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The Position of the Three Parties Upon the Slavery Question.


Tuesday, September 21, 1858.

We find the following succinct statement of the issues before the people of this State, in the Chicago Press & Tribune:

It is well that we, as a whole people, do now in the exercise of real candor look at the positions respectively held by the parties now soliciting our suffrage.

1. The Republican party hold that the Constitution of the United States does not recognize property in slaves; that slavery is strictly a local institution; that the Territories are the property of the people of the United States; that Congress possesses full legislative power over the Territories, and that it is the right and duty of Congress to prohibit slavery therein.

There is no quibbling in this.

2. The National Democracy stand by the Dred Scott decision which asserts that the Constitution recognizes slaves as property; that the Territories are held for the common use of the people of all the States; that neither Congress nor any other tribunal acting under the authority of the United States, has any right to deny that protection to slave property in the Territories which it allows every other species of property; consequently any legislation unfriendly to the free enjoyment of this right of property in slaves would be in conflict with the Constitution.

This is straight forward and without any apparent design to deceive.

2. The Douglas party admit the authority and binding force of the Dred Scott decision; that slaves are recognized as property by the Constitution; that neither Congress nor a Territorial legislature can exclude slavery from a Territory – but still claim that the people of a Territory may evade their constitutional obligations, and deny it the protection of local law, without which they assert it cannot exist.

This is truly Douglas like! Equivocal and sneaking.