en-fr  The Story of Abraham Lincoln: by James Baldwin, Part 10+11
Politique et Mariage

L'année suivante, après son déménagement pour Springfield, M. Lincoln fut élu à l'Assemblée législative pour la troisième fois.

Il y avait alors, dans ce pays, deux grands partis politiques, les Démocrates et les Whigs. M. Lincoln était un whig, et il devint bientôt le chef de son parti dans l'état. Mais les whigs n'étaient pas aussi puissants que les démocrates.

La législature n'était en session que quelques semaines chaque année, ainsi M. Lincoln pouvait consacrer tout le reste de son temps à la pratique de la loi. Il y avait beaucoup d'avocats compétents dans l'Illinois, mais Abraham Lincoln de Springfield se fit bientôt connaître parmi les meilleurs.

En 1840, il se fit de nouveau élire à l'Assemblée législative. C'était l'année où le général William H. Harrison fut élu président des États-Unis. Le général Harrison était un whig; et le nom de M. Lincoln était sur la liste des whigs comme candidat à l'élection présidentielle dans son pays.

La campagne présidentielle fut l'une des plus excitantes jamais connues. On l'appela la campagne « cabane en rondins », parce que le général Harrison avait vécu dans une cabane en rondins, et ses adversaires avaient ricané de sa pauvreté.

À l'Est comme à l'Ouest, l'excitation fut très grande. Dans toutes les villes et tous les villages, partout où se tenait une réunion politique, on voyait une cabane en rondins. D'un côté de la porte basse pendait une gourde à manche long, de l'autre côté, une peau de raton-laveur était clouée sur les troncs, une fumée bleue s'élevait de la cheminée de bois et d'argile.

Vous pouvez croire qu'Abraham Lincoln entra dans cette campagne de tout son cœur. Il sillonna toute une partie de l'état, faisant des discours électoraux pour son parti.

Un de ses plus habiles opposants était un jeune avocat, pas tout à fait du même âge, et qui s'appelait Stephen A. Douglas. À plusieurs occasions, au cours de cette campagne, Lincoln et Douglas se sont retrouvés lors de débats publics sur des questions d'actualité. Et tous deux étaient si perspicaces, si bien informés et si éloquents, que ceux qui les écoutaient étaient bien incapables de décider lequel était le meilleur.

Le général Harrison fut élu, mais pas grâce à l'aide de M. Lincoln, car cette année-là l'Illinois vota pour le candidat démocrate.

En 1842, à l'âge de trente-trois ans, M. Lincoln épousa Mlle Mary Todd, une jeune femme du Kentucky venue récemment en visite à Springfield.

Pendant quelque temps après leur mariage, M. et Mme Lincoln vécurent dans l'hôtel appelé le Globe Tavern, payant quatre dollars par semaine pour le gîte et le couvert. Puis en 1844, M. Lincoln acheta une petite mais confortable maison en bois dans laquelle ils vécurent jusqu'à leur arrivée à la Maison-Blanche, dix-sept ans plus tard.

Bien qu'il ait réussi en tant que jeune avocat, M. Lincoln était toujours pauvre. Mais Mme Lincoln disait : — Je préfère avoir un homme bon, plein d'esprit, avec de brillantes perspectives de succès, de pouvoir et de renommée, plutôt que d'en épouser un possédant tous les chevaux, toutes les maisons et tout l'or du monde.

Membre du Congrès et avocat.

L'année suivante, les habitants de son district l'ont choisi pour être leur représentant au Congrès. Il y siégea à partir de décembre. Il avait alors trente-neuf ans. Il était l'unique Whig de l'Illinois.

Il y avait beaucoup d'hommes célèbres au Congrès à cette époque. L'éternel rival de M. Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, était un des sénateurs de l'Illinois. Il avait déjà exercé un ou deux mandats à la Chambre des représentants.

Daniel Webster siégeait également au Sénat, de même que John C. Calhoun et Jefferson Davis.

M. Lincoln porta un vif intérêt à l'ensemble des sujets débattus au Congrès. Il y prononça plusieurs discours. Mais sans doute la chose la plus importante qu'il fit à ce moment-là fut sa proposition de loi en faveur de l'abolition du commerce d'esclaves dans la ville de Washington.

Il pensait que l'esclavagisme était inique pour l'esclave et nocif pour la nation. Il voulait faire tout ce qui était en son pouvoir pour l'empêcher de devenir un mal plus grand encore. Mais son projet de loi suscita une telle levée de boucliers qu'il ne fut même pas présenté aux votes.

À la fin du mandat de Lincoln au Congrès, il espérait que le président Taylor, un Whig, pourrait lui confier une charge intéressante. Mais là, il fut déçu.

Et c'est ainsi qu'en 1849, il retourna chez lui à Springfield et reprit son métier d'avocat.

Il avait alors quarante ans. Considérant la pauvreté de sa jeunesse, il avait fait de grandes choses par lui-même. Mais il n'avait pas fait grand chose pour son pays. A l'extérieur de son propre état son nom était toujours inconnu.

Sa vie durant les quelques années suivantes fut identique à celle de n'importe quel autre avocat prospère dans l'ouest nouvellement conquis. Il avait une clientèle importante mais ses honoraires étaient très faibles. Les revenus de sa profession excédaient rarement les deux mille dollars par an.

Ses habitudes étaient très simples. Il vivait confortablement et respectablement. Dans sa modeste petite maison, régnaient l'ordre et le raffinement, mais on n'y voyait pas de luxe.

Où qu'il serait allé, M. Lincoln aurait été reconnu comme un homme de l'ouest. Il mesurait un mètre quatre-vingt-treize. Son visage était ingrat, mais très bienveillant.

Il avait des manières cordiales et amicales. Il y avait quelque chose en lui qui faisait sentir à tout le monde que c'était un homme sincère, honnête et droit. Il était connu de son entourage comme « Honest Abe Lincoln ».
unit 1
Politics and Marriage.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 3
There were then, in this country, two great political parties, the Democrats and the Whigs.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 4
Mr. Lincoln was a Whig, and he soon became the leader of his party in the state.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 5
But the Whigs were not so strong as the Democrats.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 8
In 1840, he was again elected to the legislature.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
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This was the year in which General William H. Harrison was elected president of the United States.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
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The presidential campaign was one of the most exciting that had ever been known.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
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In the East as well as in the West, the excitement was very great.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
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In every city and town and village, wherever there was a political meeting, a log cabin was seen.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
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You may believe that Abraham Lincoln went into this campaign with all his heart.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
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He traveled over a part of the state, making stump-speeches for his party.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
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Although he had been successful as a young lawyer, Mr. Lincoln was still a poor man.
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Congressman and Lawyer.
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In the following year the people of his district chose him to be their representative in Congress.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
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He took his seat in December.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
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He was then thirty-nine years old.
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He was the only Whig from Illinois.
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There were many famous men in Congress at that time.
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Mr. Lincoln's life-long rival, Stephen A. Douglas, was one of the senators from Illinois.
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He had already served a term or two in the House of Representatives.
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Daniel Webster was also in the Senate; and so was John C. Calhoun; and so was Jefferson Davis.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
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Mr. Lincoln took an active interest in all the subjects that came before Congress.
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He made many speeches.
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He believed that slavery was unjust to the slave and harmful to the nation.
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He wanted to do what he could to keep it from becoming a still greater evil.
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But the bill was opposed so strongly that it was not even voted upon.
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But in this he was disappointed.
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He was then forty years old.
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Considering the poverty of his youth, he had done great things for himself.
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But he had not done much for his country.
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Outside of his own state his name was still unknown.
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He had a large practice, but his fees were very small.
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His income from his profession was seldom more than $2,000 a year.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 2 weeks ago
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His habits were very simple.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 1 week ago
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He lived comfortably and respectably.
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In his modest little home there was an air of order and refinement, but no show of luxury.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 1 week ago
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No matter where he might go, Mr. Lincoln would have been known as a Western man.
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He was six feet four inches in height.
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His face was very homely, but very kind.
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He was cordial and friendly in his manners.
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He was known among his neighbors as "Honest Abe Lincoln."
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francevw • 14085  commented on  unit 29  6 months, 2 weeks ago
Oplusse • 13924  commented on  unit 39  6 months, 2 weeks ago

Politics and Marriage.

The next year after his removal to Springfield, Mr. Lincoln was elected to the legislature for the third time.

There were then, in this country, two great political parties, the Democrats and the Whigs. Mr. Lincoln was a Whig, and he soon became the leader of his party in the state. But the Whigs were not so strong as the Democrats.

The legislature was in session only a few weeks each year; and so Mr. Lincoln could devote all the rest of the time to the practice of law. There were many able lawyers in Illinois; but Abe Lincoln of Springfield soon made himself known among the best of them.

In 1840, he was again elected to the legislature. This was the year in which General William H. Harrison was elected president of the United States. General Harrison was a Whig; and Mr. Lincoln's name was on the Whig ticket as a candidate for presidential elector in his state.

The presidential campaign was one of the most exciting that had ever been known. It was called the "log cabin" campaign, because General Harrison had lived in a log cabin, and his opponents had sneered at his poverty.

In the East as well as in the West, the excitement was very great. In every city and town and village, wherever there was a political meeting, a log cabin was seen. On one side of the low door hung a long-handled gourd; on the other side, a coon-skin was nailed to the logs, the blue smoke curled up from the top of the stick-and-clay chimney.

You may believe that Abraham Lincoln went into this campaign with all his heart. He traveled over a part of the state, making stump-speeches for his party.

One of his ablest opponents was a young lawyer, not quite his own age, whose name was Stephen A. Douglas. In many places, during this campaign, Lincoln and Douglas met in public debate upon the questions of the day. And both of them were so shrewd, so well informed, and so eloquent, that those who heard them were unable to decide which was the greater of the two.

General Harrison was elected, but not through the help of Mr. Lincoln; for the vote of Illinois that year was for the Democratic candidate.

In 1842, when he was thirty-three years old, Mr. Lincoln was married to Miss Mary Todd, a young lady from Kentucky, who had lately come to Springfield on a visit.

For some time after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln lived in a hotel called the "Globe Tavern," paying four dollars a week for rooms and board. But, in 1844, Mr. Lincoln bought a small, but comfortable frame house, and in this they lived until they went to the White House, seventeen years later.

Although he had been successful as a young lawyer, Mr. Lincoln was still a poor man. But Mrs. Lincoln said: "I would rather have a good man, a man of mind, with bright prospects for success and power and fame, than marry one with all the horses and houses and gold in the world."

Congressman and Lawyer.

In the following year the people of his district chose him to be their representative in Congress. He took his seat in December. He was then thirty-nine years old. He was the only Whig from Illinois.

There were many famous men in Congress at that time. Mr. Lincoln's life-long rival, Stephen A. Douglas, was one of the senators from Illinois. He had already served a term or two in the House of Representatives.

Daniel Webster was also in the Senate; and so was John C. Calhoun; and so was Jefferson Davis.

Mr. Lincoln took an active interest in all the subjects that came before Congress. He made many speeches. But, perhaps, the most important thing that he did at this time was to propose a bill for the abolition of the slave-trade in the city of Washington.

He believed that slavery was unjust to the slave and harmful to the nation. He wanted to do what he could to keep it from becoming a still greater evil. But the bill was opposed so strongly that it was not even voted upon.

After the close of Mr. Lincoln's term in Congress, he hoped that President Taylor, who was a Whig, might appoint him to a good office. But in this he was disappointed.

And so, in 1849, he returned to his home in Springfield, and again settled down to the practice of law.

He was then forty years old. Considering the poverty of his youth, he had done great things for himself. But he had not done much for his country. Outside of his own state his name was still unknown.

His life for the next few years was like that of any other successful lawyer in the newly-settled West. He had a large practice, but his fees were very small. His income from his profession was seldom more than $2,000 a year.

His habits were very simple. He lived comfortably and respectably. In his modest little home there was an air of order and refinement, but no show of luxury.

No matter where he might go, Mr. Lincoln would have been known as a Western man. He was six feet four inches in height. His face was very homely, but very kind.

He was cordial and friendly in his manners. There was something about him which made everybody feel that he was a sincere, truthful, upright man. He was known among his neighbors as "Honest Abe Lincoln."