Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Statements Concerning the Whiteside-Merryman Affair [1]

October [4], 1842

Upon presenting this note [2] to Gen. Whiteside, and stating verbally that it was an agreement to meet him at the time he mentioned, at Louisiana, Missouri, he replied:---

``Lincoln, I can not accept any thing from him now. I have business at St. Louis: and it is as near as Louisiana.''


Dr. Merryman requests me, as he understands you are going away, to give you notice, that he will publish the correspondence which has passed between you and him, with such comments as he shall think proper.

Upon making the above statement verbally to Gen. Whiteside, he replied:---``I am going away when it suits my convenience; but I expect Dr. Merryman, as an honorable man, to meet me at St. Louis. We then shall be untrammeled by the laws of this State.''



[1]   Sangamo Journal, October 7, 1842. For the circumstances connected with this aftermath of the Shields-Lincoln duel, see Lincoln's letter to Speed, October 5, 1842.

[2]   The final note of several exchanged between six A.M. and seven P.M. on October 4. Lincoln was now acting as ``friend'' of Dr. Merryman, with about as much success as Merryman had had when their roles were reversed. The note denied Whiteside's ``right to name time and place'' and specified Louisiana, Missouri, ``on Friday next.'' Whiteside refused to receive the note and Lincoln's first statement covers what passed between them verbally. Lincoln's second statement covers the verbal message which Merryman then requested him to deliver to Whiteside. Being unable to agree upon a meeting place, Whiteside and Merryman did not consummate their reluctant desires.