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Chapter 3:

  • “Court week” at Murphysboro
  • -- aiding my husband in legal routine -- eminent practitioners -- Belligerence of litigants -- characteristic cases — presidential campaign of 1856 -- joint discussions -- Democratic party largely in the majority -- Douglas and popular Sovereignty -- the Lincoln -- Douglas campaign of 1858 -- my husband elected to the legislature -- Mrs. Douglas -- Lincoln as seen by an opponent -- Douglas's strong speech at Clinton -- Lincoln's illness -- Mr. Logan's political views modified by Lincoln's Logic -- a Republican after Sumter.

It was while spending “court week” at Murphysboro that I discovered I could write the blanks for indictments from those the prosecuting attorney had prepared for criminal offences: viz., for selling liquor without license, gambling, assault and battery, petty larceny, and other violations of the law. There were no such things as printed blanks like those used to-day. Everything had to be written out with pen and ink — a quill pen being generally used. I had worked in the general land office for my father, and knew something about business matters. As I had nothing to do while my husband was in court, and he had to write out these night, after the foreman of the grand jury reported them to him, it occurred to me that it would be easy to write out a number of each kind, thus relieving my husband of the mechanical drudgery of writing them at night. Being a swift writer, I prepared a number one day, leaving a blank space for the insertion of the name of the unfortunate offender. Albeit more than fifty years have come and gone, I recall with [51] warm emotion the gratification I experienced when, after timidly submitting them to the prosecuting attorney, he pronounced them well done, and declared they would be of valuable service to him. It did not take him long to insert the names, and his work was ready for the next morning.

I was deeply interested in every case my husband had in court, and spent many hours reading law-reports and authorities, and marking decisions which bore upon those he might have to argue. I cut slips of paper, wrote across them the point made, and marked the most important paragraphs, which enabled him to get at the pith of the case without having to read pages of irrelevant matter. Through his experience as prosecuting attorney criminal law became a passion with John A. Logan, his practice and fame multiplying continually, until he was probably the most conspicuous lawyer south of Springfield in 1860.

As in all comparatively new States, Illinois had her share of litigations which attracted many of the brightest lawyers of the whole country. Among many others were Judge Sydney Breeze, Hon. Walter P. Scates, Hon. W. A. Denning, Judge James Shields, Hon. S. S. Marshall, Hon. W. K. Parish, General John A. McClernand, Hon. Lloyd Posey, Hon. W. J. Alien, Hon. John A. Logan, and Hon. John Doherty. Twice each year spring and fall terms of the court were held in the county-seat of each of the counties composing the judicial districts. The sessions of the courts were great events. For days before extensive preparations for the entertainment of the people attendant upon the courts were made by private citizens and the landlords of the little taverns. The entertainment of the lawyers of the circuit was a matter of much importance, and nothing was spared that would contribute to their comfort.

Friends and tavern-keepers were each eager to have the judge and the lawyers at their board, that they might be regaled by the good stories that were told, and the brilliant [52] repartee in which they indulged over the high-noon dinner — the court adjourning one hour for this purpose. Not infrequently the best points have been made in important cases during this hour, when all joined in the most unreserved discussion of matters of litigation, politics, religion-everything that is liable to arise in the scope of social conversation, the judge laying aside the dignity of his office and entering freely into the colloquies. Attorneys felt at liberty to put in many points which would profit their clients, and which were, without seeming to be so, matters of special pleading. Sometimes most amusing incidents occurred, betraying the tact and sagacity of brilliant men in legal sallies. Some of the most noted cases in criminal practice have been tried in these courts. The eloquence of the lawyers of the day has saved from execution many desperate criminals.

On one occasion, when Mr. Logan was defending a young man being tried for murder, a lamb that had strayed from the fold was chased by dogs into the park that encircled the court-house. In its fright and endeavors to elude its pursuers, it ran into the court-room, down the middle aisle of the crowded room, and lay down at the judge's feet. Quick as a flash Mr. Logan paused in his pleading and seized upon the incident to the profit of his bitterly prosecuted client, insisting that the innocent lamb had come to offer itself as a sacrifice to save the life of the unfortunate prisoner. His touching appeal so impressed the jury that the young man was acquitted, while the judge announced the verdict in open court, betraying much emotion, the whole audience and the prisoner weeping like children.

In the evening lawyers, judges, and citizens congregated together, sometimes to play poker, sometimes to smoke and talk; discussing always every phase of the politics of the day. It was a curious fact that the men of that time were, without exception, thoroughly posted on political questions, and while perhaps very partisan, they knew all about political [53] affairs, and espoused one side or the other with enthusiasm. An “independent” was unknown, and our modern “third-party men” would have had little encouragement from these intensely earnest people, whose politics were as much a part of their faith as their religion. Sometimes they carried their intensity so far that they came to blows over questions or individuals whom equally earnest opponents were espousing. On such occasions men fought each other like tigers: pounding, biting, cutting, and sometimes shooting each other fatally. Duelling was never recognized in Illinois, as it was farther south, but the equally barbarous practice of assaulting each other with knives, bludgeons, brickbats, pound weights, and any instrument of destruction at hand was freely indulged in. There was seldom a term of the court when there was not a murder case on the docket and always cases of assault and battery.

The judges and lawyers were obliged to travel in buggies or stages from one place of holding court to another, and any overland conveyance which they could obtain was gladly used. The distance was always from twenty-five to fifty miles, over the worst of roads, through the wind and rain of the spring and the bitter blasts of the fall and winter. My husband always insisted upon my accompanying him whenever it was possible. The taverns were invariably small and poorly furnished.

The court-rooms were circumscribed and densely crowded with people who looked upon the terms of court as their one opportunity to hear the arguments in litigation and the often eloquent speeches of the attorneys, together with the political discussions that usually occupied some hour during court week. Everybody's affairs were talked of. All the gossip of the country was retailed to the visitors who attended court. It was a luxury to the many who seldom saw newspapers and the monotony of whose lives was only relieved by these occasional recreations. [54]

We remember how some of the lawyers were obliged to carry their law-books from court to court, as they could not depend upon finding authorities in every town. Law libraries were few and incomplete. One lawyer always carried a green-baize bag, in which were the books he was constantly quoting when he had a case. He would bring the bag into court every morning, and lay it on the bench or a table beside him, to show that he was well fortified. He was an Irishman, and would parry with his Irish wit the fun poked at him by his brother lawyers, always concluding with: “I've the authorities with me, will ye mind that, my fellows?” Many of the cases were most amusing and difficult of adjustment, as, for instance: a Mr. B, Sr., married the daughter of a widow who had property. His son, Mr. B, Jr., married his wife's mother; that is, he married the mother of his stepmother. Both mother and daughter had children, and got into litigation to establish the relationship of these children, their inheritance, and the division of the property. The father being son-in-law to his own son, his son's wife being his mother-in-law, and at the same time his daughter-in-law, while the father's young children were half brothers and sisters to their grandfather. The son's children were his grandchildren, and also his brothers and sisters in law, because they were his wife's half brothers and sisters. For years this case was on the docket. Argument after argument was heard by judge and jury without deciding the status of this much-mixed-up family, until the residue of the estate was absorbed by costs and attorneys' fees.

The digging and delving into facts and authorities, together with the earnest work that was unavoidable to attain success in any case, wonderfully developed these naturally able men. As a result, a galaxy of illustrious men were produced who have made an impress upon the nation as well as the State. The scene of Mr. Lincoln's early career was farther north in Illinois. The central and northern part of the State [55] had its own bar of remarkable men whom I knew in later days.

The presidential campaign of 1856 was one of intense interest, far in excess of that of any preceding campaign. The Kansas and Nebraska trouble had brought out most conspicuously the subtlety of the slaveholder of the South and the no-longer-to-be-concealed fact that, in order to extend slavery into the Territories and to perpetuate that institution, they would not hesitate to overthrow every opposition, even to the destruction of the government and the disruption of the union of the States. Scarcely a man in southern Illinois was so ignorant as not to think he knew all about the important principles involved in the contest, and thought it was necessary for him to be on hand on all occasions when political affairs were discussed or in any way under consideration. Hence, at all public gatherings and meetings multitudes assembled, men and women flocking to a political demonstration as they would to a camp-meeting or to a circus. Before the hour for speaking or joint discussions these occasions were enlivened by processions led by bands of music, when often unique banners and devices were displayed. Among these, not infrequently, was a pyramid of seats arranged on long wagons, upon which would be seated young girls representing every State in the Union. The girls were dressed in white with red, white, and blue ribbons flying from their waists and shoulders. A goddess of liberty was placed in the centre. Her robe was made of the flag; red and white stripes in the skirt and a waist of blue studded with stars of gold or silver, while in her hand she carried a flag or sceptre, thus impersonating Columbia. These spectacles awakened the wildest enthusiasm, and the people became so absorbed that the girl representing a State immediately became its champion, together with all its interests and “isms,” whatever they happened to be. Heated controversies often arose between Massachusetts and South Carolina before the fair [56] representatives had laid aside the printed name of the States they represented.

Barbecues which would have done credit to the feasts of the days of Roman greatness were usually a feature of these political gatherings, whole beeves, sheep, and pigs being cooked to feed the multitudes. After butchering and quartering the animal, long pits were dug and filled with logs of wood. These logs were set on fire, and kept burning until the pits were quite full of live coals. Across these were placed iron bars, and on these bars were laid the quarters or halves of the animal. By a system of turning over and over, the huge pieces of meat were cooked to perfection, while chicken and other fowl were daintily broiled. Potatoes, both white and sweet, and green corn were roasted, and with the delicious bread baked in “Dutch ovens” of private families a feast fit for the gods was the result. In the groves of trees, always an indispensable adjunct for a barbecue, long tables were constructed, upon which were spread the viands, and around these the multitudes gathered. After enjoying the great feast, toasts and speeches were in order, and some as brilliant speeches as ever followed any banquet of the Gridiron or the Clover Club have echoed through the trees above these crude tables, eliciting shouts of applause from appreciative hearers. The crowd then congregated around the speaker's stand, erected sufficiently far away from the table and pits to keep the noise of clearing away of dishes and the last of the feast from disturbing either speaker or audience. Then began in earnest the business of the day in the discussion of political topics.

The Democratic party was very greatly in the majority in southern Illinois, and controlled all the party-machinery resources, having done so for years. It was not surprising, therefore, that the local as well as the national nominees were elected. The campaign of 1856 aroused the lethargic as never before. In the subsequent contests for the [57] election of the legislators who were to vote for United States senator, there was even greater excitement, and more bitter controversy than had characterized the presidential campaign.

Lying as southern Illinois does-between Kentucky and Missouri-and having then a population strongly sympathizing with the slave-holders, the questions that had arisen would not down. Popular sovereignty, the motto of the State, under the leadership of Mr. Douglas, the champion of States' rights, had thoroughly impressed itself upon a large majority of the citizens south of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad without it ever occurring to them to what extent this theory could be carried, or whither they were drifting in advocating this dangerous doctrine. Not one of the most earnest advocates of popular sovereignty, not even Mr. Douglas, who claimed the authorship of the bill, ever had a disloyal thought. They would not for one moment have sustained the theory that, acting under its tenets, a State had the right to secede; and yet secession was the logical sequence and result of the agitation of the question and theory of popular sovereignty.

As I look back over the past, I am glad that my husband insisted upon taking me with him, whenever it was possible, wherever he went. Therefore I was fortunate enough to witness the stirring scenes of those eventful days which prepared me for the memorable ones preceding and during the Civil War..

At the November election in 1856 my husband was elected to the Illinois legislature. He resigned his position as prosecuting attorney, greatly to the delight of the criminal class in the third judicial district. He had convicted so many during his term that he had become a terror to evil-doers.

Our little son, John Cunningham Logan, was but two months old when the legislature convened in January, 1857. I decided that it would not be wise to leave our comfortable home with a young baby to live in a hotel. Therefore my [58] husband's brother, William H. Logan, who was reading law in my husband's office, stayed with me while Mr. Logan went to Springfield for the session of the legislature, which in those days was never of more than two or three months duration.

The session proved rather an important one, my husband adding much to his reputation by his position on questions before that body. Among other things he arraigned Governor Bissell for violation of the statute which debarred from the position of governor any one who had given or accepted a challenge to a duel, Governor Bissell having years before participated in a duel.

The winter in Benton was very quiet, nothing occurring beyond the informal social affairs of a small town in the West during the fifties. Mr. Logan returned home for the spring term of the courts. He had many clients, and was quite as busy as when prosecuting attorney. Young as I was, I realized that my husband was destined to take an active part in political affairs, which were then becoming of more and more importance. I was therefore prepared for the nomination of Mr. Logan for Congress, and for his election in November, 1858. After the death of our first-born son, whom we lost when he was less than a year old, I resumed my wonted occupation of going everywhere with my husband. We knew the campaign was to be one of great excitement. Mr. Logan was in correspondence with the leading men of his party, including Mr. Douglas, W. A. Richardson, General Singleton, General Thornton, Mr. Shehan, the noted editor, and a number of others, and was advised of all the plans for carrying the State for the Democratic party.

Among other things Mrs. Douglas was to accompany the senator during the campaign in Illinois. Mr. Douglas had married the charming Adele Cutts, niece of Dolly Madison. She was one of the most queenly women of her day, quite as fascinating and captivating in her manner as her illustrious kinswoman. She was Mr. Douglas's second wife. She had [59] all her life been associated with people of social and official prominence, and was eminently qualified for her position.

There was to be a conference with Mr. Douglas on his arrival in Chicago, which Mr. Logan agreed to attend. He arranged for me to go with him, that I might meet Mrs. Douglas. I was naturally delighted with the prospect of seeing so much, but trembled at the thought of meeting so many distinguished people, who to my unsophisticated mind were little lower than the angels. I feared Mrs. Douglas might consider me quite provincial, and too inexperienced to merit her attention. When I did meet her I understood why every one was charmed with her, and soon forgot my timidity. Mr. Douglas I had known before, as he had been a guest in my father's house, my father being one of his warmest supporters.

The interest manifested in political affairs in the campaign of 1856 was intensified by the issues involved in the approaching senatorial election. Illinois had in its list of public men some of the most brilliant in the whole country, and therefore in the contest for political preferment there was great rivalry. The parties had been the Whig and Democrat, with now and then offshoots from one or the other of these great parties under different names, and with various “isms” for a foundation. There were “Know-Nothings,” with their antiforeign proclivities; Abolitionists, with their antislavery principles; Kansas and Nebraska bill parties; and numerous other organizations, but at each election the great bulk of the population cast their votes for the candidates of either the Whig or the Democratic party. Through the bloody contest over the Kansas and Nebraska bills new “isms” had sprung up involving the question of States' rights versus national authority, making the division in the Democratic party wider than it had been hitherto. Mr. Douglas, as leader of the Popular Sovereignty party, had attempted to harmonize matters between the North and the South; consequently it was [60] important, many thought, that he should be re-elected to the Senate. The State was thoroughly aroused. At every convention-county, legislative, and senatorial-instructions were given to the nominees of both parties as to whom the representatives and senators should support for the United States Senate, Mr. Lincoln being the choice of the Republicans, a new party, composed principally of men from the Whig and Abolition parties. Mr. Douglas was the choice of the Democratic and Popular Sovereignty parties. Long before Congress adjourned the excitement was intense.

Mr. Lincoln had been nominated by the Republican State Convention as their candidate for United States senator. Mr. Douglas's return to Illinois was impatiently awaited. Finally it was announced that he would return to his home in Chicago on Friday, July g, 1858. Most extensive preparations were made to extend to him the grandest reception that had up to that time ever been given to any man. A large committee was appointed composed of the leading men of the city and State, Charles Walker being made chairman. This committee was composed of Hon. J. B. Vaughn, C. C. Marsh, Thomas Lanagan, D. A. Gage, D. L. Boone, Hon. Thomas Dyer, Andrew Harnia, H. T. Dickey, W. B. Scates, B. S. Morris, General H. L. Stewart, S. W. Fuller, Colonel E. D. Taylor, General Jacob Frye, Hon. Lambert Tree, J. A. McVicker, B. F. Bradley, Hon. W. W. Drummond, B. T. Caulfield, H. D. Calvin, Robert Healy, and others. These men invited prominent men of the State to assist in the demonstration, arranging for extra trains from every direction. A large delegation went to Michigan City to escort Douglas in triumph to Chicago. All along the route it had been arranged for the special train to stop, so that the great crowds of people might have an opportunity to see Douglas and allow him briefly to address them. On the arrival of the train at the depot in Chicago a multitude greeted him, and as the party drove from the depot to the Tremont House the [61] crowd pressed around Douglas's carriage so closely that it was with difficulty the horses could move. Such cheering and huzzaing had never before been heard. Handkerchiefs, hats, and banners were waved, and every kind of demonstration that could be conceived was indulged in by the people. The city was elaborately decorated and brilliantly illuminated at night. Reaching the Tremont House, then Chicago's best hotel, appearing on a balcony on the Lake Street side, Douglas addressed the assembled thousands, Mr. Lincoln being among the number of hearers. The press contained a glowing description of the whole affair, which in those days was a marvellous one in point of numbers, character of the participants, enthusiasm, and grandeur of display. Now, alas! every trace of that momentous occasion has been obliterated by time and the great fire of Hi, which destroyed all the landmarks, even the Tremont Hotel, that had been the headquarters of Illinois' greatest men and the rendezvous of politicians of all parties. Nearly all the conspicuous men taking part in that occasion are also gone, but few, if any, of the committee surviving.

I always like to think of Mr. Lincoln as he was in the days when I saw him with the eyes of an opponent. His awkwardness has not been exaggerated, but it gave no effect of self-consciousness. There was something about his ungainliness and about his homely face, even in a State of tall and ungainly men, which would have made any one who simply passed him in the street or saw him sitting on a platform remember him. “There ain't no one else and there never was any one jest like Abe Lincoln,” as an old farmer said. His very awkwardness was an asset in public life, in that it attracted attention to him, and it seemed to enhance the appeal of his personality when he spoke. Any one who was introduced to Lincoln without ever having heard of him before, though the talk was commonplace, would be inclined to want to know more about him. [62]

Douglas won your personal support by the magnetism of his personality. Lincoln did not seem to have any magnetism, though of course he had the rarest and most precious kind. He seemed able to brush away all irrelevant matters of discussion, and to be earnestly and simply logical. In fact, he had the faculty of carrying conviction. At a time when the practice of oratory as an art was the rule he was without affectation. The ungainly form, the bony face, the strong, sensitive mouth, the quiet, sad, and kindly eyes, were taking you out of yourself into unselfish counsel.

Give Mr. Lincoln five minutes and Mr. Douglas five minutes before an audience who knew neither and Mr. Douglas would make the greater impression; but give them each an hour and the contrary would be true. This does not mean that Douglas was not sincere. No man could be more patriotic or sincere than Stephen A. Douglas was. He was as earnest in his belief in the rightness of his position as Lincoln was in the rightness of his; and when he found that he had been in error no man of pride ever acted more courageously in admitting it.

Immediately after followed the first meeting of the campaign, Mr. Lincoln having spoken on the evening of the 10th, in Chicago, arraigning Mr. Douglas in the strongest terms. The friends of Mr. Douglas planned for a grand demonstration at Springfield on the 17th. On the morning of the 16th, on a special train, beautifully decorated, the engine bearing the motto, “S. A. Douglas, the Champion of Popular Sovereignty,” a large committee with a fine band of music accompanied Douglas to Springfield. At every town en route flags were flying, cannons were booming, and immense crowds were gathered at the station. At Bloomington, where, after speaking, Douglas was to rest at the Loudon House for a few hours, there were five thousand people (a great number for those days) gathered at the depot. Douglas's appearance on the platform, to descend to a carriage in which he was to be [63] driven to the hotel, was the signal for prolonged shouts. It was a difficult matter for the marshals to make way for the carriages that were to lead the procession, so many were determined to escort Douglas to the hotel. At seven-thirty in the evening he was to speak in the court-house square, the only place where the great multitudes could be accommodated or be able to hear the speeches. The whole city, especially the court-house grounds, was brilliantly illuminated, transparencies and gay bunting making it a resplendent scene. As Douglas reached the platform the cheering was deafening. He defended his position in Congress, appealed to the people to stand by him, and avowed his devotion to the Union and the government. The people applauded him vociferously. Mr. Lincoln made it a point to go to the Douglas meeting and to listen attentively. The following morning Douglas continued his journey to Springfield, where the demonstrations were even greater than they had been at Bloomington.

Up to this time Douglas had not replied to Mr. Lincoln's charges, made in his speech accepting the nomination of the State convention as candidate for senator, in which he said, in substance, that Douglas, Chief Justice Taney, President Buchanan, and ex-President Pierce had entered into a conspiracy to prevent and overturn the Constitution of the United States and establish slavery throughout the Republic. He arraigned them in the following forceful words: “I charge that the people had been deceived in carrying the last presidential election by the impression that the people of a Territory might exclude slavery if they chose, when it was known in advance by the conspirators that the count was to decide — that neither Congress nor the people could so extend slavery.” In one of the speeches which Mr. Lincoln made after Douglas returned he said: “Judge Douglas has carefully read and reread that speech. He has not, so far as I know, contradicted those charges. In the two speeches which I heard he certainly did not. On his own tacit admission I renew the [64] charge. I charge him with having been a party to that conspiracy and to that deception, for the sole purpose of nationalizing slavery.”

Douglas was advertised to speak at Clinton July 27. The wide-spread publication of Mr. Lincoln's reiteration of these charges augmented, if possible, the desire to hear Douglas. An innumerable concourse of people, therefore, assembled at Clinton. The papers were teeming with the description of the arrival of the throng. From daylight in the morning they came into the town — on horseback, on foot, in every imaginable vehicle, on train, and every way possible. The fair grounds where the speeches were to be made were at least two miles from the railroad depot. It was said the procession reached from the station to the grounds; all conceivable devices in the way of banners, mottoes, and flags were carried in the procession, a remarkable feature of which was thirty-six ladies and gentlemen mounted on horseback, representing all the States in the Union. The goddess of liberty was represented by a beautiful young woman, wearing a dress composed of the Stars and Stripes. A liberty cap crowned her head, and she sat her charger like a veritable Joan of Arc, indifferent to the scorching rays of a midsummer sun, or the dust which was almost suffocating. As soon as Douglas began his speech all was quiet from the earnest desire of the whole multitude to hear him. After again going over the many questions involved, he replied to Mr. Lincoln's charges in these words: “I did not answer these charges before for the reason I did not suppose there was a man in America whose heart was so corrupt as for an instant to believe that such a charge could be true. I did not think that any man in America believed that Chief Justice Taney and his associates on the Supreme Bench, and two Presidents of the United States, to say nothing of myself, could be guilty of a conspiracy, involving such turpitude and such infamy. I had too much respect for Mr. Lincoln to [65] suppose he was serious in making the charge. He says now that he did not know the charge was true when he made it; that he had no personal knowledge of the truth of it. I then asked him ‘Why such a charge?’ I reminded him there is as much corruption in making a charge without knowing it to be true, as there is in making one and knowing it to be false. It is as dishonest to charge that which you do not know to be true as it is to tell an open lie; and yet he now confesses that he made the charge against the judges of the Supreme Bench, two Presidents of the United States, and myself without knowing whether it was true or false. Mr. Lincoln can lay down that rule of action for himself in his conduct towards others which he thinks proper, but I should deem that I had forfeited my character as an honorable man if I should make a charge against him of moral turpitude without knowing it to be true at the time I made it.” He further declared that he had never spoken to any member of the court on the subject of the Dred Scott decision; that the introduction of the Nebraska bill was prior to the decision, hence Douglas's part of the conspiracy was impossible; that Buchanan was at the court of Saint James when the Nebraska bill was introduced, therefore they could not have had a conspiracy over the question. Continuing in the most earnest strain, he spoke for two hours and a half, and still the crowd yelled, “Go on!”

Such strong language from such strong men, and the unmistakable determination on the part of each leader to carry the warfare to the bitter end, served to inspire violent antagonisms. Clubs were organized bearing the names of Lincoln and Douglas, and the famed “Wide Awakes” created great enthusiasm wherever they appeared. They were uniformed and armed with torches, and carried banners with pictures of their favorites, and mottoes of all kinds, and quotations from the speeches of their leaders. So numerous were the political meetings and so intense was the excitement, that [66] people did little else but attend political demonstrations and talk politics.

Mr. Lincoln spoke in the evening to a large crowd who remained to hear him, Douglas being obliged to leave so as to reach his appointment at Monticello. Before going, however, he and Lincoln had a long interview to arrange about the famous joint discussions, Lincoln promising to advise Douglas as to time and places. They would necessarily have to begin at the close of the appointments already made by Douglas, which were to end at Ottawa, August 21, 1858.

At each of those places the demonstrations were unparalleled by anything ever known in the State, each place trying to outdo the other in the magnificence of its processions, decorations, and the enthusiasm with which the people showered honors upon the “Little giant.”

Very soon after the meeting at Clinton, through correspondence, they agreed as to places and dates for the joint discussions. They were to alternate in opening and closing. In the intervals each was to fill his own appointments at other places in the State. By looking over the list it will be seen they were in every section of the State, from one extreme to the other. The towns in themselves were small, but the country surrounding them was well populated. The generous preparations by the people for the occasions were on a prodigal scale; prominent men at every town took conspicuous parts as committeemen, marshals, and entertainers. At Beardstown, when Douglas spoke, it appeared that, as if by magic, more people were brought together than resided near enough to be present, so incredible was their number. The procession was almost endless, led by thirty-six young ladies on horseback, each carrying a banner with the name of the State she represented. Then followed innumerable banners with mottoes of all kinds: “S. A. Douglas, the champion of right,” “The Constitution,” “The Union as it is, and Fidelity to Correct Principles,” and many others. A delegation [67] from Chandlerville carried a banner illustrating Lincoln's expression: “A living dog is better than a dead lion.” Mr. Lincoln had referred to Douglas as a caged, toothless lion, and himself a living dog. On the banner was a picture of a lion full of strength with a dog lying down marked “Spot.” “The lion is alive, the dog is dead,” was written beneath. There were many other pictures representing the prominent features of the campaign. At Havana the crowd was also very large. Douglas spoke there one day and Lincoln the next. Lincoln began his speech by saying he had borrowed a clean shirt in which to appear, as he had filled his carpetbag with documents, more important than clean clothes.

August 21 was an eventful day in Illinois as the opening of the memorable joint discussion between Douglas and Lincoln at Ottawa, one of the oldest towns in the State and then the home of many distinguished people. From daylight till three o'clock the people came in every conceivable conveyance. Badges, banners, streamers, and flags were seen everywhere; even the horses they rode or drove were gayly bedecked with the national colors. Douglas came into town in a carriage escorted by hundreds on horseback-Mr. Lincoln coming by train from the neighboring town of Morris. They had both been speaking much of the time since the 10th of July, and the contest was then at fever heat. Douglas was introduced first by Colonel W. H. Cushman, in an eloquent speech going over all the issues of the campaign. Mr. Lincoln's speech followed, in which he came back at Douglas with his conclusions, charges, and explanations. Douglas again replied. The vast audiences were electrified by the remarkable speeches of both Douglas and Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln was ill and should not have spoken. His effort completely exhausted him, and he had to be lifted from the stand and supported by his friends to the carriage.

Caricatures, processions, and campaign methods have ever been much the same. We remember that at Bloomington, [68] on the 4th of August, when Mr. Lincoln spoke, they had in the procession a coffin, covered with black and hauled on a dray, which was labelled in large letters: “The remains of the Democratic party.” Mr. Lincoln was the guest of his lifelong friend, Hon. David Davis, and both enjoyed the mournful spectacle, as well as many other comic features of the procession. There was not the slightest abatement in the public interest until the close of the very last debate at Alton, on October 15. The result of the election in November showed a revolution in public sentiment and aroused a great admiration in the public mind for Mr. Lincoln, which culminated, as the world knows, in his nomination to the Presidency in 1860, notwithstanding his failure of election to the Senate in 1858.

John A. Logan was then a young man of thirty-two years. All of his associations, affiliations, and teachings had been under Democratic influence. He was a strong partisan and an ardent admirer of Mr. Douglas. He accompanied Mr. Douglas almost everywhere, and indulged me to the extent of taking me with him. Young as I was, I was a close observer of everything that occurred. The masterful speeches of these intellectual giants was a revelation in matters political.

Mr. Logan's faith in the doctrines of the Democratic party began to waver. He became convinced by Mr. Lincoln's declaration that the Union could not be perpetuated with “one half free and one half slave,” and also began to doubt many of the theories advocated by Mr. Douglas. He was deeply concerned over the situation of affairs, and talked to me much about the madness of the Southern leaders of his party. He remained loyal to Mr. Douglas and the party until the firing upon Sumter, which he considered the death-knell to all hope of a compromise that would avert the calamity of a civil war. His whole nature recoiled at thought of a disruption of the Union and treason against the government. In the light of the firing upon the flag, he felt there was no longer any [69] middle ground, and declared a man must be either for or against his country. He therefore resigned his seat in Congress and entered the army for the preservation of the Union.

Notwithstanding the fact that all these things are familiar to the survivors of my generation, I write them for those of the present and future generations who have, and will inherit. the inestimable blessings of a redeemed republic.

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