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CHAPTER I

LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS

STUMP SPEAKING

The pioneers, who migrated with their families during the first half of the nineteenth century from the Atlantic Coast Plain to the Mississippi Valley found themselves cut off from the conveniences of life to which they had been accustomed, and cast into a compelling environment, where makeshifts and substitutes must answer for well-known utilities and contrivances. This was noticeable even in political campaigns. Lacking printing presses to disseminate party doctrines and public halls of sufficient size to accommodate the crowds at a party rally, the people of the frontier were wont to gather in some public square or in a grove of trees, where a temporary stand, or perhaps in very early days, the stump of a felled tree, answered the purpose of a rostrum from which the issues of the day were discussed by "stump" speakers. In the same way, the lack of churches on the frontier caused the substitution of groves as a place for holding "camp-meetings." Through campaign after campaign, both national and state, "stump" speaking continued until improved facilities for making longer journeys began to remedy western isolation and to remove western provincialism. At the same time, the increasing political activity of the printing press and the demands of modern business life gradually turned the people away from these picturesque gatherings of earlier times. Beginning with the campaign of 1824, in which a favorite son of Kentucky and a war-hero of Tennessee were

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