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11 > Page 11 of 1785-1909 : Daniel Drake and his followers; historical and biographical sketches / Otto Juettner.

the ease with which he could shed tears and the irresistible desire to fall asleep in church. Daniel's childhood days, as already indicated, were spent in a log cabin such as poor country people used to put up and occupy in the early pioneer times of Kentucky. A log cabin, as the name implies, wvas "built of logs, generally unhewn, with a puncheon floor below and a clapboard floor above, a small square window without glass, a chimney of 'cats and clay,' and a coarse roof. It consisted generally of one apartment, which served as sitting- room, dining-room, and kitchen. Here the family lived in peace and content- ment in a little world of their own, their only enemies being the elements of Nature or perhaps the restless redskins that were receding before the advance of civilization." Drake often tenderly referred to the sweet and pure family life in that log cabin where everybody was poor and yet happy. They knew nothing of the hate and envy, the troubles and tribulations of society, the miserable smallness and perfidy of man in the larger towns and cities. And the center of the happy family in that coarse log cabin was that personification of goodness and sweetness, Daniel's mother, the thought of whom seemed to grow in inspiration to the son as the years rolled on. Drake's example shows the early and lasting effect of the association with a good mother on the char- acter of a boy. Granting that heredity and environment make or break character, it is an undeniable fact that the early maternal influence represents the lion's share of what we include in environment, because of its early, deep, and, therefore, lasting effect. That beautiful spirit of chivalry towards women and, for that matter, towards men even if they were enemies, which wvas so characteristic of Drake throughout his whole life, was the work of a good mother. It seems that a boy who has the good fortune of having been reared by the tender hand of a good mother, should always be a good man, if only to pay back that early incurred debt of gratitude to the memory of her who gave him life and character. Daniel received his first schooling at the hands of itinerant schoolmasters, who would establish themselves in a conveniently-located log cabin and teach the children of the nearby settlers the elements of reading and writing, with a little arithmetic thrown in. These schoolmasters were by no means pedagogues by vocation. They were tramps whose peripatetic tendencies would awaken whenlever the first balmy breezes of Spring made it comfortable to roam through the country. Sometimes a preacher without a flock would appear among the settlers, remain for an indefinite period and divide his time between administering spiritual advice to the grown people and teaching the young folks how to read and write. Young Daniel must have been an apt scholar, because at the age of seven he was a pretty fair reader. When he was nine years old, his father moved to a larger place, and, being too poor to hire a laborer and not being very robust himself, the father had to depend on the assistance which the son might be able to render. Young Daniel was a strong boy and only too glad to help his father. Instead of continuing his lessons he 11