crowd upon each other from this time forward the individuality of Lincoln
is easily lost sight of. He was so thoroughly interwoven in the issues before the people of Illinois
that he had become a part of them.
Among his colleagues at the bar he was no longer looked upon as the Circuit-Court lawyer of earlier days.
To them it seemed as if the nation were about to lay its claim upon him. His tall form enlarged, until, to use a figurative expression, he could no longer pass through the door of our dingy office.
Reference has already been made to the envy of his rivals at the bar, and the jealousy of his political contemporaries.
Very few indeed were free from the degrading passion; but it made no difference in Lincoln
's treatment of them.
He was as generous and deferred to them as much as ever.
The first public movement by the Illinois
people in his interest was the action of the State convention, which met at Decatur
on the 9th and 10th of May.
It was at this convention that Lincoln
's friend and cousin, John Hanks
, brought in the two historic rails which both had made in the Sangamon bottom
in 1830, and which served the double purpose of electrifying the Illinois
people and kindling the fire of enthusiasm that was destined to sweep over the nation.
In the words of an ardent Lincoln
“These rails were to represent the issue in the coming contest between labor free and labor slave; between democracy and aristocracy.
Little did I think,” continues our jubilant and effusive friend, “of the mighty consequences of this little incident; little did I think that the tall, and angular, and bony ”