Those were stirring times, even on the frontier. The “Sangamo Journal” of December 30, 1832, printed Jackson’s nullification proclamation. The same paper, of March 9, 1833, contained an editorial on Clay’s compromise and that of the 16th had a notice of the great nullification debate in Congress. The speeches of Clay, Calhoun, and Webster were published in full during the following month, and Mr. Lincoln could not well help reading them and joining in the feelings and comments they provoked.
While the town of New Salem was locally dying, the county of Sangamon and the State of Illinois were having what is now called a boom. Other wide-awake newspapers, such as the “Missouri Republican” and “Louisville Journal,” abounded in notices of the establishment of new stage lines and the general rush of immigration. But the joyous dream of the New Salemites, that the Sangamon River would become a commercial highway, quickly faded. The Talisman was obliged to hurry back down the rapidly falling stream, tearing away a portion of the famous dam to permit her departure. There were rumors that another steamer, the Sylph, would establish regular trips between Springfield and Beardstown, but she never came. The freshets and floods of 1831 and 1832 were succeeded by a series of dry seasons, and the navigation of the Sangamon River was never afterward a telling plank in the county platform of either political party.
Appointed Deputy Surveyor—Elected to Legislature in 1834—Campaign Issues—Begins Study of Law—Internal Improvement System—The Lincoln-Stone Protest—Candidate for Speaker in 1838 and 1840
When Lincoln was appointed postmaster, in May, 1833, the Lincoln-Berry store had not yet completely “winked out,” to use his own picturesque phrase. When at length he ceased to be a merchant, he yet remained a government official, a man of consideration and authority, who still had a responsible occupation and definite home, where he could read, write, and study. The proceeds of his office were doubtless very meager, but in that day, when the rate of postage on letters was still twenty-five cents, a little change now and then came into his hands, which, in the scarcity of money prevailing on the frontier, had an importance