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[413] at last came to an end. The election took place on the second of November, and while Lincoln received of the popular vote a majority of over four thousand, yet the returns from the legislative districts foreshadowed his defeat. In fact, when the Senatorial election took place in the Legislature, Douglas received fifty four and Lincoln forty-six votes--one of the results of the lamentable apportionment law then in operation.1

The letters of Lincoln at this period are the best evidence of his feelings now obtainable, and of how he accepted his defeat. To Henry Asbury, a friend who had written him a cheerful letter

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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