Imágenes de páginas





At Springfield, II., June 17, 1858.

(The following speech was delivered at Springfield, II., at | Slavery." " Not we,"

" said the friends of the measure, the close of the Republican State Convention held at that and down they voted the amendment. time and place, and by which Convention Mr. Lincoln had

While the Nebraska bill was passing through Congress, been named as their candidate for U. S. Senator.)

a law case involving the question of a negro's freedom, MR. PRESIDENT, AND GENTLEMEN OF THE CONVENTION: by reason of his owner having voluntarily taken him If we could first know where we are, and whither we first into a Free State and then into a Territory covered are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how by the Congressional prohibition, and held him as to do it. We are now far into the fifth year, since a a slave for a long time in each, was passing through policy was initiated win, the avowed object, and confi- the United States Circuit Court for the District of Misdent promise, of putting an end to Slavery agitation. souri ; and both Nebraska bill and law suit were brought Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has to a decision in the same month of May, 1854. The not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In negro's name was “ Dred Scott,” which name now desigmy opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have nates the decision finally made in the case. Before the been reached and passed. " A house divided against then next Presidential Election, the law case came to, itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot and was argued in, the Supreme Court of the United endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not states ; but the decision of it was deferred until after expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the the election. Still, before the election, Senator Tramhouse to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. bull, on the floor of the Senate, requested the leading It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the advocate of the Nebraska bill to state his opinion opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, whether the people of a Territory can constitutionally and place it where the public mind shall rest in the be- exclude Slavery from their limits; and the latter anlief that it is in tbe course of ultimate extinction; or its swers : “ That is a question for the Supreme Court." advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike The election came. Mr. Buchanan was elected, and the lawful in all the States, old as well as new-North as indorsement, such as it was, secured. That was the second well as South.

point gained. The indorsement, however, fell short of Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

a clear popular majority by nearly four hundred thouLet any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that sand votes, and so, perhaps, was not overwhelmingly now almost complete legal combination-piece of ma- reliable and satisfactory. The outgoing President, in chinery, so to speak-compounded of the Nebraska his last annual message, as impressively as possible, doctrine, and the Dred Scoit Decision. Let him con- echoed back upon the people the weight and authority sider not only what work the machinery is adapted to of the indorsement. The Supreme Court met again; do, and how well adapted; but also, let him study the did not announce their decision, but ordered a re-arguhistory of its construction, and trace, if he can, or rather ment. The Presidential inauguration came, and still no fail, if he can, to trace the evidence of design, and con- decision of the court; but the incoming President in his cert of action, among its chief architects, from the be- inaugural address, fervently exhorted the people to ginning.

abide by the forthcoming decision, whatever it might The new year of 1854 found Slavery excluded from be. Then in a few days, came the decision. more than half the States by State Constitutions, and The reputed author of the Nebraska bill finds an from most of the national territory by Congressional early occasion to make as peech at this capital, indors. prohibition. Four days later, commenced the struggle ing the Dred Scott decision, and vehemently denouncwhich ended in repealing that Congressional prohibition. ing all opposition to it. The new President, too, seizes This opened all the national territory to slavery, and the early occasion of the Silliman letter to indorse and was the first point gained..

strongly construe that decision, and to express his asBut, so far, Congress only had acted: and an indorse tonishment that any different view had ever been enter. ment by the people, real or apparent, was indispen- tained ! sable, to save the point already gained, and give chance At length a squabble springs up between the President

and the author of the Nebraska bill, on the mere ques. This necessity had not been overlooked; but had tion of fact, whether the Lecompton Constitution was or been provided for, as well as might be, in the notable was not, in any just sense, made by the people of Kan. argument of “squatter sovereignty, otherwise called sas; and in that quarrel the latter declares that all be * sacred right of self-government,” which latter phrase, wants is a fair vote for the people, and that he cares not though expressive of the only rightful basis of any govo whether Slavery be voted down or voted up. I do not ernment, was so perverted in this attempted use of it as understand his declaration that he cares not whether to amount to just this : That if any one man choose to Slavery be voted down or voted up, to be intended by enslave another, no third man shall be allowed to him other than as an apt definition of the policy he object. That argument was incorporated into the Ne- would impress upon the public mind, the principle for braska bill itself, in the language which follows: “It which he declares he has suffered so much, and is ready being the true intent and meaning of this act not to to suffer to the end. And well may he cling to that legislate Slavery into any Territory or State, nor to ex- principle. If he has any parental feeling, well may he clude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof per- cling to it. That principle is the only shred left of his fectly free to form and regulate their domestic institu- original Nebraska doctrine. Under the Dred Scott tions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution decision “squatter sovereignty” squatted out of exof the United States." Then opened the roar of loose istence, tumbled down like temporary scaffolding-like declamation in favor of “Squatter Sovereignty," and the mold at the foundry served through one blast and "sacred right of self-government.” “But,” said oppo- fell back into loose sand-helped to carry an election, bition members, “let us amend the bill so as to expressly and then was kicked to the winds. His late joint struge declare that the people of the Territory may exclude gle with the Republicans, against the Lecompton Con


for more.


stitution, involves nothing of the original Nebraska doc- this merely Territorial law? Why are the people of a trine. That struggle was made on a point-the right of Territory and the people of a State therein lumped to a people to make their own constitution—upon which he gether, and their relation to the Constitution therein und the Republicans have never differed.

treated as being precisely the same? While the opinion The several points of the Dred Scott decision, in con- l of the court, by Chief Justice Taney, in the Dred Scott nection with Senator Douglas's “care not” policy, consti- | case, and the separate opinions of all the concurring tute the piece of machinery, in its present state of advance- Judges, expressly declare that the Constitution of the

This was the third point gained. The working United States neither permits Congress nor a Territorial points of that machinery are:

Legislature to exclude Slavery from any United States Ter First, That no negro slave, imported as such from Af- ritory, they all omit to declare whether or not the same rica, and na descendant of such slave, can ever be a citi. Constitution permits a State, or the people of a State, to zen of any State, in the sense of that term as used in the exclude it. Possibly, this is a mere omission; but who Constitution of the United States. This point is made in can be quite sure, if McLean or Curtis had sought to get order to deprive the negro, in every possible event, of the into the opinion a declaration of unlimited power in the benefit of that provision of the United States Constitution, people of a State to exclude Slavery from their limits, just which declares that “The citizens of each State shall be as Chase and Mace sought to get such declaration, in beentitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the half of the people of a territory, into the Nebraska bill—! several States.”

ask, who can be quite sure that it would not have been voted Secondly, That" subject to the Constitution of the Uni- down in the one case as it had been in the other! The ted States," neither Congress nor a Territorial Legislature nearest approach to the point of declaring the power of a can exclude Slavery from any United States Territory, State over Slavery, is made by Judge Nelson. He ap. This point is made in order that individual men may fill up proaches it more than once, using the precise idea, and the Territories with slaves, without danger of losing them almost the language, too, of the Nebraska act. On one as property, and thus to enhance the chances of perma- occasion, his exact language is, “except in cases where nency to the institution through all the future,

the power is restrained by the Constitution of the United Thirdly, That whether the holding a negro in actual States, the law of the State is supreme over the subject of slavery in a Free State, makes him free, as against the Slavery within its jurisdiction." In what cases the power holder, the United States courts will not decide, but will of the States is so restrained by the United States Constileave to be decided by the courts of any Slave State the tution, is left an open question, precisely as the same negro may be forced into by the master. This point is question, as to the restraint on the power of the Territomade, not to be pressed immediately ; but, if acquiesced ries, was left open in the Nebraska act. Put this and that In for awhile, and apparently indorsed by the people at an together, and we have another nice little niche, which we election, then to sustain the logical conclusion that what may, ere long, see filled with another Supreme Court de Dred Scott's master might lawfully do with Dred Scott, in cision, declaring that the Constitution of the United States the free State of Illinois, every other master may lawfully does not permit a Stute to exclude Slavery from its limite

. do with any other one, or one thousand slaves, in Illinois, And this may especially be expected if the doctrine of or in any other Free State.

care not whether Slavery be voted down or voted up, Auxiliary to all this, and working hand in hand with it, shall gain upon the public mind sufficiently to give prothe Nebraska doctrine, or what is left of it, is to educate mise that such a decision can be maintained when made. and mold public opinion, at least Northern public opinion, Such a decision is all that Slavery now lacks of being not to care whether Slavery is voted down or voted up. alike lawful in all the States. Welcome, or unwelcome, This shows exactly where we now are; and partially, also, such decision is probably coming, and will soon be upon whither we are tending.

us, unless the power of the present political dynasty shall It will throw additional light on the latter, to go back, be met and overthrown. We shall lie down pleasantly and run the mind over the string of historical facts already dreaming that the people of Missouri are on the verge of stated. Several things will now appear less dark and mys- making their State free, and we shall awake to the reality terious than they did when they were transpiring. The instead, that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a Slavo people were to be left "perfectly free,” subject only to the State. To meet and overthrow the power of that dynasty, Constitution. What the Constitution had to do with it, is the work now before all those who would prevent that outsiders could not then see. Plainly enough now, it was consummation. This is what we have to do. How can an exactly fitted niche, for the Dred Scott decision to after we best do it? ward come in, and declare the perfect freedom of the peo- There are those who denoụnce us openly to their own ple to be just no freedom at all

. Why was the amend friends, and yet whisper us softly, that Senator Douglas is ment, expressly declaring the right of the people, voted the aptest instrument there is with which to effect that ob down? Plainly enough now: the adoption of it would ject. They wish us to infer all, from the fact that he now have spoiled the niche for the Dred Scott decision. Why has a little quarrel with the present head of the dynasty ; was the court decision held up? Why even a Senator's in- and that he has regularly voted with us on a single point, dividual opinion withheld, till after the Presidential elec- upon which he and we have never differed. They remind tion? Plainly enough now: the speaking out then would us that he is a great man, and that the largest of us are have damaged the perfectly free argument upon which the very small ones. Let this be granted. But a living dog election was to be carried. Why the outgoing President's is better than a dead lion.” Judge Douglas, if not a dead felicitation on the indorsment? Why the delay of a re lion, for this work, is at least a caged and toothless one. argument? Why the incoming President's advance exhor- How can he oppose the advances of Slavery! He don't tation in favor of the decision? These things look like the care anything about it. His avowed mission is impressing cautious patting and petting of a spirited horse prepara- the “public heart” to care nothing about it. A leading tory to mounting him, when

it is dreaded that he may give Douglas Democratic newspaper thinks Douglas's superior the rider a fall. And why the hasty after-indorsement of talent will be needed to resist the revival of the African the decision by the President and others ?

slave-trade. Does Douglas believe an effort to revive that We cannot absolutely know that all these exact adapta- trade is approaching? He has not said so. Does he really tions are the result of preconcert. But when we see a lot think so ? But if it is, how can he resist it? For years be of framed timbers, different portions of which we know has labored to prove it a sacred right of white men to take have been gotten out at ditferent times and places, and by negro slaves into the new Territories. Can he possibly different workmen-Stephen, Franklin, Roger and James, show that it is less a sacred right to buy them where they for instance-and when we see these timbers joined to can be bought cheapest ? And unquestionably they can gether, and see they exactly make the frame of a house or be bought cheaper in Africa than in Virginia. He has a mill, all the tenons and mortices exactly fitting, and all done all in his power to reduce the whole question of Slathe lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly very to one of a mere right of property; and as such, bow adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too can he oppose the foreign slave-trade-how can he refuse many or too few-not omitting even scaffolding-or, if a that trade in that “property' shall be perfectly free"single piece be lacking, we see the place in the frame ex- unless he does it as a protection to the home production ? actly fitted and prepared yet to bring such piece in-in And as the home producers will probably not ask the prosuch a case, we find it impossible not to believe that Ste- tection, he will be wholly without a ground of opposition phen and Franklin and Roger and James all understood Senator Douglas holds, we know, that a man may rightone another from the beginning, and all worked upon a fully be wiser to-day than he was yesterday—that he may common plan or draft drawn up before the first blow was rightfully change when he finds himself wrong. But can struck.

we, for that reason, run ahead, and infer that he will It should not be overlooked that, by the Nebraska bill, make any particular change, of which he, himself

, has the people of a State as well as a Territory, were to be given no intimation? Can we safely base our action upon left “perfectly free," “subject only to the Constitution." any such vague inference! Now, as ever, I wish not to Why mention a State? They were legislating for Territo- misrepresent Judge Douglas's position, question his ries, and not for or about States. Certainly the people of motives, or do aught that can be personally offensive to A State are and ought to be subject to the Constitution of him. Whenever, if ever, he and we can come together on the United States; but why is mention of this lugged into I principle so that our cause may have assistance from his

great ability, I hope to have interposed no adventitious | strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we obstacle. But clearly, he is not now with us, he does not gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the pretend to be-he does not promise ever to be.

battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplied, Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted proud and pampered enemy. Did we brave all thein to by, its own undoubted friends those whose hands are salter now r-now, when that same enemy is wavering, free, whore hearts are in the work-who do care for the dissevered and belligerent! The result is not doubtful. result. Two years ago the Republicans of the nation We shall not fail-if we stand firm, we shall not fail. mustered over thirteen hundred thousand strong. We Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but, did this under the single impulse oʻresistance to a common sooner or later, the victory is sure to come. danger, with every external circumstance against us. Of




in the District of Columbia.


Ar the second Joint Debate, between Mr. 4. I do not stand to-day pledged to the abolition of Slavery Douglas and Mr. Lincoln, at Freeport, Illinois, Q. 5. “I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged August 27th, 1858, Mr. Lincoln spoke as fol to the prohibition of the slave-trade between the diferent

States lows:

A. I do not stand pledged to the prohibition of the slave

trade between the different States. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: On Saturday last, Judge

Q. 6. "I desire to know whether he stands pledged to proDouglas and myself first met in public discussion. He hibit Slavery in all he Terri:ories of the United States, North sprike one hour, 1 an hour and a half, and he replied for as well as south of the Missouri Compromise line ?” half and hour. The order is now reversed. I a. to A. I am impliedly, if not expressly, pledged to a belief in speak an hour, he an hour and a half, and then I am to

the right and duty of Congress to prohibit Slavery in all the

United States Territories. reply for half an hour. I propose to dérote myself during the first hour to the scope of what was brought within the the acquisi ion of any new territory unless Slavery is first pro

Q. 7. “I desire him to answer whether he is opposed to range of his half-hour speech at Ottawa. Of course there hibited herein ?" was brought within the scope in that hal-hour's speech A. I am not generally opposed to honest acquisition of tersomething of his own opening speech, In the course of ritory; and, in any given case, I would or would not opposo that opening argument, Judge Douglas proposed to me

such acquisition, accordingly as I might think such acquisi'ion seven distinct interrogatories. In my speech of an hour

would or would not aggravate the Slavery questiou among and a half, I attended to some other parts of his speech, and incidentally, as I thought, answered one of the in: Now, my friends, it will be perceived upon an examinaterrogatories then, I then distinctly intimated to hiin tion of these questions and answers, that so far I have that I would answer the rest of his interrogatories ou only answered that I was not pledgod to this, that or the condition only that he should agrer to answer as many

other, The Judge has not framed his interrogatories to for me. He made no intimation at the time of the propo. ask me anything more than this, and I have answered in sition, nor did he in his reply allude at all to that sugges- striet accordance with the interrogatories, and have tion of inine. I do him no injustice in saying that he answ«red truly that I am not pledged at all upon any occupied at least half of his reply iu dealing with me as

of the points to which I have answered. But I am not though I had refused to answer his interrog: tories. i disposed to hung upon the exact form of his interrog:itory. now propose that I will answer any of the interrogatories, I am rather disposed to take up at least some of these upon condition that he will answer questions from me not questions, and state what I really think up in them. exceeding the same number. I give him an opportunity

As to the first one, in regard to the Fugi ive Slave Law, to respond. The Judge remains silent. I now say that I I have never hesit.ted to say, and I do not now hesitate will answer his interrogatories, whether he answers mine to say, 'hat I think under the Constitution of the United or not; and that after I have done so, I shall propound States, the people of the Southern States are entitled to a mine to him.

Congressional Fugitive Slave Law. Having said that, I I have supposed myself, since the organization of the

have had nothing :o sav in regard to the existing Fugitive Republican party at Bloomington, in May, 1856, bound as Slave Liw, further than that I think it should have been party man by the platforms of the party, thep and since.

framed so as to be free from some of the objections that If in any interrogatories which I shall answer go beyond pertain to it, without lessening its efficiency. And inas. the scope of what is within these platforms, it will be pero much as we are not now in an agitation in reg rd 10 an ceived ihat no one is responsible but n.yself.

alteration or modification of that law, I would not be the Having said thus much, I will take up the Judge's in

man to in'roduce it as a new subject of agitation upon terrogatories as I find them printed in the Chicago Times, the general question of Slavery. and answer them seriutim. In order that there way be In regard to the other question, of whether I am no mistake about it, I have copied the interrog:itories in pledged to the admission of any more Slave Siates into writing, and also my answers to them. The first of these the Union, I state to you very frankly that I would be interrogatories is in these words:

exceedingly sorry ever to be put in a position of having Question 1. stands, as he did in 1854, in favor of the unconditional repeal of I desire to know whether Lincoln to day pass upon that question. I should be exceedingly glad

to know that there would never be another Slave State the Fugitive Slave law p

admitted into the Union; but I must add, that if Slavery Answer. I do not now, nor ever did, stand in favor of the shall be kept out of the Territories during the terri orial unconditional repeal of the Fugitive Slave law.

existence of any one given Territory, and then the 2. I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged people shall, having a fair opportunity and a clear field, Elave states into the Union, even if the people want them ?" hissi I do not now, or ever did, stand pledged against the "nd extraordinary thing as adopt a slave Constitution uuin

Auenced by the actual presence of the institution among the admission of a new state into the Union with such a Con"I want to know whether he stands pledged against them, I see no alternative, if we own the country, but

to admit them into the Uvion. stitution as the people of that State may see fit to make !" The third interrogatory is answered by the answer to the el estano he t'niow. With such as consciu domas the people were second, it being, as I conceive, the same as the second.

The fourth one is in regard to the abolition of Slavery colme abolito. of saiory in the District of Columbia ? I want to know whether he stands to-day pledged in the District of Columbia. In relation to that, I have

my miud very distinctly made up. I should be exceed

[ocr errors]

ingly glad to see Slavery abolished in the District of , believe, that those resolutions were never passed in ang Columbia. I believe that Congress possesses the consti- Convention held in Springfield. It turns out that they tutional power to abolish it. Yet, as a member of Con- were never passed at any Convention or any public gress, I should not, with my present views, be in favor of meeting that I had any part in. I believe it turns out in indeavoring to abolish Slavery in the District of Co- addition to all this, that there was not, in the fall of 1854, lumbia, unless it would be upon these conditions: First, any convention holding a session at Springfield calling that the abolition should be gradual. Second, that it itself a Republican State Convention; yet it is true there should be on a vote of the majority of qualified voters in was a Convention, or assemblage of men calling themthe District; and Third, that compensation should be selves a Convention, at Springfield, that did pass some made to unwilling owners. With these three conditions, I resolutions. But so little did I really know of the proconfess I would be exceedingly glad to see Congress ceedings of that Convention, or what set of resolutions abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia, and, in the they had passed, though having a general knowledge language of Henry Clay," sweep from our Capital that that there had been such an assemblage of men there, foul blot upon our nation.”

that when Judge Douglas read the resolutions, I really In regard to the fifth interrogatory, I must say here, did not know but they had been the resolutions passed that as to the question of the abolition of the slave-trade then and there. I did not question that they were the rebetween the different States, I can truly answer, as I solutions adopted. For I could not bring myself to sup. have, that I am pledged to nothing about it. It is a pose that Judge Douglas could say what he did upon this subject to which I llave not given that mature considera- subject without honoring that it was true. I contented tion that would make me feel authorized to state a posi- myself, on that occasion, with denying, as I truly could, tion so as to hold myself entirely bound by it. In other all connection with them, not denying or affirming words, that question has never been prominently enough whether they were passed at Springfield. Now it turns before me to induce me to investigate whether we really out that he had got hold of some resolutions passed at have the constitutional power to do it. I could investigate some Convention or public meeting in Kane County. I it if I had sufficient time, to bring myself to a conclusion wish to say here, that I dun't conceive that in any fair upon that subject; but I have not done so, and I say so and just mind this discovery relieves me at all. I had frankly to you here, and to Judge Douglas. I must say, just as much to do with the Convention in Kane County however, that if I should be of opinion that Congress as that at Springfield. I am just as much responsible for does possess the constitutional power to abolish the the resolutions at Kane County as those at Springfield, slave-trade among the different States, I should still not the amount of the responsibility being exactly nothing in be in favor of the exercise of that power unless upon either case: no more than there would be in regard to a some conservative principle as I conceive it, akin to what set of resolutions passed in the moon, I hare said in relation to the abolition of Slavery in the

I allude to this extraordinary matter in this canvass District of Columbia.

for some further purpose than anything yet advanced. My answer as to whether I desire that Slavery should Judge Douglas did not make his statement upon that oc. be prohibited in all the Territories of the United States, casion as matters that he believed to be true, but he is full and explicit within itself, and cannot be made stated them roundly as being true, in such form as to clearer by any comments of mine. So I suppose in pledge his veracity for their truth. When the whole regard to the question whether I am opposed to the acqui. | matter turns out as it does, and when we consider who sition of any more territory unless Slavery is first pro- Judge Douglas is—that he is a distinguished Senator of libited therein, my answer is such that I could add no- the United States that he has served nearly twelve thing by way of illustration, or making myself better under

years as such-that his character is not at all limited as stood, than the answer which I have placed in writing. an ordinary Senator of the United States, but that his

Now in all this, the Judge has me, and he has me on name has become of world-wide renown-it is most the record. I suppose he had flattered himself that I was traordinary that he should so far forget all the sugges. really entertaining one set of opinions for one place and tions of justice to an adversary, or of prudence to him. another set for another place--that I was afraid to say self, as to venture upon the assertion of that which the at one place what I uttered at another, What I am say slightest investigation would have shown him to be wholly ing here I suppose I say to a vast audience as strongly false. I can only account for his having done so upon tending to Abolitionism as any audience in the State of the supposition that that evil genius which has attended Illinois, and I believe I am saying that which, if it would him through his life, giving to him an apparent astonishbe offensive to any persons and render them enemies to ing prosperity, such as to lead very many good men to myself, would be offensive to persons in this audience. I now proceed to propound to the Judge the interroga- say I can only account for it on the supposition that that

doubt there being any advantage in virtue over vicetories, so far as I have framed them. I will bring for: evil genius has at last made up its mind to forsake him. ward a new installment when I get them ready. I will

And I may add that another extraordinary feature bring them forward now, only reaching to number four.

of the Judge's conduct in this canvass-made more extraThe first one is :

ordinary by this incident—is, that he is in the habit, in Question 1. If the people of Kansas shall, by means en almost all the speeches he makes, of charging falsehood tirely unobjectionable in all other respects, adopt a State Con upon his adversaries, myself and others. stitution, and ask admission into the Union under it, before whether he is able to find in anything that Judge Trumthey have the requisite number of inhabitants according to the bull, for instance, has said, or in anything that I have English bill-some ninety-three thousand-Will you vote to admit them?

said, a justification at all compared with what we have, in Q. 2. Can the people of a United States Territory, in any this instance, for that sort of vulgarity. lawful way, against the wish of any citizen of the United States, exclude Slavery from its limits prior to the formation of a State Constitution ?

Q. 3. If the Supreme Court of the United States shall decide that states cannot exclude Slavery from their limits, are you

MR. DOUGLAS REPLY. in favor of acquiescing in, adopting and following such decision as a rule of political action ?

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN : I am glad that at last I have Q. 4. Are you in favor of acquiring additional territory, in brought Mr. Lincoln to the conclusion that he had better disregard of how such acquisition may affect the nation

on the define his position on certain political questions to which I Slavery question ?

called his attention at Ottawa. He there showed no dispo. As introductory to these interrogatories which Judge sition, no inclination, to answer them. I did not present Douglas propounded to me at Ottawa, he read a set of re- idle questions for him to answer merely for my gratificasolutions which he said Judge Trumbull and myself had tion. I laid the foundation for those interrogatories by participated in adopting, in the first Republican State showing that they constituted the platform of the party Convention, held at Springfield, in October, 1854. He whose nominee he is for the Senate. I did not presume insisted that I and Judge Trumbull, and perhaps the that I had the right to catechise him as I saw proper, unless entire Republican party, were responsible for the doc. I showed that his party, or a majority of it, stood upon the trines contained in the set of resolutions which he read, platform and were in favor of the propositions upon

which and I understand that it was from that set of resolutions my questions were based. I desired simply to know, that he deduced the interrogatories which he propounded inasmuch as he had been nominated as the first, last, and to me, using these resolutions as a sort of authority for only choice of his party, whether he concurred in the propounding those questions to me. Now I say here to platform which that party had adopted for its govern. day that I do not answer his interrogatories because of ment. In a few moments I will proceed to review the their springing at all from that set of resolutions which he answers which he has given to these interrogatories; but read. 'I answered them because Judge Douglas thought in order to relieve his anxiety I will first respond to these fit to ask them. I do not now, nor never did, recognize which he has presented to me. Mark you, he has not preany responsibility upon myself in that set of resolutions. sented interrogatories which have ever received the sanoWhen I replied to him on that occasion, I assured him tion of the party with which I am acting, and hence he that I never had anything to do with them. I repeat has no other foundation for them than his own curiosity; bere to-day, that I never, in any possible form, had any. First, he desires to know if the people of Kansas shall wing to do with that set of resolutions. It turns out, I form a Constitution by means entirely proper and unob

I now ask State.

[ocr errors]

Jectionable and ask admission into the Union as a State, posed that he would be ashamed to press that question before they have the requisite population for a member further. He is a lawyer, and has been a member of Conof Congress, whether I will vote for that admission. Well gress, and has occupied his time and amused you by tell. aow, I regret exceedingly that he did not answer that ing you about parliamentary proceeding. He ought to interrogatory himself before he put it to me, in order have known better than to try to palm off his miserable that we might understand, and not be left to infer on impositions upon this intelligent audience. The Nebraska which side he is. Mr. Trumbull, during the last session of bill provided that the legislative power and authority of Congress, voted from the beginning to the end against the the said Territory should extend to all rightful subjects of admission of Oregon, although a free State, because she legislation, consistent with the organic act and the Constihad not the requisite population for a member of Con- tution of the United States. It did not make any exception gress. Mr. Trumbull would not consent, under any cir- as to Slavery, but gave all the power that it was possible cumstances, to let a State, free or slave, come into the for Congress to give, without violating the Constitution, to Union until it had the requisite population. As Mr. the Territorial Legislature, with no exception or limitation Trumbull is in the field, fighting for Mr. Lincoln, I would on the subject of Slavery at all. The language of that bill like to have Mr. Lincoln answer his own question and tell which I have quoted, gave the full power and the full aume whether he is fighting Trumbull on that issue or not. thority over the subject of Slavery, affirmatively and neBut I will answer his question. In reference to Kansas, gatively, to introduce it or exclude it, so far as the Constituit is my opinion, that as she has population enough to tion of the United States would permit. What more could Constitute a slave State, she has people enough for a Free Mr. Chase give by his amendment ? Nothing. He offered

I will not make Kansas an exceptionable case to his amendment for the identical purpose for which Mr. the other States of the Union. I hold it to be a sound Lincoln is using it, to enable demagogues in the country rule of universal application to require a Territory to to try and deceive the people. contain the requisite population for a member of Con- His amendment was to this effect. It provided that the gress, before it is admitted as a State into the Union. I Legislature should have the power to exclude Slavery: made that proposition in the Senate in 1856, and I renew- and General Cass suggested," why not give the power to ed it during the last session, in a bill providing that no introduce as well as exclude ?" The answer was, they have Territory of the United States should form a Constitution the power already in the bill to do both. Chase was afraid and apply for admission until it had the requisite popu- his amendment would be adopted put the alternative lation. On another occasion I proposed that neither proposition and so make it fair both ways, but would not Kansas, or any other Territory, should be admitted until yield. He offered it for the purpose of having it rejected. it had the requisite population. Congress did not adopt He offered it, as he has himself avowed over and over any of my propositions containing this general rule, but again, simply to make capital out of it for the stump. He did make an exception of Kansas. I will stand by tbat expected that it would be capital for small politicans in the exception. Either Kansas must come in as a Free State, country, and that they would make an effort to deceive the with whatever population she may have, or the rule must people with it; and he was not mistaken, for Lincoln is be applied to all the other territories alike.

I therefore carrying out the plan admirably. Lincoln knows that the answer at once, that it having been decided that Kansas Nebraska bill, without Chase's amendment, gave all the bas people enough for a Slave State, I hold that she has power which the Constitution would permit. Could Conenough for a Free State. I hope Mr. Lincoln is satisfied gress confer any more? Could Congress go beyond the with my answer; and now I would like to get his answer Constitution of the country? We gave all a full grant to his own interrogatory-whether or not he will vote to with no exception in regard to Slavery one way or the admit Kangas before she has the requisite population. other. We left that question, as we left all others, to be deI want to know whether he will vote to admit Oregon cided by the people for themselves, just as they pleased. before that Territory has the requisite population. Mr. I will not occupy my time on this question. I have argued Trumbull will not, and the same reason that commits Mr. it before all over Illinois. I have argued it in this beauti Trumbull against the admission of Oregon, commits him ful city of Freeport; I have argued it in the North, tho Against Kansas, even if she should apply for admission South, the East, and the West, avowing the same sentiAs a Free State. If there is any eincerity, any truth, in ments and the same principles. I have not been afraid to the argument of Mr. Trumbull in the Senate, against the avow my sentiments up here for fear I would be trotted admission of Oregon because she had not 93,420 people, down into Egypt. although her population was larger than that of Kansas, The third question which Mr. Lincoln presented is, if the he stands pledged against the admission of both Oregon Supreme Court of the United States shall decide that a State and Kansas until they have 93,420 inbabitants. I would of this Union cannot exclude Slavery from its own limits, like Mr. Lincoln to answer this question. I would like will I submit to it? I am amazed that Lincoln should ask him to take his own medicine. If he differs with Mr. such a question. (“A school-boy knows better.") Yes, & Trumbull let him answer his argument against the admis- school-boy does know better.) Mr. Lincoln's object is to sion of Oregon, instead of poking questions at me. cast an imputation upon the Supreme Court. He knows

The next question propounded to me by Mr. Lincoln is, that there never was but one man in America, claiming can the people of the Territory in any lawful way, against any degree of intelligence or decency, who ever for a mothe wishes of any citizen of the United States, exclude ment pretended such a thing. It is true that the WashSlavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State ington Union, in an article published on the 17th of last constitution ? I answer emphatically, as Mr. Lincoln has December, did put forth that doctrine, and I denounced Reard me answer a hundred times from every stump in the article on the floor of the Senate, in a speech which Illinois, that in my opinion the people of a Territory can, Mr. Lincoln now pretends was against the President. by lawful means, exclude Slavery from their limits prior The Union had claimed that Slavery had a right to go in. to the formation of a State constitution. Mr. Lincoln knew to the free States, and that any provision in the Constituthat I had answered that question over and over again. tion or laws of the Free States to the contrary were null He heard me argue the Nebraska bili vu that principle all and void. I denounced it in the Senate, as I said before, over the State in 1854, in 1855, and in 1856; and he has no and I was the first man who did. Lincoln's friends, Trumexcuse for pretending to be in doubt as to my position on bull, and Seward, and Hale, and Wilson, and the whole ihat question. It matters not what way the Supreme Black Republican side of the Senate, were silent. They left Court may hereafter decide as to the abstract question it to me to denounce it. And what was the reply made to whether Slavery may or may not go into a Territory un- me on that occasion ? Mr. Toombs, of Georgia, got up and der the Constitution, the people have the lawful means to undertook to lecture me on the ground that I ought not to Introduce it or exclude it as they please, for the reason have deemed the article worthy of notice, and ought not that Slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere, to have replied to it; that there was not one man, wounless it is supported by local poilce regulations. Those man, or child south of the Potomac, in any Slave State, police regulations can only be established by the local who did not repudiate any such pretension, Mr. Lincoln legislature ; and if the people are opposed to slavery they knows that that reply was made on the spot, and yet now will elect representatives to that body who will by un. he asks this question. He might as well ask me, Suppose friendly legislation effectually prevent the introduction of Mr.

Lincoln should steal a horse, would I sanction it ; and it into their midst. If, on the contrary, they are for it, it would be as genteel in me to ask him, in the event he their legislation will favor its extension. Hence, no mat- stole a horse, what ought to be done with him. He casts ter what the decision of the Supreme Court may be on an imputation upon the Supreme Court of the United that abstract question, still the right of the people

to make States, by supposing that they would violate the Constitu & Blave Territory

or a free Territory is perfect and com- tion of the United States. I tell him that such a thing is plete under the Nebraska bill. I hope Mr. Lincoln deems not possible. It would be an act of noral treason that no my answer satisfactory on that point.

man on on the bench could ever descend to. Mr. Lincoln In this connection, I will notice the charge which he has himself, would never, in his partisan feelings, so far forget introduced in relation to Mr. Chase's amendment. I what was right as to be guilty of such an act. thought that I had chased that amendment out of Mr. The fourth question of Mr. Lincoln is, are you in favor Lincoln's brain at Ottawa ; but it seems that still haunts of acquiring additional territory, in disregard as to how bis imagination, and he is not yet satisfied. I had sup-1 such acquisition may affect the Union on the Havery

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »