Daily Story Jury and Johnnie

Daily Story

Jury and JohnnieLincoln Reading
“[In summing up a case argued against an eloquent young attorney, he pointedly ignored his opponent’s argument and told the jury this story:] In early days there lived in this vicinity, over on the Sangamon river, an old Indian of the Kickapoo tribe, by the name of Johnnie Kongapod, who had been taken in charge by some good missionaries, converted to Christianity, and educated to such extent that he could read and write. He took a great fancy to poetry, and became somewhat of a poet himself. His desire was that after his death there should be placed at the head of his grave an epitaph, which he prepared himself, in rhyme, in the following words:”

“Here lies poor Johnnie Kongapod;
Have mercy on him, gracious God,
As he would do if he were God
And you were Johnnie Kongapod.”

Francis Fisher Browne, Everyday Life of Abraham Lincoln, p. 164.