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On the morning of Mr. Lincoln's arrival in Washington, just before his inauguration, it will be remembered that the Peace Convention was in session. Among those who were earliest to call upon him was a gentleman from Pennsylvania, who had been in Congress with him, and who was a member of the Peace Convention. He at once commenced plying the President elect with urgent reasons for compromising matters in dispute, [230] saying, “It must be done sooner or later, and that this seemed the propitious moment.” Listening attentively to all that was said, Mr. Lincoln finally replied: “Perhaps your reasons for compromising the alleged difficulties are correct, and that now is the favorable time to do it; still, if I remember correctly, that is not what I was elected for!”

The same day, at Willard's Hotel, a gentleman from Connecticut was introduced, who said he wanted nothing but to take the incoming President by the hand. Mr. Lincoln surveyed him from head to foot, and giving him a cordial grasp, replied: “You are a rare man.”

During the brief period that the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher was editor-in-chief of the “Independent,” in the second year of the war, he felt called upon to pass some severe strictures upon the course of the administration. For several weeks the successive leaders of the editorial page were like bugle-blasts, waking the echoes throughout the country. Somebody cut these editorials out of the different numbers of the paper, and mailed them all to the President under one envelop. One rainy Sunday he took them from his drawer, and read them through to the very last word. One or two of the articles were in Mr. Beecher's strongest style, and criticized the President in no measured terms. As Mr. Lincoln finished reading them, his face flushed up with indignation. Dashing the package to the floor, he exclaimed, “Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?” [231]

The excitement, however, soon passed off, leaving no trace behind of ill — will toward Mr. Beecher; and the impression made upon his mind by the criticism was lasting and excellent in its effects.

Mr. Lincoln's popularity with the soldiers and the people is well illustrated in the following incidents.

Just after the presidential nominations had been made in 1864, a discussion arose in a certain regiment in the Army of the Potomac as to the merits of the two candidates. Various opinions had been warmly expressed, when at length a German spoke. “I goes,” said he, “for Fader Abraham. Fader Abraham, he likes the soldier-boy. Ven he serves tree years he gives him four hundred tollar, and reenlists him von veteran. Now Fader Abraham, he serve four years. We reenlist him four years more, and make von veteran of him.”

The night following the election, a clergyman of Middletown, Conn., at a torchlight display, exhibited a transparency over his door, with a quotation from Genesis XXII. 15,--“The angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven a second time.”

A few days before the reinauguration of Mr. Lincoln, my picture was placed temporarily on exhibition in the Rotunda of the Capitol. As the workmen were raising it to its place, over the northern door leading to the Senate Chamber, a group gathered in front of it, among whom was policeman R--, of the Capitol squad. As the painting reached its position, a wandering sunbeam crept in from the top of the great dome and settled full upon [232] the head of Mr. Lincoln, leaving all the rest of the picture in shadow. The effect was singular and wonderful. “Look!” exclaimed the enthusiastic R-, pointing to the canvas; “that is as it should be. God bless him; may the sun shine upon his head forever.”

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