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[557] to the people by a method which excluded any voting against it as a whole, and allowed only the alternative of voting ‘for the constitution with slavery’ or ‘for the constitution without slavery.’ The instrument was so drawn as to imply a certain sanction of slavery in whichever way adopted, and the Free State men withheld their votes. It was therefore adopted ‘with slavery,’ and submitted to Congress by the President in a message, Feb. 2, 1858, in which he declared that by the decision of the Supreme Court ‘slavery exists in Kansas by virtue of the Constitution of the United States,’ and that ‘Kansas is therefore at this moment as much a slave State as Georgia or South Carolina.’ Douglas promptly, at the beginning of the session, took ground against the admission of Kansas under that constitution thus forced on the people, maintaining that according to ‘the principle of popular sovereignty’ the inhabitants should have perfect liberty ‘to vote slavery up or down,’ and vaunting his indifference as to which they did. He said with emphasis, ‘Why force this constitution down the throats of the people of Kansas, in opposition to their wishes and our pledges?’ He drew to his side a number of Democratic senators and representatives, mostly Western, nearly half of whom, however, proved untrustworthy in their votes on the English bill; and his breach with the Administration had an important relation to the national election of 1860. He was thus brought for a time into accidental association with the Republicans, some of whom were disposed to put the best construction on his change of front,1 while others could not at once overcome a deep-seated distrust growing out of his twenty years subserviency to the slave power, or the suspicion that his new attitude was due to the fact that his term as senator was near its end.2 His speeches in the celebrated debate with Mr. Lincoln, a few months later, justified this distrust and suspicion. Sumner wrote to E. L. Pierce from Washington, April 11, 1858:

I know Douglas thoroughly; and I think there cannot be too much caution in trusting him. His whole conduct in the two great controversies which

1 Greeley, and also, it is stated, Seward, Wilson, and Cameron, were averse to Republican opposition to his re-election; but the Republicans of Illinois put Mr. Lincoln in nomination, who opened his campaign June 16, 1858. Greeley and Wilson in their histories are not explicit as to their part in promoting Douglas's pretensions at this time. ‘The American Conflict,’ vol. i. p. 301; ‘Rise and Fall of the Slave Power,’ vol. II. pp. 567, 568.

2 Chase wrote Sumner, Jan. 18, 1858, that Douglas was seeking a suspension of hostilities until his re-election became sure.

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