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LINCOLN'S OPINIONS ON SLAVERY.
cured for himself, among the expanding Q. 4. I want to know whether he Republican party, an importance which stands to-day pledged to the abolition obtained for him the nomination for the of slavery in the District of Columbia ? Presidency, and finally his elevation to A. I do not stand to-day pledged to that high office.
the abolition of slavery in the District How far his political views upon the of Columbia. question of slavery are justifications of Q. 5. I desire him to answer whether a defiance of the authority of his gov- he stands pledged to the prohibition ernment, as is pretended by those seek- of the slave-trade between the different ing pretexts for rebellion, his own words States ? will prove. In the course of his polit. A. I do not stand pledged to the ical contest for the senatorship, Douglas prohibition of the slave-trade between proposed certain questions to him, which the different States. are here given, with Lincoln's answers, | Q. 6. I desire to know whether he which present a candid exposition of stands pledged to prohibit slavery in all his opinions.
the Territories of the United States, " Question 1. I desire to know whether north as well as south of the Missouri Lincoln to-day stands pledged, as he did Compromise line? in 1854, in favor of the unconditional A. I am impliedly, if not expressly, repeal of the Fugitive Slave law ? pledged to a belief in the right and duty
Answer. I do not now, nor ever did, of Congress to prohibit slavery in all stand pledged in favor of the uncondi- the United States' Territories. tional repeal of the Fugitive Slave law. Q. 7. I desire him to answer whether
Q. 2. I desire him to answer whether he is opposed to the acquisition of any he stands pledged to-day, as he did new terriiory, unless slavery is first proin 1854, against the admission of any hibited therein ? more slave States into the Union, even A. I am not generally opposed to honif the people want them ???
est acquisition of territory ; and, in any A. I do not now, nor ever did, stand given case, I would or would not oppose pledged against the admission of any such acquisition, according as I might more slave States into the Union. think such acquisition would or would
Q. 3. I want to know whether he not aggravate the slavery question stands pledged against the admission of among ourselves. a new State into the Union, with such a Now, my friends, it will be perceived, constitution as the people of that State upon an examination of these questions may see fit to make ?
and answers, that so far I have only A. I do not stand pledged against the answered that I was not pledged to this, admission of a new State into the Union, that, or the other. The Judge has not with such a constitution as the people framed his interrogatories to ask me of that State may see fit to make. | anything more than this, and I have
answered in strict accordance with the one given Territory, and then the interrogatories, and have answered truly people shall, having a fair chance and a that I am not pledged at all upon any of clear field, when they come to adopt the the points to which I have answered. Constitution, do such an extraordinary But I am not disposed to hang upon the | thing as to adopt a slave constitution, exact form of his interrogatory. I am uninfluenced by the actual presence of rather disposed to take up at least some the institution among them, I see no of these questions, and state what I alternative, if we own the country, but really think upon them.
to admit them into the Union. As to the first one, in regard to the The third interrogatory is answered Fugitive Slave law, I have never hesi- by the answer to the second, it being, tated to say, and I do not now hesitate as I conceive, the same as the second. to say, that I think, under the Consti- The fourth one is in regard to the tution of the United States, the people abolition of slavery in the District of of the Southern States are entitled to a Columbia. In relation to that, I have Congressional Fugitive Slave law. Hav- my mind very distinctly made up. I ing said that, I have had nothing to say should be exceedingly glad to see slavery in regard to the existing Fugitive Slave abolished in the District of Columbia. law, further than that I think it should I believe that Congress possesses the have been framed so as to be free from constitutional power to abolish it. Yet, some of the objections that pertain to as a member of Congress, I should not, it, without lessening its efficiency. And with my present views, be in favor of inasmuch as we are not now in an endeavoring to abolish slavery in the agitation in regard to an alteration or District of Columbia, unless it would be modification of that law, I would not be upon these conditions : First, that the the man to introduce it as a new subject abolition should be gradual. Second, of agitation upon the general question that it should be on a vote of the maof slavery.
jority of qualified voters in the District ; In regard to the other question, of and third, that compensation should be whether I am pledged to the admission made to unwilling owners. With these of any more slave States into the Union, three conditions, I confess I would I state to you very frankly, that I would exceedingly glad to see Congress abolish be exceedingly sorry ever to be put in slavery in the District of Columbia, and, a position of having to pass upon that in the language of Henry Clay, “sweep question. I should be exceedingly glad from our capital that foul blot upon our to know that there would never be nation.” another slave State admitted into the In regard to the fifth interrogatory, Union ; but I must add that, if slavery I must say here, that as to the question shall be kept out of the Territories of the abolition of the slave-trade beduring the territorial existence of any | tween the different States, I can truly
answer, as I have, that I am pledged to at Chicago. After two ballots, which nothing about it. It is a subject to resulted in no choice, Lincoln was chosen which I have not given that mature on the third, receiving three hundred consideration that would make me feel and fifty-four of the whole four hunauthorized to state a position so as to dred and sixty-five votes.* The elechold myself entirely bound by it. Intion was then made unanimous. The other words, that question has never party responded enthusiastically to the been prominently enough before me to choice, and began at once to stir the induce me to investigate whether we country with an exciting canvass. The really have the constitutional power to “ Wide Awakes," unarmed but unido it. I could investigate it if I had formed armies of voters, mustered and sufficient time to bring myself to a con- led by bands of music, were paraded clusion upon that subject; but I have through the streets in marching order not done so, and I say so frankly to you by day, and in torchlight processions at here, and to Judge Douglas. I must night. Illuminated banners, gigantic say, however, that if I should be of flags, and posters made the names of opinion that Congress does possess the Lincoln and Hamlin familiar to every eye constitutional power to abolish the and ear. Republican orators, of whom slave-trade among the different States, I Seward, himself the leading competitor should still not be in favor of the exer for the nomination of President with cise of that power unless upon some 'Lincoln, was the chief, posted from conservative principle, as I conceive it, State to State, city to city, and throughakin to what I have said in relation to out the rural districts, gathering great the abolition of slavery in the District crowds and arousing them by their fervid of Columbia.
rhetoric to resist the encroachments of "My answer as to whether I desire slavery, and rally to the standard of the that slavery should be prohibited in all party organized to oppose it. the Territories of the United States, is full The divided Democrats and the soand explicit within itself, and can not be called Unionists were not less demonmade clearer by any comments of mine. strative with their flaunting and noisy So I suppose in regard to the question appeals through party emblems, prowhether I am opposed to the acquisition cessions, “monster” meetings, and po. of any more territory unless slavery is litical speech. The country was never first prohibited therein, my answer is so agitated and party spirit so envensuch that I could add nothing by way omed Mutterings, in the mean time, of illustration, or making myself better
The whole number of votes was 465, of which 253 understood, than the answer which I
were necessary to a choice. On the first ballot, Seward rehave placed in writing.”
ceived 173., Lincoln 102, Cameron 503, and Bates 48 ; the On the 16th of May, the Re
rest were scattered. On the second ballot, Seward re
ceived 1815, and Lincoln 181 ; on the third, Lincoln had publican National Convention met | 354, Seward 1104, Dayton 1, and McLean į a vote.
of disaffection came from the South places, readily accepted him as a chief anticipating defeat, but were either not magistrate, upon whom they might rely listened to, or scouted as the grumbling for a strict adherence to his constituof impotent discontent. The clamor of tional obligations. The “honest Abe" party drowned all but its own voice of his partisans would prove, it was be
In consequence of the dissensions and lieved, the worthy President of the great divisions of the Democratic party, the Republic. Republicans succeeded in electing their Personally, Lincoln, who in character candidate. Abraham Lincoln was elect- and manner has the unreserved and pop
ed President of the United States, ular characteristics of the Western man, " having received the electoral vote has no pretensions to the stately dignity of seventeen States—California, Connec we are apt to associate with the office of ticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, President. Retaining the informal habits Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota, of his early life, he is easily accessible, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Ore- and yields without reserve his ready sogon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Ver- cial sympathy to the first comer. A tall, mont, and Wisconsin-while the electoral gaunt man, with bending shoulders like vote of eleven States was given to Breck- an overweighted Atlas, nearly six feet inridge, of three to Bell, and of two to and a half in height, and of great physical Douglas. The whole popular vote, how- vigor developed by the rude labor of his ever, was only 1,857,610 for the Repub- earlier, and strengthened by the simple lican candidate, while that for the other habits of his later years, he looks the repthree combined amounted to 2,804,560. resentative of the sturdy democracy of the
Lincoln, by his election, became at country. With none of the pretentious once, from a comparatively obscure per- refinements of a fastidious culture, he son, whose name before his nomination yet has a naturally vigorous understandwas hardly known beyond the limits of ing, carefully improved by legal and pothe State of Illinois, the most prominent litical study. A certain logical acumen man in the country. Though acknowl seems the characteristic of his mind, and edged in his own State as an acute law- tracing with untiring pertinacity the yer and skillful politician, he had never windings of an argument, he is skilled been recognized by the country at large in distinguishing the plausible from the as a leading statesman. He had, how true. His mental like his moral charever, acquired in Illinois such a repute acter seems to have a natural bias for for political and personal integrity, that truth, and the nation, in these days of the people of the North, of all parties, political crime, confidently trusts in his disgusted with the corruption in high | honesty.