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INTRODUCTION.

THE

а

VE author of this book was a deeply interested observer, and in an

humble way as member of Congress from Illinois, an actor during the administration of ABRAHAM LINCOLN; and he had the honor of enjoying his friendship, for twenty years previous to his election as President.

This work was begun during his life, and the author was honored and encouraged to go forward in its preparation by his approval. He trusts he may without vanity, hope to have contributed something of permanent value to the record (hereafter to be fully made up) of the last six most eventful years.

If he has been able to aid to any extent, the American people to a better understanding, and to a fuller and more just appreciation of the moral and intellectual character of Mr. LINCOLN, and the means by which slavery has been overthrown and the slaveholders' rebellion subdued, he will be amply rewarded for the labor bestowed.

In regard to the truthfulness and impartiality of the work, the author will only say that, while acknowledging frankly that all his convictions and sympathies have been with the cause of liberty and loyalty, he has not, consciously, done injustice to any.

The great struggle between liberty and slavery in the United States, substantially terminated with the martyrdom of ABRAHAM LINCOLN. The blow of the assassin which struck down the great apostle of freedom, was the last, malignant, expiring effort of slavery. The shot

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