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In the summer of 1858, the great Senatorial contest of Illinois took place between Mr. Douglas on the one hand, and Mr. Lincoln on the other. The rebellion of Mr. Douglas in the U. S. Senate against the administration-his refusal to assist in the perpetration of the Lecompton fraud, insured him the enmity of the administration; but in spite of this, his position gave him immense strength both in and outside of Illinois. Prominent Republicans in other States were disposed to see him returned to the Senate as a rebuke to the administration, vainly hoping that Mr. D. would aban don the Democratic party. Mr. Crittenden wrote a letter advising the Americans or old Whigs of Illinois to vote for Douglas, and in consequence of this outside pressure there can be no doubt that Mr. Douglas was stronger by ten thousand votes as a rebel, than he would have been as an administration favorite.

All who know anything at all of Mr. Douglas are aware that as a political debater, either on the stump or on the Senate floor, he has no superior, if he has an equal, in the country. It was, then, no light matter to contest the State of Illinois with such a man as Mr. Douglas, and especially under the circumstances, when the masses of the people sympathized with Mr. D. in his quarrel with the administration.

A Republican State Convention met at Springfield, Illinois, June 2, 1858, and put Mr. Lincoln in nomination as the Republican candidate for United States Senator. The Convention also adopted the subjoined platform:


"We, the Republicans of Illinois, in Convention assembled, in addition to our previous affirmations, make the following declaration of our principles:

"1. We reaffirm our devotion to the Constitution of the country, and to the union of the States, and will steadily resist all attempts for the perversion of the one and the disruption of the other. We recognize the equal rights of all the States, and avow our readiness and willingness to maintain them; and disclaim all intention of attempting, either directly or indirectly, to assail or abridge the rights of any of the members of the confederacy guaranteed by the Constitution, or in any manner to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. Nevertheless, we hold that the government was instituted for freemen, and that it can be perpetuated, and made to fulfil the purposes of its organization only by devoting itself to the promotion of virtue and intelligence among its citizens, and the advancement of their prosperity and happiness; and to these ends, we hold it to be the duty of the government so to reform the system of disposing of the public lands as to secure the soil to actual settlers, and wrest it from the grasp of men who speculate in the homes of the people, and from corporations that lock it up in dead hands for enhanced profits.

2. Free labor being the only true support of republican institutions, our government should maintain its rights; and we therefore demand the improvement of our harbors and rivers which freight the commerce of the West to a market, and the construction of a central

highway, to connect our trade with the Pacific States, as rightful encouragement to home industry; and, inasmuch as we now compete in the markets of the whole country against the products of unpaid labor, at depreciating prices, it is therefore eminently unjust that the National Administration should attempt, by coercion, to extend a servile system in the territories, or, by patronage, to perpetuate slavery in the States.

"3. The present administration has proved recreant to the trusts committed to its hands, and by its extraordinary, corrupt, unjust, and undignified, exertions, to give effect to the original intention and purpose of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, by forcing upon the people of Kansas, against their will, and in defiance of their known and earnestly-expressed wishes, a constitution recognizing slavery as one of their domestic institutions, it has forfeited all claim to the support of the friends of free men, free labor, and equal rights.

"4. It is the duty of the government faithfully and diligently to execute all our treaty stipulations, and to enforce all our laws for the suppression of the slavetrade.

"5. While we deprecate all interference on the part of political organizations with the action of the Judiciary, if such action is limited to its appropriate sphere, yet we cannot refrain from expressing our condemnation of the principles and tendencies of the extra judicial opinions of a majority of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the matter of Dred Scott, wherein the political heresy is put forth, that the Federal Constitution extends slavery into all the territories of the Republic, and so maintains it that neither Congress nor people, through their territorial legislature, can by law abolish it. We hold that Congress possesses sovereign power over the territories while they remain in a territorial condition; and that it is the duty of the general government to protect the territories from the curse of slavery, and to preserve

the public domain for the occupation of free men and free labor. And we declare that no power on earth can carry and maintain slavery in the States against the will of the people and the provisions of their constitutions and laws; and we fully endorse the recent decision of the Supreme Court of our own State, which declares, "that property in persons is repugnant to the constitution and laws of Illinois, and that all persons within its jurisdiction are supposed to be free; and that slavery, where it exists, is a municipal regulation, without any extra-territorial operation.

"6. The policy of this government should be, to live on terms of peace and amity with all the nations of the earth, so far as it can be done consistently with our national honor and interest, and to enter into entangling alliances with none. Our intercourse with other nations should be conducted upon principles of exact and exalted justice; and while firmly maintaining our own rights, we should carefully avoid any invasion of the rights of others, and especially those of weaker nations. Our commerce ought to be protected from wanton interruption, and our commercial marine from invasion and search; and while we would deplore the necessity of war with any of the nations of the earth, we will still firmly, zealously, and patriotically, sustain the government in any just measures which it may so adopt, to obtain redress for indignities which may heretofore have been inflicted upon our citizens navigating the seas, or which may be necessary to secure them against a repetition of like injuries in the future.


7. We view, with regret and alarm, the rapidlyincreasing expenditures of the general government, which now, in a state of profound peace, threaten the country with national bankruptcy; and we pledge ourselves, so far as we speak for the Republicans of Illinois, to a thorough and radical reform in the administration of the government finances, in the event that the Republicans are intrusted with the care of national affairs."

Mr. Lincoln delivered an able speech to the Convention, which might be said to open the campaign.

On the 24th of July, Mr. Lincoln initiated the correspondence which follows, by sending the letter which is the first of the series:


Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Douglas.

CHICAGO, ILL., July 24, 1858.


My Dear Sir-Will it be agreeable to you to make an arrangement for you and myself to divide time, and address the same audiences the present canvass ? Mr. Judd, who will hand you this, is authorized to receive your answer; and, if agreeable to you, to enter into the terms of such arrangement.

Your obedient servant,

Mr. Douglas to Mr. Lincoln.

CHICAGO, July 24, 1858.


Dear Sir-Your note of this date, in which you inquire if it would be agreeable to me to make an arrangement to divide the time and address the same audiences during the present canvass, was handed me by Mr. Judd. Recent events have interposed difficulties in the way of such an arrangement.

I went to Springfield last week for the purpose of conferring with the Democratic State Central Committee upon the mode of conducting the canvass, and with them, and under their advice, made a list of appointments covering the entire period until late in October. The people of the several localities have been notified of the times and places of the meetings. These

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