The article was a very carefully prepared digest of historical precedents in relation to the subject of amnesty, in connection with treason and rebellion.
It analyzed English and continental history, and reviewed elaborately the action of President Washington in reference to Shay's and the subsequent whiskey rebellion.
I had read but two or three pages, said Mr. Owen, in giving me this account, when Mr. Lincoln assumed an erect posture, and, fixing his eyes intently upon me, seemed wholly ontents of the manuscript.
Frequently he would break in with: Was that so?
Please read that paragraph again, etc. When at length I came to Washington's proclamation to those engaged in the whiskey rebellion, he interrupted me with: What!
did Washington issue a proclamation of amnesty?
Here it is, sir, was the reply.
Well, I never knew that, he rejoined; and so on through.
Upon the conclusion of the manuscript, Mr. Lincoln said: Mr. Owen, is that for me?
Certainly, sir, said Mr. O., ha
th people listening to the weekly concert of the Marine Band, the President appeared upon the portico.
Instantly there was a clapping of hands and clamor for a speech.
Bowing his thanks, and excusing himself, he stepped back into the retirement of the circular parlor, remarking to me, with a disappointed air, as he reclined upon the sofa, I wish they would let me sit out there quietly, and enjoy the music.
I stated to him on this occasion, that I believed no President, since the days of Washington, ever secured the hearts of the people, and carried them with him as he had done.
To this he replied that, in such a crisis as the country was then passing through, it was natural that the people should look more earnestly to their leaders than at other periods.
He thought their regard for any man in his position who should sincerely have done his best to save the government from destruction, would have been equally as marked and expressive; to which I did not by any means assent.
d you; and I said if He spared me I would see you before the four years expired, and He has done so, and now I am here to see you for myself.
He then congratulated me on my having been spared.
Then I said: I appreciate you, for you are the best President who has ever taken the seat.
He replied thus: I expect you have reference to my having emancipated the slaves in my proclamation.
But, said he, mentioning the names of several of his predecessors, (and among them emphatically that of Washington,) they were all just as good, and would have done just as I have done if the time had come.
If the people over the river (pointing across the Potomac) had behaved themselves, I could not have done what I have; but they did not, and I was compelled to do these things.
I then said: I thank God that you were the instrument selected by Him and the people to do it.
He then showed me the Bible presented to him by the colored people of Baltimore, of which you have heard.
I have seen it for
eeks and under his eyes being very marked.
The mouth was his plainest feature, varying widely from classical models,--nevertheless expressive of much firmness and gentleness of character.
His complexion was inclined to sallowness, though I judged this to be the result, in part, of his anxious life in Washington.
His eyes were blueish-gray in color,--always in deep shadow, however, from the upper lids, which were unusually heavy, (reminding me, in this respect, of Stuart's portrait of Washington,)--and the expression was remarkably pensive and tender, often inexpressibly sad, as if the reservoir of tears lay very near the surface,--a fact proved not only by the response which accounts of suffering and sorrow invariably drew forth, but by circumstances which would ordinarily affect few men in his position.
The Hon. Mr. Frank, of New York, told me that just after the nomination of Mr. Chase as Chief Justice, a deeply interesting conversation upon this subject took place one even
at chap smells no blood of royalty in this establishment.
Captain Mix was frequently invited to breakfast with the family at the Home residence.
Many times, said he, have I listened to our most eloquent preachers, but never with the same feeling of awe and reverence, as when our Christian President, his arm around his son, with his deep, earnest tone, each morning read a chapter from the Bible.
Some one was discussing, in the presence of Mr. Lincoln, the character of a time-serving Washington clergyman.
Said Mr. Lincoln to his visitor:--
I think you are rather hard upon Mr.--. He reminds me of a man in Illinois, who was tried for passing a counterfeit bill.
It was in evidence that before passing it he had taken it to the cashier of a bank and asked his opinion of the bill, and he received a very prompt reply that it was a counterfeit.
His lawyer, who had heard of the evidence to be brought against his client, asked him, just before going into court, Did you take the bill