Excerpt from Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln

“While I felt in his presence that I was in the presence of a great man, as great as the greatest, I felt as though I could go and put my hand on him if I wanted to, to put my hand on his shoulder. Of course I did not do it, but I felt that I could. I felt as though I was in the presence of a big brother, and that there was safety in his atmosphere.”
~Frederick Douglass

“What Shakespeare did in poetic expression, Abraham Lincoln essentially did in his personal and official life. I should say the invisible foundations and vertebra of his character, more than any man’s in history, were mystical, abstract, moral and spiritual – while upon all of them was built, and out of all of them radiated, under the control of the average of circumstances, what the vulgar call horse-sense, and the life often bent by temporary but most urgent materialistic and political reasons.”
~Walt Whitman

Allen Thorndike Rice, ed. Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of his Time. New York: North American Review, 1888. Pages 195 and 473.