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Browsing named entities in a specific section of William H. Herndon, Jesse William Weik, Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life, Etiam in minimis major, The History and Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln by William H. Herndon, for twenty years his friend and Jesse William Weik. Search the whole document.

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ver there was in toil and sublime patience; whatever there was in these things or a wise combination of them, Lincoln is justly entitled to in making up the impartial verdict of history. These limit and define him as a statesman, as an orator, as an executive of the nation, and as a man. They developed in all the walks of his life; they were his law; they were his nature, they were Abraham Lincoln. This long, bony, sad man floated down the Sangamon river in a frail canoe in the spring of 1831. Like a piece of driftwood he lodged at last, without a history, strange, penniless, and alone. In sight of the capital of Illinois, in the fatigue of daily toil he struggled for the necessaries of life. Thirty years later this same peculiar man left the Sangamon river, backed by friends, by power, by the patriotic prayers of millions of people, to be the ruler of the greatest nation in the world. As the leader of a brave people in their desperate struggle for national existence, Abrah
cides on the fitness, the harmony, or, if you will, the beauty and appropriateness of things. I have always thought, and sometimes said, Lincoln lacked this quality in his mental structure. He was on the alert if a principle was involved or a man's rights at stake in a transaction; but he never could see the harm in wearing a sack-coat instead of a swallowtail to an evening party, nor could he realize the offense of telling a vulgar yarn if a preacher happened to be present. Sometime in 1857 a lady reader or elocutionist came to Springfield and gave a public reading in a hall immediately north of the State House. As lady lecturers were then rare birds, a very large crowd greeted her. Among other things she recited Nothing to wear, a piece in which is described the perplexities that beset Miss Flora McFlimsey in her efforts to appear fashionable. In the midst of one stanza, in which no effort is made to say anything particularly amusing, and during the reading of which the audie
Chapter 20. the substance of this chapter I delivered in the form of a lecture to a Springfield audience in 1866. W. H. H. The visit of Dr. Holland to Springfield. what he learned from Lincoln's neighbors. their contradictory opinions. description by the author of Lincoln's person. how he walked. his face and head. cause of his melancholy. his perceptions. his memory and association of ideas. concentration of thought. the crucible of his analytical mind. the secret of his judgment. the faith of his opinions and the firmness of his conclusions. his belief in the power of motive. the four great elements of his character. his reason; his conscience; his sense of right; his love of the truth. a meek, quiet, unobtrusive gentleman. his humanity. will power. want of interest in local affairs and small things. love for his friends. the combination of characteristics. his intense devotion to the truth. his weak points.--cool and masterly power of statement
February 9th, 1866 AD (search for this): chapter 21
hicago to try a suit in the United States Court — his wife and I formed a conspiracy to take off the roof and raise his house. It was originally a frame structure one story and a half high. When Lincoln returned he met a gentleman on the sidewalk and, looking at his own house and manifesting great surprise, inquired: Stranger, can you tell me where Lincoln lives? The gentleman gave him the necessary information, and Lincoln gravely entered his own premises. --Statement, James Gourly, February 9, 1866. If a friend met or passed him, and he awoke from his reverie, something would remind him of a story he had heard in Indiana, and tell it he would, and there was no alternative but to listen. Thus, I repeat, stood and walked and talked this singular man. He was odd, but when that gray eye and that face and those features were lit up by the inward soul in fires of emotion, then it was that all those apparently ugly features sprang into organs of beauty or disappeared in the sea of i
January 22nd, 1867 AD (search for this): chapter 21
Lincoln seems to me too true and honest a man to have his eulogy written, and I have no taste for writing eulogies. I am sure that, if he were alive, he would feel that the exact truth regarding himself was far more worthy of himself and of his biographer than any flattering picture. I loved the man as he was, with his rugged features, his coarse, rebellious hair, his sad, dreamy eyes; and I love to see him, and I hope to describe him, as he was, and not otherwise. --Robert Dale Owen, January 22, 1867, Ms.--as he was asked to do when he made his house-divided-against-itself speech --and his soul would have exclaimed with indignant scorn, The world perish first! Such was Lincoln's will. Because on one line of questions — the non-essential — he was pliable, and on the other he was as immovable as the rocks, have arisen the contradictory notions prevalent regarding him. It only remains to say that he was inflexible and unbending in human transactions when it was necessary to be so,
ows cropped out 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 undercurved, while his chin reached for the lip upcurved; his neck was neat and trim, his head being well balanced on it; there was the lone mole on the right cheek, and Adam's apple on his throat. Thus stood, walked, acted, and looked Abraham Lincoln. He was not a pretty man by any means, 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 appeared simple in his carriage and bearing. He was a sad-looking man; his melancholy dripped from him as he walked. His apparent gloom impressed his friends, Lincoln's melancholy never failed to impress any man who e
Henry Clay (search for this): chapter 21
that he was a tricky man; but, in reality, it was the walk of caution and firmness. In sitting down on a common chair he was no taller than ordinary men. His legs and arms were abnormally, unnaturally long, and in undue proportion to the remainder of his body. It was only when he stood up that he loomed above other men. Mr. Lincoln's head was long, and tall from the base of the brain and from the eyebrows. His head ran backwards, his forehead rising as it ran back at a low angle, like Clay's, and unlike Webster's, which was almost perpendicular. The size of his hat measured at the hatter's block was seven and one-eighth, his head being, from ear to ear, six and one-half inches, and from the front to the back of the brain eight inches. Thus measured it was not below the medium size. His forehead was narrow but high; his hair was dark, almost black, and lay floating where his fingers or the winds left it, piled up at random. His cheek-bones were high, sharp, and prominent; his
James Gourly (search for this): chapter 21
he had gone to Chicago to try a suit in the United States Court — his wife and I formed a conspiracy to take off the roof and raise his house. It was originally a frame structure one story and a half high. When Lincoln returned he met a gentleman on the sidewalk and, looking at his own house and manifesting great surprise, inquired: Stranger, can you tell me where Lincoln lives? The gentleman gave him the necessary information, and Lincoln gravely entered his own premises. --Statement, James Gourly, February 9, 1866. If a friend met or passed him, and he awoke from his reverie, something would remind him of a story he had heard in Indiana, and tell it he would, and there was no alternative but to listen. Thus, I repeat, stood and walked and talked this singular man. He was odd, but when that gray eye and that face and those features were lit up by the inward soul in fires of emotion, then it was that all those apparently ugly features sprang into organs of beauty or disappeared
Nancy Hanks (search for this): chapter 21
igin. The recollection of these things burned a deep impress on his sensitive soul. As to the cause of this morbid condition my idea has always been that it was occult, and could not be explained by any course of observation and reasoning. It was ingrained, and, being ingrained, could not be reduced to rule, or the cause arrayed. It was necessarily hereditary, but whether it came down from a long line of ancestors and far back, or was simply the reproduction of the saddened life of Nancy Hanks, cannot well be determined. At any rate it was part of his nature. and could no more be shaken off than he could part with his brains. and created sympathy for him --one means of his great success. He was gloomy, abstracted, and joyous — rather humorousby turns; but I do not think he knew what real joy was for many years. Mr. Lincoln sometimes walked our streets cheerily, he was not always gloomy, and then it was that on meeting a friend he greeted him with plain Howd'y? clasping
n public life. The adulation by base multitudes of a living, and the pageantry surrounding a dead, President do not shake my well-settled convictions of the man's mental calibre. Physiologically and phrenologically the man was a sort of monstrosity. His frame was large, long, bony, and muscular; his head, small and disproportionately shaped. He had large, square jaws: large, heavy nose; small, lascivious mouth; and soft, tender, bluish eyes. I would say he was a cross between Venus and Hercules. I believe it to be inconsistent with the laws of human organization for any such creature to possess a mind capable of anything called great. The man's mind partook of the incongruities of his body. He had no mind not possessed by the most ordinary of men. It was simply the peculiarity of his mental and the oddity of his physical structure, as well as the qualities of his heart that singled him out from the mass of men. His native love of justice, truth, and humanity led his mind a grea
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