partner of his comrade in the Black Hawk
war, John T. Stuart
, who had gained rather an extensive practice, and who, by the loan of sundry textbooks several years before, had encouraged Lincoln
to continue in the study of law. Stuart
had emigrated from Kentucky
in 1828, and on account of his nativity, if for no other reason, had great influence with the leading people in Springfield
He used to relate that on the next morning after his arrival in Springfield
he was standing in front of the village store, leaning against a post in the sidewalk and wondering how to introduce himself to the community, when he was approached by a well-dressed old gentleman, who, interesting himself in the newcomer's welfare, enquired after his history and business.
“I'm from Kentucky
,” answered Stuart
, “and my profession is that of a lawyer, sir. What is the prospect here?”
Throwing his head back and closing his left eye the old gentleman reflected a moment.
“Young man, d-d slim chance for that kind of combination here,” was the response.
At the time of Lincoln
's entry into the office, Stuart
was just recovering from the effects of a congressional race in which he had been the loser.
He was still deeply absorbed in politics, and was preparing for the next canvass, in which he was finally successful — defeating the wily and ambitious Stephen A. Douglas
In consequence of the political allurments, Stuart
did not give to the law his undivided time or the full force of his energy and intellect.
Thus more or less responsibility in the