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that the provision which I have referred to as being placed in the Constitution, declared that it should not be abolished prior to the year 1808. A constitutional provision was necessary to prevent the people, through Congress, from putting a stop to the traffic immediately at the close of the war. Now, if slavery had been a good thing, would the fathers of the Republic have taken a step calculated to diminish its beneficent influences among themselves, and snatch the boon wholly from their posterity? These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men :—
We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain 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. [Applause.] 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 whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected 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-Saxons, 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 hereafter would dare to limit and circumscribe the
great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built. [Loud cheers.]
Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines conflicting with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence; if you have listened to suggestions which would take away from its grandeur, and mutilate the 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 anything 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 any 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.
MR. LINCOLN IN CONGRESS. .
In illustration of Mr. Lincoln's position on the Mexican war, Bounty Lands, Disposal of the Public Domain, etc., we annex some extracts from congressional speeches. Most of the issues are dead which then excited the nation. The extracts will serve to show Mr. Lincoln's position, and be the best answer to any statements by his opponents, based thereon.
RESOLUTIONS OF INQUIRY.
On the 22d of December, Mr. Lincoln moved the following preambles and resolutions, which were read and laid over under the rule :
Whereas, the President of the United States, in his message of May 11, 1846, has declared that 'the Mexican Government not only refused to receive him, (the envoy of the United States,) or listen to his propositions, but after a long-continued series of menaces, have at last invaded our territory and shed the blood of our fellow-citizens on our own soil.'"
And again in his message of December 8, 1846, that “ had ample cause of war against Mexico long before the breaking out of hostilities, but even then we forebore to take redress into our own hands until Mexico herself became the aggressor, by invading our soil in hostile array, and shedding the blood of our citizens."
And yet again in the message of December 7, 1847, that "the Mexican Government refused even to hear the terms of adjustment which he (our minister of peace) was authorized to
propose, and finally, under wholly unjustifiable pretexts, involved the two countries in war, by invading the territory of the State of Texas, striking the first blow, and shedding the blood of our citizens on our own soil."
And whereas this House is desirous to obtain a full knowledge of all the facts which go to establish whether the particular spot on which the blood of our citizens was so shed, was or was not at that time our own soil.
Resolved, by the House of Representatives, That the President of the United States be respectfully requested to inform this House.
1. Whether the spot on which the blood of our citizens was shed, as in his messages declared, was or was not within the Territory of Spain, at least after the treaty of 1819, until the Mexican revolution.
2. Whether that spot is or is not within the territory which was wrested from Spain by the revolutionary Government of Mexico.
3. Whether that spot is or is not within a settlement of people, which settlement has existed ever since long before the Texas revolution, and until its inhabitants fled before the approach of the United States army.
4. Whether that settlement is or is not isolated from any and all other settlements by the Gulf and the Rio Grande, on the south and west, and by wide, uninhabited regions, on the north and east.
5. Whether the people of that settlement, or a majority of them, or any of them, have ever submitted themselves to the government or laws of Texas or of the United States, by consent or by compulsion, either by accepting office, or voting at elections, or paying tax, or serving on juries, or having process served upon them, or in any other way.
6. Whether the people of that settlement did or did not flee from the approach of the United States army, leaving unprotected their homes and their growing crops, before the blood was shed, as in the message stated; and whether the first blood, so
shed, was or was not shed within the enclosure of one of the people who had thus fled from it.
7. Whether our citizens, whose blood was shed, as in his messages declared, were or were not, at that time, armed officers and soldiers sent into that settlement by the military order of the President, through the Secretary of War.
8. Whether the military force of the United States was or was not so sent into that settlement after General Taylor had more than once intimated to the War Department that, in his opinion, no such movement was necessary to the defence or protection of Texas.
Mr. Lincoln spoke against the bill granting land to the soldiers of the Mexican war. We extract as follows:
If there was a general desire on the part of the House to pass the bill now, he should be glad to have it done, concurring, as he did generally, with the gentleman from Arkansas, (Mr. Johnson,) that the postponement might jeopard the safety of the proposition. If, however, a reference was to be made, he wished to make a very few remarks in relation to the several subjects desired by gentlemen to be embraced in amendments. to the ninth section of the act of the last session of Congress. The first amendment declared by members of this House, had for its only object to give bounty lands to such persons as had served for a time as privates, but had never been discharged as such, because promoted to office. That subject, and no other, was embraced in this bill. There were some others who desired, while they were legislating on this subject, that they should also give bounty lands to the volunteers of the war of 1812. His friend from Maryland said there were no such men. He (Mr. L.) did not say there were many, but he was very confident there were some. His friend from Kentucky, near him, (Mr. Gaines) told him he himself was one.
There was still another proposition touching this matter, that was, that persons entitled to bounty land should, by law,