"In a Lincoln campaign for reelection to the Illinois legislature, he tangled in debate with one George Forquer, a onetime Whig who had changed his politics to Democrat in order to receive a prize appointment from President Andrew Jackson. With his handsome new emolument, Forquer had a mansion built, topped with a lightning rod.
"In the debate, Forquer brutally savaged the young Lincoln. When it was Lincoln's turn to speak, he replied to Forquer's argument clearly and effectively. Then he paused - and with cutting sarcasm launched and attack on his opponent.
"'Among other things, my opponent in this debate has said that 'this you man,' alluding to me, 'must be taken down.' I am not so young in years as I am in tricks of the trade of a politician, but,' Lincoln said, pointing a deadly finger at Forquer, 'live long or die young, I would rather die now than, like that gentleman, change my politics and with it receive an office worth three thousand dollars a year and then feel obligated to erect a lightning rod over my house to protect a guilty conscience from an offended God.'"
-James C. Humes, The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln