Abraham Lincoln (18091865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897.
stated, by changing his language entirely. What he says now is something different in language; and we will consider whether it is not different in sense too. It is now that the Dred Scott decision, or rather the Constitution under that decision, does not carry slavery into the Territories beyond the power of the people of the Territories to control it as other property. He does not say the people can drive it out, but they can control it as other property. The language is different; we should consider whether the sense is different. Driving a horse out of this lot is too plain a proposition to be mistaken about; it is putting him on the other side of the fence. Or it might be a sort of exclusion of him from the lot if you were to kill him and let the worms devour him; but neither of these things is the same as controlling him as other property. That would be to feed him, to pamper him, to ride him, to use and abuse him, to make the most money out of him, as other property; but please you, what do the men who are in favor of slavery want more than this? What do they really want, other than that slavery, being in the Territories, shall be controlled as other property?
If they want anything else, I do not comprehend it. I ask your attention to this, first, for the purpose of pointing out the change of ground the Judge has made; and, in the second place, the importance of the change,that that change is not such as to give you gentlemen who want his popular sovereignty the power to exclude the institution or drive it out at all. I know the Judge sometimes squints at the argument that in controlling it as other property by unfriendly legislation they may control it to death, as you might, in the case of a horse, perhaps, feed him so lightly and ride him so much that he would die. But when you come to legislative control, there is something more to be attended to. I have no doubt, myself, that if the Territories should undertake to control slave property as other property,that is, control it in such a way that it would be the most valuable as property, and make it bear its just proportion in the way of burdens as property,really deal with it as property,the Supreme Court of the United States will say, God speed you, and Amen. But I undertake to give the opinion, at least, that if the Territories attempt by any direct legislation to drive the man with his slave