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the demands, and the threats to dissolve the Union made by the Southern States, pointed out their emptiness, their fallacy, and their injustice, and defined the exact point and center of the agitation.

"Holding, as they do," said he, "that slavery is morally right and socially elevating, they cannot cease to demand a full national recognition of it, as a legal right and a social blessing. Nor can we justifiably withhold this on any ground, save our conviction that slavery is wrong. If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it are themselves wrong, and should be silenced and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationality—its universality! If it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension—its enlargement. All they ask we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Wrong as we think slavery is we can yet afford to let it alone where it is, because that much is due to the necessity arising from its actual presence in the nation; but can we, while our votes will prevent it, allow it to spread into the national Territories, and to overrun us here in the free States? If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored, contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man; such as a policy of 'don't care,' on a question about which all true men do care; such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to

disunionists; reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance; such as invocations to Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington said, and undo what Washington did. Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."

The close attention bestowed on its delivery, the hearty applause that greeted its telling points, and the enthusiastic comments of the Republican journals next morning showed that Lincoln's Cooper Institute speech had taken New York by storm. It was printed in full in four of the leading New York dailies, and at once went into large circulation in carefully edited pamphlet editions. From New York, Lincoln made a tour of speech-making through several of the New England States, and was everywhere received with enthusiastic welcome and listened to with an eagerness that bore a marked result in their spring elections. The interest of the factory men who listened to these addresses was equaled, perhaps excelled, by the gratified surprise of college professors when they heard the style and method of a popular Western orator that would bear the test of their professional criticism and compare with the best examples in their standard text-books.

The attitude of the Democratic party in the coming presidential campaign was now also rapidly taking shape. Great curiosity existed whether the radical differences between its Northern and Southern wings could by any possibility be removed or adjusted, whether the adherents of Douglas and those of Buchanan could be brought to join in a common platform and in the sup



port of a single candidate. The Democratic leaders in the Southern States had become more and more outspoken in their pro-slavery demands. They had advanced step by step from the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in 1854, the attempt to capture Kansas by Missouri invasions in 1855 and 1856, the support of the Dred Scott decision and the Lecompton fraud in 1857, the repudiation of Douglas's Freeport heresy in 1858, to the demand for a congressional slave code for the Territories and the recognition of the doctrine of property in slaves. These last two points they had distinctly formulated in the first session of the Thirtysixth Congress. On January 18, 1860, Senator Brown of Mississippi introduced into the Senate two resolutions, one asserting the nationality of slavery, the other that, when necessary, Congress should pass laws for its protection in the Territories. On February 2 Jefferson Davis introduced another series of resolutions intended to serve as a basis for the national Democratic platform, the central points of which were that the right to take and hold slaves in the Territories could neither be impaired nor annulled, and that it was the duty of Congress to supply any deficiency of laws for its protection. Perhaps even more significant than these formulated doctrines was the pro-slavery spirit manifested in the congressional debates. Two months were wasted in a parliamentary struggle to prevent the election of the Republican, John Sherman, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, because the Southern members charged that he had recommended an "abolition" book; during which time the most sensational and violent threats of disunion were made in both the House and the Senate, containing repeated declarations that they would never submit to the inauguration of a "Black Republican" President.

When the national Democratic convention met at Charleston, on April 23, 1860, there at once became evident the singular condition that the delegates from the free States were united and enthusiastic in their determination to secure the nomination of Douglas as the Democratic candidate for President, while the delegates from the slave States were equally united and determined upon forcing the acceptance of an extreme pro-slavery platform. All expectations of a compromise, all hope of coming to an understanding by juggling omissions or evasions in their declaration of party principles were quickly dissipated. The platform committee, after three days and nights of fruitless effort, presented two antagonistic reports. The majority report declared that neither Congress nor a territorial legislature could abolish or prohibit slavery in the Territories, and that it was the duty of the Federal government to protect it when necessary. To this doctrine the Northern members could not consent; but they were willing to adopt the ambiguous declaration that property rights in slaves were judicial in their character, and that they would abide the decisions of the Supreme Court on such questions.

The usual expedient of recommitting both reports brought no relief from the deadlock. A second majority and a second minority report exhibited the same irreconcilable divergence in slightly different language, and the words of mutual defiance exchanged in debating the first report rose to a parliamentary storm when the second came under discussion. On the seventh day the convention came to a vote, and, the Northern delegates being in the majority, the minority report was substituted for that of the majority of the committee by one hundred and sixty-five to one hundred and thirty-eight delegates-in other words, the Douglas



platform was declared adopted. Upon this the delegates of the cotton States-Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Arkansas withdrew from the convention. It soon appeared, however, that the Douglas delegates had achieved only a barren victory. Their majority could indeed adopt a platform, but, under the acknowledged two-thirds rule which governs Democratic national conventions, they had not sufficient votes to nominate their candidate. During the fifty-seven ballots taken, the Douglas men could muster only one hundred and fifty-two and one half votes of the two hundred and two necessary to a choice; and to prevent mere slow disintegration the convention adjourned on the tenth day, under a resolution to reassemble in Baltimore on June 18.

Nothing was gained, however, by the delay. In the interim, Jefferson Davis and nineteen other Southern leaders published an address commending the withdrawal of the cotton States delegates, and in a Senate debate Davis laid down the plain proposition, “We want nothing more than a simple declaration that negro slaves are property, and we want the recognition of the obligation of the Federal government to protect that property like all other."

Upon the reassembling of the Charleston convention at Baltimore, it underwent a second disruption on the fifth day; the Northern wing nominated Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, and the Southern wing John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky as their respective candidates for President. In the meanwhile, also, regular and irregular delegates from some twenty-two States, representing fragments of the old Whig party, had convened at Baltimore on May 9 and nominated John Bell of Tennessee as their candidate for President, upon

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