perhaps, in many of the slave States certainly, you are trying to establish the rightfulness of slavery by reference to the Bible
You are trying to show that slavery existed in the Bible
times by divine ordinance.
is wiser than you, for your own benefit, upon that subject.
knows that whenever you establish that slavery was right by the Bible
, it will occur that that slavery was the slavery of the white man — of men without reference to color-and he knows very well that you may entertain that idea in Kentucky
as much as you please, but you will never win any Northern support upon it. He makes a wiser argument for you ; he makes the argument that the slavery of the black man, the slavery of the man who has a skin of a different color from your own, is right.
He thereby brings to your support Northern voters who could not for a moment be brought by your own argument of the Bible
-right of slavery.
Will you not give him credit for that?
Will you not say that in this matter he is more wisely for you than you are for yourselves?
Now, hating established with his entire party this doctrine-having been entirely successful in that branch of his efforts in your behalf, he is ready for another.
At this same meeting at Memphis
, he declared that, while in all contests between the negro and the white man, be was for the white man, but that in all questions between the negro and the crocodile he was for the negro.
He did not make that declaration accidentally at Memphis
He made it a great many times in the canvass in Illinois
last year (though I don't know that it was reported in any of his speeches there), but he frequently made it. I believe he repeated it at Columbus
, and I should not wonder if he repeated it here.
It is, then, a deliberate way of expressing himself upon that Subject.
It is a matter of mature deliberation with him thus to express himself upon that point of his case.
It therefore requires some deliberate attention.
The first interference seems to be that if you do not enslave the negro you are wronging the white man in some way or other; and that whoever is opposed to the negro being enslaved, is, in some way or other, against the white man. Is not that a falsehood?
If there was a necessary conflict between the white man and the negro, I should be for the white man as much as Judge Douglas
; but I say there is no such necessary conflict.
I say that there is room enough for us all to be free, and that it not only does not wrong the white man that the negro should be free, but it positively wrongs the mass of the white men that the negro should be enslaved; that the mass of white men are really injured by the effects of slave labor in the vicinity of the fields of their own labor.
But I do not desire to dwell upon this branch of the question more than to say that this assumption of his is false, and I do hope that that fallacy will not long prevail in the minds of intelligent white men. At all events, you ought to thank Judge Douglas
for it. It is for your benefit it is made.
The other branch of it is, that in a struggle between the negro and the crocodile, he is for the negro.
Well, I don't know that there is any struggle between the negro and the crocodile, either.
I suppose that if a crocodile (or as we old Ohio River
boatmen used to call them, alligators) should come across a white man, he would kill him if he could, and so he would a negro.
But what, at last, is this proposition?
I believe that it is a sort of proposition in proportion, which may be stated thus: “As the negro is to the white man, so is the crocodile to the negro ; and as the negro may rightfully treat the crocodile as a beast or reptile, so the white man may rightfully treat the negro as a beast or a reptile.”
That is really the “knip” of all that argument of his.
Now, my brother Kentuckians, who believe in this, you ought to thank Judge Douglas
for having put that in a much more taking way than any of yourselves have done.
's great principle
, “Popular Sovereignty,” as he calls it, gives you, by natural consequence, the revival of the slave-trade whenever you want it. If