Abraham Lincoln, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 338 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, Volume I.

[49] It is fair to say that my view of this “duel” is not that of other writers.  Lamon, p. 260, says that “the scene is one of transcendent interest.”  Herndon, p. 260, calls it a “serio-comic affair.”  Holland, pp. 87-89, gives a brief, deprecatory account of what he calls “certainly a boyish affair.”  Arnold, pp. 69-72, treats it simply enough, but puts the whole load of the ridicule upon Shields.  Nicolay and Hay, vol. i. ch. 12, deal with it gravely, and in the same way in which, in the preceding chapter, they deal with the marriage; that is to say, they eschew the production of original documents, and, by their own gloss, make a good story for Lincoln and a very bad one for Shields; they speak lightly of the “ludicrousness” of the affair.  To my mind the opinion which Lincoln himself held is far more correct than that expressed by any of his biographers.

[50] Serious practice only began with him when he formed his partnership with Judge Logan in 1841; in 1860 his practice came to an end; in the interval he was for two years a member of Congress.

[51] A story is told by Lamon, p. 321, which puts Lincoln in a position absolutely indefensible by any sound reasoning.

[52] For accounts of Lincoln at the bar, as also for many illustrative and entertaining anecdotes to which the plan of this volume does not permit space to be given, see Arnold, 55-59, 66, 73, 84-91; Holland, 72, 73, 76-83, 89; Lamon, 223-225, ch. xiii. 311-332; N. and H. i. 167-171, 213-216, ch. xvii. 298-309; Herndon, 182-184, 186, 264-266, 306 n., 307-309, 312-319, 323-331, ch. xi. 332-360.

[53] Holland, 95; but per contra see Herndon, 271.

[54] March, 1843.

[55] By way of example of his methods, see letter to Herndon, June 22, 1848, Lamon, 299.

[56] The treaty of peace, subject to some amendments, was ratified by the Senate March 10, 1848, and officially promulgated on July 4.

[57] Von Holst, Const.  Hist. of U.S. iii. 336.  All historians are pretty well agreed upon the relation of the Polk administration to the Mexican war.  But the story has never been so clearly and admirably traced by any other as by von Holst in the third volume of his history.

[58] December 22, 1847.

[59] Printed by Lamon, 282.  See, also, Herndon, 277.

[60] Herndon, 281; see letters given in full by Lamon, 291, 293, 295 (at 296); N. and H. i. 274



The Ordinance of 1787 established that slavery should never exist in any part of that vast northwestern territory which had then lately been ceded by sundry States to the Confederation.  This Ordinance could not be construed otherwise than as an integral part of the transaction of cession, and was forever unalterable, because it represented in a certain way a part of the consideration in a contract, and was also in the

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