You have found an item located in the Kentuckiana Digital Library.
Will makes way : or, Autobiography of Rev. S. Noland. Noland, Stephen, 1818- 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-40-26750376 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Will makes way : or, Autobiography of Rev. S. Noland. Noland, Stephen, 1818- Southern Methodist Publishing House, Nashville : 1887. 239 p. ; 19 cm. Coleman "A book for young men." - on t.p. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1992. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN02069.06 KUK) Printing Master B92-40. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Noland, Stephen, 1818- WJTL L MA K. ES WAY; OR, AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF REV. S. NOLAND, OF Tl.E KENTUCKY CONFERENCE. Ah. E. CHURCH, SO UTH. A B OOK FOR YOUNG MEN. NASHVILLE: SOUTHERN METHODIST PUBLISIIING HOUSE. PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR. I Ss87. jnLered, according to Act of Congress, in the year ]Sj, by S. NOLAND, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, At Washilczon. PREPRgE. MANY persons have asked me to write my own history. For a long time I refused, but have at last consented to do so, hoping that its lessons will benefit the youth of our country. Some of the lessons are for imitation, some for avoidance, but each ingenuous youth can easily draw the proper distinctions. To them I dedicate this book. Some thirty-five years ago Judge Goodloe and myself were riding together on horseback from Richmond, Ky., to Nicholasville, Ky., to attend the Circuit Court of Jessa- mine county. He was the Judge of the court, and I was Commonwealth's Attorney. He was in a thoughtful mood, and after a prolonged silence he said: " Noland, when we die we will not be missed from the world more than a bub- ble breaking on the ocean." I answered: "Judge, that is true; but if we are ready, all will be well." He was a rigid Calvinist in theory, and had never joined any Chutrchl. My answer giving the subject a religious turn, he said: " I have been waiting a long time for the Lord to move me and show me that I was his child, but I have never felt any impression in that way." I replied: "Judge, if I had wait- ed as long as you have waited, with no better result, I would begin for myself and try to reach the Lord through repent- ance and faith, feeling sure that any thing I could do (3) 4 PREFACE. would not interfere witl the decrees." He made no reply. He was then approaching old age. Choice of life should be made early in life. Each day postponed is two days lost-one because of the good that could be done, and one because of the evil that is done. Judicious and persever- ing effort, withl the grace of God accompanying, will work visible changes ill our life and secure for us a place in heaven. We commend this book to the young for several reasons. It is true without exaggeration. It is unlike any other that they will ever read. Its lessons are moral and re- ligious. It is plain without pretension. We send it on its way, asking the Divine blessing to accompany it from home to home, and from heart to hearts S. NOLAND. INTRODUCTION. BY 0. P. FITZGERALD, D.D., EDITOR CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE. THIs is a fascinating book. Its charm is in its natural- ness. The author talks right out of his heart, and so gets right into the heart of the reader. He keeps nothing back. You feel as you read these pages that there is no suppres- sion on the one hand nor exaggeration on the other. There is no human life, thus told, that does not possess a thrilling interest and a tender pathos. The readers of this book, old and young, will find themselves, before they know it, melted to tears or tickled with laughter. The human nature that is in it will make every reader feel akin to the wise, frank, quaint, genial soul that breathes through it. This is a valuable book. It is such a book as can be placed in the hands of every boy in the land with unalloyed pleasure. Its lessons are good, and they are given in a way that will make them stick. The delightful narrative is not interrupted by tedious moralizing, but the lessons are there. I feel assured that by it many young persons will be warned against wrong courses and strengthened in their love for truth and right living. The book is thor- oughly wholesome: there is in it no doubtful morality, no taint of the sensationalism that defiles so large a part of (5) 6 INTRODUCTION. the literature of the day. Evil is made to look the ugly, hateful thing it is; truth and goodness shine in their own clear, sweet light. This is a book for all the family. A good book for a boy is a good book for a man. Boys and girls alike enjoy the best things in this line. The families that will enjoy the read- ing of these chapters sitting together around the fireside have a luxury in store for them. Such family readings ought to be more common among us; every book like this, that will foster such a practice in our homes, should meet with a welcome doubly warm. The touches of adventure will interest all alike, while the wise aphorism aptly dropped at the right place, and the occasional touch of philosophy or polemics, will enlarge the mental horizon of the youth- ful reader to whom is opened the new wide world of thought. The golden thread of providential guidance runs through every line of this autobiography. A present God is rec- ognized by the writer as directing him in all his ways; and as we follow him from chapter to chapter, the pages are illuminated with the soft and holy light that beams from our Immanuel's face. I am glad that my good friend has done this good work before he leaves us. It will live after he is gone, and speak with profit to thousands who never heard his living voice. NAIEViLLz, August, 1885 gONTENTS. PAGE CHAPTER I. Early Incidents ....................... 9 CHAPTER IL. Removal to Kentucky . ............... 16 CHAPTER III. Starting in Life .................... 26 CHAPTER IV. A Trip to Mill . . 36 CHAPTER V. On to Richmond . . 41 CHAPTER VI. Five Years in Clerk's Office .. 52 CHAPTER VII. Clerk's Office Life Continued ... 65 CHAPTER VIII. First Fire . ........................ 78 CHAPTER IX. My First Courtship . . 88 CHAPTER X. Bashfulness . ........................ 97 CHAPTER XI. Life in Irvine . .............. 108 CHAPTER XII. A Strange History . ........... 125 CHAPTER XIII. A Debate . ............... 142 CHAPTER XIV. Elected Commonwealth's Attorney.. 156 CHAPrER XV. Official Life . .............. 174 CHAPTER XVI. Official Life Continued . ......... 186 CHAPTER XVII. Debt . ................. 199 CHAPTER XVIII. Debt, Expenses, and Labor ....... 208 CHAPTER XIX. Banker's Life . ............. 222 CHAPTER XX. Conclusion . ............... 229 (7) This page in the original text is blank. WILL MAKES WAY. CHAPTER I. EARLY INCIDENTS. "I remember, I remember The house where I was born."-Hood. T HE first sentence in David Copperfield reads, " I am born." This was exactly my introduction into the world. It is true that memory fails to recall any of the particulars of that inauspicious event, and I could only give the details from unwritten history just as Dickens described his hero; but inasmuch as this is no better than hearsay testimony, which is not allowed a place in law, and because my life is only a common and not a heroic life like the one named, I shall content myself with sug- gesting to the reader that my birth was a very (9) common affair, and from it no augury of the future could be made. My birth took place May 13, 1818, as I learned from my father's Bible. Of the accu- racy of this date I have no doubt. My father was a very honest and sensible man, and would not falsify dates to give me a particular birth- day. Indeed, I have always observed that the truest history we have is the family history written in the Bible. Not many men are so hardened as to write a lie in the sacred volume. They may write any number of falsehoods about the Bible, but in the book itself they write the truth. The place of my birth was Wayne county, Indiana. It was about three miles south of Centreville. I was the oldest of four children. The two next to myself died young and entered paradise. The youngest of the four, a sister, lived to be fifty years old, and died only a few years ago, a Christian woman. I was born in a cabin, a house with one room. We had a large fire-place on one side for burning wood, and only one window with small panes of glass. 10 WILL MAKES WA Y. EARLY INCIDENTS. My father was a very poor man, being a school- teacher, and receiving a salary that did not ex- ceed two hundred and fifty dollars per year at any time. On this meager sum the family was supported. Of course food, clothing, and every thing else had to be of the plainest and cheapest kind. When he died, after a long sickness of a year or two, it was about the time of my release from my first embarrassment in debt, named hereafter, and he only owed three hundred dollars, which I paid for him so that my step-mother could hold the household prop- erty. I remember my first pantaloons. They were made of cotton goods having black and white stripes alternating the length of the goods. That was my proudest day when first allowed to wear them. New pantaloons and a four- pence to buy a ginger-cake at the election were the height of bliss. But there was this advan- tage in being poor, and being born and reared in the country. I do not think my father or mother ever dreamed that I was an unusual child, and they never flattered my vanity by 11 WILL MAKES WA Y. telling me that I was remarkable. The num- ber of boys to-day who ought to be President of tho United States, their parents being judges, would be sufficient to give a Chief Magistrate to each county in each State, and have enough left to supply one for each town, city, and country-place in all Europe. There is such an unexpected falling off in most boys as they grow up, that one would think the whole nation had a hereditary softening of the brain. How dim and shadowy the pictures of mem- ory become aswe travel back to childhood! It is pleasant to call up our first recollections. It seems to me that I was not more than four or five years old when a Methodist circuit-rider preached at the house of a neighbor near where we lived. His zeal and his animation wonder- fully excited me, and I can just remember that I went away to myself after returning home and tried to preach like the preacher. That preaching-day and that childish effort are among the first of my memories. Was the dear Lord then calling me to the ministry My father was a Universalist, and my mother 12 EARL Y INCIDENTS. died when I was seven years old, so that I do not remember any religious impression that was ever made on my mind at home. Old as I am now, if I had a religious mother living any- where in the world, as thousands of boys and girls have, while I may never see Europe, or visit Palestine, I would make the circuit of the globe to see the face of that dear woman who gave me birth. Next to Jesus, when I reach 'heaven, I desire to see her a saint in the saint's rest. On the day that I was six years old I started to school. I returned home sick, and was con- fined to the room with chills and fever for a long time. But as soon as I was able I returned to school, and by the time that I was seven years old I had mastered the spelling-book and could read well. One event that I can remember is the begin- ning of life-long providences of God in my behalf. The school-house was a quarter of a mile from our house. We crossed a creek on the way, passing over on a large log. One day while returning home I ran over on the log, 13 WILL MA KES WA 1'. and when nearly across missed it, striking the log with my breast. I gave one scream and then became unconscious. My father heard the scream and ran to my assistance. He told me that he gave me over as dead two or three times, and actually started to the house with me in his arms as dead when the thought came to him that my mother would be almost heart-broken if he carried me to the house lifeless; so he returned to the creek, and after some time I breathed and lived. So near was I to eternity. But God had work for me to do, and I laud and magnify his name for the priv- ilege of having been for a long time an hum- ble laborer in his vineyard. A pleasing incident remembered well of these first years was a long walk I took with my father to Centreville, where he bought me the first book that I felt was my own. It was styled "The Pleasing Companion," and by board lights at night I devoured its contents as a hungry man would devour food. I could not only read all its pages, but its lessons had a molding influence on my future life. Accord- 14 EARLY INCIDENTS. ing to that book, virtue was bright as the stars, vice was dark as Erebus. One of the saddest of memories will con- clude this chapter of early incidents. My young sister was four weeks old. I awoke one morning and a kind woman took me by the hand and led me close to my mother. She was lying down covered with white covering, and was very still. Not seeing her move, I was surprised and alarmed; I reached out my little hand and touched her face, and it was cold. She was dead. I had never known grief until that hour. When I came to understand that she was gone from earth to heaven, and would have to be buried out of our sight, and that I would never see her again in this world, I felt that I had lost all that was dear to me, and did not see how I could live. But she passed to heaven, and I was left to struggle with poverty, sickness, and many trials through a long pil- grimage. I remember, I remember The fir-trees dark and high; I used to think their slender tops Were close against the sky.-Hood. 15 CHAPTER II. REMOVAL TO KENTUCKY. I weigh not fortunes frown or smile, I joy not much in earthly joys; I seek not state, I seek not style, I am not fond of fancy's toys; I rest so pleased with what I have, I wish no more, no more I crave.-Syvester. I AM a man of light weight growing out of that long sickness already named, and the many, many days that I have lived in pain and suffering. My kindred were a large race of people. At the time of the death of my mother, my uncle Smallwood Noland was a stock-trader between Kentucky and Louisiana, mainly New Orleans. On returning home from having sold some horses, he came through Indiana to make us a visit. At that early day in the history of the country such trips were often made on horseback. He reached our UP6) IREMOVAL TO KENTUCKY. house a few days after my mother was laid away in the grave. At once he proposed to my father to take me home with him to Ken- tucky, to live with my dear grandparents, my grandmother being to me a second moth- er; and as soon as my father could find some kind woman who would take charge of the four-weeks-old babe, he would follow. My father and mother were of the same name, and were first cousins. This may make me a little eccentric, but I am by no means a crank. Cranks are my abomination. He had lived in Kentucky and she in Indiana, and he had gone to that State and married her, and located there as a school-teacher. Some incidents of our journey are fresh in my memory. I had a long linsey overcoat that came down to my ankles and gave me the ap- pearance of a little man. Riding on horseback was awkward and fatiguing to me, as I had never been accustomed to it. My uncle had many acquaintances along the road. When we were within a few miles of Cincinnati, a friend of his came up with us in a little Dear- 2 17 WILL MAKES WAY. born wagon drawn by two horses, having two ladies and himself in the wagon going to the city. Cincinnati was then only a large town. I am speaking of events that took place in 1825. My uncle asked his friend to give me a seat, as I was very tired of the horse, and when he reached town to leave me at a house kept by a widow lady as a public house for boarders and travelers. I can remember along the road as we crossed a small stream that the gentleman took his bucket and watered his horses, and then without washing out the bucket filled it half full of water, and drank. His wife's spirit of cleanliness was greatly shocked, but he laugh- ingly told her that he loved his horses, and that they were as clean as himself. I think she was right and he was wrong. Cleanliness promotes godliness. A clean soul is not often found in a dirty body. At the boarding-house of the widow lady I found she had two sons dressed in broadcloth, one of them about my age and the other a year or two younger, and that they were taught by a gentleman who was their private tutor. is REMOVAL TO KENTUCKY. I watched their proceedings closely for an hour or two until my uncle rode up, but they had paid no attention to me, except to look on my strange apparel with curiosity. My uncle was proud I had made progress, and as soon as he heard the boys say a lesson, he proposed to the teacher to spell me against his oldest pupil. This was a great surprise to the teacher and the boys. But they were kind and polite, and the teacher readily turned.to the hardest page of words in Webster's Spelling-book, and gave out the lesson to us. We spelled by turns, and went through the page without missing a word. The youngest boy then made us a speech, complimenting our attainments and exhorting usto greater efforts to become learned and famous. All this impressed me favorably, and did my young heart good. The old lady, who had witnessed the spelling-match, took me by the hand and led me into her own room, where I was to eat my dinner. She gave me a motherly talk full of good advice, which makes me love her to this day. My uncle had given me a silver dollar to pay for my dinner, which 19 20WILL M1A KES WA Y. I offered to the good woman as soon as I had finished eating. I shall never forget her reply. She said: "My son, you do not owe me any thing. Any boy of your age in the United States who can come here and spell as well as my boy shall have his dinner free. Be a good boy, and may the Lord be your strength." How glad I would be to know to-day what became of that family. I have always believed that those two boys, if they lived to manhood, made hon- orable marks in the world. We started on our journey, and soon came ta the Ohio River. It may seem strange to the people of this day when I describe the manner of crossing. An old-fashioned flat-boat, with an oar behind for steering and an oar on each side for drawing, making it necessary to have three men at work, was our craft and its fur- nishing. The boat had to be firt drawn up the river along the bank some two hundred yards, to allow for the current carrying it down the river in crossing, and then the steersman keeping it on a certain angle, and the oarsmen laboring with might and main, the crossing 20 REMO VAL TO KENTFCKY. was effected, striking the Kentucky side just below the mouth of Licking River. When we had landed and led our horses to the bank, my uncle asked the charge for ferrying us over. One dollar was demanded. My uncle said to the ferrymen that the law allowed twenty-five cents for a man and horse, and that he had only two horses and there were but two of us, and that fifty cents was all they were entitled to. They claimed that they had made a new oar for the boat that cost them some money, and they had to charge extra to get that money back. Uncle told them that it was their duty to furnish boat and oars without any extra charge. One of the three, being by this time nettled, said that any gentleman would pay so small a sum without complaint. My uncle weighed over two hundred pounds, and was a strong man and active as a cat, and actually delighted in a fight. He replied to the men that if they would land their boat, which they had pushed from the shore, and come up the bank where he was, if lie could not whip all three of them together lie would pay them a 21 WILL MAKES WVA Y. dollar, and if he succeeded in whipping them they were to let us go without paying. Their reply was that they did not make their living in that way, and so continued to recross the river. When we were riding through Coving- ton, I asked my uncle how he expected to fight three men at the same time. He said the men were small men and evidently cowards, and that he intended as they came up the bank to strike the foremost man in the burr of the ear, almost killing him, and simultaneously with the blow to kick the second comer in the stomach, and then the third man would take to his heels. I had no doubt in my childish brain that the result would have been as he described. My grandfather lived in Estill county, Ken- tucky, and our route from Cincinnati lay through Paris. I remember it as a small town, and the hotel where we staid all night as a small house, with its usual number of loafers and topers sitting in the bar-room until a late hour telling tales, swearing, and the like. After we had left Paris an event occurred which I remember very distinctly, and which 22 REMOVAL TO KENTUCKY. leads me to renew my acknowledgments to a watchful Providence for preserving my life. At the' door of a house where we had stopped I was placed on the horse that I had been riding with my feet in stirrups belonging to a saddle made for men. As the horse started from the door we came to a fence three or four rails high. The horse was gayly and active, and he leaped over the fence. I was either off my guard or very much fatigued, and the un- expected motion of the horse threw me from his back, and my foot ran through and hung in the stirrup so that I was helpless. This frightened the horse, and in a moment more he would have dashed out my brains but for my uncle. He was just ahead and had not mounted his horse, and being a very strong and resolute man, quick as thought with his right-hand he seized the horse that I was riding 'in his nostrils and held him perfectly still, while others drew my foot from the stirrup. God was good to me, but I have believed ever since that hour that a horse is a vain thing for safety. 223 WILL MAKES I WAY. I shall close this chapter by relating a little incident that will throw some light on the vexed question, Were the former days better than our own When nearly home, my uncle told me that he was going a few miles out of his way to see his sweetheart, who was soon to become his bride. This raised my curiosity to see her, as I supposed she must be an angel to be worthy of my uncle. We were to stay all night at the house of her father, and this would give my uncle abundant time to speak sweet words to his affianced love. The people in the mountains were generally poor, and the bed where we were to sleep was in the sitting- room. The month was November, and there was a good fire kept in the room during the night. I awoke about midnight or later, and to my great surprise I saw by the firelight that my uncle and his love occupied chairs near each other and near the fire, and their arms were actually around each other (I am blush- ing now, but history must be full and true), and both were sound asleep. To be sure of the situation I arose from the bed and went nearer 24 REMOVAL TO KENTUCKY. the devoted ones that I might know my eyes were true. They were true indeed. I then believed my uncle was in earnest, and that the lady loved him with all her heart. But see how this world changes and passes away. No man knows what a day may bring forth. We had not more than reached my grandfather's when my uncle was taken sick with fever contracted at New Orleans, and in two or three weeks he was dead. So that in the period of a month I saw two of my loved ones cold in death. My young heart was al- ready a mourner. I shall never forget how my dear old grandmother paced the floor hour after hour mourning the unexpected death of her beloved son. Willingly would she have taken his place if her son could have lived. The air was full of farewells to the dying, And mourning for the dead: The heart of Rachel for her children crying Will not be comforted.-Lon(ellow. 25 CHAPTER MIl. STARTING IN LIFE. Blessings on thee, little man, Barefoot boy, with cheeks of tan; With thy turned-lip pantaloons And thy merry-whistled tunes.- Whiaier. S OON after my father reached Kentucky he resumed his former occupation, and began teaching, which lie continued until near the close of his life. I lived with my grand- parents, and was the especial favorite of my grandmother. She would say, "Stevie will never tell a lie." I have endeavored to make her words true. Let me say here to the young who may read these pages, that a business life of more than fifty years has demonstrated in a thousand ways the advantages of truth over falsehood, besides the value of an easy con- science. In the practice of the law from the year 1839 to 1862, and especially wbih .1 was (26) STARTING IN LIFE. Commonwealth's Attorney from 1851 to 1856, I am not conscious of ever telling a client that the law was on his side unless I believed it was on his side, or of misquoting testimony or misapplying the law before a court or jury in any case. This is not written in a spirit of boasting, but as the plain duty of every lawyer, and as the sure road to success. Talking once with Judge McHenry, an able lawyer formerly of Shelbyville, Kentucky, on this subject, he assured me that such had been his practice, and that he attributed his success mainly to being truthful. In a few years my father married a young woman named Howell. They went to house- keeping, and I lived with them several years. A family of four children was their heritage. During these years I went to school to my father, and was taught reading, writing, and .rithmetic. At home I did a large portion of the work, such as preparing firewood, working in the garden, feeding the cows, and nursing the children. I was an adept at these things. My step-mother was kind to me, and I know 27 that I was faithful and serviceable to her. This is a pleasant recollection, that young as I was my life was useful in many ways. The life of a drone I never lived. When twelve or thirteen years old I began to realize the necessity of being self-support- ing, and of accomplishing more than could be done by making fires and nursing children. I must have had some ambition. My first em- ployment, I am sorry to say, was to sell whisky in a bar-room in Irvine. What a fearful risk! I staid there only a month, remaining sober all the time, not even tasting the fire of the still. Bless the Lord, 0 my soul! But I tremble now as memory carries me back to many periods of temptation, and attribute to the grace of God my escape from them all. I then went to plow for a farmer a few miles from Irvine, and remained a month or two. Hle taught me to play cardsfor amusement; but I left his house, quit cards, and was again saved. To get employment where I could improve by reading and the like was my ardent desire. 28 WIlLL MAKES WA Y. STARTING IN LIFE. A few miles from where we lived a large iron furnace was owned by Wheeler, Mason Co. They needed a boy who could weigh ore, sell goods, and keep accounts. In the mountains such boys were not easily found. I obtained the situation and remained there for several months, having a good home, regular work, books to read, and no evil associates; but a protracted spell of fever disabled me from service, and when I recovered I returned home to my father. This was in 1832. A single day during this time gave direction to all my after life. The attention of all young people is called to the recital given below of the turning period in my history. At the time named I knew nothing of the differences between Churches as to doctrines or government. Where I lived nearly all the people in the neighborhood who belonged to any Church were reformers. Mr. Campbell's views were gaining the ascendency in many places. The Baptist Church especial- ly suffered under the divisions that he made. My employers were reformers. 29 WILL MAKES WAY. One Sunday in August a man named Stew- art had an appointment to preach in a log meeting-house a mile or two from the Estill Steam Furnace where I lived. I walked to meeting on that day. Correct notions of honor and industry I had obtained from the teachings of my father. But I remember a strange feel- ing of dependence that I experienced on that day. A poor boy, his mother dead, his father ir- religious, without instruction as to a godly life, exposed to temptations, inheriting a sickly body, and yet realizing in a true sense the value of good character and undoubted in- tegrity-in this condition and in this frame of mind I sat down in the congregation on that day to hear preaching. The preacher read and expounded as best he could the first chapter of Hebrews. The sermon no doubt was very common, and not at all artistic. My memory of it is limited to one thought. God speaking to us in these latter days through his Son, and placing him above angels, caused me to magni- fy and worship the Son of God with my whole heart. I believed on the Son of God, and was 30 STARTING IN LIFE. di saved. I was saved, and rejoiced. My happi- ness knew no bound. Walking forward alone when there was no excitement among the peo- ple, I gave the preacher my hand and God my heart. It was an unreserved and joyful sur- render. No part of the price was held back. Of course I was to be immersed, but to me it seemed only a step in duty. I was already pardoned and a happy boy. We went out to a clear stream of running water, and there I was baptized. When all was over I returned home, running part of the way and rejoicing. It was not the baptism that made me rejoice, but Christ in me the hope of glory. My first discouragement was felt on relating to mem- bers of the Church, whom I supposed to be as happy as myself, what I had done and howI felt, and finding them to a great extent seemingly in. different as to my course. Is it not true that the first check many a young convert feels after accepting Christ is the contact with a believer who is cold and almost religiously dead But I had found the pearl of great price, and while temptations afterward came in like a flod and WILL MAKAS WAY. almost swept my bark from its moorings, yet, blessed be the Lord, the anchor held the vessel; and after fifty-four years of reflection on that day and the continuing grace of God, I shall ever look back to it as the time when I was born again and became a new creature in Christ Jesus. And what would have been my fate in the next year or two if I had been wholly destitute of the power of a religious life. Ruin, speedy ruin, would have been inev- itable. In my own strength I could not have successfully resisted the seductive influences of sin. Cards, whisky, and other besetments and pleasures would have given me a short and swift race to destruction. But while I was several times nearly ruined, and my feet had well-nigh slipped, I was graciously preserved to ascribe praise and honor to my Redeemer. A boy or girl fourteen years old has not an hour that they can safely live without Christ. They would be almost as secure in a frail ca- noe a mile above the Falls of Niagara in the middle of the river without paddle or oar. Even then the Lord was jmpre tiemig my 32 STARTING IV LIFE. mind with the duty to preach. Good William Rogers, an elder in the Church who will be re- membered by the older people, begged me to try my speaking gifts. With no experience on that line of danger, I consented. He had an appointment made for me at a social meeting to be held at the house of Berry Howell, the father of my stepmother. The time came, and I was in the presence of friends. No cold and unsympathizing critic was there to weigh my words and measure my gestures. One such might have discouraged me for life. No kinder hearts, no truer and brighter faces, were ever turned in love on an humble beginner. I read my text. It was, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." I knew nothing about it except to tell them that sin was wrong and dan- gerous, and that religion was good and indis- pensable. Ten minutes closed the speech. Brother Rogers followed, and I remember be- ing aware of the greater amount of thought and suggestions that he drew from the text than I had done. But I had made a beginning, and it was on the Lord's side. 3 33 4WILL MAKES WAY. As soon as I was well enough I returned home from the Estill Furnace, and remained there several months. In the next year an old Baptist preacher named Duff, who lived in Perry county, was returning from Richmond with two horse-loads of goods to start a little store. He had a young son and two young daughters at home who had not been to school. He needed some one to instruct them, and to sell his goods and keep his accounts. My father was induced to let me go in his employ. I went home with the old man and staid three or four months, serving him faithfully and teaching the children to spell and read. While living with Mr. Duff, his wife and himself went to a Baptist Association to be from home a week. The house was left in charge of his three children and myself. After the old people left home we ascertained in a dayortwo thatwe were withoutfood. We had no place to go for any, and so we starved for three days, eating only a few half-ripe peaches. I remember that the first bread we ate was made of musty meal, and it seemed to me the sweetest 34 STARTING IN LIFE. food that I had ever tasted. How many chil- dren never felt a day of hunger in their lives! God and kind parents have given them a daily supply. Let them be thankful for daily bread. I shall never forget the terrible sensa- tion of hunger on the second and third days of my long fast One night we children were in peril of our lives. A panther screamed near the house, im- itating a woman or child in danger. With brave hearts we gathered pine-knots and made a great light and sallied forth to relieve the distressed We heard no more noise and could find no one. The light had alarmed the beast and saved us. 0 how many times the hand of God is a delivering hand! We pass a thousand dangers and have only one death of the body, and for that we have ample time and helps to prepare so as to make it our greatest gain. Let us sing with Addison: When all thy mercies, 0 my God, My rising soul surveys, Transported widh the view, I'm lost In wonder, love, and praise. 35 CHAPTER IV. A TRIP TO MILL. 0 how can they look up to heaven And ask for mercy there, Who never soothed the poor man's pang Nor dried the orphan's tear.-Brownx W it E are going to tell the children a true tale, and we think if they will read it and remember it in after life, they will never be unkind to any one who needs their help. Many years ago, in the mountains of Ken- tucky, there lived a poor man, who was a school-master, and who had a wife and five or six children to support, and whose income never exceeded two hundred and fifty dollars per annum. Your parents will tell you that the very closest economy was necessary to en- able this family to live. It was necessary to have a house to live in, and to buy food and clothing for seven or eight persons, besides From the Central Methodist. (i6) A TRIP TO MILL. other expenses. But they did live together very happily for many years, and without be- coming much embarrassed -with debt. The father was a sober, industrious, and clever man, and the mother did her part of the house- hold duties with neatness and care, and even the children contributed their mite of assist- ance. One morning, after very early breakfast, the oldest child who was a delicate boy about thirteen years old, but who was trustworthy, obedient, and ever ready to serve his parents, was started to a mill, which was eight miles from his father's house, with a turn of corn to have ground into meal for the family. The bread that the family had at breakfast was all that was in the house, but they were without uneasiness, as they supposed the boy would return before night. He reached the mill about ten o'clock, and found a number of per- sons had come before him on the same errand. The children may not know that it is a cus- tom of millers to grind for persons in the or- der of their reaching the mill-the first who 37 comes is the first served. The old man who attended to the mill owned a good farm and lived on it near the mill, and was a kind-hearted Christian man. He told the boy that if he would stay until sundown he believed he could have his corn ground, and the boy agreed to it, although he would have to go home mainly through the woods after dark; but he knew the loved ones at home depended on him. On the day named the water was falling more rapidly than the kind miller supposed, and as it fell the mill ground slower and slow- er. It was in the winter, and the weather was cold. As night approached it became plain to the miller that he could not do the grinding for the boy, and he told him to take some of the corn from the bag and feed his horse, and go to his house and stay all night. The boy was very hungry, not having eaten food since morning. He did as he was directed, but when he reached the house he saw that the miller's wife was displeased. She was a woman pro- fessing religion, but was a thorough Xantippe, of violent temper, and was evidently the ruler 38 WILL MAKES WAY. A TRIP TO MILL. of the mansion. About seven o'clock prepara- tions were made for supper, when, lo! to the dismay of the poor, hungry boy, he and one of the woman's sons received her order to go up- stairs to bed. They obeyed without a word. The other boy may have been fed in the kitchen, or he may not have eaten any thing. The old woman's whim governed that question. Soon after the boys were in bed, which was just over the eating-room, the poor boy was painfully aware of well-cooked meats, coffee, and every thing necessary to a good supper, in the room below. It was a long time before he could sleep from hunger and vexation. In the morning he was awake by daylight, and arose and went to the mill with the good old miller, who pitied him so much that he hastened to grind his corn before any person reached the mill. While this was being done the boy fed his horse again with his own corn, kindled a fire and parched a quantity of corn for his own breakfast, and about ten o'clock reached home, finding the family very much in need of the meal that he carried them. 39 WILL MAKES WAY. That poor boy grew to manhood and became a preacher. He frequently preached at a church near the residence of the miller and his wife. They had probably forgotten the hun- gry boy, but the preacher remembered them well. Every time he preached, the old woman became happy, would shout, march around the room, and sometimes make demonstrations to the preacher as if she would embrace him, but he always gave her the cold shoulder. He preached the sermon when the old man was buried, and believed a saint was at rest; but when the old woman died she was buried by other hands. Children, this true recital is intended to teach you to be kind, especially to the poor and unfortunate. The poor ye have always with you. 40 CHAPTER V. ON TO RICHMOND. Who has not dreamed a world of bliss On a bright sunny noon like this-HowiU. fT HE only way that I could return home from Perry to Estill county, some eighty miles or more through the mountains, was to travel with the mail-carrier, who once a week on horseback conveyed the mail through the country. He was a kind young man, and agreed to allow me to ride half the way while he would walk, and when he rode I would walk the other half of the way, and thus in three days we would reach Irvine, the place of his destination and within three miles of my father's house. Such was our journey; and happy as larks we made the trip, having few cares, and fewer apprehensions. In a few days I began to appeal to my father to let me try my fortune in the direction of (41) WILL MAKES WAY. Richmond, and leave the mountains where it seemed there was not much improvement or hope of gain. It seems to me that I was the only boy of all that I knew who at any time had such thoughts. I was valuable at home for many purposes, and for some time it was difficult to obtain permission to go. At length my father gave consent One Sunday morning, dressed in my beat suit, with a little bpndle of clothes on my shoulder, an old-fashioned quarter of a dollar and an old-fashioned ninepence in my pocket, constituting all my worldly goods, but with a happy and innocent heart, and full of faith in success, I struck out on foot to walk seventeen miles to Richmond. Let me describe my gay apparel. While living with old man Duff we heard that the fashion in the settlement, as the blue grass country was called, was to make a boy's roundabout with full sleeves like a la- dy's dress. So a full suit was made me of cot- ton goods called bed-ticking, with black and white stripes running the length of the goods, the pantaloons, vest, and roundabout coat be- 42 ON TO RICHMOND. ing all alike, the sleeves of the coat making me look like I was between two balls of India rub- ber learning the art of swimming. I was evi- dently an attraction, and in this garb I went to Richmond. It was a long walk, and I suppose it was five o'clock in the afternoon when I entered Rich- mond, the poorest boy in worldly goods that ever went to the town. This was in Septem- ber, 1833, just after the first visit of cholera to that place. The day was delightful, and I had many plans and large hopes of success along the road. But by the time I reached town I was very tired and hungry. My impression was that I would learn the tailoring business, as I supposed that was easy work and a good way to make money. Entering Richmond from the Irvine road and reaching the first street, we turned to the left, and walking a block we came to the lower tavern, as it was then called. I had never seen the town before that day. I was struck with the signs above the doors and commenced reading them as far as my eye could see them. 43 WILL MAKES WA Y. I had never heard or conceived of painted signs. I might have seen them in Cincinnati sevreral years before, but I had no recollection of them. About half-way down the street where I was walking a sign read "D. Webster, Tailor." It occurred to me that I had found employment. On reaching the lower tavern I saw al boy reading a printed bill which was posted on the wall. He was near my age, and was the first person that I spoke to in Ri-h- mond, and has since been my life-long friend. He is now the Hon. C. F. Burnam. I had not seen many boys of our age who could read well, and I felt surprised at his proficiency. He was reading rd.oud, and when he was done, I said in a tone of wonder, "Can you read that well" He was then attracted for the first time to my shining apparel and large sleeves, and, looking at me as if I had come from some other planet, answered, "The question is, Can you read" I began at once, and read all the bill. From that hour we were acquainted. In my simplicity I said: "I see a sign back here, V. Webster. Is that the man who makes 44 ON' TO RICHMOND. great speeches." He laughed freely, and let me know they were very different men. I told him that I wished to see Mr. Webster, if I could Looking along the store row and point- ing to a man approaching us, he said: "Yonder he comes; that is Mr. Webster." I met him as he crossed the street and told him my name, stating that I was a poor boy from the mount- ains, and that I wished to learn the trade with him, but as it was Sunday I would prefer waiting until next morning to agree on terms. This pleased him. He was a Presbyterian, and was returning home from a Bible class. He took me home with him, and I found he had several journeymen who boarded with him, and one boy who had been learning the busi- ness about a year. It was music to me when supper was an- nounced. I walked in and took a seat at the corner near the head of the table by "Aunt Polly Webster." The biscuits were small and good, such as I had never seen. She was fa- mous in the culinary line. After I had eaten six or seven, the mischievous boarders took il 45 WILL MAKES WA Y. the situation and kept motioning to the girls who waited on the table to keep me supplied. They did so, and I ate in all twelve or fifteen biscuits, and other things in proportion. At last "Aunt Polly" concluded to inquire where I came from and what was my business. To encourage her I assured her that I was going to live with her five or six years and learn the trade. I doubt her being encouraged just then, but ever afterward she was my friendL That was my first meal in Richmond. A little after dark I heard a large bell ring. It was the first I had ever heard, and I did not know its meaning. I asked William Peacock, the boy who was learning the trade, the mean- ing of the bell, and he, greatly amused at my verdancy, said it was a bell for people to go to church. I asked if he expected to go. Be- fore he had time to think of consequences, he said he was going, and I proposed to accompa- ny him. We walked up the aisle of the church about half-way and took a seat He led and I followed. I can yet see with what amazement and wonder the good old Presbyterian mothers 46 ON TO RICHMOND. looked at me and forgot Mr. Brown, the preacher. Such costume as I wore they had never seen. Aladdin's lamp could not have in- creased the singularity. After remaining three or four days with Mr. Webster, he said to me one day that I was welcome to stay with him as long as I pleased without being bound as an apprentice, but that he believed I was not stout enough in the breast to follow the tailoring business. Al- ways willing to be instructed, I asked him what I had better do. He said there were a good many trades in town, and- I had better look around and engage in something that would not injure my health. I asked him if he thought I could get into a store. He said, "No; you have no introduction." I suggested that he might introduce me, which I supposed meant to tell the merchant my name. He said he did not know me well enough, as the intro. duction that he meant and that would be re- quired involved responsibility for the money and goods that I would handle. He was very kind, and gave me a day to examine shops and 47 4 'ILL MAKES WA Y. stores according to my own inclination. I went into nearly every place of business in town. Late in the afternoon I stepped into the dry goods store of Field Moberly, and addressed the latter gentleman. He was a man of kind heart, had been poor himself, had written four years in the Clerk's office in Richmond, and had married a daughter of Custis Field, who was one of the best of wom- en. After hearing my tale, he said: " Stephen, it is against all precedent to employ a boy without any recommendation, but we will take you on trial. If you do right, I am your friend; if you do wrong, I will dismiss you." He took me to his house, and he and his wife treated me like a son. And now listen, boys, to my first temptation and happy escape. I had become acquainted with a boy named Ladd, who was an apprentice to the tailoring business under Solomon Smith. After night he commenced visiting me at the store. In a few nights he persuaded me that we might in- nocently close the door and play cards for fun. I had not entered my membership in any 48 ON TO RICHMOND. Church, as I should have done. With some hesitation I consented, intending to quit when- ever I pleased. We had kept it up two or three nights, when one night while we were playing there was a quick knock at the door and a voice that I knew well calling " Stephen." It was my employer, Mr. Moberly. He but seldom visited the store at night. At that mo- ment I would have given any thing in my power if I had been restored to his favor and could feel innocent. Ladd said, " Hide the cards before you let him in." I said, "No; he shall know the truth, if I am hanged for it." As I opened the door Ladd shot out and ran away. That is a sample of the treatment of a sinner to his friend when in danger. The way of the ungodly shall perish. Mr. Moberly came in and looked distressed. There lay the cards, and I was trembling. He said: "Stephen, what does this mean " I answered: "It means that I have done very wrong, and I do not know what to say; I am at your mercy." He stood awhile without speaking, and said: " Sleep here to-night, and I will decide what to do in the 4 49 50WIL L MAKES WAY. morning." 0 what a night of misery I passed! If that is a specimen of the pleasure of sin, the world is welcome to it so far as I am concerned. Before he left the store I had assured my kind friend that no betting lead taken place. In the morning I went to breakfast and felt like a con- victed felon. I did not know where to sit at the table. Mrs. Moberly motioned to me to take my usual place, which was at the upper corner near her seat. I could tell by her increased kindness that she knew all, and believed that she had been pleading for me. Not a word did I speak during breakfast. I returned to the store, cleaned out the house well, dusted the goods, and seemed ready for business. After awhile Mr. Moberly came in, and looked concerned and serious. In a few minutes he took me to the office-room, where we were alone; and he said: " Stephen, what must I do with you " I answered: "Mr. Moberly, I cannot blame you if you dismiss me; but in my condition I will be a poor, ruined boy without character. I do not know what to say, as I do not think you could believe me. You must decide. I shall 50 ON TO trICHMOND. never throw another card." He said: " I have risked my goods and money with you. That was a bad boy with you last night, and such associates will be your ruin if you keep them. I still have faith in your honesty, and my dis- missal might prove your ruin. If I will try you further will you promise me to abstain from all bad habits" Ipromised, and kept the promise, and I love his memory to this day. Boys, see how near I was to ruin! One step more, and confidence in my conduct would have been destroyed; and then my course would have been worse and worse. How many boys do I remember, in far better circumstances than myself, who risked a sinful life and fell foreverl Abstain from all appearance of evil. 51 CHAPTER VI. FIVE YEARS IN CLERK'S OFFICE. How many pass the guilty night In reveling and frantic mirth: The creature is their sole delight, Their happiness the things of earth.-C. Wesky. IN the beginning of the year 1834, Field ; Moberly dissolved partnership and closed up their business; and the question arose in my mind, What will become of me Hav- ing made only one blunder, Mr. Moberly was my fast friend. He told me one day that Maj. Irvine, who was Clerk of the Madison Circuit and County Courts, and whose wife had lately died, had but one deputy, Cap- tain Jenkins, and that he needed a boy who would stay with him several years, and asked me how I would like that situation. I replied that no prospect in life seemed to me as favorable as to have a place in the Clerk's office where I would be close to the Richmond (52) FIVE YEARS IA' CLERK'S OFFICE. Library, and where my employment would be improving to my mind. So my friend saw Maj. Irvine, and he agreed if my father would sign the contract that he would employ me un- til I became of age, at fifty dollars per year, embracing the time from March 1, 1834, to May 13,1839. My father signed the contract, and I began my new employment. Capt. Jenkins and myself slept and worked together at the Clerk's office, and ate at Maj. Irvine's house, a quarter of a mile away. I had a most excellent home in a good family, and was at once introduced to the best society in Richmond. Maj. Irvine had two sons and two daughters, all younger than myself. I was enthusiastic in my new situation, and in a few days undertook to make an index from the statutes of the State, refer- ring to every law relating to the duties of a Clerk of the Circuit and County Conrts. I must now relate, with shame, another pe- riod of temptation; and I hope the recital will be a lesson to all boys, teaching them the se- ductive power of evil associates, and confirm- ing the scripture, " One sinner destroyeth IF I WILL MAKES WA Y. much good." My father set me a copy for a writing exercise, of which I am now reminded: "Evil communications corrupt good manners." The boy Ladd, whom I have already men- tioned, was one of my first acquaintances in town, and therefore held a claim on my com- pany aad friendship. He was a bound ap- prentice for four years to S. Smith, a tailor, and had probably served one year of his term. In that time he began to think he was a fair work- man, and that he could go elsewhere and make better wages. He determined to run away, but he did not like to go by himself, and he had no money. I think that I had been in the Clerk's office about a month when Ladd approached me on the subject. He greatly desired that I should go with him. I had a few dollars, and that was our cash outfitz He represented that Maj. Irvine was not giving me enough for my labor, that five years was almost a life-time, that I could get employment anywhere, and that I was not bound as an apprentice, and would therefore be in no danger of being ad- vertised or taken back. With such plausible FiVE YEARS IN CLERK'S OFFICE. speeches he persuaded me, and I yielded. I think that was the first and last time that I ever broke a contract. As well as I remember, it was about the first of April. We chose a night for our escape when the moon shone brightly. Before night we had taken our little bundles of clothes and concealed them in the vestibule of the Presby- terian Church. It seemed to us we were en- tering upon a journey which if known would cause a great commotion in town. So about eight o'clock, very quietly and privately, we secured our goods and struck out for Lexing- ton. Ladd seemed afraid of every noise that he heard, and jumped every time a stick cracked. We took the Jack's Creek road, as it would be more private than the direct road and attended with less danger. Afteu walking bravely for two hours I became very tired, and seeing Mr. Ambrose Christopher, a farimer, ia his yard looking after some stock, we hail1 (I him and asked permission to stay ill He was a kind man and consented. J I not know me then, but afterward, wlV I we 55 WILL MA KES WVA Y. were well acquainted, we had many a laugh over that night. When we went into the house, and a light was struck and some arrangements were being made for our sleeping, Mr. Christopher looked at us both with evident surprise and suspicion. As Ladd was the oldest and largest, he ad- dressed him first, inquiring where he came from and where he was going. Ladd replied that he was from Tennessee, and was going to visit some relatives in Illinois. What a lie! It was made out of whole cloth. I could see that he was not believed. Turning to me, in a kind voice Mr. C. said: " My son, where are you from" I told him instantly that I was from Richmond. He then asked me where I was going. I candidly confessed that I did not know, but that I intended to get employment and make a living. He said he tought that if I had friends or employment in Richmond I had better go back. But we went forward in the morning, and had before us as we thought the wide, wide world. It was twelve o'clock when we walked into 56 FIVE YEARS IN CLERR 'S OFFICE. Lexington. I began at once to seek a situation, as I determined that I had gone far enough; but Ladd was very uneasy. He said he must go farther, and asked me how much money I had in my pocket. I had two or three dollars, and gave him half my money; and I have never seen nor heard of him since that day. What became of that boy Is he living or dead Did he do better, or did he grow worse He was advertised as a runaway apprentice, but no one cared to find him, as the reward offered was only one cent. I felt mortified when I read it, as we had placed a much higher esti- mate on ourselves. All that I can say for him is that after we were caught playing cards he never proposed to play again; nor did he drink whisky or have any other bad habits. But see, boys, how he broke his contract, left a good home and a clever employer, and how one evil hour turned his career for life to what result I do not know. I believe that every person's life, if he would read his own his- tory well, is controlled by some one hour or day. 57 WILL MAKES WAY. A gentleman named Wilson kept a family grocery and was an auctioneer, his place of business being on the next street west from the Phoenix Hotel. His wife was sick, and he had no clerk. After trying at a number of places for a situation, I applied to him. He asked me for a reference to my character. I told him candidly that I had none. I saw that he wanted me and at the same time was afraid of me, and I could not but think he was right. He talked with me for some time. He said that he wanted a boy of my size to do two things: to stay in the store all day and sell groceries, and once or twice a week to keep an account of auction sales. I assured him that I could and would do both faithfully if he would give me a trial. At length he consented, and I entered his service about five o'clock on the afternoon of the clay that I reached Lexington. Wilson sold goods only for cash. Many a merchant would do well, as soon as he reads this statement, if he would resolve and keep the resolve never to credit another dollar. If a merchant wishes to know the difference be- FIVE YEARS IN CLERK'S OFFICE. tween cash and credit sales, let him take the best list of accounts and notes that he ever made at the end of six months and see what any man having money will give for them. I took in about fifteen or twenty dollars a day, and each day at supper I counted out to my employer all the money that I had received, and paid it to him. His wife continued quite ill, and in three or four days he intrusted the store to me. In a few days after, he told me one afternoon, when I was paying him the day's sales, that I sold more than he could sell. The reason was that I did not leave the store during the day except to go to my meals. He said to me that it I staid with him a year and did as well as I was then doing, he would start another small grocery and give me half the profits. So I was doing well. Almost every spare moment I spent in reading but I did not neglect my business at any time. The God of providence was my guide. When I had been thus employed about two weeks, one day I was sitting by the fire read- ing a book and awaiting customers, when I 59 WVILL MAKES WAY. heard a footstep entering the store, and, going around the counter quickly, to my shame and mortification my eyes met those of Maj. Irvine. He was every inch a gentleman, and seeing my confusion he spoke kindly to me, extended his hand, and said if I had no objection he would take a seat at the fire and warm himself. When thus seated he informed me that my leaving him was so strange an event that he had called to see me, not to force me to return, but to ascertain if his children or any one about his house had mistreated me in any way. As they were rich and I was poor, I have no doubt that he thought the children might have been overbearing or insulting toward me. I assured him that he and his children and Cap- tain Jenkins had all treated me well, and that I left through the persuasion of Ladd, and be- cause I believed I could not support myself on fifty dollars a year. He set before me the ad- vantages I would have in the office of reading and gaining information through the business itself, and that I could dp as I pleased about returning; but I did not doubt that he desired 60 FIVE YEARS IN CLERK'S OFFICE. 61 me to return. I told him that I had regretted leaving him very much, and would like to re- turn if I could pay Mr. Wilson a few dollars that he had advanced me to buy clothes, and could get an honorable release from him. He said he would pay him my debt, and would arrange the matter with Wilson, and take me home with him in his buggy. He then went to Wilson's house and brought him to the store. When Wilson came to the store his eyes looked unusually large. He said if he had known I was a runaway he would not have employed me. I told him I knew that well euough, and for that reason had not told him the worst, knowing that I was just as honest as if I had not run away. He said he would like to keep me, and if I would stay with him he would make good all his promises, and would set me up in business at the end of a year. But I de- cided to return home with Maj. Irvine. An incident of our travel home raises the question in my mind whether I felt mere than an appreciative friendship for the eldest daughter of Maj. Irvine, who was my juuior WILL MAKES WA Y. by two or three years. She was a remarkably intellectual girl, and her natural powers were improved in the best schools. I suppose it must have been her qualifications alone that made me feel toward her as I shall now relate. After we left Lexington I found myself two or three times crying despite my utmost efforts to restrain my tears. At length Maj. Irvine, anxious to relieve me and prevent my crying begged me to tell him the cause. With art- lessness and truthfulness I replied that when I returned home I expected the boys around town would tease me severely on account of what I had done, and that Capt. Jenkins and probably others would laugh at me. I said I felt I could stand all that quite well, but that there was one person who would mortify me to death if she ever named the subject, and that person was his daughter Sarah. He laughed immoderately, but I could not see any thing amusing in what I had said. Observing my seriousness, he assured me that if I would dry my tears, and take a hopeful and cheerful view of the future, he did not believe his 62 FIVE YEARS .,N CLERK'S OFFICE. daughter would allude unpleasantly to the subject. 0 my young, unsophisticated heart! When we reached home and drove into the large front yard, the children ran out to meet their father, Sarah leading the rest. Seeing me with him, in a very lady-like way she came to me and gave me her hand saying that she was glad to see me; and for five happy years that I remained in that family my flight was never named. When I went to my work in the office I was surprised that no one tantalized me with my misstep. It is doing wrong that brings all the trouble in our lives, while doing right, although it may be returning from the wrong, always brings happiness to the indi- vidual and confidence on the part of other people. I believed then, and believe to this day, that the great majority of people have kindness enough in their hearts to be rejoiced when one who has done wrong quits sinning, and that a determined penitent sinner who un- flinchingly holds on to his life of amendment secures the esteem and confidence even of the ungodly who tried to seduce him from the 63 64 IVILL MA KE.S WA Y. right way, while one who turns back at their solicitation shares the fate of Bunyan's Pliable, who found many in the town to "mock at his cowardliness" for failing to keep his vows. CHAPTER VII. CLERK'S OFFICE LIFE CONTINUED. Avoid in youth luxurious diet, Restrain the passions' lawless riot; Devoted to domestic quie' Be wisely gay; So shall ye, spite of age's fiat, Resist decay.-Horace Smith. rT HE first thing I did when I was again safely seated in my place in the Clerk's office was to reconsider my religious life and make good resolutions for the future. I knew that I was poor and friendless, unless good character should make me friends. I began seriously to study the value and importance of Church relationship. I was aware that I was weak and needed strength. The power of temptation had already nearly been my ruin on two occasions. The family with whom I lived attended the Presbyterian Church, and thi3 naturally led me to that 6 (65) 6I'JLL MA KES WA Y. Church. Rev John H. Brown was the pastor, and lie and his excellent wife who was a daugh- ter of Dr. Clelland, became my friends and were warmly interested in me. I joined that Church and remained in its communion until I became a man. Very soon I entered the Sabbath-school, became a member of a large Bible class, and thoughts of the ministry re- turned upon me with great force. The influ- ence of the good men and women of the Church, who became nursing fathers and mothers to me, was a conservative power in my behalf that held me back from sin. I was extremely diffident at this period of my life, especially when in the company of la- dies. One excellent and remarkably intelli- gent young woman, Miss Mary Burnam, became my friend, and on every suitable occasion en- deavored to give me confidence in myself; and I feel that I owe her to this day a debt of gratitude. One night in a large debating so- ciety of which I was a member, the questicn was whether Queen Elizabeth was justifiable in her treatment of Mary, Queen of Scots. I 66 CLERKIS OFFICE LIFE CONTINUED. led the debate on one side, and had prepared a speech with great care. It was written and memorized. But when I had spoken about a page, I suddenly forgot the speech and became confused, and was on the eve of sitting down. My kind friend saw it, and quick as thought leaning toward me, so as to attract my atten- tion, she looked at me and waved her hand- kerchief, and I felt that I had one true friend. This encouraged me, and as I understood the subject well I rallied, dropped the written speech, and spoke extemporaneously for twenty minutes with energy and rather more than or- (linary credit. On another occasion at a party of young peo- ple in a nice parlor, with a fire of hickory-wood brightly burning, a large coal fell out on a fine carpet. I was the youngest of the young gen- tlemen present, and the servants being away it was evident that not one of them intended to remove the coal. Without stopping to think of consequences I sprung forward, threw the coal into the fire with my fingers, and saved the carpet. It was then interesting to hear 67 WILL MAKES WA Y. my friend lecture those young men on false pride. They felt it, and I was greatly encour- aged to act after that time with good plain sense, even if I violated some rule of very fashionable society. When I had been in the office about a year Mr. Brown became very anxious that the Richmond Presbyterian Church should send me to Centre College at Danville. He first obtained the reluctant consent of Maj. Irvine to give me up if he could get another boy who suited him as well as I did. He then brought the subject before his Church, and all the membership agreed to it except one elder. He was rich and cautious. I think he was acting for the benefit of my employer to keep me in his service. He represented that my past history showed that I was not reliable, and that I might when educated engage in some other pursuit. Perhaps he was right. I never regarded him as my enemy. One blessed mother in Israel must be named in this place. Mrs. Clark, a widow lady, owned a good farm some two miles from town, and 68 CLERK'S OFFICE LIFE CONTINUED. had a sweet home. She became interested in me, and was very anxious that I should receive an education and be a minister. When the Church declined sending me to Danville, she went to Mr. Brown, her pastor, and offered to take me to her house and support me for four years if he would superintend my studies and give me an education. He was a good man, and the best preacher to be heard by the year that I ever knew, and he at once agreed to her proposition. But my employer could not find a boy to suit him. I love the Presbyterian Church, but perhaps the result was for the best, as I found when reading " Dwight's The- ology" that I could not believe the doctrines of that dear old Church. I was nearly grown when Mr. Brown gave me " Dwight's Theology " to read, he still hoping that I would be a minister. It was a grand work, written by a grand man; I was charmed and instructed on every page. But when I struck Calvinism proper, my mind and heart revolted at the statements which it contained. The doctrine promulgated was that God had 69 WILL MAKES WAY. from eternity in the past, and before man was created, decreed all events that come to pass, appointing certain men and angels to eternal life, and other men amd angels to eternal death; and that this decree was so specific that the persons elected and the persons doomed were all named; and that the salvation of the elect was not in any wise in consequence of faith or good works foreseen or commanded by God. At the same time it was asserted that such a decree did not destroy man's free agen- cy, and hence he was blamable for being lost I knew that this was a contradiction. Often had I heard Mr. Brown state in his sermons that while God was omnipotent he could not do impossible things. For example, if a stone were thrown up one hundred feet it could not be ascending and descending at the same time. Neither could God make truth out of a lie. And so I concluded that no man could be free to choose heaven if he had been decreed to go to hell. My trouble was laid before Mr. B., and he tried hard to reconcile me to the doctrine of the decrees. He said the decree mentioned 70 CLERK'S OFFICE LIFE CONTINUED. was only the permission of God, and that he did not cause men to sin. I told him that I had recorded many decrees in the Clerk's office, and that I had never seen one that was called a permission. They either commanded a thing to be done or prohibited it from being done. At that time I knew little about Methodist doctrine. But I became acquainted with Rev. EdAwin Roberts, a Methodist preacher of bless- ed memory, and the best revivalist I ever knew. I stated my troubles to him. He said he could furnish me a book that would show me the true scriptural doctrine on the questions that disturbed me. He gave me " Fletcher's Checks." I fairly devoured them in love and admiration. God was honored, all men could be saved, and grace and the Holy Spirit were magnified. I found that I was a Methodist in doctrine, and joined that Church after I was a man grown. But I must return. I do not think there were six religious boys in Richmond when I joined the Church; but the Dumber of irreligious ones, who can tell 71 72 WILL MAKRS WAY. Many, many indeed, whose parents were rich spent their days in idleness and their nights -in dissipation, and have long since passed to their final account. I remember one noble young man who approached me one day in a state of semi-inebriation, after I became a preacher, and said: "Noland, I am descending the hill, and expect to go to the bottom before I stop. Then I will retrace my steps, and show you what a man can do in his own strength." I said: "If you go any farther down the hill, you will never rise. Stop now, and return." He laughed at my seriousness, descended the hill, but never rose again. 0 bow I thank God for his restraining grace! It was my regular habit to stay in the office at night, and not run the town with other boys, and from seven to nine I read law. Madison is a large county, and the work in the office when one man was Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts was heavy for two persons. I remember that Capt. Jenkins visited relations in another State and was gone a month, and I did the labor of both offices. That was CLERK'S OFFICE LIFE CONTINUED. the closest work of my life, and it was very near prostrating me. But Capt. Jenkins was nearly always at home, and then I had plenty of time to read. Maj. Irvine had an interest in the town library, and I had a good book at my side every day. My school education was limited to reading, writing, and arithmetic. I had no opportunity to study the grammar of my own tongue; but I was fond of books, and I may say that I was a student. Such works as Brown's Moral Philosophy, Say's Political Economy, Hallam's Middle Ages, Hume's En- gland, Shakespeare, Pollok, and many others, I reveled in even when a boy. The church, the office, and Maj. Irvine's house were my chief homes. In these I was innocent and safe. An incident of this period of my life amuses me to this day. Memminger, of South Caroli- na, had made an able speech in the Presbyte- rian Church, favoring a proposed railroad from Cincinnati to Charleston. The people in Rich- mond became enthusiastic and gave him a sup- per. Fluid stronger than water was abundant 73 WILL MAKES WA Y. on the table, but rather scarce at the end of the repast. I had retired at nine, my usual hour, and about eleven o'clock Capt. Jenkins came in very happy. He was usually a sober, quiet man, and was not accustomed to drinking sprees, so this one made him look all the more singular to me. While he was singing and whistling, and dancing over the floor, and un- dressing, he let me know that he had been thinking of me all night, and had determined that be and Judge Breck, Maj. Irvine, and Maj. Turner would send me to Yale College and educate me if I would promise not to be a preacher. I gave him the promise, and soon fell asleep, being satisfied that when he be- came sober I would remain in the Clerk's office. The next morning as we walked to breakfast he informed me that he must have been a little in his cups when he was talking to me the previous night, and that his spirit of liberality had left him. I assured him that I was satisfied, and the subject was dismissed. Judge Simpson was holding court in Rich- mond, commencing the first Monday in March 74 CLERK'S OFFICE LIFE CONTINUED. 1839. On the thirteenth of May following I would be twenty-one years old. I was anxious to procure license to practice law so that I could begin promptly as soon as I was of age. For this purpose I applied to the Judge to ex- amine me and give me license if he found me " worthy and well qualified." He entered upon the examination, and asked me many easy questions At the end of the trial I was great- ly relieved when he asked me to prepare the license and he would sign it. He kindly ad- vised me when I began practicing law to go slow and not undertake any case that I did not understand. But another difficulty remained. Two circuit judges were required by law to sign the license, and I began to fear that Judge Simpson might have favored me more than a stranger would, as I had been the dep- uty clerk of one of his courts for several years. So with considerable dread I went to .ancas- ter, where the Hon. J. L Bridges was holding court, to ask him to examine me and sign my license. I remember how the old gentleman sat wearing his spectacles, and they seemed to 75 WILL MAKES WAY. make him look formidable. He invited me to his room after supper, and I went dreading the ordeal. After some conversation, in which he gathered my Clerk's office history and read- ing, he asked me for the license that Judge Simpson had signed. I handed it to him, and lie took a pen and wrote his name under the name of Judge Simpson. I asked him why he signed the license without examining me. He said that he had too much respect for Judge Simpson to go over his work after he had examined me, and that he was as well satisfied that I was qualified as he would be if lie had given me the most thorough examina- tion. I was greatly relieved. On the very day that I was twenty-one years old I left the Clerk's office and entered a law office to prac- tice law. Here is a copy of the license just as I wrote the document by request of Judge Simpson: "STATE OF KENTUCKY, Set. " We, James Simpson and John L. Bridges, two of the Circuit Judges in the State of Ken- tucky, do certify that we have examined Ste-. 76 CLERK'S OFFICE LIFE CONTINUVIED. 77 phen Noland, who produced to us a certificate from the County Court of Madison County of his being a young man of honesty, probity, and good demeanor, and pronounce him duly qualified to practice law in any Court of this Commonwealth, and we do hereby give him license to do so. "Given under our hands and seals this sixth day of March, 1839. JAMES SIMPSON. [SEAL.] JOHN L. BRIDGES. [SEAL.]" HAPTER VIII. FIRST FIRE. "Hark! don't you hear, my little man It's striking nine," I said, "An hour when all good little boys And girls should be in bed."-Barlam. T would be interesting if we could tell how little we know that we have not learned from others. Perhaps our own acquisitions are limited to instinct, and as soon as we have only one thought that we can call knowl- edge, it was derived from some teacher other than ourselves. This humiliating fact should make us slow to criticise those who have not had the opportunity or capacity to know certain things that we know. The boy who undertook to tell a stranger how to go to a neighbor's, directing him to pass by the old black hen's nest, was greatly surprised to find that the stranger did not know the locality of (78) FIRST FIRE. the nest-exclaiming that every child on the place knew where it was; and while we can see the unreasonableness of the supposition of this boy, it is just as reasonable as many things passing frequently before our eyes. A country rustic comes to town who has had no opportunity to know the town or its ways, re- ceives the unmerciful jeers of the town young- sters, while if they were where he lived he could soon show his superiority over them in respect of the places and pursuits with which he was familiar. Be charitable. We all have to live and learn. After I was a preacher, and while I was Com- monwealth's Attorney, I went to a city church to preach one night, where it was lighted with gas. I had never seen one lighted in that way before. I had heard of the fine light produced by gas, and when I stepped into the church and commenced walking up the aisle I felt a painful disappointment on account of the darkness of the room, when suddenly the gas was turned on, the room was very brilliant, and I jumped like some one had shot at me. 79 WILL MAKES WA Y. At first I was afraid something was wrongs and that we might have an explosion, but I soon settled down to the situation, preached my sermon, and never made the same mistake aft- erward. But in some way I had to learn that gas-light could be suddenly increased. I remember a year or two after I went to Richmond that two young ladies from Phila- delphia entered Mr. Tracey's school as teach- ers. They were thoroughly educated. They had never ridden on horseback, and see- ing some ladies dashing around the town seated gracefully at their ease on beautiful horses, they became anxious to try a ride of that kind. They boarded in the western end of the town, and two very gentle horses being prepared for them they started in a slow walk down Main street, leaning forward as if they expected to fall every moment; and when they had reached the eastern part of the town, the horses stopped, and they had not the least conception how to turn them. Some young gentlemen, seeing their awkward position, went to their relief, turned the horses' heads toward 80 FIRST FIRE. home, and the animals, knowing the way, car- ried them safely to the place whence they had started. Now these young ladies knew Latin, Greek, French, the classics, and how to play on the piano, but they did not understand horseback riding. It was an art they had to learn. A neighbor of mine was a grown man before he had ever been aboard a steam-boat. He had of course heard a thousand times of ex- plosions and the power of steam. Being at Frankfort, and finding one of the boats prepar- ing. to start, with steam up and passengers go- ing aboard, he walked with the crowd and went on deck, and was standing some ten or twelve feet above the hard bank of the river. As soon as he touched the boat, feeling the motion, at once the horror of an explosion struck his mind, and he walked as if every step was on cinders. Suddenly the whistle told the crowd to prepare for the boat leaving. My friend made a vigorous leap for terra /ripa, and when he struck the ground he did not have to wait till night to see stars. But he 6 81 WILL MAKES WAY. never repeated that mistake again. He had to learn that the whistle of the boat and an ex- plosion were very different things. When I was a boy I learned one day that to keep a pack-saddle on a horse when it was not fastened with a girth the rider had to sit steady and not be looking for birds and squirrels in the tree-tops. I learned that lesson well. I was riding some thirty yards behind my grandfather on one of those uneasy things called a pack-saddle, and I was looking on ev- ery side. All at once the packsaddle came off, and I with it. The old horse stood still, and grandfather continued his journey not knowing what had happened. So with all my might I called, "Grandfather, grandfather, the pack-saddle is off! " He stopped, turned around, and looking at me a moment asked, "Are you not off as well as the pack-saddle " I said, "Yes; but I would not have fallen off if the pack-sad- dle had staid on the horse." Defending my- self, boys, and laying the blame on an uncon- scious pack-saddle. That was human nature in its daily practice. Adam blamed Eve, and, 82 FIRST FIRE. Eve blamed the serpent, and the serpent would no doubt have blamed another party, if one had existed that he could blame. We not only have to learn every thing that we know, but we are all naturally so proud of our own supposed ability that we will judge from sight or casual inspection the character of an object from its external appearance with- out knowing any thing more about it. How often do we form an opinion of persons, as soon as we see them, and how often are we mistaken. I used to be considered a little homely, although I could scarcely realize it my- self, so well acquainted had I become with my own looks, and rather partial to features that were very doubtful. One day traveling with a fine-looking preacher, he said to me: "Noland, why don't you try to look better than you do" That was cutting; but, entering on my own de- fense, I contended that my bad looks were quite an advantage; that when I commenced preaching to strangers no one expected to hear any thing, and if I went a little beyond their expectations I soon received twice as 83 4WILL MA KES WA Y. much credit as I deserved, while the shock was fearfully painful when as fine-looking a man as he was raised large expectations from his handsome person, and it was soon per- ceived that he was no better than an empty gourd. Once in Lexington, while I was Common- wealth's Attorney, I was trying a handsome young man for killing his wife. My good friend Mr. Lawell, a Presbyterian, told the joke on me, and I suppose it was true. Hon. J. B. Beck was employed to assist me in the prose- cution, and he was examining the witnesses, while I was in a brown study. Four strangers came together into the court room to get a good look at the prisoner, so that they might decide his guilt or innocence by his appear- ance. The prisoner was generally smiling, and seemed as indifferent as any one could be in his condition. Fastening their eyes on me, the strangers concluded that I was the prisoner. After a long gaze, the leader of the four said to the others: " Guilty as the devil! He ought to be hanged without judge or jury!" They left 84 FIRST FIRE. with that opinion formed, and I suppose they never changed it. When I went home and told my wife she was mad every time she thought about it, declaring that such a wicked conception had never entered my brain. The reader is now ready to admit that all we know we have learned from others, and that in our own impression of things without knowl- edge we may be egregiously mistaken. "And what of it " he asks. I will tell you. I am a very modest man, and I have been asked to give an account of the first fire that I ever wit- nessed. A brother preacher has promised to buy a dozen of my books if I will relate it, and every one who has written a book knows that the certain sale of a dozen copies to one man will help to pay the expenses of the first edition. So here is the recital. But the inci- dent looks to me now so strange, and I was so green, and even now am blushing, that I know not how to choose such words as will not offend the most fastidious ear. Still, I will try. I suppose I had been in the Clerk's office a 85 WILL MAKES WA. year or more, when one night the bells were ringing, and the alarm of fire was given all over the town; and in this condition I awoke. The fire was the burning of the residence of Hugh Goddin, a quarter of a mile from the office. Already the whole house was in flames, and the light around the Clerk's office was such that I could have picked up a pin. I supposed from the great amount of light that the fire was within fifty yards of the offim. It never occurred to me for a moment that any one who intended to help at a fire would stop to dress. I sprng out of bed just as I had en- tered it, and felt that on my arm rested the re- sponsibility of the night. Running with all my might I soon reached the fire, and found some two hundred persons all dressed as if they had carefully prepared for a common event. Quick as lightning I retraced my steps, entered the bed, and let the fire take care of it- self My son. these maxims make a rule, And lump them aye thegither: The Rigid Righteous is a fol, The Rigid Wise anither. Qe FIRST FIRE. 87 The cleanest corn that e'er was dight May hae some pyles o' caff in; Sae ne'er a fellow-creature slight, For random fits o' daffin.-BBurns 9HAPTER 1X. MY FIRST COURTSHIP.. I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy; Nothing could resist my Nancy.-Burns. I want (who does not want) a wife Affectionate and fair, To solace all the woes of life, And all its joys to share.-John Quinwy Adams. T NOW enter upon one of those memories I that never die. Every old man and wom- an will sometimes go back to their first love and live over the halcyon days with intense delight, or feel again the pangs of a first refusal that cut the heart-strings keen as a razor. Long before the history that I shall re- late I had been in boyish love. A little girl in Indiana was my first flame. I was seven years old, and she was about the same age. She was very smart, anti evuld spell every word in the spclliDg-bcak, and we stood head together in a (35) MY FIRST COURTSHIP. class of twenty or thirty scholars; and I loved her for her talents and good nature. But this was love that did not endanger life. I think that at every school I attended some one was my favorite star. To my mind the girls were angels, pure as the driven snow, and sweet as the honey-comb; and the first shock to this opinion was received in the following narra- tion. My age was nineteen and a half years. One year and a half remained to complete my Clerk's office engagement I was at the right age to be fascinated, charmed, carried off my feet as in a cyclone. The object of affection would naturally be adored, worshiped. The first time that I read David Copperfield's first sight of Dora, I wondered if some one conver- sant with my history had not written the account to the author, sending it across the Atlantic-it was so much like my experi- ence. The one I loved had lived in Richmond. I call no names. The family moved to the coun- try, and my heart went with one of them. 89 WILL MAKRB WA r. While they were in town I could see her nearly every day, and could think, and wait, and hope. I recollect to this day that I walked lighter as I approached her presence, and steadied my- self as if taking aim at some object, then my eyes dilated, my cheeks were crimson, and my heart beat violently. Such bliss and pain al- ternating I supposed was some new feeling under the sun. Those black eyes, that white complexion, those rosy cheeks and red lips, that penetrating smile-they were positively "killing." 1 wonder now that I did not die. If I had died I should have raved and called her name with my last breath. I should have ex- pected to go to her. Of course I was satisfied that she loved no other, and had never thought of any other, and would never think of any other. Absolute purity belonged to her mind and heart. She was not only fair, but she was true. A common word spoken by her sounded like all the figures of rhetoric harmoniously blended into one, or like sweetest music pro- ceeding from a thousand instruments in the hands of masters If she walked across the 90 MY FIRS COURTSHIP. floor it seemed to me a wonder that she could step with such perfection of grace. In my eyes she was too good to help her mother do any work, and I do not think she did help her. I could see that she ate like other people, and I wondered at the necessity to susWtain life in that way on her part. It was six or seven miles in the country to the home of my charmer. How to visit her often without suspicion was the question. My purpose was too holy and too important to be knowr by the town. Common eyes were not to see me, and common tongues might not speak her name. At length I obtained a gun and ammunition and became a constant squirrel- hunter, but never returned with any squirrels. I carried the gun, but the squirrels were up in the trees, and I looked on the ground in a deep study. By close work I could gain one day in the week to visit my heart's adoration. I was always welcome; would strike out in the morning after breakfast, walk to her house by ten o'clock, remain there until three in the afternoon, and then return home with my 91 WILL MAKES WA Y. whole soul full of hope and expectation. I re- member well as I approached the neighbor- hood how the trees, the grass, the flowers, the birds, and every other thing, improved in my mind. The air was full of music. If the wind slightly stirred, it was a full choir in harmony; if a bird sung, it had reference to my angel. While I know now that the house where she lived was a plain, common house, it seemed to me then on an equality with Aladdin's palace. When she met me at the door and gave me her hand, I blushed and forgot to squeeze it. She saw that I was nearly dead. This state of affairs continued about three months; and one day I determined to be a man, and in plain, truthful, burning words let her know that my life and happiness depended on the monosyllable "Yes." We had the parlor to ourselves from ten to twelve o'clock. I com- menced a speech that lasted an hour or two. I knew the subject had a center, but to save me I could not get away from the circumference. I quoted all the poetry that I knew, gave some law aphorisms, touched on Hallam's Middle 92 MY FIRST COURTSHIP. Ages, spoke of the advantages of Christianity, especially to woman-showed clearly that men should be as moral, as religious, and as true to their vows as women-and tried for the hun- dredth time to approach the inevitable, but it was hard to do. At length, being afraid that dinner would be announced and I should lose all the fine im- pression I had made, by some sudden and happy change I came to the practical. I in- formed her that I was studying law and in- tended to occupy no second place in the pro- fession; that I was engaged to write a year and a half longer in the Clerk's office; that I loved her better than I loved my life; that mine was a high and pure love that had never been equaled either by the ancients or moderns; that with me it was a question of life and death; that a refusal would disable me from do- ing any work, or continuing my studies; that an acceptance would place me on the highest pin- nacle of bliss and fame; that I could not marry under a year and a half, and all that I asked her to do was to consent to marry me at the end of 93 WILL MA KES WA Y. that time. Well may we exclaim with Bul- wer: o woman I woman! thou shouldst have few sins Of thine own to answer for! Thou art the author Of such a book of follies in a man That it would need the tears of all the angels To blot the record out. I paused. I entertained no doubt that the reply would be favorable. She had listened patiently to my speech all the time, smiling as I struck some unusually bright fancies. What else could she do but fall into my arms I looked for it. She sat still until I was done. Then she spoke. She was seventeen years old. She said: "Mr. Noland, you know that a year and a half is a long time for a girl of my age to wait. I think very well of you indeed, and if I am not married at the time you name I will marry you." My eyes opened. All were not angels. I think instead of dying, as I had supposed I would do, that my senses came to me. So I answered: "Your reply is quite sat- isfactory. If you are married at the time named, I know that I shall not want you." 94 MY FIRST COURTSHIP. Her mother and a younger sister had been eavesdropping us all the time. The old lady called out, " Why do n't you take "-the younger sister. Then I was irate. I replied: " When I want I will let you know it." I did not see the younger sister again on that day. I thought a thousand things in a minute. Rising from my seat, I walked to my gun and began preparing to leave. The old lady and my former love begged me to stay to dinner. I told them very truthfully that my appetite was gone. I walked home a sadder and wiser youth. Such a blunder I never made again. All the time that I had been visiting the beauty whom I loved so well, I had noticed that a drunken fellow was there frequently, but I had never dreamed that she would have him. Now we come to the pathetic. They were married in two weeks, and I was not invited to the wedding. What a life of misery she lived after that time! The moral of this true histo- ry is plain. A young lady seventeen years old had better wait a year and a half and marry a clever fellow, rather than marry a drunkard at 95 96 WILL MAKES WAY. any time. Fearful for life is the misstep when a woman marries a man who loves whisky bet- than he loves his wife, his children, or the sal- vation of his soul. CEHAPTER IX. BASHFULNESS. "A little nonsense now and then Is relished by the best of men." THIS chapter is written specially for boys and young men. Let them study to live half-way between two extremes, forwardness and bashfulness. The tendency of the present generation with both sexes is to the first-named fault, and it is to be regretted that such ex- cesses have been reached in that direction as we can see in any town or country-place. The dancing-school, the theater, the display of ex- travagance3 in dress, the parade of girls and boys into society as soon as they reach their teens, the praises of children by parents at home and abroad, the never-ending conversa- tions on light and frivolous topics, the absence of authoritative control in the house, and the want oF constant religious training of the (07) 98WiLL MlA hES WA Y. young, have all contributed to this result. A girl twelve or thirteen years old to-day has taken the place of one twenty years old fifty years ago. A boy at fifteen is wiser in his own conceit than his father, and far wiser in his im- agination than he will regard himself a score of years hence. Of the two evils, bashfulness is far the less, but it is sufficiently an evil to justify a chapter. It is not overt sin like for- wardness, but it is a heavy weight to its pos- sessor. As I have said in another chapter, the fami- lies with whom I lived in Richmond intro- duced me at once into the best society. Maj. Irvine was regarded as being worth some two hundred thousand dollars. Richmond was noted for its wealth, and it was supposed that a moneyed aristocracy was cultivated, (rawing the lines closely between wealth and poverty. It may have been so, but I never realized any inferiority of position socially in any circie that I entered. In the Church, at the social gatherings, and in the families, so far as I could tell, I was treated as if I had been rich. 98 BASHFULNESS. My trouble was in my own feelings. I was ex- tremely diffident and painfully bashful. I had read and studied enough to give me sufficient topics for conversation, and such as would rise above the latest cut of a coat, or the good looks of Cousin Betsy's baby, but as soon as I would begin a conversation with a young lady my face would be crimson, and I would be far from ease. A number of my young lady friends tried often to remove my embarrass- ment, but it clung to me like Sinbad's Old Man of the Sea. Maj. Irvine's daughters, and especially Sarah, who was the oldest, were very kind in this regard, but it was a long time before I could talk to them with any rea- sonable degree of composure. The cause of my bashfulness may be learned from a study of the next paragraph. Boys in different circumstances will read these pages. Some are blessed with a mother and sisters, or with a mother or sister. Do they real- ize the great advantage of this influence The mother sits with her boy at the family fireside and in cheerful tones of voice, and with a heart 99 1WILL MAKES WAY. full of love, gives him lessons concerning sin and virtue which he can never forget. If he is sick, she is with him at midnight and at noonday, and all the remedies for his restora- tion to health are given by her careful hand. It is her hand that is often on his fevered brow, it is her carefulness that adjusts the pillows for Jbis ease, and it is her eye which with a mother's joy sees the first signs of convalescence. His sisters are almost as careful as his mother, and love him with sisterly hearts. A hundred atten- tions he receives from them whether he is sick or well, and after a hundred rudenesses on his part they love him still. But will he ever be rude to mother or sisters again If he is, let every young lady beware of him as a suitor. He may go a mile on an errand for his sweet- heart with joyful steps, but if he is a churl at home he will be a churl when he is a hus- band. But here is another boy who is reared with- out mother or sister. Their softening, encour- aging influence he never knew. This is my history. With some this want will drive them lo0 BASHFULNESS. to evil companions and sinful habits. With a few it will make them bashful, diffident, and embarrassed in female society. My well- known poverty, and my want of mother or sis- ter, left me in this condition, and I was a suf- ferer in consequence of it for years. The reader will now understand the character of my surroundings at the period of my life that I am describing. As stated before, Maj. Irvine had buried his wife just prior to my entering the Clerk's office. She was a woman of fine intelligence; but her death left her children without a mother, and I think this fact made the eld- est daughter sympathize with my condition. Their mother, however, had lived long enough to impress her noble character on her girls. In addition to this they had a grandmother, Mrs. McDowell, who would visit them and sometimes stay a month at a time. She was a superior Christian woman, and her guiding mind was the best substitute that could be found for a mother I remember an incident worth relating. 101 WILL MAKES WA Y. When I went to my meals we had a long seat in the porch on which I usually sat until time for eating was announced. One day Mrs. Mc- Dowell and Sarah and Lizzie Irvine were seat- ed by a good fire in conversation just before dinner, and the weather being cool they invited me in to sit with them. The old lady was talk- ing to the girls about cleanliness of person in young men. She said that St. Paul taught us that our bodies were temples of the Holy Ghost. If our bodies were such a rich repos- itory, they should be clean. A mouth full of tobacco, or full of whisky, could not be part of such repository. She gave them a general rule by which to distinguish the clean from the un- clean. If a young man had long finger-nails and allowed the dirt to settle under them, they might be sure that he made no pretensions to tidiness. On the other hand, if his nails were regularly pared and cleaned, he would be apt to have clean teeth, clean ears, clean hands, clean feet, and a clean body. The lesson was suggestive to me, and I have never forgotten it. I was very glad that without any instruction I 102 BASHFULNESS. had formed the habit of having clean finger- nails. The incident that I am going to relate in this connection, and that was more effectual in removing my bashfulness without driving me to the other extreme of forwardness, took place just about fifty years ago, and is as fresh in my memory as if it had happened only yester- day. Maj. Irvine had a large circle of rela- tives and acquaintances, and he was in the habit of paying them visits and staying from home a week or two at a time. When he was at home I slept with Capt. Jenkins at the Clerk's office; when he was absent I slept in his bed, and in his room, staying at the house as company for the children. His daughters had a large circle of friends, and occasionally when the father was gone some young ladies would visit them and remain until his return. My custom was to read law from seven to nine P.m., and then retire, and after striking the bed I would be asleeD in five minutes. All knew my habits well. On one occasion when Maj. Irvine was ab- 103 0WILL MAKES WA Y. sent Miss Clarke, a daughter of old Governor Clarke, and Miss Rogers, a sister of my corn- petitor for Commonwealth's Attorney in after -ears, were staying with the Misses Irvine. Four nicer young ladies could not be found in Kentucky. They all belonged to the better class of society, were well educated, and more than ordinarily intelligent. One night these young ladies, out of kind hearts, undertook the task of curing me of my embarrassment, and they succeeded so wuell that I respect them to this day. Toward me and for my good they took the place of sisters. Sarah knew that I would read until nine o'clock, and that I would be sound asleep at ten o'clock. So about ten o'clock I was suddenly awakened by a loud and rapid knocking at my window. The window was a large one and near the ground. Instant- ly I arose and hoisted the window without fear, as I regarded myself the protector of the house- hold. The moon was about full and the night was lovely. To my surprise when I looked out there were standing before me three women. I knew them at once. Sarah was at my right- 104 BASHFULNSLS'.10 hand, Miss Rogers on my left, and Miss Clarke in front I took in the situation-understood it was with a view to remeve my bashfulness, and I became brave. Sarah was the speaker. I remember almost the very words, but doubt whether I can equal the eloquence of her dic- tion. She afterward became the wife of Hon. Addison White, who was a member of Congress, and report said that she wrote the best part of his speeches. She spoke as follows: "May it please your lordship, we are three poor unfortunate women who belong to a wan- dering tribe of people known in history under the style and title of gypsies. Early this morning, leaving the tribe a little way, we lost our road; and the more we wandered about en- deavoring to find it, the more we became con- fused. Without food or water, we have walked all day and thus far in the night. No hospita- ble door has been opened to relieve our wants, but a number have told us that when we reached your noble mansion we would find a man of large compassion and Christian sympathy for our helpless and dependent sex. We do not 106 WILL MAKES WA Y. ask to sleep in your beds of down, or to sit at your table groaning beneath the abundant lux- uries of life, but we do crave permission to rest on your hearth-stone and have a few crusts of bread to keep us from famishing." I saw at once that all my ability and more was needed. So, doing my best, I replied as follows: "My mind is well made up as to the charac- ter of the women before me. I can tell from your address that you have seen better days. It is not hard to imagine that you were once innocent and lovely, and the fond pride and hope of a father's and a mother's heart. But by one misguided step the decree of the world is turned against you, and neither tears, re- pentance, nor amendment can ever restore you to the confidence of good women. I know it is an unjust verdict of society that what is par- donable in mv sex is never forgiven in yours. While I cannot make laws for society, it is my duty to keep those which are already made. Across the portals of this mansion neither taint nor suspicion ever passed, and nevet 106 BASHFULNESS. shall while I am its custodian. Our women are like Cawsar's wife-not only innocent, but above suspicion. Go hence." The next morning at breakfast I laughed with freedom, and so did the young ladies. I was greatly relieved and improved. For some time no reference was made to the past night. After we had conveyed all the ideas to one an- other that we could without alluding to the subject, I told them that one of the most cu- rious events of my life occurred to me last night. Three women claiming to be gypsies had asked permission to stay all night, and ob- tain some food to keep them from starving. But not liking their looks I had driven them off, and I was afraid I had done wrong. Af- fecting great concern for the unfortunates, they exclaimed with surprise: "If you were so squeamish, why did you not send them around to our room" I admitted that I had not once thought of that But I went away improved, and feeling that I had friends on every side, and must cultivate more confidence in myself. 107 CHAPTER XI. LIFE IN IRVINE "ilest is not quitting1 The busy career; Rest is the fitting Of self to its spherc."-Jokn S. Dwight. I ELIEVE now that if I bad remained in Richmond after I began the practice of law, I would soon have had a practice suffi- ciently remunerative to afford me a support; and in the large and wealthy county of Madi- son, my business would have increased. Near- ly every man in the county who did business at the county-seat I knew. All knew that I was poor, and that I was steady and had good morals. Many old men in the county took pains to give me good advice, and I respect their memory for every kind word. At the first circuit court the lawyers had me appoint- ed commissioner in several cases, and I was II () LIFE IN IR VinE. rapidly rising. But there was an unusually strong bar at Richmond, and I soon began to fear that I would make a failure. One remark of an old lawyer was the cause of my going to Irvine. He said: " Stephen, I would rather be the first man in Irvine than the second man in Richmond." On September 24,1839, I married Amanda F. Miller, and she proved to be one of the best of wives. She lived with me more than thirty years, when she died in the triumphs of faith and entered heaven. When we married we were both poor, and I was considerably embar- rassed with debt, say a thousand dollars when I moved to Irvine. VWiile I lived in the Clerk's office I had good credit, and this proved a curse rather than a blessing. My insufficient salary did not support me, and every year my debt increased, and merchants and others would take my note and charge me ten or twelve per cent. interest on it. I had a small library to buy, and expenses of marrying, so that a debt of a thousand dollars could soon be made. Young men, avoid debt as you would 109 WILL MAKES WA Y. pestilence. That debt embarrassed me eight or ten years, but thank God I never repudi- ated it, but paid the last cent. Some half-doz- en friends helped rne to borrow five hundred dollars from one man on two years' time at twelve per cent. per annum, and five hundred dollars from another man at the same rate of interest on three years' time. This made quite a debt at maturity. While growing up I had a passion for fine clothes, which Maj. Irvine tried to restrain as far as he could. I remember C. F. Burnam passed Maj. Irvine and myself, being very plainly clad, and my employer called my attention to the difference in his dress and my own; but I replied that if I was as rich as he was I could afford to dress as he did, but in my circumstances I was obliged to dress fine to be respected. What a mistake! But I did not see it, and so drove on in my own way. About the first of the year 1840 I moved to Irvine, where I lived among a kind people for twelve years. I was the only lawyer in Irvine when I first wvent there. Col. John Speed 110 LIFE IN IR VINE. Smith, who was a fine jury lawyer, and had a good practice in Bourbon county, offered me a partnership if I would settle in Paris. That was my best chance, but I made the mistake of supposing that it was harder to practice law in Paris than in Irvine. The first court after his offer to me Col. Smith made one fee of five hundred dollars. But I was young and inex- perienced, and it is not surprising that I made mistakes. The people in Estill county were poor, and did not have much money. My wife and my- self boarded with Capt. W. J. Clarke, and I paid him in notes taken for fees. It must have cost me three thousand dollars by the time I paid the principal and interest of the debts that I owed. I was County Attorney in Estill, Owsley, and Breathitt counties, and had a good practice all the time. Tne first court. that I attended in Breathitt county, Maj. RB Clarke, the Clerk of the Estill Court, brought fourteen suits for me during my ab- sence. It was during our residence in Trvine that illl WILL MAKES WA Y. the cholera visited our little town. Truly it was the scourge of death. One day an old man traveling on foot stopped at Park's Tavern with the cholera in him. In a few hours ho died, and the tavern-keeper handled his clothes, not thinking of danger, and in a few hours he was dead. In a day or two Joseph Wilson, owning a tavern on the opposite side of the street, died with the cholera. It continued some ten days, and we had a death for each day. The town had about two hundred popu- lation. I was a preacher, and staid with the people, visiting all the sick and trying to give them the consolations of religion. In ten days I suggested that we start prayer-meetings, and plead with God to avert the plague. Saint and sinner prayed, and the cholera stopped. I state the fact, and each reader can draw his own conclusion. I believe the cholera was stayed in answer to prayer. Why not The same result followed prayer while the cholera was in Nicholasville, in the year 1855. I was with it in this place a month, and as soon as we began prayer-meetings the cholera ceased. 112 LIFE IN IR VIE.11 Infidelity and sin may laugh us to scorn, but the truth remains just as I have stated it. In another chapter I will give a fuller account of the cholera in Nicholasville. I have been with about forty cholera patients who died, and I never saw one who lost his mind before dy- ing, or who would introduce the subject of religion, or any other subject, unless it was named to him. Even the best Christians were struck with death, and seemed to have no more concern for this world. During my residence in Estill county the new county of Owsley was formed. There was a protracted and heated controversy between two tow7is, Booneville and Proctor, for the county-seat. A commissioner had to be ap- pointed to take depositions for both towns, so as to elicit by proof a volume of history. The jealousy existing made it difficult to agree on a man to take the depositions. I was selected by agreement of the parties, and was employed about a month in this unpleasant work. If I failed to give both parties satisfaction I never heard it whispered. Just as my work was 8 113 WILL MAKES WA Y. done I took the measles, and was quite sick for several weeks Having been with the people of Owsley so long, I concluded to ask for the clerkship of the county. There were three magistrates in the lower end of Owsley, adjoining Estill, and four in the upper end, adjoining Clay. I had no doubt that Judge Quarles would appoint me Clerk of the Circuit Court if I could get to be Clerk of the County Court. I knew that the three magistrates in the lower end were my friends, and all that I had to do was to get one magistrate to vote for Die in the upper end. So I mounted my horse and struck out for the mountains. It was thirty-five miles from Ir- vine to Booneville, and then fifteen miles to the home of the nearest of the four magistrates living in the upper end. On the, second day about eleven o'clock I reached the house of Squire Reynolds. He was not at home, but his good wife, a Baptist lady, was at home, and invited me to take a seat. I asked for her husband, and she said he was absent and would not return until- late in the afternoon. She 114 LIFE IN IRVINE. was spinning on a little spinning-wheel, and she would draw down a few threads and then look at me, and I could see that her womanly curiosity was rising. At length she asked me the direct question as to my business with her husband. I informed her that I had written five years in the Clerk's office in Richmond, and had Judge Goodloe's certificate of my qualification as a clerk of any court; that I wished to live in Owsley county; that I was satisfied Jndge Quarles would appoint me Circuit Court Clerk if the magistrates would appoint me County Court Clerk; and my busi- ness with her husband was to lay the facts be- fore him, and get his help. She deliberately stopped her wheel, and in a short speech beat some sense into my head. She let me know that it was twenty-five miles to Billy Clark's, the next nearest magistrate, and that she was disposed, as I looked like a nice young man, to save me all the trouble possible. As to qualifications, she said that was no recommendation, but rather against me, as she knew that Mqj. Clarke, in Estill, was a 115 WILL MAKES WAY. we'.l-qualified clerk, and that he had always ruled the County Court just as I would do in Owsley if I had the office. But as to getting the office, it was an impossibility. And she gave me the reasons. Mr. Woodcock, the son- in-law of the Judge, was Clerk of the Circuit Court of Clay county, and Billy Williams was Clerk of the County Court. "Aunt Sophy," the, wife of Billy Williams, had taught the women in that country how to cook, and Billy Williams wrote a good hand. There were four magis- trates in the upper end and three in the lower end. Thearrangementwas alreadvmade to give Billy Williams the County Court Clerkship of Owsley; and the son-in-law of the Judge could get both offices in Clay.county, and the Judge. was to appoint Williams Clerk of the Circuit. Court of Owsley. I heard her through patient- ly, and asked her if all those arrangements were already made; and she declared that they were unchanaeably fixed. I thanked her kind-. ly, took dinner with her, and returned home feeling that merit did not always pay. Once I told the history to the lawye sat.Qwsley co0w 116 LIFE IN IR VINE. in the presence of the Judge, and he laughed heartily, declaring that Mrs. Reynolds was a very smart woman. But the Judge was my friend, as the follow- ing anecdote will prove. When we began at- tending the Owsley Circuit Court there was quite a rivalry between one of our Estill law- yers, Mr. Quinn, and myself for the law busi- ness of the people living in the lower end of the county. Quinn was older than myself, and many people thought that he was a lawyer of great ability. Judge Quarles and myself roomed together, and boarded with Billy Will- iams, and enjoyed "Aunt Sophy's" good cook- ing, and I played the clerk, getting up the or- ders for Williams, who could only write a good hand. The county was new, and we had but few law books. Quinn had brought a suit for a party on a covenant payable in work and la- bor, and the suit was in the name of an as- signee of the covenant. I knew that the Court of Appeals had decided that an action could not be maintained in the name of an assignee on a writing payable in work and labor, on the 117 WILL MAKES WA Y. ground that the law would not compel the par- ty to work for the assignee; but I was afraid the Judge did not remember the decision. I de- sired greatly to file a demurrer, and throw the case out of court, as that would give me repu- tation in the lower end of the county. But how I was to ascertain whether the Judge re- membered the decision was the question. It was the custom of the Judge and myself after dinner, before going to the court-house, to take a walk for exercise, through the apple- orchard. The town was built in an apple- orchard. So in one of these walks Judge Quarles asked me what I thought of Mr. Quinn as a lawyer. I saw at once that I could get in my question. I replied that I did not know how to answer the question; but that the people in the lower end of the county thought him a great lawyer. He spoke rather carelessly, and disparagingly of Quinn, and named the fact that his initial Q. on the dock- et marked to suits was just like his own, which make him think of him oftener than he would otherwise do. I then approached the subject, 118 LIFE IN IRVINE. and told him that I was a little surprised at a declaration drawn by Quinn, stating that he had brought a suit in the name of an assignee on a covenant payable in work and labor; and that I bad no doubt he remembered that the Court of Appeals had decided, in one of J. J. Marshal's reports, that such action could not be sustained. He said he remembered the de- cision well; and we walked back to the court- room. The Judge directed the sheriff to cal in the jury that was trying a case before din- ner; and seeing that Quinn was in the court- room, I arose and asked leave of the Court to submit a demurrer to one of Mr. Quinn's dec- larations. Quinn seemed surprised, and said that he was ready to respond to any demurrer that could be offered to any of his suits. Leave was granted, and I commenced stating circumstantially the case. All at once the Judge, who had not heard the declaration, or covenant, or assignment read, threw up his spectacles on his head, and to the surprise of every one inquired: "Mr. Noland, is that the case we talked about out ill the apple-orchard " 119 WILL MAKES WA Y. I had to say,"Yes." The Judge said: "I sus- tain the demurrer; the declaration is not worth a cent. Call in the jury, sheriff." When court was over, and the Richmond and Estill lawvers started home together, we managed to get Quinn in the center of the group, riding single file, as people have to do in the mount- ains-having Burnam and Barnes ahead, and Riddle and myself in the rear-and for twenty miles we played on a harp of a thousand strings, the tune being, " The case in the apple-or- chard;" and if Quinn had not been almost a preacher we would have heard some tall swearing. During my residence in Irvine I practiced law in Estill, Breathitt, and Owsley counties. I am reminded here of an anecdote or two con- nected with Judge Eve, who was Judge of the Mountain District. At one term of the Breath- itt Circuit Court-on Wednesday morning of the first week, I think--the lawyers all being present in the court-house at eight o'clock, that being the motion hour, and the house being full of people awaiting the trial of causes, the 120 LIFE IN IR VINE. Judge rapped his gavel and ordered silence, preparatory, as we supposed, to entering upon the work of the day. Very deliberately he drew from his pocket a large envelope with fancy ribbons and huge seals, and adjusting his glasses to his eyes began to read, and so con- tinued for some time. The paper he was read- ing proved to be an appointment, by the Presi- dent of the United States, of the Hon. Joseph Eve, Minister to Mexico-signed by the Presi- dent, aind attested by Daniel Webster, Secreta- ry of State; the names being read by the Judge with emphasis and force. He also read sev- eral congratulatory letters from Congressmen and others, who had assisted in getting the ap- pointment. Wheii hie hiad finished reading and carefully folded the papers and placed them in his pocket, he addressed the lawyers and crowd onl the distinguished honor conferred upon him, and asked the lawyers if they were in his place if they believed they could hold so in- considerable a court as the Breathitt Circuit Court. No one replying, he arose and said: "Sheriff, adjourn the Breathitt Circuit Court 121 WILL MAKES WAY. sine die." At that time we had no law by which we could elect a judge in the place of the regular incumbent, and so all the people could do was to gather up their hats and go home. In an hour the Judge used half the street in walking through town. At another time previous to the one named above, I was employed to act as Common- wealth's Attorney pro tem. for one term of the Clay Circuit Court. Judge Eve and myself were to travel together on horseback the day before the Clay court commenced, from Boone- ville to Barboursville, it being a hard day's ride. We had to pass through Manchester, the countN-seat of Clay county, where the court would be held the next day. Judge Eve lived in Barboursville, and my brother-in-law -now Justice Miller, of the United States Su- preme Court-lived there at that time. About twelve o'clock, passing through Manchester, we came to a grocery where some twenty white men were playing cards on store-boxes in front of the house, and nearly as many negroes were playing cards behind the grocery. Tho rihite 122 LIFE IN IRVINE. men had various small pieces of silver before them in little piles, and did not notice us un- til we rode up close to them. They had some pale whisky in tin cups. All knew the Judge, and were glad to see him. He said: " Boys, I am awful dry. Have you any thing good in your cups " One of them, springing up with a pint cup nearly half-full, approached him, and said: "Judge, this is as good truck as ever went down a man's throat." Drinking it all off at two or three swallows, the Judge said: " Boys, be careful; this is the State's Attorney." They answered: "We are only playing for fun." He said: "What does that money mean " They said they used the money for counters. So after charging them again to be very particular, we rode on. The next morning the Judge asked me to deliver the charge to the grand jury. I sup- pose I had been speaking ten minutes, when I heard two pistol-shots in quick succession near the court-house; and very soon a citizen dressed in a hunting-shirt wrapped around him, and moccasins on his feet, ran into the court-llouse, 123 124 WILL MAI KES WAY. and standing near me said: "Judge, there was a fellow shot at another out here just now, twice, and I believe he would have hit him if lie had not been running." The Judge said: "Tell the boys to be careful, or they will get into trouble with their foolishness." Now, if the reader concludes that we could have no en- forcement of the law in these counties, he will be mistaken. The very first trial I fined and sent to jail a large lazy white man, for disturb- ing religious worship at the house of a free negro. Andw, 9IAPTER IIM. A STRANGE HISTORY. Well, if it must lie so-good sir The gray mare we prefer; So we accept your git " John made a feg. "Allow me to present you with an egg; 'Tis my last egg remaining, The cause of my regaining, I trust, the fond affection of my wife, Whom I will love the Letter all my life." -A nonyrnous M ANY men can look back at one or more periods of their life, and remember some things that they did which surprise them very much in after years. I am going to relate such a passage in my life; but the regret is greatly les- sened when I feel sure that my conduct was not one of sin or guilt, but of purity of motive. And let me say once for all, that the history given is not intended as a reflection on the Reformed Church, as the whole account shows that they (] 2-) WIILL MAKES WA V. did not persuade me to take the step named, nor did they act in any way inconsistent with their views; but the true version of the affair, which has been so often named, and some- times partially or incorrectly related, deserves to be known. Many of my best friends are members of that Church, and while I cannot but see its doctrinal errors, I entertain for it kind feelings. I was living in Irvine, Kentucky, and had been a local Methodist preacher some two or three years. A Methodist preacher named Harrison, who was a doctor, had moved to town, and was getting a very small practice. He had been in the itinerancy several years, but being poor and embarrassed with debt, and having a large family, he was driven to location. He was a fair exhortation preacher, and had taken many people into the Church. At the time named my own embarrassment by debt was pressing on me heavily, and we often talked together of our condition, and frequent- ly in a tone of despondency. We were in a poor country, and his practice was limited and 126 A STRANGE HISTORY. I got but little money for my labor, so that our prospects were gloomy indeed Still we preached together, held meetings together, re- ceived people into the Church, saw them con- verted, did good, and had many happy seasons. On one occasion we appointed a protract- ed meeting to be held at Hardwicke's Creek Church, in Estill county, and determined when the meeting was over that we would continue our trip into Clark county, and perhaps to Win- chester, looking for a location where the peo- ple had more money, and especially where Harrison could get a country stand suitable to his profession. We preached a week or ten days at Hardwicke's Creek Church, had twenty additions or more, and then proceeded on our journey. An excellent family of Methodists named Owens lived in Clark county, a few miles fromn Winchester; and we went there and staid all night, believing that there was a residence with a few acres of land attached, where a phy- sician had lived near the Owens family, that Harrison could rent. He was disappointed in 127 WILL MAKES WAY. being able to secure this location, and the next day after dinner we started home quite de- spondent. We rode a mile or two, and for the first time in our lives we introduced the subject of join- ing the Reformers. I have never been able to remember who first named the matter, but it is not material to know. The proposition started with an inquiry: Is it possible to join the Re- formers and preach experimental, heart-felt religion, just as tLe Bible and the Methodist Church teach it We agreed at once that as the Methodists immersed we could yield to the view of the Reformers as to exclusive immer- sion. The other question was the only one that gave us trouble. In our minds there was no doubt as to the truth that men are totally depraved by nature, that penitents may pray for pardon of their sins and receive it before baptism, that justification is by faith in Christ, and that regeneration is by the Holy Spirit. All these points we named, and agreed that we would stand by them forever. But inasmuch as the Reformers had no written creed, we 128 A STRANGE HISTORY. finally concluded that we could preach the doc- trines named acceptably in their Church, and we believed that a great door would be opened to us for doing good by preaching those doc- trines among that people. Mixed with it all was the pecuniary advantage that we supposed lay in our future pathway. But this we con- cluded was only subordinate to the great pros- pect of doing good. By this time we had traveled several miles when we came to the forks of the road, the right-hand crossing the river and leading into Madison county, where I had lived so long, the left-hand leading to Irvine. Here we stopped to come to a final conclusion as to our future. I told Harrison that the right-hand road would take us over to Elder Josiah Collins's, a Re- formed preacher whom I knew well, and that we could reach his house before night. We decided to go, and took the right-hand road. In a hard rain we reached Brother Collins's house about sundown. I called, "Halloo!" The old gentleman came to the door, and I said: "Here are two Methodist preachers who do 9 129 WILL MAKAES WAY. not like the way this water is falling, and they would be happy to stay all night with you." Very cordially he asked us to alight and pass the night with him. After supper I took Har- rison aside and begged him to open the sub- ject to Collins. He said he could not do it, and insisted that I should do so. So we re- turned to the house. Sitting by a good fire were Brother Collins and his wife, and we two advent. urers. I told Brother Collins that we had de- termined to join his Church, and for that pur- pose we had visited him. I thought the good old people looked at us at once lovingly and ap- provingly. That was natural and right. He said he had known me several years in the Clerk's office, and that he had hoped my good sense would bring me to the right Church. Even then I doubted whether my good sense was leading me, or whether it might not be strait- ened circunstances that I could not control. However, the Rubicon was crossed. Harrison and myself slept together, and we had a restless night. I was thinking of the hard trials before me, a good wife at home who 130 A STRANGE HISTORY. was a thorough Methodist, and the fear that my scheme was impracticable; for I knew that as soon as I was thwarted in preaching the truth as I conceived it was taught in the Bible, no worldly prospects could force me into preach- ing an error. We arose early in the morning and met the kind family at breakfast. They were as kind to us as they could be. Harrison seemed to be dumb, and I had to make every proposition that was made. So while breakfast- ing I said to Brother Collins I hoped he would take Brother Harrison to the creek and immerse him, and let us go on home. I had been im- mersed when a boy. Heavy rains had fallen during the night, and the waters were high. Brother Collins said the news was too good to dispose of it in that summary way; that he would have an appointment for a Mr. Clark to preach at eleven o'clock; that some of the neighbors who were members of the Church would come in, and we could go home after dinner. I had heard ugly reports about Clark, and I felt shocked. I said to Brother Collins that if the matter took that shape I must ask 131 WILL MVAKES WAY. him to baptize Harrison, and he promised to do so. Eleven o'clock came, and fifteen or twenty members of the Church assembled at Collins's house. Clark preached twenty or thirty min- utes. I shall never forget his text. It was, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." He gave us the theory of the Church on pardon-pare, unadulterated, and without mincing words. Harrison was as pale as a corpse. We joined, Harrison being dressed in some old clothes of Brother Collins's, and on horseback we all went a mile to the creek. It seemed they had a place that was used for im- mersing. They began singing, "On Jordan's stormy banks I stand." I suppose they ap-- plied it to baptism. The creek was so high and the grounds so wet it seemed that the words might bear the construction intended. As Collins and Harrison walked down into the water the members sung something that had this chorus: And be immersed without delay, And wasli your numerous sins away. f32' A STRANGE HISTORK Y. This made Harrison pale again. The water was muddy and nearly to his armpits; his face was turned toward the bank and the witnesses; he was put under the water, and as he came up Brother Collins said: "Thank the Lord! the brother's sins are remitted at last." Harrison grew paler. We returned to the house, dined, and started home, the distance being some twelve or fifteen miles. I suppose we had traveled two miles before either spoke a word. I had a heavy heart. At length, finding that I had to lead if we had any conversation, I began by asking: "Harrison, what do you think as to your sins being remitted in that muddy water" This roused him. He said indignantly: " I reckon I know when my sins were remitted." I then told him that I feared we were on a wild goose chase, and that I proposed to test the matter on Sunday. It was then Friday. I remarked that I dreaded seeing my wife; that she was a very good woman, and was then sick, and in a nervous state; that his wife, too, would be greatly distressed; but we had to go forward. 133 WILL MAKES WAY. My plan was, when I reached home, that I would go out and see either Sister Shepherd or Sister Rucker, who were Reformers, and tell them what we had done, and make an ap- pointment for Harrison to preach in the semi- nary on Sunday. We had no church. He ap- proved of my plan, except that he refused to preach. So I had to preach. Sunday came, and the seminary was full. The Reformers came from town, from Miller's Creek, from Cow Creek, from White Oak, from Station Camp, and from all the country round. Some dear Methodist friends attended in sorrow. My new Church friends gathered around close to the speaker, and the Methodists occupied the outskirts. Harrison had agreed to close the meeting for me, and indorse my orthodoxy. He knew my subject. I chose a text and gave it careful study all day Saturday and Sunday morning, getting the scriptures and arguments well in hand. The text contained two doc- trines which I elaborated-depravity, and justi- fication by faith. It seemed to me that the sermon was nearly all scripture, and that I 134 A STRANGE HISTORKY. could remember more scripture proofs than I had ever done in my life. Harrison closed with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to seal the truth on all hearts. How distinctly do I re- member the effect produced on that audience! As the sermon proceeded Reformers' heads went down, Methodist heads went up. I am not striving to hurt any one's feelings, but to write the plain truth just as it occurred. I re- member that my friend Maj. Clark, our clerk of the court and class-leader in the Church, with his wife and sister-in-law, and Sister Norton, leading Methodists, and some other sisters, nearly shouted. It would not have been unscriptural, or unpleasant to my lac- erated feelings, if they had said "Amen! Hal- leluiah! " As soon as the meeting had closed the con- gregation moved out into a large yard prepar- atory to going home. Old Brother Thomas Reid, deacon or elder in the Reformed Church, and a few other members, asked me to go aside with them for conversation. We left the crowd, but Brother Clark and the dear good 135 WILL MAKES WVA Y. Methodist women named, not knowing the meaning of the departure, followed us. I sup- pose ten or fifteen persons were assembled ill a little knot together. Brother Reid opened the battery. He said: "Brother Noland, do you not know that you did not preach our doc- trines to-day" I replied: "Doctrines! I did not know that you had any doctrines. I sup- posed that preachers in your Church could take the Bible and preach its truths as they understood them, especially as you have no creed." He said: "Yes, that is what we allow; but we do not hold as a Church to what you preached to-day." I inquired: " Did not I prove every thing that I said by many script- ures" He said: "I do not propose to argue with you; but that sort of preaching will not suit our Church." I answered: "I am glad you are candid enough to tell me. If I have to see the Scriptures through your glasses, I shall go no farther with you. I suppose that I am the first person wbo ever joined your Church with a view to preach experimental religion, and I will probably be the last who will ever make 136 A S TIRANGE H1IIST'ORY 1. the attempt I see my folly. To-day I go back to the Methodists. To-morrow I will give up my license to preach, if necessary, and will propose to join the Methodist Church on probation, and work my way from the be- ginning." Brother Clark had not spoken un- til this moment. He then said: "Brother No- land, you have been for three days under the temptation of Satan, but yon are now released. You will not be required to give up your li- cense, or to change your relation to the Church in any respect. Every Methodist will receive you, and love you as they have done from the first day that you joined our Church." The next day, Monday, was County Court day in Irvine. I felt badly, and staid at home. About nine o'clock Brother Prunty, a local preacher, and two or three other Methodists, came to see me, and gave me all the encour- agement and comfort in their power My heart was sore. I did not think hard of the Reformers or of any one else. I thought hard of myself for not having better sense. I had already had a full conversation with Iarrison, 137 WILL MAKES WA Y. begging him to return with me to the Method- ist Church. I said to him: "If you continue with the Reformers, you cannot preach that penitents should pray for pardon before bap- tism; that pardon ever takes place except in baptism; that justification is by faith; and that the Holy Spirit regenerates the heart of a believer, making him a new ereature in Christ." He said he did not know, but one thing was certain: he would stick to those Bible truths. He said: "I am too old, and am a ruined man. I cannot go back to the Methodists. You can," About ten o'clock, to my surprise, Brother Collins came to my house. He asked for a private interview with me, and we went into an adjoining room; but I left the door open, so that our conversation could be heard. He be- gan by saying that he was grieved to learn that I thought of going back to the Methodists. I gave him a full and true account of my preaching on the previous day, and its results. He said that Brother Reid had done wrong; that if I would stay with them I should preach the 138 A STRANGE HISTORY. Bible as I understood it, agreeing to immer- sion as the only baptism. I replied that I was satisfied while some might bear with me I would preach to a people having a divided sentiment, and would do more harm than good in all probability. He then changed his tac- tics. He said that if it was Harrison who was going back he would not care so much about it, but I had been reared with them in Madi- son, and the Church loved me. He had no doubt that the Methodists would never do any thing for me, and in fact that they were unable in that poorcountryto help me in anyway. The Reformers, he said, were as thick as grasshop- pers in Madison, and if I would stay with them, and move back to Richmond, I should have a fine law practice; and if I wished to preach, I might have four churches in the county, with good pay. I heard him through as patiently as possible, and then said: "That sounds like a speech I once read in theso words: 'All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.' If you would give me Madison county, I would not preach that the 139 WILL MAKES IVA Y. pardon of sins is limited to immersion as the only time when it takes place." This warmed him a little, and he asked me why I changed so often. I replied that if he would tell me one thing in his history, I would tell him why I changed. I said: "You were a Baptist twenty years or more before you joined the Reformers, and you have been a Reformer twenty years or more since you left the Baptists. While you were a Baptist you frequently told your expe- rience, and it consisted not of a speculative theory but of what you said the Lord had done for your soul. Since you have been a Reformer you have been all the time denying your experience, and preaching that the par- don of sins takes place in immersion. Now if you had such an experience as you told when a Baptist, why have you been denying it for twenty years And if you never had such ex- perience, why did you tell it for twenty years " He said that was a dark time with him. I answered thit it had been a dark time with me for three days, that I had made about such a trip as Jonah had made, and about as wa- 140 A STRANGE HISTORY. 141 tery; that he had all his good luck on dry land, and I proposed to try it on that line for the fut- ure. He left, and I was the best cured main alive. evAPdER XIII. A DEBATE. Great Newton's self, to whom the world's in debt, Owed to school-mistress sage his alphabet. -Charle8 Lamb. A T the time of my return to the Methodist Church, it was numerically strong in Ir- vine, and the Reformers were numerically weak. While I was not given to attacking their doctrines specially in my sermons, I sup- pose I did not stand very high with them after the three days' adventure named. It may have been a year or two after this time that two or three of the preachers of that denomi- nation held a meeting in our town and made a great effort to build up their Church and de- stroy others. Half the preaching was leveled at the Methodists, and half was an effort to prove the certainty of remission of sins in baptism. Occasionally spiritual regeneration (142) A DEBA TE. was ridiculed with great severity. One preach- er asked the people where the Holy Ghost had struck them, whether in the leg or arm, and whether he might not be under the benches. Of course such scurrility was only occasional, and I do not hesitate to say it was the excep- tion and not the rule. Still our Church was held up day after day in the light of unsparing ridicule. I think as a denomination they have improved in good manners since that day. Our debaters and writers have forced them to treat other Churches with more respect. Still the main theory of the Church is the same. Our people insisted that I should preach one night in the Clerk's office. It was crowded, and the Reformed preachers attended. I read my teXt as follows: "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." A very dis- tinct "Hem " was heard from one of the pro- claimers. I opened by stating that the subject was greatly relieved as to some preachers whom we had lately heard, in the fact that they did not claim to be sent to preach the gospel; and as they were not sent to preach the 143 IlLL MAKES WAY. gospel, they had full right to preach baptism for the remission of sins, and no one should expect any better preaching from them. But to those who were sent to preach the gospel, baptism was a secondary consideration, and they might very properly thank God that they had baptized only a few, as Paul thanked God, laying the stress on ta3 greater work of preaching the gospel. If, however, baptism had only one mode, and its efficacy was to se- cure the remission of sins, and the pardon of past sins took place in immersion, then Paul must be an old fogy, and could not be under- stood in the light of the new theory. The dis- course may not have been strong, but it acted as a check to the error of the preachers named.' The next day they waited on me to ascertain it I meant them in my sermon. I assured them that I did mean them, as there were no other people present whom the sermon would fit. At once they challenged me to debate the question in issue, and offered me as my oppo- nent one of the nicest gentlemen in their ranks. I was very busy with my law practice, and 144 A DEBA TE. supposed it would take a month to prepare for a debate, and tried hard to avoid it honorably, but found they were bold in declaring that I was afraid of a debate; and my friends being very anxious that I should go into battle, I finally consented. We had six questions for debate, one for each day. I wrote the questions, and they were ex- amined by the three preachers, who suggested a few verbal alterations, to which I agreed. My opponent affirmed all the questions. That is a singular feature of our debate which I think belongs to no other. At the time when the questions were agreed to, they did not seem to have any hesitation in appearing as affirmants, but their anxiety was to have the verbiage of the propositions to their notion. I remember well after debating a day or two that they ac- cused me of acting lawyeristically in giving them an unnatural position, by requiring them to prove what I ought to prove. Some of the questions were as follows: "The Scriptures teach that man is not depraved in his moral nature, and very far gone from original right- 10 145la WILL MAKES WAY. eousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually. The Scriptures teach that we are not accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings; wherefore, that we are justified by faith only is not a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort. The Meth- odist Discipiine is repugnant to the word of God." These are samples of all the questions, and it is easy to see that the laboring-oar in the hands of an affirmant would be very heavy. On the first question my opponent led off in a speech of half an hour, showing how many good and noble things had been done by man- kind, but wholly destitute of Scripture proofs as to any freedom from depravity since the fall. Answering for ten minutes, I contented myself by stating to the audience that I had nothing to do until my worthy brother adduced Scripture proofs of man's natural goodness, and that as to all the virtues spoken of, they were accounted for by this scripture: "The grace of God that bringeth salvation bath ap- 146 A DEBA TE. peared to all men." Every good act was of grace, and not of natural goodness. He could not find a single verse to Bupport his cause. When debating the last question, "The Methodist Discipline is repugnant to the word of God," I called for specifications, asking if the repugnancy was in the frequent Scripture lessons of the Discipline, or in the General Rules, and called on him to cease making a wholesale denunciation of the book, but to show us its evil part. At length he stumbled on a line that read: "The preachers are ad- vised not to encourage the singing of fugue tunes in our congregations." He pronounced itfu-gu, and notfitu. I knew instantly that he did not know the meaning of the word. Two or three days before, as I shall presently relate, he had led off on anecdotes, which justified me in following in the same way. We soon ad- journed for dinner, and I was to reply on our return. I went to my library and took " Phil- lip's Strictures on Campbellism," and slipped it in my pocket, and returned to the debate. Opening my address I informed the audience 147 WILL MAKES hAY. that our brother had at length made a clear issue. The question was, Oaghtfu-gu tunes to be sung in church I contended that they ought not to be sung, and my friend held that they ought to be sung. As it was rather an unusual word, and all the people might not know the precise nature of a fu-gu tune, I would consider it no interruption if my broth- 3r would rise in his place and tell the audience its exact character. He remained sitting and silent. I then charged him publicly with not knowing the nature of a fit-git tune, and with attacking the whole Methodist Discipline on a point of which he was ignorant; ard that such was the usual course of their preachers when abusing our Church. I said that I happened to know the nature of a fi-gu tune, and had prepared myself to have the matter practically tested on that day as to the propriety of sing- ing such tunes in church. "I have a piece of poetry," I continued, "that is uniformly sung only to afit-gu tune; and as my brother can sing, and I cannot, I propose to read the lines, two at a time in old-fashioned style, so that all 148 A DELI TF. the people can sing, and I will thank my broth- er to lead the singing; and I think all will agree that such tunes are not suitable to the public worship." I then read: "o I every mother's son and daughter, Here's the gospel in the water. Water is regeneration; Water purifies the nation; Water gives the soul promotion; Water is the healing lotion; And if men your minds should trammel, Only get upon-a camel." He refused to sing, and I gained the point. I think it was on the second day of the de- bate when my opponent changed his course and undertook to carry the crowd with anec- dotes. He was on the subject of the certainty of knowledge of the pardon of sins by immer- sion compared with the uncertainty of an im- pression that the Holy Spirit had wrought an inward work on the soul. Illustrating this point, he said that my imperfect knowledge re- minded him of an Irishman who crossed the Atlantic and came to this land of freedom to breathe its air and make his fortune. On his 149 WILL MAKES WA Y. arrival one of the first things that attracted his attention were two roosters fighting. In a fit of admiration he exclaimed, " Bejabers, and that is my business for life! " Approaching a wag, he asked him if he could tell him where lie could buy a pair of those "bastes." The wag directed him to a man who kept muscovy ducks for sale, and slipping through a near way he posted the duck-seller on the Irishman's purpose. When the Irishman made his ap- pearance, the man led him into his poultry- yard and pointed out his ducks. The Irishman walked around them several times, examining them closely, and especially their wide feet, and presently cried out: " Be dads, they are the crathurs; the world could not uptrap them!" This raised a laugh at my expense. In answering him I called special attention -to the particular points about which we were debating. We were not debating the question whether my opponent was called to preach the gospel, as he said he was not called; and any one could tell that he was not who heard him speank tcn minutes; and more than this, my po- 150 A DzBAm. 151 liteness would prevent me from disputing his word. He had disputed my word as to my call to preach the gospel, and it was on my call, and not on his, that we had formed an is- sue. Again, he maintained that the only way that he knew he was a Christian was by his having obeyed the Lord in immersion, and that he had no experience of the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost. I was satisfied he told the truth; and as to his own knowledge and experience, I made no issue with him, but the question was whether I was to be believed when I professed an experiment- al, spiritual, and conscious knowledge of God as being my Saviour according to the doctrine of many scriptures. I then demanded of him whether he had given the whole history of the Irishman and his plan for cock-figbtirg. He declared he had given the whole account. I said to the audience: "This is like his Scripture quota- tions; only a part given and the rest omitted. The very gist of the Irishman's tale was de- signedly left out. The Irishman," I said, WIJ'LL MAfKES WAY. "had just crossed the waters, was a regular Campbellite, and thought of nothing else than naval warfare. Expecting to fight in the wa- ter, the muscovy ducks could whip all the roosters that could be thrown in to them." When the house became quiet I proceeded. My preparation for the debate, I said, had been the collection of Scripture proofs for a month, and it seemed evident that I did not need them. My able competitor had entered the anecdote regions, and for that journey I was not prepared. But being in Rome, I sup- posed I would have to do as Rome did, and would try to follow. Following in my broth- er's wake, I would endeavor to tell how much he and his Church knew about religion. A man nairred Rice had a log-rolling on his farm, and had plenty of whisky to drink. Nearly all his friends became drunk, and a general fight ensued. The rioters were indict- ed for the riot, and the case was called for trial. A witness named Harris was sworn and placed on the witness-stand. He was a near neighbor to Rice, and not being accustomed to the court- 152 A DEBA TE. room was very much embarrassed. The pros- ecuting attorney asked him to proceed in his own way and tell all he knew about the fight at Captain Rice's. He began: " Captain Rice, he gin a treat, and Cousin Sally Di]lard she cum over to our house-" "Stop!" thundered the attorney. "Mr. Harris, let Cousin Sally Dillard alone, and tell all that you know about the fight at Captain Rice's." Witness, more alarmed, began again: "Captain Rice, he gin a treat, and Cousin Sally Dillard she cum over to my house to ax me if Mose and my wife-" "Hold on!" said the attorney. "Mr. Harris, if you don't commence and tell just what you know about the fight at Captain Rice's and nothing more, I will have you sent to jail." More alarmed still, the witness be- gan: " Captain Rice, he gin a treat, and Cousin Sally Dillard-" "Stop!" said the attorney, and, addressing the court, asked the judge to admonish the witness. The judge with great gravity told the witness that he would be obliged to fine him and send him to jail unless he began and told simply and solely what he 153 5WILL MAKES WA 1'. knew about the fight at Captain Rice's. The witness began, " Captain Rice, he gin a treat-" when the attorney appealed again to the court after stopping the witness. The judge by this time thought he took in the situation, and stated to the attorney that he believed they would save time by allowing the witness to proceed in his own way. So, the court di- recting the witness to tell all that he knew about the fight at Captain Rice's and nothing more, Harris began again: "Captain Rice, he gin a treat, and Cousin Sally Dillard she cum over to our house to ax me as how if Mose and my wife mout n't go. I said to Cousin Sally Dillard that I did not know so well about it, that Mose was foreman in the crap and the crap was in the weeds; but after considerin' I said, 'Bein' as it's you, Cousin Sally Dillard, they mout go.' So all three started off togeth- er, and I stood in the door watchin' 'em. About a hundred yards from my house there is a pond and a plain path to go around it. When they all got to the pond, Mose and Cousin Sally Dillard, like white folks, kept the path 154 A DEBA TE. 155 and walked around, and my wife, like a fool as she always is, waded right through. And that is all that I know about the fight at Captain Rice's." Turning to my opponent I said: "Brother, here is the Alpha and Omega of your knowledge of the plan of salvation-a pond, and in you go!" 'a CHAPTER XIVy ELECTED COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY. We talked 4f Irving, and Bryant, and Spratt; Of Willis, and how much they pay him per page; Of Sontag, and Julien, and Art, and all that, And what do you call it-the Voice of the Age. -Anonymouw. IN the year 1851 the first State and district officers were elected under the present Con- stitution of Kentucky. This was a new depart- ure, the same officers having been before that time appointed by the Governor. We had only a general division of politics into Whigs and Democrats. I was a Whig. Those curses of politics called caucuses, primary elections, and conventions were not the rage then as they are at this day. If they had been in vogue, I had never been in office. The tricksters of the party would not have selected an obscure man without political or other prestige, living in 1156) COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY. the poorest and most remote county in the district-a preacher, and one who could not be induced to buy a vote, directly or indirectly, or treat to a single dram of whisky, for any ten offices. Some years ago in the county of my residence I was made to feel the caucus power in the County Court, fnd I took pleas- ure and pains in ventilating the whole subject through the public press, showing how utterly regardless of his oath a magistrate would be who would adjudicate any question in a caucus. I think it broke up that business. If any cau- cuses are held now in that court, they are pri- vate and dare not see the light. The election was held May 12, 1851; and sup- posing that a man has lived a whole year on the day preceding his birthday-according to Blackstone, the law never dividing a day-I was thirty-three years old on that day. This I regarded throughout the canvass as an au- spicious omen, and so stated in my public speeches. I was the first candidate, and was announced for the office about two months be- fore the election. My friends in Estill county 157 WILL MA KES WA Y. where I lived all protested against my running, declaring that I did not have the shadow of a chance to be elected. But I made it a matter of prayer, trusting in the good Lord, and went ahead without fear. I believed that if none of the Madison lawyers opposed me, the majority I could get in Madison and Estill would elect me. The Madison lawyers were kind to me. They not only declined opposing me, but I believe every one of them voted for me. My majority in Madison was over nine hundred, and in Estill over five hundred, and in Franklin, Woodford, and Clark counties I had small majorities; my leading opponent-Col. Christopher C. Rogers, of Lexington-hav- ing majorities in Fayette and Jessamine coun- ties. A period of eight or ten years' embar- rassment had been on me, and I had just paid all my debts, and had some two or three thou- sand dollars due me in notes and accounts, but no money. One friend, E. Herndon, loaned me a white horse to ride during the canvass; and another friend, A. A. Curtis, gave me a new coat, with the sleeves rather too short. Thus 158 COMMONWYEALTH'S ATTORNEY' prepared, I went abroad into the district to urge my claims. My first speech was in Winchester, on a County Court day. The County Court did not think well enough of my prospects to let me have the court-house to speak in, so I mounted a store-box on the corner of the street and be- gan an address to a few men around who did not even know my subject until I announced it. Soon I had a large crowd, who heard me pa- tiently for half an hour. In a plain, unpre- tending way I told them where and how I had been reared, where I lived, my opposition to us- ing money and whisky in elections, and prom- ised to make a fair and vigilant prosecuting attorney if elected, interlarding the speech with some anecdotes suitable to the address. When I was done many gentlemen came to me, intro- ducing themselves and assuring me that I should have their votes. One who was about half-snapped did me some good. He said: "Young man, I am for you, and you made a good speech; but in the way of anecdotes you piled it on a little too thick. Too much 159 0WILL MAKES WA Y. of a good thing is too much, as the ant caid when it fell into a hogshead of molasses." I thanked him, and promised to profit by his sug- gestion. The fact is, there was no political ques- tion to be discussed, and it seemed a little dry and egotistic to talk too much about myself; so I varied my remarks in the manner named. Soon after my Winchester speech, a large political gathering was to be held in Frank- fort. I determined to go, EO as to make ac- quaintances and (lo my very best to get the office. It was a rule of my life that whatever I underto-ik I went at it with all my might. So I rode to Winchester, where I proposed to take the stage-coach for Lexington, in company with Mr. Eginton and other friends who w ould be going to Frankfort. This was the first elec- tion I was ever concerned about, and I believe the last, as I have always eschewed politics. 1 was constantly listening for reports to be start- ed on me, and wondered what my enemies would say. By this time Col. Rogers was in the field; a formidable opponent, and a nice gentleman, with wealth, family influence, and prestige. 160 COMMON WALTH'S X TTORYEY 1 The next day a company of half a dozen or more of us were on our way to Frankfort. Soon my friend Mr. Eginton perceived that I was too silent for a candidate, and he deter- mined to arouse me. Lexington had a Demo- cratic paper called The Kentucky Statesnan, whose editor was one B. B. Taylor. Through some such source I expected to be attacked. My friend asked me- if I had seen what The Kentucky Statesman had to say about me. At once I knew that my apprehensions were re- alized. I said that I had not seen the no- tice; and he gave me the paper containing the squib. I was talkative enough after that time. In a few nights afterward I was to speak in the Lexington court-house by appointment. Some prominent citizens, such as Judge Rob- ertson, Hiram Shaw, James Butler, W. King, and others, espoused my cause, and began rapidly to make me friends. I saved the squib for a special notice in Lexington. The editor had seen my announcement as a candidate in the Richmond paper. Posting some of my 11 161 WILL MA KES WA Y. friends as to my intention, I asked them to point out B. B. Taylor to me, if he came to hear my speech. Presently a fine-looking gentleman, seated in the very center of the crowd filling the bar, was shown to me as the editor. After I had spoken fifteen minutes and the audience was in a fine humor, I drew out the paper containing the squib, and spoke as follows: "Fellow-citizens, you must not expect a man hailing from Estill to appear in your beautiful city having city ways and putting on city airs; but you have the right to expect that even an Estill candidate will be a gentleman, and treat others with gentlemanly courtesy. Fine clothes and dandyism are not essential to this common. sense requisition. When I became a candi- date I reviewed all my past life, and wondered at what point I would be assailed. My friends told me that while they knew I had lived a worthy and unblamable life, my enemies and opponents did not know it, and that I was cer- tain to be attacked. It seemed to me the thing was impossible. Still I kept a sharp 162 COMMONWEALTh'S ATTORNVEY 163 lookout on every hand. At length thi trying ordeal came. My friend Mr. Eginton asked me a few days ago in the presence of several friends if I had seen what The Kentucky States- man had said about me. Straightening my- self up and looking intently at him, I asked: " Is it possible that Mr. Clay has attacked me All my relations have been for him ever since he was known to be 'the Kentucky states- man.' My friend laughed, and let rue know that he did not mean Mr. Clay, but that he referred to a very common ioco-foco sheet, pub- lished in Lexington, that styled itself The Ken- tucky Statesman. I felt relieved, fellow-citizens, when I ascertained that Mr. Clay was not my enemy; and as my friend gave me the squib, I will read it to you as a sample of how low down a mere politician can descend in slang and abuse against a man whom he does not know, and who never injured a hair of his head. It reads: 'Mr. S. Noland, of Estill, says that he lends his name as a candidate for Com- monwealth's Attorney in this district, which in- cludes Fayette. Names are said to be signifi- WILL MAKIRS WAY. cant of things. We suppose if the name is elected the thing will claim the office.' The puerility of this attack, fellow-citizens, I did not understand until I reached your city. Standing in the door of the Phaenix Hotel and casting my eyes very high on the opposite side of the street, I read in large black and wicked-looking letters these words: 'The Ken- tucky Statesman.' 'There it is,' I said to myself; 'all sign and no brains. It is an ex- act fulfillment of Scripture: "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign." And they will always find it in Lexington, just opposite the Phcenix Hotel."' The editor was very red in the face; and when I had closed, my audience almost tore down the house with applause. That squib made me fifty or a hundred votes. Judge Goodloe introduced me to the editor afterward, but he was cool. We went to Frankfort in cars drawn by horses. Seated just before me were two dan- dies going to the great gathering. I heard one say to the other, "Who is this Noland who is 164 COMMOYWEALTH'S ATTORNEY. a candidate for Commonwealth's Attorney" The other replied very carelessly, "I don't know Mr. Noland from a side of sole-leather." Just after I was done with The Kentucky States- mian, I related this incident in my LexingtoL speech, and said to the people that it remind- ed me of an anecdote that I had read connected with Lord Chesterfield. He had written an admirable work on manners, good breeding, and politeness of speech, which I would com- mend to the perusal of such young men as had talked about me. "'While Lord Chesterfield was writing the work a new game was started among scholars and literary men on which money was bet, won, and lost. This was the game: One scholar asked another a question on some topic connected with letters; if the question was answered correctly, he in his turn asked a question; and so they continued alter- nately until one failed to give a true answer, and then he lost the money. One day while Ches- terfield was writing on his book, in his office, a lean, cadaverous-looking specimen of humanity, very much resembling your speaker, appeared 165 WILL MAKES WAY. at his door, and said: 'My lord, I have come to play that new game with you.' Chester- field looked at him in surprise, and said that he doubted his understanding the game. The fool pulled out a fifty-pound note and laid it on the corner of the table, saying that he would risk that much on understanding the game. Chesterfield, not wishing to impose on him, asked him what he understood the game to be. The fool said that Lord Chesterfield was to ask him a question, and if he answered it he would ask Lord Chesterfield a question, and so they would continue until one failed to answer correctly, when he would lose the bet. Ches- terfield then laid a fifty-pound note on the note of the fool, and said: 'Now I will ask you an easy question in the beginning. Who was the father of Jesus Christ' The fool answered: ' God was his real father, and Joseph was his reputed father.' 'Very well answered,' said Lord Chesterfield. 'Now ask me a question.' The fool, moving up close to the money, asked: 'Who was my daddy' Swearing an oath, Lord Chesterfield said: 'I do n't know your 166 COMMON WEAL TI N'S A TTORXEY. 167 daddy from a side of sole-leather.' 'Well,' said the fool, 'I know your money from a side of sole-leather,' and took the money and departed." I convinced the young men that if I was elected they would know me from a side of sole-leather if they violated the laws during my term of office. The next morning after I had made my first speech in Lexington, Col. Waters, a leading Democrat, came to me and said that while he could not vote for me he was willing to see me elected, and believed I would be elected. He said that the people were anxious for me to speak again in the court-house that night, and that if I would do so, to give me a good ex- cuse for two speeches, he would get A. J. Bar- ry, son of Hon. W. T. Barry, who was also a candidate for the same office, to have an ap- pointment for speaking, and I could answer him; and he proposed having notices struck for that purpose. I very readily consented, and we had a packed house. My old friend Col. Caperton, one of the Richmond lawyers, told me that as he was on his way to the couit- 1WILL MAKES WAY. house to hear me the last night, three or four young men passed him, and as they passed he heard one say, " Boys, there is a show in town- let's go to it," while the leader of the crowd said, " No, indeed-Noland is show enough for me." This occurrence is related to show that I was gaining friends. The first time that I met my leading oppo- nent, Christopher C. Rogers, in debate was at Mortonsville. We spoke in the Methodist church, and he evidently thought as I was a preacher that the fun would all be on his side. My religion has never been of the long-face type. Rogers spoke first, a full hour. He deait in anecdotes and personal allusions to himself and family, and the contrast between Lexington and Irvine, or the blue-grass and pea-vine regions. His city and the country around were next to the garden of Eden; his family connection on his own side and on his wife's side were historic in the State, and his own appearance, prestig3, and ability were far beyond the average. Estill county was in the mountains and had no history, and his com- 168 COMMON WEAL TI!'S ATTORNEE l 6. petitor was "to fortune and to fame unknown." Of course he was entitled to the office. Answering him, I admitted every good thing claimed by my opponent in his own favor, and from his already full store-house of supplies I argued that he needed no more. The Gov- ernor, the judges, and all other officers would be elected from the blue-grass regions, or from other rich portions of the State, while the mountains had but one small application-that I was making in their name. I reminded them that when they needed soldiers the mountains sent them forth, and common justice pleaded for one office at least. "It is true," I said, " that the very name and appearance of the gentle- man show that I am fighting against land and water, poetry and prose, good looks and talents, my competitor weighing one hundred and sev- enty-five pounds and I weighing only one hundred and fifteen. I stated to them that I was the first of the name, and a poor name at that-no land, going back to Wales from whence my ancestry came, that had ever been of any ac- count-and that on my success depended the 169 WILL MAKES WA Y. rescuing of the name from oblivion. I then appealed to my fellow-citizens not to treat me as a cruel father had treated his little son. The father said he was sick, and asked his wife to make him some apple-dumplings, as his stomach craved them and nothing else. In her good, wifely nature she made sixteen of the very best, each one being larger than a goose egg, and brought them to him on a large dish. He commenced eating, and the little son sat down on the floor looking at him. Dump- ling after dumpling vanished in quick succes- sion. The child did not speak for a long time. When the father stuck his fork into the six- teenth dumpling, the child, with his eyes full of water, said: 'Daddy, please give me a lit- tle piece.' The reply was: 'Go away, honey; daddy 's sick.' Fellow-citizens, do not be sick at the election, but give me a piece of the last dumpling." The day after the election I mounted my old white horse and started for home from Vef- sailles. Having to pass through Lexington, I stopped at the Phcenix Hotel for dinner. The 170 COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY. negro who took my horse looked as if he doubted whether I would pay my hotel bill. Entering the office of the hotel I found two or three of Co], Rogers's warm friends in anx- ious discussion as to his prospects. They did not know me. Finding I was from Versailles, one of them asked me if I could tell who got the majority in Woodford for Commonwealth's Attorney. To their great amazement I an- swered, " I did." " Who are you " he asked. I said: "I am Stephen Noland, elected Com- monwealth's Attorney of this district by a handsome majority." Looking at me, and studying the question a moment, they con- cluded that I did look like the pea-vine candi- date whom they had heard described. They soon became pleasant, and admitted the proba- bility of my election. As I was standing at the polls in Versailles witnessing the voting, Mr. Louis Marshall, the father of Hon. Thomas F. Marshall, a venera- ble old man, walking with a staff as high as his head, stepped up and voted for me. As he turned to go away a friend introduced us. The 171 WILL MAKES WA Y. old gentleman had a large share of ready wit. Affecting surprise, he said, "If I had seen you before I voted I would never have voted for you in this world," and passed on with a hearty laugh. I was elected by a majority of seven or eight hundred. My friends were enthusiastic. I never had a man to ask me for a cent of money or a dram of whisky. On Sunday before the election and on election-day I was in Versailles. There was a tide in the Kentucky River, and many of my Estill friends, probably one hun- dred, were down the river with coal and timber and had to walk all the way home to vote. They were passing through Versailles at all hours of the day, on Sunday. I had preached nearly every Sunday, but on this Sunday Broth- er Dandy preached. Judge Goodloe told me that as a company of our mountain friends passed through Richmond he asked them if they had seen me. They said they had not seen me, but had heard me; that I was preaching in the Methodist church in Versailles to a crowded house, and that they heard the old brothers 172 COM.M0OYVEALTH'S ATTORNEY. 173 and sisters saying "Amen," and that two or three hundred men on the outside of the house were crying, " Hurrah for Pea-vine! ' I sup- pose I gained the title of Pea-vine by describ- ing to the blue-grass people that while blue- grass was good for stock we had in the mount- ains a running Lveed, something like my pros- pects, called pea-vine that fattened every thing that ate it in the spring, summer, and fall, and then ran into hedges, making fences to di- vide pastures, and keeping green and nutritious throughout the winter. CHAPTER XV. OFFICIAL LIFE. Ah, Captain! here goes for a fine-drawn bead; There 's music around when my barrel's in tune. Crack I went the rifle; the messenger sped, And dead from his horse fell the ringing dragoon. -Anonymous. SOON after I was elected Commonwealth's Attorney I spent a month studying care- fully every statute of a criminal or penal nat- ure, and in making a small book of reference to these statutes, which I could carry in my side- pocket, so that I could turn to them readily in court or in the grand jury room. I made a prayerful resolution to be a faithful officer, never seeking the conviction of the innocent, and never fearing or hesitating to convict tho guilty. I preached nearly every Sunday, and part of the time had the care of churches. I think I did much good during my term of of- (174) OFFICIAL LIFE. fice, securing some twenty verdicts where the penalty was hanging, some one hundred where the penalty was confinement in the penitential ry, and three or four thousand for fines. One good day's work I remember distinctly. Judge Goodloe had been holding the Fayette court, and three prisoners who were unable to give bail were left in jail. We were to go from Lexington to Versailles court, and the Judge made an order to have the juries ready for the trial of these prisoners on a certain day as we returned home. By that time I had moved to Richmond where the Judge lived. On the day appointed for our return we left Versailles after breakfast, went to Lexington in a buggy, twelve miles, and opened court at ten o'clock A.M.; had the three prisoners sentenced to the penitentiary by one o'clock, ate dinner, went to Richmond, twenty-six miles, in the same conveyance, and I preached in the Meth- odist church at night. My greatest dread in the beginning was Lex- ington and Frankfort courts. Judge GoodIce had been Commonwealth's Attorney, and was 175 WILL MAKICES WA Y. a great help to me. He told me that I was mistaken as to the difficulty in succeeding in the cities, and so I found it to be. To my sur- prise when my docket was called at Lexington I found the lawyers cared very little for the small misdemeanors, and it was in these that I made my perquisites. In the mountains I had seen the lawyers fight every thing in the shape of an indictment. In Lexington it was only when some important felony was tried that they became interested. I fined tippling- houses, gaming-houses, and the like, almost as fast as the jury and witnesses could be sworn. My success at Lexington made me less afraid at Frankfort. I shall never forget my first term at Frankfort. P. Swigert was clerk, and W. T. Herndon was sheriff, and they were among the best officers that I ever knew. Their great desire was to purge Frankfort of whisky, gambling, and other offenses which were ruining many young men of the city. As soon as they found they had a Commonwealth's Attorney who did not propose to whitewash 176 OFFICIAL LIFE. sins and sinners, they lent me their aid by summoning witnesses and suggesting those to be examined. I soon became a terror to evil- doers, and I well remember at several terms of the court as I would leave the cars to go to the hotel I would see a dozen or more young men boarding the same train for Louisville and other points, evidently intending to escape a summons to go before the grand jury. At one court after this had occurred two or three times, Mr. Dudley, a Baptist gentleman and a good man, was foreman of the grand jury; and we agreed upon a plan to catch those young men who knew every gaming-house and tip- pling-house in the city. It was agreed that the grand jury, without any flourish of trump- ets, shoald adjourn for a week, returning their indictments already found into court as if their work was done. The boys soon came home, and were jubilant over their success. On the morning of the day when the grand jury would assemble again I procured a sum- mons for some twenty or thirty young bloods of the citfy to go before the grand jury instan- 177 WILL MA KES WAY. ter. That meant business. Gaming-houses and, saloons in Frankfort suffered on that day more than they would suffer during the sitting of an entire term of the Legislature. But to return to my first court at Frankfort. When I counted up my fees due me on fines I found that they amounted to about six hun- dred dollars. I went to the sheriff and told him that I had been embarrassed with debt for many years, and had lately paid the last dol- lar, but that I had no money and was anxious to take some home with me. My quarter's sal- ary was due me, which I drew at Frankfort, but it was only seventy-five dollars, and I wished him to take my list of fees and exam- ine them carefully, and give me as much as he could afford to pay for them so as not to lose any thing and pay himself for his trouble. He said he would accommodate me with pleasure. Taking the list and running over it with his eye, he wrote a check for about four hundred dollars and handed it to me. I knew that he was gratified at my enforcement of the law, and was afraid he was paying me too much, and so 178 OFFICIAL LIFE. informed him. He said he knew nearly all the parties, and was satisfied he could make the amount paid me and probably more, but that he had aimed to pay me about as much as he expected to collect. In all my life I do not think I ever felt as rich as I did on that day. I had nearly five hundred dollars in money. When I reached home my aim was to surprise my wife with the sudden sight of the large sum. There was a little table in the center of the room, and I had the money in small bills and loose in my pockets. I drew it out with both hands and threw it on the table, and it covered the whole surface. My wife looked at the money an1 looked at me, and her surprise was very great; but w.e soon reconciled our- selves to the situation, and thanked God for leading us in the way where money could be honestly obtained. To show how I had to deal with sinners, I will relate an incident growing out of the Frankfort trials named above. I had an in- dictment for dealing faro against a professional gambler, who lived in Lexington. The com- 179 WILL MAKES WA Y. mon practice had been to try such cases only when the defendant was in the court, so that if he was convicted he would either have to pay the fine or go to jail. The fine for dealing faro was five hundred dollars, and I was enti- tled to one-fourth of the amount. When the case named was called, contrary to all expecta- tion I announced that the Commonwealth was ready for trial. I found that the defendant had employed no attorney; that I had positive proof of his guilt; and I believed that by is- suing a capias profine, which would imprison the party if he did not pay the judgment, I could enforce the payment. So a jury was sworn, my proof introduced, and in a short time I had a judgment. The Versailles court was held soon after the Frankfort court. One day just as court ad- journed for dinner, a finely dressed man ap- proached me and gave me his name as the per- son against whom I had a judgment at Frank- fort for dealing faro. He let me know that he had learned that a capias profine was in the hands of the Fayette sheriff for the judgment, 180 OFFICIAL LIFE. and that ho had made up his mind never to pay it, and was then on his way to Missouri. He seemed very careless about the matter, supposing that he had all the advantage on his side. With an air of unconcern he said that having to wait in Versailles for his dinner he concluded he would see me and propose to pay my fee and the costs if I would get the Governor to remit the part going to the State. I measured the man with my eye and mind in- stantly. By the law of Kentucky I had the right to issue the same kind of writ to every county in the State at the same time, but this gambler did not know it. I had no doubt that the Franklin sheriff then had a capirzs prqflze in his hands for the same judgment. So af- fecting as much indifference as the gambler seemed to have, I said to him that the sheriff at Frankfort was my agent to transact all my business appertaining to fines in his county, and as he had to pass through that city on his way to Missouri, I would give him an open letter to the sheriff authorizing him to act in the prem- ises. He agreed to it, and I wrote the letter 181 and read it to him. It simply stated that the bearer was the person against whom a judg- ment for five hundred dollars for dealing faro was obtained at the last term, and that he was authorized to settle the same for me as he thought best. The wily gambler, as soon as he reached Frankfort, carried the letter to the sheriff's office, where he found that officer and one or two of his deputies. He presented the letter, and the sheriff asked him if he was the person named. His reply was in the affirma- tive. The sheriff then presented a capias pro- fine for the judgment and costs, and informed him that he was his prisoner until the whole amount was paid. He paid it, but the sheriff told me at the next court that the tallest swear- ing he had heard for many a day came out of that man's mouth. His chief complaint was that he believed I laid a trap for him and sent him directly into the lion's mouth. Only a few times was I approached during my six years' official life with any intimation that I ought to bend the law a little to favor certain persons. I will relate the first of these 182 WILL MAKES WA Y. OFFICIAL LIFE. instances. One of the judgments sold to the Franklin sheriff was a fine against an old manl for sixty dollars and costs for keeping a tip- pling-house in Franklin county. One day dur- ing my second court at Frankfort, a leading Whig politician brought the old man to me and introduced us, and said that the old man and all of his sons had voted for me; that he was poor and had a large family, and he hoped I would help to get the Governor to remit the fine. I replied that I was greatly obliged to the old gentleman and his boys for their votes, and that I had no doubt they desired a good officer, and this case was one that would prove my impartiality. I told the politician that I remembered the evidence in the case, and that a worse and more corrupting sink of whisky iniquity than the one kept by that old marl I had never known; and that he must pay the fine. This was cold comfort; but after the old man had left us the politician said to me very blandly that I had treated the case right, and he admired my firmness. One day I went into Gov. Powell's office, at 183 1WILL MAKES WIA l' Frankfort, and asked him how it came to pass that he was remitting so many fines. He said he was glad I had come in, as he wished to show me a file of letters and petitions on the subject, and ask me what I would have done if I had been Governor. I took the bundle and read one letter and petition after another. In the very worst misdemeanors there were pri- vate letters and petitions from the most re- spectable people in the district, who generally had not witnessed the trials, giving a mere caricature of the cases, and always favorable to the prisoner, and asking a remission of the penalty, stating that there was barely sufficient proof to justify the verdict. I said to the Gov- ernor that the papers were sufficient to justify his action if it were not for the fact, which he must know from his experience as a lawyer, that such documents were generally drawn by the defendants' counsel, and were not reliable; and I assured him that I had not yet read a single one that represented the case fairly. He admitted the statement to be true, but said that he could not ignore the letters and petitions 184 OFFICIAL LIFE. 185 of the best citizens without any counter-proof. I then suggested to him that if he would re- quire parties to send the Commonwealth At- torney's statement of the main facts proved, in every application for remission, I would take the extra labor on myself to give him a truthful summary of each case, assuring him that the ordinary course almost made the law a nullity. He agreed to it, and there were but few remissions in the district after that date. CHJAPTER XVI. OFFICIAL LIFE CONTINUED. Be of good cheer: your cause belongs To him who can avenge your wrongs. Leave it to him, our Lord; Though hidden now from all our eyes, He sees the Gideon who shall rise To save us and huis word.-Attenbury. T HE careful reading of the Old and New Testaments, and thirteen years practice of the law, found me-when I was elected Com- monwealth's Attorney-a firm believer in total hereditary depravity. There is not a figure employed in the Bible, nor a fact stated too strong nor in the least degree an exaggeration as to the entire corruption of the moral nature of man. The whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint. The taint reaches from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet. The heart is deceitful above all things and (1861 OFFICIAL LIFE CONTINUED .1. desperately wicked. If a man shall say, "In sin did my mother conceive me," it is only the pitiable condition of the race. By nature it is true of all men that they have gone out of the way, their throat is an open sepulcher, their tongues have used deceit, under their lips is the poison of asps, their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their ways, and there is no fear of God before their eyes. The carnal mind is enmity against God. No overdrawn picture either of fact stated or figure employed can be found in these asser- tions by any one who will lay them down by the side of human nature just as it exists. All history, observation, and experience bear their united testimony to their truth. Any man of ordinary ability practicing law for a single de- cade will need no Bible to demonstrate all that is here written. Any lawyer who is Common- wealth's Attorney in any district of any State will know these facts in five years, or less time. My term of office lasted six years. During that time I prosecuted people in nearly all the 187 8WILL MAKES f'A 1. relationships of life for the grossest of crimes. For murder, I think of the following, which are on my list: a husband for killing his wife, a wife for killing her husband, a mother for killing her child, a brother for killing his broth- er, slaves for killing their master, and an over- seer for killing his employer. Is not that a fearful recital It is as true as the shining sun at noonday. I employed my six official years in the study of human nature on its worst side, and I found that but for the re- straining grace of God the whole world would lie in wickedness. Let me give a brief account of my experi- ence and observation. Furnishing many good hands for the peni- tentiary, I had free access to its inner depart- ment at any time. One day Rev. J. H. Linn and myself visited the institution. Walking in with the keeper, presently we saw a man coming toward us spinning rope. The keeper said: "Noland, that is a lawyer; the only one I have in here. He stole the pocket-book of an old man who was his client, and it was full of 188 OFFICIAL LIFE CONTINU(ED. money If any lawyer in your district com- mits an offense, please do not send him here. They are more trouble than they are worth. Watch him when he comes here, and see what excuses he will make for stopping." So, sure enough in a moment the prisoner presented some letters for the keeper to examine, consult- ed him about some of his affairs at home and, I think, forced a suspension of work for fifteen minutes. Walking on, we entered a room where there were two young white women prisoners. One of the women was cursing the other at a terrible rate. The latter was cowering under her oaths and threats. We tried to pacify the angry one, and asked her what was the trouble. She said that she had made all her arrangements for a successful escape, but she was obliged to have somu help from the other; but just as every thing was ready, her cowardly heart gave way, and they were still in prison. She looked to me as if she might kill the other at any time. Presently we came to a large and handsome man who seemed to be educated and intelligent, 189 WILL MAKES WAY. and who had seven living wives. The last one he had married in Paducah, and he was ar- rested on his bridal tour. Dr. Linn knew him, and told him that he had news that his last wife had married again. I was informed that she belonged to one of the best families, and was a nice, modest lady. With unsurpassed nonchalance he said, without changing color or seeming concerned in the least degree, that the news was no surprise to him, as he knew that she would marry every opportunity. Dr. Linn asked him how he could know such a fact. He said that he had made that subject a spe- cial study for many years, and had never been mistaken. "If they will dress and shave me well," he said, " and turn me out of the peni- tentiary, and give me the privilege to walk up and down the streets of Frankfort. in two days I can run off with as pretty and innocent a girl as lives in the city. I would know her as soon as I met her." The hardened wretch! I have asked myself a hundred times, Did he tell the truth Young ladies, say yes slowly; know the man, his antecedents, his prospects, 190 OFFICIAL LIFE CONTINUED. his family. All flesh is not the same flesh. There is a great deal in blood. A man married a woman one morning in the upper end of Madison county, and started with his bride toward Lexington. During the day he passed counterfeit money along the road on four or five persons, was arrested before night, lodged in jail at Richmond, was tried in a short time and sent to the penitentiary. I suppose he had no other money. He had the shortest honeymoon that I ever knew. One day at Frankfort a large, healthy, lazy rascal was released from the penitentiary, having served out his time for larceny; started out of the city, passed a clothing store and slipped off an overcoat from outside the door; was caught before he went a hundred yards, was tried and sent back to the penitentiary. That was the shortest vacation from the peni- tentiary that I knew daring the time that I was in office. The most dissatisfied man with our laws that I ever tried was a Mexican who came to Clark county and married. He had stolen a nice 191 9WILL, MAKES WAY. beef, and had driven it off and sold it. When arrested, without much apparent concern lie admitted the theft, and offered to pay double the value of the animal. He was greatly surprised when his offer was reli.3ed, and lie was told that he must serve a term in tie penitentiary for what he had done By the laws of Mexico, he said, by paying twice as much as a stolen article was North noth- ing more was required. In that view of it he had made up his mind that by being an ex- pert thief he could make a living by stealing, as he would only occnEionally be caught. An indictment was called for trial one day in the Lexington court, against a pickpocket who had run his hand into an old gentleman's pocket on the fair-groundl, and just as lie was ready to take out his pocket-book the ol( man caught him by the wrist and called the police. The dexterous thief managed to pitch the pock- et-book to an accomplice, who got away with it in the crowd. When the prisolner entered the bar for trial, I was struck with his manner of walking. A cat cwald not havo gone more 192 OFFICIAL LIFE CONTINUED. softly. I cautioned his attorney to be on his guard, if he had any valuables about his per- son, as that thief would have them before the trial was ended He had with him a woman who claimed to be his wife, so as to excite the sympathy of the jury. She put something in her eyes that made her cry a little, but it did no good. He was soon shipped to Frankfort. This seems to be a chapter of trials. The young may read it and feel shocked at crime. I tried an Irishman one day in Lexington for stealing, and sent him to the penitentiary. He and another Irishman had gone into a small grocery just after dark, and called for something that they knew was in another room. While the salesman was gone for it, they slipped out all the money in the drawer and left. In a momnst a policeman was after them. He followed them down to the market-house, where they stopped behind one of the pillars to count and divide the money. The policeman was on the other side of the pillar close to them, and where he could hear every word. Soon he heard one of them say: " I thought we 13 193 WILL MAKES IVA Y. had made a good grab, but they are only one- dollar bills." The policeman sprung forward and caught one of them, but the other escaped. On the trial I spoke ten minutes to the jury, and being a preacher I was fond of having a text. So I took the word grab as my text. Going to jail with the prisoner after the trial, Mr. Blincoe, the jailer, said: " Patrick, how did you like Mr. Noland's speech" He answered: "Faith, and did ye ever hear so much said about a qrab in so short a time" I tried and convicted one man at Frankfort for whom I was truly sorry. He was an es- caped convict, and was tried for the escape. By the laws of Kentucky any prisoner escaping from the penitentiary, on being caught and found guilty, was sentenced to serve two years more after his term expired. Rumor said that when the time of the prisoners was nearly at an end the keeper gave them more freedom of the city than usual, hoping, where they were good workmen, that they would escape, so that he could have the benefit of the additional two years A prisoner had escaped and was ab- 194 OFFICIAL LIFE CONTINUED. sent several years He had reformed his life, and had married a nice woman. In seeking employment he had worked back toward Ken- tucky as far as Cincinnati. He was working near the river at a plank-yard. The keeper of the Kentucky penitentiary, happening to be walking near where he was, knew him; but the laborer did not notice the keeper at the time. So going into the city, the keeper soon returned with two or three policemen and had the pris. oner arrested. He then had to go and break the news of his former history to his wife for the first time. What an awful moment it was to her, to find that she had married a peniten- tiary convict, and that they had to separate without an hour's notice! Many thought the keeper should have allowed this manl to go, but I presume the law compelled him to make the capture if possible. The prisoner was greatly discouraged, and said that he had sinned until he had surrendered all hope of restoration to society. At Frankfort a case was called against a man for homicide. He had killed one of the 195 WILL MAKES WVA Y. female inmates in a house of ill-fame. The witnesses were the women of the institution. As I looked at the man, young, good-looking, healthy, and strong, I felt toward him inde- scribable disgust and contempt. As I looked at the women, and thought of what they had been and what they were at that time, I asked, " How low can human nature fall " Mr. Crad- dock was employed with me in the prosecution. All the women but one were in favor of the man, as they could make some money out of him if they could save his life; and such testi- mony as they gave in was shocking to hear. The prettiest woman among them was on our side, and she gave her testirnony with such an air of candor and truthfulness that thejury believed her. I remember in Mr. Craddock's speech that he told the jury that he knew the county and kindred of our witness, that she belonged to a good family, that her father was in easy cir- cumstances in life, and that she had been well educated, but in an evil hour she was ruined, and threw herself away. She was then not more than twenty years old, and was still beau- OFFfCIAL LIFEk CCOTINUED. tiful, and she must have been truly charming when she was an innocent girl at home. As the attorney pictured her former innocence and prospects. in life, she cried until her hand- kerchief was thoroughly saturated with tears. I sat thinking, Possibly she may reform. The other women looked like stones, and dynamite would have been necessary to affect them. The proof showed that the whole party was in a drunken carousal when the killing took place, and it was impossible to tell who began the quarrel. So the jury found a verdict for man- slaughter, and sent the man to the penitentia- ry. In half an hour after the jury had gone to their room I happened to look toward the court-house yard where our witness and the other women were seated together, and all were laughing most immoderately, pointing at and criticising men generally as they passed. 0 sin! sin! The exceeding sinfulness of sin! Do the young people know that all sins are related to each other in a degree not far- ther removed than first cousins The smallest and the greatest sins are thus nearly akin. No 197 WILL MAKES IVA Y sin was ever committed having a tendency to stop the perpetrator from sinning again. Sin begets sin. A dram, and then a drunkard, is the hasty process. A game of cards for amuse- ment, and then a gambler, is the history. A dance at home with sisters, and then a round- dance and delicious hugging with men. A flirtation, and then a runaway match. For- wardness at home, and then misery and ruin away from home. Young people, escape for your life! Be good; honor your parents; join the Church; seek and find Christ; be holy. Parents, do not expect to see only virtue and no faults in your children; but remember they came from Adam, and need your care and prayers. 198 GRAPTER XVIL DEBT. o reader! had you in your mind Such stores as silent thought can bring; O gentle reader! you would find A tale in every thing. What more I have to say is short, And you must kindly take it: It is no tale; but should you think, Perhaps a tale you '11 lake it.- Wordworth. T wo periods of my life, numbering fifteen years or more, have been periods of em- barrassment in debt. Two periods of my life, numbering forty days, I have been with the cholera, risking my life to give the consolations of religion to the dying. Debt is slower, and lasts longer; cholera is quicker, and kills soon- er. Which is the worse of the two I do not know. The misery that I hamv endured by be- ing embarrassed with debt seems to me insup- portable. It may do young men a good service (199) WILL MAKES WA Y. to stete the causes of my embarrassment, and to beseech them to avoid debt as they would shun the greatest evil. Poor Richard says, "Want rides on Debt's back." The first period ran from 1839 to 1847, and was the result of a small salary in the Clerk's office; buying too many fine clothes and too many books for my means; marrying early with- ont any property to support a family, and be- fore I was established in my profession; paying enormous sums as interest, and locating where there was but little money. But I am so thank- ful, to this day, that I never went back on my word, but played the man against the advice of friends, some of whom suggested that I could plead infancy on some debts, usury on others, and the bankrupt law on all. I believe I would have lost my righbt-arm before I would have done either. The good effect of keeping my obligations I have realized since, not only in a good conscience, but in times of financial die- tress ia the country, when help was essential to sustain my business. Would that I could impress on every young man reading these 200 pages that his word should be equal to his bond sscured by mortgages and collaterals, and that forfeiting his word is losing his char- acter, from which all the years of his after life will fail to relieve him. The second period of my embarrassment was after my removal to Nicholasville, Kentucky, August 1, 1864, and it lasted eight years. Its chief cause is an evil against which I wish to guard all young men. The next greatest mis- take to doing nothing is attempting to do too much. Mark my words, and weigh them well. If I had my life to go over again, I would be a man of one work, never changing it, and never adding to it other pursuits. One science only will one genius fit, So large is art, so narrow human wit. In the year 1853 I had moved from Irvine to Richmond so as to be more central to my district. Talking with Judge Goodloe on the subject of residence, I asked him to give me his opinion as to the best county of the seven composing our district. He said if society was my object-a plain, good, reliable people- 201 DEBT. 2WILL MAKES WAY. that Jessamine county was the best. I moved to Nicholaeville the county-Beat of Jessamine, August 1, 1854, worth three thousand dollars, free from debt, having a good paying office; and if I had been contented to be a lawyer, preaching occasionally as opportunity offered, I would soon have had a good practice. But hear what I did, and take warning from a man who tried to do too much. I was a local preacher. The Methodist Church at Nicholasville was financially strong. When I had preached two or three sermons the stewards had an official meeting and asked me if I would become their preacher for a year if they would get the Conference to leave the station without an appointment from its body. I agreed to do so. All the year I preached for them, having a gracious revival of religion, and leaving the question of pay to the Church, and they paid me three hundred dollars. The year before I preached at Richmond, and re- ceived one hundred and fifty dollars. The year after I continued to preach at Nicholas- ville, and received two hundred and seventy 202 dollars. During these three years I was Com- monwealth's Attorney. Now I do not regret preaching, but the pay was shabby, and it greatly lessened the practice that I could have obtained, as the people had sense enough to see that one man could not do every thing. During the ten years that I had the care of churches I was each year in business, which always interfered with my ministerial work, and four hundred dollars annually would aver- age my pay. I had good appointments. The trouble was, I was a divided man, and each pursuit weakened the others. Dr. Clarke said the adage "Too many irons in the fire will burn" was untrue and unwise, and that a man should keep them all going. He was hetero- dox on this and some other points. But I have not yet related my most serious embarrassment. A New Yorker, who had prac- ticed law awhile in Irvine, followed me to Nicholasville, claiming to be a fine dry goods merchant. He had no money, and I had only three thousand dollars. We bought a store, and he undertook its management; and on the 203 DEBT. WILL MAKES WAY. first of January, 1856, at the end of a single year, I found that we owed over seventeen thousand dollars. He had bought three or four times as many goods during the previous year as we needed, and while we had a house full of goods and a ledger full of debts, I felt that I was embarrassed almost to insol- vency. Just here I will relate how the debt came to run on me so large before I knew its magnitude. I was discharging the duties of Common- wealth's Attorney in seven large counties, the minister and pastor of a church having one hundred and fifty members or more, frequent- ly holding protracted meetings and preaching funerals at home and abroad, and attending to a law practice. My hands were full. In the summer of 1855, while attending the Madison court in my official capacity, my wife and two little sons being with me on a visit to her rel- atives, the news reached Richmond that the cholera had broken out in Nicholasville. The next morning I had the sick headache, a dis- ease that I inherited frcm my grandfather, and about ten o'clock while trying a case I became so sick that I was compelled to go quickly to one of the windows and vomit. This alarmed the people in the court-house, and they were about leaving it in haste. They knew that I was from Nicholasville, and that the cholera was there. I assured them that there was nothing more than sick headache ailing me, and if my friend Maj. Burnam would take my place and do my work, I would go to the house of my brother-in-law and sleep and rest, and next morning I would be in the court-room as well as any of them. My cheerfulness gave them a little confidence, but I could see they were anxious for me to leave. The next morn- ing I was well. The question then came up with my wife and myself as to our duty. She was a brave and true woman, and we had remained with the people in Irvine during a ten days' visitation of the cholera, and by temperance of diet, prayer and faith, we had been spared. I proposed to leave the question with her. She said that very probably if the cholera continued in 205 DEBT. 206 WILL MAKES AVA Y. Nicholasville no preacher would remain; that the people there were our neighbors, and we expected to live with them during our lives, and that I could do great good in visiting the sick. We went home, and for one month I tried to see every soul who had cholera. We commenced prayer-meetings, and the cholera ceased. Sonme thirty deaths took place. While I did not have the cholera, its poison so affected my system that I was prostrated witn flux, fe- ver, erysipelas, and rheumatism for three months, and was brought very near to the door of death, not having the shadow of a doubt that my Redeemer lived and had accepted me. My readers can see now how my business be- came so deranged. I do not think many men would have tried to weather the storm. But I had faith to believe that I could pay every dollar. I bought out my quack partner; em- ployed J. T. Mitchell, my clerk, to run the bus- iness for me; dictated a conservative course of buying fewer goods and making fewer credit sales; had four men in Jessamine to indorse for me for thousands of dollars, the old North- DEBLT. 207 ern Bank loaning me money at six per cent.; and in seven or eight years I paid the last cent, but have never wanted a dry goods store since that time. My own experience, and my obser- vation afterward when I was a banker, led me to write for our county paper an article on "Debt, Expenses, and Labor," which was aft- erward copied into The Central .1fethodlist when I became part owner of that paper; and while some of its statements are local, the general drift of the article will apply to all times and places, and so I have concluded to reproduce it in this place for the benefit of families and business men. CHAPTER IVIII. DEBT, EXPENSES, AND LABOR. No parent's hand, with pious care, My childhood's devious steps to guide, Or bid my venturous youth beware The grief that emote on every side. IF my good neighbors of Jessamine county will not think it presumptuous in me, I will give them some practical thoughts on the top- ics above named. Having lived with them nearly twenty-four years, and having employed nearly fourteen of these years in banking, I have been led by my occupation to make these subjects a careful study. Our county is a rich body of land, capable of a high order of cultivation, and contains about one hundred and twenty thousand acres. The average size of the farms is about two hun- From Central Methodit, February 7, 1880. (208) DEBT, EXPENSES, AND LABOR. dred acres-making six hundred in all-worth probably ten thousand dollars to the farm. Our people generally are plain, sensible, and clever; not proud or aristocratic in their no- tions or ways. One great blessing is peculiar to us. We have very few traders and specula- tors-a class of men who live by placing their talents against those of a whole community in buying and selling, and as a consequence gen- erally break. If we had a dozen such men who traded each year in the products of the county far beyond their ability to pay when prices fell on their hands, we would have fre- quent insolvencies in which the whole county would be involved. Another blessing is that the debt we owe is a home debt, and not aforeign debt. As a peo- ple we live near each other, and can easily know the general condition of any citizen in the county. But few in the county live more than ten miles from the court-house. The conse- quence of this is, that a man is generally in- dulged and aided who is in debt and not too much embarrassed, and who is industrious and 14 209 WILL MAKES WA Y. economical; and hence, for our aggregate wealth, we have perhaps fewer suits for debt than any county in the State. We should here guard against one common error. The speeches and writings of politicians lead the masses of the people to believe that their party, if elected, will legislate the coun- try into an easy condition. This can never be done. Each man is his own agent, and accord- ing to his own work and management will be his success or failure. Our country is not a compact, governed by a general law that can keep all from embarrassment by debts and enforce economy and well-directed la- bor. A man may work or he may remain idle. The law will protect all alike, but each one is the arbiter of his own fortune or misfort- une. Consider first the subject of DEBT. Our county is worth in land, stock, farm productions, money, and all other things, about ten million dollars. The present indebtedness is about one million dollars. This debt is the 210 DEBT, EXPENSES, AND LABOR. debt of individuals, not a county debt, and shows a healthy state of affairs, as the value of property in the county is ten times greater than the liabilities of the citizens. But by mismanagement on the part of many individu- als who owe portions of the debt named, this debt may be, and is, a serious embarrassment; and one main object of this article is to make some plain suggestions tending to reduce this weight. The annual products of the county-stock, grain, and all things raised, grown, or manu- factured for sale-are about eight hundred thou- sand dollars; and the cost, under the present system of labor, of getting them to market is about one-third of the amount sold. This will leave as profits five hundred and thirty-three thousand three hundred and thirty-three dol- lars. Out of these, farms are to be kept up, interest and taxes paid, families supported, children educated, and the like. It will be seen that the net profits of six hundred farms -the number supposed-is less than one thou- pand dollars per year. One great advantage, 211 WILL MAKES WA Y. however, to the farmer is that his land pro- duces the main part of his living. Do not be startled when I say that the farmer who saves three hundred dollars annually, after all ex- penses are paid, is above the average, and is the exception more than the rule. How important to study the question of improvement when the margin is so small! Again, if the debt of one million dollars could be divided equally between six hundred people owning the farms of the county, the indebted- ness of each one would be one thousand six hundred and sixty-six dollars and sixty-seven cents, and then the burden would be compara- tively light; but we all know that the debt is distributed very unequally. The- interest paid on one million dollars is at least eighty thou- sand dollars per annum, and this divided equally among six hundred persons would be to each one hundred and thirty-three dollars and thirty-three cents; but here the same fact is seen-it is very unequally divided accord- ing to the difference of men depending on their industry, economy, habits, and the like. 212 DEBT, EXPENSES, AND LABOR. And hre an important question is presented to each man. When is he seriously embar- rassed A debt of one-third the value of the farm would be a serious embarrassment to four- fifths of the farming population. Take two men living on adjoining farms. One has three hundred acres worth fifty dollars per acre and is in debt five thousand dollars; the other has one hundred acres worth fifty dollars per acre, and is out of debt. The one in debt has to pay four hundred dollars interest annually, and oc- casionally he has to change the debt to new cred- itors and find additional security, and some- times has a failure of crops and has not pro- vided for it by extra economy; or the prices of stock, grain, etc., fall unexpectedly. The other man keeps out of debt, expects to make two hun- dred dollars per year above expenses, and suc- ceeds in reaching this reasonable amount In twenty years the small farmer who began with one hundred acres of land, steadily gaining two hundred dollars per year, with its natural in- crease, will in all probability own both farms. 213 WILL MAKES WAY. So then, a debt of five thousand dollars, to a man having a farm worth fifteen thousand dol- lars, is a heavy and dangerous load. What ought this man to do The answer is, As soon as pos- sible he ought to sell one-half of his land, if necessary to sell that much, and pay his debt. If he expects to pay the debt, principal, and in- terest from the annual products of his farm, he is likely never to succeed. On one hand all is certainty-the interest on his debt, expenses of his family, and keeping up his farm; on the other hand all is uncertainty-in quality and quantity of each crop raised, in the price that its products will bring, and in the value of all his stock. A merchant may afford a similar illustration. He begins to sell goods with a capital of five thousand dollars and continues until he has ten thousand dollars worth of goods in the' house, and has debts owing him from one hun- dred customers to the amount of three thou- sand dollars, and owes for goods purchased or money borrowed five thousand dollars, bearing interest. He is seriously embarrassed. The 214 DEBT, EXPENSES, AND LABOR. more he increases the debt he owes, the great- er the danger. At that point he had better stop, and sell goods and collect debts until he reduces the debt he owes at least one-half in amount. I do not mean that a man in business should never be in debt. The farmer may prudently add a piece of land to his farm whenever he is certainly able to pay for it in a year or two, or he may buy young stock more than he has money on hand to pay for; or the merchant may need a supply of goods above his cash re- sources, which it would be judicious in him to buy. The debt named is one that is large enough to embarrass a man, or continues long enough to be a fixture in the family. EXPENSES. Two things are certainly true. Any man having a family to support will be surprised at the sum expended in a year, if he will keel an accurate account, in a book, of all the items and amounts. And again, the majority of men, who talk to their wives, sons, and daughters about their 215 WILL MAKES WA Y. business, are inclined to give them a flatter- ing view of what they are doing far ahead of the reality. We unjustly blame the wives and children, very often, for debts contracted dur- ing the year; when, if they knew that the hus- band and father was only making a living, and not one or two thousand dollars annually-as they were led to believe he was making when they heard him talk about his business-hun- dreds of them would adapt themselves to the situation and would learn to economize. But it seems to be natural to a man, as he plants and sows in the spring, to believe that every crop will be a success, although the result is different nearly half the time; and as he reaps and gathers in the autumn, to believe that all he raised will command the best prices-al- though he finds frequent disappointments in this particular. Sometimes he will even pay interest on thousands of dollars and hold an article for years without selling it, still hoping for an advance of price. Now it is natural for each man to tell his family and neighbors, and believe it to be true, that he is worth more than 216 DEBT, EXPENSES, AND LA BOR. he is worth, makes more than he does make, and spends less than he does spend. How few families are there that could not reduce expenses one hundred dollars per year and scarcely feel the difference in the living; how few men in debt who could not reduce the debt, principal and interest, one hundred dollars per year more than they do, by care- fully studying how to do this important thing. What difference would it make annually to the people of the county Allowing only six hun- dred families-as supposed-owning the farms, the savings, and consequently the gain, in these two items alone, amounting to two hundred dollars per year to each one, would'be in the aggregate one hundred and twenty thousand dollars per annum. What a great change for the better would be brought about in ten years! But suppose we add to these two items another -viz., by careful seeding, preparing soils, Culti, vation, etc., one-fourth of producing capacity were gained to the farms of the county, of which they are abundantly capable-how rapid would be the general improvement! Hard 217 WILL MAKES WA Y. times would soon belong to the past. Here. are three things which being done would re- lieve the people of the county in less than half a score of years. The economy here recommended is not to be mistaken for a miserly spirit. Such a charac- ter is despicable. The man who begins by cheating the Lord out of his dues, then half clothes and half feeds his family, then neglects the education and moral training of his chil- dren, and then buries his treasures, is worse than an enemy to his own flesh and blood. But the man who by industry and frugality makes his family comfortable, leads his children to like habits, cares for their religious and men- tal culture, and gains on the pathway of life enough-honestly made and saved-for the in- firmities of age, is a noble and true man, and has not violated any principle of Christ's holy religion. LABOR. Is it not safe to say that counting the whole population, white and black, of those able to labor, not more than two-thirds are actually 218 DEBT, EXPENSES, AND LABOR. employed at work What a pity that God's greatest earthly blessing-work-should be thus neglected, and in public estimation to some extent degraded. What is the conse- quence if as many as one-third of all the rising generation of both sexes are brought up in idleness Various evils follow. If one-third are idle, as they are to be fed and clothed, the other two-thirds must labor one-third more than their part to feed and clothe them. Again, idleness breeds vice, and from this non-working population come the crimes committed, contracting and disseminat- ing bad habits, filling the jails and the like. Our children are brought up to manhood and womanhood without the knowledge or capacity to bear the burdens or responsibilities of life. Lastly, the county loses all the producing power of the unemployed population. These are a few of the evils. Labor is honorable should be the motto of ev- ery man, rich and poor. The Jews had a law that every son should learn some business: hence Paul was a tent-maker, and yet he was 219 WILL MAKES WAY. educated at the feet of Gamaliel. Would that we had such a law applied to sons and daugh- ters, with an enlightened public sentiment to sustain it. Dr. Franklin said, "He that has a trade has an estate." I hold that a good shoe- maker is a better and more honorable citizen than a poor lawyer or poor physician. The plow, the plane, and the hammer should rank as high as any of the professions, so far as honorable repute is concerned. All our schools should has'e a department for both sexes, where the physical would be cared for in con- nection with learning business. A young man who is a good blacksmith, carpenter, tinner, printer, or who has learned any other mechan- ical pursuit, without a dollar in his pocket, is in a better condition than one who has inher- ited five thousand dollars and understands no kind of business. But public sentiment has to be educated before these views will be appre- ciated and indorsed. If any of my countrymen shall study these brief suggestions, finding in them something of value in the conduct of their own business 220 DEBT, EXPENSES, AND LABOR. 221 and reducing them to practice in their families, thus improving to some extent the condition of the people, I will be well repaid for the labor of producing them. 'air- CHAPTER XIX. BANKER'S LIFE. Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing, Onward through life he goes: Each morning he sees some task begin, Each evening sees its close; Something attempted, something done Has earned a night's repose.-Longfellow. ON August 1, 1864, just ten years to a day after I had removed to Nicholasville, I commenced banking; and this has been my chief vocation ever since. In 1863 I was clerk of the Jessamine Circuit Court, and had the care of the Methodist churches in Versailles and Georgetown. To the office of clerk I was elected in 1862, without opposition, and quit the practice of law which I had followed since 1839, and of which I was very tired. My wife and myself had agreed when I became free from my last embarrassment that we would (222) BANKER'S LIFE. never go in debt again, and we kept the bar- gain. While I was preaching in Versailles, two private bankers-Messrs. Hord and George- proposed to me that they would build a house suitable for banking in Nicholasville, furnish a small capital, and give me one-third of the profits, if I would take the management of the business. I knew that this business was ex-- actly adapted to my taste, and I made the contract with great pleasure. One of the firm was to stay with me until I was eufficiently ac- quainted with the business to conduct it with- out assistance. Mr. Hord remained to give me instruction, and in two months the bank was intrusted to me. In about three years M. Brown and myself bought the bank and my profits were one-half of all that was made after that time. In about three years more J. W. Wilmore bought the interest of Mr. Brown, and we have been partners all the time since, never having had a cross word, and he never having examined any of the assets. Afterward we took W. A. Sears and A. H. 223 WILL MAKER WAY i Brown into partnership with us; and since that time A. B. Duncan has purchased the interest of A. H. Brown. Our bank has been sustained by prayer every day since its organization, and I attribute to the divine aid its wonderful suc- cess in having very small losses in bad debts in twenty-two years. We had no bank in Nioholasville when ours was started. In five months we had a deposit of one hundred thousand dollars. The main rules established by me at the beginning, and from which I have never deviated, were not to use depositors' money in any kind of outside speculation, and to make no debts that were not considered unquestionably good at the time. Those who know any thing of the character of a bank-deposit know that it is subject to consid- erable fluctuations. We had been running three or four years before I felt alarmed at any de- crease in deposits. One October, the usual timo of year with us for deposits to ran up, they fell thirty thousand dollars. This alarmed me so much that I went to Louisville for the first 224 BANKER'S LIPE. time to see the officers of the Citizen's Bank, with which we kept our account, to bargain for strength. I suppose I had written hundreds of letters to J. G. Barrett, the cashier, but he had never seen me. So writing a letter of in- troduction myself, before I left home, I hand- ed it to Mr. Barrett, stating that it was a letter of the kind named of which I was the writer. Looking at me and looking at the letter, he said: "Are you the Mr. Noland named in this letter" I told him that I was. "Well," said he, " I think you look better on paper than you do off paper." He laughed, and I admitted the fact; but he soon gave me all the help I needed, assuring me that he felt confident that depos- its would soon rise again, which turned out as he said. My next trying ordeal was in 1873. We had a terrible panic, and I had not seen one since I had been in business. I went to Lexington and saw Maj. M. C. Johnson, President of the Northern Bank, and he informed me that he had not known any sach time We had some five hundred customers, and our bank was in 15 225i 2WILL MlAKES WA . good shape unless our friends became alarmed. Going to Cincinnati, I found the banks -bad established a clearing-house by which they were getting in all the currency they could command and were not paying out any. Talk- ing with a president of one of the banks, lie tried to convince me that the banks in a large city had the right to protect themselves against such a crisis as was upon them. I did not see the point, but stated, and carried out the state- ment, that as soon as I returned home we would have a clearing-house in our town. I walked around town when I reached home and got ev- ery merchant and tradesman to see that if we shipped currency down the road by Adam's Express we would soon have none left. But being very uneasy while at Cincinnati, I de- termined to see if I could bargain with some strong bank for help if I needed it. Provi- dence, I believe, led me to the First National Bank of Covington. Amos Shinkle, a Method- ist of national fame, was president, and I. D. Fry, a Presbyterian, was cashier. They gave we all the strength I needed, and I was a hap- 226 BANKED'S LIFE. py man. The cashier showed me his daily ba]- ances, and I saw at once why he could afford to make such a trade. His cash assets were equal to all the deposits he owed. For thir- teen years we have kept our account with that bank, and have never regretted the work of that day. After we understood each other as to terms of keeping a mutual account, Brother Shinkle took me into his office, and said: "Brother Noland, I will tell you the secret of our success. This bank has been under prayer and divine direction every day since its doors were first opened." How will that do for a man worth a million of dollars I replied: " Then we have two banks in Kentucky where God is our trust. Every day I ask his help in my business." After that conversation I have never been uneasy a moment about this Cov- ington bank being successful, and helping me in every time of need. The year before the panic, on August 8, 1872, I married Miss Virginia Barr Brown. With my first wife I had lived over thirty years, with my second I have lived fourteen years. 227 WILL MAKES WVA Y. My first wife knew my second wife and her family, and she loved them dearly. On her dying-bed she said to me that I would be miser- able without her, and that she would advise me to marry again, if I could find a suitable wom- an. In due time the subject became one of prayer with me. I never thought of any other woman for a moment than the one I married. She is a Christian and a most devoted wife. If ever man was blessed in an uncommon measure with two Christian wives, who loved him and were helpmeets in every sense, I am that man. I married my last wife near Danville, Kentucky. Like many other men, getting a good wife made me feel that I had obtained favor of the Lord. One day, soon after my marriage, feeling very happy, I met in Danville Mr. Barbour, a Presbyterian min- ister, and said to him: "Mr. Barbour, let me thank all my Boyle friends for giving me the best woman in their county." He was a man of keen wit. He replied: " Yes, we know that you have done well; but what has she done " 228 9HAPTER XX. CON CL.U SION. "As every prospect rises to my view' I seem to live departed years anew." T was my intention to have given a separate I chapter on my 1if3 as a preacher. But I have been so often obliged to introduce the subject in connection with other matters that. a few thoughts are all that is necessary. Fifty- five years of constant work in several occupa- tions left me no time to make full proof of my ministry. Still I have preached some two thousand sermons in all, and have received into the Church between five hundred and one thousand people. Formerly I preached al- most as often and as regularly as one whose whole life was spent in that way. But seven years ago I became interested in one of our Church papers, The Central Methodist; which interest I still hold, and am trying to do good (229) WILL MAKES WA Y. as one of its editors. As long as I live I de- sire to work. As long as I work I desire to honor God with the employment of each day. I intrust to my youngest son, Rev. F. W. No- land, the duty of being a preacher, and I feel satisfied that he will make full proof of his ministry. My eldest son, S. H. Noland, is a hardware merchant in Dallas, Texas. Here are some of my papers as a minister of the gospel: "By order of the Quarterly Meeting Confer- ence of Irvine Circuit, the license of Stephen Noland was renewed, and he continued as a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church. JULY 16, 1842. G. W. TAYLOR, P. E." I think I was first licensed to preach in 1840, but the certificates are lost. Regular annual renewals were made until I was ordained a deacon, in 1852, the second year of my Com- monwealth's Attorneyship. It was predicted by some eminent lawyers in Richmond, when I commenced preaching in 1840, that I would not practice law and preach twelve months; 230 CONCL USION. but without any incongruity I did both, with all my might, until 1862, when I gave up the law; and my call to preach is as imperative to- day as it was forty-six years ago. Here are my parchments as deacon: "Know all men by these presents, that I, James Osgood Andrew, one of the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, under the protection of Almighty God, and with a single eye to his glory, by imposition of hands and prayer, have this day set apart Stephen Noland for the office of a deacon in the said Methodist Episcopal Church, South, a man who in the judgment of the Kentucky Conference, is well qualified for that work; and he is here- by recommended to all whom it may concern as a proper person to administer the ordinance of baptism, marriage, and the burial of the dead, in the absence of an elder, and to feed the flock of Christ, so long as his spirit and practice are such as become the gospel of Christ, and he continueth to hold fast the form of sound words, according to the established doctrines of the gospel. 231 WILL MAKES WA Y. "In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-sixth day of Sep- tember, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two. Richmond, Ky. JAS. 0. ANDBEW [Seal]." Here are my parchments as elder: "K now all people by these presents, that T. John Early, one of the Bishops of the Method- ist Episcopal Church, South, under the proteo. tion of Almighty God, and with a single eye to his glory, by the imposition of my hands and prayer (being assisted by the elders present), have this day set apart Stephen Noland for the office of an elder, in the said Methodist Epis- copal Church, a man who in the judgment of the Kentucky Conference is well qualified for that work; and he is hereby recommended to all whom it may concern as a proper person to administer sacraments and ordinances, and to feed the flock of Christ, so long as his spirit and practice are such as become the gospel of Christ, and he continueth to hold fast the form of sound words, according to the established doctrines of the gospel. 232 CONCL USI.OX.23 "In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-first day of Sep- tember, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six. Winchester. JOHN EARLY [Seal]." No man can prize these precious documents more than I do. No man has tried harder to preach the sound doctrines of the Bible which are taught in Methodist theology than I have doneb I did not receive these papers to preach doctrines that would be strange to my own Church. The most active period of my Com- monwealth Attorney's life-part of the time be- ing one of great embarrassment in debt, and all the time, I believe, having the care of churches-were the four years from the date of my deacon's orders to my elder's orders; but the Lord preserved, strengthened, and directed. I am now entering the evening of life. To expect a retrospect where the horizon did not show a cloud large as a man's hand, would be presumptuous. Who has lived without mis- takes and errors Not one but the blessed Saviour. The two leading blunders of my life 233 WILL MAKES WAY. as I regard them, I have already stated, but as a warning to all youths I repeat them here. Allowing myself to be drifted into two pe- riods of embarrassment in debt. I spent near- ly a score of years and endured a thousand anxieties in overcoming them; but, the Lord be praised, they were overcome in the only way that my honor could remain without any smell on my garments-by paying every dollar. Possibly if the whole period of my business life had been successful in money-making, I might have become avaricious; and then, keep- ing my means in a miserly spirit, I might have had no charities to remember. My very mis- fortunes may have been my providential chas- tenings for my own good; and so far as the Lord's hand was in them, I shall ever so regard them. Perhaps my own trials have increased my spirit of liberality. I have given away twenty-five thousand dollars since my bank was started, and I have a moderate sufficiency for old age for my wife and myself. Again, following several occupations at the same time, I must hold up as a warning to oth- 234 CONCL USION. ers. One work for one man should be my motto if I could travel the pilgrimage again; but a step backward no man can take. Keep- ing free from debt, I think my life-work was to preach the gospel. I believe I could have added twenty thousand souls to our Zion by the grace of God assisting. But being embar- rassed on two occasions when I gave up busi- ness for the itinerancy, I now believe the Lord interfered and sent me back to business life, rather than have me drag out years of indebt- edness and ill health. Many friends believe that I have done more by the various vocations that I have followed than I could have done by one work. My advice is, let no young man follow my example in risking an embarrassing debt, or in having a variety of employments more than he can do well. As I have pointed out two mistakes, I will venture to suggest two things that have given me all the success-as I believe-that I have ever had. The first is a determination made in boyhood which I have kept to old age: never to depart 235 WILL MAKES WA Y. from the strictest integrity in any transaction. I have always felt that five cents of ill-gotten gains would burn my pocket forever. As I ex- pected a compliance on the part of others with their engagements to me, so I have endeavored to keep mine to them. Young men, this is the true course if you desire the approbation of all good men and of your God. No capital be- comes as large or pays as well as integrity. It is an investment that pays in time and pays in eternity. Lacking it, every eye that looks upon you will be an eye of suspicion. My largest blessings have grown out of ob- serving these words: " Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." First-in the very morning of life, before eating, drinking, or sleeping. No ship ever needed an anchor to keep it steady in a storm more than I needed the grace of God when my inexperienced young feet left home, and entered a world full of temptation and sin. I sought and found the Lord. He has been the shepherd and bishop of my soul for more than half a century. And now as the book closes I am sixty-eight 236 CONCLU SIO.23 years old to-day. This suggests to my mind a renewal of acknowledgments to God for all the benefits received in past life. What abundant grace! What merciful providences! I have been called to preach some three hundred fu- nerals, and very many of them were of persons who bade fair to live after I was dead; but my probation is continued that I may prepare more and more for the great change. Nearly fifty-four years ago I was converted. It was in the very morning of life. With Addison, I can say: When in the slippery paths of youth With heedless steps I ran, Thine arm unseen conveyed me safe, And led me up to man. I have been able to do a large amount of work, notwithstanding hereditary sick-head- ache has been my affliction as far back as I can remember. I feel no boasting in this statement. I am praising God. Since my connection with The Central Methodist, in 1879, I have written eight hundred and sixty-two ar- ticles for its pages, and not one of them of a 237 WILL MAKES WAY. doctrinal character that was not pure ortho- doxy as held by the Bible and the Methodists. Nearly twenty-two years I have done full work as a banker, and have been preaching as op- portunity presented the duty. My first pub- lished work was " Christians, or Disciples," my second "Sermons and Parables." These two can be found at our Southern Methodist Pub- lishing House, Nashville, Tenn. Where they have been read they have done good and given satisfaction. Plain and easily understood, not full of scholastic bombast and pretensions. My eyes are now turned toward the grave and heaven. I expect to see the King in his beauty. Near the door of death I have been called several times, but felt no alarm. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shad- ow of death, I will fear no evil." May all the young people who read these pages remember their Creator in the days of their youth. The promise to them reads, "They that seek me early shall find me." The aged have no such promise. Let an old man's experience and mature judgment persuade them that their 238 CONCL USION. greatest gain will be to know Christ as their pardoning Saviour. Then may they expect happiness and prosperity through life and heaven as their eternal home. And as the writer and the dear young people come some day to the turbid waters of Jordan, may they, with hearts full of faith and love, repeat with Watts: Jesus can make a dying-bed Feel soft as downy pillows are, While on his breast I lean my head And breathe my life out sweetly there. THE END. 239