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THE LINCOLN HOME IN ILLINOIS, Where the 3,000 Rails were Split.

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"the alarm of the fire-bell at night" which startled Mr. Lincoln in the repose of his private life, and showed that the incendiary had but too successfully been at his work. The solemn pledge of peace had been violated by the very men who were most forward in making it, and most noisy in their professions of a desire that the slavery conflict should cease. This new agitating movement, not only unsettling all the more recent stipulations made for the sake of peace, but even going back to destroy the only condition yet assailable, of the Compromise of 1820, and that the very portion which was agreed on as a consideration to the free States, was led by the ambitious politician of Illinois, Stephen A. Douglas. Not only had Senator Douglas committed himself as fully as any man could do to the maintenance of peace on this question, after the compromise of 1850, but he had, a year previous, called down vengeance upon the hand that would dare disturb the time-honored Missouri compact-that settlement which secured freedom "forever" to the soil embraced within the limits of Kansas and Nebraska. Yet the first hand raised for the commission of this incalculable wrong was his own! Douglas himself reported the act which violated that compact, and which opened the new territories to slavery (professedly, not really, at the option of the people), contrary to the spirit of all the early legislation, and to the hitherto uniform course of the Government. Even he himself had recently voted for the Wilmot Proviso as applied to the territory acquired from Mexico, and Mr. Polk had approved the Oregon bill, containing the same restriction. Never was there more universal indignation among the people of the North, and many of the more sagacious statesmen of the South clearly foresaw the mischiefs that were to follow from this sacrilege. Yet strange to say, this measure sundered and broke up the Whig party forever, through the action of a large portion of the Southern Whig Congressmen, in joining the Democracy in this act of bad faith, for the sake of supposed sectional advantage. The most intense excitement prevailed throughout the country, and the destruction of the old party lines was effectually accomplished.

These events called forth Mr. Lincoln once more to do battle for the right. He entered into the canvass of 1854, as one of the most active leaders of the "Anti-Nebraska" movement. He addressed the people repeatedly from the stump, with all his characteristic earnestness and energy. He met and cowed the author of the "Nebraska iniquity," in the presence of the masses, and powerfully aided in effecting the remarkable political changes of that year in Illinois.

The incendiary act had come to the final vote, in the Senate, on the 26th day of May. About the first of August, Congress adjourned. Douglas lingered by the way on his return to his constituents, and reached Chicago near the close of that month. Here he met a storm of indignation from the people whom, for manifesting their disapprobation of his conduct, he complacently termed a "mob." He had proposed to speak in selfvindication, on the evening of the first day of September. He was received with the most decisive demonstrations of popular indignation, which he attempted to face down with an uncompromising insolence of manner, that only tended to increase the excitement against him. After long perseverance in an attempt to compel a hearing, he was forced to succumb. All over the State he early discovered the same state of feeling existing among a large portion of his constituents, although there was no refusal to hear him, except in this first unlucky effort to defy and silence a crowd by bullying deportment. The popular rage gradually subsided, but the deliberate sentiment of the people of Illinois on this subject was rather confirmed and strengthened in succeeding years. From commanding a large majority of the popular vote, as he had done previously, his strength dwindled away, until from that time on, he and the party that sustained him, were in a positive minority in the State. The reader can judge how much this, to him, painful truth, had to do with the change of policy adopted by him, in opposing the Lecompton Constitution, the legitimate fruit of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and substantially approved by him in advance, in a speech made in Springfield, in 1857.

Mr. Douglas visited several parts of the State, vainly attempt

ing, by ingenious but sophistical addresses to the people to avert the impending revolution. Mr. Lincoln met him in debate at Springfield, during the time of the State Fair, early in October, 1854, and the encounter was a memorable one in the great campaign then in progress. They met a few days later at Peoria, where Mr. Douglas had no better fortune. Subsequently to that encounter, he showed a decided preference for speaking at other times and places than Mr. Lincoln did.

The Anti-Nebraska organization, formed at Springfield in October of that year, and embracing men of all parties opposed to the ill-judged measures which had introduced the most violent agitation in regard to slavery ever known in the country, was the beginning from which the Republican party in Illinois. was to be matured. Among the resolutions at that time adopted, after setting forth in a preamble that a majority of Congress had deliberately and wantonly re-opened the controversy respecting the extension of slavery under our national jurisdiction, which a majority of the people had understood to be closed forever by the successive compromises of 1820 and 1850, were the following:

Resolved, That the doctrine affirmed by the Nebraska Bill, and gilded over by its advocates, with the specious phrases of non-intervention and popular sovereignty, is really and clearly a complete surrender of all the ground hitherto asserted and maintained by the Federal Government, with respect to the limitation of slavery, is a plain confession of the right of the slaveholder to transfer his human chattels to any part of the public domain, and there hold them as slaves as long as inclination or interest may dictate; and that this is an attempt totally to reverse the doctrine hitherto uniformly held by statesmen and jurists, that slavery is the creature of local and State law, and to make it a national institution.

Resolved, That as freedom is national, and slavery sectional and local, the absence of all law upon the subject of slavery presumes the existence of a state of freedom alone, while slavery exists only by virtue of positive law.

Resolved, That we heartily approve the course of the freemen of Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, New York, Michigan and Maine, postponing or disregarding their minor differences of opinion or preferences, and acting together cordially and trustingly in the same cause of freedom,

of free labor, and free soil, and we commend their spirit to the freemen of this and other States, exhorting each to renounce his party whenever and wherever that party proves unfaithful to human freedom.

In behalf of these principles, Mr. Lincoln had already taken the stump, and for them he did valiant service in various parts of the State.

This new party was organized late in the season, and the canvass for Treasurer, the only State officer to be elected, was but imperfectly made. In some parts of the State, there was even no distribution of tickets containing the name of this candidate. The result, even under these unfavorable circumstances, and in spite of the overwhelming Democratic preponderance during the previous twenty-five years, was extremely close, and for a long time doubtful. The Democratic candidate barely escaped defeat. This was the last election in which the party sustaining Douglas has had even the appearance of a majority in Illinois. The revolution was now substantially accomplished. From that day to the present, the Republican party has been steadily gaining in strength, and that opposed to it sinking more and more into a hopeless minority. Even the temporary reaction, under the Anti-Lecompton flag, was more apparent than real.

Of the nine Congressional Districts, the Opposition now, for the first time, carried a majority, electing five members, and the Democrats four. The Legislature would have been completely revolutionized, in both branches, with little doubt, but for the large number of Democrats "holding over," as members of the new Senate. In the House, the Anti-Nebraska representatives numbered forty, and the Democratic thirtyfive. In the Senate, there were seventeen elected as Democrats, and eight as Opposition men. Of the former, however, there were three, elected two years previously, who repudiated Douglas and his policy, and inclined to the Opposition. These were Norman B. Judd, J. M. Palmer, and B. C. Cook. Reckoning these with the Anti-Nebraska side, the Senate stood, Opposition eleven, Democrats fourteen-leaving a

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