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Abraham Lincoln was confronted one afternoon by a large and formidable women who was quite prominent in society and who was chair of many women's clubs.

"Mr. President," she began in a tone that indicated she was not accustomed to taking no for an answer, "you must give me a colonel's commission for my son. I demand it not as a favor, but as a right."

Then she recounted her family's past deeds.

"My grandfather fought at Lexington," said she. "My uncle was the only man who did not run away at Bladensburg. My father fought at New Orleans, and my dear husband was killed at Monterey."

"Perhaps, madam," Lincoln said softly, "your family has done enough for the country. It is time to give somebody else a chance ..."