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“ [382] feeling so prompt me; and I am under no obligations to the contrary. If for this you and I must differ, differ we must.”

Finding himself drifting about with the disorganized elements that floated together after the angry politicial waters had subsided, it became apparent to Lincoln that if he expected to figure as a leader he must take a stand himself. Mere hatred of slavery and opposition to the injustice of the Kansas-Nebraska legislation were not all that were required of him. He must be a Democrat, Know-Nothing, Abolitionist, or Republican, or forever float about in the great political sea without compass, rudder, or sail. At length he declared himself. Believing the times were ripe for more advanced movements, in the spring of 1856 I drew up a paper for the friends of freedom to sign, calling a county convention in Springfield to select delegates for the forthcoming Republican State convention in Bloomington. The paper was freely circulated and generously signed. Lincoln was absent at the time and, believing I knew what his “feeling and judgment” on the vital questions of the hour were, I took the liberty to sign his name to the call. The whole was then published in the Springfield Journal. No sooner had it appeared than John T. Stuart, who, with others, was endeavoring to retard Lincoln in his advanced movements, rushed into the office and excitedly asked it “Lincoln had signed the Abolition call in the Journal?” i answered in the negative, adding that I had signed his name myself. To the question, “Did Lincoln authorize you to ”

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