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Tribute to the Declaration of Independence.
Its great Principles,
In one of his speeches during this memorable campaign, Mr. Lincoln paid the following tribute to the Declaration of Independence :
"These communities, (the thirteen colonies,) by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the world of men, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are born equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the race of men then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the furthest posterity. They created a beacon to guide their children and their children's children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths that when, in the distant future, some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, or 'none but Anglo-Saxon white men, were entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence, and take courage to renew the battle, which their fathers began, so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land ; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.
“Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines conflicting with the great landmarks of the Declaration of
Declaration of Independence. An Immortal Emblem. Triumph of Judge Douglas. •
Independence; if you have listened to suggestions which would take away from its grandeur, and mutilate the fair symmetry of its proportions ; if you have been inclined to believe that all men are not created equal in those inalienable rights enumerated by our chart of liberty, let me entreat you to come back-return to the fountain whose waters spring close by the blood of the Revolution. Think nothing of me, take no thought for the political fate of any man whomsoever, but come back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence.
"You may do any thing with me you choose, if you will but heed these sacred principles. You may not only defeat me for the Senate, but you may take me and put me to death. While pretending no indifference to earthly honors, I do claim to be actuated in this contest by something higher than an anxiety for office. I charge you to drop every paltry and insignificant thought for any man's success. It is nothing; I am nothing ; Judge Douglas is nothing. But do not destroy that immortal emblem of humanity—the Declaration of American Independence."
In the election which closed this contest, the Republican candidate received 126,084 votes; the Douglas Democrats, 121,940 ; and the Lecompton Democrats, 5,091. Mr. Douglas was, however, re-elected to the Senate by the Legislature, in which, owing to the peculiar apportionment of the legislative districts his supporters had a majority of eight in joint ballot.
The campaign of 1859.
His Cincinnati Speech.
Results of a Republican Triumph.
BEFORE THE NATION.
Speeches in Ohio-Extract from his Cincinnati Speech-Visits the East--Celebrated
Speech at the Cooper Institute, New York-Interesting Incident.
The issue of this contest with Douglas, seemingly a defeat, was destined in due time to prove a decisive triumph. Mr. Lincoln's reputation as a skillful debater and master of political fence was secure, and admitted throughout the land. During the year ensuing he again devoted himself almost exclusively to professional labors, delivering, however, in the campaign of 1859, at the earnest solicitation of the Republicans of Ohio, two most convincing speeches in that State, one at Columbus, and the other at Cincinnati.
In his speech in the latter city, alluding to the certainty of a speedy Republican triumph in the nation, Mr. Lincoln thus
sketched wbat be regarded as the inevitable results of such · 'a victory :
“I will tell you, so far as I am authorized to speak for the opposition, what we mean to do with you. We mean to treat you, as nearly as we possibly can, as Washington, Jefferson, and Madison treated you. We mean to leave you alone, and in no way interfere with your institution ; to abide by all and every compromise of the Constitution; and, in a word, coming back to the original proposition to treat you, . so far as degenerated men (if we have degenerated) may, imitating the example of those noble fathers, Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. We mean to remember that you are as good as we; that there is no difference between us other than the difference of circumstances. We mean to recognize
The campaign of 1859.
His Cincinnati Speech.
Dividing the Union.
and bear in mind always that you have as good hearts in your bosoms as other people, or as we claim to bave, and treat you accordingly. We mean to marry your girls when we have a chance-the white ones I mean--and I have the honor to inform you that I once did get a chance in that way.
“I have told you what we mean to do. I want to know, now, when that thing takes place, what you mean to do. I often hear it intimated that you mean to divide the Union whenever a Republican, or any thing like it, is elected President of the United States. [A voice, 'That is so.'] "That is so,' one of them says. I wonder if he is a Kentuckian?. [A voice, 'He is a Douglas man.'] Well, then, I want to know what you are going to do with your half of it ? Are you going to split the Ohio down through, and push your balf off a piece ? Or are you going to keep it right alongside of us outrageous fellows? Or are you going to build up a wall some way between your country and ours, by which that movable property of yours can't come over here any more, and you lose it? Do you think you can better yourselves on that subject, by leaving us here under no obligation whatever to return those specimens of your movable property that come bither ? You have divided the Union because we would not do right with you, as you think, upon that subject; when we cease to be under obligations to do any thing for you, how much better off do you think you will be? Will you make war upon us and kill us all ? Why, gentlemen, I think you are as gallant and as brave men as live; that you can fight as bravely in a good cause, man for man, as any other people living ; that you bave shown yourselves capable of this upon various occasions; but, man for man, you are not better than we are, and there are not so many of you as there are of us. You will never make much of a hand at whipping us. If we were fewer in numbers than you, I think that you could whip us; if we were equal it would
His Cincinnati Speech.
Visits the East.
Cooper Institute Speech.
likely be a drawn battle ; but being inferior in numbers, you will make nothing by attempting to master us.
"I say that we must not interfere with the institution of Slavery in the States where it exists, because the Constitution forbids it, and the general welfare does not require us to do so. We must not withhold an efficient fugitive slave law. because the Constitution requires us, as I understand it, not to withhold such a law, but we must prevent the outspreading of the institution, because neither the constitution nor the general welfare requires us to extend it. We must prevent the revival of the African slave-trade and the enacting by * Congress of a Territorial slave code. We must prevent each of these things being done by either Congresses or Courts. THE PEOPLE OF THESE UNITED STATES ARE THE RIGHTFUL MASTERS OF BOTH CONGRESSES AND COURTS, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert that Constitution."
In the spring of 1860, Mr. Lincoln yielded to the urgent calls which came to him from the East for his aid in the exciting canvasses then in progress in that section, and spoke at various places in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, and also in New York city, and was everywhere warmly welcomed by immense audiences.
Without doubt, one of the greatest speeches of his life was that delivered by him in the Cooper Institute, in New York, on the 27th of February, 1860, in the presence of a crowded assembly which received him with the most enthusiastic demonstrations. We subjoin a full report of this masterly analysis of men and measures. After being introduced in highly complimentary terms by the venerable William Cullen Bryant, who presided on the occasion, he proceeded :
“MR. PRESIDENT AND FELLOW CITIZENS OF NEW YORK :The facts with which I shall deal this evening are mainly old · and familiar; nor is there any thing new in the general use I shall make of them. If there shall be any novelty, it will