Why did so many of our 19th century leaders who grew up as farmhands or farriers in rural stretches of the South or Midwest use no speech writers? They spoke extemporaneously and wrote with a fluency and grammatical accuracy which put today's memebers of Congress to utter shame. Most of the old timers began with this book and that's why they outclass today's lightweights. Kirkham's Grammar is a comprehensive 228-page compedium of the rules of English grammar. It was published in the first decades of the 19th century "for the use of schools and private learners." Kirkham's Grammar was ordinarily the first book, after the Bible, in the collection of every frontier library. Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon, wrote of the future president's early days in New Salem: "Acting on the advice of Mentor Graham he hunted up an owner of Kirkham's Grammar and after a walk of several miles returned to the store with the coveted volume under his arm. With zealous perseverence he at once applied himself to the book. Sometimes he would stretch out at full length on the counter, his head propped up on a stack of calico prints, studying it; or he would steal way to the shade of some inviting tree, and there spend hours at a time reading it." Now you can have the same book in your library. And you might want to buy a copy for your own member of Congress.
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