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that whether I shall be a whole man or only the half of one in comparison with others is a question in which I am somewhat concerned; and one which no other inan can have a sacred right of deciding for ine. If 1 am wrong in this—if it really be a sacred right of self-government in the man who shall go to Nebraska to decide whether he will be the equal of me or the double of me, then, after he shall have exercised that right, and thereby shall have reduced me to a still smaller fraction of a man than I already am, I should like for some gentleman deeply skilled in the mystery of sacred rights,' to provide himself with a microscope, and peep about and find out if he can what has become of my .sacred rights. They will surely be too small for detection by the naked eye.

“ Finally, I insist that if there is anything that it is the duty of the whole people to never intrust to any hands but their own, that thing is the preservation and perpetuity of their own liberties and institutions. And if they shall think, as I do, that the extension of slavery endangers them more than any or all other causes, how recreant to themselves if they submit the question, and with it, the fate of their country, to a mere handful of men bent only on temporary self-interest!"

Mr. Douglas might well excuse himself from any attempt to answer this argument, or escape from its inevitable logic, for it was unanswerable.

It was naturally the wish of Mr. Lincoln to continue these discussions in other parts of the state. He felt that a revolution of public opinion was in progress—that parties were breaking up, and that he had his opponent at a disadvantage. But Mr. Douglas had had enough for this time. He wished to withdraw his forces before they were destroyed. He had had a heavy skirmish, and been worsted. He shrank from a continuance of the fight. The great and decisive battle was to come.

At the close of the debate, the two combatants held a conference, the result of which has been variously reported. One authority* states that Mr. Douglas sent for Mr. Lincoln, and told him that if he would speak no more during the campaign, he (Douglas) would go home and remain silent during the same period, and that this arrangement was agreed upon and its terms fulfilled. That there was a conference on the subject sought by Mr. Douglas, there is no doubt; and there


* William H. Herndon, Mr. Lincoln's partner.


is no doubt that Mr. Lincoln promised not to challenge him again to debate during the canvass, but abundant evidence exists that Mr. Lincoln did not leave the field at all, but spoke in various parts of the state.

Owing very materially to Mr. Lincoln's efforts, a political revolution swept the state. The old stronghold of the democratic party fell before the onslaughts made upon it, and, for the first time since the democratic party was organized, the legislature of Illinois was in the hands of the opposition. Politics were in a transitional, not to say chaotic state. The opposition was made up of whigs, Americans, and anti-Nebraska democrats. Among the men elected was Mr. Lincoln himself, who had been put in nomination while absent, by his friends in the county. As has already been stated, he resigned before taking his seat. His election was effected without consultation with him, and entirely against his wishes.

The excitement attending the election of this legislature did not die out with the election, for the new body had the responsibility of electing a United States senator. The old whigs elected had not relinquished the hope that, by some means, their party, which had in reality been broken up by the southern whigs in Congress going over to the democrats on the vote for the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, would again be united, while the anti-Nebraska democrats declined to go over to the whigs, supposing that, by clinging together, they could force the regular democracy of the state to come upon their ground. Here were two strongly antagonistic interests that were in some way to be harmonized, in order to beat the nominee of the great body of the democrats who still acknowledged the lead of Judge Douglas. The anti-Nebraska democrats refused to go into a nominating caucus with the whigs, and three candidates were placed in the field. Mr. Lincoln was the nominee of the whigs, Lyman Trumbull of the anti-Nebraska democrats, and General James Shields of the democrats of the Douglas school. After a number of undecisive ballots in the legislature, the democrats having dropped their candidate and adopted Governor Joel A. Mat


teson-a gentleman who had not committed himself to either side of the great question—it became possible for the supporters of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Trumbull to elect one of those gentlemen, by a union of their forces. That Mr. Lincoln was ambitious for the honors of this high office there is no question, but he had seen Governor Matteson come within three.votes of an election, and perceived that there was actual danger of his triumph. At this juncture, he begged his friends to leave him, and go for Mr. Trumbull. They yielded to his urgent entreaties, though it is said that strong men among them actually wept when they consented to do so. The consequence was the election of Mr. Trumbull, to the great astonishment of the democrats, who did not believe it possible for the opposition to unite. Their triumph was due simply to the magnanimity of Mr. Lincoln and his devotion to principle. He had no reproaches for those anti-Nebraska

democrats who had refused to go for him, although his arguments had done'more than those of any other man to give them their power,

and he cared far more for the triumph of political truth and honor than for his own elevation. Mr. Lincoln never had reason to regret his self-sacrifice, for, upon the organization of the republican party, all the opposition parties found themselves together, and Mr. Lincoln became their foremost man.


THE legitimate fruit of the Kansas-Nebraska bill had already begun to manifest itself in Kansas. Emigrants from the eastern states and from the north-west began to pour into the territory; and those who had intended that it should become a slave state saw that their scheme was in danger. Mr. Douglas may not have cared whether slavery was “voted up or voted down" in Kansas, but slaveholders themselves showed a strong preference for voting it up, and not only for voting it up, but of backing up their votes by any requisite amount of violence. An organization in Platte County, Missouri, declared its readiness, when called upon by the citizens of Kansas, to assist in removing any and all emigrants who go there under the auspices of any of the “Emigrant Aid Societies;” which societies, by the way, were supposed to be organizations operating in the free state interest. This was in July, 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska bill having been passed during the previous May. One B. F. Stringfellow was the secretary of the organization, and a fortnight later he introduced, at a meeting of the society, resolutions declaring in favor of extending slavery into Kansas. Almon H. Reeder was appointed Governor, and arrived in the territory during the following October. At two elections, held within the succeeding six months, the polls were entirely controlled by ruffians from the Missouri side of the border, and those disturbances were fully inaugurated which illustrated the desperate desire of slavery to extend its territory and its power, the hypocrisy of Mr. Douglas and his friends in the declaration that the people of the territory should be perfectly free to choose and form their institutions, and the shameful subserviency of the government at Washington to the interests of the barbarous institution.

This much of the history of Kansas, in order to a perfect appreciation of a private letter of Mr. Lincoln to his Kentucky friend, Mr. Speed:

“ SPRINGFIELD, August 24, 1855. 6 DEAR SPEED:-You know what a poor correspondent I am. Ever since I received your very agreeable letter of the twenty-second of May, I have been intending to write you in answer to it. You suggest that in political action now, you and I would differ. You know I dislike slavery, and you fully admit the abstract wrong of it. So far, there is no cause of difference. But you say that sooner than yield your legal right to the slave, especially at the bidding of those who are not themselves interested, you would see the Union dissolved. I am not aware that any one is bidding you yield that right—very certainly I am not. I leave that matter entirely to yourself. I also acknowledge your rights and my obligations under the Constitution, in regard to your slaves. I confess I hate to see the poor creatures hunted down, and caught and carried back to their stripes and unrequited toil; but I bite my lip, and keep quiet. In 1811, you and I had together a tedious, low-water trip on a steamboat from Louisville to St. Louis. You may remember, as I well do, that from Louisville to the mouth of the Ohio, there were on board ten or a dozen slaves, shackled together with irons. That sight was a continual torment to me, and I see something like it every time I touch the Ohio, or any other slave border. It is not fair for you to assume that I have no interest in a thing which has, and continually exereises, the power of making me miserable. You ought rather to appreciate how much the great body of the people of the North do crucify their feelings, in order to maintain their loyalty to the Constitution and the Union.

"I do oppose the extension of slavery, because my judgment and feelings so prompt me; and I am under no obligations to the contrary. If, for this, you and I must differ, differ we must. You say if you were President you would send an army, and hang the leaders of the Missouri outrages upon the Kansas elections; still, if Kansas fairly votes herself a slave state, she must be admitted, or the Union must be dissolved. But how if she votes herself a slave state unfairly—that is, by the very means for which you would hang men? Must she still be admitted, or


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