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[51] and looking at the justice for a moment “Well, square,” said he, “if a man choose to make a darnation fool of himself I suppose there is no law against it.” That is all I have to say about these negro regulations and this negro voting in other States where they have systems different from ours. If it is their wish to have it so, be it so. There is no cause to complain. Kentucky has decided that it is not consistent with her safety and her prosperity to allow a negro to have either political rights or his freedom and hence she makes him a slave. That is her business, not mine. It is her right under the Constitution of the country. The sovereignty of Kentucky, and that alone, can decide that question, and-when she decides it there is no power on earth to which you can appeal to reverse it. Therefore, leave Kentucky as the Constitution has left her, a sovereign, independent State, with the exclusive right to have slavery or not, as she chooses, and so long as I hold power I will maintain and defend her rights against any assaults from whatever quarter they may come.

I will never stop to inquire whether I approve or disapprove of the domestic institutions of a State. I maintain her sovereign rights, I defend her sovereignty from all assault, in the hope that she will join in defending us when we are assailed by any outside power. How are we to protect our sovereign rights, to keep slavery out, unless we protect the sovereign rights to every other State to decide the question for itself. Let Kentucky, or South Carolina, or any other State, attempt to interfere in Illinois, and tell us that we shall establish slavery, in order to make it uniform, according to Mr. Lincoln's proposition, throughout. the Union; let them come here and tell us that we must and shall have slavery, and I will call on you to follow me, and shed the last drop of our heart's blood in repelling the invasion and chastising their insolence. And if we would fight for our reserved rights and sovereign power in our own limits, we must respect the sovereignty of each other State.

Hence, you find that Mr. Lincoln and myself come to a direct issue on this whole doctrine of slavery. He is going to wage a war against it every where, not only in Illinois, but in his native State of Kentucky. And why? Because he says that the Declaration of Independence contains this language : “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,” and he asks whether that instrument does not declare that all men are created equal. Mr. Lincoln then goes on to say that that clause of the Declaration of Independence includes negroes. [ “I say not.” ] Well, if you say not, I do not think you will vote for Mr. Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln goes on to argue that the language “all men” included the negroes, Indians, and all inferior races.

In his Chicago speech he says, in so many words, that it includes the negroes, that they were endowed by the Almighty with the right of equality with the white man, and therefore that that right is Divine — a right under the higher law ; that the law of God makes them equal to the white man, and therefore that the law of the white man cannot deprive them of that right. This is Mr. Lincoln's argument. He is conscientious in his belief. I do not question his sincerity, I do not doubt that he in his conscience, believes that the Almighty made the negro equal to the white man. He thinks that the negro is his brother, I do not think that the negro is any kin of mine at all. And here is the difference between us, I believe that the Declaration of Independence, in the words “all men are created equal,” was intended to allude only to the people of the United States, to men of European birth or descent, being white men, that they were created equal, and hence that Great Britain had no right to deprive them of their political and religious privileges ; but the signers of that paper did not intend to include the Indian or the negro in that declaration, for if they had would they not have been bound to abolish slavery in every State and Colony from that day. Remember, too, that at the time the Declaration was put forth, every one of the thirteen colonies were slaveholding colonies; every man who signed that Declaration represented slaveholding constituents.

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