abraham lincoln an interpretation in biography

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER SEOOND. drifting. We now come to a period in Lincoln's life, which shows him cutting loose from the anchor of his parental home and grappling in multitudinous ways with his new environing world. To him may be applied his own picturesque metaphor drawn from his river experience: "I am a piece of floating driftwood." This period embraces six or seven years, the better part of his twenties, say from 1830 to 1836-7. He was dissatisfied with his former life and with the outlook which his father's family gave him. From that he must separate at all hazards, if he intends to be anything. The parting, especially from his step-mother, was painful; in fact he hung around her neighborhood for nearly a year after he had declared his independence. His material outfit scorns to have been the rude suit of clothes on his body and this was in such a condition that it had to be renewed at once. Accordingly we hear that one of the first labors of the free man was to earn a pair of pantaloons to be made of butternut jeans, for every yard of which he had to split four hundred rails. So we can imagine herculean Abraham Lincoln with axe biting deeper into the trees of the forest and with maul coming down upon the wedge in huger whirls and heavier thuds than ever before, being propelled by the new necessity as well as by the new consciousness of freedom which tells him that henceforth he is his own man. Such is the record, which doubtless gives us a glimpse of the rail-splitter Lincoln at this time. Still we cannot well conceive of him as utterly moneyless, for what has become of those sixty dollars, half of which he made by peddling small merchandise on the way from Indiana? Hardly has he let it all slip through his fingers, even if he has been generous to his parents, helping them to ma...
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