was a trap door in the floor, which opened into Lincoln
Lincoln at the time, as was often his habit, was lying on the floor looking down through the door at the speaker.
I was in the body of the crowd.
was hot-headed and implusive, but brave as a lion.
Growing warm in his arraignment of the Democratic party, he charged that “wherever there was a land office there was a Democratic newspaper to defend its corruptions.”
This angered the brother of the editor of our town paper, who was present, and who cried out, “Pull him down,” at the same time advancing from the crowd as if to perform the task himself.
, his face pale with excitement, squared himself for resistance.
A shuffling of feet, a forward movement of the crowd, and great confusion followed.
Just then a long pair of legs were seen dangling from the aperture above, and instantly the figure of Lincoln
dropped on the platform.
Motioning with his hands for silence and not succeeding, he seized a stone water-pitcher
standing near by, threatening to break it over the head of the first man who laid hands on Baker
“Hold on, gentlemen,” he shouted, “this is the land of free speech.
has a right to speak and ought to be heard.
I am here to protect him, and no man shall take him from this stand if I can prevent it.”
His interference had the desired effect.
Quiet was soon restored, and the valiant Baker
was allowed to proceed.
I was in the back part of the crowd that night, and an enthusiastic Baker
I knew he was a brave man, and even if Lincoln