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Full text of "The life and public services of Hon. Abraham Lincoln : with a portrait on steel ; to which is added a biographical sketch of Hon. Hannibal Hamlin"

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M 25 354 pp. 

1. Dayton 

2. Derby & 

3. As her & Co. 

8. Ashe : 

k. Bradley 
5. Burdick 

6. Broaders 

, 7. Dayton 




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Published bv J.Kelly. 87 Fulton Street .N.Y. 






ii| a furtrait m .StoL 







No. 36 Howabd-Strbbt. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 18dO, by 


In the Clerk's office, of the District Court, for the Southern District of 






Lincoln's Birth and Parentage 15 

His Father's Family remove to Indiana 17 

His Limited Opportunities of Education 18 

A Flat boatman on the Mississippi 18 

Removal to Illinois 19 

Employed in splitting Rails 19 

Enlists as a Volunteer in the Black-Hawk War, and serves through the 

Campaign 21 

Buys a Stock of Goods on Credit, and opens a Store 21 

Appointed Postmaster 22 

Studies Law 22 

Practises Survejang 23 

Elected to the Legislature 24 

His Position on the Slavery Question in 1837 24 

Removes to Springfield, and opens a Law Office 24 

His Labors in the Field of Politics 26 



Elected to Congress in 1846 27 

Statesmen in the Thirtieth Congress 27 

His Votes in Favor of Harbor and River Improvements 28, 29 

Slaverj' in the District of Columbia 28, 32, 42 

His Resolutions on the Mexican War 29 

Vote of Supplies for the War 33 

Putnam's Resolution 34 

The Ten-Regiment BQl 36 

The Tariff 36, 42 

Slavery' in the Territories 36 

Webster's Speech on 37 

Mr. Corwin's Remarks on 39 

Mr. Lincoln's Course on 41 

New-Mexico and California 42 

The Gott Resolution 43 



Public Lands 46 

The Slave Case of Antonio Pacheco 47 

Lincoln's Amendment to Gott's Resolution 67 

Favors a Bill to Abolish the Franking Privilege GO 

Ten Years at Home 61 

A ^Member of the National Whig Convention of 1848 61 

The Illinois Campaign of 1854 62 

Debate with Douglas in 1854 62-69 

Declines Election to the United States Senate, in favor of Trumbull 67 

Declines a Nomination for Governor of lUiuois 69 



Rebellion of Douglas . 70 

Lincoln Nominated for United States Senator 71 

The Illinois Platform 71 

Lincoln and Douglas Correspondence 74, 77 

Debates between Lmcoln and Douglas 79 

The Philadelphia North A merican on 82 

Mr. Greeley's Remarks on 83, 99 

Senator Benjamin's Opinion of 84 

Extracts from Speeches of Lincoln and Douglas 85, 99 

Statistics of the Illinois Election of 1858 lUO, 102 

Lincoln's Visit to Kansas in 1859 1U2 

Extract from his Speech at Leavenworth 103 

His Personal Appearance 104, 106 

His Personal Habits 105 

Anecdotes of Him 107, 116 

Almost a Duel 108 

The Rail-Splitter 109 

A Thrilling Episode in his History 110 

His Opinion un Naturalization 115 



Organization at the " "WigAvam" 118 

The Platform of the Republican Party 120 

The Ballots 128 

The Nomination 129 

Ratitication by the People 132 

Unanimous Commendations of the Press 135-139 

Mr, Lincoln at Home 139 

Visit of the Committee to Notify him of his Nomination 139-146 

Mrs. Lincohi 144, 147 

A Campaign Song 148 





Speech delivered at the Republican State Convention, at Spnngfield, Juno 

17, 1858 153 

" in Replv to Mr. Douglas, at Chicago, July 10, 1858 161 

" at Springfield, July 17, 1858 180 

" at Galesburgh, October 7, 1858 198 

" at Quincv, October 13, 1858 217 

" in Reply' to Mr, Douglas, at Alton, October 15, 1858 230 

*' at Columbus, Ohio, September, 1859 253 

" at Cincinnati, Ohio, September, 1859 281 

" at the Cooper Institute, New-York, February 27, 1860 306 

" on the War with Mexico, in Congress, January 12, 1848 326 

" on Internal Improvements, in Congress, June 20, 1848 336 

Sketch of the life of Hon. Hannibal, Hajilin, Republican Candidate for 

Vice-President 349 

Letters of Acceptance 355 






Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, tben 
in Hardin, now in the recently formed county of La- 
rue, Kentucky. His father, Thomas, and grandfather, 
Abraham, were born in Kockingham county, Virginia, 
whither their ancestors had come fi-om Berks county, 
Pennsylvania. His lineage has been traced no farther 
back than this. The family were originally quakers, 
though in later times they have fallen away from the 
peculiar habits of that people. The grandfather, 
Abraham, had four brothers ; Isaac, Jacob, John, and 
Thomas. So far as known, the descendants of Jacob 
and John are still in Virginia. Isaac went to a place 
near where Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, 
join, and his descendants are in that region. Thomas 
came to Kentucky, and, after many years, died there, 
whence his descendants went to Missouri. 


Abraham J grandfather of the subject of this sketch, 
came to Kentucky and was killed by Indians, about 
the year 1784. He left a widow, three sons, and two 
daughters. The eldest son, Mordecai, remained in 
Kentucky till late in life, when he removed to Han- 
cock county, Illinois, where, soon after, he died, and 
where several of his descendants still reside. 

The second son, Joseph, removed at an early day 
to a place on Blue river, now within Harrison county, 
Indiana, but no recent information of him or his fam- 
ily has been obtained. The eldest sister, Mary, mar- 
ried Kalph Crume, and some of her descendants are 
now known to be in Breckenridge county, Kentucky. 
The second sister, Nancy, married Wm. Brumfield, 
and her family are not known to have left Kentucky, 
but there is no recent information from them. Thom- 
as, the youngest son, and father of the present subject, 
by the early death of his father, and very narrow cir- 
cumstances of his mother, even in childhood, was a 
wandering, laboring boy, and grew up literally without 
education. He never did more in the way of writing, 
than to bungiingly sign his own name. Before he was 
grown, he passed one year as a hired hand with his 
Uncle Isaac, on Wataga, a branch of the Holston 

Getting back into Kentucky, and having reached 
his twenty-eighth year, he married Nancy Hanks, 
mother of the present subject, in the year 1806. She 
was also born in Virginia, and relatives of hers, 
of the name of Hanks, and of other names, now reside 
in Coles, Macon, and Adams counties, Illinois, and 
also in Iowa. 


The present subject has no brother or sister of the 
whole or half blood ; he had a sister, older than him- 
self, who was grown and married, but died many years 
ago, leaving no child ; also a brother, younger than 
himself, who died in infancy. Before leaving Ken- 
tucky, he and his sister were sent, for short periods, to 
A-B-C schools ; the first, kept by Zachariah Riney, 
and the second by Caleb Hazel. At this time his 
father resided on Knob creek, on the road from Beards- 
town, Ky., to Nashville, Tenn.,at a point three or three 
and a Lalf miles south or southwest of Atherton ferry, 
on the Eolling Fork. From this place he removed to 
what is now Spencer county, Indiana, in the autumn 
of 1816, Abraham then being in his eighth year. This 
removal was partly on account of slavery, but chiefly 
on account of the difficulty in land- titles in Kentucky, 
he settled in an unbroken forest, and the clearins: 
away of the surplus wood was the great task ahead. 
Abraham, though very young, was large of his age, 
and had an axe put into his hands at once, and from 
that time till within his twenty- third year, he was almost 
constantly handling that most useful instrument, less, 
of course, in ploughing and harvesting seasons. At this 
place Abraham took an early start as a hunter, which 
was never much improved afterward. A few days be- 
fore the completion of his eighth year, in the absence 
of his father, a flock of wild turkeys approached the 
log-cabin, and Abraham with a rifle-gun, standing in- 
side, shot through a crack and killed one of them. He 
has never since pulled a trigger on any larger game. 
In the autumn of 1818, his mother died, and a year 
afterward his father married Mrs. Sally Johnston, at 


Elizabetlitown, Kentucky, a widow with three children 
of her first marriage. She proved a good and kind 
mother to Abraham, and is still living in Coles county,, 
Illinois. There were no children of this second mar-' 
riage. His father's residence continued at the same 
place, in Indiana, till 1830. 

While here, Abraham went to A-B-C schools, 

kept successively by Andrew Crawford,^ 

Sweeny, and Azel W. Dorsey, he does not remember 
any other. The family of Mr. Dorsey now reside in 
Schuyler county, Illinois. Mr. Lincoln now thinks the 
aggregate of all his schooling did not amount to one 
year. He was never in a college or academy as a stu- 
dent, and never inside a college or academy till since 
he had a law-license. What he has in the way of 
education he has picked up. After he was twenty- 
three, and had separated from his father, he studied 
English grammar, imperfectly, of course, but so as to 
speak and write as well as he now does. He studied, 
and nearly mastered, the six books of Euclid since 
he was a member of Congress. He regrets his limited 
means of education, and does what he can to supply 
the want of early opportunities. 

When he was nineteen, still residing in Indiana, he 
made his first trip upon a flatboat to New-Orleans. 
He was a hired hand, merely, and he and a son of the 
owner, without other assistance, made the trip. The 
nature of part of the cargo-load, as it was called, made 
it necessary for them to linger and trade along the 
sugar coast, and one night they were attacked by 
seven negroes with intent to kill and rob them. They 
were hurt some in the melee, but succeeded in driving 


the negroes from tlie boat, and then " weighed anchor'" 
and left. 

March Ist, 1830, young Lincoln having just com- 
pleted his 21st year, his father and family, with the fam- 
ilies of the two daughters and sons-in-law of his step- 
mother, left the old homestead in Indiana and came to 
Illinois ; their mode of conveyance were wagons drawn 
by ox teams. They reached the county of Macon, and 
stopped there some time. Within the same month of 
March his father and family settled a new place on the 
north side of the Sangamon river, at the junction of 
the timberland and prairie, about ten miles westerly 
from Decatur ; here they built a log-cabin, into which 
they removed, and made enough rails to fence ten acres 
of ground, fenced and broke the ground, and raised a 
crop of sod corn upon it the same year. These are, or 
are supposed to be, the rails about which so much is 
being said just now, though they are far from being 
the first or only rails ever made by him. The sons- 
in-law were temporarily settled at other places in 
the county. In the autumn all hands were greatly 
afflicted with ague and fever, to which they had not 
been us^d, and by which they were greatly discouraged, 
so much so that they determined on leaving the county. 
They remained, however, through the succeeding win- 
ter, which was the winter of the very celebrated " deep 
snow" of Illinois. During that winter young Lincoln, 
together with his step-mother's son, John D. Johnston, 
and John Hanks, yet residing in Macon county, hired 
themselves to one Denton Offult to take a flat-boat 
from Beardstown, Illinois, to New-Orleans, and for 
that purpose were to join him — Offult — at Springfield, 



Illinois, as soon as the snow sliould go off ; when it 
did go off, which was about the 1st of March, 1831, 
the country was so flooded as to make travelling by 
land impracticable ; to obviate which difficulty they 
purchased a large canoe, and came down the Sanga- 
mon river in it. This is the time and manner of Lin- 
coln's first entrance into Sangamon county. They 
found Offult at Springfield, but learned from him that 
he had failed in getting a boat ; this led to their hiring 
themselves to him at $12 per month, each, and getting 
the timber out of the trees, and building a boat, at 
old Sangamon town, on the Sangamon river, seven 
miles northwest of Springfield, which boat they took 
to New-Orleans substantially on the old contract. 
During this boat enterprise and acquaintance with 
Offult, who was previously an entire stranger, Offult 
conceived a liking for Lincoln,- and believing he could 
turn him to account, he contracted with him to act as 
clerk for him on his return from New-Orleans in charge 
of a store and mill at New- Salem, then in Sangamon, 
now in Menard county. Hanks had not gone to New- 
Orleans, but having a family, and being likely to be 
detained from home longer than at first expected, had 
turned back from St. Louis ; he is the same John 
Hanks who now engineers the '' Eail Enterprise'' at 
Decatur, and is a first cousin to Abraham's mother. 
Abraham's father, with his own family and others 
mentioned, had, in pursuance of their intention, re- 
moved from Macon to Coles county. Jno. D. John- 
ston, the step-mother's son, went to them, and 
Lincoln stopped indefinitely, and for the first time 
by himself, at New- Salem, before mentioned. This 


was in July, 1831. Here lie rapidly made acquain- 
tances and friends. In less than a year Offult's busi- 
ness was falling off — tiad almost failed. When the 
Black-Hawk war of 1832 broke out, young Lincoln 
joined a volunteer company, and to his own surprise 
was elected captain of it. He says he has not since 
had any success in life which gave him so much satis- 
faction. He went through the camj)aign ; served near 
three months ; met the ordinary hardships of such an 
expedition, but was in no battle. He now owns in 
Iowa the land upon which his own wan'ants for this 
service were located. 

Keturning from the campaign, and encouraged by 
his great popularity among his immediate neighbors, 
he the same year ran for the legislature and was beaten, 
his own precinct, however, casting its votes 277 for, 
and 7 against him, and this, too, when he was an 
avowed Clay man, and the precinct the autumn after- 
ward, giving a majority of 115 for General Jackson, 
over Mr. Clay. This was the only time Lincoln was 
ever beaten in a direct vote of the people. He was 
now without means and out of business, but was 
anxious to remain with his friends, who had treated 
him with so much generosity. It was some time before 
he decided upon a profession — first, a trade, then a 
farmer, then the law — the latter would have been his 
choice at that time, but for his limited education. Be- 
fore long, strangely enough, a man offered to sell, and 
did sell to him, and another as poor as himself, an 
old stock of goods upon credit. They opened as mer- 
chants, and he says that was the store. Of course 
they did nothing but get deeper and deeper in debt. 


He was appointed postmaster at New-Salem — the office 
being too insignificant to make liis politics an objec- 
tion. The store " winked out." 

Nothing daunted by this turn of ill-luck, he directed 
his attention to law, and borrowing a few books from 
a neighbor, which he took from the office in the even- 
ing and returned in the morning, he learned the rudi- 
ments of the profession in which he has since become 
so distinguished. 

Mr. Lincoln was in his youth known as the swiftest 
runner, the best jumper, and the strongest wrestler, 
among his fellows ; and when he reached manhood, and 
his physical frame became developed, the early settlers 
pronounced him the stoutest man in the State. His 
abstemious habits and his hardy physcial discipline 
strengthened his constitution and gave vigor to his 
mind. He improved every opportunity to cultivate his 
intellect, often studying his law-books far into the 
night by the reflection of the log-fire in his farm-home 
on the prairies. He was early distinguished for a dis- 
putational turn of mind, and many are the intellectual 
triumphs of his in the country or village lyceum select- 
ed by old settlers who remember him. as he then 
appeared. His strong, natural, direct, and irresistible 
logic marked him there as it has ever since, as an in- 
tellectual king. 

The deep snow which occurred in the winter of 
1830-31, was one of the chief troubles endured by the 
early settlers of Central and Southern Illinois. Its 
consequences lasted through several years. The peo- 
ple were illy prepared to meet it, as the weather had 
been mild and pleasant — unprecedently so up to 


Christmas — when a snow-storm set in, which lasted two 
days ; something never before known even among the 
traditions of the Indians, and never approached in the 
weather of any winter since. The pioneers who came 
into the State (then a territory) in 1800, some of 
whom are still living, say the average depth of snow 
was never, previous to 1830, more then knee deep to 
an ordinary man, while it was breast high all that winter, 
not in drifts but over a whole section. "For three 
months," say the old settlers, " there was not a warm 
sun upon the surface of the snow.'* It became crusted 
over, so as (in some cases) to bear teams. Cattle and 
horses perished, the winter wheat was killed, the mea- 
gre stocks of provisions ran out, and the most wealthy 
settlers came near starving, while some of the poorer 
ones actually did. It was in the midst of such scenes 
that young Abraham Lincoln attained his majority, and 
commenced his career of bold and manly independence. 
It was this discipline that was to try the soul of the 
future President. Communication between hous€ and 
house was often entirely obstructed for teams, so that 
the young and strong men had to do all the ti'avelling 
on foot ; carrying from one neighbor what of his store 
he could spare to another, and bringing back some- 
thing in return sorely needed. Men living five, ten, 
twenty, and thirty miles apart were called " neighbors'' 
then. Young Lincoln was always ready to perform 
these acts of humanity, and foremost in the counsels 
of the settlers when their troubles seemed gathering 
like a thick cloud about them. 

The surveyor of Sangamon offered to depute to Lin- 
coln that portion of his work which was in his part of 


the county. He accepted, procured a compass and 
chain, studied FHnt and Gibson a little, and went at 
it. This procured bread, and kept soul and body to- 
gether. The election of 1834 came, and he was then 
elected to the legislature by the highest vote cast for 
any candidate. Major John F. Stuart, then in full 
practice of the law, was also elected. When the legis- 
lature met, the law books were dropped, but were 
taken up again at the end of the session. He was 
re-elected in 1836, 1838, and 1840. In the autumn of 
1836 he obtained a law license, and April 15, 1837, 
he removed to Springfield and commenced the prac- 
tice, his old friend, Stuart, taking him into partner- 

March 3d, 1837, by a protest entered upon the Il- 
linois house journal of that date, at pages 817, 818, 
Lincoln, with Dan Stone, another representative of 
Sangamon, briefly defined his position on the slavery 
question, as follows. We quote from the State Jour- 
nal : 

'' In 1836-7, Mr. Lincoln was one of the represen- 
tatives in the Legislature from Sangamon county, and 
during the session, as usual, resolutions, taking an ex- 
treme Southern view on the subject of slavery, were 
brought forward, discussed, and finally adopted. Mr. 
Lincoln refused to vote for them ; but took advantage 
of the constitutional privilege allowing any two mem- 
bers to enter their protest upon the journals of the 
house, to give his views on the subject in the form of 
a protest. The paper is worthy of being produced at 
the present time, and we give it, as follows : 

" March 3d, 1837. 
" The following protest was presented to the house, 
which was read and ordered to be spread on the jour- 
nal, to wit : 


" Resolutions upon the subject of domestic slaver j 
having passed both branches of the general assembly, 
at its present session, the undersigned hereby protest 
against the passage of the same. 

" They believe that the institution of slavery is founded 
on both injustice and had policy ; but that the pro- 
mulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to in- 
crease than abate its evils. 

'' They believe that the Congress of the United States 
has no power, under the Constitution, to interfere with 
the institution of slavery in the different States. 

^' They believe that the Congress of the United 
States has the power, under the Constitution, to abol- 
ish slavery in the District of Columbia ; but that tlie 
power ought not to .be exercised unless at the request 
of the people of said district. 

" The difference between these opinions and those 
contained in the said resolutions, is their reason for 
entering this protest. 


" Representatives from the county'of Sangamon." 

Business flowed in upon him, and he rose rapidly to 
distinction in his profession. He displayed remarkable 
ability as an advocate in jury trials, and many of his 
law arguments were master-pieces of logical reasoning. 
Tliere was no refined artificiality in his forensic efforts. 
They all bore the stamp of masculine common sense ; 
and he had a natural, easy mode of illustration, that 
made the most abstruse subjects appear plain. His 
success at the bar, however, did not withdraw his at- 
tention from politics. For many years he was the 
' wheel-horse' of the Whig party of Illinois, and was 
on the electoral ticket in several Presidential cam- 
paigns. At such time he canvassed the State with hia 



usual vigor and ability. He was an ardent friend of 
Henry Clay, and exerted liimself powerfully in his be- 
half, in 1844, traversing the entire State of Illinois, and 
addressing public meetings daily until near the close 
of the campaign, when, becoming convinced that 
his labors in that field would be unavailing, he 
crossed over into Indiana, and continued his efforts up 
to the day of election. The contest of that year 
in Illinois was mainly on the tariff question. Mr. 
Lincoln, on the Whig side, and John Calhoun 
on the democratic side, were the heads of the op- 
posing electoral tickets. Calboun, late of Nebraska, 
now dead, was then in the full vigor of his powers, and 
was accounted the ablest debater of his party. They 
stumped the State together, or nearly so, making 
speeches usually on alternate days at each place, and 
each addressing large audiences at great length, some- 
times four hours together. Mr. Lincoln, in these elab- 
orate speeches, evinced a thorough mastery of the 
principles of political economy which underlie the tariff 
question, and presented arguments in favor of the pro- 
tective policy with a power and conclusiveness rarely 
equalled, and at the same time in a manner so lucid 
and familiar, and so well interspersed with happy il- 
lustrations and apposite anecdotes, as to establish a 
reputation which he has never since failed to maintain, 
as the ablest leader in the Whig and Kepublican ranks 
in the 2;reat West. 




In 1846, Mr. Lincoln was elected to Congress from 
the central district of Illinois. 

He took his seat in Congress on the first Monday in 
December, of the year 1847. It was the Thirtieth 
Congress, and the House of Eepresentatives to which 
he was elected was presided over by Mr. Winthrop of 
Massachusetts. The House was composed of 117 
Whigs, 110 Democrats, and 1 Native American. Illi- 
nois then had seven representatives, and all were Dem- 
ocrats but Mr. Lincoln. He alone from that State held 
up the old Whig banner. With him, from other 
States, were associated such well-known names as the 
following : Collamer, Marsh, Ashmun, Truman Smith, 
Hunt, Tallmadge, Ingersoll, Botts, Goggin, Cling- 
man, Stephens, Toombs, Gentry, and Thompson. Op- 
posed to him in politics were men like Wilmot, Brod- 
head, Boyd, Bocock, Rhett, Brown, Linn Boyd, Andrew 
Johnson, etc., etc. In the Senate were Webster, Cal- 
houn, Dayton,, Davis, Dix, Dickinson, Hunter, Hale, 
B?ll, Crittenden, and Corwin. It was a Congress full 
of the most talented men — crowded with the real states- 
men of the country, and such a one in these and other 
respects as the country rarely elects to make its laws. 
It turned out to be one of the most excited, agitated, 
and agitating ever convened. 



One of Mr. Lincoln's first votes was given, Decem- 
ber 20, 1847, in favor of tlie subjoined resolution : 

" Besolved, That if, in the judgment of Congress, it be 
necessary to improve the navigation of a river to expe- 
dite and render secure the movements of our army, and 
save from delay and loss our arms and munitions of 
war, that Congress has the power to improve such 

^^ Besolved, That if it be necessary for the preservation 
of the lives of our seamen, repairs, safety, or main- 
tenance of our vessels-of-war, to improve a harbor or 
inlet, either on our Atlantic or Lake coast, Congress 
has the power to make such improvement/' 

A motion was made to lay the resolution on the ta- 
ble, and Mr. Lincoln voted with the other Whigs then 
in the House against the motion, and it was de- 
feated. The resolution was laid over after this test 
vote to another day for debate. 


The next day the slavery question was agitated in 
the House. Mr. Giddings presented a memorial from 
certain citizens of the District of Columbia, asking 
Congress to repeal all laws upholding the slave-trade 
in the district. Mr. Giddings moved to refer the me- 
morial to the Judiciary Committee, with instructions 
to inquire into the constitutionality of all laws by which 
slaves are held as property in the District of Columbia. 
A motion was made to lay the paper on the table. Mr. 
Lincoln voted against the motion. The result was a 


tie vote, and the Speaker voted in the nfgative. Mr. 
Howell Cobb stated that he wished to debate it, and it 
lay over under the rules. 

On the 22d of December, Mr. Wentworth of Illinois 
moved the following resolution : 

'^ Besolved, That the General Government has the 
power to construct such harbors, and improve such 
rivers as are necessary and proj)er for the protection of 
our navy and commerce, and also for the defences of 
our country." 

A motion was made to lay an the table, and then 
withdrawn. An exciting contest ensued on the de- 
mand for the previous question. It was sustained, and 
the House came to a direct vote on the resolution, 
passing it by 138 ayes to 54 nays, Mr. Lincoln voting, 
of course, with the ayes. 


On the same day Mr. Lincoln offered the following 
preamble and resolutions on the Mexican War : 

" Whereas, the President of the United States, in 
his Message of May 11, 1846, has declared that ^ the 
Mexican government refused to receive him [the envoy 
of the United States], or listen to his propositions, but, 
after a long-continued series of menaces, have at last 
invaded our territory, and shed the blood of our fellow- 
citizens on oiLT oicn soil ;' 

'' And again, in his Message of December 8, 1846, 
that ' we had ample cause of war against Mexico long 
before the breaking out of hostilities ; but even then 
we forbore to take redress into our own hands until 
Mexico basely became the aggressor, by invading our 


soil in hostile array, and sliedding the blood of our 
citizens ;' 

"And yet, again, in his Message of December 7, 1847, 
' The Mexican government refused even to hear the 
terms of adjustment which he (our minister of peace) 
was authorized to propose, and finally, under wholly 
unjustifiable pretexts, involved the two countries in 
war, by invading the territory of the State of Texas, 
striking the first blow, and shedding the blood of our 
citizens on our own soil;' 

'^ And whereas, this House is desirous to obtain a 
full knowledge of all the facts which go to establish 
whether the particular spot on which the blood of our 
citizens was so shed, was or was not, at that time, our 
oivn soil : Therefore, 

" Besolved, hy the House of Bejoresentatives, That 
the President of the United States be respectfully re- 
quested to inform this House — 

'^ 1st. Whether the spot on which the blood of our 
citizens was shed, as in his memorial declared, was or 
was not within the territory of Spain, at least after the 
treaty of 1819, until the Mexican revolution. 

" 2d. Whether that spot is or is not within the ter- 
ritory which was wrested from Spain by the revolution- 
ary government of Mexico. 

" 3d. Whether that spot is or is not within a settle- 
ment of 2)eople, which settlement has existed ever since 
long before the Texas Eevolution, and until its inhabi- 
tants fled before the approach of the United States 

" 4th. Whether that settlement is or is not isolated 
from any and all other settlements of the Gulf and the 



Kio Grande on the south and west, and of wide unin- 
habited regions on the north and east. 

" 5th. Whether the people of that settlement, or a 
majority of them, have ever submitted themselves to 
the government or laws of Texas or of the United 
States, of consent or of compulsion, either of accept- 
ing office or voting at elections, or joaying taxes, or 
serving on juries, or having process served on them, 
or in any other way. 

" 6 th. Whether the people of that settlement did or 
did not flee at the approaching of the United States 
army, leaving unprotected their homes and their grow- 
ing crops before the 'blood was shed, as in the message 
stated ; and whether the first blood so shed was or was 
not shed within the enclosure of one of the people who 
had thus fled from it. 

^^ 7th. Whether our citizens whose blood was shed, 
as in his message declared, were or were not, at that 
time, armed officers and soldiers sent into ^hat settle- 
ment by the military order of the President, through 
the Secretary of War. 

'^ 8th. Whether the military force of the United 
States was or was not so sent into that settlement after 
General Taylor had more than once mtunated to the 
War Department that, in his opinion, no such move- 
ment was necessary to the defence or protection of 

These resolutions were laid over under the rule. We 
have quoted them entire because one of the false charges 
of Mr. Lincoln's political opponents is, that he voted 
against the sujDplies to the army. He was a Whig, 
and todk the position of the Whigs of his day, many 


eminent Southern men included, wMcli was opposition 
to the declaration of war with Mexico, by the Presi- 
dent, so long as that oj)position would accomplish any 
purpose, which it would not when Mr. Lincoln was in 
Congress ; and always, as these resolutions of his prove, 
objected to what he considered a false statement as to 
the origin of the difficulties. No circumstances, in his 
opinion, would justify falsehood in reference to the 
history of that or any other war, and so he on every 
proper occasion criticised the language of the President, 
which repeatedly declared that the war was begun by 
the act of Mexico. 


On the 28th of December Mr. Lincoln voted to 
sustain the right of petition. Several citizens of 
Indiana j)etitioned Congress for the abolition of slavery 
in the District of Columbia, and Mr. C. B. Smith 
moved to r.efer the petition to the Committee on the 
District. Mr. Cabell moved to lay the memorial upon 
the table, which motion was carried, Mr. Lincoln votins: 
against it and in favor of according to it a respectful 

On the 30th of December, a similar memorial against 
the slave-trade was presented to the House, and on a 
motion to lay upon the table Mr. Lincoln voted again 
in the negative. 

January 17, 1848, Mr. Giddings introduced a resolu- 
tion in the House, reporting certain alleged outrages 
against a colored man in the District, and calling upon 
the Speaker to appoint a select committee to inquire 
into the expediency of repealing such acts of ^Congress 


as sustained or autliorized the slave-trade in the Dis- 
trict. The resolution caused considerable excitement, 
and a motion to lay on the table was made and lost by 
one vote. Mr. Lincoln voted against the motion. The 
resolution was now before the House, but the previous 
question was pending. Questions of order arose and 
the House was in great confusion. Mr. Giddings 
claimed the right to modify his resolution, and tlie 
Speaker decided that he had that right. Mr. Ste- 
phens, of Georgia, appealed from the decision of the 
Chair. In answer to a question, the Chair stated that 
if the resolution was modified, a second motion to lay 
«n the table would be in order, whereupon Mr. Stej)hens 
withdrew his appeal. Mr. Giddings modified his reso- 
lution, and it was again moved that it be laid on the 
table. This time the motion was successful — ayes 94, 
nays 88 — Mr. Lincoln voting no. 


On the 17th of February, Mr. Lincoln gave a vote 
which effectually destroys the assertion of some of his 
political enemies of this day, that he voted against the 
supplies for the war in Mexico. The Committee of 
Ways and Means reported a Loan Bill to raise the 
sum of sixteen millions of dollars to enable the gov- 
ernment to provide for its debts, principally incurred 
in Mexico. This bill passed a Whig House of Repre- 
sentatives ; ayes 192, nays 14, 3Ir. Lincoln voting for 
the hill. This vote alone disposes of the slanderous 
charge that he voted against the supplies because of the 
war with Mexico. 




On the 28th of February Mr. Putnam moved the 
following preamble and resolution : 

^'Whereas, In the settlement of the difficulties pend- 
ing between this country and Mexico, territory may be 
acquired in which slavery does not exist ; and whereas, 
ConoTess, in the oro-anization of a temtorial o-overn- 
ment, at an early period of our political history, estab- 
lished a principle worthy of imitation in all future time, 
forbidding the existence of slavery in free territory : 

'' Besolved, That in any territory which may be ac- 
quired from Mexico, over which shall be established 
territorial governments, slavery or involuntary servi- 
tude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the par- 
ty shall have been duly convicted, should be forever pro- 
hibited ; and that, in any act or resolution establishing 
such governments, a fundamental provision ought to be 
inserted to that effect." 

Mr. Putnam moved the j)revious question. 

Mr. Brodhead moved to lay the resolution on the 

The motion to lay on the table was decided by yeas 
and nays. 

After the roll was called through, Mr. C. J. Inger- 
soll rose and asked leave to vote. Mr. I. said he was 
not within the bar when his name was called, but came 
in before the following name was called. Mr. I. said, 
if allowed to vote, he would vote aye. His vote was 
not received. 

Mr. Murphy rose and said he was not within the 


bar when his name was called, bat he asked leave to 
vote. It being objected to — 

Mr. C. J. Ingersoll moved to suspend the rules, to 
allow Mr. MurjDhy and himself to vote. Disagreed to. 

The result was then announced, as follows : 

Yeas. — Messrs. Greeu Adams, Atkinson, Barringer, Barrow, Bayly, 
Bedinger, Birdsall, Black, Bocoek, Bowdon, Bowlin, Boyd, Boyden, 
Brodliead, Charles Brown, Albert G. Brown, Burt, Cabell, Cathcart, 
Chase, Clapp, Franklin Clark, Beverly L. Clark, Clingman, Howell Cobb, 
Williamson R. W. Cobb, Cocke, Crisfield, Crozier, Daniel, Dickinson, 
Donuell, Garnett Duncan, Featherston, Ficklin, French, Fulton, Gaines, 
Gayle, Gentry, Goggin, Green, Willard P. Hall, Haralson, Harris, Has- 
kell, Henley, Hill, Hilliard, Isaac E.Holmes, George S. Houston, Inge, 
Iverson, Jackson, Jamieson, Andrew Johnson, Robert "W. Johnson, Geo 
W. Jones, John W. Jones, Kaufman, Kennon, Tho. Butler King, La 
Sere, Levin, Ligon, Lord, Lumpkin, Maclay, McClernand, McKay, 
McLane, Mann, Miller, Morehead, Morse, Outlaw, Pendleton, Pettit, 
Peyton, Phelps, Pilsbury, Preston, Richardson, Richey, Robinson, 
Roman, Sawyer, Shepperd, Simpson, Sims, Robert Smith, Stanton, Ste- 
phens, Thibodeaus, Thomas, Tompkins, John B. Thompson, Robert 
A Thompson, Toombs, Turner, Venable, Wick, Williams, Wiley, Wood- 
ward — 105. 

Nays. — Messrs. Abbott, Aehmun, Bingham, Brady, Butler, Canby, 
Collamer, Collins, Conger, Cranston, Crowell, Cimimins, Dickey, Dixon, 
Duer, Dflniel Duncan, Dunn, Eckert, Edwards, Embree, Nathan Evans, 
Faran, Farrelly, Fisher, Freedly, Fries, Giddings, Gott, Gregory, Grinnelh 
Hale, Nathan K. Hall, Hammons, Jam^es G. Hampton, Moses Hampton, 
Henry, Elias B. Holmes, John W. Houston, Hubbard, Hiidson, Hunt, 
Ir%dn, Jenkins, James H. Johnson, Kellogg, Daniel P, Kiug, Lahm, Wil- 
liam T. Lawrence, Sidney Lawrence. Lefflei', Lincoln, McClelland, 
Mcllvaine, Marsh, Marvin, Morris, Mullin, Nelson, Nes, Newell, Pal- 
frey, Peaslee, Peck, Pollock, Pntaiam, Reynold, Julius, John A. Rock- 
well, Root, Rnmsey, St. John, Schenck, Sherrill, Silvester, Slingerland, 
Caleb B. Smith, TrunKin Smith, Starkweather, Andrew Stewart, Charles 
E. Stuart, Strohm, Tallmadge, Taylor, Richard W. Thompson, William 
Thompson, Thurston, Van Dyke, Vinton, Warren, Wentworth, White, 
Wilmot, Wilson— 92, 

So the resolution was laid on the table. 
Mr. Lincoln voted with the navs. 



On April 3d Mr. Lincoln voted to suspend tlie rules 
tbat the Ten Eegiment Bill miglit be taken up, and 
again did the same on the 18 th of the same month. 


June 19j 1848, Mr. Lincoln put himself on record in 
favor of a protective tariff. Mr. Stewart of Penn., on 
that day moved a susj)ension of the rules to enable him 
to offer the following resolution : 

" Resolved, That the Committee of Ways and Means 
be instructed to inquire into the expediency of reporting 
a bill increasing the duties on foreign luxuries of all 
kinds and on such foreign manufactures as are now 
coming into ruinous competition with American labor.""' 

Mr. Lincoln voted in the affirmative. 


On the 28th of July, the famous bill to establish 
territorial governments for Oregon, California, and 
New-Mexico, was taken from the Speaker's table as it 
came from the Senate. The peculiar feature of the 
bill was a provision in reference to California and New- 
Mexico, prohibiting the territorial legislatures from 
passing laws in favor or against slavery, but also pro- 
viding that all the laws of the territorial legislatures 
shall be subject to the sanction of Congress. It will be 
remembered that it was this bill which Mr. Webster, 
who was then in the Senate, opposed in a great speech ] 
using the following language : 


" We stand here now — at least I do, for one — to say, 
that considering that there have been aheady five 
new slaveholding States formed out of newly-acquired 
territory, and one only, at most, non-slaveholding 
State, I do not feel that I am called on to go farther ; 
I do not feel the obligation to yield more. But our 
friends of the South say, ' You dejorive us of all our 
rights ; we have fought for this territory, and you 
deny us participation in it/ Let us consider this 
question as it really is ; and since the honorable gen- 
tleman from Georgia proposes to leave the case to the 
enlightened and impartial judgriient of mankind, and 
as I agree with him that it is a case proper to be 
considered by the enlightened part of mankind, let us 
consider how the matter in truth stands. What is 
the consequence ? Gentlemen who advocate the case 
which my honorable friend from Georgia, with so much 
ability, sustains, declare that we invade their rights — 
that we deprive them of a participation in the enjoyment 
of territories acquired by the common services and com- 
mon exertions of all. Is this true .^ How deprived .^ 
Of what do we deprive them ? Why, they say that we 
deprive them of the privilege of carrying their slaves, 
as slaves, into the new territories. Well, sir, what is 
the amount of that ? They saj^ that in this way we 
deprive them of the opportunity of going into this 
acquired territory with their property. Their ' prop- 
erty !' — what do they mean by that .? We certainly 
do not deprive them of the privilege of going into 
these newly-acquired territories with all that, in the 
general estimate of human society, in the general, and 
common, and universal understanding of mankind, is 
esteemed property. Not at all. The truth is just 
this : they have in their own States peculiar laws, 
which create property in persons. They have a sys- 
tem of local legislation, on which slavery rests, while 
everybody agrees that it is against natural law, or at 
least against the common understanding which pre- 


vails as to what is natural law. I am not going into 
metap]i3'sics, for therein I should encounter the hon- 
orable member from South Carolina, and we should 
wander, in ' endless mazes lost,"* until after the time 
for the adjournment of Congress. The Southern 
States have peculiar laws, and by those laws there is 
property in slaves. This is purely local. The real 
meaning, then, of Southern gentlemen, in making 
this complaint, is, that they cannot go into the terri- 
tories of the United States, carrying with them their 
own peculiar local law — a law which creates property 
in persons. This, according to their own statement, 
is all the ground of complaint they have. Now, here, 
I think, gentlemen are unjust toward us. How un- 
just they are, others will judge — generations that will 
come after us will judge. 

" It will not be contended that this sort of personal 
slavery exists by general law^ It exists only by local 
law. I do not mean to deny the validity of that local 
law where it is established ; but I say it is, after all,, 
nothing but local law. It is nothing more. And 
wherever that local law does not extend, propert}^ in 
persons does not exist. Well, sir, what is now the 
demand on the part of our Southern friends ? They 
say, ' We will cany our local laws with us wherever 
we go. We insist that Congress does us injustice un- 
less it establishes in the territory into which we wish to 
go, our own local law." This demand I, for one, re- 
sist, and shall resist. ••'•■ '•'■ '•'■■ * '•'■" 

" Let me conclude, therefore, by remarking, that 
while I am willing to present this as presenting my 
own judgment and position, in regard to this case — and 
I beg it to be understood that I am speaking for no 
other than myself — and while I am willing to present 
this to the whole world as my own justification, I rest 
on these propositions : 1st. That when this Constitu- 
tion was adopted, nobody looked for any new acquisi- 
tion of territory to be formed into slaveholding States. 


2d. That the principles of the Constitution prohibited, 
and were intended to prohibit, and should be construed 
to prohibit, all interference of the general government 
with slavery as it existed and still exists in the States. 
And then, that, looking to the effect of these new ac- 
quisitions which have in this great degree inured to 
strengthen that interest in the South by the addition 
of these five States, there is nothing unjust, nothing uf 
which an honest man can complain, if he is intelligent 
— and I feel there is nothing which the civilized world, 
if they take notice of so humble a person as myself, will 
reproach me with, when I say, as I said the other day, 
that I had made up my mind, for one, that, under no 
circumstances, would I consent to the further extension 
of the area of slavery in the United States, or to the 
further increase of slave representation in the House of 

Mr. Corwin, too, arguing in the Senate against this 
bill, said : 

" Now, if we can make any law whatever, not con- 
trary to the express prohibitions of the Constitution, we 
can enact that a man with $60,000 worth of bank 
notes of Maryland shall forfeit the whole amount if he 
attempts to pass one of them in the territory of Califor- 
nia. We may say, if a man carry a menagerie of wild 
beasts there, worth $500,000, and undertakes to exhibit 
them there, he shall forfeit them. The man comes back 
with his menagerie, and says that the law forbade him 
to exhibit his animals there ; it was thought that, as 
an economical arrangement, such things should not be 
tolerated there. That you may do. He of the lions 
and tigers goes back, having lost his whole concern. 
But now you take a slave to California, and instantly 
your power fails ; all the power of the sovereignty of 
this country is impotent to stop him. That is a 
strange sort of argument to me. It has always been 
considered that when a State forms its constitution it 


can exclude slavery. Why so ? Becauses it chances 
to consider it an evil. If it be a proper subject of le- 
gislation in a State, and we have absolute legislative 
power, transferred to us by virtue of this bloody power 
of conquest, as some say, or by purchase, as others 
maintain, I ask — Why may we not act ? Again — 
considering this an abstract question — are there not du- 
ties devolving upon us, for the performance of which 
we may not be responsible to any earthly tribunal, but 
for which God, who has created us all, will hold us ac- 
countable ? What is your duty, above all others, to a 
conquered people ? You say it is your duty to give 
them a government — may you not, then, do everything 
for them which you are not forbidden to do by some 
fundamental axiomatic truth at the foundation of your 
constitution ? Show me, then, how your action is 
23recluded, and I submit. Though I believe it ought 
to be otherwise, yet, if the constitution of my country 
forbids me, I yield. The constitutions of many States 
declare slavery to be an evil. Southern gentlemen 
have said, that they would have done away with it if 
possible, and they have aj^ologized to the world and to 
themselves for the existence of it in their States. 
These honest old men of another da}^ never could have 
failed to strike off the chains from every negro in the 
colonies, if it had been possible for them to do so with- 
out U2:)turning the foundations of society. 

'' My objection is a radical one to the institution 
everywhere. I do believe, if there is any place upon 
the globe which we inhabit, where a white man 
cannot work, he has no business there. If that place 
is fit only for black men to work,- let black men 
alone work there. I do not know any better law 
for man's good than that old one, which was an- 
nounced to man after the first transgression,, that by 
the sweat of his brow he should earn his bread. I 
don't know what business men have in the world^ un- 


less it is to work. If any man "has no work of head or 
hand to do in this world, let him get out of it soon. 
The hog is the only gentleman who has nothing to do 
but eat and sleep. Him we dispose of as soon as he 
is fat. Difficult as the settlement of this question 
seems to some, it is, in my judgment, only so because 
we will not look at it and treat it as an original projjo- 
sition, to be decided by the influence its determination 
may have on the territories themselves. We are ever 
running away from this, and inquiring how it will af- 
fect the '' slave States," or the " free States." The 
only question mainly to be considered is. How will this 
policy affect the territories for which this law is in- 
tended ? Is slavery a good thing, or is it a bad thing, 
for them ? With my views of the subject, I must con- 
sider it bad policy to plant slavery in any soil where I 
do not find it already growing. I look ujDon it as an 
exotic, that blights with its shade the soil in which you 
plant it ; therefore, as I am satisfied of our constitu- 
tional power to prohibit it, so I am equally certain it 
is our duty to do so." 

For these reasons, so admirably expressed by Web- 
ster and Corwin, standing by them, and agreeing with 
them, Mr. Lincoln voted to lay the territorial bills 
upon the table, when they came up there for considera- 
tion. This was on the 28th of July, and after a scene 
of great confusion and excitement. The motion to lay 
on the table was agreed to — ayes, 114 ; nays, 96. 
Among the ayes was Stephens, of Georgia, who made 
the motion. Afterward, on the 2d day of August, 
when the House bill for the organization of the Terri- . 
tory of Oregon was before the House, a motion was 
made to strike out that part of the bill which extended 
the ordinance of 1787 over Oregon Territory, and Mr. 
Lincoln voted, with 113 others, to retain the ordinance. 


During the second session of tlie Thirtieth Congress, 
December 12, Mr. Lincoln voted for the following reso- 
lution, submitted in the House by Mr. Eckert : 

^' Besolved, That the Committee of Ways and 
Means be instructed to inquire into the expediency of 
reporting a Tariff Bill, based upon the principles of 
the tariff of 1842.'^ 

On the 13th, Mr. Palfrey, of Mass., asked leave to 
introduce a bill for the repeal of all the acts of Con- 
gress establishing slavery in the District of Columbia. 
Mr. Lincoln, not believing in the expediency of inter- 
vention against slavery in the District, without com- 
jDcnsation to the slave-owner, separated himself from 
several of his political friends, and voted against the 
proposition of Mr. Palfrey. 


Later in the day Mr. Koot offered the subjoined reso- 
lution : 

'^Besolved, That the Committee on Territories be 
instructed to report to this House, with as little delay 
as practicable, a bill, or bills, providing a territorial gov- 
ernment for each of the territories of New-Mexico and 
California, aiid excluding slavery therefrom." 

Of the action of the House this day on the slavery 
question, Dr. Bailey, of the Ura, who was warmly op- 
posed to General Taylor's election, remarks : 

^' Mr. Palfrey asked leave to introduce a bill for the 
repeal of all acts of Congress, or parts of acts, estab- 
lishing or maintaining slavery or the slave-trade in the 
District of Columbia. Mr. Holmes, of South Carolina, 
objected, and the question being taken by yeas and 


naySj the vote stood, for granting leave, 70 ; against it, 
81. It will be observed that only 151 members out of 
228 voted. The House was not full, and some in their 
seats refused to vote. Had all the members voted, it is 
doubtful what would have been the result. It will be 
observed in our report, that very few Democrats of the 
North and West opposed the motion for leave. A few 
Northern and Western Whigs are recorded in the nega- 
tive Mr. Koot brought forward a resolu- 
tion, that the Committee on the Territories be in- 
structed to report to this House, with as little delay as 
practicable, a bill or bills, providing a territorial gov- 
ernment for each of the territories of New-Mexico and 
California, and excluding slavery therefrom. Koot 
moved the previous question. Hall, of Missouri, moved 
to lay on the table ; Giddings, that there be a call of 
the House. The Clerk called the roll — 187 members 
answered to their names, and further proceedings in the 
call were dispensed with. The motion to lay on the 
table was lost — yeas 80, nays 107. The previous 
question was seconded, the members passing through 
the tellers.'' 

The motion was agreed to — ayes 106, nays 80 — Mr. 
Lincoln, as usual, standing by the slavery-restriction 


On the 21st of December, Mr. Gott offered in the 
House the following resolution : 

" Whei^eas, The traffic now prosecuted in this me- 
tropolis of the Kepublic, in human beings, as chattels, 
is contrary to natural justice and the fundamental 
principles of our political system, and is notoriously a 


reproacTi to our country tliroughout Christendom, and 
a serious hinderance to the progress of rejDublican lib- 
erty among the nations of the earth : Therefore, 

" Besolved, That the Committee for the District of 
Columbia be instructed to report a bill, as soon as prac- 
ticable, prohibiting the slave trade in said District/' 

The resolution having been read — 

Mr. Haralson moved that it be laid on the table. 

Mr. Wentworth and Mr. Gott demanded the yeas 
and nays, which were ordered. 

And the resolution having been again read — 

The question on the motion of Mr. Haralson was 
taken, and resulted — yeas 82, nays 85. 

Mr. Lincoln, true to his own convictions of what was 
best under the circumstances, voted for the Haralson 
motion to table the resolution, wishing to accompany 
such a bill with provisions which he considered neces- 
sary to its success. 

The question then recurring on the demand for the 
previous question — 

Mr. Vinton rose to inquire of the Chair whether the 
resolution was open to amendment. 

The Speaker said it would be open to amendment 
if the previous question should not be seconded. 

The question being then taken, the demand for the 
previous question was seconded — yeas 85, nays 49. 

Upon the question, " Shall the main question [upon 
the adoption of the resolution] be now put ?" the yeas 
and nays were demanded and ofdered ; and being taken, 
the yeas were 112, nays 64. 

Mr. Houston, of Alabama, and Mr. Venable, called 
for the yeas and nays ; which were ordered. 


Mr. Donnell inquired of the Chair, if it would now 
be in order to move that there he a call of the House. 

The Speaker answered in the negative. 

And the main question, '' Shall the resolution be 
adopted ?" was then taken, and decided in the affirma- 
tive — yeas 98, nays 87 — as follows : 

Yeas — Messrs. Abbott, Ashmun, Belcher, Bingham, Blackmar, 
Blanchard, Butler, Canby, Cathcart, Collainer, Conger, Cranston, 
Crowell, Cummins, Darling, Dickey, Dickinson, Dixon, Daniel Duncan, 
Edwards, Embree, Nathan Evans, Faran, Farrelly, Fisher, Freedley, 
Fries, Giddings, Gott, Greeley, Gregory, Grinnell, Hale, Nathan K. Hall, 
James G, Hampton, Moses Hampton, Henley, Henry, Elias B. Holmes, 
Hubbard, Hudson, Hunt, Joseph R. Ingerscll, Irvin, James H. Johnson, 
Kellogg, Daniel P. King, Lahm, William T. Lawrence, Sidney" Lawrence, 
Leftier, Lord, Lynde, McClelland, Mcllvaine, Job Mann, Horace Mann, 
Marsh, Marvin, Morris, Mullin, Newell. Nicoll, Palfrey, Peaslee, Peck, 
Pettit, Pollock, Putnam, Reynolds, Richey, Robinson, Rockhill, Julius 
Rockwell, J. A. Rockwell, Rose, Root, Rumsey, St. John, Sherrill, Sil- 
vester, Slingerland, Robert Smith, Starkweather, C. E, Stuart, Strohm, 
Tallmadge, James Thompson, William Thompson, Thurston, Tuck, 
Turner, Van Dyke, Vinton, Warren, Wentworth, White and Wilson — 98. 

Nays — Messrs. Adams, Barringer, Beale, Bedinger, Bocock, Botts, 
Bowlin, Boyd, Boydon, Bridges, William G. Brown, Charles Brown, 
Albert G Brown, Buckner, Burt, Chapman, Chase, Franklin Clarke, 
Beverly L. Clarke, Howell Cobb, Williamson R. W. Cobb, Coke, Cris- 
field, Crozier, Daniel, Donnell, Dunn, Alexander Evans, Featherston, 
Ficklin, Flournoy, French, Fulton, Gaines, Gentry, Goggin, Green, Wil- 
lard P. Hall, Hammons, Haralson, Harmanson, Harris, Hill, George S. 
Houston, John W. Houston, Inge, Chai'les J. Ingersoll, Iverson, Jameson, 
Andrew Johnson, G. W. Jones, J. W. Jones, Kennon, Thomas Butler 
King, La Seie, Ligon, Lincoln, Lumpkin, McClernand, McDowell, Mc- 
Lane, Meade, Miller, Morehead, Morse, Outlaw, Pendleton, Peyton, 
Pilsbury, Preston, Sawyer, Shepperd, Simpson, Smart. Stanton, Ste- 
phens, Strong, Thihodeanx, Thomas, R. W. Thompson, Tompkins, 
Toombs, Venable, Wallace, Wiley, Williams, and Woodward — 88. 

So the resolution was adopted. 

The National Ura, which was not inclined to show 
much mercy toward the supporters of Mr. Taylor*s 


Administration, gave the following explanation of cer- 
tain votes cast against the resolution : 

" Men will wonder, twenty-five years hence, how 
eighty-seven men, in an American Congress, could 
stand up before God, and virtually vote for the con- 
tinuance of the trade in human beings in the capital 
of the foremost Republic in the world, 

" We would be just, however. A few members from 
the free States voting nay feared any movement which 
might tend, in their opinion, to embarrass the question 
of slavery extension. These voted in the negative on 
the resolution, not because they were opposed to its 
object, but because they believed this object could be 
better attained, after the settlement of the question of 
slavery in the territories. While dissenting from the 
policy of these gentlemen, this statement from us is a 
simple act of justice to them.'' 


On the 21st of December, Mr. McClelland in the 
House of Representatives offered the subjoined resolu- 
tion : 

'' Resolved, That the present traffic in the public 
lands should cease, and that they should be disposed 
of to occupants and cultivators, on proper conditions, 
at such a price as will nearly indemnify the cost of 
their purchase, management, and sale.'' 

The previous question was called, and a motion was 
made to lay the resolution on the table, which pre- 
vailed. Mr. Lincoln voted against tabling it, because 
he was ready to do anything which should give the 
j)ublic lands to the people, and not to the speculators. 



On the 6tli of January the slave case — that of An- 
tonio Pacheco — was reported to the House, and was 
taken up. It was a claim for the value of a slave who 
was hired by a United States officer ; betook himself 
to the everglades ; fought with the Indians against the 
whites ; was taken in arms as an enemy, and as an 
enemy sent out of the Territory, for the purpose of 
securing the lives of the inhabitants. 

Mr. Giddings, speaking of the case, recommended 

" The Committee on Military Affairs were unable to 
unite in a report upon the case. Five slaveholders, 
representing slave property on this floor, and consti- 
tuting a majority of the committee, have reported a 
bill for the payment of this amount to the claimant. 
Four Northern members, representing freemen only, 
have made a minority report against the bill. This 
report, as I think, is sustained by irrefutable argu- 

^' The majority of the committee assume the position 
that slaves are regarded by the Federal Constitution 
as jyroperty^ and that this government and the people 
of the free States are bound to regard them as prop- 
erty, and to pay for them as we would for so many 
mules or oxen taken into the public service. The 
minority deny this doctrine. They insist that the 
Federal Constitution treats them as persons only, and 
that this government cannot constitutionally involve 
the people of the free States in the guilt of sustaining 
slavery ; that we have no constitutional powers to 
legislate upon the relation of master and slave. 

i'.i i.i V *if 

" In 1772, Lord Mansfield boldly assailed the doc- 


trine laid down in this Hall to-day, and exhibited its 
absurdity in one of the ablest opinions, to be found on 
record. From that period this doctrine of property in 
man has found no supporters under the government of 
England. With all our refinement as a nation ; with 
all our boasted adherence to liberty, on this subject we 
are three quarters of a century behind our mother- 

" When Sir Warren Hastings was on trial in the 
House of Peers, in 1787, Mr. Sheridan, speaking on 
this subject, in his own peculiar and feiwid eloquence, 
declared that ' allegiance to that Power which gives us 
the forms of men, commands us to maintain the rights 
of men ; and never yet was this truth dismissed from 
the human heart — never, in any time, in any age — 
never in any clime where rude man ever had any social 
feelino;s — never was this unextino-uishal)le truth de- 
stroyed from the heart of man, placed as it is in the 
core and centre of it by his Maker, that man ivas not 
made the 'proj^erty of man! This was the language 
of British statesmen sixty-two years since. To-day 
we have before this branch of the American Congress 
the report of a committee avowing that, under this 
federal government, in the middle of the nineteenth 
century, ' man is the 'property of his fellow-mortal! 

" These sentiments of the British statesmen and ju- 
rists inspired the hearts of our Americans patriots in 
1776, when they declared it to be a ^ self-evident 


they framed our Constitution, they declared their ob- 
ject was ' to establish justice^ and to secure to them- 
selves and their 2^osterity the blessings of liberty! 
This subject of holding property in men did not escape 
their attention, nor have they left us ignoiant of their 
views in re2:ard to it. Mr. Madison, the father of the 
Constitution, has left to us a clear and explicit account 
of their intentions. He informs us, that on 

" ' Wednesday, August 22, the Convention jn'oceed- 


eel to consider the report of the Committee of Detail, 
in relation to duties on exports, a capitation tax, and 
a navigation act. The fourth section rejoorted was as 
follows : 

'' ' No tax or dnty shall he laid hy the Legislature 
on articles exjoorted from any State, nor on the migra- 
tion nor importation of such jDersons as the several 
States shall think proper to admit ; nor shall such mi- 
gration nor importation be j^rohibited/ 

" ' Mr. Gerry thought we had nothing to do with 
the conduct of the States as to slavery, hut we ought to 
he careful not to give any sanction' 
" " Our people think with Mr. Gerry, that ' loe have 
nothing to do loith slavery in the States.' We are de- 
termined that we will not be involved in its guilt. 
With Mr. Gerry, we intend ^ to he careful to give it no 
sanction' No, sir ; we will not sanction your slavery 
by ]3aying our money for the bodies of slaves. This is 
the doctrine which we hold, and which we expect to 
maintain ; yet the members of this body are now en- 
gaged in legislating upon the price of human flesh. 
If we pass this bill, we shall give our most solemn 
sanction to that institution which Gerry and his com- 
patriots detested. Will the members from Pennsyl- 
vania, the successors of Franklin and Wilson, lend 
their sanction to slavery, by voting the moneys of the 
People to pay for slaves ? 

" But Mr. Madison tells us that ' Mr. Sherman (of 
Connecticut) was 023posed to any tax on slaves, as 
making the matter worse, hecause it implied they luere 

" I understand that some gentlemen from the North 
admit that slaves ^yq property. Mr. Sherman and the 
framers of the Constitution would do no act by which 
it could be implied that they were property. 

" Mr. Madison also participated in the discussion 
himself ; and, as he informs us, ' declared that he 



pPvOPEKTY IN men/ And the report of tlie Committee 
was so amended as to exclude tliat idea. 

'' In that assemblage of illustrious statesmen, no 
man expressed his dissent from these doctrines of 
GeiTy, of Sherman, and of Madison. These doctrines 
are : 1. That we ' should have nothing to do ivith 
slavery, hut ought to he careful not to give it any sanc- 
tion.' 2. That ' loe shoiUd do no act hy which it can 
he implied that there can he j^'i^operty in men.' 3. 
That ' it would be wrong for us to admit that 

THERE can be PROPERTY IN MEN.' Such WCre the 

views of those who framed the Constitution. They 
intended to express their views in such language as to 
be understood. Will this House stand by them ?" 

'' With great propriety the gentleman from New- 
Hamj^shire inquired, at what time the liability of gov- 
ernment to pay for this slave commenced ? The ques- 
tion has not been answered, nor do I think it can be 
answered. The undertaking was hazardous in the 
highest degree. The troops were all killed but two or 
three, by the enemy, and those were supposed to be 
dead. This man alone escaped unhurt. This danger 
was foreseen, and the master put a price upon the ser- 
vices to compare with the risk. Did this contract bind 
the government to pay for the master's loss, admitting 
the slave to have been p)'>'op>e7'ty ? Was it any part of 
the compact that the government should insure the 
property ? It strikes me that no lawyer would an- 
swer in the affirmative. The law of bailment is surely 
understood by every tyro in the profession. The bailee 
for hire is bound to exercise the same degree of care 
over the property that careful men ordinarily take of 
their own property. If, then, the property be lost, the 
owner sustains such loss. Now, conceding this man to 
be property, the government would not have been lia- 
ble, had he ran away, or been killed by accident, or 
died of sickness. Yet, sir, when property is lost or 


destroyed by the act of God or tlie common enemies of 
the country, no bailee is ever holden responsible — not 
even common carriers, and that is the highest species 
of bailment. Had this officer, acting on his own re- 
sponsibility, agreed to take this negro through the 
country for hire (admitting the man to have been 
jDroperty, and governed by the same rules of law as 
though he had been a mule or an ass), and he had been 
captured by the enemy, no law would have held such 
bailee liable. But, sir, an entirely different rule of law 
prevails where the owner of a chattel lets it to a bailee 
for wages. Had this man been a mule or an ass, and 
the officer had hired him of the owner for wages, to ride 
through that country, or to work in a team, or in any 
other manner, and he had been captured by the enemy, 
the bailee would not have been liable, upon any rule of 
law or of justice ; nor would he have been liable if lost 
in any other manner, except by neglect of the bailee. 

" The gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Burt] 
said he would place this case upon strictly legal 'prin- 
ciples. Sir, I meet the gentleman on that proposition. 
I, too, for the sake of the argument, am willing to 
submit it on principles of law ; and I believe that no 
jurist, or even justice of the peace, would hesitate to 
reject the case on those grounds. AH must admit that 
the liability of the government concerning this man 
ceased when he was captured by the enemy ; up to 
this point the government was not liable. I understood 
the author of this bill [Mr. Burt] to argue, however, 
that we became liable under the contract of bailment. 
That contract was ended^when the man was captured. 
The claimant then failed to perform his part of it. 
The stijDulation on the part of the master was, that 
the negro should pilot the troops from Fort Brooke to 
Fort King, the place of their destination, at the rate 
of twenty-five dollars per month. He was captured 
when only half the distance was accomplished. Here 
the master ceased to perform his compact ; it was be- 


yond his power to do so. The contract then ceased to 
exist ; and from that time forth the claimant had no 
demand on us, either in equity or in law/' 

This is the Antonio Pacheco case, stated at some 
length, for it involved important principles. And here 
w^e call attention to the fact that Mr. Lincoln was nev- 
er found, while in Congress, violating any principle to 
which he gave his adhesion, no matter how great the 
temptation or the emergency. He did at times waive 
the assertion of a principle when he thought it would 
only result in irritation, but he never voted against one 
of those j)i"inciples. 

The case above mentioned, came up in the House 
Nov. 6, 1849 : 

^^ The first business in order being the pending mo- 
tion made by Mr. Giddings for a reconsideration of the 
vote upon the engrossment of the bill to pay the heirs 
of Antonio Pacheco §1,000, as the value of a slave 
transported to the West with the Seminole Indians — 

" Mr. Giddings proceeded to address the House, hav- 
ing first declined to give way for a motion by Mr. 
Kockwell, of Connecticut, that the House should con- 
sider the bill to establish a Board for the settlement of 
private claims. 

" The previous question, having been moved upon 
the motion to reconsider, was then seconded, and the 
main question ordered to be now put. 

'' Mr. Giddings, with a view to save the time of the 
House, withdrew his motion, and the question accord- 
ingly recurred upon the passage of the bill. « 

" Upon this question, Mr. Dickey demanded the 


yeas and nays, which were ordered ; and the question 
being taken — 

" The Speaker announced the vote — yeas 90, nays 89. 

'^ The twelfth rule of the House provided, ' that in all 
cases of election by the House, the Speaker shall vote ; 
in other cases he shall not vote, unless the House be 
equally divided, or unless his vote, if given to the mi- 
nority, will make the division equal ; and in case of 
such equal division, the question shall be lost.^ 

'' The Speaker, proceeding to discharge the duty thus 
imposed upon him, said : 

" ' A case has occurred in which, under the rule of 
the House, it is the duty of the Sj)eaker to vote. The 
Speaker regrets that in this, as in many other cases, he 
has been deprived of the opportunity of listening to the 
full discussion of the question, having heard no speech 
except that which has been made this morning, the de- 
bate having taken place mainly in Committee of the 
Whole on the private calendar. 

^' ' The Speaker also has had little opportunity, if 
any, to turn his attention to the principles or the facts 
involved in this case. He cannot shrink, however, 
from giving his vote. But it is a well-admitted par- 
liamentary principle, laid down in the books, that 
where the Sj^eaker has any doubt in relation to a 
question, his vote shall be given in such a way as not 
finally to conclude it. It shall be given in such a way 
that the consideration of the question may be again 
open to the House, if the House, under any circum- 
stances, shall choose to reconsider it. 

"^The Speaker takes the opportimity to say, that 
he does not concur in full with either of the principles 


wMcli have been maintained on both sides of the House. 
So far as the circumstances of the case have come to 
his knowledge, he doubts exceedingly whether the 
question of pro]3erty in slaves is involved. And it has 
been to him a matter of great doubt, from such part of 
the arguments as he has heard ' 

" At this point of his remarks, the Speaker was in- 
terrupted by the Clerk, who showed him a paper con- 
taining the state of the vote. 

" The Speaker said the Clerk was mistaken in the 
vote. The vote stands — ninety-one in the affirmative, 
eighty-nine in the negative. 

'^ So the bill was declared to be jDassed, Mr. Lin- 
coln voting against the passage. 

" Mr. Burt moved a reconsideration of the vote just 
taken, and that the motion be laid ujDon the table ; 
and also moved, that before the vote be taken, there 
should be a call of the House. 

" Mr. Palfrey appealed to the gentleman from South 
Carolina to allow him the floor a moment, but Mr. 
Burt peremj)torily declined. 

" Mr. Wentworth demanded tlip yeas and nays upon 
the motion for a call of the House, and being ordered 
and taken, the result was, yeas 78, nays 105. So the 
call was refused. 

" Mr. Burt, with a view, as he said, to save the time 
of the House, withdrew his motion for reconsideration. 

" Mr. Cocke renewed the motion, and moved that it 
be laid on the table. 

'^ Mr. Palfrey moved a call of the House, when 

" Mr. Cocke withdrew his motion for reconsidera- 
tion ; and, after some conversation upon points of or- 


cler, tlie whole subject was droj^ped^ and the bill was 
considered passed. 

'' Mr. Wentworth rose (be said) to a privileged ques- 
tion, and said tliat ■ a mistake bad been discovered at 
the Clerk's desk, in the vote upon the passage of the 
bill for the relief of the legal representatives of An- 
tonio Pacheco. He asked that the journal might be 

" The Speaker stated that corrections of the journal 
would be in order on Monday morningj after the read- 
ing of the journal. 

" Mr, Wentworth asked if it would not be in order 
now to make a correction in the vote. 

" The Speaker replied that it would. 

'' On motion of Mr. Stephens, the House adjourned." 

On the following Mondaj^, immediately after the 
reading of the journal, the S]3eaker said : 

^^ The House will remember that the vote on the 
passage of the bill for the relief of the heirs of An- 
tonio Pacheco, was originally made up by the Clerk, 
yeas 90, nays 89; and this record having been handed 
to the Speaker, and by him announced to the House, 
the Speaker proceeded to make some remarks upon the 
bill, preparatory to giving the vote contemplated in 
such cases by the rules of the House. "While in the 
act of explanation, the Speaker was interrupted by the 
Clerk, who stated that, on a more careful count, the 
vote was found to be yeas 91, nays 89. The interven- 
tion of the Speaker was therefore no longer allowable, 
and the bill was declared to have passed the House. 

" The Chair takes the earliest opportunity to state 
to the House, this morning, that, upon a re-examina- 


tion of the yeas and nayS; tlie Clerk lias ascertained 
that an error was' still made in the announcement of 
the vote on Saturday. The vote actually stood, yeas 
89 J nays 89. The correction will now, accordingly, be 
made in the journal ; and a case is immediately pre- 
sented, agreeably to the 12th rule of the House, for 
the interposition of the Speaker's vote. 

" At this stage of the proceedings, the Speaker was 
interrupted by 

'' Mr. Farrelly, who rose and called for a further cor- 
rection of the journal, stating that he voted in the 
negative on Saturday last, and his vote appeared not 
to have been recorded. 

^^ The SjDeaker decided that it was the right of the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania to have his vote recorded, 
if he voted on Saturday last. 

" And the correction was accordingly made. 

^' The vote was then finally announced — yeas 89, 
nays 90. 

" The Sj)eaker stated that he came into the House 
this morning with the full expectation of giving his 
vote upon this bill, and prepared to give his reasons 
for the vote. But, as the question now stood, although 
it might be in his power to vote agreeably to the letter 
of the 12th rule, it was, in his opinion, not within the 
contemplation or intention of the rule that he should 
vote. The rule contemplated that the S2:)eaker should 
be allowed to vote whenever he could make a difference 
in the result — wherever his vote would either pass or 
prevent the passage of the proposition before the 
House. Under present circumstances, the Speaker's 
vote could not in any way affect the decision of the 

. A B R A H A I\I LINCOLN. 57 

House. Tlie bill was already lost by the vote as it 
stood. A vote against tlie bill would only increase the 
majority by which it was defeated ; while a vote in 
favor of the bill would only make a tie, and the bill 
would still be lost. The Speaker, therefore, did not 
consider himself called upon to give any vote on the 

Subsequently the case came up again, on a motion 
to reconsider, and the bill was passed, ayes 98, nays 
92 — Mr, Lincoln voting no. 

Lincoln's amendment to lott's resolution. 

Oil the 16tli of January, the celebrated Lott resolu- 
tion against the slave-trade in the District of Colum- 
bia, was again before the House, a motion to reconsider 
having been entertained previously, and the considera- 
tion of the motion having been postponed to this day. 
It will be remembered that Mr. Lincoln voted to table 
the original resolution, not liking its terms. He now", 
by the courtesy of his colleague, Mr. Wentworth, 
who had the floor, offered the subjoined resolution as a 
substitute for the Lott resolution : 

" Resolved J That the Committee on the District of 
Columbia be instructed to report a bill in substance as 
follows : 

" Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Sencde and House of 
Fiepresentatives of the United States in Congress as- 
sembled, That no person not now within the District of 
Columbia, nor now owned by any person or persons now 
resident within it, nor hereafter born within it, shall 
ever be held in slavery within said District. 

" Sec. 2. That no person now within said District or 



now owned by any person or persons now resident with- 
in tlie same, or hereafter born wdthin it, shall ever be 
held in slavery without the limits of said District. 
F7'ovided, That officers of the government of the 
United States, being citizens of the slaveholding States, 
coming into said District on public business, and re- 
maining only so long as may be reasonably necessary 
for that object, may be attended into and out of said 
District, and while there, by the necessary servants of 
themselves and their families, without their right to 
hold such servants in service being thereby impaired. 

'' Sec. 3. That all children born of slave mothers 
within said District, on or after the first day of January, 
in the year of our Lord 1850, shall be free ; but shall 
be reasonably supported and educated by the respective 
owners of their mothers or by their heirs and represent- 
atives until they respectively arrive at the age of 

years, when they shall be entirely free. And the muni- 
cipal authorities of Washington and Georgetown, within 
their respective jurisdictional limits, are hereby em- 
powered and required to make all suitable and neces- 
sary provisions for enforcing obedience to this section, 
on the part of both masters and apprentices. 

'' Sec. 4. That all persons now within said District, 
lawfully held as slaves, or now ow^ned by any person or 
persons now resident within said District, shall remain 
such at the will of their respective owners, their heirs 
and legal representatives. Provided, That any such 
owner, or his legal representatives, may at any time re- 
ceive from the treasury of the United States the full 
value of his or her slave of the class in this section 
mentioned ; upon which such slave shall be forthwitli 

A B R A H A M L I N C O L N. 59 

and for ever free. A7id provided further , That the 
President of tlie United States, the Secretary of State, 
and the Secretary of the Treasury, shall be a board, 
for determining the value of such slaves as their own- 
ers may desire to emancipate under this section, and 
whose duty it shall be to hold a session for the pur- 
pose, on the first Monday of each calendar month ; to 
receive all applications and on satisfactory evidence in 
each case, that the person presented for valuation is a 
slave, and of the class in this section mentioned, and is 
owned by the applicant, shall value such slave at his or 
her full cash value and give to the applicant an order 
on the treasury for the amount and also to such slave 
a certificate of freedom. 

" Sec. 5. That the munici23al authorities of Washing- 
ton and Georgetown within their respective jurisdic- 
tional limits, are hereby empowered and required to 
provide active and efiicient means to assert and deliver 
up to their owners all fugitive slaves escaping into said 

" Sec. 6. That the election officers within said District 
of Columbia are hereby empowered and required to 
open polls at all the usual places of holding elections 
on the first Monday of April next and receive the vote 
of every free white male citizen above the age of twen- 
ty-one years, having resided within said district for the 
period of one year or more next preceding the time of 
such voting for or against this act, to proceed in taking 
said votes in all respects herein not specified, as at elec- 
tions under the munici]3al laws, and with as little delay 
as possible to transmit correct statements of the votes 
so cast to the President of the United States ; and it 


shall be tlie duty of the President to canvass said votes 
immediately and if a majority of them he found to be 
for this act to forthwith issue his proclamation, giving 
notice of the fact, and this act shall only be in full 
force and effect on and after the day of such j)rocla- 

'' Sec. 7. That involuntary servitude for the punish- 
ment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly 
convicted, shall in nowise be prohibited by this act. 

^' Sec. 8. That for all the purposes of this act the 
jurisdictional limits of Washington are extended to all 
parts of the District of Columbia not now included 
within the present limits of Georgetown." 

This bill shows us the real position of Mr. Lincoln 
on the slavery question, in 1849. He was oj^posed to 
the institution, to its extension into the territories, and 
was in favor of its abolition in the District of Colum- 
bia, but with compensation to the owner. He was for 
reform, but was a cautious, conservative reformer. 

On the 31st of January, Mr. Edwards, of the Com- 
mittee on the District of Columbia, reported a bill to 
prohibit the introduction of slaves into the District of 
Columbia as merchandise, or for sale or hire. After it 
was read twice a motion was made to lay it on the 
table, which motion was lost, Mr. Lincoln again vot- 
ing no. 

On the 21st of February, a test vote was taken in the 
House on a bill to abolish the franking privilege. The 
motion was made to lay the bill on the table. Mr. 
Lincoln voted with the friends of the bill, who saved 
it from immediate defeat. 

The reader will easily discover Mr. Lincoln's position 


in Congress uj)on tlie more important subjects before it 
in tbis record. On tbe slavery question be was always 
true to bis principles^ ever voting against the extension 
of slavery, and on tbe Mexican war occupying tbe 
ground of tbe Wbigs of tbat day ; refusing to justify 
tbe war itself, but voting tbe supplies for it, tbat tbe 
war debt migbt be liquidated. 

He steadily and earnestly opposed tbe annexation of 
Texas, and labored witb all bis powers in bebalf of tbe 
Wilmot Proviso. 


In tbe National Convention of 1848, of wbicb he was 
a member, he advocated the nomination of General 
Taylor, and sustained the nomination by an active can- 
vass in Illinois and Indiana. 

From 1849 to 1854 Mr. Lincoln was engaged assidu- 
ously in the practice of his profession, and being dee23ly 
immersed in business, was beginning to lose bis interest 
in politics, when tbe scheming ambition and grovelling 
selfishness of an unscrupulous aspirant to the Presi- 
dency brought about the repeal of tbe Missouri Com- 
promise. That act of baseness and perfidy aroused 
him, and be prepared for new efi'orts. He threw him- 
self at once into tbe contest that followed, and fought 
tbe battle of freedom on tbe ground of his former con- 
flicts in Illinois with more than bis accustomed energy 
and zeal. Those who recollect the tremendous battle 
fought in Illinois that year, will award to Abraham 
Lincoln fully three fourths of the ability and unweary- 
ing labor which resulted in the mighty victory which 
gave Illinois her first Kepublican Legislature, and 


placed Lyman Trumbull in tlie Senate of the United 

The Chicago Tribune, the editor of which is a per- 
sonal friend of Mr. Lincoln, and from whom we gather 
many of the facts of the early life of the subject of this 
volume, gives the following graphic sketches of the 
Illinois Campaign of 1854 : 

'' The first and greatest debate of that year came off 
between Lincoln and Douglas at Springfield, during the 
progress of the State Fair, in October. We remember 
the event as vividly as though it transpired yesterday, 
and in view of the prominence now given to the chief 
actor in that exciting event, it cannot fail to be in- 
teresting to all. 

^^ The affair came off on the fourth day of October, 
1854. The State Fair had been in progress two days, 
and the capital was full of all manner of men. The 
Nebraska bill had been passed on the prei^ious twenty- 
second of May. Mr. Douglas had returned to Illinois 
to meet an outraged constituency. He had made a 
fragmentary speech in Chicago, the people filling up 
each hiatus in a peculiar and good-humored way. He 
called the people a mob — they called him a rowdy. 
The ^ mob ' had the best of it, both then and at the 
election which succeeded. The notoriety of all these 
events had stirred up the politics of the State from 
bottom to top. Hundreds of politicians had met at 
Springfield, expecting a tournament of an unusual 
character — Douglas, Breese, Koerner, Lincoln, Trum- 
bull, Matte*on, Yates, Codding, John Calhoun (of the 
order of the candle-box), John M. Palmer, the whole 
house of the McConnells, Singleton (known to fame 


in the Mormon war), Thomas L. Harris, and a host of 
others. Several speeches were made before, and several 
after, the passage between Lincoln and Douglas, but 
that was justly held to be the event of the season. 

" We do not remember whether a challenge to de- 
bate passed between the friends of the speakers or not, 
but there was a perfectly amicable understanding be- 
tween Lincoln and Douglas, that the former should 
speak two or three hours, and the latter reply in just 
as little or as much time as he chose. Mr. Lincoln 
took the stand at two o'clock — a large crowd in atten- 
dance, and Mr. Douglas seated on a small platform in 
front of the desk. The first half-hour of Mr. Lincoln's 
speech was taken up with compliments to his distin- 
guished friend Judge Douglas, and dry allusions to the 
political events of the past few years. His distin- 
guished friend. Judge Douglas, had taken his seat, as 
solemn as the Cock-Lane ghost, evidently with the de- 
sign of not moving a muscle till it came his turn to 
speak. The laughter provoked by Lincoln's exordium, 
however, soon began to make him uneasy ; and when 
Mr. L. arrived at his (Douglas') speech, pronouncing 
the Missouri Com]3romise ' a sacred thing, which no 
ruthless hand would ever be reckless enough to disturb,' 
he opened his lips far enough to remark, ^ A first-rate 
speech!' This was the beginning of an amusing col- 

" ' Yes,' continued Mr. Lincoln, ' so affectionate was 
my friend's regard for this compromise line, that when 
Texas was admitted into the Union, and it was found 
that a strip extended north of 36° 30' he actually in- 


troduced a bill extending the line and protiibiting sla- 
very in the northern edge of the new State/ 

" ' And you voted against the bill/ said Douglas. 

" ' Precisely so/ replied Lincoln; ' I was in favor of 
running the line a great deal farther South.' 

'^ ' About this time/ the speaker continued, ' my 
distinguished friend introduced me to a particular 
friend of his, one David Wilmot of Pennsylvania/ 

'' ' I thought/ said Douglas, ' you would find him 
congenial company.' 

" ' So I did/ rej)lied Lincoln. ^ I had the pleasure of 
voting for his Proviso, in one way and another about 
forty times. It was a Democratic measure then, I be- 
lieve. At any rate. General Cass scolded Honest 
John Davis, of Massachusetts, soundly, for taking 
away the last hours of the session so that he (Cass) 
couldn't crowd it through. Apropos of Greneral Cass : 
if I am not greatly mistaken, he has a prior claim to 
my distinguished friend, to the authorship of Popular 
Sovereignty. The old general has an infirmity for 
writing letters. Shortly after the scolding he gave 
John Davis, he wrote his Nicholson letter — ' 

'' Douglas (solemnly) — ' God Almighty placed man 
on the earth, and told him to choose between good and 
evil. That was the origin of the Nebraska bill !' 

'' Lincoln — -' Well, the priority of invention being 
settled, let us award all credit to Judge Douglas for 
being the first to discover it.' 

" It would be impossible, in these limits, to give an 
idea of the strength of Mr. Lincoln's argument. We 
deemed it by far the ablest effort of the campaign— from 


whatever source. The occasion was a great one, and 
the speaker was every way equal to it. The effect pro- 
duced on the listeners was magnetic. ^ No one who wag 
present will ever forget the power and vehemence of 
the following passage : 

" ' My distinguished friend says it is an insult to the 
emigrants to Kansas and Nebraska to suppose they 
are not able to govern themselves. We must not slur 
over an argument of this kind because it happens to 
tickle the ear. It must be met and answered. I ad- 
mit th-at the emigrant to Kansas and Nebraska is com- 
petent to govern himself, but/ the speaker rising to his 
full height, ^ I deny his right to govern any other person 
WITHOUT THAT pekson's CONSENT.' The applause 
which followed this triumphant refutation of a cunning 
falsehood, was but an earnest of the victory at the 
polls which followed just one month from that day. 

^' When Mr. Lincoln had concluded, Mr. Douglas 
strode hastily to the stand. As usual, he employed 
ten minutes in telling how grossly he had been abused. 
Kecollecting himself, he added, ' though in a perfectly 
courteous manner '—abused in a perfectly courteous 
manner! He then devoted half an hour to showins: 
that it was indispensably necessary to California emi- 
grants, Sante Fe traders and others,, to have organic 
acts provided for the territories of Kansas and Ne- 
braska — that being precisely the point which nobody 
disputed. Having established this premiss to his satis- 
faction, Mr. Douglas launched forth into an argument 
wholly apart from the positions taken by Mr. Lincoln. 
He had about half finished at six o'clock, when an ad- 
journment to tea was effected. The speaker insisted 



strenuously ujDon his right to resume in the evening 
but we believe the second part of that sj^eech has not 
been delivered to this day. After the Springfield pas- 
sage, the two speakers went to Peoria, and tried it 
again, with identically the same results. A friend, 
who listened to the Peoria debate, informed us that 
after Lincoln had finished, Douglas ' hadn't much to 
say ' — which we presume to have been Mr. Douglas' 
view of the case also, for the reason that he ran away 
from his antagonist and kept out of the way during 
the remainder of the campaign. 

" During this exciting campaign Mr. Lincoln pressed 
the slavery issue U23on the j^eople of Central and South- 
ern Illinois, who were largely made up of the emigra- 
tion from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North 
Carolina, with all the j^owers of his mind. He felt the 
force of the moral causes that must influence the ques- 
tion, and he never failed to appeal to the moral senti- 
ment of the people in aid of the argument drawn from 
political sources, and to illuminate his theme with the 
lofty inspirations of an eloquence, pleading for the 
rights of humanity. A revolution swept the State. 
For the first time a majority of the Legislature of Illi- 
nois was opposed to the Democratic administration of 
the federal government. A United States Senator 
was to be elected in place of General Shields who had 
yielded to the influence of his less scmpulous colleague, 
and, against his own better judgment, had voted for the 
Kansas-Nebraska act. The election came on, and a 
number of ballots were taken, the almost united oppo- 
sition voting steadily for Lincoln, but the anti-Nebras- 
ka Democrats for Trumbull. Mr. Lincoln became ap- 


preliensive that those men who had been elected as 
Democrats^ though opposed to Judge Douglas, would 
turn upon some thhxl candidate, of less decided convic- 
tions than Judge Trumbull, and possibly elect a Sena- 
tor who had little or nothing in common with the then 
inchoate Eepublican party. To prevent such a con- 
summation, he went personally to his friends, and by 
strong persuasion, induced them to vote for Trumbull. 

" He thus secured, by an act of generous self-sacri- 
fice, a triumph for the cause of right, and an advocate 
of it on the floor of the Senate, not inferior, in earnest 
zeal for the principles of Eepublicanism, to any mem- 
ber of that body. 

'^ Some of his friends on the floor of the Legislature 
wept like children when constrained by Mr. Lincoln's 
personal appeals to desert him and unite on Trumbull. 
It is proper to say in this connection, that between 
Trumbull and Lincoln the most cordial relations have 
always existed, and that the feeling of envy or rivalry 
is not to be found in the breast of either.'' 

At the Peoria debate alluded to above, the arrange- 
ment was that Douglas should speak as long as he 
pleased, then that Lincoln should do the same, and that 
Douglas should have an hour to close. Douglas com- 
menced at 2 o'clock and spoke till six, wearing away 
the time in a tedious speech, hoping that the farmers, 
who had come in from the country, would not stay to 
hea,r Mr. Lincoln's reply. As soon as Douglas had 
concluded his speech, the vast crowd who had patiently 
listened to him divided, the Democrats at once leaving 
in great numbers for the country, while the Whigs and 
Free-Soilers remained and loudly called for Lincoln. 


Mr. L.J nothing vexed by the consumption by Douglas 
of the whole afternoon, when no one expected that he 
would occujDy more than an hour and a half or two 
hours, proposed that the crowd adjourn for tea, which 
they very reluctantly did. After half an hour the crowd 
again assembled, and Mr. Lincoln took the stand, and 
for three hours continued to entrance his hearers by ir- 
resistible logic and strains of eloquence never before ex- 
celled in any of his public efforts. The whole territo- 
rial history of the country was reviewed, and the Kan- 
sas-Nebraska bill, then recently passed, was dissected 
in a manner such as has never been surpassed in the 
halls of Cono-ress. Never since, in all the discus- 
sions, innumerable and interminable, of that subject in 
the intervening six years, have the inconsistencies of 
Judge Douglas been shown up as they were then, but 
all in the utmost good nature. Since then Douglas has 
invented new subterfuges, but before that audience, all 
his political tricks and dodges in connection with that 
bill were thoroughly exposed. 

About half-past nine, Douglas rose to take his hour. 
It was evident he had no heart for the undertaking. 
He beat a most handsome retreat. He complained of 
his voice, which he said would not j)ermit of his oc- 
cupying his hour ; he complimented the city of Peoria 
— the intellifrence of its citizens, and the natural beaut 
of its location, which, of course, brought down cheers 
for him ; he complimented Lincoln ; he spoke of the 
fact that in the cemetery adjacent to the city rested 
the remains of the lamented Governor Ford — in short, 
he devoted a quarter of an hour to putting the au- 
dience in good humor with him, and then, without at- 


tempting a reply to his antagonist's crushing argu- 
ments, bid his audience good night. 

Mr. Lincoln exj)ected to meet Mr. Douglas next at 
Lacon, or Henry, north of Peoria, on the Illinois 
river ; hut the " Little Giant"' had had enough of 
" Old Abe" that year, and did not give the latter an- 
other opportunity of meeting him during the season. 

Mr. Lincoln was offered the nomination for Gover- 
nor by the Anti-Nebraska (the future Republican) 
party in 1854 ; but he told his friends, ^' No — I am 
not the man ; Bissell will make a better Governor 
than I, and you can elect him on account of his Demo- 
cratic antecedents." So, giving to Bissell the flag it 
was universally desired that he should bear, he himself 
took the sword, and hewed a way for the triumph of 
that year. 


P A E T T H I E D . 


In tlie Slimmer of 1858, the great Senatorial contest 
of Illinois took place between Mr. Douglas on the one 
hand, and Mr. Lincoln on the other. The rebellion of 
Mr. Douglas in the U. S. Senate against the adminis- 
tration — his refusal to assist in the perpetration of the 
Lecompton fraud, insured him the enmity of the ad- 
ministration ; but in spite of this, his j^osition gave 
him immense strength both in and outside of Illinois. 
Prominent Eepublicans in other States were disposed 
to see him returned to the Senate as a rebuke to the 
administration, vainly hoping that Mr. D. would aban- 
don the Democratic party. Mr. Crittenden wrote a 
letter advising the Americans or old Whigs of Illinois 
to vote for Douglas, and in consequence of this outside 
pressure there can be no doubt that Mr. Douglas was 
stronger by ten thousand votes as a rebel., than he 
would have been as an administration favorite. 

All who know anything at all of Mr. Douglas are 
aware that as a political debater, either on the stump 
or on the Senate floor, he has no superior, if he has an 
equal, in the country. It was, then, no light matter 
to contest the State of Illinois with such a man as Mr. 
Douglas, and especially under the circumstances, when 
the masses of the people sympathized with Mr. D. in 
his quarrel with the administration. 


A Eepublican State Convention met at Springfield, 
Illinois, June 2, 1858, and put Mr. Lincoln in nomina- 
tion as the Republican candidate for United States 
Senator. The Convention also adopted the subjoined 
platform : 


'' We, the Eepublicans of Illinois, in Convention 
assembled, in addition to our previous affirmations, 
make the following declaration of our principles : 

"1. We reaffirm our devotion to the Constitution of 
the country, and to the union of the States, and will 
steadily resist all attempts for the perversion of the one 
and the disruption of the other. We recognize the 
equal rights of all the States, and avow our readiness 
and willingness to maintain them ; and disclaim all 
intention of attempting, either directly or indirectly, 
to assail or abridge the rights of any of the members of 
the confederacy guaranteed by the Constitution, or in 
any manner to interfere with the institution of slavery 
in the States where it exists. Nevertheless, we hold 
that the government was instituted for freemen, and 
that it can be perpetuated, and made to fulfil the pur- 
poses of its organization only by devoting itself to the 
promotion of virtue and intelligence among its citizens, 
and the advancement of their prosperity and happiness ; 
and to these ends, we hold it to be the duty of the gov- 
ernment so to reform the system of disposing of the 
public lands as to secure the soil to actual settlers, and 
wrest it from the grasp of men who speculate in the 
homes of the people, and from corporations that lock 
it up in dead hands for enhanced j^rofits. 

^'2. Free labor being the only true support of repub- 
lican institutions, our government should maintain its 
rights ; and we therefore demand the improvement of 
our harbors and rivers which freight the commerce of 
the West to a market, and the construction of a central 


highway, to connect our trade with the Pacific States, 
as rightful encouragement to home industry ; and, in- 
asmuch as we now compete in the markets of the whole 
country against the products of unpaid labor, at depre- 
ciating prices, it is therefore eminently unjust that the 
National Administration should attempt, by coercion, 
to extend a servile system in the territories, or, by pa- 
tronage, to joerpetuate slavery in the States. 

'^ 3. The present administration has proved recreant 
to the trusts committed to its hands, and by its extra- 
ordinary, corrupt, unjust, and undignified, exertions, 
to give effect to the original intention and purpose of 
the Kansas-Nebraska bill, by forcing upon the people 
of Kansas, against their will, and in defiance of their 
known and earnestly-expressed wishes, a constitution 
recognizing slavery as one of their domestic institutions, 
it has forfeited all claim to the support of the friends 
of free men, free labor, and equal rights. 

"4. It is the duty of the government faithfully and 
diligently to execute all our treaty stipulations, and to 
enforce all our laws for the suppression of the slave- 

^' 5. While we deprecate all interference on the 
part of political organizations with the action of the 
Judiciary, if such action is limited to its appropriate 
sphere, yet we cannot refrain from expressing our con- 
demnation of the principles and tendencies of the extra 
judicial opinions of a majority of the Judges of the 
Supreme Court of the United States, in the matter of 
Dred Scott, wherein the political heresy is put forth, 
that the Federal Constitution extends slavery into all 
the territories of the Republic, and so maintains it that 
neither Congress nor people, through their territorial 
legislature, can by law abolish it. We hold that Con- 
gress possesses sovereign power over the territories 
while they remain in a territorial condition ; and that 
it is the duty of the general government to protect the 
territories from the curse of slavery, and to preserve 


the public domain for the occupation of free men and 
free labor. And we declare that no power on earth can 
carry and maintain slavery in the States against the 
will of the people and the provisions of their constitu- 
tions and laws ; and we fully endorse the recent decis- 
ion of the Supreme Court of our own State, which 
declares, '^ that property in persons is repugnant to the 
constitution and laws of Illinois, and that all persons 
within its jurisdiction are supposed to be free ; and 
that slavery, where it exists, is a municipal regulation, 
without any extra-territorial 023eration. 

'' 6. The 23olicy of this government should be, to live 
on terms of peace and amity with all the nations of the 
earth, so far as it can be done consistently with our 
national honor and interest, and to enter into entang- 
ling alliances with none. Our intercourse with other 
nations should be conducted upon principles of exact 
and exalted justice ; and while firmly maintaining our 
own rights, we should carefully avoid any invasion of 
the rights of others, and especially those of weaker na- 
tions. Our commerce ought to be protected from wan- 
ton interruption, and our commercial marine from 
invasion and search ; and while we would deplore the 
necessity of war with any of the nations of the earth, 
we will still firml)^, zealously, and patriotically, sustain 
the government in any just measures which it may so 
adopt, to obtain redress for indignities which may here- 
tofore have been inflicted upon our citizens navigating 
the seas, or which may be necessary to secure them 
against a repetition of like injuries in the future. 

" 7. We view, with regret and alarm, the rapidly- 
increasing expenditures of the general government, 
which now, in a state of profound peace, threaten the 
country with national bankruptcy ; and we pledge our- 
selves, so far as we speak for the Kepublicans of Illinois, 
to a thorough and radical reform in the administration 
of the government finances, in the event that the Repub- 
licans are intrusted with the care of national affairs." 


Mr. Lincoln delivered an able speech to the Conven- 
tion, "which might he said to open the campaign. 

On the 24th of July, Mr. Lincoln initiated the cor- 
respondence which foUow^s, by sending the letter which 
is the first of the series : 

3Ir. Lincoln to Mr. Douglas. 

Chicago, III., July 24, 1858. 
Hon. S. A. Douglas : 

3Iy Bear Sir — Will it be agreeable to you to make 
an arrangement for you and myself to divide time, and 
address the same audiences the present canvass ? Mr. 
Judd, who will hand you this, is authorized to receive 
your answer ; and, if agreeable to you, to enter into 
the terms of such arrangement. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Mr. Douglas to Mr. Lincoln. 

Chicago, Juhj 24, 1858. 
Hon. A. Lincoln : 

Dear Sir — Your note of this date, in which you in- 
quire if it would be agreeable to me to make an 
arrangement to divide the time and address the same 
audiences during the present canvass, was handed me 
by Mr. Judd. Eecent events have interj^osed difficul- 
ties in the w^ay of such an arrangement . 

I w^ent to Springfield last week for the purpose of 
conferring with the Democratic State Central Com- 
mittee upon the mode of conducting the canvass, and 
with them, and under their advice, made a list of ap- 
pomtmcnts covering the entire period until late in Oc- 
tober. The people of the several localities have been 
notified of the times and places of the meetings. These 


appointments liave all been made for Democratic meet- 
ings, and arrangements have been made by wbich the 
Democratic candidates for Congress, for the Legisla- 
ture, and other offices, will be present and address the 
people. It is evident, therefore, that these various 
candidates, in connection with myself, will occupy the 
whole time of the day and evening, and leave no oj)por- 
tunity for other speeches. 

Besides, there is another consideration which should 
be kept in mind. It has been suggested, recently, that 
an arrangement had been made to bring out a third 
candidate for the United States Senate, who, with 
yourself, should canvass the State in opposition to me, 
with no other purpose than to insure my defeat, by di- 
viding the Democratic party for your benefit. If I 
should make this arrangement with you, it is more 
than probable that this other candidate, who has a 
common object with you, would desire to become a 
party to it, and claim the right to speak from the same 
stand ; so that he and you, in concert, might be able 
to take the opening and closing speech in every case. 

I cannot refrain from expressing my surprise, if it 
was your original intention to invite such an arrange- 
ment, that you should have waited until after I had 
made my appointments, inasmuch as we were both here 
in Chicago together for several days after my arrival, 
and again at Bloomington, Atlanta, Lincoln, and 
Springfield, where it was well known I went for the 
purpose of consulting with the State Central Com- 
mittee, and agreeing upon the plan of the campaign. 

While, under these circumstances, I do not feel at 
liberty to make any arrangements which would deprive 
the Democratic candidates for Congress, State officers, 
and the Legislature, from participating in the discus- 
sion at the various meetings designated by the Demo- 
cratic State Central Committee, I will, in order to ac- 
commodate you, as far as it is in my power to do so, 
take the responsibility of making an arrangement with 


you for a discussion between us at one prominent point 
in each Congressional District in the State, except the 
second and sixth districts, where we have both spoken, 
and in each of which cases you had the concluding 
speech. If agreeable to you, 1 will indicate the fol- 
lowing j^laces as those most suitable in the several Con- 
gressional Districts, at which we should speak, to wit : 
Freeport, Ottawa, Galesburgh, Quincy, Alton, Jones- 
boro', and Charleston. I will confer with you at the 
earliest convenient opportunity in regard to the mode 
of conducting the debate, the times of meeting at the 
several places, subject to the condition, that where ap- 
pointments have already been made by the Democratic 
State Central Committee at any of those places, I must 
insist upon your meeting me at the time specified. 
Very respectfully. 

Your most obedient servant, 
S. A. Douglas. 

Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Douglas. 

Spkingfield, July 29, 1858. 
Hon. S. A. Douglas: 

Dear Sir — Yours of the 24th, in relation to an 
arrangement to divide time, and address the same au- 
diences, is received ; and, in apology for not sooner re- 
plying, allow me to say, that when I sat by you at 
dinner yesterday, I was not aware that you had an- 
swered my note, nor, certainly, that my own note had 
been presented to you. An hour after, I saw a copy of 
your answer in the Chicago Times, and, reaching home, 
I found the original awaiting me. Protesting that 
your insinuations of attempted unfairness on my j^art 
are unjust, and with the hope that you did not very 
considerately make them, I proceed to reply. To your 
statement that " It has been suggested, recently, that an 
arrangement had been made to bring out a third candi- 
date for the U. S. Senate, who, with yourself, should 


canvass tlie State in opposition to me/' etc., I can only 
say, that such suggestion must have been made by 
yourself, for certainly none such has heen made by or 
to me, or otherwise, to my knowledge. Surely you did 
not deliberately conclude, as you insinuate, that I was 
expecting to draw you into an arrangement of terms, 
to be agreed on by yourself, by which a third candidate 
and myself, " in concert, might be able to take the oj^en- 
ing and closing speech in every case." 

As to your surprise that I did not sooner make the 
proposal to divide time with you, I can only say, I made 
it as soon as I resolved to make it. I did not know but 
that such proposal would come from you .; I waited, 
respectfully, to see. It may have been well known to 
you that you went to Springfield for the purpose of 
agreeing on the plan of campaign ; but it was not so 
known to me. When your appointments were an- 
nounced in the papers, extending only to the 21st of 
August, I, for the first time, considered it certain that 
you would make no proposal to me, and then resolved 
that, if my friends concurred, I would make one to 
you. As soon thereafter as I could see and consult 
with friends satisfactorily, I did make the proposal. It 
did not occur to me that the proposed arrangement 
could derange your plans after the latest of your ap- 
pointments already made. After that, there was, before 
the election, largely over two months of clear time. 

For you to say that we have already spoken at Chi- 
cago and Springfield, and that on both occasions I had 
the concluding speech, is hardly a fair statement. The 
truth rather is this : At Chicago, July 9th, you made 
a carefully-prepared conclusion on my speech of June 
16th. Twenty-four hours after, I made a hasty conclu- 
sion on yours of the 9th. You had six days to pre- 
l^are, and concluded on me again at Bloomingtoh on 
the 16th. Twenty-four hours after I concluded again 
on you at Springfield. In the meantime, you had 
made another conclusion on me at Springfield, which I 


did not hear, and of tlie contents of wliicli I knew 
nothing when I spoke ; so that your speech made in 
daylight, and mine at night, on the 17th, at Spring- 
field, were both made in' perfect independence of each 
other. The dates of making all these speeches will 
show, I think, that in the matter of time for prepara- 
tion, the advantage has been all on your side ; and that 
none of the external circumstances has stood to my 

I agree to an arrangement for us to speak at the 
seven places you have named, and at your own times, 
provided you name the times at once, so that I, as well 
as you, can have to myself the time not covered by the 
arrangement. As to the other details, I wish perfect 
reciprocity, and no more. I wish as much time as 
you, and that conclusions shall alternate. That is all. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

P. S. As matters now stand, I shall be at no more 
of your exclusive meetings ; and for about a week from 
to-day a letter from you will reach me at Springfield. 

A. L. 

Mr. Douglas to Mr. Lincoln. 

Bement, Piatt Co., III., July 30, 1858. 

Dear Sir — Your letter, dated yesterday, accepting 
my proposition for a joint discussion at one prominent 
point in each Congressional District, as stated in my 
previous letter, was received this morning. 

The times and places designated are as follows : 

Ottawa, La Salle .county August 21st, 1858. 

Freeport, Stephenson county " 27th, '' 

Jonesboro, Union county September loth, " 

Charleston, Coles county '^ 18th, " 

Galesburgh, Knox county October 7th, '• 

Quincy, Adams county " 13th, " 

Alton, Madison county " 15th, " 


I agree to your suggestion that we shall alternately 
open and close the discussion. I will speak at Ottawa 
one hour, you can reply, occupying an hour and a half, 
and I will then follow for half an hour. At Freeport, 
you shall open the discussion and speak one hour, I 
will follow for an hour and a half, and you can then 
reply for half an hour. We will alternate in like man- 
ner at each successive place. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

S. A. Douglas. 

Hon. A. Lincoln, Springfield, 111. 

[3Ir. Lincoln to Mr. Douglas.] 

Springfield, July 31, 1858. 
Hon. S. A. Douglas : Dear Sir — Yours of yester- 
day, naming places, times, and terms, for joint discus- 
sions between us, was received this morning. Although, 
by the terms, as you propose, you take four openings 
and closes, to my three, I accede, and thus close the 
arrangement. I direct this to you at Hillsboro, and 
shall try to have both your letter and this appear in 
the Journal and Register of Monday morning. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Of the joint debates which followed this correspond- 
ence the press of the entire country has spoken, and it 
is the highest praise of Mr. Lincoln to say, as the press 
everywhere said, that he held his ground in every en- 
counter with Mr. Douglas, as a debater and as an 
orator. He had truth on his side to be sure, which is 
always a great advantage, but neither in repartee nor in 
argument did Mr. Douglas for once confuse or confute 
his opponent. An Illinois corespondent of a Boston 
journal, said to be the President of an Illinois College, 


wrote, after witnessing the joint debate at Galesburglij 
as follows : 

" The men are entirely dissimilar. Mr. Douglas is a 
thick-set, finely-built, courageous man, and has an air 
of self-confidence that* does not a little to inspire his 
supporters with hope. Mr. Lincoln is a tall, lank man, 
awkward, ajiparently difiident, and when not speaking 
has neither firmness in his countenance nor fire in his 

eye. -'^ " . . " . ? 

" Mr. Lincoln has a rich, silvery voice, enunciates 
with great distinctness, and has a fine command of 
language. He commenced by a review of the j^oints 
Mr. Douglas had made. In this he showed great tact, 
and his retorts, though gentlemanly, were sharp, ancl 
reached to the core the subject in dispute. While he 
gave but little time to the work of review, we did not 
feel that anything was omitted which deserved atten- 

" He then proceeded to defend the Kepublican party. 
Here he charged Mr. Douglas with doing nothing for 
freedom ; with disregarding the rights and interests of 
the colored man- ; and for about forty minutes he spoke 
wdth a power that we have seldom heard equalled. 
There was a grandeur in his thoughts, a comprehen- 
siveness in his arguments, and a binding force in his 
conclusions, which were perfectly irresistible. The 
vast throng were silent as death ; every eye w^as fixed 
upon the speaker, and all gave him serious attention. 
He was the tall man eloquent ; his countenance glowed 
with animation, and his eye glistened with an intelli- 
gence that made it lustrous. He was no longer 
aw^kward and ungainly ; but graceful, bold, command- 

''Mr. Douglas had been -quietly smoking up to this 
time ; but here he forgot liis cigar and listened with 
anxious attention. When he rose to reply he appeared 
excited, disturbed, and his second effort seemed to us 
vastly inferior to his first. Mr. Lincoln had given him 


a great task, and Mr. Douglas had not time to answer 
him, even if he had the ability/' 


Mr. Lincoln, on the evening before the Freeport 
debate, upon informing a few of his friends of the 
queries he was going to put to Mr. Douglas (including 
that, in reference to the power of the territorial legisla- 
ture, notwithstanding the Dred Scott decision, to ex- 
clude slavery), was told by his friends that if he cornered 
Douglas on that question, the latter would surely 
" take the bull by the horns,'' and, making a virtue of 
necessity, assert his Squatter Sovereignty in defiance 
of the Dred Scott decision ; " and that," remarked Mr. 
L.'s friends, "will make him Senator." "That may 
be," said Lincoln, and his large gray eye twinkled ; 
" but if he takes that shoot, he never can he President." 
All that has transpired since has but justified Mr. L.'s 
prediction. The Kepubhcans, after the Supreme Court 
had made their decision, and Douglas had unreservedly 
endorsed it, saw the advantage they had over the 
Democrats in the canvass, for they could quote Dred 
Scott as a knock-down argument against Popular 
Sovereignty. Mr. Douglas, too, saw this, and said 
very little in his first speeches about popular sover-. 
eignty, but assumed the ofiensive, and attacked the 
Eepublican party, charging it with negro equality, &c. 
If he could have got through with that canvass with- 
out expressing his opinion as to the power of a territo- 
rial legislature over the subject of slavery — which 
opinion he had sedulously avoided expressing during 

all the Lecompton controversy in the Senate — he un- 



doubtedly could now have been able to reconcile all 
other differences of opinion between himself and the 
Southern Democracy. But Mr. Lincoln's logical mind 
was more eager to j^robe this gigantic sophistry, with 
which the American pubhc were being cheated, than to 
be Senator. So^ while Douglas was making ad cajytan- 
dum appeals to the prejudices of the people, Lincoln 
was weaving around him, slowly but surely, the web in 
which, at Freeport, he became entangled, and from 
which he has ever since been vainly endeavoring to ex- 
tricate himself. 

Of this great contest the Philadelphia North Amer- 
ican, always conservative and cautious, remarks : 

'' Stephen A. Douglas had ten times his education. 
Mr. Lincoln was mostly engaged in his profession, mas- 
tered amidst great discouragements, but practised with 
eminent success. He had some experience, however, 
as a general politician, besides serving for a while in 
the Illinois Legislature, and for two years in Congress. 
Mr. Douglas, on the other hand, a man of great native 
force, and possessing ten times the scholastic training 
of his rival, had been for full fifteen years in the very 
heart of national politics. Indeed, he is the strongest 
among the representatives of democracy imder its 
northern ]Dhase, and we doubt if Toombs, Stephens, 
Benjamin, or Davis, bright luminaries of its southern 
hemisphere, can rank at all before him. 

'' With all these difierences in political and other 
education, in a State that has been democratic ever 
since its admission into the ^ happy family/ and in op- 
position to a popular dogma, Lincoln stumped Illinois 
against Douglas, and carried it. The speeches on both 
sides were many and able. 

" Lincoln was, on several occasions, partly foiled or, 
at least, badly bothered. In most cases it seemed to 


be, so far as regarded strength and skill, a drawn bat- 
tle. In more than one instance be floored the ' little 
giant ' flatly and fairly. We consider it, on the whole, 
an equal fight. Lincoln showed as much knowledge, 
and as much logic, wdth more wit, good humor, and 
courtesy. Douglas, while more rough and overbearing, 
was also much superior in a certain force, directness 
and determination. But it was about an equal match 
in ability. As for the result, Douglas carried the legis- 
lature, and Lincoln took the pojDular vote, as he can 
do again. Such is the man whom democracy wdll now 
endeavor to decry — the man who matched, and fully 
matched, their foremost champion. Both of them are 
self-made men ; both of them are very able ; both 
sprang from obscurity to distinction ; both belong to 
the common people ; and b(7fcli will be found to be 
strono; wdth the masses. We would advise democracv, 
not for its own sake, but for ours, to go on ridiculing 
Abraham Lincoln for having once mauled logs, and de- 
scribing him as a third-rate man. These little pop- 
guns will soon be silenced by the roar of the popular 

Mr. Greeley says : 

" I tell you, the man who stumps a State with Ste- 
phen A. Douglas, and meets him, day after day, before 
the people, has got to be no fool. Many a man will 
make a better first speech than Douglas, but, giving 
and taking, back and forward, he is very sharp. Now, 
the man who went through the State, speaking against 
Stephen A. Douglas, and was not beaten, as no man 
says he -was, is not a common man ; for no common 
man will answer for that work ; and at the end of that 
cumpaign Mr. Lincoln came out with 4,000 majority 
on the popular vote, although Mr. Buchanan had beaten 
Fremont 9,000, and the general feeling outside of the 
State was that Douglas had better l)e elected. Mr. 
Crittenden w^rote a letter which elected Douglas ; he 


said tliat it was better tliat Douglas should be elected, 
and there were 30,000 Americans there ; I don't be- 
lieve we have got another man living who would have 
fought through that campaign so effectively and at th(j 
same time so good-naturedly as he did. Mr. Trumbull 
would have begun a little ranker, but one or the other 
w^ould soon have been knocked off the platform. Mr. 
Lincoln w^nt through with perfect good nature and en- 
tire suavity, and beat Stephen A. Douglas, it being 
the first time any man on our side ever carried that 

In a recent debate in the Senate of the United 
States, Senator Benjamin, one of the ablest men in the 
Senate and the finest orator, took up the debates be- 
tween Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lincoln for examination, 
and though the vehement enemy of Repubhcans and 
Republicanism, he complimented Mr. Lincoln very 
highly. Said Mr. Benjamin : 

" Here, Mr. President, let me come back to an ex- 
planation of that fact which I spoke of before, and to 
which I asked the attention of the Senate and the 
country. There stands the explanation of the sudden 
change that has been wi^ought in the relations of the 
Senator from Illinois with the rest of the Democratic 
party. It was when, in the year 1858, the year follow- 
ing this decision, pressed by a canvass at home, eager 
to return to the Senatfe, he joined in canvassing the 
State of Illinois with the gentleman wdio is now the 
candidate of the Black Republican party for the Pres- 
idency. Pressed in different portions of the State 
with this very argument, that he had agreed to leave 
the question to the court, that the court had decided it 
in favor of the South, and that, therefore, under the 
Kansas-Nebraska bill, slavery was fixed in all the ter- 
ritories of the United States — finding himself going 
down in Illinois, in that canvass, he backed out from 



his promise, and directly told the people of his State 
that, whether it had been decided or not, and no mat- 
ter what the court might decide, the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill had fixed the power in the people of the North to 
make every territory in the Union free. 

^' In that contest the two candidates for the Senate 
of the United States, in the State of Illinois, went be- 
fore their people. They agreed to discuss the issues ; 
they put questions to each other for answer ; and I must 
say here, for I must be just to all, that I have been sur- 
prised in the examination that I made again within the 
last few days of this discussion between Mr. Lincoln and 
Mr. Douglas, to find that Mr. Lincoln is a far more con- 
servative man, unless he has since changed his opinions, 
than I had supposed him to be. There was no dodging 
on his part. Mr. Douglas started with his questions. 
Here they are, with Mr. Lincoln's answers : 

" Question 1. ' I desire to know whether Lincoln to- 
day stands, as he did in 1854, in favor of the uncondi- 
tional repeal of the fugitive slave law ?' 

^' Ansiver. 'I do not now, nor ever did, stand in 
favor of the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave 

^ '^ Question 2. 'I desire him to answer whether he 
stands pledged to-day, as he did in 1854, against the 
admission of any more slave States into the Union, 
even if the people want them ?^ 

'^ Ajisioer. ' I do not now, nor ever did, stand pledg- 
ed against the admission of any more slave States into 
the Union.' 

"^ Question 3. ^ I want to know wliether he stands 
pledged against the admission of a new State into the 
Union with such a constitution fis the people of that 
State may see fit to make ?' 

" Ansioer. '• I do not stand pledged against the 
admission of a new State into the Union with such a 
constitution as the people of that State may see fit to 
make .?' 


" Question 4. ' I want to know whether he stands 
to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia ?' 

'■'■ Ansive7\ 'I do not stand to-day pledged to the 
abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia/ 

" Question 5. ' I desire him to answer whether he 
stands pledged to the prohibition of the slave trade be- 
tween the different States ?' 

" Answer. ' I do not stand pledged to the prohibition 
of the slave trade between the different States/ 

^'^ Question 6. 'I desire to know whether he stands 
pledged to prohibit slavery in all the territories of the 
United States, north as well as south of the Missouri 
Compromise hne ?' 

" Answer. ' I am impliedly, if not expressly, j)ledged 
to a belief in the right and duty of Congress to j)rohibit 
slavery in all the United States territories/ 

'' Question 7. ' I desire him to answer whether he is 
opposed to the acquisition of any new territory unless 
slavery is first prohibited therein ?' 

^' Ansiver. ' I am not generally opposed to honest 
acquisition of territory ; and, in any given case, I 
would or would not 02:)pose such acquisition, accordingly 
as I might think such acquisition would or would not 
aggravate the slavery question among ourselves/ 

"It is impossible, Mr. President, however we may 
differ in opinion with the man, not to admire the per- 
fect candor and frankness with which these answers 
were given ; no equivocation — no evasion. The Sena- 
tor from Illinois had his questions put to him in his 
turn. All I propose to do now is to read his answer to 
the second question.: 

" 'The next question propounded to me by Mr. Lin- 
coln is, ' Can the people of a territory, in any lawful way, 
against the wishes of any citizen of the United States, 
exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation 
of a State constitution ?' 1 answer emphatically, as 


Mr. Lincoln has heard me answer a hundred times 
from every stumjo in Illinois^ that, in my oi3inion, the 
people of a territory can^ by lawful means, exclude 
slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a 
State constitution. Mr. Lincoln knew that I had an- 
swered that question over and over again. He heard 
me argue the Nebraska bill on that principle all over 
the State in 1854, in 1855, and in 1856, and he has no 
excuse for pretending to be in doubt as to my position 
on that question.' 

'^ All that was true ; but see the art ; the decision 
had not come yet ; now the decision has come ; now 

^' ^ It matters not what way the Supreme Court may 
hereafter decide as to the abstract question, whether 
slavery may or may not go into a territory under the 
Constitution, the peoj)le have the lawful means to 
introduce or exclude it as they please, for the reason 
that slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere 
unless it is supported by local police regulations. 
Those police regulations can only be established by 
the local legislature ; and if the ^^eople are opposed to 
slavery, they will elect representatives to that body 
who will, by unfriendly legislation, effectually prevent 
the introduction of it into their midst. If, on the con- 
trary, they are for it, their legislation will favor its 
extension. Hence, no matter what the decision of the 
Supreme Court may be on that abstract question, still 
the right of the people to make a slave territory or a 
free territory is perfect and complete under the Nebras- 
ka bill. I hope Mr. Lincoln deems my answer satis- 
fixctory on that point." * '•'•" '••' '•'•" '•'•■ 

" Well, sir, what occurred further in that contro- 
versy.^ His competitor was shocked at the profli- 
gacy of the Senator. His competitor said to him — 
and here is the argument — ' Everybody knows that the 
Dred Scott decision has determined the principle that 
a citizen of the South has a right to go into the terri- 


tory, and there, nnder^tlie Constitution, Ms property- 
is protected, and yet you are telling tlie people here 
that their legislators, when they swear to support the 
Constitution, can violate that constitutional jjroAdsion/ 
Mr. Lincoln held up his hands in horror at the propo- 
sition. He was bold in the assertion of his own prin- 
ciples ; hut he told the Senator from Illinois in that 
discussion, that what he was saying was a gross out- 
rage on propriety, and was breaking the bargain he 
had made. But again, sir, he told the Senator from 
Illinois that he did not believe in the Dred Scott de- 
cision, because, said he, if the Dred Scott decision be 
true, and slavery exists in the territories under the 
Constitution of the United States, then it also exists 
in the States — it exists in Pennsylvania as well as in 

" The contest ended. On the popular vote, the 
Senator from Illinois was beaten ; but according to 
the division of the representative and senatorial dis- 
tricts of the State, he was re-elected. The popular 
vote upon the election of members of the Senate and 
Legislature was one hundred and twenty-one thousand 
in his favor, one hundred and twenty-five thousand in 
favor of the Kepublican candidate, and five thousand 
votes in favor of what he called the Danites. All the 
State Eepublican officers were elected ; but there was 
a majority of the Legislature of Illinois elected in favor 
the Senator from Illinois, and he came back here in 

" Last spring I was forced to leave my country from 
an attack of a disease in the eyes, which required at- 
tention abroad. I went to get the attention of emi- 
nent oculists abroad. For six or eight months I was 
debarred from reading or writing. I came back just 
before the opening of this Congress ; and I found that 
during my absence the honorable Senator from Illinois 
had been engaged in a controversy in the public jour- 
nals and magazines of the country in relation to the 


principles tliat governed the territories of tlie United 
States, and that he had copied into those articles the 
very arguments that his Ecpnblican opponent in Illi- 
nois had used against him, and was then using against 
the Democratic party. [Laughter.] I have got them 
here. First, that it may not be said that I originated 
this charge, after these magazine articles were printed, 
and after the Senator's opj)onent, Mr. Lincoln, had 
taxed him with want of good faith under the Constitu- 
tion for alleging the j)ower of the local legislature to 
go through with this unfriendly legislation, in a subse- 
quent speech, delivered at Columbus, Ohio, in Septem- 
ber, 1859, Mr. Lincoln said to the people : 

" Judge Douglas says, if the Constitution carries 
slavery into the territories, beyond the power of the 
people of the territories to control it as other property, 
then it follows logically that every one who swears to 
support the Constitution of the United States must 
give that support to that property which it needs. And 
if the Constitution carries, slavery into the territories, 
beyond the power of the people to control it as other 
property, then it also carries it into the States, because 
the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Now, 
gentlemen, if it were not for my excessive modesty, I 
would say that I told that very thing to Judge Doug- 
las quite a year ago. This argument is here in print, 
and if it were not for my modesty, as I said, I might 
call your attention to it. If you read it, you will find 
that I not only made that argument, but made it better 
than he has made it since.'' (Laughter.) 

The first debate took place at Ottawa, and Mr. 
Douglas made the opening sjieech, in the course of 
which he made a singular charge against Mr. Lincoln, 
which was as follows : 

" In 1854, Mr. Abraham Lincoln and Mr. Trumbull 
entered into an arrangement, one with the other, and 


each with his res23ective friends, to dissolve the old 
Whig party on the one hand, and to dissolve the old 
Democratic party on the other, and to connect the mem- 
bers of both into an Abolition party, under the name 
and disguise of a Republican party. The terms of 
that arrangement between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Trum- 
bull have been pubKshed to the world by Mr. Lincoln's 
special friend, James H. Mathcny, Esq., and they 
were, that Lincoln should have Shields' place in the U. S. 
Senate, which was then about to become vacant, and 
that Trumbull should have my seat when my term ex- 
pired. Lincoln went to work to abolitionize the old 
Whig party all over the State, pretending that he was 
then as good a Whig as ever ; and Trumbull went to 
work in his part of the State preaching abolitionism 
in its milder and lighter form, and trying to abolition- 
ize the Democratic party, and bring old Democrats, 
handcufied and bound handand foot, into the Abolition 
camp. In pursuance of the arrangement, the parties 
met in Springfield in October, 1854, and proclaimed 
their new platform. Lincoln was to bring into the 
Abolition camp the old line Whigs, and transfer them 
over to Giddings, Chase, Fred. Douglas, and Parson 
Lovejoy, who were ready to receive them, and christen 
them in their new faith. They laid down, on that oc- 
casion, a platform for their new Republican party, 
which was to be thus constructed." 

To this charge, Mr. Lincoln replied : 

^' When a man hears himself somewhat misrepre- 
sented, it provokes him — at least, I find it so with 
myself ; but when misrepresentation becomes very gross 
and palpable, it is more apt to amuse him. The first 
thing I see fit to notice, is the fact that Judge Doug- 
las alleges, after running through the history of the 
old Democratic and the old Whig parties, that Judge 
Trumbull and myself made an arrangement in 1854, 
by which I was to have the place of General Shields 


in the United States Senate, and Judge Trumbull was 
to have the j)lace of Judge Douglas. Now, all I have 
to say upon that subject is, that I think no man — not 
even Judge Douglas — can prove it, because it is not 
true. I have no doubt he is ^ conscientious ' in saying 
it. As to those resolutions that he took such a length 
of time to read, as being the platform of the Rej^ubli- 
can j)arty in 1854, I say that I never had anything to 
do with them, and I think Trumbull never had. Judge 
Douglas cannot show that either of us ever did have 
anything to do with them. I believe this is true about 
those resolutions : There was a call for a convention 
to form a Republican party at Springfield, and I think 
that my friend, Mr. Love joy, who is here upon this 
stand, had a hand in it. I think this is true, and I 
think if he will remember accurately, he will be able 
to recollect that he tried to get me into it, and I would 
not go in. I believe it is also true that I went away 
from Springfield when the convention was in session, 
to attend court in Tazewell county. It is true they 
did place my name, though without authority, upon 
the committee, and afterward wrote me to attend the 
meeting of the committee, but I refused to do so, and 
I never had an}i;hing to do with that organization. 
This is the plain truth about all that matter of the 

In the reply, Mr. Lincoln uttered the subjoined 
forcible and eloquent paragraph, upon negro equality : 

"Now, gentlemen, I don't want to read at any 
greater length, but this is the true complexion of all 
I have ever said in regard to the institution of slavery 
and the black race. This is the whole of it, and any- 
thing that argues me into his idea of perfect social and 
political equality with the negro, is but a sj^ecious and 
fantastic arrangement of words, by which a man can 
prove a horse-chestnut to be a chestnut-horse. I will 
say here, while upon this subject, tliat I have no pur- 


pose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the insti- 
tution of slavery in the States where it now exists. I 
believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no 
inclination to do so. I have no purj^ose to introduce 
political and social equality between the white and the 
black races. There is a physical difference between the 
two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever 
forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect 
equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that 
there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Doug- 
las, am in favor of the race to which I belong having 
the superior position. I have never said anything to 
the contrary, but I hold that, notwithstanding all this, 
there is no reason in the world why the negro is not 
entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the 
Declaration of Independence — the right to life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that he is as 
much entitled to these as the wbite man. I agree with 
Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects — 
certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellec- 
tual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, 
without the leave of any one else, which his own hand 
earns, he is my equal, and the equal of Judge Doug- 
las, and the equal of every living man." 

Mr. Douglas also undertook to give a little sketch of 
his opponent's personal history in his sj^eech, and after 
the following fashion : 

"In the remarks I have made on this platform, and 
the position of Mr. Lincoln upon it, I mean nothing 
personally disrespectful or unkind to that gentleman. 
I have known him for nearly twenty-five years. There 
were many points of sympathy between us when we 
first got acquainted. We were both comparatively 
boys, and both struggling with poverty in a strange 
land. I was a school-teacher in the town of Winches- 
ter, and he a flourishing grocery-keeper in the town of 
Salem. He was more successful in his occupation than 


I was in mine, and hence more fortunate in this world's 
goods. Lincoln is one of those peculiar men who per- 
form with admirable skill everything which they under- 
take. I made as good a school-teacher as I could, and 
when a cabinet-maker I made a good bedstead and ta- 
bles, although my old boss said I succeeded better with 
bureaus and secretaries than with anything else ; but I 
believe that Lincoln was always more successful in bus- 
iness than I, for his business enabled him to get into 
the Legislature. I met him there, however, and had a 
sympathy Avith him, because of the up-hill struggle we 
both had in life. He was then just as good at telling 
an anecdote as now. He could beat any of the boys 
wrestling, or running a foot-race, in pitching quoits or 
tossing a copper ; could ruin more liquor than all the 
boys of the town together, and the dignity and impar- 
tiality with which he presided at a horse-race or fist- 
fight, excited the admiration and won the praise of ev- 
erybody that was. present and particij)ated. I sympa- 
thized with him, because he was struggling with diffi- 
culties, and so was I. Mr. Lincoln served with me in 
the Legislature in 1836, when we both retired, and he 
subsided, or became submerged, and he was lost sight 
of as a public man for some years. In 1846, when 
Wilraot introduced the celebrated proviso, and the Ab- 
olition tornado swept over the country, Lincoln again 
turned up as a member of Congress from the Sanga- 
mon district. I was then in the Senate of the United 
States, and was glad to welcome my old friend and 
comjianion. While in Congress, he distinguished him- 
self by his opposition to the Mexican war, taking the 
side of the common enemy against his own country ; 
and when he returned home he found that the indigna- 
tion of the people followed him everywhere, and he 
was again submerged or obliged to retire into private 
life, forgotten by his former friends." 

To which Mr. Lincoln replied ; 


'' The Judge is wofully at fault about his early friend 
Lincoln being a ^ grocery-keei^er/ I don't know as it 
would be a great sin if I had been ; but he is mista- 
ken. Lincoln never kept a grocery anywhere in the 
world. It is true that Lincoln did w^ork the latter part 
of one winter in a little still-house wp at the head of a 
hollow. And so I think my frien(J, the Judge, is 
equally at fault when he charges me at the time when 
I was in Congress of having opposed our soldiers who 
were fighting in the Mexican war. The Judge did not 
make his charge very distinctly, but I can tell you 
what he can prove by referring to the record. You re- 
member I was an old Whig, and whenever the Demo- 
cratic party tried to get me to vote that the war had 
been righteously begun by the President, I would not 
do it. But whenever they asked for any money, or 
land- warrants, or anything to pay the soldiers there, 
during all that time, I gave the same vote that Judge 
Douglas did. You can think as you j)lease as to whether 
that was consistent. Such is the truth ; and the Judge 
has a right to make all he can out of it. But when he, 
by a general charge, conveys the idea that I withheld 
supplies from the soldiers who w^ere fighting in the 
Mexican war, or did anything else to hinder the sol- 
diers, he is, to say the least, grossly and altogether mis- 
taken, as a consultation of the records will j)rove to 

Mr. Lincoln, before he was through, made the follow- 
ing amusing point on Mr. Douglas, in reply to his con- 
tinual talk about the Supreme Court and reverence for 
its decisions : 

'^ This man sticks to a decision which forbids the peo- 
ple of a territory from excluding slavery, and he does so 
not because he says it is ris-ht in itsell^ — he does not 2;ive 
any opinion on that — but because it has been decided hy 
the court, and being decided by the court, he is, and 


you are bound to take it in your political action as 
laiv — not that he judges at all of its merits, but because 
a decision of the court is to him a '■'• Thus saitli the 
Lord." He places it on that ground alone, and you 
will bear in mind that, thus committing himself unre- 
servedly to this decision, commits him to the next one 
just as firmly as to this. He did not commit himself 
on account of the merit or demerit of the decision, but 
it is a Thus saith the Lord. The next decision, as 
much as this, will be a Thus saith the Lord. There is 
nothing that can divert or turn him away from this de- 
cision. It is nothing that I point out to him that his 
great prototype, Gen. Jackson, did not believe in the 
binding force of decisions. It is nothing to him that 
Jefferson did not so believe. I have said that I have 
often heard him aj^prove of Jackson's course in disre- 
garding the decision of the Suj^reme Court pronouncing 
a National Bank constitutional. He says, I did not 
hear him say so. He denies the accuracy of my recol- 
lection. I say he ought to know better than I, but I 
will make no question about this thing, though it still 
seems to me that I heard him say it twenty times. I 
will tell him though, that he now claims to stand on 
the Cincinnati platform, which affirms that Congress 
cannot charter a National Bank, in the teeth of that 
old standing decision that Congress can charter a bank. 
And I remind him of another piece of history on the 
question of respect for judicial decisions, and it is a 
piece of Illinois history, belonging to a time when the 
large party to which Judge Douglas belonged, were dis- 
pleased with a decision of the Supreme Court of Illi- 
nois, because they had decided that a Governor could 
not remove a Secretary of State. You will find the 
whole story in Ford's Llistory of Illinois, and I know 
that Judge Douglas will not deny that he was then in 
favor of overslaughing that decision by the mode of 
adding five new Judges, so as to vote down the four old 
ones. Not only so, but it ended in the Judge's sitting 


doivn on that very bench as one of the five neiu Judges 
to breaJc dozen the four old ones. It was in this way 
precisely that he got his title of Judge. Now, when 
the Judge tells me that men appointed conditionally to 
sit as members of a court, will have to be catechised 
beforehand on some subject, I say, ' You know, Judge ; 
you have tried \i." When he says a court of this kind 
will lose the confidence of all men, will be prostituted 
and disgraced by such a proceeding, I say, ' You know 
best, Judge ; you have been through the mill." But 
I cannot shake Judge Douglas's teeth loose from the 
Dred Scott decision. Like some obstinate animal (I 
mean no disrespect), that will hang on when he has 
once got his teeth fixed ; you may cut off" a leg, or you 
may tear away an arm, still he will not relax his hold. 
And so I may point out to the Judge, and say that he 
is bespattered all over, from the beginning of his polit- 
ical life to the present time, with attacks upon judicial 
decisions — / may cut off limb after limb of his public 
record, and strive to wrench him from a single dictum 
of the court — yet I cannot divert him from it. He 
hangs, to the last, to the Dred Scott decision. These 
things show there is a purpose strong as death and 
eternitij for which he adheres to this decision, and for 
which he will adhere to all other decisions of the same 

We may safely challenge the annals of stump-speak- 
ing in the West or at the South for a more overwhelm- 
ing rejoinder than this. 

In the third debate, at Jonesboro, Mr. Lincoln said : 

" I find a report of a speech made by Judge Doug- 
las at Joliet, since we last met at Freeport — published, 
I believe, in the Missouri Repuhlican — on the 9th of 
this month, in which Judge Douglas says : • 

" ' You know at Ottawa, I read this platform, and 
asked him if he concurred in each and all of the prin- 
ciples set fortli in it. He would not answer these q[ues- 


tions. At last I said frankly, ^' I wish you to answer 
them, because when I get them up here where the color 
of your principles are a little darker than in Egypt, I 
intend to trot you down to Jonesboro/' The very no- 
tice that I was going to take him down to Egypt made 
him tremble in the knees so that he had to be carried 
from the platform. He laid up seven days, and in the 
meantime held a consultation with his political physi- 
cians ; they had Lovejoy and Farnsworth and all the 
leaders of the Abolition party, they consulted it all 
over, and at last Lincoln came to the conclusion that he 
would answer, so he came up to Freeport last Friday/ 
" Now that statement altogether furnishes a subject 
for philosophical contemplation. I have been treating 
it in that way, and I have really come to the conclu- 
sion that I can exj)lain it in no other way than by be- 
lieving the Judge is crazy. If he was in his right 
mind, I cannot conceive how he would have risked dis- 
gusting the four or five thousand of his own friends 
who stood there, and knew, as to mj having been 
carried from the platform, that there was not a word of 
truth in it."' 

Judge Douglas — "Didn't they carry you off?" 
Mr. Lincoln — '' There ; that question illustrates 
the character of this man Douglas, exactly. H« smiles 
now and says, ' Didn't they carry you off ?' But he 
said then, ^ he had to be carried off;' and he said it to 
convince the country that he had so completely broken 
me down by his speech that I had to be carried away. 
Now he seeks to dodge it, and asks, ' Didn't they cany 
you off ?' Yes, they did. But, Judge Douglas, why 
didn't you tell the truth 'i I would like to know why you 
didn't tell the truth about it. And then again, ' He 
laid up seven days.' He puts this in print for the peo- 
ple of the country to read as a serious document. I 
think if he had been in his sober senses he would not 
have risked that barefacedness in the presence of thou- 
sands of his own friends, who knew that I mad© 


speeches within six of the seven days at Henry, Mar- 
shall county, Augusta, Hancock county, and Macomb, 
McD enough county, including all the necessary travel 
to meet him again at Freeport at the end of the six 
dap. Now, I say, there is no charitable way to look 
at that statement, except to conclude that he is ac- 
tually crazy. There is another thing in that state- 
ment that alarmed me very greatly as he states 
it, that he was going to ' trot me down to Egypt.' 
Thereby he would have you to infer that I would not 
come to Egypt unless he forced me — that I could not 
be got here, unless he, giantlike, had hauled me down 
here. That statement he makes, too, in the teeth of 
the knowledge that I had made the stipulation to come 
down here, and that he himseVf had been very reluc- 
tant to enter into the stipulation. More than all this, 
Judge Douglas, when he made that statement, must 
have been crazy, and wholly out of his sober senses, 
or else he would have known that when he got me 
down here — that promise — that windy promise — of his 
powers to annihilate me, wouldn't amount to anything. 
Now, how little do I look like being carried away 
trembling ? Let the Judge go on, and after he is done 
with his half hour, I want you all, if I can't go home 
myself, to let me stay and rot here ; and if anything 
haj^pens to the Judge, if I cannot carry him to the 
hotel and put him to bed, let me stay here and rot. I 
say, then, there is something extraordinary in this 
statement. I ask you if you know any other living 
man who would make such a statement ? I will ask 
my friend Casey, over there, if he would do such a 
thing ? Would he send that out and have his men 
take it as the truth ? Did the Judge talk of trotting 
me down to Egypt to scare me to death ? Why, 1 
know this people better than he does. I was raised 
just a little east of here. I am a part of this people. 
But the Judge was raised further north, and, perhaps, 
he has some horrid idea of what this people might be 


induced to do. But really I have talked about this 
matter perhaps longer than I ought, for it is no great 
thing, and yet the smallest are often the most difficult 
things to deal with. The Judge has set about seriously 
trying to make the impression that when we meet at 
different places I am literally in his clutches — that I 
am a poor, helpless, decrepit mouse, and that I can do 
nothing at all. This is one of the ways he has taken 
to create that impression. I don't know any other way 
to meet it, except this. I don't wan't to quarrel with 
him — to call him a liar — but when I come square up 
to him I don't know what else to call him, if I must 
tell the truth out. I want to be at peace, and reserve 
all my fighting powers for necessary occasions. My 
time, now, is very nearly out, and I give up the trifle 
that is left to the Judge, to let him set my kneestrem- 
bling again, if he can." 

Mr. Greeley, in the Tribune, speaks of this great 
Senatorial contest, and its result^ as follows : 

" In 1858, the Eepublican State Convention unani- 
mously designated him as their representative man to 
stump the State against Stephen A. Douglas. They 
knew that the struggle would be a desperate one — that 
they must put their very best foot foremost. If they 
had had a champion whom they supposed abler and 
worthier than Mr. Lincoln, they would have chosen 
that champion for this arduous service. They had 
nearly all heard Lincoln and their other speakers, 
and ought to have known by this time who was their 
best man ; yet they choose Abraham Lincoln. If they 
don't know who is their best man, should not mission- 
aries be sent out to teach them ? 

''Mr. Lincoln went into this canvass under most dis- 
couraging auspices. Many leading Kepublicans out of 
the State thought the opposition to Mr. Douglas im- 
politic and mistaken. We certainly thought so ; and, 
though we said little on the point, our very silence wai3 


damaging in a State where more people read this paper 
than any other. It has been a hundred times asserted 
that The Tribune ' defeated Lincoln.' But there were 
other outside influences, as adverse and at least equally- 
potent. In 1856, the State polled 37,444 American or 
Whig votes for Fillmore. Many of these were cast by 
natives of Kentucky ; all by men who love and con- 
fide in John J. Crittenden. In the thickest of the fray, 
a letter from Mr. Crittenden was published, advising 
them to favor Mr. Douglas's reelection. Undoubtedly, 
this had an overruling influence with thousands. Yet, 
after Messrs. Lincoln and Douglas had thoroughly can- 
vassed the State, the people voted with the following 
result : 

Fremont. Fillmore. Buchanan. 
Total vote in 185G 96,189 .. 37,444 .. 105,348 

Lincoln. Lecompton. Douglas. 
Total vote in 1858 125,275 . . 6,071 . . 121,190 

Linco n's gain on 1856 29,086 

Douglas' " 15,742 

Lincoln's net gain 14,345 

Or, give Douglas the entire Lecompton vote in addition 
to his own, and Lincoln still gains on him 9,273. 

'' Bear in mind that this was a contest in which the 
sympathies of men indifferent to party were almost 
wholly with Douglas, wherein many Republicans sup- 
ported him throughout, wherein Crittenden summoned 
the Americans to his aid, and wherein he stood boldly 
on the ground of Popular Sovereignty, with the pres- 
tige of having just before defeated the infamous Le- 
compton bill. All things considered, we recall nothing 
in the history of j)olitical campaigning more creditable 
to a canvasser than this vote is to Lincoln. 

" We have thus dwelt throughout on facts of public 
record or of universal notoriety. The speeches made 
to the same audiences in that canvass, by Messrs. Lin- 
coln and Douglas, were collected and printed by the 
Republicans of Ohio, for cheap and general dissemina- 


tion, long before they dreamed that Mr. Lincoln would 
be the Republican candidate for President. We had 
sold hundreds of them at our counter, as we had thou- 
sands of Mr. Lincoln's speech in this city, before the 
meeting of the Chicago Convention ; we expect to sell 
thousands of the former and tens of thousands of the 
latter forthwith. Every reader can herein see just what 
manner of man Mr. Lincoln is, and how he bears him- 
self when confronted with one of the very best and most 
effective popular canvassers in the democratic ranks. 
If Mr. Lincoln is weak, or ill-informed, or anywise de- 
ficient, this protracted discussion with Douglas must 
show it." 

The Chicago Tribune, shortly after the election took 
place, made the subjoined statement : 

" The majorities for members of Congress are as fol- 
lows : 

First district, E. B. Washburne, Kep 9,414 

Second district, J F. Farnsworth, Rep , 8,G39 

Third district, Owen Lovejoy, Rep 7.443 

Fourth district, William Kellogg, Rep 2,711 

Fifth district, Isaac N. Morris, Dem 1,961 

SLxth district, Thomas L. Harris, Dem 4,447 

Seventh district, J. C. Robinson, Dem 1,759 

Eighth district, Phihp B. Foulke, Dem 2,939 

Ninth district, John A. Logan Dem 12,847 

'^ The aggregate votes on the Congressional tickets 
were : Kepublican, 126,084 ; Douglas Democratic, 
121,940 ; Buchanan Democratic, 5,091. 

" The vote on State Treasurer stands : James Miller, 
Kepublican, 125,828 ; W. B. Fondey, Douglas Demo- 
crat, 121,803 ; John Dougherty, Buchanan Democrat, 

" These returns show, that taking the vote on Con- 
gressmen as the test, the Kepublican majority over both 
the Buchanan and Douglas parties is 97. The entire 
Buchanan vote is 5,091. The Kepublicans retained 
every county that went for Fremont or Bissell in 1856. 


They lost not one which they carried at the Presiden- 
tial election, and they have redeemed from the Demo- 
crats seven counties which went for Buchanan two 
years ago, viz. : De Witt, Logan, Coles, Edgar, Piatt, 
Edwards, and Bond, all of which went against Gover- 
nor Bissell, except Edwards. Peoria can almost be 
added to the column of the redeemed counties. 

" Despite the unfair apportionment, by which Mr. 
Douglas has secured both branches of the Legislature, 
the Republicans of Illinois have abundant reason to be 
satisfied with the result of the contest through which 
they have just passed. Taking Fremont's vote as a 
standard of comparison, they have gained nearly 30,000 
since 1856. The entire vote of the State is 252,722, 
against 238,981 two years ago — a difference of 13,741.'' 

Mr. Lincoln and his fellow Republicans of Illinois, 
far from being discouraged by the result of the cam- 
paign, were greatly encouraged, well knowing that 
with such gains, such a steady increase, by the Repub- 
lican party in Illinois, its day of complete triumph 
could not be far off. 

During the past autumn and winter Mr. Lincoln 
visited various parts of the country, delivering lectures 
upon the political condition of the country, and creat- 
ing unbounded enthusiaism wherever he went. The 
Leavenworth Register speaks as follows of his visit to 
Kansas : 

" Hon. Abraham Lincoln arrived this afternoon, 
about two o'clock. Notwithstanding the inclemency of 
the weather, he was met on Sixth street by a large con- 
course of our people, which augmented as it neared 
Tumor's Hall, and when it reached Delaware street it 
contained seven or eight hundred persons. The proces- 
sion moved down Delaware street and turned up Maine 


to Shawnee, and up Shawnee to the Mansion House. 
Along the sidewalks a dense crowd moved with the 
procession. All the doors, windows, balconies, and 
porticoes, were filled with men and women, all anxious 
to get a sight of ' Honest Old Abe.' On arriving 
at the Mansion House the concourse halted, and three 
long and loud cheers were given for Lincoln. 

"The crowd by this time had swelled to an immense 
audience, filled with admiration for the man of the 
people and the veteran warrior of freedom. The mar- 
shals of the day, Capt. Dickison and Capt. Hays of the 
Turner Association, assisted by Mr. Ketner and others, 
deserve credit for the manner in which the reception 
was conducted. 

'' Never did man receive such honors at the hands of 
our people, and never did our people pay honors to a 
better man, or one who has been a truer friend to 
Kansas. The name of • Abe Lincoln' is a household 
word in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Let it be so in 
Kansas, for we owe much to him for his early efforts in 
behalf of freedom in Kansas." 

The subjoined paragraph is from his sj^eech at Leav- 
enworth, and is upon the subject of the dissolution of the 
Union, Said he : 

" But you. Democrats, are for the Union ; and you 
greatly fear the success of the Eepublicans would de- 
stroy the Union. Why ? Do the Eepublicans declare 
against the Union ? Nothing like it. Your own 
statement of it is, that if the Black Eepublicans elect 
a President, you won't stand it ! You will break up 
the Union. That will be your act, not ours. To jus- 
tify it, you must show that our policy gives you just 
cause for such desperate action. Can you do that ? 
When you attempt it, you will find that our policy is 
exactly the policy of the men who made the Union. 
Nothing more and nothing less. Do you really think 


you are justified to break the government rather than 
have it administered as it was by Washington, and 
other great and good men who made it, and first 
administered it ? If you do, you are very unreason- 
able, and more reasonable men cannot and will not 
submit to you. While you elect Presidents we submit, 
neither breaking nor attem23ting to break up the 
Union. If we shall constitutionally elect a President, 
it will be our duty to see that you also submit. Old 
John Brown has been executed for treason against a 
State. We cannot object, even though he agreed with 
us in thinking slavery ^vi'ong. That cannot excuse 
violence, bloodshed, and treason. It could avail him 
nothing that he might think himself right. So, if 
constitutionally we elect a President, and, therefore, 
you undertake to destroy the Union, it will be our 
duty to deal with you as old John Brown has been 
dealt with. We shall try to do our duty. We hope 
and believe that in no section will a majority so act as 
to render such extreme measures necessary.'^ 

Mr. Lincoln is described by one who is familiar with 
his appearance and manners, as follows : 

" Mr. Lmcoln stands six feet and four inches high in 
his stockin-';s. His frame is not muscular, but gaunt 
and wiry ; !iis arms are long, but not unreasonably so 
for a j^erson of his height ; his lower limbs are not dis- 
proportioned to his body. In walking, his gait, though 
firm, is never brisk. He steps slowly and deliberately, 
almost always with his head inclined forward, and his 
hands clasped behind his back. In matters of dress 
he is by no means precise. Always clean, he is never 
fashionable ; he is careless, but not slovenly. In man- 
ner he is remarkably cordial, and, at the same time, 
simple. His politeness is always sincere, but never 
elaborate and oppressive. A warm shake of the hand, 
and a warmer smile of recognition, are his methods of 
greeting his friends. At rest, his features, though 


those of a man of mark, are not sncli as belong to a 
handsome man ; but when bis fine dark gray eyes are 
lighted Tip by any emotion, and his features begin their 
play, he would be chosen from among a crowd as one 
who had in him not only the kindly sentiments which 
women love, but the heavier metal of which full-grown 
men and Presidents are made. His hair is black, and 
though thin is wiry. His head sits well on his shoulders, 
but beyond that it defies description. It nearer resem- 
bles that of Clay than that of Webster ; but it is 
unlike either. It is very large, and, phrenologically, 
well proportioned, betokening power in all its develop- 
ments. A slightly Koman nose, a wide-cut moutli, 
and a dark complexion, with the appearance of having 
been weather-beaten, complete the description. 

'' In hispersonal habits, Mr. Lincoln is as simple as 
a child. He loves a good dinner, and eats with the ap- 
petite which goes with a great brain ; but his food is 
plain and nutritious. He never drinks intoxicating 
liquors of any sort, not even a glass of wine. He is 
not addicted to tobacco in any of its shapes. He never 
was accused of a licentious act in all his life. He 
never uses profane language. 

" A friend says that once, when in a towering rage, 
in consequence of the eflbrts of certain parties to per- 
petrate a fraud on the State, he was heard to say : 
' They sha'n't do it, d — n 'em !' but beyond an expres- 
sion of that kind, his bitterest feelings never carry him. 
He never gambles ; we doubt if he ever indulges in 
any games of chance. He is particularly cautious 
about incuiTing pecuniary obligations for any purpose 
whatever, and in debt, he is never content until the 
score is discharged. We presume he owes no man a 
doUar. He never speculates. The rage for the sudden 
acquisition of wealth never took hold of him. His 
gains from his profession have been moderate, but suffi- 
cient for his purposes. While others have dreamed of 
gold, he has been in pursuit of knowledge. In all his 


dealings lie has the reputation of being generous but 
exact, and, above all, religiously honest. He would be 
a bold man who would say that Abraham Lincoln ever 
wronged any one out of a cent, or ever spent a dollar 
that he had not honestly earned. His struggles in early 
life have made him careful of money ; but his gener- 
osity with his own is proverbial. He is a regular 
attendant upon religious worship, and though not a 
communicant, is a pew-holder and liberal supj)orter of 
the Presbyterian Church, in Sj^ringfield, to which Mrs. 
Lincoln belongs. He is a scrupulous teller of the 
truth — too exact in his notions to suit the atmosj^here 
of Washington, as it now is. His enemies may say 
that he tells Black Eepublican lies ; but no man ever 
charged that, in a professional caj^acity, or as a citizen 
dealing w^ith his neighbors, he would depart from the 
Scri23tural command. At home, he lives like a gentle- 
man of modest means and simple tastes. A good-sized 
house of wood, simply but tastefully furnished, sur- 
rounded by trees and flowers, is his own, and there he 
lives, at peace with himself, the idol of his family, and 
for his honesty, ability, and patriotism, the admiration 
of his countrymen." 

Another person gives the subjoined sketch of him : 

" In personal appearance, Mr. Lincoln, or, as he is 
more familiarly termed among those who know him 
best, ^ Old Uncle Abe,' is long, lean, and wiry. In 
motion he has a great deal of the elasticity and awk- 
wardness which indicate the rough training of his early 
life, and his conversation savors strongly of Western 
idioms and pronunciation. His height is six feet four 
inches. His complexion is about that of an octoroon ; 
his face, without being by any means beautiful, is ge- 
nial looking, and good humor seems to lurk in every 
corner of its innumerable angles. He has dark hair 
tinged with gray, a good forehead, small eyes, a long 
penetrating nose, with nostrils suck as Napoleon ah- 


ways liked to find in his best generals, because tbey 
indicated a long head and clear thoughts ; and a 
mouth, which, aside from being of magnificent propor- 
tions, is probably the most ex23ressive feature of his 

'' As a speaker he is ready, precise, and fluent. His 
manner before a joopular assembly is as he pleases to 
make it, being either superlatively ludicrous, or very 
impressive. He emjiloys but little gesticulation, but 
when he desires to make a point, produces a shrug of 
his shoulders, an elevation of his eyebrows, a depres- 
sion of his mouth, and a general malformation of coun- 
tenance so comically awkward that it never fails to 
'bring down the house." His enunciation is slow and 
emphatic, and his voice, though sharp and powerful, 
at times has a frequent tendency to dwindle into a 
shrill and unpleasant sound ; but as before stated, the 
peculiar characteristic of his dehvery is the remarkable 
mobility of his features, the frequent contortions of 
which excite a merriment his words could not pro- 

A good story is told of Mr. Lincoln in connection 
with the Harper's Ferry afiair — and by the way it is 
but one of a thousand which might be told of him, for 
he is a rare story-teller — it is said that when he first 
heard of the Harper's Ferry invasion, he remarked, 
that it was " a shocking and lamentable occun-ence ;" 
but foreseeing the capital which the democracy would 
make out of it, he added, " I do not think the democ- 
racy can cross the river of their difiiculties at Harper's 

We subjoin another amusing one from a Chicago 
journal : 

'' A great deal of fun was had by the jokers in 
Springfieid, about an afiair in which, long time ago, 


our good friend Lincoln, the candidate for tlie Presi- 
dency, was engaged. A young lady of that cit}^, now 
the wife of a distinguished statesman, wrote a para- 
graph in a burlesque vein, for the Sangamon Journal^ 
in which Gen. Shields was good humoredly. ridiculed 
for his connection with some public measure. The 
General was greatly incensed, and demanded of the 
editor the name of the offending party. ' Old Sim' put 
him off with a request for twenty-four hours to con- 
sider the matter, and, shortly afterward meeting Lin- 
coln, told him his perplexity. ' Tell him I wrote it," 
said Lincoln ; and tell him he did. After a deal of 
diplomacy to get a retraction of the offensive parts of 
the paragra]3h in question. Shields sent a challenge, 
which Lincoln accepted, named broadswords as the 
weaj^ons, and an unfrequented, well-wooded island in 
the Mississippi, just below Alton, as the place. ^ Old 
Abe' was first on the ground, and when Shields arrived 
he found his antagonist, his sword in one hand and a 
hatchet in the other, with his coat off, clearing away 
the underbrush ! Before the preliminary arrange- 
ments were completed, John J. Hardin, who, somehow, 
had got wind of what was afloat, appeared on the 
scene, called them both d — d fools, and by his argu- 
ments, addressed to their common sense, and by his 
ridicule of the figure that they, two well-grown, beard- 
ed men, were making there, each with a frog-sticker in 
his hand, broke up the fight. We do not know how 
Gen. Shields feels, but we have heard of Lincoln's say- 
ing, that the acceptance of the challenge was the mean- 
est thing he ever did in his life. Hardin — than whom 
a braver man never stood — never came out of that ter- 
rible charge at Buena Vista, to which he led the Second 
Eegiment of Illinois Volunteers. If the events of his 
life passed in quick review before his mind, as he lay 
wounded and dying in that fatal ravine, we doubt not 
this act of his, by which he prevented two really brave 
men from engaging in fatal strife, was not the least of 
the consolations of that bitter hour.*' 


" While tlie late Illinois State Kepublican Conven- 
tion was in session, tlie Hon. Abraham Lincoln stepped 
in to witness the proceedings. His appearance was 
greeted with the utmost enthusiasm. He had hardly 
taken his seat when Mr. Oglesby of Decatur announced 
to the delegates that an old Democrat of Macon coun- 
ty, who had grown gray in the service of that jmrty 
desired to make a contribution to the Convention, and 
the offer being accepted, forthwith two old-time fence 
rails, decorated with flags and streamers, were borne 
through the crowd into the Convention, bearing the in- 
scription : 


The Kail Candidate . 


: Two rails from a lot of 3,000 made in 1830, ! 

* by Thos. Hanks and Abe Lincoln — whose '. 

* father was the first pioneer of Macon County. * 

'^ The effect was electrical. One spontaneous burst 
of applause went up from all parts of the ' wigwam," 
which grew more and more deafening as it was pro- 
lo"Qged, and which did not wholly subside for ten or fif- 
teen minutes after. The cheers upon cheers which 
rent the air could have been heard all over the adjacent 
country. Of course ^ Old Abe' was called out, and 
made an explanation of the matter. He stated that, 
some thirty years ago, then just emigrating to the 
Siate, he stopped with his mother's family, for one 
season, in what is now Macon county ; that he built a 
cabin, split rails^ and cultivated a small farm down on 
the Sangamon river, some six or eight miles from 


Decatur. These, lie was informed, were taken from 
that fence ; but, whether they were or not, he had 
mauled many and many better ones since he had grown 
to manhood. The cheers were renewed with the same 
vigor when he concluded his remarks." 

A Western Republican relates the following thrilling 
episode in the life of Mr. Lincoln : " Mr. Lincoln, or 
' Old Abe/ as his friends familiarly call him, is a self- 
made man. A Kentuckian by birth, he emigrated to 
Illinois in his boyhood, where he earned his living at 
the anvil, devoting his leisure hours to study. Ha\ang 
chosen the law as his futui'e calling, he devoted himself 
assiduously to its mastery, contending at every step 
with adverse fortune. During this period of study, he 
for some time found a home under the hospitable roof 
of one Armstrong, a farmer, who lived in a log-house 
some eight miles from the village of Petersburg, Me- 
nard county. Here, clad in homespun, with elbows 
out, and knees covered with patches, young Lincoln 
would master his lessons by the firelight of the cabin, 
and then walk to town for the purpose of recitation. 
This man Armstrong was himself poor, but he saw the 
genius struggling in the young student, and opened to 
him his rude home, and bid him welcome to his coarse 
fare. How Lincoln graduated with promise, how he 
has more than fulfilled that promise, how honorably he 
acquitted himself alike on the battle-field, in defending 
our border settlements against the ravages of the savage 
foes, and in the halls of our national legislature, are 
matters of history, and need no repetition here. But 
one little incident of a more 23rivate nature, standing 
as it does as a sort of sequel to some things already 


alluded to, I deem worthy of record. Some few years 
since the oldest son of Mr. Lincoln's old friend Arm- 
strong, the chief support of his widowed mother — the 
good old man having some time previously passed from 
earth — was arrested on the charge of murder. A young 
man had been killed during a riotous melee, in the 
night-time, at a camp-meeting, and one of his asso- 
ciates stated that the death-wound was inflicted by 
young Armstrong. A preliminary examination was 
gone into, at which the accuser testified so positively 
that there seemed no doubt of the guilt of the prisoner, 
and, therefore, he was held for trial. As is too often 
the case, the bloody act caused an undue degree of ex- 
citement in the public mind. Every improper incident 
in the life of the prisoner — each act which bore the 
least semblance to rowdyism — each school-boy quarrel 
— was suddenly remembered and magnified, until they 
pictured him as a fiend of the most horrid hue. As 
these rumors spread abroad, they were received as 
gospel truth, and a feverish desire for vengeance seized 
upon the infatuated populace, while only prison-bars 
prevented a horrible death at the hands of a mob. 
The events were heralded in the county papers, painted 
in the highest colors, accompanied by rejoicings over 
the certainty of punishment being meted out to the 
guilty party. The prisoner, overwhelmed by the 
circumstances under which he found himself placed, 
fell into a melancholy condition, bordering upon de- 
spair ; and the widowed mother, looking through her 
tears, saw no cause for hope from earthly aid. 

" At this juncture, the widow received a letter from 
Mr. Lincoln, volunteering his services in an efi'ort to 


save the youth ftom the impending stroke. Gladly was 
his aid accepted, although it seemed impossible for 
even his sagacity to prevail in such a desperate case ; 
but the heart of the attorney was in his work, and he 
set about it with a will that knew no such word as fail. 
Feeling that the poisoned condition of the public mind 
was such as to preclude the possibility of impanelling 
an impartial jury in the court having jurisdiction, he 
procured a change of venue, and a postponement of the 
trial. He then went studiously to work unravelling the 
history of the case, and satisfied himself that his client 
was the victim of malice, and that the statement of 
the accuser was a tissue of falsehoods. 

'i When the trial was called on, the prisoner, pale and 
emaciated, with hopelessness written on every feature, 
and accompanied by his half-hoping, half-despairing 
mother — whose only hope was a mother's belief of her 
son's innocence, in the justice of the Grod she worship- 
ped, and in the noble counsel, who, without hope of fee 
or reward upon earth, had undertaken the cause — took 
his seat in the prisoner's box, and with a ' stony firm- 
ness' listened to the reading of the indictment. Lin- 
coln sat quietly by, while the large auditory looked on 
him as though wondering what he eould say in defence 
of one whose guilt they regarded as certain. The ex- 
amination of witnesses for the State was begun, and a 
well-arranged mass of evidence, circupastantial and pos- 
itive, was introduced, which seemed to impale the pris- 
oner beyond the possibility of extrication. The coun- 
sel for the defence propounded but few questions, and 
those of a character which excited no uneasiness on the 
23art of the prosecutor — merely, in most cases, requir- 


ing the main witness to be definite as to time and place. 
When the evidence of the prosecution was ended, Lin- 
coln introduced a few witnesses to remove some errone- 
ous impressions in regard to the previous character of 
his client, who, though somewhat rowdyish, had never 
been known to commit a vicious act ; and to show that 
a greater degree of ill-feeling existed between the accu- 
ser and accused than the accused and the deceased. 
The prosecutor felt that the case was a clear one, and 
his opening speech was brief and formal. Lincoln 
arose, while a deathly silence pervaded the vast audi- 
ence, and in a clear but moderate tone began his argu- 
ment. Slowly and carefully he reviewed the testimony, 
pointing out the hitherto unobserved decrepancies in 
the statements of the principal witness. That which 
had seemed plain and plausible, he made to ap]3ear 
crooked as a serpent's path. The witness had stated 
that the affair took place at a certain hour in the even- 
ing, and that, by the aid of the brightly shining moon, 
he saw the prisoner inflict the death bloAv with a slung- 
shot. Mr. Lincoln showed that at the hour referred to, 
the moon had not yet appeared above the horizon, and 
consequently the whole tale was a fabrication. An al- 
most instantaneous change seemed to have been wrought 
in the minds of his auditors, and the verdict of ' not 
guilty' was at the end of every tongue. But the advo- 
cate was not content with this intellectual achievement. 
His whole being had for months been bound up in this 
Avork of gratitude and mercy, and, as the lava of the 
overcharged crater bursts from its imprisonment, so 
great thoughts and burning words leaped forth from 
the soul of the eloquent LiDcoln. He drew a picture 


of the perjurer so horrid and ghastly that the accuser 
could sit under it no longer, but reeled and staggered 
from the court-room, while the audience fancied they 
could see the brand upon his brow. Then in Avords of 
thrilling pathos, Lincoln appealed to the jurors as fa- 
thers of sons who might become fatherless, and as hus- 
bands of wives who might be widowed, to yield to no 
]3revious impressions, no ill-founded prejudice, but to 
do his client justice ; and as he alluded to the debt of 
gratitude which he owed to the boy's sire, tears were 
seen to fall from many eyes unused to weep. It was 
near night when he concluded by saying that, if justice 
were done — as he believed it would be — before the sun 
should set, it would shine upon his client a free man. 
The jury retired, and the court adjourned for the day. 
Half an hour had not elapsed, when, as the officers of 
the court and the volunteer attorney sat at the tea-ta- 
ble of their hotel, a messenger announced that the jury 
had returned to their seats. All repaired immediately 
to the court-house, and while the prisoner was being 
brought from the jail, the court-room was filled to 
overflowing with citizens of the town. When the pris- 
oner and his mother entered, silence reigned as com- 
pletely as though the house was empty. The foreman 
of the jury, in answer to the usual inquiry of the 
court, delivered the verdict of ^ Not Guilty !' The 
widow dropped into the arms of her son, who lifted her 
up, and told her to look upon him as before — free and 
innocent. Then, with the words, ^ Where is Mr. Lin- 
coln ?' he rushed across the room and grasped the hand 
of his deliverer, while his heart was too full for utter- 
ance. Lincoln turned his eyes toward the West, where 


the sun still lingered in view, and then, turning to the 
youth, said, ' It is not yet sundown, and you are free/ 
I confess that my cheeks were not wholly unwet by 
tears, and I turned from the affecting scene. As I cast 
a glance behind, I saw Abraham Lincoln obeying the 
divine injunction by comforting the widowed and the 

In May, 1859, Mr. Lincoln wi'ote the subjoined let- 
ter to a German citizen of Illinois. The letter speaks 
for itself, and needs no comment : 

" Springfield, May 17, 1859. 

" Dear Sii' — Your letter, in which you inquire, on 
your own account and in behalf of certain other Ger- 
man citizens, whether I approve or oppose the consti- 
tutional provision in relation to naturalized citizens 
which was lately enacted in Massachusetts, and whether 
I favor or oppose a fusion of the Kepublicans with the 
other Opposition elements in the camj)aign of 1860, 
has been received. 

" Massachusetts is a sovereign and indej^endent State, 
and I have no right to advise her in her policy. Yet, 
if any one is desirous to draw a conclusion as to what 
I would do from what she has done, I may speak with- 
out impropriety. I say, then, that so far as I understand 
the Massachusetts provision, I am against its adoption, 
not only in Illinois, but in every other place in which 
I have the right to oppose it. As I understand the 
spirit of our institutions, it is designed to promote the 
elevation of men. I am, therefore, hostile to anything 
that tends to their debasement. It is well known that 
I deplore the oppressed condition of the blacks, and it 
would, therefore, be very inconsistent for me to look 
with approval upon any measure that infringes upon 
the inalienable rights of white men, whether or not they 
are born in another land or speak a different language 
from our own. 


" In respect to a fusion, I am in favor of it whenevei 
it can be effected on Eepublican principles, but upon 
no other condition. A fusion ujDon any other platform 
would be as insane as unprincipled. It would thereby 
lose the whole North, while the common enemy would 
still have the support of the entire South. The ques- 
tion in relation to men is different. There are good 
and patriotic men and able statesmen in the South 
whom I would willingly support if they would place 
themselves on Eepublican ground ; but I shall oppose 
the lowering of the Eepublican standard even by a 

" I have written in haste, but I believe I have an- 
swered your questions substantially. 

" Eespectfully, yours, 

^' Abraham Lincoln. 

''Dr. Theodor Canisius." 

" We have heard," says the The Evansville (Ind.) 
Journal, " the following anecdote related of the joeople's 
candidate for the Presidency, which shows the love of 
knowledge, the industry, the conscientiousness, and the 
integrit}^ of the subject of this sketch : 

''It is well known that he lived in Spencer county, 
above here in Indiana, in his young da3^s. He was a 
hard-working lad, and very eager in his thirst for 
knowledge. A man, named Crawford, owned a copy 
of JVeems's Life of Washington — the only one in the 
whole neighborhood. Young Lincoln borrowed that 
interesting book (not having money to spare to buy 
one), and while reading it, by a slight negligence, left 
it in a window, when a rain-storm came up and wet the 
book so as to ruin it. Young Lincoln felt badly, but, 
like an honest boy, he went to Mr. Crawford with the 
ruined book, acknowledged his accountability for its 
destruction, and his willingness to make due compensa- 
tion. He said he had no money, but would work out 
the value of the book. 


" The owner of the "book said to him, 'Well, Abe, 
being as it's you, I won't be hard on you. If you will 
come over and pull fodder for two days, I'll let you 

" Abe went over accordingly, and pulled fodder the 
requisite time ; and so tall and handy a lad was he, 
that Crawford required him to pull the fodder off of 
the tallest stalks, while he took the shortest ones him- 




On tlie sixteenth clay of May the Republican Na- 
tional Convention met at Chicago in a large building 
put up for the purpose and called the '' Wigwam.'' 

The doors were opened at 11 o'clock. 

Long before that hour the concourse of peoj)le as- 
sembled around the doors numbered many thousands 
more than could gain admittance to the building. As 
soon as the doors were opened the entire body of the 
Wigwam was solidly packed Avith men. The seats in 
the galleries were equally closely packed wdth ladies. 
The interior of the hall was handsomely decorated with 
evergreen, statuary, and flowers, and presented a strik- 
ing ai^pearance. There w^ere not less than ten thousand 
persons in the building, while the oj^en doors displayed 
to view crowds in the streets unable to obtain more 
than a glimpse inside of the hall. 

At 12 o'clock the Convention was called to order by 
Gov. Morgan of New- York, Chairman of the National 
Committee, who named the honorable David Wilmot 
of Pennsylvania for temporary President. 

The Chair named Judge Marshall of Md., and Gov. 
Cleveland of Conn., to conduct Mr. Wilmot to his seat. 
Judge Marshall introduced Mr. Wilmot as the man 
who dared to do right regardless of • consequences. 
With such a man, he said, there is no such w^ord as fliil. 


Mr. WiLMOT addressed the Convention briefly, re- 
turning thanks for the high and undeserved honor. 
He would carry the remembrance of it with him to the 
day of his death. It was unnecessary for him to re- 
mind the Convention of the high duty devolved upon 
them. A great sectional interest had for years domi- 
nated with a high hand over the affairs of the country. 
It had bent all its energy to the extension and natural- 
ization of slavery. It is the mission of the Kepublican 
party to oj^pose this policy, and restore to the govern- 
ment the policy of the Revolutionary fathers ; to resist 
the dogma that slavery exists wherever the Constitu- 
tion extends ; to read the Constitution as our fathers 
read it. That Constitution was not ordained to em- 
brace slavery within all the Hmits of the country. 
They lived and died in the faith that slavery was a blot, 
and would soon be washed out. Had they deemed that 
the Revolution was to establish a great slave empire, 
not one would have drawn the sword in such a cause. 
The battle was fought to estabhsh freedom. Slavery 
is sectional — freedom is national. [Applause.] He 
deemed it unnecessary to remind the delegates of the 
outrages and usurpations of the Democratic party. 

Those outrages will not be confined to the limits of 
the slave States if the South have the power, and the 
safety of the free States requires the Republicans 
should take the government, and administer it as it 
has been administered by Washington, Jefferson, and 
Jackson — even down to Van Buren and Polk — ^before 
these new dogmas were engrafted in the Democratic 
policy. He assumed his duties, exhorting a spirit of 
harmony to control the action of the delegates. 



Committees on "business and credentials were ap- 
pointed. In the afternoon session, the Committee on 
Organization reported the name of George Ashmun, 
of Massachusetts, for President, and Vice-Presidents 
and Secretaries from every State represented in the 
Convention. The subjoined Committee on Resolutions 
was appointed : 

Maine George Talbot. 

New-Hampshire. . . .Amos Tuck. 

Vermont E. M. Briggs. 

Massachusetts. . ,G. S. Boutwell. 

Rhode Island B. T. Earner. 

Connecticut S. W. Kellogg. 

New- York Henry K. Selden. 

New-Jersey . .Thomas S. Dudley. 
Pennsylvania. . . ."William Jessup. 

Ohio J. H. Barrett. 

Indiana William T. Otto. 

Illinois Gustavus Koeler. 

Wisconsin Carl Schurz. 

Iowa -John A. Kasson. 

Minnesota Stephen Miller. 

Delaware N. D. Smithers. 

Maryland F. P. Blair. 

Virginia Alfred Caldwell. 

Kentucky George T. Blakely. 

Michigan Aastin Blair. 

Mis.souri Charles M. Bernais. 

California F. P. Tracy. 

Texas J. Strauss. 

District of Columbia . .G. A. Hall. 

Nebraska A. S. Bradlock. 

Kansas J . F . Hatterscheidt 

On Thursday morning the Convention met at ten 
o'clock. The greatest enthusiasm was manifested, both 
inside and outside of the " Wigwam." The entire day 
was consumed in the consideration of the proper rules 
to be adopted for the government of the Convention, 
and in discussing the resolutions reported from the 
Committee. It was agreed that a major ity should nom- 
inate the candidates. The follov^dng resolutions were 
adopted by the Convention as 


^^ Resolved, That we, the delegated representatives 
of the Republican electors of the United States, in 
Convention assembled, in the discharge of the duty we 


owe to our constituents and our country, unite in the 
following declarations : 

^^ First : That the history of the nation during the 
last four years has fully established the propriety and 
necessity of the organization and perpetuation of the 
Repablican party, and that the causes which called it 
into existence are permanent in their nature, and now, 
more than ever before, demand its peaceful and consti- 
tutional triumph. 

^^ Second : That the maintenance of the principles 
promulgated in the Declaration of Independence, and 
embodied in the Federal Constitution, is essential to 
the preservation of our republican institutions ; that 
the Federal Constitution, the rights of the States, and 
the Union of the States, must and shall be preserved ; 
and that we reassert ^ these truths to be self-evident, 
that all men are created equal ; that they are endowed 
by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ; that 
among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happi- 
ness. That to secure these rights, governments are 
instituted among men, deriving their just powers from 
the consent of the governed.' 

" Third : That to the Union of the States this 
nation owes its unprecedented increase in population ; 
its surprising developiuent of material resources ; its 
rapid augmentation of wealth ; its happmess at home, 
and its honor abroad ; and we hold in abhorrence all 
schemes for disunion, come from whatever source they 
may ; and we congratulate the country that no Repub- 
lican member of Congress has uttered or countenanced 
a threat of disunion, so often made by Democratic 
members of Congress without rebuke, and with ap- 
plause from their political associates ; and we denounce 
those threats of disunion, in case of a popular over- 
throw of their ascendency, as denying the vital princi- 
ples of a free government, and as an avowal of con- 
templated treason, which it is the imperative duty of an 
indignant people strongiv to rebuke and forever silence. 



Fourth : That tlie maintenance inviolate of the 
rights of the States, and especially the right of each 
State to order and control its own domestic institu- 
tions, according to its own judgment exclusively, is 
essential to that balance of power on which the perfec- 
tion and endurance of our political faith depends, and 
we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of any 
State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as 
among the gravest of crimes. 

^^ Fifth : That the present Democratic administra- 
tion has far exceeded our worst aj)prehensions in its 
measureless subserviency to the exactions of a sectional 
interest, as is especially evident in its desperate exer- 
tions to force the infamous Lecompton Constitution 
upon the protesting people of Kansas — in construing 
the personal relation between master and servant to 
involve an unqualified property in persons — in its at- 
tempted enforcement everywhere, on land and sea, 
through the intervention of Congress and the Federal 
Courts, of the extreme pretensions of a purely local 
interest, and in its general and unvarying abuse of the 
power intrusted to it by a confiding people. 

^^ Sixth : That the people justly view with alarm the 
reckless extravagance which pervades every department 
of the federal government ; that a return to rigid 
economy and accountability is indispensable to arrest 
the system of plunder of the public treasury by favored 
partisans ; while the recent startling developments of 
fraud and corruption at the federal metropolis, show 
that an entire change of administration is imperatively 
demanded. ^ 

'' Seventh: That the new dos;ma that the Constitu- 
tion, of its own force, carries slavery into any or all the 
territories of the United States, is a dangerous political 
heresy, at variance with the explicit provisions of that 
instrument itself, with cotemporaneous expositions, and 
with legislative and judicial precedent, is revolutionary 
in its tendency, and subversive of the peace and har- 
mony of the country. 


^^Eiglith : That the normal condition of all the terri- 
tory of the United States is that of freedom ; that as 
our republican fathers, when they had abolished slavery 
in all our national territory, ordained that no person 
should be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without 
the process of law, it becomes our duty, by legislation, 
whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this 
provision of the Constitution against all attempts to 
violate it ; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a 
territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give 
legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United 

^^ Ninth : That we brand the recent re-opening of the 
African slave-trade, under the cover of our national 
flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a crime 
against humanity, a burning shame to our country and 
age ; and we call upon Congress to take prompt and 
efficient measures for the total and final suppression of 
that execrable traffic. 

'^ Tenth : That in the recent vetoes by their federal 
governors, of the acts of the legislatures of Kansas and 
Nebraska, prohibiting slavery in those territories, we 
find a practical illustration of the boasted democratic 
principle of non-intervention and Popular Sovereignty, 
embodied in the Kansas and Nebraska bill, and a de- 
nunciation of the deception and fraud involved therein. 

'^ Eleventh : That Kansas should of right be immedi- 
ately admitted as a State, under the constitution re- 
cently formed and adopted by her people, and accepted 
by the House of Kepresentatives. 

" Tiuelfth : That while providing revenue for the sup- 
port of the general government by duties upon imposts, 
sound policy requires such an adjustment of these im- 
posts as to encourage the development of the industrial 
interest of the whole country, and we commend that 
policy of national exchanges which secures to the work- 
ing man liberal wages, to agriculture remunerating 
prices, to mechanics and manufacturers an adequate 


reward for their skillj labor, and enterprise, and to the 
nation commercial prosperity and independence. 

^^ Thirteenth : That we protest against any sale or 
alienation to others of the public lands held by actual 
settlers, and against any view of the free homestead 
policy which regards the settlers as paupers or suppli- 
cants for public bounty ; and we demand the passage 
by Congress of the complete and satisfactory homestead 
measure which has already passed the House. 

'^Fourteenth : That the Republican party is opposed 
to any change in our naturalization laws, or any State 
legislation by which the rights of citizenship hitherto 
accorded to immigrants from foreign lands shall be 
abridged or impaired ; and in favor of giving a full and 
efficient protection to the rights of all classes of citizens, 
whether native or naturalized, both at home and abroad. 

''^Fifteenth : That appropriations by Congress for 
river and harbor improvements, of a national character, 
required for the accommodation and security of an ex- 
isting commerce, are authorized by the Constitution 
and justified by an obligation of the government to pro- 
tect the lives and proj^erty of its citizens. 

'' Sixteenth : That a railroad to the Pacific Ocean is 
im23eratively demanded by the interests of the whole 
country ; that the federal government ought to render 
immediate and efficient aid in its construction, and 
that, as preliminary thereto, a daily overland mail 
should be promptly established. 

'^ Seventeenth : Finally, having thus set forth our 
distinctive principles and views, we invite the co-ojoer- 
ation of all citizens, however difiering on other ques- 
tions, who substantially agree with us in their affirm- 
ance and support." 

A scene of the wildest excitement followed the adop- 
tion of the platform, the immense multitude rising 
and giving round after round of applause ; ten thou- 
sand voices swelled into a roar so deafening that, for 


several minutes, every attompt to restgre order was 
hopelessly vain. The multitude outside took up and 
re-echoed the cheers, making the scene of enthusiasm 
and excitement unparalleled in any similar gathering. 

On Friday morning the wigwam was closely packed 
for a full hour before the Convention assembled. The 
interest in the proceedings appeared on the increase as 
the time for balloting approached. A crowd, numbered 
by thousands, had been outside the building since nine 
o'clock, anxiously awaiting intelligence from the inside. 
Arrangements had been made for passing the result of 
the ballots up from the platform to the roof of the 
building, and through the skylight, men being station- 
ed above to convey speedily the intelligence to the mul- 
titude in the streets. 

A large procession was formed by the various delega- 
tions, to march to the hall, preceded by bands of 

As the delegates entered on the platform the several 
distinguished men were greeted with rounds of applause 
by the audience. 

The Convention then voted to proceed to ballot for 
a candidate for President of the United States. 

Wm. M. Evarts, of New-York, did not rise for the 
purpose of making a speech, but only to ask if at this 
time it is in order to put candidates in nomination. 

The President : The Chair considers it in order to 
name candidates without debate. 

Wm. M. Evarts rose and said — I beg leave to offer 
the name of Wm. H. Seward as a candidate before this 
Convention, for the nomination of President of the 
United States. 


This nomination was received with, loud and long- 
continued applause. 

Mr. Juddj of Illinois, rose and said : Mr. President, 
I beg leave to offer, as a candidate before this Conven- 
tion for President of the United States, the name of 
Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois. 

The crowded audience greeted this nomination with 
perfectly deafening applause, the shouts swelling into 
a perfect roar, and being continued for several minutes, 
the wildest excitement and enthusiasm prevailing. 

Mr. Dudley, of New-Jersey, presented the name of 
Wm. L. Dayton. 

Gov. Keeder, of Pennsylvania : The State of Penn- 
sylvania desires to present, as her candidate, the name 
of Simon Cameron. 

Mr. Carter, of Ohio, put forward the name of Salmon 
P. Chase, of Ohio. 

Mr. Smith of Maryland — I am instructed by the 
State of Indiana to second the nomination of Abra- 
ham Lincoln. [Another outburst of enthusiastic ap- 
plause from the body of the Hall, mingled with some 

Francis P. Blair of Missouri nominated Edward 
Bates of Missouri. 

Mr. Blair of Michigan said, on the part of Michigan, 
I desire to say that the Kepublicans of that State 
second the nomination of William II. Seward for the 

Tremendous applause followed this speech, thou- 
sands of those present rising and waving their hats and 
handkerchiefs, and swelling the applause to a thunder- 
ing roar through several minutes. 


Tom Corwin of Ohio nominated John McLean of 
Ohio for the Presidency. [Loud applause.] 

Carl Schurz of Wisconsin, on the part of his State, 
here rose and seconded the nomination of William H. 

Upon this another scene of the greatest enthusiasm 
and tumultuous excitement ensued. 

Mr. North of Minnesota also seconded, on the part 
of Minnesota, the nomination of Mr. Seward. [Tre- 
mendous applause.] 

Mr. Wilson of Kansas — The delegates and people of 
Kansas second the nomination. [Eenewed cheers.] 

Mr. Delano of Ohio, on the part of a large number 
of people of Ohio — I desire to second the nomination 
of the man who can split rails and maul Democrats, 
Abraham Lincoln. [Bounds of applause by Lincoln 

A delegate from Iowa also seconded the nomination 
of Mr. Lincoln, on the part of that State, amidst re- 
newed applause and excitement. 

A Voice — Abe Lincoln has it by the sound now. 
Let us ballot. 

Judge Logan of Illinois — Mr. President, in order or 
oiit of order, I propose this Convention and audience 
give three cheers for the man who is evidently their 

The President — If the Convention will get over this 
irrepressible excitement, the roll will be called. 

After some further excitement the calling of the 
roll commenced, the applause at the different announce- 
ments being with difficulty checked. 

When Maryland was called, the Chairman of the 


delegation cast the vote of the State for Bates, two 
delegates claiming their right to individual votes. 

After some discussion the Convention rejected the 
votes as cast by the Chairman, and received the votes 
of the delegates separately. 

On the first ballot Mr. Seward received 173^ votes ; 
Mr. Lincoln, 102 ; and Mr. Bates, 48. The balance 
were divided between Messrs. Cameron, Chase, McLean, 
Wade, etc., etc. The States voting for Mr. Lincoln, 
were Illinois, Indiana, and, in part, Maine, New- 
Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania,. 
Yirginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Iowa. 

The second ballot was then taken. 

Mr. Cameron's name was withdrawn. 

For Mr. Lincoln. 

New-Hampshire 9 Delaware 6 

Vermont 10 Kentucky 9 

Ehode Island 3 Ohio 14 

Pennsylvania 48 Iowa 5 

The whole vote for Lincoln was 181. 

For Mr. Seward. 

Massachusetts 22 Kentucky 7 

New-Jersey 4 Texas 6 

Pennsylvania 2^ Nebraska 3 

The whole vote for Mr. Seward was 184^. 

Bates 35 Cameron 2 

McLean 8 Dayton 10 

Chase 42^ CM. Clay 2 

The third ballot was taken amid excitement, and 
cries for " the ballot." Intense feeling existed during 
the ballot, each vote being awarded in breathless si- 
lence and expectancy. 


For Mr. Lincoln. 

Massachusetts 8 Maryland 9 

Rhode Island 5 Kentucky 13 

New- Jersey 8 Ohio (applause) 29 

Pennsylvania 52 Oregon 14 

This gave Lincoln 230^ votes, or within l-^- of a 

Mr. Andrew of Massachusetts then rose and correct- 
ed the vote of Massachusetts, by changing four votes, 
and giving them to Lincoln, thus nominating him by 
2^ majority. 

The Convention immediately became wildly excited. 

A large portion of the delegates, who had kept tally, 
at once said the struggle was decided, and half the 
Convention rose, cheering, shouting, and waving hats. 

The audience took up the cheers, and the confusion 
became deafening. 

State after State rose, striving to change their votes 
to the winnmg candidate, but the noise and enthusi- 
asm rendered it impossible for the delegates to make 
themselves heard. 

Mr. McCrillis of Maine, making himself heard, said 
that the young giant of the West is now of age. 
Maine now casts for him her 16 votes. 

Mr. Andrew of Massachusetts changed the vote of 
that State, giving 18 to Mr. Lincoln and 8 to Mr. 

Intelligence of the nomination was now conveyed 
to the men on the roof of the building, who imme- 
diately made the outside multitude aware of the result. 
The first roar of the cannon soon mingled itself with 
the cheers of the people, and the same moment a man 



appeared in the hall bringing a large painting of Mr. 
Lincoln. The scene at the time beggars description ; 
11,000 people inside, and 20,000 or 25,000 outside, 
were yelling and shouting at once. Two cannon sent 
forth roar after roar in quick succession. Delegates 
bore up the sticks and boards bearing the names of the 
several States, and waved them aloft over their heads, 
and the vast multitude before the platform were waving 
hats and handkerchiefs. The whole scene was one of 
the wildest enthusiasm. 

Mr. Brown, of Mo., desired to change IS votes of 
Missouri for the gallant son of the West, Abraham 
Lincoln ; Iowa, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Minne- 
sota, also changed their votes. The result of the third 
ballot was announced : 

Whole number of votes cast , 466 

Necessary to a choice 234 

Mr. Abraham Lincoln received 354, and was declared 
duly nominated. 

The States still voting for Seward were Massachu- 
setts, 8 ; New-York, 70 ; New-Jersey, 5 ; Pennsylva- 
nia, i ; Maryland, 2 ; Michigan, 12 ; Wisconsin, 10 ; 
California, 3 — total, llOl. 

Mr. Dayton received one vote from New- Jersey, and 
Mr. McLean half a vote from Pennsylvania. 

The result was received with renewed applause. 

When silence was restored, Wm. M. Evarts came 
forward on the Secretary's table, and spoke as follows : 

" M7\ Chairman^ Gentlemen of the National Con- 
vention .-—The State of New- York, by a full delega- 
tion, with complete unanimity in purpose at home, 
came to the Convention and presented its choice, one 


of its citizens, who had served the State from boyhood 
upj and labored for and loved it. We came here, a 
great State, with, as we thought, a great statesman 
(applause), and our love of the great Republic, from 
which we are all delegates. The great Eepublic of the 
American Union, and our love for the great Eepubli- 
can party of the Union, and our love for our states- 
man and candidate, made us think we did our duty to 
the country, and the whole country, in exjoressing our 
preference and love for him. (Applause.) But, gen- 
tlemen, it was from Governor Seward that most of us 
learned to love Rej^ublican princi23les and the Republi- 
can party. (Cheers.) His fidelity to the country, the 
Constitution, and the laws — his fidelity to the party 
and the principle that majorities govern — his interest 
in the advancement of our party to its victory, that 
our country may rise to its true glory, induces me to 
declare that I speak his sentiments, as I do the united 
opinion of our delegation, when I move, sir, as I do 
now, that the nomination of Abraham Lincoln, of Il- 
linois, as the Republican candidate for the suffrages of 
the whole country for the office of Chief Magistrate 
of the American Union, be made unanimous/' (Ap- 
plause, and three cheers for New- York.) 

The life-size j)ortrait of Abraham Lincoln was here 
exhibited from the platform, amid renewed cheers. 

Mr. Andrews, of Massachusetts, on the part of the 
united delegation of that State, seconded the motion 
of the gentleman of New- York, that the nomination 
be made unanimous. 

Eloquent speeches, endorsing the nominee, were also 
made by Carl Schurz, F. P. Blair, of Missouri, and 


Mr. Browning, of Illinois, all of which breathed a 
spirit of confidence and enthusiasm. 

At the close, three hearty cheers were given for 
New-York, and the nomination of Mr. Lincoln made 

With loud cheers for Lincoln^ the Convention ad- 
journed till five o'clock. 

On the first ballot, in the evening session, Mr. Ham- 
lin^ of Maine, received 194 votes for the Vice-Presi- 
dency, and was nominated with enthusiasm. 


Everywhere, throughout the land, in New- York as 
"well as Illinois, in Pennsylvania as well as Indiana, 
everywhere, the voice of the peoj)le has gone up in 
shouts of joy over the nomination of Lincoln and 
Hamlin. Even from Albany, where the friends of Mr. 
Seward were so strong, comes a des]3atch like the fol- 
lowing, dated the night of the day on which the nom- 
inations were made : 

'^ Nine o'clock, p. m. — The Eepublicans of this city 
are now fairly waked up, and the wildest excitement 
prevails in regard to the nomination of Lincoln. State 
street is a perfect sea of fire from burning tar barrels. 
The whole heavens are illuminated with a red glare, 
cannon is firing, music is playing, and the people are 
shouting; on State street and Broadwav. Both streets 
are literally jammed with men of all parties, who are 
earnestly discussing the action of the Convention. 

" The Eepublicans of the city are now more reconciled 
to the nomination, and unite in hearty approval of it. 
They consider that while Lincoln may not be as strong 
in the State as Seward, he will be less objectionable 
throughout the Union. 


" Since the reception of the successful laying of the 
Atlantic cable, no more animated scene has ever been 
witnessed in this city than has been seen this evening. 

" In New- York two six-pounders were brought to the 
Park, and fired each a hundred times — one of them by 
order of the Kepublican General Committee, and the 
other under the patronage of private citizens. Besides 
these the Central Committee ordered one hundred guns 
to be fired in Madison and Hamilton squares respective- 
ly. In Mount Morris square, also, the big gun was 
brought out, and a hundred rounds announced to the 
citizens the nomination of Lincoln and Hamlin. Great 
numbers of enthusiastic Kepublicans gathered in the 
square, and the excitement was intense.'" 

In Philadelphia : -"The Kepublicans opened their 
campaign by an immense mass meeting in Independence 
Square. John B. Myers, Esq. presided at the main 
stand, and three other meetins-s were oro;anized — two 
at opposite angles of the square and one within the 
State-House. The meeting having been called to rati- 
fy the nominations made by the Chicago Convention, 
this was done in a series of resolutions highly eulogistic 
of the candidates and approving and adopting the plat- 
form on which they have been placed. Speeches were 
delivered by Mr. Senator Trumbull, of Illinois ; 
Charles K. Train, of Massachusetts ; Wm, M. 
Dunn, of Indiana ; Orris S. Ferry, of Connecticut ; 
James H. Campbell, of Pennsylvania ; John Sher- 
man, of Ohio ; G. A. Grow, of Pennsylvania ; Justin 
S. MoRRiL, of Vermont ; M. S. Wilkinson, of Min- 
nesota ; and other distinguished gentlemen. The as- 
semblage, in the display of numbers and enthusiasm, 
has rarely if ever been surpassed. Ward processions 
marched to the square with bands of music, fireworks, 


transparencies, rails, etc. ; and when the series of meet- 
ings concluded, at about half-past ten o'clock, the 
multitude then proceeded to the Continental hotel in 
comj)liment to the distinguished speakers. 

In a speech at a Republican ratification meeting at 
Harrisburg, Senator Cameron, while declaring that he 
had hoped for the nomination of Mr. Seward, described 
Mr. Lincoln as " a candidate less known in public life, 
perhaps, but who, on all occasions, when demands have 
been made upon his zeal and patriotism, has borne him- 
self bravely and honorably. In regard to the great 
interests of Pennsylvania, the subject of protection to 
labor, his record is clear, emphatic, and beyond suspi- 
cion. He will require no endorsement to convince the 
people of Pennsylvania that their interests will be per- 
fectly secure in his hands. Himself a laborer in early 
life, he has struggled with adversity until he has reach- 
ed the proud position he now occupies, by the single 
aid of a strong purpose, seconded by an unyielding 
will ; and it is not in the hearts of Pennsylvanians to 
doubt such a man. The laboring men of this State 
ever control the ballot-box when they arise in the maj- 
esty of their strength. Let them go to the election 
next autumn, and, while they are securing their own 
interests, let them elevate to the highest place in their 
election gift, Abraham Lincoln, a workingman like 

At Washington, D. C, an enthusiastic ratification 
meeting was held — the first time such a meeting has 
been held in that city. 

The public press was never before so unanimous in 
its commendation of a candidate. 


The N. Y. Tribune says : 

" While Mr. Lincoln's j)osition as a Eepublican ren- 
ders him satisfactory to the most zealous member of 
the party, the moderation of his character, and the 
conservative tendencies of his mind, long improved and 
well known of all men in public life, commend, him to 
every section of the oj^position. There is no good 
reason why Americans and Whigs, and in short all 
who are inspired rather by patriotism than by party 
feeling, should not rally to his support. Eepublicans 
and conservatives, those who dread the extension of 
Slavery, and those who dread the progress of adminis- 
trative and legislative corruption, may be assured that 
in him both these evils will find a stern and immovable 
antagonist and an impassable barrier. At the same 
time, as a man of the people, raised by his own genius 
and integrity from the humblest to the highest position, 
having made for himself an honored name as a lawyer, 
an advocate, a popular orator, a statesman, and a man, 
the industrious and intelligent masses of the country 
may well hail his nomination with a swelling tide of 
enthusiasm, of which the wild and prolonged outbursts 
at Chicago yesterday are the fitting prelude and be- 

We need hardly say that the election of Mr. Lincoln, 
though it cannot be accomplished without arduous and 
persistent efforts, is eminently a tJmig that can he done. 
The disruption of the Democratic Party, now perhap)s 
less likely to be repaired than before his nomination, 
the fact that he was put forward by one of the doubt- 
ful States, Illinois, and nominated in great measure by 
votes from two others, namely Pennsylvania and New- 
Jersey, the universal desire of the country to settle the 
vexatious Slavery question in accordance with the 
views of the fathers — all these are powerful in behalf 
of the Chicago ticket." 

The Springfield, Mass., Republican : 


" In ways, which it is useless to mention now, we 
are, of course, disappointed ; in ways, which we shall 
have frequent occasion to mention between this date 
and November, we are glad and grateful. The nomi- 
nee is a positive man — a live man — and in these re- 
sjoects matches well with the platform, which is bold, 
manly, and comprehensive. The many friends of Mr. 
Seward, particularly, will feel aggrieved by this result, 
but it could not have been otherwise. The States 
which must be carried to secure a Republican triumph 
did not dare to assume Mr. Seward, and the forcing up- 
on them of a name that would weaken them, and de- 
velop opposition — organized and consolidated — would 
have been neither wise nor fair. We predict for the 
ticket a popularity that will grow, as the campaign ad- 
vances, into a furor of enthusiasm. We predict, fur- 
thermore, that it will be elected.'" 

The Boston Atlas : 

" As in 1840 and 1848, the Whig party passed by 
the j)rominent names before the Conventions at the out- 
set, and as in 1844 and in 1852 the Democratic party 
did the same thing, and elected men who were not the 
most prominently before the people, the Republicans 
have in this instance taken up men fresh from the peo- 
ple, of broad and statesmanlike quahties, of unques- 
tioned abilities, and of tried patriotism, in what is to 
be to them a great, and, as we confidently believe, a 
triumphantly successful campaign. In a nomination 
of this nature, there must have been necessarily many 
preferences from people of different sections, some of 
which were to be set aside. Mr. Seward, Mr. Chase, 
Mr. Cameron, Mr. Banks, Mr. Bates, and Mr. McLean, all 
have friends presented their names for the first or sec- 
ond place on the ticket. For ourselves, we might have 
had personal preferences equally strong with others. 
But at a time like this, personal preferences are to be 
subordinated to the will of the majority, as expressed 


in the Convention, as to the success of the ticket as in- 
dicated by the judgment of that body/' 

The N. Y. Evening Post : 

" Our country is not, however, distinguished alone for 
its stupendous physical progress, for those grand tri- 
umphs over nature which have sprinkled the whole con- 
tinent with cities, and connected its remotest parts by 
railroads and telegraphs. It has also worked out for it- 
self a peculiar social and political constitution. Pla- 
cing, for the first time in the history of mankind, the 
controlling power of government in the hands of the 
whole people, it has constructed a vast fabric of socie- 
ty on that new basis. It has said to all ranks and or- 
ders of men, here you are free ; here you are equal in 
rights to each other ; here the careers of life are open 
to every comer ; men are thrown upon their own 
intrinsic manhood for their reliance, and it belongs to 
each one to become the architect of his own fortunes. 
This unlimited freedom of action, though it has pro- 
duced some social evils, has produced much greater 
good, and we do not believe that there is a nation on 
the globe in which the masses of the people are so 
prosperous, so intelligent, and so contented as they are 
in this nation. What more striking illustration of its 
effects could we have, than the rise of Mr. Lincoln to 
his present importance in the eyes of the world ? Is 
he not pre-eminently the child of our free institutions ? 
A poor orphan, without education or friends, by the 
labor of his hands, by the energy of his will, by the 
manliness and probity of his character, he raises him- 
self to fortune and fame ; a powerful party, which 
contains, to say the least, as much virtue and intelli- 
gence as any other, assigns him, without intrigues or 
efforts of his own, the first place in its regards, making 
him the bearer of its standard in a momentous politi- 
cal conflict ; and in a few months more we may see the 
once friendless boy the occupant of the Presidential 


chair. Thus the spirit of our institutions is strikingly 
embodied in his career, which is itself an admirable 
commentary on their excellence/' 

And the conservative Philadelphia North Ameri- 
can : 

'' The people of Pennsylvania are eminently practi- 
cal in all their views and actions. We are not hasty 
nor inconsiderate. We take time to reflect and gener- 
ally act intelligently. It has been so in this case. 
Our State entered into the canvass at Chicago with 
a spirit, a determination, and an indomitable energy 
which completely surprised the gentlemen from the ex- 
treme North, and served us a rallpng point for all the 
moderates. The Pennsylvania delegation was gener- 
ally accredited with the selfish purpose of going to Chi- 
cago to secure the nomination of one of our own sons. 
Such was far from the truth. When the ground was 
surveyed, it was found that from the Atlantic seacoast 
of Jersey to the Mississippi river, in the whole belt of 
States south of New- York and Michigan, there was a 
settled determination not to take Mr. Seward, nor, in- 
deed, any extreme • man. Yet ths councils of these 
States were divided, and no chance of concentration 
seemed to present itself. At length Pennsylvania, by 
the force of her numbers and courage, solved the prob- 
lem. She sacrificed her own canditate, and rushed 
over to the side of the Illinois favorite, Lincoln. 

'' This nomination was made by Pennsylvania, audit 
could not have been accomplished without her. She 
brought together, for the first time, this noble j^halanx 
of central free States, and gave them a community of 
feehng and purpose. From the first moment that this 
movement was begun victory was no longer doubtful. 
Pennsylvania demanded a protectionist, and so did all 
the States of this combination. Her demand could 
not be refused, and in Mr. Lincoln Ave have one whose 
devotion to American interests has been lifelong. 


Sprung, too, from good old Pennsylvania stock, lie 
was peculiarly entitled to her support. 

" Under these circumstances it is clear that our gal- 
lant State has gained a signal triumph at Chicago, and 
one, too, the effects of which are likely to prove lasting. 
In the demonstration of joy with which the nomination 
has been hailed at Easton, Westchester, and other 
points throughout the interior, we read the indications 
of the popular feeling. The belief is general that this 
is a Pennsylvania ticket, and must receive the vote of 
the State. In fact, the people of this commonwealth 
are determined not to permit the election of another 
Democratic President, no matter with how much 
clamor any particular section of the country may de- 
mand it. The interests of the whole country must be 
attended to first, and those of sections afterward. We 
must purge the government of the corruptions which 
befoul every department at Washington. We must 
substitute honest, and patriotic, and sensible men for 
reckless, and intriguing, and plunder-seeking faction- 
ists, to whom the interests of humanity, the progress 
of civilization and enlightenment, and the rights and 
privileges of citizenship, are too small for serious con- 
sideration.'' ' 

And so we might go on, quoting hundreds of pages 
of similar remarks from the American Press. 


The Committee appointedbythe National Convention 
to wait upon Mr. Lincoln, and inform him of his nomi- 
nation, immediately performed their duty. A corre- 
spondent of the Chicago Journal gives the subjoined 
graphic account of the visit of the Committee : 

" The excursion train bearing the Committee appoint- 
ed by the National Convention at Chicago to wait on 


Mr. Lincoln and notify liim of his nomination, consist- 
ing of the President of the Convention, the Hon. Geo. 
Ashmun of Mass., and the chairmen of the different 
State delegations, arrived at Springfield, Friday even- 
ing at seven o'clock. 

"A great crowd was awaiting them at the depot, and 
greeted their coming with enthusiastic shouts. From 
the depot they marched to the hotel, accompanied by 
the crowd, and two or three bands discoursing stirring 
music. The appearance and names of the more distin- 
guished delegates were received with vociferous ap- 
j^lause, especially the venerable and famous Francis P. 
Blair of Maryland, the Hon. E. D. Morgan, Governor 
of New-York, and Governor Boutwell of Massachu- 

^' When they arrived at the hotel the crowd, still 
increasing, deployed off to the State-House square, to 
give vent to their enthusiasm in almost continual 
cheers, and listen to fervent sjDeeches. 

" Having partaken of a bountiful supj^er, the delegates 
proceeded quietly, by such streets as would escape the 
crowd, to the residence of Mr. Lincoln. Quite a num- 
ber of outsiders were along, among whom were half a 
dozen editors, including the Hon. Henry J. Eaymond of 
The Neiv- York Times. 

"Among the delegates composing the Committee, were 
many of the most distinguished men in that great Con- 
vention, such as Mr. Evarts of New- York, the accom- 
phshed and eloquent spokesman of the delegation from 
the Empire State, and friend of Mr. Seward ; Judge 
Kelly of Pennsylvania, whose tall form and sonorous 
eloquence excited so much attention ; Mr. Andrew of 
Massachusetts, the round-faced, handsome man, who 
made such a beautiful and telling speech on behalf of 
the old Bay State, in seconding the motion to make 
Lincoln's nomination unanimous ; Mr. Simmons, the 
gray-headed United States Senator from Khode Island; 
Mr. Ashmun, the President of the Convention, so long 


the bosom friend and ardent admirer of Daniel Web- 
ster, and tlie leader of tlie Massachusetts Whigs ; the 
veteran Blair, and his gallant sons, Frank P. and 
Montgomery ; brave old Blakie of Kentucky ; Galla- 
gher, the literary man of Ohio ; burly, loud-voiced 
Cartter of Ohio, who announced the four votes that 
gave Lmcoln the nomination, and others that I have 
not time to mention. 

" In a few minutes (it now being about 8 p. m.), they 
were at Lincoln's house — an elegant two-story dwell- 
ing, fronting west, of pleasing exterior, with a neat 
and roomy appearance, situated in the quiet joart of the 
town, surrounded with shrubbery. As they were pass- 
ing in at the gate and up the steps, two -handsome lads 
of eight or ten years met them with a courteous ' Good 
evening, gentlemen.' 

" 'Are you Mr. Lincoln's son 7 ' said Mr. Evarts of 
New- York. ' Yes, sir,' said the boy. ' Then let's 
shake hands ;' and they began greeting him so warmly 
as to excite the younger one's attention, who had stood 
silently by the opposite gatej)Ost, and he sang out, 
' I'm a Lincoln, too ;' whereupon several delegates, 
amid much laughter, saluted the young Lincoln. 

Having all collected in the large north parlor, Mr. 
Ashmun addressed Mr. Lincoln, who stood at the east 
end of the room, as foUows : 

" ^ I have, sir, the honor, in behalf of the gentlemen 
who are present, a Committee appointed by the Eepub- 
lican Convention, recently assembled at Chicago, to 
discharge a most pleasant duty. We have come, sir, 
under a vote of instructions to that Committee, to 
notify you that you have been selected by the Conven- 
tion of the Eepublicans at Chicago, for President of the 
United States. They instruct us, sir, to notify you of 
that selection, and that Committee deem it not only 
respectful to yourself, but appropriate to the important 
matter which they have in hand, that they should 
come in person, and present to you the authentic evi- 


dence of the action of tliat Convention ; and, sir, with- 
out any phrase which shall either be considered person- 
ally plauditory to yourself, or which shall have any 
reference to the j)rinciples involved in the questions 
which are connected with your nomination, I desire to 
present to you the letter which has been prepared, and 
which informs you of the nomination, and with it the 
platform, resolutions, and sentiments, which the Con- 
vention adoj)ted. Sir, at your convenience, we shall 
be glad to receive from you such a response as it may 
be your pleasure to give us/ 

" Mr. Lincoln listened with a countenance grave and 
earnest, almost to sternness, regarding Mr. Ashmun 
with the profoundest attention, and at the conclusion of 
that gentleman's remarks, after an impressive ]3ause, 
he replied in a clear but subdued voice, with that per- 
fect enunciation, which always marks his utterance, 
and a dignified sincerity of manner suited to the man 
and the occasion, in the following words : 

"^Mr. Chairman, and Gentlemen of the Com- 
mittee : I tender to you, and through you to the Ke- 
publican 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 respon- 
sibility 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 ex- 
perienced statesmen whose distinguished names wer 
before the Convention, I shall, by your leave, conside.- 
more fully the resolutions of the Convention, denomi- 
nated the platform, and without unnecessary or un- 
reasonable 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.' 


" Mr. Aslimun then introduced the delegates person- 
ally to Mr. Lincoln, who shook them heartily by the 
h.'ind. Gov. Morgan, Mr. Blair, Senator Simmons, Mr. 
Welles, and Mr. Fogg, of Connecticut, were first in- 
troduced ; then came hearty old Mr. Blakie, of Ken- 
lucky, Lincoln's native State, and, of course, they had 
to compare notes, inquire up old neighbors, and, if the 
time had allowed, they would soon have started to 
tracing out the old pioneer families. Major Ben. 
Eggieston, of Cincinnati, was next, and his greeting 
and recej)tion were equally hearty. Tall Judge Kelly, 
of Pennsylvania, was then presented by Mr. Ashmun 
to Mr. Lincoln. As they shook hands, each eyed the 
other's ample proportions, with genuine admiration — 
Lincoln, for once, standing erect as an Indian during 
this evening, and showing his tall form in its full 

'' '• What's your height ?' inquired Lincoln. 

" ^ Six feet three ; what is yours, Mr. Lincoln '/ 
said Judge Kelly, in his round, deliberate tone. 

'' ' Six feet four,' replied Lincoln. 

^^ ^ Then,' said Judge Kelly, ^ Pennsylvania bows 
to Illinois. My dear man, for years my heart has been 
aching for a President that I could look up to, and I've 
found him at last in the land where we thouo-ht there 


were none but little giants.' 

"Mr. Evarts, of New- York, expressed very gracefully 
his gratification at meeting Mr. Lincoln, whom he had 
heard at Cooper Institute, but where, on account of 
the pressure and crowd, he had to go away without an 

"Mr. Andrews, of Massachusetts, said, ^We claim 
you, Mr. Lincoln, as coming from Massachusetts, be- 
cause all the old Lincoln name are from Plymouth Col- 

"' We'll consider it so this evening,' said Lincoln. 

" Various others were presented, when Mr. Ashmun 
asked them to come up and introduce themselves. 


' Come up, gentlemen/ said Mr. Judd, ' it's nobody but 
Old Abe Lincoln/ The greatest good feeling pre- 
vailed. As the delegates fell back, each congratulated 
the other that they had got just the sort of man. A 
neatly-dressed New-Englander remarked to us, ' I was 
afraid I should meet a gigantic rail-splitter, with the 
manners of a flatboatman, and the ugliest face in 
creation ; and he's a complete gentleman.' 

" Mrs. Lincoln received the delegates in the south 
parlor, where they were severally conducted after their 
official duty was performed. It will, no doubt, be a 
gratification to those who have not seen this amiable 
and accomj^lished lady to know that she adorns a draw- 
ing-room, presides over a table, does the honors on an 
occasion like the present, or will do the honors at the 
White-House, with appropriate grace. She is a daugh- 
ter of Dr. Todd, formerly of Kentucky, and long one 
of the prominent citizens of Springfield. She is one 
of three sisters noted for their beauty and accomplish- 
ments. One of them is now the wife of Ninian W. 
Edwards, Esq., son of old Gov. Edwards. Mrs. Lin- 
coln is now apparently about 35 years of age, is a very 
handsome woman, with a vivacious and graceful man- 
ner ; is an interesting and often sparkling talker. 
Standing by her almost gigantic husband, she appears 
petite, but is really about the average height of ladies. 
They have three sons, two of them already mentioned, 
and an older one — a young man of 16 or 18 years, now 
at Harvard College, Mass. 

"■ Mr. Lincoln bore himself during the evening with 
dignity and ease. His kindly and sincere manner, frank 
and honest expression, unaflected, pleasant conversa- 
tion, soon made every one feel at ease, and rendered 
the hour and a half which they spent with him one of 
great pleasure to the delegates. He was dressed with 
perfect neatness, almost elegance — though, as all Illi- 
noians know, he usually is as plain in his attire as he 
is modest and unassuming in deportment. He stood 


erect, displaying to excellent advantage his tall and 
manly figure. 

" Perhaps some reader will be curious to know liow 
^ Honest Old Abe' received the news of his nomination. 
He had been up in the telegraph office during the first 
and second ballots on Friday morning. As the vote of 
each State was announced on the platform at Chicago, 
it was telegraphed to Springfield, and those who were 
gathered there figured up the vote, and hung over the 
result with the same breathless anxiety as the crowd at 
the Wigwam. As soon as the second ballot was taken, 
and before it had been counted and announced by the 
secftetaries, Mr. Lincoln walked over to the State Jour- 
nal office. He was sitting there conversing while the 
third ballot was being taken. When Cartter, of Ohio, 
announced the change of four votes, giving Lincoln a 
majority, and before the great tumult of applause in 
the Wigwam had fairly begun, it was telegraphed to 
Springfield. Mr. Wilson, telegraph superintendent, who 
was in the office, instantly wrote on a scraj) of paper, 
^ Mr. Lincoln, you are nominated on the third ballot,' 
and gave it to a boy, who ran with it to Mr. Lincoln. 
He took the paper in his hand, and looked at it long 
and silently, not heeding the noisy exultation of all 
around, and then rising and putting the note in his vest 
pocket, he quietly remarked, ' There's a little woman 
down at our house would like to hear this. I'll go 
down and tell her.' 

"It is needless to say that the people of Springfield 
were delirious with joy and enthusiasm both that even- 
ing and since. As the delegates returned to the hotel 
— the sky blazing with rockets, cannon roaring at in- 
tervals, bonfires blazing at the street corners, long rows 
of buildings brilliantly illuminated, the State-House 
overflowing with shouting people, speakers awakening 
new enthusiasm — one of the New-England delegates 
remarked that there were more enthusiasm and sky- 
rockets than he ever saw in a town of that size before. 


" The Ohio delegates bronglit back with them a rail, 
one of the original three thousand split by Lincoln in 
1830 ; and though it bears the marks of years, is still 
tough enough for service. It is for Tom Corwin, who 
intends taking it with him as he stumps the Buckeye 
State for honest old Abe/' 

A correspondent of the New- York Evening Post de- 
scribes his visit to Mr. Lincoln in the following manner : 

" It had been reported by some of Mr. Lincoln's po- 
litical enemies, that he was a man who lived in the 
' lowest hoosier style/ and I thought I would see^for 
myself. Accordingly, as soon as the business of thf 
Convention was closed, I took the cars for Springfield. 
I found Mr. Lincoln living in a handsome, but not pre- 
tentious, double two-story frame house, having a wide 
hall running through the centre, with parlors on both 
sides, neatly, but not ostentatiously, furnished. It was 
just such a dwelling as a majority of the well-to-do 
residents of these fine western towns occupy. Every- 
thing about it had a look of comfort and indej)endence. 
The library I remarked in passing, particularly, and I 
was pleased to see long rows of books, which told of the 
scholarly tastes and culture of the family. 

'■'■ Lincoln received us with great, and to me, sur- 
prising urbanity. I had seen him before in New- York, 
and brought with me an impression of his awkward 
and ungainly manner ; but in his own house, where he 
doubtless feels himself freer than in the strano;e New- 
York circles, he had thrown this off, and appeared easy, 
if not graceful. He is, as you know, a tall, lank man, 
with a long neck, and his ordinary movements are 
unusually angular, even out West. As soon, however, 
as he gets interested in conversation, his face hghts u^:), 
and his attitudes and gestures assume a certain dignity 
and impressiveness. His conversation is fluent, agree- 
able and polite. You see at once from it that he is a 
man of decided and original character. His views are 


all Ills own ; sucli as lie lias worked out from a patient 
and varied scrutiny of life, and not sucli as he has 
learned from others. Yet he cannot be called opinion- 
ated. He listens to others like one eager to learn, and 
his replies evince at the same time, both modesty and 
self-reliance. I should say that sound common sense 
was the principal quality of his mind, although at times 
a striking phrase or word reveals a peculiar vem ol 
thought." He tells a story well, with a strong idiomatic 
smack, and seems to relish humor, both in himself and 
others. Our conversation was mainly political, but ol 
a general nature. One thing Mr. Lincoln remarked, 
which I will venture to repeat. He said that in the 
coming presidential canvass he was wholly uncommitted 
to any°cabals or cliques, and that he meant to keep 
himself free from them, and from all pledges and 

" I had the pleasure, also, of a brief interview with 
Mrs. Lincoln, and, in the circumstances of these per- 
sons, I trust I am not trespassing on the sanctities of 
private life, in saying a word in regard to that lady. 
Whatever of awkwardness may be ascribed to her 
husband, there is none of it in her. On the contrary, 
she is quite a pattern of lady-like courtesy and pohsh. 
She converses with freedom and grace, and is thoroughly 
aufait in all the little amenities of society. Mrs. 
Lincoln belongs, by the mother's side, to the Preston 
family of Kentucky, has received a liberal and refined 
education, and should she ever reach it, will adorn the 
White-House. She is, I am told, a strict and consis- 
tent member of the Presbyterian Church. 

''Not a man of us who saw Mr. Lincoln but was 
impressed by his ability and character. In illustration 
of the last let me mention one or two things, which 
your readers, I think, will be pleased to hear. Mr. 
Lincoln's early life, as you know, was passed m the 
roughest kind of experience on the frontier, and among 
the°roughest sort of people. Yet, I have been told 


that^ in the face of all these influenceSj he is a strictly 
temperate man, never using wine or strong drink ; and 
stranger still, he does not ' t^dst the hlthy weed/ nor 
smoke, nor use j)rofane language of any kind. When 
w^e consider how common these vices are all over our 
country, particularly in the West, it must be admitted 
that it exhibits no little strength of character to have 
refrained from them. 

'' Mr. Lincoln is popular with his fdends and neigh- 
bors ; the habitual equity of his mind points him out 
as a j^eacemaker and comj^oser of difficulties ; his 
integrity is proverbial ; and his legal abilities are 
regarded as of the highest order. The soubriquet of 
' Honest old Abe,' has been won by years of upright 
conduct, and is the popular homage to his probity. 
He carries the marks of honesty in his face and entire 

"lam the more convinced by this personal inter- 
course wdth Mr. Lincoln, that the action of our Con- 
vention was altogether judicious and proper." 

The Tribune gives the subjoined incident : 

^' Probably no attribute of our candidate will, after 
all, endear him so much to the popular heart as the 
cooviction that he is emphatically ' one of the people.' 
His manhood has not been compressed into the artificial 
track of society ; but his great heart and vigorous in- 
tellect have been allowed a generous development amid 
his solitary struggles in the forest and the prairie. 
With vision unobscured by the mists of sophistry, be 
distinguishes at the first glance between what is*^true 
and what is false, and with will and courage fortified 
by his life of hardship, he is not the man to shirk any 
responsibility, or to shrink from any opposition. More- 
over, he is peculiarly one to win our confidence and 
affection. To know ' honest Abe' is to love him ; and 
his neighbors in the West, although voting for him to 
a man, will mourn the victory which is to deprive them 


of his presence. The following incident will exhibit 
Lincoln in one of those unobtrusive acts of goodness 
which adorn his life. The circumstance was related by 
a teacher from the Five-Points' House of Industry in 
this city : ^ Our Sunday-school in the Five-Pointe was 
assembled, one Sabbath morning, a few months sinoe, 
when I noticed a tall and remarkable looking man enter 
the room and take a seat among us. He Hstened with 
fixed attention to our exercises, and his countenance 
manifested such genuine interest, that I approached 
him and suggested that he might be willing to say 
something to the children. He accepted the invitation 
with evident pleasure, and coming forward, began a 
simple address, which at once fascinated every little 
hearer, and hushed the roojn into silence. His lan- 
guage was strikingly beautiful, and his tones musical 
with intensest feeling. The little faces around Avould 
droop into sad conviction, as he uttered sentences of 
warnincr, and would briohten into sunshine as he spoke 
cheerful words of promise. Once or twice he attempted 
to close his remarks, but the imperative shout of ." Go 
on V " Oh, do go on V would compel him to resume. 
As I looked upon the gaunt and sinewy frame of the 
stranger, and marked his powerful head and deter- 
mined features, now touched into softness by the im- 
pressions of the moment, I felt an irrepressible curiosity 
to learn something more about him, and when he was 
quietly leaving the room, I begged to know his name. 
He courteously replied, ^' It is Abraham Lincoln, from 
Illinois !''^^' 

That the Convention at Chicago acted Avisely and 
sagaciously, no man can for a moment doubt who looks 
over the field and sees the enthusiasm of tJie people 
over the nominations. That Lincoln and Hamlin can 
6e, and luill be, elected to the places to tvhich they have 
been nominated ive have no manner of doubt, and we 


cannot do better than to finish our sketch of Mr. Lin- 
cohi by quoting the following admirable song of one of 
A^nerica's most gifted sons^ William Henry Burleigh, 
of New- York : 

Up, again for the conflict! our banner fling out, 

And rally around it with song and with shout ! 

Stout of heart, firm of hand, should the gallant boys be, 

Who bear to the battle the Flag of the Free ! 

Like our fathers, when Liberty called to the strife. 

They should pledge to her cause fortune, honor, and life 1 

And follow wherever she beckons them on, 

Till Freedom exults in a victory won ! 

Then fling out the banner, the old stany banner. 

The battle-torn banner that beckons us on ! 

They come from the hillside, they come from the glen — 
From the streets thronged with traflSc, and surging with men 
From loom and from ledger, from workshop and farm. 
The fearless of heart, and the mighty of arm. 
As the mountain-born torrents exultingly leap. 
When theii' ice-fetters melt, to the breast of the deep ; 
As the winds of the prairie, the waves of the sea. 
They are coming — ai'e coming — the Sons of the Free ! 
Then fling out the banner, the old starry banner. 
The war-tattered banner, the flag of the Free 1 

Our Leader is one who, w ith conquerless will. 

Has climbed from the base to the brow of the hill ; 

Undaunted in peril, unwavering in strife, 

He has fought a good fight in the Battle of Life 

And we trust him as one who, come woe or come weal, 

Is as firm as the rock, and as true as the steel. 

Eight loyal and brave, with no stain on his crest, 

Then, hurrah, boys, for honest " Old Abe of the West !" 
And fling out your banner, the old starry banner, 
The signal of triumph for " Abe of the West !" 

The West, whose broad acres, from lake-shore to sea. 

Now wait for the harvest and homes of the free I 

Shall the dark tide of Slavery roll o'er the sod. 

That Freedom makes bloom like the garden of God ? 

The bi-ead of our children be torn from their mouth, 

To feed the fierce dragon that preys on the South ? 

No, never ! the tru^t which our Washington laid 

On UB, for the Future, s-Iim.II ne'er be betrayed ! 

Thin fling out the banuor, the old starry banner. 
And on to the conflict with hearts undismayed I 




At Springfield, June 17, 1858. 

[The following speech was delivered at Springfield, 
111., at the close of the Eepuhlican State Convention, 
held at that time and place, and by which Convention 
Mr. Lincoln had been named as their candidate for 
United States Senator. Mr. Douglas was not pres- 

Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Con^^ention : 
If we could first know where we are, and whither we are 
tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. 
"We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initi- 
ated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting 
an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that 
policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has con- 
stantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a 
crisis shall have been reached and passed. " A house divided 
against itself cannot stand." I believe this government can- 
not endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not 
expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house 
to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will 
become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents 
of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it 
where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the 
course of ultimate extinction ; or its advocates will push it 
forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old 
as well as new — North as well as South. 

Have we no tendency to the latter condition ? 

Let any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that now 



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

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

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

This necessity had not been overlooked ; but had been pro- 
vided for, as well as might be, in the notable argument of 
'"squatter sovereignty," otherwise called "sacred right of self- 
government " which latter phrase, though expressive of the 
only rightful basis of any government, was so perverted in 
this attempted use of it as to amount to just this : That if 
any one man choose to enslave another^ no third man shall be 
allowed to object. That argument was incorporated into the 
Nebraska bill itself, in the language which follows : " It 
being the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate 
slavery into any territory or State, nor to exclude it there- 
from ; but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form 
and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, 
subject only to the Constitution of the United States." Then 
opened the roar of loose declamation in favor of ' ' squatter 
sovereignty," and " sacred rights of self-government." " But," 
said opposition members, " let us amend the bill so as to ex- 
pressly declare that the people of the territory may exclude 
slavery." "Not we," said the friends of the measure; and 
down they voted the amendment. 

While t'le Nebrask a bill was passing through Congress, a 
law case involving the question of a negro's freedom, by reason 
of his owner having voluntarily taken him first into a free 
^tat^ j^nd then into a terntory covered by the Congressional 


prohibition, and held him as a slave for a long time in each, 
was passing through the U. S. Circuit Court for the District 
of Missouri ; and both Nebraska bill and law suit were 
brought to a decision in the same month of May, 1854. The 
negro's name was " Dred Scott," which name now designates 
the decision finally made in the case. Before the then next 
Presidential election, the law case came to, and was argued 
in, the Supreme Court of the United States ; but the decision 
of it was deferred until after the election. Still, before the 
election. Senator Trumbull, on the floor of the Senate, re- 
quested the leading advocate of the Nebraska bill to state hm 
opinion whether the people of a territory can constitutionally 
exclude slavery from their limits ; and the latter answers : 
" That is a question for the Supreme Court." 

The election came. Mr. Buchanan was elected, and the 
endorsement, such as it was, secured. That was the second 
point gained. The endorsement, however, fell short of a clear 
popular majority by nearly four hundred thousand votes, and 
so, perhaps, was not overwhelmingly reliable and satisfactory. 
The outgoing Pre.-ident, in his last annual message, as impres- 
sively as possible echoed back upon the people the weight and 
authority of the endorsement. The Supreme Court met again ; 
did not announce their decision, but ordered a re-argument. 
The Presidential inauguration came, and still no decision of 
the court ; but the incoming President, in his inaugural ad- 
dress, fervently exhorted the people to abide by the forthcom- 
ing decision, whatever it might be. Then, in a few days, 
came the decision. 

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

At length a squabble springs up between the President and 
the author of the Nebraska bill, on the mere question o{ fad, 
whether the Lecompton Constitution was, or was not, in 
any just sense, made by the people of Kansas ; and, in 
that quarrel, the latter declares that all he wants is a 
fair vote of the people, and that he cares not whether 


glavery be voted down or voted up. I do not under- 
stand his declaration that he cares not whether slavery be 
voted down or voted up. to be intended bj him other than as 
an apt definition of the policy he would impress upon the pub- 
lic mind — the principle for which he declares he has sutiered 
so much, and is ready to sutler to the end. And well may he 
cling to that jjrinciple. If he has any parental fteling, well 
may he cling to it. That principle is the only shred left of 
his original Nebraska doctrine. Under the Dred Scott decis- 
ion, " squatter sovereignty" squatted out of existence, tum- 
bled down like temporary scatlblding — like the mould at the 
foundry served through one blast and fell back into loose sand 
— helped to carry an election, and then was kicked to the 
w inds. His late joint struggle with the Kepublicans, against 
the Lecompton Constitution, involves nothing of the original 
Nebraska doctrine. That struggle was made on a point — 
the right of a people to make their own constitution — upon 
Avhich he and the Republicans have never dilfered. 

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

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

Secondly, That "subject to the Constitution of the United 
States," neither Congress nor a territorial legislature can ex- 
clude slavery from any United States territory. 'Jliis point is 
made in order that individual men may fill up the territories 
with slaves, without danger of losing them as [)ropcrty, and 
thus to enhance the chances of permanency to the institution 
through all the future. 

Thirdly, That whether the holding a negro in actual slave- 
ry in a tree State, makes him free, as against the holder, the 
United States courts >yill not decide, but >vill leave tp bp de- 


cided by the courts of any slave State the negro may be forced 
into by the master. This point is made, not to be pressed im- 
mediately ; but, if acquiesced in for a while, and apparently 
endorsed by the people at an election, then to sustain the logi- 
cal conclusion that Avhat Dred Scott's master might lawfully 
do with Dred Scott, in the free State of Illinois, every other 
master may lawfully do with any other one, or one thousand 
slaves, in Illinois, or in any other free State. 

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

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

We cannot absolutely know that all these exact adaptations 
are the result of pre-concert. But when we see a lot of framed 
timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten 


out at different times and places and by different workmen — 
Stephen, Franklin, Roger, and James, for instance — and when 
we see these timbers joined together, and see they exactly 
make the frame of a house or a mill, all the tenons and mor- 
tices exactly fitting, all the lengths and proportions of the dif- 
ferent pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and 
not a piece too many or too few — not omitting even scaffold- 
ing — or, if a single piece be lacking, we see the place in the 
frame exactly fitted and prepared yet to bring such piece in — 
in such a case, we find it impossible not to believe that Ste- 
phen and Franklin, and Eoger and James, all understood one 
another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common 
plan or draft drawn up before the first blow was struck. 

It should not be overlooked that, by the Nebraska bill, the 
people of a State as well as territory, were to be left " per- 
fectly free," "subject only to the Constitution." Why men- 
tion a State % They were legislating for territories, and not 
for or about States. Certainly the people of a State are and 
ought to be subject to the Constitution of the United States ; 
bnt why is mention of this lugged into this merely territorial 
law ? Why are the people of a territory and the people of a 
State therein lumped together, and their relation to the Con- 
stitution therein treated as being precisely the same? While 
the opinion of the court, by Chief Justice Taney, in the Dred 
Scott case, and the separate opinions of all the concurring 
Judges, expressly declare that the Constitution of the United 
States neither permits Congress nor a territorial legislature to 
exclude slavery from any United States territory, they all omit 
to declare whether or not the same Constitution permits a 
State, or the people of a State, to exclude it. Possibly, this is 
a mcic omission ; but who can be quite sure, if McLean or 
Curtis had sought to get into the opinion a declaration of un- 
limited power in the people of a State to exclude slavery from 
their limits, just as Chase and Mace sought to get such dec- 
laration, in behalf of the people of a territory, into the Ne- 
braska bill — I ask, who can be quite sure that it would not 
liave been voted down in the one case as it had been in the 
other ? 'I'he nearest approach to the point of declaring the 
power of a State over slavery, is made by Judge Nelson. He 
approaches it more than once, using the precise idea, and al- 
most the language, too, of the Nebraska act. On one occa- 


sion, his exact language is, " except in cases where the power 
is restrained by the Constitution of the United States, the law 
of the State is supreme over the subject of slavery within its 
jurisdiction." In what cases the power of the State is so re- 
strained by the United States Constitution, is left an open 
question, precisely as the same question, as to the restraint on 
the power of the territories, was left open in the Nebraska 
act. Put this and that together, and w^e have another nice 
little niche, which we may, ere long, see filled with another 
Supreme Court decision, declaring that the Constitution of the 
United States does not permit a State to exclude slavery from 
its limits. And this may especially be expected if the doc- 
trine of " care not whether slavery be voted down or voted 
up," shall gain upon the public mind sufficiently to give 
promise that such a decision can be maintained when made. 

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

There are those who denounce us openly to their own 
friends, and yet whisper us softly, that Senator Douglas is the 
aptest instrument there is with which to effect that object. 
They wish us to infer all, from the fact that he now has a lit- 
tle quarrel with the present head of the dynasty ; and that he 
has regularly voted with us on a single point, upon which he 
and we have never differed. They remind us that he is a great 
man, and that the largest of us are very small ones. Let this 
be granted. But "a living dog is better than a dead lion." 
Judge Douglas, if not a dead lion, for this work, is at least a 
caged and toothless one. How can he oppose the advances of 
slavery ? He don't care anything about it. His avowed 
mission is impressing the " public heart" to cave nothing about 
it. A leading Douglas democratic newspaper thinks Doug- 
las's superior talent will be needed to resist the revival of the 


African slave trade. Does Douglas believe an effort to re- 
vive that trade is approaching ? He has not said so. Does 
he really think so"? But if it is, how can he resist if? For 
years he has labored to prove it a sacred right of white men 
to take negro slaves into the new territories. Can he possi- 
bly show that it is less a sacred right to buy them where they 
can be bought cheapest ? And unquestionably they can be 
bought cheaper in Africa than in Virginia. He has done all 
in his power to reduce the whole question of slavery to one of 
a mere right of property ; and as such, how can he oppose 
the foreio-n slave trade — how can he refuse that trade in that 
" property" shall be " perfectly free" — unless he does it as a 
protection to the home production '? And as the home pro- 
ducers will probably not ask the protection, he will be wholly 
without a ground of opposition. 

Senator Douglas holds, we know, that a man may right- 
fully be wiser to-day than he was yesterday — that he may 
rio-litfully change when he finds himself wrong. But can we, 
for that reason, run ahead, and infer that he will make any 
particular change, of which he, himself, has given no intima- 
tion ? Can we safely base our action upon any such vague 
inference? Now, as ever, I wish not to misrepresent Judge 
Douglas's position, question his motives, or do aught that can 
be personally offensive to him. Whenever, if ever, he and wo 
can come together on principle, so that our cause may have 
assistance from his great ability, 1 Jiope to have interposed no 
adventiiious obstacle. But clearly, he is not now with us — 
lie does not pretend to be — he does not promise ever to be. 

Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by, its 
own undoubted friends — those whose hands are i'ree, whose 
hearts are in tlie work— ^ who do care for the result. Two 
years ago the Republicans of the nation mustered over thirteen 
hundred thousand strong. We did this under the single im- 
pulse of resistance to a common danger, with every external 
circumstance against us. Of strange, discordant, and even 
hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed 
and I'might the battle through, under the constant hot tire of a 
di.-ci[)lined, proud, and pampered enemy. Did we brave all 
then, to falter now ? — now, when that same enemy is waver- 
ing, dissevered, and belligerent ? The result is not doubtful. 
We shall not fail — if we stand firm, we shall not fail. Wise 


counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but sooner or 
later, the victory is sure to come. 



At Chicago, July 10, 1858. 

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

My Fellows-citizens : On yesterday evening, upon the oc- 
casion of the reception given to Senator Douglas, I Avas fur- 
nished with a seat very convenient for hearing him, and was 
otherwise very courteously treated by him and his friends, and 
for which I thank him and them. During the course of his 
remarks my name was mentioned in such a way as, I suppose, 
renders it at least not improper that I should make some sort 
of reply to him. I shall not attempt to follow him in the pre- 
cise oi'der in which he addressed the assembled multitude upon 
that occasion, though I shall, perhaps, do so in the main. 

There was one question to which he asked the attention of 
the crowd, which 1 deem of somewhat less importance — at 
least of propriety for me to dwell upon — than the others, 
which he brought in near the close of his speech, and which 
I think it would not be entirely properTor me to omit attend- 
ing to ; and yet, if I were not to give some attention to it now, 
I should probably forget it altogether. While I am upon this 
subject, allow me to say, that I do not intend to indulge in that 
inconvenient mode sometimes adopted in public speaking, of 
reading from documents ; but I shall depart from tiiat rule so 
far as to read a little scrnp from his speech, which notices this 
first topic of which I shall speak — that is, provided I can find 
it in the paper. 


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

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

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

Gentlemen, only a few more words as to this alliance. For 
my part, I have to say, that whether there be such an alliance, 
depends, so far as I know, upon what may be a right defini- 
tion of the term alliance. If for the Repuljlican party to see 
the other great party to which they are opposed divided among 
themselves, and not try to stop the division, and rather be 
glad of it — if that is an alliance, I confess I am in ; but if it is 
meant to be said that the Republicans have formed an alliance 
going beyond that, by which there is contribution of money 
or sacrifice of principle, on the one side or the other, so far as 


the Republican party is concerned, if there be any such thing, 
I protest that I neitlier knoAv anything of it, nor do I believe 
it. I will, however, say — as I think this branch of the argu- 
ment is lugged in — I would before I leave it, state, for the 
benefit of those concerned, that one of those same Buchanan 
men did once tell me of an argument that he made for his op- 
position to Judge Douglas. He said that a friend of our 
Senator Douglas had been talking to him, and had, among 
other things, said to him: " Why, you don't want to beat 
Douglas ?" " Yes," said he, " I do want to beat him, and I 
will tell you why. I believe his original Nebraska bill was 
right in the abstract, but it was wrong in the time that it was 
brought forward. It was wrong in the application to a terri- 
tory in regard to which the question had been settled ; it was 
brought forward at a time when nobody asked him ; it was 
tendered to the South when the South had not asked for it, but 
when they could not well refuse it ; and for this same reason 
he forced that question upon our party ; it has sunk the best 
men all over the nation, everywhere ; and now, when our 
President, struggling with the difficulties of this man's getting 
up, has reached the very hardest point to turn in the case, he 
deserts him, and I am for putting him where he will trouble us 
no more." 

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

Popular sovereignty ! everlasting popular sovereignty ! Let 
us for a moment inquire into this vast matter of popular sov- 
ereignty. What is popular sovereignty ? We recollect that 
at an early period in the history of this struggle, there was 
another name for the same thing — squatter sovereignty. It 
was not exactly popular sovereignty, but squatter sovereign- 
ty. W^hat do those terms mean 1 Vi hat do those terms mean 
when used now % And vast credit is taken by our friend, 
the Judge, in regard to his support of it, when he declares the 
last years of his life have been, and all the future years of his 
life shall be, devoted to this matter of popular sovereignty. 
What is it *? Why, it is the sovereignty of the people ! What 
was squatter sovereignty? I suppose, if it had any signiti- 
cauce at all, it was the right of the people to govern them- 


selves, to be sovereign in their own affairs while they were 
squatted down in a territory not their own 5 while they had 
squatted on a territory that did not belong to them, in the 
sense th^t a State belongs to the people who inhabit it — when 
it belonged to the nation — such right to govern themselves was 
called " squatter sovereignty." 

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

When Ave get back, we get to the point of the right of the 
people to make a constitution. Kansas was settled, for ex- 
ample, in 1854. It was a territory yet, without having 
formed a constitution, in a very regular way, for three years. 
All this time negro slavery could be taken in by any few in- 
dividuals, and by that decision of the Supreme Court, which 
the Judge approves, all the rest of the people canot keep it 
out ; but when they come to make a constitution, they may 
say they will not have slavery. But it is there; they are 


obliged to tolerate it some way, and all experience shows it 
will be so — for they will not take the negro slaves and abso- 
lutely deprive the owners of them. All experience shows 
this to be so. All that space of time that runs from the begin- 
ning of the settlement of the territory, until there is sufficiency 
of people to make a State constitution — all that portion of 
time — popular sovereignty is given up. The seal is absolutely 
put down upon it by the court decision, and Judge Douslas 
puts his own upon the top of that, yet he is appealing to the 
people to give him vast credit for his devotion to popular sov- 

Again, when we get to the question of the right of the 
people to form a State constitution as they please, to form it 
with slavery or without slavery — if that is anything liew, I 
confess I don't know it. Has there ever been a time when 
anybody said that any other than the people of a territory 
itself should form a constitution 1 What is now in it that 
Judge Douglas should have fought several years of his life, 
and pledge himself to fight all the remaining years of his life, 
for? Can Judge Douglas find anybody on earth that said 
that anybody else should form a constitution for a people ? 
fA voice — "Yes."] Well, I should like you to name him ; I 
should like to know who he was. [Same voice — "John Cal- 

Mr. Lincoln — No, sir, I never heard of even John Calhoun 
saying such a thing. He insisted on the same principle as 
Judge Douglas ; but his mode of applying it, in fact, was 
wrong. It is enough for my purpose to ask this crowd, when- 
ever a Kepublican said anything against it '? They never said 
anything against it, but they have constantly spoken for it ; 
and whosoever will undertake to examine the platform, and 
the speeches of responsible men of the party, and of irre- 
sponsible men, too, if you please, will be unable to find one 
word from anybody in the Eepublican ranks, opposed to that 
popular sovereignty which Judge Douglas thinks that he has 
invented. I suppose that Judge Douglas will claim, in a 
little while, that he is the inventor of the idea that the peo- 
ple should govern themselves ; that nobody ever thought of 
such a thing until he brought it forward. We do not remem- 
ber, that in that old Declaration of Independence, it is said 
that " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men 


are created equal ; that they are endowed by their Creator 
with certain inaUenable rights ; that among these are life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ; that to secure these 
rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their 
just powers from the consent of the governed." There is the 
origin of popular sovereignty. "Who then, shall come in at 
this day and claim that he invented it? 

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

A little more, now, as to this matter of popular sovereign- 
ty, and the Lecompton constitution. The Lecompton con- 
stitution, as the Judge tells us, was defeated. The defeat of 
it was a good thing or it wai^ not. He thinks the defeat of it 
was a good thing, and so do I, and we agree in that. Who 
defeated it? 

A voice — " Judge Douglas." 

Mr. Lincoln — Yes, he furnished himself, and if you suppose 
he controlled the other Democrats that went with him, he 
furnished tlivee votes, while the Republicans furnished twenty. 

That is what he did to defeat it. In the House of Repre- 
sentatives he and his friends furnished some twenty votes, and 


the Republicans furnished ninety odd. Now who was it that 
did the work"? 

A voice — " Douglas." 

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

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

A voice— "Who killed the billf ' 

Another voice — " Douglas." 

JMr. Lincoln — Ground was taken against it by the Eepub- 
licans long before Douglas did it. The proportion of opposi- 
tion to that measure is about five to one. 

A voice — " Why don't they come out on it ?" 

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

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

A voice — " We have." 

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

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

Judge Douglas made two points upon my recent speech at 
Springfield. He says they are to be the issues of this cam- 
paign. The first one of these points he bases upon the lan- 
guage in a speech Avhich I delivered at Springfield, which I 
believe I can quote correctly from memory. I said there that 


" we are now far into the fifth year since a policy was insti- 
tuted for the avowed object, and with tlie confident promise, 
of putting an end to the slavery agitation ; under the opera- 
tion of that policy, that agitation had only not ceased, but 
had constantly augmented." " I believe it will not cease until 
a crisis shall have been reached and passed. 'A house divi- 
ded against itself cannot stand.' I believe this government 
cannot endure permanently half slave and half free." "I do 
not expect the Union to be dissolved" — I am quoting from 
my speech — "I do not expect the house to fall, but I do ex- 
pect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing 
or the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the 
spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest, in 
the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its 
advocates will push it forward until it shall l^ecome alike law- 
ful in all the States, North as well as South." 

What is the paragraph *? In this paragraph, which I have 
quoted in your hearing, and to which I ask tiie attention of 
all. Judge Douglas thinks he discovers great political heresy. 
I want your attention particularly to what he has inferred 
from it. He says I am in favor of making all the States of 
this Union uniform in all their internal regulations ; that in 
all their domestic concerns I am in favor of making them en- 
tirely uniform. He draws this inference from the language I 
have quoted to you. He says that I am in fiivor of making 
war by the North upon the South, for the extinction of sla- 
very ; that I am also in favor of inviting (as he expresses it) 
the South to a war upon the North, for the purpose of na- 
tionalizing slavery. Now, it is singular enough, if you will 
carefully read that passage over, that I did not say that 1 was 
in favor of anything in it. I only said what I expected 
would take place. I made a prediction only — it may have 
been a foolish one, perhaps. I did not even sny that I desired 
that slavery should be put in course of ultimate extinction. I 
do say so now, however, so there need be no longer any diffi- 
culty about that. It may be written down in the great 

Gentlemen, Judge Douglas informed you that this speech 
of mine Avas probably carefully prepared. I admit that it 
was. I am not master of language ; I have not a fine educa- 
tion ; I am not capable of entering into a disquisition upon 



dialectics, as I believe you call it ; but I do not believe the 
language I employed bears any such construction as Judge 
Douglas puts upon it. But I don't care about a quibble in 
regard to words I know what I meant, and I will not leave 
this crowd in doubt, if I can explain it to them, what 1 really 
meant in the use of that paragraph. 

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

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



it is in course of ultimate extinction, I only mean to say, that 
they will place it where the founders of this government origi- 
nally placed it. 

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

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

Now in relation to his inference that I am in favor of a 
general consolidation of all the local institutions of the various 
States. I Avill attend to that for a little while, and try to in- 
quu*e, if I can, how on earth it could be that any man could 
draw such an inference from anything I said. I have said, 
very many times, in Judge Douglas's hearing, that no man 
believed more than I in the principal of self-government ; that 
it lies at the bottom of all my ideas of just government, from 
beginnino; to end. I have denied that his use of that terra 
applies properly. But for the thing itself, I deny that any 
man has ever gone ahead of me in Ids devotion to the princi- 
ple, whatever he may have done in efficiency in advocating it. 
I think that I have said it in your hearing — that I believe 
each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with 
himself and the fruit of his labor, so far as it in no wise in- 
terferes with any other man's rights — that each community, 
as a State, has a right to do exactly as it pleases with all the 
concerns within that State that interferes with the right of no 
other State, and that the general government, upon princi- 
ple, has no right to interfere with anything other than that 
general class of things that does concern the whole. I have 


said that at all times. I have said, as illustrations, that I do 
not believe in the right of Illinois to interfere with the cran- 
berry laws of Indiana, the oyster laws of Virginia, or the 
liquor laws of Maine. I have said these things over and over 
again, and I repeat them here as my sentiments, 

"How is it, then, that Judge Douglas infers, because I hope 
to see slavery put where the public mind shall rest in the be- 
lief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, that I am 
in favor of Illinois going over and interfering with the cran- 
berry laws of Indiana "? What can authorize him to draw 
any such inference"? I suppose there might be one thing that 
at least enabled him to draw such an inference that would not 
be true with me or many others, that is, because he looks upon 
all this matter of slavery as an exceedingly little thing — this 
matter of keeping one sixth of the population of the whole 
nation in a state of oppression and tyranny unequalled in the 
world. He looks upon it as being an exceedingly little thing 
— only equal to the question of the cranberry laws of Indi- 
ana — as something having no moral question in it — as some- 
thing on a par with the question of whether a man shall pas- 
ture his land with cattle, or plant it with tobacco — so little 
and so small a thing, that he concludes, if I could desire that 
if anything should be done to bring about the ultimate ex- 
tinction of that little thing, I must be in favor of bringing about 
an amalgamation of all the other little things in the Union. 
Now, it so happens — and there, I presume, is the foundation 
of this mistake — that the Judge thinks thus ; and it so hap- 
pens that there is a vast portion of the American people that 
do not look upon that matter as being this very little thing. 
They look upon it as a vast moral evil ; they can prove 
it as such by the writings of those who gave us the blessings 
of liberty which we enjoy, and that they so looked upon it, 
and not as an evil merely confining itself to the States where 
it is situated ; and while we agree that, by the Constitution 
we assented to, in the States where it exists we have^ no 
right to interfere with it, ])eCause it is in the Constitution ; 
and we are by both duty and inclination to stick by that Con- 
stitution, in all its letter and spirit, from beginning to end. 

So much then as to my disposition — my wish — to have all 
the State Legislatures blotted out, and to have one consoli- 
dated government, and a uniformity of domestic regulations in 


all the States, by which I suppose it is meant, if we raise 
corn here, we must make sugar-cane grow here too, and we 
must make those which grow North grow in the South. All 
this, I suppose, he understands I am in favor of doing. Now, 
so much for all this nonsense — for I must call it so. The 
Judge can have no issue with me on a question of establish- 
ing uniformity in the domestic regulations of the States. 

A little now on the other point — the Dred Scott decision. 
Another of the issues, he says, that is to be made with me, is 
upon his devotion to the Dred Scott decision, and my opposi- 
tion to it. 
. I have expressed, heretofore, and I now repeat, my opposi- 
tion to the Dred Scott decision, but I should be allowed to 
state the nature of that opposition, and I ask your indulgence 
while I do so. What is fairly implied by the term Judge 
Douglas has used, "resistance to the decision V I do not re- 
sist it. If I wanted to take Dred Scott from his master, I 
would be interfering witb property, and that terrible difficulty 
that Judge Douglas speaks of, of interfering with property 
would arise. But I am doing no such thing as that, but all that 
I am doing is refusing to obey it as a political rule. If I 
were in Congress, and a vote should come up on a question 
whether slavery should be prohibited in a new territory, in 
spite of the Dred Scott decision, I would vote that it should. 

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

What are the uses of decisions of courts? They have two 
uses. As rules of property they have two uses. First — they 
decide upon the question before the court. They decide in 
this case thUt Dred Scott is a slave. Nobody resists that. 
Not only that, but they say to everybody else, that persons 
standing just as Dred Scott stands, is as he is. That is, they 
say that when a question comes up upon another person, it 



will be so decided again, unless the court decides in another 
way, unless the court overrules its decision. Well, we mean 
to do what we can to have the court decide the other way. 
That is one thing we mean to try to do. 

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

My fellow-citizens, getting back a little, for I pass from 


these points, when Judge Douglas makes his threat of anni- 
hilation upon the " alliance," he is cautious to say that that 
warfare of his is to fall upon the leaders of the Eepublican 
party. Almost every word he utters, and every distinction he 
makes, has its significance. He means for the Kepublicans, 
who do not count themselves as leaders, to be his friends ; he 
makes no fuss over them ; it is the leaders that he is making 
war upon. He wants it understood that the mass of the Ke- 
publican party are really his friends. It is only the leaders 
that are doing something, that are intolerant, and that require 
extermination at his hands. As this is clearly and unquestion- 
ably the light in which he presents that matter, I want to ask 
your attention, addressing myself to the Kepublicans here, that 
1 may ask you some questions, as to where you, as the Re- 
publican party, would be placed if you sustained Judge Doug- 
las in his present position by a re-election "? I do not claim, 
gentlemen, to be unselfish ; I do not pretend that I would not 
like to go the United States Senate, I make no such hypocriti- 
cal pretence, but I do say to you that in this mighty issue, it is 
nothing to you — nothing to the mass of the people of the 
nation — whether or not Judge Douglas or myself shall ever be 
heard of after this night ; it may be a trifle to either of us, but 
in connection with this mighty question, upon which hangs 
the destinies of the nation, perhaps, it is absolutely noth- 
ing ; but where will you be placed if you re-endorse Judge 
Douglas ? Don't you know how apt he is — how exceedingly 
anxious he is at all times to seize upon anything and every- 
thing to persuade you that something he has done you did 
yourselves *? Why, he tried to persuade you last that night our 
Illinois Legislature instructed him to introduce the Nebraska 
bill. There was nobody in that Legislature ever thought of 
such thing ; and when he first introduced the bill, he never 
thought of it ; but still he fights furiously for the proposition, 
and that he did it because there was a standing instruction to 
our Senators to be alv/ays introducing Nebraska bills. He tells 
you he is for the Cincinnati platform, he tells you he is for the 
Dred Scott decision. He tells you, not in his speech last 
night, but substantially in a former speech, that he cares not 
if slavery is voted up or down — he tells you the struggle on 
Lecompton is past — it may come up again or not, and if it 
does he stands where he stood when, in spite of him and his 


opposition, you built up the Republican party. If you endorse 
him, you tell him you do not care whether slavery be voted up 
or down, and he will close, or try to close your mouths with 
his declaration, repeated by the day, the week, the month, and 
the year. Is that what you mean ? [Cries of " no," one 
voice, "yes."] Yes, 1 have no doubt you have always been 
for him, if you mean that. No doubt of that, soberly I have 
said, and I repeat it. I think, in the position in which Judge 
Douglas stood in opposing the Lecompton Constitution, he was 
right ; he does not know that it will return, but if it does we 
may know where to find him, and if it does not we may know 
where to look for him, and that is on the Cincinnati platform. 
Now, I could ask the Republican party, after all the hard 
names that Judge Douglas has called them by — all his repeat- 
ed charges of their inclination to marry with and hug negroes 
— all his declarations of Black Republicanism — by the way, 
we are improving, the black has got rubbed off — but with all 
that, if he be endorsed by Republican votes, where do you 
stand ? Plainly, you stand ready saddled, bridled, and har- 
nessed, and waiting to be driven over to the slavery extension 
camp of the nation — just ready to be driven over, tied togeth- 
er in a lot — to be driven over, every man with a rope around 
his neck, that halter being held by Judge Douglas. That is 
the question. If Republican men have been in earnest in 
what they have done, I think they had better not do it ; but I 
think that the Republican party is made up of those who, as 
far as they can peaceably, will oppose the extension of slavery, 
and who will hope for its ultimate extinction. If they believe 
it is wrong in grasping up the new lands of the continent, and 
keeping them from the settlement of free white laborers, who 
want the land to bring up their families upon ; if they are in 
earnest, although they may make a mistake, they will grow 
restless, and the time will come when they will come back 
again and reorganize, if not by the same name, at least upon 
the same principles as their party now has. It is better, then, 
to save the work while it is begun. You have done the la- 
bor ; maintain it — keep it. If men choose to serve you, go 
with them ; but as you have made up your organization upon 
principle, stand by it ; for, as surely as God reigns over you, 
and has inspired your mind, and given you a sense of propriety, 
and continues to give you hope, so surely will you still cling to 


these ideas, and yoii will at last come back again after your 
wanderings, merely to do your work over again. 

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

A voice — " Three cheers for Lincoln.'' (The cheers were 
given with a hearty good will.) 

Mr. Lincoln — I should say at least that that is a self-evi- 
dent truth. 

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

We are now a mighty nation ; we are thirty, or about 
thirty millions of people, and we own and inhabit about one 
fifteenth part of the dry land of the whole earth. We run 
our memory back over the pages of history for about eighty- 
two years, and we discover that we were then a very small 
people in point of numbers, vastly inferior to what we are 
now, with a vastly less extent of country, with vastly less of 
everything we deem desfrable among men — we look upon the 
change as exceedingly advantageous to us and to our pos- 
terity, and we fix upon something that happened away back, 
as in some way or other being connected with this rise of 
prosperity. AVe find a race of men living in that day whom 
we claim as our fathers and grandfathers ; they were iron 


men ; they fought for the principle that they were contending 
for ; and we understood that by what they then did it has fol- 
lowed that the degree of prosperity which we now enjoy has 
come to us. We hold this annual celebration to remind our- 
selves of all the good done in this process of time, of how it 
was done and who did it, and how we are historically con- 
nected with it ; and we go from these meetings in better hu- 
mor with ourselves — we feel more attached the one to the 
other, and more firmly bound to the country we inhabit. In 
every way we are better men in the age, and race, and coun- 
try in which we live, for these celebrations. But after we 
have done all this we have not yet reached the whole. There 
is something else connected with it. We have besides these, 
men — descended by blood from our ancestors — among us, per- 
iiaps half our people, who are not descendants at all of these 
men ; they are men who have come from Europe — German, 
Irish, French, and Scandinavian — men that have come from 
Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and 
settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things. If 
they look back through this history to trace their connection 
with those days by blood, they find they have none, they can- 
not carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make 
themselves feel that they are part of us, but when they look 
through that old Declaration of Independence, they find that 
those old men say that " We hold these truths to be self-evi- 
dent, that all men are created equal," and then they feel that 
that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their rela- 
tion to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle 
in them, and that they have a right to claim it as though they 
were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh, of the men who 
wrote that Declaration, and so they are. That is the electric 
cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and 
liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic 
hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of 
men throughout the world. 

Now, sirs, for the purpose of squaring things with this idea 
of " don't care if slavery is voted up or voted down," for sus- 
taining the Dred Scott decision, for holding that the Declara- 
tion of Independence did not mean anything at all, we have 
Judge Dough) s giving his exposition of what the Declaration 
of Independf ace means, and we have him saying that tb j 



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

It may be argued that there are certain conditions that 
make necessities and impose them upon us, and to the extent 
that a necessity is imposed upon a man, he must submit to it. 
I think that was the condition in which we found ourselves 
when we established this government. We had slavery 
among us, we could not get our Constitution unless we per- 
mitted them to remain in slavery, we could not secure the 


good we did secure if we grasped for more, and having by 
necessity submitted to that much, it does not destroy the prin- 
ciple that is tlie charter of our liberties. Let that charter 
stand as our standard. 

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

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

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



Delivered in Springfield, Saturday evening, July 17, 1858. 
(Mr. Douglas was not present.) 

Fellow-citizens : Another election, which is deemed an 
important one, is approaching, and, as I suppose, the Eepub- 
lieans will, without much dithculty, elect their State ticket. 
But i« regard to the Legislature, we, the Republicans, labor 
under some disadvantages. In the first place, we have a Legis- 
lature to elect upon an apportionment of the representation 
made several years ago, when the proportion of the popula- 
tion was far greater in the South (as compared with the North) 
than it now is ; and inasmuch as our opponents hold almost 
entire sway in the South, and we a correspondingly large maj- 
ority in the North, the fact that we are now to be represented 
as we were years ago, when the population was different, is, 
to us, a very great disadvantage. We had in the year 1855, 
according to law, a census or enumeration of the inhabitants 
taken for the purpose of a new apportionment of representa- 
tion. We know what a fair apportionment of representation 
upon that census would give us. We know that it could not, 
if fairly made, fail to give the JRepublican party from six to 
ten more members of the Legislature than they can probably 
get as the law now stands. It so happened at the last session 
of the Legislature, that our opponents, holding the control of 
both branches of the Legislature, steadily refused to give us 
such an apportionment as v/e were rightly entitled to have 
upon the cen-sus already taken. The Legislature steadily refused 
to give us such an apportionment as we were rightfully enti- 
tled to have upon the census taken of the population of the 
State. The Legislature w^ould pass no bill upon that subject, 
except such as was at least as unfair to us as the old one, and 
in which, in some instances, two men in the Democratic 
regions were allowed to go US' far toward sending a member 
to the Legislature as three were in the Republican regions. 
Comparison was made at the time as to representative and 
senatorial districts, which completely demonstrated that sucU 


was the fact. Such a bill was passed and tendered to the 
Republican Governor for his signature ; but principally for 
the reasons I have stated, he withheld his approval, and the 
bill fell without becoming a law. 

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

There is still another disadvantage Imder which we labor, 
and to which I will ask your attention. It arises out of the rela- 
tive positions of the two persons who stand before the State as 
candidates for the Senate. Senator Douglas is of world-wide 
renown. All the anxious politicians of his party, or who have 
been of his party for years past, have been looking upon him as 
certainly, at no distant day, to be the President of the United 
States. They have seen in his round, jolly, fruitful face, 
post-offices, land-offices, marshalships, and cabinet appoint- 
ments, chargeships, and foreign missions, bursting and sprout- 
ing out in wonderful exuberance, ready to be laid hold of by 
their greedy hands. And as they have been gazing upon this 
attractive picture so long, they cannot, in the little distraction 
that has taken place in the party, bring themselves to give up 
the charming hope ; but with greedier anxiety they rush 
about him, sustain him, and give him marches, triumphal en- 
tries, and receptions beyond what, even in the days of his 
highes-t prosperity, they could have brought about in his 


favor. On the contrary, nobody has ever expected me to be 
President. In my poor, lean, lank face, nobody has ever seen 
that any cabbages were sprouting out. These are disadvan- 
tages, all taken together, that the Eepublicans labor under. 
We have to fight this battle upon principle, and upon principle 
alone. I am, in a certain sense, made the standard-bearer in be 
half of the Eepublicans- I was made so merely because there 
had to be some one so placed — I being in nowise preferable 
to any other one of the twenty-five — perhaps a hundred we 
have in the Republican ranks. Then I say I wish it to be dis- 
tinctly understood and borne in mind that we have to fight 
this battle without many — perhaps without any — of the 
external aids which are brought to bear against us. So I hope 
those with whom I am surrounded have principle enough to 
nerve themselves for the task, and leave nothing undone, that 
can be fairly done, to bring about the right result. 

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

Tliey are not very numerous. The first is popular sover- 
eignty. The second and third are attacks upon my speech 
made on the 16th of June. Out of these three points — draw- 
ing within the range of popular sovereignty the question of the 
Lecompton constitution — he makes his principal assault. 
Upon these his successive speeches are substantially one and 
the same. On this matter of popular sovereignty I wish to 
be a little careful. Auxiliary to these main points, to be sure, 


are their thunderings of cannon, their marching and music, 
their fizzle-gigs and fire-works ; but I will not waste time 
with them. They are but the little trappings of the cam- 
paign. ^ 

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

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

Does Judge Douglas, when he says that several of the past 
years of his life have l^en devoted to the question of " popular 
sovereignty," and that all the remainder of his life shall be de- 
voted to it, does he mean to say that he has been devoting his 


life to securing to the people of the territories the right to ex- 
clude slaveiy from the territories ? If he means so to say, he 
means to deceive ; because he and every one knows that the 
decision of the Supreme Court, which he approves and makes 
especial ground of attack upon me for disapproving, forbids 
the people of a territory to exclude slavery. This covers the 
whole ground, from the settlement of a territoiy till it reaches 
the degree of maturity entitling it to form a State constitution. 
So far as all that ground is concerned, the Judge is not sus- 
taining popular sovereignty, but absolutely opposing it. He 
sustains the decision which declares that the popular wiU of 
the territories has no constitutional power to exclude slavery 
during their territorial existence. This being so, the period 
of time from the first settlement of "-'a territory till it reaches 
the point of forming a State constitution, is not the thing that 
the Judge has fought for, or is fighting for, but, on the contra- 
ry, he has fought for, and is fighting for, the thing that anni- 
hilates and crushes out that same popular sovereignty. 

Well, so much being disposed of, what is left "? Why, he 
is contending for the right of the people, when they come to 
make a State constitution, to make it for themselves, and pre- 
cisely as best suits themselves. I say again, that is Quixotic. 
I defy contradiction when I declare that the Judge can find no 
one to oppose him on that proposition. I repeat, there is no- 
body opposing that proposition on princij)le. Let me not be 
misunderstood. I know that, with reference to the Lecomp- 
ton constitution, I may be misunderstood ; but when you un- 
derstand me correctly, my proposition will be true and accu- 
rate. Nobody is opposing, or has opposed, the right of the 
people, when they form a constitution, to form it for them- 
selves. Mr, Buchanan and his friends have not done it ; they, 
too, as well as the Republicans and the Anti-Lecompton 
Democrats, have not done it ; but, on the contrary, they 
together have insisted on the right of the people to form a 
constitution for themselves. The difference between the Bu- 
chanan men on the one hand, and the Douglas men and the 
Republicans on the other, has not been on a question of prin- 
ciple, but on a question o^ fact. 

The dispute was upon the questioi^ of fact, whether the 
Lecompton constitution had been fairly formed by the people 
or not. Mr. Buchanan and his friends have not contended 


for the contrary principle any more than the Douglas men or 
the Republicans. They have insisted that whatever of small 
irregularities existed in getting up the Lecompton constitution 
Avere such as happen in the settlement of all new territories. 
The question was, was it a fair emanation of the people ? It 
was a question of fact and not of principle. As to the princi- 
ple, all were agreed. Judge Douglas voted with the Repub- 
licans upon that matter of fact. 

He and they, by their voices and votes, denied that it was 
a fair emanation of the people. The administration affirmed 
that it was. With respect to the evidence bearing upon that 
question of fact, I readily agree that Judge Douglas and the 
Republicans had the right on their side, and that the adminis- 
tration was wrong. But I state again, as a matter of prin- 
ciple, there is no dispute upon the right of a people in a ter- 
ritory, merging into a State to form a constitution for them- 
selves, without outside interference from any quarter. This 
being so, what is Judge Douglas going to spend his life for? 
Is he going to spend his life in maintaining a principle that 
nobody on earth opposes? Does he expect to stand up in 
majestic dignity, and go through his apotheosis and become a 
god, in the maintaining of a principle which neither man nor 
mouse in all God's creation is opposing ? Now, something in 
in regard to the Lecompton constitution more specially ; for I 
pass from this other question of popular sovereignty as the 
most arrant humbug that has ever been attempted on an in- 
telligent community. 

As to the Lecompton constitution, I have already said that, 
on the question of fact as to whether it was a fair emanation 
of the people or not. Judge Douglas with the Republicans and 
some Americans, had greatly the argument against the admin- 
istration ; and while I repeat this, I wish to know what there 
is in the opposition of Judge Douglas, to the Lecompton con- 
stitution that entitles him to be considered the only opponent 
to it — as being par excellence the very quintessence of that oppo- 
sition. I agree to the rightfulness of his opposition. He in 
the Senate and his class of men there formed the number 
three and no more. In the House of Representatives his class 
of men — the Anti-Lecompton Democrats — formed a number 
of about twenty. It took one hundred and twenty to defeat the 
measure, against one hundred and twelve. Of the votes of 


that one hundred and twenty, Judge Douglas's friends furnished 
twenty, to add to which there were six Americans and ninety- 
four Republicans. I do not say that I am precisely accurate 
in their numbers, but I am sufficiently so for any use I am 
making of it. 

Why is it that twenty shall be entitled to all the credit of 
doing that work, and the hundred none of it ? Why, if, as 
Judge Douglas says, the honor is to be divided, and due 
credit is to be given to other parties, why is just so much given 
as is consonant with the wishes, the interests, and advance- 
ment of the twenty ? My understanding is, when a common 
job is done, or a common enterprise prosecuted, if I put in five 
dollars to your one, I have a right to take out five dollars to 
your one. But he does not so understand it. He declares 
the dividend of credit for defeating Lecompton upon a basis 
which seems unprecedented and incomprehensible. 

Let us see. Lecompton in the raw was defeated. It after- 
ward took a sort of cooked-up shape, and was passed in the 
English bill. It is said by the Judge that the defeat was a 
good and proper thing. If it was a good thing, why is he en- 
titled to more credit than others, for the performance of that 
good act, unless there was something in the antecedents of the 
Kepublicans that miglit induce every one to expect them to 
join in that good work, and at the same time, something lead- 
ing them to doubt that he would ? Does he place his supe- 
rior claim to credit, on the ground that he performed a good 
act which was never expected of him ? He says I have a 
proneness for quoting scripture. If I should do so now, it 
occurs that perhaps he places himself somewhat upon the 
ground of the parable of the lost sheep, which went astray 
upon the mountains, and when the owner of the hundred 
sheep found the one that was lost, and threw it upon his 
shoulders, and came home rejoicing, it was said that there was 
more rejoicing over the one sheep that was lost, and had been 
found, than o\'er the ninety and nine in the fold. The appli- 
cation is made by the Savior in this parable, thus : '' Verily, 
I say unto you, there is more rejoicing in heaven over one 
sinner that repentcth, than over ninety and nine just persons 
that need no repentance." 

And now, if the Judge claims the benefit of this parable, 
let him repent Let him not come up here and say: "I am 


the only just person ; and you are the ninety-nine sinners !" 
Repentance before forgiveness is a provision of the Christian 
system, and on that condition alone will the Republicans grant 
his forgiveness. 

How will he prove that we have ever occupied a different 
position in regard to the Lecompton constitution, or any prin- 
ciple in it ? He says he did not make his opposition on the 
ground as to whether it was a free or slave constitution, and 
he would have you understand that the Republicans made their 
opposition because it ultimately became a slave constitution. 
To make proof in favor of himself on this point, he reminds 
us that he opposed Lecompton before the vote was taken de- 
claring whether the State was to be be free or slave. But he 
forgets to say that our Republican Senator, Trumbull, made 
a speech against Lecompton even before he did. 

Why did he oppose it? Partly, as he declares, because the 
members of the convention who framed it were not fairly 
elected by the people ; that the people were not allowed to 
vote unless they had been registered ; and that the people of 
whole counties, in some instances, were not registered. For 
these reasons he declares the constitution was not an emana- 
tion, in any sense, from the people. He also has an additional 
objection as to the mode of submitting the constitution back 
to the people. But bearing on the question of whether the 
delegates were fairly elected, a speech of his, made something 
more than twelve months ago, from this stand, becomes im- 
portant. It was made a little while before the election of the 
delegates who made Lecompton. In that speech, he declared 
there was every reason to hope and believe the election would 
be fair ; and if any one failed to vote, it would be his own 
culpable fault. 

I, a few days after, made a sort of answer to that speech. 
In that answer, I made, substantially, the very argument with 
which he combated his Lecompton adversaries in the Senate 
last winter. I pointed to the facts that the people could not 
vote without being registered, and that the time for registering 
had gone by. I commented on it as wonderful that Judge 
Douglas could be ignorant of these facts, which every one else 
in the nation so well knew. 

I now pass from popular sovereignty and Lecompton. I 
may have occasion to refer to one or both. 


When he was preparing his plan of campaign, Napoleon- 
like, in New-York, as appears by two speeches I have heard 
him deliver since his arrival in Illinois, he gave special atten- 
tion to a speech of mine, delivered here on the 16th of June 
last. He says that he carefidly read that speech. He told 
us that at Chicago, a week ago last night, and he repeated it 
at Bloomington last night. Doubtless, he repeated it again 
to-day, though I did not hear him. In the first two places — 
Chicago and Bloomington — I heard him ; to-day I did not. 
He said he had carefully examined that speech ; ichen, he did 
not say ; but there is no reasonable doubt it was when he was 
in New-York, preparing his plan of campaign. I am glad he 
did read it carefully. He says it was evidently prepared with 
great care. I freely admit it was prepared with care. I 
claim not to be more free from errors than others — perhaps 
scarcely so much ; but I was very careful not to put anything 
in that speech as a matter of fact, or make any inferences 
which did not appear to me to be true, and fully warrantable. 
If I had made any mistake I was willing to be corrected ; if 
I had drawn any inference in regard to Judge Douglas, or 
any one else, which was not warranted, I was fully prepared 
to modify it as soon as discovered. I planted myself upon the 
truth, and the truth only, so far as I knew it, or could be 
brought to know it. 

Having made that speech with the most kindly feelings to- 
ward Judge Douglas, as manifested therein, I was gratified 
when I found that he had carefully examined it, and had de- 
tected no error of fact, nor any inference against him, nor 
any misrepresentations, of which he thought fit to complain. 
In neither of the two speeches I have mentioned, did he make 
any such complaint. 1 will thank any one who will inform 
me that he, in his speech to-day, pointed out anything I had 
stated, respecting him, as being erroneous. I presume there 
is no such thing. I have reason to be gratified that the care 
and caution used in that speech, left it so that he, most of all 
otiiers interested in discovering error, has not been able to 
point out one thing against him which he could say was 
wrong. He seizes upon the doctrines he supposes to be in- 
cluded in that speech, and declares that upon th^m will turn 
the issues of this campaign. He then quotes, or attempts to 
quote, from my speech. I will not say that he wilfully mis- 


quotes, but he does fail to quote accurately. His attempt at 
quoting is from a passage which I believe I can quote accu- 
rately from memory. I shall make the quotation now, with 
some comments upon it, as I have already said, in order that 
the Judge shall be left entirely without excuse for misrepre- 
senting me. I do so now, as I hope, for the last time. I do 
this in great caution, in order that if he repeats his misrepre- 
sentation, it shall be plain to all that he does so wilfully. If, 
after all, he still persists, I shall be compelled to reconstruct 
the course I have marked out for myself, and draw upon such 
humble resources as I have, for a new course, better suited to 
the real exigencies of the case. I set out, in this campaign, 
with the intention of conducting it strictly as a gentleman, in 
substance at least, if not in the outside polish. The latter I 
shall never be, but that which constitutes the inside of a gen- 
tleman I hope I understand, and am not less inclined to prac- 
tise than others. It was my purpose and expectation, that 
this canvass would be conducted upon principle, and with 
fairness upon both sides, and it shall not be my fault if this 
purpose and expectation shall be given up. 

He charges, in substance, that I invite a war of sections ; 
that I propose all the local institutions of the different States 
vshall become consolidated and unnorm. What is there in the 
language of that speech which expresses such purpose, or 
bears such construction '? I have again and again said that 
I wuuld not enter into any of the States to disturb the insti- 
tution of slavery. Judge Douglas said, at Bloomington, that 
I used language most able and ingenious for concealing what 
I really meant ; and that while I had protested against enter- 
ing into the slave States, I nevertheless did mean to go on the 
banks of the Ohio and throw missiles into Kentucky, to dis- 
turb them in their domestic institutions. 

I said, in that speech, and I meant no more, that the insti- 
tution of slavery ought to be placed in the very attitude where 
the framers of this government placed it and left it. I do not 
understand that the framers of our Constitution left the peo- 
ple of the free States in the attitude of tiring bombs or shells 
into the slave States. I was not using that passage for the 
purpose for which he infers I did use it. I said : " We are 
now far advanced into the fifth year since a policy was created 
for the avowed object and with the coatident promise of 


putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of 
that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has 
constantly augmented. In my opinion it will not cease till 
a crisis shall have been reached and passed. ' A house divided 
against itself cannot stand.' I believe that this government 
cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. It 
will become all one thing or all the other. Either the op- 
ponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and 
place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it 
is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will 
push it forward till it shall become alike lawftd in all the 
States, old as well as new, North as well as South." 

Now you all see, from that quotation, I did not express my 
wish on anything. In that passage I indicated no wish or 
purpose of my own ; I simply expressed my expectcMon. 
Cannot the Judge perceive a distinction between a purpose and 
an expectation? I have often expressed an expectation to die, 
but I never expressed a wish to die. I said at Chicago, and 
now repeat, that I am quite aware this government has en- 
dured, half slave and half free, for eighty-two years. I un- 
derstand that little bit of history. I expressed the opinion I 
did, because I perceived — or thought I perceived — a new set 
of causes introduced. I did say at Chicago, in my speech 
there, that I do wish to see the spread of slavery arrested, and 
to see it placed where the public mind shall rest in the belief 
that it is in the course of ultimate extinction. I said that 
because I supposed, when the public mind shall rest in that 
belief, we shall have peace on the slavery question. I have 
believed — and now believe — the public mind did rest on that 
belief up to the introduction of the Nebraska bill. 

Although I have ever been opposed to slavery, so far I 
rested in the hope and belief that it was in the course of ulti- 
mate extinction. For that reason, it had been a minor ques- 
tion with me. I might have been mistaken ; but I had believed, 
and now believe, that the whole public mind — that is, the 
mind of the great majority — had rested in that belief up to 
the repeal of the Missouri compromise. But upon that event, 
I became convinced that either I had been resting in a delu- 
sion, or the institution was being placed on a new basis — a 
basis for making it perpetual, national, and universal. Sub- 
sequent events have greatly confirmed me in that belief I 


believe that bill to be the beginning of a conspiracy for that 
purpose. So believing, I have since then considered that 
question a paramount one. So believing, I thought the public 
mind will never rest till the power of Congress to restrict the 
spread of it shall again be acknowledged and exercised on the 
one hand, or on the other, all resistance be entirely crushed 
out. I have expressed that opinion, and I entertain it 
to-night. It is denied that there is any tendency to the na- 
tionalization of slavery in these States. 

Mr. Brooks, of South Carolina, in one of his speeches, 
when they were presenting him canes, silver plate, gold pitch- 
ers, and the like, for assaulting Senator Sumner, distinctly 
affirmed his opinion that when this Constitution was formed. 
it was the belief of no man that slavery would last to the 
present day. 

He said, what I think, that the framers of our Constitu- 
tion placed the institution of slavery where the public mind 
rested in the hope that it was in the course of ultimate ex- 
tinction. But he went on to say that the men of the present 
age, by their exjjcrience, have become wiser than the iramers 
of the Constitution ; and the invention of the cotton-gin had 
made the perpetuity of slavery a necessity in this country. 

As another piece of evidence tending to this same point ; 
Quite recently in Virginia, a man — the owner of slaves — 
made a will, providing that, after his death, certain of his 
slaves should have their freedom, if they should so choose, 
and go to Liberia, rather than remain in shivery. They 
chose to be liberated. But the persons to whom they would 
descend as property, claimed them as slaves. A suit was in- 
stituted, which finally came to the Supreme Court of Vir- 
ginia, and was therein decided against the slaves, upon the 
ground that a negro cannot make a choice — that they had no 
legal power to choose — could not perform the. condition upon 
which their freedom depended. 

I do not mention this with any purpose of criticising it, 
but to connect it with the arguments as affordins; additional 
evidence of the change of sentiment upon this question of 
slavery in the direction of making it perpetual and national. 
I argue now, as I did before, that there is such a tendency, 
and I am backed not merely by the facts, but by the open 
confession in the slave States. 


And now, as to the Judge's inference, that because I wish 
to see slavery placed in the course of ultimate extinction — 
placed where our fathers originally placed it — I wish to 
annihilate the State Legislatures — to force cotton to grow on 
the tops of the Green Mountains — to freeze ice in Florida — 
to cut lumber on the broad Illinois prairies — that I am in 
favor of all these ridiculous and impossible things. 

It seems to me it is a complete answer to all this to ask, if, 
when Congress did have the fashion of restricting slavery 
from free territory — when courts did have the fashion of do- 
ciding that taking a slave into a free country made him 
free — I say it is a sufficient answer to ask, if any of this 
ridiculous nonsense about consolidation, and uniformity, did 
actually follow 1 AVho heard of any such thing, because of 
the Ordinance of '87 '? because of the Missouri restriction ? 
because of the numerous court decisions of that character? 

Now, as to the Dred Scott decision ; for upon that he 
makes his last point at me. He boldly takes ground in favor 
of that decision. 

This is one half the onslaught, and one third of the entire 
plan of the campaign. I am opposed to that decision in a 
certain sense, but not in the sense which he puts on it. I say 
that in so far as it decided in favor of Dred Scott's master, 
and against Dred Scott and his family, I do not propose to 
disturb or resist the decis^ion. 

I never have proposed to do any such thing. I think, that 
in respect for judicial authority, my humble history would not 
sutler in comparison with that of Judge Douglas. He would 
have the citizen conform his vote to that decision ; the mem- 
ber of Congress, his ; the President, his use of the veto power. 
He would make it a rule of political action for the people and 
all the departments of government. I would not. By re- 
sisting it as a political rule, I disturb no right of property, 
create no disorder, excite no mobs. 

When he spoke at Chicago, on Friday evening of last week, 
be made this same point upon me. On Saturday evening I 
replied, and reminded him of a Supreme Court decision which 
he opposed for at least several years. Last night, at Bioom- 
ington, he took some notice of that reply ; but entirely forgot 
to remember tliat part of it. 

He renews his onslaught upon me, forgetting to remember 


that I have turned the tables against himself on that very 
point.' I renew ihe eflbrt to draw his attention to it. I wish 
to stand erect before the country, as well as Judge Douglas, 
on tliis question of judicial authority; and therefore I add 
something to the authority in favor of my own position. I 
wish to show that I am sustained by authority, in addition 
to that heretofore prtseiited. I do not expect to convince the 
Judge. It is part of the plan of his campaign, and he will 
cling to it with a desperate gripe. Even, turn it upon him — 
the sharp point against him, and gaif him through — he Avill 
still cling to it till he can invent s.ome new dodge to take the 
place of it. 

In public speaking it is tedious reading from documents ; 
but I must beg to indulge the practice to a limited extent. I 
shall read from a letter written by ]Mr. Jefferson in 1820, and 
now to be found in the seventh volume of his correspondence, 
at page 177. It seems he had been presented by a gentleman 
of the name of Jarvis with a book, or essay, or periodical, 
called the ' Kepublican," and he was writing in acknowledg- 
ment of the present, and noting some of its contents. After 
expressing the hope that the work will produce a favorable 
effect upon the minds of the young, he proceeds to say : 

" That it will have this tendency may be expected, and for 
that reason I feel an urgency to note what I deem an error in 
it, the more requiring notice as your opinion is strengthened 
by that of many others. You seem, in pages 84 and 148, to 
consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional 
questions — a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which 
would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our 
judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They 
have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and 
the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is, ' boni judicis 
est ampliare jurisdictionem ;' and their power is the more dan- 
gerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the 
other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitu- 
tion has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that, to 
whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and 
party, its members would become despots. It has more Avisely 
made all the departments coequal and cosovereign with them- 

Thus we see the power claimed for the Supreme Court by 



Judge Douglas, Mr. Jefferson hold?, would reduce us to the 
despotism of an oligarchy. 

Now, I have said no more than this — in fact, never quite 
so much as this — at least I am sustained by Mr. Jetferson. 

Let us go a little farther. You remember we once had a 
National Bank. Some one owed the bank a debt ; he was 
sued and sought to avoid payment, on the ground that the 
bank was unconstitutional. The case went to the Supreme 
Court, and therein it was decided that the bank was constitu- 
tional. The whole democratic party revolted against that de- 
cision. General Jackson himself asserted that he, as Presi- 
dent, would not be bound to hold a National Bank to be 
constitutional, even though the court had decided it to be so. 
He fell in precisely with the view of Mr. Jefferson, and acted 
upon it under his official oath, in vetoing a cliarter for a 
National Bank. The declaration that Congress does not pos- 
sess this constitutional power to charter a bank, has gone into 
the democratic platform, at their natio:ial conventions, and 
was brought forward and reaffirmed in their last convention 
at Cincinnati. They have contended for that declaration, in 
the very teeth of the Supreme Court, for more than a quarter 
of a century. In fact, they have reduced the decision to an 
absolute nullity. That decision, I I'epeat, is repudiated in the 
Cincinnati platform ; and still, as if to show that effrontry 
can go no farther, Judge Douglas vaunts in the very speeches 
in which he denounces me for opposing the Dred Scott de- 
cision, that he stands on the Cincinnati platform. 

Now, I wish to know what the Judge can charge upon me, 
with respect to decisions of the Supreme Court, which does 
not lie in all its length, breadth, and proportions at his own 
door. The plain truth is simply this : Judge Dojglas is /b?* 
Supreme Court* decisions when he likes and against them 
when he does not likes them. He is for the Dred Scott 
decision because it tends to nationalize slavery — because it is 
part of the original combination for that object. It so hap- 
pens, singularly enough, that I never stood opposed to a 
decision of the Supreme Court till this. On the contiary, I 
have no recollection that he was ever particularly in favor of 
one till this. He never was in favor of any, nor opposed to 
any, till the present one, which helps to nationalize slavery. 

Free men men of Sanfiamon — free men of Idinois — free 


men everywhere — judge ye between him and me, upon tliis 

He says tliis Dred Scott caserts a very small matter at most 
— that it has no practical elFect ; that at best, or rather, I 
suppose, at worst, it is but an abstraction. I submit that the 
proposition, that the thing which determines whether a man is 
free or a slave, is rather conct^ete and al/stract. 1 think }'ou 
would conclude that it was, if your liberty depended upon it, 
and so would Judge Douglas if his liberty depended upon it. 
But suppose it was on the question of spreading slavery over 
the new territories that he considers it as being meiely an abstract 
matter, and one of no practical importance. How has the 
planting of slavery in new countries always been effected *? It 
has now been decided that slavery cannot be kept out of our new 
territories by any legal means. In what does our new territories 
now differ in this res^:)ect from the old colonies when slavery 
was first planted witliin them? It was planted, as Mr. Clay 
once declared, and as history proves true, by individual men 
in spite of the wishes of the people; the mother government 
refusing to prohibit it, and withholding from the people of the 
colonies the authority to prohibit it for themselves. Mr. 
Clay says this was one of the great and just causes of com- 
plaint against Great Britain by the colonies, and the best 
apology we can now make for l)aving the institution among 
us. in that precise condition our Nebraska politicians have 
at last succeeded in placing our own new territories; the gov- 
ernment will not prohibit slavery within them, nor allow the 
people to prohibit it. 

1 defy any man to find any difference between the policy 
which originally planted slavery in these colonies and that 
pulley which now prevails in our new territories. If it does 
not go into them, it is only because no individual wishes it to 
go. The Judge indulged himself, doubtless to-day, with the 
question as to what I am going to do with or about the Dred 
Scott decision. Well, Judge, will you please to tell me what 
you did about the bank decision '? Will you not graciously 
allow us to do with the Dred Scott decision precisely as you 
did with the bank decision? You succeeded in breaking down 
the moral effect of that deci.-ion ; did you find it necessary to 
amend the Constitution ? or to set up a court of negroes in 
order to do it ? 


There is one other point. Judge Douglas has a very affec- 
tionate leaning toward the Americans and Old "Whigs. Last 
evening, in a sort of weeping tone, lie described to us a death- 
bed scene. He had been called to the side of Mr. Clay, in 
his last moments, in order that the genius of " popular sover- 
eignty" might duly descend from the djnng man and settle 
upon him, the living and most worthy successor. He could 
do no less than promise that he would devote the remainder of 
his life to *' popular sovereignty ;" and then the great statesman 
departs in peace. By this part of the "plan of the cam- 
paign," the Judge has evidently promised iiimself that tears 
shall be drawn down the cheeks of all Old Whigs, as large as 
half-grown apples. 

Mr. Webster, too, was mentioned; but it did not quite 
come to a death-bed scene, as to him. It would be amusing, 
if it were not disgusting, to see how quick these compromise- 
breakers adminir^ter on the political effects of their dead ad- 
versai'ies, trumping up claims never before heard of, and di- 
vidinfy the assets amono; themselves. If I should be found 
dead to-morrow morning, nothing but my insignificance could 
prevent a speech being made on my authority, before the end 
of next week. It so happens that in that " popular sover- 
eignty" with which Mr. Clay was identified, the Mi-souri 
Compromise was expressly reserved ; and it was a little singu- 
lar if Mr. Clay cast his mantle upon Judge Douglas on pur- 
pose to have tuat compromise repealed. 

Again, the Judge did not keep faith with Mr. Clay when he 
first brought in his Nebraska bill. He left the Missouri Com- 
promise unrepealed, and in his report accompanying the bill, 
he told the world he did it on purpose. The manes of Mr. 
Clay must have been in great agony, till thirty days later, 
when " popular sovereignty" stood forth in all its glory. 

One more thing. Last night Judge Douglas tormented 
himself with horrors about my disposition to make negroes 
perfectly equal with white men in social and political relations. 
He did not stop to show that I have said any su<'h thing, or 
that it legitimately follows from anything I have said, but he 
rushes on with his assertions. I adhere to tiie Declaration of 
Independence. If Judge Douglas and his friends are not wil- 
ling to stand by it, let them come up and amend it. Let 
them make it read that all men are created equal except ne- 


groes. Let us have it decided, whether the Dedaration of 
Independence, in tliis blej^sed year of 1838, sliali be thus 
amended. In his construction ol the Declaration last year, 
he sai(i it only mennt that Americans in America were equal 
to Englishmen in Enjihmd. Then, when I pointed out to him 
that Uj that rule he excludes the Geimans, the Irish, the Por- 
tuguese, and all the other {)eople who have come among us 
since the Revolution, he reconstructs his construction. In his 
last speech he tells us it meant Europeans. 

I press him a little further, and ask if it meant to include the 
Russians in Asia ? or does he mean to exclude that vast popula- 
tion from the principles of our Declaration of Independence ? 
I expect ere long he will introduce another amendment to his 
definition. He is not at all particular. Pie is satisfied with 
anything which does not endanger the nationalizing of negro 
slavery. It m.ay draw white men down, but it must not lift 
negroes up. AVho shall say, " I am the superior, and you are 
the inferior ?" 

My declarations upon this subject of negro slavery may be 
misrepresented, but cannot be misunderstood. I have said 
that I do not understand the Declaration to mean that all 
men were created equal in all respects. They are not our 
equal in color; but I suppose that it does mean to declare that 
all men are equal in some respects ; they are equal in their 
right to " life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Cer- 
tainly the negro is not our equal in color — perhaps not in 
many other respects ; still, in the right to put into his mouth 
the bread that his own hands have earned, he is the equal of 
every other man, white or black. In pointing out that more 
has been given you, you cannot be justified in taking away the 
little which has been given him. All I ask for the negro is 
that if you do not like him, let him alone. If God gave him 
but little, that little let him enjoy. 

When our government was established, we had the institu- 
tion of slavery among us. We were in a certain sense com- 
pelled to tolerate its existence. It was a sort of necessity. 
We had gone through our struggle and secured our own inde- 
pendence. The framers of the Constitution found the institu- 
tion of slavery among their other institutions at the time. 
They found that by an efKn't to eradicate it, they might lose 
much of what they had already gained. They were obliged 


to bow to tlie necessity. They gave power to Congress to 
abolish the slave trade at the end of twenty years. They also 
prohibited it in the territories where it did not exist. They 
did what they could and yielded to the necessity for the rest. 
I also yield to all which follows from that necessity. What I 
wou d most desire would be the separation of the white and 
black races. 

One more point on this Springfield speech which Judge 
Dougla"* says he has read so carefully. 1 expressed my be- 
lief in the existence of a conspiracy to perpetuate and nation- 
alize slavery. I did not profess to know it, nor do I now. I 
showed the part Judge Douglas had played in the string of 
facts, constituting to my mind the proof of that conspiracy. 
I showed the parts played by others. 

I charged that the people had been deceived into carrying 
the last Presidential election, by the impression that the peo- 
dle of the territories might exclude slavery if they chose, 
when it was known in advance by the conspirators, that the 
court was to decide that neither Cougress nor the people could 
so exclude slavery. 1'hese charges are more distinctly made 
than an^-thing else in the speech. 

Judge Douglas has carefully read and re-read that speech. 
He has not, so far as I know, contradicted those charges. In 
the two speeches which I heard, he certainly did not. On his 
own tacit admission I renew that charge. I charge him as 
having been a party to that conspiracy and to that deception 
for the sole purpose of nationalizing slavery. 

At Gat.esbukgii, Oct. 7, 1858. 

My Fkllow-Citizens : A very large portion of the speech 
wljjch Judge Douglas has addressed to you has pi-eviously been 
delivered and put in print. I do not mean that for a hit upon 
the Judge at all. If I had not been interrupted I was guing 
to say that such an {mswer as I was able to make to a very 
large portion of it, had already been more than once made and 
published. There has been an op})ortunity alfordcd to the 


public to see our respective views upon the topics discussed in 
a large portion of the speech which he has just delivered. I 
make these remarks for the purpose of excusing myself for not 
passing over the entire ground that the Judge has traversed. 
I, however, desire to take up some of the points that he has at- 
tended to, and ask your attention to them, and I shall follow 
him backward upon some notes which 1 have taken, revers- 
ing the order by beginning where he concluded. 

The Judge has alluded to the Declaration of Independence, 
and insisted that negroes are not included in that Declaration ; 
and that it is a slander upon the framers of that instrument, 
to suppose that negroes were meant therein ; and he asks you : 
Is it possible to believe that Mr. Jefferson, who penned the 
immortal paper, could have supposed himself applj ing the lan- 
guage of that instrument to the negro race, and yet held a 
portion of that race in slavery ? Would he not at once have 
freed them '? I only have to remark upon this part of the 
Judge's speech (and that, too, very briefly, for I shall not de- 
tain myself, or you, upon that point for any great length of 
time), that I believe the entire records of the world, from the 
date of the Declaration of Independence up to within three 
years ago, may be searched in vain for one single affirmation, from 
one single man, that the negro was not included in the Decla- 
ration of Independence ; I think I may defy Judge Douglas to 
show that he ever said so, that Washington ever said so, that 
any President ever said so, that any member of Congress ever 
said so, or that any living man upon the whole earth ever 
said so, until the necessities of the present policy of the Dem- 
ocratic party, in regard to slavery, had to uivent that affirma- 
tion. And I will remind Judge Douglas and this audience, 
that while Mr. Jefferson was the owner of slaves, as un- 
doubtedly he was, in speaking upon this very subject, he used 
the strong language that " he trembled for his country when 
he remembered that God was just ;" and I will offer the high- 
est premium in my power to Judge Douglas if he will sh^w 
that he, in all his life, ever uttered a sentiment at all akin to 
that of Jefferson. 

The next thing to which I will a^k your attention is the 
Judge's comments upon the fact, as he assumes it to be, that 
we cannot call our public meetings as Republican meetings ; 
and he instances Tazewell county as one of the places where 


the friends of Lincoln have called a public meeting and have 
not dared to name it a Republican meeting. He inytances 
Monroe county as another v\ here Judge Trumbull and Jehu 
J>aker adih'essed the persons whom the Judge assumes to be 
the friends of Lincolu, catling them the "■ Free D^^mocracj." 
1 have the honor to inform Judge Douglas that he S[)oke In 
that very county of Tazewell last Saturday, and I was there 
on Tuesday la-t, and when he spoke there he spoke under a 
call not venturing to use the word "Democrat." [Turning 
to Judge Douglas.] What think you of this? 

So again, there is another thing to which I would ask the 
Judge's attention upon this subject. In the contest of 1856 
his party delighted to call themselves together as the " Na- 
tional Democracy," but now, if there should be a notice put up 
anywhere, for a meeting of the " National Democracy." Judge 
Douglas and his friends would not come. They would not 
suppose themselves invited. They would understand that it 
was a call for those hateful post-masters whom he talks about. 

Now a few words in regard to these extracts from speeches 
of mine, which Judge Douglas has read to you, and which he 
supposes are in very great contrast to each other. Those 
speeches have been before the public for a considerable time, 
and if they have any inconsistency in them, if there is 
any conflict in them, the public have been able to detect it. 
When the Judge says, in speaking on this subject, that I make 
speeches of one sort for the people of the northern end of the 
State, and of a dilFerent sort for the southern people, he as- 
sumes that I do not understand that my speeches will be put 
in print and read north and south. I knew all the while that the 
speech that I made at Chicago, and the one I made at Jones- 
boro and the one at Charleston, would all be put in print and 
all the reading and intelligent men in the community would 
see them and knoAv all about my c pinions. And 1 have not sup- 
posed, and do not now suppose, that there is any conflict what- 
ever betAveen them. But the Judge will have it that if we do 
not confess that there is a sort of inequality bt tween the wdiite 
and black races, which justifies us in making them slaves, we 
must, then, insist that there is a degree ot equality that re- 
quires us to make them our wives. Now, I imve all the while 
taken a broad distinction in regard to that matler; and that 
is all there is in these diffei'cnt speeches which ho arrays here, 
and the entire reading of either of the speeches will show that 


that distinction was made. Perhaps by taking two parts of 
the same ?peech, he couM have got upas much of a conflict 
as the one he has found. I have all the while maintained, 
tliat in so far as it should be ine^isted that there was an equali- 
ty between the white and black races that should produce a 
perfect social and political equality, it was an impossibility. 
This you have seen in my printed speeches, and with it I have 
said, that in their right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of 
happiness," as proclaimed in that old Declaration, the inferior 
races are our equals. And these declarations I have constant- 
ly made in reference to the abstract moral question, to con- 
template and consider when we are legislating about any new 
country which is not already cursed with the actual presence 
of the evil — slavery. I have never manifested any impatience 
with the necessities that spring frum the actual presence of 
black people among us, and the actual existence of slavery 
among us where it does already exist ; but I have insisted 
that, in legislating for new countries, where it does not exist, 
there is no just rule other than that of moral and abstract 
right ! With reference to those new countries, those maxims 
as to the right of a people to '' life, liberty and the pursuit of 
happiness," were the just rules to be constantly referred to. 
There is no misunderstanding this, except bj men interested 
to misundei'Stand it. I take it that 1 have to address an in- 
telligent and reading community, who will peruse what I say, 
weigh it, and then judge whether I advance improper or un- 
sound views, or whether I advance hypocritical, and deceptive, 
and contrary views in different portions of the country. I be- 
lieve myself to be guilty of no such thing as the latter, though, 
of course, I cannot claim that I am entirely free from all error 
in the opinions I advance. i 

The Judge has also detained us a while in regard to the 
distinction between his party and our party. His he assumes 
to be a national party — ours a sectional one. He does this in 
asking the question whether tliis country has any interest in 
the maintenance of the Republican party? He assumes that 
our party is altogether sectional — that the party to which he 
adheies is national; and the argument is, that no paity can 
be a rightful party — can be based upon rightful principles — 
unless it can announce its principles everywhere. I presume 
that Judge Douglas could not go into Rus^sia and announce 



the doctrine of our national Democracy; he could not de- 
nounce the doctrine of kings, and emperors, and monarchies, 
in Russia; and it may be true of this country, that in some 
ph\ces we may not be able to proclaim a doctrine as clearly true 
as the truth oi" Democracy, because there is a section so directly 
opposed to it that they will not tolerate us in doing so. Is it 
the true test of the soundness of a doctrine, that in some 
places people won't let you proclaim if? Is that the way to 
test the truth of any doctrine? ^VHiy, I understood that at 
one time the people of Chicago would not let Judge Douglas 
preach a certain favorite doctrine of his. I commend to his 
consideration the question, whether he takes that as a test of 
the unsoundness of what he wanted to preach. 

There is another thing to which I wish to ask attention for 
a little while on this occasion. What has always been the 
evidence brought forward to prove that the Republican party 
is a sectional party ? The main one was that in the Southern 
portion of the Union the people did not let the Republicans 
proclaim their doctrines among them. That has been the 
main evidence brought forward — that they had no supporters, 
or substantially none, in the slave States. The South have 
not taken hold of our principles as we announce them ; nor 
does Judge Douglas now grapple with those principles. We 
have a Republican State platlorm, laid down in Springfield in 
June last, stating our position all the way through the questions 
before the country. We are now far advanced in this canvass. 
Judge Douglas and I have made perhaps forty speeches apiece, 
and we have now for the fifth time met face to face in debate, 
and up to tliis day I have not found either Judge Douglas or 
any friend of his taking hold of the Republican platform or 
laying his fingers upon anything in it that is wrong. I ask 
you all to recollect that. Judge Douglas turns away from 
the platform of principles to the fact that he can find people 
somewhere who will not allow us to announc-e those prin- 
ciples. If he had great confidence that our principles were 
wrong, he would take hold of them and demonstrate them to 
be wrong 15ut lie does not do so. The only evidence he 
has of their being wrong is in the fact that there are people 
Avho won't allow us to preach them. I ask again is that tlie 
way to test the soundness of a doctrine? 

I ask his attention also to the fact that by the rule of na- 


tionality he is himself fast becoming sectional. I ask his 
attention to the fact that his speeches would not go as current 
now south of the Ohio river as they have formerly gone there. 
I ask his attention to the fact that he felicitates himself to-day 
that all the Democrats of the free States are agreeing with 
him, while he omits to tell us that the Democrats of any slave 
State agree with him. If he has not thought of this, I com- 
mend to his consideration the evidence of his own declaration, 
on this day, of his becoming sectional too. I see it rapidly 
approaching. Wliatever may be the result of this ephemeral 
contest between Judge Douglas and myself, I see the day 
rapidly approaching when his pill of sectionalism, which he 
has been thrusting down the throats of Republicans for 
years past, will be crowded down his own throat. 

Now in regard to what Judge Douglas said (in the beginning 
of his speech) about the Compromise of 1850, containing the 
principle of the Nebraska bill, although I have often pre- 
sented my views upon that subject, yet as I have not done so 
in this canvass, I will, if you please, detain you a little with 
them. I have always maintained, so far as I was able, that 
there was nothing of the principle of the Nebraska bill in the 
Compromise of 1850 at all — nothing whatever. Where can 
you find the principle of the Nebraska bill in that Compromise ? 
If anywhere, in the two pieces of the Compromise organizing 
the territories of New-Mexico and Utah. It was expressly 
provided in these two acts, that, when they came to be ad- 
mitted into the Union, they should be admitted with or with- 
out slavery, as they should choose, by their own constitutions. 
Nothing was said in either of those acts as to what was to be 
done in relation to slavery during the territorial existence of 
those territories, while Henry Clay constantly made the decla- 
ration (Judge Douglas recognizing him as a leader) that, in 
his opinion, the old Mexican laws would control that question 
during the territorial existence, and that these old Mexican 
laws excluded slavery. How can that be used as a principle 
for declaring that during the territorial existence as well as 
at the time of framing the Constitution, the people, if you 
please, might have slaves if they wanted them"? I am not 
discussing the question whether it is right or wrong ; but how 
are the New-Mexican and Utah laAvs patterns for the Ne- 
braska bill? I maintain that the organization of Utah and 


New-Mexico did not establish a general principle at all. It 
had no feature of establishing a general principle. The acts 
to which I have referred were a part of a general system of 
Compromises. They did not lay down what was proposed as 
a regular policy for the territories ; only an agreement in this 
particular case to do in that way, because other things were 
done that were to be a compensation for it. They were al- 
lowed to come in in that shape, because in another way it was 
paid for — considering that as a part of that system of measures 
called the Compromise of 18oU, which finaMy included half a 
dozen acts. It included the admission of California as a free 
State, which was kept out of the Union for half a year because 
it had formed a free Constitution. It included the f^ettlement 
of the boundary of Texas, which had been undefined before, 
which was in itself a slavery question : for, if you pushed the 
line farther west, you made Texas larger, and made more 
slave territory ; while, if you drew the line toward the cast, 
you narrowed the boundary and diminished the domain of 
slavery, and by so much increased free territory. It included 
the abolition of the slave-trade in the District of Columbia. 
It included the passage of a new Fugitive Slave law. 

All these things were put together, and though passed in 
separate acts, were nevertheless in legislation (as the speeches 
at the time will show), made to depend upon each other. 
Each oot votes, with the understandinfr that the other meas- 
ures were to pass, and by this system of compromise, in that 
series of measures, those two bills — the New-Mexico and 
Utah bills — were passed ; and I say for that reason they could 
not be taken as models, framed upon their own intrinsic prin- 
ciple, for all future territories. And I have the evidence of 
this in the fact that Judge Douglas, a year afterward, or more 
than a year afterward, perhaps, when he first introduced bills 
for the purpose of framing new territories, did not attempt to 
follow these bills of New Mexico and Utah ; and even when 
he introduced this Nebraska bill, I think you will disco\'^r 
that he did not exactly follow them. But 1 do not wish to 
dvvell at great length upon this branch of the discussion. My 
own opinion is, tiiat a thorough investigation will show most 
plainly that the New-Mexico and Utah bills were part of a 
system of com[)romise, and not designed as patterns for future 
territorial legislation ; and that this Nebraska bill did not fol- 
low them as a pattern at all. 


The Judge tells, in proceeding, that he is opposed to mak- 
ing any odious distinctions between free and slave States. I 
am altogether unaware that the Republicans are in favor of 
making any odious distinctions between the free and slave 
States. But there still is a difference, I think, between Judge 
Douglas and the Republicans in this. I su[)pose that the real 
diu'erence between Judge Douglas and his friends, and the Re- 
publicans on the contrary, is, that the Judge is not in frivor 
of making any difference betvi^een slavery and liberty — that he 
is in favor of eradicating, of pressing out of view, the ques- 
tions of preference in this country for free or slave institu- 
tions ; and consequently every sentiment he utters discards the 
idea that there is any wrong in slavery. Everything that 
emanates from him or his coadjutors in their course of policy, 
carefully excludes the thought that there is anything wrong in 
slavery. All their arguments, if you will consider them, will 
be seen to exclude the thought that there is anything what- 
ever wrong in slavery. If you will take the Judge's speeches, 
and select the short and pointed sentences expressed by him — ■ 
as his declaration that he " don't care whether slavery is voted 
up or down"--you will see at once that this is perfectly logi- 
cal, if you do not admit that slavery is wrong. Jf you do ad- 
mit that it is wrong. Judge Douglas cannot logicallj^ say he 
don't care whether a wi'ong is voted up or voted down. 
Judge Douglas declares that if any community vviint slavery 
they have a right to have it. He can say that logically, if he 
says that there is no wrong in slavery ; but if you admit that 
there is a wrong in it, he cannot logically say that anybody 
has a right to do wrong. He insists that, upon the score of 
equality, the owners of slaves and owners of property — of 
horses and every other sort of property — should be alike and 
hold them alike in a new territory. That is perfectly logical, 
if the two species of property are alike and are equally found- 
ed in right. But if you admit that one of them is wrong, you 
cannot institute any equality between right and wrong. And 
from this ditference of sentiment — the belief On the part of one 
that the institution is wrong, and a policy springing from that 
belief wdiich looks to the arrest of the enlargement of that 
wrong ; and this other sentiment, that it is no wrong, and a 
policy sj)rung from that sentiment which will tolerate no idea 
of preventing that wrong from growing larger, and looks to 


there never being an end of it through all the existence of 
things, arises the real difference between Judge Douglas and 
his friends on the one hand, and the Kepublicans on the other, 
Now, I confess myself as belonging to that class in the coun- 
try who contemplate slavery as a moral, social, and political 
evil, having due regard for its actual existence among us, 
and the ditiiculties of getting rid of it in any satisfactory way, 
and to ail the constitutional obligations which have been 
thrown about it ; but, nevertheless, desire a policy that looks 
to the prevention of it as a wrong, and looks hopefully to the 
time when as a wrong it may come to an end. 

Judge Douglas has again, for, 1 believe, the fifth time, it 
not the seventh, in my presence, reiterated his charge of a 
conspiracy or combination between tho National Democrats 
and Republicans, What evidence Judge Douglas has upon 
this subject, I ki ow not, inasmuch as he never favors us with 
any. 1 have Siud upon a former occasion, and I do not choose 
to suppress it now, that I have no objection to the division in 
the Judge's party. He got it up himself. It was all his and 
tlieir work. He had, I think, a great deal more to do with 
the steps that led to the Lecompton constitution than Mr. Bu- 
chanan had ; though at last, when they reached it, they quar- 
reled over it, and their friends divided upon it. I am very 
free to conless to Judge Douglas that I have no objection to 
the division ; but I defy the Judge to show any evidence that 
I have in any way promoted that division, unless he insist* on 
being a witness himself, in merely saying so. I can give all 
fair friends of Judge Douglas here Jo understand exactly tho 
view that Eepublicans take in regard to that division. Don't 
you remember how, two years ago, the opponents of the Dem- 
ocratic party were divided between Fremont and Fillmore? 
I gucf^s you do. Any Democrat who remembers that division, 
will remember also, that he was at the time veiy glad of it, 
and then he will be able to see all there is between the Na- 
tional Democrats and the Kejutblicans. What we now think 
of the two di\isions of Democrats, you then thought of the 
Fremont and Fillmore divisions. That is all there is of it. 

Lut, if the Judge continues to put forward the declaration 
that there is an unholy and unnatural alliance between the 
Ivcpublican and the National Democrats, I now want to enter 
my protest against receiving him as an entirely competent wit- 


ness upon that subject. I want to call to the Judge's atten- 
tion an attack he made upon me, in the first one of these 
debates, at Ottawa, on the 21st of August. In order to fix 
extreme Abolitionism upon me, Judge Douglas read a set of 
resolutions, wliicli he declared had been passed by a Eepubli- 
can State Convention, m October, 1854, at Springfield, Illi- 
nois, and he declared I had taken part in that Convention. It 
turned out that, although a few men calling themselves an 
anti-Nebi'aska State Convention, had sat at Springfield about 
that time, yet neither did I take any part in it, nor did it pass 
the resolutions, or any such resolutions, as Judge Douglas 
read. So apparent had it become that the resolutions wiiich 
he read had not been passed at Springfield at all, nor by a State 
Convention in which I had taken part, that seven days after- 
■v\a.rd, at Freeport, Judge Douglas declared that he had been 
misled by Charles H. Lanphier, editor of the State Regider^ 
and Thomas L. Harris, member of Congress in that District, 
and he promised in that speech that when he went to Spring- 
field he would investigate the matter. Since then Judge 
Douglas has been to Springfield, and 1 presume has made the 
investigation ; but a month has passed since he has been there, 
and, so far as I know, he has made no report of the result of 
his investigation. I have waited, as I think, sufficient time 
for the report of that investigation, and I have some curiosity 
to see and hear it. A fraud — an absolute forgery was com- 
mitted, and the perpetration of it was traced to the three — 
Lanphier, Han is, and Douglas. Whether it can be narrowed 
in any way so as to exonerate any one of them, is what Judge 
Douglas's report would probably show. 

It is true that the set of resolutions read by Judge Douglas 
were published in the Illinois State Register, on the IGth of 
October, 1854, as being the resolutions of an anti-Nebraska 
Convention, which had sat in that same month of October, at 
Springfield. But it is also true, that the publication in the 
Regider was a forgery then, and the question is still behind, 
which of the three, if not all of them, committed that forgery? 
The idea that it was done by mistake, is absurd. 1"he article 
in the II inois Slate Register contains part of the real proceed- 
ings of that Springfield Convention, showing that the writer 
of the article had the real proceedings before him, and pur- 
posely threw out the genuine resolutions passed by the Con- 


vention, and fraudulently substituted the others. Lanphier 
then, as now, was the editor of the Rpgi^ter, so there seems to 
be but little room for his escape. But then it is to be burne 
in mind that Lanphier had less interest in the ohject of that 
forgery than either of the other two. The main object of that 
furirery, at that time, was to beat Yates and elect Hariis to 
Congres>, and that object was known to be exceedingly dear 
to Judge Di)Uglas at that time, Harris and Douglas were 
both in Springfield when the Convention was in se.-^sion, and 
although they both left before the fraud appeared in the Reg- 
uter, subsequent events show that they have both had their 
eyes fixed upon that Convention. 

Tlie fraud having been apparently successful upon the occa- 
sion, both Harris and Douglas have more than once since then 
been attempting to put it to new uses. As the fisherman's 
wife, whose drowned husband was brought home with his body 
full of eels, said when she was asked, '■ What was to be done 
with liim*?" " Take the eeLs out and set him again;'''' so Harris 
and Douglas have sho^vn a disposition to take the eels out of 
that stale fraud by which they gained Harris's election, and 
set tlie fraud again more than once. On the 9th of July, 
18oii, Douglas attempted a repetition of it upon Trumbull on 
the fioor of the Senate of the United States, as will appear 
from the appendix of the Congressional Globe of that dale. 

On the 9th of August, Harris attempted it again upon Nor- 
ton in the House of Representatives, as will appear by the 
same documents — the appendix to the Congressional Globe of 
that date. On the 21st of August last, all three — Lanphier, 
Douglas, and Hacris — reattempted it upon me at Ottawa. It 
has been clung to and played out again and ngain as an ex- 
ceedingly high trump by this blessed trio. And now that it 
has been discovered publicly to be a fraud, we find that Judge 
Douglas manifests no surprise at it at all. He makes no com- 
plaint of Lanphier, who must have known it to be a fraud 
from the beginning. He, Lanphier, and I Ian is, are just as 
cozy now, and just as active in the concoction of new schemes 
as they were before tiie general disco\ery ot this fraud. N<nv 
all this is \ery natural if they are all alike guiUy in that 
fraud, and it is very unnatural if any one of them is innocent. 
Lanphier perhaps insists that the rule of honor among thieves 
does not quite require him to take all upon himself, and con- 


sequently my friend Judge Douglas finds it difficult to make a 
satisfactory report upon his investigation. ]>nt meanwhile 
the three are agreed that each i.s " a mo^i honorahle man.''' 

Judge Douglas requires an endorsement of his truth and 
honor by a re-election to the United States Senate, and he 
makes and reports against me and against Judge Trumbull, 
day after day, charges whicii we know to be utterly untrue, 
without for a moment seeming to think that this one unex- 
plained fraud, which he promised to investigate, will be the 
least drawback to his claim to belief. Harris ditto. He asks 
a re-election to tlie lower House of Congress without seemiiior 
to remeniher at all that he is involved in this dishonorable 
fraud! The Illinois State Register, edited by Lanphier, then, 
as now, the central organ of both Harris and Douglas, con- 
tinues to din the public ear with this assertion without seeming 
to suspect that these assertions are at ail lacking in title to belief. 

After all, the question still recurs upon us, how did that 
fraud originally get into the State Register ? Lanphier then, as 
now, was the editor of that paper. Lanphier knows. Lan- 
phier cannot be ignorant of how and by whom it was orioi- 
nally concocted. Can he be induced to tell, or if he has told, 
can Judge Douglas be induced t3 tell how it orijiinally was 
concocted? It may be true that Lanphier insists that the 
two men for whose benefit it was originally devised, shall at 
least bear their share of it ! How tliat is, I do not know, 
and while it remains unexplained, I hope to be pardoned if I 
insist that the mere fact of Judge Douglas making charf^os 
against Trumbull and myself is not quite sulficient evidence to 
establish them ! 

AVhile we were at Freeport, in one of these joint discus- 
sions, I answered certain interrogatories which Judge Douglas 
had propounded to me, and there in turn propounded some to 
him, which he in a sort of way answered. The third one of 
these interrogatories I have with me, and wish now to make 
some comments upon it. It was in these words : " If the 
Supreme Court of the United States shall decide that the 
States cannot exclude slavery from their limits, are you in 
favor of acquiescing in, adhering to, and following such de- 
cision, as a rule of political action ^" 

To this interrogatory Judge Douglas made no answer, in 
any just sense of the word. He contented himself wath 
sneering at the thought that it was possible for the Supreme 


Court ever to mal^e such a decision. He sneered at me for 
propounding the interrogatoiy. I had not propounded it 
without some reflection, and 1 wish now to address to this 
audience tome remarks upon it. 

In the second clause of tiie sixth article, I believe it is, of 
the Constitution of the United States, we find the following 
language: '"This Constitution and the laws of the United 
States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all 
treaties made, or«vhich shall be made under the authority of 
the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land ; and 
the judjjes in every State sba^l be bound thereby, anything 
in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary, not- 

The essence of the Dred Scott case is compressed into the 
sentence which I will now read : '• Now, as we have already 
said in an earlier part of this opinion, upon a ditlerent point, 
the right of property in a slave is distinctly and expressly 
affirmed in the Constitution. " I repeat it, " The right of 
j^ropertij in a blave is distinctly and exjjref^shj affirmed in the Con- 
stitut/onf' What is it to be ^'affirmed'' in the Constitution"? 
Made firm in the Constitution — so made that it cannot be 
separated from the Constitution without breaking the Consti- 
tution — dural)le as the Constitution, and part of the Consti- 
tution. Now, remembering the provision of the Constitution 
which I have read, affirming that that instrument is the su- 
preme law of the land ; that the judges of every State shall 
be bound by it, any law or constitution of any State to the 
contrary, notwithstanding ; that the right of property in a 
slave is affirmed in that Constitution, is made, formed into, 
and cannot be separated from it without breaking it ; dui'able 
as the instrument; part of the instrument; — what follows as 
a short and even syllogistic argument from it"? I think it 
follows, and I submit to the consideration of men capable of 
arguing, whether as I state it, in syllogistic form, the argu- 
ment has any fault in it? 

Nothing in the constitution or laws of any State can de- 
stroy a right distinctly and expressly affirmed in the Constitu- 
tion of the United States. 

The right of property in a slave is distinctly and expressly 
affirmed in the Con?;titulion of the United States. 

Therefore, nothing in the Constitution or laws of any State 
can destroy the right of property in a slave. 


I believe that no fault can bo pointed out in that argument ; 
assuming the truth of the premises, the conclusion, so far as 
I have capacity at all to iinder?^tand it, follows inevitably. 
There is a fault in it as I think, but the fault is nut in the 
reasoning ; but the falsehood in fact is a fault of the [n-emises. 
I bel'.eve that the right of property in a slave is not distinctly 
and expressly affirmed in the Constitution, and Judge Douglas 
thinks it is. I believe that the Supreme Court and the advo- 
cates of that decision may search in vain for the [dace in the 
Constitution where the right of a slave is distinctly and ex- 
pressly affirmed. I say, therefore, that I think one of the 
premises is not true in fact. But it is true with JuJo-e Dou<t- 
las. It is true with the Supreme Court who pronounced it. 
They are estopped from denying it. and being estopped from 
denying it, the conclusion follows that the Constitution of the 
United States being the supreme law, no constitution or law 
can interfere with it. It being affirmed in the decision that 
the right of property in a slave is distinctly and expressly 
affirmed in the Constitution, the conclusion inevitably follows 
that no State law or constitution can destroy that right. I 
then say to Judge Douglas aiid to all others, that I think it 
will take a better answer than a sneer to show that those who 
have said that the right of property in a slave is distinctly 
and expressly affirmed in the Com-titution, are not prepared 
to show that no constitution or law can destroy that right. I 
say I believe it will take a far better argument than a mere 
sneer to show to the minds of intelligent men that whoever 
has so said, is not prepared, whenever public sentiment is so 
far advanced as to justify it, to say the other. 

This is but an opinion, and the opinion of one very humble 
man ; but it is my opinion that the Dred Scott decision, as it 
is, never would have been made in irs present form if the 
party that made it had not been sustained previously by the 
elections. My own opinion 'ifi, that the new Die 1 Scott decis- 
ion, deciding against the right of the p?ople of the States to 
exclude slavery, will never be made, if that party is not sus- 
tained by the elections. I believe, further, tliat it is just as 
sure to be made as to-morrow is to come, if that party shall be 
sustained. I have said, upon a former oicasion, and 1 repeat 
it now, that the course of argiunent that Judge Douglas makes 
use of upon this subject (I charge not his motives in this), is 


preparing the public mind for that new Drerl Scott decision. 
1 have asked him again to point out to me the reasons for his 
first adherence to the Dred Scott decision as it U. I have 
turned his attention to the fact tiiat General Jackson ditFered 
with him in regarrl to the political obligation of a Supreme 
Court decision. I have asked liis attention to tiie fact that 
Jefferson differed with him in regard to the political obligation 
of a Supreme Court decision. Jefferson said, that '' Judges 
are as honest as other men, and not more so." And he said, 
substantially, that " whenever a free people should give up in 
absolute submission to any department of government, retain- 
ing for themselves no appeal from it, their liberties are gone." 
I have asked his attention to the fact that the Cincinnati plat- 
form, upon which he says he stands, disregards a time-honored 
decision of the Supreme Court, in denying the power of Con- 
gress to establish a National Bank. I have asked his attention 
to the fact that he liims^lf was one of the most active instru- 
ments at one time in breaking down the Supreme Court of the 
State of Illinois, because it had made a decision distasteful to 
him — a struggle ending in the remarkable cir<iumstance of his 
sitting down as one of the new Judges who were to overslaugh 
that decision — getting his title of Judge in that very way. 

So far in this controversy I can get no answer at all from 
Judge Douglas upon these subjects. Not one can I get from 
him, except that he swells himself up and says, "All of us 
who stand by the decision of the Supreme Court are the 
friends of the Constitution ; all you fellows that dare question 
it in any way are the enemies of the Constitution." Now, in 
this very devoted adherence to this decision, in opposition to 
all the great political leaders whom he lias recognized as 
leaders — in opposition to his former self and history, there is 
something very marked. And the manner in which he ad- 
heres to it — not as being right upon the merits, as he con- 
ceives (because lie did not discuss that at all), but as being 
absolutely obligatory upon every one, simply because of 
the source whence it comes — as that which no man can 
gainsay, whatever it may be — this is another marked feature 
of his adherence to that decision. It marks it in tliis respect, 
that it conunits him to the next decision, whenever it comes, 
as being as obligatory as this one, since he does not investigate 
it, and won't inquire whether this opinion is right or wrong. 


So he fakes the next one without inquiring whether it is right 
or wrong. He teaches men this doctrine, and in doing so 
prepares the public mind to take the next decision when it 
comes, without any inquiry. In this I think I argue fairly 
(without questioning motives at all), that Judge Doughis is 
most ingeniously and powerfully preparing the public mind to 
take that decision when it comes ; and not only so, but he is 
doing it in various other ways. In these general maxims about 
liberty — in hi-^ assertions that he " don't care whether slavery 
is voted up or down ;" that " whoever wants slavery has a 
right to have it;" that " upon principles of equality it should 
be allowed to go everywhere ;" that " there is no inconsistency 
between free and slave institutions." In this, he is also pre- 
paring (whether purposely or not) the way for making the in- 
stitution of slavery national ! I repeat again, for I wish no 
misunderstanding, that I do not charge that he means it so ; 
but I call your minds to inquire, if you were going to get the 
best instrument you could, and then set it to work in the most 
ingenious way, to prepare the public mind for this movement, 
operating in the free States, where there is now an abhorrence 
of the institution of slavery, could you find an instrument so 
capable of doing it as Judge Douglas? or one employed in so 
apt a way to do it ? 

I have said once before, and I will repeat it now, that ]Mr. 
Clay, when he was once answering an objection to the Colo- 
nization Sof'iety, that it had a tendency to the ultimate eman- 
cipaiion of the slaves, said that "• those who would repress all 
tendencies to liberty and ultimate emancipation must do more 
than put down the benevolent efforts of the Colonization So- 
ciety — they must go back to the era of our liberty and indepen- 
dence, and muzzle the cannon that thunders its annual joyous, 
return — they must blot out the moral lights around us — they 
must penetrate the human soul, and eradicate the light of rea- 
son and the love of liberty !" Ami I do think — I repeat, 
though I said it on a former occasion — that Judge Douglas, 
and whoever like him teaches that the negro has no share, 
humble though it may be, in the Declaration of Independence, 
is " gi)ing back to the era of our liberty ami imlependence, and, 
so far as in him lies, muzzling the camion th;it thunders its 
annual joyous return ;" that he is blowing out the moral lights 
around us, when he contends that whoever wants slaves has 


a right to hold them ; that he is penetrating, so far as lies in 
his power, the human soul, ann eradicating the light of rea- 
son and the love of liberty, when he is in every pos>ible way 
preparing the public mind, by his vast influence, for making 
the institution of slavery perpetual and national. 

There is, my friends, only one other point to which I will 
call your attention for the remaining time that I have left me, 
and, perhaps, I shall not occupy the entire time that I have, 
as that one point may not take me clear through it. 

Among the interrogatories that Judge Douglas propounded to 
me at Freeport, there was one in about this language : "Are 
you opposed to the acquisition of any further territory to tlie 
United States, unless slavery shall first be prohibited therein ?" 
I answered as I tliought, in this way, that I am not generally 
opposed to the acquisition of additional territory, and that I 
would support a proposition for the acqui?ition of additional 
territory, according as my supporting it was or was not calcu- 
lated to aggravate this slavery question among us. I then 
proposed to Judge Douglas another interrogatory, which was 
correlative to that : " Are you in favor of acquiring addi- 
tional territory in disregard of how it may affect us upon the 
slavery question?" Judge Douglas answered, that is, in his 
own way he answered it. I believe that, although he took a 
great many words to answer it, it was a little more fully an- 
swered than any other. The substance of his answer was, 
that this country would continue to expand — that it woul I 
need additional territory — th it it was as absurd to sup[)()se 
that we could continue upon our present territory, enlarging 
in population as we are, as it would be to hoop a boy 
years of age, and expect him to grow to man's size without 
bursting the hoops. I believe it was something like that. 
Consequently he was in favor of the acquisition of further 
territory, as fast as we might need it, in disregard of how it 
might affect the slavery question. I do not say this as giving 
his exact language, but he said so substantially, and he vrould 
leave the question of slavery where the territory was ac- 
quired, to be settled by the people of the acquired territory. 
['' That's the doctrine."] May be it is ; let us consider that 
for a wliilc. This will probably, in the run of things, become 
one of the concrete manifestations of this slavery question. 
If Judge Douglas's policy upon this question succeeds and gets 


fairly settled down, until all opposition is crushed out, the next 
thing M'ill be a grab for the territory of poor Mexico, and an 
invasion of the rich lands of South America, then the adjoin- 
ing islands ■will follow, each one of which promises additional 
slave fields. And this question is to be left to the people of 
those countries for settlement. When we shall get Mexico, I 
don't know whether the Judge will be in favor of the Mexican 
people that we get with it settling that question for themselves 
and all others ; because we know the Judge has a great horror 
for mongrels, and I understand that the people of Mexico are 
most decidedly a race of mongi'els. I understand that there 
is not more than one person there out of eight who is pure 
white, and I suppose from the Judge's previous declaration 
that when we get Mexico or any considerable portion of it, 
that he will be in favor of these mongrels settling the question, 
which would bring him somewhat into collision with his hor- 
ror of an inferior race. 

It is to remembered, though, that this power of acquiring 
additional territory is a power confided to the President and 
Senate of the United States. It is a power not under the con- 
trol of the representatives of the people any further than they, 
the President and the Senate, can be considered representa- 
tives of the people. Let me illustrate that by a case we have 
in our history. AVlien we acquired the territory from Mexico 
in the Mexican war, the House of Representatives, composed 
of the immediate representatives of the people, all the time in- 
sisted that the territory thus to be acquired should be brought 
in upon condition that slavery should be forever prohibited 
therein, upon the terms and in the language that slavery had 
been prohibited from coming into this country. That, was in- 
sisted upon constantly, and never failed to call forth an assur- 
ance that any territory thus acquired should have that prohi- 
bition in it, so far as the House of llepresentatives was con- 
cerned. But at last the President and the Senate acquired the 
territory without asking the House of Pepresentatives any- 
thing about it, and took it without that prohibition. They 
have the power of acquiring territory without the immediate 
representatives of the people being called upon to say any- 
thing about it, and thus furnishing a very apt and powerful 
means of bringing new territory into the Union, and when it 
is once brought into the country, involving us anew in this 


slavery agitation. It is, therefore, as I think, a very import- 
ant question for the consideration of the American people, 
whether tlie policy of bringing in additional territory, without 
considering at all how it will operate upon the safety of the 
Union, in reference to this one great disturbing element in our 
national politics, shall be adopted as the pohcy of the country. 
You will bear in mind that it is to be acquired, according to 
the Judge's view, as fast as it is needed, and the indefinite 
part of this proposition is that we have only Judge Douglas 
and his class of men to decide how fast it is needed. AVe 
have no clear and certain way of determining or demonstrating 
how fast territory is needed by the necessities of the country. 
Whoever wants to go out filibustering, then, thinks that more 
territory is needed. Whoever wants wider slave fields, feels 
sure that some additional territory is needed as slave territory. 
Then it is as easy to show the necessity of additional slave 
territory as it is to assert anything that is incapable of absolute 
demonstration. Whatever motive a man or a set of men may 
have for making annexation of property or territory, it is very 
to easy assert, but much less to disprove, that it is necessary 
for the wants of the country. 

And now it only remains for me to say that I think it is a 
very grave question for the people of this Union to consider 
whether, in view of the fact that this slavery question has been 
the only one that has ever endangered our Republican institu- 
tions — the only one that has ever threatened or menaced a 
dissolution of the Union — that has ever disturbed us in sucli a 
way as to make us fear for the perpetuity of our liberty — in 
view of these facts, I think it is an exceedingly interesting and 
important question for this peoj)le to consider, Avhether we 
shall engage in the policy of acquiring additional territory, dis- 
cartling altogether from our consideration, while obtaining 
new territory, the question how it may affect us in regard to 
this the only endangering element to our liberties and national 
greatness. 'J'he Judge's view has been expressed. I, in my 
answer to his question, have expressed mine. I think it will 
become an important and practical question. Our views are 
before the public. 1 am willing and anxious that they should 
consider them I'ully — that they should tm-n it about and con- 
sider the importance of the question, and arrive at a just con- 
clusion as to whether it is or it is not wise in the people of 


tliis Union, in the acquisition of new territory, to consider 
wliether it will add to the disturbance that is existing among 
lis — whether it will add to the one only danger that has ever 
threatened the perpetuity of the Union or of our own liberties. 
I think it is extremely important that they shall decide, and 
rightly decide, that question before entering upon that policy. 
And now, my friends, having said the little I wish to say 
upon this liead, whether I have occupied the whole of the 
remnant of my lime or not, I believe I could not enter upon 
any new topics so as to treat it fully without transcending my 
time, which I would not for a moment think of doing. I give 
v\^ay to Judge Douglas. 


At QuiNCY, III., October 13, 1858. 

Ladies and Gentlemex : I have Lad no immediate con- 
ference with Judge Douglas, but I will venture to say that he 
and I will perfectly agree that your entire silence, both when 
I speak and when he speaks, will be most agreeable to us. 

In the month of May, 1856, ^he elements of the State of 
Illinois, which have since been consolidated into the Republi- 
can party, assembled together in a State Convention at Bloom- 
ingtoa. They adopted at that time, what, in political lan- 
guage, is called a platform. In June of the same year, the 
elements of the Kepublican party in the nation assembled to- 
gether in a National Convention at Philadelphia. They 
adopted what is called the National Platform. In June, 1858 
— the present year^the Republicans of Illinois re-assembled 
at Springfield, in State Convention, and adopted again their 
platform, as I suppose, not differing in any essential particu- 
lar from cither of the former ones, but perhaps adding some- 
thing in relation to the new developments of political progress 
in the country. 

The Convention that assembled in June last did me the 
honor, if it be one, and I esteem it such, to nominate me as 
their candidate for tlie United States Senate. I. have sup- 



posed that, in entering upon this canvass, I stood generally 
upon these platforms. AVe are now met together on the loth 
of October of the same year, only four months from the adop- 
tion of the last platform, and I am unaware that in this can- 
vass, from the beginning until to-day, «ny one of our adver- 
f^aries has taken hold of our platforms, or laid his finger upon 
anything that h.e calls wrong in them. 

In the very first one of these joint discussions between Sen- 
ator Douglas and myself, Senator Douglas, without alluding 
at all to these platforms, or any one of them, of which I have 
spoken, attempted to hold me responsible for a set of resolu- 
tions passed long before the meeting of either one of these 
Conventions of which I have spoken. And as a ground for 
l;olding me responsible for these resolutions, he assumed that 
they had been passed at a State Convention of the Kepublican 
party, and that I took part in that Convention. It was dis- 
covered afterward that tliis was erroneous, that the resolutions 
which he endeavored to hold me responsible for, had not been 
passed by any State Convention anywhere, had not been 
jiassed at Springfield, where he supposed they had, or as- 
sumed that they had, and that they had been passed in no 
Convention in which I had taken part. The Judge, never- 
theless, was not willing to give up the point that he was en- 
deavoring to make upon me, and he therefore thought to still 
hold me to the point that he was endeavoring to make, by 
showing that the resolutions that he read, had been passed at 
a local Convention in the northern part of the State, although 
it was not a local Convention that embraced my residence at 
all, nor one that reached, as I suppose, nearer than one hun- 
dred and fifty or two hundred miles of where I was when it 
met, nor one in which I took any part at all. lie also intro- 
duced other resolutions, passed at other meetings, and by com- 
bining the whole, although they were all antecedent to the 
two State Conventions, and the one National Convention I 
have mentioned, still he insisted and now insists, as I under- 
stand, that I am in some M'ay responsible for them. 

At Jonesboro, on our third meeting, I insisted to the Judge 
that I was in no way rightfully held responsible for the pro- 
ceedings of this local meeting or Convention, in which I had 
taken no part, and in which I was in no way embraced ; but 
I insisted to him that if he thought I was responsible for every 


maTi or every set of men everywhere, who happen to he my 
friends, the rule ought to work both ways, and he ought to be 
responsible for the acts and resolutions of all men or sets of 
men who were and are now his supporters and fiiends, and 
gave him a pretty long string of resolutions, passed by men 
who are now his friends, and announcing doctrines for which 
he does not desire to be held responsible. 

This still does not satisfy Judge Douglas. He still adheres 
to his proposition, that I am responsible for what some of ray 
Iriends in different parts of the State have done ; but that he 
is not responsible for what his have done. At least, so I un- 
derstand him. But in addition to that, the Judge, at our meet- 
ing in Galesburgh, last week, undertakes to establish that I 
am guilty of a species of double-dealing with the public — that 
I make speeches of a certain sort in the north, among the 
Abolitionists, which I would not make in the south, and that 
I make speeches of a certain sort in the south which I would 
not make in the north. I apprehend, in the course I have 
marked out for myself, that I shall not have to dwell at very 
great length upon this subject. 

As this was done in the Judge's opening speech at Gales- 
bui-gh, I had an opportunity, as I had the middle speech there, 
of saying something in answer to it. He brought forward a 
quotation or two from a speech of mine, delivered at Chicago, 
and then, to contrast with it, he brought forward an extract 
of a speech of mine at Charleston, in which he insisted that I 
was greatly inconsistent, and insisted that his conclusion fol- 
lowed that I was playing a double part, and speaking in one 
region one way, and in another region another way. 1 have 
not time now to dwell on this as long as I would like, and 
wish only now to requote that portion of my speech at Charles- 
ton, which the Judge quoted, and then make some comments 
upon it. Tliis he quotes from me as being delivered at Charles- 
ton, and I believe correctly : "I will say, then, that I am 
not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about, in any 
way, the social and political equality of the white and black 
races — that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making 
voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold of- 
fice, nor to intermarry with white people ; and I will say in addi- 
tion to this, that there is a physical difference between the white 
and black races which will ever forbid the two races living to- 


gether on terms of social and political equality. And inas- 
much as they cannot so live, while they do remain togethei'? 
there must be the position of superior and inferior. I am as 
much as any other man in favor of having tlie superior position 
assigned to the white race." This, I believe, is the entire 
quotation from the Charleston speech, as Judge Douglas made 
it. His comments are as follows : 

" Yes, here you find men who hurrah for Lincoln, and say 
he is rioht when he discards aU distinction between races, or 
when he declares that he discards the doctrine that there is 
such a thing as a superior and inferior race ; and Abolitionists 
are required and expected to vote for Mr. Lincoln because he 
goes for the equality of races, holding that in the Declaration 
of Independence the white man and negro were declared equal, 
and endowed by law with equality. And down south with 
the old line Whigs, with the Kentuckians, the Virginians, and 
the Tennesseans, he tells you there is a physical difference be- 
tween the races, making the one superior, the other inferior, 
and he is in favor of maintaining the superiority of the white 
race over the negro." 

Those are the Judge's comments. Now I wish to show you, 
that a month — or, only lacking three days of a month — before 
I made the speech at Charleston, which the Judge quotes from, 
he had, himself, heard me say substantially the same thing. 
It was in our first meeting, at Ottawa — and I will say a word 
about where it was, and the atmosphere it was in, after awhi'.e 
— but at our first meeting, at Ottawa, I read an extract from 
an old speech of mine, made nearly four years ago, not merely 
to show my sentiments, but to show that my sentiments were 
long entertained and openly expressed, in which extract I 
exp'cssly declared that my own feelings would not admit a 
social and political equality betweeT\ the white and black races, 
and that even if my own feelings would admit of it, I still 
knew that the public sentiment of the country would not, and 
that such a thing was an utter impossibility, or substantially 
that. That extract from my old speech, the reporters, by 
some sort of accident, passed over, and it was not reported. 
I lay no blame upon anybody. I suppose they thought that 
I would hand it over to them, and dropped rei)orting while I 
was reading it, but afterward went away without getting it 
from me. At the end of that quotation from my old speech, 


■which I read at Otta'.va, I made the comments which were 
reported at that time, and which I will now read, and ask you 
to notice how very nearly they are the same as Judge Doughas 
says were deh'vered by me, down in Egypt. After reading I 
added these words : '•' Now, gentlemen, I don't wan't to read at 
any great length, but this is the true complexion of all I have 
ever said in regard to the institution of slavery or the black 
race, and this is the whole of it ; anything thpt argues me 
into his idea of perfect social and political equality with the 
negro, is but a specious and fantastical arrangement of words 
by which a man can prove a horse-chestnut to be a chestnut- 
horse. I will say here, while upon this subject, that I have 
no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the insti- 
tution in the States where it exists. I believe I have no right 
to do so. I have no inclination to do so. I have no purpose 
to introduce political and social equality between the white 
and black races. There is a physical difference" between the 
two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their 
living togetiier on the footing of perfect equality, and inas- 
much as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, 
I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which 
1 belong having the superior position. I have never said any- 
thing to the contrary, but I hold that, notwithstanding all this, 
there is no reason in tlie world, why the negro is not entitled 
to all the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independ- 
ence — the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 
I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. 
I agree with Judge Douglas, that he is not my equal in many 
respects, certainly not in color — perhaps not in intellectual 
and moral endowments ; but in the right to eat the bread 
without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, 
he is my equal, and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal 
of every other man. " 

I have chiefly introduced this for the purpose of meeting the 
Judge's charge that the (quotation he took from my Charleston 
speech was what I would say down south among the Ken- 
tuckians, the Virginianr', etc., but would not say in the regions 
in which was supposed to be more of the abolition element. I 
now make this comment : That speech, from which I have 
now read the quotation, and which is there given correctly, 
perhaps too much so for good taste, was made away up north 


in the abolition district of this State 79a?' excellence — in the 
Lovejoy District — in tlie personal presence of Lovejoy. for he 
was on the stand with us wiien I made it. It had been made 
and put in print in that region only three days less than a 
month before the speech made at Charleston, the like of which 
Judge Douglas thinks I would not make where' there was any 
Abolition element. I only refer to this matter to say that I 
am altogether unconscious of having attempted any double- 
dealing an3^where — that upon one occasion I may say one 
thing and leave other things unsaid, and vice versa ; but that I 
have said anything on one occasion that is inconsistent with 
what I have said elsewhere, I deny — at least I deny it so far 
as the intention is concerned. I find that I have devoted to 
this topic a larger portion of my time than I had intended. I 
wished to show, but I will pass it upon this occasion, that in 
the sentiment I have occasionally advanced upon the Declara- 
tion of Independence, I am entirely borne out by the senti- 
ments advanced by our old AVhig leader, Henry Clay, and I 
have the book here to show it from ; but because I have al- 
ready occupied more time than I intended to do on that topic, 
I pass over it. 

At Galesburgh I tried to show that by the Dred Scott de- 
cision, pushed to its legitimate consecjuenccs, slavery would be 
established in all the States as well as in the territories. I did 
tliis because, upon a former occasion, I had asked Judge 
Douglas, whether, if the Supreme Court should make a decis- 
ion declaring that the States had not the power to exclude 
slavery from their limits, he would adopt and follow that de- 
cision as a rule of political action ; and becnuse he had not 
directly answered that question, but had merely contented 
himself with sneering at it, I again introduced it, and tried to 
show that the conclusion that I stated followed inevitably and 
logically from the proposition already decided by the court. 
Judge Douglas had the privilege of replying to me at Gales- 
burgh, and again he gave me no direct answer as to whether 
he would or would not sustain such a decision if made. I 
give him this third chance to say yes or no. He is not 
obliged to do either — probably he will not do either — but I give 
him the third chance. I tried to show then that this result — 
i\\\^ conclusion inevitably followed from the point already de- 
cided by the court. The Judge, in his reply, again sneers at 


the thonght of the court making any such clecmon, and in the 
course of his remarks ujjon this subject, uses the language 
■\vhieh I ^y\\\ now read. Speaking of me the Judge says : 

''He goes on and insists that the Dred Scott decision would 
carry shivery into the free States, notwithstanding the decis- 
ion itself says the contrary." And he adds : " Mr. Lincohi 
knows that there is no member of the Supreme Court that 
hokls that doctrine. He knows that every one of them in 
their opinions held the reverse." 

I especially introduce this subject again for the purpose of 
saying that I have the Dred Scott decision here, and E will 
thank Judge Douglas to lay his finger upon the place in the 
entire opinions of the court Avhere any of them " says the con- 
trary." It is very hard to affirm a negative with entire con- 
fidence. I say, however, that I have examined that decisi-on 
with a good deal of care, as a lawyer examines a decision, 
and so far as I have been able to do so, the court has nowhere 
in its opinions said that the States have the power to exclude 
slavery, nor have they used other language substantially that. 
I also say, so far as I can find, not one of the concurring 
Judges has said that the States can exclude s'avery, nor said 
anything that was substantially that. The nearest approach 
that any one of them has made to it, so far as I can find, v^^as 
by Judge Nelson, and the approach he made to it wa= exactly, 
in substance, the Nebraska bill — that the States had the ex- 
clusive power over the question of slavery, so far as they are 
not limited by the Constitution of the United States. I asked 
the question therefore, if the non-concurring Judges, McLean 
or Curtis, had asked to get an express declaration that the 
States could absolutely exclude slavery from their limits, what 
reason have we to believe that it would not havebeen voted 
down by the majority of the Judges, just as Chase's amend- 
ment was voted down by Judge Douglas and his compeers 
when it was offered to the Nebraska bill. 

Also at Galesburgh, I said something in regard to those 
Springfield resolutions that Judge Douglas attempted to use 
upon me at Ottawa, and commented at some length upon the 
fact that they were, as presented, not genuine. Judge Doug- 
las in his reply to me seemed to be somewhat exasperated. 
He said he would never have believed that Abraham Lincoln, 
as he kindly called me, would have attempted such a thing as 


I had attempted upon that occasion; and among other ex- 
pressions which lie used toward me, was that I dared to say 
ibrgery — that I had dared to say forgery [turning to Judge 
Douglas]. Yes, Judge, I did dare to say forgery. But in this 
political canvass, the Judge ought to remember that I was not 
the first who dared to say Ibrgery. At Jacksonville Judge 
Douglas made a speech in answer to something said by Judge 
'iVumbull, and at the close of wiuit he said upon that subject, 
he dared to say that Trumbull had forged his evidence. He 
said, too, that he should not concern himself with Trumbull 
any more, but thereafter he should hold Lincoln responsible 
for the slanders upon him. AVhen I met him at Charleston 
after that, although I think that I should not have noticed the 
subject if he had not said he would hold me responsible for it, 
I spread out before him the statements of the evidence that 
Judge Trumbull had used, and I asked Judge Douglas, piece 
bv piece, to put his finger upon one piece of all that evidence 
that he would say was a forgery ! When 1 went through 
with each and every piece. Judge Douglas did not dare then 
to say that any piece of it was a forgery. So it seems that 
there are some things that Judge Douglas dares to do, and 
some that he dares not to do. 

A voice — " It's the same thing with you." 

Mr. Lincoln — Yes, sir, it's the same thing with me. I do 
dare to say foi'gery when it's true, and don't dare to say 
forgery v.hen it's false. Now, I will say here to the audience 
and to Judge Douglas, I have not dared to say he committed a 
forgery, and I never shall until I knoW it ; but I did dare to 
SHy — -just to suggest to the Judge — that a forgery had been 
committed, which by his own showing had been traced to him 
and two of his friends. I dared to suggest to him that he 
had expressly promised in one of his public speeches to inves- 
tigate that matter ; and I dared to suggest to him that there 
was an implied promise that when he investigated it he would 
make known the result. I dared to suggest to the Judge that 
he could not expect to be quite clear of suspicion of that fraud, 
for since the time that promise was made he had been with 
those friends, and had not kept his promise in regard to the 
investigation and the report upon it. I am not a very daring 
man, but I dared that much, Judge, and I am not much 
scared about it yet. "When the Judge says he Avouldn't have 


believed of Abraham Lincoln that he would have made such an 
attempt as that, he reminds me of the fact that he entered 
upon this canvass with the purpose to treat me courteously ; 
that touched me somewhat. It sets me to thinking. I was 
aware, wlien it was first agreed that Judge Douglas and I 
■were to have these seven-joint discussions, that thej were 
the successive acts of a drama — perhaps I should say, to be 
enacted not merely in the face of audiences like this, but in 
the face of the nation, and to some extent, by my relation to 
him, and not from anytliing in myself, in the face of the 
world: and I am anxious tliat they should be conducted with 
dignity and in the good temper which would be befitting the 
vast audience before which they were conducted. But when 
Judge Douglas got home from Washington and made his first 
speech in Chicago, the evening afterward I made some sort of a 
reply to it. His second speech was made at Bloomington, in 
which he commented upon my speech at Chicago, and said that 
I had used language ingeniously contrived to conceal my inten- 
tions, or words to that effect. Now, I understand that this 
is an imputation upon my veracity and my candor. I do not 
know what the Judge understood bj it ; but in our first dis- 
cussion at Ottawa, he led off by charging a bargain, somewhat 
corrupt in its character, upon Trumbull and myself^ — that we 
had entered into,a bargain, one of the terms of which was that 
Trumbull was to abolitionize the old Democratic party, and I 
(Lincoln) was to abolitionize the old "Whig party — I pretend- 
ing to be as good an old line Vv^hig as ever. Judge Douglas 
may not understand that he implicated my truthfulness and 
my honor, when he said I was doing one thing and pretending 
another ; and I misunderstood him if he thought he was treat- 
ing me in a dignified way, as a man of honor and truth, as he 
now claims he was disposed to treat me. Even after that 
time, at Galesburgh, when he brings forward an extract from 
a speech made at Chicago, and an extract from a speech 
made at Charleston, to prove that I was trying to play a 
double part — and that I was trying to cheat the public, and 
get votes upon one set of principles at one place and upon 
another set of principles at another place — I do not under- 
stand but what he impeaches my honor, my veracity, and 
my candor, and because he does this, I do not understand that 
I am bound, if I see a truthful ground for it, to keep my 


hands off him. As soon as I learned that Judge Douglas was 
disposed to treat me in this way, I signified in one of my 
speeches that I should be driven to draw upon whatever of 
humble resources I might have — to adopt a new course with 
him, I was not entirely sure that I should be able to hold 
my own with him, but I at least had the purpose made to do 
as well as I could upon him ; and now I say that I will not 
be the first to cry "hold." I think it originated with the 
Judge, and if he quits, I prohably will. But I shall not ask 
any favors at all. He asks me, as he asks the audience, if I 
wish to push this matter to the point of personal difficulty. I 
tell him, no. He did not make a mistake, in one of his early 
speeches, when he calls me an "amiable" man, though per- 
haps he did when he called me an " intelligent" man. It 
really hurts me very much to suppose that I have wronged 
anybody on earth. I again tell him, no ! I very much pre- 
fer, when this canvass shall be over, however it may result, 
that we at least part without any bitter recollections of per- 
sonal difficulties. 

The Judge, in his concluding speech at Galesburgh, says 
that I was pushing this matter to a personal difficulty, to 
avoid the responsibility for the enormity of my principles. I 
say to the Judge and this audience now, that I will again 
state our principles as well as I hastily can in all their enor- 
mity, and if the Judge hereafter chooses to confine himself to 
a war upon these principles, he will probably not find me de- 
parting from the same course. 

We have in this nation this element of domestic slavery. 
It is a matter of absolute certainty that it is a disturbing ele- 
ment. It is the opinion of all the great men who have ex- 
pressed an opinion upon it, that it is a dangerous element. 
We. keep up a controversy in regard to it. That controversy 
necessarily springs from difference of opinion, and if we can 
learn exactly — can reduce to the lowest elements — what that 
difference of opmion is, we perhaps shall be better prepared 
for discussing the different systems of policy that we wouUl 
propose in regard to that disturbing element. I suggest tlmt 
the difference of opinion, reduced to its lowest terms, is no 
other than the difference between the men who think slavery 
a wrong and those who do not think it wrong. The llepul)- 
lican party think it wrong — we think it is a moral, a social. 


and a political wrong. AVe think it is a wrong not confining 
itself merely to the persons or the States where it exists, but 
that it is a wrong in its tendency, to say the least, that ex- 
tends itself to the existence of the whole nation. Because we 
think it wrong, we propose a course of policy that shall deal 
with it as a wrong. We deal with it as with any other 
wrong, in so far as we can prevent its growing any larger, and 
so deal with it that in the run of time there may be some 
promise of an end to it. We have a due regard to the actual 
presence of it among us and the diificulties of getting rid of it 
in any satisfactory way, and all the constitutional obligations 
thrown about it. I suppose that in reference both to its ac- 
tual existence in the nation, and to our constitutional obliga- 
tions, we have no right at all to disturb it in the States where 
it exists, and we profess that we have no more inclination to 
disturb it than we have the right to do it. We go farther 
than that ; we don't propose to disturb it where, in one in- 
stance, we think the Constitution would permit us. AVe think 
the Constitution would permit us to disturb it in the District 
of Columbia. Still we do not propose to do that, unless it 
should be in terms which I don't suppose the nation is very 
likely soon to agree to — the terms of making the emancipation 
gradual and compensating the unwilling owners. Where we 
suppose we have the constitutional right, we restrain our- 
selves in reference to the actual existence of the institution 
and the difficulties thrown about it. AVe also oppose it as an 
evil so far as it seeks to spread itself. AVe insist on the policy 
that shall restrict it to its present limits. AVe don't suppose 
that in doing this we violate anything due to the actual pres- 
ence of the institution, or anything due to the constitutional 
rruaranties thrown aroun 1 it. 

AVe oppose the Dred Scott decision in a certam w^ay, upon 
which I ought, perhaps, to address you a few words. AVe do 
not propose that when Dred Scott has been decided to be a 
slave, by the court, we, as a mob, will decide him to be free. 
AVe do not propose that, when any other one, or one thousand, 
shidl be decided by that court to be slaves, Ave will in any vio- 
lent way disturb the rights of property thus settled ; but we 
nevertheless do oppose that decision as a political rule, which 
shall be binding on the voter to vote for nobody who thinks it 
wrong, which shall be binding on the members of Congress or 


the President to favor no measure that does not actually con- 
cur with the principles of that decision. AVe do not propose 
to be bound by it as a political rule in that way, because we 
think it lays the foundation not merely of enlarging and 
spreading out what we consider an evil, but it lays the foun- 
dation for spreading that evil into the States themselves. We 
propose so roisting it as to have it reversed if we can, and a 
new judicial rule established upon this subject 

I will add this, that if there be any man who does not be- 
lieve that slavery is wrong in the three aspects which I have 
mentioned, or in any one of them, that man is misplaced, and 
ought to leave us. While, on the other hand, if there be anj' 
man in the Kepublican party Avho is impatient over the neces- 
sity springing from its actual presence, and is impatient of 
the constitutional guaranties thrown around it, and w^ould act 
in disregard of these, he too is misplaced, standing with us. 
He will find his place somewhere else ; for we have a due re- 
gard, so iar as we are capable of understanding them, for all 
these things. This, gentlemen, as w^ell as I can give it, is a 
plain statement of our principles in all their enormity. 

I will say now, that there is a sentiment in the country con- 
trary to me — a sentiment which holds that slavery is not 
wrong; and therefore it goes for the policy that does not pro- 
pose dealing with it as a wrong. That policy is the Demo- 
cratic policy, and that sentiment is the Democratic sentiment. 
If there be a doubt in the mind of any one of tliis v^st audience 
that this is really the central idea of the Democratic party, in 
relation to this subject, I ask him to bear with me while I 
state a few things tending, as I think, to prove that proposi- 
tion. In the tirst place, the leading man — I think I may do 
my friend, Judge Douglas, the honor of calling him such — 
advocating the present Democratic policy, never himself says 
it is wrong. He has the high distinction, so far as I know, of 
never having said slavery is either right or wrong. Almost 
everybody el^e says one or the other, but the Judge never does. 
If there be a man in the Democratic party who thinks it is 
wrong, and yet clings to that party, I suggest to him in tlie tirst 
place that his leader don't talk as he does, for he never says that 
it is wrong. In the second place, I suggest to him that if 
he will examine the policy proposed to be carried forward, ho 
will find that he carefully excludes the idea that there is any- 


tiling wrong in it. If you Avill examine the arguments tliat 
are made on it, you will find that every one carefully excludes 
the idea that there is anything wrong in slavery. Perhaps 
tliat Democrat who says he is as much opposed to slavery as I 
am, will tell me that I am wrong about this. I wish him to 
examine his own course in regard to this matter a moment, 
and then see if his opinion will not be changed a little. You 
say it is wrong ; but don't you constantly object to anybody 
else saving so f Do you not constantly argue that this is not 
the right place to oppose it ? You say it must not be opposed 
in the free States, because slavery is not here ; it must not be 
opposed in the slave States, because it is there ; it must not 
be opposed in politics, because that will make a fuss ; it must 
not be opposed in the pulpit, because it is not religion. Then 
where is the place to oppose it I There is no suitable place to 
oppose it. There is no plan in the country to oppose this evil 
overspreading the continent, which you say yourself is coming. 
Frank Blair and Gratz Brown tried to get up a system of 
gradual emancipation in Missouri, had an'election in August 
and got beat, and you, Mr. Democrat, threw up your hat, 
and hallooed "Hurrah for Democracy." So, 1 say again, that 
in regard to the arguments that are made, when Judge Doug- 
las says he "don't care whether slavery is voted up or voted 
down," whetlier he means that as an individual expression of 
sentiment, or only as a sort of statement of his views on na- 
tional policy, it is alike true to say that he can thus argue 
logically if he don't see anything wrong in it ; but he cannot 
say so logically if he admits that slavery is wrong. He can- 
not say that he would as soon see a wrong voted up as voted 
down. When .ludge Douj^las says, that whoever or whatever 
community wants slaves, they have a right to have them, he 
is perfectly logical if there is nothing wrong in the institution ; 
but if you admit that it is wrong, he cannot logically say that 
anybody has a right to do wrong. AVhen he says that slave 
property and horse and hog property are alike, to be allowed 
to go into the territories, upon the principle of equality, he is 
reasoning truly, if there is no ditference between tliem as prop- 
erty ; but if the one is property, held riglitfulh', and the other 
is wrong, then there is no equality between the right and 
wrong ; so that, turn it in any way you can, in all tiie argu- 
ments sustaining the Democratic policy, and in that policy it- 


self, there is a careful, studied exclusion of the idea that there 
is anything wrong in j-laveiy. Let us understand this. I am 
not, just here, tr}ing to prove that "\ve are right and they are 
wrong. I have been stating where we and they stand, and 
trying to show what is the real difference between us ; and I 
now say, that whenever we can get the Ciuestion distinctly 
stated — can get all these men Avho believe that slavery is in 
some of these respects wrong, to stand and act with us in 
treating it as a wrong — then, and not till then, I think we will 
in some way come to an end of this slavery agitation. 


At Alton, III., October 15, 1858. 

Ladiks and Gentlemen : I have been somewhat, in my 
own mind, complimented by a large portion of Judge Doug- 
las's speech — I mean that portion which he devotes to the con- 
troversy between himself and the present Administration. 
This is the seventh time Judge Douglas and mvself have met 
in these joint discussions, and he has been gradually improv- 
ing in regard to his war with the Administration. At Quincy, 
day before yesterday, he was a little more severe upon the Ad- 
ministration than I had heard him upon any occasion, and I took 
pains to compliment him for it. I then told him to "Give it 
to them with all the power he had ;'' and as some of them 
were present, I told them I would be very much obliged if 
they would give it to him in about the same way. I take it he 
has now vastly improved upon the attack he made then upon 
the Administration. I Hatter myself he has really taken my 
advice on this subject. All I can say now is to recommend 
to him and to thom what I then commended — to prosecute 
the war against one another in the most \igorous manner. I 
say to them again — " Go it, husband ! — Go it, bear!" 

There is one other thing I will mention before I will leave 
this branch of the discussion — althouoh I do not consider it 
much of my business, any way. I refer to that part of the 
Judge's remarks whera he undertakes to involve Mr. Buchanan 
in an inconsistency. Pie reads something from Mr. Buchanan, 
from which he undertakes to inyolvp him in an inconsistency ; 

ABRAHAM L I N C L X . 231 

and he gets something of a cheer for having done so. I 
^vould only remind the Judge that wliile he is very valiantly 
lichtino- for the Nebraska bill and the repeal of the Missouri 
Compromise, it has been but a little while since he was the 
valiant advocate of the Missouri Compromise. 1 want to 
know if Buchanan has not as much right to be inconsistent as 
Douglas has? Has Douglas the exclusive right, in this country, 
of being on all sides of all questions f Is nobody allowed that 
high privilege but himself? Is he to have an entire monopoly 
on that subject ? 

So far as Judge Douglas addressed his speech to me, or so 
far as it was about me, it is my business to pay some atten- 
tion to it. I have heard the Judge state two or three times' 
what he has stated to-day — that in a speech which I made at 
Springfield, Illinois, I had in a very especial manner com- 
plained that the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case had de- 
cided that a neo;ro could never be a citizen of the United 
States. I have omitted, by some accident, heretofore, to an- 
alyze this statement, and it is required of me to notice it now. 
In point of fact it is untrue. I never have complained especially 
of the Dred Scott decision because it held that a negro could 
not be a citizen, and the Judge is always wrong when he says 
I ever did so complain of it. I have the speech here, and I 
will thank him, or any of his friends, to show where I 
said that a negro should be a citizen, and complained es- 
pecially of the Dred Scott decision because it declared he 
could not be one. I have done no such thing, and Judge 
Douglas so persistently insisting that I have done so, has 
strongly impressed me with the belief of a predetermination 
on his part to misrepresent me. He could not get his founda- 
tion for insisting that I wa-^ ifi favor of this negro equality 
anywhere else as well as he could by assuming that untrue 
proposition. Let me tell this audience what is true in regard 
to that matter ; and the means by which they may correct me 
if ] do not tell them truly is by a recurrence to the speech 
itself I spoke of the Dred Scott decision in my Springfield 
speech, and I was then endeavoring to prove that the Dred 
Scott decision was a portion of a system, or scheme, to make 
slavery national in this country. I pointed out what things 
had been decided by the court. I mentioned as a fact that 
they had decided that a negro could not be a citizen — that 

232 life'a:i<:d speeches of 

they had done so, as I supposed, to deprive the negro, under 
all circurastancep, of the reniote.-t possibility of ever becoming 
a citizen and claiming the rights of a citizen of the United 
States under a certain clause of the Constitution. I stated 
that, Avitliout making any complaint of it at all. I then went 
on and stated the other points decided in the case, namely : 
that the bringing of a negro in the State of Illinois and hold- 
ing him in slavery fo;- two years here was a matter in regard 
to which they would not decide whether it would make him 
free or not ; that they decided the further point that taking 
him into a United States Territory where slavery was pro- 
hibited by act of Congress, did not make him free, because 
that act of Congress, as they held, was unconstitutional. I 
mentioned these three things as making up the points decided 
in that case. I mentioned thc-m in a lump taken in connection 
with the introduction of the Nebraska bill, and the amend- 
ment of Ciiase, offered at the- time, declaratory of the right of 
the people of the Territories to exclude slaveru, which was 
voted down by the friends of the bill. I mentioned all these 
things together, as evidence tending to prove a combination 
and conspiracy to make the institution of slavery national. In 
that connection and in that way I mentioned the decision on 
the point that a negro could not be a citizen, and in no other 

Out of this. Judge Douglas builds up his beautiful fabrica- 
tion — of my purpose to introduce a perfect, social, and polit- 
ical equality between the white and black races. His asser- 
tion that I made an " especial objection" (that is his exact 
language) to the decision on this account, is untrue in point 
of fact. 

Nov.', while I am upon this subject, and as Henry Chiy has 
been alluded to, I desire to place myself, in connection with 
Mr. Clay, as iieai'ly right before this people as may be. I am 
quite aware what the Judge's object is here by all these allu- 
sions. He knows that we are before an audience, having 
strong sympathies southward by relationship, place of birth, 
and so on. He desires to place me in an extremely Abolition 
attitude. He read upon a former occasion, and' alludes with- 
out reading to-day, to a portion of a speech which I delivered 
in Chicago. In his quotations from that speech, as ho hjis 
made them upon former occasions, the extracts were taken in 


such a way as, I suppose, brings them within the definition of 
what is called garbling — taking portions of a speech which, 
when taken by themselves, do not present the entire sense of 
the speaker as expressed at the time. I propose, therefore, 
out of that same speech, to show how one portion of it which 
he skipped over (taking an extract before and an extract after) 
will give a different idea, and the true idea I intended to con- 
vey. It will take me some little time to read it, but I believe 
I will occupy the time that way. 

You have heard him frequently allude to my controversy 
with him in regard to the Declaration of Independence. I 
confess that I have had a struggle with .Judge Douglas on that 
matter, and I will try briefly to place myself right in regard 
to it on this occasion. I said — and it is between the extracts 
Judge Douglas has taken from this speech, and put in his pub- 
lished speeches : 

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

Now I have upon all occasions declared as strongly as Judge 
Douglas against the disposition to interfere with the existing 
institution of slavery. You hear me read it from the same 
speech from which he takes garbled extracts for the purpose 
of proving upon me a disposition to interfere with the institu- 
tion of slavery, and establish a perfect social and political 
equality between negroes and white people. 

Allow me, while upon this subject, briefly to present one 
other extract from a speech of mine, more than a year a^o, at 
Springfield, in discussing tliis very same question, soon after 
Judge Douglas took his ground that negroes were not included 
in the Declaration of Independence : 

''I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to 
include all men, but they did not mean to declare all men 


equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all men were 
equal in color, size, intellect, moral development, or social 
capacity. X'^^J defined with tolerable distinctness in what 
they did consider all men created equal — equal in certain ina- 
lienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit 
of happiness. This they said, and this they meant. They 
did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all were then 
actually enjoying that equality, or yet, that they were about 
to confer it immediately upon them. In fact they had no 
power to confer such a boon. Ttiey meant simply to declare 
the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as 
circumstances should permit. 

" They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society 
which should be familiar to all: constantly looked to, con- 
stantly labored for, and even, though never perfectly attained, 
constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading 
and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and 
value of life to all people, of all colors, everywhere." 

There again are the sentiments 1 have expressed in regard 
to tlie Declaration of Independence upon a former occasion — 
sentiments which have been put in print and read wherever 
anybody cared to know what so humble an individual as my- 
self chose to say in regard to it. 

At Galesburgh, the other day, I said in answer to Judge 
Douglas, that three years ago there never had been a man, so 
far as I knew or believed, in the whole world, who had said 
that the Declaration of Independence did not include negroes 
in the term "• all men." I re-assert it to-day. I assert that 
Judge Douglas and all his friends may search the whole 
records of the country, and it will be a matter of great aston- 
ishment to me if they shall be able to find that one human 
being, three years ago, had ever uttered the astounding senti- 
ment that the term " all men " in the Declaration did not 
include the negro. Do not let me be misunderstood. I know 
that more than three years ago there were men who, finding 
this assertion constantly in the way of their schemes to bring 
about the ascendency and perpetuation of slavery, denied the 
truth of it. I know that Mr. Calhoun and all the poliiicians 
of his school denied the truth of the Declaration. I know 
that it ran along in the months of some Southern men for a 
period of years, ending at last in that shameful, though rather 


forcible, declaration of Pettit, of Indiana, upon the floor of the 
United States Senate, that the Declaration of Independence 
was, in that respect, "a self-evident lie," rather Jhan a self- 
evident truth. ViUt I say, with a perfect knowledge of all this 
hawking at the Declaration without directly attacking it, that 
three years ago there never had lived a man v/ho had ventured 
to assail it in the sneaking way of pretending to believe it and 
then assertino; it did not include the negro. I believe the first 
man who ever said it was Chief Justice Taney in the Dred 
Scott case, and the next to him was our friend, Stephen A. 
Douo^Ias. And now it has become the catchword of the 
entire party. I would like to call upon his friends everywhere 
to consider how they have come in so short a time to view this 
matter in a way so entirely different from their former belief? 
to ask whether they are not being borne along by an irresisti- 
ble current — whither, they know not ? 

In answer to my proposition at Galesburgh, last week, I 
see that some man in Chicago has got up a letter, addressed to 
the Chicago Times, to show, as he professes, that somebody had 
said so before ; and he signs himself "An Old-Line Whig," if 
I remember correctly In the first place, I would say he ivas 
not an old-line Whig. I am somewhat acquainted with old- 
line Whio-s. I was with the old-line Whigs from the origin 
to the end "of that party; I became pretty well acquainted 
with them, and I know they always had some sense, whatever 
else you could ascribe to them. I know there never was one 
who had not more sense than to try to show by the evidence 
he produces that some man had, prior to the time I named, 
said that negroes were not included in the term "all men" in 
the Declaration of Independence. What is the evidence he 
produces'? I will bring forward his evidence, and let you see 
what he offers by way of showing that somebody more than 
three years ago had said negroes were not included in the Dec- 
larati(^n. lie brings forward part of a speech from Henry 
Clay — the part of the speech of Henry Clay which I used to 
bring forwai'd to prove precisely the contrary. I guess we are 
surrounded to some extent to-day by the old friends of Mr. 
Clay, and they will be glad to hear anything from that author- 
ity. While he was in Indiana a man presented a petition to 
liberate his negroes, and he (Mr. Clay) made a speech in an- 
swer to it, which 1 suppose he carefully wrote out himself and 


caused to be published. I have before me an extract from 
that speech, which constitutes the evidence this pretended 
" Okl-Line AVhig" at Ciiicago brought forward to show that 
Mr. Chiy didn't suppose the negro was inchided in the Decla- 
ration of Independence, Hear wliat Mr. Chiy said : 

"And what is the foundation of tliis appeal to me in Indi- 
ana, to liberate the slaves under my care in Kentucky? It is 
a general declaration in the act announcing to the world the 
independence of the tliirteen American colonies, that all men 
are created equal. Now, as an abstract pi inciple, there is no 
doubt of the truth of tliat declaration ; and it is desirable, in the 
original construction of socidtj, and in organized societies, to keep 
it in view as a great fundamental principle. But, then, I ap- 
]>rehend that in no society that ever did exist, or ever shall be 
formed, was or can the equality asserted among the members 
of the human race, be practically enforced and carried out. 
There are portions, large portions, women, minors, insane, 
culprits, transient sojourners, that will always probably remain 
subject to the government of another portion of the com- 

" That declaration, whatever may be the extent of its im- 
port, was made by the delegations of the thirteen States. In 
most of them slavery existed, and had long existed, and was 
established by law. It was introduced and forced upon the 
colonies by tJie paramount law of England. Do you believe, 
that in making that declaration the States that concurred in it 
intended that it should be tortured into a virtual emancipation 
of all the slaves within their respective limits? Would Vir- 
ginia and other Southern States have ever united in a declara- 
tion which was to be interprejed into an abolition of slavery 
among them? Did any one of the thirteen colonies entertain 
such a design or -expectation? To impute such a secret and 
unavowed purpose, would be to charge a political fraud upon 
the noblest band of patriots that ever assembled in council — a 
fraud upon the Confederacy of the Jievolution — a fraud upon 
the union of those States whose constitution not only recogni- 
zed the lawfulness of slavery, but permitted the importation of 
slaves from Africa until the year 1808." 

This is the entire quotation brought forward to prove that 
somebody previous to three years ago had saitl the negro was 
not included in the term "all men" in the Declaration. How 


does it do so? In what way has it a tendency to prove that? 
Mr. Clay says it is true as an abstract principle that all men are 
created equal, but that we cannot apply it practically in all 
cases. He illustrates this by bringing forward the cases of 
females, minors, and insane persons, with whom it cannot be 
enforced ; but he says it is true as an abstract principle in the 
organization of society as well as in organized society, and it 
should be kept in view as a fundamental principle. Let me 
read a few words more before I add some comments of my 
own. Mr. Claj says a little further on : 

" I desire no concealment of my opinions in regard to the 
institution of slavery. I look upon it as a great evil, and 
deeply lament that we have derived it from the parental 
government, and from our ancestors. But here they are, and 
the question is, how can they be best dealt with ? If a state 
of nature existed, and we were about to kiy the foundations of 
society, no man would he more strongly opposed than I should he, to 
incorporating the institution of slavery among its elements.''' 

Now, here in this same book — in this same speech — in this 
same extract brought forward to prove that Mr. Clay held 
that the negro was not included in the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence — no such statement on his part, but the declaration 
that it is agreat fundamental truth, which should be constantly 
kept in view in the organization of society and in societies al- 
ready organized. But if I say a word about it — if I attempt, 
as Mr. Clay said all good men ought to do, to keep it in view 
— if in this " organized society," 1 ask to have the public eye 
turned upon it — if I ask, in relation to the organization of 
new territories, that the public eye should be turned upon it 
— forthwith I am vilified as you hear me to-day. What have 
I done, that I have not the license of Henry Clay's illustrious 
example here in doing % Have I done aught that I have not 
his authority for, while maintaining that in organizing new 
territories and societies, this fundamental principle should be 
regarded, and in organized society holding it up to the public 
view and reorganizing what he recognized as the great prin- 
ciple of free government ? 

And when this new principle — this new proposition that no 
human being ever thought ot" three years ago — is brought for- 
ward, I comhat it as having an evil tendency, if not an evil de- 
sign. I combat it as ha\ing a tendency to dehumanize the 


negro — to take away from liim the right of ever striving to be 
a man. I combat it as being one of the thousand things con- 
stantly done in these days to prepare the public mind to make 
property, and nothing but property, of the negro in all the 
States of this Union. 

But there is a point that I wish, before leaving this part of 
the discussion, to ask attention to. I have read and I repeat 
the words of Henry Clay : 

" I desire no concealment of my opinions in regard to the 
institution of slavery. I look upon it as a great evil, and 
deeply lament that we have deiived it from the parental 
government and from our ancestors. 1 wish every slave in the 
United States was in the country of his ancestors. But here 
they are ; the question is how they can best be dealt with ? If 
a state of nature existed, and we were about to lay the foun- 
dations of society, no man would be more strongly opposed 
than I should be, to incorporate the institution of slavery among 
its elements." 

The principle upon which I have insisted in this canvass, is 
in relation to laying the foundations of new societies. I have 
never sought to apply these principles to the old States, for 
the purpose of abolishing slavery in those States. It is noth- 
ing but a miserable perversion of what I heive said, to assume 
that I have declared Missouri, .or any other slave State, shall 
emancipate her slaves. I have proposed no such thing. But 
when Mr. Clay says that in laying the foundations of societies 
in our territories where it does not exist, he Avould be op- 
posed to the introduction of slavery as an element, I insist 
that we have his warrant — his license for insisting upon the 
exclusion of that element which he declared in such strong and 
emphatic language wcvi most hateful to him. 

Judge Douglas has again referred to a Springfield speech in 
which I said "a house divided against itself cannot stand." 
The Judge has so often made the entire quotation from that 
speech that I can make it from memory I used this lan- 
guage : 

'• We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was 
initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of 
putting an end to the slavery agitation. Under the operation 
of this policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has 
constantly augmented. In my opinion it will not cease until 


a crisis shall have been reached and passed. ' A house divided 
against itself cannot stand.' I believe this government can- 
not endure permanently half slave and half free. I do. not 
expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be 
divided. It Avill become all one thing, or all the other. 
I-M-ther the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread 
of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the be- 
lief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advo- 
cates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in 
all the States — old as well as new, North as well as South." 

That extract and the sentiments expressed in it, have been 
extremely offensive to Judge Douglas. He has warred upon 
them as Satan wars upon the Bible. His perversions upon it 
are endless. Here now are my views upon it in brief. 

I said we are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was 
initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of 
putting an end to the slavery agitation. Is it not so "? AVhen 
that Nebraska bill was brought forward four years ago last 
January, was it not for the " avowed object " of putting an 
end to the slavery agitation? We were to have no more agi- 
tation in Congress — it was all to be banished to the territories. 
l)y the way, I will remark here that, as Judge Douglas is 
very fond of complimenting Mr. Crittenden in these days, Mr. 
Crittenden has said there was a falsehood in that whole 
business, for there was no slavery agitation at the time to allay. 
We were for a little while quiet on the troublesome thing, and 
that very allaying plaster of Judge Douglas' stirred it up 
again. But was it not understood or intimated with the 
" confident promise " of putting an end to the slavery agita- 
tion? Surely it was. In every speech you heard Judge 
Douglas make, until he got into this " imbroglio," as they 
call it, with the administration about the Lecompton consti- 
tution, every speech on that Nebraska bill was full of his 
felicitations that we were juU at the end of the slavery agita- 
tion. The last tip of the last joint of the old serpent's tail 
was just drawing out of view. But has it proved so? I 
have asserted that under that policy that agitation '' has not 
only not ceased, but has constantly augmented." When was 
there ever a greater agitation in Congress than last winter ? 
When was it as great in the country as to-day? 

There was a collateral object in the introduction of that 


Nebraska policy wliicli was to clothe tlie people of the 
territories with a superior degree of self-government, beyond 
what they had ever had before. The first object, and the 
main one, of conferring upon the people a higher degree 
of "self-government," is a question of fact to be determined 
})y you in answer to' a single question. Have you ever heard 
or known of a people anywhere on eartli who had as little to 
do, as, in the first instance of its use, the people of Kansas 
had with this same right of " self-government?" In its main 
j)()licy, and in its collateral object, it has been nothing hut a liv- 
ing, creejnng He from the time of its introduction till to-dcaj. 

I have intimated tliat I thought the agitation would not 
cea«e until a crisis should have been reached and passed. I 
have stated in what way I thought it would b3 reached and 
passed. I have said that it might go one way or tlie other. 
We might, by arresting the further spread of it, and placing 
it wheivB the fathers originally placed it, put it where the 
public mind should rest in the belief that it was in the course 
of ultimate extinction. Thus the agitation may cease. It 
may be pushed forward until it shall become alike lawful in 
all the States, old as well as new. North as well as South. 
I have said, and I repeat, my ivish is that the further spread 
of it may be arrested, and that it may be placed where the 
public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of 
ultimate extinction. I have expressed that as my Avish. I 
entertain the opinion upon evidence sufiicient to my mind, 
that the fathers of this government placed that institution 
where the public mind did rest in the belief that it was in the 
course of' ultimate extinction. Let me ask why they made 
provision that the source of slavery — the African slave- 
trade — should be cut off at the end of twenty years % Why 
did they make provision that in all the new territory we owned 
at that time, slavery should be forever inhibited ? Why stop 
its spread in one direction, and cut off its source in another, 
if they did not look to its being placed in the course of ulti- 
mate extinction ? 

Again ; the institution of slavery is only mentioned in the 
Constitution of the United States two or three times, and in 
neither of these cases does the word "slavery" or "negro 
race " occur ; but covert language is used each time, and for 
a purpose full of significance. What is the language in re- 


garJ to the prohibition of the African shive-tracle ? It runs 
in about tiiis way: " The migration or importation of such 
persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper 
to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to tiie 
year one thousand eight hundred and eight." 

Tlie next allusion in the Constitution to the question of 
slavery and the black race, is on the subject of the basis of 
representation, and there the language used is, "Representa- 
tives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several 
States which may be included within this Union, according 
to their respective numbers, Avhich shall be determined by ad- 
ding to the whole number of free persons, including those 
bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians 
not taxed — three fifths of all other persons." %. 

It says "persons," not slaves, not negroes; but this 
" three fifths" can be applied to no other class among us than 
the negroes. 

Lastly, in the provision for the reclamation of fugitive slaveg, 
it is said: "No person held to service or labor in one State, 
under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in conse- 
quence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from 
such service or labor, but sliall be delivered up, on claim of 
the party to whom such service or labor may be due." There 
again there is no mention of the Avord " negro" or of slavery. 
In all three of these places, being the only allusions to slavery 
in the instrument, covert language is used. Language is used 
not suggesting that slavery existed or that the black race were 
among us. And I understand the contemporaneous history of 
those times to be that covert language was used with a pur- 
pose, and that purpose was that in our Constitution, which it 
was hoped and is still hoped will endure forever — when it 
should be read by intelligent and patriotic men, after the in- 
stitution of slavery had passed from among us — there should 
be nothing on the face of the great charter of liberty suggest- 
ing that such a thing as negro slavery had ever existed amono- 
us. This is part of the evidence that the lathers of the gov- 
ernment expected and intended the institution of slavery to 
come to an end. They expected and intended that it should 
be in the course of ultimate extinction. And when I say that 
1 desire to see the further spread of it arrested, I only say I 
desire to see that done Avhich the fathers 'feave first done. 



When I say I dopire to see it placed where the pubhc mind 
will rest in the l^elief thnt it is in the course of ultimate ex- 
tinction, I only say I desire to see it placed where they placed 
it. It is not true tliat our fathers, as Judge Douglas assumes, 
made this government part slave and part free. Understand 
the sense in which he put sit. He assumes that slavery is a right- 
ful thing within itself — was introduced by the framers of the 
Constitution. I'he exact truth is that they found the institu- 
tion existing among us, and they left it as they found it. But 
in making the government they left this institution with many 
clear marks of disapprobation upon it. They found slavery 
among them, and they left it among them because of the dif- 
iiculty — the absolute impossibility of its immediate removal. 
And when Judge Douglas asks me why we cannot let it re- 
main part slave and part free, as the fathers of the govern- 
ment made it, he asks a question based upon an assumption 
which is itself a falsehood ; and 1 turn upon him and ask him 
the question, when the policy that the fathers of the govern- 
ment had adopted in relation to this element among us was the 
best policy in the world — the only wise policy — the only poli- 
cy that we can ever safedy continue upon — that will ever give 
us peace, unless this dangerous element masters us all and be- 
comes a national institution — / turn upon him. and a.^k him why 
he could not le'ive il alone? I turn and ask him why he was 
driven to the necessity of introducing a new ■policii in regard to 
it? He has him-elf said he introduced a new policy. He said 
so in his speech on the 22d of March of the present year, 
1858. I ask him why he could not let it remain where our 
fathers plaC'-d it ? I a*., too, of Judge I)ougla> and his friends 
why we shall not again place this institution upon the basis on 
which the fathers left it ? I ask you, when he infers that lam 
in favor of setting the free and slave States at war, when the 
institution was placed in that attitude by those who made the 
Constitution did they make ami rear ? If we ha<l no war out 
of it, when thus placed, Avlicri in is the ground of belief that 
we shidl have war out of it, if we i-etuin to that policy? 
Have we had any peace upon this matter sjjringing from any 
other basis ? I maintain that we luu e not. I have proposed 
notiiing more than a return to the policy of the fathers. 

I confess, when I propose a certain measure of policy, it is 
not enough for me that I do not intend anything evil in the 
result, but it is incumbent on me to show that it has not a 


tendciCf/ to that result. I have met Judge Douglas in that 
point of view. I have not only made the declaration that I 
do not ?nea)i to produce a conflict between the States, but I 
have tried to show by fair reasoning, and I think I have 
shown to the minds of fair men, that I propose nothing but 
wliat has a most peaceful tendency. The quotation that I 
haftpened to make in that Springfield speech, that "a house 
divided against itself cannot stand," and which has proved so 
offensive to the Judge, was part-and parcel of the same thing. 
He tries to show that variety in the domestic institutions of 
the different States is necessary and indispensable. I do not 
dispute it. I have no controversy with Judge Douglas about 
that. I shall very readily agree with him that it would be 
foolish for us to insist upon having a cranberry law here, in 
Illinois, where we have no cranberries, because they have a 
cranberry law in Indiana, where they have cranberries. I 
should insist that it would be exceedingly wrong in us to deny 
to Virginia the right to enact oyster laws, where they have 
oysters, because we want no such laws here. I understand, I 
hope, quite as well as Judge Douglas, or anybody else, that 
the variety in the soil and climate and face of the country, 
and consequent variety in the industrial pursuits and produc- 
tions of a country, require systems of law conforming to tliis 
variety in the natural features of the country. I understand, 
quite as well as Judge D )Uglas, that if we here raise a barrel 
of flour more than we want, and the Louisianians raise a bar- 
rel of sugar more thiin thry want, it is of mutual advantage to 
exchange. That produces commerce, brings us together, and 
makes us better friends. AVe like one another the more for it. 
And I understand, as well as Judge Douglas, or anybody else, 
that these nuitual accommodations are the cements which 
bind together the different parts of this Union — that instead 
of being a thing to "divide the house'' — figuratively express- 
ing the Union — they tend to sustain it ; they are the props of 
tlie house tending always to hold it up. 

But when I have admitted all this, I ask if there is any 
parallel between these tilings and this institution of slavery "? 
I do not see that tliei-e is any parallel at all between them. 
Consiiler it. When have we had any difficulty or quarrel 
among ourselves about the cranberry lawKS of Indiana, or the 
oyster laws of Virginia, or the pine lumber laws of Maine, or 


the fact that Louisiana produces sugar, and Illinois flour ? 
When have we had any quarrels over these things '? When 
have we had perfect peace in regard to this thing which I say 
is an element of discord in this Union ? We have sometimes 
had peace, but when was it f It was when the institution of 
slavery remained quiet where it was. We have had difficulty 
and turmoil whenever it has made a struggle to spread itself 
where it was not. I ask, then, if experience does not speak 
in thunder-tones, telling us that the policy which has given 
peace to the country heretofore, being returned to, gives the 
greatest promise of peace again. You may say, and Judge 
Douglas has intimated the same thing, that all this dithculty 
in regard to the institution of slavery is the mere agitation of 
othce-seekers and ambitious northern politicians. He thinks 
we want to get " his place," I suppose. I agree that there 
are office-seekers among us. The Bible says somewhere that 
we are desperately selfish. I think we would have discovered 
that fact without the Bible. 1 do not claim that I am any 
less so than the average of men, but I do claim that I am not 
more scllish than Judge Douglas. 

But is it true that all the difficulty and agitation we have in 
regard to this institution of slavery springs i'rom office-seeking 
— from the mere ambition of politicians '? Is that tiie truth ? 
How many times have we had danger from this question ■? 
Go back to the day of the Missouri Compromise. Go back 
to the Nullification question, at the bottom of which lay this 
same slavery ciuestion. Go back to the time of the Annexa- 
tion of Texas. Go back to the troubles that led to the Com- 
promise of 1850. You will find that every time, with the 
single exception of the Nullification question, fliey sprung 
from an endeavor to spread this institution. There never was 
a party in the history of this country, and there probably 
never will be, of sufficient strength to disturb the general 
peace of the country. Parties themselves may be divided and 
quarrel on miiwr questions, yet it extends not beyond the 
parties themselves. But does not this question make a dis- 
turbance outside of political circles ? Does it not enter into 
the churches and rend them asunder? What divided the 
great Methodist Church into two parts. North and South 1 
What has raised this constant disturbance in every Presby- 
terian General Assembly that meets 1 What disturbed the 


Unitarian Church in this very city two years ago ? What 
has jarred and sliaken the great American Tract Society re- 
cently, not yet splitting it, but sure to divide it in the end 1 
Is it not this same mighty, deep-seated power, that somehow 
operates on the minds of men, exciting and stirring them up 
in every avenue of society — in politics, in religion, in litera- 
ture, in morals, in all the manifold relations of life "? Is this 
the work of politicians ? Is that irresistible power, which for 
fifty years has shaken the government and agitated the pec)ple 
to be stilled and subdued by pretending that it is an exceed- 
ingly simple thing, and we ought not to talk about it f If 
you will get everybody else to stop talking about it, I assure 
you I will quit before they have half done so. But where is 
the philosophy or statesmanship which assumes that you can 
quiet that disturbing element in our society which has dis- 
turbed us for more than half a century, which has been the 
only serious danger that has threatened our institutions — I 
say, where is the philosophy or the statesmanship based on the 
assumption that we are to quit talking about it, and that the 
public mind is all at once to cease being agitated by it "? Yet 
this is the policy here in the north that Douglas is advocating 
— that we are to care nothing about it ! I ask you if it is not 
a false philosophy ^ Is it not a false statesmanship that un- 
dertakes to build up a system of policy upon the basis of 
caring nothing about tlie very thing that everybody does care the 
most about '? — a thing which all experience has shown we care 
a very great deal about % 

Tiie Judge alludes very often in the course of his remarks 
to the exclusive right which the States have to decide the 
whole thing for themselves. I agree with him very readily 
that the ditterent States have that right. He is but fighting a 
man of straw when he assumes that I am contending against 
the right of the States to do as they please about it. Our con- 
troversy with him is in regard to the new territories. AVe 
agree that when the States come in as States they have the 
right and the power to do as they please. AVe have no power 
as citizens of the free States or in our federal capacity as 
members of the Federal Union through the general govern- 
ment, to disturb slavery in the States where it exists. We 
profess constantly that we have no more inclination than 
belief in the power of the government to disturb it ; yet we 


are driven constantly to defend ourselves from the assumption 
that we are warring upon tlie rights of the States, What I 
insist upon is, that the new territories shall be kept free from 
it while in the territorial condition. Judge L^ouglas assumes 
that we have no interest in them — that we have no right 
whatever to interfere. I think we have some interest. I 
think that as white men we have. Do we not wish for an 
outlet for our surplus population, if I may so express myself ? 
Do we not feel an interest in getting to that outlet with such 
institutions as we would like to have prevail there ? If you 
go to the territoiy opposed to slavery, and another man comes 
upon the same ground with his slave, upon the assumption 
that the things are equal, it turns out that he has the equal 
right all his way and you have no part of it your way. If he 
goes in and makes it a slave territory, and by consequence a 
slave State, is it not time that those who desire to have it a 
free State were on equal ground. Let me suggest it in a dif- 
ferent way. How many Democrats are about here [" A thou- 
sand"] who have left slave States and come into the free 
State of Illinois to get rid of the institution of slavery? 
[Another voice — "A thousand and one."] I reckon there 
are a thousand and one. I will ask you, if the policy you are 
now advocating had prevailed when this country was in a 
territorial condition, where would you have gone to get rid of 
if? Where would you have found your free State or terri- 
tory to go to ? And when hereafter, for any cause, the peo- 
ple in this place shall desire to find new homes, if they wish to 
be rid of the institution, where will they find the place to 
go to ? 

Now, irrespective of the moral aspect of this question as to 
whether there is a right or wrong in enslaving a negro, I am 
still in favor of our new territories being in such a condition 
that Avhite men may find a home — may find some spot where 
they can better their condition — where they can settle upon 
new soil and better their condition in life. I am in favor of 
this not merely (I must say it here as I have elsewhere) for 
our own people who are born among us, but as an outlet for 
free white people evei^jwhere, the world over — in which Hans, 
and Baptiste, and Patrick, and all other men from all the 
world, may find new homes and better their conditions in life. 

I have stated on former occasions, and I may as well state 


a^rain, wliat I undei-stanfl to be the real issue in tliis contro- 
\eYi^y between Jiid^e Donglas and myself. On the point of 
my wanting to make war between the free and the shive 
States, there has been no issue between ns. So, too, when he 
assumes that I am in favor of introducing a perfect social and 
political equality between the white and black races. Thei-eare 
i'iihe issues, upon which Judge Douglas has tried to force the 
controversy. There is no foundation in truth for the charge 
that I maintain either of these propositions. The real issue in 
this controversy — the one pressing upon every mind — is the 
sentiment on the part of one class that looks upon the institu- 
tion of slavery as a lurong, and of another class that does not 
look upon it as a wrong. The sentiment that contemplates the 
institution of slavery in this country as a wrong, is the senti- 
ment of the Republican party. It is the sentiment around 
Avhich all their actions — all their arguments circle — from 
wdiich all their propositions radiate. They look upon it as 
being a moral, social, and political WTong; and while they 
contemplate it as such, they nevertheless have due regard for 
its actual existence among us, and the difficulties of getting rid 
of it in any satisfactory way and to all the constitutional 
obligations thrown about it. Yet having a due regard for these, 
they desire a policy in regard to it that looks to its not creat- 
ing any more danger. They insist that it should, as far as may 
be, he treated as a wrong, and one of the methods of treating it 
as a wrong is to make provision that it shall grow no larger. 
They also desire a policy that looks to a peaceful end of 
slavery at sometime, as being wrong. These are the views 
they entertain in regard to it, as I understand them ; and all 
their sentiments — all their arguments and propositions are 
brought within this range. I have said and I repeat it here, 
that if there be a man among us who does not think that 
the institution of slavery is wrong in any one of the 
aspects of which I have spoken, he is misplaced and ought not 
to be with us. And if there be a man among ns who is so 
impatient of it as a wrong as to disregard its actual presence 
among us and the difficulty of getting rid of it suddenly in a 
satisfactory way, and to disregard the constitutional obligations 
thrown about it, that man is misplaced if he is on our plat- 
form. We disclaim sympathy with him in practical action. 
He is not placed properly with us. 


On this subject of treating it as a wrong-, and limiting its 
spread let me say a word. Has anything ever threatened the 
existence of this Union save and except this very institution of 
slavery? "What is it that we hold most dear among us? 
Our own liberty and pro;-perity. AVhat has ever threatened 
our liberty and prosperity save and except this institution of 
slavery ? If this is true, how do you propose to improve the 
condition of things Ly enhirging slavery — by spreadmg it out 
and making it bigger? You may have a wen or cancer upon 
your person and not be able to cut it out lest you bleed to 
deatli ; but surely it is no way to cure it, to engraft it and 
spread it over your whole body. That is no proper way of 
treating what you regard a wrong. You see this peaceful 
way of dealing with it as a wrong — restricting the spread of 
it, and not allowing it to go into new countrirs where it has 
not already existed. This is the peaceful^ way, the old-fashioned 
way, the way in which the fathers themselves set us the example. 
On the other hand, I have said there is a sentiment which 
treats it as not being wrong. That is the Democratic senti- 
ment of this day. I do not mean to say that every man who 
stands within that range positively asserts that it is right. 
That class will include all who positively assert that it is right, 
and all who, like Judge Douglas, treat it as indifferent and do 
not say it is either right or wrong. These two classes of men fall 
within the general class of those who do not look upon it as a 
wrong. And if there be among you anybody who suppose 
that he, as a Democrat, can consider himself " as much op- 
posed to slavery as anybody," I would like to reason with 
him. You never treat it as a wrong. AVhat other thing that 
you consider as a WTong, do you deal with as you deal with 
that % Perhaps you tay it is wrong, hut your leader never does, 
and you quaricl with anybody icJio says it is wrong. Although 
you pretend to say so yourself, you can find no fit place to 
deal with it as a wrong. You must not say anything about 
it in the free States, because it is not here. You nmst not say 
anything about it in the slave States, because it is there. You 
must not say anything about it in the pul]>il, because that is 
religion and has nothing to do with it. You must not say 
anything about it in politics, because that will didurb the secu- 
rity of ^^ my place.'" There is no place to talk about it as 
being a wrong, although you say yourself it is a wrong. But 


finally you will screw yourself np to the belief that if the 
people of the shive States should adopt a system of gradual 
emancipation on the slavery question, you would be in favor 
of it. You would be in fovor of it. You say that is getting 
it in the right phice, and you would be glad to see it succeed. 
But you are deceiving yourself. Y''ou all know that Frank 
Blair and Gratz Brown, down there in St. Louis, undertook 
to introduce that system in Missouri. They fought as val- 
iantly as they could for the system of gradual emancipation 
which you pretend you would be glad to see succeed. Now 
I will bring you to the test. After a hard fight they were 
beaten, and when tlie news came over here you tlirew up your 
hats and hurrahed for Democracy. More than that, take all 
the argument made in favor of the system you have proposed, 
and it carefully excludes the idea that there is anything wrong 
in the institution of slavery. The arguments to sustain that 
policy carefully excluded it. Even here, to-day, you heard 
Judge Douglas quarrel with me because I uttered a wish that 
it might sometime come to an end. Although Henry Clay 
could say he wished every slave in the United States was in 
the country of his ancestors, I am denounced by those pre- 
tending to respect Henry Clay for uttering a wish that it 
might sometime, in some peaceful way, come to an end. The 
Democratic policy in regard to that institution will not tol- 
erate the merest breath, the slightest hint, of the least degree 
of wrong about it. Try it by some of Judge Douglas' argu- 
ments. He says he " don't care whether it is voted up or 
voted down " in the territories. I do not care myself in 
dealing with that expression, whether it is intended to be ex- 
pressive of his individual sentiments on the subject, or only of 
the national policy he desires to have established. It is alike 
valuable for my purpose. Any man can say that who does 
not see anything wrong in slavery, but no man can logically 
say it who does see a wrong in it ; becau^e no man can 
logically say he don't care whether a wrong is voted up or 
voted down. He may say he don't care whether an inditFer- 
ent thing is voted up or down, but he must logically have a 
choice between a rijiht thin"; and a wrono; thin";. He contends 
tliat whatever community wants slaves has a right to have 
them. So they have if it is not a wrong. But if it is a 
wrong, he cannot Siiy peo[)le have a right to do wrong. He 



says that upon the score of equality, felaves should be allowed 
to go in a new territory, like other property. This is strictly 
lof'ical if there is no difference between it and other property. 
If it and other property are equal, his argument is entirely 
logical. But if you insist that one is wrong and the other 
right, there is no use to institute a comparison between right 
and wrong. You may turn over everything in the Demo- 
cratic policy from beginning to end, whether in the shape it 
takes on the statute-book, in the shape it takes in the Dred 
Scott decision, in the shape it takes in conversation, or the 
shape it takes in short maxim-like arguments — it everywhere 
carefully excludes the idea that there is anything wrong in it. 
That is the real isf^ue. That is the issue that will continue 
in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and 
myself shall be silent. It m the eternal struggle between these 
two principles — right and wrong — throughout tlie world. They 
are the two principles that have stood face to face from the 
beginning of time ; and will ever continue to struggle. The 
one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine 
right of kings. It is the same principle, in whatever shape 
it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, '-You work 
and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it " No matter in what 
shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks 
to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit 
of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for en- 
slaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle. I was 
glad to express my gratitude at Quincy, and I re-express it 
here to Judge Douglas — that he looIc6 to no end to the institution 
o/-' slavery. That will help the people to see where the strug- 
gle really is. It will hereafter place with us all men who 
really do wish the wrong may have an end. And whenever 
we can get rid of the fog which obscures the real question — 
when we can get Judge Douglas and his friends to avow a 
policy looking to its perpetuation — we can get out from among 
that class of men and bring them to tlie si^ie ol those who 
treat it as a wrong. Then there will soon br an end of it, 
and that end will be its "ultimate exiincii..ii." Whenever 
the i.-sue can be distinctly made, and all extraneous matter 
thrown out so that men can fairly see the real ditlerence be- 
tween the parlies, this controversy will soon be settled, and 
it will be done peaceably too. There will be no war, no vio- 


lence. It will be placed again where the wisest and best men 
of the world placed it. Brooks of South Carolina once de- 
clared that when this Constitution was framed, its fraraers did 
not look to the institution existing until this day. When he 
vSaid this, I think he stated a fact that is fully borne out by 
the history of the times. But he also said they were better 
and wiser men than the men of these days ; yei the men of 
these days had experience which they had not, and by the 
invention of the cotton-gin it became a necessity in this coun- 
try that slavery should be perpetual. I now say that, will- 
ingly or unwillingly, purposely or without purpose. Judge 
Douglas has been the most prominent instrument in chana^ing 
the position of the institution of slavery which the fathers ctf the 
government expected to come to an end ere this — and fatting 
it upon Broohs' cotton-gin basis — placing it where he openly 
confesses he has no desire there shall ever be an end of it. 

I understand I have ten minutes yet. I will employ it in 
saying something about this argument Judge Douglas uses, 
Avhile he sustains the Dred Scott decision, that the people of 
the territories can still somehow exclude slavery. The first 
thing I ask "attention to is the fact that Judge Douglas con- 
stantly said, before the decision, that whether they could or 
not, icm a question for the Supreme Court. But after the court 
has made the decision he virtually says it is not a question for 
the Supreme Court, but for the people. And hoAV is it he 
tells us they can exclude it % He says it needs " police regu- 
lations," and that admits of " unfriendly legislation." Although 
it is a right established by the Constitution of the United 
States to take a slave into a territory of the United States 
and hold him as property, yet unless the territorial legis- 
lature will give friendly legislation, and, more especially, 
if they adopt unfriendly legi:^latioJ^, they can practically ex- 
clude him. Now, without meeting this proposition as a 
matter of fact, I pass to consider the real constitutional obli- 
gaiion Let me take the gentleman who looks me in the face 
before me, and let us suppose that he is a member of the terri- 
t(jrhd legislature. 'i he first thing he Avdl do will be to swear 
that he will support the Consiitution of the United States. 
liis neighbor by his side in tlie territory has slaves and needs 
territoiial legislation to enable him to enjoy that constitu- 
tional light. Can he withhold the legislation which his neioh- 


bor needs fbv the enjoyment of a right which is fixed in his 
favor in the Constitution of the United States which he has 
sworn to support ? Can he withhokl it without violating 
his oath? And more especially can he pass unfriendly legis- 
lation to violate his oath? AVhy, this is a monstrous sort of 
talk about the Constitution of the United States ! There his 
never leen as outlandish or lawless a doctrine from the mouth of 
any respectable man. on earth. I do not believe it is a constitu- 
tional right to hold slaves in a territory of the United States. 
I believe the decision was improperly made and I go for re- 
versing it. Judge Douglas is furious against those who go for 
reversing a decision. But he is for legislating it out of all 
force while the law itself stands. I repeat that there has never 
been so monst^'ous a doctrine uttered from the mouth of at 
respectable man. 

I suppose most ©f us (I know it of myself) believe that the 
people of the Southern States are entitled to a Congressional 
Fugitive Slave law — that is a right fixed in the Constitution. 
Bwt it cannot be made available to them without Congressional 
legislation. In the Judge's language, it is a " barren right'' 
which needs legislation before it can become elhcient and val- 
uable to the persons to whom it is guaranteed. And as the 
right is constitutional I agree that the legi.-lation shall be 
granted to it — and that not that we like the institution of 
slavery. We profess to have no taste for runn'ng and catching 
niggers — at least I profess no taste for that job at all. Why 
then do I yield support to a Fugitive Slave law? Because I 
do not understand that the Constitution, which guarantees that 
right, can be supported without it. And if I believed that the 
right to hold a slave in a territory was equally fixed in the 
Constitution with the right to reclaim fugitives, I should be 
bound to give it the legislation necessary to support it. I say 
that no man can deny his obligation to give the necessary leg- 
islation to support slavery in a territory, who believes it is a 
constitutir.nal right to have it there. No man can, who does 
not give the Abolitionists an argument to deny the obligation 
enjoined by the Constitution to enact a Fugitive Slave law. 
Try it now. It is the strongest Abolition argument ever 
made. I say if that Dred Scott decision is correct, then the 
right to hold slaves in a territory is equally a constitutional 
right with the ri<^ht of a slaveholder to have his runaway re- 


turned. No one can show the distinction between them. 
The one is express, so that we cannot deny it. The other is 
construed to be in the Constitution, so that he who believes 
the decision to be correct believes in the right. And the man 
who argues that bj unfriendly legislation, in spite of that 
constitutional right, slavery may be driven from the territo- 
ries, cannot avoid furnishing an argument by which Aboli- 
tionists may deny the obligation to return fugitives, and claim 
the power to pass laws unfi-iendly to the right of the slave- 
holder to reclaim his fugitive. I do not know how such an 
argument may strike a iM)pular assembly like this, but I defy 
anybody to go before a body of men whose minds are educa- 
ted to estimating evidence and reasoning, and show that there 
is an iota of ditference between the constitutional right to re- 
claim a fugitive, and the constitutional right to hold a slave, 
in a territory, provided this Drei^ Scott decision is correct. 
I defy any man to make an argument that Avill justify un- 
friendly legislation to deprive a slaveholder of his right to hold 
his slave in a territory, that will not equally, in all its length, 
breadth, and thickness, furnish an argument for nullifying the 
Fugitive Slave law. Why, there is not such an Abolitionist 
in the nation as Douglas, after ail. 


At Colu-Mbus, Ohio, September^ 1839. 

Fellow- CiTizFxs of the State of Ohio: I cannot fail to 
remember that I appear for the tirst time before an audience 
in this now great State — an audience that is accustomed to 
hear such speakers as Corwin and Chase, and AVade, and 
many other renowned n.en ; and, remembering this, I feel that 
it will be well for you, as for me, that you should not raise 
your expectations to that standard to which you would have 
been jusiilied in raising them had one of these distinguished 
men appeared before you. You would perhaps be only pre- 
paring a disappointment for yourselves, and, as a consequence 
of your disappointment, mortiticationio me. I hope, there- 


fore, that you will commence with very moderate expecta- 
tions ; and perhaps, if you will give me your attention, I shall 
be able to interest you to a moderate degree. 

Appearing here for the first time in my life, I have been 
somewhat embarrassed for a topic by way of introduction to 
my speech ; but I have been relieved from that embarrass- 
ment by an introduction which the Ohio Statesman newspaper 
gave me this morning. In this paper I have read an article, in 
which, anions' other statements, I find the following : 

" In debating with Senator Douglas during the memorable 
contest of last fall, Mr. Lincoln declared in favor of negro 
sutl'rnge, and attempted to defend that vile conception against 
the Little Giant." 

I mention this now, at the opening of my remarks, for the 
purpose of making three comments upon it. The first I have 
already announced — it furnishes me an introductory topic ; the 
second is to show that the gentleman is mistaken ; thirdly, to 
give him an opportunity to correct it. 

In the first place, m regard to this matter being a mistake. 
I have found that it is not entirely safe, when one is misrep- 
resented under his very nose, to allow the misrepresentation to 
go uncontradicted I therefore propose, here at the outset, not 
only to say that this is a misrepresentation, but to show con- 
clusively that it is so ; and you will bear with me while I 
read a couple of extracts from that very "memorable" debate 
with Judge Douglas last year, to which this newspaper refers. 
In the first pitched battle whidi Senator Douglas and myself 
had, at the town of Ottawa, loused the language which I will 
now read. Having been previously reading an extract, I con- 
tinued as follows : 

"Now, gentlemen, I don't want to read at any greater 
length, but this is the true complexion of all I have ever said 
in regard to the institution of slavery and the black race. 
This is tlie whole of it, and anything th;it argues me into his 
idea of perl'ect social and polisical equality wiih the negro, is 
but a specious and fantastic arrangement of words, by which 
a man can prove a horse-chestnut to be a chestnut horse. I 
will say here, while upon this subject, that I have no purpose 
directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery 
in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right 
to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. I have no pur- 


pose to introduce political and social equality between the 
white and black races. There is a physical difference between 
the two, which, in my judgment, will proliably forbid their 
ever living together upon the footing of perfi'ct equality, and 
inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a dif- 
ference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race 
to which I belong having the superior position. T have never 
said anything to the contrary, but I hold that, notAvithstand- 
ing all this, there is no reason in the world why the negro is 
not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Decla- 
ration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pur- 
suit of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these 
as thiC white man. I agree with Judge Douglas, he is not my 
equal in many respects — certainly not in color, perhaps not in 
moral or intellectual endowments. But in the right to eat the 
bread, without leave of anybody else, which his own hand 
earns, he is ????/ equal, and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the 
equal of ever?/ living man.''^ 

Upon a subsequent occasion, when the reason for making a 
statement like this recurred, I said : 

"While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman 
called upon me to know whether I really was in favor of pro- 
ducing perfect equality between the negroes and white people. 
While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say 
much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me, I 
thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying some- 
thing in regard to it. I will say then, that I am not or ever 
have been in favor of bringing about, in any way, the social 
and political equality of the white and black races — that I am 
not or ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of 
negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, or intermarry 
with the white people ; and I will say in addition to this 
that there is a physical difference between the white and the 
black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races 
li\ing together on terms of social and political equality. And, 
inasmuch as they cannot so live, while thev do remain together 
there must be the position of superior and inferior, and 
I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the su- 
perior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this 
occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to 
have the superior position, the negro should be denied every- 


thing. I do not understand that because I do not want a 
negro woman for a slave, I must necessarily want her for a 
wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone. I am 
now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never have had a black 
woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite 
possible for us to get along without making either slaves or 
wives of negroes. I will add to this that I have never seen, 
to my knowledge, a man, woman, or child, who was in favor 
of producing perfect equality, social and political, between 
negroes and white men. I recollect of but one distinguished 
instance that I ever heard of so frequently as to be satisfied of 
its correctness — and that is the case of Judge Douglas's old 
friend, Col. Eichard M. Johnson. I will also add to the re- 
marks I have made (for I am not going to enter at 
large upon this subject), that I have never had the least ap- 
prehen^^ion that I or my friends would marry negroes, if there 
was no law to keep them from it ; but as Judge Douglas and 
his friends seem to be in great apprehension lest they might, 
if there were no law to keep them from it, I give him the 
most solemn pledge that I will to the very last stand by the 
law of the State, which forbids the marrying of white people 
with negroes." 

Thei-e, my friends, you liave briefly, what I have, upon 
former occasions, said upon the subject to which tliis newspa- 
per, to the extent of its ability, has drawn the public atten- 
tion. In it you not only perceive, as a probability, that in 
that contest I did not at any time say I was in favor of negro 
suffrage ;. but the absolute proof that twice — once substan- 
tially and once expressly — I declared against it. Having 
shown you this, there remains but a word of comment upon 
that newspaper article. It is this : that I presume the editor 
of that paper is an honest and truth-loving man, and that he 
will be greatly obliged to me for furnishing him thus early an 
opportunity to correct the misrepresentation he has made, be- 
fore it has run so long that malicious people can call him a 

The Giant himself has been here recently. I have seen a 
brief report of his speech. If it were otherwise unpleasant 
to me to introduce the subject of the negro as a topic for dis- 
cussion, I might be somewhat relieved by the fact that he 
dealt exclusivoly in that subject while he was here. I shall, 


therefore, Avitliout much hesitation or diffidence, enter upon 
this suhject. 

The American people, on the first day of January, 1854, 
found the African shive-trade prohibited by a law of Congress. 
In a majority of the States of this Union, they found Afri- 
can slavery, or any other sort of slavery, prohibited by State 
constitutions. They also found a law existing, supposed to 
be valid, by which slavery was excluded from almost all the 
territory the United States then owned. This was the condition 
of the country, with reference to the institution of slavery, 
on the first of January, 1854. A few days' after that, a bill 
was introduced into Congress, which ran through its regular 
course in the two branches of the National Legislature, and 
finally passed into a law in the month of May, by which the 
act of Congress prohibiting slavery from going into the terri- 
tories of the United States was repealed. In connection with 
the law itself, and, in fact, in the terms of the law, the then 
existing prohibition was not only repealed, but there was a 
declaration of a purpose on the part of Congress never there- 
after to exercise any p©wer that they might have, real or sup- 
posed, to prohibit the extension or spread of slav^ery. This 
was a very great change ; for the law thus repealed was of 
vnore than thirty years' standing. Following rapidly upon 
olie heels of this action of Congress, a decision of the Supreme 
Court is made, by which it Is declared that Congress, if it de- 
sires to prohibit the spread of slavery into the territories, has 
no constitutional power to do so. Not only so, but that de- 
cision lays down principles, which, if pushed to their logical 
conclusion — I say pushed to their logical conclusion — would 
decide that the constitutions of free States, forbidding slavery, 
are themselves unconstitutional. Mark me, I do not say the 
Judge said this, and let no man say I affirm the Judge used 
these words ; but I only say it is my opinion that what they 
did say, if pressed to its logical conclusion, will inevitably re- 
sult thus. 

Looking at these things, the Republican party, as I under- 
stand its principles and policy, believe that there is great dan- 
ger of the institution of slavery being spread out and extended, 
until it is ultimately made alike lawful in all the States of this 
Union ; so believing, to prevent that incidental and ultimate 
consummation, is the original and chief purpose of the Repub- 


lican orrjanization. I say " chief purpose" of the Republioan 
organization ; for it is certainly true, tliat if the National 
House shall fall into the hands of the Republicans, they will, 
have to attend to all the other matters of national house- 
keeping, as well as ihis. The chief and real purpose of the 
Republican party is eminently conservative. It proposes 
notliiiig save and except to restore this government to its 
oritrinal tone in regard to this element of slavery, and there 
to maintain it, looking for no further change in reference to it, 
than that which the original framers of the government them- 
selves expected and looked forward to. 

The chief danger to this purpose of the Republican party is 
not just now the revival of the African slave-trade, or the pas- 
sage of a Congressional slave-code, or the declaring^of a second 
Dred Scott decision, making slavery lawful in all the States. 
These are not pressing us just now. They are not quite 
ready yet. The authors of these measures know that we are 
too strong for them ; but they will be upon us in due time, 
and we will be grappling with them hand to hand, if they are 
not now headed otf". They are not now the chief danger to 
the purpose of the Republican organization ; but the most im- 
minent danger that now threatens that purpose is the insidious 
Douglas popular sovereignty. This is the miner and sapper. 
AVhile it does not propose to revive the African slave-trade, 
nor to pass a slave-code, nor to make a second Dred Scott de- 
cision, it is preparing us for the onslaught and charge of these 
ultimate enemies when they shall be ready to come on and the 
word of command for them to advance shall be given. I say 
this Douglas popular sovereignty — for there is a broad dis- 
tinction, as I now understand it, between that article and a 
genuine popular sovereignty. 

I believe there is a genuine popular sovereignty. I think a 
detinition of genuine popular sovereignty, in the abstract, 
would be about this ; That each man shall do precisely as he 
pleasis with himself, and with all those things which exclu- 
sivtly concern him. Applied to government, this principle 
would be, that a general government shall do all those things 
which pei'tain to it, and all the local governments shall do 
precisely as they please in respect to those matters which ex- 
clusively concern them. I understand that this government of 
the United States, under which we live, is based upon this 


principle ; and I am misunderstood if it is supposed that I 
Lave any war to make npon that principle. 

Now, what is Jiul^je Douglas's popular sovereignty ? It is, 
as a principle, no other than that, it" one man chooses to make 
a shue of {.mHher man, neither that other man nor anybody 
else has a right to ohject. Applied to government, as he seeks 
to a{)ply it, it is this : If, in a new territory into which a few 
people are beginning to enter for the purpose of making their 
homes, they choose to either exclude slavery from their limits or 
to establish it there, however one or the other may affect the 
persons to be enslaved, or the infinitely greater number of per- 
sons who are afterward to inhabit that territory, or the other 
members of the families of communities, of which they are but 
an incipient member, or the general head of the family of 
States as parent of all — however their action may aifect one 
or the other of these, there is no power or right to interfere. 
That is Douglas's popular sovereignty applied. 

He has a good deal of trouble with popular sovereignty. 
His explanations explanatory of explanations explained are in- 
terminable. The most lengthy, and, as I suppose, the most 
maturely considered of his long series of explanations, is his 
great essay in Harper's Magazine. I will not attempt to en- 
ter on any very thorough investigation of his argument, as 
there made and presented. I will, nevertheless, occupy a good 
portion of your time here in drawing your attention to certain 
points in it. Such of you as may have read this document 
will have perceived that the Judge, early in the document, 
quotes from two persons as belonging to the Republican party, 
without naming them, but who can readily be recognized as 
being Gov. Seward of New-York and myself. It is true, that 
exactly fifteen months ago this day, I believe, I for the first 
time expressed a sentiment upon this subject, and in such a 
manner that it should get into print, that the pub^c might see 
it beyond the circle of my hearers ; and my expression of it at 
that time is the quotation that Judge Douglas makes. He 
has not made tl>e quotation with accuracy, but justice to him 
requires me to say that it is sufficiently accurate not to change 
its sense. 

The sense of that quotation condensed is this — that this sla- 
very element is a durable element of discord among us, and 
that we shall probably not have perfect peace in this country 


with it until it either masters the free principle in our gOTern- 
ment, or is so far mastered by the free principle as for the pub- 
lic mind to rest in the belief that it is going to its end. Tliis 
sentiment, wliich I now express in this way, was, at no great 
distance of time, perhaps in different language, and in connec- 
tion with some collateral ideas, expressed by Gov. Seward. 
Judge Douglas has been so much annoyed by the expression of 
that sentiment that he has constantly, I believe, in almost all 
his speeches since it was uttered, been referring to it. I find 
he alluded to it in his speech here, jfS well as in the copyright 
essay. I do not now enter upon this for the purpose of ma- 
king an elaborate argument to show that we were right in the 
expression of that sentiment. In other words, I shall not stop 
to say all that might properly be said upon this point ; but I 
only ask your attention to it for the purpose of making one or 
two points upon it. 

If you will read the copyright essay, you will discover that 
Judge Douglas himself says a controversy between the Amer- 
ican colonies and the government of Great Britain began on 
the slavery question, in 1699, and continued from that time 
until the Eevolution ; and, while he did not say so, we all 
know that it has continued with more or less violence ever 
since the devolution. 

Then we need not appeal to history, to the declarations of 
the framers of the government, but we know from Judge 
Douglas himself that shivery began to be an element of discord 
among the white people of this country as far back as 1699, 
or one hundred and sixty years ago, or five generations of men 
— counting thirty years to a generation. Now, it would seem 
to me that it might have occurred to Judge Douglas, or any- 
body who had turned his attention to these facts, that there 
was something in the nature of that thing, slavery, somewhat 
durable for mischief and discord. 

There is another point I desire to make in regard to this 
matter, before I leave it. From the adoption of the Constitu- 
tion down to 1820 is the precise period of our history when we 
had comparative peace upon this question — the precise period 
of time when we came nearer to having peace about it than 
any other time of that entire hundred and sixty years, in which 
he says it began, or of the eighty years of our own Constitu- 
tion. Then it would be worth our while to stop and examine 


into the probable reason of our coming nearer to having pence 
then than at any other time. This was the precise period of 
time in which our fathers adopted, and during which they 
followed, a policy restricting the spread of slavery, and the 
whole Union was acquiescing in it. The whole country looked 
forward to the ultimate extinction of the institution. It av;is 
when a policy had been adopted and was prevailing, which led 
all just and right-minded men to suppose that slavery was 
gradually coming to an end, and that they might be quiet about 
it, watching it as it expired- I think Judge Douglas might 
have perceived that, too, and whether he did or not, it is 
worth the attention of fair-minded men, here and elsewhere, 
to consider whether that is not the ti-uth of the case. If he 
had looked at t>hese two facts, that this matter had been an 
element of discord for one hundred and sixty years among this 
people, and that the only comparative peace we have had 
about it was when that policy prevailed in this government, 
which he now wars upon, he might then perhaps have been 
brought to a more just appreciation of what I said lifteen 
months ago— that '• a house divided against itself cannot 
stand. I believe that this government cannot endure perma- 
nently half slave and half free. I do not expect the house to 
fall. I do not expect the Union to dissolve ; but I do expect 
it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thinsr or 
all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the 
further spread of it, and place it where the public mind will 
rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction ; 
or its advocates will push it forward, until it shall become alike 
lawful in all the States, old as well as new. North as well as 
South." That was my sentiment at that time. In connec- 
tion with it, I said, '" we are now far into the fifth yeai*, 
since a policy was inaugurated with the avowed object and 
conlident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. 
Under the operation of the policy, that agitation has not only 
not ceased, but has constantly augmented." I now say to 
you here that we are advanced still farther into the sixth year 
since that policy of Judge Douglas — that Popular Sovereignty 
of his, for quieting the slavery question — was made the na- 
tional policy. Fitteew months more have been added since I 
uttered that sentiment, and I call upon you, and all other 
right-minded men, to say whether that tifteen months have be-, 
lied or corroborated my words 


"VMiile I am here upon this subject, I cannot but express 
gratitude that this true view of this element of discord among 
us — as' I believe it is — is attracting more and more attention. 
I do not believe that Gov. Seward uttered that sentiment be- 
cause 1 had done so before, but because he reflected upon this 
subject and saw the truth of it. Nor do I believe, because 
Gov. Seward or I uttered it, that Mr. Hickman of Pennsyl- 
vania, in ditFerent language, since that time, has declared his 
belief in the utter antagonism which exists between the prin- 
ciples of liberty and slavery. You see we are multiplying. 
Now, while I am speaking of Hickman, let me say, I know 
but little about him. I have never seen him, and know 
scarcely anything about the man ; but I will say this much of 
him : Of all the anti-Lecompton Democracy that have been 
bronglit to my notice, he alone has the true, genuine ring of 
the metal. And now, without endorsing anything else he has 
said, I will ask this audience to give three cheers for Hickman. 
[The audience re-ponded with three rousing cheers for Hick- 

Another point in the copyright essay to which I would ask 
your attention, is rather a feature to be extracted from the 
whole thing, than from any express declaration of it at any 
point. It is a general feature of that document, an4 indeed, 
of all of Judge Douglas's discussions of this question, that the 
territories of the United States and the States of the Union 
are exactly alike — that there is no ditference between them at all 
— that the Constitution applies to the territories precisely as 
it does to the States — and that the United States government, 
under the Constitution, may not do in a State what it may not 
do in a territory, and what it must do in a State, il must do 
in a territory. Gentlemen, is that a true view of the case? 
It is necessary for this squatter sovereignty ; but is it true "? 

Let us consider. AVhat does it depend upon "'. It depends 
altogether upon the proposition that the States must, without 
the interference of the general government, do all thi)S3 things 
that pertain exclusively to themselves — that are local in their 
nature, that have no connection with the general g vernment. 
Alter Judge Douglas has established this propo-i ion, which 
nobody disputes or ever has disputed, he proceeds to assume, 
v/ithout proving it, that slavery is one of those little, \inim- 
portant, trivial matters, which are of just about as much con- 


sequence as the question would be to me, whether my neighbor 
should raise horned cattle or plant tobacco: that there is no 
moral question about it, but that it is altogether a matter of 
dollars and cents ; that when a new territory is opened for 
settlement, the first man who goes into it may plant there a 
thing which, like the Canada-thistle, or some other of those 
pests of the soil, cannot be dug out by tlie millions of men 
•who will come tliereafter ; that it is one of those little things 
that it is so trivial in its nature that it has no effect upon any- 
body save the few men who first plant upon the soil ; that it 
is not a thing which in any way affects the family of commu- 
nities composing these States, nor any way endangers the gen- 
eral government. Judge Douglas ignores altogether the very 
well-known fact, that we have nefer had a serious menace to 
our political existence, except it sprang from this thing, which 
he chooses to regard as only upon a par with onions and po- 

Turn it, and contemplate it in another view. He says, that 
according to his popular sovereignty, the general government 
may give to the territories governors, judges, marshals, secre- 
taries, and all the other chief men to govern them, but they 
must not touch upon this other question. Why? Tiie ques- 
tion of who shall be governor of a territory for a year or two, 
and pass away, without his track being left upon the soil, or 
an act which he did for good or for evil being left behind, is a 
question of vast national magnitude. It is so much opposed 
in its nature to locality, that the nation itself must decide it ; 
whie this other matter of planting slavery upon a soil — a 
thing which, once planted, cannot be eradicated by the suc- 
ceeding millions who iiave as much' right there as the first 
comers, or if eradicated, not without infinite difficulty and a 
long struggle — he considers the power to prohibit it, as one of 
these little, local, trivial things, that the nation ought not to 
say a word about ; that it affects nobody save the few men 
who are there. 

Take these two things and consider them together, present 
the question of planting a State with the instiiution of slavery 
by the side of a question of who shall be governor of Kansas 
for a year or two, and is there a man here — is there a man on 
earth, who would not say the governor question is the little 
one, and the slavery question is the great one ? I ask any 


honest Democrat if the small, the local, and the trivial and 
temporary question is not, who shall be governor ? While the 
durable, the important, and the mischievous one is, fchall this 
soil be planted with slavery ? 

This is an idea, I suppose, which has arisen in Judge 
Douglas's mind from his peculiar structure. I suppose the 
institution of slavery really looks small to him. He is so put 
up by nature that a lash upon his back would hurt him, but a 
lash upon anybody else's back does not hurt him. That is 
the build of the man, and consequenlly he looks upon the 
matter of slavery in this unimportant light. 

Judge Doughis ouglit to remember when he is endeavoring 
to force this policy upon the American people, that while he 
is put up in that way a good many are not. He ought to 
remember that there was once in this country a man by the 
name of Thomas Jefferson, supposed to be a Democrat — a man 
whose principles and policy are not very pi'evalent among Dem- 
ocrats to-day, it is true ; but tliat man did not take exactly 
this view of the insignificance of the element of slavery of wliicii 
our friend Judge Doughis does. In contemplation of this 
thing, we all know he was led to exclaim, "I tremble for my 
country when I remember that God is just!" We know how 
he looked upon it when he thus expressed himself. There 
was danger to this country — danger of the avenging justice of 
God in that little unimportant popular sovereignty question of 
Judge Douglas. He supposed there was a question of God's 
eternal justice wrapped up in the enslaving of any race of men, 
or any man, and that those who did so brave the arm of Je- 
hovah — that when a nation thus dared the Almighty, every 
friend of that nation had cause to dread his wrath. Choose 
ye between Jcflerson and Douglas as to what is the true view 
of this element among us. 

Tliere is another little difficulty about this matter of treat- 
ing the territories and States alike in all things, to which I 
ask your attention, and I shall leave this branch of the case. 
If there is no difference between them, why not make the ter- 
ritories States at once'? What is the reas»)ii that Kansas was 
not fit to come into the Union when it was organized into a 
territory, in Judge Douglas's view ? Can any of you tell any 
reason why it should not have come into the Union at once? 
They are fit, as he thinks, to decide upon the slavery question 
— the largest and most important with which they couhl pos- 


pibly deal — what could they do by coming into the Union that 
they are not fit to do, according to his view, by staying out 
of it ? Oh, they are not fit to sit in Congress and decide 
upon the rates of ])Ostage, or questions of ad valorem or spe- 
cific duties on foreign goods, or live-oak timber contracts ; they 
are not tit to decide these vastly important matters, which are 
national in their import, but they are fit, " from the jump," 
to decide this little negro question. But, gentlemen, tlie 
case is too plain ; I occupy too much time on this head, 
and I pass on. 

Near the close of the copyright essay, the Judge, I tliink, 
comes very near kicking his own fat into the fire. I did not 
think, Avhen I commenced these remarks, that I would read 
from that article, but I now believe I will : 

"This exposition of the history of these measures, show 
conclusively that the authors of the Compromise Measures of 
1850 and of the Kansas-Nebraska act of 1854, as well as the 
members of the Continental Congress of 1774, and the 
founders of our system of government subsequent to the Kevo- 
lution, regarded the people of the territories and colonies as 
political communities which were entitled to a free and exclu- 
sive power of legislation in their provisional legislatures, where 
their representation could alone be preserved, in all cases of 
taxation and internal polity." 

When the Judge saw that putting in the word '' slavery" 
v/ould contradict his own history, he put in what he knew 
would pass as synonymous with it: "internal polity." When- 
ever we find that in one of his speeches, the substitute is used 
in this manner ; and I can tell you the reason. It would be 
too bnld a contradiction to say slavery, but *•' internal polity" 
is a general phrase, which would pass in some quarters, and 
which he hopes will pass with the reading community for the 
same thing. 

" This right pertains to the people collectively, as a law- 
abiding and peaceful community, and not in the isolated indi- 
viduals who may wander upon the public domain in violation 
of the law. Il can only be exercised where there are inhabi- 
tants sufficient to constitute a goveinment, and capable of per- 
forming its various functions and duties, a fact to be ascer- 
tained and determined by" — who do you think? Judge 
Douglas says " By Congress!" 



" Whether the number shall be fixed at ten, fifteen or 
twenty thousand inhabitants, does not affect the princi- 

Now I have only a few comments to make. Popular 
sovereignty, by his own words, does not pertain to the few 
persons who wander upon the public domain in violation of 
law. "We have his words for that. When it does pertain to 
them, is when they are sufficient to be formed into an or- 
ganized political community, and he fixes the minimum for 
that at 10,000, and the maximum at 20,000. Now I would 
like to know what is to be done with the 9,000 ? Are they 
all to be treated, until they are large enough to be organized 
into a political community, as wanderers upon the public land 
in violation of law? And if so treated and driven out, at 
what point of time would there ever be ten thousand "? If 
they were not driven out, but remained there as trespassers 
upon the public land in violation of the law, can they estab- 
lish slavery there? No — tlie Judge says popular sovereignty 
don't pertain to them then. Can they exclude it then ? No, 
popular sovereignty don't pertain to them then. I would like 
to know, in the case covered by the essay, what condition the 
people of the territories are in before they reach the number 
of ten thousand ? 

But the main point I wish to ask a'tention to is, that the 
question as to when they shall have reached a sufficient num- 
ber to be formed into a regular organized community, is to be 
decided " by Congress." Judge Douglas says so. Well, gen- 
tlemen, that is about all we want. No, that is all the South- 
erners want. That is what all those who are for slavery want. 
They do not want Congress to prohibit slavery from coming 
into the new territories, and they do not want popular sov- 
ereignty to hinder it ; and as Congress is to say when they are 
ready to be organized, all that the South has to do is to get 
Congress to hold off. Let Congress hold off until they are 
ready to be admitted as a State, and the South has all it 
wants in taking slavery into and phmting it in all the territories 
that we now have, or hereafter may have. In a word, the 
whole thing, at a dash of the pen, is at la.>^t put in liic power 
of Congress ; for if they do not have this popular sovereignty 
until Congress organizes them, I ask if it at last does not come 
Irom Congress? If, at last, it amounts to anything at all, 


Congre-s gives it to them. I submit this rather for your re- 
fiection than for comment. After all that is said, at last by a 
dash of the pen, everything that has gone before is undone, 
and he puts the w^hole question under the control of Congress. 
After fijihtino; throuoh more than three hours, if you under- 
take to read it, he at last places the whole matter under the 
control of that power which he had been contending against, 
and arrives at the result directly contrary to what he had been 
laborins: to do. He at last leaves the whole matter to the 
control of Congress. 

There are two main objects, as I understand it, of this Har- 
per's Magazine essay. One was to show, if possible, that the 
men of our revolutionary times were in favor of his popular 
sovereignty ; and the other was to show that the Dred Scott 
decision had not entirely squelched out of this popular sov- 
ereignty. I do not propose, in regard to this argument drawn 
from the history of former times, to enter into a detailed ex- 
amination of the historical statements he has made. I have 
the impression that they are inaccurate in a great many in- 
stances. Sometimes in positive statement, but very much 
more inaccurate by the suppression of statements that really 
belong to the history. But I do not propose to affirm that this 
is so to any very great extent ; or to enter into a very minute 
examination of his historical statements. I a^ oid doing so 
upon this principle — that if it were important for me to pass 
out of this lot in the least period of time possible, and I came 
to that fence and saw, by a calculation of my known strength 
and agility that I could clear it at a bound, it would be folly 
for me to stop and consider whether I could or not crawl 
through a crack. So I say of the whole history, contained in 
his essay, where he endeavored to link the men of the Revo- 
lution to popular sovereignty. It only requires an effort to 
leap out of it — a single bound to be entirely successful. If 
you read it over you will find that he quotes here and there 
from documents of the revolutionary times, tending to show 
that the people of the colonies were desirous of regulating 
their own concerns in their own way, that the British govern- 
ment should not interfere ; that at one time they struggled with 
the British government to be permitted to exclude the African 
slave-trade ; if not directly, to be permitted to exclude it in- 
directly by taxation sufficient to discourage and destroy it. 


From these and many things of this sort, Judge Douglas argues 
that they were in favor of the people of our own territories 
excluding slavery if they wanted to, or planting it there if they 
wanted to, doing just as they pleased from the time they set- 
tled upon the territory. Now, however his history may apply, 
and whatever of his argument there may be that is sound and 
accurate or unsound and inaccurate, if we can find out what 
these men did themselves do upon this very question of slavery 
in the territories, does it not end the whole thing? If after 
all this labor and eifort to show that the men of the Revolu- 
tion were in favor of his popular sovereignty and his mode of 
dealing with slavery in the territories, we can show that these 
very men took hold of that subject, and dealt with it, we can 
see for ourselves how they dealt with it. It is not a matter 
of argument or inference, but we know what they thought 
about it. 

It is precisely upon that part of the history of the country, 
that one important omission is made by Judge Douglas. He 
selects parts of the history of the United States upon the sub- 
ject of slavery, and treats it as the whole, omitting from his 
historical sketch the legislation of Congress in regard to the 
admission of Mif^souri, by which the Missouri Compromise 
was established, and slavery excluded from a country half as 
large as the present United States. All this is left out of his 
history, and in nowise alluded to by him, so far as I can re- 
member, save once, when he makes a remark, that upon his 
principle the Supreme Court were authorized to pronounce a 
decision that the act called the Missouri Compromise was un- 
constitutional. All that history has been left out. But this 
part of the history of the country was not made by the men 
of the Kevolution. 

There was another part of our political history made by the 
very men who were the actors in the Kevolution, which has 
taken the name of the Ordinance of '87. Let me bring that 
history to your attention. In 1784, I believe, this same Mr. 
Jefi'erson drew up an ordinance for the government of the 
country upon which we now stand ; or rather a frame or draft 
of an ordinance for the government of this country, liere in 
Ohio, our neighbors in Indiana, us wiio live in Illinois, our 
neighbors in Wisconsin antl Michigan. In that ordinance, 
drawn up not only for the govtrnmeiit of that territory, but 


for the territories south of the Ohio river, Mr. Jefferson ex- 
pressly provided for the prohibition of shivery. Judge Doug- 
las says, and perhnps is right, that that provision was lost 
from that ordinance. I believe that is true. When the vote 
was taken upon it, a majority of all present in the Congress 
of the Confederation voted for it ; but there were so many 
absentees that those voting for it did not make the clear ma- 
jority necessary, and it was lost. But three years after that 
the Congress of the Confederation were together again, and 
they adopted a new ordinance for the government of tliis 
northwest territory, not contemplating territory south of the 
rivei", for the States owning that territory had hitherto re- 
frained from giving it to the general government ; hence they 
made the ordinance to apply only to what the government 
owned. In that, the provision excluding slavery was inserted 
and passed itnaniniousli/, or at any rate it passed and became a 
part of the law of the land. Under that ordinance we live. 
Fu-st here in Ohio you were a territory, then an enabling act 
was passed, authorizing you to form a constitution and State 
government, provided it was republican and not in conflict 
with the ordinance of '87. When you framed your constitu- 
tion and presented it for admission, I think you will find the 
legislation upon the subject will show that, " whereas you had 
formed a constitution that was republican, and not in conflict 
with the ordinance of '87," therefore, you were admitted upon 
equal footing with the original States. The same process ir 
a few years was gone through with in Indiana, and so with 
Illinois, and the same substantially with Michigan and Wis- 

Not only did that ordinance prevail, but it was constantly- 
looked to whenever a step was taken by a new territory to 
become a State. Congress always turned tlieir attention to it, 
and in all their movements upon this subject, they traced their 
course by thafordinance of '87. When they admitted new 
States, they advertised them of this ordinance as a part of the 
legislation of the country. They did so, because they had 
traced the ordinance of '87 throughout the history of this 
country. Begin with the men of the devolution, and go 
down for sixty entire years, and until the last scrap of that 
territory comes into the Union in the form of the State of 
AVisconsin — everything was made to conform with the ordi- 


nance of '87, excluding slavery from that vast extent of 

I omitted to mention in the right place that the Constitu- 
tion of the United States was in process of being framed when 
tliat ordinance was made by the Congress of the Confedera- 
tion ; and one of the first acts of Congress itself, under the 
new Constitution itself, was to give force to that ordinance by 
putting power to carry it out in the hands of the new officers 
under the Constitution, in the place of the old ones, who had 
been legislated out of existence by the change in the govern- 
ment from the Confederation to the Constitution. Not only 
so, but I believe Indiana once or twice, if not Ohio, petitioned 
the general government for the privilege of suspending that 
provision and allowing them to have slaves. A report made 
by Mr. Eandolph, of Virginia, himself a slaveholder, was di- 
rectly against it, and the action was to refuse them the privi- 
lege of violating the ordinance of '87. 

This period of history, which I have run over briefly, is, I 
presume, as familiar to most of this assembly as any other part 
of the history of our country. I suppose that few of my hear- 
ers are not as familiar with that part of history as I am, and 
I only mention it to recall your attention to it at this time. 
And hence I ask, how extraordinary a thing it is that a man 
who has occupied a position upon the floor of the Senate of the 
United States, who is now in his third term, and who looks to 
see the government of this whole country fall into his own 
hands, pretending to give a truthful and accurate history of 
the slavery question in this country, should so entirely ignore 
the whole of that portion of our history — the most impoi'tant 
of all. Is it not a most extraordinary spectacle, that a man 
should stand up and ask for any confidence in his statements, 
who sets out as he does with portions of history, calling upon 
the people to believe that it is a true and fair representation, 
when the leading part, and controlling i'eature, of the whole 
histoiy is carefully suppressed '? 

But the mere leaving out is not the most remarkable fea- 
ture of this most remarkable essay. His proposition is to es- 
tablish that the leading men of the Revolution were for his 
great principle of non-intervention by the government in the 
question of slavery in the territories ; while history shows that 
they decided in the cases actually brought before them, in ex- 


actly the contrary way, and he knows it. Not only did they 
so decide at that time, but they stuck to it during sixty years, 
through thick and thin, as long as there was one of the revo- 
lutionary heroes upon the stage of political action. Through 
their whole course, from first to last, they clung to freedom. 
And now he asks the community to believe that the men of 
the Revolution were in favor of his great principle, when we 
have the naked history that they themselves dealt Avith this 
very subject-matter of his principle, and utterly repudiated his 
principle, acting upon a precisely contrary ground. It is as 
impudent and absurd as if a prosecuting attorney should stand 
up before a jury, and ask them to convict A. as the murderer 
of 11, while B. was walking alive before them, 

I say again, if Judge Douglas asserts that the men of the 
Kevolution acted upon principles by which, to be consistent 
with themselves, they ought to have adopted his popular sov- 
ereignty, then, upon consideration of his own argument, he had 
a right to make you believe that they understood the princi- 
ples of government, but misapplied them — that he has arisen 
to enlighten the world as to the just application of this princi- 
ple. He has a right to try to persuade you that he under- 
stands their principles better than they did, and, therefore, he 
will apply them now, not as they did, but as they ouglit to have 
done. He has a right to go before the community, and try to 
convince them of this ; but he has no right to attempt to impose 
upon any one the belief that these men themselves approved 
of his great principle. There are two ways of establishing 
a proposition. One is, by trying to demonstrate it upon rea- 
son ; and the other is, to shoAV that great men in former 
times have thought so and so, and thus to pass it by the 
weight of pure authority. Now, if Judge Douglas will de- 
monstrate somehow that this is popular sovereignty — the right 
of one man to make a slave of another, without any right in 
that other, or any one else to object — demonstrate it as Euclid 
demonstrated propositions — there is no objection. But when 
he comes forward, seeking to carry a principle by bringing to 
it the authority of men who themselves utterly repudiate that 
principle, I ask that he shall not be permitted to do it. 

I see, in the Judge's speech here, a short sentence in these 
words : •' Our fathers, when they formed this government un- 
der which we live, understood this question just as well and 


even better than we do now." That is true ; I stick to that. 
I will stand by Judge Douglas in that to the bitter end. And 
now, Judge Douglas, come and stand by me, and truthfully 
show how they acted, understanding it better than we do. All 
I ask of you. Judge Douglas, is to stick to the proposition 
that the men of the Revolution understood this subject better 
tlian we do now, and with that better understanding they acted bet- 
ter titan ijoa are tidying to act now. 

I wish to say something now in regard to the Dred Scott 
decision, as dealt with by Judge Douglas. In that '' memor- 
able debate " between Judge Douglas and myself, last year, 
the Judge thought fit to commence a process of catechising 
me, and at Freeport I answered his questions, and propounded 
some to him. Among others propounded to him was one that 
I have here now. The substance, as I remember it, is, " Can 
the people of a United States territory, under the Dred Scott 
decision, in any lawful way, against the wish of any citizen of 
the United States, exclude slavery from its limits, prior to the 
formation of a State constitution f He answered that they 
could lawfully exclude slavery from the United States terri- 
tories, notwithstanding the Dred Scott decision. There was 
something about that answer that has probably been a trouble 
to the Judge ever since. 

The Dred Scott decision expressly gives every citizen of 
the United States a right to carry his slaves into the United 
States territories. And now there was some inconsistency in 
saying that the decision was right, and saying, too, that the 
people of the territory could lawfully drive slavery out again. 
When all the trash, the words, the collateral matter, was 
cleared away from it — all the chaff was fanned out of it, it 
was a bare absurdity — no le^ than that a thing may be hiwfully 
driven away from where it has a lawful right to be. Clear it of 
all the verbiage, and that is the naked truth of his proposition 
— that a thing may be lawfully driven from the place where it 
has a lawful right to staj^ Well, it Avas because the Judge 
couldn't help seeing this, that he has lad so much trouble 
with it ; and Avhat I want to ask your especial attention to, 
just now, \9, to remind you, if you have not noticed tl)e fact, 
that the Judge does not any longer say that the people can 
cxchulc slavery. He does not say so in the copyright essay ; 
he did not say so in the s[ eech that he made here ; and, so far as 


1 know, since his re-election to the Senate, he has never said, 
as he did at Freeport, that the people of the territories can 
exclude slavery, lie desires that you, w^ho wish the territo- 
ries to remain free, should believe that he stands by that posi- 
tion, but he does not say it himself. He escapes to some ex- 
tent the absurd position I have stated by changing his lan- 
guage entirely. What he says now is something different in 
languafie, and we will consider whether it is not diti'erent in 
sense, too. It is now that the Dred Scott decision, or rather 
the Constitution under that decision, does not carry slavery 
into the territories beyond the power of the people of the ter- 
ritories to control it as other iwopevty. He does not say the peo- 
ple can drive it out, but they can control it as other property. 
The langfuao-e is different ; we should consider whether the 
sense is different. Driving a horse out of this lot is too plain 
a proposition to be mistaken about ; it is putting him on the 
other side of the fence. Or it might be a sort of exclusion of 
hiiu from the lot if you were to kill him and let the worms 
devour him ; but neither of these things is the same as " con- 
trolling him as other property." That would be to feed him, 
to pamper him, to ride him, to use and abuse him, to make 
the most money out of him " as other property ;" but please 
you, what do the men who are in favor of slavery want more 
than this % What do they really Avant, other than that 
slavery, being in the territories, shall be controlled as other 
property 1 

If they want anything else, I do not comprehend it. I ask 
your attention to this, first, for the purpose of pointing out the 
change of ground the Judge has made ; and, in the second 
place, the importance of the change — that that change is not 
such as to give you gentlemen who want his popular sover- 
eignty the power to exclude the institution or drive it out at 
all. I know the Judge sometimes squints at the argument 
that in controlling it as other property by unfriendly legisla- 
tion they may control it to death, as you might in the case of 
a horse, perhaps, feed him so lightly and ride him so much 
that he would die. But when you come to legislative control, 
thei-e is something more to be attended to. 1 have no doubt, 
myself, that if the territories should undertake to control slave 
prop T-.y as other property — that i'^, control it in such a way 
thai It would be the most valuable as property, and make it bear 



its just proportion in the way of burdens as property — really 
deal with it as property — the Supreme Court of the United 
States will say, " God speed you and amen." But I under- 
take to give the opinion, at least, that if the territories attempt 
by any direct legislation to drive the man with his slave out 
of the territory, or to decide that his slave is free because of 
his being taken in there, or to tax him to such an extent that 
he cannot keep him there, the Supreme Court will unhesita- 
tingly decide all such legislation unconstitutional, as long as 
that Supreme Court is constructed as the Dred Scott Supreme 
Court is. The first two things they have already decided, ex- 
cept that there is a little quibble among lawyers between tlie 
words dicta and decision. They have already decided a negro 
cannot be made free by territorial legislation. 

What is that Dred Scott decision ? Judge Douglas labors 
to show that it is one thing, while I think it is altogether dif- 
ferent. It is a long opinion, but it is all embodied in this 
short statement : '• The Constitution of the United States 
forbids Congress to deprive a man of his property, without 
due process of law ; the right of properly in slaves is distinctly 
and expressly affirmed in that Constitution ; therefore, if Con- 
gress sh;ill undertake to say that a man's slave is no longer his 
slave, Avben he crosses a certain line into a territory, that is 
depriving him of his property without due process of law, and 
is unconstitutional." There is the whole Dred Scott decision. 
They add that if Congress cannot do so itself, Congress can- 
not confer any power to do so, and hence any effort by the 
territorial legislature to do either of these things is absolutely 
decided against. It is a foregone conclusion by that court. 

Now, as to this indirect mode by " unfriendly legislature," 
all lawyers here will readily understand that such a proposi- 
tion cannot be tolerated for a moment, because a legislature 
cannot indirectly do that which it cannot accomplish direct- 
ly. 'Jlien I say any legislature to control this property, as 
property, for its benefit as property, would be hailed by this 
Dred Scott Supreme Court and fully sustained ; but any legis- 
lation driving slave property out, or destroying it as property, 
directly or indirectly, will, most assuredly, by that court, bo 
held unconstitutional. 

Judge Douglas says if the Constitution carries slavery into 
the territories, beyond the power of the people of the teriito- 


ies to control it as other property, then it follows logically 
that every one who swears to support the Constitution of the 
United States, nuis^t give that support to that property which 
it needs. And if tlie Constitution carries slavery into the 
territories, beyond the power of the people to control it as 
other property, then it also carries it into the States, because 
the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Now, gi'u- 
tlemen, if it were not for my excessive modesty I would say 
that I told that very thing to Judge Douglas quite a year ago. 
This argument is here in print, and if it were not for my 
modesty as I said, I might call your attention to it. Ifjou 
read it, you will find that I not only made that argument, but 
made it better than he has made it since. 

There is, however, this difference. I say now, and said 
then, there is no sort of question that the Supreme Court has 
decided that it is the right of the slaveholder to take his slave 
and hold him in the territory ; and saying this, Judge Doug- 
las himself admits the conclusion. He says if that is so, this 
consequence will follow ; and because this consequence would 
follow, his argument is, the decision cannot, therefore, be that 
way — " that would spoil my Popular Sovereignty, and it can- 
not be possible that this great principle has been squelched out 
in this extraordinary way. It might be, if it were not for the 
extraordinary consequences of spoiling my humbug." 

Another feature of the Judge's argument about the Dred 
Scott case is, an ettbrt to show that that decision deals alto- 
gether in declarations of negatives ; that the Constitution does 
not affirm anything as expounded by the Dred Scott decision, 
but it only declares a want of power — a total absence of 
power, in reference to the territories. It seems to be his pur- 
pose' to make the whole of that decision to result in a mere 
negative declaration of a want of power in Congress to do 
anything in relation to this matter in territories. I know the 
opinion of the Judges states that there is a total absence of 
power ; but that is, unfortunately, not all it states ; for the 
Judges add that the right of property in a slave is distinctly 
and expressly aifirmed in the Constitution. It does not stop 
at saying that the risht of property in a slave is recognized in 
the Constitution, is declared to exist somewhere in the Con- 
stitution, but says it is affinntd in the Constitution. Its lan- 
guage is equivalent to saying that it is enibodied and «d 


woven into that instrument that it cannot be detached with- 
out breaking the Constitution itself. In a word, it is part of 
the Constitution. 

Douglas is singularly unfortunate in his effort to make out 
that decision to be altogether negative, when the express lan- 
guage at the vital part is that this is distinctly affirmed in the 
Constitution. I think myself, and I repeat it here, that this 
decision does not merely carry slavery into the territories, but 
by its logical conclusion it carries it into the States in which 
we live. One provision of that Constitution is, that it shall 
be the supreme law of the larfd — I do not quote the language — 
any constitution or law of any State to tho contrary, not- 
withstanding. This Dred Scott deci.^ion says that the right of 
property in a skive is affirmed in that Constitution, which is 
the supreme law of the land, any State constitution or law 
notwithstanding. Then I say that to destroy a thing which 
is distinctly affirmed and supported by the supreme law of the 
land, even by a State constitution or law, is a violation of that 
supreme law, and there is no escape from it. In my judg- 
ment there is no avoiding that result, save that the American 
people shall see that constitutions are better construed than 
our Constitution is construed in that decision. They must 
take care that it is more faithfully and truly carried out than 
it is there expounded. 

I must hasten to a conclusion. Near the beginning of my 
remarks, I said that this insidious Douglas popular sovereign- 
ty is the measure that now threatens the purpose of the 
Republican party, to prevent slavery from being nationalized 
in tlie United States. I propose to ask your attention ibr a 
little while to some propositions in affirmance of that state- 
ment. Take it just as it stands, and apply it as a principle ; 
extend and apply that principle elsewhere, and consider where 
it will lead you. I now put this proposition, that Judge 
Douglas' popular sovereignty applied will re-open the African 
slave-trade ; and I will demonstrate it by any variety of ways 
in which you can turn the subject or look at it. 

The Judge says that the people of the territories have the 
right, by his principle, to have slaves, if they want them. 
Then I say that the people in Georgia have the right to buy 
slaves in Africa, jf they want them, p.nd J defy any man on 
earth jo show any distinction bctweej) the two thjngs-r— to 


show that the one is either more wicked or more unlawful ; 
to show, on original principles, that one is better or worse 
than the other ; or to show by the Constitution, that one 
diflers a whit from the other. He will tell me, doubtless, that 
there is no constitutional provision against people taking 
slaves into the new territories, and I tell him that there is 
equally no constitutional provision against buying slaves in 
Africa. He will tell you that a people, in the exercise of 
popular sovereignty, ought to do as they please about that 
thing, and have slaves if they want them ; and I tell you that 
the people of Georgia are as much entitled to popular sover- 
eignty and to buy slaves in Africa, if they want them, as the 
people of the territory are to have slaves if they want them. 
I ask any man, dealing honestly with himself, to point out a 

I have recently seen a letter of Judge Douglas', in which, 
without stating that to be the object, he doubtless endeavors 
to make a distinction between the two. He says he is un- 
alterably opposed to the repeal of the laws against the African 
slave-trade. And why '? He then seeks to give a reason that 
would not apply to his popular sovereignty in the territories. 
What is that reason '? "The abolition of the African slave- 
trade is a compromise of the Constitution !" I deny it. 
There is no truth in the proposition that the abolition of the 
African slave-trade is a compromise of the Constitution. No 
man can put his linger on anything in the Constitution, or on 
the line of history, which shows it. It is a mere barren as- 
sertion, made simply for the purpose of getting up a distinc- 
tion between the revival of the African slave-trade and his 
"gi'cat principle." 

At the time the Constitution of the United States was 
adopted it was expected that the slave-trade would be abol- 
ished. I should assert, and insist upon that, if Judge Doug- 
las denied it. But I know that it was equally expected that 
slavery would be excluded from the territories, and I can show 
by history, that in regard to these two things, public opinion 
was exactly alike, while in regard to positive action, there was 
more done in the Ordinance of '87 to resist the spread of 
slavery than was ever done to abolish the foreign slave-trade. 
Lest I be misunderstood, I say again that at the time of the 
formation of the constitution, public, expectation was that the 


slave-trade would be abolished, but no more so than the spread 
of slavery in the territories should be restrained. They stand 
alike, except that in the ordinance of '87 there was a mark 
left by public opinion, showing that it was more committed 
against the spread of slavery in the territories than against the 
foreign slave-trade. 

Compromise ! What word of compromise was there about 
it. Why, the public sense was then in favor of the abolition 
of the slave-trade ; but there was at the time a very great com- 
mercial interest involved in it, and extensive capital in that 
branch of trade. There were doubtless the incipient stages of 
improvement in the South in the way of farming, dependent 
on the slave-trade, and they made a proposition to Congress 
to abolish the trade after allowing it twenty years, a sufficient 
time for the capital and commerce engaged in it to be trans- 
ferred to other channels. They made no provision that it 
should be abolished in twenty years ; I do not doubt that they 
expected it would be ; but they made no bargain about it. 
The public sentiment left no doubt in the minds of any that it 
would be done away. I repeat, there is nothing in the history 
of those times in favor of that matter being a compromise of the 
Constitution. It was the public expectation at the time, 
manifested in a thousand ways, that the spread of slavery 
should also be restricted. 

Then I say if this principle is established, that there is no 
wrong in slavery, and whoever wants it has a right to have it, 
is a matter of dollars and cents, a sort of question as to how 
they shall deal with brutes, — ^^that between us and the negro 
here there is no sort of question, but that at the South the 
question is between the negro and the crocodile. That is all. 
It is a mere matter of policy ; there is a perfect right accord- 
ing to interest to do just as you please — when this is done, 
where this doctrine prevails, the miners and sappers will have 
formed public opinion for the slave-trade. They will be ready 
for Jeff. Davis and Stephens, and other leaders of that com- 
jiany, to sound the bugle for the revival of the slave-trade, for 
the second Dred Scott decision, for the flood of slavery to be 
poured t)ver the free States, while we shall be here tied down 
and hel[)less, and run over like sheep. 

It is to be part and parcel of this same idea, to say to men 
who want to adhere to the Democratic party, who have always 


belonged to that party, and are only looking about for some 
excuse to stick to it, but nevertheless hate slavery, that Doug- 
las's popular sovereignty is as good a way as any to oppose 
slavery. They allow themselves to be persuaded easily, in ac- 
cordance with their previous dispositions, into this helief, that 
it is about as good a way of opposing slavery as any, and we 
can do that without straining our old party ties or breaking 
up old political associations. We can do so without being 
called negro-worshippers. We can do that without being sub- 
jected to the jibes and sneers that are so readily thrown out in 
place of argument, where no argument can be found. 80 let 
us stick to this popular sovereignty — this insidious popular 
sovereignty. Now let me call your attention to one thing 
that has really happened, which shows this gradual and steady 
debauching of public opinion, this course of preparation for the 
revival of the slave-trade, for the territorial slave-code, and the 
new Dred Scott decision, that is to carry slavery into the free 
States. Did you ever, five years ago, hear of anybody in the 
world saying that the negro had no share in the Declaration 
of National Independence ; that it did not mean negroes at 
all : and when " all men" were spoken of, negroes were not 

I am satisfied that five years ago that proposition was not 
put upon paper by any living being anywhere. I have been 
unable at any time to find a man in an audience who would 
declare that he had ever known of anybody saying so five years 
ago. But last year there was not a Douglas popular sover- 
eign in Illinois who did not say it Is there one in Ohio but 
declares his firm belief that the Declaration of Independence 
did not mean negroes at all '? I do not know how this is ; I 
have not been here much ; but I presume you are very much 
alike everywhere. Then I suppose that all now express the 
belief that the Declaration of Independence never did mean 
negroes. I call u})on one of them to say that he said it five 
years ago. 

If you think that now, and did not think it then, the next 
thing that strikes me is to remark that there has been a change 
wrought in you, and a very significant change it is, being no 
less than changing the negro, in your estimation, from the rank 
of a man to that of a brute. They are taking him down, and 
placing him, when spoken of, among reptiles and crocodiles, 
as Judge Douglas himself expiesses it. 


Is not this change wrought in your minds a very important 
change '^ Public opinion in this country is everything. In a 
nation like ours this popular sovereignty and squatter sover- 
eignty have already wrought a clrange in the public mind to the 
extent I have stated. There is no man in this crowd who can 
contradict it. 

Now, if you are opposed to slavery honestly, as much as 
anybody, I ask you to note that fact, and the like of which is 
to follow, to be plastered on, layer after layer, until very soon 
you are prepared to deal with the negro everywhere as with 
the brute. If public sentiment has not been debauched al- 
ready to this point, a new turn of the screw in that direction 
is all that is wanting ; and this is constantly being done by 
the teachers of this insidious popular sovereignty. You need 
but one or two turns further until your minds, now ripening 
under these teachings, will be ready for all these things, and 
you will receive and support, or submit to, the slave trade, re- 
vived with all its horrors, a slave code enforced in our terri- 
tories, and a new Dred Scott decision to bring slavery up into 
the very heart of the free North. This, I must say, is but 
carrying out those words prophetically spoken by Mr. Clay, 
many, many years ago — I believe more than thirty years, when 
he told an audience that if they would repress all tendencies 
to liberty and ultimate emancipation, they must go back to the 
era of our independence and muzzle the caimon which thun- 
dered its annual joj'ous return on the Fourth of July ; they 
must blow out the moral lights around us ; they must pene- 
trate the human soul and eradicate the love of liberty ; but 
until they did these things, and others eloquently enumerated 
by him, they could not repress all tendencies to ultimate eman- 

I ask attention to the fact that in a pre-eminent degree 
these popular sovereigns are at this work ; blowing out the 
moral lidits around us ; teaching that the negro is no lunjicr a 
man but a brute ; that the Declaration has nothing to do with 
him ; that he ranks with the crocodile and the reptile ; that 
man, with body and soul, is a matter of dollars and cents. I 
suggest to this portion of the Ohio Republicans, or Democrats, 
if there be any present, the serious consideration of this fact, 
that there is now going on among you a steady process of de- 
bauching public opinion on this subject. With this, my 
friends, I bid you adieu. 



At Cincinnati, Ohio, Srpte^nher, 1859. 

My Fellow-citizens of the State of Ohio: This is the 
first time in my life that I have appeared before an audience 
in so great a city as this. I therefore — though I am no longer 
a young man- — make this appearance under some degree of 
embarrassment. But I have found that when one is embar- 
rassed, usually the shortest way to get through with it is to 
quit talking or thinking about it, and go at something else. 

I understand that you have had recently with you my very 
distinguished friend, Judge Douglas, of Illinois, and I under- 
stand, without having had an opportunity (not greatly sought 
to be sure) of seeing a report of the speech that he made liero, 
that he did me the honor to mention my humble name. I 
suppose that he did so for the purpose of making some o!»jec- 
tion to some sentiment at some time expressed by me. I 
should expect, it is true, that Judge Douglas had reminded 
you, or informed you, if you had never before heard it, that I 
had once in my life declared it as my opinion that this govern- 
ment cannot '" endure permanently half slave and half free ; 
that a house divided against itself cannot stand," and, as I 
had expressed it, I did not expect the house to fall ; that I did 
not expect the Union to be dissolved ; but that I did expect 
that it would cease to be divided ; that it would become all 
one thing or all the other ; that either the opposition of slavery 
would arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the 
public mhid would rest in the belief that it was in the course 
of ultimate extinction ; or the friends of slavery will push it 
forward until it becc*i^es alike lawful in all the States, old or 
new, free as well as slave. I did, fifteen months ago, express 
that opinion, and upon many occasions Judge Douglas has de- 
nounced it, and has greatly, intentionally or unintentionally, 
misrepresented my purpose in the expression of that opinion. 

I presume, without having seen a report of his speech, that 
he did so here. I presume that he alluded also to that opinion 
in different language, having been expressed at a subsequent 
time by Governor Seward of New-York, and that he took the 
two in a lump and denounced them ; that he tried to point out 


that there was something couched in this opinion which led 
to the making of an entire uniformity of the local institutions 
of the various States of the Union, in utter disregard of the 
different States, which in their nature would seem to require 
a variety of institutions, and a variety of laws, conforming to 
the differences in the nature of the different States. 

Not only so ; I presume he insisted that this was a declara- 
tion of war between the free and slave States — that it was the 
sounding to the onset of continual w^ar between the different 
States, the slave and free States. 

This charge, in this form, was made by Judge Douglas, on, 
I believe, the 9th of July, 1858, in Chicago, in my hearing. 
On the next evening, I made some reply to it. I informed 
him that many of the inferences he drew from that expression 
of mine were altogether foreign to any purpose entertained by 
me, and in so far as he should ascribe these inferences to me, 
as my purpose, he was entirely mistaken ; and in so far as he 
might argue that whatever might be my purpose, actions, con- 
forming to my views, would lead .o these results, he might 
argue and establish if he could ; but, so far as purposes were 
concerned, he was totally mistaken as to me. 

When I made that reply to him — when I told him, on the 
question of declaring war between the different States of the 
Union, that I had not said that I did not expect any peace 
upon this question until slavery was exterminated ; that I had 
only said I expected peace when that institution was put where 
the public mind should rest in the belief that it was in course 
of ultimate extinction ; that I believed from the organization 
of our government, until a very recent period of time, the in- 
stitution had been placed and continued upon such a basis ; 
that we had had comparative peace upon that question 
through a portion of that period of time, only because the 
public mind rested in that belief in regard to it, and that when 
we returned to that position in relation to that matter, I sup- 
posed we should again have jDcace as we previously had. I 
assured him, as I now assure you, that I neither then had, nor 
have, nor never had, any purpose in any way of interfering 
Avith the institution of slavery, where it exists. I believe we 
have no power, under the Constitution of the United States, 
or rather under the form of government under which we live, 
to interfere with the institution of slaveiy, or any other of the 


institutions of our tister State?, be they free or slave States. I 
declared tlien, and I now re-declare, that I have as little incli- 
nation to interfere with the institution of slavery where it 
now exists, through the instrumentality of the genei'al govern- 
ment, or any other instrumentality, as I believe we have no 
power to do so. I accidentally used this expression : I had no 
purpose of entering into the slave States to disturb the insti- 
tution of slavery ! So, upon the first occasion that Judge 
Douglas got an opportunity to reply to me, he passed by the 
whole body of what I had said upon that subject, and seized 
upon the particular expression of mine, that I had no purpose 
of entering into the slave States to disturb the institution of 
slavery. " Oh, no," said he, " he (Lincoln) won't enter into 
the slave States to disturb the institution of slavery ; he is too 
prudent a man to do such a thing as that ; he only means 
that he will go on to the line between the free and slave 
States, and shoot over at them. This is all he means to do. 
He means to do them all the harm he can, to disturb them all 
he can, in such a waj as to keep his own hide in perfect safety. " 

Well, now, I did not think, at that time, that that was 
either a very dignified or very logical argument ; but so it 
was. I had to get along with it as well as I could. 

It has occurred to me here to-night, that if I ever do shoot 
over the line at the people on the other side of the line into a 
slave State, and purpose to do so, keeping my skin safe, that 
I have now about the best chance I shall ever have I should 
not wonder that there are some Iventuckians about this au- 
dience ; we are close to Kentucky ; and whether that be so or 
not, we are on elevated ground, and by speaking distinctly, I 
should not wonder if some of the Kentuckians would hear me 
on the other side of the river. For that reason I propose to 
address a portion of what I have to say to the Kentuckians. 

I say, then, in the first place, to the Kentuckians, that I am 
what they call, as I understand it, a "Jilack Republican." I 
think slavery is wrong, morally and politically. I desire that 
it should be no further spread in tliese United States, and I 
should not object if it should gradually terminate in the whole 
Union. While I say this for myself, I say to you Ken- 
tuckians, that I understand you differ radically with me upon 
this proposition ; that you believe slavery is a good thing ; 
that slavery is right ; that it ought to be extended and per- 


petuated in this Union. Now, there being this broad differ- 
ence between us, I do not pretend in addressing myself to 
you, Kentuckians, to attempt proselyting you ; that would be 
a vain eftbrt. I do not enter upon it. 1 only propose to try 
to show you that you ought to nominate for the next Presi- 
dency, at Charleston, my distinguished friend. Judge Douglas. 
In all that there is a difference between you and him, I un- 
derstand he is sincerely for you, and more v/isely for you, than 
you are for yourselves. I will try to demonstrate that propo- 
sition. Understand now, I say that I believe he is as sin- 
cei-ely for you, and more Avisely for you, than you are for 

What do you want more than anything else to make suc- 
cessful your views of slavery — to advance the outspread of it, 
and to secure and perpetuate the nationality of it? What do 
you want more than anything else? What is needed abso- 
lutely ? What is indispensable to you ? Why ! if I may be 
allowed to answer the question, it is to retain a hold upon the 
North — it is to retain support and strength from the free 
States. If you can get this support and strength from the 
free States you can succeed. If you do not get this support 
and this strength from the free States, you are in the minority, 
and you are beaten at once. 

If that proposition be admitted — and it is undeniable — then 
the next thing I say to you is, that Douglas of all the men in 
this nation is the only man that affords you any hold upon the 
free States ; that no other man can give you any strength in 
the free States. This being so, if you doubt the other branch 
of the proposition, whether he ii for you — whether he is really 
for you, as I have expressed it, I propose asking your atten- 
tion for a while to a few facts. 

The issue between you and me, understand, is, that I think 
slavery is wrong, and ought not to be outspread, and you 
think it is right and ought to be extended and peipetuated. 
[A voice, " Oil, Lord."] That is my Iventuckian I am talk- 
ing to now. 

I now proceed to tiy to show you that DougUis is as sin- 
cerely for you and more wisely for you than you are for your- 

In the first place we know that in a government like this, 
in ti government of the people, where the voice of all the men 


of that country, substantially, enters into the execution — or 
administration rather — of the government, in such a govern- 
ment, what lies at the bottom of all of it, is public opinion. 
I lay down the proposition, that Judge Douglas is not only 
the man that promises you in advance a hold upon the North, 
and support in the North, but that he constantly moulds pub- 
lic opinion to your ends ; that in every possible way he can, he 
constantly moulds the public opinion of the North to your 
ends ; and if there are a few things in which he seems to be 
against you — a few things which he says that appear to be 
against you, and a few that he forbears to say w^hich you 
would like to have him say — you ought to remember that the 
saying of the one, or the forbearing to say the other, would 
lose his hold upon the North, and, by consequence, would lose 
his capacity to serve you. 

Upon this subject of moulding public opinion, I call your 
attention to the fact — for a well-established fact it is — that the 
Judge never says your institution of slavery is wrong ; he 
never says it is right, to be sure, but he never says it is wrong. 
There is not a public man in the United States, 1 believe, with 
the exception of Senator Douglas, who has not, at some time 
in his life, declared his opinion whether the thing is light or 
wrong ; but Senator Douglas never declares it is wrong. He 
leaves himself at perfect liberty to do all in your favor which 
he would be hindered from doing if he were to declare the 
thing to be w^rong. On the contrary, he takes all the chances 
that he has for inveigling the sentiment of the North, opposed 
to slavery, mto your support, by never saying it is right. 
This you ought to set down to his credit. You ought to give 
liim full credit for this much, little though it be, in comparison 
to the whole which he does for you. 

Some other things I will ask your attention to. He said 
upon the tloor of the United States Senate, and he has re- 
peated it as I understand a great many times, that he does not 
care whether slavery is " voted up or voted down." This 
again shows you, or ought to show you, if you would reason 
upon it, that he does not believe it to be wrong, for a man 
may say, when he sees nothing wrong in a thing, that he does 
not care whether it be voted up or voted down ; but no man 
can logically say that he cares not whether a thing goes up or 
goes down, which to him appears to be wrong. You there- 


fore have a demonstration in this, that to Judge Douglas's 
raind your favorite institution which you would have j^pread 
out, and made perpetual, is no Avrong. 

Another thing he tells you, in a speech made at Memphis, in 
Tennessee, shortly after the canvass in Illinois, last year, lie 
there distinctly told the people, that there was a " line drawn 
by the Almighty across this continent, on the one side of 
which the soil must always be cultivated by slaves ;" that he 
did not pretend to know exactly where that line was, but that 
there was such a line. I want to ask your attention to that 
proposition again ; that tliere is one portion of this continent 
where the Almiglity has designed the soil shall always be cul- 
tivated by slaves ; that its being cultivated by slaves at that 
place is right ; that it has the direct sympathy and authority 
of the Almighty. Whenever you can get these Northern au- 
diences to adopt the opinion that t<lavery is right on the other 
side of the Ohio ; whenever you can get them, in pursuance of 
Douglas's views, to adopt that sentiment, they will very 
readily make the other argument, which is perfectly logical, 
that that Avhich is right on that side of the Ohio, cannot be 
wrong on this, and thtit if you have that property on that side 
of the Ohio, under the seal and stamp of the Almighty, when 
by any means it escapes over here, it is wrong to have consii- 
tutions and laws " to devil" you about it. So Douglas is 
moulding the public opinion of the North, first to say that the 
thing is right in your State over the Ohio river, and hen(,*c to 
say that that which is right there is not wrong here, and that 
all laws and constitutions here, recognizing it as being wrong, 
are themselves wrong, and ought to be repealed and abrogated. 
He will tell you, men of Ohio, that if you choose here to have 
laws against slavery, it is in conformity to the idea that your 
climate is not suited to it, that your climate is not suited to 
slave labor, and therefore you have constitutions and laws 
against it. 

Let us attend to that argument for a little while and see if 
it be sound. You do not raise sugar-cane (except the new- 
fashioned sugar-cane, and you won't raise that long), but they do 
raise it in Louisiana. You don't raise it in Ohio because yon 
can't raise it profitably, the climate don't suit it. 
They do raise it in Louisiana because there it is proiitable. 
Now, Douglas will tell you that is precisely the slavery ques- 


tion. That they do have slaves there because they are profi- 
table, and you don't have them here because they are not 
profitable. If that is so, then it leads to dealing with the one 
precisely as with the other. Is there then anything in the 
constitution or laws of Ohio against raising sugar-cane? Have 
you found it necessary to put any such provision in your law? 
Surely not ! No man desires to raise sugar-cane in Ohio ; but, 
if any man did desire to do so, you would say it w^as a tyran- 
nical law that forbids his doing so, and whenever you 
shall agree with Douglas, whenever your minds are brought to 
adopt his arguments, as surely you will have reached the 
conclusion, that although slavery is not profitable in Ohio, 
if any man wants it, it is wrong to him not to let him have 

In this matter Judge Douglas is preparing the public mind 
for you of Kentucky, to make perpetual that good thing in 
your estimation, about which you and I differ. 

In this connection let me ask your attention to another 
thing. I believe it is safe to assert that five years ago, no living 
man had expressed the opinion that the negro had no share in 
the Declaration of Independence. Let me state that again : 
five years ago no living man had expressed the opinion that 
the negro had no share in the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence. If there is in this large audience any man who ever 
knew of that opinion being put upon paper as much as five 
years ago, I will be obliged to him now or at a subsequent time 
to show it. 

If that be true, I wish you then to note the next fact ; that 
within the space of five years Senator Douglas, in the argu- 
ment of this question, has got his entire party, so far as I 
know, without exception, to join in saying that the negro has 
no share in the Declaration of Independence. If there be 
now in all these United States one Douglas man that does not 
say this, I have been unable upon any occasion to scare him 
up. Now, if nojie of you said this five years ago, and all of 
you say it now, that is a matter that you Kentuckians ought to 
note. That is a vast change in the Northern public senti- 
ment upon that question. 

Of what tendency is that change? The tendency of that 
change is to bring the pul)lic mind to the conclusion that when 
men are spoken of, the negro is not meant ; that when negroes 


are spoken of, brutes alone are contemplated. That change in 
public sentiment has already degraded the black man in the 
estimation of Douglas and his followers from the condition of 
a man of some sort, and assigned to him the condition of 
a brute. Now, you Kentuckians ought to give Douglas credit 
for this. That is the largest possible stride that can be made 
in regard to the perpetuation of your thing of slavery. 

A voice — " Speak to Ohio men and not to Kentuckians !" 

INIr. Lincoln — I beg permission to speak as I please. 

In Kentucky, perhaps, in many of the slave States certain- 
ly, you are trying to establish the rightfulness of slavery by 
reference to the Bible. You are trying to show that slavery 
existed in the Bible times by Divine ordinance. Now, Doug- 
las is wiser than 3'ou, for your own benefit, upon that subject. 
Douglas knows that whenever you establish that slavery was 
right by the Bible, it will occur that that slavery was the 
slavery of the white man — of men without reference to color — 
and he knows very well that you may entertain that idea in 
Kentucky as much as you please, but you will never win any 
Northern support upon it. He makes a wiser argument for 
you ; he makes the argument that the slavery of the black man, 
the slavery of the man who has a skin of a different color 
from your own, is right. He thereby brings to your support 
Northern voters who could not for a moment be brought by 
your own argument of the Bible-right of slavery. AYill you 
not give him credit for thatl AVill you not say that in this 
matter he is more wisely for you than you are for yourselves? 

Now, having established with his entire party this doctrine 
— having been entirely successful in that branch of his efforts 
in your behalf, he is ready for another. 

At this same meeting at Memphis, he declared that, while 
in all contests between the negro and the Avhite man, he was 
for tiie white man, in all questions between the negro and the 
crocodile he was for the negro. He did not make that declara- 
tion accidentally at Memphis. He made it a great many times 
in the canvass in Illinois last year (though I don't know that 
it was reported in any of his speeches there), but he frequently 
made it. I believe he repeated it at Columbus, aa^d I should 
not wonder if he repeated it here. It is, then, a deliberate 
way of expressing himself upon that subject. It is a matter of 
mature deliberation with him thus to express himself upon 


that point of his case. It, therefore, requires some deliberate 

The first inference seems to be, that if you do not enslave 
the negro you are wronging the white man in some way or 
otlier ; and that whoever is opposed to the negro being 
enslaved, is, in some way or other, against the white man. Is 
not that a falsehood "? If there was a necessary conflict be- 
tween the white man and the negro, I should be for the white 
man as much as Judge Douglas ; but I say there is no such 
necessary conflict. I say that there is room enough for us all 
to be free, and that it not only does not wrong the white man 
that the negro should be free, but it positively wrongs the mass 
of the white men that the negro should be enslaved ; that the 
mass of white men are really injured by the effects of slave 
labor in the vicinity of the fields of their own labor. 

But I do not desire to dwell upon this branch of the ques- 
tion more than to say that this assumption of his is false, and 
I do hope that that fallacy will not long prevail in the minds 
of intelligent white men. At all events, you ought to thank 
Judge Douglas for it. It is for your benefit it is made. 

The other branch of it is, that in a struggle between the 
negro and the crocodile, he is for the negro. Well, I don't 
know that there is any struggle between the negro and croco- 
dile, either. I suppose that if a crocodile (or as we old Ohio 
river boatmen used to call them, alligators) should come 
across a white man he would kill him if he could, and so he 
would a negro. But what, at last, is this proposition ? I be- 
lieve that it is a sort of proposition in proportion, which may 
be stated thus: '* As tlie negro is to the white man, so is the 
crocodile to the negro ; and as the negro may rightfully treat 
the crocodile as a beast or reptile, so the white man may right- 
fully treat the negro as a beast or a reptile." That is really 
the " knip" of all that argument of his. 

Now, my brother Kentuckians, Avho believe in this, you 
ought to thank Judge Douglas for having put that in a much 
more taking Avay than any of yourselves have done. 

Again, Douglas's great principle, " popular sovereignty," as 
he calls it, gives you, by natural consequence, the revival of 
the slave-trade whenever you want it. If you question this, 
listen awhile, consider awhile, what I shall advance in support 
of that proposition. 



He says that it is the sacred right of the man who goes into 
the territories to have slavery if he wants it. Grant that 
for argument's sake. Is it not the sacred right of the man 
who don't go there equally to buy slaves in Africa, if he wants 
them'? Can you point out the difference'? The man who 
goes into the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, or any other 
new territory, with the sacred right of taking a slave there 
which belongs to him, would certainly have no more right to take 
one there than I would, who own no slave, but who would desire 
to buy one and take him there. You will not say — jou, the 
friends of Judge Douglas — that the man who does not own a 
slave, has an equal right to buy one and take him to the terri- 
tory, as the other does ? 

A voice — " I want to ask a question. Don't foreign nations 
interfere with the slave-trade ?" 

Mr. Lincoln — Well ! I underttand it to be a principle of 
Democracy to whip foreign nations whenever they interfere 
with us. 

Voice — " I only asked for information. I am a Republican 

Mr. Lincoln — You and I will be on the best terms in the 
world, but I do not wish to be diverted from the point I was 
trying to press. 

I say that Douglas's popular sovereignty, establishing his 
sacred right in the people, if you please, if carried to its logi- 
cal conclusion, gives equally the sacred right to the people of 
the States or the territories themselves to buy slaves, where- 
ever they can buy them cheapest ; and if any man can show 
a distinction, I should like to hear him try it. If any man 
can show how the people of Kansas have a better right to 
slaves because they want them, than the people of Georgia 
have to buy them in Africa, I want him to do it. I think it 
cannot be done. If it is " popular sovereignty" for the peo- 
ple to have slaves because they want them, it is popular 
sovereignty for them to buy them in Africa, because they de- 
sire to do so. 

I know that Douglas has recently made a little effort — not 
seeming to notice that he had a different theory — has made an 
effort to get rid of that. He has written a letter, addressed 
to somebody I believe who resides in Iowa, declaring his oppo- 
sition to the repeal of the laws that prohibit the African slave* 


trade. He bases his opposition to such repeal upon the 
ground that these laws are themselves one of the compromises 
of the Constitution of the United States. Now it would be 
very interesting to see Judge Douglas or any of his friends 
turn to the Constitution of the United States and point out 
that compromise, to show where there is any compromise in 
the Constitution, or provision in the Constitution, express or 
implied, by which the administrators of that Constitution are 
under any obligation to repeal the African slave-trade. I 
know, or at least I think I know, that the framers of tliat 
Constitution did expect that the African slave-trade would be 
abolished at the end of twenty years, to which time their pro- 
hibition against its beiiio; abolished extended. I think there is 
abundant contemporaneous history to show that the framers 
of the Constitution expected it to be abolished. But wdiile 
they so expected, they gave nothing for that expectation, and 
they put no provision in the Constitution requiring it should 
be so abolished. The migration or importation of such per- 
sons as the States shall see fit to admit shall not be prohibited, 
but a certain tax might be levied upon such importation. But 
what was to be done after that time^ The Constitution is as 
silent about that as it is silent, personally, about myself. 
There is absolutely nothing in it about that subject — there is 
only the expectation of the framers of the Constitution that 
the slave-trade would be abolished at the end of that time, 
and they expected it would be abolished, owing to public sen 
timent, before that time, and they put that provision in, in 
order that it should not be abolished before that time, for rea- 
sons which I suppose they thought to be sound ones, but 
which I will not now try to enumerate before you. 

But while they expected the slave-trade would be abolished 
at that time, they expected that the spread of slavery into the 
new territories should also be restricted. It is as easy to 
prove that the framers of the Constitution of the United 
States expected that slavery should be prohibited from ex- 
tending into the new territories, as it is to prove that it w^as 
expected that the slave-trade should be abolished. Both these 
things were expected. One was no more expected than the 
other, and one was no more a compromise of the Constitution 
than the other. There was nothing said in the Constitution 
in regard to the spread of slavery into the territories. I grant 


that, but there was something very important said about it by 
the same generation of men in the adoption of the old ordi- 
Tiance of '87, through the influence of which you here in Ohio, 
our neighbors in Indiana, we in Illinois, our neighbors in Mi- 
chigan and Wisconsin are happy, prosperous, teeming millions 
of free men. That generation of men, though not to the full 
extent members of the Convention that framed the Constitu- 
tion, were to some extent members of that Convention, hold- 
ing seats at the same time in one body and the other, so that 
if there wag any compromise on either of these subjects, the 
strong evidence is that that compromise was in favor of the 
restriction of slavery from the new territories. 

But Douglas says that he is unalterably opposed to the re- 
peal of those laws ; because, in his view, it is a compromise of 
the Constitution. You Kentuckians, no doubt, are somewhat 
offended with that ! You ought not to be! You ought to be 
patient ! You ought to know that if he said less than that, he 
would lose the power of " lugging" the Northern States to 
your support. Ileally, what you would push him to do would 
take from him his entire power to serve you. And you ought 
to remember how long, by precedent, Judge Douglas holds 
himself obliged to stick by compromises. You ought to re- 
member that by the time you yourselves think you are ready 
to inaugurate measures for the revival of the African slave- 
trade, that sutRcient lime will have arrived, by precedent, for 
Judge Douglas to break tlirough that compromise. He says 
now nothing more strong than he said in 1849, when he de- 
clared in favor of the Missouri compromise — that precisely 
four years and a quarter after he declared that compromise to 
be a sacred thing, which " no ruthless hand would ever dare 
to touch," he, himself, brought forward the measure ruth- 
lessly to destroy it. By a mere calculation of time it will 
only be four years more until he is ready to take back his pro- 
fession about the sacredness of the compromise abolishing the 
slave-trade. Precisely as soon as you are ready to have his 
services in that direction, by fair calculation, you may be sure 
of having them. 

But you remember and set down to Judge Douglas's debt, 
or discredit, that he, last year, said the people of territories 
can, in spite of the Dred Scott decision, exclude your slaves 
from those territories ; that he declared by " unfriendly legis- 


lation," the extension of your property into the new territories 
may be cut off in the teeth of the decision of the Supreme 
Court of the United States. 

He assumed that position at Freeport, on the 27th of August, 
1858. He said that the people of the territories can exclude 
slavery in so many "words. You ought, however, to bear in 
mind that he has never said it since. You may hunt in every 
speech that he has since made, and he has never used that ex- 
pression once. He has never seemed to notice that he is 
stating his views differently from what he did then ; but, by 
some sort of accident, he has always really stated it differently. 
He has always since then declared that " the Constitution does 
not carry slavery into the territories of the United States be- 
yond the power of the people legally to control it, as other 
property." Now, there is a difference in the language used 
upon that former occasion and in this latter day. There may 
or may not be a difference in the meaning, but it is worth 
while considering whether there is not also a difference in 

What is it to exclude ? Why, it is to drive it out. It is in 
some way to put it out of the territory. It is to force it across 
the line, or change its character, so that as property it is out 
of existence. But what is the controlling it '' as other pro- 
perty 1" Is controlling it as other property the same thing as 
destroying it, or driving it away ? I should think not. I 
should think the controlling of it as other property would be 
just about what you in Kentucky should want. I understand 
the controlling of property means the controlling of it for the 
benefit of the owner of it. While I have no doubt the Su- 
preme Court of the United States would say " God speed" to 
any of the territorial legii-latures that should thus control slave 
property, they would sing quite a different tune, if by the pre- 
tence of controlling it they were to undertake to pass laws 
which virtually excluded it, and that upon a very well known 
principle to all lawyers, that what a legislature cannot directly 
do, it cannot do by indirection ; that as the legislature has not 
the power to drive slaves out, they have no power by indirec- 
tion, by tax, or by imposing burdens in any way on that pro- 
perty, to effect the same end, and that any attempt to do so 
would be held by the Dred Scott court unconstitutional. 

Douglas is not willing to stand by his first proposition that 


they can exclude it, because we have seen that that proposi- 
tion amounts to nothing more or less than the naked absurdity, 
that you may lawfully drive out that which has a lawful right 
to remain. Pie admitted at first that the slave might be law- 
fully taken into the territories under the Constitution of the 
United States, and yet asserted that he might be lawfully 
driven out. That being the proposition, it is the absurdity I 
have stated. He is not willing to stand in the face of that 
direct, naked, and impudent absurdity ; he has, therefore, 
modified his language into that of being " controlled as other 

The Kentucldans don't like this in Douglas ! I will tell 
you where it will go. He now swears by the court. He was 
once a leading man in Illinois to break down a court, because 
it had made a deci;^ion he did not like. But he now not only 
swears by the court, the courts having got to working for you, 
but he denounces all men that do not swear by the courts, as 
unpatriotic, as bad citizens. When one of these acts of un- 
friendly legislation shall impose such heavy burdens as to, in 
effect, destroy property in slaves in a territory, and show 
plainly that there can be no mistake in the purpose of the 
Legislature to make them so burdensome, this same Supreme 
Court will decide that law to be unconstitutional, and he will 
be ready to say tor your benefit, " I swear by the court ; I 
give it up ;" and while that is going on he has been getting 
all his men to swear by the courts, and to give it up Avith 
him. In this again he serves you faithfully, and as I say, 
more wisely than you serve yourselves. 

Again : I have alluded in the beginning of these remarks 
to the fact, that Judge Douglas has made great complaint of 
my having expressed the opinion that this government " can- 
not endure permanently half slave and half free." He has 
complained of Seward for using different language, and de- 
claring that there is an "irrepressible conflict" between the 
principles of free and slave labor. [A voice — " He says it is 
not original with Seward. That it is original with Lincoln."] 
1 will attend to that immediately, sir. Since that time, Hick- 
man, of Pennsylvania, expressed the same sentiment. He has 
never denounced Mr. Hickman : why ? There is a little 
chance, notwithstanding that opinion in the mouth of Hick- 
man, that he may yet be a Douglas man. That is the dif- 


ference ! It is not unpatriotic to hold that opinion, if a man 
is a Douglas man. 

But neither I nor Seward, nor Hickman, is entitled to the 
enviable or unenviable distinction of having first expressed 
that idea. The same idea was expressed by the Richmond 
Enquirer^ in Virginia, in 1856 — quite two years before it was 
expressed by the first of us. And while Douglas was plu- 
ming himself, that in his conflict with my humble self, last 
year, he had "squelched out" that fatal heresy, as he de- 
lighted to call it, and had suggested that if he only had had a 
chance to be in New- York and meet Seward, he would have 
"squelched " it there also, it never occurred to him to breathe 
a word against Pryor. I don't think that you can discover 
that Douglas ever talked of going to Virginia to " squelch " 
out that idea there. No. More than that, that same 
Roger A. Pryor was brought to Washington city and made 
the editor of the par excellence Douglas paper, after making 
use of tliat expression, which, in us, is so unpatriotic and 
heretical. From all this, my Kentucky friends may see that 
this opinion is heretical in his view only when it is expressed 
by men suspected of a desire that the country shall all become 
free, and not when expressed by those fairly known to enter- 
tain the desire that the whole country shall become slave. 
When expressed by that class of men, it is in nowise offensive 
to him. In this, again, my friends of Kentucky, you have 
Judge Douglas with you. 

There is another reason why you Southern people ought to 
nominate Douglas at your Convention at Charleston. That 
reason is the wonderful capacity of the man ; the power he 
has of doing what would seem to be impossible. Let me call 
your attention to one of these apparently impossible things. 

Douglas had three or four very distinguished men of the 
most extreme anti-slavery views of any men in the Republican 
party, expressing their desire for his re-election to the Senate 
last year. That would, of itself, have seemed to be a little 
wonderful ; but that wonder is heightened when we see that 
Wise, of Virginia, a man opposed to them, a man who believes 
in the Divine right of slavery, was also expressing his desire 
that Douglas should be re-elected ; that another man that may 
be said to be kindred to Wise, Mr. Breckinridge, the Vice- 
President, and of your own State, was also agreeing with the 


anti-slavery men in the North, that Douglas ought to be re- 
elected. Still, to heighten the wonder, a Senator from Ken- 
tucky, who I have always loved with an affection as tender 
and endearing as I have ever loved any man ; who was op- 
posed to the anti-slavery men for reasons which seemed suffi- 
cient to him, and equally opposed to Wise and Breckinridge, 
was writing letters into Illinois to secure the re-election of 
Douglas. Now that all these conflicting elements should be 
brought, while at daggers' point, with one another, to support 
him, is a feat that is worthy for you to note and consider. It 
is quite probable that each of these classes of men thought, 
by the re-election of Douglas, their peculiar views would gain 
something ; it is probable that the anti-slavery men thought 
their views would gain something ; that Wise and Breckin- 
ridge thought so too, as regards their opinions ; that Mr. 
Crittenden thought that his views would gain something, al- 
though he was opposed to both these other men. It is proba- 
ble that each and all of them thought that they were using 
Douglas, and it is yet an unsolved problem whether he was not 
using them all. If he was, then it is for you to consider 
whether that power to perform wonders, is one for you lightly 
to throw away. 

There is one other thing that I will say to you in this rela- 
tion. It is but my opinion ; I give it to you Avithout a fee. It 
is my opinion that it is for you to take him or be defeated ; and 
that if you do take him you may be beaten. You will surely 
be beaten if you do not take him. We, the Republicans and 
others forming the opposition of the country, intend to "stand 
by our guns," to be patient and firm, and in the long run to 
beat you whether you take him or not. We know tliat before 
we fairly beat you, we have to beat you both together. We 
know that you are " all of a feather," and that we have to 
beat you altogether, and we expect to do it. We don't in- 
tend to be very impatient about it. We mean to be as delib- 
erate and calm about it as it is possible to be, but as firm and 
resolved as it is possible for men to be. When we do as we 
say, beat you, you perliaps want to know what we will do 
with you. 

I will tell you, so far as I am authorized to speak for the 
opposition, what we mean to do with you. We mean to treat 
you, as near as we possibly can, as AVashington, Jefferson, and 


Madiscn treated you. We mean to leave you alone, and in 
no way to interfere with your institution ; to abide by all and 
every compromise of the Constitution, and, in a word, coming 
back to the original proposition, to treat you, so far as degen- 
erated men (if we have degenerated) may, according to the 
examples of those noble father? — Washington, Jefferson, and 
Madison. We mean to remember that you are as good as 
we ; that there is no difference between us other than the dif- 
ference of circumstances. We mean to recognize and bear in 
mind always that you have as good hearts in your bosoms as 
other people, or as we claim to have, and treat you accord- 
ingly. We mean to marry your girls when we have a chance 
— the white ones I mean, and I have the honor to inform you 
that I once did have a chance in that way. 

I have told you what we mean to do. I want to know, 
now, when that thing takes place, what do you mean to do. 
I often hear it intimated that you mean to divide the Union 
whenever a Republican, or anything like it, is elected President 
of the United States. [A voice — "That is so."] "That is 
so," one of them says; I wonder if he is a Kentuckian? [A 
voice — "He is a Douglas man."] Well, then, I want to know 
what you are going to do with your half of it ? Are you go- 
ing to split the Ohio down through, and push your half off a 
piece ? Or are you going to keep it right alongside of us 
outrageous fellows ? Or are you going to build up a wall 
some way between your country and ours, by which that mov- 
able property of yours can't come over here any more, to the 
danger of your losing it ? Do you think you can better your- 
selves on that subject, by leaving us here under no obligation 
whatever to return those specimens of your movable property 
that come hither ? You have divided the Union because .we 
would not do right with you, as you think, upon that subject ; 
when we cease to be under obligations to do anything for you, 
how much better off do you think you will be? Will you 
make war upon us and kill us all ? Why, gentlemen, I think 
you are as gallant and as brave men as live ; that you can 
fight as bravely in a good cause, man for man, as any other 
people living ; that you have shown yourselves capable of this 
upon various occasions ; but man for man, you are not better 
than we are, and there are not so many of you as there are of 
us. You will never make much of a hand at whipping us. 


If we were fewer in numbers than you, I think that you could 
whip us ; if we were equal it would likely be a drawn battle ; 
but beincf inferior in numbers, you will make nothing by at- 
tempting to master us. 

But perhaps I have ^iddressed myself as long, or longer, to 
the Kentuckians than I ought to have done. Inasmuch as I 
have said that whatever course you take we intend in the end 
to beat you. I propose to address a few remarks to our 
friends, by way of discussing with them the best means of 
keeping that promise, that I have in good faith made. 

It may appear a little episodical for me to mention the 
topic of which I shall speak now. It is a favorable proposi- 
tion of Douglas's that the interference of the general govern- 
ment, through the ordinance of '87, or through any other act 
of the general government, never has made or ever can make 
a Free State; that the ordinance of '87 did not make Free 
States of Ohio, Indiana or Illinois. That these States are 
free upon his "great principle" of popular sovereignty, be- 
cause the people of those several States have chosen to make 
them so. At Columbus, and probably here, he undertook to 
compliment the people, that they themselves have made the 
State of Ohio free, and that the ordinance of '87 was not en- 
titled in any degree to divide the honor with them. I have 
no doubt that the people of the State of Ohio did make her 
free according to their own will and judgment, but let the 
facts be remembered. 

In 1802, I believe, it was you who made your first Con- 
stitution, with the cause prohibiting slavery, and you did it I 
suppose very nearly unanimously ; but you should bear in 
mind that you — speaking of you as one people — that you did 
so, lanembarrassed by the actual presence of the institution 
among you ; that you made it a Free State, not with the em- 
barrassment upon you of already having among you many 
slaves, which if they had been here, and you had sought to 
make a Free State, you would not know what to do with. If 
they had been among you, embarrassing diiliculties, most 
probably, would have induced you to tolerate a slave constitu- 
tion instead of a free one, as indeed these very diiliculties have 
constrained every people on this continent who have adopted 

Pray what was it that made you free? What kept you 


free? Did you not Unci your country free when you came to 
decide that Ohio should be a Free State ? It is important to 
inquire by what reason you found it so ? Let us take an 
illustration between the States of Ohio and Kentucky. Ken- 
tucky is separated by this river Ohio, not a mile wide. A 
portion of Kentucky, by reason of the course of the Ohio, is 
further north than this portion of Ohio in which we now 
stand. Kentucky is entirely covered with slavery — Ohio is 
free from it. AVhat made that difference ? Was it climate? 
No ! A portion of Kentucky was further north than this por- 
tion of Ohio. Was it soil ? No ? There is nothing in the 
soil of the one more favorable to slave labor than the other. 
It was not climate or soil that caused one side of the line to 
be entirely covered with slavery and the other side free of it. 
What was it ? Study over it. Tell us, if you can, in all the 
range of conjecture, if there be any thing you can conceive of 
that made that difference, other than that there was no Jaw 
of any sort keeping it out of Kentucky, while the ordinance 
of '87 kept it out of Ohio. If there is any other reason than 
this, I confess that it is wholly beyond my power to conceive 
of it. This, then, I offer to combat the idea that that ordin- 
ance has never made any State free. 

I don't stop at this illustration. I come to the State of In- 
diana ; and wdiat I have said as bet^^een Kentucky and Ohio, 
I repeat as between Indiana and Kentucky ; it is equally ap- 
plicable. One additional argument is applicable also to 
Indiana. In her territorial condition she more than once 
petitioned Congress to abrogate the ordinance entirely, or at 
least so far as to suspend its operation for a time, in order 
that they should exercise the " popular sovereignty " of hav- 
ing slaves if they wanted them. The men then controlling 
the general government, imitating the men of the Kevolution, 
refused Indiana that privilege. And so we have the evidence 
that Indiana supposed she could have slaves, if it were not for 
that ordinance ; that she besought Congress to put that bar- 
rier out of the way ; that Congress refused to do so, and it all 
ended at last in Indiana being a free State. Tell me not, 
then, that the ordinance of '87 had nothing to do with 
making Indiana a free State, when we find some men chafing 
against and only restrained by that barrier. 

Come down again to our State of Ilhnois. The great 


northwest territory, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michi- 
gan, and Wisconsin, was acquired firrt, I believe, by the Brit- 
ish government, in part at least, from the French. Before 
the establishment of our independence it became a part of 
Virginia, enabling Virginia after to transfer it to the general 
•Government. There were French settlements in what is now 
Illinois, and at the same time there were French settlements 
in what is now Missouii — in the tract of country that was not 
purchased till about 1803. In these French settlements negro 
slavery had existed for many years — perhaps more than a 
hundred, if not as much as two hundred years — at Kaskaskia, 
in Illinois, and at St. Genevieve, or Cape Girardeau, perhaps, 
in Missouri. The number of slaves was not veiy great, but 
there was about the same number in each place. They were 
there when we acquired the territory. There was no effort 
made to break up the relation of master and slave, and even 
the ordinance of 1787 was not so enforced as to destroy 
slavery in Illinois ; nor did the ordinance apply to Missouri 
at all. 

What I want to ask your attention to, at this point, is that 
Illinois and Missouri came into the Union about the same 
time, Illinois in the latter part of 1818, and Missouri, after a 
struggle, I believe sometime in 1820. They had been tilling 
up Avith American people about the same period of time ; 
their progress enabling them to come into the Union about the 
same time. At the end of ten years, in which they had been 
so preparing (for it was about that period of time), the num- 
ber of slaves in Illinois had actually decreased ; while in Mis- 
souri, beginnirg with very few, at the end of that ten years 
there were about ten thousand. This being so, and it being 
remembered that Missouri and Illinois are, to a certain ex- 
tent, in the same parallel of latitude — that the northern half 
of Missouri and the southern half of Illinois are in the same 
parallel of latitude — so that climate would have the same 
effect upon one as upon the other, and that in the soil there 
is no material difference, so far as bears upon the question of 
slavery being settled upon one or the other — there being none 
of those natural causes to produce a difference in tilling them, 
and yet there being a broad difference in their filling up, 
we are led again to inquire what was the cause of that 
difference "? 


It is most natural to ?ay that in Missouri there was no law 
to keep that country from filling up with slaves, while in Illi- 
nois there was the ordinance of '87. The ordinance being 
there, slavery decreased during that ten years — the ordinance 
not being in the other, it increased from a few to ten thou- 
sand. Can any body doubt the reason of the difference 1 

I think all these facts most abundantly prove that my friend 
Judge Douglas's proposition, that the ordinance of '87, or the 
national restriction of slavery, never had a tendency to make 
a free State, is a fallacy — a proposition without the shadow or 
substance of truth about it. 

Douglas sometimes says that all the States (and it is part of 
this same proposition I have been discussing) that have be- 
come free, have become so upon his " great principle ;" that 
the State of Illinois itself came into the Union as a slave 
State, and that the people, upon the " great principle " of 
popular sovereignty, have since made it a free State. Allow 
me but a little while to state to you what facts there are to 
justify him in saying that Illinois came into the Union as a 
slave State. 

I have mentioned to you that there were a few old French 
slaves there. They numbered, I think, one or two hundred. 
Besides that, there had been a territorial law for indenturing 
black persons. Under that law, in violation of the ordinance 
of '87, but without any enforcement of the ordinance to over- 
throw the system, there had been a small number of slaves in- 
troduced as indentured persons. Owing to this the clause for the 
prohibition of slavery was slightly modilied. Instead of run- 
ning like yours, that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, 
except for crime, of which the party shall have been duly con- 
victed, should exist in the State, they said that neither slavery 
nor involuntary servitude should thereafter be introduced, and 
that the children of indentured servants should be born free ; 
and nothing was said about the few old French slaves. Out 
of this fact, that the clause for prohibiting slavery was modified 
because of the actual presence of it, Douglas asserts again and 
again that Illinois came into the Union as a slave State. How 
far the facts sustain the conclusion that he draws, it is for in- 
telligent and impartial men to decide. I leave it with you 
with these remarks, worthy of being remembered, that that 
little thing, those few indentured servants being there, was of 


itself sufficient to modify a constitution made by a people ar- 
dently desiring to have a free constitution ; showing the power 
of the actual presence of the institution of slavery to prevent 
any people, however anxious to make a free State, from 
making it perfectly so. 

I have been detaining you longer perhaps than I ought 
to do. 

I am in some doubt whether to introduce another topic upon 
which I could talk awhile. [Cries of" Go on," and " Give 
us it."] It is this, then : Douglas's popular sovereignty, as a 
principle, is simply this : If one man chooses to make a slave 
of another man, neither that man or anybody else has a 
riglit to object. Apply it to a government, as he seeks to 
apply it, and it is this: if in a new territory, into which a 
few people are beginning to enter for the purpose of making 
their homes, they choose to either exclude slavery from their 
limits, or to establish it there, however one or the other may 
affect the persons to be enslaved, or the infinitely greater num- 
ber of persons who are afterward to inhabit that territory, or 
the other members of the family of communities, of which they 
are but an incipient member, or the general head of the family 
of Slates as parent of all — however their action may affect 
one or the other of these^ there is no power or right to inter- 
fere. That is Douglas's popular sovereignty applied. Now, 
I think that there is a real popular sovereignty in the world. 
I think a definition of popular sovereignty, in the abstract, 
would be about this — that each man shall do precisely as he 
pleases with himself, and with all those things which exclu- 
sively concern him. Applied in government, this principle 
would be, that a general government shall do all those things 
which pertain to it, and all the local governments shall do pre- 
cisely as they please in respect to those matters which exclu- 
sively concern them. 

Douglas looks upon slavery as so insignificant that the 
people must decide that question for themselves, and yet they 
are not fit to decide who shall be their governor, judge or 
secretary, or who shall be any of their officers. These are 
vast national matters, in his estimation, but the little matter 
in his estimation is that of planting slavery there. That is 
purely of local interest, which nobody should be allowed to 
say a word about. 


Labor is the great source from which nearly all, if not all, 
human comforts and necessities are drawn. There is a differ- 
ence of opinion about the elements of labor in society. Some 
men assume that there is a necessary connection between capi- 
tal and labor, and that connection draws within it the whole 
of the labor of the community. They assume that nobody 
works unless capital excites them to work. They begin next 
to consider what is the best way. They say there are but 
two ways ; one is to hire men and to allure them to labor by 
their consent ; the other is to buy the men and drive them to 
it, and that is slavery. Having assumed that, they proceed 
to discuss the question of whether the laborers themselves are 
better off in the condition of slaves or of hired laborers, and 
they usually decide that they are better oft' in the condition of 

In the first place, I say that the whole thing is a mistake. 
That there is a certain relation between capital and labor, I 
admit. That it does exist, and rightfully exist, I think is 
true. That men who are industrious, and sober, and honest 
in the pursuit of their own interests, should after a while ac- 
cumulate capital, and after that should be allowed to enjoy it in 
peace, and also, if they should choose, when they have ac- 
cumulated it, to use it to save themselves from actual labor 
and hire other people to labor for them, is right. In doing so 
they do not wrong the man they employ, for they find men 
who have not of their own land to work upon, or shops to 
work in, and who are benefited by working for others, hired 
laborers, receiving their capital for it. Thus a few men that 
own capital, hire a few others, and these establish the relation 
of capital and labor rightfully. A relation of which I make 
no complaint. But I insist that that relation after all does 
not embrace more than one-eighth of the labor of the country. 

[The speaker proceeded to argue that the hired laborer, 
with his ability to become an employer, must have every pre- 
cedence over him who labors under the inducement of force. 
He continued : j 

I have taken upon myself in the name of some of you to 
say, that we expect upon these principles to ultimately beat 
them. In order to do so, I think we want and must have a 
national policy in regard to the institution of slavery, that ac- 
knowledges and deals with that institution as bein^ wrong. 


"Whoever desires the prevention of the spread of slavery and 
the nationalization of that institution, yields all, when he 
yields to any policy that either recognizes slavery as being 
right, or as being an indifferent thing. Nothing will make 
you successful but setting up a policy which shall treat the 
thing as being wrong. When I say this, I do not mean to 
say that this general government is charged with the duty of 
redressing or preventing all the wrongs in the world ; but I do 
think that it is charged with preventing and redressing all 
wrongs which are wrongs to itself. This government is ex- 
pressly charged with the duty of providing for the general 
welfare. We believe that the spreading out and perpetuity 
of the institution of slavery impairs the general welfare. We 
believe — nay, we know, that that is the only thing that has 
ever threatened the perpetuity of the Union itself The 
only thing which has ever menaced the destruction of the 
government under which we live, is this very thing. To re- 
press this thing, we think, is providing for the general welfare. 
Our friends in Kentucky ditler from us. We need not make 
our argument for them, but we who think it is wrong in all 
its relations, or in some of them at least, must decide as to our 
own actions, and our own course, upon our own judgment. 

I say that we must not interfere with the institution of 
slavery in the States where it exists, because the Constitution 
forbids it, and the general welfare does not require us to do so. 
We must not withhold an efficient fugitive slave law because 
the Constitution requires us, as I understand it, not to with- 
hold such a law. But we must prevent the out-spreading of 
the institution, because neither the Constitution nor general 
welfare requires us to extend it. We must prevent the revival 
of the African slave-trade, and the enacting by Congress of a 
territorial slave code. We must prevent each of these 
things being done by either congresses or courts. The people 
of these United States are the rightful masters of both con- 
gresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to 
overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. 

To do these things we must employ instrumentalities. We 
must hold conventions ; we must adopt platforms, if we con- 
form to ordinary custom ; we must nominate candidates, and 
we must carry elections. In all these things, I think that we 
ought to keep in view our real purpose, and in none do any- 


thing that stands adverse to our purpose. If we shall adopt a 
platform that fails to recognize or express our purpose, or elect 
a man that declares himself inimical to our purpose; we not 
only take nothing by our success, but we tacitly admit that we 
act upon no other principle than a desire to have " the loaves 
and tishes," by which, in the end, our apparent success is 
really an injury to us. 

I know that this is very desirable with me, as with every- 
body else, that all the elements of the Opposition shall unite 
in the next Presidential election, and in all future time. lam 
anxious that that should be, but there are things seriously to 
be considered in relation to that matter. If the terms can be 
arranged, 1 am in favor of the Union. But suppose we shall 
take up some man and put him upon one end or the other of 
the ticket, who declares himself against us in regard to the 
prevention cf the spread of slavery — who turns up his nose and 
says he is tired of hearing anything more about it, who is more 
against us than against the enemy, what will be the issue? 
Why, he will get no slave States after all — he has tried that 
already until being beat is the rule for him. If we nominate 
him upon that ground, he will not carry a slave State, and not 
only so, but that portion of our men who are highstrung upon 
the principle we really fight for, will not go for him, and he 
won't get a single electoral vote anywhere, except, perhaps, 
in the State of Maryland. There is no use in saying to us that 
we are stubborn and obstinate, because we won't do some such 
thing as this. We cannot do it. We cannot get our men to 
vote it. I speak by the card, that we cannot give the State 
of Illinois in such case by fifty thousand. We would be flatter 
down than the '' Negro Democracy" themselves have the heart 
to wish to see us. 

After saying this much, let me say a little on the other side. 
There are plenty of men in the slave States that are altogether 
good enough for me to be either President or Vice-Pretident, 
provided they will profess their sympathy with our purpose, 
and will place themselves on the ground that our men, upon 
principle, can vote for them. There are scores of them, good 
men in their character for intelligence and talent and integrity. 
If such a one will place himself upon the right ground, I am 
for his occupying one place upon the next Republican or Op- 
position ticket. I will heartily go for him. But, unless he 


does so place himself, I think it a matter of perfect nonsense to 
attempt to bring about a union upon any other basis ; that if 
a union be made, the elements will scatter so that there can be 
no success for such a ticket, nor anytliing like success. The 
good old maxims of the Bible are applicable, and truly appli- 
cable, to human affairs ; and in this, as rn other things, we 
may say here, that he who is not for us is against us ; he who 
gathereth not with us scattereth. I should be glad to have 
some of the many good, and able, and noble men of the South 
to place themselves where we can confer upon them the high 
honor of an election upon one or the other end of our ticket. 
It would do my soul good to do that tiling. It would enable 
us to teach them that, inasmuch as we select one of their own 
number to carry out our principles, we are free from the charge 
that we mean more than we say. 

But, my friends, I have detained you much longer than I 
expected to do. I believe I may do myself the compliment to 
say that you have stayed and heard me with great patience, 
for which 1 return you my most sincere thanks. 


At the Cooper Institute, New- York, February 27, 1860. 

Mr. President and Fellow-Citizens of New-York : 
The facts with which I sliall deal this evening are mainly old 
and familiar ; nor is there anything new in the general use I 
shall make of them. If there shall be any novelty, it will be 
in the mode of presenting the facts, and the inferences and 
observations following that presentation. 

In his speech, last autumn, at Columbus, Ohio, as reported 
in l^he New-Yoik Times, Senator Douglas said: 

" Our fathers, when they framed the government under 
which we live, understood tliis question just as well as, and even 
better than, we do now." 

I fully endorse this, and I adopt it as a text for- this dis- 
course. I so adopt it because it furnishes a precise and an 
agreed starting point for a discussion between Republicans and 


that wing of the Democracy headed by Senator Douglas. It 
simply leaves the inquiry : " What was the understanding 
those fathers had of the question mentioned ?" 

What is the frame of government under which we live ? 

The answer must be: "The Constitution of the United 
States." That Constitution consists of the original, framed in 
1787 (and under which the present government first went into 
operation), and twelve subsequently framed amendments, the 
first ten of which were framed in 1789. 

Who were our fathers that framed the Constitution ? I 
suppose the " thirtj'-nine" who signed the original instrument 
may be fairly called our fathers who framed that part of the 
present government. It is almost exactly true to say they 
framed it, and it is altogether true to say they fairly repre- 
sented the opinion and sentiment of the whole nation at that 
time. Their names, being familiar to nearly all, and accessi- 
ble to quite all, need not now be repeated. 

I take these " thirty-nine," for the present, as being 
" our fathers who framed the government under which we 

What is the question which, according to the text, those 
fathers understood just as well, and even better than we do 
now '? 

It is this : Does the proper division of local from federal 
authority, or anything in the Constitution, forbid our federal 
government to control as to slavery in our federal terri- 
tories ? 

Upon this, Douglas holds the affirmative, and Eepublicans 
the negative. This affirmative and denial form an issue ; and 
this issue — this question — is precisely what the text declares 
our fathers understood better than v.^e. 

Let us now inquire whether the " thirty-nine," or any of 
them, ever acted upon this question; and if they did, how 
they acted upon it — how they expressed that better under- 

In 1784 — three years before the Constitution— the United 
States then owning the Northwestern Territory, and no other — 
the Congress of the Confederation had before them the ques- 
tion of pi'ohibiting slavery in that territory ; and four of the 
*' thirty-nine" who afterward framed the Constitution were in 
that Congress, and voted on that question. Of these, Roger 


Sherman, Thomas Mifflin, and Hugh "Williamson, voted for 
the prohibition — thus showing that, in their understanding, no 
line dividing local from federal authority, nor anything else, 
properly forbade the federal government to control as to 
shivery in federal territory. The other of the four — James 
McHenry — voted against the prohibition, showing that, for 
some cause, he thought it improper to vote for it. 

In 1787, still before the Constitution, but while the Con- 
vention was in session framing it, and while the northwestern 
territory still was the only territory owned by the United 
States — the same question of prohibiting slavery in the terri- 
tory again came before the Congress of the Confederation ; 
and three more of the " thirty-nine" who afterward signed the 
Constitution, were in that Congress, and voted on the ques- 
tion. They were William Blount, AVilliam Few, and Abra- 
ham Baldwin ; and they all voted for the prohibition — thus 
showing that, in their understanding, no line dividing local 
from federal authority, nor anything else, properly forbids the 
federal government to control as to slavery in federal terri- 
tory. This time the prohibition became a law, being part of 
what is now well known as the Ordinance of '87. 

The question of federal control of slavery in the territories, 
seems not to have been directly before the Convention which 
framed the original Constitution ; and hence it is not recorded 
that the " thirty-nine" or any of them, while engaged on that 
instrument, expressed any opinion on that precise question. 

In 1789, by the first Congress which sat under the Consti- 
tution, an act was passed to enforce the Ordinance of '87, 
including the prohibition of slavery in the northwestern ter- 
ritory. The bill for this act was reported by one of the 
" thirty-nine," Thomas Fitzsiinmons, then a member of the 
House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. It Avent through 
all its stages without a word of opposition, and finally passed 
both branches without 3'eas and nays, which is equivalent to 
a unanimous passage. In this Congress there were sixteen of 
the " thirty-nine" fathers who framed the original Constitu- 
tion. They were John Langdon, Nicholas Oilman, Wm. S. 
Johnson, Koger Sherman, Robert Morris, Thos. Fitzsimmons, 
AVilliam Few, Abraham Baldwin, Rufus King, "William Pat- 
terson, George Clymer, Richard liassett, George Reed, Pierce 
Butler, Daniel Carroll, James Madison. 


This shows that, in their understanding, no line dividing lo- 
cal from federal authority, nor anything in the Constitution, 
properly forbade Congress to prohibit slavery in the federal 
territory ; else both their fidelity to correct principle, and their 
oath to support the Constitution, would have constrained them 
to oppose the prohibition. 

A-gain, George Washington, another of the "thirty-nine," 
was then President of the United States, and, as such, ap- 
proved and signed the bill, thus completing its validity as a 
law, and thus shoA'ing that, in his understanding, no line divi- 
ding local from federal authority, nor anything in the Consti- 
tution, forbade the federal government to control as to 
slavery in federal territory. 

No great while after the adoption of the original Constitu- 
tion, North Carolina ceded to the federal government the 
country now constituting the State of Tennessee ; and a few 
years later Georgia ceded that which now constitutes the 
States of Mississippi and Alabama. In both deeds of cession 
it was made a condition by the ceding States that the feder- 
al government should not prohibit slavery in the ceded coun- 
try. Besides this, slavery was then actually in the ceded 
country. Under these circumstances, Congress, on taking 
charge of these countries, did not absolutely prohibit slavery 
within them. But they did not interfere with it — take con- 
trol of it — even there, to a certain extent. In 1798, Con- 
gress organized the territory of Mississippi. In the act of or- 
ganization they prohibited the bringing of slaves into the ter- 
ritory, from any place without the United States, by fine, and 
ffivino; freedom to slaves so brought. This act passed both 
branches of Congress without yeas and nays. In that Con- 
gress were three of the " thirty-nine" who framed the original 
Constitution. They were John Langdon, George Read, and 
Abraham Baldwin. They all, probably, voted for it. Cer- 
tainly they would have placed their opposition to it upon rec- 
ord, if, in their understanding, any line dividing local from 
federal authority, or anything in the Constitution, properly 
forbade the federal government to control as to slavery in fed- 
eral territory. 

In 1803, the federal government purchased the Louisiana 
country. Our former territorial acquisitions came from cer- 
tain of our own States ; but this Louisiana country was ac- 


quired from a foreign nation. In 1804, Congress gave a 
territorial organization to that part of it which now consti- 
tutes the State «if Louisiana. New-Orleans, lying within that 
part, was an old and comparatively large city. There were 
other considerable towns and settlements, and slavery was 
extensively and thoroughly intermingled with the people. 
Congress did not, in the territorial act, prohibit slavery ; 
but they did interfere with it — take control of it — in a more 
marked and extensive way than they did in the case of Missis- 
sippi. The substance of the provision therein made, in rela- 
tion to slaves, was : 

Fint. That no slaves should be imported into the territory 
from foreign parts. 

Second. That no slave should be carried into it who had 
been imported into the United States since the first day of May, 

Third. That no slave should be carried into it, except by 
the owner, and for his own use as a settler ; the penalty in all 
the cases being a fine upon the violator of the law, and free- 
dom to the slave. 

This act also was passed without yeas and nays. In the 
Congress which passed it, there were two of the " thirty- 
nine." They were Abraham Baldwin and Jonathan Dayton. 
As stated in the case of Mississippi, it is probable they both 
voted for it. They would not have allowed it to pass "without 
recording their opposition to it, if, in their understanding, it 
violated either the line proper dividing local from federal au- 
thority or any provision of the Constitution. 

In 1819-20, came and passed the Missouri question. Many 
votes were taken, by yeas and nays, in both branches of Con- 
gress, upon the various phases of the general question. Two 
of the " thirty-nine"' — Riifus King and Charles Pinckney — 
were members of that Congress. Mr. King steadily voted for 
slavery prohibition and against all compromises, while Mr. 
Pinckney as steadily voted against slavery prohibition and 
against all compromises. By this Mr. King showed that, in 
his understanding, no line dividing local from federal author- 
ity, nor anything in the Constitution, was violated by Congress 
prohibiting slavery in federal territory ; while Mr. Pinckney, 
by his votes, showed that in his understanding there was some 
sufficient reason for opposing such prohibition in that case. 


The cases i have mentioned are the only acts of the "thirty- 
nine," or of any of them, upon the direct issue, which I have 
been able to discover. 

To enumerate the persons who thus acted as being four in 
17y4. three in 1787, seventeen in 1789, three in 1798, two 
in 1804, and two in 1819-20 — there would be thirty-one of 
them. But this would be counting John Langdon, Ro'^er 
Sherman, William Few, Rufas King, and George Read, each 
twice, and Abraham Baldwin four times. The true number 
of those of the "thirty-nine" whom I have shown to have 
acted upon the question, which, by the text they understood 
better than we, is twenty-three, leaving sixteen not shown to 
have acted npon it in any way. 

Here, then, we have twenty-three out of our " thirty-nine" 
fathers who framed the government under which we live, Avho 
have, upon their ofhcial responsibility and their corporal oaths, 
acted upon the very question which the text athrms they 
" understood just as well, and even better than we do now ;" 
and twenty-one of them — a clear majority of the whole 
" thirty-nine" — so acting upon it as to make them guilty of 
gross political impropriety, and wilful perjury, if, in their 
understanding, any proper division between local and federal 
authority, or anything in the Constitution they had made 
themselves and sworn to support, forbade the federal govern- 
ment to control as to slavery in the federal territories. Thus 
the twenty one acted ; and as actions speak louder than words, 
so actions under such responsibility speak still louder. 

Two of the twenty-three voted against Congressional pro- 
hibition of slavery in the federal territories, in the instances in 
which they acted upon the question. But for what reasons 
they so voted is not known. They may have done so be- 
cause they thought a proper division of local from federal 
authority, or some provision or principle of the Constitution, 
stood in the way; or they may, without any such question, 
have voted against the prohibition on what appeared to them 
to be sufficient grounds of expediency. No one who has 
sworn to support the Constitution can conscientiously vote 
for wdiat he understands to be an constitutional measure, 
however expedient he may think it ; but one may and ought 
to vote against a measure wdiich he deems unconstitutional, if, 
at the same time, he deems it inexpedient. It, there- 


fore, would be unsafe to set down even the two who voted 
against the prohibition, as having done so because, in their 
understanding, any proper division of local from federal au- 
thority, or anything in the Constitution, forbade the federal 
government to control as to slavery in federal territory. 

Tlie remaining sixteen of the " thirty-nine," so far as I have 
discovered, have left no record of their understanding upon the 
direct question of federal control of slavery in the federal ter- 
ritories, l^ut there is much reason to believe that their 
understanding upon that question would not have appeared 
different from that of their twenty-three compeers, had it been 
manifested at all. 

For the purpose of adhering rigidly to the text, I have pur- 
posely omitted whatever understanding may have been mani- 
fested, by any person, however distinguished, other than the 
thirty-nine fathers who framed the original Constitution ; and, 
for the same reason, I have also omitted whatever under- 
standing may have been manifested by any of the '• thirty- 
nine", even, on any other phase of the general question of 
slavery. If we should look into their acts and declarations 
on those other phases, as the foreign slave-trade, and the 
morality and policy of slavery generally, it would appear to us 
that on the direct question of federal control of slavery in fed- 
eral territories, the sixteen, if they had acted at all, would 
probably have acted just as the twenty-three did. Among that 
sixteen were several of the most noted anti-slavery men of 
those times — as Dr. Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and 
Gouverneur Morris — while there was not one row known to 
have been otherwise, unless it may be John Eutledge, of 
South Carolina. 

The sum of the whole is, that of our " thirty-nine" fathers 
who framed the original Constitution, twenty-one — a cleS,r 
majority of the whole — certainly understood that no proper 
division of local from federal authority, nor any part of the 
Constitution, forbade the federal government to control slavery 
in the iederal territories, while all the rest probably had the 
same understanding. Jjuch, unquestionably, was the under- 
standing of our fathers who framed the original Constitution; 
and the text allirms that they understood the question better 
than we. 

But, so far, I have been considering the understanding of 


the question manifested by the framers of the original Consti- 
tution. In and by the original instrument, a mode was pro- 
vided for amending it ; and, as I have already stated, the 
present frame of government under which we live consists of 
that original, and twelve amendatory articles framed and 
adopted since. Those who now insist tliat federal control of 
slavery in federal territories violates the Constitution, point us 
to the provisions which they suppose it thus violates ; and, as 
I understand, they all fix upon provisions in these amendatory 
articles, and not in the original instrument. The Supreme 
Court, in the Dred Scott case, plant themselves upon the fifth 
amendment, whicii provides that "no person shall be deprived 
of property without due process of Jaw ;" while Senator 
Douglas and his peculiar adherents plant themselves upon the 
tenth amendment, providing that " the powers not granted by 
the Constitution are reserved to the States respectively, and to 
the people." 

Now, it so happens that these amendments were framed by 
the first Congress which sat under the Constitution — the iden- 
tical Congress which passed the act already mentioned, 
enforcing the prohibition of slavery in the northwestern terri- 
tory. 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 amend- 
ments, and this act prohibiting slavery in all the ten-itory 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. 

That Congress, consisting in all of seventy-six members, in- 
cluding 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. 

It is 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 abso- 
lutely inconsistent with each other? And does not such affir- 


Illation become impudently absurd when coupled with the 
other affirmation, from the same month, that those who did 
the two things alleged to be inconsistent understood Avhether 
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 to- 
gether, do certainly include those who may be fairly called 
'• our fathers who framed the governments 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 un- 
derstanding, any proper division of local from federal author- 
ity, or any part of the Constitution, forbade the federal gov- 
ernment 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 whole 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 author- 
ity, or any part of the Constitution, forbade the federal gov- 
ernment 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 centuiy 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 misun- 
derstood. I do not mean to say we are bound to follow im- 
plicitly in whatever our fathers did. To do so, would be to 
discard all the lights of current experience — to reject all prog- 
ress — 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 

If any man, at this day, sincerely believes that a proper 
division of local from federal authority, or any part of the 
Constitution, forbids the federal government to control as to 


blavery in the federal territories, he is right to say ?o, and to 
enforce his po^^ition by all truthful evidence and fair argument 
which he can. liut he has no right to mislead others, who 
have less access to history and less leisure to study it, into 
tlie false belief that " our fathers who framed the government 
under which we live," were of the same opinion — thus substi- 
tuting falsehood and deception fur 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 apphed 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, lie 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 them- 
selves ; 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 w^e 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 Ke- 
publicans ask — all Kepublicans desire — in relation to slavery. 
As those fathers marked it, so let it Ije 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 guaran- 
tees those lathers gave it, be, not grudgingly, but fully and 
fairly maintained. For tliis Kepublicans 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 Kepubhcans, you do so only to de- 
nounce us as reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than out- 
laws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but 
nothing like it to ''Black Republicans." In all your conten- 
tions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional 


condemnation of " Black Eepublicanisni" as the first thing to 
be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be 
an indispensable pre-requisite — 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 your- 
selves ^ 

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 if? 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, be- 
gin 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 1 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 prac- 
tice. If we do repel you by any wrong principle or practice, 
the fault is ours ; but this brings you to where you ought to 
l)ave started — to the discussion of the ri"ht 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 ques- 
tion of whether our principle, put in practice, would wrong 
your section ; and so meet it as if it were possible that some- 
thing may be said on our side. Do you accept the challenge 1 
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 endorse it again and 
again, upon their otficial oaths, is, in fact so clearly wrong as 
to demand your condemnation without a moment's con- 


Some of jou 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 emljodied 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 Lafayette that he considered that 
prohibition a wise measure, expressing in the same connection 
his hope that we should some time have a confederacy of free 

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 east 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, con- 
tend for, the identical old policy on the point in controversy 
which was adopted by our fathers who framed the govern- 
ment under which we live ; while you with one accord reject, 
and scout, and spit upon that old policy, and insist upon sub- 
stituting something new. True, you disagree among your- 
selves as to what that substitute shall be. You have con- 
siderable 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 terri- 
tories through the judiciary ; some for the " gurreat pur- 
rinciple" that " if one man would enslave anotlier, 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 your various plans can show a precedent or an advocate 
in the century within which our government originated. Con- 
sider, then, whether your claim of conservatism for your- 
selves, 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, re-adopt the precepts and policy of the old 

You charge that we stir up insurrections among your slaves. 
AVe deny it; and what is your proof 1 Harper's Ferry! 
John Brown ! ! John Brow^n 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 to not 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 doctrine, and 
make no declarations, which were not held to and made by 
our fathers who framed the government under Avhich we live. 
You never dealt fairly by us in this aifair. When it oc- 
curred, 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. Kepubli- 
can doctrines and declarations are accompanied with a con- 
tinual protest against any interference whatever with your 
shxves, 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, de- 
clare our belief that slavery is wrong ; but the slaves do not 
hear us declare even this. For anything 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 heaiing. 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 llepublican party was organized. What in- 
duced 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 net think a general, ar even a very extensive 
slave insurrection, is possible. The indispensable conceit of 
action cannot be attained. The slaves have no means of 
rapid communication ; nor can incendiary free men, black or 
white, supply it. The explosive materials are everywhere in 
parcels ; but there neither are, nor can be supplied, the indis- 
pensable 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 de- 
vised 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 
histoiy, though not connected with slaves, w^as 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, bj consequence, averted the 
cahimity. Occasional poisonings from the kitchen, and open 
or stealthy assassinations in the field, and local revolts ex- 
tending 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 

Ill the language of Mr. Jefferson, uttered many years ago, 
"It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipa- 
tion and deportation, peaceably, and in such slow degrees, as 
that the evil will wear off insensibly ; and their places be, imii 
passu, filled up by free white laborers. If, on the contrarj', 
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 slaveholding 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 in- 
surrection. 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 ig- 
norance, 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 libei'ate them. 
He ventures the attempt, which ends in little else than in hia 
own execution. Orsini's attempt on Louis Napoleon, and 
Juhn Brown's attempt at Harper's Ferry, were, in their phi- 
losophy, 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 llepublican 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 mil-lion and a half of votes. You cannot 
destroy tliat judgment and feeling — that sentiment — by break- 
ing 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 chan- 
nel probably be ? Would the number of John ]5rowns 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 pal- 
liated, 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 

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 

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is, that you will destroy 
the government, unless you be allowed to construe and en- 
force 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 to us. Perhaps you 
will say the Supreme Court has decided the disputed constitu- 
tional question in your favor. Not quite so. But waiving 
the lawyer's distinction between dictum and decision, the 
courts have decided the question for you in a sort of way. 
The courts have substantially said, it is your constitutional 
rio-ht 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 Constitu- 
tion ; but they pledge their \eracity that it is distinctly and 
expressly affirmed there — " distinctly'^ that is, not mingled 
with anything else-7*-" 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 in- 
strument 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 due," as a " debt" pay- 
able 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 conclu- 
sion 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 constituiional ques- 
tion in our favor, long ago — decided it without a division 
among themselves, when making the decision ; without divis- 
ion 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 de- 
cision 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 Presi- 
dent. In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the 
Union ; and then, you say, the great crime of having de- 
stroyed 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 will 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 m.y money, and the threat of de- 
struction to the Union, to extort my vote, can scarcely be dis- 
tinguished in principle. 

A few words now to Republicans. It is exceedingly de- 
sirable 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, Ave 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 men- 
tioned. Invasions and insurrections are the rage now. Will 
it satisfy them if, in the future, we have nothing to do with 
invasions and insurt-ections ? We know it will not. We so 
know because we know we never had anything to do with in- 
vasions and insurrections ; and yet" thi:« 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 con- 
vince 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 tendericj to convince them. Alike unavailing to 
convince them is the fact that they haye 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 ivrong, and join them in calling it right. And this 
must be done thoroughly — done in acts as well as in icords. 
Silence will not be tolerated — we must place ourselves avow- 
edly 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 consti- 
tutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all 
taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to be- 
lieve 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 sla- 
very." 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 say- 

I am also av/are they have not, as yet, in terms, demanded 
the overthrow of our Free-State constitutions. Yet those 
constitutio.;S 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 can- 
not 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 universal- 
ity ; 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, iflhey 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 respon- 
sibilities, 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 na- 
tional 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 wlierewith we are so industri- 
ously 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 be- 
seeching 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 A\hat AVashington said, and undo what Wash- 
ington did. 

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusa- 
tions against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruc- 
tion 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. 




January 12/^, 1848. 

On the resolutions referring the President's Message to the 
various Standing Committees 

Mr. Lincoln addressed the Committee as follows : 

Mr. Chairman: Some, if not all, the gentlemen on the 
other side of the House, who have addressed the Committee 
wi:hin the last two days, have spoken rather complainingly, 
if I have rightly understood them, of the vote given a week 
or ten days ago, declaring that the war with Mexico was un- 
necessarily and unconstitutionally commenced by the Presi- 
dent. I admit that such a vote should not be given in mere 
party wantonness, and that the one given is justly censurable, 
if it have no other or better foundation. I am one of those 
who joined in that vote ; and I did so under my best impres- 
sion of the truth of the case. How I got this impression, and 
how it may possibly be removed, I will now try to show. 
When the war began, it was my opinion that all those who, 
because of knowing too little^ or because of knowing too 
vmch, could not conscientiously approve the conduct of the 
President (in the beginning of it), should, nevertheless, as 
good citizens and patriots, reuiain silent on that point, at 
least till the war should be ended. Some leading Democrats, 
including Ex-President Van Buren, have taken this same view, 
as 1 understand them ; and I adhered to it and acted upon it, 
until since I took my seat here ; and I think I should still 
adhere to it, were it not that the President and his friends 
would not allow it to be so. besides, the continual ettbrt of 
the President to argue every silent vote given for supplies in(o 
an endorsement of the justice and wisdom of his conduct, be- 
sides that singularly candid paragraph in his late message, in 
which he tells us that Congress, with great unanimity (only 
two in the Senate, and fourteen in the House dissenting), had 
declared that " by the act of the Kepublic of Mexico a state 


of war exists between that government and the United States ;" 
when the same journals that informed him of this, also in- 
formed him that, when that declaration stood disconnected 
from the question of supplies, sixty-seven in the House, and 
not fourteen, merely, voted against it ; besides this open at- 
tempt to prove, by telling the truth, what he could not prove 
by telling the ivhule tiulh, demanding of all who will not sub- 
mit to be misrepresented, in justice to themselves, to speak 
out. Besides all this, one of my colleagues [Mr. Richard- 
son] at a very early day in the session, brought in a set of 
resolutions, expressly endorsing the original justice of the war 
on the part of the President. Upon these resolutions when 
they shall be put upon their passage, I shall be compelled to 
vote ; so that I cannot be silent, if I would. Seeing this, I 
went about preparing myself to give the vote understandingly, 
when it should come. I carefully examined the President's 
messages, to ascertain what he himself had said and proved 
upon the jioint. The result of this examination was to make 
the impression, that, taking for true all the President states as 
facts, he falls far short of proving his justification ; and that the 
President would have gone farther with his proof, if it had 
not been for the small matter that the truth would not permit 
him. Under the impression thus made, I gave the vote before 
mentioned, I propose now to give concisely the process uf the 
examination 1 made, and how I reached the conclusion I 

The President, in his first message of May, 1816, declares 
that the soil was ours, on which hostilities were commenced 
by Mexico ; and he repeats that declaration, almost in the 
same language, in each successive annual message — thus show- 
ing that he esteems that point a highly essential one. In the 
importance of that point, I entirely agree with the President. 
To my judgment, it is the very point upon which he should be 
justified or condemned. In his message of December, 1846, 
it seems to have occurred to him, as is certainly true, that 
title, ownership to so>il, or anything else, is not a simple fact, 
but is a conclusion following one or more simple facts ; and 
that it was incumbent upon him to present the facts from 
which he concluded the soil was ours on which the first blood 
of the war was shed. 

Accordingly, a little below the middle of page twelve, in the 


message last referred to, he enters upon that task, forming an 
issue and introducing testimony, extending the whole to a lit- 
tle below the middle of page fourteen. Now I propose to try- 
to show that the whole of this issue and evidence is from 
beginning to end, the sheerest deception. The issue, as he 
presents it, is in these words, " But there are those who, 
conceding all this to be true, assume the ground that the true 
western boundary of Texas is the Nueces, instead of the Rio 
Grande : and that, therefore, in marching our army to the 
east btink of the latter river, we passed the Texan line and 
invaded the territory of Mexico." Now, this issue is made 
up of two affirmatives, and no negative. The main deception 
of it is, that it assumes as true that one river or the other is 
necessarily the boundary, and cheats the superficial thinker 
entirely out of the idea that possibly the boundary is some- 
where between the two, and not actually at either. A further 
deception is, that it will be in evidence, which a true issue 
would exclude. A true issue made by the President would 
be about as follows : " I say the soil was ours on which the 
first blood was shed ; there are those who say it icas not.^^ 

I now proceed to examine the President's evidence as appli- 
cable to such an issue. AVhen that evidence is analyzed, it is 
all included in the following propositions : 

1. That the Rio Grande was the western boundary of Lou- 
isiana as we purchased it of France in 1803. 

2. That the llepublic of Texas always claimed the Rio 
Grande as her western boundary. 

3. That by various acts she had claimed it on papei'. 

4. That Santa Anna in his treaty with Texas recognized 
the Rio Grande as her boundary. 

5. That Texas before^ and the United States after annex- 
ation, had exercised jurisdiction beijond the Nueces, between the 
two rivers. 

6. That our Congress understood the boundary of Texas to 
extend beyond the Nueces 

Now for each of these in its turn : 

His first item is, that the Rio Grande was the western 
boundary of Louisiana as we purchased it from France in 
1803 ; and seeming to expect this to be disputed, he argues 
over the amount of nearly a page to prove it true ; at the end 
of which he lets us know that, by the treaty of 1819, we sold 


to Spain the whole country from the Rio Grande eastward to 
the Sabine. Now, admitting, for the present, that the Rio 
Grande was the boundary of Louisiana, what, under heaven, 
had that to do with the present boundary between us and 
Mexico'? How, Mr. Chairman, the Hne that once divided 
your land from mine can still be the boundary between us after 
I have sold the land to you, is to me, beyond all comprehen- 
sion. And how any man, with an honest purpose only of 
proving the truth, could even have thought of introducing such 
a fact to prove such an issue, is equally incomprehensible. The 
outrage upon common rights of seizing as our own what we 
have once sold, merely because it icas ours before we sold it, 
is only equalled by the outrage on common serise of any at- 
tempt to justify it. 

The President's next piece of evidence is, that " the Re- 
public of Texas always claimed this river [Rio Grande] as her 
western boundary." That is not true in fact. Texas has 
claimed it, but she has not alwaijs claimed it. There is, at 
least, one distinguished exception. Her State constitution — 
the Republic's most solemn and well-considered act — that 
which may, without impropriety, be called her last will and 
testament, revoking all others — makes no such claim. But 
suppose she had always claimed it ; has not Mexico always 
claimed the contrary? So that there is but claim against claim, 
leaving nothing proved until we get back of the claims, and 
find which has the better foundation. 

Though not in the order in which the President presents 
his evidence, I now consider that class of his statements, 
which are in substance nothing more than Texas has, by va- 
rious acts of her Convention and Congress, claimed the Rio 
Grande as her boundary — on paper. I mean here what he 
says about the fixing of the Rio Grande as her boundary in 
her old constitution (not her State constitution), about form- 
ing congressional districts, counties, etc. Now, all of this is 
but naked claim, and what I have already said about claims is 
strictly applicable to this. If I should claim your land by 
word of mouth, that certainly would not make it mine ; and 
if I were to claim it by a deed which I had made myself, and 
with which you had had nothing to do, the claim would 
be quite the same in substance, or rather, in utter nothinj^- 


I next consider the President's statement, that Santa Anna, 
in his treaty with Texas, recognized the liio Grande as the 
western boundary of Texas. Besides the position so often 
taken, that Santa Anna, while a prisoner-of-war — a captive — 
could not bind Mexico by a treaty, which I deem conclusive ; 
besides this, 1 wish to say something in relation to this treat}-, 
so called by the President, with Santa Anna. If any man 
would like to be amused by a sight at that little thing, which 
the President calls by that big name, we can have it by turn- 
ing to Niles^ Register, volume 50, page 336. And if anyone 
should suppose that Niles^ Register is a curious repository of so 
mighty a document as a solemn treaty between nations, I can 
only say that I learned to a tolerable degree of certainty, by 
inquiry at the State Department, that the President himself 
never saw it anywhere else. 

By-the-way, I believe I should not err if I were to declare, 
that during the first ten years of the existence of that docu- 
ment, it was never by anybody called a treaty ; that it was 
never so called till the President, in his extremity, attempted, 
by so calling it, to wring something from it in justification of 
himself in connection with the Mexican wars. 

It has none of the distinguishing features of a treaty. It 
does not call itself a treaty. Santa Anna does not therein 
assume to bind Mexico ; he assumes only to act as the Presi- 
dent, commander-in-chief of the Mexican array and navy, and 
stipulates that the then present hostilities should cease, and 
that he would not himself, take up arms, nor influence the Mexi- 
can people to take up arms, against Texas, during the existence 
of the war of Independence. Pie did not recognize the inde- 
pendence of Texas ; he did not assume to put an end to the 
war, but clearly indicated his expectation of its continuance ; 
he did not say one word about boundary, and most probably 
never thought of it. It is stipulated therein that the Mexican 
forces should evacuate the territory of Texas, pa^u^//?^ to the 
other side of the Rio Grande; and in another article it is stipu- 
lated, that to prevent collision between the armies, the Texan 
should not apjiroach nearer than within five leagues — of ichat 
is not said — but clearly, from the object stated, it is of the 
Kio Grande. Now, if this is a treaty recognizing the Pio 
Grande as the boundary of Texas, it contains a singular fea- 
ture of stipulating that Texas shall not go within five leagues 
of her own boundary. 


Next comes the evidence of Texas before annexation, and 
tlie United States afterward, exercisitig jurisdiction beyond the 
Nueces, and between the two rivers. This actual exercise of ju- 
risdiction is the very chiss or quality of evidence we want. It 
is excellent, so far as it goes ; but does it go far enough \ He 
tells us it went beyond the Nueces, but he does not tell us it 
went to the Rio Grande. He tells us jurisdiction was exer- 
cised between the two rivers, but he does not tell us it was ex- 
ercised over all the territory between them. Some simple- 
minded people think it possible to cross one river and go beyond 
it, without going all the ivay to the next ; that jurisdiction may 
be exercised between two rivers without covering all the coun- 
try between them. I know a man. not very unlike myself, 
who exercises jurisdiction over a piece of land between tlie 
Wabash and the Mississippi, and yet so far is this from being 
all there is between those rivers, that it is just one hundred 
and fifty-two feet long by fifty wide, and no part of it much 
witliin a hundred miles of either. He has a neighbor between 
him and the Mississippi — that is, just across the street, in that 
direction — whom, I am sure, he could neither persuade nor 
force to give up his habitation ; but which, nevertheless, he 
could certainly annex, if it were to be done by merely stand- 
ing on his own side of the street and claiming it, or even set- 
ting down and writing a deed for it. 

But next, the President tells us, the Congress of the United 
States understood the State of Texas they admitted into the 
Union, to extend beyond the Nueces. Well, I suppose they 
did — I certainly so understood it — but how far beyond ? 
That Congress did not understand it to extend clear to the Kio 
Grande is quite certain by the fact of their joint resolutions 
for admission, expressly leaving all questions of boundary to 
future adjustment. And, it may be added, that Texas herself 
is proved to have had the same understanding of it that our 
Congress had, by the fact of the exact conformity of her new 
constitution to those resolutions. 

I am now through the whole of the President's evidence; 
and it is a singular fact, that if any one should declare the 
President sent the army into a settlement of Mexican people, 
who had never submitted, by consent or force, to the authority 
of Texas or the United States, and that there, and thereby, the 
first blood of the war was shed, there is not one word in all 


the President has said which would either admit or deny the 
declaration. In this strange omission chiefly consists the de- 
ception of the President's evidence; an omission which, it 
does seem to me, could scarcely have occurred but by design. 
My way of living leads me to be about the courts of justice; 
and there I have sometimes seen a good lawyer, struggling 
for his client's neck, in a desperate case, employ every artifice 
to work around, befog, and cover up with many words, some 
position pressed upon him by the prosecution, which he dared 
not admit, and yet could not deny. Party bias may help to 
make it appear so ; but, with all the allowance I can make for 
such a bias, it still does appear to me that just such, and from 
just such necessity, is the President's struggles in this case. 
Sometime after my colleague [Mr. Kichardson] introduced 
the resolutions I have mentioned, I introduced a preamble, 
resolution, and interrogatories, intended to draw the President 
out, if possible, on this hitherto untrodden ground. To show 
their relevancy, I propose to state my understanding of the true 
rule for ascertaining the boundary between Texas and Mexico. 
It is, that wherever Texas was e-xercww?^ jurisdiction was hers ; 
and wherever Mexico was exercising jurisdiction was hers ; and 
that whatever separated the actual exercise of jurisdiction of 
the one from that of the other, was the true boundary between 
them. If, as is probably true, Texas was exercising jurisdic- 
tion along the western bank of the Nueces, and Mexico was 
exercising it along the eastern bank of the Pio Grande, then 
neither river was the boundary, but the uninhabited country 
between the tvvo was. The extent of our territory in the re- 
gion depended, not upon any treatij-Jixed boundary (lor no treaty 
had attended it), but on revolution. Any people, anywhere, 
being inclined, and having the power, have the right to rise 
up and shake oti' the existing government, and form a new one 
that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred 
right — a right which, we hope and believe, is to liberate the 
world. Nor is this i ight contined to cases in which the whole 
people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. 
Any portion of such people that can, i7iai/ revolutionize, and 
make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit. 
More than this, a mojoi itij of any portion of such people may 
revolutionize, putting down a nii/iont>/, intermingled with or 
near about tliem, who may oppose their movements. Such 


minority was precisely the case of the Tories in our own Rev- 
olution. It is a quality of revolutions not to go by old lines or 
old laws ; but to break up both, and make new ones. As 
to the country now in question, we bought it of France in 
1803, and sold it to Spain in 1819, according to the Presi- 
dent's statement. After this, all Mexico, including Texas, 
revolutionized against Spain ; and still later, Texas revolu- 
tionized against Mexico. In my view, just so far as she car- 
ried her revolution, by obtaining the actual, willing or unwil- 
ling, submission of the people, so far the country was hers, 
and no farther. 

Now, sir, for the purpose of obtaining the very best evidence 
as to whether Texas had actually carried her revolution to the 
place where the hostilities of the present war comuienced, let 
the President answer the interrogatories I proposed, as before 
mentioned, or some other similar ones. Let him answer fully, 
fairly, and candidly. Let him answer with facts, and not 
with argument. Let him remember he sits where Washin'^- 
ton sat ; and, so remembering, let him answer as Washington. 
As a nation should not, and the Almighty ivill not, be evaded, 
so let him attempt no evasion, no equivocation. And if, so 
answering, he can show that the soil was ours where the first 
blood of the war was shed — that it was not within an inhabit- 
ed country, or, if within such, that the inhabitants had sub- 
mitted themselves to the civil authority of Texas, or of the 
United States, and that the same is true of the site of Fort 
Brown — then am I with him for his justification. In that 
case I shall be most happy to reverse the vote I gave the other 
day. I have a selfish motive for desiring that the President 
may do this ; I expect to give some votes, in connection with 
the war, which, without his so doing, will be of doubtful pro- 
priety, in my own judgment, which will be free from the doubt 
if he does so. But if he cannot or will not do this — if, on any 
pretence, or no pretence, he shall refuse or omit it — then I 
should be fully convinced of what I more than suspect already, 
that he is deeply conscious of being in the wrong ; that he feels 
the blood of this war, like the blood of Abel, is crying to 
Heaven against him ; that he ordered Gen. Taylor into the 
midst of a peaceful Mexican settlement, purposely to bring on a 
war ; that originally having some strong motive — what, I will 
not stop now to give my opinion concerning — to involve the 


two countries in a war, and trusting to escape scrutiny by fixing 
the public gaze upon the exceeding brightne&s of military glory, 
this attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood — that 
serpent's eye that charms to destroy — he plunged into it, and 
has swept on and on, till, disappointed in his calculation of 
the ease with which Mexico might be subdued, he now finds 
himself, he knows not where. How like the half insane 
mumbling of a fever dream, is the whole war part of the 
late mes'sage! At one time telling us that Mexico has 
nothing whatever that we can get but territory : at another, 
showing us how we can support the war by levying contribu- 
tions on Mexico. At one time uro;inor the national honor, 
the security of the future, the prevention of foreign interference, 
and even the good of Mexico herself, as among the objects of 
the two ; at another, telling us that, " To reject indemnity by 
refusing to accept a cession of territory, would be to abandon 
all our just demands and to wage the war, bearing all its ex- 
penses, without a pu7'pose or definite object." 

So, then, the national honor, security of the future, and 
everything but territorial indemnity, may be considered the no 
purposes and indefinite objects of the war, but, having it now 
settled that territorial indemnity is the only object, we are 
urged to seize by legislation here, all that he was content to 
take a few months ago, and the whole province of Lower Cali- 
fornia to boot, and to still carry on the war — to take all we 
are fi<2;htino; for, and still fi"rht on. Asfdn, the President is re- 
solved, under all circumstances, to have full territorial indemni- 
ty for the expenses of the war, but he forgets to tell us how 
we are to get the excoss, after those expenses shall have sur- 
passed the value of the whole of the Mexican territory. So, 
again, he insists that the separate national existence of Mexico 
shall be maintained ; but he does not tell us how this can be 
done after we shall have taken all her territory. Lest the 
questions I here suggest, be considered speculative merely, let 
me be indulged a moment in trying to show they are not. 

The war has gone on some twenty months ; for the ex- 
penses of which, together with an inconsiderable old score, 
the President now claims about one half of th'i Mexican ter- 
ritory, and that by far the better half, so far as concerns our 
ability to make anything out of it. It is comparatively unin- 
habited ; so that we could establish land offices ia it, ard raise 


gome money in that way. But the other half is already in- 
habited, as I understand it, tolerably densely for the nature of 
the country ; and all its lands, or all that are valuable, already 
appropriated as private property. How, then, are we to make 
anything out of these lands with this incumbrance on them, or 
how remove the incumbrance? I suppose no one will say 
we should kill the people, or drive them out, or make slaves 
of them, or even confiscate their property ? How, then, can 
we make much out of this part of the territory ? If the prose- 
cution of the war has, in expenses, already equalled the better 
half of the country, how long its future prosecution will be in 
equalling the less valuable half is not a speculative, but a practi- 
cal question, pressing closely upon us ; and yet it is a question 
which the President seems never to have thought of. 

As to the mode of terminating the war and securing peace, 
the President is equally wandering and indefinite. First, it is 
to be done by a more vigorous prosecution of the war in the 
vital parts of the enemy's country ; and, after apparently talk- 
ing himself tired on this point, the President drops down into 
a half despairing tone, and tells us, that "with a people dis- 
tracted and divided by contending factions, and a government 
subject to constant changes, by successive revolutions, the con- 
tinued success of our aiiris may fail to obtain a satisfactory peace.^* 
Then he suggests the propriety of wheedling the Mexican peo- 
ple to desert the counsels of their own leaders, and, trusting 
in our protection, to set up a government from which we can 
secure a satisfactory peace, telling us that " this may become the 
only mode of obtaining such a peace.'' But soon he falls into 
doubt of this too, and then drops back on the already half- 
abandoned ground of "more vigorous prosecution." All this 
shows that the President is in no wise satisfied with his own 
positions. First, he takes up one, and, in attempting to argue 
us with it, he argues himself out of it ; then seizes another and 
goes through the some process ; and then, confused at being 
able to think of nothing new, he snatches up the old one 
a"^ain, which he has some time before cast off. His mind, 
tasked beyond his power, is running hither and thither like 
some tortured creature on a burning surface, finding no posi- 
tion on which it can settle down and be at ease. 

Again, it is a singular omission in this message, that it no- 
where intimates wJien the President expects the war to termi- 


nate. At its beo:;inning, General Scott was, by this same Pres- 
ident, driven into disfavor, if not disgrace, for intimating that 
peace could not be conquered in less than three or four month?. 
But now, at the end of twenty months, during which time 
our arras have given us the most splendid successes — every de- 
partment, and every part, land and water, officers and pri- 
vates, regulars and volunteers, doing all that men could do, 
and hundreds of things which it had ever before been thought 
that man could not do ; after all this, this same President 
gives us a long message without showing us that, as to the end, 
he has himself even an imaginary conception. As 1 have be- 
foie said, he knows not where he is. He is a bewildered, 
confounded, and miserably perplexed man. God grant he 
may be able to show there is not something about his con- 
science more painful than all his mental perplexity ! 


June 20th, 1848. 

Ix Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, on 
the Civil and Diplomatic Appropriation Bill, 
Mr. LiKCOLX said : 

Mr. Chairman : I wish at all times and in no way to prac- 
tise any fraud upon the House or the Committee, and I also 
desire to do nothing which may be very disagreeable to any 
of the members. I therefore state, in advance, that my object 
in taking the floor is to make a speech on the general subject 
of internal improvements, and if I am out of order in doing 
so, I give the Chair an opportunity of so deciding, and I will 
take my seat. 

The CiiAHt: I will not undertake to anticipate what the 
gentleman may say on the subject of internal improvements. 
He will, therefore, proceed in his remarks, and if any questioE 
of order shall be made, the Chair will then decide it 



Mr. Lincoln : At an early day of this session the President 
sent us what may be properly called an internal-improvement 
veto messasre. The late Democratic Convention which sat at 
Ijaltimore, and which nominated Gen. Cass for the Presiden- 
cy, adopted a set of resolutions, now called the Democratic 
platform, among which is one in these words : 

'• That the Constitution does not confer upon the general 
government the power to commence and carry on a general 
system of internal improvements." 

General Cass, in his letter accepting the nomination, adds 
tliis language : 

" I have carefully read the resolutions of the Democratic 
National Convention, laying down the platform of our political 
faith, and I adhere to them as firmly as I approve them cor- 

These things, taken together, show that the question of in- 
ternal improvements is now more distinctly made — has become 
more intense, than at any former period. It can no longer be 
avoided. The veto message and the Baltimore resolutions I 
understand to be, in substance, the same thing ; the latter 
being the mere general statement, of which the former is the 
amplification — the bill of particulars. While I know there 
are many Democrats, on this floor and elsewhere, who disap- 
prove that message, I understand that all who shall vote for 
Gen. Cass will thereafter be counted as having approved it, as 
having endorsed all its doctrines. I suppose all, or nearly all, 
the Democrats will vote for him. Many of them will do so, 
not because they like his position on this question, but because 
they prefer him, being wrong in this, to another whom they 
consider further wrong on other questions. In this way the 
internal improvement Democrats are to be, by a sort of forced 
consent carried over, and arraved against themselves on this 
measure of policy. General Cass, once elected, will not 
trouble himself to make a constitutional argument, or, per- 
haps, any argument at all, when he shall veto a river or har- 
bor bill. He will consider it a sufficient answer to all Demo- 
cratic murmurs, to point to Mr. Polk's message and the 
" Democratic platform." This being the case, the question 
of improvements is very near a final crisis ; and tlie friends of 
the policy must now battle, and battle manfully, or surrender 
all. In this view, humble as I am, I Avish to review, and con- 



test, as well I may, the general positions of this veto message. 
When I say general positions, I mean to exclude from conside- 
ration so much as relate to the present embarrassed state of the 
treasury, in consequence of the Mexican war. 

Those general positions are : That internal improvements 
ought not to be made by the general government. 

1. Because they would overwhelm the treasury. 

-2. Because while their burdens would be general, their hene- 
fits would be local and partial, involving an obnoxious ine- 
quality ; and 

3. l^ecause they would be unconstitutional. 

4. Because the States may do enough by the levy and col- 
lection of tonnage duties ; or, if not, 

5. That the Constitution may be amended. 

*'Do nothing at all, lest you do something wrong," is the 
sum of these positions — is the sum of this message — and this, 
with the exception of what is said about constitutionality, ap- 
plying as forcibly to making improvements by State authority, 
as by the national authority. So that we must abandon the 
improvements of the country altogether, by any and every 
authority, or we must resist and repudiate the doctrines of the 
message. Let us attempt the latter. 

The first position is, that a system of internal improvement 
would overwhelm the treasury. 

That in such a system there is a tendency to undue expan- 
sion, is not to be denied. Such tendency is found in the na- 
ture of the subject. A member of Congress will prefer voting 
for a bill which contains an appropriation for his district, to 
voting for one which does not ; and when a bill shall be ex- 
panded till every district is provided for, that it will be too 
greatlj' expanded is obvious. But is this any more true in 
Congress than in a State legislature % If a member of Con- 
gress must have an appropriation for his district, so a member 
of a legislature must have one for his county ; and if one will 
overwhelm the national treasury, so the others will overvvhelta 
the State treasury. Go where we will, the ditficulty is the 
same. Allow it to drive us trom the halls of Congress, and it 
will just as easily drive us from the State legislatures. Let us, 
then, grapple with it, and test its strength. Let us, judging 
the future by the past, ascertain whether there may not be, in 
the discretion of Congress, a sufficient power to limit and re- 


strain this expansive tendency within reasonable and proper 
bounds. The President himself values the evidence of the 
past. He tells us, that at a certain point of our history, more 
than two liundred millions of dolkrs had been applied for , to 
make improvements ; and this he does to prove that the treas- 
ury would be overwhelmed by such a system. Why did he 
not tell us how much was grarUed ? Would not that have been 
better evidence? Let us turn to it, and see what it proves. 
In the Message the President tells us, that " during the four 
succeeding years, embraced by the administration of President 
Adams, the power not only to appropriate money, but to ap- 
ply it, under the direction and authority of the general govern- 
ment, as well to the construction of roads as to the improve- 
ment of rivers and harbors, was fully asserted and exercised." 
This, then, was the period of greatest enormity. These, if 
any, must be the days of the two hundred millions. And how 
much do you suppose was really expended for improvements 
during that four years? Two hundred millions? One hun- 
dred? Fifty? Ten? Five? No, sir j less than two mil- 
lions. As shown by authentic documents, the expenditures 
on improvements during 1825, 1826, 1827, and 1828, 
amounted to $1,879,000 01. These four years were the period 
of Mr. Adams's administration, nearly and substantially. This 
fact sliows, that when the power to make improvements was 
" fully maintained and exercised," the Congresses did keep 
within reasonable limits ; and what has been done, it seems 
to me, can be done again. 

Now for the second position of the Message, namely, that 
the burdens of the improvements would be general^ vdiile their 
henejits would be local and partial, involving an obnoxious ine- 
quality. That there is some degree of truth in this position I 
will not deny. No commercial object of government patron- 
age can be so exclusively general as not to be of some peculiar 
local advantage ; but, on the other hand, nothing is so local as not 
to be of some general advantage. The navy, as I understand it, 
was established, and is maintained at a great annual expense, 
partly to be ready for war, when war shall come, but partly, 
idso, and perhaps chiefly, for the protection of our commerce 
on the high seas. The latter object is, as far as I can see, in 
principle, the same as internal improvements. The driving of 
a pirate from the track of commerce, on the broad ocean, and 


the removing of a snag from its more narrow patli in the Mis- 
sissippi river, cannot, I think, be distinguished in principle. 
Each is done to save life and property, and for nothing else. 
The navy, then, is the most general in its benefits of all this 
class of objects ; and yet the navy is of some peculiar advan- 
tage to Charleston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New- York, and 
Boston, beyond what it is to the interior towns of Illinois. 
The next most general object I can think of, would be the im- 
provement of the Mississippi river and its tributaries. They 
touch thirteen of our States — Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ken- 
tucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, ]\Iissouri, 
Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Now, I sup- 
pose it will rot be denied, that these thirteen States area little 
more interested in improvements on that great river than the 
remaining seventeen. These instances of the navy and the 
Mississippi river, show clearly that there is something of local 
advantage in the most general objects. But the converse is 
true. Nothing is so local as not be of some general benefit. 
Take, for instance, the Illinois and Michigan canal — consider- 
ed apart from its effects, it is perfectly local ; every inch of it 
is within the State of Illinois. That canal was first opened 
for business last April. In a very few days we were all grat- 
ified to learn, among other things, that sugar had been carried 
through the canal from New-Orleans to Buffalo, in New- York. 
This sugar took this route, doubtless, because it was cheaper 
than the old route. Supposing the benefit in the reduction of 
the cost of carriage to be shared between the buyer and seller, 
the result is, that the New-Orleans merchant sold his sugar a 
little dearer y and the people of Buffalo sweetened their coffee 
a little cheajyer than before — a benefit resulting from the canal, 
not to Illinois where the canal is, but to Louisiana and New- 
York, where it is not. In other transactions Illinois will, of 
course, have her share, and perhaps the larger share too, in 
the benefits of the canal ; but the instance of the sugar clearly 
shows, that the henejits of an improvement ure, by no means, 
confined to the locality of the improvement itself. 

The just conclusion from all this is, that if the nation re- 
fuse to make improvements of the more general kind, because 
their benefits may be somewhat local, a State may, for the 
same reason, refuse to make an improvement of a local kind, 
because its benefits may be somewhat general. A State may 


well say to the nation, " If you will do nothing for me, I will 
do nothing for you." Thus it is seen, that if this argument 
of " inequality" is sufficient anywhere, it is sufficient every- 
where, and puts an end to improvement altogether. I hope 
and believe, that if the nation and the States would, in good 
faith, in their respective spheres, do what they could in the 
way of improvements, What of inequality might be produced 
in one place might be compensated in another, and that the 
sum of the whole would not be very unequal. But suppose, 
after all, there should be some degree of inequality : inequal- 
ity is certainly never to be embraced for its own sake ; but is 
every good thing to be discarded which may be inseparably 
connected with some degree of it ? If so, we must discard 
all government. This capitol is built at the public expense, 
for the public benefit ; but does any one doubt that it is of 
some peculiar local advantage to the property-holders and 
business people of Washington ? Shall we remove it for this 
reason ? And if so, where shall we set it down, and be free 
from the difficuliy ? To make sure of our object shall we 
locate it nowliere, and have Congress hold= its sessions, as 
the loafer lodges, " in spots about V I make no special allu- 
sion to the present President when I say there are few stronger 
cases of " burden to the many, and benefit to the few" — of 
*' inequality" — than the Presidency itself is by some thought to 
be. An honest laborer digs coal at about seventy cents a 
day, while the President digs abstractions at about seventy 
dollars a day. The coal is clearly worth more than the ab- 
stractions, and yet what a monstrous unequality in the prices ! 
Does the President, for this reason, wish to abolish the Presi- 
dency ? He does not, and he ought not. The true rule in de- 
termining to embrace or reject anything, is not whether it 
have arii/ evil in it, but whether it have more of evil than of 
good. There are few things ivJioUy evil or ivholly good. Al- 
most everything, especially in governmental policy, is an in- 
separable compound of the two, so that our best judgment of 
the preponderance betvveen them is continually demanded. On 
this principle, the President, his friends, and the world gener- 
ally, act on most subjects. Why not apply it, then, upon this 
question % Why, as to improvements, magnify the evil, and 
stoutly refuse to see any good in them ? 

Mr. Chairman, on the third position of the message (the 


constitutional question) I have not much to say. Beins the 
man I am, and speaking when I do, I feel that any attempt at 
an original constitutional argument, I should not be, and 
ought not to be listened to patiently. The ablest and best of 
men have gone over the wliole ground long ago. I shall at- 
tempt but little more than a brief notice of what some of 
them have said. In reference to INIr. Jefferson's views, I read 
from Mr. Polk's veto message : 

" President Jefferson, in his message to Congress in 1806, 
recommended an amendment of the Constitution, with a view 
to apply an anticipated surplus in the treasury ' to the great 
purposes of public education, roads, rivers, canals, and such 
other objects of public improvements as it may be thought 
proper to add to the constitutional enumeration of the fed- 
eral powers.' " And he adds, " I suppose an amendment to 
the Constitution, by consent of the States, necessary, because 
the objects now recommended are not among those enumer- 
ated in the Constitution, and to which it permits the public 
monies to be applied." In 1825, he repeated, in bis published 
letters, the opinion that no such power has been conferred on 
Congress. 1 introduce tins, not to controvert, just now, the 
constitutional opinion, but to show that on tbe question of 
expediency^ Mr. Jefferson's opinion was against the present 
President — that this opinion of Mr. Jelferson, in one branch, 
at least, is, in the hands of JNIr. Polk, like Fingal's gun — 

" Beats wide, and kicks the o>vner oyer." 

But, to the constitutional question : 

In 1826, Chancellor Kent first published his commentaries 
on American law. He devoted a portion of one of the 
lectures to the question of the authority of Congress to appro- 
priate public moneys for internal improvements. He mention- 
ed that the question had never been brought under judicial 
consideration, and proceeds to give a brief summary of the 
discussions it had undergone between the legislative and exec- 
utive branches of the government. 

He shows that the legislative branch had usually been for, 
and executive agni/ut the power, till the period of Mr. J. Q. 
Adams' administration ; at which point he considers the exec- 
utive influence as withdrawn from opposition and added to the 
support of the power. 


In 1844 the Chancellor published a new edition of his com- 
mentaries, in which he adds some notes of Avhat had tran- 
S{)ired on the question since 182G. I have not time to read 
the orirrinal text or the notes, but the whole may be found on 
pnge 2i')7 and the two or three foUowinij pages of the first vol- 
ume of the edition of '44. As to what Chancellor Kent seems 
to consider the sum of the whole, I read from one of the notes : 
" Mr. Justice S'ory, in his commentaries on the Constitution 
of the United States, vol. ii., page 429-440, and again, page 
519-538, has stated at large the arguments for and against the 
proposition that Congress have a constitutional power to lay 
taxes, and to apply the power to regulate commerce, as a 
means to encourage and protect domestic manufactures ; and, 
without giving any opinion of his own on the conte-^ted doc- 
trine, he has left tlie reader to draw his own conclusions. I 
should think, however, from the arguments as stated, that 
every mind which has taken no part in the discussions, and felt 
no prejudice or territorial bias on either side of the question, 
would deem the argument in favor of Congressional power 
vastly superior." 

It will be seen, that in this extract the power to make im- 
provements is not directly mentioned, but by examining the 
context, both of Kent and of Story, it will appear that the 
power mentioned in the extract, and the power to make im- 
provements, are regarded as identical. It is not to be denied 
that many great and good men have been against the power ; 
but it is insisted that quite as many, as great and as good, 
have been Jar it ; and it is shown that, on full survey of the 
whole. Chancellor Kent was of opinion that the arguments of 
the latter were vastli/ superior. This is but the opinion of a 
man, but who was that man? He was one of the ablest and 
most learned lawyers of his age, or of any age. It is no dis- 
paragement to Mr. Polk, nor, indeed, to any one who devotes 
much time to politics, to be placed iar behind Chancellor Kent 
as a lawyer. His attitude was most favorable to correct 
conclusions. He wrote coolly and in retirement. He was 
strugLiling to rear a durable monument of fame, and he well 
knew that truth and thoroughly sound reasoning were the only 
sure foundations. Can tiie party opinion of a party President 
on a law question, as this purely is, be at all compared or 
set in opposition to that of such a man, in such an attitude, as 
Chancellor Kent? 


This constitutional question will probably never be better 
settled than it is, until it shall pass under judicial consideration j 
but I do think no man who is clear on this question of ex- 
pediency need feel his conscience much pricked on this. 

Mr. Chairman, the President seems to think that enough 
may be done in the way of improvements by means of ton- 
nage dues, under State authority, with the consent of the gen- 
eral government. Now, I suppose this matter of tonnage 
duties is well enough in its own sphere. I suppose it may be 
etficient, and perhaps sufficient, to make slight improvements 
and repairs in harbors already in use, and not much out of re- 
pairs. But if I have any correct general idea of it, it must be 
wholly inefficient for any generally beneficent purposes of im- 
provement. I know very little, or rather nothing at all, of 
of the practical matters of levying and collecting tonnage 
duties, but I suppose that one of its principles must be, to lay 
a duty for the improvement of any particular harbor, upon the 
tonnage coming into that harbor. To do otherwise — to collect 
money at one harbor to be expended on improvements on 
another — would be an extremely aggravated form of that 
inequality which the President so much deprecates. If I be 
right in tliis, how could we make any entirely new iraprove- 
me[its by means of tonnage duties % How make a road, a 
canal, or clear a greatly obstructed river % The idea that we 
could, involves the same absurdity of the Irish bull about the 
new boots: " I shall never git 'em on," says Patrick, " till I 
wears 'em a day or two, and stretch 'em a little." We shall 
never make a canal by tonnage duties until it shall already 
have been made awhile, so the tonnage can get into it. 

After all, the President concludes that possibly there may 
be some great objects of improvement which cannot be effected 
by tonnage duties, and which, therefore, may be expedient for 
the general government to take in hand. Accordingly, he 
suggests, in case any such should be discovered, the propriety 
of amending the Constitution. Amend it for wliaf? If, like 
Mr. Jefferson, the President thought improvements expedient, 
but not constituttional, it would be natural enough for hira 
to recommend such an amendment ; but hear what he says 
int his very message : 

" In view of these portentous consequences, I cannot but 
think that this course of legislation should be arrested, even if 


there were nothinf^ to forbid it in the fundamental laws of our 

For what, then, would he have the Constitution amend- 
ed? With him it is a proposition to remove one impediment, 
merely to be met by others, which, in his opinion, cannot be 
removed — to enable Congress to do what, in his opinion, they 
ought not to do if they could. 

[Here Mr. Meade, of A-^irginia, inquired if Mr. Lincoln 
understood the President to be opposed, on grounds of ex- 
pediency, to any and every improvement.] 

To which Mr. Lincoln answered : In the very part of his 
message of which I am now speaking, I understand him as 
giving some vague expressions in favor of some possible ob- 
jects of improvements; but, in doing so, I understand to be 
directly in the teeth of his own argument in the other parts 
of it. Neither the President, nor any one, can possibly 
specify an improvement, which shall not be liable to one or 
the other objections he has urged on the score of expediency. 
I have shown, and might show again, that no work — no ob- 
ject — can be so general as to dispense its benefits with precise 
equality; and this inequality is among the " portentous con- 
sequences " for which he declare the improvements should be 
arrested. No, sir ; when the President intimates that some- 
thing in the way of improvements may properly be done by 
the general government, he is shrinking from the conclusions 
to which his own argument would force him. He feels not 
that the improvements of this broad and goodly land are a 
mighty interest, and he is unwilling to confess to the people, 
and perhaps to himself, that he has built an argument which, 
when pressed to its conclusion, utterly annihilate this interest. 

I have already said that no one who is satisfied of the ex- 
pediency of making improvements, need be much uneasy in 
his conscience about its unconstitutionality. I wish now to 
submit a few remarks on the general proposition of amending 
the Constiiution. As a general rule, I think we would do 
much better to let it alone. No slight occasion should tempt 
us to touch it. Better not take the first step, which may lead 
to a habit of altering it. Better, rather, to habituate our- 
selves to think it unalterable. It can scarcely be made better 
than it is. New provisions would introduce new difficulties, 
and thus create and increase still further appetite for change. 



No, sir ; let it stand as it is. New hands have never touched 
it. The men who made it have done their work, and have 
passed away. Who shall improve on what they did 1 

Mr. Chairman, for the purpose of reviewing this message in 
the least possible time, as well as for the sake of distinctness, 
I have analyzed its arguments as well as I could, and reduced 
them to the propositions I have stated. I have now examined 
them in detail. I wish to detain the committee only a little 
while longer, with some general remarks on the subject of im- 
provement. That the subject is a difficult one, cannot be 
denied. Still, it is no more difficult in Congress than it is in the 
State legislatures, in the counties, or in the smallest municipal 
districts which anywhere exist. All can recur to instances 
of this difficulty in the case of country roads, bridges, and the 
like. One man is offended because the road passes over his 
land ; another is offended because it does not pass over his ; 
one is dissatisfied because the bridge, for which he is taxed, 
crosses the river on a different road from that which leads 
from his house to town ; another cannot bear that the county 
should get in debt for these same roads and bridges ; "while not 
a few strucrgle hard to have roads located over their lands, 
and then stoutly refuse to let them be opened, until they are 
first paid the damages. Even between the different wards 
and streets of towns and cities, we find the same wrangling 
and difficulty. Now these are no other than the very diffi- 
culties against which, and out of which, the President con- 
structs his objections of "inequality," "speculation" and 
" crushing the treasury." There is but a single alternative 
about them — they are sufficient, or they are not. If sufficient, 
they are sufficient out of Congress as well as in it, and there 
is an end. We must reject them as insufficient, or lie down 
and do nothing by any authority. Then, difficulty though 
there be, let us lueet and overcome it, 

" Attempt the end, aud nev r com? to douht ; 
Nothiug io hard, but search will tiud it out. ' 

Determine that the thiig can ami shall be done, and then we 
shall find the way. The tendency to undue expan-ion is un([ues- 
tionably the chief difficulty. How to do soinet/ii/ig, and still not 
do too much, is the desideratum. Let each contribute Ids mite in 
tiie way of suggestion. The late Silas Wright, in a letter to the 
Chic t^jo Convention, contributed hig, which wans worth some- 


thing; and I now contribute mine, which may be worth noth- 
ing. At all events it will mislead nobody, and therefore will do 
no harm. I would not borrow money. I am against an over- 
whelming, crushing system. Suppose that at each session Con- 
gress shall first determine how much money can, for that year, be 
spared for improvements ; then apportion that sum to tlie most 
important objects. So far all is easy ; but how shall we deter- 
mine which are the most important? On this question comes 
the collision of interests. I shall be slow to acknowledge that 
your harbor, or your river, is more important than mine^ and 
vice versa. To clear this diffieuhy, let us have that same sta- 
tistical information which the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Vin- 
ton) suggested at the beginning of this session. In that infor- 
mation we shall have a stern, unbending basis o? facts — a basis 
in no wise subject to whim, caprice, or local interest. The 
pre-limited amount of means will save us from doing too much, 
and the statistics will save us from doing what we do in wrong 
places. Adopt and adhere to this course, and, it seems to me, 
the dithculty is cleared. 

One of the gentlemen from South Carolina (Mr. Rhett) very 
much deprecates these statistics. He particularly objects, as 
I understand him, to counting all the pigs and chickens in the 
land. I do not perceive much force in the objection. It is 
true, that if everything be enumerated, a portion of such sta- 
tistics may not be very useful to this object. Such products 
of this country as are to be consumed where they are produced, 
need no roads and rivers, no means of transportation, and 
have no very proper connection with this subject. The sur- 
plus, that which is produced in one place to be consumed in aa- 
otJier ; the capacity of each locality to produce a greater sur- 
plus ; the natural means of transprrtation, and their suscepti- 
bility of improvement ; the hindrances, delays, and losses of 
life and property during transportation, and the causes of each, 
wouM be amono; the most valuable statistics in this connection. 
From these it would readily apper where a given amount of 
expenditure would do the most good. These statistics might 
be equally accessible, as they would be equally useful, to both 
the nation and the States. lu this way, and by these means, 
let the nation take hold of the larger works, and the Slates 
the smaller ones, and thus, working in a meeting direction, dis- 
creetly, but steadily and tirmly, what is made unequal in one 


place raay be equalized in another, extravagance avoided, and 
the vv^hole country put on that career of prosperity which 
shall correspond with its extent of territory, its natural re- 
sources, and the intelligence and enterprise of its people. 






Mr. Hamlin was born in Paris, county of Oxford, State 
of Maine, August 27, 1809. His father. Dr. Cyrus Hamlin, 
was a surgeon and physician, and a native of Massachusetts. 
He was clerk of the courts for several years, and subsequently 
sheriff of Oxford county. He was one of the leading influ- 
«ntial citizens of his town and county, and died in 1828, aged 
about fifty-eight years. 

Mr. Hamlin's mother was a daughter of Dea. Elijah Liv- 
ermore, of the town of Livermore, Oxford county, Maine. 
She was a yery estimable lady, and died in 1851, aged about 
seventy. Mr. Hamlin was fitted for college, but his father 
dying, he abandoned the idea of a college course, and for a 
while labored at home upon the old homestead farm. Before 
commencing the study of law, he worked in a printing office 
in his native town, and for more than a year conducted the 
Jeffersonian^ since merged in the Oxford Democrat^ in connec- 
tion with the Hon. Horatio King. Subsequently, he studied 
law with the late Judge Cole, and after completing his course 
of study, he was admitted to the bar, and removed to Hamp- 
den, Maine, where he enjoyed an extensive practice until he 
voluntarily retired from it. His first entrance into public 
life was in 1836, when he was elected a representative from 
the town of Hampclen to the Maine legislature. He was re- 


elected in 1837, 1838, 1839, 1840, and again in 1847 He 
was speaker of the bouse of representatives in 1837, 1839, 
and 1840. In 1840 he was a candidate for Congress, but 
owing to the great popularity of General Harrison, and the 
remarkable success of the "Whig party in that campaign, he 
was defeated by a few hundred votes. In 1842 he again run 
for Congress, and was elected by a large majority, and in 1844 
he was also elected to the same body, by an increased vote. 
By the death of the lamented Governor Fairfield, a vacancy 
was created in the United States Senate, and on the 2Gth of 
May, 1848, Mr. Hamlin was elected for four years to fill that 

In July, 1851, he was re-elected to the Senate for six years. 
In 185G, he was elected Governor of Maine, and resigned his 
seat in the Senate to assume the duties of the office, January 
7, 1857. On the 16th day of the same month, he was elected 
by both branches of the legislature to the United States Sen- 
ate for six years, and resigned the office of Governor, Febru- 
ary 20, 1857. Until he resigned the position, he was for a 
long time chairman of the committee on commerce in the 

The above brief sketch of the early life and public services 
of Mr. Hamlin, while it may be a matter of interest to the 
American people, is far from being all they inquire after con- 
nected with his personal history. Placed as he now is before 
the people of this great country, as a candidate for the second 
office in their gift, it is perfectly natural they should desire to 
know something of his political history and public record. 

Mr. Hamlin's antecedents are democratic. On arrivino; at 
his majority, he connected himself with the old Democratic 
party, and acted with that political organization until 18oG, 
when, in a brief and eloquent speech in the Senate, he pub- 
licly withdrew from it, and allied iiimself to the Republican 
party. Upon looking over 'Mr. Hamlin's public record in 


Congress upon the slavery question, we find nothing inconsis- 
tent with his present position upon that subject. When he 
first entered Congress, he manfully battled for the rigid of 
petition against the gag rules introduced into that body. He 
not only voted to receive the petitions of the people, but upon 
more than one occasion spoke eloquently in favor of this great 
constitutional right. 

In 1845, while he voted against the joint resolution for the 
annexation of Texas, yet he was not opposed to the measure 
provided it could be brought about by negotiation and treaty, 
and provided further that at least an equal portion of said 
domain should be kept free territory, for the benefit of the 
great laboring interests of the free States. Had his counsels, 
and the counsels of Colonel Benton, Silas Wright, and other 
great lights in the party, been adhered to, the Mexican war 
and all its evil consequences would have been avoided. 

When the " Two-Million Bill " was before the Plouse in 
1846-7, proposing to put into the hands of the President a 
certain amount of money with which to negotiate a treaty of 
peace with Mexico, Mr. Hamlin stood up side by side with 
David Wilmot, Preston King, and other influential democrats, 
in defence of the celebrated- ''^ Proviso j" known as the " Wil- 
mot Proviso," prepared by Judge Wilmot, yet actuallg offered 
hy Mr. Hamlin, in the absence of the author. For this pro- 
viso he uniformly voted and labored until it passed the Plouse. 

In the house of representatives, in Maine, at the session in 
1847 — to which he was elected immediately after his return 
from Congress — he introduced resolutions embodying the same 
sentiments, advocated them in a masterly speech, and mainly 
through his influence they passed the house with only six 
nays, and the senate with only one dissenting vote. 

Following up his record upon this question, we find him 
votino; in the United States Senate in 1848, in favor of the 
Jefiereon Proviso for the restriction of slaveery in the bill for 


the organization of a territorial government for Oregon. Still 
later, in 1850, he voted to insert a similar restriction in the 
bills giving territorial governments to Utah and New-Mexico. 
The proviso being defeated, he voted against the bills in strict 
accordance vvnth the instructions of a democratic legislature in 

In the same year, 1850, Mr. Hamlin made the first speech 
in the United States Senate in favor of the unconditional ad- 
mission of California as a free State, and his speech was then 
considered one of the most able delivered upon that subject. 

He also voted against the bill giving ten millions of dollars 
to Texas, for the relinquishment of lands to which she never 
had the slightest title. In 1854, following his own convic- 
tions of duty, he labored and voted against the repeal of the 
Missouri compromise, in strict conformity with the resolutions 
of the then democratic legislature of Maine, and then in the 
last Congress did all in his power to defeat the perfidious Le- 
compton Constitution. 

"We have thus given Mr. Hamlin's record upon some of the 
great leading questions connected with the subject of slavery 
during the last fourteen years, showing that upon no occasion 
has he ever acted or voted in any way not perfectly consistent 
with this record. Upon other matters, during his long Con- 
gressional career, his votes have been uniformly consistent and 
in perfect harmony with the character of the man. Upon all 
matters of financial policy, while he never has been disposed 
to withhold justice from honest claimants, he has sternly re- 
sisted dishonest, fraudulent claims, got up with an intention 
to rob the treasury. In justice to Mr. Hamlin, we should 
here sny that no man in Congress for the last twenty years 
has been more faithful, or has labored more untiringly to aid 
poor but honest claimants upon the bounty of the govern- 
ment than he. There is scarcely a town in the State of 
Maine, where you will not find men who have been made in- 


valids in their country's service, "widows and orphans, who 
are now living upon the little bounty obtained for their relief 
through his prompt and effective influences and labors. No 
honest complainant, however poor or humble, was ever coldly 
turned away from the presence of Senator Hamlin. Schemes 
of public plunder which frequently find their way into Con- 
gress, never obtain favor with him. 

Another trait of character which has always given him 
great popularity with the people, is his strict honesty and stern 
moral integrity. No man can be found who will rise up and 
say Hannibal Hamlin ever cheated him, politically or in any 
other way. His whole life has been marked by a strict atten- 
tion to every public duty incident to his official positions. 

As a public speaker is is superfluous for us to speak of our 
distinguished Senator. In this respect the whole country is 
well informed. Few men have a more enviable reputation as 
forensic debators. 

Senator Hamlin's sympathies have always been strongly 
with the masses. This, perhaps, accounts for his great popu- 
larity with the people. In proof of this we have only to re- 
fer to his election as Governor of Maine, in 1856. Without 
solicitation on his part and against his wishes at the largest 
political convention ever holden in the State, he was on the 
first ballot unanimously selected the standard bearer of the 
Republicans in the ensuing contest. 

The Democrats, aided by the straight Whigs, had carried the 
State the year before by about five thousand majority, and 
both branches of the Legislature. 

Senator Hamlin stumped the State from one end to the 
other. Nothing but the great fight between Douglas and Lin- 
coln ever exceeded it. It was a splendid hard-fought canvass. 

The Democrats had Judge Wells their standard bearer and 
all the distinguished men of their party in the field, pitted 
against Hamlin and his coadjutors. Look at the result. The 


Republieans swept the State and elected their distinguished 
leader by about twenty thousand majority. So highly were 
Governor Hamlin's services appreciated in the U. S. Senate 
the Legislature of Maine, with great unanimity, returned him 
again to that body for six years. Before he became a mem- 
ber of Congress, Mr. Hamlin had an extensive practice as a 
lawyer. Since his election to the Senate he has abandoned 
it, and now, when not actively engaged in his public duties? 
may be found, like the great and distinguished Silas Wright, 
at work ivith his own hands on his farm, in the rural, quiet 
town of Hampden, where, at his hospitable home, his numer- 
ous friends alwaysmeet a hearty welcome. 

Such is a brief outline of the life and character of Han- 
nibal Hamlin. Possessed of great legislative experience, wise 
in counsel, bold and determined in action, true to his friends 
and his country, he will be triumphantly elected to the high 
commendary positionso honorably filled by a long line of illus- 
trious statesmen in the past.