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The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Complete by Abraham Lincoln

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free States is much greater in the slave than in the free States.
It is worthy of note, too, that among the free States those which
make the colored man the nearest equal to the white have
proportionably the fewest mulattoes, the least of amalgamation.
In New Hampshire, the State which goes farthest toward equality
between the races, there are just 184 mulattoes, while there are
in Virginia--how many do you think?--79,775, being 23,126 more
than in all the free States together.

These statistics show that slavery is the greatest source of
amalgamation, and next to it, not the elevation, but the
degradation of the free blacks. Yet Judge Douglas dreads the
slightest restraints on the spread of slavery, and the slightest
human recognition of the negro, as tending horribly to

The very Dred Scott case affords a strong test as to which party
most favors amalgamation, the Republicans or the dear Union-
saving Democracy. Dred Scott, his wife, and two daughters were
all involved in the suit. We desired the court to have held that
they were citizens so far at least as to entitle them to a
hearing as to whether they were free or not; and then, also, that
they were in fact and in law really free. Could we have had our
way, the chances of these black girls ever mixing their blood
with that of white people would have been diminished at least to
the extent that it could not have been without their consent.
But Judge Douglas is delighted to have them decided to be slaves,
and not human enough to have a hearing, even if they were free,
and thus left subject to the forced concubinage of their masters,
and liable to become the mothers of mulattoes in spite of
themselves: the very state of case that produces nine tenths of
all the mulattoes all the mixing of blood in the nation.

Of course, I state this case as an illustration only, not meaning
to say or intimate that the master of Dred Scott and his family,
or any more than a percentage of masters generally, are inclined
to exercise this particular power which they hold over their
female slaves.

I have said that the separation of the races is the only perfect
preventive of amalgamation. I have no right to say all the
members of the Republican party are in favor of this, nor to say
that as a party they are in favor of it. There is nothing in
their platform directly on the subject. But I can say a very
large proportion of its members are for it, and that the chief
plank in their platform--opposition to the spread of slavery--is
most favorable to that separation.

Such separation, if ever effected at all, must be effected by
colonization; and no political party, as such, is now doing
anything directly for colonization. Party operations at present
only favor or retard colonization incidentally. The enterprise
is a difficult one; but "where there is a will there is a way,"
and what colonization needs most is a hearty will. Will springs
from the two elements of moral sense and self-interest. Let us
be brought to believe it is morally right, and at the same time
favorable to, or at least not against, our interest to transfer
the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do
it, however great the task may be. The children of Israel, to
such numbers as to include four hundred thousand fighting men,
went out of Egyptian bondage in a body.

How differently the respective courses of the Democratic and
Republican parties incidentally, bear on the question of forming
a will--a public sentiment--for colonization, is easy to see.
The Republicans inculcate, with whatever of ability they can,
that the negro is a man, that his bondage is cruelly wrong, and
that the field of his oppression ought not to be enlarged. The
Democrats deny his manhood; deny, or dwarf to insignificance, the
wrong of his bondage; so far as possible crush all sympathy for
him, and cultivate and excite hatred and disgust against him;
compliment themselves as Union-savers for doing so; and call the
indefinite outspreading of his bondage "a sacred right of self-

The plainest print cannot be read through a gold eagle; and it
will be ever hard to find many men who will send a slave to
Liberia, and pay his passage, while they can send him to a new
country--Kansas, for instance--and sell him for fifteen hundred
dollars, and the rise.



DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 14th is received, and I am much obliged
for the legal information you give.

You can scarcely be more anxious than I that the next election in
Iowa should result in favor of the Republicans. I lost nearly
all the working part of last year, giving my time to the canvass;
and I am altogether too poor to lose two years together. I am
engaged in a suit in the United States Court at Chicago, in which
the Rock Island Bridge Company is a party. The trial is to
commence on the 8th of September, and probably will last two or
three weeks. During the trial it is not improbable that all
hands may come over and take a look at the bridge, and, if it
were possible to make it hit right, I could then speak at
Davenport. My courts go right on without cessation till late in
November. Write me again, pointing out the more striking points
of difference between your old and new constitutions, and also
whether Democratic and Republican party lines were drawn in the
adoption of it, and which were for and which were against it.
If, by possibility, I could get over among you it might be of
some advantage to know these things in advance.

Yours very truly,



(From the Daily Press of Chicago, Sept. 24, 1857.)

Hurd et al. vs Railroad Bridge Co.

United States Circuit Court,
Hon. John McLean, Presiding Judge.

13th day, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 1857.

Mr. A. Lincoln addressed the jury. He said he did not purpose to
assail anybody, that he expected to grow earnest as he proceeded
but not ill-natured. "There is some conflict of testimony in the
case," he said, "but one quarter of such a number of witnesses
seldom agree, and even if all were on one side some discrepancy
might be expected. We are to try and reconcile them, and to
believe that they are not intentionally erroneous as long as we
can." He had no prejudice, he said, against steamboats or
steamboat men nor any against St. Louis, for he supposed they
went about this matter as other people would do in their
situation. "St. Louis," he continued, "as a commercial place may
desire that this bridge should not stand, as it is adverse to her
commerce, diverting a portion of it from the river; and it may be
that she supposes that the additional cost of railroad
transportation upon the productions of Iowa will force them to go
to St. Louis if this bridge is removed. The meetings in St.
Louis are connected with this case only as some witnesses are in
it, and thus has some prejudice added color to their testimony."
The last thing that would be pleasing to him, Mr. Lincoln said,
would be to have one of these great channels, extending almost
from where it never freezes to where it never thaws, blocked up,
but there is a travel from east to west whose demands are not
less important than those of the river. It is growing larger and
larger, building up new countries with a rapidity never before
seen in the history of the world. He alluded to the astonishing
growth of Illinois, having grown within his memory to a
population of a million and a half; to Iowa and the other young
rising communities of the Northwest.

"This current of travel," said he, "has its rights as well as
that of north and south. If the river had not the advantage in
priority and legislation we could enter into free competition
with it and we could surpass it. This particular railroad line
has a great importance and the statement of its business during a
little less than a year shows this importance. It is in evidence
that from September 8, 1856, to August 8, 1857, 12,586 freight
cars and 74,179 passengers passed over this bridge. Navigation
was closed four days short of four months last year, and during
this time while the river was of no use this road and bridge were
valuable. There is, too, a considerable portion of time when
floating or thin ice makes the river useless while the bridge is
as useful as ever. This shows that this bridge must be treated
with respect in this court and is not to be kicked about with
contempt. The other day Judge Wead alluded to the strike of the
contending interest and even a dissolution of the Union. The
proper mode for all parties in this affair is to 'live and let
live,' and then we will find a cessation of this trouble about
the bridge. What mood were the steamboat men in when this bridge
was burned? Why, there was a shouting and ringing of bells and
whistling on all the boats as it fell. It was a jubilee, a
greater celebration than follows an excited election. The first
thing I will proceed to is the record of Mr. Gurney and the
complaint of Judge Wead that the record did not extend back over
all the time from the completion of the bridge. The principal
part of the navigation after the bridge was burned passed through
the span. When the bridge was repaired and the boats were a
second time confined to the draw it was provided that this record
should be kept. That is the simple history of that book.

"From April 19th, 1856, to May 6th--seventeen days--there were
twenty accidents and all the time since then there have been but
twenty hits, including seven accidents, so that the dangers of
this place are tapering off and as the boatmen get cool the
accidents get less. We may soon expect if this ratio is kept up
that there will be no accidents at all.

"Judge Wead said, while admitting that the floats went straight
through, there was a difference between a float and a boat, but I
do not remember that he indulged us with an argument in support
of this statement. Is it because there is a difference in size?
Will not a small body and a large one float the same way under
the same influence? True a flatboat will float faster than an
egg shell and the egg shell might be blown away by the wind, but
if under the same influence they would go the same way. Logs,
floats, boards, various things the witnesses say all show the
same current. Then is not this test reliable? At all depths too
the direction of the current is the same. A series of these
floats would make a line as long as a boat and would show any
influence upon any part and all parts of the boat.

"I will now speak of the angular position of the piers. What is
the amount of the angle? The course of the river is a curve and
the pier is straight. If a line is produced from the upper end
of the long pier straight with the pier to a distance of 350
feet, and a line is drawn from a point in the channel opposite
this point to the head of the pier, Colonel Nason says they will
form an angle of twenty degrees. But the angle if measured at
the pier is seven degrees; that is, we would have to move the
pier seven degrees to make it exactly straight with the current.
Would that make the navigation better or worse? The witnesses of
the plaintiff seem to think it was only necessary to say that the
pier formed an angle with the current and that settled the
matter. Our more careful and accurate witnesses say that, though
they had been accustomed to seeing the piers placed straight with
the current, yet they could see that here the current had been
made straight by us in having made this slight angle; that the
water now runs just right, that it is straight and cannot be
improved. They think that if the pier was changed the eddy would
be divided and the navigation improved.

"I am not now going to discuss the question what is a material
obstruction. We do not greatly differ about the law. The cases
produced here are, I suppose, proper to be taken into
consideration by the court in instructing a jury. Some of them I
think are not exactly in point, but I am still willing to trust
his honor, Judge McLean, and take his instructions as law. What
is reasonable skill and care? This is a thing of which the jury
are to judge. I differ from the other side when it says that
they are bound to exercise no more care than was taken before the
building of the bridge. If we are allowed by the Legislature to
build the bridge which will require them to do more than before,
when a pilot comes along, it is unreasonable for him to dash on
heedless of this structure which has been legally put there. The
Afton came there on the 5th and lay at Rock Island until next
morning. When a boat lies up the pilot has a holiday, and would
not any of these jurors have then gone around to the bridge and
gotten acquainted with the place? Pilot Parker has shown here
that he does not understand the draw. I heard him say that the
fall from the head to the foot of the pier was four feet; he
needs information. He could have gone there that day and seen
there was no such fall. He should have discarded passion and the
chances are that he would have had no disaster at all. He was
bound to make himself acquainted with the place.

"McCammon says that the current and the swell coming from the
long pier drove her against the long pier. In other words drove
her toward the very pier from which the current came! It is an
absurdity, an impossibility. The only recollection I can find
for this contradiction is in a current which White says strikes
out from the long pier and then like a ram's horn turns back, and
this might have acted somehow in this manner.

"It is agreed by all that the plaintiff's boat was destroyed and
that it was destroyed upon the head of the short pier; that she
moved from the channel where she was with her bow above the head
of the long pier, till she struck the short one, swung around
under the bridge and there was crowded and destroyed.

"I shall try to prove that the average velocity of the current
through the draw with the boat in it should be five and a half
miles an hour; that it is slowest at the head of the pier and
swiftest at the foot of the pier. Their lowest estimate in
evidence is six miles an hour, their highest twelve miles. This
was the testimony of men who had made no experiment, only
conjecture. We have adopted the most exact means. The water
runs swiftest in high water and we have taken the point of nine
feet above low water. The water when the Afton was lost was
seven feet above low water, or at least a foot lower than our
time. Brayton and his assistants timed the instruments, the best
instruments known in measuring currents. They timed them under
various circumstances and they found the current five miles an
hour and no more. They found that the water at the upper end ran
slower than five miles; that below it was swifter than five
miles, but that the average was five miles. Shall men who have
taken no care, who conjecture, some of whom speak of twenty miles
an hour, be believed against those who have had such a favorable.
and well improved opportunity? They should not even qualify the
result. Several men have given their opinion as to the distance
of the steamboat Carson, and I suppose if one should go and
measure that distance you would believe him in preference to all
of them.

"These measurements were made when the boat was not in the draw.
It has been ascertained what is the area of the cross section of
this stream and the area of the face of the piers, and the
engineers say that the piers being put there will increase the
current proportionally as the space is decreased. So with the
boat in the draw. The depth of the channel was twenty-two feet,
the width one hundred and sixteen feet; multiply these and you
have the square-feet across the water of the draw, viz.: 2552
feet. The Afton was 35 feet wide and drew 5 feet, making a
fourteenth of the sum. Now, one-fourteenth of five miles is
five-fourteenths of one mile--about one third of a mile--the
increase of the current. We will call the current five and a
half miles per hour. The next thing I will try to prove is that
the plaintiff's (?) boat had power to run six miles an hour in
that current. It had been testified that she was a strong, swift
boat, able to run eight miles an hour up stream in a current of
four miles an hour, and fifteen miles down stream. Strike the
average and you will find what is her average--about eleven and a
half miles. Take the five and a half miles which is the speed of
the current in the draw and it leaves the power of that boat in
that draw at six miles an hour, 528 feet per minute and 8 4/5
feet to the second.

" Next I propose to show that there are no cross currents. I
know their witnesses say that there are cross currents--that, as
one witness says, there were three cross currents and two eddies;
so far as mere statement, without experiment, and mingled with
mistakes, can go, they have proved. But can these men's
testimony be compared with the nice, exact, thorough experiments
of our witnesses? Can you believe that these floats go across
the currents? It is inconceivable that they could not have
discovered every possible current. How do boats find currents
that floats cannot discover? We assume the position then that
those cross currents are not there. My next proposition is that
the Afton passed between the S. B. Carson and the Iowa shore.
That is undisputed.

"Next I shall show that she struck first the short pier, then the
long pier, then the short one again and there she stopped."
Mr. Lincoln then cited the testimony of eighteen witnesses on
this point.

"How did the boat strike when she went in? Here is an endless
variety of opinion. But ten of them say what pier she struck;
three of them testify that she struck first the short, then the
long and then the short for the last time. None of the rest
substantially contradict this. I assume that these men have got
the truth because I believe it an established fact. My next
proposition is that after she struck the short and long pier and
before she got back to the short pier the boat got right with her
bow up. So says the pilot Parker--that he got her through until
her starboard wheel passed the short pier. This would make her
head about even with the head of the long pier. He says her head
was as high or higher than the head of the long pier. Other
witnesses confirmed this one. The final stroke was in the splash
door aft the wheel. Witnesses differ, but the majority say that
she struck thus."

Court adjourned.

14th day, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1857.

Mr. A. LINCOLN resumed. He said he should conclude as soon as
possible. He said the colored map of the plaintiff which was
brought in during one stage of the trial showed itself that the
cross currents alleged did not exist. That the current as
represented would drive an ascending boat to the long pier but
not to the short pier, as they urge. He explained from a model
of a boat where the splash door is, just behind the wheel. The
boat struck on the lower shoulder of the short pier as she swung
around in the splash door; then as she went on around she struck
the point or end of the pier, where she rested. "Her engineers,"
said Mr. Lincoln, "say the starboard wheel then was rushing
around rapidly. Then the boat must have struck the upper point
of the pier so far back as not to disturb the wheel. It is forty
feet from the stern of the Afton to the splash door, and thus it
appears that she had but forty feet to go to clear the pier. How
was it that the Afton with all her power flanked over from the
channel to the short pier without moving one foot ahead? Suppose
she was in the middle of the draw, her wheel would have been 31
feet from the short pier. The reason she went over thus is her
starboard wheel was not working. I shall try to establish the
fact that the wheel was not running and that after she struck she
went ahead strong on this same wheel. Upon the last point the
witnesses agree, that the starboard wheel was running after she
struck, and no witnesses say that it was running while she was
out in the draw flanking over."

Mr. Lincoln read from the testimonies of various witnesses to
prove that the starboard wheel was not working while the Afton
was out in the stream.

"Other witnesses show that the captain said something of the
machinery of the wheel, and the inference is that he knew the
wheel was not working. The fact is undisputed that she did not
move one inch ahead while she was moving this 31 feet sideways.
There is evidence proving that the current there is only five
miles an hour, and the only explanation is that her power was not
all used--that only one wheel was working. The pilot says he
ordered the engineers to back her up. The engineers differ from
him and said they kept on going ahead. The bow was so swung that
the current pressed it over; the pilot pressed the stern over
with the rudder, though not so fast but that the bow gained on
it, and only one wheel being in motion the boat nearly stood
still so far as motion up and down is concerned, and thus she was
thrown upon this pier. The Afton came into the draw after she
had just passed the Carson, and as the Carson no doubt kept the
true course the Afton going around her got out of the proper way,
got across the current into the eddy which is west of a straight
line drawn down from the long pier, was compelled to resort to
these changes of wheels, which she did not do with sufficient
adroitness to save her. Was it not her own fault that she
entered wrong, so far wrong that she never got right? Is the
defence to blame for that?

"For several days we were entertained with depositions about
boats 'smelling a bar.' Why did the Afton then, after she had
come up smelling so close to the long pier sheer off so
strangely. When she got to the centre of the very nose she was
smelling she seemed suddenly to have lost her sense of smell and
to have flanked over to the short pier."

Mr. Lincoln said there was no practicability in the project of
building a tunnel under the river, for there "is not a tunnel
that is a successful project in this world. A suspension bridge
cannot be built so high but that the chimneys of the boats will
grow up till they cannot pass. The steamboat men will take pains
to make them grow. The cars of a railroad cannot without immense
expense rise high enough to get even with a suspension bridge or
go low enough to get through a tunnel; such expense is

"The plaintiffs have to establish that the bridge is a material
obstruction and that they have managed their boat with reasonable
care and skill. As to the last point high winds have nothing to
do with it, for it was not a windy day. They must show due skill
and care. Difficulties going down stream will not do, for they
were going up stream. Difficulties with barges in tow have
nothing to do with the accident, for they had no barge. "Mr.
Lincoln said he had much more to say, many things he could
suggest to the jury, but he wished to close to save time.



BLOOMINGTON, Dec. 19, 1857.

J. M. Douglas of the I. C. R. R. Co. is here and will carry this
letter. He says they have a large sum (near $90,000) which they
will pay into the treasury now, if they have an assurance that
they shall not be sued before Jan., 1859--otherwise not.
I really wish you could consent to this. Douglas says they
cannot pay more, and I believe him.

I do not write this as a lawyer seeking an advantage for a
client; but only as a friend, only urging you to do what I think
I would do if I were in your situation. I mean this as private
and confidential only, but I feel a good deal of anxiety about

Yours as ever,



SPRINGFIELD, Jan. 19, 1858.

This morning Col. McClernand showed me a petition for a mandamus
against the Secretary of State to compel him to certify the
apportionment act of last session; and he says it will be
presented to the court to-morrow morning. We shall be allowed
three or four days to get up a return, and I, for one, want the
benefit of consultation with you.

Please come right up.

Yours as ever,



SPRINGFIELD, Feb 7, 1858

Yesterday morning the court overruled the demurrer to Hatches
return in the mandamus case. McClernand was present; said nothing
about pleading over; and so I suppose the matter is ended.

The court gave no reason for the decision; but Peck tells me
confidentially that they were unanimous in the opinion that even
if the Gov'r had signed the bill purposely, he had the right to
scratch his name off so long as the bill remained in his custody
and control.

Yours as ever,



SPRINGFIELD, December 18, 1857.


MY DEAR SIR:--Coming home from Bloomington last night I found
your letter of the 15th.

I know of no express statute or decisions as to what a J. P.
upon the expiration of his term shall do with his docket books,
papers, unfinished business, etc., but so far as I know, the
practice has been to hand over to the successor, and to cease to
do anything further whatever, in perfect analogo to Sections 110
and 112, and I have supposed and do suppose this is the law. I
think the successor may forthwith do whatever the retiring J. P.
might have done. As to the proviso to Section 114 I think it was
put in to cover possible cases, by way of caution, and not to
authorize the J. P. to go forward and finish up whatever might
have been begun by him.

The view I take, I believe, is the Common law principle, as to
retiring officers and their successors, to which I remember but
one exception, which is the case of Sheriff and ministerial
officers of that class.

I have not had time to examine this subject fully, but I have
great confidence I am right. You must not think of offering me
pay for this.

Mr. John O. Johnson is my friend; I gave your name to him. He is
doing the work of trying to get up a Republican organization. I
do not suppose "Long John" ever saw or heard of him. Let me say
to you confidentially, that I do not entirely appreciate what the
Republican papers of Chicago are so constantly saying against
"Long John." I consider those papers truly devoted to the
Republican cause, and not unfriendly to me; but I do think that
more of what they say against "Long John" is dictated by personal
malice than themselves are conscious of. We can not afford to
lose the services of "Long John" and I do believe the unrelenting
warfare made upon him is injuring our cause. I mean this to be

If you quietly co-operate with Mr. J. O. Johnson on getting up
an organization, I think it will be right.

Your friend as ever,





SPRINGFIELD, Feb.19, 1858.


Mr, G. A. Sutton is an applicant for superintendent of the
addition of the Insane Asylum, and I understand it partly depends
on you whether he gets it.

Sutton is my fellow-townsman and friend, and I therefore wish to
say for him that he is a man of sterling integrity and as a
master mechanic and builder not surpassed by any in our city, or
any I have known anywhere, as far as I can judge. I hope you
will consider me as being really interested for Mr. Sutton and
not as writing merely to relieve myself of importunity. Please
show this to Col. William Ross and let him consider it as much
intended for him as for yourself.

Your friend as ever,





DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 9th written at Joliet is just received.
Two or three days ago I learned that McLean had appointed
delegates in favor of Lovejoy, and thenceforward I have
considered his renomination a fixed fact. My opinion--if my
opinion is of any consequence in this case, in which it is no
business of mine to interfere--remains unchanged, that running an
independent candidate against Lovejoy will not do; that it will
result in nothing but disaster all round. In the first place,
whosoever so runs will be beaten and will be spotted for life; in
the second place, while the race is in progress, he will be under
the strongest temptation to trade with the Democrats, and to
favor the election of certain of their friends to the
Legislature; thirdly, I shall be held responsible for it, and
Republican members of the Legislature who are partial to Lovejoy
will for that purpose oppose us; and lastly, it will in the end
lose us the district altogether. There is no safe way but a
convention; and if in that convention, upon a common platform
which all are willing to stand upon, one who has been known as an
abolitionist, but who is now occupying none but common ground,
can get the majority of the votes to which all look for an
election, there is no safe way but to submit.

As to the inclination of some Republicans to favor Douglas, that
is one of the chances I have to run, and which I intend to run
with patience.

I write in the court room. Court has opened, and I must close.

Yours as ever,



JUNE 15, 1858.

The compiler of the Dictionary of Congress states that while
preparing that work for publication, in 1858, he sent to Mr.
Lincoln the usual request for a sketch of his life, and received
the following reply:

Born February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky.
Education, defective.
Profession, a lawyer.
Have been a captain of volunteers in Black Hawk war.
Postmaster at a very small office.
Four times a member of the Illinois Legislature and was a member
of the lower house of Congress.

Yours, etc.,





In the Senatorial Campaign of 1858 in Illinois


[The following speech was delivered at Springfield, Ill., at the
close of the Republican State Convention held at that time and
place, and by which Convention Mr. LINCOLN had been named as
their candidate for United States Senator. Mr. DOUGLAS was not

know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better
judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the
fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object
and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation.
Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only
not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it 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 Union to be dissolved; 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.

Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

Let any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that now almost
complete legal combination-piece of machinery, so to speak
compounded of the Nebraska doctrine and the Dred Scott decision.
Let him consider, not only what work the machinery is adapted to
do, and how well adapted, but also let him study the history of
its construction, and trace, if he can, or rather fail, if he
can, to trace the evidences of design, and concert of action,
among its chief architects, from the beginning.

The new year of 1854 found slavery excluded from more than half
the States by State Constitutions, and from most of the National
territory by Congressional prohibition. Four days later,
commenced the struggle which ended in repealing that
Congressional prohibition. This opened all the National
territory to slavery, and was the first point gained.

But, so far, Congress only had acted, and an indorsement by the
people, real or apparent, was indispensable to save the point
already gained, and give chance for more.

This necessity had not been overlooked, but had been provided
for, as well as might be, in the notable argument of "squatter
sovereignty," otherwise called "sacred right of self-government,"
which latter phrase, though expressive of the only rightful basis
of any government, was so perverted in this attempted use of it
as to amount to just this: That if any one man choose to enslave
another, no third man shall be allowed to object. That argument
was incorporated into the Nebraska Bill itself, in the language
which follows:

"It being the true intent and meaning of this Act not to
legislate slavery into any Territory or State, 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."

Then opened the roar of loose declamation in favor of "squatter
sovereignty," and "sacred right of self-government." "But," said
opposition members, "let us amend the bill so as to expressly
declare that the people of the Territory may exclude slavery."
"Not we," said the friends of the measure, and down they voted
the amendment.

While the Nebraska Bill was passing through Congress, a law case,
involving the question of a negro's freedom, by reason of his
owner having voluntarily taken him first into a free State, and
then into a territory covered by the Congressional Prohibition,
and held him as a slave for a long time in each, was passing
through the United States Circuit Court for the District of
Missouri; and both Nebraska Bill and lawsuit were brought to a
decision in the same month of May, 1854. The negro's name was
"Dred Scott," which name now designates the decision finally made
in the case. Before the then next Presidential election, the law
case came to, and was argued in, the Supreme Court of the United
States; but the decision of it was deferred until after the
election. Still, before the election, Senator Trumbull, on the
floor of the Senate, requested the leading advocate of the
Nebraska Bill to state his opinion whether the people of a
territory can constitutionally exclude slavery from their limits;
and the latter answers: "That is a question for the Supreme

The election came. Mr. Buchanan was elected, and the
indorsement, such as it was, secured. That was the second point
gained. The indorsement, however, fell short of a clear popular
majority by nearly four hundred thousand votes,(approximately 10%
of the vote) and so, perhaps, was not overwhelmingly reliable and
satisfactory. The outgoing President, in his last annual
message, as impressively as possible echoed back upon the people
the weight and authority of the indorsement. The Supreme Court
met again, did not announce their decision, but ordered a
reargument. The Presidential inauguration came, and still no
decision of the court; but the incoming President, in his
inaugural address, fervently exhorted the people to abide by the
forth-coming decision, whatever it might be. Then, in a few
days, came the decision.

The reputed author of the Nebraska Bill finds an early occasion
to make a speech at this capital indorsing the Dred Scott
decision, and vehemently denouncing all opposition to it. The
new President, too, seizes the early occasion of the Silliman
letter to indorse and strongly construe that decision, and to
express his astonishment that any different view had ever been

At length a squabble springs up between the President and the
author of the Nebraska Bill, on the mere question of fact,
whether the Lecompton Constitution was or was not in any just
sense made by the people of Kansas; and in that quarrel the
latter declares that all he wants is a fair vote for the people,
and that he cares not whether slavery be voted down or voted up.
I do not understand his declaration, that he cares not whether
slavery be voted down or voted up, to be intended by him other
than as an apt definition of the policy he would impress upon the
public mind,--the principle for which he declares he has suffered
so much, and is ready to suffer to the end. And well may he
cling to that principle! If he has any parental feeling, well
may he cling to it. That principle is the only shred left of his
original Nebraska doctrine. Under the Dred Scott decision
"squatter sovereignty" squatted out of existence, tumbled down
like temporary scaffolding; like the mould at the foundry, served
through one blast, and fell back into loose sand; helped to carry
an election, and then was kicked to the winds. His late joint
struggle with the Republicans, against the Lecompton
Constitution, involves nothing of the original Nebraska doctrine.
That struggle was made on a point--the right of a people to make
their own constitution--upon which he and the Republicans have
never differed.

The several points of the Dred Scott decision, in connection with
Senator Douglas's "care not" policy, constitute the piece of
machinery, in its present state of advancement. This was the
third point gained. The working points of that machinery are:

Firstly, That no negro slave, imported as such from Africa, and
no descendant of such slave, can ever be a citizen of any State,
in the sense of that term as used in the Constitution of the
United States. This point is made in order to deprive the negro,
in every possible event, of the benefit of that provision of the
United States Constitution which declares that "The citizens of
each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of
citizens in the several States."

Secondly, That, "subject to the Constitution of the United
States," neither Congress nor a Territorial Legislature can
exclude slavery from any United States Territory. This point is
made in order that individual men may fill up the Territories
with slaves, without danger of losing them as property, and thus
to enhance the chances of permanency to the institution through
all the future.

Thirdly, That whether the holding a negro in actual slavery in a
free State makes him free, as against the holder, the United
States courts will not decide, but will leave to be decided by
the courts of any slave State the negro may be forced into by the
master. This point is made, not to be pressed immediately; but,
if acquiesced in for a while, and apparently indorsed by the
people at an election, then to sustain the logical conclusion
that what Dred Scott's master might lawfully do with Dred Scott,
in the free State of Illinois, every other master may lawfully do
with any other one, or one thousand slaves, in Illinois, or in
any other free State.

Auxiliary to all this, and working hand in hand with it, the
Nebraska doctrine, or what is left of it, is to educate and mould
public opinion, at least Northern public opinion, not to care
whether slavery is voted down or voted up. This shows exactly
where we now are; and partially, also, wither we are tending.

It will throw additional light on the latter, to go back and run
the mind over the string of historical facts already stated.
Several things will now appear less dark and mysterious than they
did when they were transpiring. The people were to be left
"perfectly free," "subject only to the Constitution." What the
Constitution had to do with it, outsiders could not then see.
Plainly enough now,--it was an exactly fitted niche, for the Dred
Scott decision to afterward come in, and declare the perfect
freedom of the people to be just no freedom at all. Why was the
amendment, expressly declaring the right of the people, voted
down? Plainly enough now,--the adoption of it would have spoiled
the niche for the Dred Scott decision. Why was the court
decision held up? Why even a Senator's individual opinion
withheld, till after the Presidential election? Plainly enough
now,--the speaking out then would have damaged the "perfectly
free" argument upon which the election was to be carried. Why
the outgoing President's felicitation on the indorsement? Why the
delay of a reargument? Why the incoming President's advance
exhortation in favor of the decision? These things look like the
cautious patting and petting of a spirited horse preparatory to
mounting him, when it is dreaded that he may give the rider a
fall. And why the hasty after-indorsement of the decision by the
President and others?

We cannot absolutely know that all these exact adaptations are
the result of preconcert. But when we see a lot of framed
timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out
at different times and places and by different workmen, Stephen,
Franklin, Roger, and James, for instance, and when we see these
timbers joined together, and see they exactly make the frame of a
house or a mill, all the tenons and mortises exactly fitting, and
all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly
adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or
too few,--not omitting even scaffolding,--or, if a single piece
be lacking, we see the place in the frame exactly fitted and
prepared yet to bring such piece in,--in such a case, we find it
impossible not to believe that Stephen and Franklin and Roger and
James all understood one another from the beginning, and all
worked upon a common plan or draft drawn up before the first blow
was struck.

It should not be overlooked that by the Nebraska Bill the people
of a State as well as Territory were to be left "perfectly free,"
"subject only to the Constitution." Why mention a State? They
were legislating for Territories, and not for or about States.
Certainly the people of a State are and ought to be subject to
the Constitution of the United States; but why is mention of this
lugged into this merely Territorial law? Why are the people of a
Territory and the people of a State therein lumped together, and
their relation to the Constitution therefore treated as being
precisely the same? While the opinion of the court, by Chief
Justice Taney, in the Dred Scott case, and the separate opinions
of all the concurring Judges, expressly declare that the
Constitution of the United States neither permits Congress nor a
Territorial Legislature to exclude slavery from any United States
Territory, they all omit to declare whether or not the same
Constitution permits a State, or the people of a State, to
exclude it. Possibly, this is a mere omission; but who can be
quite sure, if McLean or Curtis had sought to get into the
opinion a declaration of unlimited power in the people of a State
to exclude slavery from their limits, just as Chase and Mace
sought to get such declaration, in behalf of the people of a
Territory, into the Nebraska Bill,--I ask, who can be quite sure
that it would not have been voted down in the one case as it had
been in the other? The nearest approach to the point of declaring
the power of a State over slavery is made by Judge Nelson. He
approaches it more than once, Using the precise idea, and almost
the language, too, of the Nebraska Act. On one occasion, his
exact language is, "Except in cases where the power is restrained
by the Constitution of the United States, the law of the State is
supreme over the subject of slavery within its jurisdiction." In
what cases the power of the States is so restrained by the United
States Constitution, is left an open question, precisely as the
same question, as to the restraint on the power of the
Territories, was left open in the Nebraska Act. Put this and
that together, and we have another nice little niche, which we
may, ere long, see filled with another Supreme Court decision,
declaring that the Constitution of the United States does not
permit a State to exclude slavery from its limits. And this may
especially be expected if the doctrine of "care not whether
slavery be voted down or voted up" shall gain upon the public
mind sufficiently to give promise that such a decision can be
maintained when made.

Such a decision is all that slavery now lacks of being alike
lawful in all the States. Welcome or unwelcome, such decision is
probably coming, and will soon be upon us, unless the power of
the present political dynasty shall be met and overthrown We
shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri
are on the verge of making their State free, and we shall awake
to the reality instead that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a
slave State. To meet and overthrow the power of that dynasty is
the work now before all those who would prevent that
consummation. That is what we have to do. How can we best do

There are those who denounce us openly to their friends, and yet
whisper to us softly that Senator Douglas is the aptest
instrument there is with which to effect that object. They wish
us to infer all, from the fact that he now has a little quarrel
with the present head of the dynasty, and that he has regularly
voted with us on a single point, upon which he and we have never
differed. They remind us that he is a great man, and that the
largest of us are very small ones. Let this be granted. But "a
living dog is better than a dead lion." Judge Douglas, if not a
dead lion, for this work is at least a caged and toothless one.
How can he oppose the advances of slavery? He don't care
anything about it. His avowed mission is impressing the "public
heart" to care nothing about it. A leading Douglas Democratic
newspaper thinks Douglas's superior talent will be needed to
resist the revival of the African slave trade. Does Douglas
believe an effort to revive that trade is approaching? He has
not said so. Does he really think so? But if it is, how can he
resist it? For years he has labored to prove it a sacred right
of white men to take negro slaves into the new Territories. Can
he possibly show that it is less a sacred right to buy them where
they can be bought cheapest? And unquestionably they can be
bought cheaper in Africa than in Virginia. He has done all in
his power to reduce the whole question of slavery to one of a
mere right of property; and, as such, how can he oppose the
foreign slave trade, how can he refuse that trade in that
"property" shall be "perfectly free,"--unless he does it as a
protection to the home production? And as the home producers
will probably not ask the protection, he will be wholly without a
ground of opposition.

Senator Douglas holds, we know, that a man may rightfully be
wiser to-day than he was yesterday; that he may rightfully change
when he finds himself wrong. But can we, for that reason, run
ahead, and infer that he will make any particular change, of
which he himself has given no intimation? Can we safely base our
action upon any such vague inference? Now, as ever, I wish not
to misrepresent Judge Douglas's position, question his motives,
or do aught that can be personally offensive to him. Whenever,
if ever, he and we can come together on principle so that our
cause may have assistance from his great ability, I hope to have
interposed no adventitious obstacles. But clearly he is not now
with us; he does not pretend to be,--he does not promise ever to

Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by, its own
undoubted friends,--those whose hands are free, whose hearts are
in the work, who do care for the result. Two years ago the
Republicans of the nation mustered over thirteen hundred thousand
strong. We did this under the single impulse of resistance to a
common danger, with every external circumstance against us. Of
strange, discordant, and even hostile elements we gathered from
the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under
the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud, and pampered
enemy. Did we brave all then to falter now,--now, when that same
enemy is wavering, dissevered, and belligerent? The result is
not doubtful. We shall not fail; if we stand firm, we shall not
fail. Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but,
sooner or later, the victory is sure to come.





[Mr. LINCOLN was introduced by C. L. Wilson, Esq., and as he made
his appearance he was greeted with a perfect storm of applause.
For some moments the enthusiasm continued unabated. At last,
when by a wave of his hand partial silence was restored, Mr.
LINCOLN said,]

MY FELLOW-CITIZENS:--On yesterday evening, upon the occasion of
the reception given to Senator Douglas, I was furnished with a
seat very convenient for hearing him, and was otherwise very
courteously treated by him and his friends, and for which I thank
him and them. During the course of his remarks my name was
mentioned in such a way as, I suppose, renders it at least not
improper that I should make some sort of reply to him. I shall
not attempt to follow him in the precise order in which he
addressed the assembled multitude upon that occasion, though I
shall perhaps do so in the main.

There was one question to which he asked the attention of the
crowd, which I deem of somewhat less importance--at least of
propriety--for me to dwell upon than the others, which he brought
in near the close of his speech, and which I think it would not
be entirely proper for me to omit attending to, and yet if I were
not to give some attention to it now, I should probably forget it
altogether. While I am upon this subject, allow me to say that I
do not intend to indulge in that inconvenient mode sometimes
adopted in public speaking, of reading from documents; but I
shall depart from that rule so far as to read a little scrap from
his speech, which notices this first topic of which I shall
speak,--that is, provided I can find it in the paper:

"I have made up my mind to appeal to the people against the
combination that has been made against me; the Republican leaders
having formed an alliance, an unholy and unnatural alliance, with
a portion of unscrupulous Federal office-holders. I intend to
fight that allied army wherever I meet them. I know they deny
the alliance; but yet these men who are trying to divide the
Democratic party for the purpose of electing a Republican Senator
in my place are just as much the agents and tools of the
supporters of Mr. Lincoln. Hence I shall deal with this allied
army just as the Russians dealt with the Allies at Sebastopol,--
that is, the Russians did not stop to inquire, when they fired a
broadside, whether it hit an Englishman, a Frenchman, or a Turk.
Nor will I stop to inquire, nor shall I hesitate, whether my
blows shall hit the Republican leaders or their allies, who are
holding the Federal offices, and yet acting in concert with

Well, now, gentlemen, is not that very alarming? Just to think
of it! right at the outset of his canvass, I, a poor, kind,
amiable, intelligent gentleman,--I am to be slain in this way!
Why, my friend the Judge is not only, as it turns out, not a dead
lion, nor even a living one,--he is the rugged Russian Bear!

But if they will have it--for he says that we deny it--that there
is any such alliance, as he says there is,--and I don't propose
hanging very much upon this question of veracity,--but if he will
have it that there is such an alliance, that the Administration
men and we are allied, and we stand in the attitude of English,
French, and Turk, he occupying the position of the Russian, in
that case I beg that he will indulge us while we barely suggest
to him that these allies took Sebastopol.

Gentlemen, only a few more words as to this alliance. For my
part, I have to say that whether there be such an alliance
depends, so far as I know, upon what may be a right definition of
the term alliance. If for the Republican party to see the other
great party to which they are opposed divided among themselves,
and not try to stop the division, and rather be glad of it,--if
that is an alliance, I confess I am in; but if it is meant to be
said that the Republicans had formed an alliance going beyond
that, by which there is contribution of money or sacrifice of
principle on the one side or the other, so far as the Republican
party is concerned,--if there be any such thing, I protest that I
neither know anything of it, nor do I believe it. I will,
however, say,--as I think this branch of the argument is lugged
in,--I would before I leave it state, for the benefit of those
concerned, that one of those same Buchanan men did once tell me
of an argument that he made for his opposition to Judge Douglas.
He said that a friend of our Senator Douglas had been talking to
him, and had, among other things, said to him:

"...why, you don't want to beat Douglas?" "Yes," said he, "I do
want to beat him, and I will tell you why. I believe his
original Nebraska Bill was right in the abstract, but it was
wrong in the time that it was brought forward. It was wrong in
the application to a Territory in regard to which the question
had been settled; it was brought forward at a time when nobody
asked him; it was tendered to the South when the South had not
asked for it, but when they could not well refuse it; and for
this same reason he forced that question upon our party. It has
sunk the best men all over the nation, everywhere; and now, when
our President, struggling with the difficulties of this man's
getting up, has reached the very hardest point to turn in the
case, he deserts him and I am for putting him where he will
trouble us no more."

Now, gentlemen, that is not my argument; that is not my argument
at all. I have only been stating to you the argument of a
Buchanan man. You will judge if there is any force in it.

Popular sovereignty! Everlasting popular sovereignty! Let us
for a moment inquire into this vast matter of popular
sovereignty. What is popular sovereignty? We recollect that at
an early period in the history of this struggle there was another
name for the same thing,--"squatter sovereignty." It was not
exactly popular sovereignty, but squatter sovereignty. What do
those terms mean? What do those terms mean when used now? And
vast credit is taken by our friend the Judge in regard to his
support of it, when he declares the last years of his life have
been, and all the future years of his life shall be, devoted to
this matter of popular sovereignty. What is it? Why, it is the
sovereignty of the people! What was squatter sovereignty? I
suppose, if it had any significance at all, it was the right of
the people to govern themselves, to be sovereign in their own
affairs while they were squatted down in a country not their own,
while they had squatted on a Territory that did not belong to
them, in the sense that a State belongs to the people who inhabit
it, when it belonged to the nation; such right to govern
themselves was called "squatter sovereignty."

Now, I wish you to mark: What has become of that squatter
sovereignty? what has become of it? Can you get anybody to tell
you now that the people of a Territory have any authority to
govern themselves, in regard to this mooted question of slavery,
before they form a State constitution? No such thing at all;
although there is a general running fire, and although there has
been a hurrah made in every speech on that side, assuming that
policy had given the people of a Territory the right to govern
themselves upon this question, yet the point is dodged. To-day
it has been decided--no more than a year ago it was decided--by
the Supreme Court of the United States, and is insisted upon
to-day that the people of a Territory have no right to exclude
slavery from a Territory; that if any one man chooses to take
slaves into a Territory, all the rest of the people have no right
to keep them out. This being so, and this decision being made
one of the points that the Judge approved, and one in the
approval of which he says he means to keep me down,--put me down
I should not say, for I have never been up,--he says he is in
favor of it, and sticks to it, and expects to win his battle on
that decision, which says that there is no such thing as squatter
sovereignty, but that any one man may take slaves into a
Territory, and all the other men in the Territory may be opposed
to it, and yet by reason of the Constitution they cannot prohibit
it. When that is so, how much is left of this vast matter of
squatter sovereignty, I should like to know?

When we get back, we get to the point of the right of the people
to make a constitution. Kansas was settled, for example, in
1854. It was a Territory yet, without having formed a
constitution, in a very regular way, for three years. All this
time negro slavery could be taken in by any few individuals, and
by that decision of the Supreme Court, which the Judge approves,
all the rest of the people cannot keep it out; but when they come
to make a constitution, they may say they will not have slavery.
But it is there; they are obliged to tolerate it some way, and
all experience shows it will be so, for they will not take the
negro slaves and absolutely deprive the owners of them. All
experience shows this to be so. All that space of time that runs
from the beginning of the settlement of the Territory until there
is sufficiency of people to make a State constitution,--all that
portion of time popular sovereignty is given up. The seal is
absolutely put down upon it by the court decision, and Judge
Douglas puts his own upon the top of that; yet he is appealing to
the people to give him vast credit for his devotion to popular

Again, when we get to the question of the right of the people to
form a State constitution as they please, to form it with slavery
or without slavery, if that is anything new, I confess I don't
know it. Has there ever been a time when anybody said that any
other than the people of a Territory itself should form a
constitution? What is now in it that Judge Douglas should have
fought several years of his life, and pledge himself to fight all
the remaining years of his life for? Can Judge Douglas find
anybody on earth that said that anybody else should form a
constitution for a people? [A voice, "Yes."] Well, I should like
you to name him; I should like to know who he was. [Same voice,
"John Calhoun."]

No, sir, I never heard of even John Calhoun saying such a thing.
He insisted on the same principle as Judge Douglas; but his mode
of applying it, in fact, was wrong. It is enough for my purpose
to ask this crowd whenever a Republican said anything against it.
They never said anything against it, but they have constantly
spoken for it; and whoever will undertake to examine the
platform, and the speeches of responsible men of the party, and
of irresponsible men, too, if you please, will be unable to find
one word from anybody in the Republican ranks opposed to that
popular sovereignty which Judge Douglas thinks that he has
invented. I suppose that Judge Douglas will claim, in a little
while, that he is the inventor of the idea that the people should
govern themselves; that nobody ever thought of such a thing until
he brought it forward. We do not remember that in that old
Declaration of Independence it is said that:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights,
governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers
from the consent of the governed."

There is the origin of popular sovereignty. Who, then, shall
come in at this day and claim that he invented it?

The Lecompton Constitution connects itself with this question,
for it is in this matter of the Lecompton Constitution that our
friend Judge Douglas claims such vast credit. I agree that in
opposing the Lecompton Constitution, so far as I can perceive, he
was right. I do not deny that at all; and, gentlemen, you will
readily see why I could not deny it, even if I wanted to. But I
do not wish to; for all the Republicans in the nation opposed it,
and they would have opposed it just as much without Judge
Douglas's aid as with it. They had all taken ground against it
long before he did. Why, the reason that he urges against that
constitution I urged against him a year before. I have the
printed speech in my hand. The argument that he makes, why that
constitution should not be adopted, that the people were not
fairly represented nor allowed to vote, I pointed out in a speech
a year ago, which I hold in my hand now, that no fair chance was
to be given to the people. ["Read it, Read it."] I shall not
waste your time by trying to read it. ["Read it, Read it."]
Gentlemen, reading from speeches is a very tedious business,
particularly for an old man that has to put on spectacles, and
more so if the man be so tall that he has to bend over to the

A little more, now, as to this matter of popular sovereignty and
the Lecompton Constitution. The Lecompton Constitution, as the
Judge tells us, was defeated. The defeat of it was a good thing
or it was not. He thinks the defeat of it was a good thing, and
so do I, and we agree in that. Who defeated it?

[A voice: Judge Douglas.]

Yes, he furnished himself, and if you suppose he controlled the
other Democrats that went with him, he furnished three votes;
while the Republicans furnished twenty.

That is what he did to defeat it. In the House of
Representatives he and his friends furnished some twenty votes,
and the Republicans furnished ninety odd. Now, who was it that
did the work?

[A voice: Douglas.]

Why, yes, Douglas did it! To be sure he did.

Let us, however, put that proposition another way. The
Republicans could not have done it without Judge Douglas. Could
he have done it without them? Which could have come the nearest
to doing it without the other?

[A voice: Who killed the bill?]

[Another voice: Douglas.]

Ground was taken against it by the Republicans long before
Douglas did it. The proportion of opposition to that measure is
about five to one.

[A voice: Why don't they come out on it?]

You don't know what you are talking about, my friend. I am quite
willing to answer any gentleman in the crowd who asks an
intelligent question.

Now, who in all this country has ever found any of our friends of
Judge Douglas's way of thinking, and who have acted upon this
main question, that has ever thought of uttering a word in behalf
of Judge Trumbull?

[A voice: We have.]

I defy you to show a printed resolution passed in a Democratic
meeting--I take it upon myself to defy any man to show a printed
resolution of a Democratic meeting, large or small--in favor of
Judge Trumbull, or any of the five to one Republicans who beat
that bill. Everything must be for the Democrats! They did
everything, and the five to the one that really did the thing
they snub over, and they do not seem to remember that they have
an existence upon the face of the earth.

Gentlemen, I fear that I shall become tedious. I leave this
branch of the subject to take hold of another. I take up that
part of Judge Douglas's speech in which he respectfully attended
to me.

Judge Douglas made two points upon my recent speech at
Springfield. He says they are to be the issues of this campaign.
The first one of these points he bases upon the language in a
speech which I delivered at Springfield, which I believe I can
quote correctly from memory. I said there that "we are now far
into the fifth year since a policy was instituted for the avowed
object, and with the confident promise, of putting an end to
slavery agitation; under the operation of that policy, that
agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented."
"I believe it 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 Union to be
dissolved,"--I am quoting from my speech, "--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 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 until
it shall become alike lawful in all the States, north as well as

What is the paragraph? In this paragraph, which I have quoted in
your hearing, and to which I ask the attention of all, Judge
Douglas thinks he discovers great political heresy. I want your
attention particularly to what he has inferred from it. He says
I am in favor of making all the States of this Union uniform in
all their internal regulations; that in all their domestic
concerns I am in favor of making them entirely uniform. He draws
this inference from the language I have quoted to you. He says
that I am in favor of making war by the North upon the South for
the extinction of slavery; that I am also in favor of inviting
(as he expresses it) the South to a war upon the North for the
purpose of nationalizing slavery. Now, it is singular enough, if
you will carefully read that passage over, that I did not say
that I was in favor of anything in it. I only said what I
expected would take place. I made a prediction only,--it may
have been a foolish one, perhaps. I did not even say that I
desired that slavery should be put in course of ultimate
extinction. I do say so now, however, so there need be no longer
any difficulty about that. It may be written down in the great

Gentlemen, Judge Douglas informed you that this speech of mine
was probably carefully prepared. I admit that it was. I am not
master of language; I have not a fine education; I am not capable
of entering into a disquisition upon dialectics, as I believe you
call it; but I do not believe the language I employed bears any
such construction as Judge Douglas puts upon it. But I don't
care about a quibble in regard to words. I know what I meant,
and I will not leave this crowd in doubt, if I can explain it to
them, what I really meant in the use of that paragraph.

I am not, in the first place, unaware that this government has
endured eighty-two years half slave and half free. I know that.
I am tolerably well acquainted with the history of the country,
and I know that it has endured eighty-two years half slave and
half free. I believe--and that is what I meant to allude to
there--I believe it has endured because during all that time,
until the introduction of the Nebraska Bill, the public mind did
rest all the time in the belief that slavery was in course of
ultimate extinction. That was what gave us the rest that we had
through that period of eighty-two years,--at least, so I believe.
I have always hated slavery, I think, as much as any
Abolitionist,--I have been an Old Line Whig,--I have always hated
it; but I have always been quiet about it until this new era of
the introduction of the Nebraska Bill began. I always believed
that everybody was against it, and that it was in course of
ultimate extinction. [Pointing to Mr. Browning, who stood near
by.] Browning thought so; the great mass of the nation have
rested in the belief that slavery was in course of ultimate
extinction. They had reason so to believe.

The adoption of the Constitution and its attendant history led
the people to believe so; and that such was the belief of the
framers of the Constitution itself, why did those old men, about
the time of the adoption of the Constitution, decree that slavery
should not go into the new Territory, where it had not already
gone? Why declare that within twenty years the African slave
trade, by which slaves are supplied, might be cut off by
Congress? Why were all these acts? I might enumerate more of
these acts; but enough. What were they but a clear indication
that the framers of the Constitution intended and expected the
ultimate extinction of that institution? And now, when I say, as
I said in my speech that Judge Douglas has quoted from, when I
say that I think the opponents of slavery will resist the farther
spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest with
the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction, I only
mean to say that they will place it where the founders of this
government originally placed it.

I have said a hundred times, and I have now no inclination to
take it back, that I believe there is no right, and ought to be
no inclination, in the people of the free States to enter into
the slave States and interfere with the question of slavery at
all. I have said that always; Judge Douglas has heard me say it,
if not quite a hundred times, at least as good as a hundred
times; and when it is said that I am in favor of interfering with
slavery where it exists, I know it is unwarranted by anything I
have ever intended, and, as I believe, by anything I have ever
said. If, by any means, I have ever used language which could
fairly be so construed (as, however, I believe I never have), I
now correct it.

So much, then, for the inference that Judge Douglas draws, that I
am in favor of setting the sections at war with one another. I
know that I never meant any such thing, and I believe that no
fair mind can infer any such thing from anything I have ever

Now, in relation to his inference that I am in favor of a general
consolidation of all the local institutions of the various
States. I will attend to that for a little while, and try to
inquire, if I can, how on earth it could be that any man could
draw such an inference from anything I said. I have said, very
many times, in Judge Douglas's hearing, that no man believed more
than I in the principle of self-government; that it lies at the
bottom of all my ideas of just government, from beginning to end.
I have denied that his use of that term applies properly. But
for the thing itself, I deny that any man has ever gone ahead of
me in his devotion to the principle, whatever he may have done in
efficiency in advocating it. I think that I have said it in your
hearing, that I believe each individual is naturally entitled to
do as he pleases with himself and the fruit of his labor, so far
as it in no wise interferes with any other man's rights; that
each community as a State has a right to do exactly as it pleases
with all the concerns within that State that interfere with the
right of no other State; and that the General Government, upon
principle, has no right to interfere with anything other than
that general class of things that does concern the whole. I have
said that at all times. I have said, as illustrations, that I do
not believe in the right of Illinois to interfere with the
cranberry laws of Indiana, the oyster laws of Virginia, or the
liquor laws of Maine. I have said these things over and over
again, and I repeat them here as my sentiments.

How is it, then, that Judge Douglas infers, because I hope to see
slavery put where the public mind shall rest in the belief that
it is in the course of ultimate extinction, that I am in favor of
Illinois going over and interfering with the cranberry laws of
Indiana? What can authorize him to draw any such inference?

I suppose there might be one thing that at least enabled him to
draw such an inference that would not be true with me or many
others: that is, because he looks upon all this matter of slavery
as an exceedingly little thing,--this matter of keeping one sixth
of the population of the whole nation in a state of oppression
and tyranny unequaled in the world. He looks upon it as being an
exceedingly little thing,--only equal to the question of the
cranberry laws of Indiana; as something having no moral question
in it; as something on a par with the question of whether a man
shall pasture his land with cattle, or plant it with tobacco; so
little and so small a thing that he concludes, if I could desire
that anything should be done to bring about the ultimate
extinction of that little thing, I must be in favor of bringing
about an amalgamation of all the other little things in the
Union. Now, it so happens--and there, I presume, is the
foundation of this mistake--that the Judge thinks thus; and it so
happens that there is a vast portion of the American people that
do not look upon that matter as being this very little thing.
They look upon it as a vast moral evil; they can prove it as such
by the writings of those who gave us the blessings of liberty
which we enjoy, and that they so looked upon it, and not as an
evil merely confining itself to the States where it is situated;
and while we agree that, by the Constitution we assented to, in
the States where it exists, we have no right to interfere with
it, because it is in the Constitution; and we are by both duty
and inclination to stick by that Constitution, in all its letter
and spirit, from beginning to end,

So much, then, as to my disposition--my wish to have all the
State legislatures blotted out, and to have one consolidated
government, and a uniformity of domestic regulations in all the
States, by which I suppose it is meant, if we raise corn here, we
must make sugar-cane grow here too, and we must make those which
grow North grow in the South. All this I suppose he understands
I am in favor of doing. Now, so much for all this nonsense; for
I must call it so. The Judge can have no issue with me on a
question of establishing uniformity in the domestic regulations
of the States.

A little now on the other point,--the Dred Scott decision.
Another of the issues he says that is to be made with me is upon
his devotion to the Dred Scott decision, and my opposition to it.

I have expressed heretofore, and I now repeat, my opposition to
the Dred Scott decision; but I should be allowed to state the
nature of that opposition, and I ask your indulgence while I do
so. What is fairly implied by the term Judge Douglas has used,
"resistance to the decision"? I do not resist it. If I wanted
to take Dred Scott from his master, I would be interfering with
property, and that terrible difficulty that Judge Douglas speaks
of, of interfering with property, would arise. But I am doing no
such thing as that, but all that I am doing is refusing to obey
it as a political rule. If I were in Congress, and a vote should
come up on a question whether slavery should be prohibited in a
new Territory, in spite of the Dred Scott decision, I would vote
that it should.

That is what I should do. Judge Douglas said last night that
before the decision he might advance his opinion, and it might be
contrary to the decision when it was made; but after it was made
he would abide by it until it was reversed. Just so! We let
this property abide by the decision, but we will try to reverse
that decision. We will try to put it where Judge Douglas would
not object, for he says he will obey it until it is reversed.
Somebody has to reverse that decision, since it is made, and we
mean to reverse it, and we mean to do it peaceably.

What are the uses of decisions of courts? They have two uses.
As rules of property they have two uses. First, they decide upon
the question before the court. They decide in this case that
Dred Scott is a slave. Nobody resists that, not only that, but
they say to everybody else that persons standing just as Dred
Scott stands are as he is. That is, they say that when a
question comes up upon another person, it will be so decided
again, unless the court decides in another way, unless the court
overrules its decision. Well, we mean to do what we can to have
the court decide the other way. That is one thing we mean to try
to do.

The sacredness that Judge Douglas throws around this decision is
a degree of sacredness that has never been before thrown around
any other decision. I have never heard of such a thing. Why,
decisions apparently contrary to that decision, or that good
lawyers thought were contrary to that decision, have been made by
that very court before. It is the first of its kind; it is an
astonisher in legal history. It is a new wonder of the world.
It is based upon falsehood in the main as to the facts;
allegations of facts upon which it stands are not facts at all in
many instances, and no decision made on any question--the first
instance of a decision made under so many unfavorable
circumstances--thus placed, has ever been held by the profession
as law, and it has always needed confirmation before the lawyers
regarded it as settled law. But Judge Douglas will have it that
all hands must take this extraordinary decision, made under these
extraordinary circumstances, and give their vote in Congress in
accordance with it, yield to it, and obey it in every possible
sense. Circumstances alter cases. Do not gentlemen here
remember the case of that same Supreme Court some twenty-five or
thirty years ago deciding that a National Bank was
constitutional? I ask, if somebody does not remember that a
National Bank was declared to be constitutional? Such is the
truth, whether it be remembered or not. The Bank charter ran
out, and a recharter was granted by Congress. That recharter was
laid before General Jackson. It was urged upon him, when he
denied the constitutionality of the Bank, that the Supreme Court
had decided that it was constitutional; and General Jackson then
said that the Supreme Court had no right to lay down a rule to
govern a coordinate branch of the government, the members of
which had sworn to support the Constitution; that each member had
sworn to support that Constitution as he understood it. I will
venture here to say that I have heard Judge Douglas say that he
approved of General Jackson for that act. What has now become of
all his tirade about "resistance of the Supreme Court"?

My fellow-citizens, getting back a little,--for I pass from these
points,--when Judge Douglas makes his threat of annihilation upon
the "alliance," he is cautious to say that that warfare of his is
to fall upon the leaders of the Republican party. Almost every
word he utters, and every distinction he makes, has its
significance. He means for the Republicans who do not count
themselves as leaders, to be his friends; he makes no fuss over
them; it is the leaders that he is making war upon. He wants it
understood that the mass of the Republican party are really his
friends. It is only the leaders that are doing something that
are intolerant, and that require extermination at his hands. As
this is dearly and unquestionably the light in which he presents
that matter, I want to ask your attention, addressing myself to
the Republicans here, that I may ask you some questions as to
where you, as the Republican party, would be placed if you
sustained Judge Douglas in his present position by a re-election?
I do not claim, gentlemen, to be unselfish; I do not pretend that
I would not like to go to the United States Senate,--I make no
such hypocritical pretense; but I do say to you that in this
mighty issue it is nothing to you--nothing to the mass of the
people of the nation,--whether or not Judge Douglas or myself
shall ever be heard of after this night; it may be a trifle to
either of us, but in connection with this mighty question, upon
which hang the destinies of the nation, perhaps, it is absolutely
nothing: but where will you be placed if you reindorse Judge
Douglas? Don't you know how apt he is, how exceedingly anxious
he is at all times, to seize upon anything and everything to
persuade you that something he has done you did yourselves? Why,
he tried to persuade you last night that our Illinois Legislature
instructed him to introduce the Nebraska Bill. There was nobody
in that Legislature ever thought of such a thing; and when he
first introduced the bill, he never thought of it; but still he
fights furiously for the proposition, and that he did it because
there was a standing instruction to our Senators to be always
introducing Nebraska bills. He tells you he is for the
Cincinnati platform, he tells you he is for the Dred Scott
decision. He tells you, not in his speech last night, but
substantially in a former speech, that he cares not if slavery is
voted up or down; he tells you the struggle on Lecompton is past;
it may come up again or not, and if it does, he stands where he
stood when, in spite of him and his opposition, you built up the
Republican party. If you indorse him, you tell him you do not
care whether slavery be voted up or down, and he will close or
try to close your mouths with his declaration, repeated by the
day, the week, the month, and the year. Is that what you mean?
[Cries of "No," one voice "Yes."] Yes, I have no doubt you who
have always been for him, if you mean that. No doubt of that,
soberly I have said, and I repeat it. I think, in the position
in which Judge Douglas stood in opposing the Lecompton
Constitution, he was right; he does not know that it will return,
but if it does we may know where to find him, and if it does not,
we may know where to look for him, and that is on the Cincinnati
platform. Now, I could ask the Republican party, after all the
hard names that Judge Douglas has called them by all his repeated
charges of their inclination to marry with and hug negroes; all
his declarations of Black Republicanism,--by the way, we are
improving, the black has got rubbed off,--but with all that, if
he be indorsed by Republican votes, where do you stand? Plainly,
you stand ready saddled, bridled, and harnessed, and waiting to
be driven over to the slavery extension camp of the nation,--just
ready to be driven over, tied together in a lot, to be driven
over, every man with a rope around his neck, that halter being
held by Judge Douglas. That is the question. If Republican men
have been in earnest in what they have done, I think they had
better not do it; but I think that the Republican party is made
up of those who, as far as they can peaceably, will oppose the
extension of slavery, and who will hope for its ultimate
extinction. If they believe it is wrong in grasping up the new
lands of the continent and keeping them from the settlement of
free white laborers, who want the land to bring up their families
upon; if they are in earnest, although they may make a mistake,
they will grow restless, and the time will come when they will
come back again and reorganize, if not by the same name, at least
upon the same principles as their party now has. It is better,
then, to save the work while it is begun. You have done the
labor; maintain it, keep it. If men choose to serve you, go with
them; but as you have made up your organization upon principle,
stand by it; for, as surely as God reigns over you, and has
inspired your mind, and given you a sense of propriety, and
continues to give you hope, so surely will you still cling to
these ideas, and you will at last come back again after your
wanderings, merely to do your work over again.

We were often,--more than once, at least,--in the course of Judge
Douglas's speech last night, reminded that this government was
made for white men; that he believed it was made for white men.
Well, that is putting it into a shape in which no one wants to
deny it; but the Judge then goes into his passion for drawing
inferences that are not warranted. I protest, now and forever,
against that counterfeit logic which presumes that because I did
not want a negro woman for a slave, I do necessarily want her for
a wife. My understanding is that I need not have her for either,
but, as God made us separate, we can leave one another alone, and
do one another much good thereby. There are white men enough to
marry all the white women, and enough black men to marry all the
black women; and in God's name let them be so married. The Judge
regales us with the terrible enormities that take place by the
mixture of races; that the inferior race bears the superior down.
Why, Judge, if we do not let them get together in the
Territories, they won't mix there.

[A voice: "Three cheers for Lincoln".--The cheers were given
with a hearty good-will.]

I should say at least that that is a self-evident truth.

Now, it happens that we meet together once every year, sometimes
about the 4th of July, for some reason or other. These 4th of
July gatherings I suppose have their uses. If you will indulge
me, I will state what I suppose to be some of them.

We are now a mighty nation; we are thirty or about thirty
millions of people, and we own and inhabit about one fifteenth
part of the dry land of the whole earth. We run our memory back
over the pages of history for about eighty-two years, and we
discover that we were then a very small people in point of
numbers, vastly inferior to what we are now, with a vastly less
extent of country, with vastly less of everything we deem
desirable among men; we look upon the change as exceedingly
advantageous to us and to our posterity, and we fix upon
something that happened away back, as in some way or other being
connected with this rise of prosperity. We find a race of men
living in that day whom we claim as our fathers and grandfathers;
they were iron men; they fought for the principle that they were
contending for; and we understood that by what they then did it
has followed that the degree of prosperity which we now enjoy has
come to us. We hold this annual celebration to remind ourselves
of all the good done in this process of time, of how it was done
and who did it, and how we are historically connected with it;
and we go from these meetings in better humor with ourselves, we
feel more attached the one to the other, and more firmly bound to
the country we inhabit. In every way we are better men in the
age and race and country in which we live, for these
celebrations. But after we have done all this we have not yet
reached the whole. There is something else connected with it.
We have--besides these, men descended by blood from our
ancestors--among us perhaps half our people who are not
descendants at all of these men; they are men who have come from
Europe, German, Irish, French, and Scandinavian,--men that have
come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither
and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things.
If they look back through this history to trace their connection
with those days by blood, they find they have none, they cannot
carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make
themselves feel that they are part of us; but when they look
through that old Declaration of Independence, they find that
those old men say that "We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal"; and then they feel that that
moral sentiment, taught in that day, evidences their relation to
those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them,
and that they have a right to claim it as though they were blood
of the blood, and flesh of the flesh, of the men who wrote that
Declaration; and so they are. That is the electric cord in that
Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving
men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as
the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the

Now, sirs, for the purpose of squaring things with this idea of
"don't care if slavery is voted up or voted down," for sustaining
the Dred Scott decision, for holding that the Declaration of
Independence did not mean anything at all, we have Judge Douglas
giving his exposition of what the Declaration of Independence
means, and we have him saying that the people of America are
equal to the people of England. According to his construction,
you Germans are not connected with it. Now, I ask you in all
soberness if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if
confirmed and indorsed, if taught to our children, and repeated
to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the
country, and to transform this government into a government of
some other form. Those arguments that are made, that the
inferior race are to be treated with as much allowance as they
are capable of enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as
their condition will allow,--what are these arguments? They are
the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in
all ages of the world. You will find that all the arguments in
favor of kingcraft were of this class; they always bestrode the
necks of the people not that they wanted to do it, but because
the people were better off for being ridden. That is their
argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent
that says, You work, and I eat; you toil, and I will enjoy the
fruits of it. Turn in whatever way you will, whether it come
from the mouth of a king, an excuse for enslaving the people of
his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for
enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old
serpent; and I hold, if that course of argumentation that is made
for the purpose of convincing the public mind that we should not
care about this should be granted, it does not stop with the
negro. I should like to know, if taking this old Declaration of
Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon
principle, and making exceptions to it, where will it stop? If
one man says it does not mean a negro, why not another say it
does not mean some other man? If that Declaration is not the
truth, let us get the statute book, in which we find it, and tear
it out! Who is so bold as to do it? If it is not true, let us
tear it out! [Cries of "No, no."] Let us stick to it, then; let
us stand firmly by it, then.

It may be argued that there are certain conditions that make
necessities and impose them upon us; and to the extent that a
necessity is imposed upon a man, he must submit to it. I think
that was the condition in which we found ourselves when we
established this government. We had slavery among us, we could
not get our Constitution unless we permitted them to remain in
slavery, we could not secure the good we did secure if we grasped
for more; and having by necessity submitted to that much, it does
not destroy the principle that is the charter of our liberties.
Let that charter stand as our standard.

My friend has said to me that I am a poor hand to quote
Scripture. I will try it again, however. It is said in one of
the admonitions of our Lord, "As your Father in heaven is
perfect, be ye also perfect." The Savior, I suppose, did not
expect that any human creature could be perfect as the Father in
heaven; but he said, "As your Father in heaven is perfect, be ye
also perfect." He set that up as a standard; and he who did most
towards reaching that standard attained the highest degree of
moral perfection. So I say in relation to the principle that all
men are created equal, let it be as nearly reached as we can. If
we cannot give freedom to every creature, let us do nothing that
will impose slavery upon any other creature. Let us then turn
this government back into the channel in which the framers of the
Constitution originally placed it. Let us stand firmly by each
other. If we do not do so, we are turning in the contrary
direction, that our friend Judge Douglas proposes--not
intentionally--as working in the traces tends to make this one
universal slave nation. He is one that runs in that direction,
and as such I resist him.

My friends, I have detained you about as long as I desired to do,
and I have only to say: Let us discard all this quibbling about
this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other
race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an
inferior position; discarding our standard that we have left us.
Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people
throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring
that all men are created equal.

My friends, I could not, without launching off upon some new
topic, which would detain you too long, continue to-night. I
thank you for this most extensive audience that you have
furnished me to-night. I leave you, hoping that the lamp of
liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a
doubt that all men are created free and equal.



(Mr. Douglas was not present.)

FELLOW-CITIZENS:--Another election, which is deemed an important
one, is approaching, and, as I suppose, the Republican party
will, without much difficulty, elect their State ticket. But in
regard to the Legislature, we, the Republicans, labor under some
disadvantages. In the first place, we have a Legislature to
elect upon an apportionment of the representation made several
years ago, when the proportion of the population was far greater
in the South (as compared with the North) than it now is; and
inasmuch as our opponents hold almost entire sway in the South,
and we a correspondingly large majority in the North, the fact
that we are now to be represented as we were years ago, when the
population was different, is to us a very great disadvantage. We
had in the year 1855, according to law, a census, or enumeration
of the inhabitants, taken for the purpose of a new apportionment
of representation. We know what a fair apportionment of
representation upon that census would give us. We know that it
could not, if fairly made, fail to give the Republican party from
six to ten more members of the Legislature than they can probably
get as the law now stands. It so happened at the last session of
the Legislature that our opponents, holding the control of both
branches of the Legislature, steadily refused to give us such an
apportionment as we were rightly entitled to have upon the census
already taken. The Legislature steadily refused to give us such
an apportionment as we were rightfully entitled to have upon the
census taken of the population of the State. The Legislature
would pass no bill upon that subject, except such as was at least
as unfair to us as the old one, and in which, in some instances,
two men in the Democratic regions were allowed to go as far
toward sending a member to the Legislature as three were in the
Republican regions. Comparison was made at the time as to
representative and senatorial districts, which completely
demonstrated that such was the fact. Such a bill was passed and
tendered to the Republican Governor for his signature; but,
principally for the reasons I have stated, he withheld his
approval, and the bill fell without becoming a law.

Another disadvantage under which we labor is that there are one
or two Democratic Senators who will be members of the next
Legislature, and will vote for the election of Senator, who are
holding over in districts in which we could, on all reasonable
calculation, elect men of our own, if we only had the chance of
an election. When we consider that there are but twenty-five
Senators in the Senate, taking two from the side where they
rightfully belong, and adding them to the other, is to us a
disadvantage not to be lightly regarded. Still, so it is; we
have this to contend with. Perhaps there is no ground of
complaint on our part. In attending to the many things involved
in the last general election for President, Governor, Auditor,
Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Members of
Congress, of the Legislature, County Officers, and so on, we
allowed these things to happen by want of sufficient attention,
and we have no cause to complain of our adversaries, so far as
this matter is concerned. But we have some cause to complain of
the refusal to give us a fair apportionment.

There is still another disadvantage under which we labor, and to
which I will ask your attention. It arises out of the relative
positions of the two persons who stand before the State as
candidates for the Senate. Senator Douglas is of world-wide
renown. All the anxious politicians of his party, or who have
been of his party for years past, have been looking upon him as
certainly, at no distant day, to be the President of the United
States. They have seen in his round, jolly, fruitful face
post-offices, land-offices, marshalships, and cabinet
appointments, charge-ships and foreign missions bursting and
sprouting out in wonderful exuberance, ready to be laid hold of
by their greedy hands. And as they have been gazing upon this
attractive picture so long, they cannot, in the little
distraction that has taken place in the party, bring themselves
to give up the charming hope; but with greedier anxiety they rush
about him, sustain him, and give him marches, triumphal entries,
and receptions beyond what even in the days of his highest
prosperity they could have brought about in his favor. On the
contrary, nobody has ever expected me to be President. In my
poor, lean, lank face, nobody has ever seen that any cabbages
were sprouting out. These are disadvantages all, taken together,
that the Republicans labor under. We have to fight this battle
upon principle, and upon principle alone. I am, in a certain
sense, made the standard-bearer in behalf of the Republicans. I
was made so merely because there had to be some one so placed,--I
being in nowise preferable to any other one of twenty-five,
perhaps a hundred, we have in the Republican ranks. Then I say I
wish it to be distinctly understood and borne in mind that we
have to fight this battle without many--perhaps without any of
the external aids which are brought to bear against us. So I
hope those with whom I am surrounded have principle enough to
nerve themselves for the task, and leave nothing undone that can
be fairly done to bring about the right result.

After Senator Douglas left Washington, as his movements were made
known by the public prints, he tarried a considerable time in the
city of New York; and it was heralded that, like another
Napoleon, he was lying by and framing the plan of his campaign.
It was telegraphed to Washington City, and published in the
Union, that he was framing his plan for the purpose of going to
Illinois to pounce upon and annihilate the treasonable and
disunion speech which Lincoln had made here on the 16th of June.
Now, I do suppose that the Judge really spent some time in New
York maturing the plan of the campaign, as his friends heralded
for him. I have been able, by noting his movements since his
arrival in Illinois, to discover evidences confirmatory of that
allegation. I think I have been able to see what are the
material points of that plan. I will, for a little while, ask
your attention to some of them. What I shall point out, though
not showing the whole plan, are, nevertheless, the main points,
as I suppose.

They are not very numerous. The first is popular sovereignty.
The second and third are attacks upon my speech made on the 16th
of June. Out of these three points--drawing within the range of
popular sovereignty the question of the Lecompton Constitution--
he makes his principal assault. Upon these his successive
speeches are substantially one and the same. On this matter of
popular sovereignty I wish to be a little careful. Auxiliary to
these main points, to be sure, are their thunderings of cannon,
their marching and music, their fizzlegigs and fireworks; but I
will not waste time with them. They are but the little trappings
of the campaign.

Coming to the substance,--the first point, "popular sovereignty."
It is to be labeled upon the cars in which he travels; put upon
the hacks he rides in; to be flaunted upon the arches he passes
under, and the banners which wave over him. It is to be dished
up in as many varieties as a French cook can produce soups from
potatoes. Now, as this is so great a staple of the plan of the
campaign, it is worth while to examine it carefully; and if we
examine only a very little, and do not allow ourselves to be
misled, we shall be able to see that the whole thing is the most
arrant Quixotism that was ever enacted before a community. What
is the matter of popular sovereignty? The first thing, in order
to understand it, is to get a good definition of what it is, and
after that to see how it is applied.

I suppose almost every one knows that, in this controversy,
whatever has been said has had reference to the question of negro
slavery. We have not been in a controversy about the right of
the people to govern themselves in the ordinary matters of
domestic concern in the States and Territories. Mr. Buchanan, in
one of his late messages (I think when he sent up the Lecompton
Constitution) urged that the main point to which the public
attention had been directed was not in regard to the great
variety of small domestic matters, but was directed to the
question of negro slavery; and he asserts that if the people had
had a fair chance to vote on that question there was no
reasonable ground of objection in regard to minor questions.
Now, while I think that the people had not had given, or offered,
them a fair chance upon that slavery question, still, if there
had been a fair submission to a vote upon that main question, the
President's proposition would have been true to the utmost.
Hence, when hereafter I speak of popular sovereignty, I wish to
be understood as applying what I say to the question of slavery
only, not to other minor domestic matters of a Territory or a

Does Judge Douglas, when he says that several of the past years
of his life have been devoted to the question of "popular
sovereignty," and that all the remainder of his life shall be
devoted to it, does he mean to say that he has been devoting his
life to securing to the people of the Territories the right to
exclude slavery from the Territories? If he means so to say he
means to deceive; because he and every one knows that the
decision of the Supreme Court, which he approves and makes
especial ground of attack upon me for disapproving, forbids the
people of a Territory to exclude slavery. This covers the whole
ground, from the settlement of a Territory till it reaches the
degree of maturity entitling it to form a State Constitution. So
far as all that ground is concerned, the Judge is not sustaining
popular sovereignty, but absolutely opposing it. He sustains the
decision which declares that the popular will of the Territory
has no constitutional power to exclude slavery during their
territorial existence. This being so, the period of time from
the first settlement of a Territory till it reaches the point of
forming a State Constitution is not the thing that the Judge has
fought for or is fighting for, but, on the contrary, he has
fought for, and is fighting for, the thing that annihilates and
crushes out that same popular sovereignty.

Well, so much being disposed of, what is left? Why, he is
contending for the right of the people, when they come to make a
State Constitution, to make it for themselves, and precisely as
best suits themselves. I say again, that is quixotic. I defy
contradiction when I declare that the Judge can find no one to

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