in any State of this Union, or to interfere with it directly or indirectly?
Of course he will not contend that.
Then what is to be his mode of carrying out, his principle, by which slavery shall be abolished in all of the States?
certainly does not speak at random.
He is a lawyer, an eminent lawyer, and his profession is to know the remedy for every wrong.
What is his remedy for this imaginary wrong which he supposes to exist?
The Constitution of the United States
provides that it may be amended by Congress passing an amendment by a two-thirds majority of each house, which shall be ratified by three-fourths of the States, and the inference is that Mr. Lincoln
intends to carry this slavery agitation into Congress with the view of amending the Constitution
so that slavery can be abolished in all the States of the Union
In other words, he is not going to allow one portion of the Union
to be slave and another portion to be free ; he is not going to permit the house to be divided against itself.
He is going to remedy it by lawful and constitutional means.
What are to be these means?
How can he abolish slavery in those States where it exists?
There is but one mode by which a political organization, composed of men in the free States, can abolish slavery in the slaveholding States, and that would be to abolish the State Legislatures
, blot out of existence the State
sovereignties, invest Congress with full and plenary power over all the local and domestic and police regulations of the different States of this Union.
Then there would be uniformity in the local concerns and domestic institutions of the different States ; then the house would be no longer divided against itself; then the States would all be free, or they would all be slave ; then you would have uniformity prevailing throughout this whole land in the local and domestic institutions, but it would be a uniformity not of liberty, but a uniformity of despotism that would triumph.
I submit to you, my fellow-citizens, whether this is not the logical consequence of Mr. Lincoln
I have called on Mr. Lincoln
to explain what he did mean, if he did not mean this, and he may made a speech at Chicago
, in which he attempts to explain.
And how does he explain?
I will give him the benefit of his own language, precisely as it was reported in the Republican
papers of that city, after undergoing his revision.
“ I have said a hundred times, and have now no inclination to take it back, that I believe there is no right and ought to be no inclination in the people of the free States to enter into the slave States and interfere with the question of slavery at all.”
He believes there is no right on the part of the free people of the free States to enter the slave States and interfere with the question of slavery, hence he does not propose to go into Kentucky
and stir up a civil war and a servile war between the blacks and the whites.
All he proposes is to invite the people of Illinois
and every other free State to band together as one sectional party, governed and divided by a geographical line, to make war upon the institution of slavery in the slaveholding States.
He is going to carry it out by means of a political party, that has its adherents only in the free States ; a political party that does not pretend that it can give a solitary vote in the slave States of the Union
; and by this sectional vote he is going to elect a President of the United States
; form a Cabinet and administer the Government
on sectional grounds, being the power of the North
over that of the South
In other words, he invites a war of the North
against the South
, a warfare of the free States against the slaveholding States.
He asks all men in the free States to conspire to exterminate slavery in the Southern States
, so as to make them all free, and then he notifies the South
that unless they are going to submit to our efforts to exterminate their institutions, they must band together and plant slavery in Illinois
and every Northern State.
He says that the States must all be free or must all be slave; On this point I take issue with him directly.
I assert that Illinois
has a right to decide the slavery question for herself.
We have decided it, and I think we have done it wisely ; but whether wisely or unwisely, it is our business, and the people of no other State have any right to interfere with us, directly or indirectly.
Claiming as we do this right for ourselves, we must concede it to every other State, to be exercised by them respectively.