Who Commenced this Fuss; Slaves in Delaware
[In conversation, Ward Hill Lamon said:] “Some of our friends are opposed to an accommodation because the South began the trouble and was entirely responsible for the consequences, be they what they may.’ ‘This,’ said [Mr. Lincoln], ‘reminds me of a story told out in Illinois where I lived. There was a vicious bull in a pasture and a neighbor passing through the field, the animal took after him. He ran to a tree and go there in time to save himself and being able to turn around the tree faster than the bull he managed to seize him by the tail. His bullship seeing himself at a disadvantage, pawed the earth and scattered gravel for awhile; then broke into a full run, bellowing at every jump. The man holding on to his tail cussing him, and asking the question–‘Damn you, who commenced this fuss?’ Now, our plain duty is to settle the fuss we have before us, without reference to who commenced it.”
Alexander McClure, Lincoln’s Own Yarns and Stories, p. 99-100.