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[399] only for that campaign.1 Now, however, the situation had changed somewhat. There had been a shifting of scenes, so to speak. The Republican party had gained some in strength and more in moral effectiveness and force. Nothing could keep back in Lincoln any longer, sentiments of right and truth, and he prepared to give the fullest expression to both in all future contests.

Before delivering his speech he invited a dozen or so of his friends over to the library of the State House, where he read and submitted it to them. After the reading he asked each man for his opinion. Some condemned and not one endorsed it. One man, more forcible than elegant, characterized it as a “d-d fool utterance;” another said the doctrine was “ahead of its time;” and still another contended that it would drive away a good many voters fresh from the Democrats ranks. Each man attacked it in his criticism. I was the last to respond. Although the doctrine announced was

1 “After the meeting was over Mr. Lincoln and I returned to the Pike House, where we occupied the same room. Immediately on reaching the room I said to him, ‘What in God's name could induce you to promulgate such an opinion?’ He replied familiarly, ‘Upon my soul, Dickey, I think it is true.’ I reasoned to show it was not a correct opinion. He argued strenuously that the opinion was a sound one. At length I said, ‘Suppose you are right, that our Government cannot last part free and part slave, what good is to be accomplished by inculcating that opinion (or truth, if you please) in the minds of the people?’ After some minutes reflection he rose and approached me, extending his right hand to take mine, and said, ‘From respect for you Judgment, Dickey, I'll promise you I won't teach the doctrine again during this campaign.’ ” --Letter, T. Lyle Dickey, Ms., December 8, 1866.

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