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The beautiful structure which had cost Mr. Seward so much time, labor, and travel, was in one brief hour scattered in fragments at the feet of the Little Giant."

The reader will find the reply of Mr. Douglas in a subsequent part of this work, from which we give brief extracts:


Mr. PRESIDENT: I trust I shall be pardoned for a few remarks upon so much of the senator's speech as consists in an assault on the Democratic party, and especially with regard to the Kansas-Nebraska bill, of which I was the responsible author. It has become fashionable now-a-days for each gentleman making a speech against the Democratic party to refer to the Kansas-Nebraska act as a cause of all the disturbances that have since ensued. They talk about the repeal of a sacred compact that had been undisturbed for more than a quarter of a century, as if those who complained of violated faith had been faithful to the provisions of the Missouri Compromise. Sir, wherein consisted the necessity for the repeal or abrogation of that act, except it was that the majority in the northern States refused to carry out the Missouri Compromise in good faith? I stood willing to extend it to the Pacific Ocean, and abide by it forever, and the entire South, without one exception in this body, was willing thus to abide by it; but the freesoil element of the northern States was so strong as to defeat that measure, and thus open the slavery question anew. The men who now complain of the abrogation of that act were the very men who denounced it, and denounced all of us who were willing to abide by it so long as it stood upon the statutebook. Sir, it was the defeat, in the House of Representatives, of the enactment of the bill to extend the Missouri Compromise to the Pacific Ocean, after it had passed the Senate on my own motion, that opened the controversy of 1850, which was terminated by the adoption of the measures of that year.

We carried those Compromise measures over the head of the sena tor of New York and his present associates. We, in those measures established a great principle, rebuking his doctrine of intervention by the Congress of the United States to prohibit slavery in the Territories. Both parties, in 1852, pledged themselves to abide by that principle and thus stood pledged not to prohibit slavery in the Territories by act of ongress. The Whig party affirmed that pledge, and so did the Democracy. In 1854 we only carried out, in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the same principle that had been affirmed in the Compromise measures of 1850. I repeat that their resistance to carrying out in good faith the settlement of 1820, their defeat of thu bill for extending it to the Pacific Ocean, was the sole cause of the agitation of 1850, and gave rise to the necessity of establishing the principle of non-intervention by Congress with slavery in the Terri. tories.

But, sir, the whole argument of that senator goes far beyond the question of slavery, even in the Territories. His entire argument rests on the assumption that the negro and the white man were equal by Divine law, and hence that all laws and constitutions and governments in violation of the principle of negro equality are in violation of the law of God. That is the basis upon which his speech rests.

He quotes the Declaration of Independence to show that the fathers of the Revolution understood that the negro was placed on an equality with the white man, by quoting the clause, we hold these truths to be self-evident that, all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Sir, the doctrine of that senator and of his party is—and I have had to meet it for eight years—that the Declaration of Independence intended to recognize the negro and the white man as equal under the Divine law, and hence that all the provisions of the Constitution of the United States which recognize slavery are in violation of the Divine law. In other words, it is an argument against the Constitution of the Unite] States upon the ground that it is contrary to the law of God. The senator from New York has long held that doctrine. The senator from New York has often proclaimed to the world that the Constitution of the United States was in violation of the Divine law, and that senator will not contradict the statement. I have an extract from one of his speeches now before me, in which that proposition is distinctly put forth. In a speech made in the State of Ohio, in 1848, he said:

“ Slavery is the sin of not some of the States only, but of them all; of not one nationality, but of all nations. It perverted and corrupted the moral sense of mankind deeply and universally, and this perversion became a universal habit. Habits of thought become fixed principles. No American State has yet delivered itself entirely from these habits. We, in New York, are guilty of slavery still by withholding the right of suffrage from the race we have emancipated. You, in Ohio, are guilty in the same way by a system of black laws still more aristocratic and odious. It is written in the Constitution of the United States that five slaves shall count equal to three freemen as a basis of representation; and it is written, also, IN VIOLATION OF DIVINE LAW, that we shall surrender the fugitive slave who takes refuge at our firesides from his relentless pursuer."


The Senater from New York has coined a new definition of the States of the Union-labor States and capital States. The capital States, I believe, are the slaveholding States; the labor States are the non-slaveholding States. It has taken that senator a good many years to coin that phrase and bring it into use. I have heard him discuss these favorite theories of his for the last ten years, I think, and I never heard of capital States and labor States before. It strikes me that something has recently occurred up in New England that makes it politic to get up a question between capital and labor, and take the side of the numbers against the few. We have seen some accounts in the newspapers of combinations and strikes among the journeymen shoemakers in the towns there-labor against capital. The senator has a new word ready coined to suit their case, and make the laborers believe that he is on the side of the most numerous class of voters.

What produced that strike among the journeymen shoemakers ? Why are the mechanics of New Englænd, the laborers and the employees, now reduced to the starvation point ? Simply because, by your treason, by your sectional agitation, you have created a strife between the North and the South, have driven away your southern customers, and thus deprive the laborers of the means of support. This is the fruit of your Republican dogmas. It is another step, following John Brown, of the “irrepressible conflict." Therefore we now get this new coinage of “labor States ”—he is on the side of the shoemakers, (laughter), and “capital States "-he is against those that furnish the hides. (Laughter.) I think those shoemakers will understand this business. They know why it is that they do not get so many orders as they did a few months ago. It is not confined to the shoemakers; it reaches every mechanic's shop and every factory. All the large laboring establishments of the North feel the pressure produced by the doctrine of the “irrepressible conflict.” This new coinage of words will not save them from the just responsibility that follows the doctrines they have been inculcating. If they had abandoned the doctrine of the “irrepressible conflict, and proclaimed the true doctrine of the Constitution, that each State is entirely free to do just as it pleases, have slavery as long as it chooses, and abolish it when it wishes, there would be no conflict; the northern and southern States would be brethren; there would be fraternity between us, and your shoemakers would not strike for higher prices.

But, sir, if the senator from New York, in the event that he is made President, intends to carry out his principles to their logical conclusions, let us see where they will lead him. In the same speech that I read from a few minutes ago, I find the following. Addressing the people of Ohio, he said:



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“ You blush not at these things, because they have become as familiar as household words; and your pretended free-soil allies claim peculiar merit for maintaining these miscalled guarantees of slavery, which they find in the national compact. Does not all this prove that the Whig party have kept up with the spirit of the age; that it is as true and faithful to human freedom as the inert conscience of the American people will permit it to be? What then, you say, can nothing be done for freedom, because the public conscience remains inert? Yes, much can be done, everything can be done. Slavery can be limited to its present bounds.”

That is the first thing that can be done--slavery can be limited to its present bounds. What else ?

" It can be ameliorated. It can and must be abolished, and you and I can and must do it."

There you find are two propositions : first, s'avery was to be limited to the States in which it was then situated. It did not then exist in any Territory. Slavery was confined to the States. The first proposition was that slavery must be restricted, and confined to those States. The second was, that he, as a New Yorker, and they, the people of Ohio, must and would abolish it; that is to say, abolish it in the States. They could abolish it nowhere else. Every appeal they make to Northern prejudice and passion, is against the institution of slavery everywhere, and they would not be able to retain their abolition allies, the rank and file, unless they held out the hope that it was the mission of the Republican party, if successful, to abolish slavery in the States as well as in the Territories of the Union.

And again in the same speech, the senator from New York advised the people to disregard constitutional obligations in these words:

“But we must begin deeper and lower than the composition and combination of factions or parties, wherein the strength and security of slavery lie. You answer that it lies in the Constitution of the United States and the constitutions and laws of slaveholding States. Not at all. It is in the erroneous sentiment of the American people. Constitutions and laws can no more rise above the virtue of the people than the limpid stream can climb above its native spring. Inculcate the love of freedom and the equal rights of man under the paternal roof; see to it that they are taught in the schools and in the churches; reform your own code ; extend a cordial welcome to the fugitive who lays his weary limbs at your door, and defend him as you would your paternal gods; correct your own error, that slavery is a constitutional guaranty which may not be released, and ought not to be relinquished.”

I know they tell us that all this is to be done according to tlie Constitution; they would not violate the Constitution except so far as the Constitution violates the law of God—that is all—and they are to be the judges of how far the Constitution does violate the law of God. They say that every clause of the Constitution that recognizes property in slaves, is in violation of the Divine law, and hence should not be obeyed; and with that interpretation of the Constitution, they turn to the South and say, "We will give you all your rights under the Constitution, as we explain it.”

Then the senator devoted about a third of his speech to a very beautiful homily on the glories of our Union. All that he had said, all that any other man has ever said, all that the most eloquent tongue can ever utter, in behalf of the blessings and the advantages of this glorious Union, I fully indorse. But still, sir, I am prepared to say,

I that the Union is glorious only when the Constitution is preserved inviolate. He eulogized the Union. I, too, am for the Union; I indorse the eulogies; but still, what is the Union worth, unless the Constitution is preserved and maintained inviolate in all its provisions?

Sir, I have no faith in the Union-loving sentiments of those who will not carry out the Constitution in good faith, as our fathers made it. Professions of fidelity to the Union will be taken for panght, uness they are accompanied by obedience to the Constitution upon which the Union rests. I lave a right to insist that the Constitution shall be maintained in violate in all its parts, not only that which suits the temper of the North, but every clause of that Constitution, whether you like it or dislike it. Your oath to support the Constitution binds you to every line, word, and syllable of the instrument. You have no right to say that any given clause is in violation of the Divine law, and that, therefore, you will not observe it. The man who disobeys any one clause on the pretext that it violates the Divine law, or on any other pretext, violates his oath of office.

But, sir, what a commentary is this pretext that the Constitution is a violation of the Divine law, upon those revolutionary fathers whose eulogies we have heard here to-day. Did the framers of that instrument make a Constitution in violation of the law of God? If so, how do your consciences allow you to take the oath of office? If the senator from New York still holds to his declaration that the clause in the Constitution relative to fugitive slaves is a violation of the Divine law, how dare he, as an honest man, take an oath to support the instrument? Did he understand that'he was defying the authority of Heaven when he took the oath to support that instrument ?



About the middle of February, 1860, the whole country was astounded by the report that some of the Democratic senators in Congress had been amusing themselves for want of something better to do, by constructing an entirely new platform for the Charleston Convention. It was at first laughed at as a good joke, but finally proved to be à fact. Well might the question be asked, “Who authorized them to make a platform for the party at the Charleston Convention? What business had they to nieddle in the matter ?" Certain gentlemen were named by them as a committee to arrange something to be presented to a wondering and admiring world as the new Democratic creed. Yet strange to say, this committee did not embody the talents or the wisdom of the Democratic party in the Senate. Was there no merit in Mr. Toombs, or Mr. Pearce, or Mr. Benjamin, or Mr. Polk, or Mr. Pugh, or Mr. Hammond, or Mr. Davis, or Mr. Nicholson, or Mr. Wigfall, that they were passed over in the formation of the committee ?

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