The Politicians: Norman B. Judd (1815-1878)

“A great deal of fault was found at the time by the Whig press with Palmer, Cook and myself about our stand in the election of Trumbull in 1854,” Norman Judd said after President Lincoln’s murder. “But Lincoln never joined in that clamor against us. He had the good sense to see that our course was the result of political sagacity. If we had voted for him, we should simply have been denounced by our own papers as renegades who had deserted the democrats and gone over to the Whigs. But in the course matters took that charge couldn’t be maintained a moment against us. On the contrary we could maintain our entire consistency as anti-Nebraska Democrats, and that enabled us to carry over a fraction of the Democratic party sufficiently large to give us control of the State.”1

Over the next four years, Mr. Lincoln came to rely increasingly on Judd for political support and advice. As a State Senator, Judd was a loyal supporter of Lyman Trumbull for the Senate in 1855. He was one of about five anti-Nebraska Democratic votes who would not vote for Mr. Lincoln – a fact that many Whig supporters of Mr. Lincoln would not forget. But in the 1858 contest with Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Mr. Lincoln needed to attract the kind of votes that Judd represented. So Republican State Chairman Judd became one of Mr. Lincoln’s key advisors – particularly on the strategy developed for the second Lincoln-Douglas debate at Freeport. Mr. Lincoln wrote Judd on October 20, 1858 concerning his worries about potential fraudulent voting by Irish-American Democrats.

I now have a high degree of confidence that we shall succeed, if we are not over-run with fraudulent votes to a greater extent than usual. On alighting from the cars and walking three squares at Naples on Monday, I met about fifteen Celtic gentlemen, with black carpet-sacks in their hands.
I learned that they had crossed over from the Rail-road in Brown county, but where they were going no one could tell. They dropped in about the doggeries, and were still hanging about when I left. At Brown County yesterday I was told that about four hundred of the same sort were to be brought into Schuyler, before the election, to work on some new Railroad; but on reaching here I find Bagby thinks that is not so.
What I most dread is that they will introduce into the doubtful districts numbers of men who are legal voters in all respects except residence and who will swear to residence and thus put it beyond our power to exclude them. They can & I fear will swear falsely on that point, because they know it is next to impossible to convict them of Perjury upon it.
Now the greater remaining part of the campaign, is finding a way to head this thing off. Can it be done at all?2

After the unsuccessful election, Judd added insult to defeat by sending Mr. Lincoln a letter asking him for a contribution to retire the debt of the State Republican Party. Mr. Lincoln replied: ” As to the pecuniary matter, I am willing to pay according to my ability; but I am the poorest hand living to get others to pay. I have been on expences so long without earning any thing that I am absolutely without money now for even household purposes. Still, if you can put in two hundred and fifty dollars for me towards discharging the debt of the Committee, I will allow it when you and I settle the private matter between us. This, with what I have already paid, and with an outstanding note of mine, will exceed my subscription of five hundred dollars. This too, is exclusive of my ordinary expences during the campaign, all which being added to my loss of time and business, bears pretty heavily upon one no better off in world’s good than I; but as I had the post of honor, it is not for me to be over-nice.” Mr. Lincoln concluded: “You are feeling badly. ‘And this too shall pass away.’ Never fear.”3

Mr. Lincoln, Ozias Hatch and Jesse K. Dubois in turn wrote other friends for help – including Newton Bateman: “Our State Central Committee find itself considerably in debt, and there is a necessity, for meeting it promptly. We have been taxing ourselves, pretty freely, and are compelled, reluctantly, to call upon some of our friends for assistance. If you can without great inconvenience assist in liquidating this debt, please do so. N. B. Judd, Chicago, is the Chairman as you know. He writes that the committee owe about twenty five hundred dollars.”4
Mr. Lincoln had other financial dealings with the Chicago attorney. Mr. Lincoln had loaned Judd money. According to Willard R. King: “Lincoln’s estate included several debts that Davis collected. The only large note was that of Norman B. Judd for $3,000. When, in 1857, Lincoln received the $5,000 Illinois Central fee, he had invested his half of it, in a joint venture with Norman Judd, in lands at Council Bluffs, Iowa. Judd agreed to buy Lincoln out at any time within two years. In 1859 Lincoln had requested Judd to do so and Judd had given Lincoln this note for $3,000 at 10 per cent and agreed that Lincoln should retain the land as security.”

Judd’s wife, Adeline, recalled a visit by Mr. Lincoln to the Judds’ home on Lake Michigan: “After tea, and until quite late, we sat on the broad piazza, looking out upon as lovely a scene as that which had made the Bay of Naples so celebrated. A number of vessels were availing themselves of a fine breeze to leave the harbor, and the lake was studded with many a white sail. I remember that a flock of sea-gulls were flying along the beach, and dipping their beaks and white-lined wings in the foam that capped the short waves as they fell upon the shore. Whilst we sat there the great white moon appeared on the rim of the eastern horizon, and slowly crept above the water, throwing a perfect flood of silver light upon the dancing waves. The stars shone with the soft light of a midsummer night, and the breaking of the low waves upon the shore, repeating the old rhythm of the song which they have sung for ages, added the charm of pleasant sound to the beauty of the night. Mr. Lincoln, whose home was far inland from the great lakes, seemed greatly impressed with the wondrous beauty of the scene, and carried by its impressiveness away from all thought of the jars and turmoil of earth.”

When the Judds and Mr. Lincoln went inside, Mr. Lincoln appeared to summarize the lecture on inventions which he delivered in the late 1850s. Mrs Judd wrote, ‘When the night air became too chilling to remain longer on the piazza, we went into the parlor, and, seated on the sofa, his long limbs stretching across the carpet, and his arms folded behind him. Mr. Lincoln went on to speak of other discoveries, and also of the inventions which had been made during the long cycles of time lying between the present and those early days when the sons of Adam began to make use of material things about them, and invent instruments of various kinds of brass and gold and silver.”5

Judd came under considerable attack during 1859 for his management of the 1858 campaign. Chicago Democrat editor John Wentworth “launched a series of violent editorial attacks upon Judd, whom he accused of mismanaging the 1858 campaign, wasting party funds, betraying Lincoln and using his power as state chairman to promote Trumbull for the presidency and himself for the governorship,” wrote historian Don E. Fehrenbacher. “Coming from Long John alone, these charters might not have carried much weight, but they were quickly taken up and repeated by other Republicans, including Lincoln’s close friend, David Davis, and his law partner, William Herndon.”6

State Senator Judd complained to Mr. Lincoln on December 1, 1859: “I begin to doubt whether there is such a thing as truth in this world and I am satisfied that a man must hunt it up if he wants it – it will scarcely come to him – From the representations that are afloat amongst your friends and believed in by some of them I am indused to doubt myself ?? and think is it true that Lincoln has been cheated by me – I thought if it was not true there would be some public denial of it – even at the risk of being thought a friend, of the Man I defended?? I thought that such friends as [Jesse] Dubois [Thomas A.] Marshall Sam Parks – Jack Grimshaw – [Joseph] Gillespie and others might be induced by you to open their mouths.” In an effort to placate an angry Judd, Mr. Lincoln wrote him on December 9 – concluding in a postscript that he had not allowed these charges “to go uncontradicted, when made in my presence.”

I have just reached home from Kansas and found your long letter of the 1st. inst. It has a tone of blame towards myself which I think is not quite just; but I will not stand upon that, but will consider a day or two, and put something in the best shape I can, and sent it to you. A great difficulty is that they make no distinct charge against you, which I can contradict. You did vote for Trumbull against me; and, although I think, and have said a thousand times, that was no injustice to me, I cannot change the fact, nor compel people to cease speaking of it. Ever since that matter occurred, I have constantly labored, as I believe you know, to have all recollection of it dropped.
The vague charge that you played me false last year, I believe to be false and outrageous; but, it seems, I can make no impression by expressing that belief. I made a special job of trying to impress that upon Baker, Bridges and Wilson, here last winter. They all well know that I believe no such charge against you. But they choose to insist that they know better about it than I do.
As to the charge of your intriguing for Trumbull against me, I believe as little of that as any other charge. If Trumbull and I were candidates for the same office, you would have a right to prefer him, and I should not blame you for it; but all my acquaintance with you induces me to believe you would not pretend to be for me while really for him. But I do not understand Trumbull & myself to be rivals. You know I am pledged to not enter a struggle with him for the seat in the Senate now occupied by him; and yet I would rather have a full term in the Senate than in the Presidency.
I have made this letter longer than I expected when I began.7

“Your two favors came this morning,” Judd replied two days later. “I did not intend to find fault with you or complain in my last letter; but it was written under some excitement from hearing something of the effects of the falsehoods refered to, by some of your particular friends. In regard to the accusations against him from 1858, Judd wrote:

I do not care so much about this matter, (although justice is pleasing to any one) as the other points viz: that I am an honest man and have served you faithfully and honestly, and according to my ability and in my sphere efficiently – and that both in the party organization and its legislative policy I have been faithful and to what extent you have trusted and relied on me and in what manner I have fulfilled these trust – I am not wholly selfish I think, and you will excuse me when I say I think this much is due to me – I shall write you again to morrow – I go to Washington on Wednesday eve. thense to N. York to meet the Committee on the 21st inst. – Present indications are decidedly that you will be on the Presidential ticket – If that occurs it seems to me clear that some person of Democratic antecedents Should have the position on the ticket that I aspire to especially when it is taken for granted that [Jesse] Dubois [Ozias M.] Hatch and [William] Butler will be on the state ticket.8

The gubernatorial campaign of 1860 split the anti-Nebraska Democrats who joined the Republican Party from their Whig counterparts. “In the spring of 1860, Norman Judd, with Trumbull’s close support sought the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Judd’s principal rivals were former Whigs Leonard Swett and Richard Yates. At the state convention, Judd broke into an early lead, but the Swett forces threw their support to Yates and he was nominated.” wrote Trumbull biographer Ralph J. Roske.9 Historian Don. E. Fehrenbacher wrote: “In addition to his personal enemies, many Republicans were persuaded that he could not carry the middle counties and thus lacked ‘availability.’ At the Decatur convention, Judd led on the early ballots, only to see his opponents combine and nominate Yates. Grievely disappointed, he nevertheless delivered a generous speech of acquiescence, and the delegates, with tension relaxed, were all the more ready to demonstrate their unity in an emphatic endorsement of Lincoln. Throughout the entire affair, Lincoln had displayed the ability to act forcefully and yet impartially as the leader of his party, holding its disparate elements together.”10

“Mr Lincoln knew the hazards of peacemaking and was reluctant to give any appearance of taking sides in the heated gubernatorial contest, since the three leading candidates – Judd, Leonard Swett and Richard Yates – were all personal friends whose support he needed,” wrote historian Fehrenbacher. “Yet justice, self-interest, and party welfare all seemed to require his intervention. Accordingly, he first proceeded to write for publication a letter warmly praising Judd’s loyalty and skill, but at the same time affirming his own neutrality with regard to the governorship. Later, he also attempted to patch up a truce between Wentworth and Judd, even drafting terms for the settlement of their lawsuit.”11 It required a flurry of letter writing on Mr. Lincoln’s party. On Dec. 14. 1859, Mr. Lincoln wrote to George W. Dole, Gurdon S. Hubbard, and William H. Brown:

Your favor of the 12th. is at hand, and it gives me pleasure to be able to answer it. It is not my intention to take part in any of the rivalries for the Gubernatorial nomination; but the fear of being misunderstood upon that subject, ought not to deter me from doing justice to Mr. Judd, and preventing a wrong being done to him by the use of my name in connection with alledged wrongs to me.
In answer to your first question as to whether Mr. Judd was guilty of any unfairness to me at the time of Senator Trumbull’s election, I answer unhesitatingly in the negative. Mr. Judd owed no political allegiance to any party whose candidate I was. He was in the Senate, holding over, having been elected by a democratic constituency. He never was in any caucus of the friends who sought to make me U.S. Senator – never gave me any promises or pledges to support me – and subsequent events have greatly tended to prove the wisdom, politically, of Mr. Judd’s course. The election of Judge Trumbull strongly tended to sustain and preserve the position of that portion of the Democrats who condemned the repeal of the Missouri compromise, and left them in a position of joining with us in forming the Republican Party, as was done at the Bloomington convention in 1856.
During the canvass of 1858 for the Senatorship my belief was, and still is, that I had no more sincere and faithful friend that Mr. Judd – certainly none whom I trusted more. His position as Chairman of the State Central committee, led to my greater intercourse with him, and to my giving him a larger share of my confidence, than with, or, to almost any other friend; and I have never suspected that that confidence was, to any degree, misplaced.
My relations with Mr. Judd, since the organization of the Republican party, in our State, in 1856, and, especially since the adjournment of the Legislature in Feb. 1857, have been so very intimate, that I deem it an impossibility that he could have been dealing treacherously with me. He has also, at all times, appeared equally true and faithful to the party. In his position, as Chairman of the Committee, I believe he did all that any man could have done. The best of us are liable to commit errors, which become apparant, by subsequent development, but I do not know of a single error, even, committed by Mr. Judd, since he and I have acted together politically.
I had occasionally heard these insinuations against Mr. Judd, before the receipt of your letter; and in no instance have I hesitated to pronounce them wholly unjust, to the full extent of my knowledge and belief. I have been, and still am, very anxious to take no part between the many friends, all good and true, who are mentioned as candidates for a Republican Gubernatorial nominated as candidates for a Republican Gubernatorial nomination; but I can not feel that my own honor is quite clear, if I remain silent, when I hear any one of them assailed about matters of which I believe I know more than assailants.
I take pleasure in adding that of all the avowed friends I had in the canvass of last year, I do not suspect any of having acted treacherously to me, or to our cause; and that there is not one of them in whom honesty, honor, and integrity I, to-day, have greater confidence than I have in those of Mr. Judd.12

Mr. Lincoln wrote in a postscript that the recipients were free to publish his letter. He enclosed a copy of this letter when he wrote Judd on the same day:.

Herewith is the letter of our whig friends, and my answer, sent as you requested. I showed both to Dubois, and he feared the clause about leave to publish, in the answer, would not be quite satisfactory to you. I hope it will be satisfactory; as I would rather not seem to come before the public as a volunteer; still if, after considering this, you still deem it important, you may, substitute the inclosed slip, by pasting it down over the original clause.
I find some of our friends here, attach more consequence to getting the National convention into our State than I did, or do. Some of them made me promise to say so to you. As to the time, it must certainly be after the Charleston fandango; and I think, within bounds of reason, the later the better.
As to that matter about the Committee, in relation to appointing delegates by general convention, or by Districts, I shall attend to it as well as I know how, which, G-d knows, will not be very well.13

Fehrenbacher noted: “It was just one week after that the Press and Tribune, which had been sternly noncommittal on the subject of the presidency, came out enthusiastically for Lincoln. Judd, who had close ties with the newspaper, probably influenced its decision. At least he wrote a few days later: ‘You saw what the Tribune said about you. Was it satisfactory?”

At the same time that Judd was running for governor, Mr. Lincoln needed Judd’s assistance for his own presidential campaign – which was just getting off the ground. Lincoln biographer William Barton wrote: “It was in Judd’s end of the vineyard that Lincoln needed help, for the northern end of Illinois was the old Whig end of the state, and was strong for Seward. But Judd did something very much more important than that of swinging a few delegates in northern Illinois from Seward to Lincoln. He so managed, as a member of the Republican National Committee, as to secure the Republican Convention for the City of Chicago.”14 And before the delegates arrived, according to his son, Judd designed a seating chart for the delegations which assured that those delegations not supporting Mr. Lincoln got seats in the back. “By cracky, Abe’s nominated,” Judd told his wife after he finished the plan “Father’s plan was followed without change of any sort and with the results he had jubilantly predicted to my mother,” reported his son.15 And, it was Judd who nominated Mr. Lincoln, saying: “I desire, on behalf of the delegation from Illinois, to put in nomination as a candidate for president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois.”16

Trumbull again backed Judd after the November the election – this time for a post in the Lincoln cabinet. Roske wrote: “Being a doctrinaire, Trumbull insisted that only able men with unblemished political records should hold cabinet places. In Trumbull’s judgement that meant a cabinet seat for his friend Norman Judd. Trumbull had not dared to push Judd’s appointment at the Chicago meeting, but later he backed Judd energetically. The Judd drive for a cabinet post became part of a furious power struggle.”17

Judd’s nomination, however, ran into a complex buzz saw of competing ambitions and growing agreement that the Illinois should not get a seat in the Cabinet. Judd’s position was further weakened by the residual effects of Trumbull’s election to the Senate in 1855. The larger Whig contingent that later formed the Republican Party had never quite gotten over the stubborn loyalty of Judd and others to Trumbull. “Judd’s candidacy sank into deeper trouble when ten Cameron Pennsylvania politicians entered the lists against him,” wrote Roske. “In retaliation for the opposition to Cameron, they joined forces with the anti-Judd group in Illinois, the former Whig element in the state’s Republican party. Caleb Smith’s Indiana supporters also grew to be anti-Judd, since they realized that if Judd were successful, their man would be left without a place.”18

Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles said that in the spring of 1862 President Lincoln told him about how the Cabinet was selected. Wrote Wells: “In the first case of his cabinet on the day succeeding the election, Mr. Lincoln had included Mr. N. B. Judd of Illinois, an old and valued personal friend to whom he was under many and great obligations, as one whom he should desire to have in his council, as well as Mr. Dayton of New Jersey. But in the final make-up, partly from the fact that Mr. Judd’s antecedents were Democratic, but more from other influences, he was omitted and for him substituted Caleb B. Smith of Indiana who went into the department of the interior and Cameron to the war. These are substantially the facts which I learned strengthened in the position he had taken by intercourse with others and by communications which he received. On reaching Washington, his opinions and selections were, with the two changes mentioned, confirmed by the ablest, most candid, reliable and best Republicans whom he consulted.”19

Judd wrote back Lyman Trumbull in early January 1861: “Do not come to Springfield unless you are sent for by us. As for myself I am substantially played out. I have no word from Lincoln since my return [to Chicago],” Judd complained: “He never had a truer friend than myself and there was no one in whom he placed greater confidence till circumstances embarrassed him about a Cabinet appointment. Or in my own language he is trimming and wants to get rid of me. The truth is that every appliance that the band could control have been brought against me even including female influence for the last month – whilst my friends have been content to rely upon justice and propriety and I suppose it will be so to the end of the chapter – and not content with finally placing me in the position of a ruined man, my friends are to be restrained in the use of the patronage….'”20

Judd was present in January when Trumbull was reelected to the Senate on January 9. Future presidential aide John Hay wrote that: “Hardly were they seated when there was a slight sensation observable by the door, and the crowd parted to make room for Abraham Lincoln. He cordially saluted the Supreme Judges and quietly took his seat near them. He glanced up at the crowded galleries. Perhaps he thought of the times when his friends had filled them, twice before, and gone away heavy hearted. He did not think of it long, certainly, for he soon dived into his capacious coat pocket, and bringing up a handful of letters began to look over them. He reads letters constantly — at home — in the street — among his friends. I believe he is strongly tempted in church.” After the vote, “Mr. Lincoln rose from his chair, and was straightway overwhelmed. He began to shake hands. Mr. Judd stood near, holding that inevitable unlighted cigar between his lips, surveying the mature climax of a work that has been greatly his. All Lincoln’s old time friends were gathered around him.”21

Unfortunately for Judd, Mary Todd Lincoln was not a friend. She never forgave those who opposed her husband in 1855 and played a small role in blocking Judd. She wrote David Davis in January: “Doubtless you will be surprised, to receive a note from me, when I explain the cause, of my writing, I believe your honest, noble heart, will sympathise with me, otherwise I am assured, you will not mention it. Perhaps you will think it is no affair of mine, yet I see it, almost daily mentioned in the Herald, that Judd & some few Northern friends, are urging the former’s claims to a cabinet appointment. Judd would cause trouble & dissatisfaction, & if Wall Street testifies correctly, his business transactions, have not always borne inspection. I heard the report, discussed at the table this morning, by persons who did not know, who was near, a party of gentlemen, evidently strong Republicans, they were laughing at the idea of Judd, being any way, connected with the Cabinet in these times, when honesty in high places is so important. Mr. Lincoln’s great attachment for you, is my present reason for writing. I know, a word from you, will have much effect, for the good of the country, and Mr Lincoln’s future reputation, I believe you will speak to him on this subject & urge him not to give him so responsible a place. It is strange, how little delicacy those Chicago men have. I know, I can rely on what I have written to you, to be kept private. If you consider me intrusive, please excuse me, our country, just now, is above all.”22

John Hay reported at the end of January: “Mr. Judd, and a phalanx of his Chicago friends, are here. The indications at present in political circles seem to be that Illinois must waive, for the present, her claim to a seat in the Cabinet. The conflicting interests of distant sections will probably result in the sacrifice of a man, that whom none is more worthy.”23

A disappointed Judd accompanied Mr. Lincoln on the train to Washington. Judd played a key role in the security arrangements for the trip and changes in the itinerary that required Mr. Lincoln to leave Harrisburg for Washington via Philadelphia in order to foil an expected assassination attempt in Baltimore. He was consulted repeatedly with detectives Allen Pinkerton and his agents about the Baltimore plot they had uncovered to murder Mr. Lincoln as he moved through Baltimore. Pinkerton recorded: “I assured Mr. Judd that I fully believed the course I had indicated was the only one to save the country from Bloodshed at the present time.”24 Pinkerton wanted Mr. Lincoln to leave immediately for Washington and thus move through Baltimore before his enemies expected him. Judd finally had Pinkerton present his case to President-elect Lincoln in a discussion in Judd’s Philadelphia hotel room on February 21, 1861. According to a Statement by Samuel M. Felton, president of Philadelphia and Baltimore Railroad Company:

I went to a hotel in Philadelphia, where I met the detective, who was registered under an assumed name, and arranged with him to bring Mr. Judd, Mr. Lincoln’s intimate friend, to my room, in season to arrange the journey to Washington that night. One of our sub-detectives made three efforts to communicate with Mr. Judd while passing through the streets in the procession, and was three times arrested and carried out of the crowd by the police. The fourth time he succeeded, and brought Mr. Judd to my room, where he met the detective-in-chief and myself.

We lost no time in making known to him all the facts which had come to our knowledge in reference to the conspiracy, and I most earnestly advised that Mr. Lincoln should go to Washington that night in the sleeping-car. Mr. Judd fully entered into the plan, and said he would urge Mr. Lincoln to adopt it. On his communicating with Mr. Lincoln, after the services of the evening were over, he answered that he had engaged to go to Harrisburg and speak the next day, and he would not break his engagement even in the face of such peril, but that after he had fulfilled the engagement he would follow such advice as we might give him in reference to his journey to Washington. It was then arranged that he would go to Harrisburg the next day and make his address, after which he was to apparently return to Governor Curtin’s house for the night, but in reality to go to a point about two miles out of Harrisburg, where an extra car and engine awaited to take him to Philadelphia.25

Judd later recalled: “All the facts in detail were there given to Mr Lincoln – in detail. Go you must – The world will laugh at you I know prepare to meet the charge of cowardice and laughed at even by friends – and you must prepare yourself to be laughed at.” But Judd said he was convinced of the danger.26 Mr. Lincoln replied: “I cannot go tonight. I have promised to raise the flag over Independence Hall tomorrow morning and to visit the legislature at Harrisburg. Beyond that, I have no engagements. Any plan that may be adopted that will enable me to fulfill these two promises I will carry out, and you can tell me what is concluded upon tomorrow.”27 Judd kept the plan secret – only Ward Hill Lamon accompanied Mr. Lincoln into Washington.

As a consolation prize, Judd was named Minister to Prussia. Once again, this did not make all Mr. Lincoln’s Illinois supporters happy. Fellow German-American Gustave Koerner supported Judd when he was being considered for a Cabinet post, wrote Mr. Lincoln in mid-January 1861: “Expecting to leave here day after to morrow, and to be gone, for a week or so, and as I may not see you before I leave except in company I would desire to say to you that an appointment of Mr. Judd in your cabinet would be in every respect very gratifying to me. The reasons for his being placed near you have undoubtedly suggested themselves to you and may have been urged by others.”28 But when Judd was appointed Minister to Prussia, Koerner was disappointed and complained bitterly.

As a Minister, Judd ran into trouble with his teenage son’s “course of dissipation more with women than wine.” Judd wrote Mr. Lincoln: “Overwhelmed about as you must be with the pressure of public affairs, it seems like sacrilege to ask you to listen to private troubles and still I will venture – I want to put my son in the Navy (Frank R. Judd) – if, to reach a Midshipman’s warrant it is necessary to go through the Naval School, then I want him appointed to that School.” Judd wrote that he chose not to go directly to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. “I prefered coming directly to you instead of going through the circulocution office,” Judd wrote.29 Mr. Lincoln obtained Frank’s admission to West Point, but the young man never took his entry exams. The lack of discipline of which his father complained continued. He joined one New England army unit, deserted, joined another, deserted again, was arrested and sentenced to death. Mr. Lincoln’s intervention prevented his execution.

Judd’s work in Germany precluded much interaction with the Mr. Lincoln as President, but John Hay recalled his presence in Washington for the reading of the President annual message to Congress in December 1863: “Judd was there watching with his glittering eyes the effect of his great leaders word. He was satisfied with the look of things.”30 That night he was the White House for a discussion of the state of national politics. When the subject was the composition of the Cabinet, Judd volunteered: “The opinion of people who ready your Message today is that on that platform two of your Ministers must walk the plank – Blair and Bates.” Mr. Lincoln defended them: Both of these men acquiesced in it without objection. The only member of the Cabinet who objected to it was Mr. Chase.”31

Judd later served in Congress (1867-71, Republican) and Collector of Customs in Chicago until his death. He had been an attorney for Rock Island Railroad and other railways; he worked with Mr. Lincoln on the Effie Afton case.


  1. Michael Burlingame, editor, An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln, John G. Nicolay’s Interviews and Essays, p. 45-46 (Conversation with Norman B. Judd, February 28, 1876).
  2. Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume III, p. 349-350 (Letter to Norman B. Judd, October 20, 1858).
  3. Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume III, p. 337 (Letter to Norman Judd, November 16 1858).
  4. Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume III, p. 341 (Letter to Newton Bateman, November 20. 1858).
  5. Francis Fisher Browne, The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln, p. 208-209.
  6. Don E. Fehrenbacher, Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s, p. 149.
  7. Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume III, p. 505 (Letter to Norman B. Judd, December 9, 1859).
  8. Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Transcribed and Annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois. (Letter from Norman B. Judd to Abraham Lincoln, December 11, 1859).
  9. Ralph J. Roske, His Own Counsel: The Life and Times of Lyman Trumbull, p. 56.
  10. Don E. Fehrenbacher, Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s, p. 151.
  11. Don E. Fehrenbacher, Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s, p. 150.
  12. Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume III, p. 507-509 (Letter to George W. Dole, Gurdon S. Hubbard, and William H. Brown, December 14, 1859).
  13. Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume III, p. 509 (Letter to Norman Judd, December 14, 1859).
  14. William E. Barton, The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Volume I, p. 413.
  15. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln, p. 4.
  16. William E. Barton, The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Volume I, p. 434.
  17. Ralph J. Roske, His Own Counsel: The Life and Times of Lyman Trumbull, p. 62.
  18. Ralph J. Roske, His Own Counsel: The Life and Times of Lyman Trumbull, p. 62.
  19. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln, p. 351-355 (Gideon Welles).
  20. Letter from Norman Judd to Lyman Trumbull, January 3, 1861, Trumbull Papers.
  21. Michael Burlingame, editor, Lincoln’s Journalist: John Hay’s Anonymous Writings for the Press,1860-1864, 1860-1864, p. 17-18 (January 9, 1861).
  22. Justin G. Turner and Linda Levitt Turner, editor, Mary Todd Lincoln: Her Life and Letters, p. 71 (Letter from Mary Todd Lincoln to David Davis, January 17, 1861).
  23. Michael Burlingame, editor, Lincoln’s Journalist: John Hay’s Anonymous Writings for the Press,1860-1864, 1860-1864, p. 22-23 (January 30, 1861).
  24. Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 284 (Report of Allen Pinkerton, February 22, 1861).
  25. John W. Forney, Anecdotes of Public Men, p. 251-256.
  26. Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editor, Herndon’s Informants, p. 433 (Interview with Norman B. Judd, ca. November 1866).
  27. Don E. and Virginia Fehrenbacher, editor, Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, p. 271 (Letter of Norman Judd to Pinkerton, November 3, 1867).
  28. Letter from Gustave Koerner to Abraham Lincoln, January 17th 1861, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Transcribed and Annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois.
  29. (Letter of Norman B. Judd to Abraham Lincoln, August 23, 1863, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Transcribed and Annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois).
  30. Michael Burlingame and John R. Turner Ettlinger, editor, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 122 (December 9, 1863).
  31. Michael Burlingame and John R. Turner Ettlinger, editor, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 124 (December 9, 1863).