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This edition is published under a special arrangement with THE CENTURY Co., publishers of the complete works of A BRA H A M Lincoln and owners of copyright material relating to MR. LINCOLN
LETTERS AND ADDRESSES OF
[From an address to the people of Sangamon county,
Illinois, at New Salem, 9 March 1832. Lincoln's first public speech. ]
Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow-men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition is yet to be developed. I am young, and unknown to many of you. I was born, and have ever remained, in the most humble walks of life. I have no wealthy or popular relations or friends to recommend me. My case is thrown exclusively upon the independent voters of the country; and, if elected, they will have conferred a favor upon me for which I shall be unremitting in my
labors to compensate. But, if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.
[Letter to the editor of the Sangamon Journal, New Salem,
13 June 1836.] To the Editor of the “ Journal” : In your paper of last Saturday I see a communication, over the signature of “Many Voters," in which the candidates who are announced in the “Journal” are called upon to “show their hands.” Agreed. Here's mine.
I go for all sharing the privileges of the government who