The publication at this time of a speech of the Presidential Canvass of 1860, may seem uncalled for, and be imputed to other than the motives that influence me. I nevertheless submit it to the candid consideration of the public, and especially of such as having heretofore entertained wrong views on the chief question involved in the canvass of 1860 and the position of the lamented Douglas, may desire truthful information. The speech at the time of its delivery was intended as a vindication of that noble-hearted, but then much-abused and misrepresented patriot. The grave of Douglas now shields him from the shafts of partisan animosity. Even his enemies concede, that in his last and self-sacrificing efforts to unite the Democracy of the North in support of an insulted government and outraged constitution, he earned the meed due to eminent patriotism. A perusal of the following pages may, perhaps, convince some, before doubting, that Douglas was as wise a statesman and as true a patriot in November, 1860, as he was in May, 1861, when the people of Chicago with one accord united in a grand ovation to do him honor, not as a partisan leader, but as a pillar and hope of the Republic in its day of mortal peril. If what I have written shall induce but even a few candid men to think better of the departed Douglas, as a statesman and patriot, than they were wont to think, I will be more than rewarded for my own labor in his vindication. But I have other motives than this.
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