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ten during the last year of his life; to Mr. Jesse W. Weik, for access to the Herndon manuscripts; and to Mr. Henry B. Rankin, whose reminiscences and suggestions were invaluable. Similarly, the Illinois Historical Society was most helpful, and Mrs. Annie Fleury, a daughter of Mr. Herndon, rendered every aid within her power.
Such a study suggests many reflections. One who looks back over that stormy era, when the life of the nation hung in a balance, will have no need to walk the floor for fear of the future, assured that should an hour of danger strike a man will step forth to meet it. Having weathered such a storm, this republic has nothing to fear except a decay of manhood, a forgetting of principles, and a fading of ideals. Once divided in all save name, it is now united in fact, in spirit, in historic memories, and patriotic hopes-Lincoln himself a "mystic cord of memory," of more power for the safety and sanctity of the nation than its army and navy. So it will be in times to come, if its citizens "here highly resolve" to follow no leader who, in his private character and public counsels, does not practice a like moderation, justice, firmness, and gentleness of spirit.
If this book, written by the son of a Southern soldier, assists, even in a little way, to a clearer understanding of the greatest figure in our history, who was at once a child of the South and a leader of the North, it will have done what it was sincerely meant to do. J. F. N.
September 4, 1910
Before leaving America on what was to be his last journey, in January, 1859, Theodore Parker communicated to me his wish that I should be one of his three executors, with special charge of the posthumous publication of his writings. The other two executors, John Manley of Boston and Frederick May of Dorchester- a first cousin of Mrs. Bronson Alcottwere capable men of business, and good friends of mine, as of Parker, but not specially devoted to scholarship and letters. I acted with them in the settlement of the estate, and was ready to proceed with the literary task; but Mrs. Parker had formed the opinion that Joseph Lyman, another good friend of Parker, was the proper person for editor; and I did not press my claim as executor. Perhaps in recognition of this conduct, but with no previous notice to me, Mrs. Parker, at her death, years after, bequeathed me all her husband's manuscripts, copyrights, and correspondence, so far as the same had been preserved in her own hands-many of the original letters having been returned to the writers or destroyed.
Among those originals I found the whole of the five years' correspondence between Parker and Herndon, the law-partner of Abraham Lincoln for more than twenty years. I saw the historical and political value of this peculiar interchange of opinion and fact, by which Parker was brought near the mind of one of his latest friends, who was to complete the work of slave-emancipation-in which Parker had been active for nearly twenty years before his death- and was to die as the second great martyr in the cause of American emancipation. But it was not convenient for me to edit these letters; nor was the time ripe for this, thirty years ago. This Mr. Newton has now done with research and discretion, collating, correcting, and combining the mass of material accumulated since Lincoln's death, and contributing his own verdict on the characters and events of the crisis. He has added new material,
bearing on the relations between Lincoln and Herndon, to whom earlier writers have by no means done justice; but who in this book stands revealed in his actual character, as the most important witness and chronicler of his partner's career. He writes from his own point of view, and with the advantage that lapse of time gives to the seeker after that most elusive chameleon, historical truth. It is a work well done, and will stand the test of after years, which unsparingly judge the mere eulogy or invective that would pass for biography.
In the volume now completed, my early and beloved friend, Theodore Parker, becomes almost a shadowy figure in the vast drama of national regeneration; since he died, like Moses, within sight of the Promised Land that he was never to enter. But his work has been so well done, and was so heartily recognized by Herndon, in these enthusiastic and picturesque letters, that this shadow stands for something substantial, which the many volumes of Parker's discourses will certify and make good. He appears here as in some sort the inspirer of Herndon, and through him of Lincoln- the grandest personage of our long unfolding drama, and one of the most tragic. At the memorial meeting for Lincoln in Concord, April 19, 1865, where Emerson gave his matchess eulogy, it fell to me to express the general sentiment in verse, thus:
The Power that sways the world with love,
On threatened Freedom's flaming car
His purpose high thy course impelled
O'er War's red height and smoldering plain;
He gave thy chafing speeds the rein,
Then ceased thy task
Takes up the burden thou lay'st down:
There was an earlier martyr, without whose sacrifice in the
van of the conflict, the strife would have been less sharp at first, but more prolonged and doubtful—the figure, yet more tragic, of John Brown. That singular association of resemblance by contrast, calls up each of these two with the other; so like in their aims and their persistence, so different in their method and appeal. They stood for the Old and the New Testament for severe justice and for mercy that tempers justice. Brown, like Lincoln, was originally and always for the Union. Both saw that negro slavery was the grand foe to a perfect Union, and for that reason they resisted and overthrew it.
Concord, Mass., Sept. 20, 1910
F. B. SANBORN