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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Graham, Mentor. 'Mentor Graham to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: interview]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon008.html


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request." He was then sworn in & acted as clerk of the August Election. [2] There were 49 Candidates, it being a general State election: He performed the duties with great facility — much fairness and honesty & impartially. This was the first public official act in his life. I clerked with him on that day and at the same polls. The Election books are now in the city of Springfield Ills, where they can be seen & inspected any day.

The next work he did was clerking in a store for Denton Offut, which was in the fall and winter of 1830 & 1831. [3] He was among the best clerks I ever saw: he was attentive to his business — was kind and considerate to his customers & friends and always treated them with great tenderness — kindness & honesty. He in fact superintended & managed Offuts whole business. Offut was an unsteady — noisy — fussy — rattle brained man, wild & unprovidential. Offut rented the water mill at the foot of the Salem hill of Cameron & Rutledge. Mr Lincoln frequently had to attend to store & mill. Offut broke up in the Spring or Summer of 1831, leaving Lincoln out of business again. Just before Mr Lincoln came to New Salem he had gone down the River with Offut & got off at Beardstown in Cass County & walked afoot to New Salem. [4] Then it was that he commenced clerking for Offut. After clerking for Offut & now being out of business he turned his attention to the law. He read Blackstone in the fall & winter of 1831 & 2. One word here: During the time he was working for Offut & hands being scarce Lincoln turned in and cut down trees and split enough rails for Offut to a pen sufficiently large to contain one thousand hogs; The pen was built under New Salem hill — close to the mill. Offut had purchased a great deal of Corn and had it at — in and about the mill. The hogs were purchased to Eat the corn — so that would become good — well fed & fatted hogs for Market. I know where those rails are now — are sound to-dy.

He went in 1832, about the month of May or June, to the Black Hawk war: He vlunteered as private and was without his knowledge Elected Captain of it. He went through the war and was spoken by all in his Company & Regiment — Especially his own Company as being a gentleman — a kind hearted & noble man who did his duty well without fear — gold, favor or Affection. He had a somewhat good Eye for Military affairs, as said by Competentt judges. I have no doubt of this. His heart & head were large & Comprehensive enough to Command a Company — regiment or other Core of men at any time or under any Circumstances.

When he returned from the Black Hawk war he became a candidate for the legislature and in his first or among his first political speeches in that Canvass which was in 1832, he addressed the People in Petersburg — the old town. [5] From the
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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Graham, Mentor. 'Mentor Graham to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: interview]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon008.html
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