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THE ARGUS, SATURDAY FEBRUARY 10, 190G.
lust rUcd denend to stein FameScov
.So Main way he in speech and fac
tat those of worldly wisdom looked
Men failed o see
By A. V. FERRIN
Ccpyntfht. 1906. by A. VC. Fuoa
niSAlIAXI LINCOLN was tea
f(S J':irs old when Lis father
Jt V made that profitable journey
from 'Indiana to his old home
in Kentucky, from which he returned
.with a now wife ami aceoinpanjius
worldly io&sessiou3 which would have
soemed to Abe and his little sister
Nancy like the treasures of the Iudies
bad they ever beard of that golden
empire. The adveut of Sally Bush In
her new role as Mrs. Thomas Lincoln
marked an epoch lu Abe's life. Hith
erto he had been growing very much
like Topsy. Now he was to "know a
mother's loving care.
As soon as she had attended to the
bodily wants of her stepchildren,
"made them look a little more human,"
as she expressed it, Mrs. Lincoln turned
her attention tothe minds of her new
charges. It was a welcome surprise
to her, no doubt, to find that lu his few
wei-ks of rough schooling lu Kentucky
under the tutelage of Caleb Hazel
young Abe had picked up some knowl
edge of reading and writing, and his
foster mother decided that it was high
time that be should add to bis attain
ments. On Little Pigeon creek, a mile and
a half from the Lincoln farm, the set
tlers had built a log schoolhouse,. and
Hazel Dorsey had been hired to pre
side therein. Dorsey, it was said, could
teach reading, writing and arithmetic,
and what more could be asked? The
news of these new educational advan
tages meant much, to all the children of
the backwoods, but It meant more to
Abe. It was the opening of a wide
gate to bim. He was growing faster
than ever now. Good Mrs. Lincoln de
spaired of keeping him In clothes that
would fit him. Cloth of any kind was
scarce, and much of a boy's wardrobe
had to be of buckskin, and, however
loose Abe's trousers might be made, a
few hours In tho wet fields or a fall into
a woodland brook sufficed to render
them a tighter fit than any tailor could
fashion. Stockings were out of the
question, and when on special occasions
or In extreme cold weather shoes were
.worn they were "low cut" to save
leather. There was apt to be a gener
ous expanse of blue ankles and shin
bones between Abe's trousers and his
clumsy feet. This tendency to "high
(water pants was one which stayed
.with bim for many years.
The first term of Dorsey's school was
short. The winter melted rapidly away,
LLKCOLS KKAPIXQ BY THE LIGHT OF THE
and with the coming of spring the boys
iwere needed In the fields, but before
ithe term was over Abe could "s?ell
clown" any one in the school and could
read anything he could lay his bands
on. The long vacation was not wasted
by him. New families were arriving in
the woods, and many brought books,
some even whole libraries of seven and
eight volumes. It was worth while for
Abe to walk miles and to bear a hand
at chopping or other work to get a
chance to borrow them and later read
them by the light of the open fireplace.
He was already a story teller of parts J
futd well xgred in the backwoods learn
S soul was great, it held
In him the simple touch
Mere force and war's red menace
In conquering the' years that
ever growing figure he will
Across the theater of History
deed to fame the loveXof
monument the shackles
waixe by circumstance.
show ouhich the littl
called of God to: guide t
was hlr fleshly sheath
the tnlghty soul beneath.
ing, fact and fiction, which travels by
word of mouth. One of tho first re
wards of his borrowing "expeditious was
a story- teller by which, he found that
he was outdone, t was. JKsop's fables.
Before he had read this volume through
a score of times he could makeover into
a fable with some kind of a moral to
it every one of the anecdotes with
which his mind was stored. Then he
was Initiated Intothe beauties, of "Pil
grim's Progress," a book which had un
questioned Influence -upon bis later life.
The family Bible, too. was a favorfte.
For some reason Hazel Dorsey was
unable again to colkx't his scattered
pupils, and it was a full year before
school reopened, with u new teacher,
Andrew Crawford. Mr. Crawford
broiicht new ways and sooai saw that
the young persons trooping about him
needed other things than book learn
ing. From the beginning the taught
ABE MADE OZSTUKES THBOCGH THE WTS-
them "manners." JUvery pupil was
drilled In the propen-jnetbod of enter
ing a room and getting out of it and In
the simpler social amenities.
Abe was already the acknowledged
best speller In the school, and the mas
ter found it liecessafry to send him
from the room during) the spelling con
tests lest his good nature tempt him to
prompt the less ready, a subterfuge
which Abe defeated by lurking behind
the schoolhouse and 'making gestures
through the window.' at the master's
Another branch of learning in which
Abe excelled, if he was not its only ex
ponent, for the master did not approve
of such foolishness, was "composition."
Abe's copy book. Instead of a slavish
Imitation of examples in penmanship,
became a volume of essays. The most
notable of these effusions was a trea
tise on "cruelty to animals," the text
for which was provided by the sight of
some of his savage schoolmates plac
ing live coals upon a turtle's back.
Paper was scarce in those days, and
Abe's writing material -was often a
wooden shovel, .from which unsatisfac
tory compositions could be erased by
whittling, or a basswood shingle. He
was forced to be economical In words.
Not one could be written down until
ho was sure that it best expressed his
Idea, and here was planted the germ
of that literary genius the full fruit of
which was the masterly address at
To his store of knowledge were soon
added the "Arabian Nights," "Robinson
Crusoe" and incidents in the history of
his own country, all gleaned from bor
rowed books. Of these perhaps the
most prized was the "Life of George
Washington," the property of Josiah
Crawford, a crusty neighbor who made
poor Abo work for him for three days
to pay for It when it had been spoiled
by rain leaking through the chinks of
tha Lincoln cabin.
Abe bad one teacher after Master
Crawford and then his schoolhouse
days ended, and he was graduated into
the higher school of hard work and ex
perience, the university of the world.
.Narrow Escape of Llncln;n Father.
There are times when a moment lost
might change the destinies of nations.
For example, there was a time when
Thomas Lincoln, tho father of Abra
ham, was In danger of his life by In
dians. His father had Jitst been killed,
and one of the savages was In the act
of killing the son when an older brother
of Thomas shot the redskin. It is in
teresting to speculate on what the delay
of a moment at that critical time would
Lave meant to this country.
oflchaoity . M ITT
iM, W&ft f ;
thu he broke. Ij twiSVm.' NT IS. 1
ffeat ;VV1 1 Since JDw-J diecLfofeirnn r . V -1 Nft
penance, h "lAVhomZhe-resembled iiryWtier-worth. t;. I ypf.pIAM
e(and gait OIn love, in meeltaessndrnplicity. ? We'll
askance aTtainaineiithuiMencss orbirthT -1sg They
herStaTevl ' -J In Iav?nntSwTi M Ufa to malt. n-wn free. I . r4 -jflSl
J , .,1Aj" that One was the Saviour of mankind 3
' k U So he hiy country's savior Lr enshrined. . M
' By WALTON WILLIAMS
1 1 Li m
ITTLE has been said of Abraham
ncoln's service in the Illinois
islature. Yet his eight years
in that body formed the foun
dation for his political career. He was
defeated once, the first time be ran, at
the age of twenty-three. But he receiv
ed all except seven votes in his own
precinct and. formed an acquaintance
with the neople that carried bim
through two years later.
His first race was iu 1S32. Lincoln
was just through his soldier experience
in the Black Hawk war, in which he
had been captain of a company. His
first appearance on the stump was
at a public sale at Pappsvllle, near
Springfield. Lincoln stopped a fist fight
by hurling one of the trouble makers a
dozen feet through the air and then
spoke as follows:
Gf-ntlemen and Fellow Citizens I pre'
sume you all know who I am. I am hum
ble Abraham Lincoln. I have been so
licited by my frtenda to become a candi
date for tho legislature. My politics are
short and sweet, like tho old woman's
dance. I am In favor of a national bunk.
I am in favor of the Internal improvement
es-stem and a high protective tariff. These
arc my sentiments and political principles.
If elected I shall bo thankful; if not it
will bo all the same. . . .
After bis defeat he became a mer
chant iu a small way and was also
postmaster for a short time. It was
some time In 1S32 that he began the
study of law. He also spent a portion
of the next two years as a surveyor.
In 183 i came the second race for the
legislature. In relation to this canvass
Mr. Herndon, afterward law partner
and biographer of the martyr presi
dent, tells the following story:
He (Lincoln) came to my house noar
Island Grove during harvest. He got his
dinner and went out In the field where the
men were at work. I gave him an intro
duction, and the boys said they could not
vote for a man unless he could "make a
hand." "Well, boys," said he, "If that
Is all, I am sure of your vote3." He took
hold of tho cradle and led all tho way
round with perfect ease. Tho boys were
satisfied, and I don't think he lost a vote
la the crowd. The next day there was
speaking at Berlin. Ho went from my
house with Dr. Kamctt, tho man that had
asked mo who this man Lincoln was. I
told" him that he was a candidate for the
legislature. He laughed and said. "Can't
the party raise better material than
that?" I said, "Go tomorrow and hoar all
before you pronounce Judgment." When
he came back I said. "Doctor, what say
you now?" "Why. sir," said he, "he la a
perfect take-in. He knows more than
all of them put together." j
Mr. Lincoln was elected this time
and in duo course took his seat in tho
lower house, in
which body nil
life was passed
In the first ses
siou lie took lit
tle part. He
spoke. Ho was
"getting ou to
the irones." Ho
was free from
cry, never de
bers of the op
ous and warm
hearted. He had
a keen faculty
of always pick
ing out the sali
ent point of a
sight of it' Even
"MY POLITICS ABE
SHORT AND SWEET."
thus early in his career he showed bis
remarkable perception of principles
rather than men.
Shortly after the close of this session
occurred the sad death of Anne Rut-
ledge that threw Lincoln into despair
and, according to bis best friends,
brought him near even to the verge of
It was at this time that Mr. Liueoln
began the practice of law, first in the
justice courts, afterward as a circuit,
rider. In 1836 he was nominated for
the legislature, and in the ensuing cam
paigu his great powers began to be
come manifest. Before the fight was
over he had gained more than county
fame as a stump speaker, showiu
something of the powers as a debater
and orator which a few years later en
abled him to overcome the foremost de
bater iu the country, Stephen A. Doug
las. One Incident of this campaign is
worth repeating. There lived in Spring
field a rather grandiloquent personage
of the name of Foniuer. He had been
a Whig, but had turned Democrat aud
soon after was appointed to a fat fed
eral office. He was the only man in
Springfield with a lightniug roil on his
houne. After one of Lincoln's speeches
Forquer rose und said, "This young
man must be taken down, and I am
truly sorry that the task devolves upon
me," after which he proceeded in an
overbearing way to attack Lincoln and
his speech. In response Lincoln an
swered Forquer's arguments iu a man
ner that seemed to the crowd as over
whelming. He then ended bis rejoinder
in these words:
The gentleman commenced his speech
by saying that this young man alluding
to me must be taken down. I am not so
young in years as I am In the tricks and
trades of a politician; but, live long or die
young, I would rather dio now than, like
tho gentleman, change my politics for a
$3,000 oilice and then feel obliged to erect
a lightning rod over my house to protect
a guilty conscience from the vengeance
of an offended God.
Lincoln was elected in this campaign
by an increased majority. There were
county in the
islature, and as
they were all
over six feet in
height they were
known as "the
long nine." Lin
coln, leing the
tallest, was call
ed "the longest
of the nine," al
so "the Sanga
mon chief." It
was this delega
tion that suc
ceeded In hav
ing the state
and much of the
burden of the
fight fell on Lin
A. Douglas was
a member of
MX this legislature.
'YOU MAT BURN'
BODY TO ASUZS.
and he and
often crossed swords. It
was in fhis session likewise
future president made his first record
ed protest against slavery. There was
only one man in the entire body that
had the- courage to sign it with him, al
though it was a comparatively mild
After the state capitol had been
moved Lincoln left New Salem, where
he had formerly lived, and moved to
Springfield. All his possessions he car
ried in a pair of saddlebags. In fact,
he had always been poor and so re
mained to the end.- When first elected to
the legislature tie was compelled to bor
row $200 for clothes and conveyance.
At Springfield Lincoln began his law
practice in earnest and continued it
nearly a quarter of a century. Despite
his change of residence he was re-elected
to the legislature in 1S3S. as he was
also in 1S40. In the last named year he
stumped the entire state In the famous
"log cabin" campaign. It was In one
of these last sessions In which he serv
ed that Mr. Lincoln and auother Whig
jumped out of a window during a call
of the house. The attempt was to
break a deadlock.' Often he convulsed
the house with his apt and droll stories
and on one occasion effectually squelch
ed a former attorney general of the
state who was trying to make merry
at his expense. He said the gentleman
talked so much It reminded him of a
man who shot for hours at what he
thought was a squirrel, but which
turned out to be only a louse In his eye
brow. Toe story silenced Lincoln's op
ponent fVr the rest of the session.
At one time during his legislative ca
reer Mr. Lincoln was nrged to consent
to a log rolling proposition. He said:
You may burn my body to ashes and
scatter them to the winds of heaven, you
may drag my soul down to the regions f
darkness and despair to be tormerted
by fiends of the damned forever, but you
will never get me to support a measure
whieh I believe to be wrong, although by
doing no I may accomplish that which I
believe to be right.
v iwBy m
kingliest American wast thou.
yet the lowlyKonitprtyn ame.
wreathe have I. tovfit thy arIerby,
words to fill thensurerxrf tnyliame,
at thy shrine the proudest nj bbw'
all the world grows vocal wiflKcclaim?
Yet. though in grace of speech far ihoVt i
for thee is equal to them
OU Moses of thi
rprfaith'the sainty and
ail thee aj our saint
ho on earth in aJterthnehaJjdwell
d who a.t Iajt in truth
Will find thy name writ large
And thaoik their God he gave
of modern times have
ted to themselves nobler
libutes than has Abra
ham Lincoln. There was some
thing about the homely, heroic figure
that seemed to call forth rhythmical
praise. This may have been due to the
fact that Lincoln himself was a poet.
He scribbled a volume of verse in his
youth and then burned it. Some few
of his pieces escaped into print, how
ever. With all due respect to them,
they are not half as poetical as some
of bis prose. The Gettysburg speech,
the second inaugural address and his
letter to the mother whose sous were
slain in battle are prose poems. Per
haps the poets responded to this kin
The noblest poem to the martyr pres
ident is unquestionably that of James
Itussell Lowell. It is a really great
ode, almost as great as the subject,
and that is saying much. The follow
ing extracts show its merit:
Nature, they say, doth doto
And cannot make a man
Save on some wornout plan.
Repeating us by rcte.
For him her old world molds aside she
And. choosing sweet clay from the
Of the unexhausted west.
With stuff untainted shaped a hero new.
Wise, steadfast in the strength of God
How beautiful to ce
Once more a shepherd of mankind indeed.
Who loved his charge, but never loved to
One whose meek flock the people joyed
Not lured by any cheat of birth.
But by his clear grained human worth
And brave old wisdom of sincerity!
His was no lonely mountain peak of mind.
Thrusting to thin air o'er our cloudy
A sea mark now, now lost in vapors blind;
Broad prairie rather, genial, level lined.
Fruitful and friendly for all humankind
Yet also nigh to heaven and loved of
Here was a type of the true elder race.
And one of Plutarch's men talked with us
face to face.
I praise him not; it were too late.
And some Innative weakness there must
In him who condescends to victory
Such as the present gives and cannot
Safe in himself as ia a fate.
So always firmly he
He knew to bide his time
And can his fame abide.
Still patient in his simple faith sublime.
Till the wise years decide.
Great captains, with their guns and
"WISH, STEADFAST IN THE STRENGTH OF
GOD, AND TRUE."
Disturb our Judgment for the hour.
But at last silence comes;
Theee all are gone, and, standing like a
Our children shall behold his fame.
The kindly earnest, brave, foreseeing
Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not
New birth of our new soil, the first
Even better known than Lowell's im
mortal ode Is Walt Whitman's poem,
published shortly after Lincoln's as
sassination. It is one of the very few
rhymed pieces written by Whitman.
Evn in this the rhymes are far from
j anneal (
are wholly free
eaJrlh such souLj
perfect, but the sentiment redeems
mere external Imperfections
O captain, soy captain, our fearful trip Is
The ship Ymm weathered every
prize we sought Is won;
The port la near, the bells I
people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady
vessel prim and daring. .
But, O heart, heart, heart!
O the bleeding drops of red
Where on the deck my captain lies.
Fallen c?l and dead!
O captain, ray captain, rise up and hear
Rise up! For you the flag Is fluns, for
you th bugle trills.
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths,
for you the shores a-crowding
For you they call, the swaying mass, their
eager faces turning.
Here, captain, dear father.
This arm beneath your head!
It Is some dream that on the dock
You've fallen cold and dead.
FOUR GKCAT POETS WHOM LINCOLN 3 C A-lil-.Elt
My captain docs not answer; his lips are i
pals and still. '
My father doesj not feel my arm; ho has i
no pulse n.or will. i
The ship is anchored safo and sound, its I
voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in
with object won.
Exult, O shores, and ring. O bells!
But I, with mournful tread.
Walk tho deck my captain lies.
Fallen cold and dead.
Yamuna Clarence ssteaman s poem
on Ihe Hand of Lincoln is not so
well known as either of the foregoing.
yet it contains many fine lines:
Look on this cast and know the hand
That boro a nation In Its hold;
From this nwte witness understand
What Lincoln was how large of mold.
The hand of Anak, sinewed strong:
The fingers that on greatness clutch
Yet, lo, the marks their lines along
Of one who strove and suffered much.
For here in knotted cord and vein
I trace the varying chart of years;
I know the troubled heart, the strain.
The weight of Atlas and the tears.
Lo. as I gaze the statured man.
Built up fro:n yon large hand, appears.
A type that nnture wills to plan
But once In all a people's years.
What better than this voiceless cast
To tell of such a one as he.
Sinco through Its living semblance passed
The thought that bade a race be free!
Almost every American poet since
Lincoln's day has rendered some meed
of praise to the memory of the great
liberator. Notable among these are
Mice Cary, Bichard Henry Stoddard
anil James WP'tcoinb Biley.
Of foreign tributes the most celebrat
ed was that of the London Bunch, lie
ginning. "You lay a wreath on murder
ed Lincoln's bier" and referring to
itself as a 'surrile jester" for the giles
it h'ad thrown at America's "true born
king of men."
One of the most notable of the Lin
coln poems Is by Edwin Markham. the
author of "The Man With the floe." It
refers to the elemental character of tho
man, made vp of "the red earth" and
the patient greatness of the rock."
Again he Is likened to the pine tree that
"falls with a great shout upon the
' There are other verses Innumerable
concerning the "saint of liberty," all
breathing forth the love and reverence
In which he is held by the whole peo
ple. As the years pass this chorus of
song will swell until it grows Into a
mighty anthem of praise and thanks
giving that this latter day Moses was
lent te our nation to liberate another
race and to lead ns all through tho
wilderness into the promised land of
liberty ad union.
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