Page:Abraham Lincoln address (1909).djvu/34

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mainly on account of his attempted acts of kindness to the Southern people. So that, we are constrained to say, if Mr. Lincoln was a true friend of the South, "Good Lord, deliver us from our friends."


But let us now examine Mr. Lincoln's career, somewhat in detail, and see what we can find in it to entitle him to rank with the good and great men of the earth.

(1) Up to the time he attained his majority he was literally a "hewer of wood and a drawer of water." This was, of course, his misfortune, a thing for which he was in no way to blame, and we only refer to it as a fact, and not by way of reproach to him in any sense.

(2) For three or four years after attaining his majority, he first kept a store, then a post office, did some surveying, and employed his leisure hours in studying and preparing himself for the Bar.

(3) He practiced law about twenty-five years, and made but little reputation as a lawyer, beyond the fact that he was regarded as a shrewd, sensible and honest lawyer. During this period he was sent to the Illinois Legislature four times, but made little or no reputation as a legislator.

(4) In 1847 he was elected to Congress, and served only one term. He certainly made no reputation as a member of Congress, unless his speech advocating the right of secession, as referred to by Judge Black in his Essays, entitled him to such distinction.

(5) We next hear of him in the canvass with Stephen A. Douglas for the Senate, in which he did make reputation both as a ready-debater and stump speaker, and was regarded as one of the most ambitious and shrewdest politicians of his time. He was twice defeated for the Senate, but the reputation won in his last canvass with Douglas laid the foundation for his candidacy for the presidency, although Seward was, by far the foremost candidate for that office up to the time of the meeting of the Convention. This convention, fortunately for Lincoln, met in Chicago, where his "boosters" did most effective work in his behalf. He was only nominated by means of a corrupt bargain entered into between his representatives and those of Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, and Caleb B. Smith,