Richard J. (Richard Josiah) Hinton.

The life and public services of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois : and, Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine (Volume copy 2) online

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Online LibraryRichard J. (Richard Josiah) HintonThe life and public services of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois : and, Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine (Volume copy 2) → online text (page 1 of 12)
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12mo pamphlet^ with handsome cover; 132 pages, fully illus-
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Most readers of the public press have heard of the case of Dr,
Doy ; — how he was kidnapped by the Missourians on the charge
of stealing slaves, — how he spent weary months in Missouri dun-
geons, where he had unequalled opportunities for seeing the worst
features of that great barbarism, Negro Slavery, — and how he was
subsequently released by a band of brave Kansas Heroes from a
strong jail in the heart of the city of St. Joseph. These interesting
themes form the subject of this volume ; in addition to which a
graphic description of the whole troubles in Kansas. The work
is endorsed by the New York Tribune, and other leading Repub-
lican papers.

Sample copies sent to any address by mail, post paid, on
receipt of the retail price.

Agents wanted to sell the work everywhere. Address

THAYER & ELDRIDGE, Publishers,

114 & 116 Washington St. Boston.

Digitized by the Internet Archive

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Entered accoi'ding lo Act of Congress, in the year 1860, by

Thayer & Eld ridge,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

Geo. C. Hand & Ateey, Teistees, 3 Coekhill, Uostok.



Introductory. — Abraham Lincoln *- 5


Ancestors — Birth — Early Surroundings — Removal to Indiana — Education

— Occupation — Settled in Illinois — Black Hawk War, etc. ... 9


Entrance into Public Life — Election to State Legislature — Presidential Elec-
tor — Election to Congress — Action therein, etc. - • - - - 13


1854— The Nebraska Bill — Agitation in Illinois — Position of Mr. Lincoln —
Peoria Speech — Convention — Campaign in 1856 — Nomination as United
States Senator in 1858, etc. 17


Senatorial Canvass — Speech at Chicago, etc. 29


Preliminary correspondence — Joint Debates — Freeport Discussion - 43


Ee-election of Mr. Douglas — Fraudulent districting — Ohio Canvass — Speeches
by Mr. Lincoln, etc. - - 88


Republican Convention — Preparations at Chicago — The Wigwam — Enthusi-
asm — Organization — Speech of the President — Nominations — Ballotings

— Choice of Lincoln — Vice-President — Hamlin, etc. .... 90


Introductory — Hannibal Hamlin -. - -...105


Date of Birth — Profession — Political Faith — Entrance to Public Life —
Election to State Legislature, etc. - -. - .. 107


Return Home — State Legislature Election to the United States Senate — Ad-
mission of Oregon — Compromise of 1850 — Mr. Hamlin's votes — The Ne-
braska Bill — Abandonment of the Democratic Party — Election as Governor
— Return to the Senate, etc. - 109


United States Senate — The Lecompton Contest — Mr. Hamlin's position —
" Mudsills yy - — Answer to Senator Hammond, of S. C. — The Laborers of the
North - 111


Nomination as Vice-President — Mr. Hamlin's experience fits him for the posi
sition — Acceptance of Nomination — Public Serenade at Washington — Dis-
turbance, etc. 124


The Republican Party, by its National Nominating Con-
vention, at Chicago, on Friday, May 18, placed before the Ameri-
can people the names of Abraham Lincoln, of Elinois, and
Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, the latter one of the United
States Senators from that State, as its candidates for*PRESH>ENT
and Vice-President of this Republic. The nominations have
additional interest at this particular period. Besides the fact
that they are thus made the standard-bearers of the most vigorous
political organization in the nation, there is also to be taken into
account the manifold dissensions of their adversaries, which would
seem to point the way to a certain Republican victory at the elec-
tion in November next.

Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, is a genuine scion of the " West-
land," and may therefore fairly be regarded as a representative
man. Born on the k4 dark and bloody ground " of Kentucky, he
was " raised " in Illinois, being brought to that then Territory at a
period when the foot of the white man had barely begun to tread
its magnificent prairies.

With very limited opportunities of receiving an education,
but much of that genial humor and quick sense of observation and
appreciation, which is especially characteristic of our Western
Pioneers, Abraham Lincoln stands to-day not only .-a represen-
tative of the early Western stock, the hunter, farmer, and pioneer,
but an admirable example of what energy and ability can do for a
man honestly using them in honorable pursuits.

Not only in character but in person, is Abraham Lincoln a
type of the West. Tall and loose-jointed, with large bones, the
person of the future Hoosier President will attract attention every-


In personal appearance, Mr. Lincoln, O-*, as be is more familiarly
termed among those who know him best, "Old Uncle Abe," is
long, lean, and wiry. In motion he has a good deal of the elasticity
and awkwardness which indicate the rough training of his early
life, and his conversation savors strongly of Western idioms and
pronunciation. His height is six feet three inches. His complex-
ion is about that of an octoroon ; his face, without being by any
means beautiful, is genial looking, and good humor seems to lurk
in every corner of its innumerable angles. He has dark hair, tinged
with gray, a good forehead, small eyes, a long, penetrating nose,
with nostrils such as Napoleon always liked to find in his best
generals, because they indicated a long head and clear thoughts ;
and a mouth which, aside from being of magnificent proportions,
is probably the most expressive feature of his face.

As a speaker he is ready, precise, and fluent. His manner before
a popular assembly is as he pleases to make it, being either super-
latively ludicrous or very impressive. He employs but little ges-
ticulation, but when he desires to make a point, produces a shrug
of his shoulders, an elevation of his eyebrows, a depression of his
mouth, and a general malformation of countenance so comically
awkward that it never fails to " bring down the house." His enun-
ciation is slow and emphatic, and his voice, though sharp and
powerful, at times has a frequent tendency to dwindle into a shrill
and unpleasant sound ; but as before stated, the peculiar character-
istic of his delivery is the remarkable mobility of his features, the
frequent contortions of which excite a merriment his words could
not produce.

The Boston Transcript published the following in its issue of
October 13, 1858. It describes Mr. Lincoln's appearance in the
debate with Mr. Douglas, at Galesburg, Illinois, October 7, of the
same year. The letter was written by the President of a college in
that State, — a gentleman well known in New England, and par-
ticularly esteemed in Boston. After stating the reception of the
rival champions of the two parties, this correspondent con-
tinued : —

" The men are entirely dissimilar. Mr. Douglas is a thick-set,
finely-built, courageous man, and has an air of self-confidence that
does not a little to inspire his supporters with hope. Mr. Lincoln
is a tall, lank man, awkward, apparently diffident, and when not
speaking has neither firmness in his countenance nor fire in his
eye. .

" Mr. Lincoln has a rich, silvery voice, enunciates with great
distinctness, and has a fine command of language. He commenced
by a review of the points Mr. Douglas had made. In this he
showed great tact, and his retorts, though gentlemanly, were sharp,
and reached to the core of the subject in dispute. While he gave
but little time to the work of review, we did not feel that anything
was omitted which deserved attention.

" He then proceeded to defend the Republican party. Here he
charged Mr. Douglas with doing nothing for freedom ; with disre-
garding the rights and interests of the colored man ; and, for about
forty minutes, he spoke with a power that we have seldom heard
equalled. There was a grandeur in his thoughts, a comprehensive-
ness in his arguments, and a binding force in his conclusions, which
were perfectly irresistible. The vast throng were silent as death ;
every eye was fixed upon the speaker, and all gave him serious
attention. He was the tall man eloquent ; his countenance glowed
with animation, and his eye glistened with an intelligence that
made it lustrous. He was no longer awkward and ungainly, but
graceful, bold, commanding."

" Honest old Abe," as Mr. Lincoln is commonly called by the
great masses of the people of the " Prairie State," is decidedly a
man to win upon the popular heart by the sturdy manliness of his
character, and the simple integrity and straight forward logic of
his political opinions. The genuine though not reverential instincts
of the Western people have fixed upon the Eepublican candi-
date an expressive, if not euphonious title, which is in decided con-
trast with the reputation an " old public functionary " will carry
with him into a dishonored retirement. In one respect the name
is a misnomer, as " Honest Abe " is by no means " old ; " he being
fifty-one years of age, and in the bloom of full and vigorous

Mr. Lincoln is by profession a lawyer, in which pursuit he has
won a position and reputation at the Illinois bar seeond to none.
His mind is eminently legal ; as an advocate, he is clear, cogent,
and logical ; understands how to control a jury, and always pre-
sents himself well fortified in the legal points of any case he may

As a politician, he has always acted with the moderate Whigs of
the Henry Clay school, and since the former parties of the country
committed themselves fully to the interests of the Slave Propa-


ganda, be has been found working with the party of Free Labor
Though decidedly opposed to slavery, as the speeches inserted in
these pages show, Mr. Lincoln would not be classed as a radical
Republican. His opposition to the " peculiar institution " seems
rather to be based upon the politico-economical view of the subject,
than upon the moral grounds, though he by no means shirks
that most important element of the question. The charge of desir-
ing " negro equality," which would have been trumpeted against
Mr. Seward, cannot be placed on Mr. Lincoln. He has distinctly
stated his opposition to the exercise of suffrage, &c, by the Anglo-
Africans of this continent. In this respect he represents the aver-
age sentiment of the people among whom he lives.

Mr. Lincoln is one of the most effective of " stump speakers."
He understands well how to move the hearts of a people more pow-
erfully affected and controlled by the fiery eye, the working
features, the speaking tongue, and the many magnetic elements
which go to make up the orator, than possibly any other people
on the face of the earth. " Honest old Abe," has the qualities of
earnestness, enthusiasm, evident sincerity, large knowledge of men,
quick perception of the humorous, and a ready application of his
faculties to the surrounding circumstances. All these make him a
powerful and popular speaker of the Western school.

Of the people, — sprung from their loins, proud of his origin,
having carved out for himself his own fortune, — the whilom flat-
boatman, farmer, clerk, storekeeper, captain of volunteers, serving
gallantly in the Black Hawk War of 1832 ; the rising lawyer,
active politician, and prominent leader of his party for many years;
the name, history and character of Abraham Lincoln has in it
many of the qualities that will stir the enthusiasm and bring out
the hardy masses of Freemen, throughout the whole of the North-
ern and Border States.





Ancestors — Birth — Early Surroundings — Removal to Indiana — Education
— Occupation — Settled in Illinois — Black Hawk War, etc.

The ancestors of Abraham Lincoln were of the p-ood old


stock by whom the State of Pennsylvania was founded. Mem-
bers of the Society of Friends, they lived in Berks County,
Pennsylvania, and emigrated from thence to Ptockingham
County, Virginia. In 1781-2, the paternal grandfather of
Mr. Lincoln removed to Kentucky, where a year or two later
he was killed by the Indians. Descendants from the same
stock still live in the eastern part of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, in Harden Coun-
ty, Kentucky. He is consequently now in the fifty-first year
of his life. The early impressions of his childhood were formed
amid the wilderness scenes of Kentucky, and among the rude,
yet large-hearted men who were the pioneers of those days.

In 1816, when the subject of this memoir was about seven
years of age, his parents removed with him to Spencer County,
in the Territory of Indiana. Those of the present generation
have but little idea of the character and surroundings of the
"Western people at this early period. The vast continental area,
now girdled over with populous States, teeming with civilization
and its results, blooming with cultivation, and blossoming
beneath the busy brain and toiling hand of American industry,
was then but a wide expanse of unknown prairie, whose far-off


western horizon was supposed to dip its blue circle beyond the
impassable American desert ; long the bugbear of travellers,
and now the exploded chimera of ignorant geographers. At
this early period, the refining, educating influences of modern
society were unknown. The preachers, what few tbere were,
were mostly like the congregation, — uncultured backwoods-
men, whose rude eloquence was yet well fitted to uplift the
mind of their uneducated hearers. Schools were even less fre-
quent than the opportunities for religious instruction.

It was among such influences as these that our young pioneer
grew up to carve out for himself a distinguished manhood. Mr.
Lincoln barely received the rudimentary elements of a common
English education. Probably six months will cover the whole
period spent by him within the rude log walls of the schoolhouse
of the paternal settlement. Endowed with quick faculties,
ambition, and energy, the youth of Mr. Lincoln was not lost in
idleness, or wasted in vain pursuits.

He remained in Indiana until 1830, working on the home
farm, or engaged in other arduous occupations. During the
period of youth and early manhood, he labored industriously,
losing no opportunity of cultivating his mind, whether working
on the farm, or drifting on the flat-boat down the Mississippi

In 1830, at the age of twenty-one, Mr. Lincoln removed to
Macon County, Illinois. Here he remained for about a year,
engaged in agricultural pursuits. At this period, he hired
himself out to the neighboring farmers, and it is told of him that
he mauled and split a large quantity of rails. During the sitting
of the Republican Convention, much amusement was excited by
the introduction of a banner supported by two worm-eaten rails,
and inscribed as part of a lot of 3,000 made by Abraham Lin-
coln, in 1830, for a farmer in Macon County.

Mr. Lincoln removed to New Salem, then in Sagamore, now
Chenard County, where he remained about one year. He was
principally employed as a clerk in a store. Mr. Lincoln, in the
first of his celebrated debates with Judge Douglas, held at


Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858, thus alluded to this period
of his life. Douglas had sought to make a jest of his early
occupations, and also charged him with having, while in Con-
gress, voted against the supplies for the Mexican war. Mr.
Lincoln thus disposes of both allusions.

The judge is wofully at fault about his early friend Lincoln
being a " grocery-keeper." I don't know as it would be a great
sin, if I had been ; but he is mistaken. Lincoln never kept a
grocery anywhere in the world. It is true that Lincoln did work
the latter part of one winter in a little still-house, up at the head
of a hollow. And so I think my friend, the judge, is equally at
fault when he charges me, at the time when I was in Congress, of
having opposed our soldiers who were fighting in the Mexican war.
The judge did not make his charge very distinctly, but I can tell
you what he can prove, by referring to the record. You remem-
ber I was an old whig, and whenever the democratic party tried to
get me to vote that the war had been righteously begun by the
President, I would not do it. But whenever they asked for any
money or land-warrants, or anything to pay the soldiers there,
during all that time, I gave the same vote that Judge Douglas did.
You can think as you please as to whether that was consistent.
Such is the truth ; and the judge has the right to make all he can
out of it. But when he, by a general charge, conveys the idea
that I withheld supplies from the soldiers who were fighting in the
Mexican war, or did anything else to hinder the soldiers, he is, to
say the least, grossly and altogether mistaken, as a consultation of
the records will prove to him.

The Black Hawk Indian war broke out at this time. The
violence with which it raged for a period of fourteen months, cre-
ated great excitement among the settlers. A company of volun-
teers was raised in New Salem, of which Abraham Lincoln was
elected captain. He served with honor to himself during this
memorable campaign, and established his reputation as a brave
and gallant man, He is mentioned in various dispatches with
praise. The war terminated by the capture of Black Hawk,
the Indian chief, and the total defeat of his warriors in August,


This campaign cost a number of valuable lives, and the gov-
ernment over two million dollars. Like most of the wars and
difficulties with Indian tribes, the conduct of the whites will
not bear close inspection. The difficulties were mainly caused
by dispossession of the lands from their aboriginal occupants.
A portion of Black Hawk's tribe, the Sacs, under Keokuk, a
chief friendly to the whites, sold all their lands east of the Mis-
sippi. Black Hawk refused to move, and this was the primary
cause of the war. There is but little doubt but that the Indian
chief was at this time the leading spirit in a projected o-eneral
attack by the Indians from Texas to the northern Mississippi,
upon the frontier settlements of the United States.

It was generally believed that such a plan was formed. The
capture of the leader, Black Hawk, put an end to all hopes of
the kind, entertained by the native tribes. Black Hawk was
taken to Washington, and after being kept prisoner at Fort
Munroe for some months, was set at liberty by order of the
President, General Jackson.


Entrance into Public Life — Election to State Legislature — Presidential Elec-
tor — Election to Congress — Action therein, etc.

Mr. Lincoln early identified himself with the Whig party,
and was long a disciple and admirer of u Harry of the West."
He belongs by character and association to that school of mod-
erate, conservative men, who sought the peaceful extinction of
the slave system by the gradually ameliorating influences of ad-
vancing sentiment and civilization. When the party with which
he had so long acted was fully handed over to the will of the
Slave Power, Mr. Lincoln, like Mr. Seward and others, tried to
save it from complete destruction. Failing this, he was found
among the first to work for the formation of a new organization,
which should direct the uprising waves of public feeling on the
subject of slavery aggressions.

After Mr. Lincoln's return, in 1832, from the Black Hawk
campaign, he became a candidate for the State legislature ,
but was defeated.

In 1834, he was returned to the legislature by his party, and
served for the next six years in the lower house, running the
gauntlet of three elections and succeeding in each. In 1836,
Mr. Douglas was returned to the legislature and sat on the
Democratic side of the House. Here commenced that personal
as well as political rivalry which has since existed between these
two eminent men.

At this period the fever of speculation was at its height
throughout the West. A magnificent scheme of internal im-
prove ment was projected for Illinois. The credit of the State
was beginning to stagger under its erroneous banking system,


and the debts incurred to carry forward the projected canals
and railroad. Mr. Lincoln was in favor of internal improve-
ments, though his course was marked by judicious approval of
plans well matured, likely to benefit the State and increase
its prosperity.

Mr. Lincoln took up his residence at Springfield, the capitol
of the State, and engaged in the practice of the law. He had
studied during his first legislative term, and was admitted to
the bar. He soon became a prominent and successful advocate.

The diligent attention necessary to secure success in his
chosen profession did not prevent him from taking an active
part in both local and national politics. He soon became one
of the recognized leaders of the Whig party in the Northwest,
and was placed on the Harrison and Clay electoral tickets in the
Presidential campaigns of 1840 and 1844. In the latter can-
vass he took the stump for Henry Clay, and made a tour of Illi-
nois, advocating his claim, to the Presidency.

He was elected in 1846 to the popular branch of the national
Congress, from the central district of Illinois. The State leg-
islature was Democratic, and at the same time Mr. Douglas
was elected to the United States Senate. Mr. Lincoln took
his seat in the Thirtieth Congress, in Dec, 1847. James K.
Polk was President when Mr. Hamlin, at this session, first took
his seat as Senator from Maine. He then acted with the
Democratic party. The Mexican war was being waged. Much
opposition existed to the administration on account thereof. The
election as Speaker, by the House of Representatives, of Robert
C. Winthrop, of Massachusetts, showed the President and Cab-
inet to be in a minority in that branch of Congress.

The sessions of the Thirtieth Congress were crowded with
important events. The unjust war with Mexico, commenced
mainly with a view to the extension of Slavery, was terminated
on the 30th of May, 1848. By the treaty of peace, Mexico
ceded to the United States the territory comprised in New Mex-
ico and Upper California. The lower Rio Grande, from its mouth
to El Paso, was made the boundary of Texas.


On the 22d of Dec. 1847, Mr. Lincoln introduced a resolu-
tion, calling upon the President to inform Congress whether the
spot on which the first blood was shed, was an American soil or
not. He voted steadily in opposition to the administration.

The question of organizing a Territorial Government in Ore-
gon, came up for discussion during the first session of this
Congress. Mr. Calhoun desired to insert in the Oregon bill,
his doctrine, of no power in Congress to abolish slavery in the
Territories. This brought up the whole subject. Mr. Douglas
proposed in the Senate to extend the line of 36° 30", as laid
down in the Wilmot proviso. This was one of that demagogue's
first concessions to the South.

A bill for organizing Oregon, applying the conditions of the
celebrated Northwest ordinance of 1787, to the new Territory,
was introduced into the House. The Slavery Prohibition pro-
vision was stricken out. Mr. Lincoln spoke and voted against
the amendment. It was lost by a vote of 114 to 88. The bill
passed the House on the 2d of August, 1848, by a vote of 127
to 70. In the Senate, Mr. Douglas moved to amend by extend-
ing the line of 36° 30", to the Pacific. This was agreed to,
on the 12th of August. The amended bill was sent to the
House, which disagreed by a vote of 121 to 82. Mr. Lincoln

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Online LibraryRichard J. (Richard Josiah) HintonThe life and public services of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois : and, Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine (Volume copy 2) → online text (page 1 of 12)