Abraham Lincoln in Cincinnati--Anti-slavery Men--Emerson Facing a Mob--My Sermon against War--Outbreak of War--Delusions about Fort Sumter--Liberty in Peril--Sumner and Furness--Preachers-- Visit to Eagleswood--Meeting my Mother--The Virginia Convention--Wendell Phillips--The Bull Run Rout--Emerson and the Saturday Club--Horace Greeley--Frothingham and Beecher--My Lectures in Ohio-Hon. C. L. Vallandigham.
ONE warm evening in 1859, passing through the market-place in Cincinnati, I found there a crowd listening to a political speech in the open air. The speaker stood in the balcony of a small brick house, some lamps assisting the moonlight. I had not heard of any meeting, and paused on the skirts of the crowd from curiosity, meaning to stay only a few moments. Something about the speaker, however, and some words that reached me, led me to press nearer. I asked the speaker's name, and learned that it was Abraham Lincoln.
Browning's description of the German professor, "three parts sublime to one grotesque," was applicable to this man. The face had a battered and bronzed look, without being hard. His nose was prominent, and buttressed a strong and high forehead; his eyes were high-vaulted and had an expression of sadness; his mouth and chin were too close together, the cheeks hollow. On the whole Lincoln's appearance was not attractive until one heard his voice, which possessed variety of expression, earnestness and shrewdness in every tone. The charm of his manner was that he had no manner; he was simple, direct, humorous. He pleasantly repeated a mannerism of his opponent --"This is what Douglas calls his gur-reat per-rinciple"; but the next words I remember were these: "Slavery is wrong!"
Cincinnati is separated from Kentucky only by the narrow Ohio, which is overlooked in its deep bed, so that the streets of the town on the Kentucky side appear as continuations of
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Publication information: Book title: Autobiography:Memories and Experiences of Moncure Daniel Conway. Volume: 2. Contributors: Moncure Daniel Conway - Author. Publisher: Cassell and Company, Limited. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1904. Page number: 281.
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