Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1858 - Vol. 1

By Albert J. Beveridge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
CONGRESS AND DECLINE

Is there not treason in the heart that can feel, and poison in the breath that can utter, such sentiments against their own country, when forced to take up arms in self-defence, to repel the invasion of a brutal and perfidious foe? DOUGLAS.

I never was much interested in the Texas question. . . . I never could very clearly see how the annexation would augment the evil of slavery. . . . I hold it to be equally clear that we should never knowingly lend ourselves . . . to prevent that slavery from dying a natural death -- to find new places for it to live in, when it cannot longer exist in the old. Lincoln.

'You know that my only argument is that "Turn about is fair play,"' wrote Lincoln to one of his supporters for the Whig nomination for Congress in 1846. In the multitude of letters which he showered upon the Seventh Congressional District when pushing his candidacy the practical politics of rotation in office was the dominant note. Grave issues were before the country, great events impending; but to these he gave no heed. In fact, he appears not to have been interested in them. So 'turn about is fair play,' said Lincoln and he said little else.

brks="brks">From the moment of his defeat by Baker in 1843-44 he worked steadily to win next time. He overlooked no detail that might help him. Upon the assumption that Hardin would not be a candidate, it was obviously political sense for Lincoln to cultivate the friendship of the brilliant and popular young Whig leader, and this Lincoln did. He wrote to Hardin, while the latter was still in Congress, to 'correct' unfavorable impressions among his constituents. 'Old uncle Thomas Campbell of Spring Creek ( Berlin P. O.),' for instance, was disgruntled because Hardin had sent him only uninteresting documents and old newspapers. And Robert W. Canfield would like some fresh documents, too. Lincoln also informed Hardin of the sentiment of the local Democratic leaders. 'They are for Texas anyhow,' notwithstanding Van Buren.1 After such watchfulness on his behalf, could Hardin do anything else than favor

____________________
1
Lincoln to Hardin, May 21, 1844. Works, I, 270-1.

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