for the White House, the two never met up again.
The rediscovered letter is undoubtedly an important document about an important historical figure, and experts maintain that it adds depth to our knowledge of Lincoln’s personal life.