Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 89 of 1,110


I continued till I was twenty-two. At
twenty-one I came to Illinois and passed
the first year in Macon County. Then I got
to New Salem, at that time in Sangamon,
now in Menard County, where I remained
a year as a sort of clerk in a store.
"Then came the Black Hawk war, and I
was elected a Captain of volunteers-a success
w hich gave me more pleasure than any
I have had since. I went the campaign,
was elated; ran for the Legislature the
same year (1832) and was beaten, the only
time I have ever been beaten by the people.
The next and three succeeding biennial
elections I was elected to the Legislature,
and was never a candidate afterward.
During this legislative period I had
studied law, and removed to Springfield to
practice it. In 8I46 I was the
Lower House of Congress; was not a candidate
for re-election. From 1849 to I854,
inclusive, I practiced the law more assiduously
than ever before. Always a Whig
in politics, and generally on the Whig electoral
tickets, making active canvasses, I was
losing interest in politics, when the repeal
of the Missouri Compromise roused me
again. What I have done since is pretty
well known."
The early residence of Lincoln in Indiana
was sixteen miles north of the Ohio
River, on Little Pigeon Creek, one and a
half miles east of Gentryville, within the
present township of Carter. Here his
mother died October 5, I818, and the next
year his father married Mrs. Sally (Bush)
Johnston, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky. She
was an affectionate foster-parent, to whom
Abraham was indebted for his first encouragement
to study. He became an eager
reader, and the few books owned in the
vicinity were many times perused. He
worked frequently for the neighbors as a
farm laborer; was for some time clerk in a
store at Gentryville; and became famous
throughout that region for his athletic

powers, his fondness for argument, his inexhaustible
fund of humerous anecdote, as
well as for mock oratory and the composition
of rude satirical verses. In 1828 he
made a trading voyage to New Orleans as
"bow-hand" on a flatboat; removed to
Illinois in 1830; helped his father build a
log house and clear a farm on the north
fork of Sangamon River, ten miles west of
Decatur, and was for some time employed
in splitting rails for the fences-a fact which
was prominently brought forward for a
political purpose thirty years later.
In the spring of 1851 he, with two of his
relatives, was hired to build a flatboat on
the Sangamon River and navigate it to
New Orleans. The boat "stuck" on a
mill-dam, and was got off with great labor
through an ingenious mechanical device
which some years later led to Lincoln's
taking out a patent for "an improved
method for lifting vessels over shoals."
This voyage was memorable for another
reason-the sight of slaves chained, maltreated
and flogged at New Orleans was
the origin of his deep convictions upon the
slavery question.
Returning from this voyage he became a
resident for several years at New Salem, a
recently settled village on the Sangamon,
where he was successively a clerk, grocer,
surveyor and postmaster, and acted as pilot
to the first steamboat that ascended the
Sangamon. Here he studied law, interested
himself in local politics after his
return from the Black Hawk war, and
became known as an effective "stump
speaker." The subject of his first political
speech was the improvement of the channel
of the Sangamon, and the chief ground on
which he announced himself (I832) a candidate
for the Legislature was his advocacy
of this popular measure, on which subject
his practical experience made him the highest
Elected to the Legislature in 1834 as a

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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. ( accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Dallas Public Library.