Recollection by Usher F. Linder, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 1858

    Source citation
    Usher Ferguson Linder , Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (Chicago: The Chicago Legal News Company, 1879), 78-79.
    Date Certainty
    Adapted by David Park, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following transcript has been adapted from Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (1879).

    My personal intercourse with [Douglas] was like that of a brother, which, in one respect, I was. Worthy reader, I promised in the beginning of these memoirs to say as little about myself as possible. I am writing my recollections of other men, and not an autobiography; but I will relate a little circumstance here which occurred between Douglas and myself when he was running for the Senate in 1858. When he was canvassing the Northern portion of the State, a great many of Mr. Lincoln's friends followed him to his large meetings, which they would address at night, attacking Douglas when lie would be in bed asleep, worn out by the fatigues of the day. He telegraphed me to meet him at Freeport, and travel around the State with him and help to fight off the hell-hounds, as he called them, that were howling on his path, and used this expression: "For God sake,Linder, come." Some very honest operator stole the telegram as it was passing over the wire, and published it in the Republican papars. They dubbed me thenceforth with the sobriquet of, " For God's Sake Linder," which I have worn with great pride and distinction ever since.

    I met him at St. Louis; his wife, a most elegant lady, was with him. We traveled down through the Southern part of Illinois, speaking together at all his meetings—as far down as Cairo and up to Jonesborough, where he and Lincoln met in joint debate. These debates were published, and they, of themselves, are enduring monuments of the greatness of the two men. But Mr. Douglas' great theatre was in the Senate of the United States. His speeches there will rank with those of Clay, Webster and Calhoun, and in debate he was not a whit inferior to either of them, and I know from good authority that he was the favorite of all three of these men.

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