“We were not only noted,” says one1
of them, “for our number and length, but for our combined influence.
All the bad or objectional laws passed at that session of the Legislature and for many years afterwards were chargeable to the management and influence of the ‘Long Nine.’
” It is not my purpose to enter into a detailed account of legislation at this period or to rehearse the history of the political conditions.
Many and ingenious were the manoeuvres, but it would fill page after page to narrate them.
One thing which deserves mention in passing was “that Yankee contrivance,” the convention system, which for the first time was brought into use. The Democrats, in obedience to the behests of Jackson
, had adopted it, and, singularly enough, among the very first named for office under the operation of the new system was Stephen A. Douglas
, who was elected to the Legislature from Morgan county
Its introduction was attributed to Ebenezer Peck
, of Chicago
, a Democrat who had once, it was said, served in the Canadian Parliament.
This latter supposed connection with a monarchical institution was sufficient to bring down on his head the united hostility of the Whigs
, a feeling in which even Lincoln
But after witnessing for a time the wonderful effects of its discipline in Democratic ranks, the Whigs
too fell in, and resorted to the use of the improved machinery.
The Legislature of which Mr. Lincoln