Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller

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Author: Alexander K. McClure

Lincoln and McClure.

(From Harper’s Weekly, April 13, 1901.)

Colonel Alexander K. McClure, the editorial director of the Philadelphia Times, which he founded in 1875, began his forceful career as a tanner’s apprentice in the mountains of Pennsylvania threescore years ago. He tanned hides all day, and read exchanges nights in the neighboring weekly newspaper office. The learned tanner’s boy also became the aptest Inner in the county, and the editor testified his admiration for young McClure’s attainments by sending him to edit a new weekly paper which the exigencies of politics called into being in an adjoining county.

The lad was over six feet high, had the thews of Ajax and the voice of Boanerges, and knew enough about shoe-leather not to be afraid of any man that stood in it. He made his paper a success, went into politics, and made that a success, studied law with William McLellan, and made that a success, and actually went into the army—and made that a success, by an interesting accident which brought him into close personal relations with Abraham Lincoln, whom he had helped to nominate, serving as chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania through the campaign.

In 1862 the government needed troops badly, and in each Pennsylvania county Republicans and Democrats were appointed to assist in the enrollment, under the State laws. McClure, working day and night at Harrisburg, saw conscripts coming in at the rate of a thousand a day, only to fret in idleness against the army red-tape which held them there instead of sending a regiment a day to the front, as McClure demanded should be done. The military officer continued to dispatch two companies a day—leaving the mass of the conscripts to be fed by the contractors.

McClure went to Washington and said to the President, "You must send a mustering offcer to Harrisburg who will do as I say; I can’t stay there any longer under existing conditions."

Lincoln sent into another room for Adjutant-General Thomas. "General," said he, "what is the highest rank of military officer at Harrisburg?" "Captain, sir," said Thomas. "Bring me a commission for an Assistant Adjutant-General of the United States Army," said Lincoln.

So Adjutant-General McClure was mustered in, and after that a regiment a day of boys in blue left Harrisburg for the front. Colonel McClure is one of the group of great Celt-American editors, which included Medill, McCullagh and McLean.

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Chicago: Alexander K. McClure, "Lincoln and McClure.," Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller, ed. Jameson, J. Franklin (John Franklin), 1859-1937 in Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller Original Sources, accessed April 21, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D9JDXCABWSUXP93.

MLA: McClure, Alexander K. "Lincoln and McClure." Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller, edited by Jameson, J. Franklin (John Franklin), 1859-1937, in Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller, Original Sources. 21 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D9JDXCABWSUXP93.

Harvard: McClure, AK, 'Lincoln and McClure.' in Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller, ed. . cited in , Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller. Original Sources, retrieved 21 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D9JDXCABWSUXP93.