By Henry J. Raymond
BY FRANK B. CARPENTER.
I WENT to Washington the last week in February, 1864, for the purpose of carrying out my cherished project of painting the scene commemorative of the first reading in cabinet council of the Emancipation Proclamation. To my friends, Samuel Sinclair and F. A. Lane, of New York, the. Honorable Schuyler Colfax, and Honorable Owen Lovejoy, shall I ever be indebted for the opening up of the way for the successful accomplishment of this undertaking. Through the latter gentleman arrangements were made with the President and Mrs. Lincoln, by which the spacious "State dining-room" of the Executive Mansion was placed at my disposal for a studio, in order that I might enjoy every facility for studying my subjects from the life.
The painting of the picture occupied about six months. It embraced full-length life-size portraits of the President and entire cabinet, and portrays, as faithfully as I was capable of rendering it, the scene as it transpired in the old cabinet chamber of the White House, when the Act of Emancipation first saw the light.
My relations with Mr. Lincoln of course became of an intimate character. Permitted the freedom of his private office at almost all hours, I was privileged to see and know more of his daily life than has perhaps fallen to the lot of any one not sustaining to him domestic or official relations.
In compiling a chapter of anecdotes, I have endeavored to embrace only those which bear the marks of authenticity. Many in this collection I myself beard the President relate; others were communicated to me by persons who either heard or took part in them. Several have had a wide circulation, in connection with subjects of interest at different times which called them out. The reminiscences are mainly my own, and are taken, for the most part, from articles contributed on various occasions, since the assassination, to the public press.