Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: Time Lost Didn’t Count

Thurlow Weed, the veteran journalist and politician, once related how, when he was opposing the claims of Montgomery Blair, who aspired to a Cabinet appointment, that Mr. Lincoln inquired of Mr. Weed whom he would recommend, “Henry Winter Davis,” was the response.

“David Davis, I see, has been posting you up on this question,” retorted Lincoln. “He has Davis on the brain. I think Maryland must be a good State to move from.”

The President then told a story of a witness in court in a neighboring county, who, on being asked his age, replied, “Sixty.” Being satisfied he was much older the question was repeated, and on receiving the same answer the court admonished the witness, saying, “The court knows you to be much older than sixty.”

“Oh, I understand now,” was the rejoinder, “you’re thinking of those ten years I spent on the eastern share of Maryland; that was so much time lost, and didn’t count.”

Blair was made Postmaster-General.