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reflected in the Democratic State Convention which met at Springfield, April 21, 1858. As soon as resolutions were introduced approving the course of Senator Douglas, a considerable number of delegates withdrew from the convention and formed a 'rump' assembly in another room. They were mostly from Chicago and the northern part of the state. These 'bolters' called another convention which met at Springfield, June 9th, nominated candidates, and adopted resolutions denouncing Douglas and characterizing his opposition to the administration on the Lecompton question as 'an act of overweening conceit.'"

The Chicago Times, in its issue of the 10th, said of this latter convention: "It was a miserable farce." Out of one hundred counties there were forty-eight represented, and "considering that the delegates were self-appointed, and that offices under the federal government were promised to all who would attend, the fact that in fifty-two counties there could not be found men mean enough to participate in the proceedings, is a glorious tribute to the fidelity of the Democracy of Illinois."


Although Douglas entered the canvass beset with difficulties, Lincoln was not confident of placing the contest purely on the basis of merit. The federal patronage of the state was a weapon still in the hands of Douglas, and this advantage was fully understood by his opponent. In one of his speeches Lincoln expressed himself in these words: "Senator Douglas is of world-wide renown.

All the anx

ious politicians of his party, or who have been of his party for years past, have been looking upon him as certainly, at no distant day, to be the president of the United States. They have seen in his round, jolly, fruitful face, postoffices, land offices, marshalships, and cabinet appointments, chargeships and foreign missions, bursting and sprouting out in wonderful exuberance, ready to be laid hold of by their greedy hands.

"And as they have been gazing upon this attractive picture so long, they cannot, in the little distraction that has taken place in the party, bring themselves to give up the charming hope; but with greedier anxiety they rush about him, sustain him, and give him marches, triumphant entries, and receptions beyond what even in the days of his highest prosperity they could have brought about in his favor. On the contrary, nobody has ever expected me to be president. In my poor, lean, lank face, nobody has ever seen that any cabbages were sprouting out. These are disadvantages, all taken together, that the Republicans labor under. We have to fight this battle upon principle, and upon principles alone."


There was a fear among the staunch friends of Lincoln that some other candidate might win recognition from the legislature, should it be found that the Republicans had won the day in the fall elections. It was thought by many that some man who had formerly been a Democrat, but had now joined the Republican party, might be acceptable to a larger number of the members of the new legislature. Mr. Lincoln, as was well known, was a "Henry Clay Whig" before he had become a Republican. It was rumored that John Wentworth of Chicago was the real can

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didate in the minds of those Republicans who had formerly been Democrats, and that Lincoln was to be used to lead the fight and make sure of the defeat of Douglas, upon which Wentworth could be taken up and elected to the Senatorship. St. Louis paper, as early as July, had mentioned the possibility, by drawing a parallel between the present situation and that of two years before when Trumbull had been elected, for it had then been expected by Lincoln and his friends that he would have been chosen.

Lincoln's prospects were further menaced by the danger, says Professor Sparks, "that the Republicans of the state might deem it wise to lend their support to Douglas, re-elect him to the Senate, and by his victory impair the chances of Buchanan securing a second term. Greeley suggested that the Illinois senatorship should be allowed to go to Douglas by default, and thus, by increasing the breach between Douglas and Buchanan, prepare the way for the Republicans to carry the state in 1860." But the enterprising men who composed the Cook County delegation at the Springfield convention, supported as they were by the hearty and unanimous action of all the members of that convention, had put a quietus on any such movement. The Republican enemies of "Long John" Wentworth apparently had him in mind when they brought out the banner with the inscription referred to above.

“The speech in which Lincoln acknowledged the courtesy of the convention,” says Sparks, "was thought out in advance, and every sentence carefully weighed. It marked the new lines upon which Lincoln proposed to argue the situation, and which ultimately won success. Boldly casting aside the long prevalent idea that the Union could be saved by compromise and by repressing agitation, Lincoln voiced the new opinion in a slightly altered Scriptural quotation, 'A house divided against itself cannot stand.' (The exact language of the Bible is, 'And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.') He declared that the government could not endure permanently half slave and half free; it must become all one thing or all the other."

Mr. Horace White was present when Mr. Lincoln delivered his famous speech before the convention. In a letter quoted in Herndon's "Life of Lincoln," he writes: "I was sent by my employers [the Chicago Press and Tribune] to Springfield to attend the Republican State Convention of that year. Again I sat at a short distance from Mr. Lincoln when he delivered the 'House-divided-against-itself' speech on the 17th of June. This was delivered from manuscript and was the only one I ever heard him deliver in that way. When it was concluded he put the manuscript in my hands, and asked me to go to the State Journal office and read the proof of it. I think it had already been set in type. Before I had finished this task, Mr. Lincoln himself came into the composing room of the State Journal and looked over the revised proofs. He said to me that he had taken a great deal of pains with this speech, and that he wanted it to go before the people just as he had prepared it. He added that some of his friends had scolded him a good deal about the opening paragraph and the 'house divided against itself,' and wanted him to change it or leave it out altogether, but that he believed he had studied this subject more deeply than they had, and that he was going to stick to that text whatever happened."


While the debates were in progress Lincoln's friends began seriously to consider him as an available candidate for the Presidency. Lincoln, however, discouraged any such proposal, and said that he was not well enough known. "What is the use of talking of me," he said, "whilst we have such men as Seward and Chase, and everybody knows them, and scarcely anybody, outside of Illinois, knows me? Besides, as a matter of justice, is it not due to them?"

A few days after the November election, the Chicago Democrat, of which "Long John" Wentworth was the editor, came out strong in a eulogy of Lincoln, in an editorial reviewing the work of the campaign. "His speeches," declared the Democrat, "will be recognized for a long time to come as the standard authorities upon those topics which overshadow all others in the political world of our day; and our children will read them and appreciate the great truths which they so forcibly inculcate, with even a higher appreciation of their worth than their fathers possessed while listening to them.

"We, for our part, consider that it would be but a partial appreciation of his services to our noble cause that our next State Republican Convention should nominate him for governor as unanimously and enthusiastically as it did for senator. With such a leader and with our just cause, we would sweep the state from end to end, with a triumph so complete and perfect that there would be scarce enough of the scattered and demoralized forces of the enemy left to tell the story of its defeat. And this State should also present his name to the National Republican Convention, first for President and next for Vice-President. We should then say to the United States at large that in our opinion the Great Man of Illinois is Abraham Lincoln, and none other than Abraham Lincoln."

A concerted plan was carefully laid out by the Republican State Committee in the office of the Chicago Tribune, or as it was at that time called, the Press and Tribune. The country Republican papers were to propose Mr. Lincoln's name for the presidential nomination, which was done. Early in 1860, the Press and Tribune came out for Lincoln, which was followed by a letter from Mr. Joseph Medill written from Washington, where he had spent some weeks "preaching Lincoln among the Congressmen." Medill wrote that he "heard Lincoln's name mentioned for President in Washington ten times as often as it was one month ago." While Medill was writing thus Norman B. Judd, as a member of the Republican National Committee, secured the convention for Chicago.

During the previous year Lincoln had quailed at the proposal of his name for the presidency. He wrote one editor, "I must in all candor say I do not think myself fit for the presidency." Late in 1859 and early in 1860, Lincoln became convinced that whether he was fit or not he was in the field, and when asked for a sketch of his life for the use of the Republican State Committee he complied by sending a brief "Autobiography," with a few apologetic remarks. "There is not much of it," he wrote, "for the reason, I suppose, that there is not much of me. If anything be made out of it, I wish it to be modest, and not to go beyond the material.”


A few quotations from the "Autobiography" referred to, which is contained within the limits of one ordinary page of a printed volume, will be appropriate. He says that he was born in Kentucky, from which state his father removed to Indiana when he (Lincoln) was eight years old. Two years later his mother, whose family name was Hanks, died. When twenty-one years of age young Lincoln came to Illinois and took up his residence in Macon county. "When I came of age,” he says, "I did not know much. Still, somehow, I could read, write, and cipher 'to the rule of three,' but that was all. I have not been to school since. The little advance I now have upon this store of education I have picked up from time to time under the pressure of necessity."

He then gives a brief summary of his experience in the Black Hawk war, in which he was a captain of volunteers, after which he became a member of the Illinois legislature. "In 1846," he continues, "I was once elected to the lower house of Congress. Was not a candidate for re-election. From 1849 to 1854, both inclusive, practiced law more assiduously than ever before. Always a Whig in politics; and generally on the Whig electoral tickets, making active canvasses. I was losing interest in politics when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since then is pretty well known."


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After the Lincoln-Douglas debates had taken place the subject of expenses came up in the Republican State Committee, and the chairman wrote to Mr. Lincoln regarding them. His reply throws light on the state of his own affairs. "I have been on expense so long, without earning anything," he writes, "that I am absolutely without money now to pay for even household expenses. Still, if you can put in two hundred and fifty dollars for me towards discharging the debt of the Committee, I will allow it when you and I settle the private matter between us. This, with what I have already paid with an outstanding note of nine, will exceed my subscription of five hundred dollars. This, too, is exclusive of my ordinary expenses during the campaign, all of which being added to my loss of time and business, bears pretty heavily upon one no better off than I am." This was addressed to Norman B. Judd.

At this time he owned the house and lot where he lived in Springfield, and his income from his profession did not exceed three thousand dollars per year. Arnold says "he was not then worth over ten or fifteen thousand dollars altogether.”

While in New York during the day on the evening of which he made his address at the Cooper Institute, he met an old acquaintance from Illinois, whom he addressed with an inquiry as to how he had fared since leaving the West. "I have made a hundred thousand dollars, and lost all," was the reply. He then asked, "How is it with you, Mr. Lincoln?" "Oh, very well," said he, "I have the cottage at Springfield, and about eight thousand dollars in money. If they make me vice-president with Seward, as some say they will, I hope I shall be able to increase it to twenty thousand; and that is as much as any man ought to want."

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Na small blank book found among the private papers of Senator Douglas was written an account of his own life. The oldest son of Mr. Douglas, Judge Robert M. Douglas, of Greensboro, North Carolina, sent a transcript of this autobiography, in 1908, to a friend residing in EvansIn a note accompanying the transcript Judge Douglas says: "It is in his own handwriting, hastily written and evidently never revised or continued. It is dated September 1, 1838, when he was only twenty-five years of age, and does not extend beyond his service in the Legislature. It was evidently never intended for publication but may now have some public interest as the candid statement of the boyhood and early manhood of a young man who had bravely and successfully faced life's battle; and who was writing frankly purely for his own future information, and at a time when the circumstances were yet fresh in his mind. Autobiographies are generally carefully written in old age when the circumstances of early youth have grown dim, and perhaps unconsciously colored by the struggles and experiences of after life."

As will be observed Douglas even at that time in his life was possessed of a good style and narrates the events of his early life in excellent and straightforward language. "I, this day," he writes, "commence this memorandum or journal of passing events for the purpose of refreshing my mind in future upon subjects that might otherwise be forgotten. It may be well to turn my attention to the past as well as to the future, and record such facts as are within my recollection or have come to my knowledge, and may be interesting or useful to myself or others hereafter."

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