Abraham Lincoln's Knoxville Jest

“GLAD OF IT”

On the occasion when the telegram from Cumberland Gap reached Mr. Lincoln that “firing was heard in the direction of Knoxville,” he remarked that he was “glad of it.” Some person present, who had the perils of Burnside’s position uppermost in his mind, could, not see why Mr. Lincoln should be glad of it, and so expressed himself. “Why, you see,” responded the President, “it reminds me of Mistress Sallie Ward, a neighbour of mine, who had a very large family. Occasionally one of her numerous progeny would be heard crying in some out-of-the-way place, upon which Mrs. Ward would exclaim, ‘There’s one of my children that isn’t dead yet!’”

—Speeches and Letters of Abraham Lincoln, 1832-1865, gutenberg.org

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