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[61] afterwards told me was the roughest work a young man could be made to do. In the midst of whatever work he was engaged on he still found time to utilize his pen, He prepared a composition on the American Government, calling attention to the necessity of preserving the Constitution and perpetuating the Union, which with characteristic modesty he turned over to his friend and patron, William Woods, for safe-keeping and perusal.

Through the instrumentality of Woods it attracted the attention of many persons, among them one Pitcher,1 a lawyer at Rockport, who with faintly concealed enthusiasm, declared “the world couldn't beat it.” An article on Temperance was shown under similar circumstance to Aaron Farmer, a Baptist preacher of local renown, and by him furnished to an Ohio newspaper for publication. The thing, however, which gave him such prominencea prominence too which could have been attained in no other way — was his remarkable physical strength, for he was becoming not only one of the longest,

1 This gentleman, Judge John Pitcher, ninety-three years old, is still living in Mount Vernon, Indiana. He says that young Lincoln often called at his office and borrowed books to read at home during leisure hours. On one occasion he expressed a desire to study law with Pitcher, but explained that his parents were so poor that he could not be spared from the farm on which they lived. “He related to me in my office one day,” says Pitcher, “an account of his payment to Crawford of the damage done to the latter's book-Weems' ‘Life of Washington.’ ” Lincoln said, “You see, I am tall and long-armed, and I went to work in earnest. At the end of the two days there was not a corn-blade left on a stalk in the field. I wanted to pay full damage for all the wetting the book got, and I made a clean sweep.”

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