James Speed: a personality

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Press of J. P. Morton & company, incorporated, 1914 - United States - 136 pages
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Page 133 - Only that group of friends who stilled the pulsations of Lincoln's great heart paid the penalty of crime. A maudlin sentiment has sought to cast blame on the officials who dealt out justice to these. One in particular is my distinguished friend, the then Judge Advocate General of the Army. Judge Holt performed his duty kindly and considerately. In every particular he was just and fair. This I know. But Judge Holt needs no vindication from me nor any one else. I only speak because I know reflections...
Page 128 - I believe that in all the annals of our race, Abraham Lincoln is the finest example of an unknown man rising from obscurity and ascending to the loftiest heights of human grandeur.
Page 24 - I could show you three men on my plantation,' replied Judge Speed, 'who might go to the Kentucky Legislature. I am inclined to believe they would be as good legislators as the average men there now.
Page 102 - Why was that convention here ? It was here in part because the great cry came up from the white man of the South, — My Constitutional and my natural rights are denied me ; and then the cry came up from the black man of the South, — My Constitutional and my natural rights are denied me. These complaints are utterly antagonistic, the one to the other ; and this convention is called to say which is right. Upon that question, if upon none other, as Southern men, you must speak out your mind. Speak...
Page 130 - He so impressed all who saw him rightly and truly. Those near him felt continually the mastery of his wisdom, and there were times when his influence was inspiration to all. I saw him in moments when his courage rose to the majesty of grandest heroism, and sent its strength leaping through the veins of his countrymen, nerving them to sustain to the utmost limit the living ramparts of the Nation facing the doubtful battlefield. His serene confidence restored the lapsing faith of men. His never relaxing...
Page 128 - Less than two years after the death of Mr. Lincoln I gave a brief expression of my appreciation of his character. Then it was too soon for a general reception of his great and good qualities. I then said, "When passion shall have subsided, and calmness and quiet come — a period he was only permitted to see from Pisgah's height — the large measure of his wisdom will be acknowledged by all men.
Page 132 - He was patient to try, and ready to excuse. His forbearing spirit dealt with men rejoicing in the good, with no harshness to the erring. He had no censure for the general who failed, but the comfort that came when the real commanders appeared, those only can tell who saw his relieved soul speaking in his countenance. Nor did any feeling of hatred toward those in opposing arms enter his soul. Although his own election was made the occasion of the great revolt ; although he was misrepresented, derided,...
Page 103 - I read its history, came here to simply record in abject submission the commands of one man. That convention did his commands. The loyal Congress of the United States had refused to do his commands ; and whenever you have a Congress that does not resolutely and firmly refuse, as the present Congress has done, to merely act as the recording secretary of the tyrant at the White House, American liberty is gone forever."^*-
Page 60 - The best and greatest man I ever knew, and one holding just now the highest and most responsible position on earth, has been taken from us, but do not be downcast and hopeless. This great Government was not bound up in the life of any one man.
Page 134 - West bound together with iron bands, and the growth from thirty to sixty millions. We wish he were living to-day in the midst of his peaceful and happy countrymen. We wish we could now see him reposing in the comfortable retirement of his home, beholding, at a venerable age, the present splendors of our glorious Union. For the Union he felt the most intense love, and for those who went to...

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