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قراءة كتاب McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 2, January, 1896

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‏اللغة: English
McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 2, January, 1896

McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 2, January, 1896

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 6

Kirkham's Grammar, and before night was deep into its mysteries. From that time on for weeks he gave every moment of his leisure to mastering the contents of the book. Frequently he asked his friend Greene to "hold the book" while he recited, and, when puzzled by a point, he would consult Mr. Graham.

Lincoln's eagerness to learn was such that the whole neighborhood became interested. The Greenes lent him books, the schoolmaster kept him in mind and helped him as he could, and even the village cooper let him come into his shop and keep up a fire of shavings sufficiently bright to read by at night. It was not long before the grammar was mastered. "Well," Lincoln said to his fellow-clerk, Greene, "if that's what they call a science, I think I'll go at another." He had made another discovery—that he could conquer subjects.

SITE OF DENTON OFFUTT'S STORE.
SITE OF DENTON OFFUTT'S STORE.

From a photograph taken for this Magazine.


The building in which Lincoln clerked for Denton Offutt was standing as late as 1836, and presumably stood until it rotted down. A slight depression in the earth, evidently once a cellar, is all that remains of Offutt's store. Out of this hole in the ground have grown three trees, a locust, an elm, and a sycamore, seeming to spring from the same roots, and curiously twined together; and high up on the sycamore some genius has chiselled the face of Lincoln.

Before the winter was ended he had become the most popular man in New Salem. Although in February, 1832, he was but twenty-two years of age, had never been at school an entire year in his life, had never made a speech except in debating clubs and by the roadside, had read only the books he could pick up, and known only the men who made up the poor, out-of-the-way towns in which he had lived, "encouraged by his great popularity among his immediate neighbors," as he says himself, he decided to announce himself, in March, 1832, as a candidate for the General Assembly of the State.

ZACHARY TAYLOR.
ZACHARY TAYLOR.

At the breaking out of the Black Hawk war, Zachary Taylor, afterwards general in the Mexican War, and finally President of the United States, was colonel of the First Infantry. He joined Atkinson at the beginning of the war, and was in active service until the end of the campaign.


A CANDIDATE FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

The only preliminary expected of a candidate for the legislature of Illinois at that date was an announcement stating his "sentiments with regard to local affairs." The circular in which Lincoln complied with this custom was a document of about two thousand words, in which he plunged at once into the subject he believed most interesting to his constituents—"the public utility of internal improvements."

BOWLING GREEN'S HOUSE.
BOWLING GREEN'S HOUSE.

From a photograph taken for this Magazine.


Bowling Green's log cabin, half a mile north of New Salem, just under the bluff, still stands, but long since ceased to be a dwelling-house, and is now a tumble-down old stable. Here Lincoln was a frequent boarder, especially during the period of his closest application to the study of the law. Stretched out on the cellar door of his cabin, reading a book, he met for the first time "Dick" Yates, then a college student at Jacksonville, and destined to become the great "War Governor" of the State. Yates had come home with William G. Greene to spend his vacation, and Greene took him around to Bowling Green's house to introduce him to "his friend, Abe Lincoln." Unhappily there is nowhere in existence a picture of the original occupant of this humble cabin. Bowling Green was one of the leading citizens of the county. He was County Commissioner from 1826 to 1828; he was for many years a justice of the peace; he was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and a very active and uncompromising Whig. The friendship between him and Lincoln, beginning at a very early day, continued until his death in 1842.—J. McCan Davis.

At that time the State of Illinois—as, indeed, the whole United States—was convinced that the future of the country depended on the opening of canals and railroads, and the clearing out of the rivers. In the Sangamon country the population felt that a quick way of getting to Beardstown on the Illinois River, to which point the steamer came from the Mississippi, was, as Lincoln puts it in his circular, "indispensably necessary." Of course a railroad was the dream of the settlers; but when it was considered seriously there was always, as Lincoln says, "a heart-appalling shock accompanying the amount of its cost, which forces us to shrink from our pleasing anticipations." Improvement of the Sangamon River he declared the most feasible plan. That it was possible, he argued from his experience on the river in April of the year before (1831), when he made his flatboat trip, and from his observations as manager of Offutt's saw-mill. He could not have advocated a measure more popular. At that moment the whole population of Sangamon was in a state of wild expectation. Some six weeks before Lincoln's circular appeared, a citizen of Springfield had advertised that as soon as the ice went off the river he would bring up a steamer, the "Talisman," from Cincinnati, and prove the Sangamon navigable. The announcement had aroused the entire country, speeches were made, and subscriptions taken. The merchants announced goods direct per steamship "Talisman" the country over, and every village from Beardstown to Springfield was laid off in town lots. When the circular appeared the excitement was at its height.

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