The Best Collection of John Hay - John Hay - ebook

The Best Works of John Hay Abraham Lincoln A History V1Abraham Lincoln A History V2Castilian DaysPike County BalladsPoemsThe Bread-winners

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi

Liczba stron: 2240

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:


The Best Collection of John Hay

Abraham Lincoln A History V1

Abraham Lincoln A History V2

Castilian Days

Pike County Ballads


The Bread-winners

Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 by John G. Nicolay and John Hay




A generation born since Abraham Lincoln died has already reached manhood and womanhood. Yet there are millions still living who sympathized with him in his noble aspirations, who labored with him in his toilsome life, and whose hearts were saddened by his tragic death. It is the almost unbroken testimony of his contemporaries that by virtue of certain high traits of character, in certain momentous lines of purpose and achievement, he was incomparably the greatest man of his time. The deliberate judgment of those who knew him has hardened into tradition; for although but twenty-five years have passed since he fell by the bullet of the assassin, the tradition is already complete. The voice of hostile faction is silent, or unheeded; even criticism is gentle and timid. If history had said its last word, if no more were to be known of him than is already written, his fame, however lacking in definite outline, however distorted by fable, would survive undiminished to the latest generations. The blessings of an enfranchised race would forever hail him as their liberator; the nation would acknowledge him as the mighty counselor whose patient courage and wisdom saved the life of the republic in its darkest hour; and illuminating his proud eminence as orator, statesman, and ruler, there would forever shine around his memory the halo of that tender humanity and Christian charity in which he walked among his fellow- countrymen as their familiar companion and friend.

It is not, therefore, with any thought of adding materially to his already accomplished renown that we have written the work which we now offer to our fellow-citizens. But each age owes to its successors the truth in regard to its own annals. The young men who have been born since Sumter was fired on have a right to all their elders know of the important events they came too late to share in. The life and fame of Lincoln will not have their legitimate effect of instruction and example unless the circumstances among which he lived and found his opportunities are placed in their true light before the men who never saw him.

To write the life of this great American in such a way as to show his relations to the times in which he moved, the stupendous issues he controlled, the remarkable men by whom he was surrounded, has been the purpose which the authors have diligently pursued for many years. We can say nothing of the result of our labor; only those who have been similarly employed can appreciate the sense of inadequate performance with which we regard what we have accomplished. We claim for our work that we have devoted to it twenty years of almost unremitting assiduity; that we have neglected no means in our power to ascertain the truth; that we have rejected no authentic facts essential to a candid story; that we have had no theory to establish, no personal grudge to gratify, no unavowed objects to subserve. We have aimed to write a sufficiently full and absolutely honest history of a great man and a great time; and although we take it for granted that we have made mistakes, that we have fallen into such errors and inaccuracies as are unavoidable in so large a work, we claim there is not a line in all these volumes dictated by malice or unfairness.

Our desire to have this work placed under the eyes of the greatest possible number of readers induced us to accept the generous offer of "The Century Magazine" to print it first in that periodical. In this way it received, as we expected, the intelligent criticism of a very large number of readers, thoroughly informed in regard to the events narrated, and we have derived the greatest advantage from the suggestions and corrections which have been elicited during the serial publication, which began in November, 1886, and closed early in 1890. We beg, here, to make our sincere acknowledgments to the hundreds of friendly critics who have furnished us with valuable information.

As "The Century" had already given, during several years, a considerable portion of its pages to the elucidation and discussion of the battles and campaigns of the civil war, it was the opinion of its editor, in which we coincided, that it was not advisable to print in the magazine the full narrative sketch of the war which we had prepared. We omitted also a large number of chapters which, although essential to a history of the time, and directly connected with the life of Mr. Lincoln, were still episodical in their nature, and were perhaps not indispensable to a comprehension of the principal events of his administration. These are all included in the present volumes; they comprise additional chapters almost equal in extent and fully equal in interest to those which have already been printed in "The Century." Interspersed throughout the work in their proper connection and sequence, and containing some of the most important of Mr. Lincoln's letters, they lend breadth and unity to the historical drama.

We trust it will not be regarded as presumptuous if we say a word in relation to the facilities we have enjoyed and the methods we have used in the preparation of this work. We knew Mr. Lincoln intimately before his election to the Presidency. We came from Illinois to Washington with him, and remained at his side and in his service-- separately or together--until the day of his death. We were the daily and nightly witnesses of the incidents, the anxieties, the fears, and the hopes which pervaded the Executive Mansion and the National Capital. The President's correspondence, both official and private, passed through our hands; he gave us his full confidence. We had personal acquaintance and daily official intercourse with Cabinet Officers, Members of Congress, Governors, and Military and Naval Officers of all grades, whose affairs brought them to the White House. It was during these years of the war that we formed the design of writing this history and began to prepare for it. President Lincoln gave it his sanction and promised his cordial cooperation. After several years' residence in Europe, we returned to this country and began the execution of our long-cherished plan. Mr. Robert T. Lincoln gave into our keeping all the official and private papers and manuscripts in his possession, to which we have added all the material we could acquire by industry or by purchase. It is with the advantage, therefore, of a wide personal acquaintance with all the leading participants of the war, and of perfect familiarity with the manuscript material, and also with the assistance of the vast bulk of printed records and treatises which have accumulated since 1865, that we have prosecuted this work to its close.

If we gained nothing else by our long association with Mr. Lincoln we hope at least that we acquired from him the habit of judging men and events with candor and impartiality. The material placed in our hands was unexampled in value and fullness; we have felt the obligation of using it with perfect fairness. We have striven to be equally just to friends and to adversaries; where the facts favor our enemies we have recorded them ungrudgingly; where they bear severely upon statesmen and generals whom we have loved and honored we have not scrupled to set them forth, at the risk of being accused of coldness and ingratitude to those with whom we have lived on terms of intimate friendship. The recollection of these friendships will always be to us a source of pride and joy; but in this book we have known no allegiance but to the truth. We have in no case relied upon our own memory of the events narrated, though they may have passed under our own eyes; we have seen too often the danger of such a reliance in the reminiscences of others. We have trusted only our diaries and memoranda of the moment; and in the documents and reports we have cited we have used incessant care to secure authenticity. So far as possible, every story has been traced to its source, and every document read in the official record or the original manuscript.

We are aware of the prejudice which exists against a book written by two persons, but we feel that in our case the disadvantages of collaboration are reduced to the minimum. Our experiences, our observations, our material, have been for twenty years not merely homogeneous--they have been identical. Our plans were made with thorough concert; our studies of the subject were carried on together; we were able to work simultaneously without danger of repetition or conflict. The apportionment of our separate tasks has been dictated purely by convenience; the division of topics between us has been sometimes for long periods, sometimes almost for alternate chapters. Each has written an equal portion of the work; while consultation and joint revision have been continuous, the text of each remains substantially unaltered. It is in the fullest sense, and in every part, a joint work. We each assume responsibility, not only for the whole, but for all the details, and whatever credit or blame the public may award our labors is equally due to both.

We commend the result of so many years of research and diligence to all our countrymen, North and South, in the hope that it may do something to secure a truthful history of the great struggle which displayed on both sides the highest qualities of American manhood, and may contribute in some measure to the growth and maintenance throughout all our borders of that spirit of freedom and nationality for which Abraham Lincoln lived and died.

John G. Nicolay John Hay [signatures]




LINEAGE The Lincolns in America. Intimacy with the Boones. Kentucky in 1780. Death of Abraham Lincoln the Pioneer. Marriage of Thomas Lincoln. Birth and Childhood of Abraham


INDIANA Thomas Lincoln leaves Kentucky. Settles at Gentryville. Death of Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Sarah Bush Johnston. Pioneer Life in Indiana. Sports and Superstitions of the Early Settlers. The Youth of Abraham. His Great Physical Strength. His Voyage to New Orleans. Removal to Illinois


ILLINOIS IN 1830 The Winter of the Deep Snow. The Sudden Change. Pioneer Life. Religion and Society. French and Indians. Formation of the Political System. The Courts. Lawyers and Politicians. Early Superannuation


NEW SALEM Denton Offutt. Lincoln's Second Trip to New Orleans. His Care of His Family. Death of Thomas Lincoln. Offutt's Store in New Salem. Lincoln's Initiation by the "Clary's Grove Boys." The Voyage of the Talisman


LINCOLN IN THE BLACK HAWK WAR Black Hawk. The Call for Volunteers. Lincoln Elected Captain. Stillman's Run. Lincoln Reenlists. The Spy Battalion. Black Hawk's Defeat. Disbandment of the Volunteers


SURVEYOR AND REPRESENTATIVE Lincoln's Candidacy for the Legislature. Runs as a Whig. Defeated. Berry and Lincoln Merchants. Lincoln Begins the Study of Law. Postmaster. Surveyor. His Popularity. Elected to the Legislature, 1834


LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCE Lincoln's First Session in the Legislature. Douglas and Peek. Lincoln Reelected. Bedlam Legislation. Schemes of Railroad Building. Removal of the Capital to Springfield


THE LINCOLN-STONE PROTEST The Pro-Slavery Sentiment in Illinois. Attempt to Open the State to Slavery. Victory of the Free- State Party. Reaction. Death of Lovejoy. Pro-Slavery Resolutions. The Protest


COLLAPSE OF "THE SYSTEM" Lincoln in Springfield. The Failure of the Railroad System. Fall of the Banks. First Collision with Douglas. Tampering with the Judiciary


EARLY LAW PRACTICE Early Legal Customs. Lincoln's Popularity in Law and Politics. A Speech in 1840. The Harrison Campaign. Correspondence with Stuart. Harrison Elected. Melancholia


MARRIAGE Courtship and Engagement, The Pioneer Temperament. Lincoln's Love Affairs. Joshua F. Speed. Lincoln's Visit to Kentucky. Correspondence with Speed. Marriage


THE SHIELDS DUEL A Political Satire. James Shields. Lincoln Challenged. A Fight Arranged and Prevented. Subsequent Wranglings. The Whole Matter Forgotten. An Admonition


THE CAMPAIGN OF 1844 Partnership with Stephen T. Logan. Lincoln Becomes a Lawyer. Temperance Movement. Baker and Lincoln Candidates for the Whig Nomination to Congress. Baker Successful. Clay Nominated for President. The Texas Question. Clay Defeated


LINCOLN'S CAMPAIGN FOR CONGRESS Schemes of Annexation. Opposition at the North. Outbreak of War. Lincoln Nominated for Congress. His Opponent Peter Cartwright. Lincoln Elected. The Whigs in the War. E. D. Baker in Washington and Mexico


THE THIRTIETH CONGRESS Robert C. Winthrop Chosen Speaker. Debates on the War. Advantage of the Whigs. Acquisition of Territory. The Wilmot Proviso. Lincoln's Resolutions. Nomination of Taylor for President. Cass the Democratic Candidate. Lincoln's Speech, July 27, 1848. Taylor Elected


A FORTUNATE ESCAPE Independent Action of Northern Democrats. Lincoln's Plan for Emancipation in the District of Columbia. His Bill Fails to Receive Consideration. A Similar Bill Signed by Him Fifteen Years Later. Logan Nominated for Congress and Defeated. Lincoln an Applicant for Office. The Fascination of Washington


THE CIRCUIT LAWYER The Growth and Change of Legal Habits. Lincoln on the Circuit. His Power and Value as a Lawyer. Opinion of David Davis. Of Judge Drummond. Incidents of the Courts. Lincoln's Wit and Eloquence. His Life at Home


THE BALANCE OF POWER Origin of the Slavery Struggle. The Ordinance of 1787. The Compromises of the Constitution. The Missouri Compromise. Cotton and the Cotton-Gin. The Race between Free and Slave States. The Admission of Texas. The Wilmot Proviso. New Mexico and California. The Compromise Measures of 1850. Finality


REPEAL OF THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE Stephen A. Douglas. Old Fogies and Young America. The Nomination of Pierce. The California Gold Discovery. The National Platforms on the Slavery Issue. Organization of Western Territories. The Three Nebraska Bills. The Caucus Agreement of the Senate Committee. Dixon's Repealing Amendment. Douglas Adopts Dixon's Proposition. Passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act


THE DRIFT OF POLITICS The Storm of Agitation. The Free Soil Party. The American Party. The Anti-Nebraska Party. Dissolution of the Whig Party. The Congressional Elections. Democratic Defeat. Banks Elected Speaker


LINCOLN AND TRUMBULL The Nebraska Question in Illinois. Douglas's Chicago Speech. Lincoln Reappears in Politics. Political Speeches at the State Fair. A Debate between Lincoln and Douglas. Lincoln's Peoria Speech. An Anti-Nebraska Legislature Elected. Lincoln's Candidacy for the Senate. Shields and Matteson. Trumbull Elected Senator. Lincoln's Letter to Robertson


THE BORDER RUFFIANS The Opening of Kansas Territory. Andrew H, Reeder Appointed Governor. Atchison's Propaganda. The Missouri Blue Lodges. The Emigrant Aid Company. The Town of Lawrence Founded. Governor Reeder's Independent Action. The First Border Ruffian Invasion. The Election of Whitfield


THE BOGUS LAWS Governor Reeder's Census. The Second Border Ruffian Invasion. Missouri Voters Elect the Kansas Legislature. Westport and Shawnee Mission. The Governor Convenes the Legislature at Pawnee. The Legislature Returns to Shawnee Mission. Governor Reeder's Vetoes. The Governor's Removal. Enactment of the Bogus Laws. Despotic Statutes. Lecompton Founded


THE TOPEKA CONSTITUTION The Bogus Legislature Defines Kansas Politics. The Big Springs Convention. Ex-Governor Reeder's Resolutions. Formation of the Free-State Party. A Constitutional Convention at Topeka. The Topeka Constitution. President Pierce Proclaims the Topeka Movement Revolutionary. Refusal to Recognize the Bogus Laws. Chief-Justice Lecompte's Doctrine of Constructive Treason, Arrests and Indictment of the Free-State Leaders. Colonel Sumner Disperses the Topeka Legislature


CIVIL WAR IN KANSAS Wilson Shannon Appointed Governor. The Law and Order Party Formed at Leavenworth. Sheriff Jones. The Branson Rescue. The Wakarusa War. Sharps Rifles. Governor Shannon's Treaty. Guerrilla Leaders and Civil War. The Investigating Committee of Congress. The Flight of Ex-Governor Reeder. The Border Ruffians March on Lawrence. Burning of the Free-State Hotel




[Sidenote: 1780.]

In the year 1780, Abraham Lincoln, a member of a respectable and well- to-do family in Rockingham County, Virginia, started westward to establish himself in the newly-explored country of Kentucky. He entered several large tracts of fertile land, and returning to Virginia disposed of his property there, and with his wife and five children went back to Kentucky and settled in Jefferson County. Little is known of this pioneer Lincoln or of his father. Most of the records belonging to that branch of the family were destroyed in the civil war. Their early orphanage, the wild and illiterate life they led on the frontier, severed their connection with their kindred in the East. This, often happened; there are hundreds of families in the West bearing historic names and probably descended from well-known houses in the older States or in England, which, by passing through one or two generations of ancestors who could not read or write, have lost their continuity with the past as effectually as if a deluge had intervened between the last century and this. Even the patronymic has been frequently distorted beyond recognition by slovenly pronunciation during the years when letters were a lost art, and by the phonetic spelling of the first boy in the family who learned the use of the pen. There are Lincolns in Kentucky and Tennessee belonging to the same stock with the President, whose names are spelled "Linkhorn" and "Linkhern." All that was known of the emigrant, Abraham Lincoln, by his immediate descendants was that his progenitors, who were Quakers, came from Berks County, Pennsylvania, into Virginia, and there throve and prospered. [Footnote: We desire to express our obligations to Edwin Salter, Samuel L. Smedley, Samuel Shackford, Samuel W. Pennypacker, Howard M. Jenkins, and John T. Harris, Jr., for information and suggestions which have been of use to us in this chapter.] But we now know, with sufficient clearness, through the wide-spread and searching luster which surrounds the name, the history of the migrations of the family since its arrival on this continent, and the circumstances under which the Virginia pioneer started for Kentucky.

The first ancestor of the line of whom we have knowledge was Samuel Lincoln, of Norwich, England, who came to Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1638, and died there. He left a son, Mordecai, whose son, of the same name,--and it is a name which persists in every branch of the family, [Footnote: The Lincolns, in naming their children, followed so strict a tradition that great confusion has arisen in the attempt to trace their genealogy. For instance, Abraham Lincoln, of Chester County, son of one Mordecai and brother of another, the President's ancestors, left a fair estate, by will, to his children, whose names were John, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Mordecai, Rebecca, and Sarah--precisely the same names we find in three collateral families.]--removed to Monmouth, New Jersey, and thence to Amity township, now a part of now a part of Berks County, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1735, fifty years old. From a copy of his will, recorded in the office of the Register in Philadelphia, we gather that he was a man of considerable property. In the inventory of his effects, made after his death, he is styled by the appraisers, "Mordecai Lincoln, Gentleman." His son John received by his father's will "a certain piece of land lying in the Jerseys, containing three hundred acres," the other sons and daughters having been liberally provided for from the Pennsylvania property. This John Lincoln left New Jersey some years later, and about 1750 established himself in Rockingham County, Virginia. He had five sons, to whom he gave the names which were traditional in the family:-- Abraham, the pioneer first mentioned,--Isaac, Jacob, Thomas, and John. Jacob and John remained in Virginia; the former was a soldier in the War of the Revolution, and took part as lieutenant in a Virginia regiment at the siege of Yorktown. Isaac went to a place on the Holston River in Tennessee; Thomas followed his brother to Kentucky, lived and died there, and his children then emigrated to Tennessee [Footnote: It is an interesting coincidence for the knowledge of which we are indebted to Colonel John B. Brownlow, that a minister named Mordecai Lincoln a relative of the President, performed, on the 17th of May, 1837, the marriage ceremony of Andrew Johnson, Mr. Lincoln's succesor, in the Presidency.] With the one memorable exception the family seem to have been modest, thrifty, unambitious people. Even the great fame and conspicuousness of the President did not tempt them out of their retirement. Robert Lincoln, of Hancock County, Illinois, a cousin--German, became a captain and commissary of volunteers; none of the others, so far as we know, ever made their existence known to their powerful kinsman during the years of his glory. [Transcriber's Note: Lengthy footnote relocated to chapter end.]

It was many years after the death of the President that his son learned the probable circumstances under which the pioneer Lincoln removed to the West, and the intimate relations which subsisted between his family and the most celebrated man in early Western annals. There is little doubt that it was on account of his association with the, famous Daniel Boone that Abraham Lincoln went to Kentucky. The families had for a century been closely allied. There were frequent intermarriages [Footnote: A letter from David J. Lincoln, of Birdsboro, Berks County, Pennsylvania, to the writers, says, "My grandfather, Abraham Lincoln, was married to Anna Boone, a first cousin of Daniel Boone, July 10, 1760." He was half-brother of John Lincoln, and afterwards became a man of some prominence in Pennsylvania, serving in the Constitutional Convention in 1789-90.] among them--both being of Quaker lineage. By the will of Mordecai Lincoln, to which reference has been made, his "loving friend and neighbor" George Boone was made a trustee to assist his widow in the care of the property. Squire Boone, the father of Daniel, was one of the appraisers who made the inventory of Mordecai Lincoln's estate. The intercourse between the families was kept up after the Boones had removed to North Carolina and John Lincoln had gone to Virginia. Abraham Lincoln, son of John, and grandfather of the President, was married to Miss Mary Shipley [Transcriber's Note: Lengthy footnote relocated to chapter end.] in North Carolina. The inducement which led him to leave Virginia, where his standing and his fortune were assured, was, in all probability, his intimate family relations with the great explorer, the hero of the new country of Kentucky, the land of fabulous richness and unlimited adventure. At a time when the Eastern States were ringing with the fame of the mighty hunter who was then in the prime of his manhood, and in the midst of those achievements which will forever render him one of the most picturesque heroes in all our annals, it is not to be wondered at that his own circle of friends should have caught the general enthusiasm and felt the desire to emulate his career.

Boone's exploration of Kentucky had begun some ten years before Lincoln set out to follow his trail. In 1769 he made his memorable journey to that virgin wilderness of whose beauty he always loved to speak even to his latest breath. During all that year he hunted, finding everywhere abundance of game. "The buffalo," Boone says, "were more frequent than I have seen cattle in the settlements, browsing on the leaves of the cane, or cropping the herbage on these extensive plains, fearless because ignorant of the violence of man. Sometimes we saw hundreds in a drove, and the numbers about the salt springs were amazing." In the course of the winter, however, he was captured by the Indians while hunting with a comrade, and when they had contrived to escape they never found again any trace of the rest of their party. But a few days later they saw two men approaching and hailed them with the hunter's caution, "Hullo, strangers; who are you?" They replied, "White men and friends." They proved to be Squire Boone and another adventurer from North Carolina. The younger Boone had made that long pilgrimage through the trackless woods, led by an instinct of doglike affection, to find his elder brother and share his sylvan pleasures and dangers. Their two companions were soon waylaid and killed, and the Boones spent their long winter in that mighty solitude undisturbed. In the spring their ammunition, which was to them the only necessary of life, ran low, and one of them must return to the settlements to replenish the stock. It need not be said which assumed this duty; the cadet went uncomplaining on his way, and Daniel spent three months in absolute loneliness, as he himself expressed it, "by myself, without bread, salt, or sugar, without company of my fellow- creatures, or even a horse or dog." He was not insensible to the dangers of his situation. He never approached his camp without the utmost precaution, and always slept in the cane-brakes if the signs were unfavorable. But he makes in his memoirs this curious reflection, which would seem like affectation in one less perfectly and simply heroic: "How unhappy such a situation for a man tormented with fear, which is vain if no danger comes, and if it does, only augments the pain. It was my happiness to be destitute of this afflicting passion, with which I had the greatest reason to be afflicted." After his brother's return, for a year longer they hunted in those lovely wilds, and then returned to the Yadkin to bring their families to the new domain. They made the long journey back, five hundred miles, in peace and safety.

For some time after this Boone took no conspicuous part in the settlement of Kentucky. The expedition with which he left the Yadkin in 1773 met with a terrible disaster near Cumberland Gap, in which his eldest son and five more young men were killed by Indians, and the whole party, discouraged by the blow, retired to the safer region of Clinch River. In the mean time the dauntless speculator Richard Henderson had begun his occupation with all the pomp of viceroyalty. Harrodsburg had been founded, and corn planted, and a flourishing colony established at the Falls of the Ohio. In 1774 Boone was called upon by the Governor of Virginia to escort a party of surveyors through Kentucky, and on his return was given the command of three garrisons; and for several years thereafter the history of the State is the record of his feats of arms. No one ever equaled him in his knowledge of Indian character, and his influence with the savages was a mystery to him and to themselves. Three times he fell into their hands and they did not harm him. Twice they adopted him into their tribes while they were still on the war-path. Once they took him to Detroit, [Footnote: Silas Farmer, historiographer of Detroit, informs us that Daniel Boone was brought there on the 10th of March, 1778, and that he remained there a month.] to show the Long-Knife chieftains of King Greorge that they also could exhibit trophies of memorable prowess, but they refused to give him up even to their British allies. In no quality of wise woodcraft was he wanting. He could outrun a dog or a deer; he could thread the woods without food day and night; he could find his way as easily as the panther could. Although a great athlete and a tireless warrior, he hated fighting and only fought for peace. In council and in war he was equally valuable. His advice was never rejected without disaster, nor followed but with advantage; and when the fighting once began there was not a rifle in Kentucky which could rival his. At the nine days' siege of Boonesboro' he took deliberate aim and killed a negro renegade who was harassing the garrison from a tree five hundred and twenty-five feet away, and whose head only was visible from the fort. The mildest and the quietest of men, he had killed dozens of enemies with his own hand, and all this without malice and, strangest of all, without incurring the hatred of his adversaries. He had self-respect enough, but not a spark of vanity. After the fatal battle of the Blue Licks,--where the only point of light in the day's terrible work was the wisdom and valor with which he had partly retrieved a disaster he foresaw but was powerless to prevent,--when it became his duty, as senior surviving officer of the forces, to report the affair to Governor Harrison, his dry and naked narrative gives not a single hint of what he had done himself, nor mentions the gallant son lying dead on the field, nor the wounded brother whose gallantry might justly have claimed some notice. He was thinking solely of the public good, saying, "I have encouraged the people in this country all that I could, but I can no longer justify them or myself to risk our lives here under such extraordinary hazards." He therefore begged his Excellency to take immediate measures for relief. During the short existence of Henderson's legislature he was a member of it, and not the least useful one. Among his measures was one for the protection of game.

[Illustration: LAND WARRANT ISSUED TO ABRAHAM LINKHORN (LINCOLN). The original, of which this is a reduced fac-simile, is in the possession of Colonel R. T, Durrett, Louisville, Ky.]

[Sidenote: Jefferson County Records.]

Everything we know of the emigrant Abraham Lincoln goes to show that it was under the auspices of this most famous of our pioneers that he set out from Rockingham County to make a home for himself and his young family in that wild region which Boone was wresting from its savage holders. He was not without means of his own. He took with him funds enough to enter an amount of land which would have made his family rich if they had retained it. The county records show him to have been the possessor of a domain of some seventeen hundred acres. There is still in existence [Transcriber's Note: Lengthy footnote relocated to chapter end.] the original warrant, dated March 4, 1780, for four hundred acres of land, for which the pioneer had paid "into the publick Treasury one hundred and sixty pounds current money," and a copy of the surveyor's certificate, giving the metes and bounds of the property on Floyd's Fork, which remained for many years in the hands of Mordecai Lincoln, the pioneer's eldest son and heir. The name was misspelled "Linkhorn" by a blunder of the clerk in the land-office, and the error was perpetuated in the subsequent record.

Kentucky had been for many years the country of romance and fable for Virginians. Twenty years before Governor Spotswood had crossed the Alleghanies and returned to establish in a Williamsburg tavern that fantastic order of nobility which he called the Knights of The Golden Horseshoe, [Footnote: Their motto was Sic jurat transcendere montes.] and, with a worldly wisdom which was scarcely consistent with these medieval affectations, to press upon the attention of the British Government the building of a line of frontier forts to guard the Ohio River from the French. Many years after him the greatest of all Virginians crossed the mountains again, and became heavily interested in those schemes of emigration which filled the minds of many of the leading men in America until they were driven out by graver cares and more imperative duties. Washington had acquired claims and patents to the amount of thirty or forty thousand acres of land in the West; Benjamin Franklin and the Lees were also large owners of these speculative titles. They formed, it is true, rather an airy and unsubstantial sort of possession, the same ground being often claimed by a dozen different persons or companies under various grants from the crown or from legislatures, or through purchase by adventurers from Indian councils. But about the time of which we are speaking the spirit of emigration had reached the lower strata of colonial society, and a steady stream of pioneers began pouring over the passes of the mountains into the green and fertile valleys of Kentucky and Tennessee. They selected their homes in the most eligible spots to which chance or the report of earlier explorers directed them, with little knowledge or care as to the rightful ownership of the land, and too often cleared their corner of the wilderness for the benefit of others. Even Boone, to whose courage, forest lore, and singular intuitions of savage character the State of Kentucky owed more than to any other man, was deprived in his old age of his hard- earned homestead through his ignorance of legal forms, and removed to Missouri to repeat in that new territory his labors and his misfortunes.

[Illustration: FAC-SIMILE FROM THE FIELD BOOK OF DANIEL BOONE. This record of the Lincoln Claim on Licking River is from the original in posession of Lyman C. Draper, Madison, Wis.]

[Sidenote: 1780.]

The period at which Lincoln came West was one of note in the history of Kentucky. The labors of Henderson and the Transylvania Company had begun to bear fruit in extensive plantations and a connected system of forts. The land laws of Kentucky had reduced to something like order the chaos of conflicting claims arising from the various grants and the different preemption customs under which settlers occupied their property. The victory of Boone at Boonesboro' against the Shawnees, and the capture of Kaskaskia and Vincennes by the brilliant audacity of George Rogers Clark, had brought the region prominently to the attention of the Atlantic States, and had turned in that direction the restless and roving spirits which are always found in communities at periods when great emigrations are a need of civilization. Up to this time few persons had crossed the mountains except hunters, trappers, and explorers--men who came merely to kill game, and possibly Indians, or to spy out the fertility of the land for the purpose of speculation. But in 1780 and 1781 a large number of families took up their line of march, and in the latter year a considerable contingent of women joined the little army of pioneers, impelled by an instinct which they themselves probably but half comprehended. The country was to be peopled, and there was no other way of peopling it but by the sacrifice of many lives and fortunes; and the history of every country shows that these are never lacking when they are wanted. The number of those who came at about the same time with the pioneer Lincoln was sufficient to lay the basis of a sort of social order. Early in the year 1780 three hundred "large family boats" arrived at the Falls of the Ohio, where the land had been surveyed by Captain Bullitt seven years before, and in May the Legislature of Virginia passed a law for the incorporation of the town of Louisville, then containing some six hundred inhabitants. At the same session a law was passed confiscating the property of certain British subjects for the endowment of an institution of learning in Kentucky, "it being the interest of this commonwealth," to quote the language of the philosophic Legislature, "always to encourage and promote every design which may tend to the improvement of the mind and the diffusion of useful knowledge even among its remote citizens, whose situation in a barbarous neighborhood and a savage intercourse might otherwise render them unfriendly to science." This was the origin of the Transylvania University of Lexington, which rose and flourished for many years on the utmost verge of civilization.


The "barbarous neighborhood" and the "savage intercourse" undoubtedly had their effect upon the manners and morals of the settlers; but we should fall into error if we took it for granted that the pioneers were all of one piece. The ruling motive which led most of them to the wilds was that Anglo-Saxon lust of land which seems inseparable from the race. The prospect of possessing a four-hundred-acre farm by merely occupying it, and the privilege of exchanging a basketful of almost worthless continental currency for an unlimited estate at the nominal value of forty cents per acre, were irresistible to thousands of land-loving Virginians and Carolinians whose ambition of proprietorship was larger than their means. Accompanying this flood of emigrants of good faith was the usual froth and scum of shiftless idlers and adventurers, who were either drifting with a current they were too worthless to withstand, or in pursuit of dishonest gains in fresher and simpler regions. The vices and virtues of the pioneers were such as proceeded from their environment. They were careless of human life because life was worth comparatively little in that hard struggle for existence; but they had a remarkably clear idea of the value of property, and visited theft not only with condign punishment, but also with the severest social proscription. Stealing a horse was punished more swiftly and with more feeling than homicide. A man might be replaced more easily than the other animal. Sloth was the worst of weaknesses. An habitual drunkard was more welcome at "raisings" and "logrollings" than a known faineant. The man who did not do a man's share where work was to be done was christened "Lazy Lawrence," and that was the end of him socially. Cowardice was punished by inexorable disgrace. The point of honor was as strictly observed as it ever has been in the idlest and most artificial society. If a man accused another of falsehood, the ordeal by fisticuffs was instantly resorted to. Weapons were rarely employed in these chivalrous encounters, being kept for more serious use with Indians and wild beasts; nevertheless fists, teeth, and the gouging thumb were often employed with fatal effect. Yet among this rude and uncouth people there was a genuine and remarkable respect for law. They seemed to recognize it as an absolute necessity of their existence. In the territory of Kentucky, and afterwards in that of Illinois, it occurred at several periods in the transition from counties to territories and states, that the country was without any organized authority. But the people were a law unto themselves. Their improvised courts and councils administered law and equity; contracts were enforced, debts were collected, and a sort of order was maintained. It may be said, generally, that the character of this people was far above their circumstances. In all the accessories of life, by which we are accustomed to rate communities and races in the scale of civilization, they were little removed from primitive barbarism. They dressed in the skins of wild beasts killed by themselves, and in linen stuffs woven by themselves. They hardly knew the use of iron except in their firearms and knives. Their food consisted almost exclusively of game, fish, and roughly ground corn- meal. Their exchanges were made by barter; many a child grew up without ever seeing a piece of money. Their habitations were hardly superior to those of the savages with whom they waged constant war. Large families lived in log huts, put together without iron, and far more open to the inclemencies of the skies than the pig-styes of the careful farmer of to-day. An early schoolmaster says that the first place where he went to board was the house of one Lucas, consisting of a single room, sixteen feet square, and tenanted by Mr. and Mrs. Lucas, ten children, three dogs, two cats, and himself. There were many who lived in hovels so cold that they had to sleep on their shoes to keep them from freezing too stiff to be put on. The children grew inured to misery like this, and played barefoot in the snow. It is an error to suppose that all this could be undergone with impunity. They suffered terribly from malarial and rheumatic complaints, and the instances of vigorous and painless age were rare among them. The lack of moral and mental sustenance was still more marked. They were inclined to be a religious people, but a sermon was an unusual luxury, only to be enjoyed at long intervals and by great expense of time. There were few books or none, and there was little opportunity for the exchange of opinion. Any variation in the dreary course of events was welcome. A murder was not without its advantages as a stimulus to conversation; a criminal trial was a kind of holiday to a county. It was this poverty of life, this famine of social gratification, from which sprang their fondness for the grosser forms of excitement, and their tendency to rough and brutal practical joking. In a life like theirs a laugh seemed worth having at any expense.


But near as they were to barbarism in all the circumstances of their daily existence, they were far from it politically. They were the children of a race which had been trained in government for centuries in the best school the world has ever seen, and wherever they went they formed the town, the county, the court, and the legislative power with the ease and certainty of nature evolving its results. And this they accomplished in the face of a savage foe surrounding their feeble settlements, always alert and hostile, invisible and dreadful as the visionary powers of the air. Until the treaty of Greenville, in 1795, closed the long and sanguinary history of the old Indian wars, there was no day in which the pioneer could leave his cabin with the certainty of not finding it in ashes when he returned, and his little flock murdered on his threshold, or carried into a captivity worse than death. Whenever nightfall came with the man of the house away from home, the anxiety and care of the women and children were none the less bitter because so common.


The life of the pioneer Abraham Lincoln soon came to a disastrous close. He had settled in Jefferson County, on the land he had bought from the Government, and cleared a small farm in the forest. [Footnote: Lyman C. Draper, of the Wisconsin Historical Society, has kindly furnished us with a MS account of a Kentucky tradition according to which the pioneer Abraham Lincoln was captured by the Indians, near Crow's Station, in August, 1782, carried into captivity, and forced to run the gauntlet. The story rests on the statement of a single person, Mrs. Sarah Graham.] One morning in the year 1784, he started with his three sons, Mordecai, Josiah, and Thomas, to the edge of the clearing, and began the day's work. A shot from the brush killed the father; Mordecai, the eldest son, ran instinctively to the house, Josiah to the neighboring fort, for assistance, and Thomas, the youngest, a child of six, was left with the corpse of his father. Mordecai, reaching the cabin, seized the rifle, and saw through the loophole an Indian in his war-paint stooping to raise the child from the ground. He took deliberate aim at a white ornament on the breast of the savage and brought him down. The little boy, thus released, ran to the cabin, and Mordecai, from the loft, renewed his fire upon the savages, who began to show themselves from the thicket, until Josiah returned with assistance from the stockade, and the assailants fled. This tragedy made an indelible impression on the mind of Mordecai. Either a spirit of revenge for his murdered father, or a sportsmanlike pleasure in his successful shot, made him a determined Indian-stalker, and he rarely stopped to inquire whether the red man who came within range of his rifle was friendly or hostile. [Footnote: Late in life Mordecai Lincoln removed to Hancock County, Illinois, where his descendants still live.]


The head of the family being gone, the widow Lincoln soon removed to a more thickly settled neighborhood in Washington County. There her children grew up. Mordecai and Josiah became reputable citizens; the two daughters married two men named Crume and Brumfield. Thomas, to whom were reserved the honors of an illustrious paternity, learned the trade of a carpenter. He was an easy-going man, entirely without ambition, but not without self-respect. Though the friendliest and most jovial of gossips, he was not insensible to affronts; and when his slow anger was roused he was a formidable adversary. Several border bullies, at different times, crowded him indiscreetly, and were promptly and thoroughly whipped. He was strong, well-knit, and sinewy; but little over the medium height, though in other respects he seems to have resembled his son in appearance.

On the 12th of June, 1806, [Footnote: All previous accounts give the date of this marriage as September 23d. This error arose from a clerical blunder in the county record of marriages. The minister, the Rev. Jesse Head, in making his report, wrote the date before the names; the clerk, copying it, lost the proper sequence of the entries, and gave to the Lincolns the date belonging to the next couple on the list.] while learning his trade in the carpenter shop of Joseph Hanks, in Elizabethtown, he married Nancy Hanks, a niece of his employer, near Beechland, in Washington County. [Transcriber's Note: Lengthy footnote (1) relocated to chapter end.] She was one of a large family who had emigrated from Virginia with the Lincolns and with another family called Sparrow. They had endured together the trials of pioneer life; their close relations continued for many years after, and were cemented by frequent intermarriage.

Mrs. Lincoln's mother was named Lucy Hanks; her sisters were Betty, Polly, and Nancy who married Thomas Sparrow, Jesse Friend, and Levi Hall. The childhood of Nancy was passed with the Sparrows, and she was oftener called by their name than by her own. The whole family connection was composed of people so little given to letters that it is hard to determine the proper names and relationships of the younger members amid the tangle of traditional cousinships. [Footnote: The Hanks family seem to have gone from Pennsylvania and thence to Kentucky about the same time with the Lincolns. They also belonged to the Communion of Friends.--"Historical Collections of Gwynnedd," by H. M. Jenkins.] Those who went to Indiana with Thomas Lincoln, and grew up with his children, are the only ones that need demand our attention.

There was no hint of future glory in the wedding or the bringing home of Nancy Lincoln. All accounts represent her as a handsome young woman of twenty-three, of appearance and intellect superior to her lowly fortunes. She could read and write,--a remarkable accomplishment in her circle,--and even taught her husband to form the letters of his name. He had no such valuable wedding gift to bestow upon her; he brought her to a little house in Elizabethtown, where he and she and want dwelt together in fourteen feet square. The next year a daughter was born to them; and the next the young carpenter, not finding his work remunerative enough for his growing needs, removed to a little farm which he had bought on the easy terms then prevalent in Kentucky. It was on the Big South Fork of Nolin Creek, in what was then Hardin and is now La Rue County, three miles from Hodgensville. The ground had nothing attractive about it but its cheapness. It was hardly more grateful than the rocky hill slopes of New England. It required full as earnest and intelligent industry to persuade a living out of those barren hillocks and weedy hollows, covered with stunted and scrubby underbrush, as it would amid the rocks and sands of the northern coast.

Thomas Lincoln settled down in this dismal solitude to a deeper poverty than any of his name had ever known; and there, in the midst of the most unpromising circumstances that ever witnessed the advent of a hero into this world, Abraham Lincoln was born on the 12th day of February, 1809.

Four years later, Thomas Lincoln purchased a fine farm of 238 acres on Knob Creek, near where it flows into the Rolling Fork, and succeeded in getting a portion of it into cultivation. The title, however, remained in him only a little while, and after his property had passed out of his control he looked about for another place to establish himself.

[Illustration: This Certificate, or Marriage List (here shown in reduced fac-simile), written by the Rev. Jesse Head, was lost sight of for many years, and about 1886 was discovered through the efforts of W. F. Booker, Clerk of Washington County, Kentucky.]

Of all these years of Abraham Lincoln's early childhood we know almost nothing. He lived a solitary life in the woods, returning from his lonesome little games to his cheerless home. He never talked of these days to his most intimate friends. [Transcriber's Note: Lengthy footnote (2) relocated to chapter end.] Once, when asked what he remembered about the war with Great Britain, he replied: "Nothing but this. I had been fishing one day and caught a little fish which I was taking home. I met a soldier in the road, and, having been always told at home that we must be good to the soldiers, I gave him my fish." This is only a faint glimpse, but what it shows is rather pleasant--the generous child and the patriotic household. But there is no question that these first years of his life had their lasting effect upon the temperament of this great mirthful and melancholy man. He had little schooling. He accompanied his sister Sarah [Footnote: This daughter of Thomas Lincoln is sometimes called Nancy and sometimes Sarah. She seems to have borne the former name during her mother's life-time, and to have taken her stepmother's name after Mr. Lincoln's second marriage.] to the only schools that existed in their neighborhood, one kept by Zachariah Riney, another by Caleb Hazel, where he learned his alphabet and a little more. But of all those advantages for the cultivation of a young mind and spirit which every home now offers to its children, the books, toys, ingenious games, and daily devotion of parental love, he knew absolutely nothing.

[Relocated Footnote: Soon after Mr. Lincoln arrived in Washington in 1861, he received the following letter from one of his Virginia kinsmen, the last communication which ever came from them. It was written on paper adorned with a portrait of Jefferson Davis, and was inclosed in an envelope emblazoned with the Confederate flag:

"To ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Esq., President of the Northern Confederacy.

"SIR: Having just returned from a trip through Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, permit me to inform you that you will get whipped out of your boots. To-day I met a gentleman from Anna, Illinois, and although he voted for you he says that the moment your troops leave Cairo they will get the spots knocked out of them. My dear sir, these are facts which time will prove to be correct.

"I am, sir, with every consideration, yours respectfully,


"Of the Staunton stock of Lincolns."

There was a young Abraham Lincoln on the Confederate side in the Shenandoah distinguished for his courage and ferocity. He lay in wait and shot a Drunkard preacher, whom he suspected of furnishing information to the Union army. (Letter from Samuel W. Pennypacker.)]

[Relocated Footnote: In giving to the wife of the pioneer Lincoln the name of Mary Shipley we follow the tradition in his family. The Hon. J. L. Nall, of Missouri, grandson of Nancy (Lincoln) Brumfield, Abraham Lincoln's youngest child, has given us so clear a statement of the case that we cannot hesitate to accept it, although it conflicts with equally positive statements from other sources. The late Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, who gave much intelligent effort to genealogical researches, was convinced that the Abraham Lincoln who married Miss Hannah Winters, a daughter of Ann Boone, sister of the famous Daniel, was the President's grandfather. Waddell's "Annals of Augusta County" says he married Elizabeth Winter, a cousin of Daniel Boone. The Boone and Lincoln families were large and there were frequent intermarriages among them, and the patriarchal name of Abraham was a favorite one. There was still another Lincoln, Hannaniah by name, who was also intimately associated with the Boones. His signature appears on the surveyor's certificate for Abraham Lincoln's land in Jefferson County, and he joined Daniel Boone in 1798 in the purchase of the tract of land on the Missouri River where Boone died. (Letter from Richard V. B. Lincoln, printed in the "Williamsport [Pa.] Banner," Feb. 25, 1881.)]

[Relocated Footnote: In the possession of Colonel Reuben T. Durrett, of Louisville, a gentleman who has made the early history of his State a subject of careful study, and to whom we are greatly indebted for information in regard to the settlement of the Lincolns in Kentucky. He gives the following list of lands in that State owned by Abraham Lincoln:

1. Four hundred acres on Long Run, a branch of Floyd's Fork, in Jefferson County, entered May 29, 1780, and surveyed May 7, 1785. We have in our possession the original patent issued by Governor Garrard, of Kentucky, to Abraham Lincoln for this property. It was found by Col. A. C. Matthews, of the 99th Illinois, in 1863, at an abandoned residence near Indianola, Texas.

2. Eight hundred acres on Green River, near Green River Lick, entered June 7, 1780, and surveyed October 12, 1784.

3. Five hundred acres in Campbell County, date of entry not known, but surveyed September 27, 1798, and patented June 30, 1799--the survey and patent evidently following his entry after his death. It is possible that this was the five-hundred-acre tract found in Boone's field-book, in the possession of Lyman C. Draper, Esq., Secretary of the Wisconsin Historical Society, and erroneously supposed by some to have been in Mercer County. Boone was a deputy of Colonel Thomas Marshall, Surveyor of Fayette County.]

[Relocated Footnote (1): The following is a copy of the marriage bond:

"Know all men by these presents, that we, Thomas Lincoln and Richard Berry, are held and firmly bound unto his Excellency, the Governor of Kentucky, in the just and full sum of fifty pounds current money to the payment of which well and truly to be made to the said Governor and his successors, we bind ourselves, our heirs, etc., jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 10th day of June, 1806. The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended between the above bound Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, for which a license has issued, now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage, then this obligation to be void, else to remain in full force and virtue in law.

"THOMAS LINCOLN [Seal]. "RICHARD BERRY [Seal]. "Witness, JOHN H. PARROTT, Guardian."

Richard Berry was a connection of Lincoln; his wife was a Shipley.]

[Relocated Footnote (2): There is still living (1886) near Knob Creek in Kentucky, at the age of eighty, a man who claims to have known Abraham Lincoln in his childhood--Austin Gollaher. He says he used to play with Abe Lincoln in the shavings of his father's carpenter shop. He tells a story which, if accurate, entitles him to the civic crown which the Romans used to give to one who saved the life of a citizen. When Gollaher was eleven and Lincoln eight the two boys were in the woods in pursuit of partridges; in trying to "coon" across Knob Creek on a log, Lincoln fell in and Gollaher fished him out with a sycamore branch--a service to the Republic, the value of which it would be difficult to compute.]



[Sidenote: 1818.]

By the time the boy Abraham had attained his seventh year, the social condition of Kentucky had changed considerably from the early pioneer days. Life had assumed a more settled and orderly course. The old barbarous equality of the earlier time was gone; a difference of classes began to be seen. Those who held slaves assumed a distinct social superiority over those who did not. Thomas Lincoln, concluding that Kentucky was no country for a poor man, determined to seek his fortune in Indiana. He had heard of rich and unoccupied lands in Perry County in that State, and thither he determined to go. He built a rude raft, loaded it with his kit of tools and four hundred gallons of whisky, and trusted his fortunes to the winding water-courses. He met with only one accident on his way: his raft capsized in the Ohio River, but he fished up his kit of tools and most of the ardent spirits, and arrived safely at the place of a settler named Posey, with whom he left his odd invoice of household goods for the wilderness, while he started on foot to look for a home in the dense forest. He selected a spot which pleased him in his first day's journey. He then walked back to Knob Creek and brought his family on to their new home. No humbler cavalcade ever invaded the Indiana timber. Besides his wife and two children, his earthly possessions were of the slightest, for the backs of two borrowed horses sufficed for the load. Insufficient bedding and clothing, a few pans and kettles, were their sole movable wealth. They relied on Lincoln's kit of tools for their furniture, and on his rifle for their food. At Posey's they hired a wagon and literally hewed a path through the wilderness to their new habitation near Little Pigeon Creek, a mile and a half east of Gentryville, in a rich and fertile forest country.

Thomas Lincoln, with the assistance of his wife and children, built a temporary shelter of the sort called in the frontier language "a half- faced camp"; merely a shed of poles, which defended the inmates on three sides from foul weather, but left them open to its inclemency in front. For a whole year his family lived in this wretched fold, while he was clearing a little patch of ground for planting corn, and building a rough cabin for a permanent residence. They moved into the latter before it was half completed; for by this time the Sparrows had followed the Lincolns from Kentucky, and the half-faced camp was given up to them. But the rude cabin seemed so spacious and comfortable after the squalor of "the camp," that Thomas Lincoln did no further work on it for a long time. He left it for a year or two without doors, or windows, or floor. The battle for existence allowed him no time for such superfluities. He raised enough corn to support life; the dense forest around him abounded in every form of feathered game; a little way from his cabin an open glade was full of deer-licks, and an hour or two of idle waiting was generally rewarded by a shot at a fine deer, which would furnish meat for a week, and material for breeches and shoes. His cabin was like that of other pioneers. A few three-legged stools; a bedstead made of poles stuck between the logs in the angle of the cabin, the outside corner supported by a crotched stick driven into the ground; the table, a huge hewed log standing on four legs; a pot, kettle, and skillet, and a few tin and pewter dishes were all the furniture. The boy Abraham climbed at night to his bed of leaves in the loft, by a ladder of wooden pins driven into the logs.