By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Our American Holidays: Lincoln's Birthday - A Comprehensive View of Lincoln as Given in the Most - Noteworthy Essays, Orations and Poems, in Fiction and in - Lincoln's Own Writings
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Our American Holidays: Lincoln's Birthday - A Comprehensive View of Lincoln as Given in the Most - Noteworthy Essays, Orations and Poems, in Fiction and in - Lincoln's Own Writings" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

                         Our American Holidays

                           LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY

                         Our American Holidays

A series of Anthologies upon American Holidays, each volume a collection
of writings from many sources, historical, poetic, religious, patriotic,
etc., presenting each American festival as seen through the eyes of the
representative writers of many ages and nations.

                               EDITED BY
                       ROBERT HAVEN SCHAUFFLER

                    _12mo. Each volume $1.00 net_

                               NOW READY

                THANKSGIVING            LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY
                CHRISTMAS               MEMORIAL DAY

                             IN PREPARATION

                ARBOR DAY               FLAG DAY
                FOURTH OF JULY          NEW YEAR'S DAY

                          MOFFAT, YARD & COMPANY
                      31 East 17th Street   New York

                          Our American Holidays

                            LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY

                      AND IN LINCOLN'S OWN WRITINGS

                               EDITED BY
                        ROBERT HAVEN SCHAUFFLER

                                NEW YORK
                        MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY

                           Copyright, 1909, by
                        MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY
                               NEW YORK

                         Published, January, 1909

                         2nd Printing--June, 1911
                         3rd Printing--July, 1914
                         4th Printing--Feb.  1916


PREFACE                                                             ix

INTRODUCTION                                                        xi


ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY                                      3
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF LINCOLN'S LIFE       _Osborn H. Oldroyd_          6


LINCOLN'S EDUCATION                        _Horace Greeley_         15
ABE LINCOLN'S HONESTY                                               17
THE BOY THAT HUNGERED FOR KNOWLEDGE                                 18
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                         _Florence E. Pratt_         19
YOUNG LINCOLN'S KINDNESS OF HEART                                   20
A VOICE FROM THE WILDERNESS                _Charles Sumner_         21
CHOOSING ABE LINCOLN CAPTAIN                                        22


LINCOLN'S MARRIAGE                                                  31
HOW LINCOLN AND JUDGE B---- SWAPPED HORSES                          33
LINCOLN AS A MAN OF LETTERS                   _H. W. Mabie_         34
LINCOLN'S PRESENCE OF BODY                                          44
HOW LINCOLN BECAME A NATIONAL FIGURE       _Ida M. Tarbell_         45
LINCOLN'S LOVE FOR THE LITTLE ONES                                  89
HOW LINCOLN TOOK HIS ALTITUDE                                       90


HOW LINCOLN WAS ABUSED                                              95
SONNET IN 1862                           _John James Piatt_         96
LINCOLN THE PRESIDENT                _James Russell Lowell_         96
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                               _Frank Moore_        109
THE PROCLAMATION                  _John Greenleaf Whittier_        110
THE EMANCIPATION                        _James A. Garfield_        112
THE EMANCIPATION GROUP            _John Greenleaf Whittier_        121
ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S CHRISTMAS GIFT               _Nora Perry_        122


O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!                       _Walt Whitman_        127
ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S DEATH                      _Walt Whitman_        128
HUSHED BE THE CAMPS TO-DAY                   _Walt Whitman_        134
TO THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN    _William Cullen Bryant_        135
CROWN HIS BLOODSTAINED PILLOW             _Julia Ward Howe_        136
THE DEATH OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN                 _Walt Whitman_        137
OUR SUN HATH GONE DOWN                        _Phoebe Cary_        139
TOLLING                                       _Lucy Larcom_        142
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                          _Rose Terry Cooke_        143
EFFECT OF THE DEATH OF LINCOLN         _Henry Ward Beecher_        144
HYMN                                _Oliver Wendell Holmes_        151
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                                _Tom Taylor_        153


THE MARTYR CHIEF                     _James Russell Lowell_        159
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                       _Ralph Waldo Emerson_        161
WASHINGTON AND LINCOLN                   _William McKinley_        169
LINCOLN                                _Theodore Roosevelt_        170
LINCOLN'S GRAVE                          _Maurice Thompson_        170
TRIBUTES TO LINCOLN                                                173
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                            _H. H. Brownell_        174
TRIBUTES                                                           189
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                               _Joel Benton_        189
ON THE LIFE-MASK OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN _Richard Watson Gilder_        190
LINCOLN                                   _George H. Boker_        192
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                         _James A. Garfield_        193
AN HORATIAN ODE                            _R. H. Stoddard_        195
SOME FOREIGN TRIBUTES TO LINCOLN    _Harriet Beecher Stowe_        202
THE GETTYSBURG ODE                          _Bayard Taylor_        211
TRIBUTES                                                           212
LINCOLN                              _Macmillan's Magazine_        214
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                            _R. H. Stoddard_        215
LINCOLN                                 _Edna Dean Proctor_        215
WHEN LILACS LAST IN THE DOORYARD BLOOM'D     _Walt Whitman_        218


LINCOLN, THE MAN OF THE PEOPLE              _Edwin Markham_        233
LIFE AND CHARACTER OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN     _George Bancroft_        235
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                             _Goldwin Smith_        276
GREATNESS OF HIS SIMPLICITY                  _H. A. Delano_        278
HORACE GREELEY'S ESTIMATE OF LINCOLN                               279
LINCOLN                                  _J. T. Trowbridge_        282
THE RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF LINCOLN            _B. B. Tyler_        282
TO THE SPIRIT OF LINCOLN                     _R. W. Gilder_        296
LINCOLN AS A TYPICAL AMERICAN             _Phillips Brooks_        297
LINCOLN AS CAVALIER AND PURITAN               _H. W. Grady_        304
LINCOLN, THE TENDER-HEARTED                  _H. W. Bolton_        306
THE CHARACTER OF LINCOLN                    _W. H. Herndon_        307
"WITH CHARITY FOR ALL"                      _W. T. Sherman_        317
LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY                        _Ida V. Woodbury_        318
FEBRUARY TWELFTH                          _M. H. Howliston_        319
TWO FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS      _L. M. Hadley and C. Z. Denton_        323


THE THREE GREATEST AMERICANS           _Theodore Roosevelt_        333
HIS CHOICE AND HIS DESTINY                  _F. M. Bristol_        333
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                       _Robert G. Ingersoll_        334
LINCOLN                              _Paul Laurence Dunbar_        341
THE GRANDEST FIGURE                          _Walt Whitman_        342
ABRAHAM LINCOLN                              _Lyman Abbott_        345
"LINCOLN THE IMMORTAL"                          _Anonymous_        346
THE CRISIS AND THE HERO                 _Frederic Harrison_        349
LINCOLN                                 _John Vance Cheney_        351
MAJESTIC IN HIS INDIVIDUALITY                _S. P. Newman_        353


THE QUESTION OF LEGS                                               359
HOW LINCOLN WAS PRESENTED WITH A KNIFE                             360
"WEEPING WATER"                                                    361
MILD REBUKE TO A DOCTOR                                            362


LINCOLN'S LIFE AS WRITTEN BY HIMSELF                               365
THE INJUSTICE OF SLAVERY                                           365
SPEECH AT COOPER INSTITUTE                                         368
FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS                                            371
LETTER TO HORACE GREELEY                                           376
EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION                                          378
THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION                                          380
GETTYSBURG ADDRESS                                                 382
SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS                                           384


An astounding number of books have been written on Abraham Lincoln.
Our Library of Congress contains over one thousand of them in
well-nigh every modern language. Yet, incredible as it may seem, no
miner has until to-day delved in these vast fields of Lincolniana
until he has brought together the most precious of the golden words
written of and by the Man of the People. Howe has collected a few of
the best poems on Lincoln; Rice, Oldroyd and others, the elder prose
tributes and reminiscences. McClure has edited Lincoln's yarns and
stories; Nicolay and Hay, his speeches and writings. But each
successive twelfth of February has emphasized the growing need for a
unification of this scattered material.

The present volume offers, in small compass, the most noteworthy
essays, orations, fiction and poems on Lincoln, together with some
fiction, with characteristic anecdotes and "yarns" and his most famous
speeches and writings. Taken in conjunction with a good biography, it
presents the first succinct yet comprehensive view of "the first
American." The Introduction gives some account of the celebration of
Lincoln's Birthday and of his principal biographers.


The Editor and Publishers wish to acknowledge their indebtedness to
Houghton, Mifflin & Company; the McClure Company, R. S. Peale and J.
A. Hill Co.; Charles Scribner's Sons; Dana Estes Company; Mr. David
McKay, Mr. Joel Benton, Mr. C. P. Farrell and others who have very
kindly granted permission to reprint selections from works bearing
their copyright.


Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, was born at
Nolin Creek, Kentucky, on Feb. 12, 1809. As the following pages
contain more than one biographical sketch it is not necessary here to
touch on the story of his life. Lincoln's Birthday is now a legal
holiday in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New
York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Washington (state) and Wyoming, and
is generally observed in the other Northern States.

In its inspirational value to youth Lincoln's Birthday stands among
the most important of our American holidays. Its celebration in school
and home can not be made too impressive. "Rising as Lincoln did,"
writes Edward Deems, "from social obscurity through a youth of manual
toil and poverty, steadily upward to the highest level of honor in the
world, and all this as the fruit of earnest purpose, hard work, humane
feeling and integrity of character, he is an example and an
inspiration to youth unparalleled in history. At the same time he is
the best specimen of the possibilities attainable by genius in our
land and under our free institutions."

In arranging exercises for Lincoln's Birthday the teacher and parent
should try not so much to teach the bare facts of his career as to
give the children a sense of Lincoln's actual personality through his
own yarns and speeches and such accounts as are given here by Herndon,
Bancroft, Mabie, Tarbell, Phillips Brooks and others. He should show
them Lincoln's greatest single act--Emancipation--through the eyes of
Garfield and Whittier. He should try to reach the children with the
thrill of an adoring sorrow-maddened country at the bier of its great
preserver; with such a passion of love and patriotism as vibrates in
the lines of Whitman, Brownell and Bryant, of Stoddard, Procter, Howe,
Holmes, Lowell, and in the throbbing periods of Henry Ward Beecher.
His main object should be to make his pupils love Lincoln. He should
appeal to their national pride with the foreign tributes to Lincoln's
greatness; make them feel how his memory still works through the years
upon such contemporary poets as Gilder, Thompson, Markham, Cheney and
Dunbar; and finally through the eyes of Harrison, Whitman, Ingersoll,
Newman and others, show them our hero set in his proud, rightful place
in the long vista of the ages.

In order to use the present volume with the best results it is
advisable for teacher and parent to gain a more consecutive view of
Lincoln's life than is offered here.

The standard biography of Lincoln is the monumental one in ten large
volumes by Nicolay and Hay, the President's private secretaries. This
contains considerable material not found elsewhere, but since its
publication in 1890 much new matter has been unearthed, especially by
the enterprise of Miss Ida Tarbell, whose "Life" in two volumes
contains the essentials of the larger official work, is well balanced,
and written in a simple, vigorous style perfectly adapted to the
subject. If only one biography of Lincoln is to be read, Miss
Tarbell's will, on the whole, be found most satisfactory.

The older Lives, written by Lincoln's friends and associates, such as
Lamon and Herndon, make up in vividness and the intimate personal
touch what they necessarily lack in perspective. Arnold's Life deals
chiefly with the executive and legislative history of Lincoln's
administration. The Life by the novelist J. G. Holland deals popularly
with his hero's personality. The memoirs by Barrett, Abbott, Howells,
Bartlett, Hanaford and Power were written in the main for political

Among the later works there stand out Morse's scholarly and serious
account (in the American Statesmen series) of Lincoln's public policy;
the vivid portrayal of Lincoln's adroitness as a politician by Col.
McClure in Abraham Lincoln and Men of War Times; Whitney's Life on the
Circuit with Lincoln, with its fund of entertaining anecdotes; Abraham
Lincoln, an Essay by Carl Schurz; James Morgan's "short and simple
annals" of Abraham Lincoln The Boy and the Man; Frederick Trevor
Hill's brilliant account of Lincoln the Lawyer, the result of much
recent research; the study of his personal magnetism in Alonzo
Rothschild's Lincoln, Master of Men; and The True Abraham Lincoln by
Curtis--a collection of sketches portraying Lincoln's character from
several interesting points of view. Abraham Lincoln The Man of the
People by Norman Hapgood is one of most recent and least conventional
accounts. It is short, vigorous, vivid, and intensely American.

Among the many popular Lives for young people are: Abraham Lincoln,
the Pioneer Boy, by W. M. Thayer; Abraham Lincoln, The Backwoods Boy,
by Horatio Alger, Jr.; Abraham Lincoln, by Charles Carleton Coffin;
The True Story of Abraham Lincoln The American, by E. S. Brooks; The
Boy Lincoln, by W. O. Stoddard; and--most important of all--Nicolay's
Boy's Life of Abraham Lincoln.

                                                              R. H. S.




The following autobiography was written by Mr. Lincoln's own hand at
the request of J. W. Fell of Springfield, Ill., December 20, 1859. In
the note which accompanied it the writer says: "Herewith is a little
sketch, as you requested. There is not much of it, for the reason, I
suppose, that there is not much of me."

"I was born February 12, 1809, in Hardin Co., Ky. My parents were both
born in Virginia, of undistinguished families--second families,
perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a
family of the name of Hanks, some of whom now reside in Adams Co., and
others in Mason Co., Ill. My paternal grandfather, Abraham Lincoln,
emigrated from Rockingham Co., Va., to Kentucky, about 1781 or 1782,
where, a year or two later, he was killed by Indians, not in battle,
but by stealth, when he was laboring to open a farm in the forest. His
ancestors, who were Quakers, went to Virginia from Berks Co., Pa. An
effort to identify them with the New England family of the same name
ended in nothing more definite than a similarity of Christian names in
both families, such as Enoch, Levi, Mordecai, Solomon, Abraham, and
the like.

"My father, at the death of his father, was but six years of age, and
grew up literally without any education. He removed from Kentucky to
what is now Spencer Co., Ind., in my eighth year. We reached our new
home about the time the State came into the Union. It was a wild
region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods.
There I grew up. There were some schools, so-called, but no
qualification was ever required of a teacher beyond 'readin', writin',
and cipherin', to the rule of three. If a straggler, supposed to
understand Latin, happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was
looked upon as a wizard. There was absolutely nothing to excite
ambition for education. Of course, when I came of age I did not know
much. Still, somehow, I could read, write, and cipher to the rule of
three, but that was all. I have not been to school since. The little
advance I now have upon this store of education I have picked up from
time to time under the pressure of necessity.

"I was raised to farm work, at which I continued till I was
twenty-two. At twenty-one I came to Illinois, and passed the first
year in Macon County. Then I got to New Salem, at that time in
Sangamon, now Menard County, where I remained a year as a sort of
clerk in a store. Then came the Black Hawk War, and I was elected a
captain of volunteers--a success which gave me more pleasure than any
I have had since. I went into the campaign, was elected, ran for the
Legislature the same year (1832), and was beaten--the only time I have
ever been beaten by the people. The next and three succeeding
biennial elections I was elected to the Legislature. I was not a
candidate afterward. During the legislative period I had studied law,
and removed to Springfield to practice it. In 1846 I was elected to
the Lower House of Congress. Was not a candidate for re-election. From
1849 to 1854, both inclusive, practiced law more assiduously than ever
before. Always a Whig in politics, and generally on the Whig electoral
ticket, making active canvasses. I was losing interest in politics
when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I
have done since then is pretty well known.

"If any personal description of me is thought desirable, it may be
said I am in height six feet four inches, nearly; lean in flesh,
weighing, on an average, one hundred and eighty pounds; dark
complexion, with coarse black hair and gray eyes--no other marks or
brands recollected.

                                               "Yours very truly,
                                                          A. LINCOLN."



From "Words of Lincoln"

The sun which rose on the 12th of February, 1809, lighted up a little
log cabin on Nolin Creek, Hardin Co., Ky., in which Abraham Lincoln
was that day ushered into the world. Although born under the humblest
and most unpromising circumstances, he was of honest parentage. In
this backwoods hut, surrounded by virgin forests, Abraham's first four
years were spent. His parents then moved to a point about six miles
from Hodgensville, where he lived until he was seven years of age,
when the family again moved, this time to Spencer Co., Ind.

The father first visited the new settlement alone, taking with him his
carpenter tools, a few farming implements, and ten barrels of whisky
(the latter being the payment received for his little farm) on a
flatboat down Salt Creek to the Ohio River. Crossing the river, he
left his cargo in care of a friend, and then returned for his family.
Packing the bedding and cooking utensils on two horses, the family of
four started for their new home. They wended their way through the
Kentucky forests to those of Indiana, the mother and daughter (Sarah)
taking their turn in riding.

Fourteen years were spent in the Indiana home. It was from this place
that Abraham, in company with young Gentry, made a trip to New Orleans
on a flatboat loaded with country produce. During these years Abraham
had less than twelve months of schooling, but acquired a large
experience in the rough work of pioneer life. In the autumn of 1818
the mother died, and Abraham experienced the first great sorrow of his
life. Mrs. Lincoln had possessed a very limited education, but was
noted for intellectual force of character.

The year following the death of Abraham's mother his father returned
to Kentucky, and brought a new guardian to the two motherless
children. Mrs. Sally Johnson, as Mrs. Lincoln, brought into the family
three children of her own, a goodly amount of household furniture,
and, what proved a blessing above all others, a kind heart. It was not
intended that this should be a permanent home; accordingly, in March,
1830, they packed their effects in wagons, drawn by oxen, bade adieu
to their old home, and took up a two weeks' march over untraveled
roads, across mountains, swamps, and through dense forests, until they
reached a spot on the Sangamon River, ten miles from Decatur, Ill.,
where they built another primitive home. Abraham had now arrived at
manhood, and felt at liberty to go out into the world and battle for
himself. He did not leave, however, until he saw his parents
comfortably fixed in their new home, which he helped build; he also
split enough rails to surround the house and ten acres of ground.

In the fall and winter of 1830, memorable to the early settlers of
Illinois as the year of the deep snow, Abraham worked for the farmers
who lived in the neighborhood. He made the acquaintance of a man of
the name of Offutt, who hired him, together with his stepbrother, John
D. Johnson, and his uncle, John Hanks, to take a flatboat loaded with
country produce down the Sangamon River to Beardstown, thence down the
Illinois and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. Abraham and his
companions assisted in building the boat, which was finally launched
and loaded in the spring of 1831, and their trip successfully made. In
going over the dam at Rutledge Mill, New Salem, Ill., the boat struck
and remained stationary, and a day passed before it was again started
on its voyage. During this delay Lincoln made the acquaintance of New
Salem and its people.

On his return from New Orleans, after visiting his parents,--who had
made another move, to Goose-Nest Prairie, Ill.,--he settled in the
little village of New Salem, then in Sangamon, now Menard County.
While living in this place, Mr. Lincoln served in the Black Hawk War,
in 1832, as captain and private. His employment in the village was
varied; he was at times a clerk, county surveyor, postmaster, and
partner in the grocery business under the firm name of Lincoln &
Berry. He was defeated for the Illinois Legislature in 1832 by Peter
Cartwright, the Methodist pioneer preacher. He was elected to the
Legislature in 1834, and for three successive terms thereafter.

Mr. Lincoln wielded a great influence among the people of New Salem.
They respected him for his uprightness and admired him for his genial
and social qualities. He had an earnest sympathy for the unfortunate
and those in sorrow. All confided in him, honored and loved him. He
had an unfailing fund of anecdote, was a sharp, witty talker, and
possessed an accommodating spirit, which led him to exert himself for
the entertainment of his friends. During the political canvass of
1834, Mr. Lincoln made the acquaintance of Mr. John T. Stuart of
Springfield, Ill. Mr. Stuart saw in the young man that which, if
properly developed, could not fail to confer distinction on him. He
therefore loaned Lincoln such law books as he needed, the latter often
walking from New Salem to Springfield, a distance of twenty miles, to
obtain them. It was very fortunate for Mr. Lincoln that he finally
became associated with Mr. Stuart in the practice of law. He moved
from New Salem to Springfield, and was admitted to the bar in 1837.

On the 4th of November, 1842, Mr. Lincoln married Miss Mary Todd of
Lexington, Ky., at the residence of Ninian W. Edwards of Springfield,
Ill. The fruits of this marriage were four sons; Robert T., born
August 1, 1843; Edward Baker, March 10, 1846, died February 1, 1850;
William Wallace, December 21, 1850, died at the White House,
Washington, February 20, 1862; Thomas ("Tad"), April 4, 1853, died at
the Clifton House, Chicago, Ill., July 15, 1871. Mrs. Lincoln died at
the house of her sister, Springfield, July 16, 1882.

In 1846 Mr. Lincoln was elected to Congress, as a Whig, his opponent
being Peter Cartwright, who had defeated Mr. Lincoln for the
Legislature in 1832.

The most remarkable political canvass witnessed in the country took
place between Mr. Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858. They were
candidates of their respective parties for the United States Senate.
Seven joint debates took place in different parts of the State. The
Legislature being of Mr. Douglas' political faith, he was elected.

In 1860 Mr. Lincoln came before the country as the chosen candidate of
the Republican party for the Presidency. The campaign was a memorable
one, characterized by a novel organization called "Wide Awakes," which
had its origin in Hartford, Conn. There were rail fence songs,
rail-splitting on wagons in processions, and the building of fences by
the torch-light marching clubs.

The triumphant election of Mr. Lincoln took place in November, 1860.
On the 11th of February, 1861, he bade farewell to his neighbors, and
as the train slowly left the depot his sad face was forever lost to
the friends who gathered that morning to bid him God speed. The people
along the route flocked at the stations to see him and hear his words.
At all points he was greeted as the President of the people, and such
he proved to be. Mr. Lincoln reached Washington on the morning of the
23rd of February, and on the 4th of March was inaugurated President.
Through four years of terrible war his guiding star was justice and
mercy. He was sometimes censured by officers of the army for granting
pardons to deserters and others, but he could not resist an appeal for
the life of a soldier. He was the friend of the soldiers, and felt and
acted toward them like a father. Even workingmen could write him
letters of encouragement and receive appreciative words in reply.

When the immortal Proclamation of Emancipation was issued, the whole
world applauded, and slavery received its deathblow. The terrible
strain of anxiety and responsibility borne by Mr. Lincoln during the
war had worn him away to a marked degree, but that God who was with
him throughout the struggle permitted him to live, and by his masterly
efforts and unceasing vigilance pilot the ship of state back into the
haven of peace.

On the 14th of April, 1865, after a day of unusual cheerfulness in
those troublous times, and seeking relaxation from his cares, the
President, accompanied by his wife and a few intimate friends, went to
Ford's Theater, on Tenth Street, N. W. There the foul assassin, J.
Wilkes Booth, awaited his coming and at twenty minutes past ten
o'clock, just as the third act of "Our American Cousin" was about to
commence, fired the shot that took the life of Abraham Lincoln. The
bleeding President was carried to a house across the street, No. 516,
where he died at twenty-two minutes past seven the next morning. The
body was taken to the White House and, after lying in state in the
East Room and at the Capitol, left Washington on the 21st of April,
stopping at various places en route, and finally arriving at
Springfield on the 3rd of May. On the following day the funeral
ceremonies took place at Oak Ridge Cemetery, and there the remains of
the martyr were laid at rest.

Abraham Lincoln needs no marble shaft to perpetuate his name; his
_words_ are the most enduring monument, and will forever live in the
hearts of the people.





Let me pause here to consider the surprise often expressed when a
citizen of limited schooling is chosen to fill, or is presented for
one of the highest civil trusts. Has that argument any foundation in
reason, any justification in history?

Of our country's great men, beginning with Ben Franklin, I estimate
that a majority had little if anything more than a common-school
education, while many had less. Washington, Jefferson, and Madison had
rather more; Clay and Jackson somewhat less; Van Buren perhaps a
little more; Lincoln decidedly less. How great was his consequent
loss? I raise the question; let others decide it. Having seen much of
Henry Clay, I confidently assert that not one in ten of those who knew
him late in life would have suspected, from aught in his conversation
or bearing, that his education had been inferior to that of the
college graduates by whom he was surrounded. His knowledge was
different from theirs; and the same is true of Lincoln's as well. Had
the latter lived to be seventy years old, I judge that whatever of
hesitation or rawness was observable in his manner would have
vanished, and he would have met and mingled with educated gentlemen
and statesmen on the same easy footing of equality with Henry Clay in
his later prime of life. How far his two flatboat voyages to New
Orleans are to be classed as educational exercise above or below a
freshman's year in college, I will not say; doubtless some freshmen
learn more, others less, than those journeys taught him. Reared under
the shadow of the primitive woods, which on every side hemmed in the
petty clearings of the generally poor, and rarely energetic or
diligent, pioneers of the Southern Indiana wilderness, his first
introduction to the outside world from the deck of a "broad-horn" must
have been wonderfully interesting and suggestive. To one whose utmost
experience of civilization had been a county town, consisting of a
dozen to twenty houses, mainly log, with a shabby little court-house,
including jail, and a shabbier, ruder little church, that must have
been a marvelous spectacle which glowed in his face from the banks of
the Ohio and the lower Mississippi. Though Cairo was then but a
desolate swamp, Memphis a wood-landing, and Vicksburg a timbered ridge
with a few stores at its base, even these were in striking contrast to
the sombre monotony of the great woods. The rivers were enlivened by
countless swift-speeding steamboats, dispensing smoke by day and flame
by night; while New Orleans, though scarcely one fourth the city she
now is, was the focus of a vast commerce, and of a civilization which
(for America) might be deemed antique. I doubt not that our tall and
green young backwoodsman needed only a piece of well-tanned sheepskin
suitably (that is, learnedly) inscribed to have rendered those two
boat trips memorable as his degrees in capacity to act well his part
on that stage which has mankind for its audience.

[1] _By permission of Mr. Joel Benton._


From "Anecdotes of Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln's Stories."

Lincoln could not rest for an instant under the consciousness that he
had, even unwittingly, defrauded anybody. On one occasion, while
clerking in Offutt's store, at New Salem, Ill., he sold a woman a
little bill of goods, amounting in value by the reckoning, to two
dollars six and a quarter cents. He received the money, and the woman
went away. On adding the items of the bill again, to make sure of its
correctness, he found that he had taken six and a quarter cents too
much. It was night, and, closing and locking the store, he started out
on foot, a distance of two or three miles, for the house of his
defrauded customer, and, delivering over to her the sum whose
possession had so much troubled him, went home satisfied.

On another occasion, just as he was closing the store for the night, a
woman entered, and asked for a half pound of tea. The tea was weighed
out and paid for, and the store was left for the night. The next
morning, Lincoln entered to begin the duties of the day, when he
discovered a four-ounce weight on the scales. He saw at once that he
had made a mistake, and, shutting the store, he took a long walk
before breakfast to deliver the remainder of the tea. These are very
humble incidents, but they illustrate the man's perfect
conscientiousness--his sensitive honesty--better perhaps than they
would if they were of greater moment.


From "Anecdotes of Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln's Stories."

In his eagerness to acquire knowledge, young Lincoln had borrowed of
Mr. Crawford, a neighboring farmer, a copy of Weems' Life of
Washington--the only one known to be in existence in that section of
country. Before he had finished reading the book, it had been left, by
a not unnatural oversight, in a window. Meantime, a rain storm came
on, and the book was so thoroughly wet as to make it nearly worthless.
This mishap caused him much pain; but he went, in all honesty, to Mr.
Crawford with the ruined book, explained the calamity that had
happened through his neglect, and offered, not having sufficient
money, to "work out" the value of the book.

"Well, Abe," said Mr. Crawford, after due deliberation, "as it's you,
I won't be hard on you. Just come over and pull fodder for me for two
days, and we will call our accounts even."

The offer was readily accepted, and the engagement literally
fulfilled. As a boy, no less than since, Abraham Lincoln had an
honorable conscientiousness, integrity, industry, and an ardent love
of knowledge.



    Lincoln, the woodsman, in the clearing stood,
      Hemmed by the solemn forest stretching round;
    Stalwart, ungainly, honest-eyed and rude,
      The genius of that solitude profound.
    He clove the way that future millions trod,
      He passed, unmoved by worldly fear or pelf;
    In all his lusty toil he found not God,
      Though in the wilderness he found himself.

    Lincoln, the President, in bitter strife,
      Best-loved, worst-hated of all living men,
    Oft single-handed, for the nation's life
      Fought on, nor rested ere he fought again.
    With one unerring purpose armed, he clove
      Through selfish sin; then overwhelmed with care,
    His great heart sank beneath its load of love;
      Crushed to his knees, he found his God in prayer.

[2] _From The Youth's Companion._


From "Anecdotes of Abraham Lincoln."

An instance of young Lincoln's practical humanity at an early period
of his life is recorded, as follows: One evening, while returning from
a "raising" in his wide neighborhood, with a number of companions, he
discovered a straying horse, with saddle and bridle upon him. The
horse was recognized as belonging to a man who was accustomed to
excess in drink, and it was suspected at once that the owner was not
far off. A short search only was necessary to confirm the suspicions
of the young men.

The poor drunkard was found in a perfectly helpless condition, upon
the chilly ground. Abraham's companions urged the cowardly policy of
leaving him to his fate, but young Lincoln would not hear to the
proposition. At his request, the miserable sot was lifted to his
shoulders, and he actually carried him eighty rods to the nearest
house. Sending word to his father that he should not be back that
night, with the reason for his absence, he attended and nursed the man
until the morning, and had the pleasure of believing that he had saved
his life.



Abraham Lincoln was born, and, until he became President, always lived
in a part of the country which, at the period of the Declaration of
Independence, was a savage wilderness. Strange but happy Providence,
that a voice from that savage wilderness, now fertile in men, was
inspired to uphold the pledges and promises of the Declaration! The
unity of the republic on the indestructible foundation of liberty and
equality was vindicated by the citizen of a community which had no
existence when the republic was formed.

A cabin was built in primitive rudeness, and the future President
split the rails for the fence to inclose the lot. These rails have
become classical in our history, and the name of rail-splitter has
been more than the degree of a college. Not that the splitter of rails
is especially meritorious, but because the people are proud to trace
aspiring talent to humble beginnings, and because they found in this
tribute a new opportunity of vindicating the dignity of free labor.


From "Choosing 'Abe' Lincoln Captain, and Other Stories"

When the Black Hawk war broke out in Illinois about 1832, young
Abraham Lincoln was living at New Salem, a little village of the class
familiarly known out west as "one-horse towns," and located near the
capital city of Illinois.

He had just closed his clerkship of a year in a feeble grocery, and
was the first to enlist under the call of Governor Reynolds for
volunteer forces to go against the Sacs and Foxes, of whom Black Hawk
was chief.

By treaty these Indians had been removed west of the Mississippi into
Iowa; but, thinking their old hunting-grounds the better, they had
recrossed the river with their war paint on, causing some trouble, and
a great deal of alarm among the settlers. Such was the origin of the
war; and the handful of government troops stationed at Rock Island
wanted help. Hence the State call.

Mr. Lincoln was twenty-three years old at that time, nine years older
than his adopted State. The country was thinly settled, and a company
of ninety men who could be spared from home for military service had
to be gathered from a wide district. When full, the company met at the
neighboring village of Richland to choose its officers. In those days
the militia men were allowed to select their leaders in their own way;
and they had a very peculiar mode of expressing their preference for
captains. For then, as now, there were almost always two candidates
for one office.

They would meet on the green somewhere, and at the appointed hour, the
competitors would step out from the crowds on the opposite sides of
the ground, and each would call on all the "boys" who wanted him for
captain to fall in behind him. As the line formed, the man next the
candidate would put his hands on the candidate's shoulder; the third
man also in the same manner to the second man; and so on to the end.
And then they would march and cheer for their leader like so many wild
men, in order to win over the fellows who didn't seem to have a
choice, or whose minds were sure to run after the greater noise. When
all had taken sides, the man who led the longer line, would be
declared captain.

Mr. Lincoln never outgrew the familiar nickname, "Abe," but at that
time he could hardly be said to have any other name than "Abe"; in
fact he had emerged from clerking in that little corner grocery as
"Honest Abe." He was not only liked, but loved, in the rough fashion
of the frontier by all who knew him. He was a good hand at gunning,
fishing, racing, wrestling and other games; he had a tall and strong
figure; and he seemed to have been as often "reminded of a little
story" in '32 as in '62. And the few men not won by these qualities,
were won and held by his great common sense, which restrained him from
excesses even in sports, and made him a safe friend.

It is not singular therefore that though a stranger to many of the
enlisted men, he should have had his warm friends who at once
determined to make him captain.

But Mr. Lincoln hung back with the feeling, he said, that if there was
any older and better established citizen whom the "boys" had
confidence in, it would be better to make such a one captain. His
poverty was even more marked than his modesty; and for his stock of
education about that time, he wrote in a letter to a friend
twenty-seven years later:

"I did not know much; still, somehow, I could read, write, and cipher
to the rule of three, but that was all."

That, however, was up to the average education of the community; and
having been clerk in a country grocery he was considered an educated

In the company Mr. Lincoln had joined, there was a dapper little chap
for whom Mr. Lincoln had labored as a farm hand a year before, and
whom he had left on account of ill treatment from him. This man was
eager for the captaincy. He put in his days and nights "log-rolling"
among his fellow volunteers; said he had already smelt gun-powder in a
brush with Indians, thus urging the value of experience; even thought
he had a "martial bearing"; and he was very industrious in getting
those men to join the company who would probably vote for him to be

Muster-day came, and the recruits met to organize. About them stood
several hundred relatives and other friends.

The little candidate was early on hand and busily bidding for votes.
He had felt so confident of the office in advance of muster-day, that
he had rummaged through several country tailor-shops and got a new
suit of the nearest approach to a captain's uniform that their scant
stock could furnish. So there he was, arrayed in jaunty cap, and a
swallow-tailed coat with brass buttons. He even wore fine boots, and
moreover had them blacked--which was almost a crime among a country
crowd of that day.

Young Lincoln took not one step to make himself captain; and not one
to prevent it. He simply put himself "in the hands of his friends," as
the politicians say. He stood and quietly watched the trouble others
were borrowing over the matter as if it were an election of officers
they had enlisted for, rather than for fighting Indians. But after
all, a good deal depends in war, on getting good officers.

As two o'clock drew near, the hour set for making captain, four or
five of young Lincoln's most zealous friends with a big stalwart
fellow at the head edged along pretty close to him, yet not in a way
to excite suspicion of a "conspiracy." Just a little bit before two,
without even letting "Abe" himself know exactly "what was up," the big
fellow stepped directly behind him, clapped his hands on the
shoulders before him, and shouted as only prairie giants can, "Hurrah
for Captain Abe Lincoln!" and plunged his really astonished candidate
forward into a march.

At the same instant, those in league with him also put hands to the
shoulders before them, pushed, and took up the cheer, "Hurrah for
Captain Abe Lincoln!" so loudly that there seemed to be several
hundred already on their side; and so there were, for the outside
crowd was also already cheering for "Abe."

This little "ruse" of the Lincoln "boys" proved a complete success.
"Abe" had to march, whether or no, to the music of their cheers; he
was truly "in the hands of his friends" then, and couldn't get away;
and it must be said he didn't seem to feel very bad over the
situation. The storm of cheers and the sight of tall Abraham (six feet
and four inches) at the head of the marching column, before the fussy
little chap in brass buttons who was quite ready, caused a quick
stampede even among the boys who intended to vote for the little
fellow. One after another they rushed for a place in "Captain Abe's"
line as though to be first to fall in was to win a prize.

A few rods away stood that suit of captain's clothes alone, looking
smaller than ever, "the starch all taken out of 'em," their occupant
confounded, and themselves for sale. "Abe's" old "boss" said he was
"astonished," and so he had good reason to be, but everybody could see
it without his saying so. His "style" couldn't win among the true and
shrewd, though unpolished "boys" in coarse garments. They saw right
through him.

"Buttons," as he became known from that day, was the last man to fall
into "Abe's" line; he said he'd make it unanimous.

But his experience in making "Abe" Captain made himself so sick that
he wasn't "able" to move when the company left for the "front," though
he soon grew able to move out of the procession.

Thus was "Father Abraham," so young as twenty-three, chosen captain of
a militia company over him whose abused, hired-hand he had been. It is
little wonder that in '59 after three elections to the State
Legislature and one to Congress, Mr. Lincoln should write of his early
event as "a success which gave me more pleasure than any I have had
since." The war was soon over with but little field work for the
volunteers; but no private was known to complain that "Abe" was not a
good captain.




In 1842, in his thirty-third year, Mr. Lincoln married Miss Mary Todd,
a daughter of Hon. Robert S. Todd, of Lexington, Kentucky. The
marriage took place in Springfield, where the lady had for several
years resided, on the fourth of November of the year mentioned. It is
probable that he married as early as the circumstances of his life
permitted, for he had always loved the society of women, and possessed
a nature that took profound delight in intimate female companionship.
A letter written on the eighteenth of May following his marriage, to
J. F. Speed, Esq., of Louisville, Kentucky, an early and a life-long
personal friend, gives a pleasant glimpse of his domestic arrangements
at this time. "We are not keeping house," Mr. Lincoln says in his
letter, "but boarding at the Globe Tavern, which is very well kept now
by a widow lady of the name of Beck. Our rooms are the same Dr.
Wallace occupied there, and boarding only costs four dollars a
week.... I most heartily wish you and your Fanny would not fail to
come. Just let us know the time, a week in advance, and we will have a
room prepared for you, and we'll all be merry together for awhile." He
seems to have been in excellent spirits, and to have been very hearty
in the enjoyment of his new relation. The private letters of Mr.
Lincoln were charmingly natural and sincere. His personal friendships
were the sweetest sources of his happiness.

To a particular friend, he wrote February 25, 1842: "Yours of the
sixteenth, announcing that Miss ---- and you 'are no longer twain, but
one flesh,' reached me this morning. I have no way of telling you how
much happiness I wish you both, though I believe you both can conceive
it. I feel somewhat jealous of both of you now, for you will be so
exclusively concerned for one another that I shall be forgotten
entirely. My acquaintance with Miss ---- (I call her thus lest you
should think I am speaking of your mother), was too short for me to
reasonably hope to be long remembered by her; and still I am sure I
shall not forget her soon. Try if you can not remind her of that debt
she owes me, and be sure you do not interfere to prevent her paying

"I regret to learn that you have resolved not to return to Illinois. I
shall be very lonesome without you. How miserably things seem to be
arranged in this world! If we have no friends we have no pleasure; and
if we have them, we are sure to lose them, and be doubly pained by the
loss. I did hope she and you would make your home here, yet I own I
have no right to insist. You owe obligations to her ten thousand times
more sacred than any you can owe to others, and in that light let them
be respected and observed. It is natural that she should desire to
remain with her relations and friends. As to friends, she could not
need them anywhere--she would have them in abundance here. Give my
kind regards to Mr. ---- and his family, particularly to Miss E. Also
to your mother, brothers and sisters. Ask little E. D. ---- if she
will ride to town with me if I come there again. And, finally, give
---- a double reciprocation of all the love she sent me. Write me
often, and believe me, yours forever,



From "Anecdotes of Abraham Lincoln."

When Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer in Illinois, he and a certain Judge
once got to bantering one another about trading horses; and it was
agreed that the next morning at 9 o'clock they should make a trade,
the horses to be unseen up to that hour, and no backing out, under a
forfeiture of $25.

At the hour appointed the Judge came up, leading the sorriest-looking
specimen of a horse ever seen in those parts. In a few minutes Mr.
Lincoln was seen approaching with a wooden saw-horse upon his
shoulders. Great were the shouts and the laughter of the crowd, and
both were greatly increased when Mr. Lincoln, on surveying the Judge's
animal, set down his saw-horse, and exclaimed: "Well, Judge, this is
the first time I ever got the worst of it in a horse trade."



From "Warner's Library of the World's Best Literature."

Born in 1809 and dying in 1865, Mr. Lincoln was the contemporary of
every distinguished man of letters in America to the close of the war;
but from none of them does he appear to have received literary impulse
or guidance. He might have read, if circumstances had been favorable,
a large part of the work of Irving, Bryant, Poe, Hawthorne, Emerson,
Lowell, Whittier, Holmes, Longfellow, and Thoreau, as it came from the
press; but he was entirely unfamiliar with it apparently until late in
his career and it is doubtful if even at that period he knew it well
or cared greatly for it. He was singularly isolated by circumstances
and by temperament from those influences which usually determine,
within certain limits, the quality and character of a man's style.

And Mr. Lincoln had a style,--a distinctive, individual,
characteristic form of expression. In his own way he gained an insight
into the structure of English, and a freedom and skill in the
selection and combination of words, which not only made him the most
convincing speaker of his time, but which have secured for his
speeches a permanent place in literature. One of those speeches is
already known wherever the English language is spoken; it is a classic
by virtue not only of its unique condensation of the sentiment of a
tremendous struggle into the narrow compass of a few brief paragraphs,
but by virtue of that instinctive felicity of style which gives to the
largest thought the beauty of perfect simplicity. The two Inaugural
Addresses are touched by the same deep feeling, the same large vision,
the same clear, expressive and persuasive eloquence; and these
qualities are found in a great number of speeches, from Mr. Lincoln's
first appearance in public life. In his earliest expressions of his
political views there is less range; but there is the structural
order, clearness, sense of proportion, ease, and simplicity which give
classic quality to the later utterances. Few speeches have so little
of what is commonly regarded as oratorial quality; few have approached
so constantly the standards and character of literature. While a group
of men of gift and opportunity in the East were giving American
literature its earliest direction, and putting the stamp of a high
idealism on its thought and a rare refinement of spirit on its form,
this lonely, untrained man on the old frontier was slowly working his
way through the hardest and rudest conditions to perhaps the foremost
place in American history, and forming at the same time a style of
singular and persuasive charm.

There is, however, no possible excellence without adequate education;
no possible mastery of any art without thorough training. Mr. Lincoln
has sometimes been called an accident, and his literary gift an
unaccountable play of nature; but few men have ever more definitely
and persistently worked out what was in them by clear intelligence
than Mr. Lincoln, and no speaker or writer of our time has, according
to his opportunities, trained himself more thoroughly in the use of
English prose. Of educational opportunity in the scholastic sense, the
future orator had only the slightest. He went to school "by littles,"
and these "littles" put together aggregated less than a year; but he
discerned very early the practical uses of knowledge, and set himself
to acquire it. This pursuit soon became a passion, and this deep and
irresistible yearning did more for him perhaps than richer
opportunities would have done. It made him a constant student, and it
taught him the value of fragments of time. "He was always at the head
of his class," writes one of his schoolmates, "and passed us rapidly
in his studies. He lost no time at home, and when he was not at work
was at his books. He kept up his studies on Sunday, and carried his
books with him to work, so that he might read when he rested from
labor." "I induced my husband to permit Abe to read and study at home
as well as at school," writes his stepmother. "At first he was not
easily reconciled to it, but finally he too seemed willing to
encourage him to a certain extent. Abe was a dutiful son to me always,
and we took particular care when he was reading not to disturb
him,--would let him read on and on until he quit of his own accord."

The books within his reach were few, but they were among the best.
First and foremost was that collection of literature in prose and
verse, the Bible: a library of sixty-six volumes, presenting nearly
every literary form, and translated at the fortunate moment when the
English language had received the recent impress of its greatest
masters of the speech of the imagination. This literature Mr. Lincoln
knew intimately, familiarly, fruitfully; as Shakespeare knew it in an
earlier version, and as Tennyson knew it and was deeply influenced by
it in the form in which it entered into and trained Lincoln's
imagination. Then there was that wise and very human text-book of the
knowledge of character and life, "Æsop's Fables"; that masterpiece of
clear presentation, "Robinson Crusoe"; and that classic of pure
English, "The Pilgrim's Progress." These four books--in the hands of a
meditative boy, who read until the last ember went out on the hearth,
began again when the earliest light reached his bed in the loft of the
log cabin, who perched himself on a stump, book in hand, at the end of
every furrow in the plowing season--contained the elements of a
movable university.

To these must be added many volumes borrowed from more fortunate
neighbors; for he had "read through every book he had heard of in that
country, for a circuit of fifty miles." A history of the United States
and a copy of Weems's "Life of Washington" laid the foundations of
his political education. That he read with his imagination as well as
with his eyes is clear from certain words spoken in the Senate Chamber
at Trenton in 1861. "May I be pardoned," said Mr. Lincoln, "if on this
occasion I mention that way back in my childhood, the earliest days of
my being able to read, I got hold of a small book, such a one as few
of the members have ever seen,--Weems's 'Life of Washington.' I
remember all the accounts there given of the battle-fields and
struggles for the liberties of the country; and none fixed themselves
upon my imagination so deeply as the struggle here at Trenton, New
Jersey. The crossing of the river, the contest with the Hessians, the
great hardships endured at that time,--all fixed themselves on my
memory more than any single Revolutionary event; and you all know, for
you have all been boys, how those early impressions last longer than
any others."

"When Abe and I returned to the house from work," writes John Hanks,
"he would go to the cupboard, snatch a piece of corn bread, sit down,
take a book, cock his legs up as high as his head, and read. We
grubbed, plowed, weeded, and worked together barefooted in the field.
Whenever Abe had a chance in the field while at work, or at the house,
he would stop and read." And this habit was kept up until Mr. Lincoln
had found both his life work and his individual expression. Later he
devoured Shakespeare and Burns; and the poetry of these masters of the
dramatic and lyric form, sprung like himself from the common soil,
and like him self-trained and directed, furnished a kind of running
accompaniment to his work and his play. What he read he not only held
tenaciously, but took into his imagination and incorporated into
himself. His familiar talk was enriched with frequent and striking
illustrations from the Bible and "Æsop's Fables."

This passion for knowledge and for companionship with the great
writers would have gone for nothing, so far as the boy's training in
expression was concerned, if he had contented himself with
acquisition; but he turned everything to account. He was as eager for
expression as for the material of expression; more eager to write and
to talk than to read. Bits of paper, stray sheets, even boards served
his purpose. He was continually transcribing with his own hand
thoughts or phrases which had impressed him. Everything within reach
bore evidence of his passion for reading, and for writing as well. The
flat sides of logs, the surface of the broad wooden shovel, everything
in his vicinity which could receive a legible mark, was covered with
his figures and letters. He was studying expression quite as
intelligently as he was searching for thought. Years afterwards, when
asked how he had attained such extraordinary clearness of style, he
recalled his early habit of retaining in his memory words or phrases
overheard in ordinary conversation or met in books and newspapers,
until night, meditating on them until he got at their meaning, and
then translating them into his own simpler speech. This habit, kept up
for years, was the best possible training for the writing of such
English as one finds in the Bible and in "The Pilgrim's Progress." His
self-education in the art of expression soon bore fruit in a local
reputation both as a talker and a writer. His facility in rhyme and
essay-writing was not only greatly admired by his fellows, but
awakened great astonishment, because these arts were not taught in the
neighboring schools.

In speech too he was already disclosing that command of the primary
and universal elements of interest in human intercourse which was to
make him, later, one of the most entertaining men of his time. His
power of analyzing a subject so as to be able to present it to others
with complete clearness was already disclosing itself. No matter how
complex a question might be, he did not rest until he had reduced it
to its simplest terms. When he had done this he was not only eager to
make it clear to others, but to give his presentation freshness,
variety, attractiveness. He had, in a word, the literary sense. "When
he appeared in company," writes one of his early companions, "the boys
would gather and cluster around him to hear him talk. Mr. Lincoln was
figurative in his speech, talks and conversation. He argued much from
analogy, and explained things hard for us to understand by stories,
maxims, tales and figures. He would almost always point his lesson or
idea by some story that was plain and near to us, that we might
instantly see the force and bearing of what he said."

In that phrase lies the secret of the closeness of Mr. Lincoln's words
to his theme and to his listeners,--one of the qualities of genuine,
original expression. He fed himself with thought, and he trained
himself in expression; but his supreme interest was in the men and
women about him, and later, in the great questions which agitated
them. He was in his early manhood when society was profoundly moved by
searching which could neither be silenced nor evaded; and his lot was
cast in a section where, as a rule, people read little and talked
much. Public speech was the chief instrumentality of political
education and the most potent means of persuasion; but behind the
platform, upon which Mr. Lincoln was to become a commanding figure,
were countless private debates carried on at street corners, in hotel
rooms, by the country road, in every place where men met even in the
most casual way. In these wayside schools Mr. Lincoln practiced the
art of putting things until he became a past-master in debate, both
formal and informal.

If all these circumstances, habits and conditions are studied in their
entirety, it will be seen that Mr. Lincoln's style, so far as its
formal qualities are concerned, is in no sense accidental or even
surprising. He was all his early life in the way of doing precisely
what he did in his later life with a skill which had become instinct.
He was educated, in a very unusual way, to speak for his time and to
his time with perfect sincerity and simplicity; to feel the moral
bearing of the questions which were before the country; to discern the
principles involved; and to so apply the principles to the questions
as to clarify and illuminate them. There is little difficulty in
accounting for the lucidity, simplicity, flexibility, and compass of
Mr. Lincoln's style; it is not until we turn to its temperamental and
spiritual qualities, to the soul of it, that we find ourselves
perplexed and baffled.

But Mr. Lincoln's possession of certain rare qualities is in no way
more surprising than their possession by Shakespeare, Burns, and
Whitman. We are constantly tempted to look for the sources of a man's
power in his educational opportunities instead of in his temperament
and inheritance. The springs of genius are purified and directed in
their flow by the processes of training, but they are fed from deeper
sources. The man of obscure ancestry and rude surroundings is often in
closer touch with nature, and with those universal experiences which
are the very stuff of literature, than the man who is born on the
upper reaches of social position and opportunity. Mr. Lincoln's
ancestry for at least two generations were pioneers and frontiersmen,
who knew hardship and privation, and were immersed in that great wave
of energy and life which fertilized and humanized the central West.
They were in touch with those original experiences out of which the
higher evolution of civilization slowly rises; they knew the soil and
the sky at first hand; they wrested a meagre subsistence out of the
stubborn earth by constant toil; they shared to the full the
vicissitudes and weariness of humanity at its elemental tasks.

It was to this nearness to the heart of a new country, perhaps, that
Mr. Lincoln owed his intimate knowledge of his people and his deep and
beautiful sympathy with them. There was nothing sinuous or secondary
in his processes of thought: they were broad, simple, and homely in
the old sense of the word. He had rare gifts, but he was rooted deep
in the soil of the life about him, and so completely in touch with it
that he divined its secrets and used its speech. This vital sympathy
gave his nature a beautiful gentleness, and suffused his thought with
a tenderness born of deep compassion and love. He carried the sorrows
of his country as truly as he bore its burdens; and when he came to
speak on the second immortal day at Gettysburg, he condensed into a
few sentences the innermost meaning of the struggle and the victory in
the life of the nation. It was this deep heart of pity and love in him
which carried him far beyond the reaches of statesmanship or oratory,
and gave his words that finality of expression which marks the noblest

That there was a deep vein of poetry in Mr. Lincoln's nature is clear
to one who reads the story of his early life; and this innate
idealism, set in surroundings so harsh and rude, had something to do
with his melancholy. The sadness which was mixed with his whole life
was, however, largely due to his temperament; in which the final
tragedy seemed always to be predicted. In that temperament too is
hidden the secret of the rare quality of nature and mind which
suffused his public speech and turned so much of it into literature.
There was humor in it, there was deep human sympathy, there was clear
mastery of words for the use to which he put them; but there was
something deeper and more pervasive,--there was the quality of his
temperament; and temperament is a large part of genius. The inner
forces of his nature played through his thought; and when great
occasions touched him to the quick, his whole nature shaped his speech
and gave it clear intelligence, deep feeling, and that beauty which is
distilled out of the depths of the sorrows and hopes of the world. He
was as unlike Burke and Webster, those masters of the eloquence of
statesmanship, as Burns was unlike Milton and Tennyson. Like Burns, he
held the key of the life of his people; and through him, as through
Burns, that life found a voice, vibrating, pathetic, and persuasive.

[3] _By permission of R. S. Peale and J. A. Hill Co._


From "Abe Lincoln's Yarns and Stories"

On one occasion, Colonel Baker was speaking in a court-house, which
had been a storehouse, and, on making some remarks that were offensive
to certain political rowdies in the crowd, they cried: "Take him off
the stand!" Immediate confusion followed, and there was an attempt to
carry the demand into execution. Directly over the speaker's head was
an old skylight, at which it appeared Mr. Lincoln had been listening
to the speech. In an instant, Mr. Lincoln's feet came through the
skylight, followed by his tall and sinewy frame, and he was standing
by Colonel Baker's side. He raised his hand, and the assembly subsided
into silence. "Gentlemen," said Mr. Lincoln, "let us not disgrace the
age and country in which we live. This is a land where freedom of
speech is guaranteed. Mr. Baker has a right to speak, and ought to be
permitted to do so. I am here to protect him, and no man shall take
him from this stand if I can prevent it."

The suddenness of his appearance, his perfect calmness and fairness,
and the knowledge that he would do what he had promised to do, quieted
all disturbance, and the speaker concluded his remarks without



From "The Life of Abraham Lincoln."[4]

"The greatest speech ever made in Illinois, and it puts Lincoln on the
track for the Presidency," was the comment made by enthusiastic
Republicans on Lincoln's speech before the Bloomington Convention.
Conscious that it was he who had put the breath of life into their
organization, the party instinctively turned to him as its leader. The
effect of this local recognition was at once perceptible in the
national organization. Less than three weeks after the delivery of the
Bloomington speech, the national convention of the Republican party
met in Philadelphia, June 17, to nominate candidates for the
Presidency and Vice-presidency. Lincoln's name was the second proposed
for the latter office, and on the first ballot he received one hundred
and ten votes. The news reached him at Urbana, Ill., where he was
attending court, one of his companions reading from a daily paper just
received from Chicago, the result of the ballot. The simple name
Lincoln was given, without the name of the man's State. Lincoln said
indifferently that he did not suppose it could be himself; and added
that there was "another great man" of the name, a man from
Massachusetts. The next day, however, he knew that it was himself to
whom the convention had given so strong an endorsement. He knew also
that the ticket chosen was Frémont and Dayton.

The campaign of the following summer and fall was one of intense
activity for Lincoln. In Illinois and the neighboring States he made
over fifty speeches, only fragments of which have been preserved. One
of the first important ones was delivered on July 4, 1856, at a great
mass meeting at Princeton, the home of the Lovejoys and the Bryants.
The people were still irritated by the outrages in Kansas and by the
attack on Sumner in the Senate, and the temptation to deliver a
stirring and indignant oration must have been strong. Lincoln's speech
was, however, a fine example of political wisdom, an historical
argument admirably calculated to convince his auditors that they were
right in their opposition to slavery extension, but so controlled and
sane that it would stir no impulsive radical to violence. There
probably was not uttered in the United States on that critical 4th of
July, 1856, when the very foundation of the government was in dispute
and the day itself seemed a mockery, a cooler, more logical speech
than this by the man who, a month before, had driven a convention so
nearly mad that the very reporters had forgotten to make notes. And
the temper of this Princeton speech Lincoln kept throughout the

In spite of the valiant struggle of the Republicans, Buchanan was
elected; but Lincoln was in no way discouraged. The Republicans had
polled 1,341,264 votes in the country. In Illinois, they had given
Frémont nearly 100,000 votes, and they had elected their candidate for
governor, General Bissell. Lincoln turned from arguments to
encouragement and good counsel.

"All of us," he said at a Republican banquet in Chicago, a few weeks
after the election, "who did not vote for Mr. Buchanan, taken
together, are a majority of four hundred thousand. But in the late
contest we were divided between Frémont and Fillmore. Can we not come
together for the future? Let every one who really believes and is
resolved that free society is not and shall not be a failure, and who
can conscientiously declare that in the last contest he had done what
he thought best--let every such one have charity to believe that every
other one can say as much. Thus let bygones be bygones; let past
differences as nothing be; and with steady eye on the real issue let
us reinaugurate the good old 'central idea' of the republic. We can do
it. The human heart is with us; God is with us. We shall again be
able, not to declare that 'all States as States are equal,' nor yet
that 'all citizens as citizens are equal,' but to renew the broader,
better declaration, including both these and much more, that 'all men
are created equal.'"

The spring of 1857 gave Lincoln a new line of argument. Buchanan was
scarcely in the Presidential chair before the Supreme Court, in the
decision of the Dred Scott case, declared that a negro could not sue
in the United States courts and that Congress could not prohibit
slavery in the Territories. This decision was such an evident advance
of the slave power that there was a violent uproar in the North.
Douglas went at once to Illinois to calm his constituents. "What," he
cried, "oppose the Supreme Court! is it not sacred? To resist it is

Lincoln met him fairly on the issue in a speech at Springfield in
June, 1857.

"We believe as much as Judge Douglas (perhaps more) in obedience to
and respect for the judicial department of government.... But we
think the Dred Scott decision is erroneous. We know the court that
made it has often overruled its own decisions, and we shall do what we
can to have it overrule this. We offer no resistance to it.... If this
important decision had been made by the unanimous concurrence of the
judges, and without any apparent partisan bias, and in accordance with
legal public expectation and with the steady practice of the
departments throughout our history, and had been in no part based on
assumed historical facts which are not really true; or if, wanting in
some of these, it had been before the court more than once, and had
there been affirmed and reaffirmed through a course of years, it then
might be, perhaps would be, factious, nay, even revolutionary, not to
acquiesce in it as a precedent. But when, as is true, we find it
wanting in all these claims to the public confidence, it is not
resistance, it is not factious, it is not even disrespectful, to treat
it as not having yet quite established a settled doctrine for the

Let Douglas cry "awful," "anarchy," "revolution," as much as he would,
Lincoln's arguments against the Dred Scott decision appealed to common
sense and won him commendation all over the country. Even the radical
leaders of the party in the East--Seward, Sumner, Theodore
Parker--began to notice him, to read his speeches, to consider his

With every month of 1857 Lincoln grew stronger, and his election in
Illinois as United States senatorial candidate in 1858 against Douglas
would have been insured if Douglas had not suddenly broken with
Buchanan and his party in a way which won him the hearty sympathy and
respect of a large part of the Republicans of the North. By a
flagrantly unfair vote the pro-slavery leaders of Kansas had secured
the adoption of the Lecompton Constitution allowing slavery in the
State. President Buchanan urged Congress to admit Kansas with her
bogus Constitution. Douglas, who would not sanction so base an
injustice, opposed the measure, voting with the Republicans steadily
against the admission. The Buchananists, outraged at what they called
"Douglas's apostasy," broke with him. Then it was that a part of the
Republican party, notably Horace Greeley at the head of the New York
"Tribune," struck by the boldness and nobility of Douglas's
opposition, began to hope to win him over from the Democrats to the
Republicans. Their first step was to counsel the leaders of their
party in Illinois to put up no candidate against Douglas for the
United States senatorship in 1858.

Lincoln saw this change on the part of the Republican leaders with
dismay. "Greeley is not doing me right," he said. "... I am a true
Republican, and have been tried already in the hottest part of the
anti-slavery fight; and yet I find him taking up Douglas, a veritable
dodger,--once a tool of the South, now its enemy,--and pushing him to
the front." He grew so restless over the returning popularity of
Douglas among the Republicans that Herndon, his law-partner,
determined to go East to find out the real feeling of the Eastern
leaders towards Lincoln. Herndon had, for a long time, been in
correspondence with the leading abolitionists and had no difficulty in
getting interviews. The returns he brought back from his canvass were
not altogether reassuring. Seward, Sumner, Phillips, Garrison,
Beecher, Theodore Parker, all spoke favorably of Lincoln and Seward
sent him word that the Republicans would never take up so slippery a
quantity as Douglas had proved himself. But Greeley--the all-important
Greeley--was lukewarm. "The Republican standard is too high," he told
Herndon. "We want something practical.... Douglas is a brave man.
Forget the past and sustain the righteous." "Good God, righteous, eh!"
groaned Herndon in his letter to Lincoln.

But though the encouragement which came to Lincoln from the East in
the spring of 1858 was meagre, that which came from Illinois was
abundant. There the Republicans supported him in whole-hearted
devotion. In June, the State convention, meeting in Springfield to
nominate its candidate for Senator, declared that Abraham Lincoln was
its first and only choice as the successor of Stephen A. Douglas. The
press was jubilant. "Unanimity is a weak word," wrote the editor of
the Bloomington "Pantagraph," "to express the universal and intense
feeling of the convention. _Lincoln!_ LINCOLN!! LINCOLN!!! was the cry
everywhere, whenever the senatorship was alluded to. Delegates from
Chicago and from Cairo, from the Wabash and the Illinois, from the
north, the center, and the south, were alike fierce with enthusiasm,
whenever that loved name was breathed. Enemies at home and misjudging
friends abroad, who have looked for dissension among us on the
question of the senatorship, will please take notice that our
nomination is a unanimous one; and that, in the event of a Republican
majority in the next Legislature, no other name than Lincoln's will be
mentioned, or thought of, by a solitary Republican legislator. One
little incident in the convention was a pleasing illustration of the
universality of the Lincoln sentiment. Cook County had brought a
banner into the assemblage inscribed, 'Cook County for Abraham
Lincoln.' During a pause in the proceedings, a delegate from another
county rose and proposed, with the consent of the Cook County
delegation, 'to amend the banner by substituting for "Cook County" the
word which I hold in my hand,' at the same time unrolling a scroll,
and revealing the word 'Illinois' in huge capitals. The Cook
delegation promptly accepted the amendment, and amidst a perfect
hurricane of hurrahs, the banner was duly altered to express the
sentiment of the whole Republican party of the State, thus: 'Illinois
for Abraham Lincoln.'"

On the evening of the day of his nomination, Lincoln addressed his
constituents. The first paragraph of his speech gave the key to the
campaign he proposed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I
believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half
free. 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."

Then followed the famous charge of conspiracy against the slavery
advocates, the charge that Pierce, Buchanan, Chief Justice Taney, and
Douglas had been making a concerted effort to legalize the institution
of slavery "in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as
South." He marshaled one after another of the measures that the
pro-slavery leaders had secured in the past four years, and clinched
the argument by one of his inimitable illustrations.

"When we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we
know have been gotten out of different times and places and by
different workmen,--Stephen, Franklin, Roger and James,[A] for
instance,--and we see these timbers joined together, and see they
exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, all the tenons and
mortises exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the
different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a
piece too many or too few, not omitting even the scaffolding--or, if a
single piece be lacking, we see the place in the frame exactly fitted
and prepared yet to bring such a piece in--in such a case we find it
impossible not to believe that Stephen and Franklin and Roger and
James all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked
upon a common plan or draft, drawn up before the first blow was

The speech was severely criticised by Lincoln's friends. It was too
radical. It was sectional. He heard the complaints unmoved. "If I had
to draw a pen across my record," he said, one day, "and erase my whole
life from sight, and I had one poor gift of choice left as to what I
should save from the wreck, I should choose that speech and leave it
to the world unerased."

The speech, was, in fact, one of great political adroitness. It forced
Douglas to do exactly what he did not want to do in Illinois; explain
his own record during the past four years; explain the true meaning of
the Kansas-Nebraska bill; discuss the Dred Scott decision; say whether
or not he thought slavery so good a thing that the country could
afford to extend it instead of confining it where it would be in
course of gradual extinction. Douglas wanted the Republicans of
Illinois to follow Greeley's advice: "Forgive the past." He wanted to
make the most among them of his really noble revolt against the
attempt of his party to fasten an unjust constitution on Kansas.
Lincoln would not allow him to bask for an instant in the sun of that
revolt. He crowded him step by step through his party's record, and
compelled him to face what he called the "profound central truth" of
the Republican party, "slavery is wrong and ought to be dealt with as

But it was at once evident that Douglas did not mean to
meet the issue squarely. He called the doctrine of Lincoln's
"house-divided-against-itself" speech "sectionalism"; his charge of
conspiracy "false"; his talk of the wrong of slavery extension
"abolitionism." This went on for a month. Then Lincoln resolved to
force Douglas to meet his arguments, and challenged him to a series of
joint debates. Douglas was not pleased. His reply to the challenge was
irritable, even slightly insolent. To those of his friends who talked
with him privately of the contest, he said: "I do not feel, between
you and me, that I want to go into this debate. The whole country
knows me, and has me measured. Lincoln, as regards myself, is
comparatively unknown, and if he gets the best of this debate,--and I
want to say he is the ablest man the Republicans have got,--I shall
lose everything and Lincoln will gain everything. Should I win, I
shall gain but little. I do not want to go into a debate with Abe."
Publicly, however, he carried off the prospect confidently, even
jauntily. "Mr. Lincoln," he said patronizingly, "is a kind, amiable,
intelligent gentleman." In the meantime his constituents boasted
loudly of the fine spectacle they were going to give the State--"the
Little Giant chawing up Old Abe!"

Many of Lincoln's friends looked forward to the encounter with
foreboding. Often, in spite of their best intentions, they showed
anxiety. "Shortly before the first debate came off at Ottawa," says
Judge H. W. Beckwith of Danville, Ill., "I passed the Chenery House,
then the principal hotel in Springfield. The lobby was crowded with
partisan leaders from various sections of the State, and Mr. Lincoln,
from his greater height, was seen above the surging mass that clung
about him like a swarm of bees to their ruler. He looked careworn, but
he met the crowd patiently and kindly, shaking hands, answering
questions, and receiving assurances of support. The day was warm, and
at the first chance he broke away and came out for a little fresh air,
wiping the sweat from his face.

"As he passed the door he saw me, and, taking my hand, inquired for
the health and views of his 'friends over in Vermilion County.' He was
assured they were wide awake, and further told that they looked
forward to the debate between him and Senator Douglas with deep
concern. From the shadow that went quickly over his face, the pained
look that came to give quickly way to a blaze of eyes and quiver of
lips, I felt that Mr. Lincoln had gone beneath my mere words and
caught my inner and current fears as to the result. And then, in a
forgiving, jocular way peculiar to him, he said, 'Sit down; I have a
moment to spare and will tell you a story.' Having been on his feet
for some time, he sat on the end of the stone steps leading into the
hotel door, while I stood closely fronting him.

"'You have,' he continued, 'seen two men about to fight?'

"'Yes, many times.'

"'Well, one of them brags about what he means to do. He jumps high in
the air, cracking his heels together, smites his fists, and wastes his
breath trying to scare everybody. You see the other fellow, he says
not a word,'--here Mr. Lincoln's voice and manner changed to great
earnestness, and repeating--'you see the other man says not a word.
His arms are at his side, his fists are closely doubled up, his head
is drawn to the shoulder, and his teeth are set firm together. He is
saving his wind for the fight, and as sure as it comes off he will win
it, or die a-trying.'

"He made no other comment, but arose, bade me good-by, and left me to
apply that illustration."

It was inevitable that Douglas's friends should be sanguine, Lincoln's
doubtful. The contrast between the two candidates was almost pathetic.
Senator Douglas was the most brilliant figure in the political life of
the day. Winning in personality, fearless as an advocate, magnetic in
eloquence, shrewd in political manoeuvring, he had every quality to
captivate the public. His resources had never failed him. From his
entrance into Illinois politics in 1834, he had been the recipient of
every political honor his party had to bestow. For the past eleven
years he had been a member of the United States Senate, where he had
influenced all the important legislation of the day and met in debate
every strong speaker of North and South. In 1852, and again in 1856,
he had been a strongly supported, though unsuccessful candidate for
the Democratic Presidential nomination. In 1858 he was put at or near
the head of every list of possible Presidential candidates made up for

How barren Lincoln's public career in comparison! Three terms in the
lower house of the State Assembly, one term in Congress, then a
failure which drove him from public life. Now he returns as a bolter
from his party, a leader in a new organization which the conservatives
are denouncing as "visionary," "impractical," "revolutionary."

No one recognized more clearly than Lincoln the difference between
himself and his opponent. "With me," he said, sadly, in comparing the
careers of himself and Douglas, "the race of ambition has been a
failure--a flat failure. With him it has been one of splendid
success." He warned his party at the outset that, with himself as a
standard-bearer, the battle must be fought on principle alone, without
any of the external aids which Douglas's brilliant career gave.
"Senator Douglas is of world-wide renown," he said; "All the anxious
politicians of his party, or who have been of his party for years
past, have been looking upon him as certain, at no distant day, to be
the President of the United States. They have seen in his round,
jolly, fruitful face, post-offices, land-offices, marshal-ships, and
cabinet appointments, chargéships and foreign missions, bursting and
sprouting out in wonderful exuberance, ready to be laid hold of by
their greedy hands. And as they have been gazing upon this attractive
picture so long, they cannot, in the little distraction that has taken
place in the party, bring themselves to give up the charming hope; but
with greedier anxiety they rush about him, sustain him, and give him
marches, triumphal entries, and receptions beyond what even in the
days of his highest prosperity they could have brought about in his
favor. On the contrary, nobody has ever expected me to be President.
In my poor, lean, lank face, nobody has ever seen that any cabbages
were sprouting out. These are disadvantages, all taken together, that
the Republicans labor under. We have to fight this battle upon
principle, and upon principle alone."

If one will take a map of Illinois and locate the points of the
Lincoln and Douglas debates held between August 21 and October 15,
1858, he will see that the whole State was traversed in the contest.
The first took place at Ottawa, about seventy-five miles southwest of
Chicago, on August 21; the second at Freeport, near the Wisconsin
boundary, on August 27. The third was in the extreme southern part of
the State, at Jonesboro, on September 15. Three days later the
contestants met one hundred and fifty miles northeast of Jonesboro, at
Charleston. The fifth, sixth, and seventh debates were held in the
western part of the State; at Galesburg, October 7; Quincy, October
13; and Alton, October 15.

Constant exposure and fatigue were unavoidable in meeting these
engagements. Both contestants spoke almost every day through the
intervals between the joint debates; and as railroad communication in
Illinois in 1858 was still very incomplete, they were often obliged to
resort to horse, carriage, or steamer, to reach the desired points.
Judge Douglas succeeded, however, in making this difficult journey
something of a triumphal procession. He was accompanied throughout the
campaign by his wife--a beautiful and brilliant woman--and by a
number of distinguished Democrats.

On the Illinois Central Railroad he had always a special car,
sometimes a special train. Frequently he swept by Lincoln,
side-tracked in an accommodation or freight train. "The gentleman in
that car evidently smelt no royalty on our carriage," laughed Lincoln
one day, as he watched from the caboose of a laid-up freight train the
decorated special of Douglas flying by.

It was only when Lincoln left the railroad and crossed the prairie at
some isolated town, that he went in state. The attentions he received
were often very trying to him. He detested what he called "fizzlegigs
and fireworks," and would squirm in disgust when his friends gave him
a genuine prairie ovation. Usually, when he was going to a point
distant from the railway, a "distinguished citizen" met him at the
station nearest the place with a carriage. When they were come within
two or three miles of the town, a long procession with banners and
band would appear winding across the prairie to meet the speaker. A
speech of greeting was made, and then the ladies of the entertainment
committee would present Lincoln with flowers, sometimes even winding a
garland about his head and lanky figure. His embarrassment at these
attentions was thoroughly appreciated by his friends. At the Ottawa
debate the enthusiasm of his supporters was so great that they
insisted on carrying him from the platform to the house where he was
to be entertained. Powerless to escape from the clutches of his
admirers, he could only cry, "Don't, boys; let me down; come now,
don't." But the "boys" persisted, and they tell to-day proudly of
their exploit and of the cordial hand-shake Lincoln, all embarrassed
as he was, gave each when at last he was free.

On arrival at the towns where the joint debates were held, Douglas was
always met by a brass band and a salute of thirty-two guns (the Union
was composed of thirty-two States in 1858), and was escorted to the
hotel in the finest equipage to be had. Lincoln's supporters took
delight in showing their contempt of Douglas's elegance by affecting a
Republican simplicity, often carrying their candidate through the
streets on a high and unadorned hay-rack drawn by farm horses. The
scenes in the towns on the occasion of the debates were perhaps never
equalled at any other of the hustings of this country. No distance
seemed too great for the people to go; no vehicle too slow or
fatiguing. At Charleston there was a great delegation of men, women
and children present which had come in a long procession from Indiana
by farm wagons, afoot, on horseback, and in carriages. The crowds at
three or four of the debates were for that day immense. There were
estimated to be from eight thousand to fourteen thousand people at
Quincy, some six thousand at Alton, from ten thousand to fifteen
thousand at Charleston, some twenty thousand at Ottawa. Many of those
at Ottawa came the night before. "It was a matter of but a short
time," says Mr. George Beatty of Ottawa, "until the few hotels, the
livery stables, and private houses were crowded, and there were no
accommodations left. Then the campaigners spread out about the town,
and camped in whatever spot was most convenient. They went along the
bluff and on the bottom-lands, and that night, the camp-fires, spread
up and down the valley for a mile, made it look as if an army was
gathered about us."

When the crowd was massed at the place of the debate, the scene was
one of the greatest hubbub and confusion. On the corners of the
squares, and scattered around the outskirts of the crowd, were fakirs
of every description, selling painkillers and ague cures, watermelons
and lemonade; jugglers and beggars plied their trades, and the brass
bands of all the four corners within twenty-five miles tooted and
pounded at "Hail Columbia, Happy Land," or "Columbia, the Gem of the

Conspicuous in the processions at all the points was what Lincoln
called the "Basket of Flowers," thirty-two young girls in a
resplendent car, representing the Union. At Charleston, a thirty-third
young woman rode behind the car, representing Kansas. She carried a
banner inscribed: "I will be free"; a motto which brought out from
nearly all the newspaper reporters the comment that she was too fair
to be long free.

The mottoes at the different meetings epitomized the popular
conception of the issues and the candidates. Among the Lincoln
sentiments were:

Illinois born under the Ordinance of '87.

    Free Territories and Free Men,
      Free Pulpits and Free Preachers,
    Free Press and a Free Pen,
      Free Schools and Free Teachers.

    "Westward the star of empire takes its way;
    The girls link on to Lincoln, their mothers were for Clay."

Abe the Giant-Killer.

Edgar County for the Tall Sucker.

A striking feature of the crowds was the number of women they
included. The intelligent and lively interest they took in the debates
caused much comment. No doubt Mrs. Douglas's presence had something to
do with this. They were particularly active in receiving the speakers,
and at Quincy, Lincoln, on being presented with what the local press
described as a "beautiful and elegant bouquet," took pains to express
his gratification at the part women everywhere took in the contest.

While this helter-skelter outpouring of prairiedom had the appearance
of being little more than a great jollification, a lawless country
fair, in reality it was with the majority of the people a profoundly
serious matter. With every discussion it became more vital. Indeed, in
the first debate, which was opened and closed by Douglas, the relation
of the two speakers became dramatic. It was here that Douglas hoping
to fasten on Lincoln the stigma of "abolitionist," charged him with
having undertaken to abolitionize the old Whig party, and having been
in 1854 a subscriber to a radical platform proclaimed at Springfield.
This platform Douglas read. Lincoln, when he replied, could only say
he was never at the convention--knew nothing of the resolutions; but
the impression prevailed that he was cornered. The next issue of the
Chicago "Press and Tribune" dispelled it. That paper had employed to
report the debates the first shorthand reporter of Chicago, Mr. Robert
L. Hitt--now a Member of Congress and the Chairman of the Committee on
Foreign Affairs. Mr. Hitt, when Douglas began to read the resolutions,
took an opportunity to rest, supposing he could get the original from
the speaker. He took down only the first line of each resolution. He
missed Douglas after the debate, but on reaching Chicago, where he
wrote out his report, he sent an assistant to the files to find the
platform adopted at the Springfield Convention. It was brought, but
when Mr. Hitt began to transcribe it he saw at once that it was widely
different from the one Douglas had read. There was great excitement in
the office, and the staff, ardently Republican, went to work to
discover where the resolutions had come from. It was found that they
originated at a meeting of radical abolitionists with whom Lincoln had
never been associated.

The "Press and Tribune" announced the "forgery," as it was called in a
caustic editorial, "The Little Dodger Cornered and Caught." Within a
week even the remote school-districts of Illinois were discussing
Douglas's action, and many of the most important papers of the nation
had made it a subject of editorial comment.

Almost without exception Douglas was condemned. No amount of
explanation on his part helped him. "The particularity of Douglas's
charge," said the Louisville "Journal," "precludes the idea that he
was simply and innocently mistaken." Lovers of fair play were
disgusted, and those of Douglas's own party who would have applauded a
trick too clever to be discovered could not forgive him for one which
had been found out. Greeley came out bitterly against him, and before
long wrote to Lincoln and Herndon that Douglas was "like the man's boy
who (he said) didn't weigh so much as he expected and he always knew
he wouldn't."

Douglas's error became a sharp-edged sword in Lincoln's hand. Without
directly referring to it, he called his hearers' attention to the
forgery every time he quoted a document by his elaborate explanation
that he believed, unless there was some mistake on the part of those
with whom the matter originated and which he had been unable to
detect, that this was correct. Once when Douglas brought forward a
document, Lincoln blandly remarked that he could scarcely be blamed
for doubting its genuineness since the introduction of the Springfield
resolutions at Ottawa.

It was in the second debate, at Freeport, that Lincoln made the
boldest stroke of the contest. Soon after the Ottawa debate, in
discussing his plan for the next encounter, with a number of his
political friends,--Washburne, Cook, Judd, and others,--he told them
he proposed to ask Douglas four questions, which he read. One and all
cried halt at the second question. Under no condition, they said, must
he put it. If it were put, Douglas would answer it in such a way as to
win the senatorship. The morning of the debate, while on the way to
Freeport, Lincoln read the same questions to Mr. Joseph Medill. "I do
not like this second question, Mr. Lincoln," said Mr. Medill. The two
men argued to their journey's end, but Lincoln was still unconvinced.
Even after he reached Freeport several Republican leaders came to him
pleading, "Do not ask that question." He was obdurate; and he went on
the platform with a higher head, a haughtier step than his friends had
noted in him before. Lincoln was going to ruin himself, the committee
said despondently; one would think he did not want the senatorship.

The mooted question ran in Lincoln's notes: "Can the people of a
United States territory in any lawful way, against the wish of any
citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from its limits prior to
the formation of a State Constitution?" Lincoln had seen the
irreconcilableness of Douglas's own measure of popular sovereignty,
which declared that the people of a territory should be left to
regulate their domestic concerns in their own way subject only to the
Constitution, and the decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott
case that slaves, being property, could not under the Constitution be
excluded from a territory. He knew that if Douglas said no to this
question, his Illinois constituents would never return him to the
Senate. He believed that if he said yes, the people of the South would
never vote for him for President of the United States. He was willing
himself to lose the senatorship in order to defeat Douglas for the
Presidency in 1860. "I am after larger game; the battle of 1860 is
worth a hundred of this," he said confidently.

The question was put, and Douglas answered it with rare artfulness.
"It matters not," he cried, "what way the Supreme Court may hereafter
decide as to the abstract question whether slavery may or may not go
into a territory under the Constitution; the people have the lawful
means to introduce it or exclude it as they please, for the reason
that slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere unless it is
supported by local police regulations. Those police regulations can
only be established by the local legislature, and if the people are
opposed to slavery, they will elect representatives to that body who
will, by unfriendly legislation, effectually prevent the introduction
of it into their midst. If, on the contrary, they are for it, their
legislature will favor its extension."

His democratic constituents went wild over the clever way in which
Douglas had escaped Lincoln's trap. He now practically had his
election. The Republicans shook their heads. Lincoln only was serene.
He alone knew what he had done. The Freeport debate had no sooner
reached the pro-slavery press than a storm of protest went up.
Douglas had betrayed the South. He had repudiated the Supreme Court
decision. He had declared that slavery could be kept out of the
territories by other legislation than a State Constitution. "The
Freeport doctrine," or "the theory of unfriendly legislation," as it
became known, spread month by month, and slowly but surely made
Douglas an impossible candidate in the South. The force of the
question was not realized in full by Lincoln's friends until the
Democratic party met in Charleston, S. C., in 1860, and the Southern
delegates refused to support Douglas because of the answer he gave to
Lincoln's question in the Freeport debate of 1858.

"Do you recollect the argument we had on the way up to Freeport two
years ago over the question I was going to ask Judge Douglas?" Lincoln
asked Mr. Joseph Medill, when the latter went to Springfield a few
days after the election of 1860.

"Yes," said Medill, "I recollect it very well."

"Don't you think I was right now?"

"We were both right. The question hurt Douglas for the Presidency, but
it lost you the senatorship."

"Yes, and I have won the place he was playing for."

From the beginning of the campaign Lincoln supplemented the strength
of his arguments by inexhaustible good humor. Douglas, physically
worn, harassed by the trend which Lincoln had given the discussions,
irritated that his adroitness and eloquence could not so cover the
fundamental truth of the Republican position but that it would up
again, often grew angry, even abusive. Lincoln answered him with most
effective raillery. At Havana, where he spoke the day after Douglas,
he said:

"I am informed that my distinguished friend yesterday became a little
excited--nervous, perhaps--and he said something about fighting, as
though referring to a pugilistic encounter between him and myself. Did
anybody in this audience hear him use such language? (Cries of "Yes.")
I am informed further, that somebody in his audience, rather more
excited and nervous than himself, took off his coat, and offered to
take the job off Judge Douglas's hands, and fight Lincoln himself. Did
anybody here witness that war-like proceeding? (Laughter and cries of
"Yes.") Well, I merely desire to say that I shall fight neither Judge
Douglas nor his second. I shall not do this for two reasons, which I
will now explain. In the first place, a fight would prove nothing
which is in issue in this contest. It might establish that Judge
Douglas is a more muscular man than myself, or it might demonstrate
that I am a more muscular man than Judge Douglas. But this question is
not referred to in the Cincinnati platform, nor in either of the
Springfield platforms. Neither result would prove him right nor me
wrong; and so of the gentleman who volunteered to do this fighting for
him. If my fighting Judge Douglas would not prove anything, it would
certainly prove nothing for me to fight his bottle-holder.

"My second reason for not having a personal encounter with the judge
is, that I don't believe he wants it himself. He and I are about the
best friends in the world, and when we get together he would no more
think of fighting me than of fighting his wife. Therefore, ladies and
gentlemen, when the judge talked about fighting, he was not giving
vent to any ill feeling of his own, but merely trying to excite--well,
enthusiasm against me on the part of his audience. And as I find he
was tolerably successful, we will call it quits."

More difficult for Lincoln to take good-naturedly than threats and
hard names was the irrelevant matters which Douglas dragged into the
debates to turn attention from the vital arguments. Thus Douglas
insisted repeatedly on taunting Lincoln because his zealous friends
had carried him off the platform at Ottawa. "Lincoln was so frightened
by the questions put to him," said Douglas, "that he could not walk."
He tried to arouse the prejudice of the audience by absurd charges of
abolitionism. Lincoln wanted to give negroes social equality; he
wanted a negro wife; he was willing to allow Fred Douglass to make
speeches for him. Again he took up a good deal of Lincoln's time by
forcing him to answer to a charge of refusing to vote supplies for the
soldiers in the Mexican War. Lincoln denied and explained, until at
last, at Charleston, he turned suddenly to Douglas's supporters,
dragging one of the strongest of them--the Hon. O. B. Ficklin, with
whom he had been in Congress in 1848--to the platform.

"I do not mean to do anything with Mr. Ficklin," he said, "except to
present his face and tell you that he personally knows it to be a
lie." And Mr. Ficklin had to acknowledge that Lincoln was right.

"Judge Douglas," said Lincoln in speaking of this policy, "is playing
cuttlefish--a small species of fish that has no mode of defending
himself when pursued except by throwing out a black fluid which makes
the water so dark the enemy cannot see it, and thus it escapes."

The question at stake was too serious in Lincoln's judgment, for
platform jugglery. Every moment of his time which Douglas forced him
to spend answering irrelevant charges he gave begrudgingly. He
struggled constantly to keep his speeches on the line of solid
argument. Slowly but surely those who followed the debates began to
understand this. It was Douglas who drew the great masses to the
debates in the first place; it was because of him that the public men
and the newspapers of the East, as well as of the West, watched the
discussions. But as the days went on it was not Douglas who made the

During the hours of the speeches the two men seemed well mated. "I can
recall only one fact of the debates," says Mrs. William Crotty, of
Seneca, Illinois, "that I felt so sorry for Lincoln when Douglas was
speaking, and then to my surprise I felt so sorry for Douglas when
Lincoln replied." The disinterested to whom it was an intellectual
game, felt the power and charm of both men. Partisans had each reason
enough to cheer. It was afterwards, as the debates were talked over by
auditors as they lingered at the country store or were grouped on the
fence in the evening, or when they were read in the generous reports
which the newspapers of Illinois and even of other States gave, that
the thoroughness of Lincoln's argument was understood. Even the first
debate at Ottawa had a surprising effect. "I tell you," says Mr.
George Beatty of Ottawa, "that debate set people thinking on these
important questions in a way they hadn't dreamed of. I heard any
number of men say: 'This thing is an awfully serious question, and I
have about concluded Lincoln has got it right.' My father, a
thoughtful, God-fearing man, said to me, as we went home to supper,
'George, you are young, and don't see what this thing means, as I do.
Douglas's speeches of "squatter sovereignty" please you younger men,
but I tell you that with us older men it's a great question that faces
us. We've either got to keep slavery back or it's going to spread all
over the country. That's the real question that's behind all this.
Lincoln is right.' And that was the feeling that prevailed, I think,
among the majority, after the debate was over. People went home
talking about the danger of slavery getting a hold in the North. This
territory had been Democratic; La Salle County, the morning of the day
of the debate, was Democratic; but when the next day came around,
hundreds of Democrats had been made Republicans, owing to the light in
which Lincoln had brought forward the fact that slavery threatened."

It was among Lincoln's own friends, however, that his speeches
produced the deepest impression. They had believed him to be strong,
but probably there was no one of them who had not felt dubious about
his ability to meet Douglas. Many even feared a fiasco. Gradually it
began to be clear to them that Lincoln was the stronger. Could it be
that Lincoln really was a great man? The young Republican journalists
of the "Press and Tribune"--Scripps, Hitt, Medill--began to ask
themselves the question. One evening as they talked over Lincoln's
argument a letter was received. It came from a prominent Eastern
statesman. "Who is this man that is replying to Douglas in your
State?" he asked. "Do you realize that no greater speeches have been
made on public questions in the history of our country; that his
knowledge of the subject is profound, his logical unanswerable, his
style inimitable?" Similar letters kept coming from various parts of
the country. Before the campaign was over Lincoln's friends were
exultant. Their favorite was a great man, "a full-grown man," as one
of them wrote in his paper.

The country at large watched Lincoln with astonishment. When the
debates began there were Republicans in Illinois of wider national
reputation. Judge Lyman Trumbull, then Senator; was better known. He
was an able debater, and a speech which he made in August against
Douglas's record called from the New York "Evening Post" the remark:
"This is the heaviest blow struck at Senator Douglas since he took the
field in Illinois; it is unanswerable, and we suspect that it will be
fatal." Trumbull's speech the "Post" afterwards published in pamphlet
form. Besides Trumbull, Owen Lovejoy, Oglesby, and Palmer were all
speaking. That Lincoln should not only have so far outstripped men of
his own party, but should have out-argued Douglas, was the cause of
comment everywhere. "No man of this generation," said the "Evening
Post" editorially, at the close of the debate, "has grown more rapidly
before the country than Lincoln in this canvass." As a matter of fact,
Lincoln had attracted the attention of all the thinking men of the
country. "The first thing that really awakened my interest in him,"
says Henry Ward Beecher, "was his speech parallel with Douglas in
Illinois, and indeed it was that manifestation of ability that secured
his nomination to the Presidency."

But able as were Lincoln's arguments, deep as was the impression he
had made, he was not elected to the senatorship. Douglas won fairly
enough; though it is well to note that if the Republicans did not
elect a senator they gained a substantial number of votes over those
polled in 1856.

Lincoln accepted the result with a serenity inexplicable to his
supporters. To him the contest was but one battle in a "durable"
struggle. Little matter who won now, if in the end the right
triumphed. From the first he had looked at the final result--not at
the senatorship. "I do not claim, gentlemen, to be unselfish," he said
at Chicago in July. "I do not pretend that I would not like to go to
the United States Senate; I make no such hypocritical pretense; but I
do say to you that in this mighty issue, it is nothing to you, nothing
to the mass of the people of the nation, whether or not Judge Douglas
or myself shall ever be heard of after this night; it may be a trifle
to either of us, but in connection with this mighty question, upon
which hang the destinies of the nation perhaps, it is absolutely

The intense heat and fury of the debates, the defeat in November, did
not alter a jot this high view. "I am glad I made the late race," he
wrote Dr. A. H. Henry. "It gave me a hearing on the great and durable
question of the age which I would have had in no other way; and though
I now sink out of view and shall be forgotten, I believe I have made
some marks which will tell for the cause of civil liberty long after I
am gone."

At that date perhaps no one appreciated the value of what Lincoln had
done as well as he did himself. He was absolutely sure he was right
and that in the end people would see it. Though he might not rise, he
knew his cause would.

"Douglas had the ingenuity to be supported in the late contest both as
the best means to break down and to uphold the slave interest," he
wrote. "No ingenuity can keep these antagonistic elements in harmony
long. Another explosion will soon occur." His whole attention was
given to conserving what the Republicans had gained--"We have some one
hundred and twenty thousand clear Republican votes. That pile is worth
keeping together;" to consoling his friends--"You are feeling badly,"
he wrote to N. B. Judd, Chairman of the Republican Committee, "and
this too shall pass away, never fear"; to rallying for another
effort,--"The cause of civil liberty must not be surrendered at the
end of one or even one hundred defeats."

If Lincoln had at times a fear that his defeat would cause him to be
set aside, it soon was dispelled. The interest awakened in him was
genuine, and it spread with the wider reading and discussion of his
arguments. He was besieged by letters from all parts of the Union,
congratulations, encouragements, criticisms. Invitations for lectures
poured in upon him, and he became the first choice of his entire party
for political speeches.

The greater number of these invitations he declined. He had given so
much time to politics since 1854 that his law practice had been
neglected and he was feeling poor; but there were certain of the calls
which could not be resisted. Douglas spoke several times for the
Democrats of Ohio in the 1859 campaign for governor and Lincoln
naturally was asked to reply. He made but two speeches, one at
Columbus on September 16 and the other at Cincinnati on September 17,
but he had great audiences on both occasions. The Columbus speech was
devoted almost entirely to answering an essay by Douglas which had
been published in the September number of "Harper's Magazine," and
which began by asserting that--"Under our complex system of government
it is the first duty of American statesmen to mark distinctly the
dividing-line between Federal and Local authority." It was an
elaborate argument for "popular sovereignty" and attracted national
attention. Indeed, at the moment it was the talk of the country.
Lincoln literally tore it to bits.

"What is Judge Douglas's popular sovereignty?" he asked. "It is, as a
principle, no other than that if one man chooses to make a slave of
another man, neither that other man nor anybody else has a right to
object. Applied in government, as he seeks to apply it, it is this:
If, in a new territory into which a few people are beginning to enter
for the purpose of making their homes, they choose to either exclude
from their limits or to establish it there, however one or the other
may affect the persons to be enslaved, or the infinitely greater
number of persons who are afterward to inhabit that territory, or the
other members of the families, or communities, of which they are but
an incipient member, or the general head of the family of States as
parent of all--however their action may affect one or the other of
these, there is no power or right to interfere. That is Douglas's
popular sovereignty applied."

It was in this address that Lincoln uttered the oft-quoted paragraphs:

"I suppose the institution of slavery really looks small to him. He
is so put up by nature that a lash upon his back would hurt him, but a
lash upon anybody else's back does not hurt him. That is the build of
the man, and consequently he looks upon the matter of slavery in this
unimportant light.

"Judge Douglas ought to remember, when he is endeavoring to force this
policy upon the American people, that while he is put up in that way,
a good many are not. He ought to remember that there was once in this
country a man by the name of Thomas Jefferson, supposed to be a
Democrat--a man whose principles and policy are not very prevalent
amongst Democrats to-day, it is true; but that man did not exactly
take this view of the insignificance of the element of slavery which
our friend Judge Douglas does. In contemplation of this thing, we all
know he was led to exclaim, 'I tremble for my country when I remember
that God is just!' We know how he looked upon it when he thus
expressed himself. There was danger to this country, danger of the
avenging justice of God, in that little unimportant popular
sovereignty question of Judge Douglas. He supposed there was a
question of God's eternal justice wrapped up in the enslaving of any
race of men, or any man, and that those who did so braved the arm of
Jehovah--that when a nation thus dared the Almighty, every friend of
that nation had cause to dread his wrath. Choose ye between Jefferson
and Douglas as to what is the true view of this element among us."

One interesting point about the Columbus address is that in it appears
the germ of the Cooper Institute speech delivered five months later in
New York City.

Lincoln made so deep an impression in Ohio by his speeches that the
State Republican Committee asked permission to publish them together
with the Lincoln-Douglas Debates as campaign documents in the
Presidential election of the next year.

In December he yielded to the persuasion of his Kansas political
friends and delivered five lectures in that State, only fragments of
which have been preserved.

Unquestionably the most effective piece of work he did that winter was
the address at Cooper Institute, New York, on February 27. He had
received an invitation in the fall of 1859 to lecture at Plymouth
Church, Brooklyn. To his friends it was evident that he was greatly
pleased by the compliment, but that he feared that he was not equal to
an Eastern audience. After some hesitation he accepted, provided they
would take a political speech if he could find time to get up no
other. When he reached New York he found that he was to speak there
instead of Brooklyn, and that he was certain to have a distinguished
audience. Fearful lest he was not as well prepared as he ought to be,
conscious, too, no doubt, that he had a great opportunity before him,
he spent nearly all of the two days and a half before his lecture in
revising his matter and in familiarizing himself with it. In order
that he might be sure that he was heard he arranged with his friend,
Mason Brayman, who had come on to New York with him, to sit in the
back of the hall and in case he did not speak loud enough to raise his
high hat on a cane.

Mr. Lincoln's audience was a notable one even for New York. It
included William Cullen Bryant, who introduced him; Horace Greeley,
David Dudley Field, and many more well known men of the day. It is
doubtful if there were any persons present, even his best friends, who
expected that Lincoln would do more than interest his hearers by his
sound arguments. Many have confessed since that they feared his queer
manner and quaint speeches would amuse people so much that they would
fail to catch the weight of his logic. But to the surprise of
everybody Lincoln impressed his audience from the start by his dignity
and his seriousness. "His manner was, to a New York audience, a very
strange one, but it was captivating," wrote an auditor. "He held the
vast meeting spellbound, and as one by one his oddly expressed but
trenchant and convincing arguments confirmed the soundness of his
political conclusions, the house broke out in wild and prolonged
enthusiasm. I think I never saw an audience more thoroughly carried
away by an orator."

The Cooper Union speech was founded on a sentence from one of
Douglas's Ohio speeches:--"Our fathers when they framed the government
under which we live understood this question just as well, and even
better, than we do now." Douglas claimed that the "fathers" held that
the Constitution forbade the Federal government controlling slavery
in the Territories. Lincoln with infinite care had investigated the
opinions and votes of each of the "fathers"--whom he took to be the
thirty-nine men who signed the Constitution--and showed conclusively
that a majority of them "certainly understood that no proper division
of local from Federal authority nor any part of the Constitution
forbade the Federal government to control slavery in the Federal
Territories." Not only did he show this of the thirty-nine framers of
the original Constitution, but he defied anybody to show that one of
the seventy-six members of the Congress which framed the amendments to
the Constitution ever held any such view.

"Let us," he said, "who believe that 'our fathers who framed the
government under which we live understood this question just as well,
and even better, than we do now,' speak as they spoke, and act as they
acted upon it. This is all Republicans ask--all Republicans desire--in
relation to slavery. As those fathers marked it, so let it be again
marked, as an evil not to be extended, but to be tolerated and
protected only because of and so far as its actual presence among us
makes that toleration and protection a necessity. Let all the
guaranties those fathers gave it be not grudgingly, but fully and
fairly, maintained. For this Republicans contend, and with this, so
far as I know or believe, they will be content."

One after another he took up and replied to the charges the South was
making against the North at the moment:--Sectionalism, radicalism,
giving undue prominence to the slave question, stirring up
insurrection among slaves, refusing to allow constitutional rights,
and to each he had an unimpassioned answer inpregnable with facts.

The discourse was ended with what Lincoln felt to be a precise
statement of the opinion of the question on both sides, and of the
duty of the Republican party under the circumstances. This portion of
his address is one of the finest early examples of that simple and
convincing style in which most of his later public documents were

"If slavery is right," he said, "all words, acts, laws, and
constitutions against it are themselves wrong, and should be silenced
and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its
nationality--its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly
insist upon its extension--its enlargement. All they ask we could
readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask they could as
readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right and
our thinking it wrong is the precise fact upon which depends the whole
controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not to blame for
desiring its full recognition as being right; but thinking it wrong,
as we do, can we yield to them? Can we cast our votes with their
views, and against our own? In view of our moral, social, and
political responsibilities, can we do this?

"Wrong, as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone
where it is, because that much is due to the necessity arising from
its actual presence in the nation; but can we, while our votes will
prevent it, allow it to spread into the national Territories, and to
overrun us here in these free States? If our sense of duty forbids
this, then let us stand by our duty fearlessly and effectively. Let us
be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are
so industriously plied and belabored--contrivances such as groping for
some middle ground between right and wrong: vain as the search for a
man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man; such as a
policy of 'don't care' on a question about which all true men do care;
such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to
Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners,
but the righteous to repentance; such as invocations to Washington,
imploring men to unsay what Washington said and undo what Washington

"Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations
against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the
government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right
makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty
as we understand it."

From New York Lincoln went to New Hampshire to visit his son Robert,
then at Phillips Exeter Academy. His coming was known only a short
time before he arrived and hurried arrangements were made for him to
speak at Concord, Manchester, Exeter and Dover. At Concord the address
was made in the afternoon on only a few hours' notice; nevertheless,
he had a great audience, so eager were men at the time to hear
anybody who had serious arguments on the slavery question. Something
of the impression Lincoln made in New Hampshire may be gathered from
the following article, "Mr. Lincoln in New Hampshire," which appeared
in the Boston "Atlas and Bee" for March 5:

The Concord "Statesman" says that notwithstanding the rain of
Thursday, rendering travelling very inconvenient, the largest hall in
that city was crowded to hear Mr. Lincoln. The editor says it was one
of the most powerful, logical and compacted speeches to which it was
ever our fortune to listen; an argument against the system of slavery,
and in defence of the position of the Republican party, from the
deductions of which no reasonable man could possibly escape. He
fortified every position assumed, by proofs which it is impossible to
gainsay; and while his speech was at intervals enlivened by remarks
which elicited applause at the expense of the Democratic party, there
was, nevertheless, not a single word which tended to impair the
dignity of the speaker, or weaken the force of the great truths he

The "Statesman" adds that the address "was perfect and was closed by a
peroration which brought his audience to their feet. We are not
extravagant in the remark, that a political speech of greater power
has rarely if ever been uttered in the Capital of New Hampshire. At
its conclusion nine roof-raising cheers were given; three for the
speaker, three for the Republicans of Illinois, and three for the
Republicans of New Hampshire."

On the same evening Mr. Lincoln spoke at Manchester, to an immense
gathering in Smyth's Hall. The "Mirror," a neutral paper, gives the
following enthusiastic notice of his speech: "The audience was a
flattering one to the reputation of the speaker. It was composed of
persons of all sorts of political notions, earnest to hear one whose
fame was so great, and we think most of them went away thinking better
of him than they anticipated they should. He spoke an hour and a half
with great fairness, great apparent candor, and with wonderful
interest. He did not abuse the South, the Administration, or the
Democrats, or indulge in any personalities, with the solitary
exception of a few hits at Douglas's notions. He is far from
prepossessing in personal appearance, and his voice is disagreeable,
and yet he wins your attention and good will from the start.

"He indulges in no flowers of rhetoric, no eloquent passages; he is
not a wit, a humorist or a clown; yet, so great a vein of pleasantry
and good nature pervades what he says, gliding over a deep current of
practical argument, he keeps his hearers in a smiling good mood with
their mouths open ready to swallow all he says. His sense of the
ludicrous is very keen, and an exhibition of that is the clincher of
all his arguments; not the ludicrous acts of persons, but ludicrous
ideas. Hence he is never offensive, and steals away willingly into
his train of belief, persons who are opposed to him. For the first
half hour his opponents would agree with every word he uttered, and
from that point he began to lead them off, little by little,
cunningly, till it seemed as if he had got them all into his fold. He
displays more shrewdness, more knowledge of the masses of mankind than
any public speaker we have heard since long Jim Wilson left for

From New Hampshire Lincoln went to Connecticut, where on March 5 he
spoke at Hartford, on March 6 at New Haven, on March 8 at Woonsocket,
on March 9 at Norwich. There are no reports of the New Hampshire
speeches, but two of the Connecticut speeches were published in part
and one in full. Their effect was very similar, according to the
newspapers of the day, to that in New Hampshire, described by the
"Atlas and Bee."

By his debates with Douglas and the speeches in Ohio, Kansas, New York
and New England, Lincoln had become a national figure in the minds of
all the political leaders of the country, and of the thinking men of
the North. Never in the history of the United States had a man become
prominent in a more logical and intelligent way. At the beginning of
the struggle against the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in 1854,
Abraham Lincoln was scarcely known outside of his own State. Even most
of the men whom he had met in his brief term in Congress had forgotten
him. Yet in four years he had become one of the central figures of
his party; and now, by worsting the greatest orator and politician of
his time, he had drawn the eyes of the nation to him.

It had been a long road he had travelled to make himself a national
figure. Twenty-eight years before he had deliberately entered
politics. He had been beaten, but had persisted; he had succeeded and
failed; he had abandoned the struggle and returned to his profession.
His outraged sense of justice had driven him back, and for six years
he had travelled up and down Illinois trying to prove to men that
slavery extension was wrong. It was by no one speech, by no one
argument that he had wrought. Every day his ceaseless study and
pondering gave him new matter, and every speech he made was fresh. He
could not repeat an old speech, he said, because the subject enlarged
and widened so in his mind as he went on that it was "easier to make a
new one than an old one." He had never yielded in his campaign to
tricks of oratory--never played on emotions. He had been so strong in
his convictions of the right of his case that his speeches had been
arguments pure and simple. Their elegance was that of a demonstration
in Euclid. They persuaded because they proved. He had never for a
moment counted personal ambition before the cause. To insure an ardent
opponent of the Kansas-Nebraska bill in the United States Senate, he
had at one time given up his chance for the senatorship. To show the
fallacy of Douglas's argument, he had asked a question which his party
pleaded with him to pass by, assuring him that it would lose him the
election. In every step of this six years he had been disinterested,
calm, unyielding, and courageous. He knew he was right, and could
afford to wait. "The result is not doubtful," he told his friends. "We
shall not fail--if we stand firm. We shall not fail. Wise counsels may
accelerate or mistakes delay it; but, sooner or later, the victory is
sure to come."

The country, amazed at the rare moral and intellectual character of
Lincoln, began to ask questions about him, and then his history came
out; a pioneer home, little schooling, few books, hard labor at all
the many trades of the frontiersman, a profession mastered o' nights
by the light of a friendly cooper's fire, an early entry into politics
and law--and then twenty-five years of incessant poverty and struggle.

The homely story gave a touch of mystery to the figure which loomed so
large. Men felt a sudden reverence for a mind and heart developed to
these noble proportions in so unfriendly a habitat. They turned
instinctively to one so familiar with strife for help in solving the
desperate problem with which the nation had grappled. And thus it was
that, at fifty years of age, Lincoln became a national figure.

[4] _By special permission of the McClure Company._

[A] _Stephen_ A. Douglas, _Franklin_ Pierce, _Roger_ Taney, _James_


Soon after his election as President and while visiting Chicago, one
evening at a social gathering Mr. Lincoln saw a little girl timidly
approaching him. He at once called her to him, and asked the little
girl what she wished.

She replied that she wanted his name.

Mr. Lincoln looked back into the room and said: "But here are other
little girls--they would feel badly if I should give my name only to

The little girl replied that there were eight of them in all.

"Then," said Mr. Lincoln, "get me eight sheets of paper, and a pen and
ink, and I will see what I can do for you."

The paper was brought, and Mr. Lincoln sat down in the crowded
drawing-room, and wrote a sentence upon each sheet, appending his
name; and thus every little girl carried off her souvenir.

During the same visit and while giving a reception at one of the
hotels, a fond father took in a little boy by the hand who was anxious
to see the new President. The moment the child entered the parlor door
he, of his own accord and quite to the surprise of his father, took
off his hat, and, giving it a swing, cried: "Hurrah for Lincoln!"
There was a crowd, but as soon as Mr. Lincoln could get hold of the
little fellow, he lifted him in his hands, and, tossing him towards
the ceiling, laughingly shouted: "Hurrah for you!"

It was evidently a refreshing incident to Lincoln in the dreary work
of hand-shaking.


Soon after Mr. Lincoln's nomination for the Presidency, the Executive
Chamber, a large fine room in the State House at Springfield, was set
apart for him, where he met the public until after his election.

As illustrative of the nature of many of his calls, the following
brace of incidents were related to Mr. Holland by an eye witness: "Mr.
Lincoln, being seated in conversation with a gentleman one day, two
raw, plainly-dressed young 'Suckers' entered the room, and bashfully
lingered near the door. As soon as he observed them, and apprehended
their embarrassment, he rose and walked to them, saying, 'How do you
do, my good fellows? What can I do for you? Will you sit down?' The
spokesman of the pair, the shorter of the two, declined to sit, and
explained the object of the call thus: he had had a talk about the
relative height of Mr. Lincoln and his companion, and had asserted his
belief that they were of exactly the same height. He had come in to
verify his judgment. Mr. Lincoln smiled, went and got his cane, and,
placing the end of it upon the wall, said:

"'Here, young man, come under here.'

"The young man came under the cane, as Mr. Lincoln held it, and when
it was perfectly adjusted to his height, Mr. Lincoln said:

"'Now, come out, and hold up the cane.'

"This he did while Mr. Lincoln stepped under. Rubbing his head back
and forth to see that it worked easily under the measurement, he
stepped out, and declared to the sagacious fellow who was curiously
looking on, that he had guessed with remarkable accuracy--that he and
the young man were exactly the same height. Then he shook hands with
them and sent them on their way. Mr. Lincoln would just as soon have
thought of cutting off his right hand as he would have thought of
turning those boys away with the impression that they had in any way
insulted his dignity."




With the possible exception of President Washington, whose political
opponents did not hesitate to rob the vocabulary of vulgarity and
wickedness whenever they desired to vilify the Chief Magistrate,
Lincoln was the most and "best" abused man who ever held office in the
United States. During the first half of his initial term there was no
epithet which was not applied to him.

One newspaper in New York habitually characterized him as "that
hideous baboon at the other end of the avenue," and declared that
"Barnum should buy and exhibit him as a zoological curiosity."

Although the President did not, to all appearances, exhibit annoyance
because of the various diatribes printed and spoken, yet the fact is
that his life was so cruelly embittered by these and other expressions
quite as virulent, that he often declared to those most intimate with
him, "I would rather be dead than, as President, be thus abused in the
house of my friends."



    Stern be the Pilot in the dreadful hour
      When a great nation, like a ship at sea
      With the wroth breakers whitening at her lee,
    Feels her last shudder if her Helmsman cower;
    A godlike manhood be his mighty dower!
      Such and so gifted, Lincoln, may'st thou be
      With thy high wisdom's low simplicity
    And awful tenderness of voted power:
    From our hot records then thy name shall stand
      On Time's calm ledger out of passionate days--
    With the pure debt of gratitude begun,
      And only paid in never-ending praise--
    One of the many of a mighty Land,
    Made by God's providence the Anointed One.

[5] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._



From the Essay in "My Study Windows"

Never did a President enter upon office with less means at his
command, outside his own strength of heart and steadiness of
understanding, for inspiring confidence in the people, and so winning
it for himself, than Mr. Lincoln. All that was known to him was that
he was a good stump-speaker, nominated for his availability--that is,
because he had no history--and chosen by a party with whose more
extreme opinions he was not in sympathy. It might well be feared that
a man past fifty, against whom the ingenuity of hostile partisans
could rake up no accusation, must be lacking in manliness of
character, in decision of principle, in strength of will; that a man
who was at best only the representative of a party, and who yet did
not fairly represent even that, would fail of political, much more of
popular, support. And certainly no one ever entered upon office with
so few resources of power in the past, and so many materials of
weakness in the present, as Mr. Lincoln. Even in that half of the
Union which acknowledged him as President, there was a large, and at
that time dangerous minority, that hardly admitted his claim to the
office, and even in the party that elected him there was also a large
minority that suspected him of being secretly a communicant with the
church of Laodicea. All that he did was sure to be virulently attacked
as ultra by one side; all that he left undone, to be stigmatized as
proof of lukewarmness and backsliding by the other. Meanwhile he was
to carry on a truly colossal war by means of both; he was to disengage
the country from diplomatic entanglements of unprecedented peril
undisturbed by the help or the hindrance of either, and to win from
the crowning dangers of his administration, in the confidence of the
people, the means of his safety and their own. He has contrived to do
it, and perhaps none of our Presidents since Washington has stood so
firm in the confidence of the people as he does after three years of
stormy administration.

Mr. Lincoln's policy was a tentative one, and rightly so. He laid down
no programme which must compel him to be either inconsistent or
unwise, no cast-iron theorem to which circumstances must be fitted as
they rose, or else be useless to his ends. He seemed to have chosen
Mazarin's motto, _Le temps et moi_. The _moi_, to be sure, was not
very prominent at first; but it has grown more and more so, till the
world is beginning to be persuaded that it stands for a character of
marked individuality and capacity for affairs. Time was his
prime-minister, and, we began to think, at one period, his
general-in-chief also. At first he was so slow that he tired out all
those who see no evidence of progress but in blowing up the engine;
then he was so fast, that he took the breath away from those who think
there is no getting on safely while there is a spark of fire under the
boilers. God is the only being who has time enough; but a prudent man,
who knows how to seize occasion, can commonly make a shift to find as
much as he needs. Mr. Lincoln, as it seems to us in reviewing his
career, though we have sometimes in our impatience thought otherwise,
has always waited, as a wise man should, till the right moment
brought up all his reserves. _Semper nocuit differre paratis_, is a
sound axiom, but the really efficacious man will also be sure to know
when he is not ready, and be firm against all persuasion and reproach
till he is.

One would be apt to think, from some of the criticisms made on Mr.
Lincoln's course by those who mainly agree with him in principle, that
the chief object of a statesman should be rather to proclaim his
adhesion to certain doctrines, than to achieve their triumph by
quietly accomplishing his ends. In our opinion, there is no more
unsafe politician than a conscientiously rigid doctrinaire, nothing
more sure to end in disaster than a theoretic scheme of policy that
admits of no pliability for contingencies. True, there is a popular
image of an impossible He, in whose plastic hands the submissive
destinies of mankind become as wax, and to whose commanding necessity
the toughest facts yield with the graceful pliancy of fiction; but in
real life we commonly find that the men who control circumstances, as
it is called, are those who have learned to allow for the influence of
their eddies, and have the nerve to turn them to account at the happy
instant. Mr. Lincoln's perilous task has been to carry a rather shaky
raft through the rapids, making fast the unrulier logs as he could
snatch opportunity, and the country is to be congratulated that he did
not think it his duty to run straight at all hazards, but cautiously
to assure himself with his setting-pole where the main current was,
and keep steadily to that. He is still in wild water, but we have
faith that his skill and sureness of eye will bring him out right at

A curious, and, as we think, not inapt parallel, might be drawn
between Mr. Lincoln and one of the most striking figures in modern
history--Henry IV. of France. The career of the latter may be more
picturesque, as that of a daring captain always is; but in all its
vicissitudes there is nothing more romantic than that sudden change,
as by a rub of Aladdin's lamp, from the attorney's office in a country
town of Illinois to the helm of a great nation in times like these.
The analogy between the characters and circumstances of the two men is
in many respects singularly close. Succeeding to a rebellion rather
than a crown, Henry's chief material dependence was the Huguenot
party, whose doctrines sat upon him with a looseness distasteful
certainly, if not suspicious, to the more fanatical among them. King
only in name over the greater part of France, and with his capital
barred against him, it yet gradually became clear to the more
far-seeing even of the Catholic party that he was the only center of
order and legitimate authority round which France could reorganize
itself. While preachers who held the divine right of kings made the
churches of Paris ring with declamations in favor of democracy rather
than submit to the heretic dog of a Béarnois--much as our _soi-disant_
Democrats have lately been preaching the divine right of slavery, and
denouncing the heresies of the Declaration of Independence--Henry bore
both parties in hand till he was convinced that only one course of
action could possibly combine his own interests and those of France.
Meanwhile the Protestants believed somewhat doubtfully that he was
theirs, the Catholics hoped somewhat doubtfully that he would be
theirs, and Henry himself turned aside remonstrance, advice, and
curiosity alike with a jest or a proverb (if a little high, he liked
them none the worse), joking continually as his manner was. We have
seen Mr. Lincoln contemptuously compared to Sancho Panza by persons
incapable of appreciating one of the deepest pieces of wisdom in the
profoundest romance ever written; namely, that, while Don Quixote was
incomparable in theoretic and ideal statesmanship, Sancho, with his
stock of proverbs, the ready money of human experience, made the best
possible practical governor. Henry IV. was as full of wise saws and
modern instances as Mr. Lincoln, but beneath all this was the
thoughtful, practical, humane, and thoroughly earnest man, around whom
the fragments of France were to gather themselves till she took her
place again as a planet of the first magnitude in the European system.
In one respect Mr. Lincoln was more fortunate than Henry. However some
may think him wanting in zeal, the most fanatical can find no taint of
apostasy in any measure of his, nor can the most bitter charge him
with being influenced by motives of personal interest. The leading
distinction between the policies of the two is one of circumstances.
Henry went over to the nation; Mr. Lincoln has steadily drawn the
nation over to him. One left a united France; the other, we hope and
believe, will leave a reunited America. We leave our readers to trace
the further points of difference and resemblance for themselves,
merely suggesting a general similarity which has often occurred to us.
One only point of melancholy interest we will allow ourselves to touch
upon. That Mr. Lincoln is not handsome nor elegant, we learn from
certain English tourists who would consider similar revelations in
regard to Queen Victoria as thoroughly American in their want of
_bienséance_. It is no concern of ours, nor does it affect his fitness
for the high place he so worthily occupies; but he is certainly as
fortunate as Henry in the matter of good looks, if we may trust
contemporary evidence. Mr. Lincoln has also been reproached with
Americanism by some not unfriendly British critics; but, with all
deference, we cannot say that we like him any the worse for it, or see
in it any reason why he should govern Americans the less wisely.

People of more sensitive organizations may be shocked, but we are glad
that in this our true war of independence, which is to free us forever
from the Old World, we have had at the head of our affairs a man whom
America made as God made Adam, out of the very earth, unancestried,
unprivileged, unknown, to show us how much truth, how much
magnanimity, and how much statecraft await the call of opportunity in
simple manhood when it believes in the justice of God and the worth of
man. Conventionalities are all very well in their proper place, but
they shrivel at the touch of nature like stubble in the fire. The
genius that sways a nation by its arbitrary will seems less august to
us than that which multiplies and reinforces itself in the instincts
and convictions of an entire people. Autocracy may have something in
it more melodramatic than this, but falls far short of it in human
value and interest.

Experience would have bred in us a rooted distrust of improvised
statesmanship, even if we did not believe politics to be a science,
which, if it cannot always command men of special aptitude and great
powers, at least demands the long and steady application of the best
powers of such men as it can command to master even its first
principles. It is curious, that, in a country which boasts of its
intelligence, the theory should be so generally held that the most
complicated of human contrivances, and one which every day becomes
more complicated, can be worked at sight by any man able to talk for
an hour or two without stopping to think.

Mr. Lincoln is sometimes claimed as an example of a ready-made ruler.
But no case could well be less in point; for, besides that he was a
man of such fair-mindedness as is always the raw material of wisdom,
he had in his profession a training precisely the opposite of that to
which a partisan is subjected. His experience as a lawyer compelled
him not only to see that there is a principle underlying every
phenomenon in human affairs, but that there are always two sides to
every question, both of which must be fully understood in order to
understand either, and that it is of greater advantage to an advocate
to appreciate the strength than the weakness of his antagonist's
position. Nothing is more remarkable than the unerring tact with
which, in his debate with Mr. Douglas, he went straight to the reason
of the question; nor have we ever had a more striking lesson in
political tactics than the fact, that, opposed to a man exceptionally
adroit in using popular prejudice and bigotry to his purpose,
exceptionally unscrupulous in appealing to those baser motives that
turn a meeting of citizens into a mob of barbarians, he should yet
have won his case before a jury of the people. Mr. Lincoln was as far
as possible from an impromptu politician. His wisdom was made up of a
knowledge of things as well as of men; his sagacity resulted from a
clear perception and honest acknowledgment of difficulties, which
enabled him to see that the only durable triumph of political opinion
is based, not on any abstract right, but upon so much of justice, the
highest attainable at any given moment in human affairs, as may be had
in the balance of mutual concession. Doubtless he had an ideal, but it
was the ideal of a practical statesman--to aim at the best, and to
take the next best, if he is lucky enough to get even that. His slow,
but singularly masculine intelligence taught him that precedent is
only another name for embodied experience, and that it counts for even
more in the guidance of communities of men than in that of the
individual life. He was not a man who held it good public economy to
pull down on the mere chance of rebuilding better. Mr. Lincoln's
faith in God was qualified by a very well-founded distrust of the
wisdom of man. Perhaps it was his want of self-confidence that more
than anything else won him the unlimited confidence of the people, for
they felt that there would be no need of retreat from any position he
had deliberately taken. The cautious, but steady, advance of his
policy during the war was like that of a Roman army. He left behind
him a firm road on which public confidence could follow; he took
America with him where he went; what he gained he occupied, and his
advanced posts became colonies. The very homeliness of his genius was
its distinction. His kingship was conspicuous by its work-day
homespun. Never was ruler so absolute as he, nor so little conscious
of it; for he was the incarnate common-sense of the people. With all
that tenderness of nature whose sweet sadness touched whoever saw him
with something of its own pathos, there was no trace of sentimentalism
in his speech or action. He seems to have had but one rule of conduct,
always that of practical and successful politics, to let himself be
guided by events, when they were sure to bring him out where he wished
to go, though by what seemed to unpractical minds, which let go the
possible to grasp at the desirable, a longer road.

       *       *       *       *       *

No higher compliment was ever paid to a nation than the simple
confidence, the fireside plainness, with which Mr. Lincoln always
addresses himself to the reason of the American people. This was,
indeed, a true democrat, who grounded himself on the assumption that a
democracy can think. "Come, let us reason together about this matter,"
has been the tone of all his addresses to the people; and accordingly
we have never had a chief magistrate who so won to himself the love
and at the same time the judgment of his countrymen. To us, that
simple confidence of his in the right-mindedness of his fellow-men is
very touching, and its success is as strong an argument as we have
ever seen in favor of the theory that men can govern themselves. He
never appeals to any vulgar sentiment, he never alludes to the
humbleness of his origin; it probably never occurred to him, indeed
that there was anything higher to start from than manhood; and he put
himself on a level with those he addressed, not by going down to them,
but only by taking it for granted that they had brains and would come
up to a common ground of reason. In an article lately printed in "The
Nation," Mr. Bayard Taylor mentions the striking fact, that in the
foulest dens of the Five Points he found the portrait of Lincoln. The
wretched population that makes its hive there threw all its votes and
more against him, and yet paid this instinctive tribute to the sweet
humanity of his nature. Their ignorance sold its vote and took its
money, but all that was left of manhood in them recognized its saint
and martyr.

Mr. Lincoln is not in the habit of saying, "This is my opinion, or my
theory," but, "This is the conclusion to which, in my judgment, the
time has come, and to which, accordingly the sooner we come the better
for us." His policy has been the policy of public opinion based on
adequate discussion and on a timely recognition of the influence of
passing events in shaping the features of events to come.

One secret of Mr. Lincoln's remarkable success in captivating the
popular mind is undoubtedly an unconsciousness of self which enables
him, though under the necessity of constantly using the capital I, to
do it without any suggestion of egotism. There is no single vowel
which men's mouths can pronounce with such difference of effect. That
which one shall hide away, as it were, behind the substance of his
discourse, or, if he bring it to the front, shall use merely to give
an agreeable accent of individuality to what he says, another shall
make an offensive challenge to the self-satisfaction of all his
hearers, and an unwarranted intrusion upon each man's sense of
personal importance, irritating every pore of his vanity, like a dry
northeast wind, to a goose-flesh of opposition and hostility. Mr.
Lincoln has never studied Quintilian; but he has, in the earnest
simplicity and unaffected Americanism of his own character, one art of
oratory worth all the rest. He forgets himself so entirely in his
object as to give his I the sympathetic and persuasive effect of We
with the great body of his countrymen. Homely, dispassionate, showing
all the rough-edged process of his thought as it goes along, yet
arriving at his conclusions with an honest kind of every-day logic,
he is so eminently our representative man, that, when he speaks, it
seems as if the people were listening to their own thinking aloud. The
dignity of his thought owes nothing to any ceremonial garb of words,
but to the manly movement that comes of settled purpose and an energy
of reason that knows not what rhetoric means. There has been nothing
of Cleon, still less of Strepsiades striving to underbid him in
demagogism, to be found in the public utterances of Mr. Lincoln. He
has always addressed the intelligence of men, never their prejudice,
their passion, or their ignorance.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the day of his death, this simple Western attorney, who according
to one party was a vulgar joker, and whom the doctrinaires among his
own supporters accused of wanting every element of statesmanship, was
the most absolute ruler in Christendom, and this solely by the hold
his good-humored sagacity had laid on the hearts and understandings of
his countrymen. Nor was this all, for it appeared that he had drawn
the great majority, not only of his fellow-citizens, but of mankind,
also, to his side. So strong and so persuasive is honest manliness
without a single quality of romance or unreal sentiment to help it! A
civilian during times of the most captivating military achievement,
awkward, with no skill in the lower technicalities of manners, he left
behind him a fame beyond that of any conqueror, the memory of a grace
higher than that of outward person, and of gentlemanliness deeper than
mere breeding. Never before that startled April morning did such
multitudes of men shed tears for the death of one they had never seen,
as if with him a friendly presence had been taken away from their
lives, leaving them colder and darker. Never was funeral panegyric so
eloquent as the silent look of sympathy which strangers exchanged when
they met on that day. Their common manhood had lost a kinsman.


January First, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-Three


    Stand like an anvil, when 'tis beaten
      With the full vigor of the smith's right arm!
    Stand like the noble oak-tree, when 'tis eaten
      By the Saperda and his ravenous swarm!
    For many smiths will strike the ringing blows
    Ere the red drama now enacting close;
    And human insects, gnawing at thy fame,
    Conspire to bring thy honored head to shame.

    Stand like the firmament, upholden
      By an invisible but Almighty hand!
    He whomsoever JUSTICE doth embolden,
      Unshaken, unseduced, unawed shall stand.
    Invisible support is mightier far,
    With noble aims, than walls of granite are;
    And simple consciousness of justice gives
    Strength to a purpose while that purpose lives.

    Stand like the rock that looks defiant
      Far o'er the surging seas that lash its form!
    Composed, determined, watchful, self-reliant,
      Be master of thyself, and rule the storm!
    And thou shalt soon behold the bow of peace
    Span the broad heavens, and the wild tumult cease;
    And see the billows, with the clouds that meet,
    Subdued and calm, come crouching to thy feet.



    Saint Patrick, slave to Milcho of the herds
    Of Ballymena, sleeping, heard these words:
                "Arise, and flee
    Out from the land of bondage, and be free!"

    Glad as a soul in pain, who hears from heaven
    The angels singing of his sins forgiven,
                And, wondering, sees
    His prison opening to their golden keys,
    He rose a Man who laid him down a Slave,
    Shook from his locks the ashes of the grave,
                And onward trod
    Into the glorious liberty of God.

    He cast the symbols of his shame away;
    And passing where the sleeping Milcho lay,
                Though back and limb
    Smarted with wrong, he prayed, "God pardon him!"

    So went he forth: but in God's time he came
    To light on Uilline's hills a holy flame;
                And, dying, gave
    The land a Saint that lost him as a Slave.

    O, dark, sad millions, patiently and dumb
    Waiting for God, your hour, at last, has come,
                And Freedom's song
    Breaks the long silence of your night of wrong!

    Arise, and flee! shake off the vile restraint
    Of ages! but, like Ballymena's saint,
                The oppressor spare,
    Heap only on his head the coals of prayer.

    Go forth, like him! like him return again,
    To bless the land whereon, in bitter pain,
                Ye toiled at first,
    And heal with Freedom what your Slavery cursed.

[6] _By special permission of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Company._


From the address delivered before Congress on February 12, 1878,
presenting to the re-United States, on behalf of Mrs. Elizabeth
Thompson, Carpenter's painting--The First Reading of the Emancipation
Proclamation before the Cabinet.


Let us pause to consider the actors in that scene. In force of
character, in thoroughness and breadth of culture, in experience of
public affairs, and in national reputation, the Cabinet that sat
around that council-board has had no superior, perhaps no equal in our
history. Seward, the finished scholar, the consummate orator, the
great leader of the Senate, had come to crown his career with those
achievements which placed him in the first rank of modern
diplomatists. Chase, with a culture and a fame of massive grandeur,
stood as the rock and pillar of the public credit, the noble
embodiment of the public faith. Stanton was there, a very Titan of
strength, the great organizer of victory. Eminent lawyers, men of
business, leaders of states and leaders of men, completed the group.

But the man who presided over that council, who inspired and guided
its deliberations, was a character so unique that he stood alone,
without a model in history or a parallel among men. Born on this day,
sixty-nine years ago, to an inheritance of extremest poverty;
surrounded by the rude forces of the wilderness; wholly unaided by
parents; only one year in any school; never, for a day, master of his
own time until he reached his majority; making his way to the
profession of the law by the hardest and roughest road;--yet by force
of unconquerable will and persistent, patient work he attained a
foremost place in his profession,

    "And, moving up from high to higher,
      Became on Fortune's crowning slope
      The pillar of a people's hope,
      The centre of a world's desire."

At first, it was the prevailing belief that he would be only the
nominal head of his administration,--that its policy would be directed
by the eminent statesmen he had called to his council. How erroneous
this opinion was may be seen from a single incident.

Among the earliest, most difficult, and most delicate duties of his
administration was the adjustment of our relations with Great Britain.
Serious complications, even hostilities, were apprehended. On the 21st
of May, 1861, the Secretary of State presented to the President his
draught of a letter of instructions to Minister Adams, in which the
position of the United States and the attitude of Great Britain were
set forth with the clearness and force which long experience and great
ability had placed at the command of the Secretary. Upon almost every
page of that original draught are erasures, additions, and marginal
notes in the handwriting of Abraham Lincoln, which exhibit a sagacity,
a breadth of wisdom, and a comprehension of the whole subject,
impossible to be found except in a man of the very first order. And
these modifications of a great state paper were made by a man who but
three months before had entered for the first time the wide theatre of
Executive action.

Gifted with an insight and a foresight which the ancients would have
called divination, he saw, in the midst of darkness and obscurity, the
logic of events, and forecast the result. From the first, in his own
quaint, original way, without ostentation or offense to his
associates, he was pilot and commander of his administration. He was
one of the few great rulers whose wisdom increased with his power, and
whose spirit grew gentler and tenderer as his triumphs were

This was the man, and these his associates, who look down upon us from
the canvas.

The present is not a fitting occasion to examine, with any
completeness, the causes that led to the Proclamation of Emancipation;
but the peculiar relation of that act to the character of Abraham
Lincoln cannot be understood, without considering one remarkable fact
in his history. His earlier years were passed in a region remote from
the centers of political thought, and without access to the great
world of books. But the few books that came within his reach he
devoured with the divine hunger of genius. One paper, above all
others, led him captive, and filled his spirit with the majesty of
its truth and the sublimity of its eloquence. It was the Declaration
of American Independence. The author and the signers of that
instrument became, in his early youth, the heroes of his political
worship. I doubt if history affords any example of a life so early, so
deeply, and so permanently influenced by a single political truth, as
was Abraham Lincoln's by the central doctrine of the Declaration,--the
liberty and equality of all men. Long before his fame had become
national he said, "That is the electric cord in the Declaration, that
links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, and
that will link such hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in
the minds of men throughout the world."

That truth runs, like a thread of gold, through the whole web of his
political life. It was the spear-point of his logic in his debates
with Douglas. It was the inspiring theme of his remarkable speech at
the Cooper Institute, New York, in 1860, which gave him the nomination
to the Presidency. It filled him with reverent awe when on his way to
the capital to enter the shadows of the terrible conflict then
impending, he uttered, in Independence Hall, at Philadelphia, these
remarkable words, which were prophecy then but are history now:--

"I have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from the
sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. I have often
pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled
here, and framed and adopted that Declaration of Independence. I have
pondered over the toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers
of the army who achieved that independence I have often inquired of
myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this confederacy
so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the
Colonies from the mother land, but that sentiment in the Declaration
of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this
country, but, I hope, to the world for all future time. It was that
which gave promise that, in due time, the weight would be lifted from
the shoulders of all men. This is the sentiment embodied in the
Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be
saved upon that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the
happiest men in the world if I can help to save it. If it cannot be
saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country
cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say,
I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it."

Deep and strong was his devotion to liberty; yet deeper and stronger
still was his devotion to the Union; for he believed that without the
Union permanent liberty for either race on this continent would be
impossible. And because of this belief, he was reluctant, perhaps more
reluctant than most of his associates, to strike slavery with the
sword. For many months, the passionate appeals of millions of his
associates seemed not to move him. He listened to all the phases of
the discussion, and stated, in language clearer and stronger than any
opponent had used, the dangers, the difficulties, and the possible
futility of the act. In reference to its practical wisdom, Congress,
the Cabinet and the country were divided. Several of his generals had
proclaimed the freedom of slaves within the limits of their commands.
The President revoked their proclamations. His first Secretary of War
had inserted a paragraph in his annual report advocating a similar
policy. The President suppressed it.

On the 19th of August, 1862, Horace Greeley published a letter,
addressed to the President, entitled "The Prayer of Twenty Millions,"
in which he said, "On the face of this wide earth, Mr. President,
there is not one disinterested, determined, intelligent champion of
the Union cause who does not feel that all attempts to put down the
rebellion and at the same time uphold its inciting cause are
preposterous and futile."

To this the President responded in that ever-memorable reply of August
22, in which he said:--

"If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at
the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them.

"If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at
the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them.

"My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to save or
to destroy slavery.

"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it.
If I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it,--and if
I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also
do that.

"What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe
it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do
not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever
I shall believe that what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do
more whenever I believe doing more will help the cause."

Thus, against all importunities on the one hand and remonstrances on
the other, he took the mighty question to his own heart, and, during
the long months of that terrible battle-summer, wrestled with it
alone. But at length he realized the saving truth, that great,
unsettled questions have no pity for the repose of nations. On the
22nd of September, he summoned his Cabinet to announce his conclusion.
It was my good fortune, on that same day, and a few hours after the
meeting, to hear, from the lips of one who participated, the story of
the scene. As the chiefs of the Executive Departments came in, one by
one, they found the President reading a favorite chapter from a
popular humorist. He was lightening the weight of the great burden
which rested upon his spirit. He finished the chapter, reading it
aloud. And here I quote, from the published Journal of the late Chief
Justice, an entry, written immediately after the meeting, and bearing
unmistakable evidence that it is almost a literal transcript of
Lincoln's words.

"The President then took a graver tone, and said: 'Gentlemen, I have,
as you are aware, thought a great deal about the relation of this war
to slavery; and you all remember that, several weeks ago, I read to
you an order I had prepared upon the subject, which, on account of
objections made by some of you, was not issued. Ever since then my
mind has been much occupied with this subject, and I have thought all
along that the time for acting on it might probably come. I think the
time has come now. I wish it was a better time. I wish that we were in
a better condition. The action of the army against the rebels has not
been quite what I should have best liked. But they have been driven
out of Maryland, and Pennsylvania is no longer in danger of invasion.
When the rebel army was at Frederick, I determined as soon as it
should be driven out of Maryland to issue a proclamation of
emancipation, such as I thought most likely to be useful. I said
nothing to any one, but I made a promise to myself and (hesitating a
little) to my Maker. The rebel army is now driven out, and I am going
to fulfil that promise. I have got you together to hear what I have
written down. I do not wish your advice about the main matter, for
that I have determined for myself. This I say without intending
anything but respect for any one of you. But I already know the views
of each on this question. They have been heretofore expressed, and I
have considered them as thoroughly and carefully as I can. What I have
written is that which my reflections have determined me to say. If
there is anything in the expressions I use, or in any minor matter
which any one of you thinks had best be changed, I shall be glad to
receive your suggestions. One other observation I will make. I know
very well that many others might, in this matter as in others, do
better than I can; and if I was satisfied that the public confidence
was more fully possessed by any one of them than by me, and knew of
any constitutional way in which he could be put in my place, he should
have it. I would gladly yield it to him. But though I believe I have
not so much of the confidence of the people as I had some time since,
I do not know that, all things considered, any other person has more;
and, however this may be, there is no way in which I can have any
other man put where I am. I must do the best I can and bear the
responsibility of taking the course which I feel I ought to take.'

"The President then proceeded to read his Emancipation Proclamation,
making remarks on the several parts as he went on, and showing that he
had fully considered the subject in all the lights under which it had
been presented to him."

The Proclamation was amended in a few matters of detail. It was signed
and published that day. The world knows the rest, and will not forget
it till "the last syllable of recorded time."



Moses Kimball, a citizen of Boston, presented to the city a duplicate
of the Freedman's Memorial Statue erected in Lincoln Square,
Washington, after a design by Thomas Ball. The group, which stands in
Park Square, represents the figure of a slave, from whose limbs the
broken fetters have fallen, kneeling in gratitude at the feet of
Lincoln. The verses which follow were written for the unveiling of the
statue, December 9, 1879.

    Amidst thy sacred effigies
      If old renown give place,
    O city, Freedom-loved! to his
      Whose hand unchained a race

    Take the worn frame, that rested not
      Save in a martyr's grave;
    The care-lined face, that none forgot,
      Bent to the kneeling slave.

    Let man be free! The mighty word
      He spake was not his own;
    An impulse from the Highest stirred
      These chiselled lips alone.

    The cloudy sign, the fiery guide,
      Along his pathway ran,
    And Nature, through his voice, denied
      The ownership of man.

    We rest in peace where these sad eyes
      Saw peril, strife, and pain;
    His was the nation's sacrifice,
      And ours the priceless gain.

    O symbol of God's will on earth
      As it is done above!
    Bear witness to the cost and worth
      Of justice and of love.

    Stand in thy place and testify
      To coming ages long,
    That truth is stronger than a lie,
      And righteousness than wrong.

[7] _By special permission of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Company._



    'Twas in eighteen hundred and sixty-four,
    That terrible year when the shock and roar
    Of the nation's battles shook the land,
    And the fire leapt up into fury fanned,

    The passionate, patriotic fire,
    With its throbbing pulse and its wild desire
    To conquer and win, or conquer and die,
    In the thick of the fight when hearts beat high

    With the hero's thrill to do and to dare,
    'Twixt the bullet's rush and the muttered prayer.
    In the North, and the East and the great Northwest,
    Men waited and watched with eager zest

    For news of the desperate, terrible strife,--
    For a nation's death or a nation's life;
    While over the wires there flying sped
    News of the wounded, the dying and dead.

    "Defeat and defeat! Ah! what was the fault
    Of the grand old army's sturdy assault
    At Richmond's gates?" in a querulous key
    Men questioned at last impatiently,

    As the hours crept by, and day by day
    They watched the Potomac Army at bay.
    Defeat and defeat! It was here, just here,
    In the very height of the fret and fear,

    Click, click! across the electric wire
    Came suddenly flashing words of fire,
    And a great shout broke from city and town
    At the news of Sherman's marching down,--

    Marching down on his way to the sea
    Through the Georgia swamps to victory.
    Faster and faster the great news came,
    Flashing along like tongues of flame,--

    McAllister ours! And then, ah! then,
    To that patientest, tenderest, noblest of men,
    This message from Sherman came flying swift,--
    "I send you Savannah for a Christmas gift!"

[8] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._





    O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
    The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
            But O heart! heart! heart!
              O the bleeding drops of red,
                Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                  Fallen cold and dead.

    O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
    Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills,
    For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding,
    For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
            Here Captain! dear father!
              This arm beneath your head!
                It is some dream that on the deck,
                  You've fallen cold and dead.

    My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
    My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
    The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
    From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
            Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
              But I with mournful tread,
                Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                  Fallen cold and dead.

[9] _By permission of David McKay._



The day (April 14, 1865) seems to have been a pleasant one throughout
the whole land--the moral atmosphere pleasant, too--the long storm, so
dark, so fratricidal, full of blood and doubt and gloom, over and
ended at last by the sunrise of such an absolute National victory, and
utter breaking down of secessionism--we almost doubted our senses! Lee
had capitulated beneath the apple tree at Appomattox. The other
armies, the flanges of the revolt, swiftly followed.

And could it really be, then? Out of all the affairs of this world of
woe and passion, of failure and disorder and dismay, was there really
come the confirmed, unerring sign of peace, like a shaft of pure
light--of rightful rule--of God?

But I must not dwell on accessories. The deed hastens. The popular
afternoon paper, the little Evening Star, had scattered all over its
third page, divided among the advertisements in a sensational manner
in a hundred different places: "The President and his lady will be at
the theatre this evening." Lincoln was fond of the theatre. I have
myself seen him there several times. I remember thinking how funny it
was that he, in some respects the leading actor in the greatest and
stormiest drama known to real history's stage through centuries,
should sit there and be so completely interested in those human
jack-straws, moving about with their silly little gestures, foreign
spirit, and flatulent text.

So the day, as I say, was propitious. Early herbage, early flowers,
were out. I remembered where I was stopping at the time, the season
being advanced, there were many lilacs in full bloom. By one of those
caprices that enter and give tinge to events without being at all a
part of them, I find myself always reminded of the great tragedy of
that day by the sight and odor of these blossoms. It never fails.

On this occasion the theatre was crowded, many ladies in rich and gay
costumes, officers in their uniforms, many well-known citizens, young
folks, the usual clusters of gas-lights, the usual magnetism of so
many people, cheerful, with perfumes, music of violins and flutes--and
over all, and saturating, that vast, vague wonder, Victory, the
Nation's victory, the triumph of the Union, filling the air, the
thought, the sense, with exhilaration more than all perfumes.

The President came betimes and, with his wife, witnessed the play,
from the large stage boxes of the second tier, two thrown into one,
and profusely draped with the National flag. The acts and scenes of
the piece--one of those singularly witless compositions which have at
least the merit of giving entire relief to an audience engaged in
mental action or business excitements and cares during the day, as it
makes not the slightest call on either the moral, emotional, esthetic
or spiritual nature--a piece ("Our American Cousin") in which, among
other characters so called, a Yankee, certainly such a one as was
never seen, or at least ever seen in North America, is introduced in
England, with a varied fol-de-rol of talk, plot, scenery, and such
phantasmagoria as goes to make up a modern popular drama--had
progressed through perhaps a couple of its acts, when in the midst of
this comedy, or tragedy, or non-such, or whatever it is to be called,
and to offset it, or finish it out, as if in Nature's and the Great
Muse's mockery of these poor mimics, come interpolated that scene, not
really or exactly to be described at all (for on the many hundreds who
were there it seems to this hour to have left little but a passing
blur, a dream, a blotch)--and yet partially to be described as I now
proceed to give it:

There is a scene in the play representing the modern parlor, in which
two unprecedented English ladies are informed by the unprecedented and
impossible Yankee that he is not a man of fortune, and therefore
undesirable for marriage catching purposes; after which, the comments
being finished, the dramatic trio make exit, leaving the stage clear
for a moment. There was a pause, a hush, as it were. At this period
came the murder of Abraham Lincoln. Great as that was, with all its
manifold train circling around it, and stretching into the future for
many a century, in the politics, history, art, etc., of the New World,
in point of fact, the main thing, the actual murder, transpired with
the quiet and simplicity of any commonest occurrence--the bursting of
a bud or pod in the growth of vegetation, for instance.

Through the general hum following the stage pause, with the change of
positions, etc., came the muffled sound of a pistol shot, which not
one-hundredth part of the audience heard at the time--and yet a
moment's hush--somehow, surely a vague, startled thrill--and then,
through the ornamented, draperied, starred, and striped space-way of
the President's box, a sudden figure, a man, raises himself with hands
and feet, stands a moment on the railing, leaps below to the stage (a
distance of perhaps 14 or 15 feet), falls out of position, catching
his boot heel in the copious drapery (the American flag), falls on one
knee, quickly recovers himself, rises as if nothing had happened (he
really sprains his ankle, but unfelt then)--and the figure, Booth, the
murderer, dressed in plain black broadcloth, bare-headed, with a full
head of glossy, raven hair, and his eyes, like some mad animal's
flashing with light and resolution, yet with a certain strange
calmness, holds aloft in one hand a large knife--walks along not much
back of the foot-lights--turns fully towards the audience his face of
statuesque beauty, lit by those basilisk eyes, flashing with
desperation, perhaps insanity--launches out in a firm and steady voice
the words _Sic Semper Tyrannis_--and then walks with neither slow nor
very rapid pace diagonally across to the back of the stage, and
disappears. (Had not all this terrible scene--making the mimic ones
preposterous--had it not all been rehearsed, in blank, by Booth,

A moment's hush, incredulous--a scream--the cry of murder--Mrs.
Lincoln leaning out of the box, with ashy cheeks and lips, with
involuntary cry, pointing to the retreating figure, "He has
killed the President." And still a moment's strange, incredulous
suspense--and then the deluge!--then that mixture of horror, noises,
uncertainty--(the sound, somewhere back, of a horse's hoofs clattering
with speed) the people burst through chairs and railings, and break
them up--that noise adds to the queerness of the scene--there is
extricable confusion and terror--women faint--quite feeble persons
fall, and are trampled on--many cries of agony are heard--the broad
stage suddenly fills to suffocation with a dense and motley crowd,
like some horrible carnival--the audience rush generally upon it--at
least the strong men do--the actors and actresses are there in their
play costumes and painted faces, with moral fright showing through the
rouge--some trembling, some in tears, the screams and calls, confused
talk--redoubled, trebled--two or three manage to pass up water from
the stage to the President's box--others try to clamber up--etc., etc.

In the midst of all this the soldiers of the President's Guard, with
others, suddenly drawn to the scene, burst in--some 200
altogether--they storm the house, through all the tiers, especially
the upper ones--inflamed with fury, literally charging the audience
with fixed bayonets, muskets and pistols, shouting "Clear out! clear
out!..." Such the wild scene, or a suggestion of it, rather, inside
the play house that night.

Outside, too, in the atmosphere of shock and craze, crowds of people
filled with frenzy, ready to seize any outlet for it, came near
committing murder several times on innocent individuals. One such case
was especially exciting. The infuriated crowd, through some chance,
got started against one man, either for words he uttered, or perhaps
without any cause at all, and were proceeding at once to hang him on a
neighboring lamp-post, when he was rescued by a few heroic policemen,
who placed him in their midst and fought their way slowly and amid
great peril toward the station house. It was a fitting episode of the
whole affair. The crowd rushing and eddying to and fro, the night, the
yells, the pale faces, many frightened people trying in vain to
extricate themselves, the attacked man, not yet freed from the jaws of
death, looking like a corpse, the silent, resolute half dozen
policemen, with no weapons but their little clubs, yet stern and
steady through all those eddying swarms--made indeed a fitting side
scene to the grand tragedy of the murder. They gained the station
house with the protected man, whom they placed in security for the
night and discharged in the morning.

And in the midst of that night pandemonium of senseless hate,
infuriated soldiers, the audience and the crowd--the stage, and all
its actors and actresses, its paint pots, spangles and gaslight--the
life blood from those veins, the best and sweetest of the land, drips
slowly down....

Such, hurriedly sketched, were the accompaniments of the death of
President Lincoln. So suddenly, and in murder and horror unsurpassed,
he was taken from us. But his death was painless.

[10] _By permission of David McKay._


(May 4, 1865)


    Hush'd be the camps to-day,
    And soldiers, let us drape our war-worn weapons,
    And each with musing soul retire to celebrate
    Our dear commander's death.

    No more for him life's stormy conflicts,
    Nor victory, nor defeat--no more time's dark events,
    Charging like ceaseless clouds across the sky.

    But sing, poet, in our name.
    Sing of the love we bore him--because you, dweller in camps,
        know it truly.

    As they invault the coffin there,
    Sing--as they close the doors of earth upon him--one verse,
    For the heavy hearts of soldiers.

[11] _By permission of David McKay._




    O, slow to smite and swift to spare,
      Gentle and merciful and just!
    Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
      The sword of power--a nation's trust.

    In sorrow by thy bier we stand,
      Amid the awe that hushes all,
    And speak the anguish of a land
      That shook with horror at thy fall.

    Thy task is done--the bond are free;
      We bear thee to an honored grave,
    Whose noblest monument shall be
      The broken fetters of the slave.

    Pure was thy life; its bloody close
      Hath placed thee with the sons of light,
    Among the noble host of those
      cause of right.



    Crown his blood-stained pillow
      With a victor's palm;
    Life's receding billow
      Leaves eternal calm.

    At the feet Almighty
      Lay this gift sincere;
    Of a purpose weighty,
      And a record clear.

    With deliverance freighted
      Was this passive hand,
    And this heart, high-fated,
      Would with love command.

    Let him rest serenely
      In a Nation's care,
    Where her waters queenly
      Make the West more fair.

    In the greenest meadow
      That the prairies show,
    Let his marble's shadow
      Give all men to know:

    "Our First Hero, living,
      Made his country free;
    Heed the Second's giving,
      Death for Liberty."



Thus ended the attempted secession of these States; thus the four
years' war. But the main things come subtly and invisibly afterward,
perhaps long afterward--neither military, political, nor (great as
those are), historical. I say, certain secondary and indirect results,
out of the tragedy of this death, are, in my opinion, greatest. Not
the event of the murder itself. Not that Mr. Lincoln strings the
principal points and personages of the period, like beads, upon the
single string of his career. Not that his idiosyncrasy, in its sudden
appearance and disappearance, stamps this Republic with a stamp more
mark'd and enduring than any yet given by any one man--(more even than
Washington's)--but, join'd with these, the immeasurable value and
meaning of that whole tragedy lies, to me, in senses finally dearest
to a nation (and here all our own)--the imaginative and artistic
senses--the literary and dramatic ones. Not in any common or low
meaning of those terms, but a meaning precious to the race, and
to every age. A long and varied series of contradictory events
arrives at last at its highest poetic, single, central, pictorial
denouement. The whole involved, baffling, multiform whirl of the
secession period comes to a head, and is gather'd in one brief flash
of lightning-illumination--one simple, fierce deed. Its sharp
culmination, and as it were solution, of so many bloody and angry
problems, illustrates those climax-moments on the stage of universal
Time, where the historic Muse at one entrance, and the tragic Muse at
the other, suddenly ringing down the curtain, close an immense act in
the long drama of creative thought, and give it radiation, tableau,
stranger than fiction. Fit radiation--fit close! How the
imagination--how the student loves these things! America, too, is to
have them. For not in all great deaths, nor far or near--not Cæsar in
the Roman senate-house, nor Napoleon passing away in the wild
night-storm at St. Helena--not Paleologus, falling, desperately
fighting, piled over dozens deep with Grecian corpses--not calm old
Socrates, drinking the hemlock--outvies that terminus of the secession
war, in one man's life, here in our midst, in our own time--that seal
of the emancipation of three million slaves--that parturition and
delivery of our at last really free Republic, born again, henceforth
to commence its career of genuine homogeneous Union, compact,
consistent with itself.

[12] _By permission of David McKay._



    Our sun hath gone down at the noonday,
      The heavens are black;
    And over the morning the shadows
      Of night-time are back.

    Stop the proud boasting mouth of the cannon,
      Hush the mirth and the shout;--
    God is God! and the ways of Jehovah
      Are past finding out.

    Lo! the beautiful feet on the mountains,
      That yesterday stood;
    The white feet that came with glad tidings,
      Are dabbled in blood.

    The Nation that firmly was settling
      The crown on her head,
    Sits, like Rizpah, in sackcloth and ashes,
      And watches her dead.

    Who is dead? who, unmoved by our wailing,
      Is lying so low?
    O, my Land, stricken dumb in your anguish,
     Do you feel, do you know,

    That the hand which reached out of the darkness
      Hath taken the whole?
    Yea, the arm and the head of the people--
      The heart and the soul!

    And that heart, o'er whose dread awful silence
      A nation has wept;
    Was the truest, and gentlest, and sweetest,
      A man ever kept!

    Once this good man, we mourn, overwearied,
      Worn, anxious, oppressed,
    Was going out from his audience chamber
      For a season to rest;

    Unheeding the thousands who waited
      To honor and greet,
    When the cry of a child smote upon him,
      And turned back his feet.

    "Three days hath a woman been waiting,"
      Said they, "patient and meek."
    And he answered, "Whatever her errand,
      Let me hear; let her speak!"

    So she came, and stood trembling before him,
      And pleaded her cause;
    Told him all; how her child's erring father
      Had broken the laws.

    Humbly spake she: "I mourn for his folly,
      His weakness, his fall";
    Proudly spake she: "he is not a TRAITOR,
      And I love him through all!"

    Then the great man, whose heart had been shaken
      By a little babe's cry;
    Answered soft, taking counsel of mercy,
      "This man shall not die!"

    Why, he heard from the dungeons, the rice-fields,
      The dark holds of ships;
    Every faint, feeble cry which oppression
      Smothered down on men's lips.

    In her furnace, the centuries had welded
      Their fetter and chain;
    And like withes, in the hands of his purpose,
      He snapped them in twain.

    Who can be what he was to the people;
      What he was to the State?
    Shall the ages bring to us another
      As good, and as great?

    Our hearts with their anguish are broken,
      Our wet eyes are dim;
    For us is the loss and the sorrow,
      The triumph for him!

    For, ere this, face to face with his Father
      Our Martyr hath stood;
    Giving unto his hand the white record,
      With its great seal of blood!

[13] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._


(April 15, 1865)


    Tolling, tolling, tolling!
      All the bells of the land!
    Lo, the patriot martyr
      Taketh his journey grand!
    Travels into the ages,
      Bearing a hope how dear!
    Into life's unknown vistas,
      Liberty's great pioneer.

    Tolling, tolling, tolling!
      See, they come as a cloud,
    Hearts of a mighty people,
      Bearing his pall and shroud;
    Lifting up, like a banner,
      Signals of loss and woe;
    Wonder of breathless nations,
      Moveth the solemn show.

    Tolling, tolling, tolling!
      Was it, O man beloved,
    Was it thy funeral only
      Over the land that moved?
    Veiled by that hour of anguish,
      Borne with the rebel rout,
    Forth into utter darkness,
      Slavery's curse went out.

[14] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._


"Strangulatus Pro Republica"


    Hundreds there have been, loftier than their kind,
    Heroes and victors in the world's great wars:
    Hundreds, exalted as the eternal stars,
    By the great heart, or keen and mighty mind;
    There have been sufferers, maimed and halt and blind,
    Who bore their woes in such triumphant calm
    That God hath crowned them with the martyr's palm;
    And there were those who fought through fire to find
    Their Master's face, and were by fire refined.
    But who like thee, oh Sire! hath ever stood
    Steadfast for truth and right, when lies and wrong
    Rolled their dark waters, turbulent and strong;
    Who bore reviling, baseness, tears and blood
    Poured out like water, till thine own was spent,
    Then reaped Earth's sole reward--a grave and monument!

[15] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._



Again a great leader of the people has passed through toil, sorrow,
battle and war, and come near to the promised land of peace into which
he might not pass over. Who shall recount our martyr's sufferings for
this people? Since the November of 1860, his horizon has been black
with storms.

By day and by night, he trod a way of danger and darkness. On his
shoulders rested a government dearer to him than his own life. At its
integrity millions of men were striking at home. Upon this government
foreign eyes lowered. It stood like a lone island in a sea full of
storms, and every tide and wave seemed eager to devour it. Upon
thousands of hearts great sorrows and anxieties have rested, but not
on one such, and in such measure, as upon that simple, truthful, noble
soul, our faithful and sainted Lincoln. Never rising to the enthusiasm
of more impassioned natures in hours of hope, and never sinking with
the mercurial, in hours of defeat, to the depths of despondency, he
held on with immovable patience and fortitude, putting caution against
hope, that it might not be premature, and hope against caution that it
might not yield to dread and danger. He wrestled ceaselessly, through
four black and dreadful purgatorial years, wherein God was cleansing
the sin of His people as by fire.

At last, the watcher beheld the gray dawn for the country. The
mountains began to give forth their forms from out the darkness and
the East came rushing toward us with arms full of joy for all our
sorrows. Then it was for him to be glad exceedingly that had sorrowed
immeasurably. Peace could bring to no other heart such joy and rest,
such honor, such trust, such gratitude. But he looked upon it as Moses
looked upon the promised land. Then the wail of a nation proclaimed
that he had gone from among us. Not thine the sorrow, but ours,
sainted soul. Thou hast, indeed, entered the promised land, while we
are yet on the march. To us remain the rocking of the deep, the storm
upon the land, days of duty and nights of watching; but thou art
sphered high above all darkness and fear, beyond all sorrow and
weariness. Rest, O weary heart! Rejoice exceedingly,--thou that hast
enough suffered! Thou hast beheld Him who invisibly led thee in this
great wilderness. Thou standest among the elect. Around thee are the
royal men that have ennobled human life in every age. Kingly art thou,
with glory on thy brow as a diadem. And joy is upon thee for evermore.
Over all this land, over all the little cloud of years that now from
thine infinite horizon moves back as a speck, thou art lifted up as
high as the star is above the clouds that hide us, but never reach it.
In the goodly company of Mount Zion thou shalt find that rest which
thou hast sorrowing sought in vain; and thy name, an everlasting name
in heaven, shall flourish in fragrance and beauty as long as men shall
last upon the earth, or hearts remain, to revere truth, fidelity and

Never did two such orbs of experience meet in one hemisphere, as the
joy and the sorrow of the same week in this land. The joy was as
sudden as if no man had expected it, and as entrancing as if it had
fallen a sphere from heaven. It rose up over sobriety, and swept
business from its moorings, and ran down through the land in
irresistible course. Men embraced each other in brotherhood that were
strangers in the flesh. They sang, or prayed, or deeper yet, many
could only think thanksgiving and weep gladness.

That peace was sure; that government was firmer than ever; that the
land was cleansed of plague; that the ages were opening to our
footsteps, and we were to begin a march of blessings; that blood was
staunched and scowling enmities were sinking like storms beneath the
horizon; that the dear fatherland, nothing lost, much gained, was to
rise up in unexampled honor among the nations of the earth--these
thoughts, and that undistinguishable throng of fancies, and hopes, and
desires, and yearnings, that filled the soul with tremblings like the
heated air of midsummer days--all these kindled up such a surge of joy
as no words may describe.

In one hour, joy lay without a pulse, without a gleam or breath. A
sorrow came that swept through the land as huge storms sweep through
the forest and field, rolling thunder along the sky, disheveling the
flowers, daunting every singer in thicket or forest, and pouring
blackness and darkness across the land and up the mountains. Did ever
so many hearts, in so brief a time, touch two such boundless feelings?
It was the uttermost of joy; it was the uttermost of sorrow--noon and
midnight, without a space between.

The blow brought not a sharp pang. It was so terrible that at first it
stunned sensibility. Citizens were like men awakened at midnight by an
earthquake, and bewildered to find everything that they were
accustomed to trust wavering and falling. The very earth was no longer
solid. The first feeling was the least. Men waited to get strength to
feel. They wandered in the streets as if groping after some impending
dread, or undeveloped sorrow, or some one to tell them what ailed
them. They met each other as if each would ask the other, "Am I awake,
or do I dream?" There was a piteous helplessness. Strong men bowed
down and wept. Other and common griefs belonged to someone in chief;
this belonged to all. It was each and every man's. Every virtuous
household in the land felt as if its firstborn were gone. Men were
bereaved and walked for days as if a corpse lay unburied in their
dwellings. There was nothing else to think of. They could speak of
nothing but that; and yet of that they could speak only falteringly.
All business was laid aside. Pleasure forgot to smile. The city for
nearly a week ceased to roar. The great Leviathan lay down, and was
still. Even avarice stood still, and greed was strangely moved to
generous sympathy and universal sorrow. Rear to his name monuments,
found charitable institutions, and write his name above their lintels,
but no monument will ever equal the universal, spontaneous, and
sublime sorrow that in a moment swept down lines and parties, and
covered up animosities, in an hour brought a divided people into unity
of grief and indivisible fellowship of anguish.

This Nation has dissolved--but in tears only. It stands four-square,
more solid to-day than any pyramid in Egypt. This people are neither
wasted, nor daunted, nor disordered. Men hate slavery and love liberty
with stronger hate and love to-day than ever before. The government is
not weakened; it is made stronger. How naturally and easily were the
ranks closed! Another steps forward, in the hour that one fell, to
take his place and his mantle; and I avow my belief that he will be
found a man true to every instinct of liberty; true to the whole trust
that is reposed in him; vigilant of the Constitution; careful of the
laws; wise for liberty, in that he himself, through his life, has
known what it was to suffer from the stings of slavery, and to prize
liberty from bitter personal experiences.

Where could the head of government of any monarchy be smitten down by
the hand of an assassin, and the funds not quiver or fall one-half of
one per cent? After a long period of national disturbance, after four
years of drastic war, after tremendous drafts on the resources of the
country, in the height and top of our burdens, the heart of this
people is such that now, when the head of government is stricken down,
the public funds do not waver, but stand as the granite ribs in our

Republican institutions have been vindicated in this experience as
they never were before; and the whole history of the last four years,
rounded up by this cruel stroke, seems in the providence of God, to
have been clothed now, with an illustration, with a sympathy, with an
aptness, and with a significance, such as we never could have expected
nor imagined. God, I think, has said, by the voice of this event, to
all nations of the earth: "Republican liberty, based upon true
Christianity, is firm as the foundation of the globe."

Even he who now sleeps has, by this event, been clothed with new
influence. Dead, he speaks to men who now willingly hear what before
they refused to listen to. Now his simple and weighty words will be
gathered like those of Washington, and your children and your
children's children shall be taught to ponder the simplicity and deep
wisdom of utterances which, in their time, passed, in party heat, as
idle words. Men will receive a new impulse of patriotism for his sake,
and will guard with zeal the whole country which he loved so well. I
swear you, on the altar of his memory, to be more faithful to the
country for which he has perished. They will, as they follow his
hearse, swear a new hatred to that slavery against which he warred,
and which, in vanquishing him, has made him a martyr and a conqueror.
I swear you, by the memory of this martyr, to hate slavery, with an
unappeasable hatred. They will admire and imitate the firmness of this
man, his inflexible conscience for the right, and yet his gentleness,
as tender as a woman's, his moderation of spirit, which not all the
heat of party could inflame, nor all the jars and disturbances of his
country shake out of place. I swear you to an emulation of his
justice, his moderation, and his mercy.

You I can comfort; but how can I speak to that twilight million to
whom his name was as the name of an angel of God? There will be
wailing in places which no minister shall be able to reach. When, in
hovel and in cot, in wood and in wilderness, in the field throughout
the South, the dusky children, who looked upon him as that Moses whom
God sent before them to lead them out of the land of bondage, learn
that he has fallen, who shall comfort them? O, thou Shepherd of
Israel, that didst comfort Thy people of old, to Thy care we commit
the helpless, the long-wronged, and grieved.

And now the martyr is moving in triumphal march, mightier than when
alive. The Nation rises up at every stage of his coming. Cities and
States are his pallbearers, and the cannon beats the hours with solemn
progression. Dead, dead, dead, he yet speaketh. Is Washington dead? Is
Hampden dead? Is David dead? Is any man that was ever fit to live
dead? Disenthralled of flesh, and risen in the unobstructed sphere
where passion never comes, he begins his illimitable work. His life
now is grafted upon the infinite, and will be fruitful as no earthly
life can be.

Pass on, thou that hast overcome. Your sorrows, O people, are his
peace. Your bells and bands and muffled drums sound triumph in his
ear. Wail and weep here; God made it echo joy and triumph there. Pass

Four years ago, O Illinois, we took from your midst an untried man,
and from among the people. We return him to you a mighty conqueror.
Not thine any more, but the Nation's; not ours, but the world's. Give
him place, O ye prairies. In the midst of this great continent his
dust shall rest, a sacred treasure to myriads who shall pilgrim to
that shrine to kindle anew their zeal and patriotism. Ye winds that
move over the mighty places of the West, chant his requiem. Ye people,
behold a martyr whose blood as so many articulate words, pleads for
fidelity, for law, for liberty.



    O Thou of soul and sense and breath,
      The ever-present Giver,
    Unto Thy mighty angel, death,
      All flesh thou didst deliver;
    What most we cherish, we resign,
    For life and death alike are Thine,
      Who reignest Lord forever!

    Our hearts lie buried in the dust
      With him, so true and tender,
    The patriot's stay, the people's trust,
      The shield of the offender;
    Yet every murmuring voice is still,
    As, bowing to Thy sovereign will,
      Our best loved we surrender.

    Dear Lord, with pitying eye behold
      This martyr generation,
    Which Thou, through trials manifold,
      Art showing Thy salvation!
    O let the blood by murder split
    Wash out Thy stricken children's guilt,
      And sanctify our nation!

    Be Thou Thy orphaned Israel's friend,
      Forsake Thy people never,
    In One our broken Many blend,
      That none again may sever!
    Hear us, O Father, while we raise
    With trembling lips our song of praise,
      And bless Thy name forever!

[16] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._


Foully Assassinated April 14, 1865


    You lay a wreath on murdered Lincoln's bier,
      You, who with mocking pencil wont to trace,
    Broad for the self-complacent British sneer,
      His length of shambling limb, his furrowed face,

    His gaunt, gnarled hands, his unkempt, bristling hair,
      His garb uncouth, his bearing ill at ease,
    His lack of all we prize as debonair,
      Of power or will to shine, of art to please;

    You whose smart pen backed up the pencil's laugh,
      Judging each step as though the way were plain;
    Reckless, so it could point its paragraph,
      Of chief's perplexity, or people's pain:

    Beside this corpse, that bears for winding-sheet
      The Stars and Stripes he lived to rear anew,
    Between the mourners at his head and feet,
      Say, scurrile jester, is there room for you?

    Yes: he had lived to shame me from my sneer,
      To lame my pencil, and confute my pen:--
    To make me own this man of princes peer,
      This rail-splitter a true-born king of men.

    My shallow judgment I had learned to rue,
      Noting how to occasion's height he rose;
    How his quaint wit made home-truth seem more true;
      How, iron-like, his temper grew by blows.

    How humble, yet how hopeful he could be:
      How in good fortune and in ill, the same:
    Nor bitter in success, nor boastful he,
      Thirsty for gold, nor feverish for fame.

    He went about his work,--such work as few
      Ever had laid on head and heart and hand,--
    As one who knows, where there's a task to do,
      Man's honest will must heaven's good grace command;

    Who trusts the strength will with the burden grow,
      That God makes instruments to work His will,
    If but that will we can arrive to know,
      Nor tamper with the weights of good and ill.

    So he went forth to battle, on the side
      That he felt clear was Liberty's and Right's,
    As in his peasant boyhood he had plied
      His warfare with rude Nature's thwarting mights,--

    The uncleared forest, the unbroken soil,
      The iron-bark, that turns the lumberer's axe,
    The rapid, that o'erbears the boatsman's toil,
      The prairie, hiding the mazed wanderer's tracks,

    The ambushed Indian, and the prowling bear;--
      Such were the deeds that helped his youth to train:
    Rough culture,--but such trees large fruit may bear,
      If but their stocks be of right girth and grain.

    So he grew up, a destined work to do,
      And lived to do it: four long suffering years,
    Ill-fate, ill-feeling, ill-report, lived through,
      And then he heard the hisses change to cheers.

    The taunts to tribute, the abuse to praise,
      And took both with the same unwavering mood:
    Till, as he came on light, from darkling days,
      And seem to touch the goal from where he stood,

    A felon hand, between the goal and him,
      Reached from behind his back, a trigger prest,--
    And those perplexed and patient eyes were dim,
      Those gaunt, long-laboring limbs were laid to rest!

    The words of mercy were upon his lips,
      Forgiveness in his heart and on his pen,
    When this vile murderer brought swift eclipse
      To thoughts of peace on earth, good-will to men.

    The Old World and the New, from sea to sea,
      Utter one voice of sympathy and shame!
    Sore heart, so stopped when it at last beat high;
      Sad life, cut short just as its triumph came.

    A deed accurst! Strokes have been struck before
      By the assassin's hand, whereof men doubt
    If more of horror or disgrace they bore;
      But thy foul crime, like Cain's, stands darkly out.

    Vile hand, that brandest murder on a strife,
      Whate'er its grounds, stoutly and nobly striven;
    And with the martyr's crown crownest a life
      With much to praise, little to be forgiven.




From the Harvard Commemoration Ode,


    Life may be given in many ways,
          And loyalty to Truth be sealed
    As bravely in the closet as the field,
        So generous is Fate;
        But then to stand beside her,
        When craven churls deride her,
    To front a lie in arms, and not to yield--
        This shows, methinks, God's plan
        And measure of a stalwart man,
    Limbed, like the old heroic breeds,
        Who stands self-poised on manhood's solid earth,
        Not forced to frame excuses for his birth,
    Fed from within with all the strength he needs.
    Such was he, our Martyr Chief,
        Whom late the nation he had led,
        With ashes on her head,
    Wept with the passion of an angry grief:
    Forgive me, if from present things I turn
    To speak what in my heart will beat and burn,
    And hang my wreath on his world-honored urn.
        Nature, they say, doth dote,
        And cannot make a man
        Save on some worn-out plan,
        Repeating us by rote:
    For him her Old-World moulds aside she threw,
        And, choosing sweet clay from the breast
        Of the unexhausted West,
    With stuff untainted shaped a hero new,
    Wise, steadfast in the strength of God, and true.
        How beautiful to see
    Once more a shepherd of mankind indeed,
    Who loved his charge, but never loved to lead;
    One whose meek flock the people joyed to be,
        Not lured by any cheat of birth,
        But by his clear-grained human worth,
    And brave old wisdom of sincerity!
        They knew that outward grace is dust;
        They could not choose but trust
    In that sure-footed mind's unfaltering skill,
        And supple-tempered will
    That bent like perfect steel to spring again and thrust.
        His was no lonely mountain-peak of mind,
        Thrusting to thin air o'er our cloudy bars,
        A seamark now, now lost in vapors blind,
        Broad prairie rather, genial, level-lined,
        Fruitful and friendly for all human kind,
    Yet also nigh to heaven and loved of loftiest stars.
          Nothing of Europe here,
    Or, then, of Europe fronting mornward still,
          Ere any names of serf and peer
        Could Nature's equal scheme deface;
        Here was a type of the true elder race,
    And one of Plutarch's men talked with us face to face.
        I praise him not; it were too late;
    And some innative weakness there must be
    In him who condescends to victory
    Such as the present gives, and cannot wait,
        Safe in himself as in a fate.
          So always firmly he;
          He knew to bide him time,
          And can his fame abide,
    Still patient in his simple faith sublime,
          Till the wise years decide.
      Great captains, with their guns and drums,
        Disturb our judgment for the hour,
          But at last silence comes:
    These are all gone, and, standing like a tower,
    Our children shall behold his fame,
        The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man,
    Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame,
      New birth of our new soil the first American.

[17] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._


Remarks at the funeral services held in Concord, April 19, 1865


We meet under the gloom of a calamity which darkens down over the
minds of good men in all civil society, as the fearful tidings travel
over sea, over land, from country to country, like the shadow of an
uncalculated eclipse over the planet. Old as history is, and manifold
as are its tragedies, I doubt if any death has caused so much pain to
mankind as this has caused, or will cause, on its announcement; and
this, not so much because nations are by modern arts brought so
closely together, as because of the mysterious hopes and fears which,
in the present day, are connected with the name and institutions of

In this country, on Saturday, every one was struck dumb, and saw at
first only deep below deep, as he meditated on the ghastly blow. And
perhaps, at this hour, when the coffin which contains the dust of the
President sets forward on its long march through mourning States, on
its way to his home in Illinois, we might well be silent and suffer
the awful voices of the time to thunder to us. Yes, but that first
despair was brief: the man was not so to be mourned. He was the most
active and hopeful of men; and his work has not perished: but
acclamations of praise for the task he has accomplished burst out into
a song of triumph, which even tears for his death cannot keep down.

The President stood before us as a man of the people. He was
thoroughly American, had never crossed the sea, had never been spoiled
by English insularity or French dissipation; a quiet native,
aboriginal man, as an acorn from the oak; no aping of foreigners, no
frivolous accomplishments, Kentuckian born, working on a farm, a
flatboat-man, a captain in the Black Hawk war, a country lawyer, a
representative in the rural legislature of Illinois;--on such modest
foundations the broad structure of his fame was laid. How slowly, and
yet by happily prepared steps, he came to his place. All of us
remember--it is only a history of five or six years--the surprise and
the disappointment of the country at his first nomination by the
convention at Chicago. Mr. Seward, then in the culmination of his good
fame, was the favorite of the Eastern States. And when the new and
comparatively unknown name of Lincoln was announced (notwithstanding
the report of the acclamations of that convention), we heard the
result coldly and sadly. It seemed too rash, on a purely local
reputation, to build so grave a trust in such anxious times; and men
naturally talked of the chances in politics as incalculable. But it
turned out not to be chance. The profound good opinion which the
people of Illinois and of the West had conceived of him, and which
they had imparted to their colleagues, that they also might justify
themselves to their constituents at home, was not rash, though they
did not begin to know the riches of his worth.

A plain man of the people, an extraordinary fortune attended him. He
offered no shining qualities at the first encounter; he did not offend
by superiority. He had a face and manner which disarmed suspicion,
which inspired confidence, which confirmed good will. He was a man
without vices. He had a strong sense of duty, which it was very easy
for him to obey. Then he had what farmers call a long head; was
excellent in working out the sum for himself; in arguing his case and
convincing you fairly and firmly. Then it turned out that he was a
great worker; had prodigious faculty of performance; worked easily. A
good worker is so rare; everybody has some disabling quality. In a
host of young men that start together and promise so many brilliant
leaders for the next age, each fails on trial; one by bad health, one
by conceit, or by love of pleasure, or lethargy, or an ugly
temper,--each has some disqualifying fault that throws him out of the
career. But this man was sound to the core, cheerful, persistent, all
right for labor, and liked nothing so well.

Then he had a vast good nature, which made him tolerant and accessible
to all; fair minded, leaning to the claim of the petitioner; affable,
and not sensible to the affliction which the innumerable visits paid
to him when President would have brought to any one else. And how this
good nature became a noble humanity, in many a tragic case which the
events of the war brought to him, every one will remember; and with
what increasing tenderness he dealt when a whole race was thrown on
his compassion. The poor negro said of him, on an impressive occasion,
"Massa Linkum am ebery-where." Then his broad good humor, running
easily into jocular talk, in which he delighted and in which he
excelled, was a rich gift to this wise man. It enabled him to keep his
secret; to meet every kind of man and every rank in society; to take
off the edge of the severest decisions; to mask his own purpose and
sound his companion; and to catch with true instinct the temper of
every company he addressed. And, more than all, it is to a man of
severe labor, in anxious and exhausting crises, the natural
restorative, good as sleep, and is the protection of the overdriven
brain against rancor and insanity.

He is the author of a multitude of good sayings, so disguised as
pleasantries that it is certain they had no reputation at first but as
jests; and only later, by the very acceptance and adoption they find
in the mouths of millions, turn out to be the wisdom of the hour. I am
sure if this man had ruled in a period of less facility of printing,
he would have become mythological in a very few years, like Æsop or
Pilpay, or one of the Seven Wise Masters, by his fables and proverbs.
But the weight and penetration of many passages in his letters,
messages, and speeches, hidden now by the very closeness of their
application to the moment, are destined hereafter to wide fame. What
pregnant definitions; what unerring common sense; what foresight; and,
on great occasion, what lofty, and more than national, what humane
tone! His brief speech at Gettysburg will not easily be surpassed by
words on any recorded occasion. This, and one other American speech,
that of John Brown to the court that tried him, and a part of
Kossuth's speech at Birmingham, can only be compared with each other,
and with no fourth.

His occupying the chair of State was a triumph of the good sense of
mankind, and of the public conscience. This middle-class country had
got a middle-class President, at last. Yes, in manners and sympathies,
but not in powers, for his powers were superior. This man grew
according to the need. His mind mastered the problem of the day; and
as the problem grew, so did his comprehension of it. Rarely was man so
fitted to the event. In the midst of fears and jealousies, in the
Babel of counsels and parties, this man wrought incessantly with all
his might and all his honesty, laboring to find what the people
wanted, and how to obtain that. It cannot be said there is any
exaggeration of his worth. If ever a man was fairly tested, he was.
There was no lack of resistance, nor of slander, nor of ridicule. The
times have allowed no state secrets; the nation has been in such
ferment, such multitudes had to be trusted, that no secret could be
kept. Every door was ajar, and we know all that befell.

Then, what an occasion was the whirlwind of the war. Here was place
for no holiday magistrate, no fair-weather sailor; the new pilot was
hurried to the helm in a tornado. In four years,--four years of
battle-days,--his endurance, his fertility of resources, his
magnanimity, were sorely tried and never found wanting. There, by his
courage, his justice, his even temper, his fertile counsel, his
humanity, he stood a heroic figure in the centre of a heroic epoch. He
is the true history of the American people in his time. Step by step
he walked before them; slow with their slowness, quickening his march
by theirs, the true representative of this continent; an entirely
public man; father of his country, the pulse of twenty-millions
throbbing in his heart, the thought of their minds articulated by his

Adam Smith remarks that the axe, which in Houbraken's portraits of
British kings and worthies is engraved under those who have suffered
at the block, adds a certain lofty charm to the picture. And who does
not see, even in this tragedy so recent, how fast the terror and ruin
of the massacre are already burning into glory around the victim? Far
happier this fate than to have lived to be wished away; to have
watched the decay of his own faculties; to have seen--perhaps even
be--the proverbial ingratitude of statesmen; to have seen mean men
preferred. Had he not lived long enough to keep the greatest promise
that ever man made to his fellow men,--the practicable abolition of
slavery? He had seen Tennessee, Missouri, and Maryland emancipate
their slaves. He had seen Savannah, Charleston, and Richmond
surrendered; had seen the main army of the rebellion lay down its
arms. He had conquered the public opinion of Canada, England, and
France. Only Washington can compare with him in fortune.

And what if it should turn out, in the unfolding of the web, that he
had reached the term; that this heroic deliverer could no longer serve
us; that the rebellion had touched its natural conclusion, and what
remained to be done required new and uncommitted hands,--a new spirit
born out of the ashes of the war; and that Heaven, wishing to show
the world a completed benefactor, shall make him serve his country
even more by his death than by his life? Nations, like kings, are not
good by facility and complaisance. "The kindness of kings consists in
justice and strength." Easy good nature has been the dangerous foible
of the Republic, and it was necessary that its enemies should outrage
it, and drive us to unwonted firmness, to secure the salvation of this
country in the next ages.

The ancients believed in a serene and beautiful Genius which ruled in
the affairs of nations; which, with a slow but stern justice, carried
forward the fortunes of certain chosen houses, weeding out single
offenders or offending families, and securing at last the firm
prosperity of the favorites of Heaven. It was too narrow a view of the
Eternal Nemesis. There is a serene Providence which rules the fate of
nations, which makes little account of time, little of one generation
or race, makes no account of disasters, conquers alike by what is
called defeat or by what is called victory, thrusts aside enemy and
obstruction, crushes everything immoral as inhuman, and obtains the
ultimate triumph of the best race by the sacrifice of everything which
resists the moral laws of the world. It makes its own instruments,
creates the man for the time, trains him in poverty, inspires his
genius, and arms him for his task. It has given every race its own
talent, and ordains that only that race which combines perfectly with
the virtues of all shall endure.

[18] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._



The greatest names in American history are Washington and Lincoln. One
is forever associated with the independence of the States and the
formation of the Federal Union; the other with universal freedom and
the preservation of the Union.

Washington enforced the Declaration of Independence as against
England. Lincoln proclaimed the fulfilment not only to a down-trodden
race in America, but to all people for all time who may seek the
protection of our flag. These illustrious men achieved grander results
for mankind within a single century than any other men ever
accomplished in all the years since the first flight of time began.

Washington drew his sword not for a change of rulers upon an
established throne, but to establish a new government which should
acknowledge no throne but the tribute of the people.

Lincoln accepted war to save the Union, the safeguard of our
liberties, and re-established it on indestructible foundations as
forever "one and indivisible." To quote his own words: "Now we are
contending that this nation under God, shall have a new birth of
freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the
people shall not perish from the earth."



Abraham Lincoln--the spirit incarnate of those who won victory in the
Civil War--was the true representative of this people, not only for
his own generation, but for all time, because he was a man among men.
A man who embodied the qualities of his fellow-men, but who embodied
them to the highest and most unusual degree of perfection, who
embodied all that there was in the nation of courage, of wisdom, of
gentle, patient kindliness, and of common sense.



    May one who fought in honor for the South
    Uncovered stand and sing by Lincoln's grave?
    Why, if I shrunk not at the cannon's mouth,
    Nor swerved one inch for any battle-wave,
    Should I now tremble in this quiet close
    Hearing the prairie wind go lightly by
    From billowy plains of grass and miles of corn,
        While out of deep repose
    The great sweet spirit lifts itself on high
    And broods above our land this summer morn?

    Meseems I feel his presence. Is he dead?
    Death is a word. He lives and grander grows.
    At Gettysburg he bows his bleeding head;
    He spreads his arms where Chickamauga flows,
    As if to clasp old soldiers to his breast,
    Of South or North no matter which they be,
    Not thinking of what uniform they wore,
        His heart a palimpsest,
    Record on record of humanity,
    Where love is first and last forevermore.

    He was the Southern mother leaning forth,
    At dead of night to hear the cannon roar,
    Beseeching God to turn the cruel North
    And break it that her son might come once more;
    He was New England's maiden pale and pure,
    Whose gallant lover fell on Shiloh's plain;
    He was the mangled body of the dead;
        He writhing did endure
    Wounds and disfigurement and racking pain,
    Gangrene and amputation, all things dread.

    He was the North, the South, the East, the West,
    The thrall, the master, all of us in one;
    There was no section that he held the best;
    His love shone as impartial as the sun;
    And so revenge appealed to him in vain;
    He smiled at it, as at a thing forlorn,
    And gently put it from him, rose and stood
        A moment's space in pain,
    Remembering the prairies and the corn
    And the glad voices of the field and wood.

    And then when Peace set wing upon the wind
    And northward flying fanned the clouds away,
    He passed as martyrs pass. Ah, who shall find
    The chord to sound the pathos of that day!
    Mid-April blowing sweet across the land,
    New bloom of freedom opening to the world,
    Loud pæans of the homeward-looking host,
        The salutations grand
    From grimy guns, the tattered flags unfurled;
    And he must sleep to all the glory lost!

    Sleep! loss! But there is neither sleep nor loss,
    And all the glory mantles him about;
    Above his breast the precious banners cross,
    Does he not hear his armies tramp and shout?
    Oh, every kiss of mother, wife or maid
    Dashed on the grizzly lip of veteran,
    Comes forthright to that calm and quiet mouth,
        And will not be delayed,
    And every slave, no longer slave but man,
    Sends up a blessing from the broken South.

    He is not dead, France knows he is not dead;
    He stirs strong hearts in Spain and Germany,
    In far Siberian mines his words are said,
    He tells the English Ireland shall be free,
    He calls poor serfs about him in the night,
    And whispers of a power that laughs at kings,
    And of a force that breaks the strongest chain;
        Old tyranny feels his might
    Tearing away its deepest fastenings,
    And jewelled sceptres threaten him in vain.

    Years pass away, but freedom does not pass,
    Thrones crumble, but man's birthright crumbles not,
    And, like the wind across the prairie grass,
    A whole world's aspirations fan this spot
    With ceaseless panting after liberty,
    One breath of which would make dark Russia fair,
    And blow sweet summer through the exile's cave
        And set the exile free;
    For which I pray, here in the open air
    Of Freedom's morning-tide, by Lincoln's grave.


A man of great ability, pure patriotism, unselfish nature, full of
forgiveness to his enemies, bearing malice toward none, he proved to
be the man above all others for the struggle through which the nation
had to pass to place itself among the greatest in the family of
nations. His fame will grow brighter as time passes and his great
great work is better understood.

                                                      _U. S. Grant._

At the moment when the stars of the Union, sparkling and resplendent
with the golden fires of liberty, are waving over the subdued walls of
Richmond the sepulchre opens, and the strong, the powerful enters it.

                                               _Sr. Rebello Da Silva._

He ascended the mount where he could see the fair fields and the
smiling vineyards of the promised land. But, like the great leader of
Israel, he was not permitted to come to the possession.

                                                     _Seth Sweetser._

In his freedom from passion and bitterness; in his acute sense
of justice; in his courageous faith in the right, and his
inextinguishable hatred of wrong; in his warm and heartfelt sympathy
and mercy; in his coolness of judgment; in his unquestioned rectitude
of intention--in a word, in his ability to lift himself for his
country's sake above all mere partisanship, in all the marked traits
of his character combined, he has had no parallel since Washington,
and while our republic endures he will live with him in the grateful
hearts of his grateful countrymen.

                                                   _Schuyler Colfax._



    Dead is the roll of the drums,
      And the distant thunders die,
      They fade in the far-off sky;
    And a lovely summer comes,
      Like the smile of Him on high.

    Lulled, the storm and the onset.
      Earth lies in a sunny swoon;
      Stiller splendor of noon,
    Softer glory of sunset,
      Milder starlight and moon!

    For the kindly Seasons love us;
      They smile over trench and clod
    (Where we left the bravest of us)--
      There's a brighter green of the sod,
    And a holier calm above us
      In the blessed Blue of God.

    The roar and ravage were vain;
      And Nature, that never yields,
    Is busy with sun and rain
    At her old sweet work again
      On the lonely battle-fields.

    How the tall white daisies grow,
      Where the grim artillery rolled!
    (Was it only a moon ago?
      It seems a century old)--

    And the bee hums in the clover,
      As the pleasant June comes on;
    Aye, the wars are all over,--
      But our good Father is gone.

    There was tumbling of traitor fort,
      Flaming of traitor fleet--
    Lighting of city and port,
      Clasping in square and street.

    There was thunder of mine and gun,
      Cheering by mast and tent,--
    When--his dread work all done,
    And his high fame full won--
      Died the Good President.

    In his quiet chair he sate,
      Pure of malice or guile,
    Stainless of fear or hate,--
      And there played a pleasant smile
    On the rough and careworn face;
      For his heart was all the while
    On means of mercy and grace.

    The brave old Flag drooped o'er him,
      (A fold in the hard hand lay)--
      He looked, perchance, on the play--
    But the scene was a shadow before him,
      For his thoughts were far away.

    'Twas but the morn (yon fearful
      Death-shade, gloomy and vast,
      Lifting slowly at last),
    His household heard him say,
    "'Tis long since I've been so cheerful,
      So light of heart as to-day."

    'Twas dying, the long dread clang--
      But, or ever the blessèd ray
      Of peace could brighten to-day,
      Murder stood by the way--
    Treason struck home his fang!
    One throb--and, without a pang,
      That pure soul passed away.

    Kindly Spirit!--Ah, when did treason
      Bid such a generous nature cease,
    Mild by temper and strong by reason,
      But ever leaning to love and peace?

    A head how sober; a heart how spacious;
      A manner equal with high or low;
    Rough but gentle, uncouth but gracious,
      And still inclining to lips of woe.

    Patient when saddest, calm when sternest,
      Grieved when rigid for justice' sake;
    Given to jest, yet ever in earnest
      If aught of right or truth were at stake.

    Simple of heart, yet shrewd therewith,
      Slow to resolve, but firm to hold;
    Still with parable and with myth
      Seasoning truth, like Them of old;
    Aptest humor and quaintest pith!
      (Still we smile o'er the tales he told.)

    Yet whoso might pierce the guise
      Of mirth in the man we mourn,
    Would mark, and with grieved surprise,
      All the great soul had borne,
    In the piteous lines, and the kind, sad eyes
      So dreadfully wearied and worn.

    And we trusted (the last dread page
      Once turned, of our Dooms-day Scroll),
      To have seen him, sunny of soul,
    In a cheery, grand old age.

    But, Father, 'tis well with thee!
      And since ever, when God draws nigh,
    Some grief for the good must be,
      'Twas well, even so to die,--

    'Mid the thunder of Treason's fall,
      The yielding of haughty town,
    The crashing of cruel wall,
      The trembling of tyrant crown!

    The ringing of hearth and pavement
      To the clash of falling chains,--
    The centuries of enslavement
      Dead, with their blood-bought gains!

    And through trouble weary and long,
      Well hadst thou seen the way,
    Leaving the State so strong
      It did not reel for a day.

    And even in death couldst give
      A token for Freedom's strife--
    A proof how republics live,
      And not by a single life,

    But the Right Divine of man,
      And the many, trained to be free,--
    And none, since the world began,
      Ever was mourned like thee.

    Dost thou feel it, O noble Heart!
      (So grieved and so wronged below),
    From the rest wherein thou art?
    Do they see it, those patient eyes?
    Is there heed in the happy skies
      For tokens of world-wide woe?

    The Land's great lamentations,
      The mighty mourning of cannon
        The myriad flags half-mast--
    The late remorse of the nations,
      Grief from Volga to Shannon!
        (Now they know thee at last.)

    How, from gray Niagara's shore
      To Canaveral's surfy shoal--
    From the rough Atlantic roar
      To the long Pacific roll--
      For bereavement and for dole,
    Every cottage wears its weed,
      White as thine own pure soul,
    And black as the traitor deed.

    How, under a nation's pall,
      The dust so dear in our sight
        To its home on the prairie passed,--
    The leagues of funeral,
      The myriads, morn and night,
        Pressing to look their last.

    Nor alone the State's Eclipse;
      But tears in hard eyes gather--
    And on rough and bearded lips,
    Of the regiments and the ships--
      "Oh, our dear Father!"

    And methinks of all the million
      That looked on the dark dead face,
    'Neath its sable-plumed pavilion,
      The crone of a humbler race
    Is saddest of all to think on,
      And the old swart lips that said,
    Sobbing, "Abraham Lincoln!
      Oh, he is dead, he is dead!"

    Hush! let our heavy souls
      To-day be glad; for again
    The stormy music swells and rolls,
      Stirring the hearts of men.

    And under the Nation's Dome,
      They've guarded so well and long,
    Our boys come marching home,
      Two hundred thousand strong.

    All in the pleasant month of May,
      With war-worn colors and drums,
    Still through the livelong summer's day,
      Regiment, regiment comes.

    Like the tide, yesty and barmy,
      That sets on a wild lee-shore,
    Surge the ranks of an army
      Never reviewed before!

    Who shall look on the like again,
      Or see such host of the brave?
    A mighty River of marching men
      Rolls the Capital through--
    Rank on rank, and wave on wave,
      Of bayonet-crested blue!

    How the chargers neigh and champ,
    (Their riders weary of camp),
      With curvet and with caracole!--
    The cavalry comes with thunderous tramp,
      And the cannons heavily roll.

    And ever, flowery and gay,
    The Staff sweeps on in a spray
      Of tossing forelocks and manes;
    But each bridle-arm has a weed
    Of funeral, black as the steed
      That fiery Sheridan reins.

    Grandest of mortal sights
      The sun-browned ranks to view--
    The Colors ragg'd in a hundred fights,
      And the dusty Frocks of Blue!

    And all day, mile on mile,
    With cheer, and waving, and smile,
    The war-worn legions defile
      Where the nation's noblest stand;
    And the Great Lieutenant looks on,
      With the Flower of a rescued Land,--
    For the terrible work is done,
    And the Good Fight is won
      For God and for Fatherland.

    So, from the fields they win,
      Our men are marching home,
      A million are marching home!
    To the cannon's thundering din,
      And banners on mast and dome,--
    And the ships come sailing in
    With all their ensigns dight,
    As erst for a great sea-fight.

    Let every color fly,
      Every pennon flaunt in pride;
    Wave, Starry Flag, on high!
    Float in the sunny sky,
      Stream o'er the stormy tide!
    For every stripe of stainless hue,
    And every star in the field of blue,
    Ten thousand of the brave and true
      Have laid them down and died.

    And in all our pride to-day
      We think, with a tender pain,
    Of those so far away
      They will not come home again.

    And our boys had fondly thought,
      To-day, in marching by,
    From the ground so dearly bought,
    And the fields so bravely fought,
      To have met their Father's eye.

    But they may not see him in place,
      Nor their ranks be seen of him;
    We look for the well-known face,
      And the splendor is strangely dim.

    Perish?--who was it said
      Our Leader had passed away?
    Dead? Our President dead?
      He has not died for a day!

    We mourn for a little breath
      Such as, late or soon, dust yields;
    But the Dark Flower of Death
      Blooms in the fadeless fields.

    We looked on a cold, still brow,
      But Lincoln could yet survive;
      He never was more alive,
    Never nearer than now.

    For the pleasant season found him,
      Guarded by faithful hands,
      In the fairest of Summer Lands;
    With his own brave Staff around him,
      There our President stands.

    There they are all at his side,
      The noble hearts and true,
      That did all men might do--
    Then slept, with their swords and died.

    And around--(for there can cease
      This earthly trouble)--they throng,
    The friends that have passed in peace,
      The foes that have seen their wrong.

    (But, a little from the rest,
      With sad eyes looking down,
      And brows of softened frown,
    With stern arms on the chest,
    Are two, standing abreast--
      Stonewall and Old John Brown.)

    But the stainless and the true,
      These by their President stand,
    To look on his last review,
      Or march with the old command.

    And lo! from a thousand fields,
      From all the old battle-haunts,
    A greater Army than Sherman wields,
      A grander Review than Grant's!

    Gathered home from the grave,
      Risen from sun and rain--
    Rescued from wind and wave
      Out of the stormy main--
    The Legions of our Brave
      Are all in their lines again!

    Many a stout Corps that went,
    Full-ranked, from camp and tent,
      And brought back a brigade;
    Many a brave regiment,
      That mustered only a squad.

    The lost battalions,
      That, when the fight went wrong,
    Stood and died at their guns,--
      The stormers steady and strong,

    With their best blood that bought
      Scrap, and ravelin, and wall,--
    The companies that fought
      Till a corporal's guard was all.

    Many a valiant crew,
      That passed in battle and wreck,--
    Ah, so faithful and true!
      They died on the bloody deck,
    They sank in the soundless blue.

    All the loyal and bold
      That lay on a soldier's bier,--
      The stretchers borne to the rear,
    The hammocks lowered to the hold.

    The shattered wreck we hurried,
      In death-fight, from deck and port,--
    The Blacks that Wagner buried--
      That died in the Bloody Fort!

    Comrades of camp and mess,
      Left, as they lay, to die,
    In the battle's sorest stress,
      When the storm of fight swept by,--
    They lay in the Wilderness,
      Ah, where did they not lie?

    In the tangled swamp they lay,
      They lay so still on the sward!--
    They rolled in the sick-bay,
    Moaning their lives away--
      They flushed in the fevered ward.

    They rotted in Libby yonder,
      They starved in the foul stockade--
    Hearing afar the thunder
      Of the Union cannonade!

    But the old wounds all are healed,
      And the dungeoned limbs are free,--
    The Blue Frocks rise from the field,
      The Blue Jackets out of the sea.

    They've 'scaped from the torture-den,
      They've broken the bloody sod,
    They're all come to life again!--
    The Third of a Million men
      That died for Thee and for God!

    A tenderer green than May
      The Eternal Season wears,--
    The blue of our summer's day
      Is dim and pallid to theirs,--
    The Horror faded away,
      And 'twas heaven all unawares!

    Tents on the Infinite Shore!
      Flags in the azuline sky,
    Sails on the seas once more!
      To-day, in the heaven on high,
    All under arms once more!

    The troops are all in their lines,
      The guidons flutter and play;
    But every bayonet shines,
      For all must march to-day.

    What lofty pennons flaunt?
    What mighty echoes haunt,
      As of great guns, o'er the main?
      Hark to the sound again--
    The Congress is all a-taunt!
      The Cumberland's manned again!

    All the ships and their men
      Are in line of battle to-day,--
    All at quarters, as when
      Their last roll thundered away,--
    All at their guns, as then,
    For the Fleet salutes to-day.

    The armies have broken camp
      On the vast and sunny plain,
      The drums are rolling again;
    With steady, measured tramp,
      They're marching all again.

    With alignment firm and solemn,
      Once again they form
    In mighty square and column,--
      But never for charge and storm.

    The Old Flag they died under
      Floats above them on the shore,
    And on the great ships yonder
      The ensigns dip once more--
    And once again the thunder
      Of the thirty guns and four!

    In solid platoons of steel,
      Under heaven's triumphal arch,
    The long lines break and wheel--
      And the word is, "Forward, march!"

    The Colors ripple o'erhead,
      The drums roll up to the sky,
    And with martial time and tread
      The regiments all pass by--
    The ranks of our faithful Dead,
      Meeting their President's eye.

    With a soldier's quiet pride
      They smile o'er the perished pain,
      For their anguish was not vain--
    For thee, O Father, we died!
      And we did not die in vain.

    March on, your last brave mile!
      Salute him, Star and Lace,
    Form round him, rank and file,
      And look on the kind, rough face;

    But the quaint and homely smile
      Has a glory and a grace
    It never had known erewhile--
      Never, in time and space.

    Close round him, hearts of pride!
    Press near him, side by side,--
      Our Father is not alone!
    For the Holy Right ye died,
    And Christ, the Crucified,
      Waits to welcome His own.


A statesman of the school of sound common sense, and a philanthropist
of the most practical type, a patriot without a superior--his monument
is a country preserved.

                                                  _C. S. Harrington._

Now all men begin to see that the plain people, who at last came to
love him and to lean upon his wisdom, and trust him absolutely, were
altogether right, and that in deed and purpose he was earnestly
devoted to the welfare of the whole country, and of all its

                                                       _R. B. Hayes._



    Some opulent force of genius, soul, and race,
      Some deep life-current from far centuries
      Flowed to his mind, and lighted his sad eyes,
    And gave his name, among great names, high place.

    But these are miracles we may not trace--
      Nor say why from a source and lineage mean
      He rose to grandeur never dreamt or seen,
    Or told on the long scroll of history's space.

    The tragic fate of one broad hemisphere
      Fell on stern days to his supreme control,
    All that the world and liberty held dear
      Pressed like a nightmare on his patient soul.
    Martyr beloved, on whom, when life was done,
    Fame looked, and saw another Washington!

[19] _By permission of the author._



    This bronze doth keep the very form and mold
      Of our great martyr's face. Yes, this is he:
      That brow all wisdom, all benignity;
    That human, humorous mouth; those cheeks that hold
    Like some harsh landscape all the summer's gold;
      That spirit fit for sorrow, as the sea
      For storms to beat on; the lone agony
    Those silent, patient lips too well foretold.
    Yes, this is he who ruled a world of men
      As might some prophet of the elder day--
      Brooding above the tempest and the fray
    With deep-eyed thought and more than mortal ken.
      A power was his beyond the touch of art
      Or armed strength--his pure and mighty heart.

[20] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._


To him belongs the credit of having worked his way up from the
humblest position an American freeman can occupy to the highest and
most powerful, without losing, in the least, the simplicity and
sincerity of nature which endeared him alike to the plantation slave
and the metropolitan millionaire.

The most malignant party opposition has never been able to call in
question the patriotism of his motives, or tarnish with the breath of
suspicion the brightness of his spotless fidelity. Ambition did not
warp, power corrupt, nor glory dazzle him.

                                               _Warren H. Cudworth._

By his steady, enduring confidence in God, and in the complete
ultimate success of the cause of God which is the cause of humanity,
more than in any other way does he now speak to us, and to the nation
he loved and served so well.

                                                      _P. D. Gurley._

Chieftain, farewell! The nation mourns thee. Mothers shall teach thy
name to their lisping children. The youth of our land shall emulate
thy virtues. Statesmen shall study thy record, and learn lessons of
wisdom. Mute though thy lips be, yet they still speak. Hushed is thy
voice, but its echoes of liberty are ringing through the world, and
the sons of bondage listen with joy.

                                                   _Matthew Simpson._



    Crown we our heroes with a holier wreath
    Than man e'er wore upon this side of death;
    Mix with their laurels deathless asphodels,
    And chime their pæans from the sacred bells!
    Nor in your prayers forget the martyred Chief,
    Fallen for the gospel of your own belief,
    Who, ere he mounted to the people's throne,
    Asked for your prayers, and joined in them his own.
    I knew the man. I see him, as he stands
    With gifts of mercy in his outstretched hands;
    A kindly light within his gentle eyes,
    Sad as the toil in which his heart grew wise;
    His lips half-parted with the constant smile
    That kindled truth, but foiled the deepest guile;
    His head bent forward, and his willing ear
    Divinely patient right and wrong to hear:
    Great in his goodness, humble in his state,
    Firm in his purpose, yet not passionate,
    He led his people with a tender hand,
    And won by love a sway beyond command,
    Summoned by lot to mitigate a time
    Frenzied with rage, unscrupulous with crime,
    He bore his mission with so meek a heart
    That Heaven itself took up his people's part;
    And when he faltered, helped him ere he fell,
    Eking his efforts out by miracle.
    No king this man, by grace of God's intent;
    No, something better, freeman,--President!
    A nature, modeled on a higher plan,
    Lord of himself, an inborn gentleman!



In the great drama of the rebellion there were two acts. The first was
the war, with its battles and sieges, its victories and defeats, its
sufferings and tears. Just as the curtain was lifting on the second
and final act, the restoration of peace and liberty, the evil spirit
of the rebellion, in the fury of despair, nerved and directed the hand
of an assassin to strike down the chief character in both. It was no
one man who killed Abraham Lincoln; it was the embodied spirit of
treason and slavery, inspired with fearful and despairing hate, that
struck him down in the moment of the nation's supremest joy.

Sir, there are times in the history of men and nations when they stand
so near the veil that separates mortals from the immortals, time from
eternity, and men from God that they can almost hear the beatings and
pulsations of the heart of the Infinite. Through such a time has this
nation passed.

When two hundred and fifty thousand brave spirits passed from the
field of honor, through that thin veil, to the presence of God, and
when at last its parting folds admitted the martyr President to the
company of those dead heroes of the Republic, the nation stood so near
the veil that the whispers of God were heard by the children of men.
Awe-stricken by his voice, the American people knelt in tearful
reverence and made a solemn covenant with him and with each other that
this nation should be saved from its enemies, that all its glories
should be restored, and, on the ruins of slavery and treason, the
temples of freedom and justice should be built, and should survive

It remains for us, consecrated by that great event and under a
covenant with God, to keep that faith, to go forward in the great work
until it shall be completed. Following the lead of that great man, and
obeying the high behests of God, let us remember that:

    He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
    He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat;
    Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer him! be jubilant, my feet!
      Our God is marching on.



    Not as when some great captain falls
    In battle, where his country calls,
        Beyond the struggling lines
        That push his dread designs

    To doom, by some stray ball struck dead:
    Or in the last charge, at the head
        Of his determined men,
        Who must be victors then!

    Nor as when sink the civic great,
    The safer pillars of the State,
        Whose calm, mature, wise words
        Suppress the need of swords!--

    With no such tears as e'er were shed
    Above the noblest of our dead
        Do we to-day deplore
        The man that is no more!

    Our sorrow hath a wider scope,
    Too strange for fear, too vast for hope,--
        A wonder, blind and dumb,
        That waits--what is to come!

    Not more astonished had we been
    If madness, that dark night, unseen,
        Had in our chambers crept,
        And murdered while we slept!

    We woke to find a mourning earth--
    Our Lares shivered on the hearth,--
        To roof-tree fallen,--all
        That could affright, appall!

    Such thunderbolts, in other lands,
    Have smitten the rod from royal hands,
        But spared, with us, till now,
        Each laurelled Cæsar's brow!

    No Cæsar he, whom we lament,
    A man without a precedent,
        Sent it would seem, to do
        His work--and perish too!

    Not by the weary cares of state,
    The endless tasks, which will not wait,
        Which, often done in vain,
        Must yet be done again:

    Not in the dark, wild tide of war,
    Which rose so high, and rolled so far,
        Sweeping from sea to sea
        In awful anarchy:--

    Four fateful years of mortal strife,
    Which slowly drained the nation's life,
        (Yet, for each drop that ran
        There sprang an armed man!)

    Not then;--but when by measures meet,--
    By victory, and by defeat,--
        By courage, patience, skill,
        The people's fixed "We will!"

    Had pierced, had crushed rebellion dead,--
    Without a hand, without a head:--
        At last, when all was well,
        He fell--O, how he fell!

    The time,--the place,--the stealing shape,--
    The coward shot,--the swift escape,--
        The wife,--the widow's scream,--
        It is a hideous dream!

    A dream?--what means this pageant, then?
    These multitudes of solemn men,
        Who speak not when they meet,
        But throng the silent street?

    The flags half-mast, that late so high
    Flaunted at each new victory?
        (The stars no brightness shed,
        But bloody looks the red!)

    The black festoons that stretch for miles,
    And turn the streets to funeral aisles?
        (No house too poor to show
        The nation's badge of woe!)

    The cannon's sudden, sullen boom,--
    The bells that toll of death and doom,--
        The rolling of the drums,--
        The dreadful car that comes?

    Cursed be the hand that fired the shot!
    The frenzied brain that hatched the plot!
        Thy country's father slain
        By thee, thou worse than Cain!

    Tyrants have fallen by such as thou,
    And good hath followed--may it now!
        (God lets bad instruments
        Produce the best events.)

    But he, the man we mourn to-day,
    No tyrant was: so mild a sway
        In one such weight who bore
        Was never known before!

    Cool should be he, of balanced powers.
    The ruler of a race like ours,
        Impatient, headstrong, wild,--
        The man to guide the child!

    And this he was, who most unfit
    (So hard the sense of God to hit!)
        Did seem to fill his place.
        With such a homely face,--

    Such rustic manners,--speech uncouth,--
    (That somehow blundered out the truth!)
        Untried, untrained to bear
        The more than kingly care!

    Ay! And his genius put to scorn
    The proudest in the purple born,
        Whose wisdom never grew
        To what, untaught, he knew--

    The people, of whom he was one.
    No gentleman like Washington,--
        (Whose bones, methinks, make room,
        To have him in their tomb!)

    A laboring man, with horny hands,
    Who swung the axe, who tilled his lands,
        Who shrank from nothing new,
        But did as poor men do!

    One of the people! Born to be
    Their curious epitome;
        To share, yet rise above
        Their shifting hate and love.

    Common his mind (it seemed so then),
    His thought the thoughts of other men:
        Plain were his words, and poor--
        But now they will endure!

    No hasty fool, of stubborn will,
    But prudent, cautious, pliant, still;
        Who, since his work was good,
        Would do it, as he could.

    Doubting, was not ashamed to doubt,
    And, lacking prescience, went without:
        Often appeared to halt,
        And was, of course, at fault:

    Heard all opinions, nothing loth,
    And loving both sides, angered both:
        Was--not like justice, blind,
        But watchful, clement, kind.

    No hero, this, of Roman mould;
    Nor like our stately sires of old:
        Perhaps he was not great--
        But he preserved that State!

    O honest face, which all men knew!
    O tender heart, but known to few!
        O wonder of the age,
        Cut off by tragic rage!

    Peace! Let the long procession come,
    For hark!--the mournful, muffled drum--
        The trumpet's wail afar,--
        And see! the awful car!

    Peace! Let the sad procession go,
    While cannon boom, and bells toll slow:
        And go, thou sacred car,
        Bearing our woe afar!

    Go, darkly borne, from State to State,
    Whose loyal, sorrowing cities wait
        To honor all they can
        The dust of that good man!

    Go, grandly borne, with such a train
    As greatest kings might die to gain:
        The just, the wise, the brave
        Attend thee to the grave!

    And you, the soldiers of our wars,
    Bronzed veterans, grim with noble scars,
        Salute him once again,
        Your late commander--slain!

    Yes, let your tears, indignant, fall,
    But leave your muskets on the wall:
        Your country needs you now
        Beside the forge, the plough!

    (When justice shall unsheathe her brand,--
    If mercy may not stay her hand,
        Nor would we have it so--
        She must direct the blow!)

    And you, amid the master-race,
    Who seem so strangely out of place,
        Know ye who cometh? He
        Who hath declared ye free!

    Bow while the body passes--nay,
    Fall on your knees, and weep, and pray!
        Weep, weep--I would ye might--
        Your poor, black faces white!

    And children, you must come in bands,
    With garlands in your little hands,
        Of blue, and white, and red,
        To strew before the dead!

    So sweetly, sadly, sternly goes
    The fallen to his last repose:
        Beneath no mighty dome.
        But in his modest home;

    The churchyard where his children rest,
    The quiet spot that suits him best:
        There shall his grave be made,
        And there his bones be laid!

    And there his countrymen shall come,
    With memory proud, with pity dumb,
        And strangers far and near,
        For many and many a year!

    For many a year, and many an age,
    While history on her ample page
        The virtues shall enroll
        Of that paternal soul!

[21] _By permission of Charles Scribner's Sons._


From "The Lives and Deeds of Our Self-made Men"[22]



On the first of May, 1865, Sir George Grey, in the English House of
Commons, moved an address to the Crown, to express the feelings of the
House upon the assassination of Mr. Lincoln. In this address he said
that he was convinced that Mr. Lincoln "in the hour of victory, and in
the triumph of victory, would have shown that wise forbearance, and
that generous consideration, which would have added tenfold lustre to
the fame that he had already acquired, amidst the varying fortunes of
the war."

In seconding the second address, at the same time and place, Mr.
Benjamin Disraeli said: "But in the character of the victim, and in
the very accessories of his almost latest moments, there is something
so homely and so innocent that it takes the subject, as it were, out
of the pomp of history, and out of the ceremonial of diplomacy. It
touches the heart of nations, and appeals to the domestic sentiments
of mankind."

In the House of Lords, Lord John Russell, in moving a similar address,
observed: "President Lincoln was a man who, although he had not been
distinguished before his election, had from that time displayed a
character of so much integrity, sincerity and straightforwardness, and
at the same time of so much kindness, that if any one could have been
able to alleviate the pain and animosity which have prevailed during
the civil war, I believe President Lincoln was the man to have done
so." And again, in speaking of the question of amending the
Constitution so as to prohibit slavery, he said: "We must all feel
that there again the death of President Lincoln deprives the United
States of the man who was the leader on this subject."

Mr. John Stuart Mill, the distinguished philosopher, in a letter to an
American friend, used far stronger expressions than these guarded
phrases of high officials. He termed Mr. Lincoln "the great citizen
who had afforded so noble an example of the qualities befitting the
first magistrate of a free people, and who, in the most trying
circumstances, had gradually won not only the admiration, but almost
the personal affection of all who love freedom or appreciate
simplicity or uprightness."

Professor Goldwin Smith writing to the London Daily News, began by
saying, "It is difficult to measure the calamity which the United
States and the world have sustained by the murder of President
Lincoln. The assassin has done his best to strike down mercy and
moderation, of both of which this good and noble life was the

Senhor Rebello da Silva, a member of the Portuguese Chamber of Peers,
in moving a resolution on the death of Mr. Lincoln, thus outlined his
character: "He is truly great who rises to the loftiest heights from
profound obscurity, relying solely on his own merits as did Napoleon,
Washington, Lincoln. For these arose to power and greatness, not
through any favor or grace, by a chance cradle, or genealogy, but
through the prestige of their own deeds, through the nobility which
begins and ends with themselves--the sole offspring of their own
works.... Lincoln was of this privileged class; he belonged to this
aristocracy. In infancy, his energetic soul was nourished by poverty.
In youth, he learned through toil the love of liberty, and respect for
the rights of man. Even to the age of twenty-two, educated in
adversity, his hands made callous by honorable labor, he rested from
the fatigues of the field, spelling out, in the pages of the Bible, in
the lessons of the gospel, in the fugitive leaves of the daily
journal--which the aurora opens, and the night disperses--the first
rudiments of instruction, which his solitary meditations ripened. The
chrysalis felt one day the ray of the sun, which called it to life,
broke its involucrum, and it launched forth fearlessly from the
darkness of its humble cloister into the luminous spaces of its
destiny. The farmer, day-laborer, shepherd, like Cincinnatus, left
the ploughshare in the half-broken furrow, and, legislator of his own
State, and afterwards of the Great Republic, saw himself proclaimed in
the tribunal the popular chief of several millions of people, the
maintainer of the holy principle inaugurated by Wilberforce."

There are some vague and some only partially correct statements in
this diffuse passage; but it shows plainly enough how enthusiastically
the Portuguese nobleman had admired the antique simplicity and
strength of Mr. Lincoln's character.

Dr. Merle d'Aubigne, the historian of the Reformation, writing to Mr.
Fogg, U. S. Minister to Switzerland, said: "While not venturing to
compare him to the great sacrifice of Golgotha, which gave liberty to
the captives, is it not just, in this hour, to recall the word of an
apostle (I John iii, 16): 'Hereby perceive we the love of God, because
he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for
the brethren?' Who can say that the President did not lay down his
life by the firmness of his devotion to a great duty? The name of
Lincoln will remain one of the greatest that history has to inscribe
on its annals.... Among the legacies which Lincoln leaves to us, we
shall all regard as the most precious, his spirit of equity, of
moderation, and of peace, according to which he will still preside, if
I may so speak, over the restoration of your great nation."

The "Democratic Association" of Florence, addressed "to the Free
People of the United States," a letter, in which they term Mr. Lincoln
"the honest, the magnanimous citizen, the most worthy chief
magistrate of your glorious Federation."

The eminent French liberal, M. Edouard Laboulaye, in a speech showing
a remarkably just understanding and extremely broad views with respect
to the affairs and the men of the United States, said: "Mr. Lincoln
was one of those heroes who are ignorant of themselves; his thoughts
will reign after him. The name of Washington has already been
pronounced, and I think with reason. Doubtless Mr. Lincoln resembled
Franklin more than Washington. By his origin, his arch good nature,
his ironical good sense, and his love of anecdotes and jesting, he was
of the same blood as the printer of Philadelphia. But it is
nevertheless true that in less than a century, America has passed
through two crises in which its liberty might have been lost, if it
had not had honest men at its head; and that each time it has had the
happiness to meet the man best fitted to serve it. If Washington
founded the Union, Lincoln has saved it. History will draw together
and unite those two names. A single word explains Mr. Lincoln's whole
life: it was Duty. Never did he put himself forward; never did he
think of himself; never did he seek one of those ingenious
combinations which puts the head of a state in bold relief, and
enhances his importance at the expense of the country; his only
ambition, his only thought was faithfully to fulfil the mission which
his fellow-citizens had entrusted to him.... His inaugural address,
March 4, 1865, shows us what progress had been made in his soul. This
piece of familiar eloquence is a master-piece; it is the testament of
a patriot. I do not believe that any eulogy of the President would
equal this page on which he had depicted himself in all his greatness
and all his simplicity.... History is too often only a school of
immorality. It shows us the victory of force or stratagem much more
than the success of justice, moderation, and probity. It is too often
only the apotheosis of triumphant selfishness. There are noble and
great exceptions; happy those who can increase the number, and thus
bequeath a noble and beneficent example to posterity! Mr. Lincoln is
among these. He would willingly have repeated, after Franklin, that
'falsehood and artifice are the practice of fools who have not wit
enough to be honest.' All his private life, and all his political
life, were inspired and directed by this profound faith in the
omnipotence of virtue. It is through this, again, that he deserves to
be compared with Washington; it is through this that he will remain in
history with the most glorious name that can be merited by the head of
a free people--a name given him by his cotemporaries, and which will
be preserved to him by posterity--that of Honest Abraham Lincoln."

A letter from the well-known French historian, Henri Martin, to the
Paris Siècle, contained the following passages: "Lincoln will remain
the austere and sacred personification of a great epoch, the most
faithful expression of democracy. This simple and upright man, prudent
and strong, elevated step by step from the artisan's bench to the
command of a great nation, and always without parade and without
effort, at the height of his position; executing without
precipitation, without flourish, and with invincible good sense, the
most colossal acts; giving to the world this decisive example of the
civil power in a republic; directing a gigantic war, without free
institutions being for an instant compromised or threatened by
military usurpation; dying, finally, at the moment when, after
conquering, he was intent on pacification, ... this man will stand
out, in the traditions of his country and the world, as an incarnation
of the people, and of modern democracy itself. The great work of
emancipation had to be sealed, therefore, with the blood of the just,
even as it was inaugurated with the blood of the just. The tragic
history of the abolition of slavery, which opened with the gibbet of
John Brown, will close with the assassination of Lincoln.

"And now let him rest by the side of Washington, as the second founder
of the great Republic. European democracy is present in spirit at his
funeral, as it voted in its heart for his re-election, and applauded
the victory in the midst of which he passed away. It will wish with
one accord to associate itself with the monument that America will
raise to him upon the capitol of prostrate slavery."

The London Globe, in commenting on Mr. Lincoln's assassination, said
that he "had come nobly through a great ordeal. He had extorted the
admiration even of his opponents, at least on this side of the water.
They had come to admire, reluctantly, his firmness, honesty, fairness
and sagacity. He tried to do, and had done, what he considered his
duty, with magnanimity."

The London Express said, "He had tried to show the world how great,
how moderate, and how true he could be, in the moment of his great

The Liverpool Post said, "If ever there was a man who in trying times
avoided offenses, it was Mr. Lincoln. If there ever was a leader in a
civil contest who shunned acrimony and eschewed passion, it was he. In
a time of much cant and affectation he was simple, unaffected, true,
transparent. In a season of many mistakes he was never known to be
wrong.... By a happy tact, not often so felicitously blended with pure
evidence of soul, Abraham Lincoln knew when to speak, and never spoke
too early or too late.... The memory of his statesmanship, translucent
in the highest degree, and above the average, and openly faithful,
more than almost any of this age has witnessed, to fact and right,
will live in the hearts and minds of the whole Anglo-Saxon race, as
one of the noblest examples of that race's highest qualities. Add to
all this that Abraham Lincoln was the humblest and pleasantest of men,
that he had raised himself from nothing, and that to the last no grain
of conceit or ostentation was found in him, and there stands before
the world a man whose like we shall not soon look upon again."

In the remarks of M. Rouher, the French Minister, in the Legislative
Assembly, on submitting to that Assembly the official despatch of the
French Foreign Minister of the Chargé at Washington, M. Rouher
remarked, of Mr. Lincoln's personal character, that he had exhibited
"that calm firmness and indomitable energy which belong to strong
minds, and are the necessary conditions of the accomplishment of great
duties. In the hour of victory he exhibited generosity, moderation and

And in the despatch, which was signed by Mr. Drouyn de L'Huys, were
the following expressions: "Abraham Lincoln exhibited, in the exercise
of the power placed in his hands, the most substantial qualities. In
him, firmness of character was allied to elevation of principle.... In
reviewing these last testimonies to his exalted wisdom, as well as the
examples of good sense, of courage, and of patriotism, which he has
given, history will not hesitate to place him in the rank of citizens
who have the most honored their country."

In the Prussian Lower House, Herr Loewes, in speaking of the news of
the assassination, said that Mr. Lincoln "performed his duties without
pomp or ceremony, and relied on that dignity of his inner self alone,
which is far above rank, orders and titles. He was a faithful servant,
not less of his own commonwealth than of civilization, freedom and

[22] _By permission of Dana Estes Company._



    After the eyes that looked, the lips that spake
    Here, from the shadows of impending death,
            Those words of solemn breath,
            What voice may fitly break
    The silence, doubly hallowed, left by him?
    We can but bow the head, with eyes grown dim,
        And as a Nation's litany, repeat
    The phrase his martyrdom hath made complete,
    Noble as then, but now more sadly sweet:
    "Let us, the Living, rather dedicate
    Ourselves to the unfinished work, which they
    Thus far advanced so nobly on its way,
            And saved the perilled State!
    Let us, upon this field where they, the brave,
    Their last full measure of devotion gave,
    Highly resolve they have not died in vain!--
    That, under God, the Nation's later birth
        Of Freedom, and the people's gain
    Of their own Sovereignty, shall never wane
    And perish from the circle of the earth!"
    From such a perfect text, shall Song aspire
            To light her faded fire,
        And into wandering music turn
    Its virtue, simple, sorrowful, and stern?
    His voice all elegies anticipated;
            For, whatsoe'er the strain,
            We hear that one refrain:
    "We consecrate ourselves to them, the Consecrated!"

[Transcriber's Note: Some of the poem omitted in original.]


Thank God for Abraham Lincoln! However lightly the words may sometimes
pass your lips, let us speak them now and always of this man
sincerely, solemnly, reverently, as so often dying soldiers and
bereaved women and little children spoke them. Thank God for Abraham
Lincoln--for the Lincoln who died and whose ashes rest at
Springfield--for the Lincoln who lives in the hearts of the American
people--in their widened sympathies and uplifted ideals. Thank God for
the work he did, is doing, and is to do. Thank God for Abraham

                                                 _James Willis Gleed._

Let us not then try to compare and to measure him with others, and let
us not quarrel as to whether he was greater or less than Washington,
as to whether either of them set to perform the other's task would
have succeeded in it, or, perchance would have failed. Not only is the
competition itself an ungracious one, but to make Lincoln a competitor
is foolish and useless. He was the most individual man who ever lived;
let us be content with this fact. Let us take him simply as Abraham
Lincoln, singular and solitary, as we all see that he was; let us be
thankful if we can make a niche big enough for him among the world's
heroes, without worrying ourselves about the proportion which it may
bear to other niches; and there let him remain forever, lonely, as in
his strange lifetime, impressive, mysterious, unmeasured, and

                                                _John T. Morse, Jr._

Those who are raised high enough to be able to look over the stone
walls, those who are intelligent enough to take a broader view of
things than that which is bounded by the lines of any one State or
section, understand that the unity of the nation is of the first
importance, and are prepared to make those sacrifices and concessions,
within the bounds of loyalty, which are necessary for its maintenance,
and to cherish that temper of fraternal affection which alone can fill
the form of national existence with the warm blood of life. The first
man after the Civil War, to recognize this great principle and to act
upon it was the head of the nation,--that large and generous soul
whose worth was not fully felt until he was taken from his people by
the stroke of the assassin, in the very hour when his presence was
most needed for the completion of the work of reunion.

                                                 _Henry Van Dyke._


From _MacMillan's Magazine_, England

    LINCOLN! When men would name a man
      Just, unperturbed, magnanimous,
    Tried in the lowest seat of all,
      Tried in the chief seat of the house--

    Lincoln! When men would name a man
      Who wrought the great work of his age,
    Who fought and fought the noblest fight,
      And marshalled it from stage to stage,

    Victorious, out of dusk and dark,
      And into dawn and on till day,
    Most humble when the pæans rang,
      Least rigid when the enemy lay

    Prostrated for his feet to tread--
      This name of Lincoln will they name,
    A name revered, a name of scorn,
      Of scorn to sundry, not to fame.

    Lincoln, the man who freed the slave;
      Lincoln whom never self enticed;
    Slain Lincoln, worthy found to die
      A soldier of his captain Christ.


    This man whose homely face you look upon,
    Was one of Nature's masterful, great men;
    Born with strong arms, that unfought battles won,
    Direct of speech, and cunning with the pen.
    Chosen for large designs, he had the art
    Of winning with his humor, and he went
    Straight to his mark, which was the human heart;
    Wise, too, for what he could not break he bent.
    Upon his back a more than Atlas-load,
    The burden of the Commonwealth, was laid;
    He stooped, and rose up to it, though the road
    Shot suddenly downwards, not a whit dismayed.
    Hold, warriors, councillors, kings! All now give place
    To this dead Benefactor of the race!

                                     _Richard Henry Stoddard._



    Now must the storied Potomac
      Laurels for ever divide,
    Now to the Sangamon fameless
      Give of its century's pride.

    Sangamon, stream of the prairies,
      Placidly westward that flows,
    Far in whose city of silence
      Calm he has sought his repose.
    Over our Washington's river
      Sunrise beams rosy and fair,
    Sunset on Sangamon fairer--
      Father and martyr lies there.

    Kings under pyramids slumber,
      Sealed in the Lybian sands;
    Princes in gorgeous cathedrals
      Decked with the spoil of the lands
    Kinglier, princelier sleeps he
      Couched 'mid the prairies serene,
    Only the turf and the willow
      Him and God's heaven between!
    Temple nor column to cumber
      Verdure and bloom of the sod--
    So, in the vale by Beth-peor,
      Moses was buried of God.

    Break into blossom, O prairies!
      Snowy and golden and red;
    Peers of the Palestine lilies
      Heap for your glorious dead!
    Roses as fair as of Sharon,
      Branches as stately as palm,
    Odors as rich as the spices--
      Cassia and aloes and balm--
    Mary the loved and Salome,
      All with a gracious accord,
    Ere the first glow of the morning
      Brought to the tomb of the Lord

    Wind of the West! breathe around him
      Soft as the saddened air's sigh
    When to the summit of Pisgah
      Moses had journeyed to die.
    Clear as its anthem that floated
      Wide o'er the Moabite plain,
    Low with the wail of the people
      Blending its burdened refrain.
    Rarer, O Wind! and diviner,--
      Sweet as the breeze that went by
    When, over Olivet's mountain,
      Jesus was lost in the sky.

    Not for thy sheaves nor savannas
      Crown we thee, proud Illinois!
    Here in his grave is thy grandeur;
      Born of his sorrow thy joy.
    Only the tomb by Mount Zion
      Hewn for the Lord do we hold
    Dearer than his in thy prairies,
      Girdled with harvests of gold.
    Still for the world, through the ages
      Wreathing with glory his brow,
    He shall be Liberty's Saviour--
      Freedom's Jerusalem thou!

[23] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._




    When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd,
    And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
    I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

    Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
    Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
    And thought of him I love.


    O powerful western fallen star!
    O shades of night--O moody, tearful night!
    O great star disappear'd--O the black murk that hides the star!
    O cruel hands that hold me powerless--O helpless soul of me!
    O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul.


    In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash'd
    Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich
    With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong
        I love,

    With every leaf a miracle--and from this bush in the dooryard,
    With delicate-color'd blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
    A sprig with its flower I break.


    In the swamp in secluded recesses,
    A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.
    Solitary the thrush,
    The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,
    Sings by himself a song.

    Song of the bleeding throat,
    Death's outlet song of life (for well, dear brother, I know,
    If thou wast not granted to sing thou would'st surely die).


    Over the breast of the spring, the land, amid cities,
    Amid lanes and through old woods, where lately the violets peep'd
        from the ground, spotting the gray debris,
    Amid the grass in the fields each side of the lanes, passing the
        endless grass.
    Passing the yellow-spear'd wheat, every grain from its shroud in
        the dark-brown fields uprisen,
    Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the orchards,
    Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave,
    Night and day journeys a coffin.


    Coffin that passes through lanes and streets,
    Through day and night with the great cloud darkening the land,
    With the pomp of the inloop'd flags with the cities draped in black,
    With the show of the States themselves as of crape-veil'd women
    With processions long and winding and the flambeaus of the night,
    With the countless torches lit, with the silent sea of faces and
        the unbared heads,
    With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces,
    With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising
        strong and solemn,
    With all the mournful voices of the dirges pour'd around the coffin,
    The dim-lit churches and the shuddering organs--where amid these you
    With the tolling, tolling bells' perpetual clang,
    Here, coffin that slowly passes,
    I give you my sprig of lilac.


    (Nor for you, for one alone,
    Blossoms and branches green to coffins all I bring,
    For fresh as the morning, thus would I chant a song for you, O sane
        and sacred death.

    All over bouquets of roses,
    O death, I cover you over with roses and early lilies,
    But mostly and now the lilac that blooms the first.
    Copious I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes,
    With loaded arms I come, pouring for you,
    For you and the coffins all of you, O death).


    O western orb sailing the heaven,
    Now I know what you must have meant as a month since I walk'd,
    As I walk'd in silence the transparent shadowy night,
    As I saw you had something to tell as you bent to me night after
    As you droop'd from the sky low down as if to my side (while the
        other stars all look'd on),
    As we wander'd together the solemn night (for something, I know not
        what, kept me from sleep),
    As the night advanced, and I saw on the rim of the west how full
        you were of woe,
    As I stood on the rising ground in the breeze in the cool
        transparent night,
    As I watch'd where you pass'd and was lost in the netherward black
        of the night,
    As my soul in its trouble dissatisfied sank, as where you, sad orb,
    Concluded, dropt in the night, and was gone.


    Sing on there in the swamp,
    O singer, bashful and tender, I hear your notes, I hear your call,
    I hear, I come presently, I understand you,
    But a moment I linger, for the lustrous star has detain'd me,
    The star, my departing comrade holds and detains


    O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved?
    And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone?
    And what shall my perfume be for the grave of him I love?
    Sea-winds blown from east and west,
    Blown from the Eastern sea and blown from the Western sea, till
        there on the prairies meeting,
    These and with these and the breath of my chant,
    I'll perfume the grave of him I love.


    O what shall I hang on the chamber walls?
    And what shall the pictures be that I hang on the walls,
    To adorn the burial-house of him I love?

    Pictures of growing spring and farms and homes,
    With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and
    With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking
        sun, burning, expanding the air,
    With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves
        of the trees prolific,
    In the distance the flowing glaze, the breast of the
    river, with a wind-dapple here and there,
    With ranging hills on the banks, with many a line against the sky,
        and shadows,
    And the city at hand with dwellings so dense, and stacks of
    And all the scenes of life and the workshops, and the workmen
        homeward returning.


    Lo, body and soul--this land,
    My own Manhattan with spires, and the sparkling and hurrying tides,
        and the ships,
    The varied and ample land, the South and the North in the light,
        Ohio's shores and flashing Missouri,
    And ever the far-spreading prairies cover'd with grass and corn.

    Lo, the most excellent sun so calm and haughty,
    The violet and purple morn with just-felt breezes,
    The gentle soft-born measureless light,
    The miracle spreading, bathing all, the fulfill'd noon,
    The coming eve delicious, the welcome night and the stars,
    Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and land.


    Sing on, sing on, you gray-brown bird,
    Sing from the swamps, the recesses, pour your chant from the bushes,
    Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines.

    Sing on, dearest brother, warble your reedy song,
    Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe.

    O liquid and free and tender!
    O wild and loose to my soul--O wondrous singer!
    You only I hear--yet the star holds me (but will soon depart),
    Yet the lilac with mastering odor holds me.


    Now while I sat in the day and look'd forth,
    In the close of the day with its light and the fields of spring,
        and the farmers preparing their crops,
    In the large unconscious scenery of my land with its lakes and forests,
    In the heavenly aerial beauty (after the perturb'd winds and the
    Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the
        voices of children and women,
    The many-moving sea-tides, and I saw the ships how they sail'd,
    And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy
        with labor,
    And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with
        its meals and minutia of daily usages,
    And the streets, how their throbbings throbb'd, and the cities
        pent--lo, then and there,
    Falling upon them all and among them all, enveloping me with the
    Appear'd the cloud, appear'd the long black trail,
    And I knew death, its thought, and the sacred knowledge of death.
    Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me,
    And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me,
    And in the middle as with companions, and as holding the hands of
    I fled forth to the hiding, receiving night that talks not,
    Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in the
    To the solemn shadowy cedars and ghostly pines so still.

    And the singer so shy to the rest receiv'd me,
    The gray-brown bird I know receiv'd us comrades three,
    And he sang the carol of death, and a verse for him I love.

    From deep secluded recesses,
    From the fragrant cedars and the ghostly pines so still,
    Came the carol of the bird.

    And the charm of the carol rapt me,
    As I held as if by their hands my comrades in the night,
    And the voice of my spirit tallied the song of the bird.

    _Come, lovely and soothing death,
    Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving,
    In the day, in the night, to all, to each,
    Sooner or later, delicate death._

    _Prais'd be the fathomless universe,
    For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious,
    And for love, sweet love--but praise! praise! praise!
    For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding death.

    Dark mother, always gliding near with soft feet,
    Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome?_
    _Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all,
    I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come

    _Approach, strong deliveress,
    When it is so, when thou hast taken them I joyously sing the dead,
    Lost in the loving, floating ocean of thee,
    Laved in the flood of thy bliss, O death._

    _From me to thee, glad serenades,
    Dances for thee I propose saluting thee, adornments and feastings
        for thee,
    And the sights of the open landscape and the high-spread sky are
    And life and the fields, and the huge and thoughtful night._

    _The night in silence under many a star,
    The ocean shore and the husky whispering wave whose voice I know,
    And the soul turning to thee, O vast and well-veil'd death,
    And the body gratefully nestling close to thee._

    _Over the tree-tops I float thee a song,
    Over the rising and sinking waves, over the myriad fields and the
        prairies wide,
    Over the dense-pack'd cities all and the teeming wharves and ways,
    I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee, O death._


    To the tally of my soul,
    Loud and strong kept up the gray-brown bird,
    With pure deliberate notes spreading, filling the night.

    Loud in the pines and cedars dim,
    Clear in the freshness moist and the swamp-perfume,
    And I with my comrades there in the night.

    While my sight that was bound in my eyes unclosed,
    As to long panoramas of visions.

    And I saw askant the armies,
    I saw as in noiseless dreams hundreds of battle-flags,
    Borne through the smoke of the battles and pierc'd with missiles
        I saw them,
    And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn and bloody,
    And at last but a few shreds left on the staffs (and all in silence),
    And the staffs all splinter'd and broken.

    I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them,
    And the white skeletons of young men, I saw them,
    I saw the debris and debris of all the slain soldiers of the war,
    But I saw they were not as was thought,
    They themselves were fully at rest, they suffer'd not,
    The living remain'd and suffer'd, the mother suffer'd,
    And the armies that remain'd suffer'd.


    Passing the visions, passing the night,
    Passing, unloosing the hold of my comrade's hands,
    Passing the song of the hermit bird and the tallying song of my soul,
    Victorious song, death's outlet song, yet varying ever-altering song,
    As low and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling, flooding
        the night,
    Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet again
        bursting with joy,
    Covering the earth and filling the spread of the heaven,
    As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses,
    Passing, I leave thee lilac with heart-shaped leaves,
    I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with spring.

    I cease from song for thee,
    From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with
    O comrade lustrous with silver face in the night.

    Yet each to keep and all, retrievements out of the night,
    The song, the wondrous chant of the grey-brown bird,
    And the tallying chant, the echo arous'd in my soul,
    With the lustrous and drooping star with the countenance full of woe,
    With the holders holding my hand nearing the call of the bird,
    Comrades mine and I in the midst, and their memory ever to keep,
        for the dead I loved so well.
    For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands--and this
        for his dear sake,
    Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul,
    There in the fragrant pines and cedars, dusk and dim.

[24] _By permission of David McKay._





_Revised especially for this volume._

    When the Norn Mother saw the Whirlwind Hour
    Greatening and darkening as it hurried on,
    She left the Heaven of Heroes and came down
    To make a man to meet the mortal need.
    She took the tried clay of the common road--
    Clay warm yet with the genial heat of Earth,
    Dashed through it all a strain of prophecy;
    Tempered the heap with thrill of human tears;
    Then mixed a laughter with the serious stuff.
    Into the shape she breathed a flame to light
    That tender, tragic, ever-changing face.
    Here was a man to hold against the world,
    A man to match the mountains and the sea.

    The color of the ground was in him, the red earth;
    The smack and smell of elemental things--
    The rectitude and patience of the rocks;
    The good-will of the rain that falls for all;
    The courage of the bird that dares the sea;
    The gladness of the wind that shakes the corn;
    The friendly welcome of the wayside well;
    The mercy of the snow that hides all scars;
    The undelaying justice of the light
    That gives as freely to the shrinking flower
    As to the great oak flaring to the wind--
    To the grave's low hill as to the Matterhorn
    That shoulders out the sky.

                  Born of the ground,
    The Great West nursed him on her rugged knees.
    Her rigors keyed the sinews of his will;
    The strength of virgin forests braced his mind;
    The hush of spacious prairies stilled his soul.
    The tools were his first teachers, kindly stern.
    The plow, the flail, the maul, the echoing ax
    Taught him their homely wisdom, and their peace.
    A rage for knowledge drove his restless mind:
    He fed his spirit with the bread of books,
    He slaked his thirst at all the wells of thought.
    Hunger and hardship, penury and pain
    Waylaid his youth and wrestled for his life.
    They came to master, but he made them serve.

    From prairie cabin up to Capitol,
    One fire was on his spirit, one resolve--
    To strike the stroke that rounds the perfect star.
    The grip that swung the ax on Sangamon
    Was on the pen that spelled Emancipation.
    He built the rail-pile as he built the State,
    Pouring his splendid strength through every blow,
    The conscience of him testing every stroke,
    To make his deed the measure of a man.

    So came the Captain with the thinking heart;
    And when the judgment thunders split the house,
    Wrenching the rafters from their ancient rest,
    He held the ridgepole up, and spiked again
    The rafters of the Home. He held his place--
    Held the long purpose like a growing tree--
    Held on through blame and faltered not at praise.
    And when he fell in whirlwind, he went down
    As when a lordly cedar green with boughs
    Goes down with a great shout upon the hills,
    And leaves a lonesome place against the sky.

[25] _All rights reserved by the author._

From the Memorial Address to Congress on the



_Senators, Representatives of America:_

That God rules in the affairs of men is as certain as any truth of
physical science. On the great moving power which is from the
beginning hangs the world of the senses and the world of thought and
action. Eternal wisdom marshals the great procession of the nations,
working in patient continuity through the ages, never halting and
never abrupt, encompassing all events in its oversight, and ever
effecting its will, though mortals may slumber in apathy or oppose
with madness. Kings are lifted up or thrown down, nations come and go,
republics flourish and wither, dynasties pass away like a tale that
is told; but nothing is by chance, though men, in their ignorance of
causes, may think so. The deeds of time are governed, as well as
judged, by the decrees of eternity. The caprice of fleeting existences
bends to the immovable omnipotence, which plants its foot on all the
centuries and has neither change of purpose nor repose. Sometimes,
like a messenger through the thick darkness of night, it steps along
mysterious ways; but when the hour strikes for a people, or for
mankind, to pass into a new form of being, unseen hands draw the bolts
from the gates of futurity; an all-subsiding influence prepares the
minds of men for the coming revolution; those who plan resistance find
themselves in conflict with the will of Providence rather than with
human devices; and all hearts and all understandings, most of all the
opinions and influences of the unwilling, are wonderfully attracted
and compelled to bear forward the change, which becomes more an
obedience to the law of universal nature than submission to the
arbitrament of man.

In the fulness of time a republic rose up in the wilderness of
America. Thousands of years had passed away before this child of the
ages could be born. From whatever there was of good in the systems of
former centuries she drew her nourishment; the wrecks of the past were
her warnings. With the deepest sentiment of faith fixed in her inmost
nature, she disenthralled religion from bondage to temporal power,
that her worship might be worship only in spirit and in truth. The
wisdom which had passed from India through Greece, with what Greece
had added of her own; the jurisprudence of Rome; the mediæval
municipalities; the Teutonic method of representation; the political
experience of England; the benignant wisdom of the expositors of the
law of nature and of nations in France and Holland, all shed on her
their selectest influence. She washed the gold of political wisdom
from the sands wherever it was found; she cleft it from the rocks; she
gleaned it among ruins. Out of all the discoveries of statesmen and
sages, out of all the experience of past human life, she compiled a
perennial political philosophy, the primordial principles of national
ethics. The wise men of Europe sought the best government in a mixture
of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy; America went behind these
names to extract from them the vital elements of social forms, and
blend them harmoniously in the free commonwealth, which comes nearest
to the illustration of the natural equality of all men. She intrusted
the guardianship of established rights to law, the movements of reform
to the spirit of the people, and drew her force from the happy
reconciliation of both.

Republics had heretofore been limited to small cantons, or cities and
their dependencies; America, doing that of which the like had not
before been known upon the earth, or believed by kings and statesmen
to be possible, extended her republic across a continent. Under her
auspices the vine of liberty took deep root and filled the land; the
hills were covered with its shadow, its boughs were like the goodly
cedars, and reached unto both oceans. The fame of this only daughter
of freedom went out into all the lands of the earth; from her the
human race drew hope.

Neither hereditary monarchy nor hereditary aristocracy planted itself
on our soil; the only hereditary condition that fastened itself upon
us was servitude. Nature works in sincerity, and is ever true to its
law. The bee hives honey; the viper distils poison; the vine stores
its juices, and so do the poppy and the upas. In like manner every
thought and every action ripens its seed, each according to its kind.
In the individual man, and still more in a nation, a just idea gives
life, and progress, and glory; a false conception portends disaster,
shame, and death. A hundred and twenty years ago a West Jersey Quaker
wrote: "This trade of importing slaves is dark gloominess hanging over
the land; the consequences will be grievous to posterity." At the
North the growth of slavery was arrested by natural causes; in the
region nearest the tropics it throve rankly, and worked itself into
the organism of the rising States. Virginia stood between the two,
with soil, and climate, and resources demanding free labor, yet
capable of the profitable employment of the slave. She was the land of
great statesmen, and they saw the danger of her being whelmed under
the rising flood in time to struggle against the delusions of avarice
and pride. Ninety-four years ago the legislature of Virginia addressed
the British king, saying that the trade in slaves was "of great
inhumanity," was opposed to the "security and happiness" of their
constituents, "would in time have the most destructive influence," and
"endanger their very existence." And the king answered them that,
"upon pain of his highest displeasure, the importation of slaves
should not be in any respect obstructed." "Pharisaical Britain," wrote
Franklin in behalf of Virginia, "to pride thyself in setting free a
single slave that happened to land on thy coasts, while thy laws
continue a traffic whereby so many hundreds of thousands are dragged
into a slavery that is entailed on their posterity." "A serious view
of this subject," said Patrick Henry in 1773, "gives a gloomy prospect
to future times." In the same year George Mason wrote to the
legislature of Virginia: "The laws of impartial Providence may avenge
our injustice upon our posterity." Conforming his conduct to his
convictions, Jefferson, in Virginia and in the Continental Congress,
with the approval of Edmund Pendleton, branded the slave-trade as
piracy; and he fixed in the Declaration of Independence, as the
corner-stone of America: "All men are created equal, with an
unalienable right to liberty." On the first organization of temporary
governments for the continental domain, Jefferson, but for the default
of New Jersey, would, in 1784, have consecrated every part of that
territory to freedom. In the formation of the national Constitution,
Virginia, opposed by a part of New England, vainly struggled to
abolish the slave trade at once and forever; and when the ordinance
of 1787 was introduced by Nathan Dane without the clause prohibiting
slavery, it was through the favorable disposition of Virginia and the
South that the clause of Jefferson was restored, and the whole
northwestern territory--all the territory that then belonged to the
nation--was reserved for the labor of freemen.

The hope prevailed in Virginia that the abolition of the slave-trade
would bring with it the gradual abolition of slavery; but the
expectation was doomed to disappointment. In supporting incipient
measures for emancipation, Jefferson encountered difficulties greater
than he could overcome, and, after vain wrestlings, the words that
broke from him, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is
just, that His justice cannot sleep forever," were words of despair.
It was the desire of Washington's heart that Virginia should remove
slavery by a public act; and as the prospects of a general
emancipation grew more and more dim, he, in utter hopelessness of the
action of the State, did all that he could by bequeathing freedom to
his own slaves. Good and true men had, from the days of 1776,
suggested the colonizing of the negro in the home of his ancestors;
but the idea of colonization was thought to increase the difficulty of
emancipation, and, in spite of strong support, while it accomplished
much good for Africa, it proved impracticable as a remedy at home.
Madison, who in early life disliked slavery so much that he wished "to
depend as little as possible on the labor of slaves"; Madison, who
held that where slavery exists "the republican theory becomes
fallacious"; Madison, who in the last years of his life would not
consent to the annexation of Texas, lest his countrymen should fill it
with slaves; Madison, who said, "slavery is the greatest evil under
which the nation labors--a portentous evil--an evil, moral, political,
and economical--a sad blot on our free country"--went mournfully into
old age with the cheerless words: "No satisfactory plan has yet been
devised for taking out the stain."

The men of the Revolution passed away; a new generation sprang up,
impatient that an institution to which they clung should be condemned
as inhuman, unwise, and unjust. In the throes of discontent at the
self-reproach of their fathers, and blinded by the lustre of wealth to
be acquired by the culture of a new staple, they devised the theory
that slavery, which they would not abolish, was not evil, but good.
They turned on the friends of colonization, and confidently demanded:
"Why take black men from a civilized and Christian country, where
their labor is a source of immense gain, and a power to control the
markets of the world, and send them to a land of ignorance, idolatry,
and indolence, which was the home of their forefathers, but not
theirs? Slavery is a blessing. Were they not in their ancestral land
naked, scarcely lifted above brutes, ignorant of the course of the
sun, controlled by nature? And in their new abode have they not been
taught to know the difference of the seasons, to plough, and plant,
and reap, to drive oxen, to tame the horse, to exchange their scanty
dialect for the richest of all the languages among men, and the stupid
adoration of follies for the purest religion? And since slavery is
good for the blacks, it is good for their masters, bringing opulence
and the opportunity of educating a race. The slavery of the black is
good in itself; he shall serve the white man forever." And nature,
which better understood the quality of fleeting interest and passion,
laughed as it caught the echo, "man" and "forever!"

A regular development of pretensions followed the new declaration with
logical consistency. Under the old declaration every one of the States
had retained, each for itself, the right of manumitting all slaves by
an ordinary act of legislation; now the power of the people over
servitude through their legislatures was curtailed, and the privileged
class was swift in imposing legal and constitutional obstructions of
the people themselves. The power of emancipation was narrowed or taken
away. The slave might not be disquieted by education. There remained
an unconfessed consciousness that the system of bondage was wrong, and
a restless memory that it was at variance with the true American
tradition; its safety was therefore to be secured by political
organization. The generation that made the Constitution took care for
the predominance of freedom in Congress by the ordinance of Jefferson;
the new school aspired to secure for slavery an equality of votes in
the Senate, and while it hinted at an organic act that should concede
to the collective South a veto power on national legislation, it
assumed that each State separately had the right to revise and nullify
laws of the United States, according to the discretion of its

The new theory hung as a bias on the foreign relations of the country;
there could be no recognition of Hayti, nor even of the American
colony of Liberia; and the world was given to understand that the
establishment of free labor in Cuba would be a reason for wresting
that island from Spain. Territories were annexed--Louisiana, Florida,
Texas, half of Mexico; slavery must have its share in them all, and it
accepted for a time a dividing line between the unquestioned domain of
free labor and that in which involuntary labor was to be tolerated. A
few years passed away, and the new school, strong and arrogant,
demanded and received an apology for applying the Jefferson proviso to

The application of that proviso was interrupted for three
administrations, but justice moved steadily onward. In the news that
the men of California had chosen freedom, Calhoun heard the knell of
parting slavery, and on his deathbed he counseled secession.
Washington, and Jefferson, and Madison had died despairing of the
abolition of slavery; Calhoun died in despair at the growth of
freedom. His system rushed irresistibly to its natural development.
The death-struggle for California was followed by a short truce; but
the new school of politicians, who said that slavery was not evil, but
good, soon sought to recover the ground they had lost, and, confident
of securing Kansas, they demanded that the established line in the
Territories between freedom and slavery should be blotted out. The
country, believing in the strength and enterprise and expansive energy
of freedom, made answer, though reluctantly: "Be it so; let there be
no strife between brethren; let freedom and slavery compete for the
Territories on equal terms, in a fair field, under an impartial
administration"; and on this theory, if on any, the contest might have
been left to the decision of time.

The South started back in appallment from its victory, for it knew
that a fair competition foreboded its defeat. But where could it now
find an ally to save it from its own mistake? What I have next to say
is spoken with no emotion but regret. Our meeting to-day is, as it
were, at the grave, in the presence of eternity, and the truth must be
uttered in soberness and sincerity. In a great republic, as was
observed more than two thousand years ago, any attempt to overturn the
state owes its strength to aid from some branch of the government. The
Chief Justice of the United States, without any necessity or occasion,
volunteered to come to the rescue of the theory of slavery; and from
his court there lay no appeal but to the bar of humanity and history.
Against the Constitution, against the memory of the nation, against a
previous decision, against a series of enactments, he decided that the
slave is property; that slave property is entitled to no less
protection than any other property; that the Constitution upholds it
in every Territory against any act of a local legislature, and even
against Congress itself; or, as the President for that term tersely
promulgated the saying, "Kansas is as much a slave State as South
Carolina or Georgia; slavery, by virtue of the Constitution, exists in
every Territory." The municipal character of slavery being thus taken
away, and slave property decreed to be "sacred," the authority of the
courts was invoked to introduce it by the comity of law into States
where slavery had been abolished, and in one of the courts of the
United States a judge pronounced the African slave-trade legitimate,
and numerous and powerful advocates demanded its restoration.

Moreover, the Chief Justice, in his elaborate opinion, announced what
had never been heard from any magistrate of Greece or Rome; what was
unknown to civil law, and canon law, and feudal law, and common law,
and constitutional law; unknown to Jay, to Rutledge, Ellsworth and
Marshall--that there are "slave races." The spirit of evil is
intensely logical. Having the authority of this decision, five States
swiftly followed the earlier example of a sixth, and opened the way
for reducing the free negro to bondage; the migrating free negro
became a slave if he but entered within the jurisdiction of a seventh;
and an eighth, from its extent, and soil, and mineral resources,
destined to incalculable greatness, closed its eyes on its coming
prosperity, and enacted, as by Taney's dictum it had the right to do,
that every free black man who would live within its limits must
accept the condition of slavery for himself and his posterity.

Only one step more remained to be taken. Jefferson and the leading
statesmen of his day held fast to the idea that the enslavement of the
African was socially, morally and politically wrong. The new school
was founded exactly upon the opposite idea; and they resolved, first,
to distract the democratic party, for which the Supreme Court had now
furnished the means, and then to establish a new government, with
negro slavery for its corner-stone, as socially, morally, and
politically right.

As the Presidential election drew on, one of the great traditional
parties did not make its appearance; the other reeled as it sought to
preserve its old position, and the candidate who most nearly
represented its best opinion, driven by patriotic zeal, roamed the
country from end to end to speak for union, eager, at least, to
confront its enemies, yet not having hope that it would find its
deliverance through him. The storm rose to a whirlwind; who would
allay its wrath? The most experienced statesmen of the country had
failed; there was no hope from those who were great after the flesh:
could relief come from one whose wisdom was like the wisdom of little

The choice of America fell on a man born west of the Alleghenies, in
the cabin of poor people of Hardin county, Kentucky--ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

His mother could read, but not write; his father would do neither; but
his parents sent him, with an old spelling-book, to school, and he
learned in his childhood to do both.

When eight years old he floated down the Ohio with his father on a
raft, which bore the family and all their possessions to the shore of
Indiana; and, child as he was, he gave help as they toiled through
dense forests to the interior of Spencer County. There, in the land of
free labor, he grew up in a log-cabin, with the solemn solitude for
his teacher in his meditative hours. Of Asiatic literature he knew
only the Bible; of Greek, Latin, and mediæval, no more than the
translation of Æsop's Fables; of English, John Bunyan's Pilgrim's
Progress. The traditions of George Fox and William Penn passed to him
dimly along the lines of two centuries through his ancestors, who were

Otherwise his education was altogether American. The Declaration of
Independence was his compendium of political wisdom, the Life of
Washington his constant study, and something of Jefferson and Madison
reached him through Henry Clay, whom he honored from boyhood. For the
rest, from day to day, he lived the life of the American people,
walked in its light, reasoned with its reason, thought with its power
of thought, felt the beatings of its mighty heart, and so was in every
way a child of nature, a child of the West, a child of America.

At nineteen, feeling impulses of ambition to get on in the world, he
engaged himself to go down the Mississippi in a flatboat, receiving
ten dollars a month for his wages, and afterwards he made the trip
once more. At twenty-one he drove his father's cattle as the family
migrated to Illinois, and split rails to fence in the new homestead in
the wild. At twenty-three he was a captain of volunteers in the Black
Hawk war. He kept a store. He learned something of surveying, but of
English literature he added to Bunyan nothing but Shakespeare's plays.
At twenty-five he was elected to the legislature of Illinois, where he
served eight years. At twenty-seven he was admitted to the bar. In
1837 he chose his home in Springfield, the beautiful centre of the
richest land in the State. In 1847 he was a member of the national
Congress, where he voted about forty times in favor of the principle
of the Jefferson proviso. In 1849 he sought, eagerly but
unsuccessfully, the place of Commissioner of the Land Office, and he
refused an appointment that would have transferred his residence to
Oregon. In 1854 he gave his influence to elect from Illinois, to the
American Senate, a Democrat, who would certainly do justice to Kansas.
In 1858, as the rival of Douglas, he went before the people of the
mighty Prairie State, saying, "This Union cannot permanently endure
half slave and half free; the Union will not be dissolved, but the
house will cease to be divided"; and now, in 1861, with no experience
whatever as an executive officer, while States were madly flying from
their orbit, and wise men knew not where to find counsel, this
descendant of Quakers, this pupil of Bunyan, this offspring of the
great West, was elected President of America.

He measured the difficulty of the duty that devolved upon him, and was
resolved to fulfil it. As on the eleventh of February, 1861, he left
Springfield, which for a quarter of a century had been his happy home,
to the crowd of his friends and neighbors, whom he was never more to
meet, he spoke a solemn farewell: "I know not how soon I shall see you
again. A duty has devolved upon me, greater than that which has
devolved upon any other man since Washington. He never would have
succeeded, except for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at
all times relied. On the same Almighty Being I place my reliance. Pray
that I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I cannot
succeed, but with which success is certain." To the men of Indiana he
said: "I am but an accidental, temporary instrument; it is your
business to rise up and preserve the Union and liberty." At the
capital of Ohio he said: "Without a name, without a reason why I
should have a name, there has fallen upon me a task such as did not
rest even upon the Father of his country." At various places in New
York, especially at Albany, before the legislature, which tendered him
the united support of the great Empire State, he said: "While I hold
myself the humblest of all the individuals who have ever been elevated
to the Presidency, I have a more difficult task to perform than any of
them. I bring a true heart to the work. I must rely upon the people of
the whole country for support, and with their sustaining aid, even I,
humble as I am, cannot fail to carry the ship of state safely through
the storm." To the assembly of New Jersey, at Trenton, he explained:
"I shall take the ground I deem most just to the North, the East, the
West, the South, and the whole country, in good temper, certainly with
no malice to any section. I am devoted to peace, but it may be
necessary to put the foot down firmly." In the old Independence Hall,
of Philadelphia, he said: "I have never had a feeling politically that
did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of
Independence, which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this
country, but to the world in all future time. If the country cannot be
saved without giving up that principle, I would rather be assassinated
on the spot than surrender it. I have said nothing but what I am
willing to live and die by."

Travelling, in the dead of night to escape assassination, LINCOLN
arrived at Washington nine days before his inauguration. The outgoing
President, at the opening of the session of Congress, had still kept
as the majority of his advisors men engaged in treason; had declared
that in case of even an "imaginary" apprehension of danger from
notions of freedom among the slaves, "disunion would become
inevitable." LINCOLN and others had questioned the opinion of Taney;
such impugning he ascribed to the "factious temper of the times." The
favorite doctrine of the majority of the Democratic party on the power
of a territorial legislature over slavery he condemned as an attack on
"the sacred rights of property." The State legislature, he insisted,
must repeal what he called "their unconstitutional and obnoxious
enactments," and which, if such, were "null and void" or "it would be
impossible for any human power to save the Union." Nay! if these
unimportant acts were not repealed, "the injured States would be
justified in revolutionary resistance to the government of the Union."
He maintained that no State might secede at its sovereign will and
pleasure; that the Union was meant for perpetuity, and that Congress
might attempt to preserve it, but only by conciliation; that "the
sword was not placed in their hands to preserve it by force"; that
"the last desperate remedy of a despairing people would be an
explanatory amendment recognizing the decision of the Supreme Court of
the United States." The American Union he called "a confederacy" of
States, and he thought it a duty to make the appeal for the amendment
"before any of these States should separate themselves from the
Union." The views of the Lieutenant-General, containing some patriotic
advice, "conceded the right of secession," pronounced a quadruple
rupture of the Union "a smaller evil than the reuniting of the
fragments by the sword," and "eschewed the idea of invading a seceded
State." After changes in the Cabinet, the President informed Congress
that "matters were still worse"; that "the South suffered serious
grievances," which should be redressed "in peace." The day after this
message the flag of the Union was fired upon from Fort Morris, and
the insult was not revenged or noticed. Senators in Congress
telegraphed to their constituents to seize the national forts, and
they were not arrested. The finances of the country were grievously
embarrassed. Its little army was not within reach; the part of it in
Texas, with all its stores, was made over by its commander to rebels.
One State after another voted in convention to secede. A peace
congress, so called, met at the request of Virginia, to concert the
terms of a capitulation which should secure permission for the
continuance of the Union. Congress, in both branches, sought to devise
conciliatory expedients; the territories of the country were organized
in a manner not to conflict with any pretensions of the South, or any
decision of the Supreme Court; and, nevertheless, the representatives
of the rebellion formed at Montgomery a provisional government, and
pursued their relentless purpose with such success that the
Lieutenant-General feared the city of Washington might find itself
"included in a foreign country," and proposed, among the options for
the consideration of LINCOLN, to bid the wayward States "depart in
peace." The great republic appeared to have its emblem in the vast
unfinished Capitol, at that moment surrounded by masses of stone and
prostrate columns never yet lifted into their places, seemingly the
moment of high but delusive aspirations, the confused wreck of
inchoate magnificence, sadder than any ruin of Egyptian Thebes or

The fourth of March came. With instinctive wisdom the new President,
speaking to the people on taking the oath of office, put aside every
question that divided the country, and gained a right to universal
support by planting himself on the single idea of Union. The Union he
declared to be unbroken and perpetual, and he announced his
determination to fulfil "the simple duty of taking care that the laws
be faithfully executed in all the States." Seven days later, the
convention of Confederate States unanimously adopted a constitution of
their own, and the new government was authoritatively announced to be
founded on the idea that the negro race is a slave race; that slavery
is its natural and normal condition. The issue was made up, whether
the great republic was to maintain its providential place in the
history of mankind, or a rebellion founded on negro slavery gain a
recognition of its principle throughout the civilized world. To the
disaffected LINCOLN had said, "You can have no conflict without being
yourselves the aggressors." To fire the passions of the southern
portion of the people, the confederate government chose to become
aggressors, and, on the morning of the twelfth of April, began the
bombardment of Fort Sumter, and compelled its evacuation.

It is the glory of the late President that he had perfect faith in the
perpetuity of the Union. Supported in advance by Douglas, who spoke as
with the voice of a million, he instantly called a meeting of
Congress, and summoned the people to come up and repossess the forts,
places, and property which had been seized from the Union. The men of
the North were trained in schools; industrious and frugal; many of
them delicately bred, their minds teeming with ideas and fertile in
plans of enterprise; given to the culture of the arts; eager in the
pursuit of wealth, yet employing wealth less for ostentation than for
developing the resources of their country; seeking happiness in the
calm of domestic life; and such lovers of peace, that for generations
they had been reputed unwarlike. Now, at the cry of their country in
its distress, they rose up with unappeasable patriotism; not
hirelings--the purest and the best blood in the land. Sons of a pious
ancestry, with a clear perception of duty, unclouded faith and fixed
resolve to succeed, they thronged around the President, to support the
wronged, the beautiful flag of the nation. The halls of theological
seminaries sent forth their young men, whose lips were touched with
eloquence, whose hearts kindled with devotion, to serve in the ranks,
and make their way to command only as they learned the art of war.
Striplings in the colleges, as well the most gentle and the most
studious, those of sweetest temper and loveliest character and
brightest genius, passed from their classes to the camp. The lumbermen
from the forests, the mechanics from their benches, where they had
been trained, by the exercise of political rights, to share the life
and hope of the republic, to feel their responsibility to their
forefathers, their posterity and mankind, went to the front, resolved
that their dignity, as a constituent part of this republic, should
not be impaired. Farmers and sons of farmers left the land but half
ploughed, the grain but half planted, and, taking up the musket,
learned to face without fear the presence of peril and the coming of
death in the shocks of war, while their hearts were still attracted to
their herds and fields, and all the tender affections of home.
Whatever there was of truth and faith and public love in the common
heart, broke out with one expression. The mighty winds blew from every
quarter, to fan the flame of the sacred and unquenchable fire.

For a time the war was thought to be confined to our own domestic
affairs, but it was soon seen that it involved the destinies of
mankind; its principles and causes shook the politics of Europe to the
centre, and from Lisbon to Pekin divided the governments of the world.

There was a kingdom whose people had in an eminent degree attained to
freedom of industry and the security of person and property. Its
middle class rose to greatness. Out of that class sprung the noblest
poets and philosophers, whose words built up the intellect of its
people; skilful navigators, to find out for its merchants the many
paths of the oceans; discoverers in natural science, whose inventions
guided its industry to wealth, till it equalled any nation of the
world in letters, and excelled all in trade and commerce. But its
government was become a government of land, and not of men; every
blade of grass was represented, but only a small minority of the
people. In the transition from the feudal forms the heads of the
social organization freed themselves from the military services which
were the conditions of their tenure, and, throwing the burden on the
industrial classes, kept all the soil to themselves. Vast estates that
had been managed by monasteries as endowments for religion and charity
were impropriated to swell the wealth of courtiers and favorites; and
the commons, where the poor man once had his right of pasture, were
taken away, and, under forms of law, enclosed distributively within
the domains of the adjacent landholders. Although no law forbade any
inhabitant from purchasing land, the costliness of the transfer
constituted a prohibition; so that it was the rule of the country that
the plough should not be in the hands of its owner. The Church was
rested on a contradiction; claiming to be an embodiment of absolute
truth, it was a creature of the statute-book.

The progress of time increased the terrible contrast between wealth
and poverty. In their years of strength the laboring people, cut off
from all share in governing that state, derived a scant support from
the severest toil, and had no hope for old age but in public charity
or death. A grasping ambition had dotted the world with military
posts, kept watch over our borders on the northeast, at the Bermudas,
in the West Indies, appropriated the gates of the Pacific, of the
Southern and of the Indian ocean, hovered on our northwest at
Vancouver, held the whole of the newest continent, and the entrances
to the old Mediterranean and Red Sea, and garrisoned forts all the way
from Madras to China. That aristocracy had gazed with terror on the
growth of a commonwealth where freeholders existed by the million, and
religion was not in bondage to the state, and now they could not
repress their joy at its perils. They had not one word of sympathy for
the kind-hearted poor man's son whom America had chosen for her chief;
they jeered at his large hands, and long feet, and ungainly stature;
and the British secretary of state for foreign affairs made haste to
send word through the places of Europe that the great republic was in
its agony; that the republic was no more; that a headstone was all
that remained due by the law of nations to "the late Union." But it is
written, "Let the dead bury their dead"; they may not bury the living.
Let the dead bury their dead; let a bill of reform remove the worn-out
government of a class, and infuse new life into the British
constitution by confiding rightful power to the people.

But while the vitality of America is indestructible, the British
government hurried to do what never before had been done by Christian
powers; what was in direct conflict with its own exposition of public
law in the time of our struggle for independence. Though the insurgent
States had not a ship in an open harbor, it invested them with all the
rights of a belligerent, even on the ocean; and this, too, when the
rebellion was not only directed against the gentlest and most
beneficent government on earth, without a shadow of justifiable
cause, but when the rebellion was directed against human nature itself
for the perpetual enslavement of a race. And the effect of this
recognition was, that acts in themselves piratical found shelter in
British courts of law. The resources of British capitalists, their
workshops, their armories, their private arsenals, their shipyards,
were in league with the insurgents, and every British harbor in the
wide world became a safe port for British ships, manned by British
sailors, and armed with British guns, to prey on our peaceful
commerce; even on our ships coming from British ports, freighted with
British products, or that had carried gifts of grain to the English
poor. The prime minister, in the House of Commons, sustained by
cheers, scoffed at the thought that their laws could be amended at our
request, so as to preserve real neutrality; and to remonstrances, now
owned to have been just, their secretary of state answered that they
could not change their laws ad infinitum.

The people of America then wished, as they always have wished, as they
still wish, friendly relations with England, and no man in England or
America can desire it more strongly than I. This country has always
yearned for good relations with England. Thrice only in all its
history has that yearning been fairly met: in the days of Hampden and
Cromwell, again in the first ministry of the elder Pitt, and once
again in the ministry of Shelburne. Not that there have not at all
times been just men among the peers of Britain--like Halifax in the
days of James the Second, or a Granville, an Argyll, or a Houghton in
ours; and we cannot be indifferent to a country that produces
statesmen like Cobden and Bright; but the best bower anchor of peace
was the working class of England, who suffered most from our civil
war, but who, while they broke their diminished bread in sorrow,
always encouraged us to persevere.

The act of recognizing the rebel belligerents was concerted with
France--France, so beloved in America, on which she had conferred the
greatest benefits that one people ever conferred on another; France,
which stands foremost on the continent of Europe for the solidity of
her culture, as well as for the bravery and generous impulses of her
sons; France, which for centuries had been moving steadily in her own
way towards intellectual and political freedom. The policy regarding
further colonization of America by European powers, known commonly as
the doctrine of Monroe, had its origin in France, and if it takes any
man's name, should bear the name of Turgot. It was adopted by Louis
the Sixteenth, in the cabinet of which Vergennes was the most
important member. It is emphatically the policy of France, to which,
with transient deviations, the Bourbons, the first Napoleon, the House
of Orleans have adherred.

The late President was perpetually harassed by rumors that the Emperor
Napoleon the Third desired formally to recognize the States in
rebellion as an independent power, and that England held him back by
her reluctance, or France by her traditions of freedom, or he himself
by his own better judgment and clear perception of events. But the
republic of Mexico, on our borders, was, like ourselves, distracted by
a rebellion, and from a similar cause. The monarchy of England had
fastened upon us slavery which did not disappear with independence; in
like manner, the ecclesiastical policy established by the Spanish
council of the Indies, in the days of Charles the Fifth and Philip the
Second, retained its vigor in the Mexican republic.

The fifty years of civil war under which she had languished was due to
the bigoted system which was the legacy of monarchy, just as here the
inheritance of slavery kept alive political strife, and culminated in
civil war. As with us there could be no quiet but through the end of
slavery, so in Mexico there could be no prosperity until the crushing
tyranny of intolerance should cease. The party of slavery in the
United States sent their emissaries to Europe to solicit aid; and so
did the party of the Church in Mexico, as organized by the old Spanish
council of the Indies, but with a different result. Just as the
Republican party had made an end of the rebellion, and was
establishing the best government ever known in that region, and giving
promise to the nation of order, peace, and prosperity, word was
brought us, in the moment of our deepest affliction, that the French
Emperor, moved by a desire to erect in North America a buttress for
imperialism, would transform the republic of Mexico into a
secundo-geniture for the House of Hapsburg. America might complain;
she could not then interpose, and delay seemed justifiable. It was
seen that Mexico could not, with all its wealth of land, compete in
cereal products with our northwest, nor in tropical products with
Cuba, nor could it, under a disputed dynasty, attract capital, or
create public works, or develop mines, or borrow money; so that the
imperial system of Mexico, which was forced at once to recognize the
wisdom of the policy of the republic by adopting it, could prove only
an unremunerating drain on the French treasury for the support of an
Austrian adventurer.

Meantime a new series of momentous questions grows up, and forces
itself on the consideration of the thoughtful. Republicanism has
learned how to introduce into its constitution every element of order,
as well as every element of freedom; but thus far the continuity of
its government has seemed to depend on the continuity of elections. It
is now to be considered how perpetuity is to be secured against
foreign occupation. The successor of Charles the First of England
dated his reign from the death of his father; the Bourbons, coming
back after a long series of revolutions, claimed that the Louis who
became king was the eighteenth of that name. The present Emperor of
the French, disdaining a title from election alone, calls himself
Napoleon the Third. Shall a republic have less power of continuance
when invading armies prevent a peaceful resort to the ballot-box? What
force shall it attach to intervening legislation? What validity to
debts contracted for its overthrow? These momentous questions are, by
the invasion of Mexico, thrown up for solution. A free State once
truly constituted should be as undying as its people: the republic of
Mexico must rise again.

It was the condition of affairs in Mexico that involved the Pope of
Rome in our difficulties so far that he alone among sovereigns
recognized the chief of the Confederate States as a president, and his
supporters as a people; and in letters to two great prelates of the
Catholic Church in the United States gave counsels for peace at a time
when peace meant the victory of secession. Yet events move as they are
ordered. The blessing of the Pope at Rome on the head of Duke
Maximilian could not revive in the nineteenth century the
ecclesiastical policy of the sixteenth, and the result is only a new
proof that there can be no prosperity in the State without religious

When it came home to the consciousness of the Americans that the war
which they were waging was a war for the liberty of all the nations of
the world, for freedom itself, they thanked God for giving them
strength to endure the severity of the trial to which He put their
sincerity, and nerved themselves for their duty with an inexorable
will. The President was led along by the greatness of their
self-sacrificing example, and as a child, in a dark night, on a rugged
way, catches hold of the hand of its father for guidance and support,
he clung fast to the hand of the people, and moved calmly through the
gloom. While the statesmanship of Europe was mocking at the hopeless
vanity of their efforts, they put forth such miracles of energy as the
history of the world had never known. The contributions to the popular
loans amounted in four years to twenty-seven and a half hundred
millions of dollars; the revenue of the country from taxation was
increased sevenfold. The navy of the United States, drawing into the
public service the willing militia of the seas, doubled its tonnage in
eight months, and established an actual blockade from Cape Hatteras to
the Rio Grande; in the course of the war it was increased five-fold in
men and in tonnage, while the inventive genius of the country devised
more effective kinds of ordnance, and new forms of naval architecture
in wood and iron. There went into the field, for various terms of
enlistment, about two million men, and in March last the men in the
army exceeded a million: that is to say, nine of every twenty
able-bodied men in the free Territories and States took some part in
the war; and at one time every fifth of their able-bodied men was in
service. In one single month one hundred and sixty-five thousand men
were recruited into service. Once, within four weeks, Ohio organized
and placed in the field forty-two regiments of infantry--nearly
thirty-six thousand men; and Ohio was like other States in the East
and in the West. The well-mounted cavalry numbered eighty-four
thousand; of horses and mules there were bought, from first to last,
two-thirds of a million. In the movements of troops science came in
aid of patriotism, so that, to choose a single instance out of many,
an army twenty-three thousand strong, with its artillery, trains,
baggage, and animals, were moved by rail from the Potomac to the
Tennessee, twelve hundred miles, in seven days. On the long marches,
wonders of military construction bridged the rivers, and wherever an
army halted, ample supplies awaited them at their ever-changing base.
The vile thought that life is the greatest of blessings did not rise
up. In six hundred and twenty-five battles and severe skirmishes blood
flowed like water. It streamed over the grassy plains; it stained the
rocks; the undergrowth of the forests was red with it; and the armies
marched on with majestic courage from one conflict to another, knowing
that they were fighting for God and liberty. The organization of the
medical department met its infinitely multiplied duties with exactness
and despatch. At the news of a battle, the best surgeons of our cities
hastened to the field, to offer the untiring aid of the greatest
experience and skill. The gentlest and most refined of women left
homes of luxury and ease to build hospital tents near the armies, and
serve as nurses to the sick and dying. Beside the large supply of
religious teachers by the public, the congregations spared to their
brothers in the field the ablest ministers. The Christian Commission,
which expended more than six and a quarter millions, sent nearly five
thousand clergymen, chosen out of the best, to keep unsoiled the
religious character of the men, and made gifts of clothes and food and
medicine. The organization of private charity assumed unheard-of
dimensions. The Sanitary Commission, which had seven thousand
societies, distributed, under the direction of an unpaid board,
spontaneous contributions to the amount of fifteen millions in
supplies or money--a million and a half in money from California
alone--and dotted the scene of war, from Paducah to Port Royal, from
Belle Plain, Virginia, to Brownsville, Texas, with homes and lodges.

The country had for its allies the river Mississippi, which would not
be divided, and the range of mountains which carried the stronghold of
the free through Western Virginia and Kentucky and Tennessee to the
highlands of Alabama. But it invoked the still higher power of
immortal justice. In ancient Greece, where servitude was the universal
custom, it was held that if a child were to strike its parent, the
slave should defend the parent, and by that act recover his freedom.
After vain resistance, LINCOLN, who had tried to solve the question by
gradual emancipation, by colonization, and by compensation, at last
saw that slavery must be abolished, or the republic must die; and on
the first day of January, 1863, he wrote liberty on the banners of the
armies. When this proclamation, which struck the fetters from three
millions of slaves, reached Europe, Lord Russell, a countryman of
Milton and Wilberforce, eagerly put himself forward to speak of it in
the name of mankind, saying: "It is of a very strange nature"; "a
measure of war of a very questionable kind"; an act "of vengeance on
the slave owner," that does no more than "profess to emancipate slaves
where the United States authorities cannot make emancipation a
reality." Now there was no part of the country embraced in the
proclamation where the United States could not and did not make
emancipation a reality. Those who saw LINCOLN most frequently had
never before heard him speak with bitterness of any human being, but
he did not conceal how keenly he felt that he had been wronged by Lord
Russell. And he wrote, in reply to other cavils: "The emancipation
policy and the use of colored troops were the greatest blows yet dealt
to the rebellion; the job was a great national one, and let none be
slighted who bore an honorable part in it. I hope peace will come
soon, and come to stay; then will there be some black men who can
remember that they have helped mankind to this great consummation."

The proclamation accomplished its end, for, during the war, our armies
came into military possession of every State in rebellion. Then, too,
was called forth the new power that comes from the simultaneous
diffusion of thought and feeling among the nations of mankind. The
mysterious sympathy of the millions throughout the world was given
spontaneously. The best writers of Europe waked the conscience of the
thoughtful, till the intelligent moral sentiment of the Old World was
drawn to the side of the unlettered statesman of the West. Russia,
whose emperor had just accomplished one of the grandest acts in the
course of time, by raising twenty millions of bondmen into
freeholders, and thus assuring the growth and culture of a Russian
people, remained our unwavering friend. From the oldest abode of
civilization, which gave the first example of an imperial government
with equality among the people, Prince Kung, the secretary of state
for foreign affairs, remembered the saying of Confucius, that we
should not do to others what we would not that others should do to us,
and, in the name of his emperor, read a lesson to European
diplomatists by closing the ports of China against the warships and
privateers of "the seditious."

The war continued, with all the peoples of the world, for anxious
spectators. Its cares weighed heavily on LINCOLN, and his face was
ploughed with the furrows of thought and sadness. With malice towards
none, free from the spirit of revenge, victory made him importunate
for peace, and his enemies never doubted his word, or despaired of his
abounding clemency. He longed to utter pardon as the word for all, but
not unless the freedom of the negro should be assured. The grand
battles of Fort Donelson, Chattanooga, Malvern Hill, Antietam,
Gettysburg, the Wilderness of Virginia, Winchester, Nashville, the
capture of New Orleans, Vicksburg, Mobile, Fort Fisher, the march from
Atlanta, and the capture of Savannah and Charleston, all foretold the
issue. Still more, the self-regeneration of Missouri, the heart of the
continent; of Maryland, whose sons never heard the midnight bells
chime so sweetly as when they rang out to earth and heaven that, by
the voice of her own people, she took her place among the free; of
Tennessee, which passed through fire and blood, through sorrows and
the shadow of death, to work out her own deliverance, and by the
faithfulness of her own sons to renew her youth like the eagle--proved
that victory was deserved, and would be worth all that it cost. If
words of mercy, uttered as they were by LINCOLN on the waters of
Virginia, were defiantly repelled, the armies of the country, moving
with one will, went as the arrow to its mark, and, without a feeling
of revenge, struck the death-blow at rebellion.

Where, in the history of nations, had a Chief Magistrate possessed
more sources of consolation and joy than LINCOLN? His countrymen had
shown their love by choosing him to a second term of service. The
raging war that had divided the country had lulled, and private grief
was hushed by the grandeur of the result. The nation had its new birth
of freedom, soon to be secured forever by an amendment of the
Constitution. His persistent gentleness had conquered for him a
kindlier feeling on the part of the South. His scoffers among the
grandees of Europe began to do him honor. The laboring classes
everywhere saw in his advancement their own. All peoples sent him
their benedictions. And at this moment of the height of his fame, to
which his humility and modesty added charms, he fell by the hand of
the assassin, and the only triumph awarded him was the march to the

This is no time to say that human glory is but dust and ashes; that we
mortals are no more than shadows in pursuit of shadows. How mean a
thing were man if there were not that within him which is higher than
himself; if he could not master the illusions of sense, and discern
the connexions of events by a superior light which comes from God! He
so shares the divine impulses that he has power to subject ambition to
the ennoblement of his kind. Not in vain has LINCOLN lived, for he has
helped to make this republic an example of justice, with no caste but
the caste of humanity. The heroes who led our armies and ships into
battle and fell in the service--Lyon, McPherson, Reynolds, Sedgwick,
Wadsworth, Foote, Ward, with their compeers--did not die in vain; they
and the myriads of nameless martyrs, and he, the chief martyr, gave up
their lives willingly "that government of the people, by the people,
and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

The assassination of LINCOLN, who was so free from malice, has, by
some mysterious influence, struck the country with solemn awe, and
hushed, instead of exciting, the passion for revenge. It seems as if
the just had died for the unjust. When I think of the friends I have
lost in this war--and every one who hears me has, like myself, lost
some of those whom he most loved--there is no consolation to be
derived from victims on the scaffold, or from anything but the
established union of the regenerated nation.

In his character LINCOLN was through and through an American. He is
the first native of the region west of the Alleghenies to attain to
the highest station; and how happy it is that the man who was brought
forward as the natural outgrowth and first fruits of that region
should have been of unblemished purity in private life, a good son, a
kind husband, a most affectionate father, and, as a man, so gentle to
all. As to integrity, Douglas, his rival, said of him: "Lincoln is the
honestest man I ever knew."

The habits of his mind were those of meditation and inward thought,
rather than of action. He delighted to express his opinions by an
apothegm, illustrate them by a parable, or drive them home by a story.
He was skilful in analysis, discerned with precision the central idea
on which a question turned, and knew how to disengage it and present
it by itself in a few homely, strong old English words that would be
intelligible to all. He excelled in logical statements more than in
executive ability. He reasoned clearly, his reflective judgment was
good, and his purposes were fixed; but, like the Hamlet of his only
poet, his will was tardy in action, and, for this reason, and not from
humility or tenderness of feeling, he sometimes deplored that the duty
which devolved on him had not fallen to the lot of another.

LINCOLN gained a name by discussing questions which, of all others,
most easily lead to fanaticism; but he was never carried away by
enthusiastic zeal, never indulged in extravagant language, never
hurried to support extreme measures, never allowed himself to be
controlled by sudden impulses. During the progress of the election at
which he was chosen President he expressed no opinion that went beyond
the Jefferson proviso of 1784. Like Jefferson and Lafayette, he had
faith in the intuitions of the people, and read those intuitions with
rare sagacity. He knew how to bide time, and was less apt to run ahead
of public thought than to lag behind. He never sought to electrify the
community by taking an advanced position with a banner of opinion, but
rather studied to move forward compactly, exposing no detachment in
front or rear; so that the course of his administration might have
been explained as the calculating policy of a shrewd and watchful
politician, had there not been seen behind it a fixedness of principle
which from the first determined his purpose, and grew more intense
with every year, consuming his life by its energy. Yet his
sensibilities were not acute; he had no vividness of imagination to
picture to his mind the horrors of the battlefield or the sufferings
in hospitals; his conscience was more tender than his feelings.

LINCOLN was one of the most unassuming of men. In time of success, he
gave credit for it to those whom he employed, to the people, and to
the Providence of God. He did not know what ostentation is; when he
became President he was rather saddened than elated, and conduct and
manners showed more than ever his belief that all men are born equal.
He was no respecter of persons, and neither rank, nor reputation, nor
services overawed him. In judging of character he failed in
discrimination, and his appointments were sometimes bad; but he
readily deferred to public opinion, and in appointing the head of the
armies he followed the manifest preference of Congress.

A good President will secure unity to his administration by his own
supervision of the various departments. LINCOLN, who accepted advice
readily, was never governed by any member of his cabinet, and could
not be moved from a purpose deliberately formed; but his supervision
of affairs was unsteady and incomplete, and sometimes, by a sudden
interference transcending the usual forms, he rather confused than
advanced the public business. If he ever failed in the scrupulous
regard due to the relative rights of Congress, it was so evidently
without design that no conflict could ensue, or evil precedent be
established. Truth he would receive from any one, but when impressed
by others, he did not use their opinions till, by reflection, he had
made them thoroughly his own.

It was the nature of LINCOLN to forgive. When hostilities ceased, he,
who had always sent forth the flag with every one of its stars in the
field, was eager to receive back his returning countrymen, and
meditated "some new announcement to the South." The amendment of the
Constitution abolishing slavery had his most earnest and unwearied
support. During the rage of war we get a glimpse into his soul from
his privately suggesting to Louisiana, that "in defining the franchise
some of the colored people might be let in," saying: "They would
probably help, in some trying time to come, to keep the jewel of
liberty in the family of freedom." In 1857 he avowed himself "not in
favor of" what he improperly called "negro citizenship," for the
Constitution discriminates between citizens and electors. Three days
before his death he declared his preference that "the elective
franchise were now conferred on the very intelligent of the colored
men, and on those of them who served our cause as soldiers"; but he
wished it done by the States themselves, and he never harbored the
thought of exacting it from a new government, as a condition of its

The last day of his life beamed with sunshine, as he sent, by the
Speaker of this House, his friendly greetings to the men of the Rocky
mountains and the Pacific slope; as he contemplated the return of
hundreds of thousands of soldiers to fruitful industry; as he welcomed
in advance hundreds of thousands of emigrants from Europe; as his eye
kindled with enthusiasm at the coming wealth of the nation. And so,
with these thoughts for his country, he was removed from the toils and
temptations of this life, and was at peace.

Hardly had the late President been consigned to the grave when the
prime minister of England died, full of years and honors. Palmerston
traced his lineage to the time of the conqueror; LINCOLN went back
only to his grandfather. Palmerston received his education from the
best scholars of Harrow, Edinburg, and Cambridge; LINCOLN'S early
teachers were the silent forests, the prairie, the river, and the
stars. Palmerston was in public life for sixty years; LINCOLN for but
a tenth of that time. Palmerston was a skilful guide of an established
aristocracy; LINCOLN a leader, or rather a companion, of the people.
Palmerston was exclusively an Englishman, and made his boast in the
House of Commons that the interest of England was his Shibboleth;
LINCOLN thought always of mankind, as well as his own country, and
served human nature itself. Palmerston, from his narrowness as an
Englishman, did not endear his country to any one court or to any one
nation, but rather caused general uneasiness and dislike; LINCOLN left
America more beloved than ever by all the peoples of Europe.
Palmerston was self-possessed and adroit in reconciling the
conflicting factions of the aristocracy; LINCOLN, frank and ingenuous,
knew how to poise himself on the ever-moving opinions of the masses.
Palmerston was capable of insolence towards the weak, quick to the
sense of honor, not heedful of right; LINCOLN rejected counsel given
only as a matter of policy, and was not capable of being wilfully
unjust. Palmerston, essentially superficial, delighted in banter, and
knew how to divert grave opposition by playful levity; LINCOLN was a
man of infinite jest on his lips with saddest earnestness at his
heart. Palmerston was a fair representative of the aristocratic
liberality of the day, choosing for his tribunal, not the conscience
of humanity, but the House of Commons; LINCOLN took to heart the
eternal truths of liberty, obeyed them as the commands of Providence,
and accepted the human race as the judge of his fidelity. Palmerston
did nothing that will endure; LINCOLN finished a work which all time
cannot overthrow. Palmerston is a shining example of the ablest of a
cultivated aristocracy; LINCOLN is the genuine fruit of institutions
where the laboring man shares and assists to form the great ideas and
designs of his country. Palmerston was buried in Westminster Abbey by
the order of his Queen, and was attended by the British aristocracy to
his grave, which, after a few years, will hardly be noticed by the
side of the graves of Fox and Chatham; LINCOLN was followed by the
sorrow of his country across the continent to his resting-place in the
heart of the Mississippi valley, to be remembered through all time by
his countrymen, and by all the peoples of the world.

As the sum of all, the hand of LINCOLN raised the flag; the American
people was the hero of the war; and, therefore, the result is a new
era of republicanism. The disturbances in the country grew not out of
anything republican, but out of slavery, which is a part of the system
of hereditary wrong; and the expulsion of this domestic anomaly opens
to the renovated nation a career of unthought of dignity and glory.
Henceforth our country has a moral unity as the land of free labor.
The party for slavery and the party against slavery are no more, and
are merged in the party of Union and freedom. The States which would
have left us are not brought back as subjugated States, for then we
should hold them only so long as that conquest could be maintained;
they come to their rightful place under the constitution as original,
necessary, and inseparable members of the Union.

We build monuments to the dead, but no monuments of victory. We
respect the example of the Romans, who never, even in conquered lands,
raised emblems of triumph. And our generals are not to be classed in
the herd of vulgar warriors, but are of the school of Timoleon, and
William of Nassau, and Washington. They have used the sword only to
give peace to their country and restore her to her place in the great
assembly of the nations.

SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES of America: as I bid you farewell, my
last words shall be words of hope and confidence; for now slavery is
no more, the Union is restored, a people begins to live according to
the laws of reason, and republicanism is intrenched in a continent.



Abraham Lincoln is assuredly one of the marvels of history. No land
but America has produced his like. This destined chief of a nation in
its most perilous hour was the son of a thriftless and wandering
settler. He had a strong and eminently fair understanding, with great
powers of patient thought, which he cultivated by the study of Euclid.
In all his views there was the simplicity of his character. Both as an
advocate and as a politician he was "Honest Abe." As an advocate he
would throw up his brief when he knew that his case was bad. He said
himself that he had not controlled events, but had been guided by
them. To know how to be guided by events, however, if it is not
imperial genius, is practical wisdom. Lincoln's goodness of heart, his
sense of duty, his unselfishness, his freedom from vanity, his long
suffering, his simplicity, were never disturbed either by power or by
opposition. To the charge of levity no man could be less open. Though
he trusted in Providence, care for the public and sorrow for the
public calamities filled his heart and sat visibly upon his brow. His
State papers are excellent, not only as public documents, but as
compositions, and are distinguished by their depth of human feeling
and tenderness, from those of other statesmen. He spoke always from
his own heart to the heart of the people. His brief funeral oration
over the graves of those who had fallen in the war is one of the gems
of the language.



He was uneducated, as that term goes to-day, and yet he gave statesmen
and educators things to think about for a hundred years to come.
Beneath the awkward, angular and diffident frame beat one of the
noblest, largest, tenderest hearts that ever swelled in aspiration for
truth, or longed to accomplish a freeman's duty. He might have lacked
in that acute analysis which knows the "properties of matter," but he
knew the passions, emotions, and weaknesses of men; he knew their
motives. He had the genius to mine men and strike easily the rich ore
of human nature. He was poor in this world's goods, and I prize
gratefully a fac-simile letter lying among the treasures of my study
written by Mr. Lincoln to an old friend, requesting the favor of a
small loan, as he had entered upon that campaign of his that was not
done until death released the most steadfast hero of that cruel war.
Men speculate as to his religion. It was the religion of the seer, the
hero, the patriot, and the lover of his race and time. Amid the
political idiocy of the times, the corruption in high places, the
dilettante culture, the vaporings of wild and helpless theorists, in
this swamp of political quagmire, O Lincoln, it is refreshing to think
of thee!


From "Greeley on Lincoln"

When I last saw him, some five or six weeks before his death, his face
was haggard with care, and seamed with thought and trouble. It looked
care-ploughed, tempest-tossed, weather-beaten, as if he were some
tough old mariner, who had for years been beating up against the wind
and tide, unable to make his port or find safe anchorage. Judging from
that scathed, rugged countenance, I do not believe he could have lived
out his second term had no felon hand been lifted against his
priceless life.

The chief moral I deduce from his eventful career asserts

    The might that slumbers in a peasant's arm!

the majestic heritage, the measureless opportunity, of the humblest
American youth. Here was an heir of poverty and insignificance,
obscure, untaught, buried throughout his childhood in the frontier
forests, with no transcendent, dazzling abilities, such as make their
way in any country, under any institutions, but emphatically in
intellect, as in station, one of the millions of strivers for a rude
livelihood, who, though attaching himself stubbornly to the less
popular party, and especially so in the State which he has chosen as
his home, did nevertheless become a central figure of the Western
Hemisphere, and an object of honor, love, and reverence throughout the
civilized world. Had he been a genius, an intellectual prodigy, like
Julius Caesar, or Shakespeare, or Mirabeau, or Webster, we might say:
"This lesson is not for us--with such faculties any one could achieve
and succeed"; but he was not a born king of men, ruling by the
resistless might of his natural superiority, but a child of the
people, who made himself a great persuader, therefore a leader by dint
of firm resolve, and patient effort, and dogged perseverance. He
slowly won his way to eminence and renown by ever doing the work that
lay next to him--doing it with all his growing might--doing it as well
as he could, and learning by his failure, when failure was
encountered, how to do it better. Wendell Phillips once coarsely said,
"He grew because we watered him"; which was only true in so far as
this--he was open to all impressions and influences, and gladly
profited by all the teachings of events and circumstances, no matter
how adverse or unwelcome. There was probably no year of his life in
which he was not a wiser, larger, better man than he had been the year
preceding. It was of such a nature--patient, plodding, sometimes
groping, but ever towards the light--that Tennyson sings:

    Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds,
      At last he beat his music out.
      There lives more faith in honest doubt,
    Believe me, than in half the creeds.

There are those who profess to have been always satisfied with his
conduct of the war, deeming it prompt, energetic, vigorous, masterly.
I did not, and could not, so regard it. I believed then--I believe
this hour,--that a Napoleon I., a Jackson, would have crushed
secession out in a single short campaign--almost in a single victory.
I believed that an advance to Richmond 100,000 strong might have been
made by the end of June, 1861; that would have insured a
counter-revolution throughout the South, and a voluntary return of
every State, through a dispersion and disavowal of its rebel chiefs,
to the councils and the flag of the Union. But such a return would
have not merely left slavery intact--it would have established it on
firmer foundations than ever before. The momentarily alienated North
and South would have fallen on each other's necks, and, amid tears and
kisses, have sealed their reunion by ignominiously making the Black
the scapegoat of their bygone quarrel, and wreaking on him the spite
which they had purposed to expend on each other. But God had higher
ends, to which a Bull Run, a Ball's Bluff, a Gaines's Mill, a
Groveton, were indispensable: and so they came to pass, and were
endured and profited by. The Republic needed to be passed through
chastening, purifying fires of adversity and suffering: so these came
and did their work and the verdure of a new national life springs
greenly, luxuriantly, from their ashes. Other men were helpful to the
great renovation, and nobly did their part in it; yet, looking back
through the lifting mists of seven eventful, tragic, trying, glorious
years, I clearly discern that the one providential leader, the
indispensable hero of the great drama--faithfully reflecting even in
his hesitations and seeming vacillations the sentiment of the
masses--fitted by his very defects and shortcomings for the burden
laid upon him, the good to be wrought out through him, was Abraham



    Heroic soul, in homely garb half hid,
      Sincere, sagacious, melancholy, quaint;
    What he endured, no less than what he did,
      Has reared his monument, and crowned him saint.



In 1865, the bullet of an assassin suddenly terminated the life among
men of one who was an honor to his race. He was great and good. He was
great because he was good. Lincoln's religious character was the one
thing which, above all other features of his unique mental and moral
as well as physical personality, lifted him above his fellow men.

Because an effort has been made to parade Abraham Lincoln as an
unbeliever, I have been led to search carefully for the facts in his
life bearing on this point. The testimony seems to be almost entirely,
if not altogether, on one side. I cannot account for the statement
which William H. Herndon makes in his life of the martyred President,
that, "Mr. Lincoln had no faith." For twenty-five years Mr. Herndon
was Abraham Lincoln's law partner in Springfield, Ill. He had the best
opportunities to know Abraham Lincoln. When, however, he affirms that
"Mr. Lincoln had no faith," he speaks without warrant. It is simply
certain that he uses words in their usually accepted signification,
although his statement concerning Lincoln is not true.

Abraham Lincoln was a man of profound faith. He believed in God. He
believed in Christ. He believed in the Bible. He believed in men. His
faith made him great. His life is a beautiful commentary on the words,
"This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." There
was a time in Lincoln's experience when his faith faltered, as there
was a time when his reason tottered, but these sad experiences were
temporary, and Abraham Lincoln was neither an infidel nor a lunatic.
It is easy to trace in the life of this colossal character, a steady
growth of faith. This grace in him increased steadily in breadth and
in strength with the passing years, until it came to pass that his
last public utterances show forth the confidence and the fire of an
ancient Hebrew prophet.

It is true that Lincoln never united with the Church, although a
lifelong and regular attendant on its services. He had a reason for
occupying a position outside the fellowship of the Church of Christ as
it existed in his day and in his part of the world. This reason
Lincoln did not hesitate to declare. He explained on one occasion that
he had never become a church member because he did not like and could
not in conscience subscribe to the long and frequently complicated
statements of Christian doctrines which characterized the confessions
of the Churches. He said: "When any Church will inscribe over its
altar as its sole qualification for membership the Savior's condensed
statement of the substance of both law and gospel, 'Thou shalt love
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself,' that Church will I join
with all my heart and soul."

Abraham Lincoln in these words recognizes the central figure of the
Bible, Jesus of Nazareth, as "the Saviour." He recognizes God as the
supreme Lawgiver, and expresses readiness, while eschewing theological
subtleties, to submit heart and soul to the supreme Lawgiver of the
universe. His faith, according to this language, goes out manward as
well as Godward. He believed not only in God, but he believed in man
as well, and this Christianity, according to Christ, requires of all
disciples of the great Teacher.

About a year before his assassination Lincoln, in a letter to Joshua
Speed, said: "I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all
of this book upon reason that you can and the balance on faith, and
you will live and die a better man." He saw and declared that the
teaching of the Bible had a tendency to improve character. He had a
right view of this sacred literature. Its purpose is character

Leonard Swett, who knew Abraham Lincoln well, said at the unveiling of
the Chicago monument that Lincoln "believed in God as the supreme
ruler of the universe, the guide of men, and the controller of the
great events and destinies of mankind. He believed himself to be an
instrument and leader in this country of the force of freedom."

From this it appears that his belief was not merely theoretical, but
that it was practical. He regarded himself as an instrument, as Moses
was an instrument in the hands of Almighty God, to lead men into

It was after his election, in the autumn of 1860, and but a short time
before his inauguration as President of the United States, that in a
letter to Judge Joseph Gillespie, he said: "I have read on my knees
the story of Gethsemane, where the Son of God prayed in vain that the
cup of bitterness might pass from Him. I am in the garden of
Gethsemane now, and my cup of bitterness is full and overflowing."

From this it is clear that he believed the Jesus of the Gospels to be
"the Son of God." And what a sense of responsibility he must at the
time of writing this letter have experienced to cause him to declare,
"I am in the garden of Gethsemane now, and my cup of bitterness is
full and overflowing!" Only a superlatively good man, only a man of
genuine piety, could use honestly such language as this. These words
do not indicate unbelief or agnosticism. If ever a man in public life
in these United States was removed the distance of the antipodes from
the coldness and bleakness of agnosticism, that man was Abraham
Lincoln. This confession of faith, incidentally made in a brief letter
to a dear friend, is not only orthodox according to the accepted
standards of orthodoxy, but, better, it is evangelical. To him the
hero of the Gospel histories was none other than "the Son of God." By
the use of these words did Lincoln characterize Jesus of Nazareth.

Herndon has said in his life of Abraham Lincoln that he never read the
Bible, but Alexander Williamson, who was employed as a tutor in
President Lincoln's family in Washington, said that "Mr. Lincoln very
frequently studied the Bible, with the aid of Cruden's Concordance,
which lay on his table." If Lincoln was not a reader and student of
the inspired literature which we call the Bible, what explanation can
be made of his language just quoted, addressed to Judge Gillespie, "I
have read on my knees the story of Gethsemane, where the Son of God
prayed in vain that the cup of bitterness might pass from Him"?

I have admitted that in Lincoln's experience there was a time when his
faith faltered. It is interesting to know in what manner he came to
have the faith which in the maturity of his royal manhood and in the
zenith of his intellectual powers he expressed. One of his
pastors--for he sat under the ministry of James Smith, has told in
what way Lincoln came to be an intelligent believer in the Bible, in
Jesus as the Son of God, and in Christianity as Divine in its origin,
and a mighty moral and spiritual power for the regeneration of men and
of the race. Mr. Smith placed before him, he says, the arguments for
and against the Divine authority and inspiration of the Scriptures. To
the arguments on both sides Lincoln gave a patient, impartial, and
searching investigation. He himself said that he examined the
arguments as a lawyer investigates testimony in a case in which he is
deeply interested. At the conclusion of the investigation he declared
that the arguments in favor of the Divine authority and inspiration of
the Bible is unanswerable.

So far did Lincoln go in his open sympathy with the teachings of the
Bible that on one occasion in the presence of a large assembly, he
delivered the address at an annual meeting of the Springfield,
Illinois, Bible Society. In the course of his address he drew a
contrast between the decalog and the most eminent lawgiver of
antiquity, in which he said: "It seems to me that nothing short of
infinite wisdom could by any possibility have devised and given to man
this excellent and perfect moral code. It is suited to men in all the
conditions of life, and inculcates all the duties they owe to their
Creator, to themselves, and their fellow men."

Lincoln prepared an address, in which he declared that this country
cannot exist half slave and half-free. He affirmed the saying of
Jesus, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Having read this
address to some friends, they urged him to strike out that portion of
it. If he would do so, he could probably be elected to the United
States Senate; but if he delivered the address as written, the ground
taken was so high, the position was so advanced, his sentiments were
so radical, he would probably fail of gaining a seat in the supreme
legislative body of the greatest republic on earth.

Lincoln, under those circumstances, said: "I know there is a God, and
that He hates the injustice of slavery. I see the storm coming, and I
know that His hand is in it. If He has a place and a work for me, and
I think he has, I believe I am ready. I am nothing but truth is
everything. I know I am right, because I know that liberty is right,
for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God."

And yet we are asked to believe that a man who could express himself
in this way and show this courage was a doubter, a skeptic, an
unbeliever, an agnostic, an infidel. "Christ is God." This was
Lincoln's faith in 1860, found in a letter addressed to the Hon.
Newton Bateman.

Lincoln's father was a Christian. Old Uncle Tommy Lincoln, as his
friends familiarly called him, was a good man. He was what might be
called a ne'er-do-well. As the world counts success, Thomas Lincoln,
the father of Abraham Lincoln, was not successful, but he was an
honest man. He was a truthful man. He was a man of faith. He
worshipped God. He belonged to the church. He was a member of a
congregation in Charleston, Ill., which I had the honor to serve in
the beginning of my ministry, known as the Christian Church. He died
not far from Charleston, and is buried a few miles distant from the
beautiful little town, the county seat of Coles County, Ill.

During the last illness of his father, Lincoln wrote a letter to his
step-brother, John Johnston, which closes with the following
sentences: "I sincerely hope that father may recover his health, but
at all events tell him to remember to call upon and confide in our
great, and good, and merciful Maker, who will not turn away from him
in any extremity. He notes the fall of the sparrow, and numbers the
hairs of our heads, and He will not forget the dying man who puts his
trust in Him. Say to him that if we could meet now it is doubtful
whether it would not be more painful than pleasant, but that if it be
his lot to go now he will soon have a joyful meeting with loved ones
gone before, and where the rest of us, through the mercy of God, hope
ere long to join them."

From this it appears that Lincoln cherished a hope of life everlasting
through the mercy of God. This sounds very much like the talk of a

Although Lincoln was not a church member, he was a man of prayer. He
believed that God can hear, does hear, and answer prayer. Lincoln said
in conversation with General Sickles concerning the battle of
Gettysburg, that he had no anxiety as to the result. At this General
Sickles expressed surprise, and inquired into the reason for this
unusual state of mind at that period in the history of the war.
Lincoln hesitated to accede to the request of General Sickles, but was
finally prevailed upon to do so, and this is what he said:

"Well, I will tell you how it was. In the pinch of your campaign up
there, when everybody seemed panic stricken, and nobody could tell
what was going to happen, oppressed by the gravity of our affairs, I
went into my room one day and locked the door, and got down on my
knees before Almighty God, and prayed to Him mightily for victory at
Gettysburg. I told Him this was His war, and our cause His cause, but
that we could not stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville.
And I then and there made a solemn vow to Almighty God that if He
would stand by our boys at Gettysburg I would stand by Him. And He did
and I will. And after that (I don't know how it was, and I can't
explain it) but soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul that things
would go all right at Gettysburg, and that is why I had no fears
about you."

Such faith as this will put to the blush many who are members of the

It was afterward that General Sickles asked him what news he had from
Vicksburg. He answered that he had no news worth mentioning, but that
Grant was still "pegging away" down there, and he thought a good deal
of him as a general, and had no thought of removing him
notwithstanding that he was urged to do so; and, "besides," he added,
"I have been praying over Vicksburg also, and believe our Heavenly
Father is going to give us victory there too, because we need it, in
order to bisect the Confederacy and have the Mississippi flow unvexed
to the sea."

When he entered upon the task to which the people of the United States
had called him, at the railway station in Springfield on the eve of
his departure to Washington to take the oath of office, he delivered
an address. It is a model. I quote it entire. It is as follows:

"My friends, no one not in my position can realize the sadness I feel
at this parting. To this people I owe all that I am. Here I have lived
more than a quarter of a century. Here my children were born, and here
one of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see you again. I
go to assume a task more than that which has devolved upon any other
man since the days of Washington. He never would have succeeded except
for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied.
I feel that I cannot succeed without the same Divine blessing which
sustained him, and on the same almighty Being I place my reliance for
support. And I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive
that Divine assistance, without which I cannot succeed, but with which
success is certain. Again, I bid you an affectionate farewell."

At the time of Lincoln's assassination these words were printed in a
great variety of forms. In my home for a number of years, beautifully
framed, these parting words addressed to the friends of many years in
Springfield, Ill., ornamented my humble residence. And yet one of his
biographers refers to this address as if its genuineness may well be
doubted. At the time of its delivery it was taken down and published
broadcast in the papers of the day.

But it would be wearisome to you to recite all the evidences bearing
on the religious character of Abraham Lincoln. John G. Nicolay well
says: "Benevolence and forgiveness were the very basis of his
character; his world-wide humanity is aptly embodied in a phrase of
his second inaugural: 'With malice toward none, with charity for all.'
His nature was deeply religious, but he belonged to no denomination;
he had faith in the eternal justice and boundless mercy of Providence,
and made the Golden Rule of Christ his practical creed."

In this passage Mr. Nicolay refers especially to Lincoln's second
inaugural address. This address has the ring of an ancient Hebrew
prophet. Only a man of faith and piety could deliver such an address.
After the struggles through which the country had passed Lincoln's
self-poise, his confidence in God, his belief in and affection for his
fellow men, remained unabated. In Lincoln's second inaugural address
he used these words:

"Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration
which it has already attained: neither anticipated that the cause of
the conflict might cease when or even before the conflict itself
should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less
fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the
same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem
strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in
wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us
judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be
answered: that of neither has been answered fully.

"The Almighty has His own purposes. 'Wo unto the world because of
offenses, for it must needs be that offenses come; but we to that man
by whom the offense cometh.' If we shall suppose that American slavery
is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs
come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now
wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this
terrible war, as the wo due to those by whom the offense came, shall
we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which
the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him. Fondly do we
hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may
speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the
wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of
unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn
with a lash shall be paid with another drawn by a sword, as was said
three thousand years ago, so still it must be said. 'The judgments of
the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the
right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the
work we are in; to bind up the Nation's wounds; to care for him who
shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan--to do
all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among our
selves and with all nations."

The spirit of this address, under the circumstances, is intensely
Christian, and it is one of the most remarkable speeches in the
literature of the world.

When Lincoln was urged to issue his Proclamation of Emancipation he
waited on God for guidance. He said to some who urged this matter, who
were anxious to have the President act without delay: "I hope it will
not be irreverent for me to say that, if it is probable that God would
reveal His will to others on a point so connected with my duty, it
might be supposed He would reveal it directly to me, for, unless I am
more deceived in myself that I often am, it is my earnest desire to
know the will of Providence in this matter, and if I can learn what it
is, I will do it."

Stoddard, in his Life of Lincoln, gives attention beyond any of his
biographers to the religious side of Lincoln's character. Commenting
on the inaugural from which I have quoted, Mr. Stoddard said:

"His mind and soul have reached the full development in a religious
life so unusually intense and absorbing that it could not otherwise
than utter itself in the grand sentences of his last address to the
people. The knowledge had come, and the faith had come, and the
charity had come, and with all had come the love of God which had put
away all thought of rebellious resistance to the will of God leading,
as in his earlier days of trial, to despair and insanity."

I wish to call special attention to Lincoln's temperance habits. He
was a teetotaler so far as the use of intoxicating liquors as a
beverage was concerned. When the committee of the Chicago Convention
waited upon Lincoln to inform him of his nomination he treated them to
ice-water and 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

Mr. John Hay, one of his biographers, says: "Mr. Lincoln was a man of
exceedingly temperate habits. He made no use of either whisky or
tobacco during all the years that I knew him."

Abraham Lincoln was a model in every respect but one. It was a mistake
on the part of this great and good man that he never identified
himself openly with the Church. I know what can be said in favor of
his position. It is not, however, satisfactory. If all men were to act
in this matter as Lincoln did, there would be no Church. This is
obvious. Hence the mistake which he made. Otherwise, as to his
personal habits; as to his confidence in God; as to his faith in man;
as to his conception and use of the Bible; as to his habits of prayer;
as to his judicial fairness; as to his sympathy with men--in all these
respects, as in many others, Abraham Lincoln is a character to be
studied and imitated.

[26] _From 'The Homiletic Review,' Funk & Wagnalls, Publishers._


(Reunion at Gettysburg Twenty-Five Years After the Battle)



    Shade of our greatest, O look down to day!
      Here the long, dread midsummer battle roared,
      And brother in brother plunged the accursed sword;--
      Here foe meets foe once more in proud array
    Yet not as once to harry and to slay
      But to strike hands, and with sublime accord
      Weep tears heroic for the souls that soared
      Quick from earth's carnage to the starry way.
    Each fought for what he deemed the people's good,
      And proved his bravery with his offered life,
      And sealed his honor with his outpoured blood;
    But the Eternal did direct the strife,
      And on this sacred field one patriot host
      Now calls thee father,--dear, majestic ghost!

[27] _By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Company._



While I speak to you to-day, the body of the President who ruled this
people, is lying, honored and loved, in our city. It is impossible,
with that sacred presence in our midst, for me to stand and speak of
ordinary topics which occupy the pulpit. I must speak of him to-day;
and I therefore undertake to do what I have intended to do at some
future time, to invite you to study with me the character of Abraham
Lincoln, the impulse of his life and the causes of his death. I know
how hard it is to do it rightly, how impossible it is to do it
worthily. But I shall speak with confidence, because I speak to those
who love him, and whose ready love will fill out the deficiencies in
a picture which my words will weakly try to draw.

We take it for granted, first of all, that there is an essential
connection between Mr. Lincoln's character and his violent and bloody
death. It is no accident, no arbitrary decree of Providence. He lived
as he did, and he died as he did, because he was what he was. The more
we see of events the less we come to believe in any fate, or destiny,
except the destiny of character. It will be our duty, then, to see
what there was in the character of our great President that created
the history of his life, and at last produced the catastrophe of his
cruel death. After the first trembling horror, the first outburst of
indignant sorrow, has grown calm, these are the questions which we are
bound to ask and answer.

It is not necessary for me even to sketch the biography of Mr.
Lincoln. He was born in Kentucky fifty-six years ago, when Kentucky
was a pioneer State. He lived, as a boy and man, the hard and needy
life of a backwoodsman, a farmer, a river boatman, and, finally, by
his own efforts at self-education, of an active, respected,
influential citizen, in the half organized and manifold interests of a
new and energetic community. From his boyhood up he lived in direct
and vigorous contact with men and things, not as in older states and
easier conditions with words and theories; and both his moral
convictions and intellectual opinions gathered from that contact a
supreme degree of that character by which men knew him; that
character which is the most distinctive possession of the best
American nature; that almost indescribable quality which we call, in
general, clearness or truth, and which appears in the physical
structure as health, in the moral constitution as honesty, in the
mental structure as sagacity, and in the region of active life as
practicalness. This one character, with many sides, all shaped of the
same essential force and testifying to the same inner influences, was
what was powerful in him and decreed for him the life he was to live
and the death he was to die. We must take no smaller view then this of
what he was.

It is the great boon of such characters as Mr. Lincoln's, that they
reunite what God has joined together and man has put asunder. In him
was vindicated the greatness of real goodness and the goodness of real
greatness. The twain were one flesh. Not one of all the multitudes who
stood and looked up to him for direction with such a loving and
implicit trust can tell you to-day whether the wise judgments that he
gave came most from a strong head or a sound heart. If you ask them,
they are puzzled. There are men as good as he, but they do bad things.
There are men as intelligent as he, but they do foolish things. In
him, goodness and intelligence combined and made their best result of
wisdom. For perfect truth consists not merely in the right
constituents of character, but in their right and intimate
conjunction. This union of the mental and moral into a life of
admirable simplicity is what we most admire in children; but in them
it is unsettled and unpractical. But when it is preserved into
manhood, deepened into reliability and maturity, it is that glorified
childlikeness, that high and reverend simplicity, which shames and
baffles the most accomplished astuteness, and is chosen by God to fill
His purposes when He needs a ruler for His people, of faithful and
true heart, such as he had, who was our President.

Another evident quality of such character as this will be its
freshness or newness, if we may so speak; its freshness or
readiness,--call it what you will,--its ability to take up new duties
and do them in a new way, will result of necessity from its truth and
clearness. The simple natures and forces will always be the most
pliant ones. Water bends and shapes itself to any channel. Air folds
and adapts itself to each new figure. They are the simplest and the
most infinitely active things in nature. So this nature, in very
virtue of its simplicity, must be also free, always fitting itself to
each new need. It will always start from the most fundamental and
eternal conditions, and work in the straightest, even though they be
the newest ways, to the present prescribed purpose. In one word, it
must be broad and independent and radical. So that freedom and
radicalness in the character of Abraham Lincoln were not separate
qualities, but the necessary results of his simplicity and
childlikeness and truth.

Here then we have some conception of the man. Out of this character
came the life which we admire and the death which we lament to-day. He
was called in that character to that life and death. It was just the
nature, as you see, which a new nation such as ours ought to produce.
All the conditions of his birth, his youth, his manhood, which made
him what he was, were not irregular and exceptional, but were the
normal conditions of a new and simple country. His pioneer home in
Indiana was a type of the pioneer land in which he lived. If ever
there was a man who was a part of the time and country he lived in,
this was he. The same simple respect for labor won in the school of
work and incorporated into blood and muscle; the same unassuming
loyalty to the simple virtues of temperance and industry and
integrity; the same sagacious judgment which had learned to be
quick-eyed and quick-brained in the constant presence of emergency;
the same direct and clear thought about things, social, political and
religious, that was in him supremely, was in the people he was sent to
rule. Surely, with such a type-man for ruler, there would seem to be
but a smooth and even road over which he might lead the people whose
character he represented into the new region of national happiness,
and comfort, and usefulness, for which that character had been

The cause that Abraham Lincoln died for shall grow stronger by his
death, stronger and sterner. Stronger to set its pillars deep into the
structure of our Nation's life; sterner to execute the justice of the
Lord upon his enemies. Stronger to spread its arms and grasp our whole
land into freedom; sterner to sweep the last poor ghost of slavery out
of our haunted homes.

So let him lie there in our midst to-day and let our people go and
bend with solemn thoughtfulness and look upon his face and read the
lessons of his burial. As he passed here on his journey from the
Western home and told us what, by the help of God, he meant to do, so
let him pause upon his way back to his Western grave and tell us, with
a silence more eloquent than words, how bravely, how truly, by the
strength of God, he did it. God brought him up as He brought David up
from the sheep-folds to feed Jacob, His people, and Israel, His
inheritance. He came up in earnestness and faith, and he goes back in
triumph. As he pauses here to-day, and from his cold lips bids us bear
witness how he has met the duty that was laid on him, what can we say
out of our full hearts but this:--"He fed them with a faithful and
true heart, and ruled them prudently with all his power."

THE SHEPHERD OF THE PEOPLE! that old name that the best rulers ever
craved. What ruler ever won it like this dead President of ours? He
fed us faithfully and truly. He fed us with counsel when we were in
doubt, with inspiration when we sometimes faltered, with caution when
we would be rash, with calm, clear, trustful cheerfulness through many
an hour, when our hearts were dark. He fed hungry souls all over the
country with sympathy and consolation. He spread before the whole land
feasts of great duty and devotion and patriotism, on which the land
grew strong. He fed us with solemn, solid truths. He taught us the
sacredness of government, the wickedness of treason. He made our souls
glad and vigorous with the love of liberty that was in his. He showed
us how to love truth and yet be charitable--how to hate wrong and all
oppression, and yet not treasure one personal injury or insult. He fed
all his people, from the highest to the lowest, from the most
privileged down to the most enslaved. Best of all, he fed us with a
reverent and genuine religion. He spread before us the love and fear
of God just in that shape in which we need them most, and out of his
faithful service of a higher Master, who of us has not taken and eaten
and grown strong? "He fed them with a faithful and true heart." Yes,
till the last. For at the last, behold him standing with hand reached
out to feed the South with mercy, and the North with charity, and the
whole land with peace, when the Lord who had sent him called him, and
his work was done!

He stood once on the battlefield of our own State, and said of the
brave men who had saved it, words as noble as any countryman of ours
ever spoke. Let us stand in the country he has saved, and which is to
be his grave and monument, and say of Abraham Lincoln what he said of
the soldiers who had died at Gettysburg. He stood there with their
graves before him, and these are the words he said:

"We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this
ground. These brave men who struggled here have consecrated it far
beyond our power to add or detract. The world will little note nor
long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did
here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is
rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before
us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that
cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we
here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; and
this nation, under God shall have a new birth of freedom; and that
government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not
perish from the earth."

May God make us worthy of the memory of Abraham Lincoln!



The virtues and traditions of both happily still live for the
inspiration of their sons and the saving of the old fashion. But both
Puritan and Cavalier were lost in the storm of their first
revolution, and the American citizen, supplanting both, and stronger
than either, took possession of the Republic bought by their common
blood and fashioned in wisdom, and charged himself with teaching men
free government and establishing the voice of the people as the voice
of God. Great types like valuable plants are slow to flower and fruit.
But from the union of these colonists, from the straightening of their
purposes and the crossing of their blood, slow perfecting through a
century, came he who stands as the first typical American, the first
who comprehended within himself all the strength and gentleness, all
the majesty and grace of this Republic--Abraham Lincoln. He was the
sum of Puritan and Cavalier, for in his ardent nature were fused the
virtues of both, and in the depths of his great soul the faults of
both were lost. He was greater than Puritan, greater than Cavalier, in
that he was American, and that in his homely form were first gathered
the vast and thrilling forces of this ideal government--charging it
with such tremendous meaning and so elevating it above human suffering
that martyrdom, though infamously aimed came as a fitting crown to a
life consecrated from its cradle to human liberty. Let us, each
cherishing his traditions and honoring his fathers, build with
reverent hands to the type of this simple but sublime life, in which
all types are honored, and in the common glory we shall win as
Americans, there will be plenty and to spare for your forefathers and
for mine.



His biography is written in blood and tears; uncounted millions arise
and call him blessed; a redeemed and reunited republic is his
monument. History embalms the memory of Richard the Lion-Hearted;
here, too, our martyr finds loyal sepulture as Lincoln the

He was brave. While assassins swarmed in Washington, he went
everywhere, without guard or arms. He was magnanimous. He harbored no
grudge, nursed no grievance; was quick to forgive, and was anxious for
reconciliation. Hear him appealing to the South: "We are not enemies,
but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained,
it must not break, our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of
memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every
loving heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell
the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be,
by the better angels of our nature."

He was compassionate. With what joy he brought liberty to the
enslaved. He was forgiving. In this respect he was strikingly
suggestive of the Saviour. He was great. Time will but augment the
greatness of his name and fame. Perhaps a greater man never ruled in
this or any other nation. He was good and pure and incorruptible. He
was a patriot; he loved his country; he poured out his soul unto death
for it. He was human, and thus touched the chord that makes the whole
world kin.



The true peculiarity of Mr. Lincoln has not been seen by his various
biographers; or, if seen, they have failed wofully to give it that
prominence which it deserves. It is said that Newton saw an apple fall
to the ground from a tree, and beheld the law of the universe in that
fall; Shakespeare saw human nature in the laugh of a man; Professor
Owen saw the animal in its claw; and Spencer saw the evolution of the
universe in the growth of a seed. Nature was suggestive to all these
men. Mr. Lincoln no less saw philosophy in a story, and a schoolmaster
in a joke. No man, no men, saw nature, fact, thing, or man from his
stand-point. His was a new and original position, which was always
suggesting, hinting something to him. Nature, insinuations, hints and
suggestions were new, fresh, original and odd to him. The world, fact,
man, principle, all had their powers of suggestion to his susceptible
soul. They continually put him in mind of something. He was odd,
fresh, new, original, and peculiar, for this reason, that he was a
new, odd, and original creation and fact. He had keen susceptibilities
to the hints and suggestions of nature, which always put him in mind
of something known or unknown. Hence his power and tenacity of what is
called association of ideas must have been great. His memory was
tenacious and strong. His susceptibility to all suggestions and hints
enabled him at will to call up readily the associated and classified
fact and idea.

As an evidence of this, especially peculiar to Mr. Lincoln, let me ask
one question. Were Mr. Lincoln's expression and language odd and
original, standing out peculiar from those of all other men? What does
this imply? Oddity and originality of vision as well as expression;
and what is expression in words and human language, but a telling of
what we see, defining the idea arising from and created by vision and
view in us? Words and language are but the counterparts of the
idea--the other half of the idea; they are but the stinging, hot,
heavy, leaden bullets that drop from the mold; and what are they in a
rifle with powder stuffed behind them and fire applied, but an
embodied force pursuing their object? So are words an embodied power
feeling for comprehension in other minds. Mr. Lincoln was often
perplexed to give expression to his ideas: first, because he was not
master of the English language: and, secondly, because there were no
words in it containing the coloring, shape, exactness, power, and
gravity of his ideas. He was frequently at a loss for a word, and
hence was compelled to resort to stories, maxims, and jokes to embody
his idea, that it might be comprehended. So true was this peculiar
mental vision of his, that though mankind has been gathering,
arranging, and classifying facts for thousands of years, Lincoln's
peculiar stand-point could give him no advantage of other men's labor.
Hence he tore up to the deep foundations all arrangements of facts,
and coined and arranged new plans to govern himself. He was compelled,
from his peculiar mental organization, to do this. His labor was
great, continuous, patient and all-enduring.

The truth about this whole matter is that Mr. Lincoln read less and
thought more than any man in his sphere in America. No man can put his
finger on any great book written in the last or present century that
he read. When young he read the Bible, and when of age he read
Shakespeare. This latter book was scarcely ever out of his mind. Mr.
Lincoln is acknowledged to have been a great man, but the question is,
what made him great? I repeat, that he read less and thought more than
any man of his standing in America, if not in the world. He possessed
originality and power of thought in an eminent degree. He was
cautious, cool, concentrated, with continuity of reflection; was
patient and enduring. These are some of the grounds of his wonderful

Not only was nature, man, fact and principle suggestive to Mr.
Lincoln, not only had he accurate and exact perceptions, but he was
causative, i. e., his mind ran back behind all facts, things and
principles to their origin, history and first cause, to that point
where forces act at once as effect and cause. He would stop and stand
in the street and analyze a machine. He would whittle things to a
point, and then count the numberless inclined planes, and their pitch,
making the point. Mastering and defining this, he would then cut that
point back, and get a broad transverse section of his pine stick, and
peel and define that. Clocks, omnibuses and language, paddle-wheels
and idioms, never escaped his observation and analysis. Before he
could form any idea of anything, before he would express his opinion
on any subject, he must know it in origin and history, in substance
and quality, in magnitude and gravity. He must know his subject inside
and outside, upside and down side. He searched his own mind and nature
thoroughly, as I have often heard him say. He must analyze a
sensation, an idea, and words, and run them back to their origin,
history, purpose and destiny. He was most emphatically a remorseless
analyzer of facts, things and principles. When all these processes had
been well and thoroughly gone through, he could form an opinion and
express it, but no sooner. He had no faith. "Say so's" he had no
respect for, coming though they might from tradition, power or

All things, facts and principles had to run through his crucible and
be tested by the fires of his analytic mind; and hence, when he did
speak, his utterances rang out gold-like, quick, keen and current upon
the counters of the understanding. He reasoned logically, through
analogy and comparison. All opponents dreaded him in his originality
of idea, condensation, definition and force of expression, and woe be
to the man who hugged to his bosom a secret error if Mr. Lincoln got
on the chase of it. I say, woe to him! Time could hide the error in no
nook or corner of space in which he would not detect and expose it.

[Transcriber's Note: Part of this was omitted in original.]

The great predominating elements of Mr. Lincoln's peculiar character,
were: First, his great capacity and power of reason; secondly, his
excellent understanding; thirdly, an exalted idea of the sense of
right and equity; and, fourthly, his intense veneration of what was
true and good. His reason ruled despotically all other faculties and
qualities of his mind. His conscience and heart were ruled by it. His
conscience was ruled by one faculty--reason. His heart was ruled by
two faculties--reason and conscience. I know it is generally believed
that Mr. Lincoln's heart, his love and kindness, his tenderness and
benevolence, were his ruling qualities; but this opinion is erroneous
in every particular. First, as to his reason. He dwelt in the mind,
not in the conscience, and not in the heart. He lived and breathed and
acted from his reason--the throne of logic and the home of principle,
the realm of Deity in man. It is from this point that Mr. Lincoln must
be viewed. His views were correct and original. He was cautious not to
be deceived; he was patient and enduring. He had concentration and
great continuity of thought; he had a profound analytic power; his
visions were clear, and he was emphatically the master of statement.
His pursuit of the truth was indefatigable, terrible. He reasoned from
his well-chosen principles with such clearness, force, and
compactness, that the tallest intellects in the land bowed to him with
respect. He was the strongest man I ever saw, looking at him from the
stand-point of his reason--the throne of his logic. He came down from
that height with an irresistible and crushing force. His printed
speeches will prove this; but his speeches before courts, especially
before the Supreme Courts of the State and Nation, would demonstrate
it: unfortunately, none of them have been preserved. Here he demanded
time to think and prepare. The office of reason is to determine the
truth. Truth is the power of reason--the child of reason. He loved and
idolized truth for its own sake. It was reason's food.

Conscience, the second great quality and force of Mr. Lincoln's
character, is that faculty which loves the just: its office is
justice; right and equity are its correlatives. It decides upon all
acts of all people at all times. Mr. Lincoln had a deep, broad, living
conscience. His great reason told him what was true, good and bad,
right, wrong, just or unjust, and his conscience echoed back its
decision; and it was from this point that he acted and spoke and wove
his character and fame among us. His conscience ruled his heart; he
was always just before he was gracious. This was his motto, his glory:
and this is as it should be. It cannot be truthfully said of any
mortal man that he was always just. Mr. Lincoln was not always just;
but his great general life was. It follows that if Mr. Lincoln had
great reason and great conscience, he was an honest man. His great and
general life was honest, and he was justly and rightfully entitled to
the appellation, "Honest Abe." Honesty was his great polar star.

Mr. Lincoln had also a good understanding; that is, the faculty that
understands and comprehends the exact state of things, their near and
remote relations. The understanding does not necessarily inquire for
the reason of things. I must here repeat that Mr. Lincoln was an odd
and original man; he lived by himself and out of himself. He could not
absorb. He was a very sensitive man, unobtrusive and gentlemanly, and
often hid himself in the common mass of men, in order to prevent the
discovery of his individuality. He had no insulting egotism, and no
pompous pride; no haughtiness, and no aristocracy. He was not
indifferent, however, to approbation and public opinion. He was not an
upstart, and had no insolence. He was a meek, quiet, unobtrusive
gentleman.... Read Mr. Lincoln's speeches, letters, messages and
proclamations, read his whole record in his actual life, and you
cannot fail to perceive that he had good understanding. He understood
and fully comprehended himself, and what he did and why he did it,
better than most living men.

[Transcriber's Note: Part of this was omitted in original.]

There are contradictory opinions in reference to Mr. Lincoln's heart
and humanity. One opinion is that he was cold and obdurate, and the
other opinion is that he was warm and affectionate. I have shown you
that Mr. Lincoln first lived and breathed upon the world from his head
and conscience. I have attempted to show you that he lived and
breathed upon the world through the tender side of his heart, subject
at all times and places to the logic of his reason, and to his exalted
sense of right and equity; namely, his conscience. He always held his
conscience subject to his head; he held his heart always subject to
his head and conscience. His heart was the lowest organ, the weakest
of the three. Some men would reverse this order, and declare that his
heart was his ruling organ; that always manifested itself with love,
regardless of truth and justice, right and equity. The question still
is, was Mr. Lincoln a cold, heartless man, or a warm, affectionate
man? Can a man be a warm-hearted man who is all head and conscience,
or nearly so? What, in the first place, do we mean by a warm-hearted
man? Is it one who goes out of himself and reaches for others
spontaneously because of a deep love of humanity, apart from equity
and truth, and does what it does for love's sake? If so, Mr. Lincoln
was a cold man. Or, do we mean that when a human being, man or child,
approached him in behalf of a matter of right, and that the prayer of
such a one was granted, that this is an evidence of his love? The
African was enslaved, his rights were violated, and a principle was
violated in them. Rights imply obligations as well as duties. Mr.
Lincoln was President; he was in a position that made it his duty,
through his sense of right, his love of principle, his constitutional
obligations imposed upon him by oath of office, to strike the blow
against slavery. But did he do it for love? He himself has answered
the question: "I would not free the slaves if I could preserve the
Union without it." I use this argument against his too enthusiastic
friends. If you mean that this is love for love's sake, then Mr.
Lincoln was a warm-hearted man--not otherwise. To use a general
expression, his general life was cold. He had, however, a strong
latent capacity to love; but the object must first come as principle,
second as right, and third as lovely. He loved abstract humanity when
it was oppressed. This was an abstract love, not concrete in the
individual, as said by some. He rarely used the term love, yet was he
tender and gentle. He gave the key-note to his own character when he
said, "with malice toward none, with charity for all," he did what he
did. He had no intense loves, and hence no hates and no malice. He had
a broad charity for imperfect man, and let us imitate his great life
in this.

"But was not Mr. Lincoln a man of great humanity?" asks a friend at my
elbow, a little angrily; to which I reply, "Has not that question been
answered already?" Let us suppose that it has not. We must understand
each other. What do you mean by humanity? Do you mean that he had much
of human nature in him? If so, I will grant that he was a man of
humanity. Do you mean, if the above definition is unsatisfactory,
that Mr. Lincoln was tender and kind? Then I agree with you. But if
you mean to say that he so loved a man that he would sacrifice truth
and right for him, for love's sake, then he was not a man of humanity.
Do you mean to say that he so loved man, for love's sake, that his
heart led him out of himself, and compelled him to go in search of the
objects of his love, for their sake? He never, to my knowledge,
manifested this side of his character. Such is the law of human
nature, that it cannot be all head, all conscience, and all heart at
one and the same time in one and the same person. Our Maker made it
so, and where God through reason blazed the path, walk therein boldly.
Mr. Lincoln's glory and power lay in the just combination of head,
conscience, and heart, and it is here that his fame must rest, or not
at all.

Not only were Mr. Lincoln's perceptions good; not only was nature
suggestive to him; not only was he original and strong; not only had
he great reason, good understanding; not only did he love the true and
good--the eternal right; not only was he tender and kind--but in due
proportion and in legitimate subordination, had he a glorious
combination of them all. Through his perceptions--the suggestiveness
of nature, his originality and strength; through his magnificent
reason, his understanding, his conscience, his tenderness and
kindness, his heart, rather than love--he approximated as nearly as
most human beings in this imperfect state to an embodiment of the
great moral principle, "Do unto others as ye would they should do
unto you."



I know, when I left him, that I was more than ever impressed by his
kindly nature, his deep and earnest sympathy with the afflictions of
the whole people, resulting from the war, and by the march of hostile
armies through the South; and that his earnest desire seemed to be to
end the war speedily, without more bloodshed or devastation, and to
restore all the men of both sections to their homes. In the language
of his second inaugural address he seemed to have "charity for all,
malice toward none," and, above all, an absolute faith in the courage,
manliness, and integrity of the armies in the field. When at rest or
listening, his legs and arms seemed to hang almost lifeless, and his
face was care-worn and haggard; but the moment he began to talk his
face lightened up, his tall form, as it were, unfolded, and he was the
very impersonation of good-humor and fellowship. The last words I
recall as addressed to me were that he would feel better when I was
back at Goldsboro'. We parted at the gang-way of the River Queen about
noon of March 28th, and I never saw him again. Of all the men I ever
met, he seemed to possess more of the elements of greatness, combined
with goodness, than any other.



    Again thy birthday dawns, O man beloved,
      Dawns on the land thy blood was shed to save,
    And hearts of millions, by one impulse moved,
      Bow and fresh laurels lay upon thy grave.

    The years but add new luster to thy glory,
      And watchmen on the heights of vision see
    Reflected in thy life the old, old story,
      The story of the Man of Galilee.

    We see in thee the image of Him kneeling
      Before the close-shut tomb, and at the word
    "Come forth," from out the blackness long concealing
      There rose a man; clearly again was heard

    The Master's voice, and then, his cerements broken,
      Friends of the dead a living brother see;
    Thou, at the tomb where millions lay, hast spoken:
      "Loose him and let him go!"--the slave was free.

    And in the man so long in thraldom hidden
      We see the likeness of the Father's face,
    Clod changed to soul; by thy atonement bidden,
      We hasten to the uplift of a race.

    Spirit of Lincoln! Summon all thy loyal;
      Nerve them to follow where thy feet have trod,
    To prove, by voice as clear and deed as royal,
      Man's brotherhood in our one Father--God.



It was early in the evening in a shop where flags were sold.

There were large flags, middle-sized flags, small flags and little
bits of flags. The finest of all was Old Glory. Old Glory was made of
silk and hung in graceful folds from the wall.

"Attention!" called Old Glory.

Starry eyes all over the room looked at him.

"What day of the month is it?"

"February Twelfth," quickly answered the flags.

"Whose birthday is it?" "Abraham Lincoln's."

"Where is he buried?" "Springfield, Illinois."

"Very well," said Old Glory, "you are to take some of Uncle Sam's
children there to-night."

"Yes, captain," said the flags, wondering what he meant.

"First, I must know whether you are good American flags. How many red
stripes have you?"

"Seven!" was the answer.

"How many white stripes?" "Six!"

"How many stars?" "Forty-five!" shouted the large flags.

The little ones said nothing.

"Ah, I see," said Old Glory, "but you are not to blame. Do you see
that open transom?" he went on. "Go through it into the street, put
your staffs into the hands of any little boys you find and bring them

"Yes, captain," called the flags, as they fluttered away.

Last of all, Old Glory pulled his silken stripes into the hallway and
waited for the flags to come back. "It's much too cold for little
girls," he said to himself. "Their pretty noses might freeze."

By and by the flags came back, each bringing a small boy. Old Glory
looked at them.

"What's the matter?" said he; "you don't seem pleased."

No one spoke, the little boys stared with round eyes at Old Glory, but
held tightly to the flags.

At last one of the flags said: "Please, captain, these are the only
little boys we could find."

"Well!" said Old Glory.

"And we think they don't belong to Uncle Sam," was the answer.

"Why not?" said Old Glory.

"Some of them are ragged," called one flag.

"And some are dirty," said another.

"This one is a colored boy," said another.

"Some of them can't speak English at all."

"The one I found, why, he blacks boots!"

"And mine is a newsboy."

"Mine sleeps in a dry goods box."

"Mine plays a violin on the street corner."

"Just look at mine, captain!" said the last flag proudly, when the
rest were through.

"What about him?" asked Old Glory.

"I'm sure he belongs to Uncle Sam; he lives in a brown-stone house and
he wears such good clothes!"

"Of course I belong to Uncle Sam," said the brown-stone boy quickly,
"but I think these street boys do not."

"There, there!" said Old Glory; "I'll telephone to Washington and find
out," and Old Glory floated away.

The little boys watched and waited.

Back came Old Glory.

"It's all right," said he, "Uncle Sam says every one of you belongs to
him and he wants you to be brave and honest, for some day he may need
you for soldiers; oh, yes! and he said, 'Tell those poor little chaps
who have such a hard time of it and no one to help them, that Mr.
Lincoln was a poor boy too, and yet he was the grandest and best of
all my sons.'"

The moon was just rising.

It made the snow and ice shine.

"It's almost time," said Old Glory softly.

"Hark! you must not wink, nor cough nor sneeze nor move for
three-quarters of a minute!"

That was dreadful!

The newsboy swallowed a cough.

The boot-black held his breath for fear of sneezing.

The brown-stone boy shut his eyes so as not to wink.

They all stood as if turned to stone.

Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, came a faint sound of bells.

Nothing else was heard but the beating of their own hearts.

In exactly three-quarters of a minute, Old Glory said, "What do you
think of that?"

Behold! a wonderful fairy sleigh, white as a snowdrift, and shining in
the moonlight as if covered with diamond dust.

It was piled high with softest cushions and robes of fur.

It was drawn by thirteen fairy horses, with arching necks and flowing
manes and tails.

Each horse wore knots of red, white and blue at his ears and the lines
were wound with ribbons of the same.

"Jump in," said Old Glory.

Into the midst of the cushions and furs they sprang.

Crack went the whip, tinkle went the bells. Over the house-tops,
through the frosty air, among the moonbeams, up and away sailed fairy
horses and sleigh, American flags and Uncle Sam's boys.

Santa Claus with his reindeer never went faster.

Presently the tinkling bells were hushed, and the fairy horses stood
very still before the tomb of Abraham Lincoln.

"Come," said Old Glory, and he led them inside.

You must get your father or mother to tell you what they saw there.

Just before they left, a dirty little hand touched Old Glory and a
shrill little voice said: "I'd like to leave my flag here. May I?"

"And may I?" said another.

Old Glory looked around and saw the same wish in the other faces.

"You forget," said he, "that the flags are not yours. It would not be
right to keep them. What did the people call Mr. Lincoln? You don't
know? Well, I'll tell you. It was 'Honest Old Abe,' and Uncle Sam
wants you to be like him."

Again the merry bells tinkled, again the proud horses, with their
flowing manes and tails, sprang into the air, and before the moon had
said "good-night" to the earth, they were back at the flag shop.

The very moment they reached it, horses and sleigh, cushions and
robes, melted away and the children saw them no more.


(Exercise for the Schoolroom)



This dialogue, or exercise, is to be given by eight boys. While they
and the school are singing the first song the boys march upon the
stage and form into a semicircle, the four boys speaking for
Washington on the right, the other four (for Lincoln) on the left.
Portraits of Washington and Lincoln should be placed in a convenient
position on the stage beneath a double arch wreathed with evergreens.
The portraits should be draped with American flags. Each one of the
boys should wear a small American flag pinned to his coat.

SONG. TUNE, _Rally 'Round the Flag_

    We are marching from the East,
    We are marching from the West,
      Singing the praises of a nation.
    That all the world may hear
    Of the men we hold so dear,
      Singing the praises of a nation.


    For Washington and Lincoln,
      Hurrah, all hurrah,
    Sing as we gather
      Here from afar,
    Yes, for Washington and Lincoln,
      Let us ever sing,
    Sing all the praises of a nation.

    Yes, we love to sing this song,
    As we proudly march along,
      Singing the praises of the heroes.
    Through this great and happy land,
    We would sound their names so grand.
      Singing the praises of our heroes.


ALL: We have come to tell you of two men whose names must be linked
together as long as the nation shall stand, Washington and Lincoln.
They stand for patriotism, goodness, truth and true manliness. Hand in
hand they shall go down the centuries together.

FIRST SPEAKER ON THE WASHINGTON SIDE: Virginia sends you greeting. I
come in her name in honor of her illustrious son, George Washington,
and she bids me tell you that he was born in her state, Feb. 22, 1732.

ALL: 'Twas years and years ago.

FIRST SPEAKER: Yes, more than a hundred and seventy, nearly two

ALL: A long time to be remembered.

FIRST SPEAKER: Yes, but Washington's name is still cherished and
honored all over the land which his valor and wisdom helped save, and,
for generations yet to come, the children of the schools shall give
him a million-tongued fame.

SECOND SPEAKER: Virginia bids me tell you that as a boy, Washington
was manly, brave, obedient and kind, and that he never told a lie.

SONG: (Either as solo or chorus). AIR, _What Can the Matter Be?_

    Dear, dear, who can believe it?
    Dear, dear, who can conceive it?
    Dear, dear, we scarce can believe that
    Never did he tell a lie.

    O, surely temptation must oft have assailed him,
    But courage and honor we know never failed him,
    So let us all follow his wondrous example,
    And never, no never tell lies.
    And never, no never, tell lies.

THIRD SPEAKER: A brave and manly boy, he began work early in life,
and, in 1748, when only sixteen years old, he was a surveyor of lands,
and took long tramps into the wilderness. In 1775 came the
Revolutionary War, and he was appointed commander-in-chief of the
American Army. In 1787 he was elected president of the convention
which framed the constitution of our country.

FOURTH SPEAKER: In 1789 he was chosen first president of the United
States. He was re-elected in 1793 and, at the close of the second term
he retired to private life at his beautiful and beloved home, Mt.
Vernon. He died there, Dec. 14, 1799, honored and mourned by the whole
nation, and leaving to the world a life which is a "pattern for all
public men, teaching what greatness is and what is the pathway to
undying fame," and richly deserving the title, "Father of his

ALL: "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his
countrymen," he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes
of private life.

BOYS REPRESENTING LINCOLN: Washington was a great and good man, and
so, too, was the man whom we delight to honor, whose title, "Honest
Abe," has passed into the language of our times as a synonym for all
that is just and honest in man.

FIRST SPEAKER ON THE LINCOLN SIDE: Kentucky is proud to claim Abraham
Lincoln as one of her honored sons, and she bids me say that he was
born in that state in Hardin County, Feb. 12, 1809. Indiana, too,
claims him, he was her son by adoption, for, when but seven years old,
his father moved to the southwestern part of that state. Illinois also
has a claim upon him. It was there that he helped build a log cabin
for a new home, and split rails to fence in a cornfield. Afterwards he
split rails for a suit of clothes, one hundred rails for every yard of
cloth, and so won the name, "The Rail-splitter."

SECOND SPEAKER: In 1828 he became a flat-boatman and twice went down
the river to New Orleans. In 1832 he served as captain of a company in
the Black Hawk War. After the war he kept a country store, and won a
reputation for honesty. Then, for a while, he was a surveyor, next, a
lawyer, and in 1834 he was elected to the Legislature of Illinois.

THIRD SPEAKER: In 1846 he was made a member of Congress, in 1860 he
was elected president of the United States.

FOURTH SPEAKER: The Civil War followed, and in 1864 he was elected
president for the second term. On April 14 he was shot by an assassin
and died on the morning of the 15th.

SONG BY SCHOOL: AIR, _John Brown's Body_

    In spite of changing seasons of the years that come and go,
    Still his name to-day is cherished in the hearts of friend and foe,
    And the land for which he suffered e'er shall honor him we know,
        While truth goes marching on.


BOTH GROUPS TOGETHER: To both these men, George Washington and Abraham
Lincoln, we, the children of the nation, owe a debt of gratitude which
we can only repay by a lifetime of work, for God, humanity, and our
country. Both have left behind them words of wisdom, which, if heeded,
will make us wiser and better boys and girls, and so wiser and better
men and women.

TWO BOYS FROM THE WASHINGTON GROUP: Washington said, "Without virtue
and without integrity, the finest talents and the most brilliant
accomplishments can never gain the respect or conciliate the esteem of
the most valuable part of mankind."

TWO BOYS FROM THE LINCOLN GROUP: Lincoln said, "I have one vote, and I
shall always cast that against wrong as long as I live."

TWO BOYS FROM WASHINGTON GROUP: "If to please the people we offer what
we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work?"

TWO BOYS FROM LINCOLN GROUP: Lincoln said, "In every event of life, it
is right makes might."

    ALL: O, wise and great!
    Their like, perchance, we ne'er shall see again,
    But let us write their golden words upon the hearts of men.

SONG: TUNE _"America"_

    Turn now unto the past,
    There, long as life shall last,
    Their names you'll find.
    Faithful and true and brave,
    Sent here our land to save.
    Men whom our father gave,
    Brave, true, and kind.






As the generations slip away, as the dust of conflict settles, and as
through the clearing air we look back with keener vision into the
Nation's past, mightiest among the mighty dead, loom up the three
great figures of Washington, Lincoln and Grant. These three greatest
men have taken their places among the great men of all nations, the
great men of all times. They stood supreme in the two great crises of
our history, in the two great occasions, when we stood in the van of
all humanity, and struck the most effective blows that have ever been
struck for the cause of human freedom under the law.



As God appeared to Solomon and Joseph in dreams to urge them to make
wise choices for the power of great usefulness, so it would appear
that in their waking dreams the Almighty appeared to such
history-making souls as Paul and Constantine, Alfred the Great,
Washington, and Lincoln. It was the commonest kind of a life this
young Lincoln was living on the frontier of civilization, but out of
that commonest kind of living came the uncommonest kind of character
of these modern years, the sublimest liberative power in the history
of freedom. Lincoln felt there, as a great awkward boy, that God and
history had something for him to do. He dreamed his destiny. He chose
to champion the cause of the oppressed. He vowed that when the chance
came he would deal slavery a hard blow. When he came to his high
office, he came with a character which had been fitting itself for its
grave responsibilities. He had been making wise choices on the great
questions of human rights, of national union, of constitutional
freedom, of universal brotherhood.



Strange mingling of mirth and tears, of the tragic and grotesque, of
cap and crown, of Socrates and Rabelais, of Æsop and Marcus Aurelius,
of all that is gentle and just, humorous and honest, merciful, wise,
laughable, lovable and divine, and all consecrated to the use of man;
while through all, and over all, an overwhelming sense of obligation,
of chivalric loyalty to truth, and upon all the shadow of the tragic

Nearly all the great historic characters are impossible monsters,
disproportioned by flattery, or by calumny deformed. We know nothing
of their peculiarities, or nothing but their peculiarities. About the
roots of these oaks there clings none of the earth of humanity.
Washington is now only a steel engraving. About the real man who lived
and loved and hated and schemed we know but little. The glass through
which we look at him is of such high magnifying power that the
features are exceedingly indistinct. Hundreds of people are now
engaged in smoothing out the lines of Lincoln's face--forcing all
features to the common mold--so that he may be known, not as he really
was, but, according to their poor standard, as he should have been.

Lincoln was not a type. He stands alone--no ancestors, no fellows, and
no successors. He had the advantage of living in a new country, of
social equality, of personal freedom, of seeing in the horizon of his
future the perpetual star of hope. He preserved his individuality and
his self-respect. He knew and mingled with men of every kind; and,
after all, men are the best books. He became acquainted with the
ambitions and hopes of the heart, the means used to accomplish ends,
the springs of action and the seeds of thought. He was familiar with
nature, with actual things, with common facts. He loved and
appreciated the poem of the year, the drama of the seasons.

In a new country, a man must possess at least three virtues--honesty,
courage and generosity. In cultivated society, cultivation is often
more important than soil. A well executed counterfeit passes more
readily than a blurred genuine. It is necessary only to observe the
unwritten laws of society--to be honest enough to keep out of prison,
and generous enough to subscribe in public--where the subscription can
be defended as an investment. In a new country, character is
essential; in the old, reputation is sufficient. In the new, they find
what a man really is; in the old, he generally passes for what he
resembles. People separated only by distance are much nearer together
than those divided by the walls of caste.

It is no advantage to live in a great city, where poverty degrades and
failure brings despair. The fields are lovelier than paved streets,
and the great forests than walls of brick. Oaks and elms are more
poetic than steeples and chimneys. In the country is the idea of home.
There you see the rising and setting sun; you become acquainted with
the stars and clouds. The constellations are your friends. You hear
the rain on the roof and listen to the rhythmic sighing of the winds.
You are thrilled by the resurrection called Spring, touched and
saddened by Autumn, the grace and poetry of death. Every field is a
picture, a landscape; every landscape, a poem; every flower, a tender
thought; and every forest, a fairy-land. In the country you preserve
your identity--your personality. There you are an aggregation of
atoms, but in the city you are only an atom of an aggregation.

Lincoln never finished his education. To the night of his death he
was a pupil, a learner, an inquirer, a seeker after knowledge. You
have no idea how many men are spoiled by what is called education. For
the most part, colleges are places where pebbles are polished and
diamonds are dimmed. If Shakespeare had graduated at Oxford, he might
have been a quibbling attorney or a hypocritical parson.

Lincoln was a many-sided man, acquainted with smiles and tears,
complex in brain, single in heart, direct as light; and his words,
candid as mirrors, gave the perfect image of his thought. He was never
afraid to ask--never too dignified to admit that he did not know. No
man had keener wit or kinder humor. He was not solemn. Solemnity is a
mask worn by ignorance and hypocrisy--it is the preface, prologue, and
index to the cunning or the stupid. He was natural in his life and
thought--master of the story-teller's art, in illustration apt, in
application perfect, liberal in speech, shocking Pharisees and prudes,
using any word that wit could disinfect.

He was a logician. Logic is the necessary product of intelligence and
sincerity. It cannot be learned. It is the child of a clear head and a
good heart. He was candid, and with candor often deceived the
deceitful. He had intellect without arrogance, genius without pride,
and religion without cant--that is to say, without bigotry and without

He was an orator--clear, sincere, natural. He did not pretend. He did
not say what he thought others thought, but what he thought. If you
wish to be sublime you must be natural--you must keep close to the
grass. You must sit by the fireside of the heart; above the clouds it
is too cold. You must be simple in your speech: too much polish
suggests insincerity. The great orator idealizes the real,
transfigures the common, makes even the inanimate throb and thrill,
fills the gallery of the imagination with statues and pictures perfect
in form and color, brings to light the gold hoarded by memory, the
miser--shows the glittering coin to the spendthrift, hope--enriches
the brain, ennobles the heart, and quickens the conscience. Between
his lips, words bud and blossom.

If you wish to know the difference between an orator and an
elocutionist--between what is felt and what is said--between what the
heart and brain can do together and what the brain can do alone--read
Lincoln's wondrous words at Gettysburg, and then the speech of Edward
Everett. The oration of Lincoln will never be forgotten. It will live
until languages are dead and lips are dust. The speech of Everett will
never be read. The elocutionists believe in the virtue of voice, the
sublimity of syntax, the majesty of long sentences, and the genius of
gesture. The orator loves the real, the simple, the natural. He places
the thought above all. He knows that the greatest ideas should be
expressed in the shortest words--that the greatest statues need the
least drapery.

Lincoln was an immense personality--firm but not obstinate. Obstinacy
is egotism--firmness, heroism. He influenced others without effort,
unconsciously; and they submitted to him as men submit to nature,
unconsciously. He was severe with himself, and for that reason lenient
with others. He appeared to apologize for being kinder than his
fellows. He did merciful things as stealthily as others committed
crimes. Almost ashamed of tenderness, he said and did the noblest
words and deeds with that charming confusion--that awkwardness--that
is the perfect grace of modesty. As a noble man, wishing to pay a
small debt to a poor neighbor, reluctantly offers a hundred-dollar
bill and asks for change, fearing that he may be suspected either of
making a display of wealth or a pretense of payment, so Lincoln
hesitated to show his wealth of goodness, even to the best he knew. A
great man stooping, not wishing to make his fellows feel that they
were small or mean.

He knew others, because perfectly acquainted with himself. He
cared nothing for place, but everything for principle; nothing
for money, but everything for independence. Where no principle was
involved, easily swayed--willing to go slowly, if in the right
direction--sometimes willing to stop, but he would not go back, and he
would not go wrong. He was willing to wait. He knew that the event was
not waiting, and that fate was not the fool of chance. He knew that
slavery had defenders, but no defense, and that they who attack the
right must wound themselves. He was neither tyrant nor slave. He
neither knelt nor scorned. With him, men were neither great nor
small,--they were right or wrong. Through manners, clothes, titles,
rags and race he saw the real--that which is. Beyond accident, policy,
compromise and war he saw the end. He was patient as Destiny, whose
undecipherable hieroglyphs were so deeply graven on his sad and tragic

Nothing discloses real character like the use of power. It is easy for
the weak to be gentle. Most people can bear adversity. But if you wish
to know what a man really is, give him power. This is the supreme
test. It is the glory of Lincoln that, having almost absolute power,
he never abused it, except upon the side of mercy.

Wealth could not purchase, power could not awe this divine, this
loving man. He knew no fear except the fear of doing wrong. Hating
slavery, pitying the master--seeking to conquer, not persons, but
prejudices--he was the embodiment of the self-denial, the courage, the
hope, and the nobility of a nation. He spoke, not to inflame, not to
upbraid, but to convince. He raised his hands, not to strike, but in
benediction. He longed to pardon. He loved to see the pearls of joy on
the cheeks of a wife whose husband he had rescued from death.

Lincoln was the grandest figure of the fiercest civil war. He is the
gentlest memory of our world.

[Transcriber's Note: Part of this was omitted in original.]

[28] _By permission of Mr. C. P. Farrell._



    Hurt was the Nation with a mighty wound,
    And all her ways were filled with clam'rous sound,
    Wailed loud the South with unremitting grief,
    And wept the North that could not find relief.
    Then madness joined its harshest tone to strife:
    A minor note swelled in the song of life
    Till, stirring with the love that filled his breast,
    But still, unflinching at the Right's behest
    Grave Lincoln came, strong-handed, from afar,--
    The mighty Homer of the lyre of war!
    'Twas he who bade the raging tempest cease,
    Wrenched from his strings the harmony of peace,
    Muted the strings that made the discord,--Wrong,
    And gave his spirit up in thund'rous song.
    Oh, mighty Master of the mighty lyre!
    Earth heard and trembled at thy strains of fire:
    Earth learned of thee what Heav'n already knew,
    And wrote thee down among her treasured few!

[29] _By permission of Mrs. Mathilde Dunbar._



Glad am I to give even the most brief and shorn testimony in memory of
Abraham Lincoln. Everything I heard about him authentically, and every
time I saw him (and it was my fortune through 1862 to '65 to see, or
pass a word with, or watch him, personally, perhaps twenty or thirty
times), added to and annealed my respect and love at the passing
moment. And as I dwell on what I myself heard or saw of the mighty
Westerner, and blend it with the history and literature of my age, and
conclude it with his death, it seems like some tragic play, superior
to all else I know--vaster and fierier and more convulsionary, for
this America of ours, than Eschylus or Shakespeare ever drew for
Athens or for England. And then the Moral permeating, underlying all!
the Lesson that none so remote, none so illiterate--no age, no
class--but may directly or indirectly read!

Abraham Lincoln's was really one of those characters, the best of
which is the result of long trains of cause and effect--needing a
certain spaciousness of time, and perhaps even remoteness, to properly
enclose them--having unequaled influence on the shaping of this
Republic (and therefore the world) as to-day, and then far more
important in the future. Thus the time has by no means yet come for a
thorough measurement of him. Nevertheless, we who live in his era--who
have seen him, and heard him, face to face, and in the midst of, or
just parting from, the strong and strange events which he and we have
had to do with, can in some respects bear valuable, perhaps
indispensable testimony concerning him.

How does this man compare with the acknowledged "Father of his
country?" Washington was modeled on the best Saxon and Franklin of the
age of the Stuarts (rooted in the Elizabethan period)--was essentially
a noble Englishman, and just the kind needed for the occasions and the
times of 1776-'83. Lincoln, underneath his practicality, was far less
European, far more Western, original, essentially non-conventional,
and had a certain sort of out-door or prairie stamp. One of the best
of the late commentators on Shakespeare (Professor Dowden), makes the
height and aggregate of his quality as a poet to be, that he
thoroughly blended the ideal with the practical or realistic. If this
be so, I should say that what Shakespeare did in poetic expression,
Abraham Lincoln essentially did in his personal and official life. I
should say the invisible foundations and vertebrae of his character,
more than any man's in history, were mystical, abstract, moral and
spiritual--while upon all of them was built, and out of all of them
radiated, under the control of the average of circumstances, what the
vulgar call horse-sense, and a life often bent by temporary but most
urgent materialistic and political reasons.

He seems to have been a man of indomitable firmness (even obstinacy)
on rare occasions, involving great points; but he was generally very
easy, flexible, tolerant, respecting minor matters. I note that even
those reports and anecdotes intended to level him down, all leave the
tinge of a favorable impression of him. As to his religious nature, it
seems to me to have certainly been of the amplest, deepest-rooted

Dear to Democracy, to the very last! And among the paradoxes generated
by America not the least curious, was that spectacle of all the kings
and queens and emperors of the earth, many from remote distances,
sending tributes of condolence and sorrow in memory of one raised
through the commonest average of life--a rail-splitter and

Considered from contemporary points of view--who knows what the future
may decide?--and from the points of view of current Democracy and The
Union (the only thing like passion or infatuation in the man was the
passion for the Union of these States), Abraham Lincoln seems to me
the grandest figure yet, on all the crowded canvas of the Nineteenth

[30] _By permission of David McKay._



To comprehend the current of history sympathetically, to appreciate
the spirit of the age, prophetically, to know what God, by His
providence, is working out in the epoch and the community, and so to
work with him as to guide the current and embody in noble deeds the
spirit of the age in working out the divine problem,--this is true
greatness. The man who sets his powers, however gigantic, to stemming
the current and thwarting the divine purposes, is not truly great.

Abraham Lincoln was made the Chief Executive of a nation whose
Constitution was unlike that of any other nation on the face of the
globe. We assume that, ordinarily, public sentiment will change so
gradually that the nation can always secure a true representative of
its purpose in the presidential chair by an election every four years.
Mr. Lincoln held the presidential office at a time when public
sentiment was revolutionized in less than four years.... It was the
peculiar genius of Abraham Lincoln, that he was able, by his
sympathetic insight, to perceive the change in public sentiment
without waiting for it to be formulated in any legislative action; to
keep pace with it, to lead and direct it, to quicken laggard spirits,
to hold in the too ardent, too impetuous, and too hasty ones, and
thus, when he signed the emancipation proclamation, to make his
signature, not the act of an individual man, the edict of a military
imperator, but the representative act of a great nation. He was the
greatest President in American History, because in a time of
revolution he grasped the purposes of the American people and embodied
them in an act of justice and humanity which was in the highest sense
the act of the American Republic.




From Cæsar to Bismarck and Gladstone the world has had its soldiers
and its statesmen, who rose to eminence and power step by step through
a series of geometrical progression, as it were, each promotion
following in regular order, the whole obedient to well-established and
well-understood laws of cause and effect. These were not what we call
"men of destiny." They were men of the time. They were men whose
career had a beginning, a middle and an end, rounding off a life with
a history, full, it may be, of interesting and exciting events, but
comprehensible and comprehensive, simple, clear, complete.

The inspired men are fewer. Whence their emanation, where and how they
got their power, and by what rule they lived, moved and had their
being, we cannot see. There is no explication to these lives. They
rose from shadow and went in mist. We see them, feel them, but we know
them not. They arrived, God's word upon their lips; they did their
office, God's mantle upon them; and they passed away God's holy light
between the world and them, leaving behind a memory half mortal and
half myth. From first to last they were distinctly the creations of
some special providence, baffling the wit of man to fathom, defeating
the machinations of the world, the flesh and the devil until their
work was done, and passed from the scene as mysteriously as they had
come upon it; Luther, to wit; Shakespeare, Burns, even Bonaparte, the
archangel of war, havoc and ruin; not to go back into the dark ages
for examples of the hand of God stretched out to raise us, to protect
and to cast down.

Tried by this standard and observed in an historic spirit, where shall
we find an illustration more impressive than in Abraham Lincoln, whose
life, career and death might be chanted by a Greek chorus as at once
the prelude and the epilogue of the most imperial theme of modern

Born as low as the Son of God in a hovel, of what real parentage we
know not; reared in penury, squalor, with no gleam of light, nor fair
surroundings; a young manhood vexed by weird dreams and visions,
bordering at times on madness; singularly awkward, ungainly, even
among the uncouth about him; grotesque in his aspects and ways, it was
reserved for this strange being, late in life, without name or fame or
ordinary preparation, to be snatched from obscurity, raised to
supreme command, and entrusted with the destiny of a nation.

The great leaders of his party were made to stand aside; the most
experienced and accomplished men of the day, men like Seward and Chase
and Sumner, statesmen famous and trained, were sent to the rear; while
this comparatively unknown and fantastic figure was brought by unseen
hands to the front and given the reins of power. It is entirely
immaterial whether we believe in what he said or did, whether we are
for him or against him; but for us to admit that during four years,
carrying with them such a pressure of responsibility as the world has
never witnessed before, he filled the measure of the vast space
allotted him in the actions of mankind and in the eyes of the world,
is to say that he was inspired of God, for nowhere else could he have
acquired the enormous equipment indispensable to the situation.

Where did Shakespeare get his genius? Where did Mozart get his music?
Whose hand smote the lyre of the Scottish plowman? and stayed the life
of the German priest? God alone; and, so surely as these were raised
up by God, inspired by God was Abraham Lincoln, and, a thousand years
hence, no story, no tragedy, no epic poem will be filled with greater
wonder than that which tells of his life and death. If Lincoln was not
inspired of God, then were not Luther, or Shakespeare, or Burns. If
Lincoln was not inspired by God, then there is no such thing on earth
as special providence or the interposition of divine power in the
affairs of men.



The great struggle which has for ever decided the cause of slavery of
man to man, is, beyond all question, the most critical which the world
has seen since the great revolutionary outburst. If ever there was a
question which was to test political capacity and honesty it was this.
A true statesman, here if ever, was bound to forecast truly the issue,
and to judge faithfully that cause at stake. We know now, it is beyond
dispute, that the cause which won was certain to win in the end, that
its reserve force was absolutely without limit, that its triumph was
one of the turning-points in modern civilization. It was morally
certain to succeed, and it did succeed with an overwhelming and mighty
success. From first to last both might and right went all one way. The
people of England went wholly that way. The official classes went
wholly some other way.

One of the great key-notes of England's future is simply this--what
will be her relations with that great republic? If the two branches of
the Anglo-Saxon race are to form two phases of one political movement,
their welfare and that of the world will be signally promoted. If
their courses are marred by jealousies or contests, both will be
fatally retarded. Real confidence and sympathy extended to that people
in the hour of their trial would have forged an eternal bond between
us. To discredit and distrust them, then, was to sow deep the seeds of
antipathy. Yet, although a union in feeling was of importance so
great, although so little would have secured it, the governing classes
of England wantonly did all they could to foment a breach.

A great political judgment fell upon a race of men, our own brothers;
the inveterate social malady they inherited came to a crisis. We
watched it gather with exultation and insult. There fell on them the
most terrible necessity which can befall men, the necessity of
sacrificing the flower of their citizens in civil war, of tearing up
their civil and social system by the roots, of transforming the most
peaceful type of society into the most military. We magnified and
shouted over every disaster; we covered them with insult; we filled
the world with ominous forebodings and unjust accusations. There came
on them one awful hour when the powers of evil seemed almost too
strong; when any but a most heroic race would have sunk under the
blows of their traitorous kindred. We chose that moment to give actual
succour to their enemy, and stabbed them in the back with a wound
which stung their pride even more than it crippled their strength.
They displayed the most splendid examples of energy and fortitude
which the modern world has seen, with which the defence of Greece
against Asia, and of France against Europe, alone can be compared in
the whole annals of mankind. They developed almost ideal civic virtues
and gifts; generosity, faith, firmness; sympathy the most affecting,
resources the most exhaustless, ingenuity the most magical. They
brought forth the most beautiful and heroic character who in recent
times has ever led a nation, the only blameless type of the statesman
since the days of Washington. Under him they created the purest model
of government which has yet been seen on the earth--a whole nation
throbbing into one great heart and brain, one great heart and brain
giving unity and life to a whole nation. The hour of their success
came; unchequered in the completeness of its triumph, unsullied by any
act of vengeance, hallowed by a great martyrdom.



    The hour was on us; where the man?
    The fateful sands unfaltering ran,
      And up the way of tears
      He came into the years,

    Our pastoral captain. Forth he came,
    As one that answers to his name;
      Nor dreamed how high his charge,
      His work how fair and large,--

    To set the stones back in the wall
    Lest the divided house should fall,
      And peace from men depart,
      Hope and the childlike heart.

    We looked on him; "'Tis he," we said,
    "Come crownless and unheralded,
      The shepherd who will keep
      The flocks, will fold the sheep."

    Unknightly, yes; yet 'twas the mien
    Presaging the immortal scene,
      Some battle of His wars
      Who sealeth up the stars.

    Not he would take the past between
    His hands, wipe valor's tablets clean,
      Commanding greatness wait
      Till he stand at the gate;

    Not he would cramp to one small head
    The awful laurels of the dead,
      Time's mighty vintage cup,
      And drink all honor up.

    No flutter of the banners bold,
    Borne by the lusty sons of old,
      The haughty conquerors
      Sent forward to their wars;

    Not his their blare, their pageantries,
    Their goal, their glory, was not his;
      Humbly he came to keep
      The flocks, to fold the sheep.

    The need comes not without the man;
    The prescient hours unceasing ran,
      And up the way of tears
      He came into the years,

    Our pastoral captain, skilled to crook
    The spear into the pruning hook,
      The simple, kindly man,
      Lincoln, American.

[31] _By permission of 'The Interior,' Chicago._



Human glory is often fickle as the winds, and transient as a summer
day, but Abraham Lincoln's place in history is assured. All the
symbols of this world's admiration are his. 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. Some men are
brilliant in their times, but their words and deeds are of little
worth to history; but his mission was as large as his country, vast as
humanity, enduring as time. No greater thought can ever enter the
human mind than obedience to law and freedom for all. Some men are not
honored by their contemporaries, and die neglected. Here is one more
honored than any other man while living, more revered when dying, and
destined to be loved to the last syllable of recorded time. He has
this three-fold greatness,--great in life, great in death, great in
the history of the world. Lincoln will grow upon the attention and
affections of posterity, because he saved the life of the greatest
nation, whose ever-widening influence is to bless humanity. Measured
by this standard, Lincoln shall live in history from age to age.

Great men appear in groups, and in groups they disappear from the
vision of the world; but we do not love or hate men in groups. We
speak of Gutenberg and his coadjutors, of Washington and his generals,
of Lincoln and his cabinet: but when the day of judgment comes, we
crown the inventor of printing; we place the laurel on the brow of the
father of his country, and the chaplet of renown upon the head of the
saviour of the Republic.

Some men are great from the littleness of their surroundings; but he
only is great who is great amid greatness. Lincoln had great
associates,--Seward, the sagacious diplomatist; Chase, the eminent
financier; Stanton, the incomparable Secretary of War; with
illustrious Senators and soldiers. Neither could take his part nor
fill his position. And the same law of the coming and going of great
men is true of our own day. In piping times of peace, genius is not
aflame, and true greatness is not apparent; but when the crisis comes,
then God lifts the curtain from obscurity, and reveals the man for the

Lincoln stands forth on the page of history, unique in his character,
and majestic in his individuality. Like Milton's angel, he was an
original conception. He was raised up for his times. He was a leader
of leaders. By instinct the common heart trusted in him. He was of the
people and for the people. He had been poor and laborious; but
greatness did not change the tone of his spirit, or lessen the
sympathies of his nature. His character was strangely symmetrical. He
was temperate, without austerity; brave, without rashness; constant,
without obstinacy. His love of justice was only equalled by his
delight in compassion. His regard for personal honor was only excelled
by love of country. His self-abnegation found its highest expression
in the public good. His integrity was never questioned. His honesty
was above suspicion. He was more solid than brilliant; his judgment
dominated his imagination; his ambition was subject to his modesty,
and his love of justice held the mastery over all personal
considerations. Not excepting Washington, who inherited wealth and
high social position, Lincoln is the fullest representative American
in our national annals. He had touched every round in the human
ladder. He illustrated the possibilities of our citizenship. We are
not ashamed of his humble origin. We are proud of his greatness.




Whenever the people of Lincoln's neighborhood engaged in dispute;
whenever a bet was to be decided; when they differed on points of
religion or politics; when they wanted to get out of trouble, or
desired advice regarding anything on the earth, below it, above it, or
under the sea, they went to "Abe."

Two fellows, after a hot dispute lasting some hours, over the problem
as to how long a man's legs should be in proportion to the size of his
body, stamped into Lincoln's office one day and put the question to

Lincoln listened gravely to the arguments advanced by both
contestants, spent some time in "reflecting" upon the matter, and
then, turning around in his chair and facing the disputants, delivered
his opinion with all the gravity of a judge sentencing a fellow-being
to death.

"This question has been a source of controversy," he said, slowly and
deliberately, "for untold ages, and it is about time it should be
definitely decided. It has led to bloodshed in the past, and there is
no reason to suppose it will not lead to the same in the future.

"After much thought and consideration, not to mention mental worry and
anxiety, it is my opinion, all side issues being swept aside, that a
man's lower limbs, in order to preserve harmony of proportion, should
be at least long enough to reach from his body to the ground."


"In the days when I used to be 'on the circuit,'" said Lincoln, "I was
accosted in the cars by a stranger, who said:

"'Excuse me, sir, but I have an article in my possession which belongs
to you.'

"'How is that?' I asked, considerably astonished.

"The stranger took a jack-knife from his pocket. 'This knife,' said
he, 'was placed in my hands some years ago, with the injunction that I
was to keep it until I found a man uglier than myself. I have carried
it from that time to this. Allow me now to say, sir, that I think you
are fairly entitled to the property.'"


Lincoln was a strong believer in the virtue of dealing honestly with
the people.

"If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens," he said
to a caller at the White House, "you can never regain their respect
and esteem.

"It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can
even fool some of the people all the time; but you can't fool all of
the people all the time."


"I was speaking one time to Mr. Lincoln," said Governor Saunders, of
Nebraska, "of a little Nebraskan settlement on the Weeping Waters, a
stream in our State."

"'Weeping Water!'" said he.

"Then with a twinkle in his eye, he continued.

"'I suppose the Indians out there call it Minneboohoo, don't they?
They ought to, if Laughing Water is Minnehaha in their language.'"


Just previous to the fall of Vicksburg, a self-constituted committee,
solicitous for the morale of our armies, took it upon themselves to
visit the President and urge the removal of General Grant.

In some surprise Mr. Lincoln inquired, "For what reason?"

"Why," replied the spokesman, "he drinks too much whisky."

"Ah!" rejoined Mr. Lincoln, dropping his lower lip. "By the way,
gentlemen, can either of you tell me where General Grant procures his
whisky? because, if I can find out, I will send every general in the
field a barrel of it!"


Dr. Jerome Walker, of Brooklyn, told how Mr. Lincoln once administered
to him a mild rebuke. The doctor was showing Mr. Lincoln through the
hospital at City Point.

"Finally, after visiting the wards occupied by our invalid and
convalescing soldiers," said Dr. Walker, "we came to three wards
occupied by sick and wounded Southern prisoners. With a feeling of
patriotic duty, I said: 'Mr. President, you won't want to go in there;
they are only rebels.'

"I will never forget how he stopped and gently laid his large hand
upon my shoulder and quietly answered, 'You mean Confederates!' And I
have meant Confederates ever since.

"There was nothing left for me to do after the President's remark but
to go with him through these three wards; and I could not see but that
he was just as kind, his hand-shakings just as hearty, his interest
just as real for the welfare of the men, as when he was among our own




The compiler of the "Dictionary of Congress" states that while
preparing that work for publication in 1858, he sent to Mr. Lincoln
the usual request for a sketch of his life, and received the following

"Born February 12, 1809, in Hardin Co., Kentucky.

Education Defective. Profession a Lawyer. Have been a Captain of
Volunteers in Black Hawk War. Postmaster at a very small office. Four
times a member of the Illinois Legislature, and was a member of the
Lower House of Congress.

                                           Yours, etc.
                                                       A. Lincoln."


(_Speech at Peoria, Ill., October 16, 1854_)

This declared indifference, but, as I must think, covert zeal, for the
spread of slavery, I cannot but hate. I hate it because of the
monstrous injustice of slavery itself; I hate it because it deprives
our republic of an example of its just influence in the world; enables
the enemies of free institutions with plausibility to taunt us as
hypocrites; causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity;
and, especially, because it forces so many really good men among
ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of
civil liberty, criticising the Declaration of Independence and
insisting that there is no right principle of action but

The doctrine of self-government is right,--absolutely and eternally
right,--but it has no just application, as here attempted. Or,
perhaps, I should rather say, that whether it has such just
application depends upon whether a negro is not, or is, a man. If he
is not a man, in that case he who is a man may, as a matter of
self-government, do just what he pleases with him. But if the negro is
a man, is it not to that extent a total destruction of self-government
to say that he, too, shall not govern himself?

When the white man governs himself that is self-government; but when
he governs himself, and also governs another man, that is more than
self-government--that is despotism.

What I do say is, that no man is good enough to govern another man
without that other's consent.

The master not only governs the slave without his consent, but he
governs him by a set of rules altogether different from those which he
prescribes for himself. Allow all the governed an equal voice in the
government; that, and that only, is self-government.

Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man's nature--opposition to
it, in his love of justice. These principles are an eternal
antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely as slavery
extension brings them, shocks and throes and convulsions must
ceaselessly follow.

Repeal the Missouri Compromise--repeal all compromise--and repeal the
Declaration of Independence--repeal all past history--still you cannot
repeal human nature.

I particularly object to the new position which the avowed principles
of the Nebraska law gives to slavery in the body politic. I object to
it, because it assumes that there can be moral right in the enslaving
of one man by another. I object to it as a dangerous dalliance for a
free people,--a sad evidence that feeling prosperity, we forget
right,--that liberty as a principle we have ceased to revere.

Little by little, but steadily as man's march to the grave, we have
been giving up the old for the new faith. Near eighty years ago we
began by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from that
beginning we have run down to the other declaration that for some men
to enslave others is a 'sacred right of self-government.' These
principles cannot stand together. They are as opposite as God and

Our republican robe is soiled and trailed in the dust. Let us purify
it. Let us turn and wash it white, in the spirit, if not in the blood,
of the Revolution.

Let us turn slavery from its claims of 'moral right' back upon its
existing legal rights, and its arguments of 'necessity.' Let us return
it to the position our fathers gave it, and there let it rest in

Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and the practices and
policy which harmonize with it. Let North and South--let all
Americans--let all lovers of liberty everywhere, join in the great and
good work.

If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union, but shall have
so saved it, as to make and to keep it forever worthy of saving. We
shall have so saved it that the succeeding millions of free, happy
people, the world over, shall rise up and call us blessed to the
latest generations.


I defy anyone to show that any living man in the whole world ever did,
prior to the beginning of the present century (and I might almost say
prior to the beginning of the last half of the present century),
declare that, in his understanding, any proper division of local from
Federal authority, or any part of the Constitution, forbade the
Federal Government to control as to slavery in the Federal

To those who now so declare, I give, not only 'our fathers who framed
the government under which we live,' but with them all other living
men within the century in which it was framed, among whom to search,
and they shall not be able to find the evidence of a single man
agreeing with them.

I do not mean to say we are bound to follow implicitly in whatever our
fathers did. To do so would be to discard all the lights of current
experience, to reject all progress, all improvement. What I do say is,
that if we would supplant the opinions and policy of our fathers in
any case, we should do so upon evidence so conclusive, and argument so
clear, that even their authority, fairly considered and weighed,
cannot stand; and most surely not in a case whereof we ourselves
declare they understood the question better than we.

Let all who believe that 'our fathers, who framed the government under
which we live,' understood this question just as well, and even
better, than we do now, speak as they spoke, and act as they acted
upon it.

It is exceedingly desirable that all parts of this great confederacy
shall be at peace, and in harmony, one with another. Let us
Republicans do our part to have it so. Even though much provoked, let
us do nothing through passion and ill-temper.

Even though the Southern people will not so much as listen to us, let
us calmly consider their demands, and yield to them if, in our
deliberate view of our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all they say
and do, and by the subject and nature of their controversy with us,
let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy them.

Wrong as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone where
it is, because that much is due to the necessity arising from its
actual presence in the nation. But can we, while our votes will
prevent it, allow it to spread into the national Territories, and to
overrun us here in these free States?

If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty,
fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those
sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and
belabored--contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between
the right and wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be
neither a living man nor a dead man; such as a policy of 'don't care'
on a question about which all true men do care; such as Union appeals
beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the
divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to
repentance; such as invocations to Washington imploring men to unsay
what Washington said, and undo what Washington did.

Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us,
to the end, dare to do our duty, as we understand it.


Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States,
that by the occasion of a Republican administration, their property
and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has
never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the
most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed, and
been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published
speeches of him who now addresses you.

I do but quote from one of those speeches, when I declared that "I
have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the
institution of slavery, in the States where it exists."

I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination
to do so. Those who nominated and elected me did so with the full
knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations, and had
never recanted them. I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing
so, I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive
evidence of which the case is susceptible, that the property, peace,
and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now
incoming administration.

I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations, and with
no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical
rules; and, while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of
Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much
safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to
and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed, than to violate
any of them, trusting to find impunity in having them held to be

It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a president
under our national constitution. During that period, fifteen different
and very distinguished citizens have in succession administered the
executive branch of the government. They have conducted it through
many perils, and generally with great success. Yet, with this scope
for precedent, I now enter upon the same task, for the brief
constitutional term of four years, under great and peculiar

I hold, that in the contemplation of universal law and the
Constitution, the union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is
implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national
governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a
provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to
execute all the express provisions of our national Constitution, and
the Union will endure forever.

To those, however, who really love the Union may I not speak? Before
entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our national
fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would it
not be well to ascertain why we do it? Will you hazard so desperate a
step while any portion of the ills you fly from have no real
existence? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to are greater
than all the real ones you fly from? Will you risk the commission of
so fearful a mistake?

All profess to be content in the Union if all constitutional rights
can be maintained. Is it true, then, that any right plainly written in
the Constitution has been denied? I think not. Happily, the human mind
is so constituted that no party can reach to the audacity of doing

All the vital rights of minorities and of individuals are so plainly
assured to them by affirmations and negations, guarantees and
prohibitions, in the Constitution, that controversies never arise
concerning them. But no organic law can ever be framed with a
provision specifically applicable to every question which may occur in
practical administration. No foresight can anticipate, nor any
document of reasonable length contain, express provision for all
possible questions.

Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered by National or by State
authority? The Constitution does not expressly say. Must Congress
protect slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not
expressly say.

From questions of this class spring all our constitutional
controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities.
If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the
government must cease. There is no alternative for continuing the
government but acquiescence on the one side or the other.

If the minority will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a
precedent which, in turn, will ruin and divide them; for a minority of
their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be
controlled by such a minority. For instance, why should not any
portion of a new confederacy, a year or two hence, arbitrarily secede
again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede
from it?

All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the
exact temper of doing this. Is there such perfect identity of interest
among the States to compose a new union as to produce harmony only,
and prevent renewed secession? Plainly, the central idea of secession
is the essence of anarchy.

Physically speaking, we cannot separate; we cannot move our respective
sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A
husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the presence and
beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of our country
cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face; and intercourse,
either amicable or hostile, must continue between them.

Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or
more satisfactory after separation than before? Suppose you go to war,
you cannot fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, and
no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical questions as to
terms of intercourse are again upon you.

Why should there not be patient confidence in the ultimate justice of
the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our
present differences is either party without faith of being in the
right? If the Almighty Ruler of nations with His eternal truth and
justice be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that
truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this
great tribunal of the American people.

By the frame of government under which we live, this same people have
wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief, and
have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little to their
own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their
virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness
or folly, can very seriously injure the Government in the short space
of four years.

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon the whole
subject--nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an
object to hurry any of you, in hot haste, to a step which you would
never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking
time, but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are
now dissatisfied still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on
the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while the
new administration will have no immediate power if it wanted to change
either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the
right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for
precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm
reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are
still competent to adjust in the best way all our present

In your hands, my dissatisfied countrymen, and not in mine, is the
momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You
can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have
no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I shall
have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it.

I am about to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be
enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds
of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every
battle field and patriot grave, to every loving heart and hearthstone
all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when
again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our


The Administration, during the early months of the war for the Union,
was greatly perplexed as to the proper mode of dealing with slavery,
especially in the districts occupied by the Union forces. In the
summer of 1862, when Mr. Lincoln was earnestly contemplating his
Proclamation of Emancipation, Horace Greeley, the leading Republican
editor, published in his paper, the New York Tribune, a severe article
in the form of a letter addressed to the President, taking him to task
for failing to meet the just expectations of twenty millions of loyal
people. Thereupon Mr. Lincoln sent him the following letter:--

                                      EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
                                                AUGUST 22, 1862.


_Dear Sir:_ I have just read yours of the 19th, addressed to myself
through the New York Tribune. If there be in it any statements or
assumptions of fact which I may know to be erroneous, I do not now and
here controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may
believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here argue against them.
If there be perceptible in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I
waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always
supposed to be right. As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing," as you
say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.

I would save the Union. I would save it in the shortest way under the
Constitution. The sooner the National authority can be restored, the
nearer the Union will be "The Union as it was." If there be those who
would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy
slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this
struggle is to save the Union and is not either to save or destroy
Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would
do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do
it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I
would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do
because I believe it helps to save this Union; and what I forbear, I
forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I
shall do less, whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the
cause; and I shall do more, whenever I shall believe doing more will
help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors;
and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true
views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official
duty, and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish
that all men, everywhere, could be free.

                                                    A. LINCOLN.


(_Issued January 1, 1863_)

Now therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by
virtue of the power vested in me as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and
Navy, in a time of actual armed rebellion against the authority of the
Government of the United States, as a fit and necessary war measure
for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and
in accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the
full period of one hundred days from the date of the first
above-mentioned order, designate as the States and parts of States
therein the people whereof, respectively, are this day in rebellion
against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard,
Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension,
Assumption, Terrebonne, La Fourche, St. Mary, St. Martin and Orleans,
including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the
forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the
counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York,
Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and
Portsmouth), which excepted parts are for the present left precisely
as if this proclamation were not issued; and by virtue of the power
and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons
held as slaves within designated States, or parts of States, are, and
henceforward shall be free, and that the Executive Government of the
United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof,
will recognize and maintain the freedom of the said persons; and I
hereby enjoin upon the people so declared free to abstain from all
violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them
that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable
wages. And I further declare and make known that such persons, of
suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the
United States, to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other
places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice,
warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the
considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty


(_Issued October 3, 1863_)

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the
blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties,
which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source
from which they come, others have been added, which are of so
extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften
even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful
Providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which
has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggression of foreign
states, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been
maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has
prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict.

The needful diversion of wealth and strength from the fields of
peaceful industry to the national defense has not arrested the plow,
the shuttle, or the ship.

The ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as
well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even
more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased,
notwithstanding the waste that has been made by the camp, the siege,
and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness
of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of
years with large increase of freedom.

No human council hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out,
these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God,
who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless
remembered mercy.

It seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly,
reverentially, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and
voice, by the whole American people.

I recommend too, that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to
Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with
humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience,
commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans,
mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are
unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the
Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as
soon as may be consistent with divine purposes, to the full enjoyment
of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.


(_At the Dedication of the Cemetery, November 19, 1863_)

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this
continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation,
or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are
met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a
portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave
their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and
proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate--we cannot consecrate--we
cannot hallow--this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who
struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add
or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say
here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the
living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they
who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us
to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from
these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which
they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly
resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation,
under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of
the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the


The President walked through the streets of Richmond--without a guard
except a few seamen--in company with his son "Tad," and Admiral
Porter, on the 4th of April, 1865, the day following the evacuation of
the city. Colored people gathered about him on every side, eager to
see and thank their liberator. Mr. Lincoln addressed the following
remarks to one of these gatherings:

My poor friends, you are free--free as air. You can cast off the name
of slave and trample upon it; it will come to you no more. Liberty is
your birthright. God gave it to you as he gave it to others, and it
is a sin that you have been deprived of it for so many years.

But you must try to deserve this priceless boon. Let the world see
that you merit it, and are able to maintain it by your good works.
Don't let your joy carry you into excesses; learn the laws, and obey
them. Obey God's commandments, and thank Him for giving you liberty,
for to Him you owe all things. There, now, let me pass on; I have but
little time to spare. I want to see the Capitol, and must return at
once to Washington to secure to you that liberty which you seem to
prize so highly.


Fellow-countrymen: At this second appearing to take the oath of the
Presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address
than there was at the first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of
a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the
expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been
constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest
which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the
nation, little that is new could be presented.

The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as
well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably
satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no
prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this, four years ago, all thoughts
were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it; all
sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered
from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war,
insurgents' agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without
war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide its effects by

Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather
than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather
than let it perish. And the war came.

The prayer of both could not be answered--those of neither have been
answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world
because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe
to that man by whom the offense cometh."

If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses
which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having
continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that
He gives to North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those
by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from
those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always
ascribe to Him?

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of
war may soon pass away.

Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the
bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be
sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by
another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so
still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and
righteous altogether."

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the
right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish
the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him
who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and for his orphan;
to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among
ourselves, and with all nations.


Transcriber's Notes:

Table of Contents Part VI:
A section of Tributes beginning on Page 191 is not included in the
table. Unchanged.

Table of Contents Part VII:
A section called 'Lincoln, The Tender-Hearted' by H. W. Botton
should be by H. W. Bolton. Changed.

Table of Contents Part IX:
A section called "'Fooling' the People" on page 360 is not included
in the table of contents. Unchanged.

Table of Contents Part IX:
A section called 'Lincoln's confab with a Committee on Grant's Whisky'
is not included in the table of contents. Unchanged.

Page 3:
more definite than a similarity of Christain names
Typo: Changed to [Christian].

Page 82:
answer inpregnable with facts.
Spelling of inpregnable is probably correct for that time. Unchanged.

Page 95:
buy and exhibit him as a zoological curriosity.
Likely misspelling. Changed to curiosity

Page 278:
Spelled as in original. Unchanged.

Hyphenation appears as either option in original:


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Our American Holidays: Lincoln's Birthday - A Comprehensive View of Lincoln as Given in the Most - Noteworthy Essays, Orations and Poems, in Fiction and in - Lincoln's Own Writings" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.