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 Owing to my pecuniary condition on leaving Washington, I was forced to do something to earn money over and beyond my pay. Of course, by extreme economy something could be saved of the salary, though when it is remembered that for some time we were paid in greenbacks, a depreciated currency, and lost at least a quarter of the face value, it will be seen that the needs of a large family would not allow me to save much. It was then that I began to write for publication. My first effort was “Donald's school days,” an attempt to put the New England school life of my youth into a story for boys. My publishers succeeded in getting quite a circulation. In the winter of 1876, at the request of D. H. Stearns, during his absence of three months, I wrote the editorials for his paper, The Portland Bee. This work did not require much of my time. I have preserved the editorials until to-day. I remember thinking I would try an experiment and so wrote sketches of our public men of the past, of Presidents and other statesmen, comparing and contrasting them with the statesmen of that day who were well known to the country. My efforts worked so well that the paper increased in circulation. One day Judge Deady of the United States District Court met me, and not knowing that I was connected in any way with the paper said: “What has happened to the Bee?It seems to have taken on a new life.” His compliment pleased me and made me redouble my efforts to give interest and strength to the editorial work. A little later I wrote also for magazines and monthlies, particularly reminiscences of the Civil War.
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