Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, v3 by Abraham Lincoln

Part 3 out of 3

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.



"To the first and second interrogatories, I answer unequivocally
in the affirmative.

"To the third interrogatory I reply, that I am opposed to the
admission of any more Slave States into the Union, that may be
formed out of Texas or any other Territory.

"To the fourth and fifth interrogatories I unhesitatingly answer
in the affirmative.

"To the sixth interrogatory I reply, that so long as the Slave
States continue to treat slaves as articles of commerce, the
Constitution confers power on Congress to pass laws regulating
that peculiar COMMERCE, and that the protection of Human Rights
imperatively demands the interposition of every constitutional
means to prevent this most inhuman and iniquitous traffic.


I want to say here that Thompson Campbell was elected to Congress
on that platform, as the Democratic candidate in the Galena
District, against Martin P. Sweet.

[Judge DOUGLAS: Give me the date of the letter.]

The time Campbell ran was in 1850. I have not the exact date
here. It was some time in 1850 that these interrogatories were
put and the answer given. Campbell was elected to Congress, and
served out his term. I think a second election came up before he
served out his term, and he was not re-elected. Whether defeated
or not nominated, I do not know. [Mr. Campbell was nominated for
re-election by the Democratic party, by acclamation.] At the end
of his term his very good friend Judge Douglas got him a high
office from President Pierce, and sent him off to California. Is
not that the fact? Just at the end of his term in Congress it
appears that our mutual friend Judge Douglas got our mutual
friend Campbell a good office, and sent him to California upon
it. And not only so, but on the 27th of last month, when Judge
Douglas and myself spoke at Freeport in joint discussion, there
was his same friend Campbell, come all the way from California,
to help the Judge beat me; and there was poor Martin P. Sweet
standing on the platform, trying to help poor me to be elected.
That is true of one of Judge Douglas's friends.

So again, in that same race of 1850, there was a Congressional
Convention assembled at Joliet, and it nominated R. S. Molony
for Congress, and unanimously adopted the following resolution:

"Resolved, That we are uncompromisingly opposed to the extension
of slavery; and while we would not make such opposition a ground
of interference with the interests of the States where it exists,
yet we moderately but firmly insist that it is the duty of
Congress to oppose its extension into Territory now free, by all
means compatible with the obligations of the Constitution, and
with good faith to our sister States; that these principles were
recognized by the Ordinance of 1787, which received the sanction
of Thomas Jefferson, who is acknowledged by all to be the great
oracle and expounder of our faith."

Subsequently the same interrogatories were propounded to Dr.
Molony which had been addressed to Campbell as above, with the
exception of the 6th, respecting the interstate slave trade, to
which Dr. Molony, the Democratic nominee for Congress, replied
as follows:

"I received the written interrogatories this day, and, as you
will see by the La Salle Democrat and Ottawa Free Trader, I took
at Peru on the 5th, and at Ottawa on the 7th, the affirmative
side of interrogatories 1st and 2d; and in relation to the
admission of any more Slave States from Free Territory, my
position taken at these meetings, as correctly reported in said
papers, was emphatically and distinctly opposed to it. In
relation to the admission of any more Slave States from Texas,
whether I shall go against it or not will depend upon the opinion
that I may hereafter form of the true meaning and nature of the
resolutions of annexation. If, by said resolutions, the honor
and good faith of the nation is pledged to admit more Slave
States from Texas when she (Texas) may apply for the admission of
such State, then I should, if in Congress, vote for their
admission. But if not so PLEDGED and bound by sacred contract,
then a bill for the admission of more Slave States from Texas
would never receive my vote.

"To your fourth interrogatory I answer most decidedly in the
affirmative, and for reasons set forth in my reported remarks at
Ottawa last Monday.

"To your fifth interrogatory I also reply in the affirmative most
cordially, and that I will use my utmost exertions to secure the
nomination and election of a man who will accomplish the objects
of said interrogatories. I most cordially approve of the
resolutions adopted at the Union meeting held at Princeton on the
27th September ult.

"Yours, etc., R. S. MOLONY."

All I have to say in regard to Dr. Molony is that he was the
regularly nominated Democratic candidate for Congress in his
district; was elected at that time; at the end of his term was
appointed to a land-office at Danville. (I never heard anything
of Judge Douglas's instrumentality in this.) He held this office
a considerable time, and when we were at Freeport the other day
there were handbills scattered about notifying the public that
after our debate was over R. S. Molony would make a Democratic
speech in favor of Judge Douglas. That is all I know of my own
personal knowledge. It is added here to this resolution, and
truly I believe, that among those who participated in the Joliet
Convention, and who supported its nominee, with his platform as
laid down in the resolution of the Convention and in his reply as
above given, we call at random the following names, all of which
are recognized at this day as leading

"Cook County,--E. B. Williams, Charles McDonell, Arno Voss,
Thomas Hoyne, Isaac Cook."

I reckon we ought to except Cook.

"F. C. Sherman.
"Will,--Joel A. Matteson, S. W. Bowen.
"Kane,--B. F. Hall, G. W. Renwick, A. M. Herrington, Elijah
"McHenry,--W. M. Jackson, Enos W. Smith, Neil Donnelly.
La Salle,--John Hise, William Reddick."

William Reddick! another one of Judge Douglas's friends that
stood on the stand with him at Ottawa, at the time the Judge says
my knees trembled so that I had to be carried away. The names
are all here:

"Du Page,--Nathan Allen.
"De Kalb,--Z. B. Mayo."

Here is another set of resolutions which I think are apposite to
the matter in hand.

On the 28th of February of the same year a Democratic District
Convention was held at Naperville to nominate a candidate for
Circuit Judge. Among the delegates were Bowen and Kelly of Will;
Captain Naper, H. H. Cody, Nathan Allen, of Du Page; W. M.
Jackson, J. M. Strode, P. W. Platt, and Enos W. Smith of McHenry;
J. Horssnan and others of Winnebago. Colonel Strode presided
over the Convention. The following resolutions were unanimously
adopted,--the first on motion of P. W. Platt, the second on
motion of William M. Jackson:

"Resolved, That this Convention is in favor of the Wilmot
Proviso, both in Principle and Practice, and that we know of no
good reason why any person should oppose the largest latitude in
Free Soil, Free Territory and Free speech.

"Resolved, That in the opinion of this Convention, the time has
arrived when all men should be free, whites as well as others."

[Judge DOUGLAS: What is the date of those resolutions?]

I understand it was in 1850, but I do not know it. I do not
state a thing and say I know it, when I do not. But I have the
highest belief that this is so. I know of no way to arrive at
the conclusion that there is an error in it. I mean to put a
case no stronger than the truth will allow. But what I was going
to comment upon is an extract from a newspaper in De Kalb County;
and it strikes me as being rather singular, I confess, under the
circumstances. There is a Judge Mayo in that county, who is a
candidate for the Legislature, for the purpose, if he secures his
election, of helping to re-elect Judge Douglas. He is the editor
of a newspaper [De Kalb County Sentinel], and in that paper I
find the extract I am going to read. It is part of an editorial
article in which he was electioneering as fiercely as he could
for Judge Douglas and against me. It was a curious thing, I
think, to be in such a paper. I will agree to that, and the
Judge may make the most of it:

"Our education has been such that we have been rather in favor of
the equality of the blacks; that is, that they should enjoy all
the privileges of the whites where they reside. We are aware
that this is not a very popular doctrine. We have had many a
confab with some who are now strong 'Republicans' we taking the
broad ground of equality, and they the opposite ground.

"We were brought up in a State where blacks were voters, and we
do not know of any inconvenience resulting from it, though
perhaps it would not work as well where the blacks are more
numerous. We have no doubt of the right of the whites to guard
against such an evil, if it is one. Our opinion is that it would
be best for all concerned to have the colored population in a
State by themselves [in this I agree with him]; but if within the
jurisdiction of the United States, we say by all means they
should have the right to have their Senators and Representatives
in Congress, and to vote for President. With us 'worth makes the
man, and want of it the fellow.' We have seen many a 'nigger'
that we thought more of than some white men."

That is one of Judge Douglas's friends. Now, I do not want to
leave myself in an attitude where I can be misrepresented, so I
will say I do not think the Judge is responsible for this
article; but he is quite as responsible for it as I would be if
one of my friends had said it. I think that is fair enough.

I have here also a set of resolutions passed by a Democratic
State Convention in Judge Douglas's own good State of Vermont,
that I think ought to be good for him too:

"Resolved, That liberty is a right inherent and inalienable in
man, and that herein all men are equal.
"Resolved, That we claim no authority in the Federal Government
to abolish slavery in the several States, but we do claim for it
Constitutional power perpetually to prohibit the introduction of
slavery into territory now free, and abolish it wherever, under
the jurisdiction of Congress, it exists.
"Resolved, That this power ought immediately to be exercised in
prohibiting the introduction and existence of slavery in New
Mexico and California, in abolishing slavery and the slave-trade
in the District of Columbia, on the high seas, and wherever else,
under the Constitution, it can be reached.
"Resolved, That no more Slave States should be admitted into the
Federal Union.
"Resolved, That the Government ought to return to its ancient
policy, not to extend, nationalize, or encourage, but to limit,
localize, and discourage slavery."

At Freeport I answered several interrogatories that had been
propounded to me by Judge Douglas at the Ottawa meeting. The
Judge has not yet seen fit to find any fault with the position
that I took in regard to those seven interrogatories, which were
certainly broad enough, in all conscience, to cover the entire
ground. In my answers, which have been printed, and all have had
the opportunity of seeing, I take the ground that those who elect
me must expect that I will do nothing which will not be in
accordance with those answers. I have some right to assert that
Judge Douglas has no fault to find with them. But he chooses to
still try to thrust me upon different ground, without paying any
attention to my answers, the obtaining of which from me cost him
so much trouble and concern. At the same time I propounded four
interrogatories to him, claiming it as a right that he should
answer as many interrogatories for me as I did for him, and I
would reserve myself for a future instalment when I got them
ready. The Judge, in answering me upon that occasion, put in
what I suppose he intends as answers to all four of my
interrogatories. The first one of these interrogatories I have
before me, and it is in these words:

"Question 1.--If the people of Kansas shall, by means entirely
unobjectionable in all other respects, adopt a State
constitution, and ask admission into the Union under it, before
they have the requisite number of inhabitants according to the
English bill, "-some ninety-three thousand,-" will you vote to
admit them?"

As I read the Judge's answer in the newspaper, and as I remember
it as pronounced at the time, he does not give any answer which
is equivalent to yes or no,--I will or I won't. He answers at
very considerable length, rather quarreling with me for asking
the question, and insisting that Judge Trumbull had done
something that I ought to say something about, and finally
getting out such statements as induce me to infer that he means
to be understood he will, in that supposed case, vote for the
admission of Kansas. I only bring this forward now for the
purpose of saying that if he chooses to put a different
construction upon his answer, he may do it. But if he does not,
I shall from this time forward assume that he will vote for the
admission of Kansas in disregard of the English bill. He has the
right to remove any misunderstanding I may have. I only mention
it now, that I may hereafter assume this to be the true
construction of his answer, if he does not now choose to correct

The second interrogatory that I propounded to him was this:

"Question 2.--Can the people of a United States Territory, in any
lawful way, against the wish of any citizen of the United States,
exclude slavery from its limits prior to the formation of a State

To this Judge Douglas answered that they can lawfully exclude
slavery from the Territory prior to the formation of a
constitution. He goes on to tell us how it can be done. As I
understand him, he holds that it can be done by the Territorial
Legislature refusing to make any enactments for the protection of
slavery in the Territory, and especially by adopting unfriendly
legislation to it. For the sake of clearness, I state it again:
that they can exclude slavery from the Territory, 1st, by
withholding what he assumes to be an indispensable assistance to
it in the way of legislation; and, 2d, by unfriendly legislation.
If I rightly understand him, I wish to ask your attention for a
while to his position.

In the first place, the Supreme Court of the United States has
decided that any Congressional prohibition of slavery in the
Territories is unconstitutional; that they have reached this
proposition as a conclusion from their former proposition, that
the Constitution of the United States expressly recognizes
property in slaves, and from that other Constitutional provision,
that no person shall be deprived of property without due process
of law. Hence they reach the conclusion that as the Constitution
of the United States expressly recognizes property in slaves, and
prohibits any person from being deprived of property without due
process of law, to pass an Act of Congress by which a man who
owned a slave on one side of a line would be deprived of him if
he took him on the other side, is depriving him of that property
without due process of law. That I understand to be the decision
of the Supreme Court. I understand also that Judge Douglas
adheres most firmly to that decision; and the difficulty is, how
is it possible for any power to exclude slavery from the
Territory, unless in violation of that decision? That is the

In the Senate of the United States, in 1850, Judge Trumbull, in a
speech substantially, if not directly, put the same interrogatory
to Judge Douglas, as to whether the people of a Territory had the
lawful power to exclude slavery prior to the formation of a
constitution. Judge Douglas then answered at considerable
length, and his answer will be found in the Congressional Globe,
under date of June 9th, 1856. The Judge said that whether the
people could exclude slavery prior to the formation of a
constitution or not was a question to be decided by the Supreme
Court. He put that proposition, as will be seen by the
Congressional Globe, in a variety of forms, all running to the
same thing in substance,--that it was a question for the Supreme
Court. I maintain that when he says, after the Supreme Court
have decided the question, that the people may yet exclude
slavery by any means whatever, he does virtually say that it is
not a question for the Supreme Court. He shifts his ground. I
appeal to you whether he did not say it was a question for the
Supreme Court? Has not the Supreme Court decided that question?
when he now says the people may exclude slavery, does he not make
it a question for the people? Does he not virtually shift his
ground and say that it is not a question for the Court, but for
the people? This is a very simple proposition,--a very plain and
naked one. It seems to me that there is no difficulty in
deciding it. In a variety of ways he said that it was a question
for the Supreme Court. He did not stop then to tell us that,
whatever the Supreme Court decides, the people can by withholding
necessary "police regulations" keep slavery out. He did not make
any such answer I submit to you now whether the new state of the
case has not induced the Judge to sheer away from his original
ground. Would not this be the impression of every fair-minded

I hold that the proposition that slavery cannot enter a new
country without police regulations is historically false. It is
not true at all. I hold that the history of this country shows
that the institution of slavery was originally planted upon this
continent without these "police regulations," which the Judge now
thinks necessary for the actual establishment of it. Not only
so, but is there not another fact: how came this Dred Scott
decision to be made? It was made upon the case of a negro being
taken and actually held in slavery in Minnesota Territory,
claiming his freedom because the Act of Congress prohibited his
being so held there. Will the Judge pretend that Dred Scott was
not held there without police regulations? There is at least one
matter of record as to his having been held in slavery in the
Territory, not only without police regulations, but in the teeth
of Congressional legislation supposed to be valid at the time.
This shows that there is vigor enough in slavery to plant itself
in a new country even against unfriendly legislation. It takes
not only law, but the enforcement of law to keep it out. That is
the history of this country upon the subject.

I wish to ask one other question. It being understood that the
Constitution of the United States guarantees property in slaves
in the Territories, if there is any infringement of the right of
that property, would not the United States courts, organized for
the government of the Territory, apply such remedy as might be
necessary in that case? It is a maxim held by the courts that
there is no wrong without its remedy; and the courts have a
remedy for whatever is acknowledged and treated as a wrong.

Again: I will ask you, my friends, if you were elected members of
the Legislature, what would be the first thing you would have to
do before entering upon your duties? Swear to support the
Constitution of the United States. Suppose you believe, as Judge
Douglas does, that the Constitution of the United States
guarantees to your neighbor the right to hold slaves in that
Territory; that they are his property: how can you clear your
oaths unless you give him such legislation as is necessary to
enable him to enjoy that property? What do you understand by
supporting the Constitution of a State, or of the United States?
Is it not to give such constitutional helps to the rights
established by that Constitution as may be practically needed?
Can you, if you swear to support the Constitution, and believe
that the Constitution establishes a right, clear your oath,
without giving it support? Do you support the Constitution if,
knowing or believing there is a right established under it which
needs specific legislation, you withhold that legislation? Do
you not violate and disregard your oath? I can conceive of
nothing plainer in the world. There can be nothing in the words
"support the Constitution," if you may run counter to it by
refusing support to any right established under the Constitution.
And what I say here will hold with still more force against the
Judge's doctrine of "unfriendly legislation." How could you,
having sworn to support the Constitution, and believing it
guaranteed the right to hold slaves in the Territories, assist in
legislation intended to defeat that right? That would be
violating your own view of the Constitution. Not only so, but if
you were to do so, how long would it take the courts to hold your
votes unconstitutional and void? Not a moment.

Lastly, I would ask: Is not Congress itself under obligation to
give legislative support to any right that is established under
the United States Constitution? I repeat the question: Is not
Congress itself bound to give legislative support to any right
that is established in the United States Constitution? A member
of Congress swears to support the Constitution of the United
States: and if he sees a right established by that Constitution
which needs specific legislative protection, can he clear his
oath without giving that protection? Let me ask you why many of
us who are opposed to slavery upon principle give our
acquiescence to a Fugitive Slave law? Why do we hold ourselves
under obligations to pass such a law, and abide by it when it is
passed? Because the Constitution makes provision that the owners
of slaves shall have the right to reclaim them. It gives the
right to reclaim slaves; and that right is, as Judge Douglas
says, a barren right, unless there is legislation that will
enforce it.

The mere declaration, "No person held to service or labor in one
State under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in
consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from
such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the
party to whom such service or labor may be due," is powerless
without specific legislation to enforce it. Now, on what ground
would a member of Congress, who is opposed to slavery in the
abstract, vote for a Fugitive law, as I would deem it my duty to
do? Because there is a constitutional right which needs
legislation to enforce it. And although it is distasteful to me,
I have sworn to support the Constitution; and having so sworn, I
cannot conceive that I do support it if I withhold from that
right any necessary legislation to make it practical. And if
that is true in regard to a Fugitive Slave law, is the right to
have fugitive slaves reclaimed any better fixed in the
Constitution than the right to hold slaves in the Territories?
For this decision is a just exposition of the Constitution, as
Judge Douglas thinks. Is the one right any better than the
other? Is there any man who, while a member of Congress, would
give support to the one any more than the other? If I wished to
refuse to give legislative support to slave property in the
Territories, if a member of Congress, I could not do it, holding
the view that the Constitution establishes that right. If I did
it at all, it would be because I deny that this decision properly
construes the Constitution. But if I acknowledge, with Judge
Douglas, that this decision properly construes the Constitution,
I cannot conceive that I would be less than a perjured man if I
should refuse in Congress to give such protection to that
property as in its nature it needed.

At the end of what I have said here I propose to give the Judge
my fifth interrogatory, which he may take and answer at his
leisure. My fifth interrogatory is this:

If the slaveholding citizens of a United States Territory should
need and demand Congressional legislation for the protection of
their slave property in such Territory, would you, as a member of
Congress, vote for or against such legislation?

[Judge DOUGLAS: Will you repeat that? I want to answer that

If the slaveholding citizens of a United States Territory should
need and demand Congressional legislation for the protection of
their slave property in such Territory, would you, as a member of
Congress, vote for or against such legislation?

I am aware that in some of the speeches Judge Douglas has made,
he has spoken as if he did not know or think that the Supreme
Court had decided that a Territorial Legislature cannot exclude
slavery. Precisely what the Judge would say upon the subject--
whether he would say definitely that he does not understand they
have so decided, or whether he would say he does understand that
the court have so decided,--I do not know; but I know that in his
speech at Springfield he spoke of it as a thing they had not
decided yet; and in his answer to me at Freeport, he spoke of it,
so far, again, as I can comprehend it, as a thing that had not
yet been decided. Now, I hold that if the Judge does entertain
that view, I think that he is not mistaken in so far as it can be
said that the court has not decided anything save the mere
question of jurisdiction. I know the legal arguments that can be
made,--that after a court has decided that it cannot take
jurisdiction in a case, it then has decided all that is before
it, and that is the end of it. A plausible argument can be made
in favor of that proposition; but I know that Judge Douglas has
said in one of his speeches that the court went forward, like
honest men as they were, and decided all the points in the case.
If any points are really extra-judicially decided, because not
necessarily before them, then this one as to the power of the
Territorial Legislature, to exclude slavery is one of them, as
also the one that the Missouri Compromise was null and void.
They are both extra-judicial, or neither is, according as the
court held that they had no jurisdiction in the case between the
parties, because of want of capacity of one party to maintain a
suit in that court. I want, if I have sufficient time, to show
that the court did pass its opinion; but that is the only thing
actually done in the case. If they did not decide, they showed
what they were ready to decide whenever the matter was before
them. What is that opinion? After having argued that Congress
had no power to pass a law excluding slavery from a United States
Territory, they then used language to this effect: That inasmuch
as Congress itself could not exercise such a power, it followed
as a matter of course that it could not authorize a Territorial
government to exercise it; for the Territorial Legislature can do
no more than Congress could do. Thus it expressed its opinion
emphatically against the power of a Territorial Legislature to
exclude slavery, leaving us in just as little doubt on that point
as upon any other point they really decided.

Now, my fellow-citizens, I will detain you only a little while
longer; my time is nearly out. I find a report of a speech made
by Judge Douglas at Joliet, since we last met at Freeport,--
published, I believe, in the Missouri Republican, on the 9th of
this month, in which Judge Douglas says:

"You know at Ottawa I read this platform, and asked him if he
concurred in each and all of the principles set forth in it. He
would not answer these questions. At last I said frankly, I wish
you to answer them, because when I get them up here where the
color of your principles are a little darker than in Egypt, I
intend to trot you down to Jonesboro. The very notice that I was
going to take him down to Egypt made him tremble in his knees so
that he had to be carried from the platform. He laid up seven
days, and in the meantime held a consultation with his political
physicians; they had Lovejoy and Farnsworth and all the leaders
of the Abolition party, they consulted it all over, and at last
Lincoln came to the conclusion that he would answer, so he came
up to Freeport last Friday."

Now, that statement altogether furnishes a subject for
philosophical contemplation. I have been treating it in that
way, and I have really come to the conclusion that I can explain
it in no other way than by believing the Judge is crazy. If he
was in his right mind I cannot conceive how he would have risked
disgusting the four or five thousand of his own friends who stood
there and knew, as to my having been carried from the platform,
that there was not a word of truth in it.

[Judge DOUGLAS: Did n't they carry you off?]

There that question illustrates the character of this man Douglas
exactly. He smiles now, and says, "Did n't they carry you off?"
but he said then "he had to be carried off"; and he said it to
convince the country that he had so completely broken me down by
his speech that I had to be carried away. Now he seeks to dodge
it, and asks, "Did n't they carry you off?" Yes, they did. But,
Judge Douglas, why didn't you tell the truth? I would like to
know why you did n't tell the truth about it. And then again "He
laid up seven days." He put this in print for the people of the
country to read as a serious document. I think if he had been in
his sober senses he would not have risked that barefacedness in
the presence of thousands of his own friends who knew that I made
speeches within six of the seven days at Henry, Marshall County,
Augusta, Hancock County, and Macomb, McDonough County, including
all the necessary travel to meet him again at Freeport at the end
of the six days. Now I say there is no charitable way to look at
that statement, except to conclude that he is actually crazy.
There is another thing in that statement that alarmed me very
greatly as he states it, that he was going to "trot me down to
Egypt." Thereby he would have you infer that I would not come to
Egypt unless he forced me--that I could not be got here unless
he, giant-like, had hauled me down here. That statement he
makes, too, in the teeth of the knowledge that I had made the
stipulation to come down here and that he himself had been very
reluctant to enter into the stipulation. More than all this:
Judge Douglas, when he made that statement, must have been crazy
and wholly out of his sober senses, or else he would have known
that when he got me down here, that promise--that windy promise--
of his powers to annihilate me, would n't amount to anything.
Now, how little do I look like being carried away trembling? Let
the Judge go on; and after he is done with his half-hour, I want
you all, if I can't go home myself, to let me stay and rot here;
and if anything happens to the Judge, if I cannot carry him to
the hotel and put him to bed, let me stay here and rot. I say,
then, here is something extraordinary in this statement. I ask
you if you know any other living man who would make such a
statement? I will ask my friend Casey, over there, if he would
do such a thing? Would he send that out and have his men take it
as the truth? Did the Judge talk of trotting me down to Egypt to
scare me to death? Why, I know this people better than he does.
I was raised just a little east of here. I am a part of this
people. But the Judge was raised farther north, and perhaps he
has some horrid idea of what this people might be induced to do.
But really I have talked about this matter perhaps longer than I
ought, for it is no great thing; and yet the smallest are often
the most difficult things to deal with. The Judge has set about
seriously trying to make the impression that when we meet at
different places I am literally in his clutches--that I am a
poor, helpless, decrepit mouse, and that I can do nothing at all.
This is one of the ways he has taken to create that impression.
I don't know any other way to meet it except this. I don't want
to quarrel with him--to call him a liar; but when I come square
up to him I don't know what else to call him if I must tell the
truth out. I want to be at peace, and reserve all my fighting
powers for necessary occasions. My time now is very nearly out,
and I give up the trifle that is left to the Judge, to let him
set my knees trembling again, if he can.

Book of the day: