The astounding personage to the left is Stephen Douglas, erstwhile "Little Giant" and professional opponent of "A. Lincoln."
I am reading a book called Year of Meteors, which begins with the last week of Douglas's life. He wasn't even fifty, and he was dying the drunkard's death--cirrhosis of the liver.
He had staggered to Springfield, which is the capital of Illinois, to address the state legislature and then to Chicago, where he spoke once, then went back to his hotel and died.
What was he saying that was so important that he did it with his last breath, almost literally? He was trying to tell people that HE WAS WRONG! Appeasement had never worked with the South, and he had been one of the appeasement kings.
The situation had deteriorated so badly that war was here. Sumter had been fired on.
Douglas had lost his Presidential bid, and had, in fact, been part of the set of pawns manipulated by the fire-eaters to split the Democratic party and get a Republican elected. That, in their eyes, justified secession even more.
In trying to help Lincoln rally the North to the inevitable, he had to admit that he had been wrong. It was so important to him that he died in his attempt.
Today, he would be dismissed, accused of flip-flopping.