we must make sugar-cane grow here too, and we must make those which grow North grow in the South
All this I suppose he understands I am in favor of doing.
Now, so, much for all this nonsense — for I must call it so. The Judge
can have no issue with me on a question of establishing uniformity in the domestic regulations of the States.
A little now on the other point — the Dred Scott
Another of the issues he says that is to be made with me, is upon his devotion to the Dred Scott
decision, and my opposition to it.
I have expressed heretofore, and I now repeat, my opposition to the Dred Scott
decision, but I should be allowed to state the nature of that opposition, and I ask your indulgence while I do so. What is fairly implied by the term Judge Douglas
has used, “resistance to the decision?”
I do not resist it. If I wanted to take Dred Scott
from his master, I would be interfering with property, and that terrible difficulty that Judge Douglas
speaks of, of interfering with property would arise.
But I am doing no such thing as that, but all that I am doing is refusing to obey it as a political rule.
If I were in Congress, and a vote should come up on a question whether slavery should be prohibited in a new Territory, in spite of the Dred Scott
decision, I would vote that it should.
--That is what I would do. Judge Douglas
said last night, that before the decision he might advance his opinion, and, it might be contrary to the decision, when it was made; but after it was made he would abide by it until it was reversed.
We let this property abide by the decision, but we will try to reverse that decision.
We will try to put it where Judge Douglas
would not object, for he says he will obey it until it is reversed.
Somebody has to reverse that decision, since it is made, and we mean to reverse it, and we mean to do it peaceably.
What are the uses of decisions of courts?
They have two uses.
As rules of property they have two uses.
First--they decide upon the question before the court.
They decide in this case that Dred Scott
is a slave.
Nobody resists that.
Not only that, but they Say to everybody else, that persons standing just as Dred Scott
stands, as he is. That is, they say that when a question comes up upon another person, it will be so decided again, unless the court decides in another way, unless the court overrules its decision.
Well, we mean to do what we can to have the court decide the other way. That is one thing we mean to try to do.
The sacredness that Judge Douglas
throws around this decision, is a degree of sacredness that has never been before thrown around any other decision.
I have never heard of such a thing.
Why, decisions apparently contrary to that decision, or the good lawyers thought were contrary to that decision, have been made by that very court before.
If is the first of its kind ; it is an astonisher in legal history.
It is ; new wonder of the world.
It is based upon falsehood in the main as to the facts-allegations of facts upon which it stands are not facts at all in many instances, and no decision made on any question — the first instance of a decision made under so many unfavorable circumstances — thus placed, has ever been held by the profession as law, and it has always needed confirmation before the lawyers regarded it as settled law. But Judge Douglas
will have it that all hands must take this extraordinary decision, made under these extraordinary circumstances, and give their vote in Congress in accordance with it, yield to it and obey it in every possible sense Circumstances alter cases.
Do not gentlemen here remember the care of that same Supreme Court, some twenty-five or thirty years ago, deciding that a National Bank was constitutional?
I ask, if somebody does not remember that a National Bank was declared to be constitutional?
Such is; the truth, whether it be remembered or not. The Bank charter ran out, and a re-charter was granted by Congress.
That re-charter was laid before General Jackson
It was urged upon him, when he denied the constitutionality of the Bank, that the Supreme Court had decided that; it was constitutional ; and that General Jackson
then said that the Supreme Court had no right to lay down a rule to govern a coordinate branch of the Government
, the members of which had sworn to support the Constitution