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most needed, were found to be absent. Men are not always what they appear. In the course of my diversified life, having experienced almost every variety of fortune, from opulence down to pinching poverty, from brilliant success in business to perfect failure, I have often proved the old adage true, that prosperity gains friends, but adversity tries them.
But as it is my business to give the events of my own life in this narrative, I shall, in the outset, present the reader with a picture of my character, as drawn by Mr. O. S. Fowler, in 1837, and leave the reader to compare this picture with the facts I shall narrate, and judge whether it is "drawn to the life." When the phrenologist had finished examining my head, and committed it to writing, I read it carefully over when I came to any portion that looked rather bright, that I was willing to accept as about as it should be; but in perusing the whole picture, I found quite a number of features not very pleasing to look upon. At these I shook my head in some doubt; but on the "sober second thought," I was forced to yield myself a convert to the science of phrenology, and I can say like the woman at the well of Samaria, I found a man that knew all about me. I shall leave the reader to draw his own conclusions, and entertain his own views, of the science of phrenology. It will be remembered that I was a perfect stranger to Mr. Fowler. But I can go no further with phrenology than the natural man is concerned; although some degree of enterprise, and
very likely the natural bent of mind may be carried out in spiritual things, as in the case of Paul after his change from nature to grace; Paul the apostle now showed the same degree of zeal and enterprise in preaching the gospel from city to city, that Saul of Tarsus had before done in persecuting the Church of God. His propelling powers had only taken an opposite direction. The predominant principle is equally seen in both characters, which only shows that the most salutary gifts of God may be perverted to the worst purposes. And without some such perversion of the original gifts of Deity, the faculties of the mind, either by the immediate possessor of them, or by his progenitors, (for deformities like debts may be entailed,) it cannot be doubted that their manifestation would be always right. But man has sinned, and grace must purify the heart. But I promised to give you the words of the phrenologist. Here you have them, and you must judge for yourself :—
"Capt. G. W. Henry is a most peculiar genius, and possesses strong powers of thought, and very strong passions, both of love to friends, and of hatred to enemies. He will go any length to assist those to whom he takes a fancy; and yet his hatred and vengeance are most bitter, and his remarks about them biting, sarcastic, and caustic. His jokes both sting and tickle. He compares the objects of his displeasure to some most disagreeable object, and has a most violent temper. He will bear long be
fore he gets fully roused; yet, after that, wont be pacified, and is quite haughty. His powers of mind are great. Go where he will he cuts a figure, and is always bold, enterprising, efficient, resolute, drives all before him; yet is much more cautious than he appears to be; plans on a large scale, and thinks that he can do almost anything that anybody else can do; has the utmost confidence in himself; is thoroughgoing in all that he undertakes; will please himself first, and others afterwards, and never can cancel his opinions, or change his course of conduct in order to get the popular favour; is always honourable, yet very conscientious; does not know that he can do wrong; never takes advice; excessively fond of debate and opposition, and courts contest; great in argument, and will do well to make stump speeches; loves to get money, and will not allow one cent that belongs to him to be taken from him, and yet spends it extravagantly, and must always have the best; has a great share of mechanical genius, and is really a genius in making, building, or constructing anything that he takes hold of; can invent and contrive ways and means to effect mechanical operations which are new, and just answer the purpose; will make a wonderful man for engineering, &c.; builds also a great many castles in the air; full of hope, and promises himself the greatest success; one of the best natured of men when he takes a fancy; not at all devout or religious, very incredulous; a very great lady's man.
the whole figure in everything; blows out his whole mind, and has no hypocrisy; eminently courageous, fond of children, and will do a great business. "O. S. FOWLER.
"June 28th, 1837."
Here you have Mr. Fowler's opinion of the man; and I would again remark, that he had never seen or heard of me until I was placed under his hands. Let us take a stand here, in the middle of our journey of life, and take a look backwards and forwards, and see how much true character the phrenologist has guessed out; for it is said that guess-work is as good as any, if you only guess right. As Mr. Fowler has given some good and some bad, I shall be obliged to do the same, as I told you in the beginning I should have to; and as some things must be told which may not be palatable to the sober and gray-headed reader, I shall ask him to skip over all such incidents, and pass on to where he will find something better suited to his taste, and leave the lighter subjects to such as relish them.
There are four vicious, or sinful besetments, to which I have been subject at some periods of my life; and in stating what they are, I will also give their preventive or cure. They are theft, gambling, tobacco-chewing, and drunkenness. The phrenologist has stated that I was always honourable; but you know it is said there are exceptions to all general rules. It is so in this case. In looking my life over carefully, I have no recollection of committing more
than one single act whereby I exposed myself to the penal law of my country, although I find a thousand errors and mistakes. I recollect that when I was
quite a little boy, I had a most ardent desire for a penknife, and it was a rare thing in those days for a boy of my age, living in the country, to have a knife, or a sixpence to get it with. But I had occasion to go to New-Hartford, a village a few miles from my home; there I entered a large store without any money, or any expectation of getting a knife, and requested the merchant to show me some of his articles. He immediately handed down a pack of knives, and laid them on the back end of a long counter, and told me the price of them was two shillings and sixpence, and left me to examine them, while he stepped to the other end of the counter to trade with some more profitable customers. The knives suited me to a T. Here was a moment of as severe temptation, probably, as I ever had in my whole life. Now, there is no sin in being tempted, for our Saviour himself was tempted. But the iniquity lies in yielding to the temptation; which, unfortunately, was the case with your flaxen-haired author. It was all done in a moment. The devil (I suppose we have a right to charge him with such things) said, "Fob it." My pockets were all marked "M. T.," [empty.] Instead of reflecting whether the All-seeing Eye was upon me, I cast an eye around to the merchant who was busy with his customers. The knife was fobbed, and I sneaked