Pioneers of Menard & Mason Counties
Including Personal Reminiscens of Abraham Lincoln & Peter Cartwright
By T.G. Onstot, 1902

As a Lawyer

Page 65

Lincoln belonged to the reasoning class of men. He dealt with his own mind and turned things over, seeking the truth until he established it and it became a conviction. As a lawyer he never claimed anything for his client. He stated something of both sides of the case. He has been heard to say: "Now I do not think my client is entitled to the whole of what he claims. In this or in that point he may have been in error. He must rebate something of his claim." He was very careful about giving offense, and if he had something severe to say he would turn to his opponent or to the party referred to and say, "I don't like to use this language." or "I am sorry that I have to be hard on that gentleman."

Therefore, what he did say was very effective and he very seldom wounded the parties interested. Throughout Mr. Lincoln's life that kind of wisdom attended him and made him great and skillful in handling people. He had a smooth, manly, pleasing voice, and when arguing in court that voice attracted the jury and did not tire them as they followed the argument throughout. He was not a graceful man. He would lean on the back of a chair or stand with his arms folded. Yet there was a pleasure in hearing him. A lady once said that he was the best looking ugly man she ever saw.

Transcribed by:Brenda Hamilton Johnson



1902 Index

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Illinois Ancestors