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HE TAKES ANOTHER TRIP TO NEW ORLEANSBECOMES MILLER AND SALESMAN.
Early in the following spring he was hired by a man named Offutt, to assist in taking a flatboat to New Orleans; and, as it was found impossible to purchase a suitable boat, Abe lent a willing and industrious hand in building one at Sangamon, from whence, when completed, it was floated into the Mississippi river. The trip was made, and his employer was so much gratified with the industry and tact of his hired hand, that he engaged him to take charge of his mill and store in the village of New Salem. In this position, "Honest Abe," as he was now called, won the respect and confidence of all with whom he had business dealings, while socially, he was much. beloved by the residents-young and old-of the place. He was affable, generous, ever ready to assist the needy or to sympathize with the distressed, and never was known to be guilty of a dishonorable act.
HIS SERVICES IN THE BLACK HAWK WAR.
Early in the following year the Black Hawk War broke out, and the Governor of Illinois calling for troops, Abe determined to offer his services; and a recruiting station. being opened in New Salem, he placed his name the first on the roll; and by his influence inducing many of his friends and companions to do likewise, a company was soon organized, and Abe was unanimously elected captain. The company marched to Beardstown, and from there to the seat of war; but during their term of enlistmentthirty days-were not called into active service. A new levy was then called for, and he re-enlisted as a private, and at the end of thirty days again re-enlisted, and remained with his regiment until the war ended.
IS NOMINATED FOR THE LEGISLATURE AND IS DEFEATED.
Soon after his return from this campaign, in the progress of which he proved himself an efficient and zealous soldier, although his regiment was not brought in conflict with the enemy, or as he subsequently expressed it, he "did not see any live fighting Indians, but had a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes," he was waited upon by several of the influential citizens of New Salem, who asked his consent to nominate him for the Legislature. He had only been a resident of the county for nine months, but as a thorough-going "Henry Clay man" was needed, he was deemed the most suitable person to run, particularly as it was believed that his popularity would ensure success in a county which had, the year before, given General Jackson a large majority for President. There were eight aspirants for the legislative position; but, although Abraham received two hundred and seventyseven votes out of two hundred and eighty-four, cast in New Salem, he was not elected, the successful candidate leading him a few votes.
BECOMES A MERCHANT AND SURVEYOR. Soon after his political defeat he engaged in the mercantile business, but in a few months sold out, and under the tuition of John Calhoun (in later years President of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention) became proficient in surveying, an occupation which for more than a year he found very remunerative for a novice. He was also for a time Postmaster of New Salem.
IS ELECTED TO THE LEGISLATURE-STUDIES
In August, 1834, he was again nominated for the Legislature, and was elected by a large majority; and in 1836,
1838, and 1840, was re-elected. While attending the proceedings of the first session, he determined to become a lawyer, and being placed in possession of the necessary books through the kindness of the Hon. John T. Stuart, applied himself to study, and in 1836 was admitted to practice at the bar. In April, 1837, he removed to Springfield, and became a partner of Mr. Stuart.
A THRILLING INCIDENT IN HIS LEGAL
One instance which occurred during his early legal practice is worthy of extended publication. At a camp meeting held in Menard county, a fight took place which ended in the murder of one of the participants in the quarrel. A young man named Armstrong, a son of the aged couple for whom many years before Abraham Lincoln had worked, was charged with the deed, and being arrested and examined, a true bill was found against him, and he was lodged in jail to await his trial. As soon as Mr. Lincoln received intelligence of the affair, he addressed a kind letter to Mrs. Armstrong, stating his anxiety that her son should have a fair trial, and offering in return for her kindness to him while in adverse circumstances some years before, his services gratuitously. Investigation convinced the volunteer attorney that the young man was the victim of a conspiracy, and he determined to postpone the case until the excitement had subsided. The day of trial however finally arrived, and the accuser testified positively that he saw the accused plunge the knife into the heart of the murdered man. He remembered all the circumstances perfectly; the murder was committed about half-past nine o'clock at night, and the moon was shining brightly. Mr. Lincoln reviewed all the testimony carefully, and then proved. conclusively that the moon which the accuser had sworn was shining brightly, did not rise until an hour
or more after the murder was committed. Other discrepancies were exposed, and in thirty minutes after the jury retired they returned with a verdict of "Not Guilty "
A PROTEST AGAINST SLAVERY.
On the third of March, 1837, a protest was presented to the House of Representatives of Illinois and signed by "Daniel Stone and Abraham Lincoln, Representatives from Sangamon county," which is the first record that we have of the sentiments of the subject of our sketch on the slavery question. It was in opposition to a series of resolutions which had been adopted, taking an extreme Southern view of slavery, for which Mr. Lincoln refused to vote, and subsequently handed in the protest.
IS A CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL
In every campaign from 1836 to 1852, he was a Whig candidate for Presidential Elector, and in 1844, he stumped the entire State of Illinois for Henry Clay; and then crossing the line into Indiana, spoke daily to immense gatherings, until the day of election. His style of speaking was pleasing to the masses of the people, and his earnest appeals were not only well received, but were productive of much benefit to his favorite candidate. Accustomed from early childhood to the habits and peculiarities of all kinds and conditions of men-the refined and the vulgar, the intelligent and the illiterate, the rich and the poor-he knew exactly what particular style of language best suited his hearers, and the result was that he was always listened to with a degree of attention and interest which few political speakers receive.
MR. LINCOLN ELECTED TO CONGRESS HIS VOTES AND SPEECHES DURING HIS CONGRESSIONAL TERM.
In 1846, Mr. Lincoln was elected to Congress from the
Central District of Illinois, by a majority of over fifteen hundred votes, the largest ever given in that District to any candidate opposed to the Democratic party. Illinois elected seven Representatives that year; and all were Democrats but Mr. Lincoln. He took his seat on the first Monday of December, 1847, and during the exciting session that followed, cast his vote pro or con on every important question, and on more than one occasion displayed his eloquence and superior argumentative ability. One of his first votes was given on the twentieth of December in favor of the following resolution:
"Resolved, That if, in the judgment of Congress, it be necessary to improve the navigation of a river to expedite and render secure the movements of our army, and save from delay and loss our arms and munitions of war, that Congress has the power to improve such river.
"Resolved, That if it be necessary for the preservation of the lives of our seamen, repairs, safety, or maintenance of our vessels-of-war, to improve a harbor or inlet, either on our Atlantic or Lake coast, Congress has the power to make such improvement."
On the twenty-second of the same month, he voted in favor of a similar resolution, and on the same day offered the following series of resolutions, which he introduced with one of his characteristic speeches, humorous at one moment and logical at the next. Although, like the large majority of the Whig party opposed to the declaration of war with Mexico by the President, he never failed to vote for any resolution or bill which had for its object the sending of supplies to our troops who had been ordered to the seat of war. The resolutions read as follows:
"Whereas, The President of the United States, in his message of May 11th, 1846, has declared that the Mexican Government not only refused to receive him (the envoy of the United States) or listen to his propositions, but, after a long-continued series of menaces, have at last invaded our territory and shed the blood of our fellow.citizens on our own soil,'
“And again, in his message of December 8th, 1846, that 'we