in shaping Lincoln
It is Denton Offut
, a brisk and venturesome business man, whose operations extended up and down the Sangamon river
for many miles.
Having heard glowing reports of John Hanks
' successful experience as a boatman in Kentucky
he had come down the river to engage the latter's services to take a boat-load of stock and provisions to New Orleans.
“He wanted me to go badly,” observes Hanks
, “but I waited awhile before answering.
I hunted up Abe, and I introduced him and John Johnson
, his step-brother, to Offut.
After some talk we at last made an engagement with Offut at fifty cents a day and sixty dollars to make the trip to New Orleans.
Abe and I came down the Sangamon river
in a canoe in March, 1831; landed at what is now called Jamestown
, five miles east of Springfield
, then known as Judy's Ferry.”
joined them, and, leaving their canoe in charge of one Uriah Mann
, they walked to Springfield
, where after some inquiry they found the genial and enterprising Offut regaling himself with the good cheer dispensed at “The Buckhorn” inn. This hostelry, kept by Andrew Elliot
, was the leading place of its kind in the then unpretentious village of Springfield
The figure of a buck's head painted on a sign swinging in front of the house gave rise to its name.
Offut had agreed with Hanks
to have a boat ready for him and his two companions at the mouth of Spring creek
on their arrival, but too many deep potations with the new-comers who daily thronged about the “Buckhorn” had interfered with the execution of his