for the United States Senate as the successor of Stephen A. Douglas
,” it only recorded the well-known judgment of the party.
After its routine work was finished, the convention adjourned to meet again in the hall of the State House
at eight o'clock in the evening.
At that hour Mr. Lincoln
appeared before the assembled delegates and delivered a carefully studied speech, which has become historic.
After a few opening sentences, he uttered the following significant prediction:
“ ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’
I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free.
I do not expect the Union
to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall-but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other.
Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South.”
Then followed his critical analysis of the legislative objects and consequences of the Nebraska Bill
, and the judicial effects and doctrines of the Dred Scott
decision, with their attendant and related incidents.
The first of these had opened all the national territory to slavery.
The second established the constitutional interpretation that neither Congress nor a territorial legislature could exclude slavery from any United States
The President had declared Kansas
to be already practically a slave State.
had announced that he did not care whether slavery was voted down or voted up. Adding to these many other indications of current politics, Mr. Lincoln
Put this and that together, and we have another