President Abraham Lincoln


This Site:

Civil War

Civil War Overview

Civil War 1861

Civil War 1862

Civil War 1863

Civil War 1864

Civil War 1865

Civil War Battles

Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Confederate History

Robert E. Lee

Civil War Medicine

Lincoln Assassination


Site Search

Civil War Links


Civil War Art

Revolutionary War

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


Winslow Homer

Thomas Nast

Mathew Brady

Western Art

Civil War Gifts

Robert E. Lee Portrait

Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 27, 1861

The April 27, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly features a biography and picture of President Abraham Lincoln, and an incredible description of Mr. Lincoln's declaration of war on the south.  The issue also contains fabulous illustrations of the Battle of Fort Sumter.  Newspaper thumbnails will take you to a large, readable version of that page.


Civil War Volunteers

Abraham Lincoln's Declaration of War

The Call for Volunteers

Abraham Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln Biography and Picture


General P.G.T. Beauregard

Slave Cartoon

Slavery Cartoon

Inside Fort Sumter During the Bombardment

Inside Fort Sumter During the Bombardment

Map of Charleston Harbor

Map of Charleston Harbor

Attack on Fort Sumter

Attack on Fort Sumter





[APRIL 27, 1861.

But the hours of that day came and went as hours will come and go forever ; and at last her ear caught the sound of the well-known horn, and shortly after the rattling wheels of the stage-coach as it drove up to the door, and her stanch friend, Barblow, stood ready to transfer the mail-bag to the table. There was a short colloquy with some one within the vehicle, a clear ringing voice, and then a quick step on the threshold made May look up, to meet the eager, bright glance of Hal Grafton's eye, as his pleasant tones rung out so cheery : "Miss May, I've come just in time to save you this work. I wish I had come before, but I had something to stay for—" His frank face grew puzzled, for the hand which he had thrust through the bars to exchange salutations was not grasped, and the pale lips of the girl before him moved quietly, saying, " Thank you, Mr. Grafton, I can do very well alone." Nothing more ; and Hal stood perfectly still and motionless for a moment. Then he grew angry, and turned on his heel to retreat ; but some kindly feeling prompted him to return, and say, " I would be very glad to. relieve you of this care, for you look very weary, Miss May."

A quiet " No, thank you," barred all farther endeavors to make himself useful; and what his thoughts were as he shot off down the street like an arrow, any young man of twenty-four who thinks he has been abused can guess.

There was no document in the mail that night for Squire Holmes, for May's nervous fingers had shuffled the epistles over many times; and somewhat relieved that the evil day had been put off, she sought her father's bedside, only to find him delirious. Dr. Burnett was then watching anxiously the quick pulse of the sick man, and before he left determined to send some one to watch with the invalid who should be strong enough to lift him for freer breath or to administer the medicines.

It was midnight when the watcher made his appearance, and weeping May scarcely raised her head as a tall, dark form stepped lightly into the shaded room, and took a position by the head of the bed, behind the chintz curtain, and there remained, only speaking in a whisper to Mrs. Holmes, who sat beside her husband.

The patient slept at intervals, but uneasy mutterings and half-forgotten memories sounded sadly through the anxious hours.

" Yes, I know it ; Jackson Will never favor it. The bank —the great bank. Where's Allan? He looks pale tonight; he must not study too much. There's no letter for you to-night, Sir. Yes here is one : `Allan Holmes; aged ten, died' -yes, died. I know he died in the spring—"

Then a few moments of quiet, and the busy brain wrought on :

"Twenty years—yes, Sir Nobody ever lost a letter nobody. Did they tell me Hal was gone to get the office for himself? Well, well, Hal is a good lad, and I'm getting old;

and—Where's May ?" The girl could keep down her sobs no longer, and .had passed out of the room ; but the tall watcher started at the last words, and with the reverential tenderness of a son he bent over the sick man, bathing his temples and hands, and administering the cooling draught ; and when be seated himself again beside the patient, who had sunk off to sleep, there was a soft light in his eye, and a nay, a calmness on his brow. In those dark hours he prayed with the earnest trust that he had ever held that One above would spare the old man's life a little longer, or if that boon might be denied, that he should turn to that God who alone could smooth the dark passage.


THE morning light brought hope to the hearts of the watchers, and in the coming sunshine May knelt beside her father's bed, thankful to hear the words once more "My daughter."

Henry Grafton—for he it was who had held the vigil of the night- stood back; but When May's eyes discerned who it was who had nursed the weak invalid so tenderly, her frank nature could not resist the impulse to put out her hand with a word of

thanks for the kindness, but she dared not meet his glance bent on her so inquiringly, nay, tenderly, as he said, " Miss May, at the risk of displeasing you, I must insist on taking your place in the office today." Before May could reply, Mrs. Holmes had thanked him and accepted the offer in spite of her protestations, and so the key was produced from May's apron-pocket and she was left to watch her father. The doctor came and reported favorably—the crisis had passed, and only rest and quiet would insure complete recovery. It was strange why Hal would keep running into the house to ask May where the different articles were. In the first place, he declared he couldn't find the wrappers for the papers, then he didn't know where the wafers were kept, and, finally, he reported that the ink was all gone from the ink-stand, and he didn't know where the rest was kept. Wouldn't Miss May please come and show him once? he wouldn't trouble her afterward if she would only set him right this time. So there was nothing for it except to help his awkwardness, whether it were real or assumed, and

she found the wrappers and the wafers and the ink, and was demurely walking out again when he arrested her.   

" One more favor, Miss May—will you look in your father's box, there seems to be something there ?"

She thought it strangely cruel that he should compel her to read the fatal official paper that met her eye, and smile so exultingly all the while, but with a trembling Hand she took it up, as Hal said, "I brought it on from Washington, open, and I suppose you can as well see what it is ?"

If ever Hal Grafton was happy in his life, it was when he saw the soft blue eyes dilate and the cheeks flush with the glad surprise ! For signed and sealed with all due forms, was the reappointment of Frederick Holmes, Esq., to the post-office for the next term of years, and a letter from a great political character, alluding to the testimonials and long array of the names of fellow-townsmen, referred to Harry Grafton as indefatigable in presenting and forwarding the petition, wherein Whigs and Democrats alike were represented. The paper dropped from her hands as she clasped them.

"Oh, I'm so glad! How can I thank you?—and to think that I—"

She was perched up on the tall stool, and Hal made only one step forward when he took each one of her little hands in his, as though he would help her off; but he only held her there, looking down on her with his big brown eyes, while he said,

" Little May, don't you know better than to doubt me so ? You thought I was only seeking my own good; that I would willingly grieve you and lose my self-respect by taking away from your father the post which he fills so much better. Blossom—May blossom-I don't want any thing that any body can give me—but little May; can't she trust me for the future ? I never had another dream than this, to press on in my profession until I could offer heart and home together to May Holmes." Well, what does any body suppose a wee woman perched on a high office-stool could do but to let such a great, handsome, frank lover lift her down ? and if he didn't take his arm from about her round waist until he had heard some sort of answer from the lips, what wonder ? And if Squire Holmes didn't get well quicker after the administration of

that wonderful paper than if he had taken a dozen pills, I don't know the reason why. Mrs. Holmes declared that it was the most wonderful " Poor Man's Plaster" that ever was known, for it was not mans weeks ere the Squire was at his post, active and cheerful as ever.

Then came an answer to May's application for a teacher's place; but, for obvious reasons, she was obliged to decline the offer for herself, recommending, as more able, an old school friend who was very glad to make the engagement.

Miss Sarah Garner called soon after, dressed in the identical " beautifulest silk," bows and gimp included ; and there was no consciousness in her manner that she had ever heard the story coined in the fertile brain of Miss Polly Bias. She congratulated May as politely as any one else; and if she felt a twinge of regret for handsome Hal, she concealed it very skillfully.

When that wedding did come off Miss Polly didn't get a chance to cut a breadth or gather up a bow with the wonderful thumb, but she revenged herself by pointing with it over her shoulder toward the Squire's, and referring to the city artiste there employed, as that "furrin" baggage.

Wright went to college the next winter, and

when he wrote home to May the letter bore the superscription, Mrs. Henry Grafton, Esq. At each appearance of such epistles the Squire would smile anew, and declare that Love had stepped in to aid him when 'Lection failed.


WE publish, herewith, from a photograph just taken expressly for this paper, a PORTRAIT OF THE PRESIDENT. It is the first accurate portrait that has been published of him since he began to grow his beard.

HON. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, of Illinois, was born on the 12th February, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. His family, although much respected, were not blessed with much of this world's goods, and he was forced to fight his own way through the opening struggles of life's campaign. In this way be became intimately acquainted with the industrial classes, and they now claim him as One of their number—"The Flatboatman." It is also reported that he supported himself for a winter by splitting rails for a farmer whence his sobriquet, The-Rail-splitter.

 Whether he was engaged in rural pursuits, or in piloting down the Mississippi boats laden with produce, he permitted no opportunity to escape for the improvement of his mind. When he had thus, by his own exertions, been admitted to the bar, he settled in the pleasant town of Springfield Illinois; where he has since resided.

When the " Black Hawk War" broke out, in the spring of 1832, Mr. Lincoln was among the first to offer his services, and was elected captain of a company of Illinois volunteers, at the head of which he distinguished himself during the brief yet effective campaign. He was afterward elected to the State Legislature, taking decided ground as a Whig of the Henry Clay school. In 1846 he was elected a member of` the 30th Congress, where he acted with the Whig party; and at the National Convention which nominated General Scott for President, in June, 1852, he was elected to represent Illinois in the Central Whig Committee. Yeoman's service did he render in that campaign.

In 1856 Mr. Lincoln entered actively into the Republican contest; and two years later a Convention of that party nominated him in opposition to Judge Douglas, as Republican Senator from the State of Illinois. He was defeated, as is known, but lost none of his reputation with the party.

In May, 1860 he was nominated for the Presidency by the Republican Convention at Chicago, and was duly elected in November. His Inaugural in March has already been laid before the readers of the Weekly

Last week a Committee of the Virginia Convention waited upon him. to ascertain his views. He replied to them as follows : " To Hon. Messrs. Preston, Stuart, and Randolph:

"GENTLEMEN - As a Committee of the Virginia Convention, now in session, you present me a preamble and resolution in these words :

" ' Whereas, In the opinion of this Convention, the uncertainty which prevails in the public mind as to the policy which the Federal Executive intends to pursue toward the seceded States, is extremely injurious to the industrial and commercial interests of the country, tends to keep up an excitement which is unfavorable to the adjustment of the pending difficulties and threatens a disturbance of the public peace; therefore,

" ' Resolved, That a committee of three delegates be appointed to wait on the President of the United States, present to him this preamble, and respectfully ask him to communicate to this Convention the policy which the Federal Executive intends to pursue in regard to the Confederate States.'

"In answer I have to say that having, at the beginning of my official term, expressed my intended policy as plainly as I was able, it is with deep regret and mortification I now learn there is great and injurious uncertainty in the public mind as to what that policy is, and what course I intend to pursue. Not having as yet seen occasion to change, it is now my purpose to pursue the course marked out in the Inaugural Address. I commend a careful consideration of the whole document as the best expression I can give to my purposes. As I then and therein said, I now repeat, 'The power confided in me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess property and places belonging to the Government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what is necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people any where.' By the words 'property and places belonging to the Government,' I chiefly allude to the military posts,

(Cont. Next Page)


President Abraham Lincoln



site stats


Site Copyright 2003-2018 Son of the South. For Questions or comments about this collection,


privacy policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.