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election to reject the Lecompton Constitution, and then make another in harmony with their principles and their opinions (Bravo, and applause), I did not believe that either the penalties on the one hand, or the inducements on the other, would force that people to accept a Constitution to which they are irreconcilably opposed. (Cries of "Glorious," and renewed applause.) All I can say is, that if their votes can be controlled by such considerations, all the sympathy which has been expended upon them has been misplaced, and all the efforts that have been made in defense of their rights to self-government have been made in an unworthy cause. (Cheers.)

Hence, my friends, I regard the Lecompton battle as having been fought and the victory won, because the arrogant demand for the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution unconditionally, whether her people wanted it or not, has been abandoned, and the principle which recognizes the right of the people to decide for themselves has been substituted in its place. (Immense applause.)

Fellow-citizens.-While I devoted my best energies-all my energies, mental and physical-to the vindication of that great principle, and while the result has been such as will enable the people of Kansas to come into the Union with such a Constitution as they desire, yet the credit of this great moral victory is to be divided among a large number of men of various and different political creeds. (Prolonged applause.) I was rejoiced when I found in this great contest the Republican party coming up manfully and sustaining the principle that the people of each territory, when coming into the Union, have the right to decide for themselves (Cheers) whether slavery shall or shall not exist within their limits. (A voice, "Hope they will stick to it," and great cheering.) I have seen the time when that principle was controverted. I have seen the time when all parties did not recognize the right of a people to have slavery or freedom, to tolerate or prohibit slavery, as they deemed best, but claimed that power for the Congress of the United States, regardless of the wishes of the people to be affected by it; and when I found upon the Crittenden-Montgomery Bill the Republicans and the Americans of the North, and I may say, too, some glorious Americans and Old Line Whigs from the South (Cheers), like Crittenden and his patriotic associates, joined with a portion of the Democracy to carry out and vindicate the right of the people to decide whether slavery should or should not exist within the limits of Kansas, I was rejoiced within my secret soul, for I saw an indication that the American people, when they come to understand the principle, would give it their cordial support. (Cheers.)

The Crittenden-Montgomery Bill was as fair and as perfect an exposition of the doctrine of popular sovereignty as could be carried out by any bill that man ever devised. It proposed to refer the Lecompton Constitution back to the people of Kansas, and give them the right to accept or reject it as they pleased at a fair election, held in pursuance of law, and in the event of their rejecting it and forming another in its stead, to permit them to come into the Union on an equal footing with the original states. It was fair and just in all of its provisions. I gave it my cordial support, and was rejoiced when I found that it passed the House of Representatives, and at one time I entertained high hope that it would pass the Senate. (Applause.)

I regard the great principle of popular sovereignty as having been vindicated and made triumphant in this land as a permanent rule of public policy in the organization of territories and the admission of new states. (Cheers.) Illinois took her position upon this principle many years ago. You all recollect that in 1850, after the passage of the compromise measures of that year, when I returned to my home there was great dissatisfaction expressed at my course in supporting those measures. (Shame.) I appeared before the people of Chicago at a mass meeting, and vindicated each and every one of those meas

ures; and by reference to my speech on that occasion, which was printed and circulated broadcast throughout the state at the time, you will find that I then and there said that those measures were all founded upon the great principle that every people ought to possess the right to form and regulate their own domestic institutions in their own way, and that that right being possessed by the people of the states, I saw no reason why the same principle should not be extended to all of the territories of the United States. A general election was held in this state a few months afterward for members of the Legislature, pending which all these questions were thoroughly canvassed and discussed, and the nominees of the different parties instructed in regard to the wishes of their constituents upon them. When that election was over, and the Legislature assembled, they proceeded to consider the merits of those compromise measures and the principles upon which they were predicated. And what was the result of their action? They passed resolutions, first repealing the Wilmot Proviso instructions, and in lieu thereof adopted another resolution, in which they declared the great principle which asserts the right of the people to make their own form of government and establish their own institutions. That resolution is as follows:

"Resolved, That our liberty and independence are based upon the right of the people to form for themselves such a government as they may choose; that this great principle, the birthright of freemen, the gift of Heaven, secured to us by the blood of our ancestors, ought to be extended to future generations, and no limitation ought to be applied to this power in the organization of any territory of the United States of either a territorial government or state Constitution, provided the government so established shall be Republican and in conformity with the Constitution of the United States."

That resolution, declaring the great principle of self-government as applicable to the territories and new states, passed the House of Representatives of this state by a vote of sixty-one in the affirmative to only four in the negative. Thus you find that an expression of public opinion, enlightened, educated, intelligent public opinion on this question by the representatives of Illinois, in 1851, approaches nearer to unanimity than has ever been obtained on any controverted question. That resolution was entered on the Journal of the Legislature of Illinois, and it has remained there from that day to this, a standing instruction to her senators and a request to her representatives in Congress to carry out that principle in all future cases. Illinois, therefore, stands pre-eminent as the state which stepped forward early and established a platform applicable to this slavery question, concurred in alike by Whigs and Democrats, in which it was declared to be the wish of our people that thereafter the people of the territories should be left perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, and that no limitation should be placed upon that right in any form. (Tremendous applause.) Hence, what was my duty in 1854, when it became necessary to bring forward a bill for the organization of the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska? Was it not my duty, in obedience to the Illinois platform, to your standing instructions to your senators, adopted with almost entire unanimity, to incorporate in that bill the great principle of self-government, declaring that it was "the true intent and meaning of the act not to legislate slavery into any state or territory, or to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States?" (Cries of "Yes, yes," and cheers.) I did incorporate that principle in the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, and perhaps I did as much as any living man in the enactment of that bill-(great applause)-thus establishing the doctrine in the public policy of the country. (Cries of "Good," and renewed applause.) I then defended that principle against assaults from one section of the Union.

During this last winter it became my duty to vindicate it against assaults from the other section of the Union. (Cheers.) I vindicated it boldly and fearlessly, as the people of Chicago can bear witness, when it was assailed by Free-soilers ("Yes, yes," and cheers)—and during this winter I vindicated and defended it as boldly and as fearlessly when it was attempted to be violated by the almost united South. (Immense applause.) I pledged myself to you on every stump in Illinois in 1854, I pledged myself to the people of other states, North and South-wherever I spoke-and in the United States Senate and elsewhere, in every form in which I could reach the public mind or the public ear, I gave the pledge that I, so far as the power should be in my hands, would vindicate the principle of the right of the people to form their own institutions, to establish free states or slave states as they chose, and that that principle should never be violated either by fraud, by violence, by circumvention, or by any other means, if it was in my power to prevent it. (Applause.) I now submit to you, my fellow citizens, whether I have not redeemed that pledge in good faith! (Cries of "Yes, yes," and three tremendous cheers.) Yes, my friends, I have redeemed it in good faith, and it is a matter of heartfelt gratification to me to see these assembled thousands here to-night bearing their testimony to the fidelity with which I have advocated that principle and redeemed my pledges in connection with it. (Cheers.)

I will be entirely frank with you. My object was to secure the right of the people of each state and of each territory, North or South, to decide the question for themselves, to have slavery or not, just as they chose; and my opposition to the Lecompton Constitution was not predicated upon the ground that it was a Pro-slavery Constitution-(cheers)-nor would my action have been different had it been a Free-soil Constitution. My speech against the Lecompton fraud was made on the 9th of December, while the vote on the slavery clause in that Constitution was not taken until the 21st of the same month, nearly two weeks after. I made my speech against that Lecompton monstrosity solely on the ground that it was a violation of the fundamental principles of free government; on the ground that it was not the act and deed of the people of Kansas; that it did not embody their will; that they were averse to it; and hence I denied the right of Congress to force it upon them, either as a free state or a slave state. (Bravo.) I deny the right of Congress to force a slaveholding state upon an unwilling people. (Cheers.) I deny their right to force a free state upon an unwilling people. (Cheers.) I deny their right to force a good thing upon a people who are unwilling to receive it. (Cries of "Good, good," and cheers.) The great principle is the right of every community to judge and decide for itself whether a thing is right or wrong, whether it would be good or evil for them to adopt it; and the right of free action, the right of free thought, the right of free judgment upon the question is dearer to every true American than any other under a free government. My objection to the Lecompton contrivance was that it undertook to put a Constitution on the people of Kansas against their will, in opposition to their wishes, and thus violated the great principle upon which all our institutions rest. It is no answer to this argument to say that slavery is an evil, and hence should not be tolerated. You must allow the people to decide for themselves whether it is a good or an evil. You allow them to decide for themselves whether they desire a Maine liquor law or not; you allow them to decide for themselves what kind of common schools they will have; what system of banking they will adopt, or whether they will adopt any at all; you allow them to decide for themselves the relations between husband and wife, parent and child, and guardian and ward; in fact, you allow them to decide for themselves all other questions, and why not upon this question? (Cheers.) Whenever


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you put a limitation upon the right of any people to decide what laws they want, you have destroyed the fundamental principle of self-government. (Cheers.)

In connection with this subject, perhaps, it will not be improper for me on this occasion to allude to the position of those who have chosen to arraign my conduct on this same subject. I have observed from the public prints that but a few days ago the Republican party of the State of Illinois assembled in convention at Springfield, and not only laid down their platform, but nominated a candidate for the United States Senate as my successor. (Hisses.) I take great pleasure in saying that I have known personally and intimately, for about a quarter of a century, the worthy gentleman who has been nominated for my place (a voice, "He will never get it," and cheers)— and I will say that I regard him as a kind, amiable, and intelligent gentleman, a good citizen, and an honorable opponent; and whatever issue I may have with him will be of principle, and not involving personalities. (Cheers.) Mr. Lincoln made a speech before that Republican convention which unanimously nominated him for the Senate-a speech evidently well prepared and carefully written-in which he states the basis upon which he proposes to carry on the campaign during this summer. In it he lays down two distinct propositions, which I shall notice, and upon which I shall take a direct and bold issue with him. (Cries of "Good, good," and great applause.)


His first and main proposition I will give in his own language, Scripture quotation and all. (Laughter.) I give his exact language: 'A house divided against itself can not stand.' I believe this government can not endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it to cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other."

In other words, Mr. Lincoln asserts as a fundamental principle of this government that there must be uniformity in the local laws and domestic institutions of each and all the states of the Union, and he therefore invites all the non-slaveholding states to band together, organize as one body, and make war upon slavery in Kentucky, upon slavery in Virginia, upon slavery in the Carolinas, upon slavery in all of the slaveholding states in this Union, and to persevere in that war until it shall be exterminated. He then notifies the slaveholding states to stand together as a unit and make an aggressive war upon the free states of this Union with a view of establishing slavery in them all; of forcing it upon Illinois, of forcing it upon New York, upon New England, and upon every other free state, and that they shall keep up the warfare until it has been formally established in them all. In other words, Mr. Lincoln advocates boldly and clearly a war of sections, a war of the North against the South, of the free states against the slave states a war of extermination-to be continued relentlessly until the one or the other shall be subdued, and all the states shall either become free or become slave.

Now, my friends, I must say to you frankly, that I take bold, unqualified issue with him upon that principle. I assert that it is neither desirable nor possible that there should be uniformity in the local institutions and domestic regulations of the different states of this Union. The framers of our government never contemplated uniformity in its internal concerns. The fathers of the Revolution, and the sages who made the Constitution, well understood that the laws and domestic institutions which would suit the granite hills of New Hampshire would be totally unfit for the rice plantations of South Carolina (Cheers); they well understood that the laws which would suit the agricultural districts of Pennsylvania and New York would be totally unfit for the large mining regions of the Pacific, or the lumber regions of Maine. (Bravo). They well understood that the great varieties of

soil, of production, and of interests, in a republic as large as this, required different local and domestic regulations in each locality, adapted to the wants and interests of each separate state (cries of "Bravo," and "Good"), and for that reason it was provided in the federal Constitution that the thirteen original states should remain sovereign and supreme within their own limits in regard to all that was local, and internal, and domestic, while the federal government should have certain specified powers which were general and national, and could be exercised only by the federal authority. (Cheers).

The framers of the Constitution well understood that each locality, having separate and distinct interests, required separate and distinct laws, domestic institutions, and police regulations adapted to its own wants and its own condition; and they acted on the presumption, also, that these laws and institutions would be as diversified and as dissimilar as the states would be numerous, and that no two would be precisely alike, because the interests of no two would be precisely the same. Hence, I assert, that the great fundamental principle which underlies our complex system of state and federal governments contemplated diversity and dissimilarity in the local institutions and domestic affairs of each and every state then in the Union, or thereafter to be admitted into the confederacy. I therefore conceive that my friend, Mr. Lincoln, has totally misapprehended the great principles upon which our government rests. Uniformity in local and domestic affairs would be destructive of state rights, of state sovereignty, of personal liberty, and personal freedom. Uniformity is the parent of despotism the world over, not only in politics, but in religion. Wherever the doctrine of uniformity is proclaimed, that all the states must be free or all slave, that all labor must be white or all black, that all the citizens of the different states must have the same privileges or be governed by the same regulations, you have destroyed the greatest safeguard which our institutions have thrown around the rights of the citizen. ("Bravo," and great applause).

How could this uniformity be accomplished if it was desirable and possible? There is but one mode in which it could be obtained, and that must be by abolishing the state Legislatures, blotting out state sovereignty, merging the rights and sovereignty of the states in one consolidated empire, and vesting Congress with the plenary power to make all the police regulations, domestic and local laws, uniform throughout the limits of the republic. When you shall have done this you will have uniformity. Then the states will all be slave or all be free; then negroes will vote everywhere or no where; then you will have a Maine liquor law in every state or none; then you will have uniformity in all things local and domestic by the authority of the federal government. But, when you attain that uniformity, you will have converted these thirty-two sovereign, independent states into one consolidated empire, with the uniformity of despotism reigning triumphant throughout the length and breadth of the land. (Great applause).

From this view of the case, my friends, I am driven irresistibly to the conclusion that diversity, dissimilarity, variety in all our local and domestic institutions, is the great safeguard of our liberties; and that the framers of our institutions were wise, sagacious, and patriotic when they made this government a confederation of several states with a Legislature for each, and conferred upon each Legislature the power to make all local and domestic institutions to suit the people it represented, without interference from any other state or from the general Congress of the Union. If we expect to maintain our liberties, we must preserve the rights and sovereignty of the states; we must maintain and carry out that great principle of self-government incorporated in the compromise measures of 1850; endorsed by the Illinois Legislature of 1851; emphatically embodied and carried out in the

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