Page images


ticular, when two men came down to the shore in carriages with trunks, and looking at the different boats singled out mine, and asked, 'Who owns this?' I answered, somewhat modestly, 'I do.' 'Will you,' said one of them, 'take us and our trunks out to the steamer? Certainly,' said I. I was very glad to have the chance of earning something. I supposed that each of them would give me two or three bits. The trunks were put on my flatboat, the passengers seated themselves on the trunks, and I sculled them out to the steamboat.

"They got on board, and I lifted up their heavy trunks, and put them on deck. The steamer was about to put on steam again, when I called out that they had forgotten to pay me. Each of them took from his pocket a silver halfdollar, and threw it on the floor of my boat. I could scarcely believe my eyes as I picked up the money. Gentlemen, you may think it was a very little thing, and in these days it seems to me a trifle; but it was a most important incident in my life. I could scarcely credit that I, a poor boy, had earned a dollar in less than a day-that by honest work I had earned a dollar. The world seemed wider and fairer before me. I was a more hopeful and confident being from that time."

An Honest Boy-Young Lincoln "Pulls Fodder" Two Days for a Damaged Book.

The following incident, illustrating several traits already developed in the early boyhood of Lincoln, is vouched for by a citizen of Evansville, Ind:, who knew him in the days referred to:

In his eagerness to acquire knowledge, young Lincoln had borrowed of Mr. Crawford, a neighboring farmer, a copy of Weems' Life of Washington-the only one known

[graphic][merged small]


In what is now LaRue Co., Kentucky, one and a half miles from Hodgenville, and seven miles from Elizabethtown. The three pear trees were planted by Lincoln's father, and mark the spot near where the house stood. Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809. He resided here only a few years.

to be in existence in that region of country. Before he had finished reading the book, it had been left, by a not unnatural oversight, in a window. Meantime, a rain storm came on, and the book was so thoroughly wet as to make it nearly worthless. This mishap caused him much pain; but he went, in all honesty, to Mr. Crawford with the ruined book, explained the calamity that had happened through his neglect, and offered, not having sufficient money, to "work out" the value of the book.


Well, Abe," said Mr. Crawford, after due deliberation,, as it's you, I won't be hard on you. Just come over and pull fodder for me for two days, and we will call our accounts even."

The offer was readily accepted, and the engagement literally fulfilled. As a boy, no less than since, Abraham Lincoln had an honorable conscientiousness, integrity, industry, and an ardent love of knowledge.

Little Lincoln Firing at Big Game Through the Cracks of His Cabin Home.

While yet a little boy, one day when Lincoln was in his cabin home, in what was then a wilderness in Indiana, he chanced to look through a crack in the log walls of the humble residence and espied a flock of wild turkeys feeding within range of his father's trusty rifle. He at once took in the possibilities of the situation and ventured to take down the old gun, and quietly putting the long barrel through the opening, with a hasty aim, fired into the flock." When the smoke had cleared away, it was observed that one of the turkeys lay dead on the field. This is said to have been the largest game on which Lincoln ever pulled a trigger, his brilliant success in this instance having no power to excite in him the passion for hunting.

An Incident of Lincoln's Early Hardships and Narrow Escape from Death.

A little incident occurred while young Lincoln lived in Indiana, which illustrates the early hardships and surroundings to which he was subjected. On one occasion he was obliged to take his grist upon the back of his father's horse, and go fifty miles to get it ground. The mill itself was very rude, and driven by horse-power. The customers were obliged to wait their "turn," without reference to their distance from home, and then use their own horse to propel the machinery! On this occasion, Abraham, having arrived at his turn, fastened his mare to the lever, and was following her closely upon her rounds, when, urging her with a switch, and "clucking" to her in the usual way, he received a kick from her which prostrated him, and made him insensible. With the first instant of returning consciousness, he finished the cluck, which he had commenced when he received the kick (a fact for the psychologist), and with the next he probably thought about getting home, where he arrived at last, battered, but ready for further service.

Young Lincoln's Kindness of Heart-He Carries Home and Nurses a Drunkard.

An instance of young Lincoln's practical humanity at an early period of his life is recorded, as follows: One evening, while returning from a "raising" in his wide neighborhood, with a number of companions, he discovered a straying horse, with saddle and bridle upon him. The horse was recognized as belonging to a man who was accustomed to excess in drink, and it was suspected at once that the owner was not far off. A short search only was neces sary to confirm the suspicions of the young men.

« PreviousContinue »