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secured, but which the Missouri Compromise had taken away) of determining the question of slavery for themselves. He proves, by the unequivocal testimony of the oldest and wisest patriots of the country, that the Abolitionists have proved to be the very worst enemies of the slaves, have riveted stronger their chains, taken away some of the privileges which they had before enjoyed, and actually put a stop to their owners emancipating them.

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The last part of the speech is a complete and searching exposition of the platform and principles of the new “Republican party” which had just been formed. He proves it to be purely an abolition party, the principles of which were entirely sectional, arraying the North against the South, and which, of course, could never be a national party. We give this speech entire in a subsequent part of this work.




Report of Mr. Douglas on the Territorial Policy of the Government

Speech in Reply to Trumbull, and in Support of the Bill authorizing the
People of Kansas to form a Constitution and State Government-Speech
in Reply to Mr. Collamer—The Bill passed by the Senate-Report of
Mr. Douglas on the House Bill.


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THE 34th Congress met on the first Monday in December, 1855, but the House of Representatives was unable to organize or to choose a Speaker for nine weeks. On the 31st of December, President Pierce transmitted his Annual Message to Congress, in which he only slightly alluded to the recent troubles in Kansas. On the 24th of January, however, he sent a special message to Congress in regard to the affairs in Kansas, which will be found in a subsequent part of this work.

On the 12th of March, 1856, Mr. Douglas made his great report on the affairs of Kansas Territory. In this report, he elucidates the constitutional principles under which new States may be admitted, and Territories organized. He exposes the designs of the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society ; traces from their inception the treasonable acts of that secret military organization, the “Kansas Legion ;” and


proves that all the troubles in Kansas originated in attempts to violate or circumvent the principles and provisions of the Nebraska Bill. This report will be found in a subsequent part of this work.

Mr. Jacob Collamer, of Vermont, who constituted the minority of the committee, made a minority report on the same day.


Two days afterward, on the 14th of March, Mr. Lyman Trumbull, who had taken his seat a few days before, as a senator from Illinois, in the place of General Shields, addressed the Senate in opposition to the views expressed in the report of Mr. Douglas. Mr. Douglas was absent from the Senate chamber at the time, but notwithstanding his knowledge of this fact, Mr. Trumbull was offensively personal. It might have been supposed that in making his first speech in the Senate, Mr. Trumbull would have had some regard to common decency and propriety. But in point of fact, he was so violent and coarse in his invective as to disgust the whole body of senators. As soon as the rules of the Senate would permit, he was stopped by Mr. Weller of California, who called for the special order of the day, which was the bill to increase the efficiency of the army. But as this was his first speech, he had the effrontery to insist upon continuing his rigmarole of abuse, and did go on till nearly 4 o'clock. Shortly before that time, Mr. Douglas entered the Senate chamber, and when Mr. Trumbull had exhausted the vials of his wrath, and sat down, Mr. Douglas said :

Mr. President, I was very much surprised when it was comuunicated to me this afternoon that my colleague was making a speech on the Kansas question, in which he was arraigning my own conduct and the statements and principles set forth in the report which I had the honor to submit to the Senate two days since from the Committee on Territories.


The feeble state of my own health, which is well known to the Senate, rendered it imprudent for me to be in the Senate chamber to-day, and I stayed away for that reason. I never dreamed that any man in this body would so far forget the courtesies of life, and the well known usages of the Senate, as to make an assault in my absence in violation of the distinct understanding of the body when the subject was postponed.

My colleague says that he did not know that I was not here. Now, I am informed that iny friend from Texas (Mr. Rusk), when the morning hour expired, suggested, among other reasons for a postponement, that I was absent. The senator from Texas told my colleague that I was absent, and, therefore, according to the courtesies of the Senate, his speech should have been postponed. In the face of a fact known to every man present, my colleague now dares to say that he did not know I was absent.

Sir, I believe in fair and free discussion. Whatever speeches I inay have to make in reference to my colleague or his political position, or in reference to other senators, will be made to their faces. I do not wish to avoid the responsibility of a reply to the points that shall be made. I will not att mpt to reply to my colleague npon hearsay, having been absent, from the causes which I have stated during the delivery of the greater portion of his speech. I desire, however, to ask him, with a view to fix the time for the discussion of the subject, at what period of time I may reasonably look for his printed speech? I desire to reply to its statements, and I ask the question with a view to have the subject postponed until the time which he may name.

MR. TRUMBULL.—I think my remarks will be published on Monday.

MR. DOUGLAS.—If I can rely on seeing the speech published in the “Globe” on Monday, I will reply to it on Tuesday; and I shall ask the Senate to accord to me that courtesy. I propose to reply on the next day after its publication.

MR. SEWARD and Mr. TRUMBULL.—Take your own time.

MR. DOUGLAS.—Sir, I understand this game of taking my own time. Last year, when the Nebraska Bill was under consideration, the senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Sumner) asked of me the courtesy to have it postponed for a week, until he could examine the question. I afterward discovered that, previous to that time, he had written an exposition of the bill —a libel upon me—and sent it off under his own frank; and the postponement thus obtained by my courtesy was in order to take a week to circulate the libel. I do not choose to take my own time in that way again. I wish to meet these misrepresentations at the threshold. If I am right, give die an opportunity to show it. If my colleague is right, I desire to give him the fullest and fairest opportunity to show it.





I desire now to say a word upon another point. I understand that my colleague has told the Senate, as being a matter very material to this issue, that he comes here as a Democrat, having always been a Democrat. Sir, that fact will be news to the Democracy of Illinois. I undertake to assert there is not a Democrat in Illinois who will not say that such a statement is a libel upon the Democracy of that State. When he was elected, he received every Abolition vote in the Legislature of Illinois. He received every Know Nothing vote in the Legislature of Illinois. So far as I am advised and believe, he received no yote except from persons allied to Abolitionism or Know Nothingism. He came here as the Know-Nothing-Abolition candidate, in opposition to the united Democracy of his State, and to the Democratic candidate. How can a man who was elected as an Abolition-Know Nothing, come here and claim to be a Democrat, in good standing with the Democracy of Illinois ? Sir, the Illinois Democracy have no sympathies or alliances with Abolitionism in any of its forms. They have no connection with Know Nothingism in any of its forms. If a man has ever been a Democrat, and becomes either an Abolitionist or Know Nothing, or a Free Soiler, he ceases that instant to be a Democrat in Illinois.

Sir, why was the statement of my colleague being a Democrat made, unless to convey the idea that the Illinois Democracy would harbor and associate with a Know Nothing or an Abolitionist? Sir, we do no such thing in Illinois. There is a high wall and a deep ditch between the national Democracy of that State, including the old national Whigs, on the one side, and all Know Nothing and Abo. lition organizations on the other. I can say to senators that Know Nothingism and Abolitionism in Illinois are one and the same thing. Every Know Nothing lodge there adopted the Abolition creed, and every Abolition society supported the Know Nothing candidates. It may be different in the South ; but in the Northwest, and especially in Illinois, a Know Nothing or an Abolitionist means a Rebublican. My colleague is the head and front of Republicanism in Illinois in opposition to Democracy. You might as well call the distinguished senator from New York (Mr. Seward), or the member from Massachusetts (Mr. Sumner), or any other leader of the Republican forces, a Democrat, as to call my colleague a Democrat. Why has that assertion been brought into this debate ? Did it prove that my report was wrong? Did it prove that it was courteous to make an assault on that report in my absence ?

On the 17th of March, Mr. Douglas reported from the Committee on Territories, “ A bill to authorize the People

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