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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 DRED SCOTT DECISION
From Lincoln's reply to Douglas in the
Galesburg joint debate, October 7, 1858.
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 Constitutiondurable as the Constitution, and part of the Constitution? Now, remembering the provi. sion 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 followsand 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 States.
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; the falsehood, in fact, is a fault in the premises. I believe that the right of property in a slave is not distinctly and expressly affirmed in the