on a certain future Sunday, and gave him liberty to notify
the neighbors of the promised service.
As the appointed day approached, notice was given to
the whole neighborhood, embracing every family within
twenty miles. Neighbor carried the notice to neighbor. It
was scattered from every little school. There was probably
not a family that did not receive intelligence of the anx-
On a bright Sabbath morning, the settlers of the region
started for the cabin of the Lincolns; and, as they gathered
in, they presented a picture worthy the pencil of the
worthiest painter. Some came in carts of the rudest con-
struction, their wheels consisting of sections of the huge
boles of forest trees, and every other member the product
of the axe and auger; some came on horseback, two or
three upon a horse; others came in wagons drawn by oxen,
and still others came on foot. Two hundred persons in all
were assembled when Parson Elkin came out from the Lin-
coln cabin, accompanied by the little family, and proceeded
to the tree under which the precious dust of a wife and
mother was buried.
The congregation, seated upon stumps and logs around
the grave, received the preacher and the mourning family
in a silence broken only by the songs of birds, and the mur-
mur of insects, or the creaking cart of some late comer.
Taking his stand at the foot of the grave, Parson Elkin
lifted his voice in prayer and sacred song, and then preached
The occasion, the eager faces around him, and all the
sweet influences of the morning, inspired him with an un-
166 LINCOLN STORIES.
usual fluency and fervor; and the flickering sunlight, as it
glanced through the wind-parted leaves, caught many a
tear upon the bronzed cheeks of his auditors, while father
and son were overcome by the revival of their great grief.
He spoke of the precious Christian woman who had gone
with the warm praise which she deserved, and held her up
as an example of true womanhood.
Those who knew the tender and reverent spirit of Abra-
ham Lincoln later in life, will not doubt that he returned
to his cabin-home deeply impressed by all that lie had
heard. It was the rounding up for him of the influences
of a Christian mother's life and teachings. It recalled her
sweet and patient example, her assiduous efforts to inspire
him with pure and noble motives, her simple instructions
in divine truth, her devoted love for him, and the motherly
offices she had rendered him during all his tender years.
His character was planted in this Christian mother's life.
Its roots were fed by this Christian mother's love; and
those that have wondered at the truthfulness and earnest-
ness of his mature character, have only to remember that
the tree was true to the soil from which it sprung.
Something Concerning Mr. Lincoln's Religious Views.
The Rev. Mr. AVillets, of Brooklyn, gives an account of a
conversation with Mr. Lincoln, on the part of a lady of his
acquaintance, connected with the "Christian Commission,"
who in the prosecution of her duties had several interviews
The President, it seemed, had been much impressed with
the devotion and earnestness of purpose manifested by the
lady, and on one occasion, after she had discharged the
object of her visit, he said to her :
" Mrs. , I have formed a high opinion of your Chris-
tian character, and now, as we are alone, I have a mind to
ask you to give me, in brief, your idea of what constitutes
a true religious experience."
The lady replied at some length, stating that, in her
judgment, it consisted of a conviction of one's own sinful-
ness and weakness, and personal need of the Saviour for
strength and support; that views of mere doctrine might
and would differ, but when one was really brought to feel
his need of Divine help, and to seek the aid of the Holy
Spirit for strength and guidance, it was satisfactory evidence
of his having been born again. This was the substance of
When she had concluded, Mr. Lincoln was very thought-
ful for a few moments. He at length said, very earnestly,
" If what you have told me is really a correct view of this
great subject, I think I can say with sincerity, that I hope
I am a Christian. I had lived," he continued, " until my
boy Willie died, without realizing fully these things. That
blow overwhelmed me. It showed me my weakness as I
had never felt it before, and if I can take what you have
stated as a test, I think I can safely say that 1 know some-
thing of that change of which you speak; and I will fur-
ther add, that it has been my intention for some time, at a
suitable opportunity, to make a public religious profession."
Thurlow Weed's Recollections.
In a letter to the New York Lincoln Club, Thurlow
Weed remarks: I went to the Whig National Convention,
at Chicago, in 1860, warmly in favor of and confidently ex-
pecting the nomination of Governor Seward. That disap-
pointment of long-cherished hopes was a bitter one. I then
accepted, very reluctantly, an invitation to visit Mr. Lincoln
at his residence in Springfield, where, in an interesting con-
168 LINCOLN STORIES.
versation, even while smarting under the sense of injustice
to Mr. Seward, confidence in Mr. Lincoln's good sense, ca-
pacity and fidelity was inspired.
A campaign programme was agreed upon, and, returning
to Albany, I went to work as zealously and as cheerfully as
I should have done with Mr. Seward as our Presidential
nominee. Mr. Lincoln's inauguration simultaneously in-
augurated rebellion. Events soon proved that the Chicago
Convention had been wisely if not providentially guided.
The country in its greatest emergency had, what it so
greatly needed, the services of two, instead of one, of its
greatest and best men. With Lincoln as President and
Seward as Secretary of State, the right men were in the
With ample opportunities to study the character of Abra-
ham Lincoln, I never hesitated in declaring that his sense
of public and private duty and honor was as high and his
patriotism as devoted as that of George Washington.
Their names and their memories should descend to future
generations as examples worthy of imitation.
An Amusing Illustration.
One of Mr. Lincoln's illustrations given by him on one
occasion was that of a man who, in driving the hoops of a
hogshead to " head " it up, was much annoyed by the con-
stant falling in of the top. At length the bright idea
struck him of putting his little boy inside to " hold it up."
This he did; it never occurring to him till the job was
done, how he was to get his child out. "This,"' said Lin-
coln, " is a fair sample of the way some people always do
A Couple of Good Stories How Lincoln took His Altitude
A Prophetic Bowl of Milk.
Soon after Mr. Lincoln's nomination for the Presidency,
the Executive Chamber, a large tine room in the State
House at Springfield was set apart for him, where he met
the public until after his election.
As illustrative of the nature of many of his calls, the
following brace of incidents were related to Mr. Holland
by an eye witness: " Mr. Lincoln, being seated in conversa-
tion with a gentleman one day, two raw, plainly-dressed
young ' Suckers ' entered the room, and bashfully lingered
near the door. As soon as he observed them, and appre-
hended their embarrassment, he rose and walked to them,
saying, " How do you do, my good fellows ? What can I
do for you ? "Will you sit down ?" The spokesman of the
pair, the shorter of the two, declined to sit, and explained
the object of the call thus: he had had a talk about the
relative height of Mr. Lincoln and his companion, and had
asserted his belief that they were of exactly the same height.
He had come in to verify his judgment. Mr. Lincoln
smiled, went and got his cane, and, placing the end of it
upon the wall, said:
"Here, young man, come under here."
The young man came under the cane, as Mr. Lincoln held
it, and when it was perfectly adjusted to his height, Mr.
" Now, come out, and hold up the cane."
This he did while Mr. Lincoln stepped under. Rubbing
his head back and forth to see that it worked easily under
the measurement, he stepped out, and declared to the saga-
cious fellow who was curiously looking on, that he had
guessed with remarkable accuracy that he and the young
man were exactly of the same height. Then he shook hands
with them and sent them on their way. Mr. Lincoln would
170 LINCOLN STORIES.
just as soon have thought of cutting off his right hand as
he would have thought of turning those boys away with the
impression that they had in any way insulted his dignity.
They had hardly disappeared when an old and modestly-
dressed woman made her appearance. She knew Mr. Lin-
coln, but Mr. Lincoln did not at first recognize her. Then
she undertook to recall to his memory certain incidents con-
nected with his rides upon the circuit especially his dining
at her house upon the road at different times. Then he re-
membered her and her home. Having fixed her own place
in his recollection, she tried to recall to him a certain scanty
dinner of bread and milk that he once ate at her house. He
could not remember it -on the contrary, he only remem-
bered that he had always fared well at her house.
' ; Well," said she, " one day you came along after we had
got through dinner, and we had eaten up everything, and I
could give you nothing but a bowl of bread and milk; and
you ate it; and when you got up you said it was good
enough for the President of the United States!"
The good woman had come in from the country
making a journey of eight or ten miles, to relate to Mr.
Lincoln this incident, which, in her mind, had doubtless
taken the form of prophecy. Mr. Lincoln placed the hon-
est creature at her ease, chatted with her of old times, and
dismissed her in the most happy and complacent frame of
Lincoln's Love for the Little Ones.
Soon after his election as President and while visiting
Chicago, one evening at a social gathering Mr. Lincoln saw
a little girl timidly approaching him. He at once called
her to him, and asked the little girl what she wished.
She replied that she wanted his name.
Mr. Lincoln looked back into the room and said : " But
here are other little girls they would feel badly if I should
give my name only to you/'
The little girl replied that there were eight of them in all.
" Then," said Mr. Lincoln, ''get me eight sheets of paper,
and a pen and ink, and I will see what I can do for you."
The paper was brought, and Mr. Lincoln sat down in the
crowded drawing-room, and wrote a sentence upon each
sheet, appending his name; and thus every little girl car-
ried off her souvenir.
During the same visit and while giving a reception at one
of the hotels, a fond father took in a- little boy by the hand
who was anxious to see the new President. The moment
the child entered the parlor door he, of his own accord and
quite to the surprise of his father, took off his hat, and, giv-
ing it a swing, cried : " Hurrah for Lincoln ! " There was
a crowd, but as soon as Mr. Lincoln could get hold of the
little fellow, he lifted him in his hands, and, tossing him
towards the ceiling, laughingly shouted: "Hurrah for
you ! "
It was evidently a refreshing incident to Lincoln in the
dreary work of hand-shaking.
An Interesting Anecdote of Lincoln Related by Rev. J. P. Gulliver.
On the morning following Lincoln's speech, in Norwich,
Conn.. Mr. Gulliver met Mr. Lincoln upon a train of cars,
and entered into conversation with him. In speaking of
his speech, Mr. Gulliver remarked to Mr. Lincoln that he
thought it the most remarkable one he ever heard.
" Are you sincere in \vhat you say? " inquired Mr. Lin-
" I mean every word of it," replied the minister. ' In-
deed, sir," he continued, " I learned more of the art of
174 LINCOLN STORIES.
public speaking last evening than I could from a whole
course of lectures on rhetoric."
Then Mr. Lincoln informed him of " a most extraordinary
circumstance " that occurred at New Haven a few days
previously. A professor of rhetoric in Yale College, he
had been told, came to hear him, took notes of his speech,
and gave a lecture on it to his class the following day; and,
not satisfied with that, followed him to Meriden the next
evening, and heard him again for the same purpose. All
this seemed to Mr. Lincoln to be " very extraordinary."
He had been sufficiently astonished by his success at the
the West, but he hack no expectation of any marked success
at the East, particularly among literary and learned men.
" Now," said Mr. Lincoln, " I should very much like to
know what it was in my speech which you thought so re-
markable, and which interested my friend the professor so
Mr. Gulliver's answer was, " The clearness of your
statements, the unanswerable style of your reasoning, and,
especially, your illustrations, which were romance and
pathos and fun and logic all welded together."
After Mr. Gulliver had fully satisfied his curiosity by a
further exposition of the politician's peculiar power, Mr.
" I am much obliged to you for this. I have been wish-
ing for a long time to find some one who would make this
analysis for me. It throws light on a subject which has
been dark to me. I can understand very readily how such
a power as you have ascribed to me will account for the
effect which seems to be produced by my speeches. I hope
you have not been too flattering in your estimate. Cer-
tainly, I have had a most wonderful success for a man of
my limited education."
A Lincoln Story about Little Dan Webster's Soiled Hands! How
Dan Escaped a Flogging.
Mr. Lincoln, on one occasion narrated to Hon. Mr.
Odell and others, with much zest, the following story about
young Daniel Webster :
When quite young, at school, Daniel was one day guilty
of a gross violation of the rules. Pie was detected in the
act, and called up by the teacher for punishment. This was
to be the old-fashioned "feruling" of the hand. His
hands happended to be very dirty. Knowing this, on his
way to the teacher's desk, he spit upon the palm of his right
hand, wiping it off upon the side of his pantaloons.
" Give me your hand, sir," said the teacher, very sternly.
Out went the right hand, partly cleansed. The teacher
looked at it a moment, and said:
" Daniel ! if you will find another hand in this school-room
as filthy as that, I will let you off this time!"
Instantly from behind his back came the left hand.
" Here it is, sir," was the ready reply.
u That will do," said the teacher, "for this time; you can
take your seat, sir."
Lincoln and the Little Baby A Touching Story.
" Old Daniel," who was one of the White House ushers,
is responsible for the following touching story:
A poor woman from Philadelphia had been waiting with
a baby in her arms for several days to see the President.
It appeared by her story, that her husband had furnished a
substitute for the army, but sometime afterward, in a state
of intoxication, was induced to enlist. Upon reaching the
post assigned his regiment, he' deserted, thinking the gov-
ernment was not entitled to his services. Returning home,
he was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to be shot.
176 LINCOLN STORIES.
The sentence was to be executed on a Saturday. On
Monday his wife left her home with her baby, to endeavor
to see the President.
Said Daniel, ' She had been waiting here three days, and
there was no chance for her to get in. Late in the afternoon
of the third day, the President was going through the passage
to his private room to get a cup of tea. On the way he
heard the baby cry. He instantly went back to his office
and rang the bell.
" Daniel," said he, " is there a woman with a baby in the
I said there was, and if he would allow me to s5y it, it
was a case he ought to see; for it was a matter of life and
Said he, " Send her to me at once."
She went in, told her story, and the President pardoned
As the woman came out from his presence, her eyes were
lifted and her lips moving in prayer, the tears streaming
down her cheeks."
Said Daniel, " I went up to her, and pulling her shawl,
said, ' Madam, it was the baby that did it.' *
D. L. Moody's Story of Lincoln's Compassion What a Little Girl
Did with Mr. Lincoln to Save Her Brother.
During the war, says D. L. Moody, I remember a young
man, not twenty, who was court-martialed at the front
and sentenced to be shot. The story was this: The young
fellow had enlisted. He was not obliged to, but he went
off with another young man. They were what we would
call "chums." One night his companion was ordered out
on picket duty, and he asked the young man to go for him.
The next night he was ordered out himself; and having
been awake two nights, and not being used to it, fell asleep
at his post, and for the offense he was tried and sentenced to
death. It was right after the order issued by the President
that no interference would be allowed in cases of this kind.
This sort of thing had become too frequent, and it must be
stopped. When the news reached the father and mother in
Vermont it nearly broke their hearts. The thought that
their son should be shot was too great for them. They had
no hope that he would be saved by anything they could do.
But they had a little daughter who had read the life of
Abraham Lincoln, and knew how he had loved his own
children, and she said : " If Abraham Lincoln knew how
my father and mother loved my brother he wouldn't let him
be shot." That little girl thought this matter over and
made up her mind to see the President. She went to the
White House, and the sentinel, when he saw her imploring
looks, passed her in, and when she came to the door and
told the private secretary that she wanted to see the Presi-
dent, he could not refuse her. She came into the chamber
and found Abraham Lincoln surrounded by his generals
and counselors, and when he saw the,little country girl he
asked her what she wanted. The little' maid told her plain,
simple story how her brother, whom her father and
mother loved very dearly, had been sentenced to be shot ;
how they were mourning for him, and if he was to die in
that way it would break their hearts. The President's
heart was touched with compassion, and he immediately
sent a dispatch canceling the sentence and giving the boy a
parole so that he could come home and see that father and
mother. I just tell you this to show you how Abraham
Lincoln's heart was moved by compassion for the sorrow of
that father and mother, and if he showed so much do 3-011
think the Son of God 'will not have compassion upon you,
sinner, if you only take that crushed, bruised heart to Him ?
178 LINCOLN STORIES.
Lincsln Joking Douglas A Splendid " Whisky Cask.''
On one occasion, when Lincoln and Douglas were "stump-
ing " the State of Illinois together as political opponents,
Douglas, who had the first speech, remarked that in early
life, his father, who he said was an excellent cooper by
trade, apprenticed him out to learn the cabinet business.
This was too good for Lincoln to let pass, so when his
turn came to reply, he said :
" I had understood before that Mr. Douglas had been
bound out to learn the cabinet-making business, which is
all well enough, but I was not aware until now that his
father was a cooper. 1 have no doubt, however, that he was
one, and I am certain, also, that he was a very good one,
for (here Lincoln gently bowed toward Douglas) he has
made one of the best whisky casks I have ever seen.'*
As Douglas was a short heavy-set man, and occasionally
imbibed, the pith of the joke was at once apparent, and
most heartily enjoyed by all.
On another occasion, Douglas in one of his speeches,
made a strong point against Lincoln by telling the crowd
that when he first knew Mr. Lincoln he was a " grocery-
keeper, " and sold whisky, cigars, etc. % ' Mr. L.." he said,
' was a very good bar-tender !" This brought the laugh
on Lincoln, whose reply, however, soon came, and then the
laugh was on the other side.
" What Mr. Douglas has said, gentlemen," replied Mr.
Lincoln, "is true enough; I did keep a grocery and I did
sell cotton, candles and cigars, and sometimes whisky; but
I remember in those days that Mr. Douglas was one of my
' Many a time have I stood on one side of the counter and
sold whisky to Douglas on the other side, but the difference
between us now is this: I have left my side of the counter,
but Mr. Douglas still stick* to hits as tenaciously as ever ! '*
Lincoln's Life as Written by Himself The Whole Thing in a
The compiler of the '' Dictionary of Congress " states
that while preparing that work for publication in 1858, he
sent to Mr. Lincoln the usual request for a sketch of his
life, and received the following reply :
"Born February 12, 1809, in Ilardin County, Ken-
" Education Defective." " Profession a Lawyer " "Have
been a Captain of Volunteers in Black Hawk War."
" Postmaster at *a very small office." " Four times a member
of the Illinois Legislature, and was a member of the
Lower House of Congress." Yours, etc.
How Lincoln Won a Case from his Partner Laughable Toilet
"While Judge Logan, of Springfield, 111., was Lincoln's
partner, two fanners, who had a misunderstanding respect-
ing a horse trade, went to law. By mutual consent the
partners in law became antagonists in this case. On the
day of the trial Mr. Logan, having bought a new shirt,
open in the back, with a huge standing collar, dressed him-
self in extreme haste, and put on the shirt with the bosom
at the back, a linen coat concealing the blunder. He dazed
the jury with his knowledge of " horse points " and as the
day was sultry, took off his coat and summed up in his
Lincoln sitting behind him, took in the situation, And
when his turn came, remarked to the jury:
" Gentlemen, Mr. Logan has been trying for over an hour
to make you believe he knows more about a horse than
these honest old farmers who are witnesses. He has quoted
180 LINCOLN STORIES.
largely from his ' horse doctor,' and now, gentlemen, I sub-
mit to you, (here he lifted Logan out of his chair, and
turned him with his back to the jury and the crowd, at the
same time flipping up the enormous standing collar) what
dependence can you place in his horse knowledge when he
has not sense enough to put on his shirt f "
The roars of laughter that greeted this exhibition, and
the verdict that Lincoln got soon after, gave Logan a per-
manent prejudice against u bosom shirts."
Little Lincoln Stories.
AN old Englishman who resided in Springfield, Ills.,
hearing the results of the Political Convention at Chicago,
could not contain his astonishment. " What ! " said he,
" ABE LINCOLN nominated for President of the United
States ? Can it be possible ! A man that buys a ten cent
beef-steak for his breakfast, and carries it home himself! "
MR. LINCOLN being asked by a friend how he felt when the
returns came in that insured his defeat, replied that " he
felt, he supposed, very much like the stripling who had
stumped his toe; too badly to laugh and too l)ig to c/'t/.'
A YOUNG man bred in Springfield speaks of a vision that
has clung to his memory very vividly, of Mr. Lincoln as he
appeared in those days. His way to school led by the
lawyer's door. On almost any fair summer morning, he
could find Mr. Lincoln on the sidewalk, in front of his
house, drawing a child back and forth, in a baby carriage.
MR. LINCOLN never made his profession lucrative to him-
self. It was very difficult for him to charge a heavy fee to
anybody, and still more difficult for him to charge his
friends anything at all for professional services. To a poor
client, he was quite as apt to give money as to take it from
him. He never encouraged the spirit of litigation. Henry
McHenry, one of his old clients, says that he went to Mr.
Lincoln with a case to prosecute, and that Mr. Lincoln
refused to have anything to do with it, because he was not
strictly in the right. " You can give the other party a
great deal of trouble," said the lawyer, " and perhaps beat
him, but you had better let the suit alone."
FROM the original manuscript of one of Mr. Lincoln's
speeches, these words are transferred: "Twenty-two years