Issuu on Google+


CHAPTER VI FINALE - AT LOVEJOY’S HOME - ALTON, ILLINOIS OCTOBER 15, 1858 MARY

I CANNOT BELIEVE ALL THE PEOPLE AT QUINCY. THIS SURE WAS A TIRING DEBATE. IT WENT ON FOREVER.

ABRAHAM

WELL I THINK WE DID PRETTY GOOD. I FEEL THE VOTERS HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THE JUDGE PUTTING ON A SHOW THIS TIME IT WAS THE LIGHTED TORCH PROCESSION FROM THE QUINCY HOUSE.

MARY

WELL WE DID OK WITH OUR CANNON SALUTE AND CHEERING CROWD AS WE ENTERED QUINCY.

ABRAHAM

THAT LIVE COON ON THE USS CONSTITUTION WAS REALLY EFFECTIVE.

MARY

YOU AND THE LITTLE MIDGET ARE VERY LUCKY TO BE HERE AFTER THE STAGE COLLAPSED. I HOPE NO ONE WAS INJURED.

ABRAHAM

I FELT WE MADE SOME STRONG POINTS AGAIN WITH THE VOTERS REITERATING THE FACT THAT SLAVERY IS EVIL AND NOT ALLOWED BY A PROPER INTERPRETATION OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND U.S. CONSTITUTION.

MARY

THE JUDGE AGAIN ACCUSED YOU STRONGLY OF BEING AN ABOLITIONIST IN THE NORTH AND PROSLAVERY IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - OR EGYPT.

ABRAHAM

WELL DEMOCRATS WANT TO DEFINITELY NATIONALIZE SLAVERY. WE STRESSED THAT POINT.

MARY

I THINK WE ARE SATISFYING BOTH THE BLOOMINGTON STATE AND PHILADELPHIA REPUBLICAN PLATFORMS.

ABRAHAM

I HOPE THE JUDGE’S MESSAGE THAT WHITES ARE SUPERIOR TO BLACKS IS STARTING TO GET TO THE PUBLIC IN A VERY 2


NEGATIVE WAY.

MARY

YES - AND THE JUDGE STUMPING THAT YOUR STATING THERE ARE PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE RACES AND LINCOLN NOT WANTING TO DISRUPT SLAVERY IN THE SOUTH ACTUALLY CONFUSES THE VOTERS.

ABRAHAM

THE JUDGE TAKES EVERYTHING OUT OF CONTEXT. WE REPUBLICANS JUST BELIEVE SLAVERY IS WRONG NO MATTER WHAT THE LEGALITIES ARE. WE WANT TO END SLAVERY AGITATION SO OUR COUNTRY CAN MOVE ON TO A NEW DAY.

MARY

THE JUDGE’S REPLY WAS EXTREMELY STRONG - AGAIN ACCUSING YOU OF WANTING TO REPEAL THE FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW, ABOLISH SLAVERY IN ALL THE TERRITORIES WASHINGTON D.C. AND NEW STATES.

ABRAHAM

THE JUDGE’S QUINCY STATEMENT THAT I SAID BLACKS WERE INFERIOR IN CHARLESTON AND EQUAL IN CHICAGO HOLDS NO WATER. THIS IS TOTALLY TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT AND JUST CONFUSES THE PUBLIC - WHICH IS WHAT THE JUDGE IS ALL ABOUT.

MARY

WELL THE JUDGE HAS CONTINUED TO ESPOUSE THE DEMOCRATIC CINCINNATI PLATFORM OF BUCHANON.

ABRAHAM

REHASHING QUINCY IS WORTHWHILE. THE RESOLUTION OF THE MEXICAN WAR THAT I SUPPORTED WAS OUR CONTENTION THAT THE WAR WAS DEFINITELY PROVOKED BY THE UNITED STATES. AS CONGRESSMEN WE ARE COMMITTED TO PERFORM WITH INTEGRITY FOR THE PEOPLE. WE FELT THAT THE WAR AND INITIAL BLOOD SPILLING WAS STARTED BY THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND OUR TROOPS.

MARY

WELL THE JUDGE IMPLIED THAT YOU WERE NOT PATRIOTIC.

ABRAHAM

SO UNTRUE. I FOUGHT IN THE BLACKHAWK WAR WHILE THE JUDGE HAS NEVER SERVED IN THE ARMY OR MILITIA. I SUPPORT THE TROOPS 100% - CONGRESS WAS JUST QUESTIONING OUR INITATING THE WAR WITHOUT 3


EXHAUSTING ALL DIPLOMATIC OPTIONS.

MARY

AND THE JUDGE HAS BEAT IT DOWN OUR THROATS ABOUT DRED SCOTT.

ABRAHAM

WELL I FEEL THE SLAVE OWNERS DON’T FOR THE MOST PART LOOK AT SLAVES AS PROPERTY. THIS IS A LEGAL SLIGHT OF HAND WHEN THERE IS NO OTHER METHOD TO CLASSIFY THE NEGRO RACE.

MARY

WELL IN FACT I FEEL YOU’VE COME OUT OF YOUR DEPRESSIVE MOOD AND MOVED ON TO BECOME A BETTER DEBATER.

ABRAHAM

OH I’M STILL A BIT MELANCHOLIC REGARDING MY PARENTS LIVING AT GOOSENEST PRAIRIE IN COLES COUNTY, ILLINOIS. I’LL ADMIT IT. I DIDN’T LIKE IT THERE.

MARY

WELL I THINK YOUR FATHER RESTED A BIT MORE COMFORTABLY EVER SINCE YOU PAID THE LOAN ON THE 40 ACRES THAT HE COULDN’T.

ABRAHAM

HE REPRESENTED A WORLD I LEFT A LONG TIME AGO. I ONLY WISH NOW THAT I HAD GONE TO HIS FUNERAL.

MARY

ABRAHAM, EVERY FAMILY GOES THROUGH ITS STRUGGLES. WE’VE BEEN THROUGH EDWARD’S AND MY FATHER’S DEATHS. IT IS HARD TO RECONCILE THESE DEATHS AS THAT OF A GRAND DIVINE PLAN. LITTLE TAD WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A GIRL, BUT LOOK HOW WONDERFULLY HE HAS BLESSED OUR LIVES.

ABRAHAM

WELL THE FACT THAT YOU BREAST FED MRS. DALLMAN’S BABY WHILE SHE WAS ILL SAYS A GREAT DEAL ABOUT YOU AND OUR FAMILY. IT ISN’T JUST HONEST ABE AS THE TRIBUNE PURPORTS.

MARY

WELL WE KEEP HEARING OF SECESSION. THE COMPROMISE OF 1850 DID LITTLE TO SETTLE THE TENSIONS BETWEEN THE NORTH AND SOUTH IT SEEMS.

4


ABRAHAM

THIS COMPROMISE IS VERY UNSETTLING IN THAT THOUGH CALIFORNIA CAME IN AS A FREE STATE, THE FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW BECOME MORE STRINGENT AND REPRESSIVE, ALLOWING AT THE TIME FOR THE NEW MEXICO AND UTAH TERRITORIES TO CHOOSE TO COME IN AS FREE OR SLAVE.

MARY

AND YOU MADE IT QUITE CLEAR IN MANY SPEECHES THAT THOUGH YOU SUPPORTED THE WILMOT PROVISO, IF IT LED TO THE DISINTEGRATION OF THE UNION, THEN YOU WOULD BACK AWAY.

ABRAHAM

WELL THANKFULLY CLAY’S COLONIZATION SOCIETY WENT NOWHERE AND COULD HAVE BEEN A CONTENTIOUS DEBATE TOPIC.

MARY

THERE WAS NO WAY THE UNITED STATES COULD LOGISTICALLY REMOVE SLAVES TO AFRICA.

ABRAHAM

MY GUIDING LIGHT REGARDING SLAVERY IS THAT ONE MAN CANNOT GOVERN OR OWN ANOTHER WITHOUT HIS CONSENT.

MARY

WELL AT LEAST THE KNOW NOTHINGS SUPPORT MANY OF YOUR CAUSES.

ABRAHAM

I APPRECIATE THEIR CONCERN SINCE FILLMORE THEIR LEADER WILL NEVER BE SUFFICIENTYLY INFLUENTIAL TO BE ELECTED PRESIDENT WITH SUCH EXTREME VIEWS.

MARY

WELL GIDDINGS FROM OHIO SAID HE’D WALK TO ASSIST LINCOLN IN HIS SENATE BID.

ABRAHAM

I AM MOST DETERMINED TO AVOID TURNING MY VOTES TO ANYONE ELSE AS I DID IN THE LAST SENATE ELECTION WITH TRUMBALL.

MARY

WELL THE KNOW NOTHINGS ARE DEAD IN THIS DAY AND AGE BY BEING ANTI - CATHOLIC, AGAINST FOREIGNERS, AGAINST ALCOHOL OF ANY KIND, AND PROMOTING LARGE TARIFFS. 5


ABRAHAM

WELL WE ARE GETTING FREE SOIL SUPPORT THOUGH WE DON’T COMPLETELY FOLLOW THEIR VIEWS - THAT OF CATHOLICS WANTING STATE SUPPORTED RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS. BUT WE AGREE THAT FREEDOM IS NATIONAL AND SLAVERY IS EXCEPTIONAL.

MARY

THE WHIGS ARE POLITICALLY DEAD SINCE THE DISCOVERY OF GOLD IN CALIFORNIA MADE PROSPERITY REAL; AND THE NEED FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT ECONOMIC GROWTH IS NOT A HIGH NATIONAL NEED. PLUS THE COMPROMISE OF 1850 WHEN THE WHIGS JOINED THE DEMOCRATS IN THIS HORRIBLE BILL ESSENTIALLY LOST THE WHIG IDENTITY.

ABRAHAM

MY BEING TURNED AWAY BY A LATE START FOR THE WHIG VP NOMINATION IN 1856 REALLY HURT - BUT WE’VE GOTTEN THROUGH THAT POLITICAL EPISODE. I FELT WESTERN SUPPORT OF WHIG AGENDAS WOULD HAVE HELPED IMMENSELY.

MARY

I’M TIRED. I STILL CAN’T STAND HERNDON, THAT LAW PARTNER OF YOURS, EVER SINCE HE CALLED ME A SERPENT ON THE DANCE FLOOR. BUT MAYBE I’LL JUST LET THAT DIE SOME DAY.

ABRAHAM

WOMEN NEVER FORGET. GOOD NIGHT - ALTON IN A COUPLE DAYS.

END - CHAPTER VI, PRAIRIE FIRE

6


Prairie Fire, Chapter VI