Lincoln maintained towards the seceding communities. In December, 1861, in his annual message to this Congress, whose searching anti-slavery measures have just been discussed, he said: "There are three vacancies on the bench of the Supreme Court.... I have so far forborne making nominations to fill these vacancies for reasons which I will now state.
This was a masterly refutation of the claim of Douglas and the Democracy that the fathers of the nation were on their side as to the territorial question. Lincoln then passed to a broader view, and inquired: What can we do that will really satisfy the South? Every word is sober, temperate, well-weighed. The South, he showed, is really taking very little interest now in the Territories.
When he was twenty-one years old his father moved again. This time Thomas Lincoln settled in Illinois, and Abraham worked without pay for a year, helping him to clear his property and settle his land. Then, as was the custom in those days, he left home to seek his fortune elsewhere.
Pseudo-liberal right-honorable Gladstone asserts that Jeff. Davis "has made the South a nation;" then Abraham Lincoln, with W. H. Seward and G. B. McClellan, have destroyed a noble and generous nation.
There is no doubt that Seward at the beginning, and Stanton persistently, and zealous local commanders now and then solved such problems in a very hasty fashion, or that Lincoln throughout was far more anxious to stand by vigorous agents of the Government than to correct them.
Warned M. Blair not to protect one whom Fremont deservedly expelled. But M. Blair, in his spite against Fremont, took a mean adventurer by the hand, and entangled therein the President. The vessel and the crew are excellent, and would easily obey the hand of a helmsman, but there is the rub, where to find him? Lincoln is a simple man of the prairie, and his eyes penetrate not the fog, the tempest.
But perhaps it was because the biographies and histories I began to read when I came to the settlement house were all about men: how Lincoln rose, how Napoleon rose, how this rich man sold newspapers when he was a little boy, and that other one spent his first money in taking his mother out of the poorhouse. And of course marriage doesn't enter so much into the lives of men.
He put his hand on my shoulder then and there, and turned to General Sherman. "Major Brice is a friend of mine, General," he said. "I knew him in Illinois." "He never told me that," said the General. "I guess he's got a great many important things shut up inside of him," said Mr. Lincoln, banteringly. "But he gave you a good recommendation, Sherman.
"No, no," said Robin's father; "speak out at once." "Well, Master Sheriff, no one would tell me when I asked questions, but there's a little fellow there, dressed all in Lincoln green, like one of Robin Hood's fighting men, with his sword and bugle, and bow and arrows, and somehow I began to think, and then I began to ask, whether he was Robin Hood's son; but those I asked only shook their heads.
In a corner of the room were several impatient gentlemen of influence who wished to talk about the Question. But when he saw Stephen, Mr. Lincoln looked up with a smile of welcome that is still, and ever will be, remembered and cherished. "Tell Judge Whipple that I have attended to that little matter, Steve," he said. "Why, Mr. Lincoln," he exclaimed, "you have had no time."