Life in the White House

What he Did—Incidents to Tell the Story—Inauguration—His Address—Reading Address to Family—His Cabinet—Words with a Senator—Depended on Patriotism of the People—The Previous Administration—Lincoln's Story—Interview with Senator Douglas—Call for 75,000 Troops—Support of Douglas—First Gun of the Rebellion—Fall of Sumter—Effect—He Ruled and no one else—Rejects Cameron's Advice—Refused to Retaliate—Refused to Remove Cameron—Criticizes a Committee's Report—The Smith Case—His Firmness—Thrusts an Officer out of his Room—Sickness and Death in his Family—Mrs. Pomroy's Interview—Watching with Sick Tad—Talk with Mrs. Pomroy upon Religion—Reciting her Experience—Twice—Thrice—Prayer and the War—The Midnight Telegram—Willie's Funeral—The Senator—His Mother's Bible—Instituting Prayer for Soldiers—Pleasing Incident—His Interview with Dr. Vinton—A Devoted Father—His Deep Sorrow—Defence of his Stories—His Wit—His Magnanimity—Art of Putting Things—Several Illustrations—What a Writer Says—His Religious Character—Trust in Providence—Orders to Prevent Sabbath-breaking and Profanity—Temperance—His Literary Ability—Illustrations—Address at Dedication of National Cemetery

Our purpose being to see the man Lincoln in the highest office, as we saw the boy Abraham in his pioneer home, we shall not recount his public deeds in overthrowing the “Rebellion,” which lasted during his entire life in the Executive Mansion. His remarkable success in marshalling the “Union Army” of more than two million men, controlling the perilous factions of the country, securing the confidence of every true patriot in the land, organizing victory upon a thousand battle-fields, creating a powerful navy, raising three thousand million dollars for the war, restoring the public credit, emancipating four million slaves, and restoring peace upon a stronger basis than ever, is well known to the world. These achievements caused M. Laboulaye to exclaim, at the College de France, before an immense audience of the elite of the intellectual world, “Mr. Lincoln is a Greater Man Than Cæsar.” To record a history of these achievements would require a volume instead of two or three chapters, and even then the real character of the man might not appear so clearly as it does in certain incidents of his presidential career. In his daily life, at the head of the nation, we are to find those qualities of mind and heart which made him truly great. Incidents will illustrate his ability, honesty, patriotism, industry, kindness, self-reliance, firmness, tact, wit, genius, magnanimity, and influence, far better than declamation. For this reason we shall present his presidential career through the most instructive incidents of his life in the White House.

Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated on the 4th of March, 1861. A vast concourse of people assembled at Washington to witness the imposing ceremonies. Fears of an outbreak and the possible assassination of the President led General Scott to provide ample military defence of the city. President Lincoln closed his inaugural address with the following touching appeal to the enemies of the Government:—

“In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government; while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it. I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may be strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

On that morning, Mrs. Lincoln relates, he read his inaugural address to his family; and after having read it, he requested to be left alone. The door stood ajar, and his friends distinctly heard him in prayer, commending himself, his country, and his family to the care and protection of God. The weight of responsibility laid upon him was too great for his human heart to bear alone. His Cabinet were William H. Seward, Secretary of State; Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury; Simon Cameron, Secretary of War; Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy; Caleb B. Smith, Secretary of the Interior; Montgomery Blair, Postmaster-General; and Edward Bates, Attorney-General,—a body of advisers with whom the loyal people were well pleased.

A distinguished senator said to President Lincoln, just after his inauguration,—

  By PanEris using Melati.

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