Abraham Lincoln eBook

George Haven Putnam
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 229 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln.
had been brought together to formulate opposition to any extension of slavery, and this Jackson platform did contain the substance of the conclusions and certain of the phrases which later were included in the Republican platform.  In January, 1856, Parke Godwin published in Putnam’s Monthly, of which he was political editor, an article outlining the necessary constitution of the new party.  This article gave a fuller expression than had thus far been made of the views of the men who were later accepted as the leaders of the Republican party.  In May, 1856, Lincoln made a speech at Bloomington, Illinois, setting forth the principles for the anti-slavery campaign as they were understood by his group of Whigs.  In this speech, Lincoln speaks of “that perfect liberty for which our Southern fellow-citizens are sighing, the liberty of making slaves of other people”; and again, “It is the contention of Mr. Douglas, in his claim for the rights of American citizens, that if A sees fit to enslave B, no other man shall have the right to object.”  Of this Bloomington speech, Herndon says:  “It was logic; it was pathos; it was enthusiasm; it was justice, integrity, truth, and right.  The words seemed to be set ablaze by the divine fires of a soul maddened by a great wrong.  The utterance was hard, knotty, gnarly, backed with wrath.”

From this time on, Lincoln was becoming known throughout the country as one of the leaders in the new issues, able and ready to give time and service to the anti-slavery fight and to the campaign work of the Republican organisation.  This political service interfered to some extent with his work at the Bar, but he did not permit political interests to stand in the way of any obligations that had been assumed to his clients.  He simply accepted fewer cases, and to this extent reduced his very moderate earnings.  In his work as a lawyer, he never showed any particular capacity for increasing income or for looking after his own business interests.  It was his principle and his practice to discourage litigation.  He appears, during the twenty-five years in which he was in active practice, to have made absolutely no enemies among his professional opponents.  He enjoyed an exceptional reputation for the frankness with which he would accept the legitimate contentions of his opponents or would even himself state their case.  Judge David Davis, before whom Lincoln had occasion during these years to practise, says that the Court was always prepared to accept as absolutely fair and substantially complete Lincoln’s statement of the matters at issue.  Davis says it occasionally happened that Lincoln would supply some consideration of importance on his opponent’s side of the case that the other counsel had overlooked.  It was Lincoln’s principle to impress upon himself at the outset the full strength of the other man’s position.  It was also his principle to accept no case in the justice of which he had not been able

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Abraham Lincoln from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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