Page:Lincolndouglas2184linc.djvu/71

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
35
THE SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN OF 1858

Throughout the whole route of the procession, the senator was greeted from house top and window, from street, from awning post and balcony by every demonstration of grateful welcome.

THE SCENE AT THE TREMONT

As early as half past six o'clock people began to collect around the Tremont House. The omnibusses from Union Park, and from the southern and northern limits of the city, were crowded with suburban residents, and people came on foot from the remotest parts of the city, taking up eligible standing places around the hotel.

At about half past seven the booming of cannon on the lake shore having announced the arrival of the train, it was the signal for the assembling of thousands of others who rapidly filled up every vacant spot in Lake street, from State, for the distance of a block and a half. Dearborn street was also thronged from Lake to Randolph. The area occupied by the people, packed together in one dense mass, was considerably over fifty thousand square feet. In addition to this, every window and roof within hearing distance was occupied, a large portion of the occupants being ladies. The assemblage of people who welcomed in vociferous and prolonged shouts of joy the return of Senator Douglas numbered at the least calculation thirty thousand.

Chicago has never before witnessed such a sight. A field of human forms parted with difficulty as the procession passed through, and closed instantly behind it, with the surge and roar of the waters of a sea; an ocean of upturned faces, extending beyond the furthest limits to which the senator's powerful voice could reach, from which broke one spontaneous burst of applause as he appeared upon the balcony before them! Over all the light of the illumination, and the glare and glitter of the fireworks, spread an appearance which is indescribable!

The building just across the street fron the Tremont, on Lake, occupied by Jno. Parmly, hat manufacturer, and others, was finely illuminated, and a handsome transparency was displayed, bearing the words "Welcome to Stephen A. Douglas, the Defender of Popular Sovereignty."

THE SPEECHES

Chas. Walker, Esq., then appeared on the Lake Street balcony and in a very neat address, welcomed Senator Douglas to his constituents from a prolonged, but glorious struggle in which he defended and maintained the right.