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and the whole of my life has been devoted to the discovery and elucidation of some common ground on which northern and southern men might stand on terms of equality and justice. If you will take pains to examine the history of this sectional strife which has grown up in our midst, you will find that the whole contest has arisen from an attempt on the part of the Federal Government to assume, or usurp, the exercise of powers not conferred by the federal Constitution.

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The Democracy of Illinois, in the first place, accepts the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Dred Scott, as an authoritative interpretation of the Constitution. In accordance with that decision, we hold that slaves are property, and hence on an equality with all other kinds of property, and that the owner of a slave has the same right to move into a Territory and carry his slave property with him, as the owner of any other property has to go there and carry his property. All citizens of the United States, no matter whether they come from the North or the South, from a free State or a slave State, can enter a Territory with their property on an equal footing. And, I apprehend, when you arrive there with your property, of whatever description, it is subject to the local laws of the Territory. How can your slave property be protected without local law, any more than any other kind of property? The Constitution gives you the right to go into a Territory and carry your slaves with you, the same as any other species of property; but it does not punish any man for stealing your slaves any more than stealing any other kind of property. Congress has never yet passed a law providing a criminal code or furnishing protection to any kind of property. It has simply organized the Territory and established a legislature, that legislature being vested with legislative power over all rightful subjects of legislation, subject only to the Constitution of the United States. Hence, whatever jurisdiction the legislature possesses over other property, it has over slave property-no more, no less. Let me ask you, as southern men, whether you can hold slaves anywhere unless protected by the local law? Would not the inaction of the local legislature, its refusal to provide a slave code, or to punish offences against that species of property, exclude slavery just as effectually as a constitutional prohibition ? Would it not have that effect in Louisiana and in every other State ? No one will deny it. Then, let me ask you, if the people of a Territory refuse to pass a slave code, how are you going to make them do it? When you give them power to legislate on all rightful subjects of legislation, it becomes a question for them to decide and not

for you.

If the local legislature imposes a tax on horses, or any other kind of property, you may think it a hardship, but how are you going to help it ? Just so it is with regard to traffic in liquors. If you are dealing in liquors you have the same right to take your liquors into the Territory that anybody else has to take any other species of property. You may pass through and take your liquors in transitu, and you will be protected in your right of property under the Constitution of the United States; but if you open the packages they become subject to the local law; and should the Maine law happen to prevail in the Territory, you had better travel with your liquors. Hence, if the local legislature has the same power over slave property as over every other species of property, what right have you to complain of that equality? But if you do complain, where is your remedy? And let me say to you that if you oppose this just doctrine, if you attempt to exempt slaves from the same rules that apply to every other kind of property, you will abandon your strongest ground of defence against the assaults of the Black Republicans and Abolitionists. If the people of a Territory are in favor of slavery they will make laws to protect it; if opposed to slavery they will not make those laws, and you cannot compel them to do it. But I will tell you when they will have it, and when slavery will find protection in a Territory. It is when the Territory lies in those latitudes and climates which adapt it to the profitable production of rice and sugar and cotton, and where slave labor will be remunerative. Thus, slavery will exist wherever soil, climate, and productions demand it, and it will exist nowhere else. Now, if climate, and soil, and self-interest will regulate this question, why should we quarrel about it? When you arrive at a certain distance to the north of the line there cannot be any doubt of the result: and so when you go to a certain distance south, the result will be equally certain the other way. But in the great central regions, where there may be some doubt as to the effect of natural causes, who ought to decide the question except the people residing there, who have all their interest there ; who have gone there to live with their wives and children ? Any party which attempts, by a system of coercion, to force any institutions into regions not adapted to them, violates the great principles on which our government is founded.

You now have my views on the subject of slavery in the Territories. Practically, they amount simply to this: If the people want slavery they will have it; if they do not want it they will not have it, and you cannot force it

upon them. If these principles be recognized and adhered to, we can live in peace and harmony together; but just as surely as you attempt to force the people to have slavery, against their will, in regions to which it is not adapted, fanaticism will take control of the Federal Government.


A few words more and I am done. I will only say to you, in conclusion, that if we recognize and observe this principle of State rights and selfgovernment for the people of the Territories, there will be peace forever between the North and South, and America will fulfill the glorious destiny which the Almighty has marked out for her. She will rewain an example for all nations, expanding as her people increase and her interests demand more territory. I am not in favor of the acquisition of territory by fraud, violence, or improper means of any kind; on the contrary, I would never permit the Federal Government to be an instrument in the hands of foreign powers to carry out their purposes upon the American continent. Let us adopt a policy consistent with our destiny, and then bide our time.

[Mr. Douglas was apparently about to bring his remarks to a close at this point, when, in response to calls of “ Cuba ! Cuba!" from the audience, he proceeded thus :]

It is our destiny to have Cuba, and it is folly to debate the question. It naturally belongs to the American continent. It guards the mouth of the Mississippi River, which is the heart of the American continent, and the body of the American nation.

Its acquisition is a matter of time only. Our government should adupt the policy of receiving Cuba as soon as a fair and just opportunity shall be presented. Whether that opportunity occur next year or the year after, whenever the occasion arises and the opportunity presents itself, it should be embraced.

The same is true of Central America and Mexico. It will not do to say we have territory enough. When the Constitution was formed, there was enough, yet in a few years afterward, we needed more. We acquired Louisiana and Florida, Texas and California, just as the increase in our population and our interest demanded. When, in 1850, the ClaytonBulwer treaty was sent to the Senate for ratification, I fought it to the end. They then asked what I wanted with Central America. I told them I did not want it then, but the time would come when we rust have it. They then asked what my objection to the treaty was. I told them I objected to that among other clauses of it, which said that neither Great Britain nor the United States should ever buy, annex, colonize, or acquire any portion of Central America. I said I would never consent to a treaty with any foreign power, pledging ourselves not to do in the future whatever interest or necessity might compel us to do. I was then told by veteran senators, as my distinguished friend well knows (looking toward Mr. Soulé), that Central America was so far off that we should never want it. I told them then, “ Yes; a good way off-half way to California, and on the direct road to it.” I said it was our right and duty to open all the highways between the Atlantic and the Gulf States and our possessions on the Pacific, and that I would enter into no treaty with Great Britain or any other government concerning the affairs of the American continent. And here, without a breach of confidence, I may be permitted to state a conversation which took place at that time between myself and the British minister, Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer, on that point. He took occasion to remonstrate with me that my position with regard to the treaty was unjust and untenable ; that the treaty was fair because it was reciprocal, and it was reciprocal because it pledged that neither Great Britain nor the United States should ever purchase, colonize, or acquire any territory in Central America. I told him that it would be fair if they would add one word to the treaty-80 that it would read that neither Great Britain nor the United States should ever occupy or hold dominion over Central America or Asia. But he said : “You have no interest in Asia ;" "No," answered I, “and you have none in Central America.”

“But,” said he, “ you can never establish any rights in Asia.” “No," said I, “and we don't mean that you shall ever establish any in America." I told him it would be just as respectful for us to ask that pledge in reference to Asia, as it was for Great Britain to ask it from us in reference to Central America.

If experience shall continue to prove, what the past may be considered to have demonstrated, that those little Central American powers cannot maintain self-government, the interests of Christendom require that some power should preserve order for them. Hence, I maintain that we should adopt and observe a line of policy in unison with our own interests and our destiny. I do not wish to force things. We live in a rapid age Events crowd upon each other with marvellous rapidity. I do not want

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territory any faster than we can occupy, Americanize, and civilize i:. I am no filibuster. I am opposed to unlawful expeditions ; but on the other hand, I am opposed to this country acting as a miserable constabulary for France and England.

I am in favor of expansion as fast as consistent with our interest and the increase and development of our population and resources.

But I am not in favor of that policy unless the great principle of non-intervention and the right of the people to decide the question of slavery, and all other domestic questions, for themselves shall be maintained. If that principle prevail, we have a future before us more glorious than that of any other people that ever existed. Our republic will endure for thousands of years. Progress will be the law of its destiny; it will gain new strength with every State brought into the confederacy. Then there will be peace and harmony between the free States and the slave States. The more degrees of latitude and longitude embraced beneath our Constitution, the better. The greater the variety of productions, the better; for theu we shall have the principles of free trade apply to the important staples of the world, making us the greatest planting as well as the greatest manufacturing, the greatest commercial, as well as the greatest agricultural power on the globe.

These are my views in regard to our foreign relations. They are ques. tions I had not intended to discuss; and I should not have done so if some gentleman in the crowd had not called my attention to them. My votes in Congress have always been in harmony with the line of policy I have here marked out. It matters not whether you acquire more territory, or how much or how little you wish to acquire. Expansion is the law of our existence; when we cease to grow, we commence to decline. Hence our course is onward, on the principle established by our fathers, under Divine inspiration, as I believe, in the formation of the government.

And now permit me to return my grateful acknowledgments for the kindness with which you have listened to me, and to retire.

Mr. Douglas determined, at New Orleans, to take the steamer for New York, in order to secure relaxation from his recent labor. On the island of Cuba, where he stopped a few days en route, he was treated with marked attention by the authorities and people.

Arriving at New York, he found that elaborate prepara

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