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Abraham Lincoln (search for this): chapter 1
but true, in all essential particulars. There has been no disposition to select from, embellish, or suppress, any portion of the material in my possession. The incidents given were not in any sense isolated exceptions to the daily routine of Mr. Lincoln's life. My aim has been throughout these pages to portray the man as he was revealed to me, without any attempt at idealization. In addition to my own reminiscences, I have woven into the book various personal incidents, published and unpublished, which bear intrinsic evidence of genuineness,--attaching in these instances, where it seemed necessary and proper, the sources of such contributions. I am not one of those inclined to believe that Mr. Lincoln, in the closing months of his career, reached the full measure of his greatness. Man may not read the future: but it is my firm conviction, that, had he lived through his second term, he would have continued to grow, as he had grown, in the estimation and confidence of his c
Rocky Mountains (search for this): chapter 1
reached the full measure of his greatness. Man may not read the future: but it is my firm conviction, that, had he lived through his second term, he would have continued to grow, as he had grown, in the estimation and confidence of his countrymen; rising to a grander moral height with every emergency, careful always to weigh every argument opposed to his convictions, but, once mounted upon those convictions, grounded in righteousness, as immovable as one of the giant ranges of our own Rocky Mountains! Aspiring in no sense to the dignity of a biography, this volume will fulfil its object if it helps to any better knowledge of one, who, apart from the reverence with which he ever will be regarded for his connection with the cause of human Freedom, was the best product and exemplar which the world has yet seen of American soil and institutions; the study of whose character, illustrating as it did the highest form of statesmanship, founded upon truth, justice, and solid integrity,
Abraham Lincoln (search for this): chapter 2
I. I leave to other and abler pens the proper estimate of Abraham Lincoln as a ruler and statesman, his work and place in history. Favored during the year 1864 with several months of personal intercourse with him, I shall attempt in these pages to write the story of that association; not for any value which the record will have in itself; but for the glimpses it may afford of the person and character of the man,--every detail of whose life is now invested with enduring interest for the American people.
I. I leave to other and abler pens the proper estimate of Abraham Lincoln as a ruler and statesman, his work and place in history. Favored during the year 1864 with several months of personal intercourse with him, I shall attempt in these pages to write the story of that association; not for any value which the record will have in itself; but for the glimpses it may afford of the person and character of the man,--every detail of whose life is now invested with enduring interest for the American people.
e seems selfevident. If it fails to do this, whatever else it may accomplish, it falls short of its highest object. It cannot dwell always among classic forms, nor clothe its conceptions in the imagery of an old and wornout world. It must move on, if it is to keep pace with that increasing purpose which through the ages runs, and its ideals must be wrought out of the strife of a living humanity. It has been well said by a recent writer: The record of the human family to the advent of Christ, was the preparation of the photographic plate for its image. All subsequent history is the bringing out of the divine ideal of true manhood. Slowly, but surely, through the centuries, is this purpose being accomplished. Human slavery has been the material type or expression of spiritual bondage. On the lowest or physical plane, it has symbolized the captivity and degradation of our higher nature; with the breaking in of new light, and the inspiration of a deeper life, it is inevitably d
Abraham Lincoln (search for this): chapter 4
Iii. When Abraham Lincoln, called from the humblest rank in life to preside over the nation during the most momentous period of its history, uttered his Proclamation of Freedom,--shattering forever the chains which bound four millions of human beings in slavery; an act unparalleled for moral grandeur in the history of mankind,--it was evident to all who sought beneath the surface for the cause of the war that the crisis was past,--that so surely as Heaven is on the side of Right and Justice, the North would triumph in the great struggle which had assumed the form of a direct issue between Freedom and Slavery. In common with many others, I had from the beginning of the war believed that the government would not be successful in putting down a rebellion based upon slavery as its avowed corner-stone, without striking a death-blow at the institution itself. As the months went on, and disappointment and disaster succeeded one another, this conviction deepened into certainty. Wh
tice, the North would triumph in the great struggle which had assumed the form of a direct issue between Freedom and Slavery. In common with many others, I had from the beginning of the war believed that the government would not be successful in putting down a rebellion based upon slavery as its avowed corner-stone, without striking a death-blow at the institution itself. As the months went on, and disappointment and disaster succeeded one another, this conviction deepened into certainty. When at length, in obedience to what seemed the very voice of God, the thunderbolt was launched, and, like the first gun at Concord, was heard around the world, all the enthusiasm of my nature was kindled. The beast Secession, offspring of the dragon Slavery, drawing in his train a third part of our national stars, was pierced with the deadly wound which could not be healed. It was the combat between Michael and Satan of Apocalyptic vision, reenacted before the eyes of the nineteenth century.
Concord, N. H. (New Hampshire, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
tice, the North would triumph in the great struggle which had assumed the form of a direct issue between Freedom and Slavery. In common with many others, I had from the beginning of the war believed that the government would not be successful in putting down a rebellion based upon slavery as its avowed corner-stone, without striking a death-blow at the institution itself. As the months went on, and disappointment and disaster succeeded one another, this conviction deepened into certainty. When at length, in obedience to what seemed the very voice of God, the thunderbolt was launched, and, like the first gun at Concord, was heard around the world, all the enthusiasm of my nature was kindled. The beast Secession, offspring of the dragon Slavery, drawing in his train a third part of our national stars, was pierced with the deadly wound which could not be healed. It was the combat between Michael and Satan of Apocalyptic vision, reenacted before the eyes of the nineteenth century.
Abraham Lincoln (search for this): chapter 5
tion of the Secretary of State, and I determined upon such an incident as the moment of time to be represented. I was subsequently surprised and gratified when Mr. Lincoln himself, reciting the history of the Proclamation to me, dwelt particularly upon the fact that not only was the time of its issue decided by Secretary Seward's the completion of the design I went to see a friend who I knew was intimate with the Hon. Schuyler Colfax and Hon. Owen Lovejoy, through whom I hoped to obtain Mr. Lincoln's assent to my plan. I revealed to him my purpose, and asked his assistance in carrying it into effect. During the following week he went to Washington, and id: In short, if I understand you, you wish me to consent to sit to this artist for the picture? My friends acknowledged this to be the object of their errand. Mr. Lincoln at once, with his accustomed kindness, promised his cooperation. The last day of the year the Hon. Mr. Lovejoy, whom I had never met, but who had become war
Iv. To paint a picture which should commemorate this new epoch in the history of Liberty, was a dream which took form and shape in my mind towards the close of the year 1863,--the year made memorable in its dawn by the issue of the final decree. With little experience to adapt me for the execution of such a work, there had nevertheless come to me at times glowing conceptions of the true purpose and character of Art, and an intense desire to do something expressive of appreciation of the great issues involved in the war. The painters of old had delighted in representations of the birth from the ocean of Venus, the goddess of love. Ninety years ago upon this Western continent had been witnessed — no dream of fable, but a substantial fact — the immaculate conception of Constitutional Liberty; and at length through great travail its consummation had been reached. The longprayed — for year of jubilee had come; the bonds of the oppressed were loosed; the prison doors were opened. B<
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