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    Books and Articles
    Angle, Paul,  Lincoln Centennial Association Papers.
    Bannister, Dan, Lincoln and the Illinois Supreme Court.
    Duff, John, Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer .
    Spiegel, Allen,  A. Lincoln, Esquire: A Shrewd, Sophisticated Lawyer in His Time.
    Stowell, Daniel, In Tender Consideration: Women, Families, and the Law in Abraham Lincoln's Illinois.
    Walsh, John, Moonlight: Abraham Lincoln and the Almanac Trial.
    Whitney, Henry, Life on the Circuit with Lincoln, .
    Donald, David, Lincoln's Herndon.
    Hill, Frederick, Lincoln the Lawyer.
    Hill, Frederick, Lincoln the Lawyer.
    Pratt, Harry, David Davis.
    Richards, John, Abraham Lincoln: The Lawyer.
    Temple, Wayne, Lincoln Herald.
    Thomas, Benjamin, Lincoln Centennial Association Bulletin.
    Woldman, Albert, Lawyer Lincoln.
    Abraham Lincoln and The Eighth Circuit
    News Letter

    Featured Book
    Mark E. Steiner, An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln

    His friends believed Abraham Lincoln loved life on the Eighth Circuit. There was a simple camaraderie on the circuit that Mr. Lincoln enjoyed as he moved from town to town each spring and fall. "The vanity of human wishes, it appears to me, could in no case be, with more emphasis, shown, than in his mournful reference to the happiness he had experienced, while practicing on the Eighth Circuit, with me: – he dwelt upon various homely incidents, in mournful cadence; and his voice grew husky with emotion as he went on – and in conclusion, he said, substantially, that, in his life on the Eighth Circuit, he had experienced the happiest days of his life, but that he was now in a position whence tranquility was forever barred," recalled Henry C. Whitney. Speaking of a conversation he had with President-elect Abraham Lincoln before he left for Washington, Whitney wrote: "In casting a retrospective glance at these bye-gone-primitive and halcyon days, I never saw him more thoroughly dejected. He had attained the ultima thule of human ambition, – and alas! The ultima thule of despondency and gloom!" 1

    Lincoln biographer and friend Isaac Arnold wrote that "This 'circuit riding' involved all sorts of adventures. Hard fare at miserable country taverns, sleeping on the floor, and fording streams, were every-day occurrences. All such occurrences were met with good humor, and often turned into sources of frolic and fun. In fording swollen streams, Lincoln was frequently sent forward as a scout or pioneer. His extremely long legs enabled him, by taking off his boots and stockings, and by rolling up or otherwise disposing of his trousers, to test the depth of the stream, find the most shallow water, and thus to pilot the party through the current without wetting his garments." 2

    The work on the circuit was varied and involved both criminal and civil cases. Economic historian Oliver Fraysée wrote: "In the first half of Lincoln's professional career, the bulk of the cases he dealt with were determined by the rural character of the region in which he practiced. 'The courts consumed as much time deciding who had committed an assault or a trespass on a neighbor's ground, as it spent in the solution of questions arising on contracts,' and lawyers 'the greatest as well as the least had to join the general scramble for practice.' What types of cases were these? They dealt with land, first of all, such as violation of property and title disputes, and the thousand and one forms of trespass, contested sales, or swindles. Next came theft, theft of animals, horses, hogs, and the fraudulent sale of moribund donkeys. Cases of immorality were complicated by the multitude of suits for slander, which saw Lincoln defending the honor of a free-thinking school teacher and establishing a jurisprudence for corruption of minors. There were also crimes of violence, rapes and frequent murders in a community where lynch law often prevailed and temporary insanity might lead religious fanatics to carry out human sacrifices." 3

    Henry C. Whitney wrote out his experiences in Life on the Circuit with Lincoln: "It is strange to contemplate that in those comparatively recent but primitive days, Mr. Lincoln's whole attention should have been engrossed in petty controversies or acrimonious disputes between neighbors about trifles; that he should have puzzled his great mind in attempting to decipher who was the owner of a litter of pigs, or which party was to blame for the loss of a flock of sheep, by foot rot; or whether some irascible spirit was justified in avowing that his enemy had committed perjury; yet I have known him to give as earnest attention to such matters as later he gave to affairs of State...." 4 Historian Nevins added: "In all his work as lawyer, his two ruling traits appeared: his earnest, deliberate, inexorably logical search for truth, which when found he presented in luminous terms, and the warm interest in plain humanity, which made him so kindly in administering justice, so modest in his successes, so magnanimous in all his dealings." 5

    Fellow attorney Leonard Swett recalled that when he met Mr. Lincoln, "We were then attending the circuit court, which circuit embraced fourteen counties. These courts commenced about the first of September and closed about Christmas, and commenced again about February and closed about June. The time allotted for holding court was from two to three days to a week at a place. Mr. Lincoln had, just before that time, closed his only term in Congress, and had, when I met him, returned to his former life as a lawyer upon this, the Eighth Judicial Circuit. For eleven years thereafter we traversed this circuit together, the size of the circuit being diminished by the Legislature as the country increased in settlement; staying at the same little country hotels, riding and driving together over the country, and trying suits together, or more frequently, opposed to each other." 6

    The men who traversed the Eighth circuit were a social as well as legal fraternity. Mr. Presiding Judge David Davis wrote: "Mr. Lincoln was loved by his brethren of the bar, and no body of men will grieve more at his death, or pay more sincere tribute to his memory. His presence on the circuit was watched for with interest, and never failed to produce joy and hilarity. When casually absent, the spirits of both bar and people were depressed." 7 Davis biographer Harry Edward Pratt wrote: "When the cavalcade of gentlemen, including the judge and several lawyers would arrive in town they taxed the accom[m]odations of the local tavern to its limits. When practical one large room was selected for the use of the judge and such of the lawyers as he invited to share it with him. This was the headquarters of the company while the term lasted. Here in the evening, Davis gathered a select group of lawyers, merchants and others prominent in the county." 8 Although Davis was the unquestioned master of legal ceremonies, the featured attraction was Abraham Lincoln. As one court clerk recalled: "The genial Judge gave welcome to his brother attorneys and other friends during the evenings, who assembled in goodly numbers to swap stories and have good times generally, Of course, Mr. Lincoln was the central figure in this group of famous story-tellers." 9

    At these gatherings Mr. Lincoln was often called to deliver a joke on demand – especially if the person making the demand was Judge Davis. Henry Clay Whitney recalled on incident where the judge marveled at the length of a legal document compiled by a notoriously lazy lawyer. Whitney recalled: "The Judge unfolded and held up the bill: Astonishing, ain't it? Brother Snap did it. Wonderful, eh! Lincoln?' This amounted to an order on Lincoln to heave a joke in at this point, and he was ready of course; he had to be, whenever failed." 10

    Mr. Lincoln's good humor was evident in more than his jokes. An employee at one of the inns Mr. Lincoln frequented recalled:"I formed a liking for Mr. Lincoln, as soon as I met him – this because of his friendly and considerable ways, so different from those of most of the other lawyers attending court. He was always pleasant when asking for things he needed, and he never failed to thank me when I brought them to him." 11

    One fellow attorney remembered that Mr Lincoln never sat "next to the landlord at a crowded table and never got a chicken liver or the best cut from the roast. He never complained of the food, bed, or lodging. If every other fellow grumbled at the bill of fare which greeted us at many of the dingy taverns where we sojourned, Lincoln said nothing; yet he loved the life and never went home without reluctance." 12 Indeed, his colleagues noted that Mr. Lincoln did not return home when he could. He seemed to prefer this vagabond existence to dinner with his family in Springfield.


    Often, Mr. Lincoln paired off with another local or traveling attorney. Attorney Ward Hill Lamon often acted as co-counsel with Lincoln in Danville. Lamon filled another important role in the legal fellowship that traveled the Eighth Circuit. He was the house minstrel. "When in his rounds over the circuit Lincoln reached Danville, where Lamon held forth, it was the signal for a jolly if not uproarious time," wrote biographer Jesse W. Weik. "Usually after dark when the business of the court for the day was over, a certain crowd of companionable brethren gathered in Lincoln's and Judge Davis's rooms at the hotel. It was Lamon's business to provide a pitcher of good liquor, which duty have been performed, the fun for the evening was due to begin. Davis scarcely imbibed, but Lamon and certain others were far more generous in their potations. In time Lincoln or Davis, realizing that Lamon was 'mellow' enough, would exclaim, 'Now, Hill, let us have some music,' whereupon Lamon would respond by rendering the plaintive strains of 'The Blue-Tailed Flay,' or 'Cousin Sally Downard,' or some other ballad of equal interest but less propriety." 13

    One memorable story was told of Mr. Lincoln's relationship with Lamon: "It was Court week in Bloomington in 1857. A case had been finished and a recess ordered by Judge Davis. Lamon and several of the attorneys adjourned to the courthouse yard for a bit of air. Soon a wrestling match was arranged between the prosecutor and a visiting lawyer. Off came their coats – they clinched, struggled, tore up the sod – and then there was a 'down' with Lamon on top. Then as Lamon strained to force his adversary's shoulders to the earth as a token of victory, the seam of his trousers gave way. At that moment the next case was called and there was not time to change the garment. Donning his long-tailed coat he strode into the courtroom and resumed his duties. All went well for a time, and then in a forgetful moment he stooped to the floor to recover a document. The secret was out. A brother attorney, seeing his predicament, hastily prepared a subscription paper for funds to purchase a new pair of trousers for the prosecutor. The attorneys offered various ridiculous amounts until it reached Lincoln He slowly wiped his spectacles, and after a careful reading, wrote: 'I can contribute nothing to the end in view. – A. Lincoln.'" 14

    Although he was admired and respected by his colleagues, Mr. Lincoln's billing practices grated on them. Lamon later recalled: "Although Mr. Lincoln was my senior by eighteen years, in one important particular I certainly was in a marvelous degree his acknowledge superior. One of the first things I learned after getting fairly under way as a lawyer was to charge well for legal services, – a branch of the practice that Mr. Lincoln never could learn....He at length left that branch of the business wholly to me; and to my tender mercy clients were turned over, to be slaughtered according to my popular and more advanced ideas of the dignity of our profession. This soon led to serious and shocking embarrassment. 15

    When lawyers like Lincoln broke the established legal procedures of the Eighth circuit, Judge Davis conduced an "orgmathorial court." According to Davis biographer Harry E. Pratt, "Here lawyers were tried and fined for some breach of the circuit code. Talking too long or too loud to a jury, charging too large or small a fee were fit crimes for such a court. Much wit, humor and oratory was expended and the evening hours soon passed...." 16 Ward Hill Lamon recalled how the disciplinary court worked in one case in which he and Mr. Lincoln were co-counsel: "The case was tried inside of twenty minutes; our success was complete. Scott was satisfied, and cheerfully paid over the money to me inside the bar, Mr. Lincoln looking on. Scott then went out, and Mr. Lincoln asked, 'What did you charge that man?' I told him $250. Said he: 'Lamon, that is all wrong. The service was not worth that sum. Give him back at least half of it.'

    I protested that the fee was fixed in advance; that Scott was perfectly satisfied, and had so expressed himself. 'That may be,' retorted Mr. Lincoln, with a look of distress and of undisguised displeasure, 'but I am not satisfied. This is positively wrong. Go, call him back and return half the money at least, or I will not receive one cent of it for my share.'

    I did go, and Scott was astonished when I handed back half the fee.

    This conversation had attracted the attention of the lawyers and the court. Judge David Davis, then on our circuit bench, called Mr. Lincoln to him. The judge never could whisper, but in this instance he probably did his best. At all events, in attempting to whisper to Mr. Lincoln he trumpeted his rebuke in about these words, and in rasping tones that could be heard all over the court room: 'Lincoln, I have been watching you and Lamon. you are impoverishing this bar by your picayune charges of fees, and the lawyers have reason to complain of you. You are now almost as poor as Lazarus, and if you don't make people pay you more for your services you will die as poor as Job's turkey!'

    Judge D. L. Davis, the leading lawyer in that part of the State, promptly applauded this malediction from the bench; but Mr. Lincoln was immovable. 'That money,' said he, 'comes out of the pocket of a poor, demented girl, and I would rather starve than swindle her in this manner.'

    That evening the lawyers got together and tried Mr. Lincoln before a moot tribunal called 'The Ogmathorial Court.' He was found guilty and fined for his awful crime against the pockets of his brethren of the bar. The fine he paid with great good humor, and then kept the crowd of lawyers in uproarious laughter until after midnight. He persisted in his revolt, however, declaring that with his consent his firm should ever during its life, or after its dissolution, deserve the reputation enjoyed by those shining lights of the profession, 'Catch 'em and Cheat 'em.'" 17

    Daniel Green Burner recalled how Mr. Lincoln's legal talents developed in New Salem even before he moved to Springfield to practice: "Lincoln was very kind and accommodating to the poor and was ever ready to place his talents at their disposal. He acquired a knack of drawing up papers and did not need an office for the work. A poor woman, for instance, would desire him to write a deed. She might meet him in the street and accost him. He would not turn her aside, but would say: 'You bring me paper, pen, and ink and I will do it right here.'

    'The material brought, he would sit down by the roadside and prepare the document, give it to her, and make no charge. In the fall before we came away my father sold his place to a man named Onstot, and I think he is living near Springfield yet. I remember that we wanted a deed prepared. He told me to hurry home and get pen and paper. This I did and when I returned he sat down on a stump along side the road and wrote the deed. It served the purpose, too. This shows how ready he was. Even at the time he could write instruments correctly." 18

    A relative by marriage, Augustus H. Chapman, recalled: "In his law practice on the Wabash Circuit he was noted for unswerving honesty. People learned to love him ardently, devotedly, and juries listened intently, earnestly, receptively to the sad-faced, earnest man. He was never blamed for bribery; nothing could move him when once his resolutions were formed. There was nothing scholarly in his speeches, and he always rested his case on its merits, only asking for simple Western justice, and the texture of the man was such that his very ungainliness was in his favor before a pioneer jury. His face always wore a sweetened and kindly expression, never sour, and burning to win them, his tall frame swaying as a pine, made him a resistless pleader. I remember one case of his decided honest trait of character. It was a case in which he was for the defendant. Satisfied of his client's innocence, it depended mainly on one witness. That witness told on the stand under oath what Abe knew to be a lie, and no one else knew. When he arose to plead the case, he said:


    "Gentlemen, I depended on this witness to clear my client. He has lied. I ask that no attention be paid to his testimony. Let his words be stricken out, if my case fails. I do not wish to win in this way."

    His scorn of a lie touched the jury; he laid his case before them magnificently, skillfully, masterly, and won in spite of the lie against him. From such work came his 'Honest Abe.' I never knew Abe to have a coat to fit him, all were ill-fitting, but underneath was a big, hot heart that could adjust itself to all humanity. He had at his tongue's end the little items that make up the humble world of the pioneer farmer. Once at a hotel, in the evening during court, a lawyer said:

    "Our case is gone; when Lincoln quit he was crying, the jury were crying, the Judge was Crying, and I was a little damp about the lashes myself. We might as well give the case up." 19

    Each county seat had its own special character. Bloomington was one of the bigger stops on the Eighth circuit. Bloomington resident Ezra M. Prince recalled: "The court was rather a big family consultation, presided over by the judge, than a modern court. Judge Davis personally knew a large portion of the people in the circuit. The jurors were then selected by the sheriff. In McLean, and probably in the other counties, substantially the same jurors appeared from term to term, personal friends of Judge Davis, men of intelligence, sound judgment and integrity, whose verdicts rarely had to be set aside. Court week was a holiday for the people of the county. Political years there was always speaking at the courthouse, the parties using it on alternate nights. The people attended court to get the news, hear the speeches, listen to the exciting trials and to do their trading. The lawyers and many of the jurors, witnesses and suitors stopped at the same tavern." 20

    "Court was held here twice a year. The semiannual visits of the lawyers from Springfield, especially Mr. Lincoln's visits, were looked forward to by everybody with interest," recalled James S. Ewing of his Bloomington boyhood. "'Court week' was a great time. People came to town and attended the court trials. A lawyer trying cases, making speeches and telling stories was of very great interest. It was the custom during 'court week' to have at least one political speech from each party. Mr. Lincoln was always called upon to make the speech for the Whigs. There was never a 'court week' when he did not address the people of the county some night in the old brick Courthouse." 21

    "Lincoln's helpfulness and willingness to co-operate made him a great favorite with the young attorneys," wrote Albert Woldman in Lawyer Lincoln. They admired him especially for his unassuming ways. He was always kind, patient, and courteous while advising them regarding their knotty legal problems. He possessed the happy faculty of being able to set his young associates at their ease, encourage them, and instill them with self-confidence." 22 Champaign Court Clerk William H. Somers recalled that "he was always kind to young men who were striving to qualify themselves for the law; hence he was approachable, and I had no hesitancy in asking his assistance in making up the record in cases in which he was interested." 23 Historian David Donald wrote that Mr. Lincoln "had a free and easy relationship with young men like William Jayne, James H. Matheny, and James C. Conkling, whom he saw almost daily. These were men who we could call 'enjoyable' friends – men from whom nothing was required or expected except the pleasure of their company." 24 According to Donald, "When a student was accepted to work with the partners, Lincoln would greet him with a hearty, 'Glad to see you, young man,' but it was Herndon who directed his studies and prodded him into mastering Blackstone." 25 Partner William H. Herndon was Mr. Lincoln's stay-at-home legal partner although he too sometimes traveled part of the circuit.

    Historian Allen C. Guelzo wrote: "Just as in religion, time and experience had worked a smoothing-off of the abrasive confrontationalism that had marked Lincoln's early entrance into law. In contrast to the antagonistic witness-slayer of a decade before, 'he was remarkably gentle with young lawyers becoming permanent residents at the several county-seats in the circuit where he had practiced for so many years.' William Walker remembered, as a law student in Springfield, how Lincoln would drop in unannounced in Edward Baker's law office 'and take up some text-book...and give us a close and rigid examination, laughing heartily at our answers, at times; and always made the hour he spent with us interesting and instructive.' Lawrence Weldon remembered 'with what confidence I always went to him because I was certain he knew all about the matter and would most cheerfully help me,' and Henry Clay Whitney found Lincoln 'so good natured & so willing to give advice that young lawyers went to him a great deal.'" 26

    Law clerk John Littlefield, who studied in the Lincoln-Herndon office, recalled: "'You have no case; better settle:' I have heard him tell would-be clients, again and again. He would not advocate a cause if he thought it was in the wrong. I used to think he was losing much business in that way; but found that he was very likely to get the other side of the case – thus having the incalculable advantage of being in the right." 27 Bloomington resident Thomas S. Ewing went east for college and law school but saw Mr. Lincoln in Bloomington before he left Illinois for Washington in February 1861. They shook hands and Mr. Lincoln told him: "Well, you have gotten to be a lawyer; let me give you some advice: Be a lawyer and keep out of politics." 28

    For Mr. Lincoln, however, the courtroom was a classroom for public speaking and presenting a rational analysis of facts. He told partner William H. Herndon that law "was the best profession to develop the logical faculty." 29 David Davis contended: "To the judges and practitioners with him at the time I knew him, when he had been at the bar twenty years, and for the period of about six years before he was elected President, his most noticeable characteristic was his extraordinary faculty for correct reasoning, logic and analysis. But not less than this to the student of language or rhetoric was his clear, full, orderly and accurate statement of a case – so far and so perspicuous that it was often said that after Lincoln had made his statement there was but little occasion for argument on either side." 30 Allen Guelzo wrote: "It was not only the company, but the practice of law itself that fitted Lincoln perfectly. Lincoln's mind 'ran to mathematical exactness about things,' and Illinois common law pleadings, which required exhausting attention to detail, sharpened Lincoln into a rigorously logical thinker, with something close to a mania for terseness, consistency and clarity of expression." 31

    Biographer Jesse W. Weik wrote: "Though Lincoln was not a profound lawyer in the sense that the jurist John Marshall was, or, possibly, as able and successful a nisi prius practitioner as was Stephen T. Logan, yet, from an intellectual standpoint, he was greater than either. For clear reasoning power, merciless analogy, and lucidity of statement he had no superior at the Illinois bar, and yet the truth is there never was, either in Illinois or elsewhere, just such a lawyer." 32

    Springfield attorney Shelby M. Cullom wrote during a murder trial: there "came a question of the advisability of certain testimony which was very vital to the defendant. The question was thoroughly argued by Judge Logan and Mr. Lincoln until the court took a recess for dinner at noon. The Judge announced that he would render his decision when the court reconvening of court in the afternoon, and the Judge began rendering his opinion on the point in dispute. It seemed to Mr. Lincoln and those present that he was about to decide against the admissibility of evidence. Lincoln sprang to his feet. Apparently he towered over the Judge, overawing him. He made such a tremendous impression that the court apparently gave way, and decided the pont in the defendant's favor." 33

    Journalist William O. Stoddard, who was to become a White Houseaide, recalled: "My first sight of him as a lawyer was in a murder trial, when he was defending a man whom the evidence presented seemed to condemn beyond all hope. I had expected some grand and absorbing exhibition of oratorical power, intended to overwhelm the jury; but there was nothing of the kind, only an earnest and semi-conversational review of the evidence, dwelling upon points that at first seemed trivial, and I heard many murmurs in the crowd around me. The jury were plain Illinois farmers, but men of god sense, and it was evident that they perfectly understood this train of reasoning. Undoubtedly when he arose they would have declared the man guilty without leaving their box; but, after that quiet and practical talk with the great apostle of common sense, they put their heads together and rendered a verdict of 'Not guilty.'" 34

    According John Todd Stuart, Mr. Lincoln's "forte before a jury" was "sincerity." 35 Lawyer Leonard Swett provided insight into Mr. Lincoln's courtroom tactics: "As he entered trial, where most lawyers object, he would say he 'reckoned' it would be fair to let this in, or that; and sometimes when his adversary could not quite prove what Lincoln knew to be the truth, he would say he 'reckoned' it would be fair to admit the truth to be so and so. "When he did object to the court, after he heard his objections answered, he would often say: 'Well, I reckon I must be wrong."
    Now, about the time he had practiced this way about three-quarters through the case, if his adversary didn't understand him, he would wake up in a few moments, finding he had feared the Greeks too late, and wake up to find himself beaten. He was 'wise as a serpent' in the trial of a case, but I have got too many scars from his blows to certify that he was 'harmless as a dove.' When the whole thing is unraveled the adversary begins to see that what he was so blandly giving away, was simply what he couldn't get and keep. By giving away six points and carrying the seventh, he carried his case, and the whole case hanging on the seventh, he traded away everything which would give him the least aid in carrying that. Any one who took Lincoln for a simple-minded man would very soon wake up on his back, in a ditch." 36

    Bloomington Judge Owen T. Reeves recalled Lincoln's courtroom manner: "He impressed court and jurymen with his absolute sincerity. Mr. Lincoln assisted the state's attorney in prosecuting a fellow [Isaac Wyant] who had killed somebody. Leonard Swett defended the man, and acquitted him on the ground of insanity. It was reported afterward that Mr. Lincoln said that was the last time he would ever assist in the prosecution of a man charged with murder. That was about 1857. If Mr. Lincoln was employed in a case where the other side had little or nothing to it he would ridicule it out of court. I remember a man named Phil Miller brought a law suit to recover damages from a man named Jones in a neighborhood above here. The claim for damages was based on an alleged assault. Phil went on the stand and described the assault as having been a king of running fight over a ten-acre field. Mr. Lincoln pressed the plaintiff on the cross-examination, bringing out fully all of the details of the affair, which had not resulted in serious injury. When the time came to argue the case to the jury Mr. Lincoln dwelt on the evidence and said: 'I submit to you that for a fight which spread all over a ten-acre field this is about the smallest crop of a ten-acre fight you gentlemen ever saw." 37

    Mr. Lincoln's presentations to juries reflected the care, logic and presentation of later political speeches. Historian Allan Nevins wrote: "He liked to have time to think his cases through; he never believed himself fully prepared unless he had gotten up his opponent's side nearly as fully as his own; and he was thus at this best only when his mind, as deliberate as it was sure, had time for reflection and study. The more intricate a case, the more brilliant would seem his lucid presentation of its elements." 38

    Historian Allen Guelzo wrote: "In 1858 alone, Lincoln filled in as a judge for Davis in ninety-five cases. In between the two circuit sessions each year, he was handling an increasing number of cases in the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield, in the federal district and circuit courts in Springfield, and (after 1855) in Chicago, where he took on 431 cases. He even served as attorney of record in six U.S. Supreme Court cases between 1849 and 1861.

    Charles Zane, an attorney who practiced with William H. Herndon, reported: "On the day of Mr. Lincoln's death, the members of the Springfield Bar held a meeting in the old court-house in which he had practiced for so many years. On this occasion eminent and able men, among them {james] Conkling, and Logan and Herndon, dwelt on the kindly disposition and moral qualities of him they termed the greatest and best of men." 39

    Joseph Gillespie spent several days with President-elect Lincoln in 1860. "Do not leave me," Mr. Lincoln told him, adding, "I wish I could take all you lawyers down there with me, Democrats and Republicans alike, and make a cabinet out of you. I believe I could construct one that could save the country, for then I would know every man and where he would fit. I tell you there are some Illinois Democrats whom I know well I would rather trust than a Republican I would have to learn, for I'll have no time to study the lesson." 40

    Four years later, Mr. Lincoln himself reportedly told his son that if Robert Todd Lincoln went back to Harvard to study to become an attorney "you should learn more than I ever did, but you will never have so good a time." 41

    References

    1. Charles M. Hubbard,  Lincoln Reshapes the Presidency (Letter from John G. Nicolay to Therena Bates, March 17, 1861), 55.
    2. Rufus Rockwell Wilson,  Intimate Memories of Lincoln, , 70.
    3. Harry Edward Pratt, David Davis: , 70.
    4. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, Intimate Memories of Lincoln, , 102.
    5. Henry Clay Whitney, Life on the Circuit with Lincoln, , 65-66.
    6. Rufus Rockwell Wilson,  Intimate Memories of Lincoln, , 123.
    7. Jesse W. Weik, The Real Lincoln: A Portrait, , 190.
    8. Jesse W. Weik, The Real Lincoln: A Portrait, , 217-218.
    9. Rufus Rockwell Wilson,  Intimate Memories of Lincoln, , 13.
    10. Ward Hill Lamon,  Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, , 17.
    11. Harry E. Pratt, David Davis, 1815-1886, , 71.
    12. Ward Hill Lamon, Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, , 18-20.
    13. Henry Clay Whitney,  Life on the Circuit with Lincoln, , 433.
    14. Francis Fisher Browne, The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln, , 157.
    15. Oliver Fraysee, Lincoln, Land and Labor, , 96.
    16. Henry Clay Whitney, Life on the Circuit with Lincoln , ,
    17. Allan Nevins, The Emergence of Lincoln, , 357.
    18. Leonard Swett,  Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln, , 456.
    19. Jesse W. Weik, The Real Lincoln: A Portrait, , 217-218.
    20. Ward Hill Lamon,  Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, , 17.
    21. Ward Hill Lamon, Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, , 18-20.
    22. Daniel Green Burner, "Lincoln and The Burners at New Salem," The Many Faces of Lincoln, , 191-192.
    23. Walter B. Stevens,  A Reporter's Lincoln, , 33.
    24. Walter B. Stevens, A Reporter's Lincoln, , 61.
    25. Albert A. Woldman, Lawyer Lincoln, , 101.
    26. Rufus Rockwell Wilson,  Intimate Memories of Lincoln, , 100.
    27. Rufus Rockwell Wilson,  Intimate Memories of Lincoln, , 70.
    28. Walter B. Stevens, A Reporter's Lincoln, , 142.
    29. David Herbert Donald,  "We Are Lincoln Men" Abraham Lincoln and His Friends, , 65.
    30. David Herbert Donald,  "We Are Lincoln Men" Abraham Lincoln and His Friends, , 70.
    31. Allen C. Guelzo, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President, , 161-162.
    32. Joseph Fort Newton, Lincoln and Herndon, , 250.
    33. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, Intimate Memories of Lincoln, , 70.
    34. Allen C. Guelzo,  Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President, , 83.
    35. Shelby M. Cullom, Fifty Years of Public Service, , 86.
    36. Walter Stevens,  A Reporter's Lincoln, , 48.
    37. Allan Nevins, The Emergence of Lincoln, , Volume I, p. 355.
    38. Harry Edward Pratt, David Davis: , 70.
    39. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, Intimate Memories of Lincoln, , 102.
    40. Henry Clay Whitney, Life on the Circuit with Lincoln, , 65-66.
    41. Rufus Rockwell Wilson,  Intimate Memories of Lincoln, , 123.
    42. Jesse W. Weik, The Real Lincoln: A Portrait, , 190.
    43. Rufus Rockwell Wilson,  Intimate Memories of Lincoln, , 13.
    44. Harry E. Pratt, David Davis, 1815-1886, , 71.
    45. Walter B. Stevens, A Reporter's Lincoln, , 62.
    46. Don E. and Virginia Fehrenbacher, Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, , 242.
    47. Jesse W. Weik, The Real Lincoln: A Portrait, , 128.
    48. Michael Burlingame, Inside the White House in War Times, , 180.
    49. Roy P. Basler, James Quay Howard's Notes on Lincoln, The Abraham Lincoln Quarterly, , Volume IV, December 1947, No. 8, p. 395.
    50. Henry Clay Whitney, Life on the Circuit with Lincoln, , 231-232.
    51. Rufus Rockwell Wilson,  Lincoln Among His Friends: A Sheaf of Intimate Memories, , 132.

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