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Lincoln and flowers
07-19-2020, 11:51 AM
Post: #18
RE: Lincoln and flowers
(07-17-2020 12:38 PM)David Lockmiller Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 05:19 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  Joshua Speed is the source of this quote. Speed wrote to William Herndon on January 12, 1866, and reported that Lincoln had said this to him.

Speed reported Lincoln said, “Speed die when I may I want it said of me by those who know me best to say that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”

SOURCE: pp. 157-158 of Herndon's Informants.

In February 1865, Joshua Speed witnessed a touching scene in which the president granted the requests of not only two Pennsylvania women for the release of their kinsmen imprisoned for draft dodging but also ordered the release of all conscription evaders in western Pennsylvania.

After the women had gone, Lincoln told Speed: “That scene which you witnessed is the only thing that I have done today which has given me any pleasure. I have in that made two people happy. . . . Speed, die when I may I want it said of me by those who knew me best to say that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”

(Source: Lincoln’s Last Months, William C. Harris, (2009), page 65.)

With the fall of Richmond, Seward told [James] Speed, "the Southern people would feel as though the world had come to an end." At such moments, history suggested, desperate men might be prompted to take desperate action, and "the President, being the most marked man on the Federal side, was the most liable to attack." Aware that Mary had invited Speed to join her two days later on a return trip to City Point, Seward begged him to "warn the President of the danger." (Team of Rivals, page 718.)

As the River Queen steamed toward Washington on Sunday, "the conversation," Chambrun recalled, "dwelt upon literary subjects." Holding "a beautiful quarto copy of Shakespeare in his hands," Lincoln read several passages form Macbeth, including the king's pained tribute to the murdered Duncan:

Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever he sleeps well.
Treason has done his worst; nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further.


Lincoln read the lines slowly, marveling "how true a description of the murderer that one was; when, the dark deed achieved, its tortured perpetrator came to envy the sleep of his victim," and when he finished, "he read over again the same scene." Lincoln's ominous selection prompted James Speed to deliver Seward's warning about the increased threat upon his life. "He stopped me at once," Speed recalled, "saying, he had rather be dead than to live in continual dread." Moreover, he considered it essential "that the people know I come among them without fear."

(Team of Rivals, page 723.)

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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Messages In This Thread
Lincoln and flowers - Rob Wick - 07-14-2020, 07:41 AM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - RJNorton - 07-14-2020, 12:45 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Rob Wick - 07-14-2020, 02:14 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Steve - 07-14-2020, 02:54 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - David Lockmiller - 07-21-2020, 10:24 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Rob Wick - 07-14-2020, 03:34 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Gene C - 07-14-2020, 03:36 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - RJNorton - 07-14-2020, 03:52 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Rob Wick - 07-14-2020, 04:41 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Eva Elisabeth - 07-16-2020, 07:58 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Rob Wick - 07-16-2020, 10:43 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Steve Whitlock - 07-17-2020, 12:08 AM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Eva Elisabeth - 07-17-2020, 04:54 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Donna McCreary - 07-17-2020, 08:19 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - RJNorton - 07-17-2020, 05:19 AM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - David Lockmiller - 07-17-2020, 12:38 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Steve Whitlock - 07-17-2020, 02:23 PM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - David Lockmiller - 07-19-2020 11:51 AM
RE: Lincoln and flowers - Rob Wick - 07-17-2020, 12:52 PM

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