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1 Horace Greeley was one of the most vigilant men during the debate. He wrote to Lincoln and me many letters which I still retain. In a letter to me during the campaign, October 6. he says with reference to Douglas: “In his present position I could not of course support him, but he need not have been in this position had the Republicans of Illinois been as wise and far-seeing as they are earnest and true. . . . but seeing things are as they are, I do not wish to be quoted as authority for making trouble and division among our friends.” Soon after hearing of the result of November election he again writes: “I advise you privately that Mr. Douglas would be the strongest candidate that the Democratic party could present for President; but they will not present him. ‘The old leaders wouldn't endorse it. As he is doomed to be slaughtered at Charleston it is good policy to fatten him meantime. He will cut up the better at killing time.’ ” An inquiry for his preference as to Presidential timber elicited this response, December 4th. “As to President, my present judgment is Edward Bates, with John M. Read for Vice; but I am willing to go anything that looks strong. I don't wish to load the team heavier than it will pull through. As to Douglas, he is like the man's boy who (he said) ‘didn't weigh so much as he expected, and he always knew he wouldn't.’ I never thought him very sound coin; but I didn't think it best to beat him on the back of his anti-Lecompton fight, and I am still of that opinion.”
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