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Page:Samuel Scoville -Abraham Lincoln, His Story.djvu/67

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THE STATESMAN

raised a fund of two hundred dollars for his election expenses. After the campaign was over he returned to them $199.25 of this fund. In 1836 he first showed in public life that moral courage which was to carry him so far. A bill was introduced to move the capital of Illinois to Springfield, which was Lincoln's home and where he and all his constituents wished the capital to be. Another measure, of which he did not approve, was joined as a rider to this bill, in the hope that it might be passed. Lincoln refused to vote for it. An all-night meeting was held and great pressure brought to bear upon him by prominent citizens from all over the state. Finally, after midnight, Lincoln rose amid profound silence and made an earnest speech, ending with this statement of one of the abiding principles of his political life:

You will never get me to support a measure which I believe to be wrong, although by so doing I may accomplish that which I believe to be right.

In 1837 he again had a chance to show his moral courage against odds. Incidentally he began to carry out the promise which he had made when he first saw slaves sold on the block. A few men had met together in Boston and, protesting against slavery, had pledged themselves to fight for its abolition. It seems strange