On a night in April, 1828, Tad Hopkins, traveling on a river steamboat to join his father in New Orleans, was robbed and thrown overboard by a famous outlaw. He managed to swim to a flatboat moored to the bank and spent the rest of the night there. When he woke in the morning the boat was moving, and a lanky, black-haired youth called “Abe” was cooking breakfast.
Thus Tad was part of the first historic trip of Abraham Lincoln down the Mississippi. The attempts of the outlaws to kidnap the boy added extra peril to a voyage sure to be filled with dangers in those days of wild river life. Although Mr. Meader has not attempted to give a direct picture of Abraham Lincoln, he is the dominating figure in the story.