Posts Tagged ‘Judge C.G. Foster’

Abraham Lincoln: Industrious, Clever, Ugly

February 11, 2009



Travels All the Way from Berlin for This Year’s Celebration.

Here is a new Lincoln story that has never been published. It was told to a Chicago man a few weeks ago by a gentleman living in Berlin, Germany:

Two hero worshipers had long desired to meet Abraham Lincoln, but when they coveted privilege was finally granted they were unspeakably disappointed in the personality of the rail-splitting President. They gazed at him in silence and then one of them exclaimed in a dissatisfied voice:

“Why, Lincoln is just a common looking man like us!”

“The great emancipator turned to the speaker and said genially:

“Yes, my friend, but I have the consolation of knowing that God loves common looking men!”

“How do you make that out?” queried the other interestedly.

“Oh, because he made so many of them!”



She Married Him Because He Was the Ugliest Man She Ever Saw.

Mr. Lincoln used to take great delight in telling how he gained a knife by his ugly looks. That story has been published, but I have not seen another in print, telling how he gained his wife, says a well-known writer. Mrs. Lincoln was a beautiful lady, attractive, sharp, witty and relished a joke even at her own expense. She was staying with her sister, Mrs. Edwards. She had not been there long before everybody knew Miss Mary Todd. She often said: “When a girl I thought I would not marry until I could get one of the handsomest men in the country, but since I became a woman I learned I can’t get such men, which has caused me to change my mind. I have concluded to marry the ugliest-looking man I can find.”

Later on Lincoln came to town. She had never seen him before she met him on the street. She was told who he was and went home and told her sister she had seen her man., “the ugliest man I ever saw — Abraham Lincoln — and I am going to set my cap for him.” That became a common saying in street gossip. When they were married, instead of taking a bridal trip, they went to a hotel and took board at $4 a week.

When he got able he bought a lot for $200, and built a four-roomed house costing less than $1,000. When he received $5,000 from his great railroad case he spent $1,500 of it in putting a second story on his house, and there he lived until he went to Washington.


Lincoln’s Logic.

It is said that Lincoln’s acuteness in analysis and logical powers were traceable to his complete mastery of Euclid’s propositions. Certainly whenever he attempted to prove or disprove a thing he did it. A story told by United States Judge C.G. Foster, and printed in the Syracuse Standard, illustrates his logical faculty.

In the winter before Lincoln was nominated for President he visited Kansas, and made speeches at Troy and Atchison. At the hotel in Atchison where he stayed, Gen. Stringfellow, John A. Martin and Judge Foster called upon him. In the course of the conversation Mr. Lincoln turned to Gen. Stringfellow, who played a prominent part in the effor to bring Kansas into the Union as a slave State.

“Gen. Stringfellow,” he said., “you pro-slavery fellows gave as one reason why slavery should not be prohibited in Kansas that only the negro could break up the tough prairie sod. Now, I’ve broken hundreds of acres of prairie sod in my time, and the only question which remains to be decided is whether I am a white man or a negro.”

Gen. Stringfellow laughingly admitted the force of the quaint argument, and congratulated Mr. Lincoln upon his pointed, logical way of putting things.



How the Immortal “Abe” Won His Early Successes at the Bar.

A suit was brought in the United States Court in Springfield against a citizen for an infringement of a patent right. Mr. Lincoln went to the most skilled architect in the city, inquired how he spent his winter evenings, and received the reply: “If time are brisk I sometimes work; otherwise I have no special business.” Mr. Lincoln said: “I have a patent right case in court; I want you as a partner, and will divide fees. I know nothing about mechanics — never made it a study. I want you to make a list of the best works on mechanism, as I don’t suppose they can be purchased here. I will furnish the money, and you can send to Chicago or New York for them. I want you to come to my house one night each week and give me instructions.” In a short time he had witnesses to meet him, and they were thoroughly drilled. When the trial commenced, Mr. Lincoln put his questions at the cross-examination so scientifically that many witnesses were bothered to reply. When his witnesses were put on the stand, so skillful were his questions that the court, the jury and the bar wondered how “Abe” Lincoln knew so much about mechanism. His witnesses could reply promptly. He gained the suit and a reputation such that Mr. Lincoln was sustained in every patent right case brought into that court, up to the time he went to Washington. He went to Chicago, St. Louis, Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan to try patent right cases, and the last year of his practice did little else. –Thomas Lewis’ “Recollections of Lincoln,” in Leslie’s Weekly.

The Daily Herald (Chicago, Illinois) Feb 9, 1901