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[283] committing what I believed to be political suicide. June 22d he answered a letter I had written him on the 15th. He had just returned from a Whig caucus held in relation to the coming Presidential election. “The whole field of the nation was scanned; all is high hope and confidence,” he said exultingly. “Illinois is expected to better her condition in this race. Under these circumstances judge how hear-trending it was to come to my room and find and read your discouraging letter of the 15th.” But still he does not despair. “Now, as to the young men,” he says, “you must not wait to be brought forward by the older men. For instance, do you suppose that I should ever have got into notice if I had waited to be hunted up and pushed forward by older men? You young men get together and form a Rough and Ready club, and have regular meetings and speeches. Take in everybody that you can get . . . As you go along gather up all the shrewd, wild boys about town, whether just of age or a little under age. Let every one play the part he can play best — some speak, some sing, and all halloo. Your meetings will be of evenings; the older men and the women will go to hear you, so that it will not only contribute to the election of ‘Old Zack,’ but will be an interesting pastime and improving to the faculties of all engaged.” He was evidently endeavoring through me to rouse up all the enthusiasm among the youth of Springfield possible under the circumstances. But I was disposed to take a dispirited view of the situation, and therefore was not easily warmed up. I felt at this time,

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