The Rising Statesman
Candidate for CongressHenry ClayGenerosity to a ClientTakes Seat in Congress Dec. 6,1847Opposes Mexican War and Annexation of TexasPopularity in CongressDevotes Himself tc Self- improvementRetirementOccasional Political and Temperance SpeechesAroused by Breaking Missouri CompromiseTakes the Field of ControversyReplying to DouglasGreat SpeechGreat SuccessCandidate for United States SenatorMagnanimous Withdrawal in Favour of TrumbullRepublican Party of Illinois Organized, his SpeechCandidate for Vice-President in 1856In Fremont CampaignHis Prophecies of BloodshedCandidate for United States Senator in 1858His Victorious Debates with DouglasHis House-Divided-Against-Itself SpeechInterview with Herndon and OthersResult of the CanvassHis Tribute to Declaration of Independence
Mr. Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1840. He was brought forward in a meeting to nominate delegates to a Congressional Convention in 1844, but Colonel Baker received the endorsement of the convention. Mr. Lincoln, however, was chosen one of the delegates to the district convention, whereupon he wrote to his old friend Speed, in a vein of humour, The meeting appointed me one of the delegates, so that in getting Baker the nomination I shall be fixed a good deal like the fellow who is made groomsman to the man who has cut him out, and is marrying his own dear gal.
Henry Clay, his favourite statesman, was the Whig candidate for President that year; and Mr. Lincoln entered into the canvass with all his heart, making numerous speeches, and winning golden opinions. He was chosen a presidential elector, a merited honour.
One day he was coming down the steps of the State House, when he met an old client, whose note for services he held.
Hallo, Cogdal! Lincoln exclaimed, heartily extending his hand: you have been very unfortunate, I hear. Cogdal had been blown up by an accidental discharge of powder, and lost one hand by the calamity.
Yes, rather unfortunate; but it might have been worse, answered Cogdal.
Well, that is a philosophical way of looking at it, certainly, continued Lincoln. But how are you getting along in your business?
Badly enough. I am not only broken up in my business, but crippled for life also.
I am sorry for you, very sorry indeed, replied Lincoln, with profound sympathy.
I have been thinking about that note of yours, Cogdal added, in a despairing tone.
Well, responded Lincoln, in a half-laughing way, you neednt think any more about it, at the same time taking the note from his pocket-book and handing it to him.
Cogdal protested against taking the note, and expressed the hope that some day he might be able to pay it. But Lincoln insisted, adding, If you had the money I would not take it, and he hurried away.
We said that he was elected to Congress in 1846. He was elected, too, by a surprisingly large majority. Henry Clay received but nine hundred and fourteen majority in the district in 1844; but Lincolns majority was one thousand five hundred and eleven. Many voted for him who were not Whigs, his honesty and peculiar fitness for the office winning their votes. He took his seat in the National House of Representatives, December 6th, 1847; and the fact that he was the only Whig member from Illinois contributed somewhat to his popularity. At the same session Stephen A. Douglas took his seat in the United States SenateDemocratic senator from Illinois. He was the youngest and shortest member of the senate, while Lincoln was the youngest and longest member of the house; so a waggish associate claimed.
The country was thoroughly excited, at that time, upon the questions of the Mexican war and the admission of Texas as a slave State. The war with Mexico was unjustly waged in the interests of slavery,
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