Francis Fisher Browne.

The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln A Narrative And Descriptive Biography With Pen-Pictures And Personal Recollections By Those Who Knew Him online

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_"How beautiful to see
Once more a shepherd of mankind indeed.
Who loved his charge, but never loved to lead;
One whose meek flock the people joyed to be,
Not lured by any cheat of birth,
But by his clear-grained human worth,
And brave old wisdom of sincerity!
They knew that outward grace is dust;
They could not choose but trust
In that sure-footed mind's unfaltering skill,
And supple-tempered will
That bent like perfect steel to spring again and thrust.
His was no lonely mountain-peak of mind,
Thrusting to thin air o'er our cloudy bars,
A sea-mark now, now lost in vapors blind;
Broad prairie rather, genial, level-lined,
Fruitful and friendly for all human kind,
Yet also nigh to heaven and loved of loftiest stars_.

_"Great captains, with their guns and drums,
Disturb our judgment for the hour,
But at last silence comes;
These all are gone, and, standing like a tower,
Our children shall behold his fame,
The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man,
Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame,
New birth of our new soil, the first American."_






_Compiler of "Golden Poems," "Bugle Echoes, Pose of
the Civil War," "Laurel-Crowned Verse," etc._





The present revision of "The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln" was the
last literary labor of its author. He had long wished to undertake the
work, and had talked much of it for several years past. But favorable
arrangements for the book's republication were not completed until about
a year ago. Then, though by no means recovered from an attack of
pneumonia late in the previous winter, he took up the task of revision
and recasting with something of his old-time energy. It was a far
heavier task than he had anticipated, but he gave it practically his
undivided attention until within three or four weeks of his death. Only
when the last pages of manuscript had been despatched to the printer did
he yield to the overwhelming physical suffering that had been upon him
for a long time past. His death occurred at Santa Barbara, California,
on May 11.

Francis Fisher Browne was born at South Halifax, Vermont, on December 1,
1843. His parentage, on both sides, was of the purest New England stock.
Early in his childhood, the family moved to Western Massachusetts, where
the boy went to school and learned the printing trade in his father's
newspaper office at Chicopee. As a lad of eighteen, he left the high
school in answer to the government's call for volunteers, serving for a
year with the 46th Massachusetts Regiment in North Carolina and with the
Army of the Potomac. When the regiment was discharged, in 1863, he
decided to take up the study of law. Removing to Rochester, N.Y., he
entered a law office in that city; and a year or two later began a brief
course in the law department of the University of Michigan. He was
unable to continue in college, however, and returned to Rochester to
follow his trade.

Immediately after his marriage, in 1867, he came to Chicago, with the
definite intention of engaging in literary work. Here he became
associated with "The Western Monthly," which, with the fuller
establishment of his control, he rechristened "The Lakeside Monthly."
The best writers throughout the West were gradually enlisted as
contributors; and it was not long before the magazine was generally
recognized as the most creditable and promising periodical west of the
Atlantic seaboard. But along with this increasing prestige came a series
of extraneous setbacks and calamities, culminating in a complete
physical breakdown of its editor and owner, which made the magazine's
suspension imperative.

[Illustration: FRANCIS F. BROWNE]

The six years immediately following, from 1874 to 1880, were largely
spent in a search for health. During part of this time, however, Mr.
Browne acted as literary editor of "The Alliance," and as special
editorial writer for some of the leading Chicago newspapers. But his
mind was preoccupied with plans for a new periodical - this time a
journal of literary criticism, modeled somewhat after such English
publications as "The Athenæum" and "The Academy." In the furtherance of
this bold conception he was able to interest the publishing firm of
Jansen, McClurg & Co.; and under their imprint, in May, 1880, appeared
the first issue of THE DIAL, "a monthly review and index of current
literature." At about the same time he became literary adviser to the
publishing department of the house, and for twelve years thereafter
toiled unremittingly at his double task-work. In 1892, negotiations were
completed whereby he acquired Messrs. McClurg & Co.'s interest in the
periodical. It was enlarged in scope, and made a semi-monthly; and from
that time until his death it appeared uninterruptedly under his guidance
and his control.

Besides his writings in THE DIAL and other periodicals, Mr. Browne is
the author of a small volume of poems, "Volunteer Grain" (1895). He also
compiled and edited several anthologies, - "Bugle Echoes," a collection
of Civil War poems (1886); "Golden Poems by British and American
Authors" (1881); "The Golden Treasury of Poetry and Prose" (1883); and
seven volumes of "Laurel-Crowned Verse" (1891-2). He was one of the
small group of men who, in 1874, founded the Chicago Literary Club; and
for a number of years past he has been an honorary member of that
organization, as well as of the Caxton Club (Chicago) and the Twilight
Club (Pasadena, Cal.). During the summer of 1893 he served as Chairman
of the Committee on the Congress of Authors of the World's Congress
Auxiliary of the Columbian Exposition.



The original edition of this book was published about twenty years after
Lincoln's death at the close of the Civil War. At that time many of the
men who had taken a prominent part in the affairs, military and civil,
of that heroic period, many who had known Lincoln and had come in
personal contact with him during the war or in his earlier years, were
still living. It was a vivid conception of the value of the personal
recollections of these men, gathered and recorded before it was too
late, that led to the preparation of this book. It was intended to be,
and in effect it was, largely an anecdotal Life of Lincoln built of
material gathered from men still living who had known him personally.
The task was begun none too soon. Of the hundreds who responded to the
requests for contributions of their memories of Lincoln there were few
whose lives extended very far into the second quarter-century after his
death, and few indeed survive after the lapse of nearly fifty
years, - though in several instances the author has been so fortunate as
to get valuable material directly from persons still living (1913). Of
the more than five hundred friends and contemporaries of Lincoln to whom
credit for material is given in the original edition, scarcely a dozen
are living at the date of this second edition. Therefore, the value of
these reminiscences increases with time. They were gathered largely at
first hand. They can never be replaced, nor can they ever be very much

This book brings Lincoln the man, not Lincoln the tradition, very near
to us. Browning asked, "And did you once see Shelley plain? And did he
stop and speak to you?" The men whose narratives make up a large part of
this book all saw Lincoln plain, and here tell us what he spoke to them,
and how he looked and seemed while saying it. The great events of
Lincoln's life, and impressions of his character, are given in the
actual words of those who knew him - his friends, neighbors, and daily
associates - rather than condensed and remolded into other form. While
these utterances are in some cases rude and unstudied, they have often a
power of delineation and a graphic force that more than compensate for
any lack of literary quality.

In a work prepared on such a plan as this, some repetitions are
unavoidable; nor are they undesirable. An event or incident narrated by
different observers is thereby brought out with greater fulness of
detail; and phases of Lincoln's many-sided character are revealed more
clearly by the varied impressions of numerous witnesses whose accounts
thus correct or verify each other. Some inconsistencies and
contradictions are inevitable, - but these relate usually to minor
matters, seldom or never to the great essentials of Lincoln's life and
personality. The author's desire is to present material from which the
reader may form an opinion of Lincoln, rather than to present opinions
and judgments of his own.

Lincoln literature has increased amazingly in the past twenty-five
years. Mention of the principal biographies in existence at the time of
the original edition was included in the Preface. Since then there have
appeared, among the more formal biographies, the comprehensive and
authoritative work by Nicolay and Hay, the subsequent work by Miss Ida
Tarbell, and that by Herndon and Weik, besides many more or less
fragmentary publications. Some additions, but not many, have been made
to the present edition from these sources. The recently-published Diary
of Gideon Welles, one of the most valuable commentaries on the Civil War
period now available, has provided some material of exceptional interest
concerning Lincoln's relations with the members of his Cabinet.

In re-writing the present work, it has been compressed into about
two-thirds of its former compass, to render it more popular both in form
and in price, and to give it in some places a greater measure of
coherency and continuity as an outline narrative of the Civil War. But
its chief appeal to the interest of its readers will remain
substantially what it was in the beginning, as set forth in its title,
"The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln, by Those Who Knew Him."

SANTA BARBARA, CAL., _April, 1913._


This book aims to give a view, clearer and more complete than has been
given before, of the personality of Abraham Lincoln. A life so full of
incident and a character so many-sided as his can be understood only
with the lapse of time. A sense of the exhaustless interest of that life
and character, and the inadequacy of the ordinarily constructed
biography to portray his many-sidedness, suggested the preparation of a
work upon the novel plan here represented. Begun several years ago, the
undertaking proved of such magnitude that its completion has been
delayed beyond the anticipated time. The extensive correspondence, the
exploration of available sources of information in the books, pamphlets,
magazines, and newspapers of a quarter of a century, and in the scraps
and papers of historical collections, became an almost interminable
task. The examination and sifting of this mass of material, its
verification amidst often conflicting testimony, and its final molding
into shape, involved time and labor that can be estimated only by those
who have had similar experience.

To the many who have kindly furnished original contributions, to others
who have aided the work by valuable suggestions and information, to
earlier biographies of Lincoln - those of Raymond, Holland, Barrett,
Lamon, Carpenter, and (the best and latest of all) that of Hon. I.N.
Arnold - hearty acknowledgment is made. Much that was offered could not
be used. In the choice of material, from whatever source, the purpose
has been to avoid mere opinions and eulogies of Lincoln and to give
abundantly those actual experiences, incidents, anecdotes, and
reminiscences which reveal the phases of his unique and striking

It scarcely need be pointed out that this work does not attempt to give
a connected history of the Civil War, but only to sketch briefly those
episodes with which Lincoln is personally identified and of which some
knowledge is essential to an understanding of his acts and character.
Others are brought into prominence only as they are associated with the
chief actor in the great drama. Many of them are disappearing, - fading
into the smoky and lurid background. But that colossal central figure,
playing one of the grandest roles ever set upon the stage of human life,
becomes more impressive as the scenes recede.

CHICAGO, _October, 1886._



Ancestry - The Lincolns in Kentucky - Death of Lincoln's
Grandfather - Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks - Mordecai
Lincoln - Birth of Abraham Lincoln - Removal to Indiana - Early
Years - Dennis Hanks - Lincoln's Boyhood - Death of Nancy Hanks - Early
School Days - Lincoln's First Dollar - Presentiments of Future
Greatness - Down the Mississippi - Removal to Illinois - Lincoln's
Father - Lincoln the Storekeeper - First Official Act - Lincoln's
Short Sketch of His Own Life


A Turn in Affairs - The Black Hawk War - A Remarkable Military
Manoeuvre - Lincoln Protects an Indian - Lincoln and
Stuart - Lincoln's Military Record - Nominated for the
Legislature - Lincoln a Merchant - Postmaster at New Salem - Lincoln
Studies Law - Elected to the Legislature - Personal
Characteristics - Lincoln's Love for Anne Rutledge - Close of
Lincoln's Youth


Lincoln's Beginning as a Lawyer - His Early Taste for
Politics - Lincoln and the Lightning-Rod Man - Not an
Aristocrat - Reply to Dr. Early - A Manly Letter - Again in the
Illinois Legislature - The "Long Nine" - Lincoln on His Way to the
Capital - His Ambition in 1836 - First Meeting with Douglas - Removal
of the Illinois Capital - One of Lincoln's Early
Speeches - Pro-Slavery Sentiment in Illinois - Lincoln's Opposition
to Slavery - Contest with General Ewing - Lincoln Lays out a
Town - The Title "Honest Abe"


Lincoln's Removal to Springfield - A Lawyer without Clients or
Money - Early Discouragements - Proposes to become a
Carpenter - "Stuart & Lincoln, Attorneys at Law" - "Riding the
Circuit" - Incidents of a Trip Round the Circuit - Pen Pictures of
Lincoln - Humane Traits - Kindness to Animals - Defending Fugitive
Slaves - Incidents in Lincoln's Life as a Lawyer - His Fondness for
Jokes and Stories


Lincoln in the Legislature - Eight Consecutive Years of Service - His
Influence in the House - Leader of the Whig Party in Illinois - Takes
a Hand in National Politics - Presidential Election in 1840 - A "Log
Cabin" Reminiscence - Some Memorable Political Encounters - A Tilt
with Douglas - Lincoln Facing a Mob - His Physical Courage - Lincoln
as Duellist - The Affair with General Shields - An Eye-Witness'
Account of the Duel - Courtship and Marriage


Lincoln in National Politics - His Congressional
Aspirations - Law-Partnership of Lincoln and Herndon - The
Presidential Campaign of 1844 - Visit to Henry Clay - Lincoln Elected
to Congress - Congressional Reputation - Acquaintance with
Distinguished Men - First Speech in Congress - "Getting the Hang" of
the House - Lincoln's Course on the Mexican War - Notable Speech in
Congress - Ridicule of General Cass - Bill for the Abolition of
Slavery - Delegate to the Whig National Convention of 1848 - Stumping
the Country for Taylor - Advice to Young Politicians - "Old Abe" - A
Political Disappointment - Lincoln's Appearance as an Officer Seeker
in Washington - "A Divinity that Shapes Our Ends"


Lincoln again in Springfield - Back to the Circuit - His Personal
Manners and Appearance - Glimpses of Home-Life - His Family - His
Absent-Mindedness - A Painful Subject - Lincoln a Man of
Sorrows - Familiar Appearance on the Streets of Springfield - Scenes
in the Law-Office - Forebodings of a "Great of Miserable End" - An
Evening Whit Lincoln in Chicago - Lincoln's Tenderness to His
Relatives - Death of His Father - A Sensible Adviser - Care of His
Step-Mother - Tribute From Her


Lincoln as a Lawyer - His Appearance in Court - Reminiscences of a
Law-Student in Lincoln's Office - An "Office Copy" of Byron - Novel
Way of Keeping Partnership Accounts - Charges for Legal
Services - Trial of Bill Armstrong - Lincoln before a Jury - Kindness
toward Unfortunate Clients - Refusing to Defend Guilty
Men - Courtroom Anecdotes - Anecdotes of Lincoln at the Bar - Some
Striking Opinions of Lincoln as a Lawyer


Lincoln and Slavery - The Issue Becoming More Sharply
Defined - Resistance to the Spread of Slavery - Views Expressed by
Lincoln in 1850 - His Mind Made Up - Lincoln as a Party Leader - The
Kansas Struggle - Crossing Swords with Douglas - A Notable Speech by
Lincoln - Advice to Kansas Belligerents - Honor in Politics - Anecdote
of Lincoln and Yates - Contest for the U.S. Senate in
1855 - Lincoln's Defeat - Sketched by Members of the Legislature


Birth of the Republican Party - Lincoln One of Its Fathers - Takes
His Stand with the Abolitionists - The Bloomington
Convention - Lincoln's Great Anti-Slavery Speech - A Ratification
Meeting of Three - The First National Republican
Convention - Lincoln's Name Presented for the
Vice-Presidency - Nomination of Fremont and Dayton - Lincoln in the
Campaign of 1856 - His Appearance and Influence on the
Stump - Regarded as a Dangerous Man - His Views on the Politics of
the Future - First Visit to Cincinnati - Meeting with Edwin M.
Stanton - Stanton's First Impressions of Lincoln - Regards Him as a
"Giraffe" - A Visit to Cincinnati


The Great Lincoln-Douglas Debate - Rivals for the U.S.
Senate - Lincoln's "House-Divided-against-Itself" Speech - An
Inspired Oration - Alarming His Friends - Challenges Douglas to a
Joint Discussion - The Champions Contrasted - Their Opinions of Each
Other - Lincoln and Douglas on the Stump - Slavery the Leading
Issue - Scenes and Anecdotes of the Great Debate - Pen-Picture of
Lincoln on the Stump - Humors of the Campaign - Some Sharp
Rejoinders - Words of Soberness - Close of the Conflict


A Year of Waiting and Trial - Again Defeated for the
Senate - Depression and Neglect - Lincoln Enlarging His
Boundaries - On the Stump in Ohio - A Speech to Kentuckians - Second
Visit to Cincinnati - A Short Trip to Kansas - Lincoln in New York
City - The Famous Cooper Institute Speech - A Strong and Favorable
Impression - Visits New England - Secret of Lincoln's Success as an
Orator - Back to Springfield - Disposing of a Campaign
Slander - Lincoln's Account of His Visit to a Five Points Sunday


Looking towards the Presidency - The Illinois Republican Convention
of 1860 - A "Send-Off" for Lincoln - The National Republican
Convention at Chicago - Contract of the Leading Candidates - Lincoln
Nominated - Scenes at the Convention - Sketches by
Eye-Witnesses - Lincoln Hearing the News - The Scene at
Springfield - A Visit to Lincoln at His Home - Recollections of a
Distinguished Sculptor - Receiving the Committee of the
Convention - Nomination of Douglas - Campaign of 1860 - Various
Campaign Reminiscences - Lincoln and the Tall Southerner - The Vote
of the Springfield Clergy - A Graceful Letter to the Poet
Bryant - "Looking up Hard Spots"


Lincoln Chosen President - The Election of 1860 - The Waiting-Time at
Springfield - A Deluge of Visitors - Various Impressions of the
President-Elect - Some Queer Callers - Looking over the Situation
with Friends - Talks about the Cabinet - Thurlow Weed's Visit to
Springfield - The Serious Aspect of National Affairs - The South in
Rebellion - Treason at the National Capital - Lincoln's Farewell
Visit to His Mother - The Old Sign, "Lincoln & Herndon" - The Last
Day at Springfield - Farewell Speech to Friends and Neighbors - Off
for the Capital - The Journey to Washington - Receptions and Speeches
along the Route - At Cincinnati: A Hitherto Unpublished Speech by
Lincoln - At Cleveland: Personal Descriptions of Mr. and Mrs.
Lincoln - At New York City: Impressions of the New President - Perils
of the Journey - The Baltimore Plot - Change of Route - Arrival at the


Lincoln at the Helm - First Days in Washington - Meeting Public - Men
and Discussing Public Affairs - The Inauguration - The Inaugural
Address - A New Era Begun - Lincoln in the White House - The First
Cabinet - The President and the Office-Seekers - Southern Prejudice
against Lincoln - Ominous Portents, but Lincoln not Dismayed - The
President's Reception Room - Varied Impressions of the New
President - Guarding the White House


Civil War - Uprising of the Nation - The President's First Call for
Troops - Response of the Loyal North - The Riots in
Baltimore - Loyalty of Stephen A. Douglas - Douglas's Death - Blockade
of Southern Ports - Additional War Measures - Lincoln Defines the
Policy of the Government - His Conciliatory Course - His Desire to
Save Kentucky - The President's First Message to Congress - Gathering
of Troops in Washington - Reviews and Parades - Disaster at Bull
Run - The President Visits the Army - Good Advice to an Angry
Officer - A Peculiar Cabinet Meeting - Dark Days for Lincoln - A
"Black Mood" in the White House - Lincoln's Unfaltering
Courage - Relief in Story-Telling - A Pretty Good Land
Title - "Measuring up" with Charles Sumner - General Scott "Unable as
a Politician" - A Good Drawing-Plaster - The New York Millionaires
who Wanted a Gunboat - A Good Bridge-Builder - A Sick Lot of


Lincoln's Wise Statesmanship - The Mason and Slidell
Affair - Complications with England - Lincoln's "Little Story" on the
Trent Affair - Building of the "Monitor" - Lincoln's Part in the
Enterprise - The President's First Annual Message - Discussion of the
Labor Question - A President's Reception in War Time - A Great
Affliction - Death in the White House - Chapters from the Secret
Service - A Morning Call on the President - Goldwin Smith's
Impressions of Lincoln - Other Notable Tributes


Lincoln and His Cabinet - An Odd Assortment of
Officials - Misconceptions of Rights and Duties - Frictions and
Misunderstandings - The Early Cabinet Meetings - Informal
Conversational Affairs - Queer Attitude toward the War - Regarded as
a Political Affair - Proximity to Washington a Hindrance to Military
Success - Disturbances in the Cabinet - A Senate Committee Demands
Seward's Removal from the Cabinet - Lincoln's Mastery of the
Situation - Harmony Restored - Stanton becomes War Secretary - Sketch
of a Remarkable Man - Next to Lincoln, the Master-Mind of the
Cabinet - Lincoln the Dominant Power


Lincoln's Personal Attention to the Military Problems of the
War - Efforts to Push forward the War - Disheartening
Delays - Lincoln's Worry and Perplexity Brightening Prospects - Union
Victories in North Carolina and Tennessee - Proclamation by the
President - Lincoln Wants to See for Himself - Visits Fortress
Monroe - Witnesses an Attack on the Rebel Ram "Merrimac" - The
Capture of Norfolk - Lincoln's Account of the Affair - Letter to
McClellan - Lincoln and the Union Soldiers - His Tender Solicitude
for the Boys in Blue - Soldiers Always Welcome at the White
House - Pardoning Condemned Soldiers - Letter to a Bereaved

Online LibraryFrancis Fisher BrowneThe Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln A Narrative And Descriptive Biography With Pen-Pictures And Personal Recollections By Those Who Knew Him → online text (page 1 of 51)