Tolerance Anecdotes: Abraham Lincoln and his Horse! (Post No.3365)

Compiled  by London Swaminathan


Date: 18 November 2016


Time uploaded in London: 9-17 am


Post No.3365


Pictures are taken from various sources; they are representational only; thanks.






Abraham Lincoln’s lame horse!


When Abraham Lincoln used to be drifting around the country, practising law at Fulton and Menard counties, Illinois, an old fellow met him going to Lewiston, riding a horse, which, while it was a serviceable enough animal, was not of the kind to be truthfully called a fine saddler. It was a weather beaten nag, patient and plodding, and it toiled along with Abe–and Abes books, tucked away in saddle bags, lay heavy on the horses flank.

Hello, Uncle Tommy, said Abe.

Hello Abe, responded Uncle Tommy. I am powerful glad to see ye, ye, for I am going to have something for you at Lewiston cot, I reckon.

How is that? Uncle Tommy, said Abe

Well, Jim Adams, his land runs long o mine , he is pestering me a heap, and I got to get the law on Jim, I reckon.

Uncle Tommy, you have not had any fight s with Jim, have you?


He is a fair to middling neighbor isn’t he?

Only tolerable, Abe.

He has been a neighbor of yours for a long time, hasn’t he?

Nigh on to fifteen years.

Part of the time you get along all right, don’t you?

I reckon, we do Abe

Well, now, uncle Tommy, you see this horse of mine?

He isn’t a good horse as I could straddle, and I sometimes get out of patience with him, but I know his faults. He does fairly well as horses go , and it might take me a long time to get used to some other horses faults. For all horses have faults. You and uncle Jimmy must put up with each other as I and my horse do with one another.

I reckon, Abe, said uncle Tommy, as he bit off about four ounces of Missouri plug, I reckon you are about right.

And Abe Lincoln with a smile on his gaunt face rode on toward Lewiston.



Colour one cheek!

Sir Francis De Sales, being consulted by a lady on the propriety of wearing rouge, replied,

“Some persons may object to it, and others may see no harm in it, but I shall take a middle course, by allowing you to rouge on one cheek.”



Sir Walter Scott’s Advice

Sir Walter Scott, once happening to hear his daughter Anne say of something that it was vulgar, gave the young lady the following rebuke:

“My love, you speak like a very young lady; do you know, after all, the meaning of this word vulgar? It is only common. Nothing that is common, except wickedness, can deserve to be spoken of in a tone of contempt.”





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  1. The anecdotes relating to Abe Lincoln never cease to surprise and elevate and edify us! Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence is supposedly litigation-prone, and for Lincoln to dissuade someone from pursuing litigation and conflict is so characteristic of the innate greatness of the man! But we see how America flourishes on petty litigations!
    My father in law was a small town civil lawyer with a very moderate practice, with about 40 years’ in the bar. Once I asked him about it. He told me that his first instinct was to find out if the client was telling the truth,and whether the case was fair in dharma.. Second, he would not take up family disputes. He said that almost every family did have some grounds of often imaginary conflict, which could be tackled with some ‘adjustment’, and patience and passage of time, with a bit of elderly advice.. But usually relatives would fan the flames and once it reached lawyers, the conflict would be magnified, contestants would be turned into enemies, often for life, with no hope of reconciliation ever. The family secrets would be out in the open, and the whole family would be disgraced Only lawyers benefited, but he didn’t want to earn money out of families in distress. Then he never touched divorce cases in his life. He said he would never come between husband and wife.

    After he passed away, one of his sons became a lawyer. Almost the first independent case he got was a divorce matter. My wife reminded him that father never used to accept divorce cases. He said that it was difficult enough to get cases, and he could not be too choosy. So saying, he kept the case papers on his office rack. The next morning, when he sat at his table and reached for the papers, a scorpion stung him! Was it my father in law speaking? Is there something like ‘fair in dharma’ , whatever the law may say?

    This Lincoln episode tell us that humanity is universal, no matter how laws are formulated. The Biblical advice is’ love thy neighbour’- it does not say love thy neighbour who is good,according to you! What a way Lincoln reminded uncle Tommy of this great Biblical wisdom!

  2. Thanks. Very interesting, particularly the scorpion’s “lesson”.

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