each member had sworn to support that Constitution as he understood it. I will venture here to say, that I have heard Judge Douglas
say that he approved of General Jackson
for that act. What has now become of all his tirade about “resistance to the Supreme Court?”
My fellow-citizens, getting back a little, for I pass from these points, when Judge Douglas
makes his threat of annihilation upon the “alliance,” he is cautious to say that that warfare of his is to fall upon the leaders of the Republican party.
Almost every word he utters and every distinction he makes; has its significance.
He means for the Republicans who do not count themselves as leaders, to be his friends; he makes no fuss over them; it is the leaders that he is making war upon.
He wants it understood that the mass of the Republican party are really his friends.
It is only the leaders that are doing something, that are intolerant, and that require extermination at his hands.
As this is clearly and unquestionably the light in which he presents that matter, I want to ask your attention, addressing myself to the Republicans here, that I may ask you some questions, as to where you, as the Republican party, would be placed if you sustained Judge Douglas
in his present position by a reelection?
I do not claim, gentlemen, to be unselfish ; I do not pretend that I would not like to go to the United States Senate, I make no such hypocritical pretense, but I do say to you that in this mighty issue, it is nothing to you — nothing to the mass of the people of the nation, whether or not Judge Douglas
or myself shall ever be heard of after this night ; it may be a trifle to either of us, but in connection with this mighty question, upon which hang the destinies of the nation, perhaps, it is absolutely nothing ; but where will you be placed if you reindorse Judge Douglas
Don't you know how apt he is — how exceedingly anxious he is at all times to seize upon anything and everything — to persuade you that something he
has done you
Why, he tried to persuade you last, night that our Illinois Legislature instructed him to introduce the Nebraska
There was nobody in that Legislature ever thought of such a thing ; and when he first introduced the bill, he never thought of it ; but still he fights furiously for the proposition, and that he did it because there was a standing instruction to our Senators
to be always introducing Nebraska
He tells you he is for the Cincinnati
platform, he tells you he is for the Dred Scott
He tells you, not in his speech last night, but substantially in a former speech, that he cares not if slavery is voted up or down — he tells you the struggle on Lecompton
is past — it may come up again or not, and if it does he stands where he stood when in spite of him and his opposition you built up the Republican party.
If you indorse him, you tell him you do not care whether slavery be voted up or down, and he will close, or try to close your mouths with his declaration, repeated by the day, the week, the month, and the year.
Is that what you mean?
[Cries of “no,” one voice “yes.” ] Yes, I have no doubt you who have always been for him, if you mean that.
No doubt of that, soberly I have said, and I repeat it. I think, in the position in which Judge Douglas
stood, in opposing the Lecompton Constitution
, he was right; he does not know that it will return, but if it does we may know where to find him, and if it does not we may know where to look for him, and that is on the Cincinnati
Now I could ask the Republican party, after all the hard names that Judge Douglas
has called them by-all his repeated charges of their inclination to marry with and hug negroes — all his declarations of Black Republicanism-by the way, we are improving, the black has got rubbed off — but with all that, if he be indorsed by Republican votes, where do you stand?
Plainly, you stand ready saddled, bridled and harnessed, and waiting to be driven over to the slavery extension camp of the nation-just ready to be driven over, tied together in a lot — to be driven over, every man with a rope around his neck, that halter being held by Judge Douglas
That is the question.
If Republican men have been in earnest in what they have done, I think they had better not do it; but I think that the Republican party is made up of those who, as far as they can peaceably, will oppose the extension of slavery, and who will hope for its ultimate