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McClure's Magazine December, 1895 by Edited by Ida M. Tarbell

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FROM HENRY C. WHITNEY, an associate of Lincoln's on the circuit in
Illinois, whose unpublished notes have saved from oblivion the great
"lost speech" made by Lincoln at Bloomington in 1856, at the first
meeting for organizing the Republican party in Illinois. Mr. Whitney's
account of this speech will appear later in this Magazine.


_My Dear Sir_: I am greatly obliged for your early picture of Abraham
Lincoln, which I regard as an important contribution to history. It is
without doubt authentic and accurate; and dispels the illusion so
common (but never shared by me) that Mr. Lincoln was an ugly-looking
man. In point of fact, Mr. Lincoln was always a noble-looking--always
a highly intellectual looking man--not handsome, but no one of any
force ever thought of that. All pictures, as well as the living man,
show _manliness_ in its highest tension--this as emphatically as the
rest. This picture was a surprise and pleasure to me. I doubt not it
is its first appearance. It will be hailed with pleasure by friends of
Mr. Lincoln. You ought to put his _latest_ picture (the one I told
Miss Tarbell about) with it. This picture was probably taken between
December, 1847, and March, 1849, while he was in Congress. I never saw
him with his hair combed before.



* * * * *

FROM THE HON. HENRY B. BROWN, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
of the United States.

WASHINGTON, _October 23, 1895._

S.S. MCCLURE, _New York_.

_Dear Sir_: Accept my thanks for the engraving of the earliest picture
of Mr. Lincoln. I recognized it at once, though I never saw Mr.
Lincoln, and know him only from photographs of him while he was
President. I think you were fortunate in securing the daguerreotype
from which this was engraved, and it will form a very interesting
contribution to the literature connected with this remarkable man.
From its resemblance to his later pictures I should judge the likeness
must be an excellent one.

Very truly yours,


* * * * *

FROM MAJOR J.W. POWELL, of the United States Geological Survey.

WASHINGTON, _October 24, 1895._

_My Dear McClure_: I am delighted with the proof of the portrait of
Lincoln from a daguerreotype. His pictures have never quite pleased
me, and I now know why. I remember Lincoln as I saw him when I was a
boy; after he became a public man I saw him but few times. This
portrait is Lincoln as I knew him best: his sad, dreamy eye, his
pensive smile, his sad and delicate face, his pyramidal shoulders, are
the characteristics which I best remember; and I can never think of
him as wrinkled with care, so plainly shown in his later portraits.
This is the Lincoln of Springfield, Decatur, Jacksonville, and

Yours cordially,


* * * * *

FROM MR. JOHN C. ROPES, author of "The First Napoleon" and
"The Story of the Civil War."

99 MOUNT VERNON STREET, BOSTON, _October 24, 1895._


_My Dear Sir_: I thank you for the engraving of the daguerreotype
portrait of Mr. Lincoln. It is assuredly a most interesting portrait.
The expression, though serious and earnest, is devoid of the sadness
which characterizes the later likenesses. There is an appearance of
strength and self-confidence in this face, and an evident sense of
humor. This picture is a great addition to our portraits of Mr.

With renewed thanks, I am,

Very truly yours,


* * * * *

FROM WOODROW WILSON, Professor of Finance and Political Economy at

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, _October 23, 1895._


_My Dear Mr. McClure_: I thank you very much for the portrait of
Lincoln you were kind enough to send me, reproduced from an early
daguerreotype. It seems to me both striking and singular. The fine
brows and forehead, and the pensive sweetness of the clear eyes, give
to the noble face a peculiar charm. There is in the expression the
dreaminess of the familiar face without its later sadness. I shall
treasure it as a notable picture.

Very sincerely yours,


* * * * *

FROM C. R. MILLER, editor of the New York "Times."

NEW YORK, _October 24, 1895._

S. S. MCCLURE, ESQ., _City_.

_Dear Mr. McClure_: I thank you for the privilege you have given me of
looking over some of the text and illustrations of your new Life of
Lincoln. The portraits are of extraordinary interest, especially the
"earliest" portrait, which I have never seen before. It is surprising
that a portrait of such personal and historic interest could so long
remain unpublished.

Yours very truly,


* * * * *

FROM THE HON. DAVID J. BREWER, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
of the United States.

WASHINGTON, _October 24, 1895._

S. S. MCCLURE, ESQ., _New York_.

_My Dear Sir_: I have yours of 19th inst., accompanied by an engraving
of an early picture of Abraham Lincoln. Please accept my thanks for
your kindness. The picture, if a likeness, must have been taken many
years before I saw him and he became the central figure in our
country's life. Indeed, I find it difficult to see in that face the
features with which we are all so familiar. It certainly is a valuable
contribution to any biography of Mr. Lincoln, and I wish that in some
way the date at which it was taken could be accurately determined.

Yours truly,


* * * * *

FROM MURAT HALSTEAD, for many years editor of the Cincinnati
"Commercial Gazette," and now editor of the Brooklyn "Standard-Union."

BROOKLYN STANDARD-UNION, _October 23, 1895._


_My Dear Sir_: I am under obligations to you for the artist's proof of
the engraving of Abraham Lincoln as a young man. It is a surprising
good fortune that you have this most interesting and admirable
portrait. It is the one thing needed to tell the world the truth about
Lincoln. The old daguerreotype was, after all, the best likeness, in
the right light, ever made. This is incredibly fine. It shows Lincoln
to have been in his youth very handsome, and the stamp of a manhood of
noble promise is in this. There is manifest, too, intellectuality. The
head is grand, the mouth is tender, the expression composed and
pathetic. One sees the possibility of poetry and romance in it. The
dress is not careless, but neat and elegant. The elaborate tie of the
cravat is most becoming. The chin is magnificent. The length of neck
is shaded away by the collars and the voluminous necktie. This young
man might do anything important. I cannot understand how this
wonderful picture should have been private property so long. It is at
once the first and last chapter of the life of Lincoln. The young face
of Lincoln, thus far unknown to the world, will be the most famous of
all his portraits. It will be multiplied by the million, and be found
in every house inhabited by civilized men.


* * * * *

FROM GENERAL FRANCIS A. WALKER, President of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology.

BOSTON, _October 24, 1895._

S. S. MCCLURE, ESQ., _30 Lafayette Place, New York City_.

_Dear Mr. McClure_: I am in receipt of your picture of Lincoln. Having
seen Mr. Lincoln in the war time, I have not been so dependent upon
photographs and engravings as have most of the men of my generation
for an impression of Mr. Lincoln's personality. I can, however, say
that the present picture has distinctly helped me to understand the
relation between Mr. Lincoln's face and his mind and character, as
shown in his life's work. It is, far away, the most interesting
presentation of the man I have ever seen. To my eye it _explains_ Mr.
Lincoln far more than the most elaborate line-engraving which has been

Very truly yours,


* * * * *


HARTFORD, _October 24, 1895._

_My Dear Mr. McClure_: The engraving you sent me of an authentic
picture of Abraham Lincoln is of very great interest and value. I wish
the date could be ascertained. The change from the Lincoln of this
portrait to the Lincoln of history is very marked, and shows a
remarkable development of character and expression. It must be very
early. The deep-set eyes and mouth belong to the historical Lincoln,
and are recognizable as his features when we know that this is a
portrait of him. But I confess that I should not have recognized the
likeness. I was familiar with his face as long ago as 1857, '58, '59.
I used often to see him in the United States Court room in Chicago,
and hear him, sitting with other lawyers, talk and tell stories. He
looked then essentially as he looked when I heard him open in Chicago
the great debate with Douglas, and when he was nominated. But the
change from the Lincoln of this picture to the Lincoln of national
fame is almost radical in character, and decidedly radical in

For the study of the man's development, I think this new old portrait
has a peculiar value.

Yours sincerely,


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