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By Kekla Magoon

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You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and, therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own. “But, say you, it is a question of interest; and, if you can make it your interest, you have the right to enslave another. Very well. ”4 united government based on those principles. It was the first time he shifted his message from support for practical measures to his broader beliefs and political ideology.

Lincoln was sorely disappointed by the loss, but he kept his public persona positive and confident. He did not give up on the local politics that had brought him such success. However, he also recognized that his strong anti-slavery position in the debates had brought him some national attention. He had transcripts of the debates published so that they could be read more widely. Lincoln continued to practice law and speak out against slavery. He knew the nation was in turmoil over • 45 • Essential Lives —Abraham Lincoln • 46 • ∫ “This declared indifference … for the spread of slavery, I cannot but hate.

He was wrong. On February 11, 1861, Lincoln bid an emotional farewell to his friends, colleagues, and supporters in Springfield. , to begin the transition into the White House. The stirring speech he delivered at the train depot hinted to the fact that he would never return. On some level, the departure must have felt permanent to Lincoln. He certainly intended to come back to live and work in Illinois once his term as president was completed, however. The Lincoln family’s journey to the nation’s capital included many stops.

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Abraham Lincoln. 16th U.S. President by Kekla Magoon


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