Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives
Newspaper Page Text
THE OGLALA LIGHT. 13.
was admitted to the bar in 1836. And next year began Ms law practice in Springfield as a pardner of John T. Stewart. Among his associates at the Illinois Capitol were men who afterwards achieved eminence in law and politics. It is enough to say that Lincoln held his own in legal combats with the best. In these years he met the man destined to be his politi cal rival, Stephen A. Douglas. While Lincoln earned and deserved the reputation of being an able lawyer he was never a learned jurist His leisure was spent in general reading, history, and politi cal economy. English grammer he had mastered by himself, and he acquired skill in composition by writing out in brief each book that he read thus the young lawyer laboriously schooled himself in think ing and in the art of expressing himself clearly and correctly. In the court room it was characteristic of him to waste no time on unessen tials, but to spend his strength on the one point that was really the heart of the case. Sometimes his pleas were surprisingly short. A good illustration of his terse manner of speaking is his address to the jury in the suit against a man known as "King" Hart for seizing a piece of land from the plaintiff Lincoln's client. During the trail he had little to say and the case was seemingly lost, but he gained a prompt verdict by his brief speech "We don't believe in Kings in this Country. We refuted that doctrine almost one hundred years ago but we have a doctrine in this Country that we do believe in. It is the Monroe Doctrine. When the Kings of Europe attempt to sieze land in this hemisphere we apply the Monroe Doctrine to them and they experienced a change of heart. Why should we not apply the same doctrine to American Kings? This little King is attempting to secure possession of land to which he has no claim, and you, gentle men of the jury, stand in the same position as the Government of the United States you must protect a weak vassal by applying the Monroe Doctrine to this American King." Lincoln's U w practice grew and he prospered, although many of his clients were poor and his fees were sometimes nothing. Success had come and he married in 1842 Mary Todd. There is truth in the statement that Lincoln was too much of a politician to be a great lawyer. He took more than a passing interest in politics and was quick to iinprove opportunities for political advancement. In his Continued on page 20.