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became apparent to me, as to others, that he was, upon the whole, far the ablest Democratic member of the body. In the progress of time my respect for bim, both as a gentleman and a statesman, greatly increased. I found him sociable, affable, and in the highest degree entertaining and instructive in social intercourse. His power, as a debater, seemed to me unequalled in the Senate. He was industrious, energetic, bold, and skillful in the management of the concerns of his party. He was the acknowledged leader of the Democratic party in the Senate, and, to confess the truth, seemed to me to bear the honors which encircled him with sufficient meekness. Such was the palmy state of his reputation and popularity on the day that he reported to the Senate his celebrated Kansas and Nebraska Bill.
On examining that bill, it struck me that it was deficient in one material respect; it did not in terms repeal the restrictive provision in regard to slavery embodied in the Missouri Compromise. This, to me, was a deficiency that I thought it imperiously necessary to supply. I accordingly offered an amendment to that effect. My amendment seemed to take the Senate by surprise, and no one appeared more startled than Judge Doug. las himself. He immediately came to my seat and courteously remonstrated against my amendment, suggesting that the bill which he had introduced was almost in the words of the Territorial acts for the organization of Utah and New Mexico; that they being a part of the Compromise measures of 1850, he had hoped that I, a known and zealous friend of the wise and patriotic adjustment which had then taken place, would not be inclined to do anything to call that adjustment in question or weaken it before the country.
I replied that it was precisely because I had been, and was, a firm and zealous friend of the Compromise of 1850, that I felt bound to persist in the movement which I had originated; that I was well satisfied that the Missouri restriction, if not expressly repealed, would continue to operate in the Territory to which it had been applied, thus negativing the great and salutary principle of non-intervention, which constituted the most prominent and essential feature of the plan of settlement of 1850. We talked for some time amicably, and separated. Some days afterward Judge Douglas came to my lodgings, while I was confined by physical indisposition, and urged me to get up and take a ride with him in his carriage. I accepted his invitation and rode out with him. During our short excursion we talked on the subject of my proposed amendment, and Judge Douglas, to my high gratification, proposed to me that I should allow him to take charge of the amendment and ingraft it on his Territorial Bill. I
acceded to the proposition at once, whereupon a most interesting interchange occurred between us.
On this occasion, Judge Douglas spoke to me, in substance, thus : “I have become perfectly satisfied that it is my duty, as a fair-minded national statesman, to coöperate with you as proposed in securing the repeal of the Missouri Compromise restriction. It is due to the South ; it is due to the Constitution, heretofore palpably infracted; it is due to that character for consistency, which I have heretofore labored to maintain. The repeal, if we can effect it, will produce much stir and commotion in the free States of the Union for a season. I shall be assailed by demagogues and fanatics there, without stint or moderation. Every opprobrious epithet will be applied to me. I shall be probably hung in effigy in many places. It is more than probable that I may become permanently odious among those whose friendship and esteem I have heretofore possessed. This proceeding may end my political career. But, acting under the sense of the duty which animates me, I am prepared to make the sacrifice. I will do it.”
He spoke in the most earnest and touching manner, and I confess that I was deeply affected. I said to him in reply: “Sir, I once recognized you as a demagogue, a mere party manager, selfish and intriguing. I now find you a warm-hearted and sterling patriot. Go forward in the pathway of duty as you propose, and though all the world desert you, I never will."
The subsequent course of this extraordinary personage is now before the country. His great speeches on this subject, in the Senate and elsewhere, have since been made. As a true national statesman-as an inflexible and untiring advocate and defender of the Constitution of his country—as an enlightened, fair-minded, and high-souled patriot, he has fearlessly battled for principle; he has with singular consistency pursued the course which he promised to pursue when we talked together in Washington, neither turning to the right nor to the left. Though sometimes reviled and ridiculed by those most benefited by his labors, he has never been heard to complain. Persecuted by the leading men of the party he had so long served and sustained, he has demeaned himself, on all occasions, with moderation and dignity; though he has been ever earnest in the performance of duty, energetic in combating and overcoming the obstacles which have so strangely beset his pathway, and always ready to meet and to overthrow such adversaries as have ventured to encounter him. He has been faithful to his pledge ; he has been true to the South and to the Union, and I intend to be faithful to my own pledge. I am sincerely grateful for his public services. I feel the highest admiration for all his noble qualities and high achievements, and I regard his reputation as part of the moral treasures of the nation itself.
And now, in conclusion, permit me to say that the southern people cannot enter into unholy alliance for the destruction of Judge Douglas, if they are true to themselves, for he has made more sacrifices to sustain southern institutions than any man now living. Southern men may, and doubtless have, met the enemies of the South in the councils of the nation, and sustained, by their votes and their speeches, her inalienable rights under the Constitution of our common country; northern men may have voted that those rights should not be wrested from us; but it has remained for Judge Douglas alone, northern man as he is, to throw himself “into the deadly imminent breach,” and like the steadfast and everlasting rock of the ocean, to withstand the fierce tide of fanaticism, and drive back those angry billows which threatened to ingulf his country's happiness.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully and cordially, your friend and fellow-citizen,
Our limits will not allow us to refer further to the incidents of the Illinois campaign. The canvass on both sides was conducted with unparalleled spirit and energy until the day of the election. The result is well known. The Republicans were completely routed, and a Democratic legislature chosen. Mr. Douglas' majority on joint ballot was eight, three in the Senate and five in the House. Most of the federal officeholders voted the Republican ticket, and the reason assigned for this act of treachery to the party was, that the entire Catholic vote had remained faithful to the party with which they had usually acted.
The “ Chicago Herald,” the organ of the Administration, on the day after the election, explained the reasons why the Administration ticket in that city received only 215 votes, when there were 600 persons in Government employ, as follows:
The fact having become known on the eve of the election, that the entire Catholic vote of this city, notwithstanding professions to the contrary, would be thrown for Douglas, the National Democrats became exas. perated at such wholesale treachery, and despite all the efforts that could be made to prevent it, they voted en masse for the Republican candidates, as the most effectual way of defeating Douglas.
When full returns of the result had been received from all parts of the State, the Democracy celebrated their triumph with great eclat and rejoicing. Thousands of citizens from all quarters of the West flocked to Chicago to take part in the celebration.
When the immense procession reached the front of the Tremont House, they gave nine hearty cheers for Senator Douglas, and loudly called for a speech. Mr. Douglas made his appearance on the same balcony from which he had opened the canvas four months previous, and addressed the vast assemblage as follows:
MY FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS : I return you my heartfelt thanks for this magnificent demonstration. The Democracy of Illinois have achieved a noble victory over the combined forces of Abolitionism and its allies. (Cheers.) You have a right to be proud of this glorious triumph. It is the triumph of the Constitution over faction ; it is the triumph of the glorious principles of the Union over fanaticism and sectionalism (applause); it is the triumph of the principle of self-government over Congressional interference and Executive dictation. (Immense applause.)
Four months ago, I opened the canvass in a speech from this balcony to countless thousands of my fellow-citizens ; I now appear before you to receive the congratulations of as many more thousands rejoicing over our great success. While it is right and proper that you should rejoice at the success of sound constitutional principles which insure peace and harmony to the republic, it is our duty to enjoy our victory with moderation. With the result of this election let all the asperities, the excitements and angry passions which have been aroused during the contest be buried for.
It is neither just nor magnanimous to rejoice over a vanquished foe. (Cheers.) Let us teach our political opponents that although we have triumphed, the victory is for their good as well as ours. (Great applause.) When we put sound, just and constitutional principles into practical operation in this government, the Republicans enjoy the blessings thus conferred as well as the Democrats. (Good, good, and cheers.) It is right, therefore, that all should rejoice in our triumph, but it is our duty to be kind, generous and magnanimous toward those whom we have differed with in opinion. (Cheers.) Let us remember, that while we are divided into political parties and separated from each other by antagonistic principles, yet as citizens of a common republic we all revere the glories of our past history, and trust that our posterity will share a common destiny in all time to come. (Applause.) This Union, through the Constitution, has conferred upon our country the greatest legacy that Divine Providence has ever vouchsafed to a free people. (Hear, hear.) Let that Constitution be administered as our fathers made it; let that bond of union which binds these States together continue forever, each State retaining its sovereign rights, disposing of its own internal affairs, and regulating its own domestic institutions to suit itself. (Cheers.) Let that great principle of popular sovereignty, wbich underlies our republican institutions, be carried out in good faith in the States and Territories alike. (Cheers.) Let Illinois regulate her own affairs, model her institutions according to her own wishes, and mind her own business, permitting every other State to do the same thing (cheers), and there will then be concord and fraternal feeling among the different States of the Union. (Renewed cheering.)
We must discard forever that fatal heresy which teaches that this Union, divided into free and slave States, as our fathers made it, cannot endurethat false philosophy which says that these States must all become free, or all become slave—that they must become all one thing, or all the other, should be discarded forever (applause); and the great principle of popular sovereignty, of State rights and State sovereignty should prevail, declaring the right of the people of each State and each Territory to manage their own affairs in their own way, subject only to the Constitution. (Three cheers.) When that principle shall be recognized and proclaimed by the whole American people, North and South, there will then be peace, and harmony, and fraternity among all the States of this confederacy (good, and applause); but so long as that monstrous political heresy shall prevail, that the North must combine against the South to abolish slavery everywhere, and that the South must combine against the North to establish it everywhere-that there must be an “irrepressible couflict” between the North and the South for the ascendency, so long there will be discord, strife and hatred between the different sections of the Union. (“ That's it," and applause.) That great issue was directly and distinctly submitted to the people of Illinois at the recent election, and thank God, the principles of the Constitution and the Union have triumphed. (Im.