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Soilers of the North had regarded Douglas | time that they were in themselves right, or as an ally of the South, and his admitted as nearly right as those who participated ambition for the Presidency gave color to in their adoption were given to see the this suspicion. He it was who reported right. There was certainly no attempt at and carried through Congress the bill for a division of right and urong, and the the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, a closest investigation will show nothing bemeasure which at that time was thought to yond a surrender of power for the good of obstruct Southern designs in the territories all
, which is in itselt the very essence and of the great West, but this repeal proved beginning of government. in fact the first plain steps toward the free We have said that Douglas fought dom of the territories. Having repealed bravely for his idea, and every movement that compromise, something must take its in his most remarkable campaign with place, and what better than “popular Lincoln for the U. S. Senate demonstrated sovereignty," thought Douglas. " Terri-| the fact. The times were full of agitation tories contiguous to the Slave States, or in and excitement, and these were increased the same latitude, would thus naturally when it became apparent that Buchanan's revert to slavery; while those farther north, administration would aid the effort to and at that time least likely of early set- make Kansas a slave State. Douglas was tlement, would be dedicated to freedom. the first to see that the application of adThere was a grave miscalculation just here. ministration machinery to his principle, Slave-owners were not apt to change their would degrade and rob it of its fairness. homesteads, and could not with either He therefore resented Buchanan's interprofit or convenience carry their property ference, and in turn Buchanan's friends to new lands which might or might not be sought to degrade him by removing him fruitful in the crops best adapted to slave from the chairmanship of the Senate Comlabor. Slave-owners were few in number mittee on Territories, the position which compared with the free citizens of the had given him marked control over all North and the thousands of immigrants questions pertaining to the organization of annually landing on our shores. People territories and the admission of new who had once moved from the New Eng. States. land or Middle States westward, were rather fond of it, and many of these swelled the tide which constantly sought
The Lincoln and Douglas Debate. homes in the territories; and where these The Senatorial term of Douglas was did not go in person their sons and daugh- drawing near to its close, when in July, ters were quite willing to imitate the early 1858, he left Washington to enter upon the adventures of their parents.
All these canvass for re-election. The Republican counted for the North under the doctrine State Convention of Illinois had in the of " popular sovereignty," and it was the month previous met at Springfield, and failure of that doctrine to aid the South nominated Abraham Lincoln as a candiwhich from this time forward caused that date for United States Senator, this with a section to mistrust the friendship of view to pledge all Republican members of Douglas
the Legislature to vote for him--a practice No political writer has since questioned since gone into disuse in most of the States, bis motives, and we doubt if it can be done because of the rivalries which it engenders successfully. His views may have under- and the aggravation of the dangers of degone some change since 1850, and it would feat sure to follow in the selection of a canbe singular if they had not; for a mind as didate in advance. “First get your goose, discerning as his could hardly fail to note then cook it,” inelegantly describes the the changes going on all about him, and basic principles of improved political tacDo where more rapidly than in his own tics. But the Republicans, particularly of State
. He thought his doctrine at least the western part of Minois, had a double adapted to the time, and he stood by it purpose in the selection of Lincoln. He with rare bravery and ability. If it had was not as radical as they, but he well rebeen accepted by the Republicans, it would (presented the growing Republican sentihave been fatal to their organization as a ment, and he best of all men could cope party. We doubt the ability of any party with Douglas on the stump in a canvass to stand long upon any mere compromise, which they desired should attract the atmade to suit the exigencies and avoid the tention of the Nation, and give shape to dangers of the moment. It may be said the sentiment of the North on all questions that our government , first based on a con- pertaining
to slavery. The doctrine of federacy and then a constitution, with a popular sovereignty” was not acceptable system of checks and balances, with a di- to the Republicans, the recent repeal of vision of power between the people and the Missouri compromise having led them, the States, is but a compromise; but the or the more radical portion of them, to assertion will not hold good. These things despise all compromise measures. Were adopted because of a belief at the
The plan of the Illinois Republicans, if
indeed it was a well-settled plan, accom- | interest; but these things were dwarfed in plished even more than was anticipated, the State conflict, and those who shared though it did not result in immediate suc- such feelings had to make at least a show cess. It gave to the debate which followed of friendship until they saw the result. between Lincoln and Douglas a world-wide Lincoln was at first handicapped by the celebrity, and did more to educate and doubts of that class of Republicans who train the anti-slavery sentiment, taken in thought “popular sovereignty” not bad connection with the ever-growing excite- Republican doctrine. ment in Kansas, than anything that could On the arrival of Douglas he replied to have happened.
Lincoln's Springfield speech; on the 16th | Lincoln's speech before the convention he spoke at Bloomington, and on the 17th, which nominated him, gave the first clear in the afternoon, at Springfield. Lincoln expression to the idea that there was an had heard all three speeches, and replied “irrepressible conflict” between freedom to the last on the night of the day of its and slavery. Wm. H. Seward on October delivery. He next addressed to Douglas 25th following, at Rochester, N. Y., ex- the following challenge to debate : pressed the same idea in these words : “It is an irrepressible conflict between
CHICAGO, July 24th, 1858. opposing and enduring forces, and it means Hon. S. A. DOUGLAS:- My Dear Sir:that the United States will sooner or later Will it be agreeable to you to make an arbecome either an entire slaveholding Na- rangement to divide time, and address the tion, or an entirely free labor Nation."
same audience, during the present canvass ? Lincoln's words at Springfield, in July, etc. Mr. Judd is authorized to receive 1858, were:
your answer, and if agreeable to you, to en“If we could first know where we are, ter into terms of such agreement, etc. and whither we are tending, we could bet
Your obedient servant, ter judge what to do, and how to do it.
A. LINCOLN. We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, Douglas promptly accepted the chaland confident promise of putting an end to lenge, and it was arranged that there should the slavery agitation. Under the operation be seven joint debates, each alternately of that policy, that agitation has not only opening and closing, the opening speech not ceased, but has constantly augmented. to occupy one hour, the reply one hour In my opinion it will not cease, until a and a half, and the closing half an hour. crisis shall have been reached and passed. They spoke at Ottawa, August 21st; Free'A house divided against itself cannot port, August 27th ; Jonesboro', September stand.' I believe this government cannot 15th; Charleston, September 18th ; Gales. endure permanently half slave and half burg, October 7th ; Quincy, October 13th; free. I do not expect the Union to be dis- and Alton, October 15th. We give in solved—I do not expect the house to fall – Book III of this volume their closing but I do expect it will cease to be divided. speeches in full. It will become all one thing, or all the
Great crowds attended, and some of the other. Either the opponents of slavery more enterprising daily journals gave phowill arrest the further spread of it, and nographic reports of the speeches. The place it where the public mind shall rest enthusiasm of the North soon ran in Linin the belief that it is in the course of ulti-coln's favor, though Douglas had hosts of mate extinction ; or its advocates will push friends ; but then the growing and the it forward, till it shall become alike lawful aggressive party was the Republican, and in all the States, old as well as new-North even the novelty of a new and attractive as well as South.”
doctrine like that of “popular sovereignty" Douglas arrived in Chicago on the 9th could not long divert their attention. The of July, and was warmly received by en- prize suspended in view of the combatthusiastic friends. His doctrine of pop- ants was the United States Senatorship, ular sovereignty " had all the attractions and to close political observers this was of novelty and apparent fairness. For plainly within the grasp of Douglas by months it divided many Republicans, and reason of an apportionment which would at one time the New York Tribune showed give his party a majority in the Legislaindications of endorsing the position of ture, even though the popular majority Douglas-a fact probably traceable to the should be twenty thousand against him attitude of jealousy and hostility manifested a system of apportionment, by the way, toward him by the Buchanan administra- not confined to Illinois alone, or not pecution. Neither of the great debaters were liar to it in the work of any of the great parto be wholly free in the coming contest. ties at any period when party lines were Douglas was undermined by Buchanan, drawn. who feared him as a rival, and by the more Buchanan closely watched the fight, and bitter friends of slavery, who could not see it was charged and is still believed by the that the new doctrine was safely in their friends of the “Little Giant,” that the
administration secretly employed its pa- there were sharp questions and answers
, cannon, bands, proces- swer his interrogatories, whether he an-
but myself. Lincoln's position was different. He, “Having said thus much, I will take up doubtless
, early realized that his chances the judge's interrogatories as I find them
At the election which followed the de- lumbia.
Q.5.--I desire him to answer whether
tion of the slave trade between the different At the Freeport meeting, August 27th, I States.
Q. 6.-I desire to know whether he inhabitants, according to the English bill stands pledged to prohibit slavery in all -some ninety-three thousand will he the Territories of the United States, North vote to admit them? as well as South of the Missouri Compro 2. Can the people of the United States mise line?
Territory, in any lawful way, against the A.-I am impliedly, if not expressly, wish of any citizen of the United States, pledged.to a belief in the RIGHT and DUTY exclude slavery from its limits prior to the of Congress to prohibit slavery in all of the formation of a State Constitution ? United States' Territories.
3. If the Supreme Court of the United Q. 7.-I desire him to answer, whether States shall decide that States cannot exhe is opposed to the acquisition of any new clude slavery from their limits, are you in territory, unless slavery is first prohibited favor of acquiescing in, adopting and foltherein ?
lowing such decision as a rule of political A.-I am not generally opposed to honest action ? acquisition of territory, and in any given 4. Are you in favor of acquiring addicase, I would or would not oppose such ac- tional territory in disregard of how much quisition, according as I might think such acquisition may affect the nation on the acquisition would or would not aggravate slavery question ? the slavery question among ourselves. To these questions Mr. Douglas said:
“Now, my friends, it will be perceived “In reference to Kansas, it is my opinion upon an examination of these questions that, as she has population enough to conand answers, that so far, I have only an- stitute a slave State, she has people enough swered that I was not pledged to this, that, for a free State. I hold it to be a sacred or the other.
rule of universal application, to require a The judge has not framed his interroga- Territory to contain the requisite populatories to ask me anything more than this tion for a member of Congress, before it is and I have answered in strict accordance admitted as a State into the Union. with the interrogatories, and have answered 2. “It matters not what way the Supreme truly, that I am not pledged at all upon Court may hereafter decide, as to the abany of the points to which I have an- stract question whether slavery may or swered. But I am not disposed to hang may not go into a Territory under the upon the exact form of his interrogatories. Constitution, the people have the lawful I am rather disposed to take up, at least means to introduce it, or exclude it as they some of these questions, and state what I please, for the reason that slavery cannot really think upon them.
exist a day, or an hour, anywhere, unless "The fourth one is in regard to the abo- it is supported by local police regulations. lition of slavery in the District of Colum- These police regulations can only be estabbia. In relation to that, I have my mind lished by the local legislature, and if the very distinctly made up.' I should be very people are opposed to slavery, they will glad to see slavery abolished in the Dis-elect representatives to that body, who will, trict of Columbia. I believe that Congress by unfriendly legislation, effectually prepossesses the constitutional power to abolish vent the introduction of it into their midst. it. Yet, as a member of Congress, I should If, on the contrary, they are for it, their not, with my present views, be in favor of legislation will favor its extension. Hence, endeavoring to abolish slavery in the Dis- no matter what the decision of the Sutrict of Columbia, unless it should be upon preme Court may be on that abstract these conditions: FIRST, That the aboli- question, still the right of the people to tion should be gradual; SECOND, That it make a slave Territory or a free Terrishould be on a vote of a majority of quali- tory is perfect and complete under the fied voters in the District; and Third, Nebraska bill. That compensation should be made to un "3. The third question which Mr. Linwilling owners. With these three condi- coln presented is, if the Supreme Court of tions, I confess I would be exceedingly the United States shall decide that a State glad to see Congress abolish slavery in of this Union cannot exclude slavery from the District of Columbia, and in the lan- its own limits, will I submit to it? I am guage of Henry Clay, 'sweep from our amazed that Mr. Lincoln should ask such Capital that foul blot upon our nation.'." a question.
I now proceed to propound to the judge He casts an imputation upon the Suthe interrogatories, so far as I have framed preme Court of the United States by supthem. I will bring forward a new in- posing that they would violate the constistalment when I get them ready. I will tution of the United States. I tell him bring now only four. The first one is :- that such a thing is not possible. It would
1. If the people of Kansas shall, by be an act of moral treason that no man on means entirely unobjectionable in all other the bench could ever descend to. Mr. respects, adopt a Siate Constitution and Lincoln, himself, would never, in his par: ask admission into the Union under it tisan feelings, so far forget what was right before they have the requisite number of l as to be guilty of such an act.
4. With our natural increase, growing Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. with a rapidity unknown in any other part It is the eternal struggle between these two of the globe, with the tide of 'emigration principles-right and wrong-throughout that is fleeing from despotism in the old the world. They are two principles that world, to seek refuge in our own, there is have stood face to face from the beginning a constant torrent pouring into this coun- of time; and will ever continue to struggle. try that requires more land, more terri- The one is the common right of humanity, ory upon which to settle, and just as fast and the other the divine right of Kings. is our interests and our destiny require It is the same principle in whatever shape an additional territory in the North, in the it develops itself. It is the same spirit that South, or on the Island of the Ocean, I says, 'you work and toil, and earn bread, am for it, and when we require it, will and I'll eat it.' No matter in what shape leave the people, according to the Nebraska it comes, whether from the mouth of a bill, free to do as they please on the sub- King who seeks to bestride the people of ject of slavery, and every other ques- his own nation and life by the fruit of their tion."
labor, or from one race of men as an The bitterness of the feelings aroused by apology for enslaving another race, it is the canvass and boldness of Douglas, can the same tyrannical principle." both be well shown by a brief abstract And again: from his speech at Freeport. He had per “On this subject of treating it as a sisted in calling the Republicans “Black wrong, and limiting its spread, let me say a Republicans," although the crowd, the word." Has anything ever threatened the great majority of which was there against existence of this Union save and except him, insisted that he should say “White this very institution of slavery? What is Republican.” In response to these oft re- it that we hold most dear among us? Our peated demands, he said :
own liberty and prosperity. What has “Now, there are a great many Black ever threatened our liberty and prosperity Republicans of you who do not know this save and except this institution of slavery? thing was done. ("White, white, and If this is true, how do you propose to imgreat clamor)." I wish to remind you that prove the condition of things? by enlarging while Mr. Lincoln was speaking, there slavery ?-by spreading it out and making was not a Democrat vulgar and black- it bigger? You may have a wen or cancer guard enough to interrupt him. But I upon your person and not be able to cut it know that the shoe is pinching you. I am out, lest you bleed to death ; but surely it clinching Lincoln now, and you are scared is no way to cure it, to engraft it and to death for the result
. I have seen this spread it over your whole body. That is thing before. I have seen men make ap- no proper way of treating what you regard pointments for discussions and the mo- a wrong. You see this peaceful way of ment their man has been heard, try to in- dealing with it as a wrong --restricting the terrupt and prevent a fair hearing of the spread of it, and not allowing it to go into other side. have seen your mobs before new countries where it has not already and defy your wrath. (Tremendous ap- existed. That is the peaceful way, the plause.)
old-fashioned way, the way in which "My friends, do not cheer, for I need the fathers themselves set us the ex. my whole time.
ample.” "I have been put to severe tests. I have The administration of Pierce had left stood by my principles in fair weather and that of Buchanan a dangerous legacy. He in foul, in the sunshine and in the rain. found the pro-slavery party in Congress I have defended the great principle of temporarily triumphant, it is true, and self-government here among you when supported by the action of Congress in reNorthern sentiment ran in a torrent against |jecting the Topeka constitution and recme, and I have defended that same great ognizing the territorial government, but principle when Southern sentiment came he found that that decision was not accepdown like an avalanche upon me. I was table either to the majority of the people not afraid of any test they put to me. I in the country or to a rapidly rising antiknew I was right-I knew my principles slavery sentiment in the North. Yet he were sound—I knew that the people would saw but one course to pursue, and that was see in the end that I had done right, and to sustain the territorial government, which I knew that the God of Heaven would had issued the call for the Lecompton consmile upon me if I was faithful in the per- vention. He was supported in this view formance of my duty."
by the action of the Supreme Court, which As an illustration of the earnestness of had decided that slavery existed in Kansas Lincoln's position we need only quote two under the constitution of the United States, paragraphs from his speech at Aston: and that the people therein could only re
"Is slavery wrong? That is the real lieve themselves of it by the election of issue. That is the issue that will continue delegates who would prohibit it in the in this country when these poor tongues of constitution to be framed by the Lecoinp