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First Speech Senatorial Canvass, 1858.

The Nebraska Bill.

we can see the place in the frame exactly fitted and prepared to yet bring such piece in—in such a case, we find it impossible not to believe that Stephen and Franklin and Roger and James all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft drawn up before the first blow was struck.

“It should not be overlooked that, by the Nebraska bill, the people of a State as well as Territory, were to be left 'perfectly free,' 'subject only to the Constitution.' Why mention a State ? They were legislating for Territories, and not for or about States. Certainly the people of a State are and ought to be subject to the Constitution of the United States; but why is mention of this lugged into this merely territorial law? Why are the people of a Territory and the people of a State therein lumped together, and their relation to the Constitution therein treated as being precisely the same ?

“While the opinion of the court, by Chief Justice Taney, in the Dred Scott case, and the separate opinions of all the concurring judges, expressly declare that the Constitution of the United States neither permits Congress nor a Territorial Legislature, to exclude slavery from any United States Territory, they all omit to declare whether or not the same Constitution permits a State, or the people of a State, to exclude it. Possibly, this was a mere omission ; but who can be quite sure, if McLean or Curtis had sought to get into the opinion a declaration of unlimited power in the people of a State to exclude slavery from their limits, just as Chase and Mace sought to get such declaration, in behalf of the people of a Territory, into the Nebraska bill—I ask, who can be quite sure that it would not have been voted down, in the one case as it had been in the other.

"The nearest approach to the point of declaring the power of a State over slavery, is made by Judge Nelson. He approaches it more than once, using the precise idea, and

First Speech Senatorial Canvass, 1858.

The power of a State over Slavery.

On one

almost the language, too, of the Nebraska Act. occasion his exact language is, 'except in cases where the power is restrained by the Constitution of the United States, the law of the State is supreme over the subject of slavery within its jurisdiction.'

“In what cases the power of the State is so restrained by the United States Constitution, is left an open question, precisely as the same question, as to the restraint on the power of the Territories was left open in the Nebraska Act. Put that and that together, and we have another nice little niche, which we may ere long, see filled with another Supreme Court decision, declaring that the Constitution of the United States does not permit a State to exclude slavery from its limits. And this may especially be expected if the doctrine of 'care not whether slavery be voted down or voted up,' shall gain upon the public mind sufficiently to give promise that such a decision can be maintained when made.

“Such a decision is all that slavery now lacks of being alike lawful in all the States. Welcome or unwelcome, such decision is probably coming, and will soon be upon us, unless the power of the present political dynasty shall be met and overthrown. We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri are on the verge of making their State free ; and we shall awake to the reality, instead, that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a slave State.

" To meet and overthrow the power of that dynasty, is the work now before all those who would prevent that consummation. That is what we have to do. But how can we best do it?

" There are those who denounce us openly to their own friends, and yet whisper softly, that Senator Douglas is the aptest instrument there is, with which to effect that object. They do not tell us, nor has he told us, that he wishes any such object to be effected. They wish us to infer all, from the facts that he now has a little quarrel with the present

First Speech Senatorial Canvass, 1858.

The advances of Slavery.

head of the dynasty; and that he has regularly voted with us, on a single point, upon which he and we have never differed.

They remind us that he is a very great man, and that the largest of us are very small ones. Let this be granted. But 'a living dog is better than a dead lion.' Judge Douglas, if not a dead lion for this work, is at least a caged and toothless one. How can he oppose the advances of slavery? He don't care anything about it. His avowed mission is impressing the public heart' to care nothing about it.

“A leading Douglas Democrat newspaper thinks Douglas's superior talent will be needed to resist the revival of the African slave-trade. Does Douglas believe an effort to revive that trade is approaching? He has not said so. Does he really think so?. But if it is, how can he resist it? For years he has labored to prove it a sacred right of white men to take negro slaves into the new Territories. Can he possibly show that it is less a sacred right to buy them where they can be bought cheapest ? And, unquestionably they can be bought cheaper in Africa than in Virginia.

“He has done all in his power to reduce the whole question of slavery to one of a mere right of property; and as such, how can he oppose the foreign slave-trade-how can he refuse that trade in that property' shall be perfectly free--unless he does it as a protection to the home produc tion? And as the home producers will probably not ask the protection, he will be wholly without a ground of opposition

“ Senator Douglas holds, we know, that a man may rightfully be wiser to-day than he was yesterday -- that he may rightfully change when he finds himself wrong. But can we for that reason run ahead and infer that he will make any particular change, of which he himself has given no intimation? Can we safely base our action upon any such vague inferences ?

First Speech Senatorial Canvass, 1858.

The great Struggle between the Candidates.

“Now, as ever, I wish not to misrepresent Judge Douglas's position, question his motives, or do aught that can be personally offensive to him. Whenever, if ever,

Whenever, if ever, he and we can come together on principle, so that our great cause may have assistance from his 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 mustered over thirteen hundred thousand strong. We did this under the single impulse of resistance to a common danger, with every external circumstance against us. Of 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 then 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."

In this most vigorously prosecuted canvass Illinois was stumped throughout its length and breadth by both candidates and their respective advocates, and the struggle was watched with interest by the country at large. From county to county, from township to township, and village to village the two champions travelled, frequently in the same car or carriage, and in the presence of immense crowds of men, women, and children- for the wives and daughters of the hardy yeomanry were naturally interested_argued, face to face, the important points of their political belief, and contended nobly for the mastery.

Tribute to the Declaration of Independence.

Its great Principles.

In one of his speeches during this memorable campaign, Mr. Lincoln paid the following tribute to the Declaration of Independence :

" These communities, (the thirteen colonies,) by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the world of men, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are born equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with 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. 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 race of men then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the furthest posterity. They created 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-Saxon white men, 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 would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.

“Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines conflicting with the great landmarks of the Declaration of

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