The Notable History of Mncoln, Sixteenth President OFTHE United States. Boys National Series. CHICAGO Dooohue HennetMjrry & (b The Notable History of ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Sixteenth President of the United States. DID you ever read the fairy stories about the poor boy who became a prince? Do you wish to hear a true story about just such a boy ? Let me tell it to you. It is the story of Abraham Lincoln, the hero who saved his country. He was as poor a boy as ever lived in America; he rose to be greater and grander and more royal than any prince, or king, or em- peror who ever wore a crown. Listen to his story : There was once a poor car- penter, who lived in a miserable little log cabin, out West. It was on a stony, weedy little hill- side, at a place called Nolin's Creek, in the State of Kentucky. In that log cabin, on the twelfth day of February, in the year 1809, a little baby was born. He was named Abraham Lincoln. I don't believe you ever saw a much poorer or meaner place in which to be born and brought up than that little log cabin. Abraham Lincoln's father was poor and lazy. He could not read and he hated to work. Abraham Lin- coln's mother was a hard-working young woman, who dreamed about having nice things, but never did have them. Their house had no windows, it had no THE LOG CABIN IN WHICH LINCOLN WAS 'BORN. cr\e*K Tf.or-*^ S3 ■2-->-3 fiooi, it had none of the things you have in your pleasant homes. In all America no baby was ever born with fewer comforts and poorer surroundings than little Abraham Lincoln. He grew from a baby to a homely little boy, and to a homelier-looking young man. He was tall and thin and gawky. His clothes never fitted him; he never, in all his life, went to school but a year; he had to work hard, he could play but little, and, many a day, he knew what it was to be cold and hungry and almost homeless. His father kept moving about from place to place, living almost always in the woods, in Kentucky and Indiana and Illinois. Sometimes their home would be a log cabin, sometimes it was just a hut with only three sides boarded up, and little Abraham Lincoln was a neglected and forlorn little fellow. His mother died when he was only eight years old. Then Abraham and his sister, Sarah, were worse off than ever. But pretty soon his father married a second wife, and Abraham's new mother was a good and wise woman. She washed him and gave him new clothes ; she taught him how to make the most and do the best with the few things he had and the chances that came to him; she made him wish for better things; she helped him fix himself up, and encouraged him to read and study. This last was what Abraham liked most of all, and he was reading- and studying all the time. There were not many books where he lived, but he borrowed all he could lay his hands on, and read them over and over. He studied all the hard things he could find books on, from arithmetic and grammar to surveying and law. He wrote on a shingle, when he could not get paper, and by the light of a log fire, when he could not get candles. He read and studied in the fields, when he was not working; on wood-piles, where he was chopping wood, or in the kitchen, rocking the cradle of any baby whose father or mother had a book to lend him. His favorite position for studying was to lay, stretched out like the long boy he was, flat on the floor, in front of an open fire. Here he would read and write and cipher, after the day's work was over, until, at last, he grew to be as good a scholar as any boy round. Once he borrowed a book of an old farmer. It was a " Life of Washington." He read it and read it again, and when he was not reading it he put it safely away between the logs that made the wall of his log-cabin home. But one day there came a hard storm ; it beat against the cabin and soaked in between the logs and spoiled the book. Young Abraham did not try to hide the book nor get out of the trouble. He never did a mean thing of that sort. He took the soaked and ruined book to the old farmer, told him how it happened, and asked how he could pay for it. L 1 "Wall," said the old farmer, "'taint much account to me now. You pull fodder for three days and the book is yours." So the boy set to work, and for three days "pulled fodder" to feed the farmer's cattle. He dried and smoothed and pressed out the "Life of Washington," for it was his now. And that is the way he bought his first book. He was the strongest boy in all the country 'round. He could mow the most, plough the deepest, split wood the best, toss the farthest, run the swiftest, THE BOY LINCOLN, STUDYING. jump the highest and wrestle the best of any boy or man in the neighborhood. But, though he was so strong, he was always so kind, so gentle, so obliging, so just and so helpful that everybody liked him, few dared to stand up against him, and all came to him to get work done, settle disputes, or find help in quarrels or trouble. When he was fifteen years old he was over six feet tall and very strong. No man or boy could throw him down in a wrestle. He was like Washington in this, for both men were remarkable wrestlers when they were boys. But he always wrestled fair. Once, when he had gone to a new place to live, the big Lincoln, rail splitter. boys got him to wrestle with their champion, and when the champion found he was getting the worst of it he began to try unfair ways to win. This was one thing that Lincoln never would stand — unfairness or meanness. He caught the big fellow, lifted him in the air, shook him as a dog shakes a rat, and then threw him down to the ground. The big bully was conquered. He was a friend and follower of Lincoln as long as he lived, and you may be sure the "boys" all about never tried any more mean tricks on Abraham Lincoln. So he grew, amid the woods and farms, to be a bright, willing, obliging, active, good-natured, fun-loving boy. He had to work early and late, and when he was a big boy he went to work among the farmers, where he hired as a " hired man." He could do anything, from splitting rails for fences to rocking the baby's cradle ; or from hoeing corn in the field to telling stories in the kitchen. And how he did like to tell funny stories. Not always funny, either. For, you see, he had read so much and remembered things so well that he could tell stories to make people laugh and stories to make people think. He liked to recite poetry and "speak pieces," and do all the things that make a person good company for every one. He would sit in front of the country store or on the counter inside and tell of all the funny things he had seen, or heard, or knew. He would make up poetry about the men and women of the neighborhood, or "reel off" a speech upon things that the people were interested in, until all the boys and girls, and the men and women, too, said "Abe Lincoln," as they called him, knew about everything, and was an "awful smart chap." Sometimes they thought he knew too much, for once, when he tried to ex- plain to one of the girls that the earth turned around and the sun did not move, she would not believe him, and said he was fooling her. But she lived to learn that "Abe," as she called him, was not a fool, but a bright, thoughtful, studious boy, who understood what he read and did not forget it. He worked on farms, ran a ferry-boat across the river, split rails for farm fences, worked an oar on a " flat-boat," got up a machine for lifting boats out of the mud, kept store, did all sorts of "odd jobs" for the farmers and their wives, and was, in fact, what we call a regular ''Jack of all trades." And all the time, though he was jolly and liked a good time, he kept studying, studying, study- ing, until, as I have told you, the people where he lived said he knew more than anybody else. Some of them even said that they knew he would be Presi- dent of the United States some day, he was so smart. The work he did most of all out-of-doors, was splitting great logs into rails for fences. He could do as much as three men at this work, he was so strong. With one blow he could just bury the axe in the wood. Once he split enough rails for a woman to pay for a suit of clothes she made him, and all the farmers round liked to have "Abe Lincoln," as they called him, split their rails. He could take the heavy axe by the end of the handle and hold it out straight from his shoulder. That is something that only a very strong-armed person can do. In fact, as I have told you, he was the champion strong-boy of his neighborhood, and, though he was never quarrelsome or a fighter, he did enjoy a friendly wrestle, and, we are told, that he could strike the hardest blow with axe or maul, jump higher and farther than any of his comrades, and there was no one, far or near, who could put him on his back. He made two trips down the long Ohio and the broad Mississippi rivers to the big city of I New Orleans, in Louis- iana. He sailed on a clumsy, square, flat-bot- tomed scow, called a flat- boat. Lincoln worked the forward oar on the flat-boat, to guide the big craft through the river currents and over snags. On these trips he first saw negro men and women bought and sold the same as horses, pigs and cattle, and from that day, all through his life, he hated slavery. When he became a young man, a war broke out in the Western country with the Indians. They were led by a famous Indian chief called Black Hawk. Lincoln went with the soldiers to fiirht Black Hawk. He was thought so much of by his companions that they made him captain of their company. Captain Lincoln's soldiers all liked him, and they were just like boys together. Sometimes they were pretty wild boys and gave him a good deal of trouble, but he never got real angry at them but once. That was when a poor, broken-down, old Indian came into camp for food and shelter, and Lincoln's L S LINCOLN, THE IVKLSTLER. "boys" were going to kill him just because he was an Indian. But Lincoln said, "For shame!" He protected the old Indian and, standing up in front of him, said he would knock down the first man that dared to touch him. The soldiers knew that Lincoln meant what he said, and thought even more of him after that. And the old Indian's life was saved. When the soldiers' time was up, and most of them went back home, Lincoln would not go with them. He joined another regiment as a private soldier and staid in the army until the Indians were beaten and driven away, and Black Hawk was taken prisoner. Then Lincoln started for home with another soldier boy. They had great adventures. Their horse was stolen, and they had to walk; then they found an old canoe and paddled down the rivers until the canoe was upset and they were nearly drowned; then they walked again until they "got a lift" on a row-boat, and so, at last, walking and paddling, they got back to their homes, poor and tired out, but strong and healthy young men. Then Lincoln tried store-keeping again. He had already been a clerk in a country store; now he set up a store of his own. He was not very successful. He loved to read and study better than to wait on customers, and he was so obliging and good-natured that he could not make much money. Then he had a partner who was lazy and good for nothing, and who got him into trouble. But, through it all, Lincoln never did a mean or dishonest thing. He paid all the debts, though it took him years to do this, and he could be so completely trusted to do the right thing for everyone that all the people round about learned to call him "Honest Abe Lincoln." That's a good nick-name, is'nt it? After Lincoln got through keeping store he was so much liked by the people that they chose him to go to the capital of the State, as one of the men who made laws for the State of Illinois, in what is called the State Legislature. He was sent to the Legislature again and again, and one of the first things he did was to draw up a paper, saying what a wicked thing slavery was. At that time, you know, almost everybody in the southern half of the United States owned negro men and women and children, just as they owned horses and dogs and cows. Lincoln did not believe in this. Once, when he was in New Orleans, on one of his flat-boat trips, he went into a dreadful place where they sold men and women at auction. It made young Lincoln sick and angry, and he said if ever he got the chance he would hit slavery a blow that would hurt it — though, of course, he did not think he was ever to have the real chance to "hit it hard" that did come to him. But when he was a young man no one said much against slavery, and the ■i > Liinicolni in tike BlackHia'wTk: war. people thought Lincoln was foolish to act and talk as he did. But, you see, one of the strongest things about Abraham Lincoln was that he was sympathetic — that is, he felt sorry for any one in trouble. He was tender, even with ani- mals — pigs and horses, cats and dogs, and birds If he found a little bird on the ground, he would take it up tenderly and hunt around until he found its nest, and leave it there. He would get down from his horse to pull a pig out of the mud, and, when he was a boy, he went back across an icy and rushing \. < . LINCOLN, AS HIKED MAN, TELLING A STORY. river to help over a poor little dog that was afraid to cross. So you will not wonder that, when he grew to be a man, he hated slavery, for slavery was un- kindness to men and women. After he came back from the Legislature, he became a lawyer — he had always been studying law, you know. He was a bright, smart and successful lawyer. What is better still, he was a good and honest one. He never would take a case he did not believe in, and once when a man came to engage him to help get some money from a poor widow, Lincoln refused, and gave the man such a scolding that the man did not try it again. So Mr. Lincoln grew to be one of the best lawyers in all that Western country. Because he was so wise and brave in speech and action, Lincoln rose to be what is called a great politician. He and another famous man, named Douglas looked at things differently, and they had long public talks or discussions about politics and slavery. These discussions were held where all the people could hear them, in big halls or out of doors, and crowds of people went to listen to these talks, so that very soon everybody "out West" and people all over the country had heard of Lincoln and Douglas. At last, came a time when the people of the United States were to choose a new President. And what do you think? These two men were picked out by the opposite parties to be voted for by the people — Lincoln by the Repub- licans, and Douglas by the Democrats. And on election day the Republicans won. The poor little backwoods boy, the rail-splitter, the flat-boatman, the farm-hand, was raised to the highest place over all the people. Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States. Is not that as good as your fairy story of the poor boy who became a prince? It is even better, for it is true. It was a great honor, but it meant hard work and lots of worry for Abraham Lincoln. Bad times were coming for America. The men of the South, who believed in slavery and said that their States had everything to say, stood up against the men of the North, who did not believe in slavery, and said that the Government of the United States had more to say than any one of the separate States. Thus the men of the South said, "You do as we say, or we will break up the Union." And the men of the North said, "You cannot break it up. The union of all the States shall be kept, and you must stay in it." The South said, "We won't; we will secede" — that is, draw out of the Union. The North said, "You shall not secede. We will light to keep you in and preserve the Union." The South said, "We dare you!" The North said, "We'll take that dare!" And then there was war. Abraham Lincoln, when he was made President, spoke beautifully to the Lincoln visiting tlhie Hospital people, and begged them not to quarrel. But, at the same time, he told them that whatever happened, he was there to save the Union, and he should do so. But his words then had little effect. War had to come, and it came. For four dreadful years the men of the North and the men of the South fought each other for the mastery on Southern battle fields. Many desperate and terrible battles were fought, for each side was bound to win. Neither side would give in, and brave soldiers, under brave leaders, did many gallant deeds LINCOLN KEEPING STORE. under that terrible necessity that men call war. This war was especially dread- ful, because it was just like two brothers fighting with each other, and you know how dreadful that must be. During all those four years of war Abraham Lincoln lived in the Presi- dent's house at Washington — the White House, as it is called. He had but one wish — to save the Union. He did not mean to let war, nor trouble, nor wicked men destroy the nation that Washington had founded. He was always ready to say, "We forgive you," if the men of the South would only stop fighting and say, "We are sorry." But they would not do this, much as the great, kind, patient, loving President wished them to. That he was kind and loving all through that terrible war we know very well. War is a dreadful thing, and when it is going on some hard and cruel thincs have to be done. The soldiers who are sick or wounded have to be hurt to make them well. As they lay in their hospitals, after some dreadful battle had torn and maimed them, the good President would walk through the long lines of cot-beds, talking kindly with the wounded soldiers, sending them nice things, doing everything he could to relieve their sufferings and make them patient and comfortable. In war, too, you know, even brave soldiers often get tired of the fighting and the privations and the delay, and wish to go home to see their wives and children. But they cannot, until it is time for them. So, sometimes they get impatient and run away. This is called desertion, and when a deserter is caught and brought back to the army, he is shot. Now President Lincoln was so loving and tender-hearted that he could not bear to have any of his soldiers shot because they had tried to go home. So, whenever he had a chance, he would write a paper saying the soldier must not be shot. This is called a pardon, and whenever a weak or timid soldier was arrested and sentenced to be shot as a deserter, his friends would hurry to the good President and beg him to give the man a pardon. He almost always did it. "I don't see how it will do the man any good to shoot him," he would say. "Give me the paper, I'll sign it," and so the deserter would go free, and perhaps make a better soldier than ever, because the s:ood President had saved him. The question of slavery was always coming up in this war time. But when some of the men at the North asked Lincoln to set all the slaves in the land free, he said: "The first thing to do is to save the Union; after that we'll see about slavery." Some people did not like that. They said the President was too slow. But he was not. He was the wisest man in all the world; the only one who could do just the right thing, and he did it. He waited patiently until just the right time came. He saw that the South was not willing to give in, and that something must be done to show them that the North was just as determined as they were. So, after a great victory had been won by the soldiers of the Union, Abraham Lincoln wrote a paper and sent it out to the world, saying that on the first day of January, in the year 1863, all slaves in America should be free men and women — what we call emancipated — and that, forever after, there should be no such thing as slavery in free America. It was a great thing to do. It was a greater thing to do it just as Lincoln did it, and, while the world lasts, no one will ever forget the Emancipation Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln. Still the war went on. But, little by little, the South was growing weaker, and, at last, in the month of April, 1865, the end came. The Southern soldiers gave up the fight. The North was victorious. The Union was saved. You may be sure that the great and good President was glad. He did not think that he had done so very much. It was the people who had done it all, he said. But the people knew that Lincoln had been the leader and cap- tain who had led them safely through all their troubles, and they cheered and blessed him accordingly. But do you think the poor black people whom he had set free blessed him? They did, indeed. LINCOLN ON THE FLAT BO.iT. President Lincoln, (signing a. pardon,. When President Lincoln at last stood in the streets of Richmond, which had been the capital of the Southern States, he was almost worshipped by the colored people. They danced, they sang, they cried, they prayed, they called down blessings on the head of their emancipator — the man who had set them free. They knelt at his feet, while the good President, greatly moved by what he saw, bowed pleasantly to the shouting throng, while tears of joy and pity rolled down his care-wrinkled face. Don't you think it must have been a great and blessed moment for this good and great and noble man. But it was the same all over the land. There was cheering and shouting and thanksgiving everywhere for a re-united nation, and even the South, weary with four years of unsuccessful war, welcomed peace and quiet once more. Then, who in all the world was greater than Abraham Lincoln? He had done it all, people said, by his wisdom, his patience and his determination, and the splendid way in which he had directed everything from his home in the White House. The year before, in the midst of the war, he had been elected President for the second time. " It is not safe to swap horses when you are crossing a stream," he said. So the people voted not to "swap horses." Lincoln made a beautiful speech to the people when he was again made President. He spoke only of love and kindness for the men of the South, and, while he said the North must fight on to the end and save the Union, they must do it not hating the South, but loving it. And this is the way he ended that famous speech. Remember his words, boys and girls, they are glorious: "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 * * * and achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace amone ourselves and with all nations." But, just when the war was ended, when peace came to the land again ; when all men saw what a grand and noble and loving and strong man the great President was ; when it looked as if, after four years of worry, weariness and work, he could at last rest from his labors and be happy, a wicked, foolish and miserable man shot the President, behind his back. And, on the morning of the fifteenth of April, in the year 1865, Abraham Lincoln died. Then how all the land mourned ! South, as well as North, wept for the dead President. All the world sorrowed, and men and women be^an to sec what a ereat and noble man had been taken from them. The world has not got over it yet. Every year and everv day only makes Abraham Lincoln greater, nobler, mightier. No boy ever, in all the world, rose higher from poorer beginnings. No man who ever lived did more for the world than Abraham Lincoln, the American. He saw what was right, and he did it; he knew what was true, and he LINCOLN ENTERING RICHMOND. said it; he felt what was just, and he stuck to it. So he stands to-day, for justice, truth and right. You do not understand all this now, as you listen to these words and look at these pictures. But some day you will, and you will then know that it was because Abraham Lincoln lived and did these things that you have to-day a happy home in a great, free, rich and beautiful country — "The land of the free and the home of the brave." So remember this, now, boys and girls : You are free and happy in America to-day, because Abraham Lincoln saved for you to live in the land that George Washington made free.