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Lincoln Personal Stories #6-- Lincoln Learns to be a Lawyer and Passes the Bar Exam in Illinois

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Number Six

From Lincoln’s Autobiographies and other Sources

[The first quotation are Lincoln’s own autobiographical words;  the selection with bracket “first-person” inclusions are from an interview of presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, by John L. Scripps of the Chicago Press and Tribune]


          “I went the campaign, was elated, ran for the Legislature the same year (1832) and was beaten--the only time I ever have been beaten by the people.”  A. Lincoln

          “The election of 1834 came, and I was then elected to the legislature by the highest vote cast for any candidate. Major John T. Stuart, then in full practice of the law, was also elected. During the canvass, in a private conversation he encouraged me to study law. After the election I borrowed books of Stuart, took them home with me, and went at it in good earnest. I studied with nobody.   I still mixed in the surveying to pay board and clothing bills. When the legislature met, the law books were dropped, but were taken up again at the end of the session. I was reelected in 1836, 1838, and 1840. In the autumn of 1836 I obtained a law license, and on April 15, 1837, removed to Springfield, and commenced the practice—my old friend Stuart taking [me] into partnership.”  A. Lincoln-- Scripps interview

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