Pro-Lincoln biographical sketch from 1860

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Pro-Lincoln biographical sketch from 1860 - . Whole No. 595. From the Chicago Press and...
. Whole No. 595. From the Chicago Press and Journal. Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln is a native of Hardin county, Kentucky. He was born on tbe 12th day of February, 1808. His parents were both from Virginia, and were certainly not of the first families. His paternal grandfather, Abraham Lincoln, emigrated from Rockingham county, Virginia, to Kentucky, about H ol or Z, where a year or two later he was killed by Indians, not in battle, but by stealth, while he was laboring to open a farm in the forest. His ancestors, who were respectable members of the Society of Friends, went to Virginia from Berks county, Pennsylvania. Descendants of the same stock still reside in the eastern part of that State. Mr. Lincoln's father, at the death of his father, was but six years of age, and he crew up literally without education. He removed from Kentucky to what is now Spencer coun ty, Indiana, in lolb. The family reached their new home about the time the state was admitted into the Union. The region in which they settled was rude aud wild, and they endured, for some years, the hard expe rience of a frontier life, in which the strusgle with nature for existence and security is to b) maintained only by constant vigilance. liears, wolves and other wild animals still infested the woods, and young Lincoln acquired more skill in the use of the rifle than knowl edge of books. There were institutions here and there known by the flattering denomination ot " schools," but no qualification was required of a teacher beyond " readin', writin' and cypherin'," as the vernacular phrase ran, as far as the rule of three. If a Btraggler supposed to understand Latin, happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon as a wizard, and regarded with an awe suited to so mysterious a character. Hard work and plenty of it was the order of the day, varied, indeed, by an occasional bearhunt, a not unfrequent deer chase.or other wild sport. Of course when young Lincoln came of age he was not a scholar. lie could read and write, and had some knowledge of arithmetic, but that was about all; and as yet, he had but little ambition to know more of what was to be found in books. His attainments otherwise were not to be despised. He bad grown to be six feet four inches in stature, was active and athletic, could wield the axe, direct the plow, or use the rifle, as well as the best of his compeers, and was fully up to all the mysteries of prairie farming, and fully inured to hardship and toil. Since he arrived at age he has not been to school. Whatever his acquirements are, they have been picked up from time to time as opportunity occurred, or as the pressure of some exigency demanded. At twenty-one he removed to Illinois, and passed the first year in Macon county, in active labor on a farm, where he and a fellow laborer (named Hanks) split three thousand rails in the year 1830. It will be interesting to the millions before whom he is now placed as a candidate for the highest office in the gift of a free people, to know that he once man aged a flat boat on the Ohio River. Tbe anecdotes which he sometimes relates to his friends of his maratime experience before the introduction of steam upon our western rivers, are indescribably laughable. From Macon county he went to New Salem, in what is now Menard oounty, where he remained about a year. Then came the Black Hawk war. A company of volunteers was raised in New Salem and the surrounding country, and young Lincoln was elected captain a success which he has since said, gave him moro pleasure than he has ever sinoe enjoyed. He served with credit during the campaign, and became popular. Returning to Sangamon county, he learned the art of survevins. and prosecuted that profession until the financial crash of 1837 destroyed the value of real estate and ruined the business the result of whioh was that young Lincoln's surveying apparatus was sold on execution by the sheriff. Nothing daunted by this turn of ill luck, he directed his attention to the law, and borrowing a few books from a neighbor, which he took from the office in the evening and returned in the morning, he learned the rudiments of the profession in which he has since become so distinguished, by the light of a fireplace. About this time tbe Whigs of his oounty conferred upon him a nomination for the Legislature. He was successful in this and three succeeding elections, by triumphant majorities. While a member of the Legislature he first gave indications of his superior powers as a debater, and he increased, by frequent practice his natural faculty for publio speaking. lie improved industriously the opportunities that were here offered of self-cultivation. From the position of a 'subaltern in the ranks of the whig party a position that was appropriately assigned him by his unaffected modesty and humble pretentions he soon became recognized and acknowledged as a champion and a leader, and his unvarying courtesy, good nature and genial manners, united with an utter disinterestedness and abnegation of self, made him a universal favorite. During his legislative period he continued his law 3tudies, and removing to Springfield he opened an office and engaged actively in practice. Business flowed in upon him, and he rose rapidly to distinction in his profession. He displayed remarkable ability as an advocate in jury trials, and many of his law arguments were master-pieces of logical reasoning. There was no refined artifioiality in his forensic efforts. They all bore the stamp of masculine common sense ; and he had a natural, easy mode of illustration, that made the most abstruse subjects appear plain. His success, at the bar, however, did not withdraw his attention from politics. For many years he was the " wheel horse" of the whig party in Illinois, and was on the eleotoral ticket in several Presidential campaigns. At such times he canvassed the State with bis usual vigor and ability. He was an ardent friend of Henry Clay, and exerted himself powerfully in his behalf in 1844, traversing the entire State of Illinois, and addressing publio meetings daily until near the close of the campaign, when becoming convinced that bis labors in that field would be unavailing, he orosed over into Indiana, and continued his efforts op to the day of election. ; The contest of that year in Illinois was mainly on the tariff question. Mr. Lincoln, on the Whig side, and John C. Calhoun, on the Democratio side, were the heads of the opposing eleotorial tickets. Calhoun, late of Nebraska, now dead, was then in the full vigor of his powers, and was ao-oouated the ablest debater of bianaitjv The j stumped the State together, or nearly so ; making speeches usually on alternate days at each place, and each addressing large audiences at great length, sometimes fourhours together. Mr. Lincoln, in these elaborate speeches, evinced a thorough mastery of the principles of political economy which underlie the tariff question, and presented arguments in favor of the protective policy with a power and conclusiveness rarely equaled, and at the same time in a manner so lucid and familiar and so well interspersed with happy illustrations and apposite anecdotes, as to establish a reputation which he has never since failed to maintain, as the ablest leader in the Whig and Republican ranks in the great West. In 1846 he was elected to Congess, and served out his term, and would have been reelected had he not declined to be a candidate. He steadily and earnestly opposed the annexation of Texas, and labored with all his pow- ers in behalf of the Wilmot Proviso. In the National Convention of 1848, of which he 1 was a member, he advocated the nomination , of General Taylor, and sustained the nomination by an active canvass in Illinois and Indiana. From 1840 to 1854 Mr. Lincoln was engaged assiduously in the practice of his profession, and being deeply immersed in business, was beginning to lose his interest in politics, when the scheming ambition and groveling selfishness of an unscrupulous aspirant to the Presidency brought about the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. The act of baseness and perfidy aroused the sleeping lion, and he prepared for new efforts. He threw himself at once into the contest that followed, and fought the battle of freedom on the ground of his former conflicts in Illinois with more than his accustomed energy and zeal. Those who recoiled the tremendous battle fought in Illinois that year, will award to Abraham Lincoln fully three-fourths of the ability and unwearying labor which resulted in the mighty victory that gave Illinois her first republican legislature, and placed Lyman Trumbull in the Senate of the United States. The first and greatest debate of that year oamo off between- Lincoln and Douglas at Springfield, during the progress of the State Fair, in October. We remember the event as vividly as though it occurred yeBterday. , The affair came off on the fourth day of October, 1854. The State Fair had been in progress two days, and the capital was full of all manner of men. The Nebraska bill had been passed on the previous twenty-second of May. Mr. Douglas had returned to Illinois to meet an outraged constituency. He bad made a fragmentary speech in Chicago, the .people filling up each hiatus in a peculiar and good-humored way. lie called the people a mob they called him a rowdy. The " mob " had the best of it, both then and at the election which succeeded. Tho notoriety of all these events had stirred up the politics of the State from bottom to top. Hundreds of politicians had met at Springfield expecting a tournament of an unusual character Douglas Brecsc, Koerner, Lincoln, Trumbull, Mat-tcson, Yates, Codding, John Calhoun (of the order of the Candle Box,) John M. Palmer, the whole house of the McOonnells, Singleton, (known to fame in the Mormon War,) Thos. -L. Harris, and a host of others. Several speeches were made before, and several after, the passage between Lincoln and Douglas, but that was justly held to be the event of the season. During this exciting oampaign Mr. Linooln pressed the slavery issue upon the people of Central and Southern Illinois, who were largely made up of the emigration from Kentuoky, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, with all the power of his miOL He felt the foroa of the moral causes that must influence the question, and he never failed to appeal to tho moral sentiment of the people in aid of the argument drawn from political sources, and to illuminate his theme with the lofty inspiration of an eloquence pleading for the rights of humanity. A revolution swept the State. For the first time a majority of the Legislature of Illinois was opposed to the Democratic administration of the Federal Government. A United States Senator was to be elected in the place of Gencrul Shields who had yielded to the influenoe of his loss scrupulous colleague, and, against his own better judgment, had voted for the Kansas-Nebraska act. The election came on, and a number of ballots were taken, the almost united opposition voting steadily for Linooln, but the anti-Nebraska Democrats for Trumbull. Mr. Lincoln became apprehensive that those men who had been eleoted as Democrats, though opposed to Judge Douglas, would turn upon some third candidate, of less decided convictions than Judge Trumbull, and possibly elect a Senator who had little'or nothing in common with the then inchoate Republican party. To prevent such a consummation, he went personally to his friends, and by strong persuasions, induced them to vote for Trumbull. He thus secured by an act of generous self-saorifice, triumph for the cause of right, and an advocate of it on the floor of the Senate, not inferior, in earnest zeal for tho principles of Republicanism, to any member of that body. Some of his friends on the floor of the Legislature, wept like children when constrained by Mr. Linooin's personal appeals to desert him and unite on Trumbull. It is proper to say in this connection, that between Trumbull and Lincoln tho most cordial relations have always existed, and that the feeling of envy or rivalry is not to be found in cither. From his thorough convictions of the growing magnitudo oi the slave question and of the need of a strong effort to preserve the territories to freedom, Mr. Lincoln was among the first to join in the formation of the Republican party, although tbe publio opinion around him was strongly adverse to that movement. lie exerted himself for tho organization of the Republican forces in Illinois, and attended tbe first Republican Convention held in the state. This was in Bloomington in May, 1856. His speech in that Convention was of surprising power and eloquence, and produced great effect. In the contest of that year, Mr. Lincoln was at the head of the Illinois eleotoral ticket, and labored earnestly, though vainly, to wrest that state from the grasp of the pro-slavery Democracy, with tho " walking magazine of mischief," as Douglas has been appropriately called, at his head. We need not refer to the Great Campaign of 1858, so fresh in the recollection of all readers, farther than to subjoin tho result of the vote on members of the legislature, to wit ; For ABRAHAM LINCOLN For STEFHEN A. DOUGLAS 125,275. 121,1U0. By reason, however, of the flagrant apportionment of the State in Legislative Districts, , by whioh a majority of the members are always elected by a minority of the people, Mr. Douglas was, as is well known, returned to the Senate. In private life he is literally unimpeachable. Among all who know him his most acceptable and at the same time appropriate soubriquet, is that by which he is most widely .) known : - "HONEST OLD ABB." Mok Indian Outrages. The correspondent ; of the St Louis Republican reports Indian out-' rages in various parts of Arizona. A train of ' twenty-four mules with sugar, from Sonora, was uttacked by the Apaches and Captured, five persons being killed. All the mules at Ewell ; and Dragoon Springs stations on the overland mail route have also been stolen, and the route is without protection and liable to interruption. " Fort Fillmore is garrisoned with ten Hick men, ' and tbe commanding officer whs applied to foe xai fvoionteara but refuaed them. ' 4

Clipped from
  1. Aurora of the Valley,
  2. 23 Jun 1860, Sat,
  3. Page 1

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  • Pro-Lincoln biographical sketch from 1860

    staff_reporter – 14 Jun 2018

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