Thomas Lippincott, the father of Dr. Charles E. Lippincott, was quite a noted personage in the early days of Illinois. he was born of Quaker parents, in Salem, New Jersey, on the 6th of February, 1791. His mother dying when he was eight years old, he was taken by her brother Charles Ellet, of Philadelphia, as a member of his household, and educated. In 1813, he enlisted as a volunteer to guard the city from possible attack by the British. In 1814, he went to Lumberland, New York, for employment. There he met Miss Patsy Swift, a pious girl who converted him to Christianity; and he married her on August 15, 1816. In 1817, with his wife and infant daughter, he started fro the west, going from Pittsburg, on a flat-boat, down the Ohio river to Shawneetown. From there they traveled, in a dear-born wagon with one horse, to St. Louis by way of Kaskaskia. In St. Louis he secured employment of Rufus Eaton as a clerk. In November of that year, Mr. Eaton sent him with a stock of goods to Milton, in Madison county, Illinois, four miles east of Alton, where he opened a store with the sign, "Lippincott & Co." There he ans his wife taught the first Sunday school in Illinois. And there she died on the 14th of October, 1819. He did not remain single long, being united in marriage to Miss Henrietta Maria Slater, near Springfield, Ill., on March 25th, 1820. Less than six months later she died, on September 11th, 1820. In little over a year he supplied her vacancy by marrying, on the 11th of October, 1821, Miss Catharine Wyly Leggett, sister of Wm.. Leggett, the distinguished editor of the New York Evening Post. That wife was the mother of eleven children, and died May 8th, 1850, and was buried at Upper Alton.
In 1821, Mr. Lippincott was a resident of Edwardsville, where for a year or more he edited The Spectator, Hooper Warren's paper, established by Gov. Edwards. He was also a clerk there in the Land Office, and a Justice of the Peace. At the same time he was an Elder in the Presbyterian church, and frequently conducted public worship in absence of the minister. Always interested in politics he was for years a liberal contributor to the columns of various newspapers. In 1822, he was elected Secretary of the State Senate, serving in the session of the third general assembly from December 2nd, 1822, to February 18th, 1823. In the famous convention scheme contest that followed he played a conspicuous part as an unrelenting opponent of slavery. On October 28th, 1828, he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Missouri, which at that time included all of Illinois, and to the ministry he devoted the balance of his life. With John M. Ellis and Samuel D. Lockwood, he was an original mover in founding Illinois College, and from its beginning was one of its trustees. About from 1852 to 1857, he had charge of the Congregational church at Chandlerville.
He was married, for the fourth time, to Mrs. Lydia Barnes - whose maiden name was Fairchild - at Alton, on November 27th, 1851; she died in 1873. Mr. Lippincott, from 1867, resided at Pana, Ill., with his son, Thomas W., and he died there on April 13th, 1869. He was of very prepossessing appearance, morally above reproach, and is Christian character was complete.
His son, Charles Ellet Lippincott, was born in Edwardsville, Madison county, Illinois, on the 26th of January, 1825 - the first-born, by the second marriage, of the family of eleven children. He was named Charles Ellet to testify his father's gratitude to his uncle in Philadelphia of that name, who raised him. He is said (by his father) to have been a very homely brat, his nose appearing as a little round lump struck on his face midway between his big, prominent mouth and eyes. So ill-featured was he when a babe that his mother concealed his face with a veil when she took him out from home. He early manifested the "grit" in his nature that became such a distinguishing trait in after life. When able to toddle about the premises he came in one day to "show a purty little bird" he had caught, which proved to be a bumble bee; and though it stung him he held on to it without whimpering until he delivered it to his mother. When a few years older a little incident occurred exhibiting another trait, which in after time his educated conscience modified, or held in subjection. When his father had charge of a little old Presbyterian church in Carrollton the Baptists there erected a much larger and finer church than his. the Baptist boys jeered Charley about his father having such a shabby little house to preach in until he got mad, and by way of retaliation, with rocks and brick-bats, broke every pane of glass in several windows of the new Baptist edifice. He said afterwards that he didn't mind the thrashing he got for it, as he felt that he had in a material way vindicated his father.
In pioneer days a new student arriving at McKendree college, after giving the Dean his name, was asked where his home was. "I have no home," he answered, "my father is a Methodist circuit rider." Charley Lippincott when a boy had a home - in fact, several of them. His father, though not exactly a circuit rider, often changed his location to preach to different congregations. Wherever he happed to be stationed he sent his children to such schools as the place afforded, until they were all advanced considerably beyond the curriculum embraced by the three "R's." Charley was a bright, impulsive boy, fond of going to school, as well as of all kinds of sport, and learned his lessons without difficulty. He grew up to be a stout, athletic lad, developing with the advance of years a keen desire for a higher education. When his father was located in Alton, Charley went to the "Academy", and when the family moved to Marine - a village in Madison county - he was taught by Philander Braley, of Collinsville, with some assistance in his books from Rev. Charles E. Blood.
By that time his father, with a rapidly increasing family and only a village clergyman's salary for their support, was financially unable to pay Charles' way to higher schools, and from then on he had to depend upon his own resources. Not a word of complaint or whining was heard from him, but in jolly good humor he manfully faced the struggle and went to work. For two seasons he labored as a farm hand for $12 per month and board. In the autumn of two years he put in crops of wheat on the farm of his cousin, John Breath, and harvested them the following summers. In the winter time he taught school - two terms on Rock Creek in Menard county. In 1844, then nineteen years old, he entered Illinois College at Jacksonville. In after years he often told of the rigid economy he was compelled to observe to enable him to remain there the entire session. he said he had just twelve and a half cents a week for spending money, and almost every Saturday he and Newton Bateman, who was as poor as himself, would go to town and treat themselves to a glass of spruce beer and some ginger cake. Sometimes they indulged in other luxuries by way of variety, but when they did so they were always sorry they had not gotten the spruce beer.
He applied himself closely to his studies, bearing in mind that he had arrived at the age when he should be making a choice of a life avocation, for he had no thought of farming as a permanent occupation - or of preaching. His daily association with Dr. David Prince, an enthusiastic young physician who had recently located in that town, and the warm mutual friendship attracting them to each other, decided him to adopt the profession of medicine, to attain which he there and then began to bend all his energies. At an early age he was indelibly impressed by his father's implacable hostility to the institution of slavery, and, though deeply absorbed in his college course, he yet found time to put in practice some of his theories of human liberty, by becoming an active agent of the "underground railroad," of which Jacksonville was an important station. Of the little circle of abolitionists specially devoting themselves there to harboring, concealing and expediting the progress of runaway slaves on their way to Canada, Charley Lippincott was known as one of the most daring, industrious and zealous.
When the session closed in the spring of 1845, his funds entirely exhausted, he went to Marine, where his father and family resided, and secured employment among the neighboring farmers. In the meantime he commenced the study of medicine in a desultory way, with Dr. George T. Allen, of Marine, who was during the war medical inspector, with the rank of colonel, on Genl. Grant's staff. He again attended Illinois College during the session of 1857-58. The college at that time comprised a medical department, having for its faculty Dr. David Prince, Dr. Henry Jones and Dr. Samuel Adams, and in that department Charley Lippincott was enrolled as a student. However, he did not graduate in either the medical or literary department, but after the Civil war Illinois College conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts.
Abia Lippincott, the daughter and only living child of his father's first marriage, was married to W. S. Gilman, of the firm of Godfrey, Gilman & Col., in whose warehouse Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy was killed, on the evening of November 6, 1837. Subsequently that mercantile firm moved to St. Louis and continued their business there. After close of the session of Illinois College in the spring of 1848, Charley Lippincott went to St. Louis and obtained a situation as clerk, or salesman, for Godfrey, Gilman & Co., where he remained until October. He was then entered in the senior class of students at the medical department of the St. Louis University, usually known as Pope's Medical College, where, with some financial aid from Mr. Gilman, he attended the full course of lectures and in March, 1849, graduated, receiving the degree M.D. - Medicinae Doctor, or literally translated, Learned in Medicine. Having thus reached the goal of his aspirations, the next matter to be considered was the finding of some place where he could make the learning in medicine he had acquired productive of revenue. In some of his hunting excursions when residing in Jacksonville, and also when looking for employment as a country school teacher, he had visited the Panther Creek settlement in the Sangamon bottom and became acquainted with Dr. Charles Chandler there.
In the spring of 1849 Dr. Schooley, of Virginia, went to California, and Dr. Parmenio Lyman Phillips, who had been "riding" with Dr. Chandler, moved up to Virginia to supply Dr. Schooley's vacancy. And it so happened that, shortly after Dr. Phillips left Panther Creek, Dr. Chandler was prostrated with sickness and laid up for repairs for a few weeks. There then young Dr. Lippincott saw his opportunity and availed himself of it with alacrity. when, by aid of Mr. Gilman, he was fitted out with a horse, saddle and bridle, a lancet and lot of calomel, jalap, squills, blistering ointment and other essentials for country practice, he "located himself permanently" at the Panther Creek settlement. His reception by Dr. Chandler and his family was very cordial, and the offer of his professional services t the sick doctor thankfully accepted. if he was not very instrumental in promoting the doctor's recovery, he was, at any rate, very assiduous in his attention and efforts, which perhaps profited himself as much as the doctor by the experience and practical knowledge he gained. By taking charge temporarily of Dr. Chandler's country patients he quickly became acquainted throughout the community, earning in a short time the reputation of "a good doctor and mighty clever fellow." As all young physicians first commencing the business, he entered into the practice with spirit and enthusiasm. industrious and active, and backed by the good will and friendship of Dr. Chandler, his success seemed assured. Of buoyant, cheerful spirits and jovial, mirthful disposition, he was soon popular with all classes, particularly the young folks, and was the soul of all social gatherings, and leader in their sports and amusements. A fine horseman and superior marksman, he was very fond of hunting, making use for that purpose, generally, of a double-barrel shot gun, one barrel of which he loaded with ball for deer, and the other with shot for wild turkeys, prairie chickens and ducks, that fell before his steady aim by scores.
During a revival at Marine, a few years before, he professed religion - Presbyterian religion; but he had in a great measure outgrown it; yet, he was strictly moral, with unexceptionable habits, totally ignoring all use of tobacco, liquor, profane and vulgar language. The strangest and most inexplicable feature of his personal history was his political affiliations. Despite the teaching and example of his father, and brother-in-law, Mr. Gilman, life-long bitter opponents of the democratic party; notwithstanding his own activity as an agent of the underground railroad; in spite of the influence of those distinguished Jacksonville leaders of the whig party, John J. Hardin and Gov. Jos. Duncan, and all of the professors of Illinois College; and the fact that nearly all his associates, and such esteemed intimate friends as Newton Bateman, Dr. Samuel Willard and Dr. Chandler were radical whigs, yet, Dr. Lippincott, was a democrat. Not of the passive sort either; but a bold, aggressive defender of the democratic party and its principles. He may have adopted that course through pure perverseness, but more probably because of his great admiration of Stephen A. Douglas with whom he early became acquainted, and always thereafter entertained for him the highest esteem and personal friendship. He continued to be an active working member of the democratic party until after his enlistment in military service in 1861.
As late as 1848, the Panther creek settlement, contained but ten families. It then had a postoffice named Panther Creek, and Dr. Chandler was postmaster. Its mail service was conducted by a boy (one of Dr. Chandler's sons) and a horse, making the trip to Beardstown and return once each week. At an earlier date an effort was made to establish a postoffice seven miles above Panther Creek, to be named after the well known Sac chief, Shickshack, whose village was, until 1827, near the bald knob of the Sangamon bluffs that still bears his name; but it was unsuccessful. By 1851, Panther Creek had assumed the proportions and appearance of quite a village, containing a population of nearly 200. In that year Stephen A. Douglas and Genl. James Shields were the Illinois senators, and Richard Yates, of Jacksonville, represented the seventh district - which included Cass county - in the lower house of Congress. In that year, also Dr. Lippincott's regard for the Chandler family had progressed to a sentiment more fervent than mere interest; at least, for one member of that family. Prompted by that sentiment, he circulated a petition that spring, signed by all who saw it, wh8ich he sent to his friends, Senator Douglas and Congressman yates, with his own urgent request to cause the name of the Panther Creek postoffice to be changed to "Chandlerville" in honor of the pioneer founder of the settlement; which was done, and thus the town was named.
In 1836, Julian M. Sturtevant with one or two others of the "Yale band," who first breathed the breath of life into Illinois college, went down to Panther Creek in their capacity of missionaries and organized a Presbyterian church, which they nursed and nurtured with their prayers and an occasional sermon preached there by some one of them. But notwithstanding that spiritual pabulum the infant organization languished and seemed to have reached the last stages of decline, when new blood was infused into it by Dr. Chandler and a few others, who, in 1847, reorganized and incorporated it as Congregational church. It was revived by that change, and grew and flourished. In 1857, it included in its membership Dr. Chandler, wife and daughters, and perhaps one or two of his boys. The Doctor's daughters in that church exerted upon Dr. Lippincott a powerful attractive force, which, combined with his probable conviction of sin, was more than he could resist. meekly surrendering, he was admitted as a member of the church on the 9th day of November, 1851.
In that year, also Dr. Lippincott again testified his profound regard for Dr. Chandler - after all the preliminaries between the contracting parties had been satisfactorily settled - by asking for one of his daughters in marriage. There being no objection from any source, Dr. Charles E. Lippincott and Miss Emily Webster Chandler were, by Prof. Jonathan Baldwin Turner, of Jacksonville, pronounced man and wife, on Christmas, Dec. 25, 1851. She was Dr. Chandler's second daughter, born on Panther Creek, March 13, 1834.
When Dr. Lippincott went to Panther Creek, in 1849, Dr. Chandler, though still in the medical harness, was engaged in merchandising with his brother Marcus. Very tired of country practice, he hailed the young Doctor's arrival with pleasure, hoping he would prove an acceptable substitute in his place, thereby releasing him from further servitude. He did all he could to establish him in professional work, and with such success that at the time of his marriage Dr. Lippincott had practically a monopoly of the whole settlement's patronage. He was personally very popular, and, for a new beginner, acquitted himself as a practitioner with much credit. His cheerful disposition, and pleasant manners and conversation, always brought a ray of sunshine into the sick room that braced up the patient's hope and resolution. His bright, quick intellect, perfect self-reliance, and broad range of general information inspired the people with confidence in his ability. Trusting to his own common sense and the reparative forces of nature for successful results in his practice; he adhered to the Allopathic system, administering remedies secundum artem, with no thought of investigation, innovation or deviation. Though kind and gentle in his treatment of the sick, he regarded the practice of medicine as an art, not a science, and not necessarily based on sympathy or philanthropy.
With fleeting time the romance of courtship and marriage faded out leaving Dr. Lippincott face to face with the unpoetic realities of everyday life. With increasing professional experience, his faith in the efficacy of medicine declined; his enthusiasm in the noble profession began to wane, and its drudgery became more and more monotonous and distasteful. As had been the experience of hundreds of other physicians, when he had been in the business long enough to learn its hard, practical features, he saw that it was unsuited to one of his tastes and inclinations, and realized that his selection of medicine as a life calling was a mistake. In the spring of 1852, Dr. N. S. Reed, a young physician from Geauga county, Ohio, came to Chandlerville bringing some capital which he invested in a farm near by, and began the practice of medicine in the village. As he was energetic, active and wholly devoted to his profession, affable and accommodating in his intercourse with the people, he was not long in winning his way into their good will, and into a thriving business. The effect of the new Doctor's competition was to intensify Dr. Lippincott's disgust with medicine. He became discouraged and dissatisfied. His aversion to the occupation upon which he depended for support, together with his total want of thrift and financiering tact, were not conductive to prosperity; in fact, rendered self-support a serious problem. The hegira of gold hunters to California was then at its height, presenting to Dr. Lippincott an element of novel enterprise and wild adventure strongly appealing to his restless spirit. He would no doubt have joined the mad rush of argonauts earlier had he not fallen in love and been drawn into the bonds of matrimony. the novelty and iridescent lunacy of that misfortune having passed, he concluded to go to the new-found Ophir the next year, and at once commenced to perfect arrangements for the contemplated journey.
His father, Rev. Thomas Lippincott, and family, moved to Chandlerville in the fall of 1852; the old gentleman taking charge of the Congregational church there, as its minister, in November of that year - a charge he retained until the close of the year 1856. Leaving his wife with her parents, Dr. Lippincott crossed the plains in the summer of 1853, arriving in California early in the autumn, and stopped at Downieville, then in Yuba county, now the county seat of Sierra county - a new county situated in the northwestern mountains adjoining the state of Nevada. He went to California after gold - as the thousands of others did - and in order to get it, on his arrival in the mines, organized, or joined, a company and went to work. He made a full hand as a laborer in getting out lumber and digging with a long ditch to convey water to their claims, and with pick and shovel toiled in other enterprises. But fate was against him, and his efforts failed to produce the filthy lucre in paying quantity. Quitting the mines as an operative he established himself in Downieville as a mining broker and "promoter," at the same time becoming deeply interested in politics, and an active partisan of the free soil democracy. In the rough and ready life of the mines, free from conventional restraints to which he had all his life been subjected, he found the social conditions that exactly suited his strenuous nature. On leaving Illinois he had left there behind him his profession of medicine, and with it pretty much all his profession of religion also, and was soon thoroughly identified with the miners, not only in their material interests, but in their free and easy customs as well. They were not slow in recognizing his talents, and were captivated by his sparkling humor, his sterling honor and manhood, so that in a very short time he was the most popular man in the county.
Admitted as a state into the union on the 9th of September, 1850, California was in 1853 still in its formative stage politically and socially. Though its constitution specifically excluded slavery, the fierce contention of the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions for control of public affairs caused an ebullition of excited, angry feeling among politicians of all grades more intense than that then agitating in the older states of the north and south.
By 1854 David Colbreth Broderick had loomed up as the most conspicuous champion and leader of the free soil or anti-Lecompton, democracy in the state. He was born in Washington City in 1818, and when grown to manhood drifted to New York, where he was elected to Congress. Though uneducated he was a talented, impulsive and very ambitious man, of rare eloquence and more than ordinary force. With the first general exodus in 1849, he went to California to recuperate his financial and political fortunes, and in 1855 was an aspirant for a seat in the U.S. senate. The most prominent candidate of the pro-slavery party for that position was Hon. Henry S. Foote, a native of Virginia but long a resident of Mississippi, at one time its governor and also one of its U.S. senators. The contest of the two factions, very nearly equal in strength, was extremely spirited and acrimonious, arraying the partisans of the aspirants, in deadly personal antagonism, and convulsed the whole state with their heated contentions.
Dr. Lippincott's temperament was such that he could not be neutral on any question, or silent. If he saw two dogs, or snakes fighting, he was at once enlisted in favor of one of them and against the other, willing to back his judgment with a bet. In the pending senatorial election, although he had never seen either candidate, there was no hesitation as to his preference, his ingrained free soil principles arraying him immediately and earnestly for Broderick; so earnestly that before the next spring he was admittedly the leader of the Broderick party in his county. At the general state election in 1854, though scarcely a year in the state, having been nominated by the Broderick men, he was elected to represent Yuba county in the State Senate. by provision of the first constitution of California, the legislature met annually, and state senators were elected for two years. Taking his seat in the sixth general assembly, on the first Monday of January, 1855, Dr. Lippincott - not the sort of man to meekly take a back seat in any public assemblage - was not long in making his presence felt as one of Broderick's ablest and most forceful lieutenants. The southern democrats in the legislature, confident of their ability to elect Gov. Foote on the first ballot, exhausted every effort to force an agreement of the two houses to meet in joint session for holding the election. By Dr. Lippincott vote, and in a great measure by his skillful maneuvering, their motions in the senate for that purpose were defeated, and the session adjourned without an election. by meeting of the seventh legislature, in January, 1856, the free soil party in the assembly had received an accession of strength, so that when the two houses met, and held the most excited election in the annals of the state, Broderick was chosen U.S. Senator. His success, however, cost him his life, as in 1858, he was killed in a duel by Judge David S. Terry, a prominent leader of the pro-slavery leader of the pro-slavery faction opposing him.
Another deplorable event, having its cause remotely in that contest, occurred in Nevada county in the summer of 1856. In the celebration of the Fourth of July of that year by a temperance association at Downieville where Dr. Lippincott resided, the chief address of the occasion was delivered by a Miss Sarah Pellet, a lady of national reputation as a temperance orator. By invitation, Bob Tevis, a bright young lawyer, read the Declaration of Independence before Miss Pellet's oration. He was a prospective candidate for congress of the extreme pro-slavery faction, and violently opposed to Broderick. Abusing the courtesy extended to him, after reading the Declaration with fine effect, he branched out into a long tiresome stump speech altogether uncalled for and inappropriate, which so disgusted his auditors that they "shut him off" by firing their (anvil) cannons, howls, cat-calls, and a bedlam of other noises.
The only newspaper published in Downieville, the Sierra Citizen, was in the interest of the American, or "Know-Nothing" party, and neutral upon other party issues. The Broderick men had secured control of two columns of that paper for defense or promulgation of their views, of which Dr. Lippincott had charge as editor. He was as fluent a writer as his father, but stronger and more incisive in his manner of expression. With the ready faculty for investing the most commonplace incidents with interest, he had keen appreciation of the ludicrous which he could always portray in the most humorous vein. He write for his corner of the Citizen a witty and satirical report of the celebration, specially ridiculing Tevis and his speech that he was summarily squelched. He had never spoken to young Tevis, but knew his social standing, his political affiliations and aspirations. His lampooning of tevis created much merriment in the town, much to that young man's humiliation and displeasure. In a frenzy of passion and wounded pride Tevis called on Calvin B. McDonald, proprietor of the Citizen, demanding publication in its next issue of a card over his own signature, denouncing the author of the strictures upon himself - whom he well knew to be Lippincott, a satellite of Broderick's - as a liar, a coward and a slanderer. Mr. McDonald tried to pacify him and appease his wrath by assuring him the report was written merely in a spirit of fun, and not intended as a personal affront. But Tevis, of excitable, nervous temperament, a Kentuckian with all the Southern notions of chivalry and honor, and of fierce courage, would listen to no explanations and told McDonald if he refused to publish his card on any terms he would hold him responsible, and he could prepare to choose his weapons. The card appeared in the Citizen next day. Dr. Lippincott was surprised; but had no thought of offering an apology.
The intent of Tevis's card was so obvious the Doctor could not ignore it. Public sentiment in California at that era left him no option but to answer it with a challenge for a duel, at once; or be ostracized from his social circle, branded as a coward and be compelled to leave the country in disgrace. Without a moment's hesitation the challenge was sent and immediately accepted by Tevis, who, by a strange fatality, chose for the fight double-barrel shotguns loaded with ounce balls, at thirty paces; the very weapon Dr. Lippincott was most familiar with by long use in hunting deer in Illinois. Mutual friends offered their mediation for reconciliation, and at one time the trouble was thought to be amicably adjusted; but it was again renewed, it has been said, by the intermeddling of one William Spear, a lawyer from New York, then in Downieville. the duel was fought on the 7th of July. The place of meeting selected was a desolate flat amid high rugged mountains, six miles south of the town - a spot overhung by the eternal pall-like foliage of tall, somber firs, where the song of bird is never heard. Conveyed by sure-footed mules, the belligerents and their seconds were on the ground by daylight, prepared to take their appointed places for the final act; Tevis tall, thin and straight as a rail, Lippincott, short, robust, and stocky; both pale, cool and determined.
Just then the sherif and his deputies, who had been apprised by interested friends of the affair, were described on a distant eminence approaching at break-neck speed. The dueling party not t be thwarted in their object, moved hastily out of the officer's jurisdiction, by passing over into the adjoining county. There, unmolested, the principals were placed facing each other, thirty paces apart. As the rays of the rising sun began to gild the lofty mountain peaks, the word "fire" was given and instantly both guns were discharged. Bob Tevis fell, shot through the heart, and the ball from his gun cut a lock of hair from over Lippincott's left ear. To evade falling into the clutches of the sheriff who had pursued them, Dr. Lippincott fled to Nevada Territory, where he remained until assured of immunity from prosecution, and then returned to Downieville; not, however, as a victorious hero, but conscious-stricken like another Ishmael. The death of Tevis shocked the community with a thrill of horror. At his burial next day the entire populace followed his body to the grave, with mingled emotions of sorrow and indignation.
Spear, the intermeddler, left town as soon as the result of the encounter was known. He had been intrusted with some collections sent him by Wm. T. Sherman, then a banker in San Francisco, and proving unfaithful to the trust, ran away, to British Columbia. After several years he returned to California, harmlessly insane - either real or assumed. In 1860 he joined the volunteers to fight the Piutes. At the Pyramid Lake battle, where the Californians were defeated Spear, by the break of his saddle girth, while his mule was ascending the steep mountain in their fight, was caught by the Indians and burned at the stake.
The Lippincott-Tevis tragedy wrought a sudden reaction in public sentiment regarding dueling, and also in public estimation of Dr. Lippincott. Prior to the 4th of July his re-election to the state senate was considered sure; after July 7th he was dropped and his name no more mentioned in that connection. On his return from Nevada old friends extended their hands to him reluctantly, and others passed him by in silence. Then this man of fine sensibilities realized the enormity of his act, and henceforth was over-shadowed by that voiceless, horrible thing which made a coward of Macbeth. His ostracism and isolation were more intolerable than could have been the case had he passed the fiery denunciation of Tevis by unnoticed. Early in 1857, he left California, going to Washington City with his friend Broderick, whom he saw admitted as a member of the U.S. Senate, and then proceeded to Illinois. In after life he was always very reticent concerning that duel, and only to intimate friends he mentioned it, invariably as a "horrible affair" which public sentiment and the customs of the country left him no option to evade.
He arrived in Chandlerville no better off - and in one particular in far worse plight - than when he left it four years before. Bearing an unseen burden that no repentance, or expiation, could exorcize, he had sought refuge in the baneful habit that ultimately blighted his aspirations and wrecked his iron constitution. His beloved old father had heard the details of the duel and its mournful results, and his hair whitened under the blow. During his absence in California, his wife supported herself by school teaching, for which she was very competent, as she was indeed a very accomplished and amiable lady. When the location of her school permitted she resided with her parents, and when teaching farther away she invariably returned to their home every Friday evening to stay until the next Monday morning. Again at home the Doctor resumed the odious profession he had so cheerfully abandoned on his departure. He attempted to regain the patronage he detested, and wearily trudged the bloomy rounds of his compulsory vocation to earn subsistence. Casuistic introspection led him to resolutions of reform. The excesses of his strenuous career in California, ever present in memory, oppressed him as he strove to allay their fascination. Turning again to the church for spiritual aid, he renewed his membership, and trod anew the straight and narrow path. To strengthen his resolutions he occupied his leisure hours in writing a commentary upon the New Testament; said, by those who read it, to have displayed deep thought and surprising familiarity with the sacred Logos. It was, however, only fragmentary and never completed. He could write with ease and find show of erudition on almost any subject, so long as his interest in it was maintained, a period usually of uncertain duration.
Dr. Lippincott passed the four years, from 1857 to 1861, in uneventful obscurity at his home in Chandlerville. As spiritless as a Roman slave chained to the galley oar, he plodded along day by day in the dreary routine of his distasteful task, apparently bereft of every aspiration, and of hope also. Concentrating his mind for the time being upon each case he was called to treat, he acquitted himself as a medical practitioner fairly well - as any person of sound common sense and some learning can do; and as many succeed in doing who have but little of either. But his work was obviously of the treadwheel sort, lacing the inspiration of ardor and enthusiasm, with entire indifference to professional progress and advancement. His interest in politics and current public affairs was unabated, though held in abeyance for want of opportunity to give it practical scope. the murder of his friend, Senator Broderick, by Judge Terry, in so-called duel arranged for that purpose, deeply affected him. he closely studied the Douglas-Lincoln debate, in 1858, and rejoiced at its result in the re-election of Douglas to the senate. Through all the turbulent political excitement of those lurid days his loyalty to Douglas never for an instant wavered, and he stoutly supported him on the stump and at the polls for the presidency.
He was radically opposed to the institution of slavery, and yet vehemently antagonized the republican party whose sole object was its destruction. perhaps his last public appearance as a partisan democrat was in the campaign of 1860, when he addressed the people in several precincts of Cass county in support of the democratic ticket, and very decidedly against the election of Lincoln. In June of that year he was one of the delegates from Chandlerville precinct in the Cass county democratic convention and exerted himself to secure the nomination of his wife's cousin Knowlton H. Chandler, for the office of circuit clerk, but failed, Mr. Henry Phillips receiving the nomination on the third ballot.
The constantly increasing tension of public discord and sectional hate, engendered by years of passionate discussion of the slavery question, culminated in 1861 in appalling forebodings of civil war. The magnitude of the impending conflict, and its inevitable awful consequences, filled the land with dismay and horror. Brave men stood aghast in contemplation of the dreadful calamity about to overwhelm the country with death, devastation, and sorrow. but Lippincott hailed it with delight as a veritable Godsend. To him it was the harbinger of freedom - not alone of the southern slaves, but emancipation of himself from his environments; and the opportunity to get away from himself; from the torture of his ever-present past.
In response to the president's proclamation, of April 15, 1861, calling for 75,000 volunteers to enforce the laws, Governor Yates issued a call on the next day for six regiments of militia as the quota of Illinois, and at the same time called the legislature to meet in extra session to provide ways and means for their equipment and support. Dr. Lippincott was eager to offer his services at once; but domestic considerations caused him to hesitate. He had before left his wife to the care of her parents for four years of fruitless adventure in California, and the idea of again abandoning his home, and wife and two small children, to risk the fortunes of war, for an indefinite period - perhaps never to return, on serious reflection staggered his resolution. for some time his mind was racked by the conflicting claims of obligations to his family and duty to his country when in peril. The disastrous defeat of the Union army, by the Confederates, at Bull Run, on Sunday, July 21, instantly decided his future course. sundering all home ties, he appeared at Springfield on Monday, August 19, with forty-five men and reported to Gov. Yates as ready for service, that evening marching to Camp Butler. The company subsequently designated as "Company K", was there recruited to full strength, and, on the 26th of August, organized by election of officers, Dr. Lippincott being chosen as captain. In its ranks were Jas. H. Clifford, Wm. H. weaver, John N. Kendall, Jos. D. turner, James F. Raybourne, Allen Cunningham, Thos. S. Chandler, Geo. M. Forsythe, Moses Dowler, James K. Monroe, Wm. Murray Henry C. Milner, James I. Needham, Wm. M. Summers, Calvin C. Wilson and several other sterling young men of Cass county, since known as among its most substantial citizens.
Again Dr. Lippincott cast aside the pills, lotions syringes and other nasty insignia of his uncongenial profession, together with his thin veneering of church affiliation, and was once more in his proper element - in the sphere of life for which nature designed him, and for which his vigorous mind, robust manhood, unflinching courage and rugged patriotism so well fitted him. He was profoundly ignorant of military tactics, but overflowing with military spirit and enthusiasm for the great cause in which he had enlisted.
The limits of this paper will not admit of a detailed account of Dr. Lippincott's career as a soldier' nor is such an account here necessary; for the services he rendered his country in the Civil war, though not specially brilliant, are recorded among the most honorable and noteworthy achievements of its history. They constitute a page of that record which will for all time perpetuate his name with those other patriotic Illinoisans who won the lasting gratitude of a free and united people. Yet, a biographical sketch of Dr. Lippincott would not be complete without, at least, an outline of the part he played in that momentous contest.
His company was incorporated in the 33rd regiment of Illinois infantry upon its organization at Camp Butler, on the 30th day of August, 1861. It was known as the "Normal" regiment, from the fact that it was largely made up of students, instructors and professors of the State Normal University, near Bloomington, and its first colonel - by appointment of President Lincoln near Bloomington, and its first colonel - by appointment of President Lincoln - was Charles E. Hovey, president of that institution. The regiment left Camp Butler on the 19th of September, ordered to southeast Missouri to drive out the rebel bush rangers there commanded by M. Jeff Thompson. Near Big River bridge, in Iron county Missouri, they fortified a camp with slight breastworks and called it Fort Elliott. On the 15th of October Capt. Elliott and forty of his men were surprised there about daylight, by a superior force of Genl. Thompson's men and taken prisoners with the loss of one man killed and seven wounded. Capt. Lippincott coming, too late, with his company to their assistance met the retiring Confederates about two miles from the camp and attacked them. In a hand to hand encounter Capt. Lippincott attempted ro run a Confederate officer through with his sword, which proved to be too blunt-pointed to pierce the butternut hunting shirt of the Southerner, so, no material harm was done to either, and company K discreetly retreated. On October 21, the 23rd regiment, joined by other troops, met 1500 of Thompson's men near Fredericktown in a lively skirmish, dignified in the war histories as the "Battle of Fredericktown." A few on each side were killed, when the Confederates largely, outnumbered, hastily retreated. Detached companies of the regiment made several wild goos expeditions through the hills of southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas, then passed the winter in comparative inactivity in Iron county, Missouri.
On March 1, 1862, the 33rd left its winter quarters for the South. Lieut. Col. Lockwood on that day resigned on account of disability, thereby creating a vacancy in that staff position. Col. Hovey ordered an election to be held by the regiment, on March 5, to supply the vacancy, which resulted as follows: Capt. Isaac H. Elliott, 388 votes, for Major Roe 94, Capt. Lippincott 89, Adjutant Crandall 69, and for Capt. Potter 46. But Capt. Lippincott, at that time on leave of absence at Springfield, Illinois, had no difficulty in convincing his old boyhood friend, Gov. Yates, that he was the proper man for Lieut. Colonel of the 33rd, also Col. Elliott's choice, and a few days later rejoined the regiment with the commission for that position in his pocket. After a long hard march the regiment reached Helena, Ark., on July 13, and went into camp twenty miles farther down the river, at Old Town, in the midst of pestilential swamps, where several of the soldiers died of virulent fevers. For three months their service was scouting on both sides of the Mississippi. On September 26, a considerable force of infantry and cavalry, with two howitzers, all under command of Col. Lippincott, crossed the river and moved into the country about fifteen miles, where 300 bales of cotton were discovered. It required sixty wagons to move the cotton, and it was not loaded until well into the night. The name of the owner who was robbed of the cotton is not given; but on the return the escort was fired into from the brush, severely wounding Capt. Potter and four others, and killing Sergeant Mason. "But," Col. Elliott adds, "What matter! the 300 bales of cotton were brought in." On the 5th of September, 1862, Col. Hovey was raised to the grade of brigadier general, and Col. Lippincott promoted to the rank of colonel. On October 5th, the regiment returned by boat to the vicinity of St. Louis, and from there back to Iron County, passing the winter in useless excursions about the borders of Missouri and Arkansas, undergoing many hardships and much exposure. In his admirable history of the 33rd regiment, Col. Elliott says: "For any results that came from that campaign, we might far better have been disbanded and sent home on furlough."
The regiment left southeastern Missouri on the 10th of March, 1863, to join the forces under Genl. Grant then investing Vicksburg. From the 17th of May to Pemberton's capitulation, on July 3rd, the 33rd regiment, as part of Genl. Eugene A. Carr's division, was in the thickest of the fight and did splendid service. At Champion Hill, Black River bridge, and assaults upon the fortifications, no troops of that grand army excelled those Illinoisans for desperate courage, marvelous endurance and perfect discipline. Though many fell before the shot and shell of the enemy, not one wavered or faltered in his duty. Inspired by the loftiest sentiment of patriotism their heroism added luster to the great state they nobly represented. Col. Lippincott was in his glory. Where the battle raged most fiercely he led his men on, as eager for the fray and as fearlessly as when hunting deer in the Sangamon bottom. In a general assault on the main defenses of the enemy, on the 22nd of May, he was wounded, but not so severely as to compel him to leave the field.
After the surrender of Vicksburg, the 33rd regiment was ordered to Jackson, Mississippi, and left for that place on July 5th. Col. Lippincott, sick and suffering from his wound, was left in the hospital for a few days. On August 19th the regiment left Jackson for New Orleans. September 4th it crossed the river, and for more than two months engaged in another useless and fruitless tramp in southern Louisiana, returning to New Orleans on November 14. The next day it left, on an ocean transport for Texas, and landed at Corpus Christi. Together with the 8th Indiana it attacked, on November 28th, Fort Esperanza, a small Confederate defensive work near the entrance of Matagorda Bay, having but a nominal garrison. During the next night the fort was evacuated after its magazine was blown up by the retreating defenders. Col. Lippincott left for Illinois on December 17, on short leave of absence; and on the 23rd the regiment was taken, in steamboats, up the bay to Indianola, and went into winter quarters there. The event of most importance to the 33rd occurring there during the winter was the re-enlistment "for the war" of the greater number of its members as "veterans," carrying with the change a furlough of thirty days to visit Illinois. those who declined re-enlisting, or "veteranizing," were transferred temporarily to the 99th Illinois. The regiment was mustered into the veteran service on the 27th of January, 1864, and left that afternoon for New Orleans. It then proceeded, on March 4th, up the Mississippi to Cairo, arriving there on the 12th, and to Bloomington on the 14th, where it received a joyous and royal welcome.
The month of resting and feasting fleetly passed, the regiment, with about eighty recruits, reassembled at Camp butler, on April 16th, and started on its return south on the 18th, arriving at Brashear City, Louisiana, May 17th. There the detached companies were scattered along the railroad, and at other points among the swamps and bayous, on local guard duty during the hottest months of the year. The non-veterans who had been assigned to the 99th Illinois there rejoined the regiment, on July 4th, and were sent home on September 17th, by way of New York as guard for Confederate prisoners. After their stay in Louisiana of nine months and thirteen days, the 33rd eft, March 2, 1865, for duty at Mobile, where it took part in the investment of, and attack upon, Spanish Fort, one of the principal defensive works there. After severe fighting, and stout resistance of several days the Confederates evacuated the fort on the night of April 4th. The 33rd was in reserve when Fort Blakely was stormed and taken, on the 9th of April, that being the last siege of the war, General Lee surrendering to General Grant, at Appomattox, on that day. The next move of the 33rd was to Greenville, Alabama, on April 20th; then to Montgomery on the 23rd; and from there to Meridian, Mississippi, May 10th, where Col. Lippincott was in command of the district until August 16th, when the regiment was ordered to Vicksburg. Col. Lippincott resigned on September 10, 1865, and went home to permit the long deserved promotion of Col. Elliott to the rank of Colonel. The 33rd regiment was mustered out of service, at Vicksburg, on November 24th, and immediately started for home.
Col. Lippincott was promoted to Brevet Brigadier General on the 17th of February, 1865, and after the fall of Mobile was made Brigadier General of Veterans. He returned to Chandlerville much elated with the triumph of his cause, and his elevation to the high rank won by his faithful service and valor in the hard-fought struggle for unity of the nation. He was the local hero of the hour, greeted by the adulation of the populace and congratulations of his friends. He did not resume the practice of medicine, and only mentioned it with disdain; but, giving free rein to his natural proclivity, plunged into the cesspool of politics with all the ardor of his impetuous temperament. Unfortunately, the convivial habits contracted in California and reformed on his return from there, were again fostered by the unrestrained life of the camp, and fully confirmed by his political associations.
In 1866, General Lippincott received the nomination of his party for Congress, in the old ninth district, comprising the counties of Pike, Brown, Schuyler,, Fulton, McDonough, Cass, Mason and Menard, all strongly democratic; and was defeated by Hon. Lewis W. Ross, the democratic candidate, who received 15,406 votes to 14,721 for the General. Upon organization of the 25th General Assembly, in January, 1867, Genl. Lippincott was elected to the position his father held in 1821, that of secretary of the state senate, which he resigned the next winter to accept the office of doorkeeper of the national House of Representatives. The Republican State Convention, in 1868, nominated him for State Auditor, and after an able and active canvass he was elected, receiving 249,654 votes, and his democrat opponent, John R. Shannon, 199,754.
The constitution of Illinois at that time required all state officials to take the regular oath of office, and the following oath in addition: "I do solemnly swear that I have not fought a duel, nor ent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which might have been the death of either party, nor been a second to either party, nor in any manner aided or assisted in such duel, nor been knowingly the bearer of such challenge or acceptance, since the adoption of the constitution; and that I will not be so engaged or concerned, directly or indirectly, in or about such duel during my continuance in office; so help me god." Before assuming the duties of auditor Genl. Lippincott unhesitatingly took that oath without a blush or tremor. Those who had known him long and well, and knew his integrity of character and innate nobility of soul, were astounded - as he himself was. however, he justified the perjury by an illustrious precedent; that of the first republican governor of Illinois, Wm. H. Bissell. Col. Bissell, it is true, had not fought a duel, but had accepted, in Washington City, the challenge of Jeff Davis to fight, and afterwards deliberately swore, at Springfield, that he had never "accepted a challenge to fight a duel." bissell, like Lippincott, possessed an exalted sense of honor, and was in every respect a great man, and extremely sensitive. He meditated long before consenting to sacrifice his honor, and manhood, and burden his soul, by committing plain perjury, to save the fruits of his party's victory; and then essayed to quiet the upbraidings of his violated conscience with the wretched subterfuge that accepting a challenge in Washington was beyond the jurisdiction of the constitution of Illinois. His party was satisfied, but his three miserable years in the executive chair left no doubt that his peace of mind was wrecked. He could never convince himself that his false swearing was done beyond the jurisdiction of his own conscience; nor did General Lippincott.
In 1872 Gen. Lippincott was again nominated for auditor, and was re-elected with 241,498 votes cast for him, 192,709 for Daniel O'Hara, and 2,459 for C.W. Westerman. In his second installation as state auditor he was spared the humiliation of having to repeat his oath, concerning dueling, as it was eliminated from the new constitution adopted in 1871.
At that time Gen. Lippincott was one of the most prominent and popular politicians in Illinois. He was regarded by many leading managers of the republican party as a prospective candidate for governor, having every element of strength to insure success, and could very probably, in time, have secured the nomination - then and since equivalent to election - to that once exalted position, but for his own reckless folly. During the eight years he was state auditor the emoluments of the office, under the fee system then in vogue, were enormous, amounting to many thousands of dollars annually. While serving his first term he very prudently invested considerable of his salary in valuable real estate. Of Dr. Chandler he purchased the fine bottom farm adjoining Chandlerville on the west, known as "Flat Meadows," of over 200 acres, on which he built a barn and made other substantial improvements. He also bought the Estep tract of 360 acres lying a mile east of the village. His home in Springfield was always open to his friends, who were entertained there with regal hospitality - all his current expenditures keeping pace in prodigal liberality with the munificence of his income.
All the country, north of Mason and Dixon's line, was then enjoying unprecedented prosperity; money was abundant; everything salable commanded high prices, and a tendency to unwarranted expansion prevailed in all channels of trade and finances exerting unwholesome, demoralizing influences on society. In his second official term Gen. Lippincott unfortunately caught the prevalent infection of wild, unreasoning extravagance, induced by sudden acquisition of wealth. Charity would dictate that the veil of silence be thrown over that period of his life, and hide from public gaze his mistakes and frailties. And compassion may suggest, by way of their palliation, that ranklings of memory, with sensual excesses, had impaired his judgment to the verge of irresponsibility. Only upon that hypothesis can be reconciled the strange extremes of his course. Reared and disciplined in poverty, then manfully winning his way to social distinction by pinching economy and such effort as manual labor on a farm for $12 per month, it is incomprehensible that in maturer years he would squander a princely revenue by such imbecility as paying $17,500 for a bull and $10,000 for a cow; and the more inexcusable folly of chartering special railroad trains to convey his host of convivial friends from Springfield to royal champagne banquets and drunken orgies at his Flat Meadows farm on the Sangamon.
The inevitable results soon followed. his festive habits and reprehensible methods of electioneering alienated the confidence of the conservative and sober element of his party. As a consequence his popularity waned to that extent that, in 1876, when he was presented to the republican state convention as a candidate for re-election to a third term, he was set aside, and the nomination given to Tom Needles. That reverse was preceded by financial embarrassments that had compelled him to mortgage all his real estate for large amounts. Upon expiration of his term of office he left Springfield, moving to Flat Meadows, where he continued to farm his lands with hired labor, as before, until foreclosure of the mortgages, in 1884. His splendid herd of fine-bred cattle was sold to satisfy debts, and his many broad acres passed to the possession of others. Leaving Flat Meadows he reoccupied his old home he had built after his return from California, a neat two-story frame house perched high up on the bluff side overlooking the entire village of Chandlerville and an extensive view of the Sangamon bottom. Always in rugged health, about that time he had a slight stroke of paralysis, from which he soon recovered completely, as it seemed. His property all swept away by demands of creditors, he was again reduced to poverty and without resources and without credit. But though republics - and some republicans - may be ungrateful, such a man as Genl. Lippincott could never be without friends.
An act of the legislature, providing for establishing "a home and subsistence for honorably discharged soldiers and sailors who enlisted in the U.S. army and navy from Illinois," was passed in June, 1885. The commission appointed by Gov. Oglesby, for the purpose, located the institution on 140 acres of land just beyond the northern limits of Quincy, to which 82 more acres were subsequently added. the buildings were commenced in May, 1886, and the "Home" formally opened in March, 1887. It was placed, by provision of the law founding it, in control of three trustees, appointed by the governor, who were required to select a superintendent - styled "Governor of the Home" - and other officers and assistants necessary for its management. When the trustees met to select the first "Governor", they decided unanimously to offer the position to General Lippincott - and certainly no better or more appropriate decision could have been made. In the severe school of adversity he had learned prudence and self-restraint; while public censure had wrought commendable improvements in his personal habits and improvidence. With due appreciation of the importance and dignity of the position, he entered upon its duties with spirit and enthusiasm, administering the affairs of the Home with marked ability, and the same lofty sense of honor and justice that characterized every public act of his career. He was there once more placed in genial employment to which he could apply the energies of his active mind free from his former incentives to dissipation.
In stature General Lippincott was five feet, ten inches high, squarely and powerfully built, with broad shoulders and deep chest,,, and full muscular development. He had the Scandanavian clearness of complexion, sandy-colored curly hair and piercing steel-blue eyes surmounted by heavy shaggy eyebrows. his features were regular, not of classic type, or specially handsome; but his face always wore a pleasant, smiling expression denoting his kind, genial and mirthful disposition. Of sanguine temperament he was an optimist, seldom gloomy or despondent, but always, with jolly good humor, making the best of his surroundings, and never so happy as when conferring happiness on others. Col. Elliott says of him. "Notwithstanding his inability to execute the simplest maneuver with the regiment, Col. Lippincott proved a valuable officer, brave and generous and always alive to the welfare of his men. He was a man of fine ability, a rare conversationalist and story teller, and few could excel him in writing good English. He had a vast fund of stories and anecdotes at his command and could embellish the most trivial incident with such interest as to hold the rapt attention of his auditors, and when he offered to speak no one questioned his right the floor."
Had General Lippincott possessed the faculty of persistent application he would have made his mark in the literary world as a writer. With quite a store of general information and lively perception, he expressed his ideas in clear, concise and elegant language. His graduating thesis at the medical college was a thoughtful, scholarly production, on "The Impalpable in Cure of Diseases." - or, as it would be styled at the present day, "The Psychic factor in Overcoming Physical Disorders" - in which he clearly foreshadowed the subtle potentiality of hypnotism as a remedial agent, and the mysterious force of that faith upon which the chimerical success of modern Christian Science depends. In 1884, importuned by his old military comrades to write a history of his regiment, he consented to do so, and wrote two chapters, graphic in style and accurate in detail, but there dropped the task, to be taken up later by Col. Elliott, who completed it admirably.
Genl. Lippincott was a very ready off-hand speaker, not a flowery orator dealing in lofty flights of poetic imagery, but a strong, forcible talker and logical reasoner, with the peculiar power of eloquence to hold the interested attention of his audience indefinitely. In his campaign speeches, and in conversation, just after the Civil war, when party animosities raged with intense fierceness, he refrained from abusive or disrespectful language when referring to his opponents, or old associates of the democratic party; often expressing regret that the old party had gone astray, and claiming he was still a democrat himself, having the same general views of public policy he entertained before the war. He was not an ardent admirer of Lincoln personally, but gave his administration unqualified support so far as pertained to maintaining the integrity of the Union and abolition of slavery.
Although General Lippincott was brave, even to rashness, he was lamentably wanting in that self-asserting force known as moral courage. To that weakness was due the many sad mistakes that tarnished his true nobility of character. too deficient in selfishness for self-protection; too confiding in humanity to guard against deception and imposition, and exerting no check upon his generosity, made prosperity for him more a curse than a blessing. He would not have hesitated to fight single-handed a regiment of the enemy in battle, but was too weak to resist temptation though in the guise of the worse enemy of mankind. For honor, charity, big-hearted benevolence, and all the nobler traits that constitute sterling manhood, he was excelled by none In business transactions his word or promise needed no bond to secure it; in all social relations the same natural instincts of justice and rectitude guided his conduct. He was true and loyal to his friends; as an antagonist, unflinching, chivalrous and fair.
The great mistake of Gen. Lippincott's life was his choice of the medical profession - a calling admitting of no promotion; offering no avenues to literary or other intellectual distinction; blighting to all higher aspirations, and restricting the best mental energies to slavish drudgery. In the legal profession he would have found incentives for full exercise of his fine mental powers, and a broad and encouraging field for aggressive ambition in harmony with his tastes and inclinations, and conducive to a happier condition of existence.
In deference to his wife's connection with the church, though disgusted with it himself, he always contributed to its support as liberally as his means permitted. When quite a young man, at Marine, he joined the Odd Fellows, and later in life the Masonic Order, and finally was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
About the close of summer in 1887, when in robust health, and busily administering the responsible affairs of the Home, without premonition, he was suddenly stricken down and rendered helpless and speechless by a stroke of paralysis. He was removed from Quincy to Springfield for better facilities of medical treatment, and in a short time rallied, with flattering indications of permanent improvement. In compliance with his urgent desire, he was taken back to his quarters at the Home in Quincy, hoping that his health would be restored sufficiently to enable him to resume his work there. For a short time after his return he was progressing toward recovery, as it seemed, very favorable, when a recurrence of the trouble, at 7 o'clock on Sunday morning, September 11, 1887, again rendered him helpless and unconscious. He lingered in that condition, with labored breathing, until half-past 7 o'clock in the evening when he quietly passed away, at the age of 62 years, 7 months and 16 days.
Announcement of his death was immediately telegraphed to his friend, Gov. Oglesby, who ordered the flags on the public buildings in the state to be lowered to half mast, and arranged for his burial at Oak Ridge cemetery, near Springfield, on Wednesday, the 14th. When last in Springfield Genl. Lippincott, in anticipation of his probably death, requested in that event, his funeral obsequies should be conducted by Stephenson Post, G.A.R., of that city. Accordingly, Lincoln Dubois, post commander notified the members of the post to assemble at their hall on the morning specified, and issued a general invitation to other posts, soldiers and citizens to attend the funeral. When the Wabash train bearing the General's body arrived at the Springfield station, at 9:30 in the morning of the 14th, an immense concourse of people were there awaiting it, including the members of Stephenson Post and many from the Virginia and other posts. the active pall bearers were Col. E. R. roe, Wm. Sutton, Col. E. R. Higgins, Jos. Turner of Ashland, Chas. I. Haskell of Virginia, Captains J. M. Burnham, E. J. Lewis and J. W. Fifer of Bloomington, who carried the remains of their old commander from the car to the hearse. The column was then formed and moved to the Congregational church. Immediately following the hearse was the guard of honor, ten old veterans detailed from the Home at Quincy, with white heads and beards, and bent with the weight of years, in full field uniform, with arms reversed. Then followed the pall bearers, military band, Stephenson and other posts, veterans and a long retinue of citizens.
The honorary pall-bearers,, who followed the casket into the church, were Gov. Oglesby, Gen. Palmer, Gen. McClernand, Gen. McConnell, Gen. John Cook, Col. Wickersham, Hon. Shelby M. Cullom and Hon. O. M. Hatch. In the church, profusely decorated with draped flags, and other appropriate emblems, services were conduced by Rev. R. O. Post, which with the grand dirge by the choir, were sublimely affecting. In the same order the procession moved to Oak Ridge cemetery, and there the mortal remains of Charles E. Lippincott were interred with the solemn and impressive ritual of the Grand Army of the Republic. Col. Ewart then sounded "taps," and the cortege returned to the city.
Gen. Lippincott left no estate. To provide for his wife, who survived him, the position of "Matron of the Home" was created specially for her. Where she had before done the honors of the Home as the wife of its Governor, she assumed the humble station of Matron, and discharged its duties with watchful care and uncomplaining fidelity. She was a refined, cultured lady, of gentle, amiable disposition, possessing in very marked degree the graces and virtues of the true Christian. her beautiful character and simple domestic life commanded the respect and admiration of all who knew her. With due regard to her social obligations, devotion to her husband, family anc church, and her many acts of charity and benevolence, filled the sphere of her sorrowful existence. Having followed to the grave her three children, husband, father, mother and a brother, and borne with patient resignation for years, the burden of her grief, she died at the soldier's Home, on the 21st of May, 1895, having attain ed the age of 61 years, 2 months and 8 days. In Oak Ridge her remains repose beside her loved ones who had preceded her to final rest.
The children of General and Mrs. Lippincott were:
Linus C. Lippincott, born April 27, 1858, and died January 4, 1872.
Winthrop G. Lippincott, born October 5, 1860, and died January 23, 1879.
Thomas Lippincott, born August 5, 1872, died July 31, 1873.
As a testimonial of their great respect and affection for General Lippincott and his wife, who had become so endeared to them by their unremitting attention and kindness, the old soldiers of the Home, by their individual contributions together with the profits of the Home store, erected upon the parade ground the handsomest building there, which is known as the Lippincott Memorial Hall. It is used as an assembly hall for religious services, lectures and entertainments, has a seating capacity of nearly 1000, and cost $14,000.