of self-government, upon which our institutions were originally based?
I believe that this new doctrine preached by Mr. Lincoln
and his party will dissolve the Union
if it succeeds.
They are trying to array all the Northern States
in one body against the South
, to excite a sectional war between the free States and the slave States, in order that the one or the other may be driven to the wall.
I am told that my time is out. Mr. Lincoln
will now address you for an hour and a half, and I will then occupy an half hour in replying to him.
: When a man hears himself somewhat misrepresented, it provokes him-at least, I find it so with myself; but when misrepresentation becomes very gross and palpable, it is more apt to amuse him. The first thing I see fit to notice, is the fact that Judge Douglas
alleges after running through the history of the old Democratic and the old Whig parties, that Judge Trumbull
and myself made an arrangement in 1854, by which I was to have the place of Gen. Shields
in the United States Senate, and Judge Trumbull
was to have the place of Judge Douglas
Now, all I have to say upon that subject is, that I think no man-not even Judge Douglas
-can prove it, because it is not true
. I have no doubt he is “conscientious
” in saying it. As to those resolutions that he took such a length of time to read, as being the platform of the Republican party in 1854, I say I never had anything to do with them, and I think Trumbull
never had. Judge Douglas
cannot show that either of us ever did have anything to do with them.
I believe this
is true about those resolutions : There was a call for a Convention to form a Republican party at Springfield
, and I think that my friend, Mr. Lovejoy
, who is here upon this stand, had a hand in it. I think this is true, and I think if he will remember accurately, he will be able to recollect that he tried to get me into it, and I would not go in. I believe it is also true that I went away from Springfield
when the Convention
was in session, to attend court in Tazewell county
It is true they did place my name, though without authority, upon the committee, and afterward wrote me to attend the meeting of the committee, but I refused to do so, and I never had anything to do with that organization.
This is the plain truth about all that matter of the resolutions.
Now, about this story that Judge Douglas
tells of Trumbull
bargaining to sell out the old Democratic party, and Lincoln
agreeing, to sell out the old Whig party, I have the means of knowing about that; Judge Douglas
cannot have; and I know there is no substance to it whatever.
Yet I have no doubt he is “conscientious
” about it. I know that after Mr. Lovejoy
got into the Legislature that winter, he complained of me that I had told all the old Whigs of his district that the old Whig party was good enough for them, and some of them voted against him because I told them so. Now, I have no means of totally disproving such charges as this which the Judge
A man cannot prove a negative, but he has a right to claim that when a man makes an affirmative charge, he must offer some proof to show the truth of what he says.
I certainly cannot introduce testimony to show the negative about things, but I have a right to claim that if a man says he knows a thing, then he must show how he knows it. I always have a right to claim this, and it is not satisfactory to me that he may be “conscientious” on the subject.
Now, gentlemen, I hate to waste my time on such things, but in regard to that general Abolition tilt that Judge Douglas
makes, when he says that I was engaged at that time in selling out and abolitionizing the old Whig party--I hope you will permit me to read a part of a printed speech that I made then at Peoria
, which will show altogether a different view of the position I took in that contest of 1854.
Voice---“Put on your specs.”