but he seemed to have lost that zealous interest in politics which characterized his earlier days.
He plodded on unaware of, and seemingly without ambition for, the great distinction that lay in store for him. John T. Stuart
that, as he and Lincoln
were returning from the court in Tazewell county
in 1850, and were nearing the little town of Dillon
, they engaged in a discussion of the political situation.
“As we were coming down the hill,” are Stuart
's words, “I said, ‘Lincoln
, the time is coming when we shall have to be all either Abolitionists or Democrats.’
He thought a moment and then answered, ruefully and emphatically, ‘When that time comes my mind is made up, for I believe the slavery question can never be successfully compromised.’
I responded with equal emphasis, ‘My mind is made up too.’
” Thus it was with Lincoln
But he was too slow to suit the impetuous demand of the few pronounced Abolitionists whom he met in his daily walks.
The sentiment of the majority in Springfield
tended in the other direction, and thus environed, Lincoln
lay down like the sleeping lion.
The future would yet arouse him. At that time I was an ardent Abolitionist in sentiment.
I used to warn Lincoln
against his apparent conservatism when the needs of the hour were so great; but his only answer would be, “Billy, you're ”