there I lived like an Indian an Illinois Indian barefooted all summer

There i lived like an indian an illinois indian

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there I lived like an Indian, an Illinois Indian, barefooted all summer, moccasined during the winter. Like an Indian, I knew the meaning of silence, the dread of silence and its comfort. My father taught me to work but he never taught 655
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V OICES FROM THE P AST me to love drudgery. Some of those pioneers used to say: “Don’t see all you see; don’t hear all you hear.” That is sound advice. It applies here in Washington. Many aspects of my life have assumed ridiculous proportions among these people. The fact that I was a wrestler affronts some; that I could plow with oxen annoys others. My humor shocks many. My lizard joke, that I thought very amusing, is now in bad taste. If I said: “Spit against the wind and you spit in your own face” ...well, certain politicians might understand and appreciate that. I see people and more people. My office is often crowded. I am criticized for the amount of time I devote to the public. 656
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L INCOLN S J OURNAL My secretaries try to restrain me. I’ll do the very best I can, the very best I know how. And I mean to keep doing so to the end. If the end brings me out all right what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference. People have asked me how it feels to be president, and I sometimes say, if there is an appropriate moment: You have heard about the man tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail? A man in the crowd asked him how he liked it, and his reply was that if it wasn’t for the honor of the thing, he would much rather walk. W. H. January 20 The other night I had a dream and in that dream I observed myself in a huge mirror; my face had two distinct images, one more or less superimposed on the other, the underneath face much paler than the upper face. The dream has perplexed me; something about it, its shadowiness maybe, seems part of my wilderness life, the shadowiness of those star-roofed nights. Mary was disturbed by my dream. She interpreted it, saying that it meant that I would be re- elected for a second term. The pale image meant I would not finish that term. As she talked about the dream I remembered how emphatically I felt that I would never return to Springfield, an emotion that nearly overwhelmed me as I waved from the train. W. H. 1864 It was only a few years ago that John Quincy Adams was 657
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V OICES FROM THE P AST swimming in the Potomac with his son. Adams used to rise at five, to read the Bible, Commentary, and then read the newspapers. He was about fifty-seven when he was President. I recall his vivid description of abolitionist Lovejoy’s printing press tragedy, in Alton, in ’37, how the mob destroyed the man’s press and murdered him, such a fate for a truly conscientious man! A martyr to the cause of freedom! Adams recounts preacher Joseph Cartwright’s plea for money, for $450 to buy the freedom of his own three grandchildren. What a meaningful exemplification of slavery!
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