though very young, was large of his age, and had an ax put into his hands at once; and from that till within his twenty-third year he was almost constantly handling that most useful instrument-less, of course, in plowing and harvesting seasons.
mentions the character of his work a little more in detail.
“He and I worked barefoot, grubbed it, plowed, mowed, and cradled together; plowed corn, gathered it, and shucked corn.”
The sum of it all is that from his boyhood until after he was of age, most of his time was spent in the hard and varied muscular labor of the farm and the forest, sometimes on his father's place, sometimes as a hired hand for other pioneers.
In this very useful but commonplace occupation he had, however, one advantage. ·He was not only very early in his life a tall, strong country boy, but as he grew up he soon became a tall, strong, sinewy man. He early attained the unusual height of six feet four inches, with arms of proportionate length.
This gave him a degree of power and facility as an ax man which few had or were able to acquire.
He was therefore usually able to lead his fellows in efforts of both muscle and mind.
He performed the tasks of his daily labor and mastered the lessons of his scanty schooling with an ease and rapidity they were unable to attain.
Twice during his life in Indiana
this ordinary routine was somewhat varied.
When he was sixteen, while working for a man who lived at the mouth of Anderson's Creek
, it was part of his duty to manage a ferry-boat which transported passengers across the Ohio River
It was doubtless this which three years later brought him a new experience, that he himself related in these words:
When he was nineteen, still residing in Indiana, he