by Simon Fancy Eagle
This school essay appeared in The Carlisle Arrow, volume Five, number 27, Carlisle Indian School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, March 12, 1909, p. 1-2. Simon Fancy Eagle was a Kitkahahki (or possibly Pitahawirata) who was born about 1890, the son of Fancy Eagle (a Kitkahahki or possibly Pitahawirata, born about 1858, died 1915) and Emma Fancy Eagle (born about 1867).
He was born in Kentucky. When he was nine years of age, his parents moved from there to Gentryville, Indiana. They built a log cabin on the edge of the forest. They lived on what they found in the woods or streams and what they raised on their little farm.
The neighbors were far apart, so we can imagine what a lonely spot it must have been.
His mother died when he was a child. We must know that Abraham did not have a comfortable home, but he did not complain. Their furniture was home made. When he was old enough to work he helped the farmers. He had poor chances to rise in the world. He hadnít the least idea that he would become President of the United States on account of his lack of education. There were no schools near his home. His father was a carpenter and a farmer. He was also poor at this. He tried to teach his son carpentering, but he soon gave it up. He was looking for his chance, and he had the sense to see it when it came.
Abraham made himself useful in every way he could. He was a careful worker. He got his education through his own efforts. If he saw books anywhere he asked to borrow them.
Once he soiled a book and paid for it by working for the farmer at twenty-five cents a day. He knew it was right. His father was lazy and willing to let his son stay from school so he could help support the family. He walked to a court meeting about fifteen miles away. He watched and studied the speakers closely, then he wanted to become a lawyer. He read every book he could get hold of. He knew the ways and loved the birds and animals. He was honest, brave and tender hearted. Every thing he longed for, he gained by thinking and hard study. He was always looking for the truth and was never ashamed to say he didnít know. When did not know a thing he asked questions and by hard thinking would find out what he wanted to know. Lincoln never had any one to guide him; he had to depend on himself. So he took great pains with whatever he undertook to do.
He did not get discouraged easily; every failure helped him to be strong. He had no one to guide or teach him. He went ahead step by step. From being much alone he had learned to think carefully and to lay his plans well. I think Mr. Lincoln is one of the greatest man the world has ever known. We love him because he was honest, brave, kind hearted, and sympathetic.