from the institution and return home.
But it was too late.
My soul had absorbed too much of what my father believed was rank poison.
The murder of Lovejoy
filled me with more desperation than the slave scene in New Orleans did Lincoln
; for while he believed in non-interference with slavery, so long as the Constitution
permitted and authorized its existence, I, although acting nominally with the Whig party up to 1853, struck out for Abolitionism pure and simple.
On my return to Springfield
from college, I hired to Joshua F. Speed
as clerk in his store.
My salary, seven hundred dollars per annum, was considered good pay then.
, Charles R. Hurst
, and I slept in the room upstairs over the store.
I had worked for Speed before going to college, and after hiring to him this time again, continued in his employ for several years.
The young men who congregated about the store formed a society for the encouragement of debate and literary efforts.
Sometimes we would meet in a lawyer's office and often in Speed
Besides the debates, poems and other original productions were read.
Unfortunately we ruled out the ladies.
I am free to admit I would not encourage a similar thing nowadays; but in that early day the young men had not the comforts of books and newspapers which are within the reach of every boy now. Some allowance therefore should be made for us. I have forgotten the name of the society — if it had any — and can only recall a few of its leading spirits.
, James Matheney