supporters of slavery and to discourage its opponents than anything else that ever happened.
Its restoration would undoubtedly have produced a similar effect.
Although he is not to be credited with any philanthropic motive, Stephen A. Douglas
did an effective work for freedom when he helped to overthrow that measure.
Leading Abolitionists have accorded him that meed of praise.
But there was that proposition which Mr. Lincoln
was so fond of repeating, that the nation could not remain half free and half slave-“a divided house” --but the remedy he had to propose was not manumission at any proximate or certain time, but the adoption of a policy that, to use his own words, would cause “the public mind to rest in the belief that it [slavery] was in the course of ultimate extinction.”
Practically that meant very little or nothing.
What the public mind then needed was not “rest,” but properly directed activity.
But the declarations above quoted were all before Mr. Lincoln
had become President
or had probably thought of such a thing.
Did the change of position lead to a change of opinion on his part?
We are not left in uncertainty on this point.
His official views were declared in what might be called a State paper.
Soon after his inauguration, his Secretary of State
sent Minister Dayton
, at Paris
, a dispatch that he might use with foreign officials, in which, in speaking of the Rebellion
, he said: “The condition of slavery in the several States will remain just the same whether it succeeds or fails. . . It is hardly necessary to add to this incontrovertible statement the further fact that the new President