Richard J. (Richard Josiah) Hinton.

The life and public services of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, and Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine 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 → online text (page 1 of 27)
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114 AND 116 "Washington Stkeet








114 AND 116 Washington Street


Entered according lo Act of Congress, in the year 1860, by


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

Ceo. C. IUsd ft Atket, PanriBBs, 3 Cobkhiix, Hottos.


Introductory — Abraham Lincoln - - - - - - 7


Ancestors — Birth — Early Surroundings — Removal to Indiana — Edu-
cation — Occupation — Settled in Illinois — Black Hawk War — Hu-
morous Speech — Surveying — Letter of a Western Man - - 13


Entrance into Public Life — Election to State Legislature — Presi-
dential Elector — Election to Congress — Action there — Canvass of
1848, etc. -.. - 23


Private Life — 1854 — The Nebraska Bill Agitation in Illinois — Posi-
tion of Mr. Lincoln — Speech at Peoria — Anti-Nebraska Convention
Campaign — of 1856 28


Eepublican Convention, 1858 — Nomination as Senator at Springfield —
Speech of Acceptance — Challenge to Douglas — Correspondence 85


The Senatorial Debate — Position of the Candidates — The Second De-
bate at Freeport— Arguments of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Douglas - 48



Re-election of Mr. Douglas- Fraudulent Districting- Ohio Can-
vass— Speeches by ]\Ir. Lincoln, etc. -.____


Eepublican Convention - Preparations at Chicago - The Wigwam-
Enthusiasm _ Organization - Speech of the President - Nomina-
'* tions-Ballotings -Choice of Lincoln -Vice-President -Hamlin,
etc. - - - _ _


Introductory— Hannibal Hamhn



Date of Birth -Profession -Political Faith - Entrance to Public
Life — Election to State Legislature, etc. - - - io7


Return Home -State Legislature Election to the United States Sen-
ate -Admission of Oregon - Compromise of 1850 - Mr. Hamlin's
Votes-The Nebraska Bill- Abandonment of the Democratic Party-
Election as Governor — Return to the Senate, etc. - - - 109


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


Nomination as Vice-President - Mr. Hamlin's Experience fits him for
the position-Acceptance of Nomination-Public Serenade at WasU
ington — Disturbance, etc. ,^.



Speeches of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinios - - - 129
Squatter Sovereignty and its Fallacies — Chicago Speech, July

10, 1858 ._.-_. 131

Present Position of the Slavery Question — Springfield Speech, July

17, 1858 - ...154

Guveramental Control of the Territories vs. Squatter Sovereignty —

Columbus (Ohio) Speech, September, 1859 - - - , - - 177
Ohio and Kentucky, or the Two Systems — Speech at Cincinnati - 210
National Politics and the Republican Party — Speech at New York,

February 28, 1860 241

The Elinois Senatorial Canvass — Extracts from Mi\ Lincoln's

Speeches at Galesburg, Alton, etc. - -. - 2S4
MR. LINCOLN IN CONGRESS — Mexican War — Resolution of

Inquiry - - - 298

Soldier's Bounty - - - 300

The Public Lands .. - 301

Slavery in the District of Columbia - - - 304

Eights of Naturalized Citizens - _ - - . 307

Lincoln Vote in 1858 . - 308

Speech of Hon. Hannibal Hamlin— Democracy - - - - 311
Letters of Acceptance - - - __- 319


The REPrBMCAN Party, by its National Nominating Con-
vention, at Chicago, on Friday, May 18, placed before the Ameri-
can people these two, Abuaham Lincoln, of Illinois, and
Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, the latter one of the United
States Senators from that State, as its candidates for President
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 " 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, fiirmer, 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 Iloosier President will attract attention every-


In personal appearance, Mr. Lincoln, or, as he is more familiarly
termed among those who know him best, " Honest Abe," is lon<r,
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 strong!}' of Western idioms and
pronunciation. His height is six feet three inches. Ilis complexion
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 his most expressive feature.

As a speaker, he is ready, precise, and fluent. His manner
before a popular assembly is as he pleases to make it, being either
superlatively ludicrous, or very impressive. He employs but little
gesticulation, 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 distortion of countenance, so comically
awkward that it never fails to " bring down the house." His
enunciation 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 manner 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
particularly 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
docs 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


" Mr. Lincoln lias a rich, silvery voice, enunciates witL great
distinctness, and has a fine command of language. He coninienccd
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 Republican 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 second 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-


pandn, he has been found working with the party of free labor.
Tliough decidedly opposed to slaver}', 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 'desiring
" negro equality," which would have been trumpeted against ^Ir.
Seward, cannot be charged 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
average 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
powerfully 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 siucerity, large knowledge of men,
quick perception of the humorous, and a ready application of his
faculties io 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 Hat-
boatman, farmer, clerk, storekeeper, captain of volunteers, serving
gallantly in the Black Hawk "War of 18.32 ; 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 Northern
and border States.

The Chicago Press and Tribune gives the following interesting
particulai-s relative to the personnel of Mr. Lincoln. This journal
being the leading Republican paper of the Northwest, and of
Illinois in particular, its statements are Avorthy of notice, as coming
from those speaking as with authority. The description of his
person, and account of his habits, are especially interesting.

" Mr. Lincoln stands six feet four inches high in his stockings.
His frame is not muscular, but gaunt and wirj ; his arms are long,
but not unreasonably so for a person of his height; his lower limbs


are not disproportioned to his body. In walking, his gait, though
firm, is never brisk. He steps slowly and deliberately, almost
always with his head inclined forward, and his hands clasped
behind his back. In matters of dress, he is by no means precise.
Always clean, he is never fashionable ; he is careless, but not
slovenly. In manner, he is remarkably cordial, and, at the same
time, simple. His politeness is always sincere, but never elaborate
and oppressive. A warm shake of the hand, and a warmer smile
of recognition, are his methods of greeting his friends. At rest, his
features, though those of a man of mark, are not such as belong to
a handsome man ; but when his fine dark-gray eyes are lighted up
by any emotion, and his features begin their play, he would be
chosen from among a crowd as one who had in him not only the
kindly sentiments which women love, but the heavier metal of
which full-grown men and presidents are made. His hair is black,
and, though thin, is wiry. His head sits well on his shoulders, but,
beyond that, it defies description. It nearer resembles that of
Clay than Webster ; but it is unlike either. It is very large, and,
phrenologically, well proportioned, betokening power in all its
developments. A slightly Roman nose, a wide-cut mouth, and a
dark complexion, with the appearance of having been weather-
beaten, complete the description.

" In his personal habits, Mr. Lincoln is as simple as a child. He
loves a good dinner, and eats with the appetite which goes with a
great brain ; but his food is plain and nutritious. He never drinks
intoxicating liquors of any sort, not even a glass of wine. He is
not addicted to tobacco in any of its shapes. He never was accused
of a licentious act in all his life. He never uses profane language.
He never gambles ; we doubt if he ever indulges in any games of
chance. He is particularly cautious about incurring pecuniary
obligations for any purpose whatever ; and, in debt, he is never
content until the score is discharged. We presume he ows no man
a dollar. He never speculates. The rage for the sudden acquisi-
tion of wealth never took hold of him. His gains from his profes-
sion have been moderate, but sufficient for his purposes. While
others have dreamed of gold, he has been in pursuit of knowledge.
In all his dealings, he has the reputation of being generous but
exact, and, above all, religiously honest. He would be a bold man
who would say that Abraham Lincoln ever wronged any one out of
a cent, or ever spent a dollar that he had not honestly earned.


His struggles in early life have made him careful of money, but his
generosity with his own is proverbial. He is a regular attendant
ujion religious worship, and, though not a communicant, is a pew-
holder and liberal supporter of the Presbyterian Church in Spring-
field, to which Mrs. Lincoln belongs. He is a scrupulous teller of*
the truth, — too exact in his notions to suit the atmosphere of
Washington as it now is. His enemies may say that he tells Black
Republican lies ; but no man ever charged that, in a professional
capacity, or as a citizen dealing with his neighbors, he would
depart irom the scriptural command. At home, he lives like a
gentleman of modest means and simple tastes. A good-sized house
of wood, simply but tastefully furnished, surrounded by trees and
flowers, is his own, and there he lives, at peace with himself, the
idol of his family, and, for his honesty, ability, and patriotism, the
admiration of his countrymen.

" If Mr. Lincoln is elected President, he will carry but little that
is ornamental to the White House. The country must accept his
sincerity, his ability, and his honesty in the mould in which they
are cast. He will not be able to make as polite a bow as Frank
Pierce, but he will not commence, anew the agitation of the slavery
question by recommending to Congress any Kansas-Xebraska bills.
He may not preside at the Presidential dinners with the ease and
grace which distinguish the " venerable public functionary," Mr.
Buchanan ; but ho will not create the necessity for a Covode Com-
mittee, and the disgraceful revelations of Cornelius Wendell. He
will take to the Presidential chair just the qualities which the
country now demands to save it from impending destruction, —
ability that no man can question, firmness that nothing can over-
bear, honesty that never has been impeached, and patriotism that
never despairs."





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

The ancestors of Abraham Lincoln were of the good 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 Rockingham
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 Lirge-hearted men who were the pioneers of those days.

In 181G, 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 that early period. The vast continental area,
now covered 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-oflf


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 there 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 fiat-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 J\id",e Douirlas, held at


Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858, alluded to this period of
his life, in reply to this, Judge Douglas epitomized a history of
Mr. Lincoln.

"In the remarks I have made on this platform, and the
position of Mr. Lincoln upon it, I mean nothing personally dis-
respectful or unkind to that gentleman. I have known him for
nearly twenty-five years. There were many points of sympathy
between us when we first got acquainted. We were both com-
paratively boys, and both struggling with poverty in a strange
land. I was a school-teacher in the town of Winchester, and
he a flourishing grocery-keeper in the town of Salem. He was
more successful in his occupation than I was in mine, and hence
more fortunate in this world's goods. Lincoln is one of those pecu-
liar men who perform with admirable skill everything which they
undertake. I made as good a school-teacher as I could, and when
a cabinet maker, I made a good bedstead and tables, although
my old boss said I succeeded better with bureaus and secretaries
than with anything else ; but I believe that Lincoln was always
more successful in business than I, for his business enabled him
to get into the legislature. I met him there, however, and had
a sympathy with him, because of the up-hill struggle we both
had in life. Ho was then just as good at telling an anecdote
as now. He could beat any of the boys wrestling, or running
a footrace, in pitching quoits or tossing a copper ; could ruin
more liquor than all the boys of the town together, and the dig-
nity and impartiality with which he presided at a horserace or
fist-fight, excited the admiration and won the praise of evei-y-
body that was present and participated. I sympathized with
him, because he was struggling with difiiculties, and so was I.
Mr. Lincoln served with me in the legislature in 1836, when
we both retired, and he subsided, or became submerged, and he
was lost sight of as a public man for some years. In 1846,
when Wilmot introduced his celebrated proviso, and the
Abolition tornado swept over the country, Lincoln again turned
up as a member of Congress from the Sangamon District. I
was then in the Senate of the United States, and was glad to


welcome my old friend and companion. Whilst in Congross, he
distinguished himself by his opposition to the Mexican war,
taking the side of the common enemy against his own country ;
and when he returned homo he found that the indignation of
the people followed him everywhere, and he was again sub-
merged or obliged to retire into private life, forgotten by his
former friends. He came up again in 1854, just in time to

Online LibraryRichard J. (Richard Josiah) HintonThe life and public services of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, and Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine → online text (page 1 of 27)