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COMPRISING A BRIEF VIEW OF
PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS:
ALL THE NATIONAL PLATFORMS EVER YET ADOPTED:
A HISTORY OF THE STRUGGLE
SLAVERY IN THE TERRITORIES,
AND OF THE
ACTION OF CONGRESS AS TO THE
FREEDOM OF THE PUBLIC LANDS,
THE MOST NOTABLE SPEECHES AND LETTERS
MESSRS. LINCOLN, DOUGLAS, BELL, CASS, SEWARD, EVERETT, BRECKINRIDGE, H. V. JOHNSON, ETC., ETC., TOUCHING THE QUESTIONS OF THE DAY;
ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year 1860, by
THE TRIBUNE ASSOCIATION,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.
W. H. TINSON, Stereotyper.
THE single end of this book is the presentation, in a compact and convenient form, of the more important facts, votes, resolves, letters, speeches, reports and other documents, which elucidate the political contest now agitating this country. It has been our aim to let every candidate and other important personage speak for himself, make his own platform, and vindicate (if he may) his own consistency and the soundness of his views on the great questions which underlie our current politics.
Of course, such a work can have but a comparative merit. Make it ever so large, and still many things must be omitted that the compiler would wish to insert; and every critic will plausibly ask, "Why insert this and omit that? Why give so much of A. and so little of B. ?" Beside, it is not always possible to remember, or, if remembered, to find, all that would be valued in a work like this. We can only say that we have done our best: let him do better who can.
Inaccuracy of citation is one of the chief vices of our political discussions. You can hardly listen to a set speech, even from a well-informed and truthful canvasser, which is not marred by some misapprehension or unconscious misstatement of the position and views of this or that prominent statesman. Documents, heedlessly read and long since lost or mislaid, are quoted from with fluency and confidence, as though with indubitable accuracy, when the citations so made do gross injustice to their author, and tend to mislead the hearer. We believe the documents collected in this work are so printed that their general accuracy may be safely relied on.
By canvassers of all parties, we trust our Text-Book will be found convenient, not to say indispensable. But those who only listen, and read, and reflect, will also find it a manifest help to a clear understanding of the issues and contentions of the day. They will be interested in comparing the actual positions taken by Mr. Lincoln, or Mr. Douglas, or Gen. Cass, or Mr. Everett, as faithfully set forth in this work, with those confidently attributed to that statesman in the fluent harangue of some political opponent, who is intent on blazoning his inconsistency or proving his insincerity. To verify and correct
the citations of a frothy declaimer is sometimes the easiest and most convincing refutation of his speech.
If a trace of partisan bias is betrayed in the thread of narrative which partially unites the successive reports, bills, votes, etc., presented in this work, the error is unintentional and regretted. Our purpose was to compile a record acceptable and convenient to men of all parties, and which might be consulted and trusted by all. Whatever is original herein is regarded as of no use or merit, save as a necessary elucidation of the residue. Without apology, therefore, or further explanation, the Text-Book is commended to the favor of the American public.