Abraham Lincoln (18091865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897.
are great on spots. In Congress, as a representative of his State, he declared the Mexican War to be unjust and infamous and would not support it, or acknowledge his own country to be right in the contest, because he said that American blood was not shed on American soil in the right spot. And now he cannot answer the questions I put to him at Ottawa because the resolutions I read were not adopted at the right spot. It may be possible that I was led into an error as to the spot on which the resolutions I then read were proclaimed, but I was not, and am not, in error as to the fact of their forming the basis of the creed of the Republican party when that party was first organized. I will state to you the evidence I had, and upon which I relied for my statement that the resolutions in question were adopted at Springfield on the 5th of October, 1854. Although I was aware that such resolutions had been passed in this district, and nearly all the Northern Congressional Districts and County Conventions, I had not noticed whether or not they had been adopted by any State Convention. In 1856, a debate arose in Congress between Major Thomas L. Harris, of the Springfield District, and Mr. Norton, of the Joliet District, on political matters connected with our State, in the course of which Major Harris quoted those resolutions as having been passed by the first Republican State Convention that ever assembled in Illinois. I knew that Major Harris was remarkable for his accuracy, that he was a very conscientious and sincere man, and I also noticed that Norton did not question the accuracy of this statement. I therefore took it for granted that it was so; and the other day when I concluded to use the resolutions at Ottawa, I wrote to Charles H. Lanphier, editor of the State Register, at Springfield, calling his attention to them, telling him that I had been informed that Major Harris was lying sick at Springfield, and desiring him to call upon him and ascertain all the facts concerning the resolutions, the time and the place where they were adopted. In reply, Mr. Lanphier sent me two copies of his paper, which I have here. The first is a copy of the State Register, published at Springfield, Mr. Lincolns own town, on the 16th of October, 1854, only eleven days after the adjournment of the Convention, from which I desire to read the following: