A Solomon Come To Judgment
: LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY
: Good Stories For Great Holidays
BY CHARLES W. MOORES
Lincoln's practical sense and his understanding of human nature enabled
him to save the life of the son of his old Clary's Grove friend, Jack
Armstrong, who was on trial for murder. Lincoln, learning of it, went
to the old mother who had been kind to him in the days of his boyhood
poverty, and promised her that he would get her boy free.
The witnesses were sure that Arms
rong was guilty, and one of them
declared that he had seen the fatal blow struck. It was late at night,
he said, and the light of the full moon had made it possible for him to
see the crime committed. Lincoln, on cross-examination, asked him only
questions enough to make the jury see that it was the full moon that
made it possible for the witness to see what occurred; got him to say
two or three times that he was sure of it, and seemed to give up any
further effort to save the boy.
But when the evidence was finished, and Lincoln's time came to make his
argument, he called for an almanac, which the clerk of the court had
ready for him, and handed it to the jury. They saw at once that on the
night of the murder there was no moon at all. They were satisfied that
the witness had told what was not true. Lincoln's case was won.