The Staunton Vindicator, March 1, 1861, p. 1, c. 5
Mr. Lincoln and His Friends.
The Washington correspondent of the New York Express writes: "The mortification of the Republicans at Mr. Lincoln's recent speeches increases with every fresh emanation from the Presidential tripod. They begin when it is too late to [line illegible] allegations of the Union men of Illinois to the incompetency of Lincoln for the Presidency. During the canvass, his supporters appealed triumphantly to his published speeches as proof of his ability. It now appears, as suspected at the time, that these speeches were carefully prepared by Mr. Judd and other friends of Mr. Lincoln, revised and re-revised, polished and re-written, to such a degree that they who heard them on the stump could not recognize them in print. This was a part of the game of deception played by the Republicans upon the people, to foist a man upon the country for its chief magistrate who was never regarded by his most intimate acquaintances, as anything more than a jocose, cunning, country politician. I am assured by those who knew him well that a more illiterate man it would be difficult to find, even among the self-made lawyers of Illinois. His chief characteristic is an immense 'gift of gab,' and a wonderful command of language, unaccompanied by a corresponding copiousness of ideas. The election of such a man at such a crisis is undoubtedly the greatest evil that has ever befallen this country. But the mischief is done, and the only relief for the American people is to shorten sail, caulk the hatches, put in the dead-lights, send down the topmasts, and prepare for a hurricane."