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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History Volume 02.
proposed to form a campaign club of fifty torch-bearers with glazed caps and oil-cloth capes instead of cambric; the torch-bearing club to be “auxiliary to the Young Men’s Republican Union.”  A meeting to organize formally was appointed for March 6; but before the new uniforms were all ready, Abraham Lincoln addressed a meeting in Hartford on the evening of March 5.  After his speech, the cape-wearers of the previous meeting with a number of others who had secured their uniforms escorted Mr. Lincoln to the hotel.

The club was definitely organized on the following night.  William P. Fuller, city editor, had, in noticing this meeting for organization, written in the “Courant” of March 3:  “THE WIDE AWAKES.—­The Republican club-room last evening was filled as usual with those who are going to partake in the great Republican triumph, in this State in April next,” etc., etc.  The name “Wide Awakes” was here applied to the Republican Young Men’s Union, torch-bearers included; but at the meeting of March 6, the torch-bearers appropriated it by making it the distinctive title to their own special organization, which almost immediately, there as elsewhere, swallowed up the names and the memberships of other Republican clubs.  Just one year after they escorted Mr. Lincoln in their first parade, he was inaugurated President of the United States.

[4] “I will give you my opinion as to fusion.  I think that every man [sic] who believes that slavery ought to be banished from the halls of Congress, and remanded to the people of the Territories subject to the Constitution, ought to fuse and act together; but that no Democrat can, without dishonor, and forfeiture of self-respect and principle, fuse with anybody who is in favor of intervention, either for slavery or against slavery.  Lincoln and Breckinridge might fuse, for they agree in principle.  I can never fuse with either of them, because I differ from both.  I am in favor of all men acting together who are opposed to this slavery agitation, and in favor of banishing it from Congress forever; but as Democrats we can never fuse, either with Northern abolitionists, or Southern bolters and secessionists.”—­Douglas, Speech at Erie, Penn., New York “Tribune,” October 3, 1860, p. 4.

[5] The vote in Pennsylvania stood:  Lincoln, 268,030; Breckinridge (nominally), 178,871; Douglas, 16,765; Bell, 12,776.

CHAPTER XVII

BEGINNINGS OF REBELLION

Disunion was not a fungus of recent growth in American politics.  Talk of disunion, threats of disunion, accusations of intentions of disunion, lie scattered rather plentifully through the political literature of the country from the very formation of the Government.  In fact, the present Constitution of the United States was strenuously opposed by large political factions, and, it may almost be said, succeeded by only a hair’s-breadth. 

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