Henry James Lee.

Portrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p online

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elected and the control of the Government were
thus taken from their hands, they would secede
from the Union, taking with them as they retired
the National Capitol at Washington and the
lion's share of the territory of the United States.

As the storm increased in violence, the slave-
holders claiming the right to secede, and Mr.
Buchanan avowing that Congress had no power
to prevent it, one of the most pitiable exhibitions
of goveriunental imbecility was exhibited that the
world has ever seen. He declared that Congress
had no power to enforce its laws in any State
which had withdrawn, or which was attempting
to withdraw, from the Union. This was not the
doctrineof Andrew Jackson, when, with his hand
upon his sword-hilt, he exclaimed: "The Union
must and shall be preserved!"

South Carolina seceded in December, i860,
nearly three months before the inauguration of
President Lincoln. Mr. Buchanan looked on in
listless despair. The rebel flag was raised in
Charleston; Ft. Sumter was besieged; our forts,
navy-yards and arsenals were seized; our depots
of military stores were plundered, and our cus-
tom-houses and post-offices were ap'propriated by
the rebels.

The energy of the rebels and the imbecility of
our Executive were alike marvelous. The na-
tion looked on in agony, waiting for the slow
weeks to glide away and close the administration,
so terrible in its weakness. At length the long
looked-for hour of deliverance came, when Abra-
ham Lincoln was to receive the scepter.

The administration of President Buchanan was
certainly the most calamitous our country has ex-
perienced. His best friends can not recall it with
pleasure. And still more deplorable it is for his
fame, that in that dreadful conflict which rolled
its billows of flame and blood over our whole
land, no word came from his lips to indicate his
wish that our country's banner should triumph
over the flag of the Rebellion. He died at his
Wheatland retreat, June i, 1868.




ABRAHAM LINCOLN.



ABRAHAM LINCOLN.



61 BRAHAM LINCOLN, the sixteenth Presi-
Ll dent of tlie United .States, was born in Hardin
I I County, Ky., T'chruary 12, 1809. About
the year 1780, a man by the name of Abraham
Lincohi left Virginia with his family and moved
into the then wilds of Kentucky . Only two years
after this emigration, and while still a young man,
he was working one day in a field, when an Indian
stealthily approached and killed him. His widow
was left ill extreme poverty with five little chil-
dren, three boys and two girls. Thomas, the
youngest of the boys, and the father of President
Abraham Lincoln, was four years of age at his
father's death.

When twenty-eight years old, Thomas Lincoln
built a log cabin, and married Nancy Hanks, the
daughter of another family of poor Kentucky
emigrants, who had also come from Virginia.
Their .second childwas Abraham Lincoln, the sub-
ject of this sketch. The mother of Abraham was
a noble woman, gentle, loving, pensive, created
to adorn a palace, but doomed to toil and pine, and
die in a hovel. " All that I am, or hope to be,"
exclaimed the grateful son, " I owe to my angel-
mother." When he was eight years of age, his
father sold his cabin and small farm and moved
to Indiana, where two years later his niothei^ died.

As the jears rolled on, the lot of this lowly
family was the usual lot of humanity. There
were joys and griefs, weddings and funerals.
Abraham's sister Sarah, to whom he was tenderly
attached, was married when a child of but four-
teen years of age, and soon died. The family
was gradually- scattered, and Thomas Lincoln
sold out his squatter's claim in 1830, and emi-
grated to Macon County, 111.

Abraham Lincoln was then twenty-one years
of age. With vigorous hands he aided his father
in rearing another log cabin, and worked quite
diligently at this until he saw the family com-
fortably settled, and their small lot of enclosed
prairie planted with corn, when he announced to



his father his intention to leave home, and to go
out into the world and seek his fortune. Little
did he or his friends imagine how brilliant that
fortune v.-as to be. He saw the value of educa-
tion and was intensely earnest to improve his
mind to the utmost of his power. Religion he
revered. His morals were pure, and he was un-
contaminated by a single vice.

Young Abraham worked for a time as a hired
laborer among the farmers. Then he went to
Springfield, where he was employed in building
a large flat-boat. In this he took a herd of swine,
floated them down the Sangamon to Illinois, and
thence by the Mississippi to New Orleans. What-
ever Abraham Lincoln undertook, he performed
so faithfully as to give great satisfaction to his
employers. In this adventure the latter were
so well pleased, that upon his return they placed
a store and mill under his care.

In 1832, at the outbreak of the Black Hawk
War, he enlisted and was chosen Captain of a
company. He returned to Sangamon County,
and, although only twenty-three years of age, was
a candidate for the Legislature, but was defeated.
He soon after received from Andrew Jackson the
appointment of Postmaster of New Salem. His
only post-office was his hat. All the letters he
received he carried there, ready to deliver to those
he chanced to meet. He studied sur\-eying, and
soon made this his business. In 1834 he again
became a . candidate for the Legislature and was
elected. Mr. Stuart, of Springfield, advLsed him
to studi" law. He walked from New Salem to
Springfield, borrowed of Mr. Stuart a load of
books, carried them back, and began his legal
studies. When the Legislature assembled, he
trudged on foot with his pack on his back one
hundred miles to \'aiidalia, then the capital. In
1836 he was re-elected to the Legislature. Here
it was he first met Stephen A. Douglas. In 1839
he removed to Springfield and began the practice
of law. His success with the jur>- was so great



So



ABRAHAM LINCOLN.



that he was soon engaged in almost ever>' noted
case in the circuit.

In 1854 the great discussion began between Mr.
Lincohi and Mr. Douglas on tlie slavery- ques-
tion. In the organization of the Republican party
ill Illinois, in 1S56, he took an active part, and at
once became one of the leaders in that party.
Mr. Lincoln's speeches in opposition to Senator
Douglas in the contest in 1858 for a seat in the
Senate, form a most notable part of his history.
The issue was on the slavery question, and he
took the broad ground of the Declaration of In-
dependence, that all men are created equal. Mr.
Lincoln was defeated in this contest, but won a
far higher prize.

The great Republican Convention met at Chi-
cago on the 1 6th of June, i860. The delegates
and strangers who crowded the city amounted to
twenty-five thousand. An immense building
called "The Wigwam," was reared to accommo-
date the convention. There were eleven candi-
dates for whom votes were thrown. William H.
Seward, a man whose fame as a statesman had
long filled the land, was the most prominent. It
\vas generally supposed he would be the nomi-
nee. Abraham Lincoln, however, received the
nomination on the third ballot.

Election day came, and Mr. Lincoln received
one hundred and eighty electoral votes out of two
hundred and three cast, and was, therefore, con-
stitutionally elected President of the United States.
The tirade of abuse that was poured upon this
good and merciful man, especially by the slave-
holders, was greater than upon any other man
ever elected to this high position. In February,
1861, Mr. Lincoln started for Washington, stop-
ping in all the large cities on his way, making
.speeches. The whole journey was fraught with
much danger. Many of the Southern States had
already seceded, and several attempts at assassi-
nation were afterward brought to light. A gang
in Baltimore had arranged upon his arrival to
"get up a row," and in the confusion to make
sure of his death with revolvers and hand-gren-
ades. A detective unravelled the plot. A secret
and special train was provided to take him from
Harrisburg, through Baltimore, at an unexpected



hour of the night. The tram started at half-past
ten, and to prevent any possible communication
on the part of the Secessionists with their Con-
federate gang in Baltimore, as soon as the train
had started the telegraph-wires were cut. Mr.
Lincoln reached Washington in safety and was
inaugurated, although great anxiety was felt by
all loyal people.

In the selection of his cabinet Mr. Lincoln gave
to Mr. Seward the Department of State, and to
other prominent opponents before the convention
he gave important positions; but during no other
administration had the duties devolving upon the
President been so manifold, and the responsibilities
so great, as those which fell to his lot. Knowing
this, and feeling his own weakness and inability
to- meet, and in his own strength to cope with,
the difficulties, he learned early to seek Divine
wisdom and guidance in determining his plans,
and Divine comfort in all his trials, both personal
and national. Contrary to his own estimate of
himself, Mr. Lincoln was one of the most cour-
ageous of men. He went directly into the rebel
capital just as the retreating foe was leaving, with
no guard but a few sailors. From the time he
had left Springfield, in 1861, however, plans had
been made for his assassination, and he at last
fell a victim to one of them. April 14, 1865, he,
with Gen. Grant, was urgently invited to attend
Ford's Theatre. It was announced that they
would be present. Gen. Grant, however, left the
city. President Lincoln, feeling, with his char- вЦ†
acteristic kindliness of heart, that it would be a
disappointment if he should fail them, very re-
luctantly consented to go. While listening to
the play, an actor by the name of John Wilkes
Booth entered the box where the President and
family were .seated, and fired a bullet into his
brain. He died the next morning at seven
o'clock.

Never before in the history of the world was
a nation plunged into such deep grief by the death
of its ruler. Strong men met in the streets and
wept in speechless anguish. His was a life which
will fitly become a model. His name as the
Savior of his country will live with that of Wash'
ington'.s, its Father.




''r>^'^^-^^ - c:-?^"^^^^



'^-thing possible to the ut-
most. Tti the beginning of 1868, on account of



"High crimes and misdemeanors," the principal
of which was the removal of Secretary Stanton in
violation of the Tenure of Office Act, articles of
impeachment were preferred against him, and the
trial began March 23.

It was very tedious, continuing for nearly three
months. A test article of the impeachment was
at length submitted to the court for its action. It
was certain that as the court voted upon that ar-
ticle so would it vote upon all. Thirty-four voices
pronounced the President guilty. As a two-thirds
vote was necessary to his condemnation, he was
pronounced acquitted, notwithstanding the great
majority against him. The change of one vote
from the not guilty side would have sustained the
impeachment.

- The President, for the remainder of his term,
was but little regarded. He continued, though
impotently, his conflict with Congress. His own
party did not think it expedient to renominate
him for the Presidency. The Nation rallied with
enthusiasm, unparalleled since the days of Wash-
ington, around the name of Gen. Grant. Andrew
Johnsou was forgotten. The bullet of the assassin
introduced him to the President's chair. Not-
withstanding this, never was there presented to a
man a better opportunity to immortalize his name,
and to win the gratitude of a nation. He failed
utterly. He retired to his home in Greenville,
Tenn., taking no very active part in politics until
1875. On January 26, after an exciting struggle,
he was chosen by the Legislature of Tennessee
United States Senator in the Forty-fourth Congess,
and took his seat in that body, at the special ses-
sion convened by President Grant, on the 5th of
March. On the 27th of July, 1875, the ex-Presi-
dent made a visit to his daughter's home, near
Carter Station, Tenn. When he started on his
journey, he was apparent]}- in his usual vigorous
health, but on reaching the residence of his child
the following day, he was stricken with paralysis,
which rendered him unconscious. He rallied oc-
casionally, but finally passed away at 2 a. m.,
July 31 , aged sixty -seven years. His funeral was
held at Greenville, on the 3d of August, with
every demonstration of respect.




ULYSSES S. GRANT.



ULYSSES S. GRANT.



HLYSSES S. GRANT, the eighteenth Presi-
dent of the United .States, was born on the
29th of April, 1822, of Christian parents, in
a humble home at Point Pleasant, on the banks
of the Ohio. Shortly after, his father moved to
Georgetown, Brown County, Ohio. In this re-
mote frontier hamlet, Ulysses received a common-
school education. At the age of seventeen, in
the year 1839, he entered the Military Academy
at West Point. Here he was regarded as a solid,
sensible young man, of fair ability, and of sturdy,
honest character. He took respectable rank as a
scholar. In June, 1843, he graduated about the
middle in his class, and was sent as Lieutenant of
Infantry to one of the distant military posts in the
Missouri Territory. Two years he passed in these
dreary solitudes, watching the vagabond Indians.

The war with Mexico came. Lieut. Grant was
sent with his regiment to Corpus Christi. His
first battle was at Palo Alto. There was no
chance here for the exhibition of either skill or
heroism, nor at Resaca de la Palma, his second
battle. At the battle of Monterey, his third en-
gagement, it is said that he performed a signal
service of daring and skillful horsemanship.

At the close of the Mexican War, Capt. Grant
returned with his regiment to New York, and
was again sent to one of the military posts on the
frontier. The discovery of gold in California
causing an immense tide of emigration to flow to
the Pacific shores, Capt. Grant was sent with a
battalion to Ft. Dallas, in Oregon, for the protec-
tion of the interests of the immigrants. But life
was wearisome in those wilds, and he resigned
his commission and returned to the States. Hav-
ing married, he entered upon the cultivation of a
small farm near St. Louis, Mo., but having little



skill as a farmer, and finding his toil not re-
munerative, he turned to mercantile life, entering
into the leather business, with a younger brother
at Galena, 111. This was in the year i860. As
the tidings of the rebels firing on Ft. Sumter
reached the ears of Capt. Grant in his counting-
room, he said: "Uncle Sam has educated me
for the army; though I have served him through
one war, I do not feel that I have yet repaid the
debt. I am still ready to discharge my obliga-
tions. I shall therefore buckle on my sword and
see Uncle Sam through this war too."

He went into the streets, raised a company' of
volunteers, and led them as their Captain to
Springfield, the capital of the State, where their
services were offered to Gov. Yates. The Gov-
ernor, impressed by the zeal and straightforward
executive ability of Capt. Grant, gave him a desk
in his office to assist in the volunteer organiza-
tion that was being formed in the State in behalf
of the Government. On the 15th of June, 1861,
Capt. Grant received a commission as Colonel of
the Twenty-first Regiment of Illinois Volunteers.
His merits as a West Point graduate, who had
served for fifteen years in the regular army, were
such that he was soon promoted to the rank of
Brigadier-General, and was placed in command at
Cairo. The rebels raised their banner at Padu-
cah, near the mouth of the Tennessee River.
Scarcely had its folds appeared in the breeze ere
Gen. Grant was there. The rebels fled, their
banner fell, and the Stars and Stripes were un-
furled in its stead.

He entered the sen'ice with great determina-
tion and immediately began active duty. This
was the beginning, and until the surrender of
Lee at Richmond he was ever pushing the enemy



ULYSSES S. GRANT.



with great vigor and effectiveness. At Belmont,
a few days later, he surprised and routed the
rebels, then at Ft. Henry won another victory.
Then came the brilliant fight at Ft, Donelson.
The nation was electrified by the victory, and the
brave leader of the boys in blue wa,s immediately
made a Major-General, and the military district
of Tennessee was assigned to him.

Like all great captains, Gen. Grant knew well
how to secure the results of victory. He imme-
diately pushed on to the enemies' lines. Then
came the terrible battles of Pittsburg Landing,
Corinth, and the siege of Vicksburg, where Gen.
Pemberton made an unconditional surrender of
the city with over thirty thousand men and one
hundred and seventy-two cannon. The fall of
Vicksburg was by far the most severe blow which
the rebels had thus far encountered, and opened
up the Mississippi from Cairo to the Gulf

Gen. Grant was next ordered to co-operate with
Gen. Banks in a movement upon Texas, and pro-
ceeded to New Orleans, where he was thrown
from his horse, and received severe injuries, from
which he was laid up for months. He then
rushed to the aid of Gens. Rosecrans and Thomas
at Chattanooga, and by a wonderful series of
strategic and technical measures put the Union
army in fighting condition. Then followed the
bloody battles at Chattanooga, Lookout Moun-
tain and Missionary Ridge, in which the rebels
were routed with great loss. This won for him
unbounded praise in the North. On the 4th of
Februarj% 1864, Congress revived the grade of
lieutenant-general, and the rank was conferred
on Gen. Grant. He repaired to Washington to
receive his credentials and enter upon the duties
of his new office.

Gen. Grant decided as soon as he took charge
of the army to concentrate the widely-dispersed
National troops for an attack upon Richmond,
the nominal capital of the rebellion, and endeavor
there to destroy the rebel armies which would be
promptly assembled from all quarters for its de-
fense. The whole continent seemed to tremble
under the tramp of these majestic armies, rushing
to the decisive battle-field. Steamers were crowd-
ed with troops. Railway trains were burdened



with closely -packed thousands. His plans were
comprehensive, and involved a series of cam-
paigns, which were executed with remarkable
energy and ability, and were consummated at the
surrender of Lee, April 9, 1865.

The war was ended. The Union was saved.
The almost unanimous voice of the nation de-
clared Gen. Grant to be the most prominent in-
strument in its salvation. The eminent services
he had thus rendered the country brought him
conspicuously forward as the Republican candi-



Online LibraryHenry James LeePortrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p → online text (page 6 of 83)