The day after his nomination, Mr. Ashman, president of the Convention, with a large party of distinguished gentlemen, members of the Convention, arrived in Springfield to inform Mr. Lincoln of his nomination, and to receive his reply.
Mr. Lincoln had requested me to escort this party to his house. Mr. Ashman’s address, and Mr. Lincoln’s reply are matters of history. The aptness of Mr. Lincoln’s words, and the unstudied dignity of his manner, in that trying moment, in the little crowded parlor, surprised and delighted his guests, few of whom had ever seen him before. As he sat down, Mr. Boutwell, afterwards Secretary of the Treasury, and Senator from Massachusetts, whispered to me: ” They told me he was a rough diamond I protest against the adjective nothing could have been more elegant and appropriate.”
Soon after, little Tad worked his way up to his father’s side, and whispered very loud in his ear. Mr. Lincoln knew that nearly everyone in the room must have heard the whisper but not the least disconcerted, he arose, and laughing, said: “You see, gentlemen, that if I am elected, it won’t do to put that young man in the cabinet — he can’t be intrusted with state secrets.” The ready wit of this pleasantry was immensely enjoyed. After the merriment had subsided, Mr. Lincoln, still standing, remarked: “And now, gentlemen, as you are already aware, Mrs. Lincoln will be happy to meet you in the diningroom” and led the way to as pleasant and merry a tea party as eyer gathered in that little house on Eighth street.
Quoted in “Abraham Lincoln; an address”,by Newton Bateman, LL. D. (Galesbvrg, Ill., The Cadmvs clvb, 1899),P28