leader in the very work he had so heartily condemned.
When we consider the bill and the unfortunate results which followed it in the border States we are irresistibly led to conclude that it was, all things considered, a great public wrong and a most lamentable piece of political jugglery.
The stump speech which Thomas H. Benton
charged that Douglas
had “injected into the belly of the bill” contains all there was of Popular Sovereignty--“It being the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate slavery into any Territory or State nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States
,” an argument which, using Lincoln
's words, “amounts to this: That if any one man chooses to enslave another no third man shall be allowed to object.”
The widespread feeling the passage of this law aroused everywhere over the Union
is a matter of general history
It stirred up in New England
the latent hostility to the aggression of slavery; it stimulated to extraordinary endeavors the derided Abolitionists, arming them with new weapons; it sounded the death-knell of the gallant old Whig party; it drove together strange, discordant elements it readiness to fight a common enemy; it brought to the forefront a leader in the person of Lincoln
The revolt of Cook
, and Palmer
, all young and progressive, from the Democratic
majority in the Legislature was the first sign of discontent in Illinois
The rude and partly hostile reception of