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Old Abe and the Young Prince.


September/October 1860

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, September 25, 1860.


Then Next Heads of Great Britain and of the United States.


[Special Correspondence of the Missouri Democrat.]

CHICAGO, Saturday Evening, 22d.

Seldom, indeed, would it be possible for a person in one day to see the next sovereign of the British nation, and the next President of the United States in the same day, and same State.  Yet I did this yesterday.  In the midst of the bustle and excitement, existing here, I will devote a few moments to writing you something about it.


Happening at Springfield, Ill., yesterday, the home of the Republican candidate for President, an hour was pleasantly passed at his room in the capital.  During that hour, visitors, ladies and gentlemen, called upon him from almost every State in the Union; and we were all greeted with a most cordial welcome by this man of the people.  Not a State but has thus been represented, showing that the high esteem in which Mr. Lincoln is held, is confined to no section of the Union.  Mr. L.’s health and spirits are excellent, and though not quite so embrowned as when canvassing the State with Mr. Douglas, he is less lean than usual, and certainly looks as though he would not easily wither and die, even in the hot bed of of the President’s house.  So far as the necessary courtesy to Mr. Lincoln’s numerous visitors will allow him time, he is fully posted on the political movements of the day, and expresses himself freely and manfully upon them.  The qualities of mind and heart he possesses, will not let him speak unfavorably even of this opponents.  That he will imitate any of them in taking the stump, however many votes he might secure thereby, is entirely opposed to the true and noble modesty of the man.  This alone should make him the choice of the people.  Of course, with his correct view of this matter, we will not expect to see him at our Fair, and he has written to its managers accordingly.  Is Mr. Lincoln afraid to go South?  Not a bit of it.  As we supposed, there is not a word of truth in the New York Herald’s story of his declining to visit his birthplace in Kentucky for fear of any violence.  The story is made of whole cloth.  He fears not to visit any part of the South, and he will doubtless avail himself of many invitations to make such visits, after the campaign is over.



Of his own as well as his wife’s side of the house, are found in almost all the States of the Union.  Of the latter, he mentioned several gentlemen of St. Louis, among them the Messrs. Carr, of the Exchange Bank, and of the firm of Carr & Blythe, who, though not politicians, are among the best of your business men.  Ninian Edwards, son of one of the early Governors of this State, and brother-in-law of Mr. Lincoln, was present, and the two were sad over the intelligence just received of the sudden death of Judge Richardson, of St. Louis, also a cousin of these families.



Mr. Lincoln, though an excellent lawyer, does not lay much claim to military renown.  It seems, however, he was captain of a company who marched into the Indian country for the defence of the frontier during the Black Hawk troubles.  He, and Messrs. Edwards, and O. H. Browning, of Quincy, who were all participants in that Indian warfare, were yesterday talking, as soldiers will, over the events of the campaign.



It was interesting, as well as amusing, to hear Mr. L. talking, as few men can, on all the most difficult political topics, one minute making you wish the whole nation could hear his liberal and clearly expressed views, and the next causing violent bursts of laughter, in which he heartily joined, at some ludicrous and well-told anecdote.  He can not only discuss ably the great Democratic principle of our government, but at the same time tell how to navigate a vessel, maul a rail, or even to dress a deer skin.  In speaking of the leading speakers of the nation, Mr. L. regards Carl Schurz as one of the foremost; and it was a pleasing reflection to know the majority of the members of the Congressional working Committee, who served with Mr. Lincoln, are to-day actively advocating Republican principles.  Among these we recollect but the names of Judge Embree, of Indiana, and Mr. Root, of Ohio.



A few choice engravings adorn his walls at the State House—one, the Sage of Ashland, whose original has ever been taken as a model by Mr. Lincoln.  Another is a fine likeness of Judge John M. Read, of Pa., engraved by Sartain, from a miniature painting by J. Henry Brown.  The same artist was recently commissioned, at an expense of several hundred dollars, by Judge Read, to paint a miniature of “Honest Abe Lincoln,” and finished it, on ivory, most successfully.  Another, is of an ancient merry making, showing the good humored disposition of our candidate.  Besides the numerous comfortable chairs and divans, may be seen here the curiously constructed chair, presented by a gentleman of Michigan to the nominee of the Chicago Convention.  Each round thereof is composed of a distinct species of timber, and has a variety for each State in the confederacy, and the name of the State painted upon it.  The right arm is Missouri, of iron wood or oak, we are not certain which.  One part is hickory, for Tennessee; another is ash, for Kentucky, &c.

But we have dwelled so long upon Mr. Lincoln that but little space is left for



We met the Prince and suite, twenty-six in all of the royal party, at the Richmond House, with Mayor Wentworth and British Consul Wilkins, of this city, by whom we were introduced.  The Prince is a pleasant, good-looking young gentleman, plainly dressed, with a tall white hat and citizen’s clothes, and, so far as can be observed, is free from all inordinate self-esteem that might naturally be found in his position.  A good George’s nose, but a rather bashful eye or look, with no more dignity than the rest of the sovereigns around him.



The Prince, with a part of his suite, after a gay drive along Michigan avenue this afternoon, thousands of well-dressed aristocracy and democracy lining the sidewalks and filling the street and windows; left the city in a fine car for Dwight Station, some 90 miles down on the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad, in the grand prairie.  They purpose passing Sunday quietly there, and devoting Monday and Tuesday to a grouse hunt, (horses, guns, provisions, wines and other luxuries having been previously forwarded to Dwight for their use.)  Wednesday morning they will depart for St. Louis.



A portion of the royal party remain in Chicago, to take the railroad to Quincy, going thence by steam to St. Louis, thus seeing more of the Father of Waters.  The Prince and party, leaving the cars at Alton, will also have twenty-five miles of Mississippi ride to St. Louis, where they will arrive at 6 o’clock, Wednesday evening.



The party acting in this capacity, a cousin of the Prince, on his father’s side, Mr. C. J. Bachmayer, leaves Dwight for St. Louis to-morrow (Sunday) evening, to make the necessary hotel arrangements, &c.  Monday evening he goes to Cincinnati for the same purpose, and will return Wednesday to St. Louis, to be at the reception.  Mr. B. was born at Munich, Bavaria, and has been through this country before, ten years since, and has traveled over Europe as courier to one of our wealthy Americans, Erastus Cuming, of Albany.

These members of the royal party of Britain, are many of them young gentlemen who, growing up with the Prince of Wales, may possibly form part of his cabinet when he is King.  That he will be King of that great nation, to which his mother has brought so much respect, is of course as certain as his life, so soon as the throne is made vacant by decease or abdication by his mother.  It is but their due, and our interest, that a reception should be given them commensurate with their position.  Thus have I told you how I saw the next President and the next British Sovereign in one day.

C. D.

[The Courier above spoken of, arrived at Barnum’s yesterday noon (Monday) and departed yesterday evening for Cincinnati.  A very heavy gale was on the prairie yesterday, but mild weather to day makes a glorious prairie hunt for the party probable.