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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Duncan, Jason. 'Jason Duncan to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon539.html


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-- 540 --

great and pure statesman argued his side of the question. I am inclined to the belief that in that cabin he uttered his maiden Speech. [3] As there were no Attorneys nearer than Springfield his services were sometimes sought in suits, at law. and he frequently consented to appear before Esq Bowling Greens' court, to argue cases. but never charged his clients any fees so far as I Knew, the only lawbook which Mr Lincoln had in his possession was the first Old revised code of Illinois. from this he drew all his legal knowledge, the manner in which he used to force his law arguments upon Esqr Bowling Green was both amuseing and instructive, so laconic often as to produce a spasmatic shaking of the verry fat sides of the old law functionary of New Salem — Bowling Green permitted him to speak at first more for amusement than any thing else. but in a short time was led to pay great respect to his powers of mind in a forensic point of view. The first law books which Lincoln owned were purchased by him at a sheriffs sale at Springfield consisting of a copy of Blackstones Commentaries. after he purchased those books he determined to make the profession of law his pursuit. at this time he was greatly embarrassed in financial matters at times seemed rather dispondent at one time he engaged in a Small way in dry goods and grocery business in company with a man by the name of Berry — but was unsucessful and in a short time closed out with some loss, commiserating his Condition I put forth an effort to procure the appointment of Mr Lincoln to the office of Postmaster. he objected to the move on the ground that he did not want the then incumbant Supplanted. but considerations connected with the public good, prompted me with others to prefer charges at the department against Hill, who on receiving notice from the department to acquit himself of the charges prefered, or Steps would be taken to turn him out as Post Mast. Shortly after receiving this notice he resigned the office in Mr Lincolns favor, which post he held until the office was discontinued at that place. While Mr Lincoln was in the Black Hawk war his friends in the vicinity of Salem brought his name before the public as a candidate for the State legislature the contest was a Spirited one though he was beaten by a verry Small majority, it served to bring his name prominently before the people and pave the way to a brilliant career in the history of his native country. So Singular is it, and sometimes to my mind so marvelous, that a man at the age of twenty one with so few advantages for preferment, should at last reach the goal and posterity place his name high up with those of Washington Adams Webster and Clay upon the same page of history. Mr Lincoln was in favor of Henry Clay in 1832 voted for him during that memorable campaign, though the New Salem precinct was largely for Jackson such was his personal popularity that he obtained a majority, verry many Jackson men of the most violent party feelings voting for him, on the grounds they believed him an honest and worthy young man after Mr Cameron with whom he boarded moved away Mr Lincoln took up his residence with the family of Mr James Rutlege, though Mr Lincoln did not seem so ardent in his attachments to his friends as some persons are yet he alwas evinced great respect for their opinions in all matters, his
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Duncan, Jason. 'Jason Duncan to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon539.html
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