Best Lincoln Stories Tersely Told
by J. E. Gallaher
Pub. in 1898


Lincoln As A Ruler.

Mr. Henry Watterson, the distinguished and scholarly editor of the widely-read Louisville Courier Journal, once delivered a lecture on "Lincoln." The following is part of what he said:

"After he was inaugurated President, Mr. Lincoln evinced four great qualities of mind and heart so great indeed that it is doubtful if such a combination of kingly talents was ever before or since concentrated in the same man." Mr. Watterson then elaborated from historical fact, incidents, and conclusions, as also from quotations from Mr. Lincoln’s speeches and letters, his direction and management of generals and cabinet officers, his knowledge of law, diplomacy, and military affairs, his firmness for the right, his great kindness of heart, and love of humanity, the following propositions:

  • Lincoln was the wisest ruler of this or any other age.

  • He had the firmness of the everlasting hills.

  • His love of justice and righteousness between man and man, and between nations guided him in all things.

  • His kindness of heart, and his sympathies for mankind were as an overflowing fountain.

  • Abraham Lincoln was raised up of God, and in a sense inspired for the place and work he fulfilled in the world.

"Perhaps the most striking illustration of superior wisdom and power as a ruler," said the speaker, "was his reply to Mr. Seward’s proposition to declare war against France and Spain, and impliedly against England and Russia, only one month after Lincoln’s inauguration. The reply was complete; so was his mastery over the most astute and scholarly statesman and diplomatist of the age. While preparing that reply, the same night after receiving Mr. Seward’s wonderful proposals,—a reply which the best critics of the world have declared needed not another word, and would not have been complete with one word lacking,—he was overheard repeating to himself audibly over and over, ‘One war at a time, one war at a time, one war at a time.’"


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