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Title: Lincolniana - Or The Humors of Uncle Abe
Author: Adderup, Andrew
Language: English
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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.

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LINCOLNIANA

OR THE HUMORS OF UNCLE ABE

By ANDREW ADDERUP

1864

[Illustration: 0001]

[Illustration: 0003]

[Illustration: 0005]


Preface

Is Joe Miller "complete?" I doubt it, maugre the pretenses of
title-pages. An old joke is sometimes like a piece of painted glass in
a kaleidoscope--every turn gives it a new aspect, and the new view is
sometimes taken for the original phase. Perhaps this is true of some
herein, although I am unconscious of that being so. If the accusation be
made, try Uncle Abe first, for he is used to trials. As for me, I shall
plead my privilege of telling you "the tale as it was told to me." But
if these "little jokes" be not "sworn upon" for Miller, they shall stand
for Uncle Abe--the writer hereof claiming only a godfathership. And
others shall follow as fast as I glean them. To aid this purpose, let
everybody who has a "good thing" send it to the publisher of this, and
duly it will appear in the "complete" edition of Uncle Abe's jokes,
always excepting the last, for the act of dying over will remind him of
some little story with a _hic jacet_ moral.

ANDREW ADDERUP.

Springfield, Ill., April 1, 1864.



LINCOLNIANA; OR, THE HUMORS OF UNCLE ABE,



An Involuntary Black Republican.

Sometime after Mr. Lincoln's well remembered passage of the rebel
Rubicon at Baltimore, some radical Republicans, who thought they saw
some signs of the President's backwardness in vindicating the Chicago
platform, went in committee to the White House to beg him to carry out
his principles--or rather to stretch them in Queen Dido's style.

"I don't know about it, gentlemen," replied Uncle Abe; "with a pretty
strong opposition at home and a rebellion at the South, we'd best push
republicanism rather slow. Fact is, I'm worse off than old blind Jack
Loudermill was when he got married on a short courtship. Some one asked
him a few days after, how he liked his new position. 'Dunno,' said he;
'I went it blind to start with, and ain't had a chance to feel my way to
a conclusion yet.' So it is with me. Perhaps you can see further than I
can, to me the future is dark and lowering; and we have now got to feel
every step of our way forward. Making Republicans used to be hard work,
and I don't see as I could do much at it now, unless I proselyte by
giving fat offices to weak-kneed opponents; but that," continued
Uncle Abe, with a sly look toward several of his old Illinois friends,
"would'nt be quite fair to those who believe that 'to the victors belong
the spoils.' Your idea about pushing things reminds me of the first
_black_ Republican I ever made."

And the President threw his left leg over his right and subsided into
that air of _abandon_ which denotes his pregnancy of a good story.

"You see, gentlemen," he began, "in my boyhood days, I had a slim chance
for schooling, and did'nt improve what I did have. Occasionally a Yankee
would wander into Kentuck, and open a school in the log building that
was a church and school house as well, and keep it till he got starved
out or heard of a better location. One Fall a bald headed, sour-visaged
old man came along and opened the school, and my people concluded I must
go; as usual the big boys soon began to test the master, who, though he
was a patient Jeffersonian Republican, seemed very tyrannical to us. My
good nature singled me out soon, as the scapegoat of the school, and I
got more than my share of the birch: at least, my back was as good as an
almanac, for every day of the week was recorded there. But, though this
record of past time was no pastime to me, I could stand it better than I
could the taunts and jibes of the boys out of school.

"One morning when a half dozen of us were warming before the broad
logwood fire, I noted a big fellow (who had got me flogged the day
before) standing on the side opposite, his back to the blaze: both hands
were partially open, one laid in the other; some would lay it to the
devil, but it was only the spirit of revenge which prompted me to pick
up a live coal, covered with ashes, and drop it into his hands. For a
moment he did'nt mind it, but it burned all the deeper; when it did burn
he jumped and bellowed like a stuck calf.

"'Who made that noise?' Demanded old Whitey? the master.

"'I made it,' replied the big fellow, rubbing his hands.

"'Why?' more angrily demanded old Whitey.

"'Some one put a coal of fire in my hand and burnt me,' sniffled the
booby.

"The big fellow, however, didn't know who did it. Some of the boys, who
had a lurking pity for me, said it snapt into his hand; but the master
'couldn't see it;' and at last it leaked out that 'Abe Lincoln done it.'

"So you see, gentlemen," said Uncle Abe, moralizing, "I got the blame of
a long score of supposititious shortcomings by one act of my own, pretty
much as I had to bear the sins of my whole party in the late canvass,
because of a few sins of my own."

"'Abraham, come up here!' thundered the master, (By the way, gentlemen,
my people always called me Abe--my wife still calls me plain Abe--but
that old fellow called me _Abraham_ so often and so severely that I
early dropped all claim to a definite appellative, and chose to be
indefinitely 'A. Lincoln.') * But to go on. I got a deserved threshing
that time, and a reputation withal for wickedness that saved all the
little rogues in school. At last, however, I determined to be even with
old Whitey, somehow.

"It wasn't long till I worked out an idea. Just over the master's desk
was a rude shelf, upon which he kept some books and a big-bellied bottle
of ink, which some admirer of his Jeffersonian-Republican principles had
presented him. I had observed that in stepping upon his desk platform,
he never touched or moved his chair, beyond leaning back in it, which
he always did, after taking his seat. So next day I robbed our old
long-tailed white horse of a few hairs and braided them in a three
stranded cord. While the master was gone out to his dinner, I put the
thin glass ink bottle upon the edge of the shelf propped a-cant, and
tied one end of the cord to the bottle, and the other end to the back
of his chair. The boys sympathized with me, and were in an extacy of
delight. Anon the master came. Without looking to the right or left, he
marched sternly to the chair, and hence saw not the repressed titter of
expectation that was ready to burst over the whole room. I stood just
outside of the door expecting the result; he sat down and then leaned
back. Down came the bottle, deluging the bald head in a shower
of Stygian blackness! Yes, gentlemen, I fancy that was the first
_black_ Republican ever made in Kentuck, but the conversion was too
sudden."

"How was that?" queried Cassius M. Clay.

"Why," replied Uncle Abe, "he afterwards married a widow and----twelve
negroes."

     * When Mr. Lincoln was nominated, very many papers ran up
     the name of "Abram Lincoln."



The Wrong Pig by the Ear.

I never knew a flash phrase worse used up than was one by Uncle Abe
attending one of the neighboring Circuit Courts above Springfield. He
was employed to aid a young County Attorney to prosecute some reputed
hog thieves. The crime of hog stealing had become so common that the
people were considerably excited and an example was determined on. The
first person tried was acquitted on a pretty clear _alibi_ or pretty
hard swearing. As the fellow thus acquitted was lounging round the Court
House, Uncle Abe was passing, and he hailed him.

"Well Mr. Lincoln, I reckon you got the wrong sow by the ear when you
undertook to pen me up."

"So it seems," replied Uncle Abe, blandly, "but really you must excuse
me, pigs are so very much alike! In fact, people up here don't all seem
to know their own."



"Wilkie, where does Old Abe Lincoln Live."

In "Clay times," as the old farmers of Sangamon still recall the period
of Henry Clay's powerful canvass for the Presidency, Uncle Abe had a
wide circuit practice. In travelling to the various courts, he generally
drove a horse and vehicle that some people will still remember. The
horse had belonged to an undertaker, and the "funeral business,"
together with years, had made him a grave and staid animal. His
_physique_ presented those angularities that characterized his master,
but unlike his owner, he was never known to perpetrate a joke or indulge
in a "horselaugh." The vehicle was neither buggy, nor Jersey wagon,
but had become, by virtue of alterations and repairs, what Uncle Abe
afterwards described the Union under the plan of free and Slave States
"neither one thing or the other." There was in fact an "eternal
fitness" in horse and man that was not exactly a "standing joke," but a
peripatetic one.

I would give all my expectation of a brigadiership for a portrait of
Uncle Abe seated in this strange "turnout," as he "might have been seen"
wending his meditative way across the prairies.

About this time Uncle Abe was nominated for Congress in the Sangamon.
Yet he did not forego his business, but prosecuted his legal course, as
well as all evil-doers who chanced to fall into his hands. He had
just started on a circuit trip, to be gone a month. Often, since Mr.
Lincoln's nomination for Congress, had Mrs. Lincoln begged him to add
a second story to their humble dwelling, but he pleaded poverty. But a
relation of Mrs. Lincoln's having died in Kentucky leaving her a
small legacy, she determined her husband should have a house worthy a
candidate for Congress. Doubtless she felt an inward satisfaction at the
thought of furnishing a good surprise for her husband on his return. So
she at once bought material, set mechanics at work, and in three weeks
metamorphosed the dwelling into what political pilgrims to Springfield
in 1860 will remember as a neat, two-story, clay-colored residence.

Uncle Abe arrived home just after dark, and drove up to what he thought
to be Eighth street, but not seeing his house, and thinking he had made
a mistake, he drove round on to the next street. Recognizing the houses
there; he again drove around to Eighth, and, passing his own house,
recognized that occupied by W------n, a clever tailor, who was standing
at his own gate.

"Why, is that you, Wilkie?" (said Uncle Abe patronizingly.) W------n,
assured him of his own identity, "Wilkie, where does Old Abe Lincoln
live now."

"Well," said W------n, "The Loco's say he's so sure of his election that
he's gone to Washington to select his seat; but Mrs. Lincoln lives now
in that beautiful new two-story house you have just passed." Uncle Abe
indulged in a quaint laugh, and then turned his ancient horse around,
alighted and asked if Mrs. Lincoln lived in the house before which he
stood. Mrs. Lincoln received him as a fond woman should receive her
lord, and the return was the cause of much pleasant badinage in social
circles.



Too Literal Obedience.

Gen. McClellan was complaining to Uncle Abe of one of his division
commanders, who had literally obeyed an order publicly given for the
purpose of hood-winking the rebels through the aid of the numerous
undetected spies known to lurk in the camp as well as the capital.

"That reminds me of a little story--a little thing that happened to me
when I was out in the Black Hawk war," said Uncle Abe.

"You see, after we brought the Foxes to terms, they were as sweet as
wild honey. The women especially tried to make a good thing out of the
defeat of their braves, by selling us moccasins, deerskin breeches, &c.
One squaw in particular, made beautiful breeches, and I concluded to
have a pair made. How she was to fit my spindles, puzzled me at first,
as the Indians are no tailors in any _measurable_ degree. At last I
bethought me of an old pair which I had in my saddle bag, and these I
gave to her that she might rip them open and use the parts for patterns.
When she brought the new ones home, I was not a little angry to find
that she had exactly imitated the old patch on the nether parts of the
new breeches."

Little Mac smiled in his peculiar grave way, and remarked that when he
gave an order for a similar purpose, he would tell this story by way of
a hint.



How Uncle Abe Felt.

Soon after Uncle Abe's defeat by Judge Douglas in 1848, (whereby Douglas
unwittingly made a President) some one asked Uncle Abe how he felt over
the result.

"Well," said he, "I feel a good deal like a big boy I knew in Kentuck.
After he'd got a terrible pounding by the school master, someone asked
him how he felt? 'Oh! said he, it hurt so awful bad, I couldn't laugh,
and I was too big to cry over it.' That's just my case."

It is presumed the questioner got an idea how a defeated politician
feels.



P.P.P.

Soon after the advent of Uncle Abe at the White House, the pressure of
aspirants for official positions was perfectly crushing.

In fact, Uncle Abe sometimes got so flustered by their bedevilment, that
he not only failed to recollect an illustrating anecdote, but soon lost
his temper.

One of the Illinois applicants--a fellow named Jeff.

D------r, was particularly a bore, seeming to think it part of the
Chicago platform to give every village politician an office.

"Seems to me, Jeff," said Uncle Abe, "you got the Chicago platform
reduced to enormous brevity--in fact, just three p's would seem to
express your idea of it."

"How's that, Mr. Lincoln?" inquired-Jeff.

"Why, it looks to me as if it was patriotism, place and plunder, and a
mighty important plea is the last one, I reckon."

Jeff was silent for a while, but bored on until he "struck ile" in the
shape-of a clerkship.



Rattaned for a Rat Joke.

Just after the retreat of the rebels from Bull Run, when it leaked
out that our troops had been held at bay by wooden or Quaker guns, a
Pennsylvanian Congressman remarked to Uncle Abe--"Well, Mr. Lincoln, you
see that Quaker principles even embodied in wood may be of some service
in war."

"Yes, but as you see in that shape, they are only substituted
principles; such things may do once, but found out, they will avail
worse than nothing. Your remark, however, 'reminds me of a little
story.'

"When I was a youngster of fifteen or so, I went to an 'Academy' for a
few weeks, just to brush up my old-field school learning. Such schools
are called Academies in the East, to distinguish their intermediate
position between colleges and common schools; but in Kentuck and
the West, generally the high sounding title merely meant that the
'principal' taught a few branches ahead of the old-field schools. Well,
the rats were thick about the old building where we daily gathered
to reap the fruit of knowledge; and as many of the boys brought their
dinners and threw the fragments under their old-fashioned box desks,
they soon grew as bold as they were thick. The teacher had a mortal
antipathy to rats, and as I didn't 'take' to the teacher, I naturally
encouraged the rats. Whenever one showed himself, he was sure to get a
whack from the old teacher's rattan. Sometimes he missed his aim at the
rats, but never at us boys, which was owing, perhaps, to the difference
in the size of the game.

"An industrious rat had made a hole from beneath the floor up under my
desk, and thence out through the end, and as I fed him well he was quite
tame. Often during school hours he would come up and peer out into the
aisles through his hole in the end of the desk, and whenever he was seen
by the teacher, he was sure to see the rattan whirling in the air. An
idea struck me one day. I got a dead rat--I did not like to kill my
pet--and stuffing it, made quite a good-looking 'Quaker' rat. Then I
fixed some springs so I could work my rat out and in at pleasure; so
whenever the teacher was looking up, my rat was always out; but when
the whack came down, he was in betimes. At last he seemed to think it
wondrous tame, and the ill-suppressed titter of the school boys finally
made him suspicious. The boys had been let into my secret, and relished
it hugely, and I was too prone to give a few exhibitions. At last the
teacher watched me sharper than he did the rat, and then caught me in
the act. He got hold of the rat and beat me alternately with rat and
switch, and you may well guess, I was well rattaned. If soldiers who use
wooden guns ever get worse usage, I pity them."

The 300 Pounder Parrot since used by the Government, shows Uncle Abe's
poor appreciation of Quaker guns and Quaker principles.



The State House Struck by Whiggery.

Soon after the State House at Springfield was erected, in 1840, Mr.
Lincoln stood on the east side of the Capitol Square one day, in
conversation with a Democratic friend, who was loth to believe that the
Whigs could carry the State for "Tip and Ty."

"Nothing is more morally certain," said Uncle Abe. "All the signs of
the times point to it, and--why even the State House is struck with
Whiggery" he said, pointing up under the eves, where is yet seen a
remarkable representation of a "coon" in the stone.



Graphic and True.

When Hon. Emerson Etheridge escaped from Tennessee during the summer
of 1862, his opinions on Tennessee affairs were eagerly listened to in
Washington. Among other questions, Uncle Abe asked:

"Do the Methodist clergy in your State take to secession?"

"Take? Why, sir, they take to it like a duck to water, or a sailor to a
duff kid."



A Judge of the Post Office.

Judge David Davis of Bloomington, Illinois, who was recently appointed
(by Uncle Abe) to a position on the bench of the Supreme Court of
the United States, is known to many of his friends as one of the best
hearted men in the world. His, is withal, full of the piety of good
humor. I call it "piety," because I think a smiling face is a perpetual
thanksgiving to God. His benevolence, however, edges down his wit, and
gives it more the characteristic of humor, strictly speaking. This,
while it may have helped that "belly with fat capon lined," has kept him
at peace with himself and the world.

On one occasion, while Judge Davis was presiding at the Logan County
Circuit Court, a case came up that involved a question of postal law.
Uncle Abe was on the case, and politely loaned Judge D. a small manual
of postal law, that he might see for himself what the letter of the
law was. The Judge gave his understanding of the law, but had hardly
finished when Mr. S------s, a burley farmer from Clear Creek, jumped up
and sang out--

"I reckon that ain't so, Judge. I've been Post-Master more'n a dozen
years, and I reckon I ought to know what's Post Office law."

Of course Judge Davis had every right to fine the man for contempt, but
he had a different way of treating such cases. "With a tone in which
sarcasm only slightly blended, he said:

"Truly, I think you ought, Mr. S------s. It has never been my privilege
to be a Post-Master, and I would like your opinion in this case. Please
step this way."

The Judge moved over and made room on the bench, which Mr. S------s
occupied, and proceeded to give _his_ opinion on the mooted question.
The bar sat smiling in expectation.

"Keep your seat, Mr. S------s, while I speak a word with my friend
Parks."

Uncle Abe it was who had been interrupted, so he resumed:

"May it please the Court, I had some doubt on this point myself, so
I borrowed the usual manual of Postal Law, to be perfectly assured.
I regret to contend that the clear letter of the law conflicts--sadly
conflicts--with the view just taken by Judge S------s;" but here the bar
indulged in a quiet "smile" without a stick in it, and it just popped
into Mr. S------'s head, that he was out of place, and he skedaddled in
haste.

"The largest _pussie_ Judge that sat on our bench," remarked Will Wyatt.
From that day to this, Mr. S------s, has never lost the title he so
suddenly gained.



I'm an Inderlid.

One day while Uncle Abe was attending to a case at Mount Pulaski, (the
country seat of Logan County, Illinois,) he was beset by old B------s,
a worthy farmer, but a notorious malaprop, for an opinion as to his
amenability to the road tax. "You look here, Mr. Lincoln, these fellows
here want to make me work on the road."

"Well!" said Uncle Abe.

"Well, I tells them that they can't do it, cause I'm an _inderlid_, you
see."

(Of course Uncle Abe concurred in B------s opinion, and forgot to charge
a fee.)

"On another occasion, he wanted John G. Gillette, the great cattle
dealer, to _proximate_ him because he'd got the best pair of cattle
scales in Logan County."



How Uncle Abe got his Sobriquet.

Some one ventured to ask Uncle Abe, soon after his arrival at the White
House, how he got the sobriquet of "Honest Abe."

"Oh," said he, "I suppose my case was pretty much like that of a country
merchant I once read of. Some one called him a 'little rascal.' 'Thank
you for the compliment,' said he. 'Why so?' asked the stigmatizer.
'Because that title distinguishes me from my fellow tradesmen, who are
all _great_ rascals.'"

"So honest lawyers were so scarce in Illinois that you were thus
distinguished from them?" persisted the questioner.

"Well," quoth Uncle Abe, glancing slyly at Douglas, Sweet, and others
from Illinois, "it's hard to say where the honest ones are."



"I'll take Number Eleven too."

Thirty-five or forty years ago, a trip from Sangamon or Macon County, to
St. Louis, was an event to be talked of. It took as long to make it, and
furnished food for as much rustic enquiry and comment, as does a voyage
to Europe now. Uncle Abe had then given up rail-splitting, and was
studying law. Having a little while before treated himself to a (then)
rare thing, a suit of "store clothes;" and a neighbor being about to
leave for St. Louis, he resolved to go along. As the teams toiled on at
the rate of fifteen or twenty miles a day, they were gradually joined by
others, till the train presented somewhat the sights now to be seen on
our great overland routes to the Pacific.

On arrival at St. Louis, Abe determined to see high life, and
accordingly made tracks for a letter A. No. 1, first class Hotel.
The Old City Hotel was then the only house that could claim that
distinction. There the merchants congregated, and there the Indian
trader sought relaxation from frontier hardships, while the rough
trapper was content with the humble fare of the "Hunter's Home."

I forget what association called out this reminiscence of that trip; but
there can be no harm in repeating the story. Such mishaps have befallen
incipient greatness before.

At the dinner table, each waiter was provided with a wine card, and each
guest had his wine charged to the number of his room, simply calling
out, as for instance, Sherry No. 9, &c. A jolly Indian trader, sat just
opposite Abe, who betimes called "Claret, No 11." Abe saw that most of
the guests were similarly providing for themselves, and concluded not to
appear penurious, so he said he'd take some wine too.

"What kind, sah?" asked the waiter.

"Oh, I'll take the same,"--pointing to the bottle just called for by the
Indian trader.

"What number, sah?"

Abe was puzzled. Ho had not been used to wine or hotel life; but it was
only a moment before he broke the ice.

"Oh, I'll just take No. 11 too."

The trader looked up surprised, while several others near by, smiled a
faint comprehension as to the state of affairs.

"Why, young man," said the trader, "that is my number, and mine is a
single room."

"I beg pardon," stammered Abe, conscious that he had betrayed rusticity
and ignorance; but not knowing exactly how to extricate himself, the
good-hearted trader came to his aid--

"Were you ever in the city before?" asked he.

"Never before."

"Well, then, in memory of your advent, it shall be No. 11 too," and he
quietly pushed the bottle across the table. So agreeable was he that
Abe rallied, and the second bottle followed the fate of the first. On
renewing the conversation after dinner, the trader was satisfied that
Abe had 'lots' of 'horse sense,' but little of worldly experience,
and he friendlily invited him to go out with him as a clerk; but, Abe
declined. Had he gone--what? Perhaps he might have become a respectable
Indian trader--perhaps he never had been elected President, and perhaps
we would have had no rebellion.



A Severe Retort.

Uncle Abe took a great liking to the late Col. Ellsworth, and afterwards
did him the honor of making a Colonel of him. The rebel Jackson did
the rest, but enough of that. Many of our readers will recall the
slim, spruce figure of Col. Ellsworth as he paraded the streets
of Springfield, dressed in a unique Zouave uniform, a mere boy in
appearance. He was full of animal spirits. He and Bob O'Lincoln were
cutting up didoes in the Law office of Lincoln and Hornden, which
greatly annoyed Uncle Abe, and he gently reproved them. Bob, a little
nettled, replied by quoting the common couplet:

``"A little nonsense now and then,

``Is relished by the wisest men."

"Yes," said Uncle Abe, looking severely at Bob, "that's the difference
between a wise man and a fool who relishes it all the time."

Bob subsided, and Ellsworth betook himself anew to Blackstone.



Had all the Time there Was.

When Uncle Abe used to attend the Courts in the regions round about
Sangamon, he generally made easy stays, and was wont to look at the
country and talk to the people at his leisure. On one occasion he
was riding by the premises of old H------, who was notorious for his
unthriftiness, and who was in the act of driving some stray hogs out of
his corn-field.

"Good morning, Mr. H------," said Uncle Abe.

"Morning, Mr. Lincoln, morning."

"Why don't you mend that piece of fence thoroughly, Mr. H------, and
keep the pigs out?" asked Uncle Abe.

"Ha'n't got time," said H------.

"Why," said Uncle Abe, with an air of blended reproof and humor, "you've
got all the time there is Mr. H------."

Whether H------ mended his fence and his thriftless habits, this
deponent knoweth not; but has often thought how true was the remark,
whether as a joke or an admonition. Every second, minute or hour is
ours--ours to use or ours to squander. How wontonly wasteful would be
the rich man who should stand upon a vessel's deck and cast his million
golden coins into the sea; yet day after day we stand upon the shores of
eternity, and cast the golden moments into the unreturning past. All the
knowledge and wealth of the world is but the result of improved time. So
don't say you "havn't got time," for you've got all there is, as Uncle
Abe says.



Could Stand it a Day or Two,

About the time this occurred, there stood on one side of Capitol Square,
in Springfield, a Hotel, now doubtless out of memory of most of the
occupants of the out-lots and additions which speculators have hitched
to the original village. In its day it was a "first-class hotel," but
it waned before the "American" and is now among the "things that were."
There were some who doubted the cleanliness of the _cuisine_, and
"thereby hangs a tale."

Judge Brown arrived in town and put up at the aforesaid hotel, whereat,
Uncle Abe, on meeting him, expressed his regret, begging him to become
_his_ guest. The Judge would fain not trouble his friend.

"But you know the reputation of the place--the kitchen?" said Uncle Abe.

"I've heard of it," said the Judge; "but as I want to keep my appetite,
I always shun the kitchen, if not the cooks."

"But surely, can't you see by the table alone, Judge?"

"I know, Mr. Lincoln, but I'm going to stop only a day or two, and I
guess I can stand for that time what the landlord's family stand all
their lives."

Speaking of Hotels, reminds me of a little episode of one of Uncle
Abe's professional visits to Cairo, in Egypt, a town fenced in with
mud-banks and celebrated for its mud-holes and mean whisky. Thereabouts
is a Hotel, and thereat Uncle Abe stopped because the water forbade
further traveling. When his bill was presented to him next morning,
he ventured to remark, "that his accommodation had not been of the most
agreeable kind."

"We are very much crowded," apologetically replied the landlord.

"But I had hard work to get breakfast this morning."

"Yes," continued the apologist, "we are greatly in need of help."

"Well, well," said Uncle Abe, "you keep a first rate hotel in one
respect."

"Ah!" said the landlord, brightening up, "in what respect is that?"

"Your bills," said Undo Abe, vanishing towards the "Central" cars.

The Ky-ro-ite landlord perhaps thought he ought to be well compensated
for keeping a hotel in such a place. A man of his sort used to "keep
tavern" in Pasy County, Indiana, several years ago. A pedestrian stopped
with him over night, for which the charge was 2.50.

"Why, landlord," said he, "this is an outrageous bill."

"You mean it's a big'un?" said the insatiate Boniface.

"Yes, I do."

"Well, stranger, we keep tavern here."

"What has that to do with such a bill?"

"Look at that'ere sign, stranger--cost ten dollars; your'n the fust
trav'ler that's bin along for three weeks, and we can't afford to keep
tavern for nothin--_we_ can't!"



Not the Worst of it.

Gov. Morgan, of New York, was urging the employment of General W------in
active service, Seward objected, that he was "too old" for the emergency
of the times.

"Yes," said Uncle Abe, "we've got too many old officers in the army, and
that is not the worst of it--_we've got two many old women_ there!" This
was when Uncle Abe's faith was strong in little Mac.

"Some conclusions;" said Uncle Abe on one occasion, "are nonsequential.
To say that Rome was not built in a day, does not prove that it was
built in a night."



Accoutred en Militaire.

In the outset of the famous Black-hawk war in Illinois, a "hoss company"
was raised in the region where Uncle Abe was (then) a rising lawyer.
I say rising, although he had then reached a height sufficient to
help himself to most blessings--and he, the aforesaid U.A., was chosen
Captain. Uncle Abe rode a "slapping stallion," who was either naturally
restive, or appreciated his new honor too highly--at any rate, he
corvetted and pirouetted like a very Bucephalus. At last he unhorsed
his rider, who landed sprawling on the prairie in one of those green
excrescences that abound where bovine herds range. As the discomfitted
Uncle Abe rose, and surveyed his predicament, old Pierre Menard, who was
a near spectator, remarked in his broken French:

"Vell, I nevair sees any man accoutred en militaire like zat before."

Most old suckers pronounce accoutred as the Yankees do the word
cowcumber, and this rendered Menard's joke more unctious.



Perils of Illinois Lawyers.

Years ago, when the capital of Suckerdom was a village of less
"magnificence" than it now presents--when Lincoln, Harden, Baker,
McDougal, Douglas, Shields and Ferguson were all village lawyers, and
scarcely known to fame--Judge Thomas Brown was on the Supreme bench
of the State. He was to some extent a "character;" but not a very
successful lawyer. He went to California, since when he has been
generally lost sight of; but his old friends may be assured that if he
is in the "land of the living," Uncle Abe's tax collectors will find
him. But that's neither here nor there. His ideas of the perils of
practicing law in Illinois, in early times, is what is now before the
reader.

On one occasion, after he had changed his residence to Peoria, having
some business to transact in Springfield, he arrived in that place and
put up at the old American House, (now kept by Henry Bidgely, Esq.)
He chanced to mention the name of Peoria. Instantly the attention of a
countryman was fixed, upon him, who, at the first opportunity accosted
him--

"From Peoria, Squar?"

"Yes."

"Much acquainted?"

"Pretty well, Sir."

"Know a lawyer up there named H------g R------s?"

"Yes sir."

"How's he getting along?"

"Oh, first rate--devilish lucky man."

"He's getting hold of considerable land, hain't he?"

"Yes a deal--devilish lucky man.

"Yes--large--devilish lucky man."

"Look here, Squar," said the countryman, evidently puzzled at R------s
being so devilish lucky.

"What do you mean about his being so lucky?"

"Mean? why I call any man lucky that practices law twenty years in
Illinoiss, and don't get into the penitentiary."



Couldn't Make a Presidential Chair.

"Mr. Lincoln," said an ardent sovereignty man just at the beginning of
the last Presidential contest "Mr. Douglas is a cabinet maker."

"He _was_ when I first knew him," said Uncle Abe "but he gave up the
business so long ago, that I don't think he can make a Presidential
chair now." Uncle Abe proved himself a prophet, although at a tremendous
cost to the country.



"Couldn't see It in that Light."

A delegation of temperance men recently sought to influence Uncle Abe to
take some stringent steps to suppress intemperance in our armies. Among
other reasons urged, they said our armies were often beaten because of
intemperance.

"Is that so?" said Undo Abe. "I've heard on all sides that the rebels
drink more than our boys do, and I can't see why our boys, who drink
less, are more liable to get whipped."

"But you know the corrupting influence of the army in regard to drinking
habits," pursued the Committee.

"I've heard that, too," said Uncle Abe, "but I think they will do pretty
well _if I can keep them out of Washington!_"

The Committee didn't carry their measure, by a jug full.



Too Tough for the Rebels.

When the Illinois boys gathered at Springfield, under the call of the
ten regiment bill, they were quartered on the fair grounds, just out
of the city. All the stalls were filled with troops, before which were
signs as "St. Nicholas," "Richmond House," etc., etc. Charley W------,
on going through the fair grounds, looked into the "Richmond House," and
said--

"Well, boys, how do you get along?"

"Oh, first rate," replied the Chicagoians, "we're all _stall fed_."

"Bully for you," said Charley; "hope you'll be too tough for the
rebels."



Little Mac Helped by an Illustration.

"I can't seem to reap any advantage from the rebel movements," said
McClellan, in consultation with Uncle Abe.

"Oh, you just keep a watchful, careful eye on Leer and perhaps you will
yet see how to make use of them, as old Mother Grundy did of her crooked
wood."

"Thereby hangs a tale," remarked little Mac, with one of his peculiar,
quaint smiles.

"You're right, General. Your remark reminded me of a good old
neighbor of my father's, in Kentucky, who died many years ago. She was
sweet-tempered--few such in this world." Uncle Abe stopped as though a
mental comparison had damaged some woman of his acquaintance. "Yes, her
disposition was of that kind that extracts 'good from things evil.' And
she was her husband's pride and boast. One day he was praising her to a
neighbor."

"'Look here, old man Grundy,' said the neighbor 'these women are just
like cats--they are all right as long as you stroke the fur the right
way, but reverse the movement, and you'll see the fire fly. Now, I'll
tell you what, I bet a four-gallon keg of my four-year-old peach, that I
can tell you how to make her as mad as a set-hen, if you dare to try."

"'Done,' cried old man Grundy.

"'Well, you just haul home all the crookedest sticks of wood you can
find, and then see.'

"Old man Grundy brought home a small load every day or two, and it was
knotty and crooked as a pigs-tail; but not a word or look of complaint.
For a week this continued, with the same result, when he asked the good
wife how she liked the wood."

"'Oh,'tis beautiful wood,' said she; 'it burns finely, and then it fits
_around my pots and kettles just, as if 'twas made on purpose_.'"

Lee did not fit into Mac's hand so well, yet the story was not without
its use to him.



An Acre of Fight.

During the progress of the Senatorial campaign between Douglas and
Lincoln, Uncle Abe came home to recreate a few days. Douglas, long used
to the political arena, bore the fatigues of the canvass like a veteran.
His custom was to bathe just after supper, getting some friend to rub
him like a race horse, when he would sit down and enjoy his whisky
and cigar. Lincoln, lank and abstemious, bore his yoke with evident
weariness. But to the story.

Uncle Abe went up into the Governor's room in the State House, where he
was soon joined by many of the leading Republicans of the town. Some one
remarked on his look of weariness. "It is a mighty contest," remarked
Uncle Jesse Du Bois.

"But Mr. Lincoln does not show his great appreciation of it upon the
stand," remarked a Chicago correspondent, in allusion to Uncle Abe's
good humored replies to Douglas.

"But still, when the day's gladiatorial combat is over, it seems to
me, as the Kentucky fellow said, that I had been through 'an acre of
fight.'"

"Give us that story, Abe," said Dr. Wallace, Uncle Abe's brother-in-law.

"Well, one of my earliest recollections of a Kentucky Court, was a trial
about a fight. It took place in the Court House grounds, and the Judge,
thinking it constructable as a contempt of Court, sent out the Sheriff,
and had the parties quickly brought before him. Both had bruised noses
and beavers, and showed the unmistakable evidence of having been in
a scrimage. The witnesses were numerous, and the evidence was so
conflicting, that the Judge declared he could legally reach no other
conclusion than that there had _been no fight at all_. But the Sheriff
ventured to suggest:

"Here's Jim Blowers--he had hold on one of them fellers, when I arrested
them."

"Mr. Clerk," said the Judge, "you will at once swear Mr. Blowers."

"Now, Mr. Blowers," said the Clerk, "you will please tell the Court what
you know about this affair."

"Well, ax on."

"Well, was there a fight between these parties?"

"Just a bit of scrimage."

"It was a real fight, was it?"

"Well, some people would call it that."

"How much of a fight was it?"

"Oh, considerable--they pulled and hauled about kinder like two cows
when they lock horns."

"But, tell the Court more precisely?"

"Well, I should say it was a right smart fight."

"But _how_ much of a fight?"

"Well, then, just about an acre, I reckon."

It is needless to say that the crowd enjoyed the joke hugely.

"It is easier to pay a small debt than a larger one."



Uncle Abe Believes in the Intelligence of Oysters.

In the year 1860 or thereabouts, when a great patent case was being
tried in Chicago, and champagne and oysters were the favorite viands
served nightly to Counsel and Jurors after the adjournment of Court, it
happened that one Ed. D------n, a young patent lawyer from New York, was
present on one of those occasions. Now, Ned is terribly afflicted with a
determination of words to the mouth, and managed to monopolize the whole
conversation. Ned had a speech to make upon everything, and kept buzzing
around like a musquito, dipping his bill into everything animate or
inanimate, no matter which. At last he began to officiate at serving out
the oysters, and with ladle in hand, said in his usual stilted style,
"I wonder whether this bivalve, this seemingly obtuse oyster, is endowed
with any degree of intelligence." Uncle Abe looked at the puppy, who, by
the way, had prevented him cracking a single one of his favorite jokes
for the entire evening, and quaintly remarked, that "he was satisfied
that an oyster knew when to shut up, and that was more than some
New York lawyers knew." Ned has never propounded the query as to the
intellect of oysters since.



An Egyptian Snake Story

The last county made in Illinois--I don't mean by the Legislature, but
by Nature, and where dirt was so short that it lies under water part of
the year--is called Alexander, and used to boast two rival towns, both
thoroughly Egyptian in their nomenclative association--Cairo and Thebes.
Twenty years ago Thebes was the "seat of justice;" but Cairo was then
beginning to entertain magnificent expectations, and her citizens wanted
to have the Court House removed to their town. The contest waxed warm.
The Thebans contended that Cairo was only a "daub of mud on the tail
of the State," while Thebes was destined to hold the same relation to
Alexander, that its ancient namesake did to Egypt in the time of Menes.
[See Herodotus.] But to settle the dispute, the Legislature must be
appealed to, and that involved the choice of a man favorable to the
change. This narrowed the fight right down to a hot county canvass
between the Theban and Cairoine interests.

A Cairo man conceived a scheme that was ahead of anything yet achieved
by Uncle Abe's brigadiers in the way of "strategy." He wrapped a boulder
in a green hide, making a perfectly round mass, to which he attached a
mule; then night after night he drew the stone through sand and mud.
By going on a straight line, the mule's tracks were concealed, and the
track left, resembled that made by a huge serpent.

[Illustration: 0041]

These tracks were mainly in the south end of the county, and caused
an excitement that almost absorbed the election interest. Soon it was
reported that Mrs. so and so had seen a huge snake. The wonder grew
apace. Anon it was currently reported that two men had seen the great
serpent five miles above Cairo. The excitement increased. Several daring
hunters followed the track, of which new ones were made every night;
but the trail always led into water and was lost. Several persons missed
hogs and calves, which were surmised to have gone into the capacious maw
of the serpent. Finally word was given out that a great hunt was to come
off in the lower part of the county, and the rendezvous was appointed.
On the morning, hundreds were there from all parts of the county, and
dividing into squads they started to scour the country about. At night
they returned from their snakeless hunt, but so anxious were the people
to get rid of his snakeship, that they furnished an abundance of edibles
and whisky. All were in hilarious spirits, determined to renew the hunt
on the following morning. By daylight the hunters were again on the
tramp, and men from the lower part of the county happened to fall into
the squad.

About 3 o'clock in the afternoon, a squad of the bans hove in sight
of a small village, _i.e._ one house a blacksmith shop and a grocery,
where, seeing a large crowd assembled, they hurried up in expectation of
seeing the dead monster. _But the men were voting!_

"Thunder!" cried a Theban, "this is election day, and I'll bet my bottom
dollar we're sold!"

They started for the rendezvous and spread their suspicions; but so few
reached their own precincts, that the Cairo man was elected.

Then the joke came out; but the Thebans couldn't see the "laughing
place;" their rage and mortification was so intense.

Uncle Abe was a member of the Legislature, when an effort was made to
change the county seat of Alexander; and though he liked the joke hugely
by which the Thebans had been "diddled," he saw the honesty of the thing
and so voted against any change.



Why Uncle Abe Made a Brigadier.

When the rebellion had gone so far as to give the most hopeful
some clear idea of its extent and malignancy, it chanced that J. A.
Mc------d, a leading politician of Illinois, made a visit to Washington,
and imitated his friend Douglas so far as to call upon Uncle Abe. The
"shoot" that certain prominent Democrats gave indication of taking,
by talking of reconstruction and a Northwestern Republic, gave the new
administration some concern. Uncle Abe was very sociable with Logan,
Mac, and a few of their "ilk." So Uncle Abe not only extended to Mac the
hospitalities of the White House, but accompanied him on a visit to the
arsenal. While there, their attention was drawn to some muskets which
the speculators had furnished to Cameron, and which were thought
(generally) very dangerous to those who used them.

Mac caught up one, and sighted along the barrel.

"Do that again, Mac," said Uncle Abe.

Mac complied. Uncle Abe was evidently struck with an idea, and Mac was
anxious to know what it was like.

"Why, Mac," said Uncle Abe, "I was thinking if we could get all our
soldiers to make up that kind of a face, that the rebels couldn't stand
it a moment." Mac didn't relish Uncle Abe's joke, as he was hopefully
in pursuit of the third wife; but he put the best face he could upon the
matter, and remarked to Uncle Abe--

"Perhaps you'd better make me a Brigadier then!"

"And why not?" asked Uncle Abe.

Mac got his commission.



Uncle Abe Puzzled.

Uncle Abe was met one day near Springfield, by a conceited coxcomb, who
had built him a house at some distance, and invited him to dinner.
Uncle Abe did not much relish the Jackenape's acquaintance. In fact,
as Justice Shallow has it, had "written him down an Ass." However, Abe
enquired very minutely, where Snooks lived? "Thistle Grove," replied the
verdant Snooks; "but there's no grove now, and not a single thistle!"

"Eh, what!" cries Uncle Abe, "not a single thistle! Then what on airth
do you live on?"



Uncle Abe Divided on a Question.

In 1840 or '41, Uncle Abo was a member of the Illinois Legislature.
The Capital had lately been removed from Vandalia to Springfield. The
Legislature met in the Presbyterian church.

I have forgotten what measure was before the house; but it was one in
which there were many members who did not wish to commit themselves.
Uncle Abe was in this predicament. He sat near an open window, and when
the clerk, calling the ayes and nays had got down to L's, Uncle Abe
thrust his right leg out of the window, and was just drawing its long
companion after it, when an anti-dodging member "seeing the game," shut
the sash down and held Uncle Abe in a trap.

"Lincoln," called out the Clerk.

"Mr. Speaker," said Col. Thornton, "Mr. Lincoln is _divided_ on this
question, and I move you that the sergeant at arms be sent to bring in
that part of him that is out of the window."

Uncle Abe was "_brought in_" amid a universal titter, to his evident
mortification.

In 1840, the Union generally went for Harrison; but Illinois,
particularly, was democratic. When the Legislature met in the Fall
of that year, the Whig members tried to break up the _new_ Session by
absenting themselves from voting to adjourn the old Session _sine die_,
so that they could Constitutionally meet the next Wednesday morning; the
State Constitution requiring the Legislature to meet "the first Monday
in December next, ensuing the election of members." After the breaking
up of the morning Session, the Sergeant-at-arms hunted up the delinquent
Whigs, and at 3 o'clock there was a quorum obtained, and the doors
locked. The Springfield _Register_ of Dec. 11, 1840, mentions this
matter, but thinks Uncle Abe "come off without damage, as it was noticed
that his legs reached nearly from the window to the ground!"

A proposition was afterwards humorously proposed, to add another story
to the new State House, so that fugacious members would have to go down
the water spouts if they ran!



Tried for Scaring the Girls.

Thirty years ago, when Springfield was blooming into the dignity of its
Capitalive position, the American House was its great hotel, (and it
isn't its smallest yet,) and the resort of those who loved to spend
a few hours in the society of the _bon vivants_ who then
assembled--Lincoln, Douglas, Shields, Ferguson, Herndon, (then a young
man, but since the law partner of Uncle Abe,) and many others "not
unknown to fame," could almost always be found here during the evening.

One evening as they were sitting in free converse in the bar-room, one
of the chamber maids came in and informed the landlord that a man was
under her bed.

It seems while stooping down to untie her gaiters, she saw a man under
the bed. With rare presence of mind, she excused herself to her fellow
servant as having forgotten some duty, and reported her discovery to
the landlord. Boniface at once called for volunteers to secure the
interloper. So eager were they for fun, that all volunteered. They
surprised and captured the man, and brought him down to the bar-room;
but what to do with him? was the next question. Springfield then had no
vagabonds who made fees out of misfortunes--i.e. policemen--and it was
determined to treat him with the prompt justice peculiar to that era. A
court was therefore got together at once, all expectant of fun but the
unfortunate culprit.

Judge Thomas Brown was decided upon to act as Judge; Melborn, the
talented, but eccentric State Attorney, was detailed to prosecute;
and Lincoln and Douglas to defend the prisoner. Dr. Wallace acted as
Sheriff, and upon the jury were Dr. Merriman, * Gen. Shields, John
Calhoun (of Lecompton memory,) Uri Manly, and many other well known
personages.

Lawborn, though a regularly-educated and talented lawyer, took occasion
not only to be as "funny as he could," but to imitate the prevailing
style of oratory too common in Illinois--a style in which the
Hard-shell-Baptist devil mingled with the rough dialect of the
back-woodsman.

"_May it please your Honor, and you, gentlemen of the Jury_: The
Legislature of Illinois, though it has legislated upon every subject it
could think of, has omitted to pass any act against a man being born as
ugly as he pleases. If such an idea ever occurred to my friend Lincoln
here, when in the Legislature, I know he would at once dismiss it,
not only as too personal, but as repugnant to his honest heart. As for
myself, I like ugly men. An ugly man stands up on his own merits. Nature
has done nothing for him, and he feels that he must labor to supply the
deficit by amiability and good conduct generally. There is not an ugly
man in this room but has felt this. A pretty man, on the contrary,
trusts his face to supply head, heart and everything. He is an anomaly
in nature, as though the productions had been at fault as to sex, and
sought to correct it when too late. They are girl's first loves, and
doting husband's jealous bane. I confess I don't like pretty men half so
well as I do pretty women.

     * Afterward murdered and robbed on the Pacific.

"No, gentlemen, ugliness is nothing. It is manners that is everything.
The ugliest man that ever lived, never intentionally frightened a
woman--nay, never was so unfortunate as to do so. But this creature,
gentlemen of the Jury, this mendacious wretch whom you set in judgment
upon--this creature, who would doubtless enter for a prize of beauty at
a vanity fair--how has he failed in his duty to society? Why, gentlemen,
by crawling under the bed upon which two fair damsels were about to
expose their loveliness to Diana's envious gaze. Did he wish to woo
them? Petruche's was rough in his wooing--this man was mean! Woman loves
not surprises. Their hearts are fond of open sieges. This is the case of
all women-kind. Maugre the slander of Hudibras:=

``"He that woos a maid,

``Must lie, love, and flatter."=

"It is a _mystery_ that adds to beauty, and the woman who surrenders that
to importunity or surprise, has lost half her vantage ground. The story
of Guyges and Candaules' queen, if not paralleled here, is not without
its moral. What else meant this wretch, gentlemen of the Jury, but to
surprise these charming damsels when only armed with the light shield
that the Huntress and the cotton plant throws over earthly beauty? Or,
perhaps he meant more--his own guilty heart can only accuse him there.

"Gentlemen of the Jury, the failure of our Legislature to provide a
specific punishment for such miscreants, as this--lecherous creatures,
who steal upon woman amid the mysteries of the bed-room--is no reason
why society should fold its arms and leave woman's hidden beauties to be
anatomized by guilty eyes. No, gentlemen of the Jury, outraged decency
cries for its victim, and here he tremblingly, guiltily stands.

"Gentlemen of the Jury, where are the spirits of the fathers of the
Constitution? Are they not hovering over us in the air of the still
summer day? Are they not wailing upon the winds that sweep over our
prairies? Are they not heard in the sigh of the mountain pine? Are they
not abroad in all lands, whispering to earth's downtrodden millions like
a voice of hope? Yes, gentlemen of the Jury! and where was this creature
then? Why, creeping under the bed of two girls, hazzarding the chance of
overturning--well, it matters not."

--And much more, in a view that needed to be heard to be appreciated.

Lincoln followed, illustrating with anecdotes meet for the place and
occasion, of which I recollect only the opening. "Gentlemen of the
Jury," said he, "the remarks of my friend Lawborn about ugly men, comes
home to my bosom like the sweet oders of a rose to its neighboring great
sister, the cabbage. It was a grateful, a just tribute to that neglected
class of the community--ugly men, I wish to say something for my
client, although it must in candor be admitted, that he had 'gone to
pot.' I don't see why we should throw the kettle after him; he may be
the victim of circumstances; he looks very bashful now, and it may be
the girls scared him; who knows? At least I claim for him the benefit of
a doubt.

"Why, gentlemen, many of us have, or might have suffered from a
concatenation of circumstances as strong as that under which my client
labors. Let me relate a little personal anecdote in illustration. When
I was making the secret canvass of this country, with my friend
Cartwright, the Pioneer Preacher, we chanced to stop at the house of one
of our old Kentucky farmers, whose log-cabin parlor, kitchen and hall
were blended in one, and only separated at night by sundry blankets hung
up between the beds. As we were candidates for the august Legislature of
Illinois, our host treated us with the privacy of a blanket room. During
the night I was awakened by some one throwing their leg over me with
some force. I thought it was neighbor Cartright, and took hold of it to
give it a toss back; but it didn't feel like one of his white oak legs,
and while I was feeling it to ascertain the correctness of my half-awake
doubts, a stifled scream thoroughly awakened me, and the leg was
withdrawn. Why, gentlemen, would you believe me? It was the leg of our
host's daughter! Imagine my position if you can! What an _apparent_
breach of hospitality! While I was imagining an excuse for my conduct,
the 'old folks' struck a light, and the blanket between our bed and
that of the buxom damsel, was discovered to have been pulled down! More
damning proof, thought I. I feigned sleep, but kept one corner of my
left eye open for observation. The blanket was soon fixed up, and I
was greatly relieved to hear the damsel explain to her mother that she
herself had invaded our bed while dreaming, caused by some un-digestable
vegetables she had eaten for her supper. Our host was serene and affable
in the morning, and I had no need to apologize; but, gentlemen, imagine
what an escape I had, and have mercy on my client."

Uncle Abe made a side splitting speech all through, and Douglas followed
with a "constitutional" argument.

The Jury returned a verdict of "guilty of scaring the girls," and the
Judge sentenced the culprit to be whipped in the back yard, by the girls
he had scared.

Dr. Wallace, the acting Sheriff, (no, a paymaster in the army,) went out
and bought a cow hide, and the fellow was soon tied up to a post, and
the girls made per force to give him thirty-nine well laid on.

The whole affair was a rich evening's divertisement, and cost nothing
more than a few lost vest buttons and strained button holes.

It is needless to say that the fellow became a _non est_ man from that
day thenceforth.



"Thank God for the Sassengers."

Most of the readers of this have perhaps read a good story of Oliver
Ditson, the celebrated Boston Music publisher. After he had been in
business several years, his New Hampshire friends invited him to open
his Thanksgiving in his native town, he accepted the invitation and
started with some of his friends. On the way Ditson was the great man of
the occasion, and was therefore placed at the head of the table, when
it devolved upon him to ask the blessing. Now Oliver practiced more
religion than he knew the exact forms for, and he was in a sad dilemma;
but he essayed boldly the task. He thanked God for all the 'creature
comforts' there were upon the table--for all there ever had been--for
all that was expected. But how to quit? He went on, thanking and trying
to think at the same time how 'blessings' ended, but to no purpose.
Knives rattled, plates moved, and Oliver saw the hungry people were
getting impatient, and he came to the end in a real business like style,
with--"Yours, respectfully, OLIVER DITSON."

Almost as good an anecdote is told by Uncle Abe of one of his old
friends, a Mr. Sawyer, who merchandized either in Macon or Champaign
County. Sawyer, was a Yankee, and distinguished for little besides an
immoderate liking for "sassingers," as he called that "linked sweetness"
which polite people call sausages. When Uncle Abe was stumping the
Sangamon District for Congress, it befell that he and Sawyer met at the
same country hotel, which was kept by a hardshell Baptist, whose
foible was long prayers and blessings at table. They--Lincoln and
Sawyer--happened to be going to the same town by the same coaches. So
they were up betimes and ready, but breakfast was delayed. They at last
got to the table, and the Deacon was just closing his eyes preliminary
to the blessing, when the stage horn blew.

"Bless me, Deacon, there's the stage ready," cried the Sawyer; "thank
God for the sassengers, and let us fall too."

I hardly need say the Deacon's blessing--and perhaps his breakfast were
spoiled. But Sawyer had his "sassengers."



Was'nt Murder After All.

When the present State House of Illinois, was being built--and it's a
passable edifice, baring it is too low in the ground, and the _summer
house_ up on its top is too low to catch the cool breezes--it chanced
that among the workmen engaged upon it was a New Yorker named Johnson.
This man had a sovereign contempt for most of the shinplasters then
circulating in Illinois; nor was he much amiss in this, for if it
was now in existence, it would be exchangable at par with Jeff Davis'
shinplasters. But through the instrumentality of Col. Thornton's
negotiations in New York with McAlister of Stebbins, (a claim, by the
way, that has never been settled but came near _settling_ the State _a
la_ Mattoon,) a large amount of the bills of the New York _Metropolitan
Bank_ were put into circulation about Springfield. For this currency
Johnson conceived so great a partiality that the passion of avarice soon
turned it into a mania. He bought all these notes his means permitted,
and stored them away about his person with miserly care.

One Sunday Johnson was invited to ride out to the Cut off by a man
(Smith for the nonce) and accepted. They did'nt stop at the Cut-off, but
went direct to Sangamon River. Here, they were overheard quarrelling.

Smith came home without Johnson, who was soon missed, and as he was
known to have gone away with Smith, that individual was soon put in that
log building still standing (it did in '62) back of Carrigan's Hotel,
and which has since served as a hen house etc. (Why don't Butler take a
picture of it, to show the "rising generation" what a small house used
to hold all the _known or taken_ rogues of old Sangamon?)

The examination of Smith, did not take place until the river bank had
been examined. There were signs of a struggle on the bank, and to the
water's edge, which gave force to the evidence of the man who heard
them in dispute, and all felt convinced that Johnson had been murdered.
Although a careful examination and dredging of the river failed to
produce the body, Smith was committed for trial.

Uncle Abe was engaged as counsel for Johnson, but had little hopes of
being of any earthly aid to him.

At last the day of trial came, and the prisoner plead "not guilty."

I think it was Melborn who was the prosecuting Attorney; before the
prosecution had opened the case Uncle Abe rose and said:

"May it please the Court, I have a motion to make before the prosecution
opens; and as it may save the Court some unnecessary labor, I hope it
will be entertained. _I move that the indictment be quashed and the
prisoner discharged!_"

The astonishment of the crowded Court room was immense, shared alike by
Judge, bar and spectators. As soon as the Judge recovered his equanimity
he asked:

"Upon what grounds is so extraordinary a motion made?"

"Why the man Johnson, was not murdered at all, and I have the pleasure
of introducing _him to the presence of the Court_."

Johnson was led forward. Hundreds recognized him immediately, The
excitement was so great that the Judge adjourned the Court.

It seems that the parties had quarreled, Johnson had been pushed into
the river, but had got out and wandered off in a state of partial
aberation of mind and had been working on a farm. His passion for
Metropolitan Bank Notes and his name suggested an idea that he was the
missing man, and he was opportunely produced in time to save a man from
being hung.



Joe Reed's Mule Hunt.

One of the best natured fellows in the world, when he is not mad, is
Joe Reed, of Logan County, Illinois, Joe is a staunch Republican--a real
rip-rarer in the cause, and has given Uncle Abe the lift of a mighty
broad pair of shoulders more than once, although at first he had a poor
opinion of the rail-splitter. Thereby hangs a tale.

In 18--, (the date is forgotten on account of the coldness of the
weather that winter,) Joe lost a couple of mules. After they had
been gone for a long time, he chanced to hear of them in a settlement
somewhere within the present bounds of Macon County. Illinois. At the
first opportunity Joe started on a mule hunt, determined to find either
the mules or some _trace_ of them. On reaching the neighborhood in
question, Joe was satisfied that an old fellow named Bosby Sheel, had
his mules; and when he went in person, and saw them, the assurance of
his eyes made "assurance double sure." He at once made claim, but the
old fellow had heard that possession was nine points of the law--he
declined to surrender them; Joe immediately appealed to old Squire
P------, who at once summoned the holder of the mules to his Court. The
Squire informed Joe that he would have to prove property; but Joe said
he would only have to swear to his property. In this dilemma, the Squire
adjourned Court till after dinner and remarked to Joe that he had better
get a lawyer.

"There is young Abe Lincoln, he don't live far from here, and he'll be
at my house after dinner."

As he was the only lawyer immediately thereabouts, Joe thought he had
best employ him, in order to "have the law on his side."

Soon after dinner a stranger arrived, and the Justice (who was landlord
of the only hotel in the settlement,) whispered to Joe, that that was
the lawyer.

"What!" exclaimed Joe, "that lean, lank gawky? Why, I'll bet both
of them mules I know more law nor he does, for I'm a 'Squire at home
myself--I am."

"But his looks is mighty deceivin', I tell you," said Boniface. "He's
gin out to be one of the piertest young fellows short o' Sangamon."

But Joe was decided, and the 'Squire re-convened his Court, he having
the meantime laid the case before his young friend, the lawyer, and got
his opinion.

Acting his own lawyer, Joe felt it due to his course to give a concise
statement of the law. As he stood up, he still continued to read from a
green-covered book that had engaged his attention most of the day It was
one of Cooper's latest novels. As Joe gave his version of the law, it
seemed to 'Squire P------ that he was _reading_ the law.

"Is that really the law?" said he, as Joe finished his version of the
law--not the book. "Let me see that book."

Joe mechanically handed it to him.

After pouring over it for some time, he handed it back, with an air of
disappointment, remarking:

"Drat me! if I see any sich law in that book."

"Well, it ain't no wonder ye don't--that's the _Red Rover_, a novel and
not a law book, and you've been and lost my place too," Joe found his
place, and continued: "what I told you is what the law says, and I know
it's so."

"Well, as you're a 'Squire, too, I reckon you ought to know. As the mules
don't belong to old man Bosby Sheel and you swear they are you'rn, I
hold he's bound to give'em up."

Joe rallied the old Squire rather hard about looking over the _Red
Rover_ for extra law, but finally "give a treat" and left the Squire and
his friend in the best of humors.

Said Uncle Abe when he had the small-pox, "I now can give something to
every one who calls."



Has no Influence with the Administration.

Judge Baldwin, an old and highly respectable and sedate gentleman,
called a few days since on Gen. Halleck, and presuming upon a familiar
acquaintance in California formerly, solicited a pass outside of our
lines, to see a brother in Virginia, not thinking that he would be met
with a refusal, as both his brother and himself were good Union men.

"We have been deceived too often," said General Halleck, "and I regret I
can't grant it."

Judge B. then went to Stanton, and was very briefly disposed of with the
same result. Finally he obtained an interview with Uncle Abe, and stated
his case.

"Have you applied to Gen. Halleck?" inquired the President.

"And met with a flat refusal," said Judge B.

"Then you must see Stanton," continued Uncle Abe.

"I have, and with the same result," was the reply.

"Well, then," said Uncle Abe, with a smile of good humor, "I can do
nothing; for you must know _that I have very little influence with this
Administration_."



A Touching Incident.

The following incident, which occurred at the White House, will appeal
to every heart. It reveals unmistakably the deep kindness of Uncle Abe's
character:

"At a reception recently at the White House, many persons present
noticed three little girls poorly dressed, the children of some mechanic
or laboring man, who had followed the visitors into the house to gratify
their curiosity. They were passed from room to room, and were passing
through the reception room with some trepidation, when Uncle Abe, called
to them: 'Little girls, are you going to pass me without shaking hands?'
Then he bent his tall, awkward form down, and shook each little girl
warmly by the hand. Everybody in the apartment was spellbound by the
incident, so simple in itself, yet revealing so much of Uncle Abe's
character."



A Lincoln Man Ducked.

During the canvass between Uncle Abe, and Peter Cartright, the
celebrated Pioneer Preacher, it chanced that Cartright, was returning to
his home from the Williamsville and Wiggins Lane settlement. The nearest
crossing of the Sangamon was at Carpenter's Mills, where there was the
convenience of a ferry instead of a bridge, as is now the case. Upon the
hill on the western side of the river, Cartright saw a man elevated upon
a barrel in front of a little grocery--and on nearing him, he discovered
that he was giving the Democrats in general, and Uncle Peter Cartright
in particular, a perfect fusilade of small shots of slang and abuse.

"I tell you, boys, I'm a Whig,--a real Harrison Tippacanoe and Tyler
too, Whig," said he. "I'm for putting down all these cuss'd locofocos,
and if we can't vote'em down, why I go for lickin'em' down. There's
long Abe Lincoln that's runnin' for the Legislature--he's the chap to
vote for. He's one of the people--split rails and got his edycation by
moonlight. He don't go round the country prayin' and preachin' like that
mean Methodist cuss, Peter Cartright, that's runnin' agin him. I'd like
to know what we wants of a parson to make laws for us? Just elect him,
and fust you know he'll have a bill into the Legislature, to fine us for
not goin' to meetin' or for drinkin' a glass of whisky. I'll tell
you what, if he ever comes round here, I'll just pass him inter the
Sangamon--certain--sure."

Just here Uncle Peter Cartright enquired for "the ferryman.

"I'm the ferry-man, old hoss," sung out the rustic orator, "and ken
put ye cross the river in no time." Uncle Peter signified his desire
to cross, and the twain started towards the ferry boat. The Preacher
stepping into the boat, hitched his horse to the side, while the
ferryman shoved out into the stream.

"So you are a Lincoln man?" queried Uncle Peter. "I'm that hoss."

"And so I presume you would douse a Cartright man if you had a chance?"

"I mought do it stranger."

"Certainly you would douse Mr. Cartright?"

"Sure's winkin', old fellow."

"Well Sir, I am Peter Cartright at your service," and before the
ferryman recovered from his surprise Uncle Peter pitched him into the
river, took the pole and put himself across the river.

The ferryman did'nt vote for Uncle Peter but he altered his opinion of
Methodist preachers in general and Uncle Peter in particular.



A Comparison.

One day as Uncle Abe, and a friend were sitting on the House of
Representatives steps, the session closed, and the members filed out in
a body. Uncle Abe looked after them with a serious smile. "That reminds
me," said he, "of a little incident when I was a boy; my flat boat lay
up at Alton on the Mississippi, for a day, and I strolled about the
town. I saw a large stone building, with massive stone walls, not
so handsome though, as this, and while I was looking at it, the iron
gateway opened, and a great body of men came out. 'What do you call
that?' I asked a bystander. 'That,' said he, 'is the State Prison, and
those are all thieves going home. Their time is up.'"



"There's Enough for All."

Uncle Abe was terribly bored by the office seekers, even before the
Presidential house-warming had scarcely began. The Illinois politicians
were the most ravenous pap-Suckers of all.

"Just wait a little," said Uncle Abe, "I can assure you, as L------d
S------t did the swine, 'there's enough for all.'"

"Let us have the story, Uncle Abe," said one of the crowd, who evidently
expected something rich.

"Why, you see," began Uncle Abe, "I attended court many years ago at
Mt. Pulaski, the first county seat of Logan County, and there was the
jolliest set of rollicking young Lawyers there that you ever saw
together. There was Bill F------n, Bill H------n, L------d S------t, and
a lot more, and they mixed law and Latin, water and whisky, with equal
success. It so fell out that the whisky seemed to be possessed of the
very spirit of Jonah. At any rate, S------t went out to the hog-pen,
and, leaning over, began to 'throw up Jonah.' The hogs evidently thought
it feed time, for they rushed forward and began to squabble over the
voided matter.

"'Don't fight (hic),' said S------t: 'there's enough (hic) for all.'"

--The politicians couldn't see anything to laugh at, although the
"snubbin" was plain enough.



Making a President.

Uncle Abe, in elucidating his estimate of Presidential honors, tells a
clever story, as he always does, when he sets about it. It seems that
Windy Billy, who is a politician of no ordinary pretensions, was a
candidate for the Consulship of Bayonne, and he urged his appointment
with the eloquence of a Clay or a Seward. He boasted vociferously of his
activity in promoting the success of the Republican ticket, and averred
with his impassioned earnestness that he and he alone had made Uncle Abe
President.

"Ah!" exclaimed Uncle Abe, "and it was you who made me President, was
it?" a twinkle in his eye all the time.

"Yes," said Billy, rubbing his hands and throwing out his chest, as a
baggage-master would a small valise, "yes, I think I may say I am the
man who made you President."

"Well, Billy, my boy, if that's the case, it's a h--ll of a muss you got
me into, that's all."



Uncle Abe Boss of the Cabinet.

A prominent Senator was remonstrating with Uncle Abe a few days ago
about keeping Mr. Chase in his Cabinet, when it was as well known that
Mr. C. is opposed, tooth and nail, to Uncle Abe's re-election.

"Now, see here," said Uncle Abe, "when I was elected I resolved to hire
my four Presidential rivals, pay them their wages and be their 'boss.'
These were Seward, Chase, Cameron and Bates; but I got rid of Cameron
after he had played himself out. As to discharging Chase or Seward,
don't talk of it. I pay them their wages and am their boss, and would'nt
let either of them out on the loose for the fee simple of the Almaden
patent."



Uncle Peter Cartright's Wonder.

Some of the farmers in and about Saggamon county, Illinois, have been and
still are so intent on cattle-raising, that the business is a sort
of cattle-mania. Uncle Peter was one Sunday preaching near a good old
deacon of this sort, whose piety was somewhat like that of a card-playing
lady mentioned by Addison, (Spectator No. 7,) who had a set hour for her
devotions, and if she happened to be at a game, would get a friend to
"hold her hand" while she said her prayers. Our worthy deacon was rather
vain of his "gift" praying and saying "blessings" at table. As a matter
of courtesy, he might occasionally ask a visiting preacher to pray
or ask a blessing; but he never failed to exhibit his "gift" to his
visitors. He had a singsong way of "getting it off," at the same time
beating time with his hands on either side of his plate. On the occasion
alluded to, he began--"Oh Lord! (thump) bless the creature comforts
(thump) provided for our (thump) sustenance (thump.) Bless it (thump) to
our needs (thump) and necessities, (thump). Lead us aright, (thump) but
if we stray (thump) put us back (thump) into the right path, (thump).
Bless the stranger (thump) that comes beneath our roof, (thump) and keep
his feet (thump) in pleasant paths, (thump). What we ask (thump)
amiss, (thump) withhold; (thump) but grant us what our (thump)
short-sightedness omits, (thump) and thine be the glory (thump) now and
for ever, (thump) a------."

And here the old deacon stopped suddenly, opened his eyes, and looking
across the table, asked:

"Son John, did Mr. Jones settle yet for that Durham cow?"

"Yes, father--it's all right."

"Amen," concluded the deacon.

"Cattle! cattle!" exclaimed Uncle Peter in ill-concealed disgust.

"Why, you can't say your prayers without having cattle running through
your head; I wonder the Lord don't turn such Christians into cattle!"



Uncle Abe a Shaksperian.

When Uncle Abe was making a plea in one of the county Circuit Courts,
not far from Springfield, one of the lawyers becoming sensible that he
was being out-generaled, remarked to Uncle Abe, as he sat down--

"I smell a mice."

"Why don't you quote Shakspeare correctly?" said Uncle Abe.

"Why," said the other, "I was not aware that I Was quoting Shakspeare at
all."

"Certainly you were, and had you done it properly, it would have been
more expressive and less vulgar. The correct expression is, 'I smell a
device.'"



The Running Sickness.

In the Black Hawk war, Uncle Abe belonged to a militia company in the
service. On a scout, the company encountered the Indians, and in a
brisk skirmish drove them some miles, when, night coming on, our forces
encamped. Great was the consternation on discovering that Lincoln was
missing. His absence or rather his stories, from the bivouac, was a
misfortune. Suddenly, however, he came into camp. "Maj. Abe, is that
you? Thought you were killed. Where've you been?" were the startling
speculations. "Yes," said Uncle Abe, "this is me--ain't killed either."

"But where have you been all the time?"

"Oh, just over there."

"But what were you over there for? Didn't run away, did you?"

"No," said he deliberately, "I don't think I run away; but, after all, I
reckon if anybody had seen me going, and had been told I was going for a
doctor, he would have thought somebody was almighty sick."



How to Get Rid of Rats.

So thick had the rats become in Logan County, a few years ago, that the
means of getting rid of the nuisance was freely discussed. The newly
organized Agricultural Society, finally concluded to offer three
premiums for the then largest numbers. The man who took the largest
prize, exhibited over 1,700 scalps all caught in the space of three
weeks. At the time these prizes were pending, Uncle Abe attended Court
there, and Col. L------n, (a considerable gourmand,) by the way, was
discussing the best way to get rid of the rats, and finally asked Uncle
Abe's opinion.

"Why," said Uncle Abe, "rats are a 'cunning cattle,' and soon find out
how things are going. I introduce them to your table as a delicacy, and
when they find out you are making 'game' of them they will soon give you
a wide berth."

The Colonel winced under a faint impression; but silently ratified Uncle
Abe's conclusions. "Yes," chimed in M------, "we might go so far as to
use their pelts to ornament our winter clothing."



A Palpable Application

On a late occasion, when the White House was open to the public, a
farmer from one of the border counties of Virginia told Uncle Abe that
the Union soldiers, in passing his farm, had helped themselves not only
to hay, but his horses, and he hoped the President would urge the proper
officer to consider his claim immediately. "Why, my dear sir," replied
Uncle Abe, blandly, "I couldn't think of such a thing. If I considered
individual cases, I should find work for twenty Presidents!" Bowie urged
his needs persistently; Uncle Abe declined good-naturedly. "But," said
the persevering sufferer, "couldn't you just give me a line to Colonel
------- about it? just one line?" "Ha, ha, ha!" responded amiable Uncle
Abe, shaking himself fervently, and crossing his legs the other way,
"that reminds me of old Jack Chase out in Illinois." At this the crowd
huddled forward to listen. "You have seen Jack--I knew him like a
brother--used to be a lumberman on the Illinois, and he was steady
and sober, and the best raftsman on the river. It was quite a trick
twenty-five years ago to take the logs over the rapids, but he was
skillful, with a raft, and always kept her straight in the channel.
Finally a steamboat was put on, and Jack--he's dead now, poor
fellow!--was made captain of her. He used to take the wheel going
through the rapids. One day, when the boat was plunging and wallowing
along the boiling current, and Jack's utmost vigilance was exercised to
keep her in the narrow channel, a boy pulled his coat tail, and hailed
him with, 'Sir, Mister Captain! I wish you'd just stop your boat a
minute--I've lost my apple overboard!'"



Uncle Abe on the Whisky Question.

A committee, just previous to the fall of Vicksburg, solicitous for the
_morale_ of our armies, took it upon themselves to visit the President
and urge the removal of General Grant. .

"What for?" asked Uncle Abe.

"Why," replied the busy-bodies, "he drinks too much whisky."

"Ah!" rejoined Uncle Abe, "can you inform me gentlemen, where General
Grant procures his whisky?"

The committee confessed they could not.

"Because," added Uncle Abe, with a merry twinkle in his eye, "If I can
find out, I'll send a barrel of it to every General in the field!"

The delegation retired in reasonable good order.



Edwards vs. Lincoln.

One day soon after Uncle Abe began the canvass with Judge Douglas
for the United States Senate, Lincoln, an Editor, accosted Nivian W.
Edwards, (Uncle Abe's brother-in-law,) as Mr. Lincoln himself.

"Well," said Edwards, "I think I must be growing taller and uglier every
day, for this is the sixth time I've been taken for Abe within a week."

Notwithstanding Edwards was a Democrat and a joker, Uncle Abe made him a
commissary in the army.



Metalic Ring.

The new practical postal currency have upon the face, a faint oval
ring of bronze, encircling the vignette. Uncle Abe being asked its use,
replied that it was a faint attempt on the part of Mr. Chase, to give
the new currency a metalic ring.



A Grateful Postmaster.

Said a long legged hoosier, on receiving the appointment of Postmaster,
in Sangamon County, "I tell you Uncle Abe, you're a hoss," "yes replied
Uncle Abe, a _draft_ horse."



A Serious Joke.

Washington, February 18, 1864

To Wm. Fishback

When I fixed a _plan_ for an election in Arkansas I did it in ignorance
that your convention was at the same work. Since I learned the latter
fact I have been constantly trying to yield my _plan_ to theirs. I have
sent two letters to General Steel, and three or four dispatches to you
and others, saying that (General Steel,) must be master, but that it
will probably be best for him to keep the convention on its own _plan_.
Some single mind must be master, else there will be no agreement on
any thing; and General Steel, commanding the military, and being on
the ground, is the best man to be that master. Even now citizens are
telegraphing me to postpone the election to a later day than either
fixed by the Convention or me This discord must be silenced.

A. LINCOLN.

A young Massachusetts soldier, named Merrill, writes a Washington
correspondent, had on ounce ball pass through his head during the battle
of Fredericksburg. It entered near his right eye and was extracted
behind his left ear. Another ball would have entered a vital part of his
body had it not been arrested by a Testament, in which it lodged.
When this safeguard was shown to Uncle Abe, he sent to the hospital a
handsome pocket Bible, in which was written: "Charles V. Merrill, Co. A.
19th Massachusetts, from A. Lincoln."

"Major-General Grant,--Understanding that your lodgment at Chattanooga
and Knoxville is now secure I wish to tender you, and all under your
command, my more than thanks--my profoundest gratitude--for the skill,
courage, and perseverence with which you and they, over so great
difficulties, have effected that important object. God bless you all!

"A. LINCOLN."



Fix the Date.

Uncle Abe, was conversing with some friends and remarked, "There's
a good Time coming," a countryman stepped up to Uncle Abe, and said:
"Mister, you could'nt fix to date, could yous?"



Rival of Uncle Abe.

Old Abe has got off many good things since he left Springfield, but the
following equals anything which has proceeded from that veteran joker.

"In the Georgia Legislature, Mr. Linton Stephens, brother of the rebel
Vice President, introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives
declaring that peace be officially offered to the enemy after every
Confederate victory."



Uncle Abe's Estimate of the Senate.

Uncle Abe, says that in the Senate, he "owns nine of the Senators and
one-half of another."

"Who owns the other half?" asked a gentleman to whom Uncle Abe was
speaking. "Henry Wilson of Massachusetts," replied the Chief Magistrate,
"Wilson is for me," says the President, "before breakfast; rather
against me while his digestion is going on after it; loves me like pie
during the hours which he spends visiting the various departments and
asking for places and patronage; and bitterly my enemy from seven every
evening until he goes to bed, drops asleep and commences snoring. Wilson
is carrying water on both shoulders but I guess he'll get a wetting and
soil his clothes before he gets through."



"Thought he Must be Good for Something."

An Illinois man who had known the "boy Mayor," John Hay, from boyhood,
was expressing to Uncle Abe, after the massacre at Olustee, some regret
that he should have supposed him capable of any military position.

"About Hay," said Uncle Abe, "the fact was, I was pretty much like
Jim Hawks, out in Illinois, who sold a dog to a hunting neighbor, as
a first-rate coon dog. A few days after, the fellow brought him back,
saying he 'wasn't worth a cuss for coons.' 'Well,' said Jim, I tried him
for everything else, and he wasn't worth a d----n, and so I thought he
_must_ be good for coons.'"



Aptly Said.

To a man who was condoling Uncle Abe on the disaster at Olustee, and
suggesting how it might have been prevented, he said:

"Your remarks are well intended, doubtless; but they do little less than
aggravate a thing which I can't help thinking might have been helped.
It reminds me of a story that I read when I was a boy. An old fellow who
had clambered rather high into an apple tree, fell and broke his arm.
A sympathizing and philosophic neighbor, seeing his mishap, went to his
aid. 'Ah,' said he, 'if you had followed my plan you would have escaped
this.' 'Indeed, what is your plan?' enquired the groaning man. 'Why,
never to let go both hands, till you get one hold somewhere else.'"

The would-be Brigadier saw the point, and left.

"I see you've got to the sticking point at last," as the Democrat
remarked to a slippery Republican, whose team had gone into the ground
up to the hub.

"They have gone up every Creek and Bayou where it was a little damp."

"Linkums" Sold Cheap.

Daring the Presidential contest of 1860, there was an Italian artist
of plaster figures in Springfield, who supplied "leetel Linkums," as
he called his figures, faster than ever Uncle Abe did. He succeeded in
putting one of these Republican penates into every Republican house in
town, but they finally became a "drug" in the market. However, he kept
his "asking price" up; but his selling price was as various as his
buyers, and hard to deal with.

One day, with a load of these upon his head, he entered a jeweller's
shop, and accosted the man behind the counter with-- *

"You buys'em leetel Linkums?"

"No--don't want'em."

"Sells'em cheap," persisted the Italian.

"Well, how do you sell to-day?"

"Fifty cent piece."

"I'll give you a dollar for the lot," said A------, expecting to pose
the Italian.

"You takes'em," greedily exclaimed the artist, and he left Mr. L. A.
A------n with a lot of plaster on hand which he had hard work to give
away.

"There's an odor of nationality about those bills, said Secretary Chase,
showing a lot of the firstlings of his greenbacks to Uncle Abe.

"A very good figure of speech," replied Uncle Abe, "but you must not get
too many under the public nostril, or your figure of speech will be an
odor of fact."

April 1, 1862, greenbacks, 100. April 1, 1864, greenbacks, 55.



Uncle Abe as a Pilot.

The captain of one of the Mississippi river steamers one morning, while
his boat was lying at her moorings at New Orleans, waiting for the tardy
pilot, who, it appears, was a rather uncertain sort of fellow, saw a
tall, gaunt Sucker make his appearance before the captain's office, and
sing out--

"Hello, cap'n! you don't want a pilot nor nothin' about this 'ere craft,
do ye?"

"How do you know I don't?" responded the captain.

"Oh, you don't understand; I axed you s'posin' you did?"

"Then, supposing I do, what of it?"

"Well," said Uncle Abe, for it was he, "I reckon I know suthin' about
that ere sort o' business, provided you wanted a feller of jest about my
size."

The captain gave him a scrutinising glance, and with an expression of
countenance which seemed to say, "I should pity the steamer that you
piloted," asked--

"Are you acquainted with the river, and do you know where the snags
are?"

"Well, ye-as," responded Uncle Abe rather hesitatingly, "I'm pretty well
acquainted with the river, but the snags, I don't know exactly so much
about them."

"Don't know about the snags?" exclaimed the captain, contemptuously,
"don't know about the snags! You'd make a pretty pilot!"

At this Uncle Abe's countenance assumed anything but an angelic
expression, and with a darkened brow and a fiercely flashing eye, he
drew himself up to his full height, and indignantly roared back in a
voice of thunder:

"What do I want to know where the snags are for, old sea-hoss? I know
where they ain't, and there's where I do my sailing!"

It is sufficient to know that Uncle Abe was promptly engaged, and that
the captain takes pleasure in saying that he proved himself one of the
best pilots on the river.

(Wonder if Uncle Abe has forgotten how to sail in clear water? A. A.)



Uncle Abe's Valentine.

Uncle Abe on the 14th of last February, received a valentine in the
shape of a picture of the American eagle, with a financial allusion. The
bird of freedom appeared to be engaged in picking up gold coin, while
at the end of the bird most remote from his head there was a pile of
"green-backs," into which this coin seemed to have been mysteriously
transmuted.

Uncle Abe, who takes such things philosophically, and always
acknowledges a palpable hit with grace and good natured cheerfulness,
went to his Secretary of the Treasury, to exhibit his bird, in order
that the latter might enjoy the joke with him. Mr. Chase, however, was
not disposed to take the matter in the same spirit Uncle Abe did; but
appeared to be much out of humor at this hieroglyphical attack upon his
department of the government. In tones in which there was evidently a
slight admixture of irritability, he remarked to Uncle Abe that he would
like to know who had made this unwarrantable attack upon his financial
management of the affairs of the nation--that he feared that some of his
subordinates had got up this libel upon him, and that he would give
a hundred dollars to know who had done it. Uncle Abe? whose
question-asking proclivities are well known, said that the offer seemed
liberal; "but, Mr. Chase," said he, "before I shall make up my mind on
this subject, will you allow me to ask you one question?" "Certainly,"
replied the Secretary. "I merely wanted to understand," said Uncle Abe,
"at which end of the bird you propose to pay?"

"'Et tu Brute?'" responded the head of the Treasury department. "If I am
thus to be made the subject of ridicule, I must renew my application to
be relieved from my duties as Secretary."

"O, never mind! never mind! Mr. Secretary," said Uncle Abe, "we can
soon remedy all these difficulties. All we have to do, after we have
suppressed this rebellion, is to turn the bird end for end, and let
the gold and 'greenbacks' remain just as they are and all will come
out right." The Secretary, restored to good humor, agreed not to resign
unless Seward did.

"That reminds me of a little story."



"My Mary Ann."

Many months ago the post commander at Cairo was a certain West Point
colonel of a Northwestern regiment, noted for his soldierly qualities
and rigid discipline. One day he passed by the barracks and heard a
group of soldiers singing the well-known street piece, "My Mary Ann."
An angry shade crossed his brow, and he forthwith ordered the men to
be placed in the guard-house, where they remained all night The next
morning he visited them, when one ventured to ask the cause of their
confinement.

"Cause enough," said the rigid colonel; "you were singing a song in
derision of Mrs. Colonel B------."

The men replied by roars of laughter, and it was some time before the
choler of the Colonel could be sufficiently subdued to understand that
the song was an old one, and sung by half the school-boys in the land,
or the risibles of the men be calmed down to learn that the colonel's
wife rejoiced in the name of "Mary Ann."

Uncle Abe made the Colonel a Brigadier the moment he heard this story.



Uncle Abe's Honor.

At one time Uncle Abe aspired to a position on the bench, and Mrs.
Lincoln, so as to be prepared for the event, practiced the habit of
calling her husband "his Honor," or "your Honor," as the case might be.
Uncle Abe never, however, succeeded to the dignity of the ermine; but
attending Circuit at Chicago, and stopping at the -------- Hotel, Mrs.
L. accompanied her husband, as was her custom. Uncle Abe had donned a
bran new pair of boots, which were anything but comfortable, and almost
as uncertain as a pair of skates to a learner on the keenest of ice.
Mrs. Lincoln was enjoying herself in the parlor in a chit-chat with a
number of other ladies, and putting on as many airs as her provincial
position in Springfield would admit, when a strange, rumbling sound
disturbed the pleasant company, who rushed out to learn what was the
matter. Lo and behold! there was Uncle Abe in the undignified
predicament of tumbling down stairs and bumping the end of his spine
upon every step. The new boots, or the swig of forty-rod which he had
taken in his bed-room, had proved traitor to him. Mrs. Lincoln was
nearly non-plussed, but exclaimed in a consoling voice, "Is your Honor
hurt?"

"No," said Uncle Abe, sitting gracefully on the carpet, with legs spread
out amidst the bevy of tittering damsels, and rubbing the seat of his
trowsers, "No, my honor is not hurt but my--my--my head is!"



"Smoke That."

During the session of the Legislature of Illinois, in 1836-7, the
Sangamon County delegation of nine members, became known as the "Long
Nine," from the fact of their remarkable average height. In this
delegation were Uncle Abe, Gen. Baker, (killed at Bull's Bluff,) N. W.
Edwards, (brother-in-law of Uncle Abe, and now Captain commissary,) and
some others of note in their day. A law had passed the previous session
to remove the capital from Vandalia to Springfield, to be carried out
as soon as a new capitol could be built. In the meantime, Gen. W. L. D.
Ewing, an influential Egyptian member, made periodical efforts to repeal
the law and keep the capital at Vandalia. During the session of 1837,
we had a regular tilt with the "long nine," during which, whenever Uncle
Abe or Gen. Baker made a point, Ewing would be saluted with the cry
"smoke that!" in allusion to "long nines," a popular kind of cigars used
at that day. This probably gave rise to saying, "put that in your pipe
and smoke it."



A Sufficient Reason.

Some one recently asked Uncle Abe why he didn't promote merit? "Because
merit never helped promote me," said our Uncle Abe.



The Boy and the Bear.

A committee of the enemies of Mr. Chase called on the President just
after the Pomroy circular was sent forth and advised him to purify his
cabinet and let Chase go. Old Abe replied that "it is not so easy a
thing to let Chase go. I am situated very much as the boy was who held
the bear by the hind legs. I will tell you how it was. There was a very
vicious bear which, after being some time chased by a couple of boys,
turned upon his pursuers. The boldest of the two ran up and caught the
bear by the hind legs, while the other climbed up into a little tree,
and complacently witnessed the conflict going on beneath, between the
bear and his companion. The tussel was a sharp one, and the boy, after
becoming quite exhausted, cried out in alarm, 'Bill, for God's sake
come down and help me let this darned bear go!' Now, gentlemen," said
Mr. Lincoln, "you see what a fix I am in--it may be dangerous to hold on
to Chase, but it will require more assistance than I see at present, to
help me let him go."



Too Deep.

During the Black Hawk war, when the valiant Illinoisians were in
hasty retreat from what they thought certain scalping, and the roads
exclusively bad, in fact, unfathomable mud.--In this predicament,
the corps in which Uncle Abe was, became somewhat scattered, when the
officer commanding, called out to the men to form _two deep_. "Blast
me!" shouted Abe from a slough, in which he was nearly buried, "I am too
deep already; I am up to the neck."



Uncle Abe's First Speech.

When Uncle Abe first made his appearance in the Illinois House of
Representatives, and was desirous of delivering his sentiments on a
certain measure, he rose and began:--"Mr. Speaker, _I conceive_----" but
could go no further. Thrice he repeated unsuccessfully the same attempt;
when Douglas, who had more confidence, and had been a year longer in the
House, completely dumbfounded Abe by saying: "Mr. Speaker, The honorable
gentleman has _conceived three times, and brought forth nothing._"



Cute.

One night Uncle Abe came wet and cold to a cross road tavern in Indiana,
and found the fire more thoroughly blockaded with Hoosiers than mother
Welles has been able to blockade the Southern Confederacy. Abe ordered
the landlord to carry his horse a peck of catfish. "He can't eat
catfish," said Boniface. "Try him," said Abe, "there's nothing like
trying." The crowd all rushed after the landlord to see Abe's horse
eat the peck of catfish. "He won't eat them, as I told you," said the
landlord, on returning. "Then," coolly responded Uncle Abe, who had
squatted on the best seat, "bring them to me and I'll eat them myself."



Abe's Spelling.

Being asked by a client in Springfield why he spelled so badly in his
law papers, Uncle Abe replied, "Because, the Suckers are so cussed mean
they won't pay for good spelling."



A Soldier's Theory of the War.

The soldiers at Helena, in Arkansas, used to amuse the inhabitants of
that place, on their first arrival, by telling them yarns, of which the
following is a sample:

"Some time ago Jeff. Davis got tired of the war and invited President
Lincoln to meet him on neutral ground to discuss terms of peace. They
met accordingly, and after a talk, concluded to settle the war by
dividing the territory and stopping the fighting. The North took the
Northern States, and the South the Gulf and seaboard Southern States.
Lincoln took Texas and Missouri, and Davis Kentucky and Tennessee; so
that all were parcelled off excepting Arkansas. Lincoln did'nt want
it--Jeff, would'nt have it. Neither would consent to take it, and on
that they split; and the war has been going on ever since."



Nigger Mathematics.

Uncle Abe was lately visited by one of the "On to Richmond" sword of
Gideon gentry, who confidently expressed the hope, so common among the
Abolition noodles, that Lee's army would be "bagged." Uncle Abe grinned
to the utmost of his classic mouth, and remarked that he was afraid
there would be too much "nigger mathematics" in it. The visitor smiled
at the allusion, as he felt bound in politeness to do supposing there
must be something in it, though he could not see the point. "But I
suppose you don't know what 'nigger mathematics' is," continued Uncle
Abe. "Lay down your hat a minute, and I'll tell you." He, himself,
resumed the sitting posture leaned back in his chair, elevated his heels
on the table, and went on with his story. "There was a darkey in my
neighborhood, called Pompey, who, from a certain quickness in figuring
up the prices of chickens and vegetables, got the reputation of being a
mathematical genius. Johnson, a darkey preacher, heard of Pompey, and
called to see him. 'Here ye're a great mat'm'tishum, Pompey.' 'Yes sar,
you jas try.' 'Well Pompey, Ize compound a problem in mat'matics.' 'All
right, sar.' 'Now, Pompey, spose dere am tree pigeons sittin' on a rail
fence, and you fire a gun at'em and shoot one, how many's left?' 'Two,
ob cooors,' replies Pompey after a little wool scratching. 'Ya-ya-ya,'
laughs Mr. Johnson; 'I knowed you was a fool, Pompey; dere's _none_
left--one's dead, and d'udder two's flown away.' "That's what makes me
say," continued Uncle Abe, "that I am afraid there was too much nigger
mathematics in the Pennsylvania campaign." And the result showed that in
this instance, at least, the anecdote suited the fact. Lee's army was
then three pigeons. One of them was taken down at Gettysburg, but the
other two flew off over the Potomac.



Long and Short of it.

"Here I am, and here is Mrs. Lincoln, and that's the long and short
of it."--_Speech of Mr. Lincoln from the balcony of the White House at
Washington_.



A Handy Faculty.

Whilst Uncle Abe was passing, in his flat-boat, a small town on the
Wabash, an old chum accosted him from shore thus:--

"Uncle Abe, are you asleep?"

"Why?"

"Because, I want to borrow some whiskey."

"Then" said Abe, "_I am asleep._"

And he rolled over drowsily on the flat-boat, and it passed on.



Uncle Abe on Time.

A Methodist dominie was lecturing Abe on his love of gambling. "Ah
Abraham, it is a grievous sin--in the first place, consider the loss of
time."

"Yes," replied Uncle Abe, "I have often begrudged the loss of time--in
_shuffling and dealing_."



A Story that had no Reminder.

During a conversation which took place between Uncle Abe and a
distinguished western senator, the recent legislative nominations for
the next presidency were incidentally referred to. "Yes," said Uncle
Abe, nursing his leg with evident gratification--"yes senator, the
current seems to be setting all one way!"

"It does, really, seem to be setting all one way," was the answer of
the senator; "but, Mr. Lincoln, as you have told me several good stories
since I have been here, permit me if you please, to tell _you_ one.
It has always been observed that the Atlantic Ocean, at the Straits
of Gibraltar, constantly pours into the Mediterranean with tremendous
volume. The Bosphorus empties into it, at its other end, and rivers are
seen contributing to its waters all along its coast. It was for many
years the constant puzzle of geographers, why the Mediterranean, under
all these accessions, never got full, and overran its banks. After a
while, however, a curious fellow took the notion of dropping a plummet
in the center of the Straits, when, lo! he discovered that, though the
tremendous body of water on the surface was rushing inward from the
ocean, a still more powerful body was passing outward, in a counter
current, some twenty feet below!"

"Oh, ah!" said Uncle Abe, seriously, evidently nonplussed, for the first
time in his life; "that _does not_ remind me of any story I ever heard
before!"



Has it "Gin Out?"

We do not know what joke Uncle Abe made when he heard the news of the
surrender of Plymouth. In regard to the Fort Pillow affair he made
a Bunsby speech, but no joke. His last joke, of which we have any
knowledge, occurred when Secretary Chase was starting on his trip to
New York. Uncle Abe is like Cromwell without his military genius, and is
very fond of playing practical jokes on his associates. It is said that
after Cromwell had signed the warrant for the execution of King Charles
he turned round to one of his colleagues and smeared his face with the
ink. This he thought capital fun. Uncle Abe's jokes are of about the
same quality. When Chase called upon him to say good bye, the Secretary
of the Treasury asked for some information about the probable end of
the war, saying it would help him greatly in getting more money in Wall
street. "Do you want more money?" asked Lincoln, and then quickly added,
"What! has the printing machine gin out?" This joke is fully equal to
Cromwell's.



A Major

At one of Uncle Abe's levees recently, among the Company was a
Pennsylvania Avenue tailor whom Abe recognized but could not name. "My
dear Sir} I remember your face, but I forget your name," said Uncle Abe.
The knight of the needle whispered confidentially into Uncle Abe's ear.
"I made your breeches." Uncle Abe took him most affectionately by the
hand and exclaimed enthusiastically "Major Breeches, I am happy to meet
you at the White House!"



A Dry Drop.

A refugee from Richmond was telling Uncle Abe of the sad state of
affairs reigning there. Among other things he said liquor was so scarce
that the rebel President himself could scarcely get a drop to drink.

"He ought not to have a drop _to drink_ in this world or the next," said
Uncle Abe.

"You are rather severe," replied the refugee.

"Well," said Uncle Abe, "if you think a drop would do him good, let it
be a drop from the scaffold."



Uncle Abe as a Physiognomist.

While the western governors were in conversation the other day, one of
them asked him if he remembered a certain Major of the ------ Illinois
regiment.

Uncle Abe replied that "he could'nt say that he did." The gentleman
who addressed him then tried to jog the executive memory a little by
mentioning a circumstance or two connected with the Major's history.
Finally Uncle Abe remembered him very well--which fact he stated in
the following graphic language: "O yes, I know who you mean. _It's that
turkey egg faced fellow that you'd think did'nt know as much as a last
year's bird's nest_." This was the very individual referred to. It will
be seen that Uncle Abe has other fortes than statesmanship--and that of
a physiognoist is one of them.



The Concrete vs. the Abstract.

Dick Yates, the jolly Governor of the Suckers, tells that he called
on Uncle Abe one morning when he was trying to get the 88,000
"Hundredazers" accepted, and that during their interview Uncle Abe
remarked: "Yates, I'll tell you the difference between the concrete and
the abstract. When the Senate passed a resolution requesting me not to
appoint any more Brigadiers, as the vacancies were all full, that's the
concrete. But when a Senator comes up here with a long petition and a
longer face, requesting me to make a brigadier out of some scallawag of
a friend of his, as it happens every day--I call that the abstract."



Symptoms of Civilization.

Uncle Abe and his chums were wrecked and swamped once on a trip to
New Orleans, and having waded ashore, were in search of shelter and
refreshment, without much prospect of success, in a thickly timbered
bottom. They had traveled through the forest a long distance, and were
in despair of finding any human habitation, when they discovered a negro
hanging on the projecting limb of a tree. "The joy," said Abe, when
telling the adventure, "which this cheering view excited, cannot be
described, for it convinced us that we were in a _civilized country._"



Uncle Abe goes into Partnership.

In the days when Uncle Abe plied the flat-boat business on the Wabash
and Sangamon, he made it a practice to troll for catfish and dispose
of them to the planters in Mississippi, when passing their plantations.
This brought him quite a revenue, which was always expended for "forty
rod" whisky, or the fish were traded off direct for that fluid chain
lightning. Once while passing the plantation of Mr. Percy, he was bound
to have some forty rod, and went ashore with a fine lot of fish. A large
party were assembled at the mansion of the aristocratic Percy; when
Julius Cæsar informed him that Uncle Abe was below with some very fine
fish. "Well," said Percy, "give him his forty rod as usual, and let him
go."

"But sah, he won't take it dis time," said the darkey, "he wants a
hundred lashes on the bare back, well laid on massa." Uncle Abe insisted
to the surprise of every one on this strange price for his fish, and Mr.
Percy to humor him, complied, directing the overseer to cut him gently.
When Uncle Abe had received the fiftieth lash, he cried, "Hold! I have
got a partner in this business, to whom I have engaged to give half of
whatever I should get for the fish--this overseer would not admit me
only on that condition." O course the overseer had his share well paid,
and Abe got his forty-rod as usual, with something added.



Abe Passing Counterfeit Money.


One day a poor woman ran into Uncle Abe's law office in great fright
exclaiming:--

"Oh, Mr. Lincoln, my boy has swallowed a penny!"

"Was it a counterfeit," coolly asked Mr. Lincoln.

"No, certainly not," replied the woman, somewhat indignantly.

"Oh! well, then _it will pass_, of course," said Uncle Abe.

It is hardly necessary to add that the anxious mother went home
comforted and that the boy who "swallowed the penny," at the last
Presidentia-election voted for "Honest Old Abe."



The Wrong Man Poulticed.

At the famous watering place, of the Blue Lick Springs, Uncle Abe
was severely afflicted with a pain in the stomach, which neither gin
cock-tails nor other cordials could remove. It was night and he was in
bed. His loving wife, unwilling to awake the domestics, descended to
the kitchen, and prepared mustard poultice, which she spread on her own
handkerchief, and proceeded with it to the distressed Uncle Abe. Before
leaving him, she left a light dimly burning in the apartment; but deeply
impressed with anxiety, she was not as careful as she might have been in
noting the number of her room.

Guided by a light which she saw shining in a chamber, and which she
supposed was the one she had left, she entered, and gently raising the
bed clothes, &c., laid the warm poultice upon a stomach but not the
stomach of Uncle Abe.

"Hello there! What the -------- are you about?" shouted a voice of
thunder, and the body and sleeves? whence it issued, sprang out of bed.

The lady screamed and ran; Uncle Abe rushed to the rescue from the next
room, the waiters joined and a small scene ensued, much to the amusement
of all concerned. The poulticed gentleman had indiscreetly left a light
in his room, and this lured the lady from her path.

Uncle Abe was so amused and excited by the mistake that he quite forgot
his pains; but early the next morning, with his wife and trunks,
left for Springfield, 111. The poulticed man still retains the
handkerchief--a beautiful cambric--with the lady's name on it, the
initials of Frances Amelia E. Todd.



Uncle Abe as School Superintendent.

When Uncle Abe kept grocery on the Sangamon he was elected as School
Superintendent out of his district. It was his duty to examine the
applicant teachers on mathematics; which he once did in this wise in his
grocery store. "If two pigs weigh twenty pounds how much will a large
hog weigh."

"Jump into the scales," said the weilder of the birch, "and I'll soon tell
you."

Abe did not examine him further in mathematics.



Uncle Abe's Nose.

Uncle Abe being asked once why he walked so crookedly? said, "Oh my
nose, you see, is crooked, and I have to follow it!"



Take Away the Fowls.

After Uncle Abe had studied law some time and whilst travelling in the
Prairie country in Knox County, Illinois, he stopped at the house of
Mrs. Galt, an old Scotch lady whose husband was largely engaged in wool
growing. Abe at this time was beginning to be proud of his learning,
especially of his pronunciation of English. Mrs. Galt when dinner was
over desired the servant in waiting to take away the fowls, which she,
(as is sometimes done in Scotland), pronounced _fools_, "I presume,
madam, you mean fowls" said Abe rather sententiously. "Very well, be it
so," said Mrs. Galt; "take away the _fowls_, but let the _fool_ remain!"



Uncle Abe Well Fed.

Old Whitey, Abe's school master, said to him angrily one day, "Abraham
you are better fed than taught!"

"Should think I was," said Abe, "as I feed myself and you teach me!"

Uncle Abe says there is a good deal of the devil in the Rebels. They
sometimes fight like him, frequently run like him, and always lie like
him.



A Man of Means.

Uncle Abe was asked by a client whether his neighbor Brown was "a man of
means."

"Well I reckon he ought to be," said Abe, "for he is just the meanest
man in Springfield."



Call Again.

When Uncle Abe was taken sick recently, and Mrs Lincoln had sent for
the doctor; Uncle Abe, having an aversion to physic, said, he had better
call another time, as he was too sick then to joke with him.



Uncle Abe Swapped when a Baby.

Abe when asked whether he could account for his excessive homeliness
said "when I was two months old I was the handsomest child in Kentuck,
but my nigger nurse swapped me off for another boy just to please
a friend who was going down the river whose child was rather plain
looking."



Hit at Antietam.

Another story of Uncle Abe, too good to be lost, has leaked out. It
seems he had accompanied a young lady to one of the hospitals in
the capitol where the sympathizing creature, as in duty bound became
interested in a wounded soldier. To all her inquiries as to the location
of the wound, however, she could only get one reply, thus: "My good
fellow where were you hit!"

"At Antietam."

"Yes, but where did the bullet strike you?"

"At Antietam."

"But where did it hit you!"

"At Antietam." Becoming discouraged, she deputized Uncle Abe to
prosecute the inquiry, which he did successfully Upon his rejoining her,
she was more curious than, ever, when the President, taking both her
hands in his said in his most impressive style. "My dear girl, the ball
that hit _him_, would not have injured _you_."



A Poor Crop.

An old acquaintance of Uncle Abe's called upon him a short time since
with the view to getting hold of a contract. Uncle Abe told him that
contracts were not what they were in Cameron's time. "In fact," said he,
"they remind me now of a piece of meadow land on the Sangamon bottoms
during a drouth."

"How was that?" said the Sucker--"Why," said Abe, looking rather
quizical, "the grass was so short that they had to lather before they
could mow it."



Handy in Case of Emergencies.

During the fall of 1863, Uncle Abe was riding on the Virginia side of
the Potomac, between Arlington Heights and Alexandria, accompanied by
Dr. N-------- of New Jersey. Passing the huge earth-work fortifications,
the Doctor observed: "Mr. President, I have never yet been enabled to
discover the utility of constructing and maintaining those forts. What
is your opinion about them?"

"Well doctor," replied Uncle Abe, "you are a medical man! and I will ask
you a question in the line of your profession. Can you tell me the use
of a man's nipples?"

"No I can't" said the doctor "Well I can tell you," said Uncle
Abe,--"They would be mighty handy if he happened to have a child."



Value of a Reputation.

A client of Uncle Abe's was tried for stealing, in Springfield,
Illinois, when it was satisfactorily proven that he had acknowledged the
theft to several persons. Uncle Abe argued in behalf of his client that
he was such an abominable liar that no one could believe him and the
jury ought not to. The judge charged against the prisoner, but to his
astonishment the jury brought in a verdict that the accused was entirely
unworthy of belief; and he was therefore acquitted.



Didn't Like the Name.

A young U. S. Officer being indicted at Chicago, for an assault on
an aged gentleman, Uncle Abe began to open the case thus: "this is an
indictment against a soldier for assaulting an old man."

"Sir," indignantly interrupted the defendant, "I am no soldier, I am an
officer!"

"I beg your pardon," said Abe, grinning blandly; "then, gentlemen of the
jury, this is an indictment against _an officer_, who is _no soldier_,
for assaulting an old man."



Uncle Abe's Good Bye.

When Uncle Abe joined the Sangamon Militia and entered on the Black Hawk
war campaign, his Colonel was a small snipe of a fellow about four feet
three inches. Physically, of course, Uncle Abe looked down upon his
Colonel. Abe had rather a slouching look and gait at that time, and
attracted by his awkward appearance, the dapper little Colonel thus
saluted the future Executive and manufacturer of both Colonels and
Brigadiers. "Come, Uncle Abe, hold up your head; higher, fellow!"

"Yes sir."

"Higher, fellow--higher." Abe stretched his lank neck to its greatest
altitudinous tension and said, "What--so, Sir?"

"Yes, fellow, a little higher."

"And am I always to remain so?"

"Yes, fellow, certainly!"

"Then," said Uncle Abe, with a woeful countenance, "good bye, Colonel,
for I shall never see _you again!_"



Uncle Abe's Last.

Yesterday a Western correspondent, in search for something definite in
relation to the fighting now going on, stepped into the White House and
asked the President if he had anything authentic from Gen. Grant.
The President stated that he had not, as Grant, was like the man that
climbed the pole and then pulled the pole up after him.-- _Washington
Union, May 16_.





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