If you do not get this support and this strength from the free States, you are in the minority, and you are beaten at ones.
If that proposition be admitted-and it is undeniable-then the next thing I say to you is, that Douglas
of all the men in this nation is the only man that affords you any hold upon the free States ; that no other man can give you any strength in the free States.
This being so if you doubt the other branch of the proposition, whether he is for you-whether he is really for you, as I have expressed it, I propose asking your attention for a while to a few facts.
The issue between you and me, understand, is, that I think slavery is wrong, and ought not to be outspread, and you think it is right and ought to be extended and perpetuated.
[A voice, “Oh, Lord
.” ] That is my Kentuckian I am talking to now.
I now proceed to try to show you that Douglas
is as sincerely for you and more wisely for you than you are for yourselves.
In the first place we know that in a Government like this, in a Government of the people, where the voice of all the men of that country, substantially, enters into the execution — or administration rather — of the Government
— in such a Government, what lies at the bottom of all of it, is public opinion.
I lay down the proposition, that Judge Douglas
is not only the man that promises you in advance a hold upon the North
, and support in the Earth, but that he constantly moulds public opinion to your ends ; that in every possible way he can, he constantly moulds the public opinion of the North
to your ends ; and if there are a few things in which he seems to be against you — a few things which he says that appear to be against you, and a few that he forbears to say which you would like to have him say-you ought to remember that the saying of the one, or the forbearing to say the other, would lose his hold upon the North
, and, by consequence, would lose his capacity to serve you.
Upon this subject of moulding public opinion, I call your attention to the fact-for a well-established fact it is — that the Judge
never says your institution of slavery is wrong ; he never says it is right, to be sure, but he never says it, is wrong.
There is not a public man in the United States
, I believe, with the exception of Senator Doug
las, who has not, at some time in his life, declared his opinion whether the thing is right or wrong; but, Senator Douglas
never declares it is wrong.
He leaves himself at perfect liberty to do all in your favor which he would be hindered from doing if he were to declare the thing to be wrong.
On the contrary, he takes all the chances that he has for inveigling the sentiment of the North
, opposed to slavery, into your support, by never saying it is right.
This you ought to set down to his credit.
You ought to give him full credit for this much, little though it be, in comparison to the whole which he does for you.
Some other things I will ask your attention to. He said upon the floor of the United States Senate, and he has repeated it as I understand a great many times, that he does not care whether slavery is: “voted up or voted down.”
This again shows you, or ought to show you, if you would reason upon it that he does not believe it to be wrong, for a man may say, when he sees nothing wrong in a thing, that he does not care whether it be voted up or voted down ; but no man can logically say that he cares not whether a thing goes up or goes down, which to him appears to be wrong.
You therefore have a demonstration in this, that to Judge Douglas
's mind your favorite institution which you would have spread out, and made perpetual, is no wrong.
Another thing he tells you, in a speech made at Memphis, in Tennessee
, shortly after the canvass in Illinois
, last year.
He there distinctly told the people, that there was a “line drawn by the Almighty across this continent, on the one side of which the soil must always be cultivated by slaves;” that he did not pretend to know exactly where that line was, but that there was such a line.
I want to ask your attention to that proposition again ; that there is one portion of this continent where the Almighty has designed the soil shall always be cultivated by slaves ; that its being cultivated by slaves at that place is right ; that it has the direct sympathy and