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By Waldo W. Braden

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3 After 1854 he became more serious about his rhetorical art, concentrated his opposition to the extension of slavery in the territories, denounced both the repeal of the Missouri Compro1. Herbert Joseph Edwards and John Erskine Hankins, "Lincoln the Writer: The Development of His Literary Style," University of Maine Bulletin, LXIV (April 10, 1962), 80-81; T. ), Selected Writings and Speeches of Abraham Lincoln (Chicago, 1943), xviii-liii; Luther Emerson Robinson, Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Letters (Chicago, 1918), 9.

In spite of being placed on the defensive for such statements as "this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free," he never retreated from his central message. Lincoln sometimes had to walk a fine line, denying over and over that he was an abolitionist and refusing to be closely associated with radical elements of his party. On numerous platforms, he insisted without equivocation that slavery was morally wrong, but he averred that he would not disturb "the peculiar institution" where it was constitutionally protected.

In spite of being placed on the defensive for such statements as "this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free," he never retreated from his central message. Lincoln sometimes had to walk a fine line, denying over and over that he was an abolitionist and refusing to be closely associated with radical elements of his party. On numerous platforms, he insisted without equivocation that slavery was morally wrong, but he averred that he would not disturb "the peculiar institution" where it was constitutionally protected.

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