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[98] that, by this time many of them had reached that state of mind in which they wanted a pretext for secession from the Union. Lincoln's election would give them that pretext while Douglas's would not.

On a boat that carried a portion of the audience, including the writer, from Alton to St. Louis, after the debate was over, was a prominent Missouri Democrat, afterwards a Confederate leader, who expressed himself very freely. He declared that he would rather trust the institutions of the South to the hands of a conservative and honest man like “Old Abe,” than to those of “a political jumping-jack like Douglas.” The most of the other Southern men and slaveholders present seemed to concur in his views.

It is a fact that a good many of the Anti-Slavery leaders living outside of Illinois, and a good many of those living within it, wanted the Republicans of that State to let Douglas go back to the Senate without a contest, believing that he would be far more useful to them there than a Republican would be. It is not improbable that enough of the Illinois Republicans took that view of the matter, and helped to give Douglas the victory in what was a very close contest.

A portion of Douglas's speech was a spirited defense of his “squatter sovereignty” doctrine against the denunciations of members of his own political party, in the course of which he gave President Buchanan a savage overhauling. It showed him to be a master of invective.

“Go it, husband; go it, bear,” was Mr. Lincoln's comment on that part of Douglas's address.

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