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ADDRESS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

TO THE CITIZENS OF SPRINGFIELD, ON HIS DEPARTURE FOR WASHINGTON, FEBRUARY 11TH, 1861.

My Friends:

I am.

No one, not in my position, can appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that Here I have lived more than a quarter of a cen tury; here my children were born, and here one of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me which is, perhaps, greater than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington. He never would have suc ceeded except by the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same Divine aid which sustained him, and on the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for support; and I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain. Again I bid you an affectionate farewell.

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JOSHUA F. SPEED.

143

IN

N 1834, I was a citizen of Springfield, Sangamon Co., Illinois. Mr. Lincoln lived in the country, fourteen miles from the town. He was a laborer, and a deputy surveyor, and at the same time a member of the legislature, elected the year previous. In 1835, he was a candidate for re-election. I had not seen him for the first six months of my residence there, but had heard him spoken of as a man of wonderful ability on the stump. He was a long, gawky, ugly, shapeless man. He had never spoken, as far as I know of, at the county seat, during his first candidacy. The second time he was a candidate, he had already made, in the legislature, considerable reputation; and on his renomination to the legislature, advertised to meet his opponents, and speak in Springfield, on a given day. I believe that that was the first public speech he ever made at the court-house. He was never ashamed, so far as I know, to admit his ignorance uqon any subject, or of the meaning of any word, no matter how ridiculous it might make him appear. As he was riding into town the evening before the speech, he passed the handsomest house in the village, which had just been built by Geo. Farquer; upon it he had placed a lightning-rod, the only one in the town or county. Some ten or twelve young men were riding with They

Lincoln. He asked them what that rod was for. told him it was to keep off the lightning.

"How does it

do it?" he asked; none of them could tell. He rode into

town, bought a book on the properties of lightning, and before morning knew all about it. When he was ignorant on any subject, he addressed himself to the task of being ignorant no longer. On this occasion, a large number of citizens came from a distance to hear him speak. He had very able opponents. I stood near him and heard the speech. I was fresh from Kentucky then, and had heard most of her great orators.

It struck

me then, as it seems to me now, that I never heard a more effective speaker. All the party weapons of offense and defense seemed to be entirely under his control. The large crowd seemed to be swayed by him as he pleased. He was a Whig, and quite a number of candidates were associated with him on the Whig ticket; seven, I think, in number; there were seven Democrats opposed to them. The debate was a joint one, and Lincoln was appointed to close it, which he did as I have heretofore described, in a most masterly style. The people commenced leaving the court-house, when Geo. Farquer, a man of much celebrity in the State, rose, and asked the people to hear him. He was not a candidate, but was a man of talents, and of great State notoriety. as a speaker. He commenced his speech by turning to Lincoln and saying, "This young man will have to be taken down; and I am truly sorry that the task devolves upon me." He then proceeded in a vein of irony, sarcasm, and wit, to ridicule Lincoln in every way that he could. Lincoln stood, not more than ten feet from him, with folded arms, and an eye flashing fire, and listened attentively to him, without ever interrupting him Lincoln then took the stand for reply. He was pale and

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