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574. Edward L. Pierce (Statement for William H. Herndon).

[Enclosure E]

[December 1889]

From Edward L Pierce Milton Mass

The closing passage of Mr. Lincoln's proclamation of Emancipation was from Mr Chase. I first learned this from L. Miller Mc Kim, a Philadelphia abolitionist. He was calling one day with others on the President in relation to some plan concerning the freedmen. Mr Lincoln after awhile diverted the conversation by saying that he wished to read them the most eloquent passage he had ever seen, and taking from his pocket book a newspaper clipping proceeded to read the final passage of one of John Brights speeches, probably the one made Dec. 18. 1862 at Birmingham in which he predicted a grand future for our country. Mr McKim when he had finished said "that is indeed an eloquent passage, Mr President, but I know one more eloquent" "What is it," inquired Mr Lincoln. "It is" said Mr McKim, the closing passage of your Proclamation in which you wrote "the considerate judgement of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God" "Do you like that" said Mr Lincoln "Yes, very much" said Mr McKim. "Well" said Mr Lincoln "Chase wrote that". I think that later Carpenter in his "Six Months at the White House" gives an account of the circumstances at the time when Mr Chase suggested that there should be a different ending and Mr Lincoln asked him to draw one.

In the summer of 1863 I was with Mr Chase at the White Mountains. He had just left his place as head of the Treasury, and was very sore about Mr Lincoln. I told him this story as it had been recently given to me by Mr McKim and he said quietly and thoughtfully, "Well Mr Lincoln does do justice to others for what they do"



1. Carpenter.