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M65

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864.
BY G. P. PUTNAM,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the
Southern District of New York.

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ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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PRE

RESIDENTS must first be candidates, and candidates are public property, for all the great purposes of defamation and personal abuse; when one is named for the Presidency, a large section of the press, and a great portion of the people, find a direct interest in the propagation of whatever may tend to render contemptible the person named, and to make him appear unfit for any position of dignity or trust. Hence the present President is known over a great part of the country as "the baboon," and respectable writers in Europe have lamented the result of universal suffrage in his election; though perhaps no man ever occupied the same position who in himself and in his personal history was more truly representative of all that is best in the American people.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN was born in Hardin county, Kentucky (at a place now included in La Rue county), February 12th, 1809. His ancestors were Quakers, and migrated from Berks county, Pennsylvania, to Rockingham county, Virginia, whence his grandfather Abraham removed with his family to Kentucky, about 1782, and was killed by the Indians in 1784. Thomas Lincoln, the father of Abraham, was born in Virginia, and the President's mother, Nancy Hanks, was also a native of that state. Thomas Lincoln removed with his family in 1816 to a district now included in Spencer county, Indiana, where Abraham, then large for his age, assisted with an axe to clear away the forest. For the next ten years he was mostly occupied in this and other equally hard work on his father's farm, and in this period he went to school a little at intervals; but the whole time of his attendance at school amounted in the aggregate to not more than a year. He never went to school subsequently. His first experience of the world beyond home was acquired on a flat-boat, upon which he made the trip to New Orleans as a hired hand, when nineteen years of age. The advantages of travel under these circumstances are not great. Flat-boats it is true have been made the centre of a certain kind of free, western romance, and to float down the Ohio and the Mississippi in happy companionship with the "jolly flat-boat man," looks very pretty in a picture; especially if the picture be well painted, like Mount's. But unfortunately all flat-boat men were not jolly, and flat-boats didn't always float, flat-boat men were not the chosen of the human race, except perhaps for roughness, and flat-boats had very often to be poled along; there was much of coarse

association for a boy to struggle against, and a deal of hard work to be done. On the other hand such travel is not delusive, it does not permit life to look the least like a holiday affair, nor unfit the wanderer for a sober return to the quietness of home. Young Lincoln at the least travelled in a practical American manner, saw something of the world, and got paid for it.

Settlers are a most unsettled generation, and in March, 1830, Thomas Lincoln migrated again; this time to Macon county, Illinois. Abraham accompanied his father to the new home, and there helped to build a log-cabin for the family, and to split enough rails to fence ten acres of land. From this he has been called the Rail-splitter. Now, to split rails has been a necessary piece or labor since the days of Milo of Crotona, who was a rail-splitter in his time; and while that occupation may not qualify a man for statesmanship, the name of Rail-splitter is a better one than Hair-splitter; moreover, while a man's career and the words he has spoken show his brain to be a good one, it is no harm to him before the people to be able to show a good muscular record. Young Lincoln's flat-boat trip soon proved to be an advantage, and in 1831 he was engaged, at twelve dollars a month, to assist in the construction of a flat-boat, and subsequently in its navigation down the river to New Orleans. He acquitted himself to the satisfaction of his employer, who upon his return put him in charge of a store and mill at New Salem, then in Sangamon, now in Menard county, Illinois. But these peaceful successes were soon lost sight of in the excitement of the Black Hawk war, which broke out in 1832. Lincoln joined a company of volunteers, and was elected their captain, an event which gave him a great deal of pleasure. He served through a campaign of three months, and on his return home was nominated by the Whigs of his district as a candidate for the state legislature; but the county was Democratic and he was defeated, though in his own immediate neighborhood he received two hundred and seventyseven votes, while only seven were cast against him. These indications of personal popularity flattered and stimulated to future effort, and were thus not without their effect upon a young man looking for a career. His next venture was the establishment of a country store, which did not prove prosperous, and which he relinquished to become postmaster of New Salem. While in this position he began to study law, and borrowed for that purpose the books of a neighboring practitioner; the books were taken at night, and returned in the morning before they could be needed in the lawyer's office. Upon the offer of the surveyor of Sangamon county, to depute to him a portion of the work of the county surveyor's office, Mr. Lincoln procured a compass and chain and a treatise on surveying, and did the work. In 1834 he was again nominated as a candidate for the legislature, and was elected by the largest vote cast for any candidate in the He was re-elected in 1836, and in the same year was licensed to practise

state.

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