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Articles in
the Weekly Council Bluffs Bugle
on Abraham Lincoln, 1859-1860

Abraham Lincoln in 1860
Abraham Lincoln in February 1865
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August 31, 1859

The issues upon State and national policy pending before the people of Iowa, in the present campaign, are of the most momentous importance to their future prosperity as a capitalist state, in her domestic capacity, and to their own and their children's welfare, as a member of the national confederacy.

Upon national policy, those issues are between congressional intervention, depriving the people of their constitutional prerogative of self-government, by concentrating in the hands of their rulers the powers expressly reserved to them by the constitution, as advocated by the republican party; and on the other hand, the Democratic doctrine of popular sovereignty, guaratying the right of the people to regulate their domestic affairs in their own way, subject only to the constitution: Between continual slavery agitation in Congress, and at all popular elections, and in the halls of State legislation, with an incendiary warfare upon the institution of the South, as urged upon the people by the republican party; and opposed to this, the Democratic policy of a strict adherence to the compromises of the constitution, upon which the Union rests, as a sure foundation, and upon which alone it can be maintained.

Incidental hereto, is the question of supporting those laws passed by Congress in pursuance of the requirements of the constitution, protecting certain rights of the citizens of one State within the limits of another; and though our opponents do not openly declare that they will officially resist the execution of the fugitive slave law, yet their denunciations of the Democracy for supporting it, and their declarations that they will not aid in its execution, plainly indicate a design to nullify that law, if the power is again entrusted to them, and thus bring this State into direct collision with the laws and authority of the United States government.

Against all such treasonable designs, the Democracy consider it their duty to protest, and we appeal to the people to unite with us in maintaining the supremacy of the constitution and laws of our country, against those ruthless hands which would destroy the fair fabric of American liberty.

We have also a new issue now presented, upon the Negro question, or at least a new one in this State, never before recognized by that party here. The High Priests of modern republicanism at the East, having acknowledged the oracular authority of Wm. H. Seward, have proclaimed that slavery and freedom cannot exist in the same federal government - that the States must become either all slave or all free - that there is "an irrepressible conflict" between them, which must be waged until one or the other conquers; and if the Union should be sundered in that conflict, their motto is, "Let the Union slide."

This is Abolitionism in its most inveterate form. It was proclaimed by Hon. Abe Lincoln in his speech at this place, as the settled doctrine of the republican party, from which they could not recede in the least; and it has been substantially acknowledged by Mr. Kirkwood, their candidate for Governor. Whatever their hypocritical professions of attachment to the Union, they do not repudiate, but fully accept and endorse the Abolition tenets of faith prescribed to them by Wm. H. Seward, who it is well understood is to be their candidate for president in 1860.

We have that confidence in the patriotism in the people of Iowa, to believe that thousands who have heretofore supported the republican party will no longer vote for its candidates, when they stand before the world as an avowed Abolition party - when we have the truth before us that they have sold out, body and soul, to the Abolitionists, and have consented to swallow the African whole, to secure the continued support of their former allies, now their masters. True national men who have heretofore been induced to believe the republican party sincere in protesting their innocence of Abolitionism and disuion sentiments, will no longer aid in the treasonable aims so openly avowed, but will leave the foul party and unite with the Democracy in over-turning the tables of the money changers at our State capital, in cleansing the sanctuary of pollution, and stopping "the career of those rapacious swindlers" whom their votes have aided in elevating to power. Now that the mask is thrown off, and modern republicanism stands forth in all its black and hideous deformity, we believe that thousands of honest voters who have supported it under the belief that its aims were beneficent and its policy designed to promote the best interests of the country, will refuse to be thus transferred to the Abolition party, but will join the national standard of Democracy and co-operate with a party which "carries the flag and keeps step to the music of the Union."

The consideration of issues upon State policy will be deferred to our next issue.

May 30, 1860

An enthusiastic Lincolnite, supposed to be John M. Palmer, writes from Carlinville to the St. Louis Democrat and says: The rail-splitter and ox-driver, the favorite son of Illinois, is our champion and standard-bearer.  With him we can beat Douglas, who is the strongest doughface in Illinois, by 20,000 out of 190,000 votes.  Three cheers for Lincoln! These figures would give Lincoln 105,000 votes in Illinois which we suppose will be his full vote.  In 1858 the whole vote of the state was 252,000, which, after deducting Lincoln's vote as above, would leave Douglas 42,000 majority.

Palmer hit the probable figures very nearly - was never so near the truth in his life before. - Chicago Times 23

September 5, 1860

From the N. Y. Herald, Aug 14th.

The coalition movement of the late Syracuse Convention, in connection with the tremendous popular conservative reaction which has broken out in the Southern States, significantly points the way to the defeat of "Honest Old Abe Lincoln" and to the prostration of this mischief-making and dangerous slavery agitating Northern republican party.

New York is the key to the possession of the battle field. Her electoral vote, added to the vote of the South, will give an electoral vote of 155 against Lincoln, or three more than the required majority vote of 152. And now the fight begins; for the materials are at hand, and the plan has been adopted whereby they be effectively combined the reconquest of the Empire State by the majority of her people. In 1856, the popular vote of Buchanan and Fillmore in this State exceeded that of Fremont by some 44,000. Since that our local elections have gone by default; but they all show the Republican party to be in a fixed minority of the popular vote. Last year upon the test vote of Secretary of State, the popular majority against this party was only fourteen hundred; but then there was a total deficiency in the popular vote, as compared with that of 1856, of some 80,000. The Republican party fell behind its vote for Fremont only about 25,000, leaving a margin upon a fair estimate for an outstanding majority against the Republicans between forty and fifty thousand.

The bulk of this anti-Black Republican vote will be brought out upon the joint stock Douglas and Bell electoral ticket. A few thousand scattering votes may now be counted for Breckenridge; but there is a good ground for the belief that his partisans will come into line in season to give the finishing blow to "Old Abe" in November. Let this complete fusion be made of the anti-Lincoln elements of New York, and New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Rhode Island and Connecticut will follow her example whereby most, if not all of these States may be turned against the Republican ticket.

We are at last coming to something clear, definite and practical, in the political contest which is now going all over the country, and the campaign has taken a character which renders the defeat of sectionalists and fanatics, South or North, a matter of certainty.

The recent elections in the Southern States show that the conservative masses there are determined to absolve from even a suspicion of favoring disunion, and to perform their duty, and their whole duty, to the holy compact which our fathers bequeathed to us, and whose benefits accrue equally to all. They have determined to do this, too, without any threat as to what they may hereafter do in case their Northern brethren neglect to perform their part of the sacred trust. This weighs upon the conservative masses in the North with an obligation as imperative as upon those of the capitalist South, and the people have been at all times ready to comply with its requirements.

It has been only the corrupt organizations of heartless politicians, and combination of selfish wirepullers that have cast any doubt over the probability of the combined action of the conservative voters, they have done their best to maintain old bickerings that have no connection whatever with the present critical condition of the country. For a time their conflicting pretensions perplexed and divided the masses, and had the election taken place four or six weeks ago Lincoln would have been elected by a plurality. This result cannot now occur. HE IS IRREMEDIABLY DEFEATED.

Some of the Black Republican journals, which have already taken the alarm from the signs of the times, stigmatize the union on a Presidential electoral ticket which has now been secured in this State as a union of factions, a combination of cliques, and an organization of demagouges; and they are endeavoring to cry it down and turn well meaning people against it. But their efforts are in vain. The union has sprung from the hearts of the people, and it has triumphed in spite of factious leaders and corrupt demagogues and wire-pulling cliques - Mozart Hall has not triumphed over Tammany, nor has Tammany been able to subdue Mozart. Both have been forced to surrender to popular will, and to abdicate forever their claims for supremacy. This ticket will sweep New York, and the commercial and manufacturing States contiguous to it, in November next, as the whirlwind sweeps the Western prairie. The sticks and chaff of Black Republicanism will be scattered by it, never again to be united in a great political party. The conservative revolution will be as complete here as it has been in the South, and the new proclamation of the higher law by Seward and the Lincoln desctructives, will only tend to hasten and increase its triumph.

October 10, 1860

Hon. H. W. Hilliard, of Alabama is out in a letter to ex-President Fillmore urging the union of everybody against Lincoln. We are with Mr. Hilliard, and the best way to defeat Lincoln is to vote for S. A. Douglas.

October 17, 1860

Col. John C. Fremont don't care whether Lincoln is "voted up or down." He evidently regards the man who split 3,000 rails in six weeks and worked on a flat-boat one voyage, as being equally as big a humbug as himself in 1856 - the only difference (a great one to him) is that it isn't his show this time. The San Francisco Herald says: "Dispatches to yesterday evening's papers state that on the arrival of Col. J. C. Fremont at Los Angeles, 15 guns were fired in his honor. A delegation from the Republican Club waited upon him, but he expressed his determination not to take an active part in the Presidential canvass."

Fremont is disgusted with the Republican party and he left it to its fate.

October 31, 1860

The following letter was written by Hon. Abraham Lincoln , the Republican Candidate for the Presidency, to John M. Carson, esq., Chairman of the Committee of Lectures of the Harrison Library Institute of Philadelphia.  It is dated two months previous to the meeting of the Chicago Convention, and may be considered a curiosity in political literature - the italics are the compositors:

Springfield Illinois, April 7, 1860.  John. M. Carson, Esq. - Dear sir:  Yours of March 14th, addressed to me at Chicago, and seeking to arrange with me to lecture for the Harrison Literary Institute, has been received.  I regret to say I cannot make such an arrangement.  I am not a professional lecturer -  have never got up but one lecture, and that I think rather a poor one. Besides what time I can spare from my own business this season, I shall be compelled to give to politics. Respectfully yours, A. Lincoln

October 31, 1860

The St. Louis Herald says: The brains of partisan orators are filled now-a-days with images of death and destruction to human life. Metaphors, among which gunpowder, fixed bayonets and hair-triggers predominate, abound. Fearful deeds of butchery are threatened through all the parts of speech. Thus, at a meeting at Knoxville, Tenn., between Parson Brownlow and Mr. Yancey, the former said:

When the Secessionists go to Washington to dethrone Lincoln, I am for seizing a bayonet and forming an army to resist such an attack, and they shall walk over my dead body on their way.

To which Mr. Yancey valorously replied:

If any State resists I shall go with her, and if I meet this gentleman (pointing to Mr. Brownlow,) marshaled with his bayonet to oppose us, I'll plunge my bayonet to the hilt through and through his heart, and feel no compunctions for the act, and thank my God my country has been freed from such a foe.

Used with permission of genealogybank.com; Lincoln photos in the public domain