The career of Gen. John A. Rawlins, the late Secretary of War, who paid the forfeit of life in the service of his country, is a striking illustration of the fact that honor and fame are open to all in this country \vho unite ability with ambition and integrity. Gen. Rawlins was the son of a poor charcoal burner, who resided at Guilford, IlL, and was compelled to follow his father's trade. In the mean time he was ambitious to rise above his humble position, and earnestly applied himself to the study of books, and was finally admitted to the bar at Galena, where he not only gained an honorable practice, but won a good name, and a host of true friends. At the outbreak of the war. Grant discovered the sterling merits of this man Rawlins, and from that time they became inseparable friends and co-laborers in the nation's cause. Grant became President, and Ravlins was made Secretary of War fulfilling all duty assigned to him ably arid well. He died poor, and the keen instincts of our people at once appreciate the character and services of such a man. He oould have made himself rich through the many opportunities that came in his way as chief of Gen. Grant's staff, but, like his illustrious superior, he was above the temptation to abuse the confidence of a sacred trusta rare thing in these days. The "widow and children of the noble Rawlins are left poor by his death, but a purse of $50,000 hiis been subscribed, or nearly so, in this city to relieve them from want. If republics are ungrateful the people are not.
This article was originally published with the title "An Example for Young Men" in Scientific American 21, 13, 202 (September 1869)