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ures, now touched into softness by the impressions of the moment, I felt an irrepressible curiosity to learn something more about him, and while he was quietly leaving the room I begged to know his name. He courteously replied, It is Abraham Lincoln, from Illinois. Mr. Nelson Sizer, one of the gallery ushers of Henry Ward Beecher's church in Brooklyn, told me that about the time of the Cooper Institute speech, Mr. Lincoln was twice present at the morning services of that church. On the first occasion, he was accompanied by his friend, George B. Lincoln, Esq., and occupied a prominent seat in the centre of the house. On a subsequent Sunday morning, not long afterwards, the church was packed, as usual, and the services had proceeded to the announcement of the text, when the gallery door at the right of the organ-loft opened, and the tall figure of Mr. Lincoln entered, alone. Again in the city over Sunday, he started out by himself to find the church, which he reached considerabl
made her way to the President. He listened to her story, examined the record, and said that his opinion accorded with that of the Secretary of War; he could do nothing for her. Heart-broken, she was compelled to relinquish her last hope. One of the friends who had become interested, upon learning the result of the application, waited upon Senator Harris. That gentleman said that his engagements utterly precluded his going to see the President upon the subject, until twelve o'clock of the second night following. This brought the time to Wednesday night, and the sentence was to be executed on Thursday. Judge Harris, true to his word, called at the White House at twelve o'clock Wednesday night. The President had retired, but the interview was granted. The point made was that the boy was insane,--thus irresponsible, and his execution would be murder. Pardon was not asked, but a reprieve, until a proper medical examination could be made. This was so reasonable that Mr. Lincoln acq
Li. The Baltimore Convention, which renominated Mr. Lincoln, was convened July 7, 1864. It created comparatively little excitement in Washington or elsewhere, as the action of the various State legislatures and local mass meetings had prepared the public mind for the result. Toward evening of the 8th,--the day the nominations were made,--Major Hay and myself were alone with the President in his office. He did not seem in any degree exhilarated by the action of the convention; on the contrary, his manner was subdued, if not sad. Upon the lighting of the gas, he told us how he had that afternoon received the news of the nomination for Vice-President before he heard of his own. It appeared that the despatch announcing his renomination had been sent to his office from the War Department--while he was at lunch. Afterward, without going back to the official chamber, he proceeded to the War Department. While there, the telegram came in announcing the nomination of Johnson. What
f punishing Tad, as I think he ought, he evidently looks upon it as a good joke, and won't do anything about it! Tad, however, presently went to bed, and then the men were quietly discharged. And so it happened that the presidential mansion was unguarded one night, at least, during the war! The second week in July the whole country, and Washington in particular, was thrown into a fever of anxiety by the rebel raid upon that city under Early and Breckinridge. The night of Sunday, the 10th, I have always believed the city might have been captured had the enemy followed up his advantage. The defences were weak, and there were comparatively but few troops in the city or vicinity. All day Monday the excitement was at the highest pitch. At the White House the cannonading at Fort Stevens was distinctly heard throughout the day. During Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, the President visited the forts and outworks, part of the time accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln. While at Fort Stevens on
that of digging the potatoes. Charmed with his sagacity, he stood one day leaning against the fence, counting his hogs, when a neighbor came along. Well, well, said he, Mr. Case, this is all very fine. Your hogs are doing very well just now, but you know out here in Illinois the frost comes early, and the ground freezes a foot deep. Then what are they going to do? This was a view of the matter Mr. Case had not taken into account. Butchering-time for hogs was way on in December or January. He scratched his head, and at length stammered, Well, it may come pretty hard on their snouts, but I don't see but that it will be root, hog, or die! Shortly afterward, he continued, a reference was casually made to Colonel Hardin, who was killed in the Mexican War,--who at one time was a representative in Congress from Illinois; and this drew out a story from Stephens. On a certain occasion, he said, when the House was in session, a dispute arose between Hardin and others of
January 1st (search for this): chapter 8
he following Monday. At the final meeting of September 20th, another interesting incident occurred in connection with Secretary Seward. The President had written the important part of the proclamation in these words:-- That, on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixtythree, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thencefoought to take this ground; and the words finally went in! It is a somewhat remarkable fact, he subsequently remarked, that there were just one hundred days between the dates of the two proclamations issued upon the 22d of September and the 1st of January. I had not made the calculation at the time. Having concluded this interesting statement, the President then proceeded to show me the various positions occupied by himself and the different members of the Cabinet, on the occasion of the f
made his Cooper Institute speech in New - York,much the best portrait, by the way, in circulation of him during the campaign,--was the means of his election. That it helped largely to this end I do not doubt. The effect of such influences, though silent, is powerful. Fremont once said to me, that the villanous wood-cut published by the New York Tribune, the next day after his nomination, lost him twenty-five votes in one township, to his certain knowledge. On one of the last days of February, I called, with my friend W-, of New York, upon Mr. Lovejoy, who was supposed to be convalescent. He thought himself nearly well again, and was in fine spirits. Indications of an organized movement to bring forward Fremont, as an opposition candidate to Mr. Lincoln, had recently appeared. Mr. Lovejoy was very severe upon it; he said, Any attempt to divide the party at such a time was criminal in the last degree. I remember observing that many of the extreme anti-slavery men appeared to
Lx. The famous peace conference, on board the River Queen, in Hampton Roads, between President Lincoln and Secretary Seward, and the Rebel commissioners Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, took place the 3d of February, 1865. A few days afterward My six months proper, at the White House, terminated, as will be seen, the last week in July, 1864. February and a part of March following I passed in Washington, and was privileged with a renewal of my previous intercourse with Mr. Lincoln. I asked the President if it was true, as reported by the New York Herald, that he told a little story on that occasion?--Why, said he, has it leaked out? I was in hopes nothing would be said about that, lest some oversensitive people should imagine there was a degree of levity in the intercourse between us. He then went on to relate the circumstances which called it out. You see, said he, we had reached and were discussing the slavery question. Mr. Hunter said, substantially, that the slaves, alw
clearing up the underbrush which covered the ground. Entering heartily upon an attempt at pacification, he at length succeeded in mollifying Shields, and the whole party returned harmoniously to Springfield, and thus the matter ended. This version of the affair coming from an eyewitness is undoubtedly in all respects correct. It subsequently came in my way to know that Mr. Lincoln himself regarded the circumstance with much regret and mortification, and hoped it might be forgotten. In February preceding his death a distinguished officer of the army called at the White House, and was entertained by the President and Mrs. Lincoln for an hour in the parlor. During the conversation the gentleman said, turning to Mrs. Lincoln, Is it true, Mr. President, as I have heard, that you once went out to fight a duel for the sake of the lady by your side? I do not deny it, replied Mr. Lincoln, with a flushed face; but if you desire my friendship, you will never mention the circumstance ag
February 10th (search for this): chapter 16
Xv. Wednesday night, February 10th, was an exciting one at the White House, the stables belonging to the mansion being burned to the ground. The loss most severely felt was of the two ponies, one of which had belonged to Willie Lincoln, the President's second son, who died in 1862, and the other to Tad, the youngest, and pet of his father, who in his infancy nicknamed him Tadpole subsequently abbreviated to Taddie, and then) Tad. His real name is Thomas, named for the father of Mr. Lincoln. Upon Tad's learning of the loss, he threw himself at full length upon the floor, and could not be comforted. The only allusion I ever heard the President make to Willie was on this occasion, in connection with the loss of his pony. John Hay, the assistant private secretary, told me that he was rarely known to speak of his lost son. The morning following the fire, Robert Lincoln came into his father's office, and said he had a point of law which he wished to submit. It appeared that o
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