Lincoln: Storage Wars?

 


I’ve been watching the television show “Storage Wars” lately.  People bid on storage units that have gone unclaimed. They’re only allowed to view the contents of the unit for a few minutes or so. They can’t touch any of the contents. Afterward, the units go to the highest bidders. Sometime the “winners” find that there is absolutely nothing valuable in the storage units. At other times, they are very pleasantly surprised at the stuff they discover.  It’s a gamble for sure-and really fun to watch!

Abraham Lincoln, as a young man living in New Salem, purchased a “storage unit” not knowing any of it’s contents. At least-that’s how the legend goes. He was approached by a stranger who was heading west- to purchase an unopened barrel. Lincoln felt sorry for the traveler and paid him a half dollar.  That was a lot of money in those days! Well, the moment came when Lincoln would discover what he had purchased. He opened it up. As he made his way deeper into the contents of the thing he wasn’t finding anything valuable. Finally at the bottom he found that there were books down there. We all know what Abraham Lincoln thought of books!

Continuing with the story-Lincoln’s eyes caught hold of one book in the barrel in particular-Blackstone’s Commentaries On English Law. Young Lincoln had stumbled upon the book that would change his life. He would study that book inside out. It became one of his foundation stones for the career of law practice. Of course, from the study of law and his occupation as a lawyer-he would eventually became president.  His whole future was largely determined by his one act of kindness to a stranger. He bought an unopened barrel-and really didn’t even want it in the first place.  Well, that’s the legend, as I said. Storage Wars-indeed!

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2 Responses to “Lincoln: Storage Wars?”

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