ordinance being there, slavery decreased during that ten years--the ordinance not being in the other, it increased from a few to ten thousand.
Can any body doubt the reason of the difference?
I think all these facts most abundantly prove that my friend Judge Douglas
's proposition, that the Ordinance of 87, or the national restriction of slavery, never had a tendency to make a Free State, is a fallacy — a proposition without the shadow or substance of truth about it.
sometimes says that all the States (and it is part of this same proposition I have been discussing) that have become free, hare become so upon his “great principle ;” that the State of Illinois
itself came into the Union
as a slave State, and that the people, upon the “great principle” of Popular Sovereignty, have since made it a Free State.
Allow me but a little while to state to you what facts there are to justify him in saying that Illinois
came into the Union
as a Slave State.
I have mentioned to you that there were a few old French slaves there.
They numbered, I think, one or two hundred.
Besides that, there had been a Territorial law for indenturing black persons.
Under that law, in violation of the Ordinance of 87, but without any enforcement of the ordinance to overthrow the system, there had been a small number of slaves introduced as indentured persons.
Owing to this the clause for the prohibition of slavery was slightly modified.
Instead of running like yours, that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except for crime, of which the party shall have been duly convicted, should exist in the State
, they said that.
neither slavery nor involuntary servitude should thereafter be introduced, and that the children of indentured servants should be born free; and nothing was said about the few old French slaves.
Out of this fact, that the clause for prohibiting slavery was modified because of the actual presence of it, Douglas
asserts again and again that Illinois
came into the Union
as a Slave State.
How far the facts sustain the conclusion that he draws, it is for intelligent and impartial men to decide.
I leave it with you with these remarks, worthy of being remembered, that that little thing those few indentured servants being there, was of itself sufficient to modify a Constitution made by a people ardently desiring to have a free Constitution ; showing the power of the actual presence of the institution of slavery to prevent any people, however anxious to make a Free State, from making it perfectly so.
I have been detaining you longer perhaps than I ought to do.
I am in some doubt whether to introduce another topic upon which I could talk awhile.
[Cries of “Go on,” and “Give us it.” ] It is this then : Douglas
's Popular Sovereignty, as a principle, is simply this : If one man chooses to make a slave of another man, neither that man or any body else has a right to object.
Apply it to Government, as he seeks to apply it, and it is this: if; in a new Territory, into which a few people are beginning to enter for the purpose of making their homes, they choose to either exclude slavery from their limits, :or to establish it there, however one or the other may affect the persons to be enslaved, or the infinitely greater number of persons who are afterward to inhabit that Territory, or the other members of the family of communities, of which they are but an incipient member, or the general head of the family of States as parent, of all-however their action may affect one or the other of these, there is no power or right to interfere.
That is Douglas
's Popular Sovereignty applied.
Now I think that there is a real Popular Sovereignty in the world.
I think a definition of Popular Sovereignty, in the abstract, would be about this — that each man shall do precisely as he pleases with himself, and with all those things which exclusively concern him. Applied in government, this principle would be, that a general government shall do all those things which pertain to it, and all the local governments shall do precisely as they please in respect to those matters which exclusively concern them.
looks upon slavery as so insignificant that the people must decide that question for themselves, and yet they are not fit to decide who shall be their Governor, Judge
or who shall be any of their officers.
These are vast national matters, in his estimation, but the little matter in his estimation is that of