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just application as here attempted. Or perhaps I should rather say that whether it has such application depends upon whether a negro is not or is a man. If he is not a man, in that case he who is a man may, as a matter of self-government, do just what he pleases with him. But if the negro is a man, is it not to that extent a total destruction of self-government to say that he too shall not govern himself? When the white man governs himself, that is self-government; but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-governmentthat is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then
my ancient faith teaches me that “all men are created equal,” and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another.
Judge Douglas frequently, with bitter irony and sarcasm, paraphrases our argument by saying: “The white people of Nebraska are good enough to govern themselves, but they are not good enough to govern a few miserable negroes!'
Well! I doubt not that the people of Nebraska are and will continue to be as good as the average of people elsewhere. I do not say the contrary. What I do say is that no man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.
I say this is the leading principle, the sheetanchor, of American republicanism.
MEANING OF THE DECLARA
TION OF INDEPENDENCE
From a speech delivered at Springfield, Illi
nois, June 26, 1857.
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 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 meaňt simply to declare the right, so that enforcement of it might follow 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, constantly 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 everywhere.
The assertion that “all men are created equal” was of no