Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Low-Down Trick

When Lincoln was a candidate of the Know Nothings for the State Legislature, the party was over-confident, and the Democrats pursued a still-hunt. Lincoln was defeated. He compared the situation to one of the camp-followers of General Taylor’s army, who had secured a barrel of cider, erected a tent, and commenced selling it to the thirsty soldiers at twenty-five cents a drink, but he had sold but little before another sharp one set up a tent at his back, and tapped the barrel so as to flow on his side, and peddled out No. 1 cider at five cents a drink, of course, getting the latter’s entire trade on the borrowed capital.

“The Democrats,” said Mr. Lincoln, “had played Knownothing on a cheaper scale than had the real devotees of Sam, and had raked down his pile with his own cider!”