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Speech at Springfield.

Reply to Judge Douglas.

The Black Man's Bondage.

particularity as to leave no doubt of its truth; and as a sort of conclusion on that point, holds the following language :

"The constitution was ordained and established by the people of the United States, through the action, in each State, of those persons who were qualified by its laws to act thereon in behalf of themselves and all other citizens of the State. In some of the States, as we have seen, colored persons were among those qualified by law to act on the subject. These colored persons were not only included in the body of the people of the United States,' by whom the Constitution was ordained and established; but in at least five of the States they had the power to act, and, doubtless, did act, by their suffrages, upon the question of its adoption.'

“Again, Chief Justice Taney says: “It is difficult, at this day to realize the state of public opinion in relation to that unfortunate race, which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted.' And again, after quoting from the Declaration, he says: The general words above quoted would seem to include the whole human family, and if they were used in a similar instrument at this day, would be so understood.'

"In these the Chief Justice does not directly assert, but plainly assumes, as a fact, that the public estimate of the black man is more favorable now than it was in the days of the Revolution. This assumption is a mistake. In some trifling particulars, the condition of that race has been ameliorated ; but as a whole, in this country, the change between then and now is decidedly the other way; and their ultimate destiny has never appeared so hopeless as in the last three or four years. In two of the five States-New Jersey and North Carolina—that then gave the free negro the right of voting, the right has since been taken away; and in the third -New York-it has been greatly abridged; while it has not

„peech at Springfield.

Reply to Judge Douglas.

The Black Man's Bondage.

peen extended, so far as I know, to, a single additional State, vhough the number of the States has more than doubled. In vhose days, as I understand, masters could, at their own pleasure, emancipate their slaves; but since then such legal restraints have been made upon emancipation as to amount almost to prohibition. In those days 'Legislatures held the unquestioned power to abolish slavery in their respective States; but now it is becoming quite fashionable for State Constitutions to withold that power from the Legislatures. In those days by common consent, the spread of the black man's bondage to the new countries was prohibited ; but now, Congress decides that it will not continue the prohibitionand the Supreme Court decides that it could not if it would. In those days our Declaration of Independence was held sacred by all, and thought to include all ; but now, to aid in making the bondage of the negro universal and eternal, it is assailed, sneered at, construed, hawked at, and torn, till, if its framers could rise from their graves, they could not at all recognize it. All the powers of earth seem rapidly combining against him. Mammon is after him; ambition follows, philosophy follows, and the theology of the day is fast joining the cry. They have him in his prison-house ; they have searched his person, and left no prying instrument with him. One after another they have closed the heavy iron doors upon him; and now they have him, as it were, bolted in with a lock of a hundred keys, which can never be unlocked without the concurrence of every key; the keys in the hands of a hundred different men, and they scattered to a hundred different and distant places; and they stand musing as to what invention, in all the dominions of mind and matter, can be produced to make the impossibility of his escape more complete than it is.

“It is grossly incorrect to say or assume, that the public estimate of the negro is more favorable now than it was at the origin of the Government.

Speech at Springfield.

Reply to Judge Douglas.

The Nebraska Bill

“Three years and a half ago, Judge Douglas brought forward his famous Nebraska bill. The country was at once in a blaze. He scorned all opposition, and carried it through Congress. Since then he has seen himself superseded in a Presidential nomination, by one indorsing the general doctrine of his measure, but at the same time standing clear of the odium of its untimely agitation, and its gross breach of national faith ; and he has seen that successful rival Constitutionally elected, not by the strength of friends, but by the division of his adversaries, being in a popular minority of nearly four hundred thousand yotes. He has seen his chief aids in his own State, Shields and Richardson, politely speaking, successively tried, convicted, and executed, for an offence not their own, but his. And now he sees his own case, standing next on the docket for trial.

"There is a natural disgust, in the minds of nearly all white people, to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races; and Judge Douglas evidently is basing his chief hope upon the chances of his being able to appro. priate the benefit of this disgust to himself. If he can, by much drumming and repeating, fasten the odium of that idea upon his adversaries, he thinks he can struggle through the

He, therefore, clings to this hope, as a drowning man to the last plank. He makes an occasion for lugging it in from the opposition to the Dred Scott decision. He finds the Republicans insisting that the Declaration of Independence includes ALL men, black as well as white, and forthwith he heldly denies that it includes negroes at all, and proceeds to argue gravely that all who contend it does do so only because they want to vote, eat and sleep, and marry with negroes He will have it that they can not be consistent else. Now, I protest against the counterfeit logic which concludes that because I do not want a black woman for a slave I mus necessarily want her for a wife. I need not have her for either. I can just leave her alone. In some respects sh

Speech at Springfield.

Reply to Judge Douglas.

The Declaration of Independence

certainly is not my equal; but in her natural right to eat the bread she earns with her own hands, without asking leave of any one else, she is my equal, and the equal of all others.

“Chief Justice Taney, in his opinion in the Dred Scott case, admits that the language of the Declaration is broad enough to include the whole human family ; but he and Judge Douglas argue that the authors of that instrument did not intend to include negroes, by the fact that they did not at once actually place them on an equality with the whites. Now, this grave argument comes to just nothing at all, by the other fact, that they did not at once, or ever afterward, actually place all white people on an equality with one another. And this is the staple argument of both the Chief Justice and the Senator for doing this obvious violence to the plain, unmistakable language of the Declaration.

"I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness in what respects they did consider all men created equal-equal with 'certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This they said, and this meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit.

Speech at Chicago.

Reply to Douglas.

SPEECH IN REPLY TO SENATOR DOUGLAS.

(At Chicago, on the evening of July 10, 1858.)

“MY FELLOW-CITIZENS : On yesterday evening, upon the occasion of the reception given to Senator Douglas, I was furnished with a seat very convenient for hearing him, and was otherwise very courteously treated by him and his friends, for which I thank him and them. During the course of his remarks my name was mentioned in such a way as, I suppose, renders it at least not improper that I should make some sort of reply to him. I shall not attempt to follow him in the precise order in which he addressed the assembled multitude upon that occasion, though I shall perhaps do so in the main.

“ There was one question to which he asked the attention of the crowd, which I deem of somewhat less importance-at least of propriety for me to dwell upon--than the others, which he brought in near the close of his speech, and which I think it would not be entirely proper for me to omit attending to, and yet if I were not to give some attention to it now, I should probably forget it altogether. While I am upon this subject, allow me to say that I do not intend to indulge in that inconvenient mode sometimes adopted in public speaking, of reading from documents; but I shall depart from that rule so far as to read a little scrap from his speech, which notices this first topic of which I shall speak—that is, provided I can find it in the paper. [Examines the morning's paper.]

"I have made up my mind to appeal to the people against the combination that has been made against me! the Republican leaders having formed an alliance, an unholy and unnatural alliance, with a portion of unscrupulous federal officeholders. I intend to fight that allied army wherever I meet them. I know they deny the alliance, but yet these men who

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