Page images

Have you


that you were the homeliest man in Illinois, and I came to see for myself.”

“Well, well," said Lincoln with a laugh, “Do you find the declaration verified ?"

"I've seen uglier men,” Mr. Harman replied, “but I must confess that I would never pick you out for a handsome man." Then he added: “But what I came in here for, Mr. Lincoln, was to tell you that the National Republican Convention of next year will most certainly nominate you as its candidate for President of the United States."

“Do yon think so ?”
“ I do."

“Well, I cannot but feel that you are too sanguine."

“I am not, and I will tell you why. Business has called me all over the West. I have been among the people, have noted how they feel, and have heard what they say, and I tell you nothing but the power of God Almighty can prevent it."

Mr. Lincoln's whole appearance showed that he was deeply moved, his voice trembled, and all he could say was: “Do


think so ? really think so ?"

In July, 1860, business once carried Mr. Harman to Springfield. Meanwhile the second National Republican Convention had met at Chicago and performed its work. When Major Stuart met his friend his greeting

Abe's nominated. him?"


Soon after Mr. Harman went over to the old State House, transformed into a Court House, where Lincoln sat upon a horsehair sofa in conversation with a friend. He saw Mr. Har. man when a hundred feet away, and jumping up, ran over to him, grasped him by both hands which he shook vigorously, and said: “My friend, I remember you like a book! You are the man who predicted my nomination and election."

"Yes, and one-half of my prediction has come true, and the other half will also.”

“Do you think so ? Come in and sit down, I want to talk to you. Here is a letter I have just received from a man in Jackson, Mississippi. Read it over while I conclude my conversation with this gentleman."

Mr. Harman read the letter. It contained a number of questions as to Lincoln's beliefs and attitude upon public questions, ending with something like this: “Are you in favor of bringing our country back once more to what it was in the days of the fathers? If so, thou art the man!” “I would like to answer that letter," said Mr. Lincoln later, “but the committee won't let me. They won't let me write a letter to any one."

Mr. Harman was in Springfield for some time and saw Lincoln almost

Do you

were right!


was, “You

[graphic][merged small]

every day. His respect and admiration increased with time, and when the President showed his great qualities and marvelous sagacity in the troubled years that followed, there was no surprise on the part of his New York friend, who had learned the man

as he was and understood something of the power that was within him.

“The last time I saw him," said Mr. Harman, as he related the above incidents to a little group of friends in the rooms of the Ohio Society of New York, "was in the course of that visit to Springfield. He came down

town one evening dressed in white linen pantaloons and low shoes, with a wide margin between the bottoms of the one and the tops of the other; but he cared as little for appearances then as he did for politics, for his whole heart was wrapped up in his boy, who was dangerously ill with scarlet fever. He got the medicine he came after, and went home. The next time I saw him he was lying in his coffin in the City Hall of New York-his destiny fulfilled, the war over, the Union saved, the slave a free man, and the name of Abraham Lincoln immortal.”




WHEN President Grant, in 1871, that had already furnished many sons was looking about for the man who who had been an honor to the State. was best able to fill all the require- The appointment was made on ments for the high position of Chief- March 17th, 1871, and until May, 1887, Justice of Montana, he turned his Judge Wade filled the high office in eyes to Ohio, and made his choice in

manner that not only linked his the person of one who had filled many name with the history of jurisprudplaces of responsibility with honor to ence in the West, but made him one himself and with satisfaction to of the founders of law in Montana. others; and when he announced During these sixteen years of labor, Judge Decius S. Wade as his choice, he was an indefatigable worker, and the appointment was recognized as a close student of law. His opinions one of the best that had been made fill more than one half of the first six anywhere in the West. The


volumes of the Montana Supreme official was not only trained in the Court Reports, and very few of his law, but was man of the highest rulings were ever overruled by the character, and a member of a family Supreme Court of the United States.


It may be truthfully said that his de- northwest of more ancient Boston, at cisions had much to do with perfect- the head of navigation of the small ing the practice of law in the courts Mystic river, was the Massachusetts of Montana, and of making a sym- seat of the Wades. Thither came metrical code of laws. With such Jonathan Wade, from county of Norable associates as Judge Hiram folk, England, in 1634. He seems Knowles, now Judge of the United for a time to have been at Ipswich, States District Court of Montana, and where he was a freeman in 1634. He Hon. Henry N. Blake, Chief Justice receives much and honorable mention of the State, who for a long time in the history of Medford. At what served with him on the bench, it is time he transferred himself to the but natural that few errors of opinion latter place, does not appear, probabshould be made. Their decisions are ly some years later; for we find him everywhere recognized as among the buying four hundred acres of land soundest and ablest in the whole on the south side of the river, near country.

Medford Bridge, October 2d, 1656. That Judge Wade should achieve He is spoken of as Major Wade, a distinction,and that he should possess man of worship, who paid the largest qualities of mind and ofcharacter of the tax of any man in Medford. He highest order, is but what would be gave the town a landing, about 1680, expected in one of his lineage, and one of several which Medford had." the descendant of a family that long The descendants of this early man since made a mark in American his- of colonial affairs, are found all tory. He came of that parent stock through New England's stirring histhat gave Benjamin F. Wade to the

tory, but space will allow no extendservice of his country, at a time when ed mention as to them. Of them men of his courage and principles was James Wade, the father of were in demand. Hardly anything Senator Wade, and grandfather of better be said of any man's Judge D. S. Wade. He removed to heritage of blood, than that he was Ohio, and built a home in the wilder“ one of the Wades of Ohio." He ness, in 1821; but he had already was born

at Andover, Ashtabula shown his love of country, by county, Ohio, on January 23d, 1835, fighting for its cause at Bunker Hill, the son of Charles H. Wade and and all through the Revolutionary Juliet Spear, both natives of Massachusetts; and many of the name are Decius Wade was the son of a farmmet in the early history of that State. er, and his early years were spent in “Ancient Medford,” says Hon. A. G. three months of school, and nine of Riddle, in his "Life of Benjamin F. labor, like the boys all about him. Wade," " five or six miles to the But he made the maximum use of



« PreviousContinue »