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The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, v5 by Abraham Lincoln

Part 3 out of 8

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Now, it so happens that these amendments were framed by the first
Congress which sat under the Constitution--the identical Congress
which passed the act already mentioned, enforcing the prohibition of
slavery in the Northwestern Territory. Not only was it the same
Congress, but they were the identical same individual men who, at the
same session, and at the same time within the session, had under
consideration, and in progress toward maturity, these Constitutional
amendments, and this act prohibiting slavery in all the territory the
nation then owned. The Constitutional amendments were introduced
before and passed after the act enforcing the Ordinance of '87; so
that, during the whole pendency of the act to enforce the Ordinance,
the Constitutional amendments were also pending.

The seventy-six members of that Congress, including sixteen of the
framers of the original Constitution, as before stated, were
pre-eminently our fathers who framed that part of "the Government
under which we live," which is now claimed as forbidding the Federal
Government to control slavery in the Federal Territories.

Is it not a little presumptuous in any one at this day to affirm that
the two things which that Congress deliberately framed, and carried
to maturity at the same time, are absolutely inconsistent with each
other? And does not such affirmation become impudently absurd when
coupled with the other affirmation from the same mouth, that those
who did the two things alleged to be inconsistent understood whether
they really were inconsistent better than we--better than he who
affirms that they are inconsistent?

It is surely safe to assume that the thirty-nine framers of the
original Constitution, and the seventy-six members of the Congress
which framed the amendments thereto, taken together, do certainly
include those who may be fairly called "our fathers who framed the
Government under which we live." And, so assuming, I defy any man to
show that any one of them ever, in his whole life, declared that, in
his understanding, any proper division of local from Federal
authority, or any part of the Constitution, forbade the Federal
Government to control as to slavery in the Federal Territories. I go
a step further. I defy any one to show that any living man in the
world ever did, prior to the beginning of the present century (and I
might almost say prior to the beginning of the last half of the
present century), declare that, in his understanding, any proper
division of local from Federal authority, or any part of the
Constitution, forbade the Federal Government to control as to slavery
in the Federal Territories. To those who now so declare, I give not
only "our fathers who framed the Government under which we live," but
with them all other living men within the century in which it was
framed, among whom to search, and they shall not be able to find the
evidence of a single man agreeing with them.

Now and here let me guard a little against being misunderstood. I do
not mean to say we are bound to follow implicitly in whatever our
fathers did. To do so would be to discard all the lights of current
experience to reject all progress, all improvement. What I do say is
that, if we would supplant the opinions and policy of our fathers in
any case, we should do so upon evidence so conclusive, and argument
so clear, that even their great authority, fairly considered and
weighed, cannot stand; and most surely not in a case whereof we
ourselves declare they understood the question better than we.

If any man at this day sincerely believes that proper division of
local from Federal authority, or any part of the Constitution,
forbids the Federal Government to control as to slavery in the
Federal Territories, he is right to say so, and to enforce his
position by all truthful evidence and fair argument which he can.
But he has no right to mislead others who have less access to
history, and less leisure to study it, into the false belief that
"our fathers who framed the Government under which we live" were of
the same opinion thus substituting falsehood and deception for
truthful evidence and fair argument. If any man at this day
sincerely believes "our fathers, who framed the Government under
which we live," used and applied principles, in other cases, which
ought to have led them to understand that a proper division of local
from Federal authority, or some part of the Constitution, forbids the
Federal Government to control as to slavery in the Federal
Territories, he is right to say so. But he should, at the same time,
brave the responsibility of declaring that, in his opinion, he
understands their principles better than they did themselves; and
especially should he not shirk that responsibility by asserting that
they "understood the question just as well, and even better than we
do now."

But enough! Let all who believe that "our fathers, who framed the
Government under which we live, understood this question just as
well, and even better than we do now," speak as they spoke, and act
as they acted upon it. This is all Republicans ask--all Republicans
desire--in relation to slavery. As those fathers marked it, so let
it be again marked, as an evil not to be extended, but to be
tolerated and protected only because of, and so far as, its actual
presence among us makes that toleration and protection a necessity.
Let all the guaranties those fathers gave it be not grudgingly, but
fully and fairly maintained. For this Republicans contend, and with
this, so far as I know or believe, they will be content.

And now, if they would listen--as I suppose they will not--I would
address a few words to the Southern people.

I would say to them: You consider yourselves a reasonable and a just
people; and I consider that in the general qualities of reason and
justice you are not inferior to any other people. Still, when you
speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us as reptiles,
or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing
to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to "Black Republicans."
In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an
unconditional condemnation of "Black Republicanism" as the first
thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be
an indispensable prerequisite license, so to speak among you, to be
admitted or permitted to speak at all: Now; can you, or not, be
prevailed upon to pause, and to consider whether this is quite just
to us, or even to yourselves? Bring forward your charges and
specifications, and then be patient long enough to hear us deny or
justify.

You say we are sectional. We deny it. That makes an issue; and the
burden of proof is upon you. You produce your proof; and what is it?
Why, that our party has no existence in your section--gets no votes
in your section. The fact is substantially true; but does it prove
the issue? If it does, then in case we should, without change of
principle, begin to get votes in your section, we should thereby
cease to be sectional. You cannot escape this conclusion; and yet,
are you willing to abide by it? If you are, you will probably soon
find that we have ceased to be sectional, for we shall get votes in
your section this very year. You will then begin to discover, as the
truth plainly is, that your proof, does not touch the issue. The fact
that we get no votes in your section is a fact of your making, and
not of ours. And if there be fault in that fact, that fault is
primarily yours, and remains so until you show that we repel you by,
some wrong principle or practice. If we do repel you by any wrong
principle or practice, the fault is ours; but this brings you to
where you ought to have started to a discussion of the right or wrong
of our principle. If our principle, put in practice, would wrong
your section for the benefit of ours, or for any other object, then
our principle, and we with it, are sectional, and are justly opposed
and denounced as such. Meet us, then, on the question of whether our
principle, put in practice, would wrong your section; and so meet us
as if it were possible that something may be said on our side. Do
you accept the challenge? No! Then you really believe that the
principle which "our fathers who framed the Government under which we
live" thought so clearly right as to adopt it, and indorse it again
and again, upon their official oaths, is in fact so clearly wrong as
to demand your condemnation without a moment's consideration.

Some of you delight to flaunt in our faces the warning against
sectional parties given by Washington in his Farewell Address. Less
than eight years before Washington gave that warning, he had, as
President of the United States, approved and signed an act of
Congress enforcing the prohibition of slavery in the Northwestern
Territory, which act embodied the policy of the Government upon that
subject up to, and at, the very moment he penned that warning; and
about one year after he penned it, he wrote La Fayette that he
considered that prohibition a wise measure, expressing in the same
connection his hope that we should at some time have a confederacy of
free States.

Bearing this in mind, and seeing that sectionalism has since arisen
upon this same subject, is that warning a weapon in your hands
against us, or in our hands against you? Could Washington himself
speak, would he cast the blame of that sectionalism upon us, who
sustain his policy, or upon you, who repudiate it? We respect that
warning of Washington, and we commend it to you, together with his
example pointing to the right application of it.

But you say you are conservative--eminently conservative--while we
are revolutionary, destructive, or something, of the sort. What is
conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against a
new and untried? We stick to, contend for, the identical old policy
on the point in controversy which was adopted by "our fathers who
framed the Government under which we live"; while you with one accord
reject, and scout, and spit upon that old policy and insist upon
substituting something new. True, you disagree among yourselves as
to what that substitute shall be. You are divided on new
propositions and plans, but you are unanimous in rejecting and
denouncing the old policy of the fathers. Some of you are for
reviving the foreign slave trade; some for a Congressional slave code
for the Territories; some for Congress forbidding the Territories to
prohibit slavery within their limits; some for maintaining slavery in
the Territories through the judiciary; some for the "gur-reat
pur-rinciple" that "if one man would enslave another, no third man
should object," fantastically called "popular sovereignty"; but never
a man among you in favor of Federal prohibition of slavery in Federal
Territories, according to the practice of "our fathers who framed the
Government under which we live." Not one of all your various plans
can show a precedent or an advocate in the century within which our
Government originated. Consider, then, whether your claim of
conservatism for yourselves, and your charge of destructiveness
against us, are based on the most clear and stable foundations.

Again: You say we have made the slavery question more prominent than
it formerly was. We deny it. We admit that it is more prominent,
but we deny that we made it so. It was not we, but you, who
discarded the old policy of the fathers. We resisted and still
resist your innovation; and thence comes the greater prominence of
the question. Would you have that question reduced to its former
proportions? Go back to that old policy. What has been will be
again, under the same conditions. If you would have the peace of the
old times, readopt the precepts and policy of the old times.

You charge that we stir up insurrections among your slaves. We deny
it; and what is your proof'? Harper's Ferry! John Brown!! John
Brown was no Republican; and you have failed to implicate a single
Republican in his Harper's Ferry enterprise. If any member of our
party is guilty in that matter you know it or you do not know it. If
you do know it, you are inexcusable for not designating the man and
proving the fact. If you do not know it, you are inexcusable for
asserting it, and especially for persisting in the assertion after
you have tried and failed to make the proof. You need not be told
that persisting in a charge which one does not know to be true is
simply malicious slander.

Some of you admit that no Republican designedly aided or encouraged
the Harper's Ferry affair, but still insist that our doctrines and
declarations necessarily lead to such results. We do not believe it.
We know we hold to no doctrine, and make no declaration, which were
not held to and made by our fathers who framed the Government under
which we live. You never dealt fairly by us in relation to this
affair. When it occurred, some important State elections were near
at hand, and you were in evident glee with the belief that, by
charging the blame upon us, you could get an advantage of us in those
elections. The elections came, and your expectations were not quite
fulfilled. Every Republican man knew that, as to himself at least,
your charge was a slander, and he was not much inclined by it to cast
his vote in your favor. Republican doctrines and declarations are
accompanied with a continued protest against any interference
whatever with your slaves, or with you about your slaves. Surely,
this does not encourage them to revolt. True, we do, in common with
"our fathers, who framed the Government under which we live," declare
our belief that slavery is wrong; but the slaves do not hear us
declare even this. For any thing we say or do, the slaves would
scarcely know there is a Republican party. I believe they would not,
in fact, generally know it but for your misrepresentations of us in
their hearing. In your political contests among yourselves, each
faction charges the other with sympathy with Black Republicanism; and
then, to give point to the charge, defines Black Republicanism to
simply be insurrection, blood, and thunder among the slaves.

Slave insurrections are no more common now than they were before the
Republican party was organized. What induced the Southampton
insurrection, twenty-eight years ago, in which, at least, three times
as many lives were lost as at Harper's Ferry? You can scarcely
stretch your very elastic fancy to the conclusion that Southampton
was "got up by Black Republicanism." In the present state of things
in the United States, I do not think a general or even a very
extensive slave insurrection is possible. The indispensable concert
of action cannot be attained. The slaves have no means of rapid
communication; nor can incendiary freemen, black or white, supply it.
The explosive materials are everywhere in parcels; but there neither
are, nor can be supplied the indispensable connecting trains.

Much is said by Southern people about the affection of slaves for
their masters and mistresses; and a part of it, at least, is true. A
plot for an uprising could scarcely be devised and communicated to
twenty individuals before some one of them, to save the life of a
favorite master or mistress, would divulge it. This is the rule; and
the slave revolution in Hayti was not an exception to it, but a case
occurring under peculiar circumstances. The gunpowder plot of
British history, though not connected with slaves, was more in point.
In that case, only about twenty were admitted to the secret; and yet
one of them, in his anxiety to save a friend, betrayed the plot to
that friend, and, by consequence, averted the calamity. Occasional
poisonings from the kitchen, and open or stealthy assassinations in
the field, and local revolts, extending to a score or so, will
continue to occur as the natural results of slavery; but no general
insurrection of slaves, as I think, can happen in this country for a
long time. Whoever much fears or much hopes for such an event will
be alike disappointed.

In the language of Mr. Jefferson, uttered many years ago, "It is
still in our power to direct the process of emancipation and
deportation peaceably, and in such slow degrees as that the evil will
wear off insensibly, and their places be, pari passu, filled up by
free white laborers. If, on the contrary, it is left to force itself
on, human nature must shudder at the prospect held up."

Mr. Jefferson did not mean to say, nor do I, that the power of
emancipation is in the Federal Government. He spoke of Virginia;
and, as to the power of emancipation, I speak of the slave holding
States only. The Federal Government, however, as we insist, has the
power of restraining the extension of the institution--the power to
insure that a slave insurrection shall never occur on any American
soil which is now free from slavery.

John Brown's effort was peculiar. It was not a slave insurrection.
It was an attempt by white men to get up a revolt among slaves, in
which the slaves refused to participate. In fact, it was so absurd
that the slaves, with all their ignorance, saw plainly enough it
could not succeed. That affair, in its philosophy, corresponds with
the many attempts related in history at the assassination of kings
and emperors. An enthusiast broods over the oppression of a people
till he fancies himself commissioned by Heaven to liberate them. He
ventures the attempt, which ends in little else than his own
execution. Orsini's attempt on Louis Napoleon and John Brown's
attempt at Harper's Ferry were, in their philosophy, precisely the
same. The eagerness to cast blame on old England in the one case,
and on New England in the other, does not disprove the sameness of
the two things.

And how much would it avail you, if you could, by the use of John
Brown, Helper's Book, and the like, break up the Republican
organization? Human action can be modified to some extent, but human
nature cannot be changed. There is a judgment and a feeling against
slavery in this nation, which cast at least a million and a half of
votes. You cannot destroy that judgment and feeling--that sentiment-
-by breaking up the political organization which rallies around it.
You can scarcely scatter and disperse an army which has been formed
into order in the face of your heaviest fire; but if you could, how
much would you gain by forcing the sentiment which created it out of
the peaceful channel of the ballot-box, into some other channel?
What would that other channel probably be? Would the number of John
Browns be lessened or enlarged by the operation?

But you will break up the Union rather than submit to a denial of
your constitutional rights.

That has a somewhat reckless sound; but it would be palliated, if not
fully justified, were we proposing, by the mere force of numbers, to
deprive you of some right plainly written down in the Constitution.
But we are proposing no such thing.

When you make these declarations, you have a specific and well-
understood allusion to an assumed constitutional right of yours to
take slaves into the Federal Territories, and to hold them there as
property. But no such right is specifically written in the
Constitution. That instrument is literally silent about any such
right. We, on the contrary, deny that such a right has any existence
in the Constitution, even by implication.

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the
Government unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the
Constitution as you please on all points in dispute between you and
us. You will rule or ruin, in all events.

This, plainly stated, is your language. Perhaps you will say the
Supreme Court has decided the disputed constitutional question in
your favor. Not quite so. But, waiving the lawyer's distinction
between dictum and decision, the court have decided the question for
you in a sort of way. The court have substantially said it is your
constitutional right to take slaves into the Federal Territories, and
to hold them there as property. When I say, the decision was made in
a sort of way, I mean it was made in a divided court, by a bare
majority of the judges, and they not quite agreeing with one another
in the reasons for making it; that it is so made as that its avowed
supporters disagree with one another about its meaning, and that it
was mainly based upon a mistaken statement of fact--the statement in
the opinion that "the right of property in a slave is distinctly and
expressly affirmed in the Constitution."

An inspection of the Constitution will show that the right of
property in a slave is not "distinctly and expressly affirmed" in it.
Bear in mind, the judges do not pledge their judicial opinion that
such right is impliedly affirmed in the Constitution; but they pledge
their veracity that it is "distinctly and expressly" affirmed there-
-"distinctly," that is, not mingled with anything else; "expressly,"
that is, in words meaning just that, without the aid of any
inference, and susceptible of no other meaning.

If they had only pledged their judicial opinion that such right is
affirmed in the instrument by implication, it would be open to others
to show that neither the word "slave" nor "slavery" is to be found in
the Constitution, nor the word "property" even, in any connection
with language alluding to the things slave or slavery; and that
wherever in that instrument the slave is alluded to, he is called a
"person"; and wherever his master's legal right in relation to him is
alluded to, it is spoken of as "service or labor which may be due,"
as a debt payable in service or labor. Also, it would be open to
show, by contemporaneous history, that this mode of alluding to
slaves and slavery, instead of speaking of them, was employed on
purpose to exclude from the Constitution the idea that there could be
property in man.

To show all this, is easy and certain.

When this obvious mistake of the judges shall be brought to their
notice, is it not reasonable to expect that they will withdraw the
mistaken statement, and reconsider the conclusion based upon it?

And then it is to be remembered that "our fathers; who framed the
Government under which we live",--the men who made the Constitution--
decided this same constitutional question in our favor, long ago;
decided it without division among themselves, when making the
decision, without division among themselves about the meaning of it
after it was made, and, so far as any evidence is left, without
basing it upon any mistaken statement of facts.

Under all these circumstances, do you really feel yourselves
justified to break up this Government unless such a court decision as
yours is shall be at once submitted to as a conclusive and final rule
of political action? But you will not abide the election of a
Republican President! In that supposed event, you say, you will
destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having
destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a
pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "stand and deliver,
or I shall kill you, and then you'll be a murderer!"

To be sure, what the robber demanded of me-my money was my own, and I
had a clear right to keep it; but it was no more my own than my vote
is my own; and the threat of death to me, to extort my money, and the
threat of destruction to the Union, to extort my vote, can scarcely
be distinguished in principle.

A few words now to Republicans: It is exceedingly desirable that all
parts of this great confederacy shall be at peace and in harmony one
with another. Let us Republicans do our part to have it so. Even
though much provoked, let us do nothing through passion and ill
temper. Even though the Southern people will not so much as listen
to us, let us calmly consider their demands, and yield to them if, in
our deliberate view of our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all
they say and do, and by the subject and nature of their controversy
with us, let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy them.

Will they be satisfied if the Territories be unconditionally
surrendered to them? We know they will not. In all their present
complaints against us, the Territories are scarcely mentioned.
Invasions and insurrections are the rage now. Will it satisfy them
if, in the future, we have nothing to do with invasions and,
insurrections? We know it will not. We so know because we know we
never had anything to do with invasions and insurrections; and yet
this total abstaining does not exempt us from the charge and the
denunciation.

The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must
not only let them alone, but we must, somehow, convince them that we
do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task.
We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of
our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and
speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone;
but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to
convince them is the fact that they have never detected a man of us
in any attempt to disturb them.

These natural and apparently adequate means all failing, what will
convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and
join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly--
done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated--we
must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas's new
sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all
declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in
presses, in pulpits; or in private. We must arrest and return their
fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our free
State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from
all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe
that all their troubles proceed from us.

I am quite aware they do not state their case precisely in this way.
Most of them would probably say to us, "Let us alone, do nothing to
us, and say what you please about slavery." But we do let them alone
have never disturbed them--so that after all it is what we say which
dissatisfies them. They will continue to accuse us of doing, until
we cease saying.

I am also aware they have not as yet, in terms, demanded the
overthrow of our free State constitutions. Yet those constitutions
declare the wrong of slavery, with more solemn emphasis than do all
other sayings against it; and when all these other sayings shall have
been silenced, the overthrow of these constitutions will be demanded,
and nothing be left to resist the demand. It is nothing to the
contrary, that they do not demand the whole of this just now.
Demanding what they do, and for the reason they do, they can
voluntarily stop nowhere short of this consummation. Holding, as
they do, that slavery is morally right, and socially elevating, they
cannot cease to demand a full national recognition of it, as a legal
right and a social blessing.

Nor can we justifiably withhold this on any ground save our
conviction that slavery is wrong. If slavery is right, all words,
acts, laws, and constitutions against it are themselves wrong, and
should be silenced and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly
object to its nationality its universality; if it is wrong, they
cannot justly insist upon its extension--its enlargement. All they
ask we could readily grant if we thought slavery right; all we ask
they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their
thinking it right and our thinking it wrong is the precise fact upon
which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do,
they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition, as being
right; but thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we
cast our votes with their view, and against our own? In view of our
moral, social, and political responsibilities, can we do this? Wrong
as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone where it
is, because that much is due to the necessity arising from its actual
presence in the nation; but can we, while our votes will prevent it,
allow it to spread into the national Territories, and to overrun us
here in these free States? If our sense of duty forbids this, then
let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be
diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are
so industriously plied and belabored-contrivances such as groping for
some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the
search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead
man-such as a policy of "don't care" on a question about which all
true men do care--such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to
yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not
the sinners, but the righteous to repentance--such as invocations to
Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington said, and undo
what Washington did.

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations
against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the
Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT
MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR
DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.

SPEECH AT NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, MARCH 6, 1860

MR. PRESIDENT, AND FELLOW-CITIZENS OF NEW HAVEN:--If the Republican
party of this nation shall ever have the national House entrusted to
its keeping, it will be the duty of that party to attend to all the
affairs of national housekeeping. Whatever matters of importance may
come up, whatever difficulties may arise in its way of administration
of the Government, that party will then have to attend to. It will
then be compelled to attend to other questions, besides this question
which now assumes an overwhelming importance--the question of
slavery. It is true that in the organization of the Republican party
this question of slavery was more important than any other: indeed,
so much more important has it become that no more national question
can even get a hearing just at present. The old question of tariff-
-a matter that will remain one of the chief affairs of national
house-keeping to all time; the question of the management of
financial affairs; the question of the disposition of the public
domain how shall it be managed for the purpose of getting it well
settled, and of making there the homes of a free and happy people?
these will remain open and require attention for a great while yet,
and these questions will have to be attended to by whatever party has
the control of the Government. Yet, just now, they cannot even
obtain a hearing, and I do not propose to detain you upon these
topics or what sort of hearing they should have when opportunity
shall come.

For, whether we will or not, the question of slavery is the question,
the all-absorbing topic of the day. It is true that all of us--and by
that I mean, not the Republican party alone, but the whole American
people, here and elsewhere--all of us wish this question settled,
wish it out of the way. It stands in the way, and prevents the
adjustment, and the giving of necessary attention to other questions
of national house-keeping. The people of the whole nation agree that
this question ought to be settled, and yet it is not settled. And
the reason is that they are not yet agreed how it shall be settled.
All wish it done, but some wish one way and some another, and some a
third, or fourth, or fifth; different bodies are pulling in different
directions, and none of them, having a decided majority, are able to
accomplish the common object.

In the beginning of the year 1854, a new policy was inaugurated with
the avowed object and confident promise that it would entirely and
forever put an end to the slavery agitation. It was again and again
declared that under this policy, when once successfully established,
the country would be forever rid of this whole question. Yet under
the operation of that policy this agitation has not only not ceased,
but it has been constantly augmented. And this too, although, from
the day of its introduction, its friends, who promised that it would
wholly end all agitation, constantly insisted, down to the time that
the Lecompton Bill was introduced, that it was working admirably, and
that its inevitable tendency was to remove the question forever from
the politics of the country. Can you call to mind any Democratic
speech, made after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, down to the
time of the Lecompton Bill, in which it was not predicted that the
slavery agitation was just at an end, that "the abolition excitement
was played out," "the Kansas question was dead," "they have made the
most they can out of this question and it is now forever settled"?
But since the Lecompton Bill no Democrat, within my experience, has
ever pretended that he could see the end. That cry has been dropped.
They themselves do not pretend, now, that the agitation of this
subject has come to an end yet.

The truth is that this question is one of national importance, and we
cannot help dealing with it; we must do something about it, whether
we will or not. We cannot avoid it; the subject is one we cannot
avoid considering; we can no more avoid it than a man can live
without eating. It is upon us; it attaches to the body politic as
much and closely as the natural wants attach to our natural bodies.
Now I think it important that this matter should be taken up in
earnest, and really settled: And one way to bring about a true
settlement of the question is to understand its true magnitude.

There have been many efforts made to settle it. Again and again it
has been fondly hoped that it was settled; but every time it breaks
out afresh, and more violently than ever. It was settled, our
fathers hoped, by the Missouri Compromise, but it did not stay
settled. Then the compromises of 1850 were declared to be a full and
final settlement of the question. The two great parties, each in
national convention, adopted resolutions declaring that the
settlement made by the Compromise of 1850 was a finality that it
would last forever. Yet how long before it was unsettled again?
It broke out again in 1854, and blazed higher and raged more
furiously than ever before, and the agitation has not rested since.

These repeated settlements must have some faults about them. There
must be some inadequacy in their very nature to the purpose to which
they were designed. We can only speculate as to where that fault,
that inadequacy, is, but we may perhaps profit by past experiences.

I think that one of the causes of these repeated failures is that our
best and greatest men have greatly underestimated the size of this
question. They have constantly brought forward small cures for great
sores--plasters too small to cover the wound. That is one reason
that all settlements have proved temporary--so evanescent.

Look at the magnitude of this subject: One sixth of our population,
in round numbers--not quite one sixth, and yet more than a seventh,--
about one sixth of the whole population of the United States are
slaves. The owners of these slaves consider them property. The
effect upon the minds of the owners is that of property, and nothing
else it induces them to insist upon all that will favorably affect
its value as property, to demand laws and institutions and a public
policy that shall increase and secure its value, and make it durable,
lasting, and universal. The effect on the minds of the owners is to
persuade them that there is no wrong in it. The slaveholder does not
like to be considered a mean fellow for holding that species of
property, and hence, he has to struggle within himself and sets about
arguing himself into the belief that slavery is right. The property
influences his mind. The dissenting minister who argued some
theological point with one of the established church was always met
with the reply, "I can't see it so." He opened a Bible and pointed
him a passage, but the orthodox minister replied, "I can't see it
so." Then he showed him a single word--"Can you see that?" "Yes, I
see it," was the reply. The dissenter laid a guinea over the word
and asked, "Do you see it now?" So here. Whether the owners of this
species of property do really see it as it is, it is not for me to
say, but if they do, they see it as it is through two thousand
millions of dollars, and that is a pretty thick coating. Certain it
is that they do not see it as we see it. Certain it is that this two
thousand millions of dollars, invested in this species of property,
all so concentrated that the mind can grasp it at once--this immense
pecuniary interest--has its influence upon their minds.

But here in Connecticut and at the North slavery does not exist, and
we see it through no such medium.

To us it appears natural to think that slaves are human beings; men,
not property; that some of the things, at least, stated about men in
the Declaration of Independence apply to them as well as to us.
I say we think, most of us, that this charter of freedom applies to
the slaves as well as to ourselves; that the class of arguments put
forward to batter down that idea are also calculated to break down
the very idea of a free government, even for white men, and to
undermine the very foundations of free society. We think slavery a
great moral wrong, and, while we do not claim the right to touch it
where it exists, we wish to treat it as a wrong in the Territories,
where our votes will reach it. We think that a respect for
ourselves, a regard for future generations and for the God that made
us, require that we put down this wrong where our votes will properly
reach it. We think that species of labor an injury to free white men
--in short, we think slavery a great moral, social, and political
evil, tolerable only because, and so far as, its actual existence
makes it necessary to tolerate it, and that beyond that it ought to
be treated as a wrong.

Now these two ideas, the property idea that slavery is right, and the
idea that it is wrong, come into collision, and do actually produce
that irrepressible conflict which Mr. Seward has been so roundly
abused for mentioning. The two ideas conflict, and must conflict.

Again, in its political aspect, does anything in any way endanger the
perpetuity of this Union but that single thing, slavery? Many of our
adversaries are anxious to claim that they are specially devoted to
the Union, and take pains to charge upon us hostility to the Union.
Now we claim that we are the only true Union men, and we put to them
this one proposition: Whatever endangers this Union, save and except
slavery? Did any other thing ever cause a moment's fear? All men
must agree that this thing alone has ever endangered the perpetuity
of the Union. But if it was threatened by any other influence, would
not all men say that the best thing that could be done, if we could
not or ought not to destroy it, would be at least to keep it from
growing any larger? Can any man believe, that the way to save the
Union is to extend and increase the only thing that threatens the
Union, and to suffer it to grow bigger and bigger?

Whenever this question shall be settled, it must be settled on some
philosophical basis. No policy that does not rest upon some
philosophical opinion can be permanently maintained. And hence there
are but two policies in regard to slavery that can be at all
maintained. The first, based on the property view that slavery is
right, conforms to that idea throughout, and demands that we shall do
everything for it that we ought to do if it were right. We must
sweep away all opposition, for opposition to the right is wrong; we
must agree that slavery is right, and we must adopt the idea that
property has persuaded the owner to believe that slavery is morally
right and socially elevating. This gives a philosophical basis for a
permanent policy of encouragement.

The other policy is one that squares with the idea that slavery is
wrong, and it consists in doing everything that we ought to do if it
is wrong. Now, I don't wish to be misunderstood, nor to leave a gap
down to be misrepresented, even. I don't mean that we ought to
attack it where it exists. To me it seems that if we were to form a
government anew, in view of the actual presence of slavery we should
find it necessary to frame just such a government as our fathers did-
-giving to the slaveholder the entire control where the system was
established, while we possessed the power to restrain it from going
outside those limits. From the necessities of the case we should be
compelled to form just such a government as our blessed fathers gave
us; and, surely, if they have so made it, that adds another reason
why we should let slavery alone where it exists.

If I saw a venomous snake crawling in the road, any man would say I
might seize the nearest stick and kill it; but if I found that snake
in bed with my children, that would be another question. I might
hurt the children more than the snake, and it might bite them. Much
more if I found it in bed with my neighbor's children, and I had
bound myself by a solemn compact not to meddle with his children
under any circumstances, it would become me to let that particular
mode of getting rid of the gentleman alone. But if there was a bed
newly made up, to which the children were to be taken, and it was
proposed to take a batch of young snakes and put them there with
them, I take it no man would say there was any question how I ought
to decide!

That is just the case. The new Territories are the newly made bed to
which our children are to go, and it lies with the nation to say
whether they shall have snakes mixed up with them or not. It does
not seem as if there could be much hesitation what our policy should
be!

Now I have spoken of a policy based on the idea that slavery is
wrong, and a policy based on the idea that it is right. But an
effort has been made for a policy that shall treat it as neither
right nor wrong. It is based upon utter indifference. Its leading
advocate [Douglas] has said, "I don't care whether it be voted up or
down." "It is merely a matter of dollars and cents." "The Almighty
has drawn a line across this continent, on one side of which all soil
must forever be cultivated by slave labor, and on the other by free."
"When the struggle is between the white man and the negro, I am for
the white man; when it is between the negro and the crocodile, I am
for the negro." Its central idea is indifference. It holds that it
makes no more difference to us whether the Territories become free or
slave States than whether my neighbor stocks his farm with horned
cattle or puts in tobacco. All recognize this policy, the plausible
sugar-coated name of which is "popular sovereignty."

This policy chiefly stands in the way of a permanent settlement of
the question. I believe there is no danger of its becoming the
permanent policy of the country, for it is based on a public
indifference. There is nobody that "don't care." All the people do
care one way or the other! I do not charge that its author, when he
says he "don't care," states his individual opinion; he only
expresses his policy for the government. I understand that he has
never said as an individual whether he thought slavery right or
wrong--and he is the only man in the nation that has not! Now such a
policy may have a temporary run; it may spring up as necessary to the
political prospects of some gentleman; but it is utterly baseless:
the people are not indifferent, and it can therefore have no
durability or permanence.

But suppose it could: Then it could be maintained only by a public
opinion that shall say, "We don't care." There must be a change in
public opinion; the public mind must be so far debauched as to square
with this policy of caring not at all. The people must come to
consider this as "merely a question of dollars and cents," and to
believe that in some places the Almighty has made slavery necessarily
eternal. This policy can be brought to prevail if the people can be
brought round to say honestly, "We don't care"; if not, it can never
be maintained. It is for you to say whether that can be done.

You are ready to say it cannot, but be not too fast! Remember what a
long stride has been taken since the repeal of the Missouri
Compromise! Do you know of any Democrat, of either branch of the
party--do you know one who declares that he believes that the
Declaration of Independence has any application to the negro? Judge
Taney declares that it has not, and Judge Douglas even vilifies me
personally and scolds me roundly for saying that the Declaration
applies to all men, and that negroes are men. Is there a Democrat
here who does not deny that the Declaration applies to the negro? Do
any of you know of one? Well, I have tried before perhaps fifty
audiences, some larger and some smaller than this, to find one such
Democrat, and never yet have I found one who said I did not place him
right in that. I must assume that Democrats hold that, and now, not
one of these Democrats can show that he said that five years ago! I
venture to defy the whole party to produce one man that ever uttered
the belief that the Declaration did not apply to negroes, before the
repeal of the Missouri Compromise! Four or five years ago we all
thought negroes were men, and that when "all men" were named, negroes
were included. But the whole Democratic party has deliberately taken
negroes from the class of men and put them in the class of brutes.
Turn it as you will it is simply the truth! Don't be too hasty, then,
in saying that the people cannot be brought to this new doctrine, but
note that long stride. One more as long completes the journey from
where negroes are estimated as men to where they are estimated as
mere brutes--as rightful property!

That saying "In the struggle between white men and the negro," etc.,
which I know came from the same source as this policy--that saying
marks another step. There is a falsehood wrapped up in that
statement. "In the struggle between the white man and the negro"
assumes that there is a struggle, in which either the white man must
enslave the negro or the negro must enslave the white. There is no
such struggle! It is merely the ingenious falsehood to degrade and
brutalize the negro. Let each let the other alone, and there is no
struggle about it. If it was like two wrecked seamen on a narrow
plank, when each must push the other off or drown himself, I would
push the negro off or a white man either, but it is not; the plank is
large enough for both. This good earth is plenty broad enough for
white man and negro both, and there is no need of either pushing the
other off.

So that saying, "In the struggle between the negro and the
crocodile," etc., is made up from the idea that down where the
crocodile inhabits, a white man can't labor; it must be nothing else
but crocodile or negro; if the negro does not the crocodile must
possess the earth; in that case he declares for the negro. The
meaning of the whole is just this: As a white man is to a negro, so
is a negro to a crocodile; and as the negro may rightfully treat the
crocodile, so may the white man rightfully treat the negro. This
very dear phrase coined by its author, and so dear that he
deliberately repeats it in many speeches, has a tendency to still
further brutalize the negro, and to bring public opinion to the point
of utter indifference whether men so brutalized are enslaved or not.
When that time shall come, if ever, I think that policy to which I
refer may prevail. But I hope the good freemen of this country will
never allow it to come, and until then the policy can never be
maintained.

Now consider the effect of this policy. We in the States are not to
care whether freedom or slavery gets the better, but the people in
the Territories may care. They are to decide, and they may think
what they please; it is a matter of dollars and cents! But are not
the people of the Territories detailed from the States? If this
feeling of indifference this absence of moral sense about the
question prevails in the States, will it not be carried into the
Territories? Will not every man say, "I don't care, it is nothing to
me"? If any one comes that wants slavery, must they not say, "I don't
care whether freedom or slavery be voted up or voted down"? It
results at last in nationalizing the institution of slavery. Even if
fairly carried out, that policy is just as certain to nationalize
slavery as the doctrine of Jeff Davis himself. These are only two
roads to the same goal, and "popular sovereignty" is just as sure and
almost as short as the other.

What we want, and all we want, is to have with us the men who think
slavery wrong. But those who say they hate slavery, and are opposed
to it, but yet act with the Democratic party--where are they? Let us
apply a few tests. You say that you think slavery is wrong, but you
denounce all attempts to restrain it. Is there anything else that
you think wrong that you are not willing to deal with as wrong? Why
are you so careful, so tender, of this one wrong and no other? You
will not let us do a single thing as if it was wrong; there is no
place where you will even allow it to be called wrong! We must not
call it wrong in the free States, because it is not there, and we
must not call it wrong in the slave States, because it is there; we
must not call it wrong in politics because that is bringing morality
into politics, and we must not call it wrong in the pulpit because
that is bringing politics into religion; we must not bring it into
the Tract Society or the other societies, because those are such
unsuitable places--and there is no single place, according to you,
where this wrong thing can properly be called wrong!

Perhaps you will plead that if the people of the slave States should
themselves set on foot an effort for emancipation, you would wish
them success, and bid them God-speed. Let us test that: In 1858 the
emancipation party of Missouri, with Frank Blair at their head, tried
to get up a movement for that purpose, and having started a party
contested the State. Blair was beaten, apparently if not truly, and
when the news came to Connecticut, you, who knew that Frank Blair was
taking hold of this thing by the right end, and doing the only thing
that you say can properly be done to remove this wrong--did you bow
your heads in sorrow because of that defeat? Do you, any of you, know
one single Democrat that showed sorrow over that result? Not one! On
the contrary every man threw up his hat, and hallooed at the top of
his lungs, "Hooray for Democracy!"

Now, gentlemen, the Republicans desire to place this great question
of slavery on the very basis on which our fathers placed it, and no
other. It is easy to demonstrate that "our fathers, who framed this
Government under which we live," looked on slavery as wrong, and so
framed it and everything about it as to square with the idea that it
was wrong, so far as the necessities arising from its existence
permitted. In forming the Constitution they found the slave trade
existing, capital invested in it, fields depending upon it for labor,
and the whole system resting upon the importation of slave labor.
They therefore did not prohibit the slave trade at once, but they
gave the power to prohibit it after twenty years. Why was this? What
other foreign trade did they treat in that way? Would they have done
this if they had not thought slavery wrong?

Another thing was done by some of the same men who framed the
Constitution, and afterwards adopted as their own the act by the
first Congress held under that Constitution, of which many of the
framers were members, that prohibited the spread of slavery into
Territories. Thus the same men, the framers of the Constitution, cut
off the supply and prohibited the spread of slavery, and both acts
show conclusively that they considered that the thing was wrong.

If additional proof is wanted it can be found in the phraseology of
the Constitution. When men are framing a supreme law and chart of
government, to secure blessings and prosperity to untold generations
yet to come, they use language as short and direct and plain as can
be found, to express their meaning In all matters but this of
slavery the framers of the Constitution used the very clearest,
shortest, and most direct language. But the Constitution alludes to
slavery three times without mentioning it once The language used
becomes ambiguous, roundabout, and mystical. They speak of the
"immigration of persons," and mean the importation of slaves, but do
not say so. In establishing a basis of representation they say "all
other persons," when they mean to say slaves--why did they not use
the shortest phrase? In providing for the return of fugitives they
say "persons held to service or labor." If they had said slaves it
would have been plainer, and less liable to misconstruction. Why did
n't they do it? We cannot doubt that it was done on purpose. Only
one reason is possible, and that is supplied us by one of the framers
of the Constitution--and it is not possible for man to conceive of
any other--they expected and desired that the system would come to an
end, and meant that when it did, the Constitution should not show
that there ever had been a slave in this good free country of ours.

I will dwell on that no longer. I see the signs of approaching
triumph of the Republicans in the bearing of their political
adversaries. A great deal of their war with us nowadays is mere
bushwhacking. At the battle of Waterloo, when Napoleon's cavalry had
charged again and again upon the unbroken squares of British
infantry, at last they were giving up the attempt, and going off in
disorder, when some of the officers in mere vexation and complete
despair fired their pistols at those solid squares. The Democrats
are in that sort of extreme desperation; it is nothing else. I will
take up a few of these arguments.

There is "the irrepressible conflict." How they rail at Seward for
that saying! They repeat it constantly; and, although the proof has
been thrust under their noses again and again that almost every good
man since the formation of our Government has uttered that same
sentiment, from General Washington, who "trusted that we should yet
have a confederacy of free States," with Jefferson, Jay, Monroe, down
to the latest days, yet they refuse to notice that at all, and
persist in railing at Seward for saying it. Even Roger A. Pryor,
editor of the Richmond Enquirer, uttered the same sentiment in almost
the same language, and yet so little offence did it give the
Democrats that he was sent for to Washington to edit the States--the
Douglas organ there--while Douglas goes into hydrophobia and spasms
of rage because Seward dared to repeat it. This is what I call
bushwhacking, a sort of argument that they must know any child can
see through.

Another is John Brown: "You stir up insurrections, you invade the
South; John Brown! Harper's Ferry!" Why, John Brown was not a
Republican! You have never implicated a single Republican in that
Harper's Ferry enterprise. We tell you that if any member of the
Republican party is guilty in that matter, you know it or you do not
know it. If you do know it, you are inexcusable not to designate the
man and prove the fact. If you do not know it, you are inexcusable
to assert it, and especially to persist in the assertion after you
have tried and failed to make the proof. You need not be told that
persisting in a charge which one does not know to be true is simply
malicious slander. Some of you admit that no Republican designedly
aided or encouraged the Harper's Ferry affair, but still insist that
our doctrines and declarations necessarily lead to such results. We
do not believe it. We know we hold to no doctrines, and make no
declarations, which were not held to and made by our fathers who
framed the Government 'under which we live, and we cannot see how
declarations that were patriotic when they made them are villainous
when we make them. You never dealt fairly by us in relation to that
affair--and I will say frankly that I know of nothing in your
character that should lead us to suppose that you would. You had
just been soundly thrashed in elections in several States, and others
were soon to come. You rejoiced at the occasion, and only were
troubled that there were not three times as many killed in the
affair. You were in evident glee; there was no sorrow for the killed
nor for the peace of Virginia disturbed; you were rejoicing that by
charging Republicans with this thing you might get an advantage of us
in New York, and the other States. You pulled that string as tightly
as you could, but your very generous and worthy expectations were not
quite fulfilled. Each Republican knew that the charge was a slander
as to himself at least, and was not inclined by it to cast his vote
in your favor. It was mere bushwhacking, because you had nothing
else to do. You are still on that track, and I say, go on! If you
think you can slander a woman into loving you or a man into voting
for you, try it till you are satisfied!

Another specimen of this bushwhacking, that "shoe strike." Now be it
understood that I do not pretend to know all about the matter. I am
merely going to speculate a little about some of its phases. And at
the outset, I am glad to see that a system of labor prevails in New
England under which laborers can strike when they want to, where they
are not obliged to work under all circumstances, and are not tied
down and obliged to labor whether you pay them or not! I like the
system which lets a man quit when he wants to, and wish it might
prevail everywhere. One of the reasons why I am opposed to slavery
is just here. What is the true condition of the laborer? I take it
that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as
fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don't believe in a law to
prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good.
So, while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow
the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.
When one starts poor, as most do in the race of life, free society is
such that he knows he can better his condition; he knows that there
is no fixed condition of labor for his whole life. I am not ashamed
to confess that twenty-five years ago I was a hired laborer, mauling
rails, at work on a flatboat--just what might happen to any poor
man's son! I want every man to have a chance--and I believe a Black
man is entitled to it--in which he can better his condition; when he
may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this year and the
next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for
him! That is the system. Up here in New England, you have a soil
that scarcely sprouts black-eyed beans, and yet where will you find
wealthy men so wealthy, and poverty so rarely in extremity? There is
not another such place on earth! I desire that if you get too thick
here, and find it hard to better your condition on this soil, you may
have a chance to strike and go somewhere else, where you may not be
degraded, nor have your families corrupted, by forced rivalry with
negro slaves. I want you to have a clean bed and no snakes in it!
Then you can better your condition, and so it may go on and on in one
endless round so long as man exists on the face of the earth!

Now, to come back to this shoe strike,--if, as the senator from
Illinois asserts, this is caused by withdrawal of Southern votes,
consider briefly how you will meet the difficulty. You have done
nothing, and have protested that you have done nothing, to injure the
South. And yet, to get back the shoe trade, you must leave off doing
something which you are now doing. What is it? You must stop
thinking slavery wrong! Let your institutions be wholly changed; let
your State constitutions be subverted; glorify slavery, and so you
will get back the shoe trade--for what? You have brought owned labor
with it, to compete with your own labor, to underwork you, and to
degrade you! Are you ready to get back the trade on those terms?

But the statement is not correct. You have not lost that trade;
orders were never better than now! Senator Mason, a Democrat, comes
into the Senate in homespun, a proof that the dissolution of the
Union has actually begun! but orders are the same. Your factories
have not struck work, neither those where they make anything for
coats, nor for pants nor for shirts, nor for ladies' dresses. Mr.
Mason has not reached the manufacturers who ought to have made him a
coat and pants! To make his proof good for anything he should have
come into the Senate barefoot!

Another bushwhacking contrivance; simply that, nothing else! I find a
good many people who are very much concerned about the loss of
Southern trade. Now either these people are sincere or they are not.
I will speculate a little about that. If they are sincere, and are
moved by any real danger of the loss of Southern trade, they will
simply get their names on the white list, and then, instead of
persuading Republicans to do likewise, they will be glad to keep you
away! Don't you see that they cut off competition? They would not be
whispering around to Republicans to come in and share the profits
with them. But if they are not sincere, and are merely trying to
fool Republicans out of their votes, they will grow very anxious
about your pecuniary prospects; they are afraid you are going to get
broken up and ruined; they do not care about Democratic votes, oh,
no, no, no! You must judge which class those belong to whom you meet:
I leave it to you to determine from the facts.

Let us notice some more of the stale charges against Republicans.
You say we are sectional. We deny it. That makes an issue; and the
burden of proof is upon you. You produce your proof; and what is it?
Why, that our party has no existence in your section--gets no votes
in your section. The fact is substantially true; but does it prove
the issue? If it does, then in case we should, without change of
principle, begin to get votes in your section, we should thereby
cease to be sectional. You cannot escape this conclusion; and yet,
are you willing to abide by it? If you are, you will probably soon
find that we have ceased to be sectional, for we shall get votes in
your section this very year. The fact that we get no votes in your
section is a fact of your making and not of ours. And if there be
fault in that fact, that fault is primarily yours, and remains so
until you show that we repel you by some wrong principle or practice.
If we do repel you by any wrong principle or practice, the fault is
ours; but this brings you to where you ought to have started--to a
discussion of the right or wrong of our principle. If our principle,
put in practice, would wrong your section for the benefit of ours, or
for any other object, then our principle, and we with it, are
sectional, and are justly opposed and denounced as such. Meet us,
then, on the question of whether our principle put in practice would
wrong your section; and so meet it as if it were possible that
something may be said on our side. Do you accept the challenge? No?
Then you really believe that the principle which our fathers who
framed the Government under which we live thought so clearly right as
to adopt it, and indorse it again and again, upon their official
oaths, is in fact so clearly wrong as to demand our condemnation
without a moment's consideration. Some of you delight to flaunt in
our faces the warning against sectional parties given by Washington
in his Farewell Address. Less than eight years before Washington
gave that warning, he had, as President of the United States,
approved and signed an act of Congress enforcing the prohibition of
slavery in the Northwestern Territory, which act embodied the policy
of government upon that subject, up to and at the very moment he
penned that warning; and about one year after he penned it he wrote
La Fayette that he considered that prohibition a wise measure,
expressing in the same connection his hope that we should sometime
have a confederacy of free States.

Bearing this in mind, and seeing that sectionalism has since arisen
upon this same subject, is that warning a weapon in your hands
against us, or in our hands against you? Could Washington himself
speak, would he cast the blame of that sectionalism upon us, who
sustain his policy, or upon you, who repudiate it? We respect that
warning of Washington, and we commend it to you, together with his
example pointing to the right application of it.

But you say you are conservative--eminently conservative--while we
are revolutionary, destructive, or something of the sort. What is
conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the
new and untried? We stick to, contend for, the identical old policy
on the point in controversy which was adopted by our fathers who
framed the Government under which we live; while you with one accord
reject and scout and spit upon that old policy, and insist upon
substituting something new.

True, you disagree among yourselves as to what that substitute shall
be. You have considerable variety of new propositions and plans, but
you are unanimous in rejecting and denouncing the old policy of the
fathers. Some of you are for reviving the foreign slave-trade; some
for a congressional slave code for the Territories; some for Congress
forbidding the Territories to prohibit slavery within their limits;
some for maintaining slavery in the Territories through the
judiciary; some for the "gur-reat pur-rinciple" that if one man would
enslave another, no third man should object--fantastically called
"popular sovereignty." But never a man among you in favor of
prohibition of slavery in Federal Territories, according to the
practice of our fathers who framed the Government under which we
live. Not one of all your various plans can show a precedent or an
advocate in the century within which our Government originated. And
yet you draw yourselves up and say, "We are eminently conservative."

It is exceedingly desirable that all parts of this great confederacy
shall be at peace, and in harmony one with another. Let us
Republicans do our part to have it so. Even though much provoked,
let us do nothing through passion and ill-temper. Even though the
Southern people will not so much as listen to us, let us calmly
consider their demands, and yield to them if, in our deliberate view
of our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all they say and do, and by
the subject and nature of their controversy with us, let us
determine, if we can, what will satisfy them.

Will they be satisfied if the Territories be unconditionally
surrendered to them? We know they will not. In all their present
complaints against us, the Territories are scarcely mentioned.
Invasions and insurrections are the rage now. Will it satisfy them,
in the future, if we have nothing to do with invasions and
insurrections? We know it will not. We so know because we know we
never had anything to do with invasions and insurrections; and yet
this total abstaining does not exempt us from the charge and the
denunciation.

The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: we must not
only let them alone, but we must, somehow, convince them that we do
let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We
have been so trying to convince them, from the very beginning of our
organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and
speeches, we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone;
but this had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to
convince them is the fact that they have never detected a man of us
in any attempt to disturb them.

These natural and apparently adequate means all failing, what will
convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and
join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly--
done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated--we
must place ourselves avowedly with them. Douglas's new sedition law
must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that
slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits,
or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with
greedy pleasure. We must pull down our free State constitutions.
The whole atmosphere must be disinfected of all taint of opposition
to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles
proceed from us. So long as we call slavery wrong, whenever a slave
runs away they will overlook the obvious fact that be ran away
because he was oppressed, and declare he was stolen off. Whenever a
master cuts his slaves with a lash, and they cry out under it, he
will overlook the obvious fact that the negroes cry out because they
are hurt, and insist that they were put up to it by some rascally
abolitionist.

I am quite aware that they do not state their case precisely in this
way. Most of them would probably say to us, "Let us alone, do
nothing to us, and say what you please about slavery." But we do let
them alone--have never disturbed them--so that, after all, it is what
we say which dissatisfies them. They will continue to accuse us of
doing, until we cease saying.

I am also aware that they have not as yet in terms demanded the
overthrow of our free-State constitutions. Yet those constitutions
declare the wrong of slavery with more solemn emphasis than do all
other sayings against it; and when all these other sayings shall have
been silenced, the overthrow of these constitutions will be demanded.
It is nothing to the contrary that they do not demand the whole of
this just now. Demanding what they do, and for the reason they do,
they can voluntarily stop nowhere short of this consummation.
Holding as they do that slavery is morally right, and socially
elevating, they cannot cease to demand a full national recognition of
it, as a legal right, and a social blessing.

Nor can we justifiably withhold this on any ground save our
conviction that slavery is wrong. If slavery is right, all words,
acts, laws, and constitutions against it are themselves wrong and
should be silenced and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly
object to its nationality--its universality: if it is wrong, they
cannot justly insist upon its extension--its enlargement. All they
ask, we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask,
they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their
thinking it right and our thinking it wrong is the precise fact on
which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right as they do,
they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition, as being
right; but, thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we
cast our votes with their view, and against our own? In view of our
moral, social, and political responsibilities, can we do this?

Wrong as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone where
it is because that much is due to the necessity arising from its
actual presence m the nation; but can we, while our votes will
prevent it, allow it to spread into the national Territories, and to
overrun us here in these free States?

If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty,
fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those
sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and
belabored--contrivances such as groping for some middle ground
between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who
would be neither a living man nor a dead man--such as a policy of
"don't care" on a question about which all free men do care--such as
Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists,
reversing the divine rule, and caning, not the sinners, but the
righteous to repentance--such as invocations of Washington, imploring
men to unsay what Washington did.

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations
against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the
Government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that
right makes might; and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do
our duty as we understand it.

[As Mr. Lincoln concluded his address, there was witnessed the
wildest scene of enthusiasm and excitement that has been in New Haven
for years. The Palladium editorially says: "We give up most of our
space to-day to a very full report of the eloquent speech of the HON.
Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, delivered last night at Union Hall."]

RESPONSE TO AN ELECTOR'S REQUEST FOR MONEY

TO ________________
March 16, 1860

As to your kind wishes for myself, allow me to say I cannot enter the
ring on the money basis--first, because in the main it is wrong; and
secondly, I have not and cannot get the money.

I say, in the main, the use of money is wrong; but for certain
objects in a political contest, the use of some is both right and
indispensable. With me, as with yourself, the long struggle has been
one of great pecuniary loss.

I now distinctly say this--if you shall be appointed a delegate to
Chicago, I will furnish one hundred dollars to bear the expenses of
the trip.

Your friend as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

[Extract from a letter to a Kansas delegate.]

TO J. W. SOMERS.

SPRINGFIELD, March 17, 1860

JAMES W. SOMERS, Esq.

DEAR SIR:--Reaching home three days ago, I found your letter of
February 26th. Considering your difficulty of hearing, I think you
had better settle in Chicago, if, as you say, a good man already in
fair practice there will take you into partnership. If you had not
that difficulty, I still should think it an even balance whether you
would not better remain in Chicago, with such a chance for
copartnership.

If I went west, I think I would go to Kansas, to Leavenworth or
Atchison. Both of them are and will continue to be fine growing
places.

I believe I have said all I can, and I have said it with the deepest
interest for your welfare.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

ACCUSATION OF HAVING BEEN PAID FOR A
POLITICAL SPEECH

TO C. F. McNEIL.

SPRINGFIELD, April 6, 1860

C. F. MCNEIL, Esq.

DEAR SIR:--Reaching home yesterday, I found yours of the 23d March,
inclosing a slip from The Middleport Press. It is not true that I
ever charged anything for a political speech in my life; but this
much is true: Last October I was requested by letter to deliver some
sort of speech in Mr. Beecher's church, in Brooklyn--two hundred
dollars being offered in the first letter. I wrote that I could do
it in February, provided they would take a political speech if I
could find time to get up no other. They agreed; and subsequently I
informed them the speech would have to be a political one. When I
reached New York, I for the first time learned that the place was
changed to "Cooper Institute." I made the speech, and left for New
Hampshire, where I have a son at school, neither asking for pay nor
having any offered me. Three days after a check for two hundred
dollars was sent to me at New Hampshire; and I took it, and did not
know it was wrong. My understanding now is--though I knew nothing of
it at the time--that they did charge for admittance to the Cooper
Institute, and that they took in more than twice two hundred dollars.

I have made this explanation to you as a friend; but I wish no
explanation made to our enemies. What they want is a squabble and a
fuss, and that they can have if we explain; and they cannot have it
if we don't.

When I returned through New York from New England, I was told by the
gentlemen who sent me the Check that a drunken vagabond in the club,
having learned something about the two hundred dollars, made the
exhibition out of which The Herald manufactured the article quoted by
The Press of your town.

My judgment is, and therefore my request is, that you give no denial
and no explanation.

Thanking you for your kind interest in the matter, I remain,
Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO H. TAYLOR.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., April 21, 1860.

HAWKINS TAYLOR, Esq.

DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 15th is just received. It surprises me that
you have written twice, without receiving an answer. I have answered
all I ever received from you; and certainly one since my return from
the East.

Opinions here, as to the prospect of Douglas being nominated, are
quite conflicting--some very confident he will, and others that he
will not be. I think his nomination possible, but that the chances
are against him.

I am glad there is a prospect of your party passing this way to
Chicago. Wishing to make your visit here as pleasant as we can, we
wish you to notify us as soon as possible whether you come this way,
how many, and when you will arrive.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN

TELEGRAM TO A MEMBER OF THE ILLINOIS DELEGATION
AT THE CHICAGO CONVENTION.
SPRINGFIELD, May 17? 1860.

I authorize no bargains and will be bound by none.

A. LINCOLN.

REPLY TO THE COMMITTEE SENT BY THE CHICAGO CONVENTION TO INFORM
LINCOLN OF HIS
NOMINATION,

MAY 19, 1860.

Mr. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE:--I tender to you, and
through you to the Republican National Convention, and all the people
represented in it, my profoundest thanks for the high honor done me,
which you now formally announce. Deeply and even painfully sensible
of the great responsibility which is inseparable from this high
honor--a responsibility which I could almost wish had fallen upon
some one of the far more eminent men and experienced statesmen whose
distinguished names were before the convention--I shall, by your
leave, consider more fully the resolutions of the convention,
denominated their platform, and without any unnecessary or
unreasonable delay respond to you, Mr. Chairman, in writing--not
doubting that the platform will be found satisfactory, and the
nomination gratefully accepted.

And now I will not longer defer the pleasure of taking you, and each
of you, by the hand.

ACCEPTANCE OF NOMINATION AS REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

TO GEORGE ASHMUN AND OTHERS.

SPRINGFIELD ILLINOIS, May 23, 1860

HON. GEORGE ASHMUN,
President of Republican National Convention.

SIR:--I accept the nomination tendered me by the convention over
which you presided, and of which I am formally apprised in the letter
of yourself and others, acting as a committee of the convention for
that purpose.

The declaration of principles and sentiments which accompanies your
letter meets my approval; and it shall be my care not to violate or
disregard it in any part.

Imploring the assistance of Divine Providence, and with due regard to
the views and feelings of all who were represented in the convention,
to the rights of all the States and Territories and people of the
nation, to the inviolability of the Constitution, and the perpetual
union, harmony, and prosperity of all--I am most happy to co-operate
for the practical success of the principles declared by the
convention.

Your obliged friend and fellow-citizen,

A. LINCOLN.

To C. B. SMITH.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., May 26, 1860.

HON. C. B. SMITH.

MY DEAR SIR:-Yours of the 21st was duly received, but have found no
time until now to say a word in the way of answer. I am indeed much
indebted to Indiana; and, as my home friends tell me, much to you
personally. Your saying, you no longer consider Ia. a doubtful State
is very gratifying. The thing starts well everywhere--too well, I
almost fear, to last. But we are in, and stick or go through must be
the word.

Let me hear from Indiana occasionally.

Your friend, as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

FORM OF REPLY PREPARED BY MR. LINCOLN, WITH WHICH HIS PRIVATE
SECRETARY WAS INSTRUCTED TO ANSWER A NUMEROUS CLASS OF LETTERS IN
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1860.

(Doctrine.)

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, _______, 1860

DEAR SIR:--Your letter to Mr. Lincoln of and by which you seek to
obtain his opinions on certain political points, has been received by
him. He has received others of a similar character, but he also has
a greater number of the exactly opposite character. The latter class
beseech him to write nothing whatever upon any point of political
doctrine. They say his positions were well known when he was
nominated, and that he must not now embarrass the canvass by
undertaking to shift or modify them. He regrets that he cannot
oblige all, but you perceive it is impossible for him to do so.

Yours, etc.,

JNO. J. NICOLAY.

TO E. B. WASHBURNE.

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS,
MAY 26, 1860

HON. E. B. WASHBURNE.

MY DEAR SIR:--I have several letters from you written since the
nomination, but till now have found no moment to say a word by way of
answer. Of course I am glad that the nomination is well received by
our friends, and I sincerely thank you for so informing me. So far
as I can learn, the nominations start well everywhere; and, if they
get no back-set, it would seem as if they are going through. I hope
you will write often; and as you write more rapidly than I do, don't
make your letters so short as mine.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO S. HAYCRAFT.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., June 4, 1860.

HON. SAMUEL HAYCRAFT.

MY DEAR SIR:--Like yourself I belonged to the old Whig party from its
origin to its close. I never belonged to the American party
organization, nor ever to a party called a Union party; though I hope
I neither am or ever have been less devoted to the Union than
yourself or any other patriotic man.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

ABRAHAM OR "ABRAM"

TO G. ASHMUN.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. June 4, 1860

HON. GEORGE ASHMUN.

MY DEAR SIR:--It seems as if the question whether my first name is
"Abraham" or "Abram" will never be settled. It is "Abraham," and if
the letter of acceptance is not yet in print, you may, if you think
fit, have my signature thereto printed "Abraham Lincoln." Exercise
your judgment about this.

Yours as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY

TO S. GALLOWAY.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., June 19, 1860

HON. SAM'L GALLOWAY.

MY DEAR SIR:--Your very kind letter of the 15th is received. Messrs.
Follett, Foster, & Co.'s Life of me is not by my authority; and I
have scarcely been so much astounded by anything, as by their public
announcement that it is authorized by me. They have fallen into some
strange misunderstanding. I certainly knew they contemplated
publishing a biography, and I certainly did not object to their doing
so, upon their own responsibility. I even took pains to facilitate
them. But, at the same time, I made myself tiresome, if not hoarse,
with repeating to Mr. Howard, their only agent seen by me, my protest
that I authorized nothing--would be responsible for nothing. How
they could so misunderstand me, passes comprehension. As a matter
wholly my own, I would authorize no biography, without time and
opportunity [sic] to carefully examine and consider every word of it
and, in this case, in the nature of things, I can have no such time
and Opportunity [sic]. But, in my present position, when, by the
lessons of the past, and the united voice of all discreet friends, I
can neither write nor speak a word for the public, how dare I to send
forth, by my authority, a volume of hundreds of pages, for
adversaries to make points upon without end? Were I to do so, the
convention would have a right to re-assemble and substitute another
name for mine.

For these reasons, I would not look at the proof sheets--I am
determined to maintain the position of [sic] truly saying I never saw
the proof sheets, or any part of their work, before its publication.

Now, do not mistake me--I feel great kindness for Messrs. F., F., &
Co.--do not think they have intentionally done wrong. There may be
nothing wrong in their proposed book--I sincerely hope there will
not. I barely suggest that you, or any of the friends there, on the
party account, look it over, and exclude what you may think would
embarrass the party bearing in mind, at all times, that I authorize
nothing--will be responsible for nothing.

Your friend, as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

[The custom then, and it may be a good one, was for the Presidential
candidate to do no personal canvassing or speaking--or as we have it
now "running for election." He stayed at home and kept his mouth
shut. D.W.]

TO HANNIBAL HAMLIN.

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, July 18, 1860.

HON. HANNIBAL HAMLIN.
MY DEAR SIR:--It appears to me that you and I ought to be acquainted,
and accordingly I write this as a sort of introduction of myself to
you. You first entered the Senate during the single term I was a
member of the House of Representatives, but I have no recollection
that we were introduced. I shall be pleased to receive a line from
you.

The prospect of Republican success now appears very flattering, so
far as I can perceive. Do you see anything to the contrary?

Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

TO A. JONAS.

(Confidential.)

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, JULY 21, 1860.

HON. A. JONAS.

MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 20th is received. I suppose as good or
even better men than I may have been in American or Know-Nothing
lodges; but in point of fact, I never was in one at Quincy or
elsewhere. I was never in Quincy but one day and two nights while
Know-Nothing lodges were in existence, and you were with me that day
and both those nights. I had never been there before in my life, and
never afterward, till the joint debate with Douglas in 1858. It was
in 1854 when I spoke in some hall there, and after the speaking, you,
with others, took me to an oyster-saloon, passed an hour there, and
you walked with me to, and parted with me at, the Quincy House, quite
late at night. I left by stage for Naples before daylight in the
morning, having come in by the same route after dark the evening,
previous to the speaking, when I found you waiting at the Quincy
House to meet me. A few days after I was there, Richardson, as I
understood, started this same story about my having been in a
Know-Nothing lodge. When I heard of the charge, as I did soon after;
I taxed my recollection for some incident which could have suggested
it; and I remembered that on parting with you the last night I went
to the office of the hotel to take my stage-passage for the morning,
was told that no stage-office for that line was kept there, and that
I must see the driver before retiring, to insure his calling for me
in the morning; and a servant was sent with me to find the driver,
who, after taking me a square or two, stopped me, and stepped perhaps
a dozen steps farther, and in my hearing called to some one, who
answered him, apparently from the upper part of a building, and
promised to call with the stage for me at the Quincy House.
I returned, and went to bed, and before day the stage called and took
me. This is all.

That I never was in a Know-Nothing lodge in Quincy, I should expect
could be easily proved by respectable men who were always in the
lodges and never saw me there. An affidavit of one or two such would
put the matter at rest.

And now a word of caution. Our adversaries think they can gain a
point if they could force me to openly deny the charge, by which some
degree of offence would be given to the Americans. For this reason
it must not publicly appear that I am paying any attention to the
charge.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO JOHN B. FRY.

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, August 15, 1860.

MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 9th, inclosing the letter of HON. John
Minor Botts, was duly received. The latter is herewith returned
according to your request. It contains one of the many assurances I
receive from the South, that in no probable event will there be any
very formidable effort to break up the Union. The people of the
South have too much of good sense and good temper to attempt the ruin
of the government rather than see it administered as it was
administered by the men who made it. At least so I hope and believe.
I thank you both for your own letter and a sight of that of Mr.
Botts.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO THURLOW WEED

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. August 17 1860.

MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 13th was received this morning. Douglas
is managing the Bell element with great adroitness. He had his men
in Kentucky to vote for the Bell candidate, producing a result which
has badly alarmed and damaged Breckenridge, and at the same time has
induced the Bell men to suppose that Bell will certainly be
President, if they can keep a few of the Northern States away from us
by throwing them to Douglas. But you, better than I, understand all
this.

I think there will be the most extraordinary effort ever made to
carry New York for Douglas. You and all others who write me from
your State think the effort cannot succeed, and I hope you are right.
Still, it will require close watching and great efforts on the other
side.

Herewith I send you a copy of a letter written at New York, which
sufficiently explains itself, and which may or may not give you a
valuable hint. You have seen that Bell tickets have been put on the
track both here and in Indiana. In both cases the object has been, I
think, the same as the Hunt movement in New York--to throw States to
Douglas. In our State, we know the thing is engineered by Douglas
men, and we do not believe they can make a great deal out of it.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

SLOW TO LISTEN TO CRIMINATIONS

TO HON. JOHN ______________

(Private.)

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., Aug. 31, 1860

MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 27th is duly received. It consists almost
exclusively of a historical detail of some local troubles, among some
of our friends in Pennsylvania; and I suppose its object is to guard
me against forming a prejudice against Mr. McC___________, I have not
heard near so much upon that subject as you probably suppose; and I
am slow to listen to criminations among friends, and never expose
their quarrels on either side. My sincere wish is that both sides
will allow bygones to be bygones, and look to the present and future
only.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO HANNIBAL HAMLIN

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, September 4, 1860

HON. HANNIBAL HAMLIN.

MY DEAR SIR:--I am annoyed some by a letter from a friend in Chicago,
in which the following passage occurs: "Hamlin has written Colfax
that two members of Congress will, he fears, be lost in Maine, the
first and sixth districts; and that Washburne's majority for governor
will not exceed six thousand."

I had heard something like this six weeks ago, but had been assured
since that it was not so. Your secretary of state,--Mr. Smith, I
think,--whom you introduced to me by letter, gave this assurance;
more recently, Mr. Fessenden, our candidate for Congress in one of
those districts, wrote a relative here that his election was sure by
at least five thousand, and that Washburne's majority would be from
14,000 to 17,000; and still later, Mr. Fogg, of New Hampshire, now at
New York serving on a national committee, wrote me that we were
having a desperate fight in Maine, which would end in a splendid
victory for us.

Such a result as you seem to have predicted in Maine, in your letter
to Colfax, would, I fear, put us on the down-hill track, lose us the
State elections in Pennsylvania and Indiana, and probably ruin us on
the main turn in November.

You must not allow it.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO E. B. WASHBURNE.

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS,
September 9, 1860

HON. E. B. WASHBURNE.

MY DEAR SIR: Yours of the 5th was received last evening. I was right
glad to see it. It contains the freshest "posting" which I now have.
It relieved me some from a little anxiety I had about Maine. Jo
Medill, on August 3oth, wrote me that Colfax had a letter from Mr.
Hamlin saying we were in great danger of losing two members of
Congress in Maine, and that your brother would not have exceeding six
thousand majority for Governor. I addressed you at once, at Galena,
asking for your latest information. As you are at Washington, that
letter you will receive some time after the Maine election.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO W. H. HERNDON.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., OCTOBER 10, 1860

DEAR WILLIAM:--I cannot give you details, but it is entirely certain
that Pennsylvania and Indiana have gone Republican very largely.
Pennsylvania 25,000, and Indiana 5000 to 10,000. Ohio of course is
safe.

Yours as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

TO L. M. BOND.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., October 15, 1860

L. MONTGOMERY BOND, Esq.

MY DEAR SIR: I certainly am in no temper and have no purpose to
embitter the feelings of the South, but whether I am inclined to such
a course as would in fact embitter their feelings you can better
judge by my published speeches than by anything I would say in a
short letter if I were inclined now, as I am not, to define my
position anew.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

LETTER SUGGESTING A BEARD

TO MISS GRACE BEDELL, RIPLEY N.Y.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., October 19, 1860

MISS GRACE BEDELL.

MY DEAR LITTLE MISS:--Your very agreeable letter of the 15th is
received. I regret the necessity of saying I have no daughter. I
have three sons--one seventeen, one nine, and one seven. They with
their mother constitute my whole family. As to the whiskers, as I
have never worn any, do you not think that people would call it a
piece of silly affectation were I to begin wearing them now?

I am your true friend and sincere well-wisher,

A. LINCOLN.

EARLY INFORMATION ON ARMY DEFECTION IN SOUTH

TO D. HUNTER.

(Private and Confidential.)
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, October 26, 1860

MAJOR DAVID HUNTER

MY DEAR SIR:--Your very kind letter of the 20th was duly received,
for which please accept my thanks. I have another letter, from a
writer unknown to me, saying the officers of the army at Fort Kearny
have determined in case of Republican success at the approaching
Presidential election, to take themselves, and the arms at that
point, south, for the purpose of resistance to the government. While
I think there are many chances to one that this is a humbug, it
occurs to me that any real movement of this sort in the Army would
leak out and become known to you. In such case, if it would not be
unprofessional or dishonorable (of which you are to be judge), I
shall be much obliged if you will apprise me of it.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO HANNIBAL HAMLIN

(Confidential.)
SPRINGFIELD. ILLINOIS, November 8, 1860

HON. HANNIBAL HAMLIN.

MY DEAR SIR:--I am anxious for a personal interview with you at as
early a day as possible. Can you, without much inconvenience, meet
me at Chicago? If you can, please name as early a day as you
conveniently can, and telegraph me, unless there be sufficient time
before the day named to communicate by mail.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO SAMUEL HAYCRAFT.

(Private and Confidential.)
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., Nov.13, 1860

HON. SAMUEL HAYCRAFT.

MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 9th is just received. I can only answer
briefly. Rest fully assured that the good people of the South who
will put themselves in the same temper and mood towards me which you
do will find no cause to complain of me.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

REMARKS AT THE MEETING AT SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS
TO CELEBRATE LINCOLN'S ELECTION,

NOVEMBER 20, 1860

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS:--Please excuse me on this occasion from
making a speech. I thank you in common with all those who have
thought fit by their votes to indorse the Republican cause. I
rejoice with you in the success which has thus far attended that
cause. Yet in all our rejoicings let us neither express nor cherish
any hard feelings toward any citizen who by his vote has differed
with us. Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are
brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds
of fraternal feeling. Let me again beg you to accept my thanks, and
to excuse me from further speaking at this time.

TO ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. NOV. 30, 1860

HON. A. H. STEPHENS.

MY DEAR SIR:--I have read in the newspapers your speech recently
delivered (I think) before the Georgia Legislature, or its assembled
members. If you have revised it, as is probable, I shall be much
obliged if you will send me a copy.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO HANNIBAL HAMLIN

(Private)
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, December 8, 1860

HON. HANNIBAL HAMLIN.

DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 4th was duly received. The inclosed to
Governor Seward covers two notes to him, copies of which you find
open for your inspection. Consult with Judge Trumbull; and if you
and he see no reason to the contrary, deliver the letter to Governor
Seward at once. If you see reason to the contrary write me at once.

I have an intimation that Governor Banks would yet accept a place in
the Cabinet. Please ascertain and write me how this is,

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

BLOCKING "COMPROMISE" ON SLAVERY ISSUE

TO E. B. WASHBURNE

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