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called upon by those who disapproved of the course of the Senator, to reply. Douglas spoke to a vast crowd of people, with his usual great ability. His long experience in debate, his confidence in himself, made him somewhat arrogant and overbearing. Lincolu listened to his speech, and at the close, it was announced, that he would, on the following day, reply. Douglas was present at this reply, whiclı occupied more than three hours; during all this long period, Lincoln hield his vast audience in close attention. No report of this speech has been made, but it was undoubtedly one of the greatest efforts of his life. A by-stander, describing the speaker and

. the speech, says. “ Ilis whole heart was in the subject. IIe quivered with feeling and emotion. The house was as still as death.” The effect of the speech was most magnetic and powerful; cheer upon cheer interrupted him. Women waved their handkerchiefs, men sprung from their seats and waved their hats, in uncontrollable enthusiasm.

As soon as Lincoln concluded, Douglas sprung to the stand and said he had been abused, “though in a perfectly courteous manner.” He spoke until the hour for supper, but without his usual success. He said he would contine is remarks in the evening, but he did uot. He was evidently, unprepared for the tremendous effort of Lincoln, and could not immediately, recover from it.

Their next place of meeting was at Peoria; Mr. Lincoln followed Douglas to that place, and challenged the discussion. On this occasion, as at Springfield, Lincoln replied to Douglas, in a speech of some three hours length, and carried the audience, almost unanimously with him. On these two occasions, more perhaps than any other in his life, was Douglas disconcerted by the vigor and power of the reply to him. A consciousness of being in the wrong may have contributed to this result. It was perfectly clear, that Lincoln spoke from the most deep and earnest conviction of right, and his manner indicated this. Mr. Lincoln desired to continue the discussion, with the author of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, in other parts of the State, but Douglas declined.

General Shields, who was the colleague of Douglas in the Senate, whose terin was about to expire, had voted, under the influence of Douglas, for the Kansas-Nebraska bill. He was a candidate for reëlection. Mr. Lincoln having been the leader of the whig party, now the leader of all who opposed the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and the Kansas outrages, was brought prominently forward for the place. The free soil democrats, whigs, and liberty party men, were united and carried a majority of the Legislature. Lincoln would have been elected Senator, as he was the choice of a large majority of the anti-Nebraska members, so elected; but among the Senators, who had been elected as democrats, and who held over, but who would vote for an anti-Nebraska democrat, for the Senate, were N. B. Judd, B. C. Cook, Palmer, (now Major General Palmer,) and Parks. These gentlemen, while appreciating Mr. Lincoln's ability, and his great

, services, felt that they could not vote for a whig, and brought forward Lyman Trumbull, as a candidate. On ascertaining these facts, seeing danger, that unless prevented by the immediate concentration of the anti-Nebraska members, Governor Matteson, a democrat would be elected, Mr. Lincoln, with the generous magnanimity and unselfish devotion to princi. ple' which ever characterized him, withdrew his name as a candidate; and by earnest, personal appeals, induced his friends to vote solid for Judge Trumbull, and thus secured his election. Meanwhile the Thirty-fourth Congress had been elected and convened in December, 1855. The old whig party had been dissolved, and out of it had sprung two parties, calling themselves the American, and the republican parties. At this Congress, neither party having a majority, & long struggle ensued for the election of Speaker, which after sixty days' ballotting, resulted in the election of N. P. Banks, of Massachusetts, over ex

Governor Aiken, of South Carolina. The slavery question absorbed public attention, and political contests before the people, centered more and more upon that question, as the Presidential election of 1856 approached.

The friends of freedom, elevated by the consciousness of a great cause, animated by the advocacy of great principles, and a generoas love of liberty, conscious of the moral sublimity of their position, grew more and more confident of

The slavery question, had shattered and broken up the old party organizations. From the fragments of former parties, there existed the material, which if it could be united, and brought together, would constitute a powerful and successful party.


There had been in the great democratic organization, an earnest and powerful element opposed to slavery; but as that party had passed more and more into the control of the slaveholders, this element had been driven out. The old whig party had been broken up; the party calling itself American, was not sufficiently broad, national, and catholic to suit the American people. The time had come, it was believed by many, for the organization of a new party, which should embody the vitality, vigor, and the genuine democratic principles of the ancient democracy; a party which earnestly and heartily believed in the Declaration of Independence; a party that should combine the best elements of the old parties, and all the earnest anti-slavery men of the country.

This new organization needed a leader, and found one, unconciously to itself, and to him, in Abraham Lincoln. IIe was selected by the instincts of the masses of the people. In principle, in character, he was, of all others, the representative man of this new organization.

The aggressions of the slaveholders, and their outrages in Kansas, had intensified the feeling of hostility to slavery, and in that hostility, was to be found a common bond of union.

Hitherto the democratic party, under the attractive name of democracy, had secured the vote of the foreign born citizens of the republic. But a large and intelligent class, including the Swedes and Norwegians, and a very numerous body of Germans, and others, when they saw an organization distinctly hostile to slavery, which, in all its forms they abhored, placing itself upon the broad principle of liberty, felt that their true position was in the ranks of this new party. If this powerful foreign element could be detached from the democracy, and join the new party now crystalizing, it would contribute very largely towards its early success.

But there were strong prejudices to be overcome between these foreign born citizens and that portion of the new party who had been called Americans.

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The new party was organized in the Northwest, and thus the first cordial union between the Americans, and the foreign born citizens, was established upon the basis of hostility to, and the restriction of, slavery. The leaders of this new party called a convention at Pittsburgh, on the 22d of February, 1856. This convention laid down a platform of broad, comprehensive principles, and inaugurated the republican party. F. P. Blair, Sen., was a leading member of this convention.

A convention of the people of Illinois was called at Bloomington, in May, 1866, to appoint delegates to the National convention which was to meet at Philadelphia in June, to nominate candidates for President and Vice President. The free-soil democrats, anti-Nebraska democrats, whigs, Americans, and liberty men of Illinois, and of all nationalities, were brought together at this convention, and mainly through the influence of Mr. Lincoln, united on the broad platform of the Declaration of Independence, and hostility to the extension of slavery.

Great difficulty was found in laying down a satisfactory platform of principles; finally, after much controversy and discussion, with no satisfactory result, Mr. Lincoln, who was present, was sent for by the committee on resolutions, and he solved the difficulty, by suggesting that all could unite on the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and hostility to the extension of slavery. This suggestion was immediately accepted. “Let us," said he," in building our new party, plant ours.dves on the rock of the Declaration of Independence," and "the gates of hell, shall not be able to prevail against us.” The convention, thereupon resolved,

“ That all men are endowed with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and that the ob ject of government is to secure these rights to all persons within its jurisdiction;" this, and hostility to slavery, and a determination to resist its further extension, was the substance of the platform adopted. Thus was organized the party, that revolutionized the democratic State of Illinois, against the powerful influence of Douglas, and ultimately elected Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency.

The representatives of this new party from all parts of the free States, and some of the slave States, met at Philadelphia, in June, 1856. The great difficulty in regard to union was again successfully encountered, and overcome, mainly through the influence of Mr. Lincoln, and his friends from the Northwest. The platform was substantially the same as that on which the friends of Mr. Lincoln had determined to fight the battle in Illinois. The convention nominated John C. Frement for President, and William L. Dayton, for Vice President. It was at this convention, that Mr. Lincoln, as the leading statesman of the broad, national Northwest began to be appreciated, and in the informal ballot for Vice President, he received one hundred and ten votes.

The democratic party met at Cincinnati, on the 2d of June, and on the first ballot for President, the vote was for James Buchanan, 135, Franklin Pierce, 122, S. A. Douglas, 33. On the sixteenth ballot, the vote stood, Buchanan, 168, Douglas, 121. Buchanan was afterwards nominated, Douglas being considered unavailable, because of his direct connection with the repeal of the Missouri compromise, and Pierce, because of the outrages committed upon the free State setlers in Kansas, under his administration. John C. Breckenridge was nominated for Vice President.

The convention, although it could not nominate Douglas, yet "adopted the principles contained in the organic laws, establishing the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska. It also endorsed the compromise measures of 1850.

By the course of the Southern whigs, in voting for the repeal of the Missouri compromise, and the subsequent support by its leaders, of the compromise measures of 1850, that venerable party was broken up, a large portion of its young and active men joined the free-soil democrats and liberty men, in organizing and strengthening the republican party.

A portion of its aged and very respectable members, sometimes called “ Silver Greys," from their venerable appearance, made up, what was called an Ameriean party, and these nominated Millard Fillmore for President; and Andrew J.

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