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Speech at Springfield.
Reply to Judge Douglas.
The Nebraska Bill
"Three years and a half ago, Judge Douglas brought forward his famous Nebraska bill. The country was at once in a blaze. He scorned all opposition, and carried it through Congress. Since then he has seen himself superseded in a Presidential nomination, by one indorsing the general doctrine of his measure, but at the same time standing clear of the odium of its untimely agitation, and its gross breach of national faith; and he has seen that successful rival Constitutionally elected, not by the strength of friends, but by the division of his adversaries, being in a popular minority of nearly four hundred thousand votes. He has seen his chief aids in his own State, Shields and Richardson, politely speaking, successively tried, convicted, and executed, for an offence not their own, but his. And now he sees his own case, standing next on the docket for trial.
"There is a natural disgust, in the minds of nearly all white people, to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races; and Judge Douglas evidently is basing his chief hope upon the chances of his being able to appropriate the benefit of this disgust to himself. If he can, by much drumming and repeating, fasten the odium of that idea upon his adversaries, he thinks he can struggle through the storm. He, therefore, clings to this hope, as a drowning man to the last plank. He makes an occasion for lugging it in from the opposition to the Dred Scott decision. He finds the Republicans insisting that the Declaration of Independence includes ALL men, black as well as white, and forthwith he boldly denies that it includes negroes at all, and proceeds to argue gravely that all who contend it does do so only because they want to vote, eat and sleep, and marry with negroes He will have it that they can not be consistent else. I protest against the counterfeit logic which concludes that because I do not want a black woman for a slave I mus' necessarily want her for a wife. I need not have her fo either I can just leave her alone. In some respects sh
Speech at Springfield.
Reply to Judge Douglas. The Declaration of Independence
certainly is not my equal; but in her naturai right to eat the bread she earns with her own hands, without asking leave of any one else, she is my equal, and the equal of all others.
"Chief Justice Taney, in his opinion in the Dred Scott case, admits that the language of the Declaration is broad enough to include the whole human family; but he and Judge Douglas argue that the authors of that instrument did not intend to include negroes, by the fact that they did not at once actually place them on an equality with the whites. Now, this grave argument comes to just nothing at all, by the other fact, that they did not at once, or ever afterward, actually place all white people on an equality with one another. And this is the staple argument of both the Chief Justice and the Senator for doing this obvious violence to the plain, unmistakable language of the Declaration.
"I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness in what respects they did consider all men created equal-equal with 'certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' This they said, and this meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor 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 permit.
Speech at Chicago.
Reply to Douglas.
SPEECH IN REPLY TO SENATOR DOUGLAS.
(At Chicago, on the evening of July 10, 1858.)
"MY FELLOW-CITIZENS: On yesterday evening, upon the occasion of the reception given to Senator Douglas, I was furnished with a seat very convenient for hearing him, and was otherwise very courteously treated by him and his friends, for which I thank him and them. During the course of his remarks my name was mentioned in such a way as, I suppose, renders it at least not improper that I should make some sort of reply to him. I shall not attempt to follow him in the precise order in which he addressed the assembled multitude upon that occasion, though I shall perhaps do so in the main.
"There was one question to which he asked the attention of the crowd, which I deem of somewhat less importance-at least of propriety for me to dwell upon-than the others, which he brought in near the close of his speech, and which I think it would not be entirely proper for me to omit attending to, and yet if I were not to give some attention to it now, I should probably forget it altogether. While I am upon this subject, allow me to say that I do not intend to indulge in that inconvenient mode sometimes adopted in public speaking, of reading from documents; but I shall depart from that rule so far as to read a little scrap from his speech, which notices this first topic of which I shall speak-that is, provided I can find it in the paper. [Examines the morning's paper.]
"I nave made up my mind to appeal to the people against the combination that has been made against me! the Republican leaders having formed an alliance, an unholy and unnatural alliance, with a portion of unscrupulous federal officeholders. I intend to fight that allied army wherever I meet them. I know they deny the alliance, but yet these men who
Speech at Chicago.
Reply to Douglas.
are trying to divide the Democratic party for the purpose of electing a Republican Senator in my place, are just as much the agents and tools of the supporters of Mr. Lincoln. Hence I shall deal with this allied army just as the Russians dealt with the allies at Sebastopol-that is, the Russians did not stop to inquire, when they fired a broadside, whether it hit an Englishman, a Frenchman, or a Turk. Nor will I stop to inquire, nor shall I hesitate, whether my blows shall hit these Republican leaders or their allies, who are holding the federal offices and yet acting in concert with them.'
"Well, now, gentlemen, is not that very alarming? Just to think of it right at the outset of his canvass, I, a poor, kind, amiable, intelligent gentleman, I am to be slain in this way. Why, my friends, the Judge, is not only, as it turns out, not a dead lion, nor even a living one-he is the rugged Russian Bear!
"But if they will have it for he says that we deny it— that there is any such alliance as he says there is-and 1 don't propose hanging very much upon this question of veracity-but if he will have it that there is such an alliance—that the Administration men and we are allied, and we stand in the attitude of English, French and Turk, he occupying the position of the Russian, in that case, I beg that he will indulge us while we barely suggest to him that these allies took Sebastopol.
"Gentlemen, only a few more words as to this alliance. For my part, I have to say, that whether there be such an alliance, depends, so far as I know, upon what may be a right defini tion of the term alliance. If for the Republican party to see the other great party to which they are opposed divided among themselves, and not try to stop the division and rather be glad of it—if that is an alliance, I confess I am in; but if it is meant to be said that the Republicans had formed an alliance going beyond that, by which there is contribution of money or sacrifice of principle on the one side or the other,
Speech at Chicago.
Reply to Senator Douglas.
so far as the Republican party is concerned, if there be any such thing, I protest that I neither know any thing of it, nor do I believe it I will, however, say-as I think this branch of the argument is lugged in-I would, before I leave it, state, for the benefit of those concerned, that one of those same Buchanan men did once tell me of an argument that he made for his opposition to Judge Douglas. He said that a friend of our Senator Douglas had been talking to him, and had among other things said to him: 'Why, you don't want to beat Douglas?' 'Yes,' said he, 'I do want to beat him, and I will tell you why. I believe his original Nebraska Bill was right in the abstract, but it was wrong in the time that it was brought forward. It was wrong in the application to a Territory in regard to which the question had been settled; it was brought forward in a time when nobody asked him; it was tendered to the South when the South had not asked for it, but when they could not well refuse it; and for this same reason he forced that question upon our party; it has sunk the best men all over the nation, everywhere; and now when our President, struggling with the difficulties of this man's getting up, has reached the very hardest point to turn in the case, he deserts him, and I am for putting him where he will trouble us no more.'
"Now, gentlemen, that is not my argument that is not my argument at all. I have only been stating to you the argument of a Buchanan man. You will judge if there is
"Popular sovereignty! everlasting popular sovereignty! Let us for a moment inquire into this vast matter of popular sovereignty. What is popular sovereignty? We recollect that in an early period in the history of this struggle, there was another name for the same thing-Squatter Sovereignty. It was not exactly Popular Sovereignty, but Squatter Sovercignty. What do those terms mean? What do those terms mean when used now? And vast credit is taken by our