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would be, at one o'clock in the afternoon. Mr. Lincoln was very particular to have him repeat himself a dozen or more times during the trial about where the moon was located, and my recollection is now, that the almanac was not introduced until Mr. Lincoln came to that part of Allen's testimony telling the Court where the moon was located. Mr. Lincoln was very careful not to cross Mr. Allen in anything, and when Allen lacked words to express himself, Lincoln loaned them to him. Allen was the only witness for the State, and there were eight or ten witnesses for the defense, and they all swore that Armstrong struck Metzker with his fist, and I am satisfied that the jury thought Allen was telling the truth. I know that he impressed me that way, but his evidence with reference to the moon was so far from the facts that it destroyed his evidence with the jury. The almanac that was produced was examined closely by the Court, and the attorneys for the State, and the almanac showed that the moon at that time was going out of sight; setting; and the almanac was allowed to be used as evidence by Judge Harriott.
There has never been a question in my mind about the genuineness of the almanac, that it was an up to date almanac; this I am sure of, as it was passed up to the Judge, jury and lawyers, who all examined it closely, and the State's Attorney said “Mr. Lincoln, you are mistaken, the moon was just coming up instead of going down at that time' and Mr. Lincoln retorted: “It serves my purpose just as well, just coming up, or just going down, as you admit it was not over head as Mr. Allen swore it was.' As to the question of the validity of the almanac, Mr. Lincoln's long and honorable life is a distinct refutation of any such dishonorable action on his part. My recollection of Mr. Lincoln's appearance as he addressed the jury is very vivid. The day was warm and sultry, and, as he rose to make his closing argument he removed his coat, vest, and later, his 'stock,' the old fashioned necktie worn by men in those days. His sus
Fac-simile of the instructions to the Jury in behalf of the defendant. Armstrong trial, Beardstown Ill., May 7, 1858.
In Mr. Lincoln's handwriting
penders were home-made knitted ones, and finally, as he warmed up to his subject, one of them slipped from his shoulder, and he let it fall to his side, where it remained until he had finished speaking. In this 'backwoodsy' appearance he was about as homely, and awkward appearing person as could be imagined; but all this was forgotten in listening to his fiery eloquence, his masterly argument, his tender and pathetic pleading for the life of the son of his old benefactor. Tears were plentifully shed by every one present; the mother of Duff Armstrong, who was present, wore a huge sun-bonnet, her face was scarcely visible, but her feelings were plainly shown by her sobs.
As we were leaving the court room to pass into the jury room, I heard Mr. Lincoln tell Mrs. Armstrong that her boy would be cleared before sundown, which proved to be true. We were out less than an hour; only one ballot was taken, and that was unanimous for acquittal. After we rendered our verdict, Mr. Lincoln shook hands with Duff Armstrong and then led him to his mother and gave him a short lecture on making a man of himself and being a comfort to his mother, telling him to care for her and try to make as good a man as his father had been.”
Hon. J. Henry Shaw, an eminent lawyer, who practiced his profession in Cass county for many years, in writing an account of this trial said:
“He told the jury, of his once being a poor, friendless boy; that Armstrong's parents took him into their house, fed and clothed him, and gave him a home. There were tears in his eyes when he spoke. The sight of his tall, quivering frame, and the particulars of the story he so pathetically told, moved the jury to tears also, and they forgot the guilt of the defendant, in their admiration of his advocate. It was the most touching scene I ever witnessed."
* Only two instructions were given to the jury in behalf of the defendant, and these are in the handwriting of Mr. Lincoln. A fac simile of them appears in this paper.