Page:Abraham Lincoln, A Story and a Play.djvu/45

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39
THE STORY

During the years in which Mr. Lincoln was practicing law, he heard much about slavery. Some of the states believed it to be right, and others declared it was wrong. Lincoln still felt as he did when as a young man he had seen a slave auction in New Orleans. He thought often of the words in the Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal."

And yet he would say to himself, "Americans hold slaves."

Whenever he spoke of slavery in public he gave such good reasons against it, that all who heard him were moved. Now there was a certain senator of the United States, whom Lincoln had known when he first started out in Springfield as a lawyer. This man, Stephen A. Douglas, had become famous throughout the country, and had won for himself the name of "The Little Giant."

Mr. Douglas believed so strongly that slavery was just, he succeeded in winning the right to own slaves for two states where they had not been held before. Just after he had done this he came back to his old home in Springfield, and made a great speech there defending slavery.

Lincoln answered this speech so well, that he