John Quincy Adams
John C. Calhoun
William H. Seward
Salmon P. Chase
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, G. C. B.
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( Originally Published Early 1900's )
THE GREAT LIBERATOR
The pages immediately preceding in this volume have shown the heights to which, in 185o, the dogma of Slavery had been exalted. "The peculiar institution" had become doctrinally essential to the pride, welfare, religion, and existence of the Southern people. On that point, all white men who owned slaves were of one mind. No such solidarity of sentiment could be found on the antagonistic side of the controversy in the North, and yet the great fray was close at hand.
We are now to look upon the career of Abraham Lincoln, the plainest and sincerest of men, who uprooted the religion of Calhoun and all its fruits. Too much stress cannot be placed, first, on the fact that Calhoun had made the extension of Slavery a vital question; second, that Abraham Lincoln united once discordant forces that were finally potent enough to sweep the whole plague away for-ever. It will be the spirit of this article to attempt to show that no other man could have accomplished the deed.
There were not many voters in the United States, in 186o, who spiritedly hoped and wrought for the extinction of slavery. This comparatively small body of reformers was itself swallowed up in the great Republican party, whose members, like Lincoln, were sorry for the slaves, but saw no constitutional method of emancipation. The vote of these Republicans, all told, might be represented by eighteen; the Northern Democrats, who would oppose any invasion of the slaveholders' constitutional rights, or any reform of the Constitution looking to that invasion, would be thirteen; those who would sacrifice everything to Union that is, make the Nation all slave territory rather than to disunite it, would be five; the slave-holders themselves would be eight; probably the item of anti-slavery inside the Republican figure of eighteen might not be larger than three so the irrepressible conflict lay between three and eight out of forty-four eleven were at outs, and thirty-three were looking en.
Abraham Lincoln was raised up for the purpose of welding the fragmentary sections of the North. It is the belief of men that his imperturbable and patient nature was requisite. The peace-at-any-price feeling was so strong behind him, and the Calhoun dogma was so firmly established in front of him, that his moral and physical triumph is now the marvel of history. He knew men by heart; he slowly learned the art of war; he held off ambition and slander; he placated some, he rode violently over others; he let slip his dogs of war, and, in a cataclysm of blood, the dogma, religion, and vice of Slavery perished.
He was a man like Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and Andrew Jackson and greater than any of them. He was big, plain, slow, irresistible, immutable. He was nearer to the people than even Thomas Jefferson, and that lover of man would have blessed his every act. He was a poet by nature, an untutored child of the prairies and rivers, and his chief light weapon in the conquest of men was humor; opponents rarely saw his heavy armament, of force, anger, vengeance, for the intuitions of the race were sufficient to warn all persons of their dangers in that direction. He was a sleeping volcano. He was, nevertheless, the kindest man who ever underwent four years of continuously increasing supplication. It was not believed, early in 1865, that the worst of malefactors, as a personal matter, could afford to see Abraham Lincoln die. There had been years when little statesmen had prophesied that the tender nature of the President must be the ruin of the Nation.
We would perhaps do well to consider him a well-known lawyer of the firm of Lincoln & Herndon, at Springfield, Ill. This was his standing at the bar. But he was famous among the people as Abe Lincoln. It was the keen delight of the masses to meet him familiarly and to hear him talk not to hear him tell stories, but to hear him point what he was saying with a parable. In one town where he had stopped for a month in earlier years to build a flat-boat, there was a peeled log, called "Abe's log." It was said the log had been worn smooth by men who would roll off when Lincoln ended a story. Not only was the story sure to be inimitably funny, but its application was irresistible. No common man who met Abe Lincoln ever forgot him. He was born February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Ky. He had lived in log cabins on the Ohio River. His mother had died when he was eight; his father married Sally Bush, toward whom, as step-mother, Lincoln nurtured the warmest love until he died. At nineteen he went on a flat-boat to New Orleans. On his return, in 183o, he split the timber for a rail fence around ten acres of ground, and built a log cabin, in Macon County, Ill. Soon after, he built the flat-boat, as above, floated it down the Sangamon, the Illinois, and the Mississippi to New Orleans. He then returned and served as clerk in a country store at New Salem, Ill. In 1832, he was a captain in the Blackhawk War, and became celebrated in the frontier army as a strong man and the best story-teller anybody had ever heard. He read the Lives of Washington, of Franklin, and of Clay. He was post-master at New Salem, and learned to survey land with instruments. At last, he studied law and was elected to the Legislature (at Vandalia) as early as 1834, serving until the end of the session beginning in 184o, and declining further election. He tried to read Shakespeare thoroughly, but the deep interest he took in living people made mimic life seem trivial to him. In the year 1835 occurred the tragedy that changed the most joyous to the saddest of men. He fell in love with Anne Rutledge, a beautiful young woman, who, accepted him, after a painful chapter of love with another man. In her troubles she fell ill, and called constantly for Lincoln. He reached her before she died, and her death shocked him so that it was believed his reason would be unseated. A noble friend, Bowlin Greene, took Lincoln to his cabin, and brought him back to a sense of duty and manhood, after weeks of careful nursing. When Greene died, in 1842, Lincoln spoke at his funeral in the Masonic lodge: "His voice was choked with deep emotion; he stood a few moments while his lips quivered in the effort to form the words of fervent praise he sought to utter, and the tears ran down his yellow and shriveled cheeks. Every heart was hushed at the spectacle. After repeated efforts, he found it impossible to speak, and strode away, bitterly sobbing, to the widow's carriage and was driven from the scene." It was at this time he learned the piece which the people call "Lincoln's poem" "O why should the spirit of mortal be proud ?" The Legislature removed to Springfield, and Lincoln went into legal partnership with John T. Stuart. The Lincoln and Douglas leadership began in the Legislature in 1836, when both statesmen were young. The rivalry passed over the metes and bounds of politics and entered the realm of love, for when Lincoln again fell under the charms of a beautiful woman this time Mary Todd, whom he married Douglas carried on a striking flirtation with the same lady, and was with difficulty persuaded to leave the field to Lincoln. On this, Lincoln attempted to recede, but failed. The wedding was fixed, the mansion was lit, the feast was spread, the guests assembled, but the groom came not. The feast was left untouched, the guests de-parted, the house was darkened. Lincoln was again in the hands of his friends, who feared his gathering humiliations would make life intolerable. Strange as it may seem, the haughty belle and the eccentric lover were brought together afterward, and were married November 4, 1842. A legal partnership was formed with Stephen T. Logan, and, soon after, a final one with William H. Herndon, Lincoln's principal biographer, whose attitude toward Mrs. Lincoln must be carefully considered, because his unrelenting hostility may have grown out of a mutual antipathy strengthened by business relations, and aggravated by a partner's playful children. There can be no doubt that Mrs. Lincoln loved Abraham Lincoln, and made him a faithful wife. His tragic death, when she sat by his side, beclouded her remaining years. In 1846 Lincoln was elected to Congress over the celebrated Peter Cartwright, but failed to satisfy his constituents, as he opposed the Mexican War too emphatically after it was well begun. Doubtless this very experience fitted him to be patient with Butternuts and Copperheads afterward in the deep gloom of 1862-3. He did not seek reelection because he could not have succeeded, and he would have accepted a moderately good Federal office had it been within his reach. He made one or two speeches in Congress, but caused only a small ripple in the wide stream of politics at the Capital, and it is the only chapter in his public life where he did not rise far above mediocrity.
We are therefore briefly introduced to the Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of the firm of Lincoln & Herndon, lawyers, at Springfield. The astonishing fecundity of the story-teller, as remembered in earlier days, was not so noticeable in Mr. Lincoln now, and, instead, periods of the deepest melancholy settled over him at unforeseen moments. The testimony is without contradiction, that the famous entertainer, weaned from pleasant scenes or company, would at once fall into an abyss of sadness very trying to the nerves of those who loved him. But so vast was his power to suffer, that he never conveyed to another soul the precise character of the thoughts that were afflicting him.
United with marked eccentricity and deep occasional melancholia, was the fact that Abraham Lincoln was usually accounted the homeliest man one would ever see. He told this story himself : "One day a stranger accosted me on the cars : 'Excuse me, sir, but I have an article that belongs to you.' 'How is that?' The stranger took a jackknife from his pocket. 'This,' said he, 'was given to me several years ago to give to the first man I should meet who might be considered homelier than myself. From this on, the knife is yours.' " It will be well to give Herndon's careful description of Lincoln when he was President-elect: "Mr. Lincoln was six feet four inches high, fifty-one years old, having good health and no gray hairs, or but few, on his head. He was thin, wiry, sinewy, raw-boned; thin through the breast to the back, and narrow across the shoulders; standing, he leaned forward was what may be called stoop-shouldered, inclining to the consumptive by build. His usual weight was 180 pounds.
His organization rather, his structure and functions worked slowly. His blood had to run a long distance from his heart to the extremities of his frame, and his nerve-force had to travel through dry ground a long distance before his muscles were obedient to his will. His structure was loose and leathery; his body was shrunk and shriveled; he had dark skin, dark hair, and looked woe-struck. The whole man, body and mind, worked slowly, as if it needed oiling. Physically, he was a very powerful man, lifting with ease 400 and in one case 600 pounds. His mind was like his body, and worked slowly but strongly. Hence, there was but little bodily or mental wear and tear in him. When he walked, he moved cautiously but firmly; his long arms and giant hands swung down by his side. He walked with inner tread, the inner sides of his feet being parallel. He put the whole foot flat down on the ground at once, not landing on the heel; he likewise lifted his foot all at once, not rising from the toe, and hence he had no spring to his walk. In sitting down on a common chair, he was no taller than ordinary men. His legs and arms were abnormally, unnaturally long. It was only when he stood up that he loomed above other men. His head was long, and tall from the base of the brain and from the eyebrows. His head ran backward, his forehead rising as it ran back at a long angle, like Clay's. The size of his hat, measured at the hatter's block, was 7 i-8, his head being from ear to ear 6 I-2, and from the front to the back of the brain 8. Thus measured, it was not below the medium size. His forehead was narrow but high; his hair was dark, almost black, and lay floating when his fingers or the winds lifted it, piled up at random. His cheek-bones were high, sharp, and prominent; his jaws were long and up-curved; his nose was large, long, blunt, and a little awry toward the left eye; his chin was sharp and up-curved; his eye-brows cropped opt like a huge rock on the brow of a hill; his long, sallow face was wrinkled and dry, with a hair here and there on the surface; his cheeks were leathery; his ears were large, and ran out almost at right angles from his head, caused partly by heavy hats and partly by nature; his lower lip was thick, hanging, and under-curved, while his chin, up-curved, reached for the lip; his neck was neat and trim, his head being well balanced on it; there was a lone mole on the right cheek, and Adam's apple on his throat Thus," concludes Herndon, "walked, acted, and looked Abraham Lincoln. He was not a pretty man, nor was he an ugly one; he was a homely man, careless of his looks, plain-looking and plain-acting. He had no pomp, display, or dignity, so-called. He was a sad-looking man; his melancholy dripped from him as he walked."
What was there, then, in 1850-2, when Clay, Webster, and Calhoun had made their compromise and descended into their graves, that should cause gigantic events to center around Mr. Lincoln, of the firm of Lincoln & Herndon, a man for whom his intimate friends were infinitely compassionate? It was, plainly, the fact that he was the most interesting man whom the common people had met; they told each other so, and it spread over the North. The man was as natural as a new-born babe. At a pathetic passage in a woman's speech at Springfield, Abraham Lincoln, in the middle of the audience, burst into a hoarse laugh, and was frightened to think the audience did not all laugh; nobody could guess why he had done this; nobody could tell what he would do next; but the masses came toward him as if he were father, brother, companion, fellow-blunderer. His very humiliations increased his hold on the hearts of the lowly. But, again, why dici the people single him? Because, first, of his battery of outpouring-humanity-rays; because of his deep love of the race, and all its individuals. "God," said he, "must have liked common people, or he wouldn't have made so many of them." Yet his wit was keen, too. A windy orator closed his oration. "That young chap reminds me of a steamer I once saw on the Ohio River. It had an eight-foot boiler and a twelve-foot whistle, and every time the whistle blew, the boat stopped." "These people who argue State sovereignty," he said, "remind me of the fellow who contended that the proper place for the big kettle was inside the little one." Lincoln's client had been attacked, and had acted in self-defense. "My client was like the man with the pitchfork on his shoulder; out came a fierce dog from a farm-yard. In parrying off the brute with the fork, its prongs stuck into the dog, and killed it. 'What made you kill my dog?' cried the farmer. 'What made him bite me?' 'But why did you not go at him with the other. end of the pitchfork?' 'Why didn't he come at me with his other end?' " With this, Lincoln whirled an imaginary dog in his hands, on the floor, and pushed it tail-first at the jury, who gave him the verdict with uproarious merriment. A commercial agency requested a report on the financial standing of a neighbor of Lincoln's, and Lincoln replied : "I am well acquainted with Mr. A— and know his circumstances. First of all, he has a wife and baby; together, they ought to be worth $50,000 to any man. Secondly, he has an office in which there is a table worth $1.50 and three chairs worth say $1. Last of all, there is, in one corner, a large rat-hole, which is worth looking into." If Lincoln were in talking mood, men could not afford to miss what he said, neither could anybody repress Lincoln's desire to talk. It is averred that Lincoln's best friend of all was Judge David Davis. In court Lincoln was telling yarns, and Judge Davis cried out : "Come, come, Mr. Lincoln, I can't stand this! There is no use trying to carry on two courts at the same time. I must adjourn mine or yours, and I think yours will have to be the one," This brought things to rights at once. "What was that Lincoln was telling?" anxiously asked the Judge, as soon as court was out for dinner.
Nor was he all fun, as impertinent people were sure to learn. A woman wrote asking for a "sentiment" and his autograph. He replied : "Dear Madam When you ask a stranger for that which is of interest only to yourself, always inclose a stamp; there's your sentiment; and here's your autograph. A. Lincoln."
Neither was it his wit nor his keen defense that attracted men. The photographer, Hesler, of Chicago, testified : "I wondered who on earth could want a picture of such a singularly homely man, but before the sitting was over I was charmed by his wit, so fascinated by his genial humor, and the noble personality of the man, that I forgot his physical peculiarities. Long before I was aware of his identity, I knew that he was great and good, with a soul as sweet and pure as a child's." Horace Greeley said: "I doubt whether man, woman, or child, white or black, bound or free, virtuous or vicious, ever accosted or reached forth a hand to Abraham Lincoln and detected in his countenance and manner any repugnance or shrinking from the proper contact, any assumption of superiority, or betrayal of disdain." Frederick Douglass, the orator of his race, testified : "Mr. Lincoln is the only white man with whom I have ever talked, or in whose presence I have ever been, who did not consciously or unconsciously betray to me that he recognized my color." And it is not at all certain that he did note the color of the man, if the affair were between only the twain.
It is not necessary to believe that one after whom all common people followed, or rather one with whom all common people went alongside, was at all oblivious of his power. He said the best natural politician he ever met was an Illinois Democrat, whose political creed was: "Find out what Abe Lincoln wants you to do, and don't do it!"
To these qualities in Lincoln was added the great gift of poetry. He spoke in figures, and they were tropes that, while they might shock the polite, never failed to illustrate and ornament what he was saying to the humble. His letter to James S. Conkling, to be quoted anon, offers a fine example of his happy expression, in simple and homely political terms, of sentiments that only a hero could hold so steadfastly as they were held by Abraham Lincoln. It is to be deduced from what has been narrated, that, first, the people, gathered in a village post-office, then a county, then a valley, then a State, would expect to see Lincoln prominent in the Nation. When it became a matter of State pride, the Presidency was none too good for him. He made no personal impression on the country at large until his name was at the front among Presidential candidates of the new Republican (not yet Anti-Slavery) party.
He was probably best fitted to be President of the common people of all the statesmen who have held the office. He studied the elements of the population with unremitting delight. A new face was a new friend to set laughing to impress with the superiority of the story-teller for here was a man who could not hide his greatness of soul under either an exterior uncouth, or a striking familiarity of speech. Major G. M. McConnel narrates how, as a boy, his father sent him to ask Mr. Lincoln, the lawyer, the particulars of a case in court. The lad met Mr. Lincoln on the street. The tall man sat down on the curb, put his silk hat between his knees, and, out of a miscellaneous collection of documents, found the particular case. Then he talked to the lad so fraternally about it, that young McConnel carried away an idea as perfect as if it had been an account of a fishing expedition. For the nonce, Lincoln was a lad, too, explaining the case in a lad's language, with all the fraternity of youth. Thus, it is some-times avowed that Abraham Lincoln seemed essentially different to every man he met. This judgment must be restricted to common people. Toward those who entertained aristocratic ideas, he was cold and enigmatical. His son Robert was going to a banquet given to Professor Longfellow, the poet, by many eminent scholars. "Go, my son, but if you are able to maintain a respectable conversation with those distinguished gentlemen, you'll do more than your father was ever able to accomplish."
As the fame spread of this approachable and unapproachable man, this simple and profound mind, there was no lack of self-appointed political managers and stablemen, to caparison the steed and watch over the Presidential provender. The secret sagacity of the man; his utter inability to ask for favors, to lean for advice on "wise men," was a maddening phenomenon to a host of politicians. "Lincoln had the people"; now how to so minify and belittle Lincoln as to fit him into a smaller office and let a figure-head go in front? That was the problem of the scholarly Senators, and they could not solve it, because Lincoln was great enough to desire the chief office for himself. When Lincoln canvassed the State with Douglas, in joint debate, he took grounds that would defeat him (Lincoln) for the Senatorship in the conservative Legislature of Illinois, in order to make Douglas assume counter-positions that would defeat him for the Presidency, two years later. Lincoln was as quick politically as Henry Clay, and was on the right side of Mason and Dixon's line.
When the Senatorial campaign was over, and Douglas was elected, he was called into Ohio, and thither Lincoln followed in the autumn of 1859. At the moment of the John Brown raid, Lincoln was in Kansas. He became, with events, hardly more radical in his utterances, and it was readily believed that he had sacrificed his political interests in his slowness to exhibit a strong repugnance to slavery in the South.
Early in 1860, at the State House in Springfield, Ill., a meeting of Hatch, Judd, Peck, Grimshaw, and others modestly launched the Presidential candidacy of Abraham Lincoln Seward, however, being looked on as the chief aspirant for party honors. In October, 1859, Lincoln had been invited to speak at Cooper Institute, New York City, the action being an unsolicited friendly move by Bryant, the poet, and others. The address was made to an overflowing house in February, 1860. Lincoln appeared there as rustic as the early Patrick Henry. The audience was agog to hear the witty stories he was now famous for telling, but he, warned by the Senators and political magnates, kept close to his arguments, which made a deep impression. His speech here, and other addresses in New England, where he got near to the people in his own inimitable way, made tremendous political hits, and when he returned to Springfield, it could not be concealed from Mr. Seward's friends that Seward was to be opposed by a powerful rival. On May 9 and 10, the Illinois State Convention met at Decatur. To that convention John Hanks, a cousin, brought two of the fence-rails that Lincoln had split in 183o, and as America, from the Alleghenies west-ward, was still a primeval settlement, the idea of "Lincoln, the Rail-Splitter," awakened the frantic enthusiasm of the pioneers. But the time was short, and it looked as if Lincoln's candidacy were too young he must wait. There were not enough Lincoln States in the East. The National Convention met a week later, May 16, 1860, at Chicago, in a Wigwam, built purposely large, where local talent could delegate itself to create an atmosphere favorable to Lincoln's interests. David Davis opened "Lincoln head-quarters" at the Tremont House. The Wigwam was a little over four blocks west of the Tremont House, where Lake Street turned obliquely into Market Street a "broken corner." Mr. Lincoln, still of the firm of Lincoln & Herndon, was at home in Springfield. It is usually understood that David Davis made voting arrangements with Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, but the candidate was not willing to be bound by contract not if it cost the nomination, such was his astonishingly cautious, secretive policy. He approved Seward's idea of an "irrepressible conflict," but refused to indorse his "higher law" that is, Seward was too radical. Thus, while it would have been the easy part of the demagogue to go out beyond Seward, Lincoln, at a moment when it was deemed fatal to him, took the stand that nominated him. He was considered a safer man a little nearer the South born in Kentucky a Mississippi flat-boatman a rail-splitter. The people, too, must fight; let them choose their leader, and so far as mere popularity seemed to go in Chicago, of course Lincoln overtopped all other candidates put together. Mr. Seward did not arrive with enough votes to nominate him, and when his political machinery broke down, he had no remaining resource. Lincoln was chosen on the third bal-lot (May 18), and the whole West was wildly delighted; the elder East was gravely pleased to see its children so happy. Mr. Lincoln was not nationally known. At Springfield, Lincoln was in the public square, tossing town ball. He took the message announcing his nomination, and said : "I guess I will tell a little woman down the street the news." The Republican platform was in these words : "That the new dogma, that the Constitution carries slavery into all the territories, is a dangerous politica' heresy, revolutionary in tendency, and subversive of the peace and harmony of the country." Lincoln himself had gone a little further: "That the spread of slavery should be arrested, and it should be placed where the public mind shall rest in the belief of its ultimate extinction." The Abolitionists, forced to accept the sop offered in the platform, had joined the Republican party, and formed its extreme Left with Lincoln next to them, but no one knew how sternly he considered himself as yet not one of that extreme Left. He saw the people were for Union; he knew that attitude meant eventual Abolition; so he saw no necessity of taking a stand out ahead of the people; if the Union could be saved with slave States and free territories and free new States, he was willing to save it that way. The Eastern people soon grew cool. Mr. Weed, who had so often defeated Henry Clay, desired to be visited, but Lincoln held aloof; when David Davis went East, it was with a most slow consent on Lincoln's part. Lincoln did not like to act, and he was stubborn to lead. He was usually right in his apprehensions of future events. As soon as the Eastern men saw he was not worrying, they themselves bestirred. When they came to Springfield, making loud reproaches, but offering no good suggestions, he told them the story of the man who was traveling on horseback in a wild region, during a thunderstorm. "The peals of thunder," said Lincoln, "were frightful. One bolt, which seemed to crash the earth beneath him, brought him to his knees. Not being a praying man, his petition was short and to the point. He said : "O Lord, if it is all the same to you, give us a little more light and a little less noise !"
In those days, three large States held their local elections in October, while the Presidential election in those States was a special polling of the voters in November. When Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana went Republican at their State elections in October, 186o, it could be seen that Lincoln would win. Both Indiana and Pennsylvania had gone against the Republicans in 1856. Though he was encouraged, it is likely he knew the conspiracy of the Southern leaders began from that very day. Floyd, of Virginia, who had received the Nullifiers' votes for President, years before, was Secretary of War, and immediately lent his department to the service of the plot.
From the moment Lincoln's candidacy assumed the importance of a probable election, his gloomy forebodings of personal ill increased. All but three of the Springfield clergy opposed his election, and this gave him deep affliction, for he thought the profession of the ministry ought of itself to impel a minister to support the cause of freedom; and such exhibitions of political feeling shocked his innate respect for religion. In the North the campaign was between Lincoln and Douglas the Rail-Splitter and the "Little Giant." In the South, it was everywhere averred that Lincoln was not a human being at all that he was an anthropoid ape. In the election on November 6, 1860, he received a plurality of nearly 600,000 votes, and, in the Electoral College, he had a majority over all, as follows: Lincoln, 180; Breckenridge, 72; Bell, 39; Douglas, 12. Douglas carried but one entire State Missouri. Lincoln carried seventeen entire States. The slave-holders carried eleven entire States. Lincoln was constitutionally and popularly the President, having received very nearly as many votes as any two of the other three candidates.
After some persuasion, Mr. Lincoln, President-elect, invited Thurlow Weed to visit Springfield, and that celebrated "boss" of New York politics arrived, as was under-stood, in the interest of Mr. Seward. John Brown's expedition had suddenly precipitated the entire Slavery question, and his execution was regarded not only as a martyrdom, but a challenge. It was seen in the East that all depended on "the unknown Rail-Splitter who told stories." Letters poured in on Herndon, asking what manner of man this Lincoln was. December 21, 1860, Herndon wrote, summarizing eighteen years of knowledge of Lincoln : "Lincoln is a man of heart aye, as gentle as a woman, and as tender but he has a will strong as iron. He therefore loves all mankind, hates slavery and every form of despotism. Put these together love for the slave, and a determination, a will, that justice, strong and unyielding, shall be done when he has a right to act, and you can form your own conclusion. Lincoln will fail here, namely, if a question of political economy if any question comes up which is doubtful, questionable, which no man can demonstrate, then his friends can rule him; but when on justice, right, liberty, the Government, the Constitution, and the Union, then you may all stand aside. He will rule then, and no man can rule him no set of men can do it. There is no fail here. This is Lincoln, and you mark my prediction."
Late in January, 1861, Mr. Lincoln wrote his inaugural address. He asked Herndon for Henry Clay's great speech of 185o,* Andrew Jackson's proclamation against Nullification, and a copy of the Constitution. He locked himself in an empty room over a store, and, under those untoward circumstances, prepared a paper which is treasured among the noblest utterances of the Fathers of the Nation.
In the first week of February, 1861, he visited his aged step-mother at Farmington, and went to the grave of his father, Thomas Lincoln. He was deeply impressed with the idea that it would be his last opportunity to see the persons and things he loved. He was a prophet. The causes that led to his death were blind and slow in acting —he was a keen judge of cause and effect; he himself knew his value and power as an opponent of Slavery. In the last weeks of his stay at Springfield, nearly all his old friends of the settlements came in to bid him good-by a touching testimony, which nerved him to the task before him, for now the Southern Confederacy was well under way. At last, he stood on the car-platform, at the little railroad station : "Friends," he said, "no one who has never been placed in a like position can understand my feelings at this hour, nor the oppressive sadness I feel at this parting. I go to assume a task more difficult than that which devolved upon Washington. Unless the great God who assisted him shall be with and aid me, I must fail; but if the same omniscient mind and almighty arm that directed and protected him shall guide and support me, I shall not fail, I shall succeed." Lincoln had now become and remained a devout Deist. His burden had grown heavier than he could bear, and he appeared to have looked trustfully to Heaven for guidance. As battle after battle of our Civil War piled up in American history afterward, and the bloody business grew familiar alike to men of peace and war, this marked public religious attitude of the pilot of the ship of state was a never-failing source of satisfaction to the devout in the North. His route to Washington was planned to evoke patriotic feeling on the way.
Allan Pinkerton, a detective, of Chicago, discovered a plot of assassination at Baltimore, and his tomb at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, commemorates his services to the Emancipator at this time as the chief of Pinkerton's works. The run into Washington from Harrisburg was secret. General Scott was ill in bed, but the veteran swore a round oath that Lincoln should be inaugurated, and took admirable military precautions. Among the Radicals of the North, the bitterest contempt was felt for the out-going President, Buchanan, whose easy submission to the insults of the South was considered as imperiling the Nation. These sharp fault-finders asked Mr. Lincoln if he intended to ride to the Capitol with Buchanan, or to go alone. "That reminds me," said Lincoln, "of the witness in a lawsuit, who looked like a Quaker. When he arose to take the oath, he was asked by the Judge (who seemed puzzled) if he would swear, or affirm. 'I don't care a d—n which,' was the reply."
President Buchanan called at Willard's Hotel for Mr. Lincoln on the morning of March 4, and, a few minutes later, Honest Old Abe was President, to the very general satisfaction of the North, because love for the man covered the land. At this time, war was inevitable, but nobody in authority believed it would last ninety days. It was thought the South would fight a little, and recede from the dogma of slave-extension. The Nation was still under the spell of slaveholding orators; the South claimed all the chivalry and respectability of the Union. In his inaugural, the new President merely said the Government would not strike the first blow.
Premonitions of strife had no restrictive effect on the office-seekers, and the hordes of each State now beset the Chief Executive. A delegation asked the appointment of a man in delicate health to go to the balmy latitudes of the Sandwich Islands. "Gentlemen," said Mr. Lincoln, "I am sorry that there are eight other applicants for that place, and they are all sicker than your man !1 The Austrian Minister presented an Austrian Count, who devoted much time to proving beyond peradventure that he was a person of noble lineage and high standing. Mr. Lincoln laid his hand on the office-seeker's shoulder, and said : "Never mind, you shall be treated with just as much consideration, for all that !" A crowd of office-seekers informed the President that he had been exposed to the small-pox. "I'm glad of it," said Lincoln, "for now I'm going to have something that I can give to everybody."
He began his War Administration with his accustomed modesty. When General McClellan was busy organizing the army, the President would sit in the General's ante-room, and the General would send out word that he was too busy to see anybody. Lincoln would go away, apparently satisfied. This is on the testimony of General Sickles. Such a condition of dependence lasted till after Bull Run. Robert L. Wilson, an old friend, was anxious for news, and Lincoln and Nicolay were coming from the War Department. "These war fellows are very strict with me," said Lincoln," "and I suppose I must obey them till I get the hang of things." "But can't you tell me whether the news is good or bad, Mr. President ?" He grasped Wilson's arm like a vice, and whispered shrilly in his ear, "It's d—d bad !" And so it was, but it was necessary it should be bad in order to stir the North and awaken Lincoln to the dangers that surrounded him from incapables. He had not yet appointed Stanton; and Grant, Sherman, Thomas, McPherson, Hancock, Meade, Sheridan, were not yet on the scene.
The Great War settled on the land. Calls for troops-75,000 volunteers, then 300,000, again 300,000, again 300,000 came fast and faster. The dreaded draft struck alike the coward and the courageous, the Copperhead and the Abolitionist. The taxes doubled, tripled, quadrupled. Bonds sold down, down, down, in greenbacks; gold rose upward, to 290. Patriotism might make a feeble cry, but the voice of the substitute-broker was loud in the land. Gamblers, cormorants, contractors, fattened. For one thing the Nation hungered victory ! And victory did not come. The summers of 1861, 1862, and till July 4, 1863, were seasons of the saddest and most humiliating history. The great man in the White House gradually shifted the entire load on his own shoulders, and at last the machine of war began to wreak havoc on the slave-holders.
John Hay, one of his two chief secretaries, describes the President : "He did not sleep well, but spent a good while in bed. He was extremely unmethodical. He would break through every regulation, as fast as it was made. Anything that kept the people themselves away from him he disapproved, although they nearly annoyed the life out of him by unreasonable complaints and requests. He wrote very few letters, and did not read one in fifty that he received." He sent Nicolay or Hay on long journeys rather than to write. "Sometimes, though rarely, he shut himself up, and would see no one." "He was very abstemious ate less than any man I know. He drank nothing but water," not from principle, how-ever. A temperance committee told him the army was drinking so much whisky it was bringing the curse of the Lord on the North. He said the other side was drinking more and worse whisky. He did not read the newspapers. "I know more about it than any of them," he said sadly. The kid-glove people never understood him, and could 'not learn. "I," said Hay, "consider Lincoin to be Republicanism incarnate with all its faults, and all its virtues. As, in spite of some rudeness, Republicanism is the sole hope of a sick world, so Lincoln, with all his foibles, is the greatest character since Christ."
He studied Calhoun, and set his great mind at work to overthrow Calhoun's logic. Of all public men, perhaps, Calhoun effected the deepest impression on him, because Calhoun made a fearless presentation of his facts. Mr. Lincoln particularly admired that sentence of Calhoun : "To legislate upon precedent is but to make the error of yesterday the law of to-day."
The Abolitionists set out, one way or another, to make him free the slaves, on John Quincy Adams' prescription that it could be done as a Presidential war-measure. Generals Frémont and Hunter, and Col. Donn Piatt, all felt his rough hand when they audaciously assumed the power of emancipation in their military districts. His own plan was State emancipation with compensation to owners. Horace Greeley, Wendell Phillips, and all the great New Englanders, thought he went far too slow. A committee of ministers, from a General Assembly, certain that they came to him inspired of God who had made that point very clear were answered : "Well, gentlemen, it is not very often that one is favored with a delegation direct from the Almighty." James Gordon Bennett, with his New York Herald, was daily handicapping the Administration, and stood ready to edit a Lincoln organ, if the President would especially invite him to the White House. Mr. Lincoln said the doors were open to all. Neither godly nor diabolical contrivances could move Abraham Lincoln. "I can see that emancipation is coming. Whoever can wait for it will see it. Whoever stands in its way will be run over by it." Yet this man who could not be coaxed nor driven, was the easiest-going and friendliest of men. Leonard Swett said, of his marvelous skill in dealing with sentiment in Kentucky, Missouri, and the border States generally : "He was a trimmer, and such a trimmer the world has never seen." Swett thought Lincoln had never asked for advice in his life. Anything he needed counsel about, he would let others do. It was Swett's sentence regarding Lincoln : "He retained through life all the friends he ever had, and he made the wrath of his enemies to praise him." Not only did he require indomitable will to defer the emancipation proclamations until the majority of the soldiers and people wanted them, but he was the first strong supporter of Grant and Sherman against Halleck and Stanton, and as the people saw him always in accord with their views, they began to revere him. The soldiers told his stories on the battle-field. That keen desire to hear about the man himself, which has lasted until this day, took hold upon mankind, and, when some magnate would obtusely complain of Lincoln's methods and manners, such a critic was thereafter a well-marked character. What astonished men the most was that, while defeat sickened the President, and each battle left him looking older and still sadder, the kind manner never changed, nor did the stream of wit flow low. A notorious bully ordered an officer to flee. The officer arrested the bully, who struck with all his force at the officer, missing him. The officer, in return, struck the bully so hard with his fist that the senseless victim was taken to the hospital it was said, to die. The officer ran to the White House, for counsel and explanation. "I am sorry," said the President, "you had to kill the man; but these are times of war, and a great many men deserve killing. This man, according to your story, is one of them; so give yourself no uneasiness about the matter. I will stand by you." But the officer had sought Father Abraham for spiritual consolation.
His conscience was stricken. Lincoln looked upon him again : "Well, go home now, and get some sleep. But, if you want some advice; hereafter when you have occasion to strike a man, don't hit him with your fist. Strike him with a club, or a crowbar, or something that won't kill him!"
A man wanted a pass into Richmond. "Happy to oblige you, if my passes were respected. The fact is, I have given passes to 250,000 men to go to Richmond, and, as yet, not one has reached the place." Fairfax was raided, and a brigadier-general and a number of horses were captured. "Well, I'm sorry on account of the horses. I can make a brigadier-general in five minutes, but it is not an easy matter to replace a hundred and ten horses." A troublesome visitor demanded exact statistics showing the number of Confederate soldiers in the field. "Twelve hundred thousand, according to the best authority." The questioner cried : "Good heavens !" "Yes, sir, twelve hundred thousand no doubt of it. I have no reason to doubt our generals, and every time they are whipped, they say the rebels out-numbered them from three or five to one. We have four hundred thousand men in the field, and three times four makes twelve. Do you see ?" Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, met the President outside of Richmond. He was a very small man in a large overcoat. Lincoln asked Grant if he had seen Stephens in his overcoat. Grant had. Had Grant seen Stephens take off the overcoat? Grant had also seen that. "Well, didn't you think it was the biggest shuck and the littlest ear you had ever seen?"
The Nation touched the tender chord in their President's nature when they put the power of life and death in his hands. He said to Swett : "Get out of the way, Swett; tomorrow is butcher-day, and I must go through these papers and see if I cannot find some excuse to let these poor fellows off." Stanton believed in military capital punishment, and plenty of it. Stanton sent Holt, the chief military prosecutor, "to put a case strong," to Lincoln. Soldiers had run back from line of battle at Chancellorsville. They were now under sentence of death. "Holt, you acknowledge these men have a previous record for bravery. They shall not be shot for this one offense." Holt knew Stanton would "explode with rage," so he made another argument for blood. "Holt, were you ever in battle?" "I have never been." "Did Stanton ever march in the first line, to be shot at by an enemy, like these men did?" "I think not, Mr. President." "Well, I tried it, in the Blackhawk War, and I remember, one time, I grew awful weak in the knees when I heard the bullets whistle around me, and saw the enemy in front of me. How my legs carried me forward, I cannot now tell, for I thought every minute that I would sink to the ground. Who knows but these men's legs refused to carry them? Send this dispatch, ordering them set free." And they were set free that day.
As "the war to free the negro" grew more perceptible in its logic, the complexities of draft-riots, Butternut and Copperhead Conventions, unlicensed newspaper invective, and sharp military criticism, seemed overwhelmingly numerous. The President delivered up Mason and Slidell to England; encouraged Juarez in Mexico; set down Vallandigham of Ohio within the Confederate lines; moderated the tone of Seward's documents; made peace as often as war. Finally, when the time was sufficiently ripe, he issued the preliminary Proclamation of Emancipation. On September 22, 1862, he informed all regions in rebellion, naming them, and excepting certain counties, that their slaves would be free January 1, 1863, unless they ceased to defy the authority of the United States. It was not Abolition as a principle it was emancipation in rebellious regions as a threat, and measure of war.
He called the members of the Cabinet, and, summarizing his thoughts and feelings, he told them this Proclamation and no other would be issued. Governor Seward (Secretary of State) suggested a slight change, which was adopted; a day or two later he suggested still another, which was likewise adopted. The President asked the Governor why he had not mentioned both changes at once, but Governor Seward did not seem to give a satisfactory answer. "Seward," said Lincoln, "reminds me of a hired man who came to a farmer and told him one of a favorite yoke of oxen had fallen down dead. After a pause the hired man added : 'And the other ox in that team is dead, too.' 'Why didn't you tell me at once that both the oxen were dead ?' 'Because I didn't want to hurt you by telling you too much at one time.' "
As soon as the responsible head of the Government was well under the burden which the original Abolitionists had first taken up, it seemed as if all parties turned to make that burden heavier. The South was hit hard, and it nerved itself "to deadlier and more ungenerous blows." There also formed parties of "Unconditional Union men" in the North, who claimed to be perturbed with fear of disunion. These patriots cheerfully invited the President to leave the war and come to address them at Springfield. The "letter to James S. Conkling" in reply to such an invitation is immortal and unanswerable, warning all men, for all time, to get out of the attitude of Tories, or fire-in-the-rear agitators under any name whatsoever. "You desire peace, and you blame me, that you do not have it." The writer (Lincoln) names "three conceivable ways to attain peace." "First, to suppress the rebellion by force and arms. This I am trying to do. Are you for it? If you are, so far we are agreed. If you are not for it, a second way is, to give up the Union. I am against this. Are you for it? If you are, you should say so, plainly. If you are not for force, nor yet for dissolution, there only remains some imaginable compromise." The President gives his proofs that compromise is impossible. "No paper compromise to which the controllers of Lee's army are not agreed, can at all affect that army." No word of compromise from that army had ever reached the President. Should such an offer come, it should not be rejected, nor should it be kept secret. "But, to be plain, you are dissatisfied with me about the negro. Quite likely, there is a difference of opinion between you and myself upon that subject. I certainly wish that all men could be free, while I suppose you do not." "I suggested compensated emancipation, to which you replied that you wished not to be taxed to buy negroes." He then argues the constitutionality of the Emancipation Proclamation. "Some of you profess to think a retraction of the Proclamation would operate favorably for the Union. Why better after the retraction, than before the issue? There was more than a year and a half of trial to suppress the rebellion before the Proclamation issued, the last one hundred days of which passed under an explicit notice that it was coming, unless averted by those in revolt returning to their allegiance. The war has certainly progressed as favorably for us since the issue of the Proclamation as before." The President next shows that his military men are pleased with the military effects of the Proclamation. "You say that you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight to free you. But, no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively, to save the Union. I issued the Proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time then for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes. I thought that, in your struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the negroes should cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistance to you. Do you. think differently? I thought that whatever negroes can be got to do as soldiers, leaves just so much less for white soldiers to do in saving the Union. Does it appear otherwise to you ?
At this point in Father Abraham's greatest letter he begins to be eloquent, and we quote the closing pages in full: "The signs look better. The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea. Thanks to the great Northwest for it; nor yet wholly to them. Three hundred miles up, they met New England, Keystone, and jersey, hewing their way right and left. The Sunny South, too, in more colors than one, also lent a hand. On the spot, their part of the history was jotted down in black and white. The job was a great National one; and let none be barred who bore an honorable part in it. And while those who have cleared the great river may well be proud, even that is not all. It is hard to say that anything has been more bravely and well done than at Antietam, Murfreesboro, Gettysburg, and on so many fields of lesser note. Nor must Uncle Sam's web feet 1)e forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been present. Not only on the deep sea, the broad bay, and the rapid river, but also up the narrow, muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been, and made their tracks, thanks to all. For the great Republic for the principle it lives by and keeps alive for man's vast future thanks to all.
"Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon and come to stay, and so come as to be worth the keeping for all future time. It will' then have been proved that, among free men, there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and that they who take such appeal are soon to lose their case and pay the cost. And then there will be some black men who can remember that, with silent tongue, clenched teeth, and well-poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation; while I fear there will be some white ones, unable to forget that, with malignant heart and deceitful speech, they strove to hinder it."
When Mr. Lincoln next stood on the east steps of the Capitol, he had been endorsed by an overwhelming majority of the North. He had Grant at Richmond; he had Sherman ranging up and down the Confederacy, their cities flaming behind. He had Memphis, Natchez, New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, and the realm of Slavery was cut in twain. Father Abraham now wore a beard, and looked twenty years older than when he left Springfield. Peace was coming with victory. It was then that he grew even more gentle. It was then that he said :—"With malice toward none; with charity for all" those magical words that seemed to leap with poetry out of the example of his life of sorrows, an inimitable inscription over his catafalque anon, and a precious legacy to the language that he spoke.
In spirit he had not really changed. All other things seemed unstable, but Father Abraham was the same far better understood now, even by the people who had always believed in him. A widow, whose husband had fallen in battle, implored that one of her three soldier-sons might come home to support her. "Certainly," said Father Abraham, "if you have given us all, and your prop has been taken away, you are justly entitled to one of your boys." But the soldier whom Lincoln had thus discharged was killed in battle before the order could reach him. Again the afflicted mother and widow came to Lincoln, whose face was very grave as he wrote another discharge. "Now," he said, "you have one, and I have one of the two boys left; that is no more than right." These mothers in Israel never failed to assure Abraham Lincoln that the next time they should meet him, would be in Heaven, and it gladdened his heart to know they felt so.
He was like Shakespeare, in that light and shade, pathos and humor, played across his nature as light winds on summer seas. He stood with Grant at Petersburg, where Smith's colored troops had glorified their race. "I want to take a look at those boys," said the President. "I read with greatest delight how gallantly they behaved. Dana said they took six out of the sixteen guns captured that day. I was opposed on nearly every side when I first favored the raising of colored regiments, but they have proved their efficiency. When we wanted every able-bodied man who could be spared to go to the front, and my opposers kept objecting to the negroes, I used to tell them that at such times it was just as well to be a little color-blind. I think, General, we can say of the black boys what a country fellow, who was an old-time Abolitionist in Illinois, said when he went to a theater in Chicago and saw Forrest playing 'Othello'. He was not very well up in Shakespeare, and didn't know that the tragedian was a white man who had blacked up for the purpose. After the play was over, the folks who had invited him to go to the show wanted to know what he thought of the actors, and he said: 'Waal, layin' aside all sectional prejudices and any partiality I may have for the race, derned if I don't think the nigger held his own with any on 'em.' " A Tennessee wife implored the release of her husband, a rebel prisoner, on the ground that he was a religious man. "Tell him when you meet him," said the President, "that I say I'm not much of a judge of religion, but that in my opinion the religion which sets men to rebel and fight against their Government because, as they think, that Government does not sufficiently help some men to eat their bread in the sweat of other men's faces, is not the sort of religion upon which people can get to Heaven."
As he entered Richmond, the picture of the freed slaves gathering about him and hailing him with sharp cries as their deliverer, would have convinced anybody that freedom is a precious thing in the opinion of those who have been denied it.
It seemed, in April, 1865, that the real troubles were passed. A dozen armies had been raised, $3,000,000,000 had been borrowed, battles, prison-camps, cemeteries, rendezvous, navy yards, military governments, politics, draft, conspiracies all, all, had gone by, and Slavery was blotted out; its champions were prisoners of war, its arch-prophets fugitives and exiles. On what a home-returning might Abraham Lincoln look he who never forgot a face. In 1840, he had taken dinner with a Sangamon county farmer. Now, this "embattled farmer" shook hands with the triumphant President. "Yes," said Lincoln, "I remember you. You used to live on the Danville road. I took dinner with you when I was running for the Legislature. I recollect that we stood talking together out at the barn-yard gate while I sharpened my jack-knife." "Ya-as," drawled the old soldier, "you did. But say, wherever did ye put that whetstone? I looked for it a dozen times, but I never could find it after the day you used it. We 'lowed as how mebby you took it along with ye." "No," said Lincoln; "no, I put it on top of that gate-post that high one." "Well, mebby you did, now. Couldn't nobody else have put it up there, and none of us ever thought to look up there for it." The soldier was soon after at home. He wrote at once to his friend Abe Lincoln, that he had found the whetstone on top of the tall post, where it had lain untouched for fifteen years, and he did not think it would ever be lost again.
About the 7th and 8th of April, the towns of the North were alive with music and bright at night with bonfires. "Swamp Angels," "Fantastic Companies," fire brigades, and all the mechanism of festive joy were in movement. The Nation was one; Father Abraham had supported Grant and Sherman in the dark hours; he had been mountain-like among the molehills. Even in the highest moments of jubilation, the thought of the Greatheart at the White House would come upon the people, and some latest tale would be told, in imitation of his unrivaled art. Early on a crisp Saturday morning, about a week later, there was placarded at the railroad stations, in the post-offices, at the taverns, the incredible intelligence that Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated and was dying.
As when the perverse shaft of lightning thwarts an inky sky, and shivering nature bids the cheek to blanch, so came that bolt of destiny upon the people. They had been schooled in blood; the ghastly deeds of war were come to be familiar. But that Father Abraham was no more !—that an assassin, instead of bearing away the aid and consolation of Father Abraham, had slain him !—it surpassed even the infernal realities of war. There settled over the land a period of such gloom as history does not record of other epochs and ages. On the Sunday following, on the Wednesday following, through the slow weeks thereafter, men heard the passionate sobbings of their eloquent of speech, and truly were broken-hearted in the general woe. It was like the Last Day is painted. It seemed the air was thick and sulphurous. Men were too sick with sorrow to call for vengeance, or pronounce the name of the wretched man who had betrayed his race. It was truly an awful crime against Charity, Mercy, Peace all the sweet angels !
It was nearly 10 o'clock before the peculiar name of Booth was written on the bulletins. Lincoln was no more. Particulars came at noon, with the trains from the large cities. The little theater, with its alley behind and beside it, like a carpenter's square, was as well fixed on the mind that baleful day as it was in after years when it fell upon its inmates on an anniversary day, and closed the darkest chapter in our chronicles. We could see the stage-hand holding the saddled horse; we could see the insane actor, the crushed tragedian, vaulting on the horse, pushing to the corner of the alley, and rattling at right-angles to the left, up the rest of the alley, past the startled negro's window, out beside the theater-front, up the hilly street, over and out of sight, but with loud clattering hoofs upon the cobblestones.
Mr. Lincoln, Mrs. Lincoln, Major Rathbone, and a young lady had entered the double box at the right, at 9:20 p. M. Mr. Lincoln had sat at the left in the wide space, drawing the curtain so the audience could not see him after he bowed to it. Booth entered the theater at io o'clock, made his way directly to the box, shot the President from the rear, leaped over the box-railing to the stage, caught his spur in the flag that decorated the box beneath, hurt his ankle badly, rose, stalked across the stage, with a knife in hand, crying "Sie semper tyrannis! The South is avenged!" met Withers, the orchestra leader, stabbed him slightly in the neck, and escaped out the door into the alley, where the fellow-conspirator held the horse.
A night-clerk from the hotel opposite ran in with an army officer, and the insensible form of the President was borne to the Petersen residence, across the street, which shows the tablet commemorating the event. In the theater, when men realized that the first American President had been assassinated, they themselves became like insane men, crying for wild havoc. About the dying form of the martyr the chief men of the Nation gathered, and saw him breathe his last at 7:22 a. m., April 15, 1865. Business ceased throughout the land until after Wednesday. Bells tolled more generally. than they have ever tolled since. A singular and significant literary fact is the paucity of early record concerning the assassin. It was only of later years, with new generations, that the "sacred terror" passed away, and full particulars of the night at Ford's Theater, with every survivor's narrative and Booth's career, were given to the world, or sheltered in our libraries.
The body was taken from Mr. Petersen's home to the White House, where it was embalmed, and funeral services were held. Then it lay in state in the rotunda of the Capitol. On Wednesday the Nation fasted in prayer. On Friday the funeral train advanced through Baltimore, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, to New York. "And now," said Henry Ward Beecher, "the martyr is moving in triumphal march, mightier than when alive. The Nation rises up at every stage of his coming. Cities and States are his pall-bearers, and the cannon speaks the hours with solemn progression." The scene in New, York was unparalleled. The white letters of Charity for all, of Malice toward none, glittered entrancingly on the eye. Millions wept, and repudiated as inhuman the deed which one of their race had done. The stately cortege passed on to Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, and Chicago. At Chicago the catafalque was erected in the rotunda of the Court House, while the deep bell overhead pulsed the moments. The stream of weeping human beings never dwindled, nor were all the mourners able to see their dead.
On the 3d of May the catafalque was placed in the State House at Springfield, to which came forth the ancient sons of Illinois, cabin-builders, rail-splitters, crippled soldiers, fellow-citizens, fellow-pioneers those who had admired Abraham Lincoln the longest, who had, to the extent of their feeble might, lightened his herculean bur-den, and gained no sordid end in his mighty elevation. All day and night this inner circle also came and looked on their own hero of their own kind. At io o'clock on the morning of the second day a great choir of voices sang "Peace, Troubled Soul !" while the lid of the casket was closed to the eyes of the world. The military cortege moved, the Bishop spoke his words of faith and renunciation, the vault-door opened, the choir chanted "Unveil thy bosom, faithful tomb !" and the body of Abraham Lincoln was at rest, beyond the hurts of life.
From that day to this, the Savior of the Nation, the Emancipator of a race, has gained in the admiration of man. He demonstrated that when freemen settle a mat-ter by the ballot, it is useless for the minority to appeal to the bullet. He said it first; he made it true afterward. He, more than any man of whom the books preserve long narratives, was a living example of the efficacy of gentleness and moral suasion, as auxiliaries of force and arms. In all our catalogues of men he stands as the foremost personal exemplar of patience and forebearance. Orphans considered him their father; patriots considered him their savior; slaves considered him their liberator.