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to the articles of impeachment was largely his work, and his speech in defense of the President was commended for its legal soundness and rhetorical clearness and force. He was a Democratic candidate for Senator in 1874. He published many law books, the most notable of which is Decisions of the Supreme Court. А Memoir and Writings of Benjamin R. Curtis, by George Ticknor Curtis and Benjamin R. Curtis, Jr., was published in 1880.
Senator Douglas accepted the Dred Scott decision although it denied his favorite principle of Popular Sovereignty. On June 12, 1857, he made a speech at Springfield, Ill., in which he passed under the party yoke on this question. Two weeks later (June 26) Abraham Lincoln replied to him at the same place. He said:
We believe as much as Judge Douglas (perhaps more) in obedience to, and respect for, the judicial department of government. But we think the Dred Scott decision is erroneous. We know the court that made it has often overruled its own decisions, and we shall do what we can to have it overrule this. We offer no resistance to it.
This same Supreme Court once decided a national bank to be constitutional, but General Jackson, as President of the United States, disregarded the decision and vetoed a bill for its recharter, partly on the constitutional ground that each public functionary must support the Constitution "as he understands it." Again and again have I heard Judge Douglas denounce that bank decision, and applaud Jackson for disregarding it.
There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people at the idea of amalgamation of the white and black races, and Judge Douglas evidently hopes to appropriate the benefit of this disgust to himself. He makes an occasion for lugging it in from the opposition to the Dred Scott decision. He holds that all who contend that the Declaration of Independence includes negroes do so only because they want to vote, and eat, and sleep, and marry with negroes! Now I protest against that counterfeit logic which concludes 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 is certainly not my equal; but in her natural right to eat the bread she earns with her own hands without asking leave of anyone else, she is my equal, and the equal of all others.
The Lecompton Constitution for Kansas-Division of the Democracy
upon it-Senator Stephen A. Douglas [111.) Opposes the Administration on the Popular Sovereignty Issue-Debate between Douglas and Abraham Lincoln [111.) in Contest for the Senate Sketches of the Debaters—Lincoln Succeeds in Getting Douglas to Declare for "Unfriendly Legislation" against Slavery by the Territorial Legislatures-Lincoln Loses the Senatorship thereby, but Alienates the South from Douglas—Speech of Senator Judah P. Benjamin [La.) against Douglas-Speech of Douglas at Memphis, Tenn., on the “Moral Climate" Line between Free and Slave Soil-Reply of Lincoln at Chicago.
Shannon as Governor of Kansas with John W. Geary [Pa.]. Geary resigned in disapprobation of the policy of the Administration toward the Territory. President Buchanan persuaded Robert J. Walker (Miss.), the distinguished ex-Secretary of the Treasury who had retired from public life, to take the difficult position. Governor Walker dealt fairly with both factions, and succeeded in reducing materially the disorders.
In September, 1857, the pro-slavery Kansans held a constitutional convention at Lecompton. The constitution adopted recognized slavery, and the convention provided that it be submitted to the people to vote upon its acceptance with or without slavery, but not to be rejected in its entirety. The free-State men refused
to vote at the election, and the constitution with slavery was adopted by a great majority.
In the meantime an election for a new Territorial legislature had been held, at which, in despite of many fraudulent votes cast by pro-slavery Missourians, a majority of free-State legislators and a free-State delegate to Congress were chosen. This legislature repudiated the former constitutional election and ordered another one to be held on January 4, 1858, at which the Lecompton constitution was to be voted upon as a whole. The pro-slavery men refused to take part in this, and the vote against the constitution was virtually unanimous. During the ensuing session of Congress the validity of the Lecompton constitution was the chief subject of debate. President Buchanan endorsed it. Senator Stephen A. Douglas (Ill.] opposed it because of its violation of the principle of Popular Sovereignty. This difference widened into a great and irreparable breach between these Democratic leaders and their respective followers which ended in the disruption of the party. On February 8, 1858, the Republicans and Douglas Democrats in the House refused, by a majority of three votes, to admit Kansas into the Union with the Lecompton constitution. On March 23 the Senate passed a similar bill by a vote of 33 to 25. On April 1 the House rejected this bill by a majority of 42. Then, by a vote of 120 to 112, the House voted to submit the Lecompton constitution to a vote of the people of Kansas. The Senate rejected this bill by a vote of 32 to 23. A conference committee was ordered. Representative William H. English (Ind.],' of the
English was a lawyer who had entered Congress in 1853; he served until 1861. In later life (1880) he was nominated for Vice-President by the Democratic party.
conference, a supposed Douglas Democrat, decided its report in favor of permitting Kansas to vote simply on accepting Congress's disposition of public lands in the new State; if the vote were in favor of this, Kansas would be admitted with the Lecompton constitution, and if opposed to it, a new constitutional convention would be held to decide the question of slavery. This meant that Kansas would be rewarded for voting for slavery by land grants and immediate Statehood. On April 30, 1858, the bill was passed in the House, 112 votes to 103, and in the Senate by 31 votes to 22, and was signed by President Buchanan.
Kansas refused to be bribed, and voted down the Lecompton constitution. The new constitutional convention was held at Wyandotte, in March, 1859. It framed a free-State constitution, which was ratified at a popular election in October. At the same time Republican State officers and a Republican Congressman were elected. The Republican House, on February 15, 1860, passed a bill, by a vote of 134 to 73, admitting Kansas with the new constitution. The Democratic Senate negatived the bill by a vote of 32 to 27. On January 21, 1861, the day when the Senators from the seceded States resigned their seats, the Senate passed a bill to the same effect, and, on January 28, the House accepted it, and President Lincoln signed the act, ending the seven years' contest.
The Lincoln-Douglas Contest for the Senate. In 1858 Senator Douglas's term was about to expire. He realized that he could gain no assistance, and would probably meet opposition, from the Administration, whose power in his State was wielded through postmasters and other Federal office-holders. Accordingly he prepared himself for “the fight of his life.” The