Image from page 58 of "Life of Abraham Lincoln; being a biography of his life from his birth to his assassination; also a record of his ancestors, and a collection of anecdotes attributed to Lincoln.." (1896)
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d down the Sangamon to theIllinois river. The water was low, but the journey was safely accomplished. Now began Lincolns life as a storekeeper. On the eighth of July, Offuttreceived permission from the county authorities to retail merchandise at NewSalem. The value of the goods was put at one thousand dollars—a large sum,in those days, in a small town. A man worth ten thousand dollars cut as large ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 53 a figure as a man of the present daj who assumes to be worth half a million.The building was a little log house. Dry-goods and groceries composed thestock, and doubtless there were other articles not included in these terms. Any-thing the people were thought likely to buy was kept, and sold when called for.Lincoln commenced business as a merchant, but he was not a business man,neither by nature nor training, and never became one. At this period he found something much more attractive to him than theselling of goods, or of receiving money for them. It was Samuel Kirkhams
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AT NEW SALEM. English grammar, printed in Cincinnati, by N. and G. Guilford, in 1828. Gray-headed men of the present day do not recall this work with very pleasant recollec-tions, but Lincoln found it exceedingly interesting—so much so that he may haveneglected the little business which came straggling into the store. But he gavethe book a thorough study, and he could soon repeat the rules and suggestions,word for word, and knew how to apply them. He learned how to constructsentences clearly and in understandable f]nglish. To this may be credited thefact that nobody who ever listened to Abraham Lincoln in later days failed tounderstand what he said or what he meant. To an acc(uaintance (Mentor Gra- 54 ABRAHAM LINCOLN. ham) he was indebted for the knowledge of the book, aud he walked severalmiles to the house of a man named Vaner to obtain it. Lincoln had periods in which there was nothing for him to do, and wastherefore in circumstances that made laziness almost inevitable. Had peop
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