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634. Henry C. Whitney (Jesse W. Weik Interview)


"Very soon thereafter," he once said to me, "I became acquainted with Lincoln. It was about the time of my first appearance at the bar. I did not feel the slightest


delicacy in approaching him for assistance; for it seemed as if he invited me to familiarity if not close intimacy at once; and this from no selfish motive at all — nothing but pure philanthropy and goodness of heart to a young lawyer just beginning his career. He sat on the bench for the judge a while that term; and my first motion in court was made before him. The next day he made some arrangements for his horse and buggy and took the train to fill an appointment farther north.

"I saw him start for the train. He was obliged to ride over two miles in an old dilapidated omnibus, and being the sole occupant of the conveyance had somewhere procured and held in his hand a small French harp with which he was making the most execrable music. I rallied him on this, to which, stopping his concert, he replied: ‘This is my band; Douglas had a brass band at Peoria, but this will do me.’ 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."

Weik, 212



1. Whitney's first acquaintance with AL was in 1854. Cf. §534.