Collections: 
0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Page 12 of 1785-1909 : Daniel Drake and his followers; historical and biographical sketches / Otto Juettner.

item | thumbnails | details | text | pdf
Download this image
had to take a hand in clearing the forest and preparing a place for the new cabin. Thus the next two years were given to hard labor, sharing his father's work and troubles in every particular. After two years Daniel was able to resume his studies under the guidance of an itinerant instructor who hailed from Maryland and opened a regular school in the layslick district. We have seen that Drake's early years were spent in close communion with Nature. To his young and imaginative mind every little spot in the landscape was invested with peculiar beauty and meaning, the song of every little bird in the forest had its own melodious language. What to an ordinary observer was barren and unattractive, was to him a source of ineffable interest and delight, says S. D. Gross. "In the Spring and Summer the surface of the earth was carpeted with richest verdure and strewn with myriads of wild flowers, whose balmy fragrance seemed to ascend like sweet-scented incense to the throne of the Almighty, while their gay raiment in its variety of color, and rendered brighter and more radiant by the rays of the morning sun, delighted the clear eye and unspoilt heart of the lad. The ancient elms and poplars and other mighty denizens of the woodland had donned their richest garb, while amid their majestic silence thousands of winged songsters were stirring the heart with their tuneful lays." The impressions thus made on the boy's mind (luring the formative period of his life, i. e., his early adolescence, were the elements out of which the mind of the future man was constructed. Drake was an eminent naturalist and became a great physician because of that fact. He learned to love Nature early in life and tried to understand the things which in the days of his childhood he had learnt to love. This is what made Drake a student of Nature, and gave him such power as a man of affairs in the building tup of the great West. With a keen and open eye and a heart full of love for the beautiful things that abound in Nature's vast domain, he coupled an inquiring mind that was not satisfied to wonder and marvel, but that approached the problems and mysteries of the air, the soil, and the water with a desire and a determination to solve the riddles and to know the truth. Thus we see how the foundation to Drake's subsequent career of greatness was laid. His greatest work outside of his strictly medical achievements was undoubtedly that remarkable book about Cincinnati ("Picture of Cincinnati") which he published when he was hardly thirty years of age. It was the logical evolution of the elements of knowledge and discerning power which were brought out in his early training as a country lad in old Kentucky. A brother of Drake's father, Cornelius Drake, had settled near the place where the Drakes were living. He was a tavern-keeper and conducted a general store. He was a prosperous business man, and in 1796 sent his son John, a young man probably six years older than Daniel, to Dr. Wm. Goforth, who was practicing medicine in Washington, Ky. Young John Drake remained with Dr. Goforth three years, continuing his studies at the University of Pennsylvania. John Drake was a good student and always spent his vacation on his father's place. Daniel, his cousin, who was then about twelve or thir- 12