Page images
PDF
EPUB

Lincoln's Confab with a Committee on "Grant's Whisky."

Just previous to the fall of Vicksburg, a self-constituted committee, solicitous for the morale of our armies, took it upon themselves to visit the President and urge the removal of General Grant.

In some surprise Mr. Lincoln inquired, "For what reason?"

"Why," replied the spokesman, "he drinks too much whisky."

"Ah!" rejoined Mr. Lincoln, dropping his lower lip. "By the way, gentlemen, can either of you tell me where General Grant procures his whisky? because, if I can find out, I will send every general in the field a barrel of it!"

A "Pretty Tolerable Respectable Sort of a Clergyman." Some one was discussing, in the presence of Mr. Lincoln, the character of a time-serving Washington clergyman. Said Mr. Lincoln to his visitor:

He reminds

"I think you are rather hard upon Mr. ——. me of a man in Illinois, who was tried for passing a counterfeit bill. It was in evidence that before passing it he had taken it to the cashier of a bank and asked his opinion of *the bill, and he received a very prompt reply that it was a counterfeit. His lawyer, who had heard the evidence to be brought against his client, asked him, just before going into court, Did you take the bill to the cashier of the bank and ask him if it was good?

"I did,' was the reply.

"Well, what was the reply of the cashier?'

[ocr errors]

"The rascal was in a corner, but he got out of it in this fashion: He said it was a pretty tolerable, respectable sort of a bill." Mr. Lincoln thought the clergyman was 66 a pretty tolerable, respectable sort of a clergyman."

1

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

The unpretentious edifice where Abraham Lincoln attended Divine Service in early life.

How Lincoln Opened the Eyes of an Inquisitive Visitor.

Mr. Lincoln sometimes had a very effective way of dealing with men who troubled him with questions. A visitor cnce asked him how many men the Rebels had in the field.

The President replied, very seriously, "Twelve hundred thousand, according to the best authority."

The interrogator blanched in the face, and ejaculated, "Good Heavens!"

"Yes, sir, twelve hundred thousand-no doubt of it. You see, all of our generals, when they get whipped, say the enemy outnumbers them from three or five to one, and I must believe them. We have four hundred thousand men in the field, and three times four make twelve. Don't you see it?"

Minnehaha and Minneboohoo!

Some gentlemen fresh from a Western tour, during a call at the White House, referred in the course of conversation to a body of water in Nebraska, which bore an Indian name signifying "weeping water." Mr. Lincoln instantly responded: "As laughing water,' according to Longfellow, is Minnehaha,' this evidently should be 'Minneboohoo." "

Meeting of President Lincoln and the Artist, Carpenter.

F. B. Carpenter, the celebrated artist and author of the well-known painting of Lincoln and his Cabinet issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, describes his first meeting with the President, as follows:

6

"Two o'clock found me one of the throng pressing toward the center of attraction, the blue' room. From the threshold of the 'crimson' parlor as I passed, I had a glimpse

[ocr errors]

of the gaunt figure of Mr. Lincoln in the distance, haggardlooking, dressed in black, relieved only by the prescribed white gloves; standing, it seemed to me, solitary and alone, though surrounded by the crowd, bending low now and then in the process of hand shaking, and responding half abstractedly to the well-meant greetings of the miscellaneous assemblage.

6

"Never shall I forget the electric thrill which went through my whole being at this instant. I seemed to see lines radiating from every part of the globe, converging to a focus at the point where that plain, awkward-looking man stood, and to hear in spirit a million prayers, as the sound of many waters,' ascending in his behalf. Mingled with supplication I could discern a clear symphony of triumph and blessing, swelling with an ever-increasing volume. It was the voice of those who had been bondmen and bondwomen, and the grand diapason swept up from the coming

ages.

"It was soon my privilege, in the regular succession, to take that honored hand. Accompanying the act, my name and profession were announced to him in a low tone by one of the assistant private secretaries, who stood by his side. Retaining my hand, he looked at me inquiringly for an instant, and said, 'Oh, yes; I know; this is the painter.' Then straightening himself to his full height, with a twinkle of the eye, he added, playfully, "Do you think, Mr. C—————, that you can make a handsome picture of me.?' emphasizing strongly the last word. Somewhat confused at this pointblank shot, uttered in a tone so loud as to attract the attention of those in immediate proximity, I made a random reply, and took the occasion to ask if I could see him. in his study at the close of the reception. To this he responded in the peculiar vernacular of the West, I reckon,' resuming meanwhile the mechanical and traditional exer

« PreviousContinue »