Pioneers of Menard & Mason Counties|
Including Personal Reminiscens of
Abraham Lincoln & Peter Cartwright
By T.G. Onstot, 1902
Mr. Lincoln's Apt Reply
Lincoln's opponent for the legislature in 1836 was the Hon. George Forquer of Springfield, who was celebrated for having introduced the first lightening rod in Springfield. He said in a speech in Lincoln's presence, "This young man will have to be taken down and I am sorry that the task falls on me." He then proceeded to take him down. Mr. Lincoln made a reply and in closing turned to the crowd and said, "Fellow citizens, it is not for me to say whether I am up or down. This gentleman had alluded to my being a young man. I am older in years than in the trades and tricks of politicians. I desire to live and desire place and distinction, but I would rather die now than like this gentleman live to see the day that I would have to erect a lightning rod to protect a guilty conscience from an offended God."
Transcribed by:Brenda Hamilton Johnson