Chapter 7

  1. Speed, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln, 1884, 22.

    He said that would be cheap enough; but, small as the sum was, he was unable to pay it. But if I would credit him till Christmas, and his experiment as a lawyer was a success, he would pay then, saying, in the saddest tone, “If I fail in this, I do not know that I can ever pay you.” As I looked up at him I thought then, and think now, that I never saw a sadder face.

    I said to him, “You seem to be so much pained at contracting so small a debt, I think I can suggest a plan by which you can avoid the debt and at the same time attain your end. I have a large room with a double bed up-stairs, which you are very welcome to share with me.”

    “Where is your room?” said he.

    “Up-stairs,” said I, pointing to a pair of winding stairs which led from the store to my room.

    He took the saddle-bags on his arm, went up stairs, set them down on the floor, and came down with the most changed countenance. Beaming with pleasure he exclaimed, “Well, Speed, I am moved!”

    A slightly more complete quote reads: "It was in the spring of 1837, and on the very day that he obtained his license, that our intimate acquaintance began.   He had ridden into town on a borrowed horse, with no earthly property save a pair of saddle-bags containing a few clothes.   I was a merchant at Springfield and kept a large country store, embracing dry goods, groceries, hardware, books, medicines, bed-clothes, mattresses, in fact everything that the country needed.   Lincoln came into the store with his saddle-bags on his arm.   He said he wanted to buy the furniture for a single bed.   The mattress, blankets, sheets, coverlid, and pillow, according to the figures made by me, would cost seventeen dollars.   He said that was perhaps cheap enough; but, small as the sum was, he was unable to pay it.   But if I would credit him till Christmas, and his experiment as a lawyer was a success, he would pay then, saying, in the saddest tone, 'If I fail in this, I do not know that I can ever pay you.'   As I looked up at him I thought then, and think now, that I never saw a sadder face.

                    I said to him, 'You seem to be so much pained at contracting so small a debt, I think I can suggest a plan by which you can avoid the debt and at the same time attain your end.   I have a large room with a double bed up-stairs, which you are very welcome to share with me.'   'Where is your room?' said he.   'Up-stairs,' said I, pointing to a pair of winding stairs which led from the store to my room.   He took the saddle bags on his arm, went upstairs, set them down on the floor, and came down with the most changed countenance.   Beaming with pleasure he exclaimed, 'Well, Speed, I am moved!'"

  2. John G. Nicolay and John Hay, Abraham Lincoln: A History (1886), vol. 1, 194.

From the text: “Even Lincoln’s White House secretaries, as they wrote a biography of sorts under the close and wary eye of Lincoln’s son Robert, labeled it as such.”

A slightly more complete quote elaborates: "Mr. Speed was a Kentuckian, carrying on a general mercantile business in Springfield-a brother of the distinguished lawyer, James Speed, of Louisville, who afterwards became Attorney General of the United States.   he was one of those men who seem to have a greater extent than others the genius of friendship, the Pythias, the Pylades, the Horatios of the world.   It is hardly too much to say that he was the only-as he was certainly the last-intimate friend that Lincoln ever had."

  1. Speed, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln, 1884, 17-18; Wilson and David, Herdon's Informants, 589.

From the text: “While Lincoln was did not know speed at all, Speed had been well aware of Lincoln for months and was filled with admiration for him, ever since having heard a speech he gave the previous summer (July 30, 1836) in which Lincoln had cleverly trounced a rude lawyer and adversary, George Forquer.”

A slightly more complete quote from Speed reads: “In 1836 he was a candidate for re-election, and I believe I heard the first speech he ever made at the county seat.   At the time there were but two parties, Whig and Democrat.   Lincoln was a Whig and the leading man upon the ticket.   I was then fresh from Kentucky, and had heard many of her great orators.   It seemed to me then, as it seems to me now, that I never heard a more effective speaker.   He carried the crowd with him and swayed them as he pleased.   So deep an impression did he make, that George Forquer, a man of much celebrity as a sarcastic speaker and great State reputation as an orator, rose and asked the people to hear him.   he commenced his speech by saying that this young man would have to be taken down, and he was sorry that the task devolved upon him.   He made what was called one of his slasher-gaff speeches, dealing much in ridicule and sarcasm.   Lincoln stood near him with his arms folded, never interrupting him.   When Forquer was done Lincoln walked to the stand, and replied so fully and completely that his friends bore him from the court house on their shoulders.”

Account from Wilson and Davis:   "The people commenced leaving the court-house, when Geo, Forquer, a man of much celebrity in the state, rose, and asked the people to hear him.   He was not a candidate, but was a man of talents, and of great state notoriety, as a speaker.   He commenced his speech by turning to Lincoln and saying, 'This young man will have to be taken down, and I am truly sorry that the task devolves upon me'.   He then proceeded in a vein of irony, sarcasm, and wit, to ridicule Lincoln in every way that he could.   Lincoln stood, not more than ten feet from him, with folded arms, and an eye flashing fire, and listened attentively to him, without ever interrupting him.   Lincoln then took the stand for reply.   he was pale and his spirits seemed deeply moved.   His opponent was one worthy of his steel.   He answered him fully, and completely.   The conclusion of his speech I remember even now, so deep an impression did it make on me then.   He said, 'The gentleman commenced his speech by saying that this young man would have to be taken down, alluding to me; I am not so young in years as I am in the tricks and trades of a politician; but live long, or die young, I would rather die now, than, like the gentleman change my politics, and simultaneous with the change, receive an office worth three thousand dollars per year, and then have to erect a lighting-rod over my house, to protect a guilty conscience from an offended God.'"

  1. Baker, Mary Todd Lincoln, 109.

From the text: “Being bedmates in those days did not usually imply anything sexual, especially if it were only for a short “Still,” when it was protracted or not explained by circumstance, “it bordered on impropriety,” as biographer Jean Baker   once put it.”

From Baker, in regards to Mary Lincoln:   "On occasion she solicited male neighbors, inviting James Gourley into the bed she was sharing with her son Robert.   Or so he later said, though to nineteenth-century Americans sharing beds had no necessary sexual connotations."

  1. Author’s note: Yes, four years, as both Speed and Lincoln himself referred to it-and as gay rights advocacy writers repeatedly remind us, Actually, Lincoln and Speed occupied the room alone for only two years.   After that young Billy Herndon and Charles R. Hurst shared Speed's room, though not his bed.

From the text: “For four years they lived happily together with no known friction, quite as Shively and others have noted.”

  1. Turner and Turner, Mary Todd Lincoln, 20.

From the text: “Mr. Speed’s ever changing heart” was one of her comments, along with a note of complaint for his flitting toward and then past a number of her friends.”

A slightly more complete quote: "Mr. Speed's ever changing heart I suspect is about offering its young affections at her [Matilda Edwards] shrine, with some others, there is considerable acquisition in our society of marriageable gentlemen, unfortunately only 'birds of passage.'"

  1. Turner and Turner, Mary Todd Lincoln, 27.

From the text: “Mr. Speed, our former most constant guest,” she lamented, as indeed he had become.

A slightly more complete quote reads: "Mr. Speed, our former most constant guest has been in Kentucky for some weeks past, will be here next month, on a visit perhaps, as he has some idea of deserting Illinois, his mother is anxious he should superintend her affairs, he takes a friend's privilege, of occasionally favoring me with a letter, in his last he spoke in his great desire of once more inhabiting this region and of his possibility of soon returning-"

  1. Hertz, The Hidden Lincoln, 374.

From the text: “In a tale turned out to be untrue, Herndon heard from no less than Mary’s sister, Elizabeth Edwards (wife of Ninian Edwards), who reported that Lincoln and Mary were engaged and due to be married on that very New Year’s Day, with guests invited and cakes baked, but that Lincoln simply failed to show up.”

A slightly more complete quote from Mrs. N. W. Edwards Statement: "Mr. Lincoln loved Mary, he went crazy in my own opinion not because he loved Miss Edwards as said, but because he wanted to marry and doubted his ability and capacity to please and support a wife.   Lincoln and Mary were engaged, everything was ready and prepared for the marriage, even to the supper , etc.   Mr. L. failed to meet his engagement, cause: insanity.   In his lunacy he declared he hated Mary and loved Miss Edwards.   This is true, yet it is not his real feelings."

  1. Author's note: More interesting than the story itself is an important side fact.   It has become something of a litmus test for a certain brand of honesty among Lincoln scholars.   All agree that the story is untrue-and when pressed, all would agree that Elizabeth Edwards inserted the distortion for still unknown reasons.   By 1883, Jesse Weik re-interviewed Elizabeth Edwards; she told the story exactly as she had to Herndon years before (see Weik, The Real Lincoln, 63).   A main reason for wanting to "blame" the defaulting bridegroom story on Herndon has been to discredit his depiction of the Lincoln marriage, or of Mary Lincoln, or both-when, in fact, he was trusting the accuracy of Mary's sister.   Who better?

From Weik, The Real Lincoln, 63:   "Thursday, December 20, 1883

"Called on N. W. Edwards and wife.   Asked about marriage Mary Todd to Lincoln - Mrs. E. said arrangements for wedding made-even cakes baked but Lincoln failed to appear.   At this point Mr. Edwards interrupted-cautioned wife she was talking to a newspaper man-she declined to say more-had said Mary greatly mortified by Mr. Lincoln's strange conduct.   Later were reunited-finally married."  

  1. Turner and Turner, Mary Todd Lincoln, 27.

From the text: “Mary said to a friend six months later, she was more than ready to welcome him back, and if he returned, “much happiness it would afford me.”

A slightly more complete quote reads: "His worthy friend [Lincoln]. deems me unworthy of notice, as I have not met him in the gay world for months, with the usual comfort of misery, imagine that others were as seldom gladdened by his presence as my humble self, yet I would that the case were different, that he would once more resume his Station in Society, that 'Richard should be himself again,' much, much happiness would it afford me-"

  1. Beveridge, Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1858, vol I, 317.

From the text: “During the separation he had halfheartedly asked a sixteen-year-old girl, Sarah Rickard (whom he had known since she was a young child), to marry him. In this he made the lighthearted case that because his name was Abraham and hers Sarah, they were plainly made for each other.”

A slightly more complete quote reads; "Mrs. Butler's sister, Sarah, had made her home at the Butler's since childhood.   When Lincoln first went there for meals she was twelve years old and at once became fond of the kindly, humorous, considerate boarder, as children always were fond of Lincoln.   Sarah was sixteen at the time of here hero's interrupted love affair with Miss Todd. At some time during or after his disturbance over his engagement or, perhaps, while his depression was upon him following the broken wedding arrangements, Lincoln asked Sarah Rickard to marry him.   He argued that, since his name was Abraham and her name was Sarah, they plainly were meant for one another."

  1. From the text: “Yet Lincoln was always much concerned lest he contribute to anyone’s unhappiness—as, indeed, he felt in this case.”    

Author's quote: The numbered Lincoln letters (all but one of Speed's letters to Lincoln are lost) are frequently cited in these pages; beyond that, they are important documents in themselves and touch on many nearby issues.   Consequently, they are presented here for easy access in Appendix 2.

  1. Katz, Love Stories, 18.

From the text: “Even Jonathan Katz, coming at the matter from his own angle, lists “Lincoln losing his closest male intimate” as a fact that upset him, although in a footnote, Katz correctly says, “’Lincoln’s loss of Speed on January 1, 1841, has been consistently underrated by Lincoln scholars’.”

A slightly more complete quote from Katz reads:   “The same January that Speed sold his store, Lincoln or Mary Todd may have suddenly decided to break their engagement – if they were engaged (the evidence is unclear about who did what, and when).   The evidence does show that after that January first, Lincoln was deeply distraught and depressed, perhaps at another failure as a suitor, perhaps at losing the vivacious Mary Todd, certainly at losing his closest male intimate, Joshua Speed.”

From Katz, Note 64:   “Lincoln’s loss of Speed on January 1, 1841, has been consistently underrated by Lincoln scholars.   Even the unusually insightful Wilson says that ‘there is no evidence of anything unusual in Lincoln’s life on January ’ (Honor’s 233).

  1. Simon, Lincoln's Preparation for Greatness, 239.

From the text: “Mostly he sat quietly, as if stunned, when he was able to attend at all; generally, he contributed nothing. Sometimes he would only answer the roll call, or would disappear after an hour or two; once the only vote he joined was “to adjourn.”

A slightly more complete quote reads: "As to being 'rarely' in sessions, it was not so bad.   On the 'fatal first,' Lincoln voted on the only recorded roll call.   The next day, January 2, a number of votes were taken, but Lincoln is recorded only in the motion to adjourn.   That was Saturday.   No sessions were held on Sunday; Monday he missed entirely.   Tuesday he was there for the opening but missed the rest of the session; that afternoon he filed divorce papers for in the circuit court for Anne McDaniel versus Patrick McDaniel."

  1. The Abraham Lincoln Quarterly II no. 3 (September, 1942), p. 118.

 “Poor L! how the mighty have fallen! He was confined about a week, but though he now appears he is reduced and emaciated in appearance and seems scarcely to possess strength to speak above a whisper. His case at present is truly deplorable but what prospect there may be for ultimate relief I cannot pretend to say.”

  1. Lincoln, Collected Works, vol. I, 229.

“I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better I can not tell; I awfully forbode I shall not.”

A slightly more complete quote reads: “For not giving you a general summary of news, you must pardon me; it is not in my power to do so.   I am now the most miserable man living.   If what I feel were most equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth.   Whether I shall ever be better I can not tell; I awfully forebode I shall not.   To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.”

  1. Sandburg and Angle, Mary Lincoln, 47-48. James Conkling to Mary Levering, March 7, 1841.

“And L, poor hapless simple swain…I suppose he will now endeavor to drown his cares among the intricacies and perplexities of the law. No more will the merry peal of laughter ascend high in the air, to greet his listening and delighted ears…Alas! I fear his shrine will be deserted and that he will withdraw himself from the society of us inferior mortals.”

A slightly more complete quote reads: “And Conkling replied, ‘And L. poor hapless swain who loved most true but was not loved again-I suppose he will now endeavor to drown his cares among the intricacies and perplexities of the law.’

The memory of Lincoln, the story teller, the gay one, remained fresh, and Conkling recalled it. “No more will the merry peal of laughter ascend high into the air, to greet his listening and delighted ears.   He used to remind me sometimes of the pictures I formerly saw of Old father Jupiter, bending down from the clouds, to see what was going on below.   And as an agreeable smile of satisfaction graced the countenance of the old heathen god, as he perceived the incense rising up-so the face of L. was occasionally distorted into a grin as he succeeded in eliciting applause from some of the fair votaries by whom he was surrounded.   But alas!   I fear his shrine will now be deserted and that he will withdraw himself from the society of us inferior mortals.”

  1. Kincaid, Joshua Fry Speed, 15.

“No incident in Lincoln’s life was perhaps more enjoyable than his visit [with] Speed.”

A slightly more complete quote reads: “No incident in Lincoln’s life was perhaps more enjoyable than his visit to the Speed home at ‘Farmington’ near Louisville in August and September, 1841.   Now thirty-one, he had experience of living in the quiet and luxuries of a wonderful home which was in marked contrast to any of the drab hovels in which he had grown up.   The spacious colonial Speed home had been built about 1809 by skilled workmen brought from Philadelphia.   The rooms were large, with high ceilings, deep casements, and tall windows.   The woodwork, floors, and casements were of the finest hardwood.   A long driveway lined with locust and walnut trees approached the mansion set back a quarter of a mile from the Bardstown Pike.”

  1. Beveridge, Abraham Lincoln, 320.

From the text: “On the outside Speed had been trying to court Fanny Henning—an orphan girl whom ‘he was anxious that [Lincoln] should see.’”    

A slightly more complete quote reads: “Just at that time Speed was paying court to Miss Fanny Henning, a lovely young woman who was soon to become his wife, and this marriage was to have decisive influence on Lincoln.   Speed had often written to Lincoln of his infatuation, but had not yet proposed.   Fanny was an orphan and lived with her uncle, John Williamson, who had given the young merchant no opportunity to make love to his niece; for the old gentleman, a violent Whig, always insisted on talking politics when her suitor called and would never leave them alone.   Speed was anxious that his friend should see the young woman and took Lincoln with him on one of his visits.   With a meaning look at Speed, Lincoln, pretending to be a Democrat, engaged Fanny’s uncle so heavily in a political argument that the lovers got their chance to be alone, and thus Speed proposed and was accepted,”

  1. Lincoln, Collected Works, vol. I, 265.

“I do not place what I am going to say on paper because I can say it any better in that way than I could by mouth; but because, were I to say it orally, before we part, most likely you would forget it at the very time when it might do you some good.”

A slightly more complete quote reads: “Feeling, as you know I do, the deepest solicitude for the success of the enterprise you are engaged in, I adopt this as the last method I can invent to aid you, in case (which God forbid) you shall need any aid.   I do not place what I am going to say on paper, because I can say it any better in that way than I could by word of mouth; but because, were I to say it orally, before we part, most likely you would forget it at the very time when it might do you some good.   As I think it reasonable that you will feel very badly some time between this and the final consummation of your purpose, it is intended that you should read this just at such a time.”

  1. Lincoln, Collected Works, vol. I, 266.

I shall be so anxious about you, that I want you to write me every mail.   your friend, Lincoln.”

  1. Wilson and Davis, Herdon’s Informants, 431.

 “One thing is more discernable [sic]—If I had not been married & happy—far more happy than I ever expected to be—He would not have married.”

A slightly more complete quote reads:

“Dear Sir,

I enclose you copies of all the letters of any interest from Mr. Lincoln to me-Some explanation may be needed-that you might rightly understand their import.

In the winter of 40 and 41-he was very unhappy about his engagement to his wife-Not being entirely satisfied that his heart was going with his hand-How much he suffered then on that account none Know so well as myself-He disclosed his whole heart to me.

In the summer of 1841.   I became engaged to my wife-He was here on a visit when I courted her-and strange to say something of the same feeling which I regarded as so foolish in him-took possession of me-and kept me very unhappy from the time of my engagement until I was married.

This will explain the deep interest he manifested in his letters, on my account.

If you use the letters (and some of them are perfect jems) & do it carefully, so as not to wound the feelings of Mrs. Lincoln.

One thing is plainly discernable-If I had not been married and happy-far more happy than I ever expected to be-He would not have married.”

  1. Lincoln, Collected Works, vol. I, 305.

                From a letter to Samuel D. Marshall, November 11, 1842.   Quote:   “Nothing new here, except my marrying, which to me, is a matter of profound wonder.”

  1. Nicolay and Hay, Abraham Lincoln, vol. I, 194.

From the text: “John G. Nicolay and John Hay would later say in their ten-volume biography of Lincoln that, ‘Speed was the only –-as he was certainly the last—intimate friend Lincoln ever had,” and that, “Speed and Lincoln poured out their souls to each other.’”

A slightly more complete quote reads: “It is hardly to much to say that he was the only-as he was certainly the last-intimate friend that Lincoln ever had.   He was his closest companion in Springfield, and in the evil days when the letter to Stuart was written he took him with brotherly love and authority under his special care.”

  1. Lincoln, Collected Works, sup. I, 54n.

“You can hardly imagine, and I cannot describe feelings when I saw by the papers this morning that you were a candidate for the Presidency. Allow a warm personal friend, though as you are perhaps aware, a political opponent, to congratulate you. Should you be elected –I am satisfied that you will honestly administer the government—and make a lasting reputation for yourself….my wife is warmly for you. Cant [sic] you come and see us….[?]”

Speed’s letter read:   “You can hardly imagine, and I can not describe my feelings when I saw by the papers this morning that you were a candidate for the Presidency.   Allow a warm personal friend, though as you are perhaps aware, a political opponent, to congratulate you.   Should you be elected and I think you have a fair chance for it-I am satisfied that you will honestly administer the government-and make a lasting reputation for yourself...My wife is warmly for you. Cant you come and see us...”

  1. Kincaid, Joshua Fry Speed, 23.

From the text: “Lincoln privately asked a young lieutenant, William Nelson, to supply quiet aid and encouragement to loyal factions in Kentucky.”  

A slightly more complete quote reads: “Early in May, 1861, while Unionist and Confederate sympathizers were arguing as to Kentucky’s position in the conflict, a huge man weighing 300 pounds stealthily approached Speed’s home in Louisville on Second Street, between Liberty and Walnut.   He hesitated in front of the house, and then walked up and down the street for several minutes.   Mrs. Speed, who saw him through the window, grew fearful.   At last the man approached, knocked on the door, and asked for Mr. Speed.   He was told that Mr. Speed was at his office-on Jefferson Street between Fourth and Fifth.”          

  1. Kincaid, Joshua Fry Speed, 24.

From the text: “Their first clandestine meeting occurred on the night of May 7, 1861, less than a month into the Civil War.”

A slightly more complete quote reads: “When the giant entered the office, Speed was sitting at a table.   The stranger asked if he were Joshua Speed.   The man carefully closed the door behind him and then asked if they were alone.   Upon receiving this assurance, he inquired if there were another room in the office.   Mysteriously, the man asked Speed to withdraw into that room.   When they were seated, the stranger introduced himself as William Nelson, formerly of Maysville, Kentucky, and now a commander in the United States Navy; he explained that he had been sent by President Lincoln on a secret mission.”

  1. Kincaid, Joshua Fry Speed, 25-26.

“[Sherman] one day expounded his woes to Joshua Fry Speed. ‘What do you want?’ Speed asked. ‘Everything,’ Sherman replied. ‘Arms, wagons, tents, bread and meat, money, and a competent staff.’

“‘Name what you want on paper and give it to me,’ Speed requested. Sherman hastily scrawled a out his list. Speed took the train for Washington, submitted the request to President Lincoln, and within a few days was back in Sherman’s office. He handed him copies of orders naming two important officers in the quartermaster corps to be assigned to his staff, with a drawing account for $100,000. One order, signed by Lincoln himself, directed the ordinance department to supply the Kentucky forces with 10,000 Springfield rifles of the latest design.

 “Sherman was amazed. ‘How is this that more attention is paid to requests of you, a citizen, than me, a general in the army?’ he demanded. ‘You had better take command here.’

Quietly, Speed told Sherman of his friendship with Lincoln, and then said, ‘The only mistake you made, General, was not asking for more,’”

A slightly more complete quote reads: “It was during the latter days of September, 1861, that General W. T. Sherman, who had shortly before relived General Anderson, began to apply frantically to Washington for more men, more arms, more ammunition, and more supplies.   Nervous and wild-eyed, he magnified the force of the enemy out of all proportion to its strength and power.   Thus aggravated and distraught because his requests were unheeded in Washington, he one day expounded his woes to Joshua Fry Speed.   ‘What do you want?’ Speed asked.   ‘Everything,’ Sherman replied. ‘Arms, wagons, tents, bread and meat, money, and a competent staff.’

                ‘Name what you want on paper and give it to me,’ Speed requested.   Sherman hastily scrawled out his list.   Speed took the train for Washington, submitted the request to President Lincoln, and within a few days was back in Sherman’s office.   He handed him copies of orders naming two important officers in the quartermaster’s corps to be assigned to his staff, with a drawing account of $100,000.   On eorder, signed by Lincoln himself, directed the ordinance department to supply the Kentucky forces with 10,000 Springfield rifles of the latest design.

                Sherman was amazed.   ‘How is this that more attention is paid to the request of you, a citizen, than me, a general in the army?’ he demanded.   ‘You had better take command here.’

                Quietly, Speed told Sherman of his friendship with Lincoln, and then said, ‘The only mistake you made, General, was not asking for more.’”

  1. Kincaid, Joshua Fry Speed, 26, 28.

Tripp makes reference to a number of visits paid by Speed to President Lincoln.   For a more complete account of these instances, see Joshua Fry Speed, pages 26-29.  

  1. Speed, Reminisciences of Abraham Lincoln, 26.

From the text: “In fact, these [visits] extended for years, to within two weeks of Lincoln’s death.

A quote from the text reads: "The last time I saw him was about two weeks before his assassination.   He sent me word by my brother James, then in his Cabinet, that he desired to see me before I went home.   I went into his office about eleven o'clock.   He looked jaded and weary.   I staid in the room until his hour for callers was over; he ordered the door closed, and, looking over to where I was sitting, asked me to draw up my chair."

  1. 31 Speed, Reminisciences of Abraham Lincoln,, 12.

“Last evening, as I sat upon the porch watching the sun set, as we usually do, I thought of you and wished for you. Old Sol sank to rest in the arms of the night so grandly, giving some new beauty with each expiring ray.

“It seemed as though the clouds had more beautiful phantasms of every shape and form, like bridesmaids and bridegrooms, waiting in graceful attendance upon the wedding of day and night, than I ever saw before. Night, like the blushing bride, was coy and shy, and gave evidence of her modesty in her blushing cheeks, while day, like a gallant knight, who had won his spurs the bloody battle-field in the heady current of the fight, had done his duty, laid aside his spear, and approached his bride in the rich and beautiful garb of a lover. The wedding over, the stars came out, like guests invited to the feast, and, I suppose, kept up the carousal till dawn of day. I retired, and give no further report.”

A slightly more complete quote from Speed reads: “Last evening, I sat upon the porch watching the sun set, as we usually do, I thought of you and wished for you.   Old Sol sank to rest in the arms of the night so grandly, giving some new beauty with each expiring ray.

It seemed as though the clouds had more beautiful phantasms of every shape and form, like bridesmaids and bridegrooms, waiting in graceful attendance upon the wedding of day and night, than I ever saw before.   Night, like the blushing bride, was coy and shy, and gave evidence of her modesty in her blue blushing cheeks, while day, like a gallant knight, who had won his spurs upon the bloody battle-field in the heady current of the fight, had done his duty, laid aside his helmet and his spear, and approached his bride in the rich and beautiful garb of a lover.   The wedding over, the stars came out, like guests invited to the feast, and, I suppose, kept up the carousal till dawn of day.   I retired, and give no further report.”

All rights reserved. Copyright Estate of C.A. Tripp 2005