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[393] assure Mr. Lincoln that Douglas did not mean to join the Republican party, however great the breach between himself and the administration might be. “We Republicans here,” he said exultingly in another letter to Lincoln, “are in good spirits, and are standing back to let the fight go on between Douglas and his former associates. Lincoln will lose nothing by this if he can keep the attention of our Illinois people from being diverted from the great and vital question of the day to the minor and temporary issues which are now being discussed.” 1 In Washington I saw also Seward, Wilson, and others of equal prominence. Douglas was confined to his house by illness, but on receiving my card he directed me to be shown up to his room. We had a pleasant and interesting interview. Of course the conversation soon turned on Lincoln. In answer to an inquiry regarding the latter I remarked that Lincoln was pursuing the even tenor of his way. “He is not in anybody's way,” I contended, “not even in yours, Judge Douglas.” He was sitting up in a chair smoking a cigar. Between puffs he responded that neither was he in the way of Lincoln or any one else, and did not intend to invite conflict. He conceived that he had achieved what he had set out to do, and hence did not feel that his course need put him in opposition to Mr. Lincoln or his party. “Give Mr. Lincoln my regards,” he said, rather warmly, “when you return, and tell him I have crossed the river and ”

1 Letter, December 27, 1857, Ms.

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