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and became ready for a step still further in advance. Those who could appreciate brains respected him, and those whose ideas of a man related to his muscles were devoted to him. It was while he was performing the work of the store that he acquired the soubriquet" Honest Abe."-a characterization that he never dishonored, and an abbreviation that he never outgrew. He was judge, arbitrator, referee, umpire, authority, in all disputes, games and matches of man-flesh and horse-flesh; a pacificator in all quarrels; everybody's friend; the best natured, the most sensible, the best informed, the most modest and unassuming, the kindest, gentlest, roughest, strongest, best young fellow in all New Salem and the region round about.
Lincoln's Mechanical Ingenuity.
That he had enough mechanical genius to make him a good mechanic, there is no doubt. With such rude tools as were at his command he had made cabins and flat-boats; and after his mind had become absorbed in public and professional affairs he often recurred to his mechanical dreams for amusement. One of his dreams took form, and he endeavored to make a practical mat、 ter of it. He had had experience in the early navigation of the Western rivers. One of the most serious hindrances to this navigation was low water, and the lodgment of the various craft on the shifting shoals and bars with which these rivers abound. He undertook to contrive an apparatus which, folded to the hull of the boat like a bellows, might be inflated on occasion, and, by its levity, lift it over any obstruction upon which it
might rest. On this contrivance, illustrated by a model whittled out by himself. and now preserved in the Patent Office at Washington, he secured letters patent; but it is certain that the navigation of the Western rivers was not revolutionized by it.
A Remarkable Story-"Honest Abe" as Post.
Mr. Lincoln was appointed Postmaster by President Jackson. The office was too insignificant to be considered politically, and it was given to the young man because everybody liked him, and because he was the only man willing to take it who could make out the returns. He was exceedingly pleased with the appointment, because it gave him a chance to read every newspaper that was taken in the vicinity. He had never been able to get half the newspapers he wanted before, and the office gave him the prospect of a constant feast. Not wishing to be tied to the office, as it yielded him no revenue that would reward him for the confinement, he made a Postoffice of his hat. Whenever he went out the letters were
placed in his hat. When an anxious looker for a letter found the Postmaster, he had found his office; and the public officer, taking off his hat, looked over his mail wherever the public might find him. He kept the office until it was discontinued, or removed to Petersburg.
One of the most beautiful exhibitions of Mr. Lincoln's rigid honesty occurred in connection with the settlement of his accounts with the Post-office Department, several vears afterward.
It was after he had become a lawyer, and had been a legislator. He had passed through a period of great poverty, had acquired his education in the law in the midst of many perplexities, inconviencies, and hardships, and had met with temptations, such as few men could resist, to make a temporary use of any money he might have in his hands. One day, seated in the law office of his partner, the agent of the Post-office Department entered, and inquired if Abraham Lincoln was within. Mr. Lincoln responded to his name, and was informed that the agent had called to collect a balance due the Department since the discontinuance of the New Salem office. A shade of perplexity passed over Mr. Lincoln's face, which did not escape the notice of friends present. One of them said at once:
"Lincoln if you are in want of money, let us help you."
He made no reply, but suddenly rose, and pulled out from a pile of books a little old trunk, and, returning to the table, asked the agent how much the amount of his debt was. The sum was named, and then Mr. Lincoln opened the trunk, pulled out a little package of coin wrapped in a cotton rag, and counted out the exact sum, amounting to something more than seventeen dollars. After the agent had left the room, he remarked quietly that he had never used any man's money but his own. Although this sum had been in his hands during all these years, he had never regarded it as available, even for any temporary use of his own.
How Lincoln Piloted a Flat. Boat Over a Mill
Governor Yates, of Illinois, in a speech at Springfield, quoted one of Mr. Lincoln's early friends-W. T. Greene -as having said that the first time he ever saw Mr. Lincoln, he was in the Sangamon River with his trousers rolled up five feet, more or less, trying to pilot a flatboat over a mill-dam. The boat was so full of water that it was hard to manage. Lincoln got the prow over, and then, instead of waiting to bail the water out, bored a hole through the projecting part and let it run out; affording a forcible illustration of the ready ingenuity of the future President in the quick invention of moral expedients.
Splitting Rails and Studying Mathemetics-Simmons, Lincoln & Company.
In the year 1855 or '56, George B. Lincoln, Esq., of Brooklyn, was traveling through the West in connection with a large New York dry-goods establishment. He found himself one night in a town on the Illinois River, by the name of Naples. The only tavern of the place had evidently been constructed with reference to business on a small scale. Poor as the prospect seemed, Mr. Lincoln had no alternative but to put up at the place.
The supper-room was also used as a lodging-room. Mr. L. told his host that he thought he would "go to bed."
Sed!" echoed the landlord; "there is no bed for you. in this house, unless you sleep with that man yonder. He has the only one we have to spare."
"Well," returned Mr. Lincoln, "the gentleman has possession, and perhaps would not like a bedfellow." Upon this a grizzly head appeared out of the pillows, and said:
"What is your name?"
"They call me Lincoln at home," was the reply.
Lincoln!" repeated the stranger; "any connection of our Illinois Abraham?"
"No," replied Mr. L., "I fear not."
"Well," said the old gentleman, "I will let any man by the name of 'Lincoln' sleep with me, just for the sake of the name. You have heard of Abe?" he inquired.
"Oh, yes, very often," replied Mr. Lincoln. "No man could travel far in this State without hearing of him, and I would be very glad to claim connection, if I could do so honestly."
"Well," said the old gentleman, "my name is Simmons.. 'Abe' and I used to live and work together when we were young men. Many a job of wood-cutting and rail-splitting have I done up with him. Abe Lincoln was the likeliest boy in God's world. He would work all day as hard as any of us-and study by flre-light in the log house half the night; and in this way he made himself a thorough, practical surveyor. Once, during those days, I was in the upper part of the State, and I met General Ewing, whom President Jackson had sent to the Northwest to make surveys. I told him about Abe Lincoln, what a student he was, and that I wanted he should give him a job. He looked over his memorandum, and, pulling out a paper, said:
county must be surveyed; if your friend can do the work properly, I shall be glad to have