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“ It is
with information from another source confirms my belief in Mr. Pinkerton's statements. Therefore, unless there are some other reasons than the fear of ridicule, I am disposed to carry out Mr. Judd's plan.”
That settles it," said Mr. Davis.
“So be it," says Colonel Sumner, brave and true soldier. against my judgment, but I have undertaken to go to Washington with Mr. Lincoln, and I shall do it.” He does not comprehend the malignity of the desperadoes who are looking forward to the coming noon as the hour when they will rid the world of the man whom they hate.
The hands of the clock in the hotel office steal on to 5.45. The gentlemen at dinner are munching the nuts and raisins, and sipping their coffee. Mr. Nicolay enters, and whispers to Mr. Lincoln, who leaves the room, followed by the Governor, Mr. Judd, and others. He retires to his chamber, changes his clothing, and descends the stairs.
“ He is going to the Governor's,” the whisper that runs through the crowd as they see Governor Curtin and Mr. Lincoln arm in arm.
A carriage is waiting at the door. Mr. Lincoln, Governor Curtin, and Lamon enter. Colonel Sumner is just stepping in when Mr. Judd touches his shoulder. He turns to see what is wanted; the driver starts his horses, and the vehicle whirls down the street--not to the Governor's house, but to the railroad station, where an engineer and fireman are waiting in the cab of an engine. It is a light train : a baggage car and one passenger car—a special to take the superintendent of the railroad and a few friends to Philadelphia. The track has been cleared, and the engineer can make quick time.
It is a midwinter night, and the twilight is fading from the sky, but the darkness does not prevent a lineman of the telegraph from climbing a pole just outside of Harrisburg, and attaching a fine copper wire to the line, and carrying it to the ground. Possibly the man might wonder what sort of an experiment Mr. Westervelt, who had come up from Philadelphia, was carrying on; but when it was done, the operatives in Ilarrisburg and Baltimore might finger their telegraph keys by the hour, but would not be able to send a message between the two cities.
In Philadelphia, Mrs. Warne, employed by Mr. Pinkerton, has engaged two berths in the sleeping-car ostensibly for herself and invalid brother, and the porter has hung a curtain so they can be separated from the other passengers on their trip to Washington.
“ You will hold your train till I give you a package which Mr. Felton wishes you to take,” the instructions of Mr. Kinney, superintendent of the railroad between Philadelphia and Washington, to the conductor of the midnight train. A carriage rolls up to the station in Philadelphia. A tall man steps out--the invalid brother for whom the lady has engaged the birth. She is delighted to see him. He enters the sleeping car, followed by three other gentlemen-Judd, Lamon, and Pinkerton. The superintendent hands a package to the conductor, who lifts his hand-the signal for starting. The engineer pulls the throttle, and the train speeds away.
Neither conductor, porter, nor any one else has any inkling that Abraham Lincoln and the invalid brother of the lady are one and the same. Possibly the engineer wonders why men are standing by the bridges with lanterns as the train thunders across them, but Mr. Pinkerton knows that everything is as it should be. The train from Philadelphia at an early hour rolls into the Washing
ton station. A gentleman standing behind one of the pillars of Feb 23, the building is looking eagerly at the passengers as they step
from the cars, and is about to turn away, disappointed, when he sees a tall man wearing a soft felt hat, with a muffler round his neck, step from the sleeping car, accompanied by two gentlemen.
“The tall man looks like an Illinois farmer—as if he had come to Washington to get a patent for his farm,” the thought of the man by the pillar.
“How are you, Lincoln ?" the greeting. Lamon and Judd are startled.
“Oh, this is only Washburne,” says Lincoln, introducing Mr. Washburne to his two companions.
A carriage whirls them to Willard's Hotel. Mr. Seward comes, and the two men who had been rivals for the nomination at Chicago grasp each other's hands.
"Faith, it is you, then, who have brought us the new Prisident," the greeting of the smiling porter to Mr. Washburne.(")
While Mr. Lincoln is eating his breakfast in Washington, the conspirators in Baltimore, who had so carefully planned his assassination, are comprehending that he has escaped them.
Long ago, a poet far away in Oriental lands, wrote these comforting and assuring words concerning God's guardianship of his children:
“For He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.”
NOTES TO CHAPTER XII.
() J. G. Holland, “Life of Abraham Lincoln," p. 236. (°) “Presbyterian Review," vol. xiii., No. 4. (°) Correspondence in possession of the Author. (*) William H. Herndon, “Liucoln," p. 481 (edition 1889). () Ibid., p. 482. (*) Ibid., p. 483. (') Document in possession of the Author. (*) L. E. Chittenden, “Recollections of Abraham Lincolu," p. 37. ( S. M. Felton to William Schoules in “ Massachusetts in the War.” (0) Allen Pinkerton, “Story of a Detective." (") E. B. Washburne, “Reminiscences of Lincoln," p. 34. (") Ibid., p. 39.
OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION.
EACE! Peace at any price!" said those who did not compre
hend the eternal antagonism between Freedom and Slavery. People who stood aghast at the prospect of civil war with its attendant horrors were willing to surrender their convictions of what was right, if by so doing they could prevent hostilities between the North and the South. The Virginia Legislature proposed a National Peace Convention, to be held in Washington. All the States, except those which had seceded, appointed delegates. While Mr. Lincoln was making his way from Springfield to Washington, the convention, with ex-President Tyler presiding, was holding daily sessions in the great hall connected with Willard's Hotel. It was an effort to conciliate the Secessionists, who had no desire to be conciliated. They were dreaming of future empire, greatness, glory, and power for the South; and no measure short of complete surrender to their demands would be accepted.
The members from Virginia were surprised when informed that Mr. Lincoln was in the hotel. It seems probable that one delegate knew of the plot to assassinate him.
How did he get through Baltimore ?” his exclamation. ( )
“Mr. Chairman,” said John A. Logan, of Illinois, “I move that the president of the conference wait on the President-elect, and inform him that the conference would be pleased to wait upon him in a body at such time as will suit his convenience."
“No!" “No!" "Lay it on the table !” “Vote it down !” “Railsplitter!" "Ignorance !” “Clown!” shouted the Southern delegates.
“I trust that no Southern member will decline to treat the incoming President with the same respect that has already been given to the present incumbent of that office," said Mr. Tyler. The resolution was adopted.
What sort of a man was this rail-splitter? What did he look like? There must be something unusual about one who could rise from such a low estate to be elected President. Curiosity was awakened.