there is no difference between them at all — that the Constitution
applies to the Territories
precisely as it does to the States-and that the United States Government, under the Constitution
, may not do in a State what it may not do in a Territory, and what it must do in a State, it must do in a Territory.
Gentlemen, is that a true view of the case?
It is necessary for this squatter sovereignty ; but is it true?
Let us consider.
What does it depend upon?
It depends altogether upon the proposition that the States must, without the interference of the General Government
, do all those things that pertain exclusively to themselves-that are local in their nature, that have no connection with the General Government
After Judge Douglas
has established this proposition, which nobody disputes or ever has disputed, he proceeds to assume, without proving it, that slavery is one of those little, unimportant, trivial matters which arc of just about as much consequence as the question would be to me, whether my neighbor should raise homed cattle or plant tobacco ; that there is no moral question about it; but that it is altogether a matter of dollars and cents ; that when a new Territory is opened for settlement, the first man who goes into it may plant there a thing, which, like the Canada
thistle or some other of those pests of the soil, cannot be dug out by the millions of men who will come thereafter ; that it is one of those little things that is so trivial in its nature that it has no effect upon any body save the few men who first plant upon the soil ; that it is not a thing which in any way affects the family of communities composing these States, nor any way endangers the General Government
ignores altogether the very well known fact, that we have never had a serious menace to our political existence, except it sprang from this thing, which he chooses to regard as only upon a par with onions and potatoes.
Turn it, and contemplate it in another view.
He says, that according to his Popular Sovereignty, the General Government
may give to the Territories
, marshals, secretaries, and all the other chief men to govern them, but they must not touch upon this other question.
Why? The question of who shall be Governor
of a Territory for a year or two, and pass away, without his track being left upon the soil, or an act which he did for good or for evil being left behind, is a question of vast national magnitude.
It is so much opposed in its nature to locality, that the nation itself must decide it ; while this other matter of planting slavery upon a soil — a thing which once planted cannot be eradicated by the succeeding millions who have as much right there as the first comers, or if eradicated, not without infinite difficulty and a long struggle-he considers the power to prohibit it, as one of these little, local, trivial things that.
the nation ought not to say a word about ; that it affects nobody save the few men who are there.
Take these two things and consider them together, present the question of planting a State with the institution of slavery by the side of a question of who shall be Governor
for a year or two, and is there a man here,--is there a man on earth, who would not say the Governor
question is the little one, and the slavery question is the great one?
I ask any honest Democrat if the small, the local, and the trivial and temporary question is not, who shall be Governor.? While the durable, the important and the mischievous one is, shall this soil be planted with slavery?
This is an idea, I suppose, which has arisen in Judge Douglas
's mind from his peculiar structure.
I suppose the institution of slavery really looks small to him. H e is so put up by nature that a lash upon his back would hurt him, but a lash upon any body else's back does not hurt him. That is the build of the man, and consequently he looks upon the matter of slavery in this unimportant light.
ought to remember when he is endeavoring to force this policy upon the American
people that while he is put up in that way a good many are not. He ought to remember that there was once in this country a man by the name of Thomas Jefferson
, supposed to be a Democrat--a man whose principles and policy are not very prevalent amongst Democrats to-day, it is true ; but that man did not take exactly this view of the insignificance of the element of slavery which our friend Judge Douglas
In contemplation of this thing, we all know he was led to exclaim,