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Biography of Abraham Lincoln
[Source: The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 2; Publ. 1892, by James T. White & Co., N. Y.]
LINCOLN, Abraham, sixteenth president of the United States, was born in Hardin county Ky., Feb. 12, 1809. The earliest American ancestor of the family was probably Samuel Lincoln, of Norwich, Eng., who settled in Hingham, Mass., about 1638. His son, Mordecai, first settled in Monmouth county, N. J., and afterward in Berks county, Pa., and died in 1735; his sons, Abraham, Mordecai, Josiah and Thomas, were citizens of Rockingham county, Va., and one of them at least, Abraham, migrated to Mercer county, Ky. (then a part of the original state of Virginia), in 1782, Abraham, the grandfather of the president, entered a tract of 400 acres of land on the south side of Licking creek, under a government land-warrant, and built a log-cabin, near Fort Beargrass on the site now occupied by the city of Louisville. In the second year of this settlement, Abraham Lincoln, while at work in his field, was slain by an Indian from an ambush. Thomas, the younger of the brothers, was seized by the savage, but was rescued by Mordecai the elder brother, who shot and killed the Indian. Of Thomas the president subsequently said: "My father, at the time of the death of his father, was but six years old and he grew up literally without education." Thomas Lincoln was a tall and stalwart pioneer and an expert hunter. . While a lad, he hired himself to his uncle, Isaac Lincoln, living on Watauga creek, a branch of the Holson River . He married Nancy Hanks, a native of Virginia, in 1806, and settled on Larue Creek, in what is now Larue County Kentucky. They had three children, Sarah, Abraham and Thomas. Sarah married Aaron Grigsby and died in middle life. Thomas, who was two years younger than Abraham, died in infancy. Abraham Lincoln's early education from books was fitful and scanty; schools were infrequent on the wild frontier. In 1816 the Lincoln family removed to Spencer county Ind. where they built and lived in a log-cabin, where Mrs. Lincoln died Oct. 5, 1818, at the age of thirty-five.
In the autumn of the following year Thomas Lincoln married for his second wife Mrs. Sally Johnston (nee Bush). The stepmother of Abraham Lincoln was a woman of some mental ability and great kindness of heart; her influence over the boy was great and beneficent. Aided by her, the lad secured the reading of the few books to be found in the settlement, and became noted as a hungry reader. As he grew older he took to making impromptu speeches among the neighbors on any topic that chanced to be under discussion. His first glimpse of the world was afforded in the spring of 1828, when, in company with a son of one of the traders of Gentryville, Indiana, he embarked on a flatboat loaded with produce and floated down the creeks and rivers to New Orleans, 1,800 miles distant, where the cargo and craft were disposed of, and the young voyagers made their way homeward. He was now come to the years of manhood, was six feet four inches tall, an athlete, tough and wiry of fiber, and eminent as a worker and woodsman. The family moved once more, in 1830, this time to Illinois, where they built another log-cabin, near Decatur, Macon County . After assisting his father to build the cabin, split rails, and fence and plough fifteen acres of land, Abraham Lincoln struck out for himself, hiring himself to any who needed manual labor. His father finally settled in Goose-Nest Prairie, Coles County, Illinois, where he died in 1851 at the age of seventy-three. His son eared for him tenderly up to his latest years. In the spring of 1831 Abraham Lincoln, accompanied by his cousin, John Hanks, took a flatboat, produce laden, to New Orleans, for one Denton Offutt, a country trader, and on his return was engaged by Offutt to take charge of a small trading store in New Salem, Illinois. At this post he continued until the following spring, when the business was discontinued. He took an active interest in politics, was noted as a graphic and humorous story-teller, and was regarded as one of the oracles of the neighborhood. His unflinching honesty gained him the title of "Honest Abe Lincoln." Resolving to run for the legislature, he issued a circular dated March 9, 1832, appealing to his friends and neighbors to vote for him. Before the election came on, Indian disturbances broke out in the northern part of the state, and Black Hawk, the chief of the Sacs, headed a formidable war party.
Lincoln joined a party of volunteers and marched to the scene of hostilities. The conflict was soon over, and Lincoln returned to New Salem, Sangamon County ten days before the election. He was defeated, but he received nearly every vote of his own town. He was a Whig in politics, and was an ardent admirer of Henry Clay, then the great Whig chief. Once more he made an essay in trading, and bought on credit, after the fashion of the time, a small country store and contents, associating with himself, at sundry times, partners in business. The venture was a losing one, and the principal occupation of Lincoln during this period was that of diligent study and the, reading of everything on which he could lay hands, newspapers and old political pamphlets chiefly. He studied law and surveying, and in 1833 he began work as a land-surveyor, a vocation which in that region then gave one frequent employment. In that year, too, he was appointed postmaster of New Salem, an unimportant office, which he valued only because it gave him an opportunity to read the newspapers of its patrons. He was again a candidate for the legislature m 1834, was elected at the head of the poll, there being three other candidates in the field. He was now twenty-five years of age, manly, independent well poised and thoroughly informed in all public matters.
He had formed his manner of speech on the few books which he read—the Bible, Shakespeare, Burns's poems and Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress.” In the legislature his commanding height attracted attention, but he took very small part in the active duties of legislation, contenting elf with observation and study of all that Next year, when he was again returned to the legislature, he participated actively in the affairs of the house, and distinguished himself by an unavailing protest against the "Black Laws" of the state, which forbade the entrance of free persons of color into Illinois, and by his support of the bill to remove the seat of government from Vandalia to Springfield. In 1837 Lincoln removed to Springfield, the new capital of the state, and established himself very modestly in the business of a lawyer. In this practice he remained until his election to the presidency in 1860. His first partner in business was John T. Stuart, in 1837; this partnership was changed four years later, when he associated himself with Stephen T. Logan. In 1843 the law partnership of Abraham Lincoln and William H. Herndon was formed; this firm was not dissolved until the death of Lincoln in 1865. During the "Tippecanoe and Tyler too " campaign of 1840 when the country was deeply stirred by the presidential candidacy of Gen. William Henry Harrison, Lincoln threw himself into the canvass with great ardor, and was one of the electors on the Whig ticket. He was highly elated by the triumph of Harrison and the Whig party, and he distinguished himself by his fearless opposition to the party that had, up to that time, been dominant and prescriptive in the country. About this time he suffered a great disappointment in the death of a beautiful young lady, Ann Rutledge, to whom he was tenderly attached, and this grief made upon his temperament a lifelong impression. In November, 1840, he was married to Mary Todd, daughter of Robert Todd, of Kentucky . Miss Todd was visiting relations in Springfield, when circumstances brought her into intimate friendly intercourse with Lincoln, which ripened into marriage. He was now gradually acquiring a profitable law practice, and the days of grinding poverty, long endured without complaint, were passing away. In 1846, after several disappointments, he was given the Whig nomination to congress from the Sangamon district, and was elected over his democratic opponent, Peter Cartwright, by a majority of 1,611, polling an unexpectedly large vote. During the preceding winter Texas had been admitted to the Union, and the bitterness with which the Whigs opposed this step, and the measures that grew out of it, was shared by Lincoln, who made good use of arguments against these matters on the canvass, and subsequently during his term in congress. Among the members of the House of Representatives with Lincoln were John Quincy Adams, Robert C. Winthrop, Alexander H. Stephens, Robert Toombs and Andrew Johnson. In the senate were Daniel Webster, Lewis Cass, John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis and Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln in congress opposed the war with Mexico, but voted consistently for rewards to the soldiers who fought in it. He served only one term in congress, and did not leave any marked impression in the annals of that body. He voted with the men who favored the formation of the new territories of California and New Mexico without slavery, and he introduced a bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, providing for the emancipation of slaves there by governmental purchase. He was not a candidate for re-election, and was succeeded by his intimate friend, Edward D. Baker. Gen. Zachary Taylor having been elected president of the United States, Lincoln applied for the office of commissioner of the general land office, but was offered, in lieu thereof, the governorship of the territory of Oregon . This he declined, and returned to his practice of law in Springfield . The eldest son of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, Robert Todd, was born Aug. 1, 1843; the second, Edward Baker, was born March 10. 1846, and died in infancy; the third, William Wallace, was born Dec. 21, 1850, and died during his father's first year in the presidential office; Thomas, the youngest son, was born Apr. 4, 1853, and survived his father, dying at the age of nineteen years. As a lawyer, Lincoln was now engaged in several celebrated cases. One of these was that of the Negro girl, Nancy, in which the question of the legality of slavery in the Northwestern territory of which Illinois formed a part was involved. Another, in which the seizure of a free Negro from Illinois by the authorities of New Orleans was opposed, was also undertaken and .conducted by him. In both these causes Lincoln succeeded. In 1850 there were many premonitions of the coming of the storm which the long-continued agitation of the slavery question had induced. Lincoln was a close but generally silent observer of the signs of the times. In 1854 the virtual repeal of the Missouri Compromise measures, in which Stephen A. Douglas took a leading part, aroused the Northern and free states to excited debate. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, by which those two territories were organized, with the question of the legality of slavery left open to be settled by a popular vote, was the signal for a great outburst of feeling against the institution of slavery in the non-slaveholding states. In October of that year Lincoln and Douglas met in debate at the great annual State Fair held in Springfield, Ill., and Lincoln made his first famous speech on the question that thenceforward began to engross the minds of the people. Lincoln opposed the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and Douglas defended it. A few days later the two men met again at Peoria, Illinois, and the debate was renewed, amidst great popular excitement. On both occasions Lincoln 's speeches evoked much enthusiasm by the closeness of their logic and their perspicacity.
His public speeches from this time forth were regarded throughout the western states as the most remarkable of the time. In 1856 the first republican national convention was held in Philadelphia . John C. Fremont was nominated for president of the United States and William L. Dayton for vice-president. Abraham Lincoln received 110 votes for the second place on the ticket. James Buchanan and John C. Breckenridge were nominated by the democratic party. Lincoln was a candidate for presidential elector on the republican ticket of Illinois, and took an active part in the canvass, speaking from one end of the state to the other almost continually throughout the campaign. The democratic candidates were elected, Buchanan receiving 174 electoral votes against 114 cast for Fremont . Maryland cast her eight electoral votes for Fillmore and Donelson, the Whig candidates. In 1848, Douglas's term in the senate drawing to a close, Lincoln was put forward as a competitor for the place. The two men accordingly agreed on a joint canvass of the state, the members of the Illinois legislature then to be elected being charged with the duty of choosing a senator. The contest between Lincoln and Douglas that year was memorable and significant. The debates attracted the attention of the entire country. In their course the slavery question in all its bearings, but more especially with reference to its introduction into territory hither to regarded as free, was debated with great force and minuteness on both sides. The total vote of the state was in favor of Lincoln, but as some of the holding over members of the legislature was friendly to Douglas, and the districting of the state was also in his favor, he was chosen senator by a small majority. At the republican convention, held in Decatur, Illinois in May 1859, Lincoln was declared to be the candidate of his state for the presidential nomination of 1860.
This was the first public demonstration in his favor as a national candidate. At that convention several rails from the Lincoln farm in Macon county were exhibited as the handiwork of Abraham Lincoln, and the title of "the rail-splitter" was given him. In the autumn of that year Lincoln made political speeches in Ohio and Kentucky, arousing great enthusiasm wherever he appeared.
In February, 1860, he accepted an invitation to speak in New York, and, for the first time in his life, he visited the Atlantic states. He spoke in the Cooper Union hall, New York, and his oration, which was a discussion of the great question of the day, created a profound impression throughout the country. It gave him at once a national reputation as a political speaker. The democratic national convention assembled in Charleston, S. C., Apr. 23, 1860, to nominate candidates for president and vice-president. The slavery issue divided the body, so that the pro-slavery delegates finally withdrew, and organized a separate convention m Richmond, Va., where John C. Breckinridge was nominated. The remaining delegates adjourned to Baltimore, where they nominated Stephen A. Douglas. Meanwhile the Whigs and a few other conservatives met in Baltimore and nominated John Bell, of Tennessee . The republican national convention assembled in Chicago, Ill., June 17, 1860, and, amid unparalleled enthusiasm, nominated Abraham Lincoln for president. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, was nominated for vice-president. The electoral canvass that year was one of the most intense excitements. It was universally conceded that the question of the extension or the confinement of slavery to its present limits was to be determined by the result of this election. Douglas was the only one of the four presidential candidates who took the field to speak in his own behalf. Lincoln was elected, having received 180 electoral votes; Breckinridge had seventy-two votes; Douglas twelve, and Bell thirty-nine. The popular vote was distributed as follows: Lincoln, 1,866,452: Breckinridge, 847,953; Douglas, 1,375,157; Bell, 590,631.
As soon as the result of the election was known, the members of President Buchanan's cabinet who were in favor of a secession of the slave states began to make preparations for that event. The army, which mustered only 16,000 men, was scattered through the southern states, and the small navy was dispersed far and wide. United States arms had been already ordered to points in the Southern states, and active steps had been taken by the more rebellious of those states toward a formal severance of the ties that bound them to the Union . Their attitude was one of armed expectancy. The cabinet of President Buchanan was torn by the conflicting views of its members, some of them being in favor of resolutely confronting the danger of secession, and others opposing any action whatever. The Federal forts in Charleston Harbor, S. C., being threatened by the secessionists, Lewis Cass advised reinforcement: he resigned when his advice was disregarded at the instance of his associates. Jeremiah S. Black, attorney-general, gave an opinion that the states could not be coerced into remaining in the Union, and shortly a general disruption of the cabinet ensued. Southern senators and representatives now began to leave Washington for their homes, declaring that they could no longer remain in the councils of the nation. Formal ordinances of secession were passed by the states in rebellion. South Carolina adopted its ordinance of secession Nov. 16, 1860; Mississippi, Jan. 9, 1861; Florida, Jan. 10th; Alabama, Jan. 11th; Georgia, Jan. 19, 1861; Louisiana, Jan. 25th, and Texas Feb. 1st.
Representatives of the seceding states met at Montgomery, Feb. 4, 1861, and organized a provisional government, generally resembling in form that of the United States ; Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, was chosen president, and Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, vice-president. Davis assumed an aggressive tone in his public speeches, and, while on his wav to take the reins of government of the new Confederacy, he said: "We will carry the war where it is easy to advance, where food for the sword and the torch awaits our armies in the densely populated cities." Lincoln remained at his home in Springfield, Illinois, making no speeches, and silent, so far as any public utterances were concerned. He broke this silence for the first time when, on Feb. 11, 1861, he bade his friends and neighbors farewell, as he took the railway train for Washington . In that simple address he said, among other things: "I go to assume a task more difficult than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington . He never would have succeeded except for the aid of divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same divine blessing which sustained him; and on the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for support." On the way to Washington the president-elect was received with great popular enthusiasm, and was frequently called from his railway carriage to speak to the people. Nearing Washington, he learned of a plot to take his life while passing through Baltimore, and, by the advice of trusty friends, the movements of the party were changed, in order to disconcert the conspirators. Speaking at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Feb. 22nd, during these trying hours, he referred to the fundamental principle propounded in the declaration of independence, and said: "If this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on the spot than surrender it." Lincoln was inaugurated president of the United States at noon, March 4, 1861, in front of the national capitol, Washington . His inaugural address was an earnest and plaintive appeal for peace and union. At the same time he took care to say that the union of the states is perpetual, and that to the best of his ability he would "take care that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the states." He closed with these memorable words: "The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when touched again, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." In the South, and in such communities of the North as sympathized with the cause of rebellion, these utterances were received with coldness, and in many instances with jeers and derision. Lincoln's cabinet, then announced, was as follows: Secretary of state, William H. Seware; secretary of war, Simon Cameron; secretary of the treasury, Salmon P. Chase; secretary of the navy, Gideon Welles; postmaster -general, Montgomery Blair; secretary of the interior, Caleb B. Smith; attorney - general, Edward Bates. Of this number, Seward, Chase, Bates and Cameron had been candidates for the nomination of president at the convention at which Lincoln was nominated. Some of the new president's friends were troubled by the selection of these prominent and ambitious men as his counselors. Subsequently it was found, when attempts were made to subordinate him to his cabinet, that he was the sole interior spirit of his administration.
Of these cabinet ministers only Secretaries Seward and Welles remained in office during the remainder of Lincoln 's lifetime. Secretary Chase resigned his place in 1864, and was succeeded by William Pitt Fessenden, of Maine, who resigned after a short term, and was succeeded by Hugh McCullough in March, 1865. Simon Cameron resigned at the close of 1861, and was succeeded by Edwin M. Stanton. Secretary Smith resigned his office to accept a judicial post in 1862, and was succeeded by John P. Usher. Attorney-General Bates retired from office in 1864, and was succeeded by James Speed, of Kentucky, and Montgomery Blair about the same time resigned the office of postmaster-general, and was succeeded by Ex-Gov. William Dennison of Ohio . The Confederate congress, on March 11, 1861, passed a bill providing for the organization of an army.
No notice was taken of this insurrectionary measure, which, it had been expected, would be regarded as a casus belli by the Federal authorities. Next, two commissioners, Messrs. Forsythe and Crawford, were sent to Washington to negotiate a treaty with the government of the United States, the assumption being that the new Confederacy was a foreign power. Mr. Lincoln refused to receive the commissioners, and sent them a copy of his inaugural address. Secretary Seward served upon them, however, a formal notice that they could have no official recognition from the United States government. Meantime, the determination of the president to send succor to the beleaguered Federal garrison in Charleston Harbor, then collected in Fort Sumter, was made public. The people of South Carolina, impatient for the war to begin, threatened to fire upon Fort Sumter, and to attack any vessel that might bring succors. Every device to induce the president to commit "an overt act of war" was resorted to in vain. While he waited for the rebels to fire the first gun, there was much impatience manifested in the loyal Northern states at what was considered the sluggishness of the administration. On April 12, 1861, Gen. Beauregard, commanding the rebel forces at Charleston, sent a, demand to Maj. Anderson, in command of Fort Sumter, to surrender.
He refused to surrender, but he subsequently agreed to evacuate the fort April l5th, unless he received instructions to the contrary, or provisions for sustenance, before that date. After due warning, Beauregard opened fire on the fort early in the morning of April 12th, and, after feeble defense, the famishing garrison of sixty-five men was forced to surrender, and the United States flag fell on t he walls of Sumter. The war had begun. The effect of this overt act of the Confederates was instant and inflammatory all through the North. Patriotic meetings were held, men were ready to volunteer for the war, state authorities began to arm and equip troops, and a general note of preparation now sounded through the loyal states. The president called a special session of congress at the national capital for July 4, 1861. In a proclamation dated Apr. 15, 1861, the president asked for 75,000 men. This was responded to in the North with enthusiasm, and in the South with cries of derision. In the states bordering on the Confederacy, where the great battles of the war were afterward fought this call was received with coldness. Patriotic excitement ran high all over the North, and for a time nothing was thought of but the war for the sake of the Union . One of the first regiments to march to the succor of the national capital menaced on all sides and distracted with interior conspiracies, was the 6th Massachusetts . It was fired upon in the streets of Baltimore . This act inflamed the loyal North still more, and the excitement became intense. The governor of Maryland, alarmed by this collision, implored the president to invoke the mediation of the British minister at Washington to compose existing difficulties. Lincoln referred the governor to the secretary of state, who declared that "no domestic contention should be referred to any foreign arbitrament least of all to that of a European monarchy." Gen. B. F. Butler surprised the people of Baltimore by seizing Federal Hill, a fortified position commanding the city, and troops thereafter marched unmolested through the city on their way to Washington . On the 19th of April the president issued his proclamation declaring the ports of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina in a state of blockade, and closed to commerce. One week later, North Carolina and Virginia having also passed ordinances of secession, were added to this list. Another call for troops was made, thirty-nine regiments of infantry and one of cavalry being asked for; and, by direction of the president, the maximum force of the regular army was increased to 22,714 men; and 18,000 volunteer seamen were called for. An embassy from the state of Virginia having been sent to the president while the ordinance of secession was under consideration, Lincoln, in reply to application for his intentions, again referred to his inaugural address, and added: "As I then and therein said, the power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy and possess property and places belonging to the government, and to collect duties and imposts; but beyond what is necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere." Furthermore, he intimated that it might be necessary to withdraw the United States mail service from the states in which disorder prevailed. He did not threaten to collect duties and imposts by force, but he would employ force to retake the public property of the government, wherever that had been seized. By a vote of eighty-eight to fifty-five the ordinance of secession was adopted in Virginia, and the capital of the state now became the seat of the Confederate government. Meanwhile, the Confederates had taken possession of Harper's Ferry, Va., and the arsenal and munitions of war at that point and of the navy-yard near Norfolk, Va., with the stores and vessels there accumulated.
These seizures gave them much additional war material. The hostile camps on the northern border of Virginia were drawing nearer to each other as both increased in numbers and efficiency. When congress assembled in July, Confederate flags on the Virginia heights opposite Washington could be seen from the top of the capitol. The first serious engagement was that on the line of Bull Run creek, the culmination of which was on July 21, 1861. The Confederate forces, under General Joseph E. Johnston, numbered about 18,000, and those under Gen. Irvin McDowell, the Union commander, were 17,676. The result was a defeat for the Union forces, and a panic-stricken retreat upon Washington . The effect of this disaster upon Lincoln and upon the country was depressing; but the people soon rallied, and indignation took the place of mortifying regret. Volunteering was resumed with vigor. Two naval and military expeditions were successful, and Fort Hatteras, N. C., and Port Royal, S. C., surrendered to the Union forces. General McClellan had also cleared the Confederates from that part of Virginia which lies west of the Blue Ridge, afterward erected into the state of West Virginia . Congress responded to the call of the president for more men and money by voting $500,000,000 for war purposes, and authorizing him to call for 500,000 men.
Great excitement was created throughout the country when James M. Mason and John Slidell, Confederate emissaries to European courts, were taken, Nov. 7, 1861, from the British packet-ship Trent, at sea by Capt. Wilkes, commanding the U. S. steamer San Jacinto . The event was the cause of much congratulation with the people, and cabinet ministers and congress openly approved of the seizure. Lincoln was disturbed by this, and decided that the envoys should be given up to the demand of the British government, from whose flag they had been taken. In the face of popular indignation, he remained firm, and the envoys were released. Eventually, the wisdom and the justice of this course were generally admitted. In July, 1861, Gen. McClellan was assigned to the command of the army of the Potomac, and Gen. Fremont to that of the department of the West, with headquarters at St. Louis . Radical differences on the subject of slavery at once began to appear in the orders of these two generals. Lincoln was greatly embarrassed and disturbed when Fremont, August 31st, issued a proclamation confiscating the property of Confederates within his lines, and emancipating their slaves. Congress had passed a bill to confiscate property used for insurrectionary military purposes, and slaves had been declared "contraband of war." The president wrote privately to Fremont, advising him to modify his orders, as if by his own motion, as these were in conflict with the course of the administration, and did not conform to the action of congress. Fremont refused to make these modifications, and Lincoln, in an order dated September 11, 1861, did so modify Fremont 's proclamation. During May of the following year Gen. David Hunter, commanding the department of the South, with headquarters at Hilton Head, S. C., issued an order resembling Fremont 's, it was instantly revoked by the president. Lincoln was sticking to his determination to save the Union, if possible, without meddling with the question of slavery; and while none doubted his hostility to slavery, it was difficult for many to understand why he did not strike it in its vulnerable parts whenever he had an opportunity. The controversy arising out of the disposition of captured slaves by the army of the Potomac (which was usually a recognition of the rights of the slaveholders), and out of the orders of Hunter and McClellan, was very bitter in the North, and many who had supported Lincoln's administration complained that his policy was "pro-slavery." March 6, 1862, the president sent to congress a message in which he intimated very distinctly that if the war ended then, or very soon, slavery would probably remain intact; but if it should continue, and if gradual and compensated emancipation were not accepted, then slavery would be destroyed by the operations of the war.
Congress adopted a resolution approving the policy outlined by the president: but the border state representatives, although invited by the president to a free conference with him on the subject, kept aloof from the matter. Congress had now passed a bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia . It was signed by Lincoln, who, in 1849, had introduced a bill for that purpose. During the summer of 1862 the proposition of arming the freed Negroes was begun; it was opposed by many conservative people, but was warmly advocated by Lincoln, who said: "Why should they do anything for us if we do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest of motives, even the promise of freedom. And the promise, being made, must be kept." The law authorizing the armor of the ex-slaves, accordingly, contained a clause giving freedom to all slaves who served in the Union army and to their families as well. During the summer military operations lagged, and much complaint was made of the sluggish movements of the army of the Potomac under Gen. McClellan. This impatience found expression in a letter to the president, written by Horace Greeley and published in the New York "Tribune," in which the writer severely arraigned the president for his alleged inactivity and lack of vigor in dealing with the slavery question. Lincoln wrote a letter in reply, in the course of which he said: "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it: and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union: and what I forbear I forbear because I do not believe that it would help to save the Union ." This appeared to settle for a long time the position of Lincoln on the slavery question. The Confederate army, under Gen. Robert E. Lee, invaded Maryland, crossing the Potomac in September, 1862. At that time Lincoln had under consideration a proclamation freeing all slaves within the jurisdiction of the United States government, or thereafter to be brought under it. In the imminence of the danger then apparent, he resolved that if success should crown the Union arms, he would issue that proclamation. The battle of South Mountain was fought on Sept. 14th and that of Antietam on the 17th; the Confederates were defeated on both fields, and retreated in great disorder. The proclamation of emancipation was issued Sept. 22nd, declaring freedom to all slaves in bondage on American soil. This proclamation electrified the nation and greatly excited the people of other countries. Jan. 1, 1863, the president issued a supplementary proclamation, in which the terms of the previous document were reaffirmed, and the parts of states exempted from the operation of emancipation were named. These portions were inconsiderable, and the action of congress in abolishing slavery throughout the entire territory of the United States made an end of slavery in the Republic. Lincoln's general plan for the conduct of the war, formulated after anxious consultation with his most trusted advisers, was as follows; To blockade the entire coast-line of the Confederate states; to acquire military occupation of the border states, so as to protect Union men and repel invasion; to clear the Mississippi of obstructions, thus dividing the Confederacy and relieving the West, which was deprived of its natural outlet to the sea; to destroy the Confederate army between Richmond and Washington, and to capture the Confederate capital. This vast plan had been formed in the mind of Lincoln by the necessities of the situation. General Scott, who held the highest command in the army of the United States, had asked to be relieved from active duty and placed on the retired list. His request was granted, and Lincoln, accompanied by the members of his cabinet, visited the general at his mansion in Washington and presented to him in person a most affectionate and generous farewell address. General George B. McClellan was now in supreme command. Lincoln 's immediate anxiety was for the speedy opening of the Mississippi River . In pursuance of his program, General Ulysses S. Grant, then rising in popular esteem, attacked and destroyed Belmont, a military depot of the Confederates in Mississippi . Gen. Garfield defeated Humphrey Marshall at Middle Creek, Kentucky, and Gen. George H. Thomas defeated Generals’ Zollikoffer and Crittenden at Mill Spring. This was followed up by the capture of Fort Henry on the Tennessee, and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River . These streams, emptying into the Ohio River, were very necessary to promote military operations against the Confederates in the southwestern states. On the 6th of April, 1862, was fought the great battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Lauding, in which the carnage on both sides was very great, and many brave and distinguished officers on both sides were killed.
The defeated Confederates retreated to their fortified line at Corinth, Miss., where they were attacked by Gen. H. W. Halleck and again compelled to retreat, leaving behind them a large accumulation of military stores. By the end of May, 1862, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee were virtually free from Confederate domination. That part of the program which required the blockade and occupation of Atlantic ports of the seceded states was not overlooked.
During much of March and April 1862, Roanoke Island, N. C., was captured. Next fell Newbern, N. C., and Fort Macon and Fort Pulaski on the same coast. In the spring of 1862 an expedition under Gen. B. F. Butler landed at Ship Island, in the Gulf of Mexico, about midway between New Orleans and Mobile . A fleet of armed vessels under Admiral Farragut soon after arrived, and on the 17th of April Farragut appeared below the forts that guarded the approaches to the city of New Orleans . After some skirmishing, Farragut s fleet passed the forts, destroying the fleet above, and ascended the Mississippi and appeared before the city of New Orleans, to the amazement of its people. Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, next fell, and the surrender of Natchez, May 12, 1862, opened the Mississippi as far north as Vicksburg, which with its fortifications resisted the free navigation of the Mississippi River . McClellan meanwhile remained inactive before Washington, and popular discontent was constantly making itself manifest in consequence of his alleged tardiness, many people insisting that the government had failed to supply his necessary wants. Lincoln was in frequent and anxious consultation with McClellan and the other generals gathered at the capital. During the latter part of January, 1862, Lincoln issued an order specially intended to direct the movements of the army of the Potomac, in which, among other things, the army was commanded to seize upon and occupy a point on the railroad southwest of Manassas Junction. Details of this movement were to be left to the judgment of the general commanding. To this McClellan demurred, and in a long letter to the secretary of war detailed his objections and submitted a plan of his own. A council of war to consist of twelve general officers was finally called, and it was decided by a vote of eight to four that McClellan's plan should be adopted.
Information of these debates having reached the Confederate generals, their forces withdrew from Manassas to the lower side of the Rappahannock, thereby rendering both plans useless. By this time two weeks had elapsed since the president's order directing a general advance of all the armies had been issued. After the enemy abandoned his line at Manassas, McClellan moved forward for a day or two, but soon after returned to his entrenched position at Alexandria, on the Potomac near Washington . On the 11th of March, 1862, Gen. McClellan was relieved from command of other departments of military activity and was placed in sole and immediate command of the army of the Potomac . A new base of operations was now established at Fortress Monroe at the entrance of Chesapeake Bay; but meanwhile a fight between the ironclad Merrimac and the Federal Monitor had taken place near Fortress Monroe, and the ironclad had been beaten back to Norfolk, whence she did not afterward emerge. McClellan's immediate field of operations was on the peninsula formed by the York and James Rivers. The enemy was behind a line of entrenchments that stretched across the peninsula, the key of the situation being at Yorktown on this line. Again there were unaccountable delays, and on the 3rd of April the president ordered the secretary of war to direct that the army of the Potomac should begin active operations; but McClellan demurred, and informed the president by letter on the 5th of April that he was sure that the enemy in front of him and behind formidable works was in great force. He required more men. Lincoln was confident that McClellan exaggerated the strength of the force in front of him, and he besought Secretary Stanton to hurry forward everything that McClellan seemed to think needful to insure the safety of an advance. The line held by the Confederate forces was about thirteen miles long. Much of the force behind that line was scattered in the defense of points in the rear. In answer to McClellan's call for more troops, the president yielded and sent him General Franklin's division, which had been retained to defend the line between Richmond and Washington .
On the 13th of April McClellan's army, according to official reports, had 130,378 men, of which 112.392 were effective. About this time McClellan called for Parrott guns, to the consternation of the president, who wrote him on the 1st of May: "Your call for Parrott guns from Washington alarms me, chiefly because it argues indefinite procrastination. Is anything to be done?" Nothing was done, and on the Nth he (Lincoln) telegraphed McClellan; "I think the time is near at hand when you must either attack Richmond or give up the job and come to the defense of Washington ." Meanwhile, the Confederates, disconcerted by the accumulation of Federal troops, abandoned their line across the peninsula and retreated up to their second line of works. On the 21st of June McClellan wrote to the president asking permission to address him on the subject of "The present state of military affairs throughout the whole country." The president replied. "If it would not divert your time and attention from the army under your command, I should be glad to hear your views on the present state of military affairs throughout the whole country." The greater part of June, 1862, was spent by the army under McClellan, in fighting, advancing, retreating, and in various maneuvers. At one time a portion of the troops was within four miles of Richmond without meeting any considerable force of the enemy. On the 27th of .June McClellan announced his intention to retreat to the James River and in a letter to the secretary of war said: "If I save this army, I tell you plainly I owe you no thanks, nor to anyone at Washington . You have done your best to destroy this army." Lincoln was greatly disturbed by the temper of this dispatch.
The army, harassed by the Confederate forces hanging on its rear, retreated to Malvern Hill, and the campaign of the peninsula was over. By this time it was generally understood that Gen. McClellan would be the presidential candidate at the next election of that portion of the democratic party which was dissatisfied with the conduct of the war and with the emancipation measures then under contemplation. In order to see for him the condition of the army, the president visited the headquarters of Gen. McClellan at Harrison 's Lauding on the 7th of July. He examined the rosters of the troops and scrutinized the reports of the chiefs of divisions, and gave it as his judgment that the army should be recalled to Washington, and in this conclusion he was supported by the corps commanders; but to this McClellan was opposed. He required Burnside's army, then operating in North Carolina, and with this large reinforcement he thought he might achieve success. Lincoln found that McClellan had 160,000 men, and on his return to Washington he wrote to him reminding him of this fact and calling attention to the additional fact that while he, Lincoln, was in the army with McClellan he found only 86,000 effective men on duty. In reply, McClellan said that 38,250 men were "absent by authority." Lincoln, feeling the necessity of a military adviser who should be near him in Washington and always readily accessible, called to the capital Gen. Henry W. Halleck, who on the 11th of July was given the rank and title of general-in-chief. About this time Gen. John Pope, whose successes in the valley of the Mississippi had given him fame, was called to the command of a new military organization of three army corps, commanded by Gens. Fremont, Banks and McDowell. These were known as the army of Virginia .
On the 28th of June, 1862, was assembled at Altoona, Pa., a conference of the governors of loyal states, seventeen in number, to determine on the best means of supporting the president in carrying on the war. They issued an address, assuring the president of the readiness of the states to respond to calls for more troops and to support vigorous war measures. Thereupon the president issued a call for 300,000 men. Pope's army 38,000 strong was employed to defend Washington, against which point Lee was now advancing with a large force. It was expected that McClellan would make a bold attack on Richmond from his position on the James, Lee's attention being directed toward Pope. This was not done, and the army of the Potomac was ordered to the line of the Potomac river to support Pope; but McClellan, repeatedly ordered to make haste, delayed, and several weeks elapsed before he showed any indications of moving. Finally, on the 23rd of August, he sailed from Fortress Monroe, arriving at Alexandria on the Potomac on the 27th nearly one mouth after receiving his orders. Meanwhile, Pope was being driven toward Washington, assailed in turn by the Confederate forces under Jackson, Longstreet and Lee. Pope was forced back upon Washington . Disaster and defeat, divided councils in the cabinet, virulent and heated debates in congress, agitated the country. Lincoln alone remained patient and courageous. The army of the Potomac was reorganized, and McClellan soon had under him not only that force, but the remnants of Pope's army of Virginia and the men brought from North Carolina by Gen. Burnside. To these were added other reinforcements from new levies, making the force under McClellan the largest that had been massed together in one army—more than 200,000, all told. On the 15th of September Harper's Ferry was surrendered to the Confederate forces. Lee, advancing into Maryland, brought on another battle, which was fought at Antietam Sept. 17th. The Confederates were defeated, and were obliged to retreat across the Potomac . McClellan failed to follow up his victory, and Lincoln on the 6th of October, 1862, through Gen. Halleck, directed McClellan to "cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy or drive him south." McClellan declined to obey. On the 10th of October General J. E. B. Stuart crossed the Potomac, going as far north as Chambersburg, Pa., made the entire circuit of McClellan's army, and re-crossed into Virginia . Finally, on the 5th of November 1862 just one month after the order to cross had been issued, the army did cross the Potomac, but it was too late. Gen. McClellan was relieved from command of the army on the 5th of November, and his military career was ended.
He was succeeded by General A. E. Burnside, a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, who, until the breaking out of the war, had been engaged in civil pursuits. At the outset there was a disagreement between Burnside, Halleck and Lincoln as to the best line of attack upon the Confederate forces. The result of many consultations was that the route through Fredericksburg, on the Rappahannock, should be adopted. Owing to delays Lee was to seize and fortify the heights above the city of Fredericksburg, and Burnside was speedily confronted by a concentrated army. An attack was made in the face of many difficulties on the 15th of December 1862. The assault failed with great disaster, and closed in gloom. In the West, Buell had been driven back in Kentucky, and the Confederate forces had re-entered that state and a provisional Confederate government had been organized at Frankfort, the capital of the state. The cities of Louisville, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio, were menaced, and it was found necessary to fortify them. At the end of September the combined Federal forces under Generals’ Sherman and McClernand made a vigorous but unsuccessful assault upon the defenses of Vicksburg . Lincoln was now besieged on the one hand with demands for the reinstatement of McClellan, and on the other with importunities for an armistice during which negotiations for a settlement might be carried on. He also was greatly disturbed by zealous friends who were eager for a change of generals. The press of the North was often bitter in its criticisms of the administration. In the army there were mutterings of discontent, and many of the elder officers openly expressed their belief that nothing but the reinstatement of McClellan could lead to victory. On the 26th of January, 1863, General Joseph Hooker was placed in command of the army of the Potomac . The army was soon in good fighting condition, and the rosters, examined by the president during a visit to the army headquarters in April, 1863, showed 216,718 men on the rolls, of which 16,000 were on detached service; 136,720 were on active duty, 1,771 absent without authority, 26,000 sick, and the actual effective force was 146,000, which number could be increased at any time to 169,000 by calling in the men from outlying stations. Early in May began Hooker's offensive movement against the Confederate forces lying south of the Rappahannock . The battle of Chancellorsville terminated that campaign, and on May 6th the president received a dispatch from Gen. Hooker's chief of staff, announcing that the army of the Potomac had re-crossed the Rappahannock and was camped on its old ground. This disaster deeply agitated the country, and the president immediately visited headquarters, accompanied by Gen. Halleck. Soon after this, a law authorizing the conscription of citizens for fighting was enacted, and under the provision of the constitution permitting it, the president suspended the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus, by which the citizen deprived of his liberty could appeal to the courts for an examination in his ease. Under the same authority the president proclaimed martial law. These acts, severely criticized at the time, were justified by the "war powers" of the president of the United States under the constitution. Another important act was the authorizing of the enlistment of Negro troops.
The arming of the ex-slaves was the cause of much popular discontent both North and South. From first to last, the number of Negro troops enlisted in the war was 178,975. Financial measures also occupied the attention of congress, and the secretary of the treasury was authorized to borrow money to carry on the war. The total amount which he was given leave to raise on the obligations of the government of the United States was $900,000,000. Bonds were issued to bear fixed rates of interest, and, to meet the pressing necessities of tin; times, he was authorized to issue $100,000,000 in treasury notes. The finances of the country were in a disordered condition. Gold and silver had disappeared from circulation, and the small change needed in every day transactions of the people was now in small paper notes. In the western states popular discontent had resulted in the formation of secret societies for the propagation of seditious doctrines and the discouragement of the war. In July, 1863, fell Vicksburg, thus opening the Mississippi River, the operations being conducted under command of Gen Grant. In the early days of that month was fought the battle of Gettysburg, in which the troops under Gen. Lee, who had invaded the state of Pennsylvania, were repulsed with great slaughter. The Federal troops were commanded by Gen. Meade. The effective force under Meade in his three days' battle at Gettysburg was from 82,000 to 84,000 men, with 300 pieces of artillery. Lee's effective force was 80,000 men, with 250 guns. The total of killed, wounded and missing in this fight was about 46,000 men each side having suffered equally.
Twenty generals were lost by the Federal army, six being killed. The Confederates lost seventeen generals, three being killed, thirteen wounded and one taken prisoner. On July 4, 1863, Lincoln issued an announcement to the people of the United States, giving the result of the battle of Gettysburg, and concluding with these words: "The President especially desires that on this day He whose will, not ours, should ever more be done, be everywhere remembered and reverenced with profoundest gratitude." There was great joy throughout the loyal states. The president was serenaded at the White House, and appearing to the multitude said, among other things: "I do most sincerely thank God for the occasion of this call." On July 15th the president issued his proclamation for a day of national thanksgiving, in which he invited all the people to assemble on Aug. 6th, to "render the homage due to the Divine Majesty for the wonderful things He has done in the nation s behalf, and invoke the influences of His holy spirit to subdue the anger which has produced and so long sustained a needless and cruel rebellion," etc. On Oct. 3d he instituted a permanent national festival, setting apart the last Thursday in November to be observed as a day of national thanksgiving to God for all His mercies. On Nov. 19, 1863, the battle-field of Gettysburg was solemnly dedicated as a burying-place for the remains of those who had given their lives on that now historic ground. The principal oration was delivered by Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, but the brief address of the president on that occasion was the most momentous utterance, and has now passed into the literature of the world as one of its great master pieces. The year closed auspiciously, Grant being in command of a large force stationed in the military division of the Mississippi with headquarters at Louisville, Kentucky . Gen. George H. Thomas was in command of the departments of the Ohio and Cumberland . Hooker, Sheridan and Sherman were sub ordinate commanders under Grant. The battles of Mission Ridge, Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga were Federal successes, and the Confederates were expelled from Tennessee . Burnside, besieged in Knoxville, was relieved by Sherman, and the Confederate army under Longstreet was driven back into Virginia . The session of congress during the winter of 1863-64 was largely occupied by political measures, a presidential campaign now coming on. Some of the republican leaders were opposed to Lincoln 's re-nomination, considering that he was not sufficiently radical in his measures. As a rule these persons favored the nomination of Mr. Chase, the secretary of the treasury, and others expressed a preference for Gen. Fremont, whose career in Missouri had excited their sympathies. Lincoln remained silent regarding his political desires. The only expression of his opinion in reference to the political situation was found in his famous saying, "I don't believe it is wise to swap horses while crossing a stream." One of the most important military events of that winter was the appointment of Gen. Grant to the post of lieutenant general of the army, that rank having been created by act of congress with the understanding that it was to be conferred upon him. On Feb. 22, 1864, the act was approved, and General Grant was nominated to the post. He was confirmed March 3rd. General Sherman was assigned to the command of the military division of the Mississippi, succeeding Grant, who, in an order dated March 17, 1864, took command of all the armies of the United States, with headquarters in the field. From this time all of the armies in the West and in the East acted in concert, and the enemy was pressed on all sides. Lincoln sent to Grant in the field these words: "You are vigilant and self-reliant. I wish not to obtrude any restraints or constraints upon you. If there be anything in my power to give, do not fail to let me know, and now, with a brave army and a just cause, may God sustain you." General Grant made his headquarters with the army of the Potomac, on the banks Rapidan, and the campaign against the Confederate capital at Richmond opened in May, Meade in command of the army of the Potomac, reinforced by the ninth corps under Burnside. The army moved at midnight on the 3rd of the mouth. On the 5th and 6th were fought the bloody battles of the Wilderness. On the 11th Grant telegraphed to Lincoln : "Our losses have been heavy, as well as those of the enemy, and I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer." On July 22, 1864, Atlanta fell into the hands of Sherman, and Hood, hoping to drive Sherman to the northward, moved against the Tennessee country once more, passing to the right of Atlanta . The Federal forces under Thomas and Schofield fell upon Hood, who was ignominiously put to flight, and after a two days' fight his army was virtually destroyed. Gen. B. F. Butler took possession of City Point, on the James River, where Grant established a base of supplies. Gen. Hunter was sent to clear the Valley of the Shenandoah, but was compelled to retire, and the Confederate forces under Early pressed on toward Washington from the valley, entered Maryland and menaced the national capital. A great panic prevailed in that city for several days, but two army corps, dispatched by General Grant, saved the capital, and the invading force withdrew. Later in the year Gen. Sheridan cleared the Shenandoah Valley, and by the end of September that region was free once more from Confederate forces.
The republican national convention was held in Baltimore, June 8, 1864. Lincoln was re-nominated for the presidency, and Andrew Johnson was nominated for vice-president. In August of that year the democratic national convention assembled in Chicago, and General McClellan was nominated for the presidency, and George H. Pendleton, of Ohio, for the vice-presidency. Meanwhile the radical republicans held a convention at Cleveland, Ohio, and nominated General Fremont for the presidency, and John Cochrane, of New York, for vice-president. In the course of time these latter nominations practically disappeared beneath the surface of American politics, and were heard of no more. Rumors of negotiations on the part of the Confederates looking toward a return of peace now grew more frequent. Clement C. Clay, of Alabama, and Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, appeared on the Canadian border and put themselves in communication with Horace Greeley, who wrote to Lincoln July 7, 1864, asking for a safe conduct for these emissaries in order that they might go to Washington and discuss terms of peace. To this Lincoln replied in writing: "If you can find any person anywhere professing to have authority from Jefferson Davis, in writing, embracing the restoration of the Union and the abandonment of slavery, whatever else it embraces, say to him he may come to me with vou." Some correspondence thereupon ensued, and Mr. Greeley went to Niagara Falls to hold an interview with the Confederate emissaries. It soon became apparent that these agents had no authority to treat for peace on the part of the Richmond government, and the incident passed away. The losses of war required fresh levies of troops, and a call was now issued for 500,000 men. If the required number should not appear by September 5, 1864 then a draft must be ordered. The presidential election came on in November, 1864, resulting in an overwhelming majority for Lincoln . Every state that voted that year declared for Lincoln and his policy, excepting the states of Delaware, Kentucky and New Jersey . The total number of votes cast in all the states was 4,015,902, of which Lincoln had a clear majority of 411,428. Lincoln had 212 of the 233 electoral votes, and McClellan had twenty-one electoral votes. There was renewed talk about peace and compromise during the winter of 1864-65. Francis P. Blair, Sr., a private citizen, was furnished with a safe-conduct signed by the president and went to Richmond, saw Jefferson Davis, and returned to Washington with a letter addressed to him by the president of the Confederacy, the contents of which he was authorized to communicate to Lincoln . In that document Davis expressed his willingness "to enter into conference with a view to secure peace in the two countries." Lincoln replied to Mr. Blair in a note in which he stated that he (Lincoln) was willing to treat on terms with a view to securing peace to the people of "our common country."
This correspondence, although it did not result in any official conference, did bring to Hampton Roads, Va., Alexander H. Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter and John A. Campbell, who were received on board a steamer anchored in the roadstead of Fortress Monroe, by President Lincoln and Secretary Seward. The purpose of the Confederate agents was to secure an armistice, but Lincoln turned a deaf ear to all suggestions of this sort, and while the matter was yet pending wrote to Gen. Grant, saying: "Let nothing that is transpiring change, hinder or delay your military movements or plans." The president and secretary returned to Washington, and it was seen that the Hampton Roads conference resulted in nothing but defeat of the Confederate scheme to procure a cessation of hostilities. The second inauguration of Lincoln took place March 4, 1864. In his inaugural address the president briefly reviewed the political and military situation of the country, and closed with these memorable words: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans, and to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." The spring of 1865 opened with bright prospects for a speedy ending of the rebellion.
General Sherman's march to the Atlantic sea-coast from Atlanta had rent the Confederacy in twain. His subsequent movements in the Carolinas compelled the abandonment of Charleston . The capture of Fort Fisher, N. C., by Gen. Terry, closed the last Atlantic port against possible supplies from abroad. The scattered remnants of the Confederate army now rallied around Gen. Lee for the defense of Richmond, and on March 27th a conference between Lincoln, Grant and Sherman was held on board a steamer lying on the James River, near Grant's headquarters. At that conference final and decisive measures of the campaign were decided upon. Closely followed by Grant, Sheridan now drew a line completely around the army of Virginia, under Gen. Lee. The Confederate lines were everywhere drawn in, their forces operating to the north of the James being now joined with the main army. On Sunday morning, April 2nd, the bells of Richmond sounded the knell of the rebellion, and Jefferson Davis, seeing that all was lost, fled southward, but was subsequently captured and sent a prisoner to Fortress Monroe. On Monday morning, April 3rd, the flag of the Union was hoisted over the building in Richmond which had been occupied by the Confederate congress. Lincoln was at City Point waiting for the final result of these movements. He entered the fallen capital of the Confederacy soon after its downfall. He was unattended, save by a crew from a boat near at hand, and he led his little boy by the hand. Here he was met by General Grant who announced that one more battle might be fought. The president returned to Washington, and on Apr. 7, 1865, Grant opened with Gen. Lee the correspondence which resulted in the surrender of the army of northern Virginia, Apr. 9th, in the village of Appomattox Court-House, Va. Great rejoicings took place all over the North, and on the night of Apr. 10th the city of Washington and many other cities throughout the country were illuminated. On Apr. 11th the city was again illuminated by the government, and a great official celebration took place. The war was over. At noon, April 14, 1865, the president's cabinet held a meeting, at which Gen. Grant was present. That evening the president, Mrs. Lincoln, Clara Harris (a daughter of Senator Ira Harris of New York ), and Major Rathbone of the U. S. army, occupied a box near the stage in Ford's theatre, Washington. John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who had conspired with certain other persons to take the president's life on the first convenient occasion, approached the box from the rear, and at half-past ten o'clock in the evening, while all persons were absorbed in the business of the play, crept up in the rear of the president, and, holding a pistol within a few inches of the base of the brain, fired. The ball entered the brain and Lincoln fell forward, insensible. Booth escaped from the theatre in the confusion which followed. The president was carried to a house on the opposite side of the street, where he lingered between life and death through the hours of the night. At twenty-two minutes past seven o'clock on the morning of Apr. 15, 1865, Lincoln died. Andrew Johnson, the vice-president, now succeeded to the presidency by virtue of his office, and was sworn in during the forenoon. On Wednesday, Apr. 19th, the funeral of the president took place at the White House in the midst of a most distinguished assemblage. His body was borne to the capitol, where it lay in state in the rotunda for one day guarded by a company of high officers of the army and navy, and a detachment of soldiers. The funeral train left Washington for Springfield, Illinois, on Apr. 21st, and traveled nearly the same route that had been passed over by the train that bore the president-elect from Springfield to Washington, five years before. This funeral cortege was unique and wonderful. Nearly 2,000 miles were traversed. The people lined the entire distance, almost without an interval, standing with uncovered heads, mute with grief, often in rain-storms, as the somber procession swept by. Watch-fires blazed along the route in the darkness of the night, and by day every device that could lend picturesqueness to the scene and express the woe of the people was employed. Lincoln 's body was finally laid to rest in Oak Ridge Cemetery, near Springfield, Ill., where a noble monument was subsequently erected. Washington accepted, no American bibliography equals Lincoln 's; thousands of volumes have been written, while the magazine and newspaper biographies number hundreds of thousands. The most exhaustive history, and one which, in a measure, supersedes all others, is the "Life" prepared by his private secretaries, John G. Nicolay and John Hay, together with a complete edition of his writings and speeches, by the same authors. [Source: The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 2; Publ. 1892, by James T. White & Co., N. Y.; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]
[Source: Biographical Sketches of Preeminent Americans, Volume 3; By Frederick G. Harrison; Publ. 1893]
The Martyr-President, he who holds, second only to Washington himself, the highest place in the hearts of his loyal countrymen, was born in the wilds of Kentucky, February 12, 1809. Here he lived, his home a cabin of the rudest description, until he was seven years old, when his father, who was a farmer of the poorer class, went with his family westward into the State of Indiana, hoping to find a more favorable location. Twelve years or more of toil ensued, participated in from the outset to the fullest extent of his ability by the future president, who thus became thoroughly inured to the hardships of a backwoodsman's life. During the period of his boyhood and youth, he obtained barely one year's schooling, all told, and very inferior schooling at that. The mother soon sickened and died, and Thomas Lincoln presently brought home another helpmeet, a widow with three children. The new wife, a woman of energy who brought some little property with her, took a kindly interest in the orphaned children, and something of an improvement was made in the Lincoln home. Abraham had managed to learn to read while yet in Kentucky, and what books he could find in the growing Indiana settlement, were eagerly devoured. Limited though his opportunities might be, they were most faithfully improved, and he formed the invaluable habit of acquiring a thorough mastery of every branch of study to which he applied himself. At school he often proved the peer or even the superior of the teacher, what he read was carefully stored away in his mind, and he developed a more than ordinary faculty for imparting to others what he had himself learned, in the form of a story, essay or oration. He was likewise a willing worker, and being stout and strong, though tall and awkward withal, he was much sought after by the neighbors as a farm hand. Of a social nature, he learned, by thus going among the people, much of their habits, and of the politics of the day; and a copy of the Revised Statutes of Indiana, which he read at the home of a friend, gave him some insight into the law. His interest in legal matters was heightened by listening to the arguments of the lawyers at the County Court, which young Lincoln would walk fifteen miles to attend, when he could find opportunity to do so.
Abraham Lincoln made his first extended journey out into the world at the age of nineteen, as bow hand on a flatboat. The voyage down the Ohio and the Mississippi to New Orleans occupied some three months, and its novel experiences were of far greater value to him than the salary which he received, eight dollars a month, rations, and a prepaid return passage by steamboat. He saw enough of African slavery during this trip and his subsequent one to make him its earnest opponent. In 1830, the family made another move westward, and settled near Decatur, in Illinois . Abraham was now of age, and after assisting in the erection of the new home, he left the paternal roof forever. The summer of 1831 found him at New Salem in charge of a general country store and a flouring mill, having just returned from a second flatboat journey to New Orleans . The annual election occurring soon after his arrival, he was appointed election clerk, his first public office. His good nature and honesty made him a prime favorite among the citizens, while his muscular development and his skill as a wrestler, won the respect and admiration of the more disorderly members of the community. All his spare time was devoted to study, every book and newspaper which he could by any means procure being carefully perused. Embracing the political opinions of Henry Clay, he acquired, in a short time, considerable local fame as a public speaker, and as a debater he had no successful rival. The suspension of business by his employer in the spring of 1832, left him out of work, and he performed for a brief time the duties of a soldier, this being his only military experience until the time when he should be called upon to assume the supreme command of the armies and fleets of the United States .
Black Hawk, the renowned Sac chief, by his outrages on the frontier settlers of Illinois, had precipitated the war which is known by his name; the governor called out the militia for defense and Lincoln was among the volunteers. He was chosen captain of his company, but his troops proving mutinous, they were disbanded and he served through the remainder of the war as a private. The campaign lasted only a few months, and after the settlement of the difficulties, Lincoln returned to New Salem without having seen an engagement. He had been induced to offer himself as a candidate for the State Legislature, but was not at this time elected, although he received the almost unanimous vote of his own village. He now made a second trial of mercantile life, becoming part owner of a store, but fortunately for his country, he failed completely. His partner turned out to be a worthless fellow, and he gained nothing by his venture but fresh debts. He was appointed postmaster in 1833, and tradition says that he carried the post-office in his hat.
The next occupation in which he was engaged was that of a land surveyor, and having mastered the principles of his profession, he followed it with success and profit for several years; but the crisis of 1837 ruined his business, and he was even obliged to part with his instruments in order to satisfy the sheriff's execution. Meanwhile he prosecuted his law studies in a desultory way, and even pleaded a few cases in court, for which, however, he received no recompense.
In 1834 Mr. Lincoln was elected to the Illinois Legislature, being yet so poor that he was forced to borrow money to buy clothes enough to make a respectable appearance at the State capital, and he held his seat for eight years. His party, which was in the minority, soon came to regard him as its leader, and he was twice the Whig candidate for Speaker. He took occasion to express his dissent from the extreme pro-slavery resolution passed by the House, taking that moderate position on the most important question of the day, to which he constantly adhered until forced to take a more radical view by the folly and crime of the slaveholders themselves. When the seat of Government was removed from Vandalia to Springfield in 1837, Mr. Lincoln settled permanently in the latter city. He was admitted to the bar in 1836.
After the close of his service in the legislature, Mr. Lincoln devoted his entire attention to his practice for several years, except during the presidential campaign of 1844, when he stumped Illinois in behalf of Henry Clay, feeling the disappointment of the great Whig leader's defeat very keenly. It is said that his admiration for Clay was much diminished by the somewhat haughty bearing of the latter upon the occasion of a meeting between the two a little while later, in Kentucky . At all events, Lincoln, who was a member of the Whig National Convention of 1848, favored the nomination of Zachary Taylor, and afterward aided materially in the canvass. In November, 1842, he was married to Mary Todd. The distinguished statesman and diplomatist, Robert T. Lincoln, is the only survivor of his children. Abraham Lincoln was already a successful lawyer when he was called upon, in 1847, to represent his district in Congress, being the only Whig member of the Illinois delegation.
He remained in Congress only a single term, during which he acted in accord with the principles of his party in general, except that he maintained an attitude of uncompromising hostility to the extension of slavery. He made a brief visit to New England in 1848, speaking in favor of General Taylor, but most of his time in this canvass was spent in the West. After Taylor 's election, he did not again take any prominent part in politics until 1854, his support of General Scott in 1852 being only half-hearted, as he clearly foresaw the downfall of the Whigs, now so hopelessly divided among themselves on the question of slavery. In January, 1854, the Imp of Discord moved Stephen A. Douglas, Senator from Illinois, to introduce into the United States Senate, the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, embodying his specious theories of "Squatter Sovereignty," nullifying the Missouri Compromise, and permitting the extension, North and West, of that foul blot upon our civilization which had for generations rested like an incubus upon the States of the South. The bill became a law in May, and Mr. Lincoln shared in the general indignation which was aroused at the North. In the ensuing fall he held two memorable public discussions with Senator Douglas in which he exposed, in a masterly manner, the fallacies of his antagonist's arguments. Shortly afterward the Illinois Legislature met to choose a colleague for Mr. Douglas. Lincoln was a candidate, but after several ballots he directed his friends to give their support to Lyman Trumbull, an anti-Douglas Democrat, who was consequently elected.
In 1856, Abraham Lincoln was one of the foremost among the leaders in the movement which resulted in the formation of the Republican Party, and he received considerable support in the first National Convention of that party as candidate for the Vice-Presidential nomination. He was as yet comparatively unknown outside of his own State, but the famous senatorial contest in 1858 gave him a brilliant national reputation as a statesman and a consummate master of debate. The Illinois Legislature, which was chosen in that year, was to elect a successor to Senator Douglas, and both parties selected in advance the candidates for whom the Legislature should ballot, Mr. Douglas being named for reelection by the Democrats, while Mr. Lincoln was the choice of the Republicans. Seven joint debates took place between the two at different points in the State, and the public excitement was wrought up to the highest pitch. In view of the fact that Southern politicians subsequently represented Mr. Lincoln to their people as an Abolitionist monster whose aim was to rob them of their slaves, it is proper to state that during these debates he steadily adhered to the position which he had always taken — that Congress ought not, could not interfere with slavery where it was already established, and he distinctly announced that he did not favor giving to colored people the rights of citizenship. The contest resulted in Mr. Douglas's reelection, although Mr. Lincoln had received a plurality of the popular vote.
The renown acquired by Mr. Lincoln in this canvass was increased by his public addresses in various parts of the country during the following year and in the early part of 1860, and especially by a very powerful speech delivered in the Cooper Institute at New York, in February of the latter year. The Republicans of Illinois at their convention in May, 1859, nominated him for president, yet it was generally thought that William H. Seward would be the Republican candidate, until the convention, which met at Chicago in May, 1860, made choice of Mr. Lincoln upon the third ballot. At the election in the following November, he received one hundred and eighty electoral votes, the remaining one hundred and twenty-three being divided among three competitors, Breckenridge, Bell and Douglas.
Immediately the traitors at the South put their machinery at work to destroy the Union . By the 1st of February, 1861, seven States had resolved themselves into independent sovereignties, and ten days later Mr. Lincoln left his modest home in Springfield for Washington . He was received with enthusiasm in the different cities on the route; but upon arriving at Philadelphia he was warned of a plot for his assassination while passing through Baltimore . At the solicitations of his friends, he changed his plans slightly, so as to arrive at Washington early on the morning of February 23d, some twelve hours before he was expected. On the 4th of March, 1861, he was inaugurated President of the United States, and assumed the gravest responsibilities that ever rested upon an American citizen.
The history of Mr. Lincoln's administration is essentially one with that of the most wicked of all rebellions against just and lawful government. When he took the oath of office, seven States were leagued together in open defiance of the national authority, and four more soon followed their evil example. Several weeks elapsed before it became evident what the course of the President would be in this unprecedented emergency, and some good people even began to fear that he was going to pursue the same weak and halting policy as his predecessor had done; but, in his wisdom, he had determined that in the great war which was seen to be inevitable, the enemies of his country should strike the first blow. On April 12, 1861, Sumter was fired upon, and "the last ray of hope for preserving the Union peaceably expired." Troops were called for to defend the National Capital, and retake the property of the Government which had fallen into rebel hands. The regular army and the navy were augmented, and by proclamation the President closed the ports of the South Atlantic and Gulf States . Congress having been summoned to meet in extra session in July, confirmed all these acts of the executive, and conferred upon Mr. Lincoln ample powers to subdue the rebellion.
His first care was to provide for the safety of the city of Washington ; that accomplished, the difficult task followed of so ordering the aggressive movements of the different armies as not to needlessly irritate the people of the border States who were wavering in their allegiance. Thousands upon thousands of brave soldiers hastened to the front, but a thoroughly competent leader was yet to be found. The first advance of the undisciplined and over-confident troops resulted in the mortifying defeat of Bull Run in July. The Commander-in-Chief, Winfield Scott, the hero of two wars, unfitted by his age and infirmities to cope with a powerful and well prepared foe, resigned, and was succeeded in November by General McClellan. The latter enjoyed temporarily a wonderful degree of popularity, but he disappointed the hopes of President and people, and his command was, in March, 1862, limited to the Army of the Potomac . His plans did not commend themselves to Mr. Lincoln, but the President deferred to the acknowledged military ability of his subordinate, until McClellan, after a most aggravating series of delays, was finally obliged to retreat before the foe after the disastrous peninsular campaign in the spring and summer of 1862. The first two years of the war were unfavorable to the national arms; so unfavorable, that many at the North lost heart, while Northern sympathizers with treason, known as "Copperheads," began to talk loudly of compromise or surrender. In order to deal with the latter class of persons, Mr. Lincoln was forced to suspend the act of habeas corpus. European powers freely gave aid and comfort to the rebels, and all but acknowledged their independence. Amid all this storm of disaster, the Man at the Helm, Abraham Lincoln, was true as steel, and guided the tempest-tossed Ship of State with consummate wisdom, though weighed down by the cares of his high office, to which also was added a severe domestic affliction in the loss of his twelve-year-old son, Willie.
The Northern people were at length brought to realize that no permanent peace could ever be established until the great cause of the whole trouble — slavery — was removed. Early in 1862, it was abolished in the Territories and in the District of Columbia, where the jurisdiction of Congress was supreme, and in accordance with Mr. Lincoln's recommendation, plans were discussed, and partially adopted, by which the general government should aid the States in providing for gradual emancipation, and the colonization of those freedmen who might be willing to leave the country; but the blind obstinacy of the Southern leaders, who were determined to cling at all hazards to their scheme for an independent slave-holding nation, rendered these plans of no effect. Harsher measures were necessary, and after a preliminary warning, which was totally unheeded, President Lincoln, on the 1st of January, 1863, issued his famous proclamation, by which, with a few exceptions, all the slaves in ten States were declared to be forever free.
Two years more of awful carnage; but the tide had turned. One after another the strongholds of the rebels fell before the advance of the Union armies. In the early days of July, 1863, the country was electrified by the almost simultaneous victories of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, the former hurling back the presumptuous foe who .dared to set his foot on Northern soil, the latter opening the Great River to commerce, and giving to the nation the long-sought military leader. On the 19th of November, the field of Gettysburg, purchased by the State of Pennsylvania, was consecrated as a national cemetery for the loyal soldiers who had fallen there, upon which occasion Abraham Lincoln made that brief but most famous of all his speeches, in which he urged the Nation to renewed diligence " that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." On the 9th of March, 1864, he commissioned the hero of Vicksburg Lieutenant General. A great load was lifted from the shoulders of the good President, as he now had a commander for his armies in whom he could repose implicit confidence — Ulysses S. Grant.
In May, 1864, General Grant began his operations for the reduction of the rebel capital, which was defended with a bravery born of despair, and which only succumbed after eleven months of bloodshed more terrible than any ever witnessed by the armies of Wellington or Bonaparte. President Lincoln visited the field of battle in person in June, and returned to Washington, heartsick from the scene of suffering and ruin which had met his eye, but with an unshaken confidence in the final triumph of the right. At the same time Sherman was dealing his giant blows in Georgia, and the nation was in a whirl of excitement, unequalled before or since. In the midst of it all the time arrived for another presidential election. That there should have been any opposition to Mr. Lincoln will be as incomprehensible to our children as is to us the violent opposition which was manifested toward Washington himself. The regular Democratic nominee, General G. B. McClellan, received his support largely from those politicians who had done all in their power to thwart the Government in its attempts to put down the rebellion, while President Lincoln received the suffrages of all loyal men, Democrats as well as Republicans. He was triumphantly reelected, receiving two hundred and twelve electoral votes, including those of the two States of West Virginia and Nevada, which had been admitted during his administration. McClellan received twenty-one votes, and the eleven rebellious States were disfranchised.
On the 4th of March, 1865, Mr. Lincoln began his second administration. The clouds of war were rapidly rolling away; already the old flag had been replaced above the ruins of Sumter, and in less than a month Richmond was occupied by the Federal troops, and the arch-traitor, Davis, was a fugitive. President Lincoln was with the army at City Point, and on April 3d he entered the deserted rebel capital, not with the pomp of the conqueror — for that his great kindly heart would not allow him to do — but to be hailed as the savior of their race by the colored population. His work was accomplished. The enthusiasm of the loyal North at the collapse of the rebellion was unbounded, but it was doomed to receive a fearful check. On the evening of the 14th of April, while seeking a brief respite from the crushing cares of state and the persecutions of a horde of office seekers, the great President, the best beloved of the rulers of the earth, was shot and fatally wounded by the assassin, Booth, and he died on the following day. Thus was ended the life of a man in whose heart was "malice towards none," but "charity for all." Words fail to express the anguish caused by the ruthless act at home, or the detestation with which it was universally regarded abroad. So long as America shall have a name among the nations of the earth, so long will she cherish and revere the name of Abraham Lincoln. [Source: Biographical Sketches of Preeminent Americans, Volume 3; By Frederick G. Harrison; Publ. 1893; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]
Sarah Bush was born December 13, 1788 in Hardin County, Kentucky, the third daughter to Hannah and Christopher Bush. Christopher Bush was a slave patrol captain who was somewhat well-off financially and was described as "…a stirring, industrious man, and had a large family sons and daughters." The Bushes moved with their nine children to Elizabethtown, Kentucky when Sarah was two years old. As a child Sarah prided herself on her appearance and keeping up with the latest fashion. She had blue-gray eyes and was light complexioned. Sarah has been described as proud, energetic, hard-working, neat and possessing good sense.
Her brother, Isaac, sold Thomas Lincoln the Sinking Stream Farm.
Sarah Bush married Daniel Johnston on March 13, 1806.The Johnstons were parents to three children: John, Elizabeth and Matilda.
The Johnstons struggled financially throughout their marriage, having little or no taxable property, and debts that Daniel's brothers would sometimes settle. In 1814 Daniel obtained the position of county jailer, which included living quarters for the family within the jailhouse. Sarah became the cook and cleaner for the jail. In addition, the couple performed cleaning services for the courthouse. In 1816 Daniel died of cholera during an epidemic. Thereafter, Sarah seems to have recovered financially somewhat; She purchased a cabin that had previously been owned by Samuel Haycraft, furnished it with luxurious furnishings and sent one of her daughters to a private school.
[Sources: Richard Lawrence Miller (2006). Lincoln and His World, Volume 1. Stackpole Books. pp. 44–45. ISBN 0811701875.
"Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln - Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Indiana". National Park Service.
"Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln Memorial (brochure)" (Elizabethtown Tourism & Convention Bureau - and - Kentucky Department of Tourism.; 2013
"Lincoln Lore - Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln". Kentucky Historical Society. 2013]
LINCOLN, Sarah Bush, step-mother of Abraham Lincoln, was born in Kentucky about 1785. Little is known of her early life. Though entirely without education, she was a woman of strong character, and intelligence. She was blessed with sterling good sense in an uncommon degree, and had a wonderful faculty of making the best and most of everything. Such qualities eminently fitted her to bring order and comfort into the disorderly and cheerless home of Thomas Lincoln. She had known him when a young woman; had, indeed, refused his offer of marriage, and accepted his rival, Johnstone. Thomas Lincoln married Nancy Hanks, and settled in southern Indiana , where she died a few years later (1818) of an obscure epidemic which ravaged the country, leaving two children. Thomas had built his wigwam, and later his cabin, on a spot which nature had endowed with uncommon beauty, in strong contrast to his miserable home. The rolling country afforded excellent pasture, with here and there park-like regions covered with lofty maples, walnuts, beeches and oaks. Numerous salt springs were visited by deer in large numbers, and buffaloes were abundant. Though a carpenter, he had built but a wretched cabin, and had not troubled himself to either finish or furnish it. It possessed neither windows, door, nor floor; while for furniture it contained a few three-legged stools, and a broad slab, supported by four rough legs, served for a table. The bedstead was of the most primitive construction, consisting of boards laid on sticks, which were fastened into the sides of the cabin, and upright pieces of wood supported it on the inner side. Skins and the cast-off clothing of the family served as bedding. The cookery for this household was performed with a single pan and a Dutch oven. After thirteen months of widowhood Thomas Lincoln sought out his early love, Sarah Bush Johnstone, who was still living in Kentucky—a widow, with three children, and for that time and region in very good circumstances. He began the siege in this characteristic fashion: "Well, Mis Johnstone, I have no wife, and you have no husband I came on purpose to marry you. I knowed you from a gal and you knowed me from a boy. I have no time to lose, and if you are willing, let it be done straight off." She replied that she had no objections to marrying, but that she was in debt, and must first attend to that matter. It appears that this was not an affair of difficulty, for on the following day they were married, and started for his home in Indiana , with a four horse wagon containing her property. This wedding-journey to his distant cabin occupied several days. Little Abe never forgot the surprising riches and delight the new mother brought to their wretched home. For her, also, there was a surprise in store, as her new home was not what her husband's fancy had painted it to her in his wooing. She was not a woman to be lightly dismayed, and at once set to work to reform her husband and civilize the household. She persuaded her husband to replace the earthen floor with one of wood, and close in the house from the wintry blasts with windows and doors; and with the bedding she brought she made up comfortable beds for the little children. A table, a set of chairs, and a bureau which cost $40, knives and forks, and several cooking utensils, transformed the forlorn cabin into a comfortable home. She found little Abe and his sister not only unkempt and unclean, but almost naked; and this good mother washed them, and fed them with wholesome food, and clothed them with material which she took from her own wardrobe. What is more, these poor children knew nothing of gentle manners and kind words, and she treated them with motherly tenderness, and made them feel that they had an equal place in her heart with her own children—and this world became a heavenly place to the poor, half-starved creatures. She was an economical housekeeper, thorough and cleanly in her habits, and under her management the Lincoln affairs took on a very different color. The house was gradually made comfortable, and her husband, shamed into greater industry, provided better for the wants of his family. Her lot was not an easy one; the nearest spring of good water was a mile away, and cleanliness, under such conditions, was a virtue which must have ranked next to godliness. It was characteristic of her that, disappointed as she was at the indolence of her husband, and the poverty of her new abode, she set herself cheerfully to the task of making the best of things; and unselfishly devoted her entire strength of mind and body to making a home, in the best sense, and to training the children in habits of self-respecting conduct. At once a strong friendship sprang up between her and the little Abe, who was ignorant, but loving and sweet-tempered. Years only deepened their mutual affection, and she was wont to say in old age, that she loved him better than her own son, John, though both were "good boys." As soon as she succeeded in clothing him comfortably she sent him to school, a distance of over four miles from home. Her loving regard and care stirred him to the depths of his being, and he used to speak gratefully of her, as his "saintly mother," his "angel of a mother," and in after years he pathetically said, "She was the woman who first made me feel like a human being." When her husband died she resolutely took the whole care of the family; and when Mr. Lincoln visited her, just before his inauguration, he found her once upright form bent with hard work, and her handsome face dimmed with care and grief. At this, their last meeting, both were depressed by a presentiment of coming sorrow. She outlived her illustrious stepson, of whom she spoke to his biographer, Mr. Herndon, in these words: "Abe was a good boy, and I can say, what scarcely one stepmother can say in a thousand. Abe never gave me a cross word or look, and never refused, in fact or appearance, to do anything I requested him. His mind and mine, what little I had, seemed to run together. I had a son, John, who was raised with Abe. Both were good boys: but I must say, both now being dead, that Abe was the best boy I ever saw. I did not want Abe to run for president; did not want him elected; was afraid, somehow; and when he came down to see me after he was elected president, I still felt that something would befall Abe and that I should see him no more." She died April 10, 1869. [Source: The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 2; Publ. 1892, by James T. White & Co., N. Y.; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]