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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty, by
In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New
IN the following pages it is proposed to present as full and as complete an account of the life and public services of Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, as the limits of this volume will allow. The events of the last six years have given to his name a world-wide fame, but his entire public career, as well as the incidents of his boyhood, furnish an example of success following a determined purpose to adhere to fixed political principles that has rarely had its equal. So intimately has Mr. Douglas been connected with the most important legislation, and with the history of the political parties of the last twenty-five years, that it has been found difficult at times to confine this work to a record of his acts. But as far as it has been possible to do so, the writer has abstained carefully from comments upon the acts of others, except when to do so was necessary to present clearly and truthfully the history of Mr. Douglas.
It is due to candor to state that these pages have been prepared without having been submitted to Mr. Douglas, who, if he read them at all, will do so for the first time after the issue of the book. They have been written by one who agrees fully with Mr. Douglas in political views, and who, since the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, has been engaged in maintaining before the people of Illinois the wisdom, justice, and expediency of the policy of the Democratic party upon the question of Slavery in the Territories.
With these words of explanation the book is submitted to those who may choose to read it.
Ancestry.—Death of his Father.—Life on a Farm.—Disappointment.—Apprenticeship.–Enters School.—Removal to Western New York.-Studies Law.—Taste for Politics.-Goes to the West.—Experience in Cleveland. —Cincinnati.-Louisville.—Trip to St. Louis.-Hon. E. C. Bates.—Illinois at that time.—Internal Improvements.--Douglas reaches Jacksonville..... ------------------- * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * - - - - - - - - - -Page 1
Want of Money. — Goes to Winchester. —Clerk of Auction.—Obtains a School.—Murray M'Connel.—Admitted to the Bar.—Personal Appearance.—Jackson's Bank Policy.—Douglas proposes Meeting to defend it. -The Meeting.—Douglas's Triumph.-Meeting of Legislature.—Douglas elected State's Attorney.—Early Friends.-Predictions of his Failure.— His Tact and Ability.—His Success.-Institutes Convention System in Morgan County.—Its Success.--Douglas put on Ticket.—Democrats carry the County.............................................. .............................. 14
Douglas in the Legislature.—Internal Improvement System.—National Politics.—Reports against Divorces.—Proposes Plan for Internal Improvements.-Is overruled.—System adopted.—Appointed Register of Landoffice.—Gloomy political Prospects.-Convention System resorted to.— Origin of Democratic State Organization.—Nominated for Congress.— Memorable Canvass.-Is defeated.—First State Convention.—Public Dinner at Quincy.—Rejoicings of the Whigs.-Several Speeches.—The Case of M'Clernand and Field.—Douglas's Argument.—Supreme Court.—Campaign of 1840.—Douglas's Canvass.—Debates in the Lobby.—Appointed Secretary of State.—History of the “Alien Suffrage.”—Douglas presents a hostile Decision.—The Vote saved for Van Buren.—Supreme Court reorganized.—Douglas elected to the Bench.-His Circuit.—The Mormons. —Saves Joe Smith's Life.—Gratitude of Smith.—Douglas's Influence with the Mormons.—His Popularity as a Judge.—Caucus for U. S. Senator.— Is defeated by one Vote.—Second State Convention.—Nominated for Congress.-His Opponent.—Is elected.—Violent Illness.-Leaves for Washington.-Retrospect........... -------------- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 27