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doubtedly could now have been able to reconcile all other differences of opinion between himself and the Southern Democracy. But Mr. Lincoln's logical mind was more eager to probe this gigantic sophistry, with which the American public were being cheated, than to be Senator. So, while Douglas was making ad captandum appeals to the prejudices of the people, Lincoln was weaving around him, slowly but surely, the web in which, at Freeport, he became entangled, and from which he has ever since been vainly endeavoring to extricate himself.
Of this great contest the Philadelphia North American, always conservative and cautious, remarks:
"Stephen A. Douglas had ten times his education. Mr. Lincoln was mostly engaged in his profession, mastered amidst great discouragements, but practised with ominent success. He had some experience, however, as a general politician, besides serving for a while in the Illinois Legislature, and for two years in Congress. Mr. Douglas, on the other hand, a man of great native force, and possessing ten times the scholastic training of his rival, had been for full fifteen years in the very heart of national politics. Indeed, he is the strongest among the representatives of democracy under its northern phase, and we doubt if Toombs, Stephens, Benjamin, or Davis, bright luminaries of its southern hemisphere, can rank at all before him.
"With all these differences in political and other education, in a State that has been democratic ever since its admission into the 'happy family,' and in opposition to a popular dogma, Lincoln stumped Illinois. against Douglas, and carried it. The speeches on both sides were many and able.
"Lincoln was, on several occasions, partly foiled or, at least, badly bothered. In most cases it seemed to
be, so far as regarded strength and skill, a drawn battle. In more than one instance he floored the 'little giant' flatly and fairly. We consider it, on the whole, an equal fight. Lincoln showed as much knowledge, and as much logic, with more wit, good humor, and courtesy. Douglas, while more rough and overbearing, was also much superior in a certain force, directness and determination. But it was about an equal match in ability. As for the result, Douglas carried the legislature, and Lincoln took the popular vote, as he can do again. Such is the man whom democracy will now endeavor to decry-the man who matched, and fully matched, their foremost champion. Both of them are self-made men; both of them are very able; both sprang from obscurity to distinction; both belong to the common people; and both will be found to be strong with the masses. We would advise democracy, not for its own sake, but for ours, to go on ridiculing Abraham Lincoln for having once mauled logs, and describing him as a third-rate man. These little popguns will soon be silenced by the roar of the popular Paixhans."
Mr. Greeley says:
"I tell you, the man who stumps a State with Stephen A. Douglas, and meets him, day after day, before the people, has got to be no fool. Many a man will make a better first speech than Douglas, but, giving and taking, back and forward, he is very sharp. Now, the man who went through the State, speaking against. Stephen A. Douglas, and was not beaten, as no man says he was, is not a common man; for no common man will answer for that work; and at the end of that cumpaign Mr. Lincoln came out with 4,000 majority on the popular vote, although Mr. Buchanan had beaten Fremont 9,000, and the general feeling outside of the State was that Douglas had better be elected. Mr. Crittenden wrote a letter which elected Douglas; he
said that it was better that Douglas should be elected, and there were 30,000 Americans there; I don't believe we have got another man living who would have fought through that campaign so effectively and at the same time so good-naturedly as he did. Mr. Trumbull would have begun a little ranker, but one or the other would soon have been knocked off the platform. Mr. Lincoln went through with perfect good nature and entire suavity, and beat Stephen A. Douglas, it being the first time any man on our side ever carried that State."
In a recent debate in the Senate of the United States, Senator Benjamin, one of the ablest men in the Senate and the finest orator, took up the debates between Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lincoln for examination, and though the vehement enemy of Republicans and Republicanism, he complimented Mr. Lincoln very highly. Said Mr. Benjamin:
"Here, Mr. President, let me come back to an explanation of that fact which I spoke of before, and to which I asked the attention of the Senate and the country. There stands the explanation of the sudden change that has been wrought in the relations of the Senator from Illinois with the rest of the Democratic party. It was when, in the year 1858, the year following this decision, pressed by a canvass at home, eager to return to the Senate, he joined in canvassing the State of Illinois with the gentleman who is now the eandidate of the Black Republican party for the Presidency. Pressed in different portions of the State with this very argument, that he had agreed to leave the question to the court, that the court had decided it in favor of the South, and that, therefore, under the Kansas-Nebraska bill, slavery was fixed in all the territories of the United States-finding himself going down in Illinois, in that canvass, he backed out from
his promise, and directly told the people of his State that, whether it had been decided or not, and no matter what the court might decide, the Kansas-Nebraska bill had fixed the power in the people of the North to make every territory in the Union free.
"In that contest the two candidates for the Senate of the United States, in the State of Illinois, went before their people. They agreed to discuss the issues; they put questions to each other for answer; and I must say here, for I must be just to all, that I have been surprised in the examination that I made again within the last few days of this discussion between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Douglas, to find that Mr. Lincoln is a far more conservative man, unless he has since changed his opinions, than I had supposed him to be. There was no dodging on his part. Mr. Douglas started with his questions. Here they are, with Mr. Lincoln's answers:
"Question 1. 'I desire to know whether Lincoln today stands, as he did in 1854, in favor of the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave law ?'
"Answer. 'I do not now, nor ever did, stand in favor of the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave law.'
"Question 2. 'I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to-day, as he did in 1854, against the admission of any more slave States into the Union, even if the people want them ?'
"Answer. 'I do not now, nor ever did, stand pledged against the admission of any more slave States into the Union.'
"Question 3. 'I want to know whether he stands pledged against the admission of a new State into the Union with such a constitution as the people of that State may see fit to make ?'
"Answer. 'I do not stand pledged against the admission of a new State into the Union with such a constitution as the people of that State may see fit to make ?'
"Question 4. 'I want to know whether he stands. to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia ?"
“Answer. ‘I do not stand to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia."
Question 5. 'I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to the prohibition of the slave trade between the different States ?'
"Answer. 'I do not stand pledged to the prohibition of the slave trade between the different States.'
"Question 6. 'I desire to know whether he stands pledged to prohibit slavery in all the territories of the United States, north as well as south of the Missouri Compromise line ?'
"Answer. I am impliedly, if not expressly, pledged to a belief in the right and duty of Congress to prohibit slavery in all the United States territories.'
"Question 7. 'I desire him to answer whether he is opposed to the acquisition of any new territory unless slavery is first prohibited therein ?'
“Answer. ‘I am not generally opposed to honest acquisition of territory; and, in any given case, I would or would not oppose such acquisition, accordingly as I might think such acquisition would or would not aggravate the slavery question among ourselves.'
"It is impossible, Mr. President, however we may differ in opinion with the man, not to admire the perfect candor and frankness with which these answers were given; no equivocation-no evasion. The Senator from Illinois had his questions put to him in his turn. All I propose to do now is to read his answer to the second question:
"The next question propounded to me by Mr. Lincoln is, 'Can the people of a territory, in any lawful way, against the wishes of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State constitution ?' I answer emphatically, as