Stephen A. Douglas Obituary


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Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen A. Douglas


    A profound gloom cast its sa..(sad?) mantle over our troubled country; every heart fell, and each cheek paled, as the electric flash bore to a stricken people, the unwelcome words - "Stephen A. Douglas is dead!"

    At a time when all the power of his mighty intellect was most needed in averting the formidable evils which now menace our unhappy country, he has been called hence. A void has been created in the hearts of the people; a voice is hushed in the councils of the nation; that void will be hard to fill and that voice will be missed in sadness.

    His fearless heart now cold, was ever open to the promptings of good. His eloquent tongue, now still never faltered when words of council and patriotism were required, in defence of the rights of the people, or the honor and well being of the country.

    No man in the United States possessed warmer friends and more enthusiastic admirers than did Mr. Douglas. Neither is it strange that he also had bitter opponents - The same traits of character that scared the one, also engendered the other. Yet there are but few of his most bitter opponents that will not deplore his untimely death as a great national calamity. Every one feels that the country can illy spare him at this hour of her greatest peril. Bold, outspoken, honest in intention, and irresistible in eloquence, he seemed just the man for the hour and we doubt not had he been permitted to live would have taken, if possible, a still higher position in the affection and admiration of the people. Having labored zealously to heal the unhappy differences which sprang up between the North and the South immediately after the late Presidential election, even down to the very last hour of his labors in Congress, he exerted all of his powerful influence to restrain the rising resentment of the one and the mad precipitation of the other. But when our country's flag was assailed by traitors' hands and a rebellious South had appealed to arms, Judge Douglas was the first man to visit the President and pledge his support in sustaining(?) the Government. This act of noble generosity and exalted patriotism, at a time when the hearts of small politicians were filled with all the bitterness of partisan strife could not fail to win the confidence and respect of his most bitter political antagonists.

    When the Government was assailed by internal foes, party ties and party feelings were by him forgotten, and with a noble heroism, which none but the venal and mercenary fail to applaud he struck hands with his political foes and exorted the full power of his pen and eloquence, to rally the people of his much loved West, to the defence of the Government, Constitution and the Union.

    Source: The Weekly Dakotian dated Thursday Morning June 20, 1861

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