Did the angry debates which took place at Washington during the last season of Congress lead you to suppose that the slavery agitation was settled?
An election was held in Kansas in the month of August, and the constitution which was submitted to the people was voted down by a large majority. So Kansas is still out of the Union, and there is a probability that she will remain out for some time. But Judge Douglas says the slavery question is settled. He says the bill he introduced into the Senate of the United States on the 4th day of January, 1854, settled the slavery question forever! Perhaps he can tell us how that bill settled the slavery question, for if he is able to settle a question of such great magnitude he ought to be able to explain the manner in which he does it. He knows and you know that the question is not settled, and that his ill-timed experiment to settle it has made it worse than it ever was before.
And now let me say a few words in regard to Douglas's great hobby of negro equality. He thinks--he says at least--that the Republican party is in favor of allowing whites and blacks to intermarry, and that a man can't be a good Republican unless he is willing to elevate black men to office and to associate with them on terms of perfect equality. He knows that we advocate no such doctrines as these, but he cares not how much he misrepresents us if he can gain a few votes by so doing. To show you what my opinion of negro equality was in times past, and to prove to you that I stand on that question where I always stood, I will read you a few extracts from a speech that was made by me in Peoria in 1854. It was made in reply to one of Judge Douglas's speeches.
(Mr. Lincoln then read a number of extracts which had the ring of the true metal. We have rarely heard anything with which we have been more pleased. And the audience after hearing the extracts read, and comparing their conservative sentiments with those now advocated by Mr. Lincoln, testified their approval by loud applause. How any reasonable man can hear one of Mr. Lincoln's speeches without being converted to Republicanism is something that we can't account for. Ed.)
Slavery, continued Mr. Lincoln, is not a matter of little importance, it overshadows every other question in which we are interested. It has divided the Methodist and Presbyterian churches, and has sown discord in the American Tract Society. The churches have split and the society will follow their example before long. So it will be seen that slavery is agitated in the religious as well as in the political world. Judge Douglas is very much afraid in the triumph that the Republican party will lead to a general mixture of the white and black races. Perhaps I am wrong in saying that he is afraid, so I will correct myself by saying that he pretends to fear that the success of our party will result in the amalgamation of the blacks and whites. I think I can show plainly, from documents now before me, that Judge Douglas's fears are groundless. The census of 1800 tells us that in that year there were over four hundred thousand mulattoes in the United States. Now let us take what is called an Abolition State-- the Republican, slavery-hating State of New Hampshire--and see how many mulattoes we can find within her borders. The number amounts to just one hundred and eighty-four. In the Old Dominion--in the Democratic and aristocratic State of Virginia--there were a few more mulattoes than the Census-takers found in New Hampshire. How many do you suppose there were? Seventy-nine thousand, seven hundred and seventy-five--twenty-three thousand more than there were in all the free States! In the slave States there were in 1800, three hundred and forty-eight thousand mulattoes all of home production; and in the free States there were less than sixty thousand mulattoes --and a large number of them were imported from the South.
FRAGMENT OF SPEECH AT EDWARDSVILLE, ILL.,
SEPT. 13, 1858.
I have been requested to give a concise statement of the difference, as I understand it, between the Democratic and Republican parties, on the leading issues of the campaign.