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Abraham Lincoln 

Being a Biography of His Life from His Birth to His 

Assassination; also a Record of His Ancestors, 

and a Collection of Anecdotes 

Attributed to Lincoln. 

'His is the gentlest memory of our nation." 






New York City. Springfield, Ohio. Chicago, III. 

Copyright, 1896, by 


Springfield, Ohio. 




NEAR the point where the states of Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky meet 
there is a wonderful gateway in the mountains, which was discovered in 
1748, by Thomas Walker, and named Cumberland Gap, in honor of the Duke of 
Cumberland, prime minister to King George of England. He reported that it 
opened into a beautiful region inhabited by Indians and wild animals. From 
this gap north to where the waterways which form the Ohio river break 
through the mountains the rugged and towering Alleghenies present an almost 
impassable wall between Virginia and the country west. This barrier helped 
to protect the inhabitants against the warrior bands of western Indians, and 
for a time confined the march of the settler to the Shenandoah valley. 

Daniel Boone had heard of the discovery of an opening in the mountains not 
far from his home, and thirsted for exploration of the unknown solitudes beyond, 
through which only Indians roamed. He was one of the elder sons of Squire 
Boone, who had come from Pennsylvania and settled in Wilkes county. North 
Carolina, on the Yadkin river. From his youth Daniel had shown a special 
fondness for hunting. Before he was ten years old he could shoot a deer while 
it was upon the run, and while yet a lad made long trips from home alone and 
was never lost. He was a born woodsman. He had the cunning and eye of an 
Indian, and could determine the points of the compass by the stars, like a 
mariner. In 1769, this intrepid hunter, in company with three companions, 
passed through Cumberland Gap into the wild territory west of the mountains, 
on a hunting and exploring expedition. As they advanced, the country and 
attractions improved. They traveled through vast reaches of somber forest, 
penetrating far into the interior. Boone and one of his companions were 
captured by the Indians, but made their escape. When they returned to their 
camp, the other two men had disappeared, and were never heard of again. Boone 
remained so long away from home that his younger brother, accompanied by a 
friend, came in search of him. Instead of returning, he sent his brother back 
for powder and bullets. 



After being absent nearly a year, Boone* returned home, with a glowing 
account of the vastness and fertility of the new territory. He reported a 
country that abounded in possibilities for the settler. It was not rocky and 
mountainous. Streams were numerous and wild game was abundant. He 
organized and led forward a band of fifty hunters and trappers into the wilder- 
ness, and others soon followed. They built a rude fort, calling it Boonesbor- 
ough. They were typical hunters and adventurers, with rifles on their shoulders 
and knives in their belts — the picket-line going on before the march of civili- 

At last the Revolutionary war was over. Peace relieved the restraint on the 
onward march of the pioneer, and the hunters' stories of a boundless country. 


renowned for soil and climate, across the mountains started an emigration fever. 
The rush of settlers from the Shenandoah valley counties of Virginia assumed 
striking proportions. Large groups of families from a single neighborhood 
banded themselves together for protection against the Indians while on the 

*The Lincoln and Boone families were intimately associated for several generations. In the 
will of Mordecai Lincoln, recorded in the registry office at Philadelphia, dated 1735, George 
Boone, his " loving friend and neighbor," was made a trustee to assist in caring for the property. 
Squire Boone, the father of Daniel, was one of the appraisers. One of the numerous Abraham 
Lincolns was married to Anna Boone, a first cousin of Daniel Boone, July 10, 1760. It is 
thought that Abraham Lincoln, the president's grandfather, first became acquainted with 
Mary Shipley, whom he afterward married, while visiting the Boones on the Yadkin river, in 
North Carolina. It is known that intercourse between the families was kept up after they 
moved f/om Berks county, Pennsylvania. 


journey. Their destination and route had been determined by Daniel Boone, for 
he and his father were known throughout the valley. He recommended the 
central and northern part of Kentucky for a location, which they reached by 
following his trail through the Cumberland Gap. They went in the usual back- 
woods manner, on horseback, the clothing and household goods being carried on 
pack-horses. . Herds and flocks were driven along. Occasionally a party had 
tents; usually they slept in the open air. They carried a small stock of pro- 
visions, including about thirty pounds of meal for each person. There was no 
meat, unless game was shot. The journey required from two to three weeks. 
The trail was bad, especially 
where it climbed between 
the gloomy walls of Cumber- 
land Gap. Even when un- 
disturbed by prowling bands 
of red marauders, the trip 
was accompanied by much 
fatigue and exposure. 

After traveling for many 
miles through dense forests, 
they came to the locality 
for which they had started. 
Here the emigrant train 
began to scatter. The heads 
of families would select a 
piece of ground and begin a 
pioneer's life, with an ax in 
one hand and a firebrand in 
the other — the evidence that 
the advance-guard of civili- 
zation had arrived. A spot 
for a home was selected, 
generally near a spring or a 
stream, and father and sons 
set to work felling trees to 
build a cabin. All settlers' 
cabins were alike — an oblong room, built of rough logs, with a door in one 
side and a fireplace in one end; the roof consisted of rafters made from poles 
covered with clapboards; the cracks between the logs were stopped up with 
clay; usually there were no windows or floors. When more room was needed, 
the space between the rafters was made into a loft, reached by climbing up pegs 
in. the wall.. The furniture of the pioneer's cabin was such as he could make 
from split boards with a few crude tools. They cooked by the open fire. 
Bread was baked by heating flat stones; or perhaps they were the possessors of 
a Dutch oven, an iron vessel about the size of a skillet, only twice as deep, 



with short legs and a lid. To bake, they placed it on the hearth and heaped 
live coals over it. Buffalo robes were their main bedding, and most of their 
clothing was made from the skins of animals. After the cabin was built, all 
hands set to work clearing ground for a crop. Trees were chopped down, the 
logs rolled in heaps, the brush piled on top, and burned. 

The early settler's life was rough and monotonous; his surroundings were 
dreary; his cabin was destitute of the most common comforts; the blackened 
stumps and dead trees stood thick in his small field; neighbors were far apart; 
wild animals prowled around at night; and the settlers lived in mortal dread of 
the Indians, who were now thoroughly aroused against the white man for taking 
possession of their hunting-grounds, and were ever skulking around for a chance 
to take a scalp. 

Such was the common lot of the early settlers in Kentucky, among whom 
were Abraham and Mary Shipley Lincoln, grandparents of President Lincoln. 





IN 1782, Abraham Lincoln, grandfather o£ President Lincoln,* with his wife 
and five children, three sons and two daughters, left Rockingham county, 
Virginia, in the Shenandoah valley, with a party of emigrants, for Kentucky. 
They all rode horseback, and followed Daniel Boone's trail through Cumber- 
land Gap. They suffered all the hardships and mishaps usual to such a trip. 
They slept on the ground, were delayed by floods and harassed by Indians. 
Finally they reached Bear Grass Fort, in Mercer county, about fifty miles from 
what is now the city of Louisville. A farm of five hundred acres on Licking 
creek was selected. Here in the dense forest he cleared a few acres of ground, 
built a little log cabin, and became a pioneer settler on the western frontier. 
For generations past the Lincolns had been among those who kept on the crest 
of the wave of western settlement. They were typical pioneers, and marched 
along with those who pushed the frontier westward in the" teeth of the forces of 
the wilderness. They conquered and transformed it. It was fighting work, only 
to be undertaken by these strong, brave, fearless men, who were familiar with 
woodcraft and knew how to find food and shelter in the forests — men who could 
outwit the Indian and endure the extremes of fatigue and exposure. They were 
uneducated; they lacked refinement; they were harsh, sturdy, courageous, 
tenacious, self-reliant, industrious men, faithful to their friends and dangerous 
to their enemies. 

One day in the year 1784, while Abraham Lincoln was working in the clear- 
ing near his cabin with his three boys — Mordecai, ten years old; Josiah, eight, 

^President Lincoln knew very little about his ancestry. In a letter written in 1848, he said: 
" My grandfather went from Rockingham county, Virginia, to Kentucky about 1782, and two 
years afterward was killed by the Indians. We have a vague tradition that my grandfather 
went from Pennsylvania to Virginia; that he was a Quaker; further than that I have never 
heard anything." Eager genealogists claim that they have since established his line back 
to the landing of the Lincolns from England, in 1638. In the records there is a similarity of 
Christian names; as Mordecai, Abraham, Thomas, Isaac. John and Jacob, but these same names 
are repeatedly found in the history of other families. We are told that President Lincoln's 
great-great-great-grandfather was one Mordecai Lincoln, who lived in Berks county, Pennsyl- 
vania, and died about 1735; that his great-great-grandfather was one John Lincoln, who 
emigrated to Rockingham county, Virginia; that his great-grandfather, Abraham Lincoln, had 
four brothers— John, Thomas, Isaac and Jacob. Abraham and his brother Thomas emigrated 
to Kentucky; Isaac to Tennessee; John and Jacob remained in Virginia. The latter was a 
lieutenant in the war of the Revolution, and took part in the siege of Yorktown. There is 
little doubt that it was on account of his intimate friendship with the famous Daniel Boone 
that President Lincoln's grandfather emigrated to Kentucky. 




and Thomas, six — a bullet fired by an Indian pierced his heart, Mordecai, startled 
by the shot, saw his father fall, and running to the cabin, seized the loaded rifle, 
rushed to one of the loopholes cut through the logs of the cabin, and awaited 
the approach of the savage. Josiah fled for the fort to give an alarm; the 
Indian came up to take little Thomas Lincoln and carry him away. Suddenly 
the crack of a rifle was heard, and the savage fell dead, shot by Mordecai. 
Such was the tragedy in the life of Mary Shipley Lincoln, the grandmother of 
the sixteenth president of the United States. 

Soon after the death of her husband the widow moved to Washington county, 
near the town of Springfield, where she lived until her death. No schools 
had yet been established, and her children grew to manhood and womanhood 


without the opportunity of securing an education. Both of the girls married, 
and spent their lives in that section of the country. Under the law of entail in 
Kentucky the eldest son inherited the estate of his father, and so Mordecai came 
into possession of his father's property. Mordecai and Josiah Lincoln remained 
in Washington county, and became the heads of good-sized families. They 
were intelligent, well-to-do men, and owned slaves. Mordecai took part in the 
Indian wars; he hated Indians bitterly ever after the murder of his father, and 
to the day of his death never lost an opportunity of shooting them down. 

A most remarkable and almost inexplicable fact is that to Thomas Lincoln 
was "reserved the honor of an illustrious paternity." Thomas was about five feet 
ten inches in height, weighed about two hundred pounds, had dark brown eyes, 



dark skin and black hair. He was always poor and indolent. He was a man of 
great strength, but slow of movement. When he really tried he could accom- 
plish a great deal at whatever he turned his hand, but he usually lacked the 
energy and perseverance necessary to make a success of his undertaking. He 
was a man of good intentions in all things and honest in all his dealings. He 
was a peaceful, law-abiding citizen, except when aroused to anger, and then he 
became a dangerous antagonist. He was of a nomadic disposition. One year 
he wandered off to his uncle's, on the confines of Tennessee. At another time 
he turned up in Breckinridge county. Finally, in 1806, at the age of twenty- 
eight, he drifted to Hardin county, and worked at the carpenter's trade in the 
shop of Joseph Hanks. While there 
he married his employer's niece, 
Nancy Hanks. He then endeavored 
to set up for himself, but failed. 
He essayed farming at various times 
in Kentucky, Indiana and Hlinois, 
but ill luck followed him. When 
he worked at the carpenter's trade 
at all, he preferred to make common 
benches, cupboards and bureaus. 
He was never a steady hand, but 
confined himself to doing odd jobs. 
He could neither read nor write until 
his wife taught him the letters of 
the alphabet, so he could spell his 
way slowly through the Bible, and 
knew how to write his name, which 
was the end of his attainments in this 
line. He was good-natured and fond 
of telling jokes, about the only trait 
he transmitted to his illustrious son. 
In politics he was a Democrat — a 
Jackson Democrat. In religion he 

was nothing at times and a member of various denominations by turns. It is 
believed, however, that he died in the faith of a Campbellite. 

Very little is known of Nancy Hanks, the mother of President Lincoln. It 
seems that she was born in Virginia, in 1783; that her mother's given name was 
Lucy, and after she married Henry Sparrow the child did not remain long under 
her stepfather's roof, but went to live with her Aunt Betsey, who had married 
Thomas Sparrow. They had no children of their own. Besides Nancy, they 
took to raise her cousin, Dennis Hanks. Little Nancy became so identified with 
Thomas and Betsy Sparrow that a great many supposed that she was their child, 
and she was called Nancy Sparrow by her playmates. They were the only 
parents she ever knew, and she must have called them by names appropriate to 




that relationship. They took her with them to Mercer county, Kentucky. They 
reared her to womanhood, followed her to Indiana, died of the same "disease at 
about the same time, and were buried close beside her. 

Nancy Hanks was a beautiful girl, of pleasing manners and keen intellect. 
She was slender and symmetrical, above the ordinary height in stature, and had 
the appearance of one inclined to consumption. She was a brunette, with dark 
hair, soft hazel eyes, and had a high, intellectual-looking forehead. While in 



One of the picturesque and romantic scenes of the Lincoln homestead on Nolin's creek, in 
Kentucky, is Rock vSpring. In summer especially this is one of the most beautiful spots 
imaginable, and to its pleasing scenery is added the practical advantage of a never-failing 
supply of tlie finest quality of limestone water, for which central Kentucky is justly famous. 

Virginia she attended school and received other advantages which placed her on a 
higher intellectual plane than most of those around her. She always wore a 
marked melancholy expression, which fixed itself upon the memory of every- 
one who ever saw or knew her, and though her life was seemingly beclouded by 
a spirit of sadness, she was in disposition amiable and generally cheerful; these 



traits she transmitted to her son. Her ancestors were probably English, who 
emigrated to America in the early days. Under favorable environments she 
likely would have become an accomplished and talented woman. 

Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, parents of Abraham Lincoln, were married 
on June 12, 1806, near Beachland, Washington county, Kentucky, by the Rev. 
Jesse Head, a Methodist minister. Thomas was twenty-eight years of age and 
his wife twenty-three. They began married life in wretched poverty, in a dreary 
cabin about fourteen feet square, in Elizabethtown. Here, in the spring of 1807, 
their daughter, Sarah, was born. Thomas Lincoln soon wearied of Elizabethtown 
and carpenter-work. He thought he could do better as a farmer, and removed to 
a piece of land in La Rue county, three miles from Hodgensville, on the south fork 
of Nolin's creek. The land was poor and the landscape desolate. They took up 
their abode in a miserable cabin, which stood on a little knoll. Near by, a spring 
of excellent water gushed from beneath the rock, and was called ''Rock Spring." 



ON February 12, 1809, a babe was born in a log cabin, located on Nolin's 
creek, in La Rue county, Kentucky, which was then a new and almost wild 
country. No doctors attended his birth. Only a few unskilled women were 
there to offer their willing services in caring for the mother. There was no fine 
linen ready in which to wrap the baby boy. His father was away from home. 
There was no food in the house, and had it not been for the kindness of neigh- 
bors he would have perished. But he was a child of destiny, and grew and 
waxed strong. They gave him his grandfather's name, Abraham — Abraham 
Lincoln! What a strange mingling of mirth and tears, of tragic and grotesque, 
of all that is gentle and just, humorous and honest, merciful, wise, laughable, 
lovable and divine, and all consecrated to the use of the man; while through all 
and over all an overwhelming sense of obligation, of chivalric loyalty to truth, 
and upon all the shadow of a tragic end. 

The cabin in which Abraham Lincoln was born on that cold winter's night 
was a forlorn hovel with one door and no window. There were great chinks in 
the wall, through which the sun, rain and wind came driving in at pleasure. At 
night the stars were plainly visible, shining through cracks in the roof. The 
room was cold and bare, as it had scarcely anything in it that could be called 
furniture, and no floor except the beaten ground. In one end was a wide fireplace. 
It did not look as though a tender, new-born babe could live, much less grow 
and thrive, in such an uncomfortable place as this poor hut. 

Here the mother gathered her infant son in her arms; here she went about 
her daily tasks, much of which was a routine of drudgery, getting something for 
her family to eat and wear. All of the cooking was done on the hearth, before 
the open fire. The food was simple, usually corn-bread and bacon or game. She 
had not sufiicient strength, energy or health to make the most of life in a poor 
man's cabin. She craved better things — books, friends and the comforts of life. 
Frequently her husband would be gone for several days or weeks on hunting or 
boating trips, or at work at his trade, leaving her and the children alone. At 
night they could hear the snarl of the wolf, the cry of the panther and the 
hoot of the owl. From the door no human habitation could be seen, no familiar 
neighbors passed and repassed, for there were no roads. The children were a 
great comfort to her in this lonely place, their prattle was the sweetest of music 



to her. At dusk she took them on her lap and told them stories and sang them 
to sleep, when she tucked them away in their bed of leaves, covered with 
buffalo-robes. As they grew older, she taught them their A-B-C's and how to 
read and spell and write. Sarah and little Abe were always glad to see summer- 
time come, for then they could play out of doors, gather wild flowers, and carry 
little gourds of water for their mother from Rock Spring. 

No school of any kind had ever been opened near Thomas Lincoln's home 
until Zachariah Riney, a wandering Roman Catholic priest, happened along, in 
the year 1813. He engaged an empty cabin, and sent word to the settlers that 
he would teach spelling and reading to all who would pay him. Although the 
Lincolns were very poor, it is a credit to the parents that Sarah and little Abe 
were found in the school. Logs split in two and turned flat side upward 
answered for benches, and the pupils included children and adults. The teacher 


The Lincoln family occupied the cabin on Nolin's creek for a period of four years after 
Abraham's birth, when they removed to the eastern end of the county. The farm on which 
Abraham was born passed into the hands of other and more energetic owners. The humble 
cabin was torn down, and the materials used in its construction were utilized otherwise, and 
ultimately destroyed in the manner common to the section and period. A more pretentious 
residence was erected on the site, but it, too, was built of logs. At a later period the farm again 
changed proprietors, and this second house was also torn down. The new owner built his 
residence at a different point. The logs used in the vacated dwelling were sold to a neighbor, 
and a portion of them remain at the present time in a dwelling occupied by Mr. John A. Daven- 
port, and located about a mile from the old Lincoln homestead. For years after this the site of 
Abraham Lincoln's first home was cultivated in common with the surrounding land, and was 
marked only by a small mound, and a pear-tree, rugged, gnarled and sturdy, growing thereon. 
In 1895, the farm was purchased by New York speculators, who at once began its improvement 
with a view to its sale to the United States government for use as a national park. Many 
visitors suppose the cabin illustrated above to be the original Lincoln cabin, and certain recent 
Lincoln biographers give credence to the idea that it is. This, however, is a mistake. The 
present cabin is only a clever imitation of the original, built on the same plan, and with logs 
obtained from a very old, decaying house on an adjoining farm. 

knew nothing outside of spelling and reading, and not much of these. The 
only book used was a speller, of which there were only a few copies. It 
was a great surprise to the teacher when he found that little Abe, only five years 
old, was far in advance of any of the children of his age, and even of many 



of the older pupils. Abe (that is what all his playmates called him) was tall of 
his age, and slender, had dark hair, gray eyes, and was of a quiet disposition. 
His sister, who was two years older, was large of her age, but not tall. She was 
a pretty child, with dark hair and gray eyes, and was very modest in the presence 

WAS BORN. (From a recent photograph.) 

of strangers. With tattered speller, and lunch of corn-bread, she and Abe 
tramped through the woods to school the few weeks it kept open. 

The church preceded the school-house in pioneer settlements. In Hodgens- 
ville, which consisted of a primitive mill and a few scattered cabins, the public- 



spirited had erected a log building, but had failed to provide glass for the windows. 
Occasionally a preacher came to the rude meeting-house, when the people 
flocked in from miles around, coming on foot or horseback. They did not all 
come for the purpose of hearing the religious services or to exhibit their clothing, 
but to see one another and exchange news, and hear what was going on in the 
world outside Hodgensville. Mrs. Lincoln was a devout woman, attending church 
services whenever she could. David Elkin, a traveling Baptist minister, was a 
special friend to the Lincolns, and took quite a fancy to Thomas Lincoln's boy. 
Thomas Lincoln had made no headway in paying for his farm; in fact, no 
terms were easy enough for him. He gave it up, and on September 12, 1813, 


bargained with a Mr. Slater for two hundred and thirty-eight acres. The terms 
were that he was to pay one hundred and eighty pounds, all deferred payments, 
which were never met. This land was situated about six miles from Hodgens- 
ville, on Knob creek, a very clear stream which empties into Rolling Fork two 
miles above the present site of New Haven. The farm was somewhat hilly, 
well timbered, and had some rich little valleys, of which Thomas Lincoln suc- 
ceeded in getting six acres under cultivation. The cabin which he built here 
was even worse than the one they had left, if that were possible. While here, 
Abraham entered his second school, which lasted about three months. His 
teacher was Caleb Hazel. He could teach reading and writing in an indifferent 
way, and a little arithmetic. The school was located four miles from the Lincoln 



farm, and the Lincoln children had to tramp the entire distance. It was ahout 
this time that Dennis Hanks initiated Abraham into the mysteries of fishing. 
One day he and a companion named Gollaher were out on a little excursion, and 
while Abe was attempting to ''poon" across a stream on a sycamore log, he lost 
his hold and fell into the water, and was saved only by the utmost exertions of 
Gollaher. Hunting ground-hogs was another favorite sport of the boys. 

As time wore on, Thomas Lincoln became dissatisfied, and being a wanderer 
by natural inclination, he longed for a change. He was gaining neither riches nor 
credit, and attributed his luck to the country where he lived. He felt ill at 
ease and cramped in the presence of his more prosperous neighbors. He listened 
to the stories of the fertility and cheapness of the land in the new state of 
Indiana, across the Ohio river, and believed them. So he resolved to pull up stakes 
and locate once more in the wilderness. Among the many things which he 
had attempted was flatboating, and had been hired to make a few trips to 
New Orleans. When he concluded to make the removal to Indiana, he built 
a rude boat and loaded most of his scanty store of property and tools, and sold 
the rest for four hundred gallons of whisky. In those days whisky was a 
common article of commerce, and passed for so much coin in buying and selling. 
He started down Rolling Fork, then down Salt river, and reached the Ohio river 
without any mishaps, but here his boat capsized. He fished up whatever tools 
and property he could, and most of the whisky, and started on his way, finally 
landing at Thompson's Ferry, two and a half miles west of Troy, in Perry county, 
Indiana. Here he sold the boat, and put the property in the hands of a Mr. 
Posey, a settler living near. He then started out to find a location, and decided 
upon a spot sixteen miles distant, afterward returning to his family in Kentucky, 
walking the entire distance. 


— y^V^^i^ 













THOMAS LINCOLN and family moved from Kentucky to Indiana in the fall 
of 1816. Before they left, Mrs. Lincoln and the two children visited the 
grave of her third child, a boy, who died in infancy. The trip to Indiana was 
a hard journey, as there were no roads or bridges. They made the trip on 
horseback, borrowing two horses for the occasion. Besides their scanty bed and 
clothing, they carried with them a few cooking-utensils, including a Dutch 
oven and lid, a skillet and lid, and some tinware. They camped out on the 
way, and depended mostly upon game for subsistence. 

After reaching Mr. Posey's house, Thomas Lincoln hired a wagon, into which 
he loaded his tools, the whisky, his few goods, his wife and children, and 
plunged into the forest. There were no roads or foot-paths, and many times a 
passageway had to be cut before they could proceed farther. At length they 
arrived at the spot which he had selected between Prairie and Pigeon creeks, and 
which has since become famous as the Lincoln farm. Lincoln was a "squatter," 
and did not enter his claim until October 15, 1817. 

This part of the country was covered with thick forests of deciduous trees — 
poplar, oak, walnut, elm, beech and sugar. The land was fertile, the grazing 
excellent, and there was an immense amount of mast on the ground for hogs. 
Lincoln selected a beautiful site on an elevation for his home. The selection 
was wise, except that no running water was near, and they had to use that which 
collected in holes when it rained, until a well was dug. Here Thomas Lincoln 
built a temporary shelter called "a half-face camp," which is a shed built of poles 
and open on one side. It was as cold as outdoors, and not fit for a stable. 
They lived here all winter and until the next fall before he had the cabin com- 
pleted. This cabin had neither floor nor window, and the doorway had to be 
closed by hanging skins of animals over it. It seems that Lincoln was too lazy 
to use his skill as a carpenter to improve his home, for the furniture was cruder 
than the house. The bed consisted of two poles, with one end of each stuck in 
between the log's in one corner of the cabin, while the corner of the bed where 
the poles crossed rested in a crotch of a forked stick sunk into the earthen floor. 
On these were thrown some rough boards, and on the boards a lot of leaves 
covered with skins and any old clothing they had. The table was a similar 



affair, and three-legged stools answered for chairs. They had a few pewter and 
tin dishes, and if they had knives or forks, it is unknown. Abraham slept on a 
bed of leaves in the loft, reached by climbing on pegs in the wall. In the fall of 
1817 Thomas and Betsy Sparrow followed their adopted daughter to Indiana, and 
took up their abode in the old "half -face camp," which was about one hundred 
and fifty feet from the cabin. They brought with them their adopted son, Dennis 
Hanks, a cousin of Mrs. Lincoln's. For two years they continued to live along 
in the old way. Lincoln did not like farming, and did not succeed in getting 
very much of his land under cultivation. He raised a small crop of corn and 
vegetables, and this, with the game, which was abundant, supplied the table. 


Milk-sickness broke out in the Pigeon creek region in the summer of 1818. 
It was a terrible disease, common to new countries. It is supposed that it was 
contracted by cattle and sheep feeding on a poisonous weed, which grew in wild 
pasture-lands. It swept off the cattle which gave the milk, and the people who 
drank it. Among those who were attacked by it were Thomas and Betsy Spar- 
row and Mrs. Thomas Lincoln. The Sparrows were then removed from the 
"half -faced" camp to the Lincoln cabin, which was very little better. Many of 
the neighbors had already died of the disease, and Thomas Lincoln had made all 
of their coffins out of green lumber cut with a whip-saw. Toward fall the 
Sparrows and Mrs. Lincoln grew worse. The nearest doctor was at Yellow 


Banks, Kentucky, thirty miles away, but they could not send for him, as they 
had no money with which to pay him. In the first part of October the Spar- 
rows died. A day or so after, on October 5, 1815, Nancy Hanks Lincoln rested 
from her troubles, at the age of thirty-five years. Her husband sawed the lum- 
ber and made her rough cofiin with his own hands. 

Arnold describes the funeral thus: 

" The country burying-ground where she was laid, half a mile southeast from 
their log cabin home, had been selected perhaps by herself, and was situated on 
the top of a forest-covered hill. There, beneath the dark shade of the woods, 
and under a majestic sycamore, they dug the grave of the mother of Abraham 

THE LINCOLN FAKM IN INDIANA. (From a recent photograph.) 

Lincoln. The funeral ceremonies were very plain and simple, but solemn withal, 
for nowhere does death seem so deeply impressive as in such a solitude. At the 
time no clergyman could be found in or near the settlement to perform the 
usual religious rites. David Elkin, a traveling preacher whom the family had 
known in Kentucky, came, but not until some months afterward, traveling 
many miles on horseback through the wild forest to reach their residence; and 
then the family, with a few friends and' neighbors, gathered in the open air 
under the great sycamore beneath which they had laid the mother's remains. 
A funeral sermon was preached, hymns were sung, and such rude but sin- 
cere and impressive services were held as are usual among the pioneers of the 



Mrs. Lincoln's grave never had a stone, not even a head-board, to mark it, 
and the exact spot is unknown. Two or three children belonging to a neigh- 
bor, Levy Hall and wife, and the Sparrows, were buried near the grave. For 
years the graves remained uncared for. They were crumbled in and sunken 
and covered with bushes and wild vines. In 1879, Mr. P. E. Studebaker, 
of South Bend, Indiana, erected a stone over the graves, and a few of the 
leading citizens of Rockport, Indiana, built an iron railing around it. The 


inscription on the stone runs: "Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Mother of President 
Lincoln, Died Oct. 5, A. D. 1818, Aged 35 years. Erected by a friend of her 
martyred son, 1879." 

The next year was a sorry and dreary one for the children in their cold and 
cheerless cabin. Sarah, now twelve years old, was housekeeper, and cooked what 
little they had to eat. Abe and Dennis were good-natured boys, and did what 
they could to pass away the long evenings and stormy days. In good weather 
the boys were busy getting up wood, doing the chores and hunting. Taking 



game with trap and rifle was a necessary occupation, as they needed the meat for 
food; and about their only source of income during the winter was from the sale 
of furs. 

Thirteen months after the death of his first wife, Thomas Lincoln returned 
to Elizabethtown in search of another. He immediately called on Sarah Bush 
Johnston, whom he had courted before he married Nancy Hanks. Sarah mar- 
ried Daniel Johnston soon after Lincoln married Nancy. Johnston died in 
1814, leaving three children — John, Sarah and Matilda — dependent on his wife. 
Sarah Bush was called a proud body when a girl, as she was very neat and tidy 
in her personal appearance, 
and was particular in the 
selection of her company. 
She "wanted to be somebody 
and have something." She 
was a woman of great energy, 
good sense, industrious and 
saving, and knew how to 
manage children. Mrs. John- 
ston agreed to marry Thomas 
Lincoln as soon as she could 
pay her debts. They were 
paid that day, and the. couple 
were married the next morn- 
ing, leaving for Indiana soon 
after. Mrs. Johnston was 
well supplied with furniture, 
clothing and household goods, 
and it required her brother's 
big wagon and a four-horse 
team to transport them to 
Indiana. Among the goods 
was a bureau that cost forty 
dollars. Thomas Lincoln 
thought it extravagance, and 
wanted her to turn it into 
cash, which she flatly refused to do. When Mrs. Johnston, now Mrs. Lincoln, 
arrived at her new home, she was astonished beyond measure at the contrast 
between the glowing representations which her husband had made to her before 
leaving Kentucky and the real poverty and meanness of the place. She had 
evidently been given to understand that the bridegroom had abandoned his Ken- 
tucky ways, and was now a prosperous Indiana farmer. However, she made the 
best of a bad bargain, and immediately set to work making the place more com- 
fortable and respectable. She had her husband put down a floor, hang windows 
and doors, and use his skill with tools to make improvements in the cabin. It 




was a strange experience for Sarah and Abe to sleep in warm beds, and to eat 
with knives and forks and have something warm and clean to wear. It was 
only a short time after the new mother came to the home until everything had 
changed. She had taken, a fancy to Abe as a child in Kentucky, and now she 
cared for him with affection, and from that time on he appeared to live a new 
life. Sarah and Abe and the Johnston children soon became fast friends, and 
lived in the utmost harmony. Dennis Hanks also became a member of the 
household, and was Abe's companion from the time he was eight until twenty- 
two years of age. It is through him 
that students know much of this 
period of Abraham Lincoln's life. 

When Thomas Lincoln first came 
to Indiana there were only a few 
settlers, in all seven or eight in the 
Pigeon creek country, who had come 
before him, and one of these was a 
Mr. Carter, whose acquaintance he 
had made in Kentucky, and who had 
induced Lincoln to locate there. 
The nearest town was Troy, on the 
Ohio river, about a mile from the 
mouth of Anderson creek. Har- 
rison's victory over the Indians had 
won peace for Indiana, and heavy 
immigration set in. When Indiana 
was admitted as a state, in 1816, 
she had a population of 65,000. 
The Lincoln farm was in Perry 
county, with the county-seat at 
Troy, but afterward that part of the 
county was set off and became a part 
of Spencer county, with the county- 
seat at Rockport, twenty miles south. 
In 1821, a state road was made, connecting Evansville and Corydon, which was 
then the state capital. In 1823, another road was built, connecting Rockport and 
Bloomington. These roads crossed just about a mile and a half from Thomas 
Lincoln's farm. The land near the cross-roads had been secured from the gov- 
ernment by James Gentry, and the cross-roads made it a valuable trade center. 
In 1823, Gideon Romine started a store, and succeeded in getting a post-office in 
1824. He soon sold his store to Gentry, after whom the place was named. Dennis 
Hanks helped to hew the logs for the first store-room in Gentryville. 




ABRAHAM LINCOLN began his school life in Indiana in 1819, soon after 
his stepmother came to the home. He was naturally quick in the acquisition 
of any sort of knowledge, and it is likely that by this time he could read and 
write a little. Mrs. Lincoln perceived that he was an unusually bright boy, and 
encouraged him all she could in his studies, and it was due to her efforts that he 
was able to attend school at all. It was necessary for him to work most of the 
time on the farm or in the shop, or hire out as a common laborer, in order to 
help support the family. If all the days which Abraham Lincoln attended 
school were added together, they would not make a single year's time, and he 
never studied grammar or geography or any of the higher branches in school. 
"Readin', writin' and cipherin'" was the limit. His first teacher in Indiana 
was Hazel Dorsey, who opened a school in a log school-house a mile and a half 
from the Lincoln cabin. The building had holes for windows, which were 
covered over with greased paper to admit light. The roof was just high enough 
for a man to stand erect. It did not take long to demonstrate that Abe was 
superior to any scholar in his class. His next teacher was Andrew Crawford, 
who taught in the winter of 1822-3, in the same little school-house. Abe was 
an excellent speller, and it is said that he liked to show off his knowledge, 
especially if he could help out his less fortunate schoolmates. One day the 
teacher gave out the word "defied." A large class was on the floor, but it seemed 
that no one would be able to spell it. The teacher declared he would keep the 
whole class in all day and night if " defied " was not spelled correctly. When 
the word came around to Katy Roby, she was standing where she could see 
Lincoln. She started, '^d-e-f," and while trying to decide whether to spell the 
word with an '^i" or a "y," she noticed that Abe had his finger on his eye and a 
smile on his face, and instantly took the hint. She spelled the word correctly, 
and the school was dismissed. 

Among other things which Crawford tried to teach was manners. One of 
the pupils would retire, and then come in as a stranger, and another pupil would 
have to introduce him to all the members of the school in what was considered 
"good manners." As Abe wore a linsey-woolsey shirt, buckskin breeches which 
were too short and very tight, and low shoes, and was tall and awkward, he no 



doubt created considerable merriment when his turn came. He was growing at 
a fearful rate; he was fifteen years of age, and two years later attained his full 
height of six feet four inches. Even at this early date he had learned to write 
compositions, and even some doggerel rhyme, which he recited, to the great 
amusement of his playmates. One of his first compositions was against cruelty 
to animals. He was very much annoyed and pained at the conduct of the boys, 
who were in the habit of catching terrapins and putting coals of fire on their 
backs, which thoroughly disgusted Abraham. '' He would chide us," said Nat 
Grrigsby, "tell us it was wrong, and would write against it." 

The third and last school which he attended was taught by Mr. Swaney, and 
was four and a half miles away. The distance was so great that he did not 


attend long. By this time he knew more than any of his teachers, but he con- 
tinued his studies wherever he happened to be, at home at nights, or in the fields 
during the day. He was not particularly energetic when it came to hard manual 
labor. When alone about his work his mind was on his lessons, and he would 
frequently stop and be lost in deep thought. If he had company, he was con- 
stantly laughing and talking, cracking jokes and telling stories. One time Abe 
said that his father taught him to work, but not to love it. He preferred to lie 
under a shade-tree, or up in the loft of the cabin, and read or cipher or scribble. 
At night he would sit before the fire and write on the shovel with charcoal. In 
the daytime he would write on boards, and then shave the marks off and begin 



His stepmother said: "Abe read diligently; he read every book he could lay 
his hands on, and when he came across a passage that struck him, he would write 
it down on boards, if he had no paper, and keep it there until he did get paper ; 
then he would rewrite, look at it, repeat it. He had a copy-book, a kind of 
scrap-book, in which he put down all things, and thus preserved them." 

When Abe was fourteen years of age, John Hanks came from Kentucky and 
lived with the Lincolns. He describes Abe's habits thus : " When Lincoln 
and I returned to the house from work, he would go to the cupboard, snatch a 
piece of corn-bread, take down a book, sit down on a chair, cock his legs up as 


high as his head, and read. He and I worked barefooted, grubbed it, plowed, 
mowed, cradled together; plowed corn, gathered it, and shucked corn. Abe 
read constantly when he had an opportunity,'" 

Among the books upon which Abe "laid his hands" were "JEsop's Fables," 
"Robinson Crusoe," Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," "History of the United 
States," and Weems' "Life of Washington." All these he read many times, and 
transferred extracts from them to the boards and the scrap-book, tie copied and 
worked out for himself nearly the whole of an arithmetic, some of the sheets of 
which are still in a fair state of preservation. 



About this time he discovered that a Mr. Turnham, deputy constable in the 
neighborhood, had a copy of the Revised Statutes of Indiana, and he would go 
to his house and read and re-read the book. He borrowed Weems' "Life of 
Washington " from a neighbor, Joseph Crawford (not the school-teacher). It is 
said that Lincoln fairly devoured this book, and when not reading it, placed it 
between the logs of the wall. One night, while asleep, a rain came up and soaked 
the book thoroughly with mud and water. Abe told Mr. Crawford how it hap- 
pened, and, as he had no money, offered to pay for it by work. Crawford agreed 

that if he would pull fodder 
three days he could have the 

About the house Abe was 
kind and generous. Both 
his father and Dennis Hanks 
were good story-tellers, and, 
no doubt, with Mrs. Lincoln 
and the three girls, they had 
many pleasant times togeth- 
er in their back-woods fash- 
ion. Abe had a very reten- 
tive memory. When he was 
in the field he would mount 
a stump and begin to lec- 
ture, sometimes in humorous 
and sometimes in serious 
style. On Monday mornings 
he would frequently repeat 
almost the entire sermon 
which he had heard the day 
before, and frequently his 
father would break up his 
"meetings" and hustle him 
off in no gentle manner. 

He was put to work in 
the carpenter-shop, but did 
not learn the trade. His father hired him out to the neighbors, and Abe was 
always willing to make the transfer. His wit, humor and honesty were well 
known, which made him welcome wherever he went. He was especially popular 
with the women. It is said he was always ready to make a fire, carry water or 
nurse the baby. 

In 1825, he worked for James Taylor, who lived at the mouth of Anderson's 
creek. He was here nine months, and his principal business was managing a 
ferry-boat plying the Ohio river and Anderson creek. He was compelled to act 
as a sort of " man-of-all-work " about the house and barn. He slept up-stairs with 




Taylor's son, who said that Abe read until nearly midnight, and got up before 
daylight. Green was a hard master, and once struck the poor boy with an ear of 
hard corn and cut a gash over his eye. Abe's strength caused him to be in 
demand at hog-killing time, at which he earned thirty-one cents a day; and that 
was considered good pay. 

He had never forgiven Joseph Crawford for making him pull fodder so long 
to pay for the "Life of Washington," and never lost an opportunity to crack a 
joke at his expense, Abe called him "Blue-nose Crawford," a name which stuck 
to him throughout his life. He worked for Crawford off and on. The first job 


was to daub up the cracks between the logs of his house. While here, he always 
kept up his reading, and found several books at the Crawfords' which he studied 
thoroughly. Abe's sister was a hired girl in this same house. Even at this early 
date Lincoln was a good wrestler, and he was never better pleased than when he 
could inveigle Mr. Crawford into a tussle, and generally took the opportunity to 
throw Crawford to the ground several times. He was stronger and taller than 
any man in the neighborhood. He could strike with a maul a heavier blow, and 
could sink an ax deeper into wood than any man in that part of the country, 
and at splitting rails he had no superior. 



There was an abundance of game in the Pigeon creek region, but Abe was 
not a hunter. He was a fair shot with a rifle, and killed some game, but he 
preferred to stay behind and read and talk, provided he had something to read. 
He did take part in the games and gatherings, and was found at the log-rollings 
and corn-huskings. If there was any literature to be written, especially for such 
occasions, Abe was called upon to do it. 

By this time Gentryville was quite a " center of business." It had a black- 
smith-shop, a store and a post-office. It was a great loitering-placefor the young 
men, and Abe was immensely popular. His sallies of mirth and humor never 
failed to attract a crowd around him. He worked about the store some, but 
never reached the dignity of selling goods across the counter. They would sit 
up late at nights and read the papers and talk politics and tell stories. The 


b-lacksmith-shop was another favorite loafing-place of Lincoln's, as Baldwin was 
himself a famous story-teller. One cold night while going home in company 
with some young men, they found a man who had fallen by the wayside, dead 
drunk. The boys refused to help him, so Lincoln took him up in his arms and 
carried him to a cabin, built a fire, and saved the man's life. 

Charles and Reuben Grigsby were married about this time, and returned 
home with their brides, when the infare feast and dance were held. Abe was 
not invited, and was very mad in consequence, his indignation finding vent in a 
highly descriptive piece of composition, entitled "The Chronicles of Reuben." 
They were sharp, witty and stinging. He dropped them on the road where the 
Grigsbys would find them. The Grigsbys were infuriated and wild with rage, and 
threatened to pound his face to a jelly and crack a couple of his ribs, but 



evidently Abe's tremendously long and muscular arms prevented them from try- 
ing it. What treasures of humor he must have wasted on that audience of 
"bumpkins!" In those days they had exhibitions or speaking-meetings in the 
school-house or church, and discussed such subjects as "The Bee and the Ant," 
" Water and Fire," " Which had the Most Right to Complain, ihe Negro or the 
Indian?" "Which was the Strongest, Wind or Water?" Abe's father was a Dem- 
ocrat, and at that time he agreed with him. He would frequently make political 
and other speeches to the boys and explain tangled questions. Booneville was 
the county-seat of Warrick county, situated about fifteen miles from Gentryville. 


Thither Abe walked to be present at the sittings of the court, and listened 
attentively to the trials and the speeches of the lawyers. One of the trials was 
that of a murderer. He was defended by Mr. John Breckinridge, and at the con- 
clusion of his speech Abe was so enthusiastic that he ventured to compliment 
him. Breckinridge looked at the shabby boy, thanked him, and passed on 
his way. Many years afterward, in 1862, Breckinridge called on the president, 
and he was told, "It was the best speech that I, up to that time, had ever heard. 
If I could, as I then thought, make as good a speech as that, my soul would be 
satisfied." At numerous times in Lincoln's youth, when his prospects of ever 



becoming president were apparently the slimmest of any boy living, he had hopes, 
and would assert that some day he would be a great man. Mrs. Crawford 
reproved him one day for bothering the girls in her kitchen, and asked him what 
he supposed would ever become of him, and he answered that he was going to be 
president of the United States. Abe usually did the milling for the family, and 
at firsb had to go a long distance, but later on a horse-mill was started near 
Gentryville. Abe hitched his ''old mare" to the mill and started her, with 
impatience. She did not move very lively, and he "touched her up" and started 
to say, " Get up, you old hussy ! " The words " get up " fell from his lips, and then 
he became unconscious, caused by a kick from the mare. After several hours he 


came to, and the first thing he said was, "You old hussy!" In after years he 
explained it thus: "Probably the muscles of my tongue had been set to speak the 
words when the animal's heels knocked me down, and my mind, like a gun, 
stopped half-cocked, and only went off when consciousness returned." 

About a mile and half from the Lincoln cabin there lived a Mr. William 
Wood, who took two papers, one political and one temperance. Abe borrowed 
them, and read them faithfully over and over again, and became inspired with 
an ardent desire to write something on the subjects himself. He accordingly 
composed an article on temperance, which Mr. Wood thought was excellent, and 
was forwarded by a Baptist preacher to an editor in Ohio, by whom it was pub- 



lished, to the infiEite gratification of Mr. Wood and his protege. Abe then tried his 
hand on national politics, which article was also published. In it he said: "The 
American government is the best form of government for an intelligent people. 
It ought to be kept sound, and preserved forever, that general education should 
be fostered and carried all over the country; that the Constitution should be 
saved, the Union perpetuated and the laws revered, respected and enforced." A 
lawyer named Pritchard chanced to pass that way, and, being favored with a 
perusal of Abe's " piece," declared that it was excellent, and had it printed in 
some obscure paper, causing the author an extraordinary access of pride. 

In 1828, at the age of nineteen, Abe began to grow restless. He wanted 
to leave home, and consulted Mr. Wood about it, who advised him to remain with 


his father until he should become of age. In the same spring, Abe went to work 
for a Mr. Gentry, and his son Allen and Lincoln took a flatboat-load of bacon 
and other produce to New Orleans. Abe was paid eight dollars per month, and 
ate and slept on board, and Gentry paid his passage back on the deck of a steam- 
boat. While the boat was loading at Gentry's Landing, near Rockport, on the 
Ohio, Miss Roby, the girl whom he had helped to spell " defied," watched them. 
She afterward became Allen Gentry's wife. She says: "One evening Abe and I 
were sitting on the boat, and I said to him that the sun was going down. ' That 
is not so; it don't really go down, it seems so. The earth turns from west to 
east, and the revolution of the earth carries us under, as it were. We do the 
sinking, as you call it.' I replied, 'Abe, what a fool you are!' I know now that 
I was the fool, not Lincoln." At Madame Bushane's plantation, six miles below 



Baton Rouge, while the boat was tied up to the shore in the dead hours of the 
night, and Abe and Allen were fast asleep in the bed, they were startled by foot- 
steps on board. They knew instantly that it was a gang of negroes come to rob 
and perhaps murder them. Allen, thinking to frighten the negroes, called out: 
"Bring the guns, Lincoln, and shoot them!" Abe came without the guns, but he 
fell among the negroes with a huge bludgeon and belabored them most cruelly, 
following them onto the bank. They rushed back to their boat and hastily 
put out into the stream. It is said that he received a scar in this tussle which he 
carried with him to his grave. It was on this trip that he saw the workings of 
slavery for the first time. The sight of New Orleans was like a wonderful pan- 
orama to his eyes, for never before had he seen wealth, beauty, fashion and cul- 
ture. He returned home with new and larger ideas and stronger opinions of right 
and injustice. , 

One day, while standing on the bank of the river, two passengers came up 
and asked to be taken to the steamer coming up the river. Abe agreed to take 
them out, and did so, and when he had them and their luggage on the boat, they 
threw him a silver half dollar each. One day, while the Cabinet was assembled 
in the White House, Mr. Lincoln related the incident to Seward, his secretary of 
state, and said: "I could scarcely believe my eyes. You may think it was a 
very little thing, but it was the most important instant of my life. I could 
scarcely believe that I, a poor boy, had earned a dollar in less than a day. The 
world seemed wider and fairer to me, and I was a more hopeful and confident 
being from that time." 



THE '' milk-sickness " was still prevalent in Indiana, and for this and other 
reasons a letter received from John Hanks, formerly of Elizabethtown, Ken- 
tucky, then of Decatur, Illinois, speaking of the vast reaches of prairie in his 
state, the richness of the soil, the winding rivers and creeks, and the beautiful 
groves of oak, rnaple and elm, met with a ready reception in the elder Lincoln's 
mind. Hanks promised that if Thomas Lincoln would come to Illinois he would 
sielect a quarter-section of land for him and have the logs cut for a cabin. Immi- 
gration had already set in, largely, to Illinois from Kentucky. One of the step- 
daughters had married Levi Hall and the other Dennis Hanks, and all were 
willing to go. Abe's sister had married Aaron Grigsby, and in two years died. 
There were no dear friends to be left behind. Abe was now of age, but 
ready to cast his lot in with the rest. It was a long and tedious journey, but 
by early spring, in the year 1830, they could reach the end. They passed 
through snow, sleet, rain, mud and chilling winds; the rivers were filled with ice 
or overflowing their banks; they usually slept at night in their wagons. The 
father received the hearty co-operation of his stalwart son, who drove the team 
of four yoke of oxen, swung the ax to split rails to build a temporary shelter, 
and when the wagon sank in the mire, he put his shoulder to the wheel. 

A little dog accompanied them, and the tenderness of Abe's heart is shown by 
the fact that one day when the dog was unwittingly left behind, howling, on the 
farther side of a stream, Abraham Lincoln had not the heart to leave it. Bare- 
footed, he jumped into the water, crossed the stream, took the dog in his arms, 
and waded back with him, very much to the satisfaction of Abraham, and 
certainly very much to the delight of the dog. 

At the spot near Decatur where Thomas Lincoln settled were found the logs 
which John Hanks had promised, ready for the new house, and Abraham Lincoln, 
"wearing a jean jacket, shrunken buckskin trousers, a coonskin cap, and driving 
an ox-team," became a citizen of Illinois. He was physically and mentally 
equipped for pioneer work. His first desire was to obtain a new and decent 
suit of clothes, but as he had no money, he was glad to arrange with Nancy 
Miller to make him a pair of trousers, he to split four hundred fence-rails for 
each yard of cloth — fourteen hundred rails in all. It was three miles from his 




father's cabin to her wood-lot, where he made the forest ring with the sound of his 
ax. Abraham had helped his father plow fifteen acres of land, and split enough 
rails to fence it, and he then helped to plow fifty acres for another settler. 

Abraham now being over twenty-one, there was no one to restrain him from 
leaving home. He had been faithful to his parents, and there were no ties that 
bound him to his old associates, unless it was his good stepmother. He was free, 
and could go and do what he pleased, and attempt those things which were 
nearest his heart; but where he would find them, or how he would secure them, 
was a problem unsolved. 

Illinois, now an empire with a commercial capital of over four million 
people, had in 1830 a little over fifty thousand inhabitants. Judge Arnold tells 


(Her grave is marked by the stone under flag.) 

US that the Indian word from which the name of the state was derived was 
"Illini," signifying the "Land of full-grown men." 

Thomas Lincoln moved at least three times in search of a location, and finally 
settled on Goosenest Prairie, in Coles county, near Farmington, where he died, 
in 1851, at the ripe old age of seventy-three. He had mortgaged his little farm 
of forty acres for two hundred dollars, but Abraham had paid the debt and taken 
a deed of the land, which contained the clause, "With a reservation of a life 
estate therein to them or the survivor of them." As soon as Abraham got up a 
little in the world, he began to send his stepmother money, and continued to do 
so until his own death. Sarah Bush Lincoln died April 10, 1869. 

It was in April, 1830, that Lincoln left home for good. He did not go far, 
but sought work in the neighborhood among the settlers. Rail-splitting seemed 
to be the favorite kind of work. In March, 1831, he was fortunate in meeting a 


. 1 1 -.1 Jt^^ ^^_^^^.^^ f \ '.111 i 




singular character known as Denton Offutt, of Springfield. Offutt was enter- 
prising and aggressive, full of spirits in more senses than one, and kept things 
moving along the line of the Sangamon. This man, who was at that time buy- 
ing produce for the New Orleans market, employed Lincoln, John Hanks and 
John Johnston to make a trip to New Orleans. They went down the Sangamon 
to Jamestown, and walked to Springfield. It was but two years since Lincoln had 
made the trip for Mr. Gentry, of Gentryville, Indiana, with Gentry's son Allen, and 
therefore he knew something of the river, and of the great city near its mouth. 

Offutt agreed to pay the three young men fifty cents a day each, and sixty 
dollars for the trip, besides boarding them. He agreed to have the boat ready for 


them at Judy's Ferry, five miles from Springfield, but after they had rowed down 
the Sangamon to Springfield, they found Offutt exercising his social qualities 
with the guests of the Buckhorn tavern, and increasing at a lively rate the 
profits of the bar. But there was no boat. A boat was the first recjuisite for 
the trip, and Offutt finally employed the boys to build one. Abraham was to 
have charge of its construction, and he was well qualified for the task. Trees 
on the government reservation, for which they had to pay nothing, were cut 
down, and the ax, the saw, the chisel and the auger were used in the work. 
Abraham, the "boss," did the cooking. 

Two giants of the forest were hewed into timbers for the sides of the boat, to 
"which the planks for the bottom, which had been sawed out at Kirkpatrick's 



sawmill, near by, were stoutly pinned, and the seams were calked and then 
pitched. It was a strong boat. Lincoln had had experience in building boats 
with his father, and knew just what to do and how to do it. The launching 
was a great affair. Offutt came out from Springfield with a large party and an 
ample supply of whisky, to give the boat and its builders a send-off. It was a 
sort of bipartizari mass-meeting, but 
there was one prevailing spirit, that 
born of rye and corn. Speeches 
were made in the best of feeling, 
some in favor of Andrew Jackson 
and some in favor of Henry Clay. 
Abraham Lincoln, the cook, told a 
number of funny stories, and it is 
recorded that they were not of too 
refined a character to suit the taste 
of his audience. A sleight-of-hand 
performer was present, and among 
other tricks performed, he fried some 
eggs in Lincoln's hat. Judge Hern- 
don says, as explanatory to the delay 
in passing up the hat for the exper- 
iment, Lincoln drolly observed: "It 
was out of respect for the eggs, 
not care for my hat." 

The boat was loaded with pork 
and beef in barrels, pork on foot, 
and corn. April 19, 1831, the boat 
and its load left Sangamon, and 
floated down the river toward New 
Salem, a town destined to be for 
awhile the scene of Lincoln's activ- 
ities. A Mr. Rutledge, Mr. Coffin 
states, "had built a dam at a bend 
in the river and erected a mill on 
the western bank. The boat, instead 
of gliding over the dam, hung fast 
upon it. It was necessarily a pon- 
derous affair in itself, and was 

heavily loaded. Lincoln was the man to discover a way out of the difficulty. 
Some of the barrels of pork and beef at the bow, "the forward end," as Mr. 
Coffin writes, were taken on shore. The boat, as a result of insufficient calking, 
was partly filled with water. Lincoln bored a hole, with a large auger, in the 
bottom of the end projecting over the dam, and the water ran out. Then the 
hole was plugged, the barrels near the stern rolled up in front, and the boat was 




floated successfully over the dam, reloaded, and went on its way. The people of 
New Salem were gathered on the banks, and recognized, with deep interest, the 
skill of the captain of the boat. A board sail which Lincoln had put up, for lack 
of canvas, excited much amusement at New Salem, Beardstown, Alton, St. Louis 
and other points on the route. 

Offutt had purchased an additional number of pigs at Blue Bank, to put on 
board. Squire Grodbey, of whom he bought them, and the three men undertook 
to drive them on board, but they refused to be driven. Lincoln had their eye- 
lids sewed together, but that did not make the undertaking a bit more practi- 
cable. Finally, they were taken up, one by one, and carried on the boat. Lincoln 
then cut the threads from the eyes of the pigs, and the party proceeded on the 




IN this season o£ the year the trip down the majestic Mississippi, as she 
passes each day into a warmer atmosphere, is especially interesting, and 
Lincoln was daily learning more of life, and of the breadth and grandeur of the 
country over the destinies of which, thirty years afterward, he was to preside. 
Memphis, Vicksburg and Natchez were passed, after short stops at each, and 
Lincoln was again at a city which, in his eyes and in those of his companions, 
was a great metropolis. He saw the old sights and some new ones, and what he 
saw not only added to his knowledge of men and things, but stimulated his 
moral and humane impulses. 

He had seen slaves in Kentucky when he was a small boy, and occasionally 
one in Illinois, nominally — by virtue of the Ordinance of 1787 — a free state. 
But now, in his strolls about various portions of the city, he saw slaves from 
Kentucky and Tennessee, marching along on their way to sugar-cane and cotton 
plantations, and he finally came to a slave auction. Here men and women were 
sold from the block. His interest and his latent generous sympathies were 
touched by this sad, extraordinary sight. Human beings were treated like 
cattle, only worse. Comely maidens, sensitive, apprehensive, trembling, stood 
upon the block and were brutally handled by men who intended purchasing, and 
by others who merely wished to gratify their brutal tastes and propensities. 
The women and girls were pinched, coarsely questioned, made the objects of 
sport, their mouths opened and examined; and they were driven about to show 
whether they were sound in foot and limb, and then sold to men of whom they 
could know nothing and from whom they could only expect the worst. Hus- 
bands, wives and children wept as they were separated, in most instances never 
to meet in this world again. 

What a spectacle was this in the American republic, the land of fieedcm, in 
which the Declaration of Independence had been adopted a little over half a 
century before! It is not strange that Abraham Lincoln's heart was profoundly 
stirred and that the hot iron of this terrible wrong went into his soul. Just 
what Lincoln said on this occasion is not definitely known, as different versions 
are given, and some biographers deny that he said anything. But as to what he 
meant it is not difficult to guess. One of his biographers (Coffin) states that he 




said, with "quivering lips and soul on fire," to John Hanks: "John, if I ever 
get a chance to hit that institution, I'll hit it hard, by the Eternal God!" If he 
didn't say it, he ought to have done so. It is undoubtedly true that he felt it; 
and Judge Herndon says that Lincoln told him that he said it. The apparent 
profanity can be easily excused when the provocation is borne in mind. This 
was no doubt a crucial period in Lincoln's life. It gave him something to think 
about for long years, and when he came on the field of action, not long after- 
ward, when the institution of slavery became a political problem, he felt that he 
had personal knowledge and had had a vivid experience as to its true nature. 


The produce was disposed of at satisfactory prices. OfiPutt had gone down to 
New Orleans to attend to the selling, and he, Lincoln, Hanks and Johnston 
boarded a steamboat and started up the river. Judge Arnold quotes Lincoln's 
companions on the trip homeward as attempting to describe his indignation and 
grief.. They said, "His heart bled; ... he was mad, thoughtful, 
abstracted, sad and depressed." Lincoln had been among people who were 
believers in premonitions and supernatural appearances all his life, and he once 
declared to his friends that he was "from boyhood superstitious." He said to 
the judge that "the near approach of the important events of his life were 
indicated by a presentiment or a strange dream, or in some other mysterious way 
it was impressed upon him that something important was to occur." 



There is an old tradition that on this visit to New Orleans he and his com- 
panion, John Hanks, visited an old fortune-teller — a voodoo negress. Tradition 
says that ''during the interview she became very much excited, and after various 
predictions exclaimed: 'You will be president, and all the negroes will be free.' 
That the old voodoo negress should have foretold that the visitor would be 
president is not at all incredible. She doubtless told this to many aspiring lads, 
but the prophecy of the freedom of the slaves lacks confirmation." 

The boat stopped at St. Louis, Offutt remaining to purchase goods for the 
"store" he was to establish at New Salem, and his companions continuing their 
journey on foot across the country to Farmington, where Thomas Lincoln was 


indulging in his marked propensity by putting up a new house. This time it 
was a two-roomed structure. It was also made of hewed logs, and Abraham 
remained here a month, giving his father efficient help. 

On an appointed day Abraham was to meet Offutt at New Salem, but while 
he was tarrying at Farmington his large dimensions attracted attention, and a 
certain Daniel Needham, the "champion wrestler of Coles county," began to 
resent the invasion of his territory by this big-limbed interloper. Needham had 
placed all of his muscular neighbors on their backs at one time or another, and 
was not slow to talk or to fight. Lincoln received from him a special challenge, 
and readily accepted it, and time and place were agreed upon. At Wabash Point 



the battle came off, and Needham, after a brief struggle, was placed on the) 
ground, flat on his back. Greatly chagrined, the defeated athlete demanded 
another trial, which was readily granted, with a like result. 

On the day appointed, Lincoln became a citizen of New Salem. He was to 
be a clerk in Offutt's new store. He was now in a new atmosphere and in new 
surroundings, and was to attempt to carry on a new business. Lincoln had 


paddled down the river in a canoe and landed at Rutledge's mill. Offutt was 
there to welcome him and escort him to New Salem, then a prosperous village, 
located on a bluff a hundred feet high, and surrounded by an expanse of fertile fields 
and pastures. The Sangamon river skirted the base of the bluff, and presented a 
fine view from the summit. North of the town was the old mill over the dam 
of which Lincoln had taken his fiatboat. Of the surrounding country Judge 



Herndon writes: "The country in almost every direction is diversified by alter- 
nate stretches of hills and level lands, with streams between each, struggling to 
reach the river. The hills are bearded with timber — oak, hickory, walnut, ash 
and elm. Below them are stretches of rich alluvial bottom land, and the eye 
ranges over a vast expanse of foliage, the monotony of which is relieved by th-e 
alternating swells and depressions of the landscape. Between peak and peak, 
through its bed of limestone, sand and clay, sometimes kissing the feet of one 
bluff and then hugging the other, rolls the Sangamon river." Fine scenery 
often influences for good an impressionable and appreciative young person. . 


The site of New Salem, laid out in 1828, is now a desert. In 1836, it is said 
to have had twenty houses and one hundred inhabitants. "How it vanished," 
one writer observes, "like a mist in the morning, to what distant place its 
inhabitants dispersed, and what became of the abodes they left behind, shall be 
questions for the local historian." One of these inhabitants, only twenty-eight 
years afterward, became an honored occupant of the White House. 

Lincoln was nominally Offutt's clerk, but he had a few days of leisure before 
the goods arrived from St. Louis, which time he employed in making the acquain- 



tance of as many of the people as possible. In the interval the annual election: 
came around. A Mr. Graham was clerk, but his assistant was absent, and it was 
necessary to find a man to fill his place. Lincoln, a "tall young man," had 
already concentrated on himself the attention of the people of the town, and Mr.' 
Grraham easily discovered him. Asking him if he could write, he modestly 
replied, " I can make a few rabbit-tracks." His rabbit-tracks proving to be leg- 
ible and even graceful, he was employed. The voters soon discovered that the 
new assistant clerk was honest and fair, and performed his duties satisfactorily, 
and when, the work done, he began to " entertain them with stories," they dis- 
covered that their town had made a valuable personal and social acquisition. 


During this interval an incident occurred that gave Lincoln something to do. 
One of the citizens, a^Dr. Nelson, decided to remove to Texas with his family 
and goods, and employed Lincoln to take him to Beardstown, where he could 
take a steamboat for St. Louis. The family and their household furniture and 
other articles were put on a flatboat and floated down the Sangamon to the 
Illinois river. The water was low, but the journey was safely accomplished. 

Now began Lincoln's life as a "storekeeper." On the eighth of July, Offutt 
received permission from the county authorities to "retail merchandise at New 
Salem." The value of the goods was put at one thousand dollars — a large sum, 
in those days, in a small town. A man worth ten thousand dollars cut as large 



a figure as a man of the present day who assumes to be worth half a million. 
The building was a little log house. Dry-goods and groceries composed the 
stock, and doubtless there were other articles not included in these terms. Any- 
thing the people were thought likely to buy was kept, and sold when called for. 
Lincoln commenced business as a merchant, but he was not a business man, 
neither by nature nor training, and never became one. 

At this period he found something much more attractive to him than the 
selling of goods, or of receiving money for them. It was Samuel Kirkham's 


English grammar, printed in Cincinnati, by N. and G. Guilford, in 1828. Gray- 
headed men of the present day do not recall this work with very pleasant recollec- 
tions, but Lincoln found it exceedingly interesting — so much so that he may have 
neglected the little business which came straggling into the store. But he gave 
the book a thorough study, and he could soon repeat the rules and suggestions, 
word for word, and knew how to apply them. He learned how to construct 
sentences clearly &,nd in understandable English. To this may be credited the 
fact that nobody who ever listened to Abraham Lincoln in later days failed to 
understand what he said or what he meant. To an acquaintance (Mentor Gra- 



ham) he was indebted for the knowledge of the book, and he walked several 
miles to the house of a man named Vaner to obtain it. 

Lincoln had periods in which there was nothing for him to do, and was 
therefore in circumstances that made laziness almost inevitable. Had people 
come to him for goods, they would have found him willing to sell them. He 
sold all that he could, doubtless. The store soon became the social center of the 
village. If the people did not care (or were unable) to buy goods, they liked to 
go where they could talk with their neighbors and listen to stories. These Lin- 
coln gave them in abundance, and of a rare sort. Afterward Lincoln obtained a 
text-book on mathematics, and made good use of it. He never took a book in 

hand that he did not master. 

As much, however, as Lin- 
coln lacked business training 
and the tact one requires to 
sell goods, his integrity was 
unquestioned. He watched the 
interest of his customers as 
much as that of his employer; 
he neglected neither. He early 
acquired the title of "Honest 
Abe," and many anecdotes are 
told of his square dealings. If 
he made a mistake in reckon- 
ing or in weighing, he was 
quick to rectify it. One day 
he found that a woman had 
paid him six and a quarter 
cents more than was due, and 
when the store was closed for 
the night, he hastened to cor- 
rect the mistake, although she 
lived two miles away. 

There were some rough peo- 
ple in the neighborhood. One of them used profane and vile language in the 
presence of some women, and Lincoln showed his gentlemanly instincts and true 
gallantry by resenting the afEront. Herndon, in his "Life of Abraham Lincoln," 
gives the following account of the affair: 

"'Do not use such language,' said Lincoln. 

"'Who are you? I will swear when and where I please. I can lick you,' 
said the fellow. 

"'When the ladies are goae I will let you have a chance to do so.' 
"The ladies departed, and the man dared Lincoln to touch him. Suddenly he 
found himself lying flat upon his back, with blows falling upon him like the 
strokes of a hammer." 




About eight miles from New Salem was a little place called Clary's Grove. 
The young men of that neighborhood had become, by their pugnacity and 
prowess, a "power in the land." They were muscular and aggressive. They 
were greatly addicted to larks, and were not at all particular as to the 
depredations they committed. Judge Herndon, who had a cousin living at New 
Salem, and who "knew personally" many of the "boys," describes them as 
follows : 

"They were friendly and good-natured; they could trench a pond, dig a bog, 
build a house; they could pray or fight, make a village or create a state. They 


would do almost anything for sport or fun, love or necessity. Though rude and 
rough, though life's forces ran over the edge of the bowl, foaming and sparkling 
in pure deviltry for deviltry's sake, yet place before them a poor man who needed 
their aid, a lame or sick man, a defenseless woman, a widow or an orphaned 
child, they melted into sympathy and charity at once. They gave all they had, 
and willingly toiled or played cards for more. Though there never was under 
the sun a more generous parcel of rowdies, a stranger's introduction to them was 
likely to be the most unpleasant part of his acquaintance with them." 


Denton OfEutt was very proud of Lincoln, and was not at all reserved in his 
language when boasting of Abe's merits. He declared — was it with a prophet's 
prescience? — that he was "the smartest man in the United States," and pro- 
claimed far and wide that Lincoln could "lift more, throw farther, run faster, 
jamp higher and wrestle better than any man in Sangamon county!" There 
were a number of Armstrongs at Clary's Grove, and they were the chief among 
the " terrors" of the locality. They are said to have ridden through the neighbor- 
hood at night, whooping and swearing and frightening women and children. 
Hearing of Offutt's boasting, the boys were aroused, and determined to humble 
this new rival in the esteem of their fellow-citizens. They had no doubt that 
they could easily dispose of him, and one of the gang declared that Jack Arm- 
strong would put Offutt's clerk on his back in a twinkling; but Lincoln's employer 
said that Lincoln would use Armstrong to wipe his feet on. Bill Clary then 
offered to bet that Jack was the better fellow, and Offutt took it, Lincoln con- 
senting to a friendly wrestle. The match was arranged, and when the day 
arrived, there was much local excitement, and a large audience. The contest began 
— it was a severe struggle. None of Armstrong's usual devices seemed to work, and 
"Armstrong soon discovered that he had met his match. Neither could for some 
time throw the other, and Armstrong, convinced of this, tried a foul." This 
aroused Lincoln's anger, and a bystander says: "Lincoln no sooner realized the 
game of his antagonist than, furious with indignation, he caught him by the 
throat, and holding him out at arm's length, shook him like a child." Arm- 
strong's friends rallied to his aid, but Lincoln held his own, and a little more, 
and an era of good feeling was soon organized. Even Jack Armstrong himself 
declared that Lincoln was "the best fellow whoever broke into the camp." 
That day the championship was transferred to Abraham Lincoln. He was the 
"best man" of the neighborhood, but in addition to being the champion, he was 
also a peacemaker. The Armstrongs became stout and lifelong friends of 
Lincoln, who had by his show of pluck and strength become immensely popular. 

Much as Lincoln had learned from Kirkham, he had something to learn as to 
the sort of literature a practical knowledge of grammar could produce. Mr. 
Greorge D. Prentice's Louisville Journal came regularly to the local postmaster, 
who was, almost as a matter of course, one of Lincoln's many friends, and to 
whom he was indebted for the reading of this fine, strong public journal, as famous 
then as Mr. Henry Watterson's Courier-Journal is now for clear English and a 
masterly treatment of current problems. Not only did Lincoln learn from this 
newspaper the news of the day, but he was greatly instructed by its bright, 
strong and able editorials. 

Lincoln took much interest in local affairs. He was, as a matter of course, 
familiar with the important political and economical issues of the day involved 
in what were called internal improvements, the making of roads, canals, etc., by 
the general government as a means of developing the resources of the country. 
Lincoln favored this policy, much discussed at the time, and as a man of public 
spirit, he at once began to try to make a local application of the principle. 



The Sangamon river, he thought, might be navigated. Much interest was man- 
ifested, and it was not long before Lincoln became the representative and cham- 
pion of the idea. Indeed, he made several little speeches in favor of it. The 
Sangamon had been navigated up to this time only by canoes, flatboats and rafts 
Therefore, when Captain Vincent Bogue, of Springfield, in the spring of 1832, 
went to Cincinnati to buy a steamboat, Avith which he proposed to navigate the 
Sangamon and to connect Springfield and New Salem with tide-water, the people 


went wild. The steamer ''Talisman" was purchased at Cincinnati and was 
started on its way down the Ohio; then steamed up the Mississippi and the 
Illinois to the vicinity of Alton, and thence up the Sangamon to the point in 
that stream nearest Springfield. 

New Salem was a small town, but at once it was accepted as a fact that it 
had a great future. Certainly it had "great expectations." Captain Bogue had 
inflated views as to the success of his enterprise, and at once made great promises. 
The round trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis was to be made once a week, and the 



merchants of Springfield advertised new goods " direct from the East, per steamer 
Talisman." Mails were also to be received once a week by steamer. All the 
land in the neighborhood of Springfield, New Salem and other towns on the 
river was platted and cut up into town lots. Many of the people seemed (to 
themselves) to be already rich. At Captain Bogue's suggestion, a number of 
men — Lincoln among them — went down from New Salem, with long-handled axes, 
to a point near Beardstown, to meet the boat as she entered the mouth of the 
Sangamon, and to cut away the branches on either side, so that she could pass 
on up the stream. Judge Herndon writes that he "and other boys on horseback 
followed the boat, riding along the river's bank as far as Bogue's mill, where she 
tied up; there we went aboard, and, lost in boyish wonder, feasted our eyes on 
the splendor of her interior decoration." Great excitement was created all along 
the route. Few of the people had ever seen a steamboat. 

All Springfield was aroused, and materialized in full force at the landing. 
The people had been organizing themselves for the red-letter day in the history 
of the town. A grand reception awaited the captain and his crew, and the 
captain (not Captain Bogue) was prepared to make the most of an opportunity 
that never came to him again. A reception and a dance at the court-house were 
given to him and his men, and a gaudily attired woman whom he announced as 
"his wife." But the captain and his " wife" were both soon under the influence 
of ardent spirits, and Springfield's cultivated and refined ladies very naturally 
took offense and withdrew. Society was shocked to learn, the next day, that the 
woman was no wife, but an adventuress who had been picked up on the way to 

The Talisman remained a week at the landing, and the water in the river 
lowering, it was thought best to steam on down the several rivers to St. Louis. 
Much difficulty was encountered at various points, but Abraham Lincoln and 
Judge Herndon's brother were on deck and piloted her down to Beardstown. She 
then steamed down the Mississippi to St. Louis, where she caught fire at the 
warf and was burned to the water's edge. That was the last of the navigation 
of the Sangamon by steamboats, except in theory. Canoes, skiffs and flatboats 
have had no rivals there since that time. 



WE now come to an historical event of some importance — the breaking out, 
and the prosecution to its conclusion, of what is called the Black Hawk 
war. If it did nobody else any good, it was of benefit to Abraham Lincoln, as 
it opened to him an opportunity to do something for his country, but especially 
for himself. Denton OfEutt, his old employer, had failed and removed elsewhere. 
Subsequent events showed that he became a resident of Baltimore, and pre- 
sented to the public a scheme for taming wild horses by whispering in their ears. 
Captain Bogue's Talisman bubble bursted, leaving Lincoln disappointed and adrift. 

In April, 1832, the people were startled by the appearance of a circular, 
which was scattered everywhere. It was an address to and a call upon the 
militia of the northwestern portion of the state, from Governor Reynolds, to 
rendezvous within a week at Beardstown, to repel an invasion by the Sac and 
other Indians, led by the famous Black Hawk. This great chief had formerly 
occupied the northwestern portion of the state, but on June 30, 1831, had 
solemnly promised Governor Reynolds and General Gaines, of the United States 
army, that none of his tribe should ever cross the Mississippi "to their usual 
place of residence, nor to any part of their old hunting-grounds east of the Mis- 
sissippi, without permission of the president of the United States or the governor 
of the state of Illinois." The land formerly owned by the Indians was in 1804 
sold to the United States government, but "with the provision that the Indians 
should hunt and raise corn there until it was surveyed and sold to settlers." 

Black Hawk resisted the encroachments of the squatters, who had proved, 
like many another pioneer community of whites, to be the aggressors. But the 
whites, although the line agreed upon was fifty miles to the eastward, persisted 
in evading, both the letter and spirit of the agreement, and Black Hawk, 
aggrieved, exasperated and broken-hearted, announced a theory that has been 
exploited by latter-day theorists. " My reason teaches me," Black Hawk wrote, 
"that land cannot he sold. The Great Spirit gave it to his children to live upon 
and cultivate, as far as it is necessary for their subsistence; and so long as they 
occupy and cultivate it, they have the right to the soil; but if they voluntarily 
leave, then any other people have a right to settle upon it. Nothing can he sold 
hut such things as can he carried aivay." 




Black Hawk had been known throughout the territory as an able and aggres- 
sive warrior, and as one who had sympathized and co-operated with the enemies 
o£ the country, especially. the British. Here, however, he was justified in feeling 
that he had been wronged. He had not been allowed to plant his corn on the 
lands set aside to him for that purpose, and it is not strange that he was persuaded 
by another famous Indian (White Cloud, the prophet) to invade the Rock river 
country in 1831, and try to drive back the squatters. But he was driven back, 
and his wrongs were not righted. At this time he signed a formal treaty never 
to return east of the Mississippi. 

Now Black Hawk, in his old age — at sixty-seven — became, in turn, the 
aggressor. He regretted that he had " touched the goose-quill " to the treaty. 

Bad counsels of White Cloud " and 
his disciple Neapope,'' a promise of 
"guns, ammunition and provisions" 
from the British, his own treachery 
and obstinacy, and the hope of suc- 
cess, inspired him to trample upon 
treaties and to make another trial. 
On April 6, 1832, he crossed the 
Mississippi with about five hundred 
braves and his squaws and children, 
and advanced to Prophetstown, thirty- 
five miles up Rock river. It was ten 
days afterward that Governor Rey- 
nolds' proclamation and call for the 
services of the militia to assemble 
within a week at Beardstown, on the 
Illinois river, was issued. Lincoln, 
with nothing to do, and anxious to 
do .something, dropped a personal 
canvass which he was then making 
in the interest of his own candidacy 
for a seat in the Illinois Legislature, 
and was one of the first to volunteer. A company was promptly raised, and by 
the twenty-second of April the men were at Beardstown. 

Lincoln's personal campaign had here a little variation, but was really con- 
tinued. He had worked for awhile, some time before, in a sawmill for a man 
named William Kirkpatrick, who had broken faith with him in a business trans- 
action. Kirkpatrick pressed to the front and announced himself as a candidate 
for the captaincy. Lincoln, who had what politicians now call a "knife in his 
boot-leg," also announced himself as a candidate. His accounts with Kirkpat- 
rick were squared by the result of the canvass. He took one position and Kirk- 
patrick another, the adherents of each gathering around their favorite— three 
fourths of the men around Lincoln, much to his surprise, as he afterward declared. 




The men of the country proved to be a lot of very independent citizens, each 
with ideas and a will of his own. Each man also had a "uniform'' of his own, 
but all knew how to handle and operate a gun. Coonskin caps and buckskin 
breeches were the prevailing style. But the captain and his men were without 
any sort of military knowledge, and both were forced to acquire such knowledge 
by attempts at drilling. Which was the more awkward, the " squad " or the com- 
mander, it would have been- difficult to decide. In one of Lincoln's earliest mil- 
itary problems was involved the process of getting his company " endwise " 
through a gate. Finally he shouted, "This company is dismissed for two min- 
utes, when it will fall in again on the other side of the gate!" 

Lincoln was one of the first of his company to be arraigned for unmilitary 
conduct. Contrary to the rules he fired, 
a gun -"within the limits," and had 
his sword taken from him. The next 
infringement of rules was by the men, 
who stole a quantity of liquor, drank 
it, and became unfit for duty, strag- 
gling out of the ranks the next day, 
and not getting together again until 
late at night. For allowing this 
lawlessness the captain was condemned 
to wear a wooden sword for two days. 
These were merely interesting but 
trivial incidents of the campaign. 
Lincoln was at the very first popular 
with his men, although one of them 
told him to " go to the devil," and he 
was daily showing qualities that in- 
creased their respect and admiration. 

One day a poor old Indian came 
into the camp with a paper of safe 
conduct from General Lewis Cass in 
his possession. The members of the 

company were greatly exasperated by late Indian barbarities, among them the 
horrible murder of a number of women and children, and were about to kill him ; 
they affected to believe that the safe-conduct paper was a forgery, and approached 
the old savage with muskets cocked to shoot him, when Lincoln rushed forward, 
struck up the weapons with his hands, and standing in front of the victim, 
declared to the Indian that he should not be killed. It was with great difficulty 
that the men could be kept from their purpose, but the courage and firmness 
of Lincoln thwarted them. 

Lincoln's fame as a wrestler was somewhat diminished in this campaign. A 
man named Thompson (as Judge Herndon relates), a soldier from Union county, 
managed to throw him twice in succession. Lincoln's men declared that Thomp- 




son had been unfair, that he had been guilty of " foul tactics," and that Lincoln's 
defeat was due to a "dog fall." Lincoln, however, showed his true character by- 
declaring that Thompson had acted fairly. William L. Wilson stated to Judge 
Herndon that in this campaign he wrestled with Lincoln, " two best in three," 
and "ditched" him. Lincoln was not satisfied, and the two tried a foot-race for a 
five-dollar bill, Wilson coming out ahead. 

Naturally, under the circumstances, food was scarce, and the men learned the 
military art of " subsisting on the country," in which there was very little to 
subsist. One day a dove was caught and an unlimited amount of very- weak 
soup was made. Chickens as tough as the hardy pioneers were found about the 

deserted cabins of the squatters, and 
roasted and devoured. They supple- 
mented fresh pork nicely, and the 
voracious appetites of the men, 
whetted by their exposure and hard- 
ships, made their fare delicious. 

On the twenty-seventh of April, 
sixteen hundred men were organized 
into regiments and moved to the 
seat of the war. The weather was 
severe, and mud abounded in the 
roads. But the men were hardy 
and muscular, and made light of the 
unfavorable conditions. Passing 
Yellow Banks, on the Mississippi, 
they reached Dixon, on Rock river, 
on the twelfth of May, and here, as 
Miss Tarbell states, "occurred the 
first bloodshed of the war." From 
Miss Tarbell's book we have a 
graphic account of Major Stillman's 
campaign and treachery: "A body 
of about three hundred and forty 
rangers, not of the regular army, 
under Major Stillman, asked to go ahead as scouts, to look for a body of Indians, 
under Black Hawk, rumored to be about twelve miles away. The permission was 
given, and on the night of May 14, 1832, Stillman and his men went into camp. 
Black Hawk heard of their presence. By this time the poor old chief had 
discovered that the promises of aid from the Indian tribes and the British were 
false, and, dismayed, had resolved to recross the Mississippi." 

If he had been unmolested at this time, the famous Black Hawk war would 
have ceased without the shedding of a drop of blood. Miss Tarbell's narrative 
proceeds as follows: "When he heard that the whites were near, he sent three 
braves with a white flag to ask for a parley, and permission to descend the river. 



Behind them he sent five men to watch proceedings. Stillman's rangers were 
in camp when the bearers of the flag of truce appeared. The men were many of 
them half drunk, and when they saw the Indian truce-bearers, they rushed out 
in a wild mob and ran them into camp. Then catching sight of the five spies, 
they started after them, killing two. The three who reached Black Hawk 
reported that the truce-bearers had been killed, as well as their two companions. 
Furious at this violation of faith. Black Hawk 'raised a yell,' and declared to the 
forty braves — all he had with him — that they must have revenge." 

That Black Hawk's attack was vigorous and deadly does not need to be said. 
Stillman and his men were in search of the Indians, and they found them, to 
their sorrow. To Black Hawk's surprise, the rangers turned in dismay and put 
their legs to the best possible use, distancing the Indians, and never stopped run- 
ning until they reached Dixon, twelve miles away, at midnight. 

Among the men whom Captain Lincoln met in this campaign were Lieuten- 
ant-colonel Zachary Taylor, Lieutenant Jefferson Davis, and Lieutenant Robert 
Anderson, of the United States army. Judge 
Arnold, in his "Life of Abraham Lincoln," relates 
that Lincoln and Anderson did not meet again until 
some time in 1861. After Anderson had evacuated 
Fort Sumter, on visiting Washington, he called at 
the White House to pay his respects to the pres- 
ident. Lincoln expressed his thanks to Anderson 
for his conduct at Fort Sumter, and then said: 

" Major, do you remember of ever meeting me ^^''^^^^^^^^^^^^^P 

"No, Mr. President, I have no recollection of 
ever having had that pleasure." 


"My memory is better than yours," said Lincoln; 
"you mustered me into the service of the United States in 1832, at Dixon's 
Ferry, in the Black Hawk war." 

When a member of Congress, Mr. Lincoln, in one of his speeches in reply to 
extravagant claims of heroism set up for General Lewis Cass, then a candidate 
for the presidency against General Zachary Taylor, said : 

"By the way, Mr. Speaker, did you know of my military heroism? Yes, sir, 
in the days of the Black Hawk war I fought, bled and came away. Speaking of 
General Cass' career reminds me of my own. I was not at Stillman's defeat, but 
I was about as near to it as Cass was to Hull's surrender, and, like him, I saw the 
place very soon afterward. It is quite certain that I did not break my sword, 
for I had none to break, but I bent my musket pretty badly on one occasion." 

An incident of much interest occurred during this campaign which showed 
the stamina of Colonel Zachary Taylor, afterward president of the United States. 
The volunteers were exasperated at the way in which the war was carried on, 
and wishing to go home, held a mass-meeting, and passed fiery resolutions, in 
which they declared that they would not pass over the state line in pursuit of the 



enemy. Taylor listened to them quietly, and then addressed them, good-naturedly 
but shrewdly, as follows: 

" I feel that all gentlemen here are my equals; in reality, I am persuaded that 
many of them will, in a few years, be my superiors, and perhaps, in the capacity 
of members of Congress, arbiters of the fortunes and reputation of humble 
servants of the republic, like myself. I expect then to obey them as interpreters 
of the will of the people; and the best proof that I will obey them is now to 
observe the orders of those whom the people have already put in the place of 


authority to which many gentlemen around me justly aspire. In plain English, 
gentlemen and fellow-citizens, the word has been passed on to me from Wash- 
ington to follow Black Hawk and to take you with me as soldiers. I mean to do 
both. There are the flatboats drawn up on the- shore, and here are Uncle Sam's 
men drawn up behind you on the prairie." 

The time of service of Lincoln's men had expired, and as their campaign had 
been one of much hardship and suffering, they were anxious to return to their 
homes. They were finally disbanded, and returned to New Salem and other 



places whence they came. Lincoln, however, and a companion named Harrison 
decided to remain, and both re-enlisted as privates, in Captain Elijah lies' 
"Independent Spy Battalion." The men were mounted, had no camp duties to 
perform, and had regular rations; therefore, Lincoln was much better provided 
for as a private than he had been as captain of his old company. 

The Black Hawk war was now rapidly approaching its close. But Black 
Hawk was desperate, and was devastating the country and murdering the set- 
tlers. The people were panic-stricken, and most of the settlements were aban- 
doned. An old niinois woman says, "We often left our bread dough unbaked 
to rush to the Indian fort near by." As all able-bodied men had volunteered, 
crops were necessarily neglected. One 
of America's great poets and journalists 
William CuUen Bryant, who visited 
his poet brother, Mr. Johu H. Bryant, 
in the year 1832, wrote home as fol- 

"Every few miles on our way we 
fell in with bodies of Illinois militia 
proceeding to the American camp, or 
saw where they had encamped for the 
night. They generally stationed them- 
selves near a stream or a spring in the 
edge of a wood, and turned out their 
horses to graze on the prairie. Their 
way was barked or girdled, and the 
roads through the uninhabited country 
were as much beaten and as dusty as 
the highways on New York island. 
Some of the settlers complained that 
they made war upon the pigs and 
chickens. They were a hard-looking 
set of men, unkempt and unshaved, 
wearing shirts of dark calico, and 
sometimes calico capotes." 

The army soon afterward marched up Rock river in pursuit of Black Hawk 
and his braves. The "rangers" were employed as scouts and spies. They pro- 
ceeded with a brigade to the northwest. The nearest Lincoln ever came to a 
fight was when he was in the vicinity of the skirmish at Kellogg's Grove. The 
rangers arrived at the spot after the engagement and helped bury the five men 
who were killed. Lincoln told Noah Brooks, one of his biographers, that he 
"remembered just how those men looked as we rode up the little hill where their 
camp was. The red light of the morning sun was streaming upon them as 
they lay, heads toward us, on the ground. And every man had a round, red spot 
on the top of his head about as big as a dollar, where the redskins had taken his 


William G. Green was a clerk in Offutt's 
store with Lincoln. He also saw Lincoln bore 
the hole in the bottom of the boat and take it 
over Rutledge's mill-dam. Mr. Green died in 
1894, a wealthy man. 


scalp. It was frightful, but it was grotesque; and the red sunlight seemed to 
paint everything all over." Lincoln paused, as if recalling the vivid picture, 
and added, somewhat irrelevantly, '• I remember that one man had on buckskin 

The troops soon passed northward into what was then known as a part of 
the territory of Michigan, but is now the state of Wisconsin, and the month of 
July was devoted to following the Indians through forests and swamps. Black 
Hawk was disappointed, disheartened and nearly exhausted, and when finally 
encountered at Bad Ax, was an easy prey. At the last battle of the war, at Bad 
Ax, he was captured and the larger number of his braves massacred. The war 
was at last over. Lincoln and the other volunteers were mustered out by Lieu- 
tenant Robert Anderson (afterward famous as Major Robert Anderson, the hero 
of Fort Sumter), and wended their way homeward. 

As further showing the generous qualities of Lincoln, and in the line of 
explaining one of the sources of his popularity, we quote from D. W. Bartlett's 
"Life and Speeches of Abraham Lincoln," published in 1860, a statement of his 
efficient service to his neighbors in the " Grreat Snow" of 1830-31: 

"The deep snow which occurred in 1830-31 was one of the chief troubles 
endured by the early settlers of central and southern Illinois. Its consequences 
lasted through several years. The people were illy prepared to meet it, as the 
weather had been mild and pleasant — unprecedentedly so up to Christmas — when 
a snow-storm set in which lasted two days, something never before known even 
among the traditions of the Indians, and never approached in the weather of any 
winter since. The pioneers who came into the state (then a territory) in 1800 
. . . say the average depth of snow was never, previous to 1830, more than 
knee-deep to an ordinary man, while it was breast-high all that winter. . . . 
It became crusted over, so as, in some cases, to bear teams. Cattle and horses 
perished, the winter wheat was killed, the meager stock of provisions ran out, 
and during the three months' continuance of the snow, ice and continuous cold 
weather the most wealthy settlers came near starving, while some of the poorer 
ones actually did. It was in the midst of such scenes that Abraham Lincoln 
attained his majority, and commenced his career of bold and manly indepen- 
dence. . . . Communication between house and house was often entirely 
obstructed for teams, so that the young and strong men had to do all the travel- 
ing on foot; carrying from one neighbor what of his store he could spare to 
another, and bringing back in return something of his store sorely needed. Men 
living five, ten, twenty and thirty miles apart were called 'neighbors' then. 
Young Lincoln was always ready to perform these acts of humanity, and was 
foremost in the counsels of the settlers when their troubles seemed gathering 
like a thick cloud about them." 



LINCOLN'S military service had increased his already great popularity at 
New Salem, and he was ready to resume his campaign as a politician and a 
candidate for legislative honors. A. Y. Ellis describes his personal appearance 
at this time as follows: " He wore a mixed jean coat, claw-hammer style, short 
in the sleeves and bob-tailed; in fact, it was so short in the tail that he could 
not sit on it; flax and tow linen pantaloons and a straw hat. I think he wore a 
vest, but do not remember how it looked; he wore pot-metal boots." 

He had announced himself as a candidate previous to enlisting, and it was 
only ten days before the election was to take place. He made his first speech at 
Pappsville. Judge Herndon describes the occasion as follows: ''His maiden 
effort on the stump was on the occasion of a public sale at Pappsville, a village 
eleven miles west of Springfield. After the sale was over and speech-making 
[by the several candidates, for no nominating conventions were held in those 
days, and the race was open to all] had begun, a fight, 'a general fight,' as one 
of the bystanders relates, ensued, and Lincoln, noticing one of his friends about 
to succumb to the energetic attack of an infuriated rufSan, interposed to prevent 
it. He did so most effectually. Hastily descending from the rude platform, he 
edged his way through the crowd, and seizing the bully by the neck and the seat 
of his trousers, threw him, by means of his strength and long arms, as one wit- 
ness stoutly insists, 'twelve feet away.' Returning to the stand, and throwing 
aside his hat, he inaugurated his campaign with the following brief but per- 
tinent declaration: 

"Fellow-citizens, I presume you all know who I am. I am humble Abraham 
Lincoln. I have been solicited by many friends to become a candidate for the 
Legislature. My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman's dance. I am 
in favor of the national bank; I am, in favor of the internal improvement system 
and a high protective tariff. These are my sentiments; if elected, I shall be 
thankful; if not, it will be all the same." 

The election occurred at the appointed time. There were twelve candidates 
itt the field, and although Lincoln received the nearly unanimous vote of New 
Salem and Clary's Grove — Democrats as well as Whigs — he failed to receive 
enough to elect him. 




He had at this time some further experience in commercial life. He and a 
fellow named Berry bought out a grocery, and after a number of changes and 
repeated losses, gave up the business. Lincoln told stories at one end of the store 
and Berry drank whisky at the other end. Neither of the partners had much, if 
any, business capacity. Reuben Radford decided to become a competitor with 
Lincoln & Berry at this time, but he had not considered the cost of rivalry 
with the favorite of the Clary's Grove boys. One night Radford left his store in 
charge of a younger brother, and this, it seems, was the night of one of the 
Clary's Grove boys' periodical larks. According to instructions, the young man 
gave the members of the party two drinks each and refused a third, whereupon 
the boys went to the barrel and helped themselves until all were drunk, and then 
commenced shouting and dancing and proceeded to demolish the concern. What 
remained of his stock was sold to Lincoln & Berry. Trade was dull that winter. 

The farmers had very little 
produce to sell, and conse- 
quently could not purchase 
many goods. Berry the while 
was drinking whisky and Lin- 
coln was talking and musing 
over politics. Finally the 
store was sold to Trent Broth- 
ers. They had no money, 
but gave their notes. Lincoln 
& Berry had given their notes, 
so all the transactions were 
pretty much on notes. Berry 
became a drunken sot. Lin- 
coln was again adrift in the 
world. His funds were ex- 
hausted, and he was heavily 
in debt, which indebtedness was not finally liquidated until Lincoln sent 
portions of his salary home from Washington, when he was in Congress, to 
Judge Herndon, to make the final payments. 

On May 7, 1833, Lincoln was appointed postmaster at New Salem. The office 
was afterward discontinued, and there was a balance of sixteen or eighteen 
dollars due the government. This was overlooked by the Post-office Department, 
and was not called for until some years afterward, Lincoln having removed to 
Springfield. During the interval he had been in debt continuously, and, as usual, 
poor. One day an agent of the department called on Dr. Henry, with whom 
Lincoln at that time kept his law-office. Knowing Lincoln's poverty. Dr. Henry 
offered to lend him the amount, but Lincoln asked the agent to be seated while 
he went over to his trunk at the boarding-house. He soon returned with an old 
blue sock, with a quantity of old silver and copper coin tied up in it, and 
counted the coin, and handed over to the agent the exact amount to a cent in the 

(Kear view, from a recent photograph.) 


very identical bits which had been received by him from the people of New 

The surveyor John Calhoun, although a Democrat, appointed Lincoln his 
assistant in the portion of the county in which he lived; he accepted, bought 
a compass and chain, " studied Flint and Gibson a little [Bartlett], and went at 
it." Calhoun was an educated and courteous gentleman, with some knowledge 
of human nature, and recognized the sterling qualities of his assistant. Calhoun 
was an accurate engineer, and was employed to plot and lay out new towns and 
villages. Lincoln, therefore, learned much, and the man who has been called the 
savior of his country became, as his predecessor, the father of his country, 
George Washington, had been, a good surveyor. He began to earn small amounts 
of money, was very frugal, but was still in financial straits, with his indebted- 
ness hanging over him. He was, however, gradually reducing the debt. The 
people of the country should know what hardships and discouragements he 
endured. " In 1834," says Judge Arnold, " an impatient creditor seized his horse, 
saddle, bridle and surveying instruments, and sold them under execution." A 


friend in need — letus honor his name — Bowling Greene,was the bidder, and restored 
to Lincoln his property, waiting Lincoln's convenience for payment. Lincoln 
appreciated the kindness so much that at Mr. Greene's grave, in the year 1842, 
he tried in vain to deliver a funeral oration over his remains. Judge Arnold 
says: "When he rose to speak his voice was choked with emotion." 

It was Lincoln's ambition to become a lawyer as well as a politician and a 
statesman. He had been reading Blackstone for some time, and was afterward 
given the range of the library of John T. Stuart, one of his old comrades in the 
Black Hawk war. Stuart lived in Springfield, and Lincoln would walk from 
New Salem, fourteen miles distant, to Springfield to exchange one book for 
another, and would often master thirty or forty pages of the new book on his 
way home. At New Salem he would sit under a tree, in warm weather, and 
" barefooted," while reading his books. Occasionally he would pursue his read- 
ing of Blackstone or Chitty on the top of a wood-pile. Every interval of leisure 
would be promptly and fully utilized, if it were no more than five minutes in 
duration. There was not much time at this period for exercising his story- 
telling propensities. 



Lincoln soon after bought an old form-book, and acquired enougb knowledge 
and proficiency to enable bim to " draw up deeds, contracts and mortgages, and 
began to figure as a pettifogger before the justice of the peace," seldom making 
any charge for his services. He read other than law-books, studying natural 
philosophy and other scientific branches. He had also read historical books, 
having mastered Rollin and Gibbon. Novels of a fair sort also attracted his 
attention. It is a noticeable fact that at this period he read newspapers 
thoroughly. The Sangamon Journal^ the Louisville Journal^ the St. Louis 
Republican^ and the old Cincinnati Gazette^ then as now, with its " Commercial " 
attachment, a very strong paper, and at that time edited by the famous and 
popular "Charley" Hammond, were perused regularly, until he knew all that was 
in them. 

Story-telling, however, was not entirely neglected. His reading embraced a 
wide range of funny sketches, all of which he learned by rote, thus adding to his 

personal store. He improved 
as a reciter and retailer of 
the stories he had read and 
heard, and as the reciter of 
tales of his own invention, 
and he had ready and eager 
auditors. Judge Herndon 
relates that as a mimic Lin- 
coln was unequaled. An old 
neighbor said: "His laugh 
was striking. Such awk- 
ward gestures belonged to 
no other man. They at- 
tracted universal attention, 
from the old and sedate down 
to the school-boy. Then 
in a few moments he was 
as calm and thoughtful as a 
judge on the bench, and as ready to give advice on the most important matters; 
fun and gravity grew on him alike." 

Lincoln at this time fell very deeply in love with a beautiful young girl — 
Ann Rutledge, a daughter of James Rutledge, one of the founders of New Salem, 
and having the blood of a Revolutionary soldier in his veins. She is described as 
" being a blonde, with golden hair, lips as red as a cherry, a cheek like a wild 
rose, with blue eyes, and as sweet and gentle in manners and temper as attractive 
in person." This young lady was all the more interesting for having suffered 
already in a love affair, a long account of which is given by Lincoln's old partner. 
Judge Herndon. She and a worthy young man — John McNeil, who had not 
long before come to New Salem from an eastern state — became very deeply 
attached to each other. McNeil's partner in a store, Samuel Hill, also became 


This cabin was located half a mile north of New Salem, 
where it still stands, used for an old stable. Lincoln 
began studying law while a boarder in this cabin. He was 
stretched out on the floor reading when he first met 
" Dick " Yates, then a college student home on a vacation, 
and who afterward became the great war governor. 



attached to the young beauty, but his suit was not favorably regarded, and he 
good-naturedly retired from the contest, having been rejected. McNeil prospered, 
and finally decided to return to New York state and bring his parents to New 
Salem. He then told Ann, to whom he had become engaged, that his real name 
was McNamar, and that he had changed it so that his relatives would not dis- 
cover him until he had made enough money to support them. This caused a 
change in the sentiment at New Salem, and Ann's friends tried to convince her 
that McNeil had committed a crime in his earlier days and had deserted her. The 
women of the community did much to destroy her faith in her lover. 

At last Ann was convinced, at least in part, and at this point " the ungainly 
Lincoln" became her suitor, and was evidently smitten through and through. 
The Rutledges and all the people of New Salem were his friends and wished him 
success. The regard was finally found to be mutual, and Lincoln found courage 
to propose, but Ann asked him to 
wait until she had written to her old 
lover, asking him to release her. The 
answer was one of those letters that 
never came. Ann at last consented 
to become Lincoln's wife. To one 
of her brothers she said that when 
Lincoln's studies were completed she 
was to marry him. But her per- 
plexity was not altogether removed, 
and finally her health was under- 
mined and she was stricken down 
with fever. Her strength slowly 
passed away, and it was soon certain 
that she must die. She sent for her 
lover to come to her bedside. The 
two were alone in their supreme 

mutual sorrow. The poor girl soon died, in August, 1835. She used to sing 
very sweetly to her lover, and the last song she sang to him commenced: 

Vain man, thy fond pursuits forbear; 

Repent, thy end is nigh ; 
Death at the farthest can't be far, 

Oh, think before thou die ! 

Lincoln was terribly distressed — almost heart-broken and crazed. The death 
of his mother had given him his greatest grief as a boy; the death of his affianced 
gave him the greatest grief of his young manhood. It was his old friend Bowling 
Greene who came to his rescue and "ministered to a mind diseased." 

It is due to McNeil (or McNamar) to say that, after Ann's death, he returned 
with parents, brother and sister, thus showing his good faith. 

It may be mentioned here that a year afterward Lincoln began to pay atten- 
tion to Miss Mary S. Owens, a Kentucky girl, who was making, in 1836, a second 













visit to New Salem. She had made some impression on him when she first came 
to the town, in 1833. L. M. Greene describes her as follows: "She was tall and 
portly, had large, blue eyes, and the finest trimmings I ever saw. She was jovial, 
social, loved wit and humor, had a liberal education, and was considered \yealthy. 
None of the poets or romance-writers have ever given us a picture of a heroine 
so beautiful as a good description of Miss Owens in 1836 would be." It seemed 
that each was attracted to the other, but it became evident that neither was 


really in love. One of his letters to Miss Owens is a very singular epistle. It 
is certainly not very ardent. He, after the fashion of the lawyer, presents the 
matter very cautiously, and pleads his own cause; then presents her side of the 
case, advises her not " to do it," and agrees to abide by her decision. Miss 
Owens, like other young women, liked an ardent lover, and although she 
respected Lincoln, rejected him. She was afterward married, and became the 
mother of five children. Two sons served in the Confederate army. 



IN 1834, Lincoln, then twenty-five years of age, was again a candidate for the 
Legislature, and was elected, receiving a larger number of votes than any other 
man on either ticket. John T. Stuart, his Black Hawk war comrade, was also 
elected. Lincoln is spoken of by Judge Arnold as " the most popular man in 
Sangamon county." He was now a well-informed man. H could be safely said 
of him that he was self-educated. He knew much that the current literature of 
the day, the classics, school text-books and newspapers, contained. He was well 
up on all the political questions. Judge Arnold says: "He knew the Bible by 
heart. There was not a clergyman to be found so familiar with it as he. 
Scarcely a speech or paper prepared by him, from this time to his death, but 
contains apt allusions and striking illustrations from the sacred book. He could 
repeat all the poems of Burns, and was familiar with Shakspere. Hi arithmetic, 
surveying and the rudiments of other branches of mathematics he was perfectly 
at home. He had mastered Blackstone, Kent and the elenientary law-books. 
He had considerable knowledge of physics and mechanics. He showed how much 
better it is to know thoroughly a few books than to know many superficially. 
Such had been his education. He was manly, just, gentle, truthful and honest. 
In conduct, kind and generous; so modest, so considerate of others, so unselfish, 
that everyone liked him and wished him success. True, he was homely, awk- 
ward and diffident, but he was, in fact, strictly a gentleman." A remarkable 
young man, this, at twenty-five. The writer of the foregoing was a careful 
man, who had the habit of weighing his words and of speaking with judicial 

Lincoln was always a student, and at all times made the best possible use of 
his opportunities, which from this time were constantly increasing. He 
remained, as a matter of course, at Vandalia, the state capital, during his first 
term in the Legislature, and there met a cultivated class of men and women. 
He had here, also, a wider range of literature within his reach. During this first 
year of his experience as a legislator he listened attentively, thought much, but 
said little, and was a close student of public affairs. 

It was in Lincoln's canvass for a second term, in 1836, that he began to be 
famous throughout a large portion of the state. He first spoke at Springfield 




during this campaign. A meeting was advertised to be held in the court-house, 
at which candidates of opposing parties were to speak. This gave men of spirit 
and capacity a fine opportunity to show the stuff of which they were made. 
George Forquer was one of the most prominent citizens; he had been a Whig, 
but became a Democrat, possibly for the reason that by means of the change he 
secured the position of government land register, from President Andrew Jack- 
son. He had the largest and finest house in the city, and there was a new and 
striking appendage to it, called a lightning-rod! The meeting was very large. 

Seven Whig and seven Dem- 
ocratic candidates spoke^ and 
Lincoln closed the discussion. 
A Kentuckian (Joshua F. 
Speed), who had heard Henry 
Clay and other distinguished 
Kentucky orators, stood near 
Lincoln, and states that he 
"never heard a more effective 
speaker; . . . the crowd 
seemed to be swayed by 
him as he • pleased." What 
occurred during the closing 
portion of this meeting must 
be given in full, from Judge 
Arnold's book: 

" Forquer, although not a 
candidate, then asked to be 
heard for the Democrats, in 
reply to Lincoln. He was a 
good speaker, and well known 
throughout the county. His 
special task that day was to 
attack and ridicule the young 
countryman from Salem. 
Turning to Lincoln, who 
stood within a few feet of 
him, he said: 'This young man must be taken down, and I am truly sorry that 
the task devolves upon me.' He then proceeded, in a very overbearing way, and 
with an assumption of great superiority, to attack Lincoln and his speech. He 
was fluent and ready with the rough sarcasm of the stump, and he went on to 
ridicule the person, dress and arguments of Lincoln with so much success that 
Lincoln's friends feared that he would be embarrassed and overthrown." 

The Clary's Grove boys were present, and were restrained with difficulty from 
"getting up a fight" in behalf of their favorite, they and all his friends feeling 
that the attack was ungenerous and unmanly. 




We quote the sequel, as follows: 

"Lincoln, however, stood calm, but his flashing eye and pale cheek indicated 
his indignation. As soon as Forquer had closed, he took the stand, and first 
answered his opponent's arguments fully and triumphantly. So impressive were 
his words and manner that a hearer [Joshua F. Speed] believes that he can 
remember to this day and repeat some of the expressions. Among other things 
he said: 'The gentleman commenced his speech by saying that "this young 
man," alluding to me, "must be taken down." I am not so young in years as I 
am in the tricks and the 
trades of a politician, but,' 
said he, pointing to Forquer, 
'live long or die young, I 
would rather die now than, 
like the gentleman, change 
my politics, and with the 
change receive an office worth 
three thousand dollars a year, 
and then,' continued he, ' feel 
obliged to erect a lightning- 
rod over my house, to protect 
a guilty conscience from an 
ofEended God!'" 

Forquer was silenced and 

Lincoln had several other 
encounters with distinguished 
Democrats, with similar re- 
sults. "In this campaign," 
says .Judge Arnold, " the rep- 
utation of Lincoln as a 
speaker was established, and 
ever afterward he was recog- 
nized as one of the great 
orators of the state." 

Sangamon county had at 
this session two senators and seven members of the house, each one over six feet 
in height; they were called "the long nine." One of his Sangamon associates 
was Edward D. Baker, afterward a representative in Congress, then a member of 
the United States Senate, then a general in the field, dying at the engagement of 
Ball's Bluff. In the house was a young man from Vermont, Stephen Arnold 
Douglas, whom he first met at this period. There were also in the house 
James Shields, John A. Logan, John A. McClernand and others who afterward 
became famous. It should be stated here that in this canvass, as in that previous 
to it, Lincoln received the highest vote of any man on the ticket. He was a 




leader in the movement which resulted in removing the capital of the state 
from Vandalia to Springfield. 

It was at this period that he made the important and prophetic declaration of 
principles, " I go for all sharing the privileges of the government who assist in 
loearing its burdens; consequently, I go for admitting all whites to the right of 
suffrao-e who pay taxes or bear arms, by no means excluding females." This was 
in 1836. Now, sixty years afterward, in many states women are allowed to vote. 
In 1836-7 Lincoln supported a measure for opening a great ship-can*al from Lake 

Michigan, at Chicago, to the 
Illinois river. Now, sixty 
years later, such a canal is 
very near completion. 

At this time Lincoln be- 
gan to wield his powerful 
personal and political influ- 
ence against the aggressions 
of slavery. In 1820, as the 
result of an agreement be- 
tween parties in Congress, 
Missouri was admitted to the 
Union without restriction as 
to slavery, but the act pro- 
hibited slavery thereafter, 
from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific, in the territory north 
of 36° 30^ north latitude. 
This agreement was called 
the Missouri Compromise, and 
it was part of a series of 
measures which created a sort 
of temporary fool's paradise 
called "an era of good feeling." 
It was evanescent; the con- 
troversy concerning slavery 
was not settled, but, on the 
other hand, increased in fury. Public sentiment at this time in Illinois was 
largely pro-slavery. The Legislature was nearly unanimous, as the result showed, 
in favor of slavery, and resolutions violently denouncing "abolitionists" and all 
persons who desired to abolish slavery and made efforts in that direction, or to 
restrict slavery, were whirled through the Legislature by an overwhelming vote. 
At this time there was a "black code," by which it was attempted to legalize 
severity and cruelty to negroes. Abraham Lincoln, thinking himself to be 
alone, stood up against the resolutions, but finally found one other member 
who had sufficient principle and nerve to stand with him. This seemed to be a 




turning-point in Abraham Lincoln's career. His conduct on this occasion was 
courageous and manly. Lincoln and Dan Stone, representatives from Sangamon 
county, made this protest, dated March 3, 1837, taken from the House Journal 
of the Hlinois Legislature, 1836-37; pp. 817, 818: 

"The following protest was 'presented to the House, which was read and 
ordered to be spread on the journals, to wit: 

" Resolutions upon the subject of domestic slavery having passed both branches 
of the General Assembly at its present session, the undersigned have protested 
against the passage of the 

" They believe that the in- 
stitution of slavery is founded 
on both injustice and bad pol- 
icy, but that the promulga- 
tion of abolition doctrine 
tends rather to increase than 
to abate its evils. 

"They believe that the 
Congress of the United States 
has no power, under the Con- 
stitution, to interfere with 
the institution of slavery in 
the different states. 

"They believe that the 
Congress of the United 
States has the power, under 
the Constitution, to abolish 
slavery in the District of 
Columbia, but that that pow- 
er ought not to be exercised, 
unless at the request of the 
people of the District." 

This utterance was con- 
servative, and it represented 
the views of a great many 

men who were opposed to slavery, and especially to its extension, but, conserva- 
tive and liberal as it was, it required great courage and stamina to present such 
a paper, under such circumstances, in a legislature whose members were moved by 
partizan bias and prejudice, and not by reason. 

Lincoln was still a citizen of New Salem, and was also still a poor man. His 
salary as a member of the Legislature, beyond what was required to meet his 
board bills, was used to decrease his indebtedness. On his way home he had one 
of his periods of great depression. His associates in the Sangamon and Morgan 
county delegations were in high spirits over his and their success in getting the 




capital removed to Springfield. But Lincoln, in his own words, was more con- 
cerned on the question as to how he should get capital for himself. William 
Butler, a warm and strong friend, asked him what he "intended to do for a liv- 
ing," and he replied that he would like to leave New Salem, make his home in 
Springfield and study law. Butler, who, with the other citizens, appreciated the 
services he had rendered to Sangamon people, promptly told him that he could 
make his (Butler's) house his home as long as he pleased. He afterward 
accepted the hospitality, paying little attention to board bills. 


At Springfield he was honored by a reception and a banquet, at which the 
following sentiment was given and unanimously and heartily approved: "He 
[Lincoln] has fulfilled the expectation of his friends and disappointed the hopes 
of his enemies." Of these, however, he had very few. 

. In 1837, Lincoln was twenty-eight years of age. He had come in contact 
with the ablest men of the state, and was conscious of his growing power and 
influence. It is true that he wished to be a lawyer, but lawyers abounded then 
as now, and, so far as he knew, the custom that might come to him would be a 



plant of slow growth. He had made the acquaintance and, very naturally, gained 
the friendship of Joshua Speed, who was a merchant, and kept what was called a 
"general store." Lincoln had brought his satchel, containing wearing-apparel 
and a few books, from New Salem, and threw it on the counter of Speed's store, 
in Springfield. Judge Herndon records the following colloquy that ensued: 

Said Lincoln, "I want to get a room, and must have a bedstead and some 
bedding. How much will I have to pay?" 

Mr. Speed took up his slate and jotted down the items — the cost of the bed- 
stead, bedtick, sheets, blankets, wash-basin and towels. "Seventeen dollars," 
said the storekeeper. 


"I have no doubt it is cheap," replied Lincoln, "but I haven't the money to 
pay for the articles. If you could trust me until Christmas, and if I succeed in 
my experiment of being a lawyer, I will pay you then; if I fail, probably I shall 
never be able to pay you." 

Mr. Speed had never seen him so dejected, but instantly solved the problem. 

"I can fix things better than that," said he. "I have a large room and a 
double bed up-stairs, and you are welcome to occupy the room and share the bed 
with me." 

Taking his entire possessions, a satchel, or "saddle-bags," and two law-books, 
he took the bag and books up-stairs, and declared to Speed, with a radiant face, 
"I'm moved." 


His old friend and compatriot, John T. Stuart, solved another problem for 
him by offering him a partnership, and the firm of Stuart & Lincoln was formed. 

In 1838, Mr, Lincoln was for the third time elected to the Legislature, and 
received the Whig nomination for the speakership, being defeated by one vote 

In 1840, he was returned to the Legislature for the fourth time. This was a 
period of great excitement throughout the country. An attempt had been made 
in 1828 to procure the passage of an amendment to the Constitution which 
would make Illinois a slave state. Free discussion of the slavery question was 
interfered with by mobs in many cities of the North, noticeably and very 
strangely in Boston. But public sentiment was influenced by merchants who 
sold goods in large quantities to southern customers. An attempt, happily 
futile, was made to hang William Lloyd Garrison, editor of Tlie Liberator^ at 
Boston, for his bold denunciations of slavery. But now the matter came nearer 

Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy, a plain-spoken, Grod-fearing man, of standing and 
ability, who was publishing a weekly religious paper at St. Louis, denounced the 
killing of a negro, who had, it is true, committed a horrible crime, but who had 
not had the benefit of a trial. Unfortunately, this sort of thing has not entirely 
passed away. North or South. Lovejoy showed how far he was in advance of his 
time, and how manly and true-hearted he was by denouncing, in strong terms, 
but in language that was true and fitting, the crime that had been committed, 
and a mob at once organized, entered his place, destroyed his types and threw 
his press into the river. Lovejoy then removed to Alton, in Illinois, a free state, 
at least by law and" the provisions of the Constitution, and naturally hoped to be 
unmolested, but on receipt of press and types from Cincinnati, they were also 
destroyed by a mob. Lovejoy was of the stuff of which heroes were made. He 
therefore ordered another press and outfit of types. "It is our purpose," 
announced Lovejoy in behalf of his friends, to the mayor and other citizens, "to 
protect our property," and as he and his friends assembled with guns in hand, in 
the evening, the mayor nobly said to him, "You are acting in accordance with 
the law." The mob came, as expected, and fired into the building, and the firing 
was returned by Lovejoy's friends, and one of the men who made the assault was 
killed and another wounded. An attempt was then made to ascend to the top of 
the building and burn the roof. Lovejoy and others bravely stepped out on the 
street, and were about to fire at those on the ladder, when he was himself shot 
and mortally wounded. Then and there fell and died one of the greatest and 
bra)vest of America's martvrs to the freedom of speech and of the press. 

At Cincinnati, Gamaliel Bailey, Jr., the publisher of an anti-slavery paper — 
a courteous gentleman, a fair and good-tempered controversialist, but as firm as 
a rock in behalf of great principles — was mobbed in much the same way, but 
without the loss of his life. Afterward he removed to Washington, and com- 
menced the publication of The National Era, in which, in 1850, appeared the 
several chapters of that immortal book, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," from the pen of 
Harriet Beecher Stowe — now living, in the year 1896. 



The raarder of Elijah P. Lovejoy did not frighten the opponents of slavery. 
Throughout the North fiery and righteous indignation moved in great M'aves, 
from city to city, and from commonwealth to commonwealth. The name of 
Lovejoy, a martyr to liberty, as well as to the freedom of the press, was honored 
and glorified. The mob that struck down Lovejoy had aimed an effective blow 
at the foundation of their own pet but ungodly "peculiar institution." From 
the very commencement of anti-slavery agitation no one event had so fired the 
hearts of the people, and to so great an extent made the institution of slavery 
universally odious, for the 
time, throughout the North, 
as this assassination of Love- 
joy. Mass-meetings were held 
in hundreds of towns, and 
orators, with a theme that 
aroused them to the depths 
of their natures, spoke with 
unwonted eloquence and with 
electric effect. 

It is not difficult to say, if 
we had no histories at all of 
the times, what Abraham 
Lincoln thought of the mur- 
der of the St. Louis negro and 
of this murderous and dam- 
•nable assault on Lovejoy. He 
was a man who loved justice 
and loved liberty. This was 
in 1838, when Lincoln was 
twenty-nine years old. This 
was his first great opportu- 
nity. The young men of 
Springfield had already 
formed a lyceum for the dis- 
cussion of public problems 
— and that relating to the 

aggressions of human slavery, and the crimes committed in its name, was a problem 
that was actually blazing in all portions of the northern states. But Alton was 
near Springfield. Lincoln and his fellow-townsmen had often been there. The 
discussions of the lyceum were held in Mr. Speed's store, in the light and heat 
of one of the already old-fashioned large fireplaces, with the hickory back-log, 
and those who constituted the audience sat on boxes, nail-kegs, etc. 

It seems to be a remarkable fact that two young men who were afterward 
among America's greatest orators and statesmen— certainly in the time in which 
they lived — should be members of and prominent debaters in this lyceum; and it 




seems a still more remarkable fact that one of these, Douglas, from Vermont, 
should take the side of the pro-slavery element, and that the native Kentuckian, 
Lincoln, should side v^ith the enemies of slavery. There were no two brighter 
men of their age in the country at this time. Each acknowledged the other to 
be a foeman worthy of his steel. Differing politically, they were warm personal 
friends. Both had been* in the Illinois Legislature together, and when the St. 
Louis and Alton murders came to be the topic of discussion, it proved to be one 
that brought out their best work. Speed's store soon was too small to accommo- 
date the gatherings, and they were held in the First Presbyterian church. 


The discussions at Springfield, reported to some extent in the Sangamon 
Journal, had been heard of at Alton. The fame of Lincoln as a public speaker 
had reached that town long before, and now Lincoln was invited to Alton to 
deliver an address; and if Lincoln had not delivered in his subsequent career so 
many utterances that have become a part of the written history of his country, 
this utterance, made at Alton, would have been considered, at this day and hence- 
forth, as wonderfully significant. The title of his address was, "The Perpet- 
uation of Our Political Institutions." The very title was prophetic, as delivered 
over twenty years before the time when he stood up as the chief of those Amer- 



icans who were the friends of the country's unity and integrity, on which prin- 
ciples were based its perpetuity. Let us read very carefully some portions of this 

"In the great journal of things happening under the sun, the American 
people find our account running under date of the nineteenth century of the 
Christian era. We find ourselves in peaceful possession of the fairest portion 
of the earth as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil and salubrity of 
climate. We find ourselves under the government of a system of political insti- 
tutions conducing more 
essentially to the ends 
of civil and religious 
liberty than any of 
which the history of 
former times tells us. 
We find ourselves the 
legal inheritors of these 
fundamental blessings. 
We toiled not in the 
acquirement or the es- 
tablishment of them; 
they are a legacy be- 
queathed to us by a 
once hardy, brave and 
patriotic, but now 
lamented and departed, 
race of ancestors. 

"Theirs was the 
task (and nobly they 
performed it) to pos- 
sess themselves, and 
through themselves us, 
of this goodly land, and 
to rear upon its hills 
and in its valleys a polit- 
ical edifice of liberty 
and equal rights; 'tis 

ours only to transmit these, the former unprofaned by the foot of the invader, 
the latter undecayed by the lapse of time. This our duty to ourselves and to our 
posterity, and love for our species in general, imperatively I'equire us to perform. 

" How, then, shall we perform it? At what point shall we expect the approach 
of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some 
transatlantic military giant to step across the ocean and crush us at a blow? 
Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treas- 
ure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte 



for a commander, could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a 
track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. 

"At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, 
if it ever reaches us, it must spring up among us. It cannot come from abroad. 
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a 
nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide. . . . 

"There is even now something of ill omen among us. I mean the increasing 
disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to sub- 
stitute the- wild and furious passions in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and 
the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice. This dispo- 
sition is ^wfully fearful in any community, and that it now exists in ours, though 
grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth and an insult 
to our intelligence -to deny." 

This is a most fitting prelude. Here spoke a man who, a great orator, was 
already showing qualities of great statesmanship, and now speaks the orator, 
statesman and prophet: 

"There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law. Many 
great and good men, sufficiently qualified for any task they should undertake, 
may ever be found whose ambition would aspire to nothing but a seat in Cour 
gress, a gubernatorial or a presidential chair; but such belong not to the family 
of the lion or the brood of the eagle. What! Think you these places would 
satisfy an Alexander, a Ceesar or a Napoleon? Never! 

"Towering geaius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unex- 
plored. It does not add story to story upon the monuments of fame erected to 
the memory of others. It denies that it is glory enough to serve under any 
chief. It scorns to tread in the footsteps of any predecessor, however illustrious. 
It thirsts and burns for distinction, and, if possible, will have it, whether at the 
expense of emancipating slaves or enslaving free men. Is it unreasonable, then, 
to expect that some man possessed with the loftiest genius, coupled with ambi- 
tion sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time spring up 
among us? And when such an one does, it will require the people to be united, 
attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully 
frustrate the design. 

" Distinction will be his paramount object, and although he would as will- 
ingly, perhaps more so, acquire it by doing good as harm, yet that opportunity 
being passed, and nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would 
sit down boldly to the task of pulling down. Here, then, is a probable case, 
highly dangerous, and such a one as could not have well existed heretofore." 

Alluding to our Revolutionary ancestors, Mr. Lincoln says: 

"In history we hope they will be read of, and recounted, so long as the Bible 
shall be read. But even granting that they will, their influence isannot be what 
it heretofore has been. Even then they cannot be so universally known, nor so 
vividly felt, as they were by the generation just gone to rest. At the close of 
that struggle nearly every adult male had been a participator in some of its 



scenes. The consequence v/as that of those scenes, in the form of a husband, a 
father, a son or a brother, a living history was to be found in every family — a 
history bearing the indubitable testimonies to its own authenticity, in the limbs 
mangled, in the scars of wounds ifeceived in the midst of the very scenes related; 
a history, too, that could be read and understood alike by all, the wise and the 
ignorant, the learned and the unlearned. But those histories are gone. They 
can be read no more forever. They were a fortress of strength; but what the 
invading foemen could never do, the silent artillery of time has done — the level- 
ing of its walls. They are gone. They were a forest of giant oaks; but the 
resistless hurricane has swept over them, and left only here and there a lonely 
trunk, despoiled of its verdure, shorn of its foliage, unshading and unshaded, to 
murmur in a few more gentle breezes and to combat with its mutilated limbs a 
few more ruder storms, then to sink and be no more." 

Herein is expressed reverence for law, a comprehension of the elements of a 
true and laudable ambition and the foresight of a truly great man. 



MR. LINCOLN was at this time riding the circuit as an attorney. He was 
at all times a most interesting person. He and Speed boarded with 
William Butler, one of his stanchest friends, and afterward treasurer of the 
state of Illinois. It is related that on one occasion Lincoln, Speed and John J. 
Hardin, with a number of other lawyers, were on their return from court at 
Christiansburg, when Lincoln was suddenly missed. 

"Where is Lincoln?" Mr. Speed asked. 

" Oh," replied Mr. Hardin, " when I saw him last he had caught two young 
birds, which the wind had blown out of their nest, and he was hunting the nest 
to put them back." 

In a short time Lincoln came up, having found the nest and replaced the 
young birds in it. The party laughed at him, but he said: "I could not have 
slept if I had not restored those little birds to their mother." 

The United States courts were held in Springfield. John McLean, afterward 
famous as a justice of the Supreme Court, was the circuit judge, and Lincoln's 
associates at the bar included such men as John T. Stuart (his partner), Stephen 
T. Logan, Edward D. Baker, Ninian W. Edwards, and Josiah Limbon, of Spring- 
field; Stephen Arnold Douglas, Lyman Trumbull, afterward United States sen- 
ators; 0. H. Browning, afterward senator and member of the Cabinet; William 
H. Bissell, afterward governor; David Davis, afterward governor, justice of the 
Supreme Court, senator and vice-president of the United States; Justin Butter- 
field, the ablest lawyer of Chicago, and other men afterward distinguished. 

Court-houses of a pretentious charatcer were built of boards, but the greater 
number were built of logs. The furniture was very rude, as were the manners of 
the men who frequented them. The peculiarly American habit of elevating the 
heels higher than the head here prevailed. The lawyers were very free yet 
good-natured in their- attitude to each other and their habits. They rode on 
horseback from one county-seat to another, with law-books, extra shirts, hair- 
brushes, etc., in their saddle-bags. Civilization had hardly achieved a shoe-brush 
at that period, in that region. Judge Arnold states that "som&times two or three 
lawyers would unite and travel in a buggy, and the poorer and younger ones 
not seldom walked. But a horse was not an unusual fee, and in those days, 



when horse-thieves, as clients, were but too common, it was not long before a 
young man of ability found himself well mounted." 

In 1840, Lincoln was again elected to the Legislature, and at this term he had 
as his colleague John Calhoun. He was again a candidate for speaker. 

Having been elected four times to as many biennial terms of the Legislature, 
he declined again to be a oandidate. 

In the census of the United States for 1840 it was shown that there were 
slaves in Illinois. Although it was nominally a free state, they had been 
brought across the river from Kentucky. A case came to Mr. Lincoln which 
greatly excited his sympathy. A Mr. Crowell sold his slave girl (Nancy) to a Mr. 

Bailey, who gave his note, which was 
not paid when due, and Mr. Crowell 
brought suit. Lincoln, then thirty- 
two years of age, gave his services 
in behalf of the slave woman, who 
was the real party to the suit. Prob- 
ably this was his first case in the 
Supreme Court. Stephen T. Logan, 
afterward to become his law partner, 
and subsequently a judge, was attor- 
ney on the other side. 

"May it please the court," said 
Lincoln, "the Ordinance of 1787, 
which prohibited slavery in the 
Northwest Territory, would give 
Nancy her freedom. The constitu- 
tion of the state prohibits the hold- 
ing of slaves; she cannot, therefore, 
be held as a slave; she cannot be sold 
as a slave; a note given for the sale 
of a slave in a free state can have no 
value; neither Crowell nor Bailey 
can hold Nancy — she is entitled to freedom, and Crowell is not entitled to the 
money which Bailey promised to pay him." 

The court promptly decided in his favor, and that decision put an end to the 
holding of slaves in Illinois. 

In one of Lincoln's law-cases at this period a colt was used as a witness. 
The dispute was between two men as to the ownership of the colt. Lincoln 
suggested that the mares should be brought to the vicinity of the court-house 
and that the colt should be allowed to choose between them. The colt 
whinnied for his mother; there was an answering whinny from one of the mares, 
and that answered the question. The court decided in favor of Lincoln. 

In this year Mr. Lincoln supported William Henry Harrison, of North Bend, 
near Cincinnati, Ohio, for the presidency. General Harrison was born, as was 




Lincoln, in a log cabin, and having defeated the Indians in a well-fought battle 
at Tippecanoe, Indiana, he became popularly known as "Old Tippecanoe." The 
campaign was remarkable and unprecedented in its popular demonstration. Log 
cabins were erected everywhere, as they were half a century later, when Benjamin 
Harrison, the general's grandson, "was a candidate for the same office, and was" 
elected. Pine and ash liberty-poles were erected by the Whigs, the friends of 
Harrison, and hickory poles were put up by the Demecrats, who had renominated 
Van Buren. Canoes were made out of logs and given prominent places in the 
processions. " Tom Corwin, the Wagon-boy," was a candidate for governor in 
Ohio, and Abraham Lincoln, who already ranked with Corwin as a wit and orator, 
easily lead the columns of the Whigs in Illinois. He was in demand everywhere 
for political addresses, and went whenever and wherever possible. 

The charges against Van Buren, in this campaign, must be acknowledged as 
trivial. Too many gold spoons and too much rich furniture had been purchased 
for the White House. 
The campaign poet 
blossomed out in full, 
and Whig songs were 
sung with a will in 
every neighborhood. 
Campaign papers were 
printed at political 
centers and distributed 
in large numbers. In 
this year Horace 
Greeley, of New York, 
first became known by 
the remarkable little 
newspaper, called The 
Log Cabin, which he 
published, and which 

gained at once a remarkably large circulation. Its editorials, written in clear, 
concise and plain but very forcible English, were the strongest journalistic 
utterances of that campaign. Lincoln discovered Greeley, and the two had 
much to do with each other in after years. 

Van Buren was defeated by Harrison by a large vote. Two years afterward 
Van Buren, who was a very affable and congenial gentleman, met Lincoln. Mr. 
Van Buren and Ex-Secretary of the Navy Paulding, while on a western tour, 
stopped at Rochester, near Springfield, one night, and Judge Peck, a Democrat, 
Mr. Lincoln and others called on the ex-president to pay their respects. Lincoln 
got to telling his best stories in the best manner, and Judge Peck said that he 
never spent a more joyous night. Mr. Van Buren did his part in telling stories, 
giving incidents of the leading members of the New York bar, back to the days 
of Hamilton and Burr. Mr. Van Buren stated afterward that the only draw- 



back to his enjoyment on this occasion was that his sides were sore for a week 
thereafter from laughing at Lincoln's stories. While Lincoln was at the White 
House, John, Martin Van Buren's gifted and witty son, called upon him, and 
the president related to him the occasion when he had met his father in Illinois. 
In 1839, Lincoln made a courageous speech in the hall of the Illinois House of 
Representatives, His early friend John Calhoun, the former surveyor, was a 
fellow-member and a Democrat. A series of debates was decided upon. Douglas, 
Lambourn and others spoke for the Democrats, and Lincoln, Edward D. Baker 

and Browning spoke for the 
Whigs. Lambourn taunted 
the Whigs with the hopeless- 
ness of their struggle, to 
which Lincoln replied: 

"Address that argument to 
cowards and knaves. With 
the free and the brave it will 
effect nothing. It may be 
true; if it must, let it. Many 
free countries have lost their 
liberties, and ours may lose 
hers, but if it shall, let it be 
my proudest plume, not that 
I was the last to desert, but 
that I never deserted her." 

Mr. Lincoln declared that 
he would never bow to the 
denunciation and persecution 
of his opponents, and then 
said: "Here before heaven, 
and in the face of the world, 
I swear eternal fidelity to the 
just cause of the land of my 
life, my liberty and my love. 
. . . The cause approved 


of our ]udgment and our 
hearts, in disaster, in chains, in death, we never faltered in defending." 

On February 22, 1842, he delivered before the Washingtonian Temperance 
Society, at Springfield, an address upon temperance, in which he said: "When 
the victory shall be complete, when there shall be neither slave nor a drunkard 
on the earth, how proud the title of that land which may claim to be the birth- 
place and cradle of those revolutions that shall have ended in that victory." 
Judge Arnold, in the following, describes an important period in Lincoln's life: 
"Wishing to devote his time exclusively to his profession, he did not, as had 
already been stated, seek, in 1840, re-election to the Legislature. He had been 



associated as partner with one of the most prominent lawyers at the capital of 
the state, and he himself was leader of his party, and altogether the most pop- 
ular man in central Illinois. In August, 1837, Stuart, his partner, was elected, 
to Congress over Stephen A. Douglas, after one of the severest contests which 
ever occurred in the state. The ' district then extended from Springfield to 
Chicago, and embraced nearly all the northern part of Illinois. Stuart was 
re-elected in 1839. Their partnership terminated on April 14, 1841, and on the 
same day Lincoln entered into a new partnership with Judge Stephen T. Logan, 
one of the ablest and most 
successful lawyers of the 
state, and at that time univer- 
sally recognized as at the head 
of the bar at the capital," 

Lincoln was the candidate 
for Congress at the time of 
the presidential election in 
1840. Colonel Coffin describes 
an incident in the campaign 
of that year, from Judge 
Herndon's account, as follows : 

" Edward Dickinson Baker 
was born in London, England. 
He was two years younger 
than Abraham Lincoln, and 
came to America early in life. 
He made Springfield his home. 
He was a young lawyer, and, 
like Lincoln, an ardent Whig. 
His voice was musical. He 
could play the piano, sing 
songs and write poetry. He 
was an earnest advocate for 
the election of Harrison as 
president, and made a speech 
in the court-house to a great 
crowd. Many who gathered to hear him were Democrats. They were rough 
men; chewed tobacco, drank whisky, and became angry at what Baker was saying. 

"The office of Stuart & Lincoln was over the court-room. A trap-door for 
ventilation, above the platform of the court-room, opened into their office. 
Lincoln, desiring to hear what Baker was saying, lifted the door, stretched him- 
self upon the floor, and looked down upon the swaying crowd. Baker was talk- 
ing about the stealings of the Democratic officials in the land-offices. 

'" Wherever there is a land-office there you will find a Democratic newspaper 
defending its corruptions,' said Baker. 




"'Pull him down! Put him out! It's a lie!' was the cry from a fellow in 
the crowd whose brother was editor of a Democratic paper. There was a rush 
for the platform. Great was the astonishment of the crowd at seeing a pair of 
long legs dangle from the scuttle, and then the body, shoulders and head of 
Abraham Lincoln, who let himself down to the platform. He lifted his hand, 
but the fellows did not heed his gesture. Then they saw him grasp a stoneware 
water-pitcher and heard him say, 'Hold on, gentlemen! This is a free country — 
a land for free speeches. Mr. Baker has a right to speak; let him be heard. I 
am here to protect him, and no man shall take him from this platform if I can 
prevent it.' Baker made his speech without further molestation." 



AT about this time Lincoln again had time and inclination to resume love- 
making. Miss Mary Todd, of Kentucky, was this time the young lady who 
attracted his attention. She was the daughter of Hon. Robert S. Todd, and 
grandniece of John Todd, who, in company with General George Rogers Clark, 
in 1778, was present at the capture of Kaskaskia and Vincennes, Indiana, and 
who was appointed by Patrick Henry, governor of Virginia, "county lieutenant, 
or commandant, of the county of Illinois, in the state of Virginia." He was the 
founder of the state, and was killed at the battle of Blue Licks, Kentucky, in 
1782. Miss Todd came to Springfield in 1839, to visit her sister, the wife of the 
Hon. Ninian W. Edwards. She was at this time twenty-one years of age. Her 
mother died when Mary was very young, and she had been taught in a boarding- 
school at Lexington. She is described by Judge Arnold as "intelligent and 
bright, full of life and animation, with ready wit and quick at repartee and 
satire. Her eyes were grayish blue, her hair abundant and dark brown in color. 
She was a brunette, with a rosy tinge in her cheeks, of medium height, and form 
rather full and round." 

She was at once received in what really were the best families, and soon 
showed herself worthy to move in the highest social circles. She had at an 
early period become acquainted, very naturally, with a large number of educated 
young men, most of them lawyers or in some way prominently connected with 
public affairs. Both the young men and the young women of the town were 
greatly interested in politics, and not a few of them were ambitious. This was 
true of the Lexington belle who had so recently made her advent in Springfield. 
She had her eyes quite wide open, and gave these young men a close inspection. 
Mr. Lincoln was the most famous member of the group. He was at this time 
serving his last term in the Legislature; he was one of the best orators and 
stump-speakers in the state of Illinois. And socially, too, he was very prom- 
inent. An old resident says that "every lady wanted to get near Lincoln, to 
hear him talk." An old gentleman told Judge Arnold that when dining one 
day at the same table with Miss Todd and Lincoln, he said to her after dinner, 
half in jest and half in earnest: "Mary, I have heard that you have said you 
want to marry a man who will be president. If so, Abe Lincoln is your man." 




Lincoln had been introduced to Miss Todd by Mr. Speed, a friend of both. 
The young lady especially interested him, as she was a personal friend of his 
great exemplar, Henry Clay. But he was attracted, also, by her personal beauty 
and her sprightliness. He had not forgotten Ann Rutledge, whom he had ten- 
derly loved and to whose memory he was loyal, but, nevertheless, lie and Miss 
Todd evidently grew more and more attached to each other daily. It is to her 
credit that in spite of his awkwardness she recognized his sterling qualities, 
and had glimpses, perhaps, of his future illustrious career. Miss Todd was 

an ardent lover, while Lincoln 

had the deliberation of a lawyer 
as well as the heart of a man. 
Lincoln and Miss Todd were at 
last engaged, and a day in 
January, 1841, was fixed for the 
wedding, to be celebrated at 
the house of Judge Edwards. 
Elaborate preparations were 
made, and the expectant bride 
was radiant and happy, but Mr. 
Lincoln, most unfortunately, 
was attacked by one of his 
periods of deep depression — of 
doubt, anxiety and fear. It 
seemed to him that he did not 
love the girl well enough to 
marry her, and he remained 
away. The disappointment, 
sorrow and mortification of 
Miss Todd could not adequately 
be expressed. Mr. Speed sought 
his friend, and found him, " pale, 
haggard and in the deepest 

To Hon. John T. Stuart Mr. 

Lincoln wrote these sentences: 

"I am the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed 

to the whole human family, there would not be a cheerful face on earth. Whether 

I shall ever be better I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain 

as I am is impossible. I must die or be better." 

Lincoln's true and loyal friend, Joshua F. Speed, who had closed his business 
in Springfield and was about to return to Louisville, persuaded the young man 
to accompany him. There he was graciously and affectionately greeted by the 
mother of Mr. Speed, one of those noble Christian women whose radiant lives 
witness the truth of the religion they represent. Mr. Speed tried in vain to 




arouse Lincoln to make an effort to overcome the weight of his sorrow. It 
remained for Mr. Speed's mother to lead him to the Great Comforter who offers 
help to all who come to him. Lincoln was deeply impressed and strongly influ- 
enced by this good woman. Lucy Gilman Speed was as warm-hearted as she was 
refined. She was a delight and comfort to all who knew her. Above all, she 
was a devoted, loving and very intelligent Christian woman, of a deep and broad 
spiritual nature, and was capable of leading this brilliant and intellectual man, 
who was often in doubt, into the clear, warm, bright, invigorating and vivifying 
atmosphere of Christian 
knowledge and experience. 
Mrs. Speed gave Mr. Lincoln 
an Oxford Bible, which he 
retained and read all his life. 

From the Speed residence 
Lincoln, greatly and strongly 
comforted, took passage on 
a steamer, with "new hopes 
and ambitions," on his way 
to Springfield. On his way 
he had another opportunity 
to observe some of the bar- 
barous customs due to the 
toleration of slavery. 

"A fine example was pre- 
sented on board the boat for 
contemplating the effect of 
condition upon human hap- 
piness. A gentleman had 
purchased twelve negroes in 
different parts of Kentucky, 
and was taking them to a 
farm in the South. They 
were chained six and six 
together; a small iron clevis 
was around the left wrist 

of each, and this was fastened to the main chain by a shorter one at a 
convenient distance from the others, so that the negroes were strung together 
precisely like so many fish upon a trout-line. In this condition they were being 
separated forever from the scenes of their childhood, their friends, their fathers 
and mothers and brothers and sisters, and many of them from their wives and 
children, and going into perpetual slavery, where the lash of the master is 
proverbially more ruthless than anywhere else; and yet amid all these distress- 
ing circumstances, as we would think them, they were the most cheerful and 
apparently happy people on board. One, whose offense for which he was sold 




was an overfondness for his wife, played the fiddle almost continually, and 
others danced, sang, cracked jokes, and played various games with cards from 
day to day. How true it is that 'God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,' or, 
in other words, that he renders the worst of human conditions tolerable, while 
he permits the best to be nothing better than tolerable." 

On his return, Lincoln applied himself to the law, and continued his practice 
with great vigor. To all appearances the memory of his engagement to Mary 
Todd did not disturb him. The pain of separation was over, their paths leading 
in different directions, and the whole thing was a matter of the past. And so 
might it have ever remained but for the intervention of Mrs. Simeon Francis. 
She was a leader in society, and an admirer of Mary Todd's. Her husband, who 
was editor of the Sangamon Journal^ was warmly attached to Lincoln. Lincoln 


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was a frequent contributor, and practically controlled the editorial columns of 
the Journal. Mrs. Francis took it upon herself to bring about a reconciliation 
between Lincoln and Miss Todd. She arranged for a gathering at her house, 
inviting them, and both attended, neither suspecting the other's presence until 
the hostess brought them together, with the request, "Be friends again," thereby 
renewing the courtship. At first their meetings were secret at the home of 
their good friends, Mr. and Mrs. Francis. Miss Todd's sister was not aware of 
the reconciliation for several weeks afterward. 

It was a time of great financial depression; the state was heavily in debt from 
great expenditure in internal improvements, and James Shields, the auditor of 
state, who was thought to have overstepped his duties in collecting taxes, was 
bitterly denounced. Shields was from Tyrone, Ireland. He was quite prom- 



inent and popular in social circles, and was proud and high-spirited. Miss Todd, 
who was a keen observer, thought Shields a good mark for shafts of ridicule, 
especially as he appeared to be somewhat vain. She therefore wrote a series of 
satirical papers for the Sangamon Journal, entitled "Aunt Rebecca, or the 
Lost Township." Judge Herndon describes the affair as follows: 

" It was written from ' Lost Township,' a place not found on any map. The 
writer Avas a widow, and signed herself 'Rebecca.' The widow gave an account 
of a visit to her neighbor, whom she found very angry. 'What is. the matter, 
Jeff?' she asked. 'I'm mad 
Aunt'Becca! I've been tug- 
ging ever since harvest, get- 
ting out wheat and hauling 
it to the river to raise state 
bank paper enough to pay 
my tax this year and a little 
school debt I owe; and now, 
just as I've got it, here I 
open this infernal Extra 
Register [Democratic news- 
paper], expecting to find it 
full of Grlorious Democratic 
Victories and High Com'd 
Cocks, when, lo and behold ! 
I find a set of fellows, calling 
themselves officers of the 
state, have forbidden the tax 
collectors and school com- 
missioners to receive any 
more state paper at all; so 
here it is, dead on my 

"The widow went on to 
tell how her neighbor used 
some bad words. 'Don't 
swear so,' she said, in expos- 
tulation, to Jeff; 'you know I belong to the meetin', and swearing hurts my 

"'Beg pardon. Aunt 'Becca, but I do say that it is enough to make one swear, 
to have to pay taxes in silver for nothing only that Ford may get his $2,000, 
Shields his 12,400, and Carpenter his $1,600 a year, and all without danger of 
loss from state paper.'" 

Shields, like most vain men, was very sensitive to ridicule, and sought the 
editor of the paper, demanding the name of the author, which demand was 
refused. The editor, knowing something of the relations between Lincoln and 


(Founder of the New York Tribune.) 


Miss Todd, advised him of the circumstances, whereupon Lincoln assumed the 
authorship, and was challenged by Shields to meet him on the "field of honor." 
Meanwhile Miss Todd increased Mr. Shields' ire by writing another letter to the 
paper, in which she said: "I hear the way of these fire-eaters is to give the 
challenged party the choice of weapons, which being the case, I'll tell you in 
confidence that I never fight with anything but broom-sticks, or hot water, or a 
shovelful of coals, the former of which, being somewhat like a shillalah, may not 
be objectionable to him." Lincoln accepted the challenge, and selected broad- 
swords as the weapons. 
Mutual friends attempted 
to bring about a peaceful 
termination of what seemed 
likely to be a traged3^ Judge 
Herndon gives the closing 
of this affair, as follows: 

"The laws of Illinois 
prohibited duelling, and he 
[Lincoln] demanded that the 
meeting should be outside 
the state. Shields undoubt- 
edly knew that Lincoln was 
opposed to fighting a duel — 
that his moral sense would 
revolt at the thought, and 
that he would not be likely 
to break the law by fighting 
in the state. Possibly he 
thought Lincoln would make 
an humble apology. Shields 
was brave but foolish, and 
would not listen to overtures 
for explanation. It was 
arranged that the meeting 
should be in Missouri, oppo- 
site Alton. They proceeded 
to the place selected, but friends interfered, and there was no duel. There is little 
doubt that the man who had swung a beetle and driven iron wedges into gnarled 
hickory logs could have cleft the skull of his antagonist, but he had no such inten- 
tion. He repeatedly said to the friends of Shields that in writing the first article 
he had no thought of anything personal. The auditor's vanity had been sorely 
wounded by the second letter, in regard to which Lincoln could not make any 
explanation except that he had had no hand in writing it. The affair set all 
Springfield to laughing at Shields, but it detracted from the happiness of Lincoln. 
By accepting the challenge he had violated his sense of right and outraged his 




better nature. He would gladly have blotted it from memory. It was ever a 

On November 4, 1842, the wedding, so unhappily postponed, was held, under 
most happy auspices. The officiating clergyman, the Rev. Mr. Dresser, used the 
Episcopal church service for marriage. Lincoln placed the ring upon the bride's 
finger, and said, " With this ring I now thee wed, and with all my worldly goods 
I thee endow." Judge Thomas C. Browne, who was present, and had a pre- 
eminently legal mind, exclaimed: "Good gracious, Lincoln! the statute fixes 
all that." 

Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln took rooms in the Globe tavern, at Springfield, about 
two hundred yards southwest of the old state-house. They were pleasantly 
situated, paying four dollars a week for board and rooms. 



THE partnership between Judge Logan and Mr. Lincoln was dissolved Septem- 
ber 20, 1843, and on the same day Mr. Lincoln associated himself with a 
promising young lawyer named William H. Herndon, one of the ablest and most 
interesting of his biographers. Mr. Herndon was an out-and-out abolitionist, 
in full sympathy wirth William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips and other old 
abolitionist agitators, and anti-slavery newspapers and pamphlets were plentiful 
in Lincoln's office. 

Mr. Lincoln at that time thought the immediate abolishing of slavery was not 
practical — the institution being recognized by the Constitution and existing in 
one half the states composing the Union. The abolitionists denounced the 
Constitution and the Union. Mr. Lincoln could not go so far as that; he had 
long been a champion of the Constitution and of the Union. 

In 1844, Mr. Lincoln bought of Rev. Nathan Dresser a roomy "frame" house, 
quite cozy and comfortable, in which he lived until he went to Washington to 
occupy the White House. 

In 1839, Mr. Lincoln's old comrade and partner, Hon. John T. Stewart, had 
been elected to Congress, defeating Stephen A. Douglas. In 1842, Lincoln, 
Edward D. Baker and John J. Hardin, all personal friends, were congressional 
candidates. Baker carried the delegation from Sangamon county, and Lincoln, 
one of the delegates, was instructed to vote for him, which he did gracefully, 
saying to his friends, "I shall be fixed a good deal like the fellow who is made 
groomsman to the man who cut him out and is marrying his girl." Hardin, how- 
ever, was nominated and elected. In 1843, Baker was nominated and elected, 
and in 1846 Lincoln was elected. Lincoln's opponent was the famous old 
Methodist pioneer preacher, Peter Cartwright, but Lincoln received a vote much 
exceeding his party strength. In this campaign Mr. Lincoln's friends raised two 
hundred dollars toward paying his campaign expenses, and he returned one 
hundred and ninety-nine dollars and twenty-five cents, stating that his only 
expense was seventy-five cents. 

In 1847, he was in the house at Washington; there he met the great men of 
that day. Among them were Robert C. Winthrop, John Quincy Adams and 
Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana; Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee; Alexander H. 




Stephens, Howell Cobb, Robert Toombs, of Georgia, and Barnwell Rhett, of 
South Carolina. In the other house, the Senate, were Stephen A. Douglas, recently 
elected from Illinois; Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts; John P. Hale, of New 
Hampshire; John A. Dix, of New York; Lewis Cass, of Michigan; Thomas H. 
Benton, of Missouri; John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, and Jefferson Davis, 
of Mississippi. 

At Washington he saw gangs of slaves marching away from the prison to be 
sold in southern markets, and when a member from New York introduced a 

resolution prohibiting the 
slave trade in the District of 
Columbia, Mr. Lincoln fa- 
vored it. He asserted further 
that he would make free all 
children born after January 
1, 1850, and if owners of 
slaves were willing to part 
from them, he would have 
the government purchase 
their freedom; but at once 
bitter opposition appeared on 
the part of the southern 

Mr. Lincoln was the only 
Whig representing Illinois, 
the six other members being 

In 1844, Mr. Lincoln had 
made many speeches in be- 
half of Henry Clay, the 
Whig candidate for the 
presidency. One of these 
he made at Pigeon creek, 
Indiana, his old home. His 
neighbors of former days 
gathered around him and 
listened in surprise and delight to the eloquence of the man whom they had 
known as a boy. The election of James K. Polk over his favorite, Henry Clay, 
was a great blow to Lincoln personally. He afterward embraced an opportunity 
to see and hear his idol, and get some comfort and consolation from his personal 
presence. Clay was to deliver an address on the " Gradual Emancipation of the 
Slaves," at Lexington. This town was Mr. Lincoln's old home, and he 
decided to go and hear the address, and, if possible, meet Mr. Clay. He went 
into the hall and listened, but with a feeling of great disappointment. Mr. 
Clay was there, but not the great orator. There was no fire in the eye, no 




music in the speech. The address was a tame affair, as was the personal greeting 
when Mr. Lincoln made himself known. Mr. Clay was courteous, but cold. He 
may never have heard of the man in his presence who was to secure, without 
solicitation, the prii which he for many years had unsuccessfully sought. 
Lincoln was disenchanted; his ideal was shattered. One reason why Clay had 
never reached the goal of his ambition had become apparent. Two men who 
were radically different had met at Lexington on this occasion. Both had com- 
menced life as poor boys, and in the state of Kentucky; both had fought their 
way to high honors; both were great orators. Clay had a great name at home 
and abroad; Lincoln's fame was mainly confined to his own and neighboring 


states. But Clay was cool and dignified, while Lincoln was cordial and hearty. 
Clay's hand was bloodless and frosty, with no vigorous grip in it; Lincoln's was 
warm, and its clasp was expressive of kindliness and sympathy. 

Mr. Lincoln did more than occupy his seat and respond at roll-call, notwith- 
standing he was a new member, from a region that was then called "the West." 
The Mexican war was in progress. The object of this war, expressed in 
plain English, was to increase, through the enlargement of the limits of the state 
of Texas, a greater breadth of territory to be utilized by slave-owners. Mr. 
Lincoln was at heart opposed to slavery; he desired that, as soon as possible, the 
District of Columbia should be made free. , He was opposed to the addition of 



territory to the United States simply for the purpose of dividing it into new slave 
states, and thereby giving the institution greater power for harm in the councils 
of the nation than they already possessed. He did not build wiser than he knew, 
in his time, but much wiser than the mass of the people who were his contem- 
poraries knew. 

The question of slavery as connected with the war with Mexico was quite 
intricate. He was a patriot, and at the same time was a representative of the 
cause of human freedom. He voted for men and money to carry on the war. 

He honored the brave men 
who responded to the call 
of their country. His old 
friend Hardin, who had rep- 
resented his own district in 
Congress, fell at Buena 
Vista. Yet Mr. Lincoln, who 
had been faithful as apatriot, 
could not be persuaded or 
forced to admit or vote to 
the effect that the war had 
been righteously begun by 
President Polk. "But," said 
Mr. Lincoln afterward, in his 
joint debate with Stephen A. 
Douglas, replying to the 
charge of Douglas that he 
had taken the part of the 
common enemy, "whenever 
they asked for any money, 
or land warrants, or any- 
thing to pay the soldiers 
there, during all that time 
I gave the same vote that 
Judge Douglas did. You 
can think as you please as 
to whether that was consis- 
tent. Such is the truth, and the judge has the right to make all he can out of it. 
But when he, by a general charge, conveys the idea that I withheld supplies 
from the soldiers who were fighting in the Mexican war, or did anything else to 
hinder the soldiers, he is, to say the least, grossly and altogether mistaken." 

During this session of Congress Mr. Lincoln introduced what his opponents 
called the "Spot" resolutions, their purpose being to ridicule him. Nevertheless 
they were very much annoyed and worried by them. They gave President Polk 
a great deal of worry and trouble. He had tried to convey, in his message, the 
impression that the Mexicans were the aggressors, and that the war was under- 




taken to repel invasion and to avenge the shedding of the "blood of our fellow- 
citizens on our own soil." No president, before nor since, was ever so peculiarly 
or trenchantly arraigned as on this occasion. The resolutions are given in full 


'''•Resolved hij the House of Representatives, That the President of the United 
States be respectfully requested to inform this House— 

" 1st, Whether the spot on which the blood of our citizens was shed, as in his 
messao-es declared, was or was not within the territory of Spain, at least after 
the treaty of 1819, until the 
Mexican revolution. 

"2d. Whether that spot 
is or is not within the terri- 
tory which was wrested from 
Spain by the revolutionary 
government of Mexico. 

"3d. Whether that spot 
is or is not within a settle- 
ment of people, which set- 
tlement has existed ever since 
long before the Texas revolu- 
tion, and until its inhabitants 
fled before the approach of 
the United States army. 

"4th. Whether that set- 
tlement is or is not isolated 
from any and all other set- 
tlements by the Gulf and 
the Rio Grande on the south 
and west, and by wide unin- 
habited regions on the north 
and east. 

"5th. Whether the peo- 
ple of that settlement, or a 
majority of them, or any of 
them, have ever submitted 

themselves to the government or laws of Texas or of the United States, by con- 
sent or by compulsion, either by accepting office, or voting at elections, or pay- 
ing tax, or serving on juries, or having process served upon them, or in any 
other way. 

"6th. Whether the people of that settlement did or did not flee from the 
approach of the United States army, leaving unprotected their homes and their 
growing crops, before the blood was shed, as in the messages stated; and whether 
the first blood so shed was or was not shed within the inclosure of one of the 
people who had thus fled from it. 




"7fch. Whether our citizens, whose blood was shed, as in his messages declared, 
were or were not, at that time, armed officers and soldiers, sent into that settle- 
ment by the military order of the President, through the Secretary of War. 

"8th. Whether the military force of the United States was or was not so sent 
into that settlement after Greneral Taylor had more than once intimated to the 
War Department that, in his opinion, no such movement was necessary to the 
defense or protection of Texas." 

Action on these resolutions was never taken, but they did their work. On 
January 12, 1848, Mr. Lincoln commented on thein in a speech, in which, as 
Henry J. Raymond says, "he discussed, in his homely and forcible manner, the 
absurdities and contradictions of Mr. Polk's message, and exposed its weakness." 

Let us hope that Henry Clay, a man of integrity, as eminent for patriotism as 
for his matchless oratory, lived long enough to discover the sort and style of 
man Abraham Lincoln was. 

Mr, Lincoln was still the friend of internal improvements, and made a speech 
in Congress advocating and defending the system they represented. 

Ci- ■ 



IN 1848, Lewis Cass, of Michigan, was the Democratic candidate for the pres- 
idency in opposition to General Zachary Taylor, who was heartily supported 
by Mr. Lincoln. The friends of General Cass made much of and exploited his 
military services during the campaign. Mr. Lincoln knew something about 
their character, and had investigated Cass' accounts with the treasury. These 
accounts Lincoln alluded to in detail (July 28, 1848), and then said: 

" I have introduced General Cass' accounts here chiefly to show the wonder- 
ful physical capacities of the man. They show that he not only did the labor 
of several men at the same time, but he often did it in several places many 
hundred miles apart at the same time. And as to eating, too, his capacities are 
shown to be quite as wonderful. From October, 1821, to May, 1822, he 
ate ten rations a day in Michigan, ten rations a day here in Washington, 
nearly $5 worth a day, besides partly on the road between the two places. 
And then there is an important discovery in his example — the act of 
being paid for what one eats, instead of having to pay for it. Here- 
after, if any nice young man shall owe a bill which he cannot pay in 
any other way, he can just board it out. We have all heard of the animal 
standing in doubt between two stacks of hay and starving to death; the like of 
that would never happen to General Cass. Place the stacks a thousand miles 
apart, and he would stand stock-still midway between them and eat them both at 
once; and the green grass along the line would be apt to suffer some, too, at the 
same time. By all means, make him president, gentlemen. He will feed you 
bounteously, if — if — there is any left after he shall have helped himself." 

In the campaign in behalf of Taylor and against Cass, Mr. Lincoln made a 
speech in which he said: 

"But in my hurry I was very near closing on the subject of military coat-tails 
before I was done with it. There is one entire article of the sort I have not 
discussed yet; I mean the military tail you Democrats are now engaged in dove- 
tailing onto the great Michigander. Yes, sir, all his biographers (and they are 
legion) have him in hand, tying him to a military tail, like so many mischievous 
boys tying a dog to a bladder of beans. True, the material they have is very 
limited, but they drive at it might and main. He mvaded Canada without 




resistance, and he outYaded it without pursuit. As he did both under orders, I 
suppose there was to him credit in neither of them; but they are made to con- 
stitute a large part of the tail. He was volunteer aid to General Harrison on the 
day of the battle of the Thames, and as you said in 1840 that Harrison was pick- 
ing whortleberries, two miles off, while the battle was fought, I suppose it is a 
just conclusion with you to say Cass was aiding Harrison to pick whortleberries. 
This is about all, except the mooted question of the broken sword. Some anthers 
say he broke it; some say he threw it away, and some others, who ought to know, 
say nothing about it. Perhaps it would be a fair historical compromise to say, 

if he did not break it, he did 
not do anything else with it." 
President Taylor offered to 
make Lincoln governor of the 
territory of Oregon, but he 
declined the honor. 

His opposition in Congress 
to the Mexican war made him 
temporarily unpopular in his 
district, and prevented his re- 
election. He took the ground 
that the Mexican war was 
unnecessarily and unconsti- 
tutionally commenced by the 

Of a speech made by Alex- 
ander H. Stephens, in Con- 
gress, Mr. Lincoln wrote to 
William Herndon, as fol- 
lows: "I just take up my 
pen to say that Mr. Stephens, 
of Georgia, a little, slim, pale- 
faced, consumptive man, with 
a voice like Logan, has just concluded the very best speech of an hour's length 
I ever heard. My old, withered, dry eyes are full of tears yet!" Lincoln's 
letters to Herndon, who was his law partner in Springfield, Illinois, while in 
Congress or out on the circuit, and even while president, are invaluable in judging 
Lincoln's character. 

This same Alexander Stephens, vice-president of the southern confederacy, 
writing, seventeen years after Lincoln's death, and recalling their service together 
in Congress, from 1847 to 1849, says: ''I knew Mr. Lincoln well and intimately, 
and we were both ardent supporters of General Taylor for president in 1848. 
Mr. Lincoln, Toombs, Preston, myself and others formed the first congressional 
Taylor club, known as 'The Young Indians,' and organized the Taylor move- 
ment, which resulted in his nomination. ... 



"Mr. Lincoln was careful as to his manners, awkward in his speech, but 
was possessed of a very strong, clear, vigorous mind. . . . He always 
attracted and riveted the attention of the House when he spoke. His manner of 
speech as well as thought was original. He had no model. He was a man of 
strong convictions, and what Carlyle would have called an earnest man. He 
abounded in anecdote. He illustrated everything he was talking about by an 
anecdote, always exceedingly apt and pointed, and socially he ahvays kept his 
company in a roar of laughter." 

During the Taylor-Cass campaign Mr. Lincoln made his first visit to the 
East, speaking at New York and Boston, and attracting much attention. He 
made a notable address at Worcester, Massachusetts. On his way home he con- 
ceived a device for raising steamboats in low water, which he patented. 

At the second session of Congress, Mr. Lincoln introduced a bill looking to the 
emancipation of the slaves in the District of Columbia, but it was ultimately 
laid on the table, and remained there. The introduction and advocacy of the bill 
covers, however, a significant and honorable leaf in his public record. 

In 184:9, Mr. Lincoln resumed the practice of law in Springfield. The year 
1819 will be forever memorable in the annals of the countr}'. In the year 
before, James W Marshall was digging a mill-race for John A. Sutter, in Califor- 
nia. Some " yellow stuff " was discovered by Marshall in a shovelful of dirt. 
That "yellow stuff" was to produce a commercial and financial revolution 
Marshall took a lot of this yellow stuff to the small collection of houses 
called San Francisco, and showed it to Isaac Humphrey, who had been a miner 
of precious metals in Georgia, Said Humphrey, "It is gold." 

There were no telegraph lines or railways across the continent at that time, 
although it had long been predicted that a railroad would be built. The news 
of the discovery of gold, however, traveled as rapidly as steamships could carry 
it. It went down to the Isthmus, was then taken overland from the Pacific to 
the Gulf of Mexico, and thence by water to New York. It was then spread in 
the newspapers to all portions of the country. Many of the "forty-niners " are 
still living, and some of them are hale and hearty. They rushed to the new El 
Dorado in great numbers, if traveling by steamboat and on foot or mule-back can 
be called rushing. The steamers were crowded with emigrants, and soon the gold 
region was swarming with them. Those of the common miners first in the field 
were making hundreds of dollars a day, which was something extraordinary and 
unprecedented. By February, 1850, more than 8,000 miners, from all portions 
of the United States, were in the field, and seventy ships were being made ready 
for California trips. Western men made the overland trip, across the plains, 
through the mountains, on foot or in wagons. Hundreds of thousands of dol- 
lars were in store in San Francisco. More than 400 vessels were fioatiug in the 
bay, and the population of this city was put at 20,000. From these small 
beginnings grew and developed an empire on the Pacific coast. 

Of the host of hardy, enterprising men who flocked to her from the East and 
from foreign lands, in 1849 and afterward, many returned, some of them rich and 



some very poor, while a large number remained, to dig farther for gold or to cul- 
tivate the soil. 

But with the founding of this new empire there arose new and important 
political issues. Should this tract of California, a slice of Old Mexico, become 
free soil and a land of free men and not of slaves? It is true that the line of 
latitude of 36° 30^ — the line of that Missouri Compromise — decided this and set 
apart the territory to freedom, but imaginary lines, even when fixed by law and 
by the consent of all parties, were no bar to pro-slavery presumption. 

In 1846, when President Polk asked for $2,000,000 as a basis for the nego- 
tiation of peace, David Wilmot, representative in Congress from Pennsylvania, had 
moved what is known as the Wilmot Proviso, which declared that it should be a con- 
dition to the acquisition of any territory from Mexico '' that neither slavery nor 
involuntary servitude should ever exist in any part thereof, except for crime, 
whereof the party should be duly convicted." At two different times this com- 
promise was adopted in the' House, but rejected in the Senate. An appropriation 
of $3,000,000 was finally passed without the proviso, but the proposed measure 
had made David Wilmot famous as a champion of free soil. The principles of 
the Wilmot Proviso formed the foundation of a new political movement. 



FROM 184:9 to 1854 Mr. Lincoln was engaged in the work of his profession as a 
lawyer. Zachary Taylor was inaugurated president March 4, 1849, having 
been elected not only by a plurality, but by a majority, of the vote of the Electoral 
College, although some southerners had voted against him because he had not 
come out squarely in favor of the extension of slavery. On the third of June, 
General B. Riley, military governor of California, issued a call for a convention 
of the people of California, to form a state constitution. This convention was 
held, and adopted a constitution, by the terms of which slavery was expressly 
prohibited. President Taylor presented the constitution to Congress, and the 
representatives of the new state, all Democrats, stood knocking at the door for 
admission to the Union for many weary months. Had Congress been faithful to 
the Missouri Compromise, California would have been admitted at once. 

A matter of such great political importance could not fail to be of intense 
interest to Mr. Lincoln, and to ultimately draw him from his law-books and 
practice into the political arena. 

On June 3, 1849, Senator Henry Clay submitted the basis of a new com- 
promise, which seemed to him to be necessary to the solution of the present 
difficulty, and his proposition had the support of the greatest statesmen of the 
day. Mr. Clay's "Compromise of 1850" had this for its first resolution: 

"That California, with suitable boundaries, ought, upon her application, to 
be admitted as one of the states of this Union, without the imposition by Con- 
gress of any restriction in respect to the exclusion or introduction of slavery 
within those boundaries." 

The resolution declared that it was inexpedient to abolish slavery in the 
District of Columbia; but that it was expedient to prohibit the slave trade within 
the District, and that "more effectual provision ought to be made by law, accord- 
ing to the requirement of the Constitution, for the restitution and delivery of 
persons hound to service or labor, in any state, who may escape into any other state or 
territory in the Unions After much discussion. Senator Stephen A. Douglas, of 
niinois, reported a bill, March 25, 1850, for the admission of California into the 
Union, and also one to establish territorial governments for Utah and New 
Mexico. On the eighth of May following. Senator Henry Clay, from a special 



committee, presented and recommended a series of "bases" for a "general com- 
promise." This report was similar to the resolutions already alluded to as hav- 
ing been introduced by Mr. Clay; but it provided, also, for '"the establishment 
of territorial governments for New Mexico and Utah, without the Wihnot Pro- 
viso^'''' and prohibited the slave trade, but did not abolish slavery, in the District 
of Columbia. Finally, in August, the Senate passed a bill providing for the 
admission of California as a state without slavery, and on the admission of New 
Mexico and Utah as territories without restriction, and these, and other bills 

suggested by Mr. Clay in his 
compromise, passed both 
Houses and became laws. 

On January 23, 1854, 
Senator Douglas surprised 
both his friends and oppo- 
nents by presenting a bill for 
the admission of two tracts 
lying between parallels 36° 
30' on the south, and 43° 30' 
on the north as territories, 
one to be called Kansas and 
the other Nebraska, the bill 
providing that " all questions 
pertaining to slavery in the 
territories^ and in the neiv 
states to he formed i\LQreix ova. ^ 
he left to the ■people residing 

Mr. Douglas afterward 
moved an amendment, stat- 
ing that it was the true intent 
and meaning of the act " not 
to legislate slavery into any 
territory or state, nor to 
exclude it therefrom, but to 
leave the people thereof per- 
fectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject 
to the Constitution of the United States." This represented the political doctrine 
of "squatter sovereignty" that was so frequently and earnestly exploited by Mr. 
Douglas, and so vehemently attacked by Mr. Lincoln, in debates which followed. 
Indeed, this action by Douglas struck Lincoln with amazement. His bill, in 
becoming a law, repealed the very Missouri Compromise which Douglas had 
declared " to be sacred," and a law which " no human hand should destroy." 

A law for the recovery of fugitive slaves from free territory, passed in 1850, 
had been the means of causing universal excitement and commotion throughout 




the North. The law was but a twin to the compromise measure adopted the 
same year. The efforts of slaveholders to capture their slaves created great 
indignation everywhere that an attempt was made to enforce it. 

Unnecessary brutality was frequently shown by the slave-catchers, and the 
sympathies of the people in the North were aroused in behalf of the fugitives. 
In many instances popular feeling and excitement were at the highest pitch. 
The slave-catchers continued their work during the period reaching from 1850 to 
the breakino- out of the rebellion. In some instances, the pursuers and capturers 
of slaves were themselves 
arrested for kidnapping, and 
were glad to relinquish their 
claims to secure their own 

Franklin Pierce, of New 
Hampshire, was president, 
in 1854, when Douglas' 
Kansas- Nebraska Bill was 
passed, and he was in full 
sympathy with the distin- 
guished senator. 

This bill passed the Sen- 
ate March 3, 1854. It is a 
singular fact that Sam 
Houston, the man who had 
been the leader in achieving 
the independence of Texas, 
and who represented that 
state in the Senate, voted 
against the bill, and in the 
closing portion of his speech 
used the language given 
below. Pointing to the 
eagle, he said: 

"Yon proud symbol 
above your head remains 

enshrouded in black, as if deploring the misfortune that has fallen upon us, 
and as a fearful omen of the future calamities which await our nation in the 
event that this bill becomes a law." 

Here spoke anotlipr prophet! 

In the House of Representatives, the venerable statesman, Thomas H. Ben- 
ton, of Missouri, at this time a member of the House, most vigorously opposed 
the passage of the bill. Mr. Benton, although living in a slave state, was indig- 
nant at the "violation of the compact," foreseeing very clearly, as did Senator 
Houston, the danger that would follow. But the bill passed the House May 8, 



1854, and it was a foregone conclusion that Pierce would sign it and make it a 
law. The friends of slavery, and especially of slavery extension, were in trans- 
ports of delight. Cannon were fired from Capitol Hill, and demonstrations of 
rejoicing were madq in various portions of the South. The friends of freedom 
everywhere felt that a great wrong and outrage had been committed. Douglas 
was denounced in all portions of the North as a betrayer of a sacred trust, and the 
charge was freely made that the presidential bee buzzing in his ears had drawn 
his attention from the peculiar political enormity of his conduct. He had been 
the leader in the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, as he had previously been 
one of the loudest in its praise; consequently, his apparent sacrifice of principle 
was supposed to have for its object the promotion of his own political aspirations. 

There was at once organized by the slaveholders a scheme to colonize and 
occupy the southern portion of this territory, called Kansas, for the purpose of 
making it a slave state. But the friends of freedom, fully awake to the impor- 
tance of the crisis, determined that it should be free. 

Armed bodies of slaveholders crossed the line of Missouri, and proceeded to 
make settlements; but what were called ''free-state" men were also on the march. 
There were two lines of emigrants, from the two sections of the country. The 
free-state emigrants took farming tools, Bibles, hymn-books, and Sharp's rifles, 
for which they afterward found good use. John Brown, who soon became known 
as Ossawatomie Brown, and afterward attempted to create a revolution which 
should free the slaves, at Harper's Ferry, and was hanged, at Charleston, Virginia, 
December 2, 1859, was one of the leaders. Charles Robinson, afterward gov- 
ernor, and Messrs. Pomeroy and Lane, afterward generals, were prominent in the 
movement. The whole country was in a state of excitement. The new emigrants 
had the sympathy of millions behind them. They were sustained by the money 
as well as the moral support of the great commonwealths north of Mason and 
Dixon's line. A national society was formed in Massachusetts to aid the free-state 
men, and Abraham Lincoln was a member of the executive committee. Through- 
out the greater portion of this period Mr. Lincoln had been engaged assiduously 
in the practise of his profession, but he was now called from his retirement to 
take a most prominent part in the great events which were to bring about a 
revolutionary change in the political and moral conditions of the country. 


Lincoln's most famous law-cases. 

IN the meantime, Mr. Lincoln had been developing his legal talents and 
spreading his fame as one of the ablest lawyers in the West. In a reaper patent 
case, tried in Cincinnati in 1857, between Cyrus McCormick and Mr. Manny, 
McCormick employed the famous Reverdy Johnson, of Baltimore, and Manny had 
secured the services of George Harding, of Philadelphia, and Abraham Lincoln. 
Afterward Manny employed Edwin M. Stanton, of Steubenville, Ohio. Lincoln 
had prepared himself with great care, as usual, and was ready for his task. 
Judge John McLean presided. Manny's three attorneys met to consult as to the 
management of the case. Judge Herndon describes this episode as follows: 

'' Only two of them could be heard by the court. Mr. Harding, by mutual 
consent, was to present the mechanical features of the invention. Who should 
present the legal points, Lincoln or Stanton? By custom it was Lincoln's right. 
He was prepared; Stanton was not. 'You will speak, of course,' said Stanton. 
'No, you,' the courteous reply. 'I will,' the answer, and Mr. Stanton abruptly 
and discourteously left the room. He had taken a great dislike to Lincoln, who 
overheard him in an adjoining room say to a friend, 'Where did such a lank 
creature come from? His linen duster is blotched on his back with perspiration 
and dust, so that you might use it for a map of the continent.' " 

This was the lirst meeting of two great men, afterward to be very closely 
united in the service of their country. Lincoln felt the indignity, but history 
shows very plainly that he never bore any malice toward the great war secretary 
of 1861. 

One of the most notable of Lincoln's law-cases was that in which he defended 
William D. Armstrong, charged with murder. The case was one which was 
watched during its progress with intense interest, and it had a most dramatic 
ending. The defendant was the son of Jack and Hannah Armstrong. The 
father was dead, but Hannah, who had been very motherly and helpful to Lincoln 
during his life at New Salem, was still living, and asked Lincoln to defend him. 
Young Armstrong had been a wild lad, and was often in bad company. One 
night, in company with a lot of other wild fellows, he went to a camp-meeting. 
Rowdies tried to disturb and break up the meeting, and a row ensued in which a 
man was killed. It was charged that Armstrong was the murderer, and he was 




placed in prison. Lincoln responded as follows to Hannah Armstrong's request 
for legal advice and aid: 

Springfield, Illinois, September 18—. 
Dear Mrs. Armstrong: — I have just heard of your deep affliction, and the arrest of 
your son for murder. I can liardly believe that he can be guilty of the crime alleged 
against him. It does not seem possible. I am anxious that he should have a fair trial, at 
any rate; and gratitude for your long-continued kindness to me in adverse circumstances 
prompts me to offer my humble services gratuitously in his behalf. It will afford me an 
opportunity to requite, in a small degree, the favors I received at your hand, and that of 

your lamented husband, when 
,,- ' "" " ~- - .„ your roof afforded me grateful 

shelter, without money and 
without price. 

Yours truly, 
Abraham Lincoln. 

The case came on for trial 
in 1858, only two years be- 
fore Lincoln was nominated 
for the presidency, and it 
was exploited very widely in 
the campaign. A man by 
the name of Morris was 
arrested with him, convicted, 
and sent to the penitentiary. 
Judge Arnold says: ''The 
evidence against Bill was 
very strong. Indeed, the 
case for the defense looked 
hopeless. Several witnesses 
swore positively to his 
guilt. The strongest ev- 
idence was that of a man 
who swore that at eleven 
o'clock at night he saw Arm- 
strong strike the deceased 
on the head; that the moon 
was shining brightly and was nearly full, and that its position in the sky 
was just about that of the sun at ten o'clock in the morning, and that by it he 
saw Armstrong give the mortal blow. This was fatal, unless the effect could be 
broken by contradiction or impeachment. Lincoln quietly looked up an alma- 
nac, and found that, at the time this, the principal witness, declared the moon 
to have been shining with full light, there was no moon at all. There were some 
contradictory statements made by other witnesses, but on the whole the case 
seemed almost hopeless. Mr. Lincoln made the closing argument. 'At first,^ 
says Mr. Walker, one of the counsel associated with him, 'he spoke slowly and 




carefully, reviewed the testimony, and pointed out its contradictions, discrep- 
ancies and impossibilities. When he had thus prepared the way, he called for 
the almanac, and showed that, at the hour at which the principal witness swore 
he had seen, by the light of the ft)ll moon, the mortal blow given, there was no 
moon at all.' 

" This was the climax of the argument, and, of course, utterly disposed of the 
principal witness. But it was Lincoln's eloquence which saved Bill Armstrong. 
His closing appeal must have been irresistible. His associate says: 'The last 
fifteen minutes of his speech was as eloquent as I ever heard. . . . The 
jury sat as if entranced, and when he was through, found relief in a gush of 
tears.' One of the prosecuting attorneys says: 'He took the jury by storm. 
. . . There were tears in Lincoln's eyes while he spoke, but they were 
genuine. ... I have said an hundred times that it was Lincoln's speech 
that saved that criminal from the gallows.' . . . The jury in this case knew 
and loved Lincoln, and they could not resist him. He told the anxious mother, 
' Your son will be cleared before sundown.' When Lincoln closed, and while the 
state's attorney was attempting to reply, she left the court-room and ' went down 
to Thompson's pasture,' where, all alone, she remained awaiting the result. Her 
anxiety may be imagined, but before the sun went down that day, Lincoln's mes- 
senger brought to her the joyful tidings, 'Bill is free. Your son is cleared.' 
For all of this Lincoln would accept nothing but thanks." 

Another biographer, M. Louise Putnam, says: 

"The jury retired, and at the expiration of half an hour returned with the 
verdict, 'Not guilty.' ' 

"The poor widow dropped into the arms of her son, who, tenderly supporting 
her, told her to behold him free and innocent. Then crying otit, ' Where is Mr. 
Lincoln?' he rushed across the court-room and grasped his deliverer's hand with- 
out uttering a word; his emotion was so great he could not speak. Mr. Lincoln 
pointed to the West, and said, ' It is not yet sundown, and yo^i are free.'' " 



NATHANIEL P. BANKS, of Massachusetts, a friend of free soil, was chosen 
speaker of the national House of Representatives in 1855, over Aiken, of 
South Carolina. The revolution of public sentiment was still in progress in the 
North. The course of the Democrats in Congress had alienated many distin- 
guished men of the party, among them Martin Van Buren and his witty and 
eloquent son, John. The seceders in New York state were known as barn-burners, 
and they first materialized in a convention held at Buffalo — which convention, 
however, was really national in its scope. The friends of freedom began to call 
themselves Republicans, and the Republican party was born February 22, 1856. 
It was a notable and most enthusiastic gathering. On May 29th, in the same 
year, a convention composed of the representatives of the people of Illinois, who 
were opposed to the extension of slavery, was held at Bloomington, and here, 
Judge Arnold declares, ''the Republican party was organized." The conven- 
tion was composed of both Democrats and Whigs — partizans who had never 
acted together before. The members of the committee on resolutions were 
unable to agree, and the representative man of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, was 
sent for Judge Arnold says: 

"He [Lincoln] suggested that all could unite on the principles of the 
Declaration of Independence and hostility to the extension of slavery. 'Let us,' 
said he, ' in building our new party, make our corner-stone the Declaration of 
Independence — let Us build on this rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against us." The problem was mastered, and the convention adopted the fol- 

'"''Resolved^ That we hold, in accordance with the opinions and practices of all 
the great statesmen of all parties for the first sixty years of the administration 
of the government, that, under the Constitution, Congress possesses full power 
to prohibit slavery in the territories; and that while we will maintain all consti- 
tutional rights of the South, we also hold that justice, humanity, the principles 
of freedom, as expressed in our Declaration of Independence and our national 
Constitution, and the purity and perpetuity of our government require that that 
power should be exerted to prevent the extension of slavery into territories here- 
tofore free. 




"Thus was organized the party which, against the potent influence of Doug- 
las, revolutionized the state of Illinois, and elected Lincoln to the presidency. 
Lincoln's speech to this convention has rarely been equaled. ' Never,' says one 
of the delegates, ' was an audience more completely electrified by human 
eloquence. Again and again during the delivery the audience sprang to their 
feet, and by long-continued cheers, expressed how deeply the speaker had roused 
them. It fused the mass of incongruous elements into harmony and union. 
"Delegates were appointed to the national convention, which was to meet in 

Philadelphia, to nominate 
candidates for president and 

In June, 1856, the first 
nominating convention of 
the Republican party was 
held at Philadelphia. John 
C. Fremont was named for 
the presidency, and William 
L. Dayton for the vice- 
presidency. Abraham Lin- 
coln's Bloomington '" plank " 
was accepted as the chief 
portion of the platform 
adopted, and it became 
apparent that, as Lincoln 
was already the leader of the 
new party in the Northwest, 
he was to become the leader 
of the free-soil sentiment 
throughout the nation. 

The Democrats met at 
Cincinnati on the second of 
June, and on the sixteenth 
ballot nominated James 
Buchanan, of Pennsylvania, 
for the presidency, and John 
C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, for the vice-presidency. The convention refused 
to nominate the aspiring Douglas, but it "indorsed the compromise measures of 
1850 and Douglas' Kansas-Nebraska Bill." 

The Whigs of the South and certain conservative Whigs of the North, who 
were popularly called the "Silver Grays," nominated Millard Fillmore for the 

There was now a clear understanding of the great political issue of the day, 
and a hard-fought campaign followed. At one time it seemed likely that Fre- 
mont and Dayton would be elected. Abraham Lincoln was constantly speaking, 



and with great effect, but finally Buchanan managed to carry the doubtful 
states of Pennsylvania and Indiana, and the contest was virtually ended. 

Buchanan was elected, receiving in the electoral college 172 votes, Fremont 
receiving 114, and Fillmore those to which Maryland was entitled. 

Meanwhile the struggle in Kansas continued. The pro-slavery men had 
formed at Lecompton a constitution which was designed to make of Kansas a 
slave state. The free-soil advocates adopted a free-state constitution at Topeka. 
This was submitted to the people and adopted. Thus was the issue clearly 
defined; the friends of the two constitutions came into collision, and in Kansas 
the civil war was virtually begun. 

In 1856, Congress appointed an investigating committee, of which John Sher- 
man, of Ohio, was a member. This committee did thorough and exhaustive work, 
and finally reported that "every election held under the auspices of the United 
States officials had been controlled, not by actual settlers, but by non-residents 
from Missouri, and that every officer in the territory owed his election to these 

Meanwhile the free-state officers had been arrested, and the free-state legisla- 
tion dispersed by '' the. regular array of the United States, acting under orders 
of the president. It was thus that Kansas was to be brought into the Union as 
a slave state." [Herndon.] 

Buchanan, very naturally, sent a message to Congress, December 9, 1857, 
asking that bodj to admit Kansas, with its fraudulent slave-state constitution. 
The personal friends of Stephen A. Douglas were surprised and glad to see him 
at once announce his condemnation of the proposal. One of his ablest and most 
commendable speeches was made on this occasion. " Why," said he, "force this 
constitution down the throats of the people in opposition to their wishes, and in 
violation of our pledges? . . . The people want a fair vote, and will never be 
satisfied without it. . . . If it is to be forced upon the people, under a 
submission that is a mockery and an insult, I will resist it to the last." 

Buchanan remonstrated with Mr. Douglas, and proceeded to warn him of 
personal consequences. Recalling the fact that the senator had always been 
an admirer of General Jackson, Buchanan, the time-server, said: 

"You are an ambitious man, Mr. Douglas, and there is a brilliant 
future for you, if you retain the confidence of the Democratic party; if you 
oppose it, let me remind you of the fate of those who in former times rebelled 
against it. Remember the fate of Senators Rives and Talmadge, who opposed 
General Jackson, when he removed the government deposits from the United 
States bank. Beware of their fate, Mr. Douglas." 

" Mr. President." said Douglas, " General Jackson is dead. Good-morning, sir ! " 

The celebrated decision in the Dred Scott case was most important, and had 
great influence on public sentiment. The decision was made by the Supreme 
Court early in Mr. Buchanan'^ administration. 

Dred Scott had been one of the slaves of Dr. Emerson, of Missouri, a United 
States army surgeon. Emerson moved first to Rock Island, Illinois, and then to 



Fort Snelling, Minnesota, at which latter place, in 1836, Scott was married to a 
negro woman whom Emerson had bought. After the birth of two children all 
the family were taken back to St. Louis and sold. Dred brought suit for his 
freedom, and after the Circuit and Supreme Courts of Missouri had heard the 
case, it was, in May, 1854, appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The 
decision read by Chief-justice Taney held that "negroes, whether free or slaves, 
were not citizens of the United States, and could not become such by any p^^ocess 
known to the Constitution;'" that under the laws of the United States "a negro 

could neither sue nor be 
!«ued, and therefore the court no jurisdiction over 
Dred Scott's cause;" that "a 
slave was to be regarded in 
the light of a personal chat- 
tel, and might be removed 
from place to place by his 
owner as any other piece of 
property;" that "the Con- 
stitution gave to every slave- 
holder the right of removing 
to or through any state or 
territory with his slaves, and 
of returning at his will with 
them to a state where slavery 
was recognized by law; and 
that therefore the Missouri 
Compromise of 1820 and the 
compromise measures of 1850 
were unconstitutional and 

Judge Taney did not an- 
nounce this decision because 
he wished to of his own 
accord, but he Avas pursued 
and hounded on by the cham- 
pions of slavery until it seemed to him that he was forced to it. Retiring to his 
home after the act, he fell on the neck of his black body-servant, and declared 
that he was a ruined man. 

Six of the associate justices— Wayne, Nelson, Grier, Daniel, Campbell and 
Catron— concurred, but Judges McLean and Curtis dissented. The president had 
hoped that this would allay the excitement, but it had a contrary effect. The 
South affected satisfaction, but the free-soil party became exasperated, and the 
passage of personal liberty bills resulted in several of the antislavery states. 
By means of the enactment of these measures the efforts of the slave-catchers 




were often thwarted— ^conspicuously so in the noted Oberlin-Wellington case, in 
Ohio, where a slave was taken from a sheriff and spirited away. It is true that 
Professor Peck, J. M. Fitch, Simeon Bushnell and others were kept in jail in 
Cleveland for months, and tried. for their ''crime," but they were finally released 
by the prosecutor, under state law: 

John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, October 16, 1859, was the 
next excitement for the slave states. The details of the daring attempt, its 
failure and the trial, condemnation and execution of John Brown and six of his 


companions, are incidents too well and widely known to justify recapitulation 
here. T.his affair, and the rapid growth of the Free-Soil party in Kansas, while 
widening the breach between North and South, threw into the nineteenth pres- 
idential election campaign of 1860 the apple of discord destined to precipitate the 
clash of arms. 

A United States senator was to be chosen in Illinois, in 1854, to take the 
place of Senator Shields, Lincoln took a prominent part in the campaign. 
Douglas was the champion of " popular," or " squatter," sovereignty. Lincoln 



met Douglas on two occasions before the people. The first time was at a meet- 
ing of the state fair, at Springfield, on October 4th. Lincoln had great vantage- 
ground, Douglas having proved recreant to his former principles, so solemnly 
announced by him. He said: "My distinguished friend says it is an insult to the 
emigrants of Kansas and Nebraska to suppose that they are not able to govern 
themselves. We must not slur over an argument of this kind because it 
happens to tickle the ear. It must be met and answered. I admit that the 
emigrant of Kansas and Nebraska is competent to govern himself, hut I deny his 

right to govern any other 
person ivithout that person's 
consent/' The two oppo- 
nents met again in Peoria. 
When the Legislature con- 
vened, Lincoln gave way to 
Lyman Trumbull, who was 
elected senator. 

Early in June, 1857, 
Douglas made his famous 
speech in Springfield, in 
which he declared that he 
meant to sustain all the 
acts of what was called the 
Lecompton convention, even 
though a pro-slavery consti- 
tution should be formed. 
He further expressed his 
approval .of the Dred Scott 
decision in this same speech. 
Lincoln replied to him 
at Springfield two weeks 
later. He defended the 
course of action which the 
Republicans of Kansas had 
adopted in behalf of free 
territory. This was but a 
sort of prelude to the famous senatorial contest between Douglas and Lincoln 
the next year. The measure known as the English Bill was made a law April 
30, 1858. 

Douglas' term was on the eve of expiring, and he returned to Hlinois, after 
the adjournment of Congress. He had come in open contact with the adminis- 
tration through his course on the Lecompton Bill, and had really made himself 
quite popular with the Republicans of Hlmois, some of whom were inclined to 
think it would not be wise to oppose his re-election. But they knew that he was in 
no sense a Republican, and that he had declared he "did not care whether slavery 




was voted down or not." Abraham Lincoln was nominated as a candidate for 
Douglas' place in the Senate, June 17, 1858. Mr. Douglas had already been 
indorsed and 'Virtually renominated" by the Democratic state convention. 

Lincoln delivered his first speech in Chicago, July 9th, and Douglas said of it 
that it was "well prepared and carefully written." We quote from the first 
paragraph of a speech made by Lincoln, at Springfield, as follows: 

" If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could 
better judge what to do and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year 
since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and. confident promise of 
putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy that 


agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my 
opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. 'A 
house divided against itself cannot stand.' I believe this government cannot endure 
permanenthj half slave and half free." 

After several speeches had been made by each gentleman, Lincoln addressed 
a letter to Douglas challenging him to a series of debates during the campaign. 
The challenge was accepted, and arrangements were made by which Douglas 
was to have four opening and closing speeches to Mr. Lincoln's three, Mr. Lincoln 
not objecting to the disparity. 



AT Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858, was commenced one of the most remark- 
able political debates ever known. There were actual intellectual giants in 
those days. Stephen A. Douglas, a Yermonter, who had arisen rapidly into a 
large degree of fame since he had become a citizen of Illinois, was one of those 
giants, and Abraham Lincoln was another. Not only were the two men great, 
but they discussed great vital principles. The Ordinance of 1787, the Missouri 
Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Bill (finally passing 
as the English Bill, and so framed as to deceive and defraud the people of Kansas, 
who decided, nevertheless, to make theirs a free state), were frequently touched 
in the discussion. 

Seven joint debates were held — at Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, 
Galesburg, Quincy and Alton. Mr. Douglas rode about from place to place in a 
special saloon-car, furnished by the general superintendent of the road, George 
B. McClellan, afterward a prominent Union general, and Democratic candidate 
for the presidency. Mr. Lincoln and his famous saddle-bags went from place to 
place in an ordinary car. There was firing of cannon, music by bands, great 
processions, and immense audiences at each of these meetings. 

Henry J. Raymond, the famous editor of the New York Times, epitomizes 
in his book on Lincoln the matter of the first debate, as follows: 

"In the first of these joint debates, which took place at Ottawa, Mr. Douglas 
again rung the changes upon the introductory passage of Mr. Lincoln's Spring- 
field speech, 'A house divided against itself,' etc. Mr. Lincoln reiterated his 
assertion, and defended it in effect, as he did in his speech at Springfield. Then 
he took up the charge he had previously made, of the existence of a conspiracy 
to extend slavery over the northern states, and pressed it home, citing as proof 
a speech which Mr. Douglas himself had made on the Lecompton Bill, in which 
he had substantially made the same charge against Buchanan and others. He 
then showed again that all that was necessary for the accomplishment of the 
scheme was a decision of the Supreme Court to the effect that no state could 
exclude slavery, as the court had already decided that no territory could exclude 
it, and the acquiescence of the people in such a decision; and he told his hearers 
that Douglas was doing all in his power to bring about such acquiescence in 




advance, by declaring that the true position was, not to care whether slavery 
' was voted down or up,' and by announcing himself in favor of the Dred Scott 
decision, not because it was right, but because a decision of the court is to him a 
' Thus saith the Lord,' and thus committing himself to the next decision just as 
firmly as to this." 

The next meeting was to be held at Freeport, and as Mr. Douglas in the 
Ottawa debate had asked Mr. Lincoln several questions, which he had promptly 
answered, Lincoln prepared four questions to be asked of Douglas at Freeport. 

The third question was: 

" If the Supreme Court 
of the United States shall 
decide that states cannot 
exclude slavery from their 
limits, are you in favor of 
acquiescing in, adopting, and 
following such decision as a 
code of political action?" 

'' Douglas," said Lincoln's 
friends, " will reply by ajBirm- 
ing this decision as an 
abstract principle, but deny- 
ing its political application." 
" If he does that he can 
never be president," said Lin- 

" That is not your look- 
out; you are after the sen- 

"No, gentlemen; I am 
killing larger game. TJie 
battle of 1860 is worth a hun- 
dred of this." 

Douglas evaded the ques- 
tion. The senator had stated 
that he did not care whether 
slavery was voted into or out 
of the territories; that the 
negro was not Afs equal: the Declaration .of Independence was not intended to 
include the negro. Mr. Lincoln replied to these propositions, at Freeport, as 

" The men who signed the Declaration of Independence said that all men are 
created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights — 
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This was their majestic interpretation 
of the economy of the universe. This was their lofty and wise and noble under- 


One of America's greatest orators and uncompromising 
antislavery advocates. He was born 1811, and died 1874. 


standing of the justice of the Creator to his creatures — yes, gentlemen, to all 
his creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, 
nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to 
be trodden on and degraded and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only 
the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon 
the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children, and their 
children's children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in 
other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of posterity 
to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that 
when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up 
the doctrine that none but rich men, none but white men, or none but Anglo- 
Saxon white men, were entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, their 
posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence, and take 
courage to renew the battle which their fathers began; so that truth and justice 
and mercy and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished 
from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe 
the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built. 

"Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines conflicting with 
the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence; if you have listened 
to suggestions which would take away from its grandeur, and mutilate the fair 
symmetry of its proportions; if you have been inclined to believe that all men 
are not created equal in those inalienable rights enumerated by our chart of 
liberty, let me entreat you to come back. Return to the fountain whose waters 
spring close by the blood of the Revolution. Think nothing of me; take no 
thought for the political fate of any man whomsoever, but come back to the 
truths that are in the Declaration of Independence. You may do anything with 
me you choose if you will but heed these sacred principles. You may not 
only defeat me for the Senate, but you may take me and put me to death. 
While pretending no indifference to earthly honors, I do claim to be actuated in 
this contest by something higher than an anxiety for office. I charge you to 
drop every paltry and insignificant thought for any man's success. It is noth- 
ing; I am nothing; Judge Douglas is nothing. But do not destroy that immor- 
tal emblem of humanity — the Declaration of American Independence." 

Mr. Lincoln had a majority of four thousand in the popular vote of the 
state, but the legislative districts had been so unfairly constructed that Douglas 
received a majority of the ballots in the Legislature. The debates, however, 
attracted universal attention throughout the country and brought Mr. Lincoln 
to the front as an able and eloquent champion of free-soil principles. 

In 1859, the Democrats of Ohio, having nominated their candidate for gov- 
ernor, Mr. Douglas, as the champion of " popular sovereignty " was invited to 
take part in the canvass, with great expectations as to the results on the part of 
the Democracy. Naturally, the Republicans at once asked Lincoln to come to the 
state, and he promptly responded, making two remarkable speeches (he could 
have made no other kind at that time), one at Columbus, the other at Cincinnati. 




Mr. Douglas had had printed in Harper's Magazine an elaborate and carefully 
prepared article, explaining his views on the principles of which he was the chief 
representative. This was a golden opportunity for Mr. Lincoln, and at Colum- 
bus he made mince-meat of Mr. Douglas' elaborate essay, Mr. Lincoln tersely 
described what Judge Douglas' proposed popular sovereignty really was. He 
said: "It is, as a principle, no other than that if one man chooses to make a 
slave of another man, neither that other man nor anybody else has a right to 
object. Applied to the government as he means to apply it, it is this: If, in a 

new territory into which a 
few people are beginning to 
enter for the purpose of mak- 
ing their homes, they choose 
to exclude slavery from their 
limits or establish it there, 
however one or the other 
may affect the persons to be 
enslaved, or the infinitely 
greater number of persons 
who are afterward to inhabit 
that territory, or the other 
members of the families of 
communities of which they 
are but incipient members, 
or the general head of the 
family of states, as parent 
of all — however their action 
may affect one or the other 
of these, there is no power 
or right to interfere. That 
is Douglas' popular sov- 
ereignty applied. He has a 
good deal of trouble with 
popular sovereignty. His 
explanations explanatory of 
explanations explained are 
interminable." Mr. Lincoln 
proceeded to say, "Did you 
ever, five years ago, hear of anybody in the world saying that the negro had 
no share in the Declaration of National Independence; that it did not mean 
negroes at all; and when 'all men' were spoken of, negroes were not included?" 
Mr. Lincoln at Cincinnati addressed largely the Kentuckians, his old neigh- 
bors, and after advising them to nominate Mr. Douglas as their candidate for the 
presidency at the approaching Charleston convention, showed them how, by so 
doing, they would the more surely protect their cherished institution of slavery. 


Familiarly known as the " Pathfinder." He was born 
1813, and was the first Republican candidate for president. 



The Ohio Republican state committee was so well pleased with Mr. Lincoln's 
speeches that it requested permission to publish in a pamphlet or book the 
verbatim report of the debate between Mr. Douglas and himself in Illinois, of 
which they printed a very large edition and distributed it widely as a campaign 

In December, 1859, by invitation, Lincoln visited Kansas, as the great 
champion of the freedom of their territory. He spoke at Atchison, Troy, Leav- 
enworth and other towns near the border. 

In February, 1860, he was invited to speak in New York, and at Cooper Insti- 
tute, on the evening of February 27, 1860, he made one of the grandest of all his 
public utterances, exciting by his strong points and his eloquence an enthusiasm 
that was tremendous in its manifestations. It was accepted at once as the most 

> I J- 


important contribution to the solution of the immensely important current 
political problems of the day that had been uttered, and reported as it was, in , 
the New York Tribune (Horace Greeley's paper) and other New York journals, 
it had a wide circulation throughout the United States, and did much to create 
public opinion in the exciting times which were to follow. 

Subsequently, Mr. Lincoln spoke in Connecticut, Rhode Island and New 
Hampshire, creating great enthusiasm everywhere, and talk of his becoming a 
candidate for the presidency seemed to be spontaneous. A good many New- 
Yorkers and others desired the nomination of William Henry Seward for the 
presidency, and were so considerate (!) as to consent that Mr. Lincoln might 
have the second place on the ticket. 



What were Mr. Lincoln's pecuniary circumstances at this time? To an 
Illinois acquaintance, whom he met at the Astor House, in New York, he said: 
" I have the cottage at Springfield, and about three thousand dollars in money. 
If they make me vice-president with Seward, as some say they will, I hope I 
shall be able to increase it to twenty thousand dollars, and that is as much as 
any man ought to want^ 

At New York, in company with a friend, he went to visit the Five Points 
Mission, and addressed the children. After having spoken, the superintendent, 
Mr. Pease, asked his name. He courteously replied, ''It is Abraham Lincoln, 
of Illinois." 



LINCOLN, who had received a respectable number of votes for the presidential 
nomination in the convention at Philadelphia, which nominated Fremont 
and Dayton, was now prominently mentioned by the people East and West as 
an available candidate for the Republican nomination in 1860. A prominent and 
formidable opponent was Mr. Seward, the man who advanced the doctrine that 
there was a higher law, even, than the Constitution of the United States — the 
law of the Supreme Being. Mr. Seward was a man of great popularity, of 
decided ability as a public man and a statesman, besides having had long experience 
as a politician. He had been twice elected governor of the state of New York. 

The Republicans of Illinois gathered in state convention at Decatur, on 
May 9 and 10, 1860, and determined to present Abraham Lincoln as their 
candidate for the presidency at the national Republican convention, called to 
meet at Chicago on the sixteenth. At this Decatur convention, Lincoln's cousin, 
John Hanks, brought in " two historical rails," as Judge Herndon writes, of a lot 
"which both had made in the Sangamon bottom, and which served the double 
purpose of electrifying the Illinois people and kindling the fire of enthusiasm 
that was destined to sweep over the nation." Judge Herndon quotes one ardent 
delegate as saying: " These rails were to represent the issue in the coming contest 
between labor free and labor slave; between democracy and aristocracy; little did 
I think of the mighty consequences of this little incident; little did I think that 
the tall and angular and bony rail-splitter who stood in girlish diflfidence, bowing 
with awkward grace, would fill the chair once filled by Washington, and that his 
name would echo in chants of praise along the corridors of all coming times." 

By this time the whole North had come to recognize in Mr. Lincoln those 
qualities of which statesmen are made, and his name was heard everywhere in 
discussions as to the most available man to lead the Republican party to victory. 
Mr. Seward, however, a man of wider experience, was the favorite candidate in 
certain portions of the East, 

One of Mr. Lincoln's old friends, David Davis, afterward senator and a member 
of the Supreme Court, engaged rooms in the Tremont House, Chicago, to be used 
as the Lincoln headquarters during the convention. An immense wooden structure 
was erected on the lake front, opposite the site on which the Auditorium now 




stands — that great hall in which President Benjamin Harrison, the grandson of 
President William H. Harrison, was nominated in 1888. This structure was called 
"The Wigwam," and it has gone into history by that name. Great crowds of 
paople from all portions of the East, North and West were gathered in Chicagx> 
on this occasion. 

The convention opened May 16th. There were 465 delegates, and a large 
attendance of politicians from all parts of the country. Salmon P. Chase, Mr. 
Cameron, of Pennsylvania, Mr. Bates, of Missouri, as well as Mr. Seward and Mr. 

Lincoln, were named as candi- 
dates, but it was soon evident 
that either Seward or Lincoln 
would be the chosen oneJ 

Judge Wilmot, author of 
that famous free-soil measure, 
the Wilmot Proviso, was made 
temporary chairman, and 
George Ashmun, of Mass- 
achusetts, permanent chair- 
man. On the seventeenth the 
committee on resolutions re- 
ported a platform, which was 
received with greatenthusiasm 
and unanimously adopted. 
Mr. Seward, to whom we must 
award additional praise, was a 
man of great patriotism and 
ability, and was thought to be 
the man who would receive the 
honor of the nomination. A 
motion was made to nominate 
on the seventeenth, but an 
adjournment was taken until 

During the night there 
were new developments. The 
Republicans of Illinois turned 
out in large numbers and rent 
the air with their shouts for 
Lincoln. Mr. Seward's adher- 
ents marched the streets with 
flags and bands of music, and 
were enthusiastic for their candidate. The air was filled with music. 

The balloting was reached the next day. The first ballot gave Mr. Seward 173^ 
to 102 for Lincoln, with quite a number of "scattering" votes. On the second 


Until after Lincoln's nomination for the presidency 
he never wore a beard. The portrait above was taken in 
Springfield aboiit three months later, in January, 1861, 
just before his departure for Washington. It was one of 
the first and best showing him with a beard. It is an old- 
fashioned wet plate, and is well preserved. When a por- 
trait was to be painted for the Illinois state-house, all the 
various pictures of the martyred president were spread 
out before the committee of old friends and neighbors, 
and this sitting was chosen for a model of the painting. 



ballot the chairman of the Vermont delegation, which delegation had given 
a divided vote on the first ballot, announced that ''Vermont gave her ten votes for 
the young giant of the West, Abraham Lincoln." On the second ballot Mr. 
Seward had 184^ votes, Mr. Lincoln 181; and on the third ballot Mr. Lincoln 
received 230 votes, being within one and one half of a majority. The vote was 
not announced, but so many everywhere had kept the count of the ballot that it 
was known throughout the convention at once. Mr. David K. Carter, of Ohio, 
rose and announced a change in the vote of the Ohio delegation of four votes in 
favor of Lincoln, and at once 
the convention burst out in 
a state of the wildest excite- 
ment. Instantly cannons 
blazed and roared, bands 
played, banners waved, and 
the excited Republicans of 
Illinois and Chicago shouted 
themselves hoarse; while the 
telegraph instruments 
clicked the glad news to all 
portions of the country. 

When the convention set- 
tled down again, other states 
changed their votes in favor 
of Mr. Lincoln, and it was 
announced as the result of 
the third ballot that Abra- 
ham Lincoln, of Illinois, had 
received 354 votes out of 
465, and that he was nom- 
inated by the Republican 
party for the office of pres- 
ident of the United States. 
The nomination was then, 
on the motion of William H. 
Evarts, of New York, made 
unanimous, and the conven- 
tion took a recess until the 

afternoon, when it completed its work by nominating Hannibal Hamlin, of 
Maine, for the vice-presidency. 

Mr. Lincoln was at his proper place — at home — at this time. Let us give Mr. 
Raymond's significant paragraph describing what occurred at Springfield: 

"He [Mr. Lincoln] had been in the telegraph-office during the casting of the 
first and second ballots, but then left and went over to the office of the State 
Journal^ where he was sitting conversing with friends while the third ballot was 


Vice-president with Lincoln the first term. He was 
born 1809, and died 1891. 



being taken. In a few moments came across the wires the announcement of the 
result. The superintendent of the telegraph company, who was present, wrote 
on a scrap of paper, 'Mr. Lincoln, you are nominated on the third ballot,' and 
a boy ran with the message to Mr. Lincoln. He looked at it in silence amid the 
shouts of those around him; then rising and putting it in his pocket, he said 
quietly, 'There's a little woman down at our house would like to hear this; I'll 
go down and tell her.' " 

Mr. Raymond relates that, " Tall Judge Kelly, of Pennsylvania, who was one 
of the committee to advise Mr. Lincoln of his nomination, and who is himself a 
great many feet high, had meanwhile been eying Mr. Lincoln's lofty form with 


a mixture of admiration and possibly jealousy; this had not escaped Mr. Lin- 
coln, and as he shook hands with the judge he inquired, "What is your height? " 

"'Six feet three. What is yours, Mr. Lincoln?' 

"'Six feet four.' 

"'Then,' said the judge, 'Pennsylvania bows to Illinois. My dear man, for 
years my heart has been aching for a president that I could look up to, and I've 
found him at last in the land where we thought there were none but "little" 
giants.' " 

The presidential campaign that followed was the most remarkable that had 
been conducted in the country since the time that William Henry Harrison was 



the Whig candidate for the presidency in 1840, twenty years before. The 
enthusiasm throughout the North was spontaneous and overwhelming. Abraham 
Lincoln had come to be regarded as the man of all others to represent the 
principles and bear the standard of the new party. The popular demonstrations 
everywhere were enthusiastic and decidedly original. The whole North was 
organized into companies, battalions, regiments, brigades, etc., and the members 
of these organizations were known far and wide as " Wide-Awakes." They were 
uniformed with oil capes and glazed caps, and they turned out with full ranks of 
old and middle-aged men, 
youth and boys, at all public 
demonstrations. They parad- 
ed with bands of martial 
music, sang songs and shouted 
for the "rail-splitter of Illi- 
nois." No man of that period 
had gained so strong a hold 
on the hearts of the people. 
The magic words, "Old Abe" 
and "Honest Old Abe" were 
on thousands of banners. 

The significant fact with 
regard to all these demonstra- 
tions, remembered with great 
interest by millions of men 
still living, is that they were 
representative of a great prin- 
ciple, involving the freedom 
of individuals, of common- 
wealths, and of the nation. 

John G. Whittier, Wil- 
liam Cullen Bryant, James 
Russell Lowell, Henry W. 
Longfellow, and other Amer- 
ican poets, had written stir- 
ring lines against slavery, 

and Mrs. Stowe's immortal work, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," written years before, had 
produced a powerful influence against the " peculiar institution " of the South. 
Then there was the brave work of the martyr John Brown, of Ossawatomie, a 
native of Connecticut, afterward a resident of North Elba, New York, where a 
monument now stands to his memory. He had fired, at Harper's Ferry, a shot 
in behalf of the freedom of the slaves that was heard in every slave cabin in the 
world. He died on the scaffold six months before the Chicago convention was held. 

At the Democratic convention, held at Charleston, South Carolina, in April, 
1860, Stephen A. Douglas was m the lead as a presidential candidate. The con- 



vention took a recess until the eighteenth of June to reassemble at Baltimore, 
and Douglas was finally nominated for the presidency of the United States, and 
Herschell B. Johnson, of Georgia, was named for the vice-presidency. So 
Lincoln and Douglas were again in the field against each other. 

Oa the twenty-eighth of June, also at Baltimore, southern Democrats who 
had seceded at Charleston convened, and nominated as their candidate John C. 
Breckinridge, of Kentucky, for the presidency and Joseph Lane for the vice- 
presidency. Previous to this, however, in May, the Constitutional Union 
National Convention was held, and the principal plank in its platform adopted 
declared that "it is both the part of patriotism and of duty to recognize no 
political principles other than the constitution of the country, the union of the 
states, and the enforcement of the laws." John Bell, of Tennessee, was the can- 
didate for the presidency, and Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, was named for 
the vice-presidency. 

With four national tickets in the field, representing as many conflicting 
principles and sectional interests, it is no wonder that the campaign of 1860 was 
one of the most exciting in the history of the country. 

It is quite true that some of the Republican politicians were disappointed and 
chagrined. Statesmen who had had a national reputation before Lincoln had 
become a prominent figure in political affairs felt that their "claims" had been 
slighted. But the people were more than satisfied. Popular Lincoln demonstra- 
tions were almost continuous throughout the North. Fence-rails were a feature 
of the campaign. Great armies of Republicans, uniformed with oil-cloth caps 
and capes, and carrying torches at night, marched the streets of every city and 
village, and gathered in great mass-meetings in commercial and political centers. 

The election was held on the sixth of November; the result showed a popular 
vote for Lincoln of 1,857,610; for Douglas, 1,365,976; for Breckinridge, 847,953; 
and for Bell, 590,631. In the electoral college Lincoln received 180 votes, 
Breckinridge 72, Bell 39, and Douglas 12. 



FINALLY, February 11, 1861, Mr. Lincoln left Springfield for Washington. It 
may be that Mr. Douglas was traveling about the country at this time in George 
B. McCiellan's magnificent saloon-car, but Mr. Lincoln was not riding about on 
horseback with saddle-bags from one part of the country to another, nor in a 
common railway coach. A special train had been provided, and a man of the name 
of Wood (recommended to Mr. Lincoln by Mr. Seward) had been placed in charge 
of tlie party, which was composed of the president-elect, his wife, his sons, Robert, 
William and Thomas, his brother-in-law, Dr. W. S. Wallace, David Davis, 
Norman B. Judd, Elmer Ellsworth (who was afterward killed at Alexandria, 
Virginia), and the president's two secretaries, John Gr. Nicolay and John Hay. 
Colonel Sumner, of the United States army, was also in the car, and Governor 
Yates, Judge 0. H. Browning and others were of the party. Before leaving the 
station, Lincoln addressed his old neighbors and friends, as follows: 

" Friends, no one who has never been placed in like position can understand 
my feelings at this hour, nor the oppressive sadness I feel at this parting. For 
more than a quarter of a century I have lived among you, and during all 
that time I have received nothing but kindness at your hands. Here I have 
lived from my youth, until now I am an old man; here the most sacred ties of 
earth were assumed; here all my children were born, and here one of them lies 
buried. To you, dear friends, I owe all that I am. All the checkered past seems 
to crowd now upon my mind. To-day I leave you; I go to assume a task more 
difficult than that of Washington, and unless the great God, who assisted him, 
shall be with and aid me, I must fail; but if the same Almighty arm. shall guide 
and support me, I shall not fail, I shall succeed. Let us all pray that the God of 
our fathers will not forsake us now. To him I commend you all. Permit me 
to ask that with equal sincerity and faith you will invoke his guidance for me. 
With this, friends, one and all, I must now bid you an affectionate farewell." 

The trip from Springfield to Washington was much like a "royal progress.*' 
It is doubtful, however, whether any king on a tour about his country among 
his people was ever greeted with such enthusiastic and loyal receptions. Multi- 
tudes of people gathered at all places where the train stopped, and brief 
addresses were made from time to time. 




At Pittsburgh he advised deliberation, and begged the American people to 
keep their temper on both sides of the line. In front of Independence Hall, he 
assured his listeners that "under his administration there would be no blood- 
shed until it was forced upon the government, and then it would be compelled 
to act in self-defense." 

A little incident illustrative of Mr. Lincoln's sympathy with children may not 
be out of place here. In the beautiful village of Westfield, Chautauqua county, 
New York, lived little Grace Bedell. During the campaign she saw a portrait of 


Mr. Lincoln, for whom she felt the love and reverence that was common in 
Republican families, and his smooth, homely face rather disappointed her. She 
said to her mother: "I think, mother, that Mr. Lincoln would look better if he 
wore whiskers, and I mean to write and tell him so." 

The mother gave her permission. 

Grrace's father was a Republican; her two brothers Democrats. Grace wrote 
at once to the "Hon. Abraham Lincoln, Esq., Springfield, Illinois," in which she 
told him how old she was, and where she lived; that she was a Republican; that 
she thought he would make a good president, but would look better if he would 



let his whiskers grow. If he would do so she would try to coax her brothers to 
vote for him. She thought the rail fence around the picture of his cabin was very 
pretty. " If you have not time to answer m^ letter, will you allow your little girl 
to reply for you?" 

Mr. Lincoln was much pleased with the letter, and decided to answer it, which 
he did at once, as follows: 

^r r^ ^ Springfield, Illinois, October 19, 1860. 

Miss Grace Bedell. ' 

My Dear Little Miss : — Your very agreeable letter of the fifteenth is received. I 
regret the necessity of saying I 
have no daughter. I have three 
sons; one seventeen, one nine 
and one seven years of age. 
They, with their mother, con- 
stitute my whole family. As 
to the whiskers, having never 
worn any, do you not think 
people would call it a piece of 
silly affectation if I should be- 
gin it now ? Your very sincere 

A. Lincoln. 

When on the journey to 
Washington, Mr. Lincoln's 
train stopped at Westfield. 
He recollected his little cor- 
respondent, and spoke of her 
to ex-Lieutenant - governor 
George W. Patterson, who 
called out and asked if 
Grace Bedell was present. 
There was a large, surging 
mass of people gathered 
about the train, but Grace 
was discovered at a distance; 
the crowd opened a pathway 
to the coach, and she came, 
timidly but gladly, to the 
president-elect, who told her 

that she might see that he had allowed his whiskers to grow at her request. 
Then, reaching out his long arms, he drew her up to him and kissed her. The 
act drew an enthusiastic demonstration of approval from the multitude. Grace 
is now, in 1896, a married lady, living in Kansas, and the wife of a banker. Her 
present name is Grace Bedell Billings. 

Great precaution was used in Mr. Lincoln's passage from Harrisburg, Pennsyl- 
vania, to Washington, and many accounts, differing in their statements, have 
been printed. Threats had been maCe that Mr. Lincoln, on his way to Washington, 




should never pass through Baltimore. Mr. Herndon says, in his " Life of Lincoln," 
that ''it was reported and believed that conspiracies had been formed to attack 
the train and blow it up with explosives, or in some equally effective way dispose 
of the president-elect. Mr. Seward and others were so deeply impressed by the 
reports that Allen Pinkerton, a noted detective of Chicago, was employed to 
investigate the reports and ferret out the conspiracy, if any existed. This shrewd 
detective opened on office as a stock-broker, and, with his assistants, the most 
noted of whom was a woman, was soon in possession of inside information. A 
change of plans and trains at Harrisburg was due to his management and advice. 
Mr. Lincoln had advised Greneral Scott of the threats of violence on the 
inauguration day. The veteran commander was lying propped up in his bed by 
pillows, and weak and trembling from physical debility, his feelings were very 

much wrought up by Mr. Lincoln's 
communication. Adjutant -general 
Thomas Mather called upon Mr. Scott 
in Lincoln's behalf, and was addressed 
by Scott as follows: " General Mather, 
present my compliments to Mr. Lin. 
coin when you return to Springfield, 
and tell him I expect him to come on 
to Washington as soon as he is ready; 
say to him that I will look after those 
Maryland and Virginia rangers myself; 
I will plant cannon at both ends of 
Pennsylvania avenue, and if any of 
them show their heads or raise a finger, 
I'll blow them to hell." 

Only the members of the party 
knew when Mr, Lincoln left Harris- 
burg, or when he arrived at Washing- 
ton. The secessionists of Baltimore 
were utterly thwarted, and long after 
his train had passed on its way to Washington were doubtless brooding over 
their fiendish conspiracy. 

Mr. Lincoln arrived at Washington a few days before the fourth of March, 
and took quarters at Willard's hotel, then and now a famous hostelry. On the 
morning of March 4, 1861, he rode to the Capitol in a barouche with President 
Buchanan. The oath of office was administered by the venerable Chief-justice 
Taney, and he was at last president of our great republic. Mr. Buchanan 
accompanied him to the White House, and here the retiring chief magistrate bade 
him farewell, bespeaking for him a peaceful, prosperous and successful adminis- 
tration. His inaugural address, delivered immediately after taking the oath, could 
have been, under the circumstances and on as supreme occasion as this, nothing 
less than remarkable. The closing paragraphs are as follows: 




"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the 
momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no 
conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in 
heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to 
'preserve, protect and defend it.'' I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but 
friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not 
break our bonds of affection. The mystic cord of memory, stretching from every 
battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this 
broad land will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely 
they will be, by the better angels of our nature." 

Sublime and beautiful prophecy ! How much was to occur before it was finally 


Judge Isaac N. Arnold says that on New-Year's day, 1861, Senator Douglas 
made this statement at Washington: "The cotton states are making an effort 
to draw the border states into their scheme of secession, and I am but too fearful 
they will succeed. If they do, there will be the most fearful civil war ever 
known." Pausing a moment, he looked like one inspired, while he proceeded, 
"Virginia, over yonder across the Potomac," pointing toward Arlington, "will 
become a charnel-house, but in the end the Union will triumph. They will try 
to get possession of this Capitol to give them prestige abroad; but in that effort 
they will never succeed; the North will rise en masse to defend it, but Washington 
will become a city of hospitals; the churches will be used for the sick and 
wounded. This house, the Minnesota block, will be devoted to that purpose." 
Before the end of the war this prediction was literally fulfilled. Nearly all of 



the churches were used for the wounded, and the Minnesota block, and the very 
room in which this remark was made, became the Douglas hospital. 

President Lincoln appointed his Cabinet as follows* William H. Seward, 
secretary of state; Simon Cameron, secretary of war; Salmon P. Chase, secre- 
tary of the treasury, Gideon Wells, secretary of the navy; Caleb P. Smith, 
secretary of the interior; Montgomery Blair, postmaster-general; Edward Yates, 

What men were these! Mr. Seward and Mr. Chase, of Ohio, were among 
the ablest, most intellectual statesmen of their day. They were sterling patriots. 
They were both ambitious, and possibly somewhat jealous of Mr. Lincoln, whom 
they believed, in their inmost hearts, was inferior to them. Certainly both were 
polished gentlemen. Seward was affable; Chase was of a most commanding 
presence. Caleb B Smith, of Indiana, was also a man of power, as was Simon 
Cameron, of Pennsylvania. Montgomery Blair was a patriot from a slave state. 




A FEW words should here be written covering the condition of things during 
the later months of Mr. Buchanan's administration. He was evidently 
in great perplexity. His Cabinet was largely composed of disloyal men, who 
were doing their utmost to excite the southern people into revolt. Outside of 
the Cabinet there were many of the same ilk. Early in the Lincoln campaign, 
representative men in South Carolina and other southern states threatened to 
secede, and declared that the South would not live under a black Republican 
government. After it was known that Lincoln was elected, great effort was 
made in various southern states to induce South Carolina to raise the banner 
of revolt and secession; and not without success. Federal officers in that state sent 
their resignations to Washington. In Georgia, Governor Brown,, on Novem- 
ber 12th, asserted the right of secession, and declared it the duty of Georgia 
to stand by South Carolina. There were some southern men who at heart were 
still true to the Union. In that same month Alexander H. Stephens attempted 
bravely to stem the tide of the coming rebellion. Still, in a speech before the 
Georgia Legislature, November 14th, he said: "Should Georgia determine to go 
out of the Union, I shall bow to the will of the people." 

James Buchanan was doubtless as deserving of pity as he was of blame. He 
was old and ill, suffering still from the National hotel poisoning. In his Cabinet 
were Howell Cobb, of Georgia, John B. Floyd, of Virginia, and other bitter 
secessionists, by whom he was dominated. Buchanan showed great weakness in 
his last message, and but prepared the way for the conspirators. In Congress 
and out there were attempts to conciliate the secessionists and avert the impend- 
ing outbreaks, but, unhappily, without effect. Grand old Ben Waller in the 
Senate, John A. Logan and Owen Lovejoy, of Illinois, and other noble and brave 
men in the House, stood at the front, doing their best to stamp out treason and 
promote sentiments of loyalty to the Union and the flag. 

When Mr. Lincoln took his seat as president, the work of the conspirators 
against the Union was well advanced. The secession members of Buchanan's 
Cabinet, especially Floyd, the secretary of war, had robbed the treasury of its 
funds to be used in equipping a rebel army and navy. Military posts in the 
South, with all their equipments, had been put in the hands of armed traitors. 




Seven states, South Carolina at the head, had already passed ordinances of 
secession, and a confederate government had been organized at Montgomery, 
Alabama. North Carolina still hesitated, and in some other states there was a 
conflict of opinion. Some of the rebel leaders believed that the North would 
not fight; that it was divided, and that vast numbers of its people would oppose 
"coercion " and perhaps fight on the side of the rebellion. Benjamin F. Butler, 
of Massachusetts, had been a supporter of Breckinridge, and it was naturally 
supposed by southern conspirators that he would be with them. Of one of 

them Mr. Butler asked, ''Are 
you prepared for war?" 

"But there will 'be no 
war; the North will not 
fight," was the very prompt 

Said Mr. Butler, "The 
North will fight; the North 
will send the last man and 
expend the last dollar to 
maintain the government." 

"But," said his southern 
friend, "the North cannot 
fight; we have too many 

"You have friends," said 
Butler, "in the North so 
long as you fight your bat- 
tles in the Union, but the 
moment you fire on the flag, 
the northern people will be 
a unit against you, and you 
may be assured, if war comes, 
slavery ends." 

By the close of May, 
1861, eleven states were in 

During the last days of 
Mr. Buchanan's administra- 
tion. Major Robert Ander- 
son was in command of Fort Sumter, at the mouth of Charleston harbor. 
Anderson was a Kentuckian, and the conspirators all about him in Charleston 
assumed that he would take sides with the South. Anderson listened to their 
talk in the social circles of Charleston, but kept his own counsel, and when it 
was rendered certain in his mind as to their traitorous purpose, he quietly with- 
drew to' the fort and ran up the stars and stripes. This surprised, excited and 


Robert Lincoln, son of the martyred president, was 
shown sixty sittings of his fattier. In reply to the ques- 
tion as to which was the best picture, he picked out the 
one above reproduced. 



enraged the people of Charleston. The first thing to be done by the govern- 
ment was to provision the fort. The secessionists in the Cabinet opposed this, 
but finally two steamers loaded with supplies sailed from New York to Sumter. 
Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet were in consultation at Montgomery, and were 
waiting for the secession of Virginia. Roger A. Pryor, present from that state, 
said, " I will tell you what will put Virginia in the Southern Confederacy in less 
than an hour; sprinkle hlood in their faces!" 

General Beauregard, located at Charleston, was ordered to demand the imme- 
diate surrender of Fort Sumter. Major Anderson replied promptly, "I cannot 
surrender the fort; I shall await the first shot, and if yoa do not batter me to 
pieces, I shall be starved out in three days." In the early morning of April 12, 
1861, the first shot was fired on Samter, and the echoes of that first shot rever- 
berated throughout the civilized world. 

It fired the brain and heart of the entire North, which was instantly con- 
vulsed with excitement; there was a great awakening, the like of which had 
never been known in America, or probably in the world. The masses of the 
people of the North were tremendously wrought up and thoroughly aroused. 
The people of the South had been excited and aroused and preparing for war for 
years. The great body of the men of the North were " Wide-Awakes " indeed, 
and were ready now to carry guns instead of simple banners and transparencies, 
and they were anxiously awaiting a call for troops. The first shot at Sumter 
had made the people, with very few individual exceptions, of one heart, one 
opinion, one mind, and of one purpose. They were in a condition of exalted, 
and even exultant, patriotism, and filled with an enthusiasm of a sort that had 
never been known. The new patriotism born of tliis new crisis in the affairs 
of the country shone in the white faces and blazing eyes of men and women, 
and even children, throughout the North. The issue was plain. Should the 
Union be preserved? Should the flag still float? Should the republic stand? 


II ,syuimjiiKiL 








MAJOR ANDERSON'S provisions were gone, and he departed from Fort 
Sumter, April 14, 1861. The people of Charleston were wild with excite- 
ment. Governor Pickens thanked God that the day had come. It seemed quite 
evident to these men that the battle had already been at last half won. 
President Lincoln, on April 15th, three days after the fall of Fort Sumter, 
issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 men, and summoned Congress to meet in 
extra session on July 4, 1861. The people were ready for it. Never was a 
call for troops more promptly and even enthusiastically met; there was hardly a 
syllable of protest in any part of the northern states. Many uniformed reg- 
iments in various states reported at places of rendezvous in their entirety. 
Thousands of individuals commenced the raising of companies. Some men 
recruited entire regiments, and it was not long before the 75,000 men were ready 
for duty. The most extraordinary promptness and efficiency were shown in 
equipping the troops and gathering supplies. Never were the noblest and 
grandest qualities of the American people displayed to better advantage than in 
this great emergency. The patriotism of the young men of the North was 
universal, spontaneous and sublime, and the spirit of the women corresponded 
with that of the men. 

Two days later Virginia seceded from the Union; Arkansas followed May 
6th, and North Carolina lowered the stars and stripes on the twentieth. There 
were so many strong and true Union men in the mountains of East Tennessee that 
the disunionists could not withdraw that state until June 8th. In Missouri 
there was a conflict between unionists and disunionists, and Kentucky tried to be 
neutral. Maryland was divided in sentiment, but some of the bitterest and most 
insidious foes of the Union were gathered in and about Baltimore. 

On April 19th, the president issued a proclamation providing for the blockading 
of the forts of the seceded states. 

On the same day, the anniversary of the battle c2 Lexington, the first reg- 
iment of Massachusetts volunteers attempted to pass through Baltimore. On 
the eighteenth the first section of Pennsylvania troops had passed through quietly 
and unmolested. The Sixth Massachusetts and the Seventh Pennsylvania reg- 
iments arrived at eleven in the morning. Meanwhile the passions of the people 




had been still further excited by the announcement of the evacuation of Harper's 
Ferry by the Federal troops. The Massachusetts regiment occupied eleven cars, 
and these were, according to the then existing regulations, drawn through the 
streets of the city, singly, by horses to the Camden street depot. An ominous- 
looking mob had assembled, but at first a sullen silence was maintained. Ere the 
cars had gone a couple of blocks, however, the crowd became so dense that the 
horses could barely force their way through. Then began a chorus of hoots 
and yells, mingled with threats. The troops remained quiet, and this, instead of 

appeasing, appeared to anger 
the rioters. Brickbats and 
stones were hurled, and it 
became evident that these 
missiles were not acciden- 
tally at hand. Many of the 
men were wounded, but the 
first eight cars reached Cam- 
den street depot without 
serious damage. The ninth 
car was not so fortunate, for 
a defective brake caused a 
halt at Gay street, and the 
mob, now numbering from 
8,000 to 10,000, made a 
furious onslaught. This car, 
with some damage, also 
reached the Camden street 
depot. Behind it, however, 
were two other cars con- 
fronted by a barricade has- 
tily constructed of anchors 
and other materials dragged 
from the wharf. Finding 
further transportation im- 
possible, the soldiers were 
ordered to leave the cars, and 
were formed into close col- 
umns under Captain A. S. 
Follansbee, of Company C, 
of Lowell. With fixed bay- 
onets they advanced on the double-quick in the direction of the Washington 
station. The mob closed on them, muskets were snatched away, and amid 
throwing of missiles, revolver-shots, and bullets from the stolen muskets, the 
patience of the troops at last gave way. Two of their number had been killed, 
and several wounded had been taken within the solid square which was now 


Intimate friend and fellow-attorney. Mr. Judd was 
the chairman of the Illinois delegation to the convention 
that nominated Lincoln. He was chairman of the state 
central committee of Illinois during the canvass. He was 
horn in 1815, and died in 1878. 



formed. An order was given to turn and fire singly; there was no platoon 
firing, or the carnage in that dense mass would have been appalling. On Pratt 
street, near Gay street, one man was crushed by a stone or heavy piece of iron 
thrown from a window. After a protracted struggle the troops reached the 
depot, bearing with them their dead, now increased to three, and nine wounded 
comrades, one of them mortally injured. They were hustled into the train and 
sent off, but the mob followed for a considerable distance, and made frantic 
efforts to throw the cars from the track. In the streets nine of the Balti- 
morians had been killed and a great number wounded. The mayor of Baltimore 
had headed the column for a short time, but he could not allay the storm he had 
raised, and finding his person in danger, he disappeared. 

The Philadelphia troops, not yet armed, were with difficulty extricated from 
the mob and taken 
back to Philadelphia. _^ ^^= '^ """"^ _ 

On the twentieth, 
Norfolk M'^as attacked, 
and the Federal troops 
spiked the guns and 

Virginia was rap- 
idly filled with south- 
ern volunteers, and, 
as they were aggres- 
sive, even the city of 
Washington was 

The Massachusetts 
Eighth and the famous 
New York Seventh 
were in Washington 
by April 25th, and the 
Capitol was safe for- 
ever thereafter. 

Cairo, Illinois, was also occupied by Union troops. John M. Johnson, 
senator from Kentucky, sent a solemn protest to the president, who promptly 
replied: ''If I had suspected that Cairo, in Illinois, was in Doctor Johnson's 
senatorial district, I would have thought twice before sending troops to Cairo." 
This ended that controversy. 

By May 24th, about twenty thousand troops had arrived in Washington. The 
rebels had been flaunting their new flag at Alexandria, Virginia, but troops were 
sent across the Potomac to take possession of the place. Among them were 
Colonel Ellsworth's zouaves. Colonel Ellsworth, who had studied law in Lincoln's 
office at Springfield, and who was one of the party who accompanied him to 
Washington, saw a Confederate flag waving above the Marshall house, kept by a 



Mr. Jackson. He went to the roof and tore it down, and upon reaching the foot 
of the stairs, was shot down by Jackson, who, in turn, was promptly killed by a 
New York zouave. 

On the third of May, Mr. Lincoln saw the necessity of calling for more 
troops, and issued a proclamation asking for 83,000 men, to be enlisted for three 
years or during the war! . 

The Union army, which had been organized at Washington, crossed the 
Potomac on the long bridge May 24th, and entered Virginia. General McGrruder 
had a band of Confederates at Bethel church; Union troops were sent to dislodge 
him, but were driven back, with loss. General George B. McClellan, the former 
Illinois railway superintendent, had undertaken the conquest of West Virginia, 
and gained a victory at Rich Mountain, July 11th. General Rosecrans defeated 
Floyd at Carnifex Ferry, August 10th, and Robert E. Lee was driven back from 
Cheat Mountain, September 14th, thus restoring West Virginia to Federal authority. 

Men who pretended to be in favor of peace, but whose real purpose was to 
prevent warlike demonstrations on the part of the government, while seeming 
to have no desire that preparations of the same sort should be suspended at the 
South, made themselves very conspicuous with their advice to the government, 
and continued their demonstrations throughout the entire conflict. 

Congress met in extra session July 4th, in response to the president's procla- 
mation. The Republicans had control of both houses, and a large number of 
Democrats joined the Republicans in standing by the president in his efforts to 
preserve the Union. 

The ablest and yet the fairest man among the Confederates was Alexander 
H. Stephens, the man whose speech Mr. Lincoln had so greatly admired so many 
years before. Jefferson Davis was far inferior to him in force and dignity. He 
was a small man, and physically very feeble, but in intellectual power he was a 
giant, and in spite of his environments, was really in favor of peace and union. 
But, as we have already stated, Mr. Stephens had declared that he would go with 
his state. He went out of the Union, and was now vice-president of the Confed- 
eracy, with Davis as chief executive. 

The headquarters of the Confederacy were removed from Montgomery, 
Alabama, to Richmond, Virginia, July 20th. Prior to that time Robert E. Lee, of 
Virginia, had resigned his office of colonel in the United States army and had 
accepted a general's commission in the. Confederate army. 

Lieutenant-general Winfield Scott was now in command of the Union forces. 
The stanch old patriot had been approached by a deputation of southerners 
and offered the command of the military forces of Virginia, but he had promptly 
declined the offer. In his reply to the deputation he had said: 

" I have served my country under the flag of the Union for more than fifty 
years, and as long as God permits me to live I will defend that flag with my sword, 
even if my own native state assails it." About the same time General Scott, April 
21st, telegraphed to Senator Crittenden, of Kentucky: "I have not changed; 
have no thought of changing; always a Union man." 



BEAUREGARD and Joseph E. Johnston had concentrated the Confederate 
troops in Virginia, at no great distance from the Potomac, and on July 16th, 
the Union army made an advance toward the enemy. The first clash of arms 
took place between Centerville and Bull Run. The Unionists then pressed on, 
and on the morning of the twenty-first came upon the Confederates, well posted, 
at a point between Bull Run and Manassas Junction. The first great battle of 
the war was here fought, and with great valor on both sides. At midday it 
seemed that the Union general, McDowell, would gain the victory, but finally, in 
the crisis of the conflict, General Joseph E. Johnston arrived from the Shenandoah 
valley with nearly six thousand fresh troops, made an attack on the Union 
forces, and the tide was turned. McDowell's whole army was hurled back, and 
his men were soon in full retreat toward Washington. The Union loss in killed, 
wounded and prisoners was 2,952; that of the Confederates, 2,050. Happily, the 
victors were too badly crippled to pursue. This engagement was known at the 
North as the battle of Bull Run; the southerners called it the battle of Manassas. 

The defeat of the Federal army covered the entire North with gloom. The 
friends of the Union had expected a great victory. But the lesson was whole- 
some. The people became more determined than ever, and their quality was 
shown in immense contributions for the support of the Union cause. Meanwhile 
the southern people were in transports over a dearly bought and decidedly 
doubtful victory — a victory that in the end caused them much more harm than 
would have resulted from a defeat. 

During the sumnier several naval expeditions were sent out. 

The Confederates made strong efforts to capture Missouri. Camp Jackson 
was formed by them near St. Louis, but it was broken up by Captain Nathaniel 
Lyon. The rebel General Price defeated Colonel Mulligan at Lexington. 
General John C. Fremont was in command in Missouri, but he was superseded by 
General David Hunter, and he in turn by General Halleck. Lexington was 
subsequently retaken by the Federals, and Price retired into Arkansas. 

In November, 1861, General Winfield Scott sent his resignation to the pres- 
ident, which was received with great regret. General George B. McClellan 
succeeded Scott. McClellan was spoken of by some as a "political" general, 




and it was charged tliat while he desired to put down the rebellion, he seemed 
quite anxious that the institution of human slavery should not be interfered 
with. On the other hand, General John C. Fremont, who had been honored 
by being the first Republican candidate for the presidency (and who was a 
son-in-law of Thomas H. Benton), contended that the abolition of slavery was 
one great purpose of the war. But Abraham Lincoln soon gave not only 
William H. Seward, his secretary of state, but these generals, who were 
exceeding their authority on one side or the other, to understand that he was 
president. No man can imagine the immense responsibility that was resting 
upon the mind and heart of this supremely great man, elevated to this high 
position through the providence of God to save the country, and to make it a 


free land. There was no stronger man in America, and therefore none upon 
whom he could leau. He was at this time the greatest representative of the 
rights of man in all the world. No such political or national emergency had 
ever arisen before; every disaster caused him the deepest sorrow; every Union 
success on the battle-field gave him comfort. No man was ever more widely 
advised, nor did ever the advice given by men differ more radically. He was 
asked to do all sorts of things, and not to do all sorts of things. Bodies' of 
preachers advised him to bring about peace. These men had prayed over the 
matter, and had had direct advice from the Almighty that their course was 
approved. Others were praying for the immediate emancipation of the^ slaves, 
and they also claimed to have advices from the same source that confirmed their 



It is not to be supposed that Abraham Lincoln was to be kept in ignorance 
of the purposes and will of the Almighty. Perhaps he heard voices, such as 
Joan of Arc had heard in another century, and on another continent. At any 
rate, he was not only the greatest man of his time, but the wisest and the 
strongest. His settled purpose reached out to a time and to an event of which 
his immediate friends were not advised, and the problem of the age, fortunately 
for him and for the present generation, was being providentially worked out. 

In November, 1861, the 
rebels Mason and Slidell, of 
Virginia, who had been ap- 
pointed as commissioners 
from the Confederate states 
to England and France, took 
passage on the British mail- 
steamer Trent, which was 
hailed on the eighth by the 
United States frigate San 
Jacinto, Captain Wilkes, and 
brought to by a shot across 
her bows. Mason and Slidell 
were taken prisoners, brought 
to the United States, and- 
lodged in Fort Warren. Al- 
though this act of Captain 
Wilkes excited much admi- 
ration and exultation, it was 
almost instantly seen by the 
president and his advisory 
that the act was illegal and 
must be disavowed, and the 
men were promptly released, 
with an apology. In this 
matter the practical wisdom 
and prudence of William H. 

Seward, then secretary of state, was conspicuously shown, 
greatest men who ever held this high position. 

Toward the close of the year there was a decided change for the better in the 
situation, as viewed from the Federal standpoint. Not only were the Confederate 
forces dislodged from West Virginia, but they were driven out of Kentucky and 
Missouri, reviving the hope throughout the North that the war would not be of 
long duration, and that it would end in the triumph of the Union cause. 


He was one of the 



AT the opening of 1862 the Union army was 450,000 strong. Edwin M. 
Stanton succeeded Simon Cameron as secretary of war, having been called 
into the Cabinet by the same "long, lank" individual whom he had aflfected so to 
despise many years before at the trial of the famous " reaper case." General 
McClellan was organizing the Army of the Potomac in the vicinity of Washing- 
ton, while General Don Carlos Buell commanded a strong force at Louisville, 

Colonel James A. Garfield (the future president of the United States, who was 
to die as did Mr. Lincoln, by the bullet of an assassin) defeated a force of Con- 
federates on January 9th, on the Big Sandy river, in Kentucky. Ten days later, 
at Mill Spring, General George H. Thomas, afterward one of the greatest of 
Union generals, defeated Crittenden and Zollicoffer in the same neighborhood, 
and Zollicoffer was killed. 

Fort Henry, on the Tennessee river, in Kentucky, and Fort Donelson, in 
Tennessee, on the Cumberland, had been erected and operated by the Con- 
federates. Commodore Foote was sent up the Tennessee with a flotilla, and com- 
pelled the evacuation of Fort Henry, the rebels retiring, with some loss, to 
Donelson. The gunboats were then ordered to Donelson. Ulysses S. Grant, of 
Illinois, who had been with Foote at Fort Henry, now advanced to Fort Donel- 
son and began to besiege it. Grant had 30,000 men, and after two days' fight- 
ing, forced General Buckner to an "unconditional and immediate surrender." 
Buckner's army of ten thousand men were made prisoners of war, and valuable 
stores of ammunition, guns and supplies were taken. 

There was universal rejoicing throughout the North over this great victory. 
As a consequence of the capture of Donelson, Governor Harris, of Tennessee, 
gathered up his archives and evacuated Nashville. 

Grant ascended the Tennessee to Pittsburg Landing, where the memorable 
battle of Shiloh was fought. He was there attacked on the morning of March 6th, 
by Albert Sidney Johnston and Beauregard, with a large force. There was hard 
fighting during the day, with the advantage apparently in favor of the rebels, 
but at night Buell arrived with a large number of troops from Nashville, and 
Grant assumed the offensive. Johnston had already fallen, and on the second 



day of the battle Beauregard was driven, with the remainder of his army, from 
the field, on the route toward Corinth, Mississippi. The slaughter on both 
sides during the two days' fighting was terrible, each army losing 10,000 men. 

In March, 1862, a bill was passed providing for the abolition of slavery in the 
District of Columbia, and President Lincoln sent a message to Congress 
announcing his approval of the bill. Mr. Lincoln then proposed to Congress a 
resolution providing that the United States, in order to co-operate with any 
state which may adopt gradually the abolition of slavery, give to such state 

pecuniary aid, to be used by 
such state at its discretion. 
No state offered to accept 
this proposition. 

At about this time General 
Butler, in command at Fort- 
ress Monroe, advised Lincoln 
that he had determined to 
regard all slaves coming into 
his camps as contraband of 
war, and to employ their 
labor under fair compensa- 
tion; and the secretary of war 
replied to him, in behalf of 
the president, approving his 
course, and saying, "You are 
not to interfere between mas- 
ter and slave on the one 
hand, nor surrender slaves 
who may come within your 
lines." This was a significant 
milestone of progress to the 
great end that was thereafter 
to be reached. 

In May, Senator Douglas 
died at Chicago. By his 
patriotic course he had turned 
the great multitude of his 
followers in the North to the 
support of Lincoln. 

Lincoln's eldest son, Rob- 
ert Todd, was at this time in 
Harvard University, but Willie and Tom were in the White House with their 
father and mother. Both of the boys were seized with illness, and Willie died. 
This naturally added to the burden which was already weighing so heavily upon 
the president. , 


Mr. Swett became acquainted with Lincoln in 1848, 
and was very intimate witti him until the time of his 
assassination. They traveled the circuit together, and Mr. 
Swett and David Davis were the two Illinois friends who 
were consulted in forming the first Cabinet. Lincoln 
spoke of Swett as the " intimate friend who never sought 



On the sixth of March, General Curtis defeated 20,000 Confederates and 
Indians at Pea Ridge, Arkansas. 

About this time important events were occurring at Fortress Monroe, in 
Viro-inia, on the Atlantic coast. Captain John Ericsson, an inventor, and a man 
of wealth, great liberality and patriotism, had invented and completed a "peculiar 
war-vessel, with a single round tower of iron exposed above the water line." 


The Confederates had raised the frigate Merrimac, which had been sunk by ^ 
the Union forces at the Norfolk navy Tyard, and had plated it with "impenetrable' 
mail of iron." Reaching the immediate vicinity of Fortress Monroe on 
March 8th, this formidable vessel attacked and sunk the United States vessels 
Cumberland and Congress. But here its conquering career suddenly came to 
an end, for, during the night. Captain Ericsson's strange vessel, which was 
called the Monitor, arrived from New York, and on the morning of the ninth 
these two monsters of the deep 
turned their guns upon each 
other. After five hours of 
fighting, the rebel ironclad 
gave up the contest, and 
slipped away, badly damaged, 
to Norfolk. 

Earlier than this, General 
Burnside and Commodore 
Goldsborough had captured 
Roanoke island. Burnside also 
captured Newberne, North 
Carolina, March 14th, and 
Beaufort, South Carolina, 
April 25th, General Quincy 

A. Gilmore took Fort Pulaski, at the mouth of the river Savannah, April 11th. 
Early in the same month a powerful squadron, commanded by General 
Benjamin F. Butler and Admiral Farragut, entered the Mississippi and proceeded 
as far as Fort Jackson and St. Phillip, thirty miles above the mouth of the river. 
Here they commenced a furious bombardment of the forts, which were situated 
on opposite sides of the river. Finally, April 24th, they ran the batteries, broke 
the blockade, and on the memorable day of April 25, 1862, reached New Orleans, 
and took possession of the city, thus closing the mouth of the great Mississippi 
against the Confederates. This was one of the great achievements of the war. 

At this period there was a great pressure on the president in behalf of the 
emancipation of slaves. It is now well known that his purpose to free them at 
the proper time was as strong as the purpose of any man in his country. He had 
his own plan, and the result shows that it was the only one that was practicable. 

Two men at this time were contributing in no small degree toward relieving 
the minds of the president and the people of their burden of anxiety and worry, 




by writing humorous articles for the press on the situation. These men were 
Charles Farrar Browne, known as " Artemus Ward," and David E. Locke, known 
as "Rev. Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby." Lincoln laughed heartily at Artemus 
Ward's badly spelled but exceedingly droll utterances, and it is undoubtedly true 
that they had a tendency to relieve the strain of his mind and nervous system. 
Petroleum V. Nasby assumed to be a Kentucky Democrat, opposed to the war to 
uphold the government; his letters were the literary features of the hour. He so 
truthfully represented the utterances of the anti-war Democrats, especially those 


This picture was made by the government photograplier when the president was calling 
on General McClellan, at his tent at Antietam, October 3, 1862. Before them, on the table, are 
maps and plans, and these great characters are discussing the situation. 

of the border states, that the pretended letters were believed to be genuine in 
many quarters. Indeed, it was found necessary by some of these Democrats to 
disavow the sentiments therein expressed; the so-called arguments placed these 
Democrats who were opposing the war, and organizing to resist drafts, in such a 
light as to make them utterly and supremely ridiculous in the eyes of patriots. 

On July 14th, the president called for an army of four hundred thousand men, 
and for four hundred millions of dollars in money. Both requests were promptly 



granted. At this time the cry was, "On to Richmond!" and great expectations 
were entertained of General McClellan, who had exceptional qualifications by 
nature and training for organizing, equipping and drilling an army, but seemed 
almost utterly lacking in power of making aggressive military movements. 

The rebels, under General Kirby Smith, took the aggressive August 30th, 
advancing toward the Ohio river. General Bragg co-operated with him, 
advancing from Chattanooga to Mumfordsville, where, on September 17th, he 
took 4,500 Federal prisoners. Bragg then started for Louisville, but was inter- 
cepted by General Buell. 
Smith's objective point was 
Cincinnati, but General Lew 
Wallace was there; tens of 
thousands of Ohio and In- 
diana "squirrel-hunters," as 
they were called, rallied at 
his call, and Smith, after 
coming in sight of the Queen 
City, took a sober second 
thought and retired. 

Rosecrans and Grant de- 
feated Price at luka, Septem- 
ber 19th. Price was again 
repulsed October 3d, when, 
with Van Dorn, he advanced 
on Corinth. 

In December occurred the 
great battle of Murfreesbor- 
ough, in which Bragg was 
defeated on the banks of 
Stone river, by Rosecrans. 
In the first day's conflict a 
portion of the Union forces 
was shattered. The brunt 
of the battle now fell on 
Thomas, and he was crowded 
back. Rosecrans, however, 
readjusted his lines, and as 
the result of "the unparalleled heroism of William B. Hazen, who, with 1,300 
men," stayed the onward course of the rebels, the Federal lines were com- 
pletely restored. New-Year's morning, 1863, found Rosecrans strongly posted, 
and ready for renewal of the conflict. On the second the battle was renewed, 
and finally Bragg and his host were driven back, with great slaughter. 

In Virginia, Banks met one of the greatest and most effective of Confederate 
generals, "Stonewall" Jackson, and was driven back. The Union forces were 


One of Lincoln's personal friends and colleagues at 
the Springfield bar. 


defeated at Fort Royal. Fremont drove back Jackson at Cross Keys, and Jackson 
then defeated General Shields at Port Republic, and passed onto assist in defend- 
ing Richmond, the rebel capital. 

At last, March 10, 1862, McClellan, with 200,000 men, the Army of the 
Potomac, began the long march to the Confederate capital; the cry of "On to 
Richmond!" had at last had its effect. At Manassas Junction the Confederates 
fell back. McClellan, at this point, changed his plan and embarked 120,000 of 
his men to Fortress Monroe. Tliis force advanced to Yorktown, which was taken. 
An advance was then made to Williamsburg, where the rebels were defeated, 
with a severe loss, as they were again at West Point, and the Union forces passed 
on to the Chickahominy, crossed it, and were within ten miles of Richmond. 

Meanwhile, May 10th, General Wool advanced on Norfolk and captured it; on 
the eleventh the rebels sunk their own ironclad, the Virginia, which the Monitor 
had disabled, at Fortress Monroe. May 31st, McClellan advanced to within 
seven miles of Richmond, at Fair Oaks, or Seven Pines, where he met the Con- 
federates, and after two days' fighting, drove them back, with considerable loss. 
Robert E. Lee, the greatest and most popular of the rebel military leaders, now 
took the chief command, and became aggressive. After seven days of continuous 
and very severe fighting, Lee was beaten at Malvern Hill, twelve miles from 
Richmond, and McClellan might then have advanced and captured the Confed- 
erate capital. Instead, however, he retired to Harrison's Landing, a few miles 
down the river. 

Lee, now confident that Richmond was safe from capture by McClellan, 
moved northward, about the middle of August, with the purpose of invading 
Maryland. Meanwhile Stonewall Jackson was flying about, attacking and 
harassing the Union forces. An undecisive second battle, August 28th and 29th, 
was fought at Manassas Junction, the old Bull Run battle-ground. There were 
several collisions and much hard fighting, and Lee finally crossed the Potomac 
into Maryland at Point of Rocks, and on September 6th took possession of 
Frederick. McClellan's whole force had followed Lee, and on the night of the 
fourteenth were at Antietam creek. Hooker was with McClellan. On Septem- 
ber 17th was fought the great battle of Antietam, in which the Confederates 
were disastrously defeated. Lee, in the month's operation, had lost 30,000 men. 
McClellan followed the retreating Confederates back into Virginia. 

A series of changes in the command of the Army of the Potomac began 
October 7th. The president, finally yielding to his own convictions, spurred on 
by outside pressure, relieved General McClellan, appointing General Burnside as 
his successor. Burnside was defeated in his first battle after assuming command 
of the army, the battle of Fredericksburg, and the year 1862 ended in gloom. 



ON September 22, 1862, after much thought and discussion, Mr. Lincoln 
issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that unless the 
states fighting against the government laid down their arms previous to Jan- 
uary, 1863, he should issue an edict giving freedom to the slaves. The issuing of 
this memorable document was another surprise to the people of the country. 
Lincoln had promised himself that if God would give him a Union victory he 
would issue this proclamation, and whether in response to this promise or not, the 
Union victory at Antietam, Maryland, in which the rebels were defeated and 
driven back across the Potomac, furnished a pretext. 

In November, 1862, Horatio Seymour, an anti-war Democrat, but a man of 
splendid ability and great personal influence, was elected governor of New York. 
This and similar occurrences gave great encouragement to northern Democrats 
who were opposed to the war. Clement L. Vallandigham, of Ohio, had shown 
himself, in the national House of Representatives and elsewhere, one of the 
bitterest and most outspoken of all the men of this class. At a politica] meeting 
held at Mount Vernon, Ohio, he declared that it was the design of "those in 
power to establish a 'despotism," and that they had "no intention of restoring 
the Union." He denounced the conscription which had been ordered, and 
declared that men who submitted to be drafted into the army were "unworthy 
to be called freemen." He spoke of the president as "King Lincoln." Such 
utterances at this time, when the government was exerting itself to the utmost 
to recruit the armies, were dangerous, and Vallandigham was arrested, tried by 
court-martial at Cincinnati, and sentenced to be placed in confinement during 
the war. General Burnside, in command at Cincinnati, approved the sentence, 
and ordered that he be sent to Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor; but the pres- 
ident ordered that he be sent "beyond our lines into those of his friends." He 
was therefore escorted to the Confederate lines in Tennessee, thence going to 
Richmond. There he did not meet with a very cordial reception, and finally ran 
the blockade to Nassau and went thence to Canada. 

On January 1, 1863, occurred the greatest event of the war — the issuing of 
the promised and long-expected Emancipation Proclamation. This great paper, 




Avritten by Abraham Lincoln's own hand, and coming from his great heart, must 
stand in history as the direct fruit of, and must rank in history with, the 
immortal Declaration of Independence. The Confederates had been duly 
warned, in a proclamation issued in September, that if they remained in rebellion 
the slaves would be set free. 


Whereas, Ou the 22d day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, 
containing, among other things, the following, to-wit : 

" That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred 

and sixty-three, all persons held as 
slaves within any state or designated 
part of a state, the people whereof 
shall then be in rebellion against 
the United States, shall be then, 
thenceforward and forever free ; and 
the Executive Government of the 
United States, including the military 
and naval authority thereof, will rec- 
ognize and maintain the freedom of 
such persons, and will do no act or 
acts to repress such persons, or any of 
them, in any efforts they may make 
for their actual freedom. 

"That the Executive will, on the 
first day of January aforesaid, by 
i:)ioclamation, designate the states 
and parts of states, if any, in which 
the people thereof, respectively, shall 
then be in rebellion against the 
United States ; and the fact that any 
state, or the people thereof, shall on 
that day be in good faith represented 
in the Congress of the United States, 
by members chosen thereto at elec- 
tions wherein a majority of the 
qualified voters of such state shall 
have participated, shall, in the ab- 
sence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such state, 
and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States." 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the 
power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States 
in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United 
States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this 
first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, 
and in accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period of one 
hundred days from the day first above mentioned, order and designate, as the states and 
parts of states wherein the people thereof, respectively, are this day in rebellion against 
the United States, the following, to-wit: 

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jeffer- 
son, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terre Bonne, LaFourche, 



Ste. Marie, St. Martin, and Orleaus, including tlie city of New Orleans), Mississippi, 
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia (except the 
forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, 
Accomae, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne and Norfolk, including the 
cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are, for the present, left pre- 
cisely as if this proclamation were not issued. 

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that 
all persons held as slaves within said designated states and parts of states are and hence- 
forward shall be free, and that the Executive Government of the United States, includ- 
ing the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom 
of said persons. 

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, 
unless in necessary self-defense ; and I recommend to them, that, in all cases, when 
allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages. 


And I further declare and make known that such persons, of suitable condition, will 
be received into the armed service of the United States, to garrison forts, positions, sta- 
tions and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service. 

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Consti- 
tution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the 
gracious favor of Almighty God. 

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my name and caused the seal of the United 
States to be affixed. 

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our 
[l. s.] Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of 
the United States the eighty-seventh. 

By the President : ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 
William H. Sewakd, Secretary of State. 



This proclamation was received with satisfaction and great joy by the loyal 
people of the United States, and President Lincoln was at once crowned as the 
greatest of emancipators. 

There were important military movements in various portions of the South. 
Efficiency and bravery were shown everywhere by Union officers and private 
soldiers. Lincoln ha'd loyal and most helpful allies in Congress and in the field. 
A large number of Union generals had already gained great victories and 


This is a very interesting picture, as it gives an idea how Lincoln looked in a crowd of 
men. The picture is from a Brady negative, taken at the headquarters of the Army of the 
Potomac, at Antietam, on October 4, 1862. 

acquired most honorable places in history. Among these were Ulysses S. Grant, 
William T. Sherman, George H. Thomas, Phil. Sheridan, and others. The 
president had made repeated calls for troops and money, and Congress had 
responded promptly, so that he had now about half a million men in the field. 
But there were some discordant notes, and the condition of the country was 



such that Congress passed a law, March 3, 1863, authorizing the president to 
suspend the writ of habeas corpus throughout the United States when, in his 
opinion, public safety might require it. 

General Butler had, by occupying New Orleans, closed the mouth of the 
Mississippi to the rebels, but in order to open the river throughout its length to 
the Union gunboats and vessels, it was necessary to capture Vicksburg, the great 
objective point of the campaign in the West. Vicksburg was to be taken in the 
West, and the army of Lee was 
to be destroyed in the East. 

Grant arrived in the vicin- 
ity of Vicksburg February 2, 
1863, and assumed command. 
The siege was most remark- 
able; slowly the work pro- 
ceeded of closing all the 
approaches to the city. The 
operations of the land and 
naval forces were very elab- 
orate; canals were cut, for- 
tifications erected. Admiral 
Porter co-operated with Gen- 
eral Grant. 

The capture of Port Gib- 
son, on the Mississippi, below 
Vicksburg, by Union troops 
gave encouragement to Grant; 
and Johnston's army moved 
with the purpose of relieving 
Vicksburg and to take Pem- 
berton, who was in command 
of the rebel forces in that 
city, out of the cage in which 
he found himself; but John- 
ston was defeated, and several 
victories won, in quick suc- 
cession, by the Union troops, 
and Pemberton and his men were finally driven into their works and the city 
completely invested. 

Grant now decided to take the city by assault, and on May 22d, the attack 
was made with great vigor, but without success. There was great suffering on 
the part of the besieged troops, and citizens were reduced to great extremities, and, 
finally, on July 3d, Pemberton sent a letter to Grant proposing an armistice and 
commissioners to arrange terms of capitulation. The result of this was that the 
city and garrison of Vicksburg was surrendered on July 4, 1863. 


Secretary of war under Lincoln, from March 4, 1860, 
to January 11, 1862. 


In the siege of Vicksburg and preceding battles, the general loss to the rebels 
was 37,000 taken prisoners, including fifteen general of&cers, 10,000 killed and 
wounded, and a large quantity of ammunition. Thus the Mississippi was free to 
the Union forces, and to trade throughout its entire length. 

The Confederates, in June, 1863, formed another purpose to beard the loyal 
lion in his very den. On the twenty-eighth, Lee invaded Pennsylvania with a very 
large force, occupied Chambersburg promptly, and advanced on Gettysburg. 

On the twenty-seventh. General Meade had succeeded General Hooker in com- 
mand of the Army of the Potomac. General Reynolds, of the Union forces, 
came unexpectedly upon the enemy at Gettysburg, and was at first driven back. 
On the morning of July 1, 1863, the battle of Gettysburg began, and during 
the forenoon of July 4th, after one of the most terrible series of battles recorded 
in history, it was evident that Lee was preparing to retreat. The Confederates 
had made a tremendous effort to capture Cemetery Hill, the key to the Union 
position. Pickett's charge on this occasion is known as one of the severest and 
most heroic demonstrations ever made by the Confederates, but after repeated 
attempts, and after pressing up to the very muzzles of the artillery, the rebels 
were met with such storms of grape and canister that the survivors threw down 
their arms and surrendered, rather than run the gauntlet of retreat. Three 
thousand prisoners were taken. 

On July 4,1863, General Meade, in a dispatch dated at 8:30 p. m., to the secre- 
tary of war, said, "The enemy opened at 1:00 p. m., from about one hundred and 
fifty guns. They concentrated upon my left center, continuing without inter- 
mission for about three hours, at the expiration of which time they assaulted my 
left center twice, being upon both occasions handsomely repulsed, with severe 
loss to them, leaving in our hands nearly three thousand prisoners.'" 

The effect of these two great victories, the capture of Vicksburg and the 
repulse of the rebel forces at Gettysburg, was tremendous. The president and 
all loyal people were greatly encouraged and strengthened. It was evident to 
men of observation and foresight that the tide of events had turned, and that 
the crushing down and out of the Confederacy was only a matter of time. 



THE rejoicing and gratitude of the friends of the Union found expression in a 
proclamation issued by their beloved president July 15, 1863: "It has pleased 
Almighty God to hearken to the supplications and prayers of an afflicted people, 
and to vouchsafe to the army and the navy of the United States victories on the 
land and on the sea so signal and so effective as to furnish reasonable ground 
for augmented confidence that the union of these states will be maintained, 
their constitution preserved, and their peace and prosperity permanently restored. 
But these victories have been accorded not without sacrifice of life, limb, health 
and liberty incurred by brave, loyal and patriotic citizens. Domestic affliction 
in every part of the country follows in the train of these fearful bereavements. 
It is meet and right to recognize and confess the presence of the Almighty 
Father, and the power of his hand, equally in these triumphs and these sorrows." 

The president then invited the people to assemble August 4th for thanks- 
giving, praise and prayer, and to render homage to the Divine Majesty, for the 
wonderful things he had done in the nation's behalf; and he called upon 
the people to invoke his Holy Spirit to subdue the anger which had been pro- 
duced and so long sustained a needless and cruel rebellion; to change the hearts 
of the insurgents; to guide the councils of the government with wisdom, and to 
visit with tender care and consolation those who through the vicissitudes of 
battles and sieges had been brought to suffer in mind, body or estate, and finally 
to lead the whole nation through the paths of repentance and submission to the 
Divine will, to unity and fraternal peace. That the people responded to this 
invitation heartily does not need to be said. 

On November 19th, the battle-field at Gettysburg, which had been set apart 
as a national cemetery, was consecrated to its pious purpose by impressive cer- 
emonies. The president and his Cabinet, governors and officials of several 
states, and large masses of people assembled on this occasion. Edward Everett, 
late secretary of state, and senator from Massachusetts, one of the greatest 
public speakers of the day, with an international reputation, was the orator of 
the occasion. President Lincoln, however, while in the cars on his way from 
the White House, was notified that he would be expected to make "some remarks 
also." He made a few notes while in the car, and when the time came for him 




to speak, he delivered the now famous Gettysburg address, the finest, strongest 
and one of the briefest orations ever made on tliis continent. From a literary 
point of view, this speech has come to be regarded as an American classic. Mr. 
Everett was a good and great man; his memory will be affectionately cherished; 
but his splendid sentences have already been forgotten, while Lincoln's few 
impressive words have already an imperishable place in the history and literature 
of the world. Here is the address: 

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this con- 
tinent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that 
all men are created equal. 

'' Now we are engaged in 
a great civil war, testing 
whether that nation, or any 
nation so conceived and so 
dedicated, can long endure. 
We are met on a great battle- 
field of that war. We have 
come to dedicate a portion 
of that field as the final 
resting-place for those who 
here gave their lives that 
that nation might live. It 
is altogether fitting and 
proper that we should do this. 

"But, in a larger sense, 
we cannot dedicate — we can- 
not consecrate — we cannot 
hallow — this ground. The 
brave men, living and dead, 
who struggled here have con- 
secrated it, far above our 
poor power to add or de- 
tract. The world will little 

note, nor long remember, what we sa?/ here, but it can never forget what they did 
here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work 
which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is for us, 
rather, to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before' us, that from 
these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave 
the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead 
shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth 
of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, 
shall not perish from the earth." 

On September 19th and 20th, the famous battle of Chickamauga was fought, 
in which General Thomas, commanding the center of Rosecran's army, firmly 




withstood and beat back the rebels under Bragg. General Garfield especially- 
distinguished himself in this battle. 

General Grant arrived at Louisville October 19th, and assumed the command 
of the military division of the Mississippi. Rosecrans was then relieved, and 


An interesting story is related of this picture. While in the White House, Mr. Lincoln 
made many sittings at the request of Mr. Brady, the historical photographer of Washington. 
Upon one occasion the president was accompanied by his favorite son, "Tad." Mr. Brady made 
an exposure, and went into the dark-room to change the plate. During the delay, Mr. Lincoln 
picked up an albvim of Brady's celebrated pictures and was showing them to Tad. When Mr, 
Brady came back, his artistic eye was impressed by the pose, and he induced them to remain 
just as they were while lie took the picture. The above was told by Hon. Robert Lincoln, 
of Chicago, in January, 1896. 



Thomas became commander of the Army of the Cumberland. Thomas retired to 
Chattanooga, after the battle of Chickamauga, where Grant joined him October 
22d, and they determined to storm and carry the heights of Lookout mountain 
and Missionary ridge. On November 24th, Sherman's men gained possession of 
the north end of the last-named height. Thomas attacked the center and drove 
the enemy back to the hills. Hooker pushed around Lookout mountain, and 
drove the enemy up its western slope, capturing their rifle-pits. 

The men recognized at once their great opportunity, and pressed the rebels 
with impetuous ardor until 
they reached the very summit, 
above the clouds and smoke, 
and spectators in the valley 
could get occasional glimpses 
of their battle-flags, waving 
in triumph. The next day 
Braofg was in full retreat. On 
the twenty-fifth the scene of 
Lookout mountain was re- 
peated on the summit of 
Missionary ridge. Bragg 
withdrew then to Ringgold, 

Meanwhile the Confeder- 
ate siege of Knoxville, in East 
Tennessee, was in progress, 
with Burnside in command 
of the Union forces. General 
Sherman finally marched to 
his relief; Longstreet raised 
the siege and marched into 

On September 6th, the 
forts in Charleston harbor 
were taken by the Union 
forces, and the city was now 
at their mercy. The situation 
had greatly changed since the 

rebels had fired their first shot at Sumter, in 1861. During the spring and sum- 
mer of 1863 there was much fighting, as usual, in Virginia. Lee and Jackson 
made a furious attack on General Hooker, May 2d, at Chancellorsville, and Jackson 
was mortally wounded by a shot from his own ranks. 

On March 3, 1863, it was found necessary by Congress to pass a conscription 
law, and two months afterward the president ordered a general draft for 300,000 
men. All able-bodied men over twenty and under forty-five were liable to 


Vice-president with Lincoln in the campaign of 18(34, 
and successor in office. He was born in 1808, and died 1875. 



conscription. The anti-war people were very bitter, and did what they could do 
safely in the line of resisting the officers who had the management of the 
conscription. In some instances their indignation broke out in mob violence. 
An armed mob of large proportions burned a New York asylum for colored 
orphans, July 13th, attacked the police, and killed about a hundred people. An 
unsuccessful attempt was made to wreck the New York Tribune building. 
Governor Seymour made a mild speech, promising that the draft should be 
suspended, and advising the rioters to disperse. His promise was unauthorized 
and void of force, and Union troops came into the city, and soon put down the 
insurrection with a strong hand. But resistance to the draft broke out so 
violently elsewhere that August 19th, President Lincoln, in a proclamation, 
suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus throughout the Union. Only 
about 50,000 men were drafted, but volunteering was greatly stimulated, and in 
October the president issued another call for 300,000 men. On June 20th, in this 
year, West Virginia became a state and was admitted to the Union. 




THE Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Mr. Lincoln in the sincere 
belief that ''it was an act of justice warranted by the Constitution, and upon 
military necessity." In its publication, he had invoked " the considerate judgment 
of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God." Slavery had been 
abolished at the Capitol, prohibited in the territories, and all negro soldiers in the 
Union army had been declared free. The fugitive-slave laws had been repealed, 
as had all laws which recognized or sanctioned slavery. The states not embraced 
in the proclamation had emancipated their slaves, so that slavery now existed only 
in the rebel states. 

After all that had been done by Congress, by war and by the president, one 
thing alone remained to complete and make permanently effective these great anti- 
slavery measures. This was to introduce into the Constitution itself a provision 
to abolish slavery in the United States, and to prohibit its existence in any part 
thereof forever. 

Senator Lyman Trambull, February 10, 1864, reported from the judiciary 
committee the proposed amendment, in these words: 

"Article XIIL, Section 1. — Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except 
as a punishment for crime, whereof th^ party shall have been duly convicted, shall 
exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. 

" Section 2. — Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate 

The resolution passed the Senate April 8th. The debate on the subject in the 
House began on January 6, 1865, and James A. Garfield, of Ohio, afterward 
president, took a prominent part in the discussion. On January 13th, the measure 
was passed by a vote of one hundred and nineteen ayes and fifty-six nays. 
When the speaker made the formal announcement, "The constitutional majority 
of two thirds having voted in the affirmative, the joint resolution is passed," 
it was received with great demonstrations of applause. It was an important 
fact that quite a number of Democrats voted for the measure. 

The amendment to the Constitution was put to a vote of the states and was 




There had been much opposition to the renomination of Lincoln for the 
presidency by prominent Republicans, some of them being aspirants for the 
honor. The Republican convention met at Baltimore, June 8, 1864. Rev. 
Robert J. Breckinridge, uncle of the rebel leader, John C. Breckinridge, was 
elected as temporary chairman, and, in a bold and fervid speech, commenced the 
business of the convention. He delared slavery to be "contrary to the spirit of 
Christian religion, and incompatible with the natural rights of man." Ex-Gov- 
ernor William Dennison, of Ohio, the first of the famous war governors, was 


made president. Singularly enough, in view of the opposition that had been 
manifested previous to the convention, Lincoln was unanimously renominated 
for the presidency, and Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, was nominated for the 

The Democratic convention met at Chicago, August 29th, and nominated 
George B. McClellan for president, and George H. Pendleton, of Ohio, for 
vice-president. Vallandigham, having returned to Ohio from the rebel lines, 
attended this convention as a delegate, and was chairman of the committee on 



resolution. The second resolution declared that "after four years of trying to 
restore the Union by war, immediate efforts should be made ,for the cessation of 
hostilities." The war for the maintenance of the Union was formally declared 
to be "a failure." To the credit of the candidate, General McClellan, he was not 
fully in accord with the platform upon which he had been placed. 

The campaign was fought on this issue. The questions to be settled were: 
Should the war be prosecuted by the government to a successful conclusion, or 
should there be a cessation of hostilities and a compromise effected? The 
campaign was one of great interest and excitement. The friends of Mr. Lincoln 
had almost every advantage. The 
rebels were losing ground at 
nearly every point. The repeated 
assertions of the Democracy that 
the Union could not be restored 
by force of arms in the existing 
state of things had become ridic- 
ulous, and Lincoln was re-elected 
almost by acclamation, receiving 
every electoral vote except those 
of New^ Jersey, Delaware and 

As soon as the result was 
known, General Grant tel- 
egraphed from City Point his 
congratulations, and added that 
"the election having passed off 
quietly ... is a victory worth 
more to the country than a battle 
won." At a late hour on the 
evening of the election, Mr. Lin- 
coln, in response to a serenade, 
said: " I am thankful to God for 
this approval of the people. But 
while deeply grateful for this 
mark of their confidence in me, 

if I know my own heart, my gratitude is free from any taint of personal triumph. 
It is not in my nature to triumph over any one, but I give thanks to Almighty 
God for this evidence of the people's resolution to stand by free government and 
the rights of humanity." But it was a tremendous personal triamph for which 
any man might be properly grateful; it was a vindication by the people of the 
sterling worth and unfaltering courage of the president. 

Lincoln was reinaugurated March 4, LS65, and in a clear but sometimes sad- 
dened voice, he pronounced his second but last inaugural, a most impressive 
address, the closing paragraph of which is as follows: 




" With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right 
as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the 
nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his 
widow and his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and 
lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." 

Mr. Lincoln, as the champion of the Union cause, had among his most zealous 
friends the loyal women of the North. Many books might be written about 
what these women did for the good of the soldiers in the field and in hospitals 
and for the Union cause. They contributed largely to the public opinion of the 

North. They organized them- 
selves into aid societies, and 
gathered aild prepared supplies 
for the hospitals and such articles 
of food as were adapted to the 
needs of sick and wounded sol- 
diers. In many cities of the 
North there were headquarters 
where food supplies were prepared 
by women, and old men unfit 
for military duty, and forwarded 
to Union camps. The aggregate 
amount of good accomplished by 
these women can never be known. 
No doubt thousands of lives 
were saved through their humane 
and Christian efforts. 

The sanitary commission of 
1865 was one of the most won- 
derful and effective organizations 
of the time. 

The loyal press of the country 
was also of immense and incalcul- 
able help to the president. There 
were sharp neAVspaper criticisms 
of the administration, but they 
were from men who were patriots and loyal to the Constitution and the Union. 
'■ On to Richmond," and "A more vigorous prosecution of the war," were phrases 
that were iterated and reiterated day after day. The editors at the desk co-operated 
with the commanders and the common soldiers in the field. In many'conimuni- 
ties there were disloyal utterances, and in Indiana especially the Knights of the 
Golden Circle proved to be conspirators against the Union and the flag. Under 
these circumstances the Union men at home— especially those in charge of 
newspapers— had a most difficult task, and accomplished a most noble work in 
fighting disunionists at home and in firing and encouraging loyal hearts. 




The first military movements of 1864 began, as in 1863, in the West. 
William Tecumseh Sherman loomed up as a conspicuous military figure, and 
during the year proved to be one of the greatest generals of the time. In 
February, General Sherman left Vicksburg and advanced into Alabama; but 
meeting with a repulse, he returned to Vicksburg. General Banks commanded 
a successful expedition in the Red river country. The rebel General Forest 
captured Fort Pillow, on the Mississippi, and massacred a large number of negro 
soldiers. On May 7th, Sherman had one hundred thousand men in his command 
at Chattanooga, and began a series of movements which ended in his great march 
to the sea, and in the cutting of the very heart of the Confederacy in two. He 
burned Atlanta, November 14th, Columbia, South Carolina, was surrendered to 
him February 17th' following, and soon thereafter Charleston itself was 
abandoned by the Confederates. 

Kilpatrick, in a fight with Hampton, showed a conspicuous bravery and 
persistence, which gave him a brilliant victory. In August, Commodore 
Farragut sealed up the harbor of Mobile. Johnston was in the field, and there 
was vigorous fighting, with varied results, but the trend of events was in the 
line of Union success. 



PRESIDENT LINCOLN placed Ulysses S. Grant in command of all the 
armies of the United States, March 2, 1864. The rank of lieutenant- 
general was revived by act of Congress, and conferred upon him. Seven hundred 
thousand Union soldiers were ready to move at his command. This greatest of 
generals had a plan for putting down the rebellion, and he proceeded to carry 
it out by striking and defeating the Confederates at all points; by pounding away 
at them day after day, and week after week, and month after month, until they 
were forced to surrender. General Sherman's movements, to which we have 
alluded, were at his suggestion, and under his direction. Grant was in Virginia, 
at a point on the James river, laying his plans to capture Richmond. After 
varying fortunes, Butler arrived at Bermuda Hundred, where Grant joined him. 
On June 17th and 18th, an ineffectual attempt was made to take Petersburg. 
Sigel, Hunter and Averill were operating in the Shenandoah valley. Early 
crossed the Potomac, but was driven back by General Lew Wallace. Afterward, 
however. Early again crossed the Potomac, invading Pennsylvania, burning 
Chambersburg, and returning to the valley laden with spoil. 

An event of great military importance was the placing of General Philip H. 
Sheridan in command of the consolidated Union army on the Upper Potomac. 
Sheridan was the great cavalry officer of the Union army, fearless, daring, 
aggressive, and commanding victory by his great genius as well as by his tre- 
mendous courage and dash. He had 40,000 men at his disposal, and he used 
them with great effect. On October 19, 1864, Early surprised the Union camp 
near Winchester, and pursued the Union forces as far as Middletown. Sheridan, 
at Winchester, heard the sound of battle, and rode at breakneck speed a distance 
of twenty miles, met the flying Federal troops, rallied them with a word, turned 
upon the rebels, and gained one of the most glorious victories of the war. At 
the request of the great tragedian James E. Murdoch, who had interested and 
inspired the Union troops in many a camp by his patriotic recitations, Thomas 
Buchanan Read, poet and artist, commemorated this event in a stirring poem, 
entitled " Sheridan's Ride." There were many men, unknown at the breaking 
out of the war, who gained honor and fame in the Virginia campaigns. To 
name them all would take up many a page of this book. Among them was 




Joseph Warren Keifer, of Springfiekl, Ohio, afterward speaker of the national 
House of Representatives. He never lost a battle or made a military mistake. 
Then there were General Garfield, General J. D. Cox, and really a host of others, 
whose names are luminous and are dear to the hearts of all patriots. 

During the summer of 1864, efforts to bring about peace were renewed. 
Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, and the most influential 


The central figure of this picture is the president; the one on the right, in uniform, is Gen- 
eral McClernand, and the gentleman at the left is Allen Pinkerton, the distinguished detective. 
This photograph was talten at Antietam, on October 3, 1863, when President Lincoln visited the 
army in the field. It is from a negative talcen by Brady and Gardner, for the government. 



journalist of his time, wrote the president as follows: "I venture to remind you 
that our bleeding, bankrupt, almost dying country longs for peace, shudders at 
the prospect of fresh conscriptions, of further wholesale devastations, and of 
new rivers of human blood," etc. 

Mr. Greeley asked the president 'to consent to negotiations looking toward the 
ending of the war. In response, the president announced his willingness to 
negotiate with commissions authorized by Jefferson Davis to negotiate. July 
20, 1864, Greeley crossed into Canada to confer with refugee rebels at Niagara. 
He bore with him this paper from the president: "To whom it may concern: 
Any proposition which embraces 
the restoration of peace, the in- 
tegrity of the whole Union, and 
the abandonment of slavery, and 
which comes by and with an 
authority that can control the 
armies now at war with the United 
States, will be received and con- 
sidered by the executive govern- 
ment of the United States, and 
will be met by liberal terms and 
other substantial and collateral 
points, and the bearer or bearers 
thereof shall have safe conduct 
both ways." 

To this Jefferson Davis re- 
plied, " fFe are not fighting for 
slavery: ive are fighting for inde- 

Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward 
met Alexander H. Stephens Feb- 
ruary 3, 1865, on the River Queen, 
at Fortress Monroe. Stephens 
was enveloped in overcoats and 
shawls, and had the appearance 
of a fair-sized man. He began 

to take off one wrapping after another, until the small, shriveled old man stood 
before them. Lincoln quietly raid to Seward, "This is the largest shucking for 
so small a nubbin that I ever saw." R. M. T. Hunter was with Mr. Stephens. ' 

Lincoln had a friendly conference, but presented his ultimatum — that the one 
and only condition of peace was that Confederates " must cease their resistance." 

In the fall of 1864 and the winter of 1865, Grant was pressing in upon and 
around the center of the Confederacy, Petersburg and Richmond, and pounding 
away with ponderous blows. A mine was exploded under one of the Petersburg 
forts, July 30th, but with little influence in favor of the Federals. 




GRANT gained a substantial victory at Five Forks, April 1, 1865, capturing 
6,000 men. This was one of a series of conflicts. On the second he made a 
general assault upon and captured Petersburg, and on the night of that day Lee 
and his army, and the members of the Confederate government, evacuated 
Petersburg. The rebel soldiers set the warehouses of their old capital on fire, 
and large portions of the city were consumed. 

Grant took possession of Richmond April 3d. Lincoln immediately went to 
the front, going up in a man-of-war to the landing called Rocketts, about a 
mile below the city, accompanied by his young son, " Tad," and Admiral Porter, 
and went to the city in a boat. The sailors who accompanied him, armed with 
carbines, composed his only military guard. He walked up the streets toward 
General Weitzel's headquarters, in the house occupied but two days before by 
Jefferson Davis, who took French leave before the surrender. The news of his 
arrival spread as he walked,' and from all sides the colored people came running 
together, with cries of intense exultation, to greet their deliverer. A writer in 
the Atlantic Monthly describes the scene as follows: 

"They gathered around the president, ran ahead, hovered upon the flanks of 
the little company, and hung like a dark cloud upon the rear. Men, women and 
children joined the constantly increasing throng. They came from all the 
by-streets, running in breathless haste, shouting and hallooing, and dancing with 
delight. The men threw up their hats, the women waved their bonnets and 
handkerchiefs, clapped their hands, and sang, "Glory to God! glory, glory!'' 
rendering all the praise to God, who had heard their wailings in the past, their 
meanings for wives, husbands, children and friends sold out of their sight, had 
given them freedom, and after long years of waiting, had permitted them thus 
unexpectedly to behold the face of their great benefactor. 

" I thank you, dear Jesus, that I behold President Linkum!" was the exclama- 
tion of a woman who stood upon the threshold of her humble home, and with 
streaming eyes and clasped hands gave thanks aloud to the savior of men. 

"Another, more demonstrative in her joy, was jumping and striking her 
hands with all her might, crying, "Bless de Lord! Bless de Lord! Bless de Lord!" 
as if there could be no end to her thanksgiving. 




" The air rang with a tumultuous chorus of voices. The street became 
almost impassable on account of the increasing multitude, till soldiers were 
summoned to clear the way. 

" The walk was long, and the president halted a moment to rest. ' May the 
good Lord bless you. President Linkum! ' said an old negro, removing his hat and 
bowing, with tears of joy rolling down his cheeks. The president removed his 
own hat, and bowed in silence; but it was a bow which upset the forms, laws, 
customs and ceremonies of centuries. It was a death-shock to chivalry and a 


mortal wound to caste. Recognize a nigger! Faugh! A woman in an adjoining 
house beheld it, and turned from the scene in unspeakable disgust." 

Lee was followed at once by our troops, and after a series of great battles — 
each forming an important chapter in the history of the war — was surrounded. 
He finally surrendered at Appomatox Court House, on April 9, 1865. Grant and 
Lee met in the parlor of William McLean's house, where, in a memorable inter- 
view, the terms of surrender were agreed upon. 

The spontaneous and universal rejoicings of the people of the country at this 
complete overthrow of the rebellion were such as had never been witnessed before 


on any continent. Men laughed, cried, shouted, and shook hands with each 
other; there were parades by day, and at night America was illuminated by 
discharges of fireworks, and thousands of flaming torch-light processions. The 
war was over. Peace stretched her white wings over our beloved land. 

William T. Sherman's great march "from Atlanta to the sea'' ended at 
Raleigh, April 13th, and here, thirteen days after his arrival, he received the sur- 
render of General Joseph E. Johnston. Both Lee and Johnston were treated 
with consideration and magnanimity. 

Jefferson Davis was captured at Irwinsville. Georgia, May 10th, by General 
Wilson's cavalry. He was conveyed to Fortress Monroe. He was taken to 
Richmond, tried on a charge of treason, released on bail, and finally dismissed. 

Friday, April 14th, the anniversary of the surrender of Fort Sumter in 1861, 
was selected by the president as the day when General Robert Anderson should 
raise the American flag upon the same fort. Lincoln's humanity and magnan- 
imity were never more conspicuously shown than at this period. There was no 
vengeance in his heart to be exploded upon the men who had arrayed themselves 
in armies against the government. The hate of the conspirators, however, had 
not passed awa}^; there were rumors of plots in various parts of the country 
and Canada, and many warnings were sent to the president, who had forebodings 
of disaster. 

Mr. Lincoln sent a message by Mr. Colfax, April 14th, to the miners in the 
Rocky mountains, and in the regions bounded by the Pacific ocean, in which he 
assayed to stimulate their operations, and said: "Now that the rebellion is 
overthrown, and we know pretty nearly the amount of our national debt, the 
more gold and silver we mine, we make the payment of that debt so much 
easier." " Now," said he, speaking with more emphasis, " I am going to encour- 
age that in every possible way. We shall have hundreds of thousands of dis- 
banded soldiers, and many have feared that their return home in such great 
numbers might paralyze industry by furnishing, suddenly, a greater supply of 
labor than there will be demand for. ' I am going to try to attract them to the 
hidden wealth of our mountain ranges, where there is room enough for all. 
Immigration, which even the war has not stopped, will land upon our shores 
hundreds of thousands more per year from overcrowded Europe. I intend to 
point them to the gold and silver that wait for them in the West. Tell the 
miners for me that I shall promote their interests to the utmost of my ability; 
because their prosperity is the prosperity of the nation; and," said he, his eye 
kindling with enthusiasm, "we shall prove, in a very few years, that we are 
indeed the treasury of the world." Here spoke the political economist, the 
philanthropist, the statesman and the prophet. 



AT this time the friends of the Union cause were in transports of delight. 
Earnest, devout thanksgivings were on every tongue, flaring forth from 
every heart. Banners were in every breeze. Bonfires blazed on every street. 
Never were a people at such a height of exultation and rejoicing. 

On the afternoon of April 14th, the president, with Mrs. Lincoln, drove 
about the city of Washington, and were received everywhere with affectionate 
greetings. At a meeting of the Cabinet that day, he had said, " I have no desire 
to kill or hang the Confederates." To his wife he said, "" When these four years 
are over, Mary, we will go back to Illinois, and I will again be a country lawyer. 
God has been very good to us." 

On the night of that same day he attended Ford's theater, and occupied a box. 
He was accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln, Major H. R. Rathbone and Miss Clara W. 
Harris. The play for that evening was the "American Cousin." The party was 
greeted with great applause from the people, who came to witness a comedy, but 
who saw the most terrible of tragedies. 

The orchestra played " Hail to the Chief." The president was pleased, and 
acknowledged the courtesy. The curtain rose upon the second scene in the last 
act. Laura Keene, personating " Mrs. Montchessington," was saying to "Asa 

"You don't understand good society. That alone can excuse the impertinence 
of which you are guilty." 

"I guess 1 know enough to turn you inside out," was the reply of Trenchard. 

Just here there was the report of a pistol, and the laughter of the audience 
turned to demonstrations of alarm. At fifteen minutes after ten. John Wilkes 
Booth, an actor by profession, passed along the passage behind the spectators in 
the dress-circle, showed a card to the president's messenger, and stood for two or 
three minutes, looking down upon the stage and the orchestra below. He then 
entered the vestibule of the president's box, closed the door behind him, and 
fastened it by bracing a short plank against it from the wall, so that it could not 
be opened from the outside. He then drew a small silver-mounted Derringer 
pistol, which he carried in his right hand, holding alonof, double-edged dagger in 
his left. All in the box were intent upon the proceedings upon the stage; but 




President Lincoln was leaning forward, holding aside the curtain of the box with 
his left hand, and looking, with his head slightly turned toward the audience. 
Booth stepped within the inner door into the box, directly behind the president, 
and holding the pistol Just over the back of the chair in which he sat, shot him 
through the back of the head. Mr. Lincoln bent slightly forward, with his eyes 
closed, but in every other respect his attitude remained unchanged. 

Major Rathbone, turning his eyes from the stage, saw a man standing between 
him and the president. He iAstantly sprang toward him and seized him; but 
Booth wrested himself from his grasp, and dropping the pistol, struck at him with 
the dagger, inflicting a severe wound upon his left arm near the shoulder. Booth 
then rushed to the front of the box and shouted, "5'/c semper tyrannis!" put his 

hand upon the railing in 
front of the box, and leaped 
over it upon the stage below. 
As he went over, his spur 
caught in the flag which 
draped the front, and he fell; 
but recovering himself im- 
mediately, he rose, bran- 
dished the dagger, and facing 
the audience, shouted, '''The 
South is avenged!" 

The assassin escaped into 
Virginia, and found a tempo- 
rary refuge among the rebel 
sympathizers of lower Mary- 
land. He was afterward 
caught and shot to death by 
one of the soldiers that were 
sent in pursuit of him. An 
attempt was made to assas- 
sinate Mr. Seward, secretary 
of state, at the same time, 
but without success. 

The president was borne 
to a small house across the street, Mrs. Lincoln, dazed and wild with grief, fol- 
lowing him. At a little past seven o'clock in the morning Abraham Lincoln 
died, with inexpressible peace upon his face. "Now he belongs to the ages," said 
Secretary Stanton. 

From the most extravagant demonstrations of rejoicing and triumph, the 
people of the entire North, with many in the border states, and many in the 
territory of the late Confederacy, were plunged into grief, and almost into despair. 
Never was there such a transition from the most transporting joy to the 
profoundest sorrow as was experienced by the American people the next day, on the 

The private box in Ford's theater, Washington, where 
President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes 
Booth, April 14, 1865. 



memorable fifteenth of April, 1865, when the news of the assassination of their 
beloved president was sent by telegraph and cable to all parts of the civilized 
world. The whole people were stricken with a sorrow that was too great for 
tears. People gathered in the streets of great cities and small villages, and were 
wringing their own hands, in their great brief, instead of joyously shaking hands 
with each other, as they had so recently done over great and final victories. 

But one such scene had ever been known in history. That was when, nearly 
three hundred years before, in the sixteenth century, the fiendish assassin 
Balthazar Gerard, the proto- 
type of John Wilkes Booth, 
shot to death William the 
Silent, the father and re- 
deemer ctf the noble, liberty- 
loving people of Holland. 
On that occasion, says 
John Lothrop Motley, "the 
little children of Holland 
shed tears" over the strik- 
ing down of the liberator of 
the Dutch people. The Hol- 
landers were lovers of liberty ; 
they had passed through a 
cruel and prolonged crisis, 
and suffered beyond the pow- 
er of pen to describe, but at 
last the power of the despot 
was broken, and Holland and 
the Dutch people enjoyed 
freedom of person and of 
religious belief. The grief 
of the American people over 
the smiting down of the 
great liberator of the nine- 
teenth century was like that 
of the Hollanders, only on 
an immensely larger scale. 

The feeling of the people of the United States at this time, broken-hearted as 
they were at the loss of their president, was, possibly, more intense than the 
feelings of the Hollanders. Abraham Lincoln, and the people who so loved him, 
had not striven and suffered in behalf of their own freedom, but of the freedom 
of an enslaved and despised race. If ever there was a cause that was approved 
in heaven; if ever a cause that received the active interposition of Divine 
Providence, it was the cause of national unity and human freedom, which was 
now triumphant. 




What pen can paint the portrait of Abraham Lincoln? A great poet said: 

Some angel guide my pencil while I draw 
The picture of a good man. 

No angel could give us a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. None but a saint in 
heaven of the highest rank; one who had suffered here on earth in the cause of 
his Master, and had trodden the thorny path and highway of tears, could 
appreciate the true character, and the self-sacrificing and exalted career of the 
martyred president. 




Mr. Lincoln was, as we said in the beginning of this hook, of all others a 
man of the people. His tender but strong heart was always full of sj'mpathy 
for each and all. All classes, from the richest to the poorest of the poor, 


received his courteous attention, and in occasions of sorrow, his most sympa- 
thetic feeling and efficient help. It is not strange that in very many instances 
his pity overcame his prudence, but in no instance was it to anybody's real 



Not only were the skies thick with the smoke of battle, but schemes to 
thwart his great purpose, and plots to destroy his best efforts, had constantly to be 
contended against. Men of patriotism and purity of purpose; men who estimated 
him and loved him, and whose services were of great value, mercilessly criticized 


" Here sleeps the apostle of human liberty." 

his course; loyal but impatient patriots hounded him on to public acts against 
his better judgment, but his patience was God-like; he had a purpose clearly 
formed; he seemed to see long in advance the very strokes that would break the 
rebellion and restore peace to the country. 



There was one Counselor who never failed him, and to whom he often went 
for comfort and wisdom. He promised the Almighty that if he would give him 
a victory he would publicly issue his proclamation, and give freedom to the 
slaves. To this we may well believe the response was given, and immediately 
the pledge was fulfilled. 

No man was ever more viciously abused by apparent friends, or by secret or 
open foes. The " father of his country " was assailed with venomous attacks 
repeatedly during his beneficent career. The best men the world has ever known 
have been those who have suffered the meanest and most venomous attacks. 

Mr. Lincoln replied to few or none of these. He was so faithful and constant 
in the discharge of his supremely important duties that he felt it would be a 
waste of time to attempt to undertake his own vindication. He well knew that 
history would do him justice. Now, at last, an appreciation of his greatness and 
his goodness and of the inestimable service he had rendered his country and its 
people was universally felt to the bottom of the common people. The passage 
of his mortal remains from Washington through various cities to Springfield, 
Hlinois, has gone into the history of the country. Again the fountains of the 
great depths of sorrow were opened. Everywhere along the route the funeral 
train was met by crowds of people with demonstrations of deepest mourning. 
Now monuments stand in various cities of the Union to the memory of Abraham 
Lincoln, the emancipator, and many streets and avenues are named in his honor. 
One noble monument stands at Chicago, where Mr. Lincoln was first nominated 
for the presidency, and another stands at his old home, in Springfield, Hlinois. 



IT is thirty years since the close of the war. We are at last a united people. 
The term " rebel " has passed away, and is only used in honest records of the 
past, and without malice. Our American nation has for its individual con- 
stituents a united, patriotic and loyal people. No men when they meet greet 
each other's faces or shake each other's hands with more heartiness and deeper 
feelings of good will than the gray-headed soldiers of the Union and of the 
Confederate armies. Men of both armies meet under the " stars and stripes " at 
the graves of the dead on Memorial day. There are no more graceful or hearty 
tributes to the high character and the great work of Abraham Lincoln than 
appear in the utterances on the platform of a former Confederate general, 
John B, Gordon, of Georgia, and the former editor of the Chattanooga Rebel, 
Henry Watterson. There is now no North, no South. Near the battle-fields of 
the late civil war iron furnaces and cotton factories have been erected by men 
from New England, Ohio and other northern states, and the hum of ncAv indus- 
tries fills the ambient air of a new and redeemed South. 

Mason and Dixon's line has been efficiently and forever abolished. There 
are Democratic governors in northern states; there are Republican governors in 
southern states; and whenever people of the different sections of the country meet, 
there are demonstrations of unity, patriotism, brotherly affection and peace, 

Abraham Lincoln was the greatest man of his time. He had his faults and 
defects, but who cares to dwell on them? What were the elements of his great- 
ness? He could see farther into the pregnant future than any man of his day. 
He had the largest heart and the broadest sympathies of any man known at the 
time when he lived. His patience and forbearance were Christ-like. He had 
a wonderfully keen intellect, instant in its workings, and seemingly incapable 
of mistakes. He was a great statesman. In the emancipation of the slaves 
was involved the problem of ages. He was urged by strong and great men 
to issue the Emancipation Proclamation long before he did. He was urged 
by equally strong and great men to delay its issue. He therefore stood 
alone, and was forced to act for himself, and results show that he acted not 
a day too soon nor a day too late. He had a keen and comprehensive military 
mind. He had been a student of the military records of the past. He gave his 




greatest generals pre-eminently practical and effective suggestions. He was the 
greatest orator of his age, if great oratory means the utterance of great 
thoughts and announcement of great principles, in a manner that most moves 
and changes men, and that secures for them a permanent place in the annals of 
a nation, and of the world. The greatness of the theme paralyzes the pen. All 
patriots and all friends of their race, in all countries and climes, uncover their 
heads as they recall the memory of ABRAHAM LINCOLN! 








(Address at New Salem; Illinois, March 9, 1835, when a candidate for the Legislature.) 

Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system 
respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which 
we, as a people, can be engaged in. 

That every man may receive at least a moderate education, and thereby be 
enabled to read the histories of his own and other countries, by which he may 
duly appreciate the value of our free institutions, appears to be an object of vital 
importance; even on this account alone, to say nothing of the advantages and 
satisfaction to be derived from all being able to read the Scriptures and other 
works, both of a religious and moral nature, for themselves. 

For my part, I desire to see the time when education, by its means, morality, 
sobriety, enterprise and integrity, shall become much more general than at 
present, and should be gratified to have it in my power to contribute something 
to the advancement of any measure which might have a tendency to accelerate 
the happy period. 

Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not. 
I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed 
of my fellow-men. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition is yet to 
be developed. I am young, and unknown to many of you. I was born, and have 
ever remained, in the most humble walks of life. I have no wealthy popular 
relations or friends to recommend me. My case is thrown exclusively upon the 
independent voters of the county; and, if elected, they will have conferred a favor 
upon me for which I shall be unremitting in my labors to compensate. 

But if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the 
background, I have been too familiar with disappointment to be very much 




(Delivered at Springfield, Illinois, June 26, 1857. j 

The chief -justice does not directly assert, but plainly assumes as a fact, that 
the public estimate of the black man is more favorable now than it was in the 
days of the Revolution. 

In those days, by common consent, the spread of the black man's bondage to 
the new countries was prohibited; but now Congress decides that it will not con- 
tinue the prohibition, and the Supreme Court decides that it could not if it would. 

In those days, our Declaration of Independence was held sacred by all, and 
thought to include all; but now, to aid in making the bondage of the negro uni- 
versal and eternal, it is assailed and sneered at, and constructed and hawked at, 
and torn, till, if its framers could rise from their graves, they could not at all 
recognize it. 

All the powers of earth seem rapidly combining against him; Mammon is 
after him, ambition follows, philosophy follows, and the theology of the day 
is fast joining the cry. 


(Address before the Washingtonian Temperance Society, Springfield, Illinois, February 22, 


The cause itself seems suddenly transformed from a cold abstract theory to 
a living, breathing, active and powerful chieftain going forth "conquering and to 
conquer." The citadels of his great adversary, are daily being stormed and dis- 
mantled; his temples and altars, where the rites of his idolatrous worship have 
long been performed, and where human sacrifices have long been wont to be 
made, are daily desecrated and deserted. 

The trump of the conqueror's fame is sounding from hill to hill, from sea to 
sea, and from land to land, and calling millions to his standard at a blast. 

When one who has long been known as a victim of intemperance bursts the 
fetters that have bound him, and appears before his neighbors "clothed in his 
right mind," a redeemed specimen of long-lost humanity, and stands up with 
tears of joy trembling in his eyes, to tell of the miseries once endured, now to 
be endured no more forever; of his once naked and starving children, now clad 
and fed comfortably; of a wife, long weighed down with woe, weeping, and 
a broken heart, now restored to health, happiness and a renewed affection; and 
how easily it is all done, once it is resolved to be done — how simple his language! 
There is a logic and eloquence in it that few with human feelings can resist. 

It is an old and true maxim that " a drop of honey catches more flies than a 
gallon of gall." So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first 
convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that 
catches his heart; which, say what he will, is the great highroad to his reason, 
and when once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing his judg- 


ment of the justice of your cause, if, indeed, that cause really be a just one. 
On the contrary, assume to dictate to his judgment, or to command his action, 
or to mark him as one to be shunned and despised, and he will retreat within 
himself, close all the avenues to his head and his heart, and though your cause be 
naked truth itself, transformed to the heaviest lance, harder than steel, and 
sharper than steel can be made, and though you throw it with more than hurcu- 
lean force and precision, you shall be no more able to pierce him than to pen- 
etrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw. 

Of our political revolution of '76 we are all justly proud. It has given us a 
degree of political freedom far exceeding that of any other nation of the earth. 
But with all these glorious results, past, present and to come, it had its evils, 
too. It breathed forth famine, swam in blood, and rode in fire; and long, long 
after, the orphans' cry and the widows' wail continued to break the sad silence 
that ensued. These are the price, the inevitable price, paid for the blessings it 

Turn now to the temperance resolution. In it we shall find a stronger bond- 
age broken, a viler slavery manumitted, a greater tyrant deposed — in it more of 
want supplied, more disease healed, more sorrow assuaged. By it, no orphans 
starving, no widows weeping. By it, none wounded in feeling, none injured in 
interest; even the dram-maker and dram-seller will have glided into other occu- 
pations so gradually as never to have felt the change, and will stand ready to 
join all others in the universal song of gladness. 

And what a noble ally this, to the cause of political freedom; with such an 
aid, its march cannot fail to be on and on, till every son of earth shall drink in 
rich fruition the sorrow-quenching draughts of perfect liberty! 

Happy day when, all appetite controlled, all passions subdued, all matter 
subjugated, mind — all-conquering mind — shall live and move, the monarch of 
the world! Glorious consummation! Hail, fall of fury! Reign of reason, all 

And when the victory shall be complete — when there shall be neither a slave 
nor a drunkard on earth — how proud the title of that land which may truly 
claim to be the birthplace and cradle of both those resolutions that shall have 
ended in that victory! How nobly distinguished that people who shall have 
planted, and nurtured to maturity, both the political and moral freedom of their 

This is the one hundred and tenth anniversary of the birthda,y of Washing- 
ton — we are met to celebrate this day. 

Washington is the mightiest name on earth — long since the mightiest in the 
cause of civil liberty, still mightiest in moral reformation. 

On that name a eulogy is expected. It cannot be. To add brightness to the 
sun or glory to the name of Washington is alike impossible. Let none 
attempt it. 

In solemn awe pronounce the name, and, in its naked, deathless splendor, 
leave it shining on. 


(Letter to Hon. George Robertson, Lexington, Kentucky, August 15, 1855.) 

So far as peaceful voluntary emancipation is concerned, the condition of the 
negro slave in America, scarcely less terrible to the contemplation of a free mind^ 
is now as fixed and hopeless of change for the better as that of the lost souls of 
the finally impenitent. 

The autocrat of all the Russias will resign his crown, and proclaim his sub- 
jects free republicans, sooner than will our American masters voluntarily give 
up their slaves. 

Our political problem now is. Can we as a nation continue together perma- 
nently, forever, half slave and half free? The problem is too mighty for me. 
May God in his mercy superintend the solution! 


(Speech at Springfield, Illinois, during the Harrison presidential campaign, 1840.) 

Many free countries have lost their liberty, and ours may lose hers; but if 
she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was last to desert, but that I never 
deserted her. 

I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the 
evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption in 
a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful velocity over the 
whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green 
spot or living thing. 

I cannot deny that all may be swept away. Broken by it, I, too, may be; bow 
to it I never will. The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to 
deter us from the support of a cause which we believe to be just. It shall not 
deter me. 

If ever I feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not 
wholly unworthy of its Almighty Architect, it is when I contemplate the cause 
of my country, deserted by all the world beside, and I standing up boldly alone, 
and hurling defiance at her victorious oppressors. 

Here, without contemplating consequences, before heaven, and in the face of 
the world, I swear eternal fidelity to the just coKse, as I deem it, of the land of 
my life, my liberty, and my love; and who that thinks with me will not fearlessly 
adopt the oath that I take? 

Let none falter who thinks he is right, and we may succeed. 

But if, after all, we shall fail, be it so; we have the proud consolation of say- 
ing to our consciences, and to the departed shade of our country's freedom, that 
the cause approved of our judgment, and, adorned of our hearts in disaster, in 
chains, in death, we never faltered in defending. 




(Eulogy on the life and character of Henry Clay, Springfield, Illinois, July 16, 1852.) 

This saggestion of the possible ultimate redemption of the African race and 
African continent was made twenty-five years ago. Every succeeding year has 
added strength to the hope of its. realization. May it indeed be realized! 
Pharaoh's country was cursed with plagues, and his hosts drowned in the Red 
sea for striving to retain a captive people who had already served them more 
than four hundred years. May like disaster never befall us! 

If, as the friends of colonization hope, the present and coming generations ot 
our countrymen shall, by any means, succeed in freeing our land from the 
dangerous presence of slavery, and at the same time restoring a captive people to 
their long-lost fatherland, with bright prospects for the future, and this, too, so 
gradually that neither races nor individuals shall have suffered by the change, it 
will, indeed, be a glorious consummation. 

And if to such a consummation the efforts of Mr. Clay shall have contributed, 
it will be what he most ardently wished; and none of his labors will have been 
more valuable to his country and his kind. 


(Speech at Peoria, Illinois, October 16, 1854.) 

This declared indifference, but, as I must think, covert zeal, for the spread of 
slavery I cannot but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of 
slavery itself ; I hate it because it deprives our republic of an example of its just 
influence in the world; enables the enemies of free institutions with plausibility 
to taunt us as hypocrites; causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sin- 
cerity; and especially because it forces so many really good men among our- 
selves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty, 
criticizing the Declaration of Independence and insisting that there is no right 
principle of action but self-interest. 

The doctrine of self-government is right — absolutely and eternally right — 
but it has no just application, as here attempted. Or, perhaps, I should rather 
say that whether it has such just application depends upon whether a negro is 
not, or is, a man. If he is not a man, in that case he who is a man may, as a 
matter of self-government, do just what he pleases with him. But if the negro 
is a man, is it not to that extent a total destruction of self-government to say 
that he, too, shall not govern himself ? 

When the white man governs himself, that is self-government; but when he 
governs himself, and also governs another man, that is more than self-govern- 
ment — that is despotism. 

What I do say is that no man is good enough to govern another man without 
that other's consent. 


The master not only governs the slave without his consent, but he governs 
him by a set of rules altogether different from those which he prescribes for him- 
self. Allow all the governed an equal voice in the government; that, and that 
only, is self-government. 

Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man's nature — opposition to it, in his 
love of justice. These principles are an eternal antagonism; and when brought 
into collision so fiercely as slavery extension brings them, shocks and throes and 
convulsions must ceaselessly follow. 

Repeal the Missouri Compromise — repeal all compromise — and repeal the 
Declaration of Independence — repeal all past history — still you cannot repeal 
human nature. 

I particularly object to the new position which the avowed principles of the 
Nebraska law gives to slavery in the body politic. I object to it because it 
assumes that there can be moral right in the enslaving of one man by another. 
I object to it as a dangerous dalliance for a free people — a sad evidence that, feel- 
ing prosperity, we forget right — that liberty as a principle we have ceased to 

Little by little, but steadily as man's march to the grave, we have been giving 
up the old for the new faith. Near eighty years ago we began by declaring that 
all men are created equal; but now from that beginning we have run down to 
the other declaration that for some men to enslave others is a " sacred right of 
self-government." These principles cannot stand together. They are as opposite 
as God and Mammon. 

Our republican robe is soiled and trailed in the dust. Let us purify it. Let 
us turn and wash it white, in the spirit, if not in the blood, of the Revolution. 

Let us turn slavery from its claims of ''moral right" back upon its existing 
legal rights, and its arguments of "necessity." Let us return it to the position 
our fathers gave it, and there let it rest in peace. 

Let us readopt the Declaration of Independence, and the practices and 
policy which harmonize with it. Let North and South — let all Americans — let 
all lovers of liberty everywhere, join in the great and good work. 

If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union, but shall have so 
saved it as to make and to keep it forever worthy of saving. We shall have so 
saved it that the succeeding millions of free, happy people, the world over,»shall 
rise up and call us blessed to the latest generations. 


(Letter to the Republicans of Boston, April, 1859.) 

This is a world of compensation, and he who would be no slave, must consent 
to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for them- 
selves, and under a just Grod cannot long retain it. 



(Speech at the Republican banquet, Chicago, Illinois, December 10, 1856, after the presidential 


Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can- change public 
opinion can change the government practically just so much. Public opinion, 
on any subject, always has a ''central idea," from which all its minor thoughts 
radiate. That " central idea " in our political public opinion at the beginning 
was, and until recently has continued to be, "" the equality o£ man." And although 
it has always submitted patiently to whatever of inequality there seemed to be 
as a matter of actual necessity, its constant working has been a steady progress 
toward the practical equality of all men. 

Let everyone who really believes, and is resolved, that free society is not and 
shall not be a failure, and who can conscientiously declare that in the past con- 
test he has done only what he thought best — let every such one have charity to 
believe that every other one can say as much. 

Thus, let bygones be bygones; let party differences as nothing be,. and with 
steady eye on the real issue, let us reinaugurate the good old ''central ideas" of 
the republic. We can do it. The human heart is with us; God is with us. 

We shall again be able not to declare that " all states as states are equal," 
nor yet that "all citizens as citizens are equal," but to renew the broader, better 
declaration, including both these and much more, that "all men are created 


( Reply to Stephen A. Douglas, on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, Springfield, Illinois, 

October 4, 1854.) 

Be not deceived. The spirit of the Revolution and the spirit of Nebraska 
are antipodes; and the former is being rapidly displaced by the latter. Shall 
we make no effort to arrest this? Already the liberal party throughout the 
world expresses the apprehension " that the one retrograde institution in America 
is undermining the principles of progress, and fatally violating the noblest 
political system the world ever saw." This is not the taunt of enemies, but the 
warning of friends. Is it quite safe to disregard it, to disparage it? Is there no 
danger to liberty itself in discarding the earliest practice and first precept of our 
ancient faith? 

In our greedy haste to make profit of the negro, let us beware lest we cancel 
and rend in pieces even the white man's character of freedom. 

My distinguished friend Douglas says it is an insult to the emigrant to 
Kansas and Nebraska to suppose they are not able to govern themselves. We 
must not slur over an argument of this kind because it happens to tickle the ear. 
It must be met and answered. 

I admit the emigrant to Kansas and Nebraska is competent to govern him- 
self, but I den ij his right io govern ang other ])erson without that ])erson's consent. 



(The following speech, afterward severely criticized by many of the author's own friends, was 
delivered by Mr. Lincoln at Springfield, Illinois, June 17, 1858, at the close of the Republican 
state convention which nominated him for the United States Senate.) 

If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could 
better judge what to do and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year 
since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of 
putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy that 
agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. 

In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and 

"x4. house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government 
cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union 
to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to 
be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. 

Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place 
it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate 
extinction, or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful 
in all the states — old as well as new, North as well as South. 

Our cause, then, must be intrusted to and conducted by its own undoubted 
friends — those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work — who do care 
for the result. 

The result is not doubtful. We shall not fail — if we stand firm, we shall not 
fail. Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but sooner or later the 
victory is sure to come. 


(Remarks defending his speech, June 17, 1858, ''A House Divided Against Itself," etc.) 

Friends, I have thought about this matter a great deal, have weighed the 
question well from all corners, and am thoroughly convinced the time has come 
when it should be uttered; and if it must be that I must go down because of this 
speech, then let me go down linked to truth — die in the advocacy of what is right 
and just. 

This nation cannot live on injustice. ''A house divided against itself cannot 
stand," I say again and again. 


(Reply to friends at Bloomington, Illinois, in regard to the " House Divided " speech.) 

You may think that speech was a mistake; but I have never believed it was, 
and you will see the day when you will consider it the wisest thing I ever did. 


, 210 



(First joint debate, Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858.) 

I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of 
slavery in the state where it exists, I believe I have no lawful right to do so, 
and I have no inclination to do so. I agree with Judge Douglas: he [the negro] 
is not my equal in many respects — certainly not in color; perhaps not in moral 
or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread — without the leave 
of anybody else — which his own hand earns, he is my equal, and the equal of 
Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man. 

I think, and shall try to show, that it is wrong, wrong in its direct effect, 
letting slavery into Kansas and Nebraska — and wrong in its prospective prin- 
ciple; allowing it to spread to every other part of the wide world, where men can 
be found inclined to take it. 

I have no prejudice against the southern people. They are just what we 
would be in their situation. If slavery did not now exist among them, they 
would not introduce it. If it did now exist among us, we should not instantly 
give it up. This I believe of the masses North and South. Doubtless there are 
individuals on both sides who would not hold slaves under any circumstances, 
and others who would gladly introduce slavery anew, if it were out of existence. 

When southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of 
slavery than we, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution 
exists, and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can 
understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not 
doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were 
given me, I should not know what to do as to the existing institution. 

With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. 
Consequently, he who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts 
statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or 
impossible to be executed. 

(Second joint debate, Freeport, Illinois, August 27, 1858.) 

Answers to the seven questions propounded by Mr. Douglas: 

I do not now, nor ever did, stand in favor of the unconditional repeal of the 
Fugitive Slave Law. 

I do not now, nor ever did, stand pledged against the admission of any more 
slave states into the Union. 

I do not stand pledged against the admission of a new state into the Union, 
with such a constitution as the people of that state may see fit to make. 

I do not stand to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of 

I do not stand pledged to the prohibition of the slave trade between the 
different states. 

I am impliedly, if not expressly, pledged to a belief in the right and duty of 
Congress to prohibit slavery in all the United States territories. 


I am not generally opposed to honest acquisition of territory; and, in any 

given case, I would or would not oppose sucli acquisition, accordingly as I might 

think such acquisition would or would not aggravate the slavery question among 


(Third joint debate, Jonesboro, Illinois, September 15, 1858.) 

I say, in the way our fathers originally left the slavery question, the institu- 
tion was in the course of ultimate extinction, and the public mind rested in the 
belief that it ivas in the course of ultimate extinction. I say, when this govern- 
ment was first established, it was the policy of its founders to prohibit the spread 
of slavery into the new territories of the United States, where it had not existed. 

All I have asked or desired anywhere is that it should be placed back again 
upon the basis that the fathers of our government originally placed it. I have 
no doubt that it would become extinct for all time to come, if we but readopt 
the policy of the fathers by restricting it to the limits it has already covered 
— restricting it from the new territories. 

(Fourth joint debate, Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858.) 

I have always wanted to deal with everyone I meet candidly and honestly. 
If I have made any assertion not warranted by facts, and it is pointed out to me, 
I will withdraw it cheerfully. 

The Kansas-Nebraska Bill was introduced four years and a half ago, and if the 
agitati,on is ever to come to an end, we may say we are four years and a half 
nearer the end. So, too, we can say we are four years and a half nearer the end 
of the world; and we can just as clearly see the end of the world as we can see 
the end of this agitation. 

If Kansas should sink to-day, and leave a great vacant space in the earth's 
surface, this vexed question would still be among us. I say, then, there is no 
way of putting an end to the slavery agitation amongst us but to put it back 
upon the basis where our fathers placed it, no way but to keep it out of our new 
territories — to restrict it forever to the old states where it now exists. Then the 
public mind ivill rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction. 

(Fifth joint debate, Galesburg, Illinois, October 7, 1858.) 

And now it only remains for me to say that I think it is a very grave question 
for the people of this Union to consider whether, in view of the fact that this 
slavery question has been the only one that has ever endangered our republican 
institutions — the only one that has ever threatened or menaced a dissolution of 
the Union, that has ever disturbed us in such a way as to make us fear for the 
perpetuity of our liberty — in view of these facts, I think it is an exceedingly 
interesting and important question for this people to consider — whether we shall 
engage in the policy of acquiring additional territory, discarding altogether "from 
our consideration while obtaining new territory the question how it may affect 
us in regard to this, the only endangering element to our liberties and national 


(Sixth joint debate, Quincy, Illinois, October 13, 1858.) 

We have in this nation this element of domestic slavery. It is the opinion 
of all the great men who have expressed an opinion upon it that it is a dangerous 
element. We keep up a controversy in regard to it. That controversy neces- 
sarily springs from difEerences of opinion, and if we can learn exactly — can 
reduce to the lowest elements — ^what that difference of opinion is, we perhaps 
shall be better prepared for discussing the different systems of policy that we 
would propose in regard to that disturbing element. 

I suggest that the difference of opinion, reduced to its lowest terms, is no 
other than the difference between the men who think slavery a wrong and those 
who do not think it wrong. We think it is a wrong, not confining itself merely 
to the persons or to the states where it exists, but that it is a wrong in its 
tendency, to say the least, that extends itself to the existence of the whole 

Because we think it wrong, we propose a course of policy that shall deal with 
it as a wrong. We deal with it as with any other wrong, in so far as we can ' 
prevent its growing any larger, and so deal with it that, in the run of time, there 
may be some promise of an end to it. 

(Seventh and last joint debate, Alton, Illinois, Octobor 15, 1858.) 

It may be argued that there are certain conditions that make necessities and 
impose them upon us, and to the extent that if a necessity is imposed upon a man 
he must submit to it. I think that was the condition in which we found our- 
selves when we established this government. 

We had slaves among us; we could not get our Constitution unless we per- 
mitted them to remain in slavery; we could not secure the good we did secure if 
we grasped for more; and having by necessity submitted to that much, it does 
not destroy the principle that is the charter of our liberties. Let the charter 
remain as a standard. 

I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, 
but they did not mean to declare all men equal in all respects. 

They defined with tolerable distinctness in what they did consider all men 
created equal; equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness. This they said, and this they meant. They did 
not mean to assert the obvious untruth that all men were then actually enjoying 
that quality, or yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. 
In fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant, simply to declare 
the rights so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances 
should permit. 

They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be 
familiar to all, constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though 
never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spread- 
ing and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life 
to all people, of all colors, everywhere. 


There, again, are the sentiments I have expressed in regard to the Declaration 
of Independence upon a former occasion — sentiments which have been put in 
print and read wherever anybody cared to know what so humble an individual as 
myself chose to say in regard to it. 


(Letter to his brother-in-law, John Johnston, January 12, 1851.) 

I sincerely hope father may yet recover his health; but, at all events, tell him 
to remember to call upon and confide in our great and good and merciful Maker, 
who will not turn away from him in any extremity. He notes the fall of a 
sparrow, and numbers the hairs of our heads; and he will not forget the dying 
man who puts his trust in him. 

Say to him, if we could meet now it is doubtful whether it would not be more 
painful than pleasant; but that, if it be his lot to go now, he will soon have a 
joyous meeting with the loved ones gone before, and where the rest of us, through 
the help of God, hope ere long to join them. 


(Speech at Springfield, Illinois, July 17, 1858.) 

Senator Douglas is of world-wide renown. All the anxious politicians of his 
party, or who have been of his party for years past, have been looking upon him 
as a certainty, at no distant day, to be the president of the United States. They 
.have seen, in his round, jolly, fruitful face, post-offices, land-offices, marshalships 
and cabinet appointments, chargeships and foreign missions, bursting and 
sprouting out in wonderful exuberance, ready to be laid hold of by their greedy 

On the contrary, nobody has ever expected me to be president. In my poor, 
lean, lank face nobody has ever seen that any cabbages were sprouting out. These 
are disadvantages, all taken together, that the Republicans la-bor under. We have 
to fight this battle upon principle, and upon principle alone. 

I am, in a certain sense, made the standard-bearer in behalf of the Repub- 
licans. I was made so merely because there had to be some one so placed, I being 
nowise preferable to any other one of the twenty-five — perhaps a hundred — we 
have in the Republican ranks. 

Then, I say, I wish it to be distinctly understood and borne in mind that we 
have to fight this battle without many — perhaps without any — of the external 
aids which are brought to bear against us. So I hope those with whom I am 
surrounded have principle enough to nerve themselves for the task, and leave 
nothing undone that can be fairly done to bring about the right result. 






( Speech delivered at Columbus, Ohio, September, 1859. ) 

I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white 
and the black races. There is a physical difference between the two which in my 
judgment will probably forbid their ever living together upon the footing of per- 
fect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a differ- 
ence, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong 
having the superior position. 

I have never said anything to the contrary, but I hold that notwithstanding 
all this, there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the 
natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

In the right to eat the bread — without leave of anybody else— which his own 
hands earn, he is my equal, and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every 
living man. 


(Speech at Ciucinnati, Ohio, September, 1859, addressed particularly to Kentuckiahs.) 

I will tell you, so far as I am authorized to speak for the opposition, what we 
mean to do with you. We mean to treat you, as near as we possibly can, as 
Washington, Jefferson and Madison treated you. We mean to leave you alone, 
and in no way to interfere with your institution; to abide by all and every com- 
promise of the Constitution, and, in a word, coming back to the original prop- 
osition, to treat you so far as degenerated men (if we have degenerated) may, 
according to the examples of those noble fathers — Washington, Jefferson and 

We mean to remember that you are as good as we; that there is no difference 
between us other than the difference of circumstances. We mean to recognize 
and bear in mind always that you have as good hearts in your bosoms as other 
people, or as we claim to have, and treat you accordingly. We mean to marry 
your girls when we have a chance — the white ones, I mean — and I have the honor 
to inform you that I once did have a chance in that way. , 

The good old maxims of the Bible are applicable to human affairs, and in 
this, as in other things, we may say here that he who is not for us is against us; 
he who gathereth not with us scattereth. 

I should be glad to have some of the many good and able and noble men of 
the South to place themselves where we can confer upon them the high honor 
of an election upon one or the other end of our ticket. It would do m}^ soul 
good to do that thing. 

It would enable us to teach them that inasmuch as we elect one of their 
number to carry out our principles, we are free from the charge that we mean 
more than we say. 



Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the southern states that by 
the occasion of a Republican administration their property and their peace and 
personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable 
cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary 
has all the while existed, and been open to their inspection. It is found in 
nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. 

I do but quote from one of those speeches, when I declared that " I have no 
purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the 
states where it exists." 

I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. 

It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a president under our 
national Constitution. During that period, fifteen different and very distin- 
guished citizens have in succession administered the executive branch of the 
government. They have conducted it through many perils, and generally with 
great success. Yet, with this scope for precedent, I now enter upon the same 
task, for the brief constitutional term of four years, under great and peculiar 

I hold that in the contemplation of universal law and the Constitution, the 
union of these states is perpetual. 

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the 
people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present 
differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty 
Ruler of nations, with his eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, 
or on your side of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by 
the judgment of this great tribunal — the American people. 


(Letter to Dr. Edward Wallace, October 11, 1859.) 

I believe if we could' have a moderate, carefully adjusted protective tariff, so 
far acquiesced in as not to be a perpetual subject of political strife, squabbles^ 
changes and uncertainties, it would be better for us. 


(Speech to the Legislature, Albany, New Tork, February 18, 1861.) 

Tt is true that while I hold myself, without mock modesty, the humblest of 
all the individuals who have ever been elected president of the United States, 1 
yet have a more difficult task to perform than any one of them has ever 



(Reply to the president of the convention, at the homestead, Springfield, Illinois, May 19, 1860.) 

I tender to you, and through you to the Republican national convention, and 
all the people represented in it, my profoundest thanks for the high honor done 
me, which you now formally announce. 

Deeply, and even painfully, sensible of the great responsibility which is 
inseparable from this high honor — a responsibility which I could almost wish had 
fallen upon some one of the far more eminent men and experienced statesmen 
whose distinguished names were before the convention, I shall, by your leave, 
consider more fully the resolutions of the convention, denominated the platform, 
and, without any unnecessary or unreasonable delay, respond to you, Mr. 
Chairman, in writing, not doubting that the platform will be found satisfactory, 
and the nomination gratefully accepted. 


The following autobiography was written by Mr. Lincoln's own hand, at the 
request of J. W. Fell, of Springfield, Illinois, December 20, 1859. In the note 
which accompanied it the writer says: 

"Herewith is a little sketch, as you requested. There is not much of it, for 
the reason, I suppose, that there is not much of me. 

" I was born February 12, 1809, in Hardin county, Kentucky. My parents 
were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families, second families, perhaps 
I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was "of a family of the 
name of Hanks, some of whom now reside in Adams county, and others in 
Mason county, Illinois. My paternal grandfather, Abraham Lincoln, emigrated 
from Rockingham county, Virginia, to Kentucky, about 1781 or 1782, where, a 
year or two later, he was killed by Indians, not in battle, but by stealth, when he 
was laboring to open a farm in the forest. His ancestors, who were Quakers, 
went to Virginia from Berks county, Pennsylvania, An effort to identify them 
with the New England family of the same name ended in nothing more definite 
than a similarity of Christian names in both families — such as Enoch, Levi, Mor- 
decai, Solomon, Abraham and the like. 

" My father, at the death of his father, was but six years of age, and grew 
up literally without any education. He removed from Kentucky to what is now 
Spencer county, Indiana, in my eighth year. We reached our new home about 
the time the state came into the Union. It was a wild region, with many bears 
and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up. There were some 
schools, so called, but no qualification was ever required of a teacher beyond 
' reading writin', and cipherin' ' to the rule of three. If a straggler, supposed to 
understand Latin, happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon 
as a wizard. There was absolutely nothing to excite ambition for education. Of 


course, when I came of age I did not know much. Still, somehow, I could read, 
write, and cipher to the rule of three, but that was all. I have not been to school 
since. The little advance I now have upon this store of education I have picked 
up from time to time under the pressure of necessity. 

"I was raised to farm work, at which I continued till I was twenty-two. At 
twenty-one 1 came to Illinois, and passed the first year in Macon county. Then 
I got to New Salem, at that time in Sangamon, now in Menard county, where 
I remained a year as a sort of clerk in a store. Then came the Black Hawk war, 
and I was elected a captain of volunteers — a success which gave me more pleasure 
than any I have had since. I went into the campaign, was elected, ran for the 
Legislature the same year (1832), and was beaten — the only time I have ever been 
beaten by the people. The next and three succeeding biennial elections I was 
elected to the Legislature. I was not a candidate afterward. During the legis- 
lative period I had studied law, and removed to Springfield to practise it. In 
1846, I was elected to the lower house of Congress. Was not a candidate for 
re-election. From 1849 to 1854, both inclusive, practised law more assiduously 
than ever before. Always a Whig in politics, and generally on the Whig elec- 
toral ticket, making active canvasses. I was losing interest in politics, when the 
repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since 
then is pretty well known. 

"If any personal description of me is thought desirable, it may be said I am in 
height six feet four inches, nearly; lean in flesh, weighing, on an average, one 
hundred and eighty pounds; dark complexion, with coarse black hair and gray 
eyes — no other marks or brands recollected." 


To a party who wished to be empowered to negotiate reward for promises of 
influence in the Chicago convention, 1860, Mr. Lincoln replied: 

"No, gentlemen; I have not asked the nomination, and I will not now buy it 
with pledges. If I am nominated and elected, I shall not go into the presidency 
as the tool of this man or that man, or as the property of any factor or clique." 

(Remarks to the committee that notified him, at his home, May, 1860, of his nomination.) 

Gentlemen, we must pledge our mutual health in this most healthy beverage 
which God has given man. It is the only beverage I have ever used or allowed 
in my family, and I cannot conscientiously depart from it on the present occasion. 
It is pure Adam's ale from the well. 

The above is a picture of the tools and the men who broke into the Lincoln monument, on 
the night of November 7, 1876. They succeeded in getting the lead casket containing Lincoln's 
body out of the sarcophagus, and while waiting for a wagon to come and haul the body away, 
they were f i-ightened away by the officers, who had notice that an attempt would be made to 
steal the body that night. 


This horse was ridden and driven by Mr. Lincoln for seven years. Just before he left for 
Washington, 1861, he sold him for $75. <The horse was traded around, and was finally purchased 
by a drayman. When the news of the assassination of the president came, the man on the 
right went immediately and purchased the horse from the drayman for $75. He put him on 
exhibition, and the first day took in |80, and before the horse died, the man is said to have made 
over $25,000 showing him about the country. 




(Remarks at a war meeting, Washington, August 0, 1862.) 

Greneral McClellan has sometimes asked for things that the secretary of war 
did not give him. General McClellau is not to blame for asking what he wanted 
and needed, and the secretary of war is not to blame for not giving when he had 
none to give. And I say here, as far as I know, the secretary of war has with- 
held no one thing at any time in my power to give him. I have no accusation 
against him. I believe he is a brave and able man, and I stand here, as justice 
requires me to do, to take upon myself what has been charged on the secretary 
of war, as withholding from him. 


(Letter, Aprils, 1861.) 

All honor to Jefferson; to a man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle 
for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast and 
capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document an abstract truth, 
applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there that to-day and in 
all coming days it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the harbingers of 
reappearing tyranny and oppression! 


(Reply to a gentleman who asked for a sketch of his life.) 
My early history is perfectly characterized by a single line of Grray's " Elegy," 
The short and simple annals of the poor. 


(Speech at Leavenworth, Kansas, spring of 1860.) 

If we shall constitutionally elect a president, it will be our duty to see that 
you also submit. Old John Brown has been executed for treason against a state. 
We cannot object, even though he agreed with us in thinking slavery wrong. 
That cannot excuse jviolence, bloodshed and treason. It could avail him nothing 
that he might think himself right. So, if we constitutionally elect a president, 
and, therefore, you undertake to destroy the Union, it will be our duty to deal 
with you as old John Brown has been dealt with. We shall try to do our duty. 
We hope and believe that in no section will a majority so act as to render such 
extreme measure necessary. 



(Rejoicing over the November election, Springfield, Illinois, November 20, 1860, at a political 


I 1 rejoice with you in the success which has so far attended the Republican 
cause, yet in all our rejoicing let us neither express nor cherish any hard feelings 
toward any citizen who by his vote differed with us. Let us at all times remember 
that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell 
together in the bonds of fraternal feeling. 


(Message to Congress, December 3, 1861.) 

Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of 
labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the 
superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its 
rights, which are as worthy of protection as any rights, nor is it denied that 
there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital, pro- 
ducing mutual benefits. 


(Speech at Cooper Institute, February 27, 1860.) 

I defy any one to show that any living man in the whole world ever did, prior 
to the beginning of the present century (and I might almost say prior to the 
beginning of the last half of the present century), declare that, in his under- 
standing, any proper division of local from. Federal authority, or any part of the 
Constitution, forbade the Federal government to control as to slavery in the 
Federal territories. 

To those who now so declare, I give, not only "our fathers who framed the 
government under which we live," but with them all other living men within 
the century in which it was framed, among whom to search, and they shall not 
be able to find the evidence of a single man agreeing with them. 

I do not mean to say we are bound to follow implicitly in whatever our 
fathers did. To do so would be to discard all the lights of current experience, to 
reject all progress, all improvement. What I do say is that if we could sup- 
plant the opinions and policy of our fathers in any case, we should do so upon 
evidence so conclusive, and argument so clear, that even their authority, fairly 
considered and weighed, cannot stand; and most surely not in a case whereof we 
ourselves declare they understood the question better than we. 

Let all who believe that ''our fathers who framed the government under 
which we live " understood this question just as well, and even better than we 
do now, speak as they spoke, and act as they acted upon it. 


It is exceedingly desirable that all parts of this great confederacy shall be at 
peace and in harmony one with another. Let us Republicans do our part to 
have it so. Even though much provoked, let us do nothing through passion and 

Even though the southern people will not so much as listen to us, let us 
calmly consider their demands, and yield to them, if in our deliberate view of 
our duty we possibly can. Judging by all they say and do, and by the subject 
and nature of their controversy with us, let us determine, if we can, what will 
satisfy them. 

Wrong as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone where it is, 
because that much is due to the necessity arising from its actual presence in the 
nation. But can we, while our votes will prevent it, allow it to spread into the 
national territories, and to overrun us here in these free states? 

If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and 
effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances where- 
with we are so industriously plied and belabored — contrivances such as groping 
for some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for 
a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man; such as a policy of 
"don't care" on a question about which all true men do care; such as Union 
appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to disunionists, reversing the divine 
rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance; such as invo- 
cations to Washington imploring men to unsay what Washington said, and to 
undo what Washington did. 

Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us, to the 
end, dare to do our duty as we understand it. 


(Letter to General Grant, July 13, 1863.) 

I do not remember that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as 
a grateful acknowledgment for the almost inestimable service you have done the 

I write to say a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicks- 
burg, I thought you should do what you finally di,d — march the troops across the 
neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below; and I never had 
any faith, except a general hope, that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo 
Pass expedition, and the like, could succeed. When you got below and took 
Port Gibson, Grand Gulf and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river 
and join General Banks; and when you turned northward, east of Big Black, I 
feared it was a mistake. 

I now wish to make the personal acJcnowledgment that you were right and I 
was wrong. 


(Dispatch to General Thomas, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 8, 1863.) 

Forces now beyond Carlisle to be joined by regiments still at Harrisburg, and 
the united force again to join Pierce somewhere, and the whole to move down the 
Cumberland valley, will, in my unprofessional opinion, be quite as likely to 
capture the "man in the moon" as any part of Lee's army. 

(To General Hooker, in giving him comnaand of the Army of the Potomac.) 

And now, beware of rashness, beware of rashness, but, with energy and 
sleepless vigilance, go forward and give us victories. 


(Remarks at the meeting, September 22, 1862.) 

Gentlemen, I have, as you are aware, thought a great deal about the relation 
of this war to slavery, and you all remember that several weeks ago I read to 
you an order that I had prepared upon the subject, which, on account of objec- 
tions made by some of you, was not issued. Ever since then my mind has been 
much occupied with this subject, and I have thought all along that the time for 
acting on it might probably come. 

I have got you together to hear what I have written down. I do not wish 
your advice about the main matter, for that I have determined for myself. This 
I say without intending anything but respect for any one of you. But I already 
know the views of each on this question. They have been heretofore expressed, 
and I have considered them as thoroughly and carefully as I can. What I have 
written is that which my reflections have determined me to say. If there is any- 
thing in the expressions I use, or in any minor matter, which any one of you 
think had best be changed, I shall be glad to receive your suggestions. 

One other observation I will make. I know very well that many others 
might, in this matter as in others, do better than I can; and if I was satisfied 
that the public confidence was more fully possessed by any one of them than by 
me, and knew of any constitutional way in which he could be put in my place, 
he should have it. I would gladly yield to him. But though I believe I have 
not so much of the confidence of the people as I had some time since, I do not 
know that, all things considered, any other person has more; and, however this 
may be, there is no way in which I can have any other man put where I am. I 
am here; I must do the best I can, and bear the responsibility of taking the 
course which I feel I ought to take. 

INTERIOR OF MEMORIAL HALL. (Lincoln Monximent, Springfield, III.) 

Some of the most interesting oTijeots are arrang-ed in the foreground. On the left is seen a 
bust of the martyred president, and' a cast of the hand that wrote the Emancipation Proclama- 
tion. On the right is a stone taken from a fragment of a wall built about twenty-four hundred 
years ago, during the reign of .Servius Tullius, its sixth king, around the city of Rome, Italy. 
The inscription on it reads: "To Abraham Lincoln, president for tlie second time of the 
American republic, citizens of Rome present this stone, from the wall of Servius Tullius, by 
which the memory of each of those brave asserters of liberty may be associated. Anno, 1865." 
The old chair in front of the column contains a seat of liickory bark, put in by Mr. Lincoln in 
1834. The surveying instruments were owned and used by him from 1832 until 1837. The 
powder-horn was worn by his grandfather, Abraham Lincoln, as a Revolutionary soldier from 
Virginia. He was killed by an Indian while wearing it, in Kentucky, in 1782. The framed 
pieces hanging about the marble walls are chiefly made up from about one thousand such sent 
to Mrs. Lincoln after the death of her husband, and contain expressions of sympathy and 




(General Orders, November 15, 1862.) 

The importance for man and beast of the prescribed weekly rest, the sacred 
rights of Christian soldiers and sailors, a becoming deference to the best senti- 
ments of a Christian people, and a due regard for the divine will, demand that 
Sunday labor in the army and navy be reduced to the measure of strict necessity. 

The discipline and character of the national forces should not suffer, nor the 
cause they defend be imperiled, by the profanation of the day or name of the 
Most High. "At this time of public distress" — adopting the words of Wash- 
ington in 1776 — " men may find enough to do in the service of God and their 
country without abandoning themselves to vice and immorality." 

The first general order issued by the father of his country after the Declara- 
tion of Independence indicates the spirit in which our institutions were founded 
and should ever be defended: 

" The general hopes and trusts that every officer and man ivill endeavor to 
live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties 
of his country." 


(In response to an address of welcome by Governor O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, February 11, 1861.) 

In all trying positions in which I shall be placed, and, doubtless, I shall be 
placed in many such, my reliance will be placed upon you and the people of the 
United States; and I wish you to remember, now and forever, that it is your 
business, and not mine, that if the union of these states and the liberties of this 
people shall be lost, it is but little "to any one man of fifty-two years of age, but a 
great deal to the thirty millions of people who inhabit these United States, and 
to their posterity in all coming time. 

It is your business to rise up and preserve the Union and liberty for yourselves, 
and not for me. 


(Letter to the Sangamon Journal, Springfield, Illinois, June 13, 1836.) 

I go for all sharing the privileges of the government who assist in bearing its 
burdens, consequently I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage who 
pay taxes or bear arms (by no means excluding females). 

While acting as their representative I shall be governed by their will on all 
subjects upon which I have the means of knowing what their will is; and upon 
all others I shall do what my own judgment teaches me will best advance their 
interests, whether elected or not. 



(To a congressman who objected to tlie president telling a story when he had important business 

to pi'esent.) 

You cannot be more anxious than I am constantly; and I say to you now, 
that if it were not for this occasional- vent, I should die. 


When Dr. Long said to his friend, " Well, Lincoln, that foolish speech will kill 
you — will defeat you for all offices for all time to come," referring to the "House 
Divided" speech, Mr. Lincoln replied: 

" If I had to draw a pen across and erase my whole life from existence, and I 
had one poor gift or choice left, as to what I should save from the wreck, I should 
choose that speech, and leave it to the world unerased." 


I sincerely wish war was an easier and pleasanter business than it is, but it 
does not admit of holidays. 


(Reply to an editorial of complaint in the New York Tribune, by Horace Greeley, 

August 19, 1862.) 

My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to save or to destroy 
slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it. If 
I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by 
freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about 
slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union; 
and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the 
Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, 
and I shall do more whenever I believe doing more will help the cause. 


(Remarks to Secretary Salmon P. Chase.) 

I made a solemn vow before God that if General Lee was driven back from 
Pennsylvania I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the 



(Speech at a ladies' fair for the benefit of the soldiers, Washington, March 16, 1864.) 

I appear to say but a word. This extraordinary war in which we are engaged 
falls heavily upon all classes of people, but the most heavily upon the soldiers. 
For it has been said, "All that a man hath will he give for his life," and, while all 
contribute of their substance, the soldier puts his life at stake, and often yields 
it up in his country's cause. The highest merit, then, is due the soldiers. 

In this extraordinary war extraordinary developments have manifested them- 
selves such as have not been seen in former wars; and among these manifes- 
tations nothing has been more remarkable than these fairs for the relief of 
suffering soldiers and their families, and the chief agents in these fairs are the 
women of America! 

I am not accustomed to the use of language of eulogy; I have never studied 
the art of paying compliments to women; but I must say that if all tli^t has 
been said by orators and poets since the creation of the world in praise of women 
were applied to the women of America, it would not do tbem justice for their 
conduct during the war. 

I will close by saying, God bless the women of America! 


(Remarks to some friends concerning the Emancipation Proclamation, New- Year's evening, 

1863.) ■ 

The signature looks a little tremulous, for my hand was tired, but my res- 
olution was firm. 

I told them in September, if they did not return to their allegiance, and cease 
murdering our soldiers, I would strike at this pillar of their strength. And now 
the promise shall be kept, and not one word of it will I ever recall. 


(Conversation with his law partner, William H. Hei-ndon, before leaving for Washington, 1861.) 

I love the people here, Billy, and owe them all that I am. If God spares my 
life to the end, I shall come back among you and spend the remnant of my days. 


(To Hon. Schuyler Colfax, upon receiving bad news from the army.) 

How willingly would I exchange places to-day with the soldier who sleeps on 
the ground in the Army of the Potomac! 




(Letter to the postmaster-general, July 27, 1863.) 

Yesterday little indorsements of mine went to you in two cases of post- 
masterships, sought for widows whose husbands have fallen in the battles of this 
war. These cases, occurring on the same day, brought me to reflect more attentively 
than what I had before done as to what is fairly due from us here in the dispen- 
sing of patronage toward the men who, by fighting our battles, bear the chief 
burden of saving our country. 

My conclusion is that, other claims and qualifications being equal, they have 
the right, and this is especially applicable to the disabled soldier and the deceased 
soldier's family. 


(Remarks to Hon. Schuyler Colfax, who asked for a respite.) 

Some of our generals complain that I impair discipline and subordination in 
the army by my pardons and respites, but it makes me rested, after a day's hard 
work, if I can find some good excuse for saving a man's life; and I go to bed 
happy as I think how joyous the signing of my name makes him and his family. 


(Reply to a general who insisted on the president signing the warrants for the execution of 

twenty-four deserters.) 

There are already too many weeping widows in the United States. For God's 
sake, don't ask me to add to the number, for I won't do it. 


General Grant is a copious worker and fighter, but a meager writer or teleg- 


(Remarks to Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe.) 

Whichever way it ends, I have the impression that I shall not last long after 
it is over. 

Well, I think the boy can do us more good above the ground than under it. 

(See description on opposite page.) 



(See another view on page I'.M.j 

This view is from a point a little east of north from the monument, and across a ravine 
running west through Oak Ridge cemetery. The vault at the foot of the bluff is the receiviug- 
touib for the cemetery. Mr. I^incoln's remains were deposited in that vault May 4, 1865. A 
flight of iron steps, commencing about fifty yards east of the vault, ascends in a curved line to 
the monument, an elevation of more than fifty feet. The door seen in the picture of the 
monuntent is the entrance to the catacomb. That is where the thieves entered on the night of 
November 7, 187(3, when they tried to steal the remains of President Lincoln. 

Excavation for this monument commenced September 9, 1869. It is built of granite, from 
quarries at Biddeford, Maine. The rough ashlers were shipped to Quincy, Massachusetts, 
where they were dressed to perfect ashlers and numbered, thence shipped by railroad to 
Springfield. It is 72}4 feet from east to west, 1193^ feet froiu north to south, and 100 feet high. 
The total cost is about |2;50,000, to May 1, 1888. All the statuary is orange-colored bronze. The 
whole monument was designed by Larkin G. Mead; the statuary was modeled in plaster by 
him in Florence, Italy, and cast by the Ames Manufacturing Company, of Chicopee, Massachu- 
setts. The statue of Lincoln and Coat of Arms were first placed on the monument; the statue 
was unveiled and the monument dedicated October 15, 1874. The Infantry and Naval Groups 
were put on in September, 1877, the Artillery Group, April- 13, 1882, and the Cavalry Group, 
March 13, 1883. 

The principal front of the monument is on the south side, the statue of Lincoln being on 
that side of the obelisk, over Memorial Hall. Presuming that the reader will, in imagination, 
ascend with me one of the four flights of steps leading to the terrace, and, beginning at the 
southeast corner, we will study for a short time the Cavalry Group, move along to the northeast 
corner and study the Naval Group, at the northwest corner the Artillery Group, and at the 
southwest corner the Infantry Group. On the east side ai-e three tablets, upon which are the 
letters U. S. A. To the right of that, and beginning with Virginia^ yve find the abbreviations of 
the original thirteen states in the order they wex-e settled as colonies, ending with Georgia. 
Next comes Vermont, the first state admitted after the Union was perfected, the states fol- 
lowing in the order they were admitted, ending with Nebraska on the east, thus forming the 
cordon of thirty-seven states, composing the United States of America when the monument 
was erected. There have been eight new states admitted since the monument was built, thus 
beginning a new century of states, with Colorado under Virginia, continuing around with North 
and South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. 

We will now take a position on the terrace immediately over the door leading to Memorial 
Hall. We are in the presence of the grandest and most imposing object-lessons of patriotism 
ever expressed by inert matter. The statue of President Lincoln, as commander-in-chief of the 
army and navy, takes its position over all. The Infantry is assigned to the post of honor, the 
advance on the right. The Cavalry, second in honor and efficiency, takes the advance on the 
left. The Artillery is placed in the rear on the right. The Navy, in the rear on the left, acts 
independently or co-operates with all, as the good of the service and the wisdom of the 
commander-in-chief dictates. Let us give the combination a brief study, beginning with the 
Coat of Arms, which we see is modified by the olive branch of peace, President Lincoln having 
tendered the same to the southern people, with whom he plead in the most pathetic terms, in 
his first inaugural address, not to begin the war. The response, all the world knows, was the 
bombardment of Fort Sumter, thus trampling the olive branch under foot, leaving no alterna- 
tive to the nation but cruel, bloody war, which raged until the government, represented by the 
American eagle in the Coat of Arms, severed the chains of slavery. In a larger sense, the 
artist says that the president, standing above the Coat of Arms, treats it as a pedestal, emble- 
matic of the Constitution of the United. States, and with the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and 
Navy marshaled around him, wields all for holding the states together in a perpetual bond of 
union, without which he could never hope to effect the great enemy of human freedom. The 
grand climax is indicated by President Lincoln, with his left hand holding out as a golden 
scepter the Emancipation Proclamation, while in his right he holds the pen with which he has 
just written it. The right hand is resting on another badge of authority, the American flag, 
thrown over the fasces. At the foot of the fasces lies a wreath of laurel, with which to crown 
the president as the victor over slavery and rebellion. 




The president walked through the streets of Richmond — without a guard 
except a few seamen — in company with his son " Tad," and Admiral Porter, on 
April 4, 1865, the day following the evacuation of the city. Colored people 
gathered about him on every side, eager to see and thank their liberator, 
Mr. Lincoln addressed the following remarks to one of these gatherings: 

" My poor friends, you are free — free as air. You can cast off the name of 
slave and trample upon it; it will come to you no more. Liberty is your birth- 
right. God gave it to you as he gave it to others, and it is a sin that you have 
been deprived of it for so many years. 

"But you must try to deserve this priceless boon. Let the world see that you 
merit it, and are able to maintain it by your good works. Don't let your joy 
carry you into excesses; learn the laws, and obey them. Obey God's command- 
ments, and thank him for giving you liberty, for to him you owe all things. 
There, now, let me pass on; I have but little time to spare. I want to see the 
Capitol, and must return at once to Washington to secure to you that liberty 
which you seem to prize so highly." 


(Second inaugural address, March 4, 1865.) 

Fellow-countrymen, at this second appearing to take the oath of the pres- 
idential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the 
first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued seemed 
fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public 
declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the 
great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the 
nation, little. that is new could be presented. 

The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well 
known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and 
encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it 
is ventured. 

On the occasion corresponding to this, four years ago, all thoughts were 
anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it; all sought to avert 
it. While the inaugural address wa^ being delivered from this place, devoted 
altogether to saving the Union without war, insuirgents' agents were in the city 
seeking to destroy it without war — seeking to dissolve the Union and divide its 
effects by negotiation. 

Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than 
let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. 
And the war came. 

The prayer of both could not be answered — those of neither have not been 
answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes. " Woe unto the world 


because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man 
by whom the offense cometh." 

If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in 
the providence of God, must needs come, but which having continued through 
his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to North and South 
this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we 
discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in 
a living God always ascribe to him? 

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war 
may soon pass away. 

Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bonds- 
man's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until 
every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the 
sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judg- 
ments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." 

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as 
God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to 
bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, 
and for his widow and for his orphan; to do all which may achieve and cherish a 
just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations. 


While the president was walking through the streets of Richmond, Virginia, 
April 4, 1865, some negroes knelt at his feet and thanked him for their freedom. 
The president replied, in his characteristic way, as follows: 

"Don't kneel to me — that is not right. You must kneel to God only, and 
thank him for the liberty you will hereafter enjoy; I am but God's humble 
instrument; but you may rest assured that as long as I live no one shall put a 
shackle on your limbs, and you shall have all the rights which God has given to 
every other free citizen of this republic." 


(Response to an address by George W. Dennison, president of the national Republican con- 
vention at Baltimore, notifying Mr. Lincoln of his nomination. The committee met at the 
White House on June 9, 1864.) 

I will neither conceal my gratification nor restrain the expression of my 
gratitude, that the Union people throughout this country, in the continued 
effort to save and advance the nation, have deemed me not unworthy to remain 
in my present position. 


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The following reply was made by Mr. Lincoln to an application for the 
pardon of a soldier who had shown himself very brave in war, and had been 
severely wounded, but afterward deserted: 

"Did you say he was once badly wounded? Then, as the Scriptures say that 
in the shedding of blood is the remission of sins, I guess we'll have to let him off 
this time." > 


The following remarks were made by the president to Admiral David D. 
Porter, while on board the flagship Malvern, on the James river, in front of Rich- 
mond, the day the city surrendered: 

"Thank God that I have lived to see this! It seems to me that I have been 
dreaming a horrid dream for four years, and now the nightmare is gone. I want 
to see Richmond." 


Seeking relaxation from the engrossing cares which confronted him night 
and day, Mr. Lincoln remarked to Schuyler Colfax, as he went to the theater one 
evening after receiving intelligence of what he regarded as reverses to the army 
of General Grant in the wilderness: 

" People may think strange of it, but I must have some relief from this terrible 
anxiety, or it will kill me." 


(Letter to Thurlow Weed, March 15, 1865.) 

Everyone likes a compliment. Thank you for yours on my little notification 
speech and on the recent inaugural address. I expect the latter to wear as well 
as, perhaps better than, anything I have produced; but I believe it is not 
immediately popular. 

Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of pur- 
pose between the Almighty and them. 

To deny it, however, in this case is to deny that there is a God governing the 

It is a truth which I thought needed to be told, and, as whatever of humil- 
iation there is in it falls most heavily on myself, I thought others might afford for 
me to tell it. 



(Dispatch to General Grant, August 17, 1864.) 

have seen your dispatch expressing your unwillingness to break your hold 
where you are. Neither am I willing. Hold on with a bulldog grip. 


Reply to Schuyler Colfax, when told how uneasy all had been at his going to 

" Why, if any one else had been president and had gone to Richmond, I would 
have been alarmed; but I was not scared about myself a bit." 


Given to Mr. Ashmun as the President and Mrs. Lincoln were leaving the 
White House, a few minutes before eight o'clock, on the evening of April 

"Allow Mr. Ashmun and friend to come to see me at 9 o'clock a. m., to-morrow, 
April 15, 1865." 


Remarks made by the president to his wife while they were out driving in an open carriage 
on the afternoon of April 14, 1865, when Mrs. Lincoln said : " You almost startle me by 
your cheerfulness.") 

• And well I may feel so, Mary, for I consider this day the war has come to a 
close. We must both be more cheerful in the future; between the war and the 
loss of our darling Willie we have been very miserable. 


(Remarks on April 11, 1865, to a gathering at the White House on the fall of Richmond.) 

We meet this evening not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart. 

The evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, and the surrender of the prin- 
cipal insurgent army, give hope of a righteous and speedy peace, whose joyous 
expression cannot be restrained. 

In the midst of this, however. He from whom all blessings flow must not be 
forgotten. Nor must those whose harder part gives us the cause of rejoicing be 
overlooked; their honors must not be parceled out with others. 

I myself was near the front, and had the high pleasure of transmitting the 
good news to you; but no part of the honor, for plan or execution, is mine. To 
General Grant, his skilful officers and brave men, all belongs. 



EVEN he who now sleeps has, by this event, been clothed with new influence. Dead, 
he speaks to men who now willingly hear what before they refused to listen to. Now 
his simple and mighty words will be gathered like those of Washington, and your children 
and your children's children shall be taught to ponder the simplicity and deep wisdom of 
utterances which, in their time, passed, in the party heat, as idle words. Men will receive 
a new impulse of patriotism for his sake, and will guard with zeal the whole country 
which he loved so well ; I swear you, on the altar of his memory, to be more faithful to 
the country for which he has perished. Men will, as they follow his hearse, swear a new 
hatred to that slavery against Avhich he warred, and which in vanquishing him has made 
him a martyr and a conqueror ; I swear you, by the memory of this martyr, to hate slav- 
ery with an unappeasable hatred. Men will admire and imitate his unmoved firmness, 
his inflexible conscience for the right ; and yet his gentleness, as tender as a woman's, his 
m.oderatiou of spirit, which not all the heat of party could inflame, nor all the jars aaid 
disturbances of this country shake out of its place ; I swear you to an emulation of his 
justice, his moderation and his mercy. 

You I can comfort; but how can I speak to that twilight million to whom his name 
was as the name of an angel of God ? There will be wailing in places which no ministers 
shall be able to reach. When, in hovel and in cot, in wood and in wilderness, in the 
field throughout the South, the dusky children, who looked upon him as that Moses 
whom God sent before them to lead them out of the land of bondage, learn that he has 
fallen, who shall comfort them ? Oh, thou Shepherd of Israel, that didst comfort thy 
people of old, to thy care we commit the helpless, the long wronged, and grieved! 

And now the martyr is moving in triumphal march, mightier than when alive. The 
nation rises up at every stage of his coming. Cities and states are his pall-bearers, and 
the cannon beats the hours with solemn progression. Dead — dead — dead — he yet speak- 
eth ! Is Washington dead ? Is Hampden dead ? Is David dead ? Is any man dead that 
ever was fit to live ? Disenthralled of flesh, and risen to the vmobstrueted sphere where 
passion never comes, he begins his illimitable work. His life now is grafted upon the 
Infinite, and will be fruitful as no earthly life can be. Pass on, thou that hast overcome ! 
Your sorrows, O people, are his peace ! Your bells, and bands, and muffled drums sound 
triumph in his ear. Wail and weep here, God makes it echo joy and triumph there. 
Pass on, thou victor ! 



JULY 21, 1805. 

LIFE may be given in many ways, 
And loyalty to Truth be sealed 
As bravely in the closet as the field, 
So bountiful is Fate ; 
But then to stand beside her, 
When craven churls deride her. 
To front a lie in arms and not to yield, 

This shows, methinks, God's plan 
And measure of a stalwart man. 
Limbed like the old heroic breeds, 
Who stands self-poised on manhood's solid earth, 
Not forced to frame excuses for his birth. 
Fed from within with all the strength he needs. 

Such was he, our Martyr-Chief, 

Whom late the Nation he had led, 
With ashes on her head, 
Wept with the passion of an angry grief: 
Forgive me, if from present things I turn 
To speak what in my heart will beat and burn. 
And hang my wreath on his world-honored urn. 
Nature, they say, doth dote. 
And cannot make a man 
Save on some worn-out plan. 
Repeating us by rote : 
For him her Old World moulds aside she threw. 
And, choosing sweet clay from the breast 
Of the unexhausted West, 
With stuff untainted shaped a hero new. 
Wise, steadfast in the strength of God, and true. 

How beautiful to see 
Once more a shepherd of mankind indeed, 
Who loved his charge, but never loved to lead ; 
One whose meek flock the people joyed to be, 
Not lured by any cheat of birth, 
But bv his clear-grained human worth, 




And brave old wisdom of sincerity ! 

Ttiey knew that outward grace is dust ; 
They could not choose but trust 
In that sure-footed mind's unfaltering skill, 

And supple-tempered will 
That bent like. perfect steel to spring again and thrust. 
His was no lonely mountain-peak of mind, 
Thrusting to thin air o'er our cloudy bars, 
A sea-mark now, now lost in vapors blind : 
Broad prairie rather, genial, level-lined, 
Fruitful and friendly for all humankind. 
Yet also nigh to heaven and loved of loftiest stars. 

Nothing of Europe here. 
Or, then, of Europe fronting mornward still. 
Ere any names of Serf and Peer 
Could Nature's equal scheme deface 
And thwart her genial will ; 
Here was a type of the true elder race, 
And one of Plutarch's men talked with us face to face. 
I praise him not ; it were too late ; 
. And some innative weakness there must be 
In him who condescends to victory 
Such as the Present gives, and cannot wait, 
Safe in himself as in a fate. 
So always firmly he : 
He knew to bide his time, 
And can his fame abide, 
Still patient in his simple faith sublime, 
Till the wise years decide. 
Great captains, with their guns and drums, 
Disturb our judgment for the hour, 
But at last silence comes ; 
These all are gone, and, standing like a tower, 
Our children shall behold his fame. 

The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man. 
Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame, 
New birth of our new soil, the first American. 

— James Russell Loivell. 


T AMES RUSSELL LOWELL was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 22, 
J 1819. His father was the Rev. Cliarles Lowell, and was a direct descendant of 
English settlers. After graduating from Harvard (1838), he entered law. In 1841, "A 
Year's Life," his first volume of poems, was given to the public. In 1844, he was married 
to Maria White. The well-known " Bigelow Papers" made Mr. Lowell's nan)e widely- 
known ; they appeared in the Boston Courier in 1846-8. In 1845, "The Vision of Sir 
Launfal " was issued. It is one of the grandest poems in the English language; the 
beautiful portrayal of a right gospel pervades it from beginning to end. He succeeded 
Longfellow as professor of belles-lettres at Harvard in 1855. He was a constant contrib- 
utor to leading magazines, especially to the Atlantic Monthly. From 1863-72 he was one 
of the editors of 2he North American Revieiv. He was appointed minister to Spain by 
President Hayes, in 1877, and, in 1880, was transferred to London. He loved England 
almost as his own America, and was greatly admired and beloA^ed by the English people. 
Oxford honored him with D.C.L., and Cambridge by making him an LL.D. His death 
occurred August 1, 1891. 




IT requires the most gracious pages in the world's history to record what one 
American achieved. The story of this simple life is the story of a plain, honest, 
manly citizen, true patriot and profound statesman, who, believing with all the 
strength of his mighty soul in the institutions of his country, won, because of 
them, the highest place in its government, then fell a precious sacrifice to the 
Union he held so dear, which Providence had spared his life long enough to 

We meet to do honor to this immortal hero, Abraham Lincoln, whose 
achievements have heightened human aspirations and broadened the field of 
opportunity to the races of men. . . . 

What were the traits of character which made Abraham Lincoln prophet and 
master, without a rival, in the greatest crisis in our history? What gave him 
such mighty power? To me the answer is simple: 

Lincoln had sublime faith in the people. He walked with and among them. 
He recognized the importance and power of an enlightened public sentiment and 
was guided by it. Even amid the vicissitudes of war he concealed little from 
public view and inspection. In all he did he invited, rather than evaded, exam- 
ination and criticism. He submitted his plans and purposes, as far as practi- 
cable, to public consideration with perfect frankness and sincerity. There was 
such homely simplicity in his character that it could not be hedged in by pomp 
of place, nor the ceremonials of high of&cial s-tation. He was so accessible to the 
public that he seemed to take the whole people into his confidence. 

Here, perhaps, was one secret of his power. The people never lost their confi- 
dence in him, however much they unconsciously added to his personal discom- 
fort and trials. His patience was almost superhuman, and who will say that he 
was mistaken in his treatment of the thousands who thronged continually about 
him? More than once when reproached for permitting visitors to crowd upon 
him he asked, in pained surprise, " Why, what harm does this confidence in 
men do me? I get only good and inspiration from it." 

Horace Greeley once said: "I doubt whether man, woman or child, white or 
black, bond or free, virtuous or vicious, ever accosted or reached forth a hand to 
Abraham Lincoln and detected in his countenance or manner any repugnance or 


242 oratio:n" o]sr Lincoln". 

shrinking from the proffered contact, any assumption of superiority, or betrayal 
of disdain." 

Frederick Douglass, the orator and patriot, is credited with saying, "Mr. 
Lincoln is the only white man with whom I have ever talked, or in whose pres- 
ence I have ever been, who did "not, consciously or unconsciously, betray to me 
that he recognized my color." 

George Bancroft, the historian, alluding to this characteristic, which was 
never so conspicuously manifested as during the darker hours of the war, beauti- 
fully illustrated it in these memorable words: '"As a child in a dark night, on a 
rugged way, catches hold of the hand of its father for guidance and support, 
Lincoln clung fast to the hand of the people and moved calmly through the 
gloom." ... 

Among the statesmen of America, Lincoln is the true democrat, and, Franklin 
perhaps excepted, the first great one. He had no illustrious ancestry, no inherited 
place or wealth, and none of the prestige, power, training or culture which were 
assured, to the gentry or landed classes of our own colonial times. Nor did 
Lincoln believe that these classes, respectable and patriotic however they might 
be, should, as a matter of abstract right, have the controlling influence in our 
government. Instead, he believed in the all-pervading power of public opinion. 

Lincoln had little or no instruction in the common school, but, as the 
eminent Dr. Cuyler has said, he was graduated from " the grand college of free 
labor, whose works were the flatboat, the farm and the backwoods lawyer's 
office." He had a broad comprehension of the central idea of popular govern- 
ment. The Declaration of Independence was his handbook; time and again he 
expressed his belief in freedom and equality. July 1, 1854, he wrote: 

" Most governments have been based, practically, on the denial of the equal 
rights of men. Ours began by affirming those rights. They said, 'Some men 
are too ignorant and vicious to share in government.'' 'Possibly so,' said we, 
' and by your system you would always keep them ignorant and vicious. We 
propose to give all a chance, and we expect the weak to grow stronger, the 
ignorant wiser, and all better and happier together.' We made the experiment, 
and the fruit is before us. Look at it, think of it! Look at it in its aggregate 
grandeur, extent of country, and numbers of population." 

Lincoln believed in the uplifting influences of free government, and that by 
giving all a chance we could get higher average results for the people than 
where governments are exclusive and opportunities are limited to the few. No 
American ever did so much as he to enlarge these opportunities, or tear down the 
barriers which exclude a free participation in them. . . . 

Lincoln was essentially a man of peace. He inherited from his Quaker fore- 
fathers an intense opposition to war. During his brief service in Congress he 
found occasion more than once to express it. He opposed the Mexican war from 
principle, but voted men and supplies after hostilities actually began. In one of 
his speeches in the House, he characterized military glory as " that rainbow that 
rises in showers of blood — that serpent that charms but to destroy." When he 


became responsible for the welfare of the country, he was none the less earnest 
for peace. He felt that even in the most righteous cause war is a fearful thing, 
and he was actuated by the feeling that it ought not to be begun except as a last 
resort, and then only after it had been precipitated by the enemies of the country. 
He said, in Philadelphia, February- 22, 1861: 

'' There is no need of bloodshed and war. There is no necessity for it. I am 
not in favor of such a course; and I may say in advance that there will be 
no bloodshed unless it is forced upon the government. The government will not 
use force unless force is used against it." 

In the selection of his Cabinet, he at once showed his greatness and magnan- 
imity. His principal rivals for the presidential nomination were invited to seats 
in his council chamber. No one but a great man, conscious of his own strength, 
would have done this. It was soon perceived that his greatness was in no sense 
obscured by the presence of the distinguished men who sat about him. The most 
gifted statesmen of the country — Seward, Chase, Cameron, Stanton, Blair, 
Bates, Welles, Fessenden and Dennison, some of whom had been leaders in the 
Senate of the United States — composed that historic Cabinet, and the man who 
had been sneered at as "the rail-splitter" suffered nothing by such association 
and comparison. He was a leader in fact as well as name. 

Magnanimity was one of Lincoln's most striking traits. Patriotism moved 
him at every step. At the beginning of the war he placed at the head of three 
most important military departments three of his political opponents — Patterson, 
Butler and McClellan. He did not propose to make it a partizan war. He 
sought by every means in his power to enlist all who were patriots. In his 
message of July 4, 1861, he stated his purpose in these words: 

" I desire to preserve the government, that it may be administered for all as 
it was administered by the men who made it. On the side of the Union it is a 
struggle to maintain in the world that form and substance of government whose 
leading object is to elevate the condition of men, lift artificial burdens from all 
shoulders, and clear the paths of laudable pursuits for all, to afford all an 
unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life. This is the leading object 
of the government for whose existence we contend." 

Many people were impatient at Lincoln's conservatism. He gave the South 
every chance possible. He pleaded with them with an earnestness that was 
pathetic. He recognized that the South was not alone to blame for the existence 
of slavery, but that the sin was a national one. He sought to impress upon the 
South that he would not use his office as president to take away from them any 
constitutional right, great or small. 

In his first inaugural he addressed the men of the South as well as the North 
as his " countrymen," one and all, and, with an outburst of indescribable tender- 
ness, exclaimed: ''We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies." 
And then in those wondrously sweet and touching words which even yet thrill 
the heart, he said: " Though passion may have strained, it must not break our 
bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle- 

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field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad 
land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they 
will be, by the better angels of our nature." 

But his words were unheeded. The mighty war came, with its dreadful train. 
Knowing no wrong, he dreaded no evil for himself. He had done all he could to 
save the country by peaceful means. He had entreated and expostulated, 
now he would do and dare. He had, in words of solemn import, warned 
the men of the South. He had appealed to their patriotism by the sacred 
memories of the battle-fields of the Revolution, on which the patriot blood of 
their ancestors had been so bravely shed, not to break up the Union. Yet all in 
vain, " Both parties deprecated war, but one would make war rather than let the 
nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And 
the war came." 

Lincoln did all he could to avert it, but there was no hesitation on his part 
when the sword of rebellion flashed from its scabbard. He was from that moment 
until the close of his life unceasingly devoted and consecrated to the great pur- 
pose of saving the Union. All other matters he regarded as trivial, and every 
movement, of whatever character, whether important or unimportant of itself, 
was bent to that end. 

The world now regards with wonder the infinite patience, gentleness and 
kindness with which he bore the terrible burden of that four years' struggle. 
Humane, forgiving and long-suffering himself, he was always especially tender 
and considerate of the poor, and in his treatment of them was full of those 
'• kind little acts which are of the same blood as great and holy deeds." As 
Charles Sumner so well said, " With him as president the idea of republican 
institutions, where no place. is too high for the humblest, was perpetually man- 
ifest, so that his simple presence was a proclamation of the equality of all men." 

During the whole of the struggle he was a tower of strength to the Union. 
Whether in defeat or victory, he kept right on, dismayed at nothing, and never 
to be diverted from the pathway of duty. Always cool and determined, all 
learned to gain renewed courage, calmness and wisdom from him, and to lean 
upon his strong arm for support. The proud designation, " Father of his 
country," was not more appropriately bestowed upon Washington than the 
affectionate title, "Father Abraham," was given to Lincoln by the soldiers and 
loyal people of the North. 

The crowning glory of Lincoln's administration, and the greatest executive 
act in American history, was his immortal proclamation of emancipation. Per- 
haps more clearly than any one else Lincoln had realized years before he was 
called to the presidency that the country could not continue half slave and half 
free. He declared it before Seward proclaimed the " irrepressible conflict." The 
contest between freedom and slavery was inevitable; it was written in the stars. 
The nation must be either all slave or all free. Lincoln with almost supernatural 
prescience saw it. His prophetic vision is manifested through all his u-tterances; 
notably in the great debate between himself and Douglas. To him was given 


the duty and responsibility of making that great classic of liberty, the Declara- 
tion of Independence, no longer an empty promise, but a glorious fulfillment. 

Many long and thorny steps were to be taken before this great act of justice 
could be performed. Patience and forbearance had to be exercised. It had to 
be demonstrated that the Union could be saved in no other -way. Lincoln, much 
as he abhorred slavery, felt that his chief duty was to save the Union, under the 
Constitution and within the Constitution. He did not assume the duties of his 
great ofiice with the purpose of abolishing slavery, nor changing the Constitu- 
tion, but as a servant of the Constitution and the laws of the country then 
existing. In a speech delivered in Ohio in 1859, he said: "The people of the 
United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to 
overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who would overthrow the 

This was the principle which governed him, and which he applied in his 
official conduct when he reached the presidency. We now know that he had 
emancipation constantly in his mind's eye for nearly two years after his first 
inauguration. It is true he said at the start, " I believe I have no lawful right to 
interfere with slavery where it now exists, and have no intention of doing so;" 
and that the public had little reason to think he was meditating general emanci- 
pation until he issued his preliminary proclamation, September 22, 1862. 

Just a month before, exactly, he had written to the editor of the New York 

"My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to save or destroy 
slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; 
if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by 
freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that." 

The difference in his thought and purpose about " the divine institution" is 
very apparent in these two expressions. Both were made in absolute honor and 
sincerity. Public sentiment had undergone a great change, and Lincoln, valiant 
defender of the Constitution that he was, and faithful tribune of the people that 
he always was, changed with the people. The war had brought them and him 
to a nearer realization of our absolute dependence upon a higher power, and had 
quickened his conceptions of duty more acutely than the public could realize. 
The purposes of God, working through the ages, were, perhaps, more clearly 
revealed to him than any other. 

Besides, it was as he himself once said, " It is a quality of revolutions not to 
go by old lines or old laws, but to break up both and make new ones." He was 
naturally "antislavery," and the determination he formed, when as a young man 
he witnessed an auction in the slave-shambles in New Orleans, never forsook 
him. It is recorded how his soul burned with indignation, and that he then 
exclaimed, "If I ever get a chance to hit that thing, Pll hit it hard!" He "hit 
it hard" when as a member of the Illinois Legislature he protested that "the 
institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy." He "hit it 
hard" when as a member of Congress he " voted for the Wilmot Proviso as ofood 


as forty times." He " hit it hard" when he stumped his state against the Kansas- 
Nebraska Bill, and on the direct issue carried Illinois in favor of the restriction 
of slavery by a majority of 4,414 votes. He "hit it hard" when he approved 
the law abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, an antislavery measure 
that he had voted for in Congress.- He "hit it hard" when he signed the acts 
abolishing slavery in all the territories and for the repeal of the fugitive-slave 
law. But it still remained for him to strike slavery its death-blow. He did that 
in his glorious proclamation of freedom. ... 

In all the long years of slavery agitation, unlike any of the other anti- 
slavery leaders, Lincoln always carried the people with him. In 1854, Illinois 
cast loose from her old Democratic moorings and followed his leadership in a 
most emphatic protest against the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. In 1858, 
the people of Illinois indorsed his opposition to the aggressions of slavery, in a 
state usually Democratic, even against so popular a leader as the "Little Giant." 
In 1860, the whole country indorsed his position on slavery, even when the people 
were continually harangued that his election meant the dissolution of the Union. 
During the war the people advanced with him step by step to its final overthrow. 
Indeed, in the election of 1864 the people not only indorsed emancipation, but 
went far toward recognizing the political equality of the negro. They heartily 
justified the president in having enlisted colored soldiers to fight side by side with 
the white man in the noble cause of union and liberty. Aye, they did more. 
They indorsed his position on another and vastly more important phase of the 
race problem. They approved his course as president in reorganizing the govern- 
ment of Louisiana, and a hostile press did not fail to call attention to the fact 
that this meant eventually negro suffrage in that state. 

Perhaps, however, it was not known then that Lincoln had written the new 
free-state governor, March 13, 1864: 

"Now you are about to have a convention, which, among other things, will 
probably define the elective franchise. I barely suggest for your private con- 
sideration whether some of the colored people may not be let in — as, for instance, 
the very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks. 
'They would probably help, in some trying time to come, to keep the jewel of 
liberty within the family of freedom." 

Lincoln had that happy, peculiar habit which few public men have attained, 
of looking away from the deceptive and misleading influences about him — and 
none are more deceptive than those of public life in our capitals— straight into 
the hearts of the people. He could not be. deceived by the self-interested host of 
eager counselors who sought to enforce their own particular views upon him as 
the voice of the country. He chose to determine for himself what the people 
were thinking about and wanting him to do, and no man ever lived who was a 
more accurate judge of their opinions and wishes. 

The battle of Gettysburg turned the scale of the war in favor of the Union, 
and it has always seemed to me most fortunate that Lincoln declared for 
emancipation before rather than after that decisive contest. A later proclamation 


might have been construed as a tame and cowardly performance, not a chal- 
lenge of truth to error for mortal combat. The ground on which that battle 
was fought is held sacred by every friend of freedom. But important as the 
battle itself was, the dedication of it as a national cemetery is celebrated for a 
grander thing. The words Lincoln spoke there will live ''until time shall 
be no more" — through all eternity. Well may they be forever preserved on 
tablets of bronze upon the spot where he spoke, but how infinitely better 
it would be if they could find a permanent lodging-place in the soul of every 
American ! . . . 

It is not difficult to place a correct estimate upon the character of Lincoln. 
He was the greatest man of his' time, especially approved of God for the work 
he gave him to do. History abundantly proves his superiority as a leader, and 
establishes his constant reliance upon a higher power for guidance and support. 
The tendency of this age is to exaggeration, but of Lincoln certainly none have 
spoken more highly than those who knew him best. 

The greatest natnes in American history are Washington and Lincoln. One 
is forever associated with the independence of the states and formation of the 
Federal Union, the other with the universal freedom and the preservation of that 
Union. Washington enforced the Declaration of Independence as against 
England, Lincoln proclaimed its fulfillment, not only to a downtrodden race in 
America, but to all people, for all those who may seek the protection of our flag. 
These illustrious men achieved grander results for mankind within a single 
century — from 1775 to 1865 — than any other men ever accomplished in all the 
years since first the flight of time began. Washington engaged in no ordinary 
revolution. With him it was not who should rule, but what should rule. He 
drew his sword, not for a change of rulers upon an established throne, but to 
establish a new government, which should acknowledge no throne but the tribune 
of the people. Lincoln accepted war to save the Union, the safeguard of our 
liberties, and re-established it on " indestructible foundations " as forever " one 
and indivisible." To quote his own grand words: 

" Now, we are all contending that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth 
of freedom, and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, 
shall not perish from the earth." 

Each lived to accomplish his appointed task. Each received the unbounded 
gratitude of the people of his time, and each is held in great and ever-increasing 
reverence by posterity. The fame of each will never die. It will grow with the 
ag^s, because it is based upon imperishable service to humanity — not to the 
people of a single generation or country, but to the w^hole human family, where- 
ever scattered, forever. 

The present generation knows Washington only from history, and by that 
alone can judge him. Lincoln we know by history also; but thousands are still 
living who participated in the great events in which he was leader and master. 
Many of his contemporaries survive him; some are here yet in almost every 
locality. So Lincoln is not far removed from us. Indeed, he may be said to be 


still known to the millions; not surrounded by the mists of antiquity, nor by the 
halo of idolatry that is impenetrable. 

He never was inaccessible to the people. Thousands carry with them yet the 
words which he spoke in their hearing; thousands remember the pressure of his 
hand; and I remember, as though it were but yesterday, and thousands of my 
comrades will recall, how, when he reviewed the Army of the Potomac imme- 
diately after the battle of Antietam, his indescribably sad, thoughtful, far-seeing 
expression pierced every man's soul. Nobody could keep the people away from 
him, and when they came to him he >vould suffer no one to drive them back. So it 
is that an unusually large number of American people came to know this great 
man, and that he is still so well remembered by them. It cannot be said that 
they are mistaken about him, or that they misinterpreted his character and 

^ Men are still connected with the government who served during his entire 
administration. There are at least two senators, and perhaps twice as many 
representatives, who participated in his first inauguration; men who stood side 
by side with him in the trying duties of his administration, and have been with- 
out interruption in one branch or another of the public service ever since. The 
Supreme Court of the United States still has among its members one whom 
Lincoln appointed, and so of other branches of the Federal judiciary. His faith- 
ful private secretaries are still alive, and have rendered posterity a great service 
in their history of Lincoln and his times. They have told the story of his life 
and public services with such entire frankness and fidelity as to exhibit to the 
world "the very inner courts of his soul." This host of witnesses, without 
exception, agree as to the true nobility and intellectual greatness of Lincoln. All 
proudly claim for Lincoln the highest abilities and the most distinguished and 
self-sacrificing patriotism. 

Lincoln taught them, and has taught us, that no party or partizan can escape 
responsibility to the people; that no party advantage, or presumed party advan- 
tage, should ever swerve us from the plain path of duty, which is ever the path 
of honor and distinction. He emphasized his words by his daily life and deeds. 
He showed to the world by his lofty example, as well as by precept and maxim, 
that there are times when the voice of partizanship should be hushed and that of 
patriotism only be heeded. 

He taught that a good service done for the country, even in aid of an 
unfriendly administration, brings to the men and the party who rise above the 
temptation of temporary partizan advantage a lasting gain in the respect and 
confidence of the people. He showed that such patriotic devotion is usually 
rewarded, not only with retention in power and the consciousness of duty well 
and bravely done, but with the gratification of beholding the blessings of relief 
and prosperity, not of a party or section, but of the whole country. This, he 
held, should be the first and great consideration of all public servants. 

When Lincoln died, a grateful people, moved by a common impulse, imme- 
diately placed him side by side with the immortal Washington, and unanimously, 


proclaimed them the two greatest and best Americans. That verdict has not 
changed, and will not change, nor can we conceive how the historians of this or 
any age will ever determine what is so clearly a matter of pure personal opinion 
as to which of these noble men is entitled to greatest honor and homage from 
the people of America. 

A recent writer says: "The amazing growth Lincoln made in the esteem of 
his countrymen and the world, while he was doing his great work, has been 
paralleled by the increase of his fame in the years since he died." He might 
have added that, like every important event of his life, Lincoln's fame rests upon 
a severer test than that of any other American. Never, in all the ages of men, 
have the acts, words, motives — even thoughts — of any statesman been so scru- 
tinized, analyzed, studied or speculated upon as his. Yet from all inquirers, 
without distinction as to party, church, section or country, from friend and from 
foe alike, comes the unanimous verdict that Abraham Lincoln must have no 
second place in American history, and that he never will be second to any in the 
reverent affections of the American people. 

Says the gifted Henry Watterson, in a most beautiful, truthful and eloquent 
tribute to the great emancipator: "Born as lowly as the son of God, reared in 
penury and squalor, with no gleam of light nor fair surroundings, it was reserved 
for this strange being, late in life, without name or fame, or seeming prepara- 
tion, to be snatched from obscurity, raised to supreme command at a supreme 
moment, and intrusted with the destiny of a nation. Where did Shakspere get 
his genius? Where did Mozart get his music? Whose hand smote the lyre of 
the Scottish plowman and staid the life of the German priest? God alone, and 
as surely as these were raised by God, inspired of God was Abraham Lincoln; and 
a thousand years hence no story, no tragedy, no epic poem will be filled with 
greater wonder than that which tells of his life and death. If Lincoln was not 
inspired of God, then there is no such thing on earth as special providence or the 
interposition of divine power in the affairs of men." 

My fellow-citizens, a noble manhood, nobly consecrated to man, never dies. 
The martyr to liberty, the emancipator of a race, the savior of the only free 
government among men, may be buried from human sight, but his deeds will 
live in human gratitude forever. 


MAJOR McKINLEY was born February 26, 1844, in the manufacturing town of 
Niles, Trumbull county, Ohio, not far from Youngstown. It was a hamlet then, 
and the family residence was a modest and comfortable frame house. The boy William 
entered the village school when five years of age, and later on took up his studies in the 
town of Poland, to which his parents had moved, in order that the children might avail 
themselves of better educational facilities. At the age of seventeen he entered Allegheny 
College. His studies were soon interrupted by the outbreak of the war. The slight, pale- 
faced, gray-eyed and patriotic young student flung aside his books and decided to shoulder 
a musket for the preservation of the Union. At the close of the war he was mustered 
out as captain and brevet-major of the same regiment in which he had enlisted. He 
read law, and was elected prosecuting attorne3^ of Stark county, and held that position 
for some years. While at Canton he won the heart of Miss Saxon, the daughter of a 
local newspaper publisher, and the two were married. 

Major McKinley was first elected to Congress in 1876, and was re-elected two and four 
years after. In 1SS2, he received the certificate of election, but the vote was close, and his 
opponent, Jonathan Wallace, was seated. He again entered the lists in 1884, with suc- 
cess, and continued in Congress until 1890. After his defeat in the congressional election 
of 1890, Major McKiuley turned his attention from national to state politics. He became 
the candidate of Ohio Eepublicans for the office of governor. So general was the favor- 
able sentiment that there was no opposition to his nomination. The triumphant election 
which followed is a matter of common history. In 1893, he was again elected to serve as 
the state's chief executive. 



Oh! why should the spirit of mortal be proud? — 
Like a swift-fleeing nieteor, a fast-flying cloud, 
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave. 
He passeth from life to his rest in the grave. 

The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade. 

Be scattered around and together be laid ; 

And the young and the old, and the low and the high, 

Shall moulder to dust and together shall lie. 

The infant, a mother attended and loved ; 
The jnother, that infant's affection who proved ; 
The husband, that mother and infant who blest, — 
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest. 

The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eyes. 
Shone beauty and pleasure — her triumphs are by. 
And the memory of those who loved her and praised, 
Are alike from the minds of the living erased. 

The hand of the king, that the scepter hath borne, 
The brow of the priest, that the miter hath worn, 
The eye of the sage and the heart of the brave. 
Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave. 

The peasant, whose lot was to sow and to reap, 
The herdsman, who climbed witia his goats up the steep, 
The beggar, who wandered in search of his bread, 
Have faded away like the grass that we tread. 

The saint, who enjoyed the communion of heaven, 
The sinner, Avho dared to remain unforgiven. 
The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just. 
Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust. 

So the multitude goes — like the flower or the weed, 
That withers away to let others succeed ; 
So the multitude comes — even those we behold. 
To repeat every tale that has often been told ; 


lincolk's favorite poem. 255 

For we are the same our fathers have been ; 
We see the same sights our fathers have seen ; 
We drink the same stream, we view the same sun, 
And run tlie same course our fathers have run. 

The thoughts we are thinking, our fathers would think; 
From the death we are shrinl^iug, our fathers would shrink ; 
To tlie life we are clinging, they also would cling — 
But it speeds frojn us all, like the bird on the wing. 

rhey loved— but the story we cannot unfold ; 
They scorned — but the heart of the haughty is cold ; 
They grieved — but no wail from their slumber will come ; 
They joyed — but the tongue of their gladness is dumb. 

They died — ay, they died — we things that are now, 
That walk on the turf that lies over their brow. 
And make in their dwellings a transient abode. 
Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road. 

Yea ! hope aud despondency, pleasure and pain. 
Are mingled together in sunshine and rain ; 
And Ihe smile and the tear, the song and the dirge. 
Still follow each other, like surge upon surge. 

'Tis the wink of an eye — 'tis the draught of a breath. 
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death ; 
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud : — 
Oh ! why should the spirit of mortal be proud ? 

— Alexander Knox. 


A statesman of the school of sound common sense, and a philanthropist of 
the most practical type, a patriot without a superior, his monument is a country 
preserved. — C. S. Harrington. 

He ascended the mount where he could see the fair fields and the smiling 
vineyards of the promised land. But, like the great leader of Israel, he was not 
permitted to come to the possession. — Seth Sweetser. 

At the moment when the stars of the Union, sparkling and resplendent with 
the golden fires of liberty, were waving over the subdued walls of Richmond, the 
sepulcher opens, and the strong, the powerful enters it. — Sr. Rehello da Silva. 

By his steady, enduring confidence in God, and in the complete ultimate 
success of the cause of God, which is the cause of humanity, more than in any 
other way does he now speak to us, and to the nation he loved and served so 
well. — P. D. Gurley. 

Now all men begin to see that the plain people, who at last came to love him 
and to lean upon his wisdom, and trust him absolutely, were altogether right, and 
that in deed and purpose he was earnestly devoted to the welfare of the whole 
country, and of all its inhabitants. — R. B. Hayes. 

Abraham Lincoln mastered the problem committed to his hands. He felt that 
he was acting not merely for a single hour, but for all time. The question for 
decision was, "Whether this nation, or any other nation, conceived in liberty, 
and dedicated to the proposition that all are equal, can long endure." — George 
W. Briggs. 

The g.rave that receives the remains of Lincoln receives the costly sacrifice to 
the Union; the monument which will rise" over his body will bear witness to the 
Union; his enduring memory will assist during countless ages to bind the states 
together, and to incite to the love of our one undivided, indivisible country. — 
Georqe Bancroft. 

•% -^ 257 


A man of great ability, pure patriotism, unselfish nature, full of forgiveness 
to his enemies, bearing malice toward none, he proved to be the man above all 
others for the struggle through which the nation had to pass to place itself 
among the greatest in the family of nations. His fame will grow brighter as 
time passes and his great work is better understood. — U. S. Grant. 

Four years ago, oh, Illinois! we took him from your midst an untried man 
from among the people. Behold, we return him a mighty conqueror. Not 
thine, but the nation's; not ours, but the world's! Give him peace, ye prairies! 
In the midst of this great continent his dust shall rest, a sacred treasure to 
myriads who shall pilgrim to that shrine, to kindle anew their zeal and 
patriotism. — Henry Ward Beecher. 

In his freedom from passion and bitterness; in his acute sense of justice; in 
his courageous faith in the right, and his inextinguishable hatred of wrong; in 
warm and heartfelt sympathy and mercy; in his coolness of judgment; in his 
unquestioned rectitude of intention — in a word, in his ability to lift himself for 
his country's sake above all mere partizanship, in all the marked traits of his 
character combined, he has had no parallel since Washington, and while our 
republic endures he will live with him in the grateful hearts of his grateful 
countrymen. — Schuyler Colfax. 

To him belongs the credit of having worked his way up from the humblest 
position an American freeman can occupy to the highest and most powerful, 
without losing, in the least, the simplicity and sincerity of nature which 
endeared him alike to the plantation slave and the metropolitan millionaire. 
The most malignant party oppositioji has never been able to call in question 
the patriotism of his motives, or tarnish with the breath of suspicion the bright- 
ness of his spotless fidelity. Ambition did not warp, power corrupt, nor glory 
dazzle hirh. — Warren H. Cudworth. 

Abraham Lincoln was born, and, until he became president, always lived in a 
part of the country which, at the period of the Declaration of Independence, was 
a savage wilderness. Strange but happy Providence that a voice from that savage 
wilderness, now fertile in men, was inspired to uphold the pledges and promises 
of the Declaration! The unity of the republic on the indestructible foundation 
of liberty and equality was vindicated by the citizens of a community which had 
no existence when the republic was formed. A cabin was built in primitive 
rudeness, and the future president split the fails for the fence to inclose the lot. 
These rails have become classical in our history, and the name of rail-splitter 
has been, more than the degree of a college. Not that the splitter of rails is 
especially meritorious, but because the people are proud to trace aspiring talent 
to humble beginnings, and because they found in this tribute a new opportunity 
of vindicating the dignity of free labor. — Charles Sumner. 





During the war a western farmer sought the president day after day, until he 
procured the much-desired audience. He had a plan for the successful prosecu- 
tion of the war, to which Mr. Lincoln listened as patiently as he could. When 
he was through, he asked the opinion of the president upon his plan, "Well," 
said Mr. Lincoln, " I'll answer by telling you a story. You have heard of Mr. 
Blank, of Chicago? He was an immense loafer in his way; in fact, never did 
anything in his life. One day he got crazy over a great rise in the price of wheat, 
upon which many wheat speculators gained large fortunes. Blank started off 
one morning to one of the most successful of the wheat speculators, and with 
much enthusiasm, laid before him a ' plan ' by which he, the said Blank, was 
certain of becoming independently rich. When he had finished, he asked the 
opinion of his hearer upon his plan of operations. The reply came as follows: 
'My advice is that you stick to youy^ business.'' 'But,' asked Blank, 'what is 
my business?' 'I don't know, I'm sure, what it is,' says the merchant, 'but 
whatever it is, I tvoidd advise you to stick to it!'' And now," said Mr. Lincoln, 
"I mean nothing offensive, for I know you mean well, but I think you had better 
stick to your business, and leave the war to those who have the responsibility of 
managing it!" Whether the farmer was satisfied or not is not known, but he 
did not tarry long in the presidential mansion. 


• "When I have had to address a fagged and listless audience, I have found that 
nothing was so certain to arouse them as to introduce the name of Abraham 
Lincoln." So remarked Dr. Newman Hall, of London, to me kst year ; and I 
have had a similar experience with American audiences. No other name has such 
electric power on every true heart from Maine to Mexico. If Washington is 
the most revered, Lincoln is the best loved man that ever trod this continent. — 
Theodore L. Cuyler, D.D. 




It was characteristic of Lincoln that while he did not often refer to his early 
life, he seemed ever mindful when occasion offered of those who were then his 
associates and friends. A case very aptly illustrating this point occurred at the 
time the ranks of the Union army were being repleted by the operations of the 
'•draft" acts. 

Through some technicality or other an injustice was done that section of 
Kentucky surrounding the county in which Lincoln was born, and several 
counties were not credited with the numbers of enlistments that had really been 
made from within their borders. Finally, Dr. Jesse Rodman, of Hodgensville, 
prominent as a citizen and politician, was sent to Washington for the purpose of 
interviewing President Lincoln and endeavoring to have the error corrected. 

Lincoln received him with the greatest cordiality, and insisted that Dr. 
Rodman should remain several days as a presidential guest. During this time 
Lincoln made the fullest and most minute inquiry concerning persons whom he 
had known in his boyhood life among the Kentucky hills. The desired relief 
was also cheerfully given by the president. — Mr. D. J. Thomas^ now of The 
Voice, New York, late of The New Era, Springfield, Ohio. 

Nothing so moved Lincoln as injustice or oppression toward a fellow-man. 
During the campaign of 1864, when the president was a candidate for re-election, 
and was opposed by Gieneral George B. McClellan, a soldier was refused a pass 
through the lines to his New York hofme by some officious attache of the army 
because of the fact that he wore a McClellan badge. Friends brought the matter 
before the president, who investigated the charges, and found that the pass was 
refused on the grounds named, beyond doubt. The soldier was sent for by 
Lincoln, and presented with a pass in the president's own handwriting, accom- 
panied by a hearty hand-shake anda " God bless you, my boy! Show them that- it'll 
take you home." — D. J. Thomas. 


The following story is often told of Father Abraham about two contraband 
servants of General Kelly and Captain George Harrison: When the general 
and his staff were on their way up the mountains they stopped at a little village 
to get something to eat. They persuaded the occupant of the farm-house to 
cook them a meal, and in order to expedite matters, sent the two contrabands 
mentioned to assist in preparing the repast. After it was over the general told 
the negroes to help themselves. An hour or two afterward he observed them 
gnawing away at some hard crackers and flitch. 

"Why didn't you eat your dinner at the village?" asked the general of one 
of them. 

"Well, to tell the God's trufe, general, it was too cussed dirty!" was the 



Some simple remark that some of the party might make would remind Mr. 
Lincoln o£ an apropos story. Mr. Chase happened to remark, " Oh, I am so sorry 
that I had to write a letter to Mr. So-and-so before I left home!" Mr. Lincoln 
promptly responded' "Chase, never regret what you don't write ; it is what you 
do write that you are often called upon to feel sorry for." 

Here is another: Mr. Stanton said that just before he left Washington he 
had received a telegram from General Mitchell, in Alabama, asking instructions 
in regard to a certain emergency that had occurred. The secretary said that he 
did not precisely understand the emergency as explained by General Mitchell, but 
he had answered back, "All right; go ahead." 

'^Now," he said, "Mr. President, if I have made an error in not understanding 
him correctly, I will have to get you to countermand the order." 

"Well," exclaimed Lincoln, "that is very much like the occasion of a certain 
horse sale I remember that took place at the cross-roads down in Kentucky when 
I was a boy. A particularly fine horse was to be sold, and the people gathered 
together. They had a small boy to ride the horse up and down while the specta- 
tors examined the horse's points. At last one man whispered to the boy as he 
went by: 'Look here, boy, hain't that horse got the splints?' The boy replied: 
' Mister, I don't know what the splints is, but if it is good for him, he has got it, 
if it ain't good for him, he ain't got it.' Now," said Mr. Lincoln, "if this was 
good for Mitchell, it was all right ; but if it was not, I have got to countermand 
it." — General Egbert L. Viele, in " Tributes from Lincoln^s Associates.'''' 


As a lawyer, according to Messrs. Nicolay and Hay, Mr. Lincoln, notwith- 
standing " all his stories and jests, his frank, companionable humor, his gift of 
easy accessibility and welcome, was, even whilie he traveled the Eighth circuit, a 
man of grave and serious temper, and of an unusual innate dignity and reserve. 
He had few or no special intimates, and there was a line beyond which no one ever 
thought of passing." They thus describe him in the court-room: 

"He seemed absolutely at home in the court -room; his great stature did not 
encumber him there; it -seemed like a natural symbol of superiority. His bearing 
and gesticulation had no awkwardness about them; they were simply striking and 
original. He assumed at the start a frank and friendly relation with the jury, 
which was extremely effective. He usually began, as the phrase ran, by 'giving 
away his case;' by allowing to the opposite side every possible advantage that they 
could honestly and justly clainl. Then he would present his own side of the case, 
with a clearness, a oandor, an adroitness of statement which at once flattered and 
convinced the jury, and made even the bystanders his partizans. Sometimes he 
disturbed the court with laughter by his humorous or apt illustrations; sometimes 
he excited the audience by that florid and exuberant rhetoric which he knew well 


enougli how and wheii to indulge in; but his more usual and more successful 
manner was to rely upon a clear, strong, lucid statement, keeping details in 
proper subordination, and bringing forward, in a way which fastened the attention 
of court and jury alike, the essential point on which he claimed a decision. 
'Indeed,' says one of his colleagues, 'his statement often rendered argument 
unnecessary, and often the court would stop him, and say: "If that is the case, 
we will hear the other side." '" 

Judge David Davis said of him: 

" The framework of his mental and moral being was honesty, and a wrong 
cause was poorly defended by him." 


On one occasion it is said that some of Mr. Lincoln's friends were talking 
about him and Stephen A. Douglas. The conversation led to the physical pro- 
portions of the respective men, and an argument arose as to the proper length of 
a man's leg. During the discussion on the subject Mr. Lincoln came in and 
quietly settled himself, and it was agreed that the question should be referred to 
him for settlement. They told him what they had been talking about, and asked 
him what, in his opinion, was the proper length of a man's leg. " Well," said 
he, reflectively, " I should think that they ought to be long enough to reach from 
his body to the ground." 


Mr. Lincoln on one occasion narrated to Hon. Mr. Odell and others, with 
much zest, the following story about young Daniel Webster: 

When quite young, at school, Daniel was one day guilty of a gross violation 
of the rules. He was detected in the act, and called up by the teacher for pun- 
ishment. This was to be the old-fashioned " feruling " of the hand. His hands 
happened to be very dirty. Knowing this, on the way to the teacher's desk, he 
spit upon the palm of his right hand, wiping it off upon the side of his panta- 

" Give me your hand, sir," said the teacher, very sternly. 

Out went the right hand, partly cleansed. The teacher looked at it a moment, 
and said: 

" Daniel, if you will find another hand in this school-room as filthy as that, 
I will let you off this time! " 

Instantly from behind the back came the left hand. "Here it is, sir," was 
the ready reply. 

"That will do," said the teacher," for this time; you can take your seat, sir." 



To a man who once offered him a case, the merits of which he did not 
appreciate, he made, according to his partner, Mr. Herndon, the following 

" Yes, there is no reasonable doubt but that I can gain your case for you. I 
can set a whole neighborhood at loggerheads; I can distress a widowed mother 
and her six fatherless children, and thereby get for you six hundred dollars, 
which rightfully belongs, it appears to me, as much to them as it does to you. I 
shall not take your case, but I will give a little advice for nothing. You seem a 
sprightly, energetic man. I would advise you to try your hand at making six 
hundred dollars in some other way." 


" I once knew a sound churchman by the name of Brown, who was a member 
of a very sober and pious committee, having in charge the erection of a bridge 
over a dangerous and rapid river. Several architects failed, and at last Brown 
said he had a friend named Jones who had built several bridges, and undoubtedly 
could build that one. So Mr. Jones was called in. ' Can you build this bridge?' 
inquired the committee. ' Yes,' replied Jones, ' or any other. I could build a 
bridge to the infernal regions, if necessary!' The committee were shocked, and 
Brown felt called upon to defend his friend. 'I know Jones so well,' said he, 
' and he is so honest a man and so good an architect that if he states soberly and 
positively that he can build a bridge to — to — , why, I believe it; but I feel 
bound to say that I have my doubts about the abutment on the infernal side.' 
' So,' said Mr. Lincoln, ' when politicians told me that the northern and southern 
wings of Democracy could be harmonized, why, I believed them, of course; but I 
always had my doubts about the 'abutment' on the othe7' side." 



Secretary Stanton, when secretary of war, took a fancy one day for a house 
in Washington that Lamon had just bargained for. Lamon not only did not 
vacate, but went to Stanton and said he would kill him if he interfered with the 
house. Stanton was furious at the threat, and made it known at once to Lincoln. 
The latter said to the astonished war secretary: 

"Well, Stanton, if Ward has said he will kill you, he certainly will, and I'd 
advise you to prepare for death without further delay." 

The president promised, however, to do what he could to appease the murder- 
ous marshal, and this was the end of Stanton's attempt on the house. 



The Chicago Times- Herald has printed some reminiscences of Lincoln, com- 
nicated by General John McConnell. He had been a close friend of Lincoln 
before the war. " He was to me a perfect being," General McConnell declares. 
"I do not know a flaw in his character." 

Not long after Lincoln's election to the presidency. General McConnell was 
with him in his office in the old state-house in Springfield, when a tall, lank 
countryman, with his trousers tucked into his boots, put his head into the door, 
and asked to see Mr. Lincoln. He was from Kansas, he explained, and with his 
family was going back to Indiana. He had voted for Mr. Lincoln, and wanted to 
see him. 

Mr. Lincoln, we are left to suppose, received his unconventional caller with 
politeness, and presently the man asked : 

''What kind of a tree is that below there in the yard?" 

It was a warm November day, and the window was open. Mr. Lincoln looked 
out, and said : . 

"It is a cypress. I suppose you would have known it if you had been on the 
ground?" • 

"No. I don't mean that," said the countryman. "I mean the other one 
nearer the house. You will have to lean farther out." 

Mr. Lincoln leaned out, and then straightening up, he said : 

" There is no other one." 

"No? "said the man. "Well, do you see that woman and them three chil- 
dren over there in that wagon? That is my wife and children. I told them I 
would show them the president-elect of the United States, and I have. Good- 
by, Mr. Lincoln." 

And so saying, he stalked down-stairs. 


An incident connected with Mr. Shultz illustrates the kind-heartedness of 
Mr. Lincoln. On his return from his former imprisonment, on parole, young 
Shultz was sent to Camp Parole, at Alexander. Having had no furlough since 
the war, efforts were made without success to get him liberty to pay a brief 
visit to his friends; but having faith in the warm-heartedness of the president, 
the young soldier's widowed mother wrote to Mr. Lincoln, stating that he had 
been in nearly every battle fought by the Army of the Potomac, had never asked 
a furlough, was now a paroled prisoner, and in consequence unable to perform 
active duties; that two of his brothers had also served in the army, and asking 
that he be allowed to visit home, that she might see him once more. Her trust 
in the president was not uufounded. He immediately caused a furlough to be given 
to her son, who, shortly before he was exchanged, visited his family, to their 
great surprise and joy. 



Mr. Lincoln's kindness of heart was known to everybody. Vice-president 
Colfax says that his doorkeepers had " standing orders from him that, no matter 
how great might be the public throng, if either senators or representatives had 
to wait, or to be turned away without audience, he must see before the day closed 
every messenger who came to him with a petition for the saving of life." 
Accounts of many such cases are given. A woman, carrying a baby, waited three 
days at the White House to see Mr. Lincoln. Her husband, who had sent a sub- 
stitute, had enlisted subsequently himself when intoxicated, and had deserted 
from the army, and had been caught and sentenced to be shot. On his way 
through the anteroom Mr. Lincoln heard the baby cry. " He instantly went back 
to his office and rang the bell. ' Daniel,' said he, ' is there a woman with a baby 
in the anteroom?' I said there was, and, if he would allow me to say it, I 
thought it was a case he ought to see; for it was a matter of life and death. 
Said he: 'Send her to me at once.' She went in, told her story, and the pres- 
ident pardoned her husband. As the woman came out from his presence, her eyes 
were lifted and her lips moving in prayer, the tears streaming down her cheeks." 
Said Daniel: "I went up to her, and, pulling her shawl, said: 'Madam, it was 
the baby that did it!'" 


One of the funniest stories of the war was related by Mr. Lincoln, as follows: 

"Upon the hurricane-deck of one of our gunboats, an elderly darky, with 
a very philosophical and retrospective cast of countenance, squatted upon his 
bundle, toasting his shins against the chimney, and apparently plunged into a state 
of profound meditation. Finding upon inquiry that he belonged to the Ninth 
Illinois, one of the most gallantly behaved and heavy losing regiments at the Fort 
Donelson battle, and part of which was aboard, I began to interrogate him upon 
the subject: 

" ' Were you in the fight? ' 

'"Had a little taste of it, sa.' 

"'Stood your ground, did you?' 

" 'No, sa, I runs.' 

"'Run at the first fire, did you?' 

" 'Yes, sa, and would hab run soona, had I knowd it war comin'.' 

"' Why, that wasn't very creditable to your courage.' 

"'Dat isn't my line, sa — cookin's my profeshun.' 

"'Well, but have you no regard for your reputation?' 

" ' Reputation's nuffin to me by de side ob life.' 

'"Do you consider your life worth more than other people's?' 

"'It's worth more to me, sa.' 

"'Then you must value it very highly?' 


" ' Yes, sa, I does, more dan all dis wuld, more dan a millian ob dollars, sa, for 
what would dat be wuthto a man wid de bref out ob him? Self-preserbation am 
de fust law wid me.' 

"'But why should you act upon a different rule from other men?' 

"'Because different men set different values upon their lives; mine is not in de 

" ' But if you lost it, you would have the satisfaction of knowing that you died 
for your country.' 

•"What satisfaction would dat be to me, when de power ob feelin' was gone?' 

'"Then patriotism and honor are nothing to you?' 

"'Nufin whatever, sa — I regard them as among the vanities.' 

" ' If our soldiers were like you, traitors might have broken up the government 
without resistance.' 

"'Yes, sa, dar would hab been no help for it. I wouldn't put my life in de 
scale 'ginst any gobernment dat eber existed, for no gobernme.nt could replace de 
loss to me.' 

" ' Do you think any of your company would have missed you if you had been 

" ' Maybe not, sa — a dead white man ain't much to dese sogers, let alone a dead t 
nigga — but I'd a missed myself, and dat was de pint wid me." 


Weller was at Washington settling his accounts as minister to Mexico. After 
their adjustment he concluded to pay his" respects to Mr. Lincoln, with whom he 
had served in Congress. He called at the presidential mansion, and was cour- 
teously received. 

" Mr. President," said Colonel Weller, " I have called on you to say that I 
most heartily indorse the conservative position you have assumed, and will stand 
by you as long as you prosecute the war for the preservation of the Union and 
the Constitution." 

"Colonel Weller," said the president, "I am heartily glad to hear you 
say this." 

"Yes, Mr. President," said Weller, "I desire an appointment to aid in this 

"What do you want, colonel?" asked Abraham. 

'■'•I desire to he appointed commodore in the navy,'''' said Weller. 

The president replied: 

"Colonel, I did not think you had any experience as a sailor." 

"I never had, Mr. President," said Weller; "but judging from the brigadier- 
generals you have appointed in Ohio, the less experience a man has, the higher 
position he attains." 

Lincoln turned off with a hearty laugh, and said: "I owe you one, colonel!" 



Hon. Samuel Shellabarger (of Washington, D. C, and a native of Springfield, 
Ohio), whose congressional service covered President Lincoln's years in the 
White House, speaks of a visit to Mr. Lincoln, giving this incident: 

" I, like many other members of Congress, did not see Mr. Lincoln often, 
because we felt that he was overwhelmed with the burdens of the hour, and people 
giving him no rest. But a young man in the army, Ben Tappan, wanted a 
transfer from the volunteer service to the regular service, retaining his rank of 
lieutenant, and with staff duty. There was some regulation against such trans- 
fer ; but Tappan's stepfather, Frank Wright, of Ohio, thought it could be done. 
He had been to Secretary Stanton, who was an uncle of young Tappan by mar- 
riage, and on account of this so-called relationship the secretary declined to act 
in the matter. Wright and I therefore went up to the White House to see the 
president about it. After talking it over, Mr. Lincoln told a story, the applica- 
tion of which was that the army was getting to be all staff and no army, there was 
such a rush for staff duty by young officers. However, he looked over Lieutenant 
Tappan's paper, heard what Secretary Stanton had told us about his delicacy in 
transferring Lieutenant Tappan against the regulation because of the relation- 
ship by marriage. Then Mr. Lincoln wrote across the application something like 
the following indorsement: 

"Lieutenant Tappan, of • regiment, volunteers, desires a transfer to 

regiment, regular service, and assigned to staff duty with present rank. If the 
only objection to this transfer is Lieutenant Tappan's relationship to the sec- 
retary of war, that objection is overruled. 

"A. LiircoLN. 

" This, of course, threw the responsibility of breaking the regulation on 
Secretary Stanton. We never heard anything more about the transfer." 


"During the war," says D wight L. Moody, the world's great evangelist, "I 
remember a young man, not twenty, who was court-martialed at the front and 
sentenced to be shot. The story was this: 

" The young fellow had enlisted. He was not obliged to, but he went off 
with another young man. They were what we call 'chums.' 

"One night his companion was ordered out on picket duty, and he asked the 
young man to go for him. The next night he was ordered out himself; and 
having been awake two nights, and not being used to it, fell asleep at his post, 
and for the offense he was tried and sentenced to death. It was right after the 
order issued by the president that no interference would be allowed in cases of 
this kind. This sort of thing had become too frequent, and it must be stopped. 

" When the news reached the father and mother in Vermont, it nearly broke 


their hearts. The thought that their son should be shot was too great for them. 
They had no hope that he could be saved by anything that they could do. 

" But they had a little daughter who had read the life of Abraham Lincoln, 
and knew how he loved his own children, and she said: 

" ' If Abraham Lincoln knew how my father and mother loved my brother, he 
wouldn't let him be shot.' 

"The little girl thought this matter over, and made up her mind to see the 

" She went to the White House, and the sentinel, when he saw her imploring 
looks, passed her in; and when she came to the door and told the private secretary 
that she wanted to see the president, he could not refuse her. She came into the 
chamber and found Abraham Lincoln surrounded by his generals and counselors; 
and when he saw the little country girl, he asked her what she wanted. 

" The little maid told her plain, simple story — how her brother, whom her 
father and mother loved very dearly, had been sentenced to be shot; how they 
were mourning for him, and if he was to die in that way it would break their 

" The president's heart was touched with compassion, and he immediately 
sent a dispatch canceling the sentence and giving the boy a parole so that he 
could come home and see his father and mother. I just tell you this to show 
you how Abraham Lincoln's heart was moved by compassion for the sorrow of 
that father and mother; and if he showed so much, do you think the Son of God 
will not have compassion upon you, sinner, if you only take that crushed, bruised 
heart to him?" 


Executive Mansion, October 17, 1861. 
Major Ramsey. 

Mij Dear Sir: — The lady — bearer of this — says she has two sons who want 
to work. Set them at it, if possible. Wanting to work is so rare a merit that it 
should be encouraged. A. Lincoln. 


The private secretary of the president was a wag. A young man decidedly 
inebriated walked into the executive mansion and asked for the president. 

"What do you want with him?" inquired the secretary. 

" Oh, I want an office with a good salary — a sinecure." 

" Well," replied the secretary, " I can tell you something better for you than 
a sinecure — you had better try ivater cure^ 

A new idea seemed to strike the young inebriate, and he vamoosed. 



The Hon. Henry Wilson, who was on the ticket with General Grant in his 
second campaign, as vice-president, says that on the day before his death the pres- 
ident said to his wife: 

"We have had a hard time together since we came to Washington; but now 
the war is over, and with God's blessing upon us, we may hope for four years of 
happiness, and then we will go back to Illinois and pass the remainder of our 
lives in peace." 


On another occasion the public printer called the president's attention to a 
sentence in one of his messages which he thought awkwardly constructed. The 
president acknowledged the point of the criticism, and said: "Go home, Defrees, 
and see if you can better it." The next day Mr. Defrees took in to him his 
amendment. Mr. Lincoln met him by saying: "Seward found the same fault 
that you did, and he has been rewriting the paragraph also." Then, reading Mr. 
Defrees' version, he said: "I believe you have beat Seward; but, 'I jings' [a 
common expression with him], I think I can beat you both." Then, taking up 
his pen, he wrote the sentence as it was finally printed. 


A correspondent who was with the president on the occasion of a visit to 
Frederick, Maryland, tells the following incident: 

"After leaving General Richardson, the party passed a house in which were a 
large number of Confederate wounded. By request of the president, the party 
alighted and entered the building. Mr. Lincoln, after looking, remarked to the 
wounded Confederates that if they had no objection he would be pleased to take 
them by the hand. He said the solemn obligations which we owe to our country 
and posterity compel the prosecution of this war, and it followed that many 
were our enemies through uncontrollable circumstances, and he bore them no 
malice, and could take them by the hand with sympathy and good feeling. 
After a short silence the Confederates came forward and each silently but fer- 
vently shook the hand of the president. Mr. Lincoln and General McClellan 
then walked forward by the side of those who were wounded too severely to be 
able to arise, and bid them to be of good cheer, assuring them that every possible 
care should be bestowed upon them to ameliorate their condition. It was a 
moving scene, and there was not a dry eye in the building, either among the 
Nationals or Confederates. Both the president and General McClellan were 
kind in their remarks and treatment of the rebel sufferers during this remarkable 



General Grrant intended that the army under Sherman, at Chattanooga, the 
Army of the Potomac, under Meade, and the Army of the James, under Butler, 
should move at the same time. General Burnside was at Annapolis, in Maryland, 
with the Ninth Corps, numbering nearly 30,000 men. He was directed to march 
to Washington, and from there to the Rapidan, to co-operate with the Army of 
the Potomac. 

Down Pennsylvania avenue comes Burnside's troops, turning up Fourteenth 
street, where the president stands upon a balcony to review them. Some of the 
veterans have fought at Bull Run, Ball's Bluff, Roanoke, Newbern, in front of 
Richmond, Antietam, Gettysburg, Knoxville. The flags which they carry are in 
tatters, but they are the dearest things on earth to the men keeping step to the 
drum-beat. There is the steady tramping of the men, the deep, heavy jar of gun- 
carriages, clattering of horses' hoofs, clanking of sabers. General Burnside and 
the president, standing side by side, look down upon the serried ranks. The 
lines are deepening in the face of Abraham Lincoln. He is pale and care-worn. 
The soldiers behold him, swing their hats, and hurrah A division of veterans 
pass, and then, with full ranks, the platoons extending the entire width of the 
street, come brigades which have never been in battle — men who have come at 
the call of their country to lay down their lives on the battle-field. Their 
country! They never had a country till that pale man on the balcony gave 
them one. They never were men till he made them such. They were slaves; 
he made them freemen. They have been chattels — things; now they are owners 
of themselves — citizens — soldiers of the republic. Never before have they 
beheld their benefactor. "Hurrah for Uncle Abe! Hurrah for Mars Linkum!" 
No cheers like theirs. It is the spontaneous outburst from grateful hearts. 
Yes; in return for what he has done for them and for their race will they fight 
to the death! — Coffin. 


One of the prettiest incidents in the closing days of the civil war occurred 
when the [troops, "marching home again," passed in grand form, if with well- 
worn uniforms and tattered bunting, before the White House, says Harper's 
Young People. 

Naturally, an immense crowd had assembled on the streets, the lawns, porches, 
balconies and windows, even those of the executive mansion itself being crowded 
to excess. A central figure was that of the president, Abraham Lincoln, who, 
with bared head, unfurled and waved our nation's flag in the midst of lusty 

But suddenly there was an unexpected sight. 

A small boy leaned forward and sent streaming to the air the banner of the 
boys in gray. It was an old flag which had been captured from the Confederates, 


and which the urchin, the president's second son, Tad, had obtained possession of 
and considered an additional triumph to unfurl on this all-important day. 

Vainly did the servant who had followed him to the window plead with him 
to desist. No, Master Tad, the pet of the White House, was not to be prevented 
from adding to the loyal demonstration of the hour. 

To his surprise, however, the crowd viewed it differently. Had it floated from 
any other window in the Capitol that day, no doubt it would have been the target 
of contempt and abuse ; but when the president, understanding what had hap- 
pened, turned, with a smile on his grand, plain face, and showed his approval by 
a gesture and expression, cheer after cheer rent the air. 

It was, surely enough, the expression of peace and good will which, of all our 
commanders, none was better pleased to promote than our commander-in-chief. 

In response to a letter of inquiry by the author of this book to Hon. Robert 
T. Lincoln (formerly secretary of war, and minister to England) concerning 
" Tad," Mr. Lincoln replied as follows: 

60 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, 20th December, 1895. 
My Dear Sir: — In reply to your inquiry, my brother Thomas died on July 15, 1871, 
from an illness resulting from a cold. 

Very sincerely yours, Robert T. Lincoln. 


To say that he is ugly is nothing; to add that his figure is grotesque is to 
convey no adequate impression. Fancy a man six feet high, and then out of 
proportion; with long, bony arms and legs, which somehow seem to be always in 
the way; with great, rugged, furrowed hands, which grasp you like a vise when 
shaking yours; with a long, snaggy neck, and a chest too narrow for the great 
arms at its side. Add to this figure a head cocoanut-shaped and somewhat too 
small for such a stature, covered with rough, uncombed and uncombable hair, 
that stands out in every direction at once; a face furrowed, wrinkled and indented, 
as though it had been scarred by vitriol; a high, narrow forehead; and sunk deep 
beneath bushy eyebrows, two bright, dreamy eyes, that seem to gaze through you 
without looking at you; a few irregular blotches of black, bristly hair in the 
place where beard and whiskers ought to grow; a close-set, thin-lipped, stern 
mouth, with two rows of large white teeth, and a nose and ears which have been 
taken by mistake from a head of twice the size. Clothe this figure, then, in a 
long, tight, badly fitting suit of black, creased, soiled, and puckered up at every 
salient point of the figure (and every point of this figure is salient), put on lai'ge, 
ill-fitting boots, gloves too long for the long, bony fingers, and a fluffy hat, 
covered to the top with dusty, puffy crape; and then add to this an air of strength, 
physical as well as moral", and a strange look of dignity coupled with all this 
grotesqueness, and you will have the impression left upon me by Abraham 



In character and culture lie is a fair representative of the average American. 
His awkward speech and yet more awkward silence, his uncouth manners, self- 
taught and partly forgotten, his style miscellaneous, concreted from the best 
authors, like a reading book, and yet oftentimes of Saxon force and classic purity; 
his argument, his logic a joke, both unseasonable at times and irresistible always; 
his questions answers, and his answers questions; his guesses prophecies, and 
fulfillment ever beyond his promise; honest yet shrewd; simple yet reticent; 
heavy yet energetic; never despairing, never sanguine; careless in forms, con- 
scientious in essentials; never sacrificing a good servant once trusted; never 
deserting a good principle once adopted; not afraid of new ideas, nor despising 
old ones; improving opportunities to confess mistakes, ready to learn, getting at 
facts, doing nothing when he knows not what to do; hesitating at nothing when 
he sees the right; lacking the recognized qualifications of a party leader, and 
leading his party as no other man can; sustaining his political enemies in Missouri 
in their defeat, sustaining his political friends in Maryland in their victory; conser- 
vative in his sympathies and radical in his acts; Socratic in his style and Baconian 
in his method; his religion consisting in truthfulness, temperance; asking good 
people to pray for him, and publicly acknowledging in events the hand of God, 
yet he stands before you as the type of '' Brother Jonathan," a not perfect man, 
and yet more precious than fine gold. 


The Hon. Leonard Swett, in an address before the Union Veteran Club, at 
Chicago, gives the following interesting reminiscence: 

I remember well the first time that the belief that war was inevitable took 
hold of Lincoln's mind. Some time after the election Lincoln asked me to write 
a letter to Thurlow Weed to come to Springfield and consult with him (Lincoln). 
Mr. Weed came, and he, the president-elect and myself had a meeting, in which 
Lincoln for the first time acknowledged that he was in possession of facts that 
showed that the South meant war. 

These facts consisted of the steps which the disaffected states were taking to 
spirit away the arms belonging to the government, and, taking them into con- 
sideration, Lincoln was forced to the belief that his administration was to be one 
of blood. 

As he made this admission, his countenance rather than his words demon- 
strated the sadness which it occasioned, and he wanted to know if there was not 
some way of avoiding the disaster. He felt as if he could not go forward to an 
era of war, and these days were to him a sort of forty days in the wilderness, 
passed under great stress of doubt, and, perhaps to him, of temptations of weak- 
ness. Finally, however, he seemed quietly to put on the armor and prepare him- 
self for the great responsibility and struggle before him. 



A congressman who heard that a friend o£ his in the army had been court- 
martialed and sentenced to be shot, failing to move Secretary Stanton to grant a 
pardon, rushed to the White House late at night, after the president had retired, 
and forced his way to the president's bedroom, and earnestly besought his inter- 
ference, exclaiming, earnestly: 

'^ This man must not be shot, Mr. Lincoln. I cannot allow him to be shot ! " 

"Well," said the president in reply, "I do not believe shooting will do him 
any good. Give me that pen." 

And so the pardon was granted. 


" You can't do anything with them southern fellows," the old gentleman at 
the table was saying. "If they get whipped, they'll retreat to them southern 
swamps and bayous along with the fishes and crocodiles. You haven't got the fish- 
nets made that'll catch 'em." 

"Look here, old gentleman!" screamed Old Abe, who was sitting alongside, 
"we've got just the nets for traitors, in the bayous or anywhere.' 

"Hey? What nets?" 

"■Bayou-nets!'" and Abraham pointed his joke with a fork, spearing a fish- 
ball savagely. 


Mr. Lincoln, as the highest public officer of the nation, was necessarily very 
much bored by all sorts of peo|)le calling upon him. 

An officer of the government called one day at the White House, and intro- 
duced a clerical friend. 

" Mr. President," said he, " allow me to present to you my friend, the Rev. 
Mr. F., of . Mr. F. has expressed a desire to see you and have some conversa- 
tion with you, and I am happy to be the means of introducing him." 

The president shook hands with Mr. F., and desiring him to be seated, took 
a seat himself. Then, his countenance having assumed an air of patient waiting, 
he said: 

" I am now ready to hear what you have to say." 

" Oh, bless you, sir," said Mr. F., " I have nothing especially to say; I merely 
called to pay my respects to you, and, as one of the millions, to assure you of my 
hearty sympathy and support." 

" My dear sir," said the president, rising promptly, his face showing instant 
relief, and with both hands grasping that of his visitor, " I am very glad to see 
you, indeed. I thought you had come to preach to me ! " 




One of Mr. Lincoln's stories was told to a party of gentlemen, wlio, among 
the tumbling ruins of the Confederacy, anxiously asked " what he would do with 
Jeff. Davis:" 

"There was a boy in Springfield," replied Mr. Lincoln, "who saved up his 
money and bought a ' coon,' which, after the novelty wore off, became a great 

"He was one day leading him through the streets, and had his hands full to 
keep clear of the little vixen, who had' torn his clothes half off of him. At 
length he sat down on the curbstone, completely fagged out. A man passing 
was stopped by the lad's disconsolate appearance, and asked the matter. 

" 'Oh,' was the only reply, 'this coon is such a trouble to me.' 

" ' Why don't you get rid of him, then?' said the gentleman. 

"'Hush!' said the boy; 'don't you see he is gnawing his rope off? I am 
going to let him do it, and then I will go home and tell the folks that he got 
away from me!' " 


Leaving the ditch, my pass carried me into the fort, where, to my surprise, I 
found the president. Secretary Stanton and other civilians. A young colonel of 
artillery, M^ho appeared to be the officer of the day, was in great distress because 
the president would expose himself, and paid little attention to his warnings. 
He was satisfied the Confederates had recognized him, for they were firing at him 
very hotly, and a soldier near him had just fallen with a broken thigh. He asked 
my advice, for he said the president was in great danger. 

" What would you do with me under like circumstances?" I asked. 
" I would civilly ask you to take a position where you were not exposed." 
"And if 1 refused to obey ? " 

" I would send a sergeant and a file of men, and make you obey." 
" Then treat the president just as you would me or any civilian." 
" I dare not. He is my superior officer; I have taken oath to obey his orders." 
" He has given you no orders. Follow my advice, and you will not regret it." 
"I will," he said. "I may as well die for one thing as another. If he were 
shot, I should hold myself responsible." 

He walked to where the president was looking over the parapet. "Mr. Pres- 
ident," he said, "you are standing within range of five hundred rebel rifles. 
Please come down to a safer place. If you do not, it will be my duty to call a 
file of men, and make you." 

"And you would do quite right, my boy!" said the president, coming down 
at once. " \ou are i^ command of this fort. I should be the last man to set an 
example of disobedience! "—L. E. Chittenden's ''Recollections." 



President Lincoln often laughed over the following incident: One of General 
Fremont's batteries of eight Parrot guns, supported by a squadron of horses com- 
manded by Major Richards, was in a sharp conflict with a battery of the enemy 
near at hand, and shells and shot were flying thick and fast, when the com- 
mander of the battery, a German, one of Fremont's staff, rode suddenly up to the 
cavalry, exclaiming, in loud and excited terms, " Pring up de shackasses, pring 
up de shackasses, for Cot sake, hurry up de shackasses im-me-di-ate-ly!" The 
necessity of this order, though not quite apparent, will be more obvious when it 
is remembered that the "shackasses" are mules, carrying mountain howitzers^ 
which are fired from the backs of that much-abused but valuable animal; and 
the immediate occasion for the "shackasses" was that two regiments of rebel 
infantry were at that moment discovered descending a hill immediately behind 
our batteries. The "shackasses," with the howitzers loaded with grape and 
canister, were soon on the ground. The mules squared themselves, as they well 
knew how, for the shock. A terrific volley was poured into the advancing 
column, which immediately broke and retreated. Two hundred and seventy- 
eight dead bodies were found in the ravine next day, piled closely together a& 
they fell, the effects of that volley from the backs of the "shackasses." 


At Clinton there was so interesting a case that men and women from all the 
surrounding country crowded the court-room. Fifteen women were arraigned. 
A liquor-seller persisted in selling whisky to their husbands after the wives 
begged him not to do so. He cared nothing for their protestations, but laughed 
in their faces. The tears upon their cheeks did not move him. What should 
they do? There was no law to stop him. They marched to the groggery^ 
smashed in the heads of the barrels with axes, and broke the demijohns and 
bottles. The fellow had them arrested. No lawyer volunteered to defend them. 
Abraham Lincoln, from Springfield, entered the room. There was something 
about him which emboldened them to speak to him. 

"We have no one to defend us. Would it be asking too much to inquire if 
you can say a kind word in our behalf? " the request. 

The lawyer from Springfield rises. All eyes are upon him. " May it please 
the court, I will say a few words in behalf of the women who are arraigned 
before your honor and the jury. I would suggest, first, that there be a change 
in the indictment, so as to have it read, 'The State against Mr. Whisky,' instead 
of 'The State against the Women.' It would be far more appropriate. Touch- 
ing this question, there are three laws: First, the law of self -protection; second, 
the law of the statute; third, the law of God. The law of self -protection is the 
law of necessity, as shown when our fathers threw the tea into Boston harbor, 
and in asserting their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This 


is the defense of these women. The man who has persisted in selling whisky 
has had no regard for their well-being or the welfare of their husbands and sons. 
He has had no fear of God or regard for man; neither has he had any regard for 
the laws of the statute. No jury can fix any damages or punishment for any 
violation of the moral law. The course pursued by this liquor-dealer has been 
for the demoralization of society. His groggery has been a nuisance. These 
women, finding all moral suasion of no avail with this fellow, oblivious to all 
tender appeal, alike regardless of their prayers and tears, in order to protect 
their households and promote the welfare of the community, united to sup- 
press the nuisance. The good of society demanded its suppression. They 
accomplished what otherwise could not have been done." 

There was no need for him to say more. The whole case had been stated, and 
the jury understood it. 

"Ladies," said the judge, "you need not remain any longer in court unless 
vou desire to do so. I will require no bond of you ; and if there should be any fine 
imposed, I will give you notice." The judge was so polite and smiling that 
everybody in the room understood that there was no probability of a fine. — 
William H. Herndon. 

Mr. Cass had a case in court. He owned two yoke of oxen and a breaking-up 
plow which he wanted to sell, and which Mr. Snow's two sons bought, giving 
their note in payment. Neither of the boys had arrived at the age of manhood. 
Mr. Cass trusted that they would pay the note when it became due; but it was 
not paid. Abraham Lincoln questioned a witness: 

"Can you tell me where the oxen are now?" he asked. 
" They are on the farm where the boys have been plowing." 
"Have you seen them lately?" 
" I saw them last week." 
"How old are the boys now? " 

" One is a little over twenty-one, and the other is nearly twenty-three." 
"They were both under age when the note was given? " 
"Yes, sir." 
" That is all." 

" Gentlemen of the jury, I do not think that those boys would have tried to 
cheat Mr. Cass out of his oxen but for the advice of their counsel. It was bad 
advice in morals and in law. The law never sanctions cheating, and a lawyer 
must be very smart indeed to twist the law so that it will sanction fraud. The 
judge will tell you what your own sense of justice has already told you — that if 
those boys were mean enough to plead the baby act when they came to be men, 
they at least ought to have taken the oxen and plow back to Mr. Cass. They 
ought to know that they cannot go back on their contract and also keep what 
the note was given for." 

So plain the case the jury, without leaving their seats, rendered a verdict, and 
the young men were obliged to pay for the oxen and plow, besides learning a 
wholesome lesson. — C. C. Coffin. 



Hon. John B. Alley, of Lynn, Massachusetts, was made the bearer to the 
president of a petition for pardon of a person confined in the Newburyport jail 
for being engaged in the slave tjade. He had been sentenced to five years' 
imprisonment and the payment of a fine of one thousand dollars. The petition 
was accompanied by a letter to Mr. Alley, in which the prisoner acknowledged 
his guilt and the justice of his sentence. He was very penitent — at least on 
paper — and had received the full measure of his punishment, so far as it related 
to the term of his imprisonment; but he was still held because he could not pay 
his fine. Mr. Alley, who was much moved by the pathetic appeals of the letter, 
read it to the president, who, when he had himself read the petition, said: 

" My friend, that is a very touching appeal to our feelings. You know my 
weakness is to be, if possible, too easily moved by appeals for mercy, and if 
this man were guilty of the foulest murder that the arm of man could perpetrate, 
I might forgive him on such an appeal; but the man who could go to Africa, and 
rob her of her children, and sell them into interminable bondage, with no other 
motive than that which is furnished by dollars and cents, is so much worse than 
the most depraved murderer that he can never receive pardon at my hands. No! 
He may rot in jail before he shall have liberty by any act of mine." 

A sudden crime, committed under strong temptation, was venial in his eyes, 
on evidence of repentance; but the calculating, mercenary crime of man-stealing 
and man-selling, with all the cruelties that are essential accompaniments to 
the business, could win from him, as an officer of the people, no pardon. 


At a so-called "peace conference," procured by the voluntary and irrespon- 
sible agency of Mr. Francis P. Blair, which was held on the steamer River Queen, 
in Hampton Roads, on February 3, 1865, between President Lincoln and Mr. 
Seward, representing the government, and Messrs. Alexander H. Stephens, J. A. 
Campbell and Mr. Hunter, representing the rebel confederacy, Mr. Hunter replied 
that the recognition of Jeff Davis' power was the first and indispensable step to 
peace; and to illustrate his point, he referred to the correspondence between 
King Charles L and his Parliament, as a reliable precedent of a constitutional 
ruler treating with rebels. Mr. Lincoln's face wore that indescribable expresssion 
which generally preceded his hardest hits; and he remarked: 

"Upon questions of history I must refer you to Mr. Seward, for he is posted 
in such things, and I don't profess to be; but ray only distinct recollection of 
the matter is that Charles lost his head ! " 

Mr. Hunter remarked, on the same occasion, that the slaves, always accus- 
tomed to work upon compulsion under an overseer, would, if suddenly freed, pre- 
cipitate not only themselves, but the entire society of the South, into irremediable 


ruia. No work would be done, but black and white would starve together. The 
president waited for Mr. Seward to answer the argument, but as that gentleman 
hesitated, he said: 

"Mr. Hunter, you ought to know a great deal better about the matter than I, 
for you have always lived under the slave system. I can only say, in reply to 
your statement of the case, that it reminds me of a man out in Illinois, by the 
name of Case, who undertook, a few years ago, to raise a very large herd of hogs. 
It was a great trouble to feed them, and how to get around this was a puzzle to 
him. At length he hit upon the plan of planting an immense field of potatoes, 
and, when they were sufficiently grown, he turned the whole herd into the field 
and let them have full swing, thus saving not only the labor of feeding the hogs, 
but also of digging the potatoes! Charmed with his sagacity, he stood one day 
leaning against the fence, counting his hogs, when a neighbor came along: 

" 'Well, well,' said he, 'Mr. Case, this is very fine. Your hogs are doing very 
well just now; but you know out here in Illinois the frost comes early, and the 
ground freezes a foot deep. Then what are they going to do? ' 

" This was a view of the matter which Mr. Case had not taken into account. 
Butchering-time for hogs was away on in December or January. He scratched 
his head, and at length stammered: 

" ' Well, it may come pretty hard on their snouts, but I don't see but it will 
be root hog or die!' " 


One of the last stories heard from Mr. Lincoln was concerning John Tyler, for 
whom it was to be expected he would entertain no great respect. 

"A year or two after Tyler's accession to the presidency," said he, " contem- 
plating an excursion in some direction, his son went to order a special train of 
cars. It so happened that the railroad superintendent was a very strong Whig. 
On Bob's making known his errand, that official bluntly informed him that 
his road did not run any special trains for the president. 

"'What!' said Bob, 'did you not furnish a special train for the funeral of 
General Harrison ? ' 

"'Yes,' said the superintendent, stroking his whiskers; 'and if you will only 
bring your father here in that shape you shall have the best train on the road!'". 
— McClure's '"''Stories and Speeches." 


President Lincoln received the following pertinent letter from an indignant 
private, which speaks for itself: "Dear President: — I have been in the service 
eighteen months, and I have never received a cent. I desire a furlough for 
fifteen days, in order to return home and remove my family to the poorhouse." 
The president granted the furlough. It's a good story, and true. 



"I rendered," said Judge Johnston, " Mr. Lincoln some service in my time. 
When I went to Washington I observed that among congressmen and others 
in high places Mr. Lincoln had very few friends. Montgomery Blair was the 
only one I heard speak of him for a second term. 

" This was about the middle of his first administration. I went to Washing- 
ton by way of Columbus, and Governor Tod asked me to carry a verbal message 
to Mr. Lincoln, and that was to tell him that there were certain elements indis- 
pensable to the success of the war that would be seriously affected by any inter- 
ference with McClellan. I suppose that the liberal translation of Tod's language 
would be thus: 

"'I am keeping the Democratic soldiers in the field, and if McClellan is 
interfered with, I shall not be able to do it.' We all felt some trouble about it. 
McClellan had been relieved, and one bright moonlight night I saw a regiment, 
I suppose Pennsylvanians mostly, marching from the Capitol down Pennsylvania 
avenue, yelling at the top of their lungs, ^ Hurrah for Little Mac ! ' and making 
a pause before the White House, they kept up that bawling and hurrahing for 

"I went to see Mr. Lincoln early next morning, and asked him if he had 
witnessed the performance on the previous night. He said he had. I asked him 
what he thought of it. He said it was very perplexing. I told him I had come 
to make a suggestion. I told him I would introduce him to a young man of fine 
talents and liberal education, who had lost an arm in the service, and I wanted him 
to tell one of his Cabinet ministers to give that young man a good place in the 
civil service, and to avail himself of the occasion to declare that the policy of 
the administration was, whenever the qualifications were equal, to give those who 
had been wounded or disabled in the service of the country the preference in the 
civil department. 

" He said it was an idea he would like to think of, and asked me how soon I 
would wait upon him in the morning. I said any hour; and I went at seven 
o'clock, and found him in the hands of a barber. 

"Says he, 'I have been thinking about your proposition, and I have a ques- 
tion to ask you. Did you ever know Colonel Smith, of 'Rockford, Hlinois?' 

"I said I had an introduction to him when attending to the defense of Gov- 
ernor Bebb. 

"'You know,' said he, 'that he was killed at Vicksburg; that his head was 
carried off by a shell. He was postmaster, and his wife wants the place,' and he 
inquired if that would come up to my idea; and thereupon he and I concocted a 
letter — I have the correspondence in my possession — to Postmaster-general 
Blair, directing him to appoint the widow of Colonel Smith postmistress, in the 
room of her deceased husband, who had fallen in battle, and stating that in 
consideration of what was due to the men who were fighting our battles, he had 
made up his mind that the families of those who had fallen and those disabled 


in the service, their qualifications being equal, should always have a preference 
in the civil services. 

" I told him that I was not personally acquainted with Mr. Blair, and he gave 
me a note of introduction to him, with the letter. I told Blair that I proposed 
to take a copy of Mr. Lincoln's letter, which he then had made out by the clerk. 
I took the letter to the Chronicle office in Washington, in which paper it was 
published, and the next morning I jumped into an ambulance and went to the 
convalescing camp, where there were about 7,000 convalescents, a great many of 
them Ohio men, and when I made my appearance, they called on me for a speech. 
I got upon a terrace and made them a few remarks, and coming around to the old 
saw, 'that republics are always ungrateful,' I told them I could not vouch 
for the republic, but I thought I could vouch for the chief man at the head of 
the administration, and he had already spoken on that subject; and when I read 
Lincoln's letter, the boys flung their hats into the air, and made the welkin ring 
for a long while. 

" I hurried back to the city, and with a pair of shears cut out Lincoln's 
letter, and then attached some editorial remarks, and that letter went the 
rounds, and, I believe, was published in nearly every friendly newspaper in the 
United States. 

"About that time Congress passed a resolution to the same effect, that those 
disabled in the military service of the country, wherever qualified, ought to have 
a preference over others. This may have been a small matter, but it made a 
marvelous impression on the army." 


When General Phelps took possession of Ship island, near New Orleans, 
early in the war, it will be remembered that he issued a proclamation, somewhat 
bombastic in tone, freeing the slaves. To the surprise of many people on both 
sides, the president took no ofiicial notice of this movement. Some time had 
elapsed, when one day a friend took him to task for his seeming indifference on so 
important a matter. 

"Well," said Mr. Lincoln, "I feel about that a good deal as a man whom I 
will call Jones, whom I once knew, did about his wife. He wa's one of your 
meek men, and had the reputation of being badly hen-pecked. At last, one day 
his wife was seen switching him out of the house. A day or two afterward a 
friend met him in the street and said: 

"'Jones, I have always stood up for you, as you know; but I am not going to 
do it any longer. Any man who will stand quietly and take a switching from 
his wife, deserves to be horse- whipped.' 

"Jones looked up with a wink, patting his friend on the back. 

"'Now, don't,' said he; 'why, it didn't hurt me any, and you've no idea what 
a power of good it did Sarah Ann.' " 



A secesh lady of Alexandria, who was ordered away into Dixie by the govern- 
ment, destroyed all her furniture and cut down her trees, so that the '' cursed 
Yankees " should not enjoy them. Lincoln, hearing of this, the order was 
countermanded, and she returned to see in her broken penates the folly of her 


General Grant never had met the president, but was on his way to Washington 
in obedience to a summons. The Cabinet, Mr. Stanton and E. B. Washburne 
were in the White House when he entered. 

" General Grant," said the president, '' the nation's appreciation of what you 
have done, and its reliance upon you for what remains to be done in the existing 
struggle, are now presented with this commission, constituting you lieutenant- 
general in the army of the United States. With this high honor devolves upon 
you a corresponding responsibility. As the country trusts in you, so, under God, 
it will sustain you. I scarcely need add that with what I here speak for the 
nation goes my own hearty personal concurrence.'" 

The words were spoken with trembling lips, so deep the feeling of Mr. Lincoln. 

" Mr. President," General Grant replied, '' I accept the commission for the high 
honor conferred. With the aid of the noble armies that have fought on so many 
fields of our common country, it will be my earnest endeavor not to disappoint 
your expectations. I feel the full responsibilities now devolving upon me; and 
I know that if they are met it will be due to those armies, and, above all, to the 
favor of that Providence which leads nations and men." 

General Grant visited the Army of the Potomac at Culpeper, and made the 
acquaintance of General Meade, took a quiet look at the soldiers, and returned to 
Washington. Mrs. Lincoln had prepared a grand dinner expressly in his honor. 

"Mrs. Lincoln must excuse me," he said. "I must be in Tennessee at the 
earliest possible moment." 

"But we can't excuse you," said the president. "Were we to sit down 
without you it would be 'Hamlet' with Hamlet left out." 

"I appreciate the honor, Mr, President, but time is very precious just now. I 
ought to be attending to affairs. The loss of a day means the loss of a million 
dollars to the country." 

" Well, then, we shall be compelled to have the dinner without the honor of 
your presence," said Mr. Lincoln, as they parted. 

Never before had a commander of any of the armies pleaded public necessity 
for declining a dinner at the White House; never a commander so absorbed as was 
General Grant in the business of the country. Possibly the declination gave the 
president more pleasure than he would have had from an acceptance of the 
invitation. — Charles Carleton Coffin. 



A year or more before Mr. Lincoln's death, a delegation of clergymen waited 
upon him in reference to the appointment of the army chaplains. The delega- 
tion consisted of a Presbyterian, a Baptist and an Episcopal clergyman. They 
stated that the character of many of the chaplains was notoriously bad, and 
they had come to urge upon the president the necessity of more discretion in 
these appointments. 

"But, gentlemen," said the president, "that is a matter with which the 
government has nothing to do; the chaplains are chosen by the regiments." 

Not satisfied with this, the clergymen pressed, in turn, a change in the system. 
Mr. Lincoln heard them through without remark, and then said: 

"Without any disrespect, gentlemen, I will tell you a 'little story.' 

"Once, in Springfield, I was going off on a short journey, and reached the 
depot a little ahead of time. Leaning against the fence just outside the depot 
was a little darky boy, whom I knew, named Dick, busily digging with his toe 
in a mud-puddle. As I came up, I said: 

"'Dick, what are you about?' 

" 'Making a church,' said he. 

"'A church?' said I. 'What do you mean?' 

" ' Why, yes,' said Dick, pointing with his toe, 'don't you see there is the shape 
of it; there's the steps and front door, here the pews where the folks set, and 
there's the pulpit.' 

"'Yes, I see,' said I; but why don't you make a minister?' 

" 'Laws,' answered Dick, with a grin, 'J hain't got mud enough!'" 


General Pisk, attending the reception at the White House on one occasion, 
saw waiting in the anteroom a poor old man from Tennessee. Sitting down 
beside him, he inquired his errand, and learned that he had been waiting three or 
four days to get an audience, and that on his seeing Mr. Lincoln probably 
depended the life of his son, under sentence of death for some military offense. 

General Pisk wrote his case in outline on a card, and sent it in, with a special 
request that the president would see the man. In a moment the order came; and 
past senators, governors and generals, waiting impatiently, the old man went 
into the president's presence. 

He showed Mr. Lincoln his papers, and he, on taking them, said he would 
look into the case and give him the result on the following day. 

The old man, in an agony of apprehension, looked up int9 the president's 
sympathetic face, and actually cried out: 

"To-morrow may be too late! My son is under sentence of death! The 
decision ought to be made now!" and the streaming tears told how much he was 


"Come," said Mr. Lincoln, "wait a bit, and I'll tell you a story;" and then he 
told the old man General Fisk's story about the swearing driver, as fellows: 

The general had begun his military life as a colonel, and when he raised his 
regiment in Missouri, he proposed to his men that he should do all the swearing 
of the regiment. They assented; .and for months no instance was known of the 
violation of the promise. The colonel had a teamster named John Todd, who, 
as roads were not always the best, had some difficulty in commanding his temper 
and his tongue. John happened to be driving a mule-team through a series of 
mud-holes a little worse than usual, when, unable to restrain himself any longer, 
he burst forth into a volley of energetic oaths. The colonel took notice of the 
ojffiense, and brought John to an account. 

"John," said he, "didn't you promise to let me do all the swearing of the 

"Yes, I did, colonel," he replied, "but the fact was the swearing had to be 
done then or not at all, and you weren't there to do it." 

As he told the story, the old man forgot his boy, and both the president and 
his listener had a hearty laugh together at its conclusion. Then he wrote a few 
words which the old man read, and in which he "found new occasion for tears; 
but the tears were tears of joy, for the words saved the life of his son. 


A few days before General Grant received his commission, F. B. Carpenter, an 
artist, was installed in the White House to paint a picture commemorating the 
signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. He became a member of the house- 
hold, and recorded scenes in the routine of the president's official life. Mr. 
Lincoln and the artist were together one evening, when the president turned from 
his paper as if weary. 

"Tad," he said to his youngest son, "run to the library and get Shakspere." 
He read passages which had ever been a delight to him. "The opening of 
Richard IIL, it seems to me, is almost always misapprehended," he said. " You 
know the actor usually comes in with a flourish, and, like a college sophomore, says: 

" Now is the winter of our discontent 

Made glorious summer by this sun of Yorls. 

"Now, this is all wrong. Richard had been, and was then, plotting the destruc- 
tion of his brothers to make room for himself. Outwardly, he is most loyal, to 
the newly crowned king; secretly, he could scarcely contain his impatience at the 
obstacles still in the way of his own elevation. He is burning with repressed hate 
and jealousy. The prologue is the utterance of the most intense bitterness and 

Mr. Lincoln assumed the character, and recited the passage with such force 
that it became a new creation to the artist. 



Mr. Lincoln was not a successful impromptu speaker. He required a little 
time for thought and arrangement of the thing to be said. I give an instance 
in point. After my election to the governorship of New York, just before I 
resigned my seat in Congress to enter upon my official duties as governor at 
Albany, New-Yorkers and others in Washington thought to honor me with a 
serenade. I was the guest of ex-Mayor Bowen. After the niusic and speaking 
usual upon such occasions, it was proposed to call on the president. I accom- 
panied the committee in charge of the proceedings, followed by bands and a 
thousand people. It was full nine o'clock when we reached the mansion. The 
president was taken by surprise, and said he " didn't know just what he could 
say to satisfy the crowd and himself." Going from the library-room down the 
stairs to the portico front, he asked me to say a few words first, and give him, if 
I could, " a peg to hang on." It was just when General Sherman was en route 
from Atlanta to the sea, and we had no definite news as to his safety or where- 
abouts. After one or two sentences, rather commonplace, the president farther 
said he had no war news other than was known to all, and he supposed his 
ignorance in regard to General Sherman was the ignorance' of all; that ''we all 
knew where Sherman went in, but none of us knew where he would come out." 
This last remark was in the peculiarly quaint, happy manner of Mr. Lincoln, 
and created great applause. He immediately withdrew, saying he "had raised a 
good laugh, and it was a good time for him to quit." In all he did not speak more 
than two minutes, and, as he afterward told me, because he had no time to think 
of much to say. — Governor {and Senator) Reuben E Fenton, of New York. 


Another case was that of a poor woman, nearly eighty years old, who came 
with a pitiful story. Her husband had been a soldier in the Revolutionary war 
under Washington. He was dead, and she was entitled to a pension amounting 
to $400. A rascally fellow, pretending great friendship for her, had obtained the 
money, but had put half of it into his own pocket. 

The poor woman was the only witness. The jury heard her story. Abraham 
Lincoln the while was making the following notes on a slip of paper: 

"No contract. 

" Not professional services. 

"Unreasonable charges. 

" Money retained by defendant not given to plaintiff. 

"Revolutionary war. 

" Describe Valley Forge. 

"Ice. Soldiers' bleeding feet. 

" Husband leaving home for the army. 

" Skin defendant." 


He rises and turns to the judge. Of the lawyers sitting around the table 
perhaps not one of them can say just what there is about him which hushes the 
room in an instant. " May it please your honor," the words are spoken slowly, 
as if he were not quite ready to go on with what he had to say, "gentlemen of 
the jury, this is a very simple case, so simple that a child can understand it. 
You have heard that there has been no contract — no agreement by the parties. 
You will observe that there has been no professional service by contract." 
Slowly, clearly, one by one the points were taken up. Who was the man to 
whom the government of the United States owed the money? He had been 
with Washington at Valley Forge, barefooted in midwinter, marching with 
bleeding feet, with only rags to protect him from the cold, starving for his 
country. The speaker's lips were tremulous, and his eyes filled with tears as he 
told how the soldiers of the Revolution marched amid the snows, shivered in the 
wintry winds, starved, fought, died, that those who came after them might have 
a country. Judge, jurymen, lawyers and the people who listen, wipe the tears 
from their eyes as he tells the story of the soldier parting from friends, from the 
wife, then in the bloom and beauty of youth, but now friendless and alone, old 
and poor. The man who professed to be her friend had robbed her of what was 
her due. His spirit is greatly stirred. The jury right the wrong, and compel 
the fellow to hand over the money. And then the people see the lawyer who 
has won the case tenderly accompanying the grateful woman to the railroad sta- 
tion. He pays her bill at the hotel, her fare in the cars, and charges nothing for 
what he has done! 


The character of Abraham Lincoln is not yet known to this generation as it 
will be to those who shall live in later centuries. They will see, as we cannot 
yet perceive, the full maturity of his wisdom in its actual effects upon the 
destinies of two great races of men. Probably he had an inadequate conception 
of his own work. Had he lived to full age, his guidance of the emancipation, 
that he decreed under military law, would have saved both races from many of 
the rough experiences that it has produced and will yet cause, by the effort to 
fuse the races into political harmony, against the mutual instinct that will keep 
them forever separated by race and social antagonisms. 

The character of Mr. Lincoln was clearly displayed in his conduct of the war, 
but he was deprived of the opportunity for its full development in a period of 
peace and security. His most conspicuous virtue, as commander-in-chief of the 
army and navy, was the absence of a spirit of resentment, or oppression, toward 
the enemy, and the self-imposed restraint under which he exercised the really 
absolute powers within his grasp. For this all his countrymen revere his 
memory, rejoice in the excellence of his fame, and thos«^ who failed in the great 
struggle hold him in grateful esteem. — Ho7i. John T. Morgan, Senator from 
Alabama and Confederate General. 



An account given in the Independent of a visit of William Lloyd Garrison 
and others to Baltimore, to find the jail where Garrison was imprisoned, states 
that when Mr. Garrison subsequently told Mr. Lincoln of it, the president said: 

" Well, Mr. Garrison, when you first went to Baltimore you could not get out 
of prison, but the second time you could not get in." 


When the conversation turned upon the discussions as to the Missouri Com- 
promise, it elicited the following quaint remark from the president: 

" It used to amuse me some to find that the slaveholders wanted more territory, 
because they had not room enough for their slaves, and yet they complained of 
not having the slave trade, because they wanted more slaves for their room." 


Colonel Granville Moody, "the fighting Methodist parson," as he was called in 
Tennessee, while attending a conference in Philadelphia, met the presid-ent, and 
related to him the following story, which we give as repeated by Mr. Lincoln to 
a friend. 

"He told me," said Lincoln, "this story of Andy Johnson and General Buel, 
which interested me intensely : 

"The colonel happened to be in Nashville the day it was reported that Buel 
had decided to evacuate the city. The rebels, strongly reinforced, were said to be 
within two days' march of the capital. Of course, the city was greatly excited. 
Moody said he went in search of Johnson at the edge of the evening, and found 
him at his office closeted with two gentlemen, who were walking the floor with 
him, one on each side. As he entered they retired, leaving him alone with 
Johnson, who came up to him, manifesting intense feeling, and said: 

"'Moody, we are sold out. Buel is a traitor. He is going to evacuate the 
city, and in forty-eight hours we will all be in the hands of the rebels! ' 

"Then he commenced pacing the floor again, twisting his hands and chafing 
like a caged tiger, utterly insensible to his friend's entreaties to become calm. 
Suddenly he turned and said: 

"'Moody, can you pray?' 

" ' That is my business, sir, as a minister of the gospel,' returned the colonel. 

" ' Well, Moody, I wish you would pray,' said Johnson, and instantly both went 
down upon their knees, at opposite sides of the room 

"As the prayer waxe(i fervent, Johnson began to respond in true Methodist 
style. Presently he crawled over on his hands and knees to Moody's side and put 


his arms over him, manifesting the deepest emotion. Closing the prayer with a 
hearty ' amen ' from each, they arose. 

"Johnson took a long breath, and said, with emphasis: 

'"Moody, I feel better.' 

"Shortly afterward he asked: . 

" ' Will you stand by me? ' 

"'Certainly I will,' was the answer, 

"'Well, Moody, I can depend upon you; you are one in a hundred thousand.' 

"He then commenced pacing the floor again. Suddenly he wheeled, the 
curreut of his thought having changed, and said: 

" ' Oh, Moody, I don't want you to think I bave become a religious man because 
I asked you to pray. I am sorry to say it, I am not, and never pretended to be 
religious. No one knows this better than you, but. Moody, there is one thing 
about it, I do believe in Almighty God! and I believe also in the Bible, and I say, 
d — n me if Nashville shall be surrendered!' 

"And Nashville was not surrendered." 


"President Lincoln," says the Hon. W. D. Kelly, " was a large and many-sided 
man, and yet so simple that no one, not even a child, could approach him without 
feeling that he had found in him a sympathizing friend. I remember that 
I apprised him of the fact that a lad, the son of one of my townsmen, had served a 
year on the gunboat Ottawa, and had been in two important engagements; in the 
first as powder-monkey, Avhen he had conducted himself with such coolness that 
he had been chosen as captain's messenger in the second; and I suggested to the 
president that it was within his power to send to the naval school annually three 
boys who had served at least one year in the navy. 

" He at once wrote on the back of a letter from the commander of the Ottawa, 
which I had handed him, to the secretary of the navy: 

"'If the appointments for this year have not been made, let this boy be 

"The appointment had not been made, and I brought it home with me. It 
directed the lad to report for examination at the school in July. Just as he was 
ready to start, his father, looking over the law, discovered that he could not report 
until he was fourteen years of age, which he would not be until September 

"The poor child sat down and wept. He feared that he was not to go to the 
naval school. He was, however, soon consoled by being told that the 'president 
could make it right.' 

"It was my fortune to meet him the next morning at the door of the executive 
chamber with his father." 



"It was during the dark days of 1863," says Schuyler Colfax, "on the evening 
of a public reception given at the White House. The foreign legations were 
gathered about the president. 

"A young English nobleman was just being presented to the president. 
Inside the door, evidently overawed by the splendid assemblage, was an honest- 
faced old farmer, who shrank from the passing crowd until he and the plain- 
faced old lady clinging to his arm were pressed back to the wall. 

"The president, tall, and, in a measure, stately in his personal presence, 
looking over the heads of the assembly, said to the English nobleman, 'Excuse 
me, my Lord, there's an old friend of mine.' 

"Passing backward to the door, Mr. Lincoln said, as he grasped the old 
farmer's hand: 

" ' Why, John, I'm glad to see you. I haven't seen you since you and I made 
rails for old Mrs. in Sangamon county, in 1837. How are you? ' 

" The old man turned to his wife with qtiivering lip, and without replying to 
the president's salutation, said. 

"'Mother, he's just the same old Abe!' 

" ' Mr. Lincoln,' he said, finally, 'you know we had three boys; they all enlisted 
in the same company; John was killed in the " seven days' fight;" Sam was taken 
prisoner and starved to death, and Henry is in the hospital. We had a little 
money, an' I said, " Mother, we'll go to Washington an' see him." An' while we 
were here, I said we'll go up and see the president.' 

"Mr. Lincoln's eyes grew dim, and across his rugged, homely, tender face 
swept the wave of sadness his friends had learned to know, and he said: 'John, 
we all hope this miserable war will soon be over. I must see all these folks 
here for an hour or so, and I want to talk with you.' The old lady and her hus- 
band were hustled into a private room in spite of their protests." 


In speaking of certain odd doings in the army. Old Abe said that reminded 
him of another story, as follows: 

On one occasion when a certain general's purse was getting low, he remarked 
that he would be obliged to draw on his banker for some money. 

"How much do you want, father? " said the boy. 

" I think I shall send for a couple of hundred," replied the general. 

" Why, father," said his son, very quietly, " I can let you have that amount." 

"You can let me have it!" exclaimed the general, in surprise; "where did 
you get so much money?" 

" I won it at playing draw-poker with your staff, sir!" replied the youth. 

It is needless to say that the earliest morning train bore the " gay young 
gambolier " toward his home. 



President Lincoln was very doubtful about his second election. He said that 
his poor prospect reminded him of old Jake TuUwater, who lived in Illinois. Old 
Jake got a fever once, and he became delirious, and while in this state he fancied 
that the last day had come, and he was called to judge the world. With all the 
vagaries of insanity he gave both questions and answers himself, and only called 
up his acquaintances, the millers, when something like this followed: 

" Shon Schmidt, come up here! Vat bees you in dis lower worlds?" 

" Well, Lort, I bees a miller." 

'' Well, Shon, did you ever take too much toll? " 

" Oh, yes, Lort, when the water was low, and the stones were dull, I did take 
too much toll." 

" Well, Shon," Old Jake would say, '' you must go to the left among the 

So he called up all he knew, and put them through the same course, till 
finally he came to himself: 

" Shake Tullwater, come up here ! Well, Shake, what bees you in dis lower 

" Well, Lort, I bees a miller." 

"And, Shake, didn't you ever take too much toll?" 

"Ah, yes, Lort, when the water was low, and the stones were dull, I did take 
too much toll." 

" Well, Shake — well, Shake (scratching his head) — well. Shake, what did 
you do mit dattoll?" 

" Well, Lort, I gives him to de poor." 

"Ah! Shake, give it to the poor, did you? Well, Shake, you can go to the 
right among the sheep, bat it's a tam'd tight squeeze! " 


The antagonism between the conservatives in the Cabinet, represented by 
Seward, and the radicals, represented by Chase, was a lource of much embarrass- 
ment to Mr. Lincoln. Finally, the radicals appointed a committee to demand 
the dismissal of Seward. Before the committee arrived, Mr. Seward, in order 
to relieve the president of embarrassment, tendered his resignation. In the 
course of the discussion with the committee, Mr. Chase found his position so 
embarrassing and equivocal that he thought it wise to tender his resignation the 
next day. Mr. Lincoln refused to accept either, stating that " the public interest 
does not admit of it." When it was all over, he said: "Now I can ride; I 
have got a pumpkin in each end of my bag." Later on he said: "I do not see 
how it could have been done better. I am sure it was right. If I had yielded 
to that storm, and dismissed Seward, the thing would have slumped over one 
way, and we should have been left with a scanty handful of supporters." 



Henry M. Luckett had been sentenced to be shot for disloyal conduct. 
Colonel Lane, Colonel William R. Morrison, Mr. and Mrs. Bullitt and Senator 
Hendricks had interceded in his behalf. Senator Yoorhees says: 

" We ascended the stairs and filed into the president's room. As we entered, 
I saw at a glance that Mr. Lincoln had that sad, preoccupied, far-away look I had 
so often seen him wear, and daring which it was difficult to engage his attention 
to passing events. As we approached, he slowly turned to us, inclined his head, 
and spoke. Senator Lane at once, in his rapid, nervous style, explained the occa- 
sion of our call, and made known our reasons for asking executive clemency. 
While he was talking, Mr. Lincoln looked at him in a patient, tired sort of way, 
but not as if he was struck with the sensibilities of the subject as we were. 
When the senator ceased speaking there was no immediate response; on the con- 
trary, rather an awkward pause. My heart beat fast, for in that pause was now 
my great hope, and I was not disappointed. Mrs. Bullitt had taken a seat, on 
coming in, not far from the president, and now, in quivering but distinct tones, 
she spoke, addressing him as ' Mr. Lincoln.' He turned to her with a grave, 
benignant expression, and as he listened his eyes lost that distant look, and his 
face grew animated with a keen and vivid interest. The little pale-faced woman 
at his side talked wonderfully well for her father's life, and her eyes pleaded even 
more eloquently than her tongue. Suddenly, and while she was talking, Mr. 
Lincoln, turning to Senator Lane, exclaimed: 

'"Lane, what did you say this man's name was?' 

"'Luckett,' answered the senator. 

"'Not Henry M. Luckett?' quickly queried the president. 

"'Yes,' interposed Mrs. Bullitt; 'my father's name is Henry M. Luckett.' 

"'Why, he preached in Springfield years ago, didn't he?' said Mr. Lincoln, 
now all animation. and interest. 

"' Yes, my father used to preach in Springfield,' replied the daughter. 

"'Well, this is wonderful!' Mr. Lincoln remarked; and turning to the party 
in front of him he continued: 'I knew this man well; I have heard him 
preach; he w&,s a tall, angular man like I am, and I have been mistaken for him 
on the streets. Did you say he was to be shot day after to-morrow? No, no! 
There will be no shooting or hanging in this case. Henry M. Luckett! There 
must be something wrong with him, or he wouldn't be in such a scrape as this. 
I don't know what more I can do for him, but you can rest assured, my child,' 
turning to Mrs. Bullitt, ' that your father's life is safe.' 

" He touched a bell on his table, and the telegraph operator appeared from an 
adjoining room. To him Mr. Lincoln dictated a dispatch to Greneral Hurlbut, 
directing him to suspend the execution of Henry M. Luckett and await further 
orders in the case. 

"As we thanked him and took our leave, he repeated, as if to himself: 

" ' Henry M. Luckett ! No, no! There is no shooting or hanging in this case.' 

A2S1ECD0TES. 293 

"With what feelings we all left his presence; how the woman's heart bore its 
great flood of joy and its sudden revulsion from the depths of fear and despair; 
how she sobbed and laughed, and how tears and smiles were in her bright face 
together; how in broken words and choking voice she tried to pour out her 
unutterable gratitude to Abraham Lincoln; how some of the party returning in 
the same carriage with her and her husband were almost as deeply moved as she 
was; how all these things and others occurred in the swift transition from deep 
distress and overwhelming dread to happiness and security, cannot now be told. 
Perhaps they were recorded at the time somewhere else.". 

Mr. Voorhees gives this interesting sequel to his story: 

" Two or three months later the object of all our solicitude and labors was 
released and sent North to his friends. I saw him but once. The first use he 
made of his liberty was to travel, poor as he was, to Washington to express his 
gratitude for his preservation from a violent and ignominious death. He called 
me from my seat in the House, and 1 met him exactly where I had met those who 
came to intercede for his life a little while before. He was a tall, spare old man^ 
with an excited, startled, haunted expression of face. He wanted to call and 
thank the president in person for his great kindness, but the circumstances at 
the time were not favorable to such a call, and it was not made. He remained 
with me not more than fifteen minutes, and then in the hurried manner of one 
who has much to do and whose time is short, he moved away, and I saw him no 
more." — North American Beview. 


When Mrs. Yallandigham left Dayton to join her husband, just before the 
election, she told her friends that she never expected to return until she did so as 
the wife of the governor of Ohio. 

Mr. Lincoln is said to have got off the following: 

" That reminds me of a pleasant little affair that occurred out in Hlinois. 
A gentleman was nominated for supervisor. On leaving home on the morning 
of the election, he said: 

" 'Wife, to-night you shall sleep with the supervisor of this town.' 

" The election passed, and the confident gentleman was defeated. The wife 
heard the news before her defeated spouse returned home. She immediately 
dressed for going out, and waited her husband's return, when she met him at 
the door. 

'"Wife, where are you going at this time of night?' he exclaimed. 

"'Going?' she replied, 'why, you told me this morning that I should to-night 
sleep with the supervisor of this town, and as Mr. L. is elected instead of your- 
self, I was going to his house.' 

"She didn't go out, and he acknowledged that he was sold^ but pleasantly 
redeemed himself with a new Brussels carpet." 



Mr. Lincoln being found fault with for making another "call," said that if the 
country required it, he would continue to do so until the matter stood as described 
by a western provost marshal, who says: 

" I listened a short time since to a butternut-clad individual, who succeeded 
in making good his escape, expatiate most eloquently on the rigidness with which 
the conscription was enforced south of the Tennessee river. His response to a 
question propounded by a citizen ran somewhat in this wise: 

" ' Do they conscript close over the river? ' 

" ' Stranger, I should think they did! They take every man who hasn't been dead 
more than tivo days!' 

" If this is correct, the Confederacy has at least a ghost of a chance left." 

And of another, a Methodist minister in Kansas, living on a small salary, 
who was greatly troubled to get his quarterly instalment. He at last told 
the non-paying trustees that he must have his money, as he was suffering for the 
necessaries of life. 

" Money ! " replied the trustees, " you preach for money ? We thought you 
preached for the good of souls! " 

1 "Souls!" responded the reverend, "I can't eat souls; and if I could, it would 
take a thousand such as yours to make a meal!" 

" That soul is the point, sir," said the president. 


President Lincoln, while entertaining a few select friends, is said to have 
related the following anecdote of a man who knew too much: 

During the administration of President Jackson, there was a singular young 
gentleman employed in the public post-office in Washington. His name was G.; 
he was from Tennessee, the son of a widow, a neighbor of the president, on 
which account the old hero had a kind feeling for him, and always got him out of 
his difficulties with some of the higher officials, to whom his singular interference 
was distasteful. 

Among other things, it is said of him that while he was employed in the 
general post-office, on one occasion he had to copy a letter to Major H., a high 
official, in answer to an application made by an old gentleman in Virginia or 
Pennsylvania, for the establishment of a new post-office. The writer of the 
letter said the application could not be granted, in consequence of the applicant's 
"proximity" to another office. When the letter came into G.'s hands to copy, 
being a great stickler for plainness, he altered "proximity" to "nearness to."' 
Major H. observed it, and asked G. why he altered hia letter. 

"Why," replied G., "because I don't think the man would understand what 
you meant by proximity." 

"Well," said Major H., "try him; put in the ' proximity' again." 


In a few days a letter was received- from the applicant, in which he very 
indignantly said that ''his father had fought for liberty in the second war for 
independence, and he should like to have the name of the scoundrel who brought 
the charge of proximity or anything else wrong against him. 

''There," said G., "did I not say so?" 

G. carried his improvements so far that Mr. Berry, the postmaster-general, 
said to him, "I don't want you any longer; you know too much." 

Poor G. went out, but his old friend the general got him another place. 
This time G.'s ideas underwent a change. He was one day very busy writing, 
when a stranger called in, and asked him where the Patent Office was. 

"I don't know," said G. 

"Can you tell me where the Treasury Department is? " said the stranger. 

" No," said G. 

"Nor the president's house?" 


The stranger finally asked him if he knew where the Capitol was. 

"No," replied G. 

"Do you live' in Washington, sir?" said the stranger. 

"Yes, sir," said G. 

"Good Lord! and don't you know where the Patent Office, Treasury, pres- 
ident's house and Capitol are?" 

" Stranger/' said G., " I was turned out of the post-office for knowing too 
much. I don't mean to offend in that way again. I am paid for keeping this 
-book. I believe I know that much; but if you find me knowing anything more, 
you may take my head." 

"Good-morning," said the stranger. 


In answer to a curiosity-seeker who desired a permit to pass the lines to visit 
the field of Bull Run, after the first battle, Mr. Lincoln made the following 
reply as his answer: 

"A man in Cortlandt county raised a porker of such unusual size that strangers 
went out of their way to see it. One of them the other day met the old gen- 
tleman, and inquired about the animal. 

"'Wall, yes,' the old fellow said; 'Iv'e got such a critter, mi'ty big un; but 
I guess I'll have to charge you about a shillin' for lookin' at him.' 

"The stranger looked at the old man for a minute or so, pulled out the desired 
coin, handed it to him, and started to go off. 

"'Hold on,' said the other, 'don't you want to see the hog?' 

" 'No,' said the stranger; 'I have seen as big a hog as I want to see!' 

"And you will find that fact the case with yourself, if you should happen to 
see a few live rebels there as well as dead ones." 



The story will be remembered, perhaps, of Mr, Lincoln's reply to a Spring- 
held (Illinois) clergyman, who asked him what was to be his policy on the 
slavery question. 

" Well, your question is rather a cool one, but I will answer it by telling you 
a story. You know Father B., the old Methodist preacher? and you know Fox 
river and its freshets? Well, once in the presence of Father B., a young Meth- 
odist was worrying about Fox river, and expressing fears that he should be pre- 
vented from fulfilling some of his appointments by a freshet in the river. 
Father B. checked him in his gravest manner. Said he: 

" ' Young man, I have always made it a rule in my life not to cross Fox river 
till I get to it.' 

"And," said the president, " I am not going to worry myself over the slavery 
question till I get to it." 

A few days afterward a Methodist minister called on the president, and on 
being presented to him, said, simply: 

" Mr. President, I have come to tell you that 1 think we have got to Fox river! " 

Mr. Lincoln thanked the clergyman, and laughed heartily. 


Consider the sympathy of Abraham Lincoln. Do you know the story of 
William Scott, private? Mr. Chittenden gives the true version of it. He was a 
boy from a Vermont farm. There had been a long march, and the night suc- 
ceeding it he had stood on picket. The next day there had been another long 
march, and that night William Scott had volunteered to stand guard in the place 
of a sick comrade who had been drawn for the duty. It was too much for 
William Scott. He was too tired. He had been found sleeping on his beat. 
The army was at Chain Bridge. It was in a dangerous neighborhood. Discipline 
must be kept- William Scott is apprehended, tried by court-martial, sentenced 
to be shot. News of the case is carried to Mr. Lincoln. William Scott is 
prisoner in his tent, expecting to be shot next day. But the flaps of his tent are 
parted, and Mr. Lincoln stands before him. Scott said: 

"The president was the kindest man I had ever seen; I knew him at once by 
a Lincoln medal I had long worn. I was scared at first, for I had never before 
talked with a great man; but Mr. Lincoln was so easy with me, so gentle, that I 
soon forgot my fright. He asked me all about the people at home, the neigh- 
bors, the farm, and where I went to school, and who my schoolmates were. 
Then he asked me about mother and how she looked; and I was glad I could take 
her photograph from my bosom and show it to him. He said how thankful I 
ought to be that my mother still lived, and how, if he were in my place, he would 
try to make her a proud mother, and never cause her a sorrow or a tear. I 
cannot remember it all, but every word was so kind. 


"He had said nothing yet about that dreadful next morning; I thought it 
must be that he was so kind-hearted that he didn't like to speak of it. But why 
did he say so much about my mother, and my not causing her a sorrow or a tear, 
when I knew that I must die the next morning? But I supposed that was some- 
thing that would have to go unexplained; and so I determined to brace up and 
tell him that I did not feel a bit guilty, and ask him wouldn't he fix it so that 
the firing party would not be from our regiment. That was going to be the 
hardest of all — to die by the hands of my comrades. Just as I was going to ask 
him this favor, he stood up, and he says to me: 

'' ' My boy, stand up here and look me in the face.' 

"I did as he bade me. 

"'My boy,' he said, 'you are not going to be shot to-morrow. I believe you 
when you tell me that you could not keep awake. I am going to trust you, 
and send you back to your regiment. But I have been put to a good deal of 
trouble on your account. I have had to come up here from Washington when I 
have got a great deal to do; and what I want to know is, how are you going 
to pay my bill? ' 

"There was a big lump in my throat; I cduld scarcely speak. I had expected 
to die, you see, and had kind of got used to thinking that way. To have it all 
changed in a minute! But I got it crowded down, and managed to say: 

"'I am grateful, Mr. Lincoln! I hope I am as grateful as ever a man can 
be to you for saving my life. But it comes upon me sudden and unexpected 
like. I didn't lay out for it at all; but there is some way to pay you, and I will 
find it after a little. There is the bounty in the savings bank; I guess we could 
borrow some money on the mortgage of the farm.' There was my pay was some- 
thing, and if he would wait until pay-day I was sure the boys would help; so I 
thought we could make it up if it wasn't more than five or six hundred dollars. 

" 'But it is a great deal more than that,' he said. 

"Then I said I didn't just see how, but I was sure I would find some way 
— if I lived. Then Mr. Lincol^ put his hands on my shoulders, and looked into 
mj face as if he was sorry, and said: 

"'My boy, my bill is a very large one. Your friends cannot pay it, nor your 
bounty, nor the farm, nor all your comrades! There is only one man in all the 
world who can pay it, and his name is William Scott! If from this day 
William Scott does his duty, so that, if I was there when he comes to die, he 
can look me in the face as he does now, and say, I have kept mj promise, and I 
have done my^uty as a soldier, then my debt will be paid. Will you make that 
promise and try to keep it?'" 

The promise was given. It is too long a story to tell of the effect of this sym- 
pathizing kindness on private William Scott. Thenceforward there never was 
such a soldier as William Scott. This is the record of the end. It was after one 
of the awful battles of the Peninsula. He was shot all to pieces. He said: 

" Boys, I shall never see another battle.' I supposed this would be my last. I 
haven't much to say. You all know what you can tell them at home about me. 


I have tried to do the right thing! If any of you ever have the chance. I wish 
you would tell President Lincoln that I have never forgotten the kind words he 
said to me at the Chain Bridge; that I have tried to be a good soldier and true 
to the flag; that I should have paid my whole debt to him if I had lived; and 
that now, when I know that I am dying, I think of his kind face, and thank 
him again, because he gave me the chance to fall like a soldier in battle, and not 
like a coward, by the hands of my comrades." 

Was there ever a more exquisite story? Space forbids the half telling it. 
But the heart of Abraham Lincoln — how wide it was, how beautiful and par- 
ticular in its sympathies! Who can doubt a gracious Providence, when at such 
a crisis such a wise, strong, tender hand was set to grasp the helm of things? 
What wonder that Secretary Stanton said of him, as he gazed upon the tall form 
and kindly face as he lay there, smitten down by th€ assassin's bullet, " There 
lies the most perfect ruler of men who ever lived." 


Mr. Lincoln especially enjoyed this incident, occurring at Salem, Indiana, during 
John Morgan's raid: Some of his men proceeded out west of the town to burn 
the bridges and water-tanks on the railroad. On the way out they captured a 
couple of persons living in the country, one of whom was a Quaker. The 
Quaker strongly objected to being made a prisoner. Secesh wanted to know if 
he was not strongly opposed to the South. 

" Thee is right," said the Quaker, " I am." 

"Well, did you vote for Lincoln? " 

" Thee is right; I did vote for Abraham." 

" Well, what are you? " 

" Thee may naturally suppose that I am a Union man. Cannot thee let me 
go to my home? " 

"Yes, yes; go and take care of the old woman," said Secesh. 

The other prisoner was taken along with thein, but not relishing the summary 
manner in which the Quaker was disposed of, said: 

" What did you let him go for? He is a black abolitionist. Now, look here, 
I voted for Breckinridge, and have always been opposed to this war. I am 
opposed to fighting the South, decidedly." 

"You are," said. Secesh; " you are what they call around here a copperhead, 
ain't you." 

"Yes, yes," said the butternut, insinuatingly; " that's what all my neighbors 
call me, and they know I ain't with them." 

"Come here, Dave!" halloed Secesh. "There's a butternut. Just come and 
look at him. Look here, old man, where do you live? We want that horse you 
have got to spare, and if you have got any greenbacks, you shell 'em out." And 
they took all he had. 



A gentleman called upon the president and solicited a pass for Richmond. 

"Well," said the president, "I would be very happy to oblige, if my passes 
were respected; but the fact is, sir, I have, within the past two years, given passes 
to two hundred and fifty thousand men to go to Richmond, and not one has got 
there yet." 

The applicant quietly and respectfully withdrew on his tiptoes. 


In the beginning of May, Grant moved the Army of the Potomac across the 
Rappahannock and fought the battle of the Wilderness. For two days we had 
no authentic news in Washington, and both Mr. Lincoln and the secretary of 
war were very much troubled about it. One night at about ten o'clock I was 
sent for to the War Department, and on reaching the office I found the president 
and the secretary together. 

"We are greatly disturbed in mind," said Mr. Lincoln, "because Grant has 
been fighting two days and we are not getting any authentic account of what 
has happened since he moved. We have concluded to send you down there. 
How soon will you be ready to start?" 

"I will be ready," I said, "in half an hour, and will get off just as soon as a 
train and an escort can be got ready at Alexandria." 

"Very good," said the president; "go, then, and God bless you." 

I at once made the necessary preparations, and gave orders for a train from 
Alexandria to the Rappahannock. At the appointed time, just before midnight, 
I was on board the cars in Maryland avenue, which were to take me and my 
horse to Alexandria, when an orderly rode up in haste to say that the president 
wanted to see me at the War Department. Riding there as fast as I could, I found 
the president still there. 

"Since you went away," said he, "I have been feeling very unhappy about it. 
I don't like to send you down there. We hear that Jeb Stewart's cavalry is 
riding all over the region between the Rappahannock and the Rapidan, and I 
don't want to expose you to the danger you will have to meet before you can 
reach Grant." 

"Mr. Lincoln," I said, "I have got a first-rate horse, and twenty cavalrymen 
are in readiness at Alexandria. If we meet a small force of Stewart's people, we 
can fight, and if they are too many, they will have to have mighty good horses 
to catch us." 

"But are you not concerned about it at all? " said he. 

" No, sir," said I, " I don't feel any hesitation on my account. Besides, it is 
getting late, and I want to get down to the Rappahannock by daylight." 

"All right," said he; " if you feel that way, I won't keep you any longer. 
Good-night, and good-by." — Charles A. Dana, in North American Review. 



Where men bred in courts, accustomed to the world, or versed in diplomacy 
would use some subterfuge, or would make a polite speech, or give a shrug of the 
shoulders, as the means of getting out of an embarrassing position, Mr. Lincoln 
raises a laugh by some bold west-country anecdote, and moves off in the cloud of 
merriment produced by the joke. Thus, when Mr. Bates was remonstrating 
apparently against the appointment of some indifferent lawyer to a place of 
judicial importance, the president interposed with: 

" Come now, Bates, he's not half as bad as you think. Besides that, I must 
tell you, he did me a good turn long ago. When I took to the law, I was going 
to court one morning, with some ten or twelve miles of bad road before me, and 
I had no horse. The judge overtook me in his wagon: 

'"Hallo, Lincoln! are you not going to the court-house? Come in and I will 
give you a seat.' 

" Well, I got in, and the judge went on reading his papers. Presently the 
wagon struck a stump on one side of the road, then it hopped off to the other. 
I looked out, and I saw the driver was jerking from side to side in his seat, so 
I says: 

"'Judge, I think your coachman has been taking a little too much this. 

" ' Well, I declare, Lincoln,' said he, ' I should not much wonder if you are 
right, for he has nearly upset me half a dozen times since starting.' So, putting 
his head out of the window he shouted, 'Why, you infernal scoundrel, you are 
drunk.' Upon which, pulling up his horses, and turing round with great gravity, 
the coachman said: 

'"By gorra! that's the first rightful decision that you have given for the last 
twelve month.' " 

While the company were laughing, the president beat a quiet retreat from 
the neighborhood. 


A characteristic story of the president is narrated in a letter from Washing- 
ton. When the telegram from Cumberland Gap reached Mr, Lincoln, that 
" firing was heard in the direction of Knoxville," he remarked that he was " glad 
of it," Some person present, who had the peril of Burnside's position uppermost 
in his mind, could not see why Mr, Lincoln should be glad of it, and so expressed 

" Why, you see," responded the president, " it reminds me of Mrs. Sallie 
Ward, a neighbor of mine, who had a very large family. Occasionally one of 
her numerous progeny would be heard crying in some out-of-the-way place, 
upon which Mrs. Sallie would exclaim, ' There's one of my children that isn't 
dead yet.' " 



While President Lincoln was confined to his house with the varioloid, some 
friends called to sympathize with him, especially on the character of his disease. 

" Yes," he said, " it is a bad disease, but it has its advantages. For the first 
time since I have been in ofl&ce I have something now to give to every person 
that calls." 



On the night of March 3d, the secretary of war, with others of the Cabinet, 
was in the company of the president, at the Capitol, awaiting the passage of 
the final bills of Congress. In the intervals of reading and signing these doc- 
uments, the military situation was considered — the lively conversation, tinged by 
the confident and glowing account of General Grant, of his mastery of the posi- 
tion, and of his belief that a few days more would see Richmond in our 
possession, and the army of Lee either dispersed utterly or captured bodily — 
when the telegram from Grant was received saying that Lee had asked an inter- 
view with reference to peace. Mr. Lincoln was elated, and the kindness of his 
heart was manifest in intimations of favorable terms to be granted to the con- 
quered rebels. 

Stanton listened in silence, restraining his emotion, but at length the tide 
burst forth : 

" Mr. President," said he, " to-morrow is inauguration day. If you are not to 
be the president of an obedient and united people, you had better not be inaugu- 
rated. Your work is already done, if any other authority than yours is for one 
moment to be recognized, or any terms made that do not signify that you are 
the supreme head of the nation. If generals in the field are to negotiate peace, 
or any other chief magistrate is to be acknowledged on this continent, then you 
are not needed, and you had better not take the oath of ofiice." 

" Stanton, you are right," said the president, his whole tone changing. " Let 
me have a pen.' 

Mr. Lincoln sat down to the table, and wrote as follows: 

"The president directs me to say to you that he wishes you to have no confer- 
ence with General Lee, unlfess it be for the capitulation of Lee's army, or on 
some minor or purely military matter. He instructs me to say that you are not 
to decide, discuss or confer upon any political question. Such questions the 
president holds in his own hands, and will submit them to no military confer- 
ences or conventions. In the meantime you are to press to the utmost your 
military advantages." 

The president read over what he had written, and then said: 

" Now, Stanton, date and sign this paper, and send it to Grant. We'll see 
about this peace business." 

The duty was discharged only too gladly by the energetic secretary. 



Mr. Lincoln's memory was very remarkable. At one of the afternoon recep- 
tions at the White House, a stranger shook hands with him, and as he did so 
remarked, casually, that he was elected to Congress about the time Mr. Lincoln's 
term as representative expired, which happened many years before. 

"Yes," said the president, "you are from ," mentioning the state. "I 

remember reading of your election in a newspaper one morning on a steamboat 
going down to Mount Vernon." 

At another time a gentleman addressed him, saying: 

"I presume, Mr. President, you have forgotten me?" 

"No," was the prompt reply; "your name is Flood. I saw you last twelve 

years ago, at ," naming the place and the occasion. " I am glad to see," he 

continued, "that the Flood flows on." 

Subsequent to his re-election a deputation of bankers from various sections 
were introduced one day by the secretary of the treasury. After a few moments 
of general conversation, Mr. Lincoln turned to one of them and said: 

" Your district did not give me so strong a vote at the last election as it did in 

"I think, sir, that you must be mistaken," replied the banker. "I have the 
impression that your majority was considerably increased at the last election." 

"No," rejoined the president, "you fell ofE about six hundred votes." 

Then taking down from the bookcase the official canvass of 1860 and 1864, 
he referred to the vote of the district named, and proved to be quite right in his 


President Lincoln tells the following story of Colonel W., who had been 
elected to the legislature, and had also been judge of the county court. His 
elevation, however, had made him somewhat pompous, and he became very fond 
of using big words. On his farm he had a very large and mischievous ox, called 
"Big Brindle," which very frequently broke down his neighbors' fences, and 
committed other depredations, much to the colonel's annoyance. 

One morning after breakfast, in the presence of Mr. Lincoln, who had stayed 
with him over night, and who was on his way to town, he called his overseer and 
said to him: 

" Mr. Allen, I desire you to impound Big Brindle, in order that I may hear no 
animadversions on his eternal depredations." 

Allen bowed and walked off, sorely puzzled to know what the colonel meant. 
So after Colonel W. left for town, he went to his wife and asked her what Colonel 
W. meant by telling him to impound the ox. 

" Why, he meant to tell you to put him in a pen," said she. 

Allen left to perform the feat, for it was no inconsiderable one, as the animal 
was wild and vicious, and, after a great deal of trouble and vexation, succeeded. 


"Well," said he, wiping the perspiration from his brow and soliloquizing, 
"this is impounding, is it? Now, I am dead sure that the colonel will ask me if I 
impounded Big Brindle, and Til bet I puzzle him as he did me.'' 

The next day the colonel gave a dinner party, and as he was not aristocratic, 
Mr. Allen, the overseer, sat down with the company. After the second or third 
glass was discussed, the colonel turned to the overseer and said: 

"Eh, Mr. Allen, did you impound Big Brindle, sir?" 

Allen straightened himself, and looking around at the company, replied: 

"Yes, I did, sir; but old Brindle transcended the impannel of the impound, and 
scatterlophisticated all over the equanimity of the forest." 

The company burst into an immoderate lit of laughter, while the coloners 
face reddened with discomfiture. 

"What do you mean by that, sir?" said the colonel. 

" Why, I mean, colonel," said Allen, " that old Brindle, being prognosticated 
with an idea of the cholera, ripped and teared, snorted and pawed dirt, jumped the 
fence, tuck to the woods, and would not be impounded nohow." 

This was too much; the company roared again, in which the colonel was 
forced to join, and in the midst of the laughter Allen left the table, saying to 
himself as he went, " I reckon the colonel won't ask me to impound any more 


• A gentleman visiting a hospital at Washington, heard an occupant of one 
of the beds laughing and talking about the president. He seemed to be in such 
good spirits that the gentleman remarked: ^ 

"You must be very slightly wounded?" 

"Yes," said the brave fellow, "very slightly — I have only lost one leg.'- 


At the White House one day some gentlemen were present from the West, 
excited and troubled about the commissions or omissions of the administration. 
The president heard them patiently, and then replied: 

" Gentlemen, suppose all the property you have were in gold, and you had put 
it in the hands of Blondin to carry across the Niagara river on a rope, would you 
shake the cable, or keep shouting out to him, 'Blondin, stand up a little 
straighter— Blondin, stoop a little more — go a little faster — lean a little more to 
the north — lean a little more to the south?' No! you would hold your breath 
as well as your tongue, and keep your hands off until he was safe over. The 
government is carrying an immense weight. Untold treasures are in her hands. 
They are doing the very best they can. Don't badger them. Keep silence, and 
we'll get you safe across." 



The popular editor of the Northwestern Christian Advocate^ Dr. Arthur 
Edwards, is responsible for the following, which we take from the editorials ot 
his excellent paper: / 

"Early in the war it became this writer's duty, for a brief period, to carry cer- 
tain reports to the War Department, in Washington, at about nine in the morning. 
Being late one morning, we were in a desperate hurry to deliver the papers, in 
order to be able to catch the train returning to camp. ^ 

" On the winding, dark staircase of the old War Department, which many will 
remember, it was our misfortune, while taking about three stairs at a time, to run 
a certain head like a catapult into the body of the president, striking him in the 
region of the right lower vest pocket. 

" The usual surprised and relaxed grunt of a man thus assailed came promptly. 
We quickly sent an apology in the direction of the dimly seen form, feeling that 
the ungracious shock was expensive, even to the humblest clerk in the department. 

"A second glance revealed to us the president as the victim of the collision. 
Then followed a special tender of ' ten thousand pardons,' and the president's reply: 

" ' One's enough; I wish the whole army would charge like that.'" 


Dr. Hovey, of Dansville, New York, thought he would call and see the pres- 
ident, and, on arriving at the White House, found him on horseback, ready for a 
start. Approaching him, he said: 

" President Lincoln, I thought I would call and see you before leaving the 
city, and hear you tell a story." 

The president greeted him pleasantly, and asked where he was from. 

The reply was, " From western New York." 

" Well, that's a good enough country without stories," replid the president, 
and off he rode. That was the story. 


The president, like Old King Saul, when his term was about to expire, seems 
in a quandary concerning a further lease of office. He consulted again the 
" prophetess " of Georgetown, immortalized by his patronage. She retired to 
an inner chamber, and, after raising and consulting more than a dozen of 
distinguished spirits from Hades, she returned to the reception-parlor where 
the chief magistrate awaited her, and declared that General Grant would 
capture Richmond, and that Honest Old Abe would be next president. She, 
however, as the report goes, told him to beware of Chase. 



Noah Brooks, in his "Reminiscences," relates the following incident: 
"While the ceremonies of the second inauguration were in progress, just as 
Lincoln stepped forward to take the oath of office, the sun, which had been 
obscured by rain-clouds, burst forth in splendor. In conversation the next day, 
the president asked: 

"'Did you notice that sun-burst? It made my heart jump.' 
"Later in the month. Miss Anna Dickinson, in a lecture delivered in the hall 
of the House of Representatives, eloquently alluded to the sun-burst as a happy 
omen. The president sat directly in front of the speaker, and, from the reporter's 
gallery behind her, I had caught his eye, soon after he sat down. When Miss 
Dickinson referred to the sunbeam, he looked up at me, involuntarily, and I 
thought his eyes were suffused with moisture. Perhaps they were; but the next 
day he said: 

"'I wonder if Miss Dickinson saw me wink at you?'" 


The Rev. Robert Mclntyre, in a Lincoln eulogy at the Auditorium, Chicago, 
among other good things, said: 

"' One day at the cabin in which Mr. Lincoln spent his early years I was told 
this story: Sometime before he was elected president, Mr. Lincoln visited some 
of his people there, and he stood in the doorway watching a summer shower 
hunted by a pack of sunbeams, which laid the rain in puddles gleaming in the 

" They say that Mr. Lincoln, taking up a little girl who was kin to him, 
carried her out into the yard and dipped her baby feet in the mud-puddle. 
Then, carrying her into the cabin, he lifted her and marked the ceiling with her 
feet, leaving marks that remained there for many years. We are told that some- 
thing of that kind happened to him, by a poM^er greater than himself that lifted 
him up among the heights and leaving those footprints that will shine forever in 
the annals of human endeavor. I do not like this theory because it takes away 
hope from our youth. 

" Lincoln was like other men. He was not a miraculous man in any sense of 
the word. He had, indeed, less of the supernatural about him than any man in 
history, and more of the natural, and it was this that made him so great and 
lovable in the eyes of the people. 

"Washington has been idealized until we have forgotten his real chara6ter. 
I confess he is a nebulous character to me. 

"Now they are going to refine and sandpaper and veneer Lincoln until 
nothing of the simple, loving, commonplace soul is left to us. We don't want 
this. We want him just as he is." 



Among the numerous visitors on one of the president's reception-days were a 
party of congressmen, among whom was the Hon. Thomas Shannon, of 
California. Soon after the customary greeting, Mr. Shannon said: 

" Mr. President, I met an old friend of yours in California last summer, 
Thompson Campbell, who had a good deal to say of your Springfield life." 

"Ah!" returned Mr. Lincol-n, "I am glad to hear of him. Campbell used to 
be a dry fellow," he continued. " For a time he was secretary of state. One 
day, during the legislative vacation, a meek, cadaverous-looking man, with a 
white neck-cloth, introduced himself to him at his ofl&ce, and stating that he had 
been informed that Mr. C. had the letting of the assembly chamber, said that he 
wished to secure it, if possible, for a course of lectures he desired to deliver in 

"'May I ask,' said the secretary, 'what is to be the subject of your lectures?' 

" ' Certainly,' was the reply, with a very solemn expression of countenance. 
'The course I wish to deliver is on the second coming of our Lord.' 

" ' It is no use,' said Mr. C. ' If you will take my advice, you will not waste 
your time in this city. It is my private opinion that if the Lord has been in 
Springfield once, he will not come the second time! ' " 


It was while young Lincoln, was engaged in the duties of Offutt's store that 
the turning-point of his life occurred. Here he commenced the study of English 
grammar. There was not a text-book to be obtained in the neighborhood, but. 
hearing that there was a copy of Kirkham's grammar in the possession of a 
person seven or eight miles distant, he walked to his house, and succeeded in 
borrowing it. 

L. M. Green, a lawyer in Petersburg, Menard county, says that every time he 
visited New Salem, at this period, Lincoln took him out upon a hill and asked 
him to explain some point in Kirkham that had given him trouble. After having 
mastered the book, he remarked to a friend that if that was what was called a 
science, he thought he could ^'' subdue another.'''' 

Mr. Green says that Mr. Lincoln's talk at this time showed that he was 
beginning to think of a great life and a great destiny. Lincoln said to him, on 
one occasion, that all his family seemed to have good sense, but somehow none 
had ever become distinguished. He thought that perhaps he might become so. 
He had talked, he said, with men who had the reputation of being great men, but 
he could not see that they differed much from others. 

During this year he was also much engaged with debating-clubs, often walk- 
ing six or seven miles to attend them. One of these clubs held its meetings at 
an old storehouse in New Salem, and the first speech young Lincoln ever made 
was made there. 


He used to call the exercise "practising polemics." As these clubs were 
composed principally of men of no education whatever, some of their '• polemics " 
are remembered as the most laughable farces. 

One gentleman who met him during this period says the first .time he saw 
him he was lying on a trundle-bed covered with books and papers and rocking a 
cradle ivitli his foot. 

The whole scene, however, was entirely characteristic — Lincoln reading and 
studying, and at the same time helping his landlady by quieting her child. 

A gentleman who knew Mr. Lincoln well in early manhood says: "Lincoln 
at this period had nothing hwi plenty of friends. 

Says J. G. Holland: "No man ever lived, probably, who was more of a self- 
made man than Abraham Lincoln. Not a circumstance of life favored the devel- 
opment which he had reached." 

After the customary hand-shaking on one occasion at Washington, several 
gentlemen came forward and asked the president for his autograph. One of 
them gave his name as " Cruikshank." "That reminds me," said Mr. Lincoln, 
"of what I used to be called when a young man — ' Long -shanks!''''^ 

Mr. Holland says: "Lincoln was a religious man. The fact may be stated 
without any reservation — with only an explanation. He believed in God, and in 
his personal supervision of the affairs of men. He believed himself to be under 
his control and guidance. He believed in the power and ultimate triumph of the 
right, through his belief in God." 

A prominent writer says: "Lincoln was a childlike man. No public man 
of modern days has been fortunate enough to carry into his manhood so much 
or the directness, truthfulness and simplicity of childhood as distinguished him. 
He was exactly what he seemed." 

Mr, Lincoln and Douglas met for the first time when the latter was only 
twenty-three years of age. Lincoln, in speaking of the fact, subsequently said 
that Douglas was then "the least man he ever saw." He was not only very 
short, but very slender. 


Some moral philosopher was telling the president one day about the under- 
current of public opinion. He went on to explain at length, and drew an illus- 
tration from the Mediterranean sea. The current seemed very curiously to flow in 
both from the Black sea and the Atlantic ocean, but a shrewd Yankee, by means 
of a contrivance of floats, had discovered that at the outlet into the Atlantic only 
about thirty feet of the surface water flowed inward, while there was a tre- 
mendous current under that'flowing out. 

"Well," said Mr. Lincoln, much bored, "that don't remind me of any story I 
ever heard." 

The philosopher despaired of making a serious impression by his argument, 
and left. 



When Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer in Illinois, he and a certain judge once 
got to bantering one another about trading horses; and it was agreed that the 
next morning at nine o'clock they should make a trade, the horses to be unseen 
up to that hour, and no backing out, under a forfeiture of twenty-five dollars. 

At the hour appointed, the judge came up, leading the sorriest-looking spec- 
imen of a horse ever seen in those parts. In a few minutes Mr. Lincoln was seen 
approaching with a wooden sawhorse upon his shoulders. Great were the 
shouts and the laughter of the crowd, and both were greatly increased when Mr. 
Lincoln, on surveying the judge's animal, set down his sawhorse, and exclaimed: 

"Well, judge, this is the first time I ever got the worst of it in a horse-trade.'* 


At the third annual banquet of the Lincoln Association of Philadelphia, 
given February 12, 1894, Senator Cullum, of Illinois, among other good things, 
gave the following reminiscences: 

" It was my fortune to know Mr. Lincoln well. My knowledge of him dates 
back in my own life to the time I was ten or twelve years old; and even before 
this time I can remember that men would come twenty or thirty miles to see my 
father in those pioneer days to learn whom to employ as a lawyer, when they 
were likely to have cases in court. He would say to them, 'If Judge Stephen 
T. Logan is there, employ him; if he is not, there is a young man by the name of 
Lincoln who will do just about as well.' 

"In my boyhood days I was permitted to attend the sessions of the circuit 
court one week twice a year. The first time I enjoyed the privilege I saw Mr 
Lincoln and the gallant Colonel E. D. Baker engaged in defense of a man 
charged with the crime of murder. That great trial, especially the defense by 
those great lawyers, made an impression on my mind which will never be effaced.' 

"Late in 1846, when Mr. Lincoln became a Whig candidate for Congress, I 
heard him deliver a political sp,eech. The county in which my father and family 
resided was a part of his congressional district. When Mr. Lincoln came to the 
county, my father met him with his carriage, and took him to all of his 
appointments. I went to the meeting nearest my home; it was an open-air 
meeting in a grove. On being introduced, Mr. Lincoln began his speech as 

"'Fellow-citizens, ever since I have been in Tazewell county my old friend 
Major Cullum has taken me around. He has heard all my speeches, and the 
only way I can fool the old major and make him believe I am making a new 
speech is by turning it end for end once in awhile.' 

"I knew him at the bar, both when I was a boy, and afterward when I came 
to the practise of the law in the capital of Illinois, his home then, mine now. I 


knew him in the private walks of life, in the law-office, in the court-room, in the 
political campaigns of the time, and to the close of his great career. I knew 
him as the leader of the great Republican party, when, as now, it was full of 
enthusiasm for liberty and equal rights; when the platform was, in substance, 
the Declaration of Independence^ and he was its champion. 

"He believed in 'preserving the jewel of liberty in the family of freedom ' 
Aye, he believed in making the American people one great family of freedom. 

" I heard much of the great debate between him and Douglas, the greatest 
political debate that ever took place in America. I heard him utter the memor- 
able words in the Republican convention of my state in 1858: 

"'A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government 
cannot permanently endure half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union 
to be dissolved, I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will cease to 
be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.' 

"What words of wisdom! He could look through the veil between him and 
the future and see the end. It is said'' that before this great speech was delivered 
he read it to friends, and all of them but one advised against its delivery. With 
a self-reliance born of earnest conviction, he said the time had come when these 
sentiments should be uttered, and that if he should go down because of their 
utterances by him, then he would go down linked with the truth. 

" It lifts up and ennobles mankind to hear and study brave words of truth 
uttered by great men. ' Let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right, ^ 
he said again. 

"In these days of apparent shallow convictions on many subjects, days of 
greed for wealth, of rushing for the mighty dollar, is it not well to pause and 
think over the lives of great men of our own country and the world ? We are 
now [1894] in the very shadow of the deatH of a great and good man, George 
W. Childs, just passed away. A man who lived to do good; to make the pathway 
of his fellows smoother and easier; a great-hearted philanthropist whose fame is 
world-wide, and will endure as long as sympathy and generosity are found in the 
human heart. 

" Mr. Lincoln was a great debater, as was Douglas. They often met in 
debate. On one occasion Douglas charged that there was an alliance between 
Lincoln and the Fed(*i'al office-holders, and that he would deal with them as the 
Russians did with the allies in the Crimean war, not stopping to inquire whether 
an Englishman, Frenchman or Turk was hit. Lincoln replied, denying the 
alliance, but mildly suggested to Douglas that the allies took Sebastopol. 

" Lincoln was a man of faith in the right when the great contest between 
him and Douglas ended, and the election was over. Lincoln had carried the 
popular vote of that state, but Douglas secured a majority of the Legislature. 

When it was settled that Douglas had triumphed in securing a majority of 
the Legislature, I happened to meet Mr. Lincoln in the street, and said to him, 
' Is it true that Douglas has a majority of the Legislature? ' 

" He said ' yes.' 


" I felt greatly disappointed, and so expressed myself, when he said: 

" ' Never mind, my boy, it will come all right,' and in two years from that 
day the country was ablaze with bonfires all over the land celebrating its first 
national Republican victory in his election as president of the United States. 

" It has been said that Mr. Lincoln never went to school. He never did very 
much, but in the broad sense he was an educated man. He was a student — a 
thinker — he educated himself, and mastered any question that claimed his 

'' In my belief there has been no man in this country possessing greater power 
of analyzation than he did. Webster and Lincoln, while unlike in intellect, 
were two of the greatest men intellectually this country has produced. 

" Mr. Lincoln was said to be ^low and timid when as president he walked 
along the danger-path before him. He learned the truth of an observation by 
Cicero, 'that whoever enters upon public life should take care that the ques- 
tion how far the measure is virtuous be not the sole consideration, but also how 
far he may have the means of carrying it into execution.' So in the great strug- 
gle for national life, he sought to go on no faster than he could induce the loyal 
people to go with him. 

"As we look back over the period of agitation of slavery and of the great' 
civil war, we see Lincoln towering above all as the savior of his country, 
and as the liberator of three millions of slaves. Lincoln was a shrewd and crafty 
man. After, as you remember, Vallandigham, of Ohio, was sent South, through 
the rebel lines, he got round on the Canada border, and finally returned home 
without leave. People thought his return would cause trouble. 

" It is said that Fernando Wood called on the president, and cautiously 
inquired if he had been informed that Vallandigham had got home. Lincoln 
knew that by sending him South he had broken his power for evil, and in reply 
to Mr. Wood he said: 

"'No, sir; I have received no official information of that act, and what is 
more, sir, don't intend to.' 

"Another illustration of his great good nature and shrewdness is told. As 
the war approached its close, Mr. Lincoln and General Sherman were in con- 
sultation at City Point. One of the questions considered was what should be 
done with JefE. Davis when captured. General Sherman inquired if he should 
let him escape. Mr. Lincoln told him the story of the temperance lecturer who 
was plentifully supplied with lemonade. The host in a modest way inquired if 
the least bit of something stronger to brace him up would be agreeable. The 
lecturer answered he could not think of it, he was opposed to it on< principle; 
but, glancing at the black bottle near by, he added: 

" 'If you could manage to put in a little drop unbeknown to me, it wouldn't 
hurt me much.' 

" ' Now, general,' said Mr. Lincoln, ' I am bound to oppose the escape of JefE. 
Davis, but if you can manage to let him slip out unbeknownst-like, I guess it 
won't hurt me much.' 


" Mr. Lincoln was never disturbed by little things. Mr. Chase was President 
Lincoln's secretary of the treasury. As the time approached for the presidential 
nomination, Mr. Lincoln was understood to be a candidate, and Mr. Chase was a 
candidate, retaining his place in the Cabinet, Being in Washington for a time, 
I had a conversation with Mr. Lincoln about Mr. Chase's candidacy, and I advised 
Mr. Lincoln to turn him out. He replied: 

'' ' No, let him alone ; he can do me no more harm in office than out.' 

" When the president was considering Mr. Chase in connection with the high 
office of chief justice of the United States, a deputation of great men from 
Ohio (Ohio always had and has yet many) came to Washington to protest against 
Mr, Chase's appointment, and presented some letters at some time written by Mr. 
Chase, criticizing Mr, Lincoln, He read them, and, with his usual good nature, 

" ' If Mr, Chase has said some hard things about me, I in turn have said some 
hard things about him, which, I guess, squares the account,' 

" Mr, Chase was appointed. 

" He was an American in the highest sense. He stood for America, for liberty, 
for the Declaration of Independence, for equality of rights, and he journeyed 
from his home to the national Capitol to obey the call of the people, and guide 
the ship of state through the portending storm; he came to his own historic city, 
and in old Independence Hall he declared ' that if the government could not be 
saved without giving up the Declaration of Independence, he would rather be 
assassinated on the spot than surrender it,' , 

"He was a Republican, as we are; he not only believed in union, liberty and 
equality, but under his guidance the policy of the government was established 
which has been maintained for more than thirty years, and never seriously inter- 
fered with until now, and which has given the people unexampled prosperity, 

" Mr, president and gentlemen, his life and public utterances speak to us now 
in this period of peril to business and commerce. Yes, to sustain the honor of 
our nation as a republic, to stand fast by our colors, save the people from poverty 
and distress, the nation from financial wreck, and its flag in this and lands 
from dishonor." 


A gentleman was telling at the White House how a friend of his had been 
driven away from New Orleans, as a unionist, and how, oa his expulsion, when 
he asked to see the writ by which he was expelled, the deputation which called on 
him told him that the government had made up their minds to do nothing illegal, 
and so they had issued no illegal writs, and simply meant to make him go of his 
own free will. 

"Well," said Mr. Lincoln, "that reminds me of a hotel-keeper down in St, 
Louis, who boasted that he never had a death in his hotel, for whenever a guest 
was dying in his house, he carried him out to die in the street." 



After he had satisfied himself with questions regarding the army, Mr. 
Lincoln turned to me and said: 

"General, you have a man down there by the name of Grant, have you not?" 

I replied: "Yes, sir; we have." 

Fixing on me an earnest and somewhat quizzical look, Mr. Lincoln asked: 

" Well, what kind of a fellow is he?" 

I replied: "General Grant is a man of whom one can best judge by consider- 
ing the results he has brought to pass. Belmont, Donelson, Shiloh and Vicks- 
burg make a pretty strong record. He certainly has developed the elements of a 
successful commander. He is very popular with the army, which has full con- 
fidence in his military ability. When he makes his plans, he concentrates all his 
energies and all his resources upon their execution, and I don't think he ever 
entered upon a campaign or into a battle without a fixed determination, under all 
circumstances, to win, and with a consciousness that he would win. He fills the 
full measure of a great commander." 

Mr. Lincoln listened closely to all I said, and then fixing upon me a most 
earnest and serious look, he put to me the blunt and startling question: 

" Does Grant ever get drunk?" 

I replied in most emphatic language: "No, Mr. President, Grant does not 
get drunk." 

"Is he in the habit of using liquor?" asked the president, quickly. 

My answer was: "My observation, depending on having excellent opportu- 
nities for judging, enables me to assert with a good degree of positiveness that he 
does not use liquor. Those opportunities have extended over a period of more 
than two years, during which time I have seen him often, sometimes daily, and I 
have never noticed the slightest indication of his having used any kind of liquor. 
On the contrary, I have, time and again, seen him refuse to touch it." 

There was too much of whisky hospitality during the late war for the good of 
the service of the country. More than once did it happen that a niovement mis- 
carried because the officer charged with its execution had imbibed too freely of 
old Kentucky Bourbon. 

" In all my intercourse with General Grant," I continued, in speaking to Mr. 
Lincoln, "I never saw him taste intoxicating drink. It has been charged in 
northern newspapers that Grant was under the influence of liquor on the fields 
of Donelson and Shiloh. This charge is an atrocious calumny, wickedly false. 
I saw him repeatedly during the battles of Donelson and Shiloh on the field, and 
if there were any sober men on the field, Grant was one of them. My brigade 
and myself gave him a Fourth of July dinner in Memphis in 1862. He, of 
course, as guest, sat upon my right, and as wine and something stronger were 
passed around, he turned his glass upside down, saying, 'None for me.' I am 
glad to bring this testimony to you in justice to a much-maligned man." 

"It is a relief to me to hear this statement from you," said the president, "for 
though I have not lost confidence in Grant, I have been a good deal annoyed by 


reports which have reached me of his intemperance. I have been pestered with 
appeals to remove him from the command of that army. But somehow I have 
felt like trusting him, because, as you say, he has accomplished something. I 
knew you had been down there with him, and thought you would give me reliable 
evidence, for I have desired to' get the testimony of a living witness. Your 
direct and positive declarations have given me much satisfaction. Delegation 
after delegation has called upon me with the same request, ' Recall Grant 
from the command of the Army of the Tennessee,' as the members of the 
delegations were not willing that their sons and brothers should be under 
the control of an intemperate leader. I could not think of relieving him, 
and these demands became very vexatious. I therefore hit upon this plan to stop 

" One day a delegation, headed by a distinguished doctor of divinity from New 
York, who was spokesman for the party, called on me and made the familiar com- 
plaint and protest against Grant's being retained in his command. After the 
clergyman had concluded his remarks, 1 asked if any others desired to add any- 
thing to what had already been said. They replied that they did not. Then, 
looking as serious as I could, I said: 

"'Doctor, can you tell me where General Grant gets his liquor?' 

"The doctor seemed c[uite nonplussed, but replied that he could not. I then 
said to him: 

"'I am very sorry, for if you could tell me, I would direct the chief quarter- 
master of the army to lay in a large stock of the same kind of liquor, and would 
also direct him to furnish a supply to some of my other generals, who have never 
yet won a victory.' " 

Then, giving me a punch, as one will sometimes do when he thinks he has 
said something good, Mr. Lincoln lay back in his chair and laughed most heartily. 
He then added: 

"What I want and what the people want is generals who will fight battles 
and win victories. Grant has done this, and I propose to stand by him. I per- 
mitted this incident to get into print, and I have been 'troubled no more with 
delegations protesting against the retention of Grant in command of that army." 
Continuing, Lincoln said: 

"Somehow or other, I have always felt a leaning toward Grant, and have been 
inclined to place confidence in him. Ever since he sent that memorable message 
to Buckner at Donelson, when the. latter asked for terms of surrender — 'No terms 
but unconditional surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your 
works' — I have had great confidence in Grant, and have felt that he was a man I 
could tie to, though I have never seen him. It is a source of much satisfaction 
that my confidence in him has not been misplaced." 

The' conversation then turned upon other subjects, the condition of the 
country, politics, the rebellion, and the prospects of being able to suppress it. 
What seemed to cause Mr. Lincoln his greatest trouble was the state of feeling 
in certain of the northern states. 


"Their embittered hostility against the prosecution of the war," said he, 
" gives me more anxiety than the state of affairs at the front. The enemy behind 
us is more dangerous to the country than the enemy before us," He said it was 
incomprehensible to him that men living in the northern states in peace, and 
secure in the enjoyment of every right and blessing of citizenship, should seek 
by every means in their power to defeat the government in this great "struggle to 
maintain its own existence. 

Once in awhile in the conversation he would cease speaking; then his eyes 
would close and an expression of sadness would spread over his face, lasting three 
or four minutes. I, of course, remained silent. It occurred to me that during 
those minutes the dread consciousness of the tremendous responsibilities resting 
upon him was crowding upon his mind. What would be the outcome was the 
question ever uppermost in his thoughts. At length his eyes would open, and he 
would resume conversation with some pleasant remark or anecdote. He would 
frequently say, " I must tell you a story," and his anecdotes were always pertinent 
to the conversation. — General John M. Thayer^ in the New York Sun. 


Soon after Mr. Lincoln entered upon his profession at Springfield, he was 
engaged in a criminal case in which it was thought there was little chance of 
success. Throwing all his powers into it, he came off victorious, and promptly 
received for his services five hundred dollars. A legal friend calling upon him 
the next morning found him sitting before a table upon which his money was 
spread out, counting it over and over. 

"Look here, judge," said he; "see what a heap of money I've got from the 

case. Did you ever see anything like it? Why, I never had so much 

money in my life before, put it all together." Then crossing his arms upon the 
table, his manner sobering down, he added, " I have got just five hundred dollars; if 
it were only seven hundred and fifty, I would go directly and purchase a quarter- 
section of land, and settle it upon my old stepmother." 

His friend said that if the deficiency was all he needed, he would loan him the 
amount, taking his note, to which Mr. Lincoln instantly acceded. 

His friend then said: 

"Lincoln, I would not do just what you have indicated. Your stepmother is 
getting old, and will probably not live many years. I would settle the property 
upon her for her use during her lifetime, to revert to you upon her death." 

With much feeling Mr. Lincoln replied: 

" I shall do no such thing. It is a poor return at best for all the good 
woman's devotion and fidelity to me, and there is not going to be any half-way 
business about it." And so saying, he gathered up his money and proceeded forth- 
with to carry his long-cherished purpose into execution. 



"A great man," says J. G. Holland, ''never drew his infant life from a purer 
or move womanly bosom than her own; and Mr. Lincoln always looked back to 
her with unspeakable affection. Long after her sensitive heart and weary hands 
had crumbled into dust, and had climbed to life again in forest flowers, he said 
to a friend, with tears in his eyes: 

" 'All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother — blessings on her 

She was five feet five inches high, a slender, pale, sad and sensitive woman, 
with much in her nature that was truly heroic, and much that shrank from the 
rude life around her. 

Her death occurred in 1818, scarcely two years after her removal from Ken- 
tucky to Indiana, and when Abraham was in his tenth year. They laid her to 
rest under the trees near their cabin home, and, sitting on her grave, the little 
boy wept over his irreparable loss. 


Mr. Lincoln was often at Danville, Illinois (where he had an office in 
partnership with Colonel Ward H. Lamon), attending court in the town, or 
making political speeches there. Hon. H. W. Beckwith, in a series of papers 
communicated to the Chicago Tribune, gives these interesting personal rem- 

On the way he said he wished to introduce us who were with him to' 
Mrs. and Judge Douglas. They had Judge Davis and Mr. Lincoln's term time 
suite of parlor rooms at the old McCormack house. Those who recall the fact 
will remember that Mrs. Douglas was the daughter of Madison Cutts, a time- 
out-of-mind department man at Washington, where she grew up in its best 
society from a child to a most lovely and charming woman. On being intro- 
duced, she said, in a gentle, unaffected way, that "Mr. Lincoln was a very agree- 
able and considerate escort." 

With many instances like those narrated before them, and taken, too, as a 
matter of course, how amazed were his more familiar friends to have it believed, 
when he came into national view, that while he rated well enough at court or in 
the society of men, he was not at home in the drawing-room. The notoriety 
given him as the teller of stories, with their application usually left out, together 
with the ill-judged zeal of the .politicians, who forced ahead his flatboat and 
rail-splitting record, with the homely surroundings of his earlier days, obscured 
for the time the other facts that always having the heart, he had long since 
acquired the manners of a true gentleman. 

So, too, did he suffer from eastern censors, who did not take those surround- 
ings into account, and would allow nothing for his originality of character. 
One of these critics heard at Washington that Mr. Lincoln, in speaking at differ- 


€nt times of some move or thing, said "it had petered out;" that some other 
one's plan "wouldn't gibe;" and being asked if the war and the cause of the 
Union were not a great care to him, replied: 

"Yes, it is a heavy hog to hold." 

The first two phrases are so familiar here in the West that they need n© 
explanation. Of the last and more pioneer one it may be said that it had a 
special force, and was peculiarly Lincoln-like in the way above applied. 

In the olden time, everyone having hogs, assisted by neighbors, did their own 
killing. Stripped of its hair, one held the carcass nearly perpendicular in the 
air, head down, while others put one point of the gambrel-bar through a slit 
in its hock, then over the string-pole, and the other point through the other 
hock, and so swung the animal clear of the ground. While all this was being 
done, it took a good man to " hold the hog," greasy, warmly moist, and weighing 
some two hundred pounds. And often those with the gambrel prolonged the 
strain, being provokingly slow, in hopes to make the holder drop his burden. 
This latter thought is again expressed where Mr. Lincoln, writing of the peace 
which he hoped would "come soon, to stay; and so come as to be worth the keep- 
ing in. all future time," added that while there would "be some black men who can 
remember that with silent tongue and clenched teeth and steady eye, and well- 
poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation," he 
feared there would " be some white ones unable to forget that, with malignant 
heart and deceitful tongue, they had striven to hinder it." 

He had two seemingly opposite elements little understood by strangers, and 
which those in more intimate relations with him find difl&cult to explain. An ~ 
open, boyish tongue when in a happy mood, and with this a reserve of power, a 
force of thought that impressed itself without words on observers in his pres- 
ence. He was naturally a keen observer of men and events. And always a 
student, he grew in range and grasp with the increased demands upon him. 
With the cares of the nation on his mind, he became more meditative, and lost 
much of his lively ways' remembered here in Illinois. 

A biographer, already referred to. tells the following incident: 

After the war was well on, a patriot woman of the West urged Mr. Lincoln 
to make hospitals at theJ^orth where the sick from the Army of the Mississippi 
could revive in a more bracing air. Among other reasons, she said if he "granted 
her petition he would be glad as long as he lived." With a look of sadness 
impossible to describe, he said: 

" I shall never be glad any more." 

A chill, raw day in February, 1861, found his friends at Danville again, 
waiting about the depot for the train that was to bear him on to Washington. 
Rumors of the rebellious acts of the slaveholding states, with threats of the 
dire war to come, filled the air. From the rear platform he spoke some kind 
words, the last he ever said publicly in Illinois. In a few moments he was 
beyond the limits of the state, from home and his well-known friends; not to 
return, and never to be glad any more. 

/necdotes. 317 


It will be remembered that at this time (the summer of 18(33) Louis Napoleon 
was attempting to force a monarchy upon our sister republic of Mexico by the 
musket, the bayonet and the cannon. He had flitted the bauble of an empire 
across the sea before the easily impressible mind of the Austrian archduke, 
Maximilian, and his ambitious consort, the beautiful Carlotta, formerly Duchess 
of Brabant, and sister of the king of the Belgians. They caught at the bait, and 
Napoleon sent a French army to seat them upon the throne. This action of his 
and that of Maximilian was exceedingly offensive to the officers and soldiers of 
our armies in the field. It occurred to me to learn Lincoln's views on the subject. 
So I said to him : 
• "Mr. President, how about the French army in Mexico?" 

Shrugging up his shoulders and wrinkling his eyebrows, he said: 

"I'm not exactly 'sheered,' but don't like the looks of the thing. Napoleon 
has taken advantage of our weakness in our time of trouble, and has attempted 
to found a monarchy on the soil of Mexico in utter disregard of the Monroe 
doctrine. My policy is, attend to only one trouble at a time. If we get well out 
of our present difficulties and restore the Union, I propose to notify "Louis 
Napoleon that it is about time to take his army out of Mexico. When that army 
is gone, the Mexicans will take care of Maximilian. I can best illustrate my 
position touching this subject by relating an anecdote told by Daniel D. 
Dickinson, senator from New York, in a speech delivered by him a few evenings 
since in New York City. He said that in a certain Connecticut town there had 
lived two men as neighbors and friends for more than sixty years. They were 
pillars in the village church, one of them being a deacon named White. The 
other was named Jones. After this long lapse of time a serious difficulty unfor- 
tunately sprang between these two brethren of the church. 

" The feeling waxed so warm between them that it grew into a bitter feud. 
Mutual friends attempted a reconciliation, but the men would not be reconciled. 
Finally, Deacon White became dangerously ill, and drew nigh unto death. 
Mutual friends again interposed their kind offices to effect a reconciliation. 
They said to Brother Jones that it would be a sin to permit the sick brother to die 
with the quarrel standing. Jones was persuaded, and called on Deacon White. 
The two men talked over their mutual grievances, and agreeing to let them be 
buried, shook hands and exchanged mutual forgiveness in the presence of death. 
■The deacon then lay back upon his pillow, awaiting his final summons, and 
Jones arose to leave. Bat as the visitor reached the door, Deacon White, with a 
great effort, raised himself on his elbow and called out, in a weak, fainting voice: 

"' Brother Jones — Brother Jones! I want it distinctly understood that if I 
get well the old grudge stands.' " 

Lincoln laughed at the conclusion of the story, saying that was about the way 
he felt toward the French emperor. He manifested strong feeling on this 
subject, and said the creation of an empire, especially by force, at our very doors 
was exceedingly offensive, and could not be overlooked by the United States. It 


had caused him great annoyance, as he was not in a condition to interfere so as to 
prevent it. He expressed himself strongly in favor of the position taken by 
President Monroe in his celebrated message to Congress, in which he declared 
against the acquisition of any territory on this continent by any foreign power. 

Speaking of the French army and Maximilian's being in Mexico, led Lincoln 
to refer to Benito Juarez, then president of Mexico, for whom he cherished a deep 
sympathy and strong regard. He alluded to the similarity, in some respects, 
between his own case and that of Juarez, Both were presidents of republics; both 
were engaged in deadly struggles for the very existence of their respective 
nations, and both were beset by treason at home. Juarez was compelled, more- 
over, to meet a foreign invader and to be the defender of the very principle in the 
maintenance of which Lincoln felt so deep an interest — the inviolability of the 
American continent against foreign powers. Both came from the vales of 
humility, and both became great leaders. They were great lawyers and they 
were great statesmen and great patriots. Juarez had the nerve and the courage 
to cause to be shot to death, as he deserved, the scion of the royal house of 
Austria, and every throne in Europe was jarred, since the plain republican pres- 
ident of Mexico was a greater power than the kings and emperors who sought to 
save the fallen emperor. 

Besides successfully defending his country against most unprincipled and most 
unscrupulous invaders, Juarez, in putting Maximilian to death, was the vindicator 
of the Monroe doctrine — he was the exemplar of what should be its real meaning, 
that any search after a throne or monarchical foothold on this Western Hemisphere 
is undertaken at the searcher's peril. It is full time the nations of Europe were 
made to understand that the Monroe declaration is not a string of mere glittering 
words, but is a living reality. Lincoln was in full sympathy with this view, and 
I am fully convinced from his own expressions to me that if we had not been 
engaged in a gigantic civil war, he would have enforced this view, and neither 
Napoleon's army nor Maximilian would have ever invaded Mexico. 

My interview with Mr. Lincoln lasted over an hour, and it was one of the most 
important hours of my life. No one could have listened to the conversation 
with that great and pure man without having the conviction forced upon the 
mind that he was a sincere believer in an overruling Providence and had " full 
faith," as his own words declared, "that God was leading this nation through its 
firey trial to a triumphant issue." — General John M. Thayer, in the New York Sun. 


"Upon entering the president's office one afternoon," says a Washington 
correspondent, " I found the president busy counting greenbacks. 

"'This, sir,' said he, 'is something out of my usual line; but a president of 
the United States has a multiplicity of duties not specified in the Constitution or 
acts of Congress. This is one of them. This money belongs to a poor negro 



who is a porter in the Treasury Department, at present very bad with the small- 
pox. He is now in the hospital, and could not draw his pay because he could not 

sign his name. 

"'I have been at considerable trouble to overcome the difficulty and get it for 
him, and have at length succeeded in cutting red tape, as you newspaper men 
say. I am now dividing the money and putting by a portion, labeled, in an 
envelop, with my own hands, according to his wish,' and he proceeded to indorse 
the package very carefully. 

" No one witnessing the transaction could fail to appreciate the goodness of 
heart which prompted the president of the United States to turn aside for a time 
from his weighty cares to succor one of the humblest of his fellow-creatures in 
sickness and sorrow." 


The day following the adjournment at Baltimore, various political organiza- 
tions called to pay their respects to the president. First came the convention 
committee, embracing one from each state represented— appointed to announce 
to him, formally, his nomination. Next came the Ohio delegation, with Mentor's 
band, of Cincinnati. Following these were the representatives of the National 
Union League, to whom he said, in concluding his brief response: 

'' I do not allow myself to suppose that either the convention or the league 
have decided to conclude that I am either the greatest or the best man in America; 
but, rather, they have concluded that it is not best to swap horses while 
crossing the river, and have further concluded that I am not so poor a horse but 
that they might make a botch of it trying to swap!" 


As a further elucidation of Mr. Lincoln's estimate of presidential honors, a 
story is told of how a supplicant for office, of more than ordinary pretensions, 
called upon him, and presuming on the activity he had shown in behalf of the 
Republican ticket, asserted, as a reason why the office should be given to him, 
that he had made Mr. Lincoln president. 

"You made me president, did you?" said Mr. Lincoln, with a twinkle of 

his eye. 

" I think I did," said the applicant. 

" Then a pretty mess you've got me into, that's all," replied the president, 
and closed the discussion. 


Ancestry and pioneer days in Kentucky 5-11 

Grandfather killed by Indians 12 

His uncles and aunts 12 

Lincoln, Ttiomas, his father 13 

Hanks, Nancy, his mother 14 

Parents' marriage, and their first homes 15 

His birth 17 

Boyhood in Kentucky 18 

First school 19 

First church he attended 20 

Father moves to another farm 20 

Father concludes to move to Indiana 21 

Trip to the Indiana home 23 

Picture and description of the Indiana home. 24 

Death of his mother 25 

His mother's grave 26 

Father marries a second time 27 

Advent of stepmother and children 28 

Spencer county and Gentryville, Indiana 28 

School-days in Indiana 29 

Studying by the firelight 30 

Books he read..-. 31 

He runs a ferry-boat 32 

Hires out as man-of-all-work 33 

Saves the life of a drunken man 34 

Country school-house debater 35 

Attends a murder trial 35 

Kicked senseless by his " old mare " 36 

Writes an essay on temperance 37 

Makes aflatboat trip to New Orleans 38 

Father emigrates to Illinois 41 

Drives an ox-team and splits rails 41 

Death of his father and mother 42" 

Leaves home at the age of twenty-one ^ 42 

First home in Illinois 43 

Engaged to build a boat 44 

Acts as cook for the carpenters 45 

Second trip to New Orleans 46 

Stands in slave auction-room 47 

Pledges himself to down slavery 48 

Meets a champion wrestler 49 

Becomes a resident of New Salem 50 

The site of New Salem 51 

Is selected as election clerk 52 

Begins the study of grammar 53 

As a clerk in a store 54 

Pummels a buUj- 54 

Challenged to a wi'estling-raatch 56 

Makes speeches in favor of river navigation.. 57 

The attempt to navigate the river a failure... 58 

Enlisted in the Black Hawk war 60 

Elected as captain 61 

Met his match in wrestling 61 

Experiences as a soldier 62-65 

Mustered out of service 66 

Announces his candidacy for the Legislature. 67 

Buys a store 68 

Appointed postmaster 68 

He is made deputy surveyor 69 

Walks fourteen miles for a law-book 69 

Reputation as a story-teller 70 

Palls in love with Ann Rutledge 71 

Courts Mary Owens 72 

Elected for tbe first time to the Legislature... 73 

Speaks for the first time in Springfield. 74 

Squelched his opponent 75 

Declares himself for woman suffrage 76 

Resolutions of protest against slavery 77 

Banqueted in Springfield 78 

Moves to Springfield 79 

Re-elected to the Legislature 80 

Aroused by the murderof Lovejoy 81 

First meets Stephen A. Douglas in debate 82 

Extracts from this first debate 83 

Tribute to the Revolutionary ancestors 84, 85 

Associates at the bar '. 87 

Again re-elected member of the Legislature. 88 

Secures the freedom of a negro girl 88 

Meets Van Buren 89 

Delivers an address on temperance 90 

Candidate for Congress 91 

Unfortunate love affair 93, 94 

Goes to Kentucky for a vacation 95 

Applies himself to the law '. 97 

Challenged to a duel 98 

Marriage to Mary Todd 99 

Forms partnership with William Herndon... 101 

Goes to Congress 102 

Visits Henry Clay, at Lexington, Kentucky.. 103 

Opposed to the Mexican war 104 

He introduces the "Spot" resolutions.. ..105, 106 

Speech In Congress against Cass 107 

Offered the governorship of Oregon 108 

Made a tour East 109 

Returned to his law practice 110 

Aroused by Clay's compromise Ill 

He attacks "squatter sovereignty " 112 

Passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill 113, 114 

Meets Edwin M. Stanton, in Cincinnati I15 

Saves a man from the gallows 116, 117 

Birth of the Republican party 119 

As leaders of the free-soil movement 120 

Dred Scott decision 121 

John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry 123 

Nominated for the United States Senate 125 

Lincoln-Douglas debates 127-129 

Speaks at Cincinnati 130 

Speaks in Kansas and in New York City 131 

His wealth at this time .'. 132 

Favorite of Illinois Republicans for president 133 

Nominated for president at Chicago 134 

Notified of nomination by official committee 136 

Election to the presidency 138 

Starts from Springfield, 111., to Washington... 139 

How he happened to wear whiskers 141 

Night trip from Harrisburgto Washington... 142 

Takes his seat as president 145 

Fort Sumter fired upon 147 

Issues call for 75,000 troops : 149 

Troops mobbed in Baltimore 151 

Confederate capital moved to Richmond 152 

Slavery abolished in the District of Columbia 158 

Calls for 400,000 men > 160 

Issues the Emancipation Proclamation 163 

Battle of Gettysburg 168 

Gettysburg address 169 

Re-elected president 177 

Grant made lieutenant-general 181 

Fall of Richmond 185 

Visit to Richmond 185 

Surrender of Lee 186 

The assassination 189 

House in which he died 191 

Death of the assassin 192 

Lincoln Monument at Springfield, Illinois... 194 
Thoughts and sayings of Abraham Lincoln.. 199 

Speech on tbe value of education 201 

Speech on temperance 202 

Injustice of slavery 206 

"A house divided against itself" 209 

Regarding a protective tariff 217 

His autobiographj' 218 

All honor to Jefferson 221 

To General Grant 223 

His vow before God.. 227 

A presentiment 229 

Description of the Lincoln Monument 231 

" With malice toward none " 232 

Likes a compliment 235 

Last public address 236 

Sermon on the death of Lincoln, bv Beecher. 237 

Ode on Lincoln, by Lowell 238-240 

Oration on Lincoln, by McKinley 241-253 

Lincoln's favorite poem 254, 255 

Tributes to Lincoln, by Grant and others. .257, 258 
Anecdotes, stories, etc 259 







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