The Project Gutenberg eBook of Footprints of Abraham Lincoln

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Footprints of Abraham Lincoln

Author: J. T. Hobson

Release date: December 28, 2016 [eBook #53822]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Richard Hulse, Christian Boissonnas and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was produced from images generously made
available by The Internet Archive)


Title Page



Many Interesting Facts, Reminiscences
and Illustrations Never Before

J. T. HOBSON, D.D., LL.B.,
Author of "The Lincoln Year Book."

Nineteen Hundred and Nine
The Otterbein Press
Dayton, Ohio

Copyright, 1909, by J. T. Hobson



To all my Kindred, Friends, and Acquaintances among
whom are Fellow Ministers, Teachers, Students,
Pupils, Parishioners, though Widely
Scattered, and to All Who Cherish
the Memory of

Abraham Lincoln
The Apostle of Human Liberty, Who Bound the Nation
and Unbound the Slave, This Little Volume
is Respectfully Dedicated by


[Pg 4]


Everything pertaining to the life of Abraham Lincoln is of undying interest to the public.

It may at first appear unnecessary, if not presumptuous, to add another volume to the already large number of books in Lincoln literature. Hitherto efforts have been made by the biographer, the historian, and the relic-hunter to gather everything possible connected with the life of Lincoln.

If an apology is needed in presenting this volume to the public, it may be said that it has fallen as a rare opportunity to the author, during the passing years, to gather some well-authenticated facts, reminiscences, and illustrations which have never before appeared in connection with the history of this great man.

Like many others, I have always taken great interest in the life and work of Abraham Lincoln. There are some special reasons for this, upon my part, aside from my interest in the lives of great men, and the magnetic charm which surrounds the name and fame of the most eminent American and emancipator of a race.

The name, "Abraham Lincoln," is connected with my family history, and with one of my first achievements with pen and ink. Because of an affliction in early life, I was, for two or three years, unable to attend the public schools. At home I learned to make figures and letters with slate and pencil, as other writing material was not so common then as now. The first line I ever wrote with pen and ink was at home, at the age of ten, under a copy on foolscap paper, written by my sainted mother, "Abraham Lincoln, President, 1861."

After the birth of John the Baptist, there was considerable controversy among the kinsfolk as to what name he should bear. The father, old Zacharias, was appealed to, [Pg 5] and when writing material was brought him, he settled the matter by writing, "John." On the 7th of May, 1863, when a boy baby was horn in our old home, the other children and I were very anxious to know what name would be given the little stranger. We appealed to father. He did not say, but called for the old family Bible, pen and ink. He turned to the "Family Record," between the Old and the New Testaments. I stood by and saw him write, with pen and blue ink, the name, "Abraham Lincoln Hobson."

I was born in due time to have the good fortune to become acquainted with a number of persons who personally knew Mr. Lincoln in his early life in Indiana, and heard them tell of their associations with him, and their words were written down at the time. I am also familiar with many places of historic interest where the feet of Abraham Lincoln pressed the earth. I resided for a time near the old Lincoln farm in Spencer County, Indiana, on which the town of Lincoln City now stands. I have often visited the near-by grave of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, the "angel mother" of the martyred President; have stood by the grave of Sally Grigsby, his only sister, at the Little Pigeon Cemetery, one mile and a half south of the Lincoln farm; have been in the Lincoln home at Springfield, Illinois; have seen Ford's Theater building, in Washington, where he was shot; have stood in the little rear room, in the first story of the house across the street, where he died; have been in the East Room of the White House, where his body lay in state; and have reverently stood at his tomb where his precious dust rests in peace in Oak Ridge Cemetery, at Springfield, Illinois.

This volume can hardly claim the dignity of a biography, for many important facts in the life of Mr. Lincoln are omitted, the object being to set forth some unpublished facts, reminiscences, and illustrations to supplement larger histories written by others. However, it was necessary to refer to some well-known facts in order to properly connect the new material never before in print. It was necessary, in some instances, to correct some matters of Lincoln history which later and more authentic information has revealed.

[Pg 6]

The illustrations were secured mainly for this publication, and none, so far as I know, except the frontispiece, has ever appeared in any other book on Lincoln. I am indebted to a number of persons who have assisted me in securing information and photographs, most of whom are mentioned in the body of the book.

This being the centennial year of Abraham Lincoln's birth, it is with feelings of genuine pleasure and profound reverence that the opportunity is here given me to exhibit some "footprints" from the path of one whose life is imprinted in imperishable characters in the history of the great American republic. The excellent principles and noble conduct that characterized his life should be an inspiration to all. As Longfellow says:

"Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints in the sands of time."
J. T. Hobson.
Lake City, Iowa, February 19, 1909.

[Pg 7]


[Pg 8]


[Pg 9]


Dedication 3
Introduction 4
Illustrations 7
Chronology of Abraham Lincoln 8
Lincoln's Birth and Early Life in Kentucky.
Unpromising Cradles—Site of the Log Cabin—Tangled History Untangled—Jacob S. Brother's Statement—Speaking with Authority-The Lincolns Move to Knob Creek—"The Lincoln Farm Association" 13
The Lincolns Move to Indiana.
Early Hardships—"Milk Sickness"—Death of Lincoln's Mother—Henry and Allen Brooner's Recollections—Second Marriage of Thomas Lincoln—Marriage of Sarah Lincoln—Redmond D. Grigsby's Recollections—Death of Sarah Grigsby—Mrs. Lamar's Recollections—Captain Lamar's Interesting Reminiscences—Honorable James Gentry Interviewed 17
Indiana Associates and Incidents.
The Double Wedding—One of the Brides Interviewed—"The Chronicles of Reuben"—Josiah Crawford's Daughter—The Lincoln-Brooner Rifle Gun—David Turnham, the Indiana Constable—The "Revised Statutes of Indiana" 26
The Emigration to Illinois.
Preparations for Removal—Recollections of Old Acquaintances—The Old Indiana Home—Blocks from the Old House—The Cedar Tree—More Tangled History Untangled—Mr. Jones' Store—Various Experiences in Illinois—Recollections of an Old Friend 32
Lincoln Visits the Old Indiana Home.
Lincoln an Admirer of Henry Clay—A Whig Elector—Goes to Indiana—Makes Speeches—Old Friends and Old-Time Scenes—Writes a Poem 36
Lincoln and the Armstrong Case.
Famous Law Cases—The Clary Grove Boys—The Wrestling Contest—Jack and Hannah Armstrong—Trial of Their Son for Murder—Lincoln's Tact, and the Acquittal—Letters from the Surviving Attorney in the Case—More Tangled History Untangled—Unpublished Facts Connected with Parties in the Case 39
Lincoln's Temperance Principles.
Promise Made to His Mother—Writes a Temperance Article Before Leaving Indiana—Mr. Wood and Mr. Farmer—Did Lincoln Sell Whisky—His Great Temperance Address—Testimony of Associates—Moses Martin's Letter—The Internal Revenue Bill 51
Lincoln as a Prohibitionist.
Major J. B. Merwin and Abraham Lincoln—They Together Canvass Illinois for State Prohibition in 1854-55—Lincoln's Arguments Against the Saloon—Facts Omitted by Lincoln Biographers—President [Pg 11] Lincoln, Generals Scott and Butler Recommend Merwin's Temperance Work in the Army—The President Sends Merwin on a Mission to New York the Day of the Assassination—Proposition for Freedmen to Dig the Panama Canal—Lincoln's Last Words to Merwin—Merwin's Characteristic Address at Lincoln's Tomb—"Lincoln the Christian Statesman"—Merwin Living at Middlefield, Connecticut 57
Lincoln and the Slavery Question.
An Ancient Institution—The Evils of Slavery—Lincoln Always Opposed to Slavery—Relic of "Cruel Slavery Days"—Discussions, Laws, and Compromises—The Missouri Compromise—The Fugitive Slave Law—The Kansas-Nebraska Bill—Lincoln Aroused—He Answers Douglas—R. L. McCord Names Lincoln as His Candidate for President—A New Political Party—"Bleeding Kansas"—The Dred Scott Decision—"The Underground Railroad"—The John Brown Raid—The Approaching Crisis 68
The Lincoln and Douglas Debates.
Candidates for the United States Senate—Seven Joint Debates—The Paramount Issue—The "Divided House"—"Acts of a Drama"—Douglas Charged Lincoln with Selling Whisky—Lincoln's Denial—A Discovery—Site of the Old Still House in Indiana—Douglas Elected—Lincoln the Champion of Human Liberty 77
Lincoln Nominated and Elected President.
Rival Candidates—Great Enthusiasm—Lincoln's Temperance Principles Exemplified—Other Nominations—A Great Campaign—Lincoln's Letter to David Turnham—Lincoln's Election—Secession—Lincoln Inaugurated—Douglas 83
President Lincoln and the Civil War.
The Beginning—Personal Recollections—The War Spirit—Progress of the War—The Emancipation Proclamation—A Fight to Finish—Lincoln's Kindness—He Relieves a Young Soldier—He Names Triplets Who Are Yet Living—His Reëlection—The Fall of Richmond—Appomattox—Close of the Rebellion 87
Death of President Lincoln.
Personal Recollections—The Tragic Event—Mr. Stanton—A Nation in Sorrow—The Funeral—The Interment at Springfield, Illinois—The House in Which President Lincoln Died—Changed Conditions—The South Honors Lincoln—A United People—A Rich Inheritance 93
Unpublished Official Documents.
A Discovery—Documents of Historic Value—Lincoln Owned Land in Iowa—Copy of Letters Patent from United States, under James Buchanan, to Abraham Lincoln, in 1860—Copy of Deed Executed by Honorable Robert T. Lincoln and Wife, in 1892—Other Transfers—The Present Owner 100
Celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of Lincoln's Birth.
Preparations—General Observance—President Roosevelt Lays Corner-stone of Lincoln Museum at Lincoln's Birthplace—Extracts from Addresses at Various Places—Closing Tribute 105

Footprints of Abraham Lincoln

[Pg 13]


Lincoln's Birth and Early Life in Kentucky

Unpromising Cradles—Site of the Log Cabin—Tangled History Untangled—Jacob S. Brother's Statement—Speaking with Authority—The Lincolns Move to Knob Creek—The Lincoln Farm Association.

It has been said truly that God selects unpromising cradles for his greatest and best servants. On a cold winter night, a hundred years ago, in a floorless log cabin, the emancipator of a race was born. Like the Redeemer of mankind, there was "no room" in the mansions of the rich and the great for such a child to be born.

Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, natives of Virginia, were married by Rev. Jesse Head, a minister of the Methodist Church, June 12, 1806, near Beechland, Washington County, Kentucky. They settled at Elizabethtown, Hardin County, where their first child, Sarah, was born, February 10, 1807. In 1808 they moved to a farm containing one hundred and ten acres, on the south fork of Nolin Creek, two miles south of Hodgenville, Hardin County, and fifty miles south of Louisville. Hodgenville afterward became, and is now the county-seat of Larue County, as that part of the territory now embraced in Larue County was set off from Hardin County in 1843. Here, on the twelfth of February, 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born.

[Pg 14]

The Hodgenville and Magnolia public highway runs through the farm. The site of the old log cabin in which Lincoln was born is about five hundred yards west of the road, and a short distance from the well-known "Rock Spring." The old Kirkpatrick mill, on Nolin Creek, is but a short distance away. The cabin, of course, is no longer in existence, although various publications have printed pictures of it, as though it were still standing on the original spot. Misleading statements have also been published that the original cabin has been placed on exhibition in various cities. Other publications, with more caution, have pictured it as the alleged log cabin in which Lincoln was born.

Evidence is here introduced to untangle tangled history. Jacob S. Brother, now in his ninetieth year, resides at Rockport, the county-seat of Spencer County, Indiana, on the Ohio River, fifteen miles south of Lincoln City, the site of the Lincoln farm in Indiana. Mr. Brother is a highly-respected Christian gentleman. I have known him for many years. On the thirtieth of March, 1899, when visiting him, he incidentally told me that his father purchased the Lincoln farm in Kentucky, and that the family lived in the cabin in which Abraham Lincoln was born. On the eighth of September, 1903, I again visited him, and, at my request, he gave a fuller statement, which I wrote out, and then read it to him, all of which he said was correct, and is here submitted:

"My name is Jacob S. Brother. My father's name was Henry, but he was generally known as 'Harry.' I was born in Montgomery County, Kentucky, March 8, 1819. In the year 1827, when I was eight years old, my father purchased the old farm on which Abraham Lincoln was born, [Pg 15] in Kentucky. He purchased it of Henry Thomas. We lived in the house in which Lincoln was born. After some years, my father built another house almost like the first house. The old house was torn down, and, to my knowledge, the logs were burned for fire-wood. Later he built a hewed log house, and the second old house was used as a hatter-shop. My father followed the trade of making hats all his life. The pictures we often see of the house in which Lincoln was born are pictures of the first house built by my father. He died in the hewed log house, and my youngest brother, Joseph, was born in the same house three weeks after father's death. Some time after father's death, mother, I, and the other children moved to near St. Joe, Missouri. The brother born on the Lincoln farm enlisted in the Southern army, and was captured at Lookout Mountain, and taken to Camp Morton, Indianapolis, as a prisoner. My oldest brother, George, who was a surgeon in the Union army, went to Washington City to see President Lincoln, in order to get a reprieve for his brother. Among other things, he told the President that his brother and he (the President) were born on the same farm. I do not know how much weight this had with the President, but my brother was reprieved. I left Missouri to avoid going into the Confederate army, and came to Rockport, Indiana, in 1863, where I have ever since resided."

At the time of this interview, I had with me some newspaper and magazine articles, with illustrations, descriptive of the old Lincoln farm in Kentucky, including the "Rock Spring," Nolin Creek, the old watermill, Hodgenville, and other places, which were read and shown the old gentleman. He was perfectly familiar with all the points named, and mentioned a number of other items. When the name of the creek, near the farm, was pronounced with the accent on the first syllable, he said, "We always pronounced it No-lin´" (with the accent on the second syllable). All these [Pg 16] statements are entitled to credit, as there could have been no object in making any false representations.

When Abraham was about four years old the Lincolns moved from the Rock Spring farm to a farm on Knob Creek, in the eastern part of what is now Larue County. Here a little boy, younger than Abraham, was buried.

Of late years considerable interest has been given to Lincoln's birthplace. "The Lincoln Farm Association" has been organized and incorporated, and the farm purchased by a group of patriotic citizens who believe that the people of our country should, through affiliating with the organization, develop the farm into a national park, embellished by an historical museum. Mrs. Russell Sage has contributed $25,000 for this purpose, and others are contributing. It is hoped that this most worthy enterprise may be successful, and thus further honor the immortal emancipator, and that the place will be dedicated to peace and good will to all, where North, South, East, and West may find a common ground of pride and fellowship.


[Pg 17]


The Lincolns Move to Indiana

Early Hardships—"Milk Sickness"—Death of Lincoln's Mother—Henry and Allen Brooner's Recollections—Second Marriage of Thomas Lincoln—Marriage of Sarah Lincoln—Redmond P. Grigsby's Recollections—Death of Sarah Grigsby—Mrs. Lamar's Recollections—Captain Lamar's Interesting Reminiscences—Honorable James Gentry Interviewed.

Thomas Lincoln moved with his family to southern Indiana in the fall of 1816. There were two children, Sarah and Abraham, the former nine, and the latter seven years old. The family located in what was then Perry County. By a change in boundary made in 1818, that part of the county was made a part of the new county of Spencer. The location was one mile and a half east of where Gentryville now stands, and fifteen miles north of the Ohio River. The town of Lincoln City is now located on the farm, and is quite a railroad connecting point. Here the family lived fourteen years. The county was new, and the land was not of the best quality. The family was subject to the toils and privations incident to pioneer life. Lincoln, long afterward, in referring to his early days in Indiana, said they were "pretty pinching times."

Peter Brooner came with his family to the same community two years before, and Thomas and Betsy Sparrow, who reared Mrs. Lincoln and her cousin, Dennis Hanks, came one year later than the Lincolns.

A peculiar disease, called "the milk sickness," prevailed in the community in 1818. Thomas and Betsy [Pg 18] Sparrow, Mrs. Lincoln, Mrs. Brooner, and others died of this disease near the same time. Thomas Lincoln, having learned the carpenter and cabinet-maker's trade in Kentucky, made all their coffins from green lumber sawed with a whip-saw. Their bodies were laid to rest on the little hill a few hundred yards south of the Lincoln home.

Peter Brooner had two sons, Henry and Allen. I became acquainted with these brothers twenty-two years ago. I was pastor of a church at Dale, three miles from Lincoln City, two years, near where Allen lived, and of a country church near where Henry lived. I was frequently at their homes. They both knew Abraham Lincoln quite well. The Thomas Lincoln and Peter Brooner homes were only one-half mile apart. Henry was five years older, and Allen was four years younger than Abraham. "Uncle Henry," as he was always called, gave me the following items, which I wrote at the time, and have preserved the original notes:

"I was born in Breckenridge County, Kentucky, February 7, 1804. We came to Indiana in 1814, when Allen was one year old. No man has lived longer in the State than I have, for I have lived in it ever since it became a State, and before. The Lincoln family came to Indiana two years later, and we lived one-half mile apart. During my mother's last sickness, Mrs. Lincoln often came to see her, and died just one week after my mother's death. I remember very distinctly that when Mrs. Lincoln's grave was filled, my father, Peter Brooner, extended his hand to Thomas Lincoln and said, 'We are brothers, now,' meaning that they were brothers in the same kind of sorrow. The bodies of my mother and Mrs. Lincoln were conveyed to their graves on sleds. I often stayed all night at Thomas Lincoln's. Dennis Hanks and his sister Sophia lived with [Pg 19] Thomas and Betsy Sparrow, and at their deaths Dennis and his sister heired the estate. I helped drive up the stock on the day of the sale of the property. Dennis Hanks married Lincoln's step-sister. I often went with Lincoln on horseback to Huffman's Mill, on Anderson Creek, a distance of sixteen miles. He had a great memory, and for hours he would tell me what he had read."

Henry Brooner died April 4, 1890, two years after the above statements were given, at the age of eighty-six. Everybody loved and respected "Uncle Henry." Reference will be made in another chapter to further statements made by him on the same occasion.

Allen Brooner was nine years younger than his brother Henry. He was born in Kentucky, October 22, 1813. He was a minister in the United Brethren Church more than fifty years. Among other items, he gave me the following, which were written at the time:

"During my mother's last sickness, Mrs. Lincoln, the mother of Abraham Lincoln, came to see her. Mother said, 'I believe I will have to die.' Mrs. Lincoln said, 'Oh, you may outlive me.' She died just one week from the death of my mother. This was in October, 1818. I was five years old when mother died. I remember some one came to me in the night and told me my mother was dead. Thomas Lincoln made mother's coffin, and sawed the lumber with a whip-saw to make the coffin. She was taken on a sled to the graveyard on a hill, one quarter of a mile south of where Lincoln City now stands. Old man Howell took the corpse. He rode the horse hitched to the sled, and took me up, and I rode on the horse before him. I remember that his long beard bothered me. We did not have wagons in those days. The first wagon I ever saw, my father made, and it had wooden tires."

Reference will be made again to some facts stated by this associate of Abraham Lincoln. "Uncle Allen" died at his old home, near Dale, Spencer County, Indiana, [Pg 20] April 2, 1902, in his eighty-ninth year, respected by all. I am indebted to his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Knowlton, for his photograph, taken at seventy-five years of age.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln died October 5, 1818, when her daughter Sarah was eleven and her son Abraham was nine years old. Abraham's mother had taught him to read and write, and, young as he was, he wrote for an old minister, David Elkin, whom the family had known in Kentucky, to come and preach his mother's funeral. Some time after, the minister came and the funeral was preached at the grave where many people had gathered. The minister stated that he had come because of the letter he had received from the little son of the dead mother. As I have stood by that grave, in my imagination I have seen that primitive congregation—the old minister, the lonely husband, and the two motherless children, Sarah and Abraham, on that sad occasion.

After the death of Thomas and Betsy Sparrow, Dennis Hanks and his sister Sophia became inmates of the Lincoln home.

For many years Mrs. Lincoln's grave was neglected. But few persons were buried at that graveyard. In 1879, Mr. P. E. Studebaker, of South Bend, Indiana, erected a marble slab at the grave, and some of the citizens of Rockport enclosed it with an iron railing. Later a larger and more appropriate monument has also been placed at the grave, and several acres surrounding, forming a park, have been enclosed with an iron fence. The park is under the control of an association which has been incorporated.

In December, 1819, Thomas Lincoln went to Kentucky and married a widow, Sarah Bush Johnston, [Pg 21] whom he had known there before coming to Indiana. She had three children, John, Matilda, and Sarah. She was a most excellent woman, and proved worthy of a mother's place in the home of Thomas Lincoln. Dennis Hanks married one of the daughters, and Levi Hall married the other.

In August, 1826, at the age of nineteen, Sarah Lincoln, or Sally, as she was commonly called, was married to Aaron Grigsby, the oldest of a large family of boys. Learning that Redmond D. Grigsby resided near Chrisney, Spencer County, Indiana, I called upon him October 18, 1898. After being introduced by a friend, I asked him, "What relation were you to Aaron Grigsby, who married Abraham Lincoln's sister?" "He was my oldest brother, sir," answered the old gentleman. He said he was born in 1818, and was at that time eighty years old. He said that he and Lincoln were often thrown together, he at the home of his brother and Lincoln at the home of his sister. Mr. Grigsby said that when Abraham would start off with other boys, he had often heard Sally admonish him as to his conduct. Then Abraham would say, "Oh, you be good yourself, Sally, and Abe will take care of himself." We shall have occasion to refer to Mr. Grigsby again. He still resides at Chrisney; is now ninety years of age and quite feeble.

Sally Grigsby died in childbirth January 20, 1828, less than two years after her marriage. Her body sleeps in the old Pigeon Creek Cemetery, one mile and a half south of where her mother is buried.

Mrs. Lamar, the wife of Captain Lamar, who resided at Buffaloville, a short distance east of Lincoln City, said to me, in her home, September 8, 1903:

[Pg 22]

"I remember old Tommy Lincoln. I sat on his lap many times. I was at Sally Lincoln's infare dinner. I remember the night she died. My mother was there at the time. She had a very strong voice, and I heard her calling father. He awoke the boys and said, 'Something is the matter.' He went after a doctor, but it was too late. They let her lay too long. My old aunt was the midwife."

Mrs. Lamar is still living in Spencer County, Indiana. At the same time, I interviewed Captain John W. Lamar. I copied the date of his birth from the record in his Bible. He was born December 9, 1822, and although but a small boy when the Lincolns removed to Illinois, he remembers Abraham Lincoln quite well. At the time of my interview, I had a clipping from the Indianapolis News of April 12, 1902, containing some items pertaining to his recollections of Lincoln, which were read to him. The clipping is as follows:

"Captain J. W. Lamar, of Buffaloville, Spencer County, a delegate to the Republican State Convention, knew Abraham Lincoln when the latter lived in Spencer County. He is past eighty years old, but his memory is keen, and he is unusually vigorous for a man of his age. He is six feet tall, broad-shouldered, with flowing white hair and beard, making him one of the picturesque figures of the convention crowd. Lincoln is his favorite theme, and he delights to talk of him.

"'I well remember the first time I saw Abe,' he said. 'My father took me to Troy, at the mouth of Anderson River, to do a little trading, and Lincoln was at that time working at the ferry. Dressed in the frontiersman's coon-skin cap, deerskin shirt, and home-made trousers, he was indelibly impressed upon my memory as being one of the gawkiest and most awkward figures I ever saw. From that time on I saw him very often, as he lived near, and worked for my father frequently. He and my father and his father all helped to build the old Pigeon meeting-house [Pg 23], near which Abe's only sister, Sally, was buried. Tom Lincoln, Abe's father, often did odd jobs of carpentering for us.

"'One day, about a year after I first saw Lincoln, my father and I went over to old Jimmy Gentry's store, where the town of Gentryville now stands. When we got there, I noticed Lincoln out by an old stump, working very industriously at something. On going nearer, I saw that he was figuring or writing on a clapboard, which he had shaved smooth, and was paying no attention to what was going on around him. My father remarked to me then that Abe would be somebody some day, but, of course, did not have any idea how true his words would come out.

"'Many times have I seen him studying at odd moments, with a book or something to write on, when others were having a good time. That was what made him so great.

"'In August, before the spring that the Lincoln's left for Illinois, a township election was held at a log house near where the town of Santa Fe now stands.... All the men in the neighborhood were gathered there, and conspicuous among them was one, Sampson, a braggart and bully. He was storming around, praising a horse he had.

"'"Why," said he, "I ran him four miles in five minutes this morning, and he never drew a long breath!"

"'Abe, who was sitting on a rail fence near me, remarked quietly to him, "I suppose, though, Mr. Sampson, he drew a good many short ones."

"'This was just the opening Sampson was looking for, so he began to bluster up to Lincoln. After standing abuse for a few minutes, Abe told him to hush up or he would take him by the nape of the neck and throw him over the fence. [At this point the old captain interrupted my reading, and said, "Lincoln did not say he would throw him over the fence, but said he would throw him into a pond of water near by."] This had an effect, and Sampson shut up, because he knew Abe could, and would do what he said.

"'My father's house was on the road between Gentryville and the nearest trading-point on the Ohio River, at Troy. To this place the settlers took their deer and bear hides, venison hams, and other game, for which they received [Pg 24] clothes, powder, and other necessary articles. Lincoln and his father had constructed a wagon for old man Gentry, made entirely out of wood, even to the hickory rims to the wheels.

"'This they loaded with produce, and started for Troy. Arriving at my father's house, a rain had swollen the creek near there, so that they decided to stay all night, and wait for the water to subside. During the night wolves stole nearly all the venison from the wagon. That which belonged to the Lincolns was not touched, however; it was in the bottom of the wagon. My father was a very serious man, and scarcely ever smiled, but Abe, with his droll ways and pleasant humor, always made him laugh.

"'A great grief, which affected Abe through his life, was caused by the death of his only sister, Sally. They were close companions, and were a great deal alike in temperament. About a year after her marriage to one of the Grigsbys, she died. This was a hard blow to Abe, who always thought her death was due to neglect. Abe was in a little smoke-house when the news came to him that she had died. He came to the door and sat down, burying his face in his hands. The tears trickled through his large fingers, and sobs shook his frame. From then on he was alone in the world, you might say.'"

In addition to the foregoing interesting reminiscences, the captain related to me other important items, some of which are here given as he related them:

"Old Si Crawford, the man who loaned Lincoln the book which was damaged, was my uncle. I remember one time Lincoln came to our place when my father was sitting on a shaving-horse, doing some work. Other boys and I were standing near by. Mr. Lincoln, addressing us, said, 'Well, boys, what have you learned to-day?' No one answering, he said, 'I wouldn't give a cent for a boy who doesn't know more to-day than he knew yesterday.' This remark greatly impressed me, and I have never forgotten it.

"Old Uncle Jimmy Gentry, who founded the town of Gentryville, kept a store there. He was somewhat illiterate. [Pg 25] I remember hearing him and Major Daniels talking, when the major asked him what per cent. he was making on the sale of his goods. Uncle Jimmy replied, 'God bless your soul, I don't know anything about your per cent., but I know when I buy an article in Louisville for a dollar, and sell it in Gentryville for two dollars, I double my money every time.'"

Captain Lamar died November 4, 1903, a little more than two months after my visit to him, at the age of eighty-one. Mrs. Lamar is still living in Spencer County.

The same day, after leaving the Lamars, I called upon the Honorable James Gentry, at Rockport. He was the son of James Gentry, the founder of Gentryville. He was born February 24, 1819, and was ten years younger than Lincoln. He related much about Lincoln, some things which will be found in another chapter. He repeated the story about his brother, Allen Gentry, and Lincoln taking a flatboat, loaded with farm products, down the Ohio River to New Orleans, the attack of the negroes and how they were driven away. Mr. Gentry said, "If ever a man was raised up by Providence, it was Lincoln, for he had no chance." Mr. Gentry was elected on the Democratic ticket to the Indiana Legislature of 1871. He gave me his picture, reproduced herein, but it represents him much younger than when I saw him. He died May 3, 1905, at the age of eighty-six.

[Pg 26]


Indiana Associates and Incidents

The Double Wedding—One of the Brides Interviewed—"The Chronicles of Reuben"—Josiah Crawford's Daughter—The Lincoln-Brooner Rifle Gun—David Turnham, the Indiana Constable—The "Revised Statutes of Indiana."

Reuben Grigsby had quite a family of sons. Aaron, the oldest, who married Lincoln's sister, and Redmond D., the youngest, have already been mentioned. Two sons, Reuben and Charles, were married the same day, the former married in Spencer County and the latter in Dubois, the adjoining county on the north. A double infare dinner was given at old Reuben Grigsby's, the day following the marriages. The Grigsbys were regarded as belonging to the "upper ten" class in those days, for they lived in a two-story hewed-log house.

On the sixth of April, 1899, I met Elizabeth Grigsby, commonly called "Aunt Betsy," one of the brides, the widow of Reuben, Jr., at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Justin Banks, near Grandview, Spencer County. She was in her eighty-seventh year. She was cheerful, and bright in her mind, and had a good knowledge of current events. I requested her to give me a sketch of her life, and stated that it might prove useful and interesting as a matter of history. She thought that, perhaps, what I said might be true, and cheerfully gave the following:

"My father, Ezekiel Ray, was born in Ireland, and came to America at the age of three years, and his father settled in Tennessee. My father and a number of others, among [Pg 27] them Mr. Grass and Mr. Lamar, came to Indiana, and settled where Grandview now stands. My father died when I was five years old. I had one sister and five brothers. I was next to the youngest child. My mother remained a widow, and died twelve years after the death of my father. I had sixty acres of land left to me, my part of father's estate.

"I was married to Reuben Grigsby on the 15th of April, 1829, before my seventeenth birthday, which was June 1, following. Charles, my husband's brother, was married the same day. We had infare dinner at the home of my husband's father, Reuben Grigsby, three miles south of Gentryville. My husband and I arrived about two hours before the other couple arrived. John Johnston, Abraham Lincoln's step-brother, told a story about a mistake made by the brothers in going to bed upstairs that night, which led to a fight between himself and William Grigsby, a brother of the two who were married. This story told by John Johnston occasioned the writing of 'The Chronicles of Reuben,' by Abraham Lincoln, a short time afterward. I saw Lincoln at my father-in-law's two days after our marriage. He was not a good looking young man.

"Sally Lincoln, Abraham's only sister, married Aaron Grigsby, my husband's oldest brother, but that was before my marriage. I never saw her, for she died about three years after her marriage. I have seen Thomas Lincoln, but was not acquainted with him. My husband and Abraham Lincoln attended the same school. My husband never had a sister that he thought more of than he did of Sally Lincoln.

"After our marriage on Thursday, we moved to my place, where Grandview now is. I have been a member of the United Brethren Church about forty-five years. My husband joined the church about eight years before I joined. He was a class-leader for many years. He died sixteen years ago last January. I have raised eight children, but only four are living, one son and three daughters.

"I am not much account any more, but I am still here. My health has been better the past winter than common. My eyesight is good. I have never used spectacles, but I [Pg 28] have trouble sometimes in threading a fine needle. My teeth are all gone, except two old snags. I am living on my farm of forty acres, two miles northwest of Grandview. I have a house of four rooms. I rent my farm and three rooms, reserving one room for myself. I do my own cooking, and eat alone."

"Aunt Betsy" died March 27, 1901, two years after the interview mentioned, in her eighty-ninth year. Her picture, secured for this book, through her daughter, Mrs. Enco, residing in Spencer County, is a good one.

"The Chronicles of Reuben," mentioned by "Aunt Betsy," were written in scripture style, but no copy has been preserved. Thomas Bunton, an aged citizen of Gentryville, told me that he remembered hearing the "Chronicles" read when he was a boy. Redmond D. Grigsby told me, in my interview with him, that he was in possession of them for some time, but they were lost or destroyed. He said the "Chronicles" were no credit to Mr. Lincoln. Those purporting to be the "Chronicles" in Herndon and Weiks' "Life of Lincoln," were written by Herndon as remembered by Mrs. Crawford, the wife of Josiah Crawford. Dr. W. S. Bryant, of Dale, told me, some years ago, that he accompanied Herndon, in 1865, to the Crawford place, when the "Chronicles" were written as before stated. It had then been thirty-six years since they were written.

The Grigsbys were much irritated when the "Chronicles" were written, and have protested against their becoming a matter of history. It is alleged that they were written to humiliate the Grigsbys for slighting Lincoln in the invitations to the infare. The account of the fight between John Johnston and William Grigsby is mentioned in full in Lamon's "Life of Lincoln," but [Pg 29] whether all the details there mentioned are true no one can say.

The day I visited Captain and Mrs. Lamar, already referred to, at their request, I visited the captain's cousin, Mrs. Ruth Jennings Huff, residing in Buffaloville. She was the only surviving child of Josiah Crawford. She said she was the middle child of five children, three brothers and one sister. She showed me a corner cupboard made by Thomas Lincoln and his son Abraham for her father. Her father died about thirty years before my visit. In the distribution of the property among the children, among other things, she chose the cupboard. After telling many things she had heard her parents say about Lincoln, I ventured to ask if she ever heard of the "Chronicles of Reuben." Her quick, characteristic reply was, "Lord, yes; I've heard mother tell it a thousand times." Mrs. Huff died at the residence of her son, S. H. Jennings, in Rockport, Indiana, December 26, 1906, in her eightieth year. Mr. Jennings is the present owner of the cupboard referred to, and he writes me that he would not part with it for any reasonable price. I am indebted to him for a good photograph of his mother.

In the latter part of the 'twenties, Abraham Lincoln and Henry Brooner walked to Vincennes, Indiana, a distance of more than fifty miles, and while there they purchased a rifle gun in partnership for fifteen dollars. They hunted for game on their way back home. When the Lincolns moved to Illinois in 1830, Mr. Brooner purchased Mr. Lincoln's interest in the gun. He kept it until 1872, when he presented it to his adopted son Samuel, on the day of his marriage. I purchased the gun of Samuel Brooner, September 7, 1903. Of course, [Pg 30] the gun was originally a "flint-lock." It was changed to shoot with percussion caps. John F. Martin, now living at Dale, in his seventy-eighth year, and a son-in-law of Henry Brooner; John W. Kemp, now sixty-three, a justice of the peace, born and reared on a farm adjoining Henry Brooner, and Samuel Brooner, each made oath as to their knowledge of the gun. I have known all these persons for more than twenty years, and know their testimony to be first class. The gun is now in possession of John E. Burton, of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Nearly all the Lincoln biographies mention the fact that Lincoln often read and studied the "Revised Statutes of Indiana," which he borrowed of David Turnham, a constable, who lived near the Lincolns in Indiana. Mr. Turnham's father and family came to Indiana and settled in Spencer County, in 1819. Turnham and Lincoln went hunting together and attended the same school, although Turnham was six years older, as he was born August 2, 1803. "The Revised Statutes," besides containing the constitution and laws of Indiana, contained the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. No doubt it was in this book that Lincoln first read those important documents. Mr. Turnham gave the book to Mr. Herndon in 1865, when he was gathering material for the "Life of Lincoln." After being in several hands, the book is now said to be in possession of W. H. Winters, librarian of the New York Law Institute.

Twenty years ago I visited the home of David Turnham's widow, now deceased, who knew Mr. Lincoln, and I was well acquainted with the two sons, John J. and George W., who then resided at Dale. David Turnham [Pg 31] died August 2, 1884, at the age of eighty-one. I am under obligation to my esteemed friend, George W. Turnham, now of Evansville, Indiana, for information concerning his father, for a copy of Lincoln's letter to his father, found elsewhere in this book, and for his father's and mother's pictures, which have never before appeared in any publication.

[Pg 32]


The Emigration to Illinois

Preparations for Removal—Recollections of Old Acquaintances—The Old Indiana Home—Blocks from the Old House—The Cedar Tree—More Tangled History Untangled—Mr. Jones' Store—Various Experiences in Illinois—Recollections of an Old Friend.

After residing in Indiana fourteen years, and having rather a rough experience, Thomas Lincoln, through the inducements of others, concluded to move to Illinois. Abraham was now twenty-one years old. The farm products were sold to David Turnham. The family started March 1, 1830. Other families accompanied them.

Expressions made to me, and written at the time by different persons who remembered the departure of the Lincolns, are here given:

Allen Brooner said: "I remember when the Lincoln family left for Illinois. Abraham and his step-brother, John Johnston, came to my father's to trade a young horse for a yoke of oxen. The trade was made. John Johnston did most of the talking."

Redmond D. Grigsby said: "I was twelve years old when the Lincolns left for Illinois. I helped to hitch the two yokes of oxen to the wagon, and went with them half a mile."

James Gentry said: "I was eleven years old when the Lincoln family started to Illinois. They stayed at my father's the night before they started."

Mrs. Lamar said: "I remember when the Lincolns left for Illinois. All the neighbors went to see them [Pg 33] start. All the surroundings, to my mind, are as plain as things are now in my kitchen."

The old Indiana house, built by Thomas Lincoln, in 1817, was torn down, and the logs shipped away, many years ago, except one log. Isaac Houghland, a reliable man and merchant of Lincoln City, was in possession of this log, and stated to me that a man by the name of Skelton said he would make oath that it was one of the logs of the old Lincoln house. Mr. Houghland kindly gave me two blocks, which I saw his son chop from the log.

A cedar-tree stands near where the Lincoln house stood. A number of unreliable stories concerning this tree have been told in various Lincoln biographies, magazine and newspaper articles. Some state that the tree was planted by Abraham Lincoln; others, that James Gentry planted the tree the day the Lincolns started to Illinois, in honor of his friend, Abraham. James Gentry, many years ago, purchased several hundred acres of land around and including the Lincoln farm. He told me, in the interview before mentioned, that he planted the cedar-tree in 1858. I wrote that fact in his presence, and have preserved the original paper on which it is written. The tree was planted twenty-eight years after the Lincolns vacated the premises. Some of the citizens of Lincoln City do not know the true history of the tree. Some yet believe Lincoln planted it, and hundreds of visitors have almost stripped the tree of its twigs and branches with the same delusive idea. Here is more "tangled history untangled."

William Jones kept a store at Gentryville some years before, and at the time the Lincolns went away, Abraham [Pg 34] often worked for Mr. Jones, and read newspapers at the store. Before leaving he bought thirty-five dollars' worth of goods from Mr. Jones to sell on the way out to Illinois. He wrote back that he doubled his money on the investment. Mr. Jones was born in Vincennes, Indiana, January 5, 1800. He was a member of the Indiana Legislature from 1838 to 1841. He was killed while in command as colonel of the Fifty-third Indiana Regiment, at Atlanta, Georgia, July 22, 1864. I gather these facts, mainly, from an article furnished a newspaper by Captain William Jones, of Rockport, Indiana, a son of Colonel William Jones. I knew Captain Jones at Dale, many years ago.

The Lincolns were about two weeks on their journey to Illinois. They first settled near Decatur. Thomas Lincoln moved a time or two after, and finally settled on Goosenest Prairie, near Farmington, in Coles County, where he died January 12, 1851, at the age of seventy-three. Lincoln's step-mother, whom he loved very dearly, died April 10, 1869, in her eighty-first year, and four years after the death of her famous step-son.

After his removal to Illinois, Abraham Lincoln did not remain much of the time at home. I shall not follow his history here in detail. His rail-splitting proclivities; his Black Hawk War record; his experience as a merchant and postmaster; his career as a lawyer; his election at various times to the Illinois Legislature; his election to Congress; his marriage, and many other matters of history are found in most any of his numerous biographies. Whatever reference may be made to any of these periods in his history will be for the purpose of introducing new material.

[Pg 35]

The following, relative to some of Lincoln's early experiences in Indiana, was related to me by one of Lincoln's early Indiana friends, Allen Brooner:

"I went to Illinois in 1835-36. Most of the time I was there I worked at the carpenter trade at Petersburg. We were getting out timber for a mill. The owner made me 'boss.' At that time Abraham Lincoln was postmaster at New Salem. He was also keeping a store at the time. While I was there, Lincoln made a mistake in his own favor of five cents in trading with a woman. When he discovered his mistake, he walked two and a half miles to correct the mistake. The county surveyor came to see Lincoln while I was out there, and wanted to make him his deputy. Lincoln said, 'I know nothing of surveying.' 'But,' said the surveyor, 'they tell me you can learn anything.' Not long afterward I saw Lincoln out surveying. When Lincoln would hand me my mail he would often inquire about the Spencer County people and the old acquaintances. In his conversation he always put the best construction on everything."

[Pg 36]

At Lincoln City, Indiana, on the old Lincoln farm. The author, as presiding elder, has officiated and preached in this church.
Still living at Rockport, Indiana. When a small boy lived with his father's family in the cabin in which Abraham Lincoln was born.
An old associate of Lincoln in Indiana. Their mothers died one week apart, and are buried at same place.


Lincoln Visits the Old Indiana Home

Lincoln an Admirer of Henry Clay—A Whig Elector—Goes to Indiana—Makes Speeches—Old Friends and Old—Time Scenes—Writes a Poem.

In 1844, Henry Clay was a candidate for President of the United States, on the Whig ticket. Abraham Lincoln was a great admirer of Mr. Clay, and referred to him as his "beau-ideal of a statesman." He was placed on the Whig ticket as presidential elector, and made speeches in favor of Mr. Clay's election. During the canvass he visited his old home and acquaintances in Indiana for the first time since he left, fourteen years before, and it was his only visit to the home of his youth.

On the 22d of October, 1898, Thomas Bunton, then seventy-five years old, said to me: "I heard Lincoln speak in Gentryville in 1844. I saw him coming to the place of meeting with Mr. Jones. I heard Lincoln say, 'Don't introduce me to any one; I want to see how many I can recognize.' He went around shaking hands, and when he came to me he said, 'This is a Bunton.'"

Captain Lamar said, at the time of my visit to him already mentioned: "At the close of Lincoln's speech, near Buffaloville, he said, 'Friends and fellow-citizens, I may never see you again, but give us a protective tariff and you will some day see the greatest nation the sun ever shone over.' While saying this he pointed to the east and, raising his hand, he closed the sentence pointing to the west. From the speaking I went with him [Pg 37] to Si Crawford's for dinner. He talked much about old times, places, and people familiar to him in other days. The last words Abe said to me were these, 'You are comparatively young, God bless you, I may never see you again.'"

Mr. Lincoln was so impressed by his visit to the old home that he wrote a descriptive poem, which is published in some of the Lincoln biographies. The following letter, written in 1846, explains why he wrote the poem:

"The piece of poetry of my own which I allude to I was led to write under the following circumstances: In the fall of 1844, thinking I might aid to carry the State of Indiana for Mr. Clay, I went to the neighborhood in that State in which I was raised, where my mother and my only sister are buried, and from which I had been about fifteen years. That part of the country is, within itself, as unpoetical as any spot of the earth; but still, seeing it and its objects and inhabitants aroused feelings in me which were certainly poetry, though whether my expression of these feelings is poetry is quite another question. When I got to writing, the change of subject divided the thing into four little divisions, or cantos, the first only of which I send you, and may send the others hereafter."

"My childhood's home I see again,
And sadden with the view;
And still, as memory crowds my brain,
There's pleasure in it, too.
"Q memory! thou midway world
'Twixt earth and paradise,
Where things decayed, and loved ones lost,
In dreamy shadows rise;
"And, freed from all that's earthly vile,
Seem hallowed, pure, and bright,
Like scenes in some enchanted isle,
All bathed in liquid light.
"As dusky mountains please the eye, [Pg 38]
When twilight chases day;
As bugle notes that, passing by,
In distance die away;
"As leaving some grand waterfall,
We, lingering, list its roar;
So memory will hallow all
We've known, but know no more.
"Near twenty years have passed away
Since here I bid farewell
To woods and fields, and scenes of play,
And playmates loved so well;
"Where many were, but few remain,
Of old, familiar things;
But seeing them to mind again
The lost and absent brings.
"The friends I left that parting day,
How changed! as time has sped
Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray,
And half of all are dead.
"I hear the loud survivors tell
How naught from death could save,
Till every sound appears a knell,
And every spot a grave.
"I range the fields with pensive tread,
And pace the hollow rooms,
And feel (companions of the dead),
I'm living in the tombs."

[Pg 39]


Lincoln and the Armstrong Case

Famous Law Cases—The Clary Grove Boys—The Wrestling Contest—Jack and Hannah Armstrong—Trial of Their Son for Murder—Lincoln's Tact and the Acquittal—Letters from the Surviving Attorney in the Case—More Tangled History Untangled—Unpublished Facts Connected with Parties in the Case.

Lincoln, as a lawyer, was employed in a number of noted cases involving great interests. One was the defense of a slave girl, Nancy, in 1841, in the Supreme Court of Illinois, who, through him, was made free. At this time Mr. Lincoln was only thirty-two years of age. The case excited great interest, and the decision forever settled the few traces of slavery which had then existed in southern Illinois.

Another case was the Central Illinois Railroad Company against McLean County, Illinois, tried at Bloomington. This case was decided in favor of the railroad. Mr. Lincoln received from the company a fee of $5,000, the largest fee he ever received.

Another suit in which he was employed was the McCormick Reaper Patent case, tried in 1857, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Here Mr. Lincoln first met the Honorable Edwin M. Stanton, who was employed on the same side of the case. Mr. Stanton treated Mr. Lincoln with great disrespect. Mr. Lincoln overheard him, in an adjoining room, ask, "Where did that long-armed creature come from, and what can he do in this case?" He also declared if "that giraffe" was permitted to appear in the case he would throw up his brief and leave it. He further referred to Lincoln as a "long, lank creature [Pg 40] from Illinois, wearing a dirty linen duster for a coat, the back of which the perspiration had splotched with stains that resembled the map of a continent." As there were a number of attorneys on both sides, it was ordered that only two speeches be made on each side. This order would exclude either Lincoln or Stanton, as there were three attorneys on that side of the case. At Lincoln's suggestion, Stanton quickly decided to speak. Mr. Lincoln was greatly disappointed, for he had made much preparation. Four years later, Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated President of the United States, and he chose Mr. Stanton as a member of his cabinet, and they were close friends during the Civil War.

The most celebrated case in which Mr. Lincoln figured was the Armstrong case, in 1858. All the Lincoln biographers refer to it, and as I have some unpublished facts in reference to it and some of the parties connected with the case, it is here presented at length.

There was near New Salem a band of young men known as the "Clary Grove Boys." The special tie that united them was physical courage and strength. Every newcomer of any great strength had to be tested. So Lincoln was required to go through the ordeal of a wrestling match. Seeing that he could not be easily floored, Jack Armstrong, their champion, was chosen to lay Lincoln on his back. Many gathered to witness the contest, and a number of bets were made. After quite a spirited engagement, Lincoln won, and was invited to become one of the company. Jack Armstrong declared, "Abe Lincoln is the best man that ever broke into the settlement," and he became a lifelong, warm friend of Lincoln.

[Pg 41]

Some time after the scuffle, Lincoln found a home, for a time, with Jack Armstrong, where he read and studied. Armstrong was a farmer, and a poor man, but he saw genius struggling in the young student, and welcomed him to his cabin home and rough fare. Mrs. Armstrong, a most excellent woman, learned to respect Mr. Lincoln, and befriended him in many ways.

About twenty years after Lincoln's stay in the Armstrong home, William D. Armstrong, commonly called "Duff," a son of Jack and Hannah Armstrong, became involved in a difficulty. He was somewhat wild, and was often in bad company. One night, in August, 1857, in company with a wild crowd, he went to a camp-meeting, where a row ensued, in which a man named Metzker received injuries from which he died three days later. Young Armstrong and another young man, Norris, were arrested, charged with murder, and put in jail. The community was greatly stirred over the matter and demanded the speedy punishment of the prisoners. A short time after "Duff" was placed in jail, his father, Jack Armstrong, died, and his last request was for his wife to sell everything she had to clear "Duff." Mrs. Armstrong engaged two lawyers at Havana, Illinois, and Lincoln, hearing of her troubles, wrote her the following letter:

"Springfield, Ohio, September 18, ——.

"Dear Mrs. Armstrong:—I have just heard of your deep affliction, and the arrest of your son for murder. I can hardly believe that he can be guilty of the crime alleged against him. It does not seem possible. I am anxious that he should have a fair trial, at any rate; and gratitude for your long-continued kindness to me in adverse circumstances prompts me to offer my humble services gratuitously in his behalf. It will afford me an opportunity to [Pg 42] requite, in a small degree, the favors I received at your hand, and that of your lamented husband, when your roof afforded me grateful shelter without money and without price.

Yours truly,
Abraham Lincoln."

The first act was to secure a postponement and a change in place of trial. The trial was held at Beardstown, in May, 1858, only two years before Mr. Lincoln was nominated for President of the United States, and the case was watched with great interest. Norris had already been convicted and sent to the penitentiary.

"When the trial was called the prisoner was pale and emaciated, with hopelessness written on every feature. He was accompanied by his half-hoping, half-despairing mother, whose only hope was in a mother's belief of her son's innocence, in the justice of the God she worshiped, and in the noble counsel, who, without hope of fee or reward upon earth, had undertaken the case."

A statement of the trial is here taken, with a few changes, from Barrett's excellent "Life of Lincoln":

"Mr. Lincoln sat quietly by while the large auditory looked on him as though wondering what he could say in defense of one whose guilt they regarded as certain. The examination of the witnesses for the State was begun, and a well-arranged mass of evidence, circumstantial and positive, was introduced, which seemed to impale the prisoner beyond the possibility of extrication. The strongest evidence was that of a man who belonged to the rough element, who swore that at eleven o'clock at night he saw Armstrong strike the deceased on the head, that the moon was shining brightly, and was nearly full, and that its position in the sky was just about that of the sun at ten o'clock in the morning, and that by it he saw Armstrong give the mortal blow.

"The counsel for the defense propounded but few questions, and those of a character which excited no uneasiness [Pg 43] on the part of the prosecutor—merely, in most cases, requiring the main witness to be definite as to time and place.

"When the evidence of the prosecution was ended, Lincoln introduced a few witnesses to remove some erroneous impressions in regard to the previous character of his client, who, though somewhat rowdyish, had never been known to commit a vicious act; and to show that a greater degree of ill feeling existed between the accuser and the accused than the accused and the deceased.

"The prosecutor felt that the case was a clear one, and his opening speech was brief and formal. Lincoln arose, while a deathly silence pervaded the vast audience, and in a clear, but moderate tone, began his argument. Slowly and carefully he reviewed the testimony, pointing out the hitherto unobserved discrepancies in the statements of the principal witness. That which had seemed plain and plausible, he made to appear as a serpent's path. The witness had stated that the affair took place at a certain hour in the evening, and that, by the aid of the brightly-shining moon, he saw the prisoner inflict the death blow."

At this point Mr. Lincoln produced an almanac, which showed that at the time referred to by the witness there was no moon at all, and showed it to the jury. He then said that the principal witness had testified to what was absolutely false, and declared his whole story a fabrication. Lincoln had told no one of his discovery, so that it produced quite a sensation.

"An almost instantaneous change seemed to have been wrought in the minds of the auditors, and the verdict of 'not guilty' was at the end of every tongue. But the advocate was not content with this intellectual achievement. His whole being had for months been bound up in this work of gratitude and mercy, and, as the lava of the overcharged crater bursts from its imprisonment, so great thoughts and burning words leaped from the soul of the eloquent Lincoln. He drew a picture of the perjurer, so [Pg 44] horrid and ghastly that the accuser could sit under it no longer, but reeled and staggered from the court-room, while the audience fancied they could see the brand upon his brow. Then, in words of thrilling pathos, Lincoln appealed to the jurors, as fathers of sons who might become fatherless, and as husbands of wives who might be widowed, to yield to no previous impressions, no ill-founded prejudice, but to do his client justice. As he alluded to the debt of gratitude he owed the boy's dead father and his living widowed mother, tears were seen to fall from many eyes unused to weep. It was near night when he concluded by saying that if justice was done,—as he believed it would be,—before the sun should set it would shine upon his client a free man.

"The jury retired, and the court adjourned for the day. Half an hour had not elapsed when a messenger announced that the jury had returned to their seats. All repaired immediately to the court-house, and while the prisoner was being brought from the jail, the court-room was filled to overflowing with citizens of the town. When the prisoner and his mother entered, silence reigned as completely as though the house were empty. The foreman of the jury, in answer to the usual inquiry from the court, delivered the verdict of 'Not guilty.'

"The widow dropped into the arms of her son, who lifted her up, and told her to look upon him as before, free and innocent. Then with the words, 'Where is Mr. Lincoln?' he rushed across the room, and grasped the hand of his deliverer, while his heart was too full for utterance. Lincoln turned his eyes toward the west, where the sun still lingered in view, and then, turning to the youth, said, 'It is not yet sundown, and you are free.' An eye-witness says: 'I confess that my cheeks were not wholly unwet by tears as I turned from the affecting scene. As I cast a glance behind, I saw Abraham Lincoln obeying the divine injunction, by comforting the widowed and the fatherless.'"

A story has been reported that the introduction of an almanac in the Armstrong trial was a piece of trickery on Lincoln's part; that an almanac of 1853 was used [Pg 45] with all the figure 3's changed to 7's. This was not necessary, for the almanac of 1857 answered the purpose, and, besides, Mr. Lincoln was not a dishonest lawyer.

Others have claimed that no almanac was used at all in the trial. George Cary Eggleston, a noted author, is reported as putting a discount on it, and intimates that the story arose from an incident connected with a trial in the early 'fifties at Vevay, Indiana, witnessed by himself and his brother Edward, the author of the "Hoosier Schoolmaster," and other popular novels. He says his brother, in writing the novel, entitled "The Graysons," exercised the novelist's privilege, and attributed this clever trick to Abraham Lincoln in the days of his obscurity.

Part First of Honorable J. H. Barrett's "Life of Lincoln" was prepared for the press in June, 1860, just after Mr. Lincoln's nomination for the presidency, and only two years after the Armstrong trial, and there the trial is mentioned in full, with the almanac incident. How does the George Cary Eggleston account jibe with these facts? His brother Edward simply stated an historical fact in attributing the almanac incident to Lincoln, and it was not the exercise of a novelist's fancy.

In order to secure additional facts in the Armstrong case, I recently wrote to the postmaster at Havana, Illinois, for the names of the lawyers, if yet living, who were associated with Mr. Lincoln in the case. The following letter was received, which is here given for its historic value:

"Havana, Illinois, August 22, 1908.

"Rev. J. T. Hobson, Dear Sir:—Your letter directed to the postmaster of this place, dated August 18, 1908, was [Pg 46] handed to me by the postmaster, Mr. Oscar Harpham, and he requested me to answer your letter.

"You ask for the names of the lawyers in Havana, who, in connection with Abraham Lincoln, defended Duff Armstrong in the Circuit Court of Cass County, Illinois, held in Beardstown, in 1858. In answer, I will state that the undersigned, Lyman Lacey, Sr., was one of the two lawyers who was employed to defend said Armstrong. Our firm name was Walker and Lacey, and we were practicing law in Havana, Mason County, Illinois, at the time in partnership, and had been so engaged at the time of the trial since 1856. Mr. Walker's given name was William. In 1865, Mr. William Walker removed to Lexington, State of Missouri, where he practiced law, and was county judge part of the time, and, a few years ago, died.

"I am the only attorney who practiced and was employed to defend Armstrong, yet alive. I am in the practice of law now, and am in good health, and on the 9th day of May last was seventy-six years old. Was about twenty-six years old at the time of trial of the Armstrong case in Beardstown, and my partner, some years older than myself, was the senior member of our firm. He attended the trial in Beardstown with Lincoln. I was not present, but stayed at home in the office in Havana.

"Mason and Cass counties join, and the crime of killing Metzker, for which Armstrong was indicted, took place in Mason County, and the indictment against Armstrong was found in this county, and a change of venue was taken to Cass County, which was in the same judicial district.

"I was well acquainted with Hannah Armstrong, mother of "Duff," with whom Lincoln had boarded in Menard County, which also joins Mason, when he was a young man, and before he was a lawyer, That was the reason Lincoln would not charge anything for defending her son. Our firm, Walker and Lacey, did not charge her anything for our services. "Duff" could not pay. His mother employed us and Lincoln. Lincoln and our firm consulted together about the defense, and Walker assisted at the trial.

"I would be glad to give you any information in regard to the trial and the parties in the Armstrong case. It was [Pg 47] quite celebrated, and things have been told that were not true.

"In regard to myself, in 1873 I was elected judge of the Circuit Court, and elected three times afterwards, and served in all twenty-four years. By appointment of the Supreme Court of this State, I served twenty years on the Appellate Court bench. I retired from the bench in 1897.

Yours very truly,
"Lyman Lacey, Sr."

After receiving the above letter, I wrote to Judge Lacey for additional information, and, in reply, received another letter containing interesting data, which here follows:

"Havana, Illinois, September 1, 1908.

"Rev. J. T. Hobson, Dear Sir:—Your letter of August 26th, was duly received, and contents noted. I wish to state to you that William Duff Armstrong was duly and jointly indicted with James H. Norris in the Circuit Court of Mason County, Illinois, for the murder of Metzker, October 3, 1857. Hugh Fullerton, of Mason County, was State's attorney and prosecutor, and is long since deceased. Norris was unable to employ an attorney, not having the necessary means. According to the laws of Illinois, in such case the circuit judge appoints an attorney at law to defend him, and the attorney is obliged to defend the prisoner without compensation. Accordingly the court appointed William Walker, my law partner, to defend Norris, which he did. Norris was tried before a jury of twelve men in Mason County, and said jury, on the 5th of November, convicted him of manslaughter, and fixed the time he should serve in the penitentiary as eight years, and the judge sentenced him to serve that time in the penitentiary at hard labor, which he did, less time gained by good behavior.

"William Duff Armstrong was granted a change of venue, November 5, 1857, to Cass County, Illinois, and was tried the next spring. William Walker and myself were employed by Hannah Armstrong and Duff to defend him in [Pg 48] Cass County, Illinois. I cannot state for certain whether 'Aunt Hannah' first sought the advice and help of Lincoln, or whether Lincoln first volunteered his services, but my recollection is that she first sought his aid. I understood after the trial of Duff that Mr. Lincoln told her he would make no charge for his services, because, he told her, she had spent more time, while he boarded with her, in darning his stockings and mending his clothes, than he had in defending her son in the trial, and as she never charged him anything, he would not charge her for his services.

"You know that 'Old Abe,' as he was called, was a humorous kind of a man. At one time when I was in Beardstown, at a term of court, looking after the Armstrong case, Lincoln was also there, and the judge, who had to come down on a steamboat from Pekin on the Illinois River, was long delayed. Lincoln and myself were at the same hotel in Beardstown, waiting for the judge, when Lincoln became very uneasy, and walked backward and forward, slowly, at the door of the hotel, when finally he spelled out—'t-e-j-u-s, t-e-j-u-s,' pronouncing the word as spelled twice.

"In regard to the almanac question, there was a witness who testified that after eleven o'clock, when the moon was shining brightly, he saw Duff Armstrong strike Metzker with a club. Lincoln and my partner, William Walker, introduced the almanac of 1857, showing that the moon set before eleven o'clock, which proved that the witness was swearing to a falsehood as regarded the shining of the moon. Now some one started the story that the almanac introduced was not one of the date of 1857, but of a former date showing the setting of the moon before eleven o'clock.... My partner, Walker, would have told me about it if such a trick had been performed at the trial, but he never did. Some years ago, I examined an almanac of 1857, which showed the setting of the moon was before eleven o'clock, and that it was the right almanac to introduce. A year or two before Duff Armstrong died, I had a conversation with him in Mason City, Mason County, Illinois, and he said there was no truth in the story that an almanac of a different date than 1857 was introduced. The above [Pg 49] charge is untrue, and is what I referred to in my former letter....

"I practiced law with Herndon in the 'fifties and the 'sixties, and he often talked to me about Lincoln, whom he liked very much, and afterward wrote his history. [Herndon was Lincoln's law partner twenty years.]

"At the time of the Armstrong trial, Lincoln was not looked upon as the great man he is to-day, only that he was a very good and successful lawyer. No one ever dreamed that he would be President. He was a man of great common sense, and an amusing story-teller. He knew how to please the common people, and everybody liked him personally.

Yours truly,
"Lyman Lacey, Sr."

Miss Ida M. Tarbell says, in McClure's Magazine, that Lincoln told the jury in the Armstrong case that he was not there as a hired attorney, but to discharge a debt of gratitude. Duff Armstrong said: "Uncle Abe did his best talking when he told the jury what true friends my father and mother had been to him in the early days. He told how he used to go out to Jack Armstrong's and stay for days; how kind mother was to him; and how, many a time, he had rocked me to sleep in the old cradle."

J. M. Hobson, now in his eighty-first year, and who, for many years, has resided in Winterset, Iowa, recently informed me that he was acquainted with "Aunt Hannah." She was married the second time to Samuel Wilcox. She died in Winterset, August 15, 1890, at the age of seventy-nine.

Mr. Hobson further said: "The son that Lincoln took an interest in was here fifteen or sixteen years ago. His name was William, but they called him "Duffy." We had a revival meeting at our church, and he attended. I took an interest in him, and tried to [Pg 50] get him to be a Christian. He did not make a start then, and I do not know whether he did later or not."

Duff Armstrong was a soldier in the Civil War, and died a widower, in 1899, at his daughter's, near Easton, Mason County, Illinois.

"Aunt Hannah" has a number of relatives in Winterset, Iowa, among them Mrs. Martha McDonald, her step-daughter and daughter-in-law. She was first married to Robert, a son of "Aunt Hannah." He died several years ago. I am indebted to Mrs. McDonald, through J. M. Hobson, for the excellent picture of "Aunt Hannah" in this book, also for the picture of "Duff," taken late in life, as an every-day farmer. He was Mrs. McDonald's step-brother and brother-in-law.

Who knew Lincoln in Indiana.
Yet living in Spencer County, Indiana, who remembers the Lincolns in Indiana.
Son of proprietor of Gentryville, Indiana. Both knew Lincoln in Indiana.
One of the brides of a double wedding in Indiana which caused Lincoln to write the "Chronicles of Reuben."

[Pg 51]


Lincoln's Temperance Principles

Promise Made to His Mother—Writes a Temperance Article Before Leaving Indiana—Mr. Wood and Mr. Farmer—Did Lincoln Sell Whisky?—His Great Temperance Address—Testimony of Associates—Moses Martin's Letter—The Internal Revenue Bill.

It is well known that Abraham Lincoln was strictly a temperance man. His early training was on that line. In his maturer years, while a member of Congress, when urged by an associate to drink on a certain occasion, he said, "I promised my precious mother only a few days before she died that I would never use anything intoxicating as a beverage, and I consider that promise as binding to-day as it was on the day I made it."

Among his first literary efforts, at his boyhood home in Indiana, was to write an article on temperance. William Wood, living near by, was Lincoln's chief adviser in many things. He took a political and a temperance paper, and Lincoln read them thoroughly. He expressed a desire to try his hand at writing an article on temperance. Mr. Wood encouraged him, and the article was written. Aaron Farmer, a noted minister of the United Brethren Church, often stopped with Mr. Wood, who was a zealous and devoted member of the same church. Mr. Herndon and other Lincoln biographers are mistaken in saying that Aaron Farmer was a minister of the Baptist Church. Henry Brooner told me that he joined the United Brethren Church at a grove meeting [Pg 52] held in that part of the country by Aaron Farmer, in the fall of 1827.

Lincoln's temperance article was shown Mr. Farmer by Mr. Wood, and he was so well pleased with it that he sent it to an Ohio paper, in which it was published. Lincoln, at this time, was seventeen or eighteen years old. I was acquainted with James, Andrew, Robert, and Charles, aged sons of William Wood, all of whom knew Lincoln. They have all passed away. In the year 1888, I officiated at the funeral of Mrs. Nancy Armstrong, one of Mr. Wood's daughters, at her home, which was the old home of her father, where Lincoln was always a welcome visitor. William L. Wood, a grandson of Lincoln's adviser, now living at Dale, and whom I have known for many years, says his grandfather was a temperance worker.

Mr. Farmer had a literary turn of mind, and published a paper called Zion's Advocate, at Salem, Indiana, in 1829, but this was about two years after Lincoln's temperance article was written. The United Brethren Church organ, the Religious Telescope, now published at Dayton, Ohio, was first published at Circleville, Ohio, in 1834, but this was still later. Query: In what paper in Ohio was Lincoln's temperance article printed? Mr. Farmer died March 1, 1839, while serving as presiding elder of the Indianapolis District. William Wood, Lincoln's old friend and adviser, died at Dale, Spencer County, Indiana, December 28, 1867, at the age of eighty-three.

Mr. Lincoln has been charged with selling whisky at New Salem, Illinois. Let us examine the facts and his own statement. In 1833, he and Mr. Berry bought out three groceries in New Salem. Berry was a drinking [Pg 53] man and not a suitable partner for Lincoln. At that time grocery stores usually kept whisky on sale, so the firm had quite a stock of whisky on hand, along with other commodities. Drinking was common then. Even some ministers of the gospel would take their "dram." It appears that Lincoln trusted Berry to run the business. It is doubtful if Lincoln himself sold whisky, although his name was connected with the firm. The firm failed. Berry died, leaving Lincoln the debts to pay.

Mr. Douglas, in his debates with Lincoln, twitted him as having been a "grocery keeper" and selling whisky. In replying, Lincoln jokingly said Mr. Douglas was one of his best customers, and said he had left his side of the counter, while Douglas stuck to his side as tenaciously as ever. When Lincoln laid aside his jokes he declared that he never sold whisky in his life. (See Chapter IX.)

Mr. Lincoln often "preached" what he called his "sermon to boys," as follows: "Don't drink, don't gamble, don't smoke, don't lie, don't cheat. Love your fellow-men, love God, love truth, love virtue, and be happy."

On the 22d of February, 1842, he made a strong address before the Washingtonian Temperance Society, in the Second Presbyterian Church, Springfield, Illinois, in which he said: "Whether or not the world would be vastly benefited by a total and final banishment from it of all intoxicating drinks, seems to me not now an open question. Three-fourths of mankind confess the affirmative with their tongues, and, I believe, all the rest acknowledge it in their hearts."

[Pg 54]

Leonard Swett, who, for eleven years was associated with Lincoln in law in the Eighth Judicial District of Illinois, said, "Lincoln never tasted liquor, never chewed tobacco or smoked."

The late Philip Clark, of Mattoon, Illinois, an old-time friend of Lincoln, is reported to have said: "We were together one night in a country neighborhood, when some one proposed that we all go to church, close by, to hear the Rev. John Berry preach a temperance sermon. After listening intently, Abe remarked to me that that subject would some time be one of the greatest in this country."

In the year 1847, Lincoln made a number of temperance addresses and circulated a total abstinence pledge, urging persons to sign it. Among those who signed the pledge presented by Mr. Lincoln were Moses Martin and Cleopas Breckenridge, who are still living. Recently I wrote to Mr. Martin, asking him to furnish for this book a statement concerning his recollections of Lincoln and his temperance speech. He promptly answered, as follows:

"Edinburg, Illinois, January 14, 1909.

"Mr. J. T. Hobson, Dear Sir:—I heard Abraham Lincoln lecture on temperance in 1847, at the South Fork schoolhouse. He came out from Springfield. He had gotten up a pledge. It was called the Washingtonian pledge. He made a very forcible lecture, the first temperance lecture I ever heard, and the first one ever delivered in our neighborhood. It was in the grove, and a large crowd came out to hear the lecture. Lincoln asked if any one had anything to say, for it or against it, while he circulated the pledge, he would hear from them. My old friend, Preston Breckenridge, got up and made a very forcible talk. He signed the pledge, and all his children. Cleopas was his son. Nearly every one there signed it. Preston went out lecturing. [Pg 55] I usually went with him and circulated the pledge copied after Abraham Lincoln's pledge. It read as follows: 'Whereas, the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage is productive of pauperism, degradation, and crime, and believing it is our duty to discourage that which produces more evil than good; we, therefore, pledge ourselves to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage.' When I signed Lincoln's pledge I was about nineteen years old. I am now eighty years old.

Moses Martin."

At my request, Mr. Martin kindly sent his picture for this book. Cleopas Breckenridge, who is referred to in Mr. Martin's letter, is living, in his seventy-third year, at Custer, Illinois. As he has furnished a statement for other publications, he writes that he prefers not to furnish it again. It may be said, however, that he was ten years old when Lincoln, by permission, wrote his name under the pledge, then placing his hand on the little boy's head, said, "Now, sonny, you keep that pledge, and it will be the best act of your life." In his long life, subject to many temptations, Mr. Breckenridge has faithfully kept his pledge made at Mr. Lincoln's temperance meeting.

On the 29th of September, 1863, in response to an address from the Sons of Temperance in Washington, President Lincoln said:

"If I were better known than I am, you would not need to be told that, in the advocacy of the cause of temperance you have a friend and a sympathizer in me. When I was a young man—long ago—before the Sons of Temperance as an organization had an existence, I, in a humble way, made temperance speeches, and I think I may say that to this day I have never, by my example, belied what I then said.... I think the reasonable men of the world have long since agreed that intemperance is one of the greatest, [Pg 56] if not the very greatest, of all evils among mankind. This is not a matter of dispute, I believe. That the disease exists, and that it is a very great one, is agreed upon by all. The mode of cure is one about which there may be differences of opinion."

It is true that President Lincoln, during the awful pressure of the Civil War, signed the Internal Revenue Bill, (H. R., No. 312,) to raise money from various sources to support the Government, among which was the licensing of retail dealers in intoxicating liquors. This bill was warmly discussed. Some years ago, I read these discussions in the "Congressional Record," of May 27, 1862. Senators Wilson, Pomeroy, Harris, and Wilmot opposed the licensing of the sale of intoxicants in the strongest manner. Mr. Lincoln threatened to veto the bill, but, as a war measure, and, acting under dire necessity, with the assurance that the bill would be repealed when the war was over, he reluctantly signed the bill, July 1, 1862. Up to this time, however, the bill has never been repealed. There have been some changes made, among which the word "license" was changed to "special tax," but the import is practically the same.

[Pg 57]


Lincoln as a Prohibitionist

Major J. B. Merwin and Abraham Lincoln—They Together Canvass Illinois for State Prohibition in 1854-55—Lincoln's Arguments Against the Saloon—Facts Omitted by Lincoln's Biographers—President Lincoln, Generals Scott and Butler Recommend Merwin's Temperance Work in the Army—The President Sends Merwin on a Mission to New York the Day of the Assassination—Proposition for Freedmen to Dig Panama Canal—Lincoln's Last Words to Merwin—Merwin's Characteristic Address at Lincoln's Tomb—"Lincoln, the Christian Statesman"—Merwin Living at Middlefield, Connecticut.

It will, no doubt, be of interest to here introduce a man who, perhaps, knew Mr. Lincoln as well as any man now living. It is Major J. B. Merwin, of Middlefield, Connecticut, who is now eighty years old. He is a noted educator and lecturer. He formerly resided in St. Louis, Missouri, and was the founder of "The American Journal of Education," in that city in 1867. Since that time he has written much and lectured widely on educational and literary subjects.

Learning of his associations with Mr. Lincoln, that they together campaigned the State of Illinois for State prohibition in 1854-55, I wrote Mr. Merwin for some items relative to his acquaintance and associations with the great emancipator. In his reply, Mr. Merwin said:

"I mail you a very brief résumé of my connection with Mr. Lincoln from 1854 on, up to the day he was assassinated. This will answer your query and request, I think, fully. Of course the address made at the tomb of the great, dear man, on May 26, 1904, was greatly abridged for lack of space, but many essential points you will be able to gather from what I send you. And I am glad to do this, for nearly all his biographers ignore both his prohibition and his religious work and character."

[Pg 58]

From what Mr. Merwin furnished, as stated in his letter, the following facts are here presented:

Mr. Merwin, then a young man, was a temperance lecturer in Connecticut, in 1851, during which year he and Neal Dow both addressed the legislature in behalf of State prohibition. A resident of Springfield, Illinois, then visiting in Hartford, being interested in the question, gained admittance to this legislative session, and was much pleased with Mr. Merwin's presentation of the subject. He afterward took it upon himself to invite Mr. Merwin to visit Springfield and deliver the same address before the Illinois Legislature. The invitation was accepted, and the following winter Mr. Merwin began a temperance campaign in Illinois. His first address was made at the capital. At this time the legislature was considering the submission of the prohibition question to the people, and as the question met with great opposition from the leaders of the two political parties, who feared to jeopardize the liquor interests, the speaker from the East was not permitted to address the legislature as a body, and spoke instead in the representative hall.

It was at this meeting that he first met Lincoln, who was immediately touched by the young speaker's words and enthusiastically accepted his message. Mr. Lincoln invited Mr. Merwin home with him that night, but, knowing nothing of the character of the man, Mr. Merwin asked the advice of a friend, who said, "Most certainly, if Mr. Lincoln invites you, go." Mr. Merwin says: "We were barely inside his door, and even before he asked me to be seated, he wanted to know if I had a copy of the Maine law with me. I had, and we spent until four o'clock in the morning discussing its features." [Pg 59] The matter of a prohibition canvass was outlined, and Mr. Lincoln volunteered to put the whole matter before Richard Yates, afterwards Illinois' war governor, but who was then Grand Worthy Patriarch of the Sons of Temperance. Mr. Yates was quick to see the strength of the new idea, and himself arranged the first series of rallies where Lincoln and Merwin spoke.

The meeting at Jacksonville was presided over by Richard Yates. Among the places at which they spoke were Bellville, Bloomington, Peoria, Edwardsville, and Decatur. Mr. Lincoln's political friends were alarmed for him because of his radicalism on the temperance question, and made a combined effort to silence him, but he continued in the fight.

Prohibition did not carry in its submission to the people, but it is said that the votes of forty counties were changed in favor of State prohibition.

After the campaign of 1854-55, Mr. Merwin's friendship with Lincoln continued without a break up to the latter's assassination. Soon after the commencement of the war, Mr. Merwin's unceasing advocacy of the great reform won him personal recognition, and it was suggested by prominent military men that he should be officially appointed, and be permitted the freedom of the camps in the interests of personal temperance work, need of which was widely evident. What President Lincoln and Generals Scott and Butler wrote on the back of the recommendation, as endorsements, is here given. Mr. Merwin has the original manuscript:

"If it be ascertained at the War Department that the President has legal authority to make an appointment such as is asked within, and Gen. Scott is of opinion it will be available for good, then let it be done.

"July 17, 1861.
A. Lincoln."

[Pg 60]

"I esteem the mission of Mr. Merwin to this army a happy circumstance, and request all commanders to give him free access to all our camps and posts, and also to multiply occasions to enable him to address our officers and men.

"July 24, 1861.
Winfield Scott,
Department of Virginia."

"The mission of Mr. Merwin will be of great benefit to the troops, and I will furnish him with every facility to address the troops under my command. I hope the Gen'l commanding the army will give him such official position as Mr. Merwin may desire to carry out his object.

"August 8, 1861.
B. F. Butler, Maj-Gen. Com'd'g."

The testimonial to the warm appreciation of Mr. Merwin's usefulness in the army as a temperance worker is signed by Isaac N. Arnold, O. H. Browning, Charles Sumner, Alexander W. Randall, W. A. Buckingham, Richard Yates, James Harlan, Alexander Ramsey, A. B. Palmer, John F. Potter, J. L. Scripps, Lyman Trumbull, Henry Wilson, J. R. Doolittle, Austin Blair, Thomas Drummond, James W. Grimes, Samuel J. Kirkwood, Timothy O. Howe, David Wilmot, and more than one hundred others. They comprise those of governors, senators, congressmen, and postmasters.

In 1862, President Lincoln again wrote a special order to facilitate his work at the front, as follows, the original still being in Mr. Merwin's possession:

"Surgeon General will send Mr. Merwin wherever he may think the public service may require.

"July 24, 1862.
A. Lincoln."

Throughout the war Mr. Merwin was in close personal touch with the nation's executive, and had a passport, given him by Mr. Lincoln, which admitted him to the White House at any time, day or night, [Pg 61] except during the session of the cabinet. On the day of his assassination the President had Mr. Merwin to dine with him, and that afternoon sent him on an important mission to New York.

It will be a matter of interest to many to know that Mr. Lincoln looked very favorably upon a proposal that had been made for the excavation and completion of the Panama Canal by means of the labor of the freedmen. Those close to the President at the time were aware of the fact that he favored the plan, and it was for the purpose of securing the views of Horace Greeley, of the New York Tribune, and other molders of public thought, in regard to the plan, that he called Major Merwin to the White House on the fatal Friday, April 14, 1865, the day that he was shot. After the President had explained this business to Mr. Merwin, perhaps recalling again those stirring times ten years before, when he had campaigned with him, he said, "After reconstruction, the next great question will be the overthrow of the liquor traffic."

That evening Mr. Merwin was on his way to New York, and the following morning, as he stepped from the train in that city, he heard the terrible news of the assassination at Ford's Theater, the night before.

Mr. Merwin says that Mr. Lincoln talked freely with him on the overthrow of the liquor traffic, and it is his strong conviction that if his life had been spared, even a decade, he would have emphasized his lifelong devotion to the temperance cause with an open and decisive championship of State and National prohibition. The slavery issue had come unforeseen into his life and swept him heart and soul into the very vortex of that terrific struggle. As he often expressed it, "there must [Pg 62] be one war at a time," and the one that called him first was not of his own choosing in point of order.

The abridged address on "Lincoln as a Prohibitionist," delivered by Major Merwin at the Lincoln Monument, at Springfield, Illinois, May 26, 1904, which he furnished for this book, is here given. It was printed in the New Voice, Chicago, June 16, 1904, to which I am indebted for a number of the foregoing items, some of which were marked by Major Merwin with a blue pencil.

After a brief introduction by Mr. Alonzo Wilson, chairman of the State Prohibition Committee, Mr. Merwin, standing on one of the steps of the stairway of the monument, with a beautiful flag covering a part of the balustrade, said:

"We stand to-day in the heart of the continent, midway between the two oceans, within the shadow of the monument of the man who made more history—who made greater history than any other person, than all other persons who lived in the nineteenth century! A leader of the people, who was great in their greatness, who carried their burdens, who, with their help, achieved a name and a fame unparalleled in human history. He broke the shackles of four millions of slaves. He saved to the world this form of government, which gives to all our people the opportunity to walk, if they will, down the corridors of time, arm in arm with the great of all ages, sheltered and inspired by the flag which has become the symbol of hope and of freedom to all the world!

"In God's good providence, I came to know him—here in his humble home in Springfield, in 1854, and before he had come to be the hero, beloved, glorified, known and loved by all who love liberty. It was in the autumn of 1854. I was a young man full of all the enthusiasm of those first Neal Dow triumphs in New England. Accepting the invitation of friends, I came to Illinois, where the campaign [Pg 63] for State prohibition was getting under way. I reached Springfield, and one night had the privilege of speaking in the old State House, where, with legislators and townspeople, I found an appreciative audience.

"After my address, there were calls of 'Lincoln! Lincoln! Lincoln!' and turning, I saw, perhaps, the most singular specimen of a human being rising slowly, and unfolding his long arms and his long legs, exactly like the blades of a jack-knife. His hair was uncombed, his coat sleeves were inches shorter than his shirt sleeves, his trousers did not reach to his socks. First I thought there was some plan to perpetrate a 'joke' on the meeting, but in one minute, after the first accents of the pathetic voice were heard, the crowd hushed to a stillness as profound as if Lincoln were the only person present, and then this simple, uncouth man gave to the hushed crowd such a definition of law, its design and mission, its object and power, such as few present had ever known or dreamed. Among the points he made were the following:

"Mr. Lincoln asked, 'Is not the law of self-protection the first law of nature; the first primary law of civilized society?' 'Law,' he declared, 'is for the protection, conservation, and extension of right things, of right conduct; not for the protection of evil and wrong-doing.'

"'The State must, in its legislative action, recognize in the law enacted this principle—it must make sure and secure these endeavors to establish, protect, and extend right conditions, right conduct, righteousness. These conditions will be secured and preserved, not by indifference, not by a toleration of evils, not by attempting to throw around any evil the shield of law; never by any attempt to license the evil.'

"'This sentiment of right conduct for the protection of home, of state, of church, of individuals must be taken up and embodied in legislation, and thus become a positive factor, active in the state. This is the first and most important function in the legislation of the modern state.' Proceeding, Mr. Lincoln said: 'This saves the whole, and not a part, with a high, true conservatism through the united action of all, by all, for all. The prohibition of the [Pg 64] liquor traffic, except for medical and mechanical purposes, thus becomes the new evangel for the safety and redemption of the people from the social, political, and moral curse of the saloon, and its inevitable evil consequences of drunkenness.'

"Lincoln studied every moral and political issue in this light and from this standpoint, and, as a result of this practice, he studied the opposite side of every question in dispute, and hence he was never surprised by the seeming strength of his opponents, for he saw at once the moral and legal weakness of wrong and untenable positions assumed. This it is that throws a flood of light on his ready and unanswerable repartee by story and statement. In fact, we have seen, often, that after his statement of a proposition it needed no argument.

"Honorable Elihu B. Washburn, Lincoln's closest friend, wrote before he died that 'when the whole truth is disclosed of Mr. Lincoln's life during the years of 1854-55, it will throw a flood of new light on the character of Mr. Lincoln, and will add new luster to his greatness and his patriotism.'

"Mr. Lincoln had, as is well known, made up his mind to retire from the political arena. He was annoyed, yea, more, he was disgusted with the low plane on which the politicians, mere politicians, not statesmen, were trying to conduct the affairs of the nation.

"Mr. Lincoln was feeling his way up and out of the gloom, despondency, and melancholy which had to so great an extent affected his life. There came to him a new light, a new revelation of destiny in those still creative, or rather recreative days, and it is this phase of things to which Mr. Washburn refers in the above lines.

"It is a well-known fact that Mr. Lincoln hesitated to show his strength of conscience, as he did his wealth of goodness, lest it be counted as ostentation. He said often in 1854-55, 'The saloon and the liquor traffic have defenders—but no defense!' With him men were neither great nor small—they were right or wrong. He knew no fear except the fear of doing wrong. His expressions and conduct on this question of the prohibition of the liquor traffic [Pg 65]and the saloon were so firmly anchored on his profound convictions of right and wrong that they were immutable.

"In that memorable canvass, Mr. Lincoln and myself spoke in Jacksonville, in Bloomington, in Decatur, in Danville, in Carlinville, in Peoria, and at many other points.

"The gist of Mr. Lincoln's argument was contained in this fearless declaration:

"'This legalized liquor traffic, as carried on in the saloons and grogshops, is the tragedy of civilization. Good citizenship demands and requires that what is right should not only be made known, but be made prevalent; that what is evil should not only be detected and defeated, but destroyed. The saloon has proved itself to be the greatest foe, the most blighting curse of our modern civilization, and this is why I am a practical prohibitionist.

"'We must not be satisfied until the public sentiment of this State, and the individual conscience shall be instructed to look upon the saloon-keeper and the liquor-seller, with all the license each can give him, as simply and only a privileged malefactor—a criminal.'

"Mr. Lincoln used, in advocating the entire prohibition of the liquor traffic, nearly the same language, and in many instances the same illustrations that he used later on in his arguments against slavery. At another place he said:

"'The real issue in this controversy, the one pressing upon every mind that gives the subject careful consideration, is that legalizing the manufacture, sale, and use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage is a wrong—as all history and every development of the traffic proves it to be—a moral, social, and political wrong.'

"It should be stated distinctly, squarely, and fairly, and repeated often, that Mr. Lincoln was a practical total abstinence man; wrote for it, worked for it, taught it, both by precept and by example; and when, from a long and varied experience, he found that the greed and selfishness of the liquor-dealers and the saloon-keepers overleaped and disregarded all barriers and every other restraint, and taught by the lessons of experience that nothing short of the entire prohibition of the traffic and the saloon would settle the question, he became an earnest, unflinching prohibitionist.

[Pg 66]

"It has been said by those most competent to judge, that Mr. Lincoln surpassed all orators in eloquence, all diplomats in wisdom, all statesmen in foresight, and this makes him and his name a power not to be resisted as a political prohibitionist.

"We do not say much about it, for it is not necessary, but there were times and occasions when Mr. Lincoln came to be, in his administration, greater than law—when his wisdom was greater than the combined wisdom of all the people. The people, the law-makers had never comprehended the conditions and the situation that confronted him. He was as great as necessity, and our safety lay in the fact that he was as just as he was great, and as wise as he was just. Great in law, but greater in necessity.

"God be praised for the great gifts he showered upon him; God be praised for the generous use he made of them. In the radiance of God's light and in the sunshine of his love from out the gates of pearl which were swung inward to his entrance by those who waited to welcome him thither, there opened to him that vast and bright eternity, vivid with God's love. We could wish for a moment the veil might be parted and we, too, could have vision that such labor shall be crowned with immortal rest. Hail, brother, and farewell."

In a letter to me, of late date, Major Merwin writes:

"None of us can get too many views of the good and great Lincoln, and the world grows better for all we know, or can learn of him.... I spoke in New Haven last Sunday evening in one of the largest churches in the old college town. The house was packed with Yale students and others. The subject was, 'Lincoln, the Christian Statesman,' emphasizing the religious phase of the man, much to the surprise of many present. This was the real source of his strength. He was larger than any or all so-called 'denominations,' and yet a multitude find both comfort and strength in these various divisions, and Lincoln's heart was glad it was so."

[Pg 67]

It should have been stated, in connection with Mr. Merwin's temperance record in the army, that General Winfield Scott, after hearing several addresses made by Mr. Merwin from President Lincoln's carriage, to the regiments gathering in Washington, said to the President, "A man of such force and moral power to inspire courage, patriotism, faith, and obedience among the troops is worth more than a half-dozen regiments of raw recruits."

As before stated, Mr. Merwin is now in his eightieth year, and resides at Middlefield, Connecticut. In his last letter to me, dated January 14, 1909, referring to the above paragraph, he says, "I am not now equal to 6,000 men, but am able to tell the story of the plain, great man, whose name is now, and ever will be a glory on the nation's brow."

[Pg 68]

Owned jointly by Abraham Lincoln and Henry Brooner in Indiana. Now owned by John E. Burton, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Daughter of Josiah Crawford, for whom Lincoln often labored as hired hand in Indiana.
Mr. Turnham, as Constable, loaned Lincoln the Revised Statutes of Indiana, the first law-book he ever studied.


Lincoln and the Slavery Question

An Ancient Institution—The Evils of Slavery—Lincoln Always Opposed to Slavery—Relic of "Cruel Slavery Days"—Discussions, Laws, and Compromises—The Missouri Compromise—The Fugitive Slave Law—The Kansas-Nebraska Bill—Lincoln Aroused—He Answers Douglas—R. L. McCord Names Lincoln His Candidate for President—A New Political Party—"Bleeding Kansas"—The Dred Scott Decision—"The Underground Railroad"—The John Brown Raid—The Approaching Crisis.

It may be wondered what future generations will think when they read the history of our country and learn that within the memory of many of those who now live this Government tolerated and protected that "sum of all villainies"—human slavery. Slavery arose at an early period in the world's history out of the accident of capture in war. As an institution it has existed in many countries for ages. Unfortunately, in the first settling of the United States, slavery was tolerated, and allowed to spread as the country developed. This was especially true of the Southern States.

The many attendant evils of slavery cannot here be mentioned. Slaves were largely kept in ignorance. In some States it was considered a crime, with heavy penalties, for any white person to teach a colored person to read or write.

The traffic in human beings, as it then existed, is awful to think of. Husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters were often sold and separated never to meet again. When the master died, his negroes were sold to the highest bidder, just like other property.

[Pg 69]

Abraham Lincoln was always opposed to slavery. When a young man he witnessed the cruelties of a slave market in New Orleans, where men, women, and children were sold like brutes. He then and there said, "If I ever have a chance to hit that institution, I will hit it hard." In 1837, when he was only twenty-eight years old, he heard a sermon preached by a noted minister, in Illinois, on the interpretation of prophecy in its relation to the breaking down of civil and religious tyranny. The sermon greatly impressed Mr. Lincoln, and he at that time said to a friend, "Odd as it may seem, when he described those changes and revolutions, I was deeply impressed that I would be somehow strangely mixed up with them."

Many slaveholders were otherwise good people, and their slaves were well treated. Ministers of the gospel and church-members held slaves. Some of the author's maternal relatives were slaveholders. He remembers, when a small boy, during "cruel slavery days," hearing his grandfather relate a conversation he had with a slave while on a late visit to his slaveholding brothers in Kentucky. The slave, a young man, was entering some complaint against slavery. Grandfather asked him, "Is your master kind to you?" "Yes, sir," answered the slave. "Do you have plenty to eat and wear?" "Oh, yes, sir." "Then why are you not satisfied?" "Oh, Mr. Todd, freedom, freedom."

I have a letter, dated June 2, 1861, written to my grandfather by one of his Kentucky brothers. I remember seeing this great uncle in 1865, when he was visiting in Indiana. He had administered on a brother's estate. The letter contains the following: "You wrote to know what I had done with the negroes. I sold them last [Pg 70] March, one year ago. William Hocker bought Dicey and her youngest boy for $1,100. Franklin Todd, the son of brother Peter, bought the oldest boy for $700. I bought the second boy, the one born when you were here, for $535." My great-uncle says, in the same letter, that, on account of governmental affairs, "property" is not bringing its full value.

The people of the North were generally opposed to slavery, and great bitterness of feeling was engendered between the Northern and Southern States. Among the great leaders in the anti-slavery movement were William Lloyd Garrison, Gerrit Smith, Wendell Phillips, John G. Whittier, Joshua R. Giddings, William H. Seward, and Charles Sumner. The institution of slavery had become a great power, and had interwoven itself into the social, moral, religious, and political fabrics of the country.

Whenever a territory sought admission into the Union as a State, a great controversy arose as to whether it should be admitted as a free or a slave State. The halls of Congress resounded with the eloquence of great statesmen on both sides of the question, because "there were giants in those days." A good portion of the time of Congress was taken in discussing some phase of the slavery question. Bad temper was often exhibited, and great interests were at stake. On some occasions Henry Clay would propose a compromise, which being accepted, would have a tendency to lull the storm which, sooner or later, was to burst forth in all its fury. Anti-slavery, abolition, and various organizations were formed.

In the North various opinions existed on the subject of slavery. Some were opposed to its extension, but did not wish to interfere with it where it already existed. [Pg 71] Others were more ultra, chief of whom was William Lloyd Garrison, whose motto was to destroy slavery or destroy the Union. He finally came to the conclusion that the Constitution of the United States favored slavery, and declared it to be "a covenant with death and an agreement with hell."

In 1820 the territory of Missouri sought admission into the Union. The question as to whether it should be admitted as a free or a slave State was so warmly and violently discussed in Congress that many were alarmed lest it would lead to the dissolution of the Union. The territory was finally admitted as a slave State, but on the express condition that slavery would forever be excluded from all that part of the territory of the United States lying north of 36 degrees and 30 minutes. This provision was known as "the Missouri Compromise."

In 1850 the "Fugitive Slave Law" was passed by Congress, which was, in part, to the effect that it was a penal offense to render any accommodations, assistance, or show any favors whatever to runaway slaves; also that officers were empowered to compel citizens, in the North as well as in the South, to assist in the capture of such slaves.

As the Missouri Compromise forever excluded slavery from the northwestern territories, the "forever" terminated when Congress, in May, 1854, passed the celebrated Kansas-Nebraska Bill, introduced by Stephen A. Douglas, the Democratic Senator from Illinois. Its main provision was that each territory seeking admission into the Union might decide by vote of its inhabitants whether it should be admitted as a free or a slave State. This virtually repealed the Missouri Compromise, [Pg 72] which Douglas had declared "to be sacred," and a law which "no human hand should destroy." This act was considered such a flagrant violation of a trust, breaking down all legal barriers to the possible spread of slavery, that it aroused great indignation throughout the North.

Mr. Lincoln, just prior to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, as already stated by Mr. Merwin in the last chapter, had become inactive in politics, and had given himself more fully to the practice of law. In furnishing a short biography of himself for a friend, in 1859, he said, "I was losing interest in politics when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again." He now saw the great danger of slavery enlarging its territory indefinitely, and was alarmed at the serious nature of the situation.

When Mr. Douglas discovered the unpopularity of his famous bill, he hastened to Springfield and other places in Illinois, to explain matters. On the 4th of October, 1854, he spoke in the State House at the time of the State Fair. It was expected that Lyman Trumbull, a noted Whig politician of Illinois, would reply, but he did not appear. Seeing the coast clear, Mr. Douglas spread himself, and made a great speech. He was small in stature and somewhat bombastic in his style of delivery. He was popularly known among his friends as the "Little Giant." Mr. Lincoln had been urged to reply to Mr. Douglas, and, after some persuasion, consented to do so. That day he made his first great political speech. It is stated that "all the smothered fires of his broody days and nights and years burst forth in a power and with an eloquence which even those who knew him [Pg 73] best had not so much as hoped for." Among other things, he said:

"My distinguished friend, Douglas, says it is an insult to the emigrants to Kansas and Nebraska to suppose that they are not able to govern themselves. We must not slur over an argument of this kind because it happens to tickle the ear. It must be met and answered. I admit that the emigrant to Kansas and Nebraska is competent to govern himself, but I deny his right to govern any other person without that person's consent."

I now introduce to my readers one who heard Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lincoln on that occasion, fifty-four years ago. It is Rev. R. L. McCord, now in his seventy-ninth year. He is an intelligent and highly-respected citizen of Lake City, Iowa, and one of my most valued parishioners. I shall let Mr. McCord speak for himself:

"I was then twenty-four years of age, and in my second year as a student in the Illinois Congregational College at Jacksonville, thirty miles west of Springfield. Some of my college mates and I heard Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lincoln speak in the State House, in the fall of 1854. The people were wearied with the lengthy speech of Judge Douglas. When Mr. Lincoln began his reply, for about fifteen minutes he kept the audience in an uproar of laughter and applause. Then he waded into the subject of 'free speech, free soil, and free men,' much to the confusion of the man who 'didn't care whether slavery was voted up or down.' During Mr. Lincoln's reply, Judge Douglas several times interrupted him, saying he was misrepresented. Mr. Lincoln, in his good nature, allowed him to explain a number of times. At one point he was very much worked up, and, pointing his finger at Mr. Lincoln, vehemently demanded a chance to explain. In a very excited manner, Judge Douglas tried to set himself right, using about fifteen minutes of Mr. Lincoln's time. After he was through, Mr. Lincoln spread his mouth, and, with a broad smile, said, 'I believe [Pg 74] the "Little Giant" is somewhat agitated,' and, without further attention to the judge, proceeded with his speech. I was so impressed with Mr. Lincoln's speech that on leaving the State House, I said to my college mates, 'Lincoln is my candidate for President at the next election.' This was six years before Mr. Lincoln was nominated at Chicago. The next evening, with my college mates, we called upon Mr. Lincoln at his home and complimented him for his great speech. He received us kindly, shook hands with us, and thanked us for our call. This was my first meeting with Mr. Lincoln, but I met him and heard him speak a number of times afterward."

This speech of Mr. Lincoln's was a noted one, and nearly all his biographers mention it, but it has not been left on record, except in small extracts. Mr. McCord's statement, made for this book, is interesting, and all will be glad to see the picture of his friendly and intellectual face as it now appears.

The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill and its effects was the means of the destruction of the Whig party, to which Mr. Lincoln belonged, the disruption of other party lines, and the organization of a new party with Abraham Lincoln as its acknowledged leader, which in a few years was to decide the destinies of the United States Government. It also had the effect of bringing about a state of civil war in Kansas. Thousands of pro- and anti-slavery people flocked to Kansas to help decide the destiny of that territory. Illegal votes, bogus legislatures, mobs, murders, incendiary acts, and general lawlessness were some of the fruits of Mr. Douglas' famous bill for popular sovereignty, better known as "squatter sovereignty."

In 1857, Chief-Justice Taney of the United States Supreme Court, with a majority of his associates, decided on a test case, known as the "Dred Scott Case," [Pg 75] that when the Constitution of the United States was formed and adopted, a negro slave was not a person, but simply a piece of property,—a thing,—and that his master could lawfully take his slaves anywhere he pleased, just as he could his horses and his cattle.

The Kansas-Nebraska Bill, the Fugitive Slave Law, and the Dred Scott Decision greatly aroused the North. Some declared that the latter two laws should not be carried out. This increased the hostility of the South. Many persons in the North assisted in what was called the "underground railroad"—secretly assisting slaves on their way to Canada for freedom.

When a small boy, just beginning to read, I remember seeing at my Grandfather Todd's, in southern Indiana, copies of the Louisville Journal (now the Courier-Journal) with whole columns of short advertisements, offering rewards for runaway slaves. Such advertisements could easily be recognized at a glance, for each one had a small picture of a slave with a carpet-sack on his back making long strides for liberty.

The leading opponents of slavery were bitterly hated and persecuted. William Lloyd Garrison was mobbed in the city of Boston, and it was with great difficulty that his life was saved. Elijah P. Lovejoy, who published an anti-slavery paper at Alton, Illinois, was shot down by a mob while defending his property and pleading for free speech. Charles Sumner, because of a speech he made, was brutally assaulted while sitting in his chair in the United States Senate, and was so beaten that he was compelled to give up his seat in Congress for four years.

It was well known that neither moral suasion nor the ordinary political methods would ever do away with [Pg 76] the curse of slavery. The people of the North debated, prayed, preached, and voted against slavery, while the people of the South were equally zealous in defending slavery, contending it was a divine institution.

While matters were in such an unsettled condition a great explosion occurred in the fall of 1859 which startled the entire nation. John Brown, who had rendered valuable service in keeping slavery out of Kansas, with an armed force of seventeen men, made a raid upon Harper's Ferry, Virginia, captured the United States arsenal, and for some time held the United States army at bay before he was captured. He had planned for a general insurrection among the slaves, believing that their emancipation depended largely upon themselves. Brown's plans were forced before he was ready. It was a rash act, and was not approved by the North, but strongly condemned. Brown and others who survived the conflict were executed for inciting an insurrection, murder, and treason. Brown was a brave and sincere man, but fanatical. As the explosion of the Maine hastened the Spanish-American War, so the John Brown raid was an important link in the chain of events to hasten the downfall of slavery. Seward's "irrepressible conflict" was at hand, and his "higher law" was soon to prevail.

[Pg 77]


The Lincoln and Douglas Debates

Candidates for the United States Senate—Seven Joint Debates—The Paramount Issue—The "Divided House"—"Acts of a Drama"—Douglas Charged Lincoln with Selling Whisky—Lincoln's Denial—A Discovery—Site of the Old Still House in Indiana—Douglas Elected—Lincoln, the Champion of Human Liberty.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas were candidates for the United States Senate from Illinois. Mr. Douglas, who was a Democrat, had already served as Senator, and was a candidate for reëlection. Mr. Lincoln was the Republican nominee. Both had had considerable experience in politics. Arrangements were made between them to jointly discuss the political issues at seven different places, namely, Ottawa, August 21; Freeport, August 27; Jonesboro, September 15; Charlestown, September 18; Galesburg, October 7; Quincy, October 13, and Alton, October 15.

These were the most noted public debates in American history. The slavery question, with its various side issues, was the chief topic of discussion. These debates were listened to by immense concourses of people, and excited the interest of the whole country. Mr. Lincoln assumed that slavery was wrong, and opposed the extension of it, while Mr. Douglas, without considering the moral phase of the question, was in favor of leaving to the vote of the inhabitants of a territory whether it should become a State with or without slavery.

Mr. Lincoln's "divided house" argument, first used at Springfield, in June, when he was nominated for [Pg 78] Senator, was one of the strongest applications of scripture ever given. He said:

"We are now far 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 has 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 the 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."

In the course of the debates, Mr. Lincoln said of slavery:

"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.... Because we think it wrong, we propose a course of policy that shall deal with it as a wrong. We deal with it as any other wrong, in so far as we can prevent it from growing any larger, and so deal with it that in the run of time there may be some promise of an end to it."

Because of the great principles involved, and the wide notoriety of these debates, Mr. Lincoln said, at Quincy:

"I was aware, when it was first agreed that Judge Douglas and I were to have these seven joint discussions, that [Pg 79] they were the successive acts of a drama—perhaps I should say, to be enacted, not merely in the face of audiences like this, but in the face of the nation, and, to some extent, by my relation to him, and not from anything in myself, in the face of the world; and I am anxious that they should be conducted with dignity and in good temper, which would be befitting the vast audiences before which it was conducted."

In the first debate, at Ottawa, Mr. Douglas said, in reference to the early career of himself and Mr. Lincoln in Illinois:

"I have known him for nearly twenty-five years. There were many points of sympathy between us when we first got acquainted. We were both comparatively boys, and both struggling with poverty in a strange land. I was a school teacher in the town of Winchester, and he a flourishing grocery-keeper in the town of Salem."

It has been stated, in Chapter VII., that in those days to be a "grocery-keeper" implied the selling of whisky. In his reply, Mr. Lincoln, using the third person, said:

"The judge is woefully at fault about his early friend Lincoln being a 'grocery-keeper.' I don't know as it would be a great sin if I had been; but he is mistaken. Lincoln never kept a grocery anywhere in the world. It is true that Lincoln did work the latter part of one winter in a little still-house up at the head of a hollow."

Here Lincoln plainly denies ever keeping a grocery, but the query arises, Where did he "work the latter part of one winter in a little still-house, up at the head of a hollow"? In all the numerous Lincoln biographies I have ever examined I have never seen any reference to its location. But I have located the place.

[Pg 80]

Reference has been made to Henry Brooner, one of Lincoln's early associates in Indiana. At the time of giving the other items, more than twenty years ago, already mentioned, "Uncle Henry" made this statement, written at the time, the original still preserved:

"When I was about twenty-five years old [1829], Abraham Lincoln came to my house, where I now live, and left an article of agreement for me to keep. At that time, one mile north of here, there was a distillery owned by John Dutton. He employed John Johnston, Lincoln's step-brother, to run it that winter, and Lincoln left the article of agreement between the parties for me to keep."

"Oh, Uncle Henry," said I, "find that paper, and I will give you ten dollars for it." He said his house burned afterward, and all his papers were destroyed. He afterward built a brick house near the same foundation.

When "Uncle Henry" gave me this item, I had not read the celebrated Lincoln and Douglas debates, and, therefore, knew nothing of Lincoln's statement that he had worked at a still-house. When I read the debates, fifteen years later, and saw Lincoln's reference to his having "worked the latter part of one winter at a little still-house, up at the head of a hollow," I was at once struck with what "Uncle Henry" had told me. This certainly decides the fact that Lincoln had reference to the time when he worked at the Dutton distillery, when his step-brother, John Johnston, run it the winter before the Lincolns left for Illinois, in 1830.

John Kemp, my old friend and a highly-respected citizen, now sixty-three years old, who was born and reared on a farm adjoining Henry Brooner, told me in July, 1903, in Washington, Indiana, that north of the [Pg 81] old Brooner farm there is an old farm still known as the "Dutton farm," and that he remembered seeing, often, when a small boy, near a spring, an old, dilapidated building called the "old still-house." He had never heard of John Johnston or of Abraham Lincoln working there, for that was before he was born. "Uncle Henry" had been dead thirteen years, but I had the record of the statement he made to me.

On a bright afternoon, September 7, 1903, Mr. Kemp took me in his buggy to see the place. The farm was then owned by John and Harmon Steineker, and is on the old Fredonia and Princeton highway, four miles southwest of Huntingburg, Dubois County, Indiana. Here is the "Dutton farm," and here is a spring in the barn lot. Just across the road, to the right, is where the old "still-house" stood, and there is the "hollow" running down through the forest. As I viewed the scene, I felt something within me akin to what old Archimedes felt when he discovered the solution to an important mathematical problem, and exclaimed, "Eureka! Eureka!" ("I have found it! I have found it!").

In the joint debates between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Douglas, the latter carried the most popular applause, but the former made the deeper and more lasting impressions. Douglas was greeted with the loudest cheers, but when Lincoln closed, the people seemed sober and serious. As a result of the canvass, Mr. Lincoln had a majority of four thousand of the popular vote of the State, but it is stated that the legislative districts were so construed that Douglas received a majority of the ballots in the legislature, and was, therefore, returned to the United States Senate. The debates [Pg 82] brought Mr. Lincoln to the front as an able and eloquent champion of human liberty and prepared the way for his nomination and election to the presidency of the United States.

Of the Armstrong Case. Defended by Lincoln in 1858. This picture was taken late in life, as an every-day farmer.
Wife of Jack Armstrong, and mother of "Duff," whom Lincoln defended.
These lawyers were associated with Mr. Lincoln in the celebrated Armstrong Case. Mr. Lacey is still living at Havana, Illinois. Mr. Walker died several years ago.

[Pg 83]


Lincoln Nominated and Elected President

Rival Candidates—Great Enthusiasm—Lincoln's Temperance Principles Exemplified—Other Nominations—A Great Campaign—Lincoln's Letter to David Turnham—Lincoln's Election—Secession—Lincoln Inaugurated—Douglas.

Abraham Lincoln was nominated as the Republican candidate for President of the United States, at Chicago, Illinois, May 18, 1860. Salmon P. Chase, William H. Seward, Simon Cameron, William L. Dayton, and Edward Bates were the opposing candidates for the nomination. Mr. Lincoln was nominated on the third ballot. The nomination was afterward made unanimous. The nomination was made amid great applause. It has been said that the scene baffled all human description. Mr. Lincoln was the second Republican candidate for the Presidency, General John C. Fremont being the first, who was nominated in 1856.

Mr. Lincoln was at his home in Springfield, Illinois, when he was nominated. His strong temperance principles were again exemplified when the committee formally notified him of his nomination. Some of his Springfield friends, knowing that he did not keep or use liquors, thought he would have nothing of the kind on hands to refresh the committee, and offered to furnish what was needed. Mr. Lincoln thanked them for their offer, and said, "Gentlemen, I cannot allow you to do what I will not do myself."

After the committee had notified him of his nomination, and he had responded, accepting the nomination, [Pg 84] he said that, as an appropriate conclusion to an interview so important and interesting as that which had transpired, he supposed good manners would require that he should treat the committee with something to drink. Soon a servant entered bearing a large waiter containing several glasses, and a large pitcher in the midst, and placed it on the center-table. Mr. Lincoln arose and, gravely addressing the company, said: "Gentlemen, we must pledge our mutual healths in the most healthy beverage which God has given to man. It is the only beverage I have ever used or allowed in my family, and I cannot conscientiously depart from it on the present occasion—it is pure Adam's ale from the spring." And, taking a glass, he touched it to his lips, and pledged them his highest respects in a cup of cold water.

The Democratic party was divided. The Northern Democrats nominated Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln's old political rival. The Southern Democrats nominated John C. Breckenridge, of Kentucky. A third party, called the "Union party," nominated John Bell, of Tennessee. The campaign that followed was a remarkable one. "The magic words, 'Old Abe' and 'Honest Old Abe,' were on thousands of banners."

During the campaign, Mr. Lincoln wrote a letter to his old friend, David Turnham, the constable of Spencer County, Indiana, from whom he borrowed the "Revised Statutes of Indiana," mentioned in Chapter III. This letter is now given to the general public for the first time:

"Springfield, Ills., Oct. 23, 1860.
"David Turnham, Esq.,

"My dear old Friend: Your kind letter of the 17th is received. I am indeed very glad to hear you are still living [Pg 85] and well. I well remember when you and I last met, after a separation of fourteen years, at the Cross Road voting place, in the fall of 1844. It is now sixteen years more, and we are both no longer young men.

"I suppose you are a grandfather, and I, though married much later in life, have a son nearly grown.

"I would much like to visit the old home, and old friends of my boyhood, but I fear the chance of doing so soon is not very good.

"Your friend and sincere well-wisher,
"A. Lincoln."

The election was held on the sixth of November, 1860, and the result showed a popular vote for Lincoln of 1,857,600; for Douglas, 1,365,976; for Breckenridge, 847,953, and for Bell, 590,631. In the electoral college, Lincoln received 180 votes, Breckenridge, 72, Bell 39, and Douglas 12.

Because of an election of a Northern man for President, and fearing their "peculiar institution" was in danger, the Southern States began the organization of the Southern Confederacy, and when Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated, March 4, 1861, seven Southern States had passed ordinances of secession, followed later by four other States. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, was chosen President of the Southern Confederacy.

Mr. Lincoln's inaugural address was noted for its sentiments of good will and forbearance, yet he strongly indicated his purpose to maintain the Union. He stated that he had no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with slavery where it then existed, and that the people of the South could have no war unless they became the aggressors.

Stephen A. Douglas, Mr. Lincoln's old political rival, and who was also a presidential candidate at the time [Pg 86] of Mr. Lincoln's election, held Mr. Lincoln's hat while he read his inaugural address, and stated to those near him, "If I can't be President, I can hold his hat." James Parton, the historian, said of Mr. Douglas: "On the breaking out of the Rebellion, in 1861, Stephen A. Douglas gave his hand to President Lincoln and engaged to stand by him in his efforts to save the country. But his days were numbered. During his herculean labors of the previous year he had sustained himself by deep draughts of whisky; and his constitution gave way at the very time when a new and nobler career opened up before him." He died in Chicago, June 3, 1861, at the age of forty-eight years, and only three months after Mr. Lincoln's inauguration.

[Pg 87]


President Lincoln and the Civil War

The Beginning—Personal Recollections—The War Spirit—Progress of the War—The Emancipation Proclamation—A Fight to Finish—Lincoln's Kindness—He Relieves a Young Soldier—He Names Triplets Who Are Still Living—His Reëlection—The Fall of Richmond—Appomatox—Close of the Rebellion.

On the 12th of April, 1861, after Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated, the first outbreak of the Civil War was the bombardment of Fort Sumter on the part of the South. President Lincoln at once called for volunteers to suppress the rebellion.

Although but a small boy at the time, I remember when the war began. It was the greatest civil war in human history, and will always be associated with Abraham Lincoln. I remember the excitement it produced where I resided in southern Indiana and throughout the whole country. I recall the floating flag, the mournful sound of the drum, and the plaintive music of the fife when volunteers were enlisting for the defense of the nation. The neighbors talked war, the newspapers were filled with war news. The war spirit entered into the plays of the children. Elder fifes, old tin wash-boilers for drums, wooden guns and bayonets, and rudely-constructed flags were much in evidence in the mimic drilling and marching. How patriotically the little boys sang, as did some of their sires in the sunny South:

"The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the stars,
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle-cry of freedom!"

[Pg 88]

How the schoolboys played war in the autumn! The forts were made of old fence rails and logs, and how they were bombarded with cannon-balls of green walnuts, and how the "rebels" were routed and some captured! In the winter-time how the snow-balls would fly as the two armies stood in battle array!

What a sad day it was when the news came that our "circuit rider," a young minister, who had so often been in our home, and who had enlisted, was killed at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in May, 1863.

Early in 1865, I saw my name in print for the first time by writing a letter for publication in the Children's Friend, published at Dayton, Ohio, in which I made the statement, "I am a Union boy fourteen years old, and wish the war was over."

After the war had continued a year and a half, with victories and defeats on both sides, the President, on the 22d of September, 1862, issued the provisional Emancipation Proclamation, which was to the effect that the South would be given from that time up to the first of January, 1863, to lay down their arms, keep their slaves, and find their proper places in the Union, otherwise a proclamation would be issued to set at liberty their slaves. The South did not accept the overtures of President Lincoln, and the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. It was issued as a war measure, upon military necessity, and on the condition that the traitor forfeits his property. After this the war, upon the part of the North, was not only to suppress the rebellion, but for the purpose of abolishing slavery, and the South fought not only to preserve the Confederacy, but for the institution of slavery itself. It was [Pg 89] now a fight to finish upon both sides, and to settle great principles and interests.

Those were times that tried men's souls, but none were so tried as was the soul of him who stood at the helm and guided the ship of state in that stormy period of our country's history.

Throughout the war Mr. Lincoln was very kind and forbearing in his dealings with all classes of men. Many a deserter owed his life to the pardoning power of President Lincoln, one of whom I knew personally for many years. Besides his heavy duties as President, under such extraordinary circumstances, he went to extra trouble in relieving persons in many cases who came to him for help. George W. Wolf, an upright and influential citizen, who resides near Georgetown, Floyd County, Indiana, was corporal of Company C, of the Eighty-first Indiana Regiment, in the Civil War, and afterward sergeant of the Seventh Veteran Reserve Corps. At his home, November 26, 1904, he related to me the following incident, which came under his observation, showing the kind nature of President Lincoln:

"A young soldier, about twenty years of age, belonging to an Illinois regiment, was taken sick on the field, and sent to a hospital. For some time after his partial recovery he was not able for field service, and was put in the First Battalion Reserve Corps, which was in camp in the rear of the President's mansion. He came to me one day and said: 'Sergeant, what would you do if you had been sent from your company to a hospital, and then sent here, and could draw no money from the paymaster on account of not having a descriptive roll?'

"'I would send for it,' said I.

"'I have sent for it two or three times, but it never came,' said he.

[Pg 90]

"'Then I would go and see Uncle Abe,' said I.

"'What,' said he, 'a private soldier go up and see the President? Would he notice me?'

"'Yes,' I replied, 'and I will go with you.'

"The next morning we secured a pass, and went to see the President. The young man was very nervous. After waiting a few minutes, we were admitted to the President's room. Mr. Lincoln, after dropping his feet from a table, said, 'Well, soldiers, what can I do for you?'

"Before entering, I told the young man he must do his own talking, but I answered, 'This soldier wants to see you about getting pay for his service.'

"Mr. Lincoln, after a short conversation, wrote the name of the soldier, his regiment, when he enlisted, that he had received but one payment, that he had tried more than once, and had failed. Then Mr. Lincoln said, 'I will see to it.'

"The next day, about noon, the young soldier was ordered to go to the paymaster and draw his money. He received all his pay, and a bounty beside, for he had been without pay for two years. After receiving his money he joyfully took off his cap, threw it up in the air, and exclaimed, 'Boys, if they don't treat you right, go to Old Abe, and he will make it right.'"

In the Farm and Fireside, published at Springfield, Ohio, of March 7, 1906, appeared an article written by J. L. Graff, concerning a set of triplets, yet living, who were named by President Lincoln. The family name is Haskins. The picture of the triplets appeared in connection with the article. The names given by Mr. Lincoln were Simon Cameron, Secretary of War; Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, and Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States. Recently I wrote a letter addressed to the triplets, in care of Abraham Lincoln Haskins, enclosing the article and their picture, asking for the verification of the facts stated and for [Pg 91] other information. In due time I received the following letter:

"Baraboo, Wisconsin, January 17, 1909.

"Rev. J. T. Hobson, Dear Sir:—I received a letter from you asking if I was one of the Haskins triplets. Yes, sir; I am. We were born May 24, 1861, and named by Abraham Lincoln. We are all alive and well. I am sorry to say that I have no picture of us three, and never had them taken but once in our lives, and the one that I had I sent to Mr. J. L. Graff, of Chicago. One brother is here in Baraboo, the other is in Coleman, Michigan, whose name is Simon. That picture you sent is an exact picture of us. A Mr. Cole, editor of the Baraboo News, tried to find the letter that Mr. Lincoln wrote to my folks. All that he could find out was that it was in some museum in Washington. I wish we could get it, for I would highly prize it. We boys never saw it. He wrote to my father and asked him if it was true that he was the father of three boys of the same age. He wrote and told him it was so; then Mr. Lincoln wrote again, saying that he would be pleased to name us. Father wrote and told him that he would be pleased to have him name us. He said the first should be named Abraham Lincoln, the second Gideon Welles, and the third Simon Cameron. We were born in Starksboro, Addison County, Vermont. My mother's name, before she was married, was Louisa E. Grace, and if there ever was a Christian she was the very best one. If there is anything more I can do for you I will be very glad to do so. I feel proud of my name, and try hard to honor it in every respect.

"Yours, with respect,
"Abraham Lincoln Haskins."

I feel sure the reader will be pleased to see in this book the picture of the triplets, yet living, who were named by President Lincoln.

Mr. Lincoln was reëlected President of the United States, November 8, 1864, and entered upon his second term March 4, 1865. General George B. McClellan was [Pg 92] the Democratic candidate. The London Spectator declared the second inaugural address of Mr. Lincoln to be the noblest political document known to history.

In the meantime the war was being industriously prosecuted. Important victories, with some reverses, came to the North from time to time. The rebellion finally collapsed in the fall of Richmond, Virginia, April 3, and the surrender of General Lee to General Grant at Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865.

Mr. Nichols, in his "Life of Abraham Lincoln," says:

"The spontaneous and universal rejoicings of the people of the country at the complete overthrow of the rebellion were such as had never been witnessed before on any continent. Men laughed, cried, shouted, shook hands with each other; there were parades by day and at night. America was illuminated by discharge of fireworks and thousands of torchlight processions. The war was over. Peace stretched her white wings over our beloved land."

[Pg 93]


Death of President Lincoln

Personal Recollections—The Tragic Event—Mr. Stanton—A Nation in Sorrow—The Funeral—The Interment at Springfield, Illinois—The House in Which President Lincoln Died—Changed Conditions—The South Honors Lincoln—A United People—A Rich Inheritance.

On the 15th of April, 1865, my father came hurriedly into the house with the exclamatory interrogation, addressed to mother, "Guess who's dead!" Mother at once thought of her old father, and asked if it were he. Then came the startling news, "Lincoln is killed!" What a shock it was to our family, as it was to thousands of others. We looked at the little two-year-old boy of the household who bore the President's name, and, with childish superstition, wondered if he would suffer any disadvantages because of the murder of President Lincoln.

On Friday evening, April 14, the President was in attendance at Ford's Theater, on Tenth Street, in Washington, D. C. The proceeds of the entertainment were to be given to a charity benefit, and it was widely advertised that the President and wife, with General Grant and others would be present. John Wilkes Booth, a fanatic and Southern sympathizer, shot the President in the head at 10:15. He at once became unconscious, and never regained consciousness. He was carried across the street to a house, where he died the next morning at 7:23. Mrs. Lincoln, the son Robert T., Private Secretary John Hay, several members of the [Pg 94] cabinet, surgeons, Rev. Dr. Gurley, Senator Charles Sumner, and others were present when the end came.

No one, outside of the family, was so deeply moved at the striking down of the President as was Mr. Stanton. It will be remembered that Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stanton first met in 1857, at the trial of the McCormick Reaper Patent case, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and that at the trial Stanton slighted Mr. Lincoln and made uncomplimentary remarks about him. Four years later, President Lincoln chose Mr. Stanton a member of his cabinet, making him Secretary of War. Their relations were very close during the war period up to the time of Mr. Lincoln's death.

F. B. Carpenter, in his book, "Six Months at the White House," says:

"A few days before the President's death, Secretary Stanton tendered his resignation of the War Department. He accompanied the act with a heartfelt tribute to Mr. Lincoln's constant friendship and faithful devotion to the country, saying, also, that he, as secretary, had accepted the position to hold it only until the war should end, and that now he felt his work was done, and his duty was to resign.

"Mr. Lincoln was greatly moved by the secretary's words, and, tearing in pieces the paper containing his resignation, and throwing his arms about the secretary, he said, 'Stanton, you have been a good friend and a faithful public servant, and it is not for you to say when you will no longer be needed here.' Several friends of both parties were present on the occasion, and there was not a dry eye that witnessed the scene."

When Lincoln fell, Stanton was almost heart-broken, and as he knelt by his side was heard to say to himself: "Am I indeed left alone? None may now ever know or tell what we have suffered together in the nation's darkest [Pg 95] hours." When the surgeon-general said to him that there was no hope, he could not believe it, and passionately exclaimed, "No, no, general; no, no!"

When Lincoln expired, and just after prayer by Doctor Gurley, Stanton was the first to break the silence, saying, "Now he belongs to the ages."

At the death of President Lincoln the nation was suddenly turned from demonstrations of great joy, on account of the closing of the war, to intense grief and unutterable horror. W. O. Stoddard says, "It was as if there had been a death in every home throughout the land." J. H. Barrett says:

"Never before was rejoicing turned into such sudden and overwhelming sorrow. A demon studying how most deeply to wound the greatest number of hearts, could have devised no act for his purpose like that which sent Abraham Lincoln to his grave. No man's loss could have been so universally felt as that of a father, brother, friend. Many a fireside was made lonely by this bereavement. Sadness and despondency seized upon all. Men ceased business, and workmen returned home with their dinner buckets unopened. The merchants left their counting-rooms for the privacy of their dwellings. A gloom, intensified by the transition from the pomp and rejoicing of the day before, settled impenetrably on every mind. Bells sadly tolled in all parts of the land. Mourning drapery was quickly seen from house to house on every square of the national capital; and all the chief places of the country witnessed, by spontaneous demonstration, their participation in the general sorrow. In every loyal pulpit, and at every true altar throughout the nation, the great public grief was the theme of earnest prayer and discourse on the day following. One needs not to dwell on what no pen can describe, and on what no adult living on that day can ever forget."

[Pg 96]

Funeral services were conducted in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, April 19, by Doctor Gurley, of the Presbyterian Church. Andrew Johnson, the successor of President Lincoln, by proclamation, recommended that memorial services be held that day throughout the United States. I kept my first diary that year, and made the following entry for that day:

"Abraham Lincoln's funeral preached; order to hold meeting at every church in the U. S. Heard David Swartz preach in Clear Spring. 2 Samuel, 3 chapter, 38 verse. The minister was a Methodist, and the words of the text were, 'Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?'"

The remains of President Lincoln were taken to his old home, Springfield, Illinois, for interment. An address was there delivered by Mr. Lincoln's highly-esteemed friend, Bishop Simpson, of the Methodist Episcopal Church. A large monument, appropriate to the memory of him who "bound the nation and unbound the slave," marks the place where his body lies in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

The three-story brick building in which President Lincoln died in Washington City is still standing. The lower story is used by Mr. O. H. Oldroyd, containing the Oldroyd Lincoln Memorial Collection, consisting of more than three thousand articles pertaining to the martyred President. I visited this house, May 23, 1901. In some pictures of the house in which Lincoln died there is a flag floating from a window in the second story, and in others the third story, with the statement that the flag indicates the room in which President Lincoln died. Neither is correct. He died in a small room on the first floor, in the rear part of the building.

[Pg 97]

It is now nearly forty-four years since Abraham Lincoln died. There have been great changes in our country during that time. The South now vindicates Lincoln, and realizes that he was their friend. Peace and good will now prevail between the North and the South, cemented by the blood of Lincoln.

Joseph H. Bradley, chaplain National Soldiers' Home of Virginia, in a communication to the Ram's Horn, quotes from a letter written by General William G. Webb, a Christian ex-Confederate:

"Abraham Lincoln was a great and good man, and was raised up by God to preserve this nation as one and indivisible, and to give freedom to the slaves. As a Confederate, I could not see it; and after our defeat it took me some time to grasp it; but it became very plain to me after a while. God has a great work for this nation to do, and Mr. Lincoln was, like Washington, one of his instruments to prepare the people for this mission which the United States is to accomplish toward the enlightenment, freedom, and Christianization of the world."

I heard a lecture on Abraham Lincoln at Corydon, Indiana, March 17, 1899, by Henry Watterson, the talented editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal and ex-Confederate, in which he said, "If Lincoln was not inspired of God, then there is no such thing on earth as special providence or the interposition of divine power in the affairs of men."

In 1903, the State of Mississippi, the second State to pass an ordinance of secession, and the home of Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern Confederacy, requested Honorable Robert T. Lincoln to furnish a picture of his father to hang in the new capitol building at Jackson. The request was as follows:

[Pg 98]

"We of the South now realize the greatness and the goodness of the character of Abraham Lincoln, and would honor his memory. Nothing that we could do would add to his fame. We can, however, show our respect and love for him. Permit me, therefore, in the name of the State, to invite you to place a portrait of President Lincoln in the new capitol of Mississippi; that it may symbolize his love for his country, his devotion to duty, and his heartfelt sympathy for the Southern people."

Abraham Lincoln loved the South. He was Southern born. At his last cabinet meeting, on the date of his death, he advised that forbearance, clemency, and charity should be the controlling principles in dealing with difficult problems awaiting practical solution.

What a rich inheritance we have in the example and deeds, the pen and voice of Abraham Lincoln. What an inspiration his noble life should be to struggling young men who trace the footsteps in his eventful history, and learn the motives that prompted him in all his actions.

Not long since I received a communication from a stranger, a poor orphan boy in far-away Turkey. He lives in Konia, the ancient Iconium, mentioned in the New Testament. He says: "I have read in some books about Lincoln. I love and admire him as one of the greatest men that ever have been lived on earth." His appeal for an opportunity to know more about Lincoln was pathetic.

Many years ago a young man said:

"I was only a child when Abraham Lincoln died, but I cannot think of his death without feeling the same pain I would feel if it had been my father. I never saw him, and yet it seems that I knew him and loved him personally. I am sure I am a better man because Lincoln lived. His straightforward, simple, truthful life puts all meaner lives to shame."

[Pg 99]

O. H. Oldroyd, editor of the "Lincoln Memorial Album," says:

"His fame is world-wide and stands in history more lasting than a monument of brass. His words will continue to sound through the ages as long as the flowers shall bloom or the waters flow."

Another writer says:

"We hear Lincoln's words in every schoolhouse and college, in every cabin, and at every public meeting. We read them in every newspaper, school-book, and magazine, and they are all in favor of right, liberty, and truth, and of honesty and reverence for God. His words, some of them as familiar as the Bible, are on the tongues of the people, shaping the national character."

Bishop Newman said:

"There is no name more deserving of imperishable fame than Abraham Lincoln. He is embalmed in song, recorded in history, eulogized in panegyric, cast in bronze, sculptured in marble, painted on canvas, enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen, and lives in the memories of mankind."

Of Evansville, Indiana, son of the Indiana constable who loaned Lincoln the Revised Statutes of Indiana. Mr. Turnham has a letter written to his father by Lincoln in 1860, and printed in this volume.
Mr. Martin signed a temperance pledge presented by Abraham Lincoln in 1847. Mr. Martin resides at Edinburg, Illinois, and is eighty years of age.
Who canvassed Illinois with Lincoln for State Prohibition in 1854-55, and was associated with Mr. Lincoln till the day of his death. Major Merwin now resides at Middleburg, Conn.
Of Lake City, Iowa, who named Lincoln as his candidate for President after hearing him speak at Springfield, Illinois, in 1854.

[Pg 100]


Unpublished Official Documents

A Discovery—Documents of Historic Value—Lincoln Owned Land in Iowa—Copy of Letters Patent from United States, under James Buchanan, to Abraham Lincoln, in 1860—Copy of Deed Executed by Honorable Robert T. Lincoln and Wife in 1892—Other Transfers—The Present Owner.

A few months ago I learned through a newspaper that Abraham Lincoln, at the time of his death, owned land in the State of Iowa, by virtue of his having served in the Black Hawk War of 1832. He was given a land script, good for one hundred and twenty acres, which he located in what is now Crawford County, Iowa. Having never heard of this before, I went to Denison, the county-seat, and, through the law and abstract office of Shaw, Sims & Kuehnle, obtained the information where the records could be found in the county recorder's office. The above-named Shaw is the Honorable Leslie M. Shaw, ex-Governor of Iowa and ex-Secretary of the United States Treasury under President Roosevelt.

Through the kindness of the county recorder, W. E. Terry, I was allowed to copy the records in the case. Probably Abraham Lincoln never saw the land, but because of their historical value the records are here given. The first is the letters-patent from the United States to Abraham Lincoln. Record D, page 18. Original Entry, page 125.

[Pg 101]

"The United States of America.

"To All Whom, These Presents Shall Come, Greeting:
"Whereas, In pursuance of the Act of Congress, approved March 3, 1855, entitled An Act, in addition to certain Acts, Granting Bounty Land to certain officers and soldiers who have been engaged in the military service of the United States, There has been deposited in the General Land Office, Warrant No. 68645, for 120 acres of land in favor of Abraham Lincoln, Captain Illinois Militia, Black Hawk War, with evidence that the same has been duly located upon the east half of the northeast quarter, and northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section eighteen, in Township eighty-four, north of Range thirty-nine west, in the district of Lands subject to sale at Council Bluffs, Iowa, containing one hundred and twenty acres, according to the official plat of the survey of the said land returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General, the said tract having been located by the said Abraham Lincoln.

"Know ye, That there is, therefore, granted by the United States unto the said Abraham Lincoln, heirs, and assigns forever.

"In Testimony, whereof, I, James Buchanan, President of the United States of America, have caused these Letters to be made Patent, and the seal of the General Land Office to be hereto affixed.


"Given under my hand, at the City of Washington, the tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-fifth.

"By the President:
James Buchanan.
"By J. B. Leonard, Sec.
"G. W. Granger, Recorder of the General Land Office.
"Recorded vol. 468, page 53."

The following copy of the warranty deed from Robert T. Lincoln and wife to Henry Edwards is recorded in Deed Record 13, page 208. Robert T. Lincoln at this time was minister from the United States to Great [Pg 102] Britain, under President Benjamin Harrison's administration:

"Warranty Deed.

"Filed April 26, A. D. 1892, at 2:10 P.M., W. W. Cushman, Recorder.
"Know All Men by These Presents:
"That we, Robert T. Lincoln and Mary H. Lincoln, his wife, of Cook County, and State of Illinois, in consideration of the sum of Thirteen Hundred Dollars ($1,300) to us in hand paid by Henry Edwards, of Crawford County, and State of Iowa, do hereby sell and convey unto the said Henry Edwards the following described premises, situated in the County of Crawford, and State of Iowa, to-wit:

"The east half of the northeast quarter, and the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section eighteen (18) in Township eighty-four (84), north of Range thirty-nine (39), west of the Principal Meridian.

"And we covenant with the said Henry Edwards that we hold said premises by good and perfect title, that we have good right and lawful authority to sell and convey the same, that they are free and clear of all liens and all encumbrances, whatsoever, excepting the taxes levied, or to be levied, for the year 1892, and excepting also a lease of said land expiring on or about the fourth day of May, A. D. 1894, and we covenant to warrant and defend the title to said premises against the lawful claims of all persons, whomsoever, excepting as against the said taxes, and the said lease, the obligation and discharge of both of which are hereby assumed by the said Henry Edwards.

"The said Robert T. Lincoln hereby declares that his title to said land is wholly by descent, and derived as follows, namely:

"That Abraham Lincoln, the patentee of said land, died on the 15th day of April, 1865, intestate, leaving heirs surviving, his widow, Mary Lincoln, and his two sons, Robert T. Lincoln and Thomas Lincoln, and no other heirs; that said Thomas Lincoln died on the 15th day of July, A. D. 1871, in the nineteenth year of his age, intestate, and unmarried, leaving him surviving as his only heirs his mother, said [Pg 103] Mary Lincoln, and his brother, said Robert T. Lincoln; that said Mary Lincoln died on the 16th day of July, A. D. 1882, intestate, and a widow, leaving her surviving as her sole heir, said Robert T. Lincoln; and that the estate of said Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Lincoln, and Mary Lincoln were successively duly administered according to law in the county court of Sangamon County, in the State of Illinois, and that all claims against them were duly paid and discharged.

"Signed the twenty-second day of March, A. D. 1892.

"Robert T. Lincoln.
"Mary H. Lincoln.

"United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

"Legation of the United States of America at London on this 22d day of March, A. D. 1892, before me Larz Anderson, a secretary of the Legation of the United States of America at London, aforesaid, came Robert T. Lincoln and Mary H. Lincoln, his wife, personally to me known to be the identical persons whose names are affixed to the above instrument as grantors thereof, and acknowledged the execution of the same to be their voluntary act and deed for the purpose therein expressed.

"Witness my hand and the seal of said Legation the day and year last above written.

"The Legation of the United States of America to Great Britain.

Larz Anderson,
"Secretary of Legation."

On the 20th of April, 1892, the above-named Henry Edwards sold the land to Enoch T. Cochran, consideration $1,500. Recorded May 2, 1892, Deed Book 12, page 624.

On the 20th of October, 1892, Enoch T. Cochran sold the land to the present owner, Peter F. Jepsen, consideration $1,925. Recorded October 24, 1892, Deed Book 15, page 135.

I copied the foregoing records in the recorder's office, in Dennison, Crawford County, Iowa, in the afternoon [Pg 104] of May 22, 1908. Mr. Jepsen, the present owner of the land, is a retired German farmer and resides in Denison. I called at his home after I had copied the records. He came to the United States in 1867, and is proud of the fact that he is the owner of the land that Abraham Lincoln owned. The land joins another farm which Mr. Jepsen owns, where he formerly resided, in Goodrich Township, about seven miles northwest of Denison. The present veteran county surveyor, Moses Henry, told me that he surveyed the land Lincoln owned, and that it is now valued at one hundred dollars per acre.

In Indiana, where Lincoln worked the latter part of the winter before going to Illinois, in March, 1830.
Triplets named by Abraham Lincoln in 1861. They are still living.

[Pg 105]


Celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of Lincoln's Birth

Preparations—General Observance—President Roosevelt Lays Corner-stone of Lincoln Museum at Lincoln's Birthplace—Extracts from Addresses at Various Places—Closing Tribute.

Never, perhaps, in the history of mankind has such general recognition been given to the anniversary of any man's birth as was given to the one hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth on Friday, February 12, 1909. For weeks in advance the newspapers, both religious and secular, and the magazines were decorated with his pictures, and other pictures illustrating many scenes in his life. The recollections of personal friends and acquaintances, war incidents, stories, anecdotes, and his personal traits were placed on record, with various announcements and programs for the coming anniversary, showed the great interest attached to his name and his history.

The day was made a national holiday by Congress and the proclamation of the President, supplemented by legislatures and governors of many States. The event was celebrated, almost without exception, by all the common schools, colleges, and universities throughout the nation. Churches, Grand Army posts, Young Men's Christian Associations, the various temperance organizations, clubs, trades unions, and almost every form of organized bodies celebrated the day. Courts and legislatures adjourned and joined in the general anniversary [Pg 106] exercises, or held separate exercises. The wheels of the general Government at Washington, D. C., stopped to recognize the great memorial day. Business in many places was practically suspended in honor of the day. In every community, town, and city the praises of Lincoln were heard.

Orations delivered by great and undistinguished men and women, pertaining to many phases of Lincoln's life and character, were given. Prayers, religious and patriotic songs were heard. Pictures, flowers, flags, parades, and banquets were greatly in evidence. The Gettysburg address, the Emancipation Proclamation, the second inaugural address, Lincoln's favorite poem, "Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?" with many other selections, were recited and read.

The Southern people, as well as the Northern, joined in the general exercises of the day. The colored people were enthusiastic in showing their appreciation of what Mr. Lincoln had done for their race. In many cities in foreign countries, including London, Berlin, Honolulu, and Rome, the anniversary was observed.

The center of attraction was the celebration at Lincoln's birthplace, on the farm three miles from Hodgenville, Larue County, Kentucky. A large tent had been erected for the occasion, with a platform inside for the speakers. In front of the platform was placed a rebuilt little cabin, sixteen feet square, which had itinerated in many parts of the country and exhibited as the cabin in which Abraham Lincoln was born. The little cabin, set in flowers contributed by the school children of Kentucky, and decorated with the national colors, very fitly illustrated the kind of a cabin in which the great emancipator was born. When Lincoln was born in a [Pg 107] log cabin on that spot, no one could imagine that a future President was born there, and that a hundred years later another President would stand on the same spot to assist in celebrating his birth.

Five extra trains came from Louisville to Hodgenville, bearing persons from various points in the United States. These were conveyed by carriages to the place of celebration. The day there was rainy, but the foreign and local attendance was estimated at eight thousand. Among the distinguished persons present were President Roosevelt, Mrs. Roosevelt, and daughter, Miss Ethel; Mr. Loeb, the President's private secretary; Ex-Governor Joseph Folk, of Missouri, president of the Lincoln Farm Association; Governor A. E. Willson, of Kentucky; General James G. Wilson, and Luke E. Wright, Secretary of War.

There were various committees, guards and police. Good order prevailed. All lines of the North and the South were blotted out in representation, men of both sections taking part in the exercises. Twenty-six negro citizens, appointed by Governor Willson, as a reception committee, represented their race.

After prayer, Ex-Governor Folk, of Missouri, president of the Lincoln Farm Association, said, in part:

"Here, on this farm, one hundred years ago to-day, was born the strongest, strangest, gentlest character the republic has ever known. His work was destined to have a more far-reaching influence than any that went before him. Until recently this spot which should be hallowed by every American, was unnoticed and abandoned. Inspired by the idea that due regard for the apostle of human liberty who sprang from this soil demanded the preservation of his birthplace, a few patriotic men organized the Lincoln Farm Association, to purchase this property and to erect upon it [Pg 108] a memorial to that simple, but sublime life that here came into the world. This association is purely patriotic in its purposes, and the movement has met with a ready response from every section of the nation. In revering the name of Lincoln, there is now no North or South, or East or West. There is but one heart in all, and that the heart of patriotic America. So the memorial to be erected here, by South as well as North, will not only be in memory of Lincoln, but it will be a testimony that the fires of hatred kindled by the fierce civil conflict of nearly half a century ago, are dead, and from the ashes has arisen the red rose of patriotism to a common country and loyalty to a common flag."

President Roosevelt, in behalf of the nation, said, in part:

"He lived in days that were great and terrible, when brother fought against brother for what each sincerely deemed to be the right. In a contest so grim the strong men who alone can carry it through are rarely able to do justice to the deep convictions of those with whom they grapple in mortal strife. At such times men see through a glass darkly; to only the rarest and loftiest spirits is vouchsafed that clear vision which gradually comes to all, even to the lesser, as the struggle fades into distance, and wounds are forgotten, and peace creeps back to the hearts that were hurt. But to Lincoln was given this supreme vision. He did not hate the man from whom he differed. Weakness was as foreign as wickedness to his strong, gentle nature; but his courage was of a quality so high that it needed no bolstering of dark passion. He saw clearly that the same high qualities, the same courage and willingness for self-sacrifice, and devotion to the right as it was given them to see the right, belonged both to the men of the North and to the men of the South. As the years roll by, and as all of us, wherever we dwell, grow to feel an equal pride in the valor and self-devotion alike of the men who wore the blue and the men who wore the gray, so this whole nation will grow to feel a peculiar sense of pride in the man whose blood was shed for the union of his people, [Pg 109] and for the freedom of a race. The lover of his country and of all mankind; the mightiest of the mighty men who mastered the mighty days, Abraham Lincoln."

Governor Willson, in behalf of Kentucky, for her greatest son, said, in part:

"We have met here on this farm where he was born, in memory of Abraham Lincoln, to know for ourselves and to prove to the world, by a record made to endure, and deep graven on these acres, that the love of country and of its nobly useful citizens are not dreams, nor idle words, but indeed living, stirring, and breathing feelings. Abraham Lincoln is claimed by all humanity and all time as the type of the race best showing forth the best in all men in all conditions of life.

"Here are met to-day, with equal zeal to do him honor, soldiers of the war for and against the Union, heroes of the Union and the Confederacy, Americans all, no one less pledged than the other, not only by the bond of the covenant of our law, but alike by the dearest feelings of his heart and fervor of his blood, to our united country and its beautiful flag."

General James G. Wilson, of New York, who was in the Union Army, spoke fitting words in behalf of the Union, while General Luke E. Wright, who was in the Confederate Army, now Secretary of War, spoke fitting words in behalf of the Confederacy.

President Roosevelt laid the corner-stone of the Lincoln Museum, which is to be built of limestone and white marble. He spread white cement with a silver trowel where the stone was to set. The stone, weighing three thousand pounds, was placed in position with a derrick. A number of articles were deposited in a leaden box placed in the stone before it was set, among which was the life of Lincoln written by President Roosevelt and the speeches delivered on the occasion.

[Pg 110]

In connection with the depository of articles, an aged negro, Isaac T. Montgomery, of Mississippi, said to have been at one time a slave of Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern Confederacy, was assigned the appropriate honor of depositing in the box a copy of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. In doing this he made a brief speech, in which he referred to himself "as one of the former millions of slaves to whom Lincoln gave freedom, and the representative of 10,000,000 grateful negro citizens."

The cabin in which it is alleged Abraham Lincoln was born will be kept in the memorial building. It is expected that the building will be dedicated in April, by William H. Taft, who will be inaugurated President of the United States, March 4, 1909.

The spot where Abraham Lincoln was born will, for coming ages, be the most sacred shrine in all this great country, whose government he died to save.

At Lincoln City, Spencer County, Indiana, where the Lincolns lived fourteen years after moving from Kentucky, and before moving to Illinois, and where Abraham's mother lies buried, exercises were held. The school children of Evansville, Indiana, raised money to purchase a flag, and the school children of Indianapolis sent a wreath of flowers, both of which were placed on Mrs. Lincoln's grave. A procession of one hundred school children of Lincoln City, headed by Principal Curtis Cox and the other teachers, marched to the grave, where the exercises were held.

At Springfield, Illinois, Lincoln's old home, and where his body rests in the great monument erected to his memory, imposing exercises were held in various places well worthy of the man. Mr. Lincoln was instrumental [Pg 111] in having the State capital moved from Vandalia to Springfield. Ambassador Jusserand of France, Senator Dolliver of Iowa, Ambassador Bryce of England, and William J. Bryan were among the distinguished visitors, and who delivered addresses. A most impressive feature of the occasion was the scene at Lincoln's tomb, when Robert T. Lincoln, son of the martyred President, stood beside the sarcophagus in which the body of his great father rests. Here his mother, brothers, and a son named Abraham Lincoln are also entombed. He stood in silent meditation with tear-dimmed eyes, with Ambassadors Jusserand, Bryce, Senator Dolliver, W. J. Bryan, and many other distinguished persons gathered about. In his speech, Ambassador Bryce said, in part:

"Of the personal impression he made on those who knew him, you will hear from some of the few yet living who can recollect him. All I can contribute is a reminiscence of what reached us in England. I was an undergraduate student in the University of Oxford when the Civil War broke out. Well do I remember the surprise when the Republican National Convention nominated him as a candidate for the presidency, for it had been expected that the choice would fall upon William H. Seward. I recollect how it slowly dawned upon Europeans in 1862 and 1863 that the President could be no ordinary man, because he never seemed cast down by the reverses which befell his arms, because he never let himself be hurried into premature action, nor feared to take so bold a step as the Emancipation Proclamation was when he saw that the time had arrived. And, above all, I remember the shock of awe and grief which thrilled all Britain when the news came that he had perished by the bullet of an assassin....

"To you, men of Illinois, Lincoln is the most famous and worthy of all those who have adorned your commonwealth. To you, citizens of the United States, he is the President [Pg 112] who carried you through a terrible conflict and saved the Union. To us in England he is one of the heroes of the race whence you and we sprung. We honor his memory as you do; and it is fitting that one who is privileged here to represent the land from which his forefathers came should bring on behalf of England a tribute of admiration for him and of thankfulness to the Providence which gave him to you in your hour of need.

"Great men are the noblest possession of a nation, and are potent forces in the molding of national character. Their influence lives after them, and if they be good as well as great, they remain as beacons lighting the course of all who follow them. They set for succeeding generations the standards of public life. They stir the spirit and rouse the energy of the youth who seek to emulate their virtues in the service of the country."

At Washington City all Government and leading business houses were closed. The Senate adjourned until Monday, but in the House, Lincoln's famous Gettysburg speech was read by Representative Boutell, of Illinois. Appropriate exercises were held at Howard University, where a large negro student body witnessed the unveiling of a large painting of the "Underground Railroad." Secretary of the Interior Garfield and other speakers were on the program.

In Boston, the city sometimes called the literary "hub of the universe," Senator Lodge gave an address on the life and work of Mr. Lincoln before the Massachusetts Legislature. At a meeting held in the evening in Symphony Hall, John D. Long, former Secretary of the Navy, gave an address, and Julia Ward Howe, author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," read a poem she had written for the occasion, depicting Lincoln's rise from obscurity to the leader of the nation.

[Pg 113]

In Chicago, the metropolis of Lincoln's adopted State, fifty public meetings were held in his honor. The city was fairly buried beneath flags, buntings, and pictures of Lincoln. Show-windows were filled with war relics and Lincoln mementoes. Streets were crowded with marchers and military bands. Standing bareheaded in Lincoln Park, in sight of the Lincoln Statue, a group of Civil War veterans fired a presidential salute. Dexter Pavilion, at night, was crowded, while a chorus of one thousand voices sang patriotic songs.

At Gettysburg, where Lincoln delivered his classic address dedicating the national cemetery, November 19, 1863, the day was duly observed. The principal exercises were held on the campus of Gettysburg College, near Seminary Ridge, where much of the first and second days' fighting occurred during the great battle. Lincoln's Gettysburg address was read by Judge Samuel McSwope.

At Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Vice-President Fairbanks said, in part:

"Who, among all the men of his day, has produced utterances so classic and lofty and which will survive so long as many of the speeches of Mr. Lincoln? It is impossible to think that schools, colleges, or universities could have increased the intellectual or moral nature of Lincoln. He was the marvelous product of the great school of nature. He kept close to nature's heart, close to the people, close to the soul.... His life was spent in the field of conflict. In his youth he struggled with nature. At the bar he contended for the rights of his clients. In the wider field of politics he fought with uncommon power to overthrow the wrong and enthrone the right. He fought not for the love of contest, but for the love of truth. By nature he was a man of peace. He did not like to raise his hand against his fellow-man. He instinctively loved justice, right, and [Pg 114] liberty. His soul revolted at the thought of injustice and wrong. His conscience impelled him to uphold the right wherever it was denied his fellow-man. He could not do otherwise."

In New York City the celebration was the most hearty and widespread of its kind ever seen there. The city's official celebration was held in Cooper Union, in the hall in which Lincoln made his great speech called the "Cooper Union Speech," delivered in 1860. Addresses were delivered by Joseph H. Choate and Rev. Dr. Lyman Abbott. At a great club meeting, Booker T. Washington delivered an address, and referred to himself as "one whom Lincoln found a piece of property and made into an American citizen."

In closing this little volume as an humble tribute to the memory of Abraham Lincoln, I desire to say that, while Mr. Lincoln possessed so many excellent traits of character, the most significant and worthy one was his constant anxiety, as he expressed it, to know and do the will of God. This, in the providence of God, is what made him truly great.

Transcriber's Note: