Get Your Free Goodie Box here

The Recollections of Abraham Lincoln by Ward Hill Lamon - HTML preview

PLEASE NOTE: This is an HTML preview only and some elements such as links or page numbers may be incorrect.
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.

PREFACE

TO THE SECOND EDITION.

In deciding to bring out this book I have had in mind the many letters to my father from men of war times urging him to put in writing his recollections of Lincoln. Among them is one from Mr. Lincoln's friend, confidant, and adviser, A. K. McClure, one of the most eminent of American journalists, founder and late editor of "The Philadelphia Times," of whom Mr. Lincoln said in 1864 that he had more brain power than any man he had ever known. Quoted by Leonard Swett, in the "North American Review," the letter is as follows:—

Philadelphia, Sept. 1, 1891.

Hon. Ward H. Lamon, Carlsbad, Bohemia:

My dear old Friend, — ....I think it a great misfortune that you did not write the history of Lincoln's administration. It is much more needed from your pen than the volume you published some years ago, giving the history of his life. That straw has been thrashed over

[viii]

and over again and you were not needed in that work; but there are so few who had any knowledge of the inner workings of Mr. Lincoln's administration that I think you owe it to the proof of history to finish the work you began. —— and —— never knew anything about Mr.

Lincoln. They knew the President in his routine duties and in his official ways, but the man Lincoln and his plans and methods were all Greek to them. They have made a history that is quite correct so far as data is concerned, but beyond that it is full of gross imperfections, especially when they attempt to speak of Mr. Lincoln's individual qualities and movements. Won't you consider the matter of writing another volume on Lincoln? I sincerely hope that you will do so.

Herndon covered about everything that is needed outside of confidential official circles in Washington. That he could not write as he knew nothing about it, and there is no one living who can perform that task but yourself....

Yours truly, 
 (Signed) A. K. McClure.

I have been influenced also by a friend who is a great Lincoln scholar and who, impressed with the injustice done my father, has urged me for several years to reissue the book of "Recollections," add a sketch of his life and publish letters that show his standing during Lincoln's administration. I hesitated to do this, remembering the following words of Mr. Lincoln at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on his way to Washington: "It is well known that the more a man speaks the less he is

[ix]

understood—the more he says one thing, the more his adversaries contend he meant something else." I am now yielding to these influences with the hope that however much the book may suggest a

"patchwork quilt" and be permeated with Lamon as well as Lincoln, it will yet appeal to those readers who care for documentary evidence in matters historical.

Dorothy Lamon Teillard.

Washington, D. C.,
 April, 1911.

CONTENTS.

Letter from Ex-Secretary Usher.

Letter from A. K. McClure.

Memoir of Ward H. Lamon.

CHAPTER I.

Page

EARLY ACQUAINTANCE.

Prominent Features of Mr. Lincoln's Life written by himself

9

Purpose of Present Volume

13

Riding the Circuit

14

Introduction to Mr. Lincoln

14

Difference in Work in Illinois and in Virginia

15

Mr. Lincoln's Victory over Rev. Peter Cartwright

15

Lincoln Subject Enough for the People

16

Mr. Lincoln's Love of a Joke—Could "Contribute Nothing to the End in View"

16

A Branch of Law Practice which Mr. Lincoln could not learn

17

Refusal to take Amount of Fee given in Scott Case

18

Mr. Lincoln tried before a Mock Tribunal

19

Low Charges for Professional Service

20

Amount of Property owned by Mr. Lincoln when he took the Oath as President

20

of the United States

Introduction to Mrs. Lincoln

21

Mrs. Lincoln's Prediction in 1847 that her Husband would be President

21

The Lincoln and Douglas Senatorial Campaign in 1858

22

"Smelt no Royalty in our Carriage"

22

Mr. Lincoln denies that he voted against the Appropriation for Supplies to Soldiers

23

during Mexican War

Jostles the Muscular Democracy of a Friend

24

Political Letter of 1858

26

Prediction of Hon. J. G. Blaine regarding Lincoln and Douglas

27

Time between Election and Departure for Washington

28

[xii]

CHAPTER II.

JOURNEY FROM SPRINGFIELD TO WASHINGTON.

Mr. Lincoln's Farewell to his Friends in Springfield

30

At Indianapolis

32

Speeches made with the Object of saying Nothing

33

At Albany—Letter of Mr. Thurlow Weed

34

Loss of Inaugural Address

35

At Philadelphia—Detective and alleged Conspiracy to murder Mr. Lincoln

38

Plans for Safety

40

At Harrisburg

40

Col. Sumner's Opinion of the Plan to thwart Conspiracy

41

Selection of One Person to accompany Mr. Lincoln

42

At West Philadelphia—Careful Arrangements to avoid Discovery

43

At Baltimore—"It's Four O'clock"

45

At Washington

45

Arrival at Hotel

46

CHAPTER III.

INAUGURATION.

Formation of Cabinet and Administration Policy

48

Opposition to Mr. Chase

49

Alternative List of Cabinet Members

50

Politicians realize for the First Time the Indomitable Will of Mr. Lincoln

51

Mr. Seward and Mr. Chase, Men of Opposite Principles

51

Mr. Seward not to be the real Head of the Administration

52

Preparations for Inauguration

53