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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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time of this speech & during that Canvass he read attentively the Louisville Journal — the Missouri Republican and other papers. His text book was the Louisville Journal. He was a regular subscribe to the Journal. Mr Lincoln was defeated in the Election of 1832. He was a whig. After the Canvass of 1832 Mr Lincoln turned his attention Exclusively to the law — surveying — History — Biography & general newspaper reading. Mr Lincoln drew up deeds, Contracts & other papers for the People, never charging them for it — not a cent. In the month of Feby AD 1833 Mr Lincoln Came & lived with me. and Continued with me about Six months. It was here that he Commenced to study the English grammer with me, I then was teaching School. I taught him the rules of surveying. I do not think that Mr Lincoln was any thing of arithmetic — Especially so of geometry & trigemonetry before he came to my house, and I think I may say he was my schollar & I was his teacher. His deputyship under Calhoun was long after this — say 1 or 2 years. Mr Lincoln spoke to me one day and Said "I had a notion of studing grammar." "I replied to him thus If you Ever Expect to go before the public in any Capacity I think it the best thing you can do." He said to me "If I had a grammar I would Commence now." There was none in the village & I said to him — "I know of a grammar at one Vances [6] about 6 miles" which I thought he could get —. He was then at breakfast — ate — got up and went on foot to Vances & got the Book. He soon Came back & told me he had it. He then turned his immediate & almost undivided attention to English grammar. The book was Kirkham's grammar [7] — an old volume, which I suppose — have so heard — is in the Rutledge family to-day. During this Spring — Summer & fall he read law — studied & practiced Surveying and the Grammar & would recite to me in the Evening. I have taught in my life four or six thousand people as School Master and no one ever surpassed him in rapidly — quickly & well acquiring the rudiments & rules of English grammar. This I repeat was in the Spring — Summer & fall of 1833 — As before stated he was writing deeds — Contracts & other papers for the People. His playful hours for these years was pitching quoits [8] — jumping — hopping — Swimming — Shooting — telling Stories — anecdotes — and not unfrequently as we in the west say — "[Setting?] up to the fine girls of Illinois —".

In the Summer of 1834 he was again a Candidate for the legislature and was Elected. He went to Vandalia — the Capital of Illinois and there became a good legislature — became then & there as I am informed with the great men in Illinois — probably with Douglas & others — In 1836 he was again a candidate for the legislature and was Elected; and was one of what is called the long nine — 2 tall Senators and 7 tall representatives from Sangamon County who moved the Capital of the State of Illinois from Vandalia to Springfield. The members comprising the long nine were

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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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