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enjoyed the company of other men, liked discussion and argument, loved to tell stories and to hear them, laughing as heartily at his own stories as he did at those that were told to him.


The court circuit in those days was the scene of many a story-telling joust, in which Lincoln was always the chief. Frequently he would sit up until after midnight reeling off story after story, each one followed by roars of laughter that could be heard all over the country tavern, in which the story-telling group was gathered. Every type of character would be represented in these groups, from the learned judge on the bench down to the village loafer.

Lincoln's favorite attitude was to sit with his long legs propped up on the rail of the stove, or with his feet against the wall, and thus he would sit for hours entertaining a crowd, or being entertained.

One circuit judge was so fond of Lincoln's stories that he often would sit up until midnight listening to them, and then declare that he had laughed so much he believed his ribs were shaken loose.

The great success of Abraham Lincoln as a trial lawyer was due to a number of facts. He would not take a case if he believed that the law and justice were on the other side. When he addressed a jury he made them feel that he only wanted fair play and justice. He did not talk over their heads, but got right down to a friendly tone such as we use in ordinary conversation, and talked at them, appealing to their honesty and common sense, and making his argument plain by telling a story or two that brought the matter clearly within their understanding.

When he did not know the law in a particular case he never pretended to know it. If there were no precedents to cover a case he would state his side plainly and fairly; he would tell the jury what he believed was right for them to do, and then conclude with his favorite expression, "it seems to me that this ought to be the law."

Some time before the repeal of the Missouri Compromise a lawyer friend said to him: "Lincoln, the time is near at hand when we shall have to be all Abolitionists or all Democrats."

"When that time comes my mind is made up," he replied, "for I believe the slavery question never can be compromised."


While Lincoln took a mild interest in politics, he was not a candidate for office, except as a presidential elector, from the time of leaving Congress until the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. This repeal Legislation was the work of Lincoln's political antagonist, Stephen A. Douglas, and aroused Mr. Lincoln to action as the lion is roused by some foe worthy of his great strength and courage.

Mr. Douglas argued that the true intent and meaning of the act was not to legislate slavery into any territory or state, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way.

"Douglas' argument amounts to this," said Mr. Lincoln, "that if any one man chooses to enslave another no third man shall be allowed to object."

After the adjournment of Congress Mr. Douglas returned to Illinois and began to defend his action in the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. His most important speech was made at Springfield, and Mr. Lincoln was selected to answer it. That speech alone was sufficient to make Mr. Lincoln the leader of anti-Slavery sentiment in the West, and some of the men who heard it declared that it was the greatest speech he ever made.

With the repeal of the Missouri Compromise the Whig party began to break up, the majority of its members who were pronounced Abolitionists began to form the nucleus of the Republican party. Before this party was formed, however, Mr. Lincoln was induced to follow Douglas around the State and reply to him, but after one meeting at Peoria, where they both spoke, they entered into an agreement to return to their homes and make no more speeches during the campaign.


Mr. Lincoln made no secret at this time of his ambition to represent Illinois in the United States Senate. Against his protest he was nominated and elected to the Legislature, but resigned his seat. His old rival, James Shields, with whom he was once near to a duel, was then senator, and his term was to expire the following year.

A letter, written by Mr. Lincoln to a friend in Paris, Illinois, at this time is interesting and significant. He wrote:

"I have a suspicion that a Whig has been elected to the Legislature from


HENRY WARD BEECHER was a hearty supporter and adherent of President Lincoln, his sermons from the pulpit of Plymouth Church doing much toward keeping up the spirit of the Northern men in the dark and gloomy days of the War. Springfield rifles were called "Beecher's Bibles" because the clergyman urged every Unionist to buy one, and followed his own advice by subscribing for one of these weapons. He loved and admired Lincoln, often counseled with him, and delivered a wonderful sermon at his death. Mr. Beecher was born in Connecticut in 1813, and died in 1887. (477)


EDWARD EVERETT was conspicuous among those who sought to bring about the downfall of slavery long before the Civil War began, and after President Lincoln became the occupant of the White House Mr. Everett was a frequent and welcome visitor. Mr. Everett was the orator of the day at the dedication of the Field of Gettysburg as a National Cemetery, when Lincoln delivered his never-to-be-forgotten address. In 1860 Mr. Everett allowed his name to appear as the Vice-Presidential candidate on the Constitutional-Union ticket, which received thirty-nine electoral votes. He was born in Massachusetts in 1794, and died in 1865. (478)

Eagar. If this is not so, why, then, 'nix cum arous;' but if it is so, then could you not make a mark with him for me for United States senator? I really have some chance."

Another candidate besides Mr. Lincoln was seeking the seat in the United States Senate, soon to be vacated by Mr. Shields. This was Lyman Trumbull, an anti-slavery Democrat. When the Legislature met it was found that Mr. Lincoln lacked five votes of an election, while Mr. Trumbull had but five supporters. After several ballots Mr. Lincoln feared that Trumbull's votes would be given to a Democratic candidate and he determined to sacrifice himself for the principle at stake. Accordingly he instructed his friends in the Legislature to vote for Judge Trumbull, which they did, resulting in Trumbull's election.

The Abolitionists in the West had become very radical in their views, and did not hesitate to talk of opposing the extension of slavery by the use of force if necessary. Mr. Lincoln, on the other hand, was conservative and counseled moderation. In the meantime many outrages, growing out of the extension of slavery, were being perpetrated on the borders of Kansas and Missouri, and they no doubt influenced Mr. Lincoln to take a more radical stand against the slavery question.

An incident occurred at this time which had great effect in this direction. The negro son of a colored woman in Springfield had gone South to work. He was born free, but did not have his free papers with him. He was arrested and would have been sold into slavery to pay his prison expenses, had not Mr. Lincoln and some friends purchased his liberty. Previous to this Mr. Lincoln had tried to secure the boy's release through the Governor of Illinois, but the Governor informed him that nothing could be done.

Then it was that Mr. Lincoln rose to his full height and exclaimed: "Governor, I'll make the ground in this country too hot for the foot of a slave, whether you have the legal power to secure the release of this boy or not."


The year after Mr. Trumbull's election to the Senate the Republican party was formally organized. A state convention of that party was called. to meet at Bloomington May 29, 1856. The call for this convention was signed by many Springfield Whigs, and among the names was that of Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln's name had been signed to the call by his law partner, but when he was informed of this action he endorsed it fully. Among

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