The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Complete
Abraham Lincoln

Part 13 out of 36

about him?"]

Some gentleman asks me what Ford's History says about him. My own
recollection is that Ford speaks of Trumbull in very disrespectful
terms in several portions of his book, and that he talks a great deal
worse of Judge Douglas. I refer you, sir, to the History for

Judge Douglas complains at considerable length about a disposition on
the part of Trumbull and myself to attack him personally. I want to
attend to that suggestion a moment. I don't want to be unjustly
accused of dealing illiberally or unfairly with an adversary, either
in court or in a political canvass or anywhere else. I would despise
myself if I supposed myself ready to deal less liberally with an
adversary than I was willing to be treated myself. Judge Douglas in
a general way, without putting it in a direct shape, revives the old
charge against me in reference to the Mexican War. He does not take
the responsibility of putting it in a very definite form, but makes a
general reference to it. That charge is more than ten years old. He
complains of Trumbull and myself because he says we bring charges
against him one or two years old. He knows, too, that in regard to
the Mexican War story the more respectable papers of his own party
throughout the State have been compelled to take it back and
acknowledge that it was a lie.

[Here Mr. LINCOLN turned to the crowd on the platform, and, selecting
HON. ORLANDO B. FICKLIN, led him forward and said:]

I do not mean to do anything with Mr. FICKLIN except to present his
face and tell you that he personally knows it to be a lie! He was a
member of Congress at the only time I was in Congress, and [FICKLIN]
knows that whenever there was an attempt to procure a vote of mine
which would indorse the origin and justice of the war, I refused to
give such indorsement and voted against it; but I never voted against
the supplies for the army, and he knows, as well as Judge Douglas,
that whenever a dollar was asked by way of compensation or otherwise
for the benefit of the soldiers I gave all the votes that FICKLIN or
Douglas did, and perhaps more.

[Mr. FICKLIN: My friends, I wish to say this in reference to the
matter: Mr. Lincoln and myself are just as good personal friends as
Judge Douglas and myself. In reference to this Mexican War, my
recollection is that when Ashmun's resolution [amendment] was offered
by Mr. Ashmun of Massachusetts, in which he declared that the Mexican
War was unnecessary and unconstitutionally commenced by the President
-my recollection is that Mr. Lincoln voted for that resolution.]

That is the truth. Now, you all remember that was a resolution
censuring the President for the manner in which the war was begun.
You know they have charged that I voted against the supplies, by
which I starved the soldiers who were out fighting the battles of
their country. I say that FICKLIN knows it is false. When that
charge was brought forward by the Chicago Times, the Springfield
Register [Douglas's organ] reminded the Times that the charge really
applied to John Henry; and I do know that John Henry is now making
speeches and fiercely battling for Judge Douglas. If the Judge now
says that he offers this as a sort of setoff to what I said to-day in
reference to Trumbull's charge, then I remind him that he made this
charge before I said a word about Trumbull's. He brought this
forward at Ottawa, the first time we met face to face; and in the
opening speech that Judge Douglas made he attacked me in regard to a
matter ten years old. Is n't he a pretty man to be whining about
people making charges against him only two years old!

The Judge thinks it is altogether wrong that I should have dwelt upon
this charge of Trumbull's at all. I gave the apology for doing so in
my opening speech. Perhaps it did n't fix your attention. I said
that when Judge Douglas was speaking at place--where I spoke on the
succeeding day he used very harsh language about this charge. Two or
three times afterward I said I had confidence in Judge Trumbull's
veracity and intelligence; and my own opinion was, from what I knew
of the character of Judge Trumbull, that he would vindicate his
position and prove whatever he had stated to be true. This I
repeated two or three times; and then I dropped it, without saying
anything more on the subject for weeks--perhaps a month. I passed it
by without noticing it at all till I found, at Jacksonville, Judge
Douglas in the plenitude of his power is not willing to answer
Trumbull and let me alone, but he comes out there and uses this
language: "He should not hereafter occupy his time in refuting such
charges made by Trumbull but that, Lincoln having indorsed the
character of Trumbull for veracity, he should hold him [Lincoln]
responsible for the slanders." What was Lincoln to do? Did he not
do right, when he had the fit opportunity of meeting Judge Douglas
here, to tell him he was ready for the responsibility? I ask a
candid audience whether in doing thus Judge Douglas was not the
assailant rather than I? Here I meet him face to face, and say I am
ready to take the responsibility, so far as it rests on me.

Having done so I ask the attention of this audience to the question
whether I have succeeded in sustaining the charge, and whether Judge
Douglas has at all succeeded in rebutting it? You all heard me call
upon him to say which of these pieces of evidence was a forgery.
Does he say that what I present here as a copy of the original Toombs
bill is a forgery? Does he say that what I present as a copy of the
bill reported by himself is a forgery, or what is presented as a
transcript from the Globe of the quotations from Bigler's speech is a
forgery? Does he say the quotations from his own speech are
forgeries? Does he say this transcript from Trumbull's speech is a

["He didn't deny one of them."]

I would then like to know how it comes about that when each piece of
a story is true the whole story turns out false. I take it these
people have some sense; they see plainly that Judge Douglas is
playing cuttle-fish, a small species of fish that has no mode of
defending itself when pursued except by throwing out a black fluid,
which makes the water so dark the enemy cannot see it, and thus it
escapes. Ain't the Judge playing the cuttle-fish?

Now, I would ask very special attention to the consideration of Judge
Douglas's speech at Jacksonville; and when you shall read his speech
of to-day, I ask you to watch closely and see which of these pieces
of testimony, every one of which he says is a forgery, he has shown
to be such. Not one of them has he shown to be a forgery. Then I
ask the original question, if each of the pieces of testimony is
true, how is it possible that the whole is a falsehood?

In regard to Trumbull's charge that he [Douglas] inserted a provision
into the bill to prevent the constitution being submitted to the
people, what was his answer? He comes here and reads from the
Congressional Globe to show that on his motion that provision was
struck out of the bill. Why, Trumbull has not said it was not
stricken out, but Trumbull says he [Douglas] put it in; and it is no
answer to the charge to say he afterwards took it out. Both are
perhaps true. It was in regard to that thing precisely that I told
him he had dropped the cub. Trumbull shows you that by his
introducing the bill it was his cub. It is no answer to that
assertion to call Trumbull a liar merely because he did not specially
say that Douglas struck it out. Suppose that were the case, does it
answer Trumbull? I assert that you [pointing to an individual] are
here to-day, and you undertake to prove me a liar by showing that you
were in Mattoon yesterday. I say that you took your hat off your
head, and you prove me a liar by putting it on your head. That is
the whole force of Douglas's argument.

Now, I want to come back to my original question. Trumbull says that
Judge Douglas had a bill with a provision in it for submitting a
constitution to be made to a vote of the people of Kansas. Does
Judge Douglas deny that fact? Does be deny that the provision which
Trumbull reads was put in that bill? Then Trumbull says he struck it
out. Does he dare to deny that? He does not, and I have the right
to repeat the question ,--Why Judge Douglas took it out? Bigler has
said there was a combination of certain senators, among whom he did
not include Judge Douglas, by which it was agreed that the Kansas
Bill should have a clause in it not to have the constitution formed
under it submitted to a vote of the people. He did not say that
Douglas was among them, but we prove by another source that about the
same time Douglas comes into the Senate with that provision stricken
out of the bill. Although Bigler cannot say they were all working in
concert, yet it looks very much as if the thing was agreed upon and
done with a mutual understanding after the conference; and while we
do not know that it was absolutely so, yet it looks so probable that
we have a right to call upon the man who knows the true reason why it
was done to tell what the true reason was. When he will not tell
what the true reason was, he stands in the attitude of an accused
thief who has stolen goods in his possession, and when called to
account refuses to tell where he got them. Not only is this the
evidence, but when he comes in with the bill having the provision
stricken out, he tells us in a speech, not then but since, that these
alterations and modifications in the bill had been made by HIM, in
consultation with Toombs, the originator of the bill. He tells us
the same to-day. He says there were certain modifications made in
the bill in committee that he did not vote for. I ask you to
remember, while certain amendments were made which he disapproved of,
but which a majority of the committee voted in, he has himself told
us that in this particular the alterations and modifications were
made by him, upon consultation with Toombs. We have his own word
that these alterations were made by him, and not by the committee.
Now, I ask, what is the reason Judge Douglas is so chary about coming
to the exact question? What is the reason he will not tell you
anything about How it was made, BY WHOM it was made, or that he
remembers it being made at all? Why does he stand playing upon the
meaning of words and quibbling around the edges of the evidence? If
he can explain all this, but leaves it unexplained, I have the right
to infer that Judge Douglas understood it was the purpose of his
party, in engineering that bill through, to make a constitution, and
have Kansas come into the Union with that constitution, without its
being submitted to a vote of the people. If he will explain his
action on this question, by giving a better reason for the facts that
happened than he has done, it will be satisfactory. But until he
does that--until he gives a better or more plausible reason than he
has offered against the evidence in the case--I suggest to him it
will not avail him at all that he swells himself up, takes on
dignity, and calls people liars. Why, sir, there is not a word in
Trumbull's speech that depends on Trumbull's veracity at all. He has
only arrayed the evidence and told you what follows as a matter of
reasoning. There is not a statement in the whole speech that depends
on Trumbull's word. If you have ever studied geometry, you remember
that by a course of reasoning Euclid proves that all the angles in a
triangle are equal to two right angles. Euclid has shown you how to
work it out. Now, if you undertake to disprove that proposition, and
to show that it is erroneous, would you prove it to be false by
calling Euclid a liar? They tell me that my time is out, and
therefore I close.


OCTOBER 7, 1858


MY FELLOW-CITIZENS: A very large portion of the speech which Judge
Douglas has addressed to you has previously 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 going to say that such an answer 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 opportunity afforded
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 attended to, and ask your
attention to them, and I shall follow him backwards upon some notes
which I have taken, reversing the order, by beginning where he

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 applying the language 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
detain 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 Declaration 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 Democratic party, in regard to slavery, had to invent that
affirmation. And I will remind Judge Douglas and this audience that
while Mr. Jefferson was the owner of slaves, as undoubtedly 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 highest premium in my power to Judge Douglas if
he will show that he, in all his life, ever uttered a sentiment at
all akin to that of Jefferson.

The next thing to which I will ask 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 instances Monroe County as another, where Judge Trumbull and Jehu
Baker addressed the persons whom the Judge assumes to be the friends
of Lincoln calling them the "Free Democracy." I have the honor to
inform Judge Douglas that he spoke in that very county of Tazewell
last Saturday, and I was there on Tuesday last; 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 "National 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 postmasters 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 different sort for the southern
people, he assumes 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 Jonesboro 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 know all
about my opinions. And I have not supposed, and do not now suppose,
that there is any conflict whatever between them. But the Judge will
have it that if we do not confess that there is a sort of inequality
between the white and black races which justifies us in making them
slaves, we must then insist that there is a degree of equality that
requires us to make them our wives. Now, I have all the while taken
a broad distinction in regard to that matter; and that is all there
is in these different speeches which he 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 speech he could have
got up as much of a conflict as the one he has found. I have all the
while maintained that in so far as it should be insisted that there
was an equality 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 constantly made in reference
to the abstract moral question, to contemplate 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 from the
actual presence of black people amongst us, and the actual existence
of slavery amongst 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 by men interested to misunderstand it.
I take it that I have to address an intelligent and reading
community, who will peruse what I say, weigh it, and then judge
whether I advanced improper or unsound views, or whether I advanced
hypocritical, and deceptive, and contrary views in different portions
of the country. I believe 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.

The Judge has also detained us awhile 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 this 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 adheres is national; and the argument is,
that no party can be a rightful party--and be based upon rightful
principles--unless it can announce its principles everywhere. I
presume that Judge Douglas could not go into Russia and announce the
doctrine of our national Democracy; he could not denounce the
doctrine of kings and emperors and monarchies in Russia; and it may
be true of this country that in some places we may not be able to
proclaim a doctrine as clearly true as the truth of 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 it? Is
that the way to test the truth of any doctrine? Why, 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 amongst 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 Platform, 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 this day I have not
found either Judge Douglas or any friend of his taking hold of the
Republican platform, or laying his finger 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 announce those principles. If he
had great confidence that our principles were wrong, he would take
hold of them and demonstrate them to be wrong. But he does not do
so. The only evidence he has of their being wrong is in the fact
that there are people who won't allow us to preach them. I ask
again, is that the way to test the soundness of a doctrine?

I ask his attention also to the fact that by the rule of nationality
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 commend to his consideration the evidence in his own
declaration, on this day, of his becoming sectional too. I see it
rapidly approaching. Whatever 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 principles of the
Nebraska Bill, although I have often presented 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 admitted into
the Union they should be admitted with or without 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 declaration (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
laws patterns for the Nebraska 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 allowed 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 1850, which finally 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 settlement 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 east, 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 got votes with the
understanding that the other measures 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
principle, 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 discover that he did not exactly
follow them. But I do not wish to dwell at great length upon this
branch of the discussion. My own opinion is, that a thorough
investigation will show most plainly that the New Mexico and Utah
bills were part of a system of compromise, and not designed as
patterns for future Territorial legislation; and that this Nebraska
Bill did not follow them as a pattern at all.

The Judge tells, in proceeding, that he is opposed to making 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 is still a
difference, I think, between Judge Douglas and the Republicans in
this. I suppose that the real difference between Judge Douglas and
his friends, and the Republicans on the contrary, is, that the Judge
is not in favor of making any difference between slavery and liberty;
that he is in favor of eradicating, of pressing out of view, the
questions of preference in this country for free or slave
institutions; 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 whatever 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 logical, if you do not admit that slavery is wrong. If
you do admit that it is wrong, Judge Douglas cannot logically say he
don't care whether a wrong is voted up or voted down. Judge Douglas
declares that if any community wants 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 founded in right. But if you admit that one of them is
wrong, you cannot institute any equality between right and wrong.
And from this difference of sentiment,--the belief on the part of one
that the institution is wrong, and a policy springing from that
belief which looks to the arrest of the enlargement of that wrong,
and this other sentiment, that it is no wrong, and a policy sprung
from that sentiment, which will tolerate no idea of preventing the
wrong from growing larger, and looks to there never being an end to
it through all the existence of things,--arises the real difference
between Judge Douglas and his friends on the one hand and the
Republicans on the other. Now, I confess myself as belonging to that
class in the country who contemplate slavery as a moral, social, and
political evil, having due regard for its actual existence amongst us
and the difficulties of getting rid of it in any satisfactory way,
and to all 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, I believe, the fifth time, if not the
seventh, in my presence, reiterated his charge of a conspiracy or
combination between the National Democrats and Republicans. What
evidence Judge Douglas has upon this subject I know not, inasmuch as
he never favors us with any. I have said 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 their work. He had, I think, a great deal more to do with the
steps that led to the Lecompton Constitution than Mr. Buchanan had;
though at last, when they reached it, they quarreled over it, and
their friends divided upon it. I am very free to confess 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 insists on being a witness himself in merely
saying so. I can give all fair friends of Judge Douglas here to
understand exactly the view that Republicans take in regard to that
division. Don't you remember how two years ago the opponents of the
Democratic party were divided between Fremont and Fillmore? I guess
you do. Any Democrat who remembers that division will remember also
that he was at the time very glad of it, and then he will be able to
see all there is between the National Democrats and the Republicans.
What we now think of the two divisions of Democrats, you then thought
of the Fremont and Fillmore divisions. That is all there is of it.

But if the Judge continues to put forward the declaration that there
is an unholy and unnatural alliance between the Republicans and the
National Democrats, I now want to enter my protest against receiving
him as an entirely competent witness upon that subject. I want to
call to the Judge's attention 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 which
he declared had been passed by a Republican State Convention, in
October, 1854, at Springfield, Illinois, and he declared I had taken
part in that Convention. It turned out that although a few men
calling themselves an anti-Nebraska 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 which
he read had not been passed at Springfield at all, nor by a State
Convention in which I had taken part, that seven days afterward, at
Freeport, Judge Douglas declared that he had been misled by Charles
H. Lanphier, editor of the State Register, and Thomas L. Harris,
member of Congress in that district, and he promised in that speech
that when he went to Springfield he would investigate the matter.
Since then Judge Douglas has been to Springfield, and I 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 committed, and the
perpetration of it was traced to the three,--Lanphier, Harris, 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 16th 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 Register 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. The article in the Illinois State Register contains part
of the real proceedings of that Springfield Convention, showing that
the writer of the article had the real proceedings before him, and
purposely threw out the genuine resolutions passed by the Convention
and fraudulently substituted the others. Lanphier then, as now, was
the editor of the Register, so that there seems to be but little room
for his escape. But then it is to be borne in mind that Lanphier had
less interest in the object of that forgery than either of the other
two. The main object of that forgery at that time was to beat Yates
and elect Harris to Congress, and that object was known to be
exceedingly dear to Judge Douglas at that time. Harris and Douglas
were both in Springfield when the Convention was in session, and
although they both left before the fraud appeared in the Register,
subsequent events show that they have both had their eyes fixed upon
that Convention.

The fraud having been apparently successful upon the occasion, 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 him, "Take the eels out and set him again,"
so Harris and Douglas have shown a disposition to take the eels out
of that stale fraud by which they gained Harris's election, and set
the fraud again more than once. On the 9th of July, 1856, Douglas
attempted a repetition of it upon Trumbull on the floor of the Senate
of the United States, as will appear from the appendix of the
Congressional Globe of that date.

On the 9th of August, Harris attempted it again upon Norton 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 Harris--reattempted it
upon me at Ottawa. It has been clung to and played out again and
again as an exceedingly 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 complaint of
Lanphier, who must have known it to be a fraud from the beginning.
He, Lanphier, and Harris are just as cozy now and just as active in
the concoction of new schemes as they were before the general
discovery of this fraud. Now, all this is very natural if they are
all alike guilty 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 consequently my friend Judge Douglas finds it difficult to make a
satisfactory report upon his investigation. But meanwhile the three
are agreed that each is "a most honorable man."

Judge Douglas requires an indorsement 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 which
we know to be utterly untrue, without for a moment seeming to think
that this one unexplained fraud, which he promised to investigate,
will be the least drawback to his claim to belief. Harris ditto. He
asks a re-election to the lower House of Congress without seeming to
remember 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, continues to din the public
ear with this assertion, without seeming to suspect that these
assertions are at all 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. Lanphier cannot be
ignorant of how and by whom it was originally concocted. Can he be
induced to tell, or, if he has told, can Judge Douglas be induced to
tell how it originally 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 that 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 charges against Trumbull
and myself is not quite sufficient evidence to establish them!

While we were at Freeport, in one of these joint discussions, I
answered certain interrogatories which Judge Douglas had propounded
to me, and then 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 decision as a rule of
political action?"

To this interrogatory Judge Douglas made no answer in any just sense
of the word. He contented himself with sneering at the thought that
it was possible for the Supreme Court ever to make such a decision.
He sneered at me for propounding the interrogatory. I had not
propounded it without some reflection, and I wish now to address to
this audience some remarks upon it.

In the second clause of the 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 which shall be
made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme
law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound
thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the
contrary notwithstanding."

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 different point, the right of property in a slave is
distinctly and expressly affirmed in the Constitution."

I repeat it, "The right of property in a slave is distinctly and
expressly affirmed in the Constitution"! 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
Constitution; durable as the Constitution, and part of the
Constitution. Now, remembering the provision of the Constitution
which I have read--affirming that that instrument is the supreme 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; durable 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 argument has any fault in it:

Nothing in the Constitution or laws of any State can destroy a right
distinctly and expressly affirmed in the Constitution of the United

The right of property in a slave is distinctly and expressly affirmed
in the Constitution 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 be pointed out in that argument; assuming
the truth of the premises, the conclusion, so far as I have capacity
at all to understand it, follows inevitably. There is a fault in it
as I think, but the fault is not in the reasoning; but the falsehood
in fact is a fault of the premises. I believe 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 advocates of that decision may search in vain
for the place in the Constitution where the right of property in a
slave is distinctly and expressly affirmed I say, therefore, that I
think one of the premises is not true in fact. But it is true with
Judge Douglas. 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 and
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 Constitution, 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 its present
form if the party that made it had not been sustained previously by
the elections. My own opinion is, that the new Dred Scott decision,
deciding against the right of the people of the States to exclude
slavery, will never be made if that party is not sustained by the
elections. I believe, further, that 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 occasion, and I repeat it now, that the course of
arguement that Judge Douglas makes use of upon this subject (I charge
not his motives in this), is preparing the public mind for that new
Dred Scott decision. I have asked him again to point out to me the
reasons for his first adherence to the Dred Scott decision as it is.
I have turned his attention to the fact that General Jackson differed
with him in regard to the political obligation of a Supreme Court
decision. I have asked his attention to the 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, retaining for themselves no appeal from it, their
liberties were gone. I have asked his attention to the fact that the
Cincinnati platform, upon which he says he stands, disregards a
time-honored decision of the Supreme Court, in denying the power of
Congress to establish a National Bank. I have asked his attention to
the fact that he himself was one of the most active instruments 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 circumstance 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 has
recognized as leaders, in opposition to his former self and history,
there is something very marked. And the manner in which he adheres
to it,--not as being right upon the merits, as he conceives (because
he did not discuss that at all), but as being absolutely obligatory
upon every one simply because of the source from 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
this respect, that it commits 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 takes the next one without inquiring whether it is
right or wrong. He teaches men this doctrine, and in so doing
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 Douglas 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 his assertions that he
"don't care whether slavery is voted up or voted 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 preparing (whether purposely or not) the way for making the
institution of slavery national! I repeat again, for I wish no
misunderstanding, that I do not charge that he means it so; but I
call upon 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 Colonization Society,
that it had a tendency to the ultimate emancipation 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 Society: they must go back to the era of our liberty and
independence, and muzzle the cannon that thunders its annual joyous
return; they must blow out the moral lights around us; they must
penetrate the human soul, and eradicate the light of reason and the
love of liberty!"

And 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 going back to the era of our liberty and independence, and, so far
as in him lies, muzzling the cannon that 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, and
eradicating the light of reason and the love of liberty, when he is
in every possible way preparing the public mind, by his vast
influence, for making the institution of slavery perpetual and

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 the
United States, unless slavery shall first be prohibited therein?"

I answered, as I thought, in this way: that I am not generally
opposed to the acquisition of additional territory, and that I would
support a proposition for the acquisition of additional territory
according as my supporting it was or was not calculated to aggravate
this slavery question amongst us. I then proposed to Judge Douglas
another interrogatory, which was correlative to that: "Are you in
favor of acquiring additional 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 good many words to answer it, it was a little more fully answered
than any other. The substance of his answer was that this country
would continue to expand; that it would need additional territory;
that it was as absurd to suppose that we could continue upon our
present territory, enlarging in population as we are, as it would be
to hoop a boy twelve 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 would leave the
question of slavery, where the territory was acquired, to be settled
by the people of the acquired territory. ["That's the doctrine."]
May be it is; let us consider that for a while. 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 will be a grab for the territory of poor
Mexico, an invasion of the rich lands of South America, then the
adjoining 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 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 mongrels. 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 horror of an inferior race.

It is to be remembered, though, that this power of acquiring
additional territory is a power confided to the President and the
Senate of the United States. It is a power not under the control of
the representatives of the people any further than they, the
President and the Senate, can be considered the representatives of
the people. Let me illustrate that by a case we have in our history.
When 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 insisted 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
insisted upon constantly and never failed to call forth an assurance
that any territory thus acquired should have that prohibition in it,
so far as the House of Representatives was concerned. But at last
the President and Senate acquired the territory without asking the
House of Representatives anything 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
anything 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 important question
for due consideration of the American people, whether the 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 policy 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. We
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 easy to assert, but much less
easy 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 institutions, the only one that has
ever threatened or menaced a dissolution of the Union, that has ever
disturbed us in such 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 people to consider
whether we shall engage in the policy of acquiring additional
territory, discarding 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. The 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.
I am willing and anxious that they should consider them fully; that
they should turn it about and consider the importance of the
question, and arrive at a just conclusion as to whether it is or is
not wise in the people of this Union, in the acquisition of new
territory, to consider whether it will add to the disturbance that is
existing amongst us--whether it will add to the one only danger that
has ever threatened the perpetuity of the Union or 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
head, whether I have occupied the whole of the remnant of my time or
not, I believe I could not enter upon any new topic so as to treat it
fully, without transcending my time, which I would not for a moment
think of doing. I give way to Judge Douglas.



LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I have had no immediate conference 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, the elements in the State of Illinois
which have since been consolidated into the Republican party
assembled together in a State Convention at Bloomington. They
adopted at that time what, in political language, is called a
platform. In June of the same year the elements of the Republican
party in the nation assembled together in a National Convention at
Philadelphia. They adopted what is called the National Platform. In
June, 1858,--the present year,--the Republicans of Illinois
reassembled at Springfield, in State Convention, and adopted again
their platform, as I suppose not differing in any essential
particular from either of the former ones, but perhaps adding
something 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 the
United States Senate. I have supposed that, in entering upon this
canvass, I stood generally upon these platforms. We are now met
together on the 13th of October of the same year, only four months
from the adoption of the last platform, and I am unaware that in this
canvass, from the beginning until to-day, any one of our adversaries
has taken hold of our platforms, or laid his finger upon anything
that he calls wrong in them.

In the very first one of these joint discussions between Senator
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 resolutions passed long before the
meeting of either one of these conventions of which I have spoken.
And as a ground for holding me responsible for these resolutions, he
assumed that they had been passed at a State Convention of the
Republican party, and that I took part in that Convention. It was
discovered afterward that this 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 passed at Springfield,
where he supposed they had, or assumed that they had, and that they
had been passed in no convention in which I had taken part. The
Judge, nevertheless, was not willing to give up the point that he was
endeavoring 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 hundred and fifty or two hundred miles of
where I was when it met, nor one in which I took any part at all. He
also introduced other resolutions, passed at other meetings, and by
combining 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 understand, that I am in
some way 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 proceedings 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 man or every set of men
everywhere, who happen to be 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 or are now his supporters and
friends, 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 my friends in
different parts of the State have done, but that he is not
responsible for what his have done. At least, so I understand him.
But in addition to that, the Judge, at our meeting 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 Galesburgh, I had
an opportunity, as I had the middle speech then, 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 from a speech of mine at Charleston, in
which he insisted that I was greatly inconsistent, and insisted that
his conclusion followed, that I was playing a double part, and
speaking in one region one way, and in another region another way. I
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 Charleston which the
Judge quoted, and then make some comments upon it. This he quotes
from me as being delivered at Charleston, 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
office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say, in
addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the
white and black races which will forever forbid the two races living
together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as
they cannot so live while they do remain together, there must be the
position of superior and inferior. I am as much as any other man in
favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

This, I believe, is the entire quotation from 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 right
when he discards all 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 divine law with
equality. And down South, with the old-line Whigs, with the
Kentuckians, the Virginians and the Tennesseeans, he tells you that
there is a physical difference between 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 Judges 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 a while--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 expressly
declared that my own feelings would not admit a social and political
equality between 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 reporting while I was
giving it, but afterward went away without getting it from me. At
the end of that quotation from my old speech, which I read at Ottawa,
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 Douglas says were delivered by me down in Egypt. After
reading, I added these words:

"Now, gentlemen, I don't want 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 that 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
institution 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 together on the
footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch 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 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 rights enumerated in the Declaration
of Independence,--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 Kentuckians, the Virginians, 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 par excellence, in the
Lovejoy District, in the personal presence of Lovejoy, for he was on
the stand with us when 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 anywhere; 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 Declaration of Independence I am entirely borne out
by the sentiments advanced by our old Whig leader, Henry Clay, and I
have the book here to show it from but because I have already
occupied more time than I intended to do on that topic, I pass over

At Galesburgh, I tried to show that by the Dred Scott decision,
pushed to its legitimate consequences, slavery would be established
in all the States as well as in the Territories. I did this because,
upon a former occasion, I had asked Judge Douglas whether, if the
Supreme Court should make a decision declaring that the States had
not the power to exclude slavery from their limits, he would adopt
and follow that decision as a rule of political action; and because
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 Galesburgh, 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 his 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,
this conclusion, inevitably followed from the point already decided
by the court. The Judge, in his reply, again sneers at the thought
of the court making any such decision, and in the course of his
remarks upon this subject uses the language which I will now read.
Speaking of me, the Judge says:

"He goes on and insists that the Dred Scott decision would carry
slavery into the free States, notwithstanding the decision itself
says the contrary." And he adds:

"Mr. Lincoln knows that there is no member of the Supreme Court that
holds 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 I will thank Judge
Douglas to lay his finger upon the place in the entire opinions of
the court where any one of them "says the contrary." It is very hard
to affirm a negative with entire confidence. I say, however, that I
have examined that decision 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 slavery, 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, was by Judge
Nelson, and the approach he made to it was exactly, in substance, the
Nebraska Bill,--that the States had the exclusive 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
have been voted down by the majority of the judges, just as Chase's
amendment 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 had attempted to use upon me at
Ottawa, and commented at some length upon the fact that they were, as
presented, not genuine. Judge Douglas 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
expressions which he used toward me, was that I dared to say forgery,
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
forgery. At Jacksonville, Judge Douglas made a speech in answer to
something said by Judge Trumbull, and at the close of what 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. When 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 by piece, to put his finger upon one piece
of all that evidence that he would say was a forgery! When I 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 is the same thing with you.]

Yes, sir, it is the same thing with me. I do dare to say forgery
when it is true, and don't dare to say forgery when it is false. Now
I will say here to this 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 say--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 investigate 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 would n'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, when it was first agreed that Judge
Douglas and I were to have these seven joint discussions, that they
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 anything in myself, in the face of the world; and I am
anxious that they should be conducted with dignity and in the good
temper which would be befitting the vast audiences before which it
was 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 intentions, 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 by
it, but in our first discussion, 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 pretending
to be as good an old-line Whig 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 treating 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, 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 understand 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 of 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 when he quits, I probably will. But I
shall not ask any favors at all. He asks me, or 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 called me an "amiable" man, though
perhaps 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 prefer, when this canvass shall be
over, however it may result, that we at least part without any bitter
recollections of personal 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 enormity, and if the Judge
hereafter chooses to confine himself to a war upon these principles,
he will probably not find me departing 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 element. It is
the opinion of all the great men who have expressed 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 opinion is, we perhaps shall be
better prepared for discussing the different systems of policy that
we would propose in regard to that disturbing element. I suggest
that the difference of opinion, reduced to its lowest of terms, is no
other than the difference between the men who think slavery a wrong
and those who do not think it wrong. The Republican party think it
wrong; we think it is a moral, a social, and a political wrong. We
think it as 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 extends 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
amongst us, and the difficulties 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 actual existence in the
nation, and to our constitutional obligations, 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 further than that: we don't propose to disturb it
where, in one instance, we think the Constitution would permit us.
We 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 ourselves in reference to the
actual existence of the institution and the difficulties thrown about
it. We also oppose it as an evil so far as it seeks to spread
itself. We insist on the policy that shall restrict it to its
present limits. We don't suppose that in doing this we violate
anything due to the actual presence of the institution, or anything
due to the constitutional guaranties thrown around it.

We oppose the Dred Scott decision in a certain way, upon which I
ought perhaps to address you a few words. We 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. We do not propose that, when any
other one, or one thousand, shall be decided by that court to be
slaves, we will in any violent 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
concur with the principles of that decision. We 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 foundation for spreading that evil
into the States themselves. We propose so resisting it as to have it
reversed if we can, and a new judicial rule established upon this

I will add this: that if there be any man who does not believe 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 any man in the Republican party who is
impatient over the necessity springing from its actual presence, and
is impatient of the constitutional guaranties thrown around it, and
would act in disregard of these, he too is misplaced, standing with
us. He will find his place somewhere else; for we have a due regard,
so far as we are capable of understanding them, for all these things.
This, gentlemen, as well 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 contrary to
me,--a sentiment which holds that slavery is not wrong, and therefore
it goes for the policy that does not propose dealing with it as a
wrong. That policy is the Democratic policy, and that sentiment is
the Democratic sentiment. If there be a doubt in the mind of any one
of this vast 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
proposition. In the first 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 else 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 the first 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, he will find that he carefully excludes the idea that there
is anything wrong in it. If you will examine the arguments that are
made on it, you will find that every one carefully excludes the idea
that there is anything wrong in slavery. Perhaps that 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 saying so? 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? There is no suitable place to oppose it. There is no
place 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 I say, again, that
in regard to the arguments that are made, when Judge Douglas Says he
"don't care whether slavery is voted up or voted down," whether he
means that as an individual expression of sentiment, or only as a
sort of statement of his views on national 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 cannot say that he would as soon see a wrong voted up
as voted down. When Judge Douglas 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. When he says that slave property and horse
and hog property are alike to be allowed to go into the Territories,
upon the principles of equality, he is reasoning truly, if there is
no difference between them as property; but if the one is property
held rightfully, and the other is wrong, then there is no equality
between the right and wrong; so that, turn it in anyway you can, in
all the arguments sustaining the Democratic policy, and in that
policy itself, there is a careful, studied exclusion of the idea that
there is anything wrong in slavery. Let us understand this. I am
not, just here, trying to prove that we 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 question distinctly stated, can get all these
men who 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


MY FRIENDS:--Since Judge Douglas has said to you in his conclusion
that he had not time in an hour and a half to answer all I had said
in an hour, it follows of course that I will not be able to answer in
half an hour all that he said in an hour and a half.

I wish to return to Judge Douglas my profound thanks for his public
annunciation here to-day, to be put on record, that his system of
policy in regard to the institution of slavery contemplates that it
shall last forever. We are getting a little nearer the true issue of
this controversy, and I am profoundly grateful for this one sentence.
Judge Douglas asks you, Why cannot the institution of slavery, or
rather, why cannot the nation, part slave and part free, continue as
our fathers made it, forever? In the first place, I insist that our
fathers did not make this nation half slave and half free, or part
slave and part free. I insist that they found the institution of
slavery existing here. They did not make it so but they left it so
because they knew of no way to get rid of it at that time. When
Judge Douglas undertakes to say that, as a matter of choice, the
fathers of the government made this nation part slave and part free,
he assumes what is historically a falsehood. More than that: when
the fathers of the government cut off the source of slavery by the
abolition of the slave-trade, and adopted a system of restricting it
from the new Territories where it had not existed, I maintain that
they placed it where they understood, and all sensible men
understood, it was in the course of ultimate extinction; and when
Judge Douglas asks me why it cannot continue as our fathers made it,
I ask him why he and his friends could not let it remain as our
fathers made it?

It is precisely all I ask of him in relation to the institution of
slavery, that it shall be placed upon the basis that our fathers
placed it upon. Mr. Brooks, of South Carolina, once said, and truly
said, that when this government was established, no one expected the
institution of slavery to last until this day, and that the men who
formed this government were wiser and better than the men of these
days; but the men of these days had experience which the fathers had
not, and that experience had taught them the invention of the
cotton-gin, and this had made the perpetuation of the institution of
slavery a necessity in this country. Judge Douglas could not let it
stand upon the basis which our fathers placed it, but removed it, and
put it upon the cotton-gin basis. It is a question, therefore, for
him and his friends to answer, why they could not let it remain where
the fathers of the government originally placed it. I hope nobody
has understood me as trying to sustain the doctrine that we have a
right to quarrel with Kentucky, or Virginia, or any of the slave
States, about the institution of slavery,--thus giving the Judge an
opportunity to be eloquent and valiant against us in fighting for
their rights. I expressly declared in my opening speech that I had
neither the inclination to exercise, nor the belief in the existence
of, the right to interfere with the States of Kentucky or Virginia in
doing as they pleased with slavery Or any other existing institution.
Then what becomes of all his eloquence in behalf of the rights of
States, which are assailed by no living man?

But I have to hurry on, for I have but a half hour. The Judge has
informed me, or informed this audience, that the Washington Union is
laboring for my election to the United States Senate. This is news
to me,--not very ungrateful news either. [Turning to Mr. W. H.
Carlin, who was on the stand]--I hope that Carlin will be elected to
the State Senate, and will vote for me. [Mr. Carlin shook his head.]
Carlin don't fall in, I perceive, and I suppose he will not do much
for me; but I am glad of all the support I can get, anywhere, if I
can get it without practicing any deception to obtain it. In respect
to this large portion of Judge Douglas's speech in which he tries to
show that in the controversy between himself and the Administration
party he is in the right, I do not feel myself at all competent or
inclined to answer him. I say to him, "Give it to them,--give it to
them just all you can!" and, on the other hand, I say to Carlin, and
Jake Davis, and to this man Wogley up here in Hancock, "Give it to
Douglas, just pour it into him!"

Now, in regard to this matter of the Dred Scott decision, I wish to
say a word or two. After all, the Judge will not say whether, if a
decision is made holding that the people of the States cannot exclude
slavery, he will support it or not. He obstinately refuses to say
what he will do in that case. The judges of the Supreme Court as
obstinately refused to say what they would do on this subject.
Before this I reminded him that at Galesburgh he said the judges had
expressly declared the contrary, and you remember that in my Opening
speech I told him I had the book containing that decision here, and I
would thank him to lay his finger on the place where any such thing
was said. He has occupied his hour and a half, and he has not
ventured to try to sustain his assertion. He never will. But he is
desirous of knowing how we are going to reverse that Dred Scott
decision. Judge Douglas ought to know how. Did not he and his
political friends find a way to reverse the decision of that same
court in favor of the constitutionality of the National Bank? Didn't
they find a way to do it so effectually that they have reversed it as
completely as any decision ever was reversed, so far as its practical
operation is concerned?

And let me ask you, did n't Judge Douglas find a way to reverse the
decision of our Supreme Court when it decided that Carlin's father--
old Governor Carlin had not the constitutional power to remove a
Secretary of State? Did he not appeal to the "MOBS," as he calls
them? Did he not make speeches in the lobby to show how villainous
that decision was, and how it ought to be overthrown? Did he not
succeed, too, in getting an act passed by the Legislature to have it
overthrown? And did n't he himself sit down on that bench as one of
the five added judges, who were to overslaugh the four old ones,
getting his name of "judge" in that way, and no other? If there is a
villainy in using disrespect or making opposition to Supreme Court
decisions, I commend it to Judge Douglas's earnest consideration. I
know of no man in the State of Illinois who ought to know so well
about how much villainy it takes to oppose a decision of the Supreme
Court as our honorable friend Stephen A. Douglas.

Judge Douglas also makes the declaration that I say the Democrats are
bound by the Dred Scott decision, while the Republicans are not. In
the sense in which he argues, I never said it; but I will tell you
what I have said and what I do not hesitate to repeat to-day. I have
said that as the Democrats believe that decision to be correct, and
that the extension of slavery is affirmed in the National
Constitution, they are bound to support it as such; and I will tell
you here that General Jackson once said each man was bound to support
the Constitution "as he understood it." Now, Judge Douglas
understands the Constitution according to the Dred Scott decision,
and he is bound to support it as he understands it. I understand it
another way, and therefore I am bound to support it in the way in
which I understand it. And as Judge Douglas believes that decision
to be correct, I will remake that argument if I have time to do so.
Let me talk to some gentleman down there among you who looks me in
the face. We will say you are a member of the Territorial
Legislature, and, like Judge Douglas, you believe that the right to
take and hold slaves there is a constitutional right The first thing
you do is to swear you will support the Constitution, and all rights
guaranteed therein; that you will, whenever your neighbor needs your
legislation to support his constitutional rights, not withhold that
legislation. If you withhold that necessary legislation for the
support of the Constitution and constitutional rights, do you not
commit perjury? I ask every sensible man if that is not so? That is
undoubtedly just so, say what you please. Now, that is precisely
what Judge Douglas says, that this is a constitutional right. Does
the Judge mean to say that the Territorial Legislature in legislating
may, by withholding necessary laws, or by passing unfriendly laws,
nullify that constitutional right? Does he mean to say that? Does
he mean to ignore the proposition so long and well established in
law, that what you cannot do directly, you cannot do indirectly?
Does he mean that? The truth about the matter is this: Judge Douglas
has sung paeans to his "Popular Sovereignty" doctrine until his
Supreme Court, co-operating with him, has squatted his Squatter
Sovereignty out. But he will keep up this species of humbuggery
about Squatter Sovereignty. He has at last invented this sort of
do-nothing sovereignty,--that the people may exclude slavery by a
sort of "sovereignty" that is exercised by doing nothing at all. Is
not that running his Popular Sovereignty down awfully? Has it not
got down as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the
shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death? But at last, when it
is brought to the test of close reasoning, there is not even that
thin decoction of it left. It is a presumption impossible in the
domain of thought. It is precisely no other than the putting of that
most unphilosophical proposition, that two bodies can occupy the same
space at the same time. The Dred Scott decision covers the whole
ground, and while it occupies it, there is no room even for the
shadow of a starved pigeon to occupy the same ground.

Judge Douglas, in reply to what I have said about having upon a
previous occasion made the speech at Ottawa as the one he took an
extract from at Charleston, says it only shows that I practiced the
deception twice. Now, my friends, are any of you obtuse enough to
swallow that? Judge Douglas had said I had made a speech at
Charleston that I would not make up north, and I turned around and
answered him by showing I had made that same speech up north,--had
made it at Ottawa; made it in his hearing; made it in the Abolition
District,--in Lovejoy's District,--in the personal presence of
Lovejoy himself,--in the same atmosphere exactly in which I had made
my Chicago speech, of which he complains so much.

Now, in relation to my not having said anything about the quotation
from the Chicago speech: he thinks that is a terrible subject for me
to handle. Why, gentlemen, I can show you that the substance of the
Chicago speech I delivered two years ago in "Egypt," as he calls it.
It was down at Springfield. That speech is here in this book, and I
could turn to it and read it to you but for the lack of time. I have
not now the time to read it. ["Read it, read it."] No, gentlemen, I
am obliged to use discretion in disposing most advantageously of my
brief time. The Judge has taken great exception to my adopting the
heretical statement in the Declaration of Independence, that "all men
are created equal," and he has a great deal to say about negro
equality. I want to say that in sometimes alluding to the
Declaration of Independence, I have only uttered the sentiments that
Henry Clay used to hold. Allow me to occupy your time a moment with
what he said. Mr. Clay was at one time called upon in Indiana, and
in a way that I suppose was very insulting, to liberate his slaves;
and he made a written reply to that application, and one portion of
it is in these words:

"What is the foundation of this appeal to me in Indiana 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 thirteen
American colonies, that men are created equal. Now, as an abstract
principle, there is no doubt of the truth of that declaration, and it
is desirable in the original construction of society, and in
organized societies, to keep it in view as a great fundamental

When I sometimes, in relation to the organization of new societies in
new countries, where the soil is clean and clear, insisted that we
should keep that principle in view, Judge Douglas will have it that I
want a negro wife. He never can be brought to understand that there
is any middle ground on this subject. I have lived until my fiftieth
year, and have never had a negro woman either for a slave or a wife,
and I think I can live fifty centuries, for that matter, without
having had one for either. I maintain that you may take Judge
Douglas's quotations from my Chicago speech, and from my Charleston
speech, and the Galesburgh speech,--in his speech of to-day,--and
compare them over, and I am willing to trust them with you upon his
proposition that they show rascality or double-dealing. I deny that
they do.

The Judge does not seem at all disposed to have peace, but I find he
is disposed to have a personal warfare with me. He says that my oath
would not be taken against the bare word of Charles H. Lanphier or
Thomas L. Harris. Well, that is altogether a matter of opinion. It
is certainly not for me to vaunt my word against oaths of these
gentlemen, but I will tell Judge Douglas again the facts upon which I
"dared" to say they proved a forgery. I pointed out at Galesburgh
that the publication of these resolutions in the Illinois State
Register could not have been the result of accident, as the
proceedings of that meeting bore unmistakable evidence of being done
by a man who knew it was a forgery; that it was a publication partly
taken from the real proceedings of the Convention, and partly from
the proceedings of a convention at another place, which showed that
he had the real proceedings before him, and taking one part of the
resolutions, he threw out another part, and substituted false and
fraudulent ones in their stead. I pointed that out to him, and also
that his friend Lanphier, who was editor of the Register at that time
and now is, must have known how it was done. Now, whether he did it,
or got some friend to do it for him, I could not tell, but he
certainly knew all about it. I pointed out to Judge Douglas that in
his Freeport speech he had promised to investigate that matter.
Does he now say that he did not make that promise? I have a right
to ask why he did not keep it. I call upon him to tell here to-day
why he did not keep that promise? That fraud has been traced up so
that it lies between him, Harris, and Lanphier. There is little room
for escape for Lanphier. Lanphier is doing the Judge good service,
and Douglas desires his word to be taken for the truth. He desires
Lanphier to be taken as authority in what he states in his newspaper.
He desires Harris to be taken as a man of vast credibility; and when
this thing lies among them, they will not press it to show where the
guilt really belongs. Now, as he has said that he would investigate
it, and implied that he would tell us the result of his
investigation, I demand of him to tell why he did not investigate it,
if he did not; and if he did, why he won't tell the result. I call
upon him for that.

This is the third time that Judge Douglas has assumed that he learned
about these resolutions by Harris's attempting to use them against
Norton on the floor of Congress. I tell Judge Douglas the public
records of the country show that he himself attempted it upon
Trumbull a month before Harris tried them on Norton; that Harris had
the opportunity of learning it from him, rather than he from Harris.
I now ask his attention to that part of the record on the case. My
friends, I am not disposed to detain you longer in regard to that

I am told that I still have five minutes left. There is another
matter I wish to call attention to. He says, when he discovered
there was a mistake in that case, he came forward magnanimously,
without my calling his attention to it, and explained it. I will
tell you how he became so magnanimous. When the newspapers of our
side had discovered and published it, and put it beyond his power to
deny it, then he came forward and made a virtue of necessity by
acknowledging it. Now he argues that all the point there was in
those resolutions, although never passed at Springfield, is retained
by their being passed at other localities. Is that true? He said I
had a hand in passing them, in his opening speech, that I was in the
convention and helped to pass them. Do the resolutions touch me at
all? It strikes me there is some difference between holding a man
responsible for an act which he has not done and holding him
responsible for an act that he has
done. You will judge whether there is any difference in the "spots."
And he has taken credit for great magnanimity in coming forward and
acknowledging what is proved on him beyond even the capacity of Judge
Douglas to deny; and he has more capacity in that way than any other
living man.

Then he wants to know why I won't withdraw the charge in regard to a
conspiracy to make slavery national, as he has withdrawn the one he
made. May it please his worship, I will withdraw it when it is
proven false on me as that was proven false on him. I will add a
little more than that, I will withdraw it whenever a reasonable man
shall be brought to believe that the charge is not true. I have
asked Judge Douglas's attention to certain matters of fact tending to
prove the charge of a conspiracy to nationalize slavery, and he says
he convinces me that this is all untrue because Buchanan was not in
the country at that time, and because the Dred Scott case had not
then got into the Supreme Court; and he says that I say the
Democratic owners of Dred Scott got up the case. I never did say
that I defy Judge Douglas to show that I ever said so, for I never
uttered it. [One of Mr. Douglas's reporters gesticulated
affirmatively at Mr. Lincoln.] I don't care if your hireling does say
I did, I tell you myself that I never said the "Democratic" owners of
Dred Scott got up the case. I have never pretended to know whether
Dred Scott's owners were Democrats, or Abolitionists, or Freesoilers
or Border Ruffians. I have said that there is evidence about the
case tending to show that it was a made-up case, for the purpose of
getting that decision. I have said that that evidence was very
strong in the fact that when Dred Scott was declared to be a slave,
the owner of him made him free, showing that he had had the case
tried and the question settled for such use as could be made of that
decision; he cared nothing about the property thus declared to be his
by that decision. But my time is out, and I can say no more.




LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--I have been somewhat, in my own mind,
complimented by a large portion of Judge Douglas's speech,--I mean
that portion which he devotes to the controversy between himself and
the present Administration. This is the seventh time Judge Douglas
and myself have met in these joint discussions, and he has been
gradually improving in regard to his war with the Administration. At
Quincy, day before yesterday, he was a little more severe upon the
Administration 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 flatter myself he has
really taken my advice on this subject. All I can say now is to
re-commend to him and to them what I then commended,--to prosecute
the war against one another in the most vigorous manner. I say to
them again: "Go it, husband!--Go it, bear!"

There is one other thing I will mention before I leave this branch of
the discussion,--although I do not consider it much of my business,
anyway. I refer to that part of the Judge's remarks where he
undertakes to involve Mr. Buchanan in an inconsistency. He reads
something from Mr. Buchanan, from which he undertakes to involve him
in an inconsistency; and he gets something of a cheer for having done
so. I would only remind the Judge that while he is very valiantly
fighting 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. I 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? 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 attention 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 complained that the Supreme Court in the Dred
Scott case had decided that a negro could never be a citizen of the
United States. I have omitted by some accident heretofore to analyze
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 especially 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 foundation for insisting that I was in
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 I 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 they had done so, as I supposed, to
deprive the negro, under all circumstances, of the remotest
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, without 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 into the State of Illinois and
holding him in slavery for 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 prohibited 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 them in a lump, taken in
connection with the introduction of the Nebraska Bill, and the
amendment of Chase, offered at the time, declaratory of the right of
the people of the Territories to exclude slavery, 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 connection.

Out of this Judge Douglas builds up his beautiful fabrication of my
purpose to introduce a perfect social and political equality between
the white and black races. His assertion that I made an "especial
objection" (that is his exact language) to the decision on this
account is untrue in point of fact.

Now, while I am upon this subject, and as Henry Clay has been alluded
to, I desire to place myself, in connection with Mr. Clay, as nearly
right before this people as may be. I am quite aware what the
Judge's object is here by all these allusions. 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, without reading, to-day to a portion of a speech which I
delivered in Chicago. In his quotations from that speech, as he has
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 convey. 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 published 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. We 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 standard."

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 institution 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 ago, at Springfield, in
discussing this very same question, soon after Judge Douglas took his
ground that negroes were, not included in the Declaration of

"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. They defined
with tolerable distinctness in what they did consider all men created
equal,--equal in certain inalienable 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. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the
enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should

"They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society which should
be familiar to all,--constantly looked to, constantly 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 I have expressed in regard to the
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 myself 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
reassert 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 astonishment to me if they shall be able to find that one
human being three years ago had ever uttered the astounding sentiment
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
politicians of his school denied the truth of the Declaration. I
know that it ran along in the mouth 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 than a self-evident truth. But 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 who had ventured to assail it in the sneaking way of pretending
to believe it, and then asserting 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.
Douglas. 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 irresistible 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 was not an old-line Whig. I am somewhat
acquainted with 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 men 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 Declaration. He brings forward part
of a speech from Henry Clay,--the part of the speech of Henry Clay
which I used to bring forward 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 authority.
While he was in Indiana a man presented a petition to liberate his
negroes, and he (Mr. Clay) made a speech in answer to it, which I
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 "Old-Line Whig" at Chicago brought forward to
show that Mr. Clay did n't suppose the negro was included in the
Declaration of Independence. Hear what Mr. Clay said:

"And what is the foundation of this appeal to me in Indiana 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 thirteen American colonies, that all men are created equal. Now,
as an abstract principle, there is no doubt of the truth of that
declaration; and it is desirable, in the original construction of
society and in organized societies, to keep it in view as a great
fundamental principle. But, then, I apprehend 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 community.


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