well informed of matters in the Conservative editorial room.
One day I read in the Richmond Enquirer
an article endorsing slavery, and arguing that from principle the enslavement of either whites or blacks was justifiable and right.
I showed it to Lincoln
, who remarked that it was “rather rank doctrine for Northern Democrats to endorse.
I should like to see,” he said, with emphasis, “some of these Illinois
newspapers champion that.”
I told him if he would only wait and keep his own counsel I would have a pro-slavery organ in Springfield
publish that very article.
He doubted it, but when I told him how it was to be done he laughed and said, “Go in.”
I cut the slip out and succeeded in getting it in the paper named.
Of course it was a trick, but it acted admirably.
Its appearance in the new organ, although without comment, almost ruined that valuable journal, and my good-natured friend the editor was nearly overcome by the denunciation of those who were responsible for the organ's existence.
My connection, and Lincoln
's too,--for he endorsed the trick,--with the publication of the condemned article was eventually discovered, and we were thereafter effectually prevented from getting another line in the paper.
The anti-slavery people quoted the article as having been endorsed by a Democratic newspaper in Springfield
, and Lincoln
himself used it with telling effect.
He joined in the popular denunciation, expressing great astonishment that such a sentiment could find lodgement in any paper in Illinois