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13 > Page 13 of 1785-1909 : Daniel Drake and his followers; historical and biographical sketches / Otto Juettner.

teen years old, became greatly interested in the books of his cousin John and made up his mind to become a doctor. With that zeal and determination which was characteristic of him, he set about to make up for the defects in his edu- cation. He devoted every spare moment to study, mostly by reading books that-in some manner or other-he managed to secure. His father favored the idea of Daniel becoming a doctor, and encouraged him in every imaginable way. It was intended that John Drake should locate in Mayslick, and that Daniel should study under him. Unfortunately for the plan, John Drake died about the time of his graduation. His death was directly instrumental in bringing Daniel Drake to Cincinnati. Had John Drake lived, Daniel would have become a country doctor in Kentucky, and Cincinnati would have lost the pioneer work of its most distinguished citizen. The early training of a mastermind like Drake's is of peculiar interest. It would seem that all the circumstances surrounding the lad during the first fifteen years of his life were unfavorable to anything but the most ordinary development of his mental powers. In spite of this the boy laid the founda- tion of a most extraordinary intellectual superstructure. Drake, in the full maturity of his mental prowess, was not what is ordinarily called a "bright man." To use such an expression in connection with Drake's intellect would be trivial and commonplace; I am almost tempted to say sacrilegious. Drake was a genius of the first magnitude and ranks with Humboldt and Agassiz. Yet his early advantages were meager in the extreme. But he had that God- given determination to work and win. When we think of the carefully system- atized courses of study that are nowadays mapped out for the college boys who are to be the doctors and scientists of the future, and then consider the motley mixture of books that constituted old Isaac Drake's library and gave to young Daniel all his preliminary education, we are forced to acknowledge the supremacy of the will in the struggle with Destiny. Young Drake believed in his own predestination as a superior man. His life shows that confidence and implicit belief in self is an invincible power which in man's fight against Fate itself spells Victory. This should be an inspiration to many a poor boy who is facing the world with no assets except his willingness to work and his determination to win. Drake's example should encourage every struggling beginner in medicine, and banish the evil spirits of faintness and despair from the youthful heart. Isaac Drake's library was neither large nor select. It consisted of a family Bible, Rippon's Hymns, Watts' Hymns for Children, the Pilgrim's Progrcss, an old Romance of the days of Knight Errantry, primers, with a plate repre- senting John Rogers at the stake, spelling books, an arithmetic, and an almanac for the new year. As, he grew up, he met with Guthrie's Grammar of Geography, Entick's Dictionary, Scott's Lessons, Aesop's Fables, the Life of Franklin, and Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his Son, the latter of which he greatly prized. Once in awhile a number of-the Palladium, a newspaper pub- lished at Washington, Ky., fell into the boy's hands, always affording him much gratification. 13