and New York must again be surrendered by their farmers to slave culture and to the production of slaves, and Boston and New York become once more markets for trade in the bodies and souls of men. It is the failure to apprehend this great truth that induces so many unsuccessful attempts at final compromise between the Slave and Free States; and it is the existence of this great fact that renders all such pretended compromises, when made, vain and ephemeral.
, in his brief Spring-field speech, furnished the shortest and sharpest exposition ever yet given of the doctrine vaunted as “Popular Sovereignty,” viz.:
This necessity [for a popular indorsement of the policy embodied in the Nebraska-Kansas bill] had not been overlooked; but had been provided for, as well as might be, in the notable argument of “Squatter Sovereignty,” otherwise called “sacred right of self-government ;” which latter phrase, though expressive of the only rightful basis of any government, was so perverted, in this attempted use of it, as to amount to just this: That, if any one man choose to enslave another, no third man shall be allowed to object.
promptly joined issue; and an oral canvass of unequaled interest, considering the smallness of the stake, was prosecuted by these capable and practiced popular debaters, before immense audiences of their fellow-citizens, up to the eve of the State Election
In the event, Mr. Douglas
was successful, securing 54: to 46 of the members of the Legislature, and being promptly reelected by them; but the candidates favorable to Mr. Lincoln
had a plurality of the popular vote.1
The Elections of 1859 were not especially significant, save that, in New York, what remained of the “American” party, instead of nominating a State ticket of their own men, adopted the expedient of selecting their candidates alternately from the tickets of the two great parties — of course, powerfully aiding that which must otherwise have been beaten throughout.
The 25,000 votes thus cast elected three of the Democratic
candidates by majorities of 328 to 1,450; while the Republicans placed on the “American ticket” had majorities ranging from 45,104 to 49,447; and one Republican candidate was chosen over the joint vote of both the adverse parties.
In this “balance-of-power” movement of the Americans
was fore-shadowed the “Fusion” electoral tickets of 1860.
The indignant, scornful rhetoric wherewith Mr. Webster
had scouted the suggestion, that Slavery might possibly be established in New Mexico
, and spurned the idea of “reenacting the laws of God” by prohibiting it there, had scarcely died out of the public ear, when the Legislature of that vast Territory proceeded, at its session in 1859, to do the very thing which he had deemed so inconceivable.
Assuming the legal existence of Slavery in that Territory, in accordance with the Dred Scott
decision, the Legislature proceeded to pass “An act to provide for the protection of property in slaves,” whereby severe penalties were provided for “stealing,” or “enticing away” said property, or “inciting” said property to “discontent” or “insubordination.”
The spirit of this notable act is fairly exhibited in the following provisions: