Recollection by Julian M. Sturtevant, Abraham Lincoln

    Source citation
    Julian M. Sturtevant, An Autobiography (Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1896), 292-293.
    Author (from)
    Sturtevant, Julian M.
    Date Certainty
    Adapted by Ben Lyman, Dickinson College
    The following transcript has been adapted from An Autobiography (1896).

    As an orator, Mr. Lincoln had one remarkable characteristic. His perfect candor invariably won the confidence of his hearers at the outset. He was always careful to disentangle himself from any fallacy into which the advocates of his own cause might have fallen. His friends would often be astonished at the magnitude and importance of his concessions. He seemed to be surrendering the whole ground of the debate, leaving not a square foot upon which his own argument could rest. Yet in the sequel he made it gloriously apparent that the rock foundation of his cause was left, where no man could overthrow it. He forced even his bitterest opponents to believe that he was at least candid and sincere. I am inclined, however, to think that in his varied practice in the courts his candor may have sometimes stood in the way of his success. One eminent lawyer said of him after his cruel assassination, " Mr. Lincoln was an excellent supreme court lawyer, but he was too candid not to sometimes damage a bad cause." I fear that few eminent lawyers lay themselves liable to that criticism.

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