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had started freshly in the strife for power, and had not been corrupted by power. It had not lived long enough to depart from the principles of truth and justice in which it had its birth. Standing on the ground that slavery was wrong and that its perpetuation would be a calamity, and its diffusion through new territory a crime, Mr. Lincoln not only felt, but knew, that he was right. This made him strong. Mr. Douglas was looking for the presidency, and knew that if he should ever reach and grasp the prize before him, he must do it through the aid of the slaveholding states. He knew that he could only secure this support by a certain degree of friendliness, or an entire indifference, to slavery. He intended to ride into power on the back of popular sovereignty, giving at least nominal equality to slavery and freedom in the territories, while, at the same time, endorsing the decision of the Supreme Court as to what the exact rights of slavery were, under the Constitution. His policy was not only that of the democratic party of Illinois, but essentially that of the whole North. He boasted of this on one occasion, upon which Mr. Lincoln retorted the charge of sectionalism. Mr. Douglas had been obliged to defer so much to the spirit of freedom and to the rights of free labor in the territories--had been obliged for fear of defeat to go so far from the original path he had marked out for himself—that Mr. Lincoln called his attention to the fact that his speeches would not pass current south of the Ohio so readily as they had formerly done. "Whatever may be the result of this ephemeral contest between Judge Douglas and myself," said he, "I see the day rapidly approaching when his pill of 'sectionalism,' which he has been thrusting down the throats of republicans for years past, will be crowded down his own throat." It was undoubtedly the grand aim of Mr. Lincoln, throughout the whole series of debates, to drive Mr. Douglas into such an open declaration for slavery as to secure his defeat for the senatorial office, or, failing in that, to compel him to such declarations on behalf of freedom as would spoil him as a southern candidate for the presidency. "The battle of 1860 is worth a
hundred of this," Mr. Lincoln had said to his friends before the Freeport debate. He saw further than they. He was "killing larger game" than the senatorship, and he certainly did kill, or assist in killing, Judge Douglas, as a southern candidate for the presidency.
These debates of these two champions, respectively of the principles of the Declaration of Independence and of party policy, were published entire as a campaign document in the republican interest, when Mr. Lincoln was nominated for the presidency, without a word of comment, the people being left to form their own conclusions as to the merits of the controversy, and the relative ability of the men whom it represented.
It is in vain to look for any better presentation of the principles of the republican party, or a better definition of the issues which divided it from the democratic party of the time, than are to be found in these speeches of Mr. Lincoln. They cover the whole ground. They are clear, sound, logical, powerful and exhaustive; and, in connection with two or three speeches made afterwards in Ohio and New York, form the chief material on which his reputation as an orator and a debater must rest. The man who shall write the story of the great rebellion on behalf of human slavery must go back to these masterly speeches of an Illinois lawyer to find the clearest and most complete statement of those differences between the power of slavery and the spirit of freedom-the policy of slavery and the policy of freedom-which ended, after expenditures of uncounted treasure and unmeasured blood, in the final overthrow of the accursed institution.
Mr. Lincoln was beaten in his contest for the seat of Mr. Douglas in the Senate, in consequence of the unfair apportionment of the legislative districts. When it came to a ballot in the legislature, it was found that there were fourteen democrats to eleven republicans in the Senate, and forty democrats to thirty-five republicans in the House. This re-instated Mr. Douglas; and the champion of the republican party was defeated after a contest fought by him with wonderful power and persistence, with unfailing fairness, good nature and mag
nanimity, and with a skill rarely if ever surpassed. He had visited every part of the state, made about sixty speeches, been received by the people everywhere with unbounded enthusiasm, had grown strong with every day's exercise, was conscious that he had worsted his antagonist in the intellectual struggle, and, when defeat came, he could not have been otherwise than disappointed. On being asked by a friend how he felt when the returns came in that insured his defeat, he replied that he felt, he supposed, very much like the stripling who had bruised his toe-"too badly to laugh and too big to cry." But the battle of 1860 was indeed worth a hundred of that, and to it, events will swiftly lead us.
THE winter of 1858 and 1859 found Mr. Lincoln at leisure. His absorption in political pursuits had materially interfered with his professional business, although he retained all that he had the disposition to attend to. At this point occurred one of those strange diversions that were so characteristic of the man. He sat down and wrote, in the form of a lecture, a comprehensive history of inventions, beginning with the handiwork in brass and iron of Tubal Cain, and ending with the latest products of inventive art. This lecture he delivered at Springfield, and, in a single instance, in another city, but there the public delivery of it ceased. Whether he undertook this to detach his mind from subjects which had held it so long, or whether he did it to be able to meet the invitations that came to him from many quarters to address the winter lyceums, does not appear. The effort does not seem to have been a satisfactory one to himself, and it is easy to see that it was not likely to be particularly attractive to the lecture-going public. Reading lectures and delivering stump speeches are very different styles of effort; and the most effective political orators often surprise themselves as much as they do their audiences by their dryness and dreariness upon the platform of the lecturer. The facts of the matter are principally interesting as showing the natural drift of Mr. Lincoln's mind when diverted from professional and political pursuits.
This diversion was only temporary. Mr. Lincoln had become a political man. Whatever may have been his inclina
tions at this time, he felt that he was in the hands of the party to which he had just given the ripest and best efforts of his life. He was a representative man, and was already regarded. by the great masses of the new party at the West as their best man for the next presidential campaign. His senatorial contest had done much to make his name known to the politicians of the nation. Political men everywhere had read his masterly debates with Senator Douglas, and had given him his position among the best politicians and most notable political orators of the time. While this is true, it is also true that east of the Alleghanies he was not much known among the people. He had not been much in public office; and his field of action and influence was so distant that they had heard but little about him. If they had been told that within two years Abraham Lincoln would be elected president of the United States, three out of every four would have inquired who Abraham Lincoln was. At the West all was different. Everybody knew "Old Abe." He was the people's friend— the man of the people-the champion of freedom and free labor-the man who had beaten the "little giant" in the popular vote of the democratic state of Illinois. His peculiarities were as well known to the people of the West as if he had been the member of every man's family. To look upon him was to look upon a lion. To shake hands with him or to hear him speak, was a great privilege—a subject of self-gratulation or neighborly boasting.
On the 17th of May, 1859, we find Mr. Lincoln answering a letter addressed to him by Dr. Theodor Canisius, a German citizen of Illinois, who, with an eye to the future, inquired concerning Mr. Lincoln's views of the constitutional provision recently adopted in Massachusetts, in relation to naturalized citizens, and whether he opposed or favored a fusion of the republicans and other opposition elements in the approaching campaign of 1860. Mr. Lincoln replied that, while he had no right to advise the sovereign and independent state of Massachusetts, concerning her policy, he would say that so far as he understood the provision she had consummated, he