even solemn occasions. The incident was related to me
by one who stood at the President's side at the time of
its occurrence. One day, a detachment of troops was
marching along the avenue singing the soul-stirring
strain of "John Brown," They were walled in on either
side by throngs of citizens and strangers, whose voices
mingled in the roll of the mighty war-song. In the midst
of this exciting scene, a man had clambered into a small
tree, on the side-walk, where he clung, unmindful of the
jeers of the passing crowd, called forth by the strange
antics he was unconsciously exhibiting in his efforts to
overcome the swaying motion of the slight stem which
bent beneath his weight. Mr. Lincoln's attention was
attracted for a moment, and he paused in the serious
350 JAMES E. MURDOCH.
conversation in which he was deeply interested and in an
abstracted manner, yet with a droll cast of the eye, and a
nod of the head in the direction of the man, he repeated,
in his dry and peculiar utterance, the following old-
fashioned couplet :
" And Zaccheous he, did climb a tree,
His Lord and Master, for to see "
Amid the laughter of those who had observed the in-
congruity of the scene, Mr. Lincoln resumed the serious
tone of his remarks, as if nothing unusual had happened.
And yet, said my informant, I have heard him charged, in
connection with this incident, with a want of proper feel-
ing, and even with turning sacred subjects into ridicule.
It was evident, said he, that Mr. Lincoln did not employ
the quotation in a spirit of levity. It was but an uncon-
scious exhibition of the mirthful tendency or, perhaps,
more correctly speaking necessity of the man's nature.
He seemed, as it were, to instinctively select the old-time,
ballad-like couplet, from among the mass of quaint and
home-spun verse with which his memory was stored,
more from the sing-song tone of its jingling rhyme,
which perhaps suggested a likeness to the swinging mo-
tion of the man before him, than from any intent to ridi-
cule the verses or its allusion to sacred history. It may
be that such freaks of fancy were the unpremeditated
make-weights by which an over-strained mental activity
was prevented from taxing the brain too constantly.
He who can, for a moment, believe that Mr. Lincoln
gave utterance to such an expression in a spirit of levity,
or could utter a heartless jest, in the midst of a scene
JAMES E. MURDOCH. 351
calculated to arouse all the interest and enthusiasm of the
mind, and stir every deep and impassioned feeling oi the
heart by its grandly solemn surroundings, and inevitably
terrible consequences, does not understand the character
of Abraham Lincoln. Those soldiers and their imper-
iled lives ; the destinies of the cause they were throng-
ing to the front to defend ; the fortunes of the families
they left behind ; the bloodshed, misery and suffering in
store for the nation ; all this was crowding upon his brain
and throbbing in his heart, with as much intensified
sympathy and soul-harrowing foreboding as ever wrung
the heart of wife or mother, when called upon to sur-
render a loved son or a husband to the cause of free-
The following incident is but one of many instances
of his personal sufferings in the general cause. Having
called upon Mr. Lincoln on one occasion during the war,
by special appointment, at 9 o'clock in the morning, I was
shown into a private room. When the President appeared
I was surprised to find him in a state of intensified grief
and nervous excitement, the very embodiment of woe, the
alternate fever and cold of his hand, and his whole physi-
cal being, indicating an overstrained condition, attendant
upon mental and physical agitation and suffering. After
a few passing remarks the cause of his condition was ex-
plained, when I learned from his lips, for the first time,
the news of our defeat at Chancellorville. I shall never
forget the kindly and grateful expression of his face when
I stated the fact that, not being aware of the disaster
when I came, I felt the propriety of deferring the occa-
352 JAMES E. MURDOCH.
sion of our interview to some more fitting time. Receiv-
ing an earnest pressure of the hand, and a fervent " God
bless you," I left the presence of one whom I felt to be
indeed bowed down under the burden of a nation's
affliction. And yet, strange as it may appear to those of
a different temperament, Mr. Lincoln could, as he cer-
tai'hly did on many an occasion, by force of will, subdue
the heart-throb, crush back the rising tear, and turn his
thoughts in other channels, molding his features to ex-
pression of indifference or mirth. This same " levity,"
as some white-haired sinners of his day called it, was
often the " nice fence," with which he foiled the more
serious thrusts made by his opponents, and as such served
his purpose, perhaps better than other means might have
Those who knew Mr. Lincoln and loved the man had
cause to look through and over such peculiarities, content
with an appreciation of the more sterling qualities which
generously and thoroughly pervaded his nature. What
was said of Thomas Fuller, the facetious, though devout
old preacher, who lived in the troublous times of Charles
the First, may be as truly said of Mr. Lincoln : " He
was endowed with that happy buoyancy of spirit which,
next to religion itself, is the most precious possession of
man." Untiring humor seemed the ruling passion of his
soul ; quaintly and facetiously he thought, wrote and
spoke, preferring ever a jocose expression even in his
With a heart open to all innocent pleasure and
purged from the leaven of malice and uncharitableness,
JAMES E. MURDOCH. 353
it was as natural that he should be as full of mirth as
it is for the grasshopper to chirp, or bees to hum, or
birds to warble in the spring breeze and the bright sun-
354 SPEECH TO AN OHIO REGIMENT.
SPEECH TO THE 148 OHIO REGIMENT.
IT is vain and foolish to arraign this man or that for
the part he has taken or has not taken, and to hold the
Government responsible for his acts. In no administra-
tion can there be perfect equality of action and uniform
satisfaction rendered by all.
But this Government must be preserved in spite of the
acts of any man or set of men. It is worthy your every
effort. Nowhere in the world is presented a Govern-
ment of so much liberty and equality. To the humblest
and poorest amongst us are held out the highest privi-
leges and positions. The present moment finds me at
the White House, yet there is as good a chance for your
children as there was for my father's. Again I admonish
you not to be turned from your stern purpose of defend-
ing our beloved country and its free institutions by any
arguments urged by ambitious and designing men, but
stand fast to the Union and the old flag.
CHARLES FOSTER. HAMILTON FISH. 355
ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S name ranks with the pur-
f\. est of men, the wisest of statesmen, the most
sincere and devoted patriot, the loveliest character of
USTUM ac tenacem propositi virum
Non civium ardor prava jubentium
Non vultus instantis tyranni,
Mente quatit solida."
" With malice toward none, with charity to all, with
firmness in the right."
NEW YORK, 1880.
356 REMARKS AT THE WHITE HOUSE.
REMARKS TO A SERENADING PARTY AT
THE WHITE HOUSE.
I AM notified that this is a compliment paid to me by
the loyal Marylanders resident in this District. I infer
that the adoption of the new Constitution for the State
furnishes the occasion, and that, in your view, the extir-
pation of slavery constitutes the chief merit of the new
Most heartily do I congratulate you and Maryland, and
the nation, and the world upon the event. I regret that
it did not occur two years sooner ; which, I am sure,
would have saved to the nation more money than would
have met all the private loss incident to the measure.
But it has come at last, and I sincerely hope its friends
may fully realize all their anticipations of good from it,
and that its opponents may, by its effects, be agreeably
and profitably disappointed. A word upon another sub-
ject. Something said by the Secretary of State, in his
recent speech at Auburn, has been construed by some into
a threat that, if I shall be beaten at the election, I will,
between then and the end of my constitutional term, do
what I may be able to ruin the Government. Others
regard the fact that the Chicago Convention adjourned
not sine die, but to meet again, if called to do so by a
particular individual, as the intimation of a purpose that
if their nominee shall be elected he will at once seize the
control of the Government. I hope the good people will
permit themselves to suffer no uneasiness on this point.
REMARKS AT THE WHITE HOUSE. 357
I am struggling to maintain the Government, not to
overthrow it ; I am struggling especially to prevent others
from overthrowing it. I therefore say that, if I shall
live, I shall remain President until the fourth of next
March, and that whoever shall be constitutionally elected
therefor, in November, shall be duly installed as Presi-
dent on the fourth of March, and that, in the interval, I
shall do my utmost that whoever is to hold the helm for
the next voyage shall start with the best possible chance
to save the ship. This is due the people both on
principle and under the Constitution. Their will, con-
stitutionally expressed, is the ultimate law for all. If
they should deliberately resolve to have immediate peace,
even at the loss of their country and their liberties, I
have not the power or the right to resist them. It is
their own business, and they must do as they please with
their own ; I believe, however, they are still resolved to
preserve their country and their liberty ; and, in this
office or out, I am resolved to stand by them. I may
add, that in this purpose to save the country and its
liberties no class of people seem so nearly unanimous as
the soldiers in the field and seamen afloat. Do they not
have the hardest of it ? Who should quail while they do
not ? God bless the soldiers and seamen, with all their
brave commanders !
OCTOBER 19, 1864.
358 OBSERVANCE OF THE SABBATH.
OBSERVANCE OF THE SABBATH.
THE President, Commander-in-Chief of the Army
and Navy, desires and enjoins the orderly observance of
the Sabbath by the officers and men in the military and
naval service. The importance to man and beast of the
prescribed weekly rest, the sacred rights of Christian
soldiers and sailors, a becoming deference to the best
sentiment of Christian people, and a due regard for the
Divine Will, demand that Sunday labor in the army and
navy be reduced to the measure of strict necessity. The
discipline and character of the national forces should not
suffer, nor the cause they defend be imperiled, by the
profanation of the day or name of the Most High. " At
the time of public distress," adopting the words of
Washington in 1776, "men may find enough to do in the
service of their God and their country without abandon-
ing themselves to vice and immorality." The first
general order issued by the Father of his Country after
the Declaration of Independence indicates the spirit in
which our institutions were founded and should ever be
defended : " The General hopes and trusts that every
officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a
Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties
of his country."
NOVEMBER 16, 1864.
HENRY S. FRIEZE CYRUS W. FIELD. 359
THE name of Abraham Lincoln will not grow dim
with age, like many names brilliant in their own
day, yet fading with the lapse of time. But that name
will shine with ever-increasing luster, as the results of
his public life and services shall be more clearly mani-
fested in the increasing greatness of his country, which,
without his wise leadership, aided by faithful counselors,
would have been dissolved into clusters of insignificant
states, forever at war and forever weak.
LINCOLN the statesman, the emancipator, the
martyr, whose services to his country will be re-
membered with those of Washington.
NEW YORK, 1880.
360 LETTER TO MRS. BIXBY.
LETTER TO MRS. BIXBY OF BOSTON.
I HAVE been shown on the file of the War Depart-
ment a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massa-
chusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have
died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak
and fruitless must be any word of mine which should
attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so over
whelming ; but I cannot refrain from tendering to you
the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the
republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly
Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavements,
and leave only the cherished memory of the loved and
lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have
laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
NOVEMBER 21, 1864.
W. O. BRADLEY. 361
NO man has so happily blended in his character child-
like simplicity with true greatness and nobility,
and combined so great a degree of tenderness with lofty
and unflinching courage, as the lamented Lincoln. The
energy and perseverance that enabled him to overcome
the poverty and obscurity which enshrouded his youth
eminently qualified him to encounter and surmount the
colossal difficulties that environed his administration.
His strong common sense, undaunted patriotism, and
wise statesmanship have left an impress on our institu-
tions which will never be effaced so long as this is free-
dom's home ; and their influence shall not be felt here
alone, but throughout the civilized world, for centuries
He has taken and will hold rank in history with the
purest and most illustrious of mankind. Admiring coun-
trymen have erected a noble shaft to mark his last rest-
ing-place, while in their heart of hearts they have builded
a mausoleum that will successfully defy the devouring
tooth of time; but surpassing these is the monument
erected by his philanthropic statesmanship, of manacles
torn from the limbs of four million slaves.
362 REMARKS FROM TO A DELEGATION.
REMARKS TO A DELEGATION FROM OHIO.
I AM very much obliged to you for this compliment.
I have just been saying, and as I have just said it, I will
repeat it : The hardest of all speeches which I have to
answer is a serenade. I never know what to say on such
occasions. I suppose that you have done me this kind-
ness in connection with the action of the Baltimore Con-
vention, which has recently taken place, and with which,
of course, I am very well satisfied. What we want still
more than Baltimore Conventions or Presidential Elec-
tions is success under General Grant. I propose that you
constantly bear in mind that the support you owe to the
brave officers and soldiers in the field is of the very first
importance, and we should, therefore, bend all our energies
to that point. Now, without detaining you any longer,
I propose that you help me to close up what I am now
saying with three rousing cheers for General Grant and
the officers and soldiers under his command.
F. E. SPINNER. 363
FROM our official and social relations, for over four
years, I had abundant opportunity to know Mr.
Lincoln well. I have been a student of human nature
and character all my life, and of all the men that have
ever challenged my attention, I have never found Mr.
Lincoln's equal ; possessing the simplicity of a child, and
the tenderness of a woman, he combined, in his make-up,
all the sterner qualities of a perfect man. A close
observer of men, measures and events, and with a dis-
criminating mind that led to a correct judgment, was
added a conscientiousness of the right and a moral
courage to do it, that enabled him to execute his honest
convictions of all the political and social duties that were
required of him as a man and a magistrate.
364 FOURTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.
FOURTH ANNUAL MESSAGE
TO CONGRESS, DECEMBER 6TH, 1864.
THE most remarkable feature in the military opera-
tions of the year is General Sherman's attempted march
of three hundred miles directly through the insurgent
region. It tends to show a great increase of our relative
strength that our General-in-Chief should feel able to
confront and hold in check every active force of the enemy,
and yet to detach a well-appointed large army to move
on such an expedition. The result not yet being known,
conjecture in regard to it is not here indulged.
Important movements have also occurred during the
year to the effect of molding society for durability in
the Union. Although short of complete success, it is
much in the right direction that twelve thousand citizens
in each of the States of Arkansas and Louisiana have
organized loyal State governments, with free constitu-
tions, and are earnestly struggling to maintain and ad-
minister them. The movements in the same direction
more extensive, though less definite in Missouri,
Kentucky, and Tennessee should not be overlooked.
But Maryland presents the example of complete success.
Maryland is secure to Liberty and Union for all the
future. The genius of rebellion will no more claim
Maryland. Like another foul spirit, being driven out, it
may seek to tear her, but it will woo her no more.
In presenting the abandonment of armed resistance to
FOURTH ANNUAL MESSAGE. 365
the national authority, on the part of the insurgents, as
the only indispensable condition to ending the war on the
part of the Government, I retract nothing heretofore said
as to slavery. I repeat the declaration made a year ago,
that " while I remain in my present position I shall not
attempt to retract or modify the emancipation proc-
lamation, nor shall I return to slavery any person who
is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any of
the acts of Congress." If the people should, by what-
ever mode or means, make it an executive duty to re-
enslave such persons, another, and not I, must be their
instrument to perform it.
In stating a single condition of peace, I mean simply
to say that the war will cease, on the part of the Govern-
ment whenever it shall have ceased on the part of those
who began it.
3 66 REPLY TO AN ILLINOIS CLERGYMAN.
REPLY TO AN ILLINOIS CLERGYMAN.
" WHEN I left Springfield I asked the people to pray
for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son,
the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But
when I went to Gettysburg, and saw the graves of
thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated
myself to Christ. Yes, I do love Jesus."
INFANTRY GROUP OF STATUARY. NATIONAL LINCOLN
Representing a body of infantry soldiers on the march. They arc fired
upon from some covert place, and the color-bearer killed. The captain
raises the colors with one hand, and with the other points to the enemy
and orders a bayonet charge, which the private on his right is in the act of
executing. The drummer-boy becomes excited, loses his cap, throws
away hiu haversack, puts one drumstick in his belt, draws a revolver and
engages in the conflict. The exploded shell indicates that they are cm
ground that has been fought over before,
W. T. SHERMAN. 367
I KNOW, when I left him, that I was more than ever
impressed by his kindly nature, his deep and earnest
sympathy with the afflictions of the whole people, result-
ing from the war, and by the march of hostile armies
through the South ; and that his earnest desire seemed to
be to end the war speedily, without more bloodshed or
devastation, and to restore all the men of both sections
to their homes. In the language of his second inaugural
address he seemed to have " charity for all, malice toward
none," and, above all, an absolute faith in the courage,
manliness, and integrity of the armies in the field. When
at rest or listening, his legs and arms seemed to hang
almost lifeless, and his face was care-worn and haggard ;
but the moment he began to talk his face lightened up, his
tall form, as it were, unfolded, and he was the very im-
personation of good-humor and fellowship. The last
words I recall as addressed to me were that he would
feel better when I was back at Goldsboro'. We parted
at the gang-way of the River Queen about noon of
March 28th, and I never saw him again. Of all the men
I ever met, he seemed to possess more of the elements of
greatness, combined with goodness, than any other.
GIVEN BY MR. LINCOLN TO WM. H. SEWARD, AT THE MEET-
ING OF MESSRS. STEVENS, HUNTER AND CAMP-
BELL, AT FORTRESS MONROE, VA.
FIRST, the restoration of the national authority
throughout all the States ; second, no receding by the
Executive of the United States, on the slavery question,
from the position assumed thereon in the late annual
message to Congress and in the preceding documents ;
no cessation of hostilities short of the end of the war,
and the disbanding of all the forces hostile to the Govern-
JANUARY 31, 1865.
GLENNI W. SCOFIELD. 369
A. PRIVATE soldier from my congressional district
having been convicted of knocking down his cap-
tain, was sentenced to two years' labor on the Dry Tortu-
gas. With some of his neighbors I called upon President
Lincoln to solicit a pardon. He appeared completely
worn out, and complained of weariness ; said he was un-
able to look after details, and we must go to Stanton. I
told him we had been there, but he declined to interfere.
"Then, said the President, " attend to it yourselves at
the Capitol." I inquired what Congress could do in the
matter, and quick as thought he said : " Pass a law that
a private shall have a right to knock down his captain."
But after the wit came the pardon.
37? SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS,
DELIVERED MARCH 3, 1865.
" FELLOW COUNTRYMEN : At this second appearing
to take the oath of the presidential office, there is less
occasion for an extended address than there was at the
first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course
to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the
expiration of four years, during which public declarations
have been constantly called forth on every point and
phase of the great contest which still absorbs the atten-
tion and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is
new could be presented. The progress of our arms,
upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to
the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably
satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for
the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.
" On the occasion corresponding to this, four years
ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending
civil war. All dreaded it ; all sought to avert it. While
the inaugural address was being delivered from this place,
devoted altogether to saving the Union without war,
insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it
without war seeking to dissolve the Union and divide
its effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war ;
but one of them would make war rather than let the
nation survive, and the other would accept war rather
than let it perish. And the war came.
SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS. 371
"The prayer of both could not be answered those of
neither have been answered fully. The Almighty has
his own purposes. Woe unto the world because of
offenses ! for it must needs be that offenses come ; but
woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.
"If we shall suppose that American slavery is one
of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must
needs come, but which, having continued through his
appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he
gives to North and South this terrible war, as the woe
due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern
therein any departure from those Divine attributes which
the believers in a living God always ascribe to him ?
Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty
scourge of war may soon pass away. Yet, if God wills
that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bonds-
man's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall
be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash
shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was
said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said :
* The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous