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July 17th, 1858 AD (search for this): chapter 5
Speech of Senator Douglas, delivered July 17, 1858, at Springfield, III (Mr. Lincoln was not present.) Mr. Chairman and Fellow-Citizens of Springfield and Old Sangamon: My heart is filled with emotions at the allusions which have been so happily and so kindly made in the welcome just extended to me — a welcome so numerous and so enthusiastic, bringing me to my home among my old friends, that language cannot express my gratitude. I do feel at home whenever I return to old Sangamon and receive those kind and friendly greetings which have never failed to meet me when I have come among you ; but never before have I had such occasion to be grateful and to be proud of the manner of the reception as on the present. While I am willing, sir, to attribute a part of this demonstration to those kind and friendly personal relations to which you have referred, I cannot conceal from myself that the controlling and pervading element in this great mass of human beings is devotion to that princi
he affirmative to 4 in the negative. That resolution I can quote to you in almost its precise language. It declared that the great principle of self-government was the birthright of freemen ; was the gift of heaven ; was achieved by the blood of our revolutionary fathers, and must be continued and carried out in the organization of all the Territories and the admission of all new States. That became the Illinois platform by the united voices of the Democratic party and of the Whig party in 1851 ; all the Whigs and all the Democrats in the Legislature uniting in an affirmative vote upon it, and there being only 4 votes in the negative, of Abolitionists, of course, that resolution stands upon the journal of your Legislature to this day and hour unrepealed, as a standing, living, perpetual instruction to the Senators from Illinois in all time to come to carry out that principle of self-government and allow no limitation upon it in the organization of any Territories or the admission of
e the sovereignty of the States, and we must maintain the Federal Union by preserving the Federal Constitution inviolate. Let us do that, and our Union will not only be perpetual but may extend until it shall spread over the entire continent. Fellow-citizens, I have already detained you too long. I have exhausted myself and wearied you, and owe you an apology for the desultory manner in which I have discussed these topics. I will have an opportunity of addressing you again before the November election comes off. I come to you to appeal to your Judgment as American citizens, to take your verdict of approval or disapproval upon the discharge of my public duty and my principles as compared with those of Mr. Lincoln. If you conscientiously believe that his principles are more in harmony with the feelings of the American people and the interests and honor of the Republic, elect him. If, on the contrary, you believe that my principles are more consistent with those great principles u
March 8th, 1820 AD (search for this): chapter 5
nt one could not be trusted, and that Mr. Douglas could not be trusted ; that they were all conspirators in bringing about that corrupt decision, to which Mr. Lincoln is determined he will never yield a willing obedience. He makes two points upon the Dred Scott decision. The first is that he objects to it because the court decided that negroes descended of slave parents are not citizens of the United States; and secondly, because they have decided that the act of Congress, passed 8th of March, 1820, prohibiting slavery in all of the Territories north of 36°30‘, was unconstitutional and void, and hence did not have effect in emancipating a slave brought into that Territory. And he will not submit to that decision. He says that he will not fight the Judges or the United States Marshals in order to liberate Dred Scott, but that he will not respect that decision, as a rule of law binding on this country, in the future. Why not? Because, he says, it is unjust. How is he going to
standing, living, perpetual instruction to the Senators from Illinois in all time to come to carry out that principle of self-government and allow no limitation upon it in the organization of any Territories or the admission of any new States. In 1854, when it became my duty as the chairman of the committee on Territories to bring forward a bill for the organization of Kansas and Nebraska, I incorporated that principle in it and Congress passed it, thus carrying the principle into practical effect. I will not recur to the scenes which took place all over the country in 1854 when that Nebraska bill passed. I could then travel from Boston to Chicago by the light of my own effigies, in consequence of having stood up for it. I leave it to you to say how I met that storm, and whether I quailed under it; whether I did not face the music, justify the principle, and pledge my life to carry it out. A friend here reminds me, too, that when making speeches then, justifying the Nebraska bil
I will apply that principle not only to the original thirteen States, but to the States which have since been brought into the Union, and also to every State that shall hereafter be received, as long as water shall run and grass grow. For these reasons I felt compelled, by a sense of duty, by a conviction of principle, to record my vote against what is called the English bill ; but yet the bill became a law, and under that law an election has been ordered to be held on the first Monday in August for the purpose of determining the question of the acceptance or rejection of the proposition submitted by Congress. I have no hesitation in saying to you, as the chairman of your committee has justly said in his address, that whatever the decision of the people of Kansas may be at that election, it must be final and conclusive of the whole subject; for if at that election a majority of the people of Kansas shall vote for the acceptance of the Congressional proposition, Kansas from that mo
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