The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from The Boys' Life of Abraham Lincoln by Helen Nicolay:|
West during Mr. Lincoln's boyhood, though already in some places
there were schools of a more pretentious character. Indeed, back
in Kentucky, at the very time that Abraham, a child of six, was
learning his letters from Zachariah Riney, a boy only a year
older was attending a Catholic seminary in the very next county.
It is doubtful if they ever met, but the destinies of the two
were strangely interwoven, for the older boy was Jefferson Davis,
who became head of the Confederate government shortly after
Lincoln was elected President of the United States.
As Abraham had been only seven years old when he left Kentucky,
the little beginnings he learned in the schools kept by Riney and