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Stephen A. Douglas: A Study in American Politics
To describe the career of a man who is now chiefly remembered as the rival of Abraham Lincoln, must seem to many minds a superfluous, if not invidious, undertaking. The present generation is prone to forget that when the rivals met in joint debate fifty years ago, on the prairies of Illinois, it was Senator Douglas, and not Mr. Lincoln, who was the cynosure of all observing eyes. Time has steadily lessened the prestige of the great Democratic leader, and just as steadily enhanced the fame of his Republican opponent. The following pages have been written, not as a vindication, but as an interpretation of a personality whose life spans the controversial epoch before the Civil War. It is due to the chance reader to state that the writer was born in a New England home, and bred in an anti-slavery atmosphere where the political creed of Douglas could not thrive. If this book reveals a somewhat less sectional outlook than this personal allusion suggests, the credit must be given to those generous friends in the great Middle West, who have helped the writer to interpret the spirit of that region which gave both Douglas and Lincoln to the nation. The material for this study has been brought together from many sources. Through the kindness of Mrs. James W. Patton of Springfield, Illinois, I have had access to a valuable collection of letters written by Douglas to her father, Charles H. Lanphier, Esq., editor of the Illinois State Register. Judge Robert M. Douglas of North Carolina has permitted me to use an autobiographical sketch of his father, as well as other papers in the possession of the family. Among those who have lightened my labors, either by copies of letters penned by Douglas or by personal recollections, I would mention with particular gratitude the late Mrs. L.K. Lippincott ("Grace Greenwood"); Mr. J.H. Roberts and Stephen A. Douglas, Esq. of Chicago; Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller and the late Hon. Robert E. Hitt of Washington. With his wonted generosity, Mr. James F. Rhodes has given me the benefit of his wide acquaintance with the newspapers of the period, which have been an invaluable aid in the interpretation of Douglas's career. Finally, by personal acquaintance and conversation with men who knew him, I have endeavored to catch the spirit of those who made up the great mass of his constituents. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 15508
Author: Johnson, Allen
Release Date: Mar 30, 2005
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