, an old citizen, a man of recognized prominence and ability as a lawyer, was present.
had been a Whig--one of the champions of the party — but had then recently joined the Democratic party, and almost simultaneous; with the change had been appointed Register of the Land Office, which office he then held.
Just about that time Mr. Forquer
had completed a neat frame house — the best house then in Springfieldand over it had erected a lightning rod, the only one in the place and the first one Mr. Lincoln
had ever seen.
He afterwards told me that seeing Forquer
's lightning rod had led him to the study of the properties of electricity and the utility of the rod as a conductor.
At the conclusion of Lincoln
's speech the crowd was about dispersing, when Forquer
rose and asked to be heard.
He commenced by saying that the young man would have to be taken down, and was sorry the task devolved on him. He then proceeded to answer Lincoln
's speech in a style which, while it was able and fair, in his whole manner asserted and claimed superiority.”
stood a few steps away with arms folded, carefully watching the speaker and taking in everything he said.
He was laboring under a good deal of suppressed excitement.
's sting had roused the lion within him. At length Forquer
concluded, and he mounted the stand to reply.
“I have heard him often since,” continued Speed, “in the courts and before the people, but never saw him appear and acquit himself so well as upon that occasion.
His reply to Forquer
was characterized ”