Charles Rufus Skinner.

Manual of patriotism : for use in the public schools of the State of New York online

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tious, struggling young American! By his sterling integrity to
thought and conviction, by untiring industry, and by his large common
sense, he rose from obscurity to the first place in the nation, and has
become the priceless heritage of every American. — James S. Sherman.

The chief characteristics of Lincoln were his integrity and com-
mon sense. Many of his contemporaries excelled him in eloquence, in
learning, and in culture, but in the quality that is stronger and higher
than either, the quality that inspires confidence and courage in times
of crisis, he surpassed them all. He was fortunate in his career while
living, and fortunate in his sad and tragic death. Hardly in the his-
tory of the human race has a ruler died whose loss seemed to the people
so near a personal grief, and the power of his name increases steadily.
He was neither orator, soldier nor scholar, but a leader, trusted and
loved as few had ever been. In the historic struggle in which his is the
great name, his countrymen felt that other leaders might be right, but
he was sure to be right. — Frank S. Black.

The glory of Abraham Lincoln is a masterful mind forever loyal
to the majesty and power of a great thought. That great thought was
the supremacy of the Constitution of the United States, loyalty to
which is the first and last duty of an American citizen, higher than all
personal considerations, and superior to all sectional interests. Like a
heavenly enchantment it allured him to duty, and like a perennial


inspiration it was his courage in danger, fortitude in adversity, and
faith in the certainty of the future.

From earliest manhood, he had been the patient student of this
great instrument of our political economy (the Constitution), and to
maintain the supreme authority thereof over every citizen and over every
inch of our national domain was the larger purpose of all his state
papers, of every act of his administration, and of the war measures he
approved. Himself the gentlest of souls and the sincerest of men, he
loved peace but he loved the Union more, and called upon his country-
men to die with him for the right. He hated slavery, but he hated
rebellion more, and he would suppress rebellion with slavery or without
slavery; and, when the time came to suppress the one by the destruction
of the other, the sword of Grant and the pen of Lincoln were the chosen
instruments of Providence to scatter the rebels and emancipate the
slaves. — John P. Newman.

It is not difficult to place a correct estimate upon the character of
Lincoln. He was the greatest man of his time, especially approved of
God for the work He gave him to do. History abundantly approves
his superiority as a leader, and establishes his constant reliance upon
a higher power for guidance and support. The tendency of this age
is to exaggeration, but of Lincoln, certainly none have spoken more
highly than those who knew him best.

A distinguished orator of to-day has said: "Lincoln surpassed
all orators in eloquence; all diplomatists in wisdom; all statesmen in
foresight; and the most ambitious in fame."

This is in accord with the estimate of Stanton, who pronounced
him " the most perfect ruler of men the world had ever seen."

Seward, too, declared Lincoln " a man of destiny, with character
made and moulded by Divine power to save a nation from perdition."

Ralph Waldo Emerson characterized him as "the true represen-
tative of this continent; an entirely public man; father of his country;
the pulse of twenty millions throbbing in his heart, the thought of their
minds articulated by his tongue."



Bancroft wisely observed: " Lincoln thought always of mankind
as well as of his own country, and served human nature itself; he
finished a work which all time cannot overthrow."

Sumner said that in Lincoln " the West spoke to the East, plead-
ing for human rights as declared by our fathers."

Horace Greeley, in speaking of the events which led up to and
embraced the Rebellion, declared: " Other men were helpful and nobly
did their part; yet, looking back through the lifting mists of those
seven eventful, tragic, trying, glorious years, I clearly discern the one
providential leader, the indispensable hero of the great drama, Abraham

James Russell Lowell was quick to perceive and proclaim Lincoln's
greatness. In December, 1863, in a review of the " President's Policy,"
in the Atlantic Monthly, he said: " Perhaps none of our presidents
since Washington has stood so firm in the confidence of the people as
Lincoln, after three years' stormy administration. * * * A pro-
found common sense is the best genius for statesmanship. Hitherto
the wisdom of the President's measures have been justified by the fact
that they have always resulted in more firmly uniting public opinion."
— William McKinlcy, at Albany, N. Y., Lincoln's Birthday, 1895.

What were the traits of character that made him leader and master,
without a rival in the greatest crisis in our history? What gave him
such mighty power? Lincoln had sublime faith in the people. He
walked with and among them. He recognized the importance and
power of an enlightened public sentiment and was guided by it. Even
amid the vicissitudes of war, he concealed little from public inspection.
In all that he did, he invited rather than evaded public examination and
criticism. He submitted his plans and purposes, as far as practicable,
to public consideration with perfect frankness and sincerity. There
was such homely simplicity in his character, that it could not be hedged
in by the pomp of place, nor the ceremonials of high official station.
He was so accessible to the public that he seemed to take the whole
people into his confidence. Here, perhaps, was one secret of his power.
Bancroft, the historian, alluding to this characteristic, which was never
so conspicuously manifested as during the darkest hours of the war,


beautifully illustrated it in these memorable words: " As a child in a
dark night, on a rugged way, catches hold of the hand of its father for
guidance and support, Lincoln clung fast to the hand of the people, and
moved calmly through the gloom." — William McKinley, at Albany,
N. Y., Lincoln's Birthday, 1895.

Lincoln was an orator. We hear in these days that the power of
the orator has passed; that the spoken word will soon be a thing of
the past. The people can read all that the orator can tell them, and
that soon the orator will be among the things that are the history of a
country. Abraham Lincoln became President of the United States,
not because he served in the legislature — he was a nobody there; not
because he served in Congress — for he was unknown there; not be-
cause he was a lawyer, for he had only a state reputation. He became
President because of the stump and the platform. He never left them
without leaving the impression that a great soul, a great mind, had
made itself known, and that a man who ought to be a leader of the
people had spoken to them — a man who it was intended should carry
the torch. — Chauncey M. Depezv, Albany, N. Y., Lincoln's Birthday,

During the whole of the struggle, he was a tower of strength to
the Union. Whether in defeat or victory, he kept right on, dismayed
at nothing, and never to be diverted from the pathway of duty. Al-
ways cool and determined, all learned to gain renewed courage, calm-
ness, and wisdom from him, and to lean upon his strong arm for sup-
port. The proud designation of " Father of his Country " was not
more appropriately bestowed upon Washington than the affectionate
title, " Father Abraham," was given to Lincoln by the soldiers and
loyal people of the North.

The crowning glory of Lincoln's administration, and the greatest
executive act in American history, was his immortal Proclamation of
Emancipation. Perhaps more clearly than any one else, Lincoln had
realized, years before he was called to the Presidency, that the country
could not continue half slave and half free. He declared it before
Seward declared the " Irrepressible conflict." The contest between


freedom and slavery was inevitable; it was written in the stars. The
nation must either be all slave or all free. Lincoln, with almost super-
natural prescience, foresaw it. His prophetic vision is manifested
through all his utterances, notably in the great debate between him-
self and Douglass. To him was given the duty and responsibility of
making that great classic of liberty, the Declaration of Independence, no
longer an empty promise, but a glorious fulfillment. — William McKin-
Icy, at Albany, N. Y., Lincoln's Birthday, 1895.

A man of great ability, pure patriotism, unselfish nature, full of
forgiveness to his enemies, bearing malice toward none, he proved to
be the man above all others for the struggle through which the nation
had to pass to place itself among the greatest in the family of nations.
His fame will grow brighter as time passes and his great work is better
understood. — U. S. Grant.

Lincoln was a man of moderation. He was neither an autocrat
nor a tyrant. If he moved slowly sometimes, it was because it was
better to move slowly, and he was only waiting for his reserves to come
up. Possessing almost unlimited power, he yet carried himself like one
of the humblest of men. He weighed every subject. He considered
and reflected upon every phase of public duty. He got the average
judgment of the plain people. He had a high sense of justice, a clear
understanding of the rights of others, and never heedlessly inflicted
an injury upon any man. He always taught and enforced the doctrine
of mercy and charity on every occasion. Even in the excess of rejoic-
ing, he said to a party who came to serenade him a few nights after the
Presidential election in November, 1864: " Now that the election is
over, may not all having a common interest re-unite in common effort
to save our country? So long as I have been here, I have not willingly
planted a thorn in any man's bosom. While I am deeply sensible to the
high compliment of a re-election, and duly grateful, as I trust, to
Almighty God, for having directed my countrymen to a right con-
clusion, as I think, for their own good, it adds nothing to my satisfac-
tion that any other man may be disappointed or pained by the result."
— William McKinlcy, at Albany, N. Y., Lincoln's Birthday, 1895.


The South was shocked inexpressibly by the foul assassination of
Mr. Lincoln. The world has never held the South responsible for the
act of the madman. Yet, horrified as they were, and stirred as were
their generous sympathies at the cruel fate of their greatest antagonist,
the Southern people knew not how much of hope for them, how much
of love, how much of helpfulness in their hour of sorest need, lay buried
in the coffin of Abraham Lincoln. As he had been the mainstay of the
Union, he could have gone further than any other man in the North
would have dared to do in the way of kindness and forgiveness to his
foes. As he was truly great, he knew the constraining power of such
magnanimity. As he was truly good, its exercise would have been to
him the sweetest guerdon of his great endeavors and triumph. Yet
fate decreed otherwise. The curse of his assassination was added to the
calamity of defeat in the full cup of bitterness which was commended
to the lips of the South during the long and humiliating years of recon-
struction. Year by year she is learning to know Lincoln as he was,
and not as she has pictured him. She is learning to realize that his
devotion to the Union and his advocacy of emancipation were as natural
to him as the contrary views entertained by her own people. She is
learning, above all, to realize that, strong and true to his convictions
as he was, he was struck down at the very hour when he would have
proved himself her friend, and that, whether viewed as a friend or as a
foe, candor must class him among the wisest, truest, simplest and
greatest men that America ever produced. — Ex-Governor George D.
Wise, of Virginia.

Lincoln was an immense personality — firm but not obstinate.
Obstinacy is egotism — firmness, heroism. He influenced others with-
out effort — unconsciously; and they submitted to him as men submit to
nature — unconsciously. He was severe with himself, and for that
reason lenient with others.

He appeared to apologize for being kinder than his fellows.

He did merciful things as stealthily as others committed crimes.

Almost ashamed of tenderness, he said and did the noblest words
and deeds with that charming confusion, that awkwardness, that is the
perfect grace of modesty.



He wore no official robes either on his body or his soul. He never
pretended to be more or less, or other, or different, from what he really


He was neither tyrant nor slave. He neither knelt nor scorned.
With him men were neither great nor small — they were right or


Through manners, clothes, titles, rags and race he saw the real —
that which is. Beyond accident, policy, compromise and war he saw
the end.

He was patient as Destiny, whose undecipherable hieroglyphs were
so deeply graven on his sad and tragic face. — Robert G. Ingersoll, at
Dinner on Lincoln's Birthday.

It is the glory of Lincoln that, having almost absolute power, he
never abused it, except on the side of mercy.

Wealth could not purchase, power could not awe, this divine, this
loving man.

He knew no fear except the fear of doing wrong. Hating slavery,
pitying the master — seeking to conquer, not persons, but prejudices —
he was the embodiment of self-denial, the courage, the hope, and the
nobility of a Nation.

He spoke not to inflame, not to upbraid, but to convince.

He raised his hands, not to strike, but in benediction.

He loved to see the pearls of joy on the cheeks of a wife whose
husband he had rescued from death.

Lincoln was the grandest figure of the fiercest Civil War. He is
the gentlest memory of our world.— Robert G. Ingersoll, at Dinner on
Lincoln's Birthday.


Air, "The Rose that All are Praising."

i. Oh, he is not the man for me, Who buys or sells

2. He sure is not the man for me, Whose spir - it will

3. No, no, he's not the man for me, Whose voice o'er hill

a slave ; Nor

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all men's life
through the land
prays and toils

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loves a - like each hu - man form — Oh, that's the man

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head, and heart, and voice, and vote — Oh, that's the man





me, . . . Oh,
me, . . . Oh,
me, . . . Oh,


o captain! my captain!


O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes, the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But, O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies
Falien, cold and dead.

O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up — for you the flag is flung — for you the bugle trills —
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths — for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here, Captain! dear father!

This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that, on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead!

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship comes in, with object won;
Exult, O shores! and ring, O bells!

But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies
Fallen, cold, and dead.

— Walt Whitman.

This man whose homely face you look upon,

Was one of Nature's masterful, great men;
Born with strong arms that unfought victories won,

Direct of speech and cunning with the pen,
Chosen for large designs, he had the art

Of winning with his humor, and he went
Straight to his mark, which was the human heart;

Wise, too, for what he could not break, he bent.
Upon his back, a more than Atlas' load,

The burden of the Commonwealth was laid:
He stooped, and rose up with it, though the road

Shot suddenly downwards, not a whit dismayed.
Hold, warriors, councilors, kings! All now give place

To this dead Benefactor of the Race!

— Richard Henry Stoddard.



Here- was a type of the true elder race,

One of Plutarch's men talked with us face to face;

I praise him not; it were too late;

And some innative weakness there must be

In him who condescends to victory

Such as the present gives, and cannot wait,

Safe in himself as in a fate.

So always, firmly, he;

He knew to bide his time,
And can his fame abide,

Still patient in his simple faith sublime,
Till the wise years decide.

Great captains, with their guns and drums,
Disturb our judgment for the hour,
But at last silence comes.

These are all 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.

— James Russell Lowell.

He was the North, the South, the East, the West,

The thrall, the master, all of us in one;
There was no section that he held the best;

His love shone as impartial as the sun;
And so, Revenge appealed to him in vain,

He smiled at it, as at a thing forlorn,
And gently put it from him, rose and stood
A moment's space in pain,

Remembering the prairies and the corn
And the glad voices of the field and wood.

And then when Peace set wing upon the wind
And, northward flying, fanned the clouds away,

He passed as martyrs pass. Ah, who shall find
The chord to sound the pathos of that day!

Mid-April blowing sweet across the land,
New bloom of freedom opening to the world,

Loud paeans of the homeward-looking host,
The salutations grand
From grimy guns, the tattered flags unfurled;

But he must sleep, to all the glory lost!

— Maurice Thompson.


All days which are notable should be remembered. The world
does well to mark its sense of the importance of such days, for one
of the most fatal diseases of the mind is indifference., and hence every-
thing which tends to rouse men out of their indifference is beneficial.
The life of Lincoln should never be passed by in silence by young or
old. He touched the log cabin and it became the palace in which great-
ness was nurtured. He touched the forest and it became to him a
church in which the purest and noblest worship of God was observed.
His occupation has become associated in our minds with the integrity
of the life he lived. In Lincoln there was always some quality that
fastened him to the people, and taught them to keep time to the
music of his heart. Instances are given of his honesty, but there are
tens of thousands of men as honest as he. The difference is that they
are not able to concentrate the ideal of honor as he did. He reveals
to us the beauty of plain backwoods honesty. He grew up away from
the ethics of the colleges, but he acquired a sense of honesty as high
and noble as the most refined of the teachers of ethics could compre-
hend. — David Swing.

Of Mr. Lincoln's general character I need not speak. He was
warm-hearted; he was generous; he was magnanimous; he was most
truly, as he afterwards said on a memorable occasion, " with malice
toward none, with charity for all." He had a native genius far above
his fellows. Every fountain of his heart was overflowing with the
" milk of human kindness." From my attachment to him, so much
deeper was the pang in my own breast, as well as of millions, at the
horrible manner of his " taking off." This was the climax of our
troubles, and the spring from which came unnumbered woes. But of
those events, no more, now. Let not history confuse events. Emanci-
pation was not the chief object of Mr. Lincoln in issuing the Proclama-
tion. His chief object, the ideal to which his whole soul was devoted,
was the preservation of the Union. Pregnant as it was with coming
events, initiative as it was of ultimate emancipation, it still originated,
in point of fact, more from what was deemed the necessities of war, than
from any purely humanitarian view of the matter. Life is all a mist,
and in the dark our fortunes meet us! This was evidently the case


with Mr. Lincoln. He, in my opinion, was, like all the rest of us. an
instrument in the hands of that Providence above us, that " Divinity
which shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will." — Alexander
Hamilton Stephens, of Georgia.

The month of February contains two great days, — days that com-
memorate the two most thrilling and imperial figures in our American
history. There could not possibly be two more opposite and dissimilar
types; the one with all the advantages of high station, culture and fine
breeding, refinement and gracious surroundings; unspoiled, as gracious
as the humblest among us all.

And, then, that other; that singular and incomparable character,
of whom, when anybody tells something more about his young life, you
get a sense of how fine and high, amid all his poverty and hardship, it
was; how truly noble that other was — our own Lincoln.

What was it that made these two men great; one with inheritances
to make greatness of an external kind; the other with only the simple
ruggedness of a great character? What but this: That each one held
himself, first of all, as a servant of the Power above him, and, sitting in
the high chair of state, sat there remembering always that he was a
servant of the people, and only that because he was the servant of
God. — Right Rev. Henry C. Potter.

An anecdote, showing Lincoln's merciful nature in a touching
light, and related by Mr. L. E. Chittenden in his " Recollections of
President Lincoln and His Administration/' from authentic sources, is
the one of the sleeping sentinel, William Scott, the Vermont boy, whose
life Lincoln saved after he had been condemned to be shot. Lincoln
personally saw Scott and talked with him a long time. Scott would
not talk to his comrades of the interview afterward until one night,
when he had received a letter from home, he finally opened his heart to
a friend in this wise:

" The President was the kindest man I had ever seen. I was scared
at first, for I had never before talked with a great man. But Mr. Lin-
coln was so easy with me, so gentle, that I soon forgot my fright.
* * * He stood up, and he says to me, ' My boy, stand up here and


look me in the face.' I did as he bade me. ' My boy,' he said, ' you
are not going to be shot to-morrow. I am going to trust you and send

Online LibraryCharles Rufus SkinnerManual of patriotism : for use in the public schools of the State of New York → online text (page 18 of 31)