“Newton Bateman, Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Illinois, occupied a room adjoining and opening into the Executive Chamber. Frequently this door was open during Mr. Lincoln s receptions; and throughout the seven months or more of his occupation Mr. Bateman saw him nearly every day. ... Often when Mr. Lincoln was tired he closed his door against all intrusion, and called Mr. Bateman into his room for a quiet talk. ... toward the close of October, and only a few days before the election. Calling Mr. Bateman to a seat at his side, having previously locked all the doors, he said: ‘let us look over this book. I wish particularly to see how the ministers of Springfield are going to vote.’ In that manner they went through the book, and then he closed it and sat silently and for some minutes regarding a memorandum in pencil which lay before him. At length he turned to Mr. Bateman with a face full of sadness, and said: ‘Here are twenty-three ministers, of different denominations, and all of them are against me but three; and here are a great many prominent members of the churches, a very large majority of whom are against me. Mr. Bateman, I am not a Christian God knows I would be one but I have carefully read the Bible, and I do not so understand this book...’”
J. G. Holland, The Life Of Abraham Lincoln (Springfield, Mass.: Gurdon Bill, 1866), 236-237.
“To foreigners, a Yankee is an American – To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner – To Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner – To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander – To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter – And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.”
John George Nicolay (Left)
John Milton Hay (Right)
“In the Field, Big Shanty, June 23,1864. – As the question may arise, and you have a right to the support of my authority, I now decide that the use of the torpedo is justifiable in war in advance of an army, so as to make his advance up a river or over a road more dangerous and difficult. But after the adversary has gained the country by fair warlike means, then the case entirely changes. The use of torpedoes in blowing up our cars and the road after they are in our possession, is simply malicious. It cannot alter the great problem, but simply makes trouble. Now, if torpedoes are found in the possession of an enemy to our rear, you may cause them to be put on the ground and tested by wagon-loads of prisoners, or, if need be, citizens implicated in their use. In like manner, if a torpedo is suspected on any part of the road, order the point to be tested by a car-load of prisoners, or citizens implicated, drawn by a long rope. Of course an enemy cannot complain of his own traps – W. T. Sherman, Major-General, Commanding”
Supplemental Report Of The Joint Committee On The Conduct Of The War: Supplemental To Senate Report No. 142, 38th Congress, 2d Session, Volume 1 (Washington: Government Printing Company, 1865), 92.
William Tecumseh Sherman
Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln
“Mr. Lincoln once remarked to a friend that his religion was like that of an old man named Glenn, in Indiana, whom he heard speak at a church meeting, and who said: ‘When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad; and that's my religion.’
Mrs. Lincoln herself has said that Mr. Lincoln had no faith—no faith, in the usual acceptance of those words. ‘He never joined a church; but still, as I believe, he was a religious man by nature. He first seemed to think about the subject when our boy Willie died, and then more than ever about the time he went to Gettysburg; but it was a kind of poetry in his nature, and he never was a technical Christian.’”
Alexander K. McClure, Abe Lincoln's Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America's Greatest Story Teller (Henry Neil, 1901), 386.
William Henry Herndon
“One word concerning this discussion about Mr. Lincoln's Christian views. It is important in this: 1st, it settles a historic fact. 2d, it makes it possible to write a true history of a man free from the fear of fire and stake. 3d, it assures the reading world that the life of Mr. Lincoln will be truly written. 4th, it will be a warning forever to all untrue men, that the life they have lived will be dragged out to public view. 5th, it should convince the Christian pulpit and press that it is impossible in this day and generation, at least in America, to daub up sin, and make a hero out of a fool, a knave, or a villain, which Mr. Lincoln was not. Some true spirit will drag the fraud, and lie out to the light of day. 6th, Its tendencies will be to arrest and put a stop to romantic biographies, and now let it be written in history and on Mr. Lincoln's tomb—"He died an unbeliever.”
William Henry Herndon, The Religion Of Abraham Lincoln (Plainfield, N. J., 1915), 105-106.
“‘What is to be, will be, and no prayers of ours can arrest the decree.’ On this maxim of Lincoln’s – Mary states that this “effectually sets aside the Christian idea of the efficacy of prayer.”
D. M. Bennett, The World's Sages, Thinkers and Reformers: Being Biographical Sketches of Leading Philosophers, Teachers, Reformers, Innovators, Founders Of New Schools Of Thought, Eminent Scientists, Etc. (New York, Liberal & Scientific Publishing House, 1876), 774.
"Friends, I agree with you in Providence; but I believe in the Providence of – the most men, the largest purse, and the longest cannon."
Ward H. Lamon, The Life Of Abraham Lincoln From His Birth To His Inauguration As President (Boston: James R. Osgood & Company, 1872), 372.
William Henry Herndon
“Lincoln was very politic, and a very shrewd man in some particulars. When he was talking to a Christian, he adapted himself to the Christian. When he spoke to, or joked to one of his own kind, he was indecently vulgar. Hence the different opinions about Mr. Lincoln's Christianity and vulgarity. Mr. Lincoln was chaste in his ideas and language when it was necessary, and when not so he was vulgar in his jokes and stories; he was at moments, as it were, a Christian, through politeness, courtesy, or good breeding toward the delicate, tender, nerved man, the Christian, and in two minutes after, in the absence of such men, and among his own kind, the same old unbeliever. I have witnessed this it may be a thousand times. This conduct of Mr. Lincoln was not hypocritical, but sprang from a high and tender regard for the feelings of men."
William Henry Herndon, The Religion Of Abraham Lincoln (Plainfield, N. J., 1915), 66-67.
William Tecumseh Sherman
“General Sherman paid a compliment in a letter to General Halleck when asked for his opinion of the disposition that should be made of the population after the war. General Sherman says, ‘The young bloods of the South, sons of planters, lawyers about towns, good billiard-players and sportsmen, men who never did work and never will. War suits them, and the rascals are brave, fine riders, bold to rashness, and dangerous subjects in every sense. They care not a soul for niggers, land, or anything. They hate Yankees perse, and don't bother their brains about the past, present or future. As long as they have good horses, plenty of forage, and an open country, they are happy. This is a larger class than most men suppose, and they are the most dangerous set of men that this war has turned loose upon the world. They are splendid riders, first-rate shots, and utterly reckless. Stuart, John Morgan, Forrest, and Jackson are the types and leaders of this class. These men must all be killed or employed by us before we can hope for peace.’”
John W. Headley, Confederate Operations In Canada and New York (New York: The Nealy Publishing Company, 1906), 139-140.
Ward Hill Lamon
Yankee Quotes & Narratives
“Mr. Lincoln's views of slavery... ‘None of his public acts, either before or after he became President, exhibits any special tenderness for the African race, or any extraordinary commiseration of their lot. On the contrary, he invariably, in words and deeds, postponed the interests of the blacks to the interests of the whites, and expressly subordinated the one to the other. When he was compelled, by what he deemed an overruling necessity, founded on both military and political considerations, to declare the freedom of the public enemy's slaves, he did so with avowed reluctance, and took pains to have it understood that his resolution was in no wise affected by sentiment. He never at any time favored the admission of negroes into the body of electors, in his own State or in the States of the South. He claimed that those who were incidentally liberated by the Federal arms were poor-spirited, lazy, and slothful; that they could be made soldiers only by force, and willing laborers not at all; that they seemed to have no interest in the cause of their own race, but were as docile in the service of the Rebellion as the mules that ploughed the fields or drew the baggage-trains; and, as a people, were useful only to those who were at the same time their masters and the foes of those who sought their good. With such views honestly formed, it is no wonder that he longed to see them transported to Hayti, Central America, Africa, or anywhere, so that they might in no event, and in no way, participate in the government of his country.’”
Ward Hill Lamon, The Life Of Abraham Lincoln: From His Birth To His Inauguration As President (Boston: J.R. Osgood and Company, 1872) 344-345.
Richard Lee Montgomery
“I have said that the separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation. I have no right to say all the members of the Republican party are in favor of this, nor to say that as a party they are in favor of it. There is nothing in their platform directly on the subject. ... Such separation, if ever effected at all, must be effected by colonization; and no political party, as such, is now doing anything directly for colonization. Party operations at present only favor or retard colonization incidentally. The enterprise is a difficult one; but ‘where there is a will there is a way,’ and what colonization needs most is a hearty will. Will springs from the two elements of moral sense and self-interest. Let us be brought to believe it is morally right, and at the same time favorable to, or at least not against, our interest to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task may be.”
Arthur Brooks Lapsley, The Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 2 (New York: The Lamb Publishing Company, 1905), 306.
Josiah Gilbert Holland
“The political creed of Abraham Lincoln embraced among other tenets, a belief in the value and promise of colonization as one means of solving the great race problem involved in the existence of slavery in the United States. ... Without being an enthusiast, Lincoln was a firm believer in colonization.”
Beverley Bland Munford, Virginia's Attitude Toward Slavery and Secession (New York: Longmans, Green & Company, 1909), 77-78.
“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out.”
General Sherman's Official Account Of His Great March Through Georgia And The Carolinas (New York: Bunce & Hunington, Publishers, 1865), 60.
“One morning, on my way to the White House, I heard that Captain Alexander Todd, one of her brothers, had been killed. I did not like to inform Mrs. Lincoln of his death, judging that it would be painful news to her. I had been in her room but a few minutes when she said, with apparent unconcern, ‘Lizzie, I have just heard that one of my brothers has been killed in the war.’
‘I also heard the same, Mrs. Lincoln, but hesitated to speak of it, for fear the subject would be a painful one to you.’
‘You need not hesitate. Of course, it is but natural that I should feel for one so nearly related to me, but not to the extent that you suppose. He made his choice long ago. He decided against my husband, and through him against me. He has been fighting against us; and since he chose to be our deadly enemy, I see no special reason why I should bitterly mourn his death.’”
Elizabeth Keckley, Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (New York: G. W. Carleton & Company, Publishers,1868) 132-135-136.
“While I was at the hotel to-day an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing perfect equality between the negroes and white people. While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet, as the question was asked me, I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, or intermarry with the white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they can not so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
Arthur Brooks Lapsley, The Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 5 (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1906), 19.