Illustrious Mechanics
& Self-Made Men

Adam, the father of the human race, was a gardener. He had, however, a strange propensity for tasteing unwholesome fruit, which produced very injurious effects, both upon himself and his offspring.

Noah was a shipwright and a husbandman; he navigated the whole earth in his ark, and got “seas over” in his vineyard.

Solomon was an architect, a poet and philosopher; his conduct, however, was not always by line and rule; he trod the circle of dissipation in his imaginations, and violated his own maxims. His own conscience and strength of mind, however, reclaimed him, and his repentance is the most beautiful of the works which he has left for the contemplation of his species.

The apostle Paul was a tent maker, and labored with his hands at his vocation, while he endeavored to infuse into the minds of his fellow men the important truths of revelation. – While he screened them with earthly tabernacles from the weather, he held above their souls the aegis of divine protection.

Matthew was a poor fisherman; he relinquished his humble calling for that of a missionary, and toiled assiduously to draw men from the fiery billows of perdition.

Quintus Cheimatus was a ploughman, and was invoked to the government and dictatorship of Rome. His labors in the political field were as successful as those upon the soil.

Arsaces was a private mechanic, and was called to found the Parthian Empire. He built up a powerful nation, and erected for himself a mausoleum of fame which is indestructible.

Tamerlane, the conqueror of Asia, was also a mechanic; he rough hewed. Bajazet, and carved his way to fortune and glory.

Massaniello, a Neapolitan fisherman, was raised to the command of fifty thousand men and gave up fish lines for lines of bayonets, and river seines for scenes of change.

Jolis Leyden, in Germany, was a tailor, and rose to the dignity of a king. He cut out for himself a bad piece of work however, and afterwards came to a miserable end. His goose did not fly very well.

Zeno, the famous bishop of Constantis, who had the largest diocese in that country was a weaver. He directed his attention to the habits of both soul and body.

Stephen Tudiner, a hatter in upper Austria was made a general, and commanded an army of sixty thousand. He made hats for others, but preferred for himself a chapeau.

Walmer, a shoemaker, succeeded him in command but was slain by Count Papenheim. He converted his awl into a sword; “his last state was worse than the first.”

Mr. Edmund, of Sterling, in Scotland, showed such unparalleled bravery in the Swedish wars, under that “thunderbolt of war, Gustavus Adorphus,” that he was made a general. A maker of bread might be supposed to know how to rise.

Peter the Great, Emperor of Russia, worked at ship-building. He learned the Russian Bear how to manage a boat.

Charles II, of England was a turner of ivory, nor could affairs of a state divert him from his morning task at the lathe. He turned his mind, however to amusements, which tasked his health, and pared away his reputation.

Louis XIV of France, was one of the best watermarkers of his reign. He forgot the burdens of power in following the light footsteps of time and escaped the fluttering of parasites on the pinions of chronometers.

William IV, of England, was a sailor and rose from the forecastle to the throne. He managed the ship of state with nautical address, and bear her a considerable way up to the harbor of Reform.

Benjamin Franklin was a printer, philosopher, and statesman. He drew lightning from heaven and left his name in large caps upon the annals of his country. His spirit is among the [blank]


George Washington, Andrew Jackson, and William Henry Harrison were farmers – From the pursuits of agriculture they went forth to pursue the enemies of their country and from the fields of death gathered the “Golden Immortal.”

Sir Richard Arkwright, who first conceived the idea of spinning cotton by use of machinery, passed the earlier part of his life in pursuing the humble occupation of a barber. – His genius proved brighter than his razors.

John Leslie, professional Natural Philosophy, in Edinburough was the sone of a poor farmer in Largo, Scotland. He was employed in the capacity of herdsman. His pencil was a stick; and the ground his slate. From being the companion of cattle, he became the peer of learned men.

James Ferguson was in earlier years a shepherd, watching the stars at night like his predecessors of Chaldea, and like them was led to his favorite planet by the contemplation of the goodness and magnificence of the works of the Deity.

—Richmond Whig


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