enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas, he is not my equal in many respects-certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowments.
But in the right to eat the bread, without leave of any body else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal, and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man.
Upon a subsequent occasion, when the reason for making a statement like this recurred, I said:
While I was at the hotel to-day an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing perfect equality between the negroes and white people.
While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races — that I am not or ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, or intermarry with the white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.
And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.
I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position, the negro should be denied every thing.
I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave, I must necessarily want her for a wife.
My understanding is that I can just let her alone.
I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never have had a black woman for either a slave or a wife.
So it seems to me quite possible for us to get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes.
I will add to this that I have never seen to my knowledge a man, woman or child, who was in favor of producing perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men. I recollect of but one distinguished instance that I ever heard of so frequently as to be satisfied of its correctness --and that is the case of Judge Douglas's old friend, Col. Richard M. Johnson.
I will also add to the remarks I have made (for I am not going to enter at large upon this subject), that I have never had the least apprehension that I or my friends would marry negroes, if there was no law to keep them from it ; but as Judge Douglas and his friends seem to be in great apprehension that they might, if there were no law to keep them from it, I give him the most solemn pledge that I will to the very last stand by the law of the State, which forbids the marrying of white people with negroes.
There, my friends, you have briefly what I have, upon former occasions, said upon the subject to which this newspaper, to the extent of its ability, has drawn the public attention.
In it you not only perceive, as a probability, that in that contest I did not at any time say I was in favor of negro suffrage ; but the absolute proof that twice-once substantially and once expressly — I declared against it. Having shown you this, there remains but a word of comment upon that newspaper article.
It is this : that I presume the editor of that paper is an honest and truth-loving man, and that he will be greatly obliged to me for furnishing him thus early an opportunity to correct the misrepresentation he has made, before it has run so long that malicious people can call him a liar.
The Giant himself has been here recently.
I have seen a brief report of his speech.
If it were otherwise unpleasant to me to introduce the subject of the negro as a topic for discussion, I might be somewhat relieved by the fact that he dealt exclusively in that subject while he was here.
I shall, therefore, without much hesitation or diffidence, enter upon this subject.
The American people, on the first day of January, 1854, found the African slave-trade prohibited by a law of Congress.
In a majority of the States of this Union,