Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 1.djvu/166

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With Lincoln at Springfield.—1860-1

I WENT from Chicago to New York partly for a few weeks' rest and enjoyment, to which I was certainly entitled after my arduous labors during the summer and fall, and partly to renew my former efforts to secure a permanent connection with the metropolitan press.[1] The thorough practical training as a reporter I had acquired since my last attempts in the same direction, promised to make the attainment of my object much easier. An offer came to me in the last days of November in an entirely unexpected form. The New York Associated Press proposed to me[2] that I should go to Springfield, Illinois, and remain there till the departure of the President-elect for Washington, supplying it with regular despatches about current events in that place, which was to become for a time the centre of political gravitation. As a fair remuneration was offered, and my condition that I should be permitted to correspond by mail with Western papers was agreed to, I accepted this novel and important mission.

I started at once for Springfield. Having frequently visited the place in 1858 and during the Presidential campaign, I had a good many local acquaintances, including Lincoln; his law-partner, Judge Logan; Richard Yates, the

  1. He brought with him a long article on the development of mining in the Rocky Mountains in 1860, which was finally accepted by the Herald. This renewed his acquaintance with Frederic Hudson, the managing editor.
  2. Or, rather, the Herald, through Mr. Hudson, on hearing of his experience in the Lincoln-Douglas campaign and his acquaintance with Lincoln. By the rules of the Associated Press, his despatches had to be shared by the Herald with the other members of the Association.