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Title: The Life of Abraham Lincoln - For Young People Told in Words of One Syllable
Author: Putnam, Harriet
Language: English
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                              THE LIFE OF
                            ABRAHAM LINCOLN

                           FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
                     TOLD IN WORDS OF ONE SYLLABLE

                            HARRIET PUTNAM


                         McLOUGHLIN BROS. Inc.
                               New York

                             Copyright by
                          McLOUGHLIN BROTHERS

                Printed in the United States of America



 THE BABE OF THE LOG CABIN AND HIS KIN                            5


 THE NEW HOME AND THE FIRST GRIEF                                13




 AND LAWYER                                                      27


 LEADER FOR FREEDOM; LAW MAKER                                   39


 LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS                                             55






 EARLY BATTLES OF THE WAR                                        85




 ANTIETAM, VICKSBURG, GETTYSBURG                                105


 GETTYSBURG SPEECH                                              115


























































Near five scores of years have gone by since a poor, plain babe was
born in a log hut on the banks of a small stream known as the “Big
South Fork” of No-lin’s Creek. This was in Ken-tuc-ky and in what is
now La-rue Coun-ty.

It was Sun-day, Feb. 12, 1809, when this child came to bless the world.

The hut, not much more than a cow-shed, held the fa-ther and moth-er,
whose names were Thom-as and Nan-cy, and their girl child, Sa-rah.
These three were the first who saw the strange, sad face of the boy,
who, when he grew to be a man, was so great and good and did such grand
deeds that all the world gave most high praise to him.

The folks from whom the fa-ther came were first known in A-mer-i-ca
in 1618. They came from Eng-land at that time, and made a home at
Hing-ham, Mass. They bore a good name, went straight to work, had
health, strength, thrift, and soon tracts of land for their own.

All the long line of men from whom this babe came bore Bi-ble names.
The first in this land was Sam-u-el. Then came two Mor-de-cais. Next
was John, then A-bra-ham, then Thom-as who was the fa-ther of that
Ken-tuc-ky boy.

Though there was room for hosts of men in Mas-sa-chu-setts, yet
scores left that state and took up land in New Jer-sey. Mor-de-cai
Lin-coln, with his son John, went to Free-hold, New Jer-sey. They made
strong friends there and had a good home. When more land was want-ed,
Mor-de-cai left his son in New Jer-sey for a while, and went to the
Val-ley of the Schuyl-kill in Penn-syl-va-ni-a, where he took up a
large tract of land. John Lin-coln, the son, joined his fa-ther lat-er.
Near their farm was that of George Boone who had come from Eng-land
with e-lev-en chil-dren. One son of George had great love for the
woods, the song of the birds and camp life. He was Dan-iel Boone, the
great hun-ter.

[Illustration: DANIEL BOONE]

The men on Penn-syl-va-ni-a farms, thought it best to buy land on the
oth-er side of the Po-to-mac, so the Lin-colns went in-to the val-ley
of the Shen-an-do-ah and took up tracts on lands which had been
sur-veyed by George Wash-ing-ton. The Boones went to North Car-o-li-na.

When John Lin-coln’s first born son, A-bra-ham, born in Penn-syl-va-ni-a,
came of age, he left his Vir-gin-ia home and went to see the Boones in
North Car-o-li-na. Here he met the sweet Ma-ry Ship-ley whom he wed.

Dan-iel Boone told them that there was a fine land be-yond the
moun-tains. Boone and three more men had found a gate-way in the
moun-tains in 1748. They named it Cum-ber-land Gap, in hon-or of the
Duke of Cum-ber-land, Prime-min-is-ter to King George. They found
rich soil on that oth-er side of the moun-tains, and the haunts of the
buf-fa-lo and deer. Boone got up a band of two score and ten men in
1775 and made a set-tle-ment at a spot to which he gave the name of
Boons-bor-ough, in what is now Ken-tuc-ky.

When the war of the Rev-o-lu-tion came, the In-di-ans had arms and shot
which had been giv-en to them by the Brit-ish. The red men fought hard
for the lands where they were wont to hunt. The white men had to build
forts and watch the foe at all points when they went forth to clear or
till the ground.

Still, more and more folks went to Ken-tuc-ky. Of these, in 1778, were
A-bra-ham Lin-coln and his wife, Ma-ry Ship-ley Lin-coln. With them
were their three boys, Mor-de-cai, Jo-si-ah and Thom-as, the last a
babe in the arms of his moth-er.

From their North Car-o-li-na home, on the banks of the Yad-kin, this
group made a trip of 500 miles. The end of their route was near
Bear-grass Fort, which was not far from what is now the cit-y of
Lou-is-ville, Ken-tuc-ky.

A sad thing came to the Lin-colns in 1784. A-bra-ham with his three
sons went out to clear the land on their farm. A squad of In-di-ans
was near. At the first shot from the brush the good fa-ther fell to the
earth to breathe no more. The two old-er boys got a-way, but Thom-as,
the third son, was caught up by a sav-age, and would have been tak-en
off had not a quick flash come from the eld-est boy’s gun as he fired
from the fort, tak-ing aim at a white or-na-ment on the Indian’s
breast, and kill-ing him at once.

It was the way of those days that the first born son should have what
his fa-ther left. So all went to Mor-de-cai. Jo-si-ah and Thom-as had
to make their own way in the world.

Young Thom-as, at ten years of age was at work on land for small pay.
As he grew in strength he took up tools, put by his coin, and, at last,
could buy some land of his own. When he was a man grown he wed Nan-cy
Hanks, who made a good and true wife for him. He built a hut for her
near E-liz-a-beth-town. In a year’s time, the first child, Sa-rah, was

Two years went by, and as there was but small gain and scarce food for
three there, the Lin-colns went to Big South Fork, put up a poor shack,
a rude hut of one room. The floor was not laid, there was no glass for
the win-dow and no boards for the door. In this poor place A-bra-ham
Lin-coln, II, first saw the light.


The moth-er, Nan-cy Hanks, when she came to be the wife of Thom-as
Lin-coln, was a score and three years old. She was tall, had dark hair,
good looks, much grace, and a kind heart. It is said that at times she
had a far off look in her eyes as if she could see what oth-ers did
not see. She had been at school in her Vir-gin-ia home, could read
and write, and had great love for books. She knew much of the Bi-ble
by heart, and it made her glad to tell her dear ones of it. The brave
young wife did all she could to help in that poor home. The love she
had for her babes kept joy in her heart. Her boy was ver-y close to
her. As she looked in-to his deep eyes, she seemed to know that child
was born for grand deeds. As he learned to talk, his moth-er hid his
say-ings in her heart, tell-ing but few friends who were near her, how
she felt a-bout that son. But she had too much to do to dream long. As
Thom-as was much from home the young wife had to leave her babes on a
bed of leaves, take the gun, go out and bring down a deer or a bear,
dress the flesh, and cook it at the fire. She used skins for clothes,
shoes, and caps. All the time it was toil, toil, but love kept the work
less hard.

As the boy, A-bra-ham, grew in strength and health, his eyes turned
to his moth-er for all that made life dear. In af-ter years he oft-en
said, “All that I am I owe to my moth-er.”

There was no door to the Lin-coln hut, so the moth-er hung up a bear
skin as a shield from the cold, and pressed her babe to her breast as
the chill winds swept in be-tween the logs.

At the fire on the hearth the corn-cake was baked and the ba-con fried.
Game was hung up in front of the fire, and turned from time to time,
that it might all be brown and crisp. When free from toil the moth-er
taught her lad and lass, and the “gude-man,” too, that it might make
him more than he was to her, to him-self, and to oth-ers. The truths
the moth-er gave out sank deep in the heart of her boy, and in due time
they put forth shoots which grew to a great size, and were of use to
the world.

Four years went by, and then the Lin-colns took a bet-ter farm at Knob
Creek, built a cab-in, dug a well, and cleared some land. The new home
was but a short way from the patch on the side of that hill on No-lin’s
Creek, but a good farm might have been made there if Thom-as Lin-coln
had been a man who would stay in one place, and work the soil year in
and year out. He had not the pluck to keep a farm up to the mark.

When A-bra-ham was five years old he oft-en went with his folks three
miles from home to a place called “Lit-tle Mound.” A log-house had been
built there, and a man found whose name was Rev. Da-vid El-kins, and
who was glad to come a long way through the woods to preach from the
Word of God.

The small boy soon had a great love for that good man. The ways of the
child drew the preach-er to him and they were soon fast friends.

Ere long one came by who said he could teach all the folks to spell
and read. A class was made up, and, strange to say, the five-year-old
A-bra-ham stood at the head of it! His moth-er had taught him. She,
al-so, had told him to be kind and good to all. There were sol-diers on
the road from time to time, go-ing home from the war of 1812. One day
the young child saw one near him when he held in his hand a string of
fish he had just caught. He gave all his fish to the sol-dier.



When A-bra-ham was sev-en years old, his fa-ther Thom-as Lin-coln,
found his farm too much for him. What he liked best was change. He said
it would suit him to move to the West, where rich soil and more game
could be found.

He thought he would take what he could of their poor goods, set off
and hunt up a home. So he built a frail craft, put his wares on it,
but soon got on the snags and lost most of what he had. He swam to the
shore. In a few days the wa-ters, which had come up as high as the
banks, went down, and folks a-long shore helped him get up a few of
his goods from the bot-tom of the riv-er. These goods he put in-to a
new boat, which he said he would pay for as soon as he could, and then
float-ed down the O-hi-o to Thomp-son’s Land-ing. Here he put what he
had brought with him in-to a store-house, and went off a score of miles
through the woods to Pig-eon Creek. He found the soil all he thought
it would be. He chose a tract of land, and then made a long trip to
“en-ter his claim” at Vin-cennes. The next thing to do was to go back
to Ken-tuc-ky.

The cool days of No-vem-ber had come ere wife and chil-dren, with two
hor-ses which a friend had loaned, and what goods were left, set out
for the far off land of In-di-an-a. When night came they slept on the
ground on beds made of leaves and pine twigs. They ate the game the
ri-fles brought down, cooking it by the camp fire. From time to time
they had to ford or swim streams. They were glad that no rain fell in
all their long route.

[Illustration: ON THE WAY TO INDIANA.]

Sa-rah and A-bra-ham thought it was nice to spend weeks in the free,
wild life of the woods. A-corns and wal-nuts they found, and fish came
up when they put a fat worm on their hooks. They could wade and swim
in the cool brooks and gather huge piles of dried leaves for their
sound sleep at night.

But at last they came to the banks of one stream from which they could
look far off to the land where they were to make their new home. All
was still there save the sound of the birds and small game. Right in-to
the heart of the dense woods they went on a piece of tim-ber-land a
mile and a half east of what is now Gen-try-ville, Spen-cer Co. This
was A-bra-ham Lin-coln’s third home. Here his fa-ther built a log
“half-face,” half a score and four feet square. It had no win-dows and
no chim-ney. For more than twelve months the Lin-colns staid in this
camp. They got a bit of corn from a patch, and ground it in-to meal at
a hand grist-mill, sev-en miles off, and this was their chief food.
There was, of course, game, fish, and wild fruits.

Their beds were still heaps of dry leaves. The lad slept in a small
loft at one end of the cab-in to which he went up by means of pegs in
the wall. A-bra-ham was then in his eighth year, tall for his age, and
clad in a home-spun garb or part skins of beasts. The cap was made of
the skin of a coon with the tail on. The child did much work. He knew
the use of the axe, the wedge, and the maul, and with these he found
out how to split rails from logs drawn out of the woods. To clear
the land so that they could plant corn to feed the fam-i-ly, and hew
tim-ber to build the new house was work that gave fa-ther and son much
to do. At last Sa-rah and A-bra-ham felt that they had a house to be
proud of, though it was not much bet-ter than the one they had left.
Its floor had not been laid, and there were no boards of which to make
the door when they moved in. Some friends had come to see them, and as
there would be more room for them in the new house they went to live
there. It was a glad day when Thom-as Spar-row, whose wife was Mr.
Lin-coln’s sis-ter, and Den-nis Hanks, her nephew, came.

[Illustration: GOING UP TO THE LOFT.]

The brief joy of the Lin-colns was soon lost in a great grief. An
ill-ness came to that place and man-y folks died. Mrs. Lin-coln fell
sick. She knew that she must leave her dear ones. Her work was at an
end. As her son stood at her bed-side she said, “A-bra-ham, I am go-ing
a-way from you. I shall not come back. I know that you will be a good
boy, that you will be kind to Sa-rah and to your fa-ther. I want you to
live as I have taught you, and to love your Heav-en-ly Fa-ther.”

The grief that came then to A-bra-ham Lin-coln made its mark on him, a
stamp that went with him through life.

When that moth-er died, that dear moth-er, to whom he gave so much
love, the boy felt that he did not want to live an-y long-er. He
thought his heart would break. He staid days by his moth-er’s grave.
He could not eat. He could not sleep. Soon Mr. and Mrs. Spar-row, the
guests, died. The strange ill-ness came to them. It came, al-so, e-ven
to the beasts of the fields in that land. Those were sad days.

Nan-cy Hanks Lin-coln was 33 years old when she died. Her hus-band,
Thom-as, made a cof-fin for her of green lum-ber cut with a whip-saw,
and she, with oth-ers, was bur-ied in a small “clear-ing” made in the
woods. There were no pray-ers or hymns. It was great grief to young
A-bra-ham that the good man of God who spoke in the old home was not
there to say some words at that time. It was then that the ten-year old
child wrote his first let-ter. It was hard work, for he had had small
chance to learn that art. But his love for his moth-er led his hand
so that he put down the words on pa-per, and a friend took them five
scores of miles off. Good Par-son El-kins took the poor note sent from
the boy he loved, and, with his heart full of pit-y for the great grief
which had come to his old friends, and be-cause of his deep re-gard for
the no-ble wom-an who had gone to her rest, he made the long jour-ney,
though weeks passed ere he could stand by that grave and say the words
A-bra-ham longed to hear.



With moth-er gone, Sa-rah Lin-coln must keep the house, do the work,
sew and cook for fa-ther and broth-er. She was 11 years old. The boy
did his part but though he kept a bright fire on the hearth, it was
still a sad home when moth-er was not there.

Books came to give a bit of cheer. An a-rith-me-tic was found in some
way and al-so a co-py of Æ-sop’s Fa-bles. For a slate a shov-el was
used. For a pen-cil a charred stick did the work.

A year went by, and one day Thom-as Lin-coln left home. He soon came
back and brought a new wife with him. She was Sa-rah Bush John-ston, an
old friend of E-liz-a-beth-town days. She had three chil-dren――John,
Sa-rah and Ma-til-da. A kind man took them and their goods in a
four-horse cart way to In-di-an-a.

A great change then came to the Lin-coln house. There were three
bright girls and three boys who made a deal of noise. A door was hung,
a floor laid, a win-dow put in. There were new chairs, a bu-reau,
feath-er-beds, new clothes, neat ways, good food, lov-ing care, and
much to show A-bra-ham that there was still some hope in the world.

The new moth-er was a kind wom-an, and at once took the sad boy to her
heart. All his life from that time, he gave praise to this friend in

A chance came then for a brief time at school, and this was “made the
most of.” Folks said the boy “grew like a weed.” When he was twelve
it was said one “could al-most see him grow.” At half a score and
five years old he was six feet and four in-ches high. He was well,
strong, and kind. He had to work hard. He did most of the work his
fa-ther should have done. But in the midst of it all he found time to
read. He kept a scrap-book, too, and put in it verse, prose, bits from
his-to-ry, “sums,” and all print and writ-ing he wished to keep. At
night he would lie flat on the floor and read and “fig-ure” by fire

One day some one told A-bra-ham that Mr. Craw-ford, a man whose home
was miles off, had a book he ought to read. This was a great book in
those days. It was Weems’ “Life of Wash-ing-ton.” The youth set off
through the woods to ask the loan of it. He got the book and read
it with joy. At night he put it in what he thought was a safe place
be-tween the logs, but rain came in and wet it, so he went straight to
Craw-ford, told the tale, and worked three days at “pull-ing fod-der”
to pay for the harm which had come to the book.


It was the way in those times in that place for a youth to work till he
was a score and one years old for his fa-ther. This young Lin-coln did,
work-ing out where he would build fires, chop wood, “tote” wa-ter, tend
ba-bies, do all sorts of chores, mow, reap, sow, plough, split rails,
and then give what he earned to his fa-ther.

Though work filled the days, much of the nights were giv-en to books.
In rough garb, deer skin shoes, with a blaze of pine knots on the
hearth, A-bra-ham read, read, fill-ing his mind with things that were a
help to him all his life. He knew how to talk and tell tales, and folks
liked to hear him. He led in all out of door sports. He was kind to
those not so strong as he was. All were his friends.

The first mon-ey that he thought he might call his own he earned with
a boat he had made. It seems that one day as he stood look-ing at it
and think-ing if he could do an-y thing to im-prove it, two men drove
down to the shore with trunks. They took a glance at some boats they
found there, chose Lin-coln’s boat, and asked him if he would take men
and trunks out to the steam-er. He said he would. So he got the trunks
on the flat-boat, the men sat down on them, and he sculled out to the


The men got on board the steam-er, and their young boat-man lift-ed the
hea-vy trunks to her deck. Steam was put on, and in an in-stant the
craft would be gone. Then the youth sang out that his pas-sen-gers had
not yet paid him.

Each man then took from his pock-et a sil-ver half-dol-lar and threw
it on the floor of the flat-boat. Great was the sur-prise of young
Lin-coln to think so much mon-ey was his for so lit-tle work. He had
thought “two or three bits” would be a-bout right. The coin which came
to him then, when off du-ty from his fa-ther’s toil, the youth thought
might be his own. It made him feel like a man, and the world then was
more bright for him.

A man who kept a store thought he would send a “car-go load,” ba-con,
corn meal, and oth-er goods, down to New Or-leans in a large flat-boat.
As A-bra-ham was at all times safe and sure, the own-er, Mr. Gen-try,
asked him to go with his son and help a-long. They had to trade on the
“su-gar-coast,” and one night sev-en black men tried to kill and rob
them. Though the young sail-ors got some blows, they at last drove off
the ne-groes, “cut ca-ble,” “weighed an-chor,” and left. They went past
Nat-chez, an old town set-tled by the French when they took the tract
which is now Lou-is-i-an-a. The hou-ses were of a strange form to the
boat-men. The words they heard were in a tongue they did not know.
They passed large plan-ta-tions, and saw groups of huts built for the
slaves. At New Or-leans, in the old part of the town where they staid,
all things were so odd that it seemed as if they were in a land be-yond
the great sea. When they had left their car-go in its right place, they
went back to In-di-an-a, and Mr. Gen-try thought they had done well.

A-bra-ham had more to think of when he came home. He had seen so much
on his trip that the world was not quite the same to him. Scores of
flat-boats were moored at lev-ees, steam-boats went and came, big
ships were at an-chor in the riv-er. Men were there who sailed far
o-ver the seas in search of gold, rich goods, sights of pla-ces, tribes
and climes to which Lin-coln had not giv-en much thought. If oth-er men
went out in-to the world, why might he not go? Why stay in this dull
place and toil for naught? He had come to an age in which there was
un-rest. His fa-ther’s wish was that he should push a plane and use a
saw all his days. This sort of work did not suit him. Why not strike
out? Then the thought came to him that his time was not yet his own.
His moth-er’s words spoke to him as they did when he was a small boy at
her bed-side for the last time; “Be kind to your fa-ther.”


So A-bra-ham went back to Pig-eon Creek to work and bide his time.



One day a let-ter came to Thom-as Lin-coln. It bore the post-mark of
De-ca-tur, Ill. It said that Il-li-nois was a grand state: “The soil is
rich and there are trees of oak, gum, elm, and more sorts, while creeks
and riv-ers are plen-ty.” It al-so told that “scores of men had come
there from Ken-tuc-ky and oth-er states, and that they would all soon
get rich there.”

To Thom-as Lin-coln this was good news. He was glad of a chance to make
an-oth-er home. He knew, too, that the same sick-ness which took his
first wife from him had come back, and that he must make a quick move
if he would save those who were left. This was in March, 1830, when
A-bra-ham was a score and one years old. He made up his mind to see his
folks to their new home since go they would.

Then came an auc-tion, or, as they called it, a “van-doo.” The corn was
sold; the farm, hogs, house goods, all went to those folks who would
give the most for them. Four ox-en drew a big cart which held half a
score and three per-sons, the Hanks, the Halls, and Lin-colns. They
had to push on through mud, and cross streams high from fresh-ets.
A-bra-ham held the “gad” and kept the beasts at their task. With him
the young man took a small stock of thread, pins, and small wares which
he sold on the way. When half a score and five days had gone by the
trip came to an end. The spot for a home was found when all were safe
in Il-li-nois and it was on the north fork of the San-ga-mon Riv-er,
ten miles west of the town of De-ca-tur.

The young men went to work and made clear half a score and five a-cres
of land and split the rails with which to fence it. There was no one
who could swing an axe like A-bra-ham, not one in the whole West. He
could now “have his own time” for his 21 years of work for his fa-ther
were at an end. The law said he was free. Though he need not now give
all that he won by toil to his folks, still he did not let them want.
To the end of his life he gave help to his kin, though he was far from

When Spring had gone by, and the warm days of 1830 had come, A-bra-ham
Lin-coln left home and set off to get a job in that new land. He saw
new farms with no fen-ces. He was sure that his axe could cut up logs
and fell trees. He was in need of clothes. So he split 400 rails for
each yard of “blue jeans” to make him a pair of trou-sers. The name of
“rail-split-ter,” came to him. He knew that he could do this work well.
All he met would at once like him. It was the same way in the new state
as it had been in the last.

There was a man whose name was Of-futt. He saw what young Lin-coln was.
He knew he could trust him to do all things. Mr. Of-futt said he must
help sail a flat-boat down the Mis-sis-sip-pi riv-er to New Or-leans.
He said he would give the new hand fif-ty cents a day. Poor A-bra-ham
thought this a large sum. Of-futt said too, that he would give a third
share in six-ty dol-lars to each of his three boat-men at the end of
the trip. At a saw-mill near San-ga-mon-town the flat-boat was built.
Young Lin-coln worked on the boat, and was cook too, for the men.

At last they were off with their load of pork, live hogs, and corn.
When the flat-boat ran a-ground at New Sa-lem, and there was great risk
that it would be a wreck, Lin-coln found a way to get it off. Folks
stood on the banks and cheered at the wise plan of the bright boat-man.


When first in New Or-leans, though Lin-coln had seen slaves, he had not
known what a slave sale was like. This time he saw one and it made him
sick. Tears stood in his eyes. He turned from it and said to those
with him, “Come a-way, boys! If I ev-er get a chance, some day, to hit
that thing,” (here he flung his long arms to-ward that block), “I’ll
hit it hard!”

The boat-men made their way home, while Of-futt staid in St. Lou-is to
buy goods for a new store that he was to start in New Sa-lem. First
A-bra-ham went to see his fa-ther and help him put up a house of hewn
logs, the best he had ev-er had.

When Of-futt’s goods came A-bra-ham Lin-coln took his place as clerk.
The folks who came to buy soon found out that there was one in that
store who would not cheat. The coins at that time were Eng-lish or
Span-ish. The clerk was ex-act in fig-ures, but if a chance frac-tion
went wrong he would ride miles to make it right.


There were rough men and boys near that store. Lin-coln would not let
them say or do things that were low and bad. The time came when he had
to whip some of them. He taught them a les-son. His great strength was
his own and his friends’ pride.

Days there were when small trade came to the store. Then the young
clerk read. One thing he felt he must have. That was a gram-mar. He
had made up his mind that since he could talk he would learn to use the
right words. He took a walk of some miles to get a loan of “Kirk-ham’s
Gram-mar.” He had no one to teach him, but he gave his mind to
the work and did well. Each book of which he heard in New Sa-lem, he
asked that he might have for a short time. He found out all that the
books taught. Once, deep down in a box of trash, he found two old law
books. He was glad then, and said he would not leave them till he got
the “juice” from them. Folks in the store thought it strange that the
young clerk could like those “dry lines.” They soon said that A-bra-ham
Lin-coln had long legs, long arms, and a long head, too. They felt
that he knew more than “an-y ten men in the set-tle-ment,” and that he
had “ground it out a-lone.” He read the news-pa-pers a-loud to scores
of folks who had a wish to know what went on in the land and could
not read for them-selves. He read and spoke on the themes of the day,
and at last, his friends said that he ought to help make the state
laws, since he knew so much, and they felt that he would be sure to
plan so that the poor as well as the rich should have a chance. So in
March, 1832, it was known that A-bra-ham’s name was brought up as a
“can-di-date” for a post in the Il-li-nois State Leg-is-la-ture. Ere
the time for e-lec-tion came, that part of the land found men must be
sent to fight the In-di-ans who were on the war-path. The great chief,
Black Hawk, sought to keep the red men’s lands from the white folks,
but at last he had to give up, though he did all he could to help his
own blood. He was brave and true to his own.

Young men of San-ga-mon went out to fight, with A-bra-ham Lin-coln as
cap-tain. They were not much more than an armed mob, poor at drill,
and with not much will to mind or-ders or live up to camp rules. Their
cap-tain had hard work to gov-ern them, for when he gave a com-mand
they were as apt to jeer at it as to mind it. But in time they learned
that he meant what he said, and that while it was not his way to be too
strict a-bout small things, he would not let them do a grave wrong.

One day a poor old In-di-an strayed in-to the camp. He had a pass from
Gen-er-al Cass which said that he was a friend of the whites, but the
men had come out to kill red-skins, and not hav-ing yet had a chance to
do so, thought they must seize this one. They said the pass was forged,
and that the old man was a spy, and should be put to death.

But Cap-tain Lin-coln heard the noise, and came to the aid of the old
man just in time. He put him-self be-tween his men and their vic-tim,
and told them they must not do this thing. They were so full of wrath
that Lin-coln’s own life was at risk for a while, but his brave look
and firm words at length brought them to terms, and the old sav-age was
let go with-out harm.


The time for which the men had en-list-ed was soon at an end, and all
but two of them went home. Lin-coln was one of those who took a place
as a pri-vate in an-oth-er com-pa-ny, and he did not leave till the end
of the war.

A-bra-ham Lin-coln, when he had got home from the war, sent out word
that he would speak where there was need of him as “Whig,” for he was a
“Clay man through and through.” He made his first “po-lit-i-cal” speech
at a small place a few miles west of Spring-field. It was a short one.
While what he said was to the point and no fault could be found with
it, still, his strange looks and queer clothes made those who were not
on his side laugh and make fun of his long legs and arms, and say he
would not be the choice of the most for an-y post. Still, he made more
friends than foes, and though he did not, at that time, get a chance to
go to the Leg-is-la-ture, he had but to wait a while when bet-ter luck
came to him.

In the mean time Mr. Lin-coln knew that he must find work of some kind,
for he had no funds on which he could live. He then kept a store with a
man, but the gain was small and at last they had to give up. There was
a large debt and the part-ner would not help pay it, so Lin-coln took
it all on him-self, though long years went by ere it was all paid.

Law came to him as the next best move, and once more the young man gave
his mind to it all his time, days as well as most of the nights. But
coin could not come from that source for quite a while yet, and, in the
mean-time, there must be food and clothes.

The new lands, just there, had not been sur-veyed. There was need of a
man to do this. Lin-coln heard of a book which would tell him how to
work with chain and rule. He spent six weeks with that book in his hand
most of the time. Then he set off to start work, and as he was too poor
to buy a chain, he found a strong grape vine to take its place. He was
right glad of the sums which came to him then for do-ing this work.

The pres-i-dent of the U. S. at that time was An-drew Jack-son. He was
a strong friend of A-bra-ham Lin-coln and made him Post-mas-ter of New
Sa-lem in 1833.

[Illustration: ANDREW JACKSON]

As folks did not write much in those days, the post of-fice took but
a small part of Mr. Lin-coln’s time. The news-pa-pers which came by
post were read, and passed from one to an-oth-er, and the post-mas-ter
oft-en told the news as he went to the hou-ses where let-ters were to
be left. The hat took the place of a mail bag. The grape vine chain and
the tools with which the length and breadth of the land were found went
a-long, too, as the good man took up his job at sur-vey-ing. Law books
must have their share of time and that had to come then, most-ly from
sleep hours. There were scores of folks who asked the post-mas-ter to
help them. This he did with great good will. He now knew some law and
could set them right. All had trust in him. It was not long, then, ere
he was at the Bar.



When A-bra-ham Lin-coln was a score and five years old, a great
chance to step up came to him. His friends sent him to the Il-li-nois
Leg-is-la-ture. He had then not one dol-lar with which he could buy
clothes to wear to that place. A friend let him have the funds of which
he was in need, sure that they would come back to him.

At first, the young man in the new place did not talk or do much. He
felt that it was best for him, then, to wait and learn. He made a
stud-y of the new sort of men a-bout him at that time. When it came
his turn to speak, he said just what he thought on the theme that came
up. His mind told him that all who paid tax-es or bore arms ought to
have the right to vote. He was not a-fraid to say that, though men of
more years and more fame than he took the oth-er side. He was brave,
but not rash. His speech was plain, but to the point. He did not
boast. He did not try to hide the fact that he was poor. There were,
some-times, those who called them-selves “men,” who would point at his
plain clothes of “blue jeans” and laugh at them, and try to get oth-ers
to do the same. The great length of bod-y, the toil-worn hands, the
back-woods ways made talk for foes, but Lin-coln bore these “flings”
well, and oft-en used them for jokes.

Though this high post had come to A-bra-ham Lin-coln he did not feel
too proud to do the “sim-ple deeds of kind-ness” which he had done
all through his life. It seems that one day he went out with some
law-mak-ers, for a ride on the prai-ries. He passed a place where a pig
was stuck in the mud. The poor beast looked up at him as if beg-ging
his help. The look plain-ly said that death must soon come un-less the
horse-man gave his aid. Lin-coln was wear-ing his best clothes at that
time. They had been bought with the mon-ey his friend had loaned him. A
new suit could not be his for a long time. And yet, e-ven though gone
past, and at the risk of jeers from his com-rades, he went back, got
off his horse, and pulled the pig out up-on firm land. To be sure there
was mud on his clothes, but his heart was free from re-gret.

[Illustration: A KIND DEED.]

Though A-bra-ham Lin-coln had been ad-mit-ted to the Bar and had
been made a mem-ber of the Leg-is-la-ture, still he went on with his
stud-ies, nev-er let-ting a day go by on which he did not give some
hours to books. These books told a-bout math-e-mat-ics, as-tron-o-my,
rhet-o-ric, lit-er-a-ture, log-ic and oth-er things with hard names.

While at work with chain and tools, tak-ing the length and breadth of
the land, Mr. Lin-coln earned from $12.00 to $15.00 each month. He used
a part of this small sum to pay up an old debt and al-so had to help
his kin from week to week. But he felt he must give up this small sure
mon-ey for the sake of his new start in life, though the gains were by
no means sure to be large. He said he would “take his chance” at the

It was in A-pril, 1837, that Mr. Lin-coln rode in-to Spring-field,
Ill., on a horse a friend had loaned him. A few clothes were all that
he owned, and these he had in a pair of sad-dle bags, strapped on his
horse. He drew up his steed in front of Josh-u-a Speed’s store and went

“I want a room, and must have a bed-stead and some bed-ding. How much
shall I pay?” he asked.

His friend Speed took his slate and count-ed up the price of these
things. They came to $17.00.

“Well,” said A-bra-ham Lin-coln, “I’ve no doubt but that is cheap but
I’ve no mon-ey to pay for them. If you can trust me till Christ-mas,
and I earn an-y-thing at law, I’ll pay you then. If I fail, I fear I
shall nev-er be a-ble to pay you.”

Lin-coln’s face was sad. He had worked hard all his life, had helped
scores of folks, and now, af-ter so man-y years, when he much need-ed
mon-ey, he had none.

The friend-ly store-keep-er tried to cheer the good man. “I can fix
things bet-ter than that,” he said. “I have a large room and a dou-ble
bed up stairs. You are wel-come to share my room and bed with me.”

So A-bra-ham Lin-coln took his sad-dle-bags up stairs, and then came
down with a bright look on his face, and said, “There, I am moved!”

In Spring-field at that time was a man who had been with Lin-coln as a
sol-dier in the In-di-an war. This was Ma-jor John T. Stu-art. He took
Lin-coln in with him as a law-part-ner and their firm name was Stu-art
& Lin-coln.

A-bra-ham Lin-coln’s first fee was three dol-lars made in Oc-to-ber,
1837. There was not much law work the first sum-mer. What there was had
to be paid for, oft-en, in but-ter, milk, fruit, eggs, or dry goods.

In those days folks lived so far a-part, that courts were held first in
one place and then in an-oth-er. So Lin-coln rode a-bout the land, to
go with the courts and pick up a case here and there. In this way he
saw lots of peo-ple, made warm friends, and told scores of bright tales.

At no time did he use a word which was not clear to the dull-est
ju-ry-man. All things were made plain when Lin-coln tried a case. Not
on-ly was he plain and straight in what he said and did, but his heart
was ev-er ten-der and true.

A sto-ry is told of a thing that took place on one of the “cir-cuit
rid-ing” trips. Lin-coln saw two lit-tle birds that the wind had blown
from their nest, but where that nest was one could not say. A close
search at last brought the nest to light, and Lin-coln took the birds
o-ver to it and placed them in it. His com-rades laughed at him as he
jumped on his horse and was rid-ing a-way.

“That’s all right, boys,” said he. “But I couldn’t sleep to-night
un-less I had found the moth-er’s nest for those birds.”

All ha-bits of stud-y were kept up, and in time fame as a speak-er
came to A-bra-ham Lin-coln. As a wri-ter, too, he was prized. E-ven at
the age of a score and nine years he wrote so well up-on themes of the
day that the San-ga-mon Jour-nal and oth-er pa-pers would print his
ar-ti-cles in full.

In the year 1840, Miss Ma-ry Todd of Ken-tuc-ky be-came Lin-coln’s
wife, and helped him save his funds so well that, in a short time he
was a-ble to buy a small house in Spring-field. Then, soon, he bought a
horse and he was ver-y glad to do so.

By that year so well did Lin-coln speak that his name was put up-on
the “Har-ri-son E-lec-to-ral Tick-et,” that he should “can-vass the
State.” As he went a-bout the land he oft-en met old friends, those who
had known him as a poor boy. Some-times it chanced that he could be of
use to them.

There was a Jack Arm-strong who once fought Lin-coln when he was a
clerk at Of-futt’s. The son of this man was in trou-ble. The charge was
mur-der. His fa-ther be-ing dead, the moth-er, Han-nah, who knew and
had been kind to the boy Lin-coln, went, now, to the man Lin-coln to
plead with him to save her son. The case was tak-en up, and much time
and thought giv-en to it. Things which were false had been told but
Lin-coln was a-ble to search out and find the truth, and when at last
he saw it and made oth-ers see it, the lad went free.

Though, at first, A-bra-ham Lin-coln thought much of An-drew Jack-son,
as time went on he found that Jack-son held views that he could not
hold. So he came to be known as an an-ti-Jack-son man and made his
first en-try in-to pub-lic life as such. At the age of 31 he was known
as the a-blest Whig stump speak-er in Il-li-nois. Two great Whigs at
that time were Dan-iel Web-ster and Hen-ry Clay. Lin-coln was sent, as
a Whig, in 1846, to the Con-gress of the U-ni-ted States, and he was
the sole Whig mem-ber from Il-li-nois.

[Illustration: DANIEL WEBSTER.]

[Illustration: HENRY CLAY]

Of course, friends were proud to feel that the poor back-woods lad had
come to so much fame. Some of the old folks said they “knew it was in
him.” Oth-ers said “I told you so!”

Lin-coln had the same good sense that he had from the start.

He made up his mind to watch and wait. He knew that he could learn a
deal from such great men as Web-ster and Clay. When he had to speak he
said just what he thought in a plain strong way. He did not want war
with Mex-i-co. He was not a-lone in this. But he thought that men who
fought in that war, brave sol-diers, should have their re-ward.

A thing that was of great weight Lin-coln did at that time. He put in
a bill which was to free the slaves in the Dis-trict of Co-lum-bia.
By his vote more than once for the famed “Wil-mot Pro-vi-so” he hoped
to keep sla-ver-y from the Ter-ri-to-ries gained through the war with

Though some fame came then to Lin-coln, funds did not. Spring-field,
home, and law work fol-lowed when the term in Con-gress was o-ver.

Those who took the oth-er side from Whigs were called Dem-o-crats. They
made a strong par-ty in Il-li-nois, and were led by a bright man whose
name was Ste-phen A. Doug-las. His friends called him “the Lit-tle
Gi-ant.” This, they thought, would make known to all that though he was
small in size he was great in mind. He was well thought of as a mem-ber
of Con-gress, could make a good speech, was a fine law-yer, knew how to
dress well, and had a way of mak-ing folks think as he did.

While hard at work in law ca-ses, all at once, the calm of Lin-coln’s
life was bro-ken by a thing that took place in 1854. A plan or pro-mise
had been made that sla-ver-y should not spread north of the state of
Mis-sou-ri. When the new states of Kan-sas and Ne-bra-ska were a-bout
to be made, this good pro-mise was thrown a-side and a bill was passed
by Con-gress which said that the folks who had their homes in those
states might say that there should or should not be sla-ver-y there.

The man who put in that bill was Ste-phen A. Doug-las. The bill roused
great rage in those who felt that sla-ver-y had gone quite far e-nough.

Most folks at the North felt that the time had come to cry “halt.”
All through the states this theme was so much talked a-bout that two
sides were made, one of which was formed of those who were will-ing
that sla-ver-y should go on and spread, while the oth-er was formed
of those who did not wish to have black men held as slaves in the new

Speech-es were made in great halls, and crowds came to hear what the
speak-ers had to say. In Il-li-nois, Lin-coln, who all his life had
been a-gainst sla-ver-y, spoke straight to the peo-ple, show-ing them
the wrong or the “in-jus-tice” of that bill. His first speech on this
theme, has been called “one of the great speech-es of the world.” He
was brave and dared to say that “if A-mer-i-ca were to be a free land,
the stain of sla-ver-y, must be wiped out.”

He said “A house di-vi-ded a-gainst it-self can-not stand. I be-lieve
this gov-ern-ment can-not en-dure half slave and half free. I do not
ex-pect the Un-ion to be dis-solved; I do not ex-pect the house to
fall; but I ex-pect it will cease to be di-vi-ded. It will be-come
all one thing or all the oth-er. Ei-ther the op-po-nents of sla-ver-y
will ar-rest the fur-ther spread of it and place it where the pub-lic
mind shall rest in the be-lief that it is in the course of ul-ti-mate
ex-tinc-tion, or the ad-vo-cates will push it for-ward till it shall
be-come a-like law-ful in all the states――old as well as new, North as
well as South.”

This speech made a great stir in the land. Some men and wom-en had
worked for years to do and say the best thing for the slave but not one
had put things just right till Lin-coln said that “if A-mer-i-ca would
live it must be free.”

Lin-coln’s friends told him that they felt that his speech would make
foes for him and keep him from be-ing sen-a-tor. The good man then said:

“Friends, this thing has been re-tard-ed long e-nough. The time has
come when those sen-ti-ments should be ut-tered; and if it is de-creed
that I should go down be-cause of this speech, then let me go down
linked to the truth――let me die in the ad-vo-ca-cy of what is just and

From the first, Lin-coln felt as if he were in the hands of God and led
by Him in what he was to say and do in the cause of Free-dom for all.
He felt that he, him-self, was not much, but that “Jus-tice and Truth”
would live though he might go down in their de-fence.

Though not quite half a cen-tu-ry had then gone by since his dear
moth-er had held him in her arms in their poor Ken-tuc-ky home, and it
was less, too, than a score and five years since he swung his axe in
the woods on the banks of the San-ga-mon to earn his bread and that
of his kin from day to day, still, with the great prize be-fore him of
that high post in the land, which he had long hoped to gain, he casts
from him all chan-ces for his fur-ther rise, and in that hour stands
forth one of the tru-est, no-blest men of all time.

Friends kept say-ing to Lin-coln “You’ve ruined your chan-ces. You’ve
made a mis-take. Aren’t you sor-ry? Don’t you wish you hadn’t writ-ten
that speech?”

Straight came the an-swer, and it was this:

“If I had to draw a pen a-cross my whole life and e-rase it from
ex-ist-ence, and I had one poor lit-tle gift or choice left as to what
I should save from the wreck, I should choose that speech and leave it
to the world as it is.”

Men then be-gan to think as they had nev-er thought be-fore. It seemed
as if a death-shot had been sent straight to the heart of sla-ver-y.
That speech was, how-ev-er, but the first of a hard and fierce
strug-gle be-tween two sides of one of the great-est ques-tions ev-er
brought be-fore an-y na-tion.

Lin-coln and Doug-las went up and down the state of Il-li-nois
talk-ing in halls and in “wig-wams” as the build-ings were called
where they spoke. Some-times they made a speech on the same day, out
of doors, where large crowds would come. Both oft-en held forth in the
same hall, one mak-ing his views known be-fore din-ner and the oth-er
talk-ing on the oth-er side af-ter din-ner. Lin-coln was not known to
make fun of an-y one, but there were scores who made fun of him, and
tried to make him an-gry. But he an-swered all their scoff with sound
state-ments, and found friends where oth-ers would have made foes.
Doug-las had a way of tell-ing folks that Lin-coln said some things
which he did not say. This was hard to bear, but Lin-coln would tell
the crowds just what he did say at such and such a meet-ing and peo-ple
would be-lieve him.

Lin-coln’s print-ed speech-es went through all the states, and soon
folks out-side of his own state had a wish to hear him. They felt that
he was at the head of the par-ty for real lib-er-ty. So the time came
when A-bra-ham Lin-coln spoke East and West, in Il-li-nois, O-hi-o,
Con-nect-i-cut, New Hamp-shire, Rhode Is-land, Kan-sas, and New York,
and crowds would be still while he pled the cause of lib-er-ty and
struck blows at sla-ver-y. It is said that when he spoke in New York
he ap-peared, in ev-er-y sense of the word, like one of the plain folks
a-mong whom he loved to be count-ed. At first sight one could not
see an-y-thing great in him save his great size, which would strike
one e-ven in a crowd; his clothes hung in a loose way on his gi-ant
frame, his face was dark and had no tinge of col-or. His face was full
of seams and bore marks of his long days of hard toil; his eyes were
deep-set and had a look of sad-ness in them. At first he did not seem
at ease. The folks who were in that place to hear him were men and
wom-en of note as well as those not so well known. There was a sea of
ea-ger fa-ces to greet him and to find out what that rude child of the
peo-ple was like. All soon formed great i-de-as of him, and these held
to the end of his talk. He met with praise on all sides. He rose to his
best when he saw what the folks thought of him. He spoke in his best
vein. His eyes shone bright, his voice rang, his face seemed to light
up the whole place. For an hour and a half he held sway in that hall
and spoke straight to the point, clos-ing with these words,

“Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us,
to the end, dare to do our du-ty as we un-der-stand it.”

A tale is told of Lin-coln’s go-ing with a friend, while in New York,
to vis-it a Sun-day School at Five Points, a place where waifs were
brought each Sab-bath to meet kind men and wom-en whose wish was to
help them.

As the good man saw the poor chil-dren from the slums of the cit-y,
his ten-der heart was deep-ly touched. His own poor child-hood came up
be-fore him, and when urged to speak he said words which brought tears
to all eyes. He told them that he, too, had been poor; that his toes
stuck out through worn shoes in win-ter, that his arms were out at
the el-bows and he shiv-ered with the cold. He said he had found that
there was on-ly one rule――“al-ways do the best you can.” He said he had
al-ways tried to do the best he could, and that if they would fol-low
that rule that they “would get on some-how.” When he felt that he had
talked long e-nough and tried to bring his words to a close, there were
cries of “Go on!” “Do go on!” and so he told his young hear-ers man-y
things that they were glad to hear. Then they sang some of their songs
for him, and one of these moved him to tears. He asked for the book
where those words were print-ed, and a cop-y hav-ing been giv-en to
him he put the lit-tle hym-nal in-to his pock-et, and man-y a time in
af-ter days drew it out to read.

At last, as he was leav-ing the school, one teach-er, who had not
caught his name, when the head of the Mis-sion, Mr. Pease, gave it out,
went up to him as he passed and asked what it was. The great man said,
in low and qui-et tones, “A-bra-ham Lin-coln, from Il-li-nois.”



Though Lin-coln lost his e-lec-tion as Sen-a-tor he did not seem to
care. Doug-las was the choice, and Lin-coln went back to Spring-field
and took up his law work. This, too, all turned out well for Lin-coln
and the cause he loved, for had he been e-lect-ed Sen-a-tor he might
not have tak-en just the part he did in the work of help-ing to form
the Re-pub-li-can par-ty. While Lin-coln then gave much work to the
Law, he felt the stress of the times so much, and knew the great need
of help-ing the side of the right just then, that he did not go out
of pol-i-tics. He took an ac-tive in-ter-est in ev-er-y cam-paign and
wrote much to aid the cause.

It was in the cold months of 1855 that he went to a meet-ing of
Free-soil ed-i-tors at De-ca-tur, Ill., and then and there a move
was made to help on the new par-ty which was to do its best to stop
sla-ver-y from spread-ing. He worked ear-ly and late for the good of
this par-ty try-ing to make men of un-like views a-gree. He said his
wish was “to hedge a-gainst di-vis-ions,” and keep all straight to the
point of hold-ing back the spread of sla-ver-y.

Work as hard as he might for this great cause there were thou-sands who
did not think as Lin-coln did. They said he was wrong and should they
fol-low him the land would be in ru-ins and the Un-ion at an end. But
all this could not stop this good man, for he knew that he spoke the
truth, so threats, a-buse, and sneers could not stir him from his grand

Be-fore this, in Ju-ly 1854, moves be-gan in man-y parts of the
North to form a new par-ty which should be a-gainst the spread of
sla-ver-y. So in June, 1856, most of the States sent del-e-gates to
Phil-a-del-phi-a and then and there the Re-pub-li-can par-ty was
formed. They chose John C. Fre-mont as their can-di-date for the
Pres-i-den-cy. Fre-mont was known as a brave ex-plor-er in the plains
of the West, and one who took part in the con-quest of Cal-i-for-ni-a.

There was, al-so, a par-ty called “The A-mer-i-can,” or “Know-noth-ing”
and they named as their choice, ex-Pres-i-dent Mil-lard Fill-more. This
par-ty grew fast two or three years and then came to an end. Its aim
was to keep men from o’er the sea out of of-fice and make them wait
more time ere they could vote. The theme of sla-ver-y then came to have
a new form and there was no room for oth-er de-bate.

The Dem-o-crat-ic par-ty met in Cin-cin-na-ti and named James
Bu-chan-an of Penn-syl-va-ni-a as their choice. Bu-chan-an was

Ste-phen A. Doug-las thought he was sure of a nom-i-na-tion for that
same place. He had done much work for the men who held slaves but they
did not mean to re-ward him for what he had done.

[Illustration: STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS]

“Shall Kan-sas come in free or not?” was the ques-tion that, then, was
up-on the minds of thou-sands up-on thou-sands of the peo-ple of the
U-ni-ted States.

A-bra-ham Lin-coln, then, think-ing of the mil-lions of his fel-low-men
in sla-ver-y and of that slave-mar-ket in New Or-leans, which had
nev-er gone out of his mind, spoke, both in pub-lic and pri-vate, with
the force that e-ven he had ne’er used be-fore. He felt God’s time was
near at hand when those who had been bought and sold like beasts of the
field, should be set free. He did not then see just how it would be
done, but he said to a friend;

“Some-times when I am speak-ing I feel that the time is soon com-ing
when the sun shall shine and the rain fall on no man who shall go
forth to un-re-quit-ed toil. How it will come, I can-not tell; but that
time will sure-ly come!”

It was in March 1857, when Bu-chan-an had his in-au-gu-ral ad-dress all
writ-ten out with care, and he was read-y to take his seat as Chief in
the land, that he was told that a great step was a-bout to be tak-en by
the “Su-preme Court,” the high-est court of law in the land. It seems
that the jud-ges were then to de-cide in a case which dealt with the
rights of men who held slaves un-der the Con-sti-tu-tion.

Mr. Bu-chan-an thought it would be well to put a few words more in-to
his ad-dress, and these up-on the theme then brought up to him. So he
wrote that he hoped the steps that were to be tak-en would “for-ev-er
set-tle that vex-a-tious slave ques-tion.”

In a few days Rog-er B. Ta-ney of Ma-ry-land, Chief Jus-tice, gave the
peo-ple of the U-ni-ted States a great sur-prise in what he had to say
a-bout two slaves.

A sur-geon in the ar-my, Dr. Em-er-son, of St. Lou-is, owned Dred Scott
and his wife Har-ri-et. He took them to Rock Is-land, in I-o-wa, to
Fort Snell-ing, Min-ne-so-ta, and then back to St. Lou-is. As they
had been tak-en in-to a Free Ter-ri-to-ry the slaves made a claim
that they were en-ti-tled to their lib-er-ty un-der the com-mon law
of the coun-try. Five of the nine jud-ges of that court were from
the Slave States. Sev-en of the jud-ges were of the same mind that
the Con-sti-tu-tion “re-cog-nized slaves as prop-er-ty and noth-ing
more.” The jud-ges held that as the blacks were not and nev-er could be
cit-i-zens, they could not bring a suit in an-y court of the U-ni-ted
States. The claim of Dred and Har-ri-et Scott would have to be set-tled
by the Court of Mis-sou-ri. It was de-cid-ed that some laws made in
1820 and 1850 which could have helped the case of these two poor
blacks, were “un-con-sti-tu-tion-al,” not le-gal or so as to a-gree
with the law. They said all this showed, plain-ly, that a slave had
no more rights than a cow or pig, and that be-ing the case sla-ver-y
could not on-ly be in the Ter-ri-tor-ies, but just as well in the Free
States. This sort of be-lief up-set the i-de-as that Mr. Doug-las
taught, for he had told all to whom he made his great speech-es that
on-ly those who lived in a Ter-ri-to-ry had a right to say wheth-er
they would or would not have sla-ver-y.

Out of all these nine jud-ges there were but two who were brave, wise,
and just e-nough to hold to the point that it was up-on free-dom and
not up-on sla-ver-y that the na-tion had been found-ed. The names of
those two men were Mr. Cur-tis of Mas-sa-chu-setts, and Mr. Mc-Lean of

The peo-ple rose in great wrath at what the sev-en jud-ges had said.
With the blood of free-dom in their veins they plain-ly stat-ed that
those un-just jud-ges had “de-cid-ed” what they did in the in-ter-ests
of sla-ver-y.

The eyes of thou-sands of peo-ple o-pened. They saw now that there was
much hard work to be done if there were to be a “Free Kan-sas,” and
so they gave their votes and la-bor on the “free” side. Then when the
slave-hold-ers felt there were more folks who want-ed Kan-sas free,
they sent men from oth-er states in-to Kan-sas and this got in vast
num-bers of votes that had no right to be put in-to the bal-lot-box-es.

The two sets had con-ven-tions, the Free States at To-pe-ka and the
slave-hold-ers at Le-comp-ton. The pa-pers drawn up in these two
pla-ces were sent to Wash-ing-ton. In the cit-y there were men who did
their best to get Bu-chan-an to try to have Kan-sas made a state where
there could be slaves.

Then it was that Ste-phen A. Doug-las went to see Pres-i-dent
Bu-chan-an and have a talk with him. Doug-las was an-gry at what the
un-just jud-ges said. The Pres-i-dent said that he, him-self, was in
fa-vor of the Le-comp-ton pa-per, that for slaves in Kan-sas. Then
Doug-las told him that he should work a-gainst the views there held,
and Bu-chan-an told him that a Dem-o-crat could not have i-de-as that
would dif-fer from those held by the pres-i-dent and lead-ers of his
own par-ty, with-out be-ing crushed by them. So Doug-las went a-way.
He knew the slave pow-er would not for-give him for the stand he took,
but he al-so knew that if he did not work a-gainst hav-ing slaves in
Kan-sas he would lose his own re-e-lec-tion to the Se-nate.

So a new al-ly a-gainst the spir-it of sla-ver-y was gained, though
Doug-las did not work in the same har-ness as those who had formed the
new par-ty of which we have spok-en――the Re-pub-li-can.



All this time A-bra-ham Lin-coln was go-ing on do-ing his work in law
and help-ing as much as he could to fix in the minds of the peo-ple
right i-de-as for the gui-dance of the na-tion.

Those who could un-der-stand the true needs of the hour, and saw how
strong they were, felt that if they could place this man, who had
ris-en up in the land to lead the for-ces to lib-er-ty, in a post where
he could have full sway and do his best, they must name him for just
that work, so, when the “Na-tion-al Re-pub-li-can Con-ven-tion” met at
Chi-ca-go, May 16th, 1860, to pro-pose some one for their Chief, they
named A-bra-ham Lin-coln, and said he was the man whom they want-ed to
be the next Pres-i-dent of the U-ni-ted States.

Not on-ly was this a great thing for Lin-coln, but it was, al-so, a
bless-ed tri-umph for the A-mer-i-can peo-ple. There were three oth-er
men whose names were put up for the same post. These three men and
their friends thought it a most un-wise act to name Lin-coln. But as
time went on it was found that the e-lec-tion of A-bra-ham Lin-coln was
the best thing that ev-er came to the coun-try.

At first, when Mr. Pick-ett, an ed-i-tor in Il-li-nois, wrote to
Lin-coln, in A-pril, 1859, that he and his part-ner were off talk-ing
to the Re-pub-li-can ed-i-tors of the state on the theme of hav-ing
Lin-coln’s name come out at the same mo-ment from each pa-per, as a
can-di-date for the Pres-i-den-cy, Lin-coln wrote to him in re-ply:

“I must, in truth, say that I do not think my-self fit for the
Pres-i-den-cy.” Then he went on to say that he thanked his friends for
their trust in him, but thought it would be best for the cause not to
have such a step by all at the same time.

But some of Il-li-nois’ best men took the mat-ter se-ri-ous-ly in hand,
and, at last, Lin-coln said they might “use his name.” Then his friends
went to work, and in con-ven-tion it was found that A-bra-ham Lin-coln
had not on-ly the whole vote of Il-li-nois to start with, but won votes
on all sides, and did not make a foe of an-y ri-val.

The Dem-o-crat-ic par-ty had split in two on the slave theme. The
ma-jor-i-ty of the Dem-o-crats who met at Bal-ti-more named Ste-phen
A. Doug-las of Il-li-nois, the au-thor of the Kan-sas-Ne-bras-ka bill.
Those Dem-o-crats who stuck close to the South put for-ward John C.
Breck-in-ridge of Ken-tuc-ky. The “Con-sti-tu-tion-al Un-ion” par-ty,
as it was called, which wished to make peace be-tween the an-gry
sec-tions, named Bell of Ten-nes-see.


The Re-pub-li-cans were u-ni-ted and ea-ger. The e-lec-tion came on
Nov. 6, 1860, and the re-sult was just what most thought it would be.
The Re-pub-li-can e-lec-tors did not get a “ma-jor-i-ty,” of all the
votes by near-ly a mil-lion, but the split of the Dem-o-crats left them
a “plu-ral-i-ty.”

In the “E-lec-to-ral” col-le-ges A-bra-ham Lin-coln got a plu-ral-i-ty
of 57 votes and so was the choice for Pres-i-dent of the U-ni-ted

A great crowd surged through the streets of Chi-ca-go at the time when
the con-ven-tion nom-i-na-ted Lin-coln. Cheers rent the air, while
can-non roared and bon-fires blazed. Then the men who had tak-en part
in the work turned their steps home-ward.


The next morn-ing a pas-sen-ger car drawn by the fast-est en-gine of
the “Il-li-nois Cen-tral Rail-road” rolled out from Chi-ca-go, and took
some gen-tle-men straight to Spring-field to tell Mr. Lin-coln of his
nom-i-na-tion, though, of course, the news had been sent there by wire
the night be-fore.

It was eight o’clock in the morn-ing when the par-ty reached the
Lin-coln home. The two sons, Wil-lie and Thom-as, or “Tad” as he was
called, were sit-ting on the fence, laugh-ing with some boy friends.
Tad stood up and shout-ed “Hoo-ray!” in wel-come to the com-mit-tee. A
brief ad-dress was giv-en by the lead-er, and a short re-ply came from
Lin-coln. Then they all went in-to the li-bra-ry and met Mrs. Lin-coln,
and a light lunch was served. It was thought, by some, that Lin-coln
would set wines be-fore his guests at this time, but he thought this
thing one that was not best for folks, and did not do it. He had
learned a sad les-son from what he saw of this sort in his young days.

Folks far and near then came to tell Mr. Lin-coln that they were glad
of the good news.

One good wom-an with but-ter and eggs to sell from her farm, said she
thought she “would like to shake hands with Mr. Lin-coln once more.”
Then she told him, as he did not seem to re-mem-ber her, that he had
stopped at her house to get some-thing to eat when he was ‘rid-ing the
cir-cuit,’ and that one day he came when she had noth-ing but bread
and milk to give him, and he said that it was good e-nough for the
Pres-i-dent of the U-ni-ted States, “and now,” she said, “I’m glad that
you are go-ing to be Pres-i-dent!”

An-oth-er guest came one day when Lin-coln was talk-ing with the
Gov-ern-or of his state and a few more. The door o-pened and an old
la-dy in a big sun bon-net and farm clothes walked in and told Mr.
Lin-coln that she had a pres-ent for him. She said she had been
want-ing to give him some-thing, and these were all she had. Then, with
much pride, she put in-to his hands a pair of blue wool-len stock-ings,
and said, “I spun the yarn and knit them socks my-self!”

The kind gift and thought pleased Mr. Lin-coln. He thanked her, asked
for her folks at home, and walked with her to the door. When he came
back he took up the socks and held them by their toes, one in each
hand, while a queer smile came to his face and he said to his guest,――

“The old la-dy got my lat-i-tude and long-i-tude a-bout right, did-n’t

The “plain peo-ple,” the sort from whom Lin-coln sprung, were ver-y
proud of him, and day af-ter day some of them went to see him,
bring-ing small gifts and kind words and wish-es.

One day, when Mr. Lin-coln, clad in a lin-en dus-ter, sat at the desk
in his of-fice with a pile of let-ters and an ink-stand of wood be-fore
him, he saw two shy young men peep in at the door. He spoke to them in
a kind way and asked them to come in and make a call.

[Illustration: A. LINCOLN]

The farm hands thanked him and went in. Then they said that one of
them, whose name was Jim, was quite tall. They had told him that he was
as tall as the great A-bra-ham Lin-coln, and they had made up their
minds to come to town and see if they could find out if that was the

So with a smile on his face Mr. Lin-coln left his desk, and the
morn-ing’s mail, and asked the young man to stand up by the side of the
wall. Then Mr. Lin-coln put a cane on the top of his head, and let the
end of the stick touch the plas-ter-ing. Thus he found his height. Mr.
Lin-coln told the man that it was now his turn to hold the cane and do
the same for him. So Mr. Lin-coln stepped un-der the cane, and it was
found that both were the same height. Jim’s friends had made a good

Small deeds of kind-ness like these won hosts of friends for A-bra-ham.

As time went on the trains brought scores of folks to Spring-field.
Some said they had just come to shake hands with Mr. Lin-coln, while
more told a straight tale and said they came to ask for a post of some
sort, and thought they would “take time by the fore-lock.” In fact
the crowds of men who came to ask for pri-zes were so large that Mr.
Lin-coln had to leave his old desk and go to a room in the State-house
which the Gov-ern-or of Il-li-nois had placed at his use. Here he met
all in his kind way.

While Lin-coln wait-ed, af-ter his nom-i-na-tion, he kept track of
all the moves that were made. Still, he had so much trust that he
said, “The peo-ple of the South have too much sense to ru-in the
gov-ern-ment,” and he told his friends that they must not say or feel
an-y ill will to those who were not of the same mind, but “re-mem-ber
that all A-mer-i-cans are broth-ers and should live like broth-ers.”

But, ere long, it was plain that the storm which had been mak-ing its
way slow-ly but sure-ly, was a-bout to burst.

As soon as Lin-coln’s e-lec-tion was known the South be-gan to throw
off the ties which bound it to the Un-ion.

The Sen-a-tors from South Car-o-li-na gave up their posts four days
lat-er. Six weeks from that time that state went out from the Un-ion
and set up a new gov-ern-ment.

One af-ter an-oth-er, oth-er states in the South went out, al-so, and
joined South Car-o-li-na, un-til, by the first of Feb-ru-a-ry, 1861,
all the sev-en cot-ton states had with-drawn from the Un-ion. Their
claim was that the rights of a state were high-er than those of the
Un-ion when it thought it ought to do so.

Mem-bers of Con-gress and oth-ers tried to set-tle the trou-ble but to
no a-vail, and there seemed no way a-head but a tri-al of the is-sue on
the bat-tle-field.

Lin-coln was in Spring-field and could do naught then, save with his
pen and words of ad-vice to Bu-chan-an who was then Pres-i-dent. With
great sad-ness he read what had been done at the South.


There was still much to do in Spring-field in his plans to leave his
law work, and Mr. Lin-coln felt that a great load of care was up-on
him, and the task, which in a few brief months would be his, was
sure to be more e-ven than that which fell to the first great Chief,
George Wash-ing-ton. There were times when he spent whole days in deep
thought, si-lent and sad.

Still, in the midst of all this work, there came times when in a
light-er vein he would show mirth at in-ci-dents as they came up. A
bus-i-ness trip had to be made. A group of small girls was met at the
house of a friend. They gazed at the great man as if they would speak
to him. He kind-ly asked them if he could help them in an-y way. One of
them said that she would dear-ly like to have him write his name for

Lin-coln said he saw oth-er young girls there and thought that if he
wrote his name for but one, the rest would “feel bad-ly.”

The child then told him there were “eight all told.” Then, with one of
his bright smiles the kind man asked for eight slips of pa-per and pen
and ink. He wrote his name so that each child might have it to take
home with her.

There was a lit-tle girl, that same au-tumn, whose home was on the
shores of Lake E-rie. She had a por-trait of Lin-coln and a pic-ture of
the log-cab-in which he helped build for his fa-ther in 1830. She had
great pride in Mr. Lin-coln, and it was her wish that he should look as
well as he could. So she asked her moth-er if she might write a note
to Mr. Lin-coln and ask him if he would let his beard grow, for she
thought this would make his face more pleas-ing.

The moth-er thought this plan of her child was strange, but know-ing
that she was a strong Re-pub-li-can, said there could be no harm in
writ-ing such a let-ter. So the let-ter was writ-ten and sent to “Hon.
A-bra-ham Lin-coln, Esq., Spring-field, Il-li-nois.”

This young girl, whose name was Grace Be-dell, told Mr. Lin-coln how
old she was, and that she thought he would look bet-ter, and so that
scores more folks would like him, if he “would let his whis-kers grow.”
She said, too, that she liked the “rail fence, in the pic-ture, a-round
that cab-in that he helped his fa-ther make.” Then she asked that if he
were too bus-y to an-swer her let-ter that he would let his own lit-tle
girl re-ply for him.

Mr. Lin-coln was in his State-house room when that let-ter, with scores
of oth-ers, came in. He could but smile at the child’s wish, but he
took the time to an-swer at once, in a brief note which be-gan, “Miss
Grace Be-dell: My dear lit-tle Miss.” He told her of the re-ceipt
of her “ver-y a-gree-a-ble let-ter.” He said he was “sor-ry to say
that he had no lit-tle daugh-ter,” but that he “had three sons, one
sev-en-teen, one nine, and one sev-en years of age.” He said he had
nev-er worn whis-kers, and asked if folks would not think it sil-ly to
be-gin, then, to wear them. The note closed with; “Your ver-y sin-cere
well-wish-er, A. Lin-coln.”



One of the last things that A-bra-ham Lin-coln did ere he said
good-bye to his Spring-field home was to go down to see the good old
step-moth-er who did so much for him when he was a poor, sad boy. Proud
in-deed, was she of the lad she had reared with so much care, but she
felt that there were hard days to come to him. She told him that she
feared she should not see him a-gain. She said “They will kill you; I
know they will.”

Lin-coln tried to cheer her, and told her they would not do that. But
she clung to him with tears, and a break-ing heart. “We must trust
in the Lord, and all will be well,” said the good man as he bade his
step-moth-er a ten-der fare-well and went a-way.

It was on Feb. 11, 1861, that Lin-coln left Spring-field for
Wash-ing-ton. Snow was fall-ing fast as Lin-coln stood at the rear of
his train to say his last words. A great crowd was at the rail-road
sta-tion. Men stood si-lent with bare heads while he spoke.

Six firm friends of Mr. Lin-coln went with him to Wash-ing-ton. Mr.
Lin-coln was ver-y much af-fect-ed when he went in-to the car af-ter
say-ing good-bye to his old home folks. Tears were in his eyes.

Crowds were at each sta-tion a-long the route and Mr. Lin-coln oft-en
spoke to those who had come there to see him. While talk-ing at
West-field Mr. Lin-coln said that he had a young friend there who had
sent a note to him, and that if Grace Be-dell were in the sta-tion he
should like to meet the child. It seems she was there, and the word
was passed on; “Grace, Grace, the Pres-i-dent is call-ing for you!” A
friend led her through the crowd, and Mr. Lin-coln took her by the
hand and kissed her. Then he said, with a smile, “You see, Grace, that
I have let my whis-kers grow!”

The train then rushed off, but a smile was on Mr. Lin-coln’s face, and
for a brief time the weight of of-fice had left him.

Threats of a sad sort were then a-broad in the land. Foes said Lin-coln
should nev-er be made Pres-i-dent. Their hearts were full of hate. They
felt that this man would be sure to en-force the laws, e-ven a-gainst
those who were joined to-geth-er to try to break them.

Lin-coln was brave. He did not fear. He felt that the Lord was on his
side and that He would give him strength to do all the work that he had
planned for him. Though he did not doubt this, yet, both he and his
friends felt that it would not be right to risk his life at that time,
so they did not take the route at first thought of, but went by a way,
and at a time, which would make all safe.

Thus the train from Phil-a-del-phi-a rolled in-to Wash-ing-ton ear-ly
one morn-ing and Lin-coln was safe, and must, in-deed, have felt the
truth of those Bi-ble words, “He shall give His an-gels charge o-ver
thee to keep thee in all thy ways.”

On the Fourth of March, 1861, A-bra-ham Lin-coln stood on a plat-form,
built for that day, on the east front of the cap-i-tol, and took
the oath of of-fice. He laid his right hand on the Bi-ble. A hush
fell up-on the vast throng as he said, af-ter Chief Jus-tice Ta-ney,
these words: “I, A-bra-ham Lin-coln, do sol-emn-ly swear that I will
faith-ful-ly ex-e-cute the of-fice of Pres-i-dent of the U-ni-ted
States, and will, to the best of my a-bil-i-ty, pre-serve, pro-tect,
and de-fend the Con-sti-tu-tion of the U-ni-ted States.”

Then came the can-non sa-lute while cheer on cheer rent the air.

Lin-coln read his in-au-gu-ral ad-dress as Pres-i-dent of the U-ni-ted
States. His old ri-val, Doug-las was near him, and to show his
friend-ly and loy-al heart, held Lin-coln’s hat.

Lin-coln’s speech was a grand one. He did not boast nor tell what great
things he would do. He spoke as would a fa-ther to way-ward chil-dren,
and told those who were try-ing to break up the Un-ion that their move
would bring ru-in to the Na-tion. He asked them to stop, and turn back
while there was time.

In sad-ness he told them that it was not right for an-y to try to
des-troy the Un-ion; that it was his sworn du-ty to pre-serve it. This
speech did much good, but most-ly where there were folks who had not
known which side to take. These saw, then, that the Pres-i-dent was
bound by his oath to do his dut-y.

No Chief of the U-ni-ted States, when he took his chair, had so hard
a task be-fore him as Lin-coln had. Sev-en States had gone out of the
Un-ion, made a start at a new gov-ern-ment, and found a pres-i-dent
and a vice-pres-i-dent for them-selves. Some of the folks in oth-er
states were mak-ing plans to leave the Un-ion. The peo-ple of the far
South laid hold of Un-ion forts, ships, guns, and post-of-fi-ces. Some
men who had held high posts in the ar-my and na-vy left the Un-ion and
gave their help to the oth-er side. They had sent out the news to the
world that they would have the name of the “Con-fed-er-ate States of
A-mer-i-ca,” and that their pres-i-dent’s name was Jef-fer-son Dav-is.

[Illustration: JEFFERSON DAVIS]

How to save the Un-ion, bring back all the states, make the North and
South friends once more were themes of the day. These thoughts hung
like a weight o-ver Lin-coln as he paced his room at night, and as he
talked with the men he had with him. He did not wish to de-clare war.
He must, he thought, work for peace. This he did till he saw war must
come, but he made up his mind that the first act that brought a-bout
war should not come from him but from those whose wish was to break up
the Un-ion. At last the foe struck the first blow.

It was on a spring day, the twelfth of A-pril, 1861, that the first gun
was fired in Charles-ton har-bor up-on the Un-ion flag on Fort Sum-ter.
The call was sound-ed. The great heart of the North grew hot with shame
and rage.

“What! De-grade our coun-try’s flag?” they cried. “’Tis the flag for
which our fa-thers fought and died!” “We will give the last drop of
our blood for it! We will leave our trades, our homes and dear ones,
and fly to put down the foe who has dared to strike a blow at it!”

But in Charles-ton, S. C. the folks were wild with joy. The Gov-ern-or
of the state, Pick-ens, made a speech from the bal-co-ny of a ho-tel.
He said, “Thank God, the day has come! The war is o-pen, and we will
con-quer or pe-rish. We have de-feat-ed twen-ty mil-lions, and we have
hum-bled their proud flag of stars and stripes.” There was much more
talk in the same vein.

In the North men wept who ne’er had wept be-fore. It seemed as if the
worst had come. “But Lin-coln, our brave Lin-coln, what will he do
now?” they asked. A-bra-ham Lin-coln knew just what to do. He did not
need to be told. He knew that the peo-ple would de-cide the mat-ter and
to them he turned. He talked with his men near him, his “Cab-i-net,”
and said that 75,000 of “the peo-ple” would come to his aid and quell
this thing. Four times that num-ber came.

The par-ties, “Re-pub-li-can” and “Dem-o-crat,” for the time were both
much of one mind, “For the Un-ion,” side by side to “fall in” and march
south and save it.

One state had troops all read-y to start. It was Mas-sa-chu-setts. Her
Gov-ern-or, in 1860, N. P. Banks, had long seen the trend of things,
the need of men that must come, so his sol-diers were a-ble to leave
at the first call for help. On A-pril 19, the Sixth Reg-i-ment fought
its way through the streets of Bal-ti-more, and reached Wash-ing-ton in
time to aid Lin-coln in hold-ing the cap-i-tol.

In ev-er-y cit-y and town there were drum beats and the cry of “To
arms! To arms!” Men were in haste to give their help to the great
Chief, A-bra-ham Lin-coln, whose call they had heard.

Ste-phen A. Doug-las, now that the ver-y life of the Un-ion was at
stake, left no doubt as to where he stood. He made it plain-ly known
that he was “For the Un-ion,” and he led the loy-al Dem-o-crats of the
North to up-hold the Un-ion, and they went glad-ly with him to the task.

Much as the men who led the South to try to go out of the Un-ion were
to blame, it was well known that man-y in the South were loath to go
and did so on-ly when their states said they must.

Some of the best gen-er-als on the side of the South, such as Lee, were
of those un-will-ing men. Each of them fought the North be-cause his
own state told him to. The bad “doc-trine of State Rights,” brought
this a-bout. Un-der it the state was held to have a claim up-on those
who lived in it high-er than the claim which the na-tion had up-on them.

The men who stood for the cause of the South burned the bridg-es on
the rail-roads lead-ing north from Bal-ti-more so that no more troops
might reach Wash-ing-ton from that side.

Cit-i-zens, un-der the com-mand of Maj-or Da-vid Hun-ter, kept guard
o-ver the White House and Treas-u-ry.


All through the long, sad hours Pres-i-dent Lin-coln stood at the helm
and was the pi-lot who, un-der the Lord, took the Ship of State through
the most aw-ful storm in which she had ev-er sailed.

It was, in-deed, a glad hour when the 8th Mas-sa-chu-setts reg-i-ment
and the 7th New York reached Wash-ing-ton. This made the Cap-i-tol safe.

In the West, at Il-li-nois, troops from Chi-ca-go took pos-ses-sion of

So, by the prompt com-ing of troops to Wash-ing-ton and of those troops
in the West keep-ing charge at Cai-ro, the plans of the South-ern foe
were checked.



The foe moved their cap-i-tal from Mont-gom-er-y, Ala. to Rich-mond,
Va. and the first bat-tle of weight was to lie be-tween the two
cap-i-tals. The folks at the North thought the war would be a short
one. Most of the North-ern vol-un-teers had been called out for but
three months, so it was thought by some that a bat-tle must be fought
ere that time came to an end. The press at the North made a loud call
for a “for-ward move-ment.” From day to day there was the cry of “On to

This hot speed was not the wish of Gen. Scott, then Com-man-der-in-chief
of all the U. S. troops. He said it would be “death to our cause.” It
has since been thought that if the men in the North had been more slow
to move, the first great loss would not have been theirs.

It was on the 21st, of Ju-ly, 1861, that the bat-tle of Bull Run was
fought. Gen-er-al Mc-Do-well moved to-wards Rich-mond. The foe was
led by Gens. Jo-seph E. John-ston and Beau-re-gard. The bat-tle was a
sharp one and the loss large. At just the right mo-ment the foe had
fresh troops sent to help them and thus gained the day. Af-ter a hard
fight, the Un-ion for-ces had to give up. They fled back in haste to

[Illustration: MARCHING TO BULL RUN.]

Sher-man was Colo-nel of a reg-i-ment at Bull Run. Though he did his
part well, he had a fear that the Pres-i-dent would find fault with
him for the great loss at that bat-tle. He felt that he had done all
he could with men who had been rushed in-to a fight ere they had had
time to learn the art of war. Lin-coln knew that Sher-man had done his
best with what he had. He knew that Sher-man was “val-u-a-ble man,” so
he at once made him a Brig-a-dier Gen-er-al, sent him to Lou-is-ville,
Ken-tuc-ky, and put him in charge of a large force of troops.

The bat-tle of Bull Run, it has been said, was fought to please “the
pol-i-ti-cians.” It was the on-ly time the Pres-i-dent yield-ed to the
pub-lic clam-or, and he was al-ways sor-ry that he then did so.

In a few days af-ter the bat-tle of Bull Run the Pres-i-dent went out
to see the sol-diers. He made a kind speech, and told them to “cheer
up,” for he “knew that bet-ter days were com-ing.”

Pres-i-dent Lin-coln felt that while Gen. Scott had a ver-y sound head
and had done great good in his long years of work in the ar-my, he had
come to the time when age had be-gun to “tell” up-on him. But what
man could he put in his place? Gen. Mc-Do-well had met with de-feat.
Gen. Pat-ter-son, too, had failed. Up to that date the on-ly off-i-cer
who had won was Gen. Mc-Clel-lan, in charge of O-hi-o troops in West
Vir-gin-ia. Gen. Scott spoke to Pres-i-dent Lin-coln in fa-vor of
this young man, Mc-Clel-lan, and, as it was not ea-sy to find just
the one need-ed at that hour, Mc-Clel-lan was kept at Wash-ing-ton to
or-gan-ize the troops com-ing in to that cit-y and make all read-y for
a strong cam-paign.


The fine fall days were go-ing by and Mc-Clel-lan, though he seemed to
be get-ting read-y for work, did not bring a-bout what folks thought
he would. They be-gan to ask why the ar-my did not move. Word was sent
North each night that it was “All qui-et a-long the Po-to-mac!”

Ere the end of Sep-tem-ber came it was clear-ly made known to the
Pres-i-dent that the friends of the Un-ion cause felt that some of the
lead-ers were at fault. The Pres-i-dent, as a boy, had made him-self
mas-ter of gram-mar, law, sur-vey-ing, and oth-er things, and now he
made a close stud-y of war and how to fight great bat-tles. While he
was a help to Mc-Clel-lan, yet he saw, at last, that his own plans were
best, and so, in time, it was proved to all that Mc-Clel-lan was wrong
and Lin-coln was right.

Not a-lone in war schemes but in oth-ers the hand and head of Lin-coln
oft-en proved bet-ter than those of men who had been brought up to such
work. Lin-coln’s way with for-eign lands, some of whose ru-lers were
friend-ly to the South and want-ed it to win, was thought to be just
right. Then the way Lin-coln got vast sums to car-ry on the war, and
the part he thought it wise for the na-vy to take in the great strife,
won praise for him. These things were all un-der Lin-coln’s eye and had
his close care.

As time went on the whole North learned to look to Lin-coln, and
de-pend up-on him for help in dark days and wise work in bright times.
When the North felt they could not win, Lin-coln said, “We shall win!”

While a large force of men was in arms not much had been done by
Un-ion Gen-er-als. Mc-Clel-lan’s great ar-my grew less and less. Hordes
of men were ill. Mc-Clel-lan had no plan for his troops to move.
Hal-leck was in charge in Mis-sou-ri and Gen. Bu-ell in Ken-tuc-ky.

Pres-i-dent Lin-coln saw that a un-ion must be brought a-bout be-tween
the moves of these three lead-ers. He wrote to them, but they did not
care to do what he thought best.

U-lys-ses S. Grant, though a West Point man who had fought in the war
with Mex-i-co in 1843, had left the ar-my and gone to a small farm near
St. Lou-is. He was poor, but he built a small house of hewn logs for
his fam-i-ly, did his own work on the land, and lived a life of peace.

A chance came to go to Ga-le-na, in the State of Il-li-nois. There
Grant was a clerk in a store where they sold hides. There he was when
the war broke out, and the South and the North, which had been as one,
were now two, and full of hate.

Four days af-ter Lin-coln’s call for troops went through the land, U.
S. Grant be-gan to drill some of the men in his place in the use of the
gun. In a few days he set off with them for Spring-field, Ill. From
there he wrote to a man who held a high post at Wash-ing-ton and told
him that he would like to be of use and help save the land from its foe.

No word came back. But Grant kept on, staid in the same cit-y, and gave
his time to the drill of all the troops he could find.

In five weeks’ time Cap-tain Grant was made Colo-nel and sent off to
the seat of war at the head of the 21st Il-li-nois. He went first to
Mis-sou-ri and then to Cai-ro. Soon, with-out ask-ing for the post, he
was made Brig-a-dier-Gen-er-al.

A force of the foe, led by Gen. Polk, went up the Mis-sis-sip-pi from
Mem-phis and took the high bluffs at Co-lum-bus, in Ken-tuc-ky.

A man from Co-lum-bus said, “The Con-fed-er-ates are get-ting read-y to
seize Pa-du-cah!” Pa-du-cah was a place which would be of great worth
to the side which first got hold of it. If the guns of the foe were put
there they would stop steam-boats from pass-ing that point.

Gen. Grant saw that he must act at once. There was no time in which to
wait for or-ders from the head of the troops in the West. The ver-y
next morn-ing the folks who lived in Pa-du-cah were great-ly sur-prised
to see a fleet of steam-boats full of Un-ion troops made fast at the
wharf. The na-tives had been told that the for-ces of the South were to
be there that day, and they had gone to the quay to greet Gen. Thom-as
who was to lead those troops.

Grant’s quick move gave Ken-tuc-ky to the Un-ion cause and much cheer
to Pres-i-dent Lin-coln.

The first fight of the war in which Grant took the lead was af-ter he
moved his troops from Pa-du-cah down to Hun-ter’s Point, near Bel-mont.

[Illustration: BATTLE OF BELMONT.]

Pres-i-dent Lin-coln strove to have a un-i-ty of ac-tion be-tween his
gen-er-als. Mc-Clel-lan had a great force at hand. He did naught with
it but drill and wait. Hal-leck had charge in Mis-sou-ri and Bu-ell in
Ken-tuc-ky. They had noth-ing to do with each oth-er.

Pres-i-dent Lin-coln told Hal-leck to men-ace Co-lum-bus on the
Mis-sis-sip-pi and Bu-ell at the same time to move up-on the force
un-der John-ston, at Bowl-ing Green in cen-tral Ken-tuc-ky. These men
did not do as the Pres-i-dent had told them to, and they did not e-ven
an-swer his let-ter or or-der. Then it was that the Pres-i-dent felt
that the three com-mand-ers were not do-ing what they ought to do, in
fact, that they were “three do-noth-ings.”

There were bad times in eas-tern Ten-nes-see, where the folks had
giv-en out that they were for the Un-ion. The foe in Geor-gi-a and
Tex-as took man-y of them and put them in jail for so do-ing. Those who
got off told tales of great dis-tress. Lin-coln want-ed Bu-ell to help
them but he would-n’t.

In the East there was much talk of Mc-Clel-lan’s long wait. The
Pres-i-dent was ver-y pa-tient, too pa-tient folks said. A-gain and
a-gain Lin-coln went to Mc-Clel-lan to get him to start work with his
large for-ces.

In the West there were two men who felt that they could do a good
stroke for the Un-ion if they had leave to do it. One of these men was
Com-mo-dore Foote. The oth-er was Gen-er-al Grant.



It was on Feb. 2, 1862, that the first great move was made af-ter
Bull Run. This broke the line of the foe at the West and gave the
Mis-sis-sip-pi Riv-er, a-bove Vicks-burg, in-to the hands of the North.

Com. Foote, with four gun-boats, and Gen. Grant with his troops,
moved a-gainst Fort Hen-ry on the Ten-nes-see Riv-er, and on Feb.
2d, made it give up. A week went by and on the Cum-ber-land Riv-er,
which there runs near the Ten-nes-see Riv-er, an-oth-er fort of the
foe, Don-el-son, twelve miles from Fort Hen-ry, was tak-en by the same
men. There was a stiff fight at Fort Don-el-son and 2,300 of Un-ion
sol-diers fell. At last that fort was tak-en and 15,000 pris-on-ers
with it. All the troops of the foe then had to leave the State of
Ken-tuc-ky. All the friends of the Un-ion cause were full of joy.


Just in the midst of the great good news from the West came a thing
most sad to the hearts of the Pres-i-dent’s fam-i-ly. One dear boy fell
ill. It was Wil-lie Lin-coln.

While full of the weight of cares for his land, there came nights and
days when it fell to Lin-coln’s lot to have to watch the slow steps of
death. “It is the hard-est tri-al of my life,” said the sad fa-ther.
At last the dear child was gone. One said to the Pres-i-dent, “A vast
num-ber pray for you to-day.”

Mr. Lin-coln said “I am glad of that. I want them to pray for me. I
need their pray-ers; and I will try to go to God with my sor-row. I
wish I had a child-like faith. I trust God will give it to me. My
moth-er had it. She died man-y years a-go. I re-mem-ber her pray-ers;
they have al-ways fol-lowed me. They have clung to me through life.”

A new style of boat, a small queer craft, was brought forth by the
war. She did a great work in Hamp-ton Roads when ships of wood of the
North, as they lay at an-chor there, had gone down, when shot at and
“rammed” by a new sort of foe.

The Se-cret-a-ry of the Na-vy at that time was Mr. Welles. He heard
that the foe were to raise the hull of the “Mer-ri-mac,” a fine craft
which the foe had hurt and sunk at Nor-folk. They would raise the ship,
cov-er it with i-ron, and thus make a ves-sel which would be of far
more use in war than an-y thing then built.

The As-sist-ant-Sec’y of the Na-vy, Mr. Gus-ta-vus V. Fox, went to talk
with the Pres-i-dent. Lin-coln spoke to him a-bout the new craft and

“We must not let the foe get a-head of us in such an im-por-tant thing
as pla-ting ves-sels with i-ron.”

This thought sank deep in-to the mind of Mr. Fox, and plans were soon
set on foot to see what could be done to get some “i-ron-clads.” Capt.
Er-ics-son made a mod-el of a craft ne’er be-fore seen. It had a hull
un-der wa-ter, and an i-ron-clad tur-ret which could be turned.

The Pres-i-dent was glad of Er-ics-son’s work, took the plans, and
eight months lat-er the worth of the boat made from them was seen in
the great fight be-tween the Mer-ri-mac and the Mon-i-tor at Hamp-ton
Roads. The “Mer-ri-mac” thought she would have full swing and crush
all the ships of the Un-ion. She did some sad work both in the loss of
ships and men, and she would have made an end of all, had there not,
at mid-night, come up-on the scene, straight down from New York, John
Er-ics-son’s lit-tle i-ron ves-sel, the “Mon-i-tor.” From that time
i-ron ships, in place of those made of wood, were made for war use.

In the West, Grant, when he got through with Don-el-son, went up the
Ten-nes-see to take Cor-inth in North Mis-sis-sip-pi. At that place
man-y rail-roads met. Fresh troops had been sent from the East, and
as Grant moved on with them he left some at points where boats could
land. He, him-self, came to a halt on the west bank of the stream, at
Shi-loh, with 30,000 to 40,000 men. This was a good place for him, for
from here he could keep watch on the rail-road that went through the
South and thus vex the foe then in great force at Cor-inth.

The foe had, at its head, Gen. A. S. John-ston and it was his wish to
crush Grant ere Bu-ell could send him more troops.

Shi-loh, a small log church, was on a ridge a few miles back from
Pitts-burg Land-ing. The troops that were to be put in front had their
lines drawn up to face the Cor-inth road, for by that route the foe
must come. Gen. Sher-man had charge of the men on that line.

[Illustration: THE CHURCH AT SHILOH.]

It was on A-pril 6th, 1862, that Gen. A. S. John-ston made a fierce
at-tack on the lines at Shi-loh. There was great loss on both sides.
Sher-man was twice shot, while horse af-ter horse fell un-der him, but
he stuck to his work, and kept up the hearts of his men.

The next day the fight went on a-gain and ground was won and lost on
both sides. New troops, which had come in the night to the boys in
blue, gave them much hope and did fine work. At last it was push,
push, the foe back so that they could gain no more ground. This went
on, till, at three o’clock the cry of “Charge!” rang out up-on the air.
With loud cheers, and their guns held in front of them, the Un-ion
troops made a bold brave dash and drove the foe from the field.


The loss was great on both sides. When the foe lost their lead-er, Gen.
A. S. John-ston, they lost heart, and be-ing much worn by hours of dire
work, had to give up.

Af-ter Shi-loh, a move was made a-gainst Cor-inth, a-bout 22 miles
off. Word had gone forth that Beau-re-gard had a large force of
South-ern troops with him at that place, but when the Un-ion ar-my came
close, the foe fled from it, and left most of it in flames. When the
Un-ion troops came, it was found that a brave show had been made with
a lot of old guns made of wood, in the place of the i-ron sort which
could do harm.


The Un-ion cause, by this last step, held the Mis-sis-sip-pi Riv-er as
far down as Vicks-burg.

Pres-i-dent Lin-coln’s heart was glad at the strong work in the West,
the news of which came to him but a few weeks af-ter he had heard from
the South that Ad-mir-al Far-ra-gut and Gen. But-ler held the cit-y of
New Or-leans.

Far-ra-gut then went up the Mis-sis-sip-pi as far as Vicks-burg and it
was thought then that the whole riv-er would soon be held by Un-ion

The gains by the boys in blue at that time made a stir in the South and
then it was that each man who could bear arms had to take part in the

The men who led the troops of the South did strong work for their
cause. In 1861 there were fights big and small and most of these were
won by the South. In 1862 the war went on and the North won some hard
fights, though at times there were great loss-es and dark days. The
South bore up well, and though crops were poor, and they could not
get goods, still they fought as brave-ly as ev-er, and felt that they
should at last win. In Vir-gin-ia, the foe had some grand men to lead
them, and for a time it seemed as if they must win. They were bound
to-geth-er with strong ties, and heart, head, and hand, each, did its

When Lin-coln came to be Pres-i-dent it was well known that he had a
great dis-like to sla-ver-y. But the war, as he said, time af-ter time,
was “not fought to put down sla-ver-y but to save the Un-ion.” At the
North man-y found fault with Lin-coln be-cause he did not make haste to
set the slaves free. The Pres-i-dent plain-ly said, “If I could save
the Un-ion, though I did not free a slave I would do it. Still, in my
own heart it is my wish, that all men, in all lands, should be free.”
Lin-coln tried hard to keep the bor-der states friend-ly to the Un-ion
cause. One way that would have made them foes would have been to free
the slaves at once.

One day, while sail-ing down the Po-to-mac Riv-er, en route to the
ar-my for a vis-it, the Pres-i-dent wrote out some thoughts on
this theme which had been in his mind for a long time. Then, when
Con-gress had made an end of its work, af-ter hav-ing passed an act
“tak-ing a-way the prop-er-ty” of the foe, there was a meet-ing of the
cab-i-net, made up of men who were a help to the Pres-i-dent.

Slaves were “prop-er-ty” and as prop-er-ty was to be seized, slaves,
of course, could be tak-en. They were at that time at work as
team-sters and on forts. Why, then, would it not be a good time to give
them their free-dom? With this ques-tion in his mind, the Pres-i-dent
went to his desk and took from it a pa-per which he then read to his
“cab-i-net.” It said; “On and af-ter the first day of Jan-u-a-ry, 1863,
all slaves with-in a-ny state or states where the con-sti-tu-tion-al
au-thor-i-ty of the U-ni-ted States shall not be re-cog-nized,
sub-mit-ted to, and main-tained, shall thence-for-ward and for-ev-er be

The Pres-i-dent told those to whom he had read his “draft” that he had
not called them to ask their ad-vice but to place the mat-ter be-fore

The wise Se-cret-a-ry Sew-ard said that though he was in fa-vor of
such a draft, he thought the time was not ripe for it. He thought it
would be best to wait un-til the troops had won more fights. It was
then de-cid-ed that at least some months should go by ere this “draft”
should be made known.



It is true that while good strokes were made in the West, the East did
not do her part to put down the foe as soon as she might have done,
and this was laid to lead-ers, for the troops were brave and read-y to
fight when they had a chance.

What was called “The Pen-in-su-lar Cam-paign” made a start ’twixt the
York Riv-er and the James Riv-er, on land which forms a pen-in-su-la.

Here through the spring and sum-mer of 1862, Mc-Clel-lan held large
for-ces. There was much fight-ing, and at one time the Un-ion for-ces
were with-in eight miles of Rich-mond, but in the end they had to fall
back and with-draw from the Pen-in-su-la.

Pres-i-dent Lin-coln at length felt that Mc-Clel-lan was no match for
the Con-fed-er-ate Gen-er-als, Lee and “Stone-wall” Jack-son. So he had
to put a new man at the head of the ar-my in the East. This man was
Gen. Pope who had done well in the West.

Then came the sec-ond Bull Run fight, Au-gust 29 and 30, 1862. The foe
won. Lin-coln found Pope “not up to the mark,” as a lead-er, and so put
Mc-Clel-lan back once more.

It was on the 16th and 17th of Sept. 1862, that Mc-Clel-lan and Lee
fought at An-tie-tam Creek, near Sharps-burg, in Ma-ry-land. This was
one of the most se-vere bat-tles of the war. On Sept. 18, Lee with-drew
a-cross the Po-to-mac, and Mc-Clel-lan slow-ly went af-ter him.

The Pres-i-dent had wait-ed in hopes that a “vic-to-ry” would come to
the ar-my of the East, ere he made known his plan of free-ing slaves in
some of the states. His own words are, “I had made a sol-emn vow to God
that if Lee were driv-en back from Ma-ry-land I would crown the re-sult
by a dec-la-ra-tion of free-dom to the slaves.”

So when the An-tie-tam fight came, and Lee and troops were driv-en back
from Ma-ry-land, it gave so much hope to the Un-ion cause that Lin-coln
felt it was the time to send forth the “draft” he made two months
be-fore. This pa-per said that on the first day of Jan-u-a-ry, 1863,
all slaves in those states which had left the Un-ion should be free.
The slaves in those states which had _not_ gone off, such as Mis-sou-ri
and Ken-tuc-ky, were not _then_ to be free.

It had been thought by some that harm would come from this pa-per, but
it did not. It was a wise move, and a bold one, and brought much good.

Great joy was felt at the North, and fresh hope came with the thought
that the war might soon be at an end. But there were two more years of
sad, sad work, loss, and death on both sides.

The Pres-i-dent had found that it would be best for Mc-Clel-lan to give
up his post “for good.” Burn-side took his place, but it was soon seen
that he was too rash.

His plan was to cross the Rap-pa-han-nock at Fred-er-icks-burg and
strike at the foe on the heights back of the town on Dec. 13, 1862.
There was great loss of life and no gain. The foe won.

Gen. Hoo-ker was the next man to take charge of the ar-my in the East,
but no moves were made till May, ’63.

In the mean time a great deal was done in the West. Grant once more
made a move a-gainst Vicks-burg, one of the two strong points on the
Mis-sis-sip-pi Riv-er still held by the foe. The North had, at times,
thought Grant “slow” but Lin-coln had great trust in him, and said,
“Wait. Give him a chance.”

Vicks-burg is on the east bank of the riv-er. Grant’s aim was to get to
his troops and gun-boats be-low the town, and the plan he took was to
march his men down the west bank, and let the gun-boats run past the
eight miles of bat-ter-ies.


It was a-bout the mid-dle of A-pril, 1863, when the gun-boats passed
the bat-ter-ies. The troops marched down the west bank of the riv-er,
and then crossed in boats to the east side, at a point where they could
reach the foe. On the first of May there was a fight near Port Gib-son
with the fore-guard of Gen. Pem-ber-ton’s ar-my. Here the foe soon had
more of the South-ern troops come to help him, led by Gen. John-ston.
Grant saw a chance to get be-tween these two sets of troops, and on May
14, 1863, he put down John-ston. Then he beat Pem-ber-ton in two more
fights at Cham-pi-on Hills and at Black Riv-er. So the foe had to flee,
for safe-ty, to Vicks-burg, where Grant had made up his mind to take
him, af-ter a while, with all the rest of the foe he could find in that

Then came the Siege of Vicks-burg which went on for near-ly sev-en
weeks. The foe held out as long as there was a crust of bread left.
Grant said he should stay there till he took the town.


These were his words;

“I can-not tell just when I shall take the town, but I mean to stay
till I do, if it takes me thir-ty years.”

The end came on Ju-ly 4, 1863. The foe sent up white flags on all their
lines and the men of the South filed out and stacked their arms in
front of the Un-ion for-ces.

Grant rode in-to Vicks-burg at head of Lo-gan’s corps. He was proud of
his troops and that the right had won. The news flew fast o’er the
land. Lin-coln sent strong words of thanks to Grant, gave him high
praise, and made him Ma-jor Gen-er-al.

At the same time that Grant was at work on the Vicks-burg Siege, Un-ion
troops, led by Gen. N. P. Banks, fought to get Port Hud-son which lay
at the south end of the reb-el part of the riv-er. At last it had to
yield, and on Ju-ly 9, 1863, it hauled down its flag of stars and
bars. Then the brave “boys in blue” marched in and flung out the
star-span-gled ban-ner to the breeze. From that time on the great
Mis-sis-sip-pi Riv-er was a safe road-way for all un-armed craft which
flew the stars and stripes.

In the East, in the Spring of ’63, Hoo-ker fought the “Chan-cel-lors-ville
Cam-paign” and lost. Then, on May 6th, he re-crossed the Rap-pa-han-nock.

Lee had tak-en his ar-my a-cross the Po-to-mac and was in

Hoo-ker’s place was giv-en to Gen. George G. Meade. The Un-ion ar-my
and the foe met on the first day of Ju-ly, 1863. Friends of each side,
North and South, held their breath with fear.

Lee, who had been so strong in de-fence was now to prove, for the
last time, what he could do in at-tack. His plan to move in-to
Penn-syl-va-ni-a was a good one, but Jack-son, who had long been a
great help to him, was hurt and could not be there. Lee felt this loss.

June 3, 1863, Lee marched up the Val-ley of Shen-an-do-ah to-wards
Cham-bers-burg. The Un-ion ar-my too took the same course, but on the
oth-er, or eas-tern, side of the Blue Ridge. “Stu-art’s Cav-al-ry” held
the pass-es and this kept the Un-ion troops from know-ing what went on
on the west-ern side. Lee’s ar-my was the best of all the foe. Af-ter
cross-ing the Po-to-mac the two ar-mies looked for each oth-er. Lee,
fac-ing east, was com-ing from the west of the town of Get-tys-burg,
and Meade was tak-ing his post on Cem-e-ter-y Ridge, at the south. It
was not thought that a bat-tle, by all, would then be-gin, but “Meade’s
Cav-al-ry,” led by Bu-ford, came up-on Lee’s front guard on Ju-ly 1,
1863, and they fought. The Un-ion men were forced back and had loss-es.
Night then came on, and by that time both sides, each with a-bout
80,000 men, were in the moon-light up-on the ground. The troops were in
good trim and of high cour-age. On the next day the foe car-ried works
at both ends of the Un-ion line. The third day the Un-ion ar-my got
back the lost ground on its right. The foe then made a fierce charge
and broke through the cen-tre of the Un-ion ar-my, but were at last put
down and sent back. The end of the charge was the end of the bat-tle
and point-ed to the end of the war. In this fight Lee lost 36,000 men.
With those he lost the first time he made a thrust at the North, and
these, 90,000 of some of the best troops in the world laid down their
lives for the cause they held dear.

[Illustration: ARMY WAGON.]

Meade, at this time, lost 23,000 men. The Un-ion was saved. Meade let
Lee go slow-ly a-cross the Po-to-mac. One more move was made by Lee two
or three months lat-er in a quick dash o’er the Rap-i-dan, with the
thought that he might get a-round Meade’s right flank. But Meade was
too bright to be thus caught. Then he tried the same game on Lee but
with no gain, and so the “Cam-paign of 1863,” in the East, came to an

The great news that the Un-ion troops had won at Get-tys-burg, and
that the Un-ion for-ces had al-so won in the West, and that the whole
Mis-sis-sip-pi Riv-er was in the hands of the boys in blue, flashed
o’er the wires with-in a few days of each oth-er.

Pres-i-dent Lin-coln’s heart was made glad. The sad look left his
face. When some one in a high post at Wash-ing-ton asked him if he had
not felt “great anx-i-e-ty” a-bout the fate of the Un-ion cause at
Get-tys-burg, he said he “Thought it would all come out right.” Then
came the ques-tion, “Why?” At first Lin-coln did not speak, then he

“Be-fore the bat-tle I went a-lone to my room in the White House and
prayed to Al-migh-ty God to give us the vic-to-ry. I said to Him that
this was His war, and that if He would stand by the na-tion now, I
would stand by Him the rest of my life. He gave us the vic-to-ry, and
I pro-pose to keep my pledge. I rose from my knees with a feel-ing of
deep and se-rene con-fi-dence and had no doubt of the re-sult from that

Get-tys-burg, Vicks-burg, and Port Hud-son made a turn-ing point in




In the West the war was now in two parts. The Un-ion troops had won
their first point, which was to hold the Mis-sis-sip-pi Riv-er. But
there had to be a long, fierce fight ere they could gain cen-tral
Ten-nes-see and north Geor-gi-a. The foe led by Bragg, and the Un-ion
troops by Ro-se-crans fought their best but it was not till the warm
months, and the fall of 1863 that Ro-se-crans, at last, made Bragg fall
back, bit by bit, un-til Chat-ta-noo-ga was in the hands of the Un-ion
for-ces. Then more of the foe went to help Bragg, and the great fight
of Chick-a-mau-ga came on Sept. 19 and 20, 1863.

The first day the Un-ion ar-my won; but the next day the right half of
Ro-se-crans’ ar-my was bro-ken and fled to Chat-ta-noo-ga. George H.
Thom-as, a brave man and a hard fight-er, by great skill held the left
wing a-gainst charge af-ter charge that the foe made up-on it, and gave
Ro-se-crans time to take such steps as would make safe the Un-ion men
who had fled to Chat-ta-noo-ga.

Grant then had all the troops west of the moun-tains in his charge.
He gave Ro-se-crans’ place to Thom-as, who was called “The Rock of
Chick-a-mau-ga.” Grant him-self, with Thom-as next, then took com-mand
of the be-sieged for-ces at Chat-ta-noo-ga.

Some of Bragg’s men had been sent off to make a strike at Burn-side in
East Ten-nes-see, so Grant saw that he had a good chance to make a move
on the rear of Bragg’s ar-my.

The line of the foe was twelve miles long, ’twixt Mis-sion-a-ry Ridge
on the east and Look-out Moun-tain on the south. The last is a height
which makes a sharp rise of 2,000 feet.

Grant’s plan was to have his troops climb the two heights and storm the
works that had been built on them. If he could take them, he would then
com-mand the val-ley in which Bragg’s troops lay, and could force him
to give up the siege. He gave Hoo-ker the task of mak-ing a strike at
Look-out Moun-tain and Sher-man had his work to do at the Ridge.

[Illustration: AT MISSIONARY RIDGE.]

There was a dense mist on the morn-ing of Nov. 23. Sher-man went to
work and got up-on the north end of the Ridge, while Hoo-ker did his
part on Look-out Moun-tain. Hoo-ker’s troops fought their way right up
to the top and when there flung to the breeze the stars and stripes.

Grant stood on Or-chard Knob and gave the or-der for 20,000 men to take
a line of earth works which lay at the base of the Ridge. This they did
and Grant then saw that the time was ripe for a great move. He gave the
word for a charge to be made a-long the whole line of bat-tle.


The day drew near its close. The shad-ow of Look-out Moun-tain fell far
a-cross the plain. The last rays of the sun, ere it sank from sight,
shone bright on the arms of the troops as on they came.

Fierce was the fire which struck them, but on they went up the steep
height, climb, climb as best they could, with the flags wav-ing be-yond

When the sun went down, with it went the hopes of the foe, for they
fled and their own guns were turned up-on them.

Af-ter the bat-tle of Chat-ta-noo-ga, East Ten-nes-see was in the hands
of Un-ion troops. The troops of the South that had held the field
there, re-tired to guard Geor-gi-a, Al-a-bam-a, and North and South

The State of Penn-syl-va-ni-a bought a part of the Get-tys-burg
bat-tle-field for a place of bur-i-al for the Un-ion sol-diers who
there had fought their last fight. On Nov. 19, 1863, that rest-ing
place for the dead was to be “con-se-cra-ted.” Ed-ward Ev-e-rett, of
Mas-sa-chu-setts, was to give the o-ra-tion, or chief speech of the day.

Some one told Pres-i-dent Lin-coln, that he, too, might be asked to
speak. He said he would “put some stray thoughts to-geth-er,” and so,
while in the cars on his way from the White House to the bat-tle-field,
he took a pen-cil from his pock-et, and on bits of pa-per wrote the
best speech of his life and one of the great-est speech-es of the world.

Each word was of use. There were 267 words in all and they came
straight from Lin-coln’s heart. Here they are:

“Four score and sev-en years a-go our fa-thers brought forth on this
con-ti-nent a new na-tion, con-ceived in lib-er-ty, and ded-i-ca-ted
to the prop-o-si-tion that all men are cre-a-ted e-qual. Now we are
en-gaged in a great civ-il war, test-ing wheth-er that na-tion or an-y
na-tion so con-ceived and so ded-i-ca-ted can long en-dure. We are met
on a great bat-tle-field of that war. We have come to ded-i-cate a
por-tion of that field as a fin-al rest-ing place for those who here
gave their lives that that na-tion might live. It is al-to-geth-er
fit-ting and pro-per that we should do this. But, in a lar-ger sense,
we can-not ded-i-cate――we can-not con-se-crate――we can-not hal-low this
ground. The brave men, liv-ing and dead, who strug-gled here, have
con-se-cra-ted it far a-bove our poor pow-er to add or de-tract.

“The world will lit-tle note, nor long re-mem-ber, what we say here;
but it can nev-er for-get what they did here. It is for us, the
liv-ing, rath-er to be ded-i-ca-ted here to the great task re-main-ing
be-fore us――that, from these hon-ored dead, we take in-creased
de-vo-tion to that cause for which they gave the last full meas-ure
of de-vo-tion; that we here high-ly re-solve that these dead shall
not have died in vain; that this na-tion, un-der God, shall have a
new birth of free-dom, and that gov-ern-ment of the peo-ple, by the
peo-ple, for the peo-ple shall not per-ish from the earth.”



Grant for his great work in the West was made Lieu-ten-ant Gen-er-al,
and put in charge of all the for-ces of the Un-ion. He came East,
and took the Ar-my of the Po-to-mac in-to his strong safe hands, and
Pres-i-dent Lin-coln saw that he would fight to the end.

Then the Ar-my of the Po-to-mac un-der Grant and Meade made a
move to-ward Rich-mond. It met Lee in dense woods known as “The
Wil-der-ness,” and there, and in and a-bout Spott-syl-va-ni-a Court
House, fought for 16 days. The Un-ion ar-my lost 37,000 men. Lee, who
led the foe, lost vast hordes, still he would not give up. Grant saw
that he must get near-er to Rich-mond and this he did in a qui-et way
by send-ing off a part of his ar-my from his right and march-ing it
a-round to the rear of his oth-er troops. Then he pushed it as far
a-head as he could on his left. Though “out-flanked,” Lee would fall
back in time to be a-gain twixt Grant’s troops and Rich-mond. With
troops so well matched it was hard for ei-ther to win.

[Illustration: GENERAL GRANT.]

[Illustration: GENERAL LEE.]

On June 3, 1864, Grant and his men were so near Rich-mond, at a place
called Cold Har-bor, that the Un-ion for-ces made a strike at the works
of the foe a-long the whole line. In one hours’ time near 6,000 Un-ion
men met death.

When ten days had gone by a quick march to the left was made by Grant’s
ar-my and they all got a-cross the James Riv-er. They tried to take
Pe-ters-burg so that they could cut off one source of the stores sent
to the foe, but they found the works too strong to be seized by storm.
Then the Un-ion troops built trench-es close up to the foe’s works and
staid there nine months.

On the 21st of June, Pres-i-dent Lin-coln rode out to the front. On his
way back he had to pass some black troops who had fought well in the
first charge on Pe-ters-burg. These men had been slaves, and Lin-coln
was the good friend who had set them free. They crowd-ed round him with
tears in their eyes, and gave cheers of joy. They laughed and cried,
and pressed up to him to shake or kiss his hand, to touch his clothes,
or the horse on which he rode. The scene moved Mr. Lin-coln to tears,
and he could not trust him-self to speak.


There had been, through all the years of the war, fights on a small
scale in the Val-ley of Vir-gin-ia, and each side had a chance to win
from time to time.

At last Gen-er-al Sher-i-dan was put in charge of the Un-ion troops
on that line, but held off from a great fight till Sept. 19, ’64,
when he won at Win-ches-ter and three days lat-er at Fish-er’s Hill
a-gainst the foe un-der Ear-ly. Sher-i-dan took all the stock from
the Val-ley and burned barns full of grain, so the foe would not find
food there, but still Ear-ly sent a part of his men af-ter the Un-ion
troops, mov-ing so that his for-ces would not make a noise in the night
on a lone-path till they got to a place where the Un-ion troops were
sound a-sleep. The rest of his ar-my, Ear-ly kept by him to strike at
Sher-i-dan’s force in front. The bat-tle of Ce-dar Creek came then
twixt these two ar-mies. The foe won. Sher-i-dan was not there but
heard the guns and rode up the Val-ley full speed, and with a shout to
his men who had fled, “Come, boys, we’re go-ing back!” turned the tide
and put down the Ear-ly troops. There were but few more fights, just
there, for both sides had to go to Pe-ters-burg for the last scenes.

[Illustration: “COME, BOYS, WE’RE GOING BACK!”]

While the ar-my did its best in war work, the na-vy, too, or men of the
sea, did brave deeds.

Ad-mir-al Far-ra-gut, who had done so much good work with his fleet
from the North in the Spring of 1862, brought fame once more to
him-self in his at-tack on Mo-bile in Au-gust, 1864. So that he might
see and di-rect his fleet of i-ron-clads and ships of wood in the best
way, Far-ra-gut went up in-to the main-top of the “Hart-ford,” and at
last took the forts in Mo-bile Bay. He closed the port, though the town
was kept in the hands of the foe till the war came to an end.

In De-cem-ber, 1864, when Con-gress met, the doom of the foe was in
sight. Grant had Pe-ters-burg in his grip, and said he would “see the
end of the job.”

With Lee’s ar-my at Rich-mond, the on-ly oth-er _large_ force of the
foe was led by John-ston in the south. Sher-man with a lar-ger force
made a move a-gainst it, and af-ter much fight-ing John-ston took
his stand at At-lan-ta. He had fought with much skill, but the South
failed to see this, and put Gen. Hood in his place. Hood was rash, and
Sher-man soon forced him to leave At-lan-ta. From At-lan-ta, Sher-man
set out on his great “March through Geor-gi-a,” burn-ing At-lan-ta when
he left, so that it might not a-gain be a ref-uge for the foe.


In the midst of all the strife, Lin-coln’s first term as Chief came to
an end. It was asked by some, “What new man shall we put in Lin-coln’s
place?” Names came up, but it was hard to find a new man who “knew the
ropes.” Lin-coln, though worn with toil, had a great wish to keep
his post, for he felt that he had not then done his full work. In his
quaint way he said to his friends:

“It is-n’t safe to swap hor-ses when you are cross-ing a stream.”

In No-vem-ber, 1864, Lin-coln was once more the choice of the peo-ple.
They told him that it was their wish that he should lead them, be their
Chief for one more term, and take the chair on the fourth of March,

When that day came, A-bra-ham Lin-coln stood on the por-ti-co of the
cap-i-tol and took the oath of off-ice. The cloud of war which hung
o’er the first in-au-gu-ra-tion, was now a-bout to leave. As the gloom
went by, bright-er days came, and the sun of a new e-ra shone out up-on
the land.

The words which the Pres-i-dent said were few, but they will nev-er
die. While Lin-coln’s “Get-tys-burg Speech” will ev-er be praised, far
more must these last words dwell in the hearts of men, for they show
the de-vo-tion and ten-der love of that great soul, poured out to bless
his chil-dren ere he lay down to die.

The woes of Lee and his troops grew too hard for them to bear. Arms and
food which had come to them from the South and oth-er pla-ces were
now cut off. No more troops could join them and those who were on the
ground were weak for lack of food. The great drama was soon to close.

[Illustration: ON THE SKIRMISH LINE.]

Sher-man’s ar-my was in North Car-o-li-na. There were, too, “Boys in
Blue” in Charles-ton and Wil-ming-ton, N. C. “Sher-i-dan’s Cav-al-ry”
was en route from the Shen-an-do-ah to Pe-ters-burg. The last blow must
come in a few weeks.

Lee knew that he and his men of the South must hold Five Forks at all
risks. They put up strong breast works and did what they could to hold
the land a-bout Pe-ters-burg.


Grant’s force was then twice as large as Lee’s. Do the best he might
Lee found him-self out-num-bered at each tack and turn. The Un-ion men
beat the foe and took hordes of them pris-on-ers at the great fight of
Five Forks on A-pril 1, 1865. While this fight went on, some of the
foe’s works at Pe-ters-burg were stormed and one by one they fell in-to
the hands of Grant’s men. But still Lee, on A-pril 2, when night came
on, held the line south of the Ap-po-mat-tox. His men were worn out,
for their work had been hard and their food scarce.

[Illustration: CHARGE AT FIVE FORKS.]

As no news had come to Grant from Rich-mond, he rode out to a line
where he thought he could get news and on his way a note was put in his
hands from Gen. Weit-zel. It said, “Rich-mond is ours. The foe left in
great haste and have set fire to the town.”


Then all a-long the line of the Un-ion troops came up a great cry;
“Rich-mond is ours! Rich-mond is ours!”

But, if Lee had left, the “Boys in Blue” must make haste to catch him.
He fled to the west with his starved and worn-out troops, but Grant
gave close chase and Sher-i-dan “hung on his flanks.” Lee turned this
way and that, and there were some more fights, but at length he had
to give in. At a time when Sher-i-dan had his men drawn up, and the
word “Charge” was al-most on his lips, a white flag was seen. The man
who brought it had come from Lee who was at Ap-po-mat-tox Court House.
Lee had sent to ask that there might not be a fight till he knew what
Grant’s terms of peace were.


At last both great chiefs met to-geth-er in the small town of
Ap-po-mat-tox at a plain farm house.

They shook hands and Lee asked Grant to write out his terms and said he
would sign them. Grant drew up the terms and Lee signed them as he had
said he would. Then the two great lead-ers shook hands a-gain and both
rode off. This was on the 9th of A-pril, 1865.

In the south, John-ston, who led the foe there, could make no stand
a-lone, so, at the end of 17 days, he gave up to Gen. Sher-man. Small
sets of the foe, placed here and there, al-so gave up, and the four
years of blood came to an end.

The ar-mies of the Un-ion had put down the “Great Re-bel-lion” and
peace had come. So vast a war had ne’er been known in mod-ern times,
and men more brave than those who fought on both sides could not be
found in an-y land.



“Pres-i-dent Lin-coln in Rich-mond,” af-ter the “Con-fed-er-a-cy”
fell to pie-ces, made a scene such as was ne’er be-fore known in all
his-to-ry. There was none of the pomp and show such as a great chief
in oth-er lands would have had who put down a brave foe and gained a
great cause.

Lin-coln was at the “head-quar-ters” of Gen. Grant at Cit-y Point on
a small steam-er, “The Riv-er Queen,” when he heard of the fall of
Rich-mond, and that a great fire had laid low much of that place. He
went up the riv-er and land-ed at a wharf near Lib-by Pris-on. There
he found a black man to act as guide and show him the way through
the cit-y. Soon a great crowd drew near the Pres-i-dent. The Un-ion
sol-diers greet-ed him, so did those who had once been bought and sold
like beasts. Cries of thanks rent the air from the race he had made
free. They felt God had sent him.


The crowd was so dense that Ad-mir-al Por-ter had to call sail-ors
from his boat to march in front and be-hind the Pres-i-dent, so that a
track might be cleared for him through the town. Lin-coln did not seem
to think of fear, and no one raised a hand a-gainst him or spoke an
un-kind word.

The Pres-i-dent went to the house then used by Gen. Weit-zel, who
was in charge of the Un-ion troops there――the same house in which
Jef-fer-son Dav-is had lived for months, and which he had just left in
great haste.

Lib-by Pris-on was in that town, and there hordes of some of the
brav-est and best of the men of the North had starved and died. Here,
too, was a pris-on where black slaves were kept. It was the “Rich-mond
Mart” with its cells and grates of i-ron. The end had come for the
pris-on, the whip, the shac-kles, the auc-tion-block and dri-ver.

In the ear-ly morn of the day on which the foe’s troops had marched out
of Rich-mond, the or-der was giv-en to burn the bridge o-ver which they
passed. At the same time, flames burst from win-dows and roofs of tall
build-ings, and in a few hours 800 of them were on fire.

The poor folks of the town had their arms full of house-hold goods, and
stacks of beds, ta-bles, and chairs were piled up in o-pen pla-ces.
Groups of peo-ple stood still in their fright, for their hou-ses were
in ash-es and they had no food or clothes.

A great hush, at last, fell on all, as the Pres-i-dent’s coach was
driv-en to a stand in the “Square.” Then Lin-coln rose, faced the great
throng, and spread out his hands as a min-is-ter would when giv-ing
a bless-ing. Not a sound was heard for more than a min-ute. Then the
hor-ses went on and Lin-coln was gone.

One more vis-it was made by the Pres-i-dent to Rich-mond. He then had
his wife and his son “Tad” with him. At that time he talked with Judge
Camp-bell a-bout the terms he would make with the foe. The Judge had
his own i-de-a of what he would like. Mr. Lin-coln was not of the same
mind, but said, “I will give you in black and white my on-ly terms.”


These were plain and sim-ple. Lin-coln was kind but he was firm.

Af-ter that the Lin-colns went to For-tress Mon-roe. There, though the
Pres-i-dent was wea-ry and full of care, he spent hours with the sick
and those in pain. He talked of the grand news, of the Un-ion saved by
the brave “Boys in Blue,” and of their homes and dear ones they would
soon see.

But when the Un-ion troops were on their way North, a few weeks lat-er,
May 23, 1865, and 65,000 of them in full strength and health marched
in di-vis-ions, in close lines, round the cap-i-tol at Wash-ing-ton,
A-bra-ham Lin-coln, the “well be-loved,” was not there to see them. His
work was done. He had gone to his Re-ward.


       *       *       *       *       *

On Good Fri-day, A-pril 14, 1865, it was four years from the
“Sur-ren-der of Fort Sum-ter.” Ma-jor An-der-son had, then, when the
foe’s guns struck the fort, hauled down the Stars and Stripes, and with
great care, put the dear flag a-way to keep for a glad day which should
come, and a large throng of folks from the North had come down to Port
Roy-al and Charles-ton to raise, with words of praise and pray-er, o’er
the ru-ins of Sum-ter, that same Flag of the Free in all its beau-ty.

Words were read from the Bi-ble, and all there who could sing, joined
in a hymn. Then the Star Span-gled Ban-ner was flung to the breeze by
Gen. Rob-ert An-der-son. The pa-tri-ot, Hen-ry Ward Bee-cher, gave at
that time one of his great o-ra-tions. All hearts were thrilled.

The day was a glad one at the White House. The Pres-i-dent’s son,
Capt. Rob-ert Lin-coln, of Grant’s staff, came home that morn, and told
the tale of the last scene at Ap-po-mat-tox.

The fam-i-ly took break-fast and then the Pres-i-dent spent an hour
with Mr. Col-fax, the Speak-er of the House. Grant came in and all were
glad to see him. At 11 A. M. the Cab-i-net met.

There were man-y themes to speak of at that time, such as how to bring
back the States which had left the Un-ion and what to do with those who
led the re-volt.

In these first mo-ments which came af-ter the long four years of
dark-ness, Lin-coln thought that the way to win the heart of the South
was to be kind, and trust to their hon-or to stand by what the test of
war had done. Of course they had been in the wrong and had lost their
all, but, as broth-ers, the Pres-i-dent felt that it was as much to
the in-ter-est of the North as it was to that of the South to take all
means to heal wounds and lead and help the weak till strength came to
them a-gain.

It was but a few nights be-fore, on A-pril 11, that the Pres-i-dent
said words of this sort to the crowds which stormed the White House. In
all the land, where true hearts beat for the Un-ion, there was joy.
Bells rang, guns roared, and thanks went up to God for the great work
He had done.

Lin-coln stood at the cen-tral win-dow of the White House and made his
last pub-lic speech. It be-gan with these words:

“We meet this e-ven-ing, not in sor-row, but in glad-ness of heart.”

Then he went on to tell the peo-ple what he hoped to do for those
who had lost. He said that his Cab-i-net was a-bout to meet, and the
mem-bers of it would, no doubt, join with him in plans to help the
South and bring a-bout a spir-it of true peace in the land.

There were some folks in the South at that time, on-ly a small knot of
them no doubt, who thought Pres-i-dent Lin-coln was their arch foe.
They bound them-selves to-geth-er to do him and some of his best men
all the harm they could.

It was on the night of A-pril 14, 1865, af-ter the meet-ing of the
Cab-i-net in the morn-ing, that the Pres-i-dent, with his wife and two
young friends, went to see a play. Mr. Lin-coln felt wea-ry and would
have liked to stay at home. He had been out to drive that af-ter-noon
with his wife, and to the throngs of folks who saw and greet-ed him
then he had bowed, smiled, and, here and there, said a kind word.


But it was not for him to rest at home that night. He had giv-en his
word that he would go to Ford’s The-a-tre. Gen. and Mrs. Grant hoped to
join the Lin-colns in their box, but at the last mo-ment they had to
leave town.

The thought of see-ing two men so great as Lin-coln and Grant
to-geth-er on that night drew a vast throng to Ford’s. Cheer af-ter
cheer went up as all rose when the Pres-i-dent came in. The band played
“Hail to the Chief,” and all hearts were glad. The Pres-i-dent bowed
and took his seat, smil-ing as the first pleas-ing act was played.

Then, just as the cur-tain rose on the sec-ond scene of the last act,
the sound of a pis-tol’s re-port fell on the air. At first it was
thought to have been part of the play; then a man was seen to leap from
the Pres-i-dent’s box and fall down up-on the stage, with a knife in
his hand, call-ing out the Lat-in words “Sic sem-per ty-ran-nis,” which
mean “Thus al-ways to ty-rants.”

Some one shout-ed “He has shot the Pres-i-dent――!” Friends flew to the
box and three ar-my sur-geons made their way through the crowd and
helped take the great and good man, who now was near his end, out to a
small house a-cross the street.


When dawn came and lamps grew dim, A-bra-ham Lin-coln’s pulse be-gan
to fail. Soon a calm look of peace came up-on his worn face and he was

The bad man who shot Lin-coln was one of that knot of folks who had
sworn to do him, and some of his Cab-i-net, harm. They said that by so
do-ing they would “a-venge the South.” Oth-er good men be-sides the
Pres-i-dent were struck that night, but the Pres-i-dent, a-lone, met
his death wound.

Those who had made the plot to do that foul deed were soon caught and
put to death.

As the news went forth of the tra-gic death of A-bra-ham Lin-coln the
land stood a-ghast with awe. Bells tolled, work stopped, and grief
filled all hearts.

As the fun-er-al pro-ces-sion moved from the White House to the church,
it was seen that the es-cort was a reg-i-ment of black men, whose
free-dom from sla-ver-y had come from him whose voice and hand were now
stilled by death.

The State of Il-li-nois said the last rest-ing place of A-bra-ham
Lin-coln must be on that soil. Then a group of men in high pla-ces,
Ad-mir-als of the Na-vy, Gen-er-als of the Ar-my, with States-men and
oth-ers made a guard of hon-or, and went on that long jour-ney to the
tomb with the pre-cious dust, stop-ping in man-y cit-ies that peo-ple
might look once more on the dead form of the man who led all oth-er

On May 14, 1865, the great Cap-tain, his life work done, was laid to
rest in Oak Ridge Cem-e-te-ry, Spring-field, Il-li-nois.

The ser-vice was plain. There was a hymn, a pray-er, a few words, then
the read-ing of Lin-coln’s sec-ond in-au-gu-ral ad-dress.

Notes of sym-pa-thy came to the U-ni-ted States from rul-ers of oth-er
lands. It seemed as if all the world laid wreaths up-on the bier of
A-bra-ham Lin-coln.

    “Rest to the un-crowned king who toil-ing brought
       His bleed-ing coun-try through a dread-ful reign:
     Who, liv-ing, earned the world’s re-ver-ing thought,
       And dy-ing, leaves his name with-out a stain.”


 Transcriber’s Notes:

 ――Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

 ――A List of Illustrations has been provided for the convenience of
   the reader.

 ――Punctuation and spelling inaccuracies were silently corrected.

 ――Archaic and variable spelling has been preserved.

 ――Hyphenation has been silently corrected for single- and
   multiple-syllable words as necessary, due to the nature of the

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