Nonfiction > Abraham Lincoln > Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas > Page 219
Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).  Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas  1897.
Page 219
we not act as our fathers who made the Government? There was no sectional strife in Washington’s army. They were all brethren of a common confederacy; they fought under a common flag that they might bestow upon their posterity a common destiny; and to this end they poured out their blood in common streams, and shared, in some instances, a common grave.  18
  LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: There is very much in the principles that Judge Douglas has here enunciated that I most cordially approve, and over which I shall have no controversy with him. In so far as he has insisted that all the States have the right to do exactly as they please about all their domestic relations, including that of slavery, I agree entirely with him. He places me wrong in spite of all I can tell him, though I repeat it again and again, insisting that I have no difference with him upon this subject. I have made a great many speeches, some of which have been printed, and it will be utterly impossible for him to find anything that I have ever put in print contrary to what I now say upon this subject. I hold myself under constitutional obligations to allow the people in all the States, without interference, direct or indirect, to do exactly as they please; and I deny that I have any inclination to interfere with them, even if there were no such constitutional obligation. I can only say again that I am placed improperly—altogether improperly, in spite of all I can say—when it is insisted that I entertain any other view or purposes in regard to that matter.  1
  While I am upon this subject, I will make some answers briefly to certain propositions that Judge Douglas has put. He says, “Why can’t this Union endure permanently, half slave and half free?” I have said that I supposed it could not, and I will try, before this new audience, to give briefly some of the reasons for entertaining that opinion. Another form of his question is, “Why can’t we let it stand as our fathers placed it?” That is the exact difficulty between us. I say that Judge Douglas and his friends have changed it from the position in which our

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