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set out for the same goal, and were promptly at hand. Attempts at mediation having failed, all returned to Springfield, and a “meeting” was fixed for the 22d of the month, in Missouri, within three miles of Alton. Lincoln gave Dr. Merriman the following written statement, to be read if Shields should first withdraw his notes: “I did write the ‘Lost Township’ letter, which appeared in the Journal of the ad inst., but had no participation in any form in any other article alluding to you. I wrote that wholly for political effect. I had no intention of injuring your personal or private character or standing as a man or a gentleman; and I did not then think, and do not now think, that that article could produce, or has produced, that effect against you; and had I anticipated such an effect, would have forborne to write it. And I will add that your conduct towards me, so far as I knew, had always been gentlemanly, and that I had no personal pique against you, and no cause for any." If no acommodation was effected, he chose for weapons “cavalry broadswords of the largest size, precisely equal in all respects, and such as now used by the cavalry company at Jacksonville.”
After the prospective combatants had crossed into Missouri, other friends of both — among whom were John J. Hardin and W. L. D. Ewing — succeeded in bringing about a pacific adjustment. At this day the whole affair looks very much like an intended travesty of the code of honor in its modern development, or as a piece of waggery which might afford to the two mischievous young ladies, as well as to the humor-loving Lincoln, as much real enjoyment as they had found in the offending articles.
Abraham Lincoln was married to Mary Todd on Friday, November 4th, by Rev. Charles Dresser, D.D., rector of the Episcopal Church in Springfield. There was a large wedding party on the occasion at the residence of Mr. Ninian W. Edwards, the home of the bride. There has been some waste of words concerning the amount of romantic sentiment on either side. It may be readily granted that this union was not based on such a passion as we read of, for example, in Disraeli's Henrietta Temple. It is clear that there was an affinity in their ambitions; that mutual appreciation came with acquaintance; and that a more tender relation very naturally followed.
At first the wedded pair were boarders at the Globe tavern. A year or two later Lincoln bought of the Episcopal rector a plain franie house of one story, to which a second was added after a time, completing the exterior since made familiar to the world in picture. This continued to be their home thenceforward. Its next owner was the State of Illinois, in whose custody it remains as a precious memorial. Hon. Isaac N. Arnold, of Chicago, who was there as a guest at times during many years, and was better qualified to speak of their domestic life than some persons who have written about it more copiously in a less amiable spirit, said, in noticing the marriage: "With her he lived most happily until” the final separation.* Again, at a banquet of the Illinois Bar Association in 1881, speaking of old-time hospitalities at Springfield: "Among others I recall, with a sad pleasure, the dinners given by Mrs. Lincoln. In her modest and simple home, where everything was so orderly and refined, there was always on the part of both host and hostess a cordial and hearty Western welcome, which put every guest perfectly at ease.
** Lincoln and Slavery,” p. 79.
Their table was famed for the excellence of many rare Kentucky dishes, and for the venison, wild turkeys, and other game, then so abundant. Yet it was her genial manner and ever-kind welcome, and Mr. Lincoln's wit and humor, anecdote and unrivaled conversation, which formed the chief attraction.”
Lincoln had declined to be a candidate for re-election to the Legislature in 1842. One substantial reason is
easy to find. Representatives in Congress were to be chosen the next year in Illinois, under a law that was changed at the following session of the Legislature so as to require their election, as at present, the year before they were to take their seats. It thus happened that there was a Congressional election in that State in 1843 and again in 1844. Major Stuart was not a candidate for another term. The way was thus opened for Lincoln, and it would seem that his nomination was fairly to be expected. The Sangamon district convention was called to meet in May (1843). His own county had a larger number of delegates than any other, and he had certainly well earned its support. But there was another Springfield aspirant, Edward D. Baker; and when the county convention met to choose delegates, Baker, who had a more captivating oratory, and whose supporters were active and artful, was found to be in the lead.
Writing soon after the event to a friend in Menard County - his earlier home, which had remained faithful to him — Lincoln said he was “put down” in Sangamon “as the candidate of pride, wealth, and aristocratic family distinction” (which he thought would astonish his old friends in Menard); and that "there was, too, the strangest combination of church influence" against him: “Baker is a Campbellite; and therefore, as I suppose, with few exceptions, got all of that church. My wife has some relations in the Presbyterian churches, and some in the Episcopal churches; and therefore, wherever it would tell, I was set down as either the one or the other, while it was everywhere contended that no Christian ought to go for me, because I belonged to no church, was suspected of being a deist, and had talked about fighting a duel. With all these things Baker, of course, had nothing to do, nor do I complain of them."
The marriage—the churches—the ridiculous "duel"! Undoubtedly the defeat was a sore disappointment.
After all, it was another candidate who got the nomination, — John J. Hardin, of Morgan County,– and in August he was elected.
Since 1840 Lincoln had given less attention to politics than to law practice. His partnership with Judge Logan—who also had Congressional aspirations—was comparatively brief, ending in 1843. A new one was formed with a younger man, whom he had known as a clerk in Mr. Speed's store, and who had now been recently admitted to the bar, Mr. William H. Herndon, who was especially serviceable in regard to office work, the senior assuming the chief labors of the court room. Members of Congress, as we have explained, were to be elected in 1844, but Lincoln was not now a candidate for the nomination. He gave way to his friend, Edward D. Baker, as did also Colonel Hardin. On the breaking out of the Mexican War, Hardin took the command of a regiment of volunteers. He was killed at the battle of Buena Vista. Baker was given a like command, before the close of the term for whicn he was elected. On returning from the war he changed his residence, and was sent to Congress from the Galena district.
Clay had a clear field this year for the Presidential nomination. The friends of ex-President Van Buren had been hoping for a like unanimity in his favor on the Democratic side. He made a tour through the West in 1843, of which Mr. Speed recalled an incident not out of place here: “In 1843, when Mr. Van Buren and Commodore Paulding visited the West, and gave out that they would reach Springfield on a certain day, but their friends knew from the condition of the roads that their expectations would not be realized, a party was formed, and Lincoln, though not of their politics, was pressed into the service. They met Van Buren and his party at Rochester, in Sangamon County, in an old barn of a hotel. Lincoln was charged to do his best to entertain the distinguished guests. Well did he do his part. Lincoln soon got under way, and kept the company convulsed with laughter till the small hours of the night. Mr. Van Buren stayed some days in Springfield, and repeatedly said he never spent so agreeable a night in his life. He complained that his sides were sore with laughter, and to more than one predicted for that young man a bright and brilliant future.”