The case of Duff Armstrong, who was accused of murder, well shows Lincoln as a man and as a lawyer. Duff was the son of Jack Armstrong, the leader of the Clary Grove gang, whom Lincoln had once whipped in a fight when he was working as a clerk at New Salem. Afterward Jack and he had become firm friends. Duff and two others named Norris and Metzker had been drinking and there had been a free fight. Metzker had been struck over the head with a club by Norris and had received other injuries. Norris had already been convicted of manslaughter and the case looked bad for Duff Armstrong, who claimed that although he had struck Metzker with his fist he had not been guilty of the injuries which had caused the former's death.
Jack Armstrong by this time had died, and his widow appealed to Lincoln. He was in the middle of a political campaign, but he dropped everything to help the son of his old friend. At the trial a witness by the name of Allen took the stand and swore that he had actually seen Duff strike Metzker a blow with a blackjack. On cross-examination Lincoln brought out the