Lilian Clara Bergold.

Abraham Lincoln centennial : a collection of authentic stories, with poems, songs, and programs, for the boys, girls, and teachers of elementary schools online

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February 12



Boys and Girls

Lilian C. Bergold

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

The Institute of Museum and Library Services through an Indiana State Library LSTA Grant

The National Lincoln Monument

The National Lincoln Monument at Springfield stands on an eminence
in Oak Ridge Cemetery, overlooking a forest of evergreens. Upon the four
pedestals around its central obelisk stand the four bronze groups, represent-
ing the four arms of the service — infantry, cavalry, artillery, and navy.
Passing around the whole obelisk and pedestal is a band or chain of shields,
each representing a state, the name of which is caned upon it. At the south
side of the obelisk is a square pedestal, 7 feet high, supporting the statue of
Lincoln, the pedestal being ornamented with the coat-of-arms of the United
States. This coat-of-arms, in the position it occupies on the monument,
is intended to typify the constitution of the United States. Mr. Lincoln's
statue on the pedestal above it marks the whole an illustration of his position
at the outbreak of the rebellion. He took his stand on the constitution as his
authority for using the four arms of the war power of the government, the
infantry, cavalry, artillery, and navy, to hold together the states which are
represented still lower on the monument by a cordon of tablets linking them
together in a perpetual bond of union.

— By courtesy 0} E. S. Johnson, Springfield, Illinois.









New York Chicago San Francisco

Copyright, 1908



Zo fll>\> flfeotber


One of the greatest features of the Lincoln Centennial should be
to bring to the children of this country those elements of his character,
influence, and greatness which they can appreciate. The author
has endeavored to bring together in usable form such material as would
further this purpose. Many selections from which parts have been
taken are easily available and may be well used in full. Several of
the stories and illustrations have not been hitherto published.



I Stories Told about Lincoln 5

II Stories Told by Lincoln 25

III Maxims and Sayings of Lincoln 30

IV Materials for Readings from Lincoln's Speeches and Letters 32
V Poems: By Lincoln 38

Favorites of Lincoln 39

On Lin oln 41

VI Tributes to Lincoln by Our Great Men Suitable for Readings 44

VII Toast to the Flag 47

Two Pledge Salutes to the Flag 48

VIII Songs: Favorites of Lincoln 49

Lincoln Campaign Songs 49

Popular National War Songs 52

IX Programs 56


St. Gaudens' Lincoln Statue in Chicago Cover Design

The National Lincoln Monument at Springfield Frontispiece

Portrait of Abraham Lincoln Facing Title Page

A Rail Old Western Gentleman 17

The Lincoln House in i860 24

Detail Groups of National Lincoln Monument Facing Page 46



The author wishes to express her appreciation to Mr. Frederick
G. Bonser of the Department of Education for the helpful suggestions
and encouragement he has offered; to Major E. S. Johnson, Cus-
todian of the National Lincoln Monument, for kindly loaning the plates
of the Monument statuary; and to Mr. J. McCan Davis, for the use
of the Lincoln house and cartoon plates.

She also wishes to thank Mr. O. H. Oldroyd, The Century Com-
pany, The Outlook, McClure, Phillips & Company, the Macmillan
Company, and the S. Brainard's Sons Company, for their courtesy
in permitting the use of copyrighted material.

Lilian C. Bergold

State Normal School, Macomb, Illinois.





1-4* Lincoln's Paper Scrap-Books

Lincoln kept two scrap-books, one for funny sayings or
fine passages from poems or history, the other for arithme-
tic sums. On a page of this scrap-book, under a table of
weights, he wrote:

Abraham Lincoln

his hand and pen

he will be great but

God knows when.

3-5 A "Copy" Written by Lincoln

As Lincoln was considered the best penman in his
neighborhood, he was asked while on a visit to write some
"copies." One of them was:

Good boys who to their books apply
Will all be great men by and by.

* Figures before titles of stories indicate grades for which they are appropriate.


4-8 How Lincoln Paid for Weems' Life of Washington

Lincoln read whatever books he could manage to bor-
row. One of these was Weems' "Life of Washington,"
which he laid away carefully every night on a "shelf" or
clapboard resting on wooden pins. One stormy night,
however, the book was thoroughly soaked. Lincoln was
allowed to keep the book after he had pulled fodder three

1-8 Lincoln Saves a Man from Freezing

One night as Lincoln and some other men were return-
ing from a "raising," he noticed a stray horse, saddled and
bridled, in the woods, and near by it a man benumbed with

"Let's leave him," said the men.

"No, he'll freeze to death," said Lincoln.

With the help of the others he lifted the man on the
horse and when they reached a house, Lincoln cared for
him the rest of the night.

4-8 Rescue of a Pig

Lincoln was one day riding past a ditch in which he
saw a pig trying in vain to free itself from the mud. He
wanted to help the pig, but as he had on a new suit of
clothes, he decided to ride by. The thought of the poor
pig troubled him so much, however, that he turned back
after he had ridden two miles and dragged the pig out.

4-8 Lincoln's First Dollar

Abraham Lincoln earned his first dollar when about
eighteen years of age, by taking two men and their trunks
by flat-boat out to a steamer in the Mississippi River, for
which they gave him a silver half dollar each. Mr. Lin-
coln afterward said: "I could scarcely believe my eyes as
I picked up the money. It was a most important incident
in my eyes. I could scarcely believe that I, a poor boy,
had earned a dollar in less than a day — that by honest
work I had earned a dollar. I was a more hopeful and
confident being from that time."

— By permission of O. H. Oldroyd.

1-8 "Abe's Log" at Sangamon Town

Sangamon Town, where Lincoln built the flat-boat,
was then one of the flourishing settlements on the river of
that name. It took some four weeks to build the raft, and
in that period Lincoln succeeded in captivating the entire
village by his story-telling. It was the custom in Sangamon
for the " men-folks" to gather, when resting, in a lane near the
mill. They had rolled out a long peeled log, on which they
lounged. Lincoln had not been long in Sangamon before
he joined this circle. So irresistibly droll were his "yarns"
that "whenever he'd end up in his unexpected way the
boys on the log would whoop and roll off." The result of
the rolling off was to polish the log like a mirror. The men,
recognizing Lincoln's part in this polishing, christened their
seat "Abe's Log."

— By permission oj McClnre, Phillips 6° Co.

5-8 Lincoln Saves Three Men in a Sangamon
• River Tree

Before Lincoln left Sangamon he was the hero of a
thrilling adventure. The men were making a dug-out, to
be used as a small boat with the flat. After the dug-out
was ready to launch they prepared to "let her go," when
two men jumped in as the boat struck water, each one anx-
ious to be the first to get a ride. As they shot out from the
shore they found they were unable to make any headway
against the strong current. At last they began to pull for
the wreck of an old flat-boat. Just as they reached it, one
made a grab and clung to the old timber, but capsized the
canoe, and threw the other into the stream. Lincoln yelled
to him to swim for an old tree.

Being a good swimmer, he succeeded in catching a
branch, and pulled himself up out of the water. Finally the
second man climbed up beside the first. Now there were two
men in the tree and the boat was gone. By this time many
people had come to the bank. Lincoln procured a rope,
and tied it to a log. After all hands had helped roll the log
into the water, a daring young fellow took his seat on the
log, and it was pushed out into the current, with the
expectation that it would be carried down stream against the
tree where the two men were.

The log went straight to the tree; but its rider, im-
patient to help his friends, made a frantic grab at a branch,
raised himself off the log, which was swept from under him,
and soon joined the other two victims upon their forlorn
perch. Lincoln had the log pulled up the stream, and,

securing another piece of rope, called to the men in the tree
to catch it if they could, when he should reach the tree.
When he dashed into the tree, he threw the rope over the
stump of a broken limb, and held the log there until the
three now nearly frozen men had seated themselves astride.
He then gave orders to the people on the shore to hold fast
to the end of the rope which was tied to the log, and leav-
ing his rope in the tree he turned the log adrift. The force
of the current, acting against the taut rope, swung the log
around against the bank, and all "on board" were saved.
— By permission of McClure, Phillips & Co.

3-8 How Lincoln Saved a Flat-boat

While floating down the Sangamon River, the flat-
boat stuck on a milldam near New Salem. The villagers
watched from the shore while one tall fellow worked out a
plan of relief. He unloaded the cargo into a neighboring
boat, thus tilting the craft. Then by boring a hole in the
end extending over the dam, the water was let out. After
plugging the hole he shoved off and reloaded.

5-6 The Great Wrestling Match

At New Salem, Lincoln soon became popular for his
great strength. A friend boasted of him to the rude but
good-hearted "Clary Grove Boys, "who immediately pitted
their champion, Armstrong, against him. When neither
gained the advantage, Armstrong resorted to foul play.
Indignant at this, Lincoln caught him by the throat and

holding him at arm's length, shook him like a boy.
Armstrong, convinced of Lincoln's manhood, declared he
should be "one of the boys."

5-6 Captain Lincoln Forgets the Proper Word of


Lincoln, while captain of a company in the Black Hawk
War, was one day crossing a field with a front of twenty
men, when he came to a narrow gate. Lincoln could not
remember the proper word of command for ordering his
men to form single file, so he shouted: "Halt! This com-
pany is dismissed for two minutes. It will reassemble on
the other side of the fence. Break ranks!" The maneuver
was successful.

3-8 Lincoln's Habit of Carrying Letters in His Hat

As business in Lincoln's store at New Salem was slack,
he also became postmaster and kept the letters in the crown
of his hat while delivering them. Years later he failed to
answer a letter promptly because he had put it in his old
hat and lost sight of it the next day, when he bought a new

5-6 How Lincoln Kept His Post-office Collections

After Lincoln had left New Salem and gone to Spring-
field, the traveling post-office agent called to collect the
money of the United States still in his possession. A friend
offered to loan Lincoln the money to settle up his post-office

account, but he replied, "Thank you very much, but I have
all the money in my trunk which belongs to the government."
The identical silver, quarters and twelve-and-a-half cent
pieces, were safely put away in an old sock in his trunk.

Lincoln, His Two Wailing Boys, and Three

A neighbor of Mr. Lincoln in Springfield tells the fol-
lowing story. He was called to the door one day by hearing
a great noise of children crying, and there was Mr. Lincoln
striding by with two of his boys, both of whom were wail-
ing aloud. "Why, Mr. Lincoln, what's the matter with
the boys?" he asked.

" Just what's the matter with the whole world," Lin-
coln replied; "I've got three walnuts and each wants two."
— By permission of McChtre, Phillips & Co.

1-4 How Tad was Named

Mr. Lincoln while living in Springfield had purchased
a new horse which he named "Tom." Soon after, while
out for a drive, he found that every time he spoke to the
horse his son "Thomas" would reply, so he said: "This
will never do, but I cannot change the horse's name, so I
shall change the boy's." Accordingly Thomas Lincoln
became "Tad."
— Told the author by Mrs. Edwards, a niece of Mrs. Lincoln.

i~4 Lincoln and the Young Birds

Lincoln, Speed, and others were riding toward Spring-
field, and had stopped to water their horses. Hardin at the
rear came up alone. "Where is Lincoln?" they asked.
"Oh," he said, "he caught two young birds which had
been blown out of their nest, and is hunting the nest to put
them back."

2-6 Lincoln Carries a Little Girl's Trunk to the


Lincoln was always doing some kind deed for children.
A little girl was going to take her first trip alone on the rail-
road. When train time came near, the hackman had not
gotten her trunk. Fearing she would miss her train she
stood by the gate crying as if her heart would break. Just
then Mr. Lincoln came by. He asked what the trouble was,
then about the size of the trunk, and pushed through the
gate to where it stood. " Come quick," he said, and shoulder-
ing the trunk, hurried out of the yard and down the street.
They reached the station in time.

How Tad Interrupted a Game of Chess

One day Mr. Lincoln was playing chess with Judge
Treat, when Tad came to bring his father home to supper.
As Mr. Lincoln made no show of starting, Tad tried to
shake the board, but was kept away by his father's long
arm. Soon Mr. Lincoln was watching the game so carefully,


that he failed to notice Tad. Before long, the table sud-
denly bucked, and chess-board and pieces went to the floor.
The Judge was vexed, but Mr. Lincoln only said as he
took his hat, "Considering the position of your pieces
at the time of the upheaval, you need not complain, Judge."

5-8 Judge Logan's Shirt

Lincoln once took an amusing advantage of Judge
Logan's lack of sense of humor.

"Gentlemen," he began, "you must be careful and
not permit yourselves to be overborne by the eloquence of
the counsel for defense. But shrewd and careful though
Judge Logan be, still he is sometimes wrong. Since the
trial began I have discovered that, with all his caution, he
hasn't knowledge enough to put his shirt on right."

Logan turned crimson with embarrassment and the
jurors burst into a roar of laughter as they discovered that
the discomfited advocate was wearing the garment in ques-
tion with the plaited bosom behind, and for the rest of that
trial Logan was not effective against his former partner.
— From " Lincoln the Lawyer." By permission 0} The
Century Company.

5-8 Lincoln Refuses to Defend a Guilty Client

On one occasion, when it developed that his client had
indulged in fraudulent practices, Lincoln walked out of the
court-room and refused to continue the case. The judge


sent a messenger directing him to return. "Tell the judge
that my hands are dirty and I've gone away to wash them,"
was his disgusted reply.

— By permission of The Century Company.

5-8 Lincoln Discourages Sharp Practices

"Yes," Mr. Herndon reports Lincoln as advising a
client, "we can doubtless gain your case for you; we can
set a whole neighborhood at loggerheads; we can distress
a widowed mother and her six fatherless children, and
thereby get for you six hundred dollars to which you seem
to have a legal claim, but which rightfully belongs, it ap-
pears to me, as much to the woman and her children as it
does to you. You must remember, however, that some
things legally right are not morally right. We shall not
take your case, but we will give you a little advice for which
we will charge you nothing. You seem to be a sprightly,
energetic man. We would advise you to try your hand at
making six hundred dollars in some other way."

— By permission 0} The Century Company.

5-8 Lincoln's Honesty

Even in a community where plain straightforward
dealing was assumed as a matter of course, Lincoln won an
enviable reputation for integrity and honor. Honesty was
not merely the best policy; the people were expected to be
upright and just with one another. But when a clerk in


a country store walked miles to deliver a few ounces of tea
innocently withheld from a customer by an error in the
scales, and when he made a long, hard trip in order to re-
turn a few cents accidentally overpaid him, he was talked
about, and the fact is that "Honest Abe" was a tribute,
not a nick-name.

— By permission oj The Century Company.

4-8 Lincoln's Honesty in Regard to Fees

A gentleman at Quincy, Illinois, had leased a house
owned by a lady of Springfield. He employed Lincoln to
execute the lease for him. Lincoln sent the lease to him at
Quincy, but made no mention of his pay. Thereupon the
gentleman sent Lincoln twenty-five dollars, thinking that
to be about the right amount. In a few days to his sur-
prise he received a letter from Lincoln, acknowledging the
receipt of his check and returning a ten-dollar bill, with
the words: "You must think I am a high-priced man.
Fifteen dollars is enough for the job."

Lincoln's Suit Against the Illinois Central

The Illinois Central Railroad declined to pay Lincoln's
bill of two thousand dollars for sendees rendered in the
action brought against McLean County, and he promptly
withdrew his account and sued his ungrateful client for six
thousand. On the trial of the action all the leaders of the


Illinois Bar testified that Lincoln's amended bill was reason-
able, and the jury promptly brought in a verdict of five
thousand dollars and costs.

— By permission of The Century Company.

5-8 Lincoln Has a "Dogerotype" Taken at Macomb,
Illinois, in 1858

In 1858 Lincoln had been announced to make a speech
on the "Square" at Macomb, Illinois. When he finally
appeared Mr. William Bross of Chicago asked :
"What made you late, Mr. Lincoln?"
"Oh," he answered, "I've been having my dogerotype
taken in the wagon on the next street."
— Told by Mr. C. V. Chandler, owner of a photograph
taken from this "dogerotype," to the author.

7-8 How Oglesby, John Hanks and Two Fence

Rails Killed Seward's Boom

As the time for the State Convention of i860, at Decatur,
was drawing near, "Dick" Oglesby, afterwards Governor of
Illinois, foresaw that Lincoln's possibility as a presidential
candidate would be endangered if the delegation from Illinois
were divided. He therefore planned to do something that
would "kill the Seward Boom," and make the State dele-
gation solid for Lincoln. He was one day talking with
John Hanks, a Democrat, and cousin of Lincoln, about
"Abe," when John began to tell about some rails he and
Lincoln had split near Decatur, to put up a fence. Oglesby


immediately asked if Hanks supposed he could find any of
the rails. Hanks replied that when he had last been there,
ten years before, there were plenty of them left. So Ogles by
and Hanks drove to the old clearing the next day, and as
soon as Hanks whittled the old rails with his knife, he knew


A caricature of the campaign of i860. From the Oldroyd collection, Washing-
ton, D. C.

— By permission. From " How Abraham Lincoln Became President," by J. McCan

they were the very same black walnut and honey locust
rails. The men then took two of the rails, tied them under
the buggy and hid the rails in Oglesby's barn until the day
of the convention. He in the meantime planned that


Hanks should bring them into the convention with these
words on a banner fastened across the top of the rails :


The Rail Candidate for President in i860.

Two rails from a lot of three thousand made in 1830 by John Hanks

and Abe Lincoln, whose father was the first pioneer of

Macon County.

When the convention was well under way, Oglesby
announced that an old Democrat wanted to make a con-
tribution to the convention. Then Hanks came in with the
rails and spoke familiarly to Lincoln as he passed him.
There was a cry of "Speech! Speech!" and when Lincoln
finally showed himself, the crowd was so dense that they
passed him hand over hand over the solid mass of people
to the platform. It was a strange sight to see this long man
being handed over the people's heads. The next day Hanks
got a wagon load of rails and sold them for a dollar a piece.
From that time on the supply seemed endless. The two
fence rails killed the Seward Boom.

7-8 Homes of Lincoln and Louis the Fourteenth

A Frenchman who saw the replica of the Springfield
home of Lincoln at the Lewis and Clark Exposition said:
"I have seen the bed chamber of Louis the Fourteenth,
and I cannot but think of the great contrast between the
simplicity of your grand man and the grandeur of our sim-
ple man." — Alfred Bayliss.


6-8 Latitude and Longitude of Lincoln's Socks

Lincoln was noted for his kind heart and good humot.
Shortly before leaving for Washington, Lincoln was enter-
taining an important delegation from Massachusetts, when
an old lady, her tanned face peering out from her sun-
bonnet, arrived. Her errand was to present Lincoln with
a pair of very long socks. Holding them up by the toes
he exclaimed, "Well, gentlemen, I think she has my lati-
tude and longitude about right."

3-6 A Little Girl Induces Lincoln to Wear a Beard

On his way to Washington as President, Lincoln stopped
at Westfield, Massachusetts, to speak for a few minutes.
In his talk he referred humorously to a letter received from
a little Westfield girl, advising him to wear a beard to im-
prove his looks. Stroking his chin he said, "I intend to
follow her advice," and from then on he wore a beard.
He added that if she "were present he would like to meet her.

6-8 Douglas Holds Lincoln's Hat

When Lincoln was about to deliver his first inaugural
address on the east portico of the Capitol, he vainly looked
for a spot where he might place his high silk hat. Stephen
A. Douglas, his political antagonist, was seated just behind
him. He stepped forward quickly, and took the hat which
Mr. Lincoln held helplessly in his hand. "If I can't be
President," he whispered smilingly to a cousin of Mrs. Lin-
coln, "I at least can hold his hat."


7-8 A Pass to Richmond

A Northern gentleman requested a pass to Richmond.
"A pass to Richmond!" exclaimed the President, "Why,
my dear sir, if I should give you one it would do you no good.
You may think it very strange, but there are a lot of fellows
who are prejudiced against every man who totes a pass
from me. I have given McClellan and more than two
hundred thousand others passes to Richmond, and not one
of them has yet gotten there!"

— By permission of O. H. Oldroyd.

5-8 Betsy Ann — the Washerwoman

One day an ex-governor gained the President's ear.
Presently he began: "Mr. President, I want to speak to
you about the case of Betsy Ann Dougherty. She was my
washerwoman for a long time, but now her husband has
joined the rebel army. I wish you would give her a pro-
tection paper." Mr. Lincoln saw how ridiculous the re-
quest was, but concealed his amusement and asked: "Was
Betsy Ann a good washerwoman?" "Yes, sir. Very good
indeed. Couldn't you write something to the officers?"
Mr. Lincoln, after asking more questions of a like nature,
wrote the following on a calling card:

"Let Betsy Ann Dougherty alone, as long as she
behaves herself. A. Lincoln."

"No," he replied, "officers have no time now to read
letters. Tell her to put a string in this card and hang it


around her neck. When they see this they will let her alone."
Such ludicrous scenes gave him relief from his overwhelming

3-8 Some Little Girls at the White House

One afternoon three poorly clad little girls had followed
the crowd into the White House to a reception. Lincoln
noticing them passing, called out, "Little girls, are you
going to pass me without shaking hands?" Then bending
down he greeted them warmly.

5-8 Lincoln and the Russian Ambassador

At a levee at the White House, the Russian Ambassa-
dor stood talking to the President, when the President
asked him this question: "Would you have taken me for

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Online LibraryLilian Clara BergoldAbraham Lincoln centennial : a collection of authentic stories, with poems, songs, and programs, for the boys, girls, and teachers of elementary schools → online text (page 1 of 3)