Sunday, September 18, 2016

Lincoln and the prolonged personal snub. 5

Legend - or perhaps ugly political rumor - has it that after the trial Stanton referred to Lincoln as a giraffe, monkey, or some other equally unflattering pejorative. Whether or not that was true, there is no doubt that Stanton (and the other counsel) not only treated Lincoln with disdain, they clearly did not regard him as a great trial lawyer as of September 1855.
But a funny thing happened to Lincoln the lawyer on the way home from the Cincinnati courthouse. Ralph Emerson—at the time a young partner of Manny—had also been in attendance. Emerson had known Lincoln before the trial, and he asserted that it was he who insisted that Lincoln be hired for the case. Emerson contended that the trial had an “immediate effect” upon Lincoln. He then quoted Lincoln as follows: ‘I am going home to study law! I am going home to study law!’ he exclaimed repeatedly, as he and Emerson walked from the court room down to the river when the hearing had ended. Emerson said that that was what he had been doing. ‘No,’ Lincoln replied, ‘not as these college bred men study it. I have learned my lesson. These college bred fellows have reached Ohio, they will soon be in Illinois, and when they come, Emerson, I will be ready for them.’
From that time on, insists Emerson, who often heard Lincoln thereafter, his style and manner of speech and argument improved greatly and steadily — the result, as the old manufacturer stoutly contended throughout his long life,
of Lincoln’s connection with the celebrated patent case of McCormick vs Manny et al.

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