Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The noise of engines and churning water. Black smoke rising from its chimney and white steam from its pipes. A boat that could take a man all the way from New Orleans to Louisville in under twenty-five days. Were there any limits to the ingenuity of man? (4.30)
I was all astonishment, for I had never in my life seen such multitudes—their tongues dripping with French and Spanish phrases. Ladies fanning themselves in the latest fashions, and gentlemen clad from head to toe in suits of the highest quality. Streets filled with horses and carts; merchants selling every ware imagined. We strolled the rue de Chartres; beheld the Basilica of St. Louis in Jackson Square, so named for our president's heroic defense of the city. Here, teams of men and mules dug trenches for gas pipes. When their months of work were finished, one of them proudly sang, the city would "gleam like a sparkling jewel in the night, with nary a torch or a candle in sight." (4.43)
Offutt saw the Sangamon River as a 250-mile stretch of opportunity. The frontier was booming, and towns were springing up all along its banks. Many believed that navigation would soon be improved, and that steamboats would soon bring passengers and goods through their backyards.
New Salem sat atop a bluff on the west bank of the Sangamon, a tightly grouped collection of one- and two-room cabins, workshops, mills, and a schoolhouse that doubled as a church on Sundays. There were perhaps one hundred residents in all. (5.45-6)