it, and expects to win his battle on that decision, which says that there is no such thing as Squatter Sovereignty
; but that any one man may take slaves into a Territory, and all the other men in the Territory
may be opposed to it, and yet by reason of the Constitution
they cannot prohibit it. When that is so, how much is left of this vast matter of Squatter Sovereignty
I should like to know?
When we get back, we get to the point of the right of the people to make a Constitution.
was settled, for example, in 1854.
It was a Territory yet, without having formed a Constitution, in a, very regular way, for three years. All this time negro slavery could be taken in by any few individuals, and by that decision of the Supreme Court, which the Judge
approves, all the rest of the people cannot keep it out; but when they come to make a Constitution they may say they will not have slavery.
But it is there ; they arc obliged to tolerate it some way, and all experience shows it will be so — for they will not take the negro slaves and absolutely deprive the owners of them.
All experience shows this to be so. All that.
space of time that runs from the beginning of the settlement of the Territory
until there is sufficiency of people to make a State Constitution — all that portion of time popular sovereignty is given up. The seal is absolutely put down upon it by the Court
decision, and Judge Douglas
puts his own upon the top of that, yet he is appealing to, the people to give him vast credit for his devotion to popular sovereignty.
Again, when we get to, the question of the right of the people to form a State Constitution as they please, to form it with slavery or without slavery — if that is any thing new, I confess I don't know it. Has there ever been a time when any body said that any other than the people of a Territory itself should form a Constitution?
What is now in it that Judge Douglas
should have fought several years of his life, and pledge himself to fight all the remaining years of his life for?
Can Judge Douglas
find any body on earth that said that any body else should form a Constitution for a people?
[A voice, “Yes.” ] Well, I should like you to name him ; I should like to know who he was. [Same voice, “John Calhoun
.” ] Mr. Lincoln
--No, Sir, I never heard of even John Calhoun
saying such a thing.
He insisted on the same principle as Judge Douglas
; but, his mode of applying it, in fact, was wrong.
It is enough for my purpose to ask this crowd, when ever a Republican said anything against it?
They never said anything against it, but they have constantly spoken for it ; and whosoever will undertake to examine the platform, and the speeches of responsible men of the party, and of irresponsible men, too, if you please, will be unable to find one word from anybody in the Republican
ranks, opposed to that Popular Sovereignty which Judge Douglas
thinks that he has invented.
I suppose that Judge Douglas
will claim in a little while, that he is the inventor of the idea that the people should govern themselves ; that nobody ever thought of such a thing until he brought it forward.
We do not remember, that in that old Declaration of Independence
, it is said that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
There is the origin of Popular Sovereignty.
Who, then, shall come in at this day and claim that he invented it?
The Lecompton Constitution connects itself with this question, for it is in this matter of the Lecompton Constitution
that our friend Judge Douglas
claims such vast credit.
I agree that in opposing the Lecompton Constitution
, so far as I can perceive, he was right.
I do not deny that at all; and, gentlemen, you will readily see why I could not deny it, even if I wanted to. But I do not wish to ; for all the Republicans in the nation opposed it, and they would have opposed it just as much without Judge Douglas
's aid as with it. They had all taken ground against it long before he did. Why, the reason that he urges against that Constitution; I urged against him a year before.
I have the printed speech in my hand.
The argument that he makes, why that Constitution should not be adopted, that the people were not fairly represented nor allowed to vote, I pointed out in a speech a year ago,