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ter, can be produced to make the impossibility of bis escape more complete than it is.
It is grossly incorrect to say or assume that the public estimate of the negro is more favorable now than it was at the origin of the gom erüment.
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 Since then he has seen himself superseded in a presidential nomination by one indorsing the general doctrine of his measure, but at the same time standing clear of the odium of its untimely agitation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 na. tional faith ; and he has seen that successful rival constitutionally elected, not by the strength of friends, but by the division of adversaries, being in a popular minority of nearly four hun. dred thousand votes. He has seen his chiet aids in his own State, Shields and Richardson, politically speaking, successively tried, convicted, and executed for an offense 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 at the idea of an indis. criminate 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 apon 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, and eat, and sleep, and marry with negroes! He will have it that they cannot be consistent else. Now I protest against the counterfeit logic which con. cludes that, because I do not want a black woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. I need not have her for either. I can just leave her alone. In some respects she certainly is not my equal ; but in her natural 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 after ward, 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 Decla. ration.
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 tolerablo distinctness in what respects they did consider all men created equal-equal with “ certain in. alienable 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, 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 enforcement of it might fol. low as fast as circumstances should permit.
They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all ; constantly looked to, con. stantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors every where. The assertion that “ all men are cre ated equal" was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain ; and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use. Its authors meant it to be as, thank God, it is now proving itself-a stumbling-block to all those who in after-times might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. They knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and they meant when such should reappear in this fair land and commence their vocation, they should find left for them at least one hard put to crack.
I have now briefly expressed my view of the meaning and object of that part of the Declaration of Independence wbina declares that "all men are created equal."
Now let us hear Judge Douglas's view of the same subject, as I find it in the printed report of his late speech. Here it is :
“No mar an vindicate the character, mo tives, and corduct of the signers of the Declara. tion of Independence, except upon the hypothesis that they referred to the white race alone, and not to the African, when they declared all men to have been created equal , that they were speaking of British subjects on this continent being equal to British subjects born and residing in Great Britain ; that they were entitled to the same inalienable rights, and among them were enumerated life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration was adopted for the purpose of justifying the colo
nists in the eyes of the civilized world in with. drawing their allegiance from the British crown, and dissolving their connection with the mother country.'
My good friends, read that carefully over some leisure hour, and ponder well upon it; see what a mere wreck-mangled ruin-it makes of our once glorious Declaration.
• They were speaking of British subjects on this continent being equal to British subjects born and residing in Great Britain !" Why, according to this, not only negroes but white people outside of Great Britain and America were not spoken of in that instrument. The English, Irish, and Scotch, along with white Americans, were included, to be sure, but the French, Germans, and other white people of the world are all gone to pot along with the judge's inferior races !
I had thought the Declaration promised something better than the condition of British subjects ; but no, it only meant that we should be equal to them in their own oppressed and un. equal condition. According to that, it gave no promise that, having kicked off the king and lords of Great Britain, we should not at once be saddled with a king and lords of our own.
I had thought the Declaration contemplated the progressive improvement in the condition of all men everywhere ; but no, it merely “ was adopted for the purpose of justifying ihe colo nists in the eyes of the civilized world in witb