The Scranton tribune. (Scranton, Pa.) 1891-1910, October 08, 1896, Page 11, Image 11

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Abrnhab Lincoln was not an acci
dent, but a development. He did not
leap Into leadership at a bound, but
earned the position by laborious prep
aration and frequent demonstrations
of supreme ability. It is only thirty
years si nee the country was shocked
as never before by his assassination,
und yet to the vast majority of the
American people he is already u legend
ary character, and the human elements
which endeared him to his feneration
are foruotten. We have made history
bo rapidly In the last iiunrter of a cen
tury that even the thrilling events of
the civil war can no lomte e injure votes
or move uudiences. Memorial day.
which was once a period of passion and
sorrow, Is now a popular picnic and
children's holiday.
To understand the significance of the
meeting here thirty-elKht years ago be
tween Lincoln and Douglas, we must
recreate the conditions under which
they foutrht, revive the questions which
caused purtles to rush from partlsan
Bhlp to rebellion, and reincarnate the
combatants on this famous Held. The
apparent contest was the statehood of
Kansas, but both the orators and the
people knew that the tremendous is
sues was between freedom and slavery,
the dissolution of the union or its per
petuity. The founders of the Republic reparoled
e'avery as an institution destined t
ultimate extinction. Washington and
Jefferson and their slave-holdiiiR as
sociates saw with grave apprehension
the perils of its continuance and the
incompatibility if Its growth with free
Institutions. I'nder normal conditions,
it would have gradually disappeared
with the moral pressure of the llberty
loving sentiment and the industrial su
periority of free labor.
It is easy to be virtuous when It
costs little, and much easier when it is
advantageous. Greed and conscience
have been battling ever for the mastery.
That conscience wins in the end Is a
tribute to the better elements of human
nature, and that' interest can blind and
sophistry misleud for generations
teaches humility and distrust of our
selves. The politics of the United States and
the destiny of millions of human be
ings were suddenly changed by a
piece of mechanism. Whitney Invented
the cotton gin, slave labor became en
ormously protituble, and slavery grew
to be the most aggressive power in the
country. It was popular at the time
of the formation of the Constitution to
pass the ordinance of 1787 by which
was consecrated forever in freedom
the territory comprising the states of
Illinois, Imlianu, Michigan and Wis
consin, but thirty-three years after
wards, in ISiO, Missouri had to be sur
rendered to slavery to save the Union.
All the intelligence, the capital, the
business energy, and the political pow
er of one hulf the I'nion had concen
trated and created the most audacious
and formidable political force ever
known In representative government.
It had one purpose the protection and
extension of slavery. It aimed to con
trol the government and dominate par
ties. It was the power within both
of the great organizations If'0 which
the people were divided. It selected Its
' lt-aitdrs with wonderful ability und
served them with unswerving loyalty.
It made or crushed careers us North
ern statesmen were obedient to its
commands. It had no gratitude for
past favors, and as mercilessly dis
carded Its servile friends had become
unpopular at home because of their
servility, as It destroyed those who
temporized with Its Interests upon
either principle or policy. The con
science of the non-slaveholding popu
lation was slowly awajtenlng, but mov
ing tentatively and timidly under dread
of trade disturbances and threats of
the dissolution of the Union.
The compromise of 1SJ0, by declaring
all of the new territory north of par
allel 36.30 free and all south slave, and
admitting Missouri, which was north,
as a slave state, was hailed by those
who loved both union and liberty as
the gain of a large area for freedom.
It was really the recognition by law
of slavery in the territories, the gain
cf a state and Its senators by the slave
power, and leaving the Northern ter
ritory for a fresh attack when the time
came for its settlement. For slavery,
founded upon the greatest of wrongs,
can respert neither rights nor com
pacts. Yet there existed a passionate
devotion to peace and union, and the
compromise of 1S20 was gratefully ac
cepted. The Abolition sentiment. Inflamed by
the arrogance and aggressive action of
the slave power, was constantly win
ning converts and demanding congres
sional action in the territories and Dis
trict of Columbia. The crisis, as al
ways, with the threat of secession be
hind It, became acute, and was once
more tided over by the compromises of
1850. By these measures slavery se
cured national recognition of the in
stitution at the capital and the enact
ment of the fugitive slave law, but
the union saved was regarded by the
vast majority as well worth this sacri
fice of honor, morality, and liberty.
Upon this altar was burned the proud
est reputation and mightiest treasure
of Intellect and character the country
possessed. There are many paths to
the presidency, but the southern lead
ers could confidently say to every am
bitious statesman: No matter what
your views on other questions, no man
has reached the white house in a gen
l oration except by the southern road.
The anti-slavery people turned to Dan
iel Webster for leadership. They ex
pected from him a mighty effort. His
historical reply to Hayne had estab
lished .the right and power of the na
tion to protect Its life and liberties. No
speech in the records of representative
government ever had such Immediate
and permanent Influence In shaping the
institutions and destinies of a country.
The glowing periods and patriotic In
terpretation of the constitution, fle.
claimed from the platforms of schools
and academies, by succeeding genera
tions, educated and inspired the pas
sion for nationality, the union, and
the flag, which put two millions of
citizens In arms, and placed the re
public upon enduring foundations at
Appomattox. Webster's seventh of
March speech aroused and embittered
the anti-slavery feeling as nothing be
fore had done. This supreme Indul
gence had made Massachusetts first
and most honored among American
commonwealths by his Immortal apos
trophe to her, when, with Infinite ma
jesty and pathos, he called the atten
tion of the senators and the people
to her proud position. Now. tempted
by. the prize of the presidency, he Fald
It her: "Massachusetts must conquer
ler prejudices." "They have been
, created by the din and roar and rub-a-dub
of Abolition press and Abolition
lecturers beaten every month and
Celebrat5omi of the Thirty-eighth Am
oSversary of the Debate between
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A
Douglas, at Qalesbimrg, III, October
?9 1896, . . BY . .
every day and every hour." More 'a t
sorrow than In anger but with impres
sive dignity and power Massachusetts
answered: "What you contemptuously
term prejudices are the eternal prin
ciples of righteousness and justice,
taught and enforced by none so elo
quently and ably as yourself. Mas
sachusetts reveres your past and
mourns your present." The conven
tion' of 1S32 met to nominate a presi
dent. Webster's speech had been of
Incalculable service to the south In car
rying Its measures through congress,
but it had destroyed his availability
with the north. He was defeated, and
the greatest statesman of the century
died of disappointment and mortifica
tion. Webster's recusancy aroused the
colleges and the pulpits and gave tre
mendous Impetus to the anti-slavery
party. His example, illustrating so
conspicuously that the northern man
who lost popularity at home by ser
vice to slavery would be rejected by
the slave power for more available re
cruits, opened the eyes of the most
morally dense ambitious to the merci
less and heartless ' purposes of the
oligarchy. .......
The war with Mexico has added an
enormous area of territory to the na
tional domain. From It new states
were to be soon created by constantly
Increasing immigration and settlement.
The North, absorbed in diversified in
dustries and material development,
paid little heed to the future, but the
South, recognizing the growing hostil
ity to Its Institutions, formed the plan
of a permanent balance of power. This
was to be accomplished by admitting
no free state, unless one which recog
nized slavery came in at the same time.
Then, with the senate equally divided
between free and slave states, slavery
would lie forever safe from hostile leg
islation. To accomplish this the Mis
souri compromise must be repealed. It
is difficult for us at this distance to re
alize the reverence wltH which this
compact' was regarded. It was In the
popular mind and imagination the sa
cred guarantee of the Union, and the
dedication of the new territory to free
institution, free labor, and free Btates.
it had been placed with the Declara
tion of Independence, and the Consti
tution of the United States among the
inviolable charters and agreements up
on which rested the peace and perpetu
ity of the Republic. Every great and
honored name of a genurution of the
most distinguished statesmen of both
parties was committed to its mainten
ance. No politician could hope to re
tain Northern support who favored Its
repeal, or hold Southern favor, unless
he lubored for Its abrogation. The
Northern lender who carried througli
the repeal and It could only be carried
by a Northern leader, had the fate of
Webster and scores of lesser men be
fore him. He would be repudiated by
one side and abandoned as no longer
useful by the other. The South grew
daily more threatening, and the North
more sensitive. To the man who could
bridge this chasm, and fool the North
os it had been so often successfully
hoodwinked before.and satisfy the alert
and clear-purposed South. the presiden
cy was certain. Stephen A. Douglas, a
statesman of infinite resources, courage
and ambition, undertook the task. The
North might be cajoled by promises
and an apparently fair prospect for
freedom the South cared nothing for
phrases or pleadings, so lung as Its ob
ject was secured. This skillful necro
mancer sought by an artful juggle of
words to satisfy both sides. He adroit
ly put the Abolitionists of the North
and the fire-eaters of the South In the
category of disunionists, and then bid
for that conservative support which
always controls In great crises. "We
have outgrown the line of 36 degrees,
R0 minutes," he cried.. The expansion
and limitless possibilities of our coun
try have made this limit obsolete. The
government of the states which will
come Into the Union from the new ter
ritory, and the continental career,
which Is our destiny, must be settled
upon a broad and enduring principle.
Let the people of all sections go as they
list with their property, whether chat
tels or slaves, into the territories, and
when the period of statehood arrives
they can decide by ballot whether they
will recognize or exclude slavery, or
they may determine the question in the
territorial legislatures. This leaves the
matter with the people and recognizes
the very basis of popular government."
Under the name of squatter sovereign
ity this remedy captivated the public
mind, and Douglas became the central
figure in American politics.
Governments ore mainly the result
of successive ccmprom'ses. But there
pre qucstlors whl.'h cannot be compro
mised., Whenever t'uth has formed a
compact with a lie, the lie has secured
all the advantages. Honesty can be
tainted and destroyed by fraud, but
cannot work It. Lord Marstleld's fa
mous dcc'slm rendered four years be
f r.- our Declara-lon of Independence,
"tl at tin state of slavery Is it such a
nature that it Is Incapable of being in
tioluced on any rjaon'ng. moral or
political, but only positive law. It 's so
odious that nothing can be suffered n
support it but positive liw," revealed
the moral sense and enlightened Judg
ment of the world. It rang through all
the colonies of Great Britain, and found
sententious expression In the words of
the Declaration of Independence, that
"all men are created equal, with cer
tain Inalienable rights, among which
are life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness." The compromises of 1820,
of 1850. and of Douglas, we e re igni
tions by positive law of an Institu
tion so odious that it was condemned
by every moral and political principle.
With each compromise It gained
strength and power, until It was near
ly prepared for a life and death struggle
with Liberty and Union. , '
The specious scheme of Douglas start
ed a race between the free and slavt
people to capture Kansas. Bold raid
ers from Missouri poured over the
border carrying murder and pillage
among the free state settlers. Gover
nor after governor was appointed and
dismissed by President Pierce and
Buchanan because they would not as
sist the slave-holding minority In driv
ing r.ut rf the te r t ry the vast ma
jority who were opposed to slavery.
Civil war with a'l its horrors raged on
the plains of KanvX and Henry Ward
Beecher. then a reVglous and political
force of unparalleled power, set the
north aflame by hotly informing the
domestic missions that what Kanras
and liberty wanted was not Bibles,
but rifles. The novel of Uncle Tom's
Cabin, written by his sister, Harriet
Beecher 8towe, and circulated and read
beyond any book ever published In the
9 a
AT THE . . . . ; :
country filled every household with '
tears and htrror. Intensifying the sen
timent against slavery more than th-
iress or the pulpit, or the mebblng and
murder of Abolitionists.
The slave power entrenched In the
White House and senate, the house of
representatives and the courts, con
trolling the machinery of the Demo
cratic and largely of the Wig parties,
and repeatedly and recently sustained
In the elections, felt confident that ex
treme measures for securing Kansas
could bo safely pushed. With the whole
strength of the administration behind
the conspirators, the Lecompton con
stitution fastening slavery on the hew
State was fraudulently adopted against
the protest, clearly ond emphatically
expressed, of four-fifths of the voters
and sent to congress for approval.
Douglas, alone, of the Democratic lead
ers, felt the force of the rising tide of
popular indignation and awakening
conscience. ' A 2a Inst the threats and
opposition of the president and the
southern senators he opposed the en
dorsement of the Lecompton consti
tution, broke from his party organiza
tion, and demanded that under every
safeguard for a fair election the con
stitution should be submitted to the
people Of Kansas. He stood boldly by
his principle of squatter sovereignty
and rallied the masses of the Demo
cratic party of the north.
While Douglas had satisfied the north
with the doctrine that the verdict of the
people upon their state government
should prevail, he appeased the south
with the understanding that the whole
question was subject to the decision of
the courts. The pro-slavery leaders
who never took a step In the dark knew
that a decision in an unnoticed case be
fore the supreme court court would be
decided In their favor. Douglas was
hailed by the northern wing of the
party as its Bavlor, and rode trium
phantly as the "Little Giant" upon the
wave of popular approval, when the
Died Scott decision demolished his
beautiful fabric of squatter sovereignty
and a less resourceful or weaker man
would have been buried in its ruins.
Dred Scott, a slave, had been carried
by his master Into the free state of Ill
inois, and also Into the territory where
slavery was prohibited by the ordin
ance of 1787.. The master was for years
a resident of these places. Dred Scott
married there and had two duughters.
Moving subsequently into Missouri
himself and family were relnslaved. He
claimed that If the master took his
slave Into a free state voluntarily and
made that his residence the slave be
came free by operation of law, and de
manded the release of himself and fam
ily. The English courts from Mans
field's time had so decided and such hud
been the uniform course of American
decisions, with the modification that
the owner had a right to transit
through a free state to another slave
state. The case had been for several
years In the courts without attractings
any attention. With ten thousand free
and two thousand slave state voters,
and the demand for Douglas for a fair
election on this question too formidable
to be resisted, Kansas seemed speedily
destined to Join the Union free, and the
"Little Giant" to be the hero of the
hour. Suddenly the country was amaz
ed and shocked by the opinion of Chief
Justice Taney, concurred In by the four
Judges from the slave states. Not only
were all previous decisions reversed
and Dred Scott, his wife, and two
daughters, condemned to Blavery, but
the court decided that property in
slaves wus recognized by the constitu
tion, that neither congress, nor the peo
ple of the territories had the power to
prohibit It, thnt the negro was excepted
from the Declaration of Independence,
wus property as sacred as any other
form of legal possession, and had no
rights which a white man was bound
to respect.
Such were the political conditions
when Douglas entered the list for re
election to the senate form Illinois.
President Buchanan and his adminis
tration and all the influence of the
Southern leaders were arrayed against
him. But the Democracy of Illinois
loyally supported him, and John J.
Crittenden, the leader of the Southern
Whigs, with H or a nee Greeley, the
leadr of the anti-slavery forces in the
North, and many other men of com
manding influence favored his election
on the ground that it would hopelessly
divide the Democratic party and force
Douglas to go with the anti-slavery
party. The contest became a national
Issue of the first Importance and an
overwhelming victory and triumphal
re-entry Into the senate seemed Bure
for Douglas. One man blocked the
way, and with such tremendous force
and superb ability that his effort con
solidated the free sentiment of the
country, abolished slavery and saved
the I'nion. That man was Abraham
Lincoln and Douglas were rivals in
youth for the hand of the lady who
married the former, and contestants
In after years for the United States
senate and presidency. Douglas had
been for more than a decade without
a peer on the platform In Illinois, and
Lincoln, after years of effort, had come
to be recognized as the only orator
who could be safely plted against him.
Douglas possessed national fame,
while Lincoln had only a state reputa
tion. I heard Horace Greeley, who
knew better than any one the Intel
lectual powers of the palltlclans of
his time, say that though many men
could excel Douglas In a single speech,
he had no equal in the country in a
debate prolonged for days or weeks.
He could misstate and then demolish
his adversary's position that It was
next to impossible to make clear to
an audience wherein lay the falsehood.
He had the faculty of extricating him
self from an apparently hopeless di
lemma with an audacity and adroit
ness which won the apolause of his
hearers. He Intuitively saw the weak
point of his opponent and rushed to
attack with resistless boldness and
energy. His unscruptilousness and
untruthfulness, which would have de
stroyed other speakers, made him the
most dangerous of debaters. When
he had the right on his side he mar
shalled the forces of truth with such
surprising skill and logical power that
J"..'rnd" Proudy named him the
Little Giant.
Lincoln had humor and pathos and
Douglas possessed neither. Lincoln's
faculty of being at once at home with
his audience in the easy familiarity
which makes them both friendly and
receptive was the genius of popular or
atory. But with these elements he had
a singularly lucid power of statement
and was master of logic. Unlike Dou
glas, he was weak unless l:e knew he
was right. His whole nature must be
stirred with the justice of his cause for
him to rise above the commonplace.
But ones convinced that ha was bat
tling for right and truth and he was
irresistible. He became logical, epi
grammatic and eloquent. Convincing
as was his speech to those who listened,
it was more powerful when read In
cold type.
Douglas was born In Vermont. Ho
had all the advanviges of Its splendid
school system, and Improved them by
an academic education. His boyhood
and youth were nurtured and taught'
by precept and example In a New Eng
land home-cherishing, church-going
and llberly-lovlng community. He
moved West to teach school, acquire
his profession, and begin his career
with no other hardships than those
which are essential In America to train
and Inure ambition for the success In
the battle of life. By birth. associations
and early influences he should have
been opposed to slavery, but he became
its most efficient defender, ally and
friend. He lacked moral nature and
Lincoln was born in a slave state. His
father, from repeated failures, had lost
courage and sunk Into the condition of
the poor white in ante-bellum tlaym.
He lived In a log cabin with a single
room, and his companions were the
rough, coarse and ignorant children of
the neighborhood. He grew to man
hood wearing the sktnn of animals
for his garments, gigantic in stature,
good-natured, story-telling, protecting
tho weak against the local bully, and
the pride of the settlement for his
strength, size, ready wit and uncouth
eloquence. The immoral, whiskey
drinking and blasphemous associations
of this formative period of his life
never tainted or tarnished his pure and
lofty bouI. His life and experience seem
a startling refutation of the doctrine of
man's total depravity In a state of na
ture. With his early environment,
great gifts and talent for leadership,
he was the Ideal type from which to se
lect a supporter of slavery. But the
Puritan ancestry whose strength and
Btrain had been lost In the Kentucky
wilderness of slave-owners and the In
diana forest of slave-holding sympa
thizers marvelously reproduced, in this
homely descendant, the traits which
carried the Pilgrims from Scroby to
Holland and from Holland to Ply mouth
Rock to worship God according to the
dictates of their own consciences on the
bleak shores of New England and found
a government of Just and equal laws.
Having sailed clown the Mississippi,
as a flatboatman, to New Orleans, Lin
coln was attracted one day to a sale In
the slave market. A young girl was put
up at auction, and after the usual ani
mal examination and inspection sold.
He turned from the scene with horror
and registered a mighty oath tnat
come what would he would do his best
to destroy an Institution under which
such crimes against humanity were
possible. He made little mark in the
legislature, but was gaining reputation
as a stump speaker. His service In
congress was distinguished by always
voting for the Wilmot proviso to pro
hibit Blavery In the territories acquired
from Mexico, opposing the Mexican
war, and Introduced a bill to abolish
slavery In the District of Columbia. He
spoke In many slates in the presidential
canvases of 1844, 1848 and lsr.2 for the
Wig party, but while his efforts were
popular, they were ordinary and pre
funetory. It required more than ques
tions of tariff, internal improvements
andi national banking to touch his big
heart and Inspire his great mind to
supreme effort. He never was at his
best unless his sympathies were fully
enlisted. , This long training on the
platform had given him the technical
skill for wonderful work when once his
soul and intellect were harmoniously
aroused for Justice and liberty.
Immediately upon the repeal of the
Missouri compromise In 181.4, Lincoln,
who had retired from politics, re-enter
ed the arena to form a party to fight
slavery strictly within the lines of the
Constitution. He saw from the weak
ness of the Abolitionists that this was
the only successful wuy of curbing its
extension and ultimately extinguishing
it. He was instrumental in calling a
state convention at Bloominston. Muy
29, 1856, of Free Soil Whigs, Democrats
opposed to the repeal of the Missouri
compromise, and Abolitionists. Lin
coln was the leader of the Free Soil
Whigs, Owen Lovejoy, of the Abolition
ists anil Gen. John M. Palmer, of the
Free Soil Democrats. The speech which
thrilled and consolidated the conven
tion was made by Lincoln. From It
sprang the Republican party of 1111
nois. This creative effort, which was
burned In the mind and memory of
every delegate, has long been known as
Lincoln's lost speech, because it wus
not reported. It has recently been re
produced after having been burled for
forty years In the notes of a young
lawyer who was present. It stirs the
blood now like a bugle call for battle.
"We have seen this day," he said, "that
every shade of popular opinion is ren-
resented here, with freedom or rather
free soil as the basis. We came to
protest against a great wrong, und to
take measures to make that wrong
rignt, ana the plain way to do this Is
to restore the Missouri com prom Ise.and
to demand and determine that Kansas
shall be free. Thomas Jefferson, a
slaveholder, mindful of the moral ele
ment In slavery, solemnly declared, "I
tremble for my country when I remem
ber that God Is Just;' while Judge
Douglas, with an insignificant move of
his hand, don t care whether slavery is
voted up or down.' The battle of free
dom is to be fought out on principle.
Slavery Is a violation of eternal right.
We have temporized with It from the
necessities of our condition, but as sure
as Ood reigns and school children read,
that black, foul lie can never be conse
crated in God's hallowed truth. The
conculsion of all this is that we must
restore the Missouri compromise. We
must reaffirm the Declaration of Inde
pendence; we must make eood In es
sence as well as In form Madison's
avowal that the word slave ourht not
to appear in the constitution. We must
make this a land of liberty In fact as it
is in name. But in seeking to attain
these results so Indispensable If the
liberty which our pride and boast shall
endure, we will be loyal to the consti
tution and to the flag of the Union, and
no matter what our grievance and no
matter what theirs, we will say to the
southern disunionists, 'We will not go
out of the Union and you shall not.' "
In the Fremont campaign Mr. Lin
coln, at the head of the electoral ticket
In Illinois, made a canvass so thorough
and brilliant as to establish his leader
ship of the Republican party In the
state, and Douglas making repeated
visits home ard on each occasion de
livered a charaeterlstc speech which
was soon answered by Lincoln. Now
the time had come when he must be
returned to the senate or retired to
private life. The situation was In
tensely dramatic, and claimed the at
tention of the. country. Douglas was
feared by all the famous, debaters In
the state. His defiance of Buchanan
and fight against the Lecompton Con
stitution had mude him the Northern
Democratic leader and won for him the
admiration and support of the multi
tudes of anti-slavery people. He had
brought the comparatively new state of
Illinois to the front rank .In the Na
tional legislature, and the state was
very proud of him. The persecution of
the administration secured him a hun
dred friends for every postmaster dis
missed. He controlled the machinery
of a successful party, and had the
prestige and power of nn aggresBlve
and triumphant organization behind
him. Lincoln keenly felt the limitation
of local reputation, the responsibility
of his position In a national crisis, and
the lack of party confidence In the
East In his ability for the task. Doug
las could both defend positions then
generally conceded to be right, and at
tack principles which were new and
alarming in practical politics. When
hard pressed he could retreat behind
time-honored prejudices and revered
and moss-covered traditions. Lincoln
must always be, In open. He had t
attack, pull down and build up. He
had the most difficult task for an ora
tor to separate wrong from right when
they have been so entwined for gen
erations that to attempt to destroy tho
one and save the other seems to the
timid a surgical operation which may
be a splendid exhibition of skill, but
death to the pntlent.
The cotton-growing South was the
home market for the food products
and manufacturers of the North. The
money power and business and social
Influences of the North were fearful
of offending the slave owners. Por
tions of the press ond pulpit of the
North were in harmony with that
unanimous advocacy of the right and
Justice of slavery by the press and pul
pit of the South, which educated a
generation of Southern statesmen to
stake their lives and fortunes for, to
them, a sacred cause. There was a
superstitious reverence for the Consti
tution and drend of the dissolution of
the Union as Infinitely worse than sur
render to slavery. Four thousand mil
lions of dollars Invested In human be
ings In the South, and a large portion
of the capital of the North engaged In
business connected with the slave-holding
states, so blinded honest. Intelli
gent and well-meaning people that to
them God and mammon were one.
No more important council ever gath
ered thun the conclave of friends sum
moned to Springfield by Lincoln that
he might read to them his opening
speech. The keynote of it was the
famous declaration, "A house divided
against Itself canont stand. I be
lieve this government cannot endure
permanently half slave and half free."
"I do not expect the I'nion to be dis
solved I do not expect the house to
fall but I do expect It will cease to be
divided. It will become all one thing
or all the other. Either the opponents
of slavery will arrest the farther spread
of it, and place It where the public
mind shall rest in the belief that it Is
In due course of ultimate extinction; or
Its advocates will push It forward un
til It shall become alike lawful In all
the states old as well as new, -North
as well as South." The shrewd poli
ticians about him unanimously op
posed his making this statement. They
said Douglas would seize upon and
use it to arouse the Union sentiment
in his favor, and frighten the timid
from Lincoln by claming It to threaten
a dissolution of the Union. Lincoln's
answer was the first revelation to his
advisers and the country of that basic
moral element In his nature which ul
timately found its full expression in
the proclamation of emancipation. He
said: "I would rather be defeatd with
these expressions in my speech held
up and discussed before the people
than be victorious without them." He
gardless of personal consequences or
the danger signals of the hour, he lost
the senatorshlp and gained the presi
dency by illustrating in both speech
and action his abiding faith that God
reigns. He intensely believed that
false teachings, inherited prejudices.
party loyalty, and material Interests
might encrust the national consclenoe,
but that this could be broken by the
sledge hammer of truth. He knew that
to temporize with error Is to strengthen
Its hold. His prophetic wisdom, far
sighted statesmanship and unques
tioning trust in the final judgment of
those whom he delighted to call the
plain people were conspicuously con
rmed when two millions of citizens an
swered his call and left homes and
family and business to give their lives
for the Union and the flag.
It was always the device of party
managers who are corruptly using
their power to charge that the re
formers who would purify the organ
rzatlon will destroy it. This simply
means that they will either rule or
ruin; but the threat deceives mult!
tudes, who cannot see that attacking
false leaders Is not assailing the party.
Tens of thousands of well-meaning
men believed that to assail slavery was
to endanger the Union. They could
not understand that, while the slave
holders were shouting patriotically to
the antl-sluvery forces, "If you do not
stop this agitation you will dissolve
the Union, they meant 'if you do not
leave slavery where It is and permit
Its extension where it Is not, we will
break up the republic." It was Lin
coin's task to make this clear, and
pluce the responsibility for secession
upon those who seceded and for re
bellion upon those who rebelled, and
he did it with unequaled eloquence
and power.
Douglas knew the taste and temper
of the prevailing opinion, and played
upon it with consummate skill. He tie
dared the doctrine of a "house divided
against Itself was a declaration of re
lentless sectional war." He presented
with tremendous force the I'nion dis
solved by this crusade, the people and
their Institutions buried in common
ruin, and peace, prosperity and perpet
uity with the Union saved by his win
ciple of popular sovereignty, enabling
the people of the territories to settle
the slavery question for themselves.
He inllnmed popular prejudice by de
claring that phrase "all men are creat
ed equal In the Declaration of Inde
pendence did not refer to negroes, and
if Lincoln s contention that It did pre
vail, then there would he universal
negro equality. One of the most ef
fective devices of the campaign was the
wagons loaded with the lovely girls
from prarie homes plaintively pro
claiming by their banners that they
would not marry niggers. Lincoln s
answer was memorable and philosoph
Ic. Its calm assertion of a principle
rose fur above the catch-penny artifice
of sophistical jugglery. He said: "I
do not understand the Declaration of
Independence to mean that all men nre
created equal in all respects. They are
not equal in color. Hut I believe that
It does mean to declare that all men are
equal in their light to life, liberty, and
the pursuit or happiness.
As the great debate proceeded the
whole country became the audience.
The discussion rapldlyVnouldlng pub
lic opinion, promoting patriotism and
dissolving parties. The people were
eager students In a national university,
with the two most pmlnent teachers of
their time preparing them for the im
pending crisis. Lincoln's views grew
broader and hlfrher. He again sum
moned his friends and admirers. He
submitted to them whether he should
ask and compel Douglas to answer the
question whether, notwithstanding
the Dred Scott decision had declared
that Blavery was lawful in the territor
ies under the constitution, "the people
of a territory could In any lawful way
exclude Blavery from Its limits prior to
the formation of a state constitution?"
This nakedly presented the deadly an
tagonism between the Dred Scott de
cision and the "popular sovereignty"
of Douglas. Lincoln's friends unani
mously advised against it. They knew
his answer would be that the decision
of the supreme court could not enforce
itself, and. therefore regardless of It
the people of the territories, by un
friendly legislation and police regula
tions, could exclude slavery. They said
this would satisfy Illinois and re-elect
Douglas senator. Lincoln's answer
was again lofty and memorable: "I
am after loftier game. If Douglas so
answers he can never be president, and
the battle of 1860 is worth a hundred of
this." Douglas answered as anticipat
ed. The answer defeated Lincoln and
made Douglas senator, but it split the
Democratic party two years later and
drove it from Dower. It defeated
Douglas for the presidency and carried
Lincoln Into the White House.
1'pon this platform, and on this very
spot thirty-eight years ago today stood
these Intellectual athletes. Neither
they, nor the vast audience which en
joyea their thrusts and parries, cheered
their -effective blows, and were en
tranced by their eloquence, knew how
rapidly they were making history; how
ably they were preparing the most im
portant chapter in the story of the
nineteenth century. It was the battle
eternally going on, "Often lost, but ever
won." between principle and expedi
ency. Lincoln was tall, gaunt, awk
ward and homely, with a high, pene
trating voice which reached easily the
utmost limits of the crcf.d. Douglas
was Bhort, corpulent and dignified, with
the grace and courtesy of senatorial
custom and association, and spoke with
deep tones and slow enunciation, as if
every word was weighted with an Im
portant argument. Douglas was the
more adroit debater. Lincoln the more
cogent rcasoner. Douglas could cap
ture the crowd by those courtesies to
his opponent behind which he misrep
resented his position, while Lincoln, un
trained to compliment, grew resentful
and harsh at these falsifications. Lin
coln could lift his audience by a pas
sionate appeal to their better nature for
the slave, for Justice and for liberty.
Douglas was always the fighter and
debater. Lincoln consciously and
Douglas unconsciously were preparing
the people of the free states for the
sacrifices of civil war and the preserva
tion of the national life. It Is to the
eternal honor and glory of Douglas that
when the war broke out the partisan
became a patriot and gave to his life
long antagonist, President Lincoln, his
unqualified Bupport.
For the questions they debated here
hundreds of thousands of our country
men died upon the field of battle. The
South fought as Americans can fight
for what they believed to be right, and
the North fought as Americana can
fight for what time has demonstrated
was right. The vow registered by Lin
coln, the rough flatboatman of nine
teen, at the slave mart In New Orleans,
was fulfilled by Lincoln, president of
the United States, in the proclamation
which freed the slaves and made the
sentence for freedom In the Declara
tion of Independence both a seotlment
and a fact. Two millions of volunteer
soldiers helped him enforce his mes
sage to the disunionists in his first
speech at the commencement of his
debate, "We will not go out of the Un
ion and you shall not."
The famous controversy over the
"House divided against ltself,"nowhere
discussed more bitterly than here on
this platform, ended at Appomattox.
The house did not fall, but It did be
come "all free." The new South, the
peopled West, the enriched East, and
the prosperous North can calmly re
view the issues which so radically div
ided them in the past and reverently
thank God that in the final conflict and
its settlement the leader of the forces of
union and liberty was the great-hearted,
broad-souled, wise-brained man of
love and charity, Abraham Lincoln,
Malcolm Lots.
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Orders received at tho Office, first floor.
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For Ssle by MATTHEWS BROS., Drog
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i to
tnm Uto.
1st Day.
JL Made a
XrJWel1 Man
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