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Photograph of Abraham Lincoln, by Rice

Photograph of Sallie Carrie Whitney

Log Cabin at "Goose Nest" Prairie

"Rutledge" Mill at New Salem

Home of Abraham Lincoln at Springfield

Tremont House, Chicago, from 1850 to 1871

Photograph of Abraham Lincoln by Hesler

Court Week on the Eighth Circuit

Court House at Clinton, Illinois

Photograph of Abraham Lincoln, by Alschuler

Photograph of David Davis, and Autograph

Court House at Paris, Illinois

Fac-simile of Letter from David Davis

Photograph of Leonard Swett and Autograph

A Lawyer's Advertisement of Central Illinois, A. D. 1855

The United States Capitol (Front)

President's Room in Capitol

Three (domestic) Graces

Mary Todd Lincoln

The Executive Mansion (Front)

Blue Room, President's Mansion

Private Dining-Room, President's Mansion

Horse and Warrior

The Executive Mansion (Rear)

Cabinet Room at President's Mansion

Autograph Letter of Abraham Lincoln, June 7, 1855

East Room, President's Mansion

Autograph Letter of Abraham Lincoln (1st page) Dec. 18, 1857

Autograph Letter of Abraham Lincoln (2nd page) Dec. 18, 1857

Court House at Petersburgh, Illinois

Site of "Rutledge Mill", at New Salem

The Lovers' Path

Road at New Salem

Pen Sketch of New Salem

Lincoln's Home at New Salem

Well Where Lincoln First Saw Ann Rutledge

The Grave of Ann Rutledge


Sangamon River Above New Salem

Around the Bend, Above New Salem

Autograph Speech at Gettysburgh Battle Ground (1st page)

Autograph Speech at Gettysburgh Battle Ground (2nd page)

Court House at Danville, Illinois

An Autographic "Declaration" of Seven Pages

An Autographic "Declaration" of Seven Pages

An Autographic "Declaration" of Seven Pages

An Autographic "Declaration" of Seven Pages

Photograph of James W. Somers, and Two Autograph Letters from Abraham Lincoln

The Tomb of Abraham Lincoln

Green Room, President's Mansion

Autograph Note of Abraham Lincoln to McClellan, Sept. 30, 1861

A Female Figure Behind the Bars

Autograph Letter of Abraham Lincoln, July 9, 1856

Fac-simile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation, Preliminary

Fac-simile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation, Preliminary

Fac-simile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation, Preliminary

Fac-simile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation, Jan. 1, 1863

Fac-simile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation, Jan. 1, 1863

Fac-simile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation, Jan. 1, 1863

Fac-simile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation, Jan. 1, 1863

Battle Group

Old State House, Springfield

Sangamon River Below New Salem

Fac-simile of Map of Road Survey by Abraham Lincoln

Fac-simile of Certificate to Accompany the Same, by Same

New State House, Springfield

Red Room, President's Mansion

The "Grant" Family, Thirty-five Days Before the Hero's Death

Photograph and Autograph Signature of E. B. Washburne

The "Grant" Monument at Chicago

"Grant's" Sick-Room at Mount McGregor

Photograph of Stephen A. Douglas

Autograph Letter of Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 30, 1858

Autograph Letter of Abraham Lincoln, Dec. 25, 1858

Autograph Letter of Abraham Lincoln, Aug. 22, 1858

Autograph Letter of Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 26, 1860

Home of Abraham Lincoln's Father, at Elizabethtown, Ky.

Autograph Letter from Oliver Wendell Holmes, May 27, 1866

Autograph Letter from Oliver Wendell Holmes, May 27, 1866


Site of the Home of Abraham Lincoln, at New Salem

Autograph Letter of Abraham Lincoln, Aug. 2, 1858

The "Lincoln" Log Cabin, at Farmington, Ill.

Autograph Letter of Abraham Lincoln, June 24, 1858

Lithograph Engraving of Abraham Lincoln

Photograph of Statue of Lincoln, at Rochester, N. Y.

Photograph of Statue of Lincoln, at Rochester, N. Y.

Photograph of Robert Todd Lincoln

"The Fourteenth of April Came"

"The End"



While traveling eastward, some years since, I was honored with the company of Senator Fowler of Tennessee, and Hon. John Baton, then Commissioner of Education, and now President of Marietta College; and, the subject of Mr. Lincoln coming under review, we disdained our comfortable berths, and "The glow-worm showed the matin to be near," before we took note that I had spent the entire night in rehearsing, to these distinguished gentlemen, various incidents which suggested themselves to my mind, pertaining to this greatest of men, within my own personal experience; and this attention on their part was, of course, an homage to his memory, and not in any wise to me, and is indicative of the esteem in which his memory is held by men of breadth, culture and high attainments.

I have had other similar, though somewhat less radical, experiences; and, upon the advice of friends, the following sketches, written chiefly several years since, and now modified and amplified, are offered to the public with much trepidation, many misgivings, and no well defined ideas as to their reception.

I have, however, classified my subjects, as will appear, in order that those who so desire can omit what might be devoid of interest, having myself experienced, in the consideration of the various "Lives of Lincoln" I have seen, the difficulty of selection and avoidance which occurred in an unclassified consideration of the subject.

Mr. Lincoln was an unique character, and had an unique experience; so that all who knew him otherwise than, and different


from, the biographical conception of him, should submit their knowledge and views of him to the world, in order that when a proper biography shall be made up from the disjecta membra then in being, all may go into the historical hopper together, each and all to contribute to an accurate similitude and "counterfeit presentment" of the man as he was.

Much error, both of fact and opinion, is prevalent concerning Mr. Lincoln, both in text and tradition. All sorts and every variety of apocryphal and morally impossible stories are on the market, and every shade and intensity of intimacy is claimed with him, by all sorts of individuals.

Dr. Holland attempted, immediately after his lamented death, to ascertain from his neighbors and those elsewhere who knew him well, what manner of man he was, with the queer result that the more he extended his inquiries and the deeper his research, the more entangled and obscure became his knowledge, and the more hopeless the difficulty of gaining any intelligent and satisfactory data upon which to base an analysis of his subject. This astute inquirer gives an amusing account of his perplexities: he found out that Mr. Lincoln was an able man, and also that his ability was meagre: that he was a profound, and likewise a superficial, lawyer: that he was a Christian and also an atheist: that he possessed a refined, and likewise a coarse, nature: that he was a profound dialectician, and that he was very shallow, and so on. On no one trait, did even those who saw him daily, for twenty years, agree.

At school, we were taught that no matter how dense or numerous a crowd might be which should gaze at a rainbow, no two individuals of that crowd could, by possibility, see the same rainbow; if this be so, as predicted of a heavenly object of transcendant beauty, having no moral quality except the sole one of entrancing the senses, how much less could we hope to find unanimity of opinion or sentiment concerning a lawyer, politician and statesman, whose whole life was a stern and relentless moral and political conflict -- who had neither grace, culture, polish or conventional refinement, and who was, by 1,857,610 voters out of 4,645,330, chosen as a


reform ruler over 30,000,000 sovereign people of heterogeneous interests and feelings. And so we find, as might be expected, much ignorant, natural and wilful prejudice, arising and existing among all ranks, even among such as desired to be homogeneous with, and to think well of, him. Parson Brownlow habitually called him an "Abolitionist nigger;" Wendell Phillips designated him as the "Illinois slave-hound;" Greeley characterized him as a habitual law-breaker; the Southern press denominated him as an "ape," a "mulatto," a "gorilla," etc.; and in 1861, Stanton said that no one about Washington had any respect for him; had not even faith in his candor and sincerity.

As his administration wore on, and his gigantic intellect became impressed upon mighty deeds, the current of laudation set in strong, and he became a subject of quite as exuberant eulogy as he had been of pristine obloquy; and the scrutiny is still rife, and the world's opinion is on its way to a conception of the man as he stands before the shrine of, and is known to, unerring TRUTH.

As I state in the following chapters, and may suggest now, much of the misapprehension of Mr. Lincoln exists, by virtue of the difference of the object painted on the mental retina — the vision of one being directed to Mr. Lincoln's methods — that of the other to the object attained. Thus when one contemplates the ruler of 40,000,000 of the most highly educated, most erudite and enlightened peoples in this or any other age, narrating bizarre anecdotes during business hours, his feelings revolt at the sight; but when he beholds the shackles stricken off of 4,000,000 human beings born to hereditary slavery, by the disposition, will and moral power of this same man, he is stupefied with amazement at this exhibition of almost Almighty power.

Mr. Lincoln's record on the slavery question has puzzled the world, but a view of the whole field makes it perfectly clear. Abstractly speaking, he held the same views which were enunciated by Mr. Jefferson, in 1820, in these words

"Nothing is more certainly written in the book of Fate than that these people are to be free; nor is it less certain that the two


races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion, have drawn indelible lines of distinction between them. It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation and deportation peaceably, and in such slow degree, as that the evil will wear off insensibly, and their places be, pari passu, filled up by free white laborers. If, on the contrary, it is left to force itself on, human nature must shudder at the prospect."

Or, as held by Madison, and thus enunciated by him in 1821

"* * If an asylum could be found in Africa, that would be the appropriate destination for the unhappy race among us. * * * The repugnance of the whites to their continuance among them is founded on race prejudices, themselves founded on physical, distinctions which are not likely soon, if ever, to be eradicated. Even in states which display most sympathy with the people of color, on the Missouri question, prohibitions are taking place against their becoming residents. They are everywhere regarded as a nuisance, and must really be such as long as they are under the degradation which public sentiment enforces."

In other words, Lincoln was a colonizationist, as Jefferson, Madison and Henry Clay were; and he attempted in several ways, as I show, to engraft that policy on his administration as a practical measure, and would have made still more heroic efforts, looking to that end, had he completed his second term; and his policy of emancipation was adopted, against both his judgment, desire and conscience, in obedience to the highest of all political laws, and which supplants constitutions, laws and customs,

"Salus populi, supremo, lex est."

And contradictions are averred to inhere in his religious history; it being claimed by Messrs. Lamon, Herndon and Nicolay that he was an infidel, and as vigorously asseverated by Dr. Holland, Arnold and others that he was a Christian.

Mr. Herndon is not a man to mistake on this important phase of his lamented friend's character, hence candor must avow that in his youthful prime he was extremely latitudinarian in his religious beliefs. So also, was Paul of Tarsus. But Mr. Lincoln learned


much, experienced much, and suffered much, and had many manifestations of God's mysterious power and intervention in mundane affairs, within thirty years, and the result of all these influences and considerations was, that the proof that he was a sincere Christian in 1863, '63 and '64, is quite as convincing as the proof that he was an infidel in 1832, '33 and '34.

The attribute of evolution applies to religion as to other moral and mental subjects. Conversion is as demonstrable as aught else, and it no more follows that the loose ideas of religion entertained by him, in his immature youth, should remain in statu quo in the days of his maturity of intellect, than that the "spread eagle" and vapid oratory of the Springfield village lyceum should be employed by him, with the autonomy of a nation and the weal of a race for a stake, and the world for an audience; and if the evidence of history attests that he was a free-thinker in 1834, it is attested by a cloud of witnesses that he was a Christian in 1863.

And similar and equally pertinent conclusions are applicable to other matters and traits of character.

In closing these sketches I am painfully conscious of their desultory and uneven character, of their lack of unity and homogeneity, and of the several repetitions of minor matters, for which there is no excuse.

These blemishes result from an attempt to put old wine in new bottles; or, more specifically, as I have elsewhere stated, from the imprudence of attempting to make homogeneous, or of sticking together with literary glue, several heterogeneous articles.

Originally commenced as a pastime, and to please a circle of friends alone, success, in any degree, can only be hoped for, because of my vantage ground as an intimate and close friend of Mr. Lincoln, and because, by reason of such intimacy, of the novelty of some of the facts and deductions, and not, in any sense, by reason, but in spite of, its literary style, or, rather, the lack thereof.

Chicago, May 1, 1892.

Signature of Henry C. Whitney


Chapter I. Emancipator in Embryo.

Log Cabin at "Goose Nest" Prairie

Long after her sensitive heart and weary hands had crumbled into dust, and had climbed to life again in forest flowers, Lincoln said to Herndon, with tears in his eyes: "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."


MRS. CRAWFORD: "What do you expect will become of you, Abe, if you don't stop such nonsense?"

ABE: "I'm going to be President of the United States."
"I didn't know then (in 1830) I had sense enough to be a lawyer."

Among the vicissitudes incident to the progress of a government, based upon general suffrage, and composed of a heterogeneous people, exponents of the extremes of social life will be found, installed in its curule chair.

While stately mansions, in the bosom of culture and refinement, furnished luxurious homes for Washington, the Adams', Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Van Buren, and Buchanan; the rude log cabin sheltered Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, Lincoln, and Johnson; and in irregular, but inevitable succession, the Republican succeeded the Federalist, to be, in turn, supplanted again by the latter: the statesman gave way to the politician, and he, in ordinary sequence, to the military chieftain; who, in times resistless march, was supplanted again by the politician.

This exalted station has been adorned, for the most part, by professional politicians, some achieving the exaltation of


statesmen, as Jefferson: others content to remain imbedded in the Serbonian bog of partisan servility, as Buchanan.

In four several instances, prior to 1860, military prowess captured the bastions and redoubts of the executive mansion. It probably is not sound policy, but it is inevitable: and experience attests that the via dolorosa which leads to the White House frequently lay through ensanguined fields.

Mr. Lincoln was the first civilian who attained to the national supremacy without the intervention of a substantial political record. He came directly to the chair of state from the mass and ranks of the people, as Jackson, a warrior, did.

Lincoln, Jackson and Johnson were on a par as to obscurity of origin and paucity of education, the scholastic training of the former being all comprised within four months.

In order to understand the peculiarities and characteristics of Abraham Lincoln, we must know somewhat of the environments of his childhood and youth, of his early home and its social life, of his associates, education and habits. In order to fully comprehend the moral exaltation to which he attained, we must know how dense the obscurity whence he emerged.

The pioneer's home was a cabin, constructed of undressed logs, the interstices filled up with native clay; puncheon floor, if any; no doors or windows as a rule; clapboard roof held in place by ridge poles.

Heating and cooking arrangements were comprised within a huge chimney built up of rocks, embedded in native clay; or of sticks of wood, between and around which was daubed as much clay mud as would adhere, and the fire was maintained through winter and summer alike -- in the former season for warmth and cooking, and in the latter season for cooking purposes alone. There usually was no door: but light was admitted through the door-way, which generally was unobstructed night or day, except in rough weather, when the gap was imperfectly closed by a "shutter," which answered as a substitute for a door; and which


revolved on wooden home-made hinges, hewed out with an axe; or sometimes a strip of rag carpet or a deer's untanned hide, or a bed quilt was hung in the aperture, through which egress and ingress was had. The single room sufficed for all purposes; the cooking was performed by aid of skillets on the hearth, and the frugal meal was eaten sometimes on a stationary table, consisting of clap-boards held in place by two horizontal sticks inserted in the side of the cabin by aid of an auger, and sometimes on a movable table, equally rude.

Bedsteads, hewed out of native timber with a broad axe, occupied the end of the cabin which was not usurped by the broad fire-place: and when bed-time came, the members of the fair sex prepared for their nocturnal repose by stripping off their outer dress and removing their stockings, if they were favored with them, or by washing off the superfluous dirt from their feet if they were not addicted to the use of shoes; and the male gender made its nightly toilet in an equally primitive mode. But all parties -- men, women and children -- the members of the family, guests and strangers, alike, went to bed and got up, all in sight of, and in close proximity to, each other.

The writer himself stayed for nine consecutive weeks at one of these cabins, where a man and his wife and three children constituted the family; and the whole crowd, six of us, slept in a space, fourteen by eight feet in area, with not even a sheet hung up, to guarantee semi-privacy.

The ordinary stable of civilization is far, infinitely far, superior to the cabin of the backwoodsmen of Kentucky of three-fourths of a century ago.

The story which Stephen A. Douglas used to tell was but an ordinary incident. Soon after his arrival in Illinois, he chanced to stop with a Kentuckian who had settled in Cass County, and being shown his bed in one corner of the sole room: the whole family turned the battery of their united gaze on him, merely out of idle curiosity -- he was then no


larger than a small boy, and equally as bashful -- and while trying to hide himself as well as he could behind his pants, was saluted by his landlord with: "I say, stranger, you've got a mighty slim chance of legs thar." And an English gentleman once told me that, chancing to stop at a pioneer home in Virginia, and bed-time having come, the father of the family cried out to his girls, who had already retired, "Say you, Marg and Milcy, lay over thar, and make room for this yere stranger."

These are not random or hyperbolical sketches; just what is herein narrated was the normal mode of life in the backwoods of Kentucky when Abraham Lincoln was reared there, in part. And his residences in Indiana and Illinois in the 20's and 30's were not so greatly in advance, in the matter of refinement. Thomas Lincoln, Dennis and John Hanks, and John D. Johnson were average specimens of men born and reared in the same condition of society in which Lincoln's lot was cast. Their social conditions and mental attainments can be seen, by those curious to know, in the graphic pages of Lamon and Herndon. That their boyhood and young manhood's companion achieved a more brilliant career and a more sublime destiny, is attributable to the finer fibre of the man, and to the more impressive and reverential fact, that the Unseen Power which controls nations and institutions had need of a Leonidas to hold the pass of our Thermopylae -- had need of a Moses to lead the children of Africa out of their house of bondage.

The food was corn bread, made from meal, salt and water, bacon, game; semi-occasionally poultry and pork; very pale butter at rare intervals; vegetables not as a rule, but very irregularly in summer. Jeans and linsey afforded the chief staples of clothing; to go barefoot was rather the rule and certainly was not at all uncommon for men and women; home-made moccasins, from the skins of groundhogs and other animals, and coarse brogans constituted the best attire for the feet; and while the stores were resorted


to frequently for head gear it also was not uncommon that coons and opposum skins were improvised as coverings for the head.

Every man and boy was, both from choice and necessity, a hunter; a long, heavy rifle rested upon crotched sticks over the door-frame of every cabin, or was swung over the shoulder of the proprietor whenever he went to election, mill, justice's court or any other journey about his settlement. Neighborhood gatherings were very common -- and none were exempted from taking part -- house raisings, log-rollings, quilting bees, magistrates' trial days, elections, scrub races and religious awakenings. At these gatherings (except the latter) much of the neighborhood business was transacted; horses were swapped, contests of shooting at a mark were indulged in, local character was discussed, and, most important and inevitable, one or more fist fights crowned the honor of the day.

This was the highest effort of human ambition; they were not conceived, as a rule, in malice: they were simply designed as tests of the highest feats of ambition and manhood; sometimes malice would be engendered during a fight, and sometimes the most cordial amenity -- it all depended upon the characteristics of the combatants, their conduct during the contest, the issue of it, and the incidents connected with it. One of Lincoln's best and staunchest friends was Jack Armstrong whom he whipped in one of these fights; and whose son he defended successfully from a brutal murder as late as 1858.

Major Alexander Sympson, of Hancock County, Illinois, now deceased, informed me that he was just about Lincoln's own age, and that he was raised in the same general neighborhood with him, on Nolins' Creek, in Kentucky. He states that Lincoln himself, and all the other small neighborhood boys, were accustomed to meet at the mill, within a couple of miles or so of Lincoln's residence, and he well recollects of his attire and general appearance. He was the shyest, most reticent,


most uncouth and awkward-appearing, homeliest, and worse dressed of any in the entire crowd. For some time he was suffered to look on in silence and take no part in the games, local contests or pugilistic encounters incident to these gatherings. But his turn to be ground up in the conventional mill of social routine came at last, and as it had been so long delayed, it was proposed to grind him into impalpable powder, socially, as it were. Sympson saw it all. Lincoln was standing at a huge tree when he was attacked, without either provocation or warning, by a boy larger than himself, and who, metaphorically, wore the belt, with the reserves thick and close at his back; but the very acme of astonishment was experienced by the eagerly expectant crowd, for Lincoln soundly thrashed the first, second and third boy in succession, and then placed his back against the tree, defied the whole crowd and taunted them with cowardice. But he was disturbed no more, then or thereafter. His prowess and mettle secured him immunity for the future. But he left that country soon afterward.

Education was an exotic in those regions. Lincoln's father could not read or write; his mother could do both, and was regarded as a miracle of learning therefor. Lincoln had a prodigious thirst for education and his father fostered this ambition: and in laying plans, the ultima thule of both wag that he should learn to cipher clear through the arithmetic. But his ambition was not fulfilled. His sole scholastic education was limited to reading, writing, and ciphering as far as the rule of three: and, in point of fact, he went to school but four months in his life.

When Lincoln was seven years of age he removed to Spencer County, Indiana, and when he was twenty-one years old, he removed to Macon County, Illinois and one year later took up his residence at the little hamlet of New Salem, in Illinois, where he lived until he removed to Springfield in 1837.

"Rutledge" Mill at New Salem

Although each of these several places of residence was on the frontier, yet a comparative advance was made in civilization


with each change. Still, it must not be lost sight of that Lincoln's whole life thus far had been cast in the mold of rusticity and the backwoods.

Two circumstances are worthy of note in this connection: First, the manner in which Mr. Lincoln was attracted to New Salem; and second, the ephemeral existence of that inconsequential little hamlet itself. It was laid out two years before Lincoln emigrated to Illinois and three years before he took up his abode there. He lived there five years and a half, and while he did live there, it enjoyed a season of prosperity -- but although he was, in a financial sense, one of its feeblest citizens, yet when he left, in March, 1837, the place fell into desuetude, and in a few years it vanished utterly off the earth more rapidly than it came into existence. All that there ever was of it, was arranged on two sides of a crooked lane; no building there was of the value of two hundred dollars; its highest population was about one hundred souls, and they were housed and performed their business in about twenty structures in all. It was a sort of place only possible to stage coach days, at best, and there seems no good reason for its existence, even in such an era. This was his first residence, outside of a log cabin standing by itself in solitude: his first living in an aggregate community. An unfortunate occurrence first attracted him there. A boat which he was helping down the Sangamon River stuck on the mill dam located there: and hence his attention was directed to that, the most obscure and diminutive settlement on the entire stream. For some undefined reason, his employer conceived the project of embarking in a mercantile enterprise at this obscure place, and to enlist the services of Lincoln as a clerk, and, in point of fact, the latter made his appearance there in August, 1831, and the stock of goods not yet having arrived, lounged about town, spun yarns, acted as clerk in an election, performed feats of strength, and made friends, till the arrival of the goods, when he commenced his brief mercantile career. This lasted but one year, when his employer "busted up" and soon afterward Lincoln enlisted


in the Black Hawk army and was elected a captain of one of the companies over a party who had persistently sought the position, and deemed that he had organized victory to secure it. He gained no laurels or anything else, in the tented field, but was enabled to give to the nation, by a speech in Congress fifteen years thereafter, his experience in the following terms, viz.: "I am a military hero. In the days of the Black Hawk war I fought, bled and came away. I was not at Stillman's defeat, but I was about as near it as General Cass was to Hull's surrender, and, like him, I saw the place very soon afterward. It is quite certain I did not break my sword (as Cass did) for I had none to break: but I bent my musket pretty badly on one occasion. If General Cass went in advance of me, picking berries, I surpassed him in charges on the wild onions. If he saw any live, fighting Indians it is more than I did, but I had a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes, and although I never fainted from loss of blood I can truly say I was often very hungry. If ever I should conclude to doff whatever there is of black-cockade Federalism about me and thereupon they shall take me up as their candidate for the Presidency, I protest that they shall not make fun of me as they have of Cass, by attempting to write me into a military hero."

Just before or during his military campaign the boys induced Lincoln to run for the legislature, which he did, and was defeated. He then was entirely without business or a home or the means of paying the meagre sums demanded for his daily bread and used to toss sleeplessly on his uneasy pillow (if he had one) from a solicitude as to what to do next. He had never done much manual labor -- in fact, he had no desire that way, but he seriously at one time contemplated becoming a blacksmith. While meditating on the expediency of adopting this calling he was offered, and embraced the chance of becoming a merchant, and the firm of "Berry & Lincoln" was formed, which flourished less than a year and ended leaving Lincoln twelve hundred dollars in debt, which


seemed to him of as great magnitude as, and which he used to call, the national debt. However, he ultimately paid it off -- dollar for dollar -- principal and interest. After this he did little odd jobs as he could, and in 1833 he was made postmaster, and a little later deputy surveyor; then he read law, went to the legislature, was the chief agency in removing the capitol to Springfield, and on March 13th, in 1837, on a borrowed horse which resembled Rozinante, but which carried Lincoln and his fortunes, he left this insignificant hamlet which had been a haven of refuge for him for several years, and where he had developed from an obscure laborer at odd jobs to a local statesman endowed with the laudable ambition, as he himself stated it, to become the "DeWitt Clinton" of Illinois.

A chance traveler on this latter day might have been encountered, traveling in a southeasterly direction, on the state road between Havana and Springfield -- the county seats respectively of Mason and Sangamon counties -- and the latter the capitol-elect of the State.

He was astride a small pony, borrowed that morning from Bowling Green; his long legs nearly touched the ground, the saddle was substantially worn-out, and all that he possessed on earth was about seven dollars in cash in his pocket; in his saddle bags a copy of Blackstone, a copy of the compiled laws of Illinois for 1833, three volumes of session laws, two small volumes of miscellaneous books and a few articles of underwear, in harmony with the ungainly suit which protected and adorned his uncouth person.

A casual observer would have noticed nothing peculiar in this awkward specimen of manhood; superficially he seemed like a farm hand in search of employment: or, mayhap, an humble adventurer in search of a new home and en route for the government land office to make his entry: but an astute critic would have detected in the anxious face and deep-set and melancholy eyes, an embryonic genius seeking a


career: but no one would have detected in this obscure waif on the sea of life, the Moses who was to lead the nation out of political bondage -- the Atlas who was to bear the Nation and Democracy itself from anarchy to safety.

Arrived at Springfield he glanced timidly at the few faces he saw in the road (for Springfield contained not a thousand people) as if to see whether his reception was to be cordial or frigid, but he elicited no hint of what was thought of him; if anything he was merely gazed at with a look of cold curiosity or indifference, and his heart sank within him as he reflected on the past, and cast a mental horoscope of the future.

His first stop was at the northwest corner of the public square, at a hitching rack, where he threw the bridle rein over a pin, and wearily taking off the saddle bags, gazed furtively up and down the silent street, and then entered a store on the west side of the square, apparently a little doubtful of his reception. But he was greeted cordially and heartily by the proprietor with, "Hello, Abe, just from Salem?"

Lincoln -- "Howdy, Speed! Yes, this is my first shew up."

Speed -- "So you are to be one of us?"

Lincoln -- "I reckon so if you will let me take pot-luck with you."

Speed -- "All right, Abe; it's better than Salem."

Lincoln -- "I just want to put my saddle pockets down here till I put my beast at Bill Butler's, then I want to see you."

In five minutes he returned. "Well, Speed, I've been to German's and got a single bedstead; now you figure out what it will cost for a tick, blankets, etc."

Speed (after figuring) -- "Say, seventeen dollars or so."

Lincoln's countenance fell. "I had no idee it would cost half of that, and I can't pay, but if you can wait on me until Christmas, and I make anything I'll pay; if I don't I can't -- I can't."

Speed -- "I can do better than that; upstairs I sleep in


a bed big enough for two, and you just come and sleep with me till you can do better."

Lincoln (brightening up) -- "Good; where is it?"

Speed -- "Upstairs behind that pile of barrels -- turn to the right when you get up."

Lincoln (returning joyously) -- "Well, Speed, I've got moved."

And the great Emancipator lived to repay this and many other acts of kindness, by making a brother of this "friend in need" Attorney General of the United States.

Indeed, Joshua F. Speed came nearest to being Lincoln's confidential friend, of anybody on earth.

On the morning of that day Lincoln was without a home of any sort and started to find or make one, with all that he had on a borrowed horse, saying or thinking, with Bardolph,

"Why, then the world's mine oyster,
Which I * * * will ope."

Before night he was temporarily housed and received an equally warm welcome to the table of his friend Bill Butler, where he was to take his meals till he married in 1842, and with his bride took up quarters at the Globe Tavern for four dollars a week, where he stayed till he got a home of his own.

In these days, Springfield was an obscure village of less than one thousand people; and the business clustered about the public square. The State House had not been built and sessions of the legislature were held in a church. The Supreme Court sat in the circuit court room; the few brick buildings were of the most primitive order, low and diminutive; law offices were rude and equipped with the most rudimentary furniture. The firm of Stuart & Lincoln, of which the senior partner was Congressman, was merely provided with some boards to hold books, a rough carpenter-made table, one chair, a lounge, a bench, and an old wood stove. The library contained five Illinois reports, about twenty volumes of miscellaneous law books, statutes, and a


goodly array of session laws, legislative reports and Congressional documents.

In this office, still in existence, Lincoln commenced the world in earnest, and passed nearly all his time there, day or night, for he left Speed's room after a little and slept here on the old lounge, of which it might be said

"The lounge contrived a double debt to pay,
A bed at night, a lounger's seat by day."

In that little uninviting village at this time there were but three country taverns, about half a dozen stores of all sorts, a small merchant's mill for custom work, and a community composed of a few families of the most aristocratic tendencies, and the bulk of the citizens exceedingly poor. The streets were wholly unimproved, and in summer were frequently obscured by clouds of dust, and in winter were impassable by reason of mud. There was but little attempt at sidewalks, and these in the part surrounding the public square: and the crossings consisted of chunks of wood, upon which in the reign of mud, pedestrians, if well balanced, might pick their way across the "slough of despond," which the streets were from November till March: and yet at that time in this primitive village, there lived Stephen T. Logan, John T. Stuart, Edward D. Baker, Samuel H. Treat, Josiah Lamborn, Jesse B. Thomas, Stephen A. Douglas, Cyrus Walker and others, four of whom have been in Congress, two in the U. S. Senate and others in high offices, besides some of the best lawyers in the West.

The real business of a lawyer in that region, in those early days, occupied but a short time; and they were wont to get together in the back part of the stores in the winter, and on store boxes outside, in the summer, and discuss politics; they being divided into "Jackson" men and Whigs; and politics raging then, where nothing was at stake beyond their prejudices, as effectively and emphatically as in manufacturing communities where politics was business, and brought thrift or leanness to the community; and in this coterie of


lawyers in the years from '37 to '42 Lincoln ranked very nearly at the bottom of the list; indeed, his eccentricities, his outre appearance and propensity to tell stories, gave him his chief distinction.

I have elsewhere adverted to the fact, that on the 27th of May, 1856, Lincoln and I walked to the open space in front of the old court house at Decatur; and that Lincoln then said to me, in substance: "Here on this spot, twenty-six years ago, I made my first halt in Illinois; here I stood, and there our wagon stood, with all that we owned in the world:" and in point of fact, for a fortnight previously thereto, he had no home, except to lie on the bare earth at night and to eat his rations from a tin pan by the wayside.

For the ensuing year he lived in the rudest style of log cabin on the north fork of the Sangamon (a very prosaic) River; then his father abandoned even that and migrated east, in search of a better chance to live an indolent life; and Lincoln, being then a man for himself, was literally without a home of any sort: so he cast his lot with the few settlers in the rude hamlet of New Salem, where, amid poverty and privation, he studied law under the shade of a tree, in some nook in a store, at the foot of a hay-stack, or where he could, and at night crawled into a loft to sleep, how he could. For six years he lived in a way of which he might almost say: "The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but I have no place to lay my head." Coming to Springfield under the circumstances stated; he was at first there indebted to charity for a home; his meals being procured from one friend, and his lodgings from another, until he could independently sleep on his own rude lounge, in his own dirty office.

After five years of this desultory life, he married, without a home to carry his theretofore pampered and proud-spirited bride, and he took lodgings in a cheap tavern, still standing, at the economical price of four dollars a week.

After a while, he purchased a small one and a half


story residence in an humble part of the town, and got him a horse, hired the village blacksmith to construct a buggy, procured a cow and built with his own hands the rude stable I have sketched elsewhere, and then for the first time in all his life -- being then thirty-five years of age -- he had a home, and he did not enjoy it for more than half the time, being away on the circuit, living as best he could, for half the year.

Mrs. Lincoln, during one of his three-months' absences, conspired with their next door neighbor, a carpenter, to raise the roof and add another story; which was done, and this house, modest enough even now, was the only real, genuine home that Lincoln ever had. I have narrated that he expressed a solicitude to me what he should do with his house when he went to Washington: not wishing, as he expressed it, to sell himself "out of house and home," nor wishing to rent it to strangers, who would abuse it. But he finally leased it to Mr. Bowen, superintendent of the Great Western Railway, who occupied it for several years; then one Oldroyd, a bookseller, took it and made a sort of Lincoln museum out of it; and finally Robert Lincoln presented it to the state, which properly made Mr. Oldroyd its custodian.

When Lincoln took leave of his home in February 1861 he had a secret presentiment that he would never see it again; and he did not.

In working His wonders in the moral, no less than in the physical, universe; God works in a mysterious way, wholly incomprehensible to us.

Home of Abraham Lincoln at Springfield

Thus, when in His good Providence, He desired to intervene between man and the broken law, and to redeem him from his fallen state, He chose as the Mediator and Redeemer,one born in a manger -- "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" -- the son of a humble carpenter of Nazareth; and when, likewise. He desired, in His good Providence, to extirpate human slavery in this, the only boasted, "free-country


on earth," He selected as the Emancipator one born in a rude log cabin -- also "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" -- the son of a humble carpenter of Elizabethtown.

This man of lowly origin and obscure birth gave to the world the following account of his extraction and lineage:
"I was born February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia of undistinguished families -- second families, I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks, some of whom now reside in Adams, and others in Macon County, Illinois. My paternal grandfather, Abraham Lincoln, emigrated from Rockingham County, Virginia, to Kentucky about 1781 or '2, where, a year or two later, he was killed by Indians, not in battle, but by stealth, when he was laboring to open a farm in the forest. His ancestors, who were Quakers, went to Virginia from Berks County, Pennsylvania. An effort to identify them with a New England family of the same name ended in nothing more definite than a similarity of Christian names in both families, such as Enoch, Levi, Mordecai, Solomon, Abraham, and the like."

A more extended research than the great Emancipator was enabled to give, prosecuted by Hon. J. L. Nail, of Missouri, a grandson of Mr. Lincoln's aunt, Nancy Brumfield, reveals the following facts of genealogy to a moral certainty, viz: -- that one Samuel Lincoln came from England in the year 1637, also that he had a son named Mordecai, Sr.; that he had a son whom he called Mordecai, Jr.; that he had a son John who emigrated to Virginia; and that he had a son Abraham, who was the father of Thomas -- who was the father of our hero. The original Samuel had a brother John who came to America a little earlier, perhaps about 1633.

Abraham, the grandfather, married one Mary Shipley in North Carolina, and his sons were Mordeeai, Josiah and Thomas, and his daughters were Nancy (Brumfield) and Mrs. Crume. Of Lincoln's mother nothing is definitely known except that her mother married one Henry Sparrow,


and that Lincoln's mother was reared in the family of Thomas and Betsy Sparrow -- Thomas being a brother of the stepfather.

Abraham Lincoln had two uncles and two aunts on the paternal side, to-wit: Mordecai Lincoln and Josiah Lincoln, and the aunts respectively became Mrs. Crume and Mrs. Brumfield, all being of the highest respectability and character.

On the 26th day of July, 1861, I called on Mr. Lincoln at the executive mansion, just as the cabinet meeting broke up, and put in his hands a long letter covering four or five pages of foolscap, written by a nun at the Osage Indian Mission, in Kansas, to Mr. Lincoln, whom she supposed and proclaimed to be, her first cousin; she had been born of gentle blood, and reared in the convent school at Bardstown, Kentucky, Mr. Lincoln read this letter aloud in my hearing; it was a social letter; and gave a detailed and gossipy account of uncle this, aunt that and cousin the other: congratulated him fervently on his high exaltation; and piously commended him to the protection of the Holy Mother of God and the Saints. It was a fervent and excellent letter; and when he had read it clear through, he said, "She ain't my cousin, but she thinks she is," which he repeated, and added, "You see, Whitney, she thinks my father was Mordecai (or Josiah) Lincoln, whereas my father was Thomas; and Mordecai (or Josiah) was only my uncle; and he married a Mudd, and her father was a Mudd -- a brother; and her cousins were also my cousins, but she is not my cousin, though she thinks she is, and" (folding the letter carefully and putting it in a drawer) "I must write to her when I get time."

The only other time I ever heard him speak of his relatives was on the occasion of his obtaining a release of young Tom Johnston, who stole the watch, as shown elsewhere, and then he merely said: "This boy is not my nephew, but when my father married the second time; this wife had a boy of about my age, and we were raised together, slept together, and liked


each other as well as actual brothers could do. This boy is a son of him -- my foster-brother." And likewise on the first day of February, 1861, when he requested me to go with him to Coles County to see his "mother," as he termed her.

Tremont House, Chicago, from 1850 to 1871

The name of Hanks was, in its origin, a derivative or corruption of the surname Henry, it being not uncommon in an early day to call Henry, "Hank," and from this very numerous family came one second only to the Virgin Mary, who gave to humanity the Saviour of mankind: she bestowing upon the world the emancipator of the black man from bodily slavery, and of the white man from political slavery. The Hanks are an humble race, but an estimable lady who was the wife of one of the recent Governors of Kansas descended from that family on the maternal side.

The name "Lincoln" was doubtless in regular succession from the original English ancestry, but in the vocabulary of "the dark and bloody ground," as it was in Daniel Boone's day, it was not often written, and when it was, it was written usually as the scribe caught the sound, Link-hern or Link-horn. Abraham Lincoln the last, seems always to have spelt it after the manner of his remote English ancestry.


Chapter II. Ecce Homo.

* * * "A long, lank creature from Illinois, wearing a dirty linen duster for a coat, on the back of which the perspiration had splotched wide stains that resembled a map of the continent."
-- EDWIN M. STANTON in 1858.

William Stetson tells of frequently seeing Mr. Lincoln on the sidewalk in front of his house, drawing a little cart in which was a child, his hands behind him grasping the tongue of the cart, his body bent forward for ease in drawing it; without hat or coat, and a pair of rough shoes on. Stetson wondered so rough a man lived in so fine a house.

He used to come to my house to get milk or to borrow something, in his shirt sleeves, with old patched trousers hitched up somehow with one suspender, and a very shabby pair of slippers on. He always greeted me, "How d'ye, Jim?" -- GOURLY.

During the first week of the battle of the Wilderness he scarcely slept at all.... I met him pacing back and forth, clad in an old wrapper, great dark rings under his eyes, his head bent forward on his breast. -- CARPENTER.

He was the instrument of God. The Divine Spirit which, in another day of regeneration, took the form of an humble artisan of Galilee, had again clothed itself * * * in a man of lowly birth and degree.
-- La Opinion, Bogota, U. S. of Columbia.

THERE are two different methods of treating this subject: the abstract and the concrete modes.

By the first method would be presented the results of the observer's observation and experience, and, possibly also, the results of the observation and experience of others, so that the reader would not see the man himself, but the image and conception of the man as the narrator and other observers saw him.

Photograph of Abraham Lincoln at Springfield

By the concrete method, would be presented to the mental view, the man himself as he appeared and acted, so as to enable the reader to deduce his own conclusions.


The former might be more ornate and more satisfactory to the author, but the concrete mode would be more useful and more satisfactory to general readers, yet both methods must be used in order to please all. Do the very best we may, our defects of mental vision, our prejudices, hero-worship, sympathies and antipathies, all will handicap every effort to present an accurate mental likeness of Mr. Lincoln, or any other hero.

I hold in my hand a photograph of Mr. Lincoln, taken in June, 1860, before barbers and tailors and biographers and whiskers had marked him for their own, and had wrought a transformation in his appearance, character and individuality.

The wrinkles, lines, seams and protuberances are all here; so likewise the massive under jaw, indicative of firmness and undaunted purpose; the faithful sun has transferred the rugged lineaments and homely features to the camera, which in its turn has recorded them with fidelity, so that future generations, as well as his own contemporaries, may see him as he appeared in his own person, among men.

Here is a similar picture, taken at the same time, by the same artist, but the wrinkles, folds and protuberances are lacking, for, alas! the retoucher has been abroad in the land, and has abased nature in order to enthrone art.

And the likenesses of Lincoln, so-called, which are in vogue mostly now, are even more hypocritical and comely looking, but they are not likenesses of Lincoln.

In like manner, the biographer masks and disguises his subject until the product of his labors is a romance and not a biography. And many of the biographies, so-called, of Lincoln, are no exception to the rule.

The Apostle Paul, at Mars Hill, preaching to the Athenians, proclaimed that he saw in that city an altar dedicated, "To the Unknown God:" and he thereupon declared to them, "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you."

But it will be reserved for another generation to produce


a Paul who can truthfully say of Lincoln: "Whom therefore ye ignorantly contemplate and extol. Him declare I unto you."

And all that I shall attempt to do, is to supply some missing links of biography by offering a few sheaves from that hitherto ungarnered field: -- "Life in the Eighth Judicial Circuit," and by adding some corollaries not hitherto discussed.

The usual and ordinary belief is -- that the career of the ultimately successful man is an uninterrupted and unbroken series of current successes, from zero to renown or affluence.

In practice, however, it appears that the progress of the successful and unsuccessful, alike, is strewn with current misfortunes, humiliations, checks and disasters, and that the adventurer who shall have attained the goal of ultimate defeat may nevertheless have been highly favored of fortune in life's current journey, while the laurelled victor may have trodden the winepress of humiliation and defeat all his days but the last.

Mr. Lincoln's career as a business man may be thus summarized: After practicing law, and living in the most frugal and economical manner for a quarter of a century, being his own hostler and errand boy, and attending to his own wood pile, cow and pig-pen himself, he had accumulated ten thousand dollars worth of property when he was elected as President of the United States, and having consumed his floating capital in living during 1860, he was compelled to borrow every cent of money which he had in his pocket when he started to Washington, and which he ultimately repaid out of his earliest receipts from his presidential salary.

His career as a politician may be thus exhibited: On April 21st, in the year 1832, he was elected to his first office -- that of Captain of a company in the Black Hawk war.

In 1833 he ran for the legislature and was defeated, but he was elected currently thereafter for four successive legislative terms.


In the year 1834 he was appointed by President Jackson as postmaster of the inconsiderable hamlet of New Salem; and by John Calhoun, to the exceedingly inconsequential office of deputy surveyor of Sangamon County.

In the year 1844 he was an unsuccessful candidate for a nomination for Congress: and, in the year 1846, he was both nominated for, and elected to, a seat in Congress.

In the year 1849 he was an unsuccessful applicant for the office of Commissioner of the General Land Office.

In that same year he was successively tendered and declined the positions of Secretary and Governor of Oregon territory.

In 1854 he was elected to the legislature but declined to take his seat.

In the same year he was a candidate and defeated for, the United States Senate.

In 1858 he was again a candidate, and again defeated for, the United States Senate.

And he was many times a candidate for Presidential Elector, the last time being in 1856, and was uniformly defeated: and was voted for by the Whig party for United States Senator two or three times when that party had about one-third of the votes needful to elect. This embraces his entire political career up to 1860. Is it not a cheerless and disconsolate retrospect?

On January 5th, 1859, the day of Douglas' last election to the U. S. Senate by the legislature -- I was alone with Mr. Lincoln from 2 o'clock P. Md. till bed-time -- and I feel authorized to say that no man in the state was so gloomy, dejected and dispirited, and no man so surely and heartily deemed his life to have been an abject and lamentable failure, as he then considered his to have been. I never saw any man so radically and thoroughly depressed, so completely steeped in the bitter waters of hopeless despair. The surroundings, even, were eloquent of flat, prosaic failure. I found him alone, and


doing nothing but brooding over his griefs and discomfiture; he was in his office, and this office, I will venture to assert, was the dingiest and most untidy law-office in the United States, without exception. My feelings were in unison with his, and our conversation was as cheerless and lugubrious as the sombre surroundings.

Yet, in twenty-two months from that doleful day, this recipient of Fortune's frowns had sounded the highest note on the gamut of success; for 1,857,610 of the elite of the nation had elected him to be the ruler of forty millions of people.

I first saw this wonderful man on the third day of June, 1854, on the Danville and Urbana State road, in front of an obscure country tavern called "Bailey's," near the line between Vermilion and Champaign counties, Illinois.

Judge David Davis, Mr. Lincoln, Leonard Swett and David B. Campbell were together, returning home from the Danville Circuit Court. They were travelling in a two-seated open spring wagon, there being no railways in that region in those days; and an hour later, I saw the same distinguished party which contained a President and Emancipator of a whole race of men in embryo, a United States Senator, U. S. Supreme Court Judge and President of the Senate in embryo, the Attorney General of Illinois, and a candidate for Congress and for Governor in embryo, and who should by due right have been an U. S. Senator from Illinois for thirty years.

It is somewhat singular, that I recollect each one of the other three, specifically; but that, all that I recollect of Mr. Lincoln, is that he was there to make up the four individuals.

The "Nebraska" bill (so called) had become a law, only five days before -- and, as news was then transmitted, it is probable he had not then heard of its presidential approval; and that portion of this great man's life, which affords material for the biographer, historian, essayist or lecturer, had not yet been reached in the cycle of time: but it was just about to dawn upon the world.

For this grave political crime, if not indeed moral perfidy;


Douglas was, even then, being indicted in the public press, and when he came to his constituency after the adjournment of Congress in the succeeding August; he was put on trial for his political life, which was all of life that had any charms for him.

He opened his defence at Chicago in the succeeding September, with indifferent success, and early in October, he came to the state fair at Springfield with the intent to cajole and captivate the rustic classes.

It is entirely safe to say, that the Democrats of Illinois were, almost to a man, inimical to this measure; and that, at first, they were paralyzed with astonishment, fear or indignation, but when action became necessary, some followed their audacious leader, blindly; others, fled from the field of political battle: while a few joined with the Whigs to rebuke and overthrow this political iconoclast; these new allies informally consulted together as to who could most successfully combat the fallacies which they well knew Douglas to be an adept in, and which they also knew he would employ, to preserve harmony and discipline in his own ranks, and to debauch public sentiment on the moral question at stake. All spontaneously agreed on Lincoln; bidding him, in the spirit of the commission to the Andalusian Knight, in the medieval time:

"Take thou the leading of the van;
And charge the Moors, amain;
There is not such a lance as thine,
In all the hosts of Spain."

They met first at Springfield and again at Peoria, and had an engagement at Lacon, but Douglas pretended to be ill, and urged Lincoln to not debate with him any more, by reason of his illness, to which the latter, in his goodness of heart, assented. This is the reason Lincoln gave me, although Herndon gives a different reason.

I next saw Lincoln on the twenty-fourth day of October, after the above incidents took place; when he came to Urbana, to attend the fall circuit court. I saw him as


he drove into town behind his own horse, which was an indifferent, raw-boned specimen, in his own blacksmith-made buggy -- a most ordinary looking one. He was entirely alone; and might have passed for an ordinary farmer, so far as appearances were concerned.

There was less than fifty cases on the docket of this court of all kinds, and, in point of fact, there was but one jury trial; and Lincoln was not in that. I think all in the way of court business that Lincoln did, at that term, was to make a brief argument to the court, in a chancery case.

While court was in session Lincoln came straggling, carelessly in, his face divested of his usual melancholy garb, and apparently in an humor to take life easy and gaily for the present moment. I noticed his intellectual countenance, and especially his eyes, so clearly indicative of deep reflection, at the first glance. I mentally pronounced him to be a great man at once. I never saw any man who impressed me so highly, at first sight, as Abraham Lincoln.

Of course I had learned of his propensity for story-telling: and I was not, consequently, greatly astonished, after he had listened for a while to the extremely prosy business, which engaged the attention of the court, to have experimental knowledge of his ability in that line.

That same evening he made a political speech, on the repeal of the Missouri Compromise and its restoration, and I thought then, and have often thought since, that it was the greatest speech I had ever, up that date, heard: and I have never heard any greater since, except from Lincoln.

It was so clear, systematic and simple that I was enabled to rehearse it in substance from memory a month later at Monticello.

I furnish a verbatim report of this speech. It is one of his best efforts.

I well recollect how kindly and cordially he aided and advised me about my business at court, it being my first appearance at the bar. I did not feel the slightest delicacy


in approaching him for assistance: it seemed as if he wooed me to close intimacy and familiarity, at once; and this from no selfish motive at all -- nothing but pure disinterested philanthropy and goodness of heart toward a young lawyer just commencing his career.

He sat on the bench, for the judge, for awhile for that term; and my first motion in court was made before him. I remember with what benignity he acted in this time that tried the soul of a fledgling at the bar; but how little did either he or I think that the hand that entered my first court order would eventually sign the death warrant of American slavery.

Next day he made some arrangement about his horse and buggy, and took the train to fill an appointment somewhere up north-west.

I saw him start for the train: being obliged to ride over two miles in an old dilapidated omnibus; he was the sole occupant of the nondescript conveyance; he had somehow procured, and had in his hand a small french harp, which he was making most execrable music with. I rallied him on this, to which, stopping his concert, he replied, "This is my band: Douglas had a brass band with him in Peoria, but this will do me:" and he resumed his uncouth solo as the vehicle drove off: and the primitive strains, somewhat shaken up by the jolting conveyance, floated out upon the air till distance intervened.

He may be thus described: all descriptions are substantially the same. He was six feet and four inches in height, his legs and arms were disproportionately long, his feet and hands were abnormally large, he was awkward in his gait and actions. His skin was a dark, sallow color, his features were coarse: -- his expression kind and amiable: -- his eyes were indicative of deep reflection, and, in times of repose, of deep sorrow as well. His head was high, but not large: his forehead was broad at the base, but retreated, indicating marked perceptive qualities, but not great reflective ones:


and in this phrenology is sadly at fault. He wore a hat measuring seven and one-eighth. His ears were large; his hair, coarse, black and bushy, which stood out all over his head, with no appearance of ever having been combed.

His mobile face ranged, in modes of expression, through a long gamut: it was rare that an artist could catch the expression, and Lincoln's face was of that kind that the expression was of greater consequence than the contour of the features.

When I first knew him his attire and physical habits were on a plane with those of an ordinary farmer: -- his hat was innocent of a nap: -- his boots had no acquaintance with blacking: -- his clothes had not been introduced to the whisk broom: -- his carpet-bag was well worn and dilapidated; -- his umbrella was substantial, but of a faded green, well worn, the knob gone, and the name "A. Lincoln" cut out of white muslin, and sewed in the inside: -- and for an outer garment a short circular blue cloak, which he got in Washington in 1849, and kept for ten years. He commenced to dress better in the spring of 1858, and when he was absent from home on political tours usually did so: after he became President he had a servant who kept him considerably "slicked up:" but he frequently had to reason Lincoln into fashionable attire, by telling him his appearance was "official."

He probably had as little taste about dress and attire as anybody that ever was born: he simply wore clothes because it was needful and customary: whether they fitted or looked well was entirely above, or beneath, his comprehension.

When he first ran for the legislature he presented this appearance: He wore a blue jeans coat, claw hammer style, short in both the sleeves, and in the tail: -- in fact, it was so short in the tail he could not sit on it: homespun linen trousers, a straw hat and "stogy" boots.

Of course this was putting the best foot forward, but ordinarily, in his youthful days, when not posing as a candidate, he was dressed thus:


"He wore flax and tow-linen trousers -- about three inches too short: one suspender; no vest or waistcoat. He wore a calico warmus, such as he had in the Black Hawk war: coarse brogans, color of the native hide; blue yarn stockings and straw hat, minus a band and turned up behind."

Judge Matheny informs me that when Lincoln first ran for the legislature it was regarded as a joke; the boys wanted some fun: he was so uncouth and awkward, and so illy dressed, that his candidacy afforded a pleasant diversion for them, but it was not expected that it would go any further. It was found, however, during the canvass, that Lincoln knew what he was about and that he had running qualities: so Matheny told him he was sowing seeds of success: and that next year he would win. And he did. Governor Yates told me that the first time he saw Lincoln was at New Salem, where he was lying on a cellar door, in the shade, reading. There were many odd-looking specimens of humanity in that region in those days, but Lincoln exceeded all in grotesqueness, oddity and a queer style of dress: but his conversation showed excellent sense. They went to dinner at Lincoln's boarding place, which was a rough log house, with a puncheon floor and a clapboard roof: the dinner was bread and milk.

After the bill had passed for the removal of the capital to Springfield, a vigorous attempt was made to reconsider it: and a General Ewing, a man of ability, fine address and pride of character, led this attempt. Lincoln was selected by the Sangamon delegation to champion their side, which he did with spirit and force: and Ewing, in his reply, turning to the Sangamon delegation, thus spurned Lincoln: "Gentlemen, have you no other champion than this coarse and vulgar fellow to bring into the lists against me? Do you suppose I will condescend to break a lance with your low and obscure colleague?"

John W. Baddeley was a blunt Englishman who lived


at Leroy in McLean County in an early day. He was entirely truthful, and with no disposition to exaggerate. He told me that a suit having been brought against him in the circuit court he employed John T. Stuart to defend it. When the time of court came, at which his case was to be tried, an ungainly, awkward specimen of humanity, clad in homespun, ill-fitting clothes; and with the appearance of a country rustic on his visit to the circus, sought him out eagerly, as he was putting up his team at the livery stable, and slyly and awkwardly handed him a note which read substantially as follows:

"Mr. Baddeley -- DEAR SIR -- I cannot possibly attend the McLean Court at this term, and I have sent my partner, Abraham Lincoln, who will hand you this, to attend to the ‘Fell’ suit: he will try it well: please restate your case, and bring your witnesses to him, and you can pay him the balance of my fee, &c. (Signed) JOHN T. STUART."

Baddeley, although living in the frontier, was a merchant, and still preserved much of the hauteur and aristocratic notions of an English gentleman. The courts were altogether too democratic for him, at their very best: his idea of a court of justice was a court with judges with wigs and gowns -- barristers ditto -- tipstaves, &c., and his disdain at beholding the uncouth bumpkin before him, posing as a barrister, and aspiring to officiate for him in the Aula Regis, was beyond all endurance: and he then and there, to the great edification of the stable boys, abused both Stuart and his astonished messenger without stint or limit: and then went to the hotel and employed McDougall, afterward U. S. Senator from California, to defend his case.

But Baddeley afterward became one of his staunch friends and admirers: he removed to Champaign and at each term of court we would all visit his house, where he would entertain us with a sumptuous dinner, in regular old English style, all cooked by himself. He and his son were among my best clients and best friends. John T. Stuart told me


that he recollected the incident well, and that Lincoln told him all about it.

But although he could endure without resentment the vaporings of this irate suitor, it need not be supposed that he was a man to brook an unequivocal insult. Contrariwise, one of his marked characteristics was his undaunted courage: it was not of the rash, aggressive and ostentatious kind which so conspicuously marked Jackson, yet he was an utter stranger to fear.

When James Shields -- afterwards a Senator from three States, and a general in two wars -- demanded the author of a clever pasquinade written by the two ladies who after-ward severally became Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Trumbull; Lincoln promptly caused himself to be announced as the responsible party: and when a duel was forced on him to rehabilitate the injured honor of the gallant Shields, Lincoln unhesitatingly accepted: and carefully and methodically put himself in training: and wrote out the following "Instructions" for the guidance of his second, Dr. Merryman.

The preliminaries of the fight are to be:
1st. Weapons: Cavalry broadswords of the largest size, precisely equal in all respects, and such as are now used by the Cavalry Company at Jacksonville.

2nd. Position: A plank, ten feet long, and from nine to twelve inches broad, to be firmly fixed on edge on the ground, as the line between us, which neither is to pass his foot over, upon forfeit of his life. Next, a line drawn on the ground, on either side of said plank, and parallel with it, each at the distance of the whole length of the sword and three feet additional from the plank: and the passing of his own such line by either party during the fight shall be deemed a surrender of the contest.

3rd. Time: On Thursday evening, at five o'clock, if you can get it so: but in no case to be at a greater distance than Friday evening, at five o'clock.

4th. Place: Within three miles of Alton, on the opposite


side of the river. The particular spot to be agreed upon by you.

Any preliminary details coming within the above rules you are at liberty to make at your discretion: but you are, in no case, to swerve from these rules, or to pass beyond their limits.

Apropos of this duel: I tried, on one or two occasions, to draw him out on it: but he always parried the subject, as if he was ashamed of it, but Linder, one of our contemporaries, was more fortunate: being with Lincoln at Danville court the latter picked up a lath and was going through the broadsword manual, when Linder asked why he chose broadswords in his proposed duel with Shields, to which Lincoln replied: "To tell you the truth, Linder, I didn't want to kill Shields, and felt sure I could disarm him, having had about a month to learn the broadsword exercise: and furthermore, I didn't want that damned fellow to kill me, which I rather think he would have done if we had selected pistols."

But he had very little courage to confront the fair sex: on the contrary, he was very shy, bashful and awkward in presence of ladies: unless, and sometimes even if, he knew them very well.

I recollect of his being invited to tea, at the same time my family was, at the home of Mr. Boyden, then Mayor of Urbana. He and I went together from court, which he was holding for Judge Davis; and he got along so-so while I was present: but in a few moments I was called to the outer gate to speak with a client: and upon my return, Lincoln appeared as demoralized and ill at ease as a bashful country boy. He would put his arms behind him, and bring them to the front again, as if trying to hide them, and he tried. apparently but in vain to get his long legs out of sight. And yet no one was present but Mrs. Boyden, and my wife and her mother.


At another time, in 1858, when we were at Centralia, on the railway platform, waiting for a train, Victor B. Bell introduced a lady as one who was a great admirer of Henry Clay, and sought an introduction, because of his great advocacy of Mr. Clay in former years. Lincoln bowed as awkwardly and under as much embarrassment as could be imagined -- and then with extreme awkwardness put down his carpet bag, and shifting his umbrella to his other hand, and putting out his disengaged hand, said, "Howdo! Howdo! I don't know how to talk to ladies: Whitney can tell you that, etc."

At another time, he was expected to arrive at Monticello from Bement on the occasion of a mass meeting at the former place. A procession went out to meet him, and I, being also there, walked out to see the procession. When I reached Lincoln's carriage, in which he sat alone, uneasy and extremely embarrassed at the crowds which lined the way, and were staring at him; he exclaimed, forgetful of surroundings, "There's Whitney! Get right in here; driver, stop a minute," etc., and he seized me by the hand with both of his, and drew me into the vehicle, when he said heartily: "I'm mighty glad you are here; I hate to be stared at, all by myself; I've been a great man such a mighty little time that I'm not used to it yet," and he certainly appeared to feel greatly relieved, at my presence.

It may seem even more singular, but it is nevertheless true, that he generally felt somewhat embarrassed and abashed at confronting an audience to make a political speech. As late certainly as 1856, we were going together to a church at Champaign, one evening, where he was to make a political speech, when he said, "I do wish it was through." "Why so?" I inquired. He replied: "When I have to speak, I always feel nervous till I get well into it." I expressed surprise, to which he said, "That's so; I hide it as well as I can, but it's just as I tell you."


"This long, bony, sad man floated down the Sangamon River in a frail canoe in the spring of 1831.

"Like a piece of driftwood, he lodged at last, without a history, strange, penniless and alone. In sight of the capitol of Illinois, in the fatigue of daily toil, he struggled for the necessaries of life. Thirty years later, this same unique and peculiar man left the Sangamon River, backed by friends, by power, by the patriotic prayers of millions of people, to be the ruler of the greatest Nation in the world," and four years thereafter, on the banks of the same river, he was borne to his grave,

"Hallowed by tears, the purest ever shed;
A Nation's sobs and tears, his funeral hymn --
A Nation's heart, his mausoleum grand;
A Nation's gratitude, his deathless fame.
A Nation saved, his labors' vast reward."

By what magic spell was this, the greatest moral transformation in all profane history, wrought?

What Genius sought out this "roving child of the forest," -- this obscure flatboatman, -- and placed him on the lonely heights of immortal Fame?

Why was this best of men made the chief propitiation for our national sins?

Was his progress causative or fortuitous; was it logical or supernatural; was the Unseen Power, or he himself, the architect of his fortune?

What moral can be deduced from his melancholy life and untimely death?


Chapter III. Life on the Eighth Circuit.

Court Week on the Eighth Circuit

Life on the circuit was a gay one. It was rich with incidents * * * Lincoln loved it.
-- Herndon.

The history of the life of Abraham Lincoln should be analyzed and separated, for the purposes of consideration, into five several epochs, as follows, viz.:
First -- That portion which commences with his birth, on February 12, 1809.

Second -- That part which began about April 1st, 1830, when he stood in front of the court house, in Decatur, Illinois, by the side of four yoke of gaunt oxen, and a rude wagon, in which was contained all the property that Lincoln and his father owned, in the world.

Third -- That portion which commenced about March 15, 1837, when he rode from New Salem to Springfield on a borrowed horse, and having as his sole property in the universe a pair of old saddle-bags, containing two or three law books and a few pieces of nondescript clothing, and with about seven dollars in his pocket; and being kindly offered the use of one-half of a bed, in a room over Speed's store, put his few goods there, and coming down, said, "Well, I'm moved."

Fourth -- That portion commencing on May 29, 1854, when he was trying an inconsequential replevin suit in Danville, and President Pierce signed and made a law of the Kansas-Nebraska bill.

Fifth -- Finally, that portion which commenced with taking the Inauguration Oath, and ended with his life.


As I have before stated, I first saw Lincoln at "Bailey's" tavern, on the road from Danville to Urbana, in Illinois, on June 3d, 1854, or five days after the commencement of the fourth era, and my actual acquaintance with him commenced on October 24th, 1854, and lasted until October 10th, 1861, or seven years.

During this fourth era of his life, he was undergoing training for the grandest mission ever entrusted by Providence to a single man, and it must of necessity be prolific of interest, generally to any scholar or patriot, and specifically to the student of American history.

The living witnesses of that eventful period of his life are fast disappearing, and will, soon, all be gone; and no one who ever traveled on the circuit with him during that time has ever given any narrative of it, except Leonard Swett in a lecture, and Lamon in a few brief sentences in his biography.

The judicial circuit, in which Lincoln lived, had, anterior to 1853, consisted of fourteen counties, but in that year had been reduced to eight, viz.: Sangamon, Logan, Tazewell, Woodford, McLean, DeWitt, Champaign and Vermilion.

Lincoln was the only lawyer who traveled over the entire circuit; he, however, made it a practice to attend every court, and to remain till the end. This lasted till 1858, when the circuit was radically changed, and Lincoln's attention became much engrossed with politics, which weaned him from a close application to law.

It is to me an interesting reflection, that probably one-half of my readers are not of sufficient age to recollect the time when Mr. Lincoln lived or died.

It also seems interesting to me, now, to reflect that before he was known to fame, I used to traverse, periodically, the wild Illinois prairies with this greatest of men, -- these prairies now teeming with a dense and busy life, then quite as desolate and almost as solitary as at Creation's dawn, -- that our means of travel were limited to home-made vehicles, that we were accustomed to put up at homely farm-houses and village


inns; and sleep two in a bed, and eight in a room; that our business was transacted, and our daily bread earned, in unkempt court-rooms, where, ten months in the year, the town boys played at marbles or rudimentary circus; that our offices were ambulatory, being located now on the sunny side of a court house, then under the shade of a friendly tree, and, anon, on the edge of a sidewalk.

It is strange to contemplate that in these comparatively recent, but primitive days, Mr. Lincoln's whole attention should have been engrossed in petty controversies or acrimonious disputes between neighbors about trifles; that he should have puzzled his great mind in attempting to decipher who was the owner of a litter of pigs, or which party was to blame for the loss of a flock of sheep, by foot rot; or whether some irascible spirit was justified in avowing that his enemy had committed perjury; yet I have known him to give as earnest attention to such matters, as, later, he gave to affairs of state.

Railways had just made their advent when I first settled in that circuit, and five out of eight county seats were reached by modes other than the rail: -- chiefly by private conveyance. Settlements were mainly restricted to the watercourses and timber groves, and the broad prairies were in the same condition of virginity and desolation that they had been since Columbus saw the welcome light at San Salvador.

The county seats were located at small and primitive villages, and the business of the court was meagre and uninteresting. The only law library in the circuit, beyond a few small collections of law-books, was at Springfield, and we depended mainly for our references on the old Statutes of 1845, and on the ten volumes of Illinois reports, which, at that time, embraced all of our adjudged and settled law.

If the business on our circuit was meagre, the good cheer and conviviality were exuberant: and if we did not make much money, our wants "were few and our pleasures simple," and our life on the circuit was like a holiday.


The semi-annual shopping of the country districts was transacted during court week: the wits and county statesmen contributed their stock of pleasantry and philosophy: the local belles came in to see and be seen: and the court house, from "early morn till dewy eve," and the tavern from dewy eve to early morn, were replete with bustle, business, energy, hilarity, novelty, irony, sarcasm, excitement and eloquence. At the tavern the lawyers slept two in a bed and three or four beds were located in one room: at meals, the Judge, lawyers, suitors, jurors, witnesses, court officers, and prisoners out on bail, all ate together and carried on a running conversation all along the line of a long dining-room.

When one court was through, the Judge and lawyers would tumble into a farmer's wagon, or a carryall, or a succession of buggies, and trundle off across the prairie, to another court; stopping by the way at a farm-house for a chance dinner.

In this kind of unsteady, nomadic life, Lincoln passed about four months in each year; he had no clerk, no stenographer, no library, no method or system of business, but carried his papers in his hat or coat pocket. The consideration and trial of each case began and ended with itself; he was continually roused to devise a new policy -- new tactics -- fresh expedients, with each new retainer.

Each county, of course, had a somewhat different population, and a somewhat different class of business; each recurring week brought with it a new and different class of clients to treat with -- new and diverse juries to entertain, cajole or convince; new and distinct conditions of chaos, to evoke order from.

This life on the circuit was in the nature of a "school of events" to him, and taught him to deal, off-hand, and on the spur of the moment, with emergencies.

The counties of Champaign and Vermilion were closely identified and bound together; and, socially, segregated from the rest; while the business in those counties seemed to produce


less strain on the bench and bar than in the rest of the circuit. Certain it is, that the social circle which revolved around the Judge was larger and more active there than elsewhere.

If less attention was demanded by the business at the court house -- our surplus energies found free vent in the Judge's room, in the evening. Moreover, for some reason, matters went "free-and-easy" in court; it appearing -- as it were -- that the substantial business repast had engaged the court's attention in the other six counties; and now, that the end of the circuit was reached, it was prepared, and the time had come, to trifle with the dessert.

It need not, however, be supposed, that Judge Davis lacked dignity: for, contrariwise, he was highly dignified when needful: but was equally astute in his judgment, as to when laissez faire was quite as, if not indeed, more, appropriate to the occasion, in hand.

For better results all around, are obtained when men in stress of circumstances are permitted as far as practicable to be unhampered with rules and restrictions. All parties in a court room, are apt to labor, more or less, in the collision of adverse interests and feeling, under visible or latent excitements: and the less harsh, tyrannical and -- dignified (if you please): and the more paternal and patronizing, the Judge is: -- the more the probability of securing the best and most accurate results in court. Judge Davis was a model in the way of putting lawyers whom he did not dislike, at their ease: although, it must also be narrated, that, when he got angry, as he sometimes did, the whole moral atmosphere was surcharged with sulphur and lurid sparks: making it uncomfortable for the members of the bar:

"Full well the busy whisper circling round,
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned."

The Judge was as ponderous in his excellent judgment and common-sense, as in his physique: (300 x): and he endeavored to rid cases of their technicalities, and to get down


to the actual merits, as expeditiously as possible. He was full of vim and energy on the bench, when there was a necessity for it: but when the evening was come, he would gather his courtiers about him, and make a night of it, similar to the knights of the Round Table, or the Pickwick Club.

As for Lincoln, he had three different moods, if I may so express myself: first, a business mood, when he gave strict and close attention to business, and banished all idea of hilarity, I. e., in counselling or in trying cases, there was no trace of the joker; second, his melancholy moods, when his whole nature was immersed in Cimmerian darkness; third, his don't-care-whether-school-keeps-or-not mood; when no irresponsible "small boy" could be so apparently careless, or reckless of consequences.

To illustrate the "style" of business in court by something very common: the first term of Davis' court I attended, the Judge was calling through the docket for the first time, in order to dispose of such cases as could be done summarily, and likewise to sort the chaff from the wheat, when he came across a long bill in chancery, drawn by an excellent, but somewhat indolent lawyer, on glancing at which, he exclaimed, "Why, brother Snap, how did you rake up energy enough to get up such a long bill?" "Dunno, Jedge," replied the party addressed, squirming in his seat and uneasily scratching his head. The Judge unfolded and held up the bill: "Astonishing, ain't it? Brother Snap did it. Wonderful, eh! Lincoln?" This amounted to an order on Lincoln to heave a joke in at this point, and he was ready of course; he had to be, he never failed. "It's like the lazy Preacher," drawled he, "that used to write long sermons, and the explanation was, he got to writin', and was too lazy to stop." This was doubtless improvised and forgotten at once, as I never heard of his repeating it. It was rather feeble, but it was better than the stock word "Humph!" so often printed as a reply, but never really uttered, and it is literally true that


* * * "he could not ope
His mouth, but out there flew a trope."
He always had a reply, and it was always pertinent, and frequently irresistibly funny, but the pity is that his funniest stories don't circulate in polite society or get embalmed in type.

In the evening, all assembled in the Judge's room, where the blazing faggots were piled high, and the yule log was in place, and there were no estrays there, although the door was not locked. Davis' methods were known, and his companions well denned, and, if a novice came, he soon found out both. For instance, an unsophisticated person might be attracted to the Judge's room by our noise, supposing it to be "free for all." If Davis wanted him, he was warmly welcomed, the fatted calf was killed, and the ring put on his finger; but if he really was not desired, he was frozen out by the Judge thus: "Ah! Stop a minute, Lincoln! Have you some business, Mr. Dusenberry?" If Dusenberry should venture: "Well, no! I came designin' ---- " Davis would interrupt him, "Swett, take Mr. Dusenberry out into the hall, and see what he wants, and come right back yourself, Swett. Shut the door. Now, go ahead, Lincoln! You got as far as ---- Ha! Ha!! Ha!!! ‘She slid down the hill, and -- ,’ but wait for Swett. Swett!! Swett!!!" called he. "Hill," (to Lamon) "call Swett in. Now, Lincoln, go ahead," etc. "She slid down the hill, you know. Ho! Ho! Ho!!!" Any one who knew Davis would recognize this.

"Would we do nothing but listen to Lincoln's stories?" Oh! yes, we frequently talked philosophy, politics, political economy, metaphysics and men; in short, our subjects of conversation ranged through the universe of thought and experience.

One night, we discussed Washington at length, and some speculation was ventured as to whether he was perfect, whether he, too, was not fallible, being human, but Lincoln protested, -- "Let us believe, as in the days of our youth,


that Washington was spotless; it makes human nature better to believe that one human being was perfect: that human perfection is possible."

The Judge had an orgmathorial court (as he called it) to try us for any breach of decorum. I wish I could properly narrate some of the proceedings of these courts, some of Swett's speeches, and Lincoln's interjections; they were better than the sketches of the Pickwick Club. Of course, all this was desultory and evanescent, and so designed by the actors; the seal of secrecy was necessarily implied. While, of course, nothing wrong was said or done, yet it would have been atrocious to disclose the secrets of the Judge's coterie in their entertainments, nor do I recollect of ever having heard anything we discussed there mentioned, or alluded to, outside. The Judge did not hesitate to advert to court matters in his hands for action, thus: Some section hands on the Illinois Central R. R. had caught a setter on the prairie, and tied it to a stake, and set fire to the dry grass around it, so that the dog burned to death. As I was attorney for the railway, the rascals, when the case got into court, looked to me for counsel, and I advised them to plead guilty, leaving it for the court to act. This matter coming up in the room, the Judge remarked drily: "This court considers the wanton burning of a bird-dog as a very serious matter," and I knew by that, that my men would catch it good, unless I could, in some way, hedge against it, which I did next day. At another time, the doctrine of metempsychosis was discussed by the whole crowd, i. e., the doctrine that when one man dies, a child is born which inherits the vital principle -- the soul -- of the departing one, when suddenly, the conversation was diverted to the character of a mean lawyer on our circuit whom I will call Quirk, but not of our coterie, and after we had picked his character to pieces, so that there was nothing left of it, we resumed on metempsychosis, and as we had about exhausted our ideas about it, it was noticed that Lincoln had ventured nothing on the subject, either of metempsychosis


or Quirk, and so (of course, that wouldn't do) Davis gave Lincoln his usual nudge: "Queer doctrine! Queer doctrine!! Eh! Lincoln?" The latter had been rather reticent and abstracted through the evening, but we knew he didn't like Quirk better than the rest of us did, but he was ready as usual; as I have said, he never let Davis' check on his resources go to protest: "I rayther reckon, that's good doctrine, and it's nothin' agin' it, that when Quirk was born, no one died." These things are not in Lincoln's best vein -- in fact, are not worth considering, except as showing traits of character, and here, Lincoln showed the utility of his nimble wit, in "killing two birds with one stone," as it were, for his reply disposed of metempsychosis and Quirk at once, commending the doctrine, and killing off Quirk by an innuendo.

"But past is all his fame [as a court jester]; the very spot,
Where once he triumphed, is forgot."

In point of fact, the country hotels, wherein were the scenes of our revelries, are all demolished, and ugly brick blocks are substituted in their places, and Samuel of Posen spreads his wares and net for country merchants, where Lincoln, and Davis, and Swett, and Lamon, and the rest were wont to congregate. At Danville, the county seat of Vermilion County, the Judge, and Lincoln, and I used to occupy the ladies' parlor of the old McCormick House, changed to a bed-room during court, the former occupying a three-quarter bed, and Lincoln and I occupying the other one, jointly. This parlor was an "annex" to the main building, and one door opened out directly on the sidewalk, and as the fall term was held in cold weather, we had a hearth wood fire to heat our room. One morning, I was awakened early -- before daylight -- by my companion sitting up in bed, his figure dimly visible by the ghostly firelight, and talking the wildest and most incoherent nonsense all to himself. A stranger to Lincoln would have supposed he had suddenly gone insane. Of course I knew Lincoln and his idiosyncracies, and felt no alarm, so I listened and laughed. After he had gone on in


this way for, say, five minutes, while I was awake, and I know not how long before I was awake, he sprang out of bed, hurriedly washed, and jumped into his clothes, put some wood on the fire, and then sat in front of it, moodily, dejectedly, in a most sombre and gloomy spell, till the breakfast bell rang, when he started, as if from sleep, and went with us to breakfast. Neither Davis nor I spoke to him; we knew this trait; it was not remarkable for Lincoln, although this time to which I refer was a radical manifestation of it, a proof that
"True wit to madness, sure, is oft allied."

Court House at Clinton

At another time, in this same place: one evening, Lincoln was missing immediately after supper: he had no place to go, that we could think of -- no friend to visit -- no business to do -- no client to attend to: and certainly no entertainment to go to: hence "Where is Lincoln?" was the question. I visited all the law offices and stores, but got no trace whatever: and at nine o'clock -- an early hour for us -- Davis and I went, grumblingly and hungry for mental food, to bed, leaving the problem unsolved. Now, Lincoln had a furtive way of stealing in on one, unheard, unperceived and unawares: and on this occasion, after we had lain for a short time; our door latch was noiselessly raised -- the door opened, and the tall form of Abraham Lincoln glided in noiselessly. "Why Lincoln, where have you been?" exclaimed the Judge. "I was in hopes you fellers would be asleep," replied he: "Well, I have been to a little show up at the Academy:" and he sat before the fire, and narrated all the sights of that most primitive of country shows, given chiefly to school children. Next night, he was missing again; the show was still in town, and he stole in as before, and entertained us with a description of new sights -- a magic lantern, electrical machine, etc. I told him I had seen all these sights at school. "Yes," said he, sadly, "I now have an advantage over you in, for the first time in my life, seeing these things which are of course common


to those, who had, what I did not, a chance at an education, when they were young."

Our methods of travel were also primitive; going in vehicles over dirt roads, sometimes good -- sometimes dusty, and not unfrequently, quite muddy: sometimes six or eight of us would go in one vehicle, and enliven the journey with negro melodies, led by "Hill" Lamon, an adept in that line.

Occasionally the accomplished wife of Leonard Swett would accompany him on the circuit: and in such case: those two, Lincoln and myself, would go together in a two-seated vehicle: and we would have to talk sense on such a trip.

Lincoln had a great fondness for geometry, a science he adopted himself: and he used to carry a small volume around sometimes in his coat pocket. While he dressed rudely, yet he was scrupulously clean and close shaven: he wore no whiskers till after he was elected President: and he never let his beard get the start of him.

There was nothing unpleasant physically or morally, or worthy of adverse comment in personal intercourse with Abraham Lincoln. Astute observers are aware that there are persons to be met with who may be termed, "mechanical" gentlemen: their genuflections, "small talk" and petty compliments are complete, but there is no warmth, enthusiasm, heartiness or sympathy in them: they have the cold gleam of a sun-struck iceberg. Mr. Carker and Mr. Tulkinghorn are in point, likewise George the Fourth and his friend Beau Brummel -- veneered or "mechanical" gentlemen.

Then there is a kind I may term an essential gentleman: one who is animated by substantial human sympathy -- who has

* * "A heart to pity
"And a hand open as day, for melting charity."

The latter may not be graceful -- may not have taken lessons in deportment -- may utterly fail in "small talk:" but


his smile has sunshine and warmth; and not the moonbeam's cold gleam: his conversation is homely but sincere: his word is reliable: he gives no "word of promise to the ear but broken to the hope:" you feel in his presence that here is a Man. Such was Abraham Lincoln -- every inch a gentleman -- not in form, but in substance.

In the fall of 1857, he attended at the photograph gallery of Sam. Alschuler in Urbana, to have his picture taken: he was attired in a linen coat: doubtless the same one which he wore to Cincinnati just before, and which Stanton so rudely lampooned. The artist suggested that he should wear his black coat. Lincoln replied that he had left it home, and had none other there.

"Try my coat," said the accommodating artist: and the future emancipator was taken in a borrowed coat, with a velvet collar on, which shows plainly: -- the picture being still in existence. On another occasion, earlier, a very poor artist induced him to sit and took a daguerreotype which resembled (not Lincoln but -- say) the Wandering Jew: and exposed it in his outer show-case. Afterward, some of us were passing there, and the artist induced the Judge to sit, and when the Judge (who was quite vain) would get posed in a striking attitude, Alex. Harrison -- a waggish Danville editor -- would thrust out in his view this picture of Lincoln, and it was so comical that the portion of Davis lying below the belt would heave like a choppy sea: and we kept it up in spite of the Judge's remonstrances, and prevented his getting a picture. That made a case for the orgmathorial court and Alex. was tried and convicted that very night.

Photo of Lincoln

The most ridiculous case, our orgmathorial court had to try was a lot of us, who went to Georgetown, in Vermilion County, one Saturday night on a political expedition: and chartered the second story of the hotel: then got a wash-pitcher full of bad whisky, and made a night of it. Next, (Sunday) morning we returned to Danville, and reaching a substantial farm house and finding the women folks at


church, were invited by the man, whom some of us knew, to inspect his house, and ate up half a dozen (being all there were) nice pies. I may add that Lincoln never had anything to do with such a scrape as that. We never would have dreamed of his being involved in any such: in fact in our orgmathorial courts, he was simply a spectator.

Occasionally on the circuit, we would be invited out to spend the evening, and of this sort of thing, the Judge was very fond. He was very much at home in company, and had an excellent fund of "small talk," but Lincoln shirked all such invitations, all he could, and I have known of his sitting in the room all alone of an evening while the rest of us were at a ball or a party, and when we got back, our friend would be rolled up, fast asleep, in bed.

He would attend all entertainments, but really preferred going alone, and ensconcing himself in some nook or corner where he could see without being, himself, seen.

In the spring of 1855, John T. Stuart, who was his first law partner, his wife's cousin, and his neighbor, and Lincoln and myself were attending court at Bloomington, and all three staying at the Pike House, where we ate at the same table and went to court together, and, also, spent our leisure time together. One evening, a concert troupe was there, and when time came to attend, I went, and found Lincoln already there in one place and Stuart in another, and that was essentially Lincoln's style of doing such things.

This was the "Newhall" family of singers, of Jacksonville, one of whom was a Mrs. Hillis, a beautiful singer, and of her he said, "She is the only woman that ever appreciated me enough to pay me a compliment." "I thought," said Davis, "that you was an universal favorite with the fair sex."

The "taverns" were ordinary, indeed, and frequently the court and bar were forced to spend the night at a farmhouse on the road. This was notably the case between Urbana and Danville, and between Charleston and Paris.

One night, when Judge Treat and four lawyers, including


Lincoln, were staying at a farmhouse east of Charleston, they were all put in two connecting rooms to sleep, in one of which was a fire, whose smoldering embers cast fitful flashes of light in the opaqueness of the two chambers. Judge Treat slept in the room with no fire, and getting up in his long nightgown in the night to visit the fireplace for something, awoke Gen. Linder, who slept in the room having the fire. The latter, being superstitious, thought a veritable ghost had entered the room, and he set up a series of shrieks, which Lincoln afterward avowed, chilled his blood to the extreme capillaries. Lincoln said, in describing the scene, that no one who had never heard such exclamations, could imagine the awful terror which the human voice could convey.

Arrived in town, the best room in the hotel was reserved for the judge and such lawyers as he would indicate, for single rooms were unknown on this circuit in Lincoln's day. At Danville, the ladies' parlor of the hotel was fitted up with a three-quarter bed for the Judge, and a double bed for Lincoln and myself. Artificial heat came from a wood fire on the hearth. There was a long dining-table, graced at the head by the Judge, who was flanked by the lawyers on each side. Then came jurymen, witnesses, prisoners out on bail, and the general public.

I well recollect a term of court at Urbana, where a prisoner, who was on trial for perjury, used to spend the evenings with us in the Judge's room; and of a term of court at Danville, where the prisoner, on trial for larceny, not only spent his evenings in our room, but took walks with us and ate in our immediate company.

Of dress, food, and the ordinary comforts and luxuries of this life, he was an incompetent judge. He could not discern between well and ill-cooked and served food. He did not know whether or not clothes fitted. He did not know when music was artistic or in bad taste. He did know, however, if it suited him, and he had a certain taste in that


direction, but it was not for anything classical, but something of a style to please the rustic ear.

During the long trial of the "sand bar" case, in Chicago, in March, 1860, I spent nearly every evening with him. It is singular that he was not obtruded upon by politicians or newspaper men, but he was not. One night he dined out, one night he went to Waukegan and made a speech, and one night he accompanied me and James W. Somers (still alive) to hear Rumsey and Newcomb's minstrels, at the Metropolitan Hall. One night, John Wentworth called, and another night, "Bob" Blackwell called, and that was all.

The chief Republican newspaper was the "Press and Tribune." It contained articles every day advocating the nomination of Lincoln, and copying from other papers which advocated the same.

He and I called on Gen. Schenck, with whom he had served in Congress, at the Richmond House. I recollect that Lincoln called him "Bob," and it seemed right.

But although I have heard of cheap fellows, professing that they were wont to address him as "Abe," I never knew of any one who ever did it in my presence. Lincoln disdained ceremony, but he gave no license for being called "Abe." His preference was being called "Lincoln" with no handle at all. I don't recollect of his applying the prefix "Mr." to any one. When he spoke to Davis, he called him "Judge," but he called us all on the circuit by our family names merely, except Lamon, whom every one called "Hill." We spoke of him as "Uncle Abe," but to his face we called him "Lincoln." This suited him; he very much disliked to be called "Mr. President." This I knew, and I never called him so once. He didn't even like to be called "Mr." He preferred plain "Lincoln."

Altho', as a rule, our court business was tame and uninteresting, yet occasionally we had a case to attract general attention, among which may be mentioned the noted slander


case of "Spink vs. Chiniquy;" which came to the Champaign court by change of venue from Kankakee County.

Father Chiniquy, who has since achieved an international fame, was the proprietor of a village called St. Anne's, in Kankakee County; and Peter Spink -- a French gentleman of high honor and chivalric disposition, was proprietor of a town in the same county known as L'Erable. All were French Catholics, and Father Chiniquy ministered to both parishes, the services being conducted in the French language. In a sermon at L'Erable, Father Chiniquy made this bold statement: "One among you has committed perjury; he went to Squire Smith's, and in a trial perjured himself." Mr. Spink was not present, but was not long in being advised of it and he hastened to the shire town; and the next day, the Sheriff visited St. Anne's and cited the shepherd of the flock, to appear and make good his charge. Father Chiniquy was plucky, and plead justification; and preparations were made for a "fight to the finish," by, not only the two principals, but the two respective neighborhoods, as well: for all became involved as principals or partisans. And, not only so, but inasmuch as L'Erable was near the line of Iroquois County, the quarrel extended, also, into that county. A change of venue brought the case to Champaign County and when the term came on, the principals, their lawyers and witnesses, and an immense retinue of followers, came to Urbana. The hotels were monopolized, and a large number camped out. Mr. Spink had the following counsel, viz.: Hon. Charles R. Starr: Hon. Jesse O. Norton and Hon. Oliver L. Davis: all of whom have subsequently been circuit judges: and Norton was then the Congressman: and Chiniquy had the following lawyers: Jno. W. Paddock; Uri Osgood: Abraham Lincoln and Leonard Swett. The trial was entered upon, and the evidence was arrayed chiefly in French: and Mr. Brosseau, then a young lawyer, and now a distinguished member of the Los Angeles bar, was the interpreter. The entire Iroquois bar was there, chiefly as spectators, among whom I may mention


Spotswood Augustine Washington, a son of George Washington's brother, and the heir apparent to the sovereignty, had Washington been king. When the tedious trial was nearly through, a juryman was detected crying: the court noticed it, and said promptly, "What is that juror crying about?" "My child is dying," sobbed he. In point of fact, a neighbor had come into court and, unperceived by any one, whispered this information. The Judge called up the neighbor, and satisfied himself of the fact, and at once said to the juryman: "You're discharged -- go at once." "Now," said the Judge, "Gentlemen, will you proceed with the eleven jurymen?" Both sides consulted and Lincoln said "We will," but Norton said, "We decline." In point of fact they thought they could make their case better, somehow, by another trial. The jury was therefore discharged -- a new jury ordered, the tedious trial all gone over again; and the jury disagreed.

Photograph of David Davis, and Autograph

Next term, the crowd in no wise diminished, all came to our county, camp-outfits, musicians, parrots, pet dogs and all, and the outlook was, that all their scandal would have to be aired over again, but Lincoln abhorred that class of litigation, in which was no utility, and he used his utmost influence with all parties, and finally effected a compromise, after a jury had been chosen: and the case was therefore dismissed.

Judge Davis, of our circuit, was, on first acquaintance, one of the most genial and companionable men I ever knew. He had a large and active brain, and an immense fund of hard, practical common-sense. He was, before he came to the bench, an excellent office and business lawyer -- his forte lay in collecting claims and adjusting difficulties; also in probate and tax-title matters, and in general out-of-door law business. He had not great erudition, and no brilliancy; he did not know, or care for, the philosophy of the law, but he was the incarnation of common-sense and sterling judgment; he could not make a speech, and never did so; on one or two occasions he wrote out and read a political essay, but he was


an interesting conversationalist, and had a cacoethes loquendi of mammoth range and volume.

He was an excellent host and entertainer, and was sedulous to aid in all ways (that involved no pecuniary outlay) young men of parts who came fresh to our bar, and strangers who happened to strike his fancy. He was an efficient and willing mediator in all petty difficulties which arose within the charmed circle of his friends, and his word was social law with all of us.

He understood the laws of good breeding and the canons of true politeness as thoroughly as Count d'Orsay, and his sense of propriety was absolute and inflexibly correct. He was an ornament to society, and although his self-appreciation was great, it was no more so than his merits and worth authorized.

When he commenced the world: he was shy, modest and diffident: -- necessity and ambition forced him to take a bolder stand than his native disposition prompted: his aggressiveness was grafted on his nature by culture, experience and determination.

He was earnest and solicitous to promote the welfare of his friends: -- but he was a good hater: and more than willing to let the object know and understand it.

In pecuniary matters, he was a man of conflicting notions and desires: -- he would have been very fond of ostensible generosity -- but he was excessively penurious: and thoroughly practical and business-like in small, as well as great, matters.

While he was a member of the Supreme Court and of the Senate, his correct idea, as a business man, was that as he paid a high price for his board: it was a woeful waste and practically wrong to also pay out money for lunches at the capitol: hence he watched that outlay with a jealous eye, and circumscribed it within the narrowest limits.

Court House at Paris, Illinois

In short, he viewed that matter, as he would any business affair: and not only did not relish the paying out of


money twice for his provender; but likewise did not relish paying 1,000 per cent profit even on a few apples or a glass of milk, which constituted his repast at noon-tide. He was a strict business man in this, as in all else; and he did right in resisting the small pilferings incident to life in Washington. He lent fifty dollars to an impecunious lawyer of Urbana, who soon thereafter died; leaving the debt unpaid: and his family in abject poverty. It was not in accordance with the Judge's system and business-like habits to let it stand in that way: -- so he informed me that he intended to prove up the debt against the estate and might probably present it to the widow.

Although a great speculator, yet he was a thoroughly honest man, as he understood and realized that term: he would enter ten thousand acres of land in Illinois or Iowa with land-warrants; and hold on to it, till he realized ten dollars an acre: and he would acquire farms by foreclosure at much less than their value, and this was, to him, strictly legitimate: but he abhorred anything which was universally conceded to be dishonest or mean.

This principle entered into, and animated his judicial duties: he disdained all fraud and sharp practice, on the part of the bar, and would not countenance it unless it was venial, and the practitioner was well compensated for it.

In some respects, he had great will power, of which he was very proud: but in other respects, his will power was feeble. At Paris, a murderer was convicted by the jury and a sentence of death ordered: but the Judge had not the courage to pronounce sentence; and he admitted it; and his condition was pitiful as the term wore on, leaving the murderer unsentenced. So Charlie Constable came to his rescue; and in a bold, plain, hand wrote out a form of sentence and nerved the Judge up to the performance of reading it to the victim; which he did in a shaky voice.

After Lincoln was elected, and trouble was brewing down in Dixie, the Judge was exceedingly alarmed, and extremely


anxious that a compromise should be effected. He talked about it to every one who would listen to him, and wrote many letters on the subject: he had no plan or policy to suggest: but, agitated by fear, was in favor of anything that would placate and turn away the wrath of the South.

I frequently thought what a "mess" we should have had, if he had been the President, instead of Lincoln: it would have been Buchanan, over again.

From an ardent desire to execute even and exact justice; he shunned and abhorred all technicalities: and got right down to the essential merits of any law-suit or proposition. "It appears to me" -- Swett once commenced, in an argument, on a demurrer. "I don't care how it appears to you," broke in the Judge; "hand up your authorities, if you have any." The imperturbable Swett, nothing daunted, commenced again: "As I was saying" The Judge interfered again: "I don't care if you was, if you have any authorities in point, let's have them, without so much talk." That was Davis' style: any one who knew him, will recognize it.

Flattery and cajolery went further, and was more effective with him (if it was applied with a dainty brush and deftly done) than any other great man I ever knew: but if awkwardly put, or laid on thick, he would resent it, in unequivocal terms.

From young men he took an interest in, he expected and exacted unremitting and persistent adulation and servitude: one might be a servitor for nine years and three hundred and sixty-four days, but if he failed on the last day of the last year, all his previous efforts were in vain. It was debasing to be a henchman for the Judge: but also profitable if it was persisted in long enough: for the Judge used his political influence for all it was worth for his friends.

Leonard Swett was his great favorite when I first knew them both; but he was of too sturdy a manhood to long remain in an attitude of servility to any one. Among other pastimes indulged in by the Judge in 1856 was deriding and


abusing Lovejoy, the abolitionist, then just elected to Congress for the first time: and all members of his coterie would echo his denunciations: -- they had to.

"I don't see the sense of this persistent abuse of Lovejoy," said Swett, in his manly way; "if he errs at all, it is on the right side." A blank silence fell on the crowd. The Judge was mad, and every one knew it: and after Swett went out, he abused him for half an hour. And for such and similar reasons, Swett could not long remain in leading strings to Davis.

He had a prodigious ambition and an earnest desire for wealth and position. In consequence, he kept a close eye on every public man in Illinois who had started the race of life with, and had distanced him, either in the amassing of wealth, or of honors. His bete noir in McLean County was Gridley: Oh! my: but he did hate him. Gridley had got rich -- probably richer than Davis: and he would not pay needed deference to him.

"You don't call that law, you are talking to the jury, do you?" said the Judge. "My clients hired me to try this case, and if we need your help, we will call on you," retorted Gridley. "All right: I'll instruct the jury directly; and then we'll see who rules this court," rejoined the Judge. He used to wonder how Gridley and Matteson (the Governor) could get so rich; and over again and again, he declared it could not have been honestly done; although, at the same time, he was worth a million; and all honestly obtained, at that.

The Judge was born in Cecil County, Maryland, on March 9th, 1815. His people were rigid Episcopalians: and he received his academical education at the Episcopal College at Gambier, Ohio: then in charge of the celebrated Bishop Chase, graduating at the early age of seventeen and a half years. He thence commenced the study of law at Lenox, Massachusetts, and afterward attended the law school at New Haven, Connecticut, where he graduated in the fall of 1835.


He was tall, slim and very shy and bashful: while at Lenox, he had become engaged to a Miss Sarah Walker, daughter of the circuit judge of that circuit: and their wedding was to take place as soon as, and whenever, the Judge could get established as a lawyer, with the ability to maintain a wife: and so he betook himself to what was then, the wild western frontier, charged with the duty of founding a home for himself and his affianced.

He first settled at Tremont, then the county seat of Tazewell County. This village, now so insignificant, was then a place of much consequence; and many leading men resided there at that time, among whom may be mentioned, Ira T. Munn and T. J. S. Flint, afterward leading warehousemen of Chicago: Dr. C. H. Ray, the most brilliant editor that Chicago ever had: Col. Josiah L. James and his son Benjamin, father of the actor: also Senator Cullom. And it was at Tremont that the correspondence between Lincoln and Shields, preliminary to the duel, took place.

The Judge made little headway here: it was too advanced for a novitiate in the law: and after experiencing the pangs of hope deferred for about one year, he shook the dust of that place off his feet, and started out in a search for a locality more promising to him. Among other places that he visited was Decatur, and while there he contracted a spell of typhoid fever which prostrated him for some weeks, and after he recovered, he commenced to grow into the condition of obesity so well known.

Finally, however, he settled at Bloomington, then an extremely new and primitive town, succeeding to the practice of Jesse W. Fell, who engaged in other pursuits. It was "root hog or die" with the Judge: his expectant bride was waiting for him to found a home for them; and he was obliged to assume a boldness not natural, and hustle for business. His progress was slow but sure. He discarded all "Genius licks" and flights of oratory (having vainly tried both) and went into collecting claims -- buying tax titles -- settling


estates, and the like prosaic business, and trading in land; in all of which he exhibited great shrewdness, and displayed great energy.

In 1838, he married; and in 1844, he was elected to the legislature: and two years thereafter, he was defeated for the State Senate by one John Moore, a wagon-maker -- a defeat which the Judge took to heart, for he was very sensitive indeed. In 1847, he was elected a member of the State Constitutional Convention, in which body he sought very earnestly to prescribe very economical salaries, insisting upon $600 a year as the salary for the circuit judges, a remarkable proposition, in view of the fact that the judge of his circuit was obliged to travel by private conveyance over a geographical fourth of the whole state; and hold court twice a year in fourteen counties, and pay his own expenses. Had the Judge's proposal been adopted, no one but a wealthy man could have taken the place: however, one thousand dollars was the amount agreed on; and in the following year Davis himself succeeded Judge Treat -- no competitor appearing: and for fourteen consecutive years he was the judge of his circuit, starting with fourteen counties, one of which contained the capital of the state, and ultimately being reduced to five. In his circuit, there practiced at different times, McDougall, afterward Senator from California; Baker, afterward Senator from Oregon; Walker, afterward Senator from Wisconsin; Douglas, then Senator from Illinois; Voorhees, afterward Senator from Indiana; Usher, afterward Secretary of the Interior; besides Lincoln, Judge Logan, Stuart, Benedict, Gridley, Swett, Hannah, Dickey, O. L. Davis, and many other lawyers of eminence.

Davis was a good circuit judge: -- he disdained technicalities, sharp practice, "the law's delay and the insolence of office:" and aimed at practical and just results in the shortest mode: and his common sense and good judgment led to a general habit of submitting cases to him with no intervention of a jury: and his adjudications gave as general satisfaction


as and evoked fewer appeals than, those of any other judge in the state.

His social qualities on the circuit were of the most charming character; every evening that we were not invited out, the Judge had a social reunion in his room, from which he excluded all whom he did not want, and at which he made every one whom he did include, entirely at ease. The star performer was Lincoln, but there were many others of considerable talent.

The "Davis" coterie was not strictly confined to lawyers: editors, local statesmen, bankers, merchants, physicians and farmers, were included. Whom the Judge wanted, he, somehow, got: -- whom he did not want, he fired out or froze out. His ways were sui generis and incomprehensible.

He possessed an inordinate ambition: and in the days when I first knew him, had a smothered ambition to go to Congress. Had he asserted his wish, he might have had a large following, but he was too proud-spirited to do so, and, besides, his circuit and influence extended into three several districts.

And the Judge was never publicly mentioned for Congress till 1858; and Lovejoy had, by that time, become altogether too popular to brook any opposition in that district.

It was very unsafe for any lawyer to express any dissatisfaction with the Judge's opinions or indicate his purpose to go to the Supreme Court: he considered any dissent from his adjudications as a personal affront.

Swett and I were once trying a little case, when we thought the Judge was prejudiced against our side of the case, and Swett excepted to a ruling; the Judge was wrathy, and gave Swett a terrible scathing: and I was once trying a railway case, and took occasion to exercise the ordinary prerogative of taking an exception to a ruling: "Of course," said the Judge with an expression of perfect contempt.

Lincoln had a way of excepting with so much grace and


deference, and so apologetically, that the Judge was rather flattered by it.

He didn't care for forms or appearances: if he knew he was right, that was sufficient for him: for instance, he entered, and afterward sold considerable land in our county: and had a necessity to sue some of the notes given for deferred payments: so he sent them to me and I brought suit: when court sat, and he gave the first call to the docket, he did not call these cases at all: but at a convenient season, when it came time to adjourn court, he did not adjourn, but remained on the bench until everybody filed out, except the clerk and sheriff, he busying himself reading some court papers.

Then I arose, and called up the case of "Davis vs. Smith." "Well," said the Judge, nonchalantly, "what is wanted?" "Default on a note." "Has the defendant been served in time and no appearance?" asked he. "Yes, your Honor, all is regular." "Mr. Sheriff, call John Smith."

"Jaw Smy -- Jaw Smy -- Jaw Smy," said the sheriff perfunctorily. No answer.

"Judgment by default: clerk assess damages," said the Judge, and went on with his reading a decent length of time, and then formally adjourned court. There was no pre-arrangement at all about this. I instinctively knew what the Judge wanted and how he wanted it done; and he instinctively knew how to play his part, and how I would play mine: and no one in all Champaign County knew that the Judge had really rendered judgment in his own case, but himself, the clerk, sheriff and myself. Could he not have accomplished it thus -- he must necessarily have brought another judge there to enter these formal judgments or sent them to another circuit by change of venue. As there was no inherent wrong in this, the Judge didn't care for its appearance -- provided it could be done in the sly way it was done.

By reason of a pressure on him on account of his private business he used frequently to get Lincoln to hold


court for him. It was illegal and coram non judice: and might have got Lincoln and the sheriff and suitors into difficulty: for all proceedings of such a -- so-called -- court, were tortiuous and void.

He was extremely sensitive to public opinion; several of our best citizens, destroyed some whisky shops, and pleaded guilty. Davis lectured them severely, and fined them, as was eminently proper -- in fact he could not do otherwise: but they wanted him to make a temperance speech and fine the whisky seller.

His election coming on within two months; they put up a vagabond as a candidate for Judge and voted for him, in order to deride Davis: he felt very sore, as he justly should: but never mentioned it in our county, except in a letter to me.

Like Midas, all he touched, turned to gold: he had a claim of $800 to collect for a New York client and not being able to get money, accepted, as a compromise, eighty acres of land, south of (what was then) Chicago; but his clients repudiated the settlement; and Davis was forced to take the land for the $800. He did not see this land for sixteen years till July, 1860, when he and I rode out to inspect it; and oh! what a sight; several colonies from counties Killarney and Tipperary had colonized it with wretched hovels and ditch fences located at all angles, except with the compass.

I had quite an amount of litigation in expelling them and getting the land clear, which I finally did -- for which service the Judge warmly thanked me; and he ultimately sold the land, which is now in Chicago, for one million of dollars.

Fac-simile of Letter from David Davis

Altho' Lincoln and Davis were, of necessity, intimate and friendly, for several years: -- yet, in some important characteristics, they were organically very unlike: to-wit: Lincoln was poor and democratic, and in his tendencies and associations a plebeian: while Davis was rich and aristocratic, and with the animus -- somewhat disguised, of a patrician.


Lincoln sprang from the poor whites of Kentucky: Davis from the rich, slave-holding classes of Maryland: Lincoln wanted to be alone when going to an evening entertainment: Davis wanted a retinue of followers: Davis was very careful of his personal appearance and style: Lincoln did not care for either: Davis was an epicure: Lincoln was an ascetic: Davis had great acquisitiveness and talent to gratify it: while Lincoln did not know the A, B, C of making money. But they were, alike, frugal to excess: -- Lincoln from necessity -- Davis from choice: and they also were alike, in an earnest desire to entertain and be entertained: the former from necessity again -- the latter from choice, also. Both were ambitious: -- Davis for display, power and shekels: Lincoln, in order to gratify his ambitious wife.

He was an imposing looking man, and quite proud of his personal appearance, as he well might be.

Originally a Whig, when that party broke up, he had too much contempt for the Democratic leaders to affiliate with them; and, both on principle, and because the Illinois Whigs, as a rule, fused with the Republican party, he did so too.

Moreover, although he was born in Cecil County, Maryland, yet he was a northern man by education and training; and, besides, had married a most estimable Yankee wife.

Appointed on the bench of the United States Supreme Court in 1862, the Judge endeared himself to the reactionary Democracy by a radical opinion antagonistical to the right of the military authorities to punish Knights of the Golden Circle and became a very loud and showy candidate for the Presidency in the newspapers, as the time approached for the conventions of 1872; and, at the Liberal Republican convention of that year, his name was mentioned outside for the nomination; but Illinois had too great a wealth of talent there, and presented two other candidates, each stronger than the Judge: -- and all were defeated.

Being accidentally elected to the United States Senate in 1877, without any party backing or political following, he, in


a moment of weakness and ill-judgment, accepted the position, and $5,000 a year for six years, vacating a higher position and $10,000 a year, for life; and the end of his public career was then plainly apparent.

The probabilities are, that the Judge expected this move to be a sort of horse-block to the Presidency: and after taking his seat, he attempted the unwise policy of trying to ride two horses at once, going in opposite directions: and he very soon experienced the folly of trying to serve two political masters; he had no influence beyond his vote -- and was badgered and ridiculed by politicians who were unworthy, really, to unloose his shoe latchets: and he soon degenerated into a perfunctory Senator: and finally was shelved, by being elected by general consent to be the presiding officer of the Senate -- the most unenviable position, per se, in Washington politics.

When his term ended, he retired to private life, after a continuous official and honorable career of thirty-six years.

This retirement was not grateful to the feelings of the Judge: he pined for the excitement and associations of his Washington life.

Existence on his farm was too prosaic for him, although he was then seventy years old.

The Judge had sufficient business to fully engross his attention; he was immensely wealthy; had a large rent-roll: and a great private business; but he was more than ever conscious that he committed the great error of his life in leaving the Supreme Court bench; for he well knew that he reaped no laurels in his new station; and that, at the very moment when he retired ingloriously from the Senate, he might have retired from the Supreme Court with eclat; and (what would have been of equal importance to a man of the Judge's ruling passion) with a yearly life annuity of ten thousand dollars.

The Judge soon began to run down hill; his huge dimensions began to shrink visibly; he was restless; his ambition had been foiled; and the dread hereafter was in view.

Photograph of Leonard Swett


He had amassed a large fortune; he had, at the time of leaving the Senate, married as a second wife, a very charming and estimable woman; and he had a stately and elegant mansion.

But a spirit of unrest possessed him; one would think that, coming as he did to Illinois with nothing and amassing millions by his indomitable energy and trenchant economy -- and filling two of the highest positions in our Republic; should have fulfilled the ambition of any man; but the Judge had failed in his higher aspirations; saw the inevitable hour approaching when he must relinquish all his earthly comforts and luxuries; and he was probably as unhappy a man as there was in the whole state; doubtless his sad-eyed tenants were happier than he; and the end came: he had to be content with a few feet of the earth of which he had for fifty years monopolized and ruled over so much; and his name occupies but a few inches in local, and none in general, history.

When I first knew the eighth circuit, the great triumvirate consisted of Davis, Lincoln and Swett: and their social consequence was in the order named.

For some time after each session of court, their "wise saws and modern instances" formed the chief staple of conversation, in the stores and wherever men would gather: -- for we were comparatively shut out from the world, in ordinary; and the most important incident in our lives, was the semi-annual meeting of court: although in my county, its total sitting was comprised within two or three days, twice each year.

" 'Twas bright -- 'twas beautiful: 'tis past."

Swett was only twenty-eight years of age, but was already then so popular in that end of the circuit, that no other name was considered for Congress: and in 1856 the four southern counties of our congressional district, not only sent delegates pledged and instructed for him; but each county likewise sent a large and clamorous lobby for him.


But we had not counted on the preponderance of the large counties of Will, Bureau, La Salle and others where he was unknown; and the great popularity of Swett at and about home, availed nothing, when we met the northern cohorts, in convention.

In the fall of 1854, Swett and I rode together in a "ram-shackle" buggy from Danville to Urbana: and he gave me a full account of his entire life; and I thought then, and still do, that I never met a man, so charming in his style and manner. He was born in Turner, Maine -- educated at Waterville College -- read law with Shepley and Dana in Portland -- and started west on his adventures when he was twenty-one years old: -- got somehow to Madison, Indiana, where he enlisted in the Mexican War -- became ill at Matamoras (I think); and was left in an army hospital to die, as was thought: but, nevertheless, recovered -- was discharged from the service at St. Louis: and found his way to Peoria -- thence to Clinton -- a "fagged-out, sick soldier," as he put it: commenced the practice of law there and both Davis and Lincoln took a great fancy to him -- made him a pet: aided him in getting business: -- favors which Swett never forgot; and he adhered to both of these distinguished friends through life and to those they respectively left behind them, after death. He was the most generous and unselfish man I ever knew. I think that Swett contributed as much to the nomination of Lincoln as Davis did; but he made no claim at all, but always gave the entire credit to Davis.

It is clear that Lincoln did not wish to appoint Davis as Supreme Judge, but did wish to appoint Browning: and that Swett changed his mind by virtue of his importunities: -- and it took a great man to move Lincoln from a formed opinion: -- and in a thousand instances, Swett postponed his own interests to that of those who importuned him: -- sometimes, friends, and usually bores.

In the years of his adolescence, he had every promise of a brilliant political career: no other man was thought of in


our county for Congress from 1854, for a decade thereafter, could we have had the choice: but the district was very large and Swett's end of it was outnumbered, by the other end: and in 1862, when he did run in a new district, he was (on account of his intimacy with Lincoln) made a "scape-goat" for the apparent short-comings of the Administration: and defeated by John T. Stuart, Lincoln's first law partner, and the same who defeated Douglas, in his first race for Congress.

In 1860, Swett's friends made use of his name in the preliminary canvass for the gubernatorial nomination; the other competitors being Yates and Judd, with Swett in the lead.

When the delegates and outsiders were assembling at Decatur, the inquiry went all around, "Where's Swett?" In that supreme movement of Fate: he was where he should not have been: and was not where he should have been; for the sequel disclosed that he had gone to Danville just before the convention sat; and, true to his inability to say No, had got into a murder case, which took longer to try, than he had thought; and when his presence at the opening chapter of the convention was indispensable and would have achieved success: his absence demoralized and disintegrated his own friends: and enabled the opposition to prevail against him: and thus did his Nemesis thrust aside his destiny; for, had he been the War Governor, as Yates was; he would easily have been promoted to the Senate, as Yates also was: and would have been -- what Yates was not -- the leading statesman of our state, for thirty years; in my judgment.

The Decatur State Convention of 1860, was the "tide in the affairs of men" which would have led him to fortune: but which he omitted: and his after-life (politically considered),

"Was bound in shallows and in miseries."

Thereafter, he entered into Wall Street, and made a handsome fortune; on which he designed to retire -- secure a good library, for he had a strong literary proclivity; and


take life easy: but a pretended friend, just as he had formed this good resolution, seduced him into making just one more venture; which happened to prove disastrous: and he had to start the world again anew: and he settled at Chicago as a law partner with Judge Van H. Higgins, where for twenty years he occupied a conspicuous position as one of the best jury advocates in the Northwest; his services being sought for in critical trials, in various parts of the country: going at one time, to New Haven, Connecticut, to try a heavy case.

Many of the triumphs were astounding, to those who knew not the magnetism of the man: and the seductive charms of his magic eloquence.

I now recall the cases of young Sloo at Shawneetown (which John A. Logan and Judge W. J. Allen prosecuted) and Wintermute at Yankton in Dakota, both of whom he cleared, against "light and knowledge," as well as law and evidence: and for some years, murderers were wont to engage Swett, who raised the plea of insanity with success, nearly always.

He was not a profound lawyer, but he was a most adroit, ingenious and brilliant advocate; and I personally knew, that in a jury case, Lincoln preferred association with him to any other lawyer in the State. Indeed, Lincoln seemed to lean on him, and to say in effect, "I am all right now, that Swett is with me."

The same principle obtained in his statesmanship: -- whenever Lincoln got hold of Swett Lincoln would consult him at length, on his policies: and the only reason why he did not honor him with an office (beyond that of Government Director of the Union Pacific Railway) was, because Swett was too near to him: and he was fearful he would be censured; but I have reason to know, that Lincoln thought more of Swett, as a man, than any other man in Illinois during the war.

In 1854, after a romantic courtship, which he gave me


the full details of, he married a charming young lady in New Hampshire, who, early, became an invalid, but to whom he was assiduous in his devotion throughout. And he had, always, an elegantly appointed home, where he delighted to entertain the elite of the nation, for as an entertainer, Swett was incomparable, and he was very fond of home and its adjuncts. Although his friends were greatly disappointed that he barely missed a brilliant political career, he took his disappointments with nonchalance, and said to me, one day: "You have heard of reformed gamblers -- well, I am a reformed politician." His adhesiveness to his friends, and his inability to say No/ was the rock on which the bark which contained his political aspirations foundered. He was the prey and sport of adventurers, who used his transcendent talents for their narrow and selfish ends.

He would have been the John A. Logan of Illinois politics, had he had the ordinary self-preservation of mankind.

A Lawyer's Advertisement of Central Illinois


Chapter IV. The Presidential Nomination.

Looking backward through the vista of time thirty-one years, or more, ago, it seems as if the nomination of Lincoln was an easy achievement, and as though it was a spontaneous movement of the people. I was with Mr. Lincoln every evening but four during his sixteen days' stay in Chicago, in the months of March and April preceding the nomination -- during most of the time we were alone, except one evening we attended an entertainment by a minstrel troupe: and I presumptively knew that politicians of Chicago entertained no such idea, inasmuch as the only two men of any note whatever, who called on Mr. Lincoln, were John Wentworth, and he had partaken largely, just before, of the cup which cheers, etc., and Robert S. Blackwell, a lawyer of eminence in his profession, but of no meritorious political character. Indeed, no other solitary man intruded on us at the Tremont House, except a young theoretical German politician who wanted to learn something of our politics: and I likewise presumptively knew that Lincoln himself entertained a merely possible hope of success, for he talked to me freely of the situation, and told me of letters he had received from various leading men on the subject, and the contents thereof. It was a subject of nightly discussion between us, and I think he was candid with me, and regarded himself as a mere possibility for the nomination. The credit of the nomination belongs to certain men whom I will name, and it was the resultant of a combination of shrewd schemes, all in harmony, though the actors were not, with the general plan, and all converging to one point, viz.: the nomination. This is as susceptible of proof as any moral fact, as I shall show.

The United States Capitol (Front)


But let me first exhibit, as well as it can be done, when the possible idea or hope of becoming President first animated Lincoln himself, and then I will set forth the genesis of his first nomination.

I was with Lincoln upon terms of the closest intimacy, upon two different occasions, when the thought might have been, and probably was, first engendered in his mind, and each of which have been selected by different persons who professed to know, as the occasion in question: although Lincoln himself never gave a hint of the kind to me then or thereafter, or to any one else, within my knowledge.

The first occasion will involve a history of the first "Anti-Nebraska" convention, which met at Bloomington on May 29th, 1856, it being the convention which organized the Republican party in Illinois, and which nominated Wm. H. Bissell for Governor, and Abraham Lincoln as one of the presidential electors at large.

The "call" for this convention, as I remember it, embraced all persons who were opposed to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, or to the further extension of slavery into territory then free. I forget who issued it. It was designed to inaugurate a new party, really, from the debris of the Whig party -- the callow Abolitionist party -- and that segment of the Democratic party which had a responsive and awakened conscience.

Lincoln was to go as a delegate, although he was very cautious and conservative at that time, but he became, before the convention concluded its labors, the most prominent person connected with that incipient movement.

Judge Davis resided at Bloomington, but was then holding court at Danville; he had invited, to stay at his fine residence just east of town, Archibald Williams, of Quincy, T. Lyle Dickey, of Ottawa, Mr. Lincoln and myself. The Judge did not expect to be, and was not, in fact, at home, during the sitting of the convention.

Lincoln was to go from Danville court direct to Bloomington


via Decatur, and he and I agreed that I should meet him at Tolono, and accompany him; we stopped at Decatur just before night, and put up at a hotel, there being no train north till early next morning. As I remember it now, we did not meet a single chance acquaintance, although this was the county of Lincoln's first residence in Illinois, and where he had split the historic "rails," although I may add there was more romance than substance about this rail-splitting. Lincoln was not a hard worker.

After supper we strolled out for a walk, and when we came to the court house, Lincoln walked out a few feet in front, and after shifting his position two or three times, he said, as he looked up at the building, partly to himself and partly to me: "Here is the exact spot where I stood by our wagon when we moved from Indiana twenty-six years ago; this isn't six feet from the exact spot."

He said further to me: "We came into town and kept on and made our first stop right in front of the court house, where we now are." I asked him if he, at that time, had expected to be a lawyer and practice law in that court house; to which he replied: "No: I didn't know I had sense enough to be a lawyer then." He then told me he had frequently thereafter tried to locate the route by which they had come; and that he had decided that it was near to the line of the main line of the Illinois Central Railroad.

We walked till early bed-time, during which he told me of his early adventures in both Macon and Sangamon counties, the Hanks family, etc.; also his early struggles in life.

Early the next morning we took the train for Bloomington; it had come from Centralia, and had but few persons on board. We sat in the rear of the only coach not consecrated to tobacco smoke; and no one was in our part of the car.

Lincoln was extremely anxious to know if there were any delegates on board the train, en route to the convention. He requested me to make inquiry in that direction of the few passengers; which I found some excuse for declining to do;


so Lincoln himself went to the forward end of the car, and gazed through the list as he paced slowly back to where I sat deeply engaged with "The Howadji in Syria." "I really would like to know if any of those men are from down south, going to the convention," said he. "I don't see any harm in asking them," I replied. "I believe I will," he said, at last; and he left me to perform his errand. In fifteen or twenty minutes he came back, his face radiant with happiness; he had found two delegates from Marion County. The point was this: Southern Illinois was thoroughly hostile to "black republican" ideas; and Lincoln's hope was to discern any sentiment down there in that line. It will be recollected by many that one solitary vote was cast for Fremont in Johnson County; but in the large majority of counties in Logan's district not a single vote was cast against Buchanan.

Judge Davis' house was but a few yards from the Illinois Central depot; and on going there neither of the others had arrived, but when we came to tea in the afternoon we found Judge Dickey, who had preceded us a short time, Mr. Williams not arriving till the night train.

After dinner, Lincoln proposed that I should go with him to the Chicago & Alton depot, in another part of the town, to see who might arrive from Chicago. On our way Lincoln stopped in at a very diminutive jewelry shop, where he bought his first pair of spectacles for 37 1/2 cents, as I now recollect it; he then remarking to me that he had got to be forty-seven years old, and "kinder" needed them. As we approached the depot we found ourselves to be late, and that the omnibuses were just starting away, full of passengers, several of whom at once recognized and called out to Lincoln.

As we turned to retrace our steps, Lincoln said to me sotto voce, but enthusiastically: "That's the best sign yet; Judd is there; and he's a trimmer."

It must be borne in mind that our convention was as yet but an experiment, and it was not definitely known how successful


it would become. Judd was afterward an applicant for the position of Secretary of the Interior under Lincoln; and was in fact made Minister to Prussia.

Throughout all the various steps preceding and during the entire work of the convention, Lincoln was active, alert, energetic and enthusiastic. I never saw him more busily engaged, more energetically at work, or with his mind and heart so thoroughly enlisted.

The convention assembled in Major's Hall, with Archibald Williams as temporary chairman. When Lawrence County was called, no response came. The secretary was proceeding with the call when Lincoln arose and exclaimed, anxiously looking all around: "Mr. Chairman, let Lawrence be called again: there is a delegate in town from there, and a very good man he is, too." The call was repeated, but no reply came. The delegate, whose courage failed him at the last moment, in the presence of the Abolitionist contingent, was Jesse K. Dubois; he came, indeed, as a delegate; but, seeing Lovejoy and other Abolitionists there as cherished delegates, he, through indignation or timidity, stayed away for the time being.

The afternoon of the convention was, as usual, devoted to speeches, Lincoln being accorded the post of honor, and making the last speech of any consequence -- although B. C. Cook got in a little speech, later. I never in my whole life up to this day heard a speech so thrilling as this one from Lincoln. No one who was present will forget its climax. I have since talked with many who were present and all substantially concur in enthusiastic remembrances of it.

The audience was largely composed of old, veteran politicians, whose fancies were not easily beguiled, nor readily entrapped into enthusiasm; but when the majestic Lincoln, after reciting the history of the encroachments of the slave power, defined clearly the duties of the hour; and then, with a mien and gesture that no language can describe, exclaimed (referring to threatened secession), "When it comes


to that, we will say to our Southern brethren: we WONT go out of the Union: and you SHAN'T:" the effect was thrilling and indescribable: no language can convey any conception of it. I have never seen such excitement among a large body of men, and scarcely ever expect to again.

John L. Scripps has given his experience of this most remarkable speech in the following enthusiastic description: "Never was an audience more completely electrified by human eloquence. Again and again, during its delivery, they sprang to their feet and upon the benches, and testified by long-continued shouts and the waving of hats, how deeply the speaker had wrought upon their minds and hearts. It fused the mass of hitherto incongruous elements into perfect homogeneity; and from that day to the present they have worked together in harmonious and fraternal union."

The convention adjourned a few minutes later; and, as I passed down-stairs with the crowd, Jesse K. Dubois (who had been afraid to respond to the roll-call of counties, but who came in later, and was nominated for State Auditor), seized me by the arm with a painful grip and made an exclamation to me close to my ear, which I soon afterward repeated to Lincoln.

Of course he was the lion of the hour; everybody crowded around him; florid congratulations were as thick as autumnal leaves "that strowed the banks of Vallambrosa:" enthusiastic hand-shaking was the normal state of man; and that "thrilling speech" was the burden of every man's theme, on that occasion. Lincoln got disentangled from the applauding crowd at length; and he and I started off in the direction of Judge Davis' house; but immediately diverged into a side street to shake off everybody; and as soon as we were out of every one's hearing Lincoln at once commenced a line of remark upon the extraordinary scene we had just witnessed, and whose prime mover he was, at the same time bending his head down to make our conversation more confidential. In


a glow of enthusiasm I said in reply to a question by him: "You know that my statements about your speeches are not good authority, so I will tell you what Dubois, who is not so enthusiastic as I am, said to me as we came out of the hall. He said: ‘Whitney, that is the greatest speech ever made in Illinois and it puts Lincoln on the track for the Presidency.’ "

While I was making this reply, he walked along without straightening himself up for some thirty seconds, perhaps without saying a word; but with a thoughtful, abstracted look: -- then he straightened up and immediately made a remark about some commonplace subject, having no reference to the subject we had been considering.

Did he then recognize, in this burst of enthusiasm from Dubois, the voice of destiny summoning him to the highest responsibility on earth? If so, well for him was it that he did not also see the granite tomb, only eight years distant, consecrated by more tears than any other since the human race began!

Dubois' opinion was, when I told him of it, that Lincoln's first conception of the Presidency dated from this incident.

Only seventeen days from the incident narrated just now, the National Convention met at Philadelphia to nominate a national ticket, whose nominees should be inimical to the further spread of human slavery.

At the same time, an extra session of the circuit court of Champaign County convened at Urbana, Illinois, to dispose of a large mass of unfinished business. Judge Davis held the court, and Lincoln, having a few cases to try, attended.

President's Room in Capitol

At the Judge's request, I secured a room for Lincoln, him and myself at the American House, kept by one John Dunaway. This primitive hostelry had three front entrances from the street, but not a single hall down-stairs; one of these entrances led directly into the ladies' parlor and from


it an entrance was obtained to the dining-room, and also from another corner a flight of stairs conducted us to our room. Close by the front and dining-room doors was kept a gong which our vulgar boniface was wont to beat vigorously, as a prelude to meals, he standing in the doorway immediately under our windows; and thereby causing us great annoyance.

This term of court was extremely prosaic, having for trial cases meagre both in amount and incident, tried usually by the court without the aid of a jury.

The weather was dry and hot: our surroundings were not conducive to comfort, and I don't recollect to have ever attended a more uninteresting term of court.

The way we appropriated the news was thus: The Chicago Press used to reach town by the noon mail. Lincoln and Davis would go to the room direct from court, while I would go to the postoffice and get Judge Cunningham's paper. I would then read the news to them in our room.

While coming in one day with the paper I met Dunaway, our host, coming down from our room, where he had been and still was searching anxiously for his gong, which some ruthless hand had, alas, abstracted. When I had reached the room I was in the presence of the culprit. Lincoln sat awkwardly in a chair tilted up after his fashion, looking amused, silly and guilty, as if he had done something ridiculous, funny and reprehensible.

The Judge was equally amused; but said to him: "Now, Lincoln, that is a shame. Poor Dunaway is the most distressed being. You must put that back," etc., etc.

It seems that Lincoln, in passing through the dining-room, had seen the offending and noisy instrument; and in a mischievous freak had secreted it between the top and false bottom of a center table, and where no one would have thought of looking for it. But he and I immediately repaired to the dining-room and while I held the two contiguous doors fast Lincoln restored the gong to its accustomed place, after


which he bounded up the stairs, two steps at a time, I following.

I think it was on that very day -- if not it was on the next day, at any rate it was on Thursday, June 19th, I read from the Chicago paper the following: "John C. Fremont was nominated for President on the first ballot. All the New England states went bodily for Fremont, except eleven votes for McLean. New York gave 93 for Fremont." Next day at noon I was on hand with the paper again, from which I read the following, viz.: "The convention then proceeded to an informal ballot for Vice-President, which resulted as follows: Dayton, 259; Lincoln, 110; Ford, 7; King, 9; Banks, 29; Sumner, 30; Collamer, 15; Johnson, 2; Pennington, 7; Carey, 3. Mr. Eliot, of Massachusetts, withdrew the names of Sumner, Wilson and Banks at their requests. Wilmot's name was then withdrawn. The motion was then carried to proceed to a final ballot. Dayton was then unanimously nominated for Vice-President with the following exceptions: New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut 20 for Lincoln," etc. Davis and I were greatly excited, but Lincoln was phlegmatic, listless and indifferent: his only remark was: "I reckon that ain't me; there's another great man in Massachusetts named Lincoln, and I reckon it's him."

Next day I got the paper, as usual, and saw, not only that it was our Lincoln, but learned what remarks were made in the convention. The Judge and I were especially incensed at Palmer's reply to a question proposed, it being that we could carry Illinois either with or without Lincoln. The inquiry was made about Lincoln: "Will he fight?" Lincoln betrayed no other feeling except that of amusement, at the sole qualification demanded.

I may observe, that we had not expected Lincoln to be a candidate at this time; all talk about his candidacy was abstract, and not concrete as yet: our favorite was Judge McLean.

The succeeding day I got the paper early and started to


court with it before its adjournment. I met Lincoln at the west gate of the court house square, quite alone, coming from court, which had not, even then, adjourned. He was grave, gloomy, thoughtful and abstracted. I handed him the paper, which contained a wood cut of Fremont, and remarked: "It's a shame for a man with such a head as that to beat Judge McLean." Lincoln took the paper quite mechanically, and looked at it for a moment with no show of interest, and then handed it back, with the remark: "I don't see anything wrong about that head." I felt rebuked, for my remark was really unjust; but looking again, I said, handing him back the paper, "I think that a man who parts his hair in the middle, like a woman, ain't fit to be President." He took the paper again, quite mechanically, looked at the picture for a moment, and then, with no remark at all, handed it back, and resumed his walk, gloomy and abstracted.

A day or two later he was ready to return home. He had collected $25 or $30 for that term's business thus far, and one of our clients owed him $10, which he felt disappointed at not being able to collect; so I gave him a check for that amount, and went with him to the bank to collect it. The cashier, T. S. Hubbard, who paid it, is still living in Urbana and will probably remember it. I do not remember to have seen him happier than when he had got his little earnings together, being less than $40, as I now recollect it, and had his carpet-bag packed, ready to start home.

James H. Matheny, one of his life-long friends, has informed me that Lincoln's first real specific aspirations for the Presidency dated from the incident of his being named in the convention as a candidate for Vice-President, at that time, and it is certain, that, from thenceforth, all of Lincoln's energies and finesse were directed to its achievement; but that he did not then discern the road that led to the desired goal, is manifest from his letter to me, written three months thereafter, in reference to the nomination of Lovejoy for Congress.


And so it probably was that, either by the enthusiastic prophecy of Dubois on May 29th, or by the vote for Vice-President on June 19th, 1856, the idea of becoming a candidate for President was first lodged in Lincoln's mind; and in either case, I was the John the Baptist who was the forerunner of the great news.

Now, I am willing to concede, nay, I believe, that from that time Lincoln trimmed his sails to catch the breeze which might waft him to the White House: but the conclusion is not correct that Lincoln was demanded by the people; and that the nomination was accorded to the spontaneous and universal demand of the nation, independent of any political finesse on the part of his political friends.

Contrariwise, the leader chiefly indicated was Seward; and, after him, the popular sentiment was divided between Chase, Bates, Lincoln and one or two others; but not including Cameron, whose strength did not emanate from the people.

After the periods above indicated by me, there was considerable loose talk about Lincoln for a place on the ticket for 1860, but it was the mere possibility only; and not anything so substantial as faith, or even a cheerful hope. Herndon, always enthusiastic, wrote a stirring letter to me on April 1st, 1859, in which he said, "Work and ‘put money in thy purse’ for 1860. This 1860 is ‘a going’ to be the great struggle of America," but made no reference whatever to or about Lincoln or to his possibilities; and no newspaper deemed it of sufficient consequence to mention his name for the position till May 4th, 1859, when the Central Illinois Gazette, a weekly paper, edited by J. W. Scroggs, brought Lincoln out; but the article excited no attention and produced no results, as Lincoln had already been spoken of feebly at home in that connection, and the article thus discounted.

On the evening of January 6th, 1859, of the day succeeding the day that Stephen A. Douglas was elected to the Senate, a small party of Lincoln's most intimate personal


friends met in the inner office of the Secretary of State at Springfield to counsel together about the future of the Republican party -- whether it was to have any future, etc. At that time John J. Crittenden and Horace Greeley, and perhaps others, leaders in the opposition to the Democratic party, were in favor of running Douglas as the candidate for President, in opposition to the administration Democratic party, thus designing to crush out the party of Seward and Lincoln, between the upper stone of Douglas and "Anti-Lecompton," and the nether stone of Buchanan and his Lecompton constitution; and the outlook was gloomy enough, for Douglas had just been officially endorsed by his own state; had the support of the greatest Republican editor in the nation, and was apparently striding on, like a Colossus, "conquering and to conquer." On the authority of Jack Grimshaw, Herndon fixes the date of this meeting as "early in 1860." In this he is in error; the occurrence was on the night succeeding the election of Douglas, on January 5th, 1859. The persons whom I recollect to have been present were Lincoln, Dubois, John M. Palmer, Jo. Gillespie, Jackson Grimshaw and myself; but I am of opinion that Hatch (Secretary of State), Judd (State Senator), and Peck, of Chicago, were also present. The proceedings were entirely informal -- and the meeting was not held in order to bring Lincoln out for President. Palmer spoke first; and said in substance that this meeting was called in order to determine whether it was expedient to longer try to keep the party afloat, in view of the defection of Greeley -- the endorsement of Douglas, etc. He said: "I am decidedly in favor of maintaining the party, and I see no valid reason for discouragement," etc., and showed good reasons for proceeding, undismayed. Others spoke in a similar strain, but no allusion was made to Lincoln's candidacy, till Jesse K. Dubois spoke; and, at the end of his speech, he said: "And I am also in favor of putting Lincoln up for a place on the ticket, either for President or Vice-President -- one or the other." This


sentiment was cheered; and when Dubois had concluded, Lincoln was called for and made a modest speech, at the close of which he said, "As to the matter of my name on the National ticket" -- when he was stopped by several of us; and he subsided.

The "house divided against itself" speech of June 17th, 1858 -- the joint debate with Douglas -- the speeches in Ohio; and notably the Coopers Institute speech, constituted the "stock in trade" which formed Lincoln's contribution to the "wigwam" convention; but the finesse which enabled his friends to utilize that capital to set off and overcome the great political capital which Seward had been accumulating for many years, was never exceeded in adroitness and effectiveness in this country.

In addition to the "mint, anise and cummin" -- the bye-play, so to speak; the real effective work was thus, viz.:

First -- The state convention which met at Decatur in the spring of 1860 enthusiastically nominated Lincoln, and also injected into the canvass the novelty and glamour of the "rail-splitting" episode: which took like wild-fire.

Second -- Norman B. Judd, one of the shrewdest and most effective of politicians, being member of the National Committee for Illinois, secured Chicago as the seat of the convention.

Third -- Reduced railway fares and other inducements were secured to guarantee a large attendance of Illinoisans; and in other ways the machinery of enthusiasm was set in motion for Lincoln.

Fourth -- Whereas the Indiana delegation had been selected with the primary object of securing general control of the Interior Department, and special control of the Indian bureau; and the Pennsylvania delegation, in part, had been organized with the intent of controlling the Treasury Department, therefore it was essential to pander to those wishes, in order to secure the delegations, so far as might be, of those states.


Fifth -- And to have a good "send off" it was needful that Indiana and Illinois should be solid for Lincoln on the first ballot.

The two chiefs of diplomacy in these various movements were Judd, chairman of the Illinois delegation, and member of the National Committee: and David Davis, Judge of the Eighth Circuit: these men did not like each other, but nevertheless, animated by the most imperious necessity, worked in substantial accord. Judd had already secured the convention to be held at Chicago: and a delegation had been secured from Illinois, nearly solid for Lincoln: the recusant ones were prayed with and cajoled, till they, too, came over to Lincoln. Then William P. Dole, a crafty politician formerly from Indiana, and then from Paris, Illinois, was promised to be Commissioner of Indian Affairs: and Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, Secretary of the Interior: and the Indiana delegation was thus secured.

Next Yates, the candidate for Governor in Illinois and Lane, the candidate for Governor from Indiana, circulated among the outlying delegates and assured them that unless Lincoln would be nominated, it was useless for them to stay in the field -- that with Lincoln, both states were sure -- without him, they were hopeless: and Indiana, being an October state, that racket was worked for all it was worth.

But the crowning effort, the sine qua non of negotiations, was the securing of the Pennsylvania delegation: which was accomplished "in the wee sma' hours" of the day the balloting was had. The actual negotiators on the part of Lincoln were: Davis, Swett, Logan, Judd and Dole: and on the part of Cameron: Reed, Casey, and Sanderson: others were consulted, as Palmer, Herndon, Dubois, Hatch, and others -- but the actual negotiation was by the parties I have named.

The agreement, as finally reached, was thus:
1. These negotiations shall be forever secret and confidential.


2. Lincoln's friends have no actual authority -- none but a moral right.

3. If Lincoln shall be President -- Cameron shall have a place in his cabinet.

4. And he shall procure the indorsement of the Republican State Committee.

What caused the first trouble was, the lack of "verification of the powers" of the Illinois men: they had to admit, not only that they had no authority, but even that Lincoln had sent word written on a newspaper margin that he would be bound by no bargain: but they urged that Lincoln could not repudiate the promise of Davis -- and Logan -- and Swett. The demand for the Treasury and nothing else was the next point of difficulty: the Illinois men had in view the wrecking of the Treasury by Buchanan's Secretary and Cameron's flagitious record and were firm in their refusal to be limited to that one department.

And there was one stray bit of humor, which was thus narrated: Palmer stated impressively: "Well, gentlemen, it is all of no use unless we get Lincoln, for without him, we will lose both Illinois and Indiana." "Oh! no!" almost shrieked Davis, in counterfeited alarm. "Don't -- don't say that, Palmer, that will ruin us," etc., and this bit of charlatanry had an effect as was intended.

Lincoln did not really expect ever to be nominated before the convention. In March and April, 1860, while he was trying the "sand-bar" case with Judge Higgins, Lincoln went with James W. Somers and me to a minstrel show at Metropolitan Hall, in Chicago. Said I: "Possibly in a few weeks you will be nominated for President right here;" for it was then thought that the convention would be held in that hall; his reply was, "It is enough honor for me to be talked about, for it." And when Wm. N. Coler, Esq., now of New York, came from Springfield to Chicago on the first day of the convention, Lincoln said to him, "I've a good notion to go up


with you -- but I am too much of a candidate to be there, I reckon; yet not enough of a candidate to stay away."

The "political necessity" which Nicolay and Hay say demanded Lincoln before and during the sitting of the convention, was the necessity of Caleb B. Smith to be Secretary of the Interior; of Wm. P. Dole to be Commissioner of Indian Affairs; of David Davis to be either a supreme judge or a cabinet officer; of Norman B. Judd to be a cabinet minister; and of Simon Cameron to be Secretary of the Treasury. Had not these political necessities existed, Seward's great reputation and his acknowledged position as leader of the party would have prevailed and Lincoln would doubtless have been a member of the cabinet, and an obscure one for Lincoln did not shine except as a leader. In a subordinate position, as junior counsel, etc., he was very feeble; as a cabinet officer he would have been a nonentity.

Apropos of our visit to Rumsey&Newcomb's Minstrels in March, 1860, as I have stated, the piece d'resistance -- the star performance -- was as follows:


Ethiopian "walk round," by D. D. Emmett.

I wish I was in de land of cotton
‘Cimmon seed an’ sandy bottom --
Look away -- look 'way -- away -- Dixie's land.
In Dixie's land whar I was born in,
Early on one frosty mornin'.
Look away -- look 'way -- away -- Dixie's land.

CHORUS -- Den I wish I was in Dixie,
Hooray! Hooray!!
In Dixie's land we'll took our stand
To lib an' die in Dixie. [Repeat.]
Away -- away -- away down South in Dixie.

Ole missus marry Will -- de -- Weaber,
William was a gay deceaber;
Look away, etc.
When he put his arms around her


He look as fierce as a forty pounder
Look away, etc.

CHORUS -- Den I wish I was in Dixie, etc.

His face was sharp like a butcher's cleaber
But dat didn't seem to greab--er
Look away, etc.
Will run away -- missus took a decline, oh!
Her face was de color of bacon-rhine, oh!
Look away, etc.

CHORUS -- Den I wish I was in Dixie, etc.

While missus libbed, she libbed in clover:
When she died, she died all ober:
Look away, etc.
How could she act such a foolish part,
As to marry a man dat would break her heart?
Look away, etc.

CHORUS -- Den I wish I was in Dixie, etc.

Here's a health to de next ole missus;
An' all de gals dat want to kiss us;
Look away, etc.
Now if you want to drive way sorrow
Come an' hear dis song to-morrow.
Look away, etc.

CHORUS -- Den I wish I was in Dixie, etc.

Sugar in de gourd an' stony batter,
De whites grow fat an' de niggahs fatter;
Look away, etc.
Den hoe it down an' scratch your grabble
To Dixie's land I'm bound to trabble.
Look away, etc.

CHORUS -- Den I wish I was in Dixie, etc.

It was then entirely new; and was the most extravagant minstrel performance I ever saw. Lincoln was perfectly "taken" with it: and clapped his great hands, demanding an encore, louder than anyone. I never saw him so enthusiastic.

The next extravagant enthusiasm I saw was not with but about him; it occurred about three months later at the Chicago wigwam.


Singular to say, one of the last speeches he ever made -- on April 10th, 1865, to the Navy Yard mechanics -- just four days before he was assassinated -- was about this very piece. It reads thus: "I see you have a band: I propose now closing up by requesting you to play a certain piece of music or a tune; I thought Dixie one of the best tunes I had ever heard. I had heard that our adversaries over the way had attempted to appropriate it. I insisted yesterday we had fairly captured it. I presented the question to the Attorney General and he gave it as his opinion, that it is our lawful prize. I ask the band to give us a good turn with it."

Among the minor elements of sorrow in connection with the career of this greatest of men is this, that his last public speeches should not have been of sublime dignity, of which he was so fully capable -- and of which he had given so many proofs. But

"Man proposes and God disposes -- "
and it probably is a blessing in disguise, that we do not know when our hour of Fate will be struck.

Three (domestic) Graces


Chapter V. Mary Todd Lincoln.

The woman whom thou gavest to be with me; she gave me of the tree and I did eat. -- GEN. III. -- 12.

* * My true and honorable wife,
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart. -- SHAKS.

As unto the bow the cord is,
So unto the man is woman,
Though she bends him, she obeys him;
Though she draws him, yet she follows;
Useless each without the other. -- HIAWATHA.

Inasmuch as the lady of the White House, is the head of the social government, she cannot be ignored, without offence, in any extended sketch of her husband, or his administration, unless, as has happened, she be an invalid or a recluse: and the more pronounced her ambition, and the more brilliant her record the more imperious the necessity that she be not unheeded by the Muse of History. Many distinguished ladies have been thus honored: some especially in late days, have been celebrated, ad nauseum; but none in any era of our Republic have been neglected; for they all must of necessity stand in "the waves of light that beat about a throne."

A great deal has been said and written, and more implied about the distinguished lady, whose name is the caption to this article; and while adulation plumed its loftiest flight when coupled with her name while she had her natural defender, calumny was equally ambitious when she was left defenceless and in a country whose habitual custom it is to honor and recognize, as well as benefit, the widows of martyrs in its service, this relict of its greatest patriot


and greatest martyr: one unique in both roles: while in a foreign land, vainly seeking solace for more than human sorrows, had her humble petition for such (the usual) recognition rejected by the Senate, which used to fawn upon and daily laud her illustrious husband: and rejected with scorn, at that: and although this measure of tardy justice was awarded at last, yet an indelible stain rests upon the Senate of the United States for its disparagement of the widow of Abraham Lincoln, the wife of his youth.

Mary Todd Lincoln

The widow of Abraham Lincoln! During the night of June 21st, 1791, Marie Antoinette, the wife of the French Monarch, suffered terrors so insupportable that her hair, which was of a golden auburn when she entered the little chamber at Varennes, turned perfectly white during the suspense and anguish of the night, and she had no such burden as the widow of Abraham Lincoln, during the night of the 14th of April, 1865, in the little hall bedroom of the Peterson house, in Washington, when the life of her cherished husband was slowly, but surely, ebbing away; and when her ardent, highly wrought nature was strung up to more than its enduring tension, and at last gave way. Mrs. Lincoln, at that time, fell from the loftiest heights of social power to the lowest vale of humility, from the highest estate, to the profoundest depths of the valley of the shadow of death: but an hour before, her illustrious husband had said: "Now, Mary, we will together enjoy that happiness which the war and the death of our Willie, has hitherto prevented." And the cup of happiness which she thought she held in her sure grasp; was in an instant, dashed from her lips.

On that drear -- that awful night: she lost her reason and for the rest of her life,

"By pain of heart, now check'd and now impelled,
The intellectual power, though words and things,
Went sounding on, -- a dim and perilous way."

The widow of Abraham Lincoln, in a strange land, humbly requested the American Congress to grant her


the same pension that is granted to every one whose allowance will confer eclat on the grantors -- and it was refused. That she did or did not need it, is not in point: It was a reasonable and usual request, and she saw fit to make it: and men who saw that wretched woman throw herself vainly on the dying body of her husband -- a Nation's sacrifice -- and implore him to speak to her, joined in the refusal! I reassert, that it was a monstrous national shame!

Of all the many worthy ladies who have done the honors of the Nation at the White House, none have been more ambitious to excel than this lady, nor were any more thoroughly bred up in the school of gentility than she.

She came from a renowned and distinguished ancestry on both sides of her house; her great-grandfather was a Major-General in the Revolutionary war, and three of her great uncles were respectively Secretary of the Navy, Governor of Pennsylvania, and Governor of Michigan. One of her grandfathers was also a Major-General of the Kentucky Militia -- then a rare social honor. Her father was one of the most distinguished citizens of the eminently aristocratic city of Lexington, Kentucky, and as, successively a member of the House of Delegates and State Senate of Kentucky enrolled Mr. Clay, Robert Wickliffe and others of the elite of Kentucky, in his constituency. He was likewise Clerk of the U. S. House of Representatives, and toward the close of his life had the rare honor of being President of the State Bank of Kentucky for twenty years. She even traced her lineage back to the feudal days, to an ancestry whose defences were the moat and drawbridge, and who could muster a long roll of retainers. Nor had the family pride grown dim in her childhood; her education and culture was of the most polite order. She was educated at an exclusive French classical school -- her education and conversation being both conducted in the French language, so that when she left Madame Mantelli's


school, where she had been brilliantly, but superficially, educated, for Mrs. Ward's more practical seminary, she could converse in French quite as fluently as in English. Her sisters had married young men of promise in Illinois, and thither in 1839, abjuring the strict discipline and domestic tyranny of a step-mother, she came to reside with her eldest sister, whose husband was a son of Governor Edwards -- who had been successively Chief Justice of Kentucky, Governor of Illinois, and Minister to Mexico. At that time, a local chronicler states; "she was gifted with rare talents," had a keen sense of the ridiculous, a ready insight into the weaknesses of individual character, and a most fiery and ungovernable temper.

The Executive Mansion (Front)

It will be recollected that the Empress Josephine, alike while a child on the insignificant isle of Martinique and while a prisoner in the conciergerie, was wont to indulge in what was then deemed an hallucination, that she was destined to become Empress of France. Mary Todd had a similar fancy; and was wont to declare, while yet a school-girl in Lexington and also a young lady at Springfield, that she would one day, be mistress of the White House. Singular to say, she had two several suitors who were each in his own way, the one ambitiously and with ostentation, the other on "a still hunt," plodding their several courses on the rugged and difficult road -- the via dolorosa -- whose terminus is the goal of the supremest political ambition -- the White House.

"The course of true love never did run smooth" in any careers, and the case of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd was no exception to the rule: but this resolute, ambitious woman adhered to her predestined lover and in spite of all obstacles, took him for better or worse; and left the most aristocratic home in Springfield, to live in a small room in a third-rate hotel at the rate of four dollars a week for both. Lincoln was too poor then to buy or own any sort of a home, and this plucky little woman shared his lot cheerfully; and underwent privations with him like a heroine. All this seems


to be unknown to the public; if she had faults, they are magnified; and her many virtues entirely obscured. She is well known to have stimulated his sufficiently great but not aggressive ambition, and in four years from the time of their marriage, he was elected to Congress.

To read the story of a courtship seems to me to be a great impertinence, and withal exceedingly dull reading, but the romantic episodes and progress of this courtship, attest to my mind, the presence of a more substantial Cupid than the little buzzing nuisance of school-girl fancy, in the affair, and that the apparently ill-assorted union of this scion of the "poor whites" of Larue County, Kentucky, with the proud belle of the "blue grass" region, was a match made in Heaven for purposes of highest import and of the most imperious necessity; and that it is idle and presumptuous to discuss the comparative blame or blunders, if any, of a matter ordained by, and comprehended within, the terms of God's decree.

It will be recollected that some of Sir Isaac Newton's admirers thought that he should take unto himself a wife; and, accordingly, provided a suitable young person, to whom the great philosopher was brought. Sir Isaac sat by the divine being for a long time, perfectly taciturn, smoking his indispensable pipe, wholly absorbed in scientific speculations; and utterly oblivious of the charming creature, who regarded him with enthusiasm, and who was patiently awaiting some proper demonstration in the line of her mission. At last the propitious moment came -- the great man, in rapt contemplation, seized her "lily-white hand;" and selecting the index finger, used it as a convenient instrument to push down the ashes and burning tobacco in the bowl of his pipe.

And the great Napoleon (in contradistinction to the little one) when out on his Austerlitz campaign, had been provided with a lady of rank to minister to his baser nature; and when she was introduced to his quarters -- forgetful of the


object of her visit, commenced to upbraid her for the listlessness of her nation, and kept it up till midnight: then referred to the real object of her visit. These are unusual and, perhaps, apochryphal occurrences. A more probable and usual incident is that related of Washington, who, when a British subaltern going from Winchester to Williamsburg, on a hasty commission from his superior officer: stopping to dine at a planter's house, met the lovely widow Custis: and was so fascinated by her charming manners, that it was late bed-time before he recollected that his horse had been saddled for twelve hours, awaiting a rider.

In all the ages of the world -- in public or private life, women have been "the power behind the throne;" they have led monarchs, statesmen and men by silken cords.

"Man has his will, but woman has her way."

The notable exceptions of Pitt, Stephens, Randolph, Sumner and Buchanan are only exceptions to a general law; and it will be recorded in history that our most signal Presidential failure, was the only one who was elected as, and persistently remained, a bachelor.

Caesar was largely controlled by Cornelia; Constantine by Fausta; same of the other Roman emperors; and John the Baptist was murdered to gratify a whim of Herodias' mother. Antony's infatuation for Cleopatra is the only incident in his career generally known. Lady Macbeth's management of her husband, though concretely false, is abstractly true to life. Napoleon married the widow Beauharnais, in order to secure the favor of Barras, whose mistress she then was: and as long as he preserved his alliance with her, Fate was his servitor. Socrates was disciplined in patience and virtue by the termagancy of Xantippe. Johnson's devotion to his hideously bewigged and bepainted "Tetty" was the ridicule of the London wits. Goethe embalmed his sorrow for the impeded love of Charlotte von Stein in a German classic. John Stuart Mill declared that his wife inspired his best work;


similarly George Henry Lewes: in fact, Mrs. Lewes was the master mind. Fenelon's platonic attachment for Madame Guyon forms an interesting episode of history: Madame Maintenon's ascendancy over Louis -- to be followed by the baser attachments of Pompadour and Du Barry are most familiar. Madame Tallien's control of her distinguished husband: Nelson's devotion to Lady Hamilton: -- George's to Mrs. Fitzherbert: -- the King of Bavaria's base passion for Lola Montez: the late Czar's liaison with Madame Dolgorouki: Sir Charles Dilke's escapade: Boulanger's firm and unyielding attachment for Madame Bonnemain, which cost him his life: and Parnell's debasing alliance with Mrs. O'Shea -- all severally attest the ascendency of divine woman in the affairs of men. Mr. Lincoln, as appears, was very susceptible to affaires d'coeur: and doubtless was largely controlled by one to whom his heart was surrendered (as Jackson was by his wife.)

The lady in question was not without faults, but to assert the contrary of any one, has never been successfully done, and in case of this distinguished person, her faults, on account of the high pedestal whence she was viewed, were patent, while her virtues were latent.

While on dress parade, her faults were not only apparent but magnified, while her domestic virtues were hidden behind the sacred aegis of the domestic circle. Isaac N. Arnold, who frequently visited the Lincoln home, certifies that a better ordered household, and one more overflowing with a generous hospitality, he never saw, and yet this lady had a more exalted ambition than to be a good housekeeper.

She was, as I have shown, of aristocratic parentage, and an illustrious lineage, and she, herself, was a person of great and showy talents, prodigious ambition, imperious temper, and a lofty pride, stained with a tinge of vanity.

She desired to occupy an exalted position -- to be paid court to, to be feted, flattered, admired, stared at, waited on,


talked to and about, to be the center of attraction, to make a display, and to wield power. Such things were well known and observed of all men; she not only took no pains to conceal, but she gloried in such vain performances; and she was judged chiefly by those facts apparent to the world, and unsparingly condemned.

Blue Room, President's Mansion

But the world does not, and cannot, know how much it is indebted to this lady that her distinguished husband's ambition was fired and stimulated to reach for the grand prize finally awarded to him, nor how much he was indebted to her for words of cheer -- of hope -- of comfort and solace, when all seemed dark. The gayety and abandon of Lady Ormsby Delmaine was more needful to overcome his melancholy than the tinsel seriousness of Sowerby Creamly, and that his cherished wife met the great President, "his heart bowed down with care," with gayety, light-heartedness and sunshine: was perhaps more salutary to him, then if she had been,

Perked up with a glistering grief,
And wore a golden sorrow."

Lincoln thoroughly loved his wife. I had many reasons to know this in my intimacy with him, and she therefore wrought a great influence over him. Now, was that influence, in its results, benign or malign?

The answer to this, is as clear to me as any moral fact which is incapable of quasi-demonstration by experience. Lincoln was ordained by God to pilot the constitution through the Scylla of rebellion, and the Charybdis of foreign intervention, and so arduous and yet delicate a task required an instrument of great strength and delicacy; -- a man radically "suaviter in modo et fortiter in re:"

"A man so various that he must be,"
"Not one, but all mankind's epitome."

The emergency required a man of great passions like Jackson -- but of great restraints, like Washington; a man of pronounced temper -- but under supreme control -- like to a blooded, high-strung horse, yet feeling the bit and curb: it


required -- mayhap -- a frontier rail-splitter -- but the license of the wilderness, chipped off by marital restraint, or it required the abandon of the flatboatman, curbed by attrition with stern, rigid social law.

To fulfill the mission cast upon him by Fate, he must have the strength of Goliah, and the wisdom of Solomon; the passion of Peter and the diplomacy of Paul; when smitten upon one cheek he must turn the other, as he had to do, metaphorically -- hundreds of times; he must have more than the patience of Job to act discreetly in his four years' weary vigil -- nursing a sick and wounded constitution back to life: or, to put it in other language, he was a great, irregular, rough diamond, and required long sessions with the lapidary, before his brilliancy was made manifest: before he was merchantable.

In his mysterious way of performing his wonders: God chose Mrs. Lincoln to be the emery, corundum and polishing wheels to fashion the great emancipator into a fitness for his mighty task, and the result proves her eminent ability for the work.

To him she bore four children: with him she sat by the death-bed, and stood by the graves of two of them; she rejoiced with him in his successes, she condoled with him in his defeats; in his absence on the circuit, she abridged her personal expenses and added a needed second story to their modest home, and whenever she saw an opportunity for his advancement, she stimulated his ambition to compete for it.

They were en rapport in all the higher objects of being; when he was nominated for President his first act was to go home in person to break the glad tidings to her.

It is rare that a man so thoroughly intellectual as Mr. Lincoln, makes a good husband, but there was no flaw in his conduct in this respect, so far as a devotion to matters of intense intellectual application would permit.

Some minor household matters probably did not "jibe."


The lady's training prompted her to highly regard forms, conventionalities, ceremonies, manner and style. His rearing and cast of mind impelled him to disregard all such matters; he desired naught but the substantial matters of life, she wanted the adornments and gew-gaws as well, and in the vain and never-given-up attempt to make him a mechanical, as he was a substantial, gentleman; she persisted with energy, not wholly without methods of doubtful graciousness.

And we find the great emancipator possessed of an equanimity and patience, which captivated the masses, while it tired out petulant grumblers, like Greeley, Phillips, etc., which enabled him to force unwelcome policies on his cabinet, on Congress and on the nation; which allowed him to bear his "faculties with meekness," and finally to restore peace to his bleeding country, and give physical freedom to the blacks and political freedom to the whites. Had Andy Johnson, with his unbridled temper, have attempted this, he would not have got through the first year of the war, and but for the domestic discipline which Mr. Lincoln underwent, he too might have failed as signally. That the nation is largely indebted to Mary Todd Lincoln for its autonomy, I do not doubt; as to the full measure thereof, only God can know.

Her woman's life was almost supremely miserable, except her four years at the White House, and even then, it was beclouded by the current anguish of her illustrious husband and which he strove, ineffectually to conceal, and by the death of her child, Willie. But, much of the time she was radiant with happiness; she took no account of the inevitable and approaching end, and even had her husband's administration reached its prescribed limit, she would probably have been as reluctant to leave as Eve was to leave the Garden of Eden.

For five weary and heart-broken weeks, this wretched woman tossed uneasily on her bed at the White House -- now a melancholy scene of disorder and pillage -- once the theatre of her brilliant social triumphs: -- her reason awry, conscious


she was but a "tenant at sufferance," and that she would soon be driven forth, an exile from happiness, without a home, to commence life anew, as she had done, twenty-three years before; but, alas! with no aid from the strong arm and prolific brain, now stilled in death.

A heartless world awaited her coming: -- sensitive to her delinquencies, but oblivious of her virtues, and while statesmen and the elite of the Nation had, erst, been eager to show her obeisance; there were none, now, so poor as to do her reverence, and with poor little heart-broken Tad clinging to her hand, she sadly left the White House, and recommenced the tortuous journey of life; which, through foreign lands and an insane asylum, terminated at the martyr's grave at Oak Ridge.

Her eldest son having married and "gone to himself," the cup of her misery now overflowed by the death of her youngest and favorite child, and she was then alone: -- yes, alone! she who had once filled so large a space in the public view.

On May 19th, 1875, she was, by a jury of Chicago's eminent men, adjudged insane, and committed to a private hospital at Batavia, Illinois, and was, by the formal verdict of a jury, legally and conventionally (though not in fact) "restored to reason" on June 15th, 1876.

And her last public appearance is thus described in the columns of the New York Sun. I have rarely read anything so pathetic.

When the Amerique reached New York a throng was assembled on the dock and a greater throng was in the street outside the gates. During the tedious process of working the ship into her dock, there was a great crush in that part of the vessel where the gang plank was to be swung. Among the passengers who were here gathered was an aged lady. She was dressed plainly. Her face was furrowed, and her hair was streaked with white. This was the widow of Abraham Lincoln. She was almost unnoticed. She had come alone across the ocean, but a nephew


met her at quarantine. She had spent the last four years in the South of France. When the gang plank was finally swung aboard, Mme. Bernhardt and her companions, including Mme. Columbier -- of the troupe, were the first to descend. The fellow voyagers of the actress pressed about her to bid adieu, and a cheer was raised which turned her head and provoked an astonished smile as she stepped upon the wharf. The gates were beseiged and there was some difficulty in bringing in the carriage, which was to convey the actress to the hotel. She temporarily waited in the freight office at the entrance to the wharf. Mrs. Lincoln, leaning on the arm of her nephew, walked toward the gate. A policeman touched the aged lady on the shoulder and bade her stand back. She retreated with her nephew into the line of spectators, while Manager Abbey's carriage was slowly brought in. Mme. Bernhardt was handed in and the carriage made its way out through a mass of struggling longshoresmen and idlers who pressed about it, and stared in at the open windows. After it, went out the others, who had been passengers on the Amerique, Mrs. Lincoln among the rest.

Private Dining-Room, President's Mansion

From the N. Y. Sun, Oct. 1880.

Thenceforward she found a welcome home at her sister's house in Springfield, where she was a prey to many strange delusions: and finally, on July 16th, 1882, died of paralysis, in the same house whence as a girl, she wooed and won her illustrious husband: within whose walls she pledged her affections and fealty to him, for "better or worse:" -- and from whose door, forty years before, she had gone out into the "wide, wide world," leaning on the stalwart arm of her husband, to commence her checkered -- her sad, career.

And the physician of her last illness and dying hours testified, that she was an exceptionally intellectual, brilliant and interesting woman, and that what was mistermed by her own and her husband's enemies, an uneven and imperious temper, was, in reality, a cerebral disease.


"If it were so, it were a grievous fault,
And grievously hath she answered it."

The successor of Abraham Lincoln made a triumphal tour through the world: government vessels were placed at his service, and our foreign ministers and consuls were officially instructed; and foreign governments officially requested, to bestow on him the highest honors, and it was done, and no royal personage, either of fact or fable, ever made a progress, so thickly strewn with flowers.

But the desolate, broken-hearted widow of Abraham Lincoln went abroad twice, in order to find some solace for her perturbed spirit and had no higher consideration shown her than to a steerage passenger: what her money entitled her to she got, and no more; and, as has been seen, on her return home to die, to the land, saved and regenerated by the assiduous labors, and bleeding sacrifice of her beloved husband -- her welcome was the impudent and brutal order of a flunkey, armed with a club, to yield her right of way to the conquering march of a soiled crowd, who thronged to pay court to a French actress, with a truly Parisian record:

" 'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis, 'tis true."

And each four years since Abraham Lincoln, the liberator of the colored race, was stricken down in its behalf, has seen the colored men from a dozen states, representatives of the disenthralled race, assembling in national convention, armed with the balance of power, and voting in concert for the men of strategy or the long purse, when the son of their emancipator -- the son of him to whom they owe their all, was not mentioned by them, probably not thought of by them.

Horse and Warrior

Rear of Executive Mansion


Chapter VI. His Mental and Moral Characteristics.

He surpassed all orators in eloquence, all diplomatists in wisdom, all statesmen in foresight, and the most ambitious in fame.

Without doubt the greatest man of rebellion times, the one matchless among forty millions for the peculiar difficulties of the period, was Abraham Lincoln.

He was a man of great passions, and yet he held them well at bay. He was a shrewd man, a long-headed man, a man of deep and profound policies. He was a curious man, a mystery and a riddle.

Through one of those freaks of nature, that produce a Shakespeare at long intervals, a giant had been born to the poor whites of Kentucky and the sense of superiority possessed President Lincoln at all times.

He was the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen.
-- EDWIN M. STANTON, in 1865.

Whosoever shall attempt to portray or study the man, Abraham Lincoln, will find himself greatly embarrassed by the uneven and heterogeneous phases of his individuality and character.

In his physical man he was, in no sense, an ideal; his arms and legs were disproportionately long, his feet and hands were abnormally large, his features were coarse, his hair was unkempt: there was no majesty in his deportment and no grace in his manners; his gait was awkward and ungainly, his gestures were angular and eccentric; even in illustrating his anecdotes, by various movements of his ungraceful body, the entertainment was enhanced by the awkwardness and grotesqueness of his movements.


While his face, from an artistic point of view, was homely, yet it was in no sense repulsive. The expression of his face when lit up, was significant of genius, and the traces of deep reflection and melancholy exhibited in his eyes marked him as an extraordinary man, and his countenance when in repose was the saddest I have ever known.

In abilities he was the equal of Gladstone, Gambetta, Bismarck or Webster; in achievements he was equal to Mahomet, Columbus, Luther, Napoleon or the aggregate Continental Congress.

The Emancipation Proclamation was as essential a production as the Declaration of Independence, as much a charter of liberty to Man, as indispensable to the resistless march of enlightenment.

To save a government of forty millions of people from premeditated destruction by two-fifths of its members, to preserve its autonomy against the assault of millions of men in arms, to baffle the leading powers of the world in a diplomatic struggle for the overthrow of republican government; these were more heroic achievements than any wrought by the Continental Congress, while to open the prison-house of bondage of four millions of MEN; whose servitude was guaranteed by law and confirmed by the judgment of the highest tribunal in the land, and assure liberty to them and their descendants forever, was an unique moral achievement, unsurpassed in history.

The Declaration of Independence was a string of glittering generalities, and contained "a word of promise to the ear, but broken to the hope:" for, eighty years after its promulgation, the Chief Justice of the United States judicially declared that one class of Americans had no rights which any man, citizen or foreigner was bound to respect; yet this renowned document was the crowning glory of our early statesmen. But Abraham Lincoln conceived, planned, promulgated and brought the nation to the support of, a declaration of emancipation from chattel slavery of four millions of Americans,


and, incidentally, from political servitude of over forty millions of men and their descendants.

In one of Thackeray's satires, is introduced three several figures, the first being the wig, robes and high-heeled shoes, in statuesque attitude, such as were then worn by kings; the second, a diminutive, crooked and ugly little man, leaning helplessly on a cane; the third, this same contemptible creature, standing in the high shoes, encased in the royal robes, and adorned with the majestic wig.

The first was called "Rex," the second "Ludovico," and the third, being the other two combined, "Ludovico Rex:" the moral of which was that the complete king, when dissected, was found to be a composite of an insignificant mannikin, and a great deal of trappings -- pasteboard, tinsel and velvet.

This extravagant satire reveals a palpable truth, for there is an universal curiosity on the part of men to analyze the character of the head of their state and to divorce the real man from the adventitious surroundings.

In the case of President Lincoln, this curiosity is emphasized by his sudden advent into fame, his wonderful genius, the antithesis of his conduct, the colossal work which he performed, and the resplendent lights and deep shades of his character.

He presented to the world the appearance of being at once the most melancholy and the most jocund of men; his administration was apparently a composite of the most profound responsibility and also of laissez faire; he combined within himself the strangely diverse roles of head of the state in the agony of civil war, but he was likewise the court jester: and supremely eminent in both characters.

It was this combination of the "grave and gay," of the "lively and severe," that induced such diverse judgment, and frequently so much misjudgment, of this remarkable man during his administration; that led many acute critics and


sedate observers to conclude and lament -- that, by accident, a wag had got into the presidential chair, and that while the nation was given over to conflagration, this Nero of the 19th century was fiddling on its ruins. But the astute observer cannot fail to discern, in this antithesis of responsibility and puerility, of wisdom and buffoonery, of philosophy and wit, of judicious administration and laissez faire, a natural harmony, like the tension and relaxation of the strung bow, or the exhaustion and recuperation of the busy brain.

And observation from an higher altitude, and from a more disinterested standpoint, engendered a more correct and felicitous judgment, which has been thus graphically and correctly expressed: "He was great, not merely by the force of genius -- and only the word Genius will describe the power of intellect by which he guided himself and his country through such a crisis -- but by the simple, natural strength of his character.... He seemed to arrive by instinct -- by the instinct of a noble, unselfish and manly nature -- at the very ends which the highest of political genius, the longest of political experience, could have done no more than reach. He bore himself fearlessly in danger, calmly in difficulty, modestly in success."

Mr. Lincoln's native simplicity of character, kindness of heart, and the utter guilelessness which were characteristic of him at all times, were emphasized in the day of his great exaltation.

No satirist could find a subject for his mocking pencil in that sad, anxious face: he was magnanimous to a fault: revenge was not sweet to him: "with malice toward none, with charity for all," was a literal rule of his action: to his generous soul, the greatest of all the virtues was charity. As Ruskin says: "An infinitude of tenderness is the chief gift and inheritance of all the truly great men."

"His life was gentle, and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world: this was a man!"


He was modest, quiet and unobtrusive in manner, sympathetic and cordial in social contact. He was commonplace and winsome, yet dignified, but not repelling, and was entirely unassimilated: no person could feel any restraint or backwardness in his presence: the latch-string to his sympathy was always out, and, when not handicapped with melancholy, the door to his genial, hearty and sunshiny nature was always wide open. His sad countenance aroused universal sympathy: his bonhomie, geniality and humor drew all men involuntarily to him: his physiognomy was indicative both of great perception and equally of great reflection: his wonderfully expressive eyes indicated keen, shrewd discernment, deep penetration and patient and continuous reflection, as well as life-long and earnest sorrow.

"His changing face, what pen can draw?
Pathetic, kindly, droll or stern,
And with a glance so quick to learn
The inmost truth of all he saw."

Those who originally supposed that Lincoln's greatness was entirely fortuitous, ascertained their error as events were unfolded: and all subsequent research confirms the view that he was the greatest man of his time, if not, indeed, of all time. John J. Ingalls, of Kansas, a keen critic, says of this matchless man, that "he surpassed all orators in eloquence, all diplomatists in wisdom, all statesmen in foresight, and the most ambitious in fame."

His perception was slow, calculating, methodical and accurate: no glamour of romance or illusion of fancy gilded any object in his view. While the vision of ordinary men would invest objects with various of the prismatic colors, according to their education, sympathies, antipathies or affinities, Lincoln's mental view united all the colors of the prism, and saw with the cold, colorless light of unerring and exact truth.

No figure of speech, however apt or startling, could conceal or obscure a fact; no prestige of authority could supplant


the truth; no sophistry, however cunning, could escape detection. Nothing was magnified or minified to him: no disguise could hide the true object from his penetrating gaze, and he saw objects much more completely and comprehensively than any one else: in point of fact, his mental vision was perfect: thus a practical man would see the utility alone, a poet would see none but the ideal qualities, and a clown would see the ludicrous elements, and none other: but Lincoln would see everything that all men combined could see, and perhaps something more.

He saw the merit or demerit of his client's case, uninfluenced in the least degree by his retainer, or by his prejudices. When Stephens, Hunter and Campbell came with proposals for peace, those proposals were entertained with no greater consideration, by virtue of the distinguished messengers who bore them, than if they had been sent by mail. When Clay, Thompson and Holcombe desired to come from Canada to talk about peace, Lincoln saw their crafty design beneath the mask of diplomacy. When Seward claimed to be a great diplomat, because he had been a public man in other capacities, Lincoln saw through the pretensions to the actual merit itself. When Douglas claimed that he had invented or discovered the great principle of "popular sovereignty," and that it was a "big thing," Lincoln stripped the lion's skin off of the poor donkey of a sophism, and showed plainly the enormity of the attempted humbug. He perceived that the crime of the Confederates was a political one, and he did not for a moment conceive any idea of inflicting other than a political punishment. Had he lived, his administration would not have perpetrated the folly of paying $100,000 for Jeff Davis, and after an imprisonment of a year, discharged him because there was nothing to be done with him.

Thus did his cold, colorless intellectual perception look out upon a composite world, wherein truth and error, fact and fancy, logic and sophistry, were fused, blended, interwoven and welded together like the union of ores and their bases, in


the world of matter; and, in his mental view, the truth, fact and logic were separated from the dross, as skillfully as the assayer withdraws the pure gold from the quartz with which it had been interlocked for thousands of years. He had the faculty of patient and continuous reflection in a wonderful degree; he held a subject in the focus of his mental vision with the grip of a vise; he would pursue a complicated problem through its various sinuosities, nor would he release it till he understood it in all its parts. He never had a superior in this nation in resolving a complex subject into its simple elements. In this quality he was as effective, without being so dramatic, as Webster, and as logical as Calhoun, with the addition that he presented the results of his research and analysis in more simple terms and much clearer to the common apprehension.

While we were traveling in ante-railway days, on the circuit, and would stop at a farm-house for dinner, Lincoln would improve the leisure in hunting up some farming implement, machine or tool, and he would carefully examine it all over, first generally and then critically; he would "sight" it to determine if it was straight or warped: if he could make a practical test of it, he would do that; he would turn it over or around and stoop down, or lie down, if necessary, to look under it; he would examine it closely, then stand off and examine it at a little distance; he would shake it, lift it, roll it about, up-end it, overset it, and thus ascertain every quality and utility which inhered in it, so far as acute and patient investigation could do it. He was equally inquisitive in regard to matters which obtruded on his attention in the moral world; he would bore to the center of any moral proposition, and carefully analyse and dissect every layer and every atom of which it was composed, nor would he give over the search till completely satisfied that there was nothing more to know, or be learned about it.

His reading was more desultory and less profound than that of any man of his own time, if not, indeed, of any time;


he, himself, once said to me that he had never read a novel clear through; he did, however, read copiously in the Bible, and he read Shakespeare through and much of it over and over again. Those two great books of the world (to not immediately speak of the divine character of the former) commended themselves to his peculiar and original mind, because they abjured all conventionalism, discarded all precedent, left the beaten tracks of thought and authority, and were entirely original.

By virtue of his omnipotence of mental view (if I may use that term), it was, that Lincoln would not take anything on faith or trust; that he would not walk in any beaten path; that he must make his own analysis; that he considered and tested all things as if he was the first man and totally without guide or precedent.

His mental vision being thus different from the vision of mankind in general, gave rise to odd and peculiar modes of expression: hence it was that he made so many illustrations by anecdotes; the range of ordinary language was not so comprehensive as his range of thought and desire of expression. If it be not irreverent (and I certainly do not so design), I am reminded of the similarity of the methods of inculcating truth adopted by our Saviour, and those practiced by Lincoln; the former employed parables, and the latter anecdotes; and both illustrated and enforced their meaning much more emphatically than could be done by abstract language.

Mr. Lincoln had no method, system or order in his exterior affairs; he had no library, no clerk, no stenographer; he had no common-place book, no index rerum, no diary. Even when he was President and wanted to preserve a memorandum of anything, he noted it down on a card and stuck it in a drawer or in his vest pocket. But in his mental processes and operations, he had the most complete system and order. While outside of his mind all was anarchy and confusion, inside all was symmetry and method. His mind was his work


shop; he needed no office, no pen, ink and paper; he could perform his chief labor by self-introspection.

Nor was Lincoln, of necessity, physically alone, when in a state of complete mental seclusion. I have frequently seen him, in the midst of a court in session, with his mind completely withdrawn from the busy scene before his eyes, as completely abstracted as if he was in absolute and unbroken solitude.

I can recollect of two distinct occasions when he saw me plainly, and shook hands with me, rather mechanically, yet with apparent intelligence, and notwithstanding this, he repeated the same performance, but with zeal and enthusiasm, within one hour thereafter, assuring me that I was mistaken, that he had not spoken to me before, that day. These solitary habits, the jocular and grotesque side of his character: his intense and inordinate caution and secretiveness, as well as his desire to avoid all display, constitute sufficient and ample reasons why it is so difficult for ordinary persons who expect great results to be ostentatiously done, to understand and realize, that Lincoln was a marvelously great man -- a character as great as his deeds, and having a logical position in politics and statesmanship.

In his social life, characteristics, tastes and habits, he was the most simple, guileless, and unsophisticated man that it was possible to be. At the table, he ate what came first, without discrimination or choice: whatever room at the hotel came handy or whatever bed he came to first he took without criticism or inspection; if the fire needed replenishing and no one was at hand, he made no inquiry or complaint, but hunted up an axe, took off his coat, and went vigorously at work at the wood pile. In a law suit, even with others, he would either make the chief argument, or examine the witnesses, or search out authorities, draft the pleadings, affidavits or motions, and even, if necessary, run on errands in connection with the case. If any lawyer, old or young, wanted assistance or advice, he was always ready and patient to accord


it; no one, however humble, felt any constraint, in his presence, at any time: nor did any one, despite his clownish antics, feel any inclination or possess any warrant, to become unduly familiar or take liberties with him. After he was elected President, I recollect of traveling with him, and of taking especial notice of his kindly and unostentatious little courtesies to our fellow travelers, especially to those of the humbler sort.

Cabinet Room at President's Mansion

The most salient of Lincoln's intellectual qualifications was his infallible and remorseless logic -- his ability to analyse any complex proposition, and to resolve it into its simple elements, and not only so, but to array all those elements so plainly to the simplest comprehension, that all minds, little or great, could then see the truth and the error clearly: nor did he put his terms of ratiocination upon stilts or in classical attire -- he unravelled the mysteries of abstruse truths or fallacies and translated them into words of one or two syllables. No unprejudiced sensible man could disagree with him, but he never would attempt to combat or reason with prejudice; he used no cajolery -- no intimidation or seductive wiles to convince either a judge or jury, or popular audience, or finally, the great American nation.

As an original and independent political philosopher he belongs to the immortal galaxy which includes Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison, and in his mental processes and operations, he observed the most complete system, method and order. His clear perception and vigorous reasoning faculties forbade him from taking anything at second-hand; he must grind everything through the mill of his own logic: and as Herndon says: "Though mankind has been gathering, arranging and classifying facts for thousands of years, Lincoln's peculiar standpoint could give him no advantage of other men's labor. Hence, he tore up to the deep foundations, all arrangements of facts, and coined and arranged new plans to govern himself."

He had the greatest faculty for abstraction of any man I ever knew; his eyes, when turned inward, conveyed no impression


of exterior objects to his mind. I have, often, seen him in the midst of a busy scene, but entirely oblivious of all that was passing before his very eyes.

Mr. Lincoln, was not, however, a miraculous being -- a prodigy -- like Joan of Arc, for example, but he was a marvelously great, although an extremely uneven man, and by this idiosyncracy of history, of his fastening himself, on Douglas, was borne on to the opportunity, which comes but once in a thousand years, of achieving colossal fame: fame as great as, and more honorable than, that of Caesar, Mahomet or Napoleon -- a fame like that of Moses, Paul, Luther or Washington -- a fame which shall endure until the heavens shall be no more.

But while the opportunity was great, the man was equally so, and the pure and exalted fame of Abraham Lincoln was a mosaic of the chance, and of the ability to rightly improve it.

The fact that Lincoln assumed control of the government, when the national affairs were unique, the situation unprecedented, and a grave crisis actually at hand, and that, by his own wonderful genius, he administered the government through its era of difficulty, with success: the fact also, that he had no previous experience to guide him in this wonderful career: -- these strange facts, prompt the natural inquiry: what was the intellectual and moral basis for these wonderful achievements, for, as already indicated, Lincoln, though a prodigy of intellectual and moral force, was not a lusus naturae, but derived his inspiration through his perceptive and reflective organs by methods, common, in form, to all men, but differing only in degree.

His faculty for reconstructing moral propositions was quite as great as was that for dissecting and analyzing them. As a moral philosopher he belongs to the galaxy which includes Newton, Galileo, Rousseau, Spinoza, Bentham or Chatham, while, in the domain of concrete politics, he was without a peer or rival, in his originality and boldness of


view, accuracy of prognostication, and practical method of execution.

His prophecy of emancipation -- for that is its hidden meaning -- in the "house divided against itself" speech, and consummation of emancipation by his proclamation; have never been excelled, in the recorded list of high intellectual achievements, since Fame kept a record.

He stood amid all trials, firm, upright, undaunted. His individuality was marked and pronounced: he stood out among men, in bold relief, sui generis. He was grand, gloomy and peculiar, and * * * was wrapped in the solitude of his own originality; he was like Luther, Napoleon, Pitt, Andrew Jackson or John Brown in distinct, unassimulated individuality.

The contrast between his feeble grasp and dull apprehension of the petty affairs of existence and the keen perception and masterly treatment of those great movements which engage the attention of the Muse of history, was radical. He never seemed to have outgrown his guilelessness and simplicity, but in matters of the highest import which can engage the human mind, he continued to grow and wax great as long as he lived.

He possessed, in a higher degree than that of any other statesman known to fame, the power and faculty of clear and comprehensive statement; in this respect, he was so clear and lucid, that it was easy to follow his arguments; his language was composed of plain Anglo-Saxon words and almost always absolutely without adornment; his arguments, though logical and profound, were conveyed to the mind by such easy approaches, that the ordinary understanding could readily grasp and comprehend them.

Inasmuch as his view and apprehension of things were sui generis, as we have said before, so his modes of expression were sui generis also; not only were his methods of statement different from those of all other men, but he illustrated and


enforced his meaning very largely by anecdotes and character illustrations.

He had no regard for trivial things, or for mere forms, manners, politeness, etiquette, official formalities, fine clothes, routine, or red tape; he disdained a bill-of-fare at table; a programme at theatre, or a license to get married. The pleadings in a law suit, the formal compliments on a social introduction, the exordium or peroration of a speech, he either wholly ignored or cut as short as he could.

State dinners -- levees -- and the magniloquent and hypocritical forms of diplomacy, were "gall and wormwood" to him.

He did not favor or countenance slander or other suits in tort; he contemned all irrelevant questions in a legal examination; he was terribly impatient, if any lawyer, in arguing a case, "beat about the bush" or talked "wide of the mark," or at random, in the case; he had little patience with litigation, except such as grew naturally out of business affairs, or the necessary exigencies of social life. In all his political campaigns, the flags and bunting were nothing to him; he was thinking, rather, of the statistics, how many votes were probable, and what the tendencies of political thought were, to change opinions and votes.

He had a thorough contempt for the office of bailiff or crier of a court, door-keeper of a legislative or congressional body, floor-walker in a store, drum-major of a band, or even, of a mayor of a city.

I have known of his writing messages of some considerable importance to his secretaries and others on the back of a card; he once sent me to General McClellan on an important matter, with a note written on an extremely attenuated slip of paper. I have also known of his sitting down on the curbing of the walk between the Executive Mansion and the war department to write a note on his knees for immediate delivery. I once wrote him a long letter about a case in which I desired to retain him, and he returned my


letter to me with this endorsement: "Count me in. A. Lincoln."

He shunned all adventitious aids, he abhorred all "rings" or "cliques," he belonged to no church, to no club, to no secret society; he asked no man to endorse for him: if he solicited aid in his political projects, as he frequently did, it was not by cajolery, or as a special favor to him, but that the great cause at issue might be fostered and promoted, and he put his desire and request squarely on its merits. When his nomination was the most remote of possibilities at Chicago, Dubois telegraphed him, at Davis' request, that Pennsylvania and Indiana would vote for him if he would promise to put Cameron and Smith in the cabinet. He promptly replied: "I authorize no bargains, and will be bound by none." He could not be induced to take any interest in municipal or other local affairs. When he was a young man, he went to the legislature four several times; but after he came to maturity, he was not considered except in connection with national politics. He was tendered and refused the positions, first of Secretary, then of Governor, of Oregon Territory, by President Taylor; he was quite regularly voted for by the Whigs for United States Senator, and was the leading candidate of the anti-Nebraska party, as it was called, in 1854, and was also the candidate of the Republican party, in 1858 -- but he never, for one moment, entertained any thought of being governor, or judge, or any other local or state office. It would have been considered absurd to propose him for chairman of a meeting or a convention. Immersed in politics as he was for his whole manhood's life, he never presided over a caucus or a political meeting.

He eschewed all diplomatic or stately terms; could not be induced to speak of his house as the Executive Mansion, but termed it "this place," or of his room at the Capitol as the "President's" room; he disliked exceedingly to be called "Mr. President," and he requested persons with whom he was quite


familiar and saw often to call him plain "Lincoln;" he always spoke of the war as "this great trouble."

Of a great cavalry raid, which filled the papers with glowing exultation, but failed to cut off the communications which it had been designed to destroy, he briefly said: "That was good circus-riding; it will do to fill a column in the newspapers, but I don't see that it has brought anything else to pass."

Largely by reason of his propensity to discard non-essentials it was that he did believe in Grant, who was always ready to fight, without reviewing or intrenching, and lost all faith in McClellan, who was always ready to review and intrench, but never ready to fight.

To Lincoln's practical mind, the business and object of the army was to fight, and not to review, intrench and organize as the end in view. He was always saying to McClellan, "You must act." When he found that Grant would fight as a fixed rule of action, that atoned, in his opinion, for all his minor delinquencies. Some philanthropists came to Lincoln, with horror depicted on their countenances, while Grant was in the Wilderness, to protest against the appalling sacrifice of life. Lincoln listened to their protests, but all he would reply was, with a shrug of his shoulders: "He fights!" And when some zealots came running to the President with the information that Grant was drunk at an important engagement, having been known to have several jugs of whisky at headquarters, Lincoln responded: "I wish I could send each of our generals a jug of that same whisky."

While he was still comparatively obscure, some people attempted to honor him by naming their children after him. I personally knew this was distasteful to him. I once asked him if the town "Lincoln" was named after him, as indeed it was. "Well, yes, I believe it was named after I was," replied he.

Mr. Lincoln's mind worked slowly, like the ponderous ocean steamer's engine. His "off-hand" judgments and


conclusions were not reliable; he was not a good business man, as the world understands that term; he needed time for consideration and reflection; he could do nothing reliably well on the spur of the moment. I have occasionally known of his hastily-formed and immature opinions to be wrong.

Young Johnston stole a watch, and every element of proof was present; yet Lincoln, speaking of it, said: "The whole case is here: The watch was where he might have taken it, and it was found where he might have left it." But that was not the whole case at all -- nor any approach to it; that was the superficial reasoning of a very callow youth; that was not even the strong point of the case -- let alone the whole case.

In an important chancery case, I informed him that our adversary had taken the deposition of ---- and had proved so-and-so--very damaging to our side. Lincoln jumped at a wrong conclusion at once. "Oh! we can break that down easily, for ---- served a term in the penitentiary." There was no basis for this conclusion, for he was one of our oldest and most honored citizens.

Again he said: "The other night I went out to drive up my cow and calf. I found the calves all together, and away from the cows, and I didn't know my calf well enough to distinguish her from the others -- still I picked out one that I thought was mine. Presently that identical calf went and sucked my cow, and then I knew it was mine." Now that is not precise -- not like the logical Lincoln in the higher realms. It was not demonstration, as Lincoln claimed, but only presumption, and I have known other instances similar in kind.

While Mr. Lincoln's analysis of any problem was unerring, he was not a profound judge of men; and he was frequently deceived in that respect; his charity and bonhomie led him to ascribe a goodness to humanity of which it was unworthy, and thus, his judgment about men was blinded, and frequently inaccurate.

His will was inflexible, and unyielding when matters of principle were concerned, but when the claims of erring


humanity intervened, his tender, sympathetic heart oftimes overruled his conscience and will; and he erred on the side of mercy.

He was always ready to grant favors, but he rarely asked any; and, certainly, never pressed his claim; he was consciously self-reliant, and could stand alone. Judge Davis would never even walk to the court house alone, if he could possibly prevent it; he must be attended; he usually expected all the lawyers to attend, and woe to any who were habitually remiss. Douglas always had a crowd along when he went to a political meeting, but Lincoln would quite as lief go entirely alone; and if he was in a melancholy or abstracted mood, would prefer to do so.

He possessed a genius for practical statesmanship, which was equal to all emergencies which presented themselves. Unhappily for the nation, the time to test his statesmanship fully was denied to him: but no doubt seems to exist anywhere that, had he escaped the assassin's vengeance, he would have brought the nation through its era of reconstruction with far more signal success than he piloted it through the storm of civil war; for in that event, his task would have been one of statesmanship alone, and he would not have been handicapped with the imbecility, jealousies and insubordination of military leaders; nor dependent upon the "irony of fate" and the accidents of war.

The configuration of his mind -- both what he possessed and what he lacked -- constituted the basis for practical statesmanship: his analytical power -- his incisive logic -- his quality of deep and earnest penetration into the essence of intangible things; -- his sagacity and profound search -- his intense secrecy, -- enabled him to work out to a solution the several intricate problems of statesmanship submitted to him as accurately as a mathematician works out abstruse examples in figures and symbols; while his lack of faith, his distrust of precedent, and his indifference to theories tended negatively to the same results.


External considerations all concurred to direct his powers in the direction of practical, rather than theoretical, statesmanship; his almost total lack of education, and his attrition with people of similar drawbacks, had a tendency to divert and concentrate all his mental energies within himself rather than to dissipate them in a versatility of mediocre affairs.

This unique man was worthy of all the laudation he has received; his character was sturdy, vigorous, resolute, courageous, self-poised and self-reliant.

* * * "With least pretense,
Rich in saving common sense,
And, as the greatest only are,
In his simplicity sublime."

"Who never sold the truth to serve the hour,
Nor paltered with Eternal God for power --
Who let the turbid streams of Rumor flow
Thro' either babbling world or high or low,
Whose life was work, whose language rife
With rugged maxims hewed from life,
Who never spoke against a foe."

A satirical adherent of the lost cause took occasion to inflict his puny revenge upon Lincoln, for throttling secession, by purging himself of a feeble pasquinade, to the effect that his highest ambition was to search for tall individuals like himself, and measure altitudes with them; and that what little time was left after the diversion was given over to story-telling.

This was in the best style of southern wit: but it was so far from having even a faint blush of truth; that no man ever so thoroughly consecrated himself to his duties and responsibility. Except when he was asleep, his mind was in a continual condition of wrestling with the intricate problem, "how to save the Union."

Alexander H. Stephens, in his book, while comparing him with Danton, Robespierre and Caesar, nevertheless admits


that, "the Union with him, in sentiment, rose to the sublimity of a religious mysticism."

If Lincoln could, like an average workman, have quit work at sundown and resumed at sunrise, and had one day in seven for recuperation, his cares would not have worn out his soul and body, prematurely. "I laugh because I must not cry: that's all -- that's all," said he, despairingly.

Mr. Lincoln was not such a prodigy of physical height as to find no rivals, but in a comparative measurement of human achievement, he had not an equal among his contemporaries this wide world over. Nay, in a retrospect of all historic annals, how many are the names that are worthy to be placed as high on the scroll of fame as that of Abraham Lincoln!

He was as logical as Calhoun, and as earnestly devoted to the integrity of the whole Union as Calhoun was to place above the Union the suicidal dogma that our glorious Union is but a flimsy league of states.

He was as incisive and trenchant in debate as Webster, but lacking in the grandiose style and majestic presence; but Lincoln, unlike Webster, was as massive in his upright-ness and political ethics as in his mental qualities.

Mr. Clay organized, and by his individuality and adhesiveness, maintained a powerful party, but he always led it to predestined defeat; Mr. Lincoln, with no ostentation or display, electrified the loyal masses of the nation, and organized victory in the greatest war in history!

Jefferson's illogical political system containing "the word of promise to the ear," in the Declaration of Independence, but "broken to the hope," in the Kentucky Resolutions did not last one century: Lincoln's regenerated Union has a strength and massiveness which promises to endure for many centuries, while his Emancipation Proclamation will be as enduring as civilization, and its consequences will project into eternity.

Jackson was the man of action of this country; he overthrew


its financial system, and the party which opposed him, as well as the enemies within his own party, and established his own policy and dynasty: but no sooner had he retired to the obscurity of his plantation life, than his whole political theory vanished, --

"Like the baseless fabric of a vision:
Leaving not a wreck behind."

Does any one suppose that Lincoln's work will perish? that his policy will be reversed? that slavery will ever be rehabilitated? that secession will be again mentioned, except as a horrible reminiscence?

Hamilton was the greatest statesman of this continent, before Lincoln, but, unlike Lincoln, his policy withheld power from the masses. The genius of our people will not confide power to a class, and however specious in theory Hamilton's policy was it was early repudiated by the nation: but Lincoln died, the best beloved American of all time, and his policies are as enduring as the constitution itself.

There is no serious doubt among confident judges, that had Lincoln lived to complete his second term, his genius would have mounted higher, and shone out more brilliantly in reconstructing the nation, and in evoking political order from the chaos of revolution, than it did, in bearing the country safely on his Atlantean shoulders, through the baptism of fire. He had the perfect confidence of the loyal heart of the nation: he occupied a position of supreme power, which he gained by his preeminent charity and beneficence, no less than by his recognized and transcendant fitness for the place. Having always exhibited a spirit of magnanimity, forbearance and charity, never excelled by any human being; he would have wooed and won the hearts of the overthrown and vanquished, and had his health and spirits endured, it is more than probable he would have been forced into a third term by the spontaneous acclaim of those erring children of the


sunny South whom he had dealt with in such a spirit of magnanimity.

I once said to Mr. Lincoln: "Notwithstanding the veneration I have for Mr. Clay, I think he was bent by circumstances from what he deemed the right course;" to which Lincoln replied: "Mr. Clay was bent by circumstances as little as any public man of our history," and he then informed me of the methods adopted by Clay to carry through his compromises and difficult measures. He said: "When Mr. Clay wanted to carry an important measure, he drew it up in such a way as to embody his own idea as nearly as he could, and at the same time not to be offensive to those whose aid was indispensable -- he then presented it to the strong men whose help he must have or whose opposition he must stifle, and who were of strong wills and either argued them into its support, or made such concessions and modifications as they insisted on, or added palatable features to suit them, and thus got a powerful force enlisted in behalf of his measure: -- then he visited the members of feeble wills and simply bullied them into its support without yielding one iota to them."

The close observer of Mr. Lincoln's career will find something of this policy in his administration, of which the way he accomplished emancipation is a noted instance. In the first place, he urged compensated or voluntary emancipation; he urged it on the border states: -- and finally, he drew up a message asking congress to appropriate $300,000,000 to pay the slave-holders for their slaves, which the cabinet being unanimously opposed to, he accepted as the voice of popular sentiment and withheld it: -- then issued his Proclamation, with a shrewder purpose than the public was aware of: -- for as a lawyer, he knew it was of no inherent ultimate value, if unsupported. The first Proclamation was tentative, and the second, the same: but they pointed out to congress the necessity to which the nation was reduced, and at the same time it gave an impetus to the recruiting of our army, and the consequences were, the victories at Vicksburg


and Gettysburg, which changed the whole character, of the war, and the proposal in congress to amend the constitution so as to inhibit slavery.

The latter was a sine qua non, and Lincoln knew it; he designed to restore to the South the rule of the leading social and political classes, and he also divined that, as they had the undoubted right, they would restore slavery; also that the slaves would revolt, and that the "bloody processes" of San Domingo would be in great danger of repetition: -- hence a constitutional amendment was indispensable, and, to effect this, his administration was, by its action, pledged, and it will be remembered that this measure lacked two votes of the requisite number in the lower house.

Then at that critical juncture, the imperious and arbitrary will of Abraham Lincoln (which was seldom brought into requisition), was made manifest. He was bound that that measure should pass, at all hazards. And he sent for two members of congress, representing the two divisions of political sentiment, and said to them impressively and emphatically: "I am President of the United States, and possessed of great power, and that measure must pass," and it was thoroughly understood in congress that it had to he done. And it was done.

I myself once witnessed a similar manifestation in the unofficial Lincoln on May 29th, 1856, in his speech at the Bloomington convention, which I notice elsewhere: -- when (drawing himself up to his full height) he said, "We wont go out of the Union, and you SHAN'T." The manner, and effect were both indescribable.

Firmness and undaunted resolution were conspicuous traits in his character. On the circuit, about minor matters, when he once made up his mind he would not yield one particle, although the whole of us opposed him. And when it came to the gravest official matters he was equally firm and unyielding. He reinstated McClellan in command in August, 1862, against the unanimous protest of his cabinet,


and he kept him there till after Antietam, against the protest of nearly every public Union man in the nation.

He retained Lamon as marshal of the district, although the Senate demanded his removal.

He also retained Seward, although his dismissal was also urged by most of the senators.

He proclaimed emancipation against the desire of every one except the Radical element.

And he pardoned convicted deserters and others against the protest of the Secretary of War and all the generals.

I can usually analyze and dissect the character of men whom I know with intimacy, and am enabled to square their actions by some sort of rule, but however much I may have studied Lincoln, from a close and intimate acquaintance, or by the light of contemporaneous history, he is still, even now, to me, an incomprehensible man. His achievements of statesmanship had a grandeur, massiveness and aspiration as enduring and sublime as the towering peaks of Mount Shasta, while the wit of his hours of ease was indescribably grotesque, inane and ridiculous. Some of his buffoonery could not be excelled, or even equalled by any performance in the saw-dust ring, while his two several inaugural addresses, his Gettysburg speech, his letter to his Springfield neighbors, several of his messages to Congress, and even some of his fugitive productions, are matchless save by such performances as the Declaration of Independence, Washington's farewell address or Webster's reply to Hayne.

In his melancholy moods, the exuberant fountains of his pleasantry and mimicry were completely sealed and frozen up, but when the black fit passed by, he could range from grave to gay, from lively to severe, with the greatest facility.

His face was the most mobile I ever saw. I have seen him while betraying a silly and inane expression, also while animated with the most over-flowing spirit of fun and mischief; likewise, when feeling profound contempt, armed with the most cruelly quizzical expression, and, anon, in seasons of


the visitation of that awful, mysterious melancholy, with a face as inexpressibly sad -- much sadder than that of Dante or St. Francis of Assisi. I can well appreciate and respond to what the artist Carpenter said: that his was the saddest face in repose that he ever saw.

He called his cabinet together once, at a critical time, in the dreary year 1862. While waiting for Mr. Blair he took out of a handy drawer a book of mercantile and studied wit, by Artemus Ward, and read an entire chapter to his distinguished auditors; then laying aside his book and his grotesque humor together, and assuming his normal look of weariness and melancholy, he drew out of the same drawer, and in a reverent mood, worthy of the occasion, read the great state paper of the western hemisphere of all centuries -- the charter of liberty to four million human beings and their posterity for ever.

His favorite books were the Bible, Shakespeare, Bacon, Burns, Petroleum V. Nasby's letters, Baldwin's Flush Times of Alabama, and Recollections of A. Ward, Showman.

Was there ever such a curious melange of almost supreme greatness and boyish vacuity as was compressed in this unique, uneven and incomprehensible man?

Mr. Lincoln, never, at any time, did anything for dramatic effect, and his mental processes were furtive and secret.

When the time for action came, and could not be postponed, he acted resolutely, firmly and advisedly, but none but himself knew the course of reasoning by which his decision was attained. As Leonard Swett has said to me more than once: "You cannot tell what Lincoln is going to do till he does it;" or as Amzi McWilliams once said, during an important criminal trial: "Lincoln will pitch in heavy now, for he has hid."

No element of his character was more clearly outlined


or more plainly defined than this; from this habit came his ability to act independently, and with mature judgment. He was self-poised and self-reliant because he had considered his proposed lines of action in all their bearings, and had reached definite conclusions.

This fundamental and controlling habit of caution and secrecy was especially prominent and marked where politics were concerned. In all his letters, where politics was the sole theme, they are, without a single exception, expressly enjoined to be confidential; likewise, in general letters where a stray allusion is made to politics, the same caution is suggested.

In 1858, he was very anxious that Daniel Stickles should run for the legislature in Piatt County. He knew that Stickles could be elected and that he would support Lincoln for Senator, and he feared that if he was known in the affair, it would be defeated; so he, being at Chicago, requested me to go to Piatt to the convention, and keep my mission very secret, and see nobody but Stickles and Oglesby on the subject. He expressed the greatest solicitude that I should succeed in my mission, and equal anxiety that I should keep it profoundly secret. When I got ready to go, I found him entertaining a party of eastern men at the Tremont House, but he at once left them and walked with me to the depot, where, for an half hour before the train started, he indoctrinated me with his views.

A committee of clergymen called on him, on the 13th of September, 1862, and urged him to issue an emancipation proclamation. He received them courteously, listened to them with interest, and argued against its expediency, while the fact was that he had written the Proclamation and submitted it to his cabinet two months before, and would have issued it long before the clergymen got there, only, in deference to Seward's opinion, he withheld it till his army should achieve a victory. The succeeding week Swett visited him, and Lincoln talked over the whole subject again and in opposition to it then. On September 20th he was ready to issue it, but


night came on before he quite finished it, and he held it till Monday, the 22d, when he issued it. Similar secrecy in minor matters I have known him to employ frequently.

Take the case that Welles mentions: Soon after he was inaugurated, the question was presented whether Fort Sumter should be provisioned or abandoned, and Seward and the cabinet generally and Scott were in favor of abandoning it. The President listened to all, but gave no sign himself, but did ask the Secretary of the Navy how many vessels he could make effective to aid the revenue service, the cabinet having no idea that it related to Fort Sumter at all. And so the idle discussion went on, while the President was maturing a plan for provisioning Sumter; and when the time came, he suddenly announced to his cabinet his intention to make the attempt to supply the fort; and his inquiry of the Secretary of the Navy, two weeks previously, was part of the plan. And this was precisely like his tactics in lawsuits on the circuit. The first his colleagues in a case would know his view of it would be in his speech to the jury, and, as likely as not, it would be entirely out of line with the whole management of the ease theretofore.

The President's secretiveness is well illustrated by an incident which occurred recently, evoked by the death of ex-Vice-President Hamlin. Mr. Nicolay wrote a letter of condolence to Mrs. Hamlin, in which he took occasion to assure her that Mr. Lincoln's desire was that her distinguished husband should have again been the yoke-fellow on the ticket in 1864. Col. Alexander K. McClure took exception to the statement, and a spirited newspaper controversy ensued, in which Nicolay adhered to his statement, and adduced in support of its correctness the testimony of Hon. Burton C. Cook, chairman of the Illinois delegation in the convention; while McClure enlisted many public men in support of his theory, to wit: That Lincoln desired a war Democrat, preferably Johnson, to be placed on the ticket with him.

It appeared from the controversy and its context, that


Nicolay went to the convention as a mere spectator, supposing that Lincoln wanted the old ticket, and finding Swett urging Holt, of Kentucky, suspected treachery, and telegraphed to his colleague, John Hay, the rather obscure message: "Is Swett all right?" Hay showed it to the President, who divined its hidden meaning, and, in addition to indorsing Swett in the abstract, added: "Wish not to interfere about candidates or platform." This would seem to make the non-committalism of the President quite clear, but the controversy raged, nevertheless. And it appears that Nicolay, who certainly ought to have known, deemed Hamlin to be the favored one; so also thought Cook; while Swett doubtless thought Holt the man, and McClure, Johnson; while Weed thought he did not desire Johnson, and Stone and others were of opinion that any war Democrat, like Dickinson, Dix, Johnson, or others, was desired.

My opinion on that subject is this: That, while Lincoln had a preference, it was for the man he thought would add strength to the ticket, and that he knew that Hamlin could bring no votes, but that a war Democrat could do so -- hence he was for a war Democrat; and that, inasmuch as he desired to please the border states so far as he could, he really preferred Holt or Johnson; but I doubt if he really mentioned any particular individual, or even acquiesced in any choice. He listened with simulated patience and ostensibly-pleased interest to all suggestions, and expressed no dissent from the laudation of the various candidates suggested, and each laudator supposed that silence gave consent to his views.

I am satisfied, from my knowledge of Lincoln's methods, that he not only could not be convicted in any court, on authoritative evidence, of favoring any one, but also that he could fully acquit himself of any ostensible advocacy of, or acquiescence in, the candidacy of any one.

He could far more effectively employ language to conceal his thoughts than Talleyrand, the author of the maxim, could do; and while guilty of no duplicity, could hide his


thoughts and intentions more efficiently than any man with a historical record.

That McClure, Stone, Swett and the rest fully believed that Lincoln wanted a war Democrat for a running-mate, and that Nicolay and Cook believed he wanted Hamlin, is undoubted; but I believe that the President induced them respectively to so believe from his lack of dissent from, rather than affirmative acquiescence in, their views.

But the fact that these astute and far-sighted men each left Lincoln animated with diverse views, is a tribute to, and emphasis upon, his wonderful reticence and secretive-ness, and is also no reflection upon his candor and sincerity, to one who critically knew Lincoln's methods.

In trying a law suit, or in performing an act of statesmanship, which required that he take the responsibility, the opinions of others had no influence on him, at all, but he never interfered with the opinions, or plans of action of others, who might chance to be associated with him, except as they might interfere with his especial duties or responsibilities, but he made no effort whatever, to bring others to his views, on such occasions.

This characteristic was plainly discernible in his management of his mighty trust at Washington. In the great affairs of state, he acted wholly without advice or interference from his constitutional advisers; while in the especial and subordinate duties pertaining to the several departments, he scarcely interfered at all, and was frequently overruled by Stanton and Chase, and perhaps other secretaries. I never knew of any friction or bad feeling to be engendered between himself and those associated with him in the management of a case. But it did not infrequently occur that his carrying out of the part assigned to him, was inharmonious with the general plan, and sometimes unfortunately so.

An instance of this occurred in the last criminal case I was ever associated with him in; the trial of a man for an homicide committed at Sadorus, Illinois.

Autograph Letter of Lincoln, June 7, 1855


When the facts were brought out before the petit jury, it was very clearly developed that the indictment should have been for murder, instead of -- what it was -- for manslaughter, and Lincoln was evidently of that opinion.

Mr. Lincoln, Leonard Swett and myself, were associated for the defense: the wife of the accused had wealth and influential relations in Vermilion County, and no pains were spared to make a good defense. Swett and myself, took the lawyer's view, and were anxious to acquit, entirely. Lincoln sat in our counsels but took but little part in them; his opinion was fixed and could not be changed; he joined in the trial but with no enthusiasm: his logically honest mind chilled his efforts.

Lincoln was to make the last speech to the jury on our side, and Swett, the speech preceding. Swett was then, as he was long afterward, the most effective jury advocate in the state, except Lincoln. He occupied one evening, on this occasion, and when he closed, I was full of faith that our client would be acquitted entirely: Lincoln followed on our side, the next morning, and while he made some good points, the honesty of his mental processes forced him into a line of argument and admission, that was very damaging. We all felt that he had hurt our case.

I recollect one incident that we regarded as especially atrocious. Swett had dwelt with deep pathos upon the condition of the family; -- there being several small children, and his wife then on the verge of confinement with another: Lincoln, himself, adverted to this, but only to disparage it as an argument; saying that the proper place for such appeals was to a legislature who framed laws, rather than to a jury who must decide upon evidence; nor was this done on account of any dislike to Swett, for he was especially fond of Swett as an advocate and associate.

In point of fact, our client was found guilty and sent to the penitentiary for three years, and Lincoln, whose merciless logic drove him into the belief that the culprit was guilty


of murder, had his humanity so wrought upon, that he induced the Governor to pardon him out after he had served one year.

I elsewhere narrate an incident of a term of court at Danville: at which one day, when evening came, Lincoln was missing. The Judge and I, and chance callers, wondered, from time to time, where he was, and finally we retired, leaving the problem unsolved. Lincoln reappeared soon thereafter, and reported that "a fellow had a show up at the Academy, and he had been there to see it." "Well, what was it?" was asked; so he sat by the fire and told us: first there was a magic lantern, and he informed us of the wonderful sights, and transformations exhibited: then he narrated the ludicrous incidents attendant upon himself, and the juveniles in the ring by the operating of an electrical machine which they were in the circuit of, and he narrated the other sights included within the repertoire of that primitive show with as much zest and enthusiasm as a school-boy would have done: and the next night, Lincoln was missing again, gone to witness the new sights promised in "an entire change of programme."

This well illustrates the extremely uneven character of Abraham Lincoln: in the arena of debate he was an Ajax Telamon; on the mountain heights of statesmanship, he was a Jupiter Tonans, but on the low plane of social affairs, he was as primitive and guileless as Whittier's barefoot boy; and the course of reasoning among unsophisticated persons was; that because he was a novice in the "mint, anise and cummin" of social affairs; he must likewise be a dolt in the "weightier matters of the law." This error it cost many of elite of the nation, including several of our leading statesmen, who severally expected to run Lincoln, much mortification to unlearn, but they did unlearn it. It was an error that Jeff Davis and his cabinet, and his henchmen in Canada, and divers and sundry officious peace commissioners, and Horace Greeley


and the confidence men from Dixie who befooled him, all fell into.

Lincoln committed sufficient blunders of etiquette -- in fact, defied all rules thereof but he committed no errors of diplomacy or statesmanship; thus truth is becoming clearer and clearer with the shedding of the husks of prejudice, and the gathering into the foci of impartial history of those scenes in which he was the central figure.

Except when he was in a melancholy mood, he was very fond of society and his business was largely done in concert with others, but he was at his best, and his effective work was done, when alone. His chief work of law, politics, diplomacy or statesmanship was done, by himself, in solitude; the highest efforts of his great life were achieved by solitary reflection; he relied more on the unaided results of self-introspection, probably, than any man of his age, if not of any age.

Observation and experience did much for him, but their results were crystallized in the alembic of his own mind and genius before they were of any use to him.

Mr. Bancroft, I find, has expressed the same idea, precisely, in these words: "Truth he would receive from any one, but when impressed by others he did not use these opinions, till, by reflection, he had made them thoroughly his own." Nothing could be truer than this.

He was not inordinately fond of books, which he sketched in a desultory way, and their contents, no matter what, were not taken on trust, but were thoroughly digested and assimilated to his own ideas. He never did anything because it was the style, or because some one else had done it. In reaching a conclusion from a given state of facts, he was not influenced in the least degree by the opinion, although he might be by the reasoning and logic of others. I have oftentimes heard him say, good-humoredly and without giving the least offence, but still firmly and persistently, about some matter under review, when all others were in substantial accord:


"Well, I don't think so," or, "I can't see it in that way," or some equivalent expression; nor was it possible to change his opinion when he had once formed it.

The effect upon Lincoln himself of his rapid and wonderful advancement was, at first, that of surprise at the great enthusiasm which he evoked, and his phenomenal success. At the great mass-meeting held at the state capitol, during the canvass of 1860, and when, singular to say, the speakers were limited to Senator Doolittle and John Wilson, formerly commissioner of the land office, Lincoln was in a daze and stupor all day and during the entire evening; he was simply stupefied with astonishment at the immense throng and the overwhelming enthusiasm. During the meeting in the grove, he ventured to come out and make his appearance on the stand, but the enthusiasm was so demonstrative and overwhelming that he was placed on a saddle horse, the way cleared for him by the police, and he literally ran away, and that very fleetly, too. I was on a shed which he had to pass, and he looked perfectly bewildered, if not frightened; he was really thought by some to be in actual danger of being crushed by the crowd in their frenzied excitement and boisterous enthusiasm. I certainly never saw excitement run so high, or become so riotous. But after election was over he settled down to the exactly same Lincoln that he was on the circuit, only he was sadder, more abstracted and absent-minded, more humble, more subdued, apparently humiliated; less inclined to story-telling, much more miserable than when he was traveling the circuit and having a three months' round of holidays, as it were, performing the easy labor of a law practice in trivial cases.

At the White House, his approachability, manners, habits and behavior were the same as at Danville, Urbana or Springfield. He has sat down on the door-step of the Executive Mansion with me to finish a talk, just as he has over and over again sat down on the steps of the capitol at Springfield with me for the same object. He has talked the same


good sense about practical, common-place matters and the same diverting nonsense in his office at Washington that he was wont to do in Illinois, in our walks on the streets of little villages. The man himself was unchanged by his supreme elevation, except that increased and ineffable sadness, sombre as a funereal pall, shut out from his soul almost the last ray of the sunlight of peace. From the time when he fully realized the great responsibilities which centered in him, he was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.

In addition to the strong grasp, intense vigor and infallibility of his logic, was his uncompromising and inflexible adherence to its conclusions; in other words, his power of searching analysis, and his fidelity to obey its results. No living man ever had, in a higher degree, the courage of his convictions; and the most pathetic page of our history records how he followed his convictions to a martyr's grave.

Moral honesty is easy and common, but mental honesty is difficult and rare, indeed. All men profess moral honesty. They assume that virtue, whether they have it or not. Few men, however, to our shame, be it said! are ashamed of obliquity and tergiversation in their opinions and beliefs. Conformity is preferable to consistency; conventionalism is more comfortable than independence: to be looked at askance, because of singularity of opinion, conveys terror; men shun the criticism of their fellows more than that of their own conscience.

From the ranks of such timid souls, come no reformers nor martyrs.

Moses, Paul, Hypatia, Socrates, Savonarola, Luther, Henry IV, Cromwell, Wilberforce, William the Silent, Washington, Garrison, John Brown and Lincoln disdained policy, and were true to their own convictions. Duty followed whither they led; crooked paths were made straight by their example. From them were new departures made in the fields of morals, politics, ethics, philosophy, philanthropy and religion.


A cognate principle and characteristic, was his fidelity to his duty and responsibility. It was the abrasion of responsibility that brought to his pillow sleepless nights, that caused deep furrows of care and anxiety to be ploughed through his sad face, and gave to his eyes that preternatural expression of exquisite grief which caused many a sensitive person to turn away in tears, and which made him exclaim in the depth of anguish, "I shall never be glad any more."

So interwoven was his sense of responsibility to a trust, and his fidelity to his convictions, that they must go hand in hand together; he would not take upon himself responsibility in an unjust cause.

Fidelity to his convictions thus frequently handicapped his usefulness to his clients, in cases where he was convinced of the moral unsoundness of his cause. I have already mentioned the murder case; I may also mention the first case in which he was ever associated with me, and where I needed no aid; there his efforts contributed to a malign result to us. Our client taxed him with bad faith, and never forgave him: his fidelity to his logical conclusions was stronger than his duty to aid one who had purchased his assistance to commit a wrong, as he thought.

When our whole state was startled in 1859 by a discovery that Ex-Governor Matteson had perpetrated a series of gross frauds in reissuing canal bonds which had been taken up by the state and should have been cancelled, the Ex-Governor employed Stuart&Edwards, a celebrated firm of lawyers, and sought, likewise, to employ Lincoln and Judge Logan.

Neither at first declined employment, but after mature reflection both declined, unknown to each other, both having reached the conclusion, by different routes, that the distinguished culprit was guilty.

In the celebrated slander case of Spink v. Chiniquy, in which Lincoln appeared for the latter, and after trying the case in our court twice in vain, Lincoln considering that


there was not enough involved to warrant the trouble, heart-burning and expense of another trial, made most strenuous and earnest efforts to compromise the case, which was accomplished by reason, solely, of his exertions.

Nor did he ever shift, evade or suffer himself to be diverted from his responsibility. Throughout the war his duty was to save the Union: to this duty was ultimately superadded the assurance of freedom to the slaves: these duties were his pole star, from which nothing could divert or distract his gaze.

To some dissatisfied Unionists in New Orleans, he thus sarcastically said: "What would you do in my position? Would you drop the war where it is, or would you prosecute it, in future, with elder-stalk squirts, charged with rose-water? Would you deal lighter blows, rather than heavier ones? Would you give up the contest, leaving every available means unapplied?"

Of an alleged Unionist, he sardonically said: "He speaks of no duty -- apparently thinks of none, resting upon Union men; he even thinks it injurious to the Union cause that they should be restrained in trade and passage without taking sides. They are to touch neither a sail nor a pump, but to be merely passengers (dead-heads at that) to be carried, snug and dry, through the storm, and safely landed, right side up. Nay, more, even a mutineer is to go untouched, lest these sacred passengers receive an accidental wound."

To the counterfeit peace commissioners in Canada, he presented his ultimatum to be "the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery."

To the real peace commissioners at Hampton Roads, his ultimatum was: "The restoration of the national authority, no receding from the executive position as to Emancipation, no cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war;" and to avert any misunderstanding, he cautions his politic secretary to listen to all that was said and report to him, but not to


definitely consummate anything. Still later, he, himself, wrote this dispatch to the General of the armies: "The President directs me to say that he wishes you to have no conference with General Lee unless it be for the capitulation of General Lee's army, or on some other minor and purely military matter. He instructs me to say that you are not to decide, discuss or confer upon any political question. Such questions the President holds in his own hands, and will submit them to no military conferences or conventions. Meanwhile, you are to press to the utmost your military advantages."

How emphatically he understood and appreciated the great burden of his responsibility is thus solemnly set forth in his message to congress, thirty days before the issuance of his final emancipation proclamation: "In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity. * * * We cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We, even we, here, hold the power and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free -- honorable alike in what we give and in what we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just -- a way, which if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless."

He likewise bore the responsibility of opprobrium, and was eager to acknowledge it. He admitted his complicity in Cameron's actions, which were alleged to be derelictions of duty. He endured all the blame he could of McClellan's imbecility,


if not, indeed, something worse. He suffered no man to be a scapegoat for him.

He bore all the responsibilities of his exalted station without complaint, and some not his to bear, and gave every day of his precious life, without a holiday, to their faithful performance.

No element of Mr. Lincoln's character was so marked, obvious and ingrained as his mysterious and profound melancholy. My attention was first drawn to this sad characteristic, which surprised me greatly at the time, in the spring of 1855, at the Bloomington circuit court. I was sitting with John T. Stuart, while a case was being tried, and our conversation was, at the moment, about Lincoln, when Stuart remarked that he as a hopeless victim of melancholy. I expressed surprise, to which Stuart replied; "Look at him, now." I turned a little and there beheld Lincoln sitting alone in the corner of the bar, most remote from any one, wrapped in abstraction and gloom. It was a sad but interesting study for me, and I watched him for some time. It appeared as if he was pursuing in his mind some specific, sad subject, regularly and systematically through various sinuosities, and his sad face would assume, at times, deeper phases of grief: but no relief came from dark and despairing melancholy, till he was roused by the breaking up of court, when he emerged from his cave of gloom and came back, like one awakened from sleep, to the world in which he lived, again.

Various causes have been ascribed for this sad and mysterious characteristic, all of which I consider to be superficial and to come short of the true reason.

One cause which has been given was the failure of his digestive apparatus to work normally. He has been pronounced by physicians to be a physiological marvel. At John T. Stuart's suggestion, he commenced the use of blue mass after he became President. It proved beneficial, but after using it for several months he abandoned it because, he said, it made him peevish.


William H. Herndon, his law partner and one of the closest of his friends, ascribed his melancholy to abnormal grief, induced by the premature death of Miss Ann Rutledge, to whom he was engaged in marriage when he was a young man. I regard the authority of Mr. Herndon as very high in all that relates to Lincoln, and I have not the slightest doubt of the facts adduced by him in support of his theory; but my opinion is that Lincoln's melancholy had a more profound and far-reaching origin -- one extending farther back in the vista of time than the advent of Lincoln himself -- one having its origin in heredity -- a cause lying deep down in the mysterious depths of psychology, unfathomable by human scrutiny.

The best authority in the line of biography says: * * *"The child (Lincoln) was often serious and sad. With the earliest dawn of reason, he began to suffer and endure." Major Wilson told me, while we were closely associated together in the war, that in 1837 Lincoln told him, that "although he appeared to enjoy life rapturously, still he was the victim of terrible melancholy. He sought company, and indulged in fun and hilarity without restraint or stint as to time, but when by himself, he told me that he was so overcome by mental depression that he never dared carry a knife in his pocket."

Our Mrs. Stowe said that: "No man has suffered more and deeper, albeit with a dry, weary, patient pain, that seemed to some like insensibility, than President Lincoln." He himself said to her, during the Rebellion: "Whichever way it ends, I have the impression that I shan't last long after it is over." To a gentleman, he said: "I feel a presentiment that I shall not outlast the Rebellion; when it is over, my work will be done." How pathetic was the excuse once given in these sad words, "I laugh because I must not weep -- that's all -- that's all!"

Closely allied with this sad trait was an inherent belief in his destiny; perhaps the specific destiny was not very


clearly indicated, but that, somehow, the Genius, whom we hail as Destiny, had touched him with her wand, and marked him for her own.

East Room, President's Mansion

Apropos of this, I recollect that in the fall of 1854, Mr. Lincoln, with other lawyers from abroad, drove over from Urbana, the county seat, to West Urbana (now Champaign) to see the embryo town, and, while there, stopped at my law office, which had been improvised in the dining-room of my father's house. I had no law library to speak of, but made a display of miscellaneous books to fill up, and render less uninviting the appearance of the cupboard shelves. Lincoln took down a well-worn copy of Byron (which no boy's library at that time was without) and, readily turning to the third canto of Childe Harold, read aloud from the 34th verse, commencing:

"There is a very life in our despair," etc.
to and including the 45th verse:
"He who ascends to mountain tops shall find
Those loftiest peaks most wrapped in clouds and snow;
He who surpasses or subdues mankind
Must look down on the hate of those below;
Though high above, the sun of glory glow,
And far beneath, the Earth and Ocean spread,
Round him are icy rocks, and loudly blow
Contending tempests on his naked head,
And thus reward the toils which to those summits lead."

This poetry was very familiar to him evidently; he looked specifically for, and found it with no hesitation, and read it with a fluency that indicated that he had read oftentimes before. I think I am justified in saying that he read it sadly and earnestly, if, not, indeed, reverently.

I have oftentimes since thought, from this slight circumstance, that he had a premonition that he was destined to ascend to the mountain tops of human achievement.

But coming events cast their shadows before the career of this servitor of destiny so definitely as to deeply impress their object. One of them is thus often narrated: "A friend,


once inquiring the cause of a deep depression under which he seemed to be suffering: ‘I have seen this evening again,’ he replied, ‘what I once saw before, on the evening of my nomination, at Chicago. As I stood before a mirror, there were two images of myself -- a bright one in front, and one that was very pallid, standing behind. It completely unnerved me; the bright one, I know, is my past, the pale one, my coming life. And feeling that there is no armor against destiny,’ he added, ‘I do not think I shall live to see the end of my term. I try to shake off the vision, but it still keeps haunting me.’ "

On the last day of his life, the President asked Grant if he had heard from Sherman; being informed not, he replied, "You will hear very soon now, because I had a dream last night, and, ever since the war began, I have invariably had the same dream before any very important military event has occurred." He then instanced Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, etc., and said that before each of these events he had had the same dream. He seemed to be in a singular and indescribable vessel, but always, in all his dreams, the same vessel, and that he was moving with great rapidity toward a dark and indefinite shore; that he had this singular dream preceding the firing on Sumter, the battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Stone River, Vicksburg, Wilmington, etc.

This avant-courier of destiny haunted him, more or less, all his life. "I can't help being in this way," he said; "my father was so before me. He dreamed that he rode through an unfrequented path to a strange house, the surroundings and furnishing of which were vividly impressed in his mind, At the fireside, there was sitting a woman whose features he distinctly saw. She was engaged in paring an apple. That woman was to be his wife. He could not shake off the vision. It haunted him incessantly, until it compelled him to go down the unfrequented way. He quietly opened the door of what he recognized to be the house, and saw, at a glance,


that it was where he had been in his dream. There was a woman at the fireside engaged in paring an apple. And the rest of his dream came to pass."

Through all his childhood and boyhood, when he seemed to have as little prospect of the Presidency as any boy that ever was born, he was in the habit of saying, that that great prize would, one day, be his. When a lady reproved him for fooling and bedevilling the girls in her kitchen, and asked him what he supposed would ever become of him, he answered that he was going to be President of the United States, and this was not an infrequent expression with him.

No man ever lived, in my opinion, who had, in so great a degree the crowning virtue of magnanimity; of this adorable trait of character, his biography is full of instances. His appointment of Chase to be Chief Justice -- his retention of McClellan -- his generous treatment of the cabal that tried to set him aside in 1864, are ample and cumulative proofs. His secretary Usher told me that John Wilson, formerly commissioner of the general land office, applied to him to pardon his son, who had been convicted by a court martial, which he promptly did. On being chided for extending this favor to one of the meanest of his maligners in his own party in 1864, he said: "If he is malignant to me, I can't follow suit." Immediately after his second election he said, "My gratitude is free from any taint of personal triumph. I do not impugn the motives of any one opposed to me. It is no pleasure to me to triumph over any one." I once told him that Judd was trying to pump me to ascertain whether Lincoln really liked him or not, and I said: "I don't like him after his treatment of you in 1854" -- to which he earnestly replied: "I can't harbor enmity to any one; it's not my nature."

On the day of the second inauguration, to one who complained bitterly about Johnson's intoxication, he said, "It is unfortunate, but not so bad as you make it out. Don't fear for Andy. He's all right."


He was charitable and forgiving to a fault. His many pardons of convicted offenders under the articles of war were very prejudicial to army discipline -- were usually unmerited -- and while bringing gladness to one family circle, doubtless carried sorrow, ultimately, to many. The responsible officers complained that his humanity greatly interfered with the discipline of the army.

When the leading merchants of San Francisco came to Lincoln and protested that Senator Baker, of Oregon, was procuring the appointment of his friends to office from their city, and showing strong grounds of improper action on the part of Baker, Lincoln thrust their remonstrance in the fire before their faces and eyes.

His apothegm, "With malice toward none, with charity for all," was a legitimate prompting of his generous soul, overflowing with the milk of human kindness. The subject of Washington was under consideration once on the circuit, and, when some one was attempting to show that that great historic personage was very human, Lincoln earnestly said that we should not admit that he had any defects; that human nature would be much better for an ingrained belief that there was one human being at least who was perfect in all respects; that it would be salutary to believe that moral perfection was possible.

How inexpressibly beautiful, if not, indeed, morally sublime, is this sentence, which breathes the spirit of an apostolic benediction: "This extraordinary war, in which we are engaged, falls heavily upon all classes of people, but the most heavily upon the soldier. For it has been said: ‘All that a man hath will he give for his life,’ and while all contribute of their substance, the soldier puts his life at stake, and often yields it up in his country's cause. The highest merit, then, is due to the soldier."

His appreciation of women's work in the war is thus enthusiastically expressed: "If all that has been said by orators and poets since the creation of the world in praise of


women were applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice for their conduct during this war. I will close by saying: ‘God bless the women of America.’ "

He was utterly astonished at the venom exhibited by Robert Toombs toward the Union and the Republican party. They had served together in Congress -- both belonging to the same party, and were on cordial terms. I have heard him say frequently: "When I knew Toombs, he wasn't such a fool, and I can't understand how he could change so."

Mrs. L. A. Moorhead, formerly Price, has given me the following incident as a sample of his benignity and kindness of heart:
In the fall of '58 -- Mr. Price and myself were newcomers in the place and were boarding at the "Chenoweth House" -- Mr. Lincoln came to attend the fall term of Court at Urbana, stopped at the same house and sat opposite me at the table. I was but a child, comparatively, at the time, had just left an Eastern home and was going through my first experience of home-sickness. My brother came West with me, and had left to seek good fortune further South a few days prior to our reaching Urbana. I had never been separated from him in my life, and I watched eagerly for his letters. One came on the day of the evening of our euchre, bringing with it an intense longing to see the writer. Mr. Lincoln, at the supper table, rallied me on my sad face and said to my husband: "How do you manage to keep this little girl amused?" He replied: "We generally have a game of euchre in the evening with Mr. Somers and another party (whose name I have forgotten), but the other party being away, we shall have to forego it for this evening." Mr. Lincoln said: "I will be back and we will have the game." He came back, we sent in for Somers, and played for some time in the parlor of the hotel. I cannot say whether he played well or badly, and I am sure he only played to try and brighten my sad face. His heart was kindly and I have no doubt he felt a warm sympathy for my youth and inexperience,


and so devoted that evening to us. You ask me his mood -- could it have been anything but bright and cheerful under the circumstances?

Lincoln's guileless exterior concealed a great fund of shrewdness and common sense about ordinary matters, as well as genius in the higher realms.

I remember once, that while several of us lawyers were together, including Judge Davis, Lincoln suddenly asked a novel question of court practice, addressed to no one particularly, to which the Judge, who was in the habit certainly of appropriating his full share of any conversation, replied, stating what he understood the practice should be.

Lincoln thereat laughed and said: "I asked that question, hoping that you would answer. I have that very question to present to the court in the morning, and I am glad to find out that the court is on my side."

He and I were once sitting together at the Tremont House, in Chicago, when John Wentworth -- Long John as he is known, and then Mayor of Chicago -- came and called him away. This was April, in 1860. After being gone some ten minutes, he returned, and I asked him what Long John wanted. He replied: "He had a long story to tell me about Judd and others designing to spring Trumbull on the convention for President, and dropping me. Finally I asked him what I could do about it. I saw that he expected me to do something, and he said, sotto voce: ‘Do like Seward does, get some one to run you.’" (It must be recollected that Long John had a newspaper then of his own.) Said I: "Did you tell him to go to work and run you?" "No," said he, "I gave him no encouragement at all. I merely told him that events, and not a man's own exertions in his behalf, made presidents."

I then remarked: "Long John is an astute and successful organizer; his election as Mayor was a great scheme of organization."

To which Lincoln merely replied: "Yes, on a small


field, which he can reach and superintend in person, he is a great organizer."

Lincoln's Autograph Letter, December 18, 1857

Lincoln's Autograph Letter

The corollary was obvious: to the great field of the United States, Long John's organizing ability was not adapted.

Another corollary was not quite so obvious, but still was clearly deducible, viz.: that in measures which embraced a nation, Lincoln was the great organizer; and the truth was that he completely and cruelly circumvented, out-maneuvered and out-generalled Seward and Chase on their own native heaths, as it were, of diplomatic strategy and finesse.

At another time Lincoln said to me, sotto voce, although no one was by: "Judd and Ray and those fellows think I don't see anything, but I see all around them; I see better what they want to do with me than they do themselves."

I repeat that his was one of the most uneven, eccentric and heterogeneous characters, probably, that ever played a part in the great drama of history, and it was for that reason that he was so greatly misjudged and misunderstood; that he was, on the one hand, described as a mere humorist -- a sort of Artemus Ward or Mark Twain -- that it was thought that, by some "irony of Fate," a low comedian had got into the presidential chair, by mistake, and that the nation was being delivered over to conflagration, while this modern Nero fiddled upon its ruins; or that, on the other hand, he should be thus sketched by as high authority as Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"He is the true history of the American people in his time. Step by step he walks before them, slow with their slowness, quickening his march by theirs, the true representative of this continent, an entirely public man, Father of his Country, the pulse of twenty millions throbbing in his heart, the thought of their minds articulated by his tongue. His heart was as great as the world, but there was no room in it to hold the memory of a wrong."

Or that one of his state papers should be thus characterized by the high authority of the London Spectator:


"We cannot read it (his last Inaugural) without a renewed conviction that it is the noblest political document known to history, and should have for the nation and the statesmen he left behind him something of a sacred and almost prophetic character."

Or that Dr. Leonard Bacon should say that he considered the "Cooper Institute speech one of the purest specimens of composition in Saxon words to be found in the English language."

One of the most obvious of Mr. Lincoln's peculiarities was his dissimilitude of qualities, or inequality of conduct, his dignity of deportment and action, interspersed with freaks of frivolity and inanity; his high aspiration and achievement, and his descent into the most primitive vales of listlessness, and the most ridiculous buffoonery.

He combined the consideration of the movement of armies, or grave questions of international concern, with Nasby's feeble jokes or Dan Rice's clownish tricks. As I have shown, his prelude to the cabinet consideration of the emancipation proclamation was a dull jeu d'esprit about Judas Iscariot. In the chief drawer of his cabinet table, all the current joke books of the time were in juxtaposition with official commissions, lacking only the final signature, applications for pardons from death penalties, laws awaiting executive action, and orders, which, when launched, would control the fate of a million men and the destinies of unborn generations.

Yet his official action was the evident result of profound and cautious reflection and grave and responsible consideration; his frivolity did not enter into his work; and he developed his policies with no ostentation and with an entire absence of dramatic action.

Hence it was that superficial persons, who expected great achievements to be set in a mise en scene, and to be ushered in with a prologue, could not understand or appreciate that this wonderful man's administration was a succession of acts


of grand and heroic statesmanship, or that he was a prodigy of intellect and moral force, and a genius in administration.

A much remarked and laudable peculiarity was his self-abnegation and his conception of himself as a mere instrument, as it were, of the Divine Purpose and of the people's will: and, as a simple agent, to execute the will of God and of the loyal American people; and in order to ascertain what was the will of the people, he habitually consulted the speeches of public men who were inimical to him, and the editorials of journals which were averse to his policy; he read the querulous New York Tribune and the meddling Cincinnati Commercial and cut out and frequently consulted the articles which were most severely condemnatory of his administration, purposely ignoring journals and men who sustained his policy, either as lulling him into a false security or as being swerved by favoritism or partiality from candid views.

This propensity to merge his individuality in that of the people was so obvious as to be noted by all observers. Bancroft alludes to it in this wise: * * "He was led along by the greatness of the people's self-sacrificing example; and, as a child, in a dark night on a rugged way, catches hold of the hand of its father for guidance and support, he clung fast to the hand of the people and moved calmly through the gloom. Like Jefferson and La Fayette, he had faith in the intuitions of the people, and read these intuitions with rare sagacity. He knew how to bide his time and was less apt to run ahead of opinion than to lag behind. He never sought to electrify the public by taking an advanced position with the banner of a section, but rather strived to move forward compactly, exposing no detachment in front or rear, so that the course of his administration might have been explained as the calculating policy of a shrewd and watchful politician had there not been seen behind it a fixedness of principle which from the first determined his purpose and grew more intense with every year, consuming his life by its energy."

Yet he stood out alone, among men, in bold relief. He


was emphatic in holding fast and close in his own hands the power confided in him by the people: and in the enforcement of the people's will he was firm as adamant.

The most accurate delineation of Mr. Lincoln's alliance with his duty and responsibility, I take from a leaf of Victor Cousin's philosophy, written abstractly, but having a correct application to this subject.

This great philosopher says: "The existence of a great man is not the creation of arbitrary choice; he is not a thing that may, or may not, exist. He is not merely an individual, for his existence is given by its relation to a general idea which communicates to him a superior power, at the same time that it gives him the determination and real form of his individuality. Too much, or too little, of individuality are equally destructive to the character of a great man. On the one hand, individuality of itself is an element of what is pitiful and little, for particularity, the contingent and the finite, tends unceasingly to division, to dissolution, to nothingness.

"On the other hand, everything general, attaching itself to what is universal and to the infinite, tends to unity, and to absolute unity. It possesses greatness, but it is exposed to the risk of losing itself in chimerical abstractions. The great man is the harmonious combination of what is particular with what is general. This combination constitutes the standard value of his greatness, and it involves a twofold condition; first, of representing the general spirit of his nation, because it is in his relation to that general spirit that his greatness consists; and, secondly, of representing the general spirit which confers upon him his greatness in his own person, in a real form, that is, in a finite, positive, visible and determinate form; so that what is general may not suppress what is particular; and that what is particular may not dissipate and dissolve what is general -- that the infinite and the finite may be blended together in that proportion which truly constitutes human greatness."

Now, having strayed somewhat beyond the domain of


chance into that of Fate and Destiny, and especially in view of the deep and yawning gulf which was spanned between March 4th, 1861, and April 14th, 1865, may it not be proper in this connection to make a digression so as to discern and recognize the footprints of the Creator in the history of nations and of progress, as delineated by Guizot?

That accomplished philosopher says: "It is thus that man advances, in the execution of a plan which he has not conceived and of which he is even not aware. He is the free and intelligent artificer of a work which is not his own. He does not perceive or comprehend it till it manifests itself by external appearances and real results; and even then he comprehends it very incompletely. It is through his means, however, and by the development of his intelligence and freedom, that it is accomplished. Conceive a great machine, the design of which is centered in a single mind, though its various parts are intrusted to various workmen, separated from, and strangers to, each other. No one of them understands the work or a whole, nor the general result which he concerts in producing; but every one executes with intelligence and freedom, by rational and voluntary acts, the particular task assigned to him. It is thus that by the hand of man the designs of Providence are wrought out in the government of the world. It is thus that the two great facts, which are apparent in the history of civilization, come to co-exist. On the one hand those portions of it which may be considered as fated, or which happen without the control of human knowledge or will; on the other hand, the part played in it by the freedom and intelligence of man, and what he contributes to it by means of his own judgment and will."

Or, as put by Bancroft: "Eternal wisdom marshals the great procession of the nations, working in patient continuity through the ages, never halting and never abrupt; encompassing all events in its oversight and ever effecting its will, though mortals may slumber in apathy or oppose with madness. * * * Nations come and go; republics flourish and


wither; dynasties pass away like a tale that is told, but nothing is by chance. * * * The deeds of time are governed, as well as judged, by the decrees of eternity. The caprice of fleeting existences bends to the immovable Omnipotence which plants its foot on all the centuries, and has neither change of purpose nor repose. Sometimes, like a messenger, through the thick darkness of night, it steps along mysterious ways, but when the hour strikes for a people or for mankind to pass into a new form of being, unseen hands draw the bolts from the gates of futurity, an all-subduing influence prepares the minds of men for the coming revolution, * * * and all hearts and all understandings * * * are wonderfully attracted and compelled to bear forward the change which becomes more an obedience to the law of universal nature than submission to the arbitrament of man."

It is interesting to know that our transatlantic cousins quite agree with his own countrymen in a high estimate of Mr. Lincoln's abilities and character, as the following extracts from the London Spectator, which we reproduce, without comment, will attest.



From the London Spectator.

The English-speaking world will never read the story of the Rebellion without a thrill of pride and exultation. Heroic and inspiring as was the achievement of the Puritans in throwing off the tryanny of the Stuarts, and establishing in its place, not license or anarchy, but a wise and liberal polity, the veiling hand of time diminishes for modern men its distinctness and reality. With the defence of the Union it is different. We can almost hear the reverberations of the cannon at Vicksburg, and our hands may still clasp the hands of those who overthrew embattled treason at Gettysburg and Chattanooga. The glory won by the English race is so near, that it still stirs the blood like a trumpet to read of the patriotism of the men who fought at the call of Lincoln. Nothing is more admirable, as nothing is more dramatic in recorded history, than the


manner in which the North sprang to arms at the news that the Nation's flag had been fired on at Fort Sumter. It is all very well to hire soldiers at so much a day and send them to the front with salutes and rejoicings, but the action of the Eastern and Western States meant a great deal more than this. It meant a voluntary sacrifice on the part of men who had nothing to gain and everything to lose by throwing over a life of ease or profit to shoulder a musket or serve a gun. A continent was on fire.

It is one of the greatest of Lincoln's claims to admiration, that though he sympathized with the fervor and enthusiasm of his countrymen, he was not carried away by it. He was one of those rare men who can at once be zealous and moderate, who are kindled by great ideas, and who yet retain complete control of the critical faculty. And more than this, Lincoln was a man who could be reserved without the chill of reserve. Again, he could make allowance for demerits in a principle or a human instrument, without ever falling into the purblindness of cynicism. He often acted in his dealings with men much as a professed cynic might have acted; but his conduct was due, not to any disbelief in virtue, but to a wide tolerance and a clear knowledge of human nature. He saw things as a disillusionized man sees them, and yet in the bad sense he never suffered any disillusionment. For suffusing and combining his other qualities was a serenity of mind which affected the whole man. He viewed the world too much as a whole to be greatly troubled or perplexed over its accidents. To this serenity of mind was due an almost total absence of indignation in the ordinary sense. Generals might half-ruin the cause for the sake of some trumpery quarrel, or in order to gain some petty personal advantage; office-seekers might worry at the very crisis of the Nation's fate; but none of the pettinesses, the spites, or the follies could rouse in Lincoln the impatience or the indignation that would have been wakened in ordinary men. Pity, and nothing else, was the feeling such exhibitions occasioned him. Lincoln seems to have felt the excuse that tempers the guilt of every mortal transgression. His largeness and tenderness of nature made him at heart a universal apologist. He was of course too practical and too great a statesman to let this sensibility to the excuses that can be made for human conduct induce him to allow misdeeds to go unpunished or uncorrected. He acted as firmly and as severely as if he had experienced the most burning indignation; but the moment we come to Lincoln's real feelings we see that he is never incensed, and that, even in its most legitimate form, the desire for retribution is absent


from his mind; Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner, was the secret of his attitude toward human affairs. That is not the highest wisdom, but it errs on the right and also on the rare side. So much for the intellectual side of Lincoln's nature. Behind it was a personality of singular charm. Tenderness and humor were its main characteristics. As he rode through a forest in spring-time, he would keep on dismounting to put back the young birds that had fallen from their nests. There was not a situation in life which could not afford him the subject for a kindly smile. It needed a character so full of gentleness and good-temper to sustain the intolerable weight of responsibility which the war threw upon the shoulders of the President. Most men would have been crushed by the burden. His serenity of temper saved Lincoln. Except when the miserable necessity of having to sign the order for a military execution took away his sleep, he carried on his work without any visible sign of over-strain.

Not the least of Lincoln's achievements is to be found in the fact that though for four years he wielded a power and a personal authority greater than that exercised by any monarch on earth, he never gave satirist or caricaturist the slightest real ground for declaring that his sudden rise in world-wide fame had turned the head of the backwoodsman. Under the circumstances, there would have been every excuse for Lincoln, had he assumed to his subordinates somewhat of the bearing of the autocrat he was. It is a sign of the absolute sincerity and good sense of the President that he was under no sort of a temptation to do so. Lincoln was before all things a gentleman, and the good taste inseparable from that character made it impossible for him to be spoiled by power and position. This grace and strength of character is never better shown than in the letters to his generals, victorious or defeated. When they were beaten, he was anxious to share the blame; when victorious he was instant to deny by anticipation any rumor that he had inspired the strategy of the campaign. If a general had to be reprimanded, he did it as only the most perfect of gentlemen could do it. He could convey the severest censure without inflicting any wound that would not heal, and this not by using round-about expressions, but in the plainest language. "He writes to me like a father," were the heart-felt words of a commander who had been reproved by the President. Throughout these communications, the manner in which he not only conceals but altogether sinks all sense that the men to whom they were addressed were in effect his subordinates is worthy of special note. "A breath could make


them, as a breath had made," and yet Lincoln writes as if his generals were absolutely independent.


From the London Spectator.

We have said something on the previous occasion of Lincoln as a man and as the leader of a great cause. We desire now to dwell upon a point which is often neglected in considering the career of the hero of the Union, but which, from the point of view of letters, is of absorbing interest. No criticism of Mr. Lincoln can be in any sense adequate which does not deal with his astonishing power over words. It is not too much to say of him that he is among the greatest masters of prose ever produced by the English race. Self-educated, or rather not educated at all in the ordinary sense, as he was, he contrived to obtain an insight and power in the handling of the mechanism of letters such as has been given to few men in his, or, indeed, in any age. That the gift of oratory should be a natural gift is understandable enough, for the methods of the orator, like those of the poet, are primarily sensuous, and may well be instinctive. Mr. Lincoln's achievement seems to show that no less is the writing of prose an endowment of nature. Mr. Lincoln did not get his ability to handle prose through his gift of speech. That these are separate though co-ordinate faculties is a matter beyond dispute, for many of the great orators of the world have proved themselves exceedingly inefficient in the matter of deliberate composition. Mr. Lincoln enjoyed both gifts. His letters, dispatches, memoranda and written addresses are even better than his speeches; and in speaking thus of Mr. Lincoln's prose we are not thinking merely of certain pieces of inspired rhetoric. We do not praise his work because, like Mr. Bright, he could exercise his power of coining illuminating phrases as effectively upon paper as on the platform. It is in his conduct of the pedestrian portions of composition that Mr. Lincoln's genius for prose style is exhibited. Mr. Bright's writing cannot claim to answer the description which Hazlitt has given of the successful prose-writer's performance. Mr. Lincoln's can. What Hazlitt says is complete and perfect in definition. He tells us that the prose-writer so uses his pen "that he loses no particle of the exact characteristic extreme impression of the thing he writes about;" and with equal significance he points out that "the prose-writer is master of his materials," as "the poet is the slave of his style."


If these words convey a true definition, then Mr. Lincoln is a master of prose. Whatever the subject he has in hand, whether it be bald or impassioned, businesslike or pathetic, we feel that we "lose no particle of the exact characteristic extreme impression" of the thing written about. We have it all, and not merely a part. Every line shows that the writer is master of his materials; that he guides the words, never the words him. This is, indeed, the predominant note throughout all Mr. Lincoln's work. We feel that he is like the engineer who controls some mighty reservoir. As he desires, he opens the various sluice-gates, but for no instant is the water not under his entire control. We are sensible in reading Mr. Lincoln's writing, that an immense force is gathered up behind him, and that in each jet that flows, every drop is meant. Some writers only leak; others half flow through determined channels, half leak away their words like a broken lock when it is emptying. The greatest, like Mr. Lincoln, send out none but clear-shaped streams.

Mr. Lincoln was very fond of music, though he could execute none himself. He had no critical taste, and probably would not have relished the class of music affected in the higher realms of the art, known to connoisseurs as classical music. But he knew when music suited him, and it filled his great soul full of ecstasy; but it was inartistic music.

He once said, in my hearing, that all other pleasures had a utility, but that music was simply a pleasure and nothing more, and that he fancied that the Creator, after providing all the mechanism for carrying on the world, made music as a simple, unalloyed pleasure, merely as such.

He also was especially fond of negro minstrel performances, and, as stated before, on or about the 23d day of March, 1860, only a few weeks before the sitting of the Chicago convention, he was at Chicago attending the United States Court, being then quite a candidate for the Presidency. I had three tickets presented to me for Rumsey&Newcomb's Minstrels, a high-toned troupe, and I asked him if he would like to go to a "nigger show" that night; he assented rapturously; his words were: "Of all things I would rather do to-night, that


suits me exactly," and I never saw him apparently enjoy himself more than he did at that entertainment. He applauded as often as anybody, and with greater heartiness. The nondescript song and dance of Dixie was sung and acted by this troupe, the first time I ever saw it, and probably the first time it was sung and acted in Illinois. I can remember well the spontaneity of Lincoln's enthusiasm, and the heartiness of his applause at the music and action of this rollicking and eccentric performance. Little did we then think that this weird and harmless melody would ere long be transformed into a fierce battle cry by whose inspiration slaughter and carnage would be carried into the ranks of those who bared their bosoms to save the nation's life. Little did he think of this as he clapped his great brawny hands in true rustic heartiness and exclaimed, in riotous enthusiasm: "Let's have it again! Let's have it again."

Mr. Lincoln's morals were chaste and unobjectionable; he used tobacco in no form whatever. Upon one single occasion (although I have seen him very angry), I heard him use the word "damn," and that was not in an angry, but in a roguish, mood.

Once I remember several of us drove out to the residence of Reason Hooten, near Danville, where we were treated to several varieties of home-made wine. A mere sip of each affected Lincoln, and he said comically: "Fellers, I'm getting drunk." That was the nearest approach to inebriety I ever saw in him.

He never made personal appeals to any one for favors or concessions; if he had a request to make, he would present it in a plain, clear, manly way, simply putting it on its merits, but would not use cajolery or persuasion to accomplish it.

I recollect once in a murder case, I was employed to prosecute, and Lincoln to defend. The defense was extremely anxious to have a plea of guilty of manslaughter entered by consent. I would not consent, and the defense induced Lincoln to come to me, supposing he would entreat me, and that


I would yield. Lincoln accordingly came, but not to entreat me, although he, too, was quite anxious on the subject. He merely said: "Whitney, in this Barrett case, we are willing to plead guilty of manslaughter and let Davis send him up for eight years, the full term, if you are willing." I was mad about something and replied curtly, "But you see I am NOT willing." Lincoln accepted this as final and said no more -- not another word. He returned to his clients, and I heard him say to them: "We can't make that arrangement, but must go to trial."

I have elsewhere affirmed that Mr. Lincoln was a gentleman, and I again refer to the subject in order to emphasize it.

No term is so frequently misapplied: the conventional test of gentility is to wear a silk hat, fine clothes and patent leather shoes.

The world has not yet learned that,

"Worth makes the man; the want of it the fellow,
The rest is all but leather and prunella."

George IV was styled the "first gentleman in England:" contrariwise, he was the first scoundrel; as his base treatment of Queen Caroline attests. Doubtless his friend, Beau Brummel, was also called a gentleman. As well might one term "Rabelais" a genteel book, because it was bound in velvet and morocco.

The term "gentleman," properly used, means very much. One of Mr. Lincoln's successors was waited on by an office-seeker with strong recommendations. The sleek President received him graciously, listened to him genteelly, and definitely promised him the office. As the delighted applicant was about to leave, the President said, significantly: "before you leave town you had better see the Secretary of the Treasury." This he did, and was informed by the Secretary that the President had, that morning, appointed his rival in his own handwriting.


This man was President and a professed Christian, but he was not a gentleman.

Smith meets Jones and says joyously: "I am so delighted to see you and I hope you are well." Jones replies sadly: "I'm sorry I am not: my physician says I have heart disease and may drop dead any moment." Smith rejoins: "Sho! well, how is wheat to-day?" Was Smith a gentleman? Not much. But if Lincoln promised an office, he performed it. If he told one he was glad to see him, he was sincere. If he ventured to hope a man was well, he meant it. He would not even subscribe to the conventional white social lies.

In his relations to womankind he was spotless,

* * * "no marble saint niched in cathedral aisle,"
was more secure from harm from him; adroit female lobbyists, adorned with the brightest carnation hues, and facile society women smoled their sweetest smiles upon him, in vain. One such, who thought she had made a decided impression, was dismissed with a note to Stanton: "This woman, dear Stanton, is smarter than she appears." While a poor girl, who didn't "wear hoops," got the coveted pardon at once.

He had a critical sense of propriety and of honor. In traveling with a crowd of wild lawyers he regaled them with anecdotes more robust than ideal: but when a lady was of the party he entertained them equally well, but without the slightest indelicate allusion.

He pronounced Samuel Hitt, of Ogle County, to be a perfect gentleman, and gave me this as an illustration: One of our friends turned his political coat at once, and, meeting Mr. Hitt, made a lame attempt to explain and justify his course; to which, after listening courteously to his feeble excuse, his sole reply was: "You're a fool."

And Lincoln added: "Hitt talked to me an half-hour about this defection, but never once mentioned the epithet he had used." The idea being that, while a spirit of indignation


authorized the use of the epithet to the delinquent, gentle manners required that the incident be not repeated to others.

Society, as we find it, is scarcely more artificial and insincere than the mock ladies and gentlemen we see in the drama, and social attrition and experience reveal the sad fact that,

"A man may smile and smile and be a villain still."

But, notwithstanding the rare combination of the highest moral and intellectual qualities required to make the definition complete: of Abraham Lincoln it may be properly averred that he is entitled to

"The grand old name of GENTLEMAN."

To recapitulate: Mr. Lincoln had great intellectual powers; was a master of logic and dialectics; had excellent judgment; and knew with precision the laws of, and relations between, cause and effect.

He had a moral courage which was sublime: which nothing could daunt or impair: which enabled him to weave his own clear convictions into his administrative acts: and which compelled him to remorselessly pursue the path of duty, undismayed by obstacles, however threatening.

His conceptions of equal and exact justice were so clear and well defined, and his judgment so accurate, that the nation was content to adopt and acquiesce in his policies, as a rule: and he really ruled the country with kind and beneficent, but despotic, sway: yet so unobtrusively, and "he bore his faculties so meekly," that his strong will was not visible, except in beneficent and necessary acts of administration.

He was animated by one single object, and to its attainment, he directed all of his great powers and the resources and credit of the nation. The Radicals tried to divert his attention from this object, to the forcible, untimely abolition of


slavery: the Rebel commissioners tried to induce him to attempt the conquest of Mexico; a foolish element wanted him to try conclusions with England; he thrust aside all these schemes as idle fancies; "the UNION with him arose to the sublimity of a religious mysticism;" its restoration was his sole duty; from its performance he did not for one moment swerve; to its execution he consecrated his life; and he sealed the bond of the regenerated nation with his precious blood.

Finally, "he was the instrument of God: -- the Divine Spirit, which in another day of regeneration took the form of an humble artisan of Galilee, had clothed itself in * * * a man of lowly birth and degree;" and, as "the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church," so was the martyrdom of Lincoln the pledge and promise of a regenerated Republic, under whose panoply, liberty and enlightenment shall dwell together for ages -- from whose example republicanism shall ultimately supplant legitimacy, aristocracy, king-craft and despotism throughout the earth.

Court House at Petersburgh


Chapter VII. The Romance of Ann Rutledge.

Love rules the court -- the camp -- the grove,
And men below and saints above,
For love is Heaven, and Heaven is love.

And when a lady's in the case,
You know all other things give place.

The course of true love never did run smooth.

By pain of heart, now check'd and now impelled,
The intellectual power through words and things
Went sounding on -- a dim and perilous way.

What love is, if thou would'st be taught,
Thy heart must teach alone,
Two souls with but a single thought,
Two hearts that beat as one.

"Love laughs at locksmiths," they say; it has no law nor logic; no rules nor system; naught but idiosyncracies.

"And when a lady's in the case,
You know all other things give place."

When the heartless libertine, Aaron Burr, married the widow Prevost, his wild licentious life was changed into one of perfect propriety; his home was almost ideal; his habits were regular; he found no happiness but at his domestic hearth. His daughter Theodosia venerated him as a religious ascetic does a cherished saint, and he regarded her with no less devotion.

But when his home circle was broken up, he became again a reckless debauchee, and left a dishonored name,

"At which the world grew pale
To point a moral and adorn a tale."

Site of "Rutledge Mill", at New Salem


Andrew Jackson was an untamed and untamable moral savage in his intercourse with men, but perfectly tractable and courteous in his association with women; and the whole ardor and impetuosity of his stern and irascible nature was concentrated in his illicit love for Mrs. Robards, not yet then divorced, whom he finally espoused; after which he breathed out threatenings and slaughter to all who ventured to condemn their originally irregular connection; and when this extremely amiable and attractive looking woman died (from an excess of joy, inducing apoplexy) just after and because the General was elected to the Presidency, his heart was buried with her; and he caused a most pathetic eulogy to be inscribed on her tomb, in which he reminded the world of, and berated her slanderers. This kind woman, who could neither read nor write, controlled him: a thing the entire Congress of the United States, and the entire cultured classes, acting in unison, failed to accomplish.

Yet he could not endure everything. When a friend rode out from Nashville to announce the General's appointment as Territorial Governor of Florida she was wild with joy, for she was as ambitious as Napoleon Bonaparte: "Will I be Governess, General?" cried she. "No," exclaimed the irate husband, "you will be nothing but a -------- fool, as ever."

The last word of Charles the Second was an entreaty to his courtiers to take care of the woman who had been the pander to his libidinousness; the parting admonition of Lord Nelson to the English nation was in behalf of his paramour, Lady Hamilton, who cast the only dark shadow on the colossal fame of the world's greatest admiral. Nor need I mention the many cases in remote and recent history of the world's greatest heroes, statesmen and divines risking their all for the glamour and witchery of illicit love.

Less dramatic and sensational, but of equal import as denning and illustrating character, is the impress made upon men and women of strong wills and brilliant intellects


by pure and consecrated love. The case of Thomas Carlyle and Jane Welsh is strongly in point here; and likewise that of John Stuart Mill and his wife; of William Ewart Gladstone and his wife; and of Mrs. Lewes and her husband, albeit he was at the same time the husband of another; and the case of Burr, just mentioned.

All history attests that men of the greatest force of intellect and character have been weak and flaccid in the region of the heart. The coarse story of Susanna and the Elders; the thrilling episode of Abelard and Heloise, the infatuation of Antony for Cleopatra, are but types of well-known classes. The pathetic romance of Paul and Virginia finds a responsive echo in every gallant heart; the pleading of Ruth with Naomi strikes a sympathetic chord in every noble nature; the drama of Romeo and Juliet will never be rehearsed to dull ears till human nature is shorn of its pathos; and many an unrecorded Leander besides the laurelled one has swam some Hellespont to hold tender dalliance with the queen of his heart.

To the account of Abraham Lincoln, in the great ledger of human conduct, which will be balanced on that awful Day of Days, is no debit written on the page inscribed and dedicated to, "The purity and chastity of woman." Yet this greatest man of his era -- this man of resolute purpose and of inflexible will -- this ruler and saviour of a nation of forty millions of people, had a heart as soft and susceptible in the way of gallantry to the fair sex as Topham Beauclerc; in the way of pity as Thomas De Quincey. Indeed, his Attorney-General, Mr. Bates, said that a woman could obtain any legitimate favor she might ask from him, by her tears.

His first attachment seems to have been in his callow youth with a little Miss Kate Roby, she being fifteen and he seventeen. They were school-mates, and their bare-footed attachment seems to have embraced merely the spice and condiment, without any of the seriousness, of love.

The Lovers' Path

Road at New Salem


But the most important factor in the shaping of Mr. Lincoln's career and destiny, except his alliance with Mary Todd, was his infatuation for the gentle and guileless Ann Rutledge, and its tragical denouement. To Wm. H. Herndon are we indebted for a full exposition of this life drama, in a lecture delivered in 1867, and, in view of its effect upon Mr. Lincoln's character, it ought to be better understood than Lincoln's biographers seem willing that it should be.

By reference to a pen sketch of New Salem, at its center, will appear the site of a hotel and two stores opposite. They are all gone now, and their very location could scarcely be traced. Yet within the radius of a few feet of this spot was enacted a drama which changed the whole current of Lincoln's nature, from a light-hearted and blithesome, to a misanthropical and melancholy man; which aroused and brought to the surface the latent melancholy and depression which he inherited from his ancestry; which fastened upon and ingrained in his nature that frequent desire for solitude, and those habits of deep and earnest reflection which were the basis of his greatness and uniqueness.

To my mind the life and death of Ann Rutledge was not a misadventure, or in vain; but that when the veil is withdrawn from the things that are now hidden, the existence and being of this modest and unobtrusive girl of an obscure hamlet, will be hailed as one of the agents of Destiny in the salvation and regeneration of the nation.

The insignificant state of South Carolina was in the ante-bellum days noted for distinguished families and pride of ancestry; and among its honored names none was more pre-eminent than that of Rutledge.

One of its members was by Washington appointed as Chief Justice of the United States; another was later a leader in the American Congress -- when leadership was entrusted not, as now, to noisy demagogues; and one of the


honored names appended to the Declaration of Independence was that of Edward Rutledge. In the year 1828 or '29, one James Rutledge, a cousin of this distinguished family, settled at New Salem. He had, among his other children, one born January 7th, 1813, called Ann Mays, who was not only a girl of exquisite grace and beauty, but also possessed of a womanly nature and a deep sense of the responsibilities of life.

The young men of the little hamlet, as she developed into womanhood, became enamored of her, and more than one endeavored to gain the wealth of her virgin affection. In this, one John McNeil, a promising young merchant, succeeded, and they became pledged to each other in marriage, in 1832.

Before consummating their union, however, McNeil's father died in New York, and he announced to his fiancee that he must return home, settle the estate, and bring out his mother, brother, and sister to his farm, for a home. He proposed to be absent one year. He was gone home more than three, and did not, in his sparse and fitful correspondence, give any valid reason for his long absence. Meanwhile, a rumor took shape and was demonstrated, that McNeil was not his real, but was an assumed, name; and upon the peremptory demand, by letter, of Miss Rutledge for an explanation of so undignified and suspicious a circumstance, he nonchalantly replied that when he saw her he would fully explain.

The sensitive and proud-spirited girl then summarily dismissed the lover with a plethora of names: and soon afterward, Lincoln's heart capitulated to the charms of the beautiful, but now melancholy, girl, and they were engaged to be married in the spring of 1836: -- Miss Rutledge meanwhile proposing to take a winter term of academical instruction in the academy at Jacksonville, where her brother then was studying; while Lincoln should apply himself to the law


assiduously so as to be admitted to the bar, the intention of the pair being to settle in Springfield and start on life's journey in the succeeding spring.

Pen Sketch of New Salem

Miss Ann was ill at ease, however: she had loved McNeil, and it was hard to reconcile her feelings to his perfidy and her loss. It preyed upon her mind, and enfeebled her constitution to such an extent that she was a target for disease; and, in fact, she fell a prey thereto.

In the summer of 1835 she had an attack of typhoid fever, in which she would frequently become delirious and start up wildly in bed and call piteously for "Lincoln." While forbidding any but the family to see her, the physician considered that this request so frequently urged should be accorded, and Lincoln was summoned to her bedside in the -- soon to be -- chamber of death, and he was left alone with her for a half-hour. What passed between the dying girl and her impassioned lover was never revealed on earth, but when he retired from that pathetic interview, his mind showed symptoms of great agony; and when on August 25th of that year this unfortunate girl died, Lincoln gave way to a melancholy and despair that were appalling. He was deemed insane; he talked to himself incoherently; started to walk in a certain direction and suddenly changed his mind and wandered off in a new direction, without aim or object; then would sit in solitude, immersed in silence and abstraction. A watch was put on him by discreet friends; suicide was feared; it was not deemed safe to leave him alone.

Probably the best friend he had at New Salem was Bowling Green. He lived on a farm near New Salem, and it was deemed to be the best policy to have Lincoln in the custody of Mr. Green, and he was accordingly induced to take up his abode there for a few weeks.

His condition was pitiable in the extreme. He used to mourn for his lost love, and when storms would come he


would exclaim in tones of heart-rending anguish: "The rain shan't come to my darling's grave."

When the time came to cut up corn, Lincoln was taken to the field and allowed to help some, in order to divert his mind, and gradually in fair weather he was allowed to go off alone; but his predilection was to visit the Concord graveyard and bedew the grave of the early loved and lost with tears, and salute the departed spirit of the dead with the voice of woe and lamentation; and it was a frequent habit of his to steal furtively into the little hamlet after nightfall from the direction of the sacred precincts of the dead.

His grief wore upon him. He grew thin and appeared haggard and melancholy; those fits of abstraction and absent-mindedness, so common in his later years, commenced; that brooding melancholy, so marked and characteristic of him, appeared; his habit of meaningless soliloquy, which I have described elsewhere, was engendered; his heart was buried in the grave of his affianced, as he himself, in an unguarded moment, once said; and it was never exhumed.

Accounts differ as to his humor before and after this interlude in his life, but I apprehend that there was a germ of melancholy in his composition from his natal hour, and earlier; but it was developed and intensified by the bedside and at the grave of the dying and dead girl, and that the mantle of oblivion was altogether inadequate to hide it.

The poem, entitled "Immortality," so well known, and which I give in full in another chapter, fell under his notice during the winter succeeding Miss Rutledge's death, and Lincoln adopted it and repeated it on all occasions, and under all circumstances. He has been heard to repeat it sotto voce to himself when he supposed no one was by, and he would repeat it to any one who mentioned it. Somehow it became associated in his mind with his affianced, and it afforded him a melancholy pleasure to dwell on her memory by its inspiration.

Lincoln's Home at New Salem

Well at New Salem


To what extent the heart sorrows and wounded pride of Miss Rutledge contributed toward her illness, is a matter of mere conjecture; ideal natures who are cognizant of the facts attribute her sickness and death primarily, if not exclusively, to a broken heart; while prosaic individuals, with an eye solely to the practical, conclude that it was a simple, plain case of bodily disease, and no more. I can but think that her sensibilities were very deeply involved in her illness. She was a rare and radiant being, worthy of any man's love, and she had a surfeit of suitors, being the elite of that little society; but her affections clung to this McNeil as the delicate tendrils of the ivy cling to the unsightly ruins.

"Man's love is of his life a thing apart;
'Tis woman's whole existence."

I am bound to conclude that a young lady of the pure, noble and almost ideal character which all parties accord to this estimable girl, could not transfer her affections from her first lover to another, without a shock of greater or less intensity; she had been trifled with by the man to whom she accorded the wealth of her virgin affections; she was under the ban of suspense, for what hidden and occult mystery lay concealed beneath the terrible mask of that alias, she could not divine; fear tortured her heart; anxiety beclouded her mind; the pride of the Rutledges had been strained; she had been pitied -- which to her sensitive nature was but little better than being scorned -- for her misfortunes; and as we cannot know her nature, we also cannot know her sorrows.

Had she married Lincoln it would have been well, although my belief is he never would have been President; for, as I elsewhere lay the basis for deduction and may not improperly now aver, a tranquil hearthstone and attendant domestic felicity were inharmonious with the lessons in patience, tribulation and self-introspection necessary to meet the temper-exhausting incidents of


leadership in a four-years death struggle between five millions of men -- required to mould and fashion the emancipator of a race from constitutionally secured and judicially confirmed bondage.

And thus, into the web and woof of the rehabilitated nation is not only interwoven the patient labor, heart sorrows and tragic end of Abraham Lincoln, and the ephemeral glitter, long remorse, mental darkness and melancholy death of Mary Lincoln, but likewise the "sickening pains of hope deferred" -- the pangs of despised love -- the trysting -- exchange of lover's vows -- mental anguish -- heart-breaking sorrows -- pathetic romance -- and untimely death of the fair, modest and winsome ANN RUTLEDGE -- "the beautiful and tender dead."

The Grave of Ann Rutledge

Sangamon River


Chapter VIII. Lincoln as a "Merry Andrew."

"I laugh because I must not weep -- that's all, that's all!" (Sadly.)

"Lincoln's stories were merely devices to whistle down sadness."

"His broad, good humor * * *was a rich gift to this wise man."

"A man so various that he seemed to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome
* * * *
Was chemist, fiddler, statesman and buffoon."

Hermione. -- * * * Pray, you sit by us,
And tell's a tale."

Mamilius. --"Merry or sad shalt be?"
Hermione --"As merry as you will."
-- Winter's Tale.

HIS POWERS as a story-teller can never be appreciated by those who did not know him personally. In our walks about the little towns where courts were held, he saw ludicrous elements in everything, and could either narrate some story from his storehouse of jokes, else he could improvise one; he saw the ludicrous in an assemblage of fowls, in a man spading his garden, in a clothes-line full of clothes, in a group of boys, in a lot of pigs rooting at a mill door, in a mother duck learning her brood to swim; in anything and everything Lincoln saw some ludicrous incident; but his wit never wounded any one; his stories had no barb nor sting, and did not leave upon the hearer any impression that the narrator was either trifling, frivolous or light-minded.

There was a zest and bouquet about his stories when narrated by himself that could not be translated or transcribed.


One might as well attempt to reproduce the eloquence of Mr. Clay or the naming anger of General Jackson. The story may be retold literally, every word, period and comma, but the real humor perished with Lincoln.

No one could relate a story without reminding him of a similar one, and if a good story-teller was present, he was more than willing to divide the time. He was as much amused as any of his hearers at his own stories, and laughed more heartily than any one; he provoked as much laughter by the grotesque expression of his homely face as by the abstract fun of his stories.

Lawyers, politicians and statesmen have pondered in vain attempts to explain the rationale of this wonderful trait. There was a charm about his story-telling that was captivating and irresistible, and which it was impossible to describe or explain. He never ran out of a stock, and his stories, no matter how frequently repeated, never grew stale or dull by repetition. Whenever he attempted to illustrate a point or a subject, by an anecdote, he always succeeded. His stories were never mal apropos. I never knew him to offend or shock his auditors by a story unless he designed, as he occasionally did, to impress some particular individual. He tempered his stories to the style and character, of his audience. He never offended a crowd of roystering boys, or wild western lawyers, with esthetic stories; and he caused no assemblage of ladies or ascetic males to blush at anything which should not be mentioned to ears polite. He would frequently improvise his stories, and some of his most comical efforts were of impromptu wit. In addition to the pastime afforded by his story-telling, there was a double utility in it, in withdrawing his mind from brooding melancholy, and from the severe mental strain which, unless relieved, would have broken him down; and also in concealing his intentions and views in a mode not suggestive of secrecy or calculated to produce disagreeable impressions.

This utility is graphically expressed by Emerson, thus:


"Then his broad, good humor, running easily into jocular talk, in which he delighted, and in which he excelled, was a rich gift to this wise man. It enabled him to keep his secret, to meet every kind of man and every rank in society, to take off the edge of the severest decisions, to mask his own purpose and sound his companion, and to catch with true instinct the temper of every company he addressed. And, more than all, it is to a man of severe labor, in anxious and exhausting crises, the natural restorative, good as sleep, and is the protection of the over-driven brain against rancor and insanity."

It may also be said of this trait as was said of his great prototype, William of Orange: "His jocoseness was partly natural, partly intentional. In the darkest hours of his country's trial, he affected a serenity which he did not always feel, so that his apparent gayety at momentous epochs was even censured by dullards who could not comprehend its philosophy. He went through life, bearing the load of a people's sorrows upon his shoulders, with a smiling face."

It will be noticed, however, that his work, his business, bore no trace of levity; the political speeches of Burke, Chatham, Webster or Sumner are not more stately or dignified than Lincoln's; the state papers of Adams or Jefferson are not more massive and severely classical than his; when he entered upon cabinet consultations, no president or premier was more sober or methodical than he, no business proceeding more systematic and responsible.

He was, indeed, jocular, but it formed no part of the "web," "woof," or "filling" of the fabric of destiny woven by his administration.

He had his moments of ease like anybody, and then he sometimes chose to be jocular, but it was "to knit up the ravelled sleeve of care," and with it the public had no concern, no more than it had a concern for what he ate for dinner.

Mr. Lincoln's jocularity had an utility; it was not a mere diversion, hence it was not charged up against him as


a demerit, as such diversion usually is to mere jokers. A sort of masked contempt -- contempt in disguise -- exists against jokers per se: those whose joking proclivity is ingrained: those who use jokes as an end.

We have no such regard for Sydney Smith as we have for Francis Jeffrey; none such for Douglas Jerrold as for John Wilson; none such for Artemus Ward as for Nathaniel Hawthorne.

We think more highly of James E. Murdoch as a man than we do of John Owens; more highly of George William Curtis than of the most ridiculous of the newspaper wags. Thomas Ewing, of Ohio, who never uttered a joke in his life, has a more enviable reputation than Tom Corwin, who was always a close disciple of Momus.

But Lincoln was sui generis in his pleasantry as in all else. There was a philosophy in his humor which segregated it out from the mass of humor and made it acceptable to the people.

Emerson puts the case strongly thus: "He is the author of a multitude of good sayings so disguised as pleasantries that it is certain they had no reputation at first but as jests, and only later, by the very acceptance and adoption they find in the mouths of millions, turn out to be the wisdom of the hour."

And he adds: "I am sure if this man had ruled in a period of less facility of printing, he would have become mythological in a very few years, like Esop, or Pilpay, or one of the seven wise masters, by his fables and proverbs."

See the philosophy of his reply to one of his friends, a hater of Buchanan, who asked him, on inauguration day, if he preferred to go to the Capitol in a barouche with Buchanan, or to go alone. Now it was, of course, a necessity that he ride with Buchanan, but it was his privilege, if not his duty, to show his contempt for him, yet without expressing


it; so he achieved both objects, without grating at all on the feelings of his interlocutor, by this answer: "That puts me in mind of a man dressed like a Quaker, who, coming into court as a witness, was asked if he would swear or affirm. ‘I don't care a damn which,’ was the reply."

Again, when a deputation visited him and urged emancipation before he was ready, he argued that he couldn't enforce it, and, to illustrate, asked them: "How many legs will a sheep have if you call the tail a leg?" They answered: "Five." "You are mistaken," said Lincoln, "for calling a tail a leg, don't make it so;" and that exhibited the fallacy of their position more than twenty syllogisms would.

It would be quite impossible to determine definitely what stories were at second-hand and which improvised.

I have heard him tell hundreds and hundreds of stories which he never repeated in my hearing, most of which bore internal evidences of having been made up on the spot; and then I have heard of stories which bore the stamp and had the literary aroma of Lincoln, of the same sort.

Thus: Some persons had a wonderful device for warlike operations, which they were desirous to have the government adopt; so they visited the President -- three of them -- and tried to impress him with their views. He sent them to Stanton. He sent them to the Chief of Ordnance. Their device was, like many others hatched up, of no practical value; but they were persistent, and returned to Lincoln and informed him that no one would give proper attention to their device, and that it was his duty, as President, to give it his attention. "That reminds me," said he, "of the Sunday-school boy. His teacher gave him a Bible lesson to learn about the martyrs mentioned in the Old Testament. He got along very well till he came to the three Hebrew children, and he could not, for the life of him, pronounce their names. So he was told to try it again and report next Sunday. So he began again, and got along


nicely till he reached the same place, and there he stuck again, and exclaimed: ‘Tarnation, there come them three old bores again.’ "

I have this story on excellent authority; it certainly sounds very probable. A gentleman of high character and of patriotic resolve once called, highly accredited, on the President, to instruct him how affairs might be better managed than they were. He committed the not uncommon blunder of supposing that Lincoln had not thoroughly digested all "union saving" plans, and could not be aided by outside and irresponsible advisers.

As soon as he broached his subject, Lincoln interrupted him by the most silly, grotesque and inapplicable anecdote -- as far away from the subject of conversation as possible. The visitor was shocked and indignant; he had thoroughly matured a plan to expedite the return of peace and save thousands of human lives, as well as the nation, and had traveled a thousand miles at his own expense to impart it to the President and to make it personally certain that it would be adopted; and then, in that solemn crisis of the nation's fate, to behold the President assume the role of a clown and turn grotesque somersaults; why, it was worse than Nero fiddling at the conflagration of Rome! The result was that he retired, utterly astounded and discomfited, from the presence of the jester who sat in the presidential chair, and went to one of the secretaries, who was a neighbor, and narrated the incident. But instead of receiving condolence, his neighbor burst into a long and boisterous fit of merriment. The astonished and discomfited patriot exclaimed: "Now, you say that Lincoln's stories always have some object or moral: please tell me what object or moral such an absurd, irrelevant, clownish story could possibly have?" "What object?" exclaimed the cabinet minister. "The most necessary object in the world at that time: to get rid of you and get to his business, and, according to your own story, he did it."


Where did Lincoln get all his funny stories from? He himself introduced me to Mr. Hacker, of Union County, whom he had known in the legislature, and said he: "This is the man who learned me nearly all of my funny stories." And Judge Treat told me that he once lent Lincoln a copy of "Joe Miller," and Lincoln kept it for a while and evidently learned its entire contents, for he found Lincoln narrating the stories contained therein around the circuit, but very much embellished and changed, evidently by Lincoln himself.

He was wont to narrate this experience in Congress while he was there. Tellers being somehow ordered on an unimportant matter, a pudgy, bibulous member started in a zigzag, bacchanalian gait from the rear of the house down the center aisle, making strenuous efforts to keep his head in line, "as if he had a drop of sweat on the end of his nose and was fearful it would fall off," to use Lincoln's words; the sight was so ludicrous that the attention of the house was fixed on this staggering devotee of Bacchus, and no member attempted to follow; but when he got near the tellers, supposing something to be wrong, he carefully turned his head, and, seeing no one following, he said: "Oh! Hell!" and abruptly turned around, and gravely, the best he could, staggered back to his seat. The house roared with laughter of course.

He really liked joke books, and among others which I know to have been favorites, were "Recollections of A. Ward, Showman," "Flush Times of Alabama," Petroleum V. Nasby's letters, and Joe Miller's joke book. He would read them aloud to whomsoever he could get to listen to him.

At the Bloomington convention in 1856 he introduced the polite and courtly Browning to the unpolished and irreverent Wentworth. They had never met. "I have never had the pleasure of meeting you, but I have heard much of


you," began the facile Browning. "Damned much against me," ejaculated Wentworth. It struck Lincoln as being very comical. I heard him repeat it a dozen times that day.

A lawyer, whose name I suppress, was arguing a case at Danville, and getting excited as he would gesticulate, his coat tails would fly apart and disclose a white expanse, "not down in the (wash) bills," and caused by a temporary rent. The boys deemed it funny enough for a joke, and started a penny subscription to "buy a patch for -------- pantaloons." It took well till it reached Lincoln, who promptly wrote: "I can't contribute anything to the end in view."

A distinguished author informed me that the first time he ever saw Lincoln was at the Danville (Ill.) circuit court, and that he sat up nearly all night listening to him, Ned Hannegan, John Pettit, Linder and Dan Mace telling stories, and that Lincoln beat them all; and he added that it was the best show he ever attended.

This was before I knew the circuit -- probably about 1852. Of course David Davis, the judge, was also present, and thus we see, in the old weather-boarded log tavern at Danville, in one group, Mr. Lincoln, who became the greatest historical figure in the nineteenth century; E. A. Hannegan, then a U. S. Senator from Indiana, and the most brilliant Senator that state ever had; John Pettit, the other U. S. Senator, afterward one of the Kansas territorial judges; General Linder, the most brilliant orator that ever lived in Illinois; Dan Mace, then the Congressman from the Lafayette district, and the most brilliant member of the lower house of Congress that Indiana ever had; David Davis, afterward U. S. Supreme Judge and U. S. Senator; and finally my informant, who became a great general, and who afterward became still more famous in letters.

Probably among the stories which were included in the repertoire that evening was the story about Pettit himself, which I have heard Lincoln tell oftentimes, and whose title


might be, "If the court understands herself and she thinks she do," etc. (A small fee is usually charged to hear the rest.)

Lincoln was much amused at this story, which he used to tell: In 1858 he had an appointment in Cumberland County, and after he had spoken, a Dr. Hamburgher (a bitter Democrat) impudently jumped up and said he would reply. So Lincoln took a seat on the outer edge of the plank seats and listened.

Hamburgher presently got violent and insulting, when a little, insignificant looking, lame man limped up to Lincoln and said: "Don't mind him; I know him; I live here; I'll take care of him; watch me;" and two or three times he circulated around to Lincoln and repeated the admonition. When Hamburgher concluded, the little lame man was on the platform and at once commenced a reply, and had proceeded but a short time when Hamburgher roared out: "That's a lie." "Never mind," retorted the lame man, patronizingly, "I'll take that from YOU -- in fact, I'll take anything from you, except your pills." This cut the doctor to the raw. "You scoundrel," exclaimed he, "you know I've quit practicing medicine." The little lame man instantly dropped down on his sound knee, and, raising his hands in mock worship, exclaimed: "Then, thank God! the country is safe." That settled Hamburgher. He left the platform and the meeting, totally discomfited by a few strokes of wit.

But it is a singular fact that Lincoln very rarely told stories in his speeches. In both his forensic and political speeches, he got down to serious business, and threw aside the mask of Momus altogether. I never heard him narrate but one story in a speech, which was this: "A man on foot, with his clothes in a bundle, coming to a running stream which he must ford, made elaborate preparations by stripping off his garments, adding them to his bundle, and, tying all to the top of a stick, which enabled him to raise the bundle high above his head to keep them dry during the crossing. He then


fearlessly waded in and carefully made his way across the rippling stream, and found it in no place up to his ankles."

But he was prolific of wisdom in wit like this, to illustrate a point: "If there be three pigeons on a fence, and you fire and kill one of them, how many will be left?" "Why, two, of course," you say innocently. "No, there won't," says this philosopher in disguise, "for the other two will fly away."

A gentleman remarked to Lincoln, in 1864, that the friends of Fremont were anxious to have the National Union convention postponed. "It's very natural they should," quoth Abraham. "There were two men in jail here, a few weeks since, under sentence of death, and their friends were anxious to have the hanging-day postponed."

He was amused at an incident which happened in Edgar " County.

Linder had a slander suit there in which the damages had been laid in the declaration at one thousand dollars. When the trial was reached, Linder moved for leave to increase the ad damnum to ten thousand dollars, to which the other side made no objection, and the judge granted the motion. The jury rendered a verdict of one cent, and Linder was, of course, furious, and all the more so by reason of his preposterous claim.

A similar case in Logan County, occurring in 1854, struck him as ridiculous -- also a slander case. Plaintiff's counsel was a young man of "spread eagle" proclivities, and he made a "rip-roaring speech" to close the case, in which he urged the jury to award the full amount claimed, assured them that mankind was watching their actions closely, and, as a last word, implored them not to "dash the hopes of the world." Their verdict was for defendant.

We had concluded a murder case once in Champaign at noon, in which we had no chance for an acquittal, and hoped the jury would disagree. In the afternoon a young lawyer from another county was making a rousing speech in a whiskey


selling case, in which there was nothing to talk about to the point; but the chap was "wound up" for a big speech and he couldn't stop till he had run down. We were in one corner of the court room, anxiously hoping that our jury, which still remained out, would stay so, and finally disagree. Meanwhile we were bored and amused at the Demosthenean effort going on in a plain case of selling whiskey. "I wish that fellow would stop," said Lincoln. "I'm afraid our jury will agree, for the sake of getting in to hear his speech."

At the White House once I was regaling him with the local news from Champaign (which he was always ready to hear), and I said: "-------- is dead; his extremely disloyal sentiments so provoked his neighbors that there was serious talk of inflicting vengeance on him, and he was found dead in bed -- caused largely by fright." This man was an old Whig friend of Lincoln, but the reason of his exit from life's trials amused him. His comment was: "He died, then, to save his life, it seems."

When Mr. Lincoln went to Cincinnati on the "reaper" case, he met Reverdy Johnson, who was also engaged in the same case, and a social conversation was had between the various distinguished counsel: and the character of Daniel Webster coming in review, Johnson told a story, not generally known, to the effect that in the will of the god-like Daniel, he provided that certain described articles of silver plate should be manufactured and presented to certain of his friends. The plate was ordered by the executors, but when the estate was settled up, it was insolvent, and the legatees took the plate from the jewelers and quietly paid for it out of their own pockets. Johnson told it as a good joke.

Lincoln told me he saw nothing funny about it, and added: "If Johnson were to make such a will, his legatees would be in just such a boat as Webster's."

I recollect once, in the McLean circuit court, that Gridley roasted the city government of Bloomington in a speech made in a misdemeanor case. The fact was that Gridley and


Davis, the two wealthiest citizens of Bloomington, were prejudiced against the city government -- I suppose on account of the high taxes -- and Grid, as we called him, seized this occasion to abuse the government without stint or limit, using language which would have reflected a brilliant carnation lustre on the pages of the Decameron or Rabelais. Davis was edified by reason of the sarcasm, and passed it by, and Lincoln was entranced by reason of the wit and extreme radicalism of the language used. We were sitting together, and a broad grin suffused his countenance for nearly an hour. He would turn to me and whisper, every few moments: "Don't he dew that well?" That sort of thing suited him, but I never heard coarser language in a court in session.

There was a small merchant in Chicago, whom (to suppress his real name) I will call Blower, and who sold out his store and embraced the trade, or profession, of politics. Lincoln had great contempt for him, although he gave him an office; but he said to me one day: "That Blower can compress the most words in the fewest ideas of any man I ever knew."

Thurlow Weed says: "The great merit of Mr. Lincoln's stories, like Captain Bunsby's opinion, lay in the application of it. They always and exactly suited the occasion and the subject: and none to which I ever listened seemed far-fetched or pointless." And General Palmer -- and, indeed, every one -- said the same thing, in almost the same words.

Could any (even professional) wag take off the swagger of the New Jersey Congressman better than this? He called on the President with two of his constituents, in order to see Lincoln, as they would a show. "Mr. President," said he, "this is Mr. X. and Mr. Y., and they are among the weightiest men in Southern New Jersey." After they had gone Lincoln said: "I wonder that end of the state didn't tip up when they got off of it."

We were together when the trial of Sickles was on, and John B. Haskin testified that he and his wife called on Mrs. Sickles


when her husband was absent and found her and Key together -- she mixing salad, an empty champagne bottle being on the table. As they left the house Mrs. Haskin said to her husband: "She is a bad woman." That expression tickled Lincoln's fancy. I have heard him tell it over and over again.

He was very much amused at one of his boys at home, who could not pronounce the word "gentleman" correctly, but pronounced the "g" hard. He took much satisfaction in narrating this, which I have heard him do frequently.

He was very much amused at the showman's advertisement of a "grate sho of snaix."

He was much amused at a story I read him from a paper. Two comrades met, after a long absence. "Where have you been, Jim?" "Oh! it was so quiet at home, I listed and have been in the war since I saw you -- and where have you been?" "Oh! Susie made so much war on me at home that I went out timbering in the woods to get a little peace."

What he said or wrote to his generals was often amusingly put. When a seemingly insurmountable obstacle checked the advance of one of his armies his favorite illustration was:
"Well, if you can't plow through the log, perhaps you can plow around it."

It was the characteristic of Gen. McClellan, the author tells us, that he always regarded bad weather as exceedingly injurious to him, but as never injurious to the other side; so Lincoln once said of him:
"He seems to think, in defiance of Scripture, that heaven sends its rain only on the just, and not on the unjust."

Exasperated at the discrepancy between the aggregate of troops forwarded to the same general and the number the general reported as being received, Lincoln exclaimed:
"Sending men to that army is like shoveling fleas across a barnyard -- not half of them get there."


When one of the northern commanders took the control of a Missouri church out of the hands of its rebel trustees Lincoln disapproved of the measure in a dispatch containing this terse and vigorous phrase, which immediately obtained wide currency:

"The United States government must not, as by this order, attempt to run the churches."

When Grant was accused of intemperance the President answered: "If I knew what brand of whisky he drinks I would send a barrel or so to some other generals."

He once telegraphed to Gen. Hooker: "If the head of Lee's army is at Martinsburg and the tail of it on the plank road between Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the animal must be very slim somewhere. Could you not break him?"

He used to tell of a youth who emigrated from New York to the West and soon wrote back to his father, who was something of a politician: "Dear Dad -- I have settled at -------- and like it first rate. Do come out here, dad, for almighty mean men get office here."

To a member of Congress who applied to him for a mess of patronage, he said: "Your demand illustrates the difference between the abstract and the concrete. When a bill is pending to create more army officers, you take the floor and denounce it (although you dodge a vote on it) as a needless scheme to increase the power and tyranny of the executive; but as soon as the bill becomes a law you come here and demand that all of your brothers-in-law and cousins and nephews be appointed under it: your action in Congress is abstract, but in the executive chamber is concrete."

He used to come into the United States Court room, at Springfield, and exclaim, jocularly: "Ain't you glad to see me?" or, "Ain't you glad I come?"


He once went to Cincinnati to do something about the celebrated patent case of McCormick vs. Manny, before Judge McLean, and speaking about it to me after his return, he said of Judge McLean: "He has considerable vigor of mind, but not the least discrimination. If you were to point your finger at him, and also a needle, he wouldn't know which was the sharper."

His perception of the unbecoming and the ridiculous was as keen and trenchant as that of Dickens. Had the free dinner and unlimited gab nuisance been abroad in the land as now, he would have said: "That feller puts me in mind of the little darkies that sing for pennies: just throw a free feed into the slot and see a funny speech pop out."

He was addicted to ridiculous parody, thus: No one could ever use the term "fac simile" in his presence, without his adding "sick family;" if any one used the expression "idem sonans," in common use as a law term, he would always say "id sons," and Davis (if he was there) would add "Seth Post," all of which meant that Captain Post, of Decatur, used the term improperly, in that way. A leader of the pro-slavery party in Kansas was H. Clay Pate, a vain popinjay who used to get his name in the papers a great deal, and whenever Lincoln heard his name mentioned, he would echo: "H. Mud Pate."

I have heard Lincoln repeat in a sing-song tone a hundred or more times:

"Mortal man, with face of clay,
Here to-morrow, gone to-day."

His favorite story, when on the circuit, was known by us as "The Earthquake Story," and he used to read it out loud in our room from "The Flush Times of Alabama."

I still have the book, and from it he read the story. The leaves where the story is are loose from so much use of it by Lincoln.

It seems that later he took to Petroleum V. Nasby's and Artemus Ward's satires. But they never were anything so


humorous as this. Its author, singular to say, has been one of the Supreme Judges of California for over thirty years. And he was the greatest humorist, also, this country has produced, excepting John Phoenix and Mark Twain alone; although he himself would probably repel such imputation.

Judge Davis possessed an energetic, restless spirit, and as soon as Lincoln had received the nomination (which had been achieved largely through the efforts of the Judge) he thought he ought to be consulted and counseled with, as to the appointments and policy of the incoming administration. But Lincoln didn't seem inclined to that view of the case at all; in fact, the only man in our old circuit that he consulted with at all on national subjects was Leonard Swett, and there were but two other Illinois men whom he thus honored, viz.: Norman B. Judd and Elihu B. Washburne. His old townsmen and friends he gave the go-by to, entirely; he held no conferences, took no advice, and sought no counsel from either Herndon, Logan, Stuart, Hatch or Dubois; two of them had been his partners and Herndon still was so, and the latter had been one of the architects and builders of Lincoln's political fame. Davis tried in various ways to push his schemes, the principal of them being to get his cousin, H. Winter Davis, installed as a cabinet officer or as a foreign minister, and to get himself established either on the Supreme Bench or as a cabinet officer; and, in so doing, made himself offensive to Lincoln, who knew of it in many ways; in fact, Davis had a wonderful gift of loquacity, and as he lived but sixty miles distant, and saw many persons who immediately thereafter saw Lincoln, the latter could not fail to be fully advised of Davis' animus and designs; and it had not gone on long till it was very offensive to the former, so he took the Lincolnian mode of counteracting it, thus: Among others who came to see Lincoln was Thurlow Weed, and Davis somehow managed to "button-hole" him, and (without


seeming to have any personal bias or desire) indoctrinated him with some of his ideas: and with the result that when this wily old intriguer saw the President, and the latter asked his distinguished guest whom he had better name as Secretary of War, the reply was the echo of his recent Bloomington conference; he said: "Henry Winter Davis." Here was Lincoln's opportunity to silence Davis, for he knew that Weed would tell it as an idle joke, and that it would stir the capacious bosom of the Judge to its profoundest depths; so said: "Oh! I see Davis (meaning the Judge) has been posting you up: he has Davis on the brain: I think the east shore of Maryland must be a good place to emigrate from. That puts me in mind of an old feller who was once testifying in a case, and on being asked his age, replied ‘Fifty-three:’ the judge, who knew him to be much older, cautioned him, and repeated and re-repeated the question: the judge then threatened him with punishment if he persisted in his mendacity, to which the witness responded: ‘You are figuring in the time I lived on the eastern shore of Maryland; that don't count.’ " It will be known that that is where the Judge came from, a fact of which, for some reason or other, he was very vain, and while Lincoln was apparently regaling Weed with a little story by the way, he was really serving notice on the Judge that his meddlesome ways were not appreciated and amounted to nothing.

I do not mean to assert that Lincoln always had an exoteric object in his pleasantry, but there was, nevertheless, utility in his story-telling: life to him was too serious a matter to be wasted: he always bore a burden; it was more palpable during the agony of our battles in the Wilderness, than in the petite forensic duels of the eighth circuit: but the same dull, remorseless, crushing weight rested upon his spirits; and his sole relief -- the only way in which he could disincumber himself from that terrible incubus, was by introducing Mr. Merryman and the clown; and so his diversion, instead of being an empty, inane and undignified interlude, had


either the utilitarian exoteric object of achieving a practical result, as in the case just given, or else the esoteric one, of creating a rent in the gloomy cloud which darkened his spirits, and revealing the azure sky of tranquility for a brief moment.

I am not sure but he sometimes took a trifle of comfort in impaling an object disagreeable to him, with a sarcasm, as thus: One of our contemporaries made a labored effort in a hog case, in which he used the term "pigz" too often for the comfort of his auditors, and the disgusted and bored judge said: "Bag-o'-wind must get in a learned speech, no matter what the occasion is." "You mean," said Lincoln, "that he must ape Demosthenes, even if his subject is ‘pigz!’ "

It is difficult at this early day, to define what effect Mr. Lincoln's pleasantries will have on his future fame: he has such an abundant, and such plethoretic, capital as an equipment for eternity -- he could allot so much to the minus side of posthumous reputation, and still distance all competitors for glory; his apparently undignified mimicry and buffoonery is but "dust in the balance" when contrasted with his colossal fame, that I incline to think it will not be taken into account at all by succeeding generations.

Caesar was vain of his personal appearance, and was wont to scratch his head with one finger, so as to not disarrange his highly groomed locks; Napoleon was accustomed to peek through key-holes, and thrust his fingers into the common dish at the table; and Washington was a subject of frequent curtain lectures for domestic delinquencies; but such imperfections do not cast the shade of a gossamer's wing in the sunlight of the brilliant fame of these immortals; and if Lincoln's pleasantry has any moral or social obliquity, which is not probable, it was less than the small blemishes I have just mentioned, and will not cause the least cloud in the pure azure of his immortal fame, in my opinion.


The member of his cabinet who really took his lamented death most seriously to heart, was Stanton: brusque, stoical and sardonic as he was, he wept as unrestrainedly as a child when it became apparent that his great leader was no more: yet he had not the least patience with the great President's levity; and it is said that even his best sallies never could provoke the slightest ripple of laughter on the solemn ocean of that saturnine countenance. On the evening of November 8th, 1864, the President was at the War Office, lying on a sofa awaiting the returns. He had as usual with him, "Artemus Ward his Book," from which, in the intervals of waiting, he would read, and then "Ha! Ha! Haw!!"

The sardonic War Secretary could not endure this: he must find vent for his indignation somehow, hence every little while, his face

"Like a lobster boiled * * * *
From black to red began to turn;"
and he would pluck some one of the visitors into an inner room, where he would vent his spleen and indignation at the great President, who, wholly innocent and unconscious of any harm, was, in that blameless way, trying to snatch a little needed relaxation from oppressive cares of state.

During the afternoon of July 26th, 1861, all the exoteric results he produced was to sign about fifty officers' commissions; the rest of the afternoon he employed, apparently, in amusing me: but was that all? By no means: while apparently entertaining me, he was girding up the loins of his mind for new schemes and plans of statesmanship; he was recuperating his strength; he was casting the bread of his energies upon the waters of revolution, to be returned after many days.

Thomas Corwin, toward the close of his life, said, if he had his life to live over again, he would never utter a joke: that his reputation as a joker had left him little reputation for anything else; and he advised the youth of our land to be solemn -- "solemn as an ass," if they wished to succeed


and gain respect. So much is true as applied to Corwin; also to most men: as a rule "familiarity breeds contempt," and joking obliterates dignity of character. Washington was never known to utter a joke, and all of his biographers combined have detected but three occasions when he indulged in a laugh. This is well, but it should not be lost sight of, that Washington had no such task as Lincoln; his labors and responsibilities did not "murder sleep;" he had no need of Nepenthe; he was but the military head of a small band of insurgents, and thereafter, the President of a small nation, with no more carking cares than the predatory raids of Indians, or the tantalizing demands of France and the French adherents in our country, and the unseemly quarrels of Jefferson and Hamilton, and pasquinades about him.

A profound Shakespearian scholar once said that the spirit which contained the woes of King Lear and indited the tragedy of Hamlet would have broken down if it had not likewise the humor of the "Merry Wives of Windsor" and the merriment of the "Midsummer Night's Dream;" and a fortiori, the same may be said of Lincoln.

Shakespeare's sorrows were the creations of his teeming and prolific fancy and imagination -- so of Dickens -- so of any other romancer.

It is said that Dickens was sometimes wont to shut himself up in his library for eight days at a time, receiving his food at the door, while engaged in constructing his novels, and that when he finally emerged, he bore evident traces of having undergone the pangs of the most lacerating mental anguish; and that Edwin Booth was frequently accustomed to immure himself in the solitude and privacy of his chamber for days, holding spiritual intercourse with the shade of his departed wife, and at the end of his long vigil, he would bear the trace of the most poignant grief.

But all these are instances of merely imaginary sorrows; deep and overwhelming, I grant, while they endure, but with respite at last: but the sorrows of Abraham Lincoln had no


respite; for him there was no "balm of Gilead, and no physician there," none to minister to his mind diseased; no one to
"Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow --
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighed upon the heart."

His attending entertainments was not for empty amusement, but for relaxation: it simply diverted and eased up his mind for the time being. Even superficial minds need this; work and rest in alternation, achievement and diversion is the physiological and hygienic rule:

Lusus animo debent aliquando dari,
Ad cogitwndum, melior ut redeat sibi.

He bore the sorrows of the nation vicariously; while not responsible beyond the faithful performance of his own duty, he yet felt responsible for the shortcomings and misadventures of his generals -- of Congress -- of the armies: he bore the sins and misfortunes of the whole nation by himself: every battle was a source of intense anguish to him -- every defeat of our armies was a source of more exquisite pain to him than to the army which was defeated: through the day he could, in the routine of business and telling of anecdotes, stagger out from under a load of heart-rending sorrow for a brief interval; but when night came, and his thoughts, of necessity, turned inward, and he vainly sought oblivion in sleep, he could exclaim,

"* * * O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh mine eye-lids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?"

Although the example of his wretched chief, slowly but surely wearing his spirits out, was daily before his eyes, yet the severe and inflexible Stanton could not discern in the small doses of mental exhilaration which the President took,


a physic and balm for a perturbed and over-wrought mind: having no fancy or humor himself, he denied it to others: having a great responsibility himself, he could not appreciate the President's much greater responsibility; humor being no fit poultice for his mind, he could not appreciate its healing power, when applied to another. Chase held somewhat similar views, but the other members of the cabinet, though devoid of humor, appreciated and understood it in its philosophical sense.

Wit and humor, therefore, have an utility -- are frequently a potent means to some useful end: it matters not if the end be exoteric, as to drive away a meddler -- or to reprobate interference -- or to evade an improper request (of all which I have adduced instances;) or esoteric, to

"Knit up the ravelled sleeves of care:"
In any such cases, wit and humor are in proper position and constitute a positive good in the world: the kings of the renaissance understood this when they devised the institution of the court jester, or the king's fool: for this fantastic personage -- generally a hunch-back or a dwarf -- frequently injected more wisdom in the cabinet councils than the courtiers, and sometimes cut a Gordian knot of diplomacy, which higher political wisdom failed to do. Our country had an approach to this court appendage in the person of Seba Smith, who used the soubriquet of Major Jack Downing to illustrate certain phases of the court and "kitchen cabinet" of Andrew Jackson. There was little novelty in those sombre days; the finances were upset -- commerce and manufactures were paralyzed, and industrial distress was everywhere visible -- the nation was made to feel the power of the federal government, and the dread form of an implacable tyranny was seen to arise in our republican court. And there was a necessity for diversion -- for a court jester; and when the image of the great Mokanna was to be most feared, Major Jack Downing hung the silver veil over the stern features, and induced relief.


It will not be forgotten that when all Paris was replete with horror at the atrocious murder of the Due d' Enghien by Napoleon, the latter stifled and averted the rising tide of popular resentment, by ordering a brilliant and novel entertainment at the grand opera.

Dynasties are overturned by wit -- political campaigns are determined by it -- reforms are propagated and enforced thereby. The "Tweed" regime in New York was so firmly entrenched as to apparently defy Fate itself, but there were two agencies which destroyed it, viz.: the editorial assaults of the New York Times, and the cartoons of Thomas Nast.

In our Rebellion, Hale's "Man without a Country," and Nasby's letters, were powerful adjuncts to the Union cause; and "Sunset" Cox outlived, in a political sense, his fellow members of the cis-Atlantic Jacobin Club by reason of his exuberant stories of grotesque humor.

In what manner could the vice of fashionable and recherche piety be so well unmasked as in the Potiphar Papers? What exhortation to genuine Christianity could be so effective as the reading between the lines of the Pilgrim's Progress affords? What sermon could so aptly illustrate the moral vacuity of Fifth Avenue fashion and glitter, as William Allen Butler's poem of "Nothing to Wear"?

George D. Prentice could write lofty editorials, but his pasquinades embodied his most efficient work. Horace Greeley's barbed sarcasms were more to be feared than his ponderous leaders; the physician of this day and generation, introduces into your system the most nauseous drugs under the mask of gelatine and sugar.

Mark Twain portrays the landscapes and moral entities attendant upon his travels vividly to the mind under the disguise of pleasantry; Josh Billings lodges practical wisdom in the superficial mind by the medium of spavined orthography.

And thus wit and satire (which is barbed wit) accomplishes that which reason and dialectics could not do: the few will read Bacon's Novum Organum -- the many will read


the "Yellow Plush Papers:" a Methodist class-room would hold all that would listen to Dr. McCosh -- it needs an auditorium to contain the audience who would greet Chauncey M. Depew.

Mr. Lincoln had to perform many unpleasant duties, and to placate every variety of unreasonable man -- there was the imperious Stanton -- the dictatorial Greeley -- the sardonic Stevens -- the sarcastic Conkling -- the prejudiced Sumner -- the facile Seward -- the sleek Fernando Wood -- and they were but types of thousands with whom he must deal, disarm and conquer. He must refuse many reasonable requests -- must lay his hand heavily upon many worthy communities -- must force unpalatable policies upon the country: good humor must be restored to irascible spirits who came to him "fighting mad:" and many who came on ardent missions must be sent empty, but good-naturedly, away. Neither reason nor force were the needed weapons, but pleasantry was: and one stroke of the President's ready and facile wit was often of more utility than a whole day's debate in Congress. Fact!

Again, Mr. Lincoln was not quite a machine: he was a man of moods, feelings, sympathies and desires, like other men: he could suffer and endure all that which would break down any other man, but even with the relaxation which quips and jokes brought to his unchanged mind,

"His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack" --

With another wretched ruler he might have exclaimed, in the bitterness of mental agony,

"Now my soul's palace is become a prison;
Ah! would she break from hence, that this my body
Might in the ground be closed up and rest;
For never henceforth shall I joy again."

Surely, no one should envy or disparage our great President and martyr for the little comfort he derived from these innocent pastimes.

The great names of Washington and Lincoln will be segregated from the mass of the renowned names whom


Americans delight to honor, and will descend to the latest posterity, linked together, and crowned with the laurel of immortality: and yet they were only alike in their lofty patriotism and assiduous devotion to the responsibilities of their stations. One was a cold, repelling, dignified aristocrat, with the animus of an English squire, if not indeed of an English lord; when he attended Congress, he made a royal progress there in a heralded coach-and-four with out-riders, and his social life was known as a Republican Court: he wore an embroidered waistcoat, silk stockings and high-heeled shoes decorated with silver buckles, and frills and ruffles adorned the bosoms and cuffs of his shirts: a fob chain with a wilderness of seals and charms attested his love of display, and a cane graced with tassels completed his elegant attire. His bearing was aristocratic -- his demeanor chilling -- his manners stately and severe: he was a true type of the Continental English aristocrat. The other was quite as typical of an American democrat, not formally and effusively, like Jefferson, but heartily, effectively and sincerely: he dressed quite as plainly as his high station would tolerate -- he was more approachable than his waiter: he might have been encountered on almost any day, walking briskly and alone to the War Office or elsewhere in Washington: he called his friends plain Sumner, Lovejoy, Swett and Washburne; and desired to be called plain Lincoln, in return.

He dwelt on the familiar side of things -- called things by their right names, and was quite as approachable by Tony Lumpkin as by Lord Lyons.

Austere dignity will be attributed to the one, unaffected simplicity to the other: one will be admired for his impressive and dignified manhood, the other loved for his republican simplicity: one was the creator and founder -- the other the preserver and saviour of his country: one emancipated his country from foreign tyranny -- the other from political tyranny. If the aristocracy of wealth shall attain political supremacy everywhere, as it has in the Senate, the name of


Washington will ascend in the scale of renown; but if the wings of wealth shall be clipped by the people and they become dormant, then Abraham Lincoln, par excellence the tribune of the people and the type and exponent of democracy in its best sense, will be the unique and unapproachable name in American history.

Judge Davis thought that Mr. Lincoln's story-telling was a mere device to whistle down sadness. I think the Judge, who was usually an acute observer, does not apprehend the matter correctly, for there was a great deal of difference in the moods of Mr. Lincoln's story-telling. Sometimes his hilarity would be spontaneous, and sometimes simulated, as was obvious to the commonest apprehension. The day that he spent with Dubois and I at the state fair at Central City, he answered our chaffing the best he could, but it was quite evident that his thoughts were elsewhere and on some burdensome subject. At other times, his spirits were obviously gay and blithesome, as if he then bore no burden.

While at Washington in Congress, in 1849, one of his messmates was Joshua R. Giddings, who took all things literally. Our colored brother was then, as now, a conspicuous butt of ridicule, and at any tale involving the ludicrous element in the Ethiopian mind, Giddings would make an earnest plea for his colored friend: for example, if anybody should jocularly affirm that a negro's heel was as long as the other end -- I. e.: that his leg was planted in the center of the foot, Giddings would wonder that anybody could be so cruel as to say so; and many a rig did they run on Uncle Joshua by reason of this sympathetic proclivity.

Lincoln would quite as lief, if not prefer, to hear some other good story-teller ply his vocation, as to do it himself. He had no especial ambition to shine -- but to be amused. His own stories amused him as much as another's, but I have frequently known of his being captivated by stories when told by another, and would listen for a long time, meanwhile venturing nothing himself.


Among refined people it does not exalt a person, as a rule, to cleave to that depraved order of literature known as joke books. To put a joke in cold type sacrifices its aroma -- studied or preserved wit is poor stuff; yet one of Lincoln's most cherished friends, and a man of no possible humor himself when I knew him, used to carry a volume of that dullest of bottled-up wit, "Pluribustah," around with him. I refer to Archibald Williams, whom Lincoln pronounced to be the most natural and most learned lawyer he ever knew; and it does seem altogether out of place for a man -- such as we know Mr. Lincoln to have been -- to have a literary penchant so out of line with his great genius. It would be very difficult to imagine the "Father of his country" poring over Joe Miller or Rabelais.

Still, when one comes to reflect on it, is not the world more given to witty performances than it cares to own up to? Are not "Tristram Shandy," and the "Sentimental Journey," and "Don Quixote," and "Tom Jones," and "Hudibras," and Irving's "History of New York," and "Salmagundi," and the "Merry Wives of Windsor," and Rabelais, handed down from father to son, and from one generation to another?

Thus we must be logical: if our "gorge should rise" to fancy the classical Washington reading "Tom Jones," we yet must endure the memory of that severe "shadow of a mighty name" pursuing the giddy mazes of the dance habitually: and not only was he wont to engage in the seductive pastime of the Virginia reel in the farm-houses of Fairfax County, Virginia, but we are advised that at the grand ball of May 7th, 1789, in New York, he danced seven different and distinct times with five different and distinct partners, as if he really liked it; and that is all right if you concede that George was human, with hot blood coursing through his veins, but if he is but a mere marble statue, or a "steel engraving" (as Ingersoll puts it), then it is unseemly. But it is no more out of line for the sixteenth President to read "Artemus Ward, his book," than for his greatest predecessor to waddle up to the fair


Lady Stirling a la Ferrero, or to embrace the graceful form of the handsome wife of Alexander Hamilton with his brawny arm and whirl her around and around in the graceful and ravishing charms of the minuet.

Occasionally, there have been moral hermits, as the younger Pitt, who had no social passions and needed no social pastimes: but even great men -- the world's heroes -- have what we may term weaknesses, as Fox and Napoleon, for undue gallantries -- Chatham and Walpole for vain display -- Washington for land speculating -- Hamilton and Burr for amours -- Jackson for horse-racing -- Clay for poker -- and finally Uncle Abe, for printer's type set up by Nasby and A. Ward, showman.

Fact is, we exact altogether too much from our heroes. Every dunce who writes to Longfellow expects a madrigal in reply -- every time Jim Blaine takes an evening walk he is expected to accord an interview and to talk in stately terms of diplomacy -- whenever Stanley drives out he is looked to for a true account of the rear guard -- whenever Benjamin Harrison appears on the platform of a railway train, he will lose lots of votes unless he makes an able and statesmanlike speech -- as often as Sir Edwin Arnold is called upon he is expected to vent a miniature "Light of Asia," or otherwise to talk in hexameters. Not only is a hero no hero to his valet, but he also is not so to his neighbors or to his contemporaries. Examine the Boswellian researches, or Pepy's Diaries of your demi-gods, and witness your amazement and consternation. My law preceptor served in Virginia politics with a man whose father was an overseer on a plantation adjacent to Mount Vernon, and from him, by a circuitous route, I learned somewhat of the daily walk and conversation of our greatest American; and on the assumption that he was a man, there was nothing incredible in the narrative; but on the assumption of Ingersoll, that he was but a steel engraving, it was surprising.

Lincoln was raised in the social wilderness; the pastimes


of his neighborhood were (not balls, or hops, but) shindigs or hoe-downs; not concerts, operettas, or recitals, but sings: not theatrical representations, but charades: the light literature of his youth was not Pilpay, or the "Arabian Nights," or even Sam Slick; but "Cousin Sally Dillard," and "Becky Williams' Courtship," and such like trash; and no wonder, with such tuition of the fancy, when he could select for himself he should prefer a "nigger" show, to an opera; a farce, to a tragedy; a circus, to a lecture; a joke book, to Homer's "Iliad."

Around the Bend, Above New Salem


Chapter IX. As an Orator.

His look drew audience still as night,
Or Summer's noon-tide air.

Who shall calm the angry storm?
Who the mighty task perform?
And bid the raging tumult cease?
See the son of Hermes rise,
With Siren tongue and speaking eyes,
Hush the noise and soothe to peace!

* * * When he spoke,
The air, a chartered libertine, was still,
To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences.

* * * The front of Jove himself,
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command,
A station like the herald, Mercury,
New lighted on a Heaven kissing hill:
A combination and a form indeed,
Where every god did seem to set his seal, To give the world assurance of a MAN!

Any review of the character and individuality of Abraham Lincoln would be incomplete which neglected to note his quality as an orator, inasmuch as his public speeches guided him into the path which terminated at the White House -- which led to the

"* * * * steep,
Where Fame's proud temple shines afar."

There are two kinds of modern oratory: one is of style and the other of substance; the former is startling, gaudy, brilliant and ephemeral, like the balloon, cleaving the empyrean and sailing into circumambient space for a brief


hour; the latter is like the solid tower, which defies the elements, conquers the storm, and outlives generations of men.

Of an orator of the latter class, it was not inaptly said, that every word he uttered, weighed three pounds.

Mr. Lincoln belonged to the latter class, and although devoid of conventional drawing-room grace, yet, when inspired with his subject, as he always was when discussing the slavery issues, he had the most majestic presence of any human being I ever saw in any situation. Upon such occasions, he was the personification and embodiment of moral force.

The comparison may seem inapt and inelegant, but I can't help being reminded of the celebrated trotting mare, Flora Temple, who was mistress of the track in the '50s. When brought out on the track she walked in a loose, disjointed way, as though there was no nerve or sprightliness in her; but when she was let out on the track, her movements were as perfect and faultless as those of a watch in action. So Lincoln, in undress uniform, was the embodiment of awkwardness and angularity, but when glowing with an argument or speech he was interested in, he was a Colossus of strength and moral force.

A correspondent of the New York World says of Lincoln's manner: "His voice was soft and sympathetic as a girl's. Although not lifted above a tone of average conversation, it was distinctly audible throughout the entire hall. There was a peculiar naivete in his manner and voice which produced a strange effect on his audience. It was hushed for a moment to a silence which was like to that of the dead. I have never seen an assemblage more thoroughly entranced and captivated than were his listeners...."

And Emerson, no mean judge, says, that his "Gettysburg speech, John Brown's speech at his trial, and part of Kossuth's speech at Birmingham, can only be compared with each other and with no fourth."

Virgil's first words were: "Arma, virumque cano," and his song has become immortal; and so it will always be true;


the story of deeds will live, while mere words which are "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," will perish untimely. Merely vapid oratory, of itself, is at a discount. A man possessed of a cacoethes loquendi, without more, generally falls into contempt. In order to survive, he must add deeds to, or connect them with, his words. Instances are very common of mere talkers whose
* * looks drew audience still as night,
Or Summer's noon-tide air,"
for awhile, but whose oratory ultimately grew as tame as an auctioneer's chatter. Even Daniel Webster's grand and massive oratory became monotonous in the '40s.

The fame of Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln is eternal -- being founded chiefly on deeds. The fame of Henry A. Wise, Gustavus A. Henry, Thomas Corwin, Sargent S. Prentiss, Tom Marshall and General Gary has already perished, being founded on "words -- words -- words," as Hamlet contemptuously says. Mr. Clay was not only an orator, but likewise was a man of action; he caused things to come to pass; he gave form to the policy of protection; he organized the two great compromises of our history; he was the founder and genius of the Whig party; his oratory was a mere adjunct or auxiliary to his deeds, and his fame survives, while his speeches are forgotten.

Fifty years ago, Croly's Invocation to Eloquence and Webster's Reply to Hayne took equal rank, pari passu, as themes for declamation; the former is now forgotten, while the latter is perennial, the reason being that it is connected with a mighty theme -- the autonomy of a nation, the theory of national existence, having practical objects in view -- and not mere soarings of the imagination and fancy.

Like Clay, who was for many years his exemplar, Lincoln was a man both of words and deeds; but, superior to Clay, his later words are so interwoven with and constitute part of his deeds, that both will survive, the latter the root and stalk, the former the flower, of his fame.


Lincoln's "Cooper Institute" speech is a far greater intellectual production than the Gettysburg speech. Yet the latter will endure through the ages, while the former will be generally forgotten by the next generation, the reason being that it is founded in general history and abstract philosophy and has no connection with direct and actual deeds, while the former is interwoven with, and forms part of the web and woof of the story of the battle, in which the fate of democracy was at stake, and will share its immortality.

The power of oratory was never seen to better advantage or more impressively, than in Lincoln's evolution from a circuit lawyer, with an extremely attenuated political record, to the highest position in current history. It was achieved entirely by oratory. He held no office; had no position where he could act; had no publication in which to air his views; no way to reach the public except by speeches, made generally under circumstances of discomfort and disadvantage, unlike the efforts of public men in general, in a luxurious and stately deliberative hall, with an attendant library, and colleagues ready to give aid and comfort. Unless one has had experience he can never know the difference between speaking under such favorable circumstances and speaking as Lincoln generally had to -- from improvised stands in a grove, or in illy ventilated halls, or, as I have seen him, in a rude court house, with so dim a light that he could not see to read an extract. Yet his speeches, generally made under such adverse circumstances, constituted his sole "stock in trade" with which to enter the Chicago convention to compete with statesmen of international fame, and also to bear off the coveted prize.

And whoever reads the joint-debate will not fail to note the superciliousness and disdain with which Douglas treated him, which, by reason of his "power of pride and place," was (as was designed) very depressing to Lincoln.

He clearly resembles the Attic orator, Lysias. Of the latter, it was said, that his expression was perfectly pure --


the best canon of Attic speech -- not of the old idiom used by Plato and Thucydides, but of that which was in vogue in his time. And that, as a rule, he expresses his meaning by ordinary words employed in their normal sense; that he seems to speak like the ordinary man; while he is, in fact, the most consummate of artists -- a prose poet, who knows how to give an unobtrusive distinction to common language and to bring out of it a quaint and peculiar music.

Closely connected with this simplicity is his clearness. Lysias is clear in a two-fold sense -- in thought and in expression. * * * He uses only plain words, but he has enough of these to express the most complex idea. The combination of clearness with conciseness is achieved by Lysias because he has his language thoroughly under command. His words are the disciplined servants of his thoughts.

Lysias had consummate literary skill and much acuteness, but * * * he was not a subtle tactician. * * * He is common-place; frank; guileless. While Isacus plays all manner of ruses on his adversary, Lysias uses no sort of knavery."

He also fulfilled the prescribed requirement of Quintillian when he says: "What is of most weight in deliberative speeches is authority in the speaker; for he who desires everybody to trust to his opinion about what is expedient and honorable, ought to be, and to be esteemed a man of the greatest judgment and probity."

Somewhat singularly, also, he was diligent in pursuit of a science whose possession Quintillian pronounced to be another requisite of an orator: thus: "No man, assuredly, can become a perfect orator without a knowledge of geometry. It is not without reason that the greatest men have bestowed extreme attention on this science."

To my mind Mr. Lincoln more completely fulfilled the description given by John Quincy Adams of the orator, whose swelling theme was projected far beyond the shifting


phases of contemporary events into the momentous future, pregnant with the destiny of nations and races of men.

This statesman of the olden time, who has himself been styled the "old man eloquent," thus discourses: When the cause of ages and the fate of nations hangs upon the thread of a debate, the orator may fairly consider himself as addressing, not only his immediate hearers, but the world at large, and all future times. Then it is that, looking beyond the moment in which he speaks, and the immediate issue of the deliberation, he makes the question of an hour, a question for every age and every region, and incorporates himself and his discourse with the general history of mankind. On such occasions and at such times, the oration naturally and properly assumes a solemnity of manner and a dignity of language commensurate with the grandeur of the cause. Then it is that deliberate eloquence lays aside the plain attire of her daily occupation and assumes the port and purple of the queen of the world."

To force of thought and expression he added a classical taste and refinement which would gain eclat even to a belles lettres scholar. His literary style combined the massive strength and ruggedness of Marshall, Webster or Calhoun with the elegant diction of Sumner, Everett or Bancroft.

To Governor Hahn he wrote on March 13, 1864: "They (the colored men) would probably help, in some trying time to come, to keep the jewel of liberty in the family of freedom.

The conclusion of his Cooper Institute speech is this: "Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it."

Dr. Leonard Bacon, whose judgment is of the best, said that he considered the Cooper Institute speech of Mr. Lincoln one of the purest specimens of composition in Saxon words to be found in the English language.

The conclusion of his first inaugural has become an English classic: "The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and


hearth-stone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." Also: "With malice toward none, with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in: to bind up the Nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and orphans; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

The speech made at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg has been pronounced by competent critics to be a masterpiece of eloquence; but it was not hastily written in the cars on his way to the ground, as is claimed, but was written, corrected, revised and rewritten.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

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

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work that they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which they here gave the


last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Speech at Gettysburgh Battle Ground

Speech at Gettysburgh Battle Ground

In no way that immediately suggests itself to my mind did Mr. Lincoln's peculiar mental faculties exhibit their acumen more signally than in the consideration of the slavery question in the various phases presented by it during and after the year 1854.

His Urbana speech in 1854; his Bloomington speech of May, 1856; his Springfield speech of June 17, 1858; his Columbus speech of September, 1859, and his Cooper Institute speech of February 27,1860, were the great expositions of the anti-slavery extension view of that subject.

The slavery extension doctrine was based upon the theory that inasmuch as slaves constituted property in Kentucky and Georgia, that the Kentuckian or Georgian had a logical right to locate their slave property in Kansas or Colorado, the same as they had their mule property or any other. Listen now to the clearness with which Mr. Lincoln defines the principles of the Republican party:
The real issue in this controversy -- the one pressing upon every mind -- is the sentiment on the part of one class that looks upon the institution of slavery as a wrong, and of another class that does not look upon it as a wrong. The sentiment that contemplates the institution of slavery in this country as a wrong is the sentiment of the Republican party. It is the sentiment around which all their actions, all their arguments circle, from which all their propositions radiate.

They look upon it as a moral, social and political wrong; and while they contemplate it as such, they nevertheless have due regard for its actual existence among us, and the difficulties of getting rid of it in any satisfactory way, and


to all the Constitutional obligations thrown about it. Yet having a due regard for these, they desire a policy in regard to it that looks to its not creating any more danger. They insist that it should, as far as may be, be treated as a wrong, and one of the methods of treating it as a wrong is to make provision that it shall grow no larger. They also desire a policy that looks to a peaceful end of slavery at some time, as being wrong. These are the views they entertain in regard to it, as I understand them, and all their sentiments, all their arguments and propositions are brought within this range.

I have said, and I repeat it here, that if there be a man amongst us who does not think that the institution of slavery is wrong in any one of the aspects of which I have spoken, he is misplaced and ought not to be with us. And if there be a man amongst us who is so impatient of it as a wrong as to disregard its actual presence among us and the difficulty of getting rid of it suddenly in a satisfactory way, and to disregard the constitutional obligations thrown about it, that man is misplaced if he is on our platform. We disclaim sympathy with him in practical action. He is not placed properly with us.

Here, also, is one of his many ways of unmasking the fallacy of popular sovereignty:
Douglas says "that the people of the Territories have the right, by his principle, to have slaves if they want them." Then I say that the people in Georgia have the right to buy slaves in Africa if they want them, and I defy any man on earth to show any distinction between the two things -- to show that the one is any more wicked or more unlawful; to show, on original principles, that one is better or worse than the other, or to show, by the Constitution, that one differs a whit from the other. He will tell me, doubtless, that there is no constitutional provision against people taking slaves into the new Territories; and I tell him there is equally no constitutional provision against buying slaves in Africa. He


will tell you that a people in the exercise of popular sovereignty ought to do as they please about that thing, and have slaves if they want them; and I tell you that the people of Georgia are as much entitled to popular sovereignty and to buy slaves in Africa if they want them, as the people of a Territory are to have slaves if they want them. I ask any man, dealing honestly with himself, to point out a distinction. Again: * * * "If this principle is established, that there is no wrong in slavery, and whoever wants it has a right to have it, is a matter of dollars and cents, a sort of question as to how they shall deal with brutes; that between us and the negro here there is no sort of question, but that, at the South, the question is between the negro and the crocodile. That is all. It is a mere matter of policy; there is a perfect right, according to interest, to do just as you please -- when this is done, where this doctrine prevails, the miners and sappers will have formed public opinion for the slave trade."

They will be ready for Jeff. Davis and Stephens and other leaders of that company to sound the bugle for the revival of the slave trade, for the second Dred Scott decision, for the flood of slavery to be poured over the free States, while we shall be here tied down and helpless and run over like sheep.

And nothing in that line could be finer than the method by which he takes the twist out of the tail of Douglas' taunt of "negro equality," a favorite argument (so-called) with him:
There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races, and Judge Douglas evidently is basing his chief hope upon the chances of his being able to appropriate the benefit of this disgust to himself. If he can, by much drumming and repeating, fasten the odium of that


idea upon his adversaries, he thinks he can struggle through the storm.

He therefore clings to this hope as a drowning man to the last plank.

He finds a statement in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, but he declares that it does not include negroes; and when we differ with him, and insist that it means all men, as it says, the judge proceeds gravely to argue that we want to eat and sleep and intermarry with negroes.

"Now I protest against that counterfeit logic which concludes that because I don't want a black woman for my slave, that I must, necessarily, want her for a wife. I need not have her for either; I can just let her alone. In color, and, perhaps, in some other respects, she is not my equal; but in her natural right to eat the bread which her own hands have earned, she is my equal, and the equal of every one else."

His clear statement or prologue to the main matter is seen to advantage in this oft-quoted speech:
"If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then judge better what to do, and how to do it. We are now far on into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation had not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it


is in course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States -- old as well as new, North as well as South.

"Have we no tendency to the latter condition? Let any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination -- piece of machinery, so to speak -- compounded of the Nebraska doctrine and the Dred Scott decision. Let him consider, not only what work the machinery is adapted to do, and how well adapted, but also let him study the history of its construction, and trace, if he can, or, rather, fail if he can, to trace, the evidences of design and concert of action among its chief master workers from the beginning."

Yet when he was a young man he was even more egotistical and sophomorical than ordinarily ambitious youth. This is illustrated in the following extract from a speech made by him in December, 1839, when he was 30 years of age, the occasion being an amateur political discussion in a little muddy Illinois village, when not a political cloud was in sight, except the premonitory symptoms of a "hard cider" campaign.

Thus discussed the fervid village orator: Many free countries have lost their liberties, and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her. I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping, with frightful velocity, over the whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green spot or living thing; while on its bosom are riding, like demons on the wave of Hell, the imps of that evil spirit, and fiendishly taunting all those who dare to resist its destroying course with the hopelessness of their efforts; and, knowing this, I cannot deny that all may be swept away.


Broken by it I, too, may be; bow to it I never will. The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. It shall not deter me. If ever I feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not wholly unworthy of its Almighty architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country, deserted by all the world beside, and I, standing up boldly, alone, hurling defiance at her victorious oppressors. Here, without contemplating consequences, before Heaven, and in the face of the world, I swear eternal fealty to the just cause, as I deem it, of the land of my life, my liberty and my love. And who, that thinks with me, will not fearlessly adopt that oath I take? Let none falter who thinks he is right, and we may succeed.

"But if, after all, we shall fail, be it so. We still shall have the proud consolation of saying to our consciences, and to the departed shade of our country's freedom, that the cause, approved of our judgment and adored of our hearts, in disaster, in chains, in torture, in death, we never faltered in defending."

This morceau would seem to invite a belief that Lincoln was more than ordinarily a victim of rhodomontade, so common to adolescence, and that it embodied no greater significance; but three years earlier, on an occasion even less provocative, if possible, of drawing the political bow to a high tension, he thus expressed himself.

In January, 1837, he lectured before the Springfield Lyceum on "Perpetuation of our Free Institutions." He said, inter alia: "Many great and good men, sufficiently qualified for any task they should undertake, may ever be found, whose ambition would aspire to nothing beyond a seat in Congress, a gubernatorial or a presidential chair; but such belong not to the family of the Lion, or the tribe of the Eagle! What! think you these places would satisfy an Alexander, a Caesar, or a Napoleon? Never! Towering


genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored; it sees no distinction in adding story to story upon the monuments of fame erected to the memory of others. It denies that it is glory enough to serve under any chief. It scorns to tread in the footsteps of any predecessor, however illustrious. It thirsts and burns for distinction, and, if possible, will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves or enslaving freemen."

The later biography of the illustrious author of the above seemingly out-of-place and bizarre flights of oratory authorizes a marked emphasis to be impressed upon them.

Those "thick coming fancies," doubtless, were dim shadows of coming events cast before his career, and were of the same weird character as his belief, so frequently expressed to Herndon, that he was destined for some miserable and bloody end.

Finally, a letter to dissatisfied persons generally, who opposed the arming of negroes, attests his wonderful combination of imagery, tropes, logic and humor completely interblended:
* * * You say that you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you, but no matter. Fight, then, exclusively to save the Union. I issued the Proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time then for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes. * * * * Negroes, like other people, act upon motives. * * * If they stake their lives for us they must be prompted by the strongest motive, even the promise of freedom. And the promise being made, must be kept.

The signs look better. The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea. Thanks to the great Northwest for


it, nor yet wholly to them. Three hundred miles up they met New England, Empire, Keystone and Jersey hewing their way, right and left. The Sunny South, too, in more colors than one, also lent a helping hand. On the spot their part of the history was jotted down in black and white. * * Nor must Uncle Sam's web feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been present, not only on the deep sea, the broad bay and the rapid river, but also up the narrow, muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been and made their tracks. Thanks to all. For the great Republic -- for the principle it lives by and keeps alive -- for man's vast future -- thanks to all.

"Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon, and come to stay, and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time."

Yet it must be confessed that he made a sorry failure in his attempt to invade the lecture field, by his lecture on "Man," after he had become developed as a great man. He first broached his design to write this lecture under the following circumstances: I think it was in the fall of 1855. It chanced that Leonard Swett and his wife, who sometimes accompanied him on the circuit, Lincoln and myself traveled from Urbana to Danville in a two-seated vehicle, with a driver. Swett had a volume of Bancroft's Miscellanies, and soon after we started we took up the lecture of the Progress of Man before the New York Historical Society on Nov. 20, 1854, and read aloud by turns, stopping frequently to comment upon the text at appropriate places. During this time Lincoln informed us that he had for some time been contemplating the writing of a lecture on man; he said he proposed to review man from his earliest primeval state to his present high development, and he detailed at length the views and opinions he designed to incorporate in his lecture. His biographer records that he did afterward get up such a lecture and that it proved to be a flat and ignominious failure. He delivered it about three times in all, to originally small


and gradually waning audiences. He had an appointment to deliver it at either Clinton or Bloomington, and made a journey there for that purpose; but no one came, and he returned home quite crestfallen, as he had oftimes done on previous occasions. And thus perished his ambition as a lecturer.

On the evening of October 24th, 1854, the writer hereof called at the old Pennsylvania House, on the east side of the public square, in Urbana, where he found Mr. Lincoln and Judge Davis in their plainly furnished bedroom, upon the hearth of which was a comfortable wood fire. It was my first interview with either of those distinguished men, but I was put at complete ease, at once, by the cordiality of my welcome by both; ostentatiously and effusively by the latter: heartily and laconically by the former. I at once mentioned to Lincoln the fact which had just appeared in the papers, that he and Douglas had had an encounter the preceding week at Peoria, to which he answered, "Yes, the Judge and I locked horns there." After some further conversation, and a few preliminary arrangements, the old court room opposite, shone resplendent in the coruscation of eleven tallow candles glued on top of the nether sashes of the windows, to which place we adjourned, and where, with no preliminaries or introduction, Mr. Lincoln delivered to a full house, the following speech, never before published, and it being the third speech he ever made on the mighty issue of slavery in our nation.

He said:
"Fellow citizens of Champaign County: agreeably to an invitation which I have received since coming to your town, I shall address you upon the recent repeal by the congress of the United States of the Missouri compromise, so called, and the expediency, if not, indeed, necessity, that that repeal be itself repealed: and in order that I may make my remarks clear, and, not, in anywise, misunderstood, I will review in a brief manner, the history of the slavery question


and kindred matters prior to and including the enactment of, that celebrated, so called, compromise.

When we established our independence, we did not own the country to which this compromise applies. Indeed, the Confederacy then owned no country at all; the states respectively owned the country within their limits, and some of them owned territory beyond their strict state limits. Virginia thus owned the Northwestern Territory -- the country out of which the principal part of Ohio, all Indiana, all Illinois, all Michigan, and all Wisconsin, have since been formed. She also owned what has since been formed into the State of Kentucky. North Carolina thus owned what is now the State of Tennessee, and South Carolina and Georgia owned, in separate parts, what are now Mississippi and Alabama. Connecticut, I think, owned the little remaining part of Ohio -- being the same where they now send Giddings to Congress, and beat all creation at making cheese.

These territories, together with the states themselves, constituted all the country over which the Government then claimed any sort of jurisdiction. We were then living under the Articles of Confederation, which were superseded by the Constitution several years afterward. The question of ceding these territories to the General Government was set on foot. Mr. Jefferson -- the author of the Declaration of Independence, and otherwise a chief actor in the Revolution; then a delegate in Congress; afterward, twice President; who was, is, and perhaps will continue to be, the most distinguished politician of our history; a Virginian by birth and continued residence, and withal a slaveholder -- conceived the idea of taking that occasion to prevent slavery ever going into the Northwestern Territory. He prevailed on the Virginia Legislature to cede the territory. Congress accepted the cession, and in the first ordinance for the government of the territory provided that slavery should never be permitted therein. This is the famed "Ordinance of '87," so often spoken of.

Thenceforward, for sixty-one years, and until, in 1848,


the last scrap of this territory came into the Union as the State of Wisconsin, all parties acted in quiet obedience to this ordinance. It is now what Jefferson foresaw and intended -- the happy home of teeming millions of free, white, prosperous people, and no slave among them.

Thus, with the author of the Declaration of Independence, the policy of prohibiting slavery in new territory originated. Thus, away back of the Constitution, in the pure, fresh, free breath of the Revolution, the state of Virginia and the National Congress put that policy in practice. Thus, through more than sixty of the best years of the Republic, did that policy steadily work to its great and beneficent end. And thus, in those five states, and five millions of free, enterprising people, we have before us the rich fruits of this policy.

But to return to history. Napoleon being engaged in his continental wars and being distressingly in need of money, made a proposition to President Jefferson to sell and cede to our government for fifteen millions of dollars, his possessions adjacent to our borders, and Jefferson, though a strict constructionist of the constitution, in 1803 purchased what was then called Louisiana, and also including Arkansas, Missouri and Iowa, the territory of Minnesota, and the present bone of contention, Kansas and Nebraska. Slavery already existed among the French at New Orleans, and to some extent, at St. Louis. In 1812, Louisiana came into the Union as a slave state without controversy. In 1818 or '19, Missouri showed signs of a wish to come in with slavery. This was resisted by northern members of Congress, and thus began the first great slavery agitation in the nation. This controversy lasted several months, and became very angry and exciting; the House of Representatives voting steadily for the prohibition of slavery in Missouri, and the Senate voting as steadily against it. Threats of breaking up the Union were freely made, and the ablest public men of the day became seriously


alarmed. At length a compromise was made, in which, as in all compromises, both sides yielded something. It was a law passed on the 6th day of March, 1820, providing that Missouri might come into the Union with slavery, but that in all the remaining part of the territory purchased of France, which lies north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north latitude, slavery should never be permitted. This provision of law is the Missouri Compromise. In excluding slavery north of the line, the same language is employed as in the ordinance of '87. It directly applied to Iowa, Minnesota, and to the present bone of contention, Kansas and Nebraska. Whether there should or should not be slavery south of that line, nothing was said in the law. But Arkansas constituted the principal remaining part, south of the line; and it has since been admitted as a slave state, without serious controversy. More recently, Iowa, north of the line, came in as a free state, without controversy. Still later, Minnesota, north of the line, had a territorial organization, without controversy. Texas, principally south of the line, and west of Arkansas, though originally within the purchase from France, had, in 1819, been traded off to Spain, in our treaty for the acquisition of Florida. It had thus become a part of Mexico. Mexico revolutionized, and became independent of Spain. American citizens began settling rapidly with their slaves in the southern part of Texas. Soon they revolutionized against Mexico, and established an independent government of their own, adopting a Constitution, with slavery, strongly resembling the Constitutions of our slave states. By still another rapid move, Texas, claiming a boundary much further west than when we parted with her in 1819, was brought back to the United States, and admitted into the Union as a slave state. Then there was little or no settlement in the northern part of Texas, a considerable portion of which lay north of the Missouri line; and in the resolutions admitting her into the Union, the Missouri restriction


was expressly extended westward across her territory. This was in 1845, only nine years ago.

Thus originated the Missouri Compromise; and thus has it been respected down to 1845.

The war with Mexico broke out in 1846. When Congress was about adjourning that session, President Polk asked them to place two millions of dollars under his control, to be used by him in the recess, if found practicable and expedient, in negotiating a treaty of peace with Mexico, and acquiring some part of her territory. A bill was duly gotten up for the purpose, and was progressing swimmingly in the House of Representatives, when a member by the name of David Wilmot, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, moved as an amendment, "Provided, that in any territory thus acquired, there shall never be slavery."

This is the origin of the far-famed "Wilmot Proviso." It created a great flutter; but it stuck like wax, was voted into the bill, and the bill passed with it through the House. The Senate, however, adjourned without final action on it, and so both appropriation and proviso were lost, for the time. The war continued, and at the next session the President renewed his request for the appropriation, enlarging the amount, I think, to three millions. Again came the proviso, and defeated the measure. Congress adjourned again, and the war went on. In December, 1847, the new Congress assembled. I was in the lower House that term. The "Wilmot Proviso," or the principle of it, was constantly coming up in some shape or other, and I think I may venture to say I voted for it at least forty times, during the little time I was there. The Senate, however, held it in check, and it never became a law. In the spring of 1848 a treaty of peace was made with Mexico, by which we obtained that portion of her country which now constitutes the territories of New Mexico and Utah, and the present State of California. By this treaty the "Wilmot Proviso" was defeated, in so far as it was intended to be a condition of the acquisition of territory. Its


friends, however, were still determined to find some way to restrain slavery from getting into the new country. This new acquisition lay directly west of our old purchase from France, and extended west to the Pacific Ocean -- and was so situated that if the Missouri line should be extended straight west, the new country would be divided by such extended line, leaving some north and some south of it.

A bill passed the Senate to so extend the Missouri line. The Proviso men in the House, including myself, voted it down, because, by implication, it gave up the southern part to slavery, while we were bent on having it all free.

In 1849 the gold mines were discovered in California. This attracted people to it with unprecedented rapidity, so that on, or soon after, the meeting of the new Congress in December, 1849, she already had a population of nearly a hundred thousand, had called a convention, formed a State Constitution, excluding slavery, and was knocking for admission into the Union. The Proviso men, of course, were for letting her in, but the Senate, always true to the other side, would not consent to her admission. And there California stood, kept out of the Union, because she would not let slavery into her borders. Under all the circumstances, perhaps this was not wrong. There were other points of dispute connected with the general question of slavery, which equally needed adjustment. The South clamored for a more efficient fugitive slave law. The North clamored for the abolition of a peculiar species of slave-trade in the District of Columbia, in connection with which, in view from the windows of the Capitol, a sort of negro livery-stable, where droves of negroes were collected, temporarily kept, and finally taken to Southern markets, precisely like droves of horses, had been openly maintained for fifty years. Utah and New Mexico needed territorial governments; and whether slavery should or should not be prohibited within them was another question. The indefinite western boundary of Texas was to be settled. She was a slave state, and consequently the farther west the


slavery men could push her boundary, the more slave country they secured; and the farther east the slavery opponents could thrust the boundary back, the less slave ground was secured. Thus this was just as clearly a slavery question as any of the others.

These points all needed adjustment; and they were all held up, perhaps wisely, to make them help to adjust one another. The Union now, as in 1820, was thought to be in danger; and devotion to the Union rightfully inclined men to yield somewhat, in points, where nothing else could have so inclined them. A compromise was finally effected. The South got their new fugitive slave law; and the North got California as a free state. The South got a provision that New Mexico and Utah, when admitted as states, may come in with or without slavery as they may then choose; and the North got the slave-trade abolished in the District of Columbia. The North got the western boundary of Texas thrown farther back eastward than the South desired; but, in turn, they gave Texas ten millions of dollars, with which to pay her old debts. This was the Compromise of 1850.

Preceding the Presidential election of 1862, each of the great political parties. Democrats and Whigs, met in convention, and adopted resolutions indorsing the Compromise of '50, as a "finality," a final settlement, so far as these parties could make it so, of all slavery agitation. Previous to this, in 1851, the Illinois Legislature had indorsed it.

During this long period of time, Nebraska had remained substantially an uninhabited country, but now emigration to, and settlement within it, began to take place. It is about one-third as large as the present United States, and its importance, so long overlooked, begins to come into view. The restriction of slavery by the Missouri Compromise directly applies to it; in fact, was first made, and has since been maintained expressly for it. In 1853, a bill to give it a territorial government passed the House of Representatives, and failed of passing only for want of time. This bill contained


no repeal of the Missouri Compromise. On January 4th, 1854, Douglas introduced a new bill to give Nebraska territorial government. He accompanied this bill with a report, in which last, he expressly recommends that the Missouri Compromise shall neither be affirmed nor repealed. (I wanted to read just a little from that report, but I can't get this candle to stand.)

Before long the bill is so modified as to make two territories instead of one, calling the southern one Kansas.

Also, about a month after the introduction of the bill, on Douglas' motion, it is so amended as to declare the Missouri Compromise inoperative and void; and, substantially, that the people who go and settle there may establish slavery, or exclude it, as they may see fit. In this shape, the bill passed both branches of Congress and became a law.

This is the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. I shall try to show, that it is wrong, and pernicious; wrong in its direct effect, letting slavery into Kansas and Nebraska, and wrong in its prospective principle, allowing it to spread to every other part of the Nation, where men can be found inclined to take it.

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

Now I think I have no prejudice against the Southern people; they are just what we would be in their situation. If slavery did not now exist among them, they would not introduce


it; if it did now exist amongst us, we should not instantly give it up. This I believe of the masses, North and South. Doubtless there are individuals on both sides, who would not hold slaves under any circumstances, and others would gladly introduce slavery anew if it went out of existence. We know that some Southern men do free their slaves, go North, and become good Abolitionists, while some Northern men go South and become cruel slave-masters.

When Southern men tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists, and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the same. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I would not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do with the existing situation. My first impulse would be, to free all the existing slaves, and send them to Liberia -- to their own native land -- but a moment's reflection would convince me, that whatever of high hope (as I think there is) there may be in this, in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible. If they were all landed there in a day, they would all perish in the next ten days, and there are not surplus shipping and surplus money enough in the world to carry them there in many times ten days. What then? Free them all, and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I think I would not hold one in slavery at any rate, yet the point is not clear enough to me to denounce people upon.

What next? Free them, and make them politically and socially co-equals? My own feelings will not admit of this, and if mine would, we all know that those of the great mass of white people would not. Whether this feeling accords with justice and good judgment is not the sole question, if indeed, it is any part of it. A universal feeling, whether well or ill founded, cannot be safely disregarded; we cannot, then make


them equals. It does seem to me that systems of gradual emancipation might be adopted, but for their tardiness in this, I will not undertake to judge our people of the South. When they remind us of their constitutional rights, I acknowledge them, fully and fairly, and I avow, without any mental reservation, my full endorsement of the fugitive slave law. It was formulated in obedience to a plain constitutional requirement, as one of the compromises of the constitution, without which that instrument would not probably have come into being, and it should be as fully and honestly respected and obeyed as any other provision in that instrument, and any law to carry it into effect should be enforced like any other laws.

But all this, to my judgment, furnishes no excuse for permitting slavery to go into one more free territory than it would for reviving the African slave trade by law. The law which forbids the bringing of slaves from Africa and that which has so long forbidden the taking them to Nebraska can hardly be distinguished on any moral principle, and the repeal of the former could find quite as plausible excuses as that of the latter.

The arguments by which the repeal of the Missouri Compromise is sought to be justified, are that the Nebraska country needed a territorial government; that in various ways, the public had repudiated that Compromise, and demanded the repeal, and therefore should not now complain of it; and, that the repeal establishes a principle which is intrinsically right; if that country was in need of a territorial organization, could it not have had it as well without as with the repeal? Iowa and Minnesota, to both of which the Missouri restriction applied, had, without its repeal, each in succession, territorial organizations. And even the year before, a bill for Nebraska itself, came near passing, without the repealing clause; and this by the same men who are now the champions of repeal. Why no necessity then for the repeal? But still later, when this very bill was first brought


in, it contained no repeal. But they say because the people had demanded, or rather commanded the repeal, the repeal was to accompany the organization, whenever that should occur.

I deny that the public ever demanded any such thing -- ever repudiated the Missouri Compromise -- ever commanded its repeal. It is not contended, I believe, that any such command has ever been in express terms. It is only said that it was done in principle. The support of the Wilmot Proviso is the first fact mentioned, to prove that the Missouri restriction was repudiated in principle, and the second is, the refusal to extend the Missouri line over the country acquired from Mexico. These are near enough alike to be treated together. The one was to exclude the chances of slavery from the whole new acquisition, and the other was to reject a division of it, by which one-half was to be given up to those chances. Whether this was a repudiation of the Missouri line, in principle, depends upon whether the Missouri law contained any principle requiring the line to be extended over the country acquired from Mexico. I contend it did not. I insist that it contained no general principle, but that it was, in every sense, specific. That its terms limit it to the country purchased from France, is undented and undeniable. It could have no principle beyond the intention of those who made it. They did not intend to extend the line to country which they did not own. If they intended to extend it, in the event of acquiring additional territory, why did they not say so? It was just as easy to say, that "in all the country west of the Mississippi which we now own or may hereafter acquire, there shall never be slavery," as to say what they did say; and they would have said it, if they had meant it. An intention to extend the law is not only not mentioned in the law, but is not mentioned in any contemporaneous history. Both the law itself and the history of the times are a blank as to any principle of extension; and by neither the known


rules for construing statutes and contracts, nor by common sense, can any such principle be inferred.

Another fact showing the specific character of the Missouri law -- showing that it intended no more than it expressed; showing that the line was not intended as a universal dividing line between free and slave territory, present and prospective, north of which slavery could never go -- is the fact that, by that very law, Missouri came in as a slave state, north of the line. If that law contained any prospective principle, the whole law must be looked to in order to ascertain what the principle was. And by this rule, the South could fairly contend that inasmuch as they got one slave state north of the line at the inception of the law, they have the right to have another given them north of it occasionally, now and then, in the indefinite westward extension of the line. This demonstrates the absurdity of attempting to deduce a prospective principle from the Missouri Compromise line.

When we voted for the Wilmot Proviso, we were voting to keep slavery out of the whole Mexican acquisition; and little did we think we were thereby voting to let it into Nebraska, lying several hundred miles distant. When we voted against extending the Missouri line, little did we think we were voting to destroy the old line, then of near thirty years' standing.

To argue that we thus repudiated the Missouri Compromise is no less absurd than it would be to argue that because we have so far foreborne to acquire Cuba, we have thereby, in principle, repudiated our former acquisitions, and determined to throw them out of the Union. No less absurd than it would be to say that, because I may have refused to build an addition to my house, I thereby have decided to destroy the existing house! And if I catch you setting fire to my house, you will turn upon me, and say I INSTRUCTED you to do it!

The most conclusive argument, however, that, while


voting for the Wilmot Proviso, and while voting against the EXTENSION of the Missouri line, we never thought of disturbing the original Missouri Compromise, is found in the fact that there was then, and still is, an unorganized tract of fine country, nearly as large as the State of Missouri, lying immediately west of Arkansas, and south of the Missouri Compromise line; and that we never attempted to prohibit slavery as to it. I wish particular attention to this. It adjoins the original Missouri Compromise line by its northern boundary; and consequently is part of the country into which, by implication, slavery was permitted to go by that Compromise. There it has lain open ever since, and there it still lies; and yet no effort has been made at any time to wrest it from the South. In all our struggles to prohibit slavery within our Mexican acquisitions, we never so much as lifted a finger to prohibit it as to this tract. Is not this entirely conclusive, that, at all times, we have held the Missouri Compromise as a sacred thing, even when against ourselves as well as when for us?

But next it is said that the Compromises of '50, and the ratification of them by both political parties in '62, established a new principle, which required the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. This, again, I deny. I deny it, and demand the proof. I have already stated fully what the Compromises of '60 are. The particular part of those measures from which the virtual repeal of the Missouri Compromise is sought to be inferred (for it is admitted they contain nothing about it, in express terms,) is the provision in the Utah and New Mexico laws, which permits them, when they seek admission into the Union as states, to come in with or without slavery, as they shall then see fit. Now I insist this provision was made for Utah and New Mexico, and for no other place whatever. It had no more direct reference to Nebraska than it had to the territories of the moon. But, say they, it had reference to Nebraska, in principle. Let us see. The North consented to this provision, not because


they considered it right in itself, but because they were compensated -- paid for it.

They, at the same time, got California into the Union as a free state. This was far the best part of all they had struggled for by the Wilmot Proviso. They also got the area of slavery somewhat narrowed in the settlement of the boundary of Texas. Also, they got the slave-trade abolished in the District of Columbia.

For all these desirable objects, the North could afford to yield something; and they did yield to the South the Utah and New Mexico provision. I do not mean that the whole North, or even a majority, yielded, when the law passed; but enough yielded, when added to the vote of the South, to carry the measure. Now can it be pretended that the principle of this arrangement requires us to permit the same provision to be applied to Nebraska, without any equivalent at all? Give us another free state; press the boundary of Texas still further back; give us another step toward the destruction of slavery in the District, and you present us a similar case. But ask us not to repeat, for nothing, what you paid for in the first instance. If you wish the thing again, pay again. That is the principle of the Compromises of '50, if indeed they had any principles beyond their specific terms -- it was the system of equivalents.

Again, if Congress, at that time, intended that all future territories should, when admitted as states, come in with or without slavery, at their own option, why did it not say so? With such an universal provision, all know the bills could not have passed. Did they, then -- could they -- establish a principle contrary to their own intention? Still further; if they intended to establish the principle that wherever Congress had control, it should be left to the people to do as they thought fit with slavery, why did they not authorize the people of the District of Columbia, at their option, to abolish slavery within their limits?

I personally know that this has not been left undone because


it was unthought of. It was frequently spoken of by members of Congress, and by citizens of Washington, six years ago; and I heard no one express a doubt that a system of gradual emancipation, with compensation to owners, would meet the approbation of a large majority of the white people of the District. But without the action of Congress they could say nothing; and Congress said "No." In the measures of 1850, Congress had the subject of slavery in the District expressly on hand. If they were then establishing the principle of allowing the people to do as they please with slavery, why did they not apply the principle to that people?

Again, it is claimed that by the Resolutions of the Illinois Legislature, passed in 1851, the repeal of the Missouri Compromise was demanded. This I deny also. Whatever may be worked out by a criticism of the language of those resolutions, the people have never understood them as being any more than an indorsement of the Compromises of 1850; and a release of our Senators from voting for the Wilmot Proviso. The whole people are living witnesses, that this only was their view. Finally, it is asked, "If we did not mean to apply the Utah and New Mexico provision to all future territories, what did we mean when we, in 1852, indorsed the Compromises of 1850?"

For myself, I can answer this question most easily. I meant not to ask a repeal or modification of the fugitive slave law. I meant not to ask for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. I meant not to resist the admission of Utah and New Mexico, even should they ask to come in as slave states. I meant nothing about additional territories, because, as I understood, we then had no territory whose character as to slavery was not already settled. As to Nebraska, I regarded its character as being fixed, by the Missouri Compromise, for thirty years -- as unalterably fixed as that of my own home in Illinois. As to new acquisitions, I said: "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." When we make new acquisitions, we will, as heretofore, try to


manage them somehow. That is my answer; that is what I meant and said; and I appeal to the people to say each for himself, whether that was not also the universal meaning of the free states.

I now come to consider whether the repeal, with its avowed principles, is intrinsically right. I insist that it is not. Take the particular case. A controversy had arisen between the advocates and opponents of slavery, in relation to its establishment within the country we had purchased of Prance. The southern, and then best part of the purchase, was already in as a slave state. The controversy was settled by also letting Missouri in as a slave state; but with the agreement that within all the remaining part of the purchase, north of a certain line, there should never be slavery. As to what was to be done with the remaining part south of the line nothing was said; but perhaps the fair implication was, that it should come in with slavery, if it should so choose. The southern part, except a portion heretofore mentioned, afterward did come in with slavery, as the State of Arkansas. All these many years, since 1820, the northern part had remained a wilderness. At length, settlements began in it also. In due course, Iowa came in as a free state, and Minnesota was given a territorial government, without removing the slavery restriction. Finally, the sole remaining part, north of the line -- Kansas and Nebraska -- was to be organized; and it is proposed, and carried, to blot out the old dividing line of thirty-four years' standing, and to open the whole of that country to the introduction of slavery. Now this, to my mind, is manifestly unjust. After an angry and dangerous controversy, the parties made friends by dividing the bone of contention. The one party first appropriates her own share, beyond all power to be disturbed in the possession of it, and then seizes the share of the other party. It is as if two starving men had divided their only loaf; the one had hastily swallowed his half, and then grabbed the other's half just as he was putting it to his mouth.


Let me here drop the main argument, to notice what I consider rather an inferior matter. It is argued that slavery will not go to Kansas and Nebraska, in any event. This is a palliation -- a lullaby. I have some hope that it will not; but let us not be too confident. As to climate, a glance at the map shows that there are five slave states -- Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri, and also the District of Columbia, all north of the Missouri Compromise line. The census returns of 1850 show that, within these, there are eight hundred and sixty-seven thousand, two hundred and seventy-six slaves -- being more than one-fourth of all the slaves in the nation.

It is not climate, then, that will keep slavery out of these territories. Is there anything in the peculiar nature of the country? Missouri adjoins these territories by her entire western boundary, and slavery is already within every one of her western counties. I have even heard it said that there are more slaves in proportion to whites in the northwestern county of Missouri, than within any other county in the state. Slavery pressed entirely up to the old western boundary of the state, and when, rather recently, a part of that boundary at the northwest was moved out a little farther west, slavery followed on quite up to the new line. Now when the restriction is removed, what is to prevent it from going still farther? Climate will not -- no peculiarity of the country will -- nothing in nature will. Will the disposition of the people prevent it? Those nearest the scene are all in favor of the extension. The Yankees, who are opposed to it, may be most numerous; but, in military phrase, the battle-field is too far from their base of operations.

But it is said, there now is no law in Nebraska on the subject of slavery, and that, in such case, taking a slave there operates his freedom. That is good book law, but is not the rule of actual practice. Wherever slavery is it has been first introduced without law. The oldest laws we find concerning it, are not laws introducing it, but regulating it


as an already existing thing. A white man takes his slave to Nebraska now. Who will inform the negro that he is free? Who will take him before court to test the question of his freedom? In ignorance of his legal emancipation, he is kept chopping, splitting, and plowing. Others are brought and move on in the same track. At last, if ever the time for voting comes on the question of slavery, the institution already, in fact, exists in the country, and can not well be removed. The fact of its presence, and the difficulty of its removal, will carry the vote in its favor. Keep it out until a vote is taken, and a vote in favor of it can not be got in any population of forty thousand on earth, who have been drawn together by the ordinary motives of emigration and settlement. To get slaves into the territory simultaneously with the whites, in the incipient stages of settlement, is the precise stake played for, and won, in this Nebraska measure.

The question is asked us: "If the slaves will go in, notwithstanding the general principle of law liberates them, why would they not equally go in against positive statute law -- go in, even if the Missouri restriction were maintained?" I answer, because it takes a much bolder man to venture in with his property in the latter case than in the former; because the positive Congressional enactment is known to, and respected by all, or nearly all; whereas the negative principle that no law is free law, is not much known except among lawyers. We have some experience of this practical difference. In spite of the ordinance of '87, a few negroes were brought into Illinois, and held in a state of quasi slavery, not enough, however, to carry a vote of the people in favor of the institution, when they came to form a Constitution. But, in the adjoining Missouri country, where there was no ordinance of '87 -- was no restriction -- they were carried ten times, nay, a hundred times, as fast, and actually made a slave state. This is fact -- naked fact.

Another specious argument is, that taking slaves to new countries does not increase their number -- does not make


any one slave who otherwise would be free. There is some truth in this, and I am glad of it; but it is not wholly true. The African slave-trade is not yet effectually suppressed; and if we make a reasonable deduction for the white people among us who are foreigners, and the descendants of foreigners, arriving here since 1808, we shall find the increase of the black population outrunning that of the white, to an extent unaccountable, except by supposing that some of them, too, have been coming from Africa. If this be so, the opening of new countries to the institution increases the demand for, and augments the price of slaves, and so does, in fact, make slaves of freemen, by causing them to be brought from Africa and sold into bondage.

But however this may be, we know the opening of new countries to slavery tends to the perpetuation of the institution, and so does keep men in slavery who would otherwise be free. This result we do not FEEL like favoring, and we are under no legal obligation to suppress our feelings in this respect.

Equal justice to the South, it is said, requires us to consent to the extension of slavery to new countries. That is to say, inasmuch as you do not object to my taking my hog to Nebraska, therefore I must not object to you taking your slave. Now, I admit that this is perfectly logical, if there is no difference between hogs and negroes. But while you thus require me to deny the humanity of the negro, I wish to ask whether you of the South, yourselves, have ever been willing to do as much? It is kindly provided, that of all those who come into the world, only a small percentage are natural tyrants. That percentage is no larger in the slave states than in the free. The great majority South, as well as North, have human sympathies, of which they can no more divest themselves, than they can of their sensibility to physical pain. These sympathies in the bosoms of the Southern people manifest, in many ways, their sense of the wrong of slavery, and their consciousness that, after all, there is humanity


in the negro. If they deny this, let me address them a few plain questions. In 1820, you joined the North, almost unanimously, in declaring the African slave-trade piracy, and in annexing to it the punishment of death. Why did you do this? If you did not feel that it was wrong, why did you join in providing that men should be hung for it? The practice was no more than bringing wild negroes from Africa to sell to such as would buy them. But you never thought of hanging men for catching and selling wild horses, wild buffaloes, or wild bears.

Again: they have the "SLAVE-DEALER." He watches your necessities, and seeks to buy your slave, at a low price. If you can not help it, you sell to him; but if you can help it, you drive him from your door. You despise him. You do not recognize him. Your children don't play with his; they may play freely with darkies, but not with the "slave-dealer's" children. If you are obliged to deal with him, you try to get through the job, without so much as touching him. It is common with you to join hands with the men you meet; but with the slave-dealer you avoid the ceremony -- instinctively shrinking from the contact.

MR. GRAHAM: -- "I am a Kentuckian, and I wouldn't shake hands with him."

MR. LINCOLN: -- "I, too, am a Kentuckian, and I certainly wouldn't do it."

If he grows rich and retires from business, you still remember him, and still keep up the ban of non-intercourse with him and his family. Now, why is this? You do not so treat the man who deals in corn, cattle, or tobacco.

And yet again: There are in the United States and territories, including the District of Columbia, 433,643 free blacks. At $500 per head, they are worth over two hundred millions of dollars. How comes this vast amount of property to be running about, without owners? We do not see free horses, or free cattle, running at large. How is this? All these free blacks are the descendants of slaves, or have been


slaves themselves; and they would be slaves now, but for SOMETHING which has operated on their white owners, inducing them at vast pecuniary sacrifices to liberate them. What is that SOMETHING? Is there any mistaking it? In all these cases, it is your sense of justice and human sympathy, continually telling you that the poor negro has some natural right to himself -- that those who deny it, and make mere merchandise of him, deserve kickings, contempt, and death.

And now, why will you ask us to deny the humanity of the slave, and estimate him as only the equal of the hog? Why ask us to do what you will not do yourself? Why ask us to do for nothing what two hundred millions of dollars could not induce you to do?

But one great argument in the support of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise is still to come. That argument is "the sacred right of self-government."

I trust I understand and truly estimate the right of self-government. My faith in the proposition that each man should do precisely as he pleases with all which is exclusively his own, lies at the foundation of the sense of justice there is in me. I extend the principle to communities of men, as well as to individuals. I so extend it, because it is politically wise, as well as naturally just; politically wise in saving us from broils about matters which do not concern us. Here, or at Washington, I would not trouble myself with the oyster laws of Virginia, or the cranberry laws of Indiana.

The doctrine of self-government is correct, but it has no just application. I should rather say, that whether it has such just application, depends upon whether the negro is, or is not, a man. If he is not a man, in that case he who is a man, may, as a matter of self-government, do just what he pleases with him. But if the negro is a man, is it not, to that extent, a total destruction of self-government to say, that he, too, shall not govern himself? When the white man governs himself, that is self-government; but when he governs himself, and also governs another man, that is more


than self-government -- that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why, then, my ancient faith teaches me that "all men are created equal;" and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another.

The Nebraskaite, frequently, paraphrases our argument by saying:
"The white people of Nebraska are good enough to govern themselves, but they are not good enough to govern a few miserable negroes!"

Well, I doubt not that the people of Nebraska are, and will continue to be, as good as the average of people elsewhere. I do not say the contrary. What I do say is, that no man is good enough to govern another man, without that other's consent. I say this is the leading principle, the sheet-anchor of American Republicanism. Our Declaration of Independence says:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, DERIVING THEIR JUST POWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED."

I have quoted so much at this time merely to show that, according to our ancient faith, the just powers of governments are derived from the consent of the governed. Now, the relation of master and slave is pro tanto a total violation of their principle. The master not only governs the slave without his consent, but he governs him by a set of rules altogether different from those which he prescribes for himself. Allow ALL the governed an equal voice in the government; and that, and that only, is self-government.

Let it not be said that I am contending for the establishment of political and social equality between the whites and blacks. I have already said the contrary. I am not now combating the argument of NECESSITY, arising from the fact that the blacks are already among us; but I am combating what is set up as MORAL argument for allowing them to be taken where they have never yet been -- arguing against the extension of


a bad thing, which, where it already exists, we must of necessity manage as we best can.

Again, is not Nebraska, while a territory, a part of us? Do we not own the country? And if we surrender the control of it, do we not surrender the right of self-government? It is part of ourselves. If you say we shall not control it, because it is ONLY part, the same is true of every other part; and when all the parts are gone, what has become of the whole? What is then left of us? What use for the General Government, when there is nothing left for it to govern?

But you say this question should be left to the people of Nebraska, because they are more particularly interested. If this be the rule, you must leave it to each individual to say for himself whether he will have slaves. What better moral right have thirty-one citizens of Nebraska to say, that the thirty-second shall not hold slaves, than the people of the thirty-one states have to say that slavery shall not go into the thirty-second state at all?

But if it is a sacred right for the people of Nebraska to take and hold slaves there, it is equally their sacred right to buy them where they can buy them cheapest; and that, undoubtedly, will be on the coast of Africa, provided you will consent not to hang them for going there to buy them. You must remove this restriction, too, from the sacred right of self-government. I am aware, you say, that taking slaves from the States to Nebraska, does not make slaves of freemen; but the African slave-trader can say just as much. He does not catch free negroes and bring them here. He finds them already slaves in the hands of their black captors, and he honestly buys them at the rate of about a red cotton handkerchief a head. This is very cheap and it is a great abridgment of the sacred right of self-government to hang men for engaging in this profitable trade.

Another important objection to this application of the right of self-government, is, that it enables the first FEW to deprive the succeeding MANY of a free exercise of the right of


self-government. The first few may get slavery IN, and the subsequent many can not easily get it OUT. How common is the remark now in the slave states; "If we were only clear of our slaves, how much better it would be for us." They are actually deprived of the privilege of governing themselves as they would, by the action of a very few in the beginning. The same thing was true of the whole nation at the time our Constitution was formed.

Whether slavery shall go into Nebraska, or other new territories, is not a matter of exclusive concern to the people who may go there. The whole nation is interested that the best use shall be made of these territories. We want them for the homes of free white people. This they can not be, to any considerable extent, if slavery shall be planted within them. Slave states are places for poor white people to remove FROM; not to remove TO. New free states are the places for poor people to go to, and better their condition. For this use the nation needs these territories.

Still further; there are constitutional relations between the slave and free states, which are degrading to the latter. We are under legal obligations to catch and return their runaway slaves to them, a sort of dirty, disagreeable job which I believe, as a general rule, the slaveholders will not perform for one another. Then again, in the control of the government -- the management of the partnership affairs -- they have greatly the advantage of us. By the Constitution each state has two Senators -- each has a number of representatives in proportion to the number of its people, and each has a number of presidential electors, equal to the whole number of its representatives and senators together. But in ascertaining the number of the people for this purpose, five slaves are counted as being equal to three whites. The slaves do not vote; they are only counted and so used, as to swell the influence of the white people's votes. The practical effect of this is more aptly shown by a comparison of the states of South Carolina and Maine. South Carolina


has six representatives, and so has Maine; South Carolina has eight presidential electors, and so has Maine. This is precise equality so far; and, of course they are equal in Senators, each having two. Thus, in the control of the government, they are equals precisely. But how are they in the number of their white people? Maine has 581,813, and South Carolina has 274,567. Maine has twice as many as South Carolina, and 32,679 over. Thus, each white man in South Carolina is more than double of any man in Maine. This all because South Carolina, besides her free people, has 387,984 slaves. The South Carolinian has precisely the same advantage over the white man in every other free state, as well as in Maine. He is more than the double of any one of us. The same advantage, though not to the same extent, is held by all citizens of the slave states over those of the free, and it is an absolute truth, without any exception, that there is no voter in any slave state but who has more legal power in the government than any voter in any free state. There is no instance of exact equality; but the advantage is against us all the time. This principle, in the aggregate, gives the slave states in the present Congress twenty additional representatives, being seven more than the whole majority by which they passed the Nebraska bill.

Now all this is manifestly unfair, yet I do not mention it to complain of it, in so far as it is already settled. It is in the Constitution, and I do not for that cause, or any other cause, propose to destroy, alter or disregard the Constitution. I stand to it fairly, fully and firmly. But when I am told that I must leave it altogether to other people to say whether new partners are to be bred up and brought into the firm on the same degrading terms against me, I respectfully demur. I insist that whether I shall be a whole man or only the half of one in comparison with others, is a question in which I am somewhat concerned, and one which no other man can have a sacred right of deciding for me. If I am wrong in this -- if it really be a sacred right of self-government in the


man who shall go to Nebraska to decide whether he will be the equal of me or the double of me; then, after he shall have exercised that right, and shall thereby have reduced me to a still smaller fraction of a man than I am already, I should like for some gentleman deeply skilled in the mystery of sacred rights, to provide himself with a microscope and peep about and find out, if he can, what has become of my sacred rights. They will surely be too small for detection by the naked eye.

Finally, I insist that if there is anything that it is the duty of the whole people to never entrust to any hands but their own, that thing is the preservation and perpetuity of their own liberties and institutions. And if they shall think as I do, that the extension of slavery endangers them more than any or all other causes, how recreant to themselves if they submit the question, and with it the fate of their country, to a mere handful of men bent only on temporary self-interest. But Nebraska is urged as a great Union-saving measure. Well, I go, too, for saving the Union. Much as I hate slavery, I would consent to the extension of it rather than to see the Union dissolved, just as I would consent to any great evil to prevent a greater one. But when I go to Union-saving I must believe, at least, that the means I employ have adaptation to the end. To my mind this bill has no such adaptation. It is an aggravation, rather, of the only one thing that really endangers the Union. When it came upon us, all was peace and quiet. The nation was looking to the forming of new bonds of union, and a long course of peace and prosperity seemed open before us. In the whole range of possibility, there scarcely appears to me to have been anything out of which the slavery agitation could have been revived, except the project of repealing the Missouri Compromise. Every inch of territory we owned already had a definite settlement of the slavery question, and by which all parties were pledged to abide. Indeed, there was no uninhabited country on the continent which we could


acquire, if we except some extreme northern regions which are wholly out of the question. In this state of the case, the Genius of Discord himself could scarcely have invented a way of getting us by the ears, but by turning back and destroying the peace measures of the past. The councils of that Genius seem to have prevailed; the Missouri Compromise was repealed; and here we are, in the midst of a new slavery agitation, such, I think, as we have never seen before. Who is responsible for this? Is it those who resist the measure; or those who, causelessly, brought it forward, and pressed it through, having reason to know, and, in fact, knowing it must and would be so resisted? It could not but be expected by its author, that it would be looked upon as a measure for the extension of slavery, aggravated by a gross breach of faith.

A VOICE -- Why hain't they a right to decide for themselves if they want slavery or not?

MR. LINCOLN -- Hain't who a right?

A VOICE -- The settlers out there.

MR. LINCOLN -- Because, in the first place, the Congress, representing the wholepeople of the nation, have the power and responsibility under the Constitution of making all needful rules and regulations touching the territories; second, because, in exchange for the privilege of establishing slavery in Missouri, freedom was guaranteed to this territory by both law and honor; thirdly, because any way the first few settlers should not be allowed to fix the fate of the institutions of that region for all time; and other reasons which you will see if you will pay attention to what I am saying.

Argue as you will, and long as you will, this is the naked FRONT and ASPECT of the measure. And in this aspect, it could not but produce agitation. Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man's nature -- opposition to it, in his love of justice. These principles are in eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely as slavery extension brings them, shocks, and throes, and convulsions must


ceaselessly follow. Repeal the Missouri Compromise -- repeal all compromise -- repeal the Declaration of Independence -- repeal all past history -- you still can not repeal human nature. It still will be in the abundance of man's heart that slavery extension is wrong; and out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth will continue to speak.

The structure, too, of the Nebraska bill is very peculiar. The people are to decide the question of slavery for themselves; but WHEN they are to decide, or HOW they are to decide, or whether, when the question is once decided, it is to remain so, or is to be subject to an indefinite succession of new trials, the law does not say. Is it to be decided by the first dozen settlers who arrive there, or is it to await the arrival of a hundred? Is it to be decided by a vote of the people or a vote of the Legislature; or, indeed, by a vote of any sort? To these questions the law gives no answer. There is a mystery about this: for, when a member proposed to give the Legislature express authority to exclude slavery, it was hooted down by the friends of the bill. This fact is significant. Some Yankees in the East are sending emigrants to Nebraska to exclude slavery from it; and, so far as I can judge, they expect the question to be decided by voting in some way or other. But the Missouri people are awake too. They are within a stone's throw of the contested ground. They hold meetings and pass resolutions, in which not the slightest allusion to voting is made. They resolve that slavery already exists in the territory; that more shall go there, and that they, remaining in Missouri, will protect it; and that abolitionists shall be hung or driven away. Through all this, bowie-knives and six-shooters are plainly seen, but no ballot-box. What is the result of this? Each party within, having numerous and determined backers without, is it not probable that the contest will come to blows and bloodshed? Could there be a more apt invention to bring about a collision and violence on the slavery question? I do not charge that this was so designed by Congress; but if they


had formed a ring, and put champions in it to fight it out, the fight would be no more likely to come off than it is now. And if this fight should come off is it likely to take a very peaceful Union-saving turn? Will not the first drop of blood, so shed, be the knell of the Union?

The Missouri Compromise ought to be restored. We ought to elect a House of Representatives which will vote its restoration. If, by any means, we omit to do this, what follows? Slavery may or may not be established in Nebraska. But whether it be or not, we shall have repudiated -- discarded from the councils of the nation -- the spirit of compromise; for who, after this, will ever trust in a national compromise? The spirit of mutual concession -- that spirit which first gave us the Constitution, and which has thrice saved the Union -- we shall have strangled and cast from us for ever. And what shall we have in lieu of it? The South, flushed with triumph and tempted with excesses; the North, betrayed as they believe, brooding over wrong and burning for revenge. One side will provoke, the other resent. The one will taunt, the other defy; one aggresses, the other retaliates. Already a few of the North defy all Constitutional restraints, resist the execution of the fugitive slave law, and even menace the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. Already a few in the South claim the Constitutional right to take to, and hold slaves in, the free states -- demand the revival of the slave trade -- and demand a treaty with Great Britain, by which fugitive slaves may be reclaimed from Canada. As yet they are but few on either side. It is a grave question for the lovers of the Union, whether the final destruction of the Missouri Compromise, and with it the spirit of all compromise, will or will not embolden and embitter each of these, and fatally increase the number of both.

But restore the compromise and what then? We thereby restore the national faith, the national confidence, the national feeling of brotherhood. We thereby reinstate the spirit of concession and compromise -- that spirit which has


never failed us in past perils, and which may be safely trusted for all the future. The South ought to join in doing this. The peace of the nation is as dear to them as to us. In memories of the past and hopes of the future, they share as largely as we. It would be, on their part, a great act -- great in its spirit, and great in its effect. It would be worth to the nation a hundred years' purchase of peace and prosperity. And what of sacrifice would they make? They only surrender to us what they gave us for a consideration long, long ago; what they have not now asked for, struggled or cared for; what has been thrust upon them, not less to their own astonishment than to ours.

But it is said, we can not restore it; that though we elect every member of the lower House, the Senate is still against us. It is quite true that, of the Senators who passed the Nebraska bill, a majority of the whole Senate will retain their seats in spite of the elections of this and the next year. But if, at these elections, their several constituencies shall clearly express their will against Nebraska, will these Senators disregard their will? Will they neither obey, nor make room for those who will?

But even if we fail to technically restore the compromise, it is still a great point to carry a popular vote in favor of the restoration. The moral weight of such a vote can not be estimated too highly. The authors of Nebraska are not at all satisfied with the destruction of the compromise -- an indorsement of this PRINCIPLE they proclaim to be their great object. With them, Nebraska alone is a small matter -- to establish a principle for FUTURE USE is what they particularly desire.

That future use is to be the planting of slavery wherever in the wide world, local and unorganized opposition can not prevent it. Now, if you wish to give them this indorsement, if you wish to establish this principle, do so. I shall regret it, but it is your right. On the contrary, if you are opposed to the principle -- intend to give it no such indorsement


-- let no wheedling, no sophistry divert you from throwing a direct vote against it.

Some men, mostly Whigs, who condemn the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, nevertheless hesitate to go for its restoration, lest they be thrown in company with the Abolitionists. Will they allow me, as an old Whig, to tell them, good-humoredly, that I think this is very silly? Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right, and PART with him when he goes wrong. Stand WITH the Abolitionist in restoring the Missouri Compromise, and stand AGAINST him when he attempts to repeal the fugitive slave law. In the latter case you stand with the Southern disunionist. What of that? you are still right. In both cases you are right. In both cases you oppose the dangerous extremes. In both you stand on middle ground, and hold the ship level and steady. In both you are national, and nothing less than national. This is the good old Whig ground. To desert such ground because of any company, is to be less than a Whig -- less than a man -- less than an American.

I particularly object to the NEW position which the avowed principle of this Nebraska law gives to slavery in the body politic. I object to it because it assumes that there CAN be MORAL RIGHT, in the enslaving of one man by another. I object to it as a dangerous dalliance for a free people -- a sad evidence that, feeling prosperity, we forget right -- that liberty, as a principle, we have ceased to revere. I object to it, because the fathers of the republic eschewed and rejected it. The argument of "necessity," was the only argument they ever admitted in favor of slavery; and so far, and so far only, as it carried them, did they ever go. They found the institution existing among us, which they could not help, and they cast blame upon the British king for having permitted its introduction. Before the Constitution, they prohibited its introduction into the Northwestern Territory, the only country we owned, then free from it. At the framing and adoption of the Constitution they forebore to so much as mention the


word "slave," or "slavery," in the whole instrument. In the provision for the recovery of fugitives, the slave is spoken of as a "person held to service or labor." In the prohibiting the abolition of the African slave trade for twenty years, that trade is spoken of as "The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit," etc. These are the only provisions alluding to slavery. Thus the thing is hid away in the Constitution, just as an afflicted man hides away a wen or cancer which he dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death; with the promise, nevertheless, that the cutting may begin at the end of a certain time. Less than this our fathers could not do; and more they would not do. Necessity drove them so far, and farther they would not go. But this is not all. The earliest Congress under the Constitution took the same view of slavery. They hedged and hemmed it into the narrowest limits of necessity.

In 1794, they prohibited an out-going slave trade -- that is, the taking of slaves from the United States to sell.

In 1798 they prohibited the bringing of slaves from Africa into the Mississippi Territory -- this territory then comprising what are now the states of Mississippi and Alabama. This was ten years before they had the authority to do the same thing as to the states existing at the adoption of the Constitution.

In 1800 they prohibited American citizens from trading in slaves between foreign countries, as, for instance, from Africa to Brazil.

In 1803, they passed a law in aid of one or two slave state laws in restraint of the internal slave trade.

In 1807, in apparent hot haste, they passed the law nearly a year in advance, to take effect the first day of 1808, the very first day the Constitution would permit -- prohibiting the African slave trade, by heavy pecuniary and corporal penalties.

In 1820, finding these provisions ineffectual, they declared


the slave-trade piracy, and annexed to it the extreme penalty of death. While all this was passing in the General Government, five or six of the original slave states had adopted systems of gradual emancipation; by which the institution is rapidly becoming extinct within these limits.

Thus we see the plain, unmistakable spirit of that age toward slavery, was hostility to the principle, and tolerated only by necessity.

But now it is to be transformed into a "sacred right." Nebraska brings it forth, places it on the high road to extension and perpetuity; and with a pat on its back, says to it, "Go, and God speed you." Henceforth it is to be the chief jewel of the nation -- the very figure-head of the ship of state. Little by little, but steadily as man's march to the grave, we have been giving up the old, for the new faith. Nearly eighty years ago we began by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from that beginning we have run down to the other declaration, that for SOME men to enslave others is a "sacred right of self-government." These principles can not stand together. They are opposite as God and Mammon, and whoever holds to the one must despise the other. When Pettit, in connection with his support of the Nebraska bill, called the Declaration of Independence "a self-evident lie" (and Choate termed it "a string of glittering generalities"), he only did what consistency and candor required all other Nebraska men to do. Of the forty odd Nebraska senators who sat present and heard him, no one rebuked him. Nor am I apprised that any Nebraska newspaper, or any Nebraska orator, in the whole nation, has ever yet rebuked him. If this had been said among Marion's men, Southerners though they were, what would have become of the man who said it? If this had been said to the men who captured Andre, the man who said it would probably have been hung sooner than Andre was. If it had been said in old Independence Hall, seventy-eight years ago, the very doorkeeper would have thrust him into the street.


Be not deceived. The spirit of the Revolution and the spirit of Nebraska are antipodes; and the former is being rapidly displaced by the latter.

Shall we make no effort to arrest this? Already the liberal party throughout the world express the apprehension "that the one retrograde institution in America is undermining the principles of progress, and fatally violating the noblest political system the world ever saw." This is not the taunt of enemies, but the warning of friends. Is it quite safe to disregard it -- to disparage it? Is there no danger to liberty itself in discarding the earliest practice, and first precept of our ancient faith? IN OUR GREEDY HASTE TO MAKE PROFIT OF THE NEGRO, LET US BEWARE LEST WE CANCEL AND REND IN PIECES EVEN THE WHITE MAN'S CHARTER OF FREEDOM.

Our republican robe is soiled and trailed in the dust. Let us repurify it. Let us turn it and wash it white, in the spirit, if not in the blood of the Revolution. Let us turn slavery from its claims of "moral right" back upon its existing legal rights and its arguments of "necessity." Let us restore it to the position our fathers gave it, and then let it rest in peace. Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence and the practices and policy which harmonize with it. Let North and South, let all Americans, let all lovers of liberty everywhere, join in the great and good work. If we do this we shall not only have saved the Union, but we shall have so saved it as to make and to keep it forever worth the saving. We shall have so saved it, that the succeeding millions of free, happy people, the world over, shall rise up and call us blessed, to the latest generations.

This great speech was made with no ostentation, no preparation, no labored effort. I accompanied Mr. Lincoln to his room, and I then appreciated that he was a mental and moral giant. He resumed his badinage where he had left off to go to the meeting, and kept it up till midnight,


which was our usual bed-time on the circuit when Lincoln was around.

Whoever shall read this speech cannot fail to note the simplicity of its style, clearness of its diction and the force and completeness of its argument. Not only such matters as are patent to the common apprehension, but those likewise, which are recondite, are thoroughly discussed and made perfectly lucid; nothing is left to conjecture, nor could anybody not warped by a pro slavery bias disagree with him; nor could I fail to observe the complete ease and absence of any strain or labored effort displayed; he had no time or opportunity to make any preparation. Davis and I were with him from the adjournment of court till we went to the court house; he regaled us with stories -- then made this great speech; then resumed his story-telling where he left off as if the making of such a speech as this was pastime.

Although Lincoln had met Douglas at a joint debate at Springfield, and likewise at Peoria earlier in that same month, yet this was the first independent, untrammeled speech he ever made on the slavery question, and it also was the last one prior to May 29th, 1856, at Bloomington. At the earnest solicitation of Douglas, a few days previously, each agreed to speak no more during that canvass, but Douglas did, notwithstanding, speak at Princeton; and Lincoln did speak, notwithstanding, at our town. It was wholly unnecessary, however, inasmuch as our district was a Whig district par excellence, consequently we needed no anti-Nebraska speech to set us right, inasmuch as our people adhered to old party lines.

A week subsequently I substantially repeated this speech to about fifty men in the little court-room, about twenty feet square, at Monticello, while a tailor plied his vocation in one corner of the room. Court sat there four days in the year, and the tailor sat there cross-legged for the remaining days, and his suits were of greater utility than the suits which were tried during court time.


Chapter X. Lincoln as a Lawyer.

* * Let me behold
Thy face -- surely this man was born of woman:
Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
Perpetual, sober gods! I do proclaim
An honest man -- mistake me not -- but one;
No more, I pray.

A lawyer is a learned gentleman who rescues your property from your adversary and appropriates it to himself.
-- TER.

God works wonders now and then,
Here lies a lawyer -- an honest man.

His character as a lawyer was controlled and molded by his character as a man.

His moral and intellectual honesty was "all wool and a yard wide," as the adage is, and was not set aside or trenched upon by the pressure or emergencies of a law-suit or a client's wishes. When on the right side of a case which might enlist personal feeling, he was terrible as an army with banners; but on the wrong side he was frequently an injury to his case. He understood human nature thoroughly, and was very expert and incisive in his examination and cross-examination of witnesses. If a witness told the truth without evasion Lincoln was respectful and patronizing to him, but he would score a perjured witness unmercifully. He took no notes, but remembered everything quite as well as those who did so. I remember once we all, court and lawyers, except Lincoln, insisted that a witness had sworn so-and-so, but it turned out that Lincoln was correct and that he recollected better than the united bench and bar. But, with all his candor and honesty, there was a method and


shrewdness which Leonard Swett well understood, and which he has thus graphically and forcibly described.

Court House at Danville

Swett says: As he entered the trial, where most lawyers object, he would say he "reckoned" it would be fair to let this in, or that; and sometimes when his adversary could not quite prove what Lincoln knew to be the truth, he would say he "reckoned" it would be fair to admit the truth to be so and so. When he did object to the court, after he heard his objections answered, he would often say: "Well, I reckon I must be wrong."

Now, about the time he had practiced this way about three-quarters through the case, if his adversary didn't understand him, he would wake up in a few moments, finding he had feared the Greeks too late, and wake up to find himself beaten. He was "wise as a serpent" in the trial of a case, but I have got too many scars from his blows to certify that he was "harmless as a dove." When the whole thing is unraveled the adversary begins to see that what he was so blandly giving away, was simply what he couldn't get and keep. By giving away six points and carrying the seventh, he carried his case, and, the whole case hanging on the seventh, he traded away everything which would give him the least aid in carrying that. Any one who took Lincoln for a simple-minded man would very soon wake up on his back, in a ditch.

Another eminent jurist thus describes him:
Without the advantage of that mental culture which is afforded by a classical education, he learned the law as a science. Nature endowed him with a philosophical mind, and he learned and appreciated the elementary principles of the law and the reasons why they had become established as such. He remembered well what he read, because he fully comprehended it. He understood the relations of things, and hence his deductions were rarely wrong from any given state of facts. So he applied the principles of the law to the transactions of men with great clearness and precision.


He was a close reasoner. He reasoned by analogy, and usually enforced his views by apt illustrations. His mode of speaking was generally of a plain and unimpassioned character, and yet he was the author of some of the most beautiful and eloquent passages in our language, which, if collected together, would form a valuable contribution to American literature. Those who supposed Mr. Lincoln was destitute of imagination or fancy, know but little of his fancy or endowments. In truth, his mind overflowed with pleasing imagery. His great reputation for integrity was well deserved. The most punctilious honor ever marked his professional and private life. He seemed entirely ignorant of the art of deception or of dissimulation. His frankness and candor were elements in his character which contributed to his professional success. If he discovered a weak point in his cause he frankly admitted it, and thereby prepared the mind to accept the more readily his mode of avoiding it. No one ever accused him of taking an underhanded or unfair advantage in the whole course of his professional career. His personal characteristics were of the most pleasing kind. His heart was full of benevolence and he was ever prone to put the most favorable construction upon the frailties of his fellow-men. His hand was open to relieve the unfortunate and his efforts were at the service of those in distress. By his genial nature he enlivened every circle of which he was a member, where he was ever welcome.

Such is the guerdon of praise accorded to this matchless man by Judge Caton, for many years one of the judges of our Supreme Court.

He discarded all useless technicalities and got down to the merits of the case at once. A declaration written by himself, herewith presented, will show the simplicity of his style of pleading. He searched the statute for the law, or in the hope of finding the law, more sedulously than any lawyer I ever knew.

"Declaration" of seven pages

"Declaration" of seven pages

"Declaration" of seven pages

"Declaration" of seven pages

In mere case law he was deficient. As late as 1855 I


asked him if we could interpose the same defense to an action upon the judgment of another state that we could to the original claim; his reply was prompt, and my legal friends will be surprised to learn that it was: "Yes." Even I, but one year at the bar, thought I knew better, and I soon found that he was radically wrong, and he was astonished when I told him so.

At another time I asked him if, in an attachment suit, a service of the attachment writ on the defendant had the force of a summons. He cast his eyes up to the ceiling for nearly a minute and then roguishly said: "Damfino."

I once was defending a note with no defense, except for delay, and having demurred three successive times, and thus continued it through several terms of court, I yet found a new flaw in the declaration, which I had no faith in, and I showed it to Lincoln, who said he deemed the declaration to be bad. I then demurred again, and informed my adversary that Lincoln agreed with me that the declaration was bad, and Lincoln confirmed my statement without advising him what it was, as per my request. I then let them take judgment with a stay of execution for six months, and then showed him the flaw; but all the other lawyers and the judge concurred that there was nothing in the point at all.

No matter how eventful or exciting a trial was, he remained entirely calm, unexcited, imperturbable; you could not discern by his manner that he had the slightest tinge either of trepidation or enthusiasm, but he remained inflexible and stoical to the last. Once I had an important railroad suit that I secured his aid in, and as the able counsel on the other side was dealing out heavy "wisdom licks" at us, I got alarmed and spoke to Lincoln about it; he sat inflexibly calm and serene, and merely remarked: "All that is very easily answered," and when his time came, he blew away what seemed to me as almost an unanswerable argument as easily as a beer-drinker blows off the froth from his foaming tankard.


The last case he ever tried was the celebrated "sandbar" case, which involved the title to a large amount of "shore" property on the banks of the lakes, north of the river, at Chicago. It had been tried there several times previously, and came on for the fourth time before Judge Drummond and a jury in the Larmon Block, northeast corner of dark and Washington streets, Chicago, on March 19th, 1860, two months prior to the Chicago convention. Lincoln stopped at the Tremont House, and he never was in Chicago but twice afterward -- once on November 24th thereafter, when, as President-elect, he came to meet the Vice-President-elect; and again in May, 1865, when all that was mortal of him lay in state in the court house, mourned by the civilized world. The title of this case was "William S. Johnson vs. William Jones and Sylvester Marsh." Counsel for plaintiff were Buckner S. Morris, Isaac N. Arnold and John A. Wills. Counsel for defendant were Abraham Lincoln, Samuel W. Fuller, Van H. Higgins and John Van Arman. The trial closed on April 4th by a verdict for defendants.

Van H. Higgins is the only one of that brilliant array of lawyers now alive, and the judge who tried the case is also gone.

And Judge Higgins told me just after the trial that although he had known Lincoln for years, yet he had no idea before of what a great lawyer he was.

As I have said, this was Lincoln's last case; he was nominated the succeeding month. But, singular to say, he and I had a chancery case in Champaign, entitled, "Harvey vs. Campbell," still pending and undetermined after he was installed as President: and upon one occasion, in the fall of 1861, I called on him at the White House and we consulted together what to do with that case, and, after agreeing on a policy, I asked him whether he or I had better go to Champaign and attend to it, to which he replied: "As old men are for counsel and young men are for war, I reckon it would be right for you to go;" -- and I went.


While he was intensely logical, and inclined to make everything accord with undeviating rule, yet he was likewise eminently practical, and was always sedulous to achieve results in the simplest way.

But in cases of sufficient magnitude, and especially involving new principles, he would cast authorities to the winds, and sound the depths of his own mind for original arguments to meet the requirements of his case, and in that sort of law practice he was probably without a peer at our bar.

He relied much on his clear statements of his facts and points, and argued his cases with great force and frequently with aggressiveness and pugnacity, but he was not more than ordinarily successful for a first-class lawyer; he certainly did not succeed in every case, as I have seen it stated; he was sometimes defeated, like other lawyers, even in cases that he believed in and did his best to succeed in. Bunn told me that Lincoln informed him that, in once travelling around our circuit, he had not a single case except for the defense, and that he was defeated every time.

"Mr. Lincoln was a slow thinker. It seemed as if every proposition submitted to his mind was subjected to the regular process of syllogism, with its major proposition and its minor proposition and its conclusion. Whatever could not stand the test of sound reasoning, he rejected. Though honest by instinctive impulse, he became still more so by the logical operation of his mind. He would not accept a fee in a bad cause. He would not argue a case before a jury, for the sake of argument, when he believed he was wrong. No man was stronger than he when on the right side, and no man weaker when on the opposite. A knowledge of this fact gave him additional strength before the court or a jury, when he chose to insist that he was right. He indulged in no rhetorical flourishes or mere sentimental ideas, but could illustrate a point by one of his inimitable stories so as to carry conviction to the most common intellect. He used plain Saxon words, which imparted strength to his style, at


the expense, it may be, of elegance, but which were understood and appreciated by the masses of the people.

He instinctively knew that "On every subject on which difference of opinion is possible, the truth depends on a balance to be struck between two sets of conflicting reasons." Even in natural philosophy, there is always some other explanation possible of the same facts, some geocentric theory, instead of heliocentric, some phlogiston instead of oxygen; and it has to be shown why that other theory cannot be the true one; and until this is shown, and until we know how it is shown, we do not understand the grounds of our opinion. But when we turn to subjects infinitely more complicated, to morals, religion, politics, social regulations and the business of life, three-fourths of the arguments for every disputed opinion consist in dispelling the appearances which favor some opinion different from it. The greatest orator, save one, of antiquity has left it on record that he always studied his adversary's case with as great, if not with still greater, intensity than even his own. What Cicero practiced as the means of forensic success requires to be imitated by all who study any subject, in order to arrive at the truth. He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may have been good and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion.

His urbanity and the off-hand impressions he made on the circuit are thus sketched by a prominent Wall street broker, who was brought up in part in Champaign county: * * * I had the honor of knowing him personally and shaking his big, honest hand. I remember meeting him in the old court house in Urbana, in the fall of 1859. My father was interested in a very important law-suit. I took occasion to confer with Lincoln regarding the same. He had some leisure at the moment and I stated to him the


facts -- he kindly gave me full and candid attention. He very promptly indicated to me the main legal features of the case and suggested to me that if the points were properly made my father should win the suit and be fully protected. The case was finally tried at Danville and won most triumphantly on the lines suggested by Lincoln in the conversation above mentioned. It saved my father from wrongfully paying over five thousand dollars.

Judge Drummond said of him: "With a voice by no means pleasant, and, indeed, when excited, in its shrill tones, sometimes almost disagreeable; without any of the personal graces of the orator, without much in the outer man indicating superiority of intellect, without great quickness of perception, still his mind was so vigorous, his comprehension so exact and clear, and his judgment so sure, that he easily mastered the intricacies of his profession, and became one of the ablest reasoners and most impressive speakers at our bar. With a probity of character known by all, with an intuitive insight into the human heart, with a clearness of statement which was itself an argument, with uncommon power and felicity of illustration -- often, it is true, of a plain and homely kind -- and with that sincerity and earnestness of manner which carried conviction, he was, perhaps, one of the most successful jury lawyers we have ever had in the state. He always tried a case fairly and honestly. He never intentionally misrepresented the evidence of a witness or the argument of an opponent. He met both squarely, and if he could not explain the one or answer the other, substantially admitted it. He never mis-stated the law, according to his own intelligent view of it."

Judge Breeze said: "For my single self, I have for a quarter of a century regarded Mr. Lincoln as the finest lawyer I ever knew, and of a professional bearing so high-toned and honorable as justly, and without derogating from the claims of others, entitling him to be presented to the profession as a model well worthy of the closest imitation."


And Judge Davis pays this tribute: "In all the elements that constituted a lawyer, he had few equals. He was great at nisi prius and before an appellate tribunal. He seized the strong points of a cause and presented them with clearness and great compactness. His mind was logical and direct, and he did not indulge in extraneous discussion. Generalities and platitudes had no charm for him. An unfailing vein of humor never deserted him, and he was able to claim the attention of court and jury, when the cause was most uninteresting, by the appropriateness of his anecdotes. His power of comparison was large, and he rarely failed, in a legal discussion, to use that mode of reasoning. The framework of his mental and moral being was honesty, and a wrong case was poorly defended by him. The ability which some eminent lawyers possess of explaining away the bad points of a cause by ingenious sophistry was denied him. In order to bring into activity his great powers, it was necessary that he should be convinced of the right and justice of the matter which he advocated. When so convinced, whether the cause was great or small, he was usually successful.

"He had no managing faculty nor organizing power; hence a child could conform to the simple and technical rules, the means and the modes of getting at justice, better than he. The law has its own rules, and a student could get at them and keep with them better than Lincoln. Sometimes he was forced to study these, if he could not get the rubbish of a case removed. But all the way through, his lack of method and organizing ability was clearly apparent. He never took advantage of a man's low character to prejudice the jury. He considered that his duty to his client extended to what was honorable and high-minded, just and noble -- nothing further. Hence the meanest man at the bar always paid great respect and deference to him."

Through his accurate perceptions, he would discern what was genuine and what was sophistical; many a time have I seen him tear the mask off from a fallacy and shame


both the fallacy and its author. In a railway case we were trying, the opposing lawyer tried to score a point by stating that the plaintiff was a flesh and blood man, with a soul like the jurymen had, while our client was a soulless corporation. Lincoln replied thus: "Counsel avers that his client has a soul. This is possible, of course; but from the way he has testified under oath in this case, to gain, or hope to gain, a few paltry dollars he would sell; nay, has already sold, his little soul very low. But our client is but a conventional name for thousands of widows and orphans whose husbands and parents' hard earnings are represented by this defendant, and who possess souls which they would not swear away as the plaintiff has done for ten million times as much as is at stake here."

I annex engravings of the court houses at Danville and Paris. The counties of which these are the shire towns were on the border of Indiana; and as they were the last courts to be held, lawyers elsewhere were generally disengaged, and, in fact, those courts usually had more or less visitors from the Indiana courts; from Lafayette came Dan Mace, Jim Wilson and John Pettit, the two former of whom had been Congressmen and the latter United States Senator (whom Benton designated as a "dirty dog," hence his mock title D. D. which attended him through life); from Williamsport came Chandler, from Covington Ned Hannegan, Dan Voorhees and Joe Ristine, the two former of whom were, at different times, United States Senators, and the latter State Auditor; and from Terre Haute came John P. Usher and Dick Thompson, both of whom were afterward Cabinet officers at Washington. These distinguished men had rarely any business, but they came usually on a "lark," and no one but the little coteries who were present can realize the tempting mental bill of fare offered on those occasions.

Somehow or other, Davis' circuit was famous for attracting lawyers from abroad. I have seen the entire Iroquois bar at Urbana, not one of whom had any business there;


and I once saw the entire Paris bar at Danville, and with no business whatever except to hear a particular case tried.

The best case lawyers (I. e., those who knew what the adjudged law was) on our circuit outside of Springfield, were Clifton H. Moore of Clinton, and Oliver L. Davis of Danville; and when Judge Davis got puzzled about the law in a case they were not in, he was wont to resort to Mr. Moore on the west side of the circuit and to Oliver (as we called him) on the east. The communities in which they lived fully appreciated the merits of both of these great lawyers, for the former counts his farms by the score and his dollars by millions, and the latter has, till recently, occupied a place on our bench for many consecutive years, both highly honored and respected, and since the above was written has gone to his long home.

He did not, as a rule, "play to the pit" in his addresses to the jury, but simply confined himself closely to his case. However, I recollect once in the evening at Urbana, Lincoln was arguing a case, when some ladies came in, and we made room for them within the bar, which caused a little commotion, and Lincoln said: "I perceive, gentlemen, that you are like all the rest of the fellers in your admiration of the fair sex -- in fact, I think, from appearances, that you are a little worse than the common run," and he added something else that provoked laughter; and he waited a minute and then said patronizingly: "Now, boys, behave yourselves," and went on with his argument.

I have heretofore adverted to his intellectual honesty, and, of course, by that I do not mean his acumen or intellectual grasp and vigor of mind. It is common to have intellectual power. Webster had that in a marked degree, but he was not intellectually honest, and hence we find him in history advocating free trade in 1816, and a high tariff in 1836. He is seen working hand in hand with the friends of freedom anterior to 1850 and abnegating his record on the 7th of March, and under pretext of defending the Christian


faith is found attacking and aiding to minify and dissipate the most munificent Christian charity ever established in this nation. That "honesty is the best policy" was well established in the career and empty results of the life of this greatest of men intellectually and essentially feeble morally: and in the career and fruitful results of the life of Abraham Lincoln, as seen in his great mission, its faithful performance and his immortal fame. A man of the former class, of which, alas! there are too many in our history, is equally at home in arguing either in unison with, or contrary to his convictions; it is simply a little more difficult to argue dishonestly than honestly -- that is all with him. But it was morally impossible for Lincoln to argue dishonestly; he could no more do it than he could steal; it was the same thing to him, in essence, to despoil a man of his property by larceny, or by illogical or flagitious reasoning: and even to defeat a suitor by technicalities or by merely arbitrary law, savored strongly of dishonesty to him. He tolerated it sometimes, but always with a grimace.

Truth is polygonous, and the average mind can see only the nearest side perfectly, the nearest oblique sides imperfectly, and the rear not at all; but Lincoln possessed that kind of mental eyesight (if I may use that expression) that saw all sides and angles of every moral proposition inherent in his law or politics, and hence he knew both sides; and if he acted at all, must state his convictions to all whom it might concern, even if it brought disaster to his side of the case.

While the current of details and exigencies would jostle the ordinary advocate, this way or that, Lincoln stood upright through all contingencies, and nothing could swerve him from the observance of rigid, exact, unerring justice. I speak of conclusive cases; of course, if there was a margin for doubt, he used the usual advantages incident to his side as any other lawyer would.

I was attorney for the Illinois Central Railway from Iroquois county to Effingham, and had a right to employ


counsel to aid as I chose. In Davis' circuit I employed Lincoln when I needed aid, and in Emmerson's, Ficklin; and I never found any difficulty in Lincoln's appearing for a "great soulless corporation" (as was always urged against us) and making the best of the case -- for they always were in tort, and were for alleged carelessness of our employes, therefore always doubtful. In such cases he always stood manfully by me, and I always, of course, tried to win. He was not therefore a milk-sop, nor did he peer unnecessarily into a case in order to find some reason to act out of the usual line; but he had the same animus ordinarily as any lawyer, as a rule. I have mentioned a murder case in which he acted badly toward Swett and I and his client, as I thought, but he did not abandon the case or refrain from arguing it (though we would have let him off) or decline his fee, but he simply argued it very feebly and brought disaster to some of our effective -- but illegitimate -- arguments. I note that Lamon and other biographers state that he declined his fee and wouldn't argue it. I know he did argue it, and that he and Swett and I, each got two hundred dollars.

I once brought suit on a Kentucky judgment, and Lincoln with others, was employed to defend. Oliver L. Davis, who was with Lincoln, taunted me before trial that they not only would defeat, but would make me, ridiculous. I appealed to Lincoln, who comforted me by saying: "Don't you mind Oliver; it is merely like any other case, and I'll see, at least, that there is no ridicule about it;" but when we went into trial, and the thermometer of the case got up to 96 deg in the shade. Lincoln went for me and my case as vigorously as the others, and I was entirely alone against all the talent of that end of the circuit.

There was a marked difference in Lincoln's animus before he took up a case, or after he got into it. He would advise with perfect frankness about a potential case, but when it was in esse, then he wanted to win as badly as any lawyer, but (as I have said before), unlike the average lawyer, he would


not do anything mean, or which savored of dishonesty or sharp practice, or which required absolute sophistry or chicanery in order to succeed.

I find, however, that biographers, in a gush of enthusiasm, incline to inculcate the idea that Lincoln was wont to retire from every case in which he found himself to be wrong and to surrender up his fees, and to try both sides of his cases. As it has been heretofore indicated, such is by no means the case. In a clear case of dishonesty he would hedge in some way so as to not, himself, partake of the dishonesty. In a doubtful case of dishonesty, he would give his client the benefit of the doubt, and in an ordinary case he would try the case, so far as he could, like any other lawyer, except that he absolutely abjured technicality and went for justice and victory, denuded of every integument, and Lincoln's honesty was excellent stock-in-trade to him, and brought success and victory often.

I have elsewhere stated that Judge Davis had a habit of getting Lincoln to hold court for him, sometimes for an hour or two, sometimes for a day or two, and, infrequently, for an entire term; it was not lawful, and two cases were afterward reversed by the Supreme Court on that account.

Lincoln, of course, had sufficient ability to hold court, but sometimes he was sadly wanting in dignity. I once heard of his leaving the bench when an argument to the jury was in progress and entertaining a crowd in the rear with ludicrous stories; also (but that may be apocryphal) that he granted a new trial in that case on account of the incompetency of the court.

He once held an entire term of the Champaign circuit court when I lived there. Several of our citizens had given one Chase their promissory note in consideration of his establishing a newspaper; he did not fulfill his agreement, but did transfer the note to an innocent holder before maturity. Several of us young lawyers were employed to make any defense we could. There really was no defense,


but we tried to delay it and get it put over the term; the plaintiff, on the contrary, pressed for judgment, and several times during the term we would all range ourselves before the bench and make every objection and promise that we could, for delay. In this we succeeded up to the very time the court should have closed, on Saturday afternoon, when the plaintiff again demanded judgment, to which we objected strenuously; Lincoln therefore announced that he would come over at candle-light and take up that case. He came accordingly -- it was literally candle-light, for we had no other. He took his seat at the clerk's desk, with his back to the room, and called for the papers in the case, which were brought. He examined them and found no defense filed, whereupon he commenced to write his order, when I interposed, saying that a demurrer had been filed; but he did not stop writing the order, but only changed it, and as he wrote he read it word by word as follows, viz.: L. D. CHADDON vs. J. D. BEASLEY, et al.
April Term, 1856.
In Assumpsit.

Ordered by the Court: Plea in abatement by B. Z. Greene, a defendant not served, filed Saturday, April 24, 1866, at 11 o'clock A. M., be stricken from the files by order of Court. Demurrer to declaration, if ever there was one, overruled. Defendants, who are served now, at 8 o'clock P. M. of the last day of the term, ask to plead to the merits, which is denied by the Court, on the ground that the offer comes too late, and therefore, as by nil dicit, judgment is rendered for plaintiff.

Clerk assess damages.

I then asked: "How can we get this up to the Supreme Court?" (Our knowledge of law was very meager in those days.) Lincoln, who had been bored about this case, replied: "You all have been so smart about this case that you can find out for yourselves how to carry it up." He then adjourned court for the term.


While Mr. Lincoln was not profoundly versed in black letter or yet case law he still effectively met the elite of the profession, at first in fourteen, and thereafter in eight different counties, as well as the several circuit riders. In his own county he was antagonized by Logan, Stuart, Edwards, Baker, Lamborn, Broadwell and Hay; in Shelby, he was confronted by Anthony Thornton and Samuel W. Moulton; in Macon, by Richard J. Oglesby, Kirby Benedict, Brower Bunn and Seth Post; in Coles, by General Linder and O. B. Ficklin; in Danville, by Oliver L. Davis, John J. Brown and Isaac P. Walker; in Clinton by Clifton H. Moore and Solomon Lewis; in Bloomington by Gridley, Judge Scott, Wm. H. Hannah, Amzi McWilliams and Wickizer; in Mount Pulaski by Samuel C. Parks; and in Champaign by William D. Somers; while generally, in the later days on the circuit, Leonard Swett antagonized him in most of the eases of importance in all courts. There were giants in those days. These were greatmen, in fact -- three of them were, at times, Supreme Judges, four of them have been Congressmen, three U. S. Senators and one a governor. Two or three of them were among the best lawyers in the state, or any other state.

There were several young men of promise on the circuit in Lincoln's time: one of them, and for whom Lincoln predicted a brilliant career (as I state elsewhere), was Shelby M. Cullom, who has been, successively, Congressman, Governor and United States Senator, and his fame is still growing. William W. Orme was one of the most promising young lawyers in this state, when, at the early age of thirty-five, he died of consumption, a brigadier general, having a most interesting family, and leaving a large and lucrative law business, and a great local fame. He was born and raised in the District of Columbia, and settled in Bloomington early in the fifties, and soon developed a force of logic and facility of reasoning which, in ordinary cases, are incident only to a long and varied experience; he was also one of the most accurate pleaders on our circuit, which is saying much, for Oliver L.


Davis, William H. Hannah and Clifton H. Moore all had great reputations in that line. General Orme was a many-sided man, and Colonel David Twigg properly denominated him as having "more common sense than any man he ever knew."

The most promising orator on our circuit of the young men was James W. Somers, of Urbana. Of an engaging person, debonair and suaviter in modo, and bold and trenchant in debate, he joined to accurate and exhaustive knowledge of current politics, an exuberant imagination, which rendered him one of the most captivating political speakers in the ranks of our young men. Originally designed for the law, he would have taken rank with the foremost jury advocates but for an impairment of hearing, which led him to accept a position under his friend Lincoln's administration; and he has continued in the public service constantly since, a credit to himself and his highly influential family, his legal education peculiarly fitting him for his duties, which are of a high and quasi-judicial character. The estimate which Mr. Lincoln had of him appears in some correspondence which I annex, and which equally attests the great President's bonhomie and earnest sympathy with young men of talent and merit who came under his notice and commended themselves to his friendship; indeed, as for that matter, it must be said of Mr. Lincoln that he was

* * * "Too full o' the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way."

The examples of liberal practice and generosity set by Lincoln and Swett, the leaders of our bar, permeated our whole practice and eviscerated "sharp practice." In this the Judge heartily concurred, and there probably was no circuit where the non-essentials and mere forms were so thoroughly discarded. But we did often file pleas simply for delay. Davis said it was all right, if we charged; otherwise it was nefarious.

James W. Somers


Chapter XI. Lincoln as a Christian.

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go; my own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for that day.

God bless the Methodist Church! Bless all the Churches, and blessed be God who * * * giveth us the Churches.

That the Almighty does make use of human agencies, and directly intervenes in human affairs, is one of the plainest statements of the Bible. I have had so many evidences of this, so many instances of being ordered by some supernatural power, that I cannot doubt this power is of God.

I made a solemn vow before God that... I would crown the result by a declaration of freedom to the slaves.

MR. LINCOLN was a fatalist; he believed, and often said, that

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends
Rough-hew them how we will,"
and, as a corollary from this belief, that the Almighty controlled the affairs of man and made the wrath of man to praise him. In all stages of his administration, and before; commencing with his first public utterance after his election, he declared that, with God's help, he should succeed, and without it he would fail. Likewise, before he was run for the presidency, he made frequent references to God in the same spirit of devoutness and trust; and, therefore, if he was honest: honest with his father on his dying bed, honest in what he feared was (and which proved to be), his last affectionate farewell to his neighbors, honest to the many eminent bands of clergymen and Christian people who visited him, and


honest with his cabinet in the most important consultation it ever held, then Lincoln, whether as man or President, believed in God as the Ruler of the Universe, in a blessed hereafter, and in the efficacy of prayer. But one of the conceded and uncontroverted facts of history is, that Lincoln was honest, pre-eminently and conspicuously so; that his sterling quality was so emphasized and pronounced as to gain for him the prefix of "Honest," in like manner as Aristides, by virtue of that sterling quality, was termed "the Just;" and this being so, the conclusion is inevitable, that Mr. Lincoln was practically and essentially, though not ritualistically, a Christian. Such asseverations as appear at the caption hereof are impossible to an atheist, infidel or scoffer. Mr. Lincoln believed himself to be an instrument of God; and that, as God willed, so would the contest be. He also believed in prayer and its efficacy, and that God willed the destruction of slavery through his instrumentality, and he believed in the Church of God as an important auxiliary.

By reference to Mr. Lincoln's early political and literary performances it will appear that he was more than usually addicted to a florid style, and to greatly exaggerated figures of speech; that the plain, direct, homely, common sense methods of his later and statesmanlike years were wholly wanting. Rhodomontade was as common in those youthful productions as plain assertion was in his maturity of life.

The Tomb of Abraham Lincoln

It is not, therefore, to be wondered at that, in the years of his adolescence, he is credited with very decided opinions, radical views and florid expressions on the subject of religion; but he was forty-five years of age when I first knew him, and his views either underwent a decided change or else he had grown reticent on that great subject. Certain it is that I never heard Lincoln express himself on the subject of religion at all. I recollect very well of spending an entire Sabbath day alone with him when he was holding a term of court at Urbana for Judge Davis, and, at his suggestion, we walked out in the big grove adjacent to town, after breakfast,


and we did not return till three o'clock. During that time we walked about, sat down at intervals, talked about various subjects, including his chances for the Presidency, but did not mention religion. Nevertheless, on the evidences which he himself furnished, I must believe, and cannot doubt, that, although he was not a formal or ritualistic Christian, yet that no man in any age more closely obeyed the Divine precepts or walked more closely to God than he.

I cannot be oblivious to the fact that Mr. Herndon is fully impressed with the belief that Mr. Lincoln did not believe in the inspiration of the Bible, or in the divinity of our Blessed Saviour, and he adduces in support of his theory the testimony of Judge Davis, John T. Stuart, William H. Hannah, I. W. Keys, J. W. Fell and others, and the further evidence of Mr. Nicolay to the effect that his views underwent no change at Washington. And Mrs. Lincoln says that he was not a technical Christian, though he was religious by nature.

All seem to concur that whereas he was very extravagant in his heterodox expressions in his youthful prime, he grew more guarded, with advancing years, but in many things certainly he might claim kin with Christians and have the claim allowed. And first was his pre-eminent Christian charity. In this he was a perfect exemplar -- a model. Then he had the Christian virtues of patience, fortitude, humility, forgiveness, responsibility to his duty, fidelity to a trust, and, as I have said, he had, essentially, a spirit of prayer. This is attested in hundreds of conversations and speeches, and in a way that shows sincerity and a desire for practical utility. He was en rapport with God constantly, and ever seeking, as he told the Chicago clergymen, "to ascertain God's will." In the spirit of the Christian he thus mentally expressed himself a believer by his conduct:

"Father, I stretch my hands to Thee --
No other help I know,
If Thou withdraw Thyself from me,
Ah! whither shall I go?"


My good friend Herndon thinks he did not believe in a personal God; but it is sufficient if he believed in a prayer-hearing and a prayer-answering God, and he certainly did believe in such a God -- in a God of battles -- in an omnipotent and over-ruling Providence, and the form, substance, spirit, or essence of God! What He is, how and where He dwells, how He is to be apprehended, etc., are questions of minor import, and which no one can solve. Mr. Lincoln believed in the Christian's God, in His superintending providence, in His almighty power, in the utility and propriety in making supplication to Him, in His punishment of sin and in the adjunct and auxiliary of the Christian Church and the sacredness of the holy Scriptures. If he did not, then his own words are not true. He may not have believed these things in his callow youth. He did believe them in his responsible manhood.

In 1851 his father died, and while on his deathbed his illustrious son assured him that God noted "the fall of a sparrow and numbers the hairs of our heads." These statements were made under the awful responsibility of a last communication on the shores of time, to a dying man, and that man his father. He could have gotten this belief from nowhere but the Bible, and he must have believed it, else he would not have misled or misguided his departing parent. So, also, in the same letter, he assures his father of immortality, and this, too, is derived from the sacred Scriptures. Over and over again he refers to prayers, and his belief in their necessity and efficacy. Over and over again he refers to himself as a mere instrument in the hands of an overruling and omnipotent Providence, who controls all things and directs all.

He says in effect: "God assisted Washington, if He also assists me I shall succeed; if he declines to assist me I shall fail. Now, of course, we desire to succeed; therefore, let us all pray that the God of our fathers may not forsake us now," and he commended his neighbors to God, and asked them to


invoke His wisdom and guidance for him, with sincerity and faith.

We sadly know that too many Christians pray perfunctorily, simply to pray -- to observe the Christian habit and fashion; but Lincoln did not pray as a form, or as an end. His prayers were for a utilitarian purpose and object -- to obtain help in time of dire need. He says: "I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go; my own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day." He acted throughout on the theory that

"Prayer is appointed to convey
The blessings God designs to give."

He was not a formal or a professed Christian. As I have shown elsewhere, he condemned all trappings, forms, ceremonies, integuments, preludes and interludes, and drove right straight to the essence and marrow of a subject. His prayers were not as hypocrites' are, "in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men," nor did he "use vain repetitions as the heathen" did, but he entered into his closet and when he had shut the door prayed to his Father in secret.

Gen. James F. Rusling was a Union officer of high character in our army, and his word is wholly reliable. He narrates the following conversation as having occurred on Sunday, July 5, 1863, between Mr. Lincoln and General Sickles, at the time when the latter had his leg amputated, after it was shattered at Gettysburg on the second day of the battle.

It seems a little remarkable that he should unbosom himself so completely, but, with all his secretiveness, there were occasions when he talked freely and unreservedly, and the sentiments here expressed have been corroborated frequently. No fact is better known to his intimate friends than that he professed to ask the help of the Almighty in a direct, manly way. He told Governor Stanley, of North


Carolina, that he had asked God to not force him to issue a Proclamation of Emancipation, but that God would not hear that prayer: and he told his cabinet that he had promised God to issue the Emancipation Proclamation; and in the incident now given he simply was more diffuse and unreserved than on those occasions, but the example is substantially the same. And it not only reveals his habit of prayer, but -- what is equally impressive -- it exhibits, in an affecting manner, his simple, child-like faith. He approached his country's God as artlessly, confidingly and confidently as a child approaches its earthly father.

But read the article. It is full of interest:
"Well, Mr. President," said General Sickles, "I beg pardon, but what did you think about Gettysburg? What was your opinion of things while we were campaigning and fighting up there in Pennsylvania?"

"Oh," replied Mr. Lincoln, "I didn't think much about it. I was not much concerned about you!"

"You were not!" rejoined Sickles, as if amazed. "Why, we heard that you Washington folks were a good deal excited, and you certainly had good cause to be. For it was ‘nip and tuck’ with us up there a good deal of the time!"

"Yes, I know that. And I suppose some of us were a little ‘rattled.’ Indeed, some of the Cabinet talked of Washington's being captured, and ordered a gunboat or two here, and even went so far as to send some Government archives abroad, and wanted me to go, too, but I refused. Stanton and Welles, I believe, were both ‘stampeded’ somewhat, and Seward, I reckon, too. But I said: ‘No, gentlemen, we are all right, and are going to win at Gettysburg,’ and we did, right handsomely. No, General Sickles, I had no fears of Gettysburg!"

"Why not, Mr. President? How was that? Pretty much everybody down here, we heard, was more or less panicky."

"Yes, I expect, and a good many more than will own up


now. But actually, General Sickles, I had no fears of Gettysburg, and if you really want to know I will tell you why. Of course, I don't want you and Colonel Rusling here to say anything about this -- at least not now. People might laugh if it got out, you know. But the fact is, in the stress and pinch of the campaign there, I went to my room, and got down on my knees, and prayed Almighty God for victory at Gettysburg. I told Him that this was His country, and the war was His war, but that we really couldn't stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville. And then and there I made a solemn vow with my Maker that it He would stand by you boys at Gettysburg I would stand by Him.

"And He did, and I will! And after this, I don't know how it was, and it is not for me to explain, but, somehow or other, a sweet comfort crept into my soul, that God Almighty had taken the whole thing into His own hands, and we were bound to win at Gettysburg! No, General Sickles, I had no fears of Gettysburg, and that is the why!"

Mr. Lincoln said all this with great solemnity and impressiveness, almost as Moses might have spoken when first down from Sinai: and when he had concluded there was a pause in the talk that nobody seemed disposed to break. We were all busy with our thoughts, and the President especially appeared to be communing with the Infinite One again. The first to speak was General Sickles, who, between the puffs of his excellent cigar, presently resumed, as follows:
"Well, Mr. President, what are you thinking about Vicksburg nowadays? How are things getting along down there now?"

"Oh," answered Mr. Lincoln, very gravely, "I don't quite know. Grant is still pegging away down there, and making some headway, I believe. As we used to say out in Illinois, I think he ‘will make a spoon or spoil a horn’ before he gets through. Some of our folks think him slow and want me to remove him. But, to tell the truth, I kind of like U. S. Grant. He doesn't worry and bother me. He takes


what troops we can safely give him, considering our big job all around -- and we have a pretty big job in this war -- and does the best he can with what he has got, and doesn't grumble and scold all the while. Yes, I confess, I like General Grant -- ‘Uncle Sam Grant!’" (dwelling humorously and lovingly on this name). "There is a great deal to him, first and last. And, heaven helping me, unless something happens more than I see now, I mean to stand by Grant a good while yet."

"So, then, you have no fears about Vicksburg either, Mr. President?" added General Sickles.

"Well, no; I can't say that I have," replied Mr. Lincoln, very soberly; "the fact is -- but don't say anything about this either just now -- I have been praying to Almighty God for Vicksburg also. I have wrestled with Him, and told Him how much we need the Mississippi, and how it ought to flow unvexed to the sea, and how that great valley ought to be forever free, and I reckon He understands the whole business down there ‘from A to Izzard.’ I have done the very best I could to help General Grant along, and all the rest of our generals, though some of them don't think so, and now it is kind of borne in on me that somehow or other we are going to win at Vicksburg, too. I can't tell how soon. But I believe we will. For this will save the Mississippi and cut the Confederacy in twain, and be in line with God's laws besides. And if Grant only does this thing down there -- I don't care much how, so he does it right -- why Grant is my man and I am his the rest of this war!"

Of course, Mr. Lincoln did not then know that Vicksburg had already fallen, on July 4, and that a United States gunboat was then speeding its way up the Mississippi to Cairo with the news that was soon to thrill the country and the civilized world through and through. Gettysburg and Vicksburg! Our great twin Union victories! What were they not to us in that fateful summer of 1863? And what would have happened to the American Republic had both gone the


other way? Of course, I do not pretend to say that Abraham Lincoln's faith and prayers saved Gettysburg and Vicksburg. But they certainly did not do us any harm. And to him his confidence in victory there, because of these, was a comforting and abiding reality, most beautiful to behold on that memorable July 6, 1863.

Perhaps it should be added that I made full notes of this conversation shortly afterward, and have often repeated it since in private circles, and now give it here as literally as possible -- much of it ipsissima verba. The talk afterward took a wide range, but Mr. Lincoln said nothing conflicting with the above, and left the profound impression upon both General Sickles and myself that in these two great national emergencies he walked and talked with Jehovah -- or at least believed he did. Did he not take like counsel on other occasions, as before Antietam, and Chattanooga, and Appomattox? For whatever he may have been in earlier years and under narrower conditions, it seems certain that our great conflict as it proceeded, involving a whole continent and a vast people, with world-wide and time-long results, sobered and steadied him, and anchored him on God as the Superior Ruler of Nations, as a like experience sobered and anchored William of Orange, and Cromwell, and Washington; and in the end Abraham Lincoln became a ruler worthy to rank even with these.

I have elsewhere stated that Mr. Lincoln abhorred all preliminary and non-essential matters in his every-day life. Could he have had his way he would have abolished formal and written pleadings in law practice, and brought matters before the court, ore tenus. In his great office he frequently wrote matters of great import on the back of a business card, or even sent "word of mouth" by those he could trust. This spirit of simplicity he carried into his religion; he appreciated its essential spirit; he rejected its forms and ceremonies;


he approached God directly and in his own way; he prayed to him alone and in secret; he rejected all vicarious offerings or intervention. He believed the Church to be a proper agency for the mass of mankind, but as his methods of thought and reasoning were unique and sui generis, he did not affiliate with it; in fact, did not need to, and no want of respect was to be implied from this non-adherence; in all matters he was a solitary man,
"Alone he trod the paths of high intent."

He felt himself commissioned by God to achieve mighty results; he felt the direct presence of God; the spirit of the Most High entered into his counsels; he interfered between sentences of death and the victims; he made specific promises to God; his religion had an utility as well as an enthusiasm; he believed that God ruled the universe through the media of agents, and that he was the agent to save the nation and to abolish slavery. Mr. Herndon says that "no man had a stronger or firmer faith in Providence -- God -- than Mr. Lincoln."

Mr. Wm. H. Hannah, an eminent lawyer of Bloomington, who, strange to say, was killed by a stroke of lightning in his own house, says that "Lincoln was as practical in his religion as in all else, and that he believed in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. He discarded all special providences and believed that the universe is governed by one uniform, unbroken, primordial law." But those writers who own that Mr. Lincoln had no faith, in the usual acceptation of the term, are certainly laboring under a great error. He certainly had faith that the God of battles was present in our conflicts, and that His almighty arm sustained him in his trying station. He had faith when all else was dark that the cause of the Union would ultimately prevail; he preserved his equanimity in current disaster because he had faith in the ultimate justice of God! He knew that slavery was wrong and that God designed its overthrow. When excitement


animated all minds, and turmoil reigned supreme, Lincoln had trust and faith, and
"Stood still and saw the salvation of God."

He, perhaps, had not the enthusiasm, but he had the substantial fruits of religion.

In 1851 he sent this devout and beautiful message to his father, while on his death-bed: "Tell him to remember to call upon and confide in our great and good and merciful Maker, who will not turn away from him in any extremity. He notes the fall of a sparrow and numbers the hairs of our heads, and he will not forget the dying man who puts his trust in Him: say to him that if it be his lot to go now, he will soon have a joyous meeting with loved ones gone before, and where the rest of us, through the help of God, hope, ere long, to join them."

At his farewell speech in Springfield he said: "Unless the great God who assisted Washington shall be with me and aid me I must fail; but if the same omniscient mind and almighty arm that directed and protected him shall guide and support me, I shall not fail -- I shall succeed. Let us all pray that the God of our fathers may not forsake us now. To Him I commend you all. Permit me to ask that with equal sincerity and faith you will invoke his wisdom and guidance for me."

What form of expression could more clearly show his absolute and unlimited faith in the Deity than his second Inaugural Address?

Can there be any doubt of his close communion with -- implicit belief in -- and absolute reliance upon, his Creator, in the darkest hours of our history, in view of this well authenticated declaration: "I made a solemn vow before God, that if General Lee was driven back from Pennsylvania, I


would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves!"

Surely, a man who is so humble before -- dependent upon -- and reverent toward, the Creator, and who enfranchised the entire civilized Ethiopian race, and their descendants forever, should be suffered to gain Heaven through the gate of martyrdom, even though he never was formally baptized -- or rehearsed any ritual -- or was familiar with the creed!

The very cast and structure of his mind forbade his accepting any second-hand interpretations of God's will; in matters of religion, as in all else, he did his own reasoning and deduced his own conclusions. He condemned all cant, hypocrisy and forms: he sought to ascertain the will of our Heavenly Father, and when ascertained, he did it.

To the band of eminent clergymen, who seemed to be assured that it was God's will that the slaves should be set free, he said: "I hope it will not be irreverent for me to say that if it is probable that God would reveal His will to others on a point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed He would reveal it directly to me, for, unless I am more deceived in myself than I often am, it is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this matter. And if I can learn what it is I will do it. These are not, however, the days of miracles, and I suppose it will be granted that I am not to expect a direct revelation. I must study the plain, physical facts of the case; ascertain what is possible, and learn what appears to be just and right."

Again he said: "I do not consider that I have ever accomplished anything without God, and if it be His will that I must die by the hand of an assassin, I must be resigned. I must do my duty as I see it and leave the rest with God."

That he believed in our blessed Saviour, and in the sacred


Scriptures, is as clear as any other fact of his life, as thus appears, viz.: "In regard to the great Book, I have only to say, that it is the best gift which God has ever given to man. All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this Book. But for that Book, we could not know right from wrong. All those things desirable to man are contained in it. I return you thanks for this very elegant copy of this great Book of God which you present."

That he believed in the institution of the Christian Church is equally clear; he said: "God bless the Methodist Church; bless all the churches, and blessed be God who, in this our great trial, giveth us the churches."

His general order of Nov. 16th, 1862, is in the same vein. It runs thus: "The importance for man and beast of the prescribed weekly rest; the sacred rights of Christian soldiers and sailors; a becoming deference to the best sentiments of a Christian people, and a due regard for the Divine will, demand that Sunday labor in the army and navy be reduced to the measure of strict necessity."

As a great many opinions have been expressed on the subject of Lincoln's religion, or lack of it, the above observations made by himself are sufficient to exclude all doubts about his inherent faith.

At one time he said: "I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go; my own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day."

At another time he said: "I should be the most presumptuous block-head upon this footstool if I, for one day, thought that I could discharge the duties which have come upon me since I came into this place without the aid and enlightenment of One who is wiser and stronger than all others."

Again, he said: "I am very sure that if I do not go away from here a wiser man, I shall go away a better man,


for having learned here what a very poor sort of a man I am."

Yet again he said to Newton Bateman: "I know there is a God, and that he hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming and I know that His hand is in it. If he has a place and work for me -- and I think he has -- I believe I am ready. I know I am right, because I know that liberty is right, for Christ teaches it and Christ is God. I have told them that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and Christ and reason say the same, and they will find it so. Douglas don't care whether slavery is voted up or voted down, but God cares, and humanity cares, and I care, and with God's help I shall not fail. * * It seems as if God had borne with slavery till the very teachers of religion have come to defend it from the Bible, and to claim for it a Divine character and sanction."

His third inaugural concludes thus: Both [the North and the South] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any man should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered -- that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to the man by whom the offence cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of these offences which, in the Providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to them by whom the offences came, shall we discern therein, any departure from those Divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God


wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsmen, in two hundred years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and till every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, still it must be said, that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

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

And what could be more convincing than this clear statement of his position, made a while after the loss of his child: "I think I can say with sincerity that I hope I am a Christian. I had lived until my son Willie died without fully realizing these things. That blow overwhelmed me. It showed me my weakness as I had never felt it before and * * * I think I can safely say that I know something of a change of heart; and I will further add that it has been my intention for some time, at a suitable opportunity, to make a public religious profession." This statement was made to an eminent Christian lady, and may be relied on as authentic, and it shows conclusively that Abraham Lincoln was a Christian.

On the Sabbath succeeding the assassination of this greatest martyr of modern times, all the Christian pulpits of Christendom were vocal with the passionate cry of grief and bereavement, and also with the voice of panegyric and eulogy in honor of his memory. No mortal man was ever so well beloved -- so sincerely mourned. Genuine sorrow and heartfelt mourning arose from every hearth-stone, and prayers for the soul of the departed one and for his stricken widow and sons, welled up from every human soul which felt the responsibility of manhood or womanhood.


"One touch of pity makes the whole world akin,"
and the death of Abraham Lincoln struck a sympathetic chord which animated every pulpit, every altar, and every heart in the whole civilized world; the Protestant, Catholic, Greek and Mahometan alike -- with the same spirit of resignation to God's will, and invocations of mercy and peace to the loved and lost.

We here annex a very able and appropriate sermon which attests the spirit of the Christian church in that sad time: preached by Dr. T. M. Eddy, at Waukegan, Illinois:

"In the day of adversity consider."

It is the day of adversity. A great grief throws its shadow over heart and hearth and home. There is such a sorrow as this land never knew before; agony such as never until now wrung the heart of the nation. In mansion and cottage, alike, do the people bow themselves.

We have been through the Red Sea of war, and across the weary, desert marches of griefs and bereavements, but heretofore we have felt that our leader was with us, and believed that surely as Moses was led by the pillar of cloud and of fire, so did God lead him.

But now that leader is not. Slain, slain by the hand of the assassin, murdered beside his wife! The costliest blood has been shed, the clearest eye is closed, the strongest arm is nerveless -- the Chief Magistrate is no more. "The mighty man cries bitterly; the day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness."

It is no mere official mourning which hangs its sad drapery every where. It is not alone that a President of the Republic is, for the first time, assassinated. No; there is the tender grief that characterizes the bereavement of a loved friend, which Shows there was something in this man which grappled him to men's hearts with hooks of steel.

But mourning the death of the Chief Magistrate, it becomes us to review the elements of his career as a ruler, which have so endeared him to loyal hearts.

If I were to sketch the model statesman, I would say he must have mental breadth and clearness, incorruptible integrity, strength of will, tireless patience, humanity preserved from demoralizing


weakness by conscientious reverence for law, ardent love of country, and, regulating all, a commanding sense of responsibility to God, the Judge of all. These, though wrapped in seeming rustic garb, were found in Abraham Lincoln. He had mental breadth and clearness. In spite of a defective early education, he became a self-taught thinker, and later in life he read widely and meditated profoundly, until he acquired a thorough mental discipline. He possessed the power to comprehend a subject at once in the aggregate and in its details. His eye swept a wide horizon and descried clearly all within its circumference. He was a keen logician, whose apt manner of "putting things" made him more than a match for practiced diplomatists and wily marplots. There were men of might about his council-board, scholars and statesmen, but none rose to his altitude, much less was either his master.

That very facetiousness sometimes criticised, kept him from becoming morbid, and gave healthfulness to his opinions, free alike from fever and paralysis. That his was incorruptible integrity, no man dare question. He was not merely above reproach, but eminently above suspicion. Purity is receptive. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" is as profound in philosophy as comprehensive in theology. Purity in the realm of moral decision and motive, is a skylight to the soul, through which truth comes direct. Abraham Lincoln was so pure in motive and purpose, looked so intensely after the right that he might pursue it, that he saw clearly where many walked in mist.

Without developing the characteristics of the ideal statesman analytically, let us see how they were manifest in his administration.

It began amid the rockings of rebellion. A servile predecessor, deplorably weak, if not criminal, had permitted treason to be freely mouthed in the national capitol, treasonable action to be taken by State authorities, and armed treason to resist and defy federal authority, and environ with bristling works the forts and flag of the Union. At such a juncture, Mr. Lincoln, then barely escaping assassination, was inaugurated. As was right, he made all proper efforts for conciliation, tendered the olive-branch, proposed such changes of existing laws, and even of the Constitution, as should secure Southern rights from the adverse legislation of a sectional majority. All was refused, and traitors said, "We will not live with you. Though you sign a blank sheet and leave us to fill it with our own conditions, we will not abide with you."

Refusing peace, war was commenced, not by the President, but


by secessionists. War has been waged on a scale of astounding vastness for four years, and Mr. Lincoln falls as the day of victory dawns.

His claim to the character of a great statesman is to be estimated in view of the fiery ordeal which tried him, and not by the gauge of peaceful days. In addition to the most powerful armed rebellion ever organized, he was confronted by a skillful, able, persistent, well compacted partisan opposition. He was to harmonize sectional feelings as antagonistic as Massachusetts and Kentucky, and to rally to one flag generals as widely apart in sentiment and policy as Phelps and Fitz John Porter. That under such difficulties he sometimes erred in judgment and occasionally failed in execution, is not strange, for he was a man, but that he erred so seldom, and that he so admirably retrieved his mistakes, shows that he was more by far than an ordinary man; more by far than an average statesman. Standing where we do to-day, we feel that he was divinely appointed for the crisis; that he was chosen to be the Moses of our pilgrimage, albeit, he was to die at Pisgah and be buried against Beth-Peor, while a Joshua should be commissioned to lead us into the land of promise.

In studying the administration of these four eventful years, it seems to me there were four grand landmarks of principle governing him, ever visible to the eye of the President, by which he steadily made his way.


In his first Inaugural he said: "I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual." In his reply to Fernando Wood, then Mayor of New York, he said, "There is nothing that could ever bring me willingly to consent to the destruction of the Union." By this rule he walked. The Union was one for all time, and there was no authority for its division lodged anywhere. He would use no force, would exercise no authority not needed for this purpose. But what force was needed, whether moral or physical, should be employed. Hence the call for troops. Hence the marching armies of the Republic, and the thunder of cannon at the gates of Vicksburg, Charleston and Richmond. Hence the suspension of the habeas corpus, the seizure and occasional imprisonment of treason-shriekers and sympathizers, for which he has been denounced as a tyrant by journals, which, slandering him while living, have the effrontery to put on the semblance of grief and throw lying emblems of mourning to the wind! For the exercise of that authority, he


went for trial to the American people, and they triumphantly sustained him.

II. The second grand regulating idea of his administration may be best stated in his own words: "GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE." He conceded the people to be the Government. Their will was above the opinion of secretaries and generals. He recognized their right to dictate the policy of the administration. Their majesty was ever before him as an actual presence. On the 11th of February, 1861, he said, in Indianapolis, "Of the people when they rise in mass in behalf of the Union and the liberties of their country, it may be said, ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against them,’ " and again, "I appeal to you to constantly bear in mind that with you, and not with politicians, not with the President, not with office-seekers, but with you rests the question, Shall the Union and shall the liberties of this country be preserved to the latest generation?" Again, on that memorable journey to Washington, he said, "It is with you, the people, to advance the great cause of the Union and the Constitution." "I am sure I bring a true heart to the work. For the ability to perform it, I must trust in that Supreme Being who has never forsaken this favored land, through the instrumentality of this great and intelligent people." In his first Inaugural he said: "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it." "The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people." "Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or any equal hope in the world?"

These sentences were utterances of a faith within him. In the people he had faith. He saw them only lower than the King of kings, and they were to be trusted and obeyed.

Yet this man who thus trusted and honored the people, who so reverenced their authority, and bowed before their majesty, has been called "tyrant," "usurper," by men who now would make the world forget their infamy by putting on badges of woe, and who seek to wash out the record of their slander by such tears as crocodiles shed! Out upon the miserable dissemblers!

When the people had spoken, he bowed to their mandate. When it became necessary to anticipate their decision, he did so, calmly trusting their integrity and intelligence. He considered their wishes in the constitution of his cabinet, in the choice of military commanders, in the appointment of Chief Justice of the


Supreme Court of the United States, and in the measures he recommended to Congress.

The people proved worthy the trust. They promptly took every loan asked for the relief of the treasury and sustained the national credit. They answered all his calls for men. They sprang into the ranks, shouting

"We are coming, Father Abraham."
They cheerfully laid down life at his word. So far from this conflict proving a republic unfit to make war, or that for its prosecution there must be intensely centralized authority, it has demonstrated that a democracy trusted, is mightier than a dictatorship.

III. His third towering landmark was THE RIGHT OF ALL MEN TO FREEDOM. And here with his practical sense and acute vision he rose to a higher, and I think a healthier, elevation than that of many heroic anti-slavery leaders. They were anti-slavery. Their lives were spent in attack. They sought to destroy a system; they told its wrongs and categoried its iniquities. He knew that light, let in, will cast out darkness, and that kindled warmth will drive out cold. He knew that freedom was better than slavery, and that when men see that it is so, they will decree freedom instead of slavery. He therefore entered the lists FOR FREEDOM. He spoke of its inestimable blessings, and then unrolling the immortal Declaration of Independence claimed that, with all its dignity and all its endowments, liberty is the birthright of ALL MEN. He taught the American people that the inalienable right of all men to liberty was the first utterance of the young Republic, and that her voice must be stifled so long as slavery lives. In his Ottawa speech he said: "Henry Clay -- my beau-ideal of a statesman -- the man for whom I fought all my humble life, once said of a class of men who would repress all tendencies to liberty and ultimate emancipation, that they must, if they would do this, go back to the era of our independence and muzzle the cannon which thunders its annual joyous return; they must blow out the moral lights around us, they must penetrate the human soul and eradicate there the love of liberty, and then, and not till then, could they perpetuate slavery in this country."

He laid his spear in rest and went forth with armor on, the champion of freedom. He claimed she should walk the world everywhere, untrammeled and free to bless the lowest as well as the highest. It was not right and never could be made right, to


forbid working lawfully that all men might be free. Slavery debased -- freedom lifted up. Slavery corrupted, freedom purified. Freedom might be abused, but slavery was itself a colossal abuse.

He was no dreaming visionary, but stated with commanding clearness the doctrine of equality before the law, or political equality, distinguishing it from social equality. In old Independence Hall, in 1861, he said of the Colonies: "I have often enquired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the mother land, but the sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but I hope to the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight should be lifted from the shoulders of all men." He held that instrument to teach that "nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, degraded and imbruted by its fellows."

We search vainly for a clearer and terser statement of the true theory of equality than he gave last autumn in an address to a Western regiment. "We have, as all will agree, a free government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man." Has a right to be! Take the fetters from his limbs, take the load of disability from his shoulders, give him room in the arena, and then if he cannot succeed with others, the failure is his. But he has the right TO TRY. You have no right to forbid the trial. If he will try for wealth, fame, political position, he has the right. Let him exercise it and enjoy what he lawfully wins.

With such views he came to the presidency. Here he was an executive officer, bound by the Constitution, and charged with its maintenance and defense. He was to take the nation as the people placed it in his hands, rule it under the Constitution and surrender it unbroken to his successor. Accordingly he made to the Southern States all conceivable propositions for peace. Slavery should be left without federal interference. They madly rejected all. War came. He saw at the outset that slavery was our bane. It confronted each regiment, perplexed each commander. It was the Southern commissariat, dug Southern trenches and piled Southern breast-works.

But certain Border States maintained a quasi-loyalty and clung to slavery. They were in sympathy with rebellion, but wore the semblance of allegiance and with consequential airs assumed


to dictate the policy of the President. He was greatly embarrassed. He made them every kind and conciliatory offer, but all was refused. Slavery on the gulf and on the border, in Charleston and in Louisville, was the same intolerant, incurable enemy of the Union. He struck it at last. The Proclamation of Emancipation came, followed in due time by the recommendation that the Constitution be so amended as forever to render slavery impossible in State or Territory. For these acts he was arraigned before the American people on the 8th of last November, and received their emphatic approval.

In a letter written to a citizen of Kentucky, the President gave an exposition of his policy so transparent, that I reproduce it in this place. It is his sufficient explanation and vindication.
"April 4, 1864. "

A. G. HODGES, Esq., Frankfort, Ky.

"My Dear Sir: -- You ask me to put in writing the substance of what I verbally stated the other day, in your presence, to Governor Bramlette and Senator Dixon. It was about as follows:
"I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong nothing is wrong. I cannot remember when I did not so think and feel: and yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially on this judgment and feeling. It was in the oath I took that I would to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I could not take the office without taking the oath. Nor was it in my view that I might take the oath to get power, and break the oath in using the power. I understood, too, that in ordinary civil administration this oath even forbade me to practically indulge my primary abstract judgment on the moral question of slavery. I had publicly declared this many times and in many ways; and I aver that, to this day, I have done no official act in mere deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on slavery. I did understand, however, that my oath to preserve the Constitution to the best of my ability imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every indispensable means, that government, that nation, of which that Constitution was the organic law. "Was it possible to lose the nation, and yet preserve the Constitution? By general law, life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life, but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the Constitution through the preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this ground, and now avow it. I could not feel that to the best of my ability I had even tried to preserve the Constitution, if, to save slavery, or any minor matter, I should permit the wreck of


government, country, and Constitution altogether. When, early in the war, General Fremont attempted military emancipation, I forbade it, because I did not then think it an indispensable necessity. When, a little later, General Cameron, then Secretary of War, suggested the arming of the blacks, I objected, because I did not yet think it an indispensable necessity. When, still later, General Hunter attempted military emancipation, I forbade it, because I did not yet think the indispensable necessity had come. When, in March and May and July, 1862, I made earnest and successive appeals to the Border States to favor compensated emancipation, I believed the indispensable necessity for military emancipation and arming the blacks would come, unless averted by that measure. They declined the proposition; and I was, in my best judgment, driven to the alternative of either surrendering the Union and with it the Constitution, or of laying strong hand upon the colored element. I chose the latter. In choosing it, I hoped for greater gain than loss; but of this I was not entirely confident. More than a year of trial now shows no loss by it in our foreign relations, none in our home popular sentiment, none in our white military force -- no less by it anyhow or anywhere. On the contrary, it shows a gain of quite a hundred and thirty thousand soldiers, seamen and laborers. These are palpable facts, about which, as facts, there can be no caviling. We have the men; and we could not have had them without the measure.

"And now let any Union man who complains of the measure test himself by writing down in one line that he is for subduing the rebellion by force of arms; and in the next, that he is for taking three [one?] hundred and thirty thousand men from the Union side, and placing them where they would be but for the measure he condemns. If he cannot face his case so stated, it is only because he cannot face the truth.

"I add a word which was not in the verbal conversation. In telling this tale, I attempt no compliment to my own sagacity. I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me. Now, at the end of three years' struggle, the nation's condition is not what either party or any man desired or expected. God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending seems plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills also that we of the North, as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, impartial history will find therein new causes to attest and revere the justice and goodness of God.

"Yours truly,

He struck slavery because slavery had clutched the throat of the Republic, and one of the twain must die! Mr. Lincoln said, LET IT BE SLAVERY!

Christianity, declaring the brotherhood of race, redemption and retribution answered, So be it! The Bible, sealed by slave-codes


to four millions for whom its truths were designed, answered Amen! The gospel, long fettered by the slave-master's will, and instead of an evangel of freedom made to proclaim a message of bondage, lifted up its voice in thanksgiving. Marriage, long dishonored, put on its robes of purity, and its ring of perpetual covenant, and answered Amen: and from above, God's strong angels and six-winged cherubim, bending earthward, shouted their response to the edict of the Great Emancipator!

IV. The next controlling idea was


As a public man, he set God before his eyes, and did reverence to the Most High. It was a deeply touching scene as he stood upon the platform of the car which was to carry him from his Springfield home, and tearfully asked his neighbors and old friends that they should remember him in their prayers. Amid tears and sobs they answered "We will pray for you." Again and again has he publicly invoked divine aid, and asked to be remembered in the prayers of the people. His second Inaugural seems rather the tender pastoral of a white-haired bishop than a political manifesto.

What were his personal relations to his God, I know not. We are not in all things able to judge him by our personal standard. How much etiquette may have demanded, how much may have been yielded to the tyranny of custom, we cannot tell. In public life he was spotless in integrity and dependent upon Divine aid. He had made no public consecration to God in church covenant, but we may not enter the sanctuary of his inner life. He constantly read the holy oracles, and recognized their claim to be the inspired Scriptures.

He felt that religious responsibility when he sent forth the Proclamation of Emancipation, closing with this sublime sentence: "And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God."

In one of the gloomy hours of the struggle he said to a delegation of clergymen: "My hope of success in this great and terrible struggle rests on that immutable foundation, the justice and goodness of God. And when events are very threatening, and prospects very dark, I still hope, in some way which men cannot


see, all will be well in the end, because our cause is just and God is on our side."

If, as the executive officer of the nation, he erred, it was in excessive tenderness in dealing with criminals. Unsuspecting and pure, he could not credit unmixed guilt in others, and with difficulty could he bring himself to suffer condign punishment to be inflicted. There were times when he was inflexible. In vain did wealth and position plead for Gordon, the slave-captain. As vainly did they for Beall and Johnson. If he was lenient it was the error of amiableness.

In reviewing the administration of Abraham Lincoln, we see in him another of those Providentially called and directed leaders who have been raised up in great crises. His name stands on the roll with those of Moses and Joshua, and William of Orange, and Washington. Not only did Providence raise him up, but it divinely vindicated his dealings with slavery. As emancipation was honored, did the pillar of flame light our hosts on to victory!

In the dawning morn of peace and Union has this leader been slain. When the nation thought it most needed him, has he been basely butchered! As the ship which had been rocking in the waves and bowing before the storm was reaching the harbor, a pirate, who sailed with the passengers, basely stole on deck and shot the pilot at the wheel!

The assassin has been held in abhorrence among all people and in all ages. Here was a foul plot to destroy at one swoop the President, the officers eligible to the succession, the Cabinet, the Lieutenant-General, and no doubt the loyal Governors of the States. That the scheme was successful only in a part, God be praised. Never has an assassination produced so terrible a shock. For he had

* * "Borne his faculties so meek, had been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued against
The deep damnation of his taking off."

He fell, and the whole land mourns. Secession smote him in her impotent death-rage, but the State lives on! The reins which dropped from his nerveless hand another grasped, and the nation lives. No revolution comes. No war of rival dynasties! The constitutional successor is in the chief seat of power, and how much secession has taken by this new crime remains to be seen.

Fellow-citizens, there are some duties which press upon us in this hour.


1. We must anew commit ourselves to the work of suppressing rebellion and re-enthroning the majesty of the Union and Constitution. Mr. Lincoln lived until the nation's flag had waved in triumph over every important Southern city; until the proud Southern aristocracy had thrown itself at the feet of its slaves, and with frantic outcries implored salvation at their hands; had lived to walk through Richmond, and be hailed by its dusky freedmen as their deliverer; had lived until he received the report of the surrender of Lee's grand army, and then he was slain. We must complete the work. Onward, until it be wrought. We believe it will be soon, but were it a hundred years it must be accomplished!

2. We must complete the destruction of slavery. Added to its long catalogue of crimes, it has now slain the Lord's Anointed, the man whom he made strong! Now as THE ETERNAL liveth, it must die! By the agonies it has caused, by the uncoffined graves it has filled, by the tears it has wrung from pure women and little children, by our sons and brothers starved to death in its mined prisons, by our beloved Chief Magistrate murdered; by all these do we this day swear unto the Lord that slavery SHALL DIE, and that he who would save it shall politically die with it!

3. This day, as funeral rites are being said, and sobs are coming up from a smitten household and bereaved people, before the Lord do we solemnly demand that justice be done in the land upon evil-doers, that blood-guiltiness may be taken away, and that men shall not dare repeat such crimes.

When treason slew Abraham Lincoln, it slew the pardoning power, and by its own act placed authority in the hands of one of sterner mold and fiery soul -- one deeply wronged by its atrocities. Now let it receive the reward of its own hands! This is the demand of mercy as well as justice, that after-generations may see the expiation of treason is too costly for its commission. Mercy to the many demands the punishment of the guilty.

The assassin of the Chief Magistrate must be found. Though all seas must be crossed, all mountains ascended, all valleys traversed, he must be found! If he hide him under the mane of the British lion, beneath the paw of the Russian bear or among the lilies of France, he must be found and plucked thence for punishment! If there be no extradition treaty, then the strong hands of our power must make one. He was a tragedian. Had he never read --


"If the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence and catch
With his surcease, success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,

"We'd jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here: we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor. Thus even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips."

We are told that he excelled in the part of Richard III. Did he not remember the tent scene --

"My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain --
Perjury, perjury, in the highest degree,
Murder, stern murder, in the direst degree;
All several sins, all used in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all -- Guilty! Guilty!
I shall despair.
There is no creature loves me;
And, if I die, no soul shall pity me."

He has murdered the Lord's Anointed, and vengeance shall pursue him. Tell me not, in deprecation of this sentiment, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord." Human justice has its work and must follow the assassin, if need be, to the very gates of hell! It is God's edict that he who causelessly takes any human life, "By men shall his blood be shed" -- how much more when it is such a life!

A morning journal, which has been somehow retained in the interest of wrong, of home-traitors, of misrule, has already impliedly put in the plea of insanity for the assassin. The same journal runs a parallel between him and John Brown. Well, Virginia executed John Brown -- its own precedent is fatal to its own client!

Let justice be done on the leaders of rebellion. Have done with the miserable cant of curing those perjured conspirators with kindness. Libby Prison mined under Federal captives, the starved skeletons of our slowly murdered kinsmen, the grave of Lincoln,


and the gaping wounds of Seward are your answer. It must be taught men for all time that treason is, in this life, unpardonable! It is all crimes in one. In this case it is without the glitter of seeming chivalry for its relief. It has had nothing knightly. It has conspired to starve prisoners, has plotted conflagrations which were to consume, in one dread holocaust, the venerable matron, the gray-haired sire and the mother with her babe; has resorted to poison, the knife of the cut-throat and the pistol of the assassin. No treason was ever so repulsively foul, so reekingly corrupt. For its great leaders, the block and the halter; for its chieftains, military and civic, of the second class, perpetual banishment with confiscation of their goods, for all who have volunteered to fight against the Union, perpetual disfranchisement -- these are the demands of a long-suffering people.

The case of treason-sympathizers among us is one of grave moment. It is hard to bear their sneers and patiently to listen to their covert treason. It is a question whether the limit of toleration has not been passed. The era of assassination has been commenced. Be sure that any man who will excuse an assassin will himself do foul murder when he can shoot from behind a hedge, or strike a victim in the back. It is a matter of self-defence to cast such from our midst. Let us have no violence, no lawlessness, but such persons must be persuaded to depart from us. "They are gentlemen." Booth was courtly in speech and mien. Have they been State officers? So has Walsh, whose house was a disunion arsenal. The time has come when we cannot permit men in sympathy with armed rebellion, which employs the assassin, to dwell in our midst.

Abraham Lincoln is no more. His work is done. We may not comprehend the mystery which permitted his removal at such an hour, in such a way. God hideth himself wondrously, and sometimes seems to stand afar from His truth and His cause when most needed.

Our leader is gone. His work is finished, and it may be that his Providential mission was fully accomplished. His memory is imperishably fragrant. WASHINGTON -- LINCOLN! Who shall say which name shall shine brighter in the firmament of the historic future?

He is dead! In the Presidential Mansion are being said words of solemn admonition and godly counsel. In a few hours his remains will be on their way to sleep in their Illinois grave!

Dead! "How is the strong staff broken and the beautiful rod!"


Pray devoutly for the smitten widow and fatherless children of our Chief Magistrate. They are sorely stricken and God alone can heal them. To them it is not the loss of the Chief Magistrate that makes this hour so sad, but that they have no more a husband or a father!

And now that there has been sorrow in all the land, and the death-angel in all its homes, from the humblest to the highest, is not our expiation well-nigh wrought, and will not our Father have compassion upon us?

Let us devoutly pray the King of nations to guide our nation through its remaining struggle! It may be He means to show us that He alone is the Saviour!

Let us implore divine guidance upon Mr. Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States. He was faithful amid the faithless. He was true to the Union when few in his section had for it aught but curses. Pray for him. He comes to power at a critical time and needs wisdom from above. Confide in him. He will surely rise above the one error which temporarily drew him down. He is only hated by traitors, and when they hate, it is safe for loyal men to trust.

By and by we may understand all this. Now it passes comprehension, but we have seen so many manifestations of God's supervising agency when we least look for it, that we may safely trust Him. He means to save us. Nay, blessed be His name, He has saved us.

His grand purposes will go forward. The wrath of man shall praise Him, and the remainder of wrath will He restrain. Remember, and take heart as you remember, the ringing line of Whittier,

"God's errands never fail."
He who rides upon the whirlwind and directs the storm, is neither dead nor sleeping, and He is a God who never compromises with wrong, and never abdicates His throne.


Chapter XII. Lincoln and McClellan.

* * * A swashing and a martial outside;
As many other mannish cowards have,
That do outface us with their semblances. -- SHAKESPEARE.

Wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
But cheerily seek how to redress their harms.

Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world.

I would remove these tedious, stumbling-blocks,
And smooth my way upon their headless necks.

* * * He doth bestride the narrow world,
Like a Colossus: --

Farewell: a long farewell to all my greatness.


* * * Lingua melior, sed frigida bello

VIRG. EN. XI. 338.

Green Room, President's Mansion

WHEN the late "unpleasantness" culminated in open war, McClellan was superintendent of the Ohio and Mississippi Railway, and resided in a one-story house in a triangular lot on Third street, east of Broadway, and close by the Larz Anderson mansion in Cincinnati. He was born in Philadelphia, where both his father and his uncle were leading physicians; and he was educated at West Point, where he graduated with high honor at the head of his class, and was assigned to duty in the Topographical Bureau -- was sent


to the Crimea to study the mode of warfare carried on in that war, and became a captain of topographical engineers: which place he resigned to accept the position of chief engineer of the Illinois Central Railway about the year 1856, to which position was superadded the honor of the vice-presidency of that great corporation, and the additional duties, for a time, of land commissioner; and not long before 1861 he left that road altogether to accept the place in Ohio as I have stated. He had married a daughter of Randolph B. Marcy, one of the inspector-generals of the army, and of an influential and aristocratic family: and his own father's family being also of great social power, Captain McClellan, when he tendered his services to his country in the spring of 1861, had every adventitious aid to a brilliant and useful military career to which was joined a record in the army, which, though brief, and achieved chiefly as a student, observer, author and chronicler, was withal, renowned and ostentatious, and invested its possessor with high prestige and great popularity in the army.

His services being promptly accepted, and a commission as brigadier-general awarded, he was assigned to the command of Kentucky, that part of Virginia which was watered by the affluents of the Ohio, and the state of Ohio, with headquarters at Cincinnati.

The social structure of that city was a composite of the most refined classes of Virginians and Kentuckians -- shrewd Eastern merchants and business men whom the financial storm of 1837 had left stranded on the lee-shore of bankruptcy -- brilliant adventurers from Europe -- sleek Jews who raked in shekels, and here held higher social rank than in any place west of Jerusalem -- parvenues of the various local industries -- iron-working, river trade, merchandise, hog-killing, etc., etc., together with an admixture of soldiers of fortune who merely lived by their wits. At this time it was


somewhat effete, but had, until recently, been to the west, in social and industrial contemplation, what New York was to all the Union in the "thirties" -- the capital and nucleus of all that was powerful in wealth, refined in art, or recherche in style.

Virtue and vice -- affluence and poverty -- estheticism and boorishness, here presented striking and startling contrasts; and this city was more accurately an epitome and reflex of Parisian life than any place on the western hemisphere, then and theretofore.

For nine months in the year, the levee was a scene of the most radical and intense industry, activity, bustle and excitement; from twenty to fifty huge steamboats were receiving or discharging freight, wholly by manual labor; hundreds of huge wagons, drawn by four or six mules or horses, with the driver in the saddle, were hauling in or hauling out, vast loads of freight of every imaginable variety -- products of the farm, plantation, forest or mine -- of the mill, forge, factory or barn -- pianos from Boston, glass from Pittsburgh, sugar from New Orleans, tobacco from Maysville, boilers from Miles Greenwood's works, furniture from Mitchell&Rammelsburgh's, starch from Erkenbrecher's, hams from Stagg's, pious books from the M. E. book concern.

Interspersed among the groaning loads drawn by jaded mules, goaded to duty by imprecations and the lash, were carriages loaded with fashionably-attired passengers, embarking on, or debarking from, the numerous boats, with various destinations, from Pittsburgh to New Orleans -- to Nashville -- to St. Paul -- to St. Joseph -- to Terre Haute -- to Muscle Shoals: -- and the despotic voice of the steamboat mate made the air vocal with utilitarian blasphemy, and animated the regiments of roustabouts to the performance of the most severe drudgery.

Lower down on the river were acres of flatboats loaded with coal, tan-bark, staves, hoop-poles, hay, corn, potatoes, lumber and salt. The bare-foot tree-chopper from the


head waters of Big Sandy -- the salt boiler from Kanawha -- the bark peeler from Paint Creek -- the lumber sawyer from Guyan -- and the farmer from the Muskingum, met and mingled here in a common fraternity; and after they had sold out their loads and ran the gauntlet of the Sycamore street retail stores and the various retreats where the second-hand and blase Houris held regal state and high carnival, they were ready to take deck passage home, their ventures graced with tawdry knick-nacks, and dashed with a heavy weight of urban experience.

Upon one block arose in magnificent proportions the stately mansion, and upon the next block the barber shop and second-hand clothes store; and the most renowned Seminary in the Northwest was confronted by a variety theatre, a maison d'joie, a cheap toy store and several drinking shops.

Their citizenship was generally in good repair. When the dead body of Charles Brough was brought home from the field of Buena Vista the whole town attended his funeral; when Mr. Clay died, the best citizens met to arrange for the care of his body while in transit, and Dr. Drake, who read the memorial address, was affected to tears, in which the meeting joined unaffectedly.

Her business establishments attained the dignity of institutions -- as Miles Greenwood's foundry, Mitchell&Rammelsburgh's furniture factory, Proctor & Gamble's soap works, Clarke's book store, Shillito's dry-goods store and Tyier Davidson's hardware store.

Albeit they sent George H. Pendleton and Aleck Long to Congress -- they also furnished John McLean, Salmon P. Chase, Stanley Matthews, Alphonso Taft, Henry Stansbury, William Henry Harrison, and Rutherford B. Hayes to the politics of the nation; and the blatant treason of Long, and the polished Jacobinism of "Gentleman George" Pendleton were atoned for by the prompt response of the people to all drafts made by the general government upon their patriotism. Cincinnati was more nearly a composite of a northern


and southern community than any other; but it was sturdy in its patriotism and material help in time of need.

From the windows of her palatial home, the favorite daughter and child of the richest man in the Northwest, saw her eldest born (himself a nephew of Anderson of Fort Sumter) at the head of the gallant Sixth, march away to gory fields: and from her "palace gate" saw the same son march back at the head of his decimated regiment, beneath its silk flag, riddled with shot and shell.

And it is no great wonder that from such a heterogeneous political community should be evolved a McCook, Rosecrans, Lytle, Noyes, Hickenlooper, Mitchell and Stembell, nor that it should have educed from its crazy-quilt politics such doubtful patriots as George H. Pendleton, George Brinton McClellan or Tom Key; or even such unadulterated traitors as Aleck Long.

Mrs. Trollope, an English authoress of note, traveled through this country, only to be thoroughly disgusted with everything, except alone Cincinnati; but she pitched her tent here, and built (what was then) an elegant building, of Moorish architecture, for a bazaar, on Third street, just east of Broadway, and thither the elite, not only of this city, but of the Kentucky gentility, used to resort for bric-a-brac, articles of vertu and rare imported goods -- camel's hair shawls, velvet carpets, Honiton laces, and trophies of high ceramic art.

Here the cynical authoress wrote her diatribes, in consequence of which, our mothers were wont to use the epithet "Trollope," as synonomous with "naughty, naughty, bad child," and the youthful Anthony, now so famous, used to play marbles and make mud pies in an adjacent lot like a young Republican.

A no less celebrated female was Frances Wright d'Arusmont, the leading female freethinker of modern times: the Hypatia of the nineteenth century; and from here she launched her javelins against the bastions and ramparts of


Christianity; and all that is mortal of her lies now buried in Spring Grove Cemetery.

Hither from Mobile came Raphael Semmes, a young attorney, then gay and debonair,to woo and wed Miss Spencer, one of whose brothers was afterward mayor, and another a judge of the Superior Court.

After him came George D. Prentice, the poet-editor, on a similar mission; and here the gallant bachelor general, who successfully fought the battle above the clouds, had his heart clove in twain by one of Cupid's little darts, and capitulated to the charms and enthralments of a somewhat posse but still charming woman, with a three-story stone front and a plethoric bank account "hove in." To this matrimonial Mecca, Ben Butler started all the way from Lowell, and here married the star actress of that theatrical week's engagement and a most talented woman.

The National Theatre of Cincinnati was to the whole mighty West what the old Park Theatre of New York had been to America: to it all actors of merit desiring recognition wended; from it all who came up to standard started with its imprimatur on their tours of western conquest. James E. Murdoch, Cornelius Logan, Eliza Logan, Julia Dean, Charlie Clarke and many other "stars" had first been stock-actors here; and here it was, that while playing a star engagement, young Jamieson wrote the celebrated "Consuelo" letter to Mrs. Forrest, which was the most guilty episode in, and which laid the foundation for, the greatest divorce suit in this country; and here young Crisp, now Speaker of the House of Congress, acted as "call-boy" in his father's improvised theatre. Here the poet Gallagher bestrode his Pegasus; here also T. Buchanan Read painted portraits, drank gin, wrote verses, and drank gin again; and the old mansion is still standing -- a venerable land-mark -- in which the gallant Lytle wrote "Cleopatra."

Some of the finest landscape gardening, and some of the finest landscapes in America, are at Clifton, a suburb;


two of the finest private libraries in the nation are here: those of Henry Probasco and Enoch T. Carson, and, as is well known, music sat in a more regal state here than in any place outside of Boston.

Hiram Powers commenced his modeling here; his studies being of rude figures used to adorn the "Infernal Regions," a low museum show; and he went from here direct to Florence at the expense of a Cincinnati patron of art.

James Slevin, an active Cincinnati merchant, lived so austere and holy a life that he was canonized at Rome as a saint; and Archbishop Purcell managed the savings of the poor of his church so carelessly that they were reduced to beggary; while Father Gavazzi selected this city as his Point d'appui to demolish the whole church.

The Methodists had their fortified Western camp here for half a century: from its immense book concern -- still running -- thousands of tons of religious literature have gone forth for the healing of nations; and bishops galore have graduated at its shrine.

At its forum have thundered Tom Ewing, Bufus Ranney, Henry Stansbury, Hocking Hunter, Timothy Walker, Henry Clay, Salmon P. Chase, John McLean, Jacob Burnett, Tom Corwin, George E. Pugh, William T. Gholson and Algernon Sidney Sullivan, while William Henry Harrison has entered their orders as clerk, and Rutherford B. Hayes has written their briefs as a slow-plodding attorney.

From its portals the first locomotive west of the Alleghenies started on its journey -- and the first reel of telegraphic wire unrolled in the West was done here.

And in its court house, before a military court, some of Chicago's most honored citizens were convicted of treason and sentenced to be hung.

The exportable products alike of Henry Clay's, Garrett Davis' and William Henry Harrison's farms were marketed here; and hither, each year, came the wives of these statesmen to lay in the home supplies.


In 1841 Daniel Drake, at his Fourth Street office, received a letter from "A. Lincoln," Springfield, Ill., propounding in substance the query idealized two centuries ago by Shakespeare:

"Cans't thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a deep-rooted sorrow?"

And the matter-of-fact physician was obliged to answer that he could do nothing without a personal interview.

At Lane Seminary, on Walnut Hills, Henry Ward Beecher received his theological training; and at Lawrenceburgh, eleven miles distant, he had his first charge. Mrs. Stowe was here inspired and derived the facts which later culminated in her startling and thrilling romance. And from the pulpits respectively of the First and Second Presbyterian churches was waged the long polemic war between Lyman Beecher and Dr. Thompson; and here, by the centrifugal force of the gyrations of the literary tread-mill, were evolved Albert D. Richardson, Junius Henri Browne, W. D. Howells, Whitelaw Reid, Murat Halstead, William G. Coggeshall, William W. Fosdick, Henry V. Boynton, William Penn Nixon and Crafts J. Wright.

As Virginia was the mother of presidents and statesmen, so was this renowned city the habitat of presidents and candidates. The elder Harrison lived but eleven miles from here, and at one time he was clerk of the common pleas here. The present Harrison was born and raised in the county and received his scholastic education near here, and his law training right here. Rutherford B. Hayes was a Cincinnati lawyer, so were Salmon P. Chase and George H. Pendleton. Ulysses S. Grant was born and raised in an adjoining county. Henry Clay and John C. Breckenridge made this their chief metropolis, and finally, as we have said, George Brinton McClellan and John McLean lived here.

While it is constitutionally impossible for the same place to present both names on the same presidential ticket, yet Cincinnati did in, in fact, in 1864, for McClellan's actual


home was there, as well as Pendleton's, albeit the former had an army or military residence elsewhere pro tem.

No more enterprising merchants and business men ever thrived anywhere, in any time, than here. The names of Tyier Davidson, Reuben Springer and William West -- all bachelors -- are allied both to enlarged mercantile enterprises and to deeds of munificent charity as well; and as a home of art, music and the other muses which represent refinement and engagement, it has justly been styled the Athens of America.

Nowhere was it more conspicuous than in the War of the Rebellion. It was the home of Mitchell, McCook, Rosecrans, Ammen, Noyes, Lytle and Matthews. And the 5th, 6th, 106th and 108th Regiments, which were recruited here, had exceptional records for bravery in action, brilliancy in execution, and losses in battle. And the ardor of its general patriotism is adorned with a strong stage-setting from its being the only large Northern city in the United States lying on the dividing line between slavery and freedom, and being the metropolis, to a great extent, of Southern trade and travel.

Society's help to the war, was equally pronounced: the Sanitary Fair, of '63-4 was immense: and the spectacle was witnessed of the lieutenant-governor presiding over the Senate -- then doffing his official toga -- riding 120 miles, donning the "inky" cloak of Hamlet, entertaining a house, with five thousand dollars in it, for the good of the cause: and calling the Senate together next morning as if he had not been a fictitious politician, meanwhile.

The social relations were largely affiliated with the South. Judge Dickson, a leader of the bar, had married a cousin of Mrs. Lincoln, in Lexington, Ky. James H. Worthington, another leader, had married a Miss Poindexter, of the same place. As we have said, Miss Spencer, a Cincinnati belle, was the wife of Raphael Semmes, a Mobile lawyer.


George H. Pendleton married a Miss Key, of Baltimore, and Thomas M. Key, one of the most brilliant lawyers, had for long years besieged the heart of a widowed daughter of Hon. George W. Campbell, of Tennessee, and who afterward espoused Gen. R. S. Ewell, of the Rebel Army.

Business and social life were on solid bases: there were no land speculators -- no curb-stone brokers -- no "monthly payment fiends" -- no chattel mortgage sharks. Caste was as securely enthroned here as in London or Boston. The line of cleavage between the aristocracy and the hoi polloi was clearly cut. The parvenues were not admitted to the circle of the elite -- their children might be. Its social life was of the pattern of that in Richmond and New Orleans. It was more typical of Southern society than even St. Louis. Even a parvenu, with his millions, was not admitted to the small select circle of the Shoenbergers, Gaylords, Burnetts, Pendletons, Lytles, Longworths, Kilgours and Groesbecks.

Cincinnati was the political Mecca of a large scope of country. Hither (among others) came John C. Breckenridge, Garrett Davis, Clement L. Vallandigham, Samuel Medary, "Fog Horn" Bill Allen and W. S. Holman. And while the rest of the state was straight Republican, it is no Wonder that the names of Cincinnati's two Congressmen should be written down in italics in the Tribune's Almanac.

McClellan, a "prince of good fellows," was already in the charmed circle of the Democratic coterie here. He had been a leading supporter of Douglas in his contest with Lincoln in 1858, and had been the chaperon of the former, devoting his special vice-presidential car and the premium locomotive of the I. C. R. R. for that purpose. And it was, therefore, quite natural that he should select Tom Key for his chief of staff, and Tom's brother as one of his aides-de-camp. Judge Key was a brilliant and lovable man -- severely practical in business, but sentimental in his social


life; he pursued the charming widow I have named, for years, but wholly in vain; she probably would have accepted him but for the danger of beclouding the destiny of her children by the shadow of a stepfather; and so the impassioned suitor sighed like Strephon for his unreciprocated love, and applied to his lacerated heart the balm of affairs of gallantry, pro tern and sub rosa.

When McClellan took the helm, Rosecrans and Kelley were already in the field in West Virginia, and soon began to score some victories in the petty skirmishes, which, however, adorn the historic page as battles. These inconsequential affairs McClellan ambidextrously, but with no authority whatever (for he neither planned, directed, fought, nor was present at them, or either of them), claimed for himself, and sent glowing accounts of to Gen. Scott, at Washington, combined with sly, insinuating compliments to the old General, always susceptible to flattery, and now still more thus receptive, from the approaching childishness of senility.

The bait took well, and immediately after our first disaster at Bull Run, McClellan was ordered to Washington, whither he arrived, smothered with adulation, imbued with the belief that he was to be the NAPOLEON of his era, and entranced by the delusion that he was the Atlas on whose shoulders the destiny of this nation and of humanity itself were superimposed. His correspondence with his wife, which he had the folly to submit to history, make these things patent.

At this time an extra session of Congress was in session; and while the Union sentiment was regnant, the "Copperhead," or reactionary Democracy, was likewise in high feather, caused by the recent defeat of the Union forces at Bull Run, by the cheerful prospect of war with England, and by the fact that the head of the army was one of their political complexion. Therefore, as soon as the conquerer came, the whole gang, "Tray, Blanche and Sweetheart,"


thronged in to appropriate him to themselves, and mark him for their own, which they did.

Headquarters were not in the field, where they should have been; but in the midst of the political whirl, gayety and social circles of Washington society. The only resemblance the army headquarters had to a military camp was in the orderly or guard, and military messengers occasionally coming and going; in all other ways it resembled a Democratic social club.

The extraordinary spectacle was presented of Clement L. Vallandigham (a sorry patriot), George H. Pendleton, Henry M. Rice and Milton S. Latham making speeches in Congress in opposition to the war in all its phases -- just such speeches as Wigfall had made but a few weeks before -- and then visiting the headquarters of the army and having a roystering time till the "wee sma' hours" and empty bottles gave warning that "the matin was near," and that --

"Night's candles were burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tip-toe on the misty mountain's top."

William D. Kelley, Thaddeus Stevens, Elihu B. Washburne, Charles Sumner, Lyman Trumbull, John A. McClernand and Ben Wade were the strong men in Congress in providing for the war, but they were never seen at army headquarters, even by accident. But the presence of these reactionary Democrats was as necessary, apparently, as was the daily and empty review, which was the end and aim of McClellan's military operations. Very soon the young Napoleon snuffed out and brushed aside the venerable head of the army altogether, and the latter, in order to preserve his self-respect, declined longer to be a target for the scorn of this under-strapper, and sought for and achieved the otium cum dignitate of an honorable retirement.

So far as it could be done Mr. Lincoln was treated quite as cavalierly; and an instance is well attested, and not even denied, that on a visit about business, which the President informally made to "headquarters," he was bidden wait


in the ante-room, which was cold and cheerless, which he did for an hour, listening to the sounds of "wine and wassail" going on within, till the Copperhead crowd got ready to file out, which they did, each leering at the President, who modestly rose in their honor; and who was in a state of discomfort from the chill of the room.

Lincoln has been known to send to him parties whom he knew with informal suggestions in the line of his duty, instead of commanding him, as he really should have done. And no fact was better understood by Lincoln than that McClellan treated him quite as superciliously as he had before treated Gen. Scott. In point of fact, McClellan, filled with the pride that goeth before destruction, deemed that his succession to the headship both of political as well as military affairs was au fait accompli.

These facts, joined to McClellan's marvelous and persistent disinclination to fight at all, ought to sufficiently show his animus toward the Rebellion; and yet, strange to say, there is still a diversity of opinion on the subject. Barnum avers that the world really likes to be humbugged, and the existence of some men and the running of some careers seems to enforce that idea, one of said careers being that of McClellan.

Note of Lincoln to McClellan

The three men in Washington who were the most jubilant on the assumption of the active command of the army by McClellan were Gen. Scott, Secretary Stanton and Representative W. D. Kelley, Chairman of the Committee on the Conduct of the War. All concurred in desiring, and aiding in, his appointment, although Lincoln said that it was made at the sole instance and urgent request of Gen. Scott. No one of them aspired to anything McClellan could desire, and two of Kelley's most influential constituents were the father and uncle, respectively, of the General. But within ninety days of his assumption to power all three of these renowned men, acting nowise in concert, or from a common impulse,


each conceived for him the most bitter disgust and contempt. And every one averred that it was from a necessary and official inspection, consideration of, and action upon his professional conduct and actions, and the animus which was its self-evident inspiration.

Maj. J. H. Simpson, of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers, informed me that in 1861 he was -- some how -- in charge of the defences at a place in Virginia (I have forgotten the exact date and locality) and became advised by a picket that a Confederate officer, elaborately dressed in a Confederate uniform, had come within our lines a short time before, under a safe-conduct issued by McClellan, and was then in an old schoolhouse near by, in conference with Col. Key (McClellan's chief of staff). He was puzzled at learning this; the transaction, somehow, seemed out of order, and he deemed it within the line of his duty to learn more -- so he entered the schoolhouse abruptly, when he found the two officers in close and eager consultation. Key, somewhat embarrassed at the intrusion, introduced his visitor as "General Cobb." That officer shook hands cordially with Simpson, and said: "I recollect seeing you once before when you were but a Lieutenant of Engineers, and I was Secretary of the United States Treasury." "Why, yes," replied Simpson, "I do recollect that Secretary Howell Cobb did as you suggest; but your patriarchical beard so disguises you that I never should have recognized you." Cobb's eye twinkled as he replied: "Yes, you know, Major, that in these times it wont answer to be barefaced." The reply struck the Major with some surprise -- he detected a double entendre meaning; and was embarrassed and pained during the rest of the interview. Not to put too fine a point upon it, it reminded him of the interview between Arnold and Andre; and he snuffed treason in the air.

Key had a talk with me about this afterward in Judge Dickson's office at Cincinnati, for Simpson had put part of what I have narrated in the papers; and while in no wise


denying the interview, and not attempting to explain it to me, he, nevertheless, did by implication at least dissent from Simpson's corollary, and informed me that he had then recently called Simpson a liar in the street. And, in this connection, it will not be forgotten that the President dismissed Key's brother ignominiously from the service for avowing that the intention of the army was to not do any genuine fighting, but to make peace with slavery intact.

Some incidents which fell under my own observation are in place here. During part of August, September and October of 1861 I was on duty at Washington, and boarded at the same place with Rev. C. Edwards Lester, a polished "deadbeat" -- a nephew of Aaron Burr -- the author of several works, including "The Glory and Shame of England" -- and formerly Consul-General to Italy under Pierce and Buchanan. He had no ostensible business, nor money of consequence, but was simply, to all appearance, "a looker-on in Venice." I grew quite intimate with him, for he was an interesting as well as educated loafer, and our rooms were in juxtaposition. Each day immediately after 3 o'clock dinner he would disappear -- sometimes for an hour, and sometimes for the rest of the day; and frequently he would, when normally drunk, tell me that he must go, or had just been, to see Gen. Marcy (McClellan's chief of staff); and when abnormally drunk would inform me of some army secret he had learned there. I happen to recollect he once told me that, on a future day named by him, our army would move on Munson's Hill; and it proved to be true -- the army moved when he predicted. This man had held office under Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan -- he was a brilliant, but characterless man -- a social vagabond, and what legitimate reason there was for making him a confidant at army headquarters (if it was so, as appeared) I could not then divine, and cannot now. One Sunday I walked out with him and called on Mrs. Drinkard, an interesting woman, who maintained a nice home at Washington, and whose husband


was then chief clerk in the Rebel War Department at Richmond, having held a similar office in Washington under Jeff. Davis and Isaac Toucey (Secretaries of War), his family also remaining in Washington meanwhile. I have elsewhere said, and now repeat, that apparent treason prevailed everywhere in Washington, undisturbed.

After Lincoln, Stanton and Halleck were all dead, McClellan wrote a book, in which he attempted to demonstrate, that the chief object of Lincoln's administration was to weaken and encompass the destruction of its own army, and thus allow the Rebels to dictate peace in the precincts of the national capital, for no other object than the ignoble one of ruining McClellan's political fortunes: and among other literary trash embodied between its covers, is a long statement to the effect that on March 8th, 1862, the President informed him that he had been advised that he (McClellan) had acted "with traitorous intent," etc., and that the President "certainly conveyed to me (him) the distinct impression that he regarded these impressions as well-founded," etc., whereupon the general, who "was seated when he said this," arose in his majesty and wrath, and made him, (Lincoln) eat his words, etc.

Now if McClellan had any title to respect before he published that, he is entitled to none now; for any man who will say that Mr. Lincoln first called him a traitor, and then under menace of the displeasure of a party of McClellan's calibre, or for any other reason, recanted, and averred "that he did not believe a word of it," must be trying to emulate Joe Mulhatton, and to approximate to the Baron Munchausen's great talent for economizing the truth.

No historical event has been thumbed over so extensively and thoroughly as McClellan's glorious entry into, his inglorious career in, and his disgraceful dropping out of, the war; it is a melancholy episode, and the sooner it is consigned to the limbo of oblivion, the better.

He attained the acme of his fame at Antietam, and, after picking up a ragged livelihood at odd jobs, was rejected by his


own party for a cabinet office, when in the party's power, although he needed it badly to revamp his sullied fame, and died in obscurity: -- he who, in 1861, supposed that Caesar, Napoleon, Washington and McClellan would adorn the highest niche in Fame's temple, pari passu; and that he would jostle "Old Abe" out of the way as easily as he did "Old Scott."

There is not the least doubt or obscurity in my mind as to the animus and attitude of McClellan toward the war, and the enemy. In my judgment, McClellan was not a traitor to his country, but he was clearly a traitor to the administration of Abraham Lincoln. His loyalty to his country included all the people of the country, Jeff. Davis, Beauregard, Semmes, Wirz and Forrest, as well as the loyal people. He did not wish to conquer the rebels, but to appease them; he was not unwilling to confront them with armies, in order to hold them in check, and delude the people and the administration with the "dumb show" of war till something should "turn up" by which the prodigal would return -- the fatted calf be killed; the best robe be thrown over his shoulders; and a ring placed on his finger. He, perhaps, if he had any practical ideas at all, regarded the attack upon Sumter as an improper and unnecessary measure, but which might be overlooked like any other venial error, or political misadventure. He regarded the coup d'etat of the South as a mistake in political finesse, and not as arrant treason. And his policy was, to apply sufficient force to keep the administration appeased and to repel aggression, in the confident hope that the Democratic party of both sections would join fraternal hands -- exclude the black Republicans -- and restore the ancient regime, with slavery intact, if not universal, with himself as the head of the reconstructed nation; in short, he did not regard the rebels as enemies, and to be destroyed, or treated otherwise as such, but as fellow-citizens who differed from their northern brethren about a policy, and that without doing any particular harm, the factions might be reconciled -- himself the supreme head; and the Republicans retired to the


obscurity of the Abolitionist party -- its germ and sponsor. But there was also one other matter: he was but a student, and not a soldier; a teacher, and not an administrator; a cabinet, and not a field officer; he had not proper courage of any sort, no self-reliance, no decision of character. He was timid, irresolute and vacillating: fond of the pomp and circumstance, but not of the execution; enamored with the trappings and paraphernalia, but not with the burden, of war; he would make an admirable soldier
"In these dull piping times of peace,"
but the rattle of musketery -- clash of sabers -- and booming of cannon, had no charms for him; in fact, in the battles he did fight he was at a safe distance from any danger. His forte was as a professor -- an author -- a theorist -- a cabinet officer, or an organizer, but when fighting was demanded, the Army needed a Grant, Sherman or Thomas.

Those who are familiar with West Point and its workings are also aware that it engenders the most contemptible aristocracy in this country. The profession of arms is alluring to youth and callow manhood; the forced gentility and mechanical manners taught, tend to the fostering of a dull mediocrity -- a repression of individuality -- an undue sentiment of reverence for those officially superior, and a feeling of contempt for all below. The very attire engenders illegitimate pride and over-weening vanity; and a spirit of caste is infused, as trenchant and deeply ingrained as that of the Brahmins. It is not forgotten that in the British army the officers are spawned from the titled aristocracy. Manhood is estimated in the order of rank, and groupings take place accordingly. A conventional General is at the zenith of the social fabric, and a private soldier at the foundation, although the latter may have brains, and the former none. And it was this very infusion of artificial manners, and social mechanism and evisceration of manhood, that replaced national


patriotism with esprit de corps; and that caused the recusancy of Stone at Ball's Bluff -- of Buell in Kentucky, and of Porter at the second Bull Run.

This tendency affected McClellan more or less -- a narrow-gauge man at best. His friends and college mates were largely on the other side of the line; they had loved each other at West Point. Why should they have any different sentiment now! He deemed himself the genius of the army, and could not be made to understand his representative character; being smothered in the incense of adulation, he could not realize his responsibility to any superior; he thought the army existed chiefly for himself alone. And the charmed circle of his aristocratic staff and democratic courtiers, included within its horizon all that was worth his political consideration; and the diurnal review of his army, all that was essential in the line of warfare; and I believe, if left to himself, he never would have fought a battle to this day.

My predilections were very much in favor of McClellan at the start. My personal acquaintance with him commenced in 1858, when the State Auditor made a ruling in reference to the seven per cent tax which the Illinois Central R. R. was to pay in lieu of taxes; and which brought all of us railway attorneys to Springfield, to aid in some legislation, needed to counteract that unjust decision. McClellan was at our headquarters as a leading representative of the company. His manners were charming, but he did nothing but entertain, and in that role he was captivating.

I saw him frequently thereafter in the general offices of the company, and was taken with his style and gentility, just as I was with that of Burnside, who was our cashier, at the same time; but I recollect of hearing the matter discussed in high railway circles to the disparagement of McClellan, that his favorite system of breakwater, and which the company expended many thousands to erect, proved an ignominious


failure. If so, it was typical of its author; he certainly failed as a general; and if the causes of his failure are still debatable, I will venture to say, they will not be so, after the charm and influence of the magnetism of the man himself and political prejudices in his favor, shall have passed away, and the impartial verdict of history, stripped of outside integuments, shall be reached.

Lincoln did err in his dealings with MeClellan, and injured his administration severely thereby -- more so than the public is aware of; but it was in adhering to McClellan after "forbearance ceased to be a virtue."

He should simply have been dismissed from the army after those infamous and impudent letters from the front, and should not have been retained after March, 1862: and my opinion is, that he was retained largely by reason of Lincoln's unwillingness to destroy McClellan, and this forbearance toward McClellan, in view of the disasters it brought to our cause, was really a blemish apparently on the lustre of Lincoln's great renown, if it had any blemish. And yet this most magnanimous of men sent word to him by Thurlow Weed, in the spring of 1863, that if he would put himself at the head of the Union Democratic party and push forward the sentiment of a vigorous prosecution of the war, he would step aside and do all he could to secure his election in 1864. The suggestion was unheeded, but it attests the self-sacrificing patriotism and devotion to duty of Lincoln, just the same.

One of the most remarkable things that ever happened in the moral world was this: that men of excellent judgment and unsullied patriotism at the North, were firm in the belief that McClellan was all he pretended to be, both in ability and devotion to his duty; and, at the same time, he was the subject of extravagant laudation at the hands of the copperhead press and orators at the North, and equally of the Confederate newspapers and statesmen at the South. While our


loyal press was filled with denunciations of his course, the copper-head and Rebel press were firm in his defence. He was even lauded in the Confederate Congress.

Another solecism in morals is this: that he, the commander-in-chief of our armies, whose duty and common decency and propriety required him to fight and destroy the Rebel armies, should be, with almost unanimity, taken up as the candidate of the party which demanded that the war cease, and that without any agreement or intimation from the Rebels that the war should cease on their part.

The parallelism between McClellan's actions while on the field, and the action of his political friends at Chicago, was significant.

And, on the evening November 8th, 1864, it is probable that McClellan's next door neighbor might have heard from the recesses of the chamber of the ex-Napoleon, a sepulchral voice soliloquizing:

"FAREWELL! a long FAREWELL to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope: to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips the root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured
Like little wanton boys, that swim on bladders,
These many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth. MY HIGH-BLOWN PRIDE.
AT LENGTH BROKE UNDER ME, and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye.
I feel my heart new opened. O how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors!
There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have:

Female Behind Bars


Chapter XIII. Lincoln and Slavery.

I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me when I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and sold have ever earned.

"If slavery is not wrong -- nothing is wrong."

"The President would like to have God on his side; but he must have Kentucky."

"Abraham Lincoln cared little for the negro or his freedom, though he disliked slavery; but he cared greatly, and with his whole heart and soul, for the Union."

"Colonization and deportation of the slaves when set free was deemed by him an essential part of his emancipation policy."

"When Lincoln very reluctantly issued the preliminary Proclamation he wished it distinctly understood that the deportation of the slaves was * * * inseparably connected with the policy."

"My paramount object is to save the Union; and not either to save or destroy slavery."

"Expressing no sympathy for the slave * * * and showing no dislike to the slaveholders ---"

"The President has yielded so much to Border State and negrophobic counsels, that he now finds it difficult to arrest his own descent --
-- CHASE (on Sept. 10, 1862.)

In the chronicles of John Rolfe, under date of 1619 -- the same who "took up" with Pocahontas -- occurs, with no moral or philosophical comment, this quaint and portentous statement: "About the last of August came in a Dutch Man-of-Warre, that sold us twenty negars." A declaration containing a greater weight of ill-omen to the nation could not be written.


There has been commerce in African slaves throughout all historic periods. The Egyptians, Carthagenians and Arabs were the slave merchants of antiquity; the Arab sheiks and Moors in the medieval ages; and all maritime nations in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. And as thus appears; to the Dutch nation, under official sanction and patronage, is the bad pre-eminence due of planting the poisonous germ of slavery in this republic, of otherwise equal conditions. The English followed this unholy precedent, the government by a system of licenses sharing in the profits of the inhuman traffic.

The ordinary mode of acquiring a cargo of slaves was by barter with the conquerors for the captives of their petty wars. The alternative to a captive was death or slavery, and this alternative was not left to the captive, but was determined by the captor, according to his interest, convenience or whims.

But it also not infrequently happened that a vessel's crew would surprise an Ethiopian settlement, and capture and transport all who were merchantable, leaving the nursing infants and aged to perish; or kidnap any natives who might be attracted by curiosity, to the slaver.

Slavery has always existed in some form, but the methods, and causes for, enslaving the Africans, have been the cruelest and most revolting of any of the recorded instances.

In the morning twilight of history, the germ of enlightenment took vigorous root and yielded abundant fruit in the Semitic mind in the north of Africa; but attrition with the coterminous regions of the interior for thousands of years did not germinate the least shoot of civilization in the vast Sahara of the Ethiopian mind; there are monuments in Egypt older than the pyramids, attesting the reign of enlightenment; and when Rome in her "power of pride and place" attained almost cosmopolitan supremacy, a Carthagenian general invaded Europe -- crossed the Alps, and engaged


the flower of the Roman army with such valor and effect that three bushels of gold rings were taken from the fingers of the slain Roman knights.

The splendor of Carthage replaced that of ancient Tyre.

Rich in the spoils of twenty different peoples, Carthage was the proud capital of a vast empire. Its ports, hollowed out by the hand of man, were capable of containing a great number of ships. Her citadel, Byrsa, was two miles in circuit. On the land side the town was defended by a triple enclosure twenty-five stadia in length, thirty cubits high, and supported by towers of four stories, capable of giving shelter to 4,000 horses, 300 elephants, and 20,000 foot soldiers; it enclosed an immense population, since, in the last years of its resistance, after a struggle of a century, it still counted 700,000 inhabitants. Its monuments were worthy of its greatness: among its remarkable buildings was the temple of the god Aschmon, assimilated by the Greeks to AEsculapius; that of the sun, covered with plates of gold valued at a thousand talents; and the mantle or peplum, destined for the image of their great goddess, which cost a hundred and twenty. The empire of Carthage extended from the frontiers of Cyrenaica (the country of Barca, in the regency of Tripoli) into Spain; she was the metropolis of all the north of Africa, and, in Libya alone, possessed three hundred towns. Nearly all the isles of the Mediterranean, to the west and south of Italy, had received her factories. Carthage had imposed her sovereignty upon all the ancient Phoenician establishments in this part of the world, and had levied upon them an annual contingent of soldiers and tribute. In the interior of Africa she sent caravans to seek elephants, ivory, gold, and black slaves, which she afterward exported to the trading-places on the Mediterranean. In Sicily, she gathered oil and wine; in the isle of Elba, she mined for iron; from Malta, she drew valuable tissues; from Corsica, wax and honey; from Sardinia, corn, metals, and slaves; from the Baleares, mules and fruit; from Spain,


gold, silver and lead; from Mauritania, the hides of animals; she sent as far as the extremity of Britain, to the Cassiterides (the Scilly Islands), ships to purchase tin. Within her walls industry nourished greatly, and tissues of great celebrity were fabricated.

No market of the ancient world could be compared with that of Carthage, to which men of all nations crowded. Greeks, Gauls, Ligurians, Spaniards, Lybians, came in multitudes to serve under her standard; the Numidians lent her a redoubtable cavalry. Her fleet was formidable; it amounted at this epoch to five hundred vessels. Carthage possessed a considerable arsenal; we may appreciate its importance from the fact that, after her conquest by Scipio, she delivered to him two hundred thousand suits of armor, and three thousand machines of war. So many troops and stores imply immense revenues. Even after the battle of Zama, Polybius could still call her the richest town in the world. Yet she had already paid heavy contributions to the Romans. An excellent system of agriculture contributed no less than her commerce to her prosperity. A great number of agricultural colonies had been established, which, in the time of Agathocles, amounted to more than two hundred. They were ruined by the war (440 of Rome). Byzacena (the southern part of the regency of Tunis) was the granary of Carthage.

This province, surnamed Emporia, as being the trading country par excellence, is vaunted by the geographer Scylax as the most magnificent and fertile part of Libya. It had, in the time of Strabo, numerous towns, so many magazines of the merchandise of the interior of Africa. Polybius speaks of its horses, oxen, sheep, and goats, as forming innumerable herds, such as he had never seen elsewhere. The small town of Leptis alone paid to the Carthagenians the enormous contribution of a talent a day (5,821 francs).

This fertility of Africa explains the importance of the towns on the coast of Syrtes, an importance, it is true, revealed


by later testimonies, because they date from the decline of Carthage, but which must apply still more forcibly to the nourishing condition which preceded it. In 537 the vast port of the isle of Cercina (Kirkeni, in the regency of Tunis, opposite Sfax) had paid ten talents to Servilius. More to the west, Hippo Regius (Bona) was still a considerable maritime town in the time of Jugurtha. Tingis (Tangiers), in Mauritania, which boasted of a very ancient origin, carried on a great trade with Baetica. Three African peoples in these countries lay under the influence and often the sovereignty of Carthage: the Massylian Numidians, who afterward had Cirta (Constantine) for their capital; the Masssesylian Numidians, who occupied the provinces of Algiers and Oron; and the Mauri, or Moors, spread over Morocco. These nomadic people maintained rich droves of cattle, and grew great quantities of corn.

Hanno, a Carthagenian sea-captain, sent, toward 245, to explore the extreme parts of the African coast beyond the Straits of the Gades, had founded a great number of settlements, no traces of which remained in the time of Pliny. These colonies introduced commerce among the Mauritanian and Numidian tribes, the peoples of Morocco, and perhaps even those of Senegal. But it was not only in Africa that the possessions of the Carthagenians extended; they embraced Spain, Sicily and Sardinia.

During all these ages, the Ethopian race has made no Progress whatever toward civilization; throughout the medieval as well as the dark ages; in the era of the renaissance as well as in the days of Livingston and Stanley; alike when the sun's rays first awoke the Eolian harp on the statue of Memnon; when the thunders of Nelson's artillery reverberated in the harbor of the Nile; and when De Lesseps poured the waters of the Mediterranean into the Gulf of Aden; did the African wage a relentless war with the lion and the tiger for the dominion of the forest. Equally when Jehovah engulfed Pharaoh in the Red Sea; when Mary and


her Divine Son fled into Egypt; and when Stanley's rear guard moved in force through the trackless wild, did the Ethiopian tribes engage each other in internecine wars, and massacre or make merchandise of their prisoners.

The Great Jehovah commanded and enforced the manumission of the Jews; but for thousands of years acquiesced in the sentence of awful import bestowed by Noah upon his recreant son: "Cursed be Canaan: a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren."

Egyptian civilization reached back more than three thousand years. The sciences and arts already flourished there, when Asia Minor, Greece and Italy were still in a state of barbarism. The fertility of the valley of the Nile had permitted a numerous population to develop itself there to such a point that under Amasis II., contemporary with Servius Tullius, twenty thousand cities were reckoned in it. The skillful administration of the first of the Lagides increased considerably the resources of the country. Under Ptolemy II. the annual revenues amounted to 14,800 talents (86,150,800 francs) and a million and a half of arbati of wheat. Besides the Egyptian revenues, the taxes levied in the foreign possessions reached the amount of about 10,000 talents a year. Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Judea, with the province of Samaria, yielded annually to Ptolemy Euergetes 8,000 talents (46 millions and a half). A single feast cost Philadelphus; 2,240 talents, more than 13 millions [more than half a million sterling]. The sums accumulated in the treasury amounted to the sum, perhaps exaggerated, of 740,000 talents (about 4 milliards, 300 millions of francs [172 millions sterling]). In 527 Ptolemy Euergetes was able, without diminishing his resources too much, to send to the Rhodians 3,300 talents of silver, a thousand talents of copper, and ten millions of measures of wheat. The precious metals abounded in the empire of the Pharaohs, as is attested by the traces of mining operations now exhausted, and by the multitude of objects in gold contained in their tombs.


Masters for some time of the Libanus, the kings of Egypt obtained from it timber for ship-building. These riches had accumulated especially at Alexandria, which became, after Carthage, toward the commencement of the seventh century of Rome, the first commercial city in the world. It was fifteen miles in circumference, had three spacious and commodious ports, which allowed the largest ships to anchor along the quay. There arrived the merchandises of India, Arabia, Ethiopia, and of the coast of Africa: some brought on the backs of camels, from Myos Hormos (to the north of Cosseir), and then transported down the Nile; others came by canals from the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, or brought from the port of Berenice, on the Red Sea. The occupation of this sea by the Egyptians had put a stop to the piracies of the Arabs, and led to the establishment of numerous factories. India furnished spices, muslins and dyes; Ethiopia, gold, ivory, and ebony; Arabia, perfumes. All these products were exchanged against those which came from the Pontus Euxinus and the Western Sea. The native manufacture of printed and embroidered tissues, and that of glass, assumed under the Ptolemies a new development. The objects exhumed from the tombs of this period, the paintings with which they are decorated, the allusions contained in the hieroglyphic texts and Greek papyrus, prove that the most varied descriptions of industry were exercised in the kingdom of the Pharoahs, and had attained a high degree of perfection. The excellence of the products and the delicacy of the work prove the intelligence of the workmen. Under Ptolemy II. the army was composed of 200,000 footmen, 40,000 cavalry, 300 elephants, and 200 chariots; the arsenals were capable of furnishing arms for 300,000 men. The Egyptian fleet, properly so called, consisted of a hundred and twelve vessels of the first class (from five to thirty ranges of oars), and two hundred and twenty-four of the second class, together with light craft; the king had, besides these, more than four thousand ships in the ports placed in subjection


to him. It was especially after Alexander that the Egyptian navy became greatly extended.

While sporadic cases of slavery had occurred among all the nations of antiquity, nowhere, except in case of the Ethiopians, had it become epidemic -- the normal state; and the Spartan helot and Roman captive aspired to a higher condition, and themselves struck off the shackles which enthralled them. Even while yet a slave, a monument waerected to Esops by the free classes; and the Almighty, by direct intervention, raised up the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter to lead the Jewish slaves out of their house of Egyptian bondage.

Prior to the seventeenth century the Greek corsair piloted his caravel past the Colossus of Rhodes with its load of human chattels; and the Ladrone pirate spread the wings of his shallop, with a like load, toward the rich countries of "Ormus and the Ind."

And, following in the wake of the great Italian navigator, the Argonaut unfurled the sails of his Argosy with a load of human freight less comfortably provided for than cattle are provided for in transit, in these civilized days.

The usual consideration for slaves was Medford rum, but it was not infrequent for slavers to kidnap the natives who might, through curiosity, visit the vicinity of the vessels. Each male negro was allotted a space below deck six feet long and sixteen inches broad; the females and children even less. On fine days, they were brought out on deck, and suffered to take exercise. During the night, and in stormy times, they were kept below, when the odor became rank and stifling, and frequently induced disease and death.

An illustration of the commerce of a slaver may be found in the following memorandum:
The cargo of the Caesar outbound was: 82 barrels, 6 hogsheads and 6 tierces of New England rum; 33 barrels of Jamaica spirits; 33 barrels of Barbadoes rum; 26 pairs of pistols; 2 casks of musket balls; 1 chest hand arms; 25


cutlasses. The cargo inbound was: In the hold, on board of the scow Caesar 163 adult slaves and two children.

And from the account of a supercargo, we find this methodical account:

Dr. The Natives of Annamboe. 1770
Apr. 22 To 1 hhd. rum 110
May 1 To rum 130
May 2 1 hhd. rum 105
May 7 1 hhd. rum 108
May 5 Gold 5oz.
May 5 Gold 2oz.
May 5 Gold 3 oz.
May 5 Snuff 1oz.
Per Contra Cr 1770.
Apr. 22 By 1 female slave 110
May 1 By 1 female slave 130
May 2 1 boy slave 4 ft. 1in 105
May 7 1 boy slave 4ft. 3in 108
May 5 1 man slave 5oz.
May 9 1 old man for a linguister 3oz.

Even after they had reached this country and were; distributed among the farmers and planters, they remained almost as barbarous as when in their native land. They continued their fetich worship -- saluted rocks and trees as the manes of their departed ancestors, and held daily communion with the Devil -- with witches -- with spirits and ghosts. They each carried a rabbit's foot constantly with them; they were afraid of darkness and still more so of the moon: they believed in voodoo charms and incantations: they had great terror of the evil eye. Their joys were very few -- their pleasures very simple. They were lecherous to an intense degree -- very fond of simple, primitive music and the weird, unmeaning, uncivilized, grotesque dance.

To the shame of the thirteen colonies, be it said, that after a bitter struggle against English oppression; when victory finally crowned their arms, and peace was established there were 750,000 African slaves distributed throughout the thirteen colonies -- no colony being without them.

The enslavers and enslaved were alike unconscious of any moral obliquity: -- no complaints arose -- no protest was ventured -- no sympathy expressed anywhere in the wide, wide world for the poor bondsmen.

All powers of Christendom had profited by the negro as an article of bargain and sale -- of freight, export and import; of merchandise -- of profit and loss: his name appeared on


the counting room ledger in connection with "bought," "sold" or "hired:" it also was published in the newspapers in the column of "estrays:" he was simply called "Bob," "Dick" or "Nance:" he was described by ear-marks like a hog.

Not until Time ushered in the nineteenth century, did the element of humanity enter into a consideration of the matter at all: and in 1809, all the first-class Christian powers agreed together to class the foreign slave traffic as piracy, though leaving domestic slave traffic intact: and the logical and moral solecism was exhibited, of hanging a slave merchant for purchasing a slave in Mozambique and selling him in Savannah, while fostering the breeding of a slave in the capital of this nation, and selling him also in Savannah.

Commercial activity having been greatly stimulated and many princely fortunes having been amassed in England, by the slave trade, a spasm of virtue seized that puissant nation, and in 1834, all slaves in English colonies, amounting in number to 770,280, were manumitted; and four years later, slavery was likewise abolished in India. At about the same time, the French government abolished slavery in the isles of Martinique and St. Domingo: and in the latter isle, the Africans, under lead of one Toussaint l'Overture, a mulatto, massacred, in cold blood, with every adjunct of fiendish brutality, their former masters: and then the negroes, in turn, massacred the mulattos: and thus gained uncontrolled Possession of that land of everlasting verdure -- that terrestrial natural paradise: but, Cui Bono? Alas! factions have kept up periodical revolts and internecine wars: civilization burned down to a blue flame, then sputtered and crocked: the inhabitants degenerated into an unsavory race of vicious and slothful habits: idleness superseded industry: exports and commerce dwindled away: its political autonomy is at the lowest maintainable point; the dominant institution in Hayti is a huge standing army to which all aspirations tend: and this once sunny region of tropical verdure and perennial bloom now presents to us alike a beacon of warning, and a sad, sad picture of decay and desolation.


Jamaica, although spared from a similar bloody fate, shared the same adverse fortune, industrially: so of Martinique and the rest. In the century commencing about 1725, the West Indies were abodes of thrift and refinement: coffee, sugar and tobacco, also tropical fruits, were exported to every civilized mart known to commerce: the planters kept their commercial and banking accounts in London, Paris and Marseilles: the youth of both sexes derived their primary education at the hands of imported tutors and governesses, and finished their courses at Paris, Oxford and Heidelberg.

No planter or his wife ventured out of doors without a servant to carry an umbrella over their heads when they walked, and fan them while they sat in the shade or took their siesta in a hammock. Each child was allotted a personal servant, from his natal hour: and the arms of such servant, called bearer, were a substitute for the perambulator of our enlightenment.

Josephine de Tascher de la Pelagerie was born and reared on the isle of Martinique, who became the wife of Napoleon, and Empress of France, ultimately.

English and French gardeners superintended the cultivation of highly wrought gardens; and shrubbery and flowers, both exotic and indigenous, bedecked the parterres with a brilliancy of hue and grace of design, unknown and impossible in the harsher zones.

That these results were achieved at the expense of the freedom of the negro is sadly true, for with the cessation of slavery industry, agriculture, horticulture and commerce languished -- the higher classes returned to Europe, and art and culture succumbed to the dominion of primeval nature: the negro race was dominant, and commercial lethargy and political disorder reigned supreme.

In the United States, the sentiment of all responsible persons at the adoption of the Constitution was adverse to the institution: in that respect, the sentiment was quite as


vigorous and active as it was among the English or French; and had the difficulties of manumission been no more formidable here, than in those nations, that policy would have been adopted here also: and in point of fact. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and Pennsylvania did, by peaceful processes, get rid of their slaves as early as they could: and the entire government concurred in consecrating their sole common territory to freedom forever.

The men of the Revolution ardently hoped that slavery would, in some way, soon come to an end: and, thus believing, they were sedulous to not write the word "slave" in their constitution, hoping that posterity would overlook the fact that our soil had ever harbored a human being in so degraded a state: but these hopes were postponed and shoved further away, from one cause or another, among which may be mentioned the ferocious massacre at Hayti, which attested the unfitness of the negro to be entrusted with power, and the invention of the cotton gin, which fortified his enslavement by the force of avarice.

The character of the negro is written by himself in sombre colors, in the story of St. Domingo. While in a state of servitude they were docile and tractable: they made no effort to achieve their freedom, but joined their masters in making the "wilderness and the solitary places to be glad, and the desert to bud and blossom as the rose:" but their conception of freedom was the wild license of the African jungles; and they first slew the little handful of helpless whites, as their ancestors would slay the tiger, and then extirpated the last drop of white blood in the island by, likewise, slaying the mulattos.

It is a poetic conceit, that:

"Who would be free, HIMSELF must strike the blow."

The negro deemed it otherwise however, in prosaic fact: the war summoned his enslavers to the tented field: the best


blood of the cotton states relaxed police supervision of their slaves and joined the armies in Virginia and Tennessee, leaving him untrammeled, to either work the commissariat treadmill to supply and make effective the rebel armies, which were fighting to destroy his last hope of liberty; or to take up his unimpeded or conquering march toward the north star.

He chose the former course: he did not even "stand still to see the salvation of the Lord:" but joined his master in forging thunderbolts to destroy those who opposed the founding of an aristocracy in the land of Washington and Lincoln whose corner-stone was slavery -- whose industrial policy was the renewal of the African slave trade.

Despite this disagreeable fact, however -- despite the false and infamous obiter dicta of the "Dred Scott" decision on the subject of the social status of the negro: yet, by the general consensus of mankind, slavery is WRONG: John Wesley properly characterized it as "the sum of all villainies:" and Lincoln compressed its logic and philosophy in one sentence; "IF SLAVERY IS NOT WRONG, NOTHING IS WRONG." All men, no matter how weak intellectually, morally or physically, are entitled to their freedom: each has his account to render to his God, and he must be left free and untrammeled to make up his own record for the judgment-day.

Stephen A. Douglas was wont to say: "You have no right to force even a good thing on an unwilling people." Nothing is more true: so far as the Anglo-Saxon is concerned; the negro has a right to pursue the avocation of tiger-hunting in his native wilds unrestrainedly, quite as fully as the Caucasian has a right to pursue merchandize, commerce or the arts.

"ALL men are created equal" (in political right) and are endowed by their Creator with the right to life and liberty: and the true principle of the abridgment of, or restraint upon, the natural political right of any one, is, "that the sole end for which mankind are warranted individually or collectively


in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so; because it will make him happier; because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him, must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

While the African has not shown himself to be tenacious of his liberty, provided he had to achieve and hold it for himself, the Anglo-Saxon is animated by a more sublime genius; and the less his education and culture, the more unwelcome to him is any restraint whatever: and hence, when external danger and internal necessities concurred in rendering necessary the union of the thirteen colonies under one government, the people were radically hostile to it, and the statesmen generally only desired it from their sense of its imperious necessity, and when the Constitution under which we now live was submitted to the several colonies for their consideration, it commanded the unchallenged support of but one state, and would have failed of ratification altogether had it not been for the almost superhuman efforts in its behalf, of Hamilton, Jay and Madison, and the practice of the most adroit political strategy, joined to an array of favorable accidents; in fact, it may be said to have been carried, as secession afterward


was, by political strategy. Had its advocacy by Washington and Madison been wanting, or had Jefferson been at home, it would have failed in Virginia. Had it failed in Virginia or had not Hamilton personally employed his highest powers in its behalf with the convention at Poughkeepsie, it would have failed in New York; and had it failed either in Virginia or New York, it would have failed altogether.

Being adopted, however, by the narrowest of margins, no sooner had the power of government began to impinge upon the natural liberty of the people, than sporadic cases of revolt gave notice that the Constitution was not a "rope of sand," like the old superseded Confederacy: and Madison, one of the "Fathers of the Constitution," wrote and bound his state to the political threat, that it was the duty of the state to "oppose every infraction of what it deemed its constitutional rights," and Jefferson was equally pronounced in his views of the lack of binding force of the general government, for in his Kentucky Resolutions, he declared that the several states * * * are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to the general government,* * * " and that each state "has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of in fractions (of state rights by the general government) as OF THE MODE AND MEASURE OF REDRESS."

Somewhat similar views prevailed at Monongahela City, Pa., at Springfield, Mass., and in New England generally, in consequence whereof the advent of the Constitution was welcomed by the "Whiskey Insurrection" in Pennsylvania, by "Shay's Rebellion" in Massachusetts, both on account of the excise laws; by the "Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1799," on account of the "Alien and Sedition Laws," and by the "Hartford Convention," by reason of the embargo on New England shipping, each and all affording demonstrative evidence that the Constitution in its best estate, and when impinging but slightly upon the unrestrained liberties of the people, was an unwelcome and unpopular document with the


people, alike and equally in New England, Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

But by the time that Mr. Lincoln made his choice in political parties, the Constitution had survived these petty assaults, and citizens generally concurred in obeying its plain requirements. It should be noted, however, that one William Lloyd Garrison was the exponent of a small, select party whose motto was, that the Constitution was a "covenant with death and a league with hell," to use his classic phrase, but his party, and even such as embraced the essential elements (minus the profanity) of his belief, had never been enabled to cast a single electoral vote in six several consecutive elections.

Mr. Lincoln's theory of our government was that it was a product of compromise, and even thus not ideally perfect: yet that whoever chose to live under it, and enjoy its benefits, should obey it; and a fortiori, that whoever undertook and bound himself by an oath to preserve, protect and defend it, should do so rigidly.

There has never been an Utopia save in the fancy of Sir Thomas More; an Arcadia save on the pictured pages of Longfellow; the very phraseology of government implies force; its essence is the protection of society against itself; ideal -- or as it is sometimes called -- poetical, justice is not practicable, as human nature is constituted, and it is the mission and proper function of enlightenment to formulate such a system of government as will insure the greatest and most enduring happiness to aggregate society -- men and women, adults and children, the strong and the weak; and to evolve such a government as this from social chaos, needs learning, wisdom, experience and patriotism; and prejudice, predilection, affinities and selfishness must be discarded. Mr. Lincoln was not the Mahomet, but the Paul the Hermit, of his era; and but reflected, and gave direction to, the common conservative sentiment of his time. With the autonomy


or institutions of the several states he had no concern; his political duties offered no gauge to define or enforce his prejudices or opinions, and the latter must yield to the former.

As a moralist, Mr. Lincoln was like Henry Clay, a colonizationist, I.e., in favor of colonizing the negroes in some other country; but as a practical statesman and executor, he could only lay his hand upon slavery, when the supreme law of politics,
"Salus populi, supremo, lex est"
required it; or, as he phrases it, "upon military necessity," for it may be considered as a political aphorism, that "laws may be justly broken when society is hurrying on to its own ruin, and a desperate remedy is indispensable for its salvation; and again, when the government, supported by the mass of the people, becomes the organ of its interests and their hopes." (Napoleon III.).

Mr. Lincoln was instinctively a statesman, and equally a moral philosopher. In the status, instincts and tendencies of the negro race as he viewed and realized it, he saw its past degradation as accurately as Champollion deciphered it on the bas reliefs of the ancient Egyptian monuments; and in the stolidity, persistency and cheerfulness with which the negro supported the armies which were fighting for his hopeless enslavement, or dropped the hoe to join the idle crowds of parasites of (and thus to weaken) our armies, the wearied President discerned no hope of proper citizenship, or homogeneity with the dominant race.

No people of antiquity resisted the conquering march of the Roman empire with so much valor as the Carthagenians. Neither Rome, Cordova nor Constantinople could boast of such a library as that of Alexandria: the moral and religious teachers of Egypt emulated those of Greece, or Rome, and the armies which established the crescent in Spain were largely recruited in North Africa.


Throughout this period, America was a howling wilderness, and at the times when men of the Caucasian race confronted the elements, the savages and the wild beasts at Jamestown and Plymouth, high civilization had prevailed in Egypt for thousands of years: and the fact that enlightenment irradiated the whole of America in two centuries, while barbarism had retained its statu quo in Africa for ages, attests the impassable gulf that divides the Caucasian from the Ethiopian race, a gulf which attrition with the stronger race cannot fathom, which education cannot bridge over.

Philosophy attests, and history confirms the fact, that there can be no homogeneity of different races of men. In contact with the Caucasian race, the decadence of the American aborigines predestinates unerringly his ultimate extinction. In a like contact, the servility and degradation of the Ethiopian and Mongolian races give token that when density of population renders the struggle for existence earnest and unrelenting, the "survival of the fittest" will ensue, and the inferior races must succumb. The Caucasian race has made slaves of every other race of mankind; but no other race has ever enslaved the Caucasian race, and when the latter race has enslaved its own kind, it has been sporadically and temporarily. The Egyptians enslaved the Jews, but both were of the Semitic race.

During all these centuries the negro has had the same rights as the Caucasian. No law or custom prevented him from planting the banner of conquest on the outposts of Europe, from founding a Paris, London or Cordova, from inventing gunpowder, or the art of printing, or from discovering and taking possession of America.

Had his Muse strayed as far in Parnassian fields as that of Shakespeare, he would have received an equal deification; had he discussed such erudite philosophy as Plato, he would have had as many disciples; had he painted with the pencil of Raphael, all places would have yielded to him.


In Massachusetts, for instance, he had possessed, for more than a century, equal rights with Emerson, and more than Agassiz. But there has been no sable Longfellow, Hawthorne, Webster or Story; no solitary member of Congress or in the state legislature of Massachusetts; no member of a college faculty except Professor Hewlett, of Harvard University, and his chair had muscle, not mind, for its basis, being professor of athletics.

The only literature of the Ethiopian race, of all time or places is the record by others than himself, of his degradation, slavery and manumission, and querulous complaints because he does not achieve as many political offices as he desires.

No African ever held the Pass of Thermopylae, none ever made a charge at Balaklava, none ever led a forlorn hope in the crisis of battle. His name nowhere appears on the rolls of the patent office, or the list of the bank directors, railway officials, authors, inventors, manufacturers or builders.

In short, whenever a negro appears in a role above that of a waiter or boot-black, it is as a superficial imitator of the white man, and never as a self-poised, self-reliant pioneer in, or master of, enterprise or achievement.

Negroes have had colleges founded and maintained for them by the white race, but while the Caucasian colleges have sent forth various expeditions, these colleges have sent no expedition of higher import than troupes of singers, nor is there in the boundless ocean of contemporary or remote literature, a single book worth reading, written or published by a negro. Abraham Lincoln was the saviour and liberator of their race; white men have by associated and voluntary effort, erected statues of bronze and marble, ad libitum, to his memory; the negroes have but taken incipient steps to erect the first one: and while three successive Presidents have bestowed upon the son of the great emancipator the choicest honors of their administrations, the negro delegations to four several national conventions, daily passed right by the office


door of the son of their liberator, en route to the headquarters of the rich candidates, without even condescending to pay him the passing respect of a formal call.

The Aryan race issued forth from the steppes and mountain fastnesses of Asia and subjugated the cave dwellers of Germany, France, Italy and England -- made a pathway across the Atlantic, expelled the aborigines from their seats of empire, and enthroned civilization and enlightenment where savage orgies had held high carnival from immemorial time.

The Semitic race came from the Arabian deserts, overran the north of Africa, conquered Asia Minor, Palestine, Syria, Carthage, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Constantinople, Antioch: then crossed the straits of Gibraltar and subjugated Spain, to which latter country, the most brilliant enlightenment of the followers of Islam was vouchsafed. Cordova, their most refined city, had a population of over a million people and contained over two hundred thousand houses. One street was ten miles in length, solidly paved and lit by public lamps the whole way. The palaces of the aristocracy vied with the palaces of the Roman aristocracy in its hey-day of power, and other cities, as Granada, Seville and Toledo, closely approached it in splendor.

The residences of the wealthy were truly palatial: some were embowered in classical groves -- others were planted in the midst of flower-bespangled lawns: the mansions were adorned with architectural filigree work; the porticoes were supported by slender, spiral columns, bedecked with imitation vines and flowers.

Broad verandahs enabled the occupants to enjoy the outer air, without the attendant solar heat; and clambering vines festooned with semi-tropical flowers excluded the gaze of chance passers. Indigenous flowers relieved the monotony of the close-clipped lawns, where they made brilliant parterres; and exotics adorned the windows and inner courts. The interior decorations were not excelled even in our luxurious day: the richest fresco and the most brilliant


paintings graced the walls; stuffed birds presented to the vision all the various species known to the ornithologist. Every variety of highly polished marble was employed in wainscoting the walls.

Hydraulic engineers and artisans produced wonders in the way of superb fountains, artificial ponds and elegant baths; miniature water-falls surprised the visitor in unexpected places; classic lakes abounded; crystal-like streams rippled over beds of pure white pebbles.

Fish were propagated in artificial as well as natural lakes, and the pleasures of the tables were greatly enhanced by the improved varieties which were the results of refined piscatorial art.

Oranges of all varieties, lemons and limes; figs of delicate flavors and other semi-tropical fruits grew in profusion; grapes were so plentiful as to be had for the asking, and the rude table of the ordinary laborer was crowned with a surfeit of rich fruits and gay flowers which would be creditable to the palace of royalty, to-day.

The furniture was of the most costly material and deli cate workmanship -- carpets from Persia -- vases from Egypt -- the clepsydra -- the hour glass -- the finest of cutlery and china ware -- mosaic pavements -- baths hewed from solid marble, attested the prevalence of luxury. Lounges, settees, tete-a-tetes and divans were adjuncts to luxurious ease.

Among the better classes was a general diffusion of knowledge: the literati could boast of a great erudition; it might truthfully be said that Cordova was the abode of the enlightenment which had prevailed in Tyre and Egypt and was then effete there.

The Khalif lived in a most regal state: his court was the most brilliant since the days of the Roman Empire; and artisans in all lines -- metal and wood workers -- landscape gardeners and pisciculturists -- skilled weavers -- tapestry workers and lace makers were constantly stimulated to devise new


trophies to ravish the senses and minister to the comfort of those high in power, or surfeited with wealth.

Caravans came in from the uttermost ends of the earth loaded with the products of all lands. The Andalusian horses vied with the Arabians for speed and symmetry: hawking and hunting were carried to excess; and the falconry parties outshone in splendor of attire and adroitness of management, any of the kindred French pastimes of later days.

The civilization and enlightenment thus prevalent in a twilight age of the world, with no aid or example from without, in contrast with the barbarism of the Congo or Madagascar tribes, shows the radical and hopeless difference between the two races of men: for the architects of the fortunes and prosperity of Cordova, Granada, and the rest, had first to conquer the country and wrest dominion from the natives, and then to superimpose their trophies of enlightenment upon the primeval seats of a semi-barbarism; while the dwellers in Africa held undisputed sway of fair, fruitful, well nurtured and highly endowed regions of perennial bloom and eternal verdure: but these teeming regions were not impressed by cultivation nor decorated by art; and they, in consequence, remained in a state of virgin desolation, from age to age, and so remain to-day.

Yet the transportation of these roving children of the Jungles to the western hemisphere was morally indefensible, and entirely at variance with all proper social law or propriety, or with a sense of responsibility to the common maker of all. While in Africa, they were at least, if not in an enviable, at least in a normal, condition; here their presence is unwelcome and unnatural; disguise it as we may, they will Probably always be pariahs in this land of their birth.

The experiments of negro rule and industrial achievement lamentably failed in Hayti, Chiriqui, Jamaica, and Liberia: it equally and as signally failed in the slave states just after the war. All manner of felonious schemes received the impress of law by negro legislatures, and the states were plunged


so deeply in debt, that in many cases, land-owners quit paying taxes, and let the tax buyer or the state absorb their domains; and the legislatures in session resembled the sessions of the fictitious "Lime-Kiln Club," the burlesques of negro minstrels, or the wild orgies of the Thompson Street Poker Club. In Florida, a state administration elected by negro votes, finding nothing else to steal, attempted, under color of law, to purloin fourteen millions of acres of land, and were only restrained by the strong arm of the Federal Court.

The white man stands or falls on his merits, and the negro must do the same. All meritorious achievements will enure to his credit and renown; all evil practices, malversation, idleness and worthlessness will redound to his dishonor. The law of the survival of the fittest is a providential and unerring decree, and while the negro and his partisans clamor and make the universe vocal with complaints, and for laws to make him equal to the white, they will yet learn that the only vital right which either the white or black man is entitled to at the hands of society is (as Lincoln puts it) a "right to be the equal of every other man;" and that nothing but effort and achievements will place the negro on the same moral and social plane with the Caucasian; and the sooner he follows the example of the white man, and works six days in the week, instead of five; the sooner he does honest work instead of seeking to eke out the hours in semi-idleness; the sooner he leaves off his political aspirations for which he is not, by the cast and structure of his mind, or his education, adapted; the sooner he abandons the idea of obtaining forty acres and a mule without earning them, the nearer will he be to a condition of self-support and independence.

Humanity in general, and southern society in particular, owes an immense debt of gratitude directly to the Unseen Power, and incidentally to the negro, for what might be termed, in a spirit of laudation, the docility and forbearance of the


race, or characterized in terms of disparagement as cowardice and servility, in his cheerful and submissive wearing of slavery's yoke and collar during the four years of the war -- even after the government of the United States had solemnly proclaimed his freedom. If one could soberly believe that this forbearance was by reason of the spirit inculcated by the Divine Savior of mankind, it would justify high commendation; but as it was merely a shifting of the burden of achieving their freedom, from themselves to the Yankee armies, after the spirit displayed by Harold Skim-pole; it can excite no other feelings than those of contempt, unless charity should intervene with a plea that two centuries of bondage had enervated the race and emasculated their manhood; and even this plea could only be well taken, if and provided, their manhood in their native wilds was more vigorous than in their new condition.

But I choose rather to attribute the flaccidity of the negro's moral condition and his nerveless submission to a state of degradation, to the intervention of the Great Spirit that alike sped the bullet which ended the life of Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh, and which guided the whirlwind at Chickamauga, and directed the storm at Gettysburg, each and all for the salvation of the nation.

The Kentucky state convention which took place about 1848, gave Mr. Lincoln his first real, specific alarm about the institution of slavery: for in that convention, not a single non-slaveholder appeared, although the issue of slavery was made in the canvass and although the non-slaveholding classes outnumbered the other, ten to one. Judge Samuel F. Miller, recently of the U. S. Supreme Court, was then a citizen of Kentucky (afterward of Iowa) and a candidate of the non-slaveholders; and left the state immediately after the election by reason of the animus displayed there, then Lincoln would get excited on the question, and believed that


the tendency of the times was to make slavery universal, and that Illinois, which had already adopted a code of laws about negroes called by its bad pre-eminence "the black laws," would soon legalize slavery there. The indifference of the negro himself, as to his condition, increased his solicitude, for he seemed eager to work hand in hand with his master to the degradation of both races; and when Virginia desired to supply the negro livery stables, of New Orleans, with its human wares, the docile and facile negro cheerfully conformed his labor to the latest edict of the state's political economy, and contemplated with perfect equanimity his children, en route to the auction block, file through the mountain fastnesses and classic shades of the "Old Dominion," which had, in the better days of the Republic, aroused the fancy and evoked the enthusiasm of the Henrys, the Washingtons, the Marshalls, and the Lees of its history.

Abraham Lincoln was not only of opinion that this nation could not remain partly free and partly a slave nation; but he was equally pronounced in his belief that the white and colored races could not occupy the same nation in peace. This belief he took no pains to conceal, and practically avowed it oftentimes, both in unofficial and official declarations, and in practical measures for the removal of the negroes from the nation. Ex-Senator Pomeroy headed a gigantic scheme for the colonization of the colored race at Chiriqui, but the name of its founder is sufficient attestation that it covered a gigantic steal, and it achieved no practical results; Secretary Smith made an actual government contract for the deportation of negroes to Hayti, which received the approval of the President. He held consultations with men of great industrial achievements as to how to transport the entire negro race to Africa. His last conversation with General Butler was concerning a scheme to colonize the negroes in Central America; and, on several


occasions, as the war was drawing to a close, he said the subject of what to do with the negroes was on his mind day and night, and gave him more solicitude than any other.

And in confirmation of his belief, my attention is this moment drawn to an article in "The Nation" of December 17,1891, from which I extract as follows, viz.: "The negroes of Washington consider that their grievances are so serious that they are holding mass-meetings, hoping to devise some means of removing this discrimination against them, if not of abolishing race prejudice altogether* * * * These negroes have been living in a city over which the President and Congress preside as a Mayor and Common Council, and where the Federal laws touching civil rights have free course. Since the war the government of the city has been almost exclusively in the hands of those who enacted the laws against discrimination, and yet in Washington to-day * * * * there are separate schools for the blacks, separate eating houses. * * * * practical exclusion of negroes from restaurants and barber shops, and their colonization in alleys and obscure streets. These Washington negroes, too, are the most deserving of their race. Many of them are members of the learned professions * * * they make up one-third of the city's population their average, both for morality and intelligence, is high a negro, who has an eating-house, frankly confessed that he had to keep two dining-rooms: one for the blacks -- the other for the whites; that, otherwise, he could not earn a living."

And my morning's newspaper contains this cheerful article in the same vein; although

"Use lessens marvel,"
inasmuch as nearly every issue of the press has something similar to record of the social misfortunes or delinquencies of this race, whose presence in our nation has caused the only drawback to our national happiness.




LEESBURG, Fla., Dec. 27. -- Nearly 1,000 armed men in Lake County are scouring the woods between the Florida Central and Peninsular railway tracks and the shores of Lake Haine in search of a fugitive negro murderer named Thomas Mike, and about as many negroes with Winchesters are scattered about this city and suburbs proclaiming that they will protect him from lynching if brought in here. Just before daylight this morning J. E. Parramore, a well-known conductor on the Florida Central road, was shot and instantly killed while on his train, not far from here, by Mike, who keeps a barber shop in this city. Parramore requested Mike to go into the colored car and he refused. Then the conductor ordered him out and was shot.

The train was stopped and run back to this station with the body of the murdered man. An inquest was held and then Sheriff Galloway organized a posse to search for the fugitive. They have six bloodhounds with them and it is the general opinion here that Mike cannot escape. The people still in town feel sure that the murderer will be caught and lynched before midnight unless the negroes succeed in taking him from the sheriff, when a bloody race conflict would be sure to follow. The Leesburg Rifles, about sixty in number, have been ordered out.

Nor is there any reason to hope that such occurrences will diminish, for it has already been going on for more than a quarter of a century, alike during Republican and Democratic administrations, and no hope for a change is visible.

The nation was once brought to the verge of ruin on account of the presence of this race amongst us, by no fault of theirs; and the many sporadic cases such as are so frequently narrated above, and now of nearly thirty years duration, sound an impressive warning that even as the nation was put to the test of whether it could endure partly slave and partly free, so will it have to stand the more severe test of whether the whites and blacks can dwell together on any terms, in the same nation.


The impracticability and also impolicy of two distinct races attempting to occupy the same country is attested by the early Spanish settlements in Mexico and South America. As long as race prejudice and heterogeneity existed, the stronger race destroyed the weaker; and whenever they were content to dwell together in amity, hybridization ensued; and the product was an enervated race, drained of the virtues of all progenitors, and replete with the vices of all. These hybrid nations are in a chronic state of revolution, and any short eras of peace, indicate an abnormal condition.

But certain matters may now be postulated:
First: That the negro is now, by the grace of God, through the agency of Abraham Lincoln, free and independent; he is also a citizen of the republic; he is eligible to the Presidency, the Senate, or the Supreme Bench; he has a right to build as long a railway, or as tall a building, or to sink as deep a mineral shaft as a white man. He may establish a line of ocean steamers; he may lecture on or teach philosophy, the arts, or belles lettres; he may achieve new honors in the field of invention, architecture, science or mechanics; he may sweep the heavens with a larger glass than that at the Lick Observatory; he may found new cities or new states.

Here and now, the negro is on the highest social elevation the race ever attained: in his own land, a savage; in all other lands hitherto, a slave, a menial, a pariah; here he has sat in our highest deliberative assemblies -- has, somehow, filled executive positions -- has sat in our most dignified political assemblies; the laws and sympathies of the dominant race, even at the south, are alike favorable to his progress toward a higher social altitude; if he displays merit it will enure to his social elevation -- if demerit, it will tend to his decline. In his case, no less than that of the whites, unerring and undeviating nature prescribes the conditions of manhood, which must be attained by the worth, endeavor and achievements of the candidate for success himself,


and cannot be vouchsafed by the law or kindly desire of others.

Second: The negro is here, and here to stay; and the nation and he, himself, must make the best of it. Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln, our two greatest statesmen, decided, the deportation of the race to be an imperious necessity; yet all schemes heretofore looking to that end, tried in practice, or now proposed in Congress and elsewhere, are visionary and impracticable; and it behooves good citizens of both races to acknowledge the fact, however ungrateful it may be. A war of races, such as pessimists predict and as probably will at some time ensue, will be prolific of disaster to our republican institutions, and inharmonious with the spirit and genius of the age. How to entirely avert it, or postpone it as long as possible, is one of the most serious of our political problems.

Mr. Lincoln's greatest living fame was derived from the current acts of his administration, his acts of diplomacy and statesmanship, his sublime integrity, unflagging zeal, gentle charity, and unselfish patriotism. But his greatest posthumous fame will arise from the emancipation of the slaves.

History perpetuates a strange freak in recording the first impact between the emancipator and the emancipated race. During his first flatboat trip, the boat was tied up one night near Madam Duchesne's well-known plantation near Baton Rouge. Some negroes came on board to steal, and Lincoln, being aroused from his sleep by Allen Gentry, hastily emerged from the little cabin, and as his head appeared at the opening, a muscular negro aimed a cruel blow at him with a pointed fence stake, with all his force. Had it hit him fairly it would have proved fatal, but it struck not only Lincoln's head, but a solid object also. This saved his life, but he received a scar which he wore through life.

His second close contact with the race was in July, 1861, when a committee of colored men called on him, to


consult as to the future of the race, at which interview the President thus expressed himself:
"You and I are different races. We have a broader difference than exists between almost any two races. Your race suffers very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated * * * Your race is suffering* * * * * the greatest wrong ever inflicted on any people, but even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race. Not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of ours. It is better, therefore, for us both, that we be separated."

And the third and last time Mr. Lincoln came into close contact with the liberated race, is thus sketched by an eye witness of the whole scene:
On the afternoon of April 4th, 1865, a ship's launch with Abraham Lincoln, his little son Tad, Admiral Porter, an officer or two, and twelve marines, heavily armed, landed at an obscure place in the lower part of Richmond, having came [sic] from the flagship Malvern, which had anchored a few miles below the city. Some negroes were at work repairing the bank of an old canal within a hundred yards of the landing.

"The one who was nearest the Presidential party stopped work and gazed as if transfixed at the tall form of the President, the party having halted for a moment as if in search of a guide or information. In a moment more the negro turned his head partly round and said to his fellows: "De Lord a Massey! but dat's --." Here his feelings overpowered him, and throwing his shovel twenty feet away, started on a run toward the President, fairly screaming: "De Saviour am cum! Marse Lincum, I knowed ye's in my heart; heah am de promise land; my tribbylations all done gone. Halleluyah! Marse Lincum's cum at las'."
The others followed, and


in three seconds, a crying, praying, mad crowd surrounded the Presidential party, all yelling, screaming, crying, and throwing old greasy hats in the air. From this Babel of sounds, nothing intelligible could be extracted. The poor creatures were simply frantic with joy. Some fell on their knees before the President and clasped his legs, others shouted at the top of their voices; two or three stood apart as if entranced, their eyes raised to Heaven, their lips moving as if in silent prayer. The President seemed affected, embarrassed and wearied. Admiral Porter seemed desirous that it might end, but no one apparently could see any way out of the difficulty. The party was simply wedged in and could not move. The marines had their arms at rest, and simply gazed with a look of curiosity at the strange and peculiar scene.

"Presently a weird and peculiar song commenced somewhere in the crowd, and was taken up, first by one and then another, until the shouting ceased, and the whole pent-up feelings of the excited Africans seemed to find vent and solace in its soothing strains. It was a solemn, sad sight. Here were these children of hereditary bondage, of all ages and colors, the sexagenarian and the youth, their eyes streaming with tears, looking Heavenward as in the presence of their Moses their Saviour. All united in rendering thanks to God in plaintive strains of simple, unskilled melody. No one of the party moved during the singing, but before it was through, the crowd had augmented by hundreds; negroes of every condition, age, size, color, and of both sexes had come from somewhere, and here they were. No demonstration at all was made till the song ceased, then the suppressed and pent-up excitement again broke forth, and bid fair to become more exuberant than before. In the edge of the crowd little pickaninnies turned somersaults, leaped in the air and otherwise aided in the pandemonium. Negroes embraced one another and shouted in each other's faces and each other's ears -- irresponsible in their conduct, frantic in their energy. It was a very


hot and stifling day. Admiral Porter saw an absolute necessity for ending the imprisonment of the jaded President in this cordon of black, sweltering, stifling humanity. He at first parleyed with those nearest to him, at first kindly, and then authoritatively, but he plead to deaf ears. No movement or progress was made. The negroes were oblivious to mundane things -- they were in the seventh Heaven of ecstacy. At length the marines fixed bayonets in their carbines and formed around the President and made a feeble attempt to enlarge the radius of his locale, but it produced no effective result, and the President, at a whisper from the Admiral, stretched forth his hand as if to invoke silence, and for the first time, some order seemed to be evolved from the surrounding chaos, and the leaders put up both hands and said "Sh -- Sh -- be still!" "Heah ow Saviour speak," etc., and finally they were quiet, and Mr. Lincoln said in substance: "My colored friends, I'm glad I have seen you at your own homes and that you have had a chance to see me. You are now as free as I am -- even freer -- for you have less care and worry: now use your freedom well -- be industrious -- be honest, be peaceable, and let the white people see that you can succeed with your liberty: now go back to work -- I must go back to mine -- part of it is on your account -- and you must not hinder me: so God bless you -- and let me pass on." When he had concluded, they all gave a parting deafening yell -- some one thing and some another, but they scattered sufficiently to allow the Presidential party to slowly move on: -- but the heat was intense, and the President expressed his desire for a glass of water; but in that parched desert of black faces, and the dusty, hot road, no signs of water appeared; there was no providential Moses to bring water from a rock, or elsewhere, and the crowd kept increasing, although it did not wholly impede progress, as originally. The party passed right in front of the old Libby Prison, at which the President gazed for a moment over the heads of the crowd, which intercepted a full view. Coming into the more


thickly settled portions of the city, the streets were crowded with people of both sexes, all ages, conditions and colors, from the double bass of thunderous black to the doubtful treble of dirty white, and all conditions of previous servitude. The President had been detained at the landing for minutes, and somehow, the grape-vine telegraph or the street gamins had passed the word, until the entire city seemed to know it. The feelings of the people were wrought up to the highest tension, anyway: only two days before, Jeff Davis was called out of Church within one mile of where Abraham Lincoln then was, and only thirty-six hours previously had rode through these very streets, hastily en route, to safety, a fugitive and a traitor; the city had been set on fire and was yet in flames; and all sorts of rumors of the most startling nature were afloat; the people were on the qui vive and expectation was on tiptoe.

The masses were suffering for food, medicine, clothing and every other of the necessaries and comforts of life. Men felt unsettled, uneasy -- waiting for something to turn up, and anxious to know what it would be. As a rule, they were emasculated of their chivalry and haughty spirit. Occasionally, some man would scowl, and behind the drawn curtains of the better order of houses, a feminine face would gaze at the scene scornfully or unimpassionedly, but as a rule, there was no appearance of anything more repugnant than looks of cold curiosity, while the jubilant feelings of the blacks were as exuberant and demonstrative as ever.

It seemed, somehow, edifying and soul-inspiring to the negroes to hear the name "Massa Lincum" or "Linkin" repeated; for the very air was burdened and made vocal with its constant repetition. At the street corners, the crowd would increase in density and delay the little procession: at such times, the negroes would press in on the President and gaze at him as if he had just come from a rent in the bended Heavens. "God Bless you, Massa Linkum!" shouted one old negro at the top of his voice: a fat negro, in his


enthusiasm, embraced him with such vigor that both fell off the edge of the sidewalk in the gutter.

It was getting tedious and monotonous; the day was wearing on, and the novelty had worn off, and the President was really suffering from a thirst which there was no visible apparent mode of assuaging: and the convoying party were growing not only wearied, but apprehensive; for there was plenty of political assassins in Dixie besides Wilkes Booth.

The antics of these poor negroes and their bizarre exclamations would seem incredible to one ignorant of the negro character; but he should recollect that they are an entirely different race from the whites, and consequently have altogether different ideas, manners and modes of expressing their feelings; they are excitable, superstitious and credulous to an intense degree; they have no reason, logic or consistency of conduct; they live for the present moment and act wholly upon impulse. On this occasion, it was apparent that the President was suffering from heat, a stifled atmosphere, the rank odors from hundreds of perspiring, unwashed negroes, the want of water and rest; yet no negro offered to procure a cup of water, or to get out of the way, or to refrain from blocking up the passage; persuasion was useless -- nothing but force enabled the President to get to a place where he could sit down and procure a draught of water.

As they would behave at an exhibition of a rollicking farce -- or at a fervent camp meeting, so they behaved on this occasion -- they lost all control of themselves and simply were drunk on enthusiasm and its contagion. Mr. Lincoln was evidently perplexed and suffering, -- he had his hat in his hand trying to fan his furrowed face, which was streaming with perspiration: -- he had mopped his face till his handkerchief was too wet to absorb more. But the negroes were happy in their frenzy, and they took no further note of events or the sober world. One old "Aunty" had a sick white child in her arms, who was alarmed at the surrounding riot and


was crying to go home, but the good negress kept trying to get the child to gaze at the President, which she was afraid to do, and she would try to turn the child's head in that direction, and would turn around herself, in order to accomplish the same object: "See yeah, honey, look at de Saviour, an' you'll git well!" "Touch the hem of his garment, honey, an' yur pain will be done gone," she would urge. "Glory! Hallelujah!" "God bress Massa Linkum:" "Open de pearly gates:" "I'se on the mount ob' rejoicin:" "He's de Messiah shuah:" "Heah am de promise land:" "Rally round de flag, boys:" "Jerusalem, my happy home:" "I'se on Mount Pisgah's stormy top:" "I'se bound for de lan' of Canaan:" "De Lord, save us:" "Dis am de judgment day:" "Come, Lord, I'se ready to go:" "Chariot ob fire:" "De mount ob transfigurashun:" "My tribulations all done gone:" "No more sighing an' a weepin'." These were some of the expressions used. They would shout in each other's ears: negroes and negresses alike would suddenly spring in the air; and young negresses would spin themselves on the edge of the crowd like a teetotum.

It was novel, and part of it pathetic, at first, but it grew very wearisome at last, and Mr. Lincoln was probably never more wearied and physically uncomfortable in his life than in this pilgrimage from the boat landing at Richmond to the recent home of Jeff Davis. Had Lincoln lived to be as old as Methuselah, he never probably would have given the negroes another such a chance; and they certainly improved their opportunity for all it was worth at this day. Not a single negro in all those crowds behaved like a man; they were, each and all, as undignified, irresponsible and childish as Topsy, in the romance.

At length, a soldier was encountered, who summoned aid, and a troop of cavalrymen, with the menace of drawn sabres, drove away this howling mob, and cleared a way for the worn-out President to reach, unimpeded, the mansion where treason had, for four weary years,

"Cried havoc! and let slip the dogs of war."


And thus, for the third time, did Mr. Lincoln come into close quarters with the race whom he transformed from irresponsible chattels to men. The first time his life was demanded; the third time, force of arms was required to release him from the empty adoration of an insensate mob.

It will be a curious as well as interesting study to trace out Mr. Lincoln's animus and opinions regarding slavery and the negro from time to time, especially in view of the position he is destined to occupy in remote history in reference to both of these subjects:
Let us see: --
For some years prior to 1837 the whole north had been in a ferment on the subject of abolitionism; and both the Congress and several state legislatures had denounced the slavery agitators unsparingly; and even in the city of Boston Harrison Gray Otis, its mayor, reported to the mayor of Baltimore "that his officers had ferreted out ‘The Liberator’ and William Lloyd Garrison, its editor, whose office was in an obscure hole; his only visible auxiliary a negro boy; his supporters a few insignificant persons of all colors."

The resolutions then adopted by the Legislature of Illinois upon that subject were of the radical pro-slavery stamp; but Lincoln, notwithstanding that he was born in a slave, state, prepared and signed, and procured one other member to sign with him, a "Protest against those resolutions," but in the following deprecatory language and tame spirit, viz:
"They believe that the institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy; but that the promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than abate its evils.

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

"They believe that the Congress of the United States has the power under the Constitution to abolish slavery in


the District of Columbia, but that this power ought not to be exercised unless at the request of the people of the district.

It must be admitted that this is a very feeble germ from which the ultimate stalwart growth of the Emancipation proclamation could spring.

In his earlier speeches on the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise, as well as in his first Inaugural, he uses this language: "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so; and I have no inclination to do so."

The question, whether it was possible to hold slaves in Illinois, was a mooted and unsettled one as late as 1840, for in that year Judge Logan and Mr. Lincoln appeared on opposite sides of that question in a case before the Supreme Court, of Bailey vs. Cromwell, reported in 3d Scammon, page 71, Logan asserting and Lincoln opposing that view, and court held it to be a presumption of law that every one was free, regardless of color.

It is even more singular, in the light of subsequent history, that one General Matteson, of Bourbon County, Kentucky, once brought some slaves from Kentucky to the county in Illinois where Lincoln's father then lived, and within eleven miles of his cabin, to evade legal process against them in Kentucky, and worked them without remonstrance for two or three years. Lincoln at this time used to practice law in this very county while out on the circuit. A writ of habeas corpus was finally issued to test their right to freedom, before Judges Wilson and Treat, both Democrats, so far as they had any politics. Lincoln appeared for the owner of the slaves and made an usual legal argument against the discharge of the slaves, but he was defeated. The slaves were discharged from their master's service on the ground that slavery was unknown to the laws of Illinois.

In his Urbana speech of October 24, 1854, reproduced elsewhere, he used the following language:


"I avow, without any mental reservation, my endorsement of the Fugitive Slave Law. It was formulated in obedience to a plain Constitutional requirement, as one of the compromises of the Constitution, without which that instrument would not have come into being; and it should be as fully and honestly respected and obeyed as any other provision in that instrument; and any law to carry it into effect should be enforced like any other law."

His letter to Horace Greeley, in response to the latter's assumed "Prayer of Twenty Millions," indicates his design to not interfere with slavery unless compelled to for the preservation of the Union, thus:
AUGUST 22, 1862.

I have just read yours of the 19th inst., addressed to myself through the New York Tribune.

If there be in it any statement or assumption of fact which I may know to be erroneous I do not now and here contradict them.

If there be any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn I do not now and here argue against them.

If there be perceptible in it an impatience and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend whose head I have always supposed to be right.

As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing," as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt. I would save the Union. I would save it in the shortest way under the Constitution.

The sooner the national authority can be restored, the nearer the Union will be the Union as it was.

If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them.

If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them.

Letter of Lincoln, July 9, 1856


My paramount object is to save the Union, and not to either save or destroy slavery.

If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it -- if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it -- and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.

What I do about slavery and the colored race I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.

I shall do less whenever I believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I believe doing more will help the cause,

I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have stated my purpose according to my views of official duty, and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.

Yours, A. LINCOLN.

His mind was sternly, uncompromisingly and unfalteringly logical: it demonstrated to him that no one man had a right to enslave another; but it equally demonstrated to him that no state had a right to trench upon the autonomy of another; and it likewise taught him that as one of the requirements of the Constitution demanded that fugitive slaves should be surrendered, that fidelity to our duties as citizens exacted the fulfilment of this part of the fundamental law.

He was likewise a wily and cautious politician; and while, perforce, co-operating with the abolitionists to restrain the extension of slavery into free territory, yet he abhorred any further contact with them. And when Douglas tried to connect him with sundry radical resolutions adopted at a meeting at Springfield, Lincoln evaded the responsibility by an alibi; and an issue of veracity was made on that very


point by Douglas; and it has appeared later that Lincoln, acting on the urgent advice of Herndon, left Springfield summarily, just to avoid contact with those resolutions.

Lincoln was likewise a close observer; and he could not fail to note the progress of events; and that the encroachments of the slave power were tending strongly to intensify the opposition to slavery, in any form, in the North.

Still, even after he was elected President, he said to an audience of Kentuckians: "We mean to treat you, as near as we possibly can, as Washington, Jefferson and Madison treated you. We mean to leave you alone, and in no way interfere with your institutions; to abide by every compromise of the Constitution; and, in a word, coming back to the original proposition, to treat you * * * according to the examples of those noble fathers -- Washington, Jefferson and Madison. We mean to remember that you are as good as we are; that there is no difference between us other than a difference of circumstances. We mean to recognize you, and bear in mind always, that you have as good hearts in your bosoms as other people, or as we claim to have, and to treat you accordingly."

The line of demarkation between his duty as a citizen and as an administrator of the law, on the one hand, and his opinion as a philanthropist on the other, can be clearly traced in the following letter, written on April 4th, 1864:
I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I cannot remember when I did not so think and feel, and yet l have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling. It was in the oath I took that I would to the best of my ability preserve, Protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I could not take the office without taking the oath. Nor was it in my view that I might take the oath to get power, and break the oath in using the power. I understand, too, that in ordinary and civil administration this oath even forbids


me to practically indulge my primary abstract judgment on the moral question of slavery.

I had publicly declared this at many times, and in many ways. And I aver that, to this day, I have done no official act in mere deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on slavery.

I did understand, however, that my oath to preserve the Constitution to the best of my ability imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every indispensable means, that Government -- that nation -- of which the Constitution was the organic law.

Was it possible to lose the nation and yet preserve the Constitution? By general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the Constitution through the preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this ground and now avow it. I could not feel that, to the best of my ability, I had even tried to preserve the Constitution, if, to save slavery or any minor matter, I should permit the wreck of government, country, and Constitution altogether. * * * In telling this tale, I attempt no compliment to my sagacity. I claim not to have controlled events, but confess that events have controlled me. Now, at the end of three years' struggle, the nation's condition is not what either party or any man desired or expected.

"God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending seems plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills also that we of the North, as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, impartial history will find therein new cause to attest and revere the justice and goodness of God!"

And his personal opinions on the nefariousness of human slavery are plentifully strewn through his several speeches, from 1854 to the time of the Emancipation Proclamation --


while on the same pages will likewise be found a record of his belief in the constitutional obligations of the citizen to avoid interference with the statu quo of the "peculiar institution" as it existed. Mr. Lincoln's record on the slavery question, therefore, was that of a conservative Whig; his duty as a citizen he deemed superior to his duty as a philanthropist.

In his first annual message to Congress, Mr. Lincoln recommended colonization of the colored race; and suggested that territory be acquired for that purpose. There was nothing except the restoration of the "Union about which he felt such great anxiety.

In speaking generally of the negro, he said: "General Butler wrote me a few days ago that he was issuing more rations to the slaves, who had rushed to him, than to all the white troops under his command. They eat and that is all."

When urged to arm the blacks, he said: "I am not sure we could do much with the blacks (as soldiers). If we were to arm them, I fear that, in a few weeks, the arms would be in the hands of the rebels."

At Charleston, Illinois, on September 18th, 1858, he stated his position (in reply to a question put him) in the following emphatic language: "I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about, in any way, the social and political equality of the white and black races. I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say, in addition to this, that I think there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forbid the races living together on terms of social and political equality; and which, inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race." And on January 10th, 1849, he in Congress offered the following resolution, viz.: "That the municipal authorities of Washington and Georgetown, within their respective jurisdictional


limits, are hereby empowered and required, to provide active and efficient means to arrest and deliver up to their owners, all fugitive slaves escaping into said districts." Had this measure passed, it would have extended the operation of the Fugitive Slave Law over the District of Columbia, to which place it did not theretofore apply. But this was only one section of an act for the ultimate extinction of slavery in the District of Columbia, with compensation to the owners.

The fact is, that Mr. Lincoln was deeply ingrained with the animus and conservative principles of the old Whig party, on the subject of slavery: the principle of laissez faire.

The history of emancipation is instructive as showing Lincoln's peculiar methods. The war had not progressed long until extremists on both sides paraded their views in reference to the subject of slavery; and the President found no subject -- not even that of foreign relations -- so difficult to deal with. When Hunter, Phelps, Fremont, Butler, and Schenck undertook to emancipate the slaves, he was compelled to take a position, and his inflexible and remorseless logic, and innate and instinctive knowledge of constitutional law, impelled his mind to these conclusions: 1st, that the question of slavery was a local one, with which the general government had no concern. 2nd, that by local law, slaves constituted property and which was entitled to the same immunity as other property. 3rd, that in any event the question was a political one, with which military officers had no right to meddle; and finally, that on policy, the general government even in the exercise of its political functions, should not interfere with slaves as property.

Fac-Smile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation

Fac-Smile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation

Fac-Smile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation

Fac-Smile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation

Fac-Smile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation

Fac-Smile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation

Fac-Smile Copy of Emancipation Proclamation

These views he was frequently called upon to express and enforce; as for example, on May 16th, 1862, when Secretary Chase wrote him a letter, suggesting that he decline to interfere with Hunter's proclamation of emancipation of the slaves; he firmly replied: "No commanding general shall


do such a thing on my responsibility without consulting me," and the same necessity arose when Phelps at Ship Island, and Fremont in Missouri, and Schenck in Maryland, attempted emancipation on their own hook. His views on this subject are emphatically expressed in the following letter to O. H. Browning, of date September 22, 1861.

"Yours of the 17th inst. is just received, and, coming from you, I confess it astonished me. That you should object to my adhering to a law which you had assisted in making and presenting to me less than a month before, is odd enough. But this is a very small part. General Fremont's proclamation as to confiscation of property and the liberation of slaves is purely political, and not within the range of military law or necessity. If a commanding General finds a necessity to seize the farm of a private owner for a pasture, an encampment, or a fortification, he has the right to do so and to so hold it as long as the necessity lasts; and this is within military law because within military necessity. But to say the farm shall no longer belong to the owner, or his heirs forever, and this, as well when the farm is not needed for military purposes as when it is, is purely political without the savor of military law about it. And the same is true of slaves. If the General needs them, he can seize them and use them, but when the need is past, it is not for him to fix their permanent future condition. That must be settled according to the laws made by law-makers, and not by military proclamations. The proclamation on the point in question is simply dictatorship. It assumes that the General may do anything he pleases: confiscate the lands and free the slaves of loyal people as well as of disloyal ones. And going the whole figure, I have no doubt, would be more popular with some thoughtless people, than that which has been done. But I cannot assume this reckless position, nor allow others to assume it on my responsibility.

You speak of it as being the only means of saving the Government; on the contrary, it is, itself, a surrender of the


Government. Can it be pretended that it is any longer the Government of the United States -- any government of constitution and laws -- wherein a General or President may make permanent rules of property by proclamation? I do not say Congress might not, with propriety, pass a law, on the point, just such as General Fremont proclaimed. I do not say, I might not, as a member of Congress, vote for it. What I object to, is, that I, as president, shall expressly, or impliedly, seize and exercise the permanent legislative functions of the Government.

So much as to principle. Now, as to policy. No doubt, the thing was popular in some quarters, and would have been more so if it had been a general declaration of emancipation. The Kentucky Legislature would not budge till the proclamation was modified; and General Anderson telegraphed me that on the news of General Fremont having actually issued deeds of manumission, a whole company of our volunteers threw down their arms and disbanded. I was so assured as to think it probable, that the very arms we had furnished Kentucky would be turned against us. I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game. Kentucky gone, we cannot hold Missouri, nor, as I think, Maryland. These all against us, and the job on our hands is too much for us. We might as well consent to separation at once, including the surrender of this capital. On the contrary, if you will give up your restlessness for new positions, and back me manfully on the ground upon which you and other kind friends gave me the election, and have approved in my public documents, we shall go through triumphantly.

You must not understand I took my course on the proclamation because of Kentucky. I took the same ground in a private letter to General Fremont before I heard from Kentucky. You think I am inconsistent because I did not also forbid General Fremont to shoot men under the proclamation. I understand that part to be within military law, but I also think, and so privately wrote General Fremont, that it


is impolitic in this, that our adversaries have the power, and will certainly exercise it, to shoot as many of our men as we shoot of theirs. I do not say this in the public letter, because it is a subject I prefer not to discuss in the hearing of our enemies.

There has been no thought of removing General Fremont on any grounds connected with his proclamation; and if there has been any wish for his removal, our mutual friend, Sam. Glover, can probably you tell what it was. I hope no real necessity for it exists on any grounds.

Your friend as ever,

On July 21, 1862, General Hunter requested authority to employ negroes as soldiers, and every member of the cabinet was in favor of it, but Lincoln forbid it; and he never was in favor of it till January 20, 1863.

But while he came so reluctantly to acquiesce in the scheme of arming the negroes, he was a little earlier in time, but equally reluctant, to free the negroes, but coupled with this necessity was his design to compensate such owners as would remain loyal to the Union, and also to send the negroes out of the country. The reason for his conception of the policy of emancipation was a belief adopted in the summer of 1862, that the extremists at the north would withhold supplies for the government unless he did free the slaves. This was threatened in several high quarters -- both from excitable persons like Greeley, Phillips and Love joy, also from imperturbable leaders like Andrew, Curtin and Raymond.

Here he was between two fires. If the Radicals should concentrate their opposition, as appeared inevitable, and withhold supplies, the armies would be disbanded, and the Rebels would occupy Washington; the Confederacy would be acknowledged by foreign powers as a de jure government; and Mr. Lincoln would be a President "of shreds and patches;" in fact, anarchy would be regnant, or, at least, close at hand.


In this dire stress of circumstances, the President, conscious that he must make terms with the Radicals, held an interview with the Border State people on July 12,1862, and implored them to concur in his policy of emancipation, with compensation. But his pleading was to deaf ears: -- it made no effective impression at all; and on July 13th -- the next day -- the President informed Seward and Welles that he must emancipate the slaves -- no other alternative was in view. Still he hesitated; and implored the Almighty to avert a necessity for so extreme and revolutionary an act, using the same words as our Saviour, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me."

On August 2d, he submitted to his cabinet his draft of the first proclamation, which he had then firmly resolved to issue; but withheld it till a possible victory should perch on our banners. A deputation from the Chicago clergy visited him on September 13th, urging emancipation -- and he argued forcibly against it, sitting at the very table in whose drawer the proclamation lay, waiting for Antietam; and on the 20th, just a week from that time, it was ready to issue; and it was a coup d'etat.

Mr. George W. Julian, an abolitionist, who ran as Vice-President on that ticket with John P. Hale, thus attests Mr. Lincoln's opinion. "Mr. Lincoln was, himself, opposed to the measure (emancipation) and when he very reluctantly issued the preliminary proclamation in September, 1862, he wished it distinctly understood that the deportation of the slaves was, in his mind, inseparably connected with his policy. Like Mr. Clay and other prominent leaders of the old Whig party, he believed in colonization, and that the separation of the two races was necessary to the welfare of both. He was, at that time, pressing upon the attention of Congress, a scheme of colonization in Chiriqui, which Senator Pomeroy espoused with great zeal, and in which he had the favor of a majority of the cabinet, including Secretary Smith, who warmly endorsed the project.* * * * But it is by no


means certain, that if the President had foreseen its failure, the preliminary notice to the Rebels would have been given. There are strong reasons for saying that he doubted his right to emancipate under the war power."

Now in estimating Mr. Lincoln's character, the fact should not be lost sight of, that he knew as well as Mr. William Beach Lawrence or ex-Justice B. R. Curtis, who condemned this assumption of power, that this was a coup d'etat -- a revolutionary movement; but he condoned it to his conscience from its indispensable necessity, to placate the Radicals for the time, in order to retain the necessary political power to preserve the armies and civil list of the government, hoping that the Border States would acquiesce in its absolute necessity; and designing to ultimately get the negroes out of the country; to compensate the Rebels for the loss of their property; and to secure a constitutional amendment to make the proclamation effectual. That he knew his proclamation would not, of itself, establish freedom in this, a constitutional government, is plain; without erudition or scientific methods, he understood the fundamental principles of constitutional law as well as Judge Curtis, Mr. Lawrence or Mr. George Ticknor Curtis, and he understood very well that his proclamation was, merely, "a tub to a whale," or a brutem fulmen; but it was indispensable at this time; and was not the end designed by him, but only the means to the end, the end being the deportation of the slaves and the payment for them to their masters -- at least to those who were loyal. He had no intention to make voters of the negroes -- in fact, their welfare did not enter into his policy at all; he issued these proclamations as a necessity toward saving the Union: That the President had no constitutional or conventional authority to emancipate the negroes is probably true, but it was the avant courier of the constitutional amendment, which did emancipate; and even if both were not strictly technical, they were nevertheless effective to accomplish the end sought.


In further confirmation of the opinion that the negro is not the equal of the white man, I append three several opinions, which are probably as disinterested as can be found in modern literature. The first is Sir Samuel Baker, the greatest philosophical African explorer. He says:
Negroes seldom think of the future; they cultivate the ground at various seasons, but they limit their crops to their actual wants: therefore an unexpected bad season reduces them to famine. They grow a variety of cereals, which, with a minimum of labor, yield, upon their fertile soil, a large return. Nothing would be easier than to double this production, but this would entail the necessity of extra store room, which means extra labor. Thus, with happy indifference, the native thinks but lightly of to-morrow. He eats and drinks while his food lasts, and when famine arrives, he endeavors to steal from his neighbors. * * * Hunting and fishing are amusements eagerly pursued, but even in such sports, a fortunate day is followed by several days of relaxation. Nothing is so distasteful to the negro as regular daily labor; thus nothing that he possesses is durable.

His dwelling is of straw or wattles, his crops suffice for a support from hand to mouth; and as his forefathers worked only for themselves, and not for posterity, so also does the negro of to-day. Thus, without foreign assistance, the negro, a thousand years hence, will be no better than the negro of to-day, as the negro of to-day, is in no superior position to that of his ancestors some thousand years ago.

The philosopher Hume says:
I am apt to suspect the negroes to be naturally inferior to the whites. There scarcely ever was a civilized nation of that complexion, nor even any individual, eminent either in action or speculation. No ingenious manufactures among them, no arts, no sciences. On the other hand, the most rude and barbarous of the whites, such as the ancient Germans, the present Tartars, have still something eminent about them in their valor, form of government, or some other particular. Such an uniform and constant difference could not happen in so many countries and ages, if nature had not made an original distinction between these breeds of men. Not to mention our colonies, there are negro slaves dispersed all over Europe, of whom were never discovered any symptoms of ingenuity; though low people, without education, will


start up amongst us, and distinguish themselves in every profession. In Jamaica, indeed, they talk of one negro as a man of parts and learning; but it is likely he is admired for slender accomplishments, like a parrot who speaks a few words plainly.

Theodore Parker was one of the most radical abolitionists of Massachusetts, but his opinion of the negro is this:
There are inferior races which have always borne the same ignoble relations to the rest of men, and always will. For two generations, what a change there will be in the condition, and character, of the Irish, in New England. But in twenty generations, the negroes will stand just where they do now, that is, if they have not disappeared. In Massachusetts, there are no laws now to keep the black man from any pursuit, from any office that he will, but there has never been a rich negro in New England; not a man worth $10,000, probably none worth $5,000: none eminent in anything except the calling of a waiter. -- Letter to Miss Hunt, Nov. 10th, 1857.

At another time, he said:

In respect to the power of civilization, the African is at the bottom; the American Indian is next.

In 1832, John Quincy Adams had a conversation with Miss Fanny Kemble about the stage, and the subject of Othello being under discussion; the former remarked that "Desdemona deserved her fate for marrying a nigger:" and yet no statesman was so zealous in defending the rights of the negro in Congress.

Nothing is more true than that,

"Truth is stranger than fiction."

The blunders which were committed by raw and reckless commanders in the field were sufficient to make angels weep; but they were all mosaics in the process of Fate to work out the Divine plan; and if we could see the whole scheme of human redemption, it would be quite clear to us, that not only Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Edwin M. Stanton and William T. Sherman, but equally Jeff. Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Raphael Semmes were necessary


instruments of the great disposer of events -- that the bullet which terminated the glorious career of our beloved President was not more surely sped by Fate to its mark, than was the bullet which ended the life of Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh, and which ultimately averted ruin to the Federal army on that blood-stained field, and that, in the sublime Procession of Destiny; all events, apparent accidents, calamities, crimes and blunders were agents of the omnipotent will; now as cause, then as interlude or eddy, and anon as effect; all working apparently and, to the human comprehension, fortuitously; but, in reality, all harmoniously to their Divinely appointed end,
For humanity sweeps onward; where to-day, the martyr stands;
On the morrow crouches Judas, with the silver in his hands --
Far in the front the cross stands ready, and the crackling fagots bum --
And the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe return
To glean up the scattered ashes into history's golden urn."

NOTE. --
M. Young says:
The Arabs would come down wanting so many slaves, and surround a village, so there should be no escape, and after capturing the men, women and children, they would slaughter the old people on the spot.

Battle Group


Chapter XIV. Lincoln as a Politician.

His manner of life was this: to bear with everybody's humors; to comply with the inclinations and pursuits of those he conversed with; to contradict nobody; never to assume a superiority over others. This is the ready way to gain applause without exciting envy.

-- TER. ANDR., Act 1, Scene 1.

Justum et tenacem proposti virum,
Non civium ardor prava jubentium,
Non vultum instantis tyranni,
Mente quatit solida.

Observed his courtship to the common people:
How he did seem to drive into their hearts,
With humble and familiar courtesy;

With, -- Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends.

Stalls, bulks, windows,
Are smothered up, leads filled, and ridges horsed
With variable complexions; all agreeing
In earnestness to see him.

I have seen
The dumb men hurry to see him, and the blind
To hear him speak; the matrons flung their gloves,
Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchiefs,
Upon him as he passed.

They'll sit by the fire and presume to know,
What's done i' the Capitol: who's like to rise,
Who thrives and who declines; * * *
* * * making parties strong,
And feebling such as stand not in their liking.

Politics was his world: a world filled with hopeful enchantments.

Old State House

IN POPULAR parlance, a politician is a tide-waiter, who covets an office he has no, or a meagre, capacity to fill, and


who seeks to achieve it by setting up the beer -- subsidizing the gutter politicians, dog peddlers and free lunch fiends: secures a machine nomination, and is elected -- not by reason of merit, but, because his name is printed on the ticket. Of no such unworthy person do I now speak, but of one, who, by proper and dignified methods, and political sagacity, attains office, or having attained it, transacts the routine and minor affairs of his office with shrewd policies and apt means, to achieve the desired end.

Such a politician was Abraham Lincoln: sans peur et sans reproche.

Scholars deem the term "politician" to be synonymous with statesman, but in practice it is not so, although I apprehend that a politician might be classed as a rudimentary statesman; or a statesman might be designated as an enlarged, or broad, politician.

One would hardly call John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Rutledge, or Nathaniel Macon, politicians, although they had but little other calling: nor would the title of statesman be tastefully conferred on Sunset Cox, Samuel C. Pomeroy, or John C. Breckenridge, although they spent many years of their lives in the national legislature.

The difference depends on the magnitude and character of the subjects on which the attention is engrossed, and on the volume of ability displayed. A man may fulfil both requirements, as James G. Blaine: he is a consummate politician, but as he engrosses his powers on objects of international moment and character, and brings ability to the consideration of them, he may also be termed a statesman. Daniel Webster was a statesman, but he was not a politician -- so was John C. Calhoun, Thomas H. Benton, Thomas Ewing, John M. Clayton, Silas Wright, Felix Grundy, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Charles Sumner, John MacPherson Berrien, John Bell, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander H. Stephens, Jacob Collamer, and William Pitt Fessenden.


Aaron Burr, Martin VanBuren, Jeff. Davis, James Buchanan, Howell Cobb, John C. Breckenridge, Franklin Pierce, Robert Toombs, Caleb Gushing, Ben. Butler, Thurlow Weed, and Andrew Johnson were simple politicians and nothing more, while Henry Clay, William L. Marcy, Lewis Cass, Thaddeus Stevens, Benjamin Fitzpatrick, William H. Seward, Stephen A. Douglas, and pre-eminently, Abraham Lincoln, were both statesmen and politicians: while James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Rufus Choate, Herschel V. Johnson, Edwin M.Stanton, and Henry B. Anthony belonged to neither class, in a philosophical view.

An astute observer, who shall contemplate the public men now at Washington, will find two distinct classes: one class who are simply engrossed with a desire to do and perform faithfully their duty as law-makers, for the public weal; and another class whose apparent sole animus is, to feather their own nests; to originate, develop and perfect schemes to extract money from the public funds, and gather in ducats for themselves or political friends. The former class may stand on a sufficiently broad platform to be statesmen; the latter can never be classed higher than politicians, and venal ones at that, no matter how great their abilities.

Mr. Lincoln was the greatest statesman of his time, and equally the greatest politician, and both in a strictly honorable, and highly dignified sense. The genesis and enforcement of his general policies attest the former: his management of the details, and his control of his cabinet, demonstrate the latter. What other man could have tamed and made submissive to his will the brusque and imperious Stanton? Who could have issued an Emancipation Proclamation and retained the adhesion of the Border States, but he?

In fact, he was equally great and trenchant in the widely diverse roles of statesman, diplomat, and politician.

An example of the former is the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation; of the second, in the famous dispatch


to Minister Adams: of the latter, in the trap he laid at Freeport to catch the political fortunes of the nimble Douglas.

When he read these questions to some political friends beforehand, they said: "You are by these questions giving Douglas an advantage, for he will answer them in a way to gain prestige in the canvass." "If he does," replied this statesman-politician, "it will defeat him in 1860 for the Presidency; the canvass of 1860 will be worth a thousand of this, and I am after larger game." And it turned out just as he predicted. When that speech was promulgated, the South, by Benjamin, its spokesman, formally served notice on Douglas, that it was done with him, and it was adhered to, and the precise effect, predicted by Lincoln in 1858, was achieved.

Mr. Lincoln was just as sedulous in the minor matters of a political campaign, as in those which were more exalted; as a delegate, he was active and helped in small affairs as well as great, and was just as willing to help draft the resolutions in the committee room, as to make the leading speech.

He read the leading newspapers in order to ascertain the drift of political sentiment, more closely than any politician I ever knew, and nobody was as well versed in the practical facts and figures of politics -- such facts and figures as one needed for current use.

By reason of his pre-eminent ability, no one attempted to contest with him for the post of honor, and, being so much in demand, he was "on the go" politically all the time in the canvasses of 1856 and 1858.
It is singular to reflect that, in 1854, although the people, by an acclaim that was universal in Illinois, designated him for senator, yet that six men banded together -- and having the voting power to do so, thwarted the will of all the other people of the state, and installed the designated one of the six in the seat, who had not been mentioned in the canvass; on the principle, probably, that "all is fair in politics;" this was not, however, Mr. Lincoln's principle; he was as upright


in his politics as in all else, and his colossal political fame justifies the belief that "honesty is the best policy" in politics as well as in other matters. It is even a still more strange fact, that, at his own home, it so happened that soon after the great Bloomington convention in May, 1856, Herndon got out huge posters and a band of music -- rang the bells; lit up the hall of the House of Representatives, and blew a horn for a meeting for Lincoln to address: but no one came but Lincoln, Herndon and one John Pain.

Lincoln, somewhat amused and quite chagrined, made this brief speech:
"Gentlemen: this meeting is larger than I knew it would be. I knew that Herndon and myself would come; but I did not know that any one else would be here, and yet another has come -- you, John Pain. These are sad times, and seem out of joint. All seems dead, dead, dead! but the age is not yet dead; it lives as sure as our Maker lives. Under all this seeming want of life and motion, the world does move nevertheless. Be hopeful, and now let us adjourn, and appeal to the people."

When the Saviour announced to his disciples, that "a prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house;" he uttered a truth, which has been oft-times demonstrated in history.

Of the Saviour himself, it was contemptuously asked,

"Can any good come out of Nazareth?"

Of Homer it is known that,

"Seven Grecian cities claimed that Homer, dead,
Through which the living Homer begged his bread."

Mahomet had to flee in the night, from Mecca to Medina; the Duke of Wellington was threatened with the vengeance of a drunken mob, fifteen years after Waterloo -- his windows broken by paving stones, while his wife lay dead in the house; and the managers of the railway, on its opening, deliberated, whether the safety of the train could be better secured by his presence or absence therefrom.


Jefferson hired one Nicolas Callender, editor of a scandalous sheet, and paid him to publicly, through his columns, call Washington a traitor, a robber, and a perjurer; and Adams, a hoary-headed incendiary.

The street gamins of Athens were wont to hoot after Socrates as he made his way through the streets and lanes of Athens, and throw refuse at Diogenes.

And we should recollect, that one transcendently greater than Lincoln, "came unto His own, and His own received him not." Nor may we forget, that, to the Athenians, Socrates was a cynical and querulous vagrant, diffusing eccentric ideas to idlers in the open spaces; and known as the shiftless husband of the shrew, Xantippe: and, in later days, the divine bard was wont to wander through the lanes, and lean for hours against the hedges of Stratford, his immortal works scarcely heard of there, and known and hailed by his rustic neighbors, as "gentle Will Shakespere."

No wonder, then, that Lincoln should not appear to his neighbors as a

* * * divinely gifted man
Whose life in low estate began.

"Who breaks his birth's invidious bar
And grasps the skirts of happy chance,
And breasts the blows of circumstance,
And grapples with his evil star;

Who makes by force his merit known
And lives to clutch the golden keys
To mold a mighty state's decrees
And shape the whisper of a throne.

And moving up from high to higher,
Becomes on fortune's crowning slope
The pillar of a people's hope,
The center of a world's desire."

He knew, appreciated and acted practically upon the fact that the people were the sovereigns and that he must follow in the lead of public opinion. He had faith in numbers, and his practical philosophy was, that the


contest would be decided on mathematical principles. He believed that the border states held the balance of power; and the reason he took such excellent care of, and paid such deference to the Blairs, was, because they were strong and wielded great influence in both Maryland and Missouri, and indirectly in Kentucky -- having come from there. Had he not feared its influence in the border states, he would have armed the negroes and issued his Emancipation Proclamation earlier than he did. There was more real truth than sarcasm in what Dr. Furness said: that "the President wanted God on his side, but he must have Kentucky." When Lincoln had the least faith in saving the Union, and told me they could never conquer the South as long as they remained united and bound they would not be conquered, he likewise said that one of the measures he strongly relied on, was, "to push a column of our army down to East Tennessee and liberate the Union sentiment there." I give his exact expression, and I understand it to mean, that if the Union sentiment could be protected in its adherence to the Union, that the sentiment, like leaven, would permeate the whole South; or enough of it to paralyse the Southern armies.

Lincoln never forgot that he was a tribune of the people. Unlike Napoleon, he had no ambition to indulge in the pomp and pageantry of a court; a rustic country hotel was much more in accord with his simple tastes than the aristocratic stopping-places of his later years; while he really enjoyed his labors performed in the primitive court houses of the Eighth Circuit of Illinois much more than those performed in the gilded chamber at the Capitol, or his office at the Executive Mansion; so, also, could his real preferences have been consulted, he would have preferred social and business contact with the yeomanry of Sangamon and Champaign counties, rather than with the elite of the nation.

He was quite as astute in the higher realms of politics as in his statesmanship; but in the lower realms of politics; in the petty scheming -- securing delegations by log-rolling,


and manipulating caucuses by strategy, he was very feeble.

Mark W. Delahay, of Virginia, Cass County, married a Hanks -- a fifth cousin of his mother -- and emigrated to Kansas when it was first open to settlement. Mark was distressingly impecunious and awfully bibulous: and when the Kansas struggle was on, he was in communication with his distinguished connection about politics out there; and when the year 1860 was unfolded on the chart of time, Mark hinted that if he had a little rhino to help matters along, he could bring up to Chicago a solid delegation for Lincoln; and Lincoln promised him one hundred dollars to pay the expenses of his trip, if he would get up a "Lincoln" delegation.

Soon thereafter, it appeared that Kansas appointed its delegates, leaving Mark entirely out; and instructing for Seward. Nevertheless, Lincoln good-naturedly wrote him to come on to the convention himself; and he would pay him the one hundred dollars; and (although he was of no use to him) Lincoln made him Surveyor General of Kansas -- and afterward District Judge, which office he was obliged to resign to prevent impeachment for drunkenness on the bench; and Lincoln, in order to secure his confirmation by the senate, was obliged to say to his friends in the senate, "This appointment must be confirmed."

Lincoln was not, by reason of his pre-eminent abilities, exempt from bearing his full share of the burden and heat of the day in the political canvasses and current work of the conventions and campaigns; nor was he absolved from the disappointments and rebuffs incident to a political career.

I recollect well of a drunken Democratic lawyer commencing to abuse him once after a meeting, for something he had said. The lawyer was drunk and quarrelsome and wanted a row: so I took him by the arm and urged him to go with me to take a drink, and kept him away from Lincoln, till all had gone to bed.


At the "joint-debate" at Jonesboro', I noticed Lincoln's extremely cautious method of dealing with the "Little Giant;" both were seated near together on the platform, for about two minutes before the speaking commenced; when Douglas abruptly asked, "Are you" (to Lincoln) "going to make any speeches between now and our Charleston debate?" Lincoln would have replied very promptly "No," ordinarily, but, on this occasion, he deliberated a moment or two for a reply, and then said, "I've no appointment to speak."

Rulers, as a rule, are wont to gather their information of current politics and events from the report of those who have access to them, and from the columns of journals in harmony and amity with them; with the result that they are not accurately advised as to the status of affairs.

Mr. Lincoln pursued a different method. After he was elected President, he studied the columns of the Richmond and Charleston papers; and kept up the habit to some extent after he was installed therein; but his greatest solicitude, while the war was on, was to keep advised of the sentiment among the people at the North -- the sources of his power and of the strength -- material and moral -- which was needed to put down the rebellion. Accordingly, he kept himself thoroughly advised as to the course of the New York Tribune -- the Cincinnati Commercial, and that class of restless and discontented journals; and gave little attention to such papers as heartily and thoroughly sustained his policy.

He thus beheld his faults and the errors of his administration -- magnified a hundred times, and attended by all sorts of unjust aspersions on his conduct; but, although it made him very miserable, it prevented him from being lulled into false security, or from persisting in error; and, at the same time, enabled him to repel and answer any attacks when it was salutary to do so.

Mr. Lincoln's temperament being of a gloomy cast; and reading, by preference, wretched diatribes and libels on his administration from day to day, caused him to embrace


too gloomy a view of matters; and accordingly, toward the close of the summer of 1864, he concluded that the people were tired of his administration, and designed to make a change; and being sensitive to a fault, as to the opinion of mankind of his conduct, which was a constant subject of aspersion by Greeley, Wendell Phillips, Dr. Furness and the Abolitionists generally, he sat down on August 23d of that year and committed to writing, both his intentions and his prophecy, in case McClellan should be his successor, thus:
This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to co-operate with the President-elect so as to save this Union between the election and the inauguration, as he will have secured his election on such grounds that he cannot save it afterward.


And folding it up, had each member of his cabinet endorse his name on the back of it, to be used when, if ever, the needed contingency should arise.

Happily for mankind, it never did arise.

And at the same time that Lincoln was battling with both open and covert enemies in the rear, and his armies were contending with armies in front, he was during this same summer (1864) semi-officially notified through the columns of the leading Richmond papers of the terms of peace that awaited our nation; and which, doubtless, would have been insisted on, in case McClellan had been elected. This article may be regarded by the general reader as a joke, but it was not so designed by its author, or by the government behind it. It was of a piece with the editorials which engaged Lincoln's attention for over three weary years; and it shows the animus of the foe which confronted us.

Save on our own terms, we can accept no peace whatever, and must fight till doomsday rather than yield one iota of them; and our terms are:
Recognition by the enemy of the independence of the Confederate States.


Withdrawal of the Yankee forces from every foot of Confederate ground, including Kentucky and Missouri.

Withdrawal of Yankee soldiers from Maryland until that state shall decide, by a free vote, whether she shall remain in the old Union, or ask admission into the Confederacy.

Consent on the part of the Federal Government to give up to the Confederacy, its proportion of the navy as it stood at the time of secession, or pay for the same.

Yielding up of all pretensions on the part of the Federal Government to that portion of the Territories lying west of the Confederate States.

An equitable settlement on the basis of our independence and equal rights, of all accounts of the public debts and public lands, and of the advantages accruing from foreign treaties.

These provisions comprise the minimum of what we must require before we lay down our arms: that is to say, the North must yield all; we, nothing.

The whole pretensions of that country to prevent by force, the seperation of the states, must be abandoned: which will be an equivalent to an avowal that our enemies were wrong from the first: and, of course, as they waged a causeless and wicked war upon us, they ought, in strict justice, to be required, according to usage in such cases, to reimburse to us the whole of our expenses and losses in the cause of the war.

We do not want to govern their country; but after levying upon it what seemeth good to us, by way of indemnity, we leave it to commence its political life anew from the beginning, hoping that the lesson may have left them sadder and wiser Yankees. We shut them out forever with all their unclean and scoundrelly ways," etc.

"Whoever has read that intensely fascinating romance of fifty years since, entitled "The Wandering Jew," will recollect that in the execution of the plot, one d'Agrigny was the hero,


and one Rodin was his servile clerk, or socius, as he was called.

A crisis came, however, and Rodin was elevated to the post of honor, while d'Agrigny was degraded to the position of his servile attendant, or socius.

In like manner, in the life-drama of slavery's decline and fall, Stephen A. Douglas commenced as the hero; as the statesman who attracted the masses, as the leading character in the great drama: while Lincoln followed humbly afar off; maneuvered for a chance to speak to the same crowds; solicited opportunities to play "second fiddle" to Douglas, as it were; and was despised, contemned and rejected by Douglas, whose friends averred that Lincoln performed the most servile act of obeisance, viz.: by metaphorically clinging to his coat tail.

But a crisis arose, and suddenly Lincoln was elevated to the post of supreme honor; while Douglas was, by the people, relegated to a back seat. And as if Fate was bound to be thoroughly revenged for the destruction of the Missouri Compromise; while Lincoln was pronouncing his inaugural address to ten thousand eager listeners, Douglas (who used to contemn Lincoln, by deserting the hall when he arose to speak) performed the last and lowest symbolical act of degradation, by holding Lincoln's hat during the delivery of the inaugural, and then yielded it up when the ceremony was over.

Even the superficial observer, in glancing at the historical events which evolved Mr. Lincoln from dense obscurity to the leading position in current history, will note the significant fact that this very Stephen A. Douglas was the John the Baptist, who heralded him to the nation, and to the world.

Douglas was the exponent of the specific issue which slavery forced upon freedom, and Lincoln, by force of geographical propinquity, was enabled to become the exponent of Freedom's stake in the contest. Douglas was quite well


aware that Lincoln had fastened on his political fortunes, with a grip as remorseless and tenacious as that of fate, but he could not shake him off. He probably did not realize that Lincoln would harvest his crop of eminence; still less did he suppose that his despised and contemned adversary would attain the goal of his (Douglas') ambition. And thus it was, that while the state of Illinois furnished the bane of slavery agitation, it likewise furnished the antidote.

The almost colossal fame attained by Stephen A. Douglas was thus appropriated by Lincoln as a scaffold, on which to rear the still grander -- infinitely grander -- fabric of his immortal fame.

The joint-debate stood at the entrance to the via dolorosa by which Lincoln reached the White House. The repeal of the Missouri Compromise was the ultimate, "the house-divided-against-itself" speech the proximate, cause. Douglas was the direct cause in producing the former, and the latter was an indirect sequence. When Senator Dixon proposed the amendment to repeal the Compromise, there was "a tide in the affairs of" Douglas, which, had he assumed the championship of anti-repeal, would have made him the "Lincoln" of history: he omitted it and all his brief after life was:

"Bound in shallows and in miseries."

When Lincoln was nominated for the Senate, in 1858, a more obscure opportunity was presented to him, but he embraced it, and it led to immortality.

Behind all, however, lies the eternal and foundation fact that one was a patriotic, and the other a merely selfish politician: one paltered with his conscience in a double sense: the other adhered firmly to its dictates; and the Unseen Power accorded to each the destiny his actions invoked,

"One to long darkness and the frozen tide:
One to the peaceful sea."

It is a very singular fact, and one that attests in a marked degree, that,


"God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform,"
that while the original Kansas-Nebraska bill was pending in the Senate, as originally presented by Senator Douglas, without the repeal of the Missouri Compromise as an element: that William H. Seward, then a Whig senator, approached his friend Archibald Dixon, likewise a Whig senator, and proposed to him that he ought to offer an amendment, repealing the Missouri Compromise and that Dixon, after a little reflection, arose and gave notice of his intention to do so on the first parliamentary occasion.

This alarmed Douglas, who came at once to Dixon's seat and remonstrated with him, but in vain; he believed, as all the Southern statesmen did, that the Missouri Compromise was wrong, and ought to be repealed; and his will was inflexible, although no other Southerner had ever before then dreamed of disturbing the Compromise. Even Atchison, the direct representative of the border ruffian element, publicly stated, that while it was wrong in its inception, yet that it was a finality on that subject; and Douglas had stated that it was canonized in the hearts of the people, and no hand should be so ruthless as to disturb it. But when Douglas saw, as a sagacious politician, that the solid South would of necessity support the measure, he desired to link his political destiny with it and share its fate, which he thought would succeed, and install him in the Executive Mansion; and so it became a party and administration measure, and was also the knell of slavery.


Had it not been for the impertinent interference of Horace Greeley and John J. Crittenden in our political affairs in 1858, Mr. Lincoln would have been elected to the Senate in that canvass; and the great Whig name of John J. Crittenden was used as a cover for one of the most reprehensible political tricks of history.

Prior to the year 1854, Illinois was a strong Democratic state; in fact, never had elected a Whig senator or a Whig state government, and but few Whig congressmen.

The leading Whigs at that time were Lincoln, Browning, Williams, T. Lyle Dickey, Judge Logan, Judge Davis, Mr. Washburne, John T. Stuart, Richard Yates, Joe Gillespie, Grimshaw; and the leading Democrats were Douglas, Wentworth, Judd, Richardson, Cook, Palmer, Trumbull, Matteson, Breese, Caton, Shields, Goudy, Hoyne, and Dougherty.

When the Republican party was formed in 1856, the leading abolitionists in the state joined it -- men like Owen Lovejoy, Ichabod Codding and John F. Farnsworth; and alienated some of the adherents from the old parties, who were born and reared in slave states; and among others who could not train with the abolitionists and be happy, was T. Lyie Dickey; while to add to his discontent, was the action of the Ottawa convention of June, 1856, to nominate Lovejoy for Congress over Swett. He (Dickey) was thereupon nominated by a small fragment of the delegates as a Republican bolters' candidate, but meeting with no response from the people, he quit, but became extremely lukewarm in the cause. Early in 1858 I had a serious talk with him about his attitude, and told him that his course tended to hurt Lincoln, whereupon he told me, in substance, that his support of Lincoln for the Senatorship that fall, was, by no means, to be relied on; in other words, I saw that he designed to abandon the Republican party. This was in April. Shortly after this, I took a midnight train at Champaign for Chicago, and found Lincoln aboard. He explained to me that he was going to Chicago, and had passes on the Illinois Central and Great


Western, both -- hence could get to Chicago by that circuitous route free, while he had no pass by the direct route. On the trip I informed him fully of Dickey's proposed defection; Lincoln had not had the slightest idea of this before, and he took it greatly to heart; in fact, he said he did not know of any of his friends he felt so badly about losing, as Dickey. A few weeks after this, Dickey, John M. Douglas and A. M. Herrington -- the two latter, leading friends both of Douglas and Dickey, had a long conference in our inner office, the two latter leaving just at night, Dickey remaining were, and I left the office while he was still there preparing for his evening's work. The result of this conference was apparent the next morning, for in the "Times" was a letter from Dickey, announcing his recusancy from the Republican party, and his adherence thenceforth to the Democratic party, for the alleged reason, that the Republican party was too closely allied to the abolitionists. At this time Lincoln and Douglas were the opposing candidates for the Senate, and there were none others, so Dickey's action toward his friend Lincoln, was like that performed by Brutus toward Caesar, precisely.

In the center of the state were several legislative districts which were largely settled by Kentuckians, who had been old-line Whigs, and who detested Douglas, but equally detested the abolitionists. They would naturally, if left alone, have voted for the Republican candidates, and thus have exerted their political strength for Lincoln. Greeley had avowed himself in favor of Douglas, and these districts were very doubtful, and very close; in fact, they held the balance of power.

On the Saturday before the fall election, I was attending court in Urbana, when Judge Cunningham, editor of the "Union," put in my hand a Democratic paper published somewhere in that locality, containing a letter from Hon. John J. Crittenden to Judge Dickey and advocating the election of Douglas to the Senate. Alarmed, I took the night train for Chicago, reaching there on Sunday morning, and


sought N. B. Judd, and we went together to Dr. Ray's house on Oak street, and he was greatly alarmed (although Judd was not) and we and several others all held a long council of war at the office of the Press and Tribune on dark street, where the Olympic Theatre now is, and as a result, Mr. William R. Smith, who had just come from Kentucky to Chicago to practice law, took train for Frankfort, Kentucky, in order to confer with Gov. Crittenden and counteract the effect of that damaging letter if possible; the idea was, if not genuine, to get a disclaimer in the Chicago and St. Louis papers, and have extras issued on Monday at noon, etc. Mr. Smith had no time after we decided on our course of action to go home, but borrowed money for his expenses, of somebody in the office and started for the train, with no baggage at all except this newspaper that I had brought from Champaign, and we telegraphed to Frankfort to some friend of Smith's who lived there to dispatch him to Louisville at once, where Gov. Crittenden was. Next day at ten, we got a dispatch from Smith at Louisville that Crittenden was not at Frankfort or elsewhere within reach in time to do any good and so all hope of counteracting this damaging letter was gone.

But before I left Champaign I wrote, myself, to Gov. Crittenden on the subject, and after election received from him the following letter:
FRANKFORT, Nov. 9, 1858.

Your letter of the 24th of the last month, did not reach me in time for my answer to be received before your Illinois election. That is now over; and I write out of my respect to you, rather than from any interest my answer can now have. The letter published as one from me to Mr. Dickey is genuine. It shows upon its face why it was written. He called on me to say if we had not a certain conversation at Washington, and to what effect. I acknowledged it, and stated its substance -- that's the whole of it. It was no voluntary intermeddling on my part.

Mr. Douglas had earned a strong claim to my sympathy by his manly opposition to the Lecompton Constitution; and by his persecution by the administration, for that opposition. It was for this reason, and not because of, but in spite of, his Democracy;


that my sympathies were in favor of his election. I am, and have always been opposed to the Democratic party, and so far as it regards that party and opposition to the present Democratic administration, I think it quite probable there would have been a much more extensive concurrence of opinion and action between Mr. Lincoln and myself, than there is likely to be between Douglas and myself. We may not altogether agree as to our reasons for it, but we no doubt heartily concur in desiring the overthrow of the present administration, and my desire for its overthrow and the defeat of the Democratic party that support it, will not be at all lessened though Mr. Douglas should choose again to identify himself with it and share its fate.

I have written this much that you may more fully understand me, and out of respect to the difference of opinion that exists between us in regard to the late contest in your state. I have not uttered a word that I would not be willing to utter before the world, but still, sir, I have written this for your private satisfaction and I am altogether unwilling that it should find its way to the press -- simply because it is not to my taste to figure in newspapers on such occasions. I am, very respectfully yours, etc.,
H. C. Whitney, Esq.

In my judgment, that Crittenden letter, which was thus Published in all the local papers in the center of the state, and Greeley's interference, elected Douglas to the senate, and defeated Lincoln. The popular majority for the "Lincoln" candidates for the legislature was 4,114; and yet Douglas got a majority of eight on joint ballot. When Douglas received notice of the legislative vote which had returned him to the senate, he telegraphed back: "Many thanks; let the voice of the people rule." Had he been sincere in this, he should have resigned and counseled his political friends to elect Lincoln, whom the people had already chosen, as far as a gerrymandered legislature would allow.

On receiving Gov. Crittenden's letter, I wrote him a bitter letter, informing him that he, an old Whig leader, had, by his interference in our affairs, wrested from us an opportunity to elect an old-line Whig to the senate, for the first time in our history; and had, in effect, installed the most flagitious


Democratic politician in the nation for six years, as our misrepresentative.

It was customary, in the campaign of 1856, for every country political procession to have a stereotyped feature of a wagon-load of pretty girls, arrayed in white, to represent the several states.

Lincoln, as I have elsewhere, and probably more than once, said, was not an adept at small talk or petty compliments, but it was obviously necessary that he dismount from his logical Pegasus, and say something nice about these pretty girls; so he commenced early in the canvass thus (and it was the very best he could do in that line): "I also thank you very much for your present of this beautiful basket of flowers;" alluding to the young ladies: at the next place, it was substantially, if not literally, the same, "I also thank you very much for your present of this beautiful basket of flowers," like Hank Monk's story. Of course it was monotonous to him, and to others who used to travel with him, but it was new to each crowd, and pleased the young folks better than his dialectics and political philosophy.

During the year 1856, a zealous Republican from Monticello, Piatt county, wrote Lincoln several earnest invitations to come there and speak, assuring him of a good turnout. Lincoln, after addressing a very large meeting at Bloomington, went to Monticello; reaching town, he inquired for the residence of his enthusiastic correspondent, which he found in the edge of town: the man was working with his draw knife at a large flag pole; while his wife was industriously getting up the dinner for their distinguished guest. After dinner, the man and Lincoln started for the grove, their way leading through the town. The man was almost staggering under the weight of the flag and its staff, and Lincoln did not realize the ludicrousness of the situation, until he


heard some of the town people commenting upon the long procession -- it being Lincoln and his solitary friend, each of them being over six feet high. But there was no meeting; the town, being composed chiefly of Kentuckians, was wedded to its pro-slavery idols, and by preconcert, kept away.

It is singular to reflect that, so rapidly did political ideas grow, that two years thereafter, at a meeting in this same grove, so great was the crowd, that a raid of energetic county females bore down upon Lincoln and I, at the guests' table, and swept us off the field without our dinner; and a member, Daniel Stickles, was elected to the legislature from that county; who voted for Lincoln, for United States senator.

I well remember of a pro-slavery ruffian, insulting Lincoln at a public dining table, for some of his political views; and Lincoln retorted with spirit, but properly, and this scion of chivalry and his political associates took revenge by distorting Lincoln's resentment into that of an infuriated bully.

Mr. Lincoln's approach to the White House was in strict causation, and no more fortuitous than other political careers, whose basis is talent, brought into requisition by adroit strategy. He had made himself one of the leaders of the advanced, conservative, anti-slavery element in our politics; and his position, standing at the head of the rank and file of that party, was a logical one, although there was an unusual celerity in his march from obscurity to the front.

But the ultimate cause of it all, was his wonderful genius for politics and statesmanship, both practical politics and statesmanship, and correct political theories and philosophy.

There was this peculiarity about Mr. Lincoln; that in great things, he was great, and consciously so. In approaching affairs of colossal magnitude, he had not the slightest timidity, or hesitation; but in minor and inconsequential matters, he was but average, and was very liable to err.

Thus, he designed from the start, contrary to the judgment of his Cabinet, to provision Sumter. Also, after our


defeats in August, 1862, at the second battle of Bull Run, he "ad no hesitation in restoring McClellan, without asking a word of advice, and against the protest of every member of his Cabinet; and subsequent events attested the wisdom of the act. So, also, he drafted his Proclamation of Emancipation, without letting any but Seward and Welles know of his intentions so to do, and kept the important document in a safe drawer, and the secret in his own breast, for months although constantly importuned to adopt such a measure and when he deemed that the most propitious time had come he launched it forth on his own exclusive responsibility. And that he acted with superlative wisdom, both in issuing it, and as to the time of issuing it, is thus verified by one of the wisest of the opposition newspapers: "Had Mr. Lincoln started with his emancipation policy in the spring of 1861, his administration would have been wrecked by the moral aid which would have been given the South, by the Northern conservatives, including a large part of the Republican party. Had he refused to adopt it much beyond the autumn of 1862, the Republican party would have refused public support to the war, and the South would have gained its independence by their aid." -- New York World.

He also designed from the start, to release Mason and Slidell, contrary to Seward's view, and to popular clamor.

And his greatness appears pre-eminent in this; that he was unduly sensitive to public opinion, and yet dared to outrage public opinion for the time being, in order to conscientiously fulfill his colossal duties.

Hon. Wm. D. Kelley, of Pennsylvania, one of the Committee on the Conduct of the War; and in daily communication with the President throughout that trying time, renders this just tribute to the great President: "Mr. Lincoln was mortal; he was, in my judgment, the greatest man this country has produced: yet he was a mortal, and yearned, above all things, for the final approval of mankind."

It seems very singular that this unpretending, uncouth-looking


man could, in a comparatively obscure town, fulminate political thunder-bolts which should shiver to atoms the political fabric which Seward and Thurlow Weed had devoted thirty years of the most astute political labor to construct.

It was, likewise, an absolute surprise. Weed had no more doubt of Seward's nomination, than he had of the endurance of time to see the convention organize. Indeed, Seward and his friends were so certain of the former's nomination, that he left the Senate and repaired to his home at Auburn to write his letter of acceptance, and receive the delegation that would come to advise him of his nomination; and Thurlow Weed engaged Seward's son, Frederick W., to edit his paper, while he attended the convention. So Frederick, not doubting at all his father's nomination, wrote a first-class editorial, and had it all set up, ready to be inserted and issued.

But when the news of the nomination actually came, he called up the tube to the composing room: "Abraham Lincoln is nominated for President on the third ballot."

In a few moments a whistle came through the tube, and the foreman called down: "Saay, -- what damn name was that you said was nominated for President?"

Whoever reads Mr. Lincoln's political speeches, cannot fail to note the spirit of fairness and candor which characterizes them, the total absence of appeals to the passions, or of the arts of the demagogue. Not only so, but the spirit of charity toward his opponents is equally patent: Lincoln appreciated and graciously admitted the fact that slaveholders were naturally as good as other people and became slave-holders by force of circumstances. He manifested no vindictiveness toward Trumbull, who came into the sheep-fold by the back way in 1854, and despoiled him of the Senatorship for which the people designed him: in fact he honored Judd, one of his accomplices, above all other citizens.


Chapter XV. Lincoln and Labor.

The destiny of modern democracies is already written in the history of ancient democracies. It was the struggle between the rich and the poor which destroyed them, just as it will destroy modern societies unless they guard against it. * * * Democracies which fail to preserve equalities of conditions, and in which two hostile classes, the rich and the poor, find themselves face to face, are doomed to anarchy and subsequent despotism.

The great trial of the experiment of republican institutions will come when a great and lasting inequality of fortunes shall occur; when one man shall own ten millions of money, and a hundred thousand men, not a cent.

In the right to eat the bread which her own hands have earned, she is my equal and the equal of any one else.

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.
-- GEN. III. 19.

Each of the Greek states is not, really, a single state; but comprises at least two; one composed of the rich, the other of the poor.

What disposition is it proposed to make of the labor of the country, which labor-saving machinery and new methods of business have now, for the first time, and under existing conditions, made manifestly surplus?

'Tis the day of the chattel
Web to weave and corn to grind;
Things are in the saddle
And ride mankind.

The adjustment of the relations between capital and labor, since the reign of the steam engine, has been an object of public solicitude, both prolific of interest, and replete with danger.

Sangamon River

That which we term "property" consists of the following elements:
1. The earth and the fullness thereof, embracing the soil, quarries, mines, forests, air and water.


2. Animals, ferae naturae.
3. The harvested achievements of labor.
4. The current labor of the period.

The use, appropriation and enjoyment of property, except native air, requires the application of labor to capital; for all tangible property is capital. If one wishes to drink water or to eat spontaneous fruit, he must devise some method of appropriating it and getting it fit for use; fruit generally needs some preparation -- water usually needs some proper vessel to appropriate it; the water of Lake Michigan is free, but I choose to pay for having it brought to my dwelling; if I attempted to either carry it myself, or employ another to do so by primitive modes, it would cost me much more.

Nothing, certainly, could be freer than air; but, to its proper and refined enjoyment, I pay for devices to admit to my house that which is pure, and to expel that which is vitiated.

Of many men it is said, that they have no capital but their labor; or, in other words, that they have no capital at all; hence that they must labor, in order to find means to live: it is not, however, strictly true in practice, that the laborer has no capital; he must have some. The black man in Australia, and the Hottentot in Africa, have their huts and their implements of warfare and the chase; these represent stored-up labor -- or capital.

The lad who blacks your shoes -- or sells you a newspaper, equally with the aggregation of capitalists who carry you from Lake Michigan to the Atlantic in one day, alike possess capital -- the former the blacking and brush or stock of papers -- the latter the railway and train; the capital may not, or may be, owned by this laborer, but there can be no effective labor without an addition of capital. The man who removes your coal from the sidewalk to the cellar must have his shovel and basket; the cave dwellers of the historic age had their flint knives and hatchets; and most of men in our


country have some, though perhaps meagre, capital to join with their labor, as a carpenter with his tools, or a lawyer with his library, and so on.

All property, therefore, for practical consideration, may be contemplated as the product of the primitive gifts of God and the labor of man combined; the native horse must be tamed; water in the bowels of the earth must be dug for and drawn up; the tree must be cut down, and sawed into lumber; the ore in the mine must be separated from the quartz.

The sixteen-story building (now so common where I write) is the aggregate of many cords of stone in the native quarry -- many cart-loads of clay in the barrens -- many tons of iron in the mine -- many panes of glass in the silica and potassium -- many feet of lumber in the primitive forest; to each and all of which was joined the fashioning labor of many men in changing these native products into utilitarian form and essence, and in putting them together. These thousands of necessary days' work belonged to a thousand artisans; they sold those hours of labor to capitalists, who erected the building; and they in turn, to another capitalist; and he then became the proper and legitimate owner of all those day's work, which were finally engrossed in the building; these days of labor were irretrievably gone, as such, being transmuted into the building -- they had belonged originally to the laborer -- he had exchanged them for an equivalent -- the equivalent received was his, till he parted with it; and the various days' labor preserved in lime, brick, lumber, glass and paint, justly belongs to him who bought, and rendered an equivalent for it; and so far as such a transaction is concerned, this plain statement of fact is a complete answer to the wild claims of the communist.

Of course this argument would not have been pertinent in Louisiana in the ante-bellum days; for the capitalist there got no title to the labor of the slave; the title to property acquired by larceny remains with the original and despoiled owner, nor can any transmutation of possession


work any change of title; no title accompanies property feloniously acquired. I know this is conventionally otherwise, by force of law, but I am speaking of things in their ethical sense.

The idea of property includes the right of appropriation: I may gaze at the diamonds in Tiffany's window or at the landscape afforded by the Alvin Adams grounds, but they are not mine. I have a right to reproduce something similar if I can, but until I do produce them, or acquire them for a proper equivalent, they are not mine.

Deprive one of air for a hundred seconds, he would die; deprive him of water for ten days, he would also die; hence Nature made a wise provision that both should be free, the former absolutely -- the latter sub modo; but in the morning twilight of human existence, the inexorable mandate went forth from Heaven's executive chamber to man that, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread;" and thus it is that labor is prescribed by God; has all the force of a primordial law; and while indispensable, should also be regarded as honorable.

Prior to the baleful day when international communication was forced upon the Flowery Kingdom by the might and frown of frigates, that immense nation enjoyed the tranquility of primitive labor and manners; the land was innocent of the monotone of the automatic reaper -- the lay of the spinning jenny -- the chirping notes of the sewing machine; nor yet did the eccentric dialogue of the telephone rasp the nerves, or the discordant scream of the locomotive vex the ear. And the attending evils were wanting; the watering of stocks -- the granting of subsidies -- the seductive maelstrom of the corn pit, all were unknown to that prosaic and unexcited nation of the palanquin, the pig-tail and the neck-yoke. Therefore, an even and stagnant uniformity of conditions prevailed; insomnia was not included in their nomenclature; strikes and lock-outs and boycotting were unknown; and lunatic asylums did not furnish roosts for deadbeats


and cranks. With us, however, it is radically different; the steam engine, automatic machinery, the railway and telegraphs, the agents of electricity, the power of the printing press, have impressed, changed, improved and perverted original human nature, so that the refined product is no more like its crude original, than a marble statue is like the native block from which it was chiselled.

And while the progress of the age has elevated the race in its material aspect, and wrought it into a more sublime condition, it has also its untoward phases, among which none is more disastrous and melancholy than the displacement of muscle by steam; of labor by inventive processes; of men by machines; and one of the most vital questions pressing upon society to-day is, to use the words of David A. Wells: "What disposition is it proposed to make of the labor of the country which labor-saving machinery and new methods of business have now, for the first time, and under existing conditions, made manifestly surplus?"

The tendency to supplant men by the piston and the crank; to depose labor, to make men the mud-sills, and capitalists the superstructure, of society, was perceived and lamented by President Lincoln almost at the outset of his administration; and he expressed his views forcibly as follows in his message to Congress at its December session in session.

The President said: There is one point, with its connections * * * to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor, in the structure of government. It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it, induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them and drive them to it without their consent

Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded that


all laborers are either hired laborers, or what we call slaves, and, further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer, is fixed in that condition for life.

Fac-Smile of Lincoln's Map of Road Survey

Lincoln's Letter

Now there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.

Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between capital and labor, producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of a community exists within that relation.

A few men own capital and those few avoid labor, themselves; and, with their capital, hire or buy another few to labor for them. A large majority belong to neither class -- neither work for others, nor have others work for them.

In most of the Southern states a majority of the whole people of all colors, are neither slaves nor masters; while in the Northern, a large majority are neither hirers nor hired. Men, with their families -- wives, sons and daughters -- work for themselves on their farms, in their houses, and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand, nor of hired laborers or slaves on the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons mingle their own labor with capital -- that is, they labor with their own hands, and also buy or hire others to labor for them; but this is only a mixed, and not a distinct class. No principle stated is disturbed by the existence of the mixed class.

Again, as has already been said, there is not of necessity any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to


that condition for life. Many independent men, everywhere in these states, a few years back in their lives were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just, and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way to all, gives hope to all, and consequent energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty -- none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them, till all of liberty shall be lost.

And I recollect when he visited New England in 1859, that a strike was then going on in the manufacturing districts of Connecticut, to which Mr. Lincoln adverted, and used substantially this language (I speak only from memory): "I read in the papers that a ‘strike’ (as it is called), is in progress in Connecticut and that some of its opposers call it ‘bushwhacking;’ well, I must confess that I like that kind of ‘bushwhacking;’ I like to have men quit work when they get tired; the difference between our system of labor and that prevalent in the South is, that here our workingmen can quit when and for what cause (or for no cause) they have a mind to."

Attempts latterly have been made by reformers of the ultra sort, to taint Mr. Lincoln with communism; but the only public utterances he ever made on the subject of labor were those quoted above.

He knew very well that our social and industrial conditions after the war would need the guiding hand of statesmanship,


and there were three matters that occupied the last days of his life, and to the consideration and solution of which he was devoting all the powers of his master mind. They were as follows, viz.:
1. To colonize the negroes in Liberia or Central America, the experiment of colonizing them in Hayti and South America having failed.

2. To foster a general working of our gold and silver mines by our disbanded soldiers.

3. To produce gold and silver in such immense quantities that we could pay off the public debt as fast as possible.

As to the negro, he judged the future by the past and present; in his native land, he employed no systematic industry, but subsisted on the spontaneous fruits of a tropical climate or by the spoils of the chase, and in this country he was content to live from hand to mouth, with no idea of proof vision for the future; their presence aroused the prejudices and excited the animosity of the whites; if the negro is removed from our midst, our homogeneity will be complete; and our autonomy stable; if he remains amongst us, on any terms, future disaster is probable. Such was this astute man's opinion.

He thought that the training and camp life of our soldiers admirably fitted them for the adventure, perils and excitement of a life at the mineral regions; that the license of the camp could receive freer vent there than in the bosom of ordinary society; and that more individual wealth, and consequently more national or aggregate wealth, would accrue thus, than in the usual and ordinary avocations of life.

And finally he knew that our nation, the richest in the auriferous and argentiferous ores, was at that moment the poorest in coin of any enlightened nation; and he reasoned that if the metals were produced, that the nation itself would be so much the richer through the affluence of individuals, and that the day of resumption would be hastened, and the national debt sooner extinguished.


On the vital subject of providing for the negro, his mind was beclouded with anxiety; on that of employing the soldiers, at the mines, he was enthusiastic; he had great faith and unlimited confidence in his own race; but he rated the negro at his worth, and by the Ethiopian record of thousands of years.

In an address to the New York workingmen, he thus repelled any possibility of socialistic tendencies:
"Nor should this lead to a war on property, or the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should become rich shows that others may become rich; and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently and build one for himself; thus, by example, assuring that his own shall be safe from violence, when built."

And whenever he could inculcate in the minds of the working classes exhortations to improvement, or to proper advancement in life, he was sedulous to do so. I recollect he once assured an audience of that kind, that any child of theirs had the same right and prospect his father's son had, to reach the presidency. He recognized in the improvement of the masses, the true index to a nation of stability; and with Carlyle, he felt that, "The neutralizing power to prevent a social explosion, must be the improvement of the condition of the working classes. Indeed, this is the problem of the age involving that other one, of whether we shall have social crash and chaos. Could any man, statesman or other, satisfactorily solve the problem, he would be a benefactor to the race. But the probabilities are, that no one man will solve it that it admits of no one-ideal solution: -- that many men will have to contribute their thoughts -- many things work their results to its solution."


He had a great contempt for speculators, or any who tried to evade honest labor, and to live by their wits. The eagerness, venality and covetousness of office seekers, he thoroughly despised. One day, before he became President, he said: "Mankind has a propensity to be constantly wriggling for office, a desire from which I am not exempt myself."

And after he became President, he said: "Sitting here, where all the avenues to public patronage seem to come together in a knot, it does seem to me that our people are fast approaching the point where it can be said, that seven-eighths of them were trying how to live at the expense of the other eighth."

The undecided question of what are the true functions of government is a vexed and extremely difficult one; and every variety and shade of belief exists among political writers, casuists and moral philosophers on that subject.

One class would limit the functions of government to repressing crime; still another would make it absolutely paternal -- performing every function of society: and all sorts and shades of theories between these two extremes. One would withhold any aid in the collection of debts; another is for a permanent bankrupt law: still another is for affixing penalties to delinquency in liquidating indebtedness. One class insists that the government shall be the sole bank of issue; another that the government shall own and operate all the railways, telegraphs and expresses. A considerable school of political philosophers has been established, having for the basis of its political belief, the dogma that all lands should be seized and owned by the government: the theory being that the "earth and the fullness thereof," embracing mines, forests and quarries, should belong to the community, just as air and water now do.

And the Senate of the United States, a few days since was treated to the bizarre spectacle of a man who had made $100,000,000 by government subsidies, gravely asking the nation to take as much of the taxes of the people as he had


amassed from the subsidy of the government, and lend it to the poor people, whom his cupidity and others like him had despoiled of it, as if the government was a combination of a government and soup-house.

(A proper amendment to his bill would be to compel the builders of the Central Pacific railway to return the amount of subsidies obtained from the long-suffering and patient United States to its treasury.)

Still another class believe that the producer of certain products should be rewarded for each of his products: and this class now holds the fort, and in the enactment of the McKinley bill have attained the summum bonum of their desires,

In the year 1848, a pamphlet was published in New York entitled "The Aristocracy of New York: who they were, and what they are;" and in this pamphlet the sum of $100,000 was taken as the unit of wealth. The richest man was John Jacob Astor -- he being rated at $10,000,000. The next richest man was Stephen Whitney, rated at $3,000,000. There were three rated at $2,500,000 each; one at $2,000,000; two at $1,500,000 each; and seven at $1,000,000 each. There was in Boston at that time one man worth $1,000,000, one in New Orleans and one in Cincinnati; and that was all except the estate of Girard, of Philadelphia, which ran into the millions.

Now, after the flight of forty-four years, there are several men in New York worth $100,000,000, and one man worth $200,000,000; and several men yet in the prime of life, who, if they progress, unchecked, in wealth, as they are now doing, will be worth $500,000,000, if they live to attain the age prescribed by the Psalmist.

While these marvels of political economy are being effected, our alms-houses and insane hospitals are being enlarged and multiplied, and filled to repletion with the scoria and cankers -- the swill of society. And upon the middle classes


is imposed the burden of support of both classes, -- the former through the media of trusts, tariffs, railway charges, subsidies, land grants and monopolies: -- the latter by taxes which are biennially appropriated to the support of the lazzaroni, whose habitat is our charitable institutions.

When the elder Vanderbilt doubled the volume of stock of the railways under his control, his ultimate end and aim was to withdraw from society, current values equal to the amount he increased his fortune, by a stroke of the pen. And the same was true of Gould's heroic performance with the stock of the Western Union Telegraph Co. In case of Heath vs. Erie Railway Co., one Jay Gould -- known to ill-fame -- was compelled to disgorge $9,000,000, upon pain of going to prison till he did so; and the peculiar methods of the savory crowd that bagged the Erie Railway, twenty years ago, attest that:

"Offense's gilded hand has shoved by justice."

If wealthy men acquired their wealth by honest methods, the argument of the socialist and communist would be shorn of its terror. If rich men could show honest day's works, or sums gained by honest investment for their fortunes, the "tranquil masses," to whom is indebted the safety of our institutions, would acquiesce; but when the colossal fortunes are predicated, as most of them are, on government subsidies -- watered stocks -- land grants -- iniquitous tariffs -- grain and stock gambling -- trusts -- monopolies -- high government salaries, and various other forms of genteel dishonesty: -- then it is that the Proudhons, Bastiats, and Mosts get a hearing; and the communists' slogan, "property is robbery," is adjudged to be exceptionally true, as it is generally false: and the astute mind reads a parallel between the lavish display at the wedding of Boss Tweed's daughter, twenty years ago, and the reception of Jay Gould's daughter in December, 1891.

Unlike the effete monarchies of Europe, the people of this country constitute the basis and are the depositories of


political and social power; alike and equally they bear the burden and are charged with the responsibility. When an assault was made on the national life, the people were appealed to, to rescue it from peril; when funds were required to meet the necessities of war, the people furnished the money, or the credit which procured it. If the stately palaces of the Fifth avenue parvenues should be assailed by the Commune, the rescuing force must emanate from the people. As President Johnson said in his Bacchanalian speech:
"The people are everything -- we owe all to them."

And if a communistic war ever does arise in this country whether by investment or a coup de main, the people, as they rescue imperilled wealth from the spoiler, will not forget the felonious modes by which many of these colossal fortunes were achieved, through the disguise of government subsidies, land grants, trusts, tariffs and monopolies.

And in that idea will lie our weakness, when, if ever, a supreme test of force arises between establishment and communism; for when a man is asked to betake himself to the tented field, and to the hardship, hazard and danger of a soldier's life, he will bring no enthusiasm to the task when he contemplates the profligacy of political morals, and baseness of the business methods by which many of the colossal fortunes were obtained, and when a soldier's enthusiasm is gone -- when his service constitutes a disagreeable duty, then the esprit de corps grows dull and finally evaporates, and effectiveness follows not far off.

The slave-holding aristocracy was as arrogant, firmly entrenched and purse-proud in 1860 as the aristocracy of wealth to-day. The price of negroes was higher in that year than it ever had theretofore been, but in five years thereafter that aristocracy was begging bread of the United States.

The basis of our social, industrial and political power is the will of the people, and in a wide disparity of conditions


lies the danger, as in a homogeneity of interests is the safety of our institutions. And it is as true and applicable in this country to-day as it was in France in 1835, that "the destiny of modern democracies is already written in the history of ancient democracies. It was the struggle between the rich and the poor which destroyed them, just as it will destroy modern societies unless they guard against it. * * * Democracies which fail to preserve equalities of conditions, and in which two hostile classes, the rich and the poor, find themselves face to face, are doomed to anarchy and subsequent despotism."

And so surely as there is a life and death, and judgment day for nations as for men, thus unerringly sure is it, that if the colossal fortunes continue to grow in a geometrical ratio of increase as they are now doing, they will ultimately topple over and bury the whole nation in the debris.

NOTE. -- From my morning paper of to-day (Feb. 10, 1892) I read: "There are 30,000 unemployed men in the city at the present time." * * * A carpenter said: "For God's sake, send me out of this city before I am driven to steal. I have not had a meal for three days. * * * I can't get work and I have no place to stay." * * * * Men are frequently seen standing around buildings with hardly enough clothing on to hide their nakedness, to say nothing of keeping them warm. It is not to be wondered at that these half-fed individuals are driven to desperation and hold people up on our streets. * * * * Between 500 and 800 men who are out of work, have no money and no place to stay, are sleeping in the police stations every night."

"Mme. Patti brought an immense audience to the Auditorium last night. Every seat was taken, and the foyer was lined with purchasers of general admission. * * * Mme. Patti receives $5,000 for four or five songs in one evening. Mathematical calculation has shown that this remuneration is at the rate of about $10 per trill." (And there is her dog, her husband, her pianist, her agent, two impressarios, her treasurer, her director and four journeymen singers also to be maintained.)


Chapter XVI. The Uprising.

Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
"This is my own, my native land?"

What constitutes a state?
Not high-raised battlement or labored mound,
Thick wall or moated gate;
Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crowned;
Not bays and broad-armed ports,
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
Not starred and spangled courts,
Where low-born baseness wafts perfume to pride;
No; MEN, high-minded MEN.

Men who their duties know,
But know their rights; and, knowing, dare maintain.

Patriotism includes both a love of one's country and the performance of his duties toward it. There are but few ideal patriots. To "rally round the flag" and apostrophise the glorious Union is all right and very well as a badge of devotion to one's country, but such empty adoration will not build up or preserve a nation. A man who shirks jury duty -- or working the roads -- or voting -- or wielding his influence in selecting good candidates -- or paying less than his proper share of tax, is not a conclusive patriot. "Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone," in politics as in Christianity.

I knew a lawyer in Cincinnati who got an appointment on the general staff of the army, as Judge Advocate, and after a few months of duty with Fremont, was shelved at his home, where he continued his large law practice and drew his pay from the government at the same time; occasionally there


would be a war meeting, at which he was one of the most conspicuous speakers, and a favorite expression of his was, that: "We will put down this unholy rebellion if it takes the last man and the last dollar," etc., he meanwhile drawing as much money from our lean treasury as would maintain twenty private soldiers in the field. I apprehend this person claimed to be a patriot, but he, nevertheless, was practically as harmful to the nation as twenty rebel soldiers, and of no value whatever as, counterpoise; and he, a little more pronounced, was yet but a type of a large class of pseudo patriots.

New State House

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were practical, as well as ideal, patriots. The former abjured the otium cum dignitate of a luxurious Virginia plantation for the hardships of the field and the turmoil of a novel political situation, and, as he said to the dissatisfied army at Newburg, he had "grown both gray and blind in his country's service;" while the latter sacrificed upon his country's altar his ease, comfort, the zest and bouquet of his existence, and ultimately his life.

Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were patriotic; but the country to which their allegiance was due, was bounded by state lines; they were loyal to their states, as they understood it; they were traitors to the rest of their country.

The patriotism of Thomas Jefferson was limited and defined by his Kentucky Resolutions; that of John C. Calhoun by the autonomy and selfish interests of South Carolina alone.

In Buchanan's cabinet, Edwin M. Stanton and Joseph Holt were earnest patriots, -- the patriotism of the latter remained unsullied; that of the former was subordinated to his more powerful sentiment of bitter prejudice against Lincoln's administration in the dark days of 1861; but when he became part of that administration, his patriotism became dominant again, and he gave his remaining years to the service and weal of his country.


There are "old stagers" in our politics to-day, whose chief solicitude has been to "fatten at the public crib" -- to Pile up millions for themselves by their "coign of vantage" in politics, in some way -- while the country was in dire financial straits.

Jesse D. Bright, while an United States senator from a northern state, sent a speculator to Jeff. Davis with a recommendation for a new and effective gun for the rebel army. Clement L. Vallandigham, while in Congress from the North, tempted to provoke a war with England; and I knew government officials who, during the war, drew large salaries, and yet speculated in gold in a way to make them desire their country's discomfiture, in order to line their pockets. One of our Generals was convicted of sacrificing a battle by reason of his prejudice against the commander-in-chief. A disinterested moral philosopher will class all these parties in the same category -- they are alike traitors.

Mr. Lincoln's administration was contending in behalf of the government -- the autonomy -- the establishment -- the institution, of the nation: Jeff. Davis' administration was a contention on behalf of a specific, narrow object, viz.: the institution of slavery; to this object, all proper concerns of a government had to yield; and, so far from being a republic, as it professed, it became a despotism: and, but for the opposition of some of the state governors, would have degenerated into as implacable and relentless a despotism as that of Russia or Turkey.

Property was seized -- citizens conscripted -- the "cradle and the grave" were robbed; and, in the language of Jeff. Davis, "it thundered all around." It was simply a propulsion of the force of society against its lawful government, in order to encompass the eternal slavery, of the negro race; it performed except incidentally, no other office or attribute of government.

Against this tendency, Alexander H. Stephens, Joseph E. Brown, Zebulon B. Vance, John A. Campbell and some


others rebelled; they felt patriotic toward their states; the patriotism of Jeff. Davis and his crew, first for the general government, and second for their several states, was totally submerged, and lost sight of, in their greater prejudice and predilection for the baleful institution of barbarians and of a dark age: that of chattel slavery.

Winfield S. Hancock, George H. Thomas and Robert E. Lee were each and all Federal officers, educated and nurtured at the expense, and in the school of, the nation.

The former never wavered in his loyalty -- the latter two did, and one finally proved recreant and traitorous to the nation whose protege and product he was throughout, albeit he was born and lived as a child in that part of the nation which was known as Virginia.

It is probable that, at any period, during this century, South Carolina would have rejoiced to know that Boston had been destroyed in any way, even by English batteries; its prejudices against the Yankees being greater than its patriotism; it is also probable that William Lloyd Garrison and his followers would have preferred the success of the Rebellion, than to have saved the Union with slavery intact it is probable, likewise, that the McClellan-Pendleton-Vallandigham crowd would have preferred Rebel success rather than a restored Union without slavery; and these sad reflections result, not from any moral deficiency, but because the prejudice of party and against or in behalf of one institution for which the government had some concern, was greater than the prejudice of patriotism.

In view of these things, how sublime the sentiments of Abraham Lincoln in his letter to Horace Greeley; -- how supremely exalted his patriotism - -over the threats of those on both sides of the line, for whom that letter was designed.

Jackson and old Buchanan were, probably, equally patriotic at heart; but when it came to patriotism in action, the difference was, that one was a hero and the other a coward.


Each was confronted with the demon of national discord and civil war; the moral imbecile fostered it, by his flagitious record on the Lecompton Constitution; and his pusilla nimous whining, while treason was being accomplished in his cabinet; the moral hero "nipped it in the bud," by his manly, yet simple declaration at a pro-slavery banquet, "The Union: it MUST be preserved!"

Party and social prejudice is sometimes as powerful a passion as that of patriotism; it appeared to the country that the defection of Benedict Arnold and that of Fitz-John Porter were ethically the same; the former proving harmless, and the latter, disastrous; yet the prejudice of party politics was invoked in behalf of the latter, and he was fully acquitted of the punishment for his apparent treason.

David E. Triggs commanded the U. S. army in Texas; so far as he could, he basely surrendered it to the Rebel government. James Longstreet was inoculated with the same Rebel views that Triggs was; -- he was a Federal paymaster in that army; but at great risks he brought his money to Washington -- settled his accounts, and then joined the Rebel army; Longstreet was a traitor to his country; but there were greater traitors in the Sons of Liberty.

The repeal of the Missouri Compromise was a political act of a radical type, and it necessarily had a moral character; i e., it was either patriotic or non-patriotic; if it was not patriotic it was traitorous: and there are many other Political acts flagitious or reprehensible, according to the standpoint whence they are viewed.

And thus it will appear that the traitors were not all in the field with butternut suits on, but there were many sleek speculators and gamblers equally traitorous in act and more so in essence.

Thomas H. Benton, a politician by instinct and a statesman by profession, originated and projected in literature this political aphorism: "The danger to our political


institutions arises from the uneasy politicians; their safety from the tranquil masses."

When Congress met in December, 1860, the Southern senators and representatives received assurances which were satisfactory to them from the Northern Democrats, that their party would not help the incoming President in any conflict which might come with the South; and some even went further and assured them that many Northern Democrats would aid the South in any prospective struggle. The then existing administration being in their interests, and having reason to believe that the flower of the West Point officers would sympathize with them, and their low estimate of Mr. Lincoln's executive abilities -- all afforded good reason upon which to predict success.

Indeed, in view of all the surroundings, the Confederate leaders fully expected secession to be accomplished by peaceful methods. Seward, indeed, intimated as much; but he explained afterward that he was insincere, and that he did so because he thought that if the South had not so believed, they would never have allowed Lincoln to assume control of the government. His unaccountable and mysterious speeches to the effect that "you will hear good news within ninety days," etc., were designed to lull the Southerners into a false belief, till Lincoln could get firmly seated.

It is probably safe to say, that nine-tenths of that class of politicians in the South who aspired to national legislation were in favor of secession; the atmosphere at Washington was surcharged with it; the lobbyists and political roustabouts somehow thought that there was some advantage to accrue to them by the change; the politicians were satisfied that the wand of political power had been wrested from the South by the defeat of the Lecompton and triumph of the Wyandotte, constitution in Kansas; the issue of slavery had been submitted to the arbitrament of popular sovereignty, with every


advantage in the hands of the pro-slavery party, and slavery was defeated.

The South had "played for a high stake" and lost, and with Lucifer they exclaimed, in effect:

"What though the field be lost?
All is not lost" --
for they saw, as then appeared, no insurmountable difficulty in withdrawing from the Union, and founding a government whose corner stone was African slavery, and with a firm design to revive the African slave trade.

There was something providential in the uprising of our people in April, 1861. I can think of nothing exactly like it in history. I left Chicago about February 21st and returned to it on April 15th, 1861. When I left, business was pursuing its hum-drum and unexcited course. Board of Trade men were betting against fate, merchants were behind their counters, lawyers were manacled to their technicalities, and loafers were, as usual, living somehow by their wits, with an occasional trip to the bridewell sandwiched between their normal days.

When I reached home I found all changed; old acquaintances had forage caps on, and I heard "the ear-piercing fife and spirit-stirring drum" giving out feverish and excited strains all over the business part of the city. Being soon thereafter in St. Louis, one day on the thronged levee I saw thousands of laborers all rushing madly to one point; it seemed as if every laborer joined in the excited chase; the occasion was this: An officer armed with a recruiting commission from the Governor of Illinois had ventured to the St. Louis levee and was posting up some hand-bills in the line of his mission; his welcome was as I have stated; he disappeared in a building and escaped; had he been caught, he would have been murdered in a minute. Such was the feeling among the working classes of St. Louis in April and May, 1861. A change was soon wrought, however; St. Louis was saved to the Union by the powerful influence, chiefly, of


the patriotic Germans of that city, led by Frank P. Blair, B. Gratz Brown, Emil Pretorius, Nathaniel Lyon, Samuel T. Glover and a few other heroic leaders; and the leaven of St. Louis patriotism ultimately leavened the whole state and saved it to the Union.

In July, 1862, five cavalry officers appeared before me at Cincinnati -- dust-begrimed, unkempt, unwashed, demoralized. The leader said to me: "I am Col. Jacob of Kentucky -- colonel of the --th Kentucky (Union) cavalry -- and these are my staff officers; we have pursued John Morgan as far as -------- and are trying to get back to Camp Nelson," etc. I did not see during the war, more unlovely looking soldiers yet this officer was then Lieutenant-Governor of Kentucky colonel of a Kentucky cavalry regiment, a son-in-law of Thomas H. Benton, a brother-in-law of John C. Fremont and had one of the finest estates in Kentucky.

His wedding some few years previously at Washington, was attended by the President, cabinet officers, foreign ministers and the elite of Washington society. To this man and such as he was our cause indebted for the loyalty of Kentucky; William Nelson, Lovell H. Rousseau, Cassius M. Clay, Richard T. Jacob, Jeremiah Boyle, Robert J. Breckenridge, Laban T. Moore and Kentuckians of that stamp formed nuclei around which the patriotism rallied, and saved this pivotal state to the Union.

In Tennessee no Southern editor opposed the election of Mr. Lincoln more vilely and with greater rancor than Parson Brownlow, of the Knoxville Whig; yet when the integrity of the government was assailed, this same unreasoning prejudice and bitterness was directed to the Rebel government, and Jeff. Davis and his government were the targets for the abuse which had been previously vented on "Old Lincoln, the Abolitionist nigger." The Tennessee patriotism was put to the severest tests; Union men were imprisoned and some of them hanged for no crime but their fealty to their government, and a strict surveillance and espionage was kept on the rest.


Several of their leaders escaped by way of Texas and Mexico; Thomas A. R. Nelson, a congressman, was imprisoned while en route to the Capitol, and released on condition he would abandon the Union cause; this he cravenly did, and published an address to the Union people, advising them to submit to the Jeff. Davis dynasty.

Even as Paris is France, so is Baltimore Maryland, and the animus was decidedly secesh at the start, but by good and watchful management and the patriotism of Gov. Hicks, Reverdy Johnson and a few other leaders, the state was kept in line, and a successful sanitary fair there during the war, attested the wonderful change in the general sentiment which had been wrought since the bloody riot of April, 1861.

No acts of President Lincoln's administration were more unsparingly condemned than his tender regard and solicitude for these border states. His attorney-generals and his first postmaster-general were drawn from them, and his policies with regard to slavery, previous to actual emancipation, were shaped with deference to them.

But the denouement attests the wonderful patience and foresight of Abraham Lincoln; for as events were developed, the balance of power resided in these states; and, what the historian must now allow, our sagacious President knew in the dark days, when knowledge was both power and safety.

The radical difference in the genius of our people and those of absolute governments was plainly exhibited in the late struggle. In Europe, the people are not consulted or taken into consideration (except numerically) with reference to a war. The sovereigns make war or peace at their own pleasure, and simply take the people into consideration as they do the required number of dollars. Here, the people were appealed to for recruits and funds; a people's loan was our first financial basis; and -- not mercenary soldiers -- but the people manned the guns and wielded the sabres.

The President came from the very mud-sills of our social and industrial life, and by individual effort and slow


approaches, reached the apex -- the "lonely heights of immortal fame;" he was en rapport with the people; he consulted their oracles -- he hearkened to their voice; he was their agent; in his acts he but reflected their will; hence his popularity.

When men will leave homes of comfort and ease; -- when they will sever themselves from all the endearments of home and domestic life, for the hardships of a camp and the dangers of the field, it attests a patriotism which is one of the most sublime and unselfish of virtues. Yet I know officers whose proclivities were in favor of the Rebels at the start; finding the people slipping away from them, they adroitly changed their course, and espoused the Union cause; they were serviceable to the Union, but it is nonsense to say they were patriots.

All that can be said in their behalf, or to their credit, is that they were adroit politicians; and ultimate history will so class them. There were indeed many unselfish patriots in the war; there were also many politicians, whose names will readily suggest themselves, who used the war as a means to retrieve or advance their political fortunes; and there were many who had no sentiment at all on the subject; but who served in the army as they would pursue an avocation, because they had nothing else to do, or because that enured to their interests more completely than anything else; but, in general terms, it may be said that the basis and substratum of our defence of the Union was unalloyed patriotism; -- that the most of those who engaged in it, did so from a belief that the Union needed their moral and physical aid; and that it was a matter of conscientious duty to rally to its support.

Even as there were many grades and qualities of merit and reasons for commendation in what we call patriotism; so were there many grades and qualities of turpitude and moral delinquency in what is denominated treason. The most flagrant and diabolical instance was that of Arnold; he sought a high command in order to gain an imposing and important


point d'appui, and then deliberately bargained away the liberties of his country for money. The names of Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold are written down in the same leaf of the "curse book of Pandemonium;" but it is an invidious and unauthorized degradation of Judas; for he only sold his Master; Arnold's uncompleted crime was the sale of his country, and the betrayal of his friend and commander-in-chief, who had incurred obloquy by adhering to him. The treason of Triggs was not mercurial, like the others, but was political; he was permeated with the virus of slavery and could not see any ethical difference between treason to his government and a political advantage. The treason of Isaac Toucey and John B. Floyd is similar; one sent our ships to distant ports, and the other disposed of our army and arms to the best advantage for the prospective rebellion.

The matter of starving and burying alive our prisoners will always constitute a very dark chapter of the Jeff. Davis dynasty. When it came to those practices, it no longer came within the category of a history of the war; it was simple felony; -- premeditated felony with malice prepense; the Davis dynasty had no right to imprison soldiers it could not provide for; and every instance of the many who were starved to death is an inexcusable murder. Semmes' career was equally piracy; and in the "Pirate's own Book" of the future, the name of Semmes will be so conspicuous that those of Gow and Kidd will "pale their ineffectual fires."

Mr. Lincoln's statesmanship was conspicuous in the affections of the people which he amassed to himself.

In French history, Louis XV. gained the appellation of the well beloved; this was a mere fancy, hardly founded in truth; but Mr. Lincoln deserved and is entitled to such a soubriquet; the poet Holmes truly says, in a letter I include herein, that "he died, the best beloved man of his time;" he might have said, the best beloved ruler of all time, for such he


was; and when he called for new levies, the people felt a desire to fill them, largely as a personal favor to the President ; so also when he promulgated any new policy -- the people were inclined to acquiesce in it because of the glory of its authorship. Who could have foisted emancipation on the nation but Lincoln? Who could have held the border states to their allegiance but him? Who could have retained Stanton in the cabinet but him? Who could have bound the New England Radical and the Kentucky Conservative to the same policy?

The Professor of Chemistry at the North Carolina University at Chapel Hill voted for Fremont in 1856, and, according to Southern precedent and methods, was expatriated; but he told me that he was in New York city when news of the firing on Fort Sumter came; and that in the uprising and spirit of the people which he saw there, he discerned a public virtue and patriotism which he had not supposed possible to exist with such intensity in any people. In such uprising, he prophetically saw ultimate national salvation and regeneration, and the historian may now readily see that such was the plain fact. Our troops enlisted to save the government; the Southern troops enlisted, as they were made to believe, to save their individual homes; they were drilled into the belief that the invader would pillage and destroy their homes unless repelled; and those that did not fly to arms at such call, were simply dragged to the army by conscript gangs.

So that the uprising of the North was all the more sublime and patriotic from the purity and individual unselfishness of the animating motive.

Who can resist a thrill of patriotism at reading of the ride of Paul Revere -- the history of the minute-men of the Revolution -- of sturdy Israel Putnam leaving his plow in the


furrow and his oxen unyoked to join the little patriot band of the Revolution?

Our war had similar incidents: Cairo was invested within forty-eight hours after the President's first call, and Ben Butler, who voted fifty-seven times in the Convention of 1860 for Jeff. Davis, as his candidate for President, left a law case he was trying, for the tented field; and had his case continued.

T. E. G. Ransom had just made elaborate plans for a mining adventure: he was full of his scheme in April, and gave me glowing accounts of his future plans. Within twenty-four hours, he had sold out everything for what he could get, and had a company enrolled for the war, and, the youngest general in our army, he died a soldier's death within two years; a fit son of the Ransom, the colonel of a Vermont regiment, who died a glorious death on the heights of Chapultepec.

W. H. L. Wallace, of Ottawa, when a mere youth, was an aide-de-camp, and at the side of the gallant Hardin, when the latter fell at Buena Vista. He was an unambitious man, but a true patriot.

When the call for troops came, he closed up his law-office and entered the army, not to wield a political lever, but from an imperious sense of duty; and at the "hornets' nest" at Shiloh -- the "infernal regions" of battle, he yielded, up his life -- an unsullied patriot.

Dick Oglesby was in the state senate when the war broke out: he offered and engineered through with his resistless energy, all needful measures for the prosecution of the war; and then took the field himself. He was the only one of this illustrious trio of Illinois generals who came out alive, and a grateful state has accorded to him its highest honors.

Everywhere, the same spirit prevailed,

One voice, one mind inspired the throng;
To Arms! To Arms! To ARMS! they cry;
Lead us to Phillippi's Lord;
Let us conquer him, or DIE!

Red Room


Chapter XVII. Turning Points.

There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.

Let us cast from ourselves the untrue, the unworthy belief, that the will of man determines the events of this world. National life is shaped by something far higher than that: it is shaped by a stern logic of events.

For whatsoe'er we perpetrate,
We do but row; we're steered by Fate.

Albeit, History is a fiction agreed on, yet if that other saw be true, that "history is philosophy teaching by examples," then a local chronicler should weave into his sketch, the spirit of the age, as well as a bare narration of outward occurrences: -- he should, so far as he can, narrate the causes, as well as state the effects: -- he should adduce a history of the people, as well as a history of the aggregate nation.

The history of a battle is of little moment to the scholar or moral philosopher unless the reasons for it are understood, together with the spirit of the times, of which it forms part. The present and future generations cannot understand the peculiar greatness of Mr. Lincoln, unless they also know the animus of society, whose organ he was -- how far a popular sentiment sustained him sua sponte, and how far and by what appliances he brought it from its uncultivated condition to the support of his administration: and to what extent this change was achieved by management, and to what extent the change came spontaneously.


First, then; Mr. Lincoln's party was but six years old, and had figured in but one Presidential election, and was then defeated: had no campaign fund, nor office-holders array; and had to endure the odium of inheriting the mantle of the despised and oft-rejected Abolitionist party. As a setoff to this, however, and without which Mr. Lincoln would probably not have been elected, was the cleavage of the Democratic party. This enabled Mr. Lincoln to achieve his election, but as a minority President, having but a handful of individual, and no electoral, votes in a geographical half of the Union. In that section of the country, one can hardly believe now, in the days of the canonization and deification of Mr. Lincoln, the estimation in which he was held. The most dignified journals and sedate statesmen spoke freely and authoritatively of him as a mulatto; while those more radical designated him in still less exalted terms. Parson Brownlow -- a God-fearing divine -- always characterized him as a nigger (with two g's); and some journals, of extravagant fancies, went so far as to aver that his father was an imported gorilla from Mozambique, and some of the aborigines from Skunk Hollow, and Ramcat Barrens, believed it.

But even in responsible society at the North, forebodings existed, when the tide of secession set in strong and it was considered that the leader had never been drilled in the duties incident to the on-coming task -- was without experience, and, so far as was known, was without requisite ability for the position, even in a time of profound peace. He had proved himself to be a good debater and stump speaker, merely -- he had shown no sign of being a man of affairs -- either a good executive or administrative officer.

The party prejudices of the "Douglas" and "Bell and Everett" party at the North was but little more virulent than those of the "Seward" and "Chase" men in his own party.

Having secured the nomination of the convention, as I elsewhere show, by the political strategy of his political friends, the party had only formally, but not heartily, acquiesced


in its action: and as not in any wise tending to dissipate the moral gloom, Mr. Lincoln himself remained quietly at home, taking note of current affairs, and maturing his policy, but without making any visible sign; and which was accepted by the public as an evidence of a lack of apprehension, or of an unbecoming stolidity and indifference to the signs of the times. Lincoln's best friends besought him to quiet the public apprehension by saying -- something. One of the most popular and honored men in Illinois -- Joseph Gillespie -- beseeched him, in the name of their old "Whig" intimacy, to issue an address, setting forth pacific views, and upon Lincoln declining, burst forth in a flood of tears, Yet Lincoln was neither unadvised, nor insensible to the situation and its needs, as I happen in more than one way to know. I will illustrate.

A statesman's glance at, and contemplation of, the situation (and that was the kind of view Lincoln had then, as I thereafter) revealed the fact that in the then approaching contest, the North must be united, as all would be lost, in any serious division.

That portion of the North which was then deemed more likely than any other to affiliate with the South, was that part of Illinois lying wedged in between two slave states, and whose inhabitants consisted chiefly of immigrants from Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia; and which was popularly styled "Egypt." Throughout that district, Fremont got no votes, to speak of, and Lincoln but few. Both its geographic and hydrographic position gave it much consequence in a strategetic view. In case of a war, it held the key to the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, and Wabash rivers; and when war did come, Cairo was the first point in the west invested by our troops, and Columbus -- a few miles further down, was the first point held by the Confederates.

I did a considerable "fetching and carrying" for Mr.


Lincoln during that gloomy winter; and as he was anxious to know definitely the condition of politics in Egypt, I started from Chicago, on the night of December 23, 1860; and, ostensibly as a commercial traveler, commenced my researches at noon the next day at Lawrenceville.

I made a very extensive and thorough examination of the political situation and animus, and I became convinced that while the affiliations of the politicians were with Jeff. Davis and his crew, that the people were for the Union. I celebrated Christmas by walking from Flora to Louisville and back; and a few days later, I rode a spavined horse from Carbondale to Murphysboro, where I stopped at the Logon House, kept by the venerable mother of the, then, Congressman from that district. My labors terminated at Jonesboro, and on January 6th I reached home. At several places I was assured by prominent men that the whole of Logan's district would join the South; and that young men were even then designing to enlist in Kentucky regiments.

And it is sadly true, that some of the leading politicians incited the people to resist, thwart and handicap Mr. Lincoln's administration, in which malign conduct they did some mischief by encouraging many young men to make their political bed with the rebels; but when these people saw the machinations of these false leaders, they spurned their counsels, and, in the main, were ultimately as patriotic and enthusiastic for the administration as the rest of the state.

The Union could not have endured the loss of Egypt and, especially, with the transference of its strength and morale to the South: with all the river towns from East St. Louis to Grayville as points d' appui, and the mouths of the Wabash, Cumberland and Tennessee and the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi in their possession and under their control, there would have been no victory at Forts Henry and Donelson -- the Rebel capital would have been at Nashville instead of Richmond probably -- and the whole character and strategy of the war would have been changed.


But when it was made apparent to the people of "Egypt" that the South intended to destroy the government, their patriotic instincts were aroused to action, and, discarding the advice and example of the politicians, they ranged themselves on the side of the Union.

Stephen A. Douglas and John A. McClernand performed yeoman service in counseling the wavering, and in counteracting the adverse efforts of the mischievous politicians.

Soon after the adjournment of the extra session of the Senate, the former visited Illinois, and on the 25th day of April appeared before the legislature and made a ringing speech in favor of the Union, with no condition or qualification, and repeated the same at Chicago; he also held personal conferences with leaders of the party, and used his best endeavors to get them in line for the right; and although some young men crossed the river, and enlisted in Kentucky regiments, yet the masses adhered to the administration.

General McClernand had represented Egypt in Congress for many years, and was also in Congress from Mr. Lincoln's district when the latter was inaugurated; he was a Union man from the start, and when the extra session of Congress adjourned on August 6th, and McClernand came to say "Good-bye" to Mr. Lincoln, the latter handed him a Brigadier-General's commission in my presence, and bade him "keep Egypt right side up;" and he did. The country owes much to these two Democratic leaders for their timely aid.

The ultimate cause of the war, was the repeal of the Missouri Compromise: and its leading advocate was Douglas. He did much to retrieve that political error by his patriotic course, after the war was actually on. It is clear that nothing was more timely than his interference in behalf of the Union, when he did; for instead of a hostile population in


Egypt, as existed in December and January, I found, when I next visited it, ten thousand of the flower of its population wearing the Union uniform and carrying the Union musket; and whereas, there was a political homogeneity between Kentucky and Egypt as late as June, 1861, yet in November succeeding, there was as distinct a line of cleavage as that made in the geography of the sections by the Ohio River; and the battle of Belmont was fought chiefly by southern Illinois troops on one side, and Kentucky troops on the other.

The margin was small for success, as I have said: if Egypt had persisted in the attitude of hostility to the Union, entertained by it prior to the time that Douglas changed their views, it is impossible to conjecture the full import of the mischief which might have been wrought: for the Union cause was in dire straits, and needed Cairo, Mound City, Shawneetown and intervening places, as points d' appui; and likewise the Egyptian granaries and stalwart arms and moral power of its generous and brave people, to aid in saving the nation.

The distrust of Mr. Lincoln's abilities was in nowise diminished by his empty speeches en route to Washington; nor did his inaugural address, which was a gem of literary and political art, remove that distrust; and he entered upon the spirit-stirring and weary routine of his official duties, heavily handicapped with the disdainful opinion and supercilious criticism of his own people, and the unmitigated contempt and deadly hostility of the Southern people and their thousands of sympathizers at the capitol, and throughout the North.

On March 12,1861, Edwin M. Stanton wrote from Washington to James Buchanan (inter alia): "It would not surprise me to see Virginia out, in less than ninety days; and Maryland will be close at her heels."

On the 14th he wrote: "Lincoln will probably (if his adimnistration continues four years) make a change that will affect the constitutional doctrine of the Supreme Court."


He was as energetic in his prejudices and epistolary correspondence as in all else, and took a very uncharitable view of Mr. Lincoln and his administration during its first year. One can hardly tell from reading it, which sentiment is the most pronounced -- his contempt for Old Abe, or his good wishes for the new Confederacy. According to such of his letters to Mr. Buchanan as the biographer chooses to submit to the world, he seems to have, as he thinks, got hold of the "true inwardness" of matters in Mr. Lincoln's executive chamber, for he writes confidently to his former chief that the cabinet is "at sixes and sevens" about everything -- that Seward, Chase, and Bates are pulling one way, and Welles Blair, and Cameron the other; while Lincoln and Smith are generally a-straddle of the fence; and that they can't agree on any matter at all. He again says that the new administration has not acquired the esteem of the people here: that the members of the cabinet have left their families at their homes, and hold themselves in readiness to grab their carpet-bags, and cut for their homes at a moment's warning. He wrote as if our government had no more tenuity, substance, or establishment than that of a Mexican usurper. He says that the government is hollow and insincere -- that no one has faith in even Lincoln's candor and sincerity -- and that NO ONE speaks of Lincoln or any member of his cabinet, with any kind of respect. In a spirit of charity he refers to Lincoln's party as a "Black Republican" affair, and avers that the British government will soon give its active and decided support to Jeff. Davis' government; and his utter absence of sympathy, and the whole trend of his observations, seems to clearly indicate that if he has any feelings at all in the matter, it is a preference for the bastard government in Dixie. Just after Bull Run he wrote that Washington would inevitably be captured, and that Jeff. Davis would turn out the whole administration, and he adds: "The rout, overthrow


and utter demoralization of the whole army is complete. Even now, I doubt whether any serious opposition to the entry of the Confederate forces could be offered. While Lincoln and Scott are disputing as to who is to blame, the city is unguarded, and the enemy at hand."

And he also says that families are leaving Washington and the streets are full of furniture, being moved away.

His letters, written later, were too venomous to publish, hence they have, in kindness to his memory, been suppressed.

History is replete with instances where the fate of dynasties, nations, institutions, and races were dependent upon a single man and his movements for a brief moment of time, as it were.

The examples of Miltiades at Marthon -- Hannibal at Cannae -- Alexander at Arbela -- Charles Martel at Tours -- Joan d'Arc at Orleans -- Archduke John at Lepanto -- Napoleon at Marengo -- and Arnold at Saratoga, are in point: -- so, likewise, Pitt in 1806 -- Alexander Hamilton at the Poughkeepsie Convention in 1788 -- John C. Breckenridge at the count of the electoral votes in 1861 -- Sam Randall and the Electoral Commission in 1876 -- and Justice Bradley on the Electoral Commission -- and while the destinies of this nation primarily, and of mankind ultimately, depended upon Mr. Lincoln's will and administration for four years -- such destiny was, also, frequently committed to the care and administration of a single man for a day or an hour.

The Confederate army committed an obvious mistake in not attempting to capture Washington immediately after the first battle of Bull Run. Had they succeeded, the moral effect -- the influence on foreign nations -- might have been great; and inasmuch as they held Richmond for four years -- they might have held Washington long enough for England and France to have recognized their -- so-called -- government, as a nation de jure.

The battle of Shiloh was remarkable in all respects: it was a battle of blunders -- blunders on both sides; and fortune


barely tipped the scale in our favor. The turning-point in that battle was the untimely death of Albert Sidney Johnston. There were still other turning-points in that battle, but that is the most conspicuous one; and it is, I think, quite clear that the forced and timely arrival of Buell's army wrested "victory from the jaws of defeat."

At Chickamauga, and equally at Nashville, the fate of the army devolved upon one man who never failed -- GEORGE H. THOMAS, the "Rock of Chickamauga."

It would seem quite clear that while Mr. Lincoln took no counsel of his prejudices at all, that Jeff. Davis was largely controlled and guided by his; and that, as a consequence, he seriously impaired, if indeed, he did not defeat, his cause thereby.

Beauregard was, doubtless, one of his best generals, but Davis took offence at Beauregard's omission, in his report of the Bull Run battle, to properly magnify him, with the result to deprive the Confederacy of Beauregard's services in their best condition, during the war. Being prejudiced in favor of Braxton Bragg, his brother-in-law, led to the entrusting of that mediocre officer with important commands he was, in no degree, fit for.

His impatience at Johnston's safe method of managing the Atlanta campaign, and his substitution of the impetuous Hood for the conservative Johnston, authorized Sherman's march to the sea, and the utter destruction of the western army.

The southern historian, Pollard, deems it perfectly clear, that Davis' injudicious management, induced the downfall of the Confederacy, and he adduces many instances to support it; and it is very clear that our cause only barely triumphed by reason of the wise, astute and statesmanlike administration of Abraham Lincoln.

There are many instances where a different line of action on the part of Mr. Lincoln, from the one pursued, would have insured disaster; and among them may be cited his keeping in line


the Border states, a matter for which he was more scandalously derided than any other. Had Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland followed the other states out of the Union -- had the loyal Kentucky, West Virginia, and Missouri troops, instead of "keeping step to the music of the Union," have marched under the shadow of the rattlesnake flag, how different the result! Dr. Furness' cute remark, while enfolding a sarcasm, equally contained a truth, for both premises were true: Lincoln must have Kentucky: it was the pivot.

Our fate as a nation frequently depended upon the issue of a single battle; as Shiloh, Stone River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Gettysburg.

In our war, unlike most of wars, the moral consequence of a battle was ofttimes of greater magnitude than the material consequences.

Mr. Lincoln was obliged to consult, and be guided by, the popular opinion of his own constituency, and likewise the opinion of foreign nations. Even now, we can hardly appreciate the delicacy of his task. He must have the support of Charles Sumner and Frank Blair, of Owen Lovejoy and Edward Stanley; of the New England abolitionist -- the Illinois Whig -- the Missouri slaveholder. He must cajole, intimidate or court the ultra-Democrat of New York; the Vallandigham man of Ohio, and the Son of Liberty of Indiana; and his success is one of the most wonderful of moral achievements.

Slavery is now but an ugly reminiscence; but it was the most powerful institution in the nation from 1830 to 1860, or for thirty years. It elected every President of the United States, except four, until the new era. It completely dominated the United States Senate and the Supreme Court, and nearly every Congress, prior to 1861. West Point was ancillary to it: both the army and the navy were its auxiliaries. The social life at Washington obeyed its behests; and it even tinctured the social life at Newport, Saratoga, and


Niagara Falls. Statesmanship was its servitor; and diplomacy its handmaid. Exponents of the effete Southern aristocracy swarmed in the departments at the capitol; and the court language, in essence, had a smack both of the racetrack and bar-room -- in articulation, of the emigrant from Congo, and the denizen of the Ockmulgee river combined.

Notwithstanding that slavery was interdicted in the entire Northwestern Territory by the Ordinance of 1787, it continued to exist in the Territory of Illinois during its whole territorial condition, and even after it became a state. But a brave and patriotic governor, Edward Coles, in a speech in the legislature, in 1822, drew the attention of the legislature to the fact, and asked them to make some proper provision to extirpate slavery from their midst.

This induced the legislature to adopt a joint resolution calling for a state convention to revise the Constitution, the intention being to legalize the institution of slavery in Illinois. It is singular to reflect that this could be possible in a state from which slavery had been expressly excluded, on motion of Thomas Jefferson, in the first act for its government; and it is a matter of heart-felt gratification that it failed of endorsement before the people.

The vote on calling the convention was had on the first Monday in August, 1824, and was defeated by a majority of 1,872, out of a vote of 11,772; and inasmuch as the immigration thereafter preponderated in a large degree from the free states, there was no further danger that Illinois would ever so far thereafter retrograde from a career of political morality as to adopt slavery. But the contest which raged for eighteen months was the most violent and bitter ever known in the history of the state, before or since. Newspapers, hand-bills and pamphlets were scattered broadcast.

These missive weapons of a fiery contest were scattered everywhere, and everywhere they scorched and scattered as they flew. Almost every stump in every county had its bellowing, indignant orator on one side or the other; and the


whole people, for the space of months, did scarcely anything but read newspapers, hand-bills and pamphlets; quarrel maybe, and argue with each other whenever they met together to hear the violent harangues of their orators. Men women and children entered the arena of party warfare and strife; and the families and neighborhoods were so divided and furious and bitter against one another, that it seemed a regular civil war might be the result. Many personal combats were indulged in, on the question, and the whole country seemed, at times, to be ready and willing to resort to physical force to decide the contest. All the means known to man to convey ideas to one another were resorted to, and practiced with energy. The press teemed with publications on the subject. The stump orators were invoked and the pulpit thundered anathemas against the introduction of slavery. The religious community coupled Christianity and freedom together, which was one of the most powerful levers used in the contest. At one meeting of the friends of freedom in St. Clair County more than thirty preachers of the Gospel attended, and opposed the introduction of slavery into the state.

Mr. Wm. H. Brown, formerly of Chicago, where he died some twenty years since, gives the following account of this exciting contest:
Into this canvass was infused a bitterness and malignity which the agitation of the slavery question only engenders. Why it always produces this result is worthy of the investigation of the moralist and philosopher. Other great evils, political and moral, are discussed with freedom, and measures for their amelioration or prevention meet with no outward opposition; but call in question the right of one man to enslave another, or even make an effort to confine this gigantic sin to the territory in which it exists, and the fiercest passions are aroused in the hearts of its advocates, and the lack of power alone saves their opponents from utter destruction.

In this spirit, the contest of 1823-24 was waged. Old friendships were sundered, families divided, and neighborhoods


arrayed in opposition to each other. Threats of personal violence were frequent, and personal collisions, a common occurrence. As in times of warfare, every man expected an attack, and was prepared to meet it. Pistols and dirks were in great demand, and formed a part of the personal habiliments of those conspicuous for their opposition to the convention measure. Even the gentler sex came within the vortex of this whirlwind of passion; and many were the angry disputations of those whose cares and interests were usually confined to their household duties.

Two members of the legislature who voted against holding the convention, were burned in effigy, at their own homes.

At this time there was but little settlement in the northern half of the state. The largest was at the Fevre river lead mines, in what has since been Galena. There was no Chicago then, and the Indians had almost undisputed sway from the Indiana line -- I might say from the Western Reserve -- to the Pacific Ocean.

Abraham Lincoln was then a callow youth in Spencer County, Indiana, having no idea of the struggle going on just west of his home, and of its significance to him and to the nation. No reasonable conjecture is possible of what Illinois would have been, had this nefarious and infamous scheme -- worthy only of the Dark Ages -- have carried. Chicago has now one and a quarter millions of people; as a slave city, how many would it have had? How would it have compared with the free city of Milwaukee, or Michigan City? For in the dire contingency named, one of those places would have been the Chicago of history.

And it seems to be the concurrent idea of all observers that to one man -- Edward Coles -- a Virginian, is it due that the unholy scheme of foisting slavery on the state of Illinois, four years after the adoption of the Missouri Compromise,


and thirty-seven years after it was consecrated forever to freedom, was foiled.

Had this been otherwise, there would have been no President Lincoln -- no historical "Honest Old Abe." He equally would have failed of his high destiny, had he succeeded in his senatorial aspirations in 1854 or 1858; he probably would have failed also had he not have got into the "joint debate" in 1858; he probably would have failed likewise had he not made his "house-divided-against-itself" speech; and also had not the convention sat in Chicago; and he certainly would also have failed, if the Charleston convention had been harmonious. Seward had a large political capital; he could spare much and yet win; the breeze that wafted Lincoln into the Executive Mansion was so light that he had to set every square inch of canvass to succeed.

It was a monsoon in 1864, -- it was the quietest of zephyrs in 1861.

"It is not fortune, however, which rules the world; there are general causes, whether moral or physical, which act in every nation -- raising, maintaining, or overthrowing it; all accidents are subject to these causes, and if the fortune of a battle -- that is to say, a particular cause -- has ruined a nation, there was a general cause which made it necessary that nation should perish through a single battle; in a word, the principal cause drags with it all the particular accidents."

Or, as otherwise stated, "a great effect is always due to a great cause, never to a small one; in other words, an accident, insignificant in appearance never leads to important results without a pre-existing cause which has permitted this slight accident to produce a great effect. The spark only lights up a vast conflagration when it falls upon combustible matters, previously collected." (Napoleon III.)

A geographical half of the nation disputed the proposition that there was any government of the United States: that section maintained that our highest and supreme forms of government were of Virginia, or Louisiana, etc.: the United


States being a mere league of those governments: and that same school was ready and simply massing political power of sufficient volume to propound as a political aphorism, that the normal status of the negro -- his political condition -- was that of slavery; that the African was a slave per se: and that legislation was necessary to assure to him his freedom.

In reviewing these times that tried men's souls, the corollary is apparent, that the assault upon Sumter or the catastrophe at Bull Run, were not harbingers of the dissolution of democracy, as was thought: but were heralds of a regeneration and purification of the nation -- a divorcement from a latitudinarian morality, and flagitious political practices: -- a destruction of the decaying fabric, in order that an enduring structure might take its place: -- a lifting up of the nation to a higher moral and political plane.

Our Republic has a predestined limit of life; and it will not become moribund till that limit is attained. It still, as appearances attest, rejoices in the vigor of youth: it has not reached the maturity, much less the senility, of its powers. It doubtless will absorb the entire continent of North America: it probably will contain as great a population as the Flowery Kingdom. It will not decline and fall until it has performed the grandest destiny of any nation whose triumphs and achievements adorn the historic page.

"There exists * * * in moral as well as physical order, a supreme law which assigns to institutions, as to human beings, a fated limit, marked by the term of their utility. Until this providential term has arrived, no opposition prevails; conspiracies, revolts, everything fails, against the irresistible force which maintains what people seek to overthrow: but if, on the contrary, a state of things, immovable in appearance, ceases to be useful in the progress of humanity, then neither the empire of traditions, nor courage, nor the memory of a glorious past, can retard by a day, the fall which has been decided by destiny."


Chapter XVIII. Lincoln and Grant.

Boldness is blind: wherefore it is ill in counsel, but good in execution. For in counsel, it is good to see dangers: in execution not to see them, except they be very great.

A man of vast dumb faculty; dumb -- but fertile, deep: no end of ingenuities in the rough head of him: as much mother-wit there as could be found in whole talking parliaments, spouting themselves away in vocables and eloquent wind.

Big words do not smite like war-clubs,
Boastful breath is not a bow-string,
Taunts are not so sharp as arrows,
Deeds are better things than words are,
Actions mightier than boastings.

Worthiness is a thing different from the worth or value of a man; and also from his merit or demerit: and consisteth in a particular power or ability for that whereof he is said to be worthy; which particular ability is usually named fitness or aptitude.

If thou cans't plan a noble deed,
And never flag till it succeed,
Though in the strife thy heart should bleed,
Whatever obstacles contend,
Thine hour will come: -- go on, thou soul,
Thou'lt win the prize: -- thou'lt reach the goal.

AMONG savage tribes, warfare is carried on and maintained chiefly by personal courage and brute force; the tomahawk, war club, arrow and assagai are their chief weapons. Enlightened nations base their warfare upon science, and execute it by art. The science of war is its theory, and is learned from books, or at military schools. The art of war is the application, in the field, of its principles, to the practice, or performance, of war. It frequently occurs that theorists in the science of war cannot apply their studies


to the practice of the art of war, in the field; and it also, not infrequently, happens that one not well versed in the theory, may nevertheless be au fait in the art of war in the field. McClellan, Halleck, Meade, and Hardee were excellent students and scholars: the forte of Grant, Sheridan, Thomas, and Schofield was in their execution in the field.

War, strictly as a science, was unknown in Persia, Macedon, Carthage, Greece, Egypt, and Rome. It is a thing of comparatively recent date, to teach the science of war.

The greatest scholar of the science of war, in Europe, was Jomini: the greatest practitioner of the art of war was Napoleon.

There were several better students of the science of war, in France, than the great Emperor: as Augereau, Soult, Lannes, Drouet, Berthier, and Davoust; but there were those who knew less of its science: as Murat, Ney, and Besseires. Frederick the Great knew no theories of the science of war -- neither did Blucher -- nor yet Marlborough. Turenne, Pichegru, Moreau, Archduke Charles, Barclay de Tolly, and Von Moltke were familiar with principles, and likewise au fait in practice.

The "Grant family"

In this country, there were no scholars in war in the Revolution, except Lee and Lafayette; but in later days Thomas, Hancock, Wright, Lee, Beauregard, and Stonewall Jackson were alike good scholars, and equally good generals in the field.

As a science, war is exact: as an art, it is not; for not only the science of war, but politics, relative courage, efficiency of officers -- efficiency of arms -- efficiency of projectiles -- efficiency of the commissariat, and other circumstances enter into consideration; and each one may prove as formidable a factor as the mere theory of war. The Prussians were victorious, in 1871, not wholly on account of the needle-gun, but also by reason of the villainy of the French army contractors, who mixed sawdust with powder. And in our Mexican War, our nation was victorious, as Houston was at San Jacinto, by


reason of the gross inferiority of the hybrid races arrayed on the enemy's side.

In the War of the Rebellion, the North had the several advantages of a preponderance of numbers, ample resources, an established government and the right cause; while the South had the several advantages of fighting on their own soil, on an inner line, and in the false belief that they were resisting a war of extermination.

Grant's leading and salient points of character were stoicisin, tenacity of purpose, and selfishness. Nothing could surprise, excite or daunt him: he was imperturbable in all situations.

I was at Cairo before, during, and after the battle of Belmont -- Grant's first battle. Grant was perfectly imperturbable the day before the battle, and equally so the days thereafter. To have looked at that stolid, impassive face no one would have detected the slightest ruffle on his placid sea of life; while McClernand, the second in command, and a man of great intellect, undaunted courage and aggressiveness, was nervous and fidgety, not so much about the battle itself, as at the scoring the promoters of the battle received in the Northern newspapers.

Lincoln was devoted and consecrated to one idea, that of restoring the Union; all other matters he regarded as trivial.

Grant's sole idea was to win his battles; considerations of humanity had not the least weight in deterring him from any movement he deemed needful; if he had the men to hurl into the yawning crater, that was his sufficient and sole solicitude.

There is no doubt that Grant will shine in history as brilliantly as any mere warrior of any age; but his fame as a statesman-warrior will not be resplendent like that of Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon or Wellington: his civil administration of the government gained him no posthumous fame; contrariwise, it will probably be a blot on his


escutcheon, as venality was on that of Marlborough, or treachery on that of Arnold.

He had what is termed "common sense" and good judgment, but he did not rise above the dull plane of mediocrity, except as a commander of our armies; as a banker he made a most inglorious fiasco.

While he acquired his efficiency in the hard school of experience, after our war began, he nevertheless was the genius of our war; so wonderful a career was based on genius, and no other word will describe it.

Judge T. Lyle Dickey informed me that for some weeks preceding the battle of Iuka, that he was on Grant's staff, as chief of cavalry; and that he spent almost the entire tune with him; that Grant never looked at a report -- never asked a question about his army; never said a word about it, but was, to all appearance, perfectly stolid and indifferent about all sorts of business: and, to all appearances, simply idling and smoking away his time.

Each day, the scouts would bring in a report about van Dorn, to the effect that he had advanced his line eastward a mile or so; and this was simply reported to Grant, who apparently took no notice of it at all; but one morning the report came that Van Dorn was rapidly moving north; and then, for the first time, the Sphinx exhibited some signs of life, but no trace of excitement, hardly of animation. He sat down at his desk, and commenced writing orders, and continued to write for an hour -- occasionally stopping for a minute or two to reflect, but asking for no advice or information; and when he had got through, he lapsed into his pristine stolidity; but those orders showed that he knew the precise locality, condition, strength and effectiveness of every regiment, battery and command in his whole army.

If you Dickey said he never saw or heard of so marvelous a performance; an ordinary officer, to have performed this, would have required to consult reports currently for days and advise with officers and make it a matter of profound deliberation;


but the sequel showed that Grant had not only located each command properly, but that he had also directed each to the proper converging point for the consolidation of the whole army.

Dickey said he was "the genius of the war."

Grant's first battles were severely criticised on all hands; it was not then well defined what object there was in fighting the battle of Belmont; it was averred, as I recollect it, that it was in order to forestall Polk in sending troops to interfere with one of our raids in Southeastern Missouri; -- but it was currently understood at the time, to have been a blunder, both in its conception and execution.

The affair at Fort Henry was achieved wholly by Admiral Foote and that at Donelson by Generals Lew Wallace, Smith and McClernand, although Grant bore off the honors by being in chief command, and writing the dispatch which, though business-like and common-place, had a ringing sound which thrilled the nation, at the time.

The great battle however, of those early days was Shiloh, and tomes upon tomes have been written about it, and it still remains a vexed and unsolved question whether our army was surprised; whether we would have been destroyed had not Johnston fell as he did; whether we would have been vanquished had not Buell's army arrived opportunely.

Of course Grant himself asseverates that there was no surprise, and Sherman is certain there was none, and was wont to express, in pantomime, the sentiment that he could: whip any one who doubted it; but from the civilian's and journalist's standpoint, tested by ordinary logical and philosophical methods, our forces were not only surprised, but the entire affair was mismanaged on both sides, most grossly and we were only saved from utter defeat by the death of Johnston -- the irresolution of Beauregard -- the energy, tact and heroism of General J. D. Webster -- and the advent of Nelson's division, at the opportune moment.

Horace Greeley's comment was too severe (of course he


could say nothing, in moderation), but the more conservative newspapers were not far behind him.

He said: "The Union cause escaped a greater disaster than Bull Run from precisely the same cause -- the utter inefficiency, if not downright treachery, of some of our higher officers."

The administration deeming it unsafe to trust the army to the management of either Grant or Sherman, ordered Halleck to take immediate command, which he did. Grant then designed to leave the army for good, and actually got a leave to go to Galena, but Sherman talked him out of it; and the sequel was Vicksburg -- Missionary Ridge -- the Wilderness -- Petersburg -- Appomatox -- the White House -- Grant & Ward.

After the lamented death of our Lincoln, Grant was the most popular man in the United States, and deservedly so; for the national cause was in sore straits when Grant plunged into the Wilderness: and a repetition of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville or Bull Run would have brought it to the brink, if not, indeed, over, the precipice of, ruin. It is easy, now that it is all over, to imagine that Meade or Hancock, or some other general, could have wrought out the same achievements, but it seems quite clear to me that, had the ordinary luck or management of the Army of the Potomac have obtained in the dreary summer of 1864, that had attended it in previous campaigns, the country would have got thoroughly discouraged and elected McClellan; and that would have ended the nation. The pluck, the bull-dog grip -- the tenacity of purpose that knows no defeat -- that knows no such word as fail, was required; and General Grant had all these qualities, and was the only general whom the war developed, that did, with the exception of Thomas.

There were many other generals who had as excellent opportunities as Grant had, to be at the head. McClellan had more opportunities -- infinitely more; no doubt whatever can exist that Grant would have taken Richmond, had a been the hero of the Seven Days' Battles; no contrast can be


greater than that between McClellan's feeding his vanity by his gorgeous reviews, attended by the "fuss and feathers" and fanfaronade of merely dumb show; and Grant's actual fighting in the field -- his business in place of McClellan's play. Burnside, Hooker, Pope and Meade each had their opportunity, but each being weighed in the balance was found wanting. So far as now appears, Grant was the only commander who could have reached the Appomatox of the Rebellion; and, as matters go in that line, he was fully entitled to all the honors accorded to him by a grateful nation.

Upon these hard and worthily earned laurels he should have rested; but no man can resist the temptation and glamour of the Presidency; and while Grant reaped no laurels from his administration of this office save the fact itself of holding the position, he did smirch his fame by attempting, and failing, to secure a third term; this blemish, however, will grow more and more trivial with lapse of time, and will fade entirely away at last; while the glories of Vicksburg, Chickasaw Bluff, Missionary Ridge, the Wilderness, Petersburg and Appomatox will increase in brilliancy with time.

As Grant was the most effective, so also was he the plainest and least ostentatious of our generals. The surrender at Appomatox was an event which will stand out as one of the most important episodes in history, like the meeting of the English barons at Runnymede, or the signing of the Declaration of Independence; but the central figure in that august proceeding was not the chivalric warrior with a martial air, who was attired in a rich military costume and adorned with a brilliant sword; but, rather, was the mud-bespattered, ordinary looking man of a few words, with no


adornment at all expect shoulder straps, adorned with three stars.

E. B. Washburne

The two men who gave to Grant the opportunity to achieve his immortal fame were Washburne and Lincoln. Both of these men adhered to Grant through many relentless and pitiless storms of rancor and obloquy, when the whole nation beside was against him; he honored the former by making him Secretary of State, in form, and Minister to France in substance; but when the opportunity came in 1880, that he could have made Washburne President of the United States, by a word, he refused to speak that word.

Whether that exhibited ingratitude toward the man who took him from obscurity and placed him on the road to greatness, must be left for the moralist of the future; Grant himself deemed Washburne to be an ingrate, because he did not actively aid his third term aspirations.

Had it not been for Washburne, Grant would merely have been * * *

Of many thousand such as die betimes;
Whose story is a fragment known to few."
In other words, while there would still have been a Grant, there would have been no GRANT!!!

General Grant and his friends cannot complain that this Republic was ungrateful toward him, as his two terms in the Presidency and his magnificent tour around the world, secured by the government, must show; and his unofficial consideration at the hands of society was equally suggestive of a high appreciation, as is attested by the endless presents absorbed by him, including several houses; and by the unique occurrence of William H. Vanderbilt drawing his check in Grant's favor one Sunday afternoon, for one hundred thousand dollars, with no security at all.

While McClellan was instinctively a politician, Grant was not; and toward the close of Johnson's term both parties


were angling to catch him to bait their ticket with. It would doubtless have been far preferable to him to have held himself entirely aloof from politics while the war lasted, but he was not permitted.

The contest of '64 in its early stages inclined strongly to McClellan and "peace at any price;" but as it progressed, the success of the Union arms, especially the capture of Atlanta, produced a reaction; and the administration party felt justified in using all fair and proper means to win. The most important thing out of the ordinary line and routine of the canvass was the soldiers' vote; that vote would naturally go to the administration, especially if the political situation and needs were explained to them: and the administration was quite anxious that the soldiers should vote, and likewise that they should vote understandingly, for if they voted understandingly they would vote as they shot, viz.: against the Rebels and their Northern sympathizers. There was this increment of danger, however, viz.: that McClellan had been popular with the Army of the Potomac, and while it was not so vigorous as "when worn in its newest gloss," yet still much of its sentiment remained; and a seeming necessity existed for explaining to the superficial mind that McClellan was but a catspaw to rake the Rebel chestnuts out of the fire, and that every vote for him was, in effect, a vote for the discontinuance of the war and a surrender of the costly stake for which already a half-million of their brethren had perished in Southern bastiles, or on gory fields.

Some states had provided that the "soldier" vote might be cast in the field and sent home, and then counted; other states had made no such provision. As to the former class there was more or less danger that many, allured by the glittering and delusive promise of peace assured in the "McClellan" platform, might vote in that way, in the fond hope of soon being restored to home and its joys; or, mayhap, that the name of McClellan, which had been a "name to conjure with" might still weave its magic spell about the prejudices


and predilections of the voters. As to the latter, they must go home if their political influence was to go for anything, and once home, there was little doubt that they would be indoctrinated with intelligent views of the crisis and their votes would be, like their sacrifices in the field, effective for the Union.

The contest then raging on the hustings, in the newspapers, and in social disputation, was essentially and ethically the same as that maintained in Virginia and Georgia, at the cannon's mouth -- the bayonet's point -- the sabre's blade; the national autonomy -- the integrity of the government -- the restoration of a disrupted and dissevered Union was now at issue in each contest alike; and the fate of democracy was borne alike and equally on the winged bullet at Gettysburg, and the undemonstrative ballot cast at a crossroads precinct.

Hence the conflict of opinion which warred all through the heated months of July and August and increased in intensity when the leaves began to turn, and the anxious wives and bothers prepared warm clothing for the coming winter campaign of their husbands and sons, was not a partisan warfare; and no true, intelligent soldier with his heart in the service, could, for a moment, doubt or hesitate in his support of the administration, which, through superhuman difficulties, had thus far baffled treason, and was now on Mount Pisgah, and in sight of the promised land of a regenerated nation.

There was every reason why General Grant should use as earnest endeavor to check the artifice of substantial and virtual treason at Philadelphia as at North Anna: just as much, and the same reason why he should desire Union success at New York at the polls, as at Atlanta in the trenches: precisely the same object in desiring Lincoln's triumph on November 18th, that there was in wishing success to Sheridan, at Cedar Creek, on October 19th: for if Lincoln had been defeated at the polls, all the lives and treasure which had been engulfed in the maelstrom of war, would have


been as vain a sacrifice as that given by the bigoted Indian to his juggernaut.

And there were personal reasons, in harmony with his duties as a patriot and a soldier. When there was an universal acclaim for the removal of Grant, Lincoln alone resisted the swelling tide of clamor, and kept him in place: gave him every opportunity to retrieve his errors; and at a sacrifice to himself, held him in a position where he could reach the highest pinnacle of military renown -- a height only reached by a dozen warriors in all historic time: so that both official and social duty alike and equally demanded that the commander-in-chief of the armies should range himself as unreservedly on the side of the Union at the polls as in the tented field.

He was therefore appealed to by the government on this vital -- possibly conclusive -- subject; and in his tame, deprecatory and anti-climacteric reply, we seek in vain for the dash and spirit which rang out defiance to the brave rebels in front and craven rebels in the rear, in demanding "immediate and unconditional surrender," and in proposing "to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer."

Does this sound like the soldier, Grant? Listen.

"The exercise of the right of suffrage by an army in the field has generally been considered dangerous to constitutional liberty, as well as subversive to military discipline. But our circumstances are moral and exceptional. A very large proportion of the legal voters of the United States are now either under arms in the field, or in hospitals, or otherwise engaged in the military service of the United States. Most of these men, if not regular soldiers, in the strict sense of the term, still less are they mercenaries, who give their services to the government simply for its pay, having little understanding of political questions, or feeling little or no interest in them. On the contrary, they are American citizens, having still their homes and social and political ties binding them to the states and districts from which they came, and


to which they expect to return. They have left their homes temporarily, to sustain the cause of their country in its hour of trial. In performing this sacred duty, they should not be deprived of a most precious privilege. They have as much right to demand that their votes shall be counted in the choice of their rulers as those citizens who remain at home; nay, more, for they have sacrificed more for their country

"I state these reasons in full for the unusual thing of allowing armies in the field to vote, that I may urge on the other hand that nothing more than the fullest exercise of this vote should be allowed; for anything not absolutely necessary to the exercise cannot but be dangerous to the liberties of the country. The officers and soldiers have every means of understanding the questions before the country. The newspapers are freely circulated, and so, I believe, are the documents prepared by both parties to set forth the merits of their candidates. Beyond this, nothing should be allowed; no political meetings, no harangues from soldier or citizen, and no canvassing of camps or regiments for votes. I see not why a single individual not belonging to the armies should be admitted into the lines to deliver tickets.

"In my opinion, the tickets should be furnished to the chief provost marshal of each army, by them to the provost marshal or some other officer of each brigade or regiment, who shall, on the day of election; deliver tickets, irrespective of party, to whoever may call for them. "If, however, it shall be deemed expedient to admit citizens to deliver tickets, then it should be most positively prohibited that such citizen should electioneer, harangue or canvass the regiments in any way. Their business should be, and only be, to distribute, on a certain fixed day, tickets to whoever may call for them,* * * * as it is intended that all soldiers entitled to vote, shall exercise that privilege according to their own convictions of right, unmolested and unrestricted. There will be no objections to each party


sending to armies easy of access, a number of respectable gentlemen to see that these views are carried out."

There is much in this document, in the highest degree, commendable; and in a time of peace, probably no exception could be taken to it, in any way: but in view of the close affinity between the leading supporters of the McClellan ticket and the Jeff. Davis government: in view of the fact, that the success of that ticket meant a stoppage of the war when that administration should arrive at power, and the demoralization of our army meanwhile, in case of its success; it is an indefensible document. It goes on the assumption that is election was an ordinary one, with ordinary results: which was not the case. The contest at the polls was the same, in effect, as a decisive battle. Our army might as well have been destroyed at Gettysburg, or the Wilderness, as for the administration to have been defeated at the ballot-box; while Mr. Lincoln's humiliation and discomfiture, after four weary years of heart-rending anguish, would have been greater than any personal humiliation that ever was borne by man; as well as a very poor return for his vicarious bearing of the woes of the nation.

During Grant's battles in the Wilderness, Lincoln's mental anguish was only exceeded in the way of vicarious suffering by the agony of Gethsemane; and yet in the whole scope and detail of Grant's letter, there is not a hint that he cares a straw which way the vote goes: nor did he ever express himself, so far as any one knew, or could be influenced, as having any feeling or predilections on the subject at all, till after the result was made known, when he hailed the rising sun, of course.

Of this, Lincoln very justly complained: in this stoical, impassive letter, he divined that Grant had no more interest in that election on which the fate of the nation and of humanity depended, than the Egyptian Sphinx, or a pop-corn man in the planet Jupiter; and so firm was his belief in this matter, that he would not allow Grant to be requested to send


troops home to vote, while he did encourage and authorize the making the same request of Sheridan and Meade, and not in vain.

But assuming that his letter was right to be officially written; as a citizen, he could have expressed his opinions, so as to have added his moral might to the cause of the Union.

Nor can it be averred that he was unconscious of the value of a Union victory at the polls, for after the election was over, to which he did not contribute one mote of support, he advised the Government that: "Enough now seems to be known to say who is to hold the reins of government for the next four years." And he added, "Congratulate the President for me on the double victory. The election having passed off quietly, no bloodshed or riot throughout the land, is a victory worth more to the country than a battle won. Rebeldom and Europe will so construe it."

Then why, it may be asked, did not the citizen Grant throw his influence, if he could not his sword, into the scale? To win a battle required human slaughter: here was a bloodless battle whose successful issue was "more than a battle won" -- and by parity of reasoning, whose loss would have been more than a battle lost. In fact, one might go further and say to the spirits of those who perished in the battles, from Bull Run to Atlant, and who throng that "Cimmerian land, of which Homer spoke, the dim and sunless region of the dead," that "the deep damnation of their taking off" had been objectless -- that their wives were widowed, their children orphaned and their parents made childless, all in vain. No wonder then that Lincoln said, in bitterness of spirit, of the man whom he had saved from ignominy and obloquy: "I have no reason to suppose that General Grant desires my election any more than he does that of McClellan."

Whether the President had any other grounds for his belief than this letter with the chilling atmosphere of the North Pole, which we have set forth, history does not record,


but Lincoln was the most astute man of his time, and evidently had abundant reason for not asking aid from Grant, in the salvation of the nation at the polls, which he readily asked of Sheridan and Meade.

It sometimes occurs that a soldier or a sailor is, perforce, compelled to usurp political functions, as was the case with Fremont and Kearny in California, or Wilkes at the capture of Slidell and Mason; but the true rule, when the necessity does not exist, is for the military commander to confine himself closely to his maneuvres, marches, lunettes, bastions and investments, and rigidly obey orders from the seat of power,

"Theirs not to make reply --
Theirs not to reason why --
Theirs but to do and die."

But the war of the rebellion was prolific of soldier politicians, who acted as if they were dictators, and probably thought they would, in effect, become so, if they were not so then. Fremont deemed himself to have been so in Missouri; he manumitted slaves and issued free papers; and when ordered to stop, required Lincoln himself to promulgate an order to that effect; and he committed other excesses to such a dangerous extent that the President was compelled to shelve him: he did not understand his responsibility; to a friend of mine, he said confidently and ex cathedra: "The People are with me, sir; the people mean to support me;" and Mrs. Fremont went on to Washington to remonstrate with the President about interfering with her husband, and said repeatedly to him during their interview, in a sort of defiant inquiry: "You can't remove the general?" Phelps also undertook to free the negroes, so likewise Hunter and Schenck: Lincoln had to meet all these impertinences, which he did good-naturedly, when he had better have shown a bristling front and put a stop to it in its incipiency.

McClellan, of course, tried his hand as a politician, and wrote the President, and handed it to him in person, a political letter denning his view of the political duties of the administration


about slavery; the readers of O'Meara's "St. Helena" may recollect what Napoleon did with an impudent document sent him by Pichegru (I think) ; probably the President did the same with this impudent document; doubtless the cis-Atlantic, one-horse Napoleon thought he was performing an act of gracious condescension in advising Lincoln as to his political duties. If the President had not been overburdened with care, it would have been a rich treat to hear him say: "That is like the feller down at Skunk Holler," etc. But the President simply read it and treated it and its author with silent contempt.

The very genius of our institutions, however, induced our officers to mix politics with their swords. In Europe and absolute governments, elsewhere, a soldier is a mere automaton -- a human machine: but in our country every man is a sovereign himself, and the tendency is to arrogate to himself responsibility in no wise his.

The reasons for these assumptions of power, lies not in ignorance, so much as in wilfulness; it was galling to one of our citizens who had been in Congress -- or the legislature, or in the "lead" in social life, to stupidly obey orders which may not accord with his views -- to stolidly beat time while others sing; hence the tendency to play politician.

As "Appomattox" hove in sight and Lee suggested to Grant a "military convention," Lincoln reflected on the trouble political generals like Fremont and McClellan had occasioned him by "poaching upon his manor" -- and trying to run the politics as well as the war; so, in reply to Grant's request for instructions, he sent him the following explicit message, viz.: "The President directs me to say to you that he wishes you to have no conference with General Lee, unless it be for the capitulation of General Lee's army, or in some minor or purely military matter. He instructs me to say that you are not to decide, discuss or confer upon any political questions. Such questions the President holds in his own hands, and will submit them to no military conferences


or conventions. Meanwhile, you are to press to the utmost your military advantages." There was no reason especially, as appears to the public, to suppose that Grant needed this check-rein; he seems, throughout his career, to have been loyal, unambitious and subordinate: Hooker and others had proposed a dictatorship; and the young Napoleon had much advice from many quarters, to that end.

But Grant had no such tendencies, to all appearance; and the probabilities are that the President urged this caution in order to prevent any complications; and on the theory that Grant, elated with his great success, might naturally and unconsciously trench on the domain of political power, in his agreement with the vanquished Rebels.

As it was, he, nevertheless, did stray beyond the bounds of military necessity, and embarrassed the administration, as I shall show.

The terms of capitulation written by Grant on the little broken marble-top center table in McLean's parlor (by the way, did any body ever know of a marble-top table in the parlor of a Southern residence that wasn't broken across?) were thus:
In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst., I propose to receive the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, to-wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate.

The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the government of the United States until properly exchanged; and each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery, and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage.

"This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return


to his home, not to be disturbed by United States authorities so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside."

The Grant Monument

The part italicized by me is clearly an usurpation of political power: and the test was made shortly afterward by Lee and some other traitors being indicted by the Federal grand jury for treason: it needs but a tyro at the law to know that this should have been allowed. If Lee, a sworn officer of the United States, fired upon his country's flag, he ought to have stood trial for treason; he might have been acquitted, but it is monstrous to say that the government was powerless to adjudge the case; in fact, the close student of our history will find the extravagant laudation of Lee, which is so common everywhere, to be not well founded.

And when these officers were indicted. Grant, as general of the army, thus construed his terms of surrender:
In my opinion, the officers and men paroled at Appomatox Court House, and since, upon the same terms given to Lee, cannot be tried for treason so long as they observe the terms of their parole. This is my understanding. Good faith, as well as true policy, dictates that we should observe the conditions of that convention. Bad faith, on the part of the government, or a construction of that convention subjecting officers to trial for treason, would produce a feeling of insecurity in the minds of all the paroled officers and men. If so disposed, they might even regard such an infraction of terms by the government as an entire release from all obligations on their part.

President Johnson dissented from this view and insisted on trying Lee anyway: but Grant avowed his design to resign his position if that should be insisted on; and it was reluctantly abandoned by the administration.

Very singularly, however, Sherman, a professional lawyer, as well as soldier, with the example of Grant's convention before his face and eyes, was either cajoled by Breckenridge and Johnston, or else, of his own independent desire,


assumed the roles of the legislative and executive, and attempted to commit his government to the following extraordinary (and as then seemed to Stanton but with no good reason, treacherous) agreement:
Memorandum, or basis of agreement, made this 18th day of April, A. D., 1865, near Durham's Station, in the State of North Carolina, by and between General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Confederate army, and Major-General William T. Sherman, commanding the army of the United States in North Carolina, both present:
1. The contending armies now in the field to maintain the status quo until notice is given by the commanding general of any one to its opponent, and reasonable time, say forty-eight hours, allowed.

2. The Confederate armies now in existence to be disbanded and conducted to their several state capitals, there to deposit their arms and public property in the state arsenal; and each officer and man to execute and file an agreement to cease from acts of war, and to abide the action of the state and Federal authority; the number of arms and munitions of war to be reported to the chief of ordnance at Washington city, subject to the future action of the Congress of the United States, and, in the meantime, to be used solely to maintain peace and order within the borders of the states respectively.

3. The recognition, by the Executive of the United States, of the several state governments, on their officers and legislatures taking the oaths prescribed by the constitution of the United States, and, where conflicting state governments have resulted from the war, the legitimacy of all shall be submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States.

4. The re-establishment of all the Federal courts in the several states, with powers as defined by the Constitution of the United States and of the states respectively.

5. The people and inhabitants of all the states to be guaranteed, so far as the Executive can, their political rights and franchises, as well as their rights of person and property, as defined by the Constitution of the United States and of the states respectively.

6. The executive authority of the government of the United States not to disturb any of the people by reason of the late war, so long as they live in peace and quiet, and obey the laws in existence at the place of their residence.

7. In general terms, the war to cease; a general amnesty, so


far as the Executive of the United States can command, on condition of the disbandment of the Confederate armies, the distribution of the arms, and the resumption of peaceful pursuits by the officers and men hitherto composing said armies.

Not being fully empowered by our respective principals to fulfil these terms, we individually and officially pledge ourselves to promptly obtain the necessary authority, and to carry out the above programme.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General,
Commanding Army of the United States in North Carolina.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General,
Commanding Confederate States Army in North Carolina.

The action of the government upon this extraordinary document is thus recorded:


Yesterday evening a bearer of dispatches arrived from General Sherman. An agreement for the suspension of hostilities, and a memorandum of what is called a basis for peace, had been entered into on the 18th inst, by General Sherman, with the rebel General Johnston. Brigadier-General Breckenridge was present at the conference.

A cabinet meeting was held at 8 o'clock in the evening, at which the action of General Sherman was disapproved by the President, by the Secretary of War, by General Grant, and by every member of the cabinet. General Sherman was ordered to resume hostilities immediately, and was directed that the instructions given by the late President, in the following telegram which was penned by Mr. Lincoln himself at the Capitol, on the night of the 3d of March, were approved by President Andrew Johnson, and were reiterated to govern the action of military commanders.

On the night of the 3d of March, while President Lincoln and his cabinet were at the Capitol, a telegram from General Grant was brought to the Secretary of War, informing him that General Lee had requested an interview or conference, to make an arrangement for terms of peace. The letter of General Lee was published in a letter to Davis and to the rebel congress. General Grant's telegram was submitted to Mr. Lincoln, who, after pondering a few minutes, took tip his pen and wrote with his own hand the following reply, which he submitted to the Secretary of State and the


Secretary of War. It was then dated, addressed, and signed by the Secretary of War, and telegraphed to General Grant:
WASHINGTON, March 3, 1865, 12 P. M.
Lieutenant-General GRANT:
"The President directs me to say to you that he wishes you to have no conference with General Lee, unless it be for the capitulation of General Lee's army, or on some minor or purely military matter. He instructs me to say that you are not to decide, discuss, or confer upon any political questions. Such questions the President holds in his own hands, and will submit them to no military conferences or conventions.

"Meantime, you are to press to the utmost your military advantages.
"Secretary of War."

The orders of General Sherman to General Stoneman to withdraw from Salisbury and join him will probably open the way for Davis to escape to Mexico or Europe with his plunder, which is reported to be very large, including not only the plunder of the Richmond banks, but previous accumulations.

A dispatch received by this department from Richmond says: "It is stated here, by respectable parties, that the amount of specie taken south by Jeff Davis and his partisans is very large, including not only the plunder of the Richmond banks, but previous accumulations. They hope, it is said, to make terms with General Sherman, or some other Commander, by which they will be permitted, with their effects, including this gold plunder, to go to Mexico or Europe. Johnston's negotiations look to this end."

After the cabinet meeting last night, General Grant started for North Carolina, to direct operations against Johnston's army.

Secretary of War.

At the same time with the publication of the above, the following reasons for the rejection of Sherman's memorandum were set forth, unofficially, but by authority:
1st. It was an exercise of authority not vested in General Sherman, and, on its face, shows that both he and Johnston knew that General Sherman had no authority to enter into any such arrangements.

2nd. It was a practical acknowledgment of the rebel government.

3rd. It undertook to re-establish rebel state governments, that had been overthrown at the sacrifice of many thousand loyal


lives and immense treasure, and placed arms and munitions of war in the hands of rebels at their respective capitals, which might be used, as soon as the armies of the United States were disbanded, and used to conquer and subdue loyal states.

4th. By the restoration of rebel authority in these respective states they would be enabled to re-establish slavery.

5th. It might furnish a ground of responsibility on the part of the Federal government to pay the rebel debt; and certainly subjects loyal citizens of rebel states to debts contracted by rebels in the name of the state.

6th. It puts in dispute the existence of loyal state governments, and the new state of West Virginia, which had been recognized by every department of the United States government.

7th. It practically abolished confiscation laws, and released rebels of every degree, who had slaughtered our people, from all pains and penalties for their crimes.

8th. It gave terms that had been deliberately, repeatedly, and solemnly rejected by President Lincoln, and better terms than the rebels had ever asked in their most prosperous condition.

9th. It formed no basis of true and lasting peace, but relieved rebels from the presence of our victorious armies, and left them in a condition to renew their efforts to overthrow the United States government and subdue the loyal states, whenever their strength was recruited, and any opportunity should offer.

Grant's Sick-Room

The basis of soldiership is temperament: its exercise calls into play the heroic qualities of the mind: the seat of martial talent is the base of the brain. Decision of character -- courage -- tenacity of purpose -- contempt of death or danger -- insensibility to human suffering; are prime qualities: and causality, comparison, ideality, benevolence, veneration and the other high qualities are in abeyance on the battle-field.

Davoust, Ney, Murat, Blucher, and Marlborough were great soldiers, and overflowing with valor; and the Duke of Montebello, the greatest French soldier in the Crimean War, had an actual delight in witnessing carnage.

Take the case of our Generals: Grant rose to no higher industrial plane than a wood pedlar in St. Louis, and a clerk in Galena; Sherman tried several things, including banking


in California, and law in Kansas, and signally failed in all -- yet they were the leading characters in our war. Sheridan could fight, but he never tried to do aught else. Butler, a great lawyer, politician and man of affairs generally, was renowned only as a provost marshal in the army, although he was earnest, energetic, prolific in expedients and full of moral courage -- but he was a civilian and not a soldier. Banks' fame as a soldier was in no wise equal to his fame as a civilian, although he too was a great man in all exigencies of civil life.

Alexander, Caesar, Mahomet, John Sobieski, Frederic the Great, Henry of Navarre, Conde, John Paul Jones, Wellington, and Napoleon were of highly wrought nervous temperaments; while the Duke of Alva, Cromwell, Charlemagne Hannibal, Louis Napoleon, and Von Moltke were of phlegmatic temperaments. In our country, Charles Lee, Benedict Arnold, Lafayette, Jackson, Scott, Sherman, Hancock, Sheridan, and Rosecrans were highly nervous; while Washington Knox, Grant, Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Thomas were phlegmatic and stolid.

The best temperament for actual hand-to-hand fighting evidently is the nervous-sanguine. No better example was educed from the Revolutionary war than Arnold -- none better in this than Sheridan. Stoicism, stolidity, recklessness as to all but the main action are required in the commander-in-chief: enthusiasm, energy, recklessness in all things, buoyancy of spirits, and undaunted courage are the needed things to lead a forlorn hope, or make a desperate charge: indeed, so true is this, that "the ear-piercing fife, and the spirit-stirring drum," flags, banners, high-flown oratory, the smiles of divine woman and other adventitious aids are resorted to to inspire enthusiasm, gallantry and recklessness on the field, and thus to beget noble deeds of heroism; but the circumstances most needed, by the commander of all, are information, maps, resolution, decision of character and imperturbability; and Grant possessed all these things.


Sherman's march to the sea was one of the most daring achievements of all history. Its dramatic and sensational features have hitherto cast in the shade its daring and dangers. It had the glamour of novelty and the promise of fame. A spirit of adventure animated the whole army, and enthusiasm was more than a counterpoise for the dangers encountered on the perilous march.

Napoleon's expedition to Russia was a similar adventure, but there was no bouyancy of spirits or heroic resolve on the part of the army -- else it would have met no such tragic denouement. Our soldiers were campaigning and fighting for their flag and the nation's life and honor: the Europeans were fighting to fill to satiety the ambition of Napoleon.

The march through Georgia was similar in its external aspects, to the Crusades: but in the latter religious enthusiasm was expected and relied on to furnish the animating principle, esprit du corps and management of the expedition: but the "March" was conducted on strictly tactical lines, and however much it savored of romance, it was a strategetical performance, which aided in crushing out the Rebellion as effectually as the battles around Atlanta.

To the gallant soldiers of the line, quite as much as to those who, adorned with stars, met at the council board, was the success of this and similar undertakings on a minor scale due. They had little to excite or stimulate their ambition, as the latter had. Hardship and prosaic duty in camp, and death or danger in the field, was the lot of the line officer or soldier, and naught but the loftiest patriotism inspired them to encounter cruel hardships and achieve deeds of valor.

But the rarest product of skill and enterprise is to command a large army. In modern days there have been about ten men competent: Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Winfield Scott, George H. Thomas, Albert S. Johnston, Joseph E. Johnston, and Robert E. Lee were seven of them.


Chapter XIX. The Joint-Debate and Results

Lincoln had collected newspaper slips of all the speeches made during the joint-debate and proposed to a Springfield publisher their publication: but the man declined, fearing there would be no demand for such a book.

The storm is up and all is on the hazard.

* * * That stern joy which warriors feel,
At foemen worthy of their steel.

Fie upon this quiet life, I want work.

Stephen A. Douglas

After Lincoln had challenged Douglas, for a joint-debate, in the spring of 1858: Douglas deliberated with his political friends as to what reply to make: and considerable diversity of views existed, as to whether he should meet Lincoln at all: his argument ostensibly being, that he had a national fame, which attracted great audiences, while Lincoln's reputation was merely local; and that by a series of joint-debates, Douglas and his superior drawing powers would be giving Lincoln the benefit of the audiences which Douglas could, and Lincoln could not, attract: but to the inner circle, he confessed that on the slavery question, Lincoln was the greatest champion the opposition had in the whole nation ; and the hardest to deal with. The discussion was ended at the private house of Frank Bryant, who had, in partnership with my father, a store, coal and lumber yard, etc., in a small village called Bement, Bryant being a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. He told my father that Douglas admitted, then and there, that he very much disliked to meet Lincoln at all, but Lincoln had challenged him for a running debate,


to extend through the season; and people would, of course, be in favor of it, and the party on whom the odium of refusing rested, would lose caste with the people. Douglas was an excellent politician; and weighing the matter carefully, concluded that he could compromise and save his reputation, by meeting Lincoln seven times, and claiming the advantage of opening and closing, four out of the seven times. This he did; and the joint-debate, since so famous, was underlined in the programme of Destiny.

Nobody, except Lincoln, supposed the speeches would even be preserved, but that they would suffer the fate of all newspaper literature: but Lincoln told me that he intended to preserve it for the future, by accepting the Tribune's version of his speeches and the Times' version of Douglas' speeches. And Lincoln had no time to revise his speeches, as they were taken down by Robert R. Hitt -- then a stenographer - -and now a congressman, -- and by him carried directly to the paper.

On the first day of December, 1858, I received a letter as follows from Lincoln:
SPRINGFIELD, Nov. 30th, 1858.
H. C. Whitney, Esq.:
MY DEAR SIR: -- Being desirous of preserving in some permanent form the late joint discussion between Douglas and myself; ten days ago I wrote to Dr. Ray, requesting him to forward to me, by express, two sets of the numbers of the Tribune which contain the reports of those discussions. Up to date, I have no word from him on the subject. Will you, if in your power, procure them and forward them to me by express? If you will, I will pay all charges, and be greatly obliged, to boot. Hoping to visit you before long, I remain,
As ever your friend,

I had one set of my own, as I then kept a file of the Tribune myself, and I at once visited the Tribune office, and Horace White, then a reporter, and afterwards editor and now one of the editors of the New York Evening Post gave


me another full set, and thus I was enabled to send Lincoln the two copies required.

Not receiving any acknowledgment, I wrote him for information and received the following letter in reply:
SPRINGFIELD, Dec. 25, 1858.
H. C. Whitney, Esq.:
MY DEAR SIR: -- I have just received yours of the 23rd, inquiring nether I received the newspapers you sent me by express -- I did receive them, and am very much obliged. There is some probability that my scrap-book will be reprinted, and if it shall, I will save you a copy.

Your friend as ever,

Within ten days thereafter, I was myself in Springfield on the day that Douglas was elected to the Senate (on the 5th of January, 1859), and Lincoln showed me his "scrap-book" with considerable satisfaction. He had got a bookbinder to paste the speeches, in consecutive order, in a blank book, very neatly. He made several efforts before he could procure a publisher; but finally, a year thereafter, a Columbus (O.) firm was induced, by the Republican state officers of Ohio, and they by the reputation Lincoln had won there by a speech, to undertake its publication in an exceedingly cheap form, from Lincoln's scrap-book.

I have already stated that Lincoln's best and most efficient work was done when he was alone. Such being the case, one would suppose that he would have a private office, well garnished with law-books, and other adjuncts favorable for fostering reflection, and for recording its results.

The stubborn and prosaic fact, however, is, that no lawyer's office could have been more unkempt, untidy and uninviting than that of Lincoln & Herndon, even when the senior partner was in the zenith of his political career.

Letter of Lincoln

It was located in the second story of a building on the west side of the public square, one building south of the street that bounds the square on the north, in a back room,


dimly lighted by windows, apparently innocent of water and the scrub-man since creation's dawn, or the settlement of Springfield.

But the lack of translucent qualities in the windows, was compensated somewhat by the transparency of the upper half of the door leading into the hall -- for there was nothing there to obstruct the perfect vision -- not even a gossamer's wing, for it was perfectly diaphanous; in other words, both of the upper panels and the center piece were gone: and an agile man could readily have vaulted through the opening.

I think there was no carpet on the floor; if so, it must have been, if in harmony with its surroundings, a marvelous fabric. And the sum total of the furnishing of the office, as I recollect it, was a rocking-chair (a favorite seat of Lincoln) and several other ordinary chairs, an old table numerously indented with a jack-knife, a wood stove, and some common book-cases, occupied for the most part with session laws and public documents. It did not seem as if the inspiration of genius could haunt such a place, and yet, in this uncouth office, the later creed of the Republican party was formulated in the mutual councils of these law-partners, and more than friends. Here was fabricated, rehearsed, pruned and perfected that famous speech of June 17, 1858, which contained the key-note of the coming struggle, and rendered effete the tardy echo of the "irrepressible conflict," and its great author. I recently visited the room, which had been their office, with Herndon, and found that it had undergone a radical change; and was now a tailor shop. Alas! to what base uses we may come at last.

The system of business was as slovenly as the office itself: one day, Lincoln suddenly thrust his hands deep into his pantaloons pockets, and fished up two dollars and fifty cents, which he gave to Herndon, saying: "Here, Billy, is your share of the fee for the suit before Squire ----."

This transaction had every semblance of reality and


good faith; yet I felt bound somehow to consider it as a bit of pleasantry; and accordingly I said incredulously: "Is that the way this law firm keeps its accounts?" "That's jest the way," promptly replied Lincoln: "Billy and I never had the scratch of a pen between us; we jest divide as we go along:" and Herndon confirmed this statement of an extraordinary occurrence by a nod.

Lincoln had previously told me that he took Herndon in partnership on the supposition that he was not much of an advocate, but that he would prove to be a systematic office lawyer; but it transpired, contrary to his supposition, that Herndon was an excellent lawyer in the courts and as poor as himself in the office.

A favorite resort for Lincoln when he had cases to prepare, which needed either privacy or research, was the inner office of the Secretary of State during the administrations of Governors Bissell and Wood; here, partially concealed in one of the recesses, he would sit and think -- consult authorities and write by the hour; and not infrequently, by the day.

John G. Nicolay was a clerk in this office -- and when Lincoln was nominated at Chicago, Nicolay easily glided into the position of assisting him with his correspondence, Lincoln being accorded an office in the State House; and from that honorary position, the transition to the post of private secretary was not difficult.

On the 17th day of June, 1858, Lincoln, having been designated as the Republican candidate for United States senator to succeed Douglas, whose term was about to expire made a speech at Springfield, in which he defined the present and future of our politics with a prophetic accuracy which was corroborated by subsequent events. This was known as the "house-divided-against-itself" speech; and, in my opinion, if he had not made that speech, he would not have been President.

Letter of Lincoln, December 25, 1858

On the morning of July 9th succeeding, I was in Tucker's bank, corner of Lake and Clark streets, when I saw Lincoln


coming up Lake street, evidently from the Tremont House, his stopping-place when in Chicago. He was, for the first time that I ever saw him so, well dressed; he evidently was gotten up for some occasion. I joined him in the street, and I recollect that we walked as far as Market street; thence to Randolph, and so on to my office in the Metropolitan Block. In this walk, we passed the naked lot where the celebrated wigwam was afterward located; in which, two years later, he was nominated for the Presidency. He informed me that his business there, was, to argue a motion for a new trial against Judge Dickey, before Judge Drummond, the next morning. This was, however, evidently, only one-half truth: Douglas was to reach Chicago on that day from the East, amid a great flourish of trumpets, to commence his canvass for the new term of the senatorship; and I have no doubt that he designed to put himself in his way for a political tournament.

The Tremont House was the Mecca, in those days; and thither, all political pilgrims came: in point of fact, the several proprietors set their sails for every political breeze; George W. Gage being a Republican; David A. Gage being a Democrat; and John B. Drake being an "American," politically; and as matter of fact, the home of Douglas being in Washington, in his brief and transitory visits to Chicago, he stopped at the Tremont, as Lincoln did, precisely.

On this occasion, Douglas reached Chicago at nightfall; and the city was riot with both manufactured and spontaneous enthusiasm; and he spoke from the north verandah of the hotel, while Lincoln sat by and heard it.

Next morning, the papers announced that Lincoln would reply to Douglas from the same place on that evening.

Both Mr. Lincoln and Judge Dickey were in the habit of making our office their business headquarters when in Chicago; and the morning after Douglas' speech, the Judge came hastily in with his grip-sack, wrote a hasty note for Lincoln, and took his departure.


I myself carried this note to Lincoln, whom I found entirely alone, quite melancholy, reading the newspaper before a grate fire in the room known as the writing room.

He read the note promptly and at once exclaimed aloud, with the utmost impatience and anger: "I hain't got any argument to make! I hain't got any argument to make!!" I asked, in surprise, for the cause of this excitement: he then turned to me, and handing me the open letter, again said: "I hain't got any argument to make."

It appeared that Lincoln and Dickey had agreed together to argue the motion that very morning before Judge Drummond; that progress or a decision in the case depended on the argument and decision of that motion; and that Dickey in his brief note had announced his departure from the city, and said: "You go ahead and make your argument now; and I will make mine at some future time."

The case was in such condition that Lincoln could make no apt argument until Dickey had first presented his views; and so Lincoln's trip to Chicago, so far as his law business was concerned, was completely frustrated by Dickey's default.

I have seen Lincoln angry only on, perhaps, three occasions. This was one of them. That night Lincoln addressed a large crowd from the balcony of the Tremont House, while Douglas went to the theater, with a crowd of his parasites, of whom he was in no lack in those days.

Of that speech, my opinion was then and is still, that it was the poorest effort I ever heard Lincoln make.

In the first place, I think he felt ill at ease from having intruded upon what was properly Douglas's occasion: the latter had just returned to commence his canvass; and my opinion is that Lincoln, who despised everything that savored at all of unfairness, felt that it was not quite the thing to be right at his heels at the first moment of his constituents' welcome.

Letter of Lincoln, August 22, 1858

I also think that Dickey's dereliction gave him much


uneasiness; as in addition to the immediate annoyance, Dickey had been one of his chosen social and political friends but had, only a short time before, publicly abandoned Lincoln in a published letter; his unsavory recollections of Dickey served to handicap his efforts: then Lincoln was not in his accustomed sphere; he was not in the habit of addressing city audiences and I have no doubt felt considerably chilled on that account. At all events I have oftentimes heard Lincoln, and never to greater disadvantage than then. This, however, was the prelude to the great joint discussion.

The first of these noted contests took place at Ottawa, on August 21st.

I went from Chicago via the morning train, which reached Ottawa at noon. Lincoln got on board at Morris. The humblest commercial traveler did not travel so unostentatiously; he was entirely alone, and carried his little baggage in his hand. He did not have a director's car, with a great retinue of flunkeys and parasites and a platform car with a cannon on it, as his distinguished competitor did. He sat with me throughout the journey; and I am thus enabled to know for myself that this remarkable man exhibited not the slightest trace of excitement or nervousness at the threshold of one of the fiercest political contests in this or in any other country. We talked about matters other than the impending debate. I merely alluded to that as we approached the goal for the contest to which he calmly and indifferently replied, that he was fully prepared. At Ottawa, the afterward lamented Wallace, who fell at Shiloh, met him as an escort or committee to convey him to the house of Joseph O. Glover, the Mayor, whose guest he was to be.

I recollect Lincoln's countenance at a point in the debate where Douglas called him a liar right out; his habit of self-command was put to a strain then to prevent a breach of decorum. Ordinarily, Abraham Lincoln was not the man to whom that epithet could be applied with success.

The third joint debate came off at Jonesboro' on September


15th. I knew he would be short of friends down there (in Egypt, as it was called) so I went down and when we went to the platform I sat with Lincoln, and was thereby enabled to note an air of deep resolve and quiet determination which would have brought forth fruits mete for repentance to the Little Giant, had he pressed his line of insult, inaugurated at Ottawa: one item of which was the anomalous threat to "bring him to his milk" when he had "trotted him down to Egypt."

I did not fail to note that Douglas was more discreet in his style than at Ottawa: Lincoln was not the kind of sleeping lion to be woke up -- a fact not unknown to Douglas.

The state fair was then in session at Central City, and Lincoln and I had intended to meet Jesse K. Dubois there on the 16th, to make some political arrangements together; but he was so jaded that he sent me up, designing to rest over one day at the house of D. L. Phillips, at Anna, and join us on the succeeding day. This plan was carried out, and I met Lincoln at the train at Centralia, he emerging alone with his carpet-bag and umbrella, while the director's car was attached, having Douglas and his wife and a retinue of friends; and a cannon, on a platform attached to the rear end, woke the echoes of enthusiasm for the destroyer of the time-honored Missouri Compromise.

Lincoln, Dubois and myself passed the day on the fair ground; no greater attention was bestowed on Lincoln than on any average visitor at the fair; for our dinner, I remember, we were indebted to some of my friends from Champaign who were picnicking there. Dubois and I chaffed Lincoln through the afternoon at the trotting match; and our victim, though pensive, entered into the Spirit of our sport but rather wearily. A colored jockey drove one of the horses: we named him Lincoln, and Dubois and I got up small mock bets on his success.

Lincoln spoke of him as "my friend." "There," said


he, "my friend is gaining," etc. But Lincoln was in no frolicsome mood on that day.

Dubois went up on the main line to Decatur, and Lincoln and I waited for the Cairo train, which was to carry us to Mattoon en route to Charleston, where he was to debate again with Douglas on the 18th. Here was exhibited, in a characteristic manner, the different qualities of treatment accorded to Lincoln and to Douglas, by the officials and employees of the Illinois Central Railroad Company. George B. McClellan (afterward the General) was Vice-President of the company and took especial charge of Douglas -- furnished him with the directors' car -- and a platform car for his cannon and frequently went with him: I need scarcely add that the commissary department of the car was provided with several huge demijohns.

Lincoln traveled on an attorney's pass the same as I did but he got no further courtesies. Knowing the division superintendent very well, I tried to secure for Lincoln, who was jaded, some little easy favor, but I was, not very graciously, repulsed. The entire management of the road emulating McClellan's example, was in deadly hostility to Lincoln. Finally, by the favor of Mr. Bell, Lincoln and I got an apartment to ourselves, in what was called an apartment car, where we were entirely secluded; and notwithstanding Lincoln's weariness, he outlined to me, his designed mode of attack on Douglas, on the succeeding day, viz.: by renewing Trumbull's charge on him of complicity with the slave power in forcing slavery on Kansas, through the Toombs' bill -- a complete inconsistency with his position on the Lecompton Constitution.

A reference to that joint debate will show the consternation with which Douglas was paralyzed at this unexpected attack.

Lincoln had become aroused and had taken the aggressive very decidedly; and Douglas, who was no stranger to


Lincoln's characteristics, was well aware of it. I may add, that the trenchant, domineering and patronizing style of Douglas, as evinced by him at Chicago and Ottawa, had vanished entirely.

One of the most prominent men in the Northwest recently wrote me a sprightly letter about his several meetings with Lincoln, from which I extract the following, which speaks for itself. "I saw him at Charleston in his joint debate with Douglas. I was a Democrat then of the strictest sect and expected of course to hear Douglas pulverize the Abolitionist.

"I left in the evening, the most astonished squatter sovereign you ever saw. Who the ---- was Lincoln? What in thunder was the matter with Douglas?

"I was sick -- very sick."

This was the candid judgment of a very able and astute observer; and one prejudiced against Lincoln, as he, himself, says.

On the fifth day of January, 1859, the General Assembly of Illinois met in joint convention to elect an United States senator to succeed to Douglas' term, then expiring: Douglas had a majority of eight on joint ballot in the legislature, although he was in a popular minority of 4,144; and he was, of course, re-elected and an adjournment was at once had; after which the unterrified Democracy proceeded to paint the town very red. We Republicans were very depressed: the Secretary of State's office was appropriated as our headquarters; and the gathering there was about as tame and spiritless as a lot of wet fowls, on a damp and chilly day.

Leonard Swett, Augustus M. Herrington and myself, found ourselves in a chamber of the St. Nicholas Hotel, where Herrington was trying to make us believe that the true policy of Illinoisans, regardless of party, was to unite on Douglas for President in 1860. Swett said he could not support a man who had so cruelly abused the partisans of his faith; and I said with warmth, that I should adhere to Lincoln as


long as he lived: Swett rejoined that he was opposed to sticking to a man that was always getting defeated. This remark so incensed me, that I, at once, left them, and started for Lincoln's office, where I expected to find Herndon, so that we might condole with each other, but instead of finding Herndon, I found Lincoln entirely alone -- entirely idle -- gloomy as midnight, and, evidently, brooding over his ill-fortune.

Being in a decided ill-humor, I commenced upbraiding him for adhering to Lovejoy, and the Abolitionists; and thus courting defeat. I shall never forget the sad and spiritless way in which he defended himself: he showed me the figures by which Lovejoy was elected in 1856, and the increased vote by which he was elected in 1858. "It is the people, and not me, who want Lovejoy," he said. "The people have not consulted me on the subject," he said, sadly; "If I had opposed Lovejoy, I doubtless should have repelled votes from among our own friends, and gained none from Douglas' friends." We sat together in the cheerless, dismal office till after dark, when he went with me to my hotel, and in fact he remained with me till a late hour. I remember of his saying several times, with bitterness, "I expect everybody to desert me."

The next evening a few of the Republican leaders held an informal meeting in the inner office of the Secretary of State, to take counsel of our adversities and determine what to do in future. All that I now recollect as being present were Lincoln, Palmer, Dubois, Jack Grimshaw and Gillespie; the last named was in favor of going to Douglas, while Grimshaw, with whom we all were in sympathy, was inflexibly opposed to harboring Douglas at all. "Well, but would you make war on him now?" timidly suggested Gillespie. "Yes siree," said Grimshaw; "fight him now and all the time." As this was evidently the sentiment of the crowd, the colloquy ended with Grimshaw as the victor. We then got in some little order and Palmer made the first speech. He said: "We have met, in order to determine whether it is worth while


to keep up the Republican organization. I am in favor of keeping it alive and of making it more aggressive than ever," etc. Others spoke in a similar strain, and finally Lincoln was called on. He had been sad all the evening, and when he arose to respond, we all partook of his melancholy. He made a grave and thoughtful speech, in the course of which he spoke of defections in our ranks on account of the success of Douglas -- he alluded to Mr. Crittenden and Horace Greeley supporting Douglas, and said, sadly, if it was deemed best to sacrifice him -- Lincoln -- he would not complain.

When he sat down, Dubois took the floor, and, in a homely, farmer-like style, said that we didn't propose to take up Douglas, but that, on the contrary, we proposed to stick to Lincoln closer than ever, and that he, for one, wanted to see him on the next general ticket, either for President or Vice-President. At this suggestion, which was heartily applauded, Lincoln arose and said he wanted to say a word in that connection; but we all stated, in chorus, that we didn't want to hear from him on that subject at all; that Dubois had said all that was needful on that subject; and he was thus coerced to keep silent. The formal proceedings then ceased, but we remained together, engaged in general conversation, till a late hour; and as we were ready to disperse, Lincoln said, in a relieved and cheerful manner: "I am real glad we have had this little talk; I feel much better for it." In Lamon's life of Lincoln it is said that Lincoln was to let us know the next morning if we might use his name in connection with the Presidency, and that he did say we might, etc. I think this is an error; I heard nothing of it, and I certainly kept my ears open; but, from this time forth, Lincoln's friends did the best they could, with the slender capital they had to go on, for the not then very hopeful object in view. The result is history. We did the best we could. Herndon and others went to New York: Jesse W. Fell went to Pennsylvania, but no impression was apparently made: the whole political current seemed to set Sewardward.

Letter of Lincoln, November 26, 1860


Chapter XX. His Loyalty to his Friends.

* * * * I pray thee then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men.

He was my friend -- faithful and just to me.

WHEN Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated, there was every reason for cleansing out the Augean stable at Washington.

The South had had eight years of unbroken sway, under the rule of such hard-headed, old-Hunker Democrats as Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, William L. Marcy, Lewis Cass, Jeff. Davis, Isaac Toucey, Jeremiah S. Black, Howell Cobb, John B. Floyd, Jacob Thompson, and Caleb Cushing. The departments were filled to repletion with retainers from the pro-slavery camp; and the whole moral atmosphere of Washington was redolent of the lash and auction-block. There was scarcely anything in Washington to remind one that it had any Northern element, except the public buildings and the star-spangled banner.

The hotels, private dwellings, restaurants, bar-rooms, and attendant loafers, markets, modes of business, street gamins, street vehicles, stores, and theatres all had a general flavor of the palmetto and the mangrove swamp. Ditto of the clerks, messengers, and "Jim-arounds" in the departments.

It is true, they were willing to,

"* * * Crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,
That thrift might follow fawning,"
but it was obvious that everything in and about Washington had a South Carolina squint and a Congo accent.


Sue's romance of the Wandering Jew was not more prolific of Jesuit spies, than Washington was of rebel spies, not only at the date of Lincoln's inauguration, but throughout the war, and so it was, that while the employes of Southern proclivities, in the departments, masked and disguised their sentiments, their families were in constant communication with their Southern homes; and there were thus hundreds of channels through which the South kept fully advised of whatever was known in the departments at Washington -- frequently of officially secret matters.

John W. Drinkard had been chief clerk of the War Department during the pro-slavery regime of Jeff. Davis and John B. Floyd. When the Confederate government was organized, at Montgomery, he accepted the same position there, leaving his diplomatic wife in their home at Washington, where she remained: and there were many such instances.

Ordinarily, Mr. Lincoln was sufficient of a politician to appoint his political friends, alone, to office. When Buchanan and Douglas had their little quarrel about the Lecompton Constitution, and Buchanan was turning Douglas' friends out of office, and appointing officers who subserved his political views, Lincoln said to me that he should have done just the same: that office-holders ought to support the policy of the administration under which they served.

But he recognized the fact that his administration was cast amid extraordinary times, and in an era of political storms, and that he would need the support of an united North, and that he must placate the party which supported Stephen A. Douglas, if he could possibly do so; and his intention was to not only appoint some of his officers from that party, but likewise, from the supporters of John C. Breckenridge. And, in point of fact, he wanted to take into his Cabinet, Stephens, of Georgia; Gilmer, of North Carolina; Summers, of Virginia; or Holt, of Kentucky; but circumstances prevented.

Robert L. Wilson, one of the celebrated "Long Nine,"


and an intimate friend of thirty years' standing, came to Washington, in June, 1861, to obtain a position as paymaster in the army. There was every element of personal fitness and propriety in this request: he was thoroughly upright and entirely competent and had been frequently honored by his constituents by repeated election to office. All these cardinal facts, Lincoln well knew, and one might say, that a long course of unbroken intimacy and friendship, super-added to the eminent qualifications of the applicant, should have removed all hesitation about making such an appointment. Major Wilson called on Lincoln, in person, to solicit his appointment; and he told me that Lincoln received him cordially, had an animated conversation with him about old friends and times but that when he suggested the appointment Lincoln made no reply, but cast down his head, and his face assumed a most gloomy and woe-stricken expression, which lasted for several minutes; after which he resumed conversation in a subdued tone, but made no reference to the appointment: he did, however, appoint him. Lincoln's brother-in-law, Ninian W. Edwards, at whose house Lincoln was married, applie