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ity and intellectual greatness of Lincoln. All proudly claim for Lincoln the highest abilities and the most distinguished and self-sacrificing patriotism. Lincoln taught them, and has taught us, that no party or partisan can escape responsibility to the people; that no party advantage or presumed party advantage, should ever swerve us from the plain path of duty, which is ever the path of honor and distinction. He emphasized his words by his daily life and deeds. He showed to the world by his lofty example, as well as by precept and maxim, that there are times when the voice of partisanship should be hushed and that of patriotism only be heeded. He taught that a good service done for the country, even in aid of an unfriendly administration, brings to the men and the party who rise above the temptation of temporary partisan advantage a lasting gain in the respect and confidence of the people. He showed that such patriotic devotion is usually rewarded, not only with retention in power and the consciousness of duty well and bravely done, but with the gratification of beholding the blessings of relief and prosperity, not of a party or section, but of the whole country. This, he held, should be the first and great consideration of all public servants.
When Lincoln died a grateful people, moved by a common impulse, immediately placed him side by side with the immortal Washington, and unanimously proclaimed them the two greatest and best Americans. That verdict has not changed, and will not change, nor can we conceive how the historians of this or any age will ever determine what is so clearly a matter of pure personal opinion as to which of these noble men is entitled to greatest honor and homage from the people of America.
ULTIMATE TEST OF HIS GREATNESS. A recent writer says: “The amazing growth Lincoln made in the esteem of his countrymen and the world while he was doing his great work has been paralleled by the increase of his fame in the years since he died.” He might have added that, like every important event of his life, Lincoln's fame rests upon a severer test than that of any other American. Never in all the ages of men have the acts, words, motives -even thoughts—of any statesman been so scrutinized, analyzed, studied or speculated upon as his. Yet from all inquirers, without distinction as to party, church, section or country, from friend and from foe alike, conies the unanimous verdict that Abraham Lincoln must have no second place in American history, and that he will never be second to any in the reverent affections of the American people.
Says the gifted Henry Watterson, in a most beautiful, truthful and eloquent tribute to the great emancipator: “Born as lowly as the Son of God, reared in penury and squalor, with no gleam of light nor fair surroundings, it was reserved for this strange being, late in life, without name or fame or seeming preparation, to be snatched from obscurity, raised to supreme coinmand at a supreme moment, and intrusted with the destiny of a nation. Where did Shakespeare get his genius? Where did Mozart get his music? Whose hand smote the lyre of the Scottish plowman and staid the life of the German priest? God alone, and as surely as these were raised by God, inspired of God was Abraham Lincoln; and a thousand years hence no story, no tragedy, no epic poem, will be filled with greater wonder than that which tells of his life and death. If Lincoln was not inspired of God, then there is no such thing on earth as special Providence or the interposition of divine power in the affairs of men.”
My fellow citizens, a noble manhood, nobly consecrated to man, never dies. The martyr to, liberty, the emancipator of a race, the savior of the only free government among men, may be buried from human sight, but his deeds will live in human gratitude forever.
Great captains, with their guns and drums,
Disturb our judgment for the hour,
These are all gone, and, standing like a tower,
The kindly, earnest, brave, far-seeing man,
New birth of our new soil, the first American.
LINCOLN IN POLITICS.
The Hon. Henry S. Boutell, member of Congress from Illinois, residing in Chicago, north side, has just received documents which show an interesting story of the political side of Abraham Lincoln's career. They consist of a couple of letters that the famous war president wrote nearly half a century ago, when he was a country lawyer and thought a seat in the United States Senate would be the limit of his political aspirations.
Just after the national elections in the fall of 1854 it appeared that the democrats had lost control of the Illinois legislature. Lincoln thought he saw a chance to get into the United States Senate, and he began the campaign, which, although it ended in defeat at that time, continued to a climax in the series of great debates four years later between himself and Senator Stephen A. Douglas.
That incident broadened the boundaries of Lincoln's reputation from the state to the nation and brought him a seat in the White House as recompense for the loss of a seat in the senate. T. J. Henderson was at that time a member of the Illinois State Senate. Later he was chosen to represent in congress for many years the district for which Congressman Reeves now sits.
To Representative Henderson Mr. Lincoln, in 1854, wrote the following letter asking for his vote for United States Senator :
“SPRINGFIELD, ILL., Nov. 27, 1854.–T. J. Henderson, Esq.- My Dear Sir: It has come round that a whig may by possibility be elected to the United States Senate, and I want the chance of being the man. You are a member of the legislature and have a vote to give. Think it over and see whether you can do better than to go for me. “Write me at all events and let this be confidential. Yours truly,
“A. LINCOLN.” There was another whig who "wanted the chance to be the man” and was equally prompt in telling the Illinois legislators so. Representative Henderson wrote Mr. Lincoln a letter, in which he expressed himself as unwilling to make any promises for the present or to commit himself between Mr. Lincoln and his leading opponent for the whig nomination.
IN RESPONSE TO HENDERSON'S REPLY. Mr. Henderson's letter to Mr. Lincoln brought forth the following reply:
“SPRINGFIELD, ILL., Dec. 15, 1854.—Dear Sir: Yours of the 11th was received last night, and for which I thank you. Of course I prefer myself to all others; yet it is neither in my heart nor my conscience to say I am any better man than Mr. Williams. We shall have a terrible struggle with our adversaries. They are desperate and bent on desperate deeds. I accidentally learned of one of the leaders here writing to a member south of here in about the following language: ‘We are beaten.
They have a clear majority of at least 9 on joint ballot. They OUTNUMBER us, but we must OUTMANAGE them. Douglas must be sustained. We must elect a Nebraska Cnited States Senator, or elect none at all.' Similar letters, no doubt, are written to every Nebraska member. Be considering how we can best meet and foil and beat them. I send you by this mail a copy of my Peoria speech. You may have seen it before or you may not think it worth seeing now.
“Do not speak of the Nebraska letter mentioned above. I do not wish it to become public that I received such information. Yours truly,
“A. LINCOLN." DEMOCRATS HAD LOST. Abraham Lincoln was right when he asserted that the democrats had lost the legislature. The whigs and the anti-Nebraska democrats together possessed a narrow majority on joint ballot over the Nebraska democrats, as the followers of Douglas were called. The state of Illinois had voted at the November election of 1854 on the sole issue of supporting or condemning the action of Senator Douglas in fathering and passing the repeal of the famous dicker between the slave states known as the Missouri compromise, and the people of Illinois had pronounced their disapproval of Senator Douglas' advocacy of the repeal, which was called the Kansas-Nebraska bill.
Lincoln secured the support of the majority of the whigs in the legislature and he led the whig vote for nine ballots, once coming within six votes of being elected United States Senator. At that point he became convinced that the supporters of Lyman Trumbull, who had just been elected to congress from the Belleville district as an anti-Nebraska democrat, would never vote for a whig, and rather than allow the antiDouglas factions to miss their opportunity to place a representative in the United States senate to neutralize Douglas there, Mr. Lincoln generously told his friends on the tenth ballot to vote for Congressman-elect Trumbull.
HOW TRUMBULL WAS ELECTED. Lincoln's followers obeyed and Lyman Trumbull bore off the prize on the tenth ballot by the close vote of 51 to 47, the Douglas democrats voting for Governor Mattison. Archibald Williams, the whig opponent of Lincoln mentioned by Representative Henderson, later had coals of fire heaped upon his head by Lincoln. When the latter became president one of his first acts was to appoint Mr. Williams as United States district judge for the state of Kansas.
MURDER OF LINCOLN. Johnson Brigham tells the story of the murder of Lincoln as follows in the Chicago Record-Herald:
Intense as is the indignation of this people, and of the world as well, over the “deed accursed” which resulted in the death of President Mckinley, and deep as is the general sorrow over the nation's and the world's loss, happily there were no serious complications resultant therefrom, and consequently there was no consternation when the end came.
The killing of President Lincoln in the midst of the general rejoicing over peace, after four years of awful war, was to this people both a shock and a fierce menace. Though the war was over, the period of reconstruction was just ahead. President Lincoln had long borne the burden of a struggle unparalleled in magnitude. The burden had been lifted. The cause of the Union_his cause—had grandly triumphed. His rugged strength had overcome both ridicule and censure; his magnanimity had made his former foes his friends; his demonstrated brain power, his rare soul qualities, and his remarkable devotion to public duty had won for him the love of his people and the admiration of the onlooking world. To him the people of the North had turned for deliverance from the new and unmeasurable perils.
PEOPLE LEFT LEADERLESS.
Suddenly bereft of the one safe leader all trusted, when the shot was fired that left them leaderless, their first fierce indignation and deep grief left them with a sinking of heart over the awful possibilities of the situation.
Let me present in outline a memory picture of that horrible night of nights and the days of gloom which followed as that picture is brought