"When Abraham Lincoln was candidate for United States Senator in Illinois, Lyman Trumbull, a political opponent, was put forward as a candidate by Democrats opposed to forcing slavery upon Kansas and Nebraska, a scheme to which Lincoln was also opposed.
Govenor Matheson was the candidate of the Douglas party in favor of abandoning the above States to slavery, and on the third or fourth ballot, he lacked but four votes of an election.
"Withdraw my name at once," said Lincoln, "and support Trumbull."
"Never; we can never do it," replied one of his friends.
"But we cannot afford to risk another ballot; four more votes for Matheson, and our cause is lost," answered Lincoln, with much feeling.
"Nevertheless, we shall not withdraw your name, returned his friend.
Rising to his full height, and with an emphasis that could not be misinterpreted, Lincoln said,
"It must be done; my name is withdrawn."
Some of his political friends wept as they abandoned his candidacy, and voted for Trumbull, who was elected; but none of them were ever more in love with his magnanimity than they were then. He sacrificed all political ambition to the cause of freedom.