Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: The Cabinet Was A-Settin’

Being in Washington one day, the Rev. Robert Collyer thought he’d take a look around. In passing through the grounds surrounding the White House, he cast a glance toward the Presidential residence, and was astonished to see three pairs of feet resting on the ledge of an open window in one of the apartments of the second story. The divine paused for a moment, calmly surveyed the unique spectacle, and then resumed his walk toward the War Department.

Seeing a laborer at work not far from the Executive Mansion, Mr. Collyer asked him what it all meant. To whom did the feet belong, and, particularly, the mammoth ones? “You old fool,” answered the workman, “that’s the Cabinet, which is a-settin’, an’ them thar big feet belongs to ‘Old Abe.’”