Best Lincoln Stories Tersely Told
by J. E. Gallaher
Pub. in 1898


How Lincoln Got The Worst Of A Horse Trade.

Abraham Lincoln was fond of a good story, and it is a well-known fact that he often illustrated an important point in the business at hand by resorting to his favorite pastime. Probably one of the best he ever told he related of himself when he was a lawyer in Illinois. One day Lincoln and a certain judge, who was an intimate friend of his, were bantering each other about horses, a favorite topic of theirs. Finally Lincoln said:

"Well, look here, Judge, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll make a horse trade with you, only it must be upon these stipulations: Neither party shall see the other’s horse until it is produced here in the court yard of the hotel, and both parties must trade horses. If either party backs out of the agreement, he does so under a forfeiture of $25."

"Agreed," cried the judge, and both he and Lincoln went in quest of their respective animals.

A crowd gathered, anticipating some fun, and when the judge returned first, the laugh was uproarious. He led, or rather dragged, at the end of a halter the meanest, boniest, rib-staring quadruped—blind in both eyes—that ever pressed turf. But presently Lincoln came along carrying over his shoulder a carpenter’s horse. Then the mirth of the crowd was furious. Lincoln solemnly set his horse down, and silently surveyed the judge’s animal with a comical look of infinite disgust.

"Well, Judge," he finally said, "this is the first time I ever got the worst of it in a horse trade."

Page 43-44



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