I stand by the Democratic
organization, yield obedience to its usages, and support its regular nominations.
I indorse and approve the Cincinnati
platform, and I adhere to and intend to carry out, as part of that platform, the great principle of self-government, which recognizes the right, of the people in each State and Territory to decide for themselves their domestic institutions.
In other words, if the Lecompton issue shall arise again, you have only to turn back and see where you have found me during the last six months, and then rest assured that you will find me in the same position, battling for the same principle, and vindicating it from assault from whatever quarter it may come, so long as I have the power to do it.
Fellow-citizens, you now have before you the outlines of the propositions which I intend to discuss before the people of Illinois
during the pending campaign.
I have spoken without preparation and in a very desultory manner, and may have omitted some points which I desired to discuss, and may have been less implicit on others than I could have wished.
I have made up my mind to appeal to the people against the combination which has been made against me. The Republican leaders have formed an alliance, an unholy, unnatural alliance with a portion of the unscrupulous federal office-holders.
I intend to fight that allied army wherever I meet them.
I know they deny the alliance while avoiding the common purpose, but yet these men who are trying to divide the Democratic party for the purpose of electing a Republican Senator
in my place, are just as much the agents, the tools, the supporters of Mr. Lincoln
as if they were avowed Republicans, and expect their reward for their services when the Republicans come into power.
I shall deal with these allied forces just as the Russians dealt with the allies at Sebastopol
, when they fired a broadside at the common enemy, did not stop to inquire whether it hit a Frenchman, an Englishman, or a Turk, nor will I stop, nor shall I stop to inquire whether my blows hit the Republican
leaders or their allies, who are holding the federal offices and yet acting in concert with the Republicans to defeat the Democratic party and its nominees.
I do not include all of the federal office-holders in this remark.
Such of them as are Democrats and show their Democracy by remaining inside of the Democratic
organization and supporting its nominees, I recognize as Democrats, but those who, having been defeated inside of the organization, go outside and attempt to divide and destroy the party in concert with the Republican
leaders, have ceased to be Democrats, and belong to the allied army, whose avowed object is to elect the Republican
ticket by dividing and destroying the Democratic party.
My friends, I have exhausted myself, and I certainly have fatigued you, in the long and desultory remarks which I have made.
It is now two nights since I have been in bed, and I think I have a right to a little sleep.
I will, however, have an opportunity of meeting you face to face, and addressing you on more than one occasion before the November election.
In conclusion, I must again say to you, justice to my own feelings demands it, that my gratitude for the welcome you have extended to me on this occasion knows no bounds, and can be described by no language which I can command.
I see that I am literally at home when among my constituents.
This welcome has amply repaid me for every effort that I have made in the public service during nearly twenty-five years that I have held office at your hands.
I t not only compensates me for the past, but it furnishes an inducement and incentive for future effort which no man, no matter how patriotic, can feel who has not witnessed the magnificent reception you have extended to me to-night on my return.