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Our country has recently passed through a great crisis which has concentrated upon it for a time the attention of the civilized world. It has sustained a shock which the whole world, judging by past experience, said must inevitably shatter the republic to fragments, and yet, like a gallant ship in full sail, it has run down the terrible obstacle, and gone on triumphant, and is this day stronger for the collision.

This wonderful success is owing to the character of the people which a Christian Democracy breeds. Of this people we propose to give a specimen; to show how they were formed in early life, from the influences which are inberent in such a state.

We are proud and happy to know that these names on our list are after all but specimens. Probably every reader of this book will recall as many more whom he will deem equally worthy of public notice. There is scarcely one of them who would not say in reference to his position before the public, what Lincoln said: “I stand where I do because some man must stand there, but there are twenty others that might as well have been leaders as myself.” On the whole, we are not ashamed to present to the world this list of men as a specimen of the graduates from the American school of Christian Democracy.

So far as we know, the American government is the only permanent republic which ever based itself upon the principles laid down by Jesus Christ, of the absolute equal brotherhood of man, and the rights of man on the simple ground of manhood. Notwithstanding the contrary practices of a section of the States united in the Union, and the concessions which they introduced into the constitution, nobody doubts that this was the leading idea of the men who founded our government. The declaration of American Independence crystalized a religious teaching within a political act. The constitution of the United States still further elaborates these principles, and so strong was the logic of ideas that the conflict of opinions implied in the incidental concessions to opposite ideas, produced in the government of the country a continual and irrepressible discord. For a while it seemed doubtful which idea would triumph, and whether the accidental parasite would not strangle and wither the great original tree. The late war was the outcome of the whole. The fierce fire into which our national character has been cast in the hour of trial,

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has burned out of it the last lingering stain of compromise with anything inconsistent with its ' primary object, “to ordain justice and perpetuate liberty."

These men have all been formed by the principles of that great Christian document, and that state of society and those social influences which grew out of it, and it is instructive to watch, in their early life, how a Christian republic trains her sons.

In looking through the list it will be seen that almost every one of these men sprang from a condition of hard-working poverty. The majority of them were self-educated men, who in early life were inured to industrious toil. The farm life of America has been the nursery of great men, and there is scarce a man mentioned in the book who has not hardened his muscles and strengthened his brain power by a hand to hand wrestle with the forces of nature in agricultural life. Frugality, strict temperance, self-reliance and indomitable industry have been the lessons of their early days.

Some facts about these specimen citizens are worthy of attention. More than one-half of them were born and received their early training in New England, and full one-third are direct lineal descendants of the Pilgrim fathers. All, so far as we know, are undoubted believers in the Christian religion-the greater proportion of them are men of peculiarly and strongly religious natures, who have been active and efficient in every peculiarly religious work. All have been agreed in one belief, that the teachings of Jesus Christ are to be carried out in political institutions, and that the form of society based on his teachings, is to be defended at any sacrifice and at all risks.

There is scarcely a political man upon this list whose early efforts were not menaced with loss and reproach and utter failure, if he advocated these principles in the conduct of political affairs. For these principles they have temporarily suffered buffetings, oppressions, losses, persecutions, and in one great instance, DEATH. All of them honored liberty when she was hard beset, insulted and traduced, and it is fit that a free people should honor them in the hour of her victory.

It will be found when the sum of all these biographies is added up that the qualities which have won this great physical and moral victory have not been so much exceptional gifts of genius or culture, as those more attainable ones which belong to man's moral.nature.

Taken as a class, while there is a fair proportion both of genius and scholarship among them, yet the general result speaks more of average talent and education turned to excellent account, than of any striking eminence in any particular direction.

But we regard it as highest of all that they were men of good and honest hearts-men who have set their faces as a flint to know and do the RIGHT. All of them are men whose principles have been tried in the fire, men who have braved opposition and persecution and loss for the sake of what they believed to be true, and knew to be right, and for this even more than for their bravery in facing danger, and their patience and perseverance in overcoming difficulties, we have good hope in offering them as examples to the young men of America.

In respect to one of the names on the list, the editor's near relationship, while it gives her most authentic access to all sources of just information, may be held to require an apology. But the fashion of writing biographies of our leading men is becoming so popular that the only way in which a prominent man can protect himself from being put before the public by any hands who may think fit to assume the task, is to put into the hands of some friend such authentic particulars as may with propriety be recorded. Mr. Beecher has recently been much embarrassed by the solicitation of parties, who notwithstanding his remonstrances, announce an intention of writing his life. He has been informed by them that it was to be done whether he consented or not, and that his only choice was between furnishing these parties with material, or taking the risk of what they might discover in their unassisted researches.

In this dilemma, it is hoped that the sketch presented in this volume, as being undeniably authentic, may so satisfy the demand, that there may be no call for any other record.





The Men of our Time-Lincoln Foremost—The War was the Working-Man's

Revolution--Abraham Lincoln's Birth and Youth—The Books he Read-

The Thirty Thousand Dollars for Tender—The Old Stocking of Govern-

ment Money–A Just Lawyer ; Anecdotes—His First Candidary and Speech

-Goes to Legislature and Congress—The Seven Debates and Campaign

against Douglass in 1858-Webster's and Lincoln's Language Compared-

The Cooper Institute Speech— The Nomination at Chicago-Moral and

Physical Courage—The Backwoodsman President and the Diplomatists-

Significance of his Presidential Career-Religious Feelings—His Kindness

-“The Baby Did It”—The First Inaugural—The Second Inaugural, and

other State Papers—The Conspiracy and Assassination—The Opinions of

Foreign Nations on Mr. Lincoln.



A General Wanted-A Short War Expected— The Young Napoleon-God's

Revenge Against Slavery—The Silent Man in Galena—“Tanning Leath-

er”—Gen. Grant's Puritan Descent—How he Loaded the Logs—His West

Point Career-Service in Mexico—Marries, and Leaves the Army-Wood-

Cutting, Danning and Leather-Selling-Enlists against the Rebellion—Mis-

souri Campaign-Paducah Campaign-Fort Donelson Campaign-Battle

of Shiloh—How Grant Lost his Temper-Vicksburg Campaign-Lincoln

on Grant's “Drinking"-Chattanooga-Grant's Method of Making a Speech

-Appointed Lieutenant-General—The Richmond Campaign—“Mr. Grant

is a Very Obstinate Man ”—Grant's Qualifications as a Ruler—Honesty-

Generosity to Subordinates—Sound Judgment of Men-Power of Holding

his Tongue-Grant's Sidewalk Platform-Talks Horse to Senator Wade-

“Wants Nothing Said ".



Mr. Garrison's Birth and Parents—His Mother—Her Conversion-His Boy.

hood-Apprenticed to a Printer—First Anti-Slavery Address-Advice to

Dr. Beecher-Benjamin Lundy-Garrison Goes to Baltimore-First Battle

with Slavery-In Jail-First Number of the Liberator-Threats and Rage

from the South— The American Anti-Slavery Society-First Visit to Eng-

land— The Era of Mob Violence—The Respectable Boston Mob~Mr. Gar-

rison's Account-Again in Jail—The Massachusetts Legislature Uncivil to

the Abolitionists-Logical Vigor of the Slaveholders-Garrison's Disunion-

ism-Denounces the Church - Liberality of the Liberator— The Southern-

ers' own Testimony-Mr. Garrison's Bland Manners-His Steady Nerves-

His use of Language, Things by their Right Names-Abolitionist “Hard

Language;" Garrison's Argument on it-Protest for Woman's Rights—The

Triumph of his Cause—“The Liberator" Discontinued-Second Visit to

England-Letter to Mrs. Stowe.



Mr. Sumner an instance of Free State High Culture—The “ Brahmin Caste"

of New England—The Sumner Ancestry; a Kentish Family-Governor

Increase Sumner ; His Revolutionary Patriotism-His Stately Presence; “A

Governor that can Walk”-Charles Sumner's Father—Mr. Sumner's Edu-

cation, Legal and Literary Studies—Tendency to Ideal Perfection-Sumner

and the Whigs-Abolitionism Social Death-Sumner's Opposition to the

Mexican War-His Peace Principles-Sumner Opposes Slavery Within the

Constitution, as Garrison Outside of it-Anti-Slavery and the Whigs—The

Political Abolitionist Platform-Webster asked in vain to Oppose Slavery

– Sumner's Rebuke of Winthrop-Joins the Free Soil Party-Succeeds

Webster in the Senate-Great Speech against the Fugitive Slave Law—The

Constitution a Charter of Liberty-Slavery not in the Constitution-First

Speech after the Brooks Assault-Consistency as to Reconstruction. 214


England and our Finances in the War-President Wheelock and Mr. Chase's

Seven Uncles—His Uncle the Bishop–His Sense of Justice at College-His

Uncle the Senator-Admitted to the Bar for Cincinnati-His First Argu-

ment before a U.S. Court-Society in Cincinnati—The Ohio Abolitionists

Cincinnati on Slavery- The Church admits Slavery to be "an Evil"-Mr.

Chase and the Birney Mob— The Case of the Slave Girl Matilda—How

Mr. Chase “Ruined Himself”—He Affirms the Sectionality of Slavery-

The Van Zandt Case-Extracts from Mr. Chase's Argument-Mr. Chase

in Anti Slavery Politics—His Qualifications as a Financier.



Lincoln, Chase and Wilson as Illustrations of Democracy-Wilson's Birth

and Boyhood-Reads over One Thousand Books in Ten Years-Learns

Shoemaking-Earns an Education Twice Over-Forms a Debating Society

-Makes Sixty Speeches for Harrison-Enters into Political Life on the

Working-Men's Side-Helps to form the Free Soil Party-Chosen United

States Senator over Edward Everett-Aristocratic Politics in those Days-

Wilson and the Slaveholding Senators The Character of his Speaking-

Full of Facts and Practical Sense-His Usefulness as Chairman of the

Military Committee-His “History of the Anti-Slavery Measures in Con-

gress”—The 37th and 38th Congresses—The Summary of Anti-Slavery

Legislation from that Book-Other Abolitionist Forces-Contrast of Senti.

ments of Slavery and of Freedom-Recognition of Hayti and Liberia ;

Specimen of the Debate-Slave and Free Doctrine on Education-Equality

in Washington Street Cars-Pro-Slavery Good Taste-Solon's Ideal of

Democracy Reached in America.


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