Posts Tagged ‘Abraham Lincoln’

Poor Ol’ Tom Lincoln

February 12, 2013

Another Mouth To Feed

Long Beach Independent (Long Beach, California) Feb 11, 1956

The Clank of Breaking Manacles

September 22, 2012

Ogden Standard Examiner (Ogden, Utah) Sep 12, 1928

When you read republican platforms you see the faces of Lincoln and Grant, you hear the emancipation proclamation, the clank of breaking manacles falling from the limbs of slaves, the battle hymns of the republic, and the glory of the stars and stripes.

When you read the democratic platforms you see the faces of James Buchanan, Jefferson Davis, and Grover Cleveland; you hear of secession and rebellion, panic and disaster, repudiation of national obligations, starvation of American labor, and the hauling down of the American flag.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Sep 23, 1902

…Mr. STEVENS desired to say….As the Constitution could not be executed in the seceded States, the war must be carried as against an independent nation. The people would admit the measures he had advocated from the onset. To arm negro slaves was the only way on earth to exterminate the rebellion, they would find. We must treat those States as now outside of the Union, as conquered provinces, settle them with new men, and drive the rebels as exiles from the continent. They had the pluck and endurance which were not at first realised on this side of the House. They had determination and endurance, and nothing but exile, extermination or starvation could make them submit.

Mr. STEVENS here caused an article to be read, a special dispatch to the Chicago Times, to the effect that Gov. ROBINSON, of Kentucky, had issued a che???r letter to the members of the Legislature, asking for their views on the President’s Proclamation, and that fully two-thirds were in favor of taking the State out of the Union if the Proclamation is enforced. That the State militia would go with the South, and that HUMPHREY MARSHALL ad stationed himself at Mount Sterling to receive them.

Mr. MALLORY wished to know what part of this ominum gatherum the gentleman wished to direct their attention.

Mr. STEVENS — That two-thirds of the Legislature are in favor of taking the State out of the Union.

Mr. MALLORY denounced this newspaper statement as utterly false. That Gov. ROBINSON will do anything like advising Kentucky to engage in the rebellion, or arm against the Government, is equally false. There was no ground for such assertion.

Mr. STEVENS — I am happy to hear it, as the statement came from a Democratic newspaper, and I doubted its truth very much. [Laughter.]

Mr. WADSWORTH noticed another branch of the article, namely, about HUMPHREY MARSHALL being at Mount Sterling. The last he heard of HUMPHREY was, he was 170 miles off. He was drunk and cursing Kentucky, because she would not rise like “My Maryland.” The muskets in Kentucky are in the hands of the militia. employed in the defence of the Union. The malignant correspondent of the Chicago Times had not the slightest foundation for saying that the guns would ever be turned against the Union.

In reply to a question by Mr. STEVENS, whether the proclamation would take Kentucky out of the Union, he said Kentucky cannot be taken out of the Union either by secessionists or by abolitionists or both combined. (Applause and cried of “good.”) As for the emancipation proclamation, we despise and laugh at it. The latest mustering of Gen. BRAGG shows only 2,300 Kentuckians in his army, and some 1,200 Kentuckians had deserted from HUMPHREY MARSHALL. His opinion was there are not five thousand persons who were once citizens of Kentucky, who are in the rebel army, but the course pursued by the Radicals, like the gentleman from Pennsylvania, has worked more mischief to the Union than all the rebels have done since July, 1861. France and England might join the United States, but if the negroes are set free under the Proclamation, the Secessionists never can be conquered. The Proclamation cannot be enforced in Kentucky — not one man in ten thousand is in favor it….

The New York Times (New York, New York) Jan 9, 1863

New York Times (New York, New York) Jan 9, 1863

*     *     *     *     *

[From the N.Y. Daily News]

Mr. Lincoln offered no terms of compromise, and rejected, in advance, every proposition that did not accord with the extreme views of the faction he represents. He demanded unconditional submission to the Federal authority, and compliance with all the schemes of abolition set forth in the emancipation proclamation and the proposed amendment of the Constitution.

In brief, he gave the Southern people to understand that reconciliation was out of the question, unless they acquiesced in measures most repugnant to their feelings, and most antagonistical to their political convictions.

Galveston Daily News (Galvestion, Texas) Mar 4, 1865

The Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) Sep 22, 1924

Antietam: ‘By heaven! it was a goodly sight to see – For one who had no friend or brother there.’

September 17, 2012

Image from: (Google book link)

Title: The Secret Service, the Field, the Dungeon, and the Escape
Author: Albert Deane Richardson
Publisher    American Pub. Co., 1865

Incidents of Antietam.

We take the following incidents of the battle of Antietam from “The Field, The Dungeon and the Escape,” by A.D. Richardson.

My confrere and myself were within a few yards of Gen. Hooker. It was a very hot place. We could not distinguish the ‘ping’ of the individual bullets, but their combined and mingled hum was like the din of a great Lowell factory. Solid shot and shell came shrieking through the air, but over our heads, as we were on the extreme front.

Hooker – common-place before — the moment he heard the guns, loomed up into gigantic stature. His eye gleamed with the grand anger of battle. He seemed to know exactly what to do, to feel that he was master of the situation, and to impress every one else with the fact. Turning to one of his staff, and pointing to a spot near us, he said:

“Go and tell Capt. ____ to bring his battery and plant it there, at once.”

The lieutenant rode away. After giving one or two further orders with great clearness rapidity and precision, Hooker’s eye again turned to that mass of rebel infantry in the woods, and he said to another officer with great emphasis:

“Go and tell Capt. ____ to bring his battery here instantly!”

Sending more messages to the various divisions and batteries, only a single member of the staff remained.

Once more scanning the woods with his eagle eye, Hooker directed the aid:

“Go, and tell Capt. ____ to bring the batter y without one second’s delay. Why, my God, how he can pour it into their infantry.”

By this time seven of the body-guard had fallen from their saddles. Our horses plunged wildly. A shell plowed the ground under my rearing steed, and another exploded near Mr. Smalley, throwing great clouds of dust over both of us. Hooker leaped his white horse over a low fence into an adjacent orchard, whither we gladly followed. Though we did not move more than thirty yards, it took us comparatively out of range.

The desired battery, stimulated by three successive messages, came up with smoking horses, at a full run, was unlimbered in the twinkling of an eye, and began to pour shots into the enemy, who were also suffering severely from our infantry charges. IT was not many seconds before they began to waver. — Through the rifting smoke we could see their line sway to and fro; then it broke like a thaw in a great river. Hooker rose up in his saddle, and, in a voice of suppressed thunder, exclaimed:

“There they go, . . . . . . . Forward!”

Our whole line moved on. It was now nearly dark. Having shared the experience of ‘Fighting Joe Hooker’ quite long enough, I turned toward the rear. Fresh troops were pressing forward, and stragglers were ranged in long lines behind rocks and trees.

Riding slowly along a grassy slope, as I supposed quite out of range, my meditations were disturbed by a cannon ball, whose rush of air fanned my face, and made my horse shrink and read almost upright. The next moment came another behind me, and by the great blaze of a fire of rails, which the soldiers had built, I saw it ricochet down the slope like a foot ball, and pass right through a column of our troops in blue who were marched steadily forward. The gap which it made was immediately closed up.

Men with litters were grouping through the darkness, bearing the wounded to the ambulances.

At nine o’clock I wandered to a farm-house, occupied by some of our pickets. We dared not light candles as it was within range of the enemy. The family had left. I tied my horse to an apple tree and lay down upon the parlor floor, with my saddle for a pillow. At intervals during the night we heard the popping of musketry, and at the first glimpse of dawn the picket officer shook me by the arm.

“My friend,” said he, “you had better go away as soon as you can; this place is getting rather hot for civilians.”

I rode around through the field, for shot and shell were already screaming up the narrow lane.

Thus commenced the long, hotly-contested battle of Antietam. Our line was three miles in length, with Hooker on the right, Burnside on the left, and a great gap in the centre, occupied only by artillery; while Fitz John Porter with the fine corps was held in reserve. From dawn until nearly dark the two great armies wrestled like athletes, straining every muscle, losing here, gaining there, and at many points fighting the same ground over and over again. It was a fierce, sturdy, indecisive conflict.

Five thousand spectators viewed the struggle from a hill comparatively out of range. — Not more than three persons were struck there during the day, McClellan and his staff occupied another ridge half a mile in the rear.

‘By heaven! it was a goodly sight to see
For one who had no friend or brother there.’

No one who looked upon that wonderful panorama can describe or forget it. Every hill and valley, every corn field, grove and cluster of trees was fiercely fought for.

The artillery was unceasing; we could often count more than sixty guns to the minute. It was like the patter of rain drops in an April shower. On the great field were riderless horses and scattering men, clouds of dirt from solid shot and expending shells, long, dark, lines of infantry swaying to and fro, with columns of smoke rising from their muskets, red flashes and white puffs from the batteries — with the sun shining brightly on all this scene of tumult, and beyond it, upon the dark, rich woods, and the clear, blue mountains south of the Potomac.”

The Herald and Torch Light (Hagerstown, Maryland) Aug 16, 1865

Seventy five years ago Corp. Basil Lemley, left, 94, fought with the Union army, and Capt. Robert E. Miles, center, 98 was on the side of the Confederacy in the bloody Civil war battle of Antietam. The two ex-soldiers put aside their one-time enmity and sealed their friendship with a handshake above, with President Roosevelt, right, when he visited the battlefield near Sharpsburg, Maryland on Constitution day.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Sep 18, 1937

Image from Mr Lincoln & Friends – Ozias M. Hatch

After the battle of Antietam, when McClellan’s army lay unaccountably idle, Lincoln, with his friend, O.M. Hatch of Illinois, went to the front. They stood on a hill from which they could view the vast camp, and Lincoln said:

Lincoln — Hatch, Hatch, what is all this?

Hatch — Why, that is the Army of the Potomac.

Lincoln — No, Hatch, no. That is General McClellan’s bodyguard.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) Jul 31, 1952

Oh! Abraham, Resign

August 16, 2012

Image from Son of the South

From the Philadelphia Inquirer.



The days are growing shorter,
The sun has crossed the line,
And the people are asking,
“Will Abraham resign?”
Poor old Father Abraham,
Once a people’s pride;
Your glory has deserted,
We’re prepared to let you “slide.”

You’ve forgotten all the promises
Made in those speeches fine,
When traveling to the capital,
Oh! Abraham, resign!
Poor old Father Abraham.

You’ve kill the Constitution,
Framed by patriots “lang syne;”
You’ve gagged the mouths of freemen,
Oh! Abraham, resign!
Poor old Father Abraham.

Between states once fraternal,
You’ve drawn your party line;
You’ve brought us war infernal,
Oh! Abraham, resign!
Poor old Father Abraham.

You’ve imprisoned honest freemen,
And in dungeons let them pine
For home, and wife, and children,
Oh! Abraham, resign!
Poor old Father Abraham.

You’ve leagued with John Brown, Forney,
To Greeley you incline,
You’re hand and glove with Sumner,
Oh! Abraham, resign!
Poor old Father Abraham.

The people will not swallow
That wicked scheme of thine,
To ‘mancipate the “woolly heads,”
Oh! Abraham, resign!
Poor old Father Abraham.

Pennsylvania has condemned you,
Ohio’s in the line;
And the Hoosier boys are shouting,
Oh! Abraham, resign!
Poor old Father Abraham.

The Empire State has spoken
Against thee, Abr’ mine;
The Jersey Bines are after thee,
Oh! Abraham, resign!
Poor old Father Abraham.

Against these solemn warnings,
Steel not that heart of thine;
Far “better late than never,”
Oh! Abraham, resign!
Poor old Father Abraham.

Allen County Democrat (Lima, Ohio) Dec 10, 1862

The Nation in Tears

April 14, 2012

Image from the New York Philharmonic

NOTE: The author’s math was off a year.


Ten years ago to-day an assassin’s bullet let out the life blood of one of the noblest statesmen that the United States ever had the fortune to possess. Ten years ago, upon that memorable Friday, a people were hurled from the height of joy to the depths of grief. Scarce had the electric wires carried the inspiring words “Richmond has fallen!” from Maine to California, before the same wires were called upon to convey the sad news that J. Wilkes Booth had struck a cowardly, yet fatal blow at the energetic, beloved “Uncle Abe.” We well remember the pall that fell over a grief-stricken people; how strong men wept, and flags hung at half mast. The entire North felt as if it had lost a father, and that too at a moment when he was needed as much, if not more, than at any previous time.

The country, emerging from a cruel and unnatural war, needed such a master hand to guide it safely through the trying scenes which were to follow. But his race was run, his work was accomplished, and he fell at his post lamented by a nation. While the grateful North idolized the care-worn patriot who had steered the Ship of State through an internecene war, the South, though nominally his enemy, could but revere his strict integrity and wonderful executive ability, and each vied with the other in doing him homage as he lay prepared for burial. The 14th of April should be made a national holiday, by which the memories of this great, noble patriot should be perpetuated. It should be placed beside the 22d of February in the affections of a grateful people. While the Union lasts, and while an American citizen shall exist, there will be one page in his country’s history that will have a peculiar lustre and be to him an inspiration to follow the grand example set by Honest Old Abe, and that is the page that tells of Abraham Lincoln. May his memory be always and forever revered.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 14, 1876

Image from PBS



Twelve years ago to-day was a dark, sad day to the United States. On the 14th of April, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, our beloved President, fell by an assassin’s hand and left a nation in tears. He fell when needed most. Though called to preside on the nation’s darkest hour, and having administered well the duties imposed upon him, still after four years his work was yet unfinished. A nation bleeding and torn needed his guiding hand to sooth sectional prejudices and alleviate the heart sores which still bled. Then of all times was Lincoln needed. But the assassin’s hand was not stayed and the un???ing ballet left the destiny of the people in the hands of a traitor. Had Lincoln lived President Grant would not have had to resort to military law to prevent murder and outrage in the South. Nor would President Hayes have found the perplexing Southern question hovering over and embarrassing his administration. The bitterness and hatred incident to the rebellion would have passed away, and to day North, South, East and West would rejoice in a mutual prosperity, brought about by fraternal feelings and industry.

We commend the history of Abraham Lincoln to the young men of our country. He never dreamed when splitting rails or towing a raft down the Mississippi, but one day he should be the leader of a mighty people — one to whom the world looked; but within him was a spirit to do and dare. Mark the result. Hard work, perseverance and honesty were the footsteps which carried him to the dizzy height which he occupied. Every young man can start with the same capital, and though he may not attain the Presidency he can hold a position far above the one he will occupy if his life is spent in debauchery and idleness.

Think of it young men, and determine to be like Lincoln — a leader of leaders. Every young man has a right to choose one of two things: either to be a man or a mouse. Judging from the actions of many we think they will be even very sickly mice. Boys, assert your manhood. Remember that Webster, Lincoln, Grant, Hayes, DeLong, and a host of others known to Nation and State, were poor boys when they started, but by the manly qualities have attained a name that will live long after they shall have passed away.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 14, 1877

Union in Thanksgiving

November 24, 2011

Union in Thanksgiving.

It was at a time when “union” as well as “liberty” was the watchword of our country, that the festival which is do distinctively American became more entirely a national affair. The incident which let to such a change of basis is thus described by the author of “Seward at Washington:”

One morning, early in October, 1863, Mr. Seward entered the President’s room and found him alone, busily engaged with a large pile of papers.

“They say, Mr. President,” he began, “that we are stealing away the rights of the States. So I have come to-day to advise you that there is another State right I think we ought to steal.”

Mr. Lincoln looked up from his papers with a quizzical expression.

“Well, Governor,” said he, “what do you want to steal now?”

“The right to name Thanksgiving day. We ought to have one national holiday all over the country, instead of letting the Governors of States name half a dozen different days.”

The President entered heartily into the suggestion, saying that he believed the usage had its origin in custom and not in constitutional law, so that a President “had as good a right to thank God as a Governor.” In fact, proclamations had already been issued by the executive after great victories, though the annual festival had always been designated by the Governors.

Mr. Seward drew from his portfolio the outline of such a proclamation, which they read over together, and perfected. It was duly issued, and since that time the President of the United States has always fixed the date for this national holiday.

Bessemer Herald (Bessemer, Michigan) Nov 23, 1895

By the Bullet and the Bowl

October 12, 2011

“By the Bullet and the Bowl.”
From the New York Tribune.

In 1840 the Whig party elected Wm. H. Harrison President. He was inaugurated in 1841, March 4th. One month afterward he died, and his office fell to John Tyler.

How “Tyler too” carried out the principles under which he was chosen, the world too well remembers. He added a new and disgraceful verb to the language — to Tylerize has ever since been synonymous with partisan treachery.

In 1844, through the efforts of the Birney Abolitionists, Henry Clay was defeated — Polk elected, with Dallas for his Vice; Texas was annexed, the area of slavery was extended by nearly 300,000 square miles, and all was lovely.

In 1848, Zachary Taylor, a moderate Whig, and Millard Fillmore, not much of anything, were chosen President and Vice. Taylor did not suit the Southern drivers; he had a stupid way of acting honestly and straightforward — and so, within a brief period, he fell under the malarious vapors of Washington, and died, Fillmore succeeding, and duly Tylerized.

Next we had the Herald’s “poor Pierce,” who has not, to this day ceased from expressing his boundless servility to the slave whips of his southern masters. He was “sound” and served out his term in peace — the water was good.

In 1856, Mr. Buchanan, fully as sound as Pierce, was raised to the Executive chair, and under his administration — as in that of his predecessor — Washington was free from malaria — that is, Democrats; but when the new Republican party began to gain strength, and it was possible that they might become the ruling power of Congress, the water of Washington suddenly grew dangerous, the hotels (particularly the National) became pest houses, and dozens of heretics from the Democratic faith grew sick almost unto death. This singular phenomenon re-appeared from time to time until the great outbreak after the election of Lincoln. Then the wells and springs of the capital came into the care of loyal soldiers, and the water persistently remained healthy. This continued, in spite of the prayers of the faithless, for four years; there was not a “sick” congressman after Davis and his followers left.

But when the struggle of 1864 was over, and the water of the capital flowed clearly, there came a change in the tactics of the poisoners; a single bullet sufficed to restore their hopes. Abraham Lincoln passed away; Andrew Johnson supervened, and — like every other President elevated to the main office, from Aaron Burr to himself — he too, Tylerized, swallowed himself with the dexterity of an East India juggler, and came out from his contortions the branded property of Howell Cobb and his crowd of unregenerated rebels. Urged by the sentiment of a betrayed people, the House of Representatives recently put the recreant Executive on trial.

The trial was over, the hour for voting approached, when we had a return of that bad water, and two or three senators — Republicans, mind you — are prostrated with sudden illness.

What does it mean?

Why does it happen that whenever the current sets against the monster demon of slavery (and never at any other time) we find the air, water, and the whisky of Washington full of poison?

Why does it happen that when some great deed for freedom is on the point of accomplishment (and never on any other occasion), we find Presidents, previously in rugged health, instantaneously sent to their graves, and traitors always on hand to take their places?

Why is it now, just as we should have the vote upon the great question of impeachment, and when — up to the latest moment — it had been universally believed that Johnson would be convicted, why, we ask, do we hear at this critical moment of the dangerous illness of some of the most firm and conspicuous advocates of impeachment?

Is there any thing of chances that can explain these remarkable Ku-klux coincidences?

Alton Daily Telegraph (Alton, Illinois) Jun 3, 1868

For Lincoln

September 20, 2011

Democratic Biography of Abe Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln, the “rail candidate for the Presidency,” was born in Harding county, Kentucky, 1809.

He hadn’t much education for one of his size.

He kept a seven-by-nine grocery in Egypt, Illinois; failed in that; went to work and actually split 1500 chestnut rails in six weeks and eleven days.

Was twice a member of the Illinois Legislature.

Was a member of Congress two years, and behaved himself so well they let him off.

Became a great man by running against Douglas for the Senate and getting beautifully beat.

Was nominated at Chicago by a rail, and like the celebrated rail carries of old, W.R. Snapp, will run himself and rail into the ground.


The Appleton Motor (Appleton, Wisconsin) Jul 19, 1860

Image from The Violent History of American Unions on LiveJournal.

Song of the Lynn Strikers.

We strikers once for higher pay
With crowded ranks did cram Lynn;
We come with fuller ranks to-day
For Lincoln and for Hamlin.

The Southerners at us did sneer
And fiercely curse and ban Lynn,
But wilder yet will be their fear
Of Lincoln and of Hamlin.

Bold Robin Hood won Lincoln green,
And his sweet minstrel Gamelyn,
Were they alive they’d go, I ween,
For Lincoln and for Hamlin.

Like Sherwood’s king, we strike down wrong,
And while our town’s no sham Lynn,
We’ll wave our flag and go in strong
For Lincoln and Hamlin.

Lynn, May 18.

The Appleton Motor (Appleton, Wisconsin) Jul 19, 1860

The Bells!

Hear the Opposition Bells,
Empty bells!
How the turbulence of Babel their dissonance excels;
How they rattle, rattle, rattle,
Like a cow-bell with a cold;
Like the bells they hang on cattle,
Or a sword and buckler’s battle,
In the civil days of old.

Oh! the anger and the clangor
Of the bores!
From New Orleans to Bangor,
How it roars!
Hear their broad and brazen throats
Begging Abolition votes —
With a pledge to act the Hessian
In the war against Secession,
Whilst they shyly try to “ring in” Mr. Bell,
Bell! Bell! Bell!
Oh, the fusion and confusion of these Bells!

Appleton Motor (Appleton, Wisconsin) Oct 25, 1860

From the Boston Transcript.

“Is This a Dagger?”

Roger Pryor turned to Brutus!
‘Tis awful to think on!
He’s going to shoot us!
And poignard Abe Lincoln!
For, should Abe be elected,
And veto Secession,
Bold Roger will give him
No time for confession;
But murder old Abe —
How it makes the blood curdle!
And stick him where Brutus did,
Over the gurdle.
But who is this Roger,
That vapors and swaggers?
This vilonous Roger,
That talks about daggers?
Why, it’s Roger A. Pryor,
Whose clay has grown hotter,
Since the roasting it got
At the hands of the Potter.

Appleton Motor (Appleton, Wisconsin) Oct 25, 1860

About Roger A. Pryor — from Wikipedia:

In 1859, he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives to fill the vacancy in Virginia’s 4th District caused by the death of William O. Goode. He served from December 7, 1859 to March 3, 1861. In the House, Pryor became a particular enemy of Representative Thaddeus Stevens, a Republican abolitionist.

During his term, he got into a verbal altercation with John F. Potter, a representative from Wisconsin, and challenged Potter to a duel. Potter, having the choice of weapons, chose bowie knives. Pryor backed out saying that bowie knives were not a civilized weapon. The incident found widespread publication in the Northern press which saw the refusal as a coup for the North — the humiliation of a Southern “fire eater”.

Image from the Vintage Glory Cards website

Liberty and Union.

Dissolve the Union! We curse the thought,
The lips that breathe, the hand that plans it,
Our country never shall be bought,
Nor conquered, whilst we can defend it.

As braves the storm the mountain rock,
As cleaves the cloud the eagle’s pinion,
We’ll meet oppression’s battle shock,
And triumph o’er corruption’s minion!

Appleton Motor (Appleton, Wisconsin) Oct 25, 1860

The Republican Party, An Address

September 12, 2011



…The Republican party was a rebellion against the slave power, organized in 1856, and at first taking ground against the establishment of slavery in the territories. It began, and has maintained a constitutional but continued contest against the iniquity of human slavery, in spite of ridicule as “negro worshippers;” of scorn as sentimental philanthropists, and of hate as the steadfast friends of human freedom:

“To day abhorred, to-morrow adored,
So round and round we run;
And ever the right comes uppermost,
And ever is justice done.”

Defeated in 1856, it rallied under Lincoln and Hamlin in 1860; and on the platform of Free Territories, and Free Homes in those Territories, it carried the election by a plurality vote.

In 1861, though in a minority of a million of votes, it took up the gauntlet thrown down by the Slaveholders, and began the war for the Union. In the general uprising that succeeded, it received large accessions from the better part of the Democratic party. Inconsistent with their party dogmas, a host of loyal men rushed from the Democratic ranks in obedience to the higher law of patriotism; and joined the defenders of the Constitution and the Union. And although hundreds and thousands of the bravest and best of our young men were slain in battle, died in hospitals, or endured the lingering tortures of Southern prisons, yet the ranks of the Union party were filled and closed again, and marched on to victory.

In 1864 the Republican party took the more radical ground, that slavery is incompatible with free government, and was sustained therein by a majority of 400,000 votes, by two thirds of both houses of Congress, and by three-fourths of the States — led off, I am proud to say, by the State of Illinois. Throughout a long, bloody and wearisome civil war, they sustained the national arms, the national credit and the national honor; lavishing life and treasure without stint, that the Union and our liberties might be preserved. And when, under the auspicious leadership of Abraham Lincoln, Grant and Sherman crushed the armed forces of the rebellion, it turned from the easier arts of war to the more tedious tasks of reconstruction and regulation of finances. It was, perhaps, too merciful. It let men go unhung when the public safety demanded that they should not be suffered to exist on American soil. It encouraged men who could not appreciate the quality of mercy to presume on their toleration; and hence after the dark day of Lincoln’s death, when Andrew Johnson proved recreant to his trust, rebels essayed again to take up with polluted hands the Government they had trampled upon, and to reign where they could not ruin…

…On the question of Personal Liberty the Convention recognized “the great principles laid down in the immortal Declaration of Independence, as the true foundation of Democratic Government,” and hailed “with gladness every effort towards making these principles a living reality on every inch of American soil.” In this there is no uncertain sound. It affirms farther that “the guaranty of equal suffrage to all loyal men at the South was demanded by every consideration of public safety, of gratitude and of justice, and must be maintained.” In all this the Republican party arrives still more nearly to the radical principles of free government — “of the people, by the people and for the people.”…

…Examining our candidates, our parties, our government and our principles, I find a substantial accord between the christian idea of the State, and the Declaration, the Constitution, Republican principles, the Republican policies, and the men put up by the Republican party as its candidates. I find here the men, the party, the country and the principles of Freedom, Union and Public Faith; and whatever may be the short comings of the Republican party, I pardon them all when I look upon the alternative that awaits in the Democratic organization, controlled by ideas and men so hostile to all that seems greatest and best in our national history.

In the words of Dostie, “Let the good cause go on.” It must go on whether we would or no; whether we do what we can to aid that cause and carry it through peacefully and joyfully; or stand in the way and mark its passage with wars and weeping. For if I have been right in the premises I have laid down, radical republicanism is as inevitable as Fate. It is the fiat of Omnipotence.

“He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat;
Oh! be swift, my son, to answer him! be jubilant my feet!
Our God is marching on!”

ALTON, Oct. 21st, 1868.

Alton Weekly Telegraph (Alton, Illinois) Oct 30, 1868

About Willard Cutting Flagg:

Title: Pioneer Letters of Gershom Flagg
Author: Gershom Flagg
Editor: Solon Justus Buck
Publisher: Illinois state journal co., state printers, 1912
(Google book  LINK)

Title: Life of A. P. Dostie;
The conflict in New Orleans Western Americana, frontier history of the trans-Mississippi West, 1550-1900
Author: Emily Hazen Reed
Publisher:W.P. Tomlinson, 1868

Abe Lincoln, Remembered

February 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln!

An Abe Lincoln Story.

Senator Mills has a new story about Lincoln. It was told to him by a son of John L. Helm of Kentucky, who lives in Corsicana.

“Old John L. Helm,” said the senator, “was a famous character in Kentucky. He was, if I remember rightly, a governor of the state, but at any rate his position was a most prominent one. When the civil war came on, Helm was a rabid secessionist. He could not praise the south too highly, and could not heap enough abuse upon the north. He was too old to go into the war with is sons, and remained at home, doing all he could to help the confederate cause and harass the Yankees who invaded the state. Finally he became so obstreperous that the federal general who was in command near Helm’s home put him in prison. The old man’s age, the high position which he occupied in the state, his wide connection, and, especially his inability to do any actual harm, were all pleaded in his extenuation and he was released.

Instead of profiting by the warning, the old man became more persistent than ever in his course. Once more he was clapped into jail. This happened two or three times, and finally, while he was still locked up, the matter was brought to the attention of the federal authorities. Even President Lincoln was appealed to, and asked to commit the ardent southerner to an indefinite confinement in order that he might be curbed.

“Lincoln listened to the statement of the case with more than usual interest. Then he leaned back and began to speak with a smile upon his face. “You are talking about old man John Helm? Well, did you know that I used to live, when I was a boy, in Helm’s town. He was kind to me. He seemed to like me as a boy, and he never lost an opportunity to help me. He seemed to think,” said Lincoln, with another of his almost pathetic smiles, “that I would probably make something of a man. Why, when I went out to Illinois, poor and unknown, that man gave me the money to pay my way and keep me until I got a start. John Helm? O, yes, I know him And I know what I owe to him. I think I can fix his case.”

“And then,” said Senator Mills, “Lincoln went to a desk and wrote a few words. The bit of writing is treasured in the Helm household to this day. This is what the president wrote:

“I hereby pardon John L. Helm of Kentucky for all that he has ever done against the United States, and all that he ever will do.


The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Dec 20, 1897


This man, whose homely face you look upon,
Was one of Nature’s masterful great men;
Born with strong arms, that unfought battles won;
Direct of speech and cunning with pen.

Chosen for large designs, he had the art
Of winning with his humor, and he went
Straight to his mark, which was the human heart.
Wise, too, for what he could not break he bent.

Upon his back a more than Atlas load,
The burden of the commonwealth was laid;
He stooped and rose up to it, though the road
Shot suddenly downward, not a whit dismayed.

Hold, warriors, counselors, kings! — All now give place
To this dear benefactor of the race.


The News (Frederick, Maryland) Apr 10, 1886

Image from the Haunted Hudson Valley website.


A writer in the Albany [Evening Times] relates a conversation with a superstitious night watchman on the New York Central Railroad. Said the watchman: “I believe in spirits and ghosts. I know such things exist. If you will come up in April I will convince you.” He then told of the phantom train that every year comes up the road with the body of Abraham Lincoln. Regularly in the month of April, about midnight, the air on the track becomes very keen and cutting. On either side it is warm and still. Every watchman when he feels this air steps off the track and sits down to watch.

Soon after the pilot engine, with long black streamers, and a band with black instruments, playing dirges, grinning skeletons sitting all about, will pass up noiselessly, and the very air grows black. If it is moonlight, clouds always come over the moon, and the music seems to linger, as if frozen with horror. A few moments after and the phantom train glides by. Flags and streamers hang about. The track ahead seems covered with a black carpet, and the wheels are draped with the same. The coffin of the murdered Lincoln is seen lying on the center car, and all about it in the air and the train behind are vast numbers of blue-coated men, others leaning on them. It seems then, that all the vast armies of men who died during the war are escorting the phantom train of the President.

The wind, if blowing, dies away at once, and over all the solemn air a solemn hush, almost stifling prevails. It a train were passing, its noise would be drowned in the silence, and the phantom train would ride over it. Clocks and watches always stop, and when looked at are found to be from five to eight minutes behind. Everywhere on the road, about the 27th of April, the time of the watches and trains is found suddenly behind. This, said the leading watchman, was from the passage of the phantom train.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Dec 21, 1872