Nonfiction > Abraham Lincoln > Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas > Page 476
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Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).  Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas  1897.
 
Page 476
 
 
that your climate is not suited to slave labor, and therefore you have constitutions and laws against it.  17
  Let us attend to that argument for a little while, and see if it be sound. You do not raise sugar-cane (except the new-fashioned sugar-cane, and you won’t raise that long), but they do raise it in Louisiana. You don’t raise it in Ohio, because you can’t raise it profitably, because the climate don’t suit it. They do raise it in Louisiana, because there it is profitable. Now, Douglas will tell you that is precisely the slavery question: that they do have slaves there, because they are profitable: and you don’t have them here, because they are not profitable. If that is so, then it leads to dealing with the one precisely as with the other. Is there, then, anything in the constitution or laws of Ohio against raising sugar-cane? Have you found it necessary to put any such provision in your law? Surely not! No man desires to raise sugar-cane in Ohio; but if any man did desire to do so, you would say it was a tyrannical law that forbids his doing so; and whenever you shall agree with Douglas, whenever your minds are brought to adopt his argument, as surely you will have reached the conclusion that although slavery is not profitable in Ohio, if any man wants it, it is wrong to him not to let him have it.  18
  In this matter Judge Douglas is preparing the public mind for you of Kentucky to make perpetual that good thing in your estimation, about which you and I differ.  19
  In this connection, let me ask your attention to another thing. I believe it is safe to assert that five years ago no living man had expressed the opinion that the negro had no share in the Declaration of Independence. Let me state that again: five years ago no living man had expressed the opinion that the negro had no share in the Declaration of Independence. If there is in this large audience any man who ever knew of that opinion being put upon paper as much as five years ago, I will be obliged to him now or at a subsequent time to show it.  20
  If that be true I wish you then to note the next fact: that within the space of five years Senator Douglas, in the argument of this question, has got his entire party, so far as I know, without exception, to join in saying that the negro has no share in the Declaration of Independence. If there be now in all these United States one Douglas man that does not say this, I have
 

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