and horse tamer, professing to have a secret to whisper in the horse's ear, or a secret manner of whispering in his ear, which he could communicate to others, and by which the most refractory and vicious horse could be quieted and controlled.
For this secret he charged five dollars, binding the recipient by oath not to divulge it. I know several persons, young fancy horsemen, who paid for the trick.
Offut advertised himself not only through the press, but by his strange attire.
He appeared in the streets on horseback and on foot, in plain citizens' dress of black, but with a broad sash across his right shoulder, of various colored ribbons, crossed on his left hip under a large rosette of the same material, the whole rendering his appearance most ludicrously conspicuous.
Having occasion to purchase a horse I encountered him at several of our stables and was strongly urged to avail myself of his secret.
So much for Offut; but. were he living in ‘61, I doubt not Mr. Lincoln
would have heard of him.”
The early spring of 1832 brought to Springfield
and New Salem a most joyful announcement.
It was the news of the coming of a steamboat down the Sangamon river
— proof incontestable that the stream was navigable.
The enterprise was undertaken and carried through by Captain Vincent Bogue
, of Springfield
, who had gone to Cincinnati
to procure a vessel and thus settle the much-mooted question of the river's navigability.
When, therefore, he notified the people of his town that the steamboat Talisman
would put out from Cincinnati
, we can well imagine what great