Abraham Lincoln was no “country bumpkin”

Country Bumpkin Lincoln?

Country Bumpkin Lincoln?

Upon first meeting Abraham Lincoln many people often made the mistake of assuming, perhaps, that he was nothing more that a “country bumpkin” or “stupid backwoods hick.” Admittedly, he did look awkward at times with ill-fitting garments and those now well-known physical features.
But Lincoln was brilliant in mind and quick in debate. The following account of young Lincoln illustrates this point as found in the book: “Lincoln At Peoria: The Turning Point” by Lewis E. Lehrman:
“It was a hot and humid night in 1844 when ex-Whig May opened the debate inside the Presbyterian church on Peoria’s Main Street. May concluded his political remarks, according to a newspaper editor in attendance, by ridiculing “the pole raised by the zealous Whigs of the town near the public square.” He explained the three kinds of wood of which it was constructed, and informed the audience that the main or lower stick, like the Whig Party, was hollow and without !
The Democrats applauded, the Whigs looked serious and Colonel May took his seat. Like former Congressman May, future Congressman Lincoln spoke in earnest. He concluded by responding wryly to May’s comment about the Whig pole:
“The Whigs of Peoria had no cause to be especially proud of their pole,” said Lincoln. After all, “it was not made of the best timber and was not straight, but there was one thing about it he could explain, account for and admire. The hollow place at the butt of the pole was where Colonel May had crawled out of the Whig Party, and his party friends now propose to close it up so that the Colonel never could return.”
So much for country bumpkin Lincoln. 
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