Southern Historical Society Papers/Volume 09/February/Interview of Colonel Baldwin with Mr. Lincoln

Colonel Baldwin's Interview with Mr. Lincoln—Letter from Colonel J. H. Keatley, of Iowa.

We publish the following letter as confirming the accuracy of Dr. Dabney's interesting report of Colonel John B. Baldwin's account of interview with Mr. Lincoln.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, December 18, 1880.

Rev. J. William Jones, D. D.,
Secretary Southern Historical Society, Richmond:

Dear Sir,—I have just read, in the first volume of the Transactions of your society, Dr. Dabney's paper concerning an interview between Lincoln and Colonel John Baldwin, of Virginia, in April, 1861. In May, 1865, I was on duty, as a Federal military officer, in Norfolk, and while the United States District Court for the eastern district of Virginia was in session there. I was introduced to Colonel Baldwin at that time, in the clerk's office, by Honorable L. H. Chandler, United States District Attorney, Colonel Baldwin being then in attendance on some business connected with that court, and having also for the first time, after the war, visited Norfolk. I met him again, during the afternoon, at the Atlantic hotel, and he was kind enough to refer to some of the incidents of the contest, and to the causes which occasioned it. In that interview he made substantially the same statement that Rev. Dr. Robert L. Dabney has given in his valuable and interesting paper, but, for reasons that will occur to almost any one, I did not repeat what he said, and did not feel at liberty then to make any publication of his statement, and would not do so now had not others already done so.

Yours respectfully,
Jno. H. Keatley.