civil and political rights to the white race, and excluding the negro in all cases.
Still Mr. Lincoln
conscientiously believes that it is his duty to advocate negro citizenship.
He wants to give the negro the privilege of citizenship.
He quotes Scripture again, and says: “As your Father in Heaven is perfect, be ye also perfect.”
And he applies that Scriptural quotation to all classes ; not that he expects us all to be as perfect as our Master, but as nearly perfect as possible.
In other words, he is willing to give the negro an equality under the law, in order that, he may approach as near perfection, or an equality with the white man, as possible.
To this same end he quotes the Declaration of Independence
in these words : “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;” and goes on to argue that the negro was included, or intended to be included in that Declaration by the signers of the paper.
He says that by the Declaration of Independence
, therefore, all kinds of men, negroes included, were created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and further, that the right of the negro to be on an equality with the white man is a Divine right conferred by the Almighty and rendered inalienable according to the Declaration of Independence
Hence no human law or constitution can deprive the negro of that equality with the white man to which he is entitled by Divine law. [ “Higher law.” ] higher law. Now, I do not question Mr. Lincoln
's sincerity on this point.
He believes that the negro, by the Divine law, is created the equal of the white man, and that no human law can deprive him of that equality, thus secured ; and he contends that the negro ought therefore to have all the rights and privileges of citizenship on an equality with the white man. In order to accomplish this, the first thing that would have to be done in this State would be to blot out of our State Constitution that clause which prohibits negroes from coming into this State, and making it an African colony, and permit them to come and spread over these charming prairies until in midday they shall look black as night.
When our friend Lincoln
gets all his colored brethren around him here, he will then raise them to perfection as fast as possible, and place them on an equality with the white man, first removing all legal restrictions, because they are our equals by Divine law, and there should be no such restrictions.
He wants them to vote.
I am opposed to it. If they had a vote, I reckon they would all vote for him in preference to me, entertaining the views I do. But that matters not. The position he has taken on this question not only presents him as claiming for them the right to vote, but their right under the Divine law and the Declaration of Independence
to be elected to office to become members of the Legislature, to go to Congress to become Governors, or United States Senators
, or Judges
of the Supreme Court; and I suppose that when they control that court, they will probably reverse the Dred Scott
He is going to bring negroes here, and give them the right of citizenship, the right of voting, and the right of holding office and sitting on juries, and what else?
Why, he would permit them to marry, would he not?
And if he gives them that right, I suppose he will let them marry whom they please, provided they marry their equals.
If the Divine law declares that the white man is the equal of the negro woman — that they are on a perfect equality, I suppose he admits the right of the negro woman to marry the white man. In other words, his doctrine that the negro, by Divine law, is placed on a perfect equality with the white man, and that that equality is recognized by the Declaration of Independence
leads him necessarily to establish negro equality under the law ; but whether even then they would be so in fact would depend upon the degree of virtue and intelligence they possessed, and certain other qualities that are matters of taste rather than of law I do not understand Mr. Lincoln
as saying that he expects to make them our equals socially, or by intelligence, nor in fact as citizens, but that he wishes to make them our equals under the law, and then say to them, “as your Master in Heaven is perfect, be ye also perfect.”
Well, I confess to you, my fellow-citizens, that I am utterly opposed to that system