but one of the strongest men around Gentryville
He enjoyed the brief distinction his exhibitions of strength gave him more than the admiration of his friends for his literary or forensic efforts.
Some of the feats attributed to him almost surpass belief.
One witness declares he was equal to three men, having on a certain occasion carried a load of six hundred pounds. At another time he walked away with a pair of logs which three robust men were skeptical of their ability to carry.
“He could strike with a maul a heavier blow — could sink an axe deeper into wood than any man I ever saw,” is the testimony of another witness.
After he had passed his nineteenth year and was nearing his majority he began to chafe and grow restless under the restraints of home rule.
Seeing no prospect of betterment in his condition, so long as his fortune was interwoven with that of his father, he at last endeavored to strike out into the broad world for himself.
Having great faith in the judgment and influence of his fast friend Wood
, he solicited from him a recommendation to the officers of some one of the boats plying up and down the river, hoping thereby to obtain employment more congenial than the dull, fatiguing work of the farm.
To this project the judicious Wood
was much opposed, and therefore suggested to the would be boatman the moral duty that rested on him to remain with his father till the law released him from that obligation.
With deep regret he retraced his steps to the paternal mansion, seriously determined