I do not doubt Mr. Lincoln
's conscientious conviction on the subject, and I do not doubt that he will carry out that doctrine if he ever has the power; but I resist it because I am utterly opposed to any political amalgamation or any other amalgamation on this continent.
We are witnessing the result of giving civil and political rights to inferior races in Mexico
, in Central America
, in South America
, and in the West India Islands
Those young men who went from here to Mexico
, to fight the battles of their country in the Mexican
war, can tell you the fruits of negro equality with the white man. They will tell you that the result of that equality is social amalgamation, demoralization and degradation, below the capacity for self-government.
My friends, if we wish to preserve this Government we must maintain it on the basis on which it was established, to wit : the white basis.
We must preserve the purity of the race not only in our politics but in our domestic relations.
We must then preserve the sovereignty of the States, and we must maintain the Federal Union by preserving the Federal Constitution
Let us do that, and our Union will not only be perpetual but may extend until it shall spread over the entire continent.
Fellow-citizens, I have already detained you too long.
I have exhausted myself and wearied you, and owe you an apology for the desultory manner in which I have discussed these topics.
I will have an opportunity of addressing you again before the November election comes off. I come to you to appeal to your Judgment as American citizens, to take your verdict of approval or disapproval upon the discharge of my public duty and my principles as compared with those of Mr. Lincoln
If you conscientiously believe that his principles are more in harmony with the feelings of the American
people and the interests and honor of the Republic
, elect him. If, on the contrary, you believe that my principles are more consistent with those great principles upon which our fathers framed this Government, then I shall ask you to so express your opinion at the polls.
I am aware that it is a bitter and severe contest, but I do not doubt what the decision of the people of Illinois
will be. I do not anticipate any personal collision between Mr. Lincoln
and myself: You all know that I am an amiable, good-natured man, and I take great pleasure in bearing testimony to the fact that Mr. Lincoln
is a kind-hearted, amiable, .good-natured gentleman, with whom no man has a right to pick a quarrel, even if he wanted one.
He is a worthy gentleman.
I have known him for twenty-five years, and there is no better citizen, and no kinder-hearted man. He is a fine lawyer, possesses high ability, and there is no objection to him, except the monstrous, revolutionary doctrines with which he is identified and which he conscientiously entertains, and is determined to carry out if he gets the power.
He has one element of strength upon which he relies to accomplish his object, and that is his alliance with certain men in this State claiming to be Democrats, whose avowed object is to use their power to prostrate the Democratic
He hopes he can secure the few men claiming to be friends of the Lecompton Constitution
, and for that reason you will find he does not say a word against the Lecompton Constitution
or its supporters.
He is as silent as the grave upon that subject.
Behold Mr. Lincoln
votes, in order that he may go to the Senate as the representative of Republican principles!
You know that that alliance exists.
I think you will find that it will ooze out before the contest is over.
It must be a contest of principle.
Either the radical abolition principles of Mr. Lincoln
must be maintained, or the strong, constitutional, national Democratic principles with which I am identified must be carried out. I shall be satisfied whatever way you decide.
I have been sustained by the people of Illinois
with a steadiness, a firmness and an enthusiasm which makes my heart overflow with gratitude.
If I was now to be consigned to private life, I would have nothing to complain of. I would even then owe you a debt of gratitude which the balance of my life could not repay.
But, my friends, you have discharged every obligation you owe to me. I have been a thousand times paid by the welcome you have extended to me since I have entered the State
on my return home this time.
Your reception not only discharges all obligations, but it furnishes inducement to renewed efforts to serve you in