Nonfiction > Abraham Lincoln > Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas > Page 490
Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).  Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas  1897.
Page 490
enabling them to come into the Union about the same time. At the end of that ten years, in which they had been so preparing (for it was about that period of time), the number of slaves in Illinois had actually decreased; while in Missouri, beginning with very few, at the end of that ten years there were about ten thousand. This being so, and it being remembered that Missouri and Illinois are, to a certain extent, in the same parallel of latitude; that the northern half of Missouri and the southern half of Illinois are in the same parallel of latitude, so that climate would have the same effect upon one as upon the other, and that in the soil there is no material difference so far as bears upon the question of slavery being settled upon one or the other,—there being none of those natural causes to produce a difference in filling them, and yet there being a broad difference in their filling up, we are led again to inquire what was the cause of that difference.  59
  It is most natural to say that in Missouri there was no law to keep that country from filling up with slaves, while in Illinois there was the Ordinance of ’87. The Ordinance being there, slavery decreased during that ten years; the Ordinance not being in the other, it increased from a few to ten thousand. Can anybody doubt the reason of the difference?  60
  I think all these facts most abundantly prove that my friend Judge Douglas’s proposition, that the Ordinance of ’87, or the national restriction of slavery, never had a tendency to make a Free State, is a fallacy,—a proposition without the shadow or substance of truth about it.  61
  Douglas sometimes says that all the States (and it is part of this same proposition I have been discussing) that have become free have become so upon his “great principle;” that the State of Illinois itself came into the Union as a Slave State, and that the people, upon the “great principle” of Popular Sovereignty, have since made it a Free State. Allow me but a little while to state to you what facts there are to justify him in saying that Illinois came into the Union as a Slave State.  62
  I have mentioned to you that there were a few old French slaves there. They numbered, I think, one or two hundred. Besides that, there had been a Territorial law for indenturing black persons. Under that law, in violation of the Ordinance


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