previous next
Anecdote of President Lincoln.--Mr. Lincoln's practical shrewdness is exemplified in the following anecdote, which is sufficiently characteristic:

In the purlieus of the Capitol at Washington, the story goes that, after the death of Chief-Justice Taney, and before the appointment of Mr. Chase in his stead, a committee of citizens from the Philadelphia Union League, with a distinguished journalist at their head as chairman, proceeded to Washington, for the purpose of laying before the President the reason why, in their opinion, Mr. Chase should be appointed to the vacancy on the bench. They took with them a memorial addressed to the President, which was read to him by one of the committee. After listening to the memorial, the President said to them, in a very deliberate manner: “Will you do me the favor to leave that paper with me? I want it in order that, if I appoint Mr. Chase, I may show the friends of the other persons for whom the office is solicited, by how powerful an influence and by what strong personal recommendations the claims of Mr. Chase were supported.”

The committee listened with great satisfaction, and [6] were about to depart, thinking that Mr. Chase was sure of the appointment, when they perceived that Mr. Lincoln had not finished what he intended to say. “And, I want the paper also,” continued he, after a pause, “in order that, if I should appoint any other person, I may show his friends how powerful an influence and what strong recommendations I was obliged to disregard in appointing him.” The committee departed as wise as they came.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Washington (United States) (2)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Chase (5)
A. Lincoln (3)
Taney (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: