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great ability, I hope to have interposed no adventitious Obstacle. But clearly, he is not now with us- he does not pretend to be he does not promise ever to be.
Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by, its own undoubted friends-those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work-who do care for the result. Two years ago the Republicans of the nation Bustered over thirteen hundred thousand strong. We did this under the single impulse of resistance to a common da ger, with every external circumstance against us.
strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud and pampered enemy. Did we brave all them to falter now?-now, when that same enemy is wavering, dissevered and belligerent? The result is not doubtful, We shall not fail-if we stand firm, we shall not fail. Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but, sooner or later, the victory is sure to come.
SLAVERY DISCUSSED BY LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
MR. LINCOLN'S SPEECH.
Ar the second Joint Debate, between Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lincoln, at Freeport, Illinois, August 27th, 1858, Mr. Lincoln spoke as fol
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: On Saturday last, Judge Douglas and myself first met in public discussion. He spoke one hour, I an hour and a half, and he replied for half and hour. The order is now reversed. 1 am to speak an hour, he an hour and a half, and then I am to reply for half an hour. I propose to devote myself during the first hour to the scope of what was brought within the range of his half-hour speech at Ottawa. Of course there was brought within the scope in that half-hour's speech something of his own opening speech, In the course of that opening argument, Judge Douglas proposed to me seven distinct interrogatories. In my speech of an hour and a half, I attended to some other parts of his speech, and incidentally, as I thought, answered one of the interrogatories then. I then distinctly intimated to him that I would answer the rest of his interrogatories on condition only that he should agree to answer as many for me. He made no intimation at the time of the proposition, nor did he in his reply allude at all to that sugges tion of mine. I do him no injustice in saying that he occupied at least half of his reply in dealing with me as though I had refused to answer his interrogatories. I now propose that I will answer any of the interrogatories, upon condition that he will answer questions from me not exceeding the same number. I give him an opportunity to respond. The Judge remains silent. I now say that I will answer his interrogatories, whether he answers mine or not; and that after I have done so, I shall propound
mine to him.
I have supposed myself, since the organization of the Republican party at Bloomington, in May, 1856, bound as party man by the platforms of the party, then and since. If in any interrogatories which I shall answer go beyond the scope of what is within these platforms, it will be perceived that no one is responsible but n.yself.
Having said thus much, I will take up the Judge's interrogatories as I find them printed in the Chicago Times, and answer them seriatim. In order that there may be no mistake about it, I have copied the interrogatories in writing, and also my answers to them. The first of these interrogatories is in these words:
Question 1. "I desire to know whether Lincoln to day stands, as he did in 1854, in favor of the unconditional repeal of the Fugitive Slave law ?"
Answer. I do not now, nor ever did, stand in favor of the unconditional repeal of the Fugitive Slave law.
Q. 2. "I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to-day, as he did in 1854, against the admission of any more Elave States into the Union, even if the people want them?" 4. I do not now, or ever did, stand pledged against the admission of any more Slave States into the Union.
Q. 3. "I want to know whether he stands pledged against the admission of a new State into the Union with such a Constitution as the people of that State may see fit to make ?" A. I do not stand pledged against the admission of a new
State into the Union, with such a Constitution as the people of
that State may see fit to make. 2.4.
"I want to know whether he stands to-day pledged to the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia ?"
A. I do not stand pledged to the prohibition of the slave
trade between the different States.
Q. 6. "I desire to know whether he stands pledged to prohibit Slavery in all the Territories of the United States, North as well as South of the Missouri Compromise line?"
A. I am impliedly, if not expressly, pledged to a belief in the right and duty of Congress to prohibit Slavery in all the United States Territories.
Q. 7: "I desire him to answer whether he is opposed to the acquisition of any new territory unless Slavery is first prohibited therein ?"
A. I am not generally opposed to honest acquisition of ter ritory; and, in any given case, I would or would not oppose such acquisition, accordingly as I might think such acquisition would or would not aggravate the Slavery question among ourselves.
Now, my friends, it will be perceived upon an examination of these questions and answers, that so far I have only answered that I was not pledged to this, that or the other. The Judge has not framed his interrogatories to ask me anything more than this, and I have answered in strict accordance with the interrogatories, and have answered truly that I am not pledged at all upon any of the points to which I have answered. But I am not disposed to hang upon the exact form of his interrogatory. I am rather disposed to take up at least some of these questions, and state what I really think upon them.
As to the first one, in regard to the Fugitive Slave Law, I have never hesitated to say, and I do not now hesitate to say, that I think, under the Constitution of the United States, the people of the Southern States are entitled to a Congressional Fugitive Slave Law. Having said that, I have had nothing to say in regard to the existing Fugitive Slave Law, further than that I think it should have been framed so as to be free from some of the objections that pertain to it, without lessening its efficiency. And inasmuch as we are not now in an agitation in regard to an alteration or modification of that law, I would not be the man to introduce it as a new subject of agitation upon the general question of Slavery.
In regard to the other question, of whether I pledged to the admission of any more Slave States into the Union, I state to you very frankly that I would be exceedingly sorry ever to be put in a position of having to pass upon that question. I should be exceedingly glad to know that there would never be another Slave State admitted into the Union; but I must add, that if Slavery shall be kept out of the Territories during the territorial existence of any one given Territory, and then the people shall, having a fair opportunity and a clear field, when they come to adopt the Constitution, do such an extraordinary thing as adopt a Slave Constitution, uninfluenced by the actual presence of the institution among them, I see no alternative, if we own the country, but to admit them into the Union.
The third interrogatory is answered by the answer to the second, it being, as I conceive, the same as the second.
The fourth one is in regard to the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia. In relation to that, I have my mind very distinctly made up. I should be exceed
ingly glad to see Slavery abolished in the District of Columbia. I believe that Congress possesses the constitutional power to abolish it. Yet, as a member of Congress, I should not, with my present views, be in favor of endeavoring to abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia, unless it would be upon these conditions: First, that the abolition should be gradual. Second, that it should be on a vote of the majority of qualified voters in the District; and Third, that compensation should be made to unwilling owners. With these three conditions, I confess I would be exceedingly glad to see Congress abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia, and, in the language of Henry Clay," sweep from our Capital that foul blot upon our nation."
In regard to the fifth interrogatory, I must say here, that as to the question of the abolition of the slave-trade between the different States, I can truly answer, as I have, that I am pledged to nothing about it. It is a subject to which I have not given that mature consideration that would make me feel authorized to state a position so as to hold myself entirely bound by it. In other words, that question has never been prominently enough before me to induce me to investigate whether we really have the constitutional power to do it. I could investigate it if I had sufficient time, to bring myself to a conclusion upon that subject; but I have not done so, and I say so frankly to you here, and to Judge Douglas. I must say, however, that if I should be of opinion that Congress does possess the constitutional power to abolish the slave-trade among the different States, I should still not be in favor of the exercise of that power unless upon some conservative principle as I conceive it, akin to what I have said in relation to the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia.
My answer as to whether I desire that Slavery should be prohibited in all the Territories of the United States, is full and explicit within itself, and cannot be made clearer by any comments of mine. So I suppose in regard to the question whether I am opposed to the acquisition of any more territory unless Slavery is first prohibited therein, my answer is such that I could add nothing by way of illustration, or making myself better understood, than the answer which I have placed in writing.
believe, that those resolutions were never passed in any Convention held in Springfield. It turns out that they were never passed at any Convention or any public meeting that I had any part in. I believe it turns out in addition to all this, that there was not, in the fall of 1854, any Convention holding a session at Springfield calling itself a Republican State Convention; yet it is true there was a Convention, or assemblage of men calling themselves a Convention, at Springfield, that did pass some resolutions. But so little did I really know of the proceedings of that Convention, or what set of resolutions they had passed, though having a general knowledge that there had been such an assemblage of men there, that when Judge Douglas read the resolutions, I really did not know but they had been the resolutions passed then and there. I did not question that they were the resolutions adopted. For I could not bring myself to suppose that Judge Douglas could say what he did upon this subject without knowing that it was true. I contented myself, on that occasion, with denying, as I truly could, all connection with them, not denying or affirming whether they were passed at Springfield. Now it turns out that he had got hold of some resolutions passed at some Convention or public meeting in Kane County. I wish to say here, that I don't conceive that in any fair and just mind this discovery relieves me at all. I had just as much to do with the Convention in Kane County as that at Springfield. I am just as much responsible for the resolutions at Kane County as those at Springfield, the amount of the responsibility being exactly nothing in either case: no more than there would be in regard to a set of resolutions passed in the moon.
I allude to this extraordinary matter in this canvass for some further purpose than anything yet advanced. Judge Douglas did not make his statement upon that occasion as matters that he believed to be true, but he stated them roundly as being true, in such form as to pledge his veracity for their truth. When the whole matter turns out as it does, and when we consider who Judge Douglas is-that he is a distinguished Senator of the United States-that he has served nearly twelve years as such-that his character is not at all limited as an ordinary Senator of the United States, but that his Now in all this, the Judge has me, and he has me on name has become of world-wide renown-it is most exthe record. I suppose he had flattered himself that I was traordinary that he should so far forget all the suggesreally entertaining one set of opinions for one place and tions of justice to an adversary, or of prudence to him. another set for another place-that I was afraid to say self, as to venture upon the assertion of that which the at one place what I uttered at another. What I am say-slightest investigation would have shown him to be wholly ing here I suppose I say to a vast audience as strongly false. I can only account for his having done so upon tending to Abolitionism as any audience in the State of the supposition that that evil genius which has attended Illinois, and I believe I am saying that which, if it would him through his life, giving to him an apparent astonishbe offensive to any persons and render them enemies to ing prosperity, such as to lead very many good men to myself, would be offensive to persons in this audience. doubt there being any advantage in virtue over vice-I say I can only account for it on the supposition that that evil genius has at last made up its mind to forsake him.
I now proceed to propound to the Judge the interrogatories, so far as I have framed them. I will bring for ward a new installment when I get them ready. I will bring them forward now, only reaching to number four. The first one is :
Question 1. If the people of Kansas shall, by means entirely unobjectionable in all other respects, adopt a State Constitution, and ask admission into the Union under it, before they have the requisite number of inhabitants according to the English bill-some ninety-three thousand-will you vote to admit them?
Q. 2. Can the people of a United States Territory, in any lawful way, against the wish of any citizen of the United States, exclude Slavery from its limits prior to the formation of a State Constitution?
Q. 3. If the Supreme Court of the United States shall decide that States cannot exclude Slavery from their limits, are you in favor of acquiescing in, adopting and following such decision as a rule of political action?
Q. 4. Are you in favor of acquiring additional territory, in disregard of how such acquisition may affect the nation on the Slavery question?
And I may add that another extraordinary feature of the Judge's conduct in this canvass-made more extraordinary by this incident-is, that he is in the habit, in almost all the speeches he makes, of charging falsehood upon whether he is able to find in anything that Judge TrumI now ask his adversaries, myself and others. bull, for instance, has said, or in anything that I have said, a justification at all compared with what we have, in this instance, for that sort of vulgarity.
MR. DOUGLAS' REPLY.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I am glad that at last I have brought Mr. Lincoln to the conclusion that he had better define his position on certain political questions to which I called his attention at Ottawa. He there showed no disposition, no inclination, to answer them. I did not present re-idle questions for him to answer merely for my gratification. I laid the foundation for those interrogatories by showing that they constituted the platform of the party whose nominee he is for the Senate. I did not presume that I had the right to catechise him as I saw proper, unless I showed that his party, or a majority of it, stood upon the platform and were in favor of the propositions upon which my questions were based. I desired simply to know, inasmuch as he had been nominated as the first, last, and only choice of his party, whether he concurred in the platform which that party had adopted for its government. In a few moments I will proceed to review the answers which he has given to these interrogatories; but in order to relieve his anxiety I will first respond to these which he has presented to me. Mark you, he has not presented interrogatories which have ever received the sanction of the party with which I am acting, and hence he has no other foundation for them than his own curiosity.
As introductory to these interrogatories which Judge Douglas propounded to me at Ottawa, he read a set of solutions which he said Judge Trumbull and myself had participated in adopting, in the first Republican State Convention, held at Springfield, in October, 1854. He insisted that I and Judge Trumbull, and perhaps the entire Republican party, were responsible for the doctrines contained in the set of resolutions which he read, and I understand that it was from that set of resolutions that he deduced the interrogatories which he propounded to me, using these resolutions as a sort of authority for propounding those questions to me. Now I say here today that I do not answer his interrogatories because of their springing at all from that set of resolutions which he read. I answered them because Judge Douglas thought fit to ask them. I do not now, nor never did, recognize any responsibility upon myself in that set of resolutions. When I replied to him on that occasion, I assured him that I never had anything to do with them. I repeat here to-day, that I never, in any possible form, had any. thing to do with that set of resolutions. It turns out, I
First, he desires to know if the people of Kansas shall form a Constitution by means entirely proper and unob
jectionable and ask admission into the Union as a State, before they have the requisite population for a member of Congress, whether I will vote for that admission. Well now, I regret exceedingly that he did not answer that interogatory himself before he put it to me. in order that we might understand, and not be left to infer on which side he is. Mr. Trumbull, during the last session of Congress, voted from the beginning to the end against the admission of Oregon, although a free State, because she had not the requisite population for a member of Congress. Mr. Trumbull would not consent, under any circumstances, to let a State, free or slave, come into the Union until it had the requisite population. As Mr. Trumbull is in the field, fighting for Mr. Lincoln, I would like to have Mr. Lincoln answer his own question and tell me whether he is fighting Trumbull on that issue or not. But I will answer his question. In reference to Kansas, it is my opinion, that as she has population enough to constitute a slave State, she has people enough for a Free State. I will not make Kansas an exceptionable case to the other States of the Union. I hold it to be a sound rule of universal application to require a Territory to contain the requisite population for a member of Congress, before it is admitted as a State into the Union. I made that proposition in the Senate in 1856, and I renewed it during the last session, in a bill providing that no Territory of the United States should form a Constitution and apply for admission until it had the requisite population. On another occasion I proposed that neither Kansas, or any other Territory, should be admitted until it had the requisite population. Congress did not adopt any of my propositions containing this general rule, but did make an exception of Kansas. I will stand by that exception. Either Kansas must come in as a Free State, with whatever population she may have, or the rule must be applied to all the other territories alike. I therefore answer at once, that it having been decided that Kansas has people enough for a Slave State, I hold that she has enough for a Free State. I hope Mr. Lincoln is satisfied with my answer; and now I would like to get his answer to his own interrogatory-whether or not he will vote to admit Kansas before she has the requisite population. I want to know whether he will vote to admit Oregon before that Territory has the requisite population. Mr. Trumbull will not, and the same reason that commits Mr. Trumbull against the admission of Oregon, commits him against Kansas, even if she should apply for admission as a Free State. If there is any sincerity, any truth, in the argument of Mr. Trumbull in the Senate, against the admission of Oregon because she had not 93,420 people, although her population was larger than that of Kansas, he stands pledged against the admission of both Oregon and Kansas until they have 93,420 inhabitants. I would like Mr. Lincoln to answer this question. I would like him to take his own medicine. If he differs with Mr. Trumbull let him answer his argument against the admission of Oregon, instead of poking questions at me.
The next question propounded to me by Mr. Lincoln is, can the people of the Territory in any lawful way, against the wishes of any citizen of the United States, exclude Slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State constitution? I answer emphatically, as Mr. Lincoln has heard me answer a hundred times from every stump in Illinois, that in my opinion the people of a Territory can, by lawful means, exclude Slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State constitution. Mr. Lincoln knew that I had answered that question over and over again. He heard me argue the Nebraska bili on that principle all over the State in 1854, in 1855, and in 1856; and he has no excuse for pretending to be in doubt as to my position on *hat question. It matters not what way the Supreme Court may hereafter decide as to the abstract question whether Slavery may or may not go into a Territory under the Constitution; the people have the lawful means to Introduce it or exclude it as they please, for the reason that Slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere, unless it is supported by local poilce regulations. Those police regulations can only be established by the local legislature; and if the people are opposed to Slavery they will elect representatives to that body who will by unfriendly legislation effectually prevent the introduction of it into their midst. If, on the contrary, they are for it, their legislation will favor its extension. Hence, no matter what the decision of the Supreme Court may be on that abstract question, still the right of the people to make a slave Territory or a free Territory is perfect and complete under the Nebraska bill. I hope Mr. Lincoln deems my answer satisfactory on that point.
In this connection, I will notice the charge which he has introduced in relation to Mr. Chase's amendment. I thought that I had chased that amendment out of Mr. Lincoln's brain at Ottawa; but it seems that still haunts his imagination, and he is not yet satisfied. I had sup
posed that he would be ashamed to press that question further. He is a lawyer, and has been a member of Congress, and has occupied his time and amused you by telling you about parliamentary proceeding. He ought to have known better than to try to palm off his miseral le impositions upon this intelligent audience. The Nebraska bill provided that the legislative power and authority of the said Territory should extend to all rightful subjects of legislation, consistent with the organic act and the Constitution of the United States. It did not make any exception as to Slavery, but gave all the power that it was possible for Congress to give, without violating the Constitution, to the Territorial Legislature, with no exception or limitation on the subject of Slavery at all. The language of that Lill which I have quoted, gave the full power and the full authority over the subject of Slavery, affirmatively and negatively, to introduce it or exclude it, so far as the Constitution of the United States would permit. What more could Mr. Chase give by his amendment? Nothing. He offered his amendment for the identical purpose for which Mr. Lincoln is using it, to enable demagogues in the country to try and deceive the people.
His amendment was to this effect. It provided that the Legislature should have the power to exclude Slavery: and General Cass suggested, "why not give the power to introduce as well as exclude?" The answer was, they have the power already in the bill to do both. Chase was afraid his amendment would be adopted if he put the alternative proposition and so make it fair both ways, but would not yield. He offered it for the purpose of having it rejected. He offered it, as he has himself avowed over and over again, simply to make capital out of it for the stump. He expected that it would be capital for small politicans in the country, and that they would make an effort to deceive the people with it; and he was not mistaken, for Lincoln is carrying out the plan admirably. Lincoln knows that the Nebraska bill, without Chase's amendment, gave all the power which the Constitution would permit. Could Congress confer any more? Could Congress go beyond the Constitution of the country? We gave all a full grant with no exception in regard to Slavery one way or the other. We left that question, as we left all others, to be decided by the people for themselves, just as they pleased. I will not occupy my time on this question. I have argued it before all over Illinois. I have argued it in this beaut ful city of Freeport; I have argued it in the North, the South, the East, and the West, avowing the same sentiments and the same principles. I have not been afraid to avow my sentiments up here for fear I would be trotted down into Egypt.
The third question which Mr. Lincoln presented is, if the Supreme Court of the United States shall decide that a State of this Union cannot exclude Slavery from its own limits, will I submit to it? I am amazed that Lincoln should ask such a question. ("A school-boy knows better.") Yes, a school-boy does know better.) Mr. Lincoln's object is to cast an imputation upon the Supreme Court. He knows that there never was but one man in America, claiming any degree of intelligence or decency, who ever for a moment pretended such a thing. It is true that the Washington Union, in an article published on the 17th of last December, did put forth that doctrine, and I denounced the article on the floor of the Senate, in a speech which Mr. Lincoln now pretends was against the President. The Union had claimed that Slavery had a right to go into the free States, and that any provision in the Constitution or laws of the Free States to the contrary were null and void. I denounced it in the Senate, as I said before, and I was the first man who did. Lincoln's friends, Trunibull, and Seward, and Hale, and Wilson, and the whole Black Republican side of the Senate, were silent. They left it to me to denounce it. And what was the reply made to me on that occasion? Mr. Toombs, of Georgia, got up and undertook to lecture me on the ground that I ought not to have deemed the article worthy of notice, and ought Eot to have replied to it; that there was not one man, woman, or child south of the Potomac, in any Slave State, who did not repudiate any such pretension. Mr. Lincoln knows that that reply was made on the spot, and yet now he asks this question. He might as well ask me, Suppose Mr. Lincoln should steal a horse, would I sanction it; and it would be as genteel in me to ask him, in the event he stole a horse, what ought to be done with him. He casts an imputation upon the Supreme Court of the United States, by supposing that they would violate the Constitution of the United States. I tell him that such a thing is not possible. It would be an act of moral treason that no man on on the bench could ever descend to. Mr. Lincoln himself, would never, in his partisan feelings, so far forget what was right as to be guilty of such an act.
The fourth question of Mr. Lincoln is, are you in favor of acquiring additional territory, in disregard as to how such acquisition may affect the Union on the Slavery
question? This question is very ingeniously and cunningly put.
The Black Republican creed lays it down expressly, that under no circumstances shall we acquire any more territory unless Slavery is first prohibited in the country. I ask Mr. Lincoln whether Le is in favor of that proposition. Are you (addressing Mr. Lincoln) opposed to the acquisition of any more territory, under any circumstances, unless Slavery is prohibited in it? That he does not like to answer. When I ask him whether he stands up to that article in the platform of his party, he turns, Yankee-fashion, and without answering it, asks me whether I am in favor of acquiring territory without regard to how it may affect the Union on the Slavery question. I answer that whenever it becomes necessary, in our growth and progress, to acquire more territory, that I am in favor of it, without reference to the question of Slavery, and when we have acquired it, I will leave the people free to do as they please, either to make it slave or free territory, as they prefer. It is idle to tell me or you that we have territory enough. Our fathers supposed that we had enough when our territory extended to the Mississippi River, but a few years' growth and expansion satisfied them that we needed more, and the Louisiana territory, from the west branch of the Mississippi to the British possessions, was acquired. Then we acquired Oregon, then California and New Mexico. We have enough now for the present, but this is a young and a growing nation. It swarms as often as a hive of bees, and as new swarms are turned out each year, there must be hives in which they can gather and make their honey. In less than fifteen years, if the same progress that has distinguished this country for the last fifteen years continues, every foot of vacant land between this and the Pacific Ocean, owned by the United States, will be occupied. Will you not continue to increase at the end of fifteen years as well as now? I tell you, increase, and multiply, and expand, is the law of this nation's existence. You cannot limit this great Republic by mere boundary lines, saying, thus far shalt thou go, and no further." Any one of you gentlemen might as well say to a son twelve years old that he is big enough, and must not grow any larger, and in order to prevent his growth put a hoop around him to keep him to his preBent size. What would be the result? Either the hoop
must burst and be rent asunder, or the child must die. So it would te with this great nation. With our natural increase, growing with a rapidity unknown in any other part of the globe, with the tide of emigration that 's flee ing from despotism in the old world to seek refuge in our own, there is a constant torrent pouring into this country that requires more land, more territory upon which to settle, and just as fast as our interests and our destiny require additional territory in the North, in the South, or on the Islands of the ocean, I am for it, and when we acquire it, will leave the people, according to the Nebraska bill, free to do as they please on the subject of Slavery and every other question. I trust now that Mr. Lincoln will deem himself answered on his four points. He racked his brain so much in devising these four questions that he exhausted himself, and had not strength enough to invent the others. As soon as he is able to hold a council with his advisers, Lovejoy, Farnsworth, and Fred Douglass, he will fame and propound others. ("Good, good.") You Black Republicans who say good, I have no doubt think that they are all good men. I have reason to recollect that some people in this country think that Fred Douglass is a very good man. The last time I came here to make a speech, while talking from the stand to you, people of Freeport, as I am doing to-day, I saw a carriage, and a magnificent one it was, drive up and take a position on the outside of the crowd; a beautiful young lady was sitting on the box-seat, whilst Fred Douglass and her mother reclined inside, and the owner of the carriage acted as driver. I saw this in your own town. ("What of it?") All I have to say of it is this, that if you, Black Republicans, think that the negro ought to be on a social equality with your wives and daughters, and ride in a carriage with your wife, whilst you drive the team, you have perfect right to do so. I am told that one of Fred Douglass's kinsmen, another rich black negro, is now traveling in this part of the State making speeches for his friend Lincoln as the champion of black men. ("What have you to say against it?") All I have to say on that subject is, that those of you who believe that the negro is your equal and ought to be on an equality with you socially, politically, and legally, have a right to en tertain those opinions, and of course will vote for Mr. Lincoln.
POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY IN THE TERRITORIES.
BY STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS.
From Harper's Magazine, 1859.
free labor and slave labor, Free States and Slave States, which is irreconcilable, and must continue to rage with increasing fury until the one shall become universal by the annihilation of the other. In the language of the most eminent and authoritative expounder of their political faith,
"It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces; and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slave holding nation or entirely a free-labor nation. Either the cotton and rice fields of South Carolina, and the sugar plantations of Louisiana New-Orleans become marts for legitimate merchandise alone, will ultimately be tilled by free labor, and Charleston and or else the rye fields and wheat fields of Massachusetts and y-New-York must again be surrendered by their farmers to slave culture and to the production of slaves, and Boston and New-York become once more markets for trade in the bodies and souls of men."
UNDER Our complex system of government it is the first duty of American statesmen to mark distinctly the dividing line between Federal and Local Authority. To do this with accuracy involves an inquiry, not only into the powers and duties of the Federal Government under the Constitution, but also into the rights, privileges, and immunities of the people of the Territories, as well as of the States composing the Union. The relative powers and functions of the Federal and State governments have become well understood and clearly defined by their practical operation and harmonious action for a long series of years; while the disputed question-involving the right of the people of the Territories to govern them. selves in respect to their local affairs and internal poli remains a fruitful source of partisan strife and sectional controversy. The political organization which was formed in 1854, and has assumed the name of the Republican Party, is based on the theory that African Slavery, as it exists in this country, is an evil of such magnitude social, moral, and political-as to justify and require the exertion of the entire power and influence of the Federal Government to the full extent that the Constitution, according to their interpretation, will permit for its ultimate extinction. In the platform of principles adopted at Philadelphia by the Republican National Convention in 1856, it is affirmed:
In the Illinois canvass of 1858 the same proposition was advocated and defended by the distinguished Republican standard-bearer in these words:
"In my opinion it (the Slavery agitation) will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. A House divided against itself cannot stand.' I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the House to fall, but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of Slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States
"That the Constitution confers upon Congress sovereign
According to the theory of the Republican party there is an irrepressibie conflict between Freedom and Slavery,
Thus it will be seen, that under the auspices of a political party, which claims sovereignty in Congress over the subject of Slavery there can be no peace on the
Slavery question-no truce in the sectional strife-no fraternity between the North and South, so long as this Union remains as our fathers made it-divided into free and slave States, with the right on the part of each to retain Slavery so long as it chooses, and to abolish it whenever it pleases.
On the other hand, it would be uncandid to deny that, while the Democratic party is a unit in its irreconcilable opposition to the doctrines and principles of the Republican party, there are radical differences of opinion in respect to the powe s and duties of Congress, and the rights and immunities of the people of the Territories under the Federal Constitution, which seriously disturb its harmony and threaten its integrity. These differences of opinion arise from the different interpretations placed on the Constitution by persons who belong to one of the following classes:
First.-Those who believe that the Constitution of the United States neither establishes nor prohibits Slavery in the States or Territories beyond the power of the people legally to control it, but leaves 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."
Second.-Those who believe that the Constitution establishes Slavery in the Territories, and withholds from Congress and the Territorial Legislature the power to control it; and who insist that, in the event the Territorial Legislature fails to enact the requisite laws for its protection, it becomes the imperative duty of Congress to interpose its authority and furnish such protection. Third.-Those who, while professing to believe that the Constitution establishes Slavery in the Territories beyond the power of Cong ess or the Territorial Legislature to control it, at the same time protest against the duty of Congress to interfere for its protection; but insist that it is the duty of the Judiciary to protect and maintain slavery in the Territories without any law upon the subject.
the creator; and that Congress, not possessing the power to legislate in respect to African Slavery in the Territories, cannot delegate to a Territorial Legislature any power which it does not itself possess."
This proposition is as plausible as it is fallacious. But the reverse of it is true as a general rule. Congress cannot delegate to a Territorial Legislature, or to any other body of men whatsoever, any power which the Constitution has vested in Congress. In other words: Every power conferred on Congress by the Constitution must be exercised by Congress in the mode prescribed in the Constitution.
Let us test the correctness of this proposition by reference to the powers of Congress as defined in the Constitution:
"The Congress shall have power
"To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises," etc.;
"To borrow money on the credit of the United States;"
"To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;"
"To provide and maintain a navy."
This list might be extended so as to embrace all the power conferred on Congress by the Constitution; but enough has been cited to test the principle. Will it be contended that Congress can delegate any one of these powers to a Territorial Legislature, or to any tribunal whatever? Can Congress delegate to Kansas the power to "regulate commerce," or to Nebraska the power "to establish uniform rules of naturalization," or to Illinois the power "to coin money and regulate the value thereof," or to Virginia the power "to establish post-offices and post-roads?"
The mere statement of the question carries with it the emphatic answer, that Congress cannot delegate any power which it does not possess; but that every power conpro-ferred on Congress by the Constitution must be exercised by Congress in the manner prescribed in that instrument.
By a careful examination of the second and third positions, it will be seen that the advocates of each agree on the theoretical question, that the Constitution establishes Slavery in the Territories, and compels them to have it whether they want it or not; and differ on the practical point, whether a right secured by the Constitution shall be protected by an act of Congress when all ober remedies fail. The reason assigned for not pro tecting by law a right secured by the Constitution is, that it is the duty of the Courts to protect Slavery in the Territories without any legislation upon the subject. How the Courts are to afford protection to slaves or any other property, where there is no law providing remedies and imposing penalties and conferring jurisdiction upon the courts to hear and determine the cases as they arise, remains to be explained
The acts of Congress, establishing the several Territories of the United States, provide that: "The jurisdiction of the several Courts herein provided for, both appellate and original, and that of the Probate Courts and Justices of the Peace shall be limited by law"-meaning such laws as the Territorial Legislatures shall from time to time enact. It will be seen that the judicial tribunals of the Territories have just such jurisdiction, and only such, in respect to the rights of persons and property pertaining to the citizens of the Territory as the Territorial Legislature shall see fit to confer; and consequently, that the Courts can afford protection to persons and property no further than the Legislature shall, by law, confer the jurisdiction, and prescribe the remedies, penalties, and modes of proceeding.
It is difficult to conceive how any person who believes that the Constitution confers the right of protection in the enjoyment of slave property in the Territories, regardless of the wishes of the people and of the action of the Territorial Legislature, can satisfy his conscience and his oath of fidelity to the Constitution in withholding such Congressional legislation as may be essential to the enjoyment of such right under the Constitution. Under this view of the subject it is impossible to resist the conclusion that, if the Constitution does establish Slavery in the Territories, beyond the power of the people to control it by law, it is the imperative duty of Congress to supply all the legislation necessary to its protection; and if this proposition is not true, it necessarily results that the Constitution neither establishes nor prohibits Slavery anywhere, but leaves the people of each State and Territory entirely free to form and regulate their domestic affairs to suit themselves, without the intervention of Congress or any other power whatsoever.
On the other hand, there are cases in which Congress may establish tribunals and local governments, and invest them with powers which Congress does not possess, and cannot exercise under the Constitution. For instance, Congress may establish courts inferior to the Supreme Court, and confer upon them the power to hear and determine cases, and render judgments affecting the life, liberty, and property of the citizen, without itself having the power to hear and determine such causes, render judgments, or revise or annul the same. In like manner Congress may institute governments for the Territories, composed of an executive, judicial, and legislative department; and may confer upon the Governor all the execu tive powers and functions of the Territory, without having the right to exercise any one of those powers or functions itself.
Congress may confer upon the judicial department all the judicial powers and functions of the Territory, without having the right to hear and determine a cause, or render a judgment, or to revise or annul any decision made by the courts so established by Congress. Congress may also confer upon the legislative department of the Territory certain legislative powers which it can not itself exercise, and only such as Congress cannot exercise under the Constitution. The powers which Congress may thus confer, but cannot exercise, are such as relate to the domestic affairs and internal polity of the Territory, and do not affect the general welfare of the Republic.
This dividing line between Federal and Local authority was familiar to the framers of the Constitution. It is clearly defined and distinctly marked on every page of history which records the great events of that immortal struggle between the American Colonies and the British Government, which resulted in the establishment of our national independence. In the beginning of that struggle the Colonies neither contemplated nor desired independence. In all their addresses to the Crown, and to the Parliament, and to the people of Great Britain, as well as to the people of America, they averred that as loyal British subjects they deplored the causes which impelled their separation from the parent country. They were strongly and affectionately attached to the Constitution, civil and political institutions and jurisprudence of Great Britain, which they proudly claimed as the birthright of all Englishmen; and desired to transmit them unimpaired as a precious legacy to their posterity. For a long series of years they remonstrated against the violation of their inalienable rights of self-government under the British Constitution, and humbly petitioned for the redress of their griev.
But it is urged with great plausibility by those who have entire faith in the soundness of the proposition, that a ances. Territory is the mere creature of Congress; that the creature cannot be clothed with any powers not possessed by
They acknowledged and affirmed their allegiance to the Crown, their affection for the people, and their devo