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This had an important bearing on one objection upon which Douglas based his Anti-Lecompton rebellion.
The fifth joint discussion was held at Galesburg, the sixth at Quincy, and the last at Alton. The main topics and methods of these debates, as of the rest, did not substantially differ from those of the speeches at Chicago and Springfield.
The Alton debate occurred on the 15th of October. As the day of the election (November 2d) approached, it became more and more evident that strong efforts were making, aided by the advice of Senator Crittenden on the one hand, and of VicePresident Breckinridge on the other, to secure a diversion of “ Conservative" votes-American, Democratic, and Whig-in the central and southern parts of the State, in favor of Douglas. These endeavors succeeded to such an extent that, with the immense advantages the Douglas party had in their unequal and utterly unfair apportionment of Legislative Districts, and in the lucky proportion of Democratic Senators holding over, they secured a small majority in each branch of the new Legislature. The Senate had 14 Democrats and 11 Republicansthe House 40 Democrats and 35 Republicans. The popular voice was for Lincoln, by more than four thousand majority, over Douglas.
Admiration of the manly bearing and gallant conduct of Mr. Lincoln, throughout this campaign, which had early assumed a national importance, led to the spontaneous suggestion of his name, in various parts of the country, as a candidate for the Presidency. From the beginning to the end of the contest, he had proved himself an able statesman, an effective orator, a true gentleman, and an honest man. While, therefore, Douglas was returned to the Senate, there was a general presentiment that a juster verdict was yet to be had, and that Mr. Lincoln and his cause would be ultimately vindicated before the people. That time was to come, even sooner, perhaps, than his friends, in their momentary despondency, expected. From that hour to the present, the fame of Abraham Lincoln has been enlarging and ripening, and the love of his noble character has become more and more deeply fixed in the popular heart.
SPEECHES OF 1859-'60.
Mr. Lincoln in Ohio.—His Speech at Columbus.-Denial of the Negro
Suffrage Charge.—Troubles of Douglas with His “Great Principle.”—Territories Not States.-Doctrines of the Fathers.—His Cincinnati Speech.--"Shooting Over the Line."-What the Republicans Mean to Do.-Plain Questions to the Democracy.-The People Above Courts and Congress.-Uniting the Opposition.-Eastern Tour. The Cooper Institute Speech.—Mr. Bryant's Introduction.--What the Fathers Held.-What will Satisfy the Southern Democracy ?Counsels to the Republicans.—Mr. Lincoln Among the Children.
- DURING the year following his great contest with Douglas, which had resulted in a barren triumph through the injustice of the previous Democratic Legislature in refusing a fair and equal apportionment, Mr. Lincoln again gave himself almost exclusively to professional labors. During the autumn campaign of 1859, however, when Douglas visited Ohio, and endeavored to turn the tide of battle in favor of the Democracy in that State, so as to secure the re-election of Mr. Pugh, and to gain other partisan benefits, an earnest invitation was sent to Lincoln to assist the Republicans in their canvass. He complied, and delivered two most effective speeches in Ohio, one at Columbus, and the other at Cincinnati.
In his speech at the former place (September 16, 1859), he began by noticing a statement which he read from the central Democratic organ, averring that in the canvass of the previous year with Douglas, “Mr. Lincoln declared in favor of negro suffrage.” This charge he quickly disposed of, showing by quotations from his printed speeches of that canvass, that he
distinctly and repeatedly declared himself opposed to the policy thus attributed to him.
Mr. Lincoln then noticed the recent Columbus speech of Mr. Douglas, in which he “dealt exclusively" in the “negro topics” of discussion.' Mr. L. spoke at some length on these issues, and thoroughly exposed the distinctions between genuine popular sovereignty, and the spurious sort which Douglas and his friends passed off for the reality. He then went on to notice the great amount of trouble which Mr. Douglas had had with his spurious popular sovereignty, and to illustrate how “his explanations explanatory of explanations explained are interminable.” The Harper's Magazine essay of Douglas on this subject was dissected, and left without any logical vitality or cohesion. Two or three brief points in the remainder of this speech are subjoined :
STATES AND TERRITORIES. There is another little difficulty about this matter of treating the Territories and States alike in all things, to which I ask your attention, and I shall leave this branch of the case. If there is no difference between them, why not make the Territories States at once? What is the reason that Kansas was not fit to come into the Union when it was organized into a Territory, in Judge Douglas' view? Can any of you tell any reason why it should not have come into the Union at once? They are fit, as he thinks, to decide upon the slavery question—the largest and most important with which they could possibly deal-what could they do by coming into the Union that they are not fit to do, according to his view, by staying out of it? Oh, they are not fit to sit in Congress and decide upon the rates of postage, or questions of ad valorem or specific duties on foreign goods, or live oak timber contracts. [Laughter.] They are not fit to decide these vastly important matters, which are national in their import, but they are fit, “from the jump,” to decide this little negro question. But, gentlemen, the case is too plain; I occupy too much time on this head, and I pass on.
STAND BY THE DOCTRINES OF THE FATHERS. I see in the Judge's speech here a short sentence in these word: "Our fathers, when they formed this Government under which we live, understood this question just as well, and
even better than we do now.” That is true. I stick to that. Great cheers and laughter.] I will stand by Judge Douglas in that to the bitter end. [Renewed laughter.] And now, Judge Douglas, . come and stand by me, and faithfully show how they acted, understanding it better than we do. All I ask of you, Judge Douglas, is to stick to the proposition that the men of the Revolution understood this subject better than we do now, and with that better understanding they acted better than you are trying to act now. [Applause.]
At Cincinnati, on the 17th of September, Mr. Lincoln addressed an immense audience on the same general political topics, and in his ablest manner. He did not repeat or merely play variations upon his Columbus speech, but adopted new modes of illustrating and enforcing his views. He was listened to with an interest rarely excited by any orator who ever spoke in this city, even in the most exciting campaign. No extracts can give a true idea of its ability and power as a whole. Alluding to Douglas' perversions of his views, and to the charge of wishing to disturb slavery in the States by “shooting over” the line, Mr. Lincoln said:
SHOOTING OVER THE LINE. It has occurred to me here to-night, that if I ever do shoot over at the people on the other side of the line in a slave State, and purpose to do so, keeping my skin safe, that I have now about the best chance I shall ever have. (Laughter and applause. I should not wonder if there are some Kentuckians about this audience; we are close to Kentucky, and whether that be so or not, we are on elevated ground, and by speaking distinctly, I should not wonder if some of the Ken tuckians should hear me on the other side of the river. [Laughter.] For that reason I propose to address a portion of what I have to say to the Kentuckians.
I say, then, in the first place, to the Kentuckians, that I am what they call, as I understand it, a “ Black Republican." [Applause and Laughter.] I think that slavery is wrong, morally, socially and politically. I desire that it should be no further spread in these United States, and I should not object if it should gradually terminate in the whole Union. [Applause.] While I say this for myself, I say to you, Kentuckians, that I understand that you differ radically with me upon this proposition; that you believe slavery is a good thing that slavery is right; that it ought to be extended and perpetuated in this Union. Now, there being this broad difference between us, I do not pretend in addressing myself to you, Kentuckians, to attempt proselyting you at all; that would be a vain effort. I do not enter upon it. I only propose to try to show you that you ought to nominate for the next Presidency, at Charleston, my distinguished friend, Judge Douglas. [Applause. In whatever there is a difference between you and him, I understand he is as sincerely for you, and more wisely for you, than you are for yourselves. FApplause. I will try to demonstrate that proposition. Understand, now, I say that I believe he is as sincerely for you, and more wisely for you, than you are for yourselves.
Mr. Lincoln then went on to show that Douglas was constantly endeavoring to “mold the public opinion of the North to the ends” desired by the South ; that he only differed from the South in so far as was necessary to retain any hold upon his own section; that not daring to maintain that slavery is right, he professed an indifference whether it was "voted up or voted down"-thus indirectly advancing the opinion that it is not wrong; and that he had taken a step in advance, by doing what would not have been thought of by any man five years ago, to-wit :-denying that the Declaration of Independence asserto any principle intended to be applicable to black men, or that properly includes them. The tendency of this doctrino " is to bring the public mind to the conclusion that when ren are spoken of, the negro is not meant; that when negroes are spoken of, brutes alone are contemplated.
Of the certainty of a speedy Republican triumph in the nation, and of its results, Mr. Lincoln said :
WHAT THE OPPOSITION MEAN TO DO. . I will tell you, so far as I am authorized to speak for the Opposition, what we mean to do with you. We mean to treat you, as nearly as we possibly can, as Washington, Jefferson, ard Madison treated you. [Cheers.] We mean to leave you alone, and in no way to interfere with your institution; to abide by all and eve y compromise of the Constitution, and, in a word, coming back to the original proposition, to treat you, so far as degenerated men (if we have degenerated) may, imitating the examples of those noble fathers—Wash