Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 4.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Remarks at Thorntown and Lebanon, Indiana [1]

February 11, 1861

At Thorntown he was betrayed into an anecdote to illustrate a point, and the train started before he got to the place where thePage  193 laugh came in, and the people were left to wonder what the meaning might be. He was apologizing for not making a speech. He had heard of a man who was a candidate for a county office, who owned a horse that he set great store by, but he was a slow animal and sure footed. He had canvassed extensively with a good chance for the nomination. On the morning of the day of the convention, he mounted his favorite to go to the county seat, but in spite of whip and spur, his horse lagged on the road, biting at every bush, and when he arrived late in the evening, the convention was over and he was defeated. So of him, if he stopped at every station to make a stump speech he would not arrive at Washington until the inauguration was over. The Thorntown folks only heard the first part of the story, where the candidate was urging his steed to pass the juicy bushes. He laughed over the cutting short of his yarn, and when the train arrived at Lebanon he was jocularly told that some of the Thorntown folks had followed the train on foot, and were panting outside to hear the conclusion of the story. He told it over good-humoredly to the crowd at Lebanon. Every station along the road had its crowd---all anxious to see the man whose election to the first office in the gift of a free people has been the cause (whether with reason or not) of the distracted state of the country.


[1]   Indianapolis Daily Sentinel, February 12, 1861.