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it in the District of Columbia, but ought not to exercise it except at the request of the people of the District."
On November 4, 1842, Mr. Lincoln was married to Miss Mary Todd, but held no office until his election in 1846 as Representative in Congress for the Springfield District. He made several speeches during his term. the most noteworthy being one in which, in his characteristic style, he took ground in opposition to the position of the administration in reference to the Mexican War-on that subject agreeing with the famous Tom Corwin. His attitude on the slavery question is indicated by his statement that, while in Congress, he voted in favor of the Wilmot Proviso forty-two times, and supported a bill for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, with the consent of the voters of the District and with compensation to the owners. This was his uniform position with reference to slavery up to the time when the slave-holders forfeited their right to be protected by engaging in rebellion, and when its abolition became a "war measure."
ORGANIZATION OF THE REPUPLICAN PARTY.
Impelled by the necessity of providing for his family, during the five years following his retirement from Congress in 1849, Mr. Lincoln gave his time to the practice of his profession more industriously than ever before. The passage, in May, 1854, of the so-called
Kansas-Nebraska bill, repealing the Missouri Compromise and opening the way for the admission of slavery into territory which had been "dedicated to freedom," again called him into the political arena, and marked a new era in his career. Although neither holding an office nor a candidate for one, he almost immediately became one of the leaders of the opposition to that measure. During the early days of October, 1854, the State Fair being in progress, Senator Douglas came to Springfield to enter upon a defense of his action. In Mr. Lincoln and Lyman Trumbull he found his chief and ablest critics and antagonists. Two weeks later, Mr. Lincoln delivered, at Peoria, probably the most exhaustive argument that had, so far, been delivered on this question. At this time, Mr. Lincoln had strong hopes that the Whig party would align itself in opposition to the Nebraska bill, and refused to identify himself with any scheme for the organization of a new party. At the November election, he and Judge Stephen T. Logan-confessedly the two ablest men of the party in Sangamon County-were taken up and elected to the Legislature. Lincoln, recognizing that his name was to come before the Legislature at the coming session, as a candidate for the United States Senate, as a successor to General Shields, declined to accept his certificate of election, thereby leaving a vacancy to be filled by a special election. By the device popularly known as a "still hunt," a Democrat was chosen to fill the vacancy. When the Legislature met on January 1, 1855, the Anti-Nebraska Whigs and Anti-Nebraska Democrats still had a small majority. The Senatorial election came on February 8. · Lincoln became the caucus nominee of the Whigs, Shields of
the straight-out Democrats, while Lyman Trumbull received the support of the Anti-Nebraska Democrats. On the first ballot Lincoln received his full vote of forty-five members, while Trumbull received five, which, combined with the Lincoln vote, would have been sufficient to elect-all other candidates receiving forty-nine votes. Trumbull's supporters stood by him, while a portion of Lincoln's fell off. Before reaching the tenth ballot it was evident that a combination would have to be effected in order to prevent the election of a Democrat. By Lincoln's advice, his friends went to Trumbull, and he was elected. While Lincoln frankly acknowledged his disappointment at the result, he never displayed his characteristic magnanimity and unselfishness, for the good of the cause which he represented and the welfare of the country, more conspicuously than he did in this in
A year later, realizing the utter hopelessness of the attempt to inspire the Whig party with new life, he entered with zeal into the work of organizing a new party. He attended the conference of a dozen AntiNebraska editors held at Decatur on the 22d of February, 1856, for the purpose of agreeing on a line of policy to be pursued in opposition to the effort to carry slavery into the new Territories under the KansasNebraska Act. He consulted with the Committee on Resolutions, with the result that a platform was adopted clearly embodying the principles finally enunciated by the Republican party. A resolution was also adopted appointing a State Convention to be held at Bloomington on May 29, following, with a State Central Committee to carry this program into effect.
At banquet given in the evening to the members of the conference at the St. Nicholas Hotel, by the citizens of Decatur, while discountenancing the use of his own name as a candidate for Governor, he favored the nomination of Col. William H. Bissell, as that of an Anti-Nebraska Democrat who would unite all the elements opposed to the Nebraska bill in his support. The convention was held at the time and place named; Mr. Lincoln made before it one of the ablest and most inspiring speeches of his life; the Republican party, so far as Illinois was concerned, was brought into existence; the program proposed by him at Decatur, for the nomination of Bissell for Governor, was carried into effect by acclamation, and its wisdom demonstrated by the election of the entire State ticket in November following. In the first National Convention of the Republican party, held at Philadelphia on June 17, he was a leading candidate for the nomination for the Vice-Presidency on the Fremont ticket, receiving 110 votes, and coming next to William L. Dayton, who-was nominated. In the canvass of that year, he made over fifty speeches in different parts of the State, though not a candidate for any office except as the head of the electoral ticket.
HOUSE-DIVIDED AGAINST-ITSELF SPEECH-THE LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE OF 1858.
With the exception of a speech before his neighbors at Springfield, in reply to one by Judge Douglas, in
June, 1857, Mr. Lincoln gave little time to politics between 1856 and 1858, devoting his attention chiefly to his profession. As the date of the State Conventions of the latter year approached, the political elements began to seethe and bubble. That of the Republicans met June 16th. After naming candidates for the State offices a resolution was unanimously adopted declaring Abraham Lincoln its "first and only choice for United States Senator, to fill the vacancy about to be created by the expiration of Mr. Douglas' term of office." In the evening, Mr. Lincoln delivered an address in response to this resolution. This meeting was held in the Hall of Repre sentatives in the old State capitol. His speech was, in large part, a reiteration of the sentiments expressed at the Bloomington Convention of two years before, carried out to their logical conclusions. As it was written out, there is no doubt of the accuracy of the report given to the public. This has been universally recognized as one of the most important utterances of his life, scarcely second in importance to his two inaugural addresses. Its most striking passage is comprised in the following paragraph:
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved-I do not expect the house to fall-but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become
all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in