AT THE BAR
POLITICAL opponents have sometimes referred to me as an unsuccessful lawyer; one president of a great eastern university in a campaign speech delivered in my home city in 1896 argued that I was unfit for the Presidency because I had never enjoyed a large income from my profession. I will not attempt to urge in my behalf the argument that turned Disraeli from the law to politics, that is: "To succeed as an advocate, I must be a great lawyer, and to be a great lawyer, I must give up my chance of being a great man"; but I think I owe it to my friends to give them a glimpse of my career as a lawyer. From this they can form an estimate as to whether I would have succeeded had I continued in the profession.
After graduating from the law school and after admission to the bar I returned to my home at Salem to prepare for a change in residence to Jacksonville, Illinois. During the preceding vacation ( 1882) I made a trip to Kansas City, which I had considered as a possible location. I was impressed by the reports of the growth of the city and went upon a tour of investigation.
I was deeply impressed with the size and bustle of the city, but was disturbed by the fear that I might not have money enough to support me until I could become self- supporting. If I had known as much about law business then as I learned afterwards I would not have been so timid about starting in a city, but the more I pondered over the problem the more strongly I was inclined to start in Jacksonville, where I thought the beginning would be easier. I reasoned thus: I had spent six years as a student at Jacksonville, was acquainted with many of the literary and business people there. I had graduated as the vale-