Part 1 out of 4
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Sandra Brown and the Online Distributed
Vol. VI. DECEMBER, 1895. No. I.
EDITED BY IDA M. TARBELL.
LIFE IN INDIANA.--REMOVAL TO ILLINOIS.--LINCOLN STARTS OUT IN LIFE FOR
HIMSELF AT TWENTY-ONE.--THE BUILDING OF THE FLATBOAT AND THE TRIP TO
NEW ORLEANS.--LINCOLN HIRES OUT AS A GROCERY CLERK IN NEW SALEM.--HIS
INDIANA REMINISCENCES OF LINCOLN.
Abraham Lincoln grew to manhood in Southern Indiana. When he reached
Spencer County in 1816, he was seven years of age; when he left in
1830, he had passed his twenty-first birthday. This period of a life
shows usually the natural bent of the character, and we have found in
these fourteen years of Lincoln's life signs of the qualities of
greatness which distinguished him. We have seen that, in spite of the
fact that he had no wise direction, that he was brought up by a father
with no settled purpose, and that he lived in a pioneer community,
where a young man's life at best is but a series of makeshifts, he had
developed a determination to make something out of himself, and a
desire to know, which led him to neglect no opportunity to learn.
The only unbroken outside influence which directed and stimulated him
in his ambitions was that coming first from his mother, then from his
step-mother. It should never be forgotten that these two women, both
of them of unusual earnestness and sweetness of spirit, were one or
the other of them at the boy's side throughout this period. The ideal
they held before him was the simple ideal of the early American, that
if a boy is upright and industrious he may aspire to any place within
the gift of the country. The boy's nature told him they were right.
Everything he read confirmed their teachings, and he cultivated, in
every way open to him, his passion to know and to be something.
There are many proofs that young Lincoln's characteristics were
recognized at this period by his associates, that his determination to
excel, if not appreciated, yet made its imprint. In 1865, thirty-five
years after he left Gentryville, Mr. Herndon, anxious to save all that
was known of Lincoln in Indiana, went among his old associates, and
with a sincerity and thoroughness worthy of great respect, interviewed
them. At that time there were still living numbers of the people with
whom he had been brought up. They all remembered something of him. It
is curious to note that all of these people tell of his doing
something different from what other boys did, something sufficiently
superior to have made a keen impression upon them. In almost every
case the person had his own special reason for admiring young Lincoln.
His facility for making rhymes and writing essays was the admiration
of many who considered it the more remarkable because "essays and
poetry were not taught in school," and "Abe took it up on his own
[Illustration: REV. ALLEN BROONER.
A neighbor of Thomas Lincoln, still living near Gentryville. Mr.
Brooner's wife was a friend of Nancy Hanks Lincoln. The two women died
within a few days of each other, and were buried side by side. When
the tombstone was placed at Mrs. Lincoln's grave, no one could state
positively which was Mrs. Brooner's and which Mrs. Lincoln's grave.
Mr. Allen Brooner gave his opinion, and the stone was placed; but the
iron fence incloses both graves, which lie in a half-acre tract of
land owned by the United States government. Mr. Allen Brooner, after
his wife's death, became a minister of the United Brethren Church, and
moved to Illinois. He received his mail at New Salem when Abraham
Lincoln was the postmaster at that place. Mr. Brooner confirms Dr.
Holland's story that "Abe" once walked three miles after his day's
work, to make right a six-and-a-quarter-cents mistake he had made in a
trade with a woman. Like all of the old settlers of Gentryville, he
remembers the departure of the Lincolns for Illinois. "When the
Lincolns were getting ready to leave," says Mr. Brooner, "Abraham and
his stepbrother, John Johnston, came over to our house to swap a horse
for a yoke of oxen. 'Abe' was always a quiet fellow. John did all the
talking, and seemed to be the smartest of the two. If any one had been
asked that day which would make the greatest success in life, I think
the answer would have been John Johnston."]
Many others were struck by the clever use he made of his gift for
writing. The wit he showed in taking revenge for a social slight by a
satire on the Grigsbys, who had failed to invite him to a wedding,
made a lasting impression in Gentryville. That he was able to write so
well that he could humiliate his enemies more deeply than if he had
resorted to the method of taking revenge current in the country--that
is, thrashing them--seemed to his friends a mark of surprising
Others remembered his quick-wittedness in helping his friends.
"We are indebted to Kate Roby," says Mr. Herndon, "for an incident
which illustrates alike his proficiency in orthography and his natural
inclination to help another out of the mire. The word 'defied' had
been given out by Schoolmaster Crawford, but had been misspelled
several times when it came Miss Roby's turn. 'Abe stood on the
opposite side of the room,' related Miss Roby to me in 1865, 'and was
watching me. I began d-e-f--, and then I stopped, hesitating whether
to proceed with an i or a y. Looking up, I beheld Abe, a grin covering
his face, and pointing with his index finger to his eye. I took the
hint, spelled the word with an i, and it went through all right.'"
This same Miss Roby it was who said of Lincoln, "He was better read
then than the world knows or is likely to know exactly.... He often
and often commented or talked to me about what he had read--seemed to
read it out of the book as he went along--did so to others. He was the
learned boy among us unlearned folks. He took great pains to explain;
could do it so simply. He was diffident then, too."
[Illustration: JOHN W. LAMAR.
Mr. Lamar was one of the "small boys" of Spencer County when Lincoln
left Indiana, but old enough to have seen much of him and to have
known his characteristics and his reputation in the county. He is
still living near his old home, and gave our representative in Indiana
interesting reminiscences which are incorporated into the present
[Illustration: LINCOLN IN 1860.
From an ambrotype in the possession of Mr. Marcus L. Ward of Newark,
New Jersey. This portrait of Mr. Lincoln was made in Springfield,
Illinois, on May 20, 1860, for the late Hon. Marcus L. Ward, Governor
of New Jersey. Mr. Ward had gone down to Springfield to see Mr.
Lincoln, and while there asked him for his picture. The
President-elect replied that he had no picture which was satisfactory,
but would gladly sit for one. The two gentlemen went out immediately,
and in Mr. Ward's presence Mr. Lincoln had the above picture taken.]
One man was impressed by the character of the sentences he had given
him for a copy. "It was considered at that time," said he, "that Abe
was the best penman in the neighborhood. One day, while he was on a
visit at my mother's, I asked him to write some copies for me. He very
willingly consented. He wrote several of them, but one of them I have
never forgotten, although a boy at that time. It was this:
"'Good boys who to their books apply
Will all be great men by and by.'"
All of his comrades remembered his stories and his clearness in
argument. "When he appeared in company," says Nat Grigsby, "the boys
would gather and cluster around him to hear him talk. Mr. Lincoln was
figurative in his speech, talks, and conversation. He argued much from
analogy, and explained things hard for us to understand by stories,
maxims, tales, and figures. He would almost always point his lesson or
idea by some story that was plain and near us, that we might instantly
see the force and bearing of what he said."
There is one other testimony to his character as a boy which should
not be omitted. It is that of his step-mother:
"Abe was a good boy, and I can say, what scarcely one woman--a
mother--can say in a thousand, Abe never gave me a cross word or look,
and never refused, in fact or appearance, to do anything I requested
him. I never gave him a cross word in all my life.... His mind and
mine--what little I had--seemed to run together. He was here after he
was elected President. He was a dutiful son to me always. I think he
loved me truly. I had a son, John, who was raised with Abe. Both were
good boys; but I must say, both now being dead, that Abe was the best
boy I ever saw, or expect to see."
[Illustration: WILLIAM JONES.
The store in Gentryville, in which Lincoln first made his reputation
as a debater and story-teller, was owned by Mr. Jones. The year before
the Lincolns moved to Illinois Abraham clerked in the store, and it is
said that when he left Indiana, Mr. Jones sold him a pack of goods
which he peddled on his journey. Mr. Jones was the representative from
Spencer County in the State legislature from 1838 to 1841. He is no
longer living. His son, Captain William Jones, is still in
[Illustration: PIGEON CREEK CHURCH.
From a photograph loaned by W.W. Admire of Chicago. This little log
church or "meetin' house" is where the Lincolns attended services in
Indiana. The pulpit is said to have been made by Thomas Lincoln. The
building was razed about fifteen years ago, after having been used for
several years as a tobacco barn.]
These are impressions of Mr. Lincoln gathered in Indiana thirty years
ago, when his companions were alive. To-day there are people living in
Spencer County who were small boys when he was a large one, and who
preserve curiously interesting impressions of him. A representative of
MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE who has recently gone in detail over the ground of
Lincoln's early life, says: "The people who live in Spencer County are
interested in any one who is interested in Abraham Lincoln." They
showed her the flooring he whip-sawed, the mantles, doors, and
window-casings he helped make, the rails he split, the cabinets he and
his father made, and scores of relics cut from planks and rails he
handled. They told what they remembered of his rhymes and how he would
walk miles to hear a speech or sermon, and, returning, would repeat
the whole in "putty good imitation." Many remembered his coming
evenings to sit around the fireplace with their older brothers and
sisters, and the stories he told and the pranks he played there until
ordered home by the elders of the household.
Captain John Lamar who was a very small boy in one of the families
where Lincoln was well known, has many interesting reminiscences which
he is fond of repeating. "He told me of riding to mill with his father
one very hot day. As they drove along the hot road they saw a boy
sitting on the top rail of an old-fashioned stake-and-rider worm
fence. When they came close they saw that the boy was reading, and had
not noticed their approach. His father, turning to him, said: 'John,
look at that boy yonder, and mark my words, he will make a smart man
out of himself. I may not see it, but you'll see if my words don't
come true.' The boy was Abraham Lincoln."
Captain Lamar tells many good stories about the early days: "Uncle
Jimmy Larkins, as everybody called him, was a great hero in my
childish eyes. Why, I cannot now say, without it was his manners.
There had been a big fox chase, and Uncle Jimmy was telling about it.
Of course he was the hero. I was only a little shaver, and I stood in
front of Uncle Jimmy, looking up into his eyes, but he never noticed
me. He looked at Abraham Lincoln, and 'Abe, I've got the best horse in
the world--he won the race and never drew a long breath;' but Abe paid
no attention to Uncle Jimmy, and I got mad at the big, overgrown
fellow, and wanted him to listen to my hero's story. Uncle Jimmy was
determined that Abe should hear, and repeated the story. 'I say, Abe,
I have the best horse in the world; after all that running he never
drew a long breath.' Then Abe, looking down at my little dancing hero,
said, 'Well, Larkins, why don't you tell us how many short breaths he
drew?' This raised a laugh on Uncle Jimmy, and he got mad, and
declared he'd fight Abe if he wasn't so big. He jumped around until
Abe quietly said: 'Now, Larkins, if you don't shut up I'll throw you
in that water.' I was very uneasy and angry at the way my hero was
treated, but I lived to change my views about _heroes_."
[Illustration: ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
From a photograph in the collection of T.H. Bartlett, of Boston,
Massachusetts.[A] Mr. Bartlett regards this as his earliest portrait
of Mr. Lincoln, but does not know when or where it was taken. This
portrait is also in the Oldroyd Collection at Washington, D.C., and is
[Footnote A: The collection of Lincoln portraits owned by Mr. T.H.
Bartlett, the sculptor, is the most complete and the most
intelligently arranged which we have examined. Mr. Bartlett began
collecting fully twenty years ago, his aim being to secure data for a
study of Mr. Lincoln from a physiognomical point of view. He has
probably the earliest portrait which exists, the one here given,
excepting the one used as a frontispiece in our November number. He
has a large number of the Illinois pictures made from 1858 to 1860,
such as the Gilmer picture, which we use as a frontispiece in the
present number, a large collection of Brady photographs, the masks,
Volk's bust, and other interesting portraits. These he has studied
from a sculptor's point of view, comparing them carefully with the
portraiture of other men, as Webster and Emerson. Mr. Bartlett has
embodied his study of Mr. Lincoln in an illustrated lecture which is a
model of what such a lecture should be, suggestive, human, delightful.
All his fine collection of Lincoln portraits Mr. Bartlett has put
freely at our disposal, an act of courtesy and generosity for which
the readers of MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE, as well as its editors, cannot fail
to be deeply grateful.]
THE LINCOLNS DECIDE TO LEAVE INDIANA.
Abraham was twenty-one years old when Thomas Lincoln decided to leave
Indiana in the spring of 1830. The reason Dennis Hanks gives for this
removal was a disease called the "milk-sick." Abraham Lincoln's
mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, and several of their relatives who had
followed them from Kentucky, had died of it. The cattle had been
carried off by it. Neither brute nor human life seemed to be safe. As
Dennis Hanks says: "This was reason enough (ain't it?) for leaving."
The place chosen for their new home was the Sangamon country in
central Illinois. It was a country of great renown in the West, the
name meaning "The land where there is plenty to eat." One of the
family--John Hanks, a cousin of Dennis--was already there, and sent
them inviting reports.
Gentryville saw young Lincoln depart with real regret, and his friends
gave him a score of rude proofs that he would not be forgotten. Our
representative in Indiana found that almost every family who
remembered the Lincolns retained some impression of their leaving.
"Neighbors seemed, in those days," she writes, "like relatives. The
entire Lincoln family stayed the last night before starting on their
journey with Mr. Gentry. He was loath to part with Lincoln, so
'accompanied the movers along the road a spell.' They stopped on a
hill which overlooks Buckthorn Valley, and looked their 'good-by' to
their old home and to the home of Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, to the grave
of the mother and wife, to all their neighbors and friends. Buckthorn
Valley held many dear recollections to the movers."
After they were gone James Gentry planted the cedar tree which now
marks the site of the Lincoln home.[A] "The folks who come lookin'
around have taken twigs until you can't reach any more very handy,"
those who point out the tree say.
[Footnote A: See November number of MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE, page 502.]
[Illustration: GREEN B. TAYLOR.
Son of Mr. James Taylor, for whom Lincoln ran the ferry-boat at the
mouth of Anderson Creek. Mr. Taylor, now in his eighty-second year,
lives in South Dakota. He remembers Mr. Lincoln perfectly, and wrote
our Indiana correspondent that it was true that his father hired
Abraham Lincoln for one year, at six dollars a month, and that he was
"well pleased with the boy."]
[Illustration: THE HILL NEAR GENTRYVILLE FROM WHICH THE LINCOLNS TOOK
THEIR LAST LOOK AT THEIR INDIANA HOME.]
[Illustration: SAMUEL CRAWFORD.
Only living son of Josiah Crawford, who lent Lincoln the Weems's "Life
of Washington." To our representative in Indiana, who secured this
picture of Mr. Crawford, he said, when asked if he remembered the
Lincolns: "Oh, yes; I remember them, although I was not Abraham's age.
He was twelve years older than I. One day I ran in, calling out,
'Mother! mother! Aaron Grigsby is sparking Sally Lincoln; I saw him
kiss her!' Mother scolded me, and told me I must stop watching Sally,
or I wouldn't get to the wedding. [It will be remembered that Sally
Lincoln was 'help' in the Crawford family, and that she afterwards
married Aaron Grigsby.] Neighbors thought lots more of each other then
than now, and it seems like everybody liked the Lincolns. We were well
acquainted, for Mr. Thomas Lincoln was a good carpenter, and made the
cupboard, mantels, doors, and sashes in our old home that was burned
Lincoln himself felt keenly the parting from his friends, and he
certainly never forgot his years in the Hoosier State. One of the most
touching experiences he relates in all his published letters is his
emotion at visiting his old Indiana home fourteen years after he had
left it. So strongly was he moved by the scenes of his first conscious
sorrows, efforts, joys, ambitions, that he put into verse the feelings
[Footnote A: Letter to ---- Johnston, April 18, 1846. "Abraham
Lincoln. Complete Works." Edited by John G. Nicolay and John Hay.
Volume I., pages 86, 87. The Century Co.]
[Illustration: JOHN E. ROLL.
Born in Green Village, New Jersey, June 4, 1814. He went to Illinois
in 1830, the same year that Mr. Lincoln went, settling in Sangamon
town, where he had relatives. It was here he met Lincoln, and made the
"pins" for the flatboat. Later Mr. Roll went to Springfield, where he
bought large quantities of land and built many houses. A quarter of
the city is now known as "Roll's addition." Mr. Roll was well
acquainted with Lincoln, and when the President left Springfield he
gave Mr. Roll his dog, Fido. Mr. Roll knew Stephen A. Douglas well,
and carries a watch which once belonged to the "Little Giant."]
While he never attempted to conceal the poverty and hardship of these
days, and would speak humorously of the "pretty pinching times" he
saw, he never regarded his life at this time as mean or pitiable.
Frequently he talked to his friends in later years of his boyhood, and
always with apparent pleasure. "Mr. Lincoln told this story" (of his
youth), says Leonard Swett, "as the story of a happy childhood. There
was nothing sad or pinched, and nothing of want, and no allusion to
want in any part of it. His own description of his youth was that of a
joyous, happy boyhood. It was told with mirth and glee, and
illustrated by pointed anecdote, often interrupted by his jocund
And he was right. There was nothing ignoble or mean in this Indiana
pioneer life. It was rude, but it was only the rudeness which the
ambitious are willing to endure in order to push on to a better
condition than they otherwise could know. These people did not accept
their hardships apathetically. They did not regard them as permanent.
They were only the temporary deprivations necessary in order to
accomplish what they had come into the country to do. For this reason
they could endure hopefully all that was hard. It is worth notice,
too, that there was nothing belittling in their life, there was no
pauperism, no shirking. Each family provided for its own simple wants,
and had the conscious dignity which comes from being equal to a
[Illustration: SANGAMON TOWN IN 1831.
Drawn by J. McCan Davis with the aid of Mr. John E. Roll, a former
FROM INDIANA TO ILLINOIS.
The company which emigrated to Illinois included the families of
Thomas Lincoln, Dennis Hanks--married to one of Lincoln's
step-sisters--and Levi Hall, thirteen persons in all. They sold land,
cattle, and grain, and much of their household goods, and were ready
in March of 1830 for their journey. All the possessions which the
three families had to take with them were packed into a big wagon--the
first one Thomas Lincoln had ever owned, it is said--to which four
oxen were attached, and the caravan started. The weather was still
cold, the streams were swollen, and the roads were muddy, but the
party started out bravely. Inured to hardships, alive to all the new
sights on their route, every day brought them amusement and
adventures, and especially to young Lincoln the journey must have been
of keen interest. He drove the oxen on this trip, he tells us, and,
according to a story current in Gentryville, he succeeded in doing a
fair peddler's business on the route. Captain William Jones, in whose
father's store Lincoln had spent so many hours in discussion and in
story-telling, and for whom he had worked the last winter he was in
Indiana, says that before leaving the State Abraham invested all his
money, some thirty-odd dollars, in notions. Though the country through
which they expected to pass was but sparsely settled, he believed he
could dispose of them. "A set of knives and forks was the largest item
entered on the bill," says Mr. Jones; "the other items were needles,
pins, thread, buttons, and other little domestic necessities. When the
Lincolns reached their new home, near Decatur, Illinois, Abraham wrote
back to my father, stating that he had doubled his money on his
purchases by selling them along the road. Unfortunately we did not
keep that letter, not thinking how highly we would have prized it
The pioneers were a fortnight on their journey. The route they took we
do not exactly know, though we may suppose that it would be that by
which they would avoid the most watercourses. We know from Mr. H.C.
Whitney that the travellers reached Macon County from the south, for
once when he was in Decatur with Mr. Lincoln the two strolled out for
a walk, and when they came to the court-house, "Lincoln," says Mr.
Whitney, "walked out a few feet in front, and after shifting his
position two or three times, said, as he looked up at the building,
partly to himself and partly to me: 'Here is the exact spot where I
stood by our wagon when we moved from Indiana twenty-six years ago;
this isn't six feet from the exact spot.'... I asked him if he, at
that time, had expected to be a lawyer and practise law in that
court-house; to which he replied: 'No; I didn't know I had sense
enough to be a lawyer then.' He then told me he had frequently
thereafter tried to locate the route by which they had come; and that
he had decided that it was near to the line of the main line of the
Illinois Central Railroad."
[Illustration: LINCOLN, OFFUTT, AND GREEN ON THE FLATBOAT AT NEW
From a painting in the State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois. This
picture is crude and, from a historic point of view, inaccurate. The
celebrated flatboat built by Lincoln and by him piloted to New
Orleans, was a much larger and better craft than the one here
portrayed. The little structure over the dam is meant for the Rutledge
and Cameron mill, but the real mill was a far more pretentious affair.
There was not only a grist-mill, but also a saw-mill which furnished
lumber to the settlers for many miles around. The mill was built in
1829. March 5, 1830, we find John Overstreet appearing before the
County Commissioners' Court at Springfield and averring upon oath
"that he is informed and believes that John Cameron and James Rutledge
have erected a mill-dam on the Sangamon River which obstructs the
navigation of said river;" and the Commissioners issued a notice to
Cameron and Rutledge to alter the dam so as to restore the "safe
navigation" of the river. James M. Rutledge, of Petersburg, a nephew
of the mill-owner, helped build the mill, and says of it: "The mill
was a frame structure, and was solidly built. They used to grind corn
mostly, though some flour was made. At times they would run day and
night. The saw-mill had an old-fashioned upright saw, and stood on the
bank." For a time this mill was operated by Denton Offutt, and was
under the immediate supervision of Lincoln. A few heavy stakes, a part
of the old dam, still show themselves at low water.--_Note prepared by
J. McCan Davis_.]
[Illustration: LINCOLN'S AXE.
This broad-axe is said to have been owned originally by Abram Bales,
of New Salem; and, according to tradition, it was bought from him by
Lincoln. After Lincoln forsook the woods, he sold the axe to one Mr.
Irvin. Mr. L.W. Bishop, of Petersburg, now has the axe, having gotten
it directly from Mr. Irvin. There are a number of affidavits attesting
its genuineness. The axe has evidently seen hard usage, and is now
covered with a thick coat of rust.]
A NEW HOME.
The party settled some ten miles west of Decatur, in Macon County.
Here John Hanks had the logs already cut for their new home, and
Lincoln, Dennis Hanks, and Hall soon had a cabin erected. Mr. Lincoln
himself (though writing in the third person) says: "Here they built a
log cabin, into which they removed, and made sufficient of rails to
fence ten acres of ground, fenced and broke the ground, and raised a
crop of sown corn upon it the same year. These are, or are supposed to
be, the rails about which so much is being said just now, though these
are far from being the first or only rails ever made by Abraham."[A]
[Illustration: MODEL OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S DEVICE FOR LIFTING VESSELS
The inscription above this model, which is shown to all visitors to
the Model Hall of the Patent Office, reads: "6469 Abraham Lincoln,
Springfield, Ill. Improvement in method of lifting vessels over
shoals. Patented May 22, 1849." The apparatus consists of a bellows,
placed in each side of the hull of the craft, just below the
water-line, and worked by an odd but simple system of ropes and
pulleys. When the keel of the vessel grates against the sand or
obstruction, the bellows is filled with air; and, thus buoyed up, the
vessel is expected to float over the shoal. The model is about
eighteen or twenty inches long, and looks as if it had been whittled
with a knife out of a shingle and a cigar box. There is no elaboration
in the apparatus beyond that necessary to show the operation of
buoying the vessel over the obstructions.]
If they were far from being his "first and only rails," they certainly
were the most famous ones he or anybody else ever split. This was the
last work he did for his father, for in the summer of that year (1830)
he exercised the right of majority and started out to shift for
himself. When he left his home to start life for himself, he went
empty-handed. He was already some months over twenty-one years of
age, but he had nothing in the world, not even a suit of respectable
clothes; and one of the first pieces of work he did was "to split four
hundred rails for every yard of brown jeans dyed with white walnut
bark that would be necessary to make him a pair of trousers." He had
no trade, no profession, no spot of land, no patron, no influence. Two
things recommended him to his neighbors--he was strong, and he was a
[Footnote A: Short autobiography written in 1860 for use in preparing
a campaign biography. "Abraham Lincoln. Complete Works." Edited by
John G. Nicolay and John Hay. The Century Co. Volume I., page 639.]
[Illustration: LINCOLN IN 1857.
From a photograph loaned by H.W. Fay of De Kalb, Illinois. The
original was taken early in 1857 by Alex. Hesler of Chicago. Mr. Fay
writes of the picture: "I have a letter from Mr. Hesler stating that
one of the lawyers came in and made arrangements for the sitting so
that the members of the bar could get prints. Lincoln said at the time
that he did not know why the boys wanted such a homely face." Mr.
Joseph Medill of Chicago went with Mr. Lincoln to have the picture
taken. He says that the photographer insisted on smoothing down
Lincoln's hair, but Lincoln did not like the result, and ran his
fingers through it before sitting. The original negative was burned in
the Chicago fire.]
His strength made him a valuable laborer. Not that he was fond of hard
labor. Mrs. Crawford says: "Abe was no hand to pitch into work like
killing snakes;" but when he did work, it was with an ease and
effectiveness which compensated his employer for the time he spent in
practical jokes and extemporaneous speeches. He would lift as much as
three ordinary men, and "My, how he would chop!" says Dennis Hanks.
"His axe would flash and bite into a sugar-tree or sycamore, and down
it would come. If you heard him fellin' trees in a clearin', you would
say there was three men at work by the way the trees fell." Standing
six feet four, he could out-lift, out-work, and out-wrestle any man he
came in contact with. Friends and employers were proud of his
strength, and boasted of it, never failing to pit him against any hero
whose strength they heard vaunted. He himself was proud of it, and
throughout his life was fond of comparing himself with tall and strong
men. When the committee called on him in Springfield, in 1860, to
notify him of his nomination as President, Governor Morgan of New York
was of the number, a man of great height and brawn. "Pray, Governor,
how tall may you be?" was Mr. Lincoln's first question. There is a
story told of a poor man seeking a favor from him once at the White
House. He was overpowered by the idea that he was in the presence of
the President, and, his errand done, was edging shyly out, when Mr.
Lincoln stopped him, insisting that he _measure_ with him. The man was
the taller, as Mr. Lincoln had thought; and he went away evidently
more abashed at the idea that he dared be taller than the President of
the United States than that he had dared to venture into his presence.
[Illustration: NEW SALEM.
From a painting in the State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois. New
Salem, which is described in the body of this article, was founded by
James Rutledge and John Cameron in 1829. In that year they built a dam
across the Sangamon River, and erected a mill. Under date of October
23, 1829, Reuben Harrison, surveyor, certifies that "at the request of
John Cameron one of the proprietors I did survey the town of New
Salem." The town within two years contained a dozen or fifteen houses,
nearly all of them built of logs. New Salem's population probably
never exceeded a hundred persons. Its inhabitants, and those of the
surrounding country were mostly Southerners--natives of Kentucky and
Tennessee--though there was an occasional Yankee among them. Soon
after Lincoln left the place, in the spring of 1837, it began to
decline. Petersburg had sprung up two miles down the river, and
rapidly absorbed its population and business. By 1840 New Salem was
almost deserted. The Rutledge tavern the first house erected, was the
last to succumb. It stood for many years, but at last crumbled away.
Salem hill is now only a green cow pasture.--_Note prepared by J.
Governor Hoyt tells an excellent story illustrating Lincoln's interest
in muscle and his involuntary comparison of himself with any man who
showed great strength. It was in 1859, after Lincoln had delivered a
speech at the State Agricultural Fair of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The
two men were making the rounds of the exhibits, and went into a tent
to see a "strong man" perform. He went through the ordinary exercises
with huge iron balls, tossing them in the air and catching them, and
rolling them on his arms and back; and Mr. Lincoln, who evidently had
never before seen such a thing, watched him with intense interest,
ejaculating under his breath every now and then, "By George! By
George!" When the performance was over, Governor Hoyt, seeing Mr.
Lincoln's interest, asked him to go up and be introduced to the
athlete. He did so; and, as he stood looking down musingly on the
fellow, who was very short, and evidently wondering that a man so much
shorter than he could be so much stronger, he suddenly broke out with
one of his quaint speeches. "Why," he said, "why, I could lick salt
off the top of your hat."
[Illustration: THE NEW SALEM MILL TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
The Rutledge and Cameron mill, of which Lincoln at one time had
charge, stood on the same spot as the mill in the picture, and had the
same foundation. From the map on page 18 it will be seen that the mill
was below the bluff and east of the town.]
His strength won him popularity, but his good-nature, his wit, his
skill in debate, his stories, were still more efficient in gaining him
good-will. People liked to have him around, and voted him a good
fellow to work with. Yet such were the conditions of his life at this
time that, in spite of his popularity, nothing was open to him but
hard manual labor. To take the first "job" which he happened
upon--rail-splitting, ploughing, lumbering, boating, store-keeping--and
make the most of it, thankful if thereby he earned his bed and board
and yearly suit of jeans, was apparently all there was before Abraham
Lincoln in 1830 when he started out for himself.
FIRST INDEPENDENT WORK.
Through the summer and fall of 1830 and the early winter of 1831, Mr.
Lincoln worked in the vicinity of his father's new home, usually as a
farm-hand and rail-splitter. Most of his work was done in company with
John Hanks. Before the end of the winter he secured employment which
he has given an account of himself (writing again in the third
"During that winter Abraham, together with his stepmother's son, John
D. Johnston, and John Hanks, yet residing in Macon County, hired
themselves to Denton Offutt to take a flat-boat from Beardstown,
Illinois, to New Orleans, and for that purpose were to join
him--Offutt--at Springfield, Illinois, so soon as the snow should go
off. When it did go off, which was about March 1, 1831, the country
was so flooded as to make travelling by land impracticable; to obviate
which difficulty they purchased a large canoe and came down the
Sangamon River in it from where they were all living (near Decatur).
This is the time and manner of Abraham's first entrance into Sangamon
County. They found Offutt at Springfield, but learned from him that he
had failed in getting a boat at Beardstown. This led to their hiring
themselves to him for twelve dollars per month each, and getting the
timber out of the trees, and building a boat at old Sangamon town on
the Sangamon River, seven miles northwest of Springfield, which boat
they took to New Orleans, substantially on the old contract."
Sangamon town, where Mr. Lincoln built the flatboat, has, since his
day, completely disappeared from the earth; but then it was one of the
flourishing settlements on the river of that name. Lincoln and his
friends on arriving there in March immediately began work. There is
still living in Springfield, Illinois, a man who helped Lincoln at the
raft-building--Mr. John Roll, a well-known citizen, and one who has
been prominent in the material advancement of the city. Mr. Roll
remembers distinctly Lincoln's first appearance in Sangamon town. To a
representative of this MAGAZINE who talked with him recently in
Springfield he described Lincoln's looks when he first came to town.
"He was a tall, gaunt young man," Mr. Roll said, "dressed in a suit of
blue homespun jeans, consisting of a roundabout jacket, waistcoat, and
breeches which came to within about four inches of his feet. The
latter were encased in raw-hide boots, into the top of which, most of
the time, his pantaloons were stuffed. He wore a soft felt hat which
had at one time been black, but now, as its owner dryly remarked, 'it
had been sunburned until it was a combine of colors.'"
Mr. Roll's relation to the newcomer soon became something more than
that of a critical observer; he hired out to him, and says with pride,
"I made every pin which went into that boat."
[Footnote A: Short autobiography written for use in preparing a
campaign biography. "Abraham Lincoln. Complete Works." Edited by John
G. Nicolay and John Hay. Volume I., page 639. The Century Co.]
[Illustration: PRESENT SITE OF NEW SALEM.]
LINCOLN'S POPULARITY IN SANGAMON.
It took some four weeks to build the raft, and in that period Lincoln
succeeded in captivating the entire village by his story-telling. It
was the custom in Sangamon for the "men-folks" to gather at noon and
in the evening, when resting, in a convenient lane near the mill. They
had rolled out a long peeled log on which they lounged while they
whittled and talked. After Mr. Lincoln came to town the men would
start him to story-telling as soon as he appeared at the assembly
ground. So irresistibly droll were his "yarns" that, says Mr. Roll,
"whenever he'd end up in his unexpected way the boys on the log would
whoop and roll off." The result of the rolling off was to polish the
log like a mirror. Long after Lincoln had disappeared from Sangamon
"Abe's log" remained, and until it had rotted away people pointed it
out, and repeated the droll stories of the stranger.
AN EXCITING ADVENTURE.
The flatboat was done in about a month, and Lincoln and his friends
prepared to leave Sangamon. Before he started, however, he was the
hero of an adventure so thrilling that he won new laurels in the
community. Mr. Roll, who was a witness to the whole exciting scene,
tells the story as follows:
"It was the spring following the winter of the deep snow.[A] Walter
Carman, John Seamon, myself, and at times others of the Carman boys,
had helped Abe in building the boat, and when he had finished we went
to work to make a dug-out, or canoe, to be used as a small boat with
the flat. We found a suitable log about an eighth of a mile up the
river, and with our axes went to work under Lincoln's direction. The
river was very high, fairly 'booming.' After the dug-out was ready to
launch we took it to the edge of the water, and made ready to 'let her
go,' when Walter Carman and John Seamon jumped in as the boat struck
the water, each one anxious to be the first to get a ride. As they
shot out from the shore they found they were unable to make any
headway against the strong current. Carman had the paddle, and Seamon
was in the stern of the boat. Lincoln shouted to them to 'head
upstream' and 'work back to shore,' but they found themselves
powerless against the stream. At last they began to pull for the wreck
of an old flatboat, the first ever built on the Sangamon, which had
sunk and gone to pieces, leaving one of the stanchions sticking above
the water. Just as they reached it Seamon made a grab, and caught hold
of the stanchion, when the canoe capsized, leaving Seamon clinging to
the old timber, and throwing Carman into the stream. It carried him
down with the speed of a mill-race, Lincoln raised his voice above the
roar of the flood, and yelled to Carman to swim for an elm-tree which
stood almost in the channel, which the action of the high water
changed. Carman, being a good swimmer, succeeded in catching a branch,
and pulled himself up out of the water, which was very cold, and had
almost chilled him to death; and there he sat, shivering and
chattering in the tree. Lincoln, seeing Carman safe, called out to
Seamon to let go the stanchion and swim for the tree. With some
hesitation he obeyed, and struck out, while Lincoln cheered, and
directed him from the bank. As Seamon neared the tree he made one grab
for a branch, and, missing it, went under the water. Another desperate
lunge was successful, and he climbed up beside Carman. Things were
pretty exciting now, for there were two men in the tree, and the boat
"It was a cold, raw April day, and there was great danger of the men
becoming benumbed and falling back into the water. Lincoln called out
to them to keep their spirits up and he would save them. The village
had been alarmed by this time, and many people had come down to the
bank. Lincoln procured a rope, and tied it to a log. He called all
hands to come and help roll the log into the water, and after this had
been done, he, with the assistance of several others, towed it some
distance up the stream. A daring young fellow by the name of 'Jim'
Dorrell then took his seat on the end of the log, and it was pushed
out into the current, with the expectation that it would be carried
downstream against the tree where Seamon and Carman were. The log was
well directed, and went straight to the tree; but Jim, in his
impatience to help his friends, fell a victim to his good intentions.
Making a frantic grab at a branch, he raised himself off the log, and
it was swept from under him by the raging water, and he soon joined
the other two victims upon their forlorn perch. The excitement on
shore increased, and almost the whole population of the village
gathered on the river bank. Lincoln had the log pulled up the stream,
and securing another piece of rope, called to the men in the tree to
catch it if they could when he should reach the tree. He then
straddled the log himself, and gave the word to push out into the
stream. When he dashed into the tree, he threw the rope over the stump
of a broken limb, and let it play until he broke the speed of the log,
and gradually drew it back to the tree, holding it there until the
three now nearly frozen men had climbed down and seated themselves
astride. He then gave orders to the people on the shore to hold fast
to the end of the rope which was tied to the log, and leaving his rope
in the tree he turned the log adrift, and the force of the current
acting against the taut rope swung the log around against the bank,
and all 'on board' were saved. The excited people, who had watched the
dangerous experiment with alternate hope and fear, now broke into
cheers for Abe Lincoln and praises for his brave act. This adventure
made quite a hero of him along the Sangamon, and the people never
tired of telling of the exploit."
[Footnote A: 1830-1831. "The winter of the deep snow" is the date
which is the starting point in all calculations of time for the early
settlers of Illinois, and the circumstance from which the old settlers
of Sangamon County receive the name by which they are generally known,
[Illustration: A MATRON OF NEW SALEM IN 1832.
This costume, worn by Mrs. Lucy M. Bennett of Petersburg, Illinois,
has been a familiar attraction at old settlers' gatherings in Menard
County, for years. The dress was made by Mrs. Hill, of New Salem, and
the reticule or workbag will be readily recognized by those who have
any recollection of the early days. The bonnet occupied a place in the
store of Samuel Hill at New Salem. It was taken from the store by Mrs.
Hill, worn for a time by her, and has been carefully preserved to this
day. It is an imported bonnet--a genuine Leghorn--and of a kind so
costly that Mr. Hill made only an occasional sale of one. Its price,
in fact, was $25.]
[Illustration: MAP OF NEW SALEM.
Map made by J. McCan Davis, aided by surviving inhabitants of New
Salem. Dr. John Allen was the leading physician of New Salem. He was a
Yankee, and was at first looked upon with suspicion, but he was soon
running a Sunday-school and temperance society, though strongly
opposed by the conservative church people. Dr. Allen attended Ann
Rutledge in her last illness. He was thrifty, and moving to Petersburg
in 1840, became wealthy. He died in 1860. Dr. Francis Regnier was a
rival physician and a respected citizen. Samuel Hill and John McNeill
(whose real name subsequently proved to be McNamar) operated a general
store next to Berry & Lincoln's grocery. Mr. Hill also owned the
carding-machine. He moved his store to Petersburg in 1839, and engaged
in business there, dying quite wealthy. Jack Kelso followed a variety
of callings, being occasionally a school-teacher, now and then a
grocery clerk, and always a fisher and hunter. He was a man of some
culture, and, when warmed by liquor, quoted Shakespeare and Burns
profusely, a habit which won for him the close friendship of Lincoln.
Joshua Miller was a blacksmith, and lived in the same house with
Kelso--a double house. He is said to be still living, somewhere in
Nebraska. Miller and Kelso were brothers-in law. Philemon Morris was a
tinner. Henry Onstott was a cooper by trade. He was an elder in the
Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and meetings were often held at his
house. Rev. John Berry, father of Lincoln's partner, frequently
preached there. Robert Johnson was a wheelwright, and his wife took in
weaving. Martin Waddell was a hatter. He was the best-natured man in
town, Lincoln possibly excepted. The Trent brothers, who succeeded
Berry & Lincoln as proprietors of the store, worked in his shop for a
time. William Clary, one of the first settlers of New Salem, was one
of a numerous family, most of whom lived in the vicinity of "Clary's
Grove." Isaac Burner was the father of Daniel Green Burner, Berry &
Lincoln's clerk. Alexander Ferguson worked at odd jobs. He had two
brothers, John and Elijah. Isaac Gollaher lived in a house belonging
to John Ferguson. "Row" Herndon, at whose house Lincoln boarded for a
year or more after going to New Salem, moved to the country after
selling his store to Berry & Lincoln. John Cameron, one of the
founders of the town, was a Presbyterian preacher and a highly
esteemed citizen.--_Note prepared by J. McCan Davis_.]
A SECOND ADVENTURE.
The flatboat built and loaded, the party started for New Orleans about
the middle of April. They had gone but a few miles when they met with
another adventure. At the village of New Salem there was a mill-dam.
On it the boat stuck, and here for nearly twenty-four hours it hung,
the bow in the air and the stern in the water, the cargo slowly
setting backward--shipwreck almost certain. The village of New Salem
turned out in a body to see what the strangers would do in their
predicament. They shouted, suggested, and advised for a time, but
finally discovered that one big fellow in the crew was ignoring them
and working out a plan of relief. Having unloaded the cargo into a
neighboring boat, Lincoln had succeeded in tilting his craft. By
boring a hole in the end extending over the dam the water was let out.
This done, the boat was easily shoved over and reloaded. The ingenuity
which he had exercised in saving his boat made a deep impression on
the crowd on the bank. It was talked over for many a day, and the
general verdict was that the "bow-hand" was a "strapper." The
proprietor of boat and cargo was even more enthusiastic than the
spectators, and vowed he would build a steamboat for the Sangamon and
make Lincoln the captain. Lincoln himself was interested in what he
had done, and nearly twenty years later he embodied his reflections on
this adventure in a curious invention for getting boats over shoals.
[Illustration: WILLIAM G. GREENE.
William G. Greene was one of the earliest friends of Lincoln at New
Salem. He stood on the bank of the Sangamon River on the 19th of
April, 1831, and watched Lincoln bore a hole in the bottom of the
flatboat, which had lodged on the mill-dam, so that the water might
run out. A few months later he and Lincoln were both employed by the
enterprising Denton Offutt, as clerks in the store and managers of the
mill which had been leased by Offutt. It was William G. Greene who,
returning home from college at Jacksonville on a vacation, brought
Richard Yates with him, and introduced him to Lincoln, the latter
being found stretched out on the cellar door of Bowling Green's cabin
reading a book. Mr. Greene was born in Tennessee in 1812, and went to
Illinois in 1822. After the disappearance of New Salem he removed to
Tallula, a few miles away, where in after years he engaged in the
banking business. He died in 1894, after amassing a fortune.]
NEW ORLEANS IN 1831.
The raft over the New Salem dam, the party went on to New Orleans
without trouble, reaching there in May, 1831, and remaining a month.
It must have been a month of intense intellectual activity for
Lincoln. New Orleans was entering then on her "flush times." Commerce
was increasing at a rate which dazzled merchants and speculators, and
drew them in shoals from all over the United States. From 1830 to 1840
no other American city increased in such a ratio; exports and imports,
which in 1831 amounted to $26,000,000, in 1835 had more than doubled.
The Creole population had held the sway so far in the city; but now it
came into competition and often into contest with a pushing,
ambitious, and frequently unscrupulous native American party. To these
two predominating elements were added Germans, French, Spanish,
negroes and Indians. Cosmopolitan in its make-up, the city was even
more cosmopolitan in its life. Everything was to be seen in New
Orleans in those days, from the idle luxury of the wealthy Creole to
the organization of filibustering juntas. The pirates still plied
their trade in the Gulf, and the Mississippi River brought down
hundreds of river boatmen--one of the wildest, wickedest sets of men
that ever existed in any city.
Lincoln and his companions probably tied their boat up beside
thousands of others. It was the custom then to tie up such craft along
the river front where St. Mary's Market now stands, and one could walk
a mile, it is said, over the tops of these boats without going ashore.
No doubt Lincoln went, too, to live in the boatmen's rendezvous,
called the "Swamp," a wild, rough quarter, where roulette, whiskey,
and the flint-lock pistol ruled.
All of the picturesque life, the violent contrasts of the city, he
would see as he wandered about; and he would carry away the sharp
impressions which are produced when mind and heart are alert, sincere,
In this month spent in New Orleans Lincoln must have seen much of
slavery. At that time the city was full of slaves, and the number was
constantly increasing; indeed, one-third of the New Orleans increase
in population between 1830 and 1840 was in negroes. One of the saddest
features of the institution was to be seen there in its most
aggravated form--the slave market. The great mass of slave-holders of
the South, who looked on the institution as patriarchal, and who
guarded their slaves with conscientious care, knew little, it should
be said, of this terrible traffic. Their transfer of slaves was
humane, but in the open markets of the city it was attended by
shocking cruelty and degradation. Lincoln witnessed in New Orleans for
the first time the revolting sight of men and women sold like animals
Mr. Herndon says that he often heard Mr. Lincoln refer to this
experience: "In New Orleans for the first time," he writes, "Lincoln
beheld the true horrors of human slavery. He saw 'negroes in
chains--whipped and scourged.' Against this inhumanity his sense of
right and justice rebelled, and his mind and conscience were awakened
to a realization of what he had often heard and read. No doubt, as one
of his companions has said, 'slavery ran the iron into him then and
there.' One morning in their rambles over the city the trio passed a
slave auction. A vigorous and comely mulatto girl was being sold. She
underwent a thorough examination at the hands of the bidders; they
pinched her flesh, and made her trot up and down the room like a
horse, to show how she moved, and in order, as the auctioneer said,
that 'bidders might satisfy themselves' whether the article they were
offering to buy was sound or not. The whole thing was so revolting
that Lincoln moved away from the scene with a deep feeling of
'unconquerable hate.' Bidding his companions follow him, he said,
'Boys, let's get away from this. If ever I get a chance to hit that
thing' (meaning slavery), 'I'll hit it hard.'"
Mr. Herndon gives John Hanks as his authority for this statement. But
this is plainly an error, for, according to Mr. Lincoln himself,
Hanks did not go on to New Orleans, but having a family and being
likely to be detained from home longer than at first expected, turned
back at St. Louis. Though there is reason for believing that Lincoln
was deeply impressed on this trip by something he saw in a New Orleans
slave market, and that he often referred to it, the story told above
probably grew to its present proportions by much telling.[A]
[Footnote A: "No doubt the young Kentuckian was disgusted [with what
he saw in the New Orleans slave auction]; but there is no proof that
this was his first object lesson in human slavery, or that, as so
often has been asserted, he turned to his companion and said, 'If I
ever get a chance to hit slavery, I will hit it hard.' Such an
expression from a flatboat-man would have been absurd."--_Personal
Reminiscences of 1840-1890, by L.E. Chittenden._]
[Illustration: MENTOR GRAHAM.
Mentor Graham was the New Salem school-master. He it was who assisted
Lincoln in mastering Kirkham's grammar, and later gave him valuable
assistance when Lincoln was learning the theory of surveying. He
taught in a little log school-house on a hill south of the village,
just across Green's Rocky Branch. Among his pupils was Ann Rutledge,
and the school was often visited by Lincoln. In 1845, Mentor Graham
was defendant in a lawsuit in which Lincoln and Herndon were attorneys
for the plaintiff, Nancy Green. It appears from the declaration,
written by Lincoln's own hand, that on October 28, 1844, Mentor Graham
gave his note to Nancy Green for one hundred dollars, with John Owens
and Andrew Beerup as sureties, payable twelve months after date. The
note not being paid when due, suit was brought. That Lincoln, even as
an attorney, should sue Mentor Graham may seem strange; but it is no
surprise when it is explained that the plaintiff was the widow of
Bowling Green--the woman who, with her husband, had comforted Lincoln
in an hour of grief. Justice, too, in this case, was clearly on her
side. The lawsuit seems never to have disturbed the friendly relations
between Lincoln and Mentor Graham. The latter's admiration for the
former was unbounded to the day of his death. Mentor Graham lived on
his farm near the ruins of New Salem until 1860, when he removed to
Petersburg. There he lived until 1885, when he removed to Greenview,
Illinois. Later he went to South Dakota, where he died about 1892, at
the ripe old age of ninety-odd years.]
LINCOLN SETTLES IN NEW SALEM.
The month in New Orleans passed swiftly, and in June, 1831, Lincoln
and his companions took passage up the river. He did not return,
however, in the usual way of the river boatman "out of a job."
According to his own way of putting it, "during this boat-enterprise
acquaintance with Offutt, who was previously an entire stranger, he
conceived a liking for Abraham, and believing he could turn him to
account, he contracted with him to act as a clerk for him on his
return from New Orleans, in charge of a store and mill at New
Salem."[A] The store and mill were, however, so far only in Offutt's
imagination, and Lincoln had to drift about until his employer was
ready for him. He made a short visit to his father and mother, now in
Coles County, near Charleston (fever and ague had driven the Lincolns
from their first home in Macon County), and then, in July, 1831, he
drifted over to New Salem, where, as he says, he "stopped indefinitely
and for the first time, as it were, by himself."
[Illustration: VIEW FROM THE HILL ABOVE SANGAMON RIVER, LOOKING TOWARD
THE SITE OF NEW SALEM.]
"The village of New Salem, the scene of Lincoln's mercantile career,"
writes one of our correspondents who has studied the history of the
town and visited the spot where it once stood, "was one of the many
little towns which, in the pioneer days, sprang up along the Sangamon
River, a stream then looked upon as navigable and as destined to be
counted among the highways of commerce. Twenty miles northwest of
Springfield, strung along the left bank of the Sangamon, parted by
hollows and ravines, is a row of high hills. On one of these--a long,
narrow ridge, beginning with a sharp and sloping point near the river,
running south, and parallel with the stream a little way, and then,
reaching its highest point, making a sudden turn to the west, and
gradually widening until lost in the prairie--stood this frontier
village. The crooked river for a short distance comes from the east,
and, seeming surprised at meeting the bluff, abruptly changes its
course, and flows to the north. Across the river the bottom stretches
out, reaching half a mile back to the highlands. New Salem, founded in
1829 by James Rutledge and John Cameron, and a dozen years later a
deserted village, is rescued from oblivion only by the fact that
Lincoln was once one of its inhabitants. His first sight of the town
had been in April, 1831, when the flatboat he had built and its little
crew were detained in getting their boat over the Rutledge and Cameron
mill-dam, on which it lodged. When Lincoln walked into New Salem,
three months later, he was not altogether a stranger, for the people
remembered him as the ingenious flatboat-man who, a little while
before, had freed his boat from water (and thus enabled it to get over
the dam) by resorting to the miraculous expedient of boring a hole in
Offutt's goods had not arrived when Mr. Lincoln reached New Salem; and
he "loafed" about, so those who remember his arrival say,
good-naturedly taking a hand in whatever he could find to do, and in
his droll way making friends of everybody. By chance, a bit of work
fell to him almost at once, which introduced him generally and gave
him an opportunity to make a name in the neighborhood. It was election
day. The village school-master, Mentor Graham by name, was clerk, but
the assistant was ill. Looking about for some one to help him, Mr.
Graham saw a tall stranger loitering around the polling place, and
called to him, "Can you write?" "Yes," said the stranger, "I can make
a few rabbit tracks." Mr. Graham evidently was satisfied with the
answer, for he promptly initiated him; and he filled his place not
only to the satisfaction of his employer, but also to the delectation
of the loiterers about the polls, for whenever things dragged he
immediately began "to spin out a stock of Indiana yarns." So droll
were they that years afterward men who listened to Lincoln that day
repeated them to their friends. He had made a hit in New Salem, to
start with, and here, as in Sangamon town, it was by means of his
[Footnote A: "Abraham Lincoln. Complete Works." Edited by John G.
Nicolay and John, Hay. Volume I.]
[Footnote B: New Salem plays so prominent a part in the life of
Lincoln that the MAGAZINE engaged Mr. J. McCan Davis, of Springfield,
Illinois, who had already made a special study of this period of Mr.
Lincoln's life, to go in detail over the ground to secure a perfectly
accurate sequence of events, to collect new and unpublished pictures
and documents, and to interview all of the old acquaintances of Mr.
Lincoln who remain in the neighborhood. Mr. Davis has secured some new
facts about Mr. Lincoln's life in this period; he has unearthed in the
official files of the county several new documents, and he has secured
several unpublished portraits of interest. His matter will be
incorporated into our next two articles.]
[Illustration: LINCOLN'S FIRST VOTE.]
Photographed from the original poll-book, now on file in the county
clerk's office, Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln's first vote was cast
at New Salem, "in the Clary's Grove precinct," August 1, 1831. At this
election he aided Mr. Graham, who was one of the clerks. In the early
days in Illinois, elections were conducted by the _viva voce_ method.
The people did try voting by ballot, but the experiment was unpopular.
It required too much "book larnin," and in 1829 the _viva voce_ method
of voting was restored. The judges and clerks sat at a table with the
poll-book before them. The voter walked up, and announced the
candidate of his choice, and it was recorded in his presence. There
was no ticket peddling, and ballot-box stuffing was impossible. To
this simple system we are indebted for the record of Lincoln's first
vote. As will be seen from the fac-simile, Lincoln voted for James
Turney for Congressman, Bowling Green and Edmund Greer for
Magistrates, and John Armstrong and Henry Sinco for Constables. Of
these five men three were elected. Turney was defeated for Congressman
by Joseph Duncan. Turney lived in Greene County. He was not then a
conspicuous figure in the politics of the State, but was a follower of
Henry Clay, and was well thought of in his own district. He and
Lincoln, in 1834, served their first terms together in the lower house
of the legislature, and later he was a State senator. Joseph Duncan,
the successful candidate, was already in Congress. He was a politician
of influence. In 1834 he was a strong "Jackson man;" but after his
election as Governor he created consternation among the followers of
"Old Hickory" by becoming a Whig. Sidney Breese, who received only two
votes in the Clary's Grove precinct, afterward became the most
conspicuous of the five candidates. Eleven years later he defeated
Stephen A. Douglas for the United States Senate, and for twenty-five
years he was on the bench of the Supreme Court of Illinois, serving
under each of the three constitutions. For the office of Magistrate
Bowling Green was elected, but Greer was beaten. Both of Lincoln's
candidates for Constable were elected. John Armstrong was the man with
whom, a short time afterward, Lincoln had the celebrated wrestling
match. Henry Sinco was the keeper of a store at New Salem. Lincoln's
first vote for President was not cast until the next year (November 5,
1832), when he voted for Henry Clay.--_Note furnished by J. McCan
_(To be continued.)_
THE LOVE OF THE PRINCE OF GLOTTENBERG.
BY ANTHONY HOPE,
Author of "The Prisoner of Zenda," "The Dolly Dialogues," etc.
It was in the spring of the year that Ludwig, Prince of Glottenberg,
came courting the Princess Osra; for his father had sought the most
beautiful lady of a royal house in Europe, and had found none to equal
Osra. Therefore the prince came to Strelsau with a great retinue, and
was lodged in the White Palace, which stood on the outskirts of the
city, where the public gardens now are (for the palace itself was
sacked and burnt by the people in the rising of 1848). Here Ludwig
stayed many days, coming every day to the king's palace to pay his
respects to the king and queen, and to make his court to the princess.
King Rudolf had received him with the utmost friendship, and was, for
reasons of state then of great moment, but now of vanished interest,
as eager for the match as was the King of Glottenberg himself; and he
grew very impatient with his sister when she hesitated to accept
Ludwig's hand, alleging that she felt for him no more than a kindly
esteem, and, what was as much to the purpose, that he felt no more for
her. For although the prince possessed most courteous and winning
manners, and was very accomplished both in learning and in exercises,
yet he was a grave and pensive young man, rather stately than jovial,
and seemed, in the princess's eyes (accustomed as they were to catch
and check ardent glances), to perform his wooing more as a duty of his
station than on the impulse of any passion. Finding in herself, also,
no such sweet ashamed emotions as had before now crossed her heart on
account of lesser men, she grew grave and troubled; and she said to
"Brother, is this love? For I had as lief he were away as here; and
when he is here he kisses my hand as though it were a statue's hand;
and--and I feel as though it were. They say you know what love is. Is
"There are many forms of love," smiled the king. "This is such love as
a prince and a princess may most properly feel."
"I do not call it love at all," said Osra, with a pout.
When Prince Ludwig came next day to see her, and told her, with grave
courtesy, that his pleasure lay in doing her will, she broke out:
"I had rather it lay in watching my face;" and then, ashamed, she
turned away from him.
He seemed grieved and hurt at her words, and it was with a sigh that
he said: "My life shall be given to giving you joy."
She turned round on him with flushed cheek and trembling lips:
"Yes, but I had rather it were spent in getting joy from me."
He cast down his eyes a moment, and then, taking her hand, kissed it,
but she drew it away sharply; and so that afternoon they parted, he
back to his palace, she to her chamber, where she sat, asking again:
"Is this love?" and crying: "He does not know love;" and pausing, now
and again, before her mirror, to ask her pictured face why it would
not unlock the door of love.
On another day she would be merry, or feign merriment, rallying him on
his sombre air and formal compliments, professing that for her part
she soon grew weary of such wooing, and loved to be easy and merry;
for thus she hoped to sting him, so that he would either disclose more
warmth, or forsake altogether his pursuit. But he made many apologies,
blaming nature that had made him grave, but assuring her of his deep
affection and respect.
"Affection and respect!" murmured Osra, with a little toss of her
head. "Oh, that I had not been born a princess!" And yet, though she
did not love him, she thought him a very noble gentleman, and trusted
to his honor and sincerity in everything. Therefore, when he still
persisted, and Rudolf and the queen urged her, telling her (the king
mockingly, the queen with a touch of sadness) that she must not look
to find in the world such love as romantic girls dreamt of, at last
she yielded, and she told her brother that she would marry Prince
Ludwig, yet for a little while she would not have the news proclaimed.
So Rudolf went, alone and privately, to the White Palace, and said to
"Cousin, you have won the fairest lady in the world. Behold, her
brother says it!"
Prince Ludwig bowed low, and, taking the king's hand, pressed it,
thanking him for his help and approval, and expressing himself as most
grateful for the boon of the princess's favor.
"And will you not come with me and find her?" cried the king, with a
"I have urgent business now," answered Ludwig. "Beg the princess to
forgive me. This afternoon I will crave the honor of waiting on her
with my humble gratitude."
King Rudolf looked at him, a smile curling on his lips; and he said,
in one of his gusts of impatience:
"By heaven! is there another man in the world who would talk about
gratitude, and business, and the afternoon, when Osra of Strelsau sat
waiting for him?"
"I mean no discourtesy," protested Ludwig, taking the king's arm and
glancing at him with most friendly eyes. "Indeed, dear friend, I am
rejoiced and honored. But this business of mine will not wait."
So the king, frowning and grumbling and laughing, went back alone, and
told the princess that the happy wooer was most grateful, and would
come, after his business was transacted, that afternoon. But Osra,
having given her hand, would now admit no fault in the man she had
chosen, and thanked the king for the message, with great dignity. Then
the king came to her, and, sitting down by her, stroked her hair,
"You have had many lovers, sister Osra, and now comes a husband."
"Yes, now a husband," she murmured, catching swiftly at his hand; and
her voice was half caught in a sudden sob.
"So goes the world--our world," said the king, knitting his brows and
seeming to fall for a moment into a sad reverie.
"I am frightened," she whispered. "Should I be frightened if I loved
"I have been told so," said the king, smiling again. "But the fear has
a way of being mastered then." And he drew her to him, and gave her a
hearty brother's kiss, telling her to take heart. "You'll thaw the
fellow yet," said the king, "though I grant you he is icy enough." For
the king himself had been by no means what he called an icy man.
But Osra was not satisfied, and sought to assuage the pain of her
heart by adorning herself most carefully for the prince's coming,
hoping to fire him to love. For she thought that if he loved she
might, although since he did not she could not. And surely he did not,
or all the tales of love were false! Thus she came to receive him very
magnificently arrayed. There was a flush on her cheek, and an
uncertain, expectant, fearful look in her eyes; and thus she stood
before him, as he fell on his knee and kissed her hand. Then he rose,
and declared his thanks, and promised his devotion; but as he spoke
the flush faded, and the light died from her eyes; and when at last he
drew near to her, and offered to kiss her cheek, her eyes were dead,
and her face pale and cold as she suffered him to touch it. He was
content to touch it but once, and seemed not to know how cold it was;
and so, after more talk of his father's pleasure and his pride, he
took his leave, promising to come again the next day. She ran to the
window when the door was closed on him, and thence watched him mount
his horse and ride away slowly, with his head bent and his eyes
downcast; yet he was a noble gentleman, stately and handsome, kind and
true. The tears came suddenly into her eyes and blurred her sight as
she leant watching from behind the hanging curtains of the window.
Though she dashed them angrily away, they came again, and ran down her
pale, cold cheeks, mourning the golden vision that seemed gone without
That evening there came a gentleman from the Prince of Glottenberg,
carrying most humble excuses from his master, who (so he said) was
prevented from waiting on the princess the next day by a certain very
urgent affair that took him from Strelsau, and would keep him absent
from the city all day long; and the gentleman delivered to Osra a
letter from the prince, full of graceful and profound apologies, and
pleading an engagement that his honor would not let him break; for
nothing short of that, said he, should have kept him from her side.
There followed some lover's phrases, scantily worded, and frigid in an
assumed passion. But Osra smiled graciously, and sent back a message,
readily accepting all that the prince urged in excuse. And she told
what had passed to the king, with her head high in the air, and a
careless haughtiness, so that even the king did not rally her, nor yet
venture to comfort her, but urged her to spend the next day in riding
with the queen and him; for they were setting out for Zenda, where the
king was to hunt in the forest, and she could ride some part of the
way with them, and return in the evening. And she, wishing that she
had sent first to the prince, to bid him not come, agreed to go with
her brother; it was better far to go than to wait at home for a lover
who would not come.
Thus, the next morning, they rode out, the king and queen with their
retinue, the princess attended by one of her guard, named Christian
Hantz, who was greatly attached to her, and most jealous in praise and
admiration of her. This fellow had taken on himself to be very angry
with Prince Ludwig's coldness, but dared say nothing of it. Yet,
impelled by his anger, he had set himself to watch the prince very
closely; and thus he had, as he conceived, discovered something that
brought a twinkle into his eye and a triumphant smile to his lips as
he rode behind the princess. Some fifteen miles she accompanied her
brother, and then, turning with Christian, took another road back to
the city. Alone she rode, her mind full of sad thoughts; while
Christian, behind, still wore his malicious smile. But, presently,
although she had not commanded him, he quickened his pace, and came up
to her side, relying on the favor which she always showed him, for
"Well, Christian," said she, "have you something to say to me?"
For answer he pointed to a small house that stood among the trees,
some way from the road, and he said:
"If I were Ludwig and not Christian, yet I would be here where
Christian is, and not there where Ludwig is." And he pointed still at
She faced round on him in anger at his daring to speak to her of the
prince, but he was a bold fellow, and would not be silenced now that
he had begun to speak. He knew also that she would bear much from him;
so he leant over towards her, saying:
"By your bounty, madam, I have money, and he who has money can get
knowledge. So I know that the prince is there. For fifty pounds I
gained a servant of his, and he told me."
"I do not know why you should spy on the prince," said Osra, "and I do
not care to know where the prince is." And she touched her horse with
the spur, and cantered fast forward, leaving the little house behind.
But Christian persisted, partly in a foolish grudge against any man
who should win what was above his reach, partly in an honest anger
that she whom his worshipped should be treated lightly by another; and
he forced her to hear what he had learnt from the gossip of the
prince's groom, telling it to her in hints and half-spoken sentences,
yet so plainly that she could not miss the drift of it. She rode the
faster towards Strelsau, at first answering nothing; but at last she
turned upon him fiercely, saying that he told a lie, and that she knew
it was a lie, since she knew where the prince was and what business
had taken him away; and she commanded Christian to be silent, and to
speak neither to her nor to any one else of his false suspicions; and
she bade him, very harshly, to fall back and ride behind her again,
which he did, sullen, yet satisfied; for he knew that his arrow had
gone home. On she rode, with her cheeks aflame and her heart beating,
until she came to Strelsau, and having arrived at the palace, ran to
her own bedroom and flung herself on the bed.
Here for an hour she lay; then, it being about six o'clock, she sat
up, pushing her disordered hair back from her hot, aching brow. For an
agony of humiliation came upon her, and a fury of resentment against
the prince, whose coldness seemed now to need no more explanation. Yet
she could hardly believe what she had been told of him; for, though
she had not loved him, she had accorded to him her full trust. Rising,
she paced in pain about the room. She could not rest, and she cried
out in longing that her brother were there to aid her, and find out
the truth for her. But he was away, and she had none to whom she could
turn. So she strove to master her anger and endure her suspense till
the next day; but they were too strong for her, and she cried: "I will
go myself. I cannot sleep till I know. But I cannot go alone. Who will
go with me?" And she knew of none, for she would not take Christian
with her, and she shrank from speaking of the matter to any of the
gentlemen of the court. And yet she must know. But at last she sprang
up from the chair into which she had sunk despondently, exclaiming:
"He is a gentleman and my friend. He will go with me." And she sent
hastily for the Bishop of Modenstein, who was then in Strelsau,
bidding him come dressed for riding, and with a sword, and the best
horse in his stable. And the bishop came equipped as she bade him and
in very great wonder. But when she told him what she wanted, and what
Christian had made known to her, he grew grave, saying that they must
wait and consult the king when he returned.
"I will not wait an hour," she cried. "I cannot wait an hour."
"Then I will ride, and bring you word. You must not go," he urged.
"Nay; if I go alone, I will go," said she. "Yes, I will go, and myself
fling his falseness in his teeth."
Finding her thus resolved, the bishop knew that he could not turn her;
so, leaving her to prepare herself, he sought Christian Hantz, and
charged him to bring three horses to the most private gate of the
palace, that opened in a little by-street. Here Christian waited for
them with the horses, and they came presently, the bishop wearing a
great slouched hat, and swaggering like a roystering trooper, while
Osra was closely veiled. The bishop again imposed secrecy on
Christian, and then, they both being mounted, said to Osra: "If you
will, then, madam, come;" and thus they rode secretly out of the
city, about seven o'clock in the evening, the gate-wardens opening the
gates at sight of the royal arms on Osra's ring, which she gave to the
bishop in order that he might show it.
In silence they rode a long way, going at a great speed. Osra's face
was set and rigid, for she felt now no shame at herself for going, nor
any fear of what she might find. But the injury to her pride swallowed
every other feeling, and at last she said, in short, sharp words, to
the Bishop of Modenstein, having suddenly thrown the veil back from
"He shall not live, if it prove true."
The bishop shook his head. His profession was peace; yet his blood,
also, was hot against the man who had put a slight on Princess Osra.
"The king must know of it," he said.
"The king? The king is not here tonight," said Osra; and she pricked
her horse, and set him at a gallop. The moon, breaking suddenly in
brightness from behind a cloud, showed the bishop her face. Then she
put out her hand, and caught him by the arm, whispering: "Are you my
"Yes, madam," said he. She knew well that he was her friend.
"Kill him for me, then! Kill him for me!"
"I cannot kill him," said the bishop. "I pray God it may prove
"You are not my friend if you will not kill him," said Osra; and she
turned her face away, and rode yet more quickly.
[Illustration: "KILL HIM FOR ME, THEN! KILL HIM FOR ME!"]
At last they came in sight of the little house that stood back from
the road, and there was a light in one of the upper windows. The
bishop heard a short gasp break from Osra's lips, and she pointed with
her whip to the window. Now his own breath came quick and fast, and he
prayed to God that he might remember his sacred character and his
vows, and not be led into great and deadly sin at the bidding of that
proud, bitter face; and he clenched his left hand, and struck his brow
Thus, then, they came to the gate of the avenue of trees that led to
the house. Here, having dismounted, and tied their horses to the
gatepost, they stood an instant, and Osra again veiled her face.
"Let me go alone, madam," he implored.
"Give me your sword, and I will go alone," she answered.
"Here, then, is the path," said the bishop; and he led the way by the
moonlight that broke fitfully here and there through the trees.
"He swore that all his life should be mine," she whispered. "Yet I
knew that he did not love me."
The bishop made her no answer; she looked for none, and did not know
that she spoke the bitterness of her heart in words that he could
hear. He bowed his head, and prayed again for her and for himself; for
he had found his hand gripping the hilt of his sword. And thus, side
by side now, they came to the door of the house, and saw a gentleman
standing in front of the door, still but watchful. And Osra knew that
he was the prince's chamberlain.
When the chamberlain saw them he started violently, and clapped a hand
to his sword; but Osra flung her veil on the ground, and the bishop
gripped his arm as with a vise. The chamberlain looked at Osra and at
the bishop, and half drew his sword.
"This matter is too great for you, sir," said the bishop. "It is a
quarrel of princes. Stand aside!" And before the chamberlain could
make up his mind what to do, Osra had passed by him, and the bishop
had followed her.
Finding themselves in a narrow passage, they made out, by the dim
light of a lamp, a flight of stairs that rose from the farthest end of
it. The bishop tried to pass the princess, but she motioned him back,
and walked swiftly to the stairs. In silent speed they mounted till
they had reached the top of the first stage; and facing them, eight or
ten steps farther up, was a door. By the door stood a groom. This was
the man who had treacherously told Christian of his master's doings;
but when he saw, suddenly, what had come of his disloyal chattering,
the fellow went white as a ghost, and came tottering in stealthy
silence down the stairs, his finger on his lips. Neither of them spoke
to him, nor he to them. They gave no thought to him; his only thought
was to escape as soon as he might; so he passed them, and, going on,
passed also the chamberlain, who stood dazed at the house door, and so
disappeared, intent on saving the life that he had justly forfeited.
Thus the rogue vanished, and what became of him no one knew nor cared.
He showed his face no more at Glottenberg or Strelsau.
"Hark! there are voices," whispered Osra to the bishop, raising her
hand above her head, as they two stood motionless.
The voices came from the door that faced them, the voice of a man and
the voice of a woman. Osra's glance at her companion told him that she
knew as well as he whose the man's voice was.
"It is true, then," she breathed from between her teeth. "My God, it
The woman's voice spoke now, but the words were not audible. Then came
the prince's: "Forever, in life or death, apart or together, forever."
But the woman's answer came no more in words, but in deep, low,
passionate sobs, that struck their ears like the distant cry of some
brute creature in pain that it cannot understand. Yet Osra's face was
stern and cold, and her lips curled scornfully when she saw the
bishop's look of pity.
"Come, let us end it," said she; and with a firm step she began to
mount the stairs that lay between them and the door.
Yet once again they paused outside the door, for it seemed as though
the princess could not choose but listen to the passionate words of
love that pierced her ears like knives. Yet they were all sad,
speaking of renunciation, not happiness. But at last she heard her own
name; then, with a sudden start, she caught the bishop's hands, for
she could not listen longer. And she staggered and reeled as she
whispered to him: "The door, the door--open the door!"
The bishop, his right hand being across his body and resting on the
hilt of his sword, laid his left upon the handle of the door and
turned it. Then he flung the door wide open; and at that instant Osra
sprang past him, her eyes gleaming like flames from her dead-white
face. And she stood rigid on the threshold of the room, with the
bishop by her side.
[Illustration: "IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM STOOD THE PRINCE OF
GLOTTENBERG; AND ... CLINGING TO HIM ... WAS A GIRL OF SLIGHT AND SLENDER
In the middle of the room stood the Prince of Glottenberg; and
strained in a close embrace, clinging to him, supported by his arms,
with head buried in his breast, was a girl of slight and slender
figure, graceful, though not tall; and her body was still shaken by
continual, struggling sobs. The prince held her there as though
against the world, but raised his head, and looked at the intruders
with a grave, sad air. There was no shame on his face, and hardly
surprise. Presently he took one arm from about the lady, and, raising
it, motioned to them to be still. Osra took one step forward toward
where the pair stood; the bishop caught her sleeve, but she shook him
off. The lady looked up into the prince's face; with a sudden,
startled cry clutched him closer, and turned a terrified face over her
shoulder. Then she moaned in great fear, and, reeling, fell against
the prince, and would have sunk to the ground if he had not upheld
her; and her eyes closed and her lips dropped as she swooned away. But
the princess smiled, and, drawing herself to her full height, stood
watching while Ludwig bore the lady to a couch and laid her there.
Then, when he came back and faced her, she asked coldly and slowly:
"Who is this woman, sir? Or is she one of those that have no names?"
The prince sprang forward, a sudden anger in his eyes; he raised his
hand as if he would have pressed it across her scornful mouth, and
kept back her bitter words. But she did not flinch; and, pointing at
him with her finger, she cried to the bishop, in a ringing voice:
"Kill him, my lord, kill him!"
And the sword of the Bishop of Modenstein was half-way out of the
"I would to God, my lord," said the prince in low, sad tones, "that
God would suffer you to kill me, and me to take death at your hands.
But neither for you nor for me is the blow lawful. Let me speak to the
The bishop still grasped his sword; for Osra's face and hand still
commanded him. But at the instant of his hesitation, while the
temptation was hot in him, there came from the couch where the lady
lay a low moan of great pain. She flung her arms out, and turned,
groaning, again on her back, and her head lay limply over the side of
the couch. The bishop's eyes met Ludwig's; and with a "God forgive
me!" he let the sword slip back, and, springing across the room, fell
on his knees beside the couch. He broke the gold chain round his neck,
and grasped the crucifix which he carried in one hand, while with the
other he raised the lady's head, praying her to open her eyes, before
whose closed lids he held the sacred image; and he, who had come so
near to great sin, now prayed softly, but fervently, for her life and
God's pity on her, for the frailty her slight form showed could not
withstand the shock of this trial.
"Who is she?" asked the princess.
But Ludwig's eyes had wandered back to the couch, and he answered
"My God, it will kill her!"
"I care not," said Osra. But then came another low moan. "I care not,"
said the princess again. "Ah, she is in great suffering!" And her eyes
followed the prince's.
There was silence, save for the lady's low moans and the whispered
prayers of the Bishop of Modenstein. But the lady opened her eyes, and
in an instant, answering the summons, the prince was by her side,
kneeling, and holding her hand very tenderly, and he met a glance from
the bishop across her prostrate body. The prince bowed his head, and
one sob burst from him.
"Leave me alone with her for a little, sir," said the bishop; and the
prince, obeying, rose and withdrew into the bay of the window, while
Osra stood alone near the door by which she had entered.
A few minutes passed, then Osra saw the prince return to where the
lady was, and kneel again beside her; and she saw that the bishop was
preparing to perform his most sacred and sublime office. The lady's
eyes dwelt on him now in peace and restfulness, and held Prince
Ludwig's hand in her small hand. But Osra would not kneel; she stood
upright, still and cold, as though she neither saw nor heard anything
of what passed; she would not pity nor forgive the woman even if, as
they seemed to think, she lay dying. But she spoke once, asking in a
"Is there no physician in the house or near?"
"None, madam," said the prince.
The bishop began the office, and Osra stood, dimly hearing the words
of comfort, peace, and hope; dimly seeing the smile on the lady's
face, for gradually her eyes clouded with tears. Now her ears seemed
to hear nothing save the sad and piteous sobs that had shaken the girl
as she hung about Ludwig's neck. But she strove to drive away her
softer thoughts, fanning her fury when it burnt low, and telling
herself again of the insult that she had suffered. Thus she rested
till the bishop had performed the office. But when he had finished it
he rose from his knees, and came to where Osra was.
"It was your duty," she said. "But it is none of mine."
"She will not live an hour," said he. "For she had an affection of the
heart, and this shock has killed her. Indeed, I think she was half
dead from grief before we came."
"Who is she?" broke again from Osra's lips.
"Come and hear," said he; and she followed him obediently, yet
unwillingly, to the couch, and looked down at the lady. The lady
looked at her with wondering eyes, and then she smiled faintly,
pressing the prince's hand and whispering:
"Yet she is so beautiful." And she seemed now wonderfully happy, so
that the three all watched her, and were envious, although they were
to live and she to die.
"Now God pardon her sin," said the Princess Osra suddenly, and she
fell on her knees beside the couch, crying: "Surely God has pardoned
"Sin she had none, save what clings even to the purest in this world,"
said the bishop. "For what she has said to me I know to be true."
Osra answered nothing, but gazed in questioning at the prince, and he,
still holding the lady's hand, began to speak in a gentle voice.
"Do not ask her name, madam. But from the first hour that we knew the
meaning of love we have loved one another. And had the issue rested in
my hands I would have thrown to the winds all that kept me from her. I
remember when first I met her--ah, my sweet! do you remember? And from
that day to this, in soul she has been mine, and I hers in all my
life. But more could not be. Madam, you have asked what love is. Here
is love. Yet fate is stronger. Thus I came here to woo, and she, left
alone, resolved to give herself to God."
"How comes she here, then?" whispered Osra. And she laid one hand
timidly on the couch near the lady, yet not so as to touch even her
"She came here," he began--but suddenly, to their amazement, the lady,
who had seemed dead, with an effort raised herself on her elbow, and
spoke in a quick, eager whisper, as if she feared time and strength
"He is a great prince," she said; "he must be a great king. God means
him for greatness. God forbid that I should be his ruin! Oh, what a
sweet dream he painted! But praise be to the blessed saints that kept
me strong. Yet, at the last I was weak. I could not live without
another sight of his face, and so--so I came. Next week I am--I was to
take the veil, and I came here to see him once again--God pardon me
for it--but I could not help it. Ah, madam, I know you, and I see now
your beauty. Have you known love?"
"No," said Osra; and she moved her hand near to the lady's hand.
"And when he found me here he prayed me again to do what he asked, and
I was half killed in denying it. But I prevailed, and we were even
then parting when you came. Why, why did I come?" And for a moment her
voice died away in a low, soft moan. But she made one more effort.
Clasping Osra's hand in her delicate fingers, she whispered: "I am
going. Be his wife."
"No, no, no!" whispered Osra, her face now close to the lady's. "You
must live you must live and be happy." And then she kissed the lady's
lips. The lady put out her arms, and clasped them round Osra's neck;
and again she whispered softly in Osra's ear. Neither Ludwig nor the
bishop heard what she said, but they heard only that Osra sobbed.
Presently the lady's arms relaxed a little in their hold, and Osra,
having kissed her again, rose, and signed to Ludwig to come nearer;
while she, turning, gave her hand to the bishop, and he led her from
the room, and finding another room near, took her in there, where she
sat silent and pale.
Thus half an hour passed; then the bishop stole softly out, and
presently returned, saying:
"God has spared her the long, painful path, and has taken her straight
to his rest."
Osra heard him, half in a trance, and as if she did not hear; she did
not know whither he went, nor what he did, nor anything that passed,
until, as it seemed, after a long while, she looked up, and saw Prince
Ludwig standing before her. He was composed and calm, but it seemed as
if half the life had gone out of his face. Osra rose slowly to her
feet, supporting herself on an arm of the chair on which she had sat,
and when she had seen his face she suddenly threw herself on the floor
at his feet, crying:
"Forgive me! Forgive me!"
"The guilt is mine," said he; "for I did not trust you, and did by
stealth what your nobility would have suffered openly. The guilt is
mine." And he offered to raise her, but she rose unaided, asking with
"Is she dead?"
"She is dead," said the prince; and Osra, hearing it, covered her face
with her hands, and blindly groped her way back to the chair, where
she sat, panting and exhausted.
"To her I have said farewell, and now, madam, to you. Yet do not think
that I am a man without eyes for your beauty, or a heart to know your
worth. I seemed to you a fool and a churl. I grieved most bitterly,
and I wronged you bitterly; my excuse for all is now known. For though
you are more beautiful than she, yet true love is no wanderer; it
gives a beauty that it does not find, and weaves a chain no other
charms can break. Madam, farewell."
[Illustration: "OSRA ... SUDDENLY THREW HERSELF ON THE FLOOR AT HIS
FEET, CRYING, 'FORGIVE ME! FORGIVE ME!'"]
She looked at him and saw the sad joy in his eyes, an exultation over
what had been that what was could not destroy; and she knew that the
vision was still with him, though his love was dead. Suddenly he
seemed to her a man she also might love, and for whom she also, if
need be, might gladly die. Yet not because she loved him, for she was
asking still in wonder: "What is this love?"
"Madam, farewell," said he again; and, kneeling before her, he kissed
"I carry the body of my love," he went on, "back with me to my home,
there to mourn for her; and I shall come no more to Strelsau."
Osra bent her eyes on his face as he knelt, and presently she said to
him in a whisper that was low for awe, not shame:
"You heard what she bade me do?"
"Yes, madam, I know her wish."
"And you would do it?" she asked.
"Madam, my struggle was fought before she died. But now you know that
my love was not yours."
"That also I knew before, sir;" and a slight, bitter smile came on her
face. But she grew grave again, and sat there, seeming to be
pondering, and Prince Ludwig waited on his knees. Then she suddenly
leant forward and said:
"If I loved I would wait for you to love. Now what is the love that I
And then she sat again silent, but at last raised her eyes again to
his, saying in a voice that even in the stillness of the room he
"Now I do dearly love you, for I have seen your love, and know that
you can love; and I think that love must breed love, so that she who
loves must in God's time be loved. Yet"--she paused here, and for a
moment hid her face with her hand--"yet I cannot," she went on. "Is it
our Lord Christ who bids us take the lower place? I cannot take it He
does not so reign in my heart. For to my proud heart--ah, my heart so
proud!--she would be ever between us. I could not bear it. Even though
she is dead, I could not bear it. Yet I believe now that with you I
might one day find happiness."
The prince, though in that hour he could not think of love, was yet
very much moved by her new tenderness, and felt that what had passed
rather drew them together than made any separation between them. And
it seemed to him that the dead lady's blessing was on his suit, so he
"Madam, I would most faithfully serve you, and you would be the
nearest and dearest to me of all living women."
She waited a while, then she sighed heavily, and looked in his face
with an air of wistful longing, and she knit her brows as though she
were puzzled. But at last, shaking her head, she said:
"It is not enough."
And with this she rose and took him by the hand, and they two went
back together to where the Bishop of Modenstein still prayed beside
the body of the lady.
Osra stood on one side of the body, and stretched her hand out to the
prince, who stood on the other side.
"See," said she, "she must be between us." And having kissed the dead
face once, she left the prince there by the side of his love, and
herself went out, and turning her head, saw that the prince knelt
again by the corpse of his love.
"He does not think of me," she said to the bishop.
"His thoughts are still with her, madam," he answered.
It was late night now, and they rode swiftly and silently along the
road to Strelsau. And on all the way they spoke to one another only a
few words, being both sunk deep in thought. But once Osra spoke, as
they were already near to Strelsau. For she turned suddenly to the
"My lord, what is it? Do you know it?"
"Yes, madam, I have known it," answered the bishop.
"Yet you are a churchman!"
"True, madam," said he, and he smiled sadly.
She seemed to consider, fixing her eyes on his; but he turned his
"Could you not make me understand?" she asked.
"Your lover, when he comes, will do that, madam," said he, and still
he kept his eyes averted. And Osra wondered why he kept his eyes
turned away; yet presently a faint smile curved her lips, and she
"It may be you might feel it, if you were not a churchman. But I do
not. Many men have said they loved me, and I have felt something in my
heart--but not this!"
"It will come," said the bishop.
"Does it come, then, to every one?"
"To most," he answered.
"Heigho, will it ever come to me?" she sighed.
And so they were at home. And Osra was for a long time very sorrowful
for the fate of the lady whom the Prince of Glottenberg had loved; but
since she saw Ludwig no more, and the joy of youth conquered her
sadness, she ceased to mourn; and as she walked along she would wonder
more and more what it might be, this great love that she did not feel.
"For none will tell me, not even the Bishop of Modenstein," said she.
[Illustration: P.A.J. DAGNAN-BOUVERET, A LIVING FRENCH PAINTER.]
MADONNA AND CHILD IN ART.
BY WILL H. LOW.
When shepherds watched their flocks by night, and the angel appeared,
bringing the tidings of good-will, a new vocation, until then unknown,
was given to men. Tradition has it that one of the earliest of the
followers of the Child born that night was a painter, and in the
pictures of the primitive Dutch and Italian schools a not uncommon
subject is St. Luke painting the Virgin and Child, while in more than
one church in Europe the original(?) picture may be seen. Perhaps the
most notable of these is the beautiful though quaint picture by Rogier
van der Weyden, now in the Old Pinakothek, in Munich. And the
tradition is a pleasant one, showing how early the services of the
painters were enlisted in spreading abroad the new gospel of peace on
When we consider that, even stripped of divinity, the birth of a
child, its first dawning intelligence, its flower-like tenderness of
aspect, are one and all motives which excite the best that is in man,
there is little wonder that the Christ-child should have been and
should still be the best subject that a painter could demand. In many
forms, in fact, do we of a later day and of less fervent faith
celebrate the beauty of mother and child. How much more ardently,
therefore, in the days when faith and the painter's craft were so
intimately linked, have the painters approached their task. Almost
transfigured to divinity is the woman with the child at her breast
that shines upon us in so many galleries; quite divine in the devout
painter's thought it was as he wrought.
"Fair shines the gilded aureole
In which our highest painters place
Some living woman's simple face."
sings Rossetti; and the "highest painter," pious monk, as in the case
of Fra Angelico, and stately courtier, as was Peter Paul Rubens,
meet, extremes though they are, on the same ground when they approach
this sacred subject. The pictures reproduced here, it may safely be
said, are all celebrated, and yet they represent but a small part of
the pictures of the same subject which are known to be by men of
importance, and of which every museum in the world has a goodly
number. If we add to these the pictures in private collections, and
then take into account the tens of thousands of pictures of the same
subject which, everywhere throughout the world, especially in Europe,
are to be found in the churches, it is safe to say that no other
subject has so often given its inspiration to the painter.
[Illustration: MOTHER AND CHILD. TITIAN (ITALIAN: BORN 1477; DIED
Nor in any other case has a subject given such variety of inspiration.
The elements are few and simple, and though occasionally there are
accessory figures, the concentration of interest, the reason for the
existence of the picture, is centred on the Mother and Child. A survey
of these pages will suffice to show that of these two principal
elements a great variety of pictorial effect, of expression, of
sentiment, of composition of line, and of light and shade, is
possible. We can go back to the splendid Byzantine churches, with
their wealth of mosaic, their subdued splendor of dulled gold covering
arch and pillar as a background for the glow of color with which the
artists of Constantine worked,--in a rigid convention as to form which
gives their figures an impressive air, but which is ill-suited to the
representation of the divine Mother and Child. Hence, in this, the
earliest manifestation of Christian art, it is the remembrance of the
majesty of a prophet, of the benign dignity of the mature Christ, that
I we carry away with us. Giotto, however, had no sooner freed himself
from the hampering conditions under which his predecessors worked,
than we begin to feel the human element enter into art. Down through
the centuries until to-day, the long procession of artists comes to
us: those of Italy first of all, birthplace of modern art, land where
time has touched everything with so reverent a hand that all has been
[Illustration: MADONNA AND CHILD. MURILLO (SPANISH: BORN 1618?; DIED
This legion of valiant painters enlisted in the service of "that most
noble Lady and her Son, our Lord and Seigneur," have names which sound
sweet to the ear, as their work is goodly to the sight. Giotto, Era
Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Gentile da Fabriano, Ghirlandajo, names like
the beads of a rosary, commence the list, to which Botticelli,
Perugino, Raffaello Santi, Leonardo da Vinci, Andrea del Sarto,
Correggio, Tiziano, Veronese, and, last of all, with a name like the
blast of a trumpet, the mighty Michael the Archangel, add their
syllabic charm. Then the painters of more northern lands bring the
tribute of their name and work; names less pleasing to the ear, as
their work has less beauty to the sight, but rich, both in name and
work, with honest intent and simple devotion.
[Illustration: MOTHER AND CHILD, MURILLO (SPANISH: BORN 1618?; DIED
First come the men whose names are those of their works or of their
birthplace: Master William of Cologne, Master of the Death of Mary,
Master of the Holy Companionship. Then the Van Eycks, Hubert and Jan,
Rogier van der Weyden, Hugo van der Goes, Hans Memling, Quentin
Massys, Lucas van Leyden, the two Hans Holbein, elder and younger,
Burgkmair, Wolgemut, and then, master of them all, Albrecht Duerer.
Something of their honesty of purpose must have been mixed with their
pigments, for the works of these fortunate painters of the early Dutch
and German schools shine on us to-day from the gallery walls with
undiminished splendor; and brave with vivid reds, with blues as rich
and deep as an organ chord, and yellows rich as the gold with which
they embroidered their Virgin's robes, their pictures show, with
touching lapses in some of the details, a large technical mastery,
coupled with an intensity of sentiment which has remained
[Illustration: HOLY FAMILY. NICOLAS POUSSIN (FRENCH: BORN 1594; DIED
[Illustration: MOTHER AND CHILD. LANDELLE. A LIVING FRENCH PAINTER.]
[Illustration: MOTHER AND CHILD. UNKNOWN EARLY FLEMISH PAINTER.]
[Illustration: THE MADONNA WITH THE DIADEM. RAPHAEL (ITALIAN: BORN
1483; DIED 1520).]
[Illustration: MOTHER AND CHILD. RUBENS (FLEMISH: BORN 1577; DIED
[Illustration: VIRGIN, INFANT JESUS, AND ST. JOHN. BOTTICELLI
(ITALIAN: BORN 1447; DIED 1515).]