Sunday, October 2, 2016
Hatred ever enthroned 6
At one point during the Civil War there was talk of a Southern woman spy in the White House. The Senate Committee on the Conduct of the War heard about it and held a secret session to look into allegations that Mrs. Lincoln, who was from the border state of Kentucky, was a disloyalist. One member of the committee told of what happened. 'We had just been called to order by the Chairman, when the officer stationed at the committee room door came in with a half-frightened expression on his face. Before he had opportunity to make explanation, we understood the reason for his excitement, and were ourselves almost overwhelmed with astonishment. For at the foot of the Committee table, standing solitary, his hat in his hand, his form towering, Abraham Lincoln stood. Had he come by some incantation, thus of a sudden appearing before us unannounced, we could not have been more astounded. There was an almost inhuman sadness in his eyes; an indescribable sense of his complete isolation which the committee members felt had to do with fundamental senses of the apparition. No one spoke, for no one knew what to say. The President had not been asked to come before the Committee, nor was it suspected that he had information that we were to investigate reports, which, if true, fastened treason upon his family in the White House. At last the caller spoke slowly, with control, though with a depth of sorrow in the tone of voice: “I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, appear of my own volition before this Committee of the Senate to say that I, of my own knowledge, know that it is untrue that any of my family hold treasonable communication with the enemy.” Having attested this, he went away as silent and solitary as he had come. We sat for some moments speechless. Then by tacit agreement, no word being spoken, the Committee dropped all consideration of the rumors that the wife of the President was betraying the Union. We were so greatly affected that the Committee adjourned for the day.'