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lavery, prohibited by State Constitutions. They also found a law existing, supposed to be valid, by which slavery was excluded from almost all the territory the United States then owned. This was the condition of the country, with reference to the institution of slavery, on the first of January, 1854. A few days after that, a bill was introduced into Congress, which ran through its regular course in the two branches of the National Legislature, and finally passed into a law in the month of May, by which the act of Congress prohibiting slavery from going into the Territories of the United States was repealed. In connection with the law itself, and, in fact, in the terms of the law, the then existing prohibition was not only repealed, but, there was a declaration of a purpose on the part of Congress never thereafter to exercise any power that they might have, real or supposed, to prohibit the extension or spread of slavery. This was a very great change ; for the law thus repealed w
ve code enforced in our Territories, and a new Dred Scott decision to bring slavery up into the very heart of the free North. This, I must, say, is but carrying out those words prophetically spoken by Mr. Clay, many, many years ago — I believe more than thirty years, when he told an audience that if they would repress all tendencies to liberty and ultimate emancipation, they must go back to the era of our independence and muzzle the cannon which thundered its annual joyous return on the Fourth of July ; they must blow out the moral lights around us ; they must penetrate the human soul and eradicate the love of liberty; but until they did these things, and others eloquently enumerated by him, they could not repress all tendencies to ultimate emancipation. I ask attention to the fact that in a pre-eminent degree these popular sovereigns are at this work; blowing out the moral lights around us; teaching that the negro is no longer a man but a brute; that the Declaration has nothing t
rpose of making one or two point upon it. If you will read the copy-right essay, you will discover that Judge Douglas himself says a controversy between the American Colonies and the Government of Great Britain began on the slavery question in 1699, and continued from that time until the Revolution; and, while he did not say so, we all know that it has continued with more or less violence ever since the Revolution. Then we need not appeal to history, to the declarations of the framers of the Government, but me know from Judge Douglas himself that slavery began to be an clement of discord among the white people of this country as far back as 1699, or one hundred and sixty years ago, or five generations of men-counting thirty years to a generation. Now it would seem to me that it might have occurred to Judge Douglas, or any body who had turned his attention to these facts, that there was something in the nature of that thing, slavery, somewhat durable for mischief and discord.
py too much time on this head, and I pass on. Near the close of the copy-right essay, the Judge, I think, comes very near kicking his own fat into the fire. I did not think, when I commenced these remarks, that I would read from that article, but I now believe I will : This exposition of the history of these measures, shows conclusively that the authors of the Compromise Measures of 1850 and of the Kansas-Nebraska act of 1854, as well as the members of the Continental Congress of 1774, and the founders of our system of Government subsequent to the Revolution, regarded the people of the Territories and Colonies as political communities which were entitled to a free and exclusive power of legislation in their provisional legislatures, where their representation could alone be preserved, in all cases of taxation and internal polity. When the Judge. saw that putting in the word slavery would contradict his own history, he put in what he knew would pass as synonymous with
kes a remark, that upon his principle the Supreme Court were authorized to pronounce a decision that the act called the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. All that history has been left out. But this part of the history of the country was not made by the men of the Revolution. There was another part of our political history made by the very men who were the actors in the Revolution, which has taken the name of the Ordinance of ‘87. Let me bring that history to your attention. In 1784, I believe, this same Mr. Jefferson drew up an ordinance for the government of the country upon which we now stand ; or rather a frame or draft of an ordinance for the government of this country, here in Ohio, our neighbors in Indiana, us who live in Illinois, our neighbors in Wisconsin and Michigan. In that ordinance, drawn up not only for the government of that Territory, but for the Territories south of the Ohio River, Mr. Jefferson expressly provided for the prohibition of slavery. Judg
untry as far back as 1699, or one hundred and sixty years ago, or five generations of men-counting thirty years to a generation. Now it would seem to me that it might have occurred to Judge Douglas, or any body who had turned his attention to these facts, that there was something in the nature of that thing, slavery, somewhat durable for mischief and discord. There is another point I desire to make in regard to this matter, before I leave it. From the adoption of the Constitution down to 1820 is the precise period of our history when we had comparative peace upon this question — the precise period of time when we came nearer to having peace about it than any other time of that entire one hundred and sixty years, in which he says it began, or of the eighty years of our own Constitution. Then it would be worth our while to stop and examine into the probable reason of our coming nearer to having peace then than at any other time. This was the precise period of time in which our fat
rom the jump, to decide this little negro question. But, gentlemen, the case is too plain ; I occupy too much time on this head, and I pass on. Near the close of the copy-right essay, the Judge, I think, comes very near kicking his own fat into the fire. I did not think, when I commenced these remarks, that I would read from that article, but I now believe I will : This exposition of the history of these measures, shows conclusively that the authors of the Compromise Measures of 1850 and of the Kansas-Nebraska act of 1854, as well as the members of the Continental Congress of 1774, and the founders of our system of Government subsequent to the Revolution, regarded the people of the Territories and Colonies as political communities which were entitled to a free and exclusive power of legislation in their provisional legislatures, where their representation could alone be preserved, in all cases of taxation and internal polity. When the Judge. saw that putting in the w
ro question. But, gentlemen, the case is too plain ; I occupy too much time on this head, and I pass on. Near the close of the copy-right essay, the Judge, I think, comes very near kicking his own fat into the fire. I did not think, when I commenced these remarks, that I would read from that article, but I now believe I will : This exposition of the history of these measures, shows conclusively that the authors of the Compromise Measures of 1850 and of the Kansas-Nebraska act of 1854, as well as the members of the Continental Congress of 1774, and the founders of our system of Government subsequent to the Revolution, regarded the people of the Territories and Colonies as political communities which were entitled to a free and exclusive power of legislation in their provisional legislatures, where their representation could alone be preserved, in all cases of taxation and internal polity. When the Judge. saw that putting in the word slavery would contradict his own hi
January 1st, 1854 AD (search for this): chapter 15
for discussion, I might be somewhat relieved by the fact that he dealt exclusively in that subject while he was here. I shall, therefore, without much hesitation or diffidence, enter upon this subject. The American people, on the first day of January, 1854, found the African slave-trade prohibited by a law of Congress. In a majority of the States of this Union, they found African slavery, or any other sort of slavery, prohibited by State Constitutions. They also found a law existing, supposed to be valid, by which slavery was excluded from almost all the territory the United States then owned. This was the condition of the country, with reference to the institution of slavery, on the first of January, 1854. A few days after that, a bill was introduced into Congress, which ran through its regular course in the two branches of the National Legislature, and finally passed into a law in the month of May, by which the act of Congress prohibiting slavery from going into the Terri
September, 1859 AD (search for this): chapter 15
Speech of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, at Columbus Ohio, September, 1859. Fellow-Citizens of the State of Ohio: I cannot fail to remember that I appear for the first time before an audience in this now great State--an audience that is accustomed to hear such speakers as Corwin, and Chase, and Wade, and many other renowned men ; and, remembering this, I feel that it will be well for you, as for me, that you should not raise your expectations to that standard to which you would have been justified in raising them had one of these distinguished men appeared before you. You would perhaps be only preparing a disappointment for yourselves, and, as a consequence of your disappointment, mortification to me. I hope, therefore, that you will commence with very moderate expectations ; and perhaps, if you will give me your attention, I shall be able to interest you to a moderate degree. Appearing here for the first time in my life, I have been somewhat embarrassed for a topic by way of introdu
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