Joshua Haigh.

Honest Abe and Brother Jim : the two martyred presidents of the United States. : A book for bigger boys online

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LINCOLN ROOM




UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
LIBRARY



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HONEST ABE



AND



BROTHER JIM

THE TWO MARTYRED PRESIDENTS OE
THE UNITED STATES.



% IBonk fnr ISiggn* IJo^s.



BY IHE



Rev. JOSHUA HAIGH.



CHARLES H. KELLY, 2, Castle St., City Rd., E.C. ;

And 66, Paternoster Row, E.C.

1893.



MORRISON AND GIBB, I'RINTERS, EDINBURGH.



172.7 Lt^'i



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CONTENTS.



INTRODUCTION.

PAGE

The proper vStiidy of Mankind. — Two are better than

one. — -Nicknames, . . . . . .9-12



CHAPTER I.

Birth and Early Training.

Home in tlie West End and the Far West. — Develop-
ment. — Mothers the Main Instrument. — Means made
use of: the Bible. — Facilities for Knowledfre. — Practical
Wisdom in the shape of Proverbs, . , . 13-24



CHAPTER IT.
The Lower Rounds.

Personal Endeavour. ^ Observation and Rencction. —

Manual Toil. — Done with their Might, . . . 25-32

5



6 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER III.

Still Climbing.

PAGE

Moral Exercise. — Right versus Might. — Right governing
Might. — Mental Culture. — Energy and Persistence. —
Native Obscurity broken, 33-41



CHAPTER IV.

The Higher Rounds.

Lawyer et Professor. — Thoroughly Honest. — Capturing
Young Men. — Preaching. — Beckoned higher and
made President, . . . . . . . 42 57

CHAPTER V.

In that Fierce Light.

Attaining and maintaining a Position. — Detestation of
Jobbery. — The Man I have to live with. — Another
Martyr, 58-61

CHAPTER VI.

Which Fiercer grows.

Southern Secession. — Lincoln's Conciliation. — The War

inevitable through the Attack on Fort Sumter, . 62-65



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VII.
Bur EVER snows the Man,



PAGE



Lines of Lincoln's Policy.— Position made difficult by his
hatred of Slavery and the provocations of the Slave-
party.— Further embarrassed by Slavery-sympathisers
in England.— Still cheered ox\..— Emancipation !~T\iQ
Rebellion crushed, 66-83

CONCLUSION.

The Cause of Humanity the Cause of God.— Stepping-
stones of Difficulties.— Slavery under the British Flag.
—To the Greed of others.— To Baseness in themselves.
— Personal Freedom necessary to the Emancipation of
others.— The Glorious End, 84-95



HONEST ABE AND
BROTHER JIM.



INTRODUCTION.



M am a man, and nothing that is human is foreign to me.'

— Terence.

JHERE is an old but profoundly true line
which says

'The proper study of mankind is Man.''

Other studies may be pursued — suns, serpents,
rocks, rivers, moons, monkeys, satellites, stalac-
tites : but they are uncongenial. Man is our
fellow. His common nature and his kindred
sphere make him one with us, and in his
struggles and triumphs we may read and antici-
pate our own.



I o HO.YES T ABE AND BRO THER JIM.

But why two men, and of all men, Americans,
Yankees — men of brag and bunkum, who believe
thoroughly in the aphorism :

' The man who in this world would rise
Must either bust or advertise ' ?

Wouldn't one have been sufficient, and
couldn't he have been found at home? No
doubt. But the further the field the wider the
view, and in matters requiring emphasis and
confirmation two are always better than one.

At the entrance to one of our great rivers there
are two lighthouses, one near the water's edge,
the other on a rock behind. They are so placed,
however, that when a vessel is right opposite
the river's mouth, and may with safety attempt
to enter, the two lights fall into one line, and
the fact of their falling into one line is an
indication to the captain that he may attempt
to enter. And, similarly, if the lessons taught
by the life of Abraham Lincoln are repeated in
the life of James Abram Garfield, and if the
lessons taught by the life of James Abram
Garfield are anticipated in the life of Abraham
Lincoln, — in other words, if the two lives in their
great moral teaching coincide, — it is powerful



IX TROD UC TION. 1 1

confirmation of the truth of that teaching, and
may inspire a measure of confidence in learning
the same that we could not otherwise have.

One more preliminary thought. ' Honest
Abe' and 'Brother Jim' are sobriquets, or nick-
names, given to the individuals whom they
respectively designate when boys, but which
had so much of truth in them that they outlived
the feeling that first gave rise to them, and clung
to the men in later life. I have linked them
together in the title of my book, not because I
believe in nicknames, or am anxious to en-
courage the feeling that often gives rise to them,
but because in these cases they hit off the
cJiaractcristics of the incji. Abraham Lincoln
had a large development of conscientiousness —
a strict sense of truth and right and justice
and honour — and may well therefore be called
' Honest' James Abram Garfield had a large
endowment of sympathy — a deep and tender
feeling towards his fellows, especially those of
them who were struggling and oppressed, and
may well therefore be called ' Brother,'

It was these characteristics in them that
made the men the uncompromising foes of



12 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM.

slavery. Abraham Lincoln opposed the foul
thing, because he believed it to be unfair, unjust,
and emphatically dishonest, for one man to hold
property in another. James Abram Garfield
opposed it, because he recognised in every man
a brother, and cherished a brother's feeling
towards him. And if we remember these things,
despite the false or foolish feeling that often
gives rise to nicknames, we may retain the
present, and hail our heroes as

Honest Abe and Brother Jim.




CHAPTER I.



BIRTH AND EARLY TRAINING.




' Train up a child in the way he should go. '

— Proverbs xxii. 6.

'The mind follows the mother.'

— Translation of Latin Maxim.

iWAY in a wild, desolate kind of place in
the old slave State of Kentucky, in the
year of our Lord 1809, Honest Abe was
born ; and twenty-two years later, in a similar
place in the State of Ohio, Brother Jim first
saw the light. Their surroundings were not
sumptuous. On the contrary, they were bleak,
bare, and unpromising — so much so, that if the
boys at their advent could have taken them in,
and have had the opportunity of saying yea or
nay in reference to entering upon them, I can
quite imagine they would have said ;/«;// with

13



14 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM,

a tone and an emphasis that would have
daunted all gainsayers.

No house of stone, with plate-glass windows
and mediaeval or modern adornments, reared








W-k^^t^i-'







BIRTHPLACE OF LINCOLN.



itself over their heads. No bed of down, hung
with chintz and lace or draped with damask
and cretojnie, gave repose to their fair and
delicate forms. No carpet from Axminster or
Brussels yielded to the pressure of the servant's
foot as she announced that the Rev. Augustus



BIRTH AND EARLY TRAINING. 15

Wigruff had called, or that Mrs. and the Misses
Blazonby were waiting in the carriage to know
how the mother and child were doine. No
spoon of silver or mug plated with gold, the
costly gifts of rich and devoted godmothers,
opened their lips to daintily-prepared nourish-
ment. No nursery of the fairy-land type,
bedight and even made gorgeous with dolls'
houses, Chinese lanterns, and illustrations of
Jack the Giant Killer, Humpty-Dumpty, and
half-a-dozen other different heroes, taught their
young ideas how to shoot. The reverse of all
that. Their home was a log hut, a rude en-
closure of wood, twenty feet by eighteen, with
a loft half-way across — very much like the ha}-
lofts of modern cow-houses — and which served
as a separate bedroom. Their utensils were
of the rudest — three-legged stools for chairs ;
long poles, with slabs, for bedsteads ; sacks of
hay, straw, husks, and dried leaves for mattresses ;
Dutch ovens for fire-places; and plates and
knives and forks of wood : while their food
and clothing were of the coarsest and scantiest.
This, however, is an age of development — a
period of physical, social, and intellectual



i6 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM.

advancement : and when we are told, on con-
siderable scientific authority, that the grandfather
of the present noble Archbishop of Canterbury,
some generations back, was a monkey up a tree ;
and that the great-grandfather of that * Grand
Old Man ' who now holds the reins of English
government, a little further back, was a grave
old frog haranguing a parliament of frogs on
the muddy banks of a pre-Adamic pond ; we are
not surprised at anything in that line — not even
when we read that Honest Abe and Brother
Jim, who first saw the light in log huts, one of
which was windowless, floorless, doorless, the
other of which had large holes in the side
covered with greased paper for windows — not
even when we read that they ended their lives
in the White House, the superb residence of
the Chief Magistrate of the United States of
America.

The main influence in this unwonted mental
and moral development was that of the respect-
ive mothers. ' What France wants,' said the
great Napoleon, when some one complained of
the decadence of the national life, ' is mothers ; '
and most great and good men have been singu-







JMlll: :



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s



BIRTH AND EARLY TRAINING. 19

larly favoured in this respect. That was the
case with our heroes. Nancy Hanks, who became
the wife of Thomas Lincohi, and Sally Johnson,
who became his second wife, and Eliza Ballou,
who became the wife of Abram Garfield, were
women with heads on their shoulders, and —
something in them. ' Mother, mother ! ' said a
boy, bursting in upon the quiet of the house,
rubbing his eyes and blubbering, 'all the lads
say what a big head I've got.' ' Never mind,
lad,' said the mother, intending to console him,
' tha's got iioivt in it! That was not the case
with these women, though. They had not only
heads on their shoulders, but something in them ;
and that something they used in the training of
their children. Their great aim in this regard
was to develop character from luithin tJiem — to
make them intelligent, energetic, and good.

In pursuance of this object they read the
Bible to them regularly. It was the constant
practice of Eliza Garfield, whose husband died
when Jim was only eighteen months old, to
read four chapters each week-day of the week
to her children ; and if no pioneer preacher
came that way on the Sunday, she sought to



20 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM.

make the day bright and blessed by reciting
the stories of Cain and Abel, Joseph and his
brethren, David and Goliath, Daniel in the den
of lions, and the ' Holy Child Jesus ; ' whilst
Nancy Lincoln kindled the sentiment of liberty
in the soul of young Abe — a sentiment that
afterwards flamed up in the famous edict for
negro emancipation — by reading and re-reading,
expounding and emphasising, the story of Israel's
deliverance from the bondage of Egypt.

The women also gave their children all the
facilities which their limited means and out-of-
the-way situation could afford for acquiring
knowledge. These were not great. The whole
term of Lincoln's schooling did not cover twelve
months, though he is said to have drained four
teachers dry. And Garfield's term was not
much longer. But when you teach a boy the
three R's — reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic — you put
into his hand the key of all knowledge. There
is no limit to the possibility of his subsequent
attainments, save that which is imposed by his
own capacity.

Moreover, Widow Garfield sought to instil
into the minds of her c\v\\d.x&r\ practical wisdom,




GARFIELU'S MOTHER.



21



BIR TH A ND EA RL J ' TRA INING. 1 3

in homoeopathic doses, in the shape of proverbs
— wisdom which, she believed, would stand
them in good stead in the great crises of their
lives. One of her proverbs was, WJiere tJieres
a will there^s a way. ' What does that mean,
mother?' said Jim. 'Why, it means this, my
boy, that if you make up your mind to do a
thing, although it may be difficult and well-nigh
impossible, you will generally succeed. Your
resolute mind will be both drill and powder
blasting the hardest rock.'

Gocl helps the vian that helps Jiiniself, was
another. 'What does that mean, mother?'
' Why, it means that when you have done the
best you can for yourself, God will help you as
He helped the Israelites when they had come
to the Red Sea, and could get no further.' ' But
does God ever help a man in anything but being
religious?' ' Certainly; He helps him in every-
thing — running his farm, writing his book,
managing his business — everything that is not
sinful ; and He helps that man most who does
the best he can for himself.'

An ounce of pluck is zvorih a pojtnd of luck,
was another. ' What does that mean ? ' ' Why,



24 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM.

it means that, instead of mooning about, in the
hope that something will turn up, it's far better
to go to work and turn something up. The
stubborn glebe will yield thee weeds for naught,
but it wall only give thee bread in so far as thou
dost compel it.'

In these ways did the mothers Lincoln and
Garfield lay deep and broad and strong, in the
mental and moral being of their boys, the
foundations of a godly character.




CHAPTER II.



THE LOWER ROUNDS.




'Work fur the good ihat is nighest.'

—Rev. IV. M. riuishon, LL.D.

I'^^^AVOURING conditions and stimulating
influences cannot supersede personal
cndeavo2ir. We have machinery for
most things :

' Propelling boats,
Driving mills,
Winnowing oats,

Settling bills ;'

but I never jet heard of a machine for putting
the multipHcation table into a lad when he was
asleep, or for drilling a boy, in the arms of
Morpheus, in the Rule of Three, the Latin de-
clensions, the dates of history, or the Tonic Sol-
fa system. These things, if mastered at all,

25



26 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM.

must be mastered by personal endeavour, by the
application and diligence of the pupil.

Such application and diligence Lincoln and
Garfield gave. Soon as Lincoln had learned
to read, he devoured his father's library, com-
mitting two-thirds of the volumes to memory.
This was perhaps not so prodigious a feat after
all, for the library only contained three volumes
— the Bible, the Catechism, and Dibworth's
Spelling Book. Garfield did much the same
with his mother's library, which consisted of
the Bible, the English Reader, and Davy
Crockett's Almanack.

In the absence of a wider literary sphere,
however, these boys did what every boy in
America and England would do well to do,
viz. cultivated their poivers of observation and
reflection. One day, soon after he had learned
to read, Jim came across this sentence in a
book, ' The rain came down upon the roof
Immediately after reading it, he paused, looked
grave, and then, with all the enthusiasm of a
discoverer, exclaimed, ' Why, I've seen the rain
do that myself, mother ! ' — an exclamation which
shows that he had begun to observe and reflect.



THE LOWER ROUNDS. 27

He had observed, for he had seen the rain
come down upon the roof; and he had reflected,
for he had turned it over in his mind to
such an extent, that when he saw a description
of it in a book he at once recognised it as
such.

Young men, would you be substances in the
world and not shadows, voices and not echoes,
perennial fountains and not extemporised
cisterns ? keep your eyes open, keep your ears open,
and brighten yonr brains by thinking. Many
discoveries have been made ; but quite as many
remain to be made, and I don't see why you
shouldn't have a hand in making them. Ireland,
for instance, needs uniting to England — not
imperially but geographically, by means of a
tunnel under the sea. Then England will need
uniting to the Continent ; and after that the
Continent to America. What an immense
advantage it would be if business men could
leave their homes in England on a Monday
morning, run over or rather under to America,
transact their business there, and get back to
iheir wives and families on Saturday evening !
What a saving of time and money ! And why



28 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM.

not? There would be no cozv on that line, the
great bugbear that frightened some of the
Members of Parliament when George Stephen-
son put before them his scheme for a line
between Manchester and Liverpool ; nor any
zvaysidc station to stop at. Everything would
be plain sailing, so far as going under the sea
could be called sailing.

Then, again, mothers who cannot leave their
homes, and invalids who are confined to their
rooms, need the ministrations of religion — the
sermon, the lecture, the service of song. Why
not lay such ministrations on to their houses by
means of some telephonic arrangement, just as
you lay the gas and water on — to be turned on
and off at will ? There's a sphere for your
energy, my friend, and your ambition too. Gird
up the loins of your mind, and address yourself
to it. And remember me when it goeth well
with thee ! When you have made your fortune,
and the world is ringing with your fame, just
give an extra sixpence to the ' Worn-out
Ministers' Fund,' in memory of a poor Methodist
preacher who had these ideas, but who was
precluded from using them by the law which



THE LOWER ROUNDS. 29

enacts that no Methodist preacher shall enter
into business !

Seriously, though, whether you are born to be
great discoverers or no, if you will only observe
and reflect — keep your eyes open upon what is
going on, and ask yourselves, 'What does it mean,
and how may it be utilised and improved ? —
the process will give to your words and actions
an originality, freshness, and force which will
make you men of poivcr, respectable and re-
spected, wherever you may move.

It is difficult to say at what period these
youths began manual toil. They seem to have
lent a hand and made themselves useful almost
from the time of toddling off. At any rate, on
or about the eighth anniversary of their birthday,
each was chopping wood, milking cows, shelling
corn, and 'choring' about generally. And they
continued their handicraft till they were twenty-
four or twenty-five. Not always in the same
line. Sometimes they were farmers, at other
times carpenters ; sometimes black-salters, at
other times boatmen ; sometimes store-keepers,
at other times surveyors ; but in one form or
another working men — men who earned their



30 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM.

bread by the sweat of their brow — till they
were some time past their majority.

Let no one sneer at that. In the present
economy working men are necessary. Boots
will get down at the heels and need mending ;
clothes will wear out and need renewing ;
houses will sink into decay and need repairing ;
and breakfast and dinner times will come and
need providing for. Working men are the
sineivs of the State !

And what their hand found to do these workingf
men did zvith their might. They did not labour
under the vitiating thought, born too often of
an overweening conceit, that manual toil was
beneath them, and to engage in it a degradation
to them. On the contrary, they believed that
all toil, providing it to be honest, is honourable,
and they had a manly pride in doing it.

This feeling led to success — immediate and,
I believe, ultimate. When Jim was twelve
years old, he was set to run his mother's farm.
He had previously assisted his brother Thomas
in this work; but Thomas went away, and the
whole responsibility devolved upon him. This
developed all the energy and manliness of his



THE LOWER ROUNDS.



31



nature, and it wasn't long before the neighbours
said to his mother, ' Your boy farmer is pretty
lively, Mrs. Garfield ; his farm looks as well as




GARFIELD WHEN A BOY.



that of any of us.' Soon after, he went to work
for a carpenter at planing boards. During the
first day he planed a hundred, and at the end
of the day, as he stood with great beads of



32 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM.

perspiration on his brow, had the satisfaction
of hearing the carpenter say, ' They are well
done.' Some time after, when he was attending
the Chester Seminary, and working in the
vacation to furnish himself with funds, he
applied to a farmer for some mowing to do.
' Can you mow well ? ' said the farmer. ' You
can tell by trying me,' said Jim. He did try
him, and was so satisfied with him, that at
the close of the day — understanding he was
about to be a preacher — he said, ' If one of
these days you prcacJi as well as you mow, I
shall certainly want to hear you.' And Abe
did his rail-splitting, hog-killing, corn-shelling,
and store-keeping with such thoroughness and
satisfaction, that he commanded a man's wages
when quite a boy, and earned the commendation
of all for whom he toiled.

Young men, doiit despise the duty that lies
nearest to yon. Get above the false pride, the
radical littleness and vulgarness of mind, which
would lead you to scorn the lower rounds of the
ladder. To the majority of us, who are born at
the bottom, they are the only means of rising.



CHAPTER III.



STILL CLIMBING.



' Patient continuance in well-doing.'

— Ro?nans ii, 7.



)HE manual toil of Lincoln and Garfield
was educational in other respects than
the development of their energy. It
served to exercise, and by exercising strengthen,
their moral faculties. When Garfield was
fifteen years old he left home, and hired himself
out as mule-driver on the tow-path of the Ohio
and Pennsylvania Canal. This brought him
into contact with a set of rough, brutal, whisky-
drinking, whisky-loving men — men who had
altogether more regard for the bottle than the
Bible, and whose every prayer was an oath. So
far was he from being corrupted by these men,

3



34 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM.

however, he was even enabled to correct, and in
some degree elevate them.

^ Jakes, Jakes, ivJiat makes yo2i sivear so
awfully?' said he to a fellow who had been
pouring out a volley of oaths one day; *it
certainly don't improve your conversation, and
makes one think of Pandemonium.'

' Don't know,' said Jakes ; ' s'pose it helps to
get some of yer bad stuff out.'

'Then, if that's the case,' said Jim, 'it ought
to have been all out long since ; for you have
sworn enough to empty yourself times over.
Instead of emptying, though, I rather think it
helps to fill ye — the bad stuff in you growing by
the cultivation you give it.'

' WJiafs the row, captain ? ' said he to the
commander of the canal boat, as they came up
to one of the locks along with another boat, and
when he saw the men springing to the tow-path
in a most excited manner.

' Only a fight,' said the captain.

' A fight ? ' said Jim ; ' but what about ? '

' Why, as to who goes through the lock
first'

' But who came up to the lock first ? '



STILL CLIMBING. 35

' S'pose they did,' said the captain ; ' but we
shall get it, for our men are stronger than
theirs.'

' But is that RIGHT ? ' said Jim, drawing his
body up to its full height, and opposing himself
like a wall of brass to the bare idea of brutal
might triumphing.

The question stirred some latent elements of
conscience in the captain. He at once and
imperatively recalled his men ; and the boat
that had the right went through the lock first.

' Give it him, give it him ; pound Jiim, pound
him,' said a number of men to Jim one day,
when he had thrown a hot-headed Irishman,
who had plunged at him like a bull for accident-
ally knocking off his hat.

' No,' said Jim ; ' he is in my power, and I
wouldn't lift a finger against him.'

Then, turning to the Irishman, he said, ' Had
enough. Murphy ? You can get up as soon as
you say that you have.'

' Enough,' said Murphy.

Thereupon the two arose, when Jim went up
to him, and, holding out his hand, said, ' I'm
sorry I knocked off your hat, Murphy ; it was



36 HONEST ABE AND BROTHER JIM.

a pure accident. I hope you'll shake hands and
be friends.'

The two did shake hands, and were firm
friends ever after.

Might governed by right ! Power under the
dominion of love !

Ah, Widow Garfield had not toiled in vain !
Fourteen years before, as he lay a-dying in a
log hut in the Western Reserve, her husband
had said to her, ' Eliza, I have planted four
tender saplings in these woods, and I must
now leave you to take care of them.' And she
had taken care of them — not only of their
bodies, but of their souls ; not only of their


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