The Senatorial Canvass.
The "Living Dog" very Ambiguous – He don't exactly know – He might, and then again he might not – "Wouldn't like to be placed in a position," &c. – Douglas kindly proposes to relieve him from such a predicament.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: – On Saturday last, at Ottawa, Senator Douglas and myself first met in public discussion. He spoke an hour, I an hour and a half, and he replied half an hour. It is now reversed. I am to speak an hour, he an hour and a half, and I reply half an hour.
I propose to myself to devote the first hour to the scope of what was brought within the range of his half hour speech at Ottawa. Of course, there was brought within the scope of that half hour's speech something of his own opening speech. In the course of that speech – the first one – Judge Douglas propounded to me seven distinct interrogatories. In my speech of an hour and a half, in attending to some other part of his speech, I incidentally, as I thought, answered one of the interrogatories then. I then distinctly intimated to him that I would answer the other of his interrogatories upon the terms that he would answer as many for me. He made no intimation at the time of the proposition, nor did he, in his reply, allude at all to that suggestion of mine; but I think I do him no injustice in saying that he occupied that last half hour of his reply in dealing with me as though I had absolutely and unconditionally refused to answer his interrogatories. I now propose to the Judge that I will answer every one of his interrogatories, upon condition that he will answer any number from me not exceeding the same number. (Applause) I shall make no objection to the judge saying "yes" or "no," right now, or if it suits him, to remain silent. I pause for a moment to see how it will be – (a voice – "answer,") well, I suppose that I may assume that the judge chooses to remain silent. (Laughter and applause.) I now say to you, my fellow citizens, that I will answer his interrogatories, whether he answers mine or not. (Laughter.) I shall propound mine and leave them standing for the Judge's good pleasure. (Laughter, and a voice "hit him again.") Before I enter upon this answering of the Judge's interrogatories, I desire to say that I have no secret pledges in connection with my position in this canvass to any man or set of men. That I have supposed myself, since what I consider the organization of the Republican party at Bloomington, in May, 1856 – I suppose myself bound as a party man by the platform of the party then and since then; and in some of the interrogatories which I shall answer I go beyond the scope of what is within any of the platforms that I allude to, and in doing so I do not know really whether I stand in accordance with the Republican party or not.
Having said this much, I will now take up the Judge's interrogatories as find them propounded in the Chicago Times: I answer them seriatim and in order that there may be no mistake about it, I have copied in writing the interrogatories, and also my answer to them.
The first one of these interrogatories is in these words: "I desire to know whether Lincoln to day stands as he did in 1854, in favor of the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave law." To which I answer: I do not now nor ever did, stand in favor of the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave law.
2d interrogatory: "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 the people want them." I answer I do not now, nor ever did stand pledged against the admission of any more slave States into the Union.
3d interrogatory: "I want to know whether he stands pledged against the admission of a new State into the Union with such a constitution as the people of that State may see fit to make." I answer I do not stand pledged against the admission of the people of that State such a constitution as they may see fit to make.
Interrogatory 4: "I want to know whether he stands to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia." I answer, I do not stand to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. (Confusion.)
Question 5. – "I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to the prohibition of the slave trade between the different States?" I 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 the territories of the United States, North as well as South of the Missouri Compromise line." – I answer I am impliedly, if not expressly, pledged to the belief in the right and duty of Congress to prohibit slavery in all the United States territories.
Question 7. – "I desire him to answer whether he is opposed to the acquisition of any more territory unless slavery is first prohibited therein." I answer I am not generally opposed to the honest acquisition of 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.
Now, my friends, it will be perceived upon an examination of these questions as I answer that so far I have only answered as to whether I was pledged for this, or that, or any other thing. The Judge has not framed his interrogatories to ask me anything more than this, and I have answered in strict accordance with his interrogatories, and truly, that I am not pledged at all upon any of the points to which I have answered that I am not pledged; but I am not disposed to hang upon the form of his interrogatories but I am disposed at least to take up some of these questions, and state what I really think upon them.
I say to the first, in regard to the fugitive slave law, I have never hesitated to say what I think, under the Constitution of the United States, the people of the Southern States are entitled to a Congressional fugitive-slave law. I have always said that, and having said that, I have nothing to say in regard to the existing slave law further than this, that I think it might have been framed to have been free from some of the objections that pertain to it without at all lessening its efficiency. But inasmuch as we are not in the midst of an agitation in regard to the modification of that law, I would not be the man to introduce it as the subject of a new agitation upon the subject of slavery.
In regard to these other questions of whether I am pledged to the (non)admission of any more slave States in the Union, I state to you freely, frankly, that I should be exceedingly sorry to ever be put in the position of having to pass upon that question. I should be exceedingly glad to know that there would never be another slave State admitted into this Union, but I must add in regard to this, that if slavery shall be kept out of the Territory during the territorial existence of any given Territory, and then the people should having a fair chance and clear field when they come to adopt a Constitution, if they should do the extraordinary thing of adopting a slave Constitution, uninfluenced by the actual presence of the institution among them, I see no alternative if we own the country, but we must admit it into the Union.
The third interrogatory is answered by the answer to the second, the third being substantially the same as the second, as I conceive.
The fourth one is in regard to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. In relation to that I have my mind very distinctly, whether correctly or not made up. I should be exceedingly glad to see slavery abolished in the District of Columbia. (Applause.) I believe that Congress possesses the constitutional power to abolish it, yet as a member of Congress, I should not be in favor, with my present views, of interfering to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia; unless it should be upon three conditions: 1st. That the abolition should be gradual: in the second place, that it should be upon the vote of a majority of the qualified voters within the District, and lastly, with the compensation to unwilling owners. With these three conditions, I confess that I should be exceedingly glad to see Congress abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, and in the language of Henry Clay, "sweep from the national capital that foul blot upon our nation." (Cheers.)
In regard to the fifth interrogatory I must say here that as to the question of the slave-trade between the different States, while I can truly answer as I have, that I am pledged to nothing about it at all; it is a subject to which I have not given that mature consideration that would make me feel authorized to state a position so as to hold myself entirely bound by it; in other words, that question has never been made prominent enough before me to induce me to investigate the question as to whether we really have the constitutional power to do the thing. I could investigate it if I had sufficient time, and bring myself to a conclusion upon it, but I have not done so. I say so frankly, here to you, and to Judge Douglas. I must say however, that if I should be of opinion that Congress does possess the constitutional power to abolish the slave trade among the different States, I should not be in favor of the exercise of that power unless it should be upon some conservative principle, as I conceive it, akin to what I have said in relation to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.
My answer as to whether I desire that slavery should be prohibited in all the Territories of the United States is fully expressed within itself, and cannot be added to, as I suppose, by any comments of mine, and so I suppose in regard to the question as to whether I am opposed to the acquisition of any more territory, unless slavery is first prohibited therein. I suppose my answer to that is such that I perhaps could add nothing to it by way of illustrating it, or making me better understood, than the answer which I have placed in writing.
In all this the Judge has me, and he has me on the record. I suppose the Judge has flattered himself that I was really entertaining one set of opinions in one place and in another – that I was afraid of saying in one place what I would not at another; what I am saying here, I suppose I saying in presence of a large audience as strongly tending toward Abolitionism as any audience that can be gotten in this State of Illinois. – I suppose that if such an audience can be found, I saying it in the presence of that audience.
I now proceed, my friends, to propound to the Judge the interrogatories, so far as I have framed them, and I will bring forward a new installment when I get ready. The interrogatories so far as I have framed them only now reach to number four.
The first one is, if the people of Kansas shall by means entirely unobjectionable in all other respects, adopt a State constitution, and ask admission into the Union under it before they have the requisite number of inhabitants according to the English bill, to wit: ninety three thousand, will you vote to admit them?
2. Can the people of the United States territory, in any lawful way, against the wishes of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State constitution? (Applause, and cries of "that's it," "good," "he won't answer!")
3. If the Supreme Court of the United States shall decide that States cannot exclude slavery from their limits, are you in favor of acquiescing in adopting and following such decision as a rule of political action? (Applause.)
4. Are you in favor of acquiring additional territory, in disregard of how such acquisition may affect the nation on the slavery question? (A voice – "better.")
As introductory to those interrogatories which Judge Douglas propounded to me at Ottawa, he read a set of resolutions which he said Judge Trumbull and myself had participated in the adoption of in the first Republican State Convention held at Springfield in October, 1854. He insisted that I and Judge Trumbull, and, perhaps the entire Republican party, were responsible for the doctrines contained in a set of resolutions which he read, and it was from that set of resolutions that he deduced, as I understand, the interrogatories which he propounded to me, and using the resolutions as a sort of authority for propounding those interrogatories to me. Now, I say here to you to day, that I do not answer his interrogatories because of their at all springing from that set of resolutions which he read. I answer them because Judge Douglas thought fit to ask them. I do not now, nor ever did recognize any responsibility upon me in that set of resolutions. When I replied to him, or answered upon that occasion, I assured him that I had never had anything to do with them. I repeat here to day that I never in any possible form, had anything to do with that set of resolutions. It turns out, I believe – it turns out as I believe, that those resolutions were never passed in any convention at Springfield. – (Applause.) It turns out that they were never passed in any convention, or any public meeting that I had any part in; and I believe it turns out, in addition to all this, that there was not in the fall of 1854 any convention holding a session in Springfield calling it a Republican State Convention. (Applause and Laughter.) Yet it is true there was a convention, or assemblage of men calling themselves a convention at Springfield, that did pass some resolutions – at least I believe this to be true, and so little did I really know of the proceedings of that convention, and what sort of resolutions they had passed, having a general knowledge that there had been such a convocation of men there, that when Judge Douglas read his resolutions I really did not know but they were the resolutions that had been passed there, and it all passed by without my contradicting it. They were so very precise that I could not bring myself to suppose that the Judge could bring himself to say what he was saying upon that subject without knowing that it was true. I contented myself upon that occasion with denying, as I truly could, all connection with them, not denying or affirming whether they were passed at Springfield or not. It turns out that they were passed at some meeting held in Kane county. Now, I want to say here that I don't conceive in fair and just minds this discovery relieves me any at all. I had just as much to do with the convention in Kane County as I had with that at Springfield. I am just as much responsible for the resolutions passed in Kane county as for those passed at Springfield. It amounts to just nothing; no more than there would be in regard to the responsibility of a set of resolutions passed in the moon. (Laughter and loud cheers.)
I allude to this extraordinary matter in this canvass for some further purpose than what I have yet advanced. Judge Douglas did not make his statements upon that occasion as matter that he believed to be true; but he stated them roundly as being true, in such form as I understand to pledge his veracity for the truth of them. When this matter turns out as it does, and when we consider who Judge Douglas is – that he is a distinguished Senator of the United States, that he has served nearly twelve years in such capacity and that his character is not at all limited as an ordinary Senator of the United States, but that his name has become of world-wide renown, it is most extraordinary, as I think that he should so far forget all the suggestions of justice to an adversary, or of prudence to himself, as to venture upon the assertion of a thing which the slightest investigation would have shown him to be altogether false; (applause) and I can only account for his having done so upon the supposition that that evil genius which has attended him through his life, giving to him an apparent astonishing prosperity, such as lead very good men to doubt there being any advantage in virtue over vice – I can only account for it upon the supposition that that evil genius has at last made up his mind to forsake the Judge (laughter); and I may add, while I am upon the subject another rather extraordinary, feature of the Judge's conducting of this canvass – as it seems to me, made more extraordinary by this incident.
The Judge is in the habit, as I understand, in almost all the speeches he makes, of charging falsehood upon his adversaries – myself and others.
[A voice – Come on in free labor; never mind the Judge; tell us what you mean.]
Mr. Lincoln – I do now ask the Judge's attention whether he shall be able at all, in any thing that Judge Trumbull, for instance, has said, on anything that I have said, to find a justification at all comparing with what we have, in this instance against him, for that sort of ugly talk. (Applause.)
I have been in the habit, as I may begin to say now, of charging as a matter of belief that in the introduction of the Nebraska bill into Congress there was a conspiracy to make slavery perpetual and national. I have arranged from time to time, the evidence which I think – I have thought – tends to prove the truth of this charge. I recurred to this in the discussion at Ottawa; I shall not have the time now to dwell upon it with very great length; but inasmuch as Judge Douglas in his reply of half an hour, made some points back upon me in relation to that matter, I propose noticing a few of them.
The Judge insists that in the first speech I made, in which I very distinctly made that charge, as I think that he thought for a good while I was in fun. (Laughter.) That I was playful, that I was not sincere about it, that he only grew angry and somewhat excited when he found that I insisted upon it as a matter of earnestness, and he says what he characterizes as falsehood is so far as I implicate his moral character in that transaction. Well I was not – until the Judge presented that view – I was not aware that I had implicated his moral character. Now the Judge is very much in the habit, when he argues me up into a position which I never thought of occupying myself, of saying that he has no doubt in saying it, he has no doubt Lincoln is altogether conscientious in that matter. Now the Judge should remember that I have no doubt "he is conscientious in that matter." I can conceive that it is possible for him to conspire to do what he thinks in itself is good and right. I do not find anything really in Judge Douglas' course or argument that is contrary or inconsistent with his belief, of the right to nationalize and perpetuate slavery as being a good and blessed thing, and so I hope he will understand that I do not question that in all this matter that he is conscientious in it.
But to draw your attention to one of the points I made in that case, beginning at the beginning. When the Nebraska bill was introduced, or a short while afterwards, by an amendment it was provided – and I am afraid I shall be offensive to the Judge by quoting it again – it was provided, that it be "the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate slavery into any State or Territory, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States." I have called his attention to the fact, that when thereupon he and his friends began arguing that they were giving an increased degree of liberty to the people in the Territories, over and above what they had formerly on this question of slavery, that it was questioned whether the law was intended to give such any additional liberty to the people. To test the sincerity of those who made that argument, Chase, of Ohio, introduced an amendment in which he made the law, if the amendment were adopted, expressly declare that the people of the Territory should have the power of excluding slavery if they saw fit, and this being so, I have asked attention to the fact that Judge Douglas, with those who acted with him, voted that amendment down, although it exactly expressed the very thing they said was the true intent and object of the law, yet when introduced by Chase they voted it down. I have asked attention to the fact that in subsequent times a decision of the Supreme Court has been made, in which it has been declared that the people – substantially as I say – that the people have no constitutional right to exclude slavery, and I have argued and said that with men who had intended that the people of a territory should have the right to exclude slavery absolutely and unconditionally, the voting down of that amendment is wholly inexcusable. It is a puzzle – a riddle that cannot be understood.
But I have said, that with men who did look forward to such a decision as that, who then had it in contemplation that such a decision of the Supreme Court would or might be made in which it should be held that the people could not exclude slavery – I say with such men as that the voting down of that amendment would be perfectly rational and intelligent; it would keep Congress from being in collision with such a decision when it was made.
Now, anybody can conceive that if there was an understanding or expectation that such a decision as that was to follow, that it would not be a very desirable party attitude to get in for the Supreme Court, All its members or nearly all of them belonging to them to decide one way, when the party in Congress had decided the other way, and this being so, it would be perfectly rational for men who expected such a decision to come to keep a place in that law for it to come, to avoid such a collision. And after I have pointed that out, and have told Judge Douglas that it looks to me that that was the reason why Chase's amendment was voted down, I tell him that as he did it he knows why he did it. If he had a different, a better, or other reason that this, he knows what that other reason was and can tell it, and tell him it will be vastly more satisfactory to the country to give some other intelligent, plausible reason for voting it down than it will do to stand upon his dignity and call people liars.
Well, the Judge did, on Saturday, make his answer to that, and, now, what do you think that answer was? He says that if I had only taken upon myself to tell the whole truth about that amendment of Chase's that no explanation would have been necessary on his part, or words to that effect. Now, I say here that I am altogether unconscious of having suppressed anything that is material to the case; but, I am very plain to say, that if there is a sound reason it is altogether fair for the Judge to produce it. What reason does he produce? Why, he says, when Chase came forward with his amendment expressly authorizing the people to exclude slavery from the limits of every territory, Gen. Cass, as the Judge thinks, proposed to Mr. Chase, that if Chase would add to his amendment that the people should have the power to introduce or excluded, that then they would let it go; and because Chase would not do that – would not accept that as an amendment – they voted it down. I believe I fairly state Judge Douglas' answer. Well, it turns out, I believe, upon examination of the record, that Gen. Cass did take some part in the little running debate that was had upon that amendment of Chase's, and then ran away and did not vote upon it. Is not that so? (Applause.) So confident, as I think, was Gen. Cass, that there was a snake in it that he chose to run away from it, and, upon the call of the ayes and noes, his name does not appear.
What I ask attention to this for is this: Does that answer Judge Douglas amount to a satisfactory answer upon that question? (A voice – "No" "that is the question!" cries of "Yes," and "No.")
Mr. Lincoln – There is some difference of opinion, but I ask attention a little while as to whether it amounts to a satisfactory answer.
The men who were determined, as I think that that amendment should not go in the bill and spoil the place that the Dred Scott decision was to come in, sought an excuse to get rid of it some way, and one of those ways – one of these excuses was to ask Chase to add to his proposed amendment a provision that the people might introduce slavery if they wanted to. Now, they very well know that Chase wouldn't do it – they very well know that Chase was one of the men differing from them on the broad principle that freedom was better than slavery, and then who would not consent to place a provision in a law – to pen it with his own hand – to place a provision in a law by which he was to recognize slavery on the one hand and freedom on the other were equal. When they insisted on that, they well knew they were insisting on Chase's doing what they knew that he would not do.
But there is another thing about the matter. I have not had a chance of examining the Congressional Globe or Journal on the subject; but I believe it is true, that the state of the bill at that time, according to parliamentary rule was such that no member could propose an additional amendment to Chase's amendment. I rather think that is true. The Judge shakes his head? Very well, I would like to know then if they wanted Chase's amendment amended in that way. I ask the Judge why they did not offer the amendment – why did they stand there dallying and asking Chase to put it there when they were able to put it there themselves.
But we will take it on the other ground. – Suppose it is true that there was an amendment to an amendment offered and that Chase's amendment was an amendment to an amendment, then you cannot by parliamentary law pile it on. Suppose that was so, all the gentlemen had to do was, first to vote Chase's on and then in the amended form add their own amendment to it. If they wanted it put it in that shape, that was all they had to do, and the ayes and noes show that they were 36 in favor of the bill and fourteen against it; that thirty-six held entire control, they could in some form or other put it in, the exact form and shape that they wanted it. They could pass it at any point of time; they could add Chase's amendment, and then it being merged into the bill they could add another of their own, and put it exactly in the condition they then desired to have it in. They did not do that. They chose to get into a quibble with Chase to get him to do what they knew very well he would not do for his right arm, then they stand upon that – I must say – flimsy pretext, for voting down an amendment that expressed what they argued was the express purpose of their bill, and thus left room for the Dred Scott decision which goes far to make slavery national in the United States.
I will drop one or two points that I have because my time will expire. In doing so, I must be allowed briefly to say that Judge Douglas refers to the enormity of Lincoln – an insignificant individual like Lincoln confesses himself to be upon ipse dixit charging a conspiracy upon a large number of members of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the President, to nationalize slavery. I want to say, in the first place, that I have not made any charge of this sort upon my ipse dixit or upon my word. I have only arrayed the evidence that tends to prove a state of fact and showing that to the understanding of others, I give you the means of saying whether it be true or not. That is all that I have done. I have not placed it upon my ipse dixit.
But again, I want to call his attention to a piece of evidence that I brought forward at Ottawa, showing that he had made substantially the same charge against precisely the same men, excluding his own dear self from the category. I want him, if he pleases, to give us some attention to the fact that he discovered that there was as he said, "A fatal blow being struck," which fatal blow he ascribed in evidence, in an article in the Washington Union published by authority. By whose authority? "Are identical with the provisions in the Lecompton Constitution." Made by whom? The framers of that constitution. Advocated by whom? By all the members of the party in the nation who advocated the introduction of Kansas into the Union under the Lecompton Constitution. I have asked his attention to the evidence that he read to prove that such a fatal blow was being struck, and to the fact that he expressed a charge being identical with the one that he thinks is so villainous in me to make, by pointing it not at a newspaper editor alone, but to the President, at all his cabinet, all the members who voted for that constitution and all the framer of that constitution. I must say in this regard that my ipse dixit may not be so great as his, but it somewhat reduces the force of his charge.
Mr. Lincoln here sat down.
Senator Douglas' appearance was the signal for three cheers.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN – The silence with which you have listened to Mr. Lincoln during his hour is creditable to this vast audience composed of men of various political parties. Nothing is more honorable to any large mass, of people assembled for the purpose of a fair discussion, than that kind and respectful attention that is yielded not only to your political friends but to those who are opposed to you in politics.
I am glad that at least I have brought Mr. Lincoln to the conclusion that he had better define his position on certain political questions to which I called his attention at Ottawa. He there showed no disposition, no inclination to answer them. I did not present idle questions for him to answer merely for my gratification. I laid the foundation for those interrogatories by showing that they constituted the platform of the party whose nominee he is for the Senate. I did not presume that I had the right to catechize him as I saw proper unless I showed that his party or a majority of it stood upon the platform and were in favor of the propositions upon which my questions were based. I desired simply to know, inasmuch as he had been nominated as the first, last, and only choice of his party, whether he concurred in the platform which that party had adopted for its government. In a few moments I will proceed to review the answers which he has given to these interrogatories but in order to relieve his anxiety I will first respond to those which he has presented to me. Mark you, he has not presented interrogatories which have ever received the sanction of the party with which I am acting, and hence he has no other foundation for them than his own curiosity. ("That's a fact.")
First, he desires to know if the people of Kansas shall form a constitution by means entirely proper and unobjectionable and ask admission into the Union as a State, before they have the requisite population for a member of Congress, whether I will vote for that admission. Well, now, I regret exceedingly that he did not answer that interrogatory himself before he put it to me, in order that we might understand, and not be left to infer, on which side he is. (Good, good.) Mr. Trumbull, during the last session of Congress, voted from the beginning to the end against the admission of Oregon, although a free State, because she had not the requisite population for a member of Congress. (That's it.) Mr. Trumbull would not consent, under any circumstances, to let a State, free or slave, come into the Union until it had the requisite population. As Mr. Trumbull is in the field, fighting for Mr. Lincoln, I would like to have Mr. Lincoln answer his own question and tell me whether he is fighting Trumbull on that issue or not. (Good, put it to him, and cheers.) But I will answer his question. In reference to Kansas; it is my opinion, that as she has population enough to constitute a slave State, she has people enough for a free State. (Cheers.) I will not make Kansas an exceptional case to the other States of the Union. (Sound, and hear, hear.) I hold it to be a sound rule of universal application to require a Territory to contain the requisite population for a member of Congress, before it is admitted as a State into the Union. I made that proposition in the Senate in 1856, and I renewed it during the last session, in a bill providing that no Territory of the United States should form a constitution and apply for admission until it had the requisite population. On another occasion I proposed that neither Kansas, or any other Territory, should be admitted until it had the requisite population. Congress did not adopt any of my propositions containing this general rule, but did make an exception of Kansas. I will stand by that exception. (Cheers.) Either Kansas must come in as a free State, with whatever population she may have, or the rule must be applied to all the other Territories alike. (Cheers.) I therefore answer at once, that it having been decided that Kansas has people enough for a slave State, I hold that she has enough for a free State. ("Good," and applause.) I hope Mr. Lincoln is satisfied with my answer; ("he ought to be," and cheers,) and now I would like to get his answer on his own interrogatory – whether or not he will vote to admit Kansas before she has the requisite population. ("Hit him again.") I want to know whether he will vote to admit Oregon before that Territory has the requisite population. Mr. Trumbull will not, and the same reason that commits Mr. Trumbull against the admission of Oregon, commits him against Kansas, even if she should apply for admission as a free State. ("You've got him," and cheers.) If there is any sincerity, any truth in the argument of Mr. Trumbull in the Senate against the admission of Oregon because she had not 93,420 people, although her population was larger than that of Kansas, he stands pledged against the admission of both Oregon and Kansas until they have 93,420 inhabitants. I would like Mr. Lincoln to answer this question. I would like him to take his own medicine. (Laughter.) If he differs with Mr. Trumbull, let him answer his argument against the admission of Oregon, instead of poking questions at me. ("Right, good, good," laughter and cheers.)
The next question propounded to me by Mr. Lincoln is, can the people of a territory in any lawful way, against the wishes of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State Constitution? I answer emphatically, as Mr. Lincoln has heard me answer a hundred times from every stump in Illinois, that in my opinion the people of a Territory can, by lawful means, exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State Constitution. (Enthusiastic Applause.) Mr. Lincoln knew that I had answered that question over and over again. He heard me argue the Nebraska bill on that principle all over the State in 1854, in 1855 and in 1856, and he has no excuse for pretending to be in doubt as to my position on that question. It matters not what way the Supreme Court may hereafter decide as to the abstract question whether slavery may or may not go into a Territory under the Constitution, the people have the lawful means to introduce it or exclude it as they please, for the reason that slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere, unless it is supported by local police regulations. (Right, right.) Those police regulations can only be established by the local legislature, and if the people are opposed to slavery they will elect representatives to that body who will by unfriendly legislation effectually prevent the introduction of it into their midst. If, on the contrary, they are for it, their legislation will favor its extension. Hence, no matter what the decision of the Supreme Court may be on that abstract question, still the right of the people to make a slave territory or a free territory is perfect and complete under the Nebraska bill. I hope Mr. Lincoln deems my answer satisfactory on that point.
In this connection, I will notice the charge which he has introduced in relation to Mr. Chase's amendment. I thought that I had chased that amendment out of Mr. Lincoln's brain at Ottawa; (laughter) but it seems that still haunts his imagination, and he is not yet satisfied. I had supposed that he would be ashamed to press that question further. – He is a lawyer, and has been a member of Congress, and has occupied his time and amused you by telling you about parliamentary proceedings. He ought to have known better than to try to palm off his miserable impositions upon this intelligent audience. – ("Good," and cheers.) The Nebraska bill provided that the legislative power, and authority of the said Territory should extend to all rightful subjects of legislation consistent with the organic act and the Constitution of the United States. It did not make any exception as to slavery, but gave it all the power that it was possible for Congress to give, without, violating the Constitution, to the Territorial Legislature, with no exception or limitation on the subject of slavery at all. The language of that bill which I have quoted, gave the full power and the full authority over the subject of slavery, affirmatively and negatively, to introduce it or exclude it so far as the Constitution of the United States would permit. – What more could Mr. Chase give by his amendment? Nothing. He offered his amendment for the identical purpose for which Mr. Lincoln is using it, to enable demagogues in the country to try and deceive the people. ("Good, hit him again" and cheers.)
His amendment was to this effect. It provided that the legislature should have the power to exclude slavery: and General Cass suggested, "Why not give the power to introduce as well as exclude?" The answer was, they have the power already in the bill to do both. Chase was afraid his amendment would be adopted if he put the alternative proposition, and so make it fair both ways, but would not yield. He offered it for the purpose of having it rejected. He offered it as he has himself avowed over and over again, simply to make capital out of it for the stump. He expected that it would be capital for small politicians in the country, and that they would make an effort to deceive the people with it, and he was not mistaken, for Lincoln is carrying out the plan admirably. ("Good, good.") Lincoln knows that the Nebraska bill, without Chase's amendment, gave all the power which the Constitution would permit. Could Congress confer any more? ("No, no.") Could Congress go beyond the Constitution of the country? – We gave all, a full grant, with no exception in regard to slavery one way or the other. We left that question as we left all others, to be decided by the people for themselves, just as they pleased. I will not occupy my time on this question. I have argued it before all over Illinois. I have argued it in this beautiful city of Freeport; I have argued it in the North, the South, the East and the West, avowing the same sentiments and the same principles. I have not been afraid to avow my sentiments up here for fear I would be trotted down into Egypt. (Cheers and laughter.)
The third question which Mr. Lincoln presented is, if the Supreme Court of the United States shall decide that a State of the Union cannot exclude slavery from its own limits, will I submit to it? I am amazed that Lincoln should ask such a question. ("A school-boy knows better.") Yes, a school-boy does know better. Mr. Lincoln's object is to cast an imputation upon the Supreme Court. He knows that there never was but one man in America claiming any degree of intelligence or decency, who ever for a moment pretended such a thing. It is true that the Washington Union, in an article published on the 17th of last December, did put forth that doctrine, and I denounced the article on the floor of the Senate, in a speech which Mr. Lincoln now pretends was against the President. The Union had claimed that slavery had a right to go into the free States, and that any provision in the Constitution or laws of the free States to the contrary were null and void. I denounced it in the Senate, as I said before, and I was the first man who did. Lincoln's friends, Trumbull, and Seward, and Hale, and Wilson, and the whole Black Republican side of the Senate were silent. They left it to me to denounce it. (Cheers.) And what was the reply made to me on that occasion? Mr. Toombs, of Georgia, got up and undertook to lecture me on the ground that I ought not to have deemed the article worthy of notice, and ought not to have replied to it; that there was not one man, woman, or child south of the Potomac, in any slave State, who did not repudiate any such pretension. Mr. Lincoln knows that that reply was made on the spot, and yet now he asks this question. He might as well ask me, suppose Mr. Lincoln should steal a horse, would I sanction it: (laughter,) and it would be as genteel in me to ask him, in the event he stole a horse, what ought to be done with him. He casts an imputation upon the Supreme Court of the United States by supposing that they would violate the Constitution of the United States. I tell him that such a thing is not possible. (Cheers.) It would be an act of moral treason that no man on the bench could ever descend to. Mr. Lincoln himself would never, in his partizan feelings, so far forget what was right as to be guilty of such an act. ("Good, good.")
The fourth question of Mr. Lincoln is, are you in favor of acquiring additional territory in disregard as to how such acquisition may affect the Union on the slavery question. – This question is very ingeniously and cunningly put.
The Black Republican creed lays it down expressly, that under no circumstances shall we acquire any more territory unless slavery is first prohibited in the country. I ask Mr. Lincoln whether he is in favor of that proposition. Are you (addressing Mr. Lincoln) opposed to the acquisition of any more territory, under any circumstances, unless slavery is prohibited in it? That he does not like to answer. When I ask him whether he stands up to that article in the platform of his party, he turns, yankee-fashion, and, without answering
2it, asks me whether I am in favor of acquiring territory without regard to how it may affect the Union on the slavery question. – (Good.) I answer that whenever it becomes necessary, in our growth and progress, to acquire more territory, that I am in favor of it, without reference to the question of slavery, and when we have acquired it, I will leave the people free to do as they please, either to make it slave or free territory, as they prefer. It is idle to tell me or you that we have territory enough. Our fathers supposed that we had enough when our territory extended to the Mississippi river, but a few year's growth and expansion satisfied them that we needed more, and the Louisiana territory, from the West branch of the Mississippi, to the British possessions, was acquired. Then we acquired Oregon then California and New Mexico. We have enough now for the present, but this is a young and a growing nation. It swarms as often as a hive of bees, and as new swarms are turned out each year, there must be hives in which they can gather and make their honey. (Good.) In less than fifteen years, if the same progress that has distinguished this country for the last fifteen years continues, every foot of vacant land between this and the Pacific ocean owned by the United States, will be occupied. Will you not continue to increase at the end of fifteen years as well as now? I tell you, increase, and multiply, and expand, is the law of this nation's existence. (Good.) You cannot limit this great republic by mere boundary lines, saying, "thus far shalt thou go, and no further." Any one of you gentlemen might as well say to a son twelve years old that he is big enough, and must not grow any larger, and in order to prevent his growth put a hoop around him to keep him to his present size. What would be the result? Either the hoop must burst and be rent asunder, or the child must die. So it would be with this great nation. With our natural increase, growing with a rapidity unknown in any other part of the globe, with the tide of emigration that is fleeing from despotism in the Old World to ask a refuge in our own, there is a constant torrent pouring into this country that requires more land, more territory upon which to settle, and just as fast as our interests and our destiny require additional territory in the north, in the south, or on the islands of the ocean, I am for it, and when we acquire it, will leave the people, according to the Nebraska bill, free to do as they please on the subject of slavery and every other question. (Good, good; hurrah for Douglas.)
I trust, now, that Mr. Lincoln will deem himself answered on his four points. He racked his brain so much in devising these four questions that he exhausted himself, and had not strength enough to invent the others. (Laughter.) As soon as he is able to hold a council with his advisers, Lovejoy, Farnsworth, and Fred. Douglass, he will frame and propound others. (Good, good, &c. Renewed laughter in which Mr. Lincoln feebly joined, saying that he hoped with their aid to get seven questions, the number asked him by Judge Douglas, and so make conclusions even.) You Black Republicans who say good, I have no doubt think that they are all good men, (White, white.) I have reason to recollect that some people in this country think that Fred. Douglass is a very good man. The last time I came here to make a speech, while talking from the stand to you, people of Freeport, as I am doing today, I saw a carriage, and a magnificent one it was, drive up and take a position on the outside of the crowd; a beautiful young lady was sitting on the box-seat, whilst Fred. Douglass and her mother reclined inside, and the owner of the carriage acting as driver. (Laughter, cheers, cries of right; what have you to say against it, &c.) I saw this in your own town. ("What of it?") All I have to say of it is this, that if you, Black Republicans, think that the negro ought to be on a social equality with your wives and daughters, and ride in a carriage with your wife, whilst you drive the team, you have perfect right to do so. (Good, good and cheers, mingled with hooting and cries of white, white.) I am told that one of Fred. Douglass' kinsmen, another rich black negro, is now traveling in this part of the State making speeches for his friend Lincoln as the champion of black men. ("White men, white men," and what have you got to say against it?" That's right, &c.) All I have to say on that subject is that those of you who believe that the negro is your equal and ought to be on an equality with you socially, politically, and legally, have a right to entertain those opinions, and of course will vote for Mr. Lincoln. ("Down with the negro," no, no &c.)
I have a word to say on Mr. Lincoln's answer to the interrogatories contained in my speech at Ottawa, and which he has pretended to reply to here to-day. Mr. Lincoln makes a great parade of the fact that I quoted a platform as having been adopted by the Black Republican party at Springfield in 1854, which, it turns out, was adopted at another place. – Mr. Lincoln loses sight of the thing itself in his ecstasies over the mistake I made in stating the place where it was done. He thinks that that platform was not adopted on the right "spot."
When I put the direct questions to Mr. Lincoln to ascertain whether he now stands pledged to that creed – to the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave law, a refusal to admit any more slave States into the Union even if the people want them, a determination to apply the Wilmot proviso not only to all the territory, we now have, but all that we may hereafter acquire, he refused to answer, and his followers say, in excuse, that the resolutions upon which I based my interrogatories were not adopted at the "right spot." (Laughter and applause.) Lincoln and his political friends are great on "spots." (Renewed laughter.) In Congress, as a representative of this State, he declared the Mexican war to be unjust and infamous, and would not support it, or acknowledge his own country to be right in the contest, because he said that American blood was not shed on American soil in the "right spot." (Lay on to him.) And now he cannot answer the questions I put to him at Ottawa because the resolutions I read were not adopted at the right spot." It may be possible that I was led into an error as to the spot on which the resolutions I then read were proclaimed, but I was not, and am not in error as to the fact of their forming the basis of the creed of the Republican party when that party was first organized. (Cheers.) I will state to you the evidence I had, and upon which I relied for my statement that the resolutions in question were adopted at Springfield on the 5th of October, 1854. Although I was aware that such resolutions had been passed in this district, and nearly all the northern congressional districts and county conventions, I had not noticed whether or not they had been adopted by any State convention. In 1856, a debate arose in Congress between Major Thomas L. Harris, of the Springfield district, and Mr. Norton, of the Joliet district, on political matters connected with our State, in the course of which Major Harris quoted those resolutions as having been passed by the first Republican State Convention that ever assembled in Illinois. I knew that Major Harris was remarkable for his accuracy, that he was a very conscientious and sincere man, and I also noticed that Norton did not question the accuracy of this statement. I therefore took it for granted that it was so, and the other day when I concluded to use the resolutions at Ottawa, I wrote to Charles H. Lanphier, editor of the State Register, at Springfield, calling his attention to them, telling him that I had been informed that Major Harris was lying sick at Springfield, and desiring him to call upon him and ascertain all the facts concerning the resolutions, the time, and the place where they were adopted. In reply Mr. Lanphier sent me two copies of his paper, which I have here. The first is a copy of the State Register, published at Springfield, Mr. Lincoln's own town, on the 16th of October, 1854, only eleven days after the adjournment of the convention, from which I desire to read the following:
"During the late discussion in this city, Lincoln made a speech, to which Judge Douglas replied. In Lincoln's Speech he took the broad ground that, according to the Declaration of Independence, the whites and blacks are equal. From this he drew the conclusion, which he several times repeated, that the white man had no right to pass laws for the government of the black man without the nigger's consent. This speech of Lincoln's was heard and applauded by all the Abolitionists assembled in Springfield. So soon as Mr. Lincoln was done speaking, Mr. Codding arose and requested all the delegates to the Black Republican convention to withdraw into the Senate chamber. They did so, and after long deliberation, they laid down the following abolition platform as the platform on which they stood. We call the particular attention of our readers to it."
Then follows the identical platform, word for word, which I read at Ottawa. (Cheers.) Now, that was published in Mr. Lincoln's own town, eleven days after the convention was held, and it has remained on record up to this day never contradicted.
When I quoted the resolutions at Ottawa and questioned Mr. Lincoln in relation to them, he said that his name was on the committee that reported them, but he did not serve, nor did he think he served, because he was, or thought he was, in Tazewell county at the time the convention was in session. He did not deny that the resolutions were passed by the Springfield convention. He did not know better, and evidently thought that they were, but afterward his friends declared that they had discovered that they varied in some respects from the resolutions passed by that convention. I have shown you that I have good evidence for believing that the resolutions had been passed at Springfield.
Mr. Lincoln ought to have known better; but not a word is said about his ignorance on the subject, whilst I, notwithstanding the circumstances, am accused of forgery.
Now, I will show you that if I have made a mistake as to the place where these resolutions were adopted – and when I get down to Springfield I will investigate the matter and see whether or not I have – that the principles they enunciate were adopted as the Black Republican platform (white, white) in the various counties and Congressional districts throughout the north end of the State in 1854. This platform was adopted in nearly every county that gave a Black Republican majority for the legislature in that year, and here is a man (pointing to Mr. Denio, who sat on the stand near Deacon Bross,) who knows as well as any living man that it was the creed of the Black Republican party at that time. I would be willing to call Denio as a witness, or any other honest man belonging to that party. I will now read the resolutions adopted at the Rockford convention on the 30th of August, 1854, which nominated Washburne for Congress. You elected him on the following platform:
Resolved, That the continued and increasing aggressions of Slavery in our country are destructive of the dearest rights of a free people, and the vital principles of our government; and that such aggressions cannot be successfully resisted without the united political action of all good men.
Resolved, That the citizens of the United States hold in their hands a peaceful, constitutional, and efficient remedy against the encroachments of the slave power – the Ballot Box: and that if that remedy is boldly and wisely applied, the principles of liberty and eternal justice will be established.
Resolved, That we accept this issue, forced upon us by the slave power, and in defence of freedom will co operate and be known as Republicans, pledged to the accomplishment of the following purposes:
To bring the administration of the Government back to the control of first principles; to restore Nebraska and Kansas to the position of free territories; to the repeal and entire abrogation of the fugitive slave law; to restrict slavery to those States in which it exists; to prohibit the admission of any more slave States into the Union; to exclude slavery from all the Territories over which the General Government has exclusive jurisdiction; and to resist the acquirement of any more territories unless the introduction of slavery therein forever shall have been prohibited.
Resolved, That in furtherance of these principles we will use such constitutional and lawful means as shall seem best adapted to their accomplishment, and that we will support no man for office, under the general or State government, who is not positively committed to the support of these principles, and whose personal character and conduct is not a guarantee that he is reliable and who shall not have abjured all party allegiance and ties.
Resolved, That we cordially invite persons of all former political parties whatever, in favor of the object expressed in the above resolutions, to unite with us in carrying them into effect.
[Senator Douglas was frequently interrupted in reading these resolutions by loud cries of "Good, good," "that's the doctrine," and vociferous applause]
Well, you think that is a very good platform, do you not? ("Yes, yes, all right," and cheers) If you do, if you approve it now, and think it is all right, you will not join with those men who say, that I libel you by calling these your principles, will you? ("Good, good, hit him again," and great laughter and cheers.) Now, Mr. Lincoln complains; Mr. Lincoln charges that I did you and him injustice by saying that this was the platform of your party. (Renewed laughter.) I am told that Washburne made a speech in Galena last night in which he abused me awfully for bringing to light this platform on which he was elected to Congress. He thought that you had forgotten it, as he and Mr. Lincoln desires to. (Laughter.) He did not deny but that you had adopted it, and that he had subscribed to and was pledged to it, but he did not think it was fair to call it up and remind the people that it was their platform.
But I am glad to find that you are more honest in your abolitionism than your leaders, by avowing that it is your platform, and right in your opinion. (Laughter "you have them, good, good,")
In the adoption of that platform, you not only declared that you would resist the admission of any more slave States, and work for the repeal of the Fugitive Slave law, but you pledged yourself not to vote for any man for State or Federal offices who was not committed to these principles. ("Exactly so." Exactly so! Cheers) You were thus committed. Similar resolutions to those were adopted in your county Convention here, and now with your admission that they are your platform and embody your sentiments now as they did then, what do you think of Mr. Lincoln, your candidate for the U. S. Senate, who is attempting to dodge the responsibility of this platform, because it was not adopted in the right spot. (Shouts of Laughter, hurra for Douglas &c.) I thought that it was adopted in Springfield, but it turns out that it was not, that it was adopted at Rockford, and in the various counties which comprise this Congressional District. When I get into the next district, I will show that the same platform was adopted there, and so on through the State, until I nail the responsibility of it upon the back of the Black Republicans throughout the State. ("White, white," three cheers for Douglas.)
(A voice – Couldn't you modify and call it brown. Laughter.)
Mr. Douglas. – Not a bit. I thought that you were becoming a little brown when your members in Congress voted for the Crittenden-Montgomery bill, but since you backed out from that position and gone back to Abolitionism, you are black and not brown. (Shouts of laughter, and a voice, Can't you ask him another question.)
Gentlemen, I have shown you what your platform was in 1854. You still adhere to it. The same platform was adopted by nearly all the Counties where the Black Republican party had a majority in 1854. I wish now to call your attention to the action of your representatives in the Legislature when they assembled together at Springfield. In the first place you must remember that this was the organization of a new party. It is so declared in the resolutions themselves, which say that you are going to dissolve all old party ties and call the new party Republican. The old Whig party was to have its throat cut from ear to ear, and the Democratic party was to be annihilated and be blotted out of existence, whilst in lieu of these parties the Black Republican party was to be organized on this Abolition platform. You know who the chief leaders were in breaking up and destroying these two great parties. Lincoln on the one hand, Trumbull on the other, being disappointed politicians, (laughter,) and having retired or been driven to obscurity by an outraged constituency because of their political sins, formed a scheme to abolitionize the two parties and lead the Old-Line Whigs and Old-Line Democrats captive, bound hand and foot into the Abolition camp. Giddings, Chase, Fred Douglass and Lovejoy were here to christen them whenever they were brought in. (Great laughter.) Lincoln went to work to dissolve the Old-Line Whig party. Clay was dead, and although the sod was not yet green on his grave, this man undertook to bring into disrepute those great compromise measures of 1850, with which Clay and Webster were identified.
Up to 1854 the old Whig party and the Democratic party had stood on a common platform so far as this slavery question was concerned. You Whigs and we Democrats differed about the bank, the tariff, distribution, the specie circular, and the subtreasury, but we agreed on this slavery question and the true mode of preserving the peace and harmony of the Union. The compromise measures of 1850 were introduced by Clay, were defended by Webster, and supported by Cass, and were approved by Fillmore, and sanctioned by the National men of both parties. They constituted a common plank upon which both Whigs and Democrats stood. In 1852 the Whig party in its last national convention at Baltimore, indorsed and approved these measures of Clay, and so did the national convention of the Democratic party held that same year. Thus the old line Whigs and the old line Democrats stood pledged to the great principle of self government, which guarantees to the people of each Territory the right to decide the slavery question for themselves. In 1854, after the death of Clay and Webster, Mr. Lincoln on the part of the Whigs undertook to abolitionize the Whig party by dissolving it, transferring the members into the Abolition camp and making them train under Giddings, Fred. Douglass, Lovejoy, Chase, Farnsworth, and other abolition leaders. Trumbull undertook to dissolve the Democratic party by taking old Democrats into the abolition camp. Mr. Lincoln was aided in his efforts by many leading Whigs throughout the State. Your member of Congress, Mr. Washburne, being one of the most active. (Good fellow.) Trumbull was aided by many renegades from the Democratic party, among whom were John Wentworth, (laughter,) Tom Turner and others with whom you are familiar.
Mr. Turner, who was one of the moderators, here interposed and said that he had drawn the resolutions which Senator Douglas had read.
Mr. Douglas – Yes, and Turner says that he drew these resolutions. ("Hurra for Turner" "Hurra for Douglas.") That is right, give Turner cheers for drawing the resolutions if you approve them. If he drew those resolutions, he will not deny that they are the creed of the Black Republican party.
Mr. Turner. – They are our creed exactly. – (Cheers.)
Mr. Douglas – And yet Lincoln denies that he stands on them. ("Good, good," and laughter.) Mr. Turner says that the creed of the Black Republican party is the admission of no more slave States, and yet Mr. Lincoln declares that he would not like to be placed in a position where he would have to vote for them. All I have to say to my friend Lincoln is, that I do not think there is much danger of his being placed in such a position. (More laughter.) As Mr. Lincoln would be very sorry to be placed in such an embarrassing position as to be obliged to vote on the admission of any more slave States, I propose, out of mere kindness, to relieve him from any such necessity. (Renewed laughter and cheers.)
When the bargain between Lincoln and Trumbull was completed for abolitionizing the Whig and Democratic parties, they "spread" over the State, Lincoln still pretending to be an Old-Line Whig, in order to "rope in" the Whigs, and Trumbull pretending to be as good a Democrat as he ever was in order to coax the Democrats over into the Abolition ranks. (That's exactly what we want.) – They played the parts that "decoy ducks" play down on the Potomac River. In that part of the country they make artificial ducks and put them on the water in places where the wild ducks are to be found for the purpose of decoying them. Well, Lincoln and Trumbull played the part of these "decoy ducks," and deceived enough Old-Line Whigs and Old-Line Democrats to elect a Black Republican Legislature. When that Legislature met, the first thing it did was to elect as Speaker of the House the very man who is now boasting that he wrote the Abolition platform on which Lincoln will not stand. ("Good," "hit him again," and cheers.) I want to know of Mr. Turner whether or not, when he was elected, he was a good embodiment of Republican principles?
Mr. Turner – I hope I was then and am now.
Mr. Douglas – He answers that he hopes he was then and is now. He wrote that Black Republican platform, and is satisfied with it now. ("Hurrah for Turner," "good," &c.) I admire and acknowledge Turner's honesty. Every man of you knows what he says about these resolutions being the platform of the Black Republican Party is true, and you also know that each one of these men who are shuffling and trying to deny it is only trying to cheat the people out of their votes for the purpose of deceiving them still more after the election. ("Good," and cheers.) I propose to trace this thing a little further, in order that you can see what additional evidence there is to fasten this revolutionary platform upon the Black Republican party. When the Legislature assembled, there was an United States Senator to elect in the place of Gen. Shields, and before they proceeded to ballot, Lovejoy insisted on laying down certain principles by which to govern the party. It has been published to the world and satisfactorily proven that there was at the time the alliance was made between Trumbull and Lincoln to abolitionize the two parties, an agreement that Lincoln should take Shields' place in the United States Senate and Trumbull should have mine so soon as they could conveniently get rid of me. When Lincoln was beaten for Shields' place, in a manner I will refer to in a few minutes, he felt very sore and restive; his friends grumbled, and some of them came out and charged that the most infamous treachery had been practiced against him; that the bargain was that Lincoln was to have had Shields' place, and Trumbull was to have waited for mine, but that Trumbull having the control of a few abolitionized Democrats, he prevented them from voting for Lincoln, thus keeping him within a few votes of an election until he succeeded in forcing the party to drop him and elect Trumbull. Well, Trumbull having cheated Lincoln, his friends made a fuss, and in order to keep them and Lincoln quiet, the party were obliged to come forward, in advance, at the last State election, and make a pledge that they would go for Lincoln and nobody else. Lincoln could not be silenced in any other way.
Now, there are a great many Black Republicans of you who do not know this thing was done. ("White, white" and great clamor.) I wish to remind you that while Mr. Lincoln was speaking there was not a Democrat vulgar and blackguard enough to interrupt him. (Great applause and cries of hurrah for Douglas.) But I know that the shoe is pinching you. I am clinching Lincoln now, and you are scared to death for the result. – (Cheers.) I have seen this thing before. I have seen men make appointments for joint discussions and the moment their man has been heard, try to interrupt and prevent a fair hearing on the other side. I have seen your mobs before, and defy your wrath. (Tremendous applause.) My friends, do not cheer, for I need my whole time. The object of the opposition is to occupy my attention in order to prevent me from giving the whole evidence and nailing this double dealing on the Black Republican party. As I have before said, Lovejoy demanded a declaration of principles on the part of the Black Republicans of the Legislature before going into an election for United States Senator. He offered the following preamble and resolutions which I hold in my hand:
Whereas, human slavery is a violation of the principles of natural and revealed rights and, whereas, the fathers of the Revolution, fully imbued with the spirit of these principles, declared freedom to be the inalienable birthright of all men; and whereas, the preamble to the Constitution of the United States avers that that instrument was ordained to establish justice, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity; and whereas, in furtherance of the above principles, slavery was forever prohibited in the old north-west territory, and more recently in all that territory lying west and north of the State of Missouri by the act of the Federal Government; and whereas, the repeal of the prohibition last referred to was contrary to the wishes of the people of Illinois, a violation of an implied compact, long deemed and held sacred by the citizens of the United States, and a wide departure from the uniform action of the general government in relation to the extension of slavery; therefore,
Resolved, by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein, That our senators in Congress be instructed, and our representatives requested, to introduce, if not otherwise introduced, and to vote for a bill to restore such prohibition to the aforesaid Territories, and also to extend a similar prohibition to all territory which now belongs to the United States, or which may hereafter come under their jurisdiction.
Resolved. That our Senators in Congress be instructed, and our Representatives requested, to vote against the admission of any State into the Union, the constitution of which does not prohibit slavery, whether the territory out of which such State may have formed shall have been acquired by conquest, treaty, purchase, or from original territory of the United States.
Resolved, That our Senators in Congress be instructed, and our Representatives requested, to introduce and vote for a bill to repeal an act entitled "an act respecting fugitives from justice and persons escaping from the service of their masters;" and, failing in that, for such a modification of it as shall secure the right of habeas corpus and trial by jury before the regularly constituted authorities of the State, to all persons claimed as owing service or labor.
(Cries of "good," "good," and cheers.) – Yes, you say "good," and I have no doubt you think so. Those resolutions were introduced by Mr. Lovejoy immediately preceding the election of Senator. They declared, first, that the Wilmot proviso must be applied to all territory North of 36 deg, thirty min. Secondly: that it must be applied to all territory south of 36 deg., thirty min. Thirdly, that it must be applied to all the territory now owned by the United States, and finally, that it must be applied to all territory hereafter to be acquired by the United States. The next resolution declares that no more slave States shall be admitted into this Union under any circumstances whatever, no matter whether they are formed out of territory now owned by us or that we may hereafter acquire, by treaty, by Congress, or in any manner whatever. – (A voice – "That is right.") You say that is right. We will see in a moment. The next resolution demands the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave law, although its unconditional repeal would leave no provision for carrying out that clause of the Constitution of the United States which guarantees the surrender of fugitives. If they could not get an unconditional repeal, they demanded that that law should be so modified as to make it as nearly useless as possible. Now, I want to show you who voted for these resolutions. – When the vote was taken on the first resolution, it was decided in the affirmative – yeas 41, nays 32. You will find that this is a strict party vote, between the Democrats, on the one hand, and the Black Republicans on the other. (Cries of white, white, and clamor.) – I know your name, and always call things by their right name. The point I wish to call your attention to is this: that these resolutions were adopted on the 7th day of February, and that on the 8th they went into an election for a U. S. Senator, and that day every man who voted for these resolutions, with but two exceptions, voted for Lincoln for the U. S. Senate. (Cries of "good, good," and "give us their names.") I will read the names over to you if you want them, but I believe your object is to occupy my time. – (Cries of "that it is.")
On the next resolution, the vote stood – yeas 33, nays 40, and on the third resolution – yeas 35, nays 47. I wish to impress it upon you that every man who voted for those resolutions, with but two exceptions, voted on the next day for Lincoln, for United States Senator. Bear in mind that the members who thus voted for Lincoln were elected to the Legislature, pledged to vote for no man for office under the State or federal government who was not committed to this Black Republican platform. (Cries of "white, white," and "good for you.") They were all so pledged. Mr. Turner, who stands by me, and who then represented you, and who says that he wrote those resolutions, voted for Lincoln, when he was pledged not to do so unless Lincoln was committed in favor of those resolutions. I now ask Mr. Turner, (turning to Turner) did you violate your pledge in voting for Mr. Lincoln, or did he commit himself to your platform before you cast your vote for him?
I could go through the whole list of names here and show you that all the Black Republicans in the Legislature, ("white, white") who voted for Mr. Lincoln, had voted on the day previous for these resolutions. For instance, here are the names of Sargent and Little of Jo Daviess and Carroll; Thomas J. Turner, of Stephenson; Lawrence, of Boone and McHenry; Swan, of Lake, Pinckney, of Ogle county, and Lyman of Winnebago. – Thus you see every member from your Congressional District voted for Mr. Lincoln, and they were pledged not to vote for him unless he was committed to the doctrine of no more slave States, the prohibition of slavery in the Territories, and the repeal of the fugitive slave law. Mr. Lincoln tells you to-day that he is not pledged to any such doctrine. Either Mr. Lincoln was then committed to those propositions, or Mr. Turner violated his pledges to you when he voted for him. Either Lincoln was pledged to each one of those propositions, or else every Black Republican – (cries of "white, white") – representative from this Congressional District violated his pledge of honor to his constituents by voting for him. I ask you which horn of the dilemma will you take? Will you hold Lincoln up to the platform of his party, or will you accuse every representative you had in the Legislature of violating his pledge of honor to his constituents. (Voices; "we go for Turner," "we go for Lincoln," "hurrah for Douglas," "hurrah for Turner.") There is no escape for you. Either Mr. Lincoln was committed to those propositions, or your members violated their faith. Take either horn of the dilemma you choose. There is no dodging the question. I want Lincoln's answer. He says he was not pledged to repeal the fugitive slave law, that he does not quite like to do it; he will not introduce a law to repeal it, but thinks there ought to be some law; he does not tell what it ought to be; upon the whole, he is altogether undecided, and don't know what to think or do. That is the substance of his answer upon the repeal of the fugitive slave law. I put the question to him distinctly, whether he indorsed that part of the Black Republican platform which calls for the entire abrogation and repeal of the fugitive slave law. He answers no! that he does not endorse that, but he does not tell what he is for, or what he will vote for. His answer is, in fact, no answer at all. Why cannot he speak out and say what he is for and what he will do? (Cries of "that's right.")
In regard to there being no more slave States, he is not pledged to that. He would not like, he says, to be put in a position where he would have to vote one way or another upon that question. I pray you do not put him in a position that would embarrass him so much. (Laughter.) Gentlemen, if he goes to the Senate he may be put in that position, and then which way will he vote?
[A voice – How will you vote?]
Mr. Douglas – I will vote for the admission of just such a State as by the form of their Constitution the people show they want; if they want slavery, they shall have it; if they prohibit slavery, it shall be prohibited. They can form their institutions to please themselves. Subject only to the Constitution; and I for one stand ready to receive them into the Union. ("Three cheers for Douglas.") Why cannot your Black Republican candidates talk out as plain as that when they are questioned? (Cries of "good, good.")
I do not want to cheat any man out of his vote. No man is deceived in regard to my principles if I have the power to express myself in terms explicit enough to convey my ideas.
Mr. Lincoln made a speech when he was nominated for the United States Senate which covers all these abolition platforms. He there lays down a proposition so broad in its abolitionism as to cover the whole ground.
"In my opinion it (the slavery agitation) will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed." "A house divided against itself cannot stand." "I believe this Government cannot endure permanently half Slave and half Free. I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of Slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States – old as well as new, North as well as South."
There you find that Mr. Lincoln lays down the doctrine that this Union cannot endure divided as our Fathers made it, with free and slave States. He says they must all become one thing, or all the other; that they must all be free or all slave, or else the Union cannot continue to exist. It being his opinion that to admit any more slave States, to continue to divide the Union into free and slave States, will dissolve it. I want to know of Mr. Lincoln whether he will vote for the admission of another Slave State. (Cries of "bring him out.")
He tells you the Union cannot exist unless the States are all free or all slave; he tells you that he is opposed to making them all slave, and hence he is for making them all free, in order that the Union may exist; and yet he will not say that he will not vote against the admission of another slave State, knowing that the Union must be dissolved if he votes for it. (Great laughter.) I ask you if that is fair dealing? The true intent and inevitable conclusion to be drawn from his first Springfield speech is, that he is opposed to the admission of any more slave States under any circumstance. If he is not opposed, why not say so? If he believes this Union cannot endure divided into free and slave States, that they must all become free in order to save the Union, he is bound as an honest man, to vote against any more slave States. – If he believes it he is bound to do it. Show me that it is my duty in order to save the Union to do a particular act, and I will do it if the constitution does not prohibit it. (Applause.) I am not for the dissolution of the Union under any circumstances. (Renewed applause.) I will pursue no course of conduct that will give just cause for the dissolution of the Union. The hope of the friends of freedom throughout the world rests upon the perpetuity of this Union. The downtrodden and oppressed people who are suffering under European despotism all look with hope and anxiety to the American Union as the only resting place and permanent home of freedom and self-government.
Mr. Lincoln says that he believes that this Union cannot continue to endure with slave States in it, and yet he will not tell you distinctly whether he will vote for or against the admission of any more slave States, but says he would not like to be put to the test. – (Laughter.) I do not think he will be put to the test. (Renewed laughter.) I do not think that the people of Illinois desire a man to represent them who would not like to be put to the test on the performance of a high constitutional duty. (Cries of good.) I will retire in shame from the Senate of the United States when I am not willing to be put to the test in the performance of my duty. I have been put to severe tests. I have stood by my principles in fair weather and in foul, in the sunshine and in the rain. I have defended the great principles of self government here among you when Northern sentiment ran in a torrent against me. (A voice – that is so.) And I have defended that same great principle when Southern sentiment came down like an avalanche upon me. I was not afraid of any test they put to me. I knew I was right – I knew my principles were sound – I knew that the people would see in the end that I had done right, and I knew that the God of Heaven would smile upon me if I was faithful in the performance of my duty. (Cries of good, cheers and laughter.)
Mr. Lincoln makes a charge of corruption against the Supreme Court of the United States, and two Presidents of the United States, and attempts to bolster it up by saying that I did the same against the Washington Union. Suppose I did make that charge of corruption against the Washington Union, when it was true, does that justify him in making a false charge against me and others? That is the question I would put. He says that at the time the Nebraska bill was introduced, and before it was passed, there was a conspiracy between the Judges of the Supreme Court, President Pierce, President Buchanan and myself, by that bill, and the decision of the Court, to break down the barrier and establish slavery all over the Union. Does he not know that that charge is historically false as against President Buchanan? He knows that Mr. Buchanan was at that time in England, representing his country with distinguished ability at the Court of St. James, that he was there for a long time before and did not return for a year or more after. He knows that to be true, and that fact proves his charge to be false as against Mr. Buchanan. (Cheers.) – Then again, I wish to call his attention to the fact that at the time the Nebraska bill was passed, the Dred Scott case was not before the Supreme Court at all; it was not upon the docket of the Supreme Court; it had not been brought there, and the Judges in all probability knew nothing of it. Thus the history of the country proves the charge to be false as against them. As to President Pierce, his high character as a man of integrity and honor is enough to vindicate him from such a charge, (laughter and applause,) and as to myself, I pronounce the charge an infamous lie, whenever and wherever made, and by whomsoever made. I am willing that Mr. Lincoln should go and rake up every public act of mine, every measure I have introduced, report I have made, speech delivered, and criticize them, but when he charges upon me a corrupt conspiracy for the purpose of perverting the institutions of the country, I brand it as it deserves. I say the history of the country proves it to be false, and that it could not have been possible at the time. But now he tries to protect himself in this charge, because I made a charge against the Washington Union. My speech in the Senate against the Washington Union was made because it advocated a revolutionary doctrine, by declaring that the free States had not the right to prohibit slavery within their own limits. – Because I made that charge against the Washington Union, Mr. Lincoln says it was a charge against Mr. Buchanan. Suppose it was; is Mr. Lincoln the peculiar defender of Mr. Buchanan? Is he so interested in the federal administration, and so bound to it, that he must jump to the rescue and defend it from every attack that I may make against it? (Great laughter and cheers.) I understand the whole thing. The Washington Union, under that most corrupt of all men, Cornelius Wendell, is advocating Mr. Lincoln's claim to the Senate. Wendell was the printer of the last Black Republican House of Representatives; he was a candidate before the present Democratic House, but was ignominiously kicked out, and then he took the money which he had made out of the public printing by means of the Black Republicans, bought the Washington Union, and is now publishing it in the name of the Democratic party, and advocating Mr. Lincoln's election to the Senate. Mr. Lincoln therefore considers an attack upon Wendell and his corrupt gang as a personal attack upon him. (Immense cheering and laughter.) This only proves what I have charged, that there is an alliance between Lincoln and his supporters and the federal office-holders of this State, and Presidential aspirants out of it, to break me down at home.
[A voice – That is impossible, and cheering.]
Mr. Lincoln feels bound to come in to the rescue of the Washington Union. In that speech which I delivered in answer to the Washington Union, I made it distinctly against the Union alone. I did not choose to go beyond that. If I have occasion to attack the President's conduct, I will do it in language that will not be misunderstood. When I differed with the President, I spoke out so that you all heard me. – ("That you did;" and cheers.) That question passed away; it resulted in the triumph of my principle by allowing the people to do as they please, and there is an end of the controversy. ("Hear, hear.") Whenever the great principle of self government – the right of the people to make their own Constitution, and come into the Union with slavery, or without it, as they see proper, shall again arise, you will find me standing firm in defense of that principle, and fighting whoever fights it. ("Right, right." "Good, good," and cheers.)
If Mr. Buchanan stands, as I doubt not he will, by the recommendation contained in his message, that hereafter all State constitutions ought to be submitted to the people before the admission of the State into the Union, he will find me standing by him firmly, shoulder to shoulder, in carrying it out. I know Mr. Lincoln's object, he wants to divide the Democratic party, in order that he may defeat me and get to the Senate.
Mr. Douglas' time here expired, and he stopped on the moment.
My friends – It will very readily occur to you – it will very readily occur to you, that I cannot in half an hour notice all the things that as able a man as Judge Douglas could say in an hour and a half, and I hope, therefore, that if there be anything that you would like to hear something from me upon that I omit to say anything about, you will bear in mind that it would be expecting an impossibility. I can but take some of the points that he has dwelt upon, and employ my half hour upon them.
The first thing that I think of saying to you is a word in regard to Judge Douglas' declaration about vulgarity and blackguardism in the crowd – that no such thing was shown by any Democrat while I was speaking. Now I only want by way of reply upon that subject, to say that while I was speaking I used no vulgarity or blackguardism towards any Democrat. (Voices – "That is the principle." Elderly gentleman on the platform – "Apples of gold.")
Now, my friends, there is this long portion of the Judges speech – I think, perhaps, an entire half of the speech, which he has indulged in, in regard to the various resolutions and platforms that have been passed in the different counties at different congressional districts and in the Illinois Legislature, which supposes are at variance with the position which I have assumed here before you to day. Now, I think, that this is true – that many of those resolutions are at variance with the position which I have assumed here to day. (Laughter and confusion.) I think that is so. (Confusion.) Let us talk reasonably about it, that is all I ask upon the subject, that we talk reasonably and rationally about it. I am quite sure, the Judges opinion to the contrary, notwithstanding, I have never tried to conceal an opinion of mine from anybody – I never deceived anybody. I am sure that the Judge may go and hunt out the members of the Legislature, who voted for me and who he supposes to carry out their pledges, were bound to have pledges for me, – I will give him all these persons, and if he will find any one of them who will tell him that I gave him anything inconsistent with what I say now, I will resign now, and give the Judge no further trouble.
Now, the plain truth of the matter, it seems to me, is this way. At the introduction of the Nebraska policy many persons were induced to believe that there was a new era being introduced upon the slavery question, which was intended, or at least tended, if not intended, to the spread and perpetuation of slavery. We, however, in the degrees of our opposition, did not agree with one another. The people in the extreme north of the State were for extremer measures of opposition than we in the South. We were all opposed to the measure – we had that one feeling that one sentiment, in common with one another. You here in the north met and held your conventions and passed your resolutions. We in the middle of the State and further South did not meet and hold such conventions and pass such resolutions, although we had in some things a common view and a common sentiment, so that all these resolutions and all these meetings that the Judge has alluded to, and read from were partial – were local; they did not spread to the extent of the State. – We at last met together, as we did in 1856, from all parts of the State, and we agreed upon a common platform. You who held more extreme notions in former times either yielded those notions, or, if you did not yield them, agreed to yield them practically, for the sake of combining the opposition that you held to the measures that the opposite parties were putting forward. We on the other side met you, and if anything was yielded – as I suppose there was – we agreed upon a platform for the entire Republican party of the State of Illinois, and now I suppose we are all bound as a party men, who belong to that party, to this platform; and I say, if it be true that any one of you expects that if I should be elected – as the Judge thinks he is quite sure I will not – if any one of you think that I shall do anything that is not indicated by the Republican platform and by my answers here to day I tell you he will be deceived. I do not ask for the votes of any one who thinks I have secret pledges, that I do not speak plainly upon.
Cannot the Judge be satisfied? Does the Judge think that my going to will not enable you to vote your sentiments? (The confusion at this time partly drowned the words of the speaker.) I will tell you what the Judge is afraid of. He is afraid we will pull all together (Laughter.) That is what the Judge is afraid of. That is what is more alarming to him than anything else. Well, now, for my part, I do hope that all of us who entertain opinions adverse to his doctrines and to that which appears to us to be the tendency to perpetuate slavery, that we will waive minor differences and pull together. If it be true that I occupy sentiments that are not fully up to yours, that are not such as some as you could wish, and probably they are not such that some of you could wish, I shall still expect to have your votes. Nevertheless, if Judge Douglas holds opinions more in accordance with your views, then I am free to say to you go for him and not for me.
I hope to deal entirely fairly with Judge Douglas. I hope, at the least, that if I shall not be elected, that I shall go down with no real stain on my reputation, notwithstanding the hard opinions that Judge Douglas chooses to entertain of me.
The Judge has again addressed himself to the abolition tendency of a speech of mine which was made at Springfield. I have so often tried to answer what the Judge has said upon that subject, that I almost turn with disgust from the task of repeating an answer to it. I hope that most of this intelligent audience around me have really read that speech, and if they have I might almost venture to leave it to them to inspect c closely, to see whether it there really be any of these bugaboos which Judge Douglas interestedly sees. (Laughter.) But there is one particular branch of this discussion to which I wish to ask the attention of this audience, more especially than to others, and which I have some apprehension of omitting; but still another smaller one occurs to me, and it is this: The Judge complained that I do not to day fairly answer his questions. Gentlemen, if I have sense enough to fairly answer them, I have done so; if it could be pointed out to me how I can more distinctly answer his interrogatories, I aver that I have not sense to see how it can be done. He says I do not say that I would in any event vote for the admission of a slave State into the Union. – When he shall see my speech in print, if it be fairly reported, he will see what I did answer to that. I did not merely say, as he represents it, I would dislike to be put to the test, but I said, if I should be put to the test, and if a new State, after a Territory that led to the new State, had been kept free from slavery until the time of the formation of her constitution should frame a slave constitution – a most extraordinary state of things, which I think is not likely to happen – but if it should happen I did not see but that we would have to omit her. I said that in very plain language. The Judge does not desire to see or to know it, but when the papers shall put it in print the Judge shall see it.
I aver that the Judge, when he says if I voted for a slave State I would be in favor of a dissolution of the Union, the Judge is mistaken. I have said no such thing. I do say, I repeat it, in my opinion this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free; and yet I have never said, and do not now say, and do not now believe, that the introduction of one slave State into the Union would permanently fix this as a universal slave nation or bring about a dissolution of the Union. I have never said any such thing. I have never thought any such thing. The judge is very great in working up this quibble argument.
Before leaving this subject of answering of questions, I aver, as my opinion, and you will judge of it when you come to see it – when our speeches shall be read, every question he has asked has been more fairly, completely, and fully answered than he mine. The two speeches shall be laid down side by side and I will venture before all impartial judges that mine – his – have been more fully, fairly, and completely answered by me, than mine have been by him.
And now, then, there is one subject to which I wish to call to your attention. He says that he made a charge upon the editor of the Washington Union alone, of entertaining the purpose to rob the States of the power of excluding slavery from their limits. I say, and I make a direct issue on that, that he did not make that charge against the editor of the Union alone. (A voice – "What of that?")
I will occupy a portion of my time in trying to prove to this crowd that it was not the editor of the Union alone that he made it against; that is what he said it was. I will undertake to prove by the record here before I am done, that it was more than the editor of the Union alone that he made that charge against.
I am quite aware that he was shirking a little as to the form in which he put it, but I can make it manifest that it was more than the editor of the Union alone that he made the charge against.
Well, he again really dodges the argument as I made it, when he says I am the special friend of Mr. Buchanan. Not at all. Am I not making the same charge myself? I am trying to show, Judge Douglas, that you are a witness on my side as to that charge. That is what I am trying to show. I will tell Judge Douglas that when he made that charge he had an eye further North than he has to day. He was then fighting furiously against other people calling him a Black Republican and an Abolitionist. It is all mixed up in that part of the speech, and I say that it is pretty fairly manifest that his eye was fixed further North than it is to day.
But the judge says that although he made that charge, such as it was, that Mr. Toombs got up, and Toombs said that there was not another man in the United States, (I don't know that I give the Judge's exact language,) except the editor of the Union, who was in favor of the doctrine put forth by the editor of the Union, and, thereupon, I understand, that the Judge withdrew the charge – that merely because Mr. Toombs got up and made a speech – simply because Mr. Toombs got up an made a speech – although he had taken extracts from newspapers to show that there was a fatal blow being struck it all went to pot as soon as Mr. Toombs got up and told the Judge it was not so. He reminds me in that of John Phoenix's railroad survey that he published. John Phoenix says he started out with various modes of measuring when they were making the measurement from the Plaza to the Mission San Dolores. One was an invention of chain and pins, and another was a go-it-ometer.
A Voice – Turn this way.
Mr. Lincoln – Well, then, I shant be this way!!
At night, he said, when they had done their day's work, he turned to see the chainman to see what distance they had come, and he said that he found that the chainman had just drawn the chain along and stuck no pins. So he turned to the man with the go-it-ometer to see the number of paces marked, and found that it indicated four and a half miles which he knew must be about nine or ten times as far as they had come. About that time, he being much perplexed, a drayman came by and he asked him how far it was, and the drayman said it was exactly half a mile, and he wrote that down in his book, just as Douglas did what Toombs said. I think that Douglas is easily satisfied after he had arrayed his evidence as he had done upon that point by Toombs speech; I think that he was satisfied as easily as the railroad surveyor was by the drayman's statement.
There is another thing I believe is true about that editor of the Union that Douglas opposed. I believe it turned out that after all the opposition to him, that the Democratic party elected him. I think that the man who put forward that matter they really elected him printer.
Well, now my friends, as I have got less time than I think I have, than I thought I had before I turned to the watch, to see how it was, I will ask your attention, all of you to get a speech of Judge Douglas made in 1858, on the 22nd of March. You begin about the middle of page 21 in that speech, and read on till you get near the bottom of page 24, and you will find the entire evidence upon which I say that Judge Douglas did not make his charge alone against the editor of the Union. I had a notion to read it, but I can't stop to read it. After he had quoted the article from the editor of the Union he then said:
"Mr. President – You here find several distinct propositions, advanced boldly by the Washington Union, editorially and apparently authoritatively."
By whose authority, Judge Douglas?
Again, he says in another place;
"It will be seen by these clauses in the Lecompton Constitution, that they are identical in spirit with this authoritative article in the Washington Union of the day previous to its endorsement of this constitution, and every man is branded as a Free-Soiler and Abolitionist who does not subscribe to them."
By whose authority? Who do mean to say authorized the publication of this article? We all know that the Washington Union was the newspaper at Washington considered the organ of the administration, and I demand of Judge Douglas to say by whose authority he meant to say those articles were published. If he can say that he did not mean the President and Cabinet, who did he mean? How dare he say that he meant nobody but the editor of the Washington Union?
I have said I will prove that he meant more and by his own speech. I defy him to say who he meant other than the President and his Cabinet. More than that, he says that the editor – that the articles in that paper and the provisions in the constitution are identical, and being identical he argues that they are conspiring together; he don't use the word conspiring but what other meaning can you put upon it? I ask you to read it yourselves.
More than that. He winds up with this:
"When I saw that article in the Union of the 17th of November, followed by the glorification of the Lecompton Constitution on the 18th of November, and this clause in the constitution asserting the doctrine that no State has a right to prohibit slavery within its limits, I saw that there was a fatal blow being struck at the sovereignty of the States of this Union, a death blow to State rights, subversive of the Democratic platform, and of the principles upon which the Democratic party have ever stood, and upon which I wish it will ever stand."
Now, I ask him if he made all these remarks – if he was talking about that fatal blow being struck by the editor of the Washington Union when he did not mean that anybody else was in it. It would be a terribly fatal blow that a single man could strike, when no President, no Member of Congress, no cabinet officers, were assisting in the blow. That would be a terribly fatal blow. Out of respect for Judge Douglas' good sense we must imagine that he did not manufacture the idea of that