Lincoln As I Knew Him
BY WILLIAM H. CROOK (HIS BODY-GUARD)
COMPILED AND WRITTEN DOWN BY MARGARITA SPALDING GERRY
IT was in November, 1864, that four police officers were detailed by Mr. William B. Webb, who was then chief of police in the District of Columbia, to be a special guard for President Lincoln. They were to act on instructions from headquarters, and were also to be subject to any orders the President might give. The men were Elphonso Dunn, John Parker, Alexander Smith, and Thomas Pendel. All but Thomas Pendel have since died. They reported immediately to the White House. Not long after the appointment a vacancy in the position of doorkeeper occurred, and the place was given to Pendel. On the 4th of January I was sent to the White House to act as the fourth guard.
There was rotation in the service, although the hours were not invariable. The general plan was this: Two men were on duty from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon. These officers guarded the approach to the President in his office or elsewhere in the building, accompanied him on any walks he might take—in general, stood between him and possible danger. At four another man went on duty and remained until midnight, or later if Mr. Lincoln had gone outside the White House and had not returned by that time. At twelve the second night-guard went on duty, and remained until he was relieved, at eight in the morning. The night-guards were expected to protect the President on his expeditions to and from the War Department or while he was at any place of amusement, and to patrol the corridor outside his room while he slept. We were all armed with revolvers.
The reasons why the friends of Mr. Lincoln insisted on this precaution were almost as evident then as they became later. Marshal Ward Lamon and Secretary Stanton had been begging him, it is said, since 1862 not to go abroad without protection of some kind. Mr. Lamon has said himself that he was especially fearful of the President's showing himself at the theatre. He considered that a public place of amusement offered an opportunity for assassination even more favorable than Mr. Lincoln's solitary walks or the occasional drive or horseback ride he took to the Soldiers' Home. Mr. Stanton is known to have been angered by a lack of caution which, on the part of a man so indispensable to the welfare of the nation as its President, he regarded as foolhardiness. For the President had always been inclined, in his interest in the thing that absorbed him, to forget that he was vulnerable. Every one remembers how, when he was watching Early's threatened attack on the fortifications north of Washington, he exposed himself recklessly to chance bullets. He hated being on his guard, and the fact that it was necessary to distrust his fellow Americans saddened him. He refused to be guarded as long as it was possible for a sane man to persist.
But toward the end of 1864 so much pressure was brought to bear on him, particularly by Marshal Lamon and Secretary Stanton, that he finally yielded. He had admitted to Ward Lamon before this that he knew there was danger from a Pole named Garowski, who had been seen skulking about the White House grounds. He told Lamon of a shot that had barely missed him one day when he was riding to the Soldiers' Home. Conspiracies to abduct or assassinate the President were constantly being rumored. At first he contended that if any one wanted to murder him no precaution would avail. Finally, although he was always more or less of this opinion, the President gave way to the anxieties of those near to him. He consented to the guard of police officers and, on longer journeys, to a cavalry guard.
There were many reasons why this fact was not known at the time and has not been generally understood since. In the first place, the President's bravery—rashness some called it—was so universally recognized, he had refused for so long to take any precautions, that people were not looking for him to change. In the second place, both from his own feelings and as a matter of policy, he did not want it blazoned over the country that it had been found necessary to guard the life of the President of the United States from assassination. It was not wise—especially at this critical time—to admit so great a lack of confidence in the people. He was sensitive about it, too. It hurt him to admit it. But realizing that he had been chosen to save the country from threatened destruction, he forced himself, during the last months of his life, to be somewhat more cautious. When he had yielded, however, because of all these reasons he wished as little show as possible of precaution. We wore citizen's clothes; there was no mention of the appointment in the papers or in official records; we walked with him, not behind him. The President was simple in his manners; he was in the habit of talking freely with any one who wished to speak to him. So it happened that a passer- by had no way of knowing that the man in plain clothes who walked by Mr. Lincoln's side was any other than the friend, office-seeker, petitioner, adviser, who helped to fill up every minute of the President's waking time.
I was very much surprised when the order came to report to the President for duty and naturally elated. It was one Monday morning. I had never been inside the White House. I had seen Mr. Lincoln and regarded him vaguely as a great man, but had never spoken to him. The first few days I was getting my bearings and accustoming myself to the new duties. On the 9th I was put on night duty, covering the first part of the night. And so it happened that I was on guard at the first evening reception of the year, on the 9th of January. I knew the White House very well by this time—that is, the state apartments of the first floor and the President's office in the southeast corner up-stairs. The spectacle awed me at first. I had never seen anything like it before. The reception, or "levee," as the name was then, was crowded. It was generally considered a brilliant affair. I know it dazzled me.
The President and Mrs. Lincoln stood in the octagon Blue Room, near the western door. I was in the main entrance just outside, near where the broad flight of steps used to go up to the second floor. The guests entered the northern door, left their wraps in the cloak-rooms which had been constructed in the corridor, assembled in the Red Room, made their way to the Blue Room, where they were received. Then they progressed, greeting friends in the crowd, through the Green Room to the great East Room, where they remained. On the right of the President was Mr. John G. Nicolay, one of the two secretaries; on his left Deputy-Marshal Phillips. Commissioner French presented the guests to Mrs. Lincoln. I suppose I could hardly be expected to remember what the ladies wore. But my wife saw in the paper the next day that Mrs. Lincoln wore white silk trimmed with black lace. She had a wreath of white flowers in her hair and wore a necklace of pearls. I suppose the costume, hoop-skirts and all, would look ugly to me to-day. But we all thought Mrs. Lincoln looked handsome. To my mind she was a pretty woman, small and plump, with a round baby face and bright black eyes. Senator Sumner was present and Senator Chase with a party. That reminds me of what was to me the most exciting moment of the reception.
My orders were to allow no one who wore wraps of any kind to pass into the Blue Room. The reason for this is not hard to find. Precautions were being redoubled, and this was one of them. It would be the easiest thing in the world for a would-be assassin to smuggle weapons in under the voluminous cloaks then worn. It had been announced that guests were expected to leave their wraps in one of the rooms appointed for them. I had been instructed to make absolutely no exceptions. The newspaper the next day said, "The rule of decorum relating to wraps was very generally observed." They didn't know about my little experience.
Several guests had attempted to enter still wearing their cloaks. But no one resisted the order when it was made known. Finally a very handsome young woman came in who asked for Senator Chase's party. She wore a wrap that completely hid her dress. She could have brought in a whole arsenal of weapons under its folds. I told her that she could not enter until she left her cloak in the cloak-room. She became angry.
"Do you know who I am?" she demanded, haughtily. I was rather nervous, for it was my first experience saying "Must not!" to White House guests. But I managed to say I did not know who she was.
"I am Mrs. Senator Sprague," she announced, as if that were final. I had heard of Kate Chase Sprague, of course, as had every one else in Washington, and of her father's ambition and her own brilliant career. But I tried to be courageous, and told her as politely as I could what my orders were and why they were given. When she saw the reason of the restriction she took off her cloak and went in to meet her friends quite graciously.
By this time most of the guests had arrived, so I had an opportunity to look about me. It was all bright and gay. For this evening at least there was no sign of the gloom that was pretty general throughout the city.
The people who crowded the rooms were in keeping with their brilliant character. The men were marked by a shade of extravagance in the cut and material of their evening clothes. There were many army officers in full uniform among the guests. The women looked like gorgeous flowers in their swaying buoyed-out skirts. They were gayly dressed, as a rule, with the off-shoulder style of low-necked gown; they all wore wreaths of flowers in their hair. The general effect of the scene was brilliant.
About eleven the President with Mrs. Dennison, the wife of the new Postmaster-General, on his arm, followed by Mrs. Lincoln escorted by Senator Morgan, entered the East Room. They talked for a few minutes with their guests and then retired—Mrs. Lincoln to her own room and the President to the library up-stairs. The levee was supposed to be over at eleven, but some people remained until nearly twelve. After they had all left, Mr. Lincoln wrapped himself in the rough gray shawl he usually wore out-of-doors, put on his tall beaver hat, and slipped out of the White House through the basement. According to my orders I followed him, and was alone with President Lincoln for the first time.
We crossed the garden, which lay where the executive offices are now. Mr. Lincoln was bent on his nightly visit to Secretary Stanton at the War Department. I stole a glance up at him, at the homely face rising so far above me. The strength of it is not lessened in my memory by what would seem to me now the grotesque setting of rough shawl and silk hat. He looked to me just like his picture, but gentler. I will confess that I was nervous when I accompanied him that first time. I hope it was not from any fear for myself. I seemed to realize suddenly that there was only myself between this man and possible danger. The feeling wore off in time, though it was apt to come back at any moment of special responsibility, as, for instance, on the entrance into Richmond—but I mustn't get ahead of my story.
That night, as I said, I was a little nervous. The President noticed it. He seemed to know how I felt, too. I had fallen into line behind him, but he motioned me to walk by his side. He began to talk to me in a kindly way, as though I were a bashful boy whom he wanted to put at his ease, instead of a man appointed to guard him. In part, of course, his motive must have been the dislike of seeming to be guarded, of which I have spoken. But his manner was due to the intuitive sympathy with every one, of which I afterward saw so many instances. It was shown particularly toward those who were subordinate to him. The statesmen who came to consult him, those who had it in their power to influence the policy of the party which had chosen him, never had the consideration from Mr. Lincoln that he gave the humblest of those who served him.
A few strides of the President's long legs—a few more of mine—brought us to the old-fashioned turnstile that divided the White House grounds from the enclosure of the War Department. Mr. Lincoln talked, in his slow soft voice, chiefly about the reception through which he had just gone.
"I am glad it is over," he said.
I ventured to ask if he was tired.
"Yes, it does tire me to shake hands with so many people," he answered. "Especially now when there is so much other work to do. And most of the guests come out of mere curiosity."
With these words and the half-sigh which followed we entered the east door of the War Department. In those days that was a small, mean, two-story building, just in front of the Navy Department. We went immediately to Mr. Stanton's office, which was on the second floor, on the north front, and overlooked Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House. There, at the door, I waited for him until his conference with Secretary Stanton was over. Then I accompanied him back to the White House. From the moment Mr. Lincoln spoke to me so kindly I felt at home in my new duties. I never lost the feeling which came then that while the President was so great, he was my friend. The White House never awed me again.
For the next three weeks, while I was on duty the first half of the night, I went to the War Department with Mr. Lincoln every evening. He usually talked to me. Several times the topic was the one my presence naturally suggested—the possibility of an attempt being made on his life. Later on I will speak of this more in detail. One time while he was talking he reached out and took my hand, and I walked on for a few paces with my hand in his warm, kind grasp. We always took the same route because there was less chance of being observed than if we went by the big north entrance. There was no telegraph station in the White House, so the President had to go to Secretary Stanton's office to get the latest news from the front. Since there was practical advantage in going himself, as he could be more free from interruption there when he remained to discuss matters of policy—if the news of the night necessitated any action—it would never have occurred to Mr. Lincoln to regard his own personal dignity and wait for his Secretary to come to him. I had opportunity to observe the difference in the attitude of Secretary Stanton's employees from ours toward the President. The great War Secretary was a martinet for discipline. And none of the clerks wanted to be around when there was bad news from the front. He always seemed to me a very bitter, cruel man. Still, there is no doubt that he was a great man. His own subordinates, though they might be afraid of his irascible temper, admired him and were loyal.
Beginning with the 1st of February, I was on duty the second half of the night, from twelve to eight in the morning. Often I had to wait for the President to return from the War Department; even when he came back comparatively early it was midnight before he got to bed. His bedroom was a small chamber in the southwest corner of the house. Mrs. Lincoln's was a larger room adjoining it. Mr. Lincoln always said, "Good night, Crook," when he passed me on his way to his room, but gave no instructions for my guidance. He was not interrupted after he retired unless there were important telegrams. Even when awakened suddenly from a deep sleep—which is the most searching test of one's temper that I know—he was never ruffled, but received the message and the messenger kindly. No employee of the White House ever saw the President moved beyond his usual controlled calm. When the first of these interruptions occurred and I had to enter the President's room, I looked around me with a good deal of interest. The place the President slept in was a noteworthy spot to me. It was handsomely furnished; the bedstead, bureau, and washstand were of heavy mahogany, the bureau and wash-stand with marble tops; the chairs were of rosewood. Like all the other chambers, it was covered with a carpet.
All night I walked up and down the long corridor which, running east and west, divided the second story of the "White House in half. Usually the household, with the exception of Mr. Lincoln, was asleep when I began my watch. Occasionally, however, something kept them up, and I saw them go to their rooms. I learned very soon who slept behind each door that I passed in my patrol. Somehow one feels acquainted with people when one is the only one, besides the doorkeeper, awake in a great house and is responsible for the safety of them all. As I said before, the corridor divided the private apartments of the White House into two long rows, one facing south, the other north. Beginning at the west was the President's room, Mrs. Lincoln's just east of it and communicating. Then followed a guest-room, which communicated with Mrs. Lincoln's. Next, to this was the library, just over the Blue Room, and, like it, an octagon in shape; this was used as the family sitting-room. In Mr. Lincoln's time a private passageway ran through the reception-room adjoining the library to the President's office beyond. By this the President could have access during his long working-day to his own apartments without being seen by the strangers who always tilled the reception-room. The small room in the southeast corner was the office of Mr, Lincoln's secretaries—Mr. Hay and Mr. Nicolay. On the other side of the corridor Mr. Nicolay, when he slept in the White House, had the chamber at the eastern end. Next to his was the state guest-room, which, unlike any other room in the house, possessed a large four-poster bed with a tester and rich canopy. Between this and Taddie's room—Taddie was the only child at the White House at this time—three smaller rooms and a bath-room intervened. The boy was just opposite his father.
When in my patrol I came near to the door of the President's room I could hear his deep breathing. Sometimes, after a day of unusual anxiety, I have heard him moan in his sleep. It gave me a curious sensation. While the expression of Mr. Lincoln's face was always sad when he was quiet, it gave one the assurance of calm. He never seemed to doubt the wisdom of an action when he had once decided on it. And so when he was in a way defenceless in his sleep it made me feel the pity that would have been almost an impertinence when he was awake. I would stand there and listen until a sort of panic stole over me. If he felt the weight of things so heavily, how much worse the situation of the country must be than any of us realized! At last I would walk softly away, feeling as if I had been listening at a keyhole.
On the 15th of February I went on day duty. During that time I necessarily saw more of the every-day life of the President and his family. Everything was much simpler than it is now. More of the family life was open to the scrutiny of the people about. I remember very well one incident which would have been impossible at any time since. I was sent for by the President, who was in his own room. In response to my knock he called out, "Come in!" I entered. To my great surprise I saw that he was struggling with a needle and thread. He was sewing a button on his trousers. "All right," he said, looking at me with a twinkle in his eye. "Just wait until I repair damages."
Mr. Lincoln, as I saw him every morning, in the carpet slippers he wore in the house and the black clothes no tailor could make really fit his gaunt bony frame, was a homely enough figure. The routine of his life was simple, too; it would have seemed a treadmill to most of us. He was an early riser; when I came on duty, at eight in the morning, he was often already dressed and reading in the library. There was a big table near the centre of the room; there I have seen him reading many times. And the book? We have all heard of the President's fondness for Shakespeare, how he infuriated Secretary Stanton by reading Hamlet while they were waiting for returns from Gettysburg; we know, too, how he kept cabinet meetings waiting while he read them the latest of Petroleum V. Nasby's witticisms. It was the Bible which I saw him reading while most of the household still slept.
Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln breakfasted at nine. Mr. Lincoln was a hearty eater. He never lost his taste for the things a growing farmer's boy would like. He was particularly fond of bacon. Plentiful and wholesome food was one of the means by which he kept up his strength, which was taxed almost beyond endurance in those days. Even hostile newspapers commented angrily on the strain to which the President was subjected, and prophesied that he would collapse unless some of the pressure of business was removed. But in spite of his gauntness he was a man of great physical endurance. Every inch of his six feet four inches was seasoned and tempered force.
He needed all of it. For from half past nine, when he came into his office, until twelve, when he went to bed, his work went on, almost without cessation. He had very little outdoor life. An occasional drive with Mrs. Lincoln in the afternoon, a more occasional horseback ride, a few moments to fill his lungs with outside air while he walked the few paces to the War Department, was the sum of it. Mrs. Lincoln was anxious that he should have some recreation. I have carried messages to him for her when he was lingering in his office, held by some business. One beautiful afternoon she sent for him so many times that she became impatient and told me to tell him that he must come. He got up with an expression of great submission and said,
"I guess I would better go."
The friends who were with him teased him a little about Mrs. Lincoln's show of authority.
"If you knew how little harm it does me," he said, "and how much good it does her, you wouldn't wonder that I am meek." And he went out laughing.
The White House and its surroundings during war-time had much the appearance of a Southern plantation—straggling and easy-going. On the east side of the house beyond the extension—since removed—which corresponded to the conservatory on the west, was a row of outhouses, a carriage-house and a woodshed among them. Back and east were the kitchen-garden, and the stable where the President's two horses were kept. South of the house was a short stretch of I awn bounded by a high iron fence. Still beyond was rough undergrowth and marsh to the river. In front and to the west was a garden, divided from the rest of the grounds by tall fences. It was a real country garden, with peach-trees and strawberry-vines as well as flowers. It was winter, of course, when I was there, but the people about the house told me that Mrs. Lincoln used to pick the strawberries for the table herself.
I saw a good deal of Mrs. Lincoln while I was on day duty. Very few who were not about the house realized how exacting were the duties of her position. She was, of course, much absorbed by social duties, which presented difficulties no other President's wife has had to contend against. The house was filled, the receptions were crowded, with all sorts of people, of all varieties of political conviction, who felt, according to the temper of the time, that they had a perfect right to take up the President's time with their discourse and to demand of Mrs. Lincoln social consideration. Nor could there be discrimination used at the state dinner-parties; any man who was bearing a part in the events of the day must be invited—and his women folks. Jim Lane, rough old Kansas fighter, dined beside Salmon P. Chase with his patrician instincts. The White House has never, during my forty years' service, been so entirely given over to the public as during Mr. Lincoln's administration. The times were too anxious to make of social affairs anything more than an aid to more serious matters. It was necessary, of course; but it made it difficult for a first-lady-in-the-land with any preferences or prejudices not to make enemies on every hand.
Mrs. Lincoln had to give some time to household affairs. Everything was comparatively simple at that time; there were fewer servants than have been considered necessary since. The first duty of Mrs. Lincoln's day was a consultation with the steward, whose name was Stackpole. The cook was an old-time negro woman. A good deal of domestic supervision was necessary with the mistress of the house. For state dinners the regular staff was entirely inadequate; a French caterer was called in, who furnished everything, including waiters. It fell to Mrs. Lincoln to choose the set of china which the White House needed at this stage. It was, in my opinion, the handsomest that has ever been used there. In the centre was an eagle surrounded by clouds; the rim was a solid band of maroon. The coloring was soft and pretty, and the design patriotic. The President's wife found time, too, to investigate cases of need that were brought to her attention, and to help. I know of such cases. She was kind to all the employees of the White House. I think she was very generally liked.
Robert Lincoln was an officer on General Grant's staff, and was in Washington only at inauguration time and for a few days at the time of his father's death. But he was a manly, genial young fellow, and we all liked him. Taddie—he was christened Thomas—was the pet of the whole household. He was ten years old at the time. I wish I could show what a capital little fellow he was. I think I will have to take a few minutes to talk of Taddie.
Since the death of the older boy, Willie, which almost broke his father's heart, Mr. Lincoln had kept Tad with him almost constantly. When he had a few minutes to spare he would make a child of himself to play with the boy. We all liked to see the President romp up and down the corridors with Tad, playing horse, turn and turn about, or blind man's buff. Mr. Lincoln was such a sad-looking man usually, it seemed good to have him happy. And he was happy when he was playing with the boy. I am sure the times when he was really resting were when he was galloping around with Tad on his great shoulders. And when the President was too busy to play with him, Tad would play quietly, near as he could get, making a man of himself to be company to his father. That was the sort of a little fellow he was.
He was a tender-hearted boy. Of course all sorts of people found it out and tried to get at the President through him. Mr. Lincoln was criticised sometimes for being too lenient when the boy begged for some one he had been asked to help. But I don't believe mercy was a bad thing to be overdone in those days. Tad's loving heart was just the same thing that made the President suffer so when he had to be severe. The boy was like his father; he looked like him. But with Tad there was no realization of anything else to confuse him. And when Mr. Lincoln was what some people called too indulgent he was just listening to what I believe was the greatest thing in him—his great human heart. And I don't believe that anything but good ever came of it, either.
I remember one poor woman who came to the White House to get her husband out of prison. She found Taddie in the corridor and told him that her boys and girls were cold and starving because their father was shut up and couldn't work for them. Poor little Taddie couldn't wait a minute. He ran to his father and begged him to have the man set free. The President was busy with some important papers and told him, rather absent-mindedly, that he would look into the case as soon as he had time. But Tad was thinking of the woman, and he clung to his father's knees and begged until the President had to listen, and, listening, became interested. So, after all, Taddie could run back to tell the woman that her husband would be set at liberty. I wish you could have seen the child's face. The woman blessed him and cried, and Taddie cried, and I am not sure that my own eyes were above suspicion.
Tad had a great many friends among the men who were about the White House in various capacities. I myself have a letter from him written from Chicago in July, 1865, a few months after the family had left the White House. It was written for Tad by Mrs. Lincoln, and the business part of it—I had asked if there would be a good opening for me in Chicago—was her own, of course. But the rest is all Taddie:
Near Chicago July 1865.
My dear Friend,—I received your letter two weeks since and circumstances prevented an earlier reply. If you come out to Chicago, I expect you can do as well here as anywhere else. We will be very glad to have you live here, for I consider you one of my best friends. You could get a pass, perhaps, from the War Department and come out here and have a try at least. Your board would not cost you more than in Washington—you will know best about it. A gentleman who does business in the city wants a clerk, he lives out here and goes in every day. He says he must write a good hand and not be very slow. Tell us how Charlie is coming on and Dana Pendel—none of them ever write. Tell us about the New people in the house. All news will interest us.
Your friend truly
"Charlie" was Charles Forbes, an Irishman. He was the footman and one of Tad's friends. "Dana" Pendel was Thomas Pendel, the doorkeeper, of whom Taddie was also very fond.
James Haliday was another friend. He was a carpenter who worked about the place, and was directed by the President to put up a stage and arrange things for theatrical performances in the little room just over the entrance. That was when Tad was stage-struck and found it necessary to endow a theatre of his own. Perry Kelly—a boy of about Tad's age, whose father was a tinner on Pennsylvania Avenue between Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets—was the only other actor, and the audience was composed chiefly of the employees of the place.
Haliday, who is living now in Boston, was also a member of Tad's military company. Like all other boys of those exciting times, Tad had the military fever. But he was allowed to gratify it in a way not open to other boys. The Secretary of War gave him a lieutenant's commission and an order on the arsenal for twenty-five guns; a pretty uniform was made for him. The guns were kept in the basement in a room opening off of the furnace-room, and the Lieutenant had his headquarters in a little place opposite the laundry- He not only drilled his company outside and marched them through the house, but he kept them on guard duty at night to relieve the "buck-tails," as the military guard of the White House was familiarly called. The first night of this military despotism Haliday, who had been appointed a sergeant, appeared before his superior. He saluted and said,
"Mr. Lieutenant, I would like to have a pass this evening." The lieutenant acknowledged the salute and replied,
"All right; I will give the sergeant a pass." He scribbled something on a piece of paper and handed it to him. The other members of the company were kept up until ten o'clock that night on guard duty. The next day Haliday, knowing what he had escaped, again sought Lieutenant Tad in his basement headquarters. Taking off his hat, he asked for a pass. But the lieutenant "got mad."
"What kind of a soldier are you? You want a pass every evening!" he said.
"All right, Mr. Lieutenant." Haliday was meek enough now. "I will be on duty to-night."
In about an hour Tad sent his sergeant to the National Theatre and left word with another underling that when Haliday returned he was to be given his pass, after all. That night the rest of the company was kept on duty until one o'clock. But that was somewhat too strenuous. Either there was mutiny or the commander-in-chief interfered, for that was the last night they were on duty outside.
Tad's taste of command in military matters was so pleasing that he began to enlarge his field of operations. Haliday, aided by the gardener, was about to take up the carpet in the Congressional, or state, dining-room. The long table made it somewhat difficult, and they were debating about which end to attack it from, when Tad appeared. He surveyed the field.
"Jim," he said to Haliday, "I have a favor to ask of you. Jim, grant it," he coaxed. Jim of course said "Yes," as every one had a way of doing—and yet it wasn't because it was the President's son.
"Now, Jim," he said, taking an attitude of command, "you work with the other man. I will boss the job." And Haliday, talking about it, asserts to this day: "He told us just how to go about it. And there was no one could engineer it better than he did." Haliday tells, too, that Tad often borrowed money of him when some poor man asked him for help and the boy had nothing in his pockets. "And he always paid me back. He never forgot it."
Taddie could never speak very plainly. He had his own language; the names that he gave some of us we like to remember to-day. The President was "papa-day," which meant "papa dear." Tom Pendel was "Tom Pen," and I was "Took." But for all his baby tongue he had a man's heart and in some things a man's mind. I believe he was the best companion Mr. Lincoln ever had, one who always understood him and whom he always understood.
Additional records of these recollections will appear in later issues of this Magazine.