Abraham Lincoln: Speeches & Writings Part 1: 1832-1858: Library of America #45
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Abraham lincoln measured the promise—and cost—of American freedom in lucid and extraordinarily moving prose, famous for its native wit, simple dignity of expressions, and peculiarly American flavor. This volume, with its companion, Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writing 1859–1865, comprises the most comprehensive selection ever published. over 240 speeches, letters, and drafts take Lincoln from rural law practice to national prominence, and chart his emergence as an eloquent antislavery advocate and defender of the constitution. included are the complete Lincoln-Douglas debates, perhaps the most famous confrontation in American political history.
received. I can not but be grateful to you and all other friends who have interested themselves in having the governorship of Oregon offered to me; but on as much reflection as I have had time to give the subject, I cannot consent to accept it. I have an ever abiding wish to serve you; but as to the secretaryship, I have already recommended our friend Simeon Francis, of the “Journal.” Please present my respects to G.T.M. Davis generally, and my thanks especially for his kindness in the Oregon
my own special request. Soon after the Democratic nomination for President and vice-President in June last at Baltimore, it was announced somewhat ostentatiously, as it seemed to me, that Judge Douglas would, previous to the election, make speeches in favor of those nominations, in twenty-eight of the thirty-one States. Since then, and as I suppose, in part performance of this undertaking, he has actually made one speech at Richmond, Virginia. This speech has been published, with high
the same fate. Thus went on this process of hanging, from gamblers to negroes, from negroes to white citizens, and from these to strangers; till, dead men were seen literally dangling from the boughs of trees upon every road side; and in numbers almost sufficient, to rival the native Spanish moss of the country, as a drapery of the forest. Turn, then, to that horror-striking scene at St. Louis. A single victim was only sacrificed there. His story is very short; and is, perhaps, the most highly
and was therein decided against the slaves, upon the ground that a negro cannot make a choice—that they had no legal power to choose—could not perform the condition upon which their freedom depended. I do not mention this with any purpose of criticising, but to connect it with the arguments as affording additional evidence of the change of sentiment upon this question of slavery in the direction of making it perpetual and national. I argue now as I did before, that there is such a tendency, and
waves of Hell, the imps of that evil spirit, and fiendishly taunting all those who dare resist its destroying course, with the hopelessness of their effort; and knowing this, I cannot deny that all may be swept away. Broken by it, I, too, may be; bow to it I never will. The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me. If ever I feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not wholly