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life. No man had now more friends among all classes of people. No man among his neighbors had a wider intelligence, or more eager and comprehensive mind. No man of his age stood better in his profession, or in politics. No one was in a fairer road to happiness and success. And all this had been accomplished through his own exertion, and the favor which his many noble traits awakened in those around him.

He might well exult in view of all that had been, and all that was.

But, however this may have been, Lincoln did not pause to exult. He exulted in full career; for already the great battle of 1844 was approaching, and he was to take a prominent part in the contest. Many of the people of Illinois have distinct recollection of the brilliant debates which he conducted with Calhoun and Thomas, and these are loth to concede that they have ever been surpassed. The debaters met in all the principal cities and towns of that State, and afterward carried the war into Indiana.

It may be supposed that the fortunes of the war varied, but there are popular stories related of these encounters that give rather amusing results of one of Lincoln's frequent successes.

The contest turned upon the annexation of Texas, to which measure Lincoln was opposed, in proportion as he loved and honored Henry Clay. It has been said that no man ever had such friends as Clay possessed. It may be said that he never possessed a friend more

ardent, attached, and faithful than Abraham Lincoln. Throughout that disastrous campaign of 1844, Lincoln was a zealous and indefatigable soldier in the Whig cause. His name was on the electoral ticket of Illinois, and he shared the defeat of his gallant leader-a defeat which precipitated the Mexican war, with its attendant evils, and the long train of dissensions, discords, and pro-slavery aggressions which have followed.

In the lull which comes after a Presidential battle, Lincoln, while mingling in State politics, devoted himself more particularly to professional affairs, though he continued an enemy to the Mexican war, and his election to Congress in 1846, took place in full view of this enmity. It is worthy of note, in this connection, that he was the only Whig elected in Illinois at that time.


THE period over which Lincoln's Congressional career extends, is one of the most interesting of our history.

Mr. Polk's favorite scheme of a war of glory and aggrandizement, had been in full course of unsatisfactory experiment. Our little army in Mexico had conquered a peace as rapidly as possible. The battles of Palo Alto, Reseca de la Palma, Monterey, Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, and the rest, had been fought to the triumph and honor. of the American arms. Everywhere, the people had regarded these successes with patriotic pride. They had felt a yet deeper interest in them because the volunteer system had taken the war out of the hands of mercenaries, and made it, in some sort, the crusade of AngloSaxon civilization and vigor against the semi-barbarism and effeteness of the Mexican and Spanish races.

Yet, notwithstanding the popular character thus given to the army, the war itself had not increased in popularity. People, in their sober second thought, rejected the specious creed, "Our country, right or wrong," and many looked forward earnestly and anxiously to a conclusion of hostilities.

The elections of Congressmen had taken place, and in

the Thirtieth Congress, which assembled on the 6th of December, 1847, the people, by a majority of seven Whigs in the House, pronounced against the war, though hardly more than a year had elapsed since their Representatives, by a vote of one hundred and twentytwo to fourteen, had declared war to exist through the act of Mexico.

In those days, great men shaped the destinies of the nation. In the Senate sat Clay, Calhoun, Benton, Webster, Corwin. In the House were Palfrey, Winthrop,

Wilmot, Giddings, Adams.

The new member from Illinois, who had distinguished himself in 1844 as the friend of Clay and the enemy of Texan annexation, took his seat among these great men as a representative of the purest Whig principles; he was opposed to the war, as Corwin was; he was antislavery, as Clay was; he favored internal improvements, as all the great Whigs did.

And as Abraham Lincoln never sat astride of any fence, unless in his rail-splitting days; as water was never carried on both of his square shoulders; as his prayers to Heaven have never been made with reference to a compromise with other powers; so, throughout his Congressional career, you find him the bold advocate of the principles which he believed to be right. He never dodged a vote. He never minced matters with his opponents. He had not been fifteen days in the House when he made known what manner of man he was.

On the 22d of December he offered a series of reso

lutions, making the most damaging inquiries of the President, as to the verity of certain statements in his messages of May and December. Mr. Polk had represented that the Mexicans were the first aggressors in the

*The following are the resolutions, which it is judged best to print here in full:

"Whereas, the President of the United States, in his Message of May 11, 1816, has declared that the Mexican government refused to receive him, [the envoy of the United States,] or listen to his propositions, but, after a long-continued series of menaces, have at last invaded our territory, and shed the blood of our fellow-citizens on our own soil.'

"And again, in his Message of December 8, 1846, that we had ample cause of war against Mexico long before the breaking out of hostilities; but even then we forbore to take redress into our own hands, until Mexico basely became the aggressor, by invading our soil in hostile array, and shedding the blood of our citizens.'

"And yet again, in his Message of December 7, 1847, The Mexican government refused even to hear the terms of adjustment which he (our minister of peace) was authorized to propose, and finally, under wholly unjustifiable pretexts, involved the two countries in war, by invading the territory of the State of Texas, striking the first blow, and shedding the blood of our citizens on our own soil.'

"And whereas this House is desirous to obtain a full knowledge of all the facts which go to establish whether the particular spot on which the blood of our citizens was so shed, was, or was not, at that time, our own soil. Therefore, "Resolved, by the House of Representatives, That the President of the United States be respectfully requested to inform this House

"1st. Whether the spot on which the blood of our citizens was shed, as in his memorial declared, was, or was not within the territory of Spain, at least, after the treaty of 1819, until the Mexican revolution.

“2d. Whether that spot is, or is not within the territory which was wrested from Spain by the revolutionary government of Mexico.

"3d. Whether that spot is, or is not within a settlement of people, which settlement has existed ever since long before the Texas Revolution, and until its inhabitants fled before the approach of the United States army.

"4th. Whether that settlement is, or is not isolated from any and all other settlements of the Gulf and the Rio Grande on the south and west, and of wide uninhabited regions on the north and east.

"5th. Whether the people of that settlement, or a majority of them, have ever submitted themselves to the government or laws of Texas, or of the United States, of consent or of compulsion, either of accepting office or voting at elections, or paying taxes, or serving on juries, or having process served on them or in any other way.

6th. Whether the people of that settlement did or did not flee at the ap

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