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[443] Territory over widespread communities, and the whole country in all its extent marshalling hostile divisions, and foreshadowing a conflict which, unless happily averted by the triumph of freedom, will become war,—fratricidal, parricidal war,—with an accumulated wickedness beyond that of any war in human annals, justly provoking the avenging judgment of Providence and the avenging pen of history, and constituting a strife such as was pictured by the Roman historian,—more than foreign, more than social, more than civil, being something compounded of all these, and in itself more than war,—'sed potius commune quoddam ex omnibus, et plus quam bellum.

After brief replies to senators, to be noted later, he reviewed the contest of the Nebraska bill, which the President had defended in his annual message,—a measure which was carried ‘in breach of every obligation of honor, compact, and good neighborhood; . . . pressed by arguments mutually repugnant; . . . carried through Congress in defiance of all securities of legislation; . . . in every respect a swindle,1. . .a word, if it has not the authority of classical usage, has on this occasion the indubitable authority of fitness,’ alone ‘adequately expressing the mingled meanness and wickedness of the cheat;’ the passage of the Act followed by the appointment of territorial officers supposed to be friendly to slavery. Then came a narration of the transactions of fraud and violence in the Territory itself, the barbarous enactments of the legislature, and the successive invasions from Missouri, with Atchison in the foreground,—‘a familiar character, in himself a connecting link between President and border-ruffian,’ who at the session immediately succeeding the Nebraska bill, ‘like Catiline, stalked into this chamber reeking with conspiracy,’ where he had found ‘in the very Senate itself, beyond even the Roman example, a senator who had not hesitated to appear as his open compurgator.’2

Thus was the crime consummated. Slavery stands erect, clanking its chains on the Territory of Kansas, surrounded by a code of death, and trampling upon all cherished liberties, whether of speech, the press, the bar, the trial by jury, or the electoral franchise. And, sir, all this is done, not merely to introduce a wrong which in itself is a denial of all rights, and in dread of which mothers have taken the lives of their offspring,—not merely, as is sometimes said, to protect slavery in Missouri, since it is futile for this State to complain of freedom on the side of Kansas, when freedom exists without complaint on the side of Iowa, and also on the side of Illinois; but it is done for the sake of political power, in order to bring two new slaveholding senators

1 Douglas was much incensed at the application of this term to his bill.

2 This was Butler, who on several occasions came to the defence of his ‘friend’ Atchison.

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