Capital city courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1893, February 09, 1889, Page 2, Image 3

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The 1'crlnd of Clmrnrtrr rurmntlon and
Doubtful Stories.
" Early in l&Wtbo Lincoln family movocl to
IlllnoU, mid Into in 1834 Abraham wiucluwoa
a member of tho legislature. In tho flvo
years Intervening nro located nearly all the
romantia scones of Abraham Lincoln' early
Ufa. This was tho mythical period, n period
through which every hero mutt pan. It U
Ike period around which clutter oil tho float
lag myth and legends, all tho stories of per
oosJ prowess and strcnsthi.huildlus boats,
putting rails, serving aalntt tho Indians,
wrestling, lighting, tryli. 'lrst ono business
fid tbon another, falling to somo extent In
11, and most lamentably in many, In thort,
tola was tho period of Lincoln1 llfo which
may be called chaos.
It U a curlou fact that n very largo por
otoUgoof tho men associated with Lincoln
during this ttmo, and especially during tho
Utter part of It, bavo become omlncut.
Xarly In 1831, during tho winter of deop
now, lincoln bocamo a clerk for ono Donton
OsTut, at Now Salom, ou tho Sangamon river.
Offut fulled nud Llucoln was thrown out of
employment. About tbo eatno tlmn Lincoln
conceived tho Idea of nn luiproveincnt In
boats. Ho whittled out a model with his
own band and secured patent therefor In
tho patent oaico at Washington. No furthor
use was over mado of It. Ilo madantrlp to
Now Orloans with his coutlu John Hanks,
and thcro for tho Hist ttmo ho took clow ob
servations of slavery and conceived un In
tenso dltllko to It. Ho walked homo from
BtLouUnnd resumed tho routine of trying
to find his truo vocation. At ono tlmo ho
ervod as clerk, at anothor ns storekeeper,
was net lvo In tho rudo sports of tho tlmo and
gradually camo to bo n sort of oraclo In de
ciding neighborhood dispute. At ono tlmo
ho was put up to wrestle against tho cham
pion of anothor neighborhood, at anothor ho
conquered in slnglo hand combat n bully who
bad como to tho neighborhood to whip Mm.
At another tlmo ho took a very actlvo part
In debates concerning tho Improvement of
tho Sangamon rlvor, and nt still another ho
was famous for months as a furious and
Ulkatlvo Whig. In JKt) ho eiUUted to fight
the Sao Indians, commaudod by tho famous
Black Hawk, and was chosen a cap
tain of his company, Ilo and his men mado
tab campaign a sort of holiday. Ho wus not
engaged In battlo with tho Indians at
any tlmo, was muttered out as captain when
the term of his company hod expired and
enlisted as a prlvnto In tho voluutocr spy
battalion, served till tho troops wcro all dis
charged and then walked home. Again ho
becomo storekeeper, then for a short tlmo
to postmaster of Balcm, then a candidate
for tho legislature, aud was toatcn for tho
only tlmo that ho was defeated In a contest
beforo tho public, but It was noted as a ro
m&rkablo fact that In his own precinct of
New Salem he received 877 votee ngalnst
3 for tho opposing candidate, and from
that time tho politicians looked ou him as a
coming power in tho county, Ilo bought
a store, sold it, took a note for tho valuo. ex
pecting with It to pay tho note ho had given
for tbo store. His debtor fulled and ab
condod, and this left him poor and struggling
with debt for many years. Uo bocamo the
deputy of John Calhoun, survoyor of Sanga
snoa couuty, and served some months In that
capacity; and hero begins that series of ro
lairkable coincidences tn the llfo of Abraham
Tinnoln and the men he was associated with
at that tuuo. This Calhoun was of terwurds
the noted "Candlo Box" Calhoun, secretary
of the territory of Kansas, who gntnod an
Maeari&blo notoriety tn supporting tho bogus
legislature It U also alleged that Lincoln
was mustered Into the military servico by
Jefferson Davis, but this Is not proven. It is
esrtata, however, that he was mustered out
the service by Robert Anderson, after
wards commander of Fort Blunter at the
beginning of the war. About this tlmo also
fee met Stephen A. Douglas, who was to be
Us life time rival; Col Hardin, who was
afterward to bo noted la the Mexican wart
Mhawtse Messrs, Logan, Brown and Stuart,
jutd others who attained national fame. He
mi also opposed In one legislative eloctlon to
Feter Cartwrigbt, the celebrated pioneer
preacher, and defeated that gentleman for
ogrea la ItHfl. At the August election of
WM he raa ohoasa to the legislature, reoelr
lag'saore votee than aay other candidate of
sMasr party la ISM ae was again elected to
M legislature and look part In that remarks
Upalga of lalUUoa, speculatlou, collapse
jel temporary deviees to ward off bank-
iwytey waieh aU the westeni states passed
Msvwww at that ttm. aad is this seuJoa It
a thai Lweula Iret appeared apeareeord
M aatl slavery saaa, Walag sritb Mr.
taste m a preteei aaasaes eertaiares- ts
expressing lib) Mlof that "tho promulgation
of nbolltlon ntternncos tends rather to in
croiuo than to ahato tho ovtlsof slavery.'
Lincoln remained n member of tho legislature
by succcmIvo ro-olectlons from ISVI to l&U,
tho capital most of that tlmo lelng In Van
dnlla. It tuny, ierhnps, bo nald, twrenthotlo
ally, tliut tho poctillnr mlxturo of tho popula
tion of Illinois nnd tho growing state of its
clvllluitlon at that tlmo nro well Illustrated
by tho names Iwrno by many towns In tho
itato Pokln, Moscow, Havana, Hprlngflold,
Vandnlln, I'unullw and Naples, for instance.
Of tho selection of tho name of Vandalla
tho following account Is given, and whether
truo or false, It fairly Illustrate thostagoof
montnl progreM. When tho pioneers motto
lay oir tho town and chop tho timber from
tho prlncliKil streets, looking forward uven
then with tho liox that It should bo tho per
manunt stnto capital, an nnlmntod discussion
nroM) ns to giving It n sufllclontly high sound
ing namo. Appealing to tho only scholar
who was present, tho j)loneer wore Informed
that It would 1m most appropriate to uamo
tho futuro city after somo trlbo of Indians,
and, added tho scholar, "I have read of a
very unclont trlbo of sn vagus named tho Van
dals, who moved south through this country
and conquered Homo." Accordingly tho
namo Vandal was accepted as locally appro
priate, nud tho namo of Uio town was thonco
forth Vandalla.
Early in his IlllnoU career Mr. Lincoln de
veloped that wonderful capacity for telling a
story to llluttrata On ono occasion, spook
ing of an InquUltivo nolghbor who was
troubled to keep tho run of tho candidates,
and, tensing Mr. Lincoln for somo opinions,
"Job reminds mo of Pidjo Rltloy, down at
Widow Branch's. Tho widow had a flno
growth of glrlsollvo Drenches, thoy used to
call thorn llvo bright cr'-turos, nnd ono son.
Pooplo said tho old folks not out to havo ten
daughters preferred n'rls; but concluded,
after tho fifth, to put fill tho womanlshness of
flvo moro Into ono son. Any way, young
Phil Branch didn't seem to lw of much uso as
a man. Tho girls wcro all grown up nnd
marrlagcnblo for aver so Ion;; hut when any
ouo of them began to bo courted, l'bll
would stop In and do somo lidlculous thin;;
to upsot tho wlutlo business. Plilgo Ilisloy
was n ktran.r, nud when ho moved Into Cal
houn county ho gavo out ho was In boarcb of
n wifo, so Iio was taken to Widow Branch's
In n frleudly way, nnd imscd n merry llrst
evening When ho took leave, that usnlots
brother hung ou to hhn, nnd tried to llnd out
what ho t bought of tho girls, Pldgo wouldn't
nay much except that ho liked tho yomigest
one's way of Ilxlng hor curls; and tho very
noxt tlmo ho called thcro, what do you think!
threo out of tho llvo had their hair put up
Just tho saino way all In curls. Tbo young
est didn't nvim woll ploaxed, but Plilgo on
Joyed hlnuolf, nnd when Phil camo around
Investigating ngalu ho lot on that ho was a
good donl taken by n tasty cap tho oldest
daughter wore," Presently Pldgo looked In
onco moro of nn evening, and tho llrst thing
ho saw was that four of tho girls had tho
somo Idontlca) nort of cap ou their heads.
That night ho gavo n llttlo tho most
attention to tho ono who wore no cap, Just
for contrariness, 1 suppose; nnd when Pull
uroncu camo prownng n low unys oiler rmgo
couldn't linln uivlrv nltlinnMi Im ivno n hlf.
sliy of Phil by tliat tlmo, that ho uovor saw a
nicer plcturo than tho mhldlo sister of tho
flvo, so plump, and fresh, and sparkling, with
hor low nocked frock and short slcovc Sun
day evening ho dropiwd in after ten, having
mentioned to tho widow, at afternoon meet
ing, that bo lntendod to do so, and
thoro wcro tho wholo llvo In a row, all In
low nocks and thort sleeves. That boomed
to sot Plilgo to rclloctlng bard, and tho upshot
of It wa ho uovor wont near tho Widow
Branch's again. Ho was talked to n good
deal about It, but you could got nothing out
of him except that tliero was altogether too
much want of dissimilarity la tho Branch
family, and bo couldnt too tho utility of a lot
of sisters Iwlng so unanimous. You see, Job,"
concluded Mr. Llucoln, "tho moro bo saw of
"em the mora bo couldn't tell ono from
another. "
Dow the Llncolu Stock Was I'Uiited on
the "Dark and moody Uroiuid."
Turn back your Imagination, courteous
reader, ouo hundred and nlno years and look
upon a picture of tho wilderness. A small
train of tho canoe shaped and white topped
Virginia wagons of that tlmo wcro leaving
Rockingham county, Vo,, for the wilderness
of JContucky, The war for Independence was
not yot closed, and all tho vast region west of
tho Alleguanlos was tho homo of tho wild
beast and the savage. Tho French were at
New Orleans, St. Louk, Kaskastls and Vin
chutes; tho Spaniards had flourishing mis
steal la Texas, New Mexico and California,
aad along the northern lakes a few Jesuit
priests aad French traders skirted the wilder
asm Witt these exceptions all was waste
and wild, At such a tlmo tho Virginia
plonorrs started to Join Daniel lloono, nnd at
tho head nf tho expedition wan Abraham
Llncolu, grnmlfiithcr of tho Liberator.
Tho llritt Llurolns camo from Norfolk, Mug
land, thoy furnished somo prominent men hi
tho colonial and revolutionary days; ono
branch located In Virginia, nud thenco Its
olTMioots liavofproad continuously to tho south
nnd nest. A thousand blogrnphieu hnvo given
us thrilling vlunsnf tho region to which they
went. Tor fourteen years, said Kcllx Urundy,
tho Indians killed an nvernguof three tcrnons
n month within soven miles of Noslivillo.
When wo went Into Kentucky to attend
court, nld Andrew Jnukwiu, wo scouted tho
woods im If marching to battlo, and If a lot of
men stood together to talk, oven In n town,
they stood Imrk to back by habit, ns they had
always dono In tho wimnUou tho watch for
Indians In nn environment of this nature
Alirnliuni Lincoln lived six years, acquired n
largo Hart of land ami Pcuod n farm In
Jefferson county, Ky One morning In 178(1
ho fell dead in his clearing, pierced by an
Indian's bullet. Ono son shut r-jmwissln and
dofcnded tho dwelling whllo another inn to
tho fort for help, and tho family was saved.
Tlio Lincoln stock was well planted In Ken
tucky, but It was fortlllzod with blood.
Of tho sons of Abraham Lincoln, tho Ken
tucky pioneer, Mordocal, who killed tho
slayer of his father, bocamo a noted Indian
lighter; Joslah remained an averngo obscure
citizen, and Thomas bocamo n poor carpen
ter and a miserably poor man, only to bo
saved from utter WTOck by marrying two
good women, and rodeomod from utter ob
livion by tho fnmo of his great son. It is al
most IniosKlbli) to (oak with respect of
Thomas Llucoln. Ono acquaintance, after
ransacking his memory for something good
to repeat, saldt "Well, ho always dtood by
his friends In n rough and tumble tight."
Anothor said bo completely "(tiled tho bill"
of that noted settler hi tho "Arkansnw Trav
eler" dlaloguot
"Why don't you cover your IioumP
"It's n ralnln' now, so I can't."
"Why don't you cover It when It's dry!"
"Huh-uh (a yawn) I Hit don't uoed It tbon."
On tho IL'th of Juno, 1800, this big, good
naturcd no'er do woll marrlod Nnncy Hanks,
and on tho U'th of Fobruary, m. In a log
cabin of tho poorest kind, on tho south fork
of Nolln crook, threo miles from Ilcxlgcns
vlllo, nnd In what was then Hardin and Is
now Lamo county, ICy was born Abraham
Lincoln. Only eight moutlis beforo, Juno
3, 1808, nnd not far away, was born another
Kontucklan, destined somo (lfty years later
to confront tho liberator on tho stago of tho
grnndoht and bloodiest drama of modern
times. That was JefTorson Davis, who still
lives, though n generation boa grown to
manhood slnco Lincoln died, anil tho vast
majority of their nctlvo contemporaries in
tbo Btrifo havo (tassod away.
rersonat Itccollcetlons of lion. Leonard
During tho cloven years I was with him at
tho bar of this stnto I novcr know him to nsk
tho advlco of a frlond about anything. Dur
ing tho four years of his administration I
novcr know and novcr heard of his doing this.
I uovor know him In tho preparation of n
trial, or tho perplexity of It in court, to turn
to his associate and ask his advlco. Tho
nearest I aver know him to do this was onco
at Bloomlngton, In 1853, nud about ten days
beforo bU Joint dobats with Douglas at
Charleston. Ilo sent for a hnlf dozen lawyers
to moot hhn nt Judgo Davis' houso beforo ho
was to speak In Bloomlngton on thosamu day,
and when thoy wero assembled ho caldt
"Gentlemen, 1 nm going to put to Douglas
tin following questions, and tho objoct of, this
meeting is to bavo each of you assumo you
nro Douglas, and answer them from his stand
point." And yot bo was tho bc&t listener I havo over
known. Ho would hear any ono on any sub
ject, and generally would say nothing in re
ply. Ho kept bis own counsels or his bottom
thoughts wclL Ho weighed thoroughly his
own positions, and tho positions of bis adver
sary. Uo put himself In his adversary's posi
tion or on the opposite sido of n question, and
argued tho question from that standpoint.
1 rodo tho Eighth Judicial circuit with him
tor eleveu years,
and in tbo allot
ment between him
and the largo Judge
Davis, in tho scanty
provision of thoo
times, as a rulo, I
slept with him.
Bods wero always
too short, coffeo lu
the morning
burned or other
wise bad, food often
indifferent, roods
simnlv trails.
tP..,. wlr., UCOaJUJD BWKTT.
bridges and often swollen and. had to bo
warn, sloughs often muddy and almost Im
passable, and wo had to help tho horses
when tho wagon mired down with fence rails
for price, and yet 1 never heard Mr. Lincoln
complain of anything. His characterwas
that of groat directness and extromo sim
plicity. Clothing to him was mado for cov
ering and warmth to tho body, and not for
ornament. He never tn his llfo once got the
better of his fellow man tn a trade and never
loaned money for interest 1 never knew
him but once to borrow money or give his
note, tie never tasted liquor, never chewed
tobacco or smoked, but labored diligently tn
hk profession, charging small fees, and was
contented with small accumulations. He
was, however, very generous in bU expendl
turn for bU family. In this manner be accu
mulated Ism than 110.000 before bis election
to the presidency, aad when be left Springs
ttJd had to borrow, and then, so far as I
kmow, gave hie note, for the first time, for
enough to pay hlsoxpotuosnnd tide him ovor
until ho could draw from tho government
tho first quarter of his salary. Ho, In his
llfo, lived In all circles, moved In every grodo
of society, ami enjoyed it all equally wolL
To his present companions in every station
ho was cjually entertaining nnd equally
Ho was tho most Inqutsltlvo man I havo
over known. Traveling tho circuit, ho would
porhnn sit with tho driver nnd before wo got
to our Journey's end ho would know all tho
driver know. If wo stopped at n crossroad
blacksmith shop ho would sit by tho black
smith ovor his forgo and lenni how to inako
nails. Walking along tho sldowalk of a coun
try town ho would soo a now agricultural Im
plement set out on tho walk, ho would stop
and, beforo leaving, learn "hat it would do,
how it would do It, aud what It was an Im
provement upon. Ho U tho only man I havo
ovor known who bridged back from middlo
ago to youth and learned to spell woll Mr.
Lincoln's manuscripts aro as froo from mis
takes us any collogo graduate's. I havo soon
him upon tho circuit with a geometry or as
tronomy and othor clomontary books, learn
ing In middlo ago what men ordinarily learn
In youth.
I remember a scono I onco witnessed at Bar
nott's Tavern, nt Clinton, at a session nf tho
circuit court. Lincoln had n geometry which
ho was carrying nnd studying In lolsuro mo
ments. Ono tlmo ho wus sitting on tho side
walk near tho building nnd had Just got tho
point of a nlco demonstration of a proKt.ltion
In hlsgeomotry, and, wanting somo ono to
enjoy tho point of tho demonstration ho
solzod upon n hostler nud oxplaluod to him tho
demonstration until tho hostler said bo under
stood lu
How Mr. Lincoln Wus Squeezed Out of a
CoL J. IL Wlckizor, now of Chicago, but
for many years manager of tho United States
malls for Utah, Montana nud Idaho, was
long quoted as tho only lawyer of tho Spring
Hold circuit who outgonoralnd Abraham Lin
coln in tho management of a case.
"It was," says CoL Wlckizor, "docldodly
tho worst caso I ovor handled, and my client
was rather tho meanest neclineu of alleged
manhood In tho circuit. Ho was tho son of a
man who had grown rich by tho nccldont of
getting to tho central section of Illinois at nn
oarly day and locating n largo tract of land;
tho population centered about him nnd his
land bocamo very valuablo. Tho son grow
up with tho Idea that bis money could do
anything, uud so It was not necessary for him
to make nn effort not oven to be a gontlo
mnn. "Ho paid his addresses to n young woman
of high character nud somo bonuty, who had
to work for a living. Sho rejected him and
ho circulated slanderous reports about her.
It was simply atrocious; thoro wasn't a word
to bo said for htm, but when suit was
brought ngalnst him her paronte mado tho
ralstnko of employing, bocauso thoy wanted
to holp him, n young fellow who was set on
practicing law, but had not a qualification
for tho business. Seeing', however, that thoy
had mado a mistako, thoy employed Lincoln
as associate coun
sel. Tho rulo of
tho court than
was thnt tho plain
tlir bad tbo open
ing and closing
speech, and Mr.
Lincoln, llndlnc
that his collonguo was determined to have
half tho tlmo, of course gavo tbo young fellow
tho llrst speech.
"It was plain as a plko stalf thnt If Abo
Lincoln nddrcNsed that Jury of level headed
old formers for ono hour, or ovon half an
hour, beforo thoy went out, my cllont, tho
slnndoror, was a ruined man. Tho plcturo
Abo would havo drawn of tho 'xxr and vir
tuous working guT and tho rich, coarw), vul
gar libclor would have been simply terrific.
That Jury would havo 'sized his pllo' and loft
him barely enough to ay costs. But with
all Ids astutanottt Abo had overlooked tho rulo
of pleading, that If tho dofenso waived its
right to reply, thoro could bo no second
speech, nnd I know too well that nothing I
could say would help my cllont.
"Well, tho young lawyer ooncd for tho
plalntills. Ilo maundered and mumbled,
backed out nnd repeated himself, read long
and dry decisions and botched his coso gen
erally till everybody was tirod out and dis
gusted. Tho Jury was yawning and all tho
court attendants wero wishing for him to
stop thoy wnutod to hoar Abe, Well, when
ho sat down nnd everybody drew a breath of
relief, I rot, and In tho fewust poslblo words
waived my right to reply uud asked that the
coso bo given to tho Jury
"And It was dono, '1 hero was nothing elsa
for tho court to do under tbo rulo. Lincoln
looked tour for awhile, but tho humor of the
thing boon brought him round. Tho Jury
gavo tho girl fair dnmnges, but It was noth
lug to hnt pooplo oxocted. And then, as a
proper wind up, my mean spirited client
kicked becuuM) I didn't 'inako u speech and
try to do comalhln' for him.' He dldnt
know, hadn't senso enough to know, that this
was a case where silence was golden and tho
gold into his ockot-."
Prom Ueury W. Gnuljr's Address to the
New Kngliuid Society.
"Great typos, llko valuablo plants, are slow
to flower and fruit. But from the union of
theso colonists, from tho straightening of
then purosea and tho crossing of their blood,
slowly perfecting through a contury, camo he
who stands as tbo tlrst typical Amorican, the
llrst who comprehended within himself all
tho strength and gontlenoss, all tho majesty
and grace of this republic Abraham lin
coin. He was Uo sum of Puritan and Cav
alier, for in his ardont nature wero fused tbo
virtues of both, and In tho depth of his great
soul tho faults of both wero lost. Ho was
greater than Puritan, greater than Cavalier,
in that ho was American, and that In his
homoly form were first gathered tho vast and
thrilling forces of this Ideal government,
charging It with such tremendous meaning
and so elovatlng it above human suffering
that martyrdom, though infamously aimed,
camo as a fitting crown to a llfo consecrated
from Its cradle to human liberty Let us,
each cherishing bis traditions and honoring
his fathers, build with reverent hands to tbo
typo of this simple but subllmo life, hi which
alitypes oro houored, and in tbo common glory
we shall win as Americans there will be
plenty and to spare for your forefathers and
for nilne."
Wouldn't Itara-aln for OBBco.
V, While the convention that nominated Mr.
Lincoln was in session he was somewhat
nervous, but cool "I bavent one chance in
five hundred," he would say to me. I was
always'flgurlng out hi chances, and this day
I banded the figures to him. Uo replied,
"JohunyAyoti ore too liberal far too lib
eral" In few ii.lnutee a telegram came
from Cblcajkn asklug him to agree to certain
pledges and lV would be nominated, lie sat
light down uiw wrote this telegram 1
'I will not heV party to any bargains.
-J. U. Littleflol
fesllll MJaJ
mr aTmilmlmmsT sHfi
K rBLmkmLmV. A mHmMEKTVr
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