for their contestants.
They made a bold fight for Springfield
, intrusting the management of the bill to Lincoln
The friends of other cities fought Springfield
bitterly, but under Lincoln
's leadership the Long
Nine contested with them every inch of the way. The struggle was warm and protracted.
“Its enemies,” relates one of Lincoln
“laid it on the table twice.
In those darkest hours when our bill to all appearances was beyond resuscitation, and all our opponents were jubilant over our defeat, and when friends could see no hope, Mr. Lincoln
never for one moment despaired; but collecting his colleagues to his room for consultation, his practical common-sense, his thorough knowledge of human nature, then made him an overmatch for his compeers and for any man that I have ever known.”
The friends of the bill at last surmounted all obstacles, and only a day or two before the close of the session secured its passage by a joint vote of both houses.
Meanwhile the great agitation against human slavery, which like a rare plant had flourished amid the hills of New England
in luxuriant growth, began to make its appearance in the West
Missionaries in the great cause of human liberty were settling everywhere.
Taunts, jeers, ridicule, persecution, assassination even, were destined to prove ineffectual in the effort to suppress or exterminate these pioneers of Abolitionism.
These brave but derided apostles carried with them the seed of a