Abraham Lincoln (18091865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897.
no charges to make on Mr. Trumbull, I suppose politeness requires I should believe him. At the risk of again offending this mighty man of war, and losing something more than my ears, I shall have the audacity to again read the record upon him, and prove and pin upon him, so that he cannot escape it, the truth of every word I uttered at Chicago. You, fellow-citizens, are the judges to determine whether I do this. My colleague says he is willing to stand on his public record. By that he shall be tried; and if he had been able to discriminate between the exposure of a public act by the record, and a personal attack upon the individual, he would have discovered that there was nothing personal in my Chicago remarks, unless the condemnation of himself by his own public record is personal; and then you must judge who is most to blame for the torture his public record inflicts upon him, he for making, or I for reading it after it was made. As an individual, I care very little about Judge Douglas one way or the other. It is his public acts with which I have to do, and if they condemn, disgrace, and consign him to oblivion, he has only himself, not me, to blame.
Now, the charge is that there was a plot entered into to have a constitution formed for Kansas, and put in force, without giving the people an opportunity to pass upon it, and that Mr. Douglas was in the plot. This is as susceptible of proof by the record as is the fact that the State of Minnesota was admitted into the Union at the last session of Congress.
On the 25th of June, 1856, a bill was pending in the United States Senate to authorize the people of Kansas to form a constitution and come into the Union. On that day Mr. Toombs offered an amendment which he intended to propose to the bill which was ordered to be printed, and, with the original bill and other amendments, recommended to the Committee on Territories, of which Mr. Douglas was Chairman. This amendment of Mr. Toombs, printed by order of the Senate, and a copy of which I have here present, provided for the appointment of commissioners who were to take a census of Kansas, divide the Territory into election districts, and superintend the election of delegates to form a constitution, and contains a clause in the 18th section which I will read to you, requiring the constitution which should