Quotation by Henry Brooks Adams

He saw Mr. Lincoln but once; at the melancholy function called an Inaugural Ball. Of course he looked anxiously for a sign of character. He saw a long, awkward figure; a plain, ploughed face; a mind, absent in part, and in part evidently worried by white kid gloves; features that expressed neither self-satisfaction nor any other familiar Americanism, but rather the same painful sense of becoming educated and of needing education that tormented a private secretary, above all a lack of apparent force. Any private secretary in the least fit for his business would have thought, as Adams did, that no man living needed so much education as the new President but that all the education he could get would not be enough.
Henry Brooks Adams (1838–1918), U.S. historian. "Treason," ch. 7, The Education of Henry Adams (1907).

Referring to Henry Adams's only encounter with Lincoln in March 1861, while serving as a private secretary in Washington, DC.
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