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Chase's tower of statement and moral fervor were never more conspicuous.1 The quality of the Appeal itself was manifest in its effect on the author and manager of the plot. Douglas opened the debate on the day assigned with a speech abounding in insolence and vituperation. Whenever he referred to the signers he applied to them epithets, ‘abolition confederates,’2 ‘a few agitators,’ or ‘a set of politicians.’ With a coarseness of speech of which he was master, he imputed to the unprincipled ambition, Sabbath—breaking,3 deception, slander, and want of truth. He stigmatized the document itself as ‘an abolition manifesto,’ ‘a negro movement,’ ‘a wicked fabrication,’ ‘a gross falsification,’ ‘an atrocious falsehood,’ ‘a base falsehood;’ and proceeding with his personalities, he was at length called to order by the chair. He refused, in bitter and unseemly language, to be interrupted by Chase, denying that the latter had any title to courtesy. In recklessness of assertion, in moral insensibility, and indifference to common instincts of propriety, no speeches of a Northern man aspiring to leadership ever equalled those which came from this senator during the debates on the repeal of the Missouri prohibition. Chase followed, replying with much spirit to the personal matters introduced by Douglas, but reserving his full argument for another day.4 Sumner reaffirmed the positions taken in the Appeal, and protested against the haste, ‘the driving, galloping speed,’ with which a measure involving a radical departure from traditional policy had been pressed. Wade indorsed as correct every word of the Appeal, though he had not signed it; but Seward, taking no part in the discussion, moved an adjournment when Sumner had resumed his seat.5

The debate was postponed, and Chase made his formal reply to Douglas, February 3. The interval was brief, and he had

1 Chase was the author of the last sentence of Lincoln's Proclamation of Emancipation.

2 This epithet he repeated ten times, saying also, ‘This tornado has been raised by Abolitionists, and Abolitionists alone.’

3 The Appeal by an error of date appeared to have been signed on Sunday, although in fact it was signed a day or two before. Notwithstanding Douglas's pretension to Sabbatic scruples in open Senate, he had called on Jefferson Davis and the President Sunday, January 22, to counsel with them concerning his scheme. (Jefferson Davis's ‘Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government,’ p. 28.)

4 Chase refused after this speech to have personal intercourse with Douglas, until, when leaving the Senate in March, 1855, the latter came to him with an explanation, which Chase said to him he might better have made in the Senate.

5 Seward was careful not to assume any responsibility for the Appeal whenever it was referred to.

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