Page images
PDF
EPUB

tions. At last I said frankly, "I wish you to answer them, because when I get them up here where the color of your principles are a little darker than in Egypt, I intend to trot you down to Jonesboro." The very notice that I was going to take him down to Egypt made him tremble in the knees so that he had to be carried from the platform. He laid up seven days, and in the meantime held a consultation with his political physicians; they had Lovejoy and Farnsworth and all the leaders of the Abolition party, they consulted it all over, and at last Lincoln came to the conclusion that he would answer, so he came up to Freeport last Friday.'

"Now that statement altogether furnishes a subject for philosophical contemplation. I have been treating it in that way, and I have really come to the conclusion that I can explain it in no other way than by believing the Judge is crazy. If he was in his right mind, I cannot conceive how he would have risked disgusting the four or five thousand of his own friends who stood there, and knew, as to my having been carried from the platform, that there was not a word of truth in it."

6

JUDGE DOUGLAS "Didn't they carry you off?" MR. LINCOLN "There; that question illustrates the character of this man Douglas, exactly. He smiles now and says, 'Didn't they carry you off ?' But he said then, he had to be carried off;' and he said it to convince the country that he had so completely broken me down by his speech that I had to be carried away. Now he seeks to dodge it, and asks, 'Didn't they carry you off?' Yes, they did. But, Judge Douglas, why didn't you tell the truth? I would like to know why you didn't tell the truth about it. And then again, He laid up seven days.' He puts this in print for the people of the country to read as a serious document. I think if he had been in his sober senses he would not have risked that barefacedness in the presence of thousands of his own friends, who knew that I made

6

speeches within six of the seven days at Henry, Marshall county, Augusta, Hancock county, and Macomb, McDonough county, including all the necessary travel to meet him again at Freeport at the end of the six days. Now, I say, there is no charitable way to look at that statement, except to conclude that he is actually crazy. There is another thing in that statement that alarmed me very greatly as he states it, that he was going to 'trot me down to Egypt.' Thereby he would have you to infer that I would not come to Egypt unless he forced me-that I could not be got here, unless he, giantlike, had hauled me down here. That statement he makes, too, in the teeth of the knowledge that I had made the stipulation to come. down here, and that he himself had been very reluctant to enter into the stipulation. More than all this, Judge Douglas, when he made that statement, must have been crazy, and wholly out of his sober senses, or else he would have known that when he got me down here that promise-that windy promise-of his powers to annihilate me, wouldn't amount to anything. Now, how little do I look like being carried away trembling? Let the Judge go on, and after he is done with his half hour, I want you all, if I can't go home myself, to let me stay and rot here; and if anything happens to the Judge, if I cannot carry him to the hotel and put him to bed, let me stay here and rot. I say, then, there is something extraordinary in this statement. I ask you if you know any other living man who would make such a statement? I will ask my friend Casey, over there, if he would do such a thing? Would he send that out and have his men take it as the truth? Did the Judge talk of trotting. me down to Egypt to scare me to death? Why, I know this people better than he does. I was raised just a little east of here. I am a part of this people. But the Judge was raised further north, and, perhaps, he has some horrid idea of what this people might be

[ocr errors]

induced to do. But really I have talked about this matter perhaps longer than I ought, for it is no great thing, and yet the smallest are often the most difficult things to deal with. The Judge has set about seriously trying to make the impression that when we meet at different places I am literally in his clutches-that I am a poor, helpless, decrepit mouse, and that I can do nothing at all. This is one of the ways he has taken to create that impression. I don't know any other way to meet it, except this. I don't wan't to quarrel with him-to call him a liar-but when I come square up to him I don't know what else to call him, if I must tell the truth out. I want to be at peace, and reserve all my fighting powers for necessary occasions. My time, now, is very nearly out, and I give up the trifle that is left to the Judge, to let him set my knees trembling again, if he can.

""

Mr. Greeley, in the Tribune, speaks of this great Senatorial contest, and its result, as follows:

"In 1858, the Republican State Convention unanimously designated him as their representative man to stump the State against Stephen A. Douglas. They knew that the struggle would be a desperate one-that they must put their very best foot foremost. If they had had a champion whom they supposed abler and worthier than Mr. Lincoln, they would have chosen that champion for this arduous service. They had nearly all heard Lincoln and their other speakers, and ought to have known by this time who was their best man; yet they choose Abraham Lincoln. If they don't know who is their best man, should not missionaries be sent out to teach them ?

"Mr. Lincoln went into this canvass under most discouraging auspices. Many leading Republicans out of the State thought the opposition to Mr. Douglas impolitic and mistaken. We certainly thought so; and, though we said little on the point, our very silence was

(

damaging in a State where more people read this paper than any other. It has been a hundred times asserted that The Tribune'defeated Lincoln.' But there were other outside influences, as adverse and at least equally potent. In 1856, the State polled 37,444 American or Whig votes for Fillmore. Many of these were cast by natives of Kentucky; all by men who love and confide in John J. Crittenden. In the thickest of the fray, a letter from Mr. Crittenden was published, advising them to favor Mr. Douglas's reelection. Undoubtedly, this had an overruling influence with thousands. Yet, after Messrs. Lincoln and Douglas had thoroughly canvassed the State, the people voted with the following result:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Lincoln's net gain .

14,345

Or, give Douglas the entire Lecompton vote in addition to his own, and Lincoln still gains on him 9,273.

"Bear in mind that this was a contest in which the sympathies of men indifferent to party were almost wholly with Douglas, wherein many Republicans supported him throughout, wherein Crittenden summoned the Americans to his aid, and wherein he stood boldly on the ground of Popular Sovereignty, with the prestige of having just before defeated the infamous Lecompton bill. All things considered, we recall nothing in the history of political campaigning more creditable to a canvasser than this vote is to Lincoln.

"We have thus dwelt throughout on facts of public record or of universal notoriety. The speeches made to the same audiences in that canvass, by Messrs. Lincoln and Douglas, were collected and printed by the Republicans of Ohio, for cheap and general dissemina

tion, long before they dreamed that Mr. Lincoln would be the Republican candidate for President. We had sold hundreds of them at our counter, as we had thousands of Mr. Lincoln's speech in this city, before the meeting of the Chicago Convention; we expect to sell thousands of the former and tens of thousands of the latter forthwith. Every reader can herein see just what manner of man Mr. Lincoln is, and how he bears himself when confronted with one of the very best and most effective popular canvassers in the democratic ranks. If Mr. Lincoln is weak, or ill-informed, or anywise deficient, this protracted discussion with Douglas must show it."

The Chicago Tribune, shortly after the election took place, made the subjoined statement :

"The majorities for members of Congress are as follows:

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

"The aggregate votes on the Congressional tickets were Republican, 126,084; Douglas Democratic, 121,940; Buchanan Democratic, 5,091.

"The vote on State Treasurer stands: James Miller, Republican, 125,828; W. B. Fondey, Douglas Democrat, 121,803; John Dougherty, Buchanan Democrat, 5,091.

"These returns show, that taking the vote on Congressmen as the test, the Republican majority over both the Buchanan and Douglas parties is 97. The entire Buchanan vote is 5,091. The Republicans retained every county that went for Fremont or Bissell in 1856.

« PreviousContinue »