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[147] greatest political geniuses and one of the most beautiful characters that ever lived; and he managed somehow to be intellectually honest and very nearly frank while fulfilling his mission. Yet I can never read his debates with Douglas or consider his Border-State policy without being struck by the technical nature of all our history. One of Lincoln's chief interests in life, from early manhood onward, lay in emancipation. This he could not say and remain in politics; nay, he could not think it and remain in politics. He could not quite know himself and yet remain in politics. The awful weight of a creed that was never quite true — the creed of the Constitution --pressed down upon the intellects of our public men. This was the dower and curse of slavery.

The value of the epoch during which the curse was cast off is that, in reading about it, we can see thought move, and can find ourselves in sympathy with all shades of reform. Let us take an example at random, as one might take a drop of water for a sample of the ocean. In the dawn of the Abolition movement its adherents in New York State, who were responsible, educated and propertied persons,

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