We wonder that so great a man as Abraham Lincoln should spring from humble people — but who knows what his more distant ancestry might have been? In a series of dramatic chapters, Mr. Buchan tells what he imagines to have been the ancestry of Lincoln. The worthy son of a northern chieftain who had come down with his people into Normandy; a Norman knight who fought under Duke William and settled in England; a French knight, emissary of Saint Louis to Kubla Khan; a proud demoiselle, friend to Jeanne d'Arc; a French gentleman who went with Columbus on his second voyage; an avenger of Saint Bartholomew's Day; a friend to Sir Walter Raleigh; a supporter of Cromwell; a soldier of fortune under Marlborough; a mighty hunter in Virginia—all these, says Mr. Buchan, were Lincoln's forebears. Their blood ran in his veins and made him, in James Russell Lowell's phrase, "the last of the kings."
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