Page images
PDF
EPUB

not stop to inquire, when they fired a broadside, whether it hit an Englishman, a Frenchman, or a Turk. Nor will I stop to inquire, nor shall I hesitate whether my blows shall hit these Republican leaders or their allies, who are holding the federal offices, and yet acting in concert with them."

Well, now, gentlemen, is not that very alarming? Just to think of it! right at the outset of his canvass, I, a poor, kind. amiable, intelligent gentleman, I am to be slain in this way. Why, my friends, the Judge is not only, as it turns out, not a dead lion, nor even a living one-he is the rugged Russiar Bear! [Laughter and applause.]

But if they will have it-for he says that we deny it-that there is any such alliance, as he says there is—and I don't propose hanging very much upon this question of veracitybut if he will have it that there is such an alliance-that the Administration men and we are allied, and we stand in the attitude of English, French and Turk, he occupying the position of the Russian, in that case, I beg that he will indulge us while we barely suggest to him that these allies took Sebastopol. [Great applause.]

Gentlemen, only a few more words as to this alliance. For my part, I have to say, that whether there be such an alliance, depends so far as I know, upon what may be a right defininition of the term alliance. If for the Republican party to see the other great party to which they are opposed divided among themselves, and not try to stop the division and rather be glad of it-if that is an alliance, I confess I am in; but if it is meant to be said that the Republicans had formed an alliance going beyond that, by which there is contribution of money or sacrifice of principle on the one side or the other, so far as the Republican party is concerned, if there be any such thing, I protest that I neither know any thing of it, nor do I believe it. I will, however, say as I think this branch of the argument is lugged in-I would before I leave it, state, for the benefit of those concerned, that one of those same Buchanan men did once tell me of an argument that be made for his opposition to Judge Douglas. He said that a friend of our Senator Douglas had been talking to him, and had among other things said to him: "Why, you don't want to beat Douglas?" แ "Yes," said he, "I do want to beat him, and I will tell you why. I believe his original Nebraska Bill was right in the abstract, but it was wrong in the time that it was brought forward. It was wrong in the application to a Territory in regard to which the question had been settled; it was brought forward at a time when nobody asked him; it was tendered to the South hen the South had not asked for it,

[ocr errors]

but when they could not well refuse it; and for this same reason he forced that question upon our party; it has sunk the best men all over the nation, everywhere; and now when our President, struggling with the difficulties of this man's getting up, has reached the very hardest point to turn in the case, he deserts him, and I am for putting him where he will trouble us no more."

Now, gentlemen, that is not my argument-that is not my argument at all. I have only been stating to you the argunient of a Buchanan man. You will judge if there is any force in it.

WHAT IS POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY?

Popular Sovereignty! everlasting Popular Sovereignty! Let us for a moment inquire into this vast matter of Popular Sovereignty. What is Popular Sovereignty? We recollect that in an early period in the history of this struggle, there was another name for the same thing-Squatter Sovereignty. It was not exactly Popular Sovereignty, but Squatter Sovereignty. What do those terms mean? What do those terms mean when used now? And vast credit is taken by our friend, the Judge, in regard to his support of it, when he declares the last years of his life have been, and all the future years of his life shall be, devoted to this matter of Popular Sovereignty. What is it? Why, it is the sovereignty of the people! What was Squatter Sovereignty? I suppose if it had any significance at all, it was the right of the people to govern themselves, to be sovereign in their own affairs while they were squatted down in a country not their own, while they had squatted on a Territory that did not belong to them, in the sense that a State belongs to the people who inhabit it-when it belonged to the 1:ation-such right to govern themselves was called "Squatter Sovereignty."

Now I wish you to mark. What has become of that Squatter Sovereignty? What has become of it? Can you get any body to tell you now that the people of a territory have any authority to govern themselves, in regard to this mooted question of slavery, before they form a State Constitution? No such thing at all, although there is a general running fire, and although there has been a hurrah made in every speech on that side, assuming that policy had given the people of a Territory the right to govern themselves upon this question; yet the point is dodged. To-day it has been decided-no more than a year ago it was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, and is insisted upon to-day, that the people

of a Territory have no right to exclude slavery from a Territory, that if any one man chooses to take slaves into a Territory, all the rest of the people have no right to keep them out. This being so, and this decision being made one of the points that the Judge approved, and one in the approval of which he says he means to keep me down-put me down I should not say, for I have never been up. He says he is in favor of it, and sticks to it, and expects to win his battle on that decision, which says that there is no such thing as Squatter Sovereignty; but that any one man may take slaves into a Territory, and all the other men in the Territory may be opposed to it, and yet by reason of the Constitution they can not prohibit it. When that is so, how much is left of this vast matter of Squatter Sovereignty I should like to know? [A voice-"It is all gone."]

When we get back, we get to the point of the right of the people to make a Constitution. Kansas was settled, for example, in 1854. It was a Territory yet, without having formed a Constitution, in a very regular way, for three years. All this time negro slavery could be taken in by any few individuals, and by that decision of the Supreme Court, which the Judge approves, all the rest of the people can not keep it out; but when they come to make a Constitution they may say they will not have slavery. But it is there; they are obliged to tolerate it some way, and all experience shows it will be so for they will not take negro slaves and absolutely deprive the owners of them. All experience shows this to be so. All that space of time that runs from the beginning of the settlement of the Territory until there is sufficiency of people to make a State Constitution-all that portion of time popular sovereignty is given up. The seal is absolutely put down upon it by the Court decision, and Judge Douglas puts his on the top of that, yet he is appealing to the people to give him vast credit for his devotion to popular Sovereignty. [Applause.]

Again, when we get to the question of the right of the people to form a State Constitution as they please, to form it with slavery or without slavery-if that is anything new, I confess I don't know it. Has there ever been a time when any body said that any other than the people of a Territory itself should form a Constitution? What is now in it that Judge Douglas should have fought several years of his life, and pledge himself to fight all the remaining years of his life for? Can Judge Douglas find any body on earth that said that any body else should form a Constitution for a

people? [A voice, "Yes."] Well, I should like you to name him; I should like to know who he was. [Same voice, "John Calhoun."]

Mr. Lincoln-No, Sir, I never heard of even John Calhoun saying such a thing. He insisted on the same principle as Judge Douglas; but his mode of applying it in fact, was wrong. It is enough for my purpose to ask this crowd, when ever a Republican said anything against it? They never said anything against it, but they have constantly spoken for it; and whosoever will undertake to examine the platform, and the speeches of responsible men of the party, and of irresponsible men, too, if you please, will be unable to find one word from anybody in the Republican ranks, opposed to that Popular Sovereignty which Judge Douglas thinks that he has invented. [Applause.] I suppose that Judge Douglas will claim in a little while, that he is the inventor of the idea that the people should govern themselves; that nobody ever thought of such a thing until he brought it forward. We do remember, that in that old Declaration of Independence, it is said that "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; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." There is the origin of Popular Sovereignty. [Loud applause.] Who, then, shall come in at this day and claim that he invented it?

[After referring, in appropriate terms, to the credit claimed by Douglas for defeating the Lecompton policy, Mr. Lincoln proceeds:]

I defy you to show a printed resolution passed in a Democratic meeting-I take it upon myself to defy any man to show a printed resolution of a Democratic meeting, large or small, in favor of Judge Trumbull, or any of the five to one Republicans who beat that bill. Every thing must be for the Democrats! They did every thing, and the five to the one that really did the thing, they snub over, and they do not seem to remember that they have an existence upon the face of the earth.

LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS-THE PERVERTED ISSUES.

Gentlemen, I fear that I shall become tedious. I leave this branch of the subject to take hold of another. I take up that part of Judge Douglas' speech in which he respectfully attended to me.

(C

Judge Douglas made two points upon my recent speech at Springfield. He says they are to be the issues of this campaign. The first one of these points he bases upon the lan guage in a speech which I delivered at Springfield, which I believe I can quote correctly from memory. I said there that we are now far on in the fifth year since a policy was instituted for the avowed object, and with the confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation; under the operation of that policy, that agitation had not only not ceased, but had constantly augmented. I believe it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. 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 am quoting from my speech-" I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will come all one thing or the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the 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 it forward until it shall have become alike lawful in all the States, North as well as South."

In this paragraph which I have quoted in your hearing, and to which I ask the attention of all, Judge Douglas thinks he discovers great political heresy. I want your attention particularly to what he has inferred from it. He says I am in favor of making all the States of this Union uniform in all their internal regulations; that in all their domestic concerns I am in favor of making them entirely uniform. He draws this inference from the language I have quoted to you. He says that I am favor of making war by the North upon the South for the extinction of slavery; that I am also in favor of inviting, as he expresses it, the South to a war upon the North, for the purpose of nationalizing slavery. Now, it is singular enough, if you will carefully read that passage over, that I did not say that I was in favor of any thing in it. I only said what I expected would take place. I made a prediction onlyit may have been a foolish one perhaps. I did not even say that I desired that slavery should be put in course of ultimate extinction. I do say so now, however, so there need be no longer any difficulty about that. It may be written down in the next speech.

Gentlemen, Judge Douglas informed you that this speech of mine was probably carefully prepared. I admit that it was. I am not master of language; I have not a fine education; I am not capable of entering into a disquisition upon dialectics, as I believe you call it; but I do not believe the language I

« PreviousContinue »