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the Class of 1901 

founded by 














1879. . 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879 by 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. 

Printed, Stereotyped, Bound and Published 



J> .'4- i^l^Ci 

L ^ 


General USIIEE F. LINDKR commenced liis Reminis- 
cences in December, 1874, and completed them in 
March, 1876. 

He died on the fifth day of June, 1876, in the city 
of Chicago, and was buried in Graceland cemetery. 

Mrs. Linder survived him but a short time, and 
departed this life on the 14th day of July, 1877. 

General Linder had seven children, two of whom 
died in infancy. The remaining five, Mrs. Rosa A. 
Wilkinson, Mrs. Lillie A. Galliger, Daniel W. Linder, 
a member of the Chicago Bar, Usher F. Linder, and 
Eugene B. Linder, are now living in Chicago. 


March 10, 1879. 





BAKER, E. D. 248 

BAIRD, JOHN P. . . . . . . . . 284 







BROWN, JOHN J . . . 134 

BROWNING, 0. H 83 



Incident of the Trial of Joe Smith, the Mor- 
mon Prophet Anecdotes of .... 87 


CASEY, ZADOCK . , 160 

CATON, JOHN D. . 363 









His Rivalry of Lincoln Power in the Senate 
Wouldn't visit Queen Victoria because he must 
appear in Court dress Was received by the 
Emperor of Russia in the same dress in which 

he visited the President of the United States 76 







EDWARDS, NINIAN W. , . . . . . 279 

FICKLIN, 0. B 110 





GILLESPIE, JOSEPH . . . . - . . . 121 

GREENUP, WILLIAM C. . . . . . . 380 


U. S. Minister to Prussia He dines with the 

Prime Minister . . . . . . 138 




Anecdotes of 44 







Lincoln Douglas Brilliant Railroad Schemes 
Illinois and Michigan Canal Removal of the 
Capital to Springfield . . . .55, 58, 61 







Early Life in Kentucky Removal to Illinois 

First Meeting with Lincoln Retrospective . 21, 

35, 37, 395 







MCROBERTS, SAMUEL . . . . . . . .91 



MORRISON, 'J. L. D 366 

OGLESBY, RICHARD J. . . . , . . . 170 







ROBINSON, JOHN M. . . . ... ... 268 

ROWAN, JOHN . . .25 

RYAN, E. G . 378 






His contemplated Duel with Lincoln . . 65 









STUART, JOHN T . . 347 


Wilson Smith Brown Lockwood . . 73 



THORNTON, WILLIAM F. . . . . . . 115 

TREAT, SAMUEL H. -\ 388 




VOORHEES, DANIEL W. . . . _ . . . . 253 





State Treasurer Secretary of Interior Bearer 

of Challenge between Lincoln and Shields . 86 


WILSON, JOHN M. . 302 





Anecdotes of Benjamin Mills, A. W. Cavarly, 

Justin Butterfield, and Benjamin F. Fridley . 399 


IT is perfectly natural, at least it has always been, from 
the dawn of creation, and will doubtless be (as Governor 
Reynolds used to say, "till eternity in the afternoon") the 
case that people will reverence the past and desire to be 
fully posted as. to the men and thje events of by-gone 
periods; and this is particularly the case in reference to> 
what are called the " transition periods" in the history of 
a people. Illinois has, within the last forty years, been; 
passing through that period. Forty years ago she had 
not to exceed 140,000 inhabitants, and not a mile of 
railroad; now she has a population of at least 3,000,000,. 
and more miles of railroad than any other State in the 
Union. She produces more of the means of subsistence 
than any territory of equal extent in America. 

In 1838, she was in debt more than $18,000,000. She 
has paid, to the uttermost farthing, that debt, principal 
and interest, with the exception of a small sum not yet 
due but which she could this day discharge without 
occasioning the slightest embarrassment. She is in 
receipt from the Illinois Central railroad of an annual 
stipend, varying between half and three-quarters of a 
million of dollars enough almost to run the State 
government. She has cut no mean or inconsiderable 
figure in the political history of the country. In I860, 
she furnished the two most prominent candidates for the 
Presidency; one of whom (Mr. Lincoln) was elected to. 



two terms. General Grant, another of her citizens, was 
chosen as President for two terms. Lincoln and Douglas, 
were the acknowledged representatives of the Republican 
and Democratic parties throughout the Union. Of her 
sons, more than 259,000 enlisted in the Union army, 
besides thousands who joined the Confederates. 

Of the character and integrity of her public men; of 
the prowess of her sons on the battlefield; and last, 
though not least, of the prevalence among her people of 
the desire for a reconciliation and complete restoration 
of the era of fraternal good-will and mutual friendship 
with the people with whom we were so recently engaged 
in deadly strife, Illinoisans have reason to be proud. 
These astonishing results are owing, in some degree, to 
the men who have shaped and moulded public opinion 
amongst us; and our people have a very great desire to 
know all about these " Fathers of the Land." Although 
it was my privilege to be personally acquainted with most 
of the men who have given tone to Illinois affairs, I have 
been grieved to think how little concerning them would 
be rescued from oblivion, and how insignificant would be 
the knowledge of posterity of the men who had shaped 
the destinies of Illinois. 

I had been many times appealed to of late to jot down 
my reminiscences of the times and men of our early days 
in this State. I felt my own unfitness for the task, and 
feared that no one having the experience and ability to 
do justice to the occasion could be found. I despaired 
of its accomplishment. I had fixed my mind upon USHER 
F. LINDER as the man, above all others, whose abilities 
and opportunities enabled him to portray the men and 
incidents of the past of our State with the most exact 
fidelity and precision; but I had no intimation or 
expectation that he had attempted, or would attempt the 


task, until I was most agreeably surprised, a short time 
since, by receiving- a note from his son, informing me 
that his father had prepared memoirs or reminiscences of 
the early times in Illinois, and desiring me to furnish an 
introductory chapter. Under any other circumstances, 
I would have declined the task, for I feel assured 
that book-making is not my forte, and my foes might 
exultingly exclaim, in the language of Job, "Oh that mine 
enemy would write a book! " I determined, however, let 
the consequences to me be what they might, to comply 
with the young man's request, and contribute my mite to 
bring forth the " Memoirs." 

I believe I was -as well acquainted with General 
Linder, and admired him as much as any living man. 
We became acquainted in 1836 or 1837, and for years 
rode the "Circuit," and practiced law together; and, so 
far as I know, the most cordial relations subsisted between 
us. We co-operated (as he states in his " Memoirs") in 
the General Assembly to influence legislative action on 
the subject of railroads, and I feel fully justified in 
saying that it was mainly owing to his transcendent 
abilities that Illinois now has three railroads running 
across the central portion of the State, when, if his policy 
had not prevailed, we would have had but one. He, and 
the men who co-operated with him, likewise risked their 
reputation in stamping upon the charter of the Illinois 
Central railroad the taxation feature. He, it is true, 
could not accomplish this object in the House (of which 
he was a member), but it was done in the Senate, where 
his influence was potential. Had the stand not been then 
taken, such was the frenzy for railroads amongst our 
people that most of the charters would have passed 
exempting railroad property, virtually, from taxation. 

General Linder was pre-eminently fitted for describing 


the incidents connected with the lives and characters of 
the men who figured in early times in our State. In the 
first place, his acquaintance was more extensive than that 
of any other man I knew, except Douglas and Lincoln. 
His practice as a lawyer was wide-spread, and led him 
into all parts of the State. Then, he had a faculty of 
becoming acquainted with, and of finding out all about 
other people, that was unequalled. His memory was 
retentive in a wonderful degree. I have been amazed 
and amused at the amount of information he would glean 
in his first stroll about a town. He would come to the 
hotel, loaded with all the news that was afloat, and how 
he gathered it up, nobody could tell. He could penetrate 
character at a glance; he was as quick as lightning, and 
as unerring as the shafts of fate. He could delineate it 
with great accuracy, and in graphic terms. 

I have been glancing over his memoirs, and, although 
I was well acquainted with nearly every person spoken 
of, I find that he describes them with life-like fidelity, 
and portrays them in colors which I know to be true, but 
which did not strike me before I had read these memoirs. 

He was pre-eminently impartial. His dislike of a man 
never caused him to detract in the slightest degree from 
his merits. In his memoirs we have tho opinions of an 
observing, capable, and impartial person, and I think he 
sheds more light upon the history of Illinois, in his 
Reminiscences (although not intended to be directly of a 
historical character) than in any production I have seen. 

It may not be amiss for me to add something to what 
General Linder has said of himself. He was a man of 
very extensive general reading, and was master of the 
English classics, and kept up with the literature of the 
day. He was well posted in ancient and modern history, 
and had considerable skill in matters pertaining to 


science. All these branches of knowledge he could turn 
to good account whenever require;!, but it was in his 
capacity of a lawyer that he excelled. Most people at 
first supposed that he was merely a brilliant orator, and 
had no great knowledge of law, but in this they were 
wofully mistaken. U. F. Linder was a profound lawyer. 
He understood all its technicalities. I never knew any 
one to get the better of him on a legal point, and I have 
seen him tested many a time. Any one who calculated 
to gain a case against Linder without having the law 
and the right clearly on his side " reckoned without his 
host," for he frequently succeeded with the law and the 
testimony manifestly against him. I never felt that a 
defendant in a criminal case was safe from a verdict 
when Linder prosecuted, no matter what the evidence 
'might be in his favor; if Linder contended for a conviction, 
our only hope was in the courts. He would generally, if 
there was nothing in a case, abandon the prosecution. 
But woe be to the accused, if the Attorney-General did 
not see fit to nol pros., and the law was not clearly with 
them. I always believed that it was inhuman to confer 
the office of prosecuting attorney upon such men as 
Linder and Bissell. 

Prosecuting attorneys do not as often as justice requires 
forbear to prosecute. Professional pride, the habit of 
regarding the accused as guilty, which all prosecutors 
fall into, and the unrelenting importunity of enemies of 
the defendant, blind these officers to a proper sense of 
duty, and justice is often perverted. These sentiments I 
know are not in accord with those generally entertained, 
but they are, nevertheless, worthy of acceptance. 
Ordinary men are greatly overmatched by such prosecu- 
tors as I have named. I have known Linder to get 
a verdict consigning a man to the penitentiary for 


accidentally killing another with a blow of his fist, in a 
fight which he did not begin, because, although a quiet 
man, he was very powerful. His offense consisted in 
being big and strong. 

The idea originally entertained that Linder could not 
be a deeply-reaJ lawyer grew out of the fact, first, that 
it is the general opinion that when men have the imagi- 
native faculty in a high degree, they are deficient in the 
argumentative quality. That was Justin Butterfield's 
idea. He was trying a case against E. D. Baker, a man 
of brilliant parts, who, strangely enough, misquoted a 
passage of poetry. What was more strange, Butterfield 
corrected him, and in so doing said, that for Baker to be 
ignorant of the law, was the most natural thing in the 
world nobody would expect anything else but for him 
to be at fault in poetry, was marvelous and unpardonable. 

The other ground was, that Linder was not often seen 
consulting law books; but his legal training must have 
been very fine, and his aptitude for catching a point 
remarkably strong. It was not true, however, that he 
did not read law. He studied both the facts and the law 
of his cases carefully; but it was at night, or at odd times, 
when he was not observed. One thing is very certain 
he was always ready to produce book and page of the 
authorities in support of his positions. Linder's forte^ 
however, was in addressing a jury. There, it seemed to 
me, if he had any merits in his case, he was invincible. 

I don't know that I can convey an idea of his efficiency 
in any better way than by describing him in one case, 
and he was the same in all others, under similar circum- 
stances. The case to which I refer is the one mentioned 
in the memoirs as having occurred at Kaskaskia. I will 
give my recollection of that case. 
Linder struck our circuit at Nashville, "Washington 


county. The court adjourned there on Thursday even- 
in jr. Linder and I were too far from our homos to reach 


them and return to Kaskaskia by the following Monday. 
The Belleville lawyers went home, and Linder and I 
wended our way to Kaskaskia, and put up at a hotel 
kept by one Dcevers. This was Linder's first appearance 
at Kaskaskia. He took a stroll about town, and soon 
returned with his budget of news. Amongst other items 
he had discovered that our landlord had sued a man 
named Campbell in assault and battery, laying his dam- 
ages at $1,000, and expec'.ed a heavy verdict, on account 
of having lost a portion of his ear in the skirmish. 
Campbell had offered Linder a small fee -at a venture, 
which the other declined, not knowing, as he said, but 
that the landlord would employ him, and if he did, he 
would make it pay both our tavern bills. 

I liked the scheme, but told Linder that I thought 
Deevers had set his heart on getting Trumbull to assist 
Baker, his resident lawyer. But I agreed to try and get 
him in for Deevers. Soon after, the landlord inquired 
who my companion was. I pretended to be much sur- 
prised, and said, " Is it possible you don't know General 
Linder, the Attorney-General, and the greatest lawyer in 
the State, in a certain class of cases? In slander cases, 
or in assault and battery, particularly the latter class, he 
has no equal; and if you have any friend who has an : 
assault and battery case, tell him by all means to hasten 
and employ Linder." 

Deever did not "bite," however, and I told the Gen- 
eral. "Well," said he, "if he don't, I'll close with 
Campbell, and give Boniface h 1!" 

Sunday night Trumbull drove up, and the landlord 
sprang to the side of his buggy, and engaged him before 
he could get out. I reported to Linder, and he posted 
off and made a bargain with Campbell. 


The case was set for Wednesday, and the General 
bestowed his undivided attention upon his only case. He 
told me that upon looking into the case, he found that if 
the plaintiff's attorneys were not looking out sharp, he 
would get the advantage of them in the pleadings, and 
then it was the " finest case he ever looked into." 

His opponents, having their hands full of business, fell 
into the error he had anticipated, and when the plead- 
ings were' made up, Linder said of the plaintiff, as Crom- 
well did of the Scotch army, "The Lord hath delivered 
thee into my hands." Linder said he was going to make 
one of the finest efforts of his life, and I believed it, in 
so far that I told my acquaintances, and among them 
Judge Pope, that there would be music in court on 
Wednesday. I said to him that I thought Linder would 
out-do himself if he could have some ladies in the audi- 
ence. The Judge said he would have the court room 
filled with them. 

Kaskaskia was at that time famous for the elegance, 
intelligence, and fascination of its ladies. 

The day arrived, the evidence was heard, and the ladies 
graced the room. Linder was in perfect trim, and when 
he went to the jury, the scene baffled description. My 
stock of language is totally inadequate to the task of 
giving any definite idea of the circumstances. I feel 
like Burns, when he says: 

" But here my muse her wings maun cower, 
Sic flights are far beyond her power." 

Notwithstanding the fact that the merits of the case 
-were all with the plaintiff, the jury^ without leaving their 
box, returned a verdict for the defendant. I was so 
dazed by the adroitness, the eloquence, and the masterly 
ability of Linder, that- I was never able to remember 
much that he said. Indeed, I don't know how he could 


very well say anything in such a case that would be 
likely to stamp itself upon the memory distinctly. I 
think he gained the case by ridicule, by the most brilliant 
displays of rhetoric, and by dramatic effect. It seemed 
to me that he had acquired absolute dominion over the 
jury, and that if he had called upon, them to render a 
verdict of guilty of murder against poor Deevers, they 
would have done so. The jury, the audience, everybody 
was convulsed with laughter, from the beginning to the 
end of Linder's argument, but poor Deevers, and he 
looked very much like a man going to the gallows. 
Linder gave him the most terrible castigation man ever 
received. Not by saying severe or harsh things about 
him, but by ridiculing him beyond measure. He literally 
laughed the case out of court. The court adjourned 
upon the rendition 'of the verdict, and while we were 
going out, Deevers said to me: 

"Oh God! why didn't I take your advice, and employ 
that man. I would not have lost my case if I had." 

" Deevers," said I, " when I take the pains to give you 
good, disinterested advice, hereafter, you will be apt to 
follow it." 

"Yes, indeed, I will!" said he. 

The first thing Deevers would say to me when I met 
with him after that, would be, "Well, Gillespie, what a 
fool I was, that I didn't take your advice that time." 

This was just a specimen case. Under similar cir- 
cumstances he could do the same thing- any time. He 
was generally equal to any emergency, and it was sel- 
dom that he fell below himself. He had a soul full of 
humor; it beamed in his eyes and glowed in his counte- 
nance. I have watched him when he was speaking, and 
could see by the twinkle of his eye that fun was coming 
before his language gave any intimation to that effect. 


Mr. Lincoln admired him greatly as a speaker. He 
told me that he and Linder were once defending a man 
who was being tried on a criminal charge before Judge 
David Davis, who said at dinner time that the case must 
be disposed of that night. Linder suggested that the 
best thing they could do would be to run Benedict, the 
prosecuting attorney, as far into the night as possible, in 
hopes that he might, in his rage, commit some indiscre- 
tion that would help their case, Lincoln commenced, 
but to save his life he could not speak one hour, and the 
laboring oar fell into Linder's hands; " but," said Lincoln, 
" he was equal to the occasion." He spoke most interest- 
ingly three mortal hours about everything in the world. 
He discussed Benedict from head to foot, and put in 
about three-quarters of an hour on the subject of Bene- 
dict's whiskers. Lincoln said he never envied a man so 
much as he did Linder on that occasion. He thought he 
was inimitable in his capacity to talk interestingly about 
everything and nothing, by the' hour. 

No matter how much Linder loved admiration, he 
never refused to accord the due meed of praise to others, 
although they might be his rivals. He would always 
"give the devil his due." In politics he was extremely 
.liberal, so much so that it was difficult for him to define 
his own position at times. When I first knew him he 
was a Jackson man. His admiration for the old hero 
was so strong that he rather ignored the principles which 
> characterized the Adams and Jackson parties, and fol- 
lowed his inclinations. When Jackson was out of the 
way, and the contest was between Clay and somebody 
else, he consulted his judgment, and was profoundly 
convinced of the correctness of the old Whig principles. 
He believed that we were a nation, and not a mere 
league of States / that the currency of the country should 


be national in its character, and not local; that we 
should develop and derive the profits from the mechani- 
cal and manufacturing industries, and that it was within 
the scope of the powers of the general government, 
under the clauses in the Constitution which allowed it to 
establish post-roads and regulate commerce, to construct 
internal improvements within the States, and thus he 
was a Whig. Being a man of strong Southern proclivi- 
ties, he believed that the abolition of slavery would be 
everlastingly ruinous to the South, and therefore he 
differed from his old friend Lincoln on the question of 
emancipation, and became what was called a War Demo- 
crat that is, one who believed in the unification of the 
country, but feared that the emancipation of the slaves 
would be attended with ruinous consequences to the 
white man. General Linder occupied the same position 
that did the Hon. John T. Stuart (one of the best men and 
ablest thinkers Illinois has ever produced) on this ques- 
tion. Both sound Whigs from conviction, but anticipat- 
ing direful effects from the abolition of slavery, and so 
could not be Republicans. I differ from both, and think 
that Mr. Lincoln was the most far-seeing. Neither 
Linder nor Stuart believed in slavery, but they did pro- 
foundly believe in the superiority of the Caucasian 
family, and would rather endure the evils of slavery than 
what they thought would be the ruin of the white race. 
In attempting to write an introductory chapter to these 
memoirs, I hesitate to allow my vapid style to be brought 
into juxtaposition with their glowing pages. But a truce 
to excuses and apologies, 1 will follow the bent of my 
inclination, and discourse as I feel inclined, and as I 
know my old friend General Linder would wish me to 
do, if he were alive and asking me to do this himself. 1 
will sum up the character of General Linder by saying 


that he was a man of transcendent abilities in the forum 
and at the hustings; that he was remarkably candid and 
fair in his estimate of the characters of men; that he 
was genial in his disposition to the highest degree, and 
that he loved his country pre-eminently. He was a good 
citizen, a kind friend, and an affectionate husband and 
father. He had his failings, and although I cannot say 
that they leaned to virtue's side, I do maintain that none 
of his infirmities were groveling or despicable. They 
were such as may be reconciled with the highest honor. 
He was the worst enemy to himself. He filled a large 
space in public estimation, and rendered important ser- 
vice to the country, which will be better known and 
appreciated hereafter than it is now, or has been during 
his life-time. I feel assured that he has placed the 
country and posterity under deep and lasting obligations 
for his memoirs, in which he has rescued from oblivion 
many, names of benefactors of Illinois. 

Usher F. Linder has not lived in vain. He has fought 
a good fight, and been honorably gathered to his fathers. 
Peace to his ashes, respect to his memory, is the prayer 
of his old friend and admirer, 





]T the solicitation of many friends, I sit down 
to write a history of my life, in which I shall 
give my recollections of many of the men and 
events of my day and time. I am by birth a native of 
Kentucky. I w r as born on the 20th day of March, A. D. 
1809, in Elizabethtown, Hardiri county, Kentucky. My 
youthful and schoolboy days are full of many beauti- 
ful recollections, and the same, perhaps, may be said 
by ninety-nine out of every hundred who have lived 
to be as old as I am; yet there are passages in my 
early life that I would fain forget, and with these I 
propose not to trouble the reader. A man's life, who 
has lived to my age, may well be compared to the 
four seasons Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. 
My first recollections are connected with country life. 
My father owned a small farm in what was called the 
"Barrens," of about one hundred and fifty acres, with 
an extensive spring of water upon it, situated nine 
miles west of Elizabethtown. 



My memory carries me back very distinctly to when 
I was about six years old perhaps earlier. I remem- 
ber the iirst school to which I went, and riding 
there on my father's back. The old pedagogue who 
taught this school was John Dougherty, a queer old 
soul, and a jolly one at that. He boarded alternately 
with the parents of his pupils. The schoolhouse was 
situated in the midst of a thick growth of stunted 
blackjacks; the logs of which it was built were cut 
from these trees (wlrich stood around about it) and 
was covered with clapboards, with a dirt floor, and 
one of the logs cut out for a window, with but one 
door for an entrance. From this schoolhouse, little 
smoothly-worn paths diverged in every\ direction, 
formed by the juvenile feet that came from every 
point of the compass. 

It was in this house these sylvan shades this 
Arcadian grove, that I commenced my first classical 
course of A B C's, which course I did not finish until 
I was transferred to another school, and. another 
teacher, about a year from my matriculation with 
Dougherty, from which the reader may well infer that 
I was not a very precocious scholar. Perhaps it will 
not be out of place to mention here that the wife 
whom I afterwards married, and with whom I have 
lived for over forty-three years, went to this same 
school, and being younger than 1, was carried there 
on the back of her eldest brother. 

The next school I was sent to was kept by a man 
whose name was Samuel Cavens, with whom I mastered 
my A B C's, and learned to spell in two syllables. He 
was a kind, good man, and afterwards rose to some 


distinction in Green county, Indiana; became clerk of 
the circuit court, and also represented that county in 
the Legislature of that State. Some fifteen years ago, I 
was associated with the late Judge David McDonald, 
of Indianapolis, in prosecuting a suit of some magni- 
tude against an old and distinguished lawyer of Indiana, 
in the Sullivan circuit court ; while there, my old 
preceptor, wlio flourished in an adjoining county, came 
to see me, to ascertain if I was the outgrowth of the 
boy he taught his A B C's some forty years before. 
He seemed as proud of his old pupil as if he had been 
his own son, and I am sure I was far from being 
ashamed of him. We had a pleasant time in talking 
of the old times and old men of Kentucky, and our 
mutual nps and downs of life since my schoolboy days. 
This may seem a very trifling circumstance to the 
reader, and hardly worthy of a place in these memoirs, 
but every professional man who has risen from poverty 
and obscurity, and made for himself a name in the legal 
world *bf which he is not ashamed, and taken his place 
in the front rank of his profession, knows how sweet it 
is to recount his triumphs to an old school-fellow or 
tutor. But of all the incitements to great and super- 
human exertions, the approving smiles of a little divin- 
ity, clothed in the form of woman, is the greatest. 

While I was yet quite young, my father removed to- 
a farm some two miles from Elizabethtown, on the 
Shepherdsville road, and I was still kept going to- 
school; sometimes to one master or mistress, and then 
to another. I distinctly remember Knawl, Allison,, 
Mi-Grill and Mary Martin. How tar I progressed 
while under the instruction of these various teachers, 


is scarcely worth recording. Suffice it to say, I had 
an immoderate love for juvenile plays and sports of 
all kinds, and nothing filled me with greater horror 
than the sight of a school-house. I was finally trans- 
ferred to the school kept in the seminary of Elizabeth- 
town by an excellent man and teacher, and a ripe 
scholar. He was a graduate of some one of the 
Northern or Eastern institutions of learning, which 
one I do not now remember; but it was while with 
him I acquired my first ardent love for learning, and 
made rapid progress in the various studies assigned 
me, English grammar being my favorite. The name 
of this gentleman w r as John Seward Sweesey. He 
went into politics, and was succeeded by an Eastern 
graduate, by the name of Proctor. With him I stud- 
ied Latin principally, for about a year, when my father 
moved to Indiana, and of course took me with him. 
At this time I could not have been over thirteen years 
of age, if I was that old. 

When court was in session at Elizabethtown,'it was 
a great treat to me on Saturdays to go to the court 
house and witness the encounters between the lawyers, 
and I have no scruple in saying that at this bar prac- 
ticed some of the most eminent barristers in Kentucky, 
and perhaps in the Union. 



|T the head of this bar stood John Rowan, of 
Bardstown, who had distanced all competitors 
as a great criminal lawyer, and who stood pre- 
eminently high' in every department of jurisprudence; 
snperadded to this, his conversational powers were 
only surpassed by his great learning and his subtle dis- 
quisitions as a lawyer. He was a great man a very 
yreat man; and what is more, he not only acted the 
great man, but he looked the great man. A stranger 
of any discernment would pick him out of a thousand 
and inquire who he was. I think he was the grandest 
and most magnificent specimen of humanity I ever 
saw. I never saw but one man whose personal appear- 
ance reminded me of Ho wan, and that was the late 
Henry Eddy of Shawn eetown. 

Rowan's father was quite a poor man, and had a 
large family to support, and, consequently, John was 
the only one of his sons who received a liberal educa- 
tion. His name became almost a household word 
throughout Kentucky, the Middle States and the 
Northwestern Territories. He was sent for, far and 
near, to defend in cases of murder, and no lawyer ever 
had greater success, he but seldom losing a case. He 


was never known to take a fee to prosecute in a crimi- 
nal case. lie regarded ,it as mean, mercenary and 
dishonorable to do so, looking upon the fee in snch 
cases as the wages or price of blood. He placed the 
lawyer who prosecuted for money and the highway- 
man on the same level. He was a man of the noblest 
and most refined sensibilities, and scrupulously con- 
scientious. He never sought a quarrel, but being in, 
would fight it out. 

A Doctor Chambers, of Bardstown, having become 
jealous of Rowan, without cause, challenged him. 

Rowan tried every honorable expedient to avoid a 
hostile meeting, but nothing would satisfy the jealous, 
man but the blood of Rowan. Finally Rowan accepted 
the challenge, and they fought with pistols, at ten 
paces. Chambers fell at the first fire, mortally 
wounded, and such was the great popularity and high 
standing of Chambers, that Rowan for a long time had 
to conceal himself, until the public excitement died out. 

Rowan's power in criminal cases consisted in the 
subtle character of his reasoning, and in raising a 
doubt. He was never stormy or passionate; his style 
being almost conversational, yet, when occasion 
required it, he could, in a mere whisper, stir the deep- 
est feelings of compassion and pity, and convulse the 
whole audience in tears. 

In a civil suit for damages for the seduction of an 
accomplished and beautiful girl, of good family, Rowan 
being for the plaintiff', after stating the facts of the 
case in all their most aggravating aspects, he closed ty 
quoting, in a most pathetic tone, the beautiful and 
tender lines from the "Vicar of Wakefield ": 


" When lovely woman stoops to folly, 

And finds too late that men betray, 
No art can soothe her melancholy, 

No charm can drive her guilt away. 

" The only art her guilt to cover, 

And hide her shame from every eye, 
And bring repentance to her lover, 

And wring his bosom, is to die.'' 

He was somewhat Johnsonian in his conversational 
style, yet words in abundance were at his command, 
and came forth in easy and unrestrained fluency. His 
thoughts were grand and magnificent, and he clothed 
them all in royal purple. He dealt largely in the 
metaphorical and figurative. I can only give one 
specimen which I heard myself, at least fifty years ago. 

It was a case in which a bank was plaintiff and one 
of its officers defendant Rowan for the defense, Ben 
Hard in. for the plaintiff. There was a little pyramid 
of books of the bank stacked up between the bar and 
the jury-box day-books, journals, ledgers, etc. I shall 
never forget his words or his manner. It was near the 
close of his very learned and ingenious argument that 
he remarked: "Gentlemen of the jury, it has been 
well said that corporations have no souls. I cordially 
indorse the sentiment; money, money, gentlemen, is 
their god. These books (laying his hand on the pile 
of bank books) their Bible, a counting house their 

His forte did not lie, as I have before intimated, 
in carrying away the jury by impassioned appeals to 
their hearts; to obtain a verdict of acquittal was with 
him a game of skill. He often cheated the jury, and 
snatched a verdict where all the circumstances and 


indicia of guilt pointed towards his client. He once 
opened his defense in a case of murder in the follow- 
ing singular but candid manner: "Gentlemen of the 
jury, taking all the evidence into consideration that 
has been adduced in this case, the probabilities are 
that my client committed the deed; this I frankly 
admit, but mere probabilities will not be sufficient to 
work a conviction unless they produce in the mind of 
the jury the conviction that there is a moral certainty 
of his guilt such as leaves no doubt resting in the 
mind of the jury; to that certainty and that doubt I 
propose to address myself." 

It used to be a saying amongst the members of the 
bar, when Rowan had a hard case of murder to defend, 
and public opinion pronounced him guilty in advance 
of a trial, " No," said they, " not if Rowan can get 
in his wooden horse." Counsel on the opposite side, 
anticipating the skill and ingenuity of Rowan, would 
often playfully caution them " to look out for the 
Grecian horse." 

I know not if any regular biography has been writ- 
ten of Mr. Rowan. He certainly deserves to have an 
abler biographer than I am, and I trust the imperfect 
sketch here given of this great man will not be con- 
strued as an attempt on my part to write his bio- 
graphy. Had he not been of my profession, practic- 
ing at the Elizabeth bar, I should not have written 
this short sketch. 

Rowan's personal appearance was very imposing. 
He was about six feet high, and well proportioned, 
possessing that leonine look about the head and 
shoulders, which captivated all beholders. In dress he 


followed the advice of Polonius to his son Laertes 
it was " rich but not gaudy." 

A well- written life of John Eowan would add 
greatly to our stock of "Western literature, and would 
be a great treat to any Kentucky lawyer, however far 
he may have wandered from the natale solum the 
glorious old Kentucky. Oh, Kentucky the lawyers 
of Kentucky! 



]HE next great lawyer at my native bar was Ben 
Hardin. With liim my acquaintance com- 
menced even in my boyhood, and continued -up 
to the time of my leaving Kentucky, in 1835, for the 
State of Illinois. He was one of the sons of Anak in 
intellect and stature, and almost as awkward and un- 
gainly in person as our late lamented Lincoln. I 
hardly, at this distance of time, know how to draw his 
legal portrait. An accomplished, deeply erudite jurist 
he certainly was not; but as a successful practitioner, 
both before court and jury, and in courts of equity as 
well as courts of law, 1 know of no lawyer in Kentucky 
who stood above him. As a speaker, he wielded a 
sharp but coarse blade, and woe to him who provoked 
its edge! I can say, in all sincerity, I never listened 
to a more interesting speaker than Bcu Hardin. I 
generally obtained leave of absence during the term of 
our circuit court, and I have always considered it as 
time well spent. I give to Ben Hard in the credit (if 
any is due) of putting the torch to my youthful ambi- 

He was sought for by all the various classes of liti- 
gants, even before Rowan, \\ith the single. exception 
of cases of murder. His practice lay principally in 


the north of the Green River country, in Judges 
Booker and McLean's circuits, and also in the courts 
of Louisville and Frankfort. 

The reader is doubtless aware that our system of 
law in Kentucky governing our titles to land was one 

/ 3 zj 

borrowed from Virginia, and was one of the great 
obstacles in the early settlement of the State of Ken- 
tucky; a system that made many lawyers rich and 
many good men poor. 

There was a man in the county of Jefferson, of 
which Louisville was the county seat, by the name of 
Jack Hundley, who had made an immense fortune for 
that day, by trading in negroes with the South, and 
when he came to die, being a Presbyterian, he willed 
the bulk of his fortune to the Presbyterian church. 
He was a bachelor. His brothers and sisters brought 
a suit to break the will. Ban Hard in was their law- 
yer. The bill was filed in the Jefferson circuit court, 
and my recollection is, that the church took a change 
of venue to Shelby county; but of that I am not pos- 
itively certain, though I have a graphic description of 
the trial. The clergy in vast numbers, dressed in 
black, formed two wings of the court, about ten on 
each side of the Judge, who had not the courage to 
make them take their places with the rest of the 
crowd. When Ben Hardin came to address the jury, 
he said: "Gentlemen of the jury, have you ever seen 
an old dead horse, or any other dead carcass, where 
the buzzards congregated to feast upon the carrion ? 
If you ever have seen that, you have now an opportu- 
nity of seeing something that greatly resembles it. 
Behold the black-coated gentry who have presented 



themselves on this occasion, to over-awe and 'influence 
the verdict of the jury!" 

He went on to show that undue influence had been 
used by the Presbyterian church and its ministers, to 
appropriate the vast fortune of Jack Hundley to them- 
selves, and cheat his blood relations out of that which 
was their natural inheritance. Before he concluded, 
the buzzards disappeared, and the jury retired and 
were out but a short time when they came in with. a 
verdict which knocked Jack Hundley's will into 



HAVE now given the reader a view of ROAV- 
an and Hardin. There were others of that 
bar who are entitled to my notice, having 
excited in me, even when a boy, the desire to figure at 
the bar, amongst whom was Ben Chapeze, Tom Chil- 
ton, Dick Rudd, Governor William Duval, Ben To- 
bin, a nephew of Ben Hardin, and many other distin- 
guished lawyers, not one of whom but would grace 
any bar in the Union. 

Governor William Duval was one of the most social 
and interesting men I ever knew. He was Governor 
of Florida when it was a territory. In a social chat 
amongst us lawyers, he kept us in constant roar of 
laughter. He gave us an account of one of Bona- 
parte's nephews one of the Murats, who had a fine 
estate in Florida whom the Governor on one occasion 
invited to take dinner with him, at Tallahassee. He 
said his cook had provided a large amount of wild 
fowl of every description wild ducks, geese, cranes, 
and every other fowl of which you can possibly con- 
ceive to which the young Murat did full justice, and 
seemed very much pleased, and addressing himself to 
Governor Duval, said: 

'"Governor, you have fine wild fowls in this country. 


I have killed and cooked a great many of them; 
but, Governor, there is one bird that is indigenous to 
this country which I do not very much like. I killed 
him and brought him in, and he stunk so bad that my 
servant and I could not divest him of his feathers. 
Oh, by Gar, sare, it made me vomit ! " 

Duval asked him to describe the bird he spoke of. 

" Well, sare, I saw him and about a hundred others 
sitting on a log, with their wings spread out, near to 
an old dead horse, and I concluded to kill one of them 
they looked so much like turkeys. I killed one of 
them ; I cooked him, sare. My God, sare,.I puked like 
I had taken an emetic ! " 

" "Why/' said Governor Duval, "it was a turkey 
buzzard the meanest bird in our country." 

" Oh, yes, Governor, by Gar, it was the God damn 
buzzard ! " 



the summer of 1835, 1 removed to the State 
of Illinois with my family, which then con- 
sisted of myself and wife and little daughter 
and son. We landed at my father's house, on the 
National Road, then being constructed by the National 
Government from Terre Haute to Yandalia, having 
been^ finished from Fort Cumberland through Ohio 
and Indiana to Terre Haute., a flourishing town situated 
on the Wabash River, a most beautiful site, like all 
the other towns originally settled by the French such 
as Vincennes, Kaskaskia, Peoria and others. Illinois 
was a vast and fertile plain, bounded on the east by 
the Wabash River, on the south by the Ohio, on the 
west by the Mississippi, and on the north by Lake 
Michigan and the State of "Wisconsin. 

When I arrived in Illinois, on the 12th of July, 
1835, it looked to me like a vast wilderness of flowers, 
with a soil as rich and fertile as ever a crow flew over. 
It seemed to me as if the Lord had created it as a 
paradise for farmers. But when we were all laid on 
our backs with the chills and fever, with water unfit 
even for a beast to drink, I sighed when I thought of 
the hills, knolls, valleys and the purling fountains 
that gushed in coolness from the hill-side, and went 


dancing and babbling to the sea. And when, in 
October, death snatched from our arms our darling 
little boy John Calhoun Linder Illinois seemed to 
have no charms left for me, and I resolved, as soon 
as \ve were all recovered from the dreadful epidemic, 
which then prevailed all over the State, and which laid 
every member of mine and my father's family on their 
backs, to return to Kentucky and accept poverty as a 
boon, if we could only be blessed with health. But 
when all recovered again, and but one was lost, I 
began to look about to see if there was not something 
in Illinois for me. 

The judicial system was very similar to that of 
Kentucky. The highest courts of general, original, 
chancery and common law jurisdiction were the cir- 
cuit courts. There was not over seven or eight of 
these circuits when I came to the State. I settled in 
Coles county, in a little village called Qreenup, named 
after old Col. Wm. C. Greennp, who laid it off and 
was one of its proprietors'. He came to the State 
while it yet was a territory, and was the Secretary of 
the Constitutional Convention that was convened at 
Kaskaskia, and formed the first Constitution of this 

The national road was then being constructed 
through Illinois. It was the only public work I 
remember at that time in Southern Illinois. It fur- 
nished employment for a vast number of workmen 
and laborers, by which many a poor man and new 
comer earned the money wherewith to pay his taxes, 
doctor's bill, and to lay in a supply of food and cloth- 
ing for the winter of 1835 and 1836. Charleston, the 


county seat of Coles, was about twenty miles north of 
Greenup. It was laid out by a man from Fayette 
county, Ky., by the name of Charles S. Morton." 


I did not travel on the circuit in 1835, on account 
of iny health and the health of my wife, but attended 
court at Charleston that fall, held by Judge Grant, who 
had exchanged circuits with our judge, Justin Harlau. 
It was here I first met Abraham Lincoln, of Spring- 
field, at that time a very modest and retiring man, 
dressed in a plain suit of mixed jeans. He did not 
make any marked impression upon me, or any other 
member of the bar. He was on a visit to his rela- 
tions in Coles, where his father and stepmother lived, 
and some of her children. Lincoln put up at the 
hotel, and there was where I saw him. Whether 
he was reading law at this time I cannot say. 
Certain it is, he had not then been admitted to the 
bar, although he had some celebrity, having been a 
captain in the Black-Hawk campaign, and served a 
term in the Illinois Legislature; but if he won any 
fame at that season I have never heard of it. He 
had been one of the representatives from Sangamon. 
If Lincoln at this time felt the divine afflatus of great- 
ness stir within him I have never heard of it. It was 
rather common among us then in the West to sup- 
pose that there was no presidential timber growing in 
the Northwest, yet he doubtless had at that time the 
stuff out of which to make half a dozen presidents. 

I had known his relatives in Kentucky, and he asked 
me about them. His uncle, Mordecai Lincoln, I had 


known from my boyhood, and he was naturally a man 
of considerable genius; he was a man of great droll- 
ery, and it would almost make you laugh to look at 
him. I never saw but one other man whose quiet, 
droll look excited in me the same disposition to laugh, 
and that was Artemas Ward. He was quite a story- 
teller, and they were generally on the smutty order, 
and in this Abe resembled his Uncle Mord, as we all 
called him. He was an honest man, as tender- 
hearted as a woman, and to the last degree cliari table 
and benevolent. 

~No one ever took offense at Uncle Mord's stories 
not even the ladies. I heard him once tell a bevy of 
fashionable girls that he knew a very large woman 
who had a husband so small that in the night she often 
mistook him for the baby, and that upon one occasion 
she had armed him with a diaper and was singing to 
him a soothing lullaby, when he awoke and told her 
that the baby was on the other side of the bed. 

Lincoln had a very high opinion of his uncle, and 
on one occasion said tome: " Linder, I have often 
said that Uncle Mord had run off with all the talents 
of the family." 

Old Mord, as we sometimes called him, had been in 
his younger days a very stout man, and was quite fond 
of playing a game of fisticuifs with any one who was 
noted as a champion. He told a parcel of us once of 
a pitched battle he had fought with one of the champ- 
ions of that day. He said they fought on the side of 
a hill or ridge; that at the bottom there was a rut or 
canal, which had been cut out by the freshets. He 
said they soon clinched, and he threw his man and fell 


on top of him. He said he always thought he had the 
best eyes in the world for measuring distances, and 
having measured the distance to the bottom of the 


hill, he concluded that by rolling over and over till 
they came to the bottom his antagonist's body would 
lill it, and he would be wedged in so tight that he 
could whip him at his leisure. So he let the fellow 
turn him, and over and over they went, when about the 
twentieth revolution brought Uncle Mord's back in 
contact with the bottom of the rut, " and," said he, 
" before hell could scorch a feather, I cried out in 
stentorian voice: ' take him off'!' " 

I could tell many more of Uncle Mord Lincoln's 
stories, but these two will serve as specimens. His 
sons and daughters were not talented, like the old man, 
but were very sensible people, noted for their honesty 
and kindness of heart. 

Abraham Lincoln was born in Hardin county 
(now La' Rue), within ten miles of the place where 
I first saw the light, and a little over a month 
ahead of me. His mother, whose maiden name was 
Nancy Hanks, was said to be a very strong-minded 
woman, and one of the most athletic women in Ken- 
tucky. In a fair wrestle, she could throw most of the 
men who ever put her powers to the test. A reliable 
gentleman told me he heard the late Jack Thomas, 
clerk of the Grayson Court, say he had frequently 
wrestled with her, and she invariably laid him on his 
back. Lincoln himself was a man of great physical 
powers a perfect type of sinews and muscles wrapped 
around enormous bones. 

The impression that Mr. Lincoln made upon me 


when I first saw him at the hotel in Charleston, was 
very slight. He had the appearance of a good-natured, 
easy, unambitious man, of plain good sense, and unob- 
trusive in his manners. At that time he told me no 
stories and perpetrated no jokes. 

I must leave Mr. Lincoln now, and take him up 
again when he shall make his appearance in the regu- 
lar order of this history. 

It is not my purpose or intention to write an auto- 
biography, or burden this narrative with matters per- 
sonal to myself, only so far as to give to the reader an 
idea of the men and events of my own day and time. 

In 1835, the population, as shown by the census of 
that year, did not exceed one hundred and fifty thou- 
sand souls. The earlier emigration to this State had 
been mostly from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, which 
lay to the East and South of Illinois. A portion, 
however, were from Tennessee and the Carolinas. 
This made the principal part of the then population of 
Illinois, with the exception of the French at Kaskaskia 
and other French posts, with quite a German popula- 
tion in St. Clair County, and a few Yankees at Chicago, 
and some more sparsely scattered through the North- 
ern portion of the State. The reader will perceive, 
from the above general view, that the weight of popu- 
lation lay in the Southern portion of the State. I 
should have stated that a colony of English farmers, 
gentlemen and yeomanry, at quite an early day, had 
settled Edwards County, which name they gave it, 
with their county seat at Albion, a name also bestowed 
by them. 

At this time there were but few lawyers in the State. 


The most eminent were Henry Eddy and Jefferson 
Gatewood, of Shawneetown ; James Semple, of Alton ; 
Stephen T. Logan, of Springfield; Thomas Ford, of 
Edwardsville; Sidney Breese, of Kaskaskia; Samuel 
McRoberts, of Danville; Jephtha Hardin, of Shaw- 
neetown; David J. Baker, of Kaskaskia; Justin Bnt- 
terfield, James Collins and Giles Spring, of Chicago; 
A. P. Field, of Vandalia; Richard Young, of the 
northern portion of the State; William Wilson, Ed- 
win B. Webb, of Carmi, and Nathaniel Pope, of Kas- 
kaskia. There are doubtless others whom, in the lapse 
of time, I have forgotten or overlooked, who are enti- 
tled to a place with the foregoing eminent gentlemen 
of the bar, whose names shall be introduced as they 
occur to me, and properly inserted and noticed in some 
appropriate place in these memoirs. Early in the 
spring of 1836 I commenced attending the various 
courts in the fourth judicial circuit; composed of some 
fifteen or sixteen counties. The roads being very bad, 
and in many places impassable for carriages, the judge 
and all the lawyers traveled on horseback, which, for 
me, was always the most pleasant mode of traveling 
the safest, and most social and democratic, except trav- 
eling on foot. 



]HERE is no "profession or body of men that 
are happier or more respectable than circuit 
court lawyers. Especially was it the case in 
the early settlement of Illinois. The lawyers who 
went the circuit at the time were, Orlando B. Ficklin, 
prosecuting attorney, and since representative in Con- 
gress; A. C. French, Hazlerigg, Aaron Shaw, E. B. 
Webb, George Webb, father of E. B. Webb, John 
Pearsons, Samuel McHoberts and myself, Justin Har- 
lan being our presiding judge on this circuit a man 
for whom I feel the most profound respect and deepest 
veneration. He was a man of the highest order of tal- 
ents, and although his learning was not what is called 
-iberal, yet he was a profound, well-read and able law- 
yer, and as honest and impartial in the discharge of 
his judicial functions as the day is long. When not on 
the bench, he was a plain unostentatious gentleman, 
who eschewed all vainglorious show or parade. His 
manner and walk and conversation did not say, as oth- 
ers I have known did, " here goes your judge; keep at 
a respectful distance, all ye of the tiers," etc., " and all 
above come and do homage." No man entertained 
a profounder contempt for all upstarts and toadies. 
When on the road, in the tavern, or at the dinner-table, 


the judge and his lawyers were on a footing of perfect 
equality, but when on the bench he laid aside all 
levity, giving his whole attention to the case under 
consideration, paying the same attention to the junior 
that he did to the senior members of the bar. There 
was a period of some four or five years that he was 
not on the bench, when he and I were often retained 
together in the same case. Our intercourse was of the 
most genial and pleasant character, and our friendship 
has grown with our age, till it has become crystalized 
and insoluble. 



jlHE first court that I attended in the spring of 
1836, was at Lawrenceville, in Lawrence coun- 
ty. It seemed that some good genius attended 
me, for I got into almost immediate practice wherever 
I went, which increased from year to year until I quit 
the circuit. From Lawrenceville we went to Mt. 
Carmel; from there to Carmi, where we often met with 
lawyers from Shawneetown circuit such as Gatewood, 
Eddy, Mapes, Samuel Marshall, and William H. Stick- 
ney, now of Chicago. But let me not forget to make 
especial mention of my distinguished friend, Jephtha 
Hardin, whom we frequently met at this court. He 
was a brother of the distinguished Benjamin Hardin, 
of whom I have spoken in a former part of these me- 
moirs. He reminded me very much of his brother 
Ben, in looks and disposition. Of course he was not 
the equal of Ben, but not greatly his inferior. 

Jephtha Hardin, like his brother Ben, of Kentucky, 
had a very good opinion of himself. Finding that I 
had been personally acquainted with his brother Ben, 
he seemed somewhat anxious to know what opinion I 
entertained of him. I told him Hardin was an able 


lawyer, so regarded by all who knew him exceedingly 
sarcastic, as I had a good right to know ; that I had 
felt the merciless inflictions of his coarse satire full 
many a time, and that I was even yet sore in the re- 
membrance thereof; that as he was almost the coun- 
terpart of his brother in physical and mental stature 
being large and ungainly in size and coarse in speech 
I was only sorry that there was no case in court 
where we were on opposite sides, that I might liqui- 
date the debt I owed to the Hardin family. 

"The thing, by G d," said he, "of "all others I 
most desire. Well," added he, " there is a case of 
hog-stealing here. I know the defendant. I will see 
the young man who is defending, and get him to let 
me assist him. You must see the State's Attorney, 
and become his sole prosecutor, and I'll be d d if I 
don't give you the worst dressing down you ever had 
in your life." 

The matter was not difficult to arrange, either with 
the young man or the State's Attorney. So into the case 
we went, after the evidence was through, which was 
very strong against the accused. I opened with a 
plain statement of the facts and the law, telling the 
jury that the most they would have to do would be to 
agree upon the time he should serve in the peniten- 
tiary, but I would take the liberty to tell them that 
the accused would be defended by the distinguished 
Jephtha Hardin, of Shawneetown, brother to the dis- 
tinguished Ben Hardin, of Kentucky, of world-wide 
renown, who, being scarcely less distinguished than his 
brother, proposed to add new lustre to his laurels by 
the castigation he was going to give me. I gave a brief 


statement of the fact that I had challenged him to the 
combat, for the purpose of paying off' a debt I owed to 
the Hardin family. He immediately rose and replied 
to me at considerable length and with marked bit- 
terness, and seemed unwilling to give me credit for 
a very moderate share of ability. lie succeeded in 
getting off some pretty good laughs at rny expense. 
When he closed and it was my turn to reply, the court 
adjourned to dinner. During the recess the circum- 
stance of our legal duel became known to everybody, 
so that at the meeting of the court I had a full house, 
and quite a number of ladies to grace the occasion. I 
never entertained the least doubt of getting the better 
of him. I was not bitter, for indeed I entertained none 
but the kindest feelings toward Judge Hardin ; but I in- 
dulged in many a ludicrous comparison, and drew from 
the crowd the most uproarious laughter; and when I 
was about closing, turning to Judge Ilardin, I said, 
" Gentlemen of the jury, I have now settled with the 
Hardin s in full the debt I owed." "But I have not 
with you, by God, sir," observed Hardin, in quite 
.an audible voice, which caused everybody to laugh 
to the splitting ot their sides. I went on to say, 
after the crowd had become quiet, " Gentlemen of 
the jury, you may now take leave of your old and 
distinguished friend, Jephtha Hardin ; his face you'll 
see no more; the star that shone with undimmed lus- 
tre has disappeared from its place in the heavens, but 
another shall take its place, of brighter sheen and 
more resplendent lustre." I sat down, leaving the 
crowd enjoying a hearty laugh, and friend Jephtha 
in a terrible bad passion. We parted, however, good 


friends, though I have never seen him since; but I 
will do him the justice to say that he was a man of 
kind disposition, great tenderness of heart, and emi- 
nently social. 

I will next give some very amusing and interesting 
anecdotes of " Old Jephtha," and then take up some 
other distinguished man of that day, whose history 
will not be uninteresting to the present generation. 



1WILL now relate some interesting anecdotes 
illustrative of the character and peculiarities 
of my friend, Jephtha Hard in, the half brother 
of Ben Hardin. of Kentucky. But as my readers 
doubtless are not as well acquainted with the Hardin 
family as I am, I will take occasion here to say that 
they were the most distinguished family of Kentucky. 
They were a race of -giants, physically and intellectu- 
ally. Ben Ilardin was the most distinguished of the 
family, not only as a lawyer but as an advocate. His 
wit and humor were scarcely inferior to that of Cur- 
ran. "When in Congress, where he served for some 
thirteen or fourteen years, everybody even Randolph 
acknowledged his prowess. Randolph compared 
him to a coarse kitchen butcher-knife whetted upon a 
brick-bat. The late General Thornton, of Shelby 
county, Illinois, who knew him well, and who lived in, 
Washington at the time Hardin was a member of 
Congress, told me that when it was known that he 
was going to address the House of Representatives, 
he could gather the largest audience of any member 
of the House; not even Randolph or Clay could 
gather a larger. He said, when it was known that 


Hardin was going to speak, lie has seen negroes and 
boys running along the streets and avenues of Wash- 
ington crying at the top of their voices, " Hardin has 
got the floor! Hardin has got the floor! Hardin has 
got the floor!" and in less than no time the streets 
would be filled with hacks and every sort of vehicle, 
carrying the eager crowd to the Capitol to hear one 
of Kentucky's rarest and most gifted sons address the 
House of representatives. 

The late lamented John J. Hardin, of Illinois, the 
son of Gen. Martin D. Hardin, of Frankfort, Ky., 
M r as a near relative of Ben's. All the Wickliifes, 
from Charles A. down, had Hardin blood in their 
veins, and were all distinguished for their talents. 
.My opinion is, that General John J. Hardin, of whom 
I have already spoken, who fell fighting at Buena 
Vista, under General Taylor, was not inferior to either 
Lincoln or Douglas. I knew him well, and he and 
Lincoln and Douglas and myself served in the Legist 
lature of Illinois in 1836 and '37, at old Yandalia. 

I have now given the reader as good an idea of the 
Hardin family as it is in my power to do. I shall, 
therefore, return for a short period to my old friend, 
" Jep." I have already said that lie was eminently so- 
cial. I will add that he was garrulous the never-fail- 
ing weakness of old age. Mr. Stickney, of this city, 
told me that on one occasion they slept together in the 
same bed at a hotel, and Hardin talked him to sleep, 
recounting the scenes of his early life, and he supposed 
he had slept about two hours and awoke, and found 
Hardin rattling away, perfectly unconcerned as to 
whether Stickney was asleep or awake. 


He and one Michael Jones, of Shawneetown, had a 
deadly feud, and Jones threatened that if he outlived 
Hardin he would dig his bones up out of the grave 
and hang him in chains on a tree at some cross-roads 
in Gallatin county, of which threat Hardin was ap- 
prised ; and being satisfied, from the character of Jones, 
that he would execute it, when he came to die he had 
a clause inserted in his will that they should dig his 
grave fifteen feet deep, and fill it up four feet above 
the surface of the earth with solid masonry; which I 
understand was done. 

One more anecdote in regard to my old friend Jeph- 
tha, and I will dismiss him. While he was presiding 
as judge at Shawneetown, the distinguished Jefferson 
Gatewood, of whom I have already spoken, with whom 
Hardin was not on very good terms, had a case before 
him in which the Judge ruled against him. Gate- 
wood, thinking the ruling wrong, turned to some 
brother lawyer and in an undertone (which Hardin 
nevertheless heard) said, " I will elevate this case and 
itake it out of the hands of this little court." Hardin, 
immediately addressing Gatewood, said, " What is 
.that you say, Jeffy Gatewood did you say little court? 
You, Jeffy Gatewood, say little court? I'll show you 
whether this is a little court or not! I'll fine you, and 
send you to jail into the bargain, sir! Clerk, enter a 
'fine of fifty dollars against him! " 

By this time the great drops of sweat, as big as 
beads, were rolling down Gatewood's forehead; he rose 
to his feet and undertook to explain. Hardin said 
-" Sit down, Jeffy, the court will hear no explanation 
from you. You say little court ! Clerk, enter a fine 


of fifty dollars more against him; I'll show you how 
little a court this is. I'll thrash you, Jeffy, aud you 
know I can do it. Sheriff, adjourn court till after din- 

After the Judge had eaten a good hearty dinner of 
roast turkey and other accompaniments, he opened 
court at 2 o'clock. Being in excellent humor, he remit- 
ted Gatewood's fine, and proceeded with business as 
usual. I am informed that Gatewood never again in- 
timated that Hardin's court was a little court. A. P. 
Field, a lawyer at that time of great distinction, who 
was present on the occasion, and from whom I gath- 
ered the foregoing facts, told me that in all his life 
he never witnessed such an amusing and ludicrous 

My dear reader, if I have wearied you with the ac- 
count I have given you of my old friend Jeptha, at- 
tribute it to an old man's love of gossip, as I shall 
now dismiss him from these pages, hoping I have said 
nothing that will give you a bad opinion of him ; for 
really he was a very good and an exceedingly kind- 
hearted man, and would cry like a child at a picture 
of sorrow or distress. Farewell, Jephtha! peace to thy 
ashes! "Requiescat in pace" 


nc ill I 



of the most distinguished men of that 
day, as a lawyer, was Henry Eddy, of Shaw- 
neetown. I first met him at Carmi, in 1836. 
I also met him at the Supreme Court repeatedly. He 
was employed in the largest cases that came up from 
Southern Illinois. When he addressed the court, he 
elicited the most profound attention. He was a sort 
of walking law library. He never forgot anything 
that he ever knew, no matter whether it was law, poe- 
try or belles lettres. He often would quote whole 
pages of Milton and Shakspeare, when he felt in a 
genial mood. He was the son-in-law of John Mar- 
shall, of Shawneetown, president of the Shawnee- 
town bank, and brother-in-law of Major Samuel Mar- 
shall, one of the most talented men in the State of 
Illinois. I served a term in the legislature of Illinois 
with JEddy, in 1846 and '7, and we roomed together 
during the whole of that winter. 

On one occasion Eddy got very " high," and while 
in that condition, he rose in the House and made a 
few remarks, and it became obvious to us all that 
Eddy was not in a fit condition at that time to address 
the House. Some of his friends who sat near him 
whispered to him and advised him to postpone his 


remarks till the next day, which he did. That night 
four or five of his friends got together and determined 
to have some fun out of him, and we concocted this 
story, which each one of us was to tell him when the 
others were not present. I was the first one to open 
the dance, next morning, when Eddy was perfectly 
cool and at himself. I went to him with great gravity, 
with sorrow expressed in my face and said, " Eddy, you 
mortified your friends very much on. yesterday, in 
attempting to speak whe*n you were so much intoxica- 
ted." He confessed that he had been overtaken, and 
was very much intoxicated. He said that he had been 
to a saloon, and it being a cold morning, had taken a 
stiff horn of " Tom and Jerry," which, when he got 
into the warm Hall of Representatives, close to the 
stove, flew to his head, and he had really no recollec- 
tion of what he had said. 

"Ah, but Eddy, there lies the rub. You cursed 
and swore like a trooper." 

""What did I say, Linder? Do you remember the 

" Yes, Eddy, I do, and I shall never forget them. 
You said, ' Mr. Speaker, this subject by G d, sir, is 
very far from being exhausted, and I'll be G d d d, 
if I don't intend to ventilate it myself,' and at that 
point we got you by the coat tail and pulled you into 
your seat." 

"O ! my God !" said he, "is that so? As soon as 
the House meets, I will make my apology. I never 

did such a thing before, and but for the d d ' Tom 

and Jerry ' would not have done it then." 

The rest of our conspirators all met him, and, seri- 


atim, told him the same story ; and he actually started 
to the House to make his apology, but meeting with 
Rheman, a member from Yandalia, on his way to the 
House, told him what he was going to do. Rheman, 
not being in our plot, told him that he was present and 
heard what he said, and that he was perfectly respect- 
ful, and that there was not a word of profanity in 
what he had said. Eddy said, "I smell it now; the 
boys have laid a trap for me, but they haven't caught 
me this time." 




promised the reader to introduce other 
names into these memoirs, I will now carry him 
to the legislature of Illinois of 1836-7, then 
held at Vandalia, of which body, to-wit: the House of 
Representatives, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A.Doug- 
las, James Shields, Archy Williams, Ninian Edwards 
and John J. Hardin, with many other men that have 
since distinguished themselves in our country's history, 
together with your humble servant, were members. 
This was my second meeting with Abraham Lincoln, 
but far from being my last. I should have mentioned 
that Jesse K. Dubois was also a member of that body 
at that time. I had the pleasure of meeting Robert 
Wilson, of Sangamon county, who was also a member 
of that body at that time, at the unveiling of Lincoln's, 

He had preserved a list of the names of the mem- 
bers of both Houses, and had kept hi)nself informed 
as to what had become of them, and he told me that 
of the one hundred and five members, there M r ere only 
fifteen of us living. Time makes sad havoc of us in 


this world; he comes along with his scythe, mowing us 
down, and pays no attention to talents or distinction. 

I here had an opportunity of measuring the intel- 
lectual stature of Abraham Lincoln better than any I 
had previously possessed. He was then about twenty- 
seven years old my own age. Douglas was four years 
our junior, consequently, he could not have been over 
twenty-three years old, yet he was a very ready and 
expert debater, even at that early period of his life. He 
and Lincoln were very frequently pitted against each 
other, being of different politics. They both com- 
manded marked attention and respect from the House. 
I dislike to draw any parallel or comparison between 
these two men, who afterwards became so famous and 
distinguished in their country's history. 

This body was largely democratic, and it was at 
this session they elected me Attorney-General of the 
State of Illinois. My competitor was Benjamin Bond, 
of Clinton county, 111., also a member of the same 
body with myself. I did not serve out the whole of 
my time in the legislature, it being necessary that I 
should assume the duties of the new office to which I 
had been elected; the law at that time requiring the 
Attorney-General to perform the duties of a district 
or State's attorney, on the circuit of which the seat of 
government, Yandalia, was a part. I therefore, some- 
time in February, resigned my seat and met the court 
at Edwardsville, which was then presided over by his 
Honor, Judge Breese, who, I am happ}- to say, is still 
living and a member of the Supreme Court of the State 
of Illinois, and for his age, one of the best preserved 
men, physically arid mentally, that I know of in tli3 


whole circle of my acquaintances. He cannot be less 
than eighty years of age, and yet he is one of the most 
active and laborious members of the court. It was a 
cold winter when I met Judge Breese atEdwardsville. 
We traveled together on the circuit on horseback, our 
road lying down the Mississippi as far as Kaskaskia. 

It was on this trip that I became acquainted with 
several gentlemen who have since made their mark in 
the history of Illinois, amongst whom were Adam 
Snyder, the father of the present Judge William Sny- 
der, of St. Clair Bounty; Judge Koerner, then but a 
mere novice at the bar; David J. Baker, Governor 
Reynolds and others. I should also have mentioned 
Joseph Gillespie; and I will take occasion here to say 
that a better man and sounder lawyer it has never 
been my good fortune to know. I will also say en. 
passant, that it was on this trip I first became 
acquainted with the late Nathanial Buckmaster, who 
was then sheriff of Madison county, and a more genial 
and whole-souled man it w r ould be hard to find. 

I ought not to forget, in this connection, to mention 
my old friend, Govenor William Kinney, a man of 
great native wit, but of very little learning, as I shall 
illustrate by a short anecdote. In writing, when he 
had occasion to use the personal pronoun I, he always 
used the little " i," and being asked on one occasion 
why he did not use the capital, he replied, " that Gov- 
ernor Edwards, who was his superior in office (he, 
Kinney, being only Lieutenant Governor), had used 
up all the capital I's, leaving him only the small 'i '." 

The wit in this reply consists in this, that although 
Governor Edwards was one of the most talented men 


in the nation, yet, at the same time, lie was one of the 
vainest and most egotistical. 


I shall not linger longer at present on this circuit. 
Let it suffice to say, that Judge Breese and I enjoyed 
ourselves greatly while we were together on the circuit. 

I did not complete my term of office as Attorney- 
General, but resigned before the two years had expired, 
and returned to Coles county, where I continued to 
reside and practice my profession on that circuit until 
1860, when I removed with my family to the city of 


The years 183G and '37 were a sort of formation 
period; the starting point of many great men who dis- 
tinguished themselves in the subsequent history of 
Illinois. My readers will perhaps be astonished when 
I say to them that at that time Mr. Lincoln did not 
give promise of being the first man in Illinois, as he 
afterwards became. He made a good many speeches 
in the legislature, mostly on local subjects. A close 
observer, however, could riot fail to see that the tall, 
six-footer, 'with his homely logic, clothed in the lan- 
guage of the humbler classes, had the stuff in him to 
make a man of mark. 

At that time we had some very exciting questions 
before the Legislature. It was at that session that the 
subject of internal improvements became the all-ab- 
sorbing question of the day. There was not a railroad 
at that time in the State of lilinois; nor was there any 
road in Indiana touching the line of our State. I 


think there was a short road, either constructed or be- 
ing constructed, from Madison, on the Ohio river, to 
Indianapolis. We ran perfectly wild on the subject 
of internal improvements. A map of that scheme, 
with the various routes along which our contemplated 
roads were to run, would be somewhat amusing to look 
at, at this day. I must, however, here remark that 
some of the routes were exceedingly well chosen. I 
will only mention one or two: the Illinois Central, the 
Chicago and Galena, and the great .Northern Cross- 
Railroad, which was to start somewhere on the Mis- 
sissippi, run through Decatur, and on by the way of 
Danville to the Indiana State line. 

These are hardly a tithe of the roads that were 
mapped out and authorized to be built. Every mem- 
ber wanted a road to his county town a great many 
of them got one; and those counties through which 
no road was authorized to be constructed were to be 
compensated in money; which was to be obtained by 
a loan from Europe, or God knows where. 

The enthusiastic friends of the measure, such as John 
Hogan, one of the members from Alton, an Irishman, 
who had been a Methodist preacher, and who was 
quite a fluent and interesting speaker, maintained that 
instead of their being any difficulty in obtaining a loan 
of the fifteen. or twenty millions authorized to be bor- 
rowed, our bonds would go like hot cakes, and be 
sought for by the Rothschilds and Baring Brothers. 
and others of that stamp, and that, the premium 
which we would obtain upon them would range from 
fifty to one hundred per cent., and that the premium 
itself would be sufficient to construct most of the 


important works, leaving the principal sum to go into 
our treasury, and leave the people free from taxation 
fbr years to come. 

The law authorized these works to be constructed by 
the State, without the intervention of corporations or 
any individual interest whatever. Commissioners were 
to be appointed to go to Europe and borrow money on 
our State bonds. 

My recollection now is, that Moses Eawlings, of 
Shawneetown, John D. Whiteside, Governor Reynolds, 
and General William F. Thornton, the last mentioned 
of whom represented the Illinois and Michigan canal, 
with their satchels full of State bonds, posted off to 
London and Hamburg, to negotiate the loan; and my 
impression now is, that General Thornton was the 
only one of them who was able to sell the bonds at par, 
and he, by some arrangement that he made to have 
the money paid in English sovereigns at New York 
city, realized a veiy handsome premium. 

The great fault in the system was discovered when it 
was too late. It was found that when nobody has any 
individual interest in a thing like this nothing to lose, 
and nothing to gain but their salary the public inter- 
ests always suifer. 

I think some fifteen or eighteen millions were bor- 
rowed, and of that sum, if the State derived any bene- 
fit from it, it was that portion which was applied to 
the Illinois and Michigan canal. If any man deserves 
more credit than another for the completion of that 
canal, it is Col. E. D. Taylor, now of LaSalle, 111., the 
present owner of the coal mines in that vicinity. He 
procured some dozen or more men of carntal in the 


city of Chicago, who, with himself, guaranteed the con- 
struction of the work, and thereupon the English capi- 
talists pulled out their money, and the work went 

As to the railroads, I suppose everybody knows that 
they were not built; here and there through the State 
you could find some gradings and fillings, but never 
a tie nor rail was laid upon them by the State. They 
remained as monuments of legislative folly. The 
State has sold some of them, I believe, and perhaps 
all, for a mere song, to the companies which have con- 
structed roads on the routes laid out by the State. 
Perhaps I ought to beg pardon of the reader for de- 
taining him so long on these dry statistics. 

It was only a few years when the whole system went 
up like a balloon. I supported the measure, with 
many others, and am willing now to take my share of 
the blame which shouM attach to those who supported 
it. We were all young and inexperienced men. Lin- 
coln and Douglas, with myself, voted for this Internal 
Improvement Bill. My recollection now is that Gen- 
eral John J. Hard in, of Jacksonville, took a decided 
stand against it, and predicted it's fate with an accu- 
racy that looks to me now -almost like prophecy. 


At that session (I mean 1836 and '7), the question 
came up as to the removal of the seat of government 
from Yandalia to Springfield. Springfield had nine 
members. They were called the " long nine," for 
there was not one of them who was not over six feet 


liigli. The scat of government was removed, by law, 
to Springfield, has been hinted that the "nine" 
traded a little to accomplish this result, but I vouch 
for nothing of the kind. 

At the call-session in the summer of 1837, of which 
body I was not then a member, General Lee D. Ewing 
had been elected to fill some vacancy which had 
occurred, for the express purpose of repealing the law 
removing the seat of government to Springfield. I 
should have said that he was the representative from 
Fayette county, of which Vandalia is the county 

General Ewing at that time was a man of consider- 
able notoriety, popularity and talents. He had been 
a senator in Congress from Illinois, and had filled 
various State offices in his time. He was a man of 
elegant manners, great personal courage, and would 
grace either the saloons of fashion or the Senate 
chamber at Washington. 

The Legislature opened its special session (I was 
there as a spectator), and General Ewing sounded the 
tocsin of war. lie said that " the arrogance of Spring- 
field its presumption in claiming the seat of govern- 
ment was not to be endured; that the law had been 
passed by chicanery and trickery; that the Springfield 
delegation had sold out to the internal improvement 
men, and had promised their support to every measure 
that would gain them a vote to the law removing the 
seat of government." He said many other things cut- 
ting and sarcastic. Lincoln was chosen by his col- 
leagues as their champion, to reply to him; and I want 
to say here that this was the first time that I began to 


conceive a very high opinion of the talents and per- 
sonal courage of Abraham Lincoln. He retorted upon 
E wing with great severity; denouncing his insinua- 
tions imputing corruption to him and his colleagues, 
and paying hack with usury all that Ewing had said, 
when everybody thought and believed that he was dig- 
ging his own grave; for it was known that Ewing 
would not quietly pocket any insinuations that would 
degrade him personally. 

I recollect his reply to Lincoln well. After address- 
ing the Speaker, he turned to the Sangamon delega- 
tion, who all sat in the same portion of the house, and 
said : 

" Gentlemen, have you no other champion than this 
coarse and vulgar fellow to bring into the lists against 
me? Do you suppose that I will condescend to break 
a lance with your low and obscure colleague?" 

Think of such a remark made to a man who was 
afterward to be President of the United States to 
whom monuments were to be erected, and of whom 
hundreds of biographies were to be written, and who 
was to strike the fetters from four millions of slaves ! 
I guess that if Ewing could have known it then, it 
would have greatly modified and softened his remarks; 
but who could see in the ungainly and uneducated 
man, the man who was to make himself thereafter sec- 
ond only to George Washington, the Father of his 
Country, whom, in honesty, patriotism and sterling 
integrity, he very much resembled. 

We were all very much alarmed for fear there would 
be a personal conflict between Ewing and Lincoln. 
It was confidently believed that a challenge must 


pass between them, but the friends on both sides took 
it in hand, and it was settled without anything serious 
growing out of it. 

Ewing did not accomplish the purpose for which he 
was elected. He afterwards filled high offices under 
the State governments, and was one of the most genial, 
social and amiable of men that I have ever known. 
We were warm personal friends, and my heart now 
makes a pilgrimage to his grave, as it does to those of 
Lincoln and Douglas, and a host of others who have 
left me alone with another generation. 

At the session of 1836 and '37, there were men, 
some of whose names I have already mentioned, who 
became greatly distinguished in after times. I shall 
not forget them, and shall, in my subsequent pages, 
try to do justice to them. 



fiTIE next one I shall take up will be General 
James Shields,, one of the fifteen survivors 
of the legislature of 1836 and '37. General 
James Shields now lives in the State of Missouri. 
He was Commissioner of the General Land Office at 
Washington, under President Polk. General Shields 
was a native of Ireland. He was appointed by Polk, 
during the progress of the Mexican war, a Brigadier- 
General, and was at the battle of Cerro Gordo, where 
he was severely wounded, a musket ball having passed 
entirely through his lungs. His Aid, George T. M. 
Davis, told me that he could only keep warmth in his 
body by putting him between two blankets and getting 
in with him, and putting his two naked feet to his 
armpits. He fortunately survived, and was afterwards 
Senator in Congress from Illinois, and one of the 
Union generals in the late rebellion. In 1836 and '37, he 
was Representative from Randolph county, Kaskaskia. 
The reader will remember that before he became very 
famous, he challenged our friend Lincoln to fight a 
duel. Lincoln accepted the challenge, and by the 
advice of his especial friend and second, Dr. Merri- 
man, he chose broadswords as the weapons witli which 
to fight. Dr. Merriman being a splendid swordsman, 


trained him in the use of that instrument, which 
made it almost certain that Shields would be killed or 
discomfited, for he was a small, short-armed man, 
while Lincoln was a tall, sinewy, long-armed man, and 
as stont as Hercules. 

They went to Alton, and were to fight on the neck 
of land between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, 
near their confluence. John J. Hardin hearing of the 
contemplated duel, determined to prevent it, and has- 
tened to 'Alton, with all imaginable celerity, where he 
fell in with the belligerent parties, and aided by some 
other friends of both Lincoln and Shields, succeeded 
in effecting a reconciliation. 

This is about as much notice as I intend to take of 
General Shields, as his name has gone into history, 
where abler pens than mine have done him full jus- 
tice. He was my personal and political friend, and 
voted for and helped to elect me Attorney-General, 
and I will now take leave of him by saying he was a 
warm-hearted Irishman, and a brave and gallant 

After this affair between Lincoln and Shields, I met 
Lincoln at the Danville court, and in a walk we took 
together, seeing him make passes with a stick, such as 
are made in the broadsword exercise, I was induced to 
ask him why he had selected that weapon with which 
to fight Shields. He promptly answered in that 
sharp, ear-splitting voice of his: 

"To tell you the truth, Linder, I did not want to kill 
Shields, and felt sure that I could disarm him, having 
had about a month to leajn the broadsword exercise; 
and furthermore, I didn't want the d d fellow to kill 


me, which. I rather think he would have done if we 
had selected .pistols." 

In this connection I want to say that I never knew 
but one man who, in size, personal appearance and 
his style and manner of addressing courts and juries, 
closely resembles Mr. Lincoln, and that is our distin- 
guished and talented townsman, Leonard Swett; and 
in saying this I am sure that I do no injustice to Mr. 
Lincoln, for Mr. Swett is an eminent and distin- 
guished lawyer, standing at the head of the bar in the 
city of Chicago and State of Illinois. If he has a 
superior, I have not the pleasure of his acquaintance. 



JFEEL it to be my duty, as it is a great pleas- 
ure to me, to introduce to the notice and 
attention of the reader rny old friend, Jesse 
K. Dubois, now of Springfield, Illinois, late Auditor 
of the State of Illinois, who in 1836 and '37 was a 
member of the House of Representatives of the leg- 
islature of Illinois, from the county of Lawrence. 

Ah! Jesse, when I think of you my heart warms and 
my pulse beats faster; and though I may not give you 
the highest niche in tha temple of Fame, yet you are 
enshrined in the very core of my heart! 

My acquaintance with Mr. Dnbois commenced in 
1836, at Lawrenceville. He was then the member- 
elect from the county of Lawrence, and I from the 
county of Coles. .1 was attending the fall session of 
the court there. Our intimacy commenced at that 
time, and our friendship has continued for nearly forty 
years; and it has grown and strengthened with our 
age. When I first saw him he was a slim, handsome 
young man, with auburn hair, sky-blue eyes, with the 
elegant manners of a Frenchman, from which nation 
he has his descent. The last time I saw him was at 
the unveiling of Lincoln's statue, near Springfield, 
where he made the opening speech. To say it was a 


good speech would be too tame an expression to do 
him justice; it was a magnificent effort. He had been 
the leading and managing man in the construction of 
Lincoln's monument, and showed from whence every 
dollar came; and although the subject was rather dry 
and jejune, he made it interesting by the manner 
and style of his delivery. He is a man of spotless 
reputation, and if any man who has known him 
well should contradict this assertion, old as I am, 
while I might not go a hundred miles to thrash him, 
as the old Ranger Governor once said of a man whom 
he did not like very well: "I wouldn't shake hands 
with him on the day of an election if I was a candi- 
date myself for office." 

Jesse K. Dubois is too well known by the people of 
this State to need any further mention, on my part, of 
his claims to their highest respect. I should like to 
see him Governor of the State of Illinois, which posi- 
tion he would no doubt fill to the satisfaction of all, 
and make the Governor's mansion -the head-quarters 
of all honest men and good fellows. 

With these remarks I shall leave the name of Jesse 
K. Dubois with my readers, and it would afford me 
unqualified delight if I thought these memoirs would 
have merit enough to carry his name to future gene- 
rations. He is the prince of good fellows a man with- 
out subtlety or guile; devoted to his friends, and 
something of a terror to his enemies and all dema- 



[OE-THY reader, I now wish to introduce to 
your notice a man who was not a member of 
the legislature of 1836 and '37, but to whom 
I wish to give a place in these memoirs. I allude to 
his Excellency, the late Governor of Illinois, the Hon. 
John M. Palmer. My acquaintance with him com- 
menced in 1837 and '38, when he was simply probate 
justice of the peace of Macoupin county, at Carlin- 
ville, 111. As to his subsequent career as General in 
the army and Governor of Illinois, it is wholly un- 
necessary to speak, for the historian will do him jus- 
tice. His name and deeds will brighten every page 
upon which they may be written. 



|T WILL be impossible for me to introduce to 
your notice all the men who were prominent in 
the legislature of 1836 and '37, and who 
became famous thereafter; but one of the men who 
figured prominently at that session was John A. 
McClernand, of Shawneetown. He was a young man 
of great fluency of speech and a Democrat. Governor 
Duncan had sent a message to the two Houses, attack- 
ing General Jackson and Mr. Van Buren, which part 
of his message was referred to a select committee, of 
which McClernand was chairman, and he made a report 
thereon to the House, which was thought by his friends 
to be an able one. He made a speech on the intro- 
duction of that report which gave him considerable 
prestige with the legislature. Since then McCler- 
nand has climbed pretty high up on the ladder of fame. 
He was a Major-General of the Union forces in the late 
rebellion, and was appointed by the administration to 
lay siege to Yicksburg, but was, for some cause or 
other, superseded by General Grant. As I am not 
writing a history of the war, which has been written 
by many able pens, my object only being to bring 
General McClernand before the eye of the reader, I 
will only add that he was at the battle of Shiloh, and 


was in the hottest thereof, and behaved with great 
courage, gallantry and skill. 

He was for many years a member of the House of 
Representatives in Congress, from the Southern part 
of Illinois, and made his mark in that body. He has 
since been Judge of the Circuit Court of Sangamon 
county. I should have said that many years ago Gov- 
ernor Ford appointed him his Secretary of State, in 
place of A. P. Field, whom he intended to remove by 
that appointment. Field litigated the appointment of 
McClernand, and it came before the Supreme Court of 
Illinois, and they decided in favor of Field. The deci- 
sion was delivered by Chief Justice William Wilson, 
which will be found in Scammon's Reports. 

It is an able opinion, but evidently erroneous, and 
the precedent was never followed by any subsequent 
action of the government. They decided, in that opin- 
ion, that a Governor had no right to remove a Secre- 
tary of State appointed by his predecessor. It was 
contrary to the practice of the general government, and 
was evidently wrong, as every lawyer now acknowl- 
edges, and was made by a court politically hostile to 
Governor Ford and John A. McClernand. 




jHE court was then composed of William Wil- 
son, Chief Justice, Theophilus Smith, Thomas 
C. Brown, and Samuel Lockwood, all of whom 
have paid the debt of nature and gone to their last ac- 
count. I knew them all personally, and practiced law 
before Jtid^e Wilson when he held the courts in the 


4th judicial circuit of Illinois, and it is due to his 
memory to say that he was an able judge, both of the 
Supreme Court'and the courts of nisi prius. 

At that day many lawyers considered Smith the great 
light on the bench, as many more thong th Wilson the 
great light. At this distance of time I shall not 
undertake to decide between them, but I will step aside 
to say that Judge Thomas C. Brown was the Falstaff 
of the bench, which a few short anecdotes will illus- 
trate. He was a tall, corpulent man, being as full of 
wit and humor as an egg is of meat. On one occa- 
sion, being asked where he then lived, he answered, 
" Why, sir, I live in the hearts of my countrymen." 

Brown never refused to take a horn when invited, 
but very rarely invited others to take a horn with him. 
A personal friend of his who had imbibed too freely 


during the session of 1836 and '37, whose name I 
shall not mention for personal reasons, and who occu- 
pied the same room with Brown, was very sick the 
whole of the night thereafter, and kept Brown awake. 
Next morning Brown took him by the arm and led 
him one side, and said to him : 

" My friend, I am not opposed to taking a social 
glass, but if I were you, from the way it affects you, 
I would either quit drinking or kill myself." 

"The devil you would!" said his friend. 

" Well, no," says Brown, " I don't know that you 
will be driven to that necessity, for there are a hun- 
dred negroes and mulattoes in this town that you can 
hire to kill you for a quarter of a dollar, and thus save 
you from the crime of suicide." 

I will relate another short anecdote of which I was 
personally cognizant. I desired to have a Colonel Bod- 
kin, of Alton, admitted to the bar as a lawyer. Know- 
ing that his qualifications were rather slim, I hinted 
as much to Brown, and got him to go to my room to 
examine him. Bodkin had been a butcher. He had 
twinkling grey eyes and a nose like! Bardolph's. I 
said to Judge Brown, "Let me introduce to your 
acquaintance Colonel Bodkin, who desires to be admit- 
ted to the bar, to practice law; will you please exam- 
ine him touching his qualifications?" Turning to 
Bodkin, he said: "Colonel, are you a judge of good 
brandy?" Bodkin took the hint in a moment, rang 
the bell, and a servant making his appearance, he 
directed him to bring up a bottle of the best c gnac 
and some loaf sugar, which was quickly forthcoming, 
and Judge Brown having partaken thereof, with the 
rest of us, turned to the Colonel, and said: 


" Colonel, liave you read Blackstone and Chitty?" 

" O ! yes, sir," says the Colonel. 

''What do you think of them as authors?" said the 

" I think very highly of them," said the Colonel. 

" Have you read Shakspeare?" asks the Judge. 

" Oh, yes," says the Colonel. 

"You greatly admire him, Colonel?" says the 

" Oh, beyond all the power of language to express !" 
says the Colonel. 

" Do you know there was no such person as Shaks- 
peare?" said the Judge. 

" Indeed I did not," said the Colonel. 

"It is true," said the Judge. "Then you don't 
know, Colonel, who wrote the work entitled ' The Plays 
of Shakspeare?" 

" If he did not write them I do not know," replied 
the Colonel. 

""Would you like to know?" said the Judge. 

" I certainly should," answered the Colonel. 

" Then," said the Judge, " as you have shown in 
this examination the highest qualifications to be ad- 
mitted to the bar, I will say to you, in the strictest 
confidence, what I have never said to any one before, 
that / am the author of those plays! Mr. Bodkin, 
write out your license, and I will sign it." 



HERE is a man who has figured but slightly 
in these pages, whom it is time for us now to 
notice; that man is Stephen A. Douglas, who, 
during his life, accomplished much for himself and his 
adopted State. He was a native of Vermont, of hum- 
ble origin, and certainly not very liberally educated. 
He came to this State w T hen he could not have been 
over twenty or twenty-one years of age, and taught 
school for a livelihood, at the same time prosecuting 
his study of the law; so that when his term of teach- 
ing was out, he got license to practice law, and the 
legislature elected him prosecuting attorney for the 
district in which he lived, which included Jacksonville. 
His public career is too well known for me to incum- 
ber these pages with that which has been a thousand 
times better written than I could possibly write it, it 
I were to try. I will, therefore, only notice him so 
far as he stands connected with Lincoln and myself. 

It is known to every one how long he served in the 
Senate of the United States, and what a brilliant rec- 
ord he made for himself, and how much he did for the 
State of Illinois, and what a world-wide reputation he 
won for himself. No one will deny that, had it not 
been for him, we should never have obtained from the 
general government that magnificent grant of lands 


which went to construct the Illinois Central Railroad, 
from which the State now derives a revenue of from 
three to five hundred thousand dollars per annum. 

I was a member of the legislature in 1846, when we 
negotiated with the company that afterwards construct- 
ed that road, and certainly a finer thoroughfare does not 
exist in the world; connecting the great northern lakes 
with the mouth of the Ohio river, and Chicago, the 
Queen City of the Northwest, with the cities of Mobile 
and l^ew Orleans, by rail and water, by which we can 
send our products to every port of the Gulf of Mexi- 
co, and through the Gulf into the Atlantic, and to all 
the West India Islands, and every part of the world. 
Everybody knows how we are connected with the lakes 
and the northern Atlantic. It is impossible to antici- 
pate the future greatness of Illinois and the city of 
Chicago, and how far the acts, and public services of 
Douglas have contributed to that greatness the people 
of Illinois know full well. Is it not a shame he should 
have no finished monument to attest the gratitude of 
a people for whom he has done so much? 

If he did not succeed in being President himself, 
he contributed largely to giving one to the State of 
Illinois. You will ask how this happened. I answer, 
that when Mr. Lincoln's party in 1858 nominated him 
to run against Douglas for the Senate of the United 
States, their joint debate made Mr. Lincoln one of the 
most prominent men of his party, and no impartial 
friend of his will deny that that debate and his defeat 
for the senate secured his nomination in 1860 for the 
presidency, his consequent election, and all the glory 
and honor he subsequently won. 


Now let ns contemplate for a moment Stephen A. 
Douglas as a patriot. Instead of being soured by 
defeat, as many ambitions men would have been, when 
the dark clouds of civil war were lowering over our land 
he stood shoulder to shoulder with Lincoln, his suc- 
cessful antagonist, and sounded the bugle-note that 
caused all his personal and political friends to rally 
around the flag of the Union. No State can boast 
two greater names than Lincoln and Douglas. It was 

O o 

unnecessary for me to say this much of Douglas, only 
that I desire, in these my memoirs, to lay an humble 
leaf of laurel on the grave of my friend. 

My intimacy and friendship with Douglas com- 
menced in 1836, when I was a very young man, and 
he was, as it were, a mere boy. He looked like a boy, 
with his smooth face and diminutive proportions, but 
when he spoke in the House of Representatives, as he 
often did in 1836 and '37, he spoke like a man, and 
loomed up into the proportions of an intellectual 
giant, and it was at that session he got the name of 
the "Little Giant," by which he was called all over 
the Union till the day of his death "The Little 
Giant of Illinois." 

My personal intercourse with him was like that of 
a brother, which, in one respect, I was. Worthy 
reader, I promised in the beginning of these memoirs 
to say as little about myself as possible. I am writ- 
ing my recollections of other men, and not an auto- 
biography; but I will relate a little circumstance 
here which occurred between Douglas and myself 
when he was running for the Senate in 1858. When 
he was canvassing the Northern portion of the State, 


a great many of Mr. Lincoln's friends followed him to 
his large meetings, which they would address at night, 
attacking Douglas when he would be in bed asleep, 
worn out by die fatigues of the day. He telegraphed 
me to meet him at Freeport, and travel around the 
State with him and help to fight off the hell-hounds, 
as he called them, that were howling on his path, and 
used this expression : " For God sake, Linder, come." 
Some very honest operator stole the telegram as it was 
passing over the wire, and published it in the Repub- 
lican papers. They dubbed me thenceforth with the 
sobriquet of " For God's Sake Linder," which I have 
worn with great pride and distinction ever since. 

I met him at St. Louis; his wife, a most elegant 
lady, was with him. We traveled down through the 
Southern part of Illinois, speaking together at all his 
meetings as far down as Cairo and up to Jones- 
borough, where he and Lincoln met in joint debate. 
These debates were published, and they, of themselves, 
are enduring monuments of the greatness of the two 
men. But Mr. Douglas' great theatre was in the 
Senate of the United States. His speeches there will 
rank with those of Clay, Webster and Calhoun, and in 
debate he was not a whit inferior to either of them, 
and I know from good authority that he was the 
favorite of all three of these men. 

Douglas on one occasion, in a social chat between 
him and myself, gave, me a detailed account of his 
trip to Europe, and of his permission to see Queen 
Victoria if he would do so in court dress, whicli he 
declined, saying that he would wear just such clothes 
as he usually wore when visiting the President of the 


United States. But when he got to Russia, the great 
Nicholas, who was then on the throne, granted him 
the privilege to see him in the same dress he usually 
wore at the White House. He did Douglas and our 
country the honor to send his own carriage for him, 
and had him brought out to one of the Russian 
steppes, where Nicholas was reviewing a million of his 
troops. Said he, "Linder, it was the most imposing 
sight I ever saw. They were drawn up in the form of 
a Y, stretching away back beyond the reach of my 
vision. At the apex of this Y was a brilliant cortege, 
the principal figure being Nicholas himself; the rest 
were composed of his household and domestic minis- 
ters and ambassadors, from all the known world. I 
was taken," said he, " not to this cortege, but about a 
half a mile from there, where the carriage stopped, 
and I was helped out by what I supposed to be one of 
the emperor's most distinguished officers, 'for he was 
covered all over by crosses and badges of honor, and 
there were others there similarly decorated. He 
pointed to ahorse, a beautiful steed, the most elegantly 
caparisoned I ever saw; the brow-band of the bridle 
was actually studded with diamonds; other portions 
of the horse's covering were literally glittering with 
o-old and silver. I knew the horse was intended for 


me. I went up and examined the stirrup-straps, and 
found them about a foot too long. I turned around, 
and asked in English (being the only language I could 
speak), if any gentleman would shorten the stirrups 
for me, but to my utter dismay not a word could any 
of them speak, or understand what 1 said to them ; but I 
made them understand by signs, and by fitting the stir- 


rnp leathers to my arms, what I wanted, and they were 
quickly shortened to fit my short legs, and I mounted. 
I did not know exactly what I was to do, but the horse 
informed me, for he turned his head towards the bril- 
liant cortege, of which I have spoken, and broke for it 
like the wind. He had hardly started, however, when 
another horse, with a giant-like form upon him, 
caparisoned exactly like the one I was on, left the very 
head of the cortege and came, with the speed of a 
Mazeppa, right towards me. Thinks I, yon are going 
to come together like a couple of locomotives, but I'll 
take the chances and let you drive. On they both 
went, as though they were going to run through each 
other, until they came up, nose to nose, and reared up 
on their hind feet, and then brought their fore feet 
right down to the ground together and stood as still 
as death, when the tall, fine-looking man on the other 
horse, addressed me in good English, in about these 

"'I have the pleasure, I presume, of receiving and 
welcoming to Russia, Senator Douglas, of Illinois?' ' 

" I bowed my assent, and replied : ' I presume I have 
the honor of being received and welcomed by His 
Majesty, Nicholas, Emperor of all the Russias.' 

' From thence we rode along together, engaged in 
familiar chat. He asked me a good many questions 
in regard to the way which I had corne, and if I had 
come by the way of Constantinople. I told him I had. 
He asked me if I saw any signs or preparations of war 
there. I answered I had not. He then asked me what 
the prevailing opinion was there as to whether there 
would be any war. I said, 'The opinion seems to be 


that it depends entirely upon your Majesty whether 
there will be peace or war.' 

" We arrived at the cortege, and he gave me the place 
of honor, near his own person. Linder," said Doug- 
las, " that was a proud day for my country. I never 
was vain enough to appropriate it to myself. When 
the little man in black was given the place of honor, it 
was a stroke of policy on the part of Nicholas; it 
amounted to saying to the hundred ambassadors from 
all the nations of the world: 'Gentlemen, I intend to 
make the great people of the great republic on the 
other side of the Atlantic my friends, and if any of 
your nations go to war with me, rest assured that that 
people will stand by me.' I received every attention 
that it was possible for mortal man to receive, all of 
which I knew was intended for my country." 

I shall now take leave of my old friend, Douglas. 1 
cannot add to his great name by anything I might say. 
I loved him with the love that Jonathan had for 
David "A love that passeth the love of woman." 



|H. BKOWNING, of Quincy, 111., was also 
one of the Senators at the session of the Illi- 
nois legislature of 1836 and '37, who has since 
obtained high and enviable distinction as a lawyer and 
a statesman. He came to this State from the State of 
Kentucky. He was appointed to fill the vacancy in 
the Senate of the United States caused by the death of 
Stephen A. Douglas, and afterwards was appointed as 
Secretary of the Interior. In all the posts Mr. Brown- 
ing has filled, he has done so with great honor to him- 
self and benefit- to his country. He is still living, and 
in high practice. He is a man of wealth, has no 
children of his own, but has, I think, an adopted daugh- 
ter, of whom he and Mrs. Browning an elegant and 
accomplished lady are as fond as if she were their 
own daughter. 

Mr. Browning practices in our Federal Courts of 
Chicago, although at an advanced age being about 
seventy years old. He is one of the fifteen survi- \ 
vors of the one hundred and five members of the leg- 
islature of 1836 and '37. He could very well pass for 
fifty -five years old, being very healthy and well pre- 
served. He is retained in most of the large causes 
brought for and against the railroad companies. "We 


have always been great personal friends. I remember 
canvassing his Congressional District for him, against 
William A. Richardson, in 1852, leaving my own elec- 
tion, in Coles county, to take care of itself. I was, 
consequently, beaten some twenty-five votes. 



1ILLIAM A. RICHARDSON was also a mem- 
ber of the House of Representatives of the Illi- 
nois legislature, of 1836 and '37. He was a 
captain in the Black Hawk war. He was also a cap- 
tain or a major under General Taylor, in his Mexican 
war, and fought under him in the battle of Buena Yis- 
ta. He was many years a Representative in Congress 
from the military district, and came very near being 
elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, and 
was subsequently elected to the Senate of the United 

Richardson filled all the positions which he ever 
occupied with much honor and distinction, and is still 
living at this writing, in the city of Quincy, Illinois. 
He is nearly, if not quite, seventy years of age. 

At the session of 1836 and '37, Richardson repre- 
sented the county of Schuyler, and General George W. 
Maxwell, who is now dead, and who since that session 
married a sister of my wife, was Senator from the dis- 
trict of which Schuyler county formed a part. He, 
also, as well as Richardson, was in the Black Hawk 
war, and had the command of a company or regiment, 
I don't now remember which. He was a whole-souled, 
kind-hearted, clever fellow peace be to his ashes! 



JOHN D. WHITESIDE, of whom I have 
casually spoken, was also a member of the 
Senate of the session of 1836 7 and '37. He 
was a candidate, and elected as Treasurer of the State, 
by the Legislature at this session, which office he held 
for many years after the seat of government was re- 
moved to Springfield, by re-election. He was the gen- 
tleman who bore the challenge from Shields to Lin- 
coln. He was a candidate at this session for Speaker 
of the Senate, but was defeated by Col. William H. 
Davidson, from White county. 

He was a man eminently social, of great colloquial, 
conversational talents. He did not mingle much, in 
the debates of the Senate, but, as Lsaid before, he went 
to Europe to borrow money on our bonds, where, ac- 
cording to his own account, he made quite a splurge, 
and talked to the capitalists and nobility, and let them 
know that if they were high and honored subjects of 
the English king, he was one of the free sovereigns of 
America. I 've had many a hearty laugh in listening 
to Whiteside, who reminded me of the old Dutchman 
who set his hen on a wash-tub of eggs, and when his 
wife asked him why he did it "Py Shesus," said he, 
"yust to see de olt plue hen spread herself." He has 
long since gone to his last account. He was widely and 
favorably known all over the State of Illinois. 



|TIEKE were other men, wlio were not members 
of this legislature, who were present during 
the session generally distinguished lawyers, 
in attendance on the Supreme Court. Amongst the 
rest was Justin Butterfield, of Chicago, one of the most 
learned, talented and distinguished members of the 
bar, whom I will introduce to the reader at this time, 
although perhaps he might fall in more properly fur- 
ther along in these memoirs. He was a man of rare 
wit and humor, and I ain satisfied that a few anecdotes 
in illustration thereof will not be unacceptable to the 
reader. He had held office in New York at the break- 
ing out of the uar of 1812, and having opposed that 
war, it destroyed his popularity and laid him on the 
shelf for many years. When the war broke out be- 
tween this country and Mexico, during Folk's admin- 
istration, some person asked him if he was opposed to 
the war. " No, by G-d, I oppose no wars. I opposed 
one war, and it ruined me, and henceforth I am for 
War, Pestilence and Fanum-." 

During the contest of 1840 between Harrison and 
Van Buren, some Federal office-holder met Butterfield 
in debate. Butterfield charged the hard times that 
then afflicted the country to the course pursued by the 


administration. The office-holder replied, denying 
that there was hard times, and declared that he never 
saw better times in his life. Butterfield, in his 
rejoinder, used the following language: 

"Fellow-citizens, I believe, in my soul, that if it 
lained fire and brimstone, as it did at Sodom and 
Gomorah, these locofocos would exclaim, ' What a 
refreshing shower!'" The office-holder sneaked off 
and said no more. 

One more specimen of his wit, and I will give no 
more. On the trial of Joe Smith, the great Mormon 
prophet, at Springfield, before His Honor Judge Pope, 
of the United States District Court, the court room 
was crowded, and alarge number of ladies were seated 
on both sides of the judge, upon the bench. Butter- 
field, who had been employed to defend the prophet, 
in opening the case, bowing to the judge and waving 
his hand to the ladies, said: "May it please your 
Honor, I appear before the Pope, in the presence of 
angels, to defend the prophet of the Lord ! " 



|N THE introductory portion of these pages, in 
enumerating distinguished and eminent law- 
yers, who were in Illinois when I came here, I 
neglected to mention Ben Mills. I never saw him, 

O * 

but from all that I can learn from those who knew 
him, he had but few equals, if any, in the State. He 
was a Massachusetts man, highly educated, and I have 
been told that he was a man of a rare style of oratory, 
through which there ran a rich vein of wit and 
irony. It was a talent he often indulged in in conver- 
sation. A few specimens will not be without interest 
to the reader. 

Ben, one day when he was in his cups at his hotel, 
was sitting about half asleep when Cavarly, a pompous 
lawver, who thought he knew more than Lord Coke or 

/ ' o 

Blackstone, stepped up to where Mills was sitting and 
laid his hand on Ben's bald head and remarked, 
" Friend Mills, you have quite a prairie on your head." 
" Yes, Cavarly," he said, " and do you know the dif- 
ference between you and me?" " By no means, brother 
Mills," said he, in quite a patronizing manner. " Well, 
I'll tell you," said Mills, " My prairie is on my head, 
but yours is inside of your head." 

Mills was the son of a New England Presbyterian 

90 LlNDEft'i? "RU 

minister, and came to Illinois at an early day, when 
there was a law authorizing a justice of the peace, 
if he heard a man swear, even upon the street, to 
go to his office and enter up a fine of one dollar 
against him. Ben was a justice of the peace, and 
was one day taking his glass with another justice of 
the peace at his hotel, in Greenville, 111., when he 
happened to let slip about half a dozen oaths. His 
brother justice said nothing about it at the time. 
This was in the morning. They met again at the 
same place in the evening and were taking another 
social glass together, when his friend remarked: 

" Brother Mills, you swore several oaths this morn- 
ing, and you know the law makes it my duty to enter 
a fine against you of a dollar for each oath." 

" I know it, my brother," said Mills, " and thought 
of it, as I went to my office, and being a justice of the 
peace myself, I entered upon my docket a fine of one 
dollar for each oath I swore." 

" Oh, well," says his friend, " that will do. Come, 
brother Mills, let us have another glass." And when 
they were about to drink it, Ben remarked: "But you 
know, my brother, that the policy of the law is refor- 
mation and not vengeance, and feeling that that object 
has been thoroughly accomplished in my case, by the 
fine, I am now considering the question of remitting 
it." After their glass and a hearty laugh, they parted. 

Another specimen of Ben's wit and sarcasm I will 
give, which was communicated to me by Judge Blod- 
gett. When Mills was at Kaskaskia, there was a 
lawyer there whom they called General Adams a 
pompous fellow, who dressed in magnificent style, 


and wore ruffled shirts. He had a client who had been 
indicted for murder, and Adams, to secure his fee, took 
a mortgage upon everything the fellow had in the 
world, even down to his household and kitchen 
furniture. His client was convicted and sentenced 
to be hung some thirty days thereafter, and 
between the sentence and execution, Adams fore- 
closed his mortgage and sold the property, not 
leaving the wife and children of the criminal a bed 
to sleep on, or a pot in which to cook their dinner. 
His client was hung and his body handed over to the 
surgeons for scientific experiment. The doctors invited 
the lawyers to attend, and amongst the rest came Gen- 
eral Adams and Ben. Mills. They had their galvanic 
battery, and placed one of the poles (I believe that is 
what they call it) to his spinal column while his body 
was still warm and let on the electric current. Imme- 
diately the corpse began to wink and his face to draw 
itself into most horrid contortions, when Adams, laying 
his hand upon Mills' shoulder, said, in a very slow and 
solemn voice: 

"This is a very sorrowful sight." 

" Yes," said Ben, " it must be very sorrowful to a 
lawyer to see his client skinned the second time." 

General Adams sneaked off and left the doctors to 
h'nish their experiment. 

I will mention here a murder trial which took place 
at Edwards ville, before I came to the State of Illinois. 
It was the trial of a lawyer of the name of Winches- 
ter for the killing of a man by the name of Smith. 
The facts of the case as I have learned them, were 
something like these: Smith, who was a very foul- 


mouthed man in his drunken sprees, had repeatedly 
charged Gov. Edwards with a criminal intimacy with 
Mrs. Stephenson, a very beautiful and reputable 
woman. She was the mother of Winchester's wife, 
and in a drunken spree at Ed wards ville, where a great 
many of her and Gov. Edwards' friends were present, 
and amongst the rest her son-in-law, Winchester, 
Smith repeated the slander, and somebody stabbed 
him, of which wound he died. Winchester was 
indicted for murder; a special term of the court was 
appointed for his trial, which was presided over by 
Judge Samuel McRoberts. Governor Edwards took a 
very active part in having Winchester defended. He 
sent and had Felix Grundy brought from Tennessee, 
who was then one of the greatest criminal lawyers in 
the Southwest, and only second, perhaps, to John 
Rowan of Kentucky. Mills was his prosecutor. The 
trial took place at Edwardsville, and I have been told 
by those who were present at the trial, and amongst 
the rest, Judge Samuel McRoberts, in his life-time, 
that it was one of the ablest, most fearful and terrible 
prosecutions they ever heard. It took all the talent 
and oratory of Felix Grundy, aided by the presence 
and countenance which Gov. Edwards and his friends 
gave to the defense, to prevent a conviction, and 
Winchester was only acquitted by the " skin of his 

There were doubtless many other incidents in the 
life of Mills, if I knew them, which would go to show 
that he was one of the ablest, most learned and accom- 
plished lawyers of that day. I will mention, in conclu- 
sion, that I have been informed that before his death 


he reformed his habits, joined the church, and died 
a most exemplary and hopeful Christian. All I am. 
afraid of is that this notice will not do him the justice 
to which he is entitled. Judge Blodgett informs me 
that Mills and his father (Isaac Blodgett) were boys 
together, and Mills was often a guest at their house 
when the Judge was but a mere boy, and that he never 
saw a man that he more admired and loved. He 
died somewhere about 1850, and I believe, from what 
I have heard, he left as spotless a record as any lawyer 
that ever lived in the State of Illinois. Let the rising 
generation of young lawyers cherish his memory and 
try to imitate his example. 



j|T THIS place I will introduce to the attention 
of my readers Judge Samuel McRoberts, of 
Danville, 111. He was a lawyer in high prac- 
tice when I came to the State. We frequently met 
and traveled together on the circuit. "When I went to 
the court at Danville, he would not permit me to stop 
at the hotel but to^k me to his own house, where I 
was most hospitably entertained. At the beginning 
of our acquaintance he was Register or Receiver at 
the land office at Danville I don't now renfember 
which. He was a fine lawyer, and what is better, he 
was an honest man and a warm and most devoted 
friend, of which I had many proofs during our long 
acquaintance. He had an amiable and most beautiful 
wife, who presided over his household affairs with great 
elegance and refinement. 

He was finally elected to the Senate of the United 
States from Illinois, and next to Dr. Linn, of Missouri, 
he took the most prominent part on the Oregon ques- 
tion. I remember very well that he took the ground 
that we were entitled to all the territory south of 54 
40", in which many other Democrats agreed with him, 
until Col. Benton, of Missouri, , proved conclusively 
that our claim did not extend beyond the 49th degree 


of north latitude, and upon that line the American 
and English governments finally settled. He died 
before his term in the Senate expired. I have nothing 
to recall of him very peculiar or extraordinary. 

He was a most estimable and kind-hearted man, and 
had but few superiors as a lawyer. He was widely and 
favorably known, and left but one son, who inherited a 
very handsome property from his father. Judge Jo- 
siah McRoberts was guardian of the boy, and at his 
majority paid him the handsome sum of thirty thou- 
sand dollars. He was a most faithful and honest guar- 
dian. He was a student with his brother Sam when I 
used to stop there. There was one thing peculiar about 
Judge Samuel Me Roberts. He could give the hearti- 
est laugh when he was amused of any man I ever 
heard. Now, worthy reader, a man can't laugh on pa- 
per; if he could, I would give you a specimen of his 
laugh that would make you roar. 

There is one little anecdote connected with the name 
of McRoherts which I have just thought of and had 
come near leaving out. Nearly all the lawyers of 
Judge Harlan's circuit met at the Edgar county Cir- 
cuit Court amongst the rest McRoberts and myself. 
In those days we nearly all roomed together. There 
was a man by the name of Lodge, who was a brick- 
layer by trade, but who had arisen to be the superin- 
tendent of a large farm belonging to the Neifs, of Cin- 
cinnati, which lay not far from Paris, 111. Lodge was 
in the habit of seeking every opportunity to talk with 
the judge and us lawyers, and would generally seize 
and run away with the conversation. One day he came 
in where we were all talking, and with great pomposity 


and egotism told us the following little story, of which 
he made himself the hero. He said he had a water- 
melon patch adjoining the road from Danville to Paris; 
that he was one day sitting on his piazza, which over- 
looked this melon patch, and about a half a mile there- 
from, and while sitting there he saw a gentleman coin- 
ing along in his buggy, and when he got opposite to 
the melon patch he jumped out, got over the fence, 
pulled one of his finest melons, of which he had 
several thousand, and deliberately commenced eat- 
ing it. He said he concluded that he would go 
down and have a talk with the gentleman. He edi- 
fied and regaled us with a fine moral lecture which 
he delivered to the stranger, and said he told him 
if he had come and asked for the watermelon, he 
would have given it to him; and said he ended by 
walking up to him and deliberately knocking the 
melon out of his hand. He said the man seemed 
greatly mortified, and said to him: '' Sir, I am a gen- 
tleman; my name is Bishop, a commission merchant 
at Evansville, Indiana. In my State, when we raised 
vast quantities of melons, it is not thought to be a ser- 
ious matter or a crime for a man to help himself to a 
melon by the wayside, and if you feel very much con- 
cerned about it, here is the pay for it," pulling out his 
purse. Lodge refused, as he told us, and went on to 
deliver a lecture to Mr. Bishop on the rights of equal- 
ity of men, saying that he did not consider that it con- 
ferred an honor on him that a commission merchant 
or any one else should take his melons without leave; 
and here he stopped. Lodge not being one of us, we 
lawyers did not relish his stories, and I was about 


telling one that should make him give us a wide berth 
in the future, when McRoberts relieved us all, as he 
burst out in one of 'Jus great "horse laughs," which, to 
appreciate, should be heard. "Ha! ha! ha!" says he 
"that reminds me of a story I heard of William the 
Fourth when he was Prince of Wales. He was travel- 
ing in cog. through Canada, and at Montreal he strayed 
into a tailor shop, where the tailor and his wife were 
both sitting on the counter at work; the tailor, with 
crossed legs, pressing a seam with his hot goose, and his 
wife sewing away at some garment with nimble fingers. 
Neither seemed to pay much attention to the disguised 
royal stranger, when William, stepping up towards 
where the woman was sitting, turning his head, asked 
the tailor if that was his wife. ' She is a very pretty 
woman,' said the Prince, and pulling her head down 
towards him, he deliberately kissed her, and turning 
to the tailor very patronizingly, said, ' Now, Sir, you 
will have the honor of telling your children that your 
wife was kissed by the King of England. I am Wil- 
liam, the Prince of Wales, and heir-apparent to the 

" The tailor laid down his gooso, put on his slippers, 
jumped off of the counter, and catching William by the 
shoulders pushed him to the door and gave him two or 
three lusty kicks on the seat of honor, and said, ' Now, 
sir, you will have the honor of telling your subjects 
that in one of your Majesty's Provinces you had your 
posterior kicked by a tailor.'" 

Lodge looked like he could have crawled through an 
auger hole, and said: "Judge McRoberts, I hope you 
don't mean to say there is the same disparity between 




Bishop and myself as existed between the prince and 
the tailor!" 
Whereupon we all burst into a most uproarious fit 

of laughter, when Lodge left, and never visited us 



jKNOW no better place than tins to introduce 
to the attention of my readers the late Au- 
gustus C. French, twice Governor of the State 
of Illinois. Mr. French was a lawyer by profession, 
and was one of the representatives from Edgar county 
in 1836 and '37. At that session he ,was elected Pros- 
ecuting- Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit. He 
made a very good Prosecuting- Attorney, and became 
quite popular in the Wabash country. O. B. Ficklin, 
who had represented his district in Congress for 
many years, became alarmed for fear the Democracy 
would take French up and run him for Congress, so 
he determined to get him out of the way if possible. 
He represented to the party in the Wabash region that 
the Wabash was entitled to a Governor and advised the 
party to take up French. My opinion is, that Fick- 
lin at that time had no idea that French could be 
elected, or could even get the nomination of a State 
Democratic Convention, which in those days was 
equivalent to an election. The delegates from the 
Wabash counties were all for French. Ficklin had 
baited his hook with the governorship, and French 
swallowed like a hungry fish. The two prominent 
men before the convention, if I remember correctly, 


were Trumbull and Calhoun, but neither had a major- 
ity of all the delegates. They had many ballotings, 
French's friends standing by him to the last. Every 
expedient was tried by the friends of Trumbull and 
Calhoun to get the friends of French to go for them, but 
to no effect. They grew more and more bitter towards 
each other, and finally settled down upon French, who 
was really not the first, or even the second choice of 
the Democratic party of the State, but he was nomi- 
nated, and of course, triumphantly elected. Neverthe- 
less, he made a pretty fair governor. 

French has long since gone to his last account, and 
I would be very far from saying anything that would 
derogate from his standing, or in the slighest degree 
tarnish his reputation. While I believe in the main 
he was a man of truth, and would not have told a false- 
hood that \vould tend to the injury of any one, he had 
a sort of diseased propensity for telling marvelous 
stories, of which he generally made himself the hero, 
many of which were as monstrously absurd and false 
as those of Baron Munchausen or Gulliver. A single 
one of these stories, which he told to every member 
of the bar on the circuit, will be sufficient to demon- 
strate his propensity in that direction. He said when 
he was a boy about ten years old, he ran away from 
his parents, crossed the Atlantic to England wended 
his way to the king's palace and seated himself upon 
the king's throne. He said he was sitting there very 
demurely when the king and his-nobles came in, and 
the king espying him, came up to him smiling, and 
patting him on the head with great fatherly kindness 
said, " My son, what are you doing here and where do 


you hail from ?" " I answered him like a patriotic 
and true-born American citizen, ' May it please your 
majesty for I knew lie was the king I am a Yankee 
boy from the United States of America, and the best 
blood of the Revolutionary patriots flows in my veins/ " 
said French. "Would you believe it?" he added, 
"instead of making him angry, he seemed actually de- 
lighted. He had me taken and treated to the best 
things the palace would afford, and had me sent home 
to my parents in the United States at the expense of 
the British government." 

I wish here to say that, in my opinion, this Mun- 
chausen disposition to magnify is a disease like klep- 
tomania. I never knew but one other man who had 
this disease as badly as French, and that was Judge 
William Wilson, of Carmi, Chief Justice of the Su- 
preme Court of Illinois at that time. At the dinner 
table at Paris, 111., on one occasion, when we were 
eating roast pig, he told the following story for the 
edification of those who sat at the table with him: 
He said he knew a pig that was so fat that you could 
not see its eyes, and you could just see the tip of its 
nose, and that its fat had swelled up its legs and tail 
to a considerable extent, and they had actually to feed 
it with a teaspoon, and when they killed it, it actually 
rolled about over the floor like a ball. We were 
afraid to laugh at this story, lest it might play the 
very d 1 with our cases when he opened court after 

I once heard Judge Wilson, in a conversation with 
a wealthy Englishman by the name of Yates, who had 
bought a prairie farm, and complained that he needed 


shade trees, tell him to get the pecan and plant it, 
and in a few years (for it was a tree of rapid growth) 
he would have an abundance of shade, and besides, any 
quantity of the delicious pecan nut, for they averaged 
thirty or forty bushels to the tree; when everybody 
knows that the pecan tree, instead of being- a tree of 
rapid growth, takes at least twenty years to bring it 
to anything like maturity; and when in full fruition, 
they don't average more than a bushel of pecans to the 
tree. This I know of my own personal knowledge, 
for I have gathered them myself fifty years ago. 

I wish to repeat that this disposition to exaggerate 
is a disease, for I am sure that neither of these men I 
have mentioned would tell a falsehood that would 
injure or affect any man in the world. 

I have at this place incidentally introduced Judge 
Wilson. I will give him a larger space in these me- 
moirs in my future pnges. For the present 1 will dis- 
miss the Judge and Governor French, hoping I have 
said nothing, or left what I have said so unexplained, 
that my readers will entertain an unfavorable opinion 
of them ; for there are no men who have passed away 
of whom I have kinder recollections. 



| HE next person whom I shall introduce to 
the acquaintance of my readers, is Governor 
Thomas Ford. His memory is very dear to me. 
In his history of Illinois he vindicates me from the 
charge made by the Abolitionists in 1837 that I was 
in complicity with the mob that killed Lovejoy. He 
has done me no more than justice. Mr. Edward 
Beecher, a brother to the celebrated Henry Ward 
Beecher, has taken especial pains, and that recently, 
to make it appear that I, with my adherents, stole into 
their Abolition Convention, held in Upper Alton in 
1837, under an invitation to all persons in favor of the 
immediate emancipation to come in and take part in 
the discussion and proceedings of that convention. This 
statement he made in a speech in Chicago after a lapse 
of over 35 years. There are generally two views to be 
taken of a man's motives in what he does or says the 
one charitable, the other uncharitable. I will take the 
charitable view of the subject, inasmuch as I know 
and can prove by many living witnesses, that the invi- 
tation was not to immediate emancipationists, but to 
"all persons in favor of free discussion." Under that 
invitation a great many of us who were not Abolition- 
ists went into their convention, determined to show 


the public that we were not afraid to discuss the ques- 
tion of political Abolitionism. They elected their 
chairman, the Bev. Mr. Blackburn, and a committee 
was appointed to draft resolutions for discussion. I 
was one of that committee, Mr. Edward Beecher 
another, and the third gentleman's name I do not now 

They had a string of resolutions already prepared, 
placing the question on Scriptural grounds, and they 
asked me to join them in reporting those resolutions 
as the bases of discussion. They however reported 
them notwithstanding my refusal to join in their 

I made a minority report, in which I presented a 
few resolutions as the basis of discussion, in which I 
placed the question on high legal and constitutional 
grounds. By this time we had a majority in the con- 
vention. The majority report was rejected and mine 
accepted. We discussed the question for over half a 
day, when it was brought to a vote and my resolutions 
were adopted. 

These are the facts of the case, and not as Mr. 
Beecher stated in his speech at Chicage. I will there- 
fore charitably say that Mr. Beecher has forgotten the 
the facts as they were, and has not willfully mis-stated 
them. He is a very old man now, and his memory 
might very easily have proved treacherous about mat- 
ters which occurred so long ago. 

Instead of participating in the riot that resulted in 
death of Lovejoy, I, for weeks and weeks before its 
occurrence, did all that I could to prevent such a 
catastrophe and bring about a compromise, which I 


believe, in my heart, would Lave been accomplished 
but for Mr. Beecher. I was not in the city at the 
time of the riot, having gone to attend the Green 
County Circuit Court, and while there the news came 
of the riot that Lovejoy had killed an outsider by the 
name of Bishop, who was an innocent spectator, and 
that Lovejoy was almost immediately killed by some 
one of the outsiders, the Abolitionists having fortified 
themselves in a warehouse belonging to Godfrey and 
Gilman, which stood at the water's edge of the Missis- 
sippi River. I now dismiss this whole question, leav- 
ing to history the task of doing justice. 

Mr. Ford's account of that transaction, in his his- 
tory of Illinois, is true. He exonerates me from all 
blame or censure. Mr. Ford, I believe, though an 
older man than I was, was a native of the State of 
Illinois, born in Monroe county. He was an excellent 
lawyer, and was a member of the Supreme Court of 
Illinois when there were nine judges, and when those 
judges performed circuit court duties, and held the 
circuit courts. He presided on the trial of the mur- 
derers of Col. Davenport. He was a terror to horse- 
thieves and murderers. He was a warm and devoted 
friend, and an equally bitter enemy, as my friend Trum- 
bull and others have good reason to know. 

At the election in August, 1842, he was elected gov- 
ernor over Joseph Duncan, by a majority of 8,313 
votes. He was put upon the track but a few days 
before the election, to supply the place of Adam AY. Sny- 
cler, the regular Democratic nominee, who had recently 
departed this life. During the whole of the time 
while he was governor I was a member of the legis- 


lature from Coles county, and was often at his house 
and levees, and many is the private convivial and 
social time we have had together. My membership 
continued after he had ceased to be governor. 

I remember on one occasion he came to me and told 
me that one I. N. Morris, a member from Adams 
county, had prepared resolutions and a speech to assail 
his official conduct while governor, and asked me to 
permit him to give out to the public that I would 
reply to Morris, and for every lick he gave Ford that 
I would give him two. Said I, " my old friend, I give 
you leave to make any use of my name you choose, and. 
shall be only too glad if it serves you any purpose." 

Ford did use my name in the manner indicated, and 
he was not attacked by I. H". Morris. 

Poor fellow ! When I was in Peoria many years ago, 
he came there with his wife and family, in almost abject 
poverty, he and his wife being both far gone with con- 
sumption. But, to the eternal credit of the wealthy 
people of Peoria, be it said, they, in the most delicate 
manner imaginable, without Ford knowing the source 
from whence it came, sent him dray load after dray 
load of everything necessary to eat and wear, also fur- 
nishing him with fuel, so that his and his wife's last 
days were made as comfortable as possible. I was told 
that upon one occasion when they came up with sev- 
eral dray loads of bed clothes, wearing apparel and 
provisions, Ford asked the drivers who had sent these 
things. They told him they did not know: they had 
been directed to unload them at Ids house, and that 
they belonged to him. A spectator of this scene said 
that Ford wept like a child, saying, " In God's name, 


what have I ever done for this people that they should 
thus load me with acts of kindness?" 

Ford and his wife died not very far apart. The 
wealthy people of Peoria divided his children amongst 
them and supported them as if they had been their 
own, looking after their culture and education. 

Ford had a vein of dry wit and humor in him, min- 
gled with a great deal of gall and bitterness. I remem- 
ber his saying to me, on one occasion, alluding to a 
distinguished man, whose name I shall riot mention, 
who was known for his office-seeking propensities, and 
his success in getting a great many, " Liuder, what 
does he remind you of?" 

" Indeed, I don't know, Governor." 

" Well," says he, in that fine, squeaking voice of his, 
which all will remember who knew him, " he reminds 
me of a d d old breachy hoss going around a corn- 
field, hunting some place where there is a rider off the 
fence, that he may jump over and help himself." 

One of the principal objects which Ford had in 
writing his history of Illinois, as I heard him say on 
one or two occasions, was to do justice to some of the 
men who had taken part in the Black Hawk war, whom 
he thought had not been fairly treated or awarded their 
due meed of applause General Henry, of Springfield, 
for one. He swore that he intended to strip the laurel 
from two distinguished men's brows and lay it upon 
the grave of General Henry. 

Ford w r as no half-way man ; he was either your de- 
voted friend or your bitter enemy. I am proud and 
happj" to say I was always numbered amongst the 



These humble memoirs can add but little to the fame 
of Tom Ford, but they are the testimony which an 
old friend wishes to bear to his sterling worth. I now 
take leave of my old friend Ford. It is melancholy to 
reflect how many of the friends of my earlier days have 
gone to that bourne from whence no traveler returns, 
and left me, as I have said in another place, an old gray- 
headed man, living with a new generation. 



fOSEPH DUNCAN" was Governor of the State 
at the time I landed in Illinois, and was also 
Governor during the session of 1836 and '37. 
I remember his message was a very severe assault upon 
General Jackson and the Democratic party, which was 
referred to a select committee, of which John A. Mc- 
Clernand was chairman. As I have mentioned in a 
former part of these pages, Governor Duncan had been 
for many years a member of Congress from this State; 
was a Whig in his politics. He was thought to be 
immensely wealthy, but having been security for his 
brother-in-law, William Linn, Receiver of Public Mon- 
eys at the Land Office at Vandalia, who proved to be a 
defaulter to a very large amount, Gov. Duncan was 
reduced to poverty. It stripped him of all his fine 
lauds which he had entered in the State of Illinois, 
which some were malicious enough to say he had 
entered with money furnished by his brother-in-law 
Linn out of the public moneys. How that is, I don't 
know, but certain it is he did not shun his liabilities, 
but gave up his property like an honest man. He 
died, as I have understood, a very devout Christian, 
and this is about all I now remember of Governor 
Joseph Duncan. 



IT would be very unbecoming in me, were I to 
neglect to give my old friend and comrade at 
the bar, O. B. Ficklin, a place in these me- 
moirs. He was among the first of the lawyers in the 
Fourth Judicial Circuit with whom I became acquaint- 
ed. He preceded me in our advent to this State. He 
was here when I came, and was Prosecuting Attorney 
in Judge Harlan's circuit. He was an ambitious 
young lawyer of limited education, but of great perse- 
verance and determination; he had an'iron will, which 
made him successful at the bar and in politics. lie 
was for a long time a member of Congress from the 
district in which we both lived. When nearly forty 
years of age, he married a young and accomplished 
lady, the daughter of Senator Colquitt of Georgia, a 
man of mark and decided talents. Mrs. Ficklin in- 
herited her father's talents, and she and my family 
were on the most intimate terms, and my wife and 
children hold her in- the highest estimation. 

My associations and relations with Ficklin were per- 
haps more intimate and social and of longer duration 
than with any other lawyer of the Wabash country, 
spreading over a period of about twenty-five years; 
and perhaps the happiest moments of my life were in 

O. B. FlCKLItf. Ill 

our unrestrained conversation when riding together 
qn horseback, going around the circuit. 

Ficklin had a considerable vein of dry drollery about 
him, accompanied by a look and a comical lifting up 
of his eyebrows that would provoke a laugh from an 
anchorite. One little incident I will relate here, which 
amused me very much at the time. We were going 
to the Wayne county Circuit Court, in the month of 
March, on horseback, together. We came to the Little 
Wa bash river, which was very much swollen by the re- 
cent freshets, and as we were bound next day to reach 
our destination, we concluded that our only alternative 
was to strip ourselves, tie our clothes upon our shoulders 
and swim our horses across, which preparation we speed- 
dily made; and when we were ready to plunge in, I told 
Ficklin to lead the way, as he was the oldest. Giving me 
the most comical look I ever saw, he said, " No, Linder, 
that won't do; you have recently joined the church 
(which was true), and made your calling and election 
sure, and if you should be drowned it would give you 
a speedy passport to heaven, and give me, a great sin- 
ner, a further time for repentance." 

I laughed and plunged in, and found the writer shal- 
lower than I expected, my horse having to swim only 
about ten feet. My horse landed me safely on the op- 
posite shore; Ficklin followed, and after dressing our- 
selves we struck for Fairfield, the county seat of Wayne, 
and traveled till nearly twelve o'clock at night, and put 
up at a poor man's cabin, who treated us very hospi- 
tably, his wife cooking us a coarse supper of fat meat, 
corn bread, and coffee made from parched buckwheat, 
without sugar or cream; and I declare it was the best 


rneal of victuals I ever ate, not having tasted a mouth- 
ful since early that morning. To show yon the IcincU 
ness and hospitality of these poor and humble people, 
they actually gave us the only feather bed they had, 
and slept, themselves, on. the floor. I objected to rob- 
bing them of their bed, but they would not listen to 
me. We had a sound sleep, you may well imagine; 
got our breakfast in the morning, and went on to Fair- 

During all this twenty-five years, when Ficklin and 
I Tode the circuit together, we were often as lawyers 
associated in the same causes, and not infrequently 
opposed to each other. Ficklin was a boon companion, 
a little vain, to be sure, as perhaps I was myself. He 
could sing as good a song as any man I ever knew, 
and tell as good a story. He was the prince of good 
fellows, and though we were rivals for political prefer- 
ments, and he generally the successful one, I have 
nothing now but the kindliest recollections of O. B. 
Ficklin. If these memoirs ever meet his eye, I hope 
he will be satisfied that I have tried to do him justice 
in what I have written. I might have said a good 
deal more, tending to show the claims of Mr. Ficklin 
to the love and respect of his old friends and fellow- 
citizens; let this, however, for the present suffice. 
Old friend, I bid you good-bye! 



the men with whom I first became 
acquainted on tli Fourth Judicial Circuit in 
1836, was the Hon. Aaron Shaw, of Lawrence- 
ville, Illinois, a man of considerable parts more as 
an advocate than as a lawyer. He is still living, and 
I think he is now upon the circuit bench, though of 
this I am not certain ; but he was Judge of the circuit 


court some few years ago. He was a warm and im- 
passioned speaker, and a very warm and devoted friend 
to those he liked, and, like Governor Ford, he was a 
tolerably bitter enemy. He would fight at the drop 
of a hat, and woe betide the man who undertook to 
insult him! I would as soon have waked the lion 
from his lair as to have aroused the anger of Aaron 
Shaw; but when he was not angered, but in a social 
mood, he was one of the most agreeable men I ever 
knew. He loved his friends and hated his enemies, 
lie was uo half-way man, but spoke out his sentiments 
boldly and freely on every subject. I served with him 
in the legislature (I think it was in 1846) when the 
temperance question came before us. Shaw espoused 
it with great zeal and fervor, and carried me with him 
for the temperance cause, and I regret that I have not 
stood by it to the present day. His speech upon that 


occasion was a terrible and scorching rebuke to saloon- 
keepers. It showed how they would smile and use 
their blandishments to entice into their dead-falls some 
warm-hearted and unwary man, and when they had 
robbed him of all the money he had arid made a beg- 
gar and a drunkard of him, they would kick him out 
of doors and tell him to clear himself out of their 
house, as a vagabond and loafer. In this speech of his 
there was more truth than poetry. 

I know but little more of Aaron Shaw. I know for 
a long time he was prosecuting Attorney on the Fourth 
Judicial Circuit, and made a very efficient and vigor- 
ous prosecutor. He had a beautiful and elegant wife, 
and their house was the centre of hospitality and head- 
quarters for his professional friends. His dinners and 
social parties were of the most inviting and enticing 



[ [IE next person I wish to notice, though I am 
really afraid to introduce him, lest I should not 
do him full justice, is the late William F. 
Thornton, of Shelbyville, whom I have already inci- 
dentally noticed in connection with the borrowing of 
money in England on behalf of the Illinois and Mich- 
igan canal. 

General Thornton was here before I came to the 
State. The first time I ever saw him was at the ses- 
sion of 1836 arid 1837 of the Illinois Legislature. He 
addressed us frequently from the lobby on the subject 
of the construction of the said canal. One set of poli- 
ticians were for what was called the shallow-cut, and 
another set for the deep-cut, to which latter class Gen- 
eral Thornton belonged. His speeches were the most 
interesting and scientific that I ever heard. He was 
perfectly at home on all geological questions, and was 
listened to with profound attention and silence while 
speaking, during which time you could have heard a 
pin fall. He failed to carry his views at that time, 
but they have since been adopted, and the deep-cut 
system has prevailed, and the waters of Lake Michigan 
have been let into the canal, the current of Chicago 
river reversed, and the waters of Lake Michigan now 


flow south through the canal into the Illinois river, 
and from thence to the Gulf of Mexico. 

General Thornton has but recently departed this life, 
aged nearly ninety. He has left a large estate, worth 
nearly three millions of dollars. 

General Thornton might be said to be a walking bud- 
get of facts and statistics. He was the most interesting 

o o 

conversationalist I ever heard, and equally interesting 
as a public speaker. Nobody attempted to talk in his 
presence, but only sat still and listened to him. 

General Thornton I think was at the battle of Bla- 
densburg, in the war of 1812, under Col. Monroe, after- 
wards President of the United States. He commanded 
a company there, 1 think. He was a chivalrous and 
gallant man, and an intelligent stranger, to look at 
him and hear him talk, would say, " what a very great 
man he is." 

I do not know now' which of our States was the na- 
tjve place of General Thornton, but I think it was 
Maryland. I know that for many years he lived in 
Kentucky, and married his wife there, who was a most 
amiable woman. I believe she is still living. She was 
a member of the old Ironside Baptist Church, and 
General Thornton always threw open his doors to the 
preachers of that denomination. 

General Thornton was a Whig. He was violently 
opposed to Folk's Mexican war, and the way in which 
he managed it. We were holding court at Shelby ville 
at the time that Scott with his little army was in the 
valley of Mexico, from whom we had not heard for 
several weeks, and there was a prevailing opinion among 
the Whigs, that for want of reinforcements he was 

Wat. F. THORNTON. 117 

hemmed in, and that he and his army were prisoners 
of war in the city of Mexico. General Thornton boldly 
asserted that it was so, and that Polk had done it for 
the express purpose of sacrificing a great Whig leader. 
He walked the floor at Tacket's hotel in a perfect fu- 
ror, and addressing himself to Judge Treat, who was 
a Democrat and a friend of Folk's, said: " I tell you, 
Judge Treat, at this moment General Scott and his 
whole army are prisoners of war in the city of Mexico; 

all of which is chargeable to this d d administration 

of Folk's." Thereupon General Thornton left. 

The next morning the newspapers brought authentic 
news of Scott and his little army. It brought the 
welcome intelligence that they had stornied' the city 
of Mexico, captured it, and that the stars and stripes 
had been run up on the walls of the Montezumas, and 
were then kissing the mild breezes of the city of Mex- 
ico. Judge Treat immediately sent for General 
Thornton, who quickly made his appearance, saying, 
" Judge Treat, yon sent for me?" 

"Yes, General," said the Judge, "We have glorious 
news from Mexico General Scott has captured the 
city, and our flag is now floating from the Palace of 
the Montezumas." 

General Thornton's eyes blazed like lightning, and 
slapping his fist in his hand, he said: "Hurrah for 
General Scott! By G-cl, I told you so. I knew he 
would whip them if he had half a chance." 

This literally convulsed us all with laughter, but 
General Thornton did not then seem to appreciate 
that it was produced by his inconsistency. 

General Thornton resided for a considerable time 


in the city of "Washington; he published a small paper 
there when quite a young man, as he himself informed 
me. He was a great friend and admirer of Henry 
Clay. It would have done your heart good to have 
heard General Thornton deliver one of his eulogies 
upon the great commoner of Kentucky. He was ac- 
quainted with all the distinguished men that figured 
at Washington in the two houses of Congress in 1812, 
and from that period down to 1840. He knew most 
of them personally, and has given me most graphic 
descriptions of them. 

I met General Thornton in a great many Whig 
conventions, where we both addressed the vast multi- 
tudes assembled on those occasions. At a great mass 
meeting held at Yandalia in 184-1, he and Lincoln and 
myself were appointed to address the vast multitudes 
from the stand, which had been erected on the east side 
of the old State House. This, as I remember, was in 
the summer, and the committee of arrangements had 
provided shade and seats covering acres of ground. 
The shade consisted of green bushes covering a sort 
of scaffolding. General Thornton was assigned to 
speak upon the subject of the currency, Lincoln upon 
the Tariff, and I to close, ranging through all the sub- 
jects then under discussion between the two great 
parties, Whig and Democratic. General Thornton's 
speeches, to those who heard him, seemed like reading 
from some great author, who knew all .he was writing 
about. He was essentially instructive, furnishing facts 
and data for other speakers to elaborate thereafter. 

I was nominated, on his motion, at that mass meet- 
ing to run against O. B. Ficklin for Congress, in our 


district. We had a glorious time of it at this mass 
meeting. Mv wife and two little boys were with me 

CTJ / / 

one about six and the other a little over two years 
old. We stopped with Robert Blackwell, a glorious 
old Whig, the uncle of the late "Robert Blackwell, 
a distinguished lawyer, who died in the city of Chi- 
cago some eight or ten years ago. 

I was in the hey-day of life, being in the very prime 
of my youthful manhood, and though my party had 
not the strength to elect me to Congress, I never 
mourned over my defeat, but I did shed tears hot, 
burning tears over the defeat of Mr. Clay, who was 
the Whig candidate for President, who would have 
been elected had not the Abolitionists run a ticket of 
their own in the State of New York, and that defeated 
him by a few votes. And, oh, what a President he 
would have made! It seems to be a part of the his- 
tory of this country, since the days of Madison, Mon- 
roe and Jackson, that no man of pre-eminent ability 
should ever be President of the United States. Henry 
Clay, Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun, who did 
more than any three men of their day to adorn and 
embellish the history of their country, were quietly 
laid upon the shelf, and men of second-rate talents, 
with the exception of Lincoln, have from that day to 
this filled the presidential chair. 

I was one of the Clay candidates for election in 
1844, as well as a candidate for Congress, and besides 
addressing vast crowds in my own State, I was sent 
for to come into Indiana to address the people there. 
I remember of speaking to a vast crowd in Princeton, 
Indiana, in connection with the late Jos Marshall, of 


Madison, Indiana, and I think I never heard a greater 
orator. He looked the great man. and physically and 
intellectually presented to his audience a sort of leonine 
aspect. He had few equals, if any, in the west, and I 
think no superior; but death, that spares none of us, 
has called him away, but he will be long remembered 
by the people of Indiana. 

The reader must pardon this digression, as I was 
giving a sketch of General Thornton. 

That convention closed very harmoniously, and my 
acquaintance with General Thornton continued for 
many years afterwards. He was the father-in-law of 
Anthony Thornton, late Supreme Judge of the State 
of Illinois, a man of marked ability and an excellent 
lawyer, whom I may take occasion to notice more 
extensively in these pages. 

I feel loth to dismiss General Thornton at this place, 
feeling that perhaps I have not done him full justice; 
but I take pleasure in saying here that he had read 
more and knew more than all of us, and none of us ever 
hesitated (of the Whig party) to give him the first 
place in our ranks. Thus much for General Thornton. 
He was my friend, and I loved him, but for the present 
I take leave of him. If he comes in again, it will be 



man whose name I desire to intro- 
duce at this point, and whom I met at the 
Edwardsville Circuit Court in 1837, was Joe 
Gillespie, of Madison county, Illinois. He was then a 
young man, and not eminent as he afterwards became, 
but it struck me then that he had the stuff in him to 
make a man, and I found out afterwards that I was 
not mistaken. We formed an acquaintance and friend- 
ship then that has lasted through many years and 
grown with our age, and if there is any man in Illinois 
who is no blood relation of mine, whom I love and 
esteem more than Joe, I cannot call him to mind at 
this moment. 

In after years we met in the Legislature of Illinois 
he in the Senate and I in the House of Representa- 
tives. We were mutually united in our efforts to get 
a railroad from Terre Haute to Alton, through Edgar, 
Coles, Shelby, Montgomery, Macoupin and Madison, 
which the reader will discover was not a straight road, 
and we had to fight a contemplated rival road from 
Terre Haute on a straight line to St. Louis. We, Joe 
in the Senate and I in the House, contended that it 
should be the policy of the State;of Illinois to build up 
towns and cities at the termini of her railroads, and 


not allow roads to be constructed through it so termi- 
nating as to build up a city outside of its limits that 
would crush the cities on our western borders. Our 
object was to build up Alton, and the reader will per- 
ceive that a road from Terre Haute to a point opposite 
St. Louis would overshadow our road and prevent its 
construction. Hence, all our efforts were directed to 
prevent their getting a charter till our road was com- 
pleted, which we accomplished, Joe and I standing 
shoulder to shoulder in this railroad war. 

I have some anecdotes to relate in reference to friend 
Joe which I defer to another page. He was a very 
social, kind-hearted man ; a plebeian by birth, not of 
liberal education, but possessing a very strong mind. 
He had read Coke's Commentaries on Lyttleton, and 
had made himself familiar with the black-letter law 
of England. He had studied Chitty on Pleading with 
passionate fondness, and was perfectly at home in the 
science of pleading. He was recently on the circuit 
court bench in his circuit, and many of the lawyers of 
that circuit have told me that he made one of the best 
judges they ever practiced before. Using rather a vul- 
gar phrase, " You might bet your bottom dollar on his 
honesty." He has been succeeded by William Snyder, 
a very intelligent and well-read lawyer, and an honest 
man, but I do not believe that he will make a better 
judge than my old friend Gillespie. 

I think it was in the year 1841, the times being very 
hard and money scarce, 1 concluded to try my luck in 
my old Mississippi circuit. I mounted my pacing 
horse and struck for fKaskaskia, by the way of Nash- 
ville, Washington county, Ills., where I expected to 


find the court in session, a distance of over one hun- 
dred and twenty miles from Charleston, my home. 
This was in the early part of the fall of the year. I 
noticed, when passing over one of the prairies through 
which my road lay, a singular fibrous little vine which 
intertwined itself around the tops of the prairie grass 
and had no connection by root with the ground. I 
asked a young man whom I met in the road if he knew 
what that vine was. He said they called it the " love 
vine." It was a very singular phenomenon to me, 
having no more connection with the ground than a 
spider's web. 

I went on my way towards my destination, and met 
the St. Louis stage going east, and after it had passed 
me about seventy-five yards, I heard some one crying 
out behind me, in broad Irish brogue, " Lirithur, Lin- 
thur, Linthur!" I turned around and perceived the 
stage had stopped, and seeing a man's head protruding 
from the stage window, I rode up and found it to be 
the smiling face of my old Hibernian friend, General 
James Shields, with whom I conversed about fifteen 
minutes, who told me he was going to "Washington 
City. We shook hands and parted. 

I arrived safely at Nashville; found the court in 
session, Judge Breese presiding, and I was overjoyed 
to find attending this court my friend Joe Gillespie. 
By the influence of one or two of my old friends with 
whom ! had served in the legislature of 1836 and 
1837, 1 got several fees enough to pay mine and Joe's 
tavern bill Joe and I having formed a sort of tem- 
porary partnership. It was agreed between us that 
Joe should puff me up as one of the greatest lawyers 


and advocates that ever made a track in Southern 
Illinois; and we were to divide the spoils between us. 

The next court was at Kaskaskia, and we learned 
on the way that our hotel keeper, an Englishman, 
whose name I can't call to mind at this time, where 
we all contemplated putting up, had a lawsuit in which 
he was plaintiff. It seems that some young buck in 
the town had had a fight with him (I now remember 
the hotel-keeper's name it was Vandeevers), and in 
that fight Vandeevers had got a piece of his ear bit 
off. Joe Gillespie turned to me as we were riding 
along the road, and said, " Lin der, by h-11, there's a 
chance to pay our hotel bill, and I'll bait my hook and 
go for him in half an hour after we land. Joe was as 
good as his word, and told the hotel-keeper what an 
almighty big lawyer I was, and that he ought to 
employ me as soon as possible, and not let the other 
side get ahead of him; but Yandeevers would not bite 
at the bait, but the defendant and his friends came and 
gave me a fee of twenty dollars to defend him. This 
was getting into a very awkward predicament, to appear 
against my landlord, but there was no help for it. It 
became known that I was employed for the defense, 
and the court house was crowded with the citizens of 
Kaskaskia, ladies and gentlemen among the rest, 
Judge Pope and his two beautiful daughters. 

Vandeevers began to repent when it was too late; 
but to make up the loss he employed Lyman Tru.m- 
bull to assist his lawyer, David J. Baker, Avho was 
called the Lord Coke of Illinois. But with all his 
skill in pleading, he made a great mistake in framing 
his declaration. He had inserted but a single count. 


I plead son assault. The proof showed that there had 
been two fights on the same day between the parties, 
with an interval of about half an hour between them. 
Under the pleading, I had the opening and closing. 
The rule of law in such a case is, and always has been, 
under a plea like mine, if the defendant shows that 
there was one fight in which the plaintiff made the 
first assault the jury must find for the defendant^ 
though there might have been half a dozen other fights 
in which the defendant was the aggressor; and Judge 
Breese so ruled and instructed the jury, on my motion, 
and they returned a verdict for the defendant; but the 
argument of the case before the jury was the great 
treat to the spectators present. Yandeever's lawyers 
had magnified his wrongs and injuries before the jury, 
complaining that he had been disfigured and shorn of 
his fair proportions, having a piece of one of his ears 
bitten off, and otherwise wounded, bruised and mal- 
treated. In my closing remarks, knowing that I was 
safe on the law of the case, I determined to give the 
plaintiff the hot end of the poker, so I didn't spare 
friend Boniface. " Gentlemen of the jury," says I, 
u My client did not intend to disfigure this man by 
biting off his ear, as he has told me himself. He 
always knew that he had too much ears, and his only 
object was to trim him up and make him look more 
like a man than a jackass. Look at him, gentlemen 
of the jury, and tell me if he was not a fool for not 
lying still and allowing my client to finish up the job 
he had commenced, by trimming his other ear." 

I went on in this ludicrous strain, to the great amuse- 
ment of the spectators, and though Breese stormed 


and raved, neither lie nor his sheriff could prevent the 
loud peals of laughter that shook the old Kaskaskia 
court house. At that time Kaskaskia had the most 
refined and cultivated society in the State of Illinois, 
of whom a large proportion were present on this occa- 
sion. Judge Pope went into a perfect paroxysm of 
laughter. He was a Kentuckian, and a great friend 
of mine. He made a party thereafter expressly in 
ray honor, where the court and all the bar were invited, 
which was graced by the elite, beauty and fashion of 
the town. It was not one of those empty parties 
where they hand around a little cake and other things 
which make a man dyspeptic; but it was a supper, 
with roast turkey, wild fowl, venison and other things 
which make my mouth water now to think of. But 
to return to the trial. 

After the jury had brought in their verdict for the 
defendant, and Baker and Trumbull had done their 
utmost to obtain a new trial, and failed, Vandeevers 
left the court house in a perfect furor, swearing ven- 
geance against me when I should next make my 
appearance at his table; but I had hosts of friends, 
who, together with my friend, Joe Gillespie, went to 
him and told him if he did not want his other ear 
trimmed he had better let me alone. He was not slow 
in taking the hint, and taking counsel from his fears, 
when I made my appearance at the next meal he 
treated me with more consideration than he had ever 
done before. He turned to Gillespie, who sat near 
me, and said: 

" If I had taken your advice, I might have avoided 
this result." 


"Yes," said Joe, in his quiet way, "but you was 
too d d a fool, Varideevers, to take it." He laughed 
heartily over Joe's reply. 

Joe and I had enough money to pay our bills, and a 
surplus left with which to settle our bills with our land- 
lord on ahead of us. 

We traveled from there on up to Monroe county, 
Waterloo being the county seat. We made some fees 
there, and from there we went to Belleville, St. Clair 
county, and after court was over there, Joe and I 
jogged on together socially to Edwardsville,Joe's home. 
Here I made several hundred dollars. 

Joe and I were more like brothers than any two men 
who ever lived who were not brothers. I met him 
during the last presidential election, at Edwardsville. 
We spent a whole Sunday together, talking over old 
times, and you may rest assured we had a hearty laugh 
over the Vandeever trial. While it is pleasant to bring 
up these old reminiscences, yet, worthy reader, there 
is a bitter mingled with the sweet: and that is the 
thought that in a short time we must pass away and 
where will we be? Echo answers, "Where?" I now 
take leave of my dear old friend, Gillespie. If these 
memoirs should meet his eye after I am gone, I know 
lie will shed a tear to my memory. 



OWE it to my own feelings, and old friend- 
ship, to introduce here an old friend of mine 
who has lately departed this life I mean the 
Hon. John Pearsons, late of Danville, 111. Oar ac- 
quaintance commenced in 1836, on Judge Harlan's 
circuit. I first met him at the Edgar County Circuit 
Court, in the fall of 1836. We traveled round the 
circuit together, and were often associated together in 
the same causes. I had been elected to the legislature 
at the previous August election, and being both Dem- 
ocrats, in jogging along on horseback together, he 
arranged my programme in the coining winter's ses- 
sion. I remember his saying to me, " There will be 
an attorney-general to elect by the legislature at the 
coming session, and you must fill that office." I 
laughed at the time, and told him I thought it a wild 
and Utopian scheme, but it nevertheless came to pass. 
Pearsons made his appearance at that session of the 
legislature, and took an active part in promoting my 
election. We members from the Wabash country 
took him up and elected him Judge of the circuit 
court, of which Chicago, in Cook county, was a part. 
This gave great often se to the lawyers of Chicago 
Butterfield, Scammon and others who, having many 


good lawyers amongst them, thought we had no right 
to import a judge from the Wabash country, outside 
of their circuit, a stranger to their lawyers and their 

O t/ 

people. But I remember that we of the Wabash at 
that time, had no great love for these Yankee Aboli- 
tion lawyers. Some of our members from Judge Har- 
lan's circuit who did not like Pearsons voted for him 
to get rid of him. I recollect old Jonathan Mills, who 
was the member from Edwards or Wayne, and I don't 
now remember which, who had very little love for 
Pearsons, voted for him. He said he had two objects 
to accomplish one was to get him out of our circuit, 
and the other was to annoy the d d Yankee Abo- 
lition lawyers of Chicago. But Pearsons had better 
never have accepted the office, for they made his seat 
so hot for him that he was forced to resign before his 
time expired. I remember that while he was on the 
bench, before he resigned, Scam m on or Butterfield, who 
had taken exceptions to some of his rulings, presented 
him with a bill of exceptions, which he refused to sign, 
and they finally obtained a peremptory mandamus 
upon him, commanding him to sign it, which he fail- 
ing or refusing to do, the Supreme Court issued its 
attachment against him, and the sheriif followed him 
and arrested him in Clay county, 111., and brought 
him before the Supreme Court, and he was fined the 
sum of one hundred dollars, which I got the legisla- 
ture, when I was a member in 1846 or 1847, to re-pay 
him with interest; and on that occasion I handled 
those Chicago lawyers without gloves, which Scarnmou 
remembers to this day. 

Pearsons was a very warm friend and an uncoinpro- 


mising enemy. He was kind and charitable, and 
when the news came from the South some few years ago 
that they were suffering for want of food, Pearsons got 
up a cargo of corn and other provisions, and had them 
transported at his own expense to Atlanta, Georgia, 
and distributed them amongst the needy, which must 
have cost him several thousand dollars. 

He departed this life a few months ago, leaving a 
very handsome estate to his family. It might be said 
of him, if it were not sacrilegious, that " he w r as a man 
of sorrow and acquainted with grief." He had some 
tragical occurrences in his family, which were a sore 
trial to him that required all his patience and forti- 
tude to 'endure; but he proved equal to the occasion, 
and has now gone to his last account, where, I trust, 
he will be dealt with with that mercy which he showed 
to others. If he had his faults, he also had his virtues, 
the latte v of which, I think, greatly overbalanced the 



JORTHY reader, I will now introduce to your 
notice James C. Robinson, now of Springfield, 
formerly of Clark county, Illinois. He is a 
remarkable instance of a man's rising by force of his 
native talent to the highest distinction, with but little education. When I first knew him, he lived near 
a little village in Clark county, called Westfield. He 
was a justice of the peace. This village was about ten 
miles from Charleston. 

The first time I remember him very distinctly was 
when 1 was called to attend to a case before him, Fick- 
lin being on the other side. I remember we had a 
considerable struggle over the case, but I beat Ficklin, 
for L had the right side of the case, and Robinson gave 
such a clear view of it in his decision that it struck me 
that he deserved a higher place than a mere justice of 
the peace, and I advised him to educate himself, and 
to read law, get a license and practice. He did so, and 
his success has vindicated and sustained my judgment, 
lie went to Marshall, studied law and commenced the 
practice, and success attended his earliest efforts. 

lie was a Democrat, and it was not a very long time 
before they took him up and nominated him for Con- 
gress, and he was elected and continued to represent 


liis district for several successive sessions, and has 
gained for himself much credit for the ability he has 
displayed as our representative. He has since removed 
to Springfield, Illinois, where he has practiced his pro- 
fession with great success, especially in the criminal 
department. He was the principal lawyer in the defense 
of the man accused of the murder of Murray McCon- 
nell, at Jacksonville. The name of this man was Rob- 
inson, and I have understood from those who heard 
the trial, that he was largely indebted to the ingenuity 
and eloquence of James C. Robinson for his acquittal. 
James C. Robinson was run once or twice by the 
Democracy for Governor of this State, but of course 
was defeated, the Republicans being largely in the 
majority. He may be regarded as a very remark- 
able man, and set down by the side of Lincoln, and 
Andy Johnson of Tennessee, in that he has risen to 
high distinction in spite of the deficiencies of his 
education, by the force of his native intellect. I have 
heard him make a good many stump speeches, and I 
declare here that I have no recollection of hearing any 
man on the stump that was his superior, unless it 
might have been Lincoln or Douglas. Besides pos- 
sessing great powers of natural oratory, he was gifted 
with great conversational power, and I have often been 
delighted and edified with his narrations of events that 
were known to him and not to me. 

What may be Robinson's future I know not; but if 
he shall continue as he has begun, and add to his stock 
of information, no man can say where he may land, or 
limit his elevation. He is now a young man not 
exceeding forty -five years of age of a fine constitu- 


tion and health, and naturally an intellectual giant. 
Who shall undertake to limit such a man? This is 
but the beginning of his history, and I predict a very 
small part of it. Some abler pen than mine will fin- 
ish it after I am gone, when he has climbed to the 
highest round in the ladder of fame. 

At this point I must leave friend Robinson, fearing 
that I have not done him full justice; but he was my 
friend and I loved him, and I still love him, and I 
desire in these memoirs to give him a place. My 
best wishes will attend him through life, and the bless- 
ings of an old man that never injured anybody will 
rest upon his head. Friend Robinson, vale! 



j|WILL now introduce to the attention of my 
readers one of the most distinguished names 
that has figured in the history of Illinois 
a most learned and accomplished lawyer, and a ripe 
and finished scholar the late John J. Brown, who died 
in the city of Chicago, but who lived the greater part of 
his life in Danville, Illinois. During his residence 
there, and up to the time of his leaving there, Dan- 
ville was but a mere village, but has since become a 
city, of no mean irri] ortance by the concentration of 
important railroad linis at that point. Its growth 
has been very rapid, and it now bids fair to be one of 
the principal cities south of Chicago in the State of 
Illinois. I should say it numbered to-day fifteen 
thousand inhabitants. About six railroads pass through 
that place, and it is not saying too much that in ten 
years it will have a population, of thirty thousand 
souls. Some of the richest coal mines in Illinois are 
to be found in Vermillion county, and across the line in 
Indiana. Danville is the count} 7 seat of Yermillion 

John J. Brown came from the State of Virginia, and 
settled in Danville some time in 1839; it may have 
been as late as 1840. He soon attracted public atten- 


tion and commanded a fine practice. He was one of 
the most accomplished lawyers of that day. He was 
a cousin to theLamons, and of Ward Lamon, the part- 
ner of Abraham Lincoln, who accompanied Lincoln to 
Washington, and was either his private secretary, or 
had some position in his household affairs. Suffice it 
to say, Lincoln had sufficient confidence in him to send 
him to Charleston, South Carolina, before the break- 
ing out of hostilities, on a mission of peace. I have 
said thus much to give the reader an idea of John J. 
Brown and his connections. He died many years 
before our Civil War. 

He was a Whig. Dr. William Fithian w T as also a 
Whig, and had filled high offices in that county. Some- 
where about the year 1842 or 1844 he was a candidate 
for the State Senate, and John J. Brown was brought 
out to oppose him, and it becoming manifest that 
Fithian would be beaten, he, Fithian, being as cun- 
ning as a fox, just on the eve of the election had i 
most scurrilous assault printed and published in hand- 
bills against himself, in which he was charged with 
the grossest crimes known to the decalogue. This 
publication was kept secret, and on the morning of the 
election Fithian despatched his agents to all the pre- 
cincts in the county. The hand-bills were headed 
" Pro Bono Publico" and signed "many citizens." 
They were distributed just before the polls were opened, 
amongst the voters, being read by Fithian's emissaries 
and agents, the people became perfectly maddened, 
supposing it was the work of John J. Brown and his 
friends, and many of his warmest friends turned 
around and voted against him, and he was defeated by 


a small majority through the means of this miserable 
trick and fraud. In a very short time after the elec- 
tion was over, it became known, and fully authenticated 
that Dr. Fithian was the author of the whole thing, 
and that John J. Brown and his friends had no agency 
in it. For a good while Fithian kept himself con- 
cealed, and did not show himself, for such was the 
state of the public mind, that he would have been 
torn in pieces if he had made his appearance in public. 
It thoroughly damned him, and he has gone by the 
name of "Pro Bono Publico" ever since. 

Brown was one of the most classical and accom- 
plished speakers I ever heard. He made that impres- 
sion on the people of Chicago after he came here. 

Poor fellow! he had his faults, as we all have, over 
which it is our duty to draw the veil of charity ; but no 
foul blot or stain was ever fixed upon his character, 
either as a lawyer or as a man. Those who knew him 
will indorse this statement as true, if these memoirs 
ever meet their eye. He was an honor and ornament 
to the bar of Illinois, and I wish to God we had more 
such men to redeem the profession from the reproach 
which the chicanery of some of the members of the bar 
have brought upon it. 

I do not believe that Dr. Fithian was a bad man; for 
the idea prevailed then, as it has prevailed through all 
time, that all things were fair in politics, love and war. 
Fithian being the choice of the Whig party and nom- 
inated bv them, and John J. Brown bein^ also a Whiff, 

/ O O 

having been brought out by the Democrats to defeat a 
man of his own principles, it is but natural that he 
should have resorted to almost any expedient to defeat 


Mr. Brown. "While I don't justify the one to which he 
resorted, I am not disposed to judge him very severely. 
Fithian has always been my friend, and as a man I 
esteem him very highly, notwithstanding the " Pro 
Bono Publico." 

This sketch ends here, so far as John J. Brown is con- 
cerned, but I Avill continue my remarks, showing my 
friendship and connection with Dr. William Fithian. 

Many years ago, Dr. Fithian got into a paper war 
with a man of the name of Cassady. They were both 
members of the Methodist church. Cassady com- 
menced the war, and charged upon Fithian that he had 
murdered his wife, and many other crimes not neces- 
sary now to mention. Fithian replied, denying the 
charges, and employed O. L. Davis, then a young law- 
yer of Danville, now judge of the circuit court of that 
place, to bring a suit against Cassady for written slan- 
der, and immediately wrote to Lincoln at Springfield 
and myself at Charleston, retaining us in the case for 
him. We made our appearance at the next term of 
the court, when the case would come on. Cassady had 
John Murphy, of Danville, and the celebrated and dis- 
tinguished -Ned Hannegan, of Covington, Ind., as his 



|OUTHY reader, you know, perhaps, but very 
little of the Hon. Ned Hannegan, but he had 
been Senator in Congress from Indiana, and 
had borne off the palm as the most eloquent man that 
had ever opened his lips in that Senate, and he had 
also been our Minister, for a good many years, to Prus- 
sia. Judge David Davis was then the Judge on that 
circuit, arid as it is not my intention to go into the par- 
ticulars of this trial, I wish only to say that we got a 
verdict of five hundred and fifty-six dollars against 
Cassady. . 

We all roomed together at the hotel Judge Davis, 
Hannegan, Lincoln and myself and Hannegan gave 
us a sketch of his court visits and the court dinners 
that were given him, and the blunders that he made. 
He said that the first dinner- that he went to he 
didn't know how he should dress, "but," said he, " I went 
to our consul and his wife, who had been in that 
country along time, and they rigged me out in appro- 
priate costume; so I started, but got there a little too 
late. This dinner was given by the Prime Minister, 
Count somebody, whose name I cannot now recall, and 
they were all sitting at the table. The Master of Cere- 
monies ushered me in and placed me near the head of 


the table; the Minister and all his subordinates, or 
staff, whichever you may wish to call them, sat there 
in their military uniforms, wrapped in awful silence. 
A servant brought me a bill of fare, and I indicated to 
him that I would take a plate of soap, which was 
brought me. During all this time not one word had 
been spoken, and great drops of sweat rolled down my 
face. The other side of the table from which I sat was 
garnished with the most beautiful ladies I ever saw, 
and while I was doing justice to my plate of soup, 
a sweet voice from the ther side of the table, in the 
purest English, said: ' Mr. Hannegan, how have you 
enjoyed yourself since you have been Minister to Prus- 
sia?' I laid down my spoon and told her that hearing 
my ow r n language spoken with such purity and sweet- 
ness there, I felt as though it was a voice from one -of 
the angels from heaven. (She was the wife of the 
Count, the Prime Minister.) ' Take care, Mr. Hanne- 
gaii,' said she, ' or you will .make the Count jealous.' 
'O!' said I, 'I have no fears of that, for he don't 
understand a word of English.' ' Aye,' said she, ' he 
don't converse in the language, but he understands 
every word of -that language which is spoken in his 
presence.' After enjoying a hearty laugh, in which 
the Count himself joined, and after the interchange of 
many compliments between the countess and myself, 
I arose, made my bow and took my leave." 

After Hannegan retired from the room, Judge 
Davis, Lincoln and myself, all agreed that we never 
heard a man of such interesting conversational powers 
in our lives. 

I should like sometime hereafter in the memoirs, 



to give to Senator Hannegan a wider space and a more 
extended notice. For the present I must pass on to 
the men who lived, and to the events which occurred, 
in the State of Illinois. 



JHAYE not as yet regularly taken up Judge 
Breese, and so far as he lias been noticed in 
these pages, it has only been incidentally, and 
I am somewhat loath to sketch him at all, inasmuch 
as it has been so extensively done by other and abler 
pens than mine; but lest his friends should think I 
purposely omitted him, if I should not notice him as 1 
have other distinguished men, through some unwor- 
thy or improper motive, I will in this place give my 
personal recollections of Judge Breese, and what I 
have learned of him from reliable sources. He was a 
citizen of this State when I came here, and lived, I 
believe, in Carlyle, Clinton county, 111. He first set- 
tled in Kaskaskia, which was the early home of some 
of our most distinguished men, to wit: Judge Pope, 
Elias Kent Kane, David J. Baker, and others. Breese 
was quite a young man when he came there, and it 
was shortly before or after we ceased to be a territory. 
Breese was a man who descended from a very wealthy 
and aristocratic family, which lived, I believe, in the 
State of New York. He received a collegiate and lib- 
eral education, and studied his profession of the law, 
and then came West to seek his fortune, and by dint 
of his own talent and exertions to work his way up to 


fame and distinction, which in time he effectually did. 
He was elected to the circuit court bench, I think at 
the session of 1834 and '35, which took place before I 
came to the State. I have already said that he presi- 
ded on the circuit of which Yandalia, the seat of gov- 
ernment, was a part. He was considered, and I think 
justly, the most learned and profound jurist in the 
State. He continued on the circuit court bench until 
he was elected to the Senate in Congress in 184-2, over 
Stephen A. Douglas, who was then a candidate for the 
Senate for the first time. In the caucus that nomina- 
nated Breese, he only beat Douglas, I think, two 

It was at this session of the legislature of 1842 that 
that they changed our judicial system to the extent of 
getting rid of the circuit court judges, and enacting 
by law that the judges of the Supreme Court should 
perform the duties which had theretofore been assigned 
to the circuit judges. We had then only four Supreme 
Judges, and this legislature provided by law for the 
increase of their number to nine, which made five ad- 
ditional judges. The object was to have a Supreme 
Judge for each circuit, the State being then divided 
into nine circuits. I remember distinctly that Douglas 
was elected one of those five judges, and was assigned 
to the circuit in the military district, of which Schuy- 
ler county composed a part. 

Judge Douglas was quite popular among the younger 
members of the bar, but for want of sufficient dignity 
rather horrified some of the older ones; for he would 
occasionally at dinner vacation sit down on a brother 
lawyer's lap and rattle away about politics and past 


times, for it was hard for him to forget his election- 
eering traits. He was however soon taken off the 
bench and elected to the House of Representatives in 

The reader must pardon this digression and permit 
me to return to Judge Breese, who served out his six 
years in the Senate of the United States, and was a 
candidate for re-election, and would have been elected 
(for he had made one of the most dignified and able 
Senators of any member of that august body) had it 
not been for two circumstances: the first was, he got 
into a newspaper controversy with Senator Douglas, 
who by that time had passed up from the House of 
Representatives in Congress to the Senate. In that 
controversy Douglas got greatly the advantage.of him. 
The other circumstance was that General Shields was 
the opposing candidate to Breese. He had come home 
from the Mexican war (where he had been wounded, 
as I have before related) all covered with glory, and 
the Democratic party gave him the nomination and 
elected him to the Senate. 

Breese was never returned to that body. He con- 
tinued, however, but a short time in retirement, when 
he was elected by the people of his county a member 
of the popular branch of our State Legislature. I 
was a member of the same .body at that session. It 
was my last year in the Illinois Legislature. We 
elected him Speaker of our House, and he filled that 
position with great dignity and ability. 

The convention to form a new constitution having 
made the judges of the Supreme Court elective by the 
people, and re-established the old circuit court system, 


save that those judges were also elected by the people, 
and cut down the Supreme Judges to three Judge 
Breese, in 1855 was again elected Circuit Judge, and 
two years later, on the resignation of Judge Scates, he 
was again, for the second time, elevated to the Supreme 
Bench, which position he has held ever since. He has 
written and delivered more of the opinions of that court 
than any other Supreme Judge that ever sat upon that 
bench. He is now more than eighty years of age, and 
with the exception of his being gray-headed, looks to me 
almost as vigorous, physically and intellectually, as he 
did twenty -five years ago. Certainly his recently deliv- 
ered opinions show no decline in his mental powers. I 
calculate that he will die with his harness on a mem- 
ber of -that court. It is the very station for which he 
seems to have been cut out; he was hot adapted, either 
by nature or education, to be a politician to go into 
the hustings and mingle with the crowd but he was 
formed for a great judge, which he is to-day. 

I will go back and relate a circumstance which 
occurred in his early life, and which hung like a dark 
pall over his political aspirations. When General Jack- 
son was a candidate for the Presidency, some of his 
enemies got up a picture, which they supposed would 
do him great injury. It represented six coffins and 
six soldiers, each sitting on one of them, who had been 
tried by a court martial for desertion and condemned 
to be shot, while he lay at New Orleans with his lit- 
tle army, whom General Jackson refused to pardon, 
although entreated to do so by their mothers with tears 
and supplications. Gen. Jackson could not do it with- 
out demoralizing his whole army, and the British army, 


which lay in great force on the other side of his breast- 
works, might have entered as triumphant victors, and 
sacked and pillaged the city, for their watchword was, 
" Booty and beauty." Gen Jackson therefore permit- 
ted the sentence of the court to be executed. 

Now Breese was charged, and I believe it was proven 
upon him, with having circulated these odious coffin 
hand-bills. Nothing ever made the friends of Jackson 
so mad as these vile and miserable pictures, and they 
never forgave any man known to have circulated them 
amongst the people. Breese stoutly denied having 
had any participation in their circulation, but he had 
to profess Democracy for many years and do good ser- 
vice in the cause before he could overcome the effects 
of this charge. It was finally frittered away, and Breese' 
was admitted into close fellowship with the Democratic 

Breese married a Miss Morrison, who is, if living, 
one of the most amiable and estimable ladies of the 
State of Illinois. She belonged to a very wealthy and 
arris tocratic family, and is, I believe, a cousin of Col. 
>Don Morrison. 

Though Breese has been highly honored, yet I am 
frank to confess that he has never had awarded to him 
the full measure of his deserts; for he has certainly 
done more to give character to our judicial history than 
any one, two or even three men in the State of Illinois. 
On the examination of our fifty or sixty reports, it will 
be found that he has delivered opinions elaborating 
and elucidating every principle of law, both of the 
common law and equity, and many more on the science 
and correct mode of pleading. Any intelligent student 


of law who will read and closely study all of Judge 
Breese's opinions and digest them thoroughly, will be 
competent to go into the highest courts of the Union, 
and would be at home even on the Queen's Bench of 

Breese possessed no mean conversational powers, 
and at times in his social intercourse was exceedingly 
pleasant. His face and head always struck me as 
strongly resembling the portraits I have seen of the 
First Napoleon. Though at times eminently social, 
and could win with one of his smiles the heart of almost 
any young lawyer, yet at other times he was reticent 
and supercilious, and could make his associates feel 
their inferiority. To this last statement I presume 
there are many of his old acquaintances now living 
who will bear testimony. 

I will relate here a very amusing incident which 
occurred in his court at Ed ward svi lie. A very respec- 
table farmer had been indicted for negligently setting 
fire to the prairie. His object was to burn the grass 
inside of his fence and not let it get beyond his 
enclosure. He started the fire there, but for want of 
sufficient force it got beyond it, and burned some of 
his neighbors' haystacks. The neighbors, however, 
got together and extinguished it before it did any very 
great harm. 

The jury brought in a verdict of guilty, the assess- 
ing the penalty belonging to the court. The extent 
of the penalty which the court could inflict by the 
statute was not less than five nor more than one hun- 
dred dollars. The man had been defended by my 
friend Joe Gillespie. The proof showed that the 


accused was a man of excellent character, a good 
neighbor, and that the act for which he had been con- 
victed was more accidental than otherwise. 

Breese, in passing sentence, said this was a grave 
offense, and under other circumstances he would be 
induced to inflict a fine to the utmost limit allowed by 
the statute, but the object of the law was- not ven- 
geance but rather for reformation and prevention; he 
would not inflict exemplary punishment. This man 
having shown a good character, and this probably 
being the first offense, " I shall therefore fine him 
only in the small sum of seventy-five dollars." 

Joe Gillespie, who had been sitting very quietly, 
sprang out of his seat as if he had been shot, and 
exclaimed, "Jesus Christ! God Almighty! the mod- 
erate sum of only seventy-five dollars,! " He picked up 
his hat and left the court room. 

Reader, you should have been there to have heard 
the peals of laughter that reverberated through the old 
court house. I expected Breese would fine Joe, but 
he didn't. He seemed to enjoy the thing as well as 
anybody else, and chuckled, and his old fat sides shook 
from half-suppressed merriment. 

I believe I have said about as much of Judge Breese 
as it is necessary to insert in this place. 



I came to the State of Illinois, in 1835, 
among the most prominent men was Gov. 
John Reynolds. He had been Governor of 
Illinois in the time of the Black Hawk "War, and had 
also been a member of Congress in the House of 
Representatives for the district, including Belleville, 
the home of Gov. Reynolds. He himself has written 
a history of Illinois, but I have never had the 
pleasure of its perusal, and cannot speak therefore 
of its merits or demerits. He lived to a very advanced 
age, and wrote his book during his latter days. He 
must have been eighty years of age when he wrote it. 
I knew him well. Our acquaintance commenced 
in 1836 and '37, at Yandalia. When I lived in Alton, 
in the latter part of 1837, he was a candidate for Con- 
gress and was elected. I remember that I supported 
him. In speaking of the offices he had filled before I 
came to the State, I neglected to mention that he had 
been Judge of the Supreme Court of Illinois, when 
the judges of that court performed circuit court 

Reynolds was somewhat of an odd man and feigned 
to be illiterate, when in truth he was a ripe scholar 
(which I have from the best authority), understanding 


the Greek and Latin perfectly, and being familiar with 
the ancient classics. He had drank deeply of the 
waters of the Pierian spring, and had not allowed him- 
self to be intoxicated by shallow draughts. But these 
accomplishments of his he seemed more disposed to 
conceal than to blazen forth to the world. 

There is a very amusing anecdote told of him (which 
I believe he has given in his history of Illinois), which 
occurred while he was holding one of the terms of the 
circuit court at Edwardsville. At that term a man 
by the name of Green was tried before him on the 
charge of having committed murder, and was con- 
victed. Reynolds, who was always seeking popularity 
whether on or off the bench and disliked to have the 
ill will of any one, even of a murderer, after the verdict 
of guilty had been read by the clerk in open court, 
turned to Green, his face all beaming with sympathy, 
and said: " Mr. Green, I am truly sorry for you; the 
jury have found you guilty of murder, and I suppose 
you know that you have got to be hung." "Yes, 
your Honor," said Green. 

Reynolds then went on to say: " Mr. Green, I want 
you to understand that this is none of my work, but 
of a jury of your own selection. I would take it as a 
favor of you if you would communicate this fact to 
your friends and relatives. The law makes it my duty 
to pass sentence upon you and carry out the verdict 
of the jury. It is a mere matter of form, Mr. Green, 
so far as I am concerned, and your death can in no 
way be imputed to me." 

Reynolds had a peculiar way when he wanted to 
make his remarks impressive, of laying the open palm 


of his hand on his forehead and drawing it down slowly 
over his face. Making this manipulation, he said to 
the convict: " Mr. Green, when would you like to be 

" Your Honor," said Green, " if I had any choice 
in the matter, I should not like to be hung at all; but 
as it seems I have not, I have no preference of one 
time over another." 

Reynolds, turning to old Jo Conway, the clerk, 
said: " Mr. Conway, look at the almanac and see if 
the fourth Friday in December comes on Sunday." 
Conway being a man of considerable humor, with a 
grave and solemn look turned to the almanac, and 
running down to this period in December, looked up 
at the Judge on his bench and said: "I find, your 
Honor, to my utter astonishment, that that day comes 
upon Friday!" " So it does, so it does," said Reynolds. 

Reynolds delivered a very short sentence. Turning 
to Green he said: "Mr. Green, the sentence of the 
court is. that on the fourth Friday in December, 
between the hours of ten o'clock in the forenoon and 
four o'clock in the afternoon, the sheriff of Madison 
county will take you from the jail to the place of exe- 
cution, and there, Mr. Green, I am sorry to say, he 
will hang you till you are dead, dead, dead, and may 
the Lord have mercy upon your soul. And don't 
forget, Mr. Green, that this is not my work, but that 
of the jury which tried you." 

By order of the court Green was remanded to jail 
and finally executed. 

I am not anxions to say anything more.of Governor 
Reynolds, because his history will be found written by 



many abler pens than mine; and he is one of those 
well and widely known characters that history is sure 
to carry doAvn to posterity. 



]HERE is a man to whose name I have not 
heretofore even alluded. It is John York 
Sawyer who was living at the time I came 
to Illinois, I believe, and editing a Democratic paper 
at Yandalia. Of the fact of his being alive at that 
time I am not positively sure; but if he was not alive, 
his demise had occurred but a short time before my 
advent. For a fat man Sawyer was one of the 
most ill-tempered and bitter men in Illinois, or per- 
haps anywhere. I have been told (for I never saw 
him), that he weighed over four hundred pounds 
avoirdupois. He had been Judge of the circuit 
court a considerable time before I came to the State, 
and Greene county was in the circuit where he 
presided. At that time the law provided for whip- 
ping men for pe'tit larceny. Sawyer was a terror to 
all such offenders, and was fond of snapping up the 
lawyers who defended them. A fellow was tried be- 
fore him at one of his terms in Green county, for petit 
larceny, and convicted. He was defended by Cavarly, 
a lawyer still living at Ottawa, Illinois, and now a 
very old man. ^Cavarly moved an arrest of judgment 
and for a new trial, and begged his Honor to allow 
him time to go over to his office and get some authori- 


ties which he wished to read in support of his motion. 
" Oh, certainly, certainly," said Sawyer to him, as- 
suming one of the blandest looks possible, " the court 
will wait with the greatest pleasure on you, Mr. Cav- 
arly." Cavarly made one of his profoundest bows and 
retired. Scarcely had he left the. court house when 
Sawyer said to the sheriff: " Mr. Sheriff, take the pris- 
oner out to yon white oak tree " (pointing to one 
through a window which was back of him, and about 
fifty yards off), "strip him to the skin and give him 
thirty-nine lashes on his bare back, well laid on." 

The sheriff executed the sentence of the court with 
great speed. 

Sawyer turned around and looked out of the win- 
dow while it was being executed, and in a loud voice, 
while the blood was streaming down the culprit's back, 
counted the number of strokes on' his fingers one, 
two, three, etc., until he had counted out the full num- 
ber of thirty-nine. 

The sheriff washed the back of the prisoner, re- 
clothed him, and brought him into court. He was 
scarcely seated when Cavarly made his appearance, 
with his arm full of law books, and with great confi- 
dence and pomposity said to the court: " May it please 
your Honor, I am now prepared to show beyond a 
doubt that my client has been wrongfully convicted, 
and is entitled to a new trial." 

" Yery well, Mr. Cavarly, go on ; the court will hear 
you with great pleasure." 

And he, Sawyer, had the malice to let Cavarly pro- 
ceed, and read authorities for some time; but at last 
interposed, and said: "Mr. Cavarly, you have satisfied 


the court, and if you desire it I shall grant you a new 
trial." But at this point his client whispered in his 
ear, "Don't take it, Mr. Cavarly, or they will whip 
me again." The court went on to finish his remarks: 
" But I will inform you that your client has been 
whipped, and received thirty-nine lashes on his bare 
back, well laid on, for I saw and counted them." 

Cavarly exclaimed, with great indignation, " This 
is an outrage, and I protest against such conduct upon 
the part of a court." " Oh, Mr. Cavarly," said Saw- 
yer, "you have a right to protest. Clerk, enter Mr. 
Cavarly's protest on the record ;" and turning to Mr. 
Cavarly, said: " Now, Mr. Cavarly, bring on your corn 
merchant (meaning a client of Cavarly's who was 
charged with stealing corn), and we will dispose of 
him as we have with your hog merchant" (meaning 
the man who had been whipped). 

I never saw Sawyer. He died before I came to the 
State, I believe. 



fSHALL introduce to the attention of my 
readers the name of Stephen T. Logan, one of 
the most distinguished lawyers of the State 
of Illinois. He was born in the State of Kentucky; 
was bred to the law, and became eminent in his native 
State before he left it. He was living at Springfield, 
Ills., when I came to the State. I knew him well, 
both while he lived in Kentucky and since; we served 
together in the State legislature -between 1846 and 
1850, in one of its sessions. I think he is the finest 
lawver I ever saw T . Logan is a very small man, and 
he is now over eighty years of age, and has, I under- 
stand, given up the practice of law. He and Lincoln 
were at one time partners, and I heard Lincoln say that 
it was his highest ambition to become as good a law- 
yer as Logan. I also heard Col. Baker use the same 
expression. Logan is extremely wealthy, owning a 
large number of fine business houses in Springfield, 
and some dozen or so fine farms in Sangamon county, 
and has a large amount of money out at interest, 
secured by mortgages on real estate. When Logan 
and I were members of the legislature of the House 
of Representatives, we were brought* in frequent col- 
lision with each other. He was a man possessing 


strong powers of debate, and would give any man with 
whom he came in contact as much as lie could do. 
Logan and I had a running debate of four or five days 
on the subject of districting the State from which 
to elect delegates to the Convention to be held in 1848, 
to form a new Constitution. Logan favored the meas- 
ure; I opposed it, believing that the Constitution had 
provided the districts from which the delegates should 
come when a new Constitution was to be formed; and 
that to make new and other districts was unconstitu- 
tional, and I still believe that I was right; but the 
measure carried, being supported by the northern 
members in a body. 

I will relate a little anecdote here which occurred dur- 
ing the time of this debate. I had some local measure 
that I wanted to get through the legislature as speed- 
ily as possible; so one morning on the meeting of the 
House, I moved the suspension of the rules to enable 
me to do so. Hall Simms, a member from Edgar county, 
a very crabbed and sour man, rose in his place and 
opposed it, saying that I had had more favors from that 
House and had consumed more time in debate than any 
other member of the House, and he for one should 
oppose the suspension of the rules. I replied that I 
had received a good many favors from the House per- 
haps more than I was entitled to and that I was aware 
that my popularity in the House was somewhat on the 
wane, but I took it as exceedingly unkind in the mem- 
ber from Edgar county to attack me at such a time, and 
that I would relate a fable from ^Esop, which would 
explain my situation: "A lion got after a bull, and, 
being hard pressed, the bull made for a cave that he 


knew of, and when he got there he found another enemy 
in the mouth of that cave in the form of a formidable 
he-goat, with a long beard and terrible head of horns, 
shaking them as much as to say, ' You shall not enter 
here.' But the bull, not being greatly dismayed, 
pressed on and slipped in at one side of the goat, and 
as he passed him, whispered in his ear: 'If I were not 
so hard pressed by the lion, I would show you the 
difference between a bull and a goat.' Now, Mr. 
Speaker," said I, " Mr. Logan is the lion and I am the 
bull, and he has been chasing me for the last four or 
five days, and who is the goat I leave the gentleman 
from Edgar to guess." There was a tremendous laugh 
all over the House at poor Simms' expense, and my 
motion fpr a suspension of the rules was carried almost 

Logan did not come back to the* legislature at its 
next session; but I was there and frequently saw him 
in the lobby and in the Supreme court room, where 
he had a large and lucrative practice. 

Judge Logan's feelings towards me I know to have 
been of a very warm and kindly character. I know too, 
if it will not be immodest to mention it, that he enter- 
tained a very high opinion of me as a public speaker. 
I remember on one occasion when it was known that 
I was going to speak on some interesting question 
before the legislature, Logan, and his little daughter, 
about thirteen rears of age, came into the gallery, and 
he beckoned me to them. I went, and after introduc- 
ing his little girl to me, he said, "My little daughter 
having heard a great deal of you from myself and oth- 
ers, has a strong desire to hear you speak, and know- 


ing that yon are to speak to-day, I liaye brought 
her here to hear yon, arid hope we will not be 
disappointed." I relate this circumstance only to 
show the kindly feeling existing between Logan 
and myself. 

Logan was eccentric in a good many things, espe- 
cially iu his dress, being generally very loosely and 
iinfashionably clad. A very amusing occurrence took 
place between Logan and Mr. Lincoln. They were 
engaged in a case in th,e circuit court of Sangamon, 
on opposite sides. Logan undertook to play off his 
wit upon Lincoln, and said to the jury, " In the com- 
mon affairs of ordinary life Lincoln has no knowl- 
edge." Lincoln in reply said, " Gentlemen of the" 
jury, I make no large pretensions of knowledge of 
any kind, but there is one thing that I do know which 
Judge Logan does not I know which is the front and 
which is the back part of my shirt; now if you will 
examine Judge Logan, you will find that he has put 
on his shirt with the wrong side in front," and step- 
ping up to Logan, deliberately opened his bosom and 
revealed the fact that what he had said was true. It 
was one of those shirts which is -open behind and not 
in front, and Logan had reversed the order of things, 
and put on his shirt in such a way that that part 
which should have covered his bosom was on his back, 
with the slit before. Lincoln said: "Now, gentlemen 
of the jury, behold this man of wonderful knowledge 
in the common-place affairs of ordinary life, who t.rits 
me with want of such knowledge, and does not know 
the back from the bosom of his shirt." 

The laugh was turned terribly upon Logan; but 



Lincoln was a great friend to the last day of his life, 
to- Stephen T. Logan. 

This notice of Stephen T. Logan is more meagre 
than I could wish it, for certainly in intellect he was 
equal to any whom I have noticed. I therefore leave 
him with the reader, and pass on to another man of 
early times. 



U3OCK CASEY was not a lawyer, but a 
Methodfst preacher. He was a native of the 
State of Tennessee, and with his little family, 
which-consisted of his wife and one little child, removed 
to this State sometime abont 1822 or '23. For a good 
while he followed his sacred vocation. It is needless . 
to say that he was eminent therein, for there are quite 
a number now living who knew him who can bear 
testimony to the fact. He was a man of fine physical 
form, about six feet high, as straight as an arrow, and 
of as imposing appearance and address as I ever saw. 
He was soon forced by favorable public opinion to go 
into political life; he filled many public stations; was 
at one time Lieutenant-Governor, before I came to the 
State, and by virtue of that office presided as speaker 
over the deliberations of the Senate; and I haye been 
told by those who were eye-witnesses, that he was one 
of the most accomplished presiding officers over a 
deliberative body that they ever saw prompt, and 
quick in his decisions and generally right. 

After this time he was elected to Congress from 
his district in the southern part of the State, which 
included Jefferson county, where he first settled, and 
continued to represent it in Congress without any 


break or intermission for ten or twelve years. He was 
a member of Congress when I came to the State in 
1835, and continued so for some considerable time. 
He was often called upon by the speaker of the House 
of Representatives in Congress to take the chair and 
preside over its deliberations, from the fact that it was 
well known that he knew more parliamentary law and 
practice than any member of that body. He was 
prompt, quick, correct and dignified in the perform- 
ance of the functions of that station. He was a. 
Democrat in politics, but disliked Martin Van Buren, 
and voted against the independent treasury bill, and 
did not vote for Van Buren, but gave a hearty support 
to James K. Polk for President, and lived and died a 

My personal acquaintance with- Governor Casey 
commenced somewhere about 18-16 or '48, when we 
were both members of the House of Representatives 
of tins State he from Jefferson and I from Coles 
county. At one of the sessions between '46 and '50, 
he was elected speaker of that body, arid I then had 
an ample opportunity of having verified what had : 
been said of him as a presiding officer. 

Although he did not regularly pursue his vocation 
as preacher, he not unfrequently preached Avhen called 
upon by his Methodist brethren and friends some- 
times at their camp-meetings, and sometimes in their 
churches. His great forte was, however, as presiding 
officer. When he left the chair and spoke from the 
iloor of the House, although always dignified and sen- 
sible, yet he fell far below his performances when pre-- 
siding as Speaker. 


We became very intimate, and I was very fond of 
his society. He was not in the least hide-bound or 
bigoted, but could enjoy a joke and tell as good a story 
as any layman of my acquaintance. He was the father 
of glorious old Sam Casey, who once had charge of the 
penitentiary at Joliet, in connection with my friend, 
Samuel Buckmaster, and who resembled his father 
very much in personal appearance, and in all his high 
social qualities. He has another son, Dr. Newton 
Casey, who is now living at Mound City, Pulaski Co., 
and quite eminent in his profession ; and anotherliving 
at Mt. Vernon, Jefferson Co., a lawyer, Thomas Casey, 
who has recently and for a good many years, been a 
member of the legislature of Illinois. He is said to 
be a man of considerable talent; his son, Dr. John 
Casey, lives at Joliet. 

Gov. Casey has been dead some six or eight years. 
His son Samuel died some three or four years ago. 

I have inserted Gov. Casey's name in these me- 
moirs because he made his mark here in early times 
and filled high stations, both State and National, and 
filled as large a place in public estimation for a period 
of over forty years as any man who ever lived or died 
in Illinois. 



disposed of my old friend Zadock 
Casey. I will introduce to the notice of the 
public a man whose name is familiar to every 
school-boy in this nation; and of course known to 
every one who is familiar with the history of our 
country, and I presume even beyond the limits of our 
Republic I mean Lyman Trumbull, late Senator in 
Congress from the State of Illinois. My acquaintance 
with him commenced (as well as I now recollect) about 
1838-39 or 1840. 

I have already incidentally alluded to him before, 
where we were opposed to each other in the trial in 
which Vandeevers, the hotel keeper at Kaskaskia, was 
the plaintiff in which he was for the plaintiff, and I 
was for the defendant. He was a very able circuit 
court lawyer, and indeed a profound and learned law- 
yer in any court, State or National. I think it was on 
the Mississippi Circuit in 1841, at the Circuit Court 
in St. Clair county, that Trumbull, Koerner and my- 
self defended an Irishman indicted for the murder of 
his wife. ' According to the evidence this murder 
should have occurred between St. Louis and Belleville, 
fourteen miles distant from St. Louis. I relate this 
incident for the purpose of enlivening these pages 


with a very amusing occurrence that took place during 
the trial of the case. At the post mortem examina* 
tion of the woman, a great many physicians were 
present, the most eminent of whom was Dr. Smith; 
also several others, and amongst them one Dr. Goforth, 
who was familiarly known as old Pills. "We had the 
precaution to have these doctors separated, that they 
should not hear each other's testimony. Dr. Smith 
was first examined, whose testimony was rather dam- 
aging to our client; but we got him to state so many 
particulars in reference to the appearances that we felt 
assured in our own minds that the doctors who would 
be subsequently called would never agree with Dr. 
Smith, for he had sworn that the cause of her death 
was choking or strangulation, and not from any blows 
or external violence upon her body or chest. The 
next doctor called was old Pills, who swore that he 
was present at the post mortem examination, and we 
asked him, " Did you and Dr. Smith agree as to the 
cause of her death? " 

He said they did. I asked him what was the cause 
they agreed upon. He answered: "We perfectly 
agreed that it was caused by blows and external vio- 
lence upon her chest." 

"Doctor," said I, "might it not have been caused 
by choking or strangulation?" 

" No, sir," said he, " we all agreed it was caused by 
external violence, as I have already stated." 

I .asked him if he had seen any marks or bruises 
upon her chest. He said he had not. I said : " "Well, 
how do you undertake to say, if there were no external 
marks or bruises upon her chest, that death resulted 
from the cause you have stated ? " 


" Oh," said he, " that often occurs where violence is 
used, and no outward sign appearing thereof ; con- 
gestion of the lungs takes place, as in this instance." 

There we dropped him. Trumbull and Koerner led 
off in the argument on the part of the defense, and it 
is due to them to say that they really made the main 
argument in the case. They left the closing speech to 
me, and I ventured upon a very dangerous experiment, 
which I never did before, and never have done since, 
and that was telling a story in a murder case, which 
excited a universal laugh. I alluded to the testimony 
of Dr. Smith, who had testified she died from choking: 

7 O 

or strangulation ; then I came to the testimony of Old 
Pills (whose evidence was in direct contradiction of 
Dr. Smith, as the reader will remember). I said: 

" Gentlemen of the jury, there is an old adage or 
motto 'that when doctors disagree,. who is to decide?' 
Dr. Goforth (Old Pills), has sworn that death could be 
produced by external violence upon the chest when no 
external marks or bruises would appear thereon. This 
reminds me, gentlemen of the jury, of a story I heard 
many years ago of old General Scott (not Winfield), 
who went from Virginia to Kentucky in very early 
times, and on his return his friends and neighbors came 
to see him, and asked him to give them a description 
of the country. He said he never had seen such forests 
in his life oak, chestnut and sugar trees reaching up 
two and three hundred feet in altitude, and being from 

7 P5 

fifteen to twenty feet in diameter, and growing so close 
together that nowhere were these trees more than five 
or six feet apart from each other. ' Now, General,' 
said they, ' tell us something about the game in that 


country.' ' "Well/ said he, 1 1 saw deer and elk there 
whose enormous antlers would measure at least fifteen 
feet from the tip of one horn to the tip of the other.' 
'Did they frequent these forests, General?' said one of 
his auditors. ' Oh, yes,' said the General. ' Then how 
did they manage to get through these enormous trees, 
growing so close together?' 'Oh, by h 1, sir,' said 
the General, ' that is their lookout and not mine.' " 

The jury saw the application to Old Pills' testimony, 
and all I have got to say in reference to that trial is 
that the story did not prevent the jury from returning 
a verdict of acquittal in a few minutes after their 

After the jury had returned their verdict, I left the 
court house, and went across the street to my hotel 
and sat down to dinner; and while I was partaking of 
roast turkey and other good things, I suddenly felt a 
man's hand in the hair of my head and lie lifted me 
on to my feet, and turned me around towards him. 
It was Old Pills. He let go of my hair and suddenly 
produced a small pair of pistols, one in each hand and 
said: " Linder, will you live or die? You have this 
day ruined my reputation as a physician." 

I speedily replied: "I prefer to live." 

He invited me to take one of the pistols and defend 
myself, but \>y this time Johnson, my landlord, and 
several others of my friends, came to my relief, and 
disarmed Old Pills. He left, and never attempted to 
molest me thereafter. 

Trumbull at this time I think resided in Belleville. 
Judge Breese was our presiding Judge. After this 
time Trumbull was elected to the legislature of Illi- 


nois, and though a young man, he soon became the 
leader of the Democratic party in the House of Rep- 
resentatives. During Ford's administration as Gov- 


ernorof the State of Illinois, Trumbull was appointed 
Secretary of State, the duties of which office he dis- 
charged with great ability. He went on to the 
Supreme bench, and those who have read his opinions 
know that he had but few equals as a jurist. He was 
elected to the House of Representatives in Congress 
from the Belleville* district, and that same winter 
the Republican party failing to unite on Lincoln, 
elected him to the Senate of the United States. This 
was in 1855. This produced some heart-burnings 
amongst some of Lincoln's friends, and one of them 
publicly charged Trumbull with intriguing for and 
cheating Lincoln out of his place.^ This charge I 
have no doubt was false, of which Lincoln acquitted 
him in 1858, when running against Douglas for the 
Senate of the United States. Trumbull continued 
our Senator until after the close of Johnson's admin- 
istration as President, and if anything he has done as 
a public man will reflect more honor upon him than 
any other of his acts as a statesman and a patriot, and 
hand his name down to the latest posterity, it will be 
the course he pursued as Senator on the impeachment 
of Andrew Johnson. Trumbull being a Republican 
and having opposed the administration of Johnson, 
it was expected by his party friends that he would, 
on pure party grounds, vote for his conviction. But 
Trumbull was too pure a statesman and patriot to allow 
himself to be used by his party for such a base and dis- 
honorable purpose. lie went for his acquittal, and the 


opinion that lie delivered on that occasion was one of 
the best of all those delivered by any of the Senators. 
That opinion will remain an enduring monument of his 
greatness to the end of time, and will constitute the 
brightest page in our country's history. 

Towards the end of Mr. Trumbull's senatorial career, 
he became dissatisfied with the course of the Republi- 
can party, and when a considerable number of the dis- 
affected Republicans united with the Democratic party 
in forming what was called the "Liberal Republican 
Party," Mr. Trumbull was one of the movers and 
leaders of that coalition. His name was very favor* 
ably spoken of as a candidate of that party for the 
Presidency. But Mr. Greeley got the nomination, and 
Mr. Trumbull supported him with hearty good will. 
Since the expiration of his term in the Senate he has 
retired from public life, and returned to the practice 
of his profession, in which he is doing a very lucrative 
business in the courts of Chicago, both State and Fed- 
eral, and in the Supreme Courts of Illinois and of the 
United States, standing at the very head of the bar. 
But I have no doubt, if he will consent, that the 
Democratic party, which is just coming into power, 
will recall him into political life. What place they 
will tender him I cannot say, but I doubt not that it 
will be one of the highest. 

Judge Trumbull is now about sixty-two or three 
years of age, but does not look to be more than fifty. 
He has always been a very temperate man, and hav- 
ing had a good constitution, is therefore very well 
preserved. Judge Trumbull's name I see is amongst 
the list of those who lately formed the Jefferson ian 


Club in Chicago, which is but another name for Demo- 
cratic Club. It must be very gratifying to him that 
after the abuse heaped upon him by the'hot partisans 
of the Republican party for the course he pursued on 
the impeachment of President Johnson, nearly the 
whole nation now indorse and approve his course on 
that trial. 

He would make a splendid President, and if my 
vote would elevate him to that office, he would not be 
long out of the "White House. Judge Trumbull and 
myself for more than thirty years have been warm 
personal friends, and I have received many kind favors 
at his hand. He bids fair to yet live some fifteen or 
twenty years. That his life may be a long and happy 
one is the warm wish of his old friend, the author of 
this imperfect sketch. 



1IIE next person I shall introduce in these 
memoirs w^ll be Richard J. Oglesby. He is 
a native, I believe, of Kentucky, but of that I 
cannot speak positively. I became acquainted with 
him somewhere about the year 1841, when lie was a 
very young man, and had been but a short time at the 
bar. At that time he lived in Sullivan, Moultrie 
county, Ills. From the beginning of his professional 
career he gave evidences of great promise and of future 
eminence and distinction. He was one of the most 
social young men I ever knew, and paid deference to 
the talented and senior members of the bar, not obse- 
quious, but respectful and almost filial. I loved him 
almost as a man \vould love a son, which was fully 
returned. Some of the happiest days of my life I spent 
in his society, and he has often made me laugh to the 
very splitting of my sides. 

I will relate a little incident here which occurred at 
the Shelbyville Circuit Court, where "Dick" and I 
were attending as lawyers, to which I know he will 
not take any exceptions. But that the reader may 
perfectly enjoy what I am about to relate, I will go a 
little behind it and say that he had previously told me 
that he had courted a beautiful girl in Macon county, 


Ills., to whom he had been engaged and was very 
much attached, but through the influence of her rela- 
tives she had been forced to throw him overboard, 
and had become engaged to a wealthy farmer, a brother 
to her brother-in-law. This he told some days before 
the incident I am about to relate happened. When 
one day during court week at Shelbyville, he came 
to my hotel, at Tacket's, with a woe-begone counte- 
nance, 'and invited me to take a walk with him, which 
I cheerfully did. Said I, What is it, friend Dick? " 
after we had started. Said he, " My lady-love with her 
husband is at the next hotel ; they were married yes- 
terday, and are making their bridal tour. I want you 
to go with me and look at her, and see if she is riot as 
beautiful and lovely as I have described her to you." 

Dick and I went to the hdtel and took our position 
at a door outside of the hotel, where we had a full view 
-of her in the sitting-room and she had a full view of 
us. She was as beautiful as " Hebe " a perfect vision 
of loveliness. I saw in a moment that she took cog- 
nizance of Dick's presence, having turned her face, full 
of love and tenderness, towards him, which look she 
did not withdraw. Dick said to me, in a tone I think 
loud enough for her to hear: 

"Look at her; isn't she an angel? She loves me 
better than she does her husband, and by heaven! this 
moment her heart is breaking for me! " Said he, 
" Linder, do you see that ring on her finger? I gave 
her that ring and placed it on her dear finger. It was 
our engagement ring. By Heaven! isn't it too hard 
to have such a treasure as she is thus rudely snatched 
from my arms?" 


I could stand it no longer. I pulled him away from 
where we were standing, and after we had got far 
enough where I could do it with impunity, I gave 
vent to an uproarious fit of laughter, in which Dick 
after a time heartily joined. It certainly was one of 
the most laughable scenes I ever witnessed. I don't 
think however that it broke Dick's heart, for I noticed 
that he could eat as hearty a dinner after this incident 
as before. 

My acquaintance with Dick continued until he went 
into the Mexican war. He belonged to Col. E. D. 
Baker's regiment, and was I think a lieutenant in 
one of his companies. He was at the battle of Cerro 
Gordo, and fought all the way up to the city of Mex- 
ico. He gave me a very graphic description of the 
battle of Cerro Gordo. The Mexicans occupied the 
heights of Cerro Gordo, while our army occupied the 
foot of the heights be^v, and had almost literally to 
climb to get to the enemy. The Mexicans had strongly 
fortified their position, and it looked almost like an 
impossibility to scale the heights and drive them from 
their fortifications. Dick told me that our army was 
drawn up at the very foot of Cerro Gordo heights, and 
had orders not to make any attack or forward move- 
ment on the enemy until the General-in-Chief, Gen- 
eral Scott, should make his appearance on the field. 
General Scptt had arranged his plan and mode of attack 
with consummate skill and ability, and each General 
and Colonel had received written orders from him of 
their precise position, and the route by which they 
should ascend the acclivity. He said as soon as they 
had taken up their position, the enemy opened with 


their artillery upon them, but having to shoot so 
straight down, their shot mostly went over their heads. 
But being within range of their smaller arms, their 
fire here and there took effect and caused some gallant 
fellows to bite the dust. It was here that General 
Shields received the wound which I have heretofore 
related in the sketch I have given of him, which very 
nearly cost him his life. 

Dick said: "We waited with the greatest impa- 
tience for the appearance of General Scott, and after the 
lapse of about thirty minutes we heard shouts and 
cheers coming up from the left w r ing of our army that 
made the very \velkin ring. We looked down our line 
and saw General Scott, dressed in splendid uniform, 
mounted on a white charger, approaching our center 
from the rear. It was the most imposing sight I ever 
saw; he looked more to me like a god than a man, 
and the difficulties of our situation vanished from our 
thoughts. His appearance inspired universal confi- 
dence, and I don't believe there was a soldier in that 
army but who felt assured of victory. 

"After giving him another hearty cheer from our wing 
of the army, our bugles sounded the charge, and with 
fixed bayonets we ascended the heights by the differ- 
ent routes which had been before designated in the 
written orders of General Scott, and in less than twenty 
minutes we were in possession of the enemy's fortifi- 
cations, and he was on his flight to the city of Mexico." 

Said he, " Linder, had we been defending those 
works instead of the Mexicans, an army of five times 
our number could not have taken them; but I do 
believe that the shout of our American boys was 


almost enough of itself to put a mongrel and degen- 
erate race of men to flight." 

He went with Scott up to the city of Mexico, and 
was in every battle that took place between Cerro 
Gordo and the ancient capital of the Aztecs, and did 
not leave the army until he saw the stars and stripes 
waving over the halls of the Montezumas. 

Dick then returned to the United States, covered 
with glory; and when it was ascertained that gold had 
been discovered in large and paying quantities in Cal- 
ifornia, which we had acquired by our arms and treaty 
with Mexico, Dick rigged up an outfit and crossed the 
plains to this new El Dorado. After working in the 
placers till lie realized between eight and ten thousand 
dollars in gold, he returned again to the States, and 
after putting his financial affairs into a favorable pos- 
ture by forming a mercantile partnership with his 
brother-in-law, Mr. Prather, being still unmarried, he 
determined to pay a visit to the Holy, Land, and he 
did so; and at our last meeting, at the unveiling of 
Lincoln's statue, he gave me a description of his trip, 
which being too long to insert at full length here, let 
it suffice to say that he crossed the ocean and landed 
at Grand Cairo, and took the route as near as he could 
guess along which Moses had led the armies of Israel, 
lie gave me a description of Mount Sinai, on the top 
of which he had stood; also of Petrea, that city liter- 
ally hewn out of solid rock: also of Jerusalem, the 
Dead Sea, the Jordan, the Sea of Galilee, and many 
other places in the Holy Land where our blessed Lord 
and his disciples had sojourned and delivered to the 
people the glad tidings of peace on earth and good 


will towards man. He told me that he was in Beth- 
lehem, Cana of Galilee, and the tomb, as it was sup- 
posed, where Joseph of Aramathea laid the body of 
our Savior. 

I don't know how long he sojourned in the Holy 
Land, but he returned to the United States safe and 
sound, and when the civil war broke out in 1861, he 
raised a regiment, and before the war had been long 
pending he rose by his gallantry to the position of 
Brigadier General. He was in several skirmishes and 
battles, and particularly the battle of Fort Donaldson, 
where he was severely wounded; so much so that he 
was forced to throw up his commission, leave the 
army and return to his family at Decatur, Illinois. 

Since that time his course has been onward and 
upward, having been twice elected Governor of Illi- 
nois, but did no* 7 serve his second term, having been 
elected by the Legislature of Illinois to the Senate of 
the United States, which position he now fills, and in 
which I trust and believe he will so act as to continue 
therein for aiany long years, or be elevated to a still 
higher place. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Oglesby, as I have 
already hinted, at the unveiling of Lincoln's statue 
near Springfield, where a splendid monument has been 
erected to the honor and memory of our martyr- 
President, Oglesby being appointed to deliver the ora- 
tion commemorative of Lincoln's life and public ser- 
vices, which was done in a masterly manner. In this 
oration he ran the parallel between Lincoln and 
Douglas, doing equal honor to both, and not in the 
slightest degree detracting from the merits and glory 


of Douglas. On that occasion there were present 
many invited guests; and among them were President 
Grant, Gen. Sherman, Gen. John Pope, ex- Vice Pres- 
ident Colfax, our late Yice President Henry Wilson, 
Hon. David Davis, Hon. Joe Gillespie, Gen. Custar, 
Hon. John A. Logan, and others, amongst whom was 
your humble servant. This is the last time but one 
that I saw Richard J. Oglesby to speak to him, 
when and where we had a long and agreeable conver- 
sation about past times. I met him at the Governor's 
mansion, where he gave a reception, and all persons 
who desired it were permitted to come and shake him 
by the hand. 

I must now take my leave of my old friend Oglesby. 
1 am getting old and do not expect to live long enough 
to dispose of the materials which he shall hereafter 
furnish for some future biographer. Doubtless some 
abler pen than mine will take charge of his future 
fame, and give him his proper place in history. 



[jHE next name that I shallintroduce into these 
memoirs is that of Gov. William II. Bissell. 
He was an intimate acquaintance and a warm 
personal friend of mine, but the precise time when our 
acquaintance commenced I cannot now call to mind, 
hut it was prior to the Mexican war and since I come 
to think of it, it was in 1841. He had been a prac- 
ticing physician, but becoming disgusted with his pro- 
fession, studied law, and was admitted to the bar about 
that time, and I met him at Greenville, in Bond county, 
at the spring term of the Bond Circuit Court. 

He was a man of great elocutionary powers, and there 
was a vein of scathing and burning satire which occa- 
sionally ran through his speeches. I remember at that 
term of the court a case in which a quack physician had 
brought suit for his professional services, wherein Bis- 
sell WRS for the defendant. Bissell having been a 'good 
physician himself, managed to get in testimony show- 
ing the plaintiff's want of qualifications, and that he 
had mismanaged the case. In his speech to the jury, 
after he had reviewed the testimony, showing up the 
fellow's ignorance, he told them that if ever the United 
States should get into a war with England, it would 
be very foolish in Uncle Sam to waste the blood and 


treasure of the nation in the prosecution of such a war; 
for all it would be necessary for him to do would be for 
him to hire this plaintiff to go over into Canada and 
there practice his profession, and he would slaughter 
the Queen's subjects with his nostrums worse than 
Samson slaughtered the Philistines with the jaw-bone 
of an ass. Suffice it to say the jury returned a verdict 
in favor of Bissell's client. 

Bissell was one of our Colonels in the Mexican 
war; had one of the best disciplined regiments in the 
service, and was with General Taylor in all his battles 
from Palo Alto to Buena Vista. I was told by a friend 
who was in that battle, that they fought more like 
regulars than volunteers; that they would deliver 
their fire and charge the Mexicans with fixed bayonets, 
and then retire in slow and regular step and in good 
order, with their face to the enemy, re-loading their 
guns as they slowly retired, and when accomplished, 
they returned and again delivered their fire and charge 
and again retire as before, and this they kept up, 
maintaining perfect order, for three or four hours dur- 
ing one of the three days of that bloody battle where 
we had about four thousand men, all volunteers with 
the exception of about four hundred regulars, and 
Santa Anna had twenty thousand regulars, mostly 
lancers, being the very flower of the Mexican army. 

It was in this battle where Col. Henry Clay, Jr., the 
favorite son of the glorious old " Harry of the West," 
Col. Key of Kentucky, and our own Col. John J. Har-' 
din, of Illinois, fell. 

I must relate a little incident here that occurred 
^between old Zac Taylor and one of his aids. After 


our troops had fought for two long days, and the tide 
of battle seemed going against us, his aid rode up to 
him and said, " Gen. Taylor, our boys are certainly 
whipped." " Yes," said Taylor, " I know it, but the 

d d fools don't know they are whipped, and they 

will fight on un'.il the Mexicans will be compelled to 
retire ingloriously from the contest," which prediction 
was fully accomplished on the last day of the battle. 
In this battle Col. Jeflf Davis, late President of the 
Southern Confederacy, commanded a Mississippi regi- 
ment that did good execution, and behaved with great 
bravery; but Davis, not being willing to shaje with 
the rest of the army, tried to run off with all the glory; 
and after the war was over, and he and Bissell were 
both members of Congress, the first in the Senate and 
the latter in the House of Representatives, Davis 
inflde a speech in the Senate in which he attempted 
to claim for his regiment the glory which truly be- 
longed to the Illinois troops, and especially to Bissell's 
reoriment. ' Bissell called the attention of his House 
to the speech of Davis, and administered to him a most 
withering rebuke, and charged him with deliberate 

O - o 

slander. Thereupon Davis sent him a challenge, 
which Bissell promptly accepted; and Bissell having 
the choice of weapons and the distance, selected mus- 
kets loaded with buckshot, with which to fight at the 
distance of twenty paces, Tbeir friends, seeing that 
this would probably result in the death of both par- 
ties, interfered, and the matter was amicably settled, 
which was not displeasing to Davis and his friends. 

After this affair, Bissell's popularity, which was great 
before, became still greater, and he was elected Gov- 


ernor of Illinois. He was originally a Democrat, but 
finally, I think, became a Free Soiler. He died before 
the expiration of his term of office. Shortly before 
his death he attached himself to the Catholic Church, 
and died in the triumphs of that faith. 

I know of nothing more of interest in reference to 
Gov. William H. Bissell. I leave him therefore to 
history, which doubtless will deal kindly with him. 
He had some faults, but they were to himself, over 
which we should kindly draw the veil of charity. He 
has left to posterity the stainless name of a soldier, 
statesman and a patriot, and he will never be for- 
gotten as long as the battle of Buena Vista and the 
victories of General Taylor are remembered. 



HE object of writing these memoirs Is not sim- 
ply for the purpose of making a book to filch 
from the public their money, but to preserve 
the memory and deeds of worthy men, and hand them 
down to posterity, that the coming generations may 
profit by their example. I have already given to the 
public some of the most brilliant geniuses of the State of 
Illinois. I will here introduce the name of a man 
with whom I became acquainted at a very early period, 
to whose reputation I cannot add by anything I may 
write in these memoirs. He is still living, and one 
of the first men in America, and is one of the judges 
of the Supreme Court of the United States. I mean 
his Honor, David Davis, of Bloomingtoii, McLean 
county, Illinois. He is a native of Maryland, and 
descended from one of the first families of that State, 
and is a cousin to the late Winter Davis, of Maryland. 
After graduating in one of the first colleges of New 
England, and having studied law with a distinguished 
barrister whose name I have been told was Bishop, he 
came to this State when quite a young man, and set- 
tled in the town of Bloomington, McLean county, Ills., 
and opened a law office there, where, by his sagacity, 
economy and industry, he soon won his way to a 
respectable independence. 


He was elected Circuit Judge some time between 
1846 and '50 in the judicial circuit embracing McLean 
county, and also Sangamon, including Champaign, 
Yermillion and Shelby; for which promotion he was 
largely indebted to his old and tried friend, Abraham 
Lincoln ; and to the eternal credit of Judge Davis be 
it said, he never forgot it; and when a member of the 
convention of 1860 that nominated the Republican 
candidate for President, his Honor, David Davis, had 
as large if not a larger share in bringing about the 
nomination of Mr. Lincoln, than any other member of 
that convention. And when Mr. Lincoln was elected, 
Davis was invited to accompany him as one of his 
suite to Washington. Mr. Davis is a very large man 
about six feet high, very corpulent, and weighing 
some three hundred and fifty pounds. He accepted 
Mr. Lincoln's invitation, and being somewhat conspic- 
uous for his size and for wearing a white silk hat, the 
aspirants for office perceived by the attentions paid him 
by Mr. Lincoln that he had no small influence with 
the President-elect, and they paid about as much court 
to the man with the white hat as to Mr. Lincoln him- 

But I wish to go back to the time when he was Cir- 
cuit Judge of the State of Illinois, and Mr. Lincoln and 
myself both practiced in his circuit Mr. Lincoln in 
the whole of it, and I in the counties of Yermillion, 
Edgar and Shelby, and occasionally in Champaign. 
Judge Davis was a very impartial judge, and though 
not intending to show a preference for one of his law- 
yers over another, such was the marked difference he 
showed to Mr. Lincoln that Lincoln threw the rest of 


us into the shade. But as Mr. Lincoln could not take 
both sides of a case, Anthony Thornton, myself and 
other prominent lawyers, were employed on the oppo- 
site side of cases in which Mr. Lincoln was engaged on 
one side or the other. Judge Davis. always treated me 
with great kindness and consideration, and I wish to 
state here before going further, lest the reader should 
think that my practice was confined to cases in which I 
was opposed .to Mr. Lincoln, that in weighty and hotly 
contested cases we were often associated together, so 

o * 

that I cannot say that I was at all damaged by the 
friendship shown for him by his Honor, Judge Davis. 
I think it quite likely that had I been placed in the 
same relation to Mr. Lincoln that Judge Davis was,, I 
should have shown to him the same consideration as 
was shown by his Honor, Judge Davis. 

Lincoln and myself generally put up at the same 
hotel, and frequently slept in the same room, and not 
unfrequently Lincoln and I occupied the same bed.. 
Judge Davis was too large to take either of us for a. 

Among the most pleasant days of my life, I recall 
those when we three traveled together from Danville 
to Paris, and from there to Shelbyville. The courts 
of those three places lasting on an average from two to 
three weeks each. Ah! What glorious fnn we had 

I will give a little incident here to show the eccen- 
tricity of Judge Davis, which occurred at the Paris Cir- 
cuit Court. Judge Ilarlan. who was then judge on the 
circuit sonth of him, came up to Paris on some special 
business of his, and Judge Davis, observing him in- 


the court house, invited him to come up and take a 
seat on the bench beside him, which Judge Harlan 
did ; and while there a little appeal case came up, in 
which there was only about three dollars in controversy, 
in which I was .engaged. I read a decision of the 
Supreme Court which I thought and which was deci- 
sive of the case. Jud<?e Davis turned to Harlan and 


whispered in his ear, as I afterwards learned from 
Judge Harlan, "Great God!" said he, "for a lawyer 
of Linder's age and standing to read a decision of the 
Supreme Court in a little appeal case where there are 
only three dollars in dispute! " lie nevertheless gave 
a decision in favor of my client. 

Another little circumstance I will relate, going fur- 
ther to show his eccentricity and his friendship for me. 
Sometime in the year, I think of 1850, I went up to 
Springfield, either on a visit or on some business or 
other, when Judge Davis was holding his court there; 
and I "had landed but about an hour when the prose- 
cuting attorney hearing that I was in town, came and 
employed me to assist him in the prosecution of a 
woman and her paramour for the murder of her hus- 
band by the administration of poison. As I entered 
the court room, Judge Davis being on the bench and 
perceiving me enter the room with my pipe in my 
mouth, said in an audible voice: "Mr. Sheriff, you 
will permit no one to smoke in this room while court 
is in session except General Linder." 

It created quite a laugh all over the house, and you 
may rest assured I was not so modest or self-denying as 
to refuse to take advantage of the permission thus given 
me to smoke my pipe during the progress of the trial. 


On this trial the ablest lawyers of Springfield were 
engaged in the defense. Amongst those in the defense 
known to me at the time I was engaged in the prose- 
cution, were Abraham Lincoln, his Honor Judge 
Stephen T. Logan, of whom I have given a sketch in 
these memoirs, John T. Stewart, Benjamin Edwards, 
and some younger lawyers who were not known to me. 
The woman on trial sat in the midst of her eminent 
counsel, and close by her a young and handsome man, 
whom I took to be her paramour and associate in 
crime. During the progress of the trial, he showed 
no contrition, but put on, as I thought, a bold and im- 
pudent look, and frisked about and got law books and 
pointed out "pages to Lincoln and the rest of the law- 
yers in defense. 

Thinks I to myself, " My young chap, when I 
come to conclude this case, I will not fail to pay my 
special respects to you." So when the evidence was 
through, and the prosecuting attorney had opened the 
case, and Lincoln and his three associates had made 
their speeches in the defense, it came to my time to 
conclude the case. I had no intention to deal with 
the case but in a-serious and solemn manner, and after 
summing up the evidence and showing how strongly 
it pointed to the guilt of the woman and her paramour, 
turned, and pointing my finger to the man I supposed 
to be her associate in crime, I said: "Gentlemen of 
the jury, if you wanted any additional evidence of 
this man's guilt, it would only be necessary for you to 
recur to his boldness and impudence on this trial;" and 
pointing to his face said, " you can see guilt written 
all over his countenance," when he calmly rose from 


his seat and said, in not an angry tone: "General 
Linder, you are mistaken; I am not the criminal, but 
my name is Rosette; I am a lawyer, and one of the 
counsel for the defendants." 

Worthy reader, you cannot imagine my revulsion 
of feeling. This unfortunate mistake thoroughly broke 
me down, and I limped lamely through the remainder 
of my argument. This miserable mistake of mine 
soon made its appearance in all the leading papers in 
the Union. 

I have already stated that Davis, by invitation of Mr. 
Lincoln, went with him to Washington, and was present 
at his inauguration, and I was informed remained there 
for some considerable time. And although he held 
no cabinet office under Mr. Lincoln, yet it was pretty 
well known that Mr. Lincoln had great confidence in 
Judge Davis, and consulted him on public affairs fre- 
quently during those dark and perilous days just before 
and after the war commenced. I am inclined to think 
that Mr. Lincoln tendered him a place in his cabinet, 
but Judge Davis waited for a safer and more perma- 
nent place. His ambition was to reach the Supreme 
Bench of the United States, and after a while, a vacan- 
cy occurring, Judge Davis was appointed to fill the 
place, over the heads of such men as Salmon P. Chase 
and other formidable aspirants. His nomination was 
confirmed by the Senate of the United States, and he 
still holds the office to which Mr. Lincoln appointed 

He has made a most excellent judge, and he has 
delivered some opinions on constitutional questions 
which have given him a national reputation and made 


him quite popular with the Democratic party; for 
instance, the case of Millikin, Bowls et al., of Indiana, 
who were convicted by a court-martial during the late 
war. The opinion of the Court, delivered by Judge 
Davis, so clearly showed the illegality and unconsti- 
tutionality of the action and sentence of the court-mar- 
tial, that everybody of all parties at once acquiesced 
in the correctness of the opinion of the Court. Judge 
Davis from that time forth was spoken of by nearly 
all the Democratic party and a portion of the Repub- 
lican party as a fit person to be run for the presidency 
against Grant. But the liberal Republicans gave him 
the go-by, and nominated Mr. Greeley. 

Perhaps after all it is well they did, for it is doubt- 
ful whether any one at that time could have beaten 
Gen. Grant; so it saved Judge Davis' popularity and 
leaves it unimpaired for future uses. He is still a man 
in the prime of life, with vigor and health enough to 
live to be an octogenarian, with unimpaired intellectual 

I should have said at a former place in these memoirs, 
that after. the death of Mr. Lincoln, Judge Davis, at 
the request of the relatives and friends of Mr. Lincoln, 
administered upon his estate; and he did it so faith- 
fully and efficiently that in no long time after he entered 
on the duties of administrator, and perhaps as guar- 
dian of the children, too, he settled up with the court 
and distributed to Mrs. Lincoln and the heirs over one 
hundred thousand dollars in cash. 

I have nothing further to say as to Judge Davis. 
After he shall have ended his career, some abler pen 
than mine will write up his history, to whom and pos- 



terity I now leave him, feeling assured that he has a 
brilliant future ahead of him. But if he should never 
get any higher up, a Supreme Judge of the United 
States worth three millions of dollars, may snap his 
at the future. 



| HE next name I shall introduce into these my 
.recollections, is Judge Gustavus Koerner, of 
Belleville, Ills. My acquaintance with him 
commenced in 1837, at the spring term of the St. Clair 
or Belleville Circuit Court. He was introduced to me 
by Adam Snyder, and by him commended to my kind 
regards and friendship. I was then Attorney-General 
of the State of Illinois, and was performing my duties 
as such on that circuit. I at once took him into a close 
friendship, and sent him in my place to the grand juries 
to take notes of the evidence and frame the bills of 
indictment which they might find, which he did well 
and faithfully. Mr. Koerner was an educated young 
German, having graduated at one of the best universi- 
ties of Germany ; was deeply read in the civil law of 
Continental Europe, and all that seemed most wanting 
in him at that time was the ability to correctly pro- 
nounce the English language; but it takes along time 
to so fix and school the mouth and tongue of a Ger- 
man to enable him to speak and pronounce our lan- 
guage correctly. In time however Koerner overcome 
to a considerable extent his deficiencies in that respect, 
but never thoroughly 


After lie had practiced law for several years, his 
countrymen in St. Clair county, who constituted a 
majority of that county, sent him to the Legislature; 
and my recollection now is that he continued to rep- 
resent them in the lower House thereof for several 

During Ford's administration as Governor of Illi- 
nois, there occurred a vacancy on the bench of the 
Supreme Court of Illinois, when that court consisted 
of nine judges, who held the Circuit Courts also, and 
Ford appointed him to fill that vacancy, and he became 
one of the nine judges of the Supreme Court. His 
decisions, which are to be found in our published 
reports, read well and give evidence of his being pro- 
foundly read in the civil law, and also in the common 
law of England. 

I do not remember now when he went off the bench, 
but I do know that he was afterwards nominated and 
elected by the Democrats to the office of Lieutenant- 
Go vernor of the State. He has filled other important 
offices since then, and I think has been consul to one 
of the German States. 

When he was appointed Judge of the Supreme 
Court, Ford did it in deference to the German Demo- 
crats of St. Clair county, as he told me himself. 
There were from six to ten thousand of them, and they 
were nearly all Democrats, and at that time there were 
more Germans in St. Clair county than in any other 
locality in the State. In reference to Koerner's defi- 
ciencies in the pronunciation of the English language, 
I will give one word which has stuck to him till this 
day. He could never correctly pronounce the word 


arrive, but always said aioive, and lie don't stand alone 
in reference to this error amongst educated Germans. 

I will wind up my notice of Mr. Koerner by saying 
that when the Liberal Republican party was formed, 
lie gave his support to that party and was run on the 
ticket with Horace Greeley, as the liberal candidate for 
Governor of this State, but as we all know, he was 

Judge Koerner is still living in Belleville; enjoys 
good health, and is about sixty-two years of age. May 
long life and happiness attend him to the last. 



WISH now to introduce to the notice of the 
reader a lawyer friend of mine who is still 
living and not a very old man either, but one 
of the most genial, whole-souled fellows in the world; 
I mean Timothy R. Young, of Marshall, Clark County, 
Illinois. The beginning of my acquaintance with him 
dates back to the year 1840 or '42. We frequently 
met on the circuit, and no man could tell a better story 
or crack a richer joke than my friend Timothy. A 
great many of his stories, if I could remember them, 
would not detract from the interest of these pages, and 
there are others, like some of my friend Lincoln's, that 
I should be rather afraid to introduce here. 

Timothy served one or two sessions in Congress 
from Ficklin's old district. He was a member of the 
House of Representatives when Col. Benton was a 
member of the Senate from Missouri. I allude to 
this circumstance for the purpose of relating a very 
amusing story that " Tim " told me about Col. Benton. 
The reader will remember that Col. Benton prosecuted 
a showman for having advertised that he would exhibit 
a " woolly-hoss " which Col. Fremont had captured 
in the Rocky Mountains, and had tamed him. Col. 
Fremont, as everybody knows, is the son-in-law of 


Col. Ben ton. Benton left the Senate temporarily, and 
was fourteen days engaged in prosecuting the show- 
man at Washington City. One day about the end of 
the prosecution, Timothy met Col. Benton on Pennsyl- 
vania avenue, who came strutting along like a con- 
quering hero. Tim asked him how he got along with 
the prosecution of the showman. It is well known 
by all those who know anything about Col. Benton, 
that although a man of considerable talent, he was 

O 7 

vain, egotistic, and exceedingly profane, and embel- 
lished his discourse at the beginning or end of nearly 
every sentence with an oath, which I will have to 
omit, as I expect these memoirs will meet the eyes 
of many pious persons; so those who would like to 
have his answer to friend Young in full must supply 
it from their imagination. "O!" says Benton, "I 
have beat him, by ; beat him on chronology, by 
sir. I took the date that he gave as the time of the 
capture of the ' Wooly-Hoss ' by Col. Fremont, and 
proved, by G , sir, that Col. Fremont was not within- 
a thousand miles of the place of the capture of the 
horse at the time fixed for his "capture by the d d' 

" Well," said Tim, "Col. Benton, I am at a loss to 
understand how you or your son-in-law. Col. Free- 
mont, could feel the least annoyed or bestow the least 
attention on this showman ; for what does it matter 
whether Col. Freemont caught a ' Wooly Hoss ' or not 
in the Rocky Mountains?" 

"What does it matter? By G d, sir," says Ben- 
ton, " this a matter of no importance? By G d, sir? 

shall I suffer a d d showman to connect my son- 



in-law's, Col. Fremont's name a man of historic char- 
acter, by G d, sir, as being the catcher and tamer of 
his d d '"Woolly IIoss' ? and leaving it to be in- 
ferred, by G d, sir, that Col. Freemont was a sort of 
silent partner of his, and had some interest in the pro- 
ceeds of his d d exhibition? ~No, by G d, sir, if 

it had taken a hundred days instead of fourteen, Mr. 
Young, I would have freely given it to expose this 
vile showman and disconnect the name of my son-in- 
law with this vile showman and his d d 'Woolly 

Hoss? by G d, sir! " 

I have very little more to say of my old friend 
Timothy R. Young. I had some hesitation about in- 
troducing his name into these memoirs, for the reason 
that he is certainly not a great man, and equally cer- 
tain it is that he is not a little man. Though he did 
not figure in Congress as a speaker, yet by his social 
qualities and private intercourse with the members, 
bein^ beloved by all who knew him, and making sun- 

Ot/ O 

shine wherever he went, he was enabled to wield a vast 
influence, which he turned to good account for the 
constituents of his Congressional district. 

I have only this apology to offer for introducing the 
names of men of mediocrity, that there must be a foil 
or shade to every picture, and it is impossible for me 
to have none but great and heroic characters, and my 
readers must not expect that amongst my numerous 
acquaintances I shall introduce none but a Lincoln, 
Douglas, Ford, Palmer or Hardin. This world is 
made up of great and small men and men of medium 
size, and it often happens that men who belong to 
.the two latter classes have been more worthy and 



done more valuable service for their country and 
friends than the shining lights of talent and . of 

My friend Tim Young, I am happy to say, is in the 
most easy of circumstances, for besides a considerable 
real estate which he owns in Chicago, he has a fine 
farm in Glark county, where he dispenses the hospital- 
ities of host to his visiting friends, and those are to be 
numbered by hundreds. 



10RTHY reader, I will liere introduce to your 
acquaintance an old and cherished friend of 
mine, with whom I became acquainted Jong 
years ago. His name is Kirby Benedict, a lawyer of 
considerable talent and genius; and for oratorical 
power, I think he was equal to any of the best speak- 
ers I know of in the west. In that particular he had 
great versatility of talent. Now he would convulse 
his hearers with laughter, and in the next breath melt 
them into tears. 

He used to practice on Lincoln's and my old circuit, 
before Judge David Davis, and also before Judge 
Harlan. His voice was like a bugle note, and full of 
musical sweetness. He was a man above the medium 
size, of fine personal appearance, of good address, but 
somewhat pompous in his manners, but not offensively 
so. Kirby was quite vain, fond of popular applause, 
and very sensitive if he thought himself to be the sub- 
ject of either censure or ridicule. If his opponent at 
the bar got the advantage of him by setting a trap 
for him to fall into, he would be mortified to death, 
almost, when he found it out. I will give a circum- 
stance here which occurred between Kirby, Anthony 
Thornton, late Judge of the Supreme Court, and 


myself. It happened while we were attending the 
Mo ul trie County Circuit Court. 

Thornton and myself were defending a man charged 
with hog-stealing, and the State's Attorney employed 
Kirby Benedict to assist him in the prosecution. 
There was a vast crowd in attendance, the trial excit- 
ing a great deal of interest, the prosecutors of the 
accused being his sister and her husband, who swore 
against him with a vengeance. When the evidence 
was through, our client leaned over aud whispered to 
Thornton and myself and asked us what we thought 
of his chances. Thornton told him that he did not 
think they had make out any case against him; but I 
differed with Thornton, and told our client that the 
chances for his acquittal were very slim. 1 shall never 
forget the look he gave us when he said. "Boys, shall 
I take to the brush?" 

" Oh no," said I, in an ironical tone, " I should be very 
loath to give you such advice as that; but this is a very 
warm day, and you must be thirsty, and the water here 
is about as bad as any I ever drank." Turning to 
Thornton I said, in a low tone, " Anthony, don't you 
think the water in Kentucky a great deal better than 

" Oh yes." said he, u much better." 

Our client was not slow to take the hint. 

Said I to him : " If you are dry, go and get a drink; 
your presence is not particularly needed here during 
the argument, and we will make that consume the rest 
of this day." 

He quietly slipped out of the court house, and I 
have never seen him from that day to this. I arranged 


with Thornton a plan of operations to make the argn- 
ments consume the rest of the day, so that our client 
might get away as far as possible before he was missed. 
The trap set was this: after the prosecuting attorney 
had made the opening speech, Thornton was to follow 
in a long 'speech, in which he was to pour out ven- 
geance on the prosecuting witnesses, and touch up Ben- 
edict by way of anticipation. I was to wind up the 
argument on [our side in a similar style. Thornton 
consumed about one hour and a half. I determined to 
consume about twice that length of time if I could 
do so. When it came my time to speak I was put to 
the very end of my wits to know how I should make 
a three hours' speech upon evidence which was short, 
plain and to the point; but I was enabled to do so. I 
consequently put on a bold look and manufactured the 
principal part of my speech in anticipating Benedict. 
I made all sorts of ludicrous comparisons in reference 
to him. Said I: . "Gentlemen of the jury, he thinks 
himself a great man, but you and I know that he is 
not; but that he is a living and moving mass of van- 
ity and egotism. And what claim, gentlemen of the 
jury, has he to enroll his name with respectable law- 
yers, when he has come here and for the small sum of 
five dollars has hired himself to these wicked and dia- 
bolical witnesses to assist them in the prosecution of 
their brother?" and I went on in this strain as long as 
I could have any decent excuse for doing so. 

Benedict fairly snorted through the court house. O, 
but he was anxious to get at me! And what gave him 
greater offense than all, was that every now and then 
I would stop and burst out into a great horse laugh, 


when no man of sense could see any cause for it; but 
as laughing is contagious, the jury and the crowd joined 
me in my merriment, but Benedict did not participate. 
lie strode across the floor, and the spirit of ten thou- 
sand storms had painted itself upon his face. About 
this time some of the crowd had discovered that the 
defendant had sloped, and they tried to make Benedict 
acquainted with the fact, but he w r aived them off and 
would not listen to them, being intent on the castiga- 
tion he was going to administer to me. He was like 
a volcano on the eve of an eruption. He commenced 
his speech when the sun was about two hours high, and 
O, didn't I catch it! But. I was content, knowing that 
^Benedict had fallen into my trap. About this t!me a 
large portion of the crowd had begun to see what was 
in the wind, and as I came outside of the bar I met 
Major Poor in a perfect fury. Said he to me: "Lin- 
der, your client has ' cut sticks,' and I am inclined to 
think you advised it." 

" O, no, no, Major," said I, " I hope you don't enter- 
tain such an opinion of me. I didn't advise him to 
run away. During the trial he asked me if he should 
take to the brush, and I told him no; "but," said I to 
him, " as the day is hot, and you are perhaps thirsty, 
and being out on bail, you have a right to go and get 
a drink of water," and that was all I^said to him; but 
I asked Mr. Thornton in his presence, Major, if he did 
not think the water in Kentucky was much better than 
in Illinois, and he said it certainly was." "Now,"' 
said I, " Major, if my client should have taken this as 
a hint to leave and jump his bail, I shall feel exceed- 
ingly sorrowful!" 


" O the devil take you and your sorrow," and we 
both burst out into a hearty laugh. 

That evening I settled my hotel bill and mounted 
my horse and started home. This was just about 
dusk. As I passed by the court house I heard Bene- 
dict's sonorous voice pouring out wrath upon my head. 
I went home and did not return to the next term of 
court at Moultrie. I learned from the sheriff that the 
jury had returned a verdict of guilty against my cli- 
ent. " Well," said I, " sheriff, what did you do with 

" What did 1 do with him?" said he, "what could I 
do with him? He had sloped before the verdict was 
rendered, and the court issued its writ directed to me, 
commanding me to take the body of the defendant if 
found within my county, and to bring him into court 
at the next term thereof to hear the verdict of the jury 
and receive the sentence of the court." 

" Well," said I, " why don't you take him ? " 

"For a very good reason." said he; "he never 
comes into Moultrie county, but he stands on the other 
side of the line dividing Moultrie from Coles, and will 
jaw- me for an hour at a time; and now," says he, 
" Linder, I want } T OU to tell me what I shall do in this 

" Well," said I, " sheriff, if ever you can lay your 
hands on him in Moultrie county, do you put him in 
jail; but I don't think the writ you have gives you 
any authority to cross the line into Coles and arrest 
him there/' 

When Benedict learned the trick that had been 
played upon him, he was exceedingly mortified for 


awhile, as 1 learned, but finally laughed it off, and said 
he had gained the victory, but that we had cheated 
him out of the fruits ot it. 

When I first knew Kirby Benedict he lived in the 
town of Decatur, 111., which was on Lincoln's Circuit, 
he and Lincoln being great friends and cronies, and I 
know from Lincoln's own lips that he enjoyed Bene- 
dict's society hugely. The truth is, all the lawyers 
liked Benedict. Judge Davis I know was extremely 
fond of him. 

There was a lawyer who practiced on Judge Davis' 
circuit by the name of David Campbell. He and 
Benedict were in the habit of playing their tricks on 
each other. The hotels in those days I remember 
being scarce of beds, used frequently to put two of us 
lawyers in one bed ; and it frequently fell to the lot of 
Campbell and Benedict to occupy one bed between 
them. One day I heard Campbell say to Benedict, 
with a smirk on his face: "Benedict, you must get 
the landlord to furnish you a bed to yourself." 

" Well, suppose he hasn't got one? " said Benedict. 

" Then you must sleep on the floor, or get the land- 
lord to furnish you a bsrth up in his hay-mow." 

" What is your objection to sleeping with me, Gen- 
eral David Campbell?" said Benedict. 

" D you," said Campbell, " I never did sleep 
with you, but have lain with you. To sleep with you 
would be impossible. You snore like a Cyclops, and 
your breath smells so of mean whisky that 1 would 
as soon breathe the air of a charnel house and live in 
reach of its eternal stench." 
' " Well," said Benedict, " General Campbell, I will 


show you that you shall sleep with me, and if either 
of us has to sleep on the floor or go to the hay-mow, 
it will be you, d you, and not me." 

" Well, well," said Campbell, with a sinister smile 
on his face, " we will see about it." 

So that night Dave Campbell went to bed earlier 
than usual, and at about twelve o'clock at night along 
comes Benedict, pretty much " how-come-you-so." 
Addressing himself to Campbell, who feigned to be 
half-asleep, he said: "Hullo there! Dave, lay over 
to the back of the bed and give me room in front.'' 

Before going to bed that evening Dave had armed 
his heel by buckling on it one of his spurs. When 
Benedict got undressed, even to the taking off of his 
drawers, he jumped into bed and began to fondle on 
Campbell. Dave quietly drew up the heel that had the 
spur on and planted it about six inches above Bene- 
dict's knee and gave it a turn down wards, crying u Get 
up there! Get up there!" as though he was speaking 
to his horse. Benedict gave a sudden leap and landed 
about the middle of the floor, crying out in great 
agony: "Jesus! the d d fellow has got the night- 
mare or delirium tretnens, and has taken me for his 
d d old horse." 

Judge Davis and Lincoln, who were sleeping in the 
same room, could stand this no longer. They burst 
out into the most uproarious laughter. 

Benedict was a hard man to beat before a jury, but 
if you could pierce him with the keen shaft of ridicule, 
he was not so hard to beat, for he was apt to get irri- 
tated and say something that would make him assail- 
able, and give the advantage to his opponent 


Benedict has for a long time been out of the States, 
having been sent as United States' Judge to ~New 
Mexico during the administration of President Pierce, 
where he has been ever since. . He was the Chief Jus- 
tice of that territory when Mr. Lincoln was elected to 
the Presidency, and though he was strongly besieged 
by political aspirants to remove Benedict and appoint 
a man of his own party to fill the place, Mr. Lincoln 
positively refused to do so; and when asked for his 
reasons, told them that he had enjoyed too many 
happy hours in his society, and he was too good and 
glorious a fellow for him to lay violent hands upon; 
that he could not find it in his heart to do so, and he 
wouldn't; nor did he. I have no farther reminiscences 
I can call to mind now of friend Benedict, but I desire 
to bear testimony to his shining genius and talent, 
and his eminent social qualities. 



jHERE is a man that I cannot overlook, 
because he has occupied too prominent a 
place in the public inind of Illinois for nearly 
fifty years, and I must give him a place in these 
memoirs. It is Alexander P. Field, who was Secre- 
tary of State under Governor Duncan when I came 
to Illinois in 1835. He was decidedly the most prom- 
inent lawyer in the State at that time, especially as a 
criminal lawyer. He was sent for everywhere in the 
State by persons charged with murder, and other high 
offenses, and was very successful. He was a man of 
fine personal appearance about six feet four inches 
high, with long arms, and possessed of very graceful 
gestures; a fine voice, that he could modulate almost 
at will, and his power and influence over juries were 
almost unlimited. I have already alluded, in my 
sketch of Gen. John A. McClernand, of his and Field's 
contest for the Secretary of Stateship, before the 
Supreme Court of the State of Illinois, in which Field, 
was successful and kept the office. The opinion of 
the court, delivered by Chief Justice Wilson, can be 
found in the first or second of Scammon's Reports, 
which is very long and able, but was not considered 
as authority in after years, when five democratic judges 


were added to the number of the four old judges, and 
a Democratic Secretary of State was appointed. Field, 
knowing that the court as then constituted would 
reverse the decision of the old court, declined to con- 
test the appointment and retired from the office. 

Field was not only a great criminal lawyer, but he 
was great in all that class of cases which sounded in 
damages such as slander, seduction, and breach of 
marriage promise, etc. He obtained some of the 
largest verdicts of any lawyer in the State. He was 
not only great before courts and juries, but he was 
great as a political speaker, and he could madden or 
convulse his audience with laughter, at pleasure. In 
1836 and '37, when we embarked in, as was then 
thought, our wild scheme of Internal Improvements,' 
Field frequently addressed the lobby, he believing the 
scheme to be Utopian and impracticable. He ridiculed 
the idea of constructing a railroad like the Central, 
from Chicago to Cairo. First, we could not get the 
money to build it; and second, if we could, and the 
railroad should actually be built, the trade and travel 
between those points would never be sufficient so sup- 
port it. u Ladies and gentlemen, let me imagine I 
see one of our plain Illinois suckers standing near 
the road as a train of cars comes dashing up from 
Cairo to Chicago; the sucker exclaims, 'Railroad, 
ahoy!' The conductor checks up his cars, when the 
sucker continues, ' where are you from and where are 
you bound?' The conductor answers in a fine and 
feeble voice, ' From Kiro to Chicago.' ' What are 
you loaded with?' says the sucker. The conductor 
answers, ' With hoop-poles and bull-frogs.' " 


Field believed that there was not money enough in 
the whole world to build the roads that we had mapped 
out in our scheme; but he has lived to see his egregious 
error, for the money has been furnished to build twice 
as many miles of rail road as we mapped out in our 
scheme of internal improvements for ths State of 
Illinois alone. 

A. P. Field removed from this State to New Orleans 
about twenty or twenty-five years ago, and has become 
a man of mark and placed himself at the very head of 
the Louisiana bar. Field was a fearful and terrible 
opponent in a political campaign. He was withering 
in sarcasm and repartee. I recollect to have heard 
him on one occasion on the stump, when replying to 
a political opponent whom Field charged with having 
finally got on the side opposed to himself (Field) after 
changing his politics once or twice. " Gentlemen," 
said Field, "I don't know where to find him. He 
reminds me of the negro in Kentucky whom his mas- 
ter had set to listing off the field into furrows for the 


purpose of planting corn, who coming up and looking 
at the darkey's work, said to him: ' Ned, your furrows 
are not straight; you should stand about four feet from 
your last furrow and take an object upon the opposite 
side of the field and drive straight towards it. Now 
put your plow in here, which is about four feet from 
your last furrow, and drive for that cow which is on 
the opposite side of the field, and make straight for 
her tail, and you will come out right.' His master 
went away, and in about an hour came back to see how 
Ned had obeyed his instructions. He went to where 
he had started Ned, and looked along down his furrow, 


but didn't see anything of Ned; but on casting his 
eye off obliquely to the right, he saw Ned close to the 
cow, and made for him, following the furrow around 
until lie got to him, which took him in a very circuit- 
ous route. Being in a great passion, he said to Ned, 
'Didn't I set you to plow straight furrows?' 'Yes, 
massa,' said he, ' but you told me to make straight for 

dat cow's tail, and I have followed the d d hussey 

wherever she has gone, and if de furrows ain't straight 
enough to please you, I am berry sorry for it.' Now, 
gentlemen," said Field, " the gentleman who has pre- 
ceded me has followed his 'loco foco" 1 cow wherever 
she went, and behold what a political furrow he has 

This produced a tremendous effect upon the crowd. 

Field was not only a splendid orator, political deba- 
ter, advocate and lawyer, but he could sing a good song 
and tell a good story. I remember at the Carmi Cir- 
cuit Court he perfectly thrilled and electrified me by 
singing that beautiful song to be found in Moore's 
Melodies, commencing thus: 

"So slow our ship her foaming track 

Against the wind was cleaving, 
Her trembling pennant still looked back 

To that dear isle 'twas leaving." 

My readers doubtless remember the balance of this 
beautiful song, and suffer me to say that it lost none of 
its beauties from the style, manner and voice in which 
Field sung it. It was upon this occasion, Jeff 
Gatewood, of Shawneetown, being present, that Field 
related the rencounter between Judge Jephtha Hardin 
and Jeff, in which Jeff used the words " little court," 


which I have already related in the sketch I have given 
of Judge Ilardin. 

I have only to state that Field was elected one of the 
members to the House of Representatives in Congress 
from the State of Louisiana after the close of our civil 
war, but as the reader will remember, they were not 
permitted to take their seats. I will state here that 
Field was descended from one of the most talented 
families in Kentucky, on his mother's side of the house. 
She was a Pope, and the sister of Governor John Pope 
of Arkansas, and of our own Judge Nathaniel Pope, 
of this State, both natives of Kentucky. I was person- 
ally acquainted with both these men. 

I fear that I have not done full justice to Mr. Field. 
If so, I shall be sorry for it, and can only say if I have 
left out anything, it is the result of the failing memory 
of an old man. 



JWILL take the liberty of introducing at this 
place a man who is still living and well known 
to the public, especially to the legal fraternity, 
His Honor Judge Anthony Thornton, of Shelbyville, 
111. His first wife was Mildred Thornton, the daughter 
of the late William F. Thornton of Shelbvville. An- 
thony himself was either her second or third cousin. 
Anthony Thornton is a native of Kentucky, and hails 
from somewhere near the Blue Grass region thereof 
I think from Paris or Cynthiana. 

My acquaintance with Judge Thornton commenced 
when he was quite a young man, and must have been 
somewhere in 1839 or '40. He was attending the 
Coles county Circuit Court at Charleston, my then place 
of residence; and that was the first time I saw his 
Honor, the late Charles Constable. I was introduced 
to them both at the same time, and thought then, and 
I still think, that they were two of the finest, most 
imposing and handsome men that my eyes ever looked 
upon. They were both over six feet in height, well 
shaped and symmetrical in form, and it would have 
troubled the most tasteful young lady to have given 
preference to either of them. They had both but 
recently been admitted to the bar. Thornton was well 


educated, and graduated at the Transylvania Univer- 
sity of Kentucky. My acquaintance with him from 
that time up to 1860, when I removed to Chicago, has 
been close and intimate. We were often associated 
together in important causes; at least three cases of 
murder, many of slander, and a large number of other 
cases, both at law and in equity. He was a pleasant 
man to get along with if you took care to keep him 
in a good humor. He was a sound lawyer; prepared 
his cases well, and but seldom, if ever, came into court 
unprepared. As a man of honesty and honor, there 
is none to-day who stands higher with those who know 
him than does Judge Anthony Thornton with all 
those who have the honor of his acquaintance. An- 
thony had however his deficiencies, as I have been 
told, one of which was he had no ear for music; could 
not distinguish one tune from another, and could not 
tell when the fiddler was playing a tune or only tuning 
his fiddle; and on one occasion, having led out his 
partner to the head of a set of dancers, he actually 
commenced dancing when the fiddler was only tuning 
his instrument. Ah, Anthony! Anthony! this sad 
mishap of yours put you in a long state of quarantine, 
but you finally triumphed, as you richly deserved to do. 
I served several sessions in the lower House of our 
State Legislature, he being the member from Shelby 
and I the member from Coles. It was between 1846 
.and 1850. It was during the time when we were 
struggling for our Terre Haute and Alton railroad, 
which ran from Terre Haute through Edgar, Coles, 
Shelby, Montgomery, Macoupin and Madison coun- 
ties, terminating at Alton. Thornton and I had the 


same interest, and stood shoulder to shoulder for this 
road, and to prevent a rival road from Terre Haute 
straight to St. Louis, which would have effectually 
killed ours. This is the same matter I have heretofore 
related in the sketch I have given of my old friend 
Gillespie, and should not have introduced it here, 
except to show the part taken therein by Mr. Thorn- 
ton. No man gave to it a more effectual support 
than he. 

Some years elapsed after he reached the legislature 
before he was elected to Congress from the Sangamon 
district Lincoln and Yates' old district. I think 
however that he never served but one term in Con- 
gress. I have nothing to relate as to the part he took 
while a member of Congress. 

He was an old line Whig, and was a delegate to the 
Constitutional Convention of 1848 that formed our 
Constitution of that date. He was one of Henry Clay's 
greatest admirers, and a 1 most worshiped him; and 
could not tolerate any man who attempted to disparage 
Mr. Clay. In this Constitutional Convention there 
was a delegate from Edgar county, a Baptist preacher 
of the old hard-shell order a pretty talented man, 
whose name I will not mention here. He was no great 
friend to Mr. Clay, being of a different school of poli- 
ticians. He and Thornton both boarded at Chenery's 
hotel. One day while sitting at dinner together w r ith 
a great man} 7 other delegates, a discussion arose between 
Thornton and this preacher delegate, in which the lat- 
ter claimed that John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, 
was greatly Mr. Clay's superior in talent, eloquence 
and statesmanship, but wound up by saying in rather 


a depreciating tone of voice, "Yet I will admit, Mr. 
Thornton, that your friend Mr. Clay is a very smart 

Thornton in a towering fit of passion, jumped to 
his feet and said to the preacher: "Do yon apply the 
mean, Yankee, horse-jockey word 'smart 9 to such a 
man as Henrj' Clay? If you ever do it again in my 
presence I'll thrash you, d n you, as long as I can 
feel you." 

Judge Harlan, who was also a member of this Con- 
vention, and present on this occasion, gave me a graphic 
description of it, and he said that Thornton's construc- 
tion of the word " smart " produced a universal burst 
and roar of laughter, and they kept it up till Thorn- 
ton and the preacher had to join therein, and the mat- 
ter was not attended with any serious consequences. 

I will relate a matter here with which friend An- 
thony is connected, which would perhaps have found 
its place more properly in the sketch I have given of 
Gen. Wm. F. Thornton, his father-in-law. At a term 
of the Shelby Circuit Court, which was being held 
either by Koerner or Judge Treat, a good many law- 
vers from other counties were in attendance among 1 

i O 

the rest David Davis, now Supreme Judge of the 
United States Court, O. B. Ficklin, myself, and a good 
many others. General Thornton had procured the in- 
dictment of a fellow who had stolen a bridle and a 
pair of martingals from his store. The fellow being 
tolerable cunning, got his friends to employ Anthony 
Thornton, the General's son-in-law, to defend him; 
and not being very vigorously prosecuted, of course he 
was acquitted. I was not in the court house when the 


jury rendered their verdict of not guilty; but after it 
was over Anthony came to me at my hotel and said : 
" The General is in a perfect fury, and he expected 
you or Ficklin to have prosecuted, and I am sorry you 
did n't," said he: " And so am I," said I; and in a few 
minutes afterwards General Thornton made his ap- 
pearance in the room where the Judge and all us law- 
yers were assembled. We all knew what was coining, 
He swore that the law, in the way that it was adminis- 
tered, was a mere farce; that the d d rascal who 

had been acquitted was guilty, as everybody knew; and 
went on with a terrible tirade against law and lawyers 
in Illinois; and when he had pretty well exhausted 
himself, Judge David Davis, who was then nothing 
but lawyer Davis, in a very quiet and soothing way, 
said to General Thornton: "General, you know it is 
an old and humane maxim of the common law that it 
is better that ninety-nine guilty men should escape, 
than that one innocent man should be convicted." 

" No, sir" said General Thornton ; " by G d, sir, 
the maxim is false, sir! I say, sir, that it is better 
that nine hundred and ninety-nine innocent should 
suffer, than that one G d d d rascal, like the fel- 
low who stole my bridle and martingals should go 
unwhipped of justice." 

Now it may seem strange to the reader that a man 
of General Thornton's intelligence should have given 
utterance to an expression so absurd as this, yet it 
must be remembered that he was in a terrible passion; 
but it was impossible for us to repress our merriment, 
and we all laughed to the very splitting of our sides. 

In every position in which friend Anthony has been 


placed, he has filled it with distinguished honor to him- 
self and benefit to the country. I have not lost sight 
of my distinguished frieifd since I moved away from 
that part of the country, and am aware, as my readers 
know, that he was elected as one of the members of 
the Supreme Court of Illinois, which ofiice he filled 
with distinguished honor, and has delivered some of 
the opinions of the court which will hand his name 
down to the latest posterity, especially one in reference 
to the rights of husband and wife under our recent 

I know that he "was veiy popular with his brother 
judges, especially with Judge McAllister; but to the 
astonishment of his friends and the public, he resigned 
and retired to private life. He had a handsome for-, 
tune to fall back upon, and the truth is, that no man 
of his talents, who has a good practice as a lawyer as 
he had, can abandon it and forsake the pleasant walks 
of private and professional life for the insignificant 
compensation given to our Supreme Judges. 

I have given to friend Anthony such a notice as I 
think he is entitled to, and if I have fallen short of 
doing him justice, it is not willful, but the failure of 
memory. I wish to state in conclusion, that my recol- 
lections of him are of the kindliest character, which 
I believe he knows and fully appreciates. 



| HE next name which I propose to introduce 
into these memoirs is that of Nathaniel Pope, 
late judge of the United States District Court 
of Illinois. He has alre'ady been referred to in my 
sketches of other persons. He was a man of great 
legal attainments, and as I am writing these memoirs 
from memory, the readers must not hold me to a very 
strict account as to dates.- My present impression is 
that Judge Pope was our first delegate in Congress 
from Illinois when it was but a territory. Judge 
Pope and myself were intimate, personal friends. I 
became acquainted with him in 1836 and '37, and we 
were warm friends to the last day of his life. He 
has gone to his rest. 

I have not much to say of Judge Pope, except that 
he was an eminent lawyer at Kaskaskia, when Thomas 
Benton, from Missouri came across the Mississippi and 
practiced in the courts of Kaskaskia, and I believe 
Pope at that time practiced at St. Louis, and other 
towns on the Mississippi. He was the uncle of A. 
P. Field, about whom I have already written. He- 
was pretty severe upon the lawyers who practiced in 
his court, and was not very choice as to the words he 
used when he saw fit to reprimand them. 


Judge Pope is eminently a historical character, and 
was the father of General John Pope, who figured in 
our late civil war, and is memorable for having dated 
his military orders thus: "From head-quarters, in the 
saddle;" and is also memorable for having said in 
those orders that he was accustomed to victory, and 
that the term "retreat" was not to be found in his 
tactics or dictionary. But it is melancholy to relate, 
and I am sorry to have it to do, that he had to change 
his tactics and revise his dictionary when that man 
Stonewall Jackson got after him, who was a very pious 
man, and whose negro servant said, when asked about 
the habits of his master, " I tell you, sah, dat when 
massa Jackson get up free or foil' times in de night to 
pray, you might look out for hell de next day ! " 

Judge Pope, the father of General John Pope, sat on 
the bench of the United States District Court of Illinois 
for many years. I was a young man at the beginning of 
my acquaintance with Judge Pope, and a sort of pet 
of his, and he used to scold me for not coming to his 
room oftener than I did. He gave me a sketch of the 
characters of the principal men in Congress when he 
was a delegate, and especially of Ben Hard in, of Ken- 
tucky, of whom he did not entertain a very good opin- 
ion, although he admitted that he was a man of con- 
siderable talent, yet he was coarse and ungentlemanly 
in his deportment, and would cheat when playing at 
cards with gentlemen. 

In the contest which I had with Stephen T. Logan, to 
which I have heretofore alluded, Judge Pope was with 
me on the constitutional question, and furnished me 
with very valuable thoughts and arguments. Judge 


Pope's physical form was not very remarkable; he was 
rather above than below the medium height, and rather 
corpulent; a man could not look upon him without 
thinking that he was a man of considerable intellectual 
power. As I have said, he was the uncle of Field, 
and also of Ninian Edwards. 

I heard Stephen T. Logan, whose opinion upon legal 
matters is entitled to great respect, say that Judge Pope 
was a man of the finest legal mind he ever knew, and 
this is entitled to the more respect from the fact that 
Judge Pope never showed Logan much favor in his 

It would be a source of considerable pleasure to me 
if I could give more incidents in the life of Juge Pope, 
but the reader must be contented with what I have 
here written down. 

I have often partaken of the old man's hospitality, 
and I desire to pay a tribute of gratitude and respect 
to his memory by saying that I cherish for him the 
kindest and most grateful remembrance. 



|IIE next prominent man of my early days 
with whom I was acquainted was General 
James Semple. I met him in the legislature 
of 1836 and '37. He was one of the members from 
Madison county, Illinois; at that session he was 
elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, of 
which he and I were both members, being both of the 
same political sentiments; but I did not vote for him 
for Speaker, but voted for my friend, Col. John De- 
merit, the son-in-law of old General Dodge, of Wis- 

Gen. Semple was one of our self-made men. Like 
Lincoln, Douglas and others, he rose into notice by 
the force of his own intellectual powers and worth, 
without the advantages of a liberal education. 

My personal intercourse with General Semple was 
not of the most cordial character. He was inclined to 
be an overbearing man, and was not eloquent, and was 
envious of every man who was so; and when I was 
elected Attorney-General at that session, he took good 
care not to vote for me, and cast his vote for John 
Pearsons, who was not a candidate for the office, but one 
of my warmest and most devoted friends. Yet I do not 
cherish unkind feelings toward General Semple. "When 


lie was sent as Minister to Bogota lie left his law busi- 
ness in raj hands in preference to all the lawyers in 
Madison county. His family and mine had the closest 
social relations, and Mrs. Semple I think was one of 
the most agreeable women I ever knew. The General 
has been dead for a number of years. Whether Mrs. 
Semple is living I know not. 

General Semple was appointed by President Yan 
Buren Minister to Bogota; and in 1843 he was ap- 
pointed by Governor Ford as the successor of Samuel 
McKoberts, deceased, in the United States Senate, 
and after serving for one session as such appointee 
the legislature in December, 1844, confirmed his ap- 
pointment by electing him for the unexpired term of 
his predecessor. On his return from Bogota, I being 
a member of the legislature, heard him deliver many 
interesting lectures in reference to that country. 

General Semple was a tanner by trade, and rose by 
force of his native intellect to the high stations which 
he filled. He has not left us any speech or report which 
would hand his name down favorably to posterity, but 
I feel myself charged to some extent with that duty, 
and trust that some friend who has known me will not 
fail to transmit the name of old Linder to posterity. 



]HAVE a friend whom I cannot leave out of 
these memoirs, though he is not a lawyer; yet 
he is better than that he is a brave and hon- 
est man. His name is John Dement, and he is still 
living at Dixon, 111. I first met him at Yandalia, at 
the session of 1836 and '37. He was a member of the 
lower House, from Fay ette county, Yandalia, and I 
took an active part in trying to elect him Speaker of 
that body. I have already, in another place, stated he 
was the son-in-law of General Dodge (the old General 
Dodge). I suppose he must be at this time over sev- 
enty years of age. 

Jack Dement, if I mistake not, was a colonel in the 
Black Hawk war, and was at Stillman's defeat, and 
also at the engagement known as the battle of Kellog's 
Grove. Stillman's defeat was a most disgraceful 
thing, and a dishonor to the arms of Illinois. It oc- 
curred in 1832, before I came to the State; I therefore 
speak from information furnished by others. I have 
understood that Colonel Dement did all he possibly 
could to rally his men and make them fight; that he 
turned more than once in his saddle, and fired his gun 
at the savages, but to rally his men was utterly impos- 
sible. They ran like sheep chased by a gang of wolves. 


Colonel Dement would ride and get in advance of 
them, and waving his sword, would cry out, " Halt! 
halt ! halt! " but it was all of no avail. On they weut ? 
until the Indians got tired of chasing and scalping 
them. Some prisoner who escaped from the Indians, 
reported that when they returned to their camp they 
were in great glee; and flourishing their scalps, 
repeated the words of Colonel Dement, "halt! halt! 
halt! " in a laughing and derisive manner. Black 
Hawk, after he was taken prisoner and carried around 
through the United States to all our principal cities, 
for the purpose of satisfying him, if there was any 
purpose in it, that a war with us by his naked and 
half-starved tribe", was a most unequal contest, is 
reported to have s? i- d to one of our interpreters, that 
Colonel Jack Dement was the bravest man he ever 
faced in battle; and it affords me great pleasure to 
indorse the opinion of this great savage. 

Colonel Dement was not only brave, but in the face 
of clanger he was cool, cautious and prudent. That I 
am a living man to-daj', I owe, perhaps, to his friend- 
ship, bravery and prudence. In 1837, after I was 
elected to the office of Attorney-General of Illinois, I 
got into- a difficulty with a very desperate man, who 
was a member of the Senate, and he challenged me, 
and General James Turney was selected by him as his 
second, and he delivered the challenge to me. I 
accepted it, and referred him to Colonel John Dement 
as my second, who would fix the distance and select 
the weapons. Having expected this before I received 
the challenge, I had informed my friend Dement that 
I expected to be challenge! and that I should select 


him for my second, and should place my honor and 
life in his hands. He said to me: " Linder, I will 
take charge of both; and, without letting your honor 
suffer, will take good care that you never fight; for if 
you do, he will be sure to kill you, for he is as cool 
and desperate as a bandit." I replied that the matter 
would be placed in his hands, and I should refer his sec- 
ond to him (Colonel Dement) as my second, to arrange 
the distance and select the weapons with which we 
would fight. Accordingly, when General Turney called 
upon Colonel Dement, Dement informed that we 
would fight with pistols at close quarters, each hold- 
ing one end of the same handkerchief in his teeth. 

" My God!" replied General Turney, " Colonel Dem- 
ent, that amounts to the deliberate murder of both 

"It don't matter," said Dement, "your principal is 
cool, desperate and deliberate, while my friend is ner- 
vous and excitable, and if he has to lose his life your 
friend must bear him company." 

General Turney beino- a very humane and honorable 
man, and really as much my friend as he was his prin- 
cipal's, said to Colonel Dement: "Colonel, this meet- 
ing must never take place; so let you and I take this 
matter in hand and have it settled in an- amicable way, 
honorable to both parties." 

"The very thing," said Colonel Dement, "that I 
have desired to bring about. Linder is a 3 oung man 
and has just been elected Attorney- General of the State, 
and -has an interesting wife, and little daughter only 
four years old, who have only been in this town (Van- 
dalia) but a few days, and it would be next to break- 



ing my heart to have the one made a widow and the 
other an orphan." 

They agreed that a hostile meeting should not 
take place; and the matter was amicably and honora- 
bly arranged between the Senator and myself. We 
met, made friends, shook hands, and to the last day of 
his life we were the best of friends. 

Col. Dement has filled various offices of honor and 
trust under the State and National government. He 
has been once or twice Receiver or Register of our 
Land Offices in Illinois; and in every position he has 
filled he has acquitted himself with honor. 

Col. Dement, I believe, is a native of Kentucky. 
He has always been a Democrat in politics. He had 
an utter abhorrence of Abolitionists; but in our late 
civil war he and I both stood shoulder to shoulder in 
favor of a vigorous prosecution of that war. We spoke 
together at the same public meetings in the northern 
portion of this State, for the purpose of calling our 
young Illinois chivalry to arms. We both asserted 
publicly in our speeches that it was a war to save the 
Union, and not to emancipate the negro, or to make 
him the equal of the white man, for we both believed 
with our friend Douglas, who had often asserted it on 
the stump and elsewhere, that this was a white man's 
government, made by white men and for the benefit 
'of the white race. But let it be remembered that 
these joint efforts of Col. Dement and myself were 
made before President Lincoln's emancipation procla- 
mation, which I supported as a war measure, believ- 
ing that it would end the war and prevent the further 
shedding of fraternal blood, in which belief it seems 


I was sadly mistaken. "Whether Col. Dement sup- 
ported that proclamation I do not know. Upon that 
subject the Democratic party were somewhat divided. 
I remember nothing more in reference to the public 
or private career of Col. Dement necessary to be stated 
in these memoirs. I wish my readers to understand 
that my object has been not to introduce any names 
into this history except those who are worthy to go 
down to posterity, and that the name, patriotism and 
public services of Col. Dement are entitled to be so 
perpetuated I have not the least doubt. I hope that 
some future historian will do more justice to the name 
of Col. Dement than one who has had to draw upon 
the memory of a frail old man. If these memoirs 
should go into print during the life of Col. Dement, 
and ever meet his eye, I hope he will pardon me for 
any errors of memory. I take my leave, therefore, of 
Col. Dement, and will pass on to some other historic 



i|E AR reader, if you think it a pleasant task to 
awake the memories of the past, and call back 
the features of beloved ones that are gone, and 
recount the pleasant intercourse that occurred between 
you and them, you are very much mistaken. Onr rec- 
ollections of our living friends can be recounted with- 
out any sadness; but of those who have long been 
dead, such recollections are like visitants from the 
grave. I will now introduce the name of a cherished 
friend who died some time ago I mean Richard Yates, 
of Morgan county, Illinois. He was several times a 
member of the House of Representatives in Congress 
from his district. lie was repeatedly a member of the 
Legislature of Illinois; once Governor of the State of 
Illinois, which was during the civil war; and in my 
humble opinion President Grant is in a considerable 
degree indebted to him for the position and fame he 
now enjoys; for he gave him, when he was a private 
citizen, the first military appointment he received. It 
was about the time of the commencement of the civil 
war. It is true, somebody, whose name I do not now 
remember, recommended him to Governor Yates when, 
we were sadly in need of some qualified person to dis- 
cipline our troops. Governor Yates was looking 


around for such a person, and asking every intelligent 
person where he could find such a one, when he who 
recommended Grant said to him: 

" Governor Yates, there is Captain Grant, late of 
the United States Army, and a graduate of the West 
Point Academy; why not give him the commission of 
a State Colonel to drill and train our Illinois volun- 

Yates did so, and I am inclined to think it was a 
fortunate thing he did so, for Grant had the peculiar 
talents that were needed at that time, and he went on 
from one promotion to another; and with the excep- 
tion of one or two unfortunate reverses, he ascended 
from victory to victory, until the surrender of Lee 
crowned him as the great captain of the war, and cov- 
ered him with unfading glory, and made him the most 
prominent man as candidate for the future presidency. 

At the time of his appointment by Governor Yates, 
Grant was unknown to fame; but a few knew him as 
an ex-captain of the Mexican War, and but for this 
fortunate selection, perhaps the war might have 
resulted in misfortune to the Union. To what little 
-causes are we indebted for great results! Bonaparte, 
who conquered nearly the whole of Europe, and of 
whom England stood in awe, was perhaps indebted for 
his ultimate success to the i'act of his having returned 
the sword of General Beauharnais to his orphan son, 
Eugene Beauharnais, which introduced Napoleon to 
the boy's mother, to whom he became attached, and 
afterwards married; and through whose influence, 
counsel and advice, anSr the influence of her friends, 
J^apoleon rose from one position to another, until he 


cast his mighty shadow across the civilized world, and 
the eagles of France were hoisted upon the capitals of 
nearly all continental Europe, and her lilies were 
fanned by the breezes that swept over the pyramids 
of Egypt. How great a fire is sometimes kindled from 
a mere spark! But if ever Grant should kindle such a 
fire as Napoleon did (my readers must not understand 
me as predicting such a result), yet I do not want to 
be understood as underating the talents of General 
Grant, especially as a military man. I am free to 
confess that he is no ordinary man ; and I have been 
informed by some of our Democratic Generals that he 
possessed the rarest powers of military combination. 
I was told by one of them that when he came into the 
army of the Tennessee, the army was thoroughly 
demoralized, their communications were cut off, but 
that in less than ten days the morale of the army was 
restored; their communications re-opened; the half- 
starved army re-victualed, and order, plenty and disci- 
pline prevailed throughout the army. This is really 
no small praise to be bestowed upon any man, especially 
coining from a political opponent. 

Now, worthy reader, if I have not led you away too 
far from my friend Dick Yates, be good enough to 
consider him as the starting point of all these grand 

Governor Yates, as my readers all know, was eleva- 
ted to the Senate of the United States. -He was a man 
of very rare elocution, and as a Fourth-of-July orator 
had but few equals, if any; he had the rare facility of 
stringing beautiful words and sentences together. 

Yates was a handsome man, and I never saw a frown 


upon his countenance in my life. He was eminently 
social and a little too convivial, as most of us were in 
early times. He was my warmest friend and most 
devoted admirer. I learned from a mutual friend of 
ours that Yates, who was listening to an effort I made 
in the House of Representatives, said to him after it 
was over: "There is no use talking, Linder is the 
greatest orator of this State." 

Reader, pardon this vanity for repeating what my 
old friend Yates said, and may I not be pardoned also 
for saying that I was not displeased with the compli- 
ment paid by him to me? If he had any faults it is 
not my business either to remember or record them. 

" Teach me to feel another's woe, 

To hide the fault I see; 
That mercy I to others show, 
That mercy show to me." 

I will say this, in regard to my old friend Yates: 
that whatever is good in his character I will transmit 
to posterity; but whatever is otherwise, I shall be 
inclined to be governed by the sentiment expressed in 
Sterne's " Life of Tristram Shandy," where Corporal 
Trim, the servant of " my Uncle Toby," had visited a 
wounded officer by the direction of his master, reported 
to his master that the officer must surely die. " ISTo, 
Trim," said he, " he must not die. We will take him 
and nurse him, and he shall not die." 

" I tell you, master, he will surely die; no human 
efforts can save him." 

"I tell you," said my Uncle Toby, " by G-d, he shall 
not die." 

And Sterne says that the accusing spirit that flew up 


to heaven's chancery with the oath, Hushed when he 
gave it in, and the recording angel, when he wrote it 
down, dropped a tear upon the word, and blotted it out 
forever." And with a charity like this am I disposed 
to deal with the faults of ray old friend Yates. I 
believe that I shall meet him in a better world, for he 
was a devout Christian, and died in full fellowship with 
the Methodist Church. 

He, Lincoln, Hardin and myself were warm perso- 
nal friends. I don't believe, so far as his honor and 
integrity were concerned, that he has left a single blot 
on his name. 



{WILL now introduce a living character 
Judge John Scholfield, of Clark county, Illi- 
nois, recently elected to the Supreme bench 
of this State, to fill the vacancy caused by the resigna- 
tion of Judge Anthony Thornton, of Shelbyviile, 111. 
He is quite a young man to be elevated to so high a 
position; but he is a bright and shining light in the 
legal world, and should he reach the age of fifty or 
sixty, will doubtless make himself a name that will 
deserve to fill a much larger place in our legal history 
than I can give to him at the present time. He has 
not been at the bar over twenty years, and never filled 
any judicial station previous to his elevation to the 
Supreme Bench, although he was a member of the 
legislature from Clark county once or twice previous 
to his election as Judge of the Supreme Court. He 
was in the Constitutional Convention of 1870. I knew 
him before he was admitted to the bar when but a 
mere boy. He rose from the very humblest walks of 
life. He graduated at the Law School of Louisville, 
Ky., and in a very few years made for himself a repu- 
tation at the bar that older lawyers might well envy. 

I have met him repeatedly at the bar, and have been 
associated with him and opposed to him; and, in my 
humble opinion, he is one of the best lawyers of his age 


I ever knew. I have read but few of his opinions as 
Supreme Judge, but I entertain no fears of his future. 
In giving my testimony to his high and transcendent 
legal ability, I know that I am in excellent company. 
Judge Breese, of our Supreme Bench, who ought to 
be considered good authority as to a man's legal at- 
tainments, asked me some eight or ten years ago if 
I had kept the run of John Scholfield since I had been 
living in Chicago. I told told him that I had not to 
any very great extent. u Well, sir," said he, " differ 
me to say to you that he is one of the most promising 
young lawyers in America. He has practiced regu- 
larly in our court in such cases as came up by appeal 
and writ of error from the Wabash Courts, and I have 
had a good opportunity of estimating his ability, and 
know of no lawyer, old or young, that I can place above 
him." And Col. John Baird, of Terre Haute, himself 
one of the best lawyers in Indiana, told me not four 
years ago that Scholfield was the best lawyer he ever 
knew; and that seems to be the prevailing opinion 
with the legal fraternity wherever he is known. 

It may be thought in bad taste on my part to intro- 
duce so young a man into these memoirs, but I could 
not deny myself the pleasure of heralding his approach 
to the coming generation of lawyers, and to them I 
leave the task of finishing what I have begun, which, 
duty, I have no doubt, will be performed with more 
ability and accuracy than I have discharged mine.. 
His future I leave with them, knowing that he will be 

' O 

in safe hands; so for the present, friend John, I bid 
you good-bye and God-speed, in your onward march up. 
the slippery heights of fame. 



Y READERS must pardon me for stepping 
across the State line dividing Indiana and 
Illinois, and introducing the names of a few 
men eminent in the legal profession and not unknown 
to the political world, and nearly as well known in Illi- 
nois as Indiana. I therefore introduce to my readers 
the name of Judge James Hughes, before whom I prac- 
ticed when he was Judge of the circuit court at Terre 
Haute and other Wabash counties. When I knew 
him, he resided in Bloomington, Ind., and I also prac- 
ticed in his court at that place. 

Besides being judge of the circuit court, he was 
also professor and secturer in the Law School at 
Bloomington. My acquaintance with him continued 
until he retired from the circuit court bench, and we 
often met as lawyers at the Terre Haute and Sullivan, 
courts, and were sometimes associated together in 
important causes. The last one that I recollect was in 
Sullivan county, in which the Yincennes University 
was plaintiff, and Samuel Judah, an old and eminent 
lawyer of Yincennes, Ind., was defendant. It was on 
that occasion that we had a long and confidential con- 
versation in reference to some of the great men of this 
country. I remember to have said to him when he 


and I were on a long walk, that] Mr. Webster, though 
I had never seen him, was in my opinion the greatest 
orator in America. " Well," said he, " Linder, I have 
heard him and Clay in the Senate of the United States, 
and suffer me to say to you that that little man 
Douglas, of your State, whom I have also heard repeat- 
edly in the same body, as a speaker and debater, 
dwarfed both of them. Although," said he, "Judge 
Douglas, from his political course, has not made for 
himself a very warm place in my affections, as a 
debater, in my opinion Judge Douglas never had an 
equal in that body." And Judge Hughes was certainly 
no incompetent judge of men. 

Since I removed from Coles county to Chicago, my 
personal intercourse with Judge Hughes has ceased. 
My readers, I presume, are aware that for a considera- 
ble time he was one of the Judges of the Court of 
Claims at Washington, and if my memory does not 
fail me, he was appointed to that office by James Bu- 
chanan One of my principal reasons for introducing 
Judge Hughes was, that I might give his opinion of 
Mr. Douglas, my old friend, whose memory is inter- 
twined with every fibre of my heart, and whose name 
and fame, as far as I am able, I wish to exalt in the 
opinion of my countrymen. 



[CANNOT refrain from introducing here the 
name of a man who died in the city of Chicago 
a few years ago. He was really one of the 
eminent lawyers in America, and a .man of great 
learning I mean Judge Alfred W. Arrington. He 
was over sixty at the time of his death. I do not know 
the State where he was born, but I do know that it 
was some one of the Southern States, for I have heard 
him say he was a Southern man. He began his career 
as a Methodist preacher in the northern part of Indiana, 
and rode the circuit in the Whitewater region ; and 
the clerk of the United States Circuit Court of Indi- 
anapolis, told me that he had often heard him preach 
while on his circuit and at camp-meeting, and that he 
literally set all that country on fire by his magical elo- 
quence and oratory. During the time of my acquain- 
tance with Judge Arrington, his voice was very much 
shattered and impaired, which I attributed to his 
speaking in the open air w y hen a preacher. His voice 
was a kind of whisper, but he could make himself 
heard by his audience, for such was the respect paid 
to his talent and genius that the most profound silence 
prevailed while he was speaking; during such times 
you might hear a pin fall. He was generally sought 


for by one side or the other in the most important 
causes in the State and Federal Courts. The case, how- 
ever, in which lie most distinguished himself was the 
divorce case brought by Mrs. Stewart against her hus- 
band, Hart L. Stewart, Judge Arrington being in the 
defense. His statement of the facts in his opening 
speech to the jury and his comments thereon, is one of 
the finest specimens of legal eloquence I ever read. 
Nothing that ever fell from the lips of Phillips, Cur- 
ran or Grattan surpasses it. 

He not only practiced in the Federal Courts of Chi- 
cago, but in the Supreme Court of the United States 
at Washington, and was as much distinguished there 
as he was ill the courts of Illinois. 

In the Stewart trial great efforts had been made on 
the part of the plaintiff to make out a case against him 
(the defendant). They had employed lewd women to 
seduce him, and put detectives on his track to watch 
and report the result of their plan. I should have sta- 
ted that Stewart was a young preacher of the gospel. 
But Stewart got wind of their plans to entrap him into 
criminal intercourse with these women, and employed 
detectives of his own to watch those of the other side. 
One of these women followed Stewart to some one of 
the Eastern cities and managed to get into his room: 
but Stewart was too fast for her and had already secreted 
his detective under the bed in his (Stewart's) room. 

This demi-monde had the power of making herself 
very bewitching and attractive when she chose. She 
had got into the room and thrown down the bed-clothes 
and caught Stewart round the neck and pulled him 
down on to the bed, and as she was pulling up the 


bed -clothes Mrs. Stewart's detective entered the room, 
exclaiming, as he did so: "I've caught you, have I, 
Mr. Stewart? " And at that moment Stewart's detective 
came out from under the bed, saying to the other detec- 
tive: "I rather think I've caught you; -I have been 
aware for some time of this nice little trap which you 
and your principal have set to catch Hart L. Stewart, 
and I think I have circumvented you." 

On the first trial of this divorce case, where Judge 
Arriugton displayed such marvelous talent and elo- 
quence, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Hart L. 
Stewart, the defendant; but on a new trial, in which 
Judge Arrington did not defend, the plaintiff got a 
verdict and they were divorced. There are many other 
cases that I might enumerate, going to prove the pre- 
eminent talents of Judge Arrington, but I will let this 

Judge Arrington was not only a great orator, but 
he was also a very considerable poet, and I believe his 
wife or daughter since his death has published a 
small book of his poems. I have never seen the book, 
but Judge Arrington in his life-time showed me quite 
a number of his poetic effusions, and they possessed 
many characteristics of excellence. One of the finest 
things that was ever written fell from his pen I 
mean his "Apostrophe to Cold Water." I wish I could 
recall it so as to insert some specimens of it here. 

Judge Arrington, as I have already stated, was a 
preacher in the Methodist Church, but shortly before 
his death he became a Catholic, and died in that faith. 

After he ceased preaching and became a member of 
the bar, he went to Texas, and in a short time he was 


made Judge of one of their circuit courts. He did 
not remain long in the South; he told me himself that 
there was too much rowdyism there to suit his taste. 

I think he was as profoundly and deeply read in the 
common and civil law, and also in equity law as 
any one I ever knew. He had a very large brain as 
large, if not larger, than that of Daniel Webster. 

It would be interesting to any lawyer to collect and 
read his printed briefs, on file in the Federal and 
State courts. He was a ripe classical scholar. I have 
heard him quote by the paragraph from the Pandects 
and Novels of the civil law. His knowledge of Greek 
was equal to that of his knowledge of Latin. Henry 
Clav Dean, of Iowa, told me that Arrington was a cous- 

tt * i O 

in of his. He also told me in the same conversation 
that Arrington used to write speeches for the members 
in Congress, and that many of them got credit for elo- 
quence which was really not theirs, but Arlington's. 

It is painful to have to write the biographical sketch 
of a man to whose memory and fame you feel you 
cannot do full justice; and such is my condition at 
the present time in reference to Judge Arrington, 
the materials which I have being too scant and mea- 
gre to do him full justice. I must therefore do with 
him as I have done with some others leave his his- 
tory to be written up by some abler pen than mine, 
and by some person in possession of larger and ampler 
materials than mine. I wish to say to the bar gener- 
ally, and especially to the younger members, that he 
was the most perfect model of a gentleman and law- 
yer that I ever knew, and they would do well to take 
him as an example, and walk in the lofty path he trod. 



(SHALL now introduce the name of a man 
widely and favorably known in Illinois and 
the West as one of the most profound lawyers? 
and especially as a land-lawyer, that Illinois has ever 
produced I allude to Archie Williams, who was late 
one of the Federal judges of Kansas one of Mr. Lin- 
coln's appointees. He was a member of the Legisla- 
ture of Illinois in 1836 and 1837, and of the same 
House with Lincoln, Douglas and myself. He was 
over six feet high, and as angular and ungainly in his 
form as Mr. Lincoln himself; and for homeliness of 
face and feature, surpassed Mr. Lincoln. I think I 
never saw but one man uglier than Archie, and that 
was Patrick II. Darbey, of Kentucky also a very great 
lawyer, who once had a brace of pistols presented to 
him by a traveler he met upon the road, both being 
on horseback, who suddenly stopped, and asked Darbey 
to stop also, and said to the latter gentleman: "Here 
is a brace of pistols which belongs to yon." " How 
do you make that out?" said Darbey. "They were 
given to me a long time ago by a stranger, who 
requested me to keep them until I met an uglier man 
than myself, arid I have carried them for over twenty 
years; and I had begun to think that they would go to 


my lieirs when I died, but you are the rightful owner 
of the pistols. I give them to you as they were given 
to me, to be kept till you meet with an uglier man than 
you are, and then you will present them to him; but 
you will die the owner of this property, for I'll be 

d d if there is an uglier man than you in the world, 

and the Lord did his everlasting best to make you so 
when he created you." 

Darbey accepted the pistols, and I never heard of 
their passing out of his hands. I know not what 
might have occurred had he and Archie Williams 
ever met. If there had been a jury trial of the right 
of property between them, I think it altogether likely 
it might have resulted in a " hung jury." 

Archie Williams sat near to Mr. Lincoln in the 
southeast corner of the old State House in Vandalia, 
on his left, and I remember one day of a friend of mine 

asking me "who in the h 1 those two ugly men 

were." Archie and Mr. Lincoln were great friends. 
I recollect Mr. Lincoln asking me on one occasion if 
I didn't think Archie Williams was one of the strong- 


est-minded and clearest headed men in Illinois. I 
don't know what reply I made at the time, but I know 
Mr. Lincoln said that he thought him the strongest- 
minded and clearest headed man he ever saw. In 
1852, when the old Whig party made its last fight on 
old General Scott, I received a -pressing invitation 
from Archie, O. H. Browning, and others, to come 
and canvass the district in which Mr. Brownin^ was 


running against Wm. A. Richardson for Congress. 

After some time I accepted the invitation. I remem- 
ber that Richardson was very much a'armed when he 


heard that I had come to canvass the district against 
him, and it was not long till he had Mr. Douglas there 
canvassing it for him, and kept him there till the elec- 
tion was over. It was during this time that there was 
an anniversary convention of the Whigs at Rock 
Island, to commemorate a treaty made with the Indians 
by General Scott some twenty or twenty-one years 
prior to this time, which was held on the lower point 
of the island, where the stand for the speakers was 
erected. I was invited to this convention by the citi- 
zens of Rock Island and accepted the invitation, 
and it was there I first met Governor Bebb, of Ohio. 
We both spoke there to a great multitude of people. 
It was there also I met a very wealthy man of the 
name of Le Glair; he wa> half Indian and half French, 
and was the interpreter at that treaty between Gen. 
Scott and the Indians. He was the owner of the Le 
Clair House in Davenport, just across the river from 
Rock Island, and a splendid hotel it was. I had a long 
conversation with Le Clair, and he told me some very 
amusing anecdotes of old Gov. Reynolds, who was 
present at this treaty, which I have now forgotten, 
over which I know I laughed heartily at the time of 
their recital by Le Clair. 

But as I have wandered far away from my friend 
Archie Williams, I will return again to Quincy, where 
he resided. There was a Whig convention held there 
after my return to that place, at which I was one of 
the speakers, and having learned that a low, dirty 
loco-foco, who had by some inscrutable will of Provi- 
dence got into the legislature when I was a member, 
and who had also risen to be mayor of Quincy, had 


been going around the count} 7 attacking my personal 
character. I opened upon him in my speech and held 
him up to the scorn and indignation of my auditors. 
.His name was William Pitman, and the cowardly 
wretch waylaid me as I was passing from the post-office 
to my hotel, the Quincy House, having hid himself be- 
hind a couple of goods boxes, being armed with a large 
hickory cane, jumped out from his place of concealment 
just as I passed, and commenced striking me with his 
cane oyer my head, from behind. It is a wonder he 
did not kill me, for I had nothing with which to defend 
myself, with the exception of a small gold-headed 
ebony cane. I turned upon him, however, and broke 
as well as I could the force of his blows with my small 
cane, which broke near up to my hand. I still pressed 
on upon him, and fortunately for me, his cane broke 
close up to his hand; but not until I had received 
upon my head some eight or ten blows. I however 
caught him by his hair, but being so much weakened 
by the loss of blood and the concussion upon my 
brain, I could not hold him, though 1 struck him sev- 
eral blows in the face, and he finally pulled loose, and 
without his hat, turned tail and ran like a turkey. 
After I had <jot mv head dressed by a r>hvsician, whom 

5 u (/ I / 

my friends, Williams, Browning and Gen. Singleton 
brought to me, I armed myself with a good revolver 
furnished me by Gen. Singleton, and made straight for 
his house, but he was not there. I went boldly into 
his house and inquirei of the inmates where he was. 
They told me he had left town a short time before. I 
was determined if I had met him in his own parlor to 
plaster its walls with his brains. He did not return 


for several days, and when he did he took remarkably 
good care to keep out of my way. * * * * 

On this occasion Archie AYilliams acted the part of 
a man and true friend. He sympathized with me to 
the fullest extent, and I feel it my duty here to say 
that an honester man and a more devoted and faithful ' 
friend never lived than Archie Williams. 

I wish to say here in this connection, before my leav- 
ing entirely the subject of this rencounter with Pit- 
man, that after it had taken place about a dozen young 
chivalric Whigs from St. Louis came to my rooms to 
oifer their sympathies to me and express their admira- 
tion for the gallant way in which I had acted on that 
occasion, and oifered their services to hunt up my 
assailant and take vengeance upon him, which I kindly 
and politely declined; telling them that I felt myself 
adequate to that task and did not wish to leave it in 
the hands of another, although he might be a brother. 

I learned from a female relative of mine, who \vas a 
visitor at the house of Col. Richardson, that in two or 
three days after the occurrence between Pitman and 
myself, he came to Richardson's and entered the parlor 
where she and Mrs. Richardson were sitting, there 
being no others present, he evidently expecting sym- 
pathy from Mrs. Richardson ; but he was sadly disap- 
pointed, for the first words she addressed to him were: 
^'Pitman, lam ashamed of you ; you have disgraced 
our party; you have acted the part of a coward and an 
assassin; you waylaid Gen. Linder, armed with a great 
hickory bludgeon, when he was wholly unaware of your 
intention to attack him, and as soon as he had passed 
you on the sidewalk you slipped out from your con- 


cealment and struck him with your bludgeon from 
behind his back, and .when he turned upon you, com- 
menced retreating, and finally fled in a most dastardly 
manner, hatless and honorless; and as soon as you could 
saddle your horse fled from the city of Quincy to escape 
the punishment which your cowardly heart told you 
he would inflict upon you; and if you have come here 
for sympathy from me or Col. Richardson because we 
are of the same politics as you are, I want you to under- 
stand that you are mistaken, for we have no fellow- 
feeling with such a craven coward as you are." 

My relative told me he looked like he could sink 
^through the floor, and without saying a word in reply, 
he bowed to the two ladies and left the house. 

I know not at this time whether Pitman is dead or 
living. * * * I am a Uni versa! ist in my 

religious creed, in which I may be wrong, but if I 
were offered a seat in heaven by the side of Pitman I 
am not sure that I would accept it. 

I now take my final leave of my friend Archie Wil- 
liams, who has long since gone to his last account; 
and if I am right in my views of the mercies of God, 
he is now walking the golden streets with Douglas 
and Lincoln, where I expect at no distant day to join 
them; and on the green and sunny banks of deliver- 
ance, strike hands with the old friends about whom I 
have written, and sit down with them and sing the 
song of "Moses and the Lamb;" till which time I 

O ' 

bid farewell to the memories of them all, and will now 
turn my attention to another name. 



jjHE next name that I shall introduce here is 
that of my old friend General James Single- 
ton, now of Adams county, Illinois, and I 
believe a resident of the city of Quincy, where he 
lives, as I have been informed recently, in a palatial 
private residence, and dispenses his hospitalities to all 
his old friends who call upon him, with the elegance 
and munificence of a prince; and what is still better, 
the cordiality of an old Virginia gentleman, in which 
glorious old commonwealth he was born and educated 
. until he came to man's estate. How old he was when 
he came out to the Western country I know not. 
The commencement of my personal acquaintance with 
him dates back as far as 1840, and it may be a year 
or so earlier. I served in the legislature with him 
in the lower House one or two sessions, between 1846 
and 1850. We did not always agree upon matters 
which came before that body, but we were from the 
commencement of our acquaintance up to the last time 
we met, intimate and devoted friends. In 1852, he 
lived in Brown county, I 'believe at the county seat, 
through which I passed after leaving Quincy, and at 
which I stopped with my female relative before al- 
luded to, and there partook of General Singleton's 


Gen. Singleton was a Whig of the Henry Clay 
school. He was a man of unquestioned bravery, 
and was descended from a race of brave men. I have 
had it from men who knew the facts, that his father 
whipped and killed a great black bear in the moun- 
tains of Virginia in a fair stand-up fight, with no 
weapon on his part other thau a butcher knife. This 
may seem strange to those who know nothing about 
the bear. But those who are acquainted with that 
gentleman, know that when attacked by a man he will 
rear himself upon his hind legs and box like a pugilist, 
and woe be to the man who comes to close quarters 
with bruin, and gets within his hug. But Mr. Sin- 
gleton, the father of the subject of this sketch, knew 
what an enemy he had to deal with, and so skillfully 
conducted the combat, that after having several large 
pieces of flesh bitten out of his body, he dispatched the 
gentleman and went home with his skin and choice 
bits of his flesh, upon which flesh he and his family 
made a most delicious repast. My father, who was an 
old bear-hunter, has often told me there was no meat 
so delicious as bear-meat, and I have heard him say 
that he has drank a pint of bear's oil in the form of 
what we would call gravy, without turning his stom- 
ach. When I was but a babe, some sixty-five years 
ago, Kentucky was a perfect hunter's heaven, full of 
deer, elk, bear and buffalo, beaver, otter, turkey and 
many other kinds of game; and they made bacon of 
the bear and cured his meat as we do that of the hog 
at the present day. 

General Singleton, with John J. Hardin, Stephen 
A. Douglas and others, figured prominently in what 


was called the Mormon war which occurred during the 
administration of Governor Ford, when the Mormon 
power, under Joe Smith, was located at Nauvoo, on 
the Mississippi river, but which was happily settled 
by a skillful negotiation with Joe Smith, conducted on 
the part of the State by Stephen A. Douglas, and no 
blood at that time was spilt. 

After 1852, 1 met Gen. Singleton in Springfield, 111., 
during the session of the legislature, when neither 
of us were members of that body. Since that time I 
do not recollect to have met Gen. Singleton, but I 
have learned from good authority that he went to 
Washington City during our civil war, on the invita- 
tion of President Lincoln, who sent him to Richmond 
on a secret and confidential embassy, to feel the pulse 
of the South, for the purpose of ascertaining if an 
amicable arrangement could not be made, restoring 
the Union and preventing further bloodshed. A bet- 
ter man for that purpose could not have been sent. 
Being a native of Virginia and having a large and 
extensive acquaintance, and being also brave and popu- 
lar with Yirginians, it might reasonably be expected 
that if any man could effect an vthing with the South- 
ern Confederacy it would be Gen. Singleton; but the 
South were in no mood to listen to any terms of accom- 
modation coming from or through whatever source 
they might. So General Singleton returned to Wash- 
ington City and reported to President Lincoln the 
fruitlessness ot his embassy. The foregoing facts I 
did not derive from Gen. Singleton, but got them 
from other sources. If I am wrong in the character 
of his visit to Richmond, he, when these memoirs meet 


his eyes, can set me right. Taking what I have said 
to be true, there is certainly nothing in it discreditable 
to him, but his conduct was every way patriotic and 

There is little more I have here to say of Gen. Sin- 
gleton, save that I have heard through a long series 
of years, that he has made and spent some three or 
four fortunes, and now is the owner of a splendid and 
nnincumbered estate in Adams County, 111.; and I am 
safe in saying that in all the vicissitudes through which 
he has passed, he has not left a single blot or stain 
upon his honesty or honor. He is a lawyer by profes- 
sion and of decided talents and ability as such; but he 
has figured more in the political than the legal arena. 

If I have not done full justice to Gen. Singleton in 
this sketch, it has not been for want of a warm and 
ardent desire to do so; and it would grieve me to the 
heart if a failure on my part in that respect should 
disturb for a moment the long and cordial friendship 
which has existed between us. I look back to the 
intercourse and intimacy which has existed between 
Gen. Singleton and myself for more than thirty-five 
years, with as much pleasure as I do to my friendship, 
and intercourse with any other man. 



SHALL now introduce to my readers the name 
of Colonel E. D. Baker, of Springfield, Illi- 
nois. He was elected to the lower House of 
the legislature of Illinois, from Sangamon county, to 
fill some vacancy that occurred by death or resignation, 
and took his seat at the special or call session, whicli 
occurred in the summer of 1837. At that time I was 
not personally acquainted with Col. Baker; bat became 
so in the fall of 1837, in Carrollton, at a term of the 
Green county Circuit Court, at which term Judge 
Stephen T. Logan, whose life I have already sketched, 
and Col. Baker were in attendance ; and it M'as 
arranged between the friends of these two gentlemen, 
who were of the extreme Whio; and bank school, and 

O * 

the friends of Josiah Lamborn and myself, of the 
opposite school, should debate the several questions 
a bank tariff, etc. -then at issue between the two great 
parties of the nation. The debate lasted for three or 
four consecutive nights. 

On a later occasion, when Col. Baker and myself were 
both battling together in the Whig cause, at a conven- 
tion held in Springfield, I made a speech at the State 
House, which I think now, looking back at it from this 
point, was the very best I ever made in my life; and 

E. D. BAKER. 249 

while I was addressing the vast assembly some ruffian 
in the galleries flung at me a gross personal insult, 
accompanied with a threat. Lincoln and Col. Baker, 
who were both present, and warm personal and political 
friends of mine, anticipating that I might be attacked 
when I left the State House, came up upon the stand a 
little before I concluded my speech and took their sta- 
tion on each side of me, and when I was through, and, 
after my audience had greeted me with three hearty 
cheers, each took one of my arms, and Lincoln said 
tome: " Lin der, Baker and I are apprehensive that 
you may be attacked by some of those ruffians who 
insulted you from the galleries, and we have come up 
to escort you. to your hotel. We both think we can 
do a little fighting, so we want you to walk between 
us until we get you to your hotel; your quarrel is our 
quarrel, and that of the great Whig party of this 
nation, and your speech upon this occasion is the 
greatest one that has been made by any of us, for 
which we wish to honor, love and defend you." 

This I consider no ordinary compliment corning 
from Mr. Lincoln, for he was no flatterer, nor disposed 
to bestow praise where it was undeserved. Col. Baker 
heartily concurred in all he said, and between those 
two glorious men I left the stand, and we marched 
through our friends, out of the State House, who 
trooped after us, evidently anticipating what Lincoln 
and Baker had suggested to me, accompanying us to 
my hotel; but the anticipations of my friends were 
not realized, and after reaching my hotel, and receiv- 
ing three more hearty cheers from the multitude, I 
made my bow and retired to my room. 


Now, worthy reader, permit rne to say that this was 
one of the proudest days of my life; not so much on 
account of the applause paid me by the multitude as 
on account of the devoted friendship shown by Lin- 
coln and Baker. Dear friends, you both sleep in 
bloody graves one falling by a shot fired by a miser- 
able assassin, and the other falling at Ball's Bluff, 
pierced with many wounds, fighting in the cause of 
ths Union. Your names and memory are embalmed 
in the hearts of your countrymen, and to your memory 
history will erect a more enduring monument than all 
that stone or marble can do. My heart has, does and 
will make a periodic pilgrimage to your graves as long 
as my life shall last ! 

Col. Baker, or rather I should say Gen. Baker for 
that was the office he filled at the time of his death- 
filled high places in the Federal Government previous 
to his death at Ball's Bluff. He was Colonel, and com- 
manded a regiment in the Mexican war under Gen. 
Scott the best disciplined and best trained regi- 
ment in the whole army and fought with hi in at the 
battle of Cerro Gordo, and clear up through the Valley 
of Mexico to the taking of the city of Mexico, the an- 
cient city of the Montezumas. If I have not already 
stated it in the sketch I have given of my friend Dick 
Oglesby, I will here state what I believe is the fact: 
that he, Oglesby, was a lieutenant in Col. Baker's 
regiment. Col. Baker I think, after his return from 
the Mexican war, was elected a member of Congress to 
the House of Representatives from what -was known as 
the Galena district of Illinois, when it was believed 
that no Whig could be elected from that district. He 

E. D. BAKER. 251 

afterwards removed to the State of Oregon, and was 
elected by the legislature of that State to the United 
States Senate for six years. Had he continued in civil 
life, and not sought military honors, he might have 
been living to-day; but seeking that kind of fame, he 
fell a victim to his ambition at Ball's Bluff. 

Baker was one of the most eloquent men that I ever 
heard speak to a public audience. About the time 
when the question was being agitated before Congress, 
whether we should extend our territorial limits as 
against the British government in Oregon, he advoca- 
ted that claim, and I heard him make a speech before 
the lobby in Springfield while the legislature was in 
session, in which he said " there was not an inch of 
ground, however barren and sterile it might be not 
one inch of sandy desert that he would consent to 
yield to the arrogant and grasping pretensions ot 
Great Britain." The Whig party did not unanimously 
agree with him at that time, but how that is I cannot 
say, for finally Mr. Benton, Senator from Missouri, 
showed clearly in the body of which he was a mem- 
ber, that our c'.aim did not extend beyond forty-nine 
degrees north latitude, and upon that line the two 
governments finally settled. One remark made by 
Col. Baker in the speech to which I have before allu- 
ded, which I have left out, was, he " would not con- 
sent to give her an inch of sand that glittered in the 
sunbeams, that did not clearly belong to her." 

I must say that in this I agreed with Col. Baker. 

I must here relate an anecdote which is 'told of Col. 
Baker, going to show his great vanity, for all great 
men are more or less vain, but I must confess I believe 


the anecdote a fiction. Col. Baker was born in Eng- 
land and brought to this country when but a small 
babe, and the story runs thus: After he had grown to 
fame and distinction, he was found in the woods seated 
on a log, crying and sobbing as though his heart would 
break. A friend coming unawares upon 'him, said to 
him: "My God! Baker, what is the matter? Have you 
lost some dear friend ? " " No," said he, but I was born 
in England and am not a native of the United States; 
and looking over the Constitution I find that I am 
forever excluded from being President of the United 

He was certainly a very vain man ; but he had a 
right to be so. I have often noticed him after making 
one of his finest efforts, go around the crowd to catch 
what it might say of his speech. He had more of this 
kind of vanity than any man I ever saw. 

He was an excellent lawyer, and I have seen him go 
into causes without any previous preparation, especially 
cases in chancery, and after hearing the bill, answer 
and depositions read, would pitch into the cause, and 
a bystander who didn't know the facts, would have 
supposed that he had been familiar with the case and 
had studied it for months before. 

At this point I bid my friend Baker farewell; and 
as he has gone to the summer land, I trust I shall 
meet him there, with all the rest of my dear departed 



1WILL here introduce the name of a man not 
of our State, but who is almost one of us, for 
he has practiced law up and down the Wabash 
country, on both sides of that river, as well in Illinois 
as in Indiana I mean Dan. Voorhees, of Terre Haute, 
Indiana. I have had great hesitation about giving a 
sketch of his career, because I do not wish to re-publish 
what has heretofore been published a thousand times 
in reference to his political career, his speeches in 
Congress and elsewhere. 

Dan does not belong to Indiana alone, but he 
belongs to the nation. He is emphatically a national 
character. He has made speeches in Congress that 
would do honor to a Burke, a Fox, or a Lord Chatham. 
I have sat under his speeches many a time perfectly 
entranced and bewitched by his eloquence. I really 
think that I can in truth say that I never heard so fine 
a speaker. I can't give my readers a better description 
of Dan's eloquence than what the old Ranger, Gov. 
Reynolds, said of Henry Clay. Being called upon by 
us younger men (who knew that the old Ranger had 
often heard Clay, Webster and Calhonn address the 
Senate of the United States), to know what he thought 
of Mr. Clay's eloquence, and to give us some idea of 


it. "Well," said he, "gentlemen, fancy fifty fiddles 
finely played, and all in full blast at the same time, 
and you have only reached the half-way point to the 
enchantment and charm produced by his voice and 
eloquence." "But," said one of our number, " Gov. 
Reynolds, you certainly overlooked Mr. Calhoun and 
Daniel "Webster." " JSTo I haven't," said he; "I have 
heard them all in their pride and power, and at the 
summit of their fame, and I tell you, gentlemen, set 
them beside Henry Clay, and measure them with him, 
and they would strike him about the waistband of his 
breeches." And so I think in reference to the modern 
orators and speakers when compared with Daniel W. 
Voorhees, for I am free to confess I would rather hear 
him speak when under the proper inspiration than 
listen to the finest band of music that ever filled the 
air with its melodies. 

There is not a man in Europe or America who ever 
surpassed Dan Voorhees in the powers of elocution. 
Now I don't want my readers to understand that I 
mean to exalt Dan to the rank of a great statesman, 
or philosopher; I only mean to say as a great jury 
lawyer and popular declairner he has no equal and 
there I stop. 

Dan is a convivial soul. He studied law under Ned 
Hannegan a fine school of eloquence it was. He is 
still a young man, and had he not been somewhat 
erratic in his political course, might have had a fair 
chance to reach the Presidential chair; but such men 
never reach the presidency. Who would not have 
thought that such men as Mr. Clay, Webster or Cal- 
houn, would have been elevated to the presidency, 


when such men as Pierce and Polk were elevated to 
that position? 

I am not writing this work to praise any man or 
any party, but to deal out even-handed justice to all 
men and all parties. I am sura that Dan Yoorhees, 
with myself, has sympathies connected with the South. 
I love the South and the Southern people; and though 
I live in the cold and frozen regions of the north, yet 
when summer dawns upon the South, my soul is in 
the first leaves of her roses; and when they send forth 
their fragrance, it is the poetry of my soul which God 
in his omnipotence has planted in my heart. 

There was a mass meeting at Covington, Ind., when- 
Dan was running against a very small fellow by the 
name of Wilson. I was invited by Ned Hannegan 
and others to address that meeting. I accepted the 
invitation. It was a meeting almost altogether got 
up for me. Such was the great vanity of Dan Yoor- 
hees, being himself a candidate for Congress, that he, 
on the call of but a few friends, took the stand that 
was intended for me, and commenced in his verbose 
manner. At this point Hannegan and I reached the 
stand. He, Hannegan. caught Dan by the sleeve and 
pulled him back, and said: " "What in the h 1 are you 
doing? This was a meeting got up, not for you, but 
for Gen. Linder." Dan wilted. 

I don't relate this to the prejudice of Yoorhees 
neither he nor I have the qualities to make a president 
of the United States. It is true I should like to see 
Dan aJSeriator in Congress from Indiana, and I trust 
the day will come when he will reach that honor. One 
thing is certain, that there is not a man on earth who 


charmed me more in his speeches than Dan Yoorhees. 
lie looks the orator, acts the orator, and is the orator. 
He is over six feet high the finest physical form that 
ever rose to address an audience. To say he was an 
Adonis, is too mean and effeminate a phrase to express 
the full idea I mean to convey, for he had all the 
beauty and loveliness of woman combined-with the 
strength and vigor of man. It is impossible to con- 
ceive, by those who have never heard Dan Voorhees, 
the force of his oratorical powers. Even Governor 
Reynolds has not given a full idea of the powers of 
oratory in his fifty-fiddle comparison of Mr. Clay, so 
far as the eloquence of Dan Voorhees is concerned. 
Dan was many years a member of the lower House 
of Congress, and his speeches therein have made for 
him a world-wide reputation and fame; and I trust 
that nothing I have said will detract from his claims 
to a higher place. Merciful God! What are the 
claims or talents that shall entitle a man to the Presi- 
dency of the United States? How long are we to be 
governed by caucuses? When shall we cease to be 
controlled by them? I think I see the dav coming' 

/ / CJ 

when we shall be controlled by a venal power influ- 
enced by money, that will not only control our elections 
but our legislation. May God forbid such a result! 
The present times show the most corrupt state of things 
in political high places that has ever been known. 

If Dan wishes to place himself on the record prop- 
erly, he has got to shape his course anew. He has not 
got to watch where the wind blows, but he must shape 
his course to the point of the compass where the wind 
ought to blow. 


Dan Yoorhees is still in active life in the practice 
of his profession, the law and is sought for from 
every quarter to defend criminals in the most danger- 
ous class of cases; and also to prosecute where not 
so employed. 

Dan Yoorhees has a reputation that needs nothing 
from rny pen to spread it wider than it is already 
extended. He is a man so well known and so fully 
appreciated that it would be supererogation to say 
more than I have already said. 




] DON'T know but that it would be better to 
put no name in these memoirs save those that 
have been bright and shining lights of honor 
and integrity, yet I feel disposed to make one excep- 
tion, and that is Josiah Lamborn, who was Attorney- 
General of the State some eight or ten years after I 
filled that office. I became acquainted witli him in 
1836 and '37. He was attending the Supreme Court 
at Vandalia during that session of the legislature. 
He was a very remarkable man. Intellectually, I 
know no man of his day who was his superior. He 
was considered by all the lawyers who knew him as a 
man of the tersest logic. He could see the point in a 
case as clear as any lawyer I ever knew, and could elu- 
cidate it as ably, never using a word too much or one 
too few. He was exceedingly happy in his conceptions, 
and always traveled the shortest route to reach his con- 
clusions. He was a terror to his legal opponents, espe- 
cially those diffusive, wordy lawyers who had more 
words than arguments. I heard Judge Smith, of the 
Supreme Court, say that he knew of no lawyer who 
was his equal in strength and force of argument. 

Lamborn was a native of Kentucky, born in "Wash- 
ington county of that state. He had received a liberal 


education and graduated either at Danville or Transyl- 
vania University. He possessed high social qualities, 
and his conversational powers were of the very highest 
order, and when this is said I am sorry to say it is all I 
can mention in his praise. He was wholly destitute of 
principle, and shamelessly took bribes from criminals 
prosecuted under his administration. I know myself 
of his having dismissed forty or fifty indictments at the 
Shelby ville Court, and openly displayed the money he 
had received from defendants. He showed me a roll 
of bills amounting to six or eight hundred dollars, 
-which he acknowledged he had received from them 
the fruits of his maladministration of his office as Attor- 
ney-General of the State. He grew worse and worse 
towards the latter end of his life, and finally threw 
himself entirely away, consorting with gamblers and 
wasting his substance upon them. He gave him- 
self up to intemperance, to the neglect of his wife 
and child, whom he abandoned, and finally died mis- 
erably at Whitehall, Green county, Ills. 

It is painful to dwell upon a character like this; but 
I introduce him for the purpose of holding him up as 
a beacon-light and warning to the rising generation of 
young lawyers, hoping that Illinois will never afford 
another example of a man. of such shining and splen- 
did talents associated with such utter depravity. I 
leave him with his God, upon whose mercies we shall 
all have to rely in the final settlement of our accounts; 
and may the Lord have mercy upon his soul. 



I have alhided to Judge Theophilus "W. 
Smith in my last sketch, I will here intro- 
duce him to my readers. He was on the 
bench of the Supreme Court when I came to the State* 
of Illinois. At the legislative .session of 1836 and 
1837, to which I have so often alluded, he boarded at 
the same private house with my wife and self, the 
Supreme Court being then in session. Judge Smith 
was a native of New York. He was a man of very 
ardent temperament. He came to this State I think 
when it was yet a territory. He was a co temporary 
of old Governor Ninnian Edwards, and as far as I 
gathered the history of their relations, they were rivals 
and enemies, and had a terrible, personal rencounter 
on one occasion, Judge Smith drawing a pistol on Gov. 
Edwards; the latter snatched it out of his hand, and 
struck Judge Smith a blow which broke his jaw, and 
left upon his face a very ugly scar. 

Judge Smith was esteemed by most of the lawyers 
who practiced in the Supreme Court at that time, as 
one of the most talented of the four judges who pre- 
sided on that bench. He was very warmly attached 
to me, and I very cordially reciprocated the attach- 
ment. I had been a member of the legislature some 


two or three weeks before taking any active part in its 
proceedings, when one night the judge asked me if I 
would not like to be a great man. I told him I cer- 
tainly would not object to be such. " Well," said he, 
" I will put you on the high road to become such, if 
you will follow my advice a:id instructions." "Well," 
said I, let me hear them, and if I see no objections I 
will do so." 

He then sat down and drew up a string of resolu- 
tions calling for an investigation into the affairs of 
the State Bank of Illinois, which he said was a most 
rascally institution, which resorntions required them 
to show how they had distributed their stock, and 
poking a great many uncomfortable questions at them. 
I introduced these resolutions, and they produced a 
most excited debate, which lasted for some two or three 
weeks. They fell like a bombshell in the House, and 
at the end of that debate we carried the resolutions by 
a large majority. 

It was in that debate that I won most of my laurels 
in the House of Representatives at that session, and 
the popularity which made me Attorney-General of 
the State. During all this debate Judge Smith stood 
behind me, furnishing me with facts and arguments 
and keeping me thoroughly posted. 

He was a most invaluable friend of mine, and stood 
by me in all my difficulties. Our intercourse was of 
the most pleasant and agreeable kind. He visited me 
and my family after we had removed to the city of 
Alton. Our friendship continued to the last day of 
his life. 

His opinions as one of the Supreme Judges of the 


State, occupy a considerable portion of Scammon's 
Reports, and I think will compare favorably for abil- 
ity, with those of any of our Supreme Judges since 
the foundation of that Court. 

I do not remember the year when he died, but it 
has been a considerable time since. 

Judge Smith w T as the father-in-law of the late Judge 
Jesse B. Thomas, and grandfather to the present Rev. 
Jesse B. Thomas, one of the most distinguished and 
devout Baptist preachers in the city of Chicago. He 
was also father-in-law to our wealthy fellow citizen, 
Dr. Boone. 

He was a man of. eminently social qualities devoted 
to his friends and bitter toward his enemies. In his 
early life he was a sailor, and had been in all the ports 
of the civilized world. Knowing that he had been a 
considerable ladies' man, I once asked him what nation 
had produced the most virtuous women. He answered 
without hesitation, " Ireland, sir." He gave me many 
interesting descriptions of the people of the different 
ports where he had visited. I have passed many 
agreeable hours in Judge Smith's society. 

I have understood that General Semple courted one 
of his daughters, who gave him the mitten, which 
made him a bitter enemy of Judge Smith's for life. 
I will relate a little circumstance that I heard from 
the lawyers who practiced before Judge Smith when 
he was Circuit Judge. It happened at Hillsbovongh. 
Gen. Semple and another lawyer, who were trying a 
case in Smith's court, got into a fight; and Smith, not 
having much love or respect for either of them, ordered 
the sheriff to adjourn court for an hour, and got up 


and deliberately went out of tlie court Louse, and left 
them fighting, Sample chasing his antagonist, John 
S. Great-house, a small man, around a table. Some 
lawyer stepped up to Judge Smith, and asked him 
why he had not fined them. Smith answered that it 
was a case for the justice's court, and that his court, 
did not take cognizance of so small offenders. 

Judge Smith delivered the opinion of the Supreme 
Court in the case of Beaubien against the United 
States, involving the title to the old Fort Dearborn 
property in Chicago. The opinion was given in favor 
of Beaubien. It was written out at considerable 
length and with much ability. Beaubien had laid 
out the ground into town lots, and had made deeds of 
gift to the different children of the Judges of the 
Supreme Court, of a considerable number of these 
lots. The court then consisted of Wilson, Brown, 
Lockwood and Smith. Wilson and Lockwood had too 
much modesty to sit in the case, inasmuch as their 
children were interested parties, but Smith and Brown 
had no such scruples. The case went up to the 
Supreme Court of the United States, where the opin- 
ion of our State Court was reversed. I -understand 
however that Beaubien finally compromised with the 
United States, and the Government gave him a hand- 
some portion of this property. 

Judge Smith was widely known to the lawyers of 
this State, and by most of them regarded as the most 
talented member of the bench. Of that, however, L 
have my doubts. 



the next name I shall take up. He was a 
member of the Supreme Court of Illinois 
when I came to the State, and continued to be such for 
many years. He had been Attorney-General prior 
to that time. He was a sound lawyer, a scholar, a 
gentleman, and an honest man. He lived to an ex- 
treme old age, and died a year or so ago at Batavia, 111. 
All lawyers should feel great reverence and venera- 
. tion for his name, for he was an ornament to the 
court and bar. He was brought up and educated in. 
the State of New York. I met him during the civil 
war, when I was making speeches to raise troops to fill 
the ranks of our gallant volunteers. The old man 
seemed delighted at finding me engaged in this 
patriotic work. 

Judge Lockwood was not an exceedingly ambitious 
man. He pursued the even and noiseless tenor of his 
way, making no enemies, but a host of friends. He 
was a religious man, and was respected by all who 
knew him. His opinions, which will be found in our 
earlier reports, are not lengthy, but they are pithy and 
to the point, and there is not one of them which is 
not good law r at this day. No man belonging to the 
judiciary and bar is better entitled to a place in these 



memoirs than Judge Lockwood. He is well worthy 
the imitation of all the younger members of the bar, 
for he lived and died with clean hands, and left a 
name and character without spot or blemish. Judge 
Lockwood, I bid you adieu. 



ORTTIY reader, I will introduce to yon a 
name for which I feel the profoundest respect 
Edwin B. Webb, of Carmi, White county, 
Illinois, commonly known amongst us lawyers as "Bat. 
' Webb." He was one of the members of the legisla- 
ture in 1836 and '37. 

He was a small man, but of elegant and courtly 
manners, rather aristocratic, being descended from a 
good old Virginia family. He himself was born in 
Fayette county, Kentucky. He was decently educated, 
and for our day and time was what might be called a 
first-class lawyer. He Was a son of George Webb, who 
was a compeer of Henry Clay's. 

There lived in Carmi during the years I practiced 
law in that county, a coterie of elegant gentlemen, 
with their families, composed of Judge Wilson, Col. 
Davidson, Sam. Ready, the Hon. John M. Robinson, 
Geo. Webb, and the subject of this sketch, who invar- 
iably flung open their doors to the judge and bar dur-. 
ing our sojourn there at the various terms of the court; 
and they always extended to us a bright and elegant 
hospitality, and none of them dispensed it more cor- 
dially or made his guests more welcome than the sub- 
ject of this sketch Edwin B. Webb. 


My acquaintance with him was long, and our friend- 
ship and attachment warm to the last day of his life. 
I hardly ever knew a man of more refined and elegant 
manners than my old friend, Bat. Webb. 

He was at one time run for governor of this State 
by the Whig party, but failed to secure the election. 
He was the very pink of honesty and honor. I never 
knew him to do a mean action, or to utter a low or 
mean sentiment. He always came into court with his 
cases well prepared, and occasionally when excited 
he could become really eloquent, and he was always 
argumentative. He understood the science of plead- 
ing well, as all his brother lawyers who knew him can 
testify. He was always good natured, kind and gen- 
tlemanly. He was a devoted friend to Abraham Lin- 
coln, which friendship Lincoln returned with interest. 
He was a staunch Whig, and had an utter detestation 
for demagogues. 

I have understood that Bat. suffered much in his 
last illness. He died of what physicians call gastritis. 
He was not an old man at the time of his demise; w T as 
a widower, and left one child. And I wish here to 
say in conclusion, that no man has ever left a brighter 
name or more spotless reputation; no man ever died 
having fewer enemies or more friends. 



1HE next name which I shall introduce to the 
reader is that of John M. Robinson, the broth- 
er-in-law of Edwin B. Webb, the last gentle- 
man about whom I have written. He was Senator in 
Congress from this State when I came here, and he 
served some eleven or twelve years in that capacity. 
My acquaintance witli Mr. Robinson commenced some 
eight or ten years after my advent to this State. He 
and Mr. Webb married two sisters, the daughters of 
old man Radcliffe, the clerk of the Circuit Court of 
White county, and the proprietor of the hotel where 
we all stopped a large and spacious brick house, too 
large indeed for a town no larger than Carmi. He 
was an old Kentuckian, and generally bored with a 
tolerably big auger. 

John M. Robinson was one of the finest looking 
men I ever saw over six feet high, and intellectually, 
and every other way, one of the noblest specimens of 
the genus homo. 

He conceived a warm attachment and admiration 
for me at our first acquaintance, which I fully returned. 
No man with whom I ever became acquainted ever 
excited in my breast a warmer love and friendship. 

After he left Congress he did not resume his prac- 


tice on his old circuit, which was the one in which I 
practiced the greater part of my life; to which my 
memory now turns with a fondness equal to that of 
some exiled Irishman to his green and emerald isle. 
Although General Robinson did not resume his prac- 
tice after his return home, yet he traveled around the 
circuit with the judge and us lawyers for the purpose 
of seeing his old friends whom death had not snatched 
u.vay; and he resorted to a very ingenious method of 
getting to see them. He got the State's Attorney to 
have subposnas issued and served upon them by the 
Sheriif to appear as witnesses before the grand jury; 
they came, as a matter of course, and were not a 
little amazed to find that their testimony was not 
needed, but that their old friend Robinson had 
brought them there, that he might once more take 
them by the hand and renew the recollections of past 
years; and none of them were offended at this, for 
no one ever knew General Robinson that did not love 
him. It was actually an interesting spectacle to see 
him and his old friends meet. What a glorious thing 
it is for a man to have lived such a life and to have 
so impressed himself upon his acquaintances as Gen- 
eral Robinson had, and after many years of separation 
to meet them, and to be taken to their hearts" and 
bosoms. I have actually seen his old friends shed 
tears of joy at meeting with him. Mrs. Robinson, his 
wife, a very handsome, refined and cultivated lady, 
literally worshiped him, as well she might. 

General Robinson never went back into political 
life after leaving the Senate of the United States; but 
after the legislature of 1842 reorganized our judicial 


system, increasing the number of supreme judges from 
four to nine, and assigning to each of them circuit 
court duties, the legislature elected General Robin- 
son one of those judges, and assigned him a northern 
circuit, embracing Ottawa, in which to perform the 
duties of a circuit court judge; and it is melancholy 
to think that, he died on his first trip around that cir- 
cuit, far away from his home, wife, children and home 
friends, though he had the friendship and kind atten- 
tion of the lawyers practicing before him on that cir- 
cuit, and lacked for nothing that assiduous love and 
friendship could procure. New friends attended him 
in his illness, closed his eyes and consigned him to 
his last resting place, and buried him with the most 
distinguished honors. 


John M. Robinson had some faults, but none of 
them would bear the name of vices, for he was as pure 
as thesnowflakes that fall from heaven, or the pure and 
limpid mountain rivulet whose waters leap from rock 
to rock, and run dancing in the sunbeams with whis- 
pering melody, to the ocean. 

General Robinson was a native of Kentucky, and 
James F. Robinson, a brother of his, was a most dis- 
tinguished and eminent lawyer, and at one time Gov- 
ernor of Kentucky. 

I know nothing more in reference to General Rob- 
inson that ought to be here recorded. I trust that 
when I am done with time and time's things, that I 
may meet him again in another form of existence, 
where pain, disease and poverty cannot reach us, and 
where the " weary are at rest." 

Dear reader, I have gathered up the names of my early 


acquaintances in Southern Illinois, as far as I now can 
recollect; but if there are any others that I have over- 
looked that deserve a place here, 'and their names 
should occur to me as I proceed with these reminiscen- 
ces, I shall riot fail to go back and pick them up and 
do full justice to their 7 memories. Dear reader, if you 
think that the writing up of these recollections is a 
pleasant undertaking, when } r ou are my age go to the 
graveyard and read from the tombstones there the 
names of your departed friends, and then you will know 
something of the feelings that I have in reviewing the 
past. It is true that it is pleasant to me to embalm 
and commemorate the virtues of my friends, but oh, 
how sad to reflect that they are gone, and gone for- 
ever! 'As Job has said : " Man that is born of a woman 
is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth 
like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a 
shadow, and continueth not." My readers will know, 
and I trust will appreciate, the fact that these memoirs 
are not written particularly to catch the eyes of the 
living, for most of those of whom I have written have 

O 1 

passed away from earth forever. 



HE next name which I propose to take up is 
Wm. H. Davidson, an old and departed friend, 
the brother to Mrs. Wilson, the wife of Chief 
Justice Win. Wilson. As I have before said, he lived 
in Carmi. He was a Virginian by birth, and was in 
the legislature of 1836 and '37; a member of the Sen- 
ate from the White county senatorial district, and was 
elected speaker of that body over John D. Whiteside, 
of Monroe county, Illinois, the lieutenant-governor 
having died or resigned. 

I think that Davidson was the handsomest man I 
ever saw a perfect gentleman of the old Virginia 
school refined, cultivated and wealthy. He was bred 
to the law but became a merchant, and prospered as 
such. He and his excellent lady dispensed the hospi- 
talities of their elegant home in a manner which 
charmed and warmed the hearts of their guests, of 
which hospitality I have often partaken when attend- 
ing court at Carmi. 

I have nothing very particular to record of David- 
son except that he was widely and favorably known 
throughout the State of Illinois. He made a fortune 
in the retail business, and with a capital of some fifty 
thousand dollars in cash, he removed from Carmi to 


Louisville, Ky., where he embarked his whole capital 
in the wholesale mercantile business, and after having 
prospered and added greatly to his fortune, he finally 
died there. 

I have often met Colonel Davidson at Springfield, 
Illinois. We were warm personal friends, and I am 
happy to have the opportunity of speaking of his hos- 
pitality, urbanity and gentlemanly qualities in these 
mv humble memoirs. 




TIE next name that I shall introduce will be 
that of a living man Judge Oliver L. Davis, 
of Danville, Illinois, who is now the worthy 
judge in that judicial district. Judge Davis is a na- 
tive of New York, but he studied law in Danville, 
under Judge Samuel McRoberts. I have known him 
for a long time. We served in the legislature together 
in 1846, in the House of Representatives. As I have 
before stated, he was associated with Lincoln and my- 
self in the great slander suit of Fithian against Cassi- 
day; in fact, he was the first counsel employed, and 
brought the suit. 

He has been twice elected circuit judge. He is a 
profound lawyer, a prompt and most excellent judge. 
I have not very much to say about Judge Davis, but 
what little I have is good. He has built up for him- 
self a name and fame in theWabash country of a very 
creditable and enviable character. 

Judge Davis is but little if any past the prime of 
life, and possessing a vigorous constitution and being 
a man of good habits, bids fair to yet live many years, 
and to attain to honors higher than any he has yet 
reached. He has the reputation of being an honest 
and trustworthy man and lawyer a reputation which 


he well merits. He was a candidate for Supreme 
Judge at one time, and defeated, which I think was 
unjust, believing as I do that he was a man of much 
higher legal attainments than his competitor. 

Judge Davis has the well-deserved reputation of 
being a kind, warm friend, a good neighbor and a 
charitable man, and very kind to the younger mem- 
bers of the bar who practice in his court. 

I have no doubt that Judge Davis deserves a much 
fuller notice than I have been able to give him, for the 
reason that I have mainly lost sight of him for some 
sixteen years or more; but some future chronicler will 
do him full justice, and fill up the meagre skeleton of 
mine. In conclusion I wish to say that I have the 
highest respect, warmest regard and utmost friendship 
for his Honor, Oliver L. Davis. 



|EAI)ER, I shall next present to yon the name 
of a very distinguished man. I mean Adam 
W. Snyder, of Belleville, Illinois. He died, I 
think, in the year 1842. He was the nominee of the 
Democratic party for Governor at the time of his 
death, which occurred so short a time before the 
election that there was not time to call another con- 
vention. So the Democratic papers, by a sort of com- 
mon consent, and the Democratic Central Committee, 
presented the name of Thomas Ford, who was elected 
over Duncan, as I have before stated, by a majority 
of 8,313. 

My acquaintance with Adam Snyder commenced in 
1837, at the Belleville Circuit Court, St. Clair county, 
Illinois. He was a most elegant gentleman, and was 
the only man that ever beat old Governor Reynolds 
for Congress, to which position he had been elected 
some two or three times before I made his acquaintance 
at Belleville. The reader will remember that at that 
time I was Attorney-General of the State, and it was 
upon that occasion, as I have before stated, that Snyder 
placed under my quasi-guardianship our friend Gus- 
tavus ICoerner, and if I remember now correctly, Sny- 
der traveled with us on the circuit as far down as old 
Kaskaskia. Our social intercourse was of the most 


intimate and delightful character. I never knew a 
man possessing higher colloquial and conversational 
powers. He was never at a loss for a word or idea. 
Besides being a ripe English scholar, he spoke the 
French and German languages with equal fluency, as 
he did that of his own native vernacular. From Belle- 
ville down to Kaskaskia there were a vast number of 
French and Germans. Snyder told me of a very 
amusing occurrence which took place between him 
and a St. Louis la er, who came over to St Clair 
county to try a case of the right of property. He 
told me that about one-half the jury were French, and 
nearly the other half Germans. There were perhaps 
two or three native Americans on the jury. He said 
after he had addressed the jury in the English language 
sufficiently, as he thought, to satisfy the Americans 
that were on the jury, he then for about half an hour 
addressed them, in French, and then for another halt 
hour in German. His opponent, who could neither 
speak nor understand a word of either French or 
German, kept all the while objecting to that mode of 
argument. He tried to have Snyder stopped, but he 
went on to the end of his speech, " and at the end of 
my speech," said Suyder, " he begged me to translate 
into English what I had said to the jury in German 
and French. I told him I would gladly do so, but 
was pressed for time, and politely declined to accom- 
modate him. There is no need of telling you, Linder, 
that I beat him." 

I never enjoyed a richer treat than the society and 
conversation of Adam Snyder. He was the nephew 
of old Governor Snyder, of Pennsylvania. The two 


or three terms that he served in Congress after having 
beaten old Governor Reynolds, he gained considerable 
distinction by his speeches in the House of Represen- 
tatives. It was through his influence in 1840-41, he 
being a member of the Illinois Senate, that the judicial 
system was revised and five additional Supreme Judges 
added to their number. 

Had Snyder lived he certainly would have been Gov- 
ernor beyond all doubt, for he was decidedly the most 
popular Democrat in the State of Illinois. 

I do not know what notice Governor Ford has taken 
of Adam Sn} 7 der in his history of Illinois. I would 
gladly devote a larger space to him in these memoirs 
if I was able to do so, but our personal acquaintance 
was of short duration, and my knowledge of him other- 
wise not very extensive. 

I will say here that his son, the Hon. Wm. Snyder, 
is judge of the Circuit Court, including Belleville, St. 
Clair county, Illinois. He has inherited largely his 
father's genius and talents, and may he long live and 
prosper and hand down the name of Snyder to future 

I will now take my leave of my old friend Adam 

"W". EDWARDS. 270 


! INI AN W. EDWARDS shall have the next 
place in these recollections. He was the son 
of old Governor Ninian Edwards, to whom I 
have already alluded in writing of my old friend Win. 
Kinney, of Belleville, Illinois. Ninian W. Edwards 
the younger, was the brother-in-law of our late lamented 
and departed President of the United States, Abraham 
Lincoln, each of whom married a Miss Todd, sisters, 
who belonged to one of the first families of Kentucky. 
He was one of the members of the lower House of 
tlie Illinois Legislature of 1836 and 1837, to which I 
have so often referred. He was from Sanjnimon 


county, and was one of those called the " long nine," 
Sangamon having nine representatives in that body, 
not one of whom but was over six feet in height. 
Xinian was a man of very respectable abilities, and 
was well posted in parliamentary law. His manners 
and deportment were not calculated to win friends 
amongst his equals and superiors, and of the latter 
class there were many in that body. While he was. 
not a bad man, and I should say rather an honest,, 
good man, yet he had inherited from his father so much 
vanity and egotism, that it made him offensive to most 
of his acquaintances. He was never partial to me, but. 


I have always thought he was envious of me; and to 
be candid and frank, I wish my readers to understand 
I was never very fond of him. 

He has filled several very respectable offices in the 
State of Illinois, particularly in our educational depart- 
ment, and I have never heard anything of him in 
reference to the discharge of his official duties that 
would tend to impugn his honor or honesty. I have 
given him a place here because he was a member of 
that old legislative body at Vandalia in 1836 and 1837, 
of which Lincoln, Douglas, Archie Williams, Gen. 
Shields, and a host of other men who have climbed to 
the topmost round in the ladder of fame, were mem- 
bers, of which body I was one of the humblest. 

I have had another reason for giving him a place in 
these memoirs. He was connected by consanguinity 
with families that I ad mired and loved the Popes and 
the Helms. Perhaps no man in America surpassed 
his father in genius and talents. He was at one time, 
as I have said before, I believe, Chief Justice of the 
Court of Appeals of Kentucky, and some of his opin- 
ions, to be found in the earlier reports of Hardin and 
Bibb, will compare favorably with the opinions of 
Mansfield and Holt of England. 

Ninian W. Edwards the younger was naturally and 
constitutionally an aristocrat, and he hated democracy 
when I first knew him, as the devil is said to hate holy 
water. He was then a flaming protectionist, and for 
a high tariff, but finally became a free-trade man, and 
published a good many articles in the papers in favor 
of free-trade. 

At the time of this revolution in his political senti- 

"W. EDWAEDS. 281 

ments, the democratic and low tariff men were largely 
in the ascendancy, and I have always thought that 
Ninian had fixed his longing eyes upon some high and 
lucrative position in the National Government that 
would compensate him for all his failures while he 
had been a Whig and high tariff man. In this I may 
have done him injustice. Men have changed their 
politics time and again from the highest down to the 
lowest stations. Mr. Clay in 1811 was an anti-bank 
man, and at that time made the finest speech of his 
life against a National bank. He contended that the 
Constitution of the United States conferred no power 
upon Congress to charter such an institution ; but in 
1816 Mr. Clay changed his opinions, and supported a 
law chartering a bank of the United States. Mr. 
"Webster, who opposed a protective tariff in 1824, 
finally became the great champion of protection. I 
admit that I, myself, an original Democrat, changed 
my political views in 1838 or '9, and became a Whig, 
and remained so until that party was merged in the 
Abolition party of the North. I accord to my friend 
Ninian W. Edwards all the rights and privileges I 
claim for myself, and I now take my leave of him ; and 
as he is still living, if these pages should meet his eye, 
I wish him not to suppose that I have any malice in 
my heart against him. 



HE next name that I propose to present to my 
readers is not a man of southern, but I might 
say of middle Illinois; I mean the late Judge 
Charles H. Constable, of Clark count}', Illinois. I 
have already alluded to him in the sketch of Judge 
Anthony Thornton, of Shelbyville, Illinois. I think 
it was in 1839 or '40, I became acquainted with him 
and Anthony Thornton. It may have been later, but 
I am drawing entirely upon my memory having 
never kept a diary or journal, my readers must par- 
don an old man of the age of 67 years for any inac- 
curacy of dates. 

Mr. Constable was a native of Maryland. He came 
to Illinois when quite a } T oung man, and as I have 
before said, was one of the handsomest men I ever 
saw. I do not think he was a man of the most pre- 
eminent abilities, as very handsome or pretty men 
hardly ever are, but he was a man of fine culture and 
elegant manners, and was very popular in the localities 
where he lived; his popularity, however, never extend- 
ing to the limits of a Congressional District. 

He was really a good lawyer, both at common law and 
in equity, and prepared his cases with great care and 
accuracy. He wrote a most beautiful and legible 
hand, was a good pleader, and after I left my old 


circuit, lie was elevated to the office of circuit judge. 

I came to Chicago in 1860, and had occasion to go 
down to the Edgar Circuit Court after Constable had 
been elected as judge of that circuit. I there met my 
old friend Anthony Thornton, and I asked him what 
kind of a judge Mr. Constable made. " Sir," said he' 
"he is the finest circuit court judge I think I ever 
saw; makes up most of his records himself, not trust- 
ing his clerks to do so." 

He departed this life some years ago, and the manner 
of that departure I shall not dwell upon. It was sad, 
but not dishonorable; and I do not believe that he 
left a single stain, blemish or blot upon his reputation ; 
and I now bid farewell to his memory. 



JSHALL now go back to Terre Haute and pick 
up the name of a lawyer who is almost as 
much of an Illinoisan as an Indianian it is 
Colonel John Baird. I knew him when a student at 
law. He is now about fort j- eight years of age, and 
was born, I think, in Yigo county, Indiana. He is 
unquestionably one of the finest lawyers in that State. 
He has practiced iu Illinois nearly as much as he has 
in his native State, particularly in the counties of Clark, 
Edgar, Coles and Yermillion. He has also practiced 
extensively in Indiana, and particularly in the Supreme 
and Federal Courts of that State. I have often been 
associated with him in important cases in the Terre 
Haute Circuit Court, and I never had a more pleasant 
and able associate. 

He enlisted in the civil- war and was elected Col- 
onel of* one of the Indiana regiments. He was taken 
prisoner at a very early period of the war and was 
confined in Libby prison, Richmond, Ya. All the 
reports that we had of him while in the service, spoke 
of him as one of the " bravest of the brave," and if 
he had any fault it was being too rash and desperate. 
He was one of our most knightly colonels, and won 
unfading laurels in some of the bloodiest engagements 


of the civil war. He was finally exchanged, came 
home and did not again return to the war; and from 
that time to this has continued to practice his profes- 
sion with great success, in partnership with General 
Charles Krum, another one of our brave and gallant 
Northern soldiers. 

I have nothing more particular to say of Colonel 
John Baird, but I could not omit him from these 
memoirs without doing great injustice to my own feel- 
ings, our acquaintance and friendship having been of 
long standing and of the most intimate character. 
He was as generous as a prince, and there was not a 
particle of avarice or meanness in his composition, of 
which I have more than once received the most sub- 
stantial proofs. He would divide his last dollar with 
a friend, and was benevolent and charitable almost to 
a fault, being sometimes too indiscriminate in the 
objects thereof. No needy man or woman was ever 
sent away empty from his door; and whatever may 
be the Colonel's faults, they are greatly overbalanced 
by his virtues, and I sincerely wish that our profession 
and the world had more such men. I know of but one 
man with whom to compare him as a lawyer, and that 
is our own Judge John Scholfield, of Illinois, of whom 
I have heretofore spoken in these memoirs. He 
deserves a larger space here than I am able to give 
him at this time, but some future chronicler will sup- 
ply what I have left out, and do to the Colonel that 
complete justice to which he is entitled. 



I WILL now introduce the name of an old law- 
yer friend whose name was Joseph G. Bowman. 
I became acquainted with him on my first or 
second trip around my Wabash circuit at Mt. Carmel, 
where he then resided and practiced his profession. 
He was a partner at that time and for some time sub-, 
sequent with Col. O. B. Ficklin. I knew him after 
he removed to Lawrenceville, in this State, and my 
acquaintance with him is of many years' standing.' I 
met him at every court in Lawrenceville, which 1 
attended regularly twice a year. He finally purchased 
the old Dubcris farm, situated a little above Yincennes, 
and on the Illinois side of the "Wabash River, on a beau- 
tiful eminence overlooking that old town and lovely 
stream. He afterwards removed to Yincennes, In- 
diana, where he finally came to his death by his own 
hand in a most melancholy and tragic manner. He 
had been afflicted for many years with rheumatism, 
and suffered more perhaps than any man that ever 
had that terrible and painful disease. He had resorted 
to every means that eminent physicians could pre- 
scribe, and had taken all their nostrums, with little or 
no alleviation from the torture and pain he suffered. 
To obtain relief from this terrible infliction he resorted 
to morphine, and acquired thereby that miserable habit 


from which but few have ever been able to escape; 
but I have seen it from under his own hand that he 
was cured of that habit by a Mr. Collins of LaPorte, 
Indiana; but it seems his rheumatic pains never left 
him, 'but grew worse and worse, until he could endure 
them no longer; and one Sabbath day, while he and 
his wife and another lady were sitting at dinner, 
at his own table, he deliberately retired into the 
kitchen, without their suspecting what he intended, 
but they presently heard him fall arid groan. They 
instantly arose and went to him, and found him dead 
on the floor, with a butcher-knife piercing his left side 
just above the lower rib, which had gone straight home 
to his heart; and it was so tightly wedged between 
his two ribs that the two ladies could not withdraw it. 
There was but one way possible by which he could 
have done the deed, and that was by placing the point 
of the sharp knife at the place he supposed opposite to 
his heart, and standing close to the wall with the 
handle of the knife against it, pressing with all his 
weight upon it until it entered and reached the center 
and source of life. These latter particulars I obtained 
from a relative of his wife, Mr. James Roberts, an 
eminent and distinguished lawyer of Chicago, Illinois. 
Mr. Bowman was something of a politician and 
writer. He was a native of Virginia, and had received 
a liberal and classical education. His conversational 
powers were of a quiet but most agreeable and instruc- 
tive character. It is due to him and his most excel- 
lent lady, that I should here say, that they were two 
of the most hospitable people I ever knew, and they 
never failed during the terms of the Lawrenceville 


court to Lave the court and bar at their elegant man- 
sion, to partake of their sumptuous dinners and sup- 
pers; and on such occasions he and she dispensed their 
hospitality in a way that now warms my heart and 
makes my mouth water to think of. I ought to here 
say that Mrs. Bowman was a woman of high culture 
and refinement, and had been liberally educated, and 
her conversational powers were hardly inferior to those 
of my friend Joe. 

At these times to which I now allude, Joe was not 
suffering from rheumatism, having been visited there- 
with at a later period of life; consequently, there was 
nothing to interfere with his social and convivial 
qualities, and never . have I enjoyed more pleasure 
than to sit and hear him, in his quiet way, pour out 
from the rich stores of his memory historical anec- 
dotes that were not common-place or stale, but always 
a little out of the reach of ordinary readers and stu- 
dents. I have often thought that his colloquial powers 
were not much inferior to those which Macauley is 
said to have possessed. He had a splendid library, 
both legal and miscellaneous, and his books were not 
kept for mere show in his book-case. He was familiar 
with all literature, and had trodden all the higher 
walks thereof. 

He was two or three times a member of the Illinois 
Legislature during a portion of his life. Some six or 
eight years before his death he had lived in Yincennes, 
Indiana, where he practiced his profession, and was, as 
I have understood, at one time Judge of one of their 
courts of record, but whether it was the Circuit Court 
or Court of Common Pleas I do not now remember. 


While Bowman lived at Mt. Carrael he edited a 
local paper there, and he did it exceedingly well. I 
have seen some rich things from his pen written in the 
style and imitation of Bible Chronicles, over which I 
have had many a hearty laugh. lie could crack a 
rich joke and tell a fine story, in which he was not 
surpassed even by Mr. Lincoln himself. 

He was a staunch Whig, and belonged to that party 
from its original organization to its final demise. He 
used while editing his paper to aim some of his good 
humored shafts at me. I remember in one of his 
Chronicles he took a fling at my old friend Zadock 
Casey and myself, in which he respectively called us 
" Usher the mighty " and "Zadock the high priest." 
He represented us in Bible language as calling all the 
tribes of Israel together, and after having given our 
speeches he added: " And all the people cried aloud, 
Amen!" . It was impossible to take offense at Joe's 
humorous Chronicles and laughable epigrams. 

Aye, dear reader, it is with pleasure that I go back 
in memory to my acquaintance with Joe Bowman, and 
with sorrow and sadness contemplate his melancholy 
end. He was my devoted personal friend all the 
years of our acquaintance, and as I have said in my 
sketch of Colonel Baird, of that friendship I have had 
many substantial proofs, which if I did not remember 
I would be dead to all the instincts and sensibilities 
of an honorable man, and I never shall forget them 
while life lasts and memory endures. 

I will here take leave of my friend Bowman, trust- 
ing that we shall meet again in a higher and nobler 
sphere of existence. 



| WILL now present to my readers the name of 
John P. Usher, late of Terre Haute, Indiana, 
but now of Leavenworth, Kansas. I knew 
him from the time he first settled in Terre Haute. 
He has a history somewhat like that of our distingu- 
ished statesman, the late Abraham Lincoln, a portion 
of which I gathered from his own mouth. He is a 
native of the State of !New York. He was born in 
the cold, wet, hemlock region of that State. His father 
was a very poor man, and when John P. was but a 
very small boy he hired him out to a neighbor of his 
for three dollars a month. He told me that the first 
work he was set to doing was carrying sugar-water, to 
be boiled down and made into maple sugar. His 
employer had a large sugar orchard, and Usher told 
me that his employer worked him nearly to death, 
and in a short time he ran away from him and went 
'home. His father he said abused him on his return, 
and told him he would never be good for anything in 
"the world. Usher told his father he would show him 
one of these days that there was more " come-out " in 
him than he supposed. He went to school awhile, and 
receiving a common English education, finally, at the 
age of nineteen or twenty, studied law, and perhaps 


practiced a while in his native State, but ultimately 
removed to the western country, and settled in Terre 
Haute, Ind., where he practiced his profession with 
great success, acquiring thereby a very handsome prop- 
erty, when he married a Miss Patterson, the daughter 
of old Captain Patterson, a Scotchman. She is the 
sister of Judge Chambers Patterson, the present pre- 
siding judge of the Circuit Court, including the 
county of Vigo. 

John P. Usher is a man of no ordinary talent. I 
knew him personally and well. He practiced in our 
courts and I in.his. We were frequently pitted against 
each other in important causes. 

When Mr. Lincoln got to be President, he nomi- 
nated Caleb B. Smith his Secretary of the Interior, but 
after Smith's death he gave the office to John P. Usher, 
having taken a very active and potential part in Mr. 
Lincoln's nomination. Mr. Lincoln had known him 
long and well; and it has been said that John P. 
Usher made a very able Secretary of the Interior. 

When I first knew Usher he was a very handsome 
man, possessed of fine form and features, but after 
passing the age of forty he had grown quite corpulent, 
though he was still by no means a homely man. I 
know of but few better lawyers than John P. Usher. 
I have been told upon good authority, that he is 
worth several million dollars, most of which he acquired 
while Secretary of the Interior by entering large 
bodies of choice land along the line of the Union Paci- 
fic Railroad, besides which he owns a large amount 
of stock in that company. I am not sure but what at 
one time he was president of that road, though I can- 


not speak of that with any degree of certainty, but I 
know that he filled some important office in that 

I do not know that I should have introduced the 
name of John P. Usher into these memoirs, had it not 
been for his having filled so important a place in Mr. 
Lincoln's administration, and also from the knowledge 
on my part that he was very highly esteemed by Mr. 
Lincoln, and enjoyed his confidence in a very high 

I have not written this work for the purpose of 
unjustly extolling the memory of the cjead or flatter- 
ing the living. I will therefore say, lest what 1 have 
written of John P. Usher might be misconstrued, that 
he was no particular favorite of mine. I always es- 
teemed him a grasping, avaricious man, whose whole 
soul was absorbed in the acquisition of money and 
property, and if he was very scrupulous in the man- 
ner of their acquisition, I have never heard any one 
charge it as an offense against him. I want my 
readers however to understand that at this time I 
cherish no unkind feelings toward Mr. Usher, though 

O / o 

there have been times in our lives when the personal 
,and professional relations between us were none of 
the most pleasant or friendly. He has money and 
property enough to buy his way through this world, 
and cares but precious little for my friendship or that 
of any one else. I here take my leave of John P. 



I SHALL now introduce the name of a man 
that pleases me much better than the one I 
have last written of. It is the name of Colo- 
nel Richard W. Thompson, of Terre Haute/Indiana, 
an old lawyer of considerable .distinction, and who 
was for many years a Representative in Congress 
from the Wabash district in Indiana. Colonel Thomp- 
son is a man of National as well as State fame. While 
a member of Congress he made many speeches and 
reports which brought him to the favorable notice of 
the press and the politicians. He was always a Whig, 
and in the administrations of the various Whig Presi- 
dents, from General Harrison up to General Taylor, 
he took a prominent and distinguished part. While 
Colonel Thompson was a member of Congress, or 
since'his retirement from that body, he successfully 
engineered the claim of one of our Western Indian 
tribes through Congress or the Court of Claims, for 
which this tribe created him the chief of their nation, 
and he is to-day, though not living with his tribe, one 
of the grand sachems or chiefs of an Indian nation. 

Col. Thompson is to-day one of the oldest and most 
distinguished living lawyers of Indiana. He rode the 
circuit with such men as .Dewey, Sam Judah, John 
Law, and others. I have listened for hours with the 


most exquisite delight to tfce narrations by Col. 
Thompson of the incidents that occurred on his old 
circuit. His associates at the bar were men of rare 
endowments, and their stories and jokes, given me by 
Col. Thompson, have convulsed me v with laughter to 
the splitting of my sides. I am sorry that I cannot 
recall some of them witli which to brighten, adorn 
and enliven these pages such as would bear telling 
and not be offensive to my delicate and modest read- 
ers, for it must be confessed that, like some of Lin- 
coln's stories, the jokes and repartees of our old law- 
yers will hardly bear reading in a lady's parlor. 

It is due to Colonel Thompson that I should say 
here that although a Southern man, having been born 
in the State of Virginia, he was a patriot in our 
civil war, and took an active part on the Union side. 
Mr. Lincoln created him a recruiting agent or officer 
at Terre Haute for that military district, which office 
he filled to the satisfaction of Mr. Lincoln and the 
country at large. Col. Thompson is now, as I under- 
stand, the lawyer of one or two railroads in Indiana 
and Illinois, and has a very handsome salary, and in 
the discharge of his duly to his clients, he shows as 
much activity, industry and zeal as such members of 
the profession do towards their clients. 

Colonel Thompson is now not far, if any, from sev- 
enty years of age. I have often met and contended 
with Colonel Thompson at the Terre Haute bar, and 
have also met him in my own State courts, and I 
really think a finer advocate I never heard in my life. 
He possessed a fluency and flow of language which 
falls to the share of but few men in this world. He 


possessed a very fine voice, and was capable at all 
times of rising to the very highest pitch of oratory. 
He is a man of irreproachable character, and as a law- 
yer and a statesman does not fall below any man in 
the Northwest. He and I have always been warm 
personal friends. The last time I saw him was just 
after the last Presidential election, on my return from 
Alton through Terre Haute, to my home in Chicago, 
when and where I had a long and agreeable conversa- 
tion with the Colonel at the office of my two friends, 
Colonel John Baird and General Charles Krum, those 
two gentlemen being present and participating therein. 
I remember distinctly it was upon that occasion that 
Col. Baird said, addressing himself to Colonel Thomp- 
son and myself, " Colonel Thompson, you and General 
Linder are the only two men now living that I know 
of capable of writing a respectable historj 7 of the In- 
diana and Illinois bar, and you ought jointly to do so. 
before Time snatches you both away, when the facts 
which you possess will die with you, and there will be 
none left to perform that work." I little thought at 
that time that I would be now engaged in the Hercu- 
lean labors into which I have embarked. 

I want to say, before I leave the name of Colonel 
Thompson, that he wrote a good many political theses, 
which were published, if I remember correctly, in the 
National Intelligencer at "Washington City. 

Colonel Thompson's name is almost a household 
word in Indiana and Eastern Illinois. The only thing 
that I regret upon this occasion is that I cannot do, 
more than half justice to the name, fame and public 
services of Colonel Thompson. Did I possess the 


materials to do so, a sketch of his life alone would 
make a book larger than these memoirs, but I have 
had to draw from my memory, not particularly charged 
witli such; I must forego the pleasure it would give 
me to adorn these pages with a further and fuller 
notice of a man whose name is bound to fill a very 
large space in history. 

In taking leave of Colonel Thompson's name. I 
wish to say to my readers that I do not wish them to 
judge of him alone from this meagre notice. 

Colonel Thompson is a small man, that is to say, 
considering him in an avoirdupois sense, but in height 
I would say a little above the medium altitude. He 
is a man of a very amiable and agreeable expression 
of countenance. He is not one of that class of men 
who repels you; he is eminently social and agreeable. 
He is a man of excellent habits, and a member of the 
Methodist church, but he is no bigot, and far from 
being intolerant in his religious notions. He has the 
reputation of being a man of great charity and benevo- 
lence, to which I think, from what I know of him. he 
is well entitled. I have understood from those who 
know him better than I do, that he is one of the kind- 
est of husbands and fathers and one of the best of 
neighbors. I am sorry to part with him. It is 
exceedingly pleasent to me to dwell upon such a char- 
acter. I have had his bright, genial and beaming 
countenance before me all the time I have been wri- 
ting about him, but I am compelled now to say, Col. 
Dick, for the present I bid you farewell. 



1WILL introduce another name from Indiana. 
He has gone to the land of spirits. It is the 
name of Samuel Judah, of Vincennes, Indi- 
ana. He was one of the oldest lawyers with whom I 
was personally acquainted in the State of Indiana. I 
don't know where he was born, but I know that 
his father was a Jew, and that he himself was a Jew. 
He was living at Vincennes, and had been for a long 
time previous to the time I came through there, re- 
moving from my native State, Kentucky, to Illinois. 
This was, as I have often stated before, in the summer 
of 1835. At that time Vincennes was a dilapidated, 
rusty looking town. It is now a flourishing city, the 
focus of several important railroads, and at one time, 
was the home of General Wm. Henry Harrison. 

The first time that I saw Sam Judah was in 1836 or 
'7, at Lawrenceville, on my first trip around my cir- 
4 cuit. It is situated nine miles west of Vincennes, on 
what was then called the old Vincennes and St. Louis 
trail. He was there in attendance on the Circuit 
Court, Judge Justin Harlan presiding. He was a 
man below the medium height, rather bent and bowed 
in form. He had a perfect Jewish face, with a sort of 
hawk-bill nose, the lower point of which looked like it 
was going to jump down his throat and leave him 


without that facial appendage. No man to look at 
him would for a .moment have taken him to be the 
man of talent that he really was. As a land lawyer I 
don't know that I ever knew his equal. At this term 
of the Lawrenceville court nothing occurred in refer- 
ence to Sam Judah worthy of being here recorded; but 
I afterwards met him at that court at every term 
thereof, and he seemed to have contracted a hatred and 
particular dislike for me, which was most cordially 
returned on my part, and that with compound interest 
and usury. He had no relish for any man who spoke 
well, he himself, although a good lawyer, being a dry 
and indifferent speaker, with a voice which reminded 
me of the squealing of a pig more than the voice of 
man. It certainly did not come up to the music of a 
dog " that bays deep-mouthed welcome as we draw 
near home," which Byron says is one of the things 
sweet to hear. 

Judah had some peculiarities in character and tem- 
perament. One was that he would cry like a whipped 
child when attacked in court or the legislature by 
an opponent who could castigate and paint him as he 
deserved. On one occasion in Lawrenceville, he was 
engaged in a slander suit. After he had made the last 
speech and court adjourned for dinner, as we were, 
going thereto, some of the lawyers, knowing my dis- 
like for Judah, asked me what I thought of his speech. 
"Oh," said I, " it was very good; but it put me in a 
paroxysm of pain, for it reminded me more of the 
squealing of a pig that somebody was screwing bv the 
tail than the voice of a mortal man." lie turned to 
me and said in a whimpering half-cry, " D n you, 


I'll pay yon for that remark one of these days." After 
we had taken dinner and returned to court, the jury 
were ready to deliver their verdict. Judah was on tip- 
toe to hear it; and when it was delivered, it appeared 
they had found a verdict of five hundred dollars in 
damages in favor of Judah's client. 

That was a big verdict in those days and in that local- 
ity. Judah was almost ready to burst with exultation. 
I was sitting close by him, and he turned to me with 
a triumphant and sneering look and said: "Wasn't 
that pretty good squealing, d n you?" which was 
heard by everybody present, when the judge, bar and 
myself burst out into the most obstreperous laughter. 

Judah was a very vain man. On one occasion, when 
I was at Yincennes, some of my friends there asked 
me if Judah had taken me to see his portrait. I told 
them that he had not. " Well," said they, "he will 
be sure to do so, for he takes everybody, both friend 
and foe, to see it. It has but recently been painted, 
and is still at the artist's." 

In a short time I met with Judah, and after shaking 
hands with him, he seeming more friendly than usual, 
invited me to go with him and look at his portrait, 
saying that he wished to know my opinion, whether 
or not it was a good one. I went with him to the 
artist's studio, and he asked the artist to show it to me. 
It was standing against the wall with the painted side 
towards it. The artist went and turned it round with 
the face towards us, the top of the picture leaning 
against the wall. He had scarcely done so when a 
great big, shaggy, ill-favored cur dog came rushing 
through the door, which Judah and I had left ajar, and 


went straight for the picture, and before we could stop 
him he was in front of the portrait and with one hind 
leg hoisted did what the reader may imagine without 
ray naming it in so many words. Judah went for him 
with a vengeance, screaming and squealing and crying 
at the top of his voice: " Get out! get out! get out! 
You d d son of a bitch." " Sir," said I, turning to 
the artist, "you have just had the finest compliment 
paid to your skill that was ever bestowed upon mortal 
man, for the very dogs recognize the exact resemblance 
of your picture to Mr. Judah; otherwise his dogship, 
which has just left us, would not have baptized it in 
the manner he did." 

"Why, sir," said the painter, "you certainly don't 
mean to say that the dogs are in the habit ot treatin- 
the original as that impudent fellow just treated his 
picture ?" 

" Oh, no," said I, " by no means," speaking in an 
ironical tone. 

" Oh, yes you do, d n you." said Judah; " and 

I am sorry I brought you to look at it; " and he actu- 
ally cried like a child, and the tears ran down his 
cheeks. I was sorry for what I had said, for it was 
really not said in malice, but to have a little fun and 
sport with Judah. I begged his pardon, took him by 
the arm and led him off to my hotel, where we soon 
washed down the remembrance of what I had said, 
and what the dog had done to his portrait. But the 
story soon got out, and every wag and wit rang the 
changes upon it from Lawrenceville to Viucennes, and 
from Yincennes to Terre Haute. 

Judah was once speaker of the House of Represent- 



atives in the legislature of Indiana, and I have under- 
stood, made a very good one. He has been dead 
several years. He died at a very advanced age. 

I have bestowed enough space on Samuel Judah, 
and although, as I have said, I was not partial or fond 
of the man, yet I did respect his talents, and I now 
revere his memory as one of the greatest lawyers in 
the Northwest. 



IOME of my friends have advised trie to say 
nothing in these memoirs of the living men 
or lawyers in Chicago, and assigned the follow- 
ing reason why I should not do so: That inasmuch as 
I could not put them all in my book, those who would 
be left out would be greatly incensed and offended, and 
would attack the work and make it unpopular. I have 
reflected deeply upon this subject, and have come to 
the conclusion that in this instance I shall depart from 
the advice of my friends. If I have any weakness 
more than another, it is that of sacrificing my own 
opinions to those of my friends. I do not feel that it 
is right to wait until a man dies before he receives the 
justice and the full measure of applause to which lie is 
entitled. Most of the men whom I intend to intro- 
duce bid fair to outlive me many years, and when I am 
dead and gone, where shall be found so luminous a pen 
as mine to make up their record and emblazon the 
pages of history with their virtues! Therefore I have 
resolved to write them up so far as the materials in 
my possession will enable me to do so; and the first 
name I shall introduce and present to my readers and 
posterity, if this humble work should travel so far, is 
that of our respected, eminent, talented and learned 


fellow-citizen, John M. Wilson, who was late one of 
our judges of the Superior Court of Cook county. 

He was on the bench when I came to Chicago in 
1860. Judge Wilson is a native of one of the New Eng- 
land States, and as he has informed me, when he grad- 
uated and left college he was in low and feeble health, 
and was advised by his physicians to go to a warmer 
climate; and they, also advised him not to travel by 
the then most usual mode of conveyance the old lum- 
bering four-horse stage but to travel on foot; which 
lie did, walking, as his strength would permit, from 
New England to Georgia, where he taught school, 
initiating the sons of wealthy gentlemen and planters 
into the secrets and beauties of classical literature, 
making them familiar with Homer, Horace, Virgil arid 
Caesar, thus preparing them to enter college. He 
taught there for several years, and he has told me him- 
self, that although when he went there he was greatly 
prejudiced against slavery and slave-holders, he was 
never treated with greater kindness and hospitality 
than that which he received from Southern gentlemen 
and their families. 

With his health perfectly restored, he returned to 
New England, studied law, and after the completion 
of his studies, came to the West and located himself 
at Joliet. He was a ripe scholar and an excellent 
lawyer, and from the very first took his place at the 
head of the bar, and from that day until the end of 
his legal career he stood in the front ranks of his pro- 

During his residence in Joliet he formed a legal 
partnership with Elisha Fellows, an eminent lawyer 


of that place, still living; and it was during this 
period that Miller, the great apostle of the Second 
Advent of the Savior announced to the world that on 
a certain day in the year 1843, I think it was, the 
Lord would make his appearance, and receive his 
saints up in the sky, at which time the wicked and 
their works were to be burnt up. This he proved to 
the perfect satisfaction of all his followers, from the 
prophecy of Daniel, to which absurd doctrine millions 
became converts, and amongst them my friends Judge 
John M. Wilson and Elisha Fellows. 

I have never been more amused than I was from the 
humorous account which Fellows gave me of his and 
John M. Wilson's conversion. He said they dropped 
all their professional business, and went from school 
house to school house, preaching the second advent 
of the Savior, " and let me tell you, sir," said he, " I 
have had my soul perfectly thrilled and set on fire by 
the preaching of John M. Wilson. Why, sir," said 
he, "he would take up those old prophecies and 
demonstrate the re-appearance of the Savior, and make 
it as clear to me as a proposition in Euclid. I was 
greatly disgusted," said Fellows, " with some of my 
infidel friends and neighbors, who discredited our 
theology, when so near the end of the world, and who 
proceeded with their ordinary avocations, marrying 
and giving in marriage, and hoarding up their sordid 
gains, as though they were going to live forever. One 
day I was riding along where some of my acquain- 
tances were building a new log house. I reined up 
my horse and addressed them in solemn tones as fol- 
lows: 'Fellow-men, dying mortals and sinners, are 


you crazy, to be building a house that in six days from 
now will be nothing but a heap of livid coals?' and 
don't you think, sir, they actually laughed at me?" 

He told me further that he and John M. actually 
supported and fed about twenty of their poor converts 
who lived close around them, for several months. 
Said he to me, " some mischievous young lawyers who 
lived in Joliet, that disbelieved in our theology, one 
day proposed to me to buy my law library (I had a 
very fine one). This rather took me aback for a sec- 
ond, but I'soon recovered and said to the young men, 
'You have no need of law books; they will soon be 
burnt up; besides, this is no time for trading, but for 
singing psalms and hymns, praising God and meeting 
your Lord in the skies. Let me admonish you to pre- 
pare yourselves for his advent.' Would you believe it? 
the wicked fellows laughed at me, and said to me, 
' Mr. Fellows, we will take the risk, and if you do not 
want to sell us the books, we will accept them as a 
present.' From this horn of the dilemma I could only 
escape by saying to them, in a solemn nasal and Puri- 
tanical tone, ' My young friends, I perceive that you 
are in the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity; may 
the Holy Spirit awaken you from the sad delusion,, 
apathy and indifference into which you have fallen. 
Say no more to me about books, for I shall have 
nothing more to do with worldly affairs, for during 
the short time I have I shall use in making prepara- 
tion to meet my blessed Lord in the skies.' The young- 
rascals laughed and left me." 

" Well," said I, " 'Lish, how did the matter end when 
the day came around appointed for the second advent? "" 


."Well," said he, "John and I dressed in our ascen- 
sion robes, went upon the house-top, with our hymn- 
books in our hands, where we sang songs of praise 
from morn till night."* 

" Well," said I, " Fellows, when he didn't come, 
what did you think?" 

" I thought," said he " there had been a collision 
of the trains on the heavenly railroad, but we felt sure 
that after the damage was repaired, he would make 
his appearance on the next train coming down." 

John M. Wilson, although he fell into 'this delu- 
sion, is a truly devout and religious man. One day as 
we were conversing on the streets of Chicago together, 
a Jew passed us, and he said to me: " There goes a 
Jew, and I wish to say to you that I feel a great ven- 
eration and respect for those people, for they kept for 
thousands of years, unmutilated, the Old Testament 
Scriptures, and a Jewess was the mother of our Savior, 
and to-day they are a living monument of divine love, 
and a fulfillment of holy prophecy. I will not and 
cannot persecute those people." 

In Judge Wilson's religious notions, he is extremely 
liberal and tolerant, although brought up and edu- 
cated in the most rigid school of the Puritans. 

My acquaintance with him commenced in 1860, 
shortly after I came to Chicago. He was then on the 
bench, as I believe I have before said. Before he was 
elected the last time to the judgeship, my Democratic 

* Judge Wilson, to whom we read the above sketch, says this paragraph 
which states that he put on his " ascension robes and went upon the house- 
top," is an exaggeration and not true; and that he th?n construed those 
passages of the prophecies relating to the time of the second coming of our 
Savior literally. He now construes them figuratively. PUBLISHER. 


friends made a combined and powerful effort to defeat 
him, in which effort I did not unite or participate. 
It was during the war, and by an arrangement of both 
parties, a convention was called for the purpose of 
forming a union ticket without reference to party poli- 
tics. I was elected as one of the delegates to that con- 
vention. My friendship and preference for Judge Wil- 
son were well known. I was also a friend of Charles 
B. Farwell, who was running for clerk of the county 
court. The preference I had for Wilson I had made 
known to Farwell and his friends, yet when the con- 
vention met, and the Democrats set up the name of 
Henry G. Miller, a good lawyer and very clever man, 
I discovered that some of Mr. Farwell's friends, and not 
a few, had sold out for his benefit to the friends of Mr. 
Miller. I did all that was in my power to defeat 
Miller's nomination, and I remember, in a speech I 
made eulogistic of John M. Wilson, after recounting 
his public service and his pure administration of jus- 
tice while he had sat upon the bench, pointing over to 
the corner of the house where Judge Wilson was sit- 
ting, I said: "Will you turn this old and faithful 
horse, after he has v/orked in the public wagon for 
years, out to feed upon short commons? Shall lie be 
displaced for a new and a younger man ? Shall we 
cut down the glorious mountain oak that has resisted 
a thousand storms? No! 4 Woodman spare that tree, 
touch not a single bough.' ' : 

Notwithstanding all my efforts, however, John M. 
Wilson was defeated in the convention, and Henry 
G. Miller received the nomination; but the whole 
ticket nominated by this convention was defeated. 


There was such great dissatisfaction at the nomina- 
tions made that an independant ticket was immedi- 
ately formed, at the head of which was placed the 
name of John M. Wilson, and I remember very dis- 
tinctly that he was elected over his opponent, Henry 
G. Miller, by a majority of over three thousand votes. 
He served out his time on the bench and retired with 
great honor and distinction, and the love and respect 
of all the able and worthy members of the bar followed 
him into his retirement.. 

It is a great pleasure to me to say that I have enjoyed 
the esteem and friendship of such an able lawyer and 
Judge as John M. Wilson from the hour of our first 
acquaintance to the present time. It is equally pleasant 
to me to state, that in leaving the bench he falls back 
upon a handsome private fortune. He has only two 
children, a son and a daughter, the former of whom I 
understand is a very promising young man. 

If I have not already stated it so as to impress it 
indelibly on the minds of my readers, I wish to say 
now that I never met any lawyer in Northern Illinois 
who in legal learning and the powers of analysis was 
the equal of Judge Wilson. He was never verbose, 
and his decisions were short, strong and to the point. 
He is a man of the kindest and tenderest heart. I 
remember distinctly at the time when Douglas died 
(although they never agreed in politics), I never looked 
upon so sorrowful a face as his. He looked like a man 
whose heart was breaking, and I noticed the tears fre- 
quently gush from his eyes and roll down his cheeks. 

He is a man of large benevolence, and the only thing 
for which I am sorry is that I do not possess the mate- 


rials, which are undoubtedly in existence if I had them, 
to give him a larger space in these memoirs. 

I hope and anticipate that this notice of him will 
reach his eyes ere he leaves his earthly home for 
that better one beyond the dark river; and I want to 
say to him that it makes my heart glad to think I have 
so good and bright a character as his with which to 
adorn these pages. I do not intend to say here that 
John M. Wilson is the only good and pure man in the 
world, but if there is a better and purer one it has not 
fallen to my lot to meet him. It was generally under- 
stood by all the lawyers while he was on the bench that 
he was not only the ablest of our judges, but that he 
was honest and unapproachable. Corruption and brib- 
ery never dared to show themselves in his presence. 
He left the bench with clean hands and a pure heart, 
and when he leaves this earth he will leave a name 
spotless and undefiled. Slander has never dared to 
breathe the slightest reproach against him, or fix one 
spot or blemish upon 'his reputation as a man, a judge 
or a lawyer. I now take my leave of John M. Wilson, 
and hand him over to posterity as one of .the purest 
and brightest ornaments of the bench and bar. 



i|HE next name I shall introduce is that of 
Robert S. Blackwell, late of Chicago, who died 
some seven or eight vears ago. He was a 

O v O 

native of the State of Illinois, and I will state here 
that all the natives of this State whom I have known, 
or nearly all, were men and women of genius and tal- 
ent, and Robert S. Blackwell was not second to any of 
them. He was the son of David Blackwell, a learned 
and eminent lawyer who lived at Belleville. He 
left a wife and some three or four children, amongst 
whom was a boy older than " Bob," but Bob being the 
brightest of all of them, his mother put her affairs 
into his hands, and gave him charge of the children. 
He bound his older brother to a trade, and he himself 
studied law with O. H. Browning of Quincy; and after 
he was admitted to the bar, became a partner of Mr. 
Minshall, a learned and respectable lawyer of Rush- 
yille, 111., which partnership continued for a good 
many years, and until Bob married; had several 
children born to him, and removed to the city of 

Shortly after his arrival at that place he formed a 
legal partnership with Corydon Beckwith, now one of 
the most distinguished lawyers living in the city of 


Chicago, where Bob continued to live and practice his 
profession with great distinction and success until the 
day of his death. 

Bob was at home in nearly every department of the 
law, but more especially in land cases and tax titles, 
upon the latter of which he wrote a most able work 
entitled "Blackvvell on Tax Titles," which can be 
found in the library of every respectable lawyer in the 
United States. At the time of its appearance it was 
received by the bench and bar, and all the legal reviews, 
with universal approbation. If Bob had never said 
nor written anything else, this work alone would have 
secured him an immortality with the whole legal pro- 
fession. He had commenced another work before his 
death, entitled an " Abstract of the Decisions of the 
Supreme Court of Illinois," which run to the third or 
fourth volume, when poor Bob died and left it uncom- 

I am inclined to think that my first recollections 
of Bob go back to 1837, at Vandalia, when he was a 
small lad living with his uncle, Robert S. Blackwell, 
after whom he was named. This was during that 
notable session of the legislature of Illinois, and from, 
which has sprung some of the brightest and most glo- 
rious names that blaze and sparkle on the pages of 
American History. These names are to be found in the 
category of presidents, senators and generals who have 
made- respectable our civil, diplomatic and military his- 
tory. When shall another Lincoln and Douglas make 
their appearance? When shall another Democratic ad-, 
ministration make its appearance which shall add to. 
our country another Kew Mexico and California? 


Worthy reader, such eras and men are like angels' 
visits, "few and far between." How can we ever do 
full justice to that old and noble Democratic party 
which drew the rusty sword from its scabbard, and 
cut our way up to the Golden Gate of the Pacific 
oceaji? And yet to-day we have a miserable set of 
penny-a-liners maligning that glorious old party, and 
treating it as effete, defunct and fossil. I might name 
some of them, editors and others, but to do so would 
give them a place in this respectable history of mine, 
and give them an immortality that I do not propose to 
confer upon them. They may treat the Democratic 
party as effete and dead; but permit me to say to you, 
dear reader, it is not dead, but has only been sleeping; 
and ere long it will rise from its slumbers, and like a 
giant refreshed by sleep, will shake the earth with its 
thunders and rebukes to the party that has so long 
abused the confidence and trust reposed in them by 
the people. 

Bob Blackwell died a Democrat, although he was 
an original Whig. 

He was a man of eminent social qualities. The 
only fault Bob had was that he would not let anybody 
but himself talk when he had the floor, and the truth 
is, but few wanted to do so, for no man could entertain 
a crowd better than Bob. He was the finest mimic 
I ever knew, not only in speech, but in gesture also. 
I have seen him imitate the walk of Josiah Lamborn, 
who had a short leg, and he would do it so exactly 
that 1 have had to look at him closely to see whether 
he himself hadn't one short leg. 

Judge Murphy has told me of some of Bob's powers 


as an advocate. And here let me say by way of intro- 
duction to what I am going to state, that Judge 
Murphy believed in the doctrine of psychology as 
taught at this present day, and he said that Bob pos- 
sessed it in a degree beyond any man he had ever seen. 
" Why, sir," said he, " let him get close up to a jury and 
wave those long arms of his, and point his finger at 
first one and then another of the jury, and they were 
utterly powerless to get away from the conclusion to 
which Bob desired to conduct them." 

Judge Murphy told me that in a case of murder 
tried before him, Bob appeared for the defendant. 
" And I tell you, sir," said he, " if there ever was a 
case of murder more clearly proved up, our judicial 
history does not record it; but Blackwell went in close 
to the jury, and by his psychological powers and man- 
ipulations, took possession of the jury utterly erased 
from their minds the proofs of guilt and after they 
retired, in about ten minutes' consultation, they 
returned with a verdict of ' not guilt}''.' " 

I do not know but my friend Bob deserves a larger 
space here than I have given him, and yet I do not 
know but my friendship and partiality for him have 
caused me to give him a little larger space than he 

Bob had his faults and frailties, but they never sank 
into vices. He carried sunshine wherever he went, 
and many 's the time that I have enjoyed the warmth 
of his genial conversation and sociality. 

He has gone to his God who made him, and who 
bestowed upon him gifts not often given to other men, 
and whatever the theological world may think, I wish 


to say here, in winding up my recollections of Bob 
Blackwell, that in my opinion God never created such 
a being as he was for eternal punishment; and 1 believe 
to-day, while I am lingering here upon these low 
grounds of sorrow and sin, he, with Lincoln, Douglas, 
Sam. McRoberts, his father, and Archie Williams, is 
walking with his God in heaven, where I trust I may 
some day meet him, and for the present I bid him 



|HE next person I intend to introduce into 
these pages is Samuel S. Hayes, of Chicago. 
My acquaintance with him commenced some- 
time in 1840 I think it was at Carmi, White county, 
the most southern county on my circuit. 

S. S. Hayes is a very remarkable man. He acquired 
a thorough knowledge of the German and French 
languages in the course of a single winter, without a 
tutor or instructor, save the books which he purchased 
for that purpose. Bat Webb told me he was a per- 
fect prodigy in the acquisition of languages. 

I do not know at what precise time Mr. Hayes came 
to the bar, but I think it was somewhere about 1846, 
but I cannot speak positively. When I first knew him 
he lived in Shawneetown. I think he was not fully 
grown at that time. He came up from Shawneetown 
to Carrni at the term of the court which I was attend- 
ing there. It was the first time 1 ever saw him. I 
took him then to be about seventeen years of age. He 
was introduced to me by my friend Henry Eddy, who 
told me privately that he was a young man of great 
promise, which in after life I found to be true. 

Hayes had been a druggist, as I understood from 
himself, but he finally studied law and settled in White 


county, Ills., and represented that county in the lower 
House of the legislature in 1846. I was a member 
of that body at that time. Our relations in the char- 
acter of members was very pleasant. We had some 
little difficulties in after years which I do not choose 
to mention here. 

Hayes has been a fortunate and prosperous man. 
He was originally a Whig, and almost worshiped at 
the shrine of Henry Clay, which nearly all young law- 
yers did at that day; but finding that the road to pre- 
ferment did not lay in that direction, he turned a 
political sommersault and became a Democrat. He is 
now, and for a long time has been, Comptroller of the 
city of Chicago, and is a man, I understand, of fine 
financial abilities. 

Mr. Hayes is the son-in-law of Col. E. D. Taylor, 
still living, and a man who has done more perhaps to 
bring about the success of the Illinois and Michigan 
Canal than any man now living. 

I will not extend my remarks any further on S. S. 
Hayes, only to say that he is a good lawyer and a self- 
made man. Though his education was liberal, it was 
acquired through his own ambition and industry. He 
was first appointed to the office of comptroller under 
Frank Sherman, then Mayor of the city of Chicago. 
In that capacity he discharged the duties thereof to 
the satisfaction of everybody, I believe. 

Mr. Hayes is a man who might fill any diplomatic 
or other position under our national government with 
credit to himself and advantage to the country. 

I ought to say before I close these remarks, that Mr. 
Hayes is a good public speaker and also a good writer. 



|HE next name I propose to introduce here is 
that of Thomas J. Gatewood, better known by 
the name of "Jeif" Gatewood. I became 
acquainted with him at Carmi, 111., on my first trip 
around my circuit. He was introduced to me by Col. 
A. P. Field. This was in 1836. Gatewood lived at 
Shawneetown, and was an eminent lawyer, and known 
as such by the bar all over the State. He stood in the 
front ranks of the legal profession. I have incidentally 
alluded to him in the sketch I have given of Jephtha 
Hardin. He was a large man, portly and good look- 
ing; had as fine a head as was ever placed upon any 
man's shoulders. I frequently met him at Vandalia 
and Springfield. He practiced law in the Supreme 
and Federal Courts of this State, and no lawyer stood 
higher with the court than Jeff. He was for a good 
many years a Senator in our State legislature. He 
was a splendid speaker, and would have risen to great 
national distinction had not death cut his career short 
in the very prime of life, he not being over forty years 
of age at the time of his demise. He had a very fine 
voice, which was full of melody. He was remarkable 
for the originality of his views, borrowing nothing 
from books or men, seldom perpetrating a quotation, 


unless when he told a story, which he frequently did, 
and no man could tell a better one than Jeff. He was 
the very life and soul of every social and convivial 
party of which he made a member. 

In his earlier career as a politician Jeff was a Whig, 
but as that party had little or nothing to bestow by 
way of preferment, Jeff finally concluded that there 
was richer pasturage on the other side of the fence, so 
he jumped over, expecting to feed on delicious Demo- 
cratic clover. The Democrats were very glad to num- 
ber Jeff as one of their party, but they did not seem 
to be in any haste to give him any high or lucrative 
place in their ranks. 

I have heard a good story told of Jeff, which runs as 
follows : Being in a Democratic caucus at Springfield, 
where they were parceling out the offices amongst the 
various politicians of their party, they forgot to name 
Jeff as one of them, and when they got through Jeff 
said to them: "But what in the h 1 are you going 
to do for Jeffy ? " This remark struck them with such 
force that they changed their programme, and did pro- 
vide for Jeff. 

The last time I remember to have seen Jeff was 
when I was on the way to Kaskaskia in 1841. I fell 
in with him and Field at some little town about half- 
way between Charleston and Kaskaskia. I stopped 
at the hotel where they were, and we took dinner 

Poor Jeff ! he had his faults, but they were not 
crimes. I am not the man to unveil them, but would 
rather throw the broad mantle of charity over them; 
my maxim being " Nihil mortuis nisi bonum." 



[AM going to introduce here to my readers a 
name which I have long hesitated to, lest I 
should not be able to do him full justice. I 
mean the late Thompson Campbell, who was Secretary 
of State in Illinois under Ford's administration. He 
was a rare man, as the London hotel-keeper said of 
Curran and Barrington, who had quizzed the Lon- 
don wits in the characters of raw Irishmen for over a 
month or more, which had greatly increased the cus- 
tom of the landlord and added largely to his gains. 
After they had got tired of this sport they one day 
called for their bills, informing friend Boniface that 
they had concluded to return to Ireland. " Gentle- 
men," said he, " I have no bill against you. My house 
has prospered more during your short sojourn here 
than it ever did before, and without intending to flat- 
ter you, you are the rarest men I ever saw, and you 
are welcome to stay as long as you want to." 

They declined to accept the invitation, and one may 
well imagine the astonishment of the innkeeper when 
they informed him that they were counselors Curran 
and Barrington of the city of Dublin, and had been 
playing off upon the London wits for the last month 
or more in the characters of raw Irishmen. 

The reader will pardon this digression, and allow me 


to import from history something to enliven these 
pages more than I can do from my own materials. 

Thompson Campbell was a genius in the full sense 
and meaning of that word. He was full of fun and 
humor, and his satire and irony cut like a two-edged 
sword, and his fault was that he was not particular 
whether this sword pierced a friend or foe. 

My acquaintance with Campbell commenced in 
1837, at St. Louis, when we traveled together on a 
steamboat to Erie, up the Illinois river. He was then 
but a mere boy not over seventeen or eighteen years 
of age and he was a bright and beautiful boy, with 
the finest black eyes I ever saw. His was a face pleas- 
ant to look on genius, fun, wit and humor played" 
like lightning all over it. How sad to think that it 
now lies cold in death! From the day of our first 
acquaintance until the last I ever saw of him we were 
devoted friends. I met him in 1860, at Charleston, 
South Carolina. I was a delegate to the Democratic 
Convention that assembled there at that time to nom- 
inate a President. Campbell was there, but not in the 
character of a delegate, but as a friend of Stephen A. 
Douglas, in which friendship we perfectly harmonized. 
I started from Chicago in company with nearly the 
.whole Northwestern delegation, except those we met 
with in passing through Indiana and Ohio, amongst 
whom \vas that genial, witty, and little-big man, Sun- 
set Cox, who attempted to poke some fun at me as we 
crossed the Ohio river, and he actually seduced me 
into making a speech to the crowd that had assembled 
there. It was not a long speech, nor a very good one. 
The reader may guess the reason if he chooses. 


We went by Washington City, and stopped there 
a clay or two, and visited our friend Douglas, at his 
residence, in a body, and interchanged opinions in 
reference to uniting the Northern and Southern De- 
mocracy. Man} 7 of us had our doubts about doing so, 
but Mr. Douglas, with all his great common sense, 
upon that subject was perfectly infatuated. We all 
told him that such men as Yancey and other fire-eaters 
who controlled public opinion in the South, were very 
bitter towards him in consequence of his not letting 
Kansas come into the Union under the Lecompton 
Constitution, which history has recorded as the great- 
est fraud ever practiced upon a free people. "Well, 
gentlemen," said he, " let the politicians do their 
worst, the Southern people will not go with them ; " 
and went on to show us from information he had 
received from the South that such was the fact. And 
would you believe it? he convinced us all that he .was 
right. But that was one of the saddest mistakes that 
Stephen A. Douglas ever made, for he had not more 
than entered the Southern States than we began to 
feel that the South was lost to Douglas; and when we 
got to Charleston, South Carolina, we found the hos- 
tile feeling towards him at fever heat. While William 
L. Yancey, and others of his kidney, addressed the vast 
crowd that gathered nightly around the Mills House 
to hear their inflammatory speeches, not a single 
friend of Mr. Douglas was permitted to speak. Sev- 
eral of us attempted to do so, but they drowned what 
we said with the beating of drums and tin pans, and 
the blowing of horns, and many other unearthly 



Senator Pugh, from Ohio, and myself, made speeches 
in the Hibernian Hall, but our only auditors were the 
Northwestern delegation. About the first man I met 
on my arrival in the city of Charleston was my old 
friend Thompson Campbell. He was very glad to see 
me, and I was equally glad to see him. We soon 
learned that the Southern sympathies were not with 
us Northern delegates, who were friendly to Mr. 
Douglas. The truth is, I believe they disliked him 
worse than they did Lincoln. 1 had no intercourse on 
my part with the Southern fire-eaters. I heard sub- 
dued murmurs of civil war uttered by them from var- 
ious quarters. They evidently tried to frighten us, 
but we didn't propose to be frightened. We stopped 
there for over two or three weeks. We tried every 
expedient to convince our Southern friends that if they 
did not unite with us some Northern Abolitionist 
would be elected President, and that no man could 
foresee the consequences. At that time there was 
not a man north or south of Mason and Dixon's line 
that even dreamed of the nomination of Abraham Lin- 
coln as the candidate of the Republican party. After 
balloting for over two weeks, without nominating any- 
body for President, we adjourned to meet at Baltimore 

on a subsequent day. 

On my return home to Illinois, I had the pleasure 

of traveling in company with the subject of this sketch. 
We came by rail, through South Carolina, Georgia, 
Alabama and Tennessee, to Memphis. We had several 
; Southern fire-eaters on the train, and so intemperate 
^was Campbell in his remarks that I was very fearful 
.that he would stir up their hot blood to the shedding 


of his; but they seemed rather to admire than be 
offended at anything Campbell said, for it was so sea- 
soned with wit and humor, and the absence of all fear 
upon his part, that it chimed in with the notions and 
opinions of tlfese southern knights. He would fre- 
quently d n them, and tell them they were a set of 
d d fools, and that Douglas was the best friend they had 
in the world; that they themselves had advocated the 
very doctrines for which he contended, and he quoted 
the speeches of some of their most eminent men and 
the resolutions of their conventions to prove it; but 
they took no offense whatever at what he said. The 
weather was extremely hot, and Campbell and I fixed 
us a sort of couch upon which we reposed side by side. 
By the time we reached Memphis my friend Campbell 
was exceedingly sick. 

But I will go back in this story to relate a very 
amusing circumstance that occured on the road from 
Charleston to Augusta. At some wayside tavern we 
stopped to take dinner. Thompson, feeling pretty 
good, set down to a game of poker with some gentle- 
men who had invited him to take a part with them ; 
and he, taking no note of time, and being somewhat 
successful in the game, permitted the train to move off 
without having him on board, leaving his trunk, coat, 
vest and hat on board. Hunkins, of Galena, Sam 
Buckmaster and myself, soon discovered that Camp- 
bell was left behind. At the first station where we 
stopped we telegraphed the fact back to where we had 
left him. We lay by a day and night at Augusta, 
that he might overtake us there. Eventually he 
arrived, with an old dilapidated stove-pipe hat, his face 


covered with dust, and the sweat making dirty patches 
down his cheek, and when he arrived and we received 
him, he burst into tears^ " Did any man ever have 
such friends as I have?" The hotel -keeper had ready 
a fine lunch of green turtle soup, of which we all par- 
took most bountifully, and went on our way rejoicing, 
to Memphis; and as I have said before, when we got 
there Campbell was quite sick, and we had to stay there 
two or three days to recuperate him. I really enter- 
tained serious fears as to his recovery, but through 
good physicians, kind nursing, and encouraging con- 
versation, we brought him through. 

I will ask the reader to allow me here to relate a 
little piece of fun and wit upon the part of a negro 
boy, which I saw and heard while in this city. This 
boy was about fifteen years of age; he was driving a 
one-horse dray, but instead of a horse he had a mule, 
and the mule stopped still and would not move a peg. 
The negro whipped him and whipped him, and hol- 
lered "get up! " and repeated it over and over again, 
until he was finally exhausted, and leaning back lie 
addressed his mule in the following language: "Feel 
very proud, don't you? I suppose you forgot that your 
daddy was a jackass, hain't ye?" 

Now reader, if you have a lively perception of what 
constitutes wit, you will recognize a good deal of it in 
the remark of this little negro. 

We finally got Campbell on board of a fine river 
packet and landed him in a short time at St. Louis. 

If my readers will go back with me to Charleston, I 
will relate a few incidents that occurred there, not un- 
worthy, perhaps, of being recorded. 


Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the United 
States. There is not much resemblance in the manners 
and habits of the Northern and extreme Southern peo- 
ple. It is true the latter are warm-hearted and generous, 
even to a fault, but lacking in the calculation and pru- 
dence of their Northern brethren. This was easily to 
be observed by the speeches made in that convention by 
such Hotspurs as Yancey and others, et id omne genus, 
and our cooler-headed speakers from the North. I 
had not been in that convention over three days till I 
discovered a deep-rooted hostility and burning dislike 
to Northern men and statesmen. We did everything: 


in our power to compromise with them, so as to pre- 
vent the cutting up and dividing of the Democratic 
party. They made an offer to us that we might select 
the candidate for the party if we would let them make 
up the platform or let them select the candidate, 
and we might make the platform. Inevitable defeat 
awaited us in the acceptance of this proposition. If 
the} 7 had built the platform we should have had to stand 
on the Dred Scott decision, the Lecompton Constitu- 
tion with the right of Southern slaveholders to carry 
their slaves into free territory, and hold them there as 
such against the wishes of the people of such territories. 
With such a platform as this, we could not have 
carried a single electoral vote north of Mason and 
Dixon's line. Had we given them the candidate, they 
selecting such a man as William L. Yancev, the conse- 

CJ / / 

quences would have been equally disastrous, for we 
would have lost the whole North and a considerable 
portion of the South. The division in the Democratic 
party at this convention was greatly augmented by the 


countenance given to the exhorbitant claims of the 
South by such men as Benjamin F. Butler and Caleb 
Gushing. They succeeded in electing Caleb Gushing 
as the permanent chairman of the convention. But- 
ler, as I have always understood, was sent there by his 
constituents, instructed to go for Stephen A. Douglas, 
and most nobly did he fulfill that trust by voting 
fifty-seven times for JeiF Davis., and never casting a 
single vote for Douglas; and when the extreme south- 
ern men retired from the convention, and held a caucus 
amongst themselves, in which they resolved to hold a 
convention at Richmond, Ya., as antagonistic to Bal- 
timore, to which place a majoritv of the party had ad- 
journed, Caleb Gushing and Benjamin F. Butler were 
in this caucus active participants in all its doings, 
patting such men as William L. Yancey on the back, 
and encouraging them in their disloyalty to the party 
and the Union. My readers may think this strange 
upon the part of these two men, and be unable to find 
a- sufficient motive for their conduct, but I never had a 
particle of difficulty their action resulted from jeal- 
ousy and hostility to Douglas. They are both ambi- 
tious men, and felt piqued that so young a man as 
Douglas should have such rapid growth, and cast older 
men like themselves into the shade. Now, reader, just 
think of it. That this man Butler, who contributed 
so largely to the breaking up of his party, and bring- 
ing on the country a civil war, should be appointed 
manager and prosecutor of Andrew Johnson, the most 
glorious patriot and Union man of the nation; a 
man who had been an extreme pro-slavery man, and 
voted fifty-seven times for Jeff Davis, as I have before 


said, becomes par excellence a Union man and Aboli- 
tionist after the election of Mr. Lincoln. But sooner 
or later all such men meet their reward, and he has 
met his. Massachusetts has given her verdict against 
him, and whatever may be said of his talents, nobody 
entertains any respect for his integrity, and he is now 
sunk to his original insignificance, without having 

J O ' CJ 

any place in the heart or affection of a single honest 
man in this nation. Campbell's comments on these 
two men, Gushing and Butler, on the road from 
Charleston to Memphis, were so sarcastic and amusing 
that the Southern men on board the cars joined as 
heartily in the laugh as the rest of us. 

To give the reader a perfect idea of Thompson Camp- 
bell, I must go back to an earlier period and pick up 
what I have left behind. As I have said before, he 
had been Secretary of State, and he at one time was 
Representative in Congress from the district subse- 
quently represented by Elihu Washburn, his home 
being at Galena. I forget who was his opponent at 
the time he ran for Congress. Suffice it to say, he was 
a rabid Abolitionist. All of Campbell's acquaintances 
who lived in the Southern part of the State knew that 
he hated the Abolitionists as cordially as the most 
Southern man in the Union. Now this district was 
the darkest in the State, and contained within it more 
Abolitionists than any other district in the State. 
Some of the enemies of Campbell, rank Abolitionists,, 
addressed him through the public press a series of 
questions such as, "Are you for excluding slavery 
from the territories, and for abolishing slavery in the 
District of Columbia?" "Are yon opposed to admit- 


ting any more slave States into the Union?" and, 
strange to say, Campbell, to the astonishment of many 
of his old political friends, and to the utter dismay and 
confusion of his enemies in the district, who had 
expected to entrap him, answered all their questions 
just as the rankest Abolitionist in the Nation would 
have answered them ; consequently he was elected. I 
asked him myself while^ we were on our trip from 
Charleston, South Carolina, to Memphis, if at the time 
he answered those queries he intended to redeem any 
of the pledges he made to these men who poked at 
him these questions. " Not the first one of them," 
was his answer; " they laid a trap for me, but the 
black rascals fell into it themselves, and I hoisted them 
with their own petard." 

After Campbell had served out his term in Congress, 
he became exceedingly poor and indigent, but Doug- 
las got him the appointment as one of three com- 
missioners of land claims in California. While acting 
in that capacity, a case came before them in which 
millions of dollars were involved. One of the parties 
to this controversy, perceiving that Campbell possessed 
great influence with his colleagues, took him aside and 

O O ' 

proposed to give him a hundred thousand dollars in 
gold if he would resign his office and become their 


lawyer, and that they would count him down sixty 
thousand dollars as his retaining fee; " and I'll tell you, 
Linder," he said to me, " I was not such a d d fool 
as to refuse to take it, and the prettiest sight my eyes 
ever dwelt on was the pile of gold they counted down 
to me in twenty-dollar pieces, Just think of it," 
said he, " of a lawyer getting sixty thousand dollars 
in gold as a retainer! " 


I then asked him : " Thompson, did you get your 
other forty thousand dollars? and if so, what did you 
do with your money? " 

"Yes I did," said lie, " and it was also in gold, and 
I sent it by express to safe hands in Philadelphia, and 

d d soon followed it in person. One-half of it I 

loaned to responsible men in Philadelphia at ten per 
cent interest, secured by deed of trust on unincum- 
bered real estate worth half a million of dollars. Of the 
balance of the one hundred thousand, I gave my wife 
five thousand, and kept five thousand for my own use. 
The residue of the forty thousand dollars I brought to 
St. Louis, and loaned on the same interest on the same 
kind of securities as those I had taken in Philadel- 
phia. This interest is payable semi-annually, and 
now," said he to me, " do you think there is any dan- 
ger of my ever coming to want?" 

"I don't know, Thompson," said I, "you used to 
be rather lavish and prodigal with your funds." 

"Yes, I was; and you remember the time, Linder, 
when the members of the legislature at Springfield 
had to raise by subscription a fund to pay my tavern 
bill, and send me and my family home to Galena; but 

that will never occur again, for I'll be d d if I 

haven't become one of the stingiest men in the world. 
I am a perfect Shylock. To be sure, I am not meanly 
little, nor do I propose to be so in a small way; but 
when it comes to making a big grab, I'm always 

In coming across the country from Charleston to 
Memphis, we stopped and lay over a night at At- 
lanta, Georgia. The hotel where we stopped was one of 


the best kept I ever saw; and an incident occurred here 
which I'll venture to relate, although my readers may 
think it of too trifling a character to find a place in 
these pages. I noticed a very black negro man offici- 
ating as waiter, and I happened to be within hearing 
when the hotel-keeper, his master and owner, asked 
him for the loan of fifty or a hundred dollars. '"Oh! 
certainly, massa," said he, and pulled it out and gave 
it to him. After the landlord retired, Campbell and I 
called the negro to us and asked him how it happened 
that he was loaning money to his master, and where he 
got the money, " O, gemmen," said he, " I bought a 
ticket in the lottery and drew a prize of ten thousand 

" Well," said one of us, " Its a wonder he don't take 
it without asking it as a loan, for by the laws of Geor- 
gia both you and your money belong to him." 

"Yah! Yah! Yah!" said he; "You don't under- 
stand my massa; he be too good a man for dat." 

" "Well," said I, " Sambo, does he pay you back 
these loans?" 

" Yes, sah, and offers me ten per cent interest, but I 
nebber takes it and nebber will." 

" Well," said I. again, " why don't you purchase your 
freedom ? " 

After another negro laugh he replied: "O, God 
bless your precious heart, how can I be any freer than 
I am now? I goes when I pleases and comes when I 
pleases, and my massa never makes any complaint; I 
missed him when he was a little child and massa lubs 
me and I lubs him, and I will nebber leave him wile 
I lib, so long as he is willin' to keep me." 


Campbell turned to me and remarked significantly, 
" I wish some of those d d rabid Northern Aboli- 
tionists were here to hear what that nigger says." 

I have been rather irregular in picking up the inci- 
dents that I have here narrated in reference to Thomp- 
son Campbell. I have not spoken of an affair of honor 
which occurred between .him and another brother 
member of the convention that formed our State Con- 
stitution of 1848, to settle which they went to St. 
Louis for the purpose of fighting on Bloody Island; 
but it was terminated without bloodshed, how, I can- 
not say exactly, but I am inclined to think Campbell's 
opponent backed down. 

Campbell's place of residence up to 1861 or '62 was 
in Chicago. He finally returned to San Francisco, 
California, and died there shortly afterwards; and 
after all the vicissitudes of his life left his family in 
easy and pleasant circumstances. 

If I were going to make a man, as Lincoln once said 
to me in reference to a particular acquaintance of ours, 
I don't know as I should make exactly such a man as 
Thompson Campbell, but for wit, humor and sarcasm 
it would be a difficult matter to improve upon what 
God Almighty did for him; and although I have often 
felt the edge of his sarcasm, his company and society 
were always very agreeable to me. He has gone' to 
his last home, and he went in the very prime of his 
life. His faults were not grievous, and his talents and 
genius flashed over them like lightning when it plays 
across the clouds of heaven. I do not know of a single 
man that I can now call to mind within the scope of 
my memory, with whom to compare Thompson Camp- 


bell. I never saw a man exactly like him, or that even 
resembled him. He was a good lawyer, a very tine 
and interesting speaker, and possessed of a pungency 
of wit that burnt like lunar-caustic, and when he under- 
took to demolish one of his victims, there was peculiar 
play of feature that lighted up his countenance that 
told of the thunderbolt that was about to be launched. 
To say that Thompson Campbell was a very great man 
or statesman, or even lawyer, would perhap's be saying 
too much, but I can say in the English sense of the 
word, he was the cleverest man I ever knew. A ^New 
Englander would say he was the smartest man. The 
reader will please give to the word smart a nasal and 
Puritanical accent. 

I must now leave the name of Thompson Campbell 
to my kind and charitable readers, with whose mem- 
ory I entreat them to deal as kindly and leniently as I 
trust they will with mine when I am gone. He lies 
sleeping in the land of flowers. May the grass be 
ever green and fresh upon his grave, is the last tribute 
that an old friend pays to his memory. 



1URDON S. HUBBAED, one of tlie oldest 
citizens of Northern Illinois, came to the 
West about 1818, and settled as an Indian 
trader at Hennepin, but his business frequently 
brought him to Chicago. He is now seventy-four 
years of age, and one of the best preserved men I 
know of in the whole circle of my acquaintance. He 
was a member of the lower House of the General 
Assembly of Illinois in 1832, and introduced the first 
railroad bill ever presented to that body. It was a bill 
intended to take the place of the canal. He carried it 
through his House by a majority of sixteen votes, but 
it failed in the Senate by one vote, being the casting 
rate of the Lieutenant Governor, Zadock Casey. He 
was afterwards one of the commissioners of the Illi- 
nois and Michigan Canal, and contributed perhaps as 
much as any other man to give character and success 
to that work. My acquaintance with Gurdon S. Hub- 
bard commenced in 1836 and '37, at old Vandalia. He 
was in attendance upon the legislature then in session 
at that place, where he had some axes to grind, but 
what they were I do not ndw remember. I know that 


he and others who were well acquainted with the Indian 
character and habits, greatly amused us members by j er- 
forming the Indian war dance, and I know that they did 
it with great exactitude, because I have since seen a part 
of the tribe of Pottawatomies perform the same dance, 
and not any better than Gnrdon's party performed it. 
The truth is, one was an exact counterpart of the other. 
All of Gurdon's party understood the Indian dialect, 
and could speak it as well as an Indian chief. Hub- 
bard was born in one of the New England States, and 
received all the education that he ever got in his na- 
tive State. He removed West at a very early day, and 
became (as I have said before) an Indian trader at 

He is a man possessing some very noble traits of 
character; is generous to a fault, and self-sacrificing in 
his nature, as an evidence of which I will relate a cir- 
cumstance that occurred a good many years ago, which 
I heard from a number of his acquaintances, and finally 
had it confirmed from his own lips. He was going 
up the Ohio river on a steamboat when a small boy, 
some six years old, fell overboard into the river, and 
'the mother of the boy was perfectly frantic, as was 
also the father. Thei r names were Linton. Hubbard 
didn't wait a moment, but threw off his overcoat and 
jumped in after the boy. The boat couldn't be stopped 
for some time, and got at least a mile above where the 
boy fell overboard. Hubbard succeeded in grasping 
the boy by the ankle as he was going down for the 
last time. He held him aloft and turned him over so 
as to let the water run out of his mouth, at the same 
time supporting himself, as he told me, by treading 


water until the boat turned around and came down 
and picked them up, the boy being to all appearance 
dead. Hubbard himself was greatly exhausted, but 
Doctor Fithian, his brother-in-law, was on board, and 
had restoratives and warm blankets prepared for the 
two sufferers, and they were soon revived; and when 
Hubbard awoke to consciousness, it was to find the 
mother of the boy embracing him and weeping like a 
child, the father standing by and weeping also. They 
chano-ed the name of the bov, and called him after 

O * ' 

Mr. Hubbard. "Whenever the mother met him on the 
boat she would burst out crying. This occurrence 
went the rounds of all the newspapers of the nation. 

My acquaintance with Gurdon S. Ilubbard has con- 
tinued at intervals from its commencement until the 
present time. Onr relations have been of a very 
friendly character. He has had, as I have understood, 
many vicissitudes of fortune, going down at one time 
and up at another. 

My readers will perhaps remember the sad tragedy 
of the sinking of the Lady Elgin, which boat was owned 
by Gurdon S. Hubbard. If my memory serves me, 
some three hundred lives were lost on that occasion, 
among whom were some of the most esteemed citizens 
of Milwaukee and the Northwest, but the greater num- 
ber of those that perished were citizens of Milwaukee. 
Upon that occasion, after the news of the disaster 
came to hand, Gurdon S.- Hubbard displayed his usual 
energy and humanity. He put in requisition all the 
means he could command to save the lives of those 
who were alive and afloat on the lake, and to gather 
up the bodies of those who drifted ashore for miles 


and miles above Chicago. Immediately after the news 
of the loss of the Lady Elgin had reached Chicago, 
Mr. Hubbard chartered a special train of cars, upon 
which he placed life-boats, ropes and other materials 
for saving life, used in wrecking, and proceeded without 
a moment's delay with a party of friends to the village 
ofWinnetka, about sixteen miles north of Chicago, 
where the scene of horror beggared description. The 
lake was at that point covered with the bodies of the 
survivors who had managed thus far to escape a watery 
grave by clinging to the remnants of the wreck, but 
the waves, which were running mountain high, would 
dash them in to the serf, where they would lose their 
rafts and sink within a hundred yards of the shore, 
never to rise on earth again. Hubbard made several 
Attempts to launch the life-boats, but the waves were 
running so high that they were instantly thrown back 
onto the beach. Despairing of all other means, IIB 
took a coil of rope and tying one end around his body, 
he plunged into the serf, and when he had secured a 
hold on one of these survivors, those on the beach 
would draw in the line, and in this way Mr. Hubbard 
saved over forty human lives from a watery grave; 
and he did not leave off this method of saving lives 
until he was completely exhausted. 

There are doubtless many incidents in the life of 
Gurdon S. Hubbard tha.t would add greatly to the in- 
terest my readers might takejn these memoirs were I 
in possession of them, for he was a frontier's man that 
came to Chicago before it had arisen to the dignity of 
village. As I have said before, he is now over seventy- 
four years of age, a well-preserved man, and bids fair 



to live some fifteen or twenty years yet to come. His 
hair has but few threads of silver running through it, 
and he has all the vivacity that he possessed some forty 
years ago, when our acquaintance first commenced. 
He can be found any day at his office, as busy as a 




HE next name that I shall introduce is that of 
John Wentworth, better known as "Long 
John." To those who know him and have 
seen him personally, I need not say that he is a giant in 
stature. He is six feet six or eight inches high, and 
if Stephen A. Douglas obtained the sobriquet of the 
" Little Giant," " Long John," in physical proportions 
at least, should be called the "Big Giant of Illinois." 
An old citizen of Chicago told me that the first time 


he saw Wentworth he was in the midst of a crowd 
that had convened around an old brick hotel located 
on Lake street, Chicago, "and," said he, "he towered 
so far above the heads of the crowd that; I really thought 
that it was some man on horseback, and I said to a 
friend at my side: 'what is that fool doing on horse- 
back in the midst of such a crowd as this?' : His 
friend replied: " He is not on horseback; I know him 
that is Long John "Wentworth." 

Long John came to this State at a very early day, 
and commenced his public career as editor, and pro- 
prietor of a paper entitled The Chicago Democrat. 
He was at that time a Democrat, and so continued 
-for many years, until the Republican party arose, 


when he was among the earliest to attach himself 
thereto. While a Democrat, he was elected to Con- 
gress from Hie district including Chicago, which 
district then extended as far south as Danville, Illi- 
nois, and he represented that district for many 
years during his Democracy, and he has since repre- 
sented it as a Republican. John Wentworth while in 
Congress made no contemptible figure there. He was 
emphatically a working member was noted for his 
hostility to extravagance, and was a perfect terror to 
the treasury rats and all the public thieves and pecu- 
lators on the treasury, who were wont to congregate 
about Washington City, like buzzards around some 
dead and putrid carcass. He has been twice mayor of 
the city of Chicago, and while holding that office he 
was an equal terror to the thieves and those who desired 
to feed and fatten upon the city treasury. Whatever 
may be said of John Wentworth in other respects, it 
may be said in his praise, what can be said of but fevi 
other men, that during his long official career he never 
touched the public moneys, except to dispose of them 
according to law, and that with great frugality and 
economy. When the Republican party became cor- 
rupt, John forthwith withdrew from it, and gave effi- 
cient aid in starting what was called the Citizens' Party 
of Chicago, which overthrew that dynasty in that city. 
I shall never forget a speech I heard him make in 
Farwell Hall at the beginning of the campaign 
between the citizens and Republican party. He came 
to the stand without introduction, which, though 
usual on such occasions, he would not allow, and in 
his case was certainly unnecessan r , for there was cer- 


tainly not a man, woman or child in the city of Chicago 
to whom Long John was not known. His name has 
become a household- word. When he took his place on 
the stand he stood silent for at least a minute, turn- 
ing his face from one side of the audience to the other, 
which filled that vast hall to repletion, then opened 
his remarks with the following words: "Thou shalt 
not steal," in a voice as solemn as that, we may sup- 
pose in which Moses spoke when he first announced 
this portion of the decalogue to the children of Israel. 
He then went on in the most scathing style to recount 
the misdeeds, shortcomings and broken promises of 
the Republican party. " Now," said he, tk fellow citi- 
zens, the Republican party in its origin was honest 
and pure, and I believe from my heart that it saved 
the Union ; and while it was pure and honest, I stood 
by it, and supported it, and would be with it to-night 
had it continued so; but the long possession of power 
has corrupted it, and it has fallen from its first estate." 
" "Why," said he, " some of my friends have asked me, 
* Will you, John Wentworth, one of the Fathers of the 
Republican party, ruthlessly tear it down?'" and 
drawing himself up to his full height, he said, with an 
emphasis I never shall forget, " Better a thousand 
times, fellow citizens, that it should be torn down than 
rot down." This remark was received with a perfect 
storm of applause. 

No man has said much better things than John 
Wentworth, orally and with his pen. I recollect read- 
ing in the Chicago Democrat (which I have before 
stated was edited by Wentworth), after Bob Wilson, 
of the recorder's court, had been abusing him for weeks, 


not leaving out a single abusive adjective in the Eng- 
lish language, an editorial of Long John's, which said, 
in an apparently good-natured way, in substance as 

" I don't wish my friends to be seriously offended 
at the remarks of my old friend Bob Wilson. Bob 
once belonged to me, and never did I have a more 
faithful servant, but they bought him away from me, 
and have at present got possession of him. But never 
mind, I shall get him back again; and as the boy said 
about his monkey to a gentleman whom his monkey 
had attempted to bite (when asked by the man what 
sort of a d d animal he was), 'he is a very good 
monkey,' said he, * and not half as bad as you think 
he is, for when I hold him he will bite and scratch 
you, but if you hold him he will bite and scratch me'; 
and so with my old friend Bob. .When I had him in 
my keeping, he did valuable service for me in biting 
and scratching rnv enemies. Never mind, I'll have 

O ** * 

him ao;ain before lon^." 

O O - 

I shall never forget the torrent of abuse that my old 
friend Bob heaped upon Long John on account of this 
article in his newspaper, but nevertheless it had a tel- 
ling effect upon the public mind, the worst of which 
fell to the share of my friend Bob. 

I shall relate another circumstance in reference to 
Wentworth, which occurred at McCormick's Hall 
some two years ago, which was the last speech I ever 
heard him make. He and I were the only speakers 
on that occasion. He compared the Republican party, 
which he said had used the war to catch votes, to 
an old man who had been washed over a mill-dam and 


drowned. One of his near neighbors discovering the 
fact, reported it to his wife, and told her in a very solemn 
strain that her husband was drowned, and finding 
his abdomen very much swollen, they had taken the 
liberty of cutting him open, and had found him full 
of living eels. " Gracious alive," said she, " bring the 
eels to me and I will skin them and cook them, and 
set the old man and catch some more/' 

" Fellow citizens, this eel-trap of the Republican 
party has been set rather too often, and I think they 
have caught their. last eel." 

John and I, on that occasion, really made old-fash- 
ioned Jeffersonian, democratic speeches, which brought 
down upon us the denunciations of a certain paper in 
the city of Chicago, charging us with being antiquated 
fossils, and at least a thousand years behind the times; 
but public opinion has thoroughly disarmed the editor 
of that paper. 

As John Wentworth is a public character and wide- 
ly known, I deem it unnecessary here to say any more 
about him. I have only related such facts and anec- 
dotes as the grave and dignified historian might pass 
by, thinking them beneath his notice and unworthy of 
being recorded, but I have thought them necessary to 
a full understanding of Wentworth's talents and char- 



1IIERE wish to introduce Gen. John A. Lo- 
gan, whose name and fame are so well known 
to the American people that it would seem 
like an act of supererogation to give him a place in 
these memoirs; but I was acquainted with his father, 
who was a great personal and political friend of mine 
old Dr. Logan with whom I served in the legis- 
lature in 1836 and '37. He and I were both members 
of the same House, and no man took a more active 
part in my election as Attorney-General than Dr. Lo- 
gan. I therefore feel that I owe it to his memory to 
say something here of his distinguished son, one of our 
present Senators in Congress. 

My acquaintance with the General commenced m 
1847 or '48, at Springfield. He was then but a mere 
stripling, but a very bright and promising one. He 
commenced his political career as a member of the 
House of Representatives in the Illinois Legislature, 
from one of the southern counties of the State. He 
had scarcely warmed his seat when he opened upon 
some of the exciting topics of the day, which might 
remind my readers of what an English traveler and 
writer said about our young Americans. He said the 


first word a boy-baby lisped was "Mr. Speaker" 
meaning that we were all born politicians. 

Subsequent to the time of his membership in the 
legislature, he represented one of the southern districts 
of the State in the Congress of the United States, for 
several successive sessions. During all this time John 
was a flaming Democrat, and no man hated an Aboli- 
tionist more than he. His sympathies were all with 
the Southern people, which even lasted up to and be- 
yond the commencement of our late civil war. Rumor 
has said that he induced one of his brothers-in-law to 
join the Southern army, promising that he would raise 
a regiment and soon follow him. However that may 
be, John cast his lot with the Nortt^and became ulti- 
mately one of our Major-Generals, where he did good 
service and distinguished himself as one of our bravest 
fighting generals. 

I do not propose to give here his career as a war- 
rior and a soldier; that has already been done much 
better than I can do it, by others who have written a 
history of that war, in which John's gallantry as a 
soldier and skill as a general have been fully recorded. 
I will simply content myself by saying that he was 
one of our generals at the taking of Vicksburg, and 
was also in the bloody battle of Shiloh, and other 
memorable engagements, where he covered himself 
with glory and honor. 

The people of our State have not forgotten his ser- 
vices in the Union cause, but have rewarded him by 
making him one of our Senators in Congress. 

In 1858, in the Senatorial campaign between Doug- 
las and Lincoln, in which I, as my readers know, took 


an active part for Douglas, we met John A. Logan at 
Chester, on the Mississippi, where he and I both made 
speeches in favor of Mr. Douglas. From there we went 
to Cairo, where Logan and I both spoke after Mr. Doug- 
las. My recollection is that Logan went with us from 
there to Jonesboro, where we met with Mr. Lincoln, that 
being one of the places fixed upon for their joint debate; 
but I don't remember that Logan made any speech at 
this place. I think he did not, for the time was princi- 
pally occupied by Lincoln and Douglas; and after them 
by Col. Dougherty and myself, we being on different 
sides. John A. Logan continued a Democrat and an 
extreme Southern man in his sympathies up to the 
secession of the Southern States, and when Mr. Douglas 
made his patriotic speech at Springfield, for which the 
Republicans so lauded him, in which he said " There 
were now but two parties Patriots and Traitors," John 
A. Logan was there, and took such mortal offense at the 
speech of Douglas, that when he met him on the streets 
he actually refused to shake hands with him. Some six 
months or a year after this time, we may date the 
commencement of the change of Logan's sentiments 
in reference to the controversy between the North and 
South. What share his appointment as general in our 
army had to do with this change, I will not undertake 
to say. If his previous course was a grievous offense, 
his subsequent career has amply condoned it. Every 
man must be allowed the privilege of changing his 
views, politics or religion, when lie finds himself in an 
error, and it is not right to assign improper motives 
for a man's course when there are higher and purer 
one's which charity can discover; and with that charity 


which I have always demanded for myself, I am 
willing to allow most cheerfully that Gen. Logan, in 
changing his views, was governed by high and patri- 
otic motives. With this remark, I leave him in the 
hands of the historian and to posterity, by whom more 
ample justice will be done him. 



|OHN T. STUART, of Springfield, 111., I pro- 
pose now to introduce to my readers. I deem 
it impossible to present them witli the name 
of a worthier or better man. He was a Represen- 
tative in Congress from the district, including Spring- 
field, that extended as far north as the line dividing 
Wisconsin from Illinois. I remember that in 1838 
Douglas was a candidate against him, but his good 
star was not then in the ascendant, and consequently 
Stuart was elected and Douglas defeated. Doug- 
las would have been elected had it not been for a 
rascally contrivance of old Jim Turney, who, pretend- 
ing to be a friend of Douglas, got the Irish on the canal 
to^ote for "John A. "Douglas," "James A. Douglas," 
and every other Douglas you might imagine except the 
right one of Stephen A. Douglas. Of course all these 
votes were counted out, and Douglas was cheated of his 
election. Turney played this trick upon Douglas from 
the meanest and most envious of motives. He thought 
that he should have been run by the Democratic party 
instead of Douglas. I do not recollect now whether 
Stuart was re-elected at the next election or not; but 
one thing I will say, that while in Congress he made a 
very respectable member. He was a decided Whig in 


his politics. Prior to his election to Congress he had 
been repeatedly a member of our State legislature, and 
while there had been dubbed with the sobriquet of 
" Jerry Sly." This was owing to John's great powers 
of sly management and intrigue. 

He had the reputation of being the ablest and most 
efficient jury lawyer in the State, especially in trespass 
and slander cases, preventing the recovery of large 
damages for the plaintiff when he was for the defend- 

John T. Stuart stands about six feet high in his 
stockings, and when I first saw him, which was in 
1837, I thought him the handsomest man in Illinois. 
He had the mildest and most amiable expression of 
countenance I nearly ever saw. He is eminently cheer- 
ful, social and good-humored, and a man would be a 
fiend to pick a quarrel with him. 

For many years he and Ben. F. Edwards were law 
partners, and were engaged, as I have before stated, 
for the defense in the celebrated murder case where I 
made the fatal mistake of taking one of their associ- 
ates counsellor Rosette for the criminal. 

John T. Stuart did not go off with Lincoln and 
Trumbull into the Republican party, although an 
original Whig. 

Although Stuart has never done anything, nor had 
a chance to do it, whereby to make a great name in 
his country's history, yet he is far from sinking to the 
level of mere mediocrity. I have known many noisy 
men, who thought themselves great men, that might 
well covet the reputation of John T. Stuart. 

As I understand, he is still living and resides in his 



old town of Springfield, 111., and is a bright and shin- 
ing ornament to the social circle in which he moves, 
and knowing nothing more particular in reference to 
Stuart which would be entertaining to my readers, I 
now introduce the name of Benjamin F. Edwards. 



was the son of Gov. I^inian Edwards, and 
the brother of Ninian "W. Edwards, of whom 
I have already given a sketch. He is a very 
fine lawyer; was liberally educated, but I may say 
without giving any offense to him, that he is one of 
the vainest men I ever knew, having inherited it from 
his father. But vanity was not the only thing he 
inherited from him, for he also inherited a large share 
of his father's talent and legal mind. Ben Edwards 
I think has been on the circuit bench of Sangamon 
county, but as I have not kept a close run of him for 
the last six or eight years, I cannot speak with any 
great degree of certainty. 

Ben has not cut any very conspicuous figure in poli- 
tics, but he has succeeded in making himself a very 
profound and respectable lawyer. 

Knowing nothing more of him necessary to be 
recorded, I now take leave of him for the purpose 
of introducing another name belonging to Illinois, for 
my intention in writing this work has been to preserve 
names of worthy contemporaries, and transmitting 
them to posterity, who might otherwise sink into 
oblivion. My object has been and is to snatch from 


obscurity the men of worth, genius and talent, whom 
I have known, and embalm them, if possible, in these 
humble Reminiscences. 

Worthy reader, my labors are drawing to a close, 
and so is my life. This work is not one of ambition, 
but it is a labor of love and friendship. It contains 
the names of many valued friends, and the incidents 
and anecdotes connected with their lives, covering a 
period of forty or fifty years. The only thing I have 
to regret is, that I cannot do full justice to the many 
names here introduced; from the fact that I have had 
to draw upon frail human memory for my materials 
and that the decaying memory of an old man, stand- 
ing on the verge of three-score and ten years. But 
don't suppose, dear reader, that because memory has 
grown a little dim, that my heart is less warm than it 
was in the heyday of life; and as I call up each name 
and face from the lumber house of memory, I seem to 
be living over again the days of my youth and early 
manhood. The task is therefore very far from being 
disagreeable to me, and the only anxiety I feel is that 
I may leave out the name of some worthy old friend 
who is entitled to a place in these pages. Don't sup- 
pose, dear reader, that these memoirs are solely dedi- 
cated and devoted to my personal friends, for I have 
not forgotten men of worth whom 1 cannot class in 
that category. If I know my own heart, I have writ- 
ten nothing thus far with the motive of fixing a stain 
upon the fame of any mortal man, for my heart beats 
kindly and warmly for the whole human family; and, 
as Washington Irving has said much more elegantlv 
than I can say it: "My heart now throbs as warmly 



and kindly for tliee, worthy reader," and my only fear 
is that this work will fall short of supplying that in- 
tellectual food and entertainment for my readers which 
has been the paramount motive and desire I have had 
in getting up these memoirs. 



jWILL now present yon with the name of one 
of the worthiest men of Illinois one of the 
oldest citizens of this State, and in age an oc- 
togenarian it is the name of Cyrus Edwards, the 
brother of Governor Ninian Edwards, and the uncle 
of Benj. F. Edwards and Ninian "W. Edwards. 

My acquaintance with him dates back as far as 
1837, and commenced about the time, or a little before, 
the "Alton riots." The last time I saw him was a few 
days before the last Presidential election, at his own 
house in Upper Alton. 

Cyrus Edwards is a native of Maryland. He was 
liberally educated, and studied the law as a pro- 
fession, but I am not aware that he ever practiced 
it. In stature he stands about six feet four inches 
in his stockings, and his personnel is one of the 
finest I ever looked upon; and at the time I last 
saw him he stood as straight and erect as an arrow, 
and his venerable face and form reminded me for- 
cibly of the portraits I have seen of George Wash- 
ington. As a man of literature and belles-lettres 
scholar I know of no man in the State who is his equal. 
He was at one time a Senator in our State Legislature, 
and I am not sure now, that I come to reflect upon it,. 


but what he was a member of that body at the session 
of 1836 and '37, when I was a member of the lower 

At the time I last saw him, to which I have alluded, 
the old man was so glad to see me that he actually 
shed tears of joy. On the evening of that day I made 
a speech on the political topics of the day in Upper 
Alton, and Cyrus Edwards was present, and one of 
my most delighted auditors. 

I heard him deliver a course of lectures in Lower 
Alton in 1837, which was the finest specimen of litera- 
ture and taste I ever heard. He is a most elegant gen- 
tleman a man of refined and accomplished manners. 

It has always been a matter of astonishment to me 
that Cyrus Edwards did not reach a higher position 
than that of State Senator. Many men went to Con- 
gress who were greatly his inferiors; but he sits down 
in the calm twilight of old age with the strong hope 
that though his vision must close upon the things of 
earth, it will o*pen upon a glorious immortality. He 
is one of the purest men that ever made a foot-print 
upon the soil of Illinois. I have loved him with the 
devotedness of a son to a father, and I do believe he 
returned my affection. 

Cyrus Edwards was reared in the Jeffersonian school 
of politics. In his social relations he might be styled 
a refined and cultivated aristocrat, but he never made 
any man feel uncomfortable by any assumed superi- 
ority. The world may say what it pleases about the 
equality of men and the equality of rights, but I 
undertake to say here that men of bright and shining 
parts only become more resplendent in their glory by 


being contrasted with inferior lights, and it has been 
ordered by the great Governor of the Universe that 
one star should shine brighter than another in glory; 
and in the constellation of genius Cyrus Edwards is a 
star of the first magnitude, but of mild and resplen- 
dent glory. 

If he had been a man of more ambition he might 
have reached an eminence far above anything he ever 
attained to; but he aspired more to a social than to a 
political position in life. I think he is now not far 
from being eighty-five or ninety years of age. He is 
probably, next to his distinguished brother, the Gover- 
nor, one of the most talented and gifted members of 
the great Edwards family, and that I have not written 
more of him than I have results from the fact that he 
never aspired, like some of his relatives, to a high posi- 
tion. He was made more for social than political life, 
therefore I have to drop him here, with regret. 



ISAAC P. WALKER is the next name I shall 
introduce to m y readers. When I first becain e 
acquainted with him he was a student under 
my dear old friend, Samuel McRoberts, and he was one 
of the brightest and most promising boys I nearly ever 
saw. One of Ike's peculiarities was the length of his 
whiskers, and I remember to have advertised his coin- 
ing to one of the Wabash towns in language something 
as follows: "Fellow citizens, a very talented young 
man will be here in a day or two to answer the speech 
I am now making to you. You will be notified of his 
coming by the length of his whiskers, which will arrive 
a day or two in advance of him." 

AVhen " Ike" learned what I had said it threw him 
into such a tempest of passion that he lost all control 
of himself, and fell down upon me in a torrent of per- 
sonal abuse that did his party more injury than good. 
They were very intemperate and ill-considered. At 
that time Ike had not won any particular distinction. 
He was an ultra Democrat, and at that time a great 
hater of Abolitionists, but he subsequently removed 
to Milwaukee, Wis., and became an abolitionist of the 
ultra type, and succeeded in being elected to the Sen- 
ate of the United States. This may seem somewhat 


strange to my readers, but it is nevertheless true. He 
was in the Senate in 1850, at the time of the passage 
of the great compromise resolutions on the subject of 
slavery, and being entitled to the floor, gave place to 
Daniel Webster, whom everybody had come to hear. 
This was a remarkable exercise of modesty on Ike's 
part, to yield the floor to so small a man as Daniel 
Webster, of Massachusetts! 

Ike was something of a pugilist, and a perfect Her- 
cules in strength, and distinguished himself by admin- 
istering a terrible flogging to an Irish lawyer, who is 
now one of the Supreme Judges of Wisconsin, whose 
name I will not mention, for he is a very excellent man 
and a good lawyer. 

My dear friend Isaac P. Walker has gone to his last 
account. Ike was well connected and deservedly dis- 
tinguished for his talent as a lawyer. I met him re- 
peatedly at the Danville court, and was often engaged 
on opposite sides against him, and I always considered 
him as a foeman worthy of my steel. 



JWILL now take the liberty of introducing to 
the attention of my readers the name of one 
of the members of that celebrated session of 
the Legislature of 18 36 -and '37. I mean the name of 
Robert Wilson. I do not expect to devote to him but 
a very small space in these memoirs, but he is worthy 
of a much larger space than I can give him. I met 
him at the unveiling of Lincoln's statue, and had a 
long talk with him over the incidents of that session, 
and he made me acquainted with the fact that he had 
kept the run of the members of that Legislature, and 
that out of 105 members only fifteen at that period 
were living. It is melancholy to reflect what havoc 
time makes with frail humanity. All suchmen deserve 
to have their names and memories preserved. He 
told me that after the breaking out of the war, he went 
to Washington, and on meeting with Mr. Lincoln at 
the White House, he said to him, " Bob, you expect 
some appointment from me, don't you?" "Well," 
said he, "I do;" and after stating the office he courted, 
Lincoln said to him: "Bob, I have got something 
much better for you; I will make you one of the pay- 
masters of the army." And he did, and Bob made 
an honest one; and no one has ever dared to question 
his integrity, fidelity or patriotism. 

Bob is one of th Long Nine who represented San- 
gamon in the House of Representatives in 1836-'37. 



|HE next name I propose to introduce is that 
of Robert Smith, who was a member of that 
celebrated legislature of 1836 and '37, to 
which I have so often referred. He was afterwards a 
member of Congress from the district including Alton, 
and no abler Representative did that district ever have 
than my friend Bob Smith. He was not a lawyer, but 
a man of talent and genius. He understood his part 
well no man understood it better. 

My acquaintance with Bob continued for many years 
after we had served together in the legislature. I 
remember that he gave me the most active and effi- 
cient support for the office of Attorney-General. I 
have nothing remarkable to record of friend Smith. 
He was not one of those blazing and erratic geniuses 
who take the world by storm, but he kept upon the 
even tenor of his way; was always at his post, and 
never stepped aside to aim a blow at an antagonist. 
He was emphatically a working member, as well while 
he was in the legislature as when he was a member of 
Congress. Bob made but few speeches, but made 
some very elaborate and able reports from the conv 
mittees in which he served. 


He was one of the most amiable and sweet-tempered 
men I ever knew. I don't tliink I ever saw him in a 
passion in my life. 

He was perfectly familiar with all parliamentary 
law, and at home when a question of order was sprung 
upon the House. Though Bob was never Speaker, he 
was often called to the chair, owing to his readiness 
and promptness in deciding questions of order. 

Bob died a good many years ago, but he has left 
behind a clean record and the name of an honest man 
as an inheritance for his children. 



|ILLIAM A. MINSHALL, of Schuyler county, 
was anotlier member of that celebrated legis- 
lature which met at Yandalia in 1836 and '37. 
He was a lawyer, and a very able one, and at one time 
was judge of the circuit court of the military district. 
I knew him well, and have met him often at Spring- 
field and Rushville. During the last years of our 
acquaintance he and Robert Blackwell, whom I have 
already sketched, were law partners in Rushville. 
Miushall I believe was a native of Ohio, and studied 
law with Judge McLain at the same time my old friend 
Justin Ilarlan was a student in the same office; and I 
have often heard Judge Ilarlan speak of Minshall in 
the most flattering terms. 

Minshall, in his early days, and especially about the 
time he was married, was given to dissipation. He 
courted a most beautiful woman, and on proposing 
marriage to her, she promptly rejected him, on the 
strength of which Minshall got most gloriously drunk, 
and in his crazy mood put on seven clean shirts, and 
in that condition he went over to see her again, letting 
her know that it was impossible for him to live with- 
out her. The young lady, who was far from being 


indifferent to the suit of Minshall, finally concluded 
that she would try and make a man of him, so she 
said to him: "Mr. Mmsliall, I will never marry a 
drunkard, and if I had a husband and he was to be- 
come one, I would leave him on the instant, if I loved 
him as I love my life; but I have come to the con- 
clusion that I will marry you upon one condition : If 
you will reform your habits, and give me satisfac- 
tory proofs of the same, and make a solemn vow that 
you will never drink again. So now you go home and 
divest yourself of all those shirts but one, and come 
back in a month from now, and we will consummate 
this agreement." 

Minshall gladly took her at her word, and after a 
month's probation he returned, took the vow, and they 
were married, and he religiously lived up to his pledge 
to the day of his death; and I know of no happier 
couple than they were in the whole circle of my ac- 
quaintance. He had the reputation of being one of 
the kindest of husbands and tenderest of fathers in 
the town where he lived. I have often been at his 
house, partaken of his hospitality, and my eyes never 
looked upon a more beautiful picture of domestic hap- 
piness than he and his family presented. 

During his life 1 often met him at the Supreme 
Court at Springfield. His genial and amiable coun- 
tenance I often recall to memory, and the many social 
chats we had together, and lean freely say that I don't 
know of any lawyer who was a much brighter or more 
shining ornament of the bar than "William A. Min- 
shall, of Schuyler county. 



IUDGE JOHN D. CATON is a name that 
could not well be omitted from these pages; 
and yet he needs no place here to make his 
name and fame more widely known than it now is. For 
twenty or twenty-five years he was one of the judges 
of our Supreme Court, and his written opinions, 
which are to be found in our judicial reports, are mas- 
terpieces of legal acumen and an imperishable monu- 
ment of his legal learning and strong common sense. 
His opin-ions in equity cases would do honor to a 
Hardwicke or an Eldon. During his long career as 
lawyer and judge in this State, no one ever dared to 
impugn his integrity or call in question his impar- 
tiality. He was first appointed to the supreme judge- 
ship by Gov. Thomas Ford, if I remember rightly, to 
fill some vacancy which had occurred; was subse- 
quently elected to the same office by the legislature, 
and after the office was made elective by the people, 
he was again and again elected thereto. 

There is rather an amusing story told of Judge 
Caton when the supreme judges were only receiving a 
salary of twelve or fifteen hundred dollars a year. He 
went into a grocery store, it seems, and purchased a 
very nice sugar-cujed ham, and set it down by 


the side of the counter and commenced a little confab 
with the grocer. While they were talking, a great 
shaggy ill-favored cur-dog came in and picked up the 
judge's ham and deliberately made off' with it; but the 
judge was in time, and overtaking his dogship rescued 
his ham, giving his caninity several hearty kicks, and 
addressing him in language something like the fol- 

" You miserable " with an adjective as strong as 

the dignity of a supreme judge would allow, which I 
will not repeat; "you are the meanest dog I ever saw, 
to come in here and steal the ham which has cost me 
my last dollar; don't you know that I am only receiv- 
ing the pitiful salary of twelve hundred and fifty dol- 
lars a year? You are mean enough to steal the last 
piece of meat from the lowest shelf in a nigger's 

Judge Caton has always been a Democrat. . I think 
he is a native of New York. He came to this State 
and . located in Chicago about the year 1832 or '33, 
about the same time that Giles Spring settled in that 
place. I heard him give a most amusing narration at 
the lawyers' festival, held at the Pacific Hotel a year 
or more ago, of his and Spring's trials as young law- 
yers. He said that clients were few, fees small and 
money scarce. I think he said, I am not sure, that he 
and Spring, or one of them, kept his office on the head 
of a barrel down on the corner of Lake and Wells 
streets; but clients not making their appearance, and 
they being bound to have money to pay their hotel 
bills, they engaged to carry the chain for a surveyor 
on the North Side, where the weeds were tremendously 


high and thick. He told the hotel-keeper where he 
could be found if any one came wanting a lawyer; 
" And," said he, " I managed to put Giles at the front 
end of the chain, knowing that if a client should come 
he would follow our trail through the weeds and I 
would be the first lawyer he would overtake. "We 
hadn't been more than half an hour engaged in our 
work, Giles calling out " stick," and I answering 
" stuck," when a very genteel looking man came along 
on our trail, inquiring for a lawyer. I told him I was 
* the man he wanted to see. I don't remember now 
what kind of a case it was, but suffice it to say, that 
the fee for those times was a very handsome one, and 
paid down all in silver." 

Judge Caton's speech on that occasion was inter- 
larded with many amusing and laughable anecdotes. 

I presume it is known to most of my readers that 
Judge Caton has amassed a considerable fortune which 
did not accrue from his salary on the bench, but resulted 
from his prudent and wise investment of money in the 
purchase of telegraphic stock. He is perhaps worth 
to-day over a million of dollars. He is now master 
of his own time, and not bound in official chains to 
any government or party. He has recently made a 
tour through Norway, and has published a very hand- 
some work, giving his observations on that people and 

Judge Caton has never arrived at any very high 
position in the political world, but I will venture to 
say that were he called to the highest office in his 
State or nation he would fill it with honor to himself 
and advantage to his country. It is a pity we have 
not more such men. 



jSIIALL next present my readers with the name 
of Col. J. L. D. Morrison, better known as Col. ' 
" Don " Morrison. I became acquainted with 
him about the year 1841 at Kaskaskia, where he was 
born, educated and raised until he went on board a 
man-of-war as a midshipman. 

When I was introduced to him at Kaskaskia he was 
then a young lawyer, and had been but a short time 
at the bar. He was associated with me in the cele- 
brated Yandeevers trial, of which I have spoken in the 
sketch I have given of the life of Joe Gillespie. He 
then lived at Belleville, St. Clair county. I am mis- 
taken in saying that my first introduction to him was 
at Kaskaskia, for I was introduced to him at Nashville, 
Washington county, Ills., and from there we all went 
on horseback to Kaskaskia. " Don " is a cousin of 
Mrs. Judge Breese. The Morrisons are one of the 
oldest and most respectable families in Illinois, and 
lived in Kaskaskia during its territorial existence. 

My readers are, I presume, aware that Kaskaskia is 
one of the oldest towns on this continent, being older 
than Philadelphia. It is situated at the lower edge of 
the American Bottom, the name given to a very rich 

J. L. D. MOKKISON. 367 

and fertile tract of country intervening between the 
Mississippi river and the bluffs east of it on the Illi- 
nois side, its upper limits being a little below Lower 
Alton its average width being about six or seven 
miles. The soil is all alluvial, having been formed by 
deposits from the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. It 
is perhaps one of the most fertile and productive por- 
tions of our globe. 1 have never seen such corn grow 
in any other portion of the world I have ever been in. 
One hundred bushels to the acre is no uncommon occur- 
rence, and it is equally prolific in other products. The 
largest and most delicious melons I ever ate were the 
growth of the American Bottom, and it is somewhat 
remarkable that it has never been settled by a very 
thrifty or industrious people, being mostly occupied 
by old Canadian French, as the names of their towns 
scattered up and down the bottom will sufficiently 
indicate. The current of the Mississippi at some 
remote period once ran close to these rocky bluffs, and 
a man can see some sixty feet above the level of the 
river or bottom, where its waters have worn away the 
solid rock. But I will not follow the current of the 
Mississippi any further, but will go back and take up 
my old friend Don Morrison. 

Don was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Mexican war, 
and fought w r ith General Taylor in all his battles, from 
Palo Alto to Buena Vista. Don, on the day of the 
latter bloody battle, was laid upon, the sick list at Sal- 
tillo, a few miles from there, but when he heard the 
cannon roaring, contrary to the orders of his surgeon 
and the commands of his superior officer, he mounted 
his horse and rode to the scene of action, where he 


joined with Col. Bissell's regiment, and fought with 
them throughout the balance of the engagement. He 
gave me a description "of that battle more graphic and 
interesting than any that I have ever had, either from 
books or human lips, especially that part of his narra- 
tion relating to the manner in which our flying artil- 
lery played upon the Mexican army. He said that at 
a word or signal, the horses being detached from the 
cannon, would lay down flat upon the ground, when 
our artillery would open with grape and canister upon 
the enemy, producing such a scene of carnage, slaugh- 
ter and death as he had no language to describe; 
when at another signal the horses would take their 
places, and ere the smoke had passed away the same 
artillery would be playing upon the Mexican ranks 
from another part of the field of battle. Said he: 
" Our men fought as perhaps no other set of men ever 
did fight, bnt it was our flying artillery that won for 
us the final victory." 

" At one portion of the day Captain Bragg, who had 
charge of the artillery, was so hard pressed that he 
sent to General Ta}4or for reinforcements, when Gen- 
eral Taylor and Major Bliss mounted their horses 
and promptly rode to where Captain Bragg was, and 
said: 'Captain Bragg, you sent to me for reinforce- 
ments, and I have brought you all I have, Major Bliss 
and myself.' ' What shall I do General? ' said Bragg. 
Old Rough-and-Ready answered in a very quiet way: 
1 Give them a little more grape, Captain Bragg;' and 
Captain Bragg, taking him at his word, increased the 
amount of grape, which soon made the Mexicans glad 
to retire." 

J. L. D. MORRISON. 369 

This I had from Col. Morrison's own lips. He told 
me that he was so sick that he could scarcely sit his 
horse during the engagement, but that he would 
sooner have died a thousand deaths than not have 
taken part in that memorable battle. And I take 
occasion here to say that in my humble opinion, no 
such victory, ancient or modern, was ever won. 

We had only four thousand troops all told, and only 
four hundred of them regular 'soldiers, the balance 
being nothing but raw militia, while the Mexicans 
numbered over twenty thousand regulars, commanded 
by their renowned and favorite General, Santa Anna. 
He expected to literally chew and eat up old Zac. and 
his handful of men. Such a thing as defeat never 
crossed his mind. He had crossed the plains intend- 
ing to steal upon old Zac. and catch him asleep; but 
old " Rough-and-Ready " was wide awake and prepared 
to receive him as far as it was possible for him to do 
so under the circumstances. I may have related it 
before in some portion of these memoirs, but I will 
relate it again as I got it from Col. Don. Morrison. 
In the darkest and gloomiest hour of the battle, some 
officer rode up to General Taylor and said: " General, 
our men are whipped badly whipped." Taylor re- 
plied: " I know it, and have known it for the last hour 
or so, but our d d fool boys don't know it, and they 
will fight on till they ultimately whip these Mexican 
devils, for they have not got the stamina of our West- 
ern and Southern boys;" and the General's prediction 
was not long in its fulfillment. They finally retired, 
leaving the victory with us; but it was a victory most 
sorely and dearly purchased, for it .resulted in the loss 


of such glorious men as Colonels John J. Harclin, 
Key and young Henry Clay of Kentucky, the son of 
the distinguished orator and statesman of that State. 
Col. Don. Morrison, when I last saw him, was a 
man of fine personal appearance. He is a man of ele- 
gant manners and of a gallant and chivalrous nature. 
He married a daughter of Thomas Carlin, who was 
once Governor of this State. She was a highly educa- 
ted, beautiful and refined lady. I don't know anything 
more of Don. necessary to be recorded; I therefore 
take my leave of him, having no doubt that posterity 
will take good care of his name and fame. 



HE Rev. John Hogan shall have the next place 
in these recollections. He was a member-of 
the lower House of the Illinois Legislature 
which convened in 1836 and '37 at Yandalia. 

He is a native of Ireland. He was originally a 
Methodist preacher and circuit rider, and, like all Irish- 
men, was gifted in the way of gab. He took a leading 
part in most of the subjects that came before our House. 
I remember that he was amongst the most prominent 
of the members of that body who embarked in our 
wild and mad schemes of internal improvement. I 
have already related in another place what he said in 
reference to the value of our bonds when they should 
be thrown upon the market, and of course will not 
repeat it here. He was the son-in-law of a little, old 
retired Methodist preacher by the name of "West, and 
brother-in-law to the West who during the Alton riots 
ascended upon a long ladder to the roof of Godfrey & 
Gilman's warehouse and extinguished the fire which 
had been thrown there by the outsiders in the form of 
a blazing ball saturated with turpentine; and, strange 
to tell, Lovejoy and others of those inside came out 
and fired upon him as he was ascending the ladder 


intending to do them a favor. West finally undertook 
to negotiate between those outside and those inside of 
the warehouse, and he did so. After the death of 
Lovejoy, John Hogan, as well as myself, was severely 
assailed and maligned for the part he took in attempt- 
ing to settle and compromise matters between Love- 
joy and his enemies. I know that he did all that mor- 
tal man could do to bring about peace between these 
hostile elements. 

After John and I had served in the legislature 
together, I lost sight of him awhile, but he finally 
removed to St. Louis, Mo., and was elected as one of 
the Representatives from that district to the House of 
Representatives in Congress. 

I fell in with John Hogan at Springfield, 111., in 
1874, at the unveiling of Lincoln's statue, and he and 
I and Bob. Wilson, all three members of that old and 
celebrated legislature of 1836 and '37, rode down 
together in the same .carriage to the monument, and 

- o o / 

had places of honor assigned to us; and the reader 
may rest assured that we called up many reminiscences 
and recollections, some agreeable and some sad. It 
was upon this occasion that I learned from Wilson 
that he had kept the run of that legislature, and that 
out of a hundred and five members there were only 
fifteen living, of which Hogan, Wilson and myself 
made three. 

John Hogan is a man of very fine social qualities, 
and as a popular speaker, possessed the faculty of 
interesting an audience and in gaining their attention 
and holding, it equal to almost any man I ever knew. 
He is quite a small man, of a very pleasant counte- 


nance, and when young was quite a handsome man, but 
when I last saw him, I discovered that time and age 
had made sad havoc with his personal comeliness, 
as they had done with myself. He was a man of fine 
colloquial and conversational powers. Knowing noth- 
ing of my Old friend John Hogan which might be of 
interest to my readers, I here respectfully take leave 
of him. 



JWILL now introduce the name of Nathaniel 
Buckmaster, one of my most beloved and 
highly esteemed friends. My acquaintance 
with him commenced in 1837, when I was in attend- 
ance on the Madison County Circuit Court, as Attor- 
ney-General, he being at that time sheriff' of that 
county. No man that I ever saw prepossessed me 
more at first appearance than Nathaniel Buckmaster. 
He seemed to take me to his very heart and bosom 
on our first introduction, and we continued to be fast 
and steadfast friends to the very last day that I ever 
saw him. He was the most genial, social and con- 
vivial man I ever knew. He was not a lawyer by 
profession, but he possessed considerable talent. He 
was a native of Virginia, and possessed all the hos- 
pitable qualities of the people of that Old Dominion; 
and I recur to him now and the recollection of our 
friendly intercourse with the greatest pleasure. He 
has given me most substantial proof of his friendship. 
He was a member of the State Legislature, and I 
think it was the Senate, prior to 1836 and 1837. He 
was acquainted with most of the distinguished men 
who figured in the State of Illinois, prior to my advent 


into the State, and has narrated to me many inter- 
esting anecdotes and incidents connected with the 
lives and careers of those men that I cannot now recall, 
which would be of great interest to my readers if I 
could; but they know how frail is human memory, 
and must excuse me for not doing so. 

Mr. Buckmaster for many years was sheriff of Mad- 
ison county, and also warden of the penitentiary at 
Alton, and in all his official relations he sustained the 
character of an honest man and faithful public officer. 

He was a man about six feet high, of a symmetrical 
form, and one of the finest dancers I ever saw, and he 
moved through the giddy mazes of the dance with a 
grace and elegance unsurpassed by any man I ever 

My readers must pardon me for introducing Col. 
Buckmaster into this work. He was my old and 
especial friend, and as I have been trying to write for 
their amusement, if not for their instruction, they will 
accord to me the privilege of introducing to them one 
of my dearest friends, whom I most sincerely love, of 
whom I will ilbw take leave. He has lone; since gone 

O <" 

to the Summer Land, where I trust all such men will 
go. If we meet again beyond this earthly sphere, in 
a better place than this, I hope to have a happy meet- 
ing with my old friend Nathaniel Buckmaster. 



jHE next name I propose to present to my 
readers is that of General James Turney, who 
was one of our State Senators in the legisla- 
ture of 1836 and '37, to whom I have already referred 
in connection with an affair of honor which occurred 
between a member of the house and myself. Gen. 
Turney was a much older man than myself, and got 
the name of General as I did, having been Attorney- 
General of the State some considerable time previous 
to my election thereto. He was a native of Tennes- 
see, and connected with the talented Turneys of that 
State, some of whom figured conspicuously in the Con- 
gress of the United States. 

Gen. Turney was a man of commanding eloquence, 
and of a very majestic appearance, especially when he 
addressed the Senate. No one could fail to recognize 


in a moment, when they heard him speak, that he was 
a man of considerable genius and talent. He never 
failed to command the most profound attention of the 
Senate, and at all times was listened to with the great- 
est interest. I remember when going on my circuit 
as Attorney-General of being told by Col. Buckmas- 
ter and others that such was the reputation which had 


preceded Gen. Turney that a great many men indicted 
came in and confessed guilty, rather than stand a trial 
under his administration as Attorney-General. I have 
spent many long and agreeable hours with Gen. Tur- 
ney. "We elected him, in 1837, as one of the commis- 
sioners of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which 
office he filled for several years. I was at his town 
Carrollton at the time of the Alton riots, Jesse B. 
Thomas being judge of that court. Gen. Turney's 
habits being then none of the best, he got me to take 
charge of his cases, which I did. I deem it unneces- 
sary here to say anything more of General Turney. 



|HE next name I propose to introduce is that 
of E. G. Ryan, now one of the judges of the 
Supreme Court of Wisconsin. My acquain- 
tance with him commenced at Yandalia, at that mem- 
orable session of the legislature of 1836 and '37. He 
was there in attendance upon the Supreme Court as a 
lawyer, his residence being then at Chicago; and I 
think I may say, without giving offense to any living 
man, there was no man then at the bar who could claim 
to be his superior. 

Ryan is an Irishman by birth. He is a man of bad 
temper and tyrannical disposition. He fell out with 
Isaac P. Walker once at Springfield, and abused 
Walker in adjectives that but few men could stand, 
and AValker gave him a terrible flogging, which I pre- 
sume he has not forgotten even to this day. Walker 
was a perfect Hercules in physical strength and power, 
and therefore it was no difficult task to administer this 
chastisement to Ryan. 

Ryan was a most eminent and learned lawyer, and 
has to-day, perhaps, no superior on the Northwestern 
bench. I was introduced to him by Judge Theophilus 
W. Smith, of Chicago, but was never prepossessed with 

E. G. EYAJT. 379 

him from the first hour of our acquaintance. He was 
a very sarcastic and disagreeable man. He strove to 
make everybodj' feel their inferiority to him and his 
superiority to them. 

I lost sight of him for a good many years, but I 
learned in these later years, that Ryan sank into great 
indigence, and had actually to copy records and law- 
yers' briefs as a means of supporting himself and his 
family, but a little turn in fortune's wheel has lifted 
him to the Supreme Bench of the State of Wisconsin, 
where I trust he will long remain, for he is certainly 
a great judicial light, and whatever may be his faults, 
I take him to be a pure and honest man and an up- 
right judge; and if these pages should meet his eye, I 
wish him to consider, in the language of Shakspeare, 
" that I have nothing extenuated, nor set down aught 
in malice." As E. G. Ryan has for a long time been 
a citizen of Wisconsin, I leave him to the care of the 
historians of that State, and those who may write up 
the biographies of its distinguished men, having 
devoted to him the space here given in consideration 
of his having once been a citizen of the State of 



1HE next name that I shall introduce is that 
of one of the oldest citizens of Illinois, and 
one of the first men of any distinction with 
whom I became acquainted after my advent into this 
State it is that of Col. William 0. Greenup. My 
acquaintance with him commenced in 1835, at iny 
father's house, in the town of Greenup, and county of 
Coles, on the National Road, being then constructed 
from Terre Haute to Vandalia, to which I have already 
alluded in some other portion of these memoirs. 

Col. Greenup was a native of Kentucky, and a 
nephew of old Gov. Greenup, of that State. He came 
to Illinois while it was a territory, and settled in Kas- 
kaskia, and was Secretary of the convention that 
formed our first Constitution. He was a great friend 
of ray father and mother, and also of mine. I remem- 
ber very distinctly I sent down to the Supreme Court 
my license to practice law by the hand of Col. Greenup, 
dated the first of May, 1827, and received from them 
a license, authorizing me to practice in the State of 

At the time when I first became acquainted with 
Col. Greenup, he was the chief officer and Superintend- 


ent of the National Road, and boarded and made his 
home at my father's house. The town of Greenup 
was laid out by him and Captain Barber, and named 
after my friend Greenup. 

The Colonel was a perfect walking enclyclopeedia 
of the early men of Illinois. Most of what I have 
learned of the men and events of Illinois prior to 
my acquaintance with them, I learned from Colonel 
Greenup. He was a man of the most remarkable 
memory I ever knew. He was not only acquainted 
with most of the eminent men of Illinois, but with a 
great many in Kentucky. For instance: The Wick- 
liifes, the Hardins, Marshalls, Grundy and Rowan, and 
many others that I cannot now call to mind. 

Colonel Greenup died many years ago. My acquaint- 
ance with him continued up to 1838, and our relations 
were always of a friendly character. I have given 
him a place here because he was prominent in the 
early history of our State, and took an active part in 
the formation of our first Constitution ; and was 
honored by the secretaryship of that ancient body. I 
therefore make no apology for introducing his name 
into these memoirs. 



TIE next name that I shall introduce to my 
readers is one that I have too long neglected, 
and should have had the first place, or nearly 
so, in the memoirs. It is the name of Judge David 
McDonald, late judge of the Federal District Court 
of Indiana. My acquaintance commenced with him 
many years ago. I know it was prior to 1856. A 
friend of mine had been sued in the Circuit Court of 
Vigo county, Indiana, Terre Haute being the county 
seat. The name of the plaintiff was Dumas Vanderen, 
and that of the defendant, my client, Ebenezer Noyes, 
both citizens of Coles county, Illinois. Noyes em- 
ployed me to defend him, and authorized me to associ- 
ate with me one of the most distinguished lawyers of 
Indiana, leaving the choice entirely to me. I had 
determined on employing Joe Marshall, of Madison, 
Indiana, and wrote him a letter to that effect, and got 
one of the most melancholy replies I ever received, 
telling me that it would have afforded him the great- 
est pleasure to have been associated with me in that 
case, but it was impossible, for he felt himself to be in 
a dying condition, and was about going South to try 
and recruit his health. At the term of the court to 


which the case was set for trial, I got acquainted with 
Judge Hughes, the presiding judge of that court, and 
told him of my dilemma. He told me he thought he 
could introduce me to a lawyer that would exactly 
suit my purpose, and thereupon introduced me to 
David McDonald, who had for. a long time been judge 
of the circuit on the circuit including Bloomington, 
Indiana, and who had also been professor, and lecturer 
of the law school in that place. From that time our 
intimacy and acquaintance commenced, which were 
of the most intimate character. I loved the man, and 
I think he loved me. 

Somewhere about 1856 or '7 I received a letter from 
him desiring me to meet him at old Vincennes, stating 
that the Yincennes University wished to employ me 
in the prosecution of a claim of theirs against Sam- 
uel Judah, who as their lawyer had collected about 
forty or fifty thousand dollars, which he refused to pay 
over to them. I met him there at the time appointed, 
at a term of the Vincennes court set for the trial of the 
case. We only charged them the moderate sum of one 
thousand dollars apiece, they giving us a very hand- 
some retainer. Judah, not being popular, took a 
change, of venue to Sullivan county, where Judge 
McDonald and I attended for several years, prosecut- 
ing the claim of the University against Judah. We got, 
as well as I remember, two or three verdicts, which were 
reversed by the Supreme Court of Indiana; but the last 
one, which was for about nine thousand dollars, they 
permitted to stand. 

I shall never forget the pleasant and agreeable hours 
which I spent with Judge McDonald at our hotel 


while attending to this case. He was a warm friend 
and admirer of mine, and I most cordially reciprocated 
his friendship and admiration. 

Judge McDonald was originally, when quite a young 
man, a preacher in the Christian Church, but he left 
them and became a member of the Methodist Church 
not because he preferred their doctrines, but because 
he believed his own church had treated him badly, in 
which opinion I concurred. 

He was a man of the most amiable and social dis- 
position, a fair scholar, and one of the best special 
pleaders I ever saw. This connection of ours in the 
Vincennes-Judah case ran through several years. 
After that case was over, and I removed with my 
family to the city of Chicago in 1860, I was employed 
in a land suit in the District Federal Court of Indi- 
ana, of which court David McDonald had been ap- 
pointed Judge by Mr. Lincoln. It is unnecessary to 
speak of the manner in which that suit terminated. 

The last time I remember to have seen Judge Mc- 
Donald was in Chicago, sitting by the side of Judges 
Davis and Drummond, on the bench of the Federal 
Circuit Court of this State. He had come to this city 
to be treated for a spinal affection by a magnetic and 
spiritual doctor. Whether true or not, he professed 
to have obtained relief from his manipulations, but it 
was not long afterwards when I heard of his death, 
which filled my heart with sorrow and grief. No man, 
lawyer or judge, in Indiana, was more renowned for 
his legal learning, integrity and impartiality, than his 
Honor, David McDonald, and iny heart makes many a 
pilgrimage to his grave, and may the grass long grow 



green thereon. If I thought that I was not to join 
him in a better state than this, I should regret having 
ever been placed on this low ground of sorrow and sin. 
He was an older man than myself, but I feel that the 
time is not long when I must follow him to " that 
bourne from whence no traveler returns." Peace be 
to his ashes! for he has left to posterity a name and 
fame embalmed in the hearts of his countrymen. 




ILES SPRING is a lawyer who located in Chi- 
cago in 1832 or 1833. He and Judge Caton 
were contemporaries in the practice of law in 
that city. The first time I ever saw Spring was at 
Yandalia, in 1836, during that session of the legisla- 
ture to which I have so often alluded. He was there 
in attendance on the Supreme Court. He was a man 
naturally of very strong intellect, possessing rare pow- 
ers of analysis, but of limited education. As a speci- 
men of his deficiency in the latter respect, I will give 
a statement he made to the court in a case he brought 
down from Chicago. " May it please your Honors," 
said he, " the hull evidence in this case, as sot down 
in the record, makes a clear case in favor of my client." 

But, notwithstanding his limited education, he 
seemed to be a sort of natural lawyer, possessing an 
intuitive insight into its principles and maxims. I 
have had it from the lips of very eminent counsel who 
are still living, that Giles Spring had no superior at 
the bar in his powers of analysis. He seemed to pos- 
sess the faculty of looking through a case at almost a 
single glance. 

I did not meet him again until about the year 1848, 


at Springfield, 111., the legislature being then in session, 
and I being a member thereof from the county of 
Coles. Giles was there attending upon the Supreme 
Court, and with several axes to grind by the legisla- 
ture. During this session, Giles and I became pecu- 
liarly intimate, and I have the most lively and tender 
recollection of our intercourse at that time. I may 
have seen him again in 1854, when I paid a visit to 
Chicago, but of this I am not positively certain. I 
do not know the precise time of his death, only that he 
departed this life a good while ago. 

He was a man of child-like simplicity of manners; 
as tender-hearted as a woman, and would have stepped 
aside to keep from treading on a worm. If he had 
his faults, their name was not legion, and what- 
ever they may have been, I have no great capacity 
now for remembering them, and shall therefore leave 
them for some more malevolent historian than myself 
to record. 

He was Circuit Judge of Cook county at one period 
of his life, and all the lawyers who have survived him, 
who practiced in his court, speak of him as one of the 
ablest judges that ever presided as judge of the Circuit 
Court of Cook County. He left three children, two of 
whom have gone to rest with their father. His son 
Edward, whom I have met, is married and living in 
Chicago. I have understood that his father left a very 
handsome property to his family. 

I will wind up this sketch by saying what can be 
sajd of but few men, that I never met with any person 
who spoke an evil word of Giles Spring. 



AMUEL H. TREAT has been a presiding judge 
in the State of Illinois for over thirty odd 
years, part of the time on the Supreme Bench 
of the State of Illinois, and part of the time a Judge 
of the District Court of the United States for the 
Southern District of Illinois. In all the judicial posi- 
tions he has held he has maintained a character for 
unblemished integrity and spotless honesty and honor. 
I cannot fix the precise date when my personal 
acquaintance with him commenced, but I think it 
dates back to about 1843, or '44. I never knew him 
as a practicing lawyer, but only as a judge of the 
higher courts of our State and Nation. He was a 


sterling Democrat, and as true as steel to that great 
and noble old party, but he never suffered his politics 
to mingle in the slightest degree with his judicial 
opinions or deliberations. He was remarkable for his 
urbanity and suavity of manners, as well when off as 
when on the bench. If any person will read the reports 
of the Supreme Court of Illinois, they will find the 
opinions of Judge Treat to be the neatest and tersest 
of them all, and the nicest legal criticism will be un- 
able to detect an error in the points he has made or 
the reasons he has brought to support them. 


Judge Treat, as I understand, is a native of the 
State of New York. His elegant lady is a native of 
Virginia, and is closely connected with some of the 
oldest and best families of that renowned common- 

Judge Treat is still living and resides at Springfield, 
111., where I think he has resided for the last twenty- 
five or thirty years, and he is still judge of the Federal 
Court, to which he is an honor and an ornament, and 
long may he live to adorn that station. 

My acquaintance with him has been long, and our 
friendship of the warmest character. He was an inti- 
mate acquaintance and personal friend of Abraham 
Lincoln in his life-time, although they differed in 
politics. Judge Treat is now, with the exception of 
Judge Breese, one of the oldest judges in the State of 
Illinois. I think he is sixty-five or seventy years of 
age. He is a quiet, unambitious man, and precisely 
the kind of timber out of which judges should be made. 



|YLE SMITH was a lawyer who settled in 
Chicago at an early day, and was decidedly, in 
my opinion, one of the prettiest and most elo- 
quent speakers I ever heard. I met him in a Whig 
convention at Springfield, Ills., about the year 1844, 
and I think it would not be out of place to bestow 
upon him the compliment, paid by the " Old Hanger," 
Gov. Reynolds, to Henry Clay. When asked by some 
of his younger friends what he thought of Mr. Clay's 
eloquence, replied, as I have stated in another place, 
that " the only thing he could compare it to, if they 
could imagine such a thing, was fifty fiddles, all in full 

All that Lyle Smith wanted, was a more portly 
personage to make him one of the most commanding 
orators I ever heard. He was a very small man, fall- 
ing considerably below the medium size, but possess- 
ing a voice like a trumpet, and as sweet and mellow 
in its tones as music played upon the waters on a calm 
summer evening. He did not figure largely as a lawyer, 
for the reason that he had no necessity to do so, being 
the owner in his own right of choice tracts of lands in 



the State of Illinois, which he counted by thousands 
of acres, besides any amount of money which he called 
upon his father to supply, who was a wealthy capi- 
talist in the city of Philadelphia. 

I have been told that Lyle kept open house in 
Chicago to all his friends who came to see him from 
every point of the compass, whom he entertained with 
princely magnificence and elegance. He has long 
since gone to join the thousands of his contemporaries 
who have passed away, and we trust that he has not 
found the change disagreeable. 



1ATRICK BALLINGALL is the next name I 
shall introduce here, which I do with some 
reluctance, for the reason that I am not in 
possession of sufficient facts and materials to do him 
complete justice. A considerable number of his cotem- 
poraries are still living in the city of Chicago, and 
they all speak of his talents and social qualities as 
being of the very highest order. I met him once or 
twice at Springfield, but had no opportunity of testing 
him further than as a social boon companion, who 
liked his friends and had the capacity of making them 
feel agreeable. He was a Scotchman by birth and 
education. He was Prosecuting-Attorney for Cook 
county at one time, arid I have been told by lawyers 
who knew him in that capacity, that no abler or fiercer 
prosecutor had ever filled that office in Cook county. 
They speak of him in unmeasured terms of applause, 
giving to him the first place at the bar while on the 
theatre of this life, especially in the criminal depart- 
ment of the law. 

I am truly sorry that I am unable to give any length- 
ier notice of my friend PatBallingall. This, however, 
must suffice. He has been dead many years, and I 
trust he is happy, wherever he may be. 



EOEGE MA-NIEERE, the next name that I 
introduce to my readers, is a lawyer of very 
old standing in the city of Chicago. He was 
on the bench of the Circuit Court of Cook County when 
I removed to the city of Chicago in 1860, where he 
continued to the time of his death, which took place, I 
think, some eight or ten years ago. He was a most 
excellent judge, a profound and deeply read lawyer, 
and had a character for unimpeachable integrity which 
he richly deserved. Slander itself never uttered a syl- 
lable to tarnish his good name and honesty as a judge. 
Bribery never dared to approach him. I never had a 
case before him without feeling the most unbounded 
confidence in his purity and intelligence. I believe 
the bar who knew him would unite to-day in saying, 
"We never had a more upright or intelligent judge." 

He added to his learning as a lawyer an urbanity 
on the bench, with a courtesy which he extended to 
all his lawyers alike, whether old or young. 

He was a man of very prepossessing appearance, 
rather inclined to corpulence, but still, nevertheless, of 
a very imposing presence, the chief element of which 
was, he always met you with a smile which beamed 
from his face like sunshine. He put on no false dig- 


nity on account of his judicial position, but was emi- 
nently social, and conversed upon terms of perfect 
equality with all the members of the bar, and there 
was not one amongst us who did not love him as a 

I know nothing more worthy to be related of George 
Manierre, except that I have heard it said that he was 
the author of the first city charter of Chicago. He 
left a handsome estate to his family, and, what is bet- 
ter, an unsullied name and fame as a priceless legacy 
to his children, and there I leave him, knowing that 
posterity will take good care of his fame. 



>W, my worthy readers, pardon me, if you 
please, while I step aside to speak of the 
humble author of these memoirs, who has got 
them up for your amusement and entertainment, if 
not for your instruction. I think in the introductory 
part of this work I have brought myself up to my 
advent into Illinois in 1835. As I have already said, 
on the next year after my entrance into the State, I 
was elected to the House of Ilepresentatives in the 
State legislature of Illinois, from the county of Coles. 
On the 11 th day of February, 1837, the legislature on 
joint ballot elected me Attorney-General of the State, 
over Benjamin Bond, who was a member from Clinton 
county. You may well imagine how a boy of plebeian 
stock would feel by being so soon elevated to so high 
a position. As the law then stood, it required the 
Attorney-General to reside at the seat of government, 
which law I aui sorry to say I did not obey, but took 
my family to Alton, where we lived for a year or so 
that family then consisting of my wife and self and a 
little girl about five or six years old. In 1838, we 
returned to Coles county, Illinois, and from that time 
up to 1860 I led a career of proud legal success on the 


Wabash circuit which makes my heart now swell with 
pride when I think of it. I made hundreds and thou- 
sands of dollars on that circuit, and I spent it liber- 
ally; was not mean or penurious in its distribution; 
and I can lay my hand upon my heart and say that I 
never persecuted or oppressed an unfortunate man in 
my character of lawyer. I have met and fought the 
proud and rich oppressor on hundreds of legal battle- 
fields, and if any man will go to-day on my old circuit 
he will find the above statement to be true. I do not 
pretend to perfection, for I know that I am a poor, 
erring, sinful man; but whatever my faults may have 
been, and I know they have been rather grievous, I 
think my heart has always been in the right place, and 
I think that I shall leave to my children a character 
for integrity and charity of which they will not be 
ashamed; but it is not my business to Jbe judge in my 
own case, and I therefore leave it to posterity to deter- 
mine whether I have been a worthy man and lawyer 
or not; and with that decision I shall rest content. If 
poverty is a crime, then 1 have been a great criminal, 
and all I have got to say is to exclaim with the pub- 
lican, "The Lord have mercy upon me a sinner." 

I have been sixteen years in the city of Chicago, 
and during that time have attended to many cases in 
the various courts of law and equity, and I think the 
judges before whom I have appeared may be safely 
appealed to as to their opinion of my course as a fair 
and honorable lawyer; and I was never a candidate 
for any office during those whole sixteen years, unless 
it might be thought I was so when I presented my 
name a few years ago to the judges of the Circuit and 



Superior Courts for nomination to the humble office 
of Justice of the Peace, which they failed to give me, 
and for which I have no complaint to make against 
them. That office would have given me a support in 
my old age ; but as I did not get it, I utter no com- 
plaint, feeling perfectly assured that that Being who 
" tempers the wind to the shorn lamb " will take care 
of me and mine. 

I have said enough about myself as connected with 
other names and incidents without saying any more 
in this place. If there is anything more to be written 
in reference to myself, I shall leave that matter to my 
friends and not undertake to applaud myself. 

My worthy readers, in collecting the numerous 
names, and the incidents connected therewith, has 
been to me a very laborious and painful task; but I do 
not begrudge it to you if it shall furnish you with any 
entertainment or amusement. This work, humble as 
it is, is intended for the American people, and the 
American public, whom I sincerely love, and I trust 
in God they will long remain in the possession of 
their rights and liberties, and never forfeit them by 
any blind and heedless devotion to any mere popular 
name. I consider this nation as having been planted 
here by the fiat and will of Almighty God, and as 
having been preserved by his benevolence and power 
to the present day. "We shall soon reach the hun- 
dredth year of our independence, and the doctrine of 
popular sovereignty still prevails; and every lover of 
his country feels that it is written upon every part of 
the stars and stripes < f the glorious ensign of our lib- 
erties and independence, that we shall forever be a free 


and republican government, and that all power dwells 
with and emanates from the people. I believe that 
the day is not far distant when the fires of republican 
liberty which has been lighted on these shores, will 
shed their light upon all the nations of the earth, and 
our glorious institutions be adopted by all the civil- 
ized nations of the world. Behold the progress of this 
nation, now only a hundred years of age, which started 
with three millions of people, and now numbering over 
forty millions, with more miles of railroads and tele- 
graph lines than is possessed by all the nations of 
Europe; possessing an extent of territory and a fertil- 
ity of soil sufficient to support and sustain twenty 'or 
thirty times the numbers that now dwell noon our soil. 




j|EN MILLS was a finished scholar, a perfect 
master of language, of a highly poetic imagi- 
i-2Sl nation, and gifted with marvelous tenacity of 
memory. On his way out West from Massachusetts, 
his traveling companion, whose name was Wait, was a 
magnificent singer. They were wild youngsters, and 
spent their money in such a lavish way that they got 
"strapped" in Richmond, Virginia, and it became a 
very important question with them how they should 
" raise the wind." The idea struck Ben that he might 
do something in the way of preaching. His memory 
was stored with any quantity of splendid sermons com- 
posed by his father, who was one of the most eminent 
and eloquent divines in IsTevv England. Ben had acted 
as his father's arcanuens's, and his splendid memory 
retained the substance of the sermons. On this occa- 
sion he contrived to let it be known in the right quar- 
ter that he and his companion were sent to perform 
missionary labor in the West. Mills was soon invited 
to preach, which he did with wonderful unction. His 
brilliant oratorical displays, coupled with Wait's un- 
equaled singing, carried the congregation completely 


away. The people were in ecstasies ; space could hardly 
be found for their audiences. Richmond was in trans- 
ports. From the accounts which I remember to have 
heard at the time, the excitement there was equal to 
that raised by Moody and Sankey. Now Ben hinted 
in one of his discourses that a little material aid would 
not come amiss, and instantly their coffers were filled. 
The proud old Virginians were not going to allow such 
apostles to go empty-handed to the work of converting 
the heathen. Mills and "Wait managed as soon as pos- 
sible to leave, and it was a considerable time before 
the Richmond folks found out that they had been sold. 

Ben was unequaled in repartee. lie was attending 
to a case once in Galena, and had for his client a black 
man; the opposite party was a white man. They 
agreed upon a compromise, and Mills went up to Judge 
Young, followed by the parties, and stated that they 
had compromised the case and desired that his Honor 
would enter the terms upon his minutes. The judge 
said he would pay no attention to any agreement unless 
it was reduced to writing. Mills, quick as lightning, 
pointing to the parties, said: "If your Honor please, 
here it is, in Hack and white." 

Mills once joined a temperance society, and while 
he belonged to it a change took place in the style of 
drinking vessels tumblers had been superseded by 
wine-glasses. Mills relapsed, and was accosted one 
day in a grocery where he was nourishing a small 
wine-glass in his hand, by David Prickett, who said: 
" Mills, I thought you had quit drinking." " So I 
have," said Ben, holding up his litttle glass, "in a 
great measure" 


A. "W. CAVAKLT, a member of the bar of Green 
county, interposed a general demurrer to one of Mills' 
pleadings, and sought thereunder to take advantage of 
some matter which could only be reached by special 
demurrer. When Cavarly discovered that he could 
only reach the detect by special demurrer, he insisted 
that his was a special demurrer because he had under- 
scored parts of it". Judge Lockwood decided against 
him. At dinner the same day, at which the judge and 
members of the bar were present, Cavarly .sent his plate 
to Mills to be furnished with what he thought was a 
cut of venison. Mills sent him a piece which Cavarly 
discovered was beef, and he remarked: " Brother Mills, 
I wanted venison, and you sent me beef." " Oh," 
said Mills, "underscore it, brother Cavarly, and that 
will make it venison." 

Cavarly, who was not a very good scholar, used to 
pronounce the word unique, you-ni-kue. Some one 
asked Mills the meaning of the word as Cavarly pro- 
nounced jt. Mills, putting on a grave air, said that it 
was the fern-ale of unicorn. 

A good story is told of Cavarly, which may be men- 
tioned in this connection, as illustrating the difficulty 
of getting any information from persons who are indis- 
posed to tell what they know: Cavarly brought suit 
once against a man for immoderately riding a horse he 
had borrowed from the plaintiff, whereby the horse was 
injured, and he sought to make out his case by a wit- 
ness who was clearly on the other side. The witness 
was an oily-tongued, smooth-faced chap, who wore an 
expression that was " child-like a-nd bland." Cav- 
arly called his witness to the stand, seeming to -be 


aware of the attitude of the fellow. Said he: "Wit- 
ness, do you know Mr. So-and-so?" (the defendant). 

" Yes, sir." 

"How long have you known him?" 

" Well, about ten years." 

" Did you ever see him ride horseback?" 

"Yes, frequently." 

" Well, now, witness, I want you to state to the jury, 
under the solemn sanction of the oath you have just- 
taken, how he rides." 

Cavarly's object was to prove that he was a hard 

" Well," said the witness, " Mr. Cavarly, he always 
rides straddle" 

Cavarly was very indignant, and said, " Witness, we 
all know that every man in this country rides ' strad- 
dle? We don't need to be told that by you. What 
we want to know is how he rides. How does he ride 
when he is in company?" 

"Well, sir, he generally keeps up." 

Cavarly's rage now knew no bounds. He called 
upon the court to protect him from the insolence of 
the witness, and said it must be apparent that, the wit- 
ness was trying to evade giving his testimony against 
the defendant. The court admonished the witness 
that he would have to punish him if he did not answer 
according to the spirit of* Mr. Cavarly's interrogato- 
ries. The witness said that he was answering the ques- 
tions and would answer the best he could. 

" Now," said Cavarly, " witness, we don't want to 
know whether the defendant rides 'straddle' or not, 
or whether he keeps up when he is riding in company. 


We want to know how lie rides. How does he ride 
when he is by himself ? " 

" Mr. Cavarly, upon my word I can't answer that 
question, for I never was with him when he was by 

This of course created a great laugh at Cavarly's 
expense, who berated the fellow soundly, who never- 
theless pretended to be surprised to think that any one 
should suppose that he was not answering in good 
faith. Cavarly was obliged to dismiss the witness and 
also his case, although every one knew that the witness 
could have answered in the way that would have sus- 
tained Cavarly's case. 

Mills was appointed by the House of Representa- 
tives to manage in the case of the proceedings for the 
impeachment of Judge Theophilus W. Smith, and he 
made an argument which would have reflected credit 
upon Prentiss of Mississippi to whom he bore a very 
close resemblance in the structure of his mind. I 
heard the Hon. Cyrus Edwards, who was a splendid 
orator himself, and a frequent listener to Clay and the 
other luminaries of Kentucky, say that he never heard 
anything that surpassed the effort of Mills on that 
occasion. Many brilliant passages from his speech 
were memorized and quoted at the social gatherings 
and upon the streets. It was one of the most eloquent, 
finished and scholarly productions that ever fell upon 
the human ear. Smith had no fears of impeachment 
until after he heard Mills' speech; from that time he 
trembled in his boots. 

Mills prosecuted Winchester in the trial for the 
murder of Smith, in Edwardsville. Grimdy, who 


defended Winchester, and who was the greatest crim- 
inal lawyer in the West, and perhaps in the world, 
denounced the prosecution for employing a man 
against his client, " before the force of whose genius 
truth,,justice and law were in danger of succumbing." 
~Not even the masterly powers of Felix Grundy could 
have saved Winchester had Mills not been a Yankee. 
Grundy rung the changes upon the crime of being 
born in New England. He thanked God that there 
was but one man on the jury who first drew his breath 
north of Mason and Dixon's line, and that man had 
lived long enough in the West to have thrown off the 
perversities of his Yankee nature. 

It was at this period that the Yankees were so odi- 
ous that they were preached about and denounced 
from the pulpit. A story illustrative of this is told 
of old " Daddy Biggs," a hardshell Baptist, who 
believed that wherever the word sprinkle appeared in 
the Bible it was a Yankee trick. He was preaching 
once about the richness of God's grace, which he said 
" tack in the isles of the sea and the uttermost parts 
of the yerth." It embraced the Esquimaux and the 
Hottentots, " and some, my brethering, go so fur as 
to suppose that it takes in these poor benighted Yan- 
kees, l>ut I don't go that fur" 

JUSTIN BUTTERFIELD was a man of great ability. As 
a lawyer, perhaps, he had no equal in the State, and was 
remarkably felicitous in his method of expressing him- 
self. He was asked whether he was in favor of the 
Mexican war or not. He said he had blasted his po- 
litical prospects by opposing the war of 1812, and ever 


since that time he had been in favor of war, pestilence 
and famine. 

He was perfectly familiar with the scriptures, and 
used scriptural quotations and illustrations with great 
effect. While he was District Attorney, Ben Bond 
Avas U. S. Marshal, and one or two of his brothers 
were deputies, and were quite annoying to Butterfiekl, 
whose patience at one time was tried beyond endur- 
ance. He remarked to some one: " I would to God 
that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, 
were both almost and altogether such as I am, except 
these Bonds" 

David A. Smith, of Jacksonville, who had somehow 
incurred the displeasure of Butterfiekl, was sitting one 
day in the U. S. court room, sleeping, the sun shining 
upon his bald, sleek head. Some one directed Butter- 
field's attention to him, when he instantly exclaimed, 
in his gruff voice : " The light shineth upon darkness, 
but the darkness comprehendeth it not." 

His happiest scriptural illustration was when he was 
defending the constitutionality of the Shawneetown 
Bank. The Constitution of Illinois of 1818, provided 
that there should be no bank except the State Bank 
and its branches, and also the banks that were then in 
existence. The Shawneetown bank was chartered be- 
fore that time, but in 1835 its charter was extended. 
A writ of quo warranto was sued out against the 
bark, and in the argument it was contended by the 
counsel who sued out the writ, that the extension of 
the charter was in law and in fact the creation of a new 
bank. Butterfield was restive while this line of argu- 
ment was being pursued, and he arose to reply with 


an expression of contempt in his face. He said he 
would like to be informed by the gentlemen if they 
had met with it in their reading, which he very much 
doubted, however, whether when the Lord lengthened 
out the life of Hezekiah fifteen years, he had made a 
new man, or was he the same old Hezekiali? " 

Of FKIDLEY, of whom Gen. Linder speaks in his me- 
moirs, it might be said that he was one of the cutest 
men that ever lived. With hardly any education, he 
was a decided success in the courts and in the halls of 
legislation. His remark to the jury in the case where 
it was contended that the bill stolen by the defendant 
was not worth five dollars, as it was at a discount of 
two per cent., that as it was par for goods or-labor, 
the defendant should not be allowed to steal it at a dis- 
count, is worth its weight in gold. At one time he 
was attending to a case before Judge Caton, and he 
was bringing up some question which had been deci- 
ded against him, and the judge told him that if he 
wanted that question re-examined he must take it to 
a court of errors; upon which Fridley remarked, in an 
undertone, that if you would not take this court for a 
court of errors, he did not know where to go to find 
one. This sally was overheard by the judge, and it- 
amused him exceedingly, and he often related it with 
great gusto. 

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