A. JL treatment of this interesting subject. Albert Beveridge merely alludes to it in his observation that “In trials in cir­ cuit courts Lincoln depended but little on precedents; he argued largely from first principles.”1 Nicolay and Hay, in describing Lincoln’s speech before the Republican Banquet in Chicago, December 10, 1856, report as follows: “Though these fragments of addresses give us only an imperfect reflec­ tion of the style of Mr. Lincoln’s oratory during this period, they nevertheless show its essential characteristics, a pervad­ ing clearness of analysis, and that strong tendency toward axiomatic definition which gives so many of his sentences their convincing force and durable value.”- W. H. Herndon, who had the opportunity of closest personal observation, was per­ haps the most analytical of all when he wrote: “Not only were nature, man, and principle suggestive to Mr. Lincoln; not only had he accurate and exact perceptions, but he was causative; his mind apparently with an automatic movement, ran back behind facts, principles, and all things to their origin and first cause-to the point where forces act at once as effect and 12

cause.”3 He observed further in connection with Lincoln’s practice before the bar: “All opponents dreaded his original­ ity, his condensation, definition, and force of expression. .. ”4