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'Old

our good friend Lincoln, the candidate for the Presidency, was engaged. A young lady of that city, now the wife of a distinguished statesman, wrote a paragraph in a burlesque vein, for the Sangamon Journal, in which Gen. Shields was good humoredly ridiculed for his connection with some public measure. The General was greatly incensed, and demanded of the editor the name of the offending party. Old Sim' put him off with a request for twenty-four hours to consider the matter, and, shortly afterward meeting Lincoln, told him his perplexity. Tell him I wrote it,' said Lincoln; and tell him he did. After a deal of diplomacy to get a retraction of the offensive parts of the paragraph in question, Shields sent a challenge, which Lincoln accepted, named broadswords as the weapons, and an unfrequented, well-wooded island in the Mississippi, just below Alton, as the place. Abe' was first on the ground, and when Shields arrived he found his antagonist, his sword in one hand and a hatchet in the other, with his coat off, clearing away the underbrush! Before the preliminary arrangements were completed, John J. Hardin, who, somehow, had got wind of what was afloat, appeared on the scene, called them both d-d fools, and by his arguments, addressed to their common sense, and by his ridicule of the figure that they, two well-grown, bearded men, were making there, each with a frog-sticker in his hand, broke up the fight. We do not know how Gen. Shields feels, but we have heard of Lincoln's saying, that the acceptance of the challenge was the meanest thing he ever did in his life. Hardin-than whom a braver man never stood-never came out of that terrible charge at Buena Vista, to which he led the Second Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. If the events of his life passed in quick review before his mind, as he lay wounded and dying in that fatal ravine, we doubt not this act of his, by which he prevented two really brave men from engaging in fatal strife, was not the least of the consolations of that bitter hour."

"While the late Illinois State Republican Convention was in session, the Hon. Abraham Lincoln stepped in to witness the proceedings. His appearance was greeted with the utmost enthusiasm. He had hardly taken his seat when Mr. Oglesby of Decatur announced to the delegates that an old Democrat of Macon county, who had grown gray in the service of that party desired to make a contribution to the Convention, and the offer being accepted, forthwith two old-time fence rails, decorated with flags and streamers, were borne through the crowd into the Convention, bearing the inscription:

ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

The Rail Candidate

FOR PRESIDENT IN 1860.

Two rails from a lot of 3,000 made in 1830, by Thos. Hanks and Abe Lincoln-whose father was the first pioneer of Macon County.

"The effect was electrical. One spontaneous burst of applause went up from all parts of the wigwam,' which grew more and more deafening as it was prolonged, and which did not wholly subside for ten or fifteen minutes after. The cheers upon cheers which rent the air could have been heard all over the adjacent country. Of course 'Old Abe' was called out, and made an explanation of the matter. He stated that, some thirty years ago, then just emigrating to the State, he stopped with his mother's family, for one season, in what is now Macon county; that he built a cabin, split rails, and cultivated a small farm down on the Sangamon river, some six or eight miles from

Decatur. These, he was informed, were taken from that fence; but, whether they were or not, he had mauled many and many better ones since he had grown to manhood. The cheers were renewed with the same vigor when he concluded his remarks."

A Western Republican relates the following thrilling episode in the life of Mr. Lincoln: "Mr. Lincoln, or 'Old Abe,' as his friends familiarly call him, is a selfmade man. A Kentuckian by birth, he emigrated to Illinois in his boyhood, where he earned his living at the anvil, devoting his leisure hours to study. Having chosen the law as his future calling, he devoted himself assiduously to its mastery, contending at every step with adverse fortune. During this period of study, he for some time found a home under the hospitable roof of one Armstrong, a farmer, who lived in a log-house some eight miles from the village of Petersburg, Menard county. Here, clad in homespun, with elbows out, and knees covered with patches, young Lincoln would master his lessons by the firelight of the cabin, and then walk to town for the purpose of recitation. This man Armstrong was himself poor, but he saw the genius struggling in the young student, and opened to him his rude home, and bid him welcome to his coarse fare. How Lincoln graduated with promise, how he has more than fulfilled that promise, how honorably he acquitted himself alike on the battle-field, in defending our border settlements against the ravages of the savage foes, and in the halls of our national legislature, are matters of history, and need no repetition here. But one little incident of a more private nature, standing as it does as a sort of sequel to some things already

years

alluded to, I deem worthy of record. Some few since the oldest son of Mr. Lincoln's old friend Armstrong, the chief support of his widowed mother-the good old man having some time previously passed from earth—was arrested on the charge of murder. A young man had been killed during a riotous melee, in the night-time, at a camp-meeting, and one of his associates stated that the death-wound was inflicted by young Armstrong. A preliminary examination was gone into, at which the accuser testified so positively that there seemed no doubt of the guilt of the prisoner, and, therefore, he was held for trial. As is too often the case, the bloody act caused an undue degree of excitement in the public mind. Every improper incident in the life of the prisoner-each act which bore the least semblance to rowdyism-each school-boy quarrel —was suddenly remembered and magnified, until they pictured him as a fiend of the most horrid hue. As these rumors spread abroad, they were received as gospel truth, and a feverish desire for vengeance seized upon the infatuated populace, while only prison-bars prevented a horrible death at the hands of a mob. The events were heralded in the county papers, painted in the highest colors, accompanied by rejoicings over the certainty of punishment being meted out to the guilty party. The prisoner, overwhelmed by the circumstances under which he found himself placed, fell into a melancholy condition, bordering upon despair; and the widowed mother, looking through her tears, saw no cause for hope from earthly aid.

"At this juncture, the widow received a letter from Mr. Lincoln, volunteering his services in an effort to

save the youth from the impending stroke. Gladly was his aid accepted, although it seemed impossible for even his sagacity to prevail in such a desperate case; but the heart of the attorney was in his work, and he set about it with a will that knew no such word as fail. Feeling that the poisoned condition of the public mind was such as to preclude the possibility of impanelling an impartial jury in the court having jurisdiction, he procured a change of venue, and a postponement of the trial. He then went studiously to work unravelling the history of the case, and satisfied himself that his client was the victim of malice, and that the statement of the accuser was a tissue of falsehoods.

"When the trial was called on, the prisoner, pale and emaciated, with hopelessness written on every feature, and accompanied by his half-hoping, half-despairing mother—whose only hope was a mother's belief of her son's innocence, in the justice of the God she worshipped, and in the noble counsel, who, without hope of fee or reward upon earth, had undertaken the cause-took his seat in the prisoner's box, and with a 'stony firmness' listened to the reading of the indictment. Lincoln sat quietly by, while the large auditory looked on him as though wondering what he could say in defence of one whose guilt they regarded as certain. The examination of witnesses for the State was begun, and a well-arranged mass of evidence, circumstantial and positive, was introduced, which seemed to impale the prisoner beyond the possibility of extrication. The counsel for the defence propounded but few questions, and those of a character which excited no uneasiness on the part of the prosecutor-merely, in most cases, requir

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