those bills and put a wafer between them and reported them back to the Senate as one bill, with some slight amendments.
One of these amendments was, that the Territorial Legislatures should not legislate upon the subject of African slavery.
I objected to this provision, upon the ground that it subverted the great principle of self-government, upon which the bill had been originally framed by the Territorial Committee. On the first trial the Senate refused to strike it out, but subsequently did so, upon full debate, in order to establish that principle as the rule of action in territorial organizations.
The Union comments thus upon my speech on that occasion.
Thus it is seen that, in framing the Nebraska-Kansas bill, Judge Douglas framed it in the terms and upon the model of those of Utah and New Mexico, and that in the debate he took pains expressly to revive the recollection of the voting which had taken place upon amendments affecting the powers of the Territorial Legislatures over the subject of slavery in the bills of 1850, in order to give the same meaning force, and effect to the Nebraska-Kansas bill on this subject as had been given to those of Utah and New Mexico.
proves the following propositions: First, that I sustained Clay
's Compromise measures on the ground that they established the principle of self-government in the Territories
Secondly, that I brought in the Kansas
bill founded upon the same principles as Clay
's Compromise measures of 1860; and thirdly, that my Freeport
speech is in exact accordance with those principles.
And what do you think is the imputation that the Union
casts upon me for all this?
It says that my Freeport
speech is not Democratic, and that I was not a Democrat in 1854 or in 1850!
Now is not that funny?
Think that the author of the Kansas
bill was not a Democrat when he introduced it. The Union says I was not a sound Democrat in 1850, nor in 1854, nor in 1856, nor am I in 1858, because I have always taken and now occupy the ground that the people of a Territory, like those of a State, have the right to decide for themselves whether slavery shall or shall not exist in a Territory.
I wish to cite for the benefit of the Washington Union
and the followers of the sheet, one authority on that point, and I hope the authority will be deemed satisfactory to that class of politicians.
I will read from Mr. Buchanan
's better accepting the nomination of the Democratic Convention, for the Presidency.
You know that Mr. Buchanan
, after he was nominated, declared to the Keystone Club
, in a public speech, that be wax no longer James Buchanan
, but the embodiment of the Democratic
In his letter to the committee which informed him of his nomination accepting it, he defined the meaning of the Kansas
bill and the Cincinnati
platform in these words:
The recent legislation of Congress respecting domestic slavery, derived as it has been from the original and pure fountain of legitimate political power, the will of the majority, promises ere long to allay the dangerous excitement This legislation is founded upon principles as ancient as free government itself, and in accordance with them has simply declared that the people of a Territory, like those of a State, shall decide for themselves whether slavery shall or shall not exist within their limits.
Thus you see that James Buchanan
accepted the nomination at Cincinnati
, on the conditions that the people of a Territory, like those of a State, should be left to decide for themselves whether slavery should or should not exist within their limits.
I sustained James Buchanan
for the Presidency on that platform as adopted at Cincinnati
, and Buchanan
He was elected President
on that platform, and now we are told by the Washington Union
that no man is a true Democrat who stands on the platform on which Mr. Buchanan
was nominated, and which he has explained and expounded himself.
We are told that a man is not a Democrat who stands by Clay
, and Cass
, and the Compromise measures of 1850, and the Kansas
bill of 1854.
Whether a man be a Democrat or not on that platform, I intend to stand there as long as I have life.
I intend to cling firmly to that great principle which declares that the right of each Stale and each Territory to settle the question of slavery, and every other domestic question, for themselves I hold that