His second race for the Legislature in 1834

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In the summer of 1834 Lincoln determined to make another race for the legislature. I have Lincoln’s word for it that it was more of a hand-shaking campaign than anything else. Rowan Herndon relates that he came to his house during harvest, when there were a large number of men at work in the field. He was introduced to them, but they did not hesitate to apprize him of their esteem for a man who could labor; and their admiration for a candidate for office was gauged somewhat by the amount of work he could do. Learning these facts, Lincoln took hold of a cradle, and handling it with ease and remarkable speed, soon distanced those who undertook to follow him. The men were satisfied, and it is presumed he lost no votes in that crowd. One Dr. Barrett, seeing Lincoln, enquired of the latter’s friends: “Can’t the party raise any better material than that?” but after hearing his speech the doctor’s opinion was considerably altered, for he declared that Lincoln filled him with amazement; “that he knew more than all of the other candidates put together.” The election took place in August. Lincoln’s friend, John T. Stuart, was also a candidate on the legislative ticket. He encouraged Lincoln’s canvas in every way, even at the risk of sacrificing his own chances. But both were elected. The four successful candidates were Dawson, who received 1390 votes, Lincoln 1376, Carpenter 1170, and Stuart 1164.

At last Lincoln had been elected to the legislature, and by a very flattering majority. In order, as he himself said, “to make a decent appearance in the legislature,” he had to borrow money to buy suitable clothing and to maintain his new dignity. Coleman Smoot, one of his friends, advanced him “two hundred dollars, which he returned, relates the generous Smoot, according to promise.” 

By William H. Herndon,Jesse W. Weik “Herndon’s Lincoln: A True Story of a Great Life”

2 thoughts on “His second race for the Legislature in 1834

    Experiences « Abraham Lincoln said:
    May 4, 2018 at 11:01

    […] His second race for the Legislature in 1834 […]

    Words : Statesman « Abraham Lincoln said:
    April 13, 2020 at 14:55

    […] “His second race for the Legislature” in 1834 […]

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