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PERSONAL
RECOLLECTIONS OF
JOHN M. PALMER

THE STORY OF
AN EARNEST LIFE

CINCINNATI

THE ROBERT CLARKE COMPANY

Copyrighted, 1901, by
MRS. JOHN M. PALMER

HARVAND COLLEGE LIBRARY
FIUMINE LIBRARY OF
FRANKLIN P. MICE

GIFT OF
MRS. MARY B. RICE

MAY 29, 1922

PRESS OF THE ROBERT CLARKE CO.

CINCINNATI, O.

DEDICATION.

I have borne a part in some of the most important political events which have transpired in this state and the nation during the last half century; my own share in them was small, but that small share is dignified by its connection with the great actors who were the human agencies that gave to them historical importance.

When I commenced the preparation of this “Story of an Earnest Life,” I intended to dedicate it to my friend, Lyman Trumbull, then living.

We met first in December, 1839. He was at that time a lawyer, and lived in Belleville; I was a law student, and came from Carlinville to Springfield, where the Supreme Court was in session, to obtain admission to the bar.

After that time, Mr. Trumbull and I became intimate friends, and agreed upon all questions of principle and policy, until the close of his life, with the exceptions which I shall probably hereafter mention.

Mr. Trumbull died at his home, in Chicago, on the twenty6fth of June, 1896. He was a profound lawyer, sincere in his friendships, a kind husband, an affectionate father, and an earnest, patriotic citizen.

Now, that he, like Douglas and Lincoln, Bissell and Koerner, and a long catalogue of others, once my friends and political associates, has passed away (and but few survive), I can only dedicate what I have written to the “ People of the State of Illinois, and especially to the Young Men," who may feel some interest in the struggles of one who earnestly sought, in his private and public relations, to be useful in his “day and generation."

J. M. P.

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If all the men and women

He helped when sore distressed; If all the little children

He loved and kissed and blessed; If all the slaves he helped to free,

The battles fought and won, The civic wrongs he righted,

The duties he has done; If all the poor, frail mortals

Whose tears he wiped away, Could come from earth and heaven

And be with us to-day,
Ah, what a choir invisible

Of blessings, thanks and tears
Would thrill the hearts that mourn for him
With his crown of earnest years!
-ELIZABETH PALMER MATTHEWS.

(vi)

PREFACE.

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HE earthly portion of “An Earnest Life" was

closed on the twenty-fifth day of September, 1900. Early, while the rising sun proclaimed the coming of a glorious Indian summer day, the summons came, and with tender thought for one so dear, the Master gave to “His beloved sleep" from which he awoke “in His

presence."

Many times during the years spent together, we talked of the going hence, and while with reverent submission to whatever manner the call might come, he had expressed the hope that it would find him with every fac- . ulty bright from use and “with the harness on," ready, like the ancient trapper, of whom he loved to read, to answer “Here!"

God granted his wish, and in peaceful slumber he passed away

We, whose privilege it was to be with him in the beautiful simplicity of his home life, beheld his character from a point of view different from that of the world, who saw only the wisdom of the lawyer, the bravery of the soldier, or the dignity of the statesman. Gentle to the last degree, he had a deep interest in the weak and

oppressed.

Humanity in every phase appealed to him. Strong, self-reliant and buoyant with the vigor of robust health, he was always ready to shield those less fortunate; his most tender care was for the weak one, be it an afflicted child or a stray lamb of the flock.

The bearer of many burdens, as every great nature must be, he had the faculty of catching the stray sunbeams which glinted in the darkness, and possessing a keen sense of humor, which enabled him to enjoy a joke, even at his own expense, he was to all a genial companion. Being an ardent lover of nature, each changing season

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