The surveyor of Sangamon offered to depute to Abraham that portion of his work which was within his part of the county. He accepted, procured a compass and chain, studied Flint and Gibson a little, and went at it. This procured bread, and kept soul and body together.Tradition has it that Calhoun not only gave him the appointment, but lent him the book in which to study the art, which he accomplished in a period of six weeks, aided by the schoolmaster, Mentor Graham. The exact period of this increase in knowledge and business capacity is not recorded, but it must have taken place in the summer of 1833, as there exists a certificate of survey in Lincoln's handwriting signed, “J. Calhoun, S. S. C., by A. Lincoln,” dated January 14, 1834. Before June of that year he had surveyed and located a public road from “Musick's Ferry on Salt Creek, via New Salem, to the county line in the direction to Jacksonville,” twenty-six miles and seventy chains in length, the exact course of which survey, with detailed bearings and distances, was drawn on common white letter-paper pasted in a long slip, to a scale of two inches to the mile, in ordinary yet clear and distinct penmanship. The compensation he received for this service was three dollars per day for five days, and two dollars and fifty cents for making the plat and report.
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