Mr. Douglas answered.
Sept. 22, 1858.
The Register, anxious to escape from further allusion to the base forgery it has been guilty of committing at last "admits the truth of the JOURNAL'S charge," desires us to answer some of the queries which Mr. Douglas has put to Mr. Lincoln. It asks Mr. Lincoln.
1. Will you, if elected to Senate, vote to admit a state whose constitution authorizes slavery?
2. Will you vote for the acquisition of territory from which slavery has not been excluded by law?
3. Will you vote for the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law?
Will the JOURNAL answer for him?
Mr. Lincoln has already answered these and several other questions at Freeport, for himself: The following are his replies to all Mr. Douglas has asked:
Question 1.—"I desire to know whether Lincoln to-day stands as he did in 1854, in favor of the unconditional repeal of the Fugitive State Law?"
Lincoln's Answer.—I do not now, nor ever did, stand in favor of unconditional repeal of the Fugitive Slave law.
Question 2.—"I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to-day as he did in 1854, against the admission of any more slave States into the Union, even if people want them?"
Lincoln's Answer.—I do not now, nor ever did, stand pledged against the admission of any more slave States into the Union.
Question 3.—"I want to know whether he stands pledged against admission of a new State into the Union with such a constitution as the people of the state may see fit to make?"
Lincoln's Answer.—I do not stand pledged against the admission of a State into the Union, with such a constitution as the people of the state may see fit to make.
Question 4.—"I want to know whether he stands to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia?"
Lincoln's Answer.—I do not stand pledged to-day to the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia.
Question 5.—"I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to the prohibition of slave trade between the different States?"
Lincoln's Answer.—I do not stand pledged to the prohibition of the slave trade between the different States.
Question 6.—"I desire to know whether he stands pledged to prohibit slavery in all territories of United States, South as well as North of the compromise line?"
Lincoln's Answer.—I am implicitly if not expressly, pledged to a belief in, the right and duty of Congress to prohibit Slavery in all the United States Territories.
Question 7.—"I desire to know whether he is opposed to the acquisition of any more territory, unless is prohibited there in?"
Lincoln's Answer.—I am not generally opposed to the honest acquisition of the territory; and in any given case, I would or would not oppose such acquisition, according as I might think such acquisition would or would not aggravate the slavery question among ourselves.
Mr. Lincoln then proceeded to explain some of these answers more fully. He said he had never hesitated to say that the people of South are entitled to some kind of Congressional Fugitive Slave Law. The present law is objectionable in several important particulars, and might be modified; but he is not disposed to introduce this matter as a new subject of agitation at this time. Regarding the matter of voting for admission of a slave state, he said he should be very sorry to be placed in a position to vote for a slave State, for he hoped that no more slave States would be admitted. But if the people of the Territory, by a fairly expressed wish, desire to come in as a slave State, he could not Constitutionally oppose it. As to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, he should be glad to see it done, and believes Congress has the Constitutional power to do it. But he should be in favor of its gradual abolition by submitting the question to the vote of the District, and by granting compensation to the slave owners.
As to the abolition of slave trade between the slave-holding States themselves, that was a matter, Mr. Lincoln said, that he had never sufficiently investigated to give a decided opinion. It has never been a prominent subject of discussion before the country. He is not sure Congress has a right to interfere in that matter.
We hope the Register is satisfied. Mr. Douglas seems to have been. Mr. Lincoln, it will be seen, stands precisely on the old Whig Platform.