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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 Territories of the United States, is full and explicit within itself, and can not 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.
Now in all this, the Judge has me, and he has me on the record. I suppose he had Hattered himself that I was really entertaining one set of opinions for one place and another set for another place—that I was afraid to say at one place what I uttered at another. What I am saying here I suppose I say to a vast audience as strongly tending to Abolitionism as any audience in the State of Illinois, and I believe I am saying that which, if it would be offensive to any persons and render them enemies to myself, would be offensive to persons in this audience.
At Jonesboro, in the lower part of " Egypt,” where their third debate was held, Douglas reiterated his often-refuted charges of ultraism against Lincoln, which the latter just as coolly and convincingly disposed of, as if there had been no unscrupulous pertinacity in making false accusations against him. After bringing home the sin of reopening agitation, to the door of Douglas, he proceeded to show as extravagant radicalism in the recorded professions of the Democracy as of any persons acting with the Republican party. He then completely riddled the “unfriendly legislation” theory of Douglas, exhibiting its utter inconsistency with fidelity to his Constitutional oaths, so long as he indorsed the validity of the political dogmas of Judge Taney, in his Dred Scott opinion.
In the fourth debate, at Charleston, the attempts of Douglas to make capital out of the Mexican War question were appropriately disposed of. Here, also, Douglas was convicted, on conclusive testimony, of having stricken out of the Toombs' Kansas Bill a clause requiring the Constitution that should be formed under its provisions, to be submitted to the people.
This had an important bearing on one objection upon which Douglas based his Anti-Lecompton rebellion.
The fifth joint discussion was held at Galesburg, the sixth at Quincy, and the last at Alton. The main topics and methods of these debates, as of the rest, did not substantially differ from those of the speeches at Chicago and Springfield.
The Alton debate occurred on the 15th of October. As the day of the election (November 2d) approached, it became more and more evident that strong efforts were making, aided by the advice of Senator Crittenden on the one hand, and of Vice President Breckinridge on the other, to secure a diver: sion of “Conservative" votes, American, Democratic, and Whig, in the central and southern part of the State, in favor of Douglas. These endeavors succeeded to such an extent that, with the immense advantages the Douglas party had in their unequal and utterly unfair apportionment of Legislative Districts, and in the lucky proportion of Democratic Senators holding over, they secured a small majority in each branch of the new Legislature. The Senate had 14 Democrats and 11 Republicans—the House 40 Democrats and 35 Republicans. The popular voice was for Lincoln, by more than four thousand majority over Douglas.
Admiration of the manly bearing and gallant conduct of Mr. Lincoln, throughout this campaign, which had early assumed a national importance, led to the spontaneous sug. gestion of his name, in various parts of the country, as a candidate for the Presidency. From the beginning to the end of the contest, lre had proved himself an able statesman, an effective orator, a true gentleman, and an honest man. While, therefore, Douglas was returned to the Senate, there was a general presentiment, that a juster verdict was yet to be had, and that Mr. Lincoln and his cause would be ultimately vindicated before the people. That time was to come, even sooner, perhaps, than his friends, in their moinentary despondency, expected. From that hour to the present, the fame of Abraham Lincoln has been enlarging and ripening, and the love of his noble character has become more and more deeply fixed in the popular heart.
SPEECHES OF 1859-'60.
Mr. Lincoln in Ohio.—His Speech at Columbus.-. Denial of the Negro
Suffrage Charge.-- Troubles of Douglas with His “Great Principle."— Territories Not States.-Doctrines of the Fathers.--His Cin. cinnati Speech.-"Shooting Over the Line." - What the Republicans Mean to Do.--Plain Questions to the Democracy.-The People Above Courts and Congress.—Uniting the Opposition.--Eastern Tour.The Cooper Institute Speech.-Mr. Bryant's Introduction.- What the Fathers IIeld.—What Will Satisfy the Southern Democracy? Coursels to the Republicans.—Mr. Lincoln Among the Children.
DURING the year following his great contest with Douglas, which had resulted in a barren triumph through the injustice of the previous Democratic Legislature in refusing a fair and equal apportionment, Mr. Lincoln again gave himself almost exclusively to professional labors. During the autumn campaign of 1859, however, when Douglas visited Ohio, and endeavored to turn the tide of battle in favor of the Democracy in that State, so as to secure the re-election of Mr. Pugh, and to gain other partizan benefits, an earnest invitation was sent to Lincoln to assist the Republicans in their canvass. He complied, and delivered two most effective speeches in Ohio, one at Columbus, and the other at Cincinnati.
In his speech at the former place (September 16, 1859), he began by noticing a statemeat which he read from the central Democratic organ, arerring that in the canvass of the previous year with Douglas, “ Mr. Lincoln declared in favor of negro suffrage.” This charge he quickly disposed of, showing by quotations from his printed speeches of that canvass, that he
distinctly and repeatedly declared himself opposed to the policy thus attributed to him.
Mr. Lincoln then noticed the recent Columbus speech of Mr. Douglas, in which he “ dealt exclusively" in the “negro topics” of discussion. Mr. L. spoke at some length on these issues, and thoroughly exposed the distinctions between genuine popular sovereignty, and the spurious sort which Douglas and his friends pass off for the reality. He then went on to notice the great amount of trouble which Mr. Douglas has had with his spurious popular sovereignty, and to illustrate how “his explanations explanatory of explanations explained are interminable.” The Harper's Magazine essay was dissected, and left without any logical vitality or cohesion. Two or three brief points in the remainder of this speech are subjoined :
STATES AND TERRITORIES.
There is another little difficulty about this matter of treating the Territories and States alike in all things, to which I ask your attention, and I shall leave this branch of the case. If there is no difference between them, why not make the Territories States at once? What is the reason that Kansas was not fit to come into the Union when it was organized into a Territory, in Judge Douglas's view ? Can any of you tell any reason why it should not have come into the Union at once? They are fit, as he thinks, to decide upon the slavery question—the largest and most important with which they could possibly deal-what could they do by coming into the Union that they are not fit to do, according to his view, by staying out of it? Oh, they are not fit to sit in Congress and decide upon the rates of postage, or questions of ad valorem or specific duties on foreign goods, or live oak timber contracts. [Laughter.] They are not fit to decide these vastly important matters, which are national in their import, but they are fit, “ from the jump,” to decide this little negro question. But, gentlemen, the case is too plain ; I occupy too much time on this head, and I pass on.
STAND BY THE DOCTRINES OF THE FATHERS. I see in the Judge's speech here a short sentence in these words: “Our fathers, when they formed this Government under which we live, understood this question just as well, and even better than we do now.” That is true. I stick to that. [Great cheers and laughter.] I will stand by Judge Douglas in that to the bitter end. [Renewed laughter.] And now, Judge Douglas, come and stand by me, and faithfully show how they acted, understanding it better than we do. All I ask of you, Judge Douglas, is to stick to the proposition that the men of the Revolution understood this subject better than we do now, and with that better understanding they acted better than you are trying to act now. [Applause.]
At Cincinnati, on the 17th of September, Mr. Lincoln addressed an immense audience on the same general political topics, and in his ablest manner. He did not repeat or merely play variations upon his Columbus speech, but adopted new modes of illustrating and enforcing his views. He was listened to with an interest rarely excited by any orator who ever spoke in this city, even in the most exciting campaign. No extracts can give a true idea of its ability and power as a whole. Alluding to Douglas's perversions of his views, and to the charge of wishing to disturb slavery in the States by " shooting over " the line, Mr. Lincoln said :
SHOOTING OVER THE LINE. It has occurred to me here to-night, that if I ever do shoot over at the people on the other side of the line in a slave State, and purpose to do so, keeping my skin safe, that I have now about the best chance I shall ever have. (Laugkier and applause.] I should not wonder if there are some Kentuckians about this audience; we are close to Kentucky; and whether that be so or not, we are on elevated ground, and by speaking distinctly, I should not wonder if some of the Ken. tuckians should hear me on the other side of the river. [Laughter.] For that reason I propose to address a portion of what I have to say to the Kentuckians.
I say, then, in the first place, to the Kentuckians, that I am what they call, as I understand it, a “ Black Republican." [Applause and Laughter.] I think that slavery is wrong, morally, socially and politically. I desire that it should be no further spread in these United States, and I should not object if it should gradually terminate in the whole Union. [Applause. While I say this for myself, I say to you, Kentuckians, that I understand that you differ radically with me upon this proposition ; that you believe slavery is a good thing; that slavery is right; that it ought to be extended and