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to a story told by him to Mr. Seward in Washington, after he became President, it was here he earned his first dollar by taking two travelers, with their baggage, to a passing steamer in the Ohio. It was here, too, probably, that he acquired that taste for river life which led, at the age of nineteen, to his taking his first trip to New Orleans as a hired hand on board a flatboat loaded with produce, belonging to a Mr. Gentry, a business man of Gentryville, Ind., for which he received eight dollars per month and his passage home again. An almost tragic incident connected with this trip, told by Mr. Lincoln himself, was an attack made upon the boat and its crew by seven negroes for the purpose of robbery, and possibly murder, one night while the boat was tied to the shore along “the coast” on the lower Mississippi. The intended robbers were beaten off, but not until some of the crew had been wounded in the assault.
REMOVAL TO ILLINOIS-A SECOND FLATBOAT
VOYAGE TO NEW ORLEANS.
In March, 1830, Abraham Lincoln- having just reached his majority-removed with his father's family to Illinois, thus becoming identified with the State to which his name has given such luster. This removal was brought about largely through the influence of John Hanks, who had married one of Abraham's stepsisters, and had preceded the family to Illinois by two years. The first location was made on the banks of
the Sangamon River, near the present village of Harristown, in the western part of Macon County. Here he set to work assisting his father to build their first home in Illinois and open a farm, splitting some of the rails which aroused so much enthusiasm when exhibited in the State Convention at Decatur, which preceded his nomination for the Presidency in 1860. A year later we find him engaging himself, in conjunction with John Hanks and one or two others, to build a flatboat, on the Sangamon River near Springfield, for Daniel Offutt, which he accompanied to New
rleans with a load of produce. During a stay of one month in the "Crescent City," he had his first opportunity of seeing the horrible side of the institution of slavery, and there is reason to believe that he then became imbued with those sentiments which bore such vast results for the country and a race a generation later. According to the testimony of his friend Herndon, “he saw "negroes in chains - whipped and scourged.' Against this inhumanity his sense of right and justice rebelled, and his mind and conscience were awakened to a realization of what he had often heard and read. No doubt, as one of his companions has said, “Slavery ran the iron into him then and there.' One morning, in their rambles over the city, they passed a slave auction. A vigorous and comely mulatto girl was being sold. She underwent a thorough examination at the hands of the bidders ; they pinched her flesh and made her trot up and down the room like a horse to show how she moved, as the auctioneer said, that "bidders might satisfy themselves' whether the article they were offering to buy was sound or not. The whole thing was so revolting that
Lincoln moved away from the scene with a deep feel. ing of 'unconquerable hate.' Bidding his companions follow him, he said: '-Boys, let's get away from this. If ever I get a chance to hit that thing' (meaning slavery), •I'll hit it hard.'” Mr. Herndon says this incident was not only furnished to him by John Hanks, but that he heard Mr. Lincoln refer to it himself.
After his return from New Orleans, he entered the service of Offutt as clerk in a store at New Salem, then in Sangamon County, but now in the county of Menard, a few miles from Petersburg. While thus employed, he began in earnest the work of trying to educate himself, using a borrowed “ Kirkham's Grammar” and other books, under the guidance of Mentor Graham, the village school-teacher. Later, with Graham's assistance, he studied surveying in order to fit himself for the position of a deputy to the County Surveyor. How well he applied himself to the study of the English language is evidenced by the clearness and accuracy with which he was accustomed to express himself, in after years, on great national and international questions-as he had no opportunity of study in the schools after coming to Illinois.
The year after locating at New Salem came the Black Hawk War, when he enlisted and was elected captain of his company-a result of which, previous to his election to the Presidency, he said, he had not since had any success in life which gave him so much satisfaction. His company having been disbanded, he again enlisted as a private under Captain Elijah Iles. He remained in the service three months, but participated in no battle.
The early part of this year was made memorable in the history of Central Illinois by the arrival of the steamer "Talisman” from Cincinnati, in the Sangamon River, which it ascended to the vicinity of Springfield. The event produced the wildest enthusiasm through that region, as it was the first steamer to attempt the ascent of that stream, and was regarded as demonstrat. ing its navigability. Mr. Lincoln and Rowan Herndon piloted the vessel out of the river, and it never attempted a second trip, nor has any other tried the experiment.
After returning from the Black Hawk War, Mr. Lincoln made his first entry into business for himself as the partner of one Berry in the purchase of a stock of goods, to which they added two others by buying out local dealers on credit. To this, for a time, he added the office of Postmaster. In less than a year, they sold out their store on credit to other parties, who failed and absconded, leaving a burden of debt on Lincoln's shoulders which lasted until his retirement from Congress in 1849.
It was during his stay at New Salem that occured the romance connecting the names of Lincoln and the amiable but short-lived Anne Rutledge, destined to end in her early death, which has furnished so touching a theme for his biographers.
ENTERS POLITICS-BEGINS THE STUDY OF LAW. The year of the Black Hawk War (1832) saw Lincoln's entrance into politics as a candidate for Represensative in the General Assembly from Sangamor County, in opposition to Col. E. D. Taylor, who afterwards became Receiver of Public Moneys at Chicago by appointment of President Jackson, and died there in 1891, at the age of nearly ninety years. Taylor was elected, Lincoln then sustaining the only defeat of his life as a candidate for office directly at the hands of the people. He took a just and natural pride in the fact that, although he was an avowed supporter of Henry Clay, and General Jackson, a few months later, carried the New Salem precinct by a majority of 115 votes, he received 277 out of the 284 votes cast at his home precinct at the earlier election.
Lincoln was then in his twenty-fourth year, uncouth in dress and unpolished in manners, but with a basis of sound sense and sterling honesty which commanded the respect and confidence of all who knew him. He also had a fund of humor and drollery, which, in spite of a melancholy temperament, found expression in sallies of wit and the relation of amusing stories, and led him to enter with spirit into any sort of amusement or practical jokes so customary at that time; yet those who knew him hest say that he “never drank intoxicating liquors," nor "even, in those days, did he smoke or chew tobacco."
After his disastrous experience as a merchant at New Salem, and a period of service as Deputy County Surveyor, in 1834 he again became a candidate for the Legislature and was elected. During the succeeding session at Vandalia, he was thrown much into the company of his colleague, Maj. John T. Stuart, whose acquaintance he had made during the Black Hawk War, and through whose advice, and the offer of