Nonfiction > Abraham Lincoln > Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas > Page 489
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Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).  Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas  1897.
 
Page 489
 
 
I repeat as between Indiana and Kentucky; it is equally applicable. One additional argument is applicable also to Indiana. In her Territorial condition she more than once petitioned Congress to abrogate the Ordinance entirely, or at least so far as to suspend its operation for a time, in order that they should exercise the “Popular Sovereignty” of having slaves if they wanted them. The men then controlling the General Government, imitating the men of the Revolution, refused Indiana that privilege. And so we have the evidence that Indiana supposed she could have slaves, if it were not for that Ordinance; that she besought Congress to put that barrier out of the way; that Congress refused to do so; and it all ended at last in Indiana being a Free State. Tell me not then that the Ordinance of ’87 had nothing to do with making Indiana a Free State, when we find some men chafing against, and only restrained by, that barrier.  57
  Come down again to our State of Illinois. The great North-west Territory, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, was acquired first, I believe, by the British Government, in part, at least, from the French. Before the establishment of our independence it becomes a part of Virginia, enabling Virginia afterward to transfer it to the General Government. There were French settlements in what is now Illinois, and at the same time there were French settlements in what is now Missouri,—in the tract of country that was not purchased till about 1803. In these French settlements negro slavery had existed for many years,—perhaps more than a hundred, if not as much as two hundred years,—at Kaskaskia, in Illinois, and at St. Genevieve, or Cape Girardeau, perhaps, in Missouri. The number of slaves was not very great, but there was about the same number in each place. They were there when we acquired the Territory. There was no effort made to break up the relation of master and slave, and even the Ordinance of 1787 was not so enforced as to destroy that slavery in Illinois; nor did the Ordinance apply to Missouri at all.  58
  What I want to ask your attention to, at this point, is that Illinois and Missouri came into the Union about the same time, Illinois in the latter part of 1818, and Missouri, after a struggle, I believe sometime in 1820. They had been filling up with American people about the same period of time; their progress
 

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