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What we said... 150 years ago: Lincoln or Lane! Choose ye between

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Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln is pictured just before his inauguration in 1861. The Wisconsin State Journal endorsed Lincoln days before the 1860 election. Lincoln carried Wisconsin and most northern states to win.

The following endorsement of Abraham Lincoln for president appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on Nov. 3, 1860:

It is manifest to all intelligent and observing men that the great political contest, which will close on Tuesday next, is narrowed down, and the fact is now standing out plain and clear that Abraham Lincoln will be elected by the people, or that (the House of Representatives failing to elect him) Joseph Lane, the Breckinridge candidate for Vice President, will become the President of the United States. ...

Lane... is a candidate for the Vice-Presidency on the most ultra pro-slavery and hence most obnoxious ticket in the canvass. ... It has never been pretended that Jo Lane possesses more than the most ordinary ability, or education. He has been a sort of wandering politician, but the world is without evidence of his having any knowledge of statesmanship, diplomacy or law. ...

Abraham Lincoln is pledged to support the principles enunciated by the Chicago Convention. Does anyone think that he will fail when elected to carry out the principles faithfully and completely? From his first entrance upon the field of politics, every word, act, and sentiment of Mr. Lincoln, known or heard from, is not unworthy of the high position he now occupies. He has never talked or acted like a politician, but like a statesman and like a President. The arrows of envy and detraction that have been aimed at him have fallen blunted and harmless at his feet, and neither envy, interest or passion has ever denied to him every title to honor and greatness. ...

Abraham Lincoln would not tell a falsehood if by so doing he could be President for life. He cannot lie without changing his nature. ...

Next Tuesday night Abraham Lincoln will be President-elect of the United States! Those who want to take a share in the triumph must get aboard soon!


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Politicians are not as a lot dishonest, and this goes to both right and left.

It is true that the liberal wing is handicapped by the natural attraction it has for reds and incompetents and all the wild-eyed horde of misfits and discontent.

It is equally true that the conservatives suffer because, owing to their cautious attitude toward proposed changes, the class of special interests that desire nothing more than to be "let alone" turn naturally to them as most likely to fall in with their efforts to trip the longer and more hasty strides of progress.

But... neither the liberals nor the conservative politicians are dishonest as classes, but rather are representative of opposing types and mental processes. For instance, one may safely say at random that the most radical member of the Wisconsin Legislature, and the most conservative, are upon one and the same level of


The following Wisconsin State Journal editorial was published on July 14, 1854, the morning after a "Mass Convention of the Freemen of Wisconsin" in Madison opposed to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise and the extension of slavery:


It was a proud day for Wisconsin yesterday. No such political gathering was ever before seen in this State. It is seldom that a convention has numbered (in the) hundreds; yesterday thousands were convened - men of all parties - natives of the old world and the new, their former political proclivities and prejudices melted down and merged in the one great idea that the liberties of the nation are threatened with destruction by the slaveholders of the south and the doughfaces of the north, and that there must be a union of all true men, and true friends of the Union to restore to Freedom what has been lost by the perfidy of those into whose hands her interests have been entrusted.

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