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placed Lyman Trumbull in the Senate of the United States.
The Chicago Tribune, the editor of which is a personal friend of Mr. Lincoln, and from whom we gather many of the facts of the early life of the subject of this volume, gives the following graphic sketches of the Illinois Campaign of 1854:
"The first and greatest debate of that year came off between Lincoln and Douglas at Springfield, during the progress of the State Fair, in October. We remember the event as vividly as though it transpired yesterday, and in view of the prominence now given to the chief actor in that exciting event, it cannot fail to be interesting to all.
"The affair came off on the fourth day of October, 1854. The State Fair had been in progress two days, and the capital was full of all manner of men. The Nebraska bill had been passed on the previous twentysecond of May. Mr. Douglas had returned to Illinois to meet an outraged constituency. He had made a fragmentary speech in Chicago, the people filling up each hiatus in a peculiar and good-humored way. He called the people a mob-they called him a rowdy. The 'mob' had the best of it, both then and at the election which succeeded. The notoriety of all these events had stirred up the politics of the State from bottom to top. Hundreds of politicians had met at Springfield, expecting a tournament of an unusual character-Douglas, Breese, Koerner, Lincoln, Trumbull, Matteson, Yates, Codding, John Calhoun (of the order of the candle-box), John M. Palmer, the whole house of the McConnells, Singleton (known to fame
in the Mormon war), Thomas L. Harris, and a host of others. Several speeches were made before, and several after, the passage between Lincoln and Douglas, but that was justly held to be the event of the season.
"We do not remember whether a challenge to debate passed between the friends of the speakers or not, but there was a perfectly amicable understanding between Lincoln and Douglas, that the former should speak two or three hours, and the latter reply in just as little or as much time as he chose. Mr. Lincoln took the stand at two o'clock-a large crowd in attendance, and Mr. Douglas seated on a small platform in front of the desk. The first half-hour of Mr. Lincoln's speech was taken up with compliments to his distinguished friend Judge Douglas, and dry allusions to the political events of the past few years. His distinguished friend, Judge Douglas, had taken his seat, as solemn as the Cock-Lane ghost, evidently with the design of not moving a muscle till it came his turn to speak. The laughter provoked by Lincoln's exordium, however, soon began to make him uneasy; and when Mr. L. arrived at his (Douglas') speech, pronouncing the Missouri Compromise a sacred thing, which no ruthless hand would ever be reckless enough to disturb,' he opened his lips far enough to remark, A first-rate speech!' This was the beginning of an amusing colloquy.
"Yes,' continued Mr. Lincoln, so affectionate was my friend's regard for this compromise line, that when Texas was admitted into the Union, and it was found that a strip extended north of 36° 30' he actually in
troduced a bill extending the line and prohibiting slavery in the northern edge of the new State.'
“And you voted against the bill,' said Douglas. "Precisely so,' replied Lincoln; I was in favor of running the line a great deal farther South.'
"About this time,' the speaker continued, my distinguished friend introduced me to a particular friend of his, one David Wilmot of Pennsylvania,' (Laughter.)
"I thought,' said Douglas, 'you would find him congenial company.'
"So I did,' replied Lincoln. 'I had the pleasure of voting for his Proviso, in one way and another about forty times. It was a Democratic measure then, I believe. At any rate, General Cass scolded Honest John Davis, of Massachusetts, soundly, for taking away the last hours of the session so that he (Cass) couldn't crowd it through. Apropos of General Cass: if I am not greatly mistaken, he has a prior claim to my distinguished friend, to the authorship of Popular Sovereignty. The old general has an infirmity for writing letters. Shortly after the scolding he gave John Davis, he wrote his Nicholson letter-’
Douglas (solemnly)—' God Almighty placed man on the earth, and told him to choose between good and evil. That was the origin of the Nebraska bill!'
"Lincoln-Well, the priority of invention being settled, let us award all credit to Judge Douglas for being the first to discover it.'
"It would be impossible, in these limits, to give an idea of the strength of Mr. Lincoln's argument. We deemed it by far the ablest effort of the campaign-from
The occasion was a
great one, and
The effect pro
No one who was
the speaker was every way equal to it. duced on the listeners was magnetic. present will ever forget the power and vehemence of the following passage:
My distinguished friend says it is an insult to the emigrants to Kansas and Nebraska to suppose they are not able to govern themselves. We must not slur over an argument of this kind because it happens to tickle the ear. It must be met and answered. I admit that the emigrant to Kansas and Nebraska is competent to govern himself, but,' the speaker rising to his full height, 'I deny his right to govern any other person WITHOUT THAT PERSON'S CONSENT.' The applause. which followed this triumphant refutation of a cunning falsehood, was but an earnest of the victory at the polls which followed just one month from that day.
"When Mr. Lincoln had concluded, Mr. Douglas strode hastily to the stand. As usual, he employed ten minutes in telling how grossly he had been abused. Recollecting himself, he added, though in a perfectly courteous manner '-abused in a perfectly courteous manner! He then devoted half an hour to showing that it was indispensably necessary to California emigrants, Sante Fe traders and others, to have organic acts provided for the territories of Kansas and Nebraska-that being precisely the point which nobody disputed. Having established this premiss to his satisfaction, Mr. Douglas launched forth into an argument wholly apart from the positions taken by Mr. Lincoln. He had about half finished at six o'clock, when an adjournment to tea was effected. The speaker insisted
strenuously upon his right to resume in the evening, but we believe the second part of that speech has not been delivered to this day. After the Springfield passage, the two speakers went to Peoria, and tried it again, with identically the same results. A friend, who listened to the Peoria debate, informed us that after Lincoln had finished, Douglas 'hadn't much to sayʼ—which we presume to have been Mr. Douglas' view of the case also, for the reason that he ran away from his antagonist and kept out of the way during the remainder of the campaign.
"During this exciting campaign Mr. Lincoln pressed the slavery issue upon the people of Central and Southern Illinois, who were largely made up of the emigration from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, with all the powers of his mind. He felt the force of the moral causes that must influence the question, and he never failed to appeal to the moral sentiment of the people in aid of the argument drawn from political sources, and to illuminate his theme with the lofty inspirations of an eloquence, pleading for the rights of humanity. A revolution swept the State. For the first time a majority of the Legislature of Illinois was opposed to the Democratic administration of the federal government. A United States Senator was to be elected in place of General Shields who had yielded to the influence of his less scrupulous colleague, and, against his own better judgment, had voted for the Kansas-Nebraska act. The election came on, and a number of ballots were taken, the almost united opposition voting steadily for Lincoln, but the anti-Nebraska Democrats for Trumbull. Mr. Lincoln became ap