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Fri Jul 19 2019, 11:36AM

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Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 10:46AM
Posts: 3462
"Lincoln's Notes for Speech at Chicago, February 28, 1857,"​

Notes for Speech at Chicago, Illinois

With the future of this party, the approaching city election will have something to do—not, indeed, to the extent of making or breaking it, but still to help or to hurt it.

Last year the city election here was lost by our friends; and none can safely say, but that fact lost us the electoral ticket at the State election.

Although Chicago recovered herself in the fall, there was no general confidence that she could do so; and the Spring election encouraged our enemies, and haunted and depressed our friends to the last.

Let it not be so again.

Let minor differences, and personal preferences, if there be such; go to the winds.
Let it be seen by the result, that the cause of free-men and free-labor is stronger in Chicago that day, than ever before.

Let the news go forth to our thirteen hundred thousand bretheren, to gladden, and to multiply them; and to insure and accelerate that consummation, upon which the happy destiny of all men, everywhere, depends.

We were without party history, party pride, or party idols.

We were a collection of individuals, but recently in political hostility, one to another; and thus subject to all that distrust, and suspicion, and jealously could do.

Every where in the ranks of the common enemy, were old party and personal friends, jibing, and jeering, and framing deceitful arguments against us.

We were scarcely met at all on the real issue.

Thousands avowed our principles, but turned from us, professing to believe we meant more than we said.

No argument, which was true in fact, made any head-way against us. This we know.
We constantly charged with seeking an amalgamation of the white and black races; and thousands turned from us, not believing the charge (no one believed it) but fearing to face it themselves.

Fragment on Formation of the Republican Party

Upon those men who are, in sentiment, opposed to the spread, and nationalization of slavery, rests the task of preventing it. The Republican organization is the embodiment of that sentiment; though, as yet, it by no means embraces al the individuals holding that sentiment. The party is newly formed; and in forming, old party ties had to be broken, ad the attractions of party pride, and influential leaders were wholly wanting. In spite of old differences, prejudices, and animosities, it’s members were drawn together by a paramount common danger. They formed and maneuvered in the face of the deciplined enemy, and in the teeth of all his persistent misrepresentations. Of course, they fell far short of gathering in all of their own. And yet, a year ago, they stood up, an army over thirteen hundred thousand strong. That army is, to-day, the best hope of the nation, and of the world. Their work is before them; and form which they may not guiltlessly turn away.

"Lincoln's Notes for Speech at Chicago, February 28, 1857," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/620.
It does not appear that Lincoln actually knew what he was talking about since the Corwin Amendment was passed March 2, 1861. I am not saying that Lincoln could foresee the future, but the passage of this amendment went against his views. This amendment would have made slavery a permanent institution in the United States. It says in part --No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State. Two days after passage in Congress Lincoln was sworn in, in April 1861 Lincoln started the war in Charleston Harbor. Because of the outbreak of war the Corwin Amendment was never ratified by the states.
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Fri Jul 19 2019, 11:41AM

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Posts: 3462
"Letter from Abraham Lincoln to James Lemen,"​

Springfield, Illinois, March 2, 1857

Friend Lemen: Thanking you for your warm appreciation of my view in a former letter as to the importance in many features of your collection of old family notes and papers, I will add a few words more as to Elijah P. Lovejoy’s case. His letters among your old family notes were of more interest to me than even those of Thomas Jefferson, written to your father. Of course they were exceedingly important as a part of the history of the “Jefferson-Lemen Anti-Slavery Pact,” under which your father, Rev. James Lemen, Sr., as Jefferson’s anti-slavery agent in Illinois, founded his anti-slavery churches, among which was the present Bethel church, which set in motion the forces which finally made Illinois a free state, all of which was splendid; but Lovejoy’s tragic death for freedom in every sense marked his sad ending as the most important single event that ever happened in the new world.

Both your father and Lovejoy were pioneer leaders in the cause of freedom, and it has always been difficult for me to see why your father, who was a resolute, uncompromising, and aggressive leader, who boldly proclaimed his purpose to make both the territory and the State free, never aroused nor encountered any of that mob violence which both in St. Louis and Alton confronted or pursued Lovejoy, and finally doomed him to a felon’s death and a martyr’s crown, Perhaps the two cases are a little parallel with those of John and Peter. John was bold and fearless at the scene of the Crucifixion, standing near the cross receiving the Savior’s request to care for his mother, but was not annoyed; while Peter, whose disposition [was] to shrink from public vie, seemed to catch the attention of members of the mob on every hand, until finally to throw public attention off, he denied his master with an oath; though later the grand old apostle redeemed himself grandly, and like Lovejoy, died a martyr to his faith. Of course, there was no similarity between Peter’s treachery at the Temple and Lovejoy’s splendid courage when the pitiless mob were closing around him. But in the cases of the two apostles at the scene mentioned, John was more prominent or loyal in his presence and attention to the Great master than Peter was, but the latter seemed to catch the attention of the mob; and as Lovejoy, one of the most inoffensive of men, for merely printing a small paper, devoted to the freedom of the body and mind of man, was pursued to his death; while his older comrade in the cause of freedom, Rev. James Lemen, Sr., who boldly and aggressively proclaimed his purpose to make both the territory and the State free, was never molested a moment by the minions of violence. The madness and pitiless determination with which the mob steadily pursued Lovejoy to his doom, marks it as one of the most unreasoning and unreasonable in all time, except that which doomed the Savior to the cross.

If ever you should come to Springfield again, do not fail to call. The memory of our many “evening sittings” here and elsewhere, as we called them, suggests many a pleasant hour, both pleasant and helpful.

"Letter from Abraham Lincoln to James Lemen," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/109.

See also ------ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Lemen--- I know wiki is not the best source, but this is really interesting--- In Appendix II of "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln" this letter is listed as a forgery.
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Fri Jul 19 2019, 11:48AM

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Posts: 3462
"Letter from Abraham Lincoln to B Clarke Lundy, August 5, 1857,"

Dear Sir: Springfield, Aug. 5. 1857

Some time ago you wrote me expressing the opinion that something should be done now, to secure the next Legislature. You were perfectly right; and I now suggest that, from the poll-books in the county clerk's office, you have made alphabetical lists of all the voters in each precinct, or Township (I believe you have Township organization) the lists to be in separate letter books, and to be corrected, by striking off such as may have died or removed, and adding such as will be entitled to vote at the next election. This will not be a heavy job, and you see how, like a map, it lays the whole field before you. You know, at once, how, and with whom to work. You will have no trouble to carry your county of Putnam; but you are (as I remember) part of the Peoria Senatorial District, and that is close and questionable, so that you need every vote you can get in Putnam[.] Let all be so quiet that the adve[r]sary shall not be notified.

Yours truly A. LINCOLN

"Letter from Abraham Lincoln to B Clarke Lundy, August 5, 1857," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/1349.

Purging the voter rolls? Remember everytime the Republicans want to to clean up the voter rolls the Demcrats scream foul, racism. Oh and notice how sneaky Lincoln is?
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Fri Jul 19 2019, 11:53AM

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"Abraham Lincoln to John L. Scripps, June 23, 1858,"​

Jno. L. Scripps, Esq Springfield,
My dear Sir June 23, 1858

Your kind note of yesterday is duly received. I am much flattered by the estimate you place on my late speech; and yet I am much mortified that any part of it should be construed so differently from any thing intended by me. The language, ``place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction,'' I used deliberately, not dreaming then, nor believing now, that it asserts, or intimates, any power or purpose, to interfere with slavery in the States where it exists. But, to not cavil about language, I declare that whether the clause used by me, will bear such construction or not, I never so intended it. I have declared a thousand times, and now repeat that, in my opinion, neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists. I believe that whenever the effort to spread slavery into the new teritories, by whatever means, and into the free states themselves, by Supreme court decisions, shall be fairly headed off, the institution will then be in course of ultimate extinction; and by the language used I meant only this.

I do not intend this for publication; but still you may show it to any one you think fit. I think I shall, as you suggest, take some early occasion to publicly repeat the declaration I have already so often made as before stated.

Yours very truly A. LINCOLN

"Abraham Lincoln to John L. Scripps, June 23, 1858," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/27450.

Again Lincoln says the governemnt has no power to interfere with the institution of slavery.
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Fri Jul 19 2019, 12:01PM

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"Abraham Lincoln, First Debate with Stephen Douglas, Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858,"

When a man hears himself somewhat misrepresented, it provokes him-at least, I find it so with myself; but when misrepresentation becomes very gross and palpable, it is more apt to amuse him. The first thing I see fit to notice, is the fact that Judge Douglas alleges, after running through the history of the old Democratic and the old Whig parties, that Judge Trumbull and myself made an arrangement in 1854, by which I was to have the place of Gen. Shields in the United States Senate, and Judge Trumbull was to have the place of Judge Douglas. Now, all I have to say upon that subject is, that I think no man-not even Judge Douglas-can prove it, because it is not true. [Cheers.]

I have no doubt he is "conscientious" in saying it. [Laughter.] As to those resolutions that he took such a length of time to read, as being the platform of the Republican party in 1854, I say I never had anything to do with them, and I think Trumbull never had. [Renewed laughter.] Judge Douglas cannot show that either of us ever did have anything to do with them. I believe this is true about those resolutions: There was a call for a Convention to form a Republican party at Springfield, and I think that my friend, Mr. Lovejoy, who is here upon this stand, had a hand in it. I think this is true, and I think if he will remember accurately, he will be able to recollect that he tried to get me into it, and I would not go in. [Cheers and laughter.]

I believe it is also true that I went away from Springfield when the Convention was in session, to attend court in Tazewell county. It is true they did place my name, though without authority, upon the committee, and afterward wrote me to attend the meeting of the committee, but I refused to do so, and I never had anything to do with that organization. This is the plain truth about all that matter of the resolutions.

Now, about this story that Judge Douglas tells of Trumbull bargaining to sell out the old Democratic party, and Lincoln agreeing to sell out the old Whig party, I have the means of knowing about that; Judge Douglas cannot have; and I know there is no substance to it whatever. Yet I have no doubt he is "conscientious" about it. I know that after Mr. Lovejoy got into the Legislature that winter, he complained of me that I had told all the old Whigs of his district that the old Whig party was good enough for them, and some of them voted against him because I told them so. Now, I have no means of totally disproving such charges as this which the Judge makes. A man cannot prove a negative, but he has a right to claim that when a man makes an affirmative charge, he must offer some proof to show the truth of what he says. I certainly cannot introduce testimony to show the negative about things, but I have a right to claim that if a man says he knows a thing, then he must show how he knows it. I always have a right to claim this, and it is not satisfactory to me that he may be "conscientious" on the subject. [Cheers and Laughter.]

Now, gentlemen, I hate to waste my time on such things, but in regard to that general Abolition tilt that Judge Douglas makes, when he says that I was engaged at that time in selling out and abolitionizing the old Whig party-I hope you will permit me to read a part of a printed speech that I made then at Peoria, which will show altogether a different view of the position I took in that contest of 1854.

VOICE-"Put on your specs."

MR. LINCOLN-Yes, sir, I am obliged to do so. I am no longer a young man. [Laughter.]
"This is the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. The foregoing history may not be precisely accurate in every particular; but I am sure it is sufficiently so for all the uses I shall attempt to make of it, and in it we have before us, the chief materials enabling us to correctly judge whether the repeal of the Missouri Compromise is right or wrong.

"I think, and shall try to show, that it is wrong; wrong in its direct effect, letting slavery into Kansas and Nebraska-and wrong in its prospective principle, allowing it to spread to every other part of the wide world, where men can be found inclined to take it.

"This declared indifference, but, as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of slavery, I cannot but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world-enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites-causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty-criticizing the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.
"Before proceeding, let me say I think I have no prejudice against the Southern people. They are just what we would be in their situation. If slavery did not now exist among them, they would not introduce it. If it did now exist amongst us, we should not instantly give it up. This I believe of the masses North and South. Doubtless there are individuals on both sides, who would not hold slaves under any circumstances; and others who would gladly introduce slavery anew, if it were out of existence. We know that some Southern men do free their slaves, go North, and become tiptop Abolitionists; while some Northern ones go South, and become most cruel slave-masters.
"When Southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists, and that it is very difficult to get rid of it, in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia,-to their own native land. But a moment's reflection would convince me, that whatever of high hope, (as I think there is) there may be in this, in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible. If they were all landed there in a day, they would all perish in the next ten days; and there are not surplus shipping and surplus money enough in the world to carry them there in many times ten days. What then? Free them all, and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I think I would not hold one in slavery at any rate; yet the point is not clear enough to me to denounce people upon. What next? Free them, and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not. Whether this feeling accords with justice and sound judgment, is not the sole question, if, indeed, it is any part of it. A universal feeling, whether well or ill-founded, cannot be safely disregarded. We cannot, then, make them equals. It does seem to me that systems of gradual emancipation might be adopted; but for their tardiness in this, I will not undertake to judge our brethren of the South.

"When they remind us of their constitutional rights, I acknowledge them, not grudgingly, but fully and fairly; and I would give them any legislation for the reclaiming of their fugitives, which should not, in its stringency, be more likely to carry a free man into slavery, than our ordinary criminal laws are to hang an innocent one.

"But all this, to my judgment, furnishes no more excuse for permitting slavery to go into our own free territory, than it would for reviving the African slave-trade by law. The law which forbids the bringing of slaves from Africa, and that which has so long forbid the taking of them to Nebraska, can hardly be distinguished on any moral principle; and the repeal of the former could find quite as plausible excuses as that of the latter."

I have reason to know that Judge Douglas knows that I said this. I think he has the answer here to one of the questions he put to me. I do not mean to allow him to catechise me unless he pays back for it in kind. I will not answer questions one after another, unless he reciprocates; but as he has made this inquiry, and I have answered it before, he has got it without my getting anything in return. He has got my answer on the Fugitive Slave law.

Now, gentlemen, I don't want to read at any greater length, but this is the true complexion of all I have ever said in regard to the institution of slavery and the black race. This is the whole of it, and anything that argues me into his idea of perfect social and political equality with the negro, is but a specious and fantastic arrangement of words, by which a man can prove a horse-chestnut to be a chestnut horse. [Laughter.]

I will say here, while upon this subject, that I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary, but I hold that, notwithstanding all this, there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. [Loud cheers.]

I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects-certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man. [Great applause.]

"Abraham Lincoln, First Debate with Stephen Douglas, Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/40410.
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Fri Jul 19 2019, 12:08PM

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"Quincy (IL) Whig, "Lincoln and Douglas,"​ August 25, 1858,"​

Lincoln and Douglas.

The Chicago papers contain a full report of the debate between Mssrs. LINCOLN and DOUGLAS on Saturday last. If ever a man was completely skinned-skinned from the roots of his hair to the point of his toes-Judge Douglas was on this occasion. If ever a man showed himself to be a liar, a knave, and a blackguard-an unblushing liar, a consummate knave, and a low flung blackguard-Judge Douglas did on Saturday last.

The contrast between the speeches of Lincoln and Douglas is most remarkable, and at the same time most gratifying to every Republican. Throughout, Mr. Lincoln preserved his usual courteous, affable, gentlemanly manner- sending home every argument with telling force and unerring certainty. Douglas, on the contrary, lost his temper, and talked a bar-room bully.

Among other lies uttered by him upon the occasion, was the assertion that the following resolution was adopted by the Republican State Convention at Springfield, in October, 1854:

2. Resolved ,That the times imperatively demand the re-organization of parties, and repudiating all previous party attachments, names and predilections, we unite ourselves together in defence of the liberty and constitution of the country, and will hereafter co-operate as the Republican party, pledged to the accomplishment of the following purposes: To bring the administration of the government back to the control of first principles; to restore Kansas and Nebraska to the position of free territories; that, as the Constitution of the United States vest in the States, and not in Congres, the power to legislate for the extradition of fugitives from labor, to repeal and entirely abrogate the fugitive slave law; to restrict slavery to those States in which it restrict slavery to those States in which it exists; to prohibit the admission of any more slave States into the Union; to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia; to exclude slavery from all the territories over which the government has exclusive jurisdiction; and to resist the acquirement of any more territories unless the practice of slavery therein forever, shall have been prohibibted.

"Quincy (IL) Whig, "Lincoln and Douglas," August 25, 1858," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/1998.
Lincoln caught in a lie? You tell me.
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Tue Aug 06 2019, 01:23PM

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"Joseph Medill to Abraham Lincoln, August 27, 1858,"​
Published on July 29, 2019


Friday Morning

Friend Lincoln

Last Evening Judd, Peck, Sweet, Hurlburt, Kriesman and myself had a consultation in regard to the debate of today. Perhaps Judd and Peck got to see you last night on their way to Springfield and perhaps not.

The conclusions come to were --

1st To answer Dug's new slave, states, Repeal of Fugitive Law, and acquisition of Slave territory belonging to other countries, briefly and quickly, yes to the first: go for amendments to the second, and oppose the purchase or conquest of Cuba for the purpose of making more slave holding, Spanish Mongrel Catholic States, as Cuba is the only territory on the American Continent to which the question can apply. And as to the abolition of slavery in Dis. Columbia treat it precisely as you did at Augusta but speak of the National shame and scandal lof having bond men and women in the Federal capital before the Representatives of the whole world.

Put a few ugly questions at Douglas, as --
-- Do you care whether slavery be voted up or down.

-- Will you stand by the adjustment of the Kansas question on the basis of the English bill compromise.

-- Having given your acquiescence and sanction to the Dred Scott decision that destroys popular sovereignty in the Territories will you acquiesce in the other half of that decision when it comes to be applied to the states, by the same court?

What becomes of your vaunted popular Soveignty in Territories since the Dred Scott decision?
W -- Ak him

Do you claim to have discovered or invented the principle of self Government? If not, why are you gabbling about it?

Put your questions in as sharp pointed and offensive a form as possible, and note down his replies, for your rejoinder.

Dont let the foregoing occupy over half an hour. Employ your best hour in pitching into Dug. Make your assertions dogmatically and unqualifiedly. Be saucy with the "Catiline" and permit no browbeating -- in other words give him h - - l.

Show that 5 years ago all was peace -- that agitation had almost ceased on the [censored] question, that all our West territories were free, some by the Ordinance of '87: others by the Compromise of 1820, and the rest by the Mexican Law, and the election of Clay and Webster and Cass that slavery could only live by presitive law that without a living soul north or south asking for it he went to work and tore up the Compromise which himself had declared "akin to the Constitution" and "ruthless hand andc" and gave as an excuse that it was done to enlarge popular rights in the territories, called popular sovrignty. Then came the Dred Scott decision establishing Slavery by the Constitution in all territories, and destroying the principle of self government in the territories. Show as you did in Augusta that the people have less power now than before the Repeal

. Charge that he was playing for the Presidency, doing the dirty work of the oligarcy: that they cast him off and took Buck [Buchanan], that then out of revenge he turned upon his own tracks and smote the president and opposed his administration. Having put over his pet he is again doing the nasty treasonable work of the slave holders, betraying and humbugging Illinois, that he may stand a chance at Charleston in 1860.

Give him fits about his insolence about "my place in the Senate."
Dont act on the defensive at all. Dont refer to your past speeches or positions, -- but reserve that for farther south, but hold Dug up as a traitor and conspirator a proslavery, bamboozelling demagogue And wind up your last half hour after noting his replies with a peroration to the Declaration of Independence such as your Lewistown speech.

J. Medill

Above all things be bold, defiant and dogmatic. Give measure for measure and a great triumph awaits you.

[ Enclosure by Joseph Medill:]

(1) Friend Lincoln

Dont forget to draw a strong picture of the tenacity with which Dug clings to the decission that deprives the people of the right of Self Government.

Make short work of his [censored] equality charges by telling him that he dont believe what he says, that the people dont believe it, that you dont believe it, and that it is humbug, slang and trash, uttered to deceive the ignorant and swindle foolish men out of their votes.

Remember, that you have good backing to day, and the sauc more saucy the better you are the better. For once leave modesty aside. You are dealing with a bold, brazen, lying rascal and you must " fight the devil with fire."

Give Dug a rip on his forging a state platform on you. He spent an hour at Galena trying to roll the blame of Charly Lamphere. Let him Consume his time chewing on the same cud.

Dug claimed that the Republican members of the Legislature of 54-55 voted for no more slave states -- resolutions, Trumbull told Dug in the Senate that that was not the action of the party in the State which was not formed until May 28, 1856 at Bloomington, and no state platform has taken that position, because it would be a more offensive useless obstruction, Keep the territories clear and there will never be any more slave states, which is the same result, done by a proper method.

How to Cite This Page: "Joseph Medill to Abraham Lincoln, August 27, 1858," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/27449.


*Joseph Medill

Former Mayor of Chicago
Joseph Medill was a Canadian-American newspaper editor, publisher, and Republican Party politician. He was co-owner and managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, and he was Mayor of Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Seems like Lincoln had no problem taking advice from a racist!!!!

[ Edited Tue Aug 06 2019, 01:28PM ]
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Tue Aug 06 2019, 08:27PM

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"Abraham Lincoln, Second Debate with Stephen Douglas, Freeport, Illinois, August 27, 1858,"​
Published on July 30, 2019

Second Debate with Stephen Douglas, Freeport, Illinois, August 27, 1858

Mr. Lincoln was introduced by Hon. Thomas J. Turner, and was greeted with loud cheers. When the applause had subsided, he said:

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN - On Saturday last, Judge Douglas and myself first met in public discussion. He spoke one hour, I an hour and a half, and he replied for half an hour. The order is now reversed. I am to speak an hour, he an hour and a half, and then I am to reply for half an hour. I propose to devote myself during the first hour to the scope of what was brought within the range of his half-hour speech at Ottawa. Of course there was brought within the scope in that half-hour's speech something of his own opening speech. In the course of that opening argument Judge Douglas proposed to me seven distinct interrogatories. In my speech of an hour and a half, I attended to some other parts of his speech, and incidentally, as I thought, answered one of the interrogatories then. I then distinctly intimated to him that I would answer the rest of his interrogatories on condition only that he should agree to answer as many for me. He made no intimation at the time of the proposition, nor did he in his reply allude at all to that suggestion of mine. I do him no injustice in saying that he occupied at least half of his reply in dealing with me as though I had refused to answer his interrogatories. I now propose that I will answer any of the interrogatories, upon condition that he will answer questions from me not exceeding the same number. I give him an opportunity to respond. The Judge remains silent. I now say that I will answer his interrogatories, whether he answers mine or not; [applause] and that after I have done so, I shall propound mine to him. [Applause.]

[Owing to the press of people against the platform, our reporter did not reach the stand until Mr. Lincoln had spoken to this point. The previous remakrs were taken by a gentleman in Freeport, who has politely furnished them to us.]

I have supposed myself, since the organization of the Republican party at Bloomington, in May, 1856, bound as a party man by the platforms of the party, then and since. If in any interrogatories which I shall answer I go beyond the scope of what is within these platforms, it will be perceived that no one is responsible but myself.

Having said thus much, I will take up the Judge's interrogatories as I find them printed in the Chicago Times, and answer them seriatim. In order that there may be no mistake about it, I have copied the interrogatories in writing, and also my answers to them. The first one of these interrogatories is in these words:

Question 1. "I desire to know whether Lincoln to-day stands, as he did in 1854, in favor of the unconditional repeal of the Fugitive Slave law?"
Answer. I do not now, nor ever did, stand in favor of the unconditional repeal of the Fugitive Slave law.
[Cries of "Good," "Good."]

Q. 2. "I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to-day, as he did in 1854, against the admission of any more slave States into the Union, even if the people want them?"
A. I do not now, or ever did, stand pledged against the admission of any more slave States into the Union.

Q. 3. "1 want to know whether he stands pledged against the admission of a new State into the Union with such a Constitution as the people of that State may see fit to make?"
A. I do not stand pledged against the admission of a new State into the Union, with such a Constitution as the people of that State may see fit to make. [Cries of "good," "good."]

Q. 4. "I want to know whether he stands to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia?"
A. I do not stand to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.

Q. 5. "I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to the prohibition of the slave-trade between the different States?"
A. I do not stand pledged to the prohibition of the slave-trade between the different States.

Q. 6. "I desire to know whether he stands pledged to prohibit slavery in all the Territories of the United States, North as well as South of the Missouri Compromise line?"
A. I am impliedly, if not expressly, pledged to a belief in the right and duty of Congress to prohibit slavery in all the United States Territories.

Q. 7. "I desire him to answer whether he is opposed to the acquisition of any new territory unless slavery is first prohibited therein?"
A. I am not generally opposed to honest acquisition of territory; and, in any given case, I would or would not oppose such acquisition, accordingly as I might think such acquisition would or would not agravate [sic] the slavery question among ourselves. [Cries of good, good.]

Now, my friends, it will be perceived upon an examination of these questions and answers, that so far I have only answered that I was not pledged to this, that or the other. The Judge has not framed his interrogatories to ask me anything more than this, and I have answered in strict accordance with the interrogatories, and have answered truly that I am not pledged at all upon any of the points to which I have answered. But I am not disposed to hang upon the exact form of his interrogatory. I am rather disposed to take up at least some of these questions, and state what I really think upon them.

As to the first one, in regard to the Fugitive Slave law, I have never hesitated to say, and I do not now hesitate to say, that I think, under the Constitution of the United States, the people of the Southern States are entitled to a Congressional Fugitive Slave law. Having said that, I have had nothing to say in regard to the existing Fugitive Slave law, further than that I think it should have been framed so as to be free from some of the objections that pertain to it, without lessening its efficiency. And inasmuch as we are not now in an agitation in regard to an alteration or modification of that law, I would not be the man to introduce it as a new subject of agitation upon the general question of slavery.

In regard to the other question, of whether I am pledged to the admission of any more slave States into the Union, I state to you very frankly that I would be exceedingly sorry ever to be put in a position of having to pass upon that question. I should be exceedingly glad to know that there would never be another slave State admitted into the Union; but I must add, that if slavery shall be kept out of the Territories during the territorial existence of any one given Territory, and then the people shall, having a fair chance and a clear field, when they come to adopt the Constitution, do such an extraordinary thing as to adopt a slave Constitution, uninfluenced by the actual presence of the institution among them, I see no alternative, if we own the country, but to admit them into the Union. [Applause.]

The third interrogatory is answered by the answer to the second, it being, as I conceive, the same as the second.

The fourth one is in regard to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. In relation to that, I have my mind very distinctly made up. I should be exceedingly glad to see slavery abolished in the District of Columbia. [Cries of "good, good."] I believe that Congress possesses the constitutional power to abolish it. Yet as a member of Congress, I should not with my present views, be in favor of endeavoring to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, unless it would be upon these conditions: First, that the abolition should be gradual. Second, that it should be on a vote of the majority of qualified voters in the District; and third, that compensation should be made to unwilling owners. With these three conditions, I confess I would be exceedingly glad to see Congress abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, and, in the language of Henry Clay, "sweep from our Capital that foul blot upon our nation." [Loud applause.]

In regard to the fifth interrogatory, I must say here, that as to the question of the abolition of the slave-trade between the different States, I can truly answer, as I have, that I am pledged to nothing about it. It is a subject to which I have not given that mature consideration that would make me feel authorized to state a position so as to hold myself entirely bound by it. In other words, that question has never been prominently enough before me to induce me to investigate whether we really have the constitutional power to do it. I could investigate it if I had sufficient time, to bring myself to a conclusion upon that subject; but I have not done so, and I say so frankly to you here, and to Judge Douglas. I must say, however, that if I should be of opinion that Congress does possess the constitutional power to abolish the slave-trade among the different States, I should still not be in favor of the exercise of that power unless upon some conservative principle as I conceive it, akin to what I have said in relation to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.

My answer as to whether I desire that slavery should be prohibited in all the Territories of the United States, is full and explicit within itself, and cannot be made clearer by any comments of mine. So I suppose in regard to the question whether I am opposed to the acquisition of any more territory unless slavery is first prohibited therein, my answer is such that I could add nothing by way of illustration, or making myself better understood, than the answer which I have placed in writing.

Now in all this, the Judge has me, and he has me on the record. I suppose he had flattered himself that I was really entertaining one set of opinions for one place and another set for another place -that I was afraid to say at one place what I uttered at another. What I am saying here I suppose I say to a vast audience as strongly tending to Abolitionism as any audience in the State of Illinois, and I believe I am saying that which, if it would be offensive to any persons and render them enemies to myself, would be offensive to persons in this audience.

I now proceed to propound to the Judge the interrogatories, so far as I have framed them. I will bring forward a new installment when I get them ready. [Laughter.] I will bring them forward now, only reaching to number four.

The first one is:
Question 1. If the people of Kansas shall, by means entirely unobjectionable in all other respects, adopt a State Constitution, and ask admission into the Union under it, before they have the requisite number of inhabitants according to the English bill-some ninety-three thousand-will you vote to admit them? [Applause.]

Q. 2. Can the people of a United States Territory, in any lawful way, against the wish of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from its limits prior to the formation of a State Constitution? [Renewed applause.]

Q. 3. If the Supreme Court of the United States shall decide that States cannot exclude slavery from their limits, are you in favor of acquiescing in, adopting and following such decision as a rule of political action? [Loud applause.]

Q. 4. Are you in favor of acquiring additional territory, in disregard of how such acquisition may affect the nation on the slavery question? [Cries of "good," "good."]

"Abraham Lincoln, Second Debate with Stephen Douglas, Freeport, Illinois, August 27, 1858," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/40411.

Note Lincoln's opinions about the Fugitive slave law and slavery in general.

[ Edited Tue Aug 06 2019, 08:28PM ]
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Tue Aug 06 2019, 08:32PM

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Third debate with Stephen Douglas at Jonesborough, Illinois, September 15, 1858

Third debate with Stephen Douglas at Jonesborough, Illinois, September 15, 1858

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: There is very much in the principles that Judge Douglas has here enunciated that I most cordially approve, and over which I shall have no controversy with him. In so far as he has insisted that all the States have the right to do exactly as they please about all their domestic relations, including that of slavery, I agree entirely with him. He places me wrong in spite of all I can tell him, though I repeat it again and again, insisting that I have no difference with him upon this subject. I have made a great many speeches, some of which have been printed, and it will be utterly impossible for him to find any thing that I have ever put in print contrary to what I now say upon this subject. I hold myself under constitutional obligations to allow the people in all the States, without interference, direct or indirect, to do exactly as they please, and I deny that I have any inclination to interfere with them, even if there were no such constitutional obligation. I can only say again that I am placed improperly-altogether improperly, in spite of all I can say-when it is insisted that I entertain any other view or purposes in regard to that matter.

While I am upon this subject, I will make some answers briefly to certain propositions that Judge Douglas has put. He says, "Why can't this Union endure permanently, half slave and half free?" I have said that I supposed it could not, and I will try, before this new audience, to give briefly some of the reasons for entertaining that opinion. Another form of his question is, "Why can't we let it stand as our fathers placed it?" That is the exact difficulty between us. I say, that Judge Douglas and his friends have changed them from the position in which our fathers originally placed it. I say, in the way our fathers originally left the slavery question, the institution was in the course of ultimate extinction, and the public mind rested in the belief that it was in the course of ultimate extinction. I say when this Government was first established, it was the policy of its founders to prohibit the spread of slavery into the new Territories of the United States, where it had not existed. But Judge Douglas and his friends have broken up that policy, and placed it upon a new basis by which it is to become national and perpetual. All I have asked or desired any where is that it should be placed back again upon the basis that the fathers of our Government originally placed it upon. I have no doubt that it would become extinct, for all time to come, if we but readopted the policy of the fathers by restricting it to the limits it has already covered-restricting it from the new Territories.

I do not wish to dwell at great length on this branch of the subject at this time, but allow me to repeat one thing that I have stated before. Brooks, the man who assaulted Senator Sumner on the floor of the Senate, and who was complimented with dinners, and silver pitchers, and gold-headed canes, and a good many other things for that feat, in one of his speeches declared that when this Government was originally established, nobody expected that the institution of slavery would last until this day. That was but the opinion of one man, but it was such an opinion as we can never get from Judge Douglas or anybody in favor of slavery in the North at all. You can sometimes get it from a Southern man. He said at the same time that the framers of our Government did not have the knowledge that experience has taught us-that experience and the invention of the cotton-gin have taught us that the perpetuation of slavery is a necessity. He insisted, therefore, upon its being changed from the basis upon which the fathers of the Government left it to the basis of its perpetuation and nationalization.

I insist that this is the difference between Judge Douglas and myself-that Judge Douglas is helping that change along. I insist upon this Government being placed where our fathers originally placed it.

"Abraham Lincoln, Third Debate with Stephen Douglas, Jonesboro, Illinois, September 15, 1858,"
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Tue Aug 06 2019, 08:38PM

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"Abraham Lincoln, Fourth Debate with Stephen Douglas, Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858,"​

Fourth Debate with Stephen Douglas, Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858

Mr. Lincoln took the stand at a quarter before three, and was greeted with vociferous and protracted applause; after which, he said:

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It will be very difficult for an audience so large as this to hear distinctly what a speaker says, and consequently it is important that as profound silence be preserved as possible.

While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. [Great Laughter.]

While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. [Cheers and laughter.] My understanding is that I can just let her alone. I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never have had a black woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite possible for us to get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes. I will add to this that I have never seen, to my knowledge, a man, woman or child who was in favor of producing a perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men.
I recollect of but one distinguished instance that I ever heard of so frequently as to be entirely satisfied of its correctness-and that is the case of Judge Douglas's old friend Col. Richard M. Johnson. [Laughter.]

I will also add to the remarks I have made (for I am not going to enter at large upon this subject,) that I have never had the least apprehension that I or my friends would marry negroes if there was no law to keep them from it, [laughter] but as Judge Douglas and his friends seem to be in great apprehension that they might, if there were no law to keep them from it, [roars of laughter]

I give him the most solemn pledge that I will to the very last stand by the law of this State, which forbids the marrying of white people with negroes. [Continued laughter and applause.]

I will add one further word, which is this: that I do not understand that there is any place where an alteration of the social and political relations of the negro and the white man can be made except in the State Legislature-not in the Congress of the United States-and as I do not really apprehend the approach of any such thing myself, and as Judge Douglas seems to be in constant horror that some such danger is rapidly approaching, I propose as the best means to prevent it that the Judge be kept at home and placed in the State Legislature to fight the measure. [Uproarious laughter and applause.]

I do not propose dwelling longer at this time on this subject.

"Abraham Lincoln, Fourth Debate with Stephen Douglas, Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/40413.
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