They Kept Up The Argument




Judge T. Lyle Dickey of Illinois related that when the excitement over the Kansas-Nebraska bill first broke out, he was with Lincoln and several friends attending court. One evening several persons, including himself and Lincoln, were discussing the slavery question.

Judge Dickey contended that slavery was an institution, which the Constitution recognized. And which could not be disturbed. Lincoln argued that ultimately slavery must become extinct. "After awhile," said Judge Dickey, "we went upstairs to bed. There were two beds in our room, and I remember that Lincoln sat up in his nightshirt on the edge of the bed arguing the point with me. At last we went to sleep. Early in the morning I woke up and there was Lincoln half sitting up in bed. 'Dickey,' said he, 'I tell you this nation cannot exist half slave and half free.' 'Oh, Lincoln,' said I,'go to sleep.'