Abraham Lincoln (18091865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897.
doubt think that they are all good men. I have reason to recollect that some people in this country think that Fred Douglass is a very good man. The last time I came here to make a speech, while talking from the stand to you, people of Freeport, as I am doing to-day, I saw a carriageand a magnificent one it wasdrive up and take a position on the outside of the crowd; a beautiful young lady was sitting on the box-seat, whilst Fred Douglass and her mother reclined inside, and the owner of the carriage acted as driver. I saw this in your own town. [What of it?] All I have to say of it is this, that if you Black Republicans, think that the negro ought to be on a social equality with your wives and daughters, and ride in a carriage with your wife, whilst you drive the team, you have perfect right to do so. I am told that one of Fred Douglasss kinsmen, another rich black negro, is now traveling in this part of the State making speeches for his friend Lincoln as the champion of black men. [What have you to say against it?] All I have to say on that subject is, that those of you who believe that the negro is your equal and ought to be on an equality with you socially, politically, and legally, have a right to entertain those opinions, and of course will vote for Mr. Lincoln.
I have a word to say on Mr. Lincolns answer to the interrogatories contained in my speech at Ottawa, and which he has pretended to reply to here to-day. Mr. Lincoln makes a great parade of the fact that I quoted a platform as having been adopted by the Black Republican party at Springfield in 1854, which, it turns out, was adopted at another place. Mr. Lincoln loses sight of the thing itself in his ecstacies over the mistake I made in stating the place where it was done. He thinks that that platform was not adopted on the right spot.
When I put the direct questions to Mr. Lincoln to ascertain whether he now stands pledged to that creed,to the unconditional repeal of the Fugitive Slave law, a refusal to admit any more Slave States into the Union even if the people want them, a determination to apply the Wilmot Proviso, not only to all the territory we now have, but all that we may hereafter acquire,he refused to answer; and his followers say, in excuse, that the resolutions upon which I based my interrogatories were not adopted at the right spot. Lincoln and his political friends