previous next

[131] complaint of his about my speech at Joliet. I did say there in a playful manner that when I put these questions to Mr. Lincoln at Ottowa he failed to answer, and that he trembled and had to be carried off the stand, and required seven days to get up his reply. That he did not walk off from that stand he will not deny. That when the crowd went away from the stand with me, a few persons carried him home on their shoulders and laid him clown, he will admit. I wish to say to you that whenever I degrade my friends and myself by allowing them to carry me on their backs along through the public streets, when I am able to walk, I am willing to be deemed crazy. I did not say whether I beat him or he, beat me in the argument. It is true I put these questions to him, and I put them not as mere idle questions, but showed that I based them upon the creed of the Black Republican party as declared by their Conventions in that portion of the State which he depends upon to elect him, and desired to know whether he indorsed that creed. H e would not answer. When I reminded him that I intended bringing him into Egypt and renewing my questions if he refused to answer, he then consulted and did, get up his answers one week after,--answers which I may refer to in a few minutes and show you how equivocal they are. My object was to make him avow whether or not he stood by the platform of his party ; the resolutions I then read, and upon which I based my questions, had been adopted by his party in the Galena Congressional District, and the Chicago and Bloomington Congressional Districts, composing a large majority of the counties in this State that give Republican or Abolition majorities. Mr. Lincoln cannot and will not deny that the doctrines laid down in these resolutions were in substance put forth in Lovejoy's resolutions, which were voted for by a majority of his party, some of them, if not all, receiving the support of every man of his party. Hence, I laid a foundation for my questions to him before I asked him whether that was or was not the platform of his party. He says that he answered my questions. One of them was whether he would vote to admit any more slave States into the Union. The creed of the Republican party as set forth in the resolutions of their various Conventions was, that they would. under no circumstances vote to admit another slave State. It was put forth in the Lovejoy resolutions in the Legislature ; it was put forth and passed in a majority of all the counties of this State which give Abolition or Republican majorities, or elect members to the Legislature of that school of politics. I had a right to know whether he would vote for or against the admission of another slave State in the event the people wanted it. He first answered that he was not pledged on the subject, and then said, “In regard to the other question, of whether I am pledged to the admission of any more slave States into the Union, I state to you very frankly that I would be exceedingly sorry ever to be put in the position of having to pass on that question. I should be exceedingly glad to know that there would-never be another slave State admitted into the Union ; but I must add that if slavery shall be kept out of the Territories during the territorial existence of any one given Territory, and then the people, having a fair chance and clean field when they come to adopt a Constitution, do such an extraordinary thing as adopt a slave Constitution, uninfluenced by the actual presence of the institution among them, I see no alternanative if we own the country, but to admit them into the Union.”

Now analyze that answer. In the first place he says he would be exceedingly sorry to be put in a position where he would have to vote on the question of the admission of a slave State. Why is be a candidate for the Senate if he would be sorry to be put in that position? I trust the people of Illinois will not put him in a position which he would be so sorry to occupy. The next position he takes is that he would be glad to know that there would never be another slave State, yet, in certain contingencies, he might have to vote for one. What is that contingency? “If Congress keeps slavery out by law while it is a Territory, and then the people should have a fair chance and should adopt slavery, uninfluenced by the presence of the institution,” he supposed he would have to admit the State. Suppose Congress should not keep slavery out during their territorial existence, then how would he

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Ottowa (Ohio, United States) (1)
Joliet (Illinois, United States) (1)
Illinois (Illinois, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Abraham Lincoln (2)
Lovejoy (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: