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[387] A town committee invited him to come during “our Equestrian Fair on the 9th, 10th, and 11th,” evidently anticipating a three days siege. An enthusiastic officer in a neighboring town urges him: “Come to our place, because in you do our people place more confidence than in any other man. Men who do not read want the story told as you only can tell it. Others may make fine speeches, but it would not be ‘Lincoln said so in his speech.’ ” A jubilant friend in Chicago writes: “Push on the column of freedom. Give the Buck Africans plenty to do in Egypt. The hour of our redemption draweth nigh. We are coming to Springfield with 20,000 majority!” A postmaster, acting under the courage of his convictions, implores him to visit his neighborhood. “The Democrats here,” he insists, “are dyed in the wool. Thunder and lightning would not change their political complexion. I am postmaster here,” he adds, confidentially, “for which reason I must ask you to keep this private, for if old Frank (President Pierce) were to hear of my support of Fremont I would get my walking papers sure enough.” A settlement of Germans in southern Indiana asked to hear him; and the president of a college, in an invitation to address the students under his charge, characterizes him as “one providentially raised up for a time like this, and even should defeat come in the contest, it would be some consolation to remember we had Hector for a leader.”

And thus it was everywhere, Lincoln's importance in the conduct of the campaign was

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