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liberty in the country, and to transform this Government into a government of some other form. Those arguments that are made, that the inferior race are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as their condition will allow, what are these arguments? They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world. You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it. Turn in whatever way you will, — whether it come from the mouth of a king, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent; and I hold if that course of argumentation that is made for the purpose of convincing the public mind that we should not care about this, should be granted, it does not stop with the negro. I should like to know if, taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle, and making exceptions to it, where will it stop? If one man says it does not mean a negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man? If that declaration is not the truth, let us get the statute book, in which we find it, and tear it out! Who is so bold as to do it! If it is not true, let us tear it out! [Cries of " no, no."] Let us stick to it then; let us stand firmly by it then.
It may be argued that there are certain conditions that make necessities, and impose them upon us; and to the extent that a necessity is imposed upon a man, he must submit to it. I think that was the condition in which we found ourselves when we established this Government. We had slavery among us; we
could not get our Constitution unless we permitted them to remain in slavery; we could not secure the good we did secure if we grasped for more; and having by necessity submitted to that much, it does not destroy the principle that is the charter of our liberties. Let that charter stand as our standard.
"DO NOT LET US RETROGRESS.
My friend has said to me that I am a poor hand to quote Scripture. I will try it again, however. It is said in one of the admonitions of our Lord, "As your Father in heaven is perfect, be ye also perfect." The Saviour, I suppose, did not expect that any human creature could be perfect as the Father in heaven; but he said, "As your Father in heaven is perfect, be ye also perfect." He set that up as a standard, and he who did most toward reaching that standard, attained the highest degree of moral perfection. So I say in relation to the principle that all men are created equal, let it be as nearly reached as we can. If we cannot give freedom to every creature, let us do nothing that will impose slavery upon any other creature. Let us then turn this Government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it. Let us stand firmly by each other. * If we do not do so, we are turning in the contrary direction, that our friend Judge Douglas proposes not intentionally as working in the traces tend to make this one universal slave nation. He is one that runs in that direction, and as such I resist him.
My friends, I have detained you about as long as I desired to do; and I have only to say, let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race, and the other race being inferior; and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position, discarding our standard that we have left us. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal.
My friends, I could not, without launching off upon some
new topic, which would detain you too long, continue to-night. I thank you for this most extensive audience that you have furnished me to-night. I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.
PRESENT POSITION OF THE SLAVERY QUESTION.
DELIVERED JULY 17, 1851, IN SPRINGFIELD.
Judge Douglas replied to the preceding speech in two elaborate arguments, at Bloomington, on the 16th of July, and at Springfield on the following day. In the evening, Mr. Lincoln replied.
FELLOW CITIZENS: Another election, which is deemed an important one, is approaching, and, as I suppose, the Republican party will, without much difficulty, elect their State ticket. But in regard to the legislature, we, the Republicans, labor under some disadvantages. In the first place, we have a legislature to elect upon an apportionment of the representation made several years ago, when the proportion of the population was far greater in the South (as compared with the North) than it now is; and inasmuch as our opponents hold almost entire sway in the South, and we a correspondingly large majority in the North, the fact that we are now to be represented as we were years ago, when the population was different, is, to us, a very great disadvantage. We had in the year 1855, according to law, a census or enumeration of the inhabitants, taken for the purpose of a new apportionment of representation. We know what a fair apportionment of representation upon that census would give us. We know that it could not, if fairly made, fail to give the Republican party from six to ten more members of the legislature than they can probably get as the law now stands.
It so happened at the last session of the legislature, that our opponents, holding the control of both branches of the legisla ture, steadily refused to give us such an apportionment as we were rightly entitled to have upon the census already taken. The legislature steadily refused to give us such an apportionment as we were rightfully entitled to have upon the census taken of the population of the State. The legislature would pass no bill upon that subject, except such as was at least as unfair to us as the old one, and in which, in some instances, two men in the Democratic regions were allowed to go as far toward sending a member to the legislature as three were in the Republican regions. Comparison was made at the time as to representative and senatorial districts, which completely demonstrated that such was the fact. Such a bill was passed and tendered to the Republican Governor for his signature; but principally for the reasons I have stated, he withheld his approval, and the bill fell without becoming a law.
Another disadvantage under which we labor is, that there are one or two Democratic Senators who will be members of the next legislature, and will vote for the election of Senator, who are holding over in districts in which we could, on all reasonable calculation, elect men of our own, if we only had the chance of an election. When we consider that there are but twenty-five Senators in the Senate, taking two from the side where they ightfully belong and adding them to the other, is to us a disadantage not to be lightly regarded. Still, so it is; we have this o contend with. Perhaps there is no ground of complaint on ur part. In attending to the many things involved in the last eneral election for President, Governor, Auditor, Treasurer, uperintendent of Public Instruction, Members of Congress, of he legislature, county officers, and so on, we allowed these ings to happen by want of sufficient attention, and we have no use to complain of our adversaries, so far as this matter is conrned. But we have some cause to complain of the refusal to ve us a fair apportionment.