Abraham Lincoln (18091865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897.
the defeat of the Democratic nominees and the election of Republicans in their places. What excuse can any honest Democrat have for abandoning the Democratic organization and joining with the Republicans to defeat our nominees, in view of the platform established by the State Convention? They cannot pretend that they were proscribed because of their opinions upon Lecompton or any other question, for the Convention expressly declared that they recognized all as good Democrats who remained inside of the organization, and abided by the nominations. If the question is settled or is to be considered as finally disposed of by the vote on the 3rd of August, what possible excuse can any good Democrat make for keeping up a division for the purpose of prostrating his party, after that election is over and the controversy has terminated? It is evident that all who shall keep up this warfare for the purpose of dividing and destroying the party, have made up their minds to abandon the Democratic organization forever, and to join those for whose benefit they are now trying to distract our party, and elect Republicans in the place of the Democratic nominees.
I submit the question to you whether I have been right or wrong in the course I have pursued in Congress. And I submit, also, whether I have not redeemed in good faith every pledge I have made to you. Then, my friends, the question recurs, whether I shall be sustained or rejected? If you are of opinion that Mr. Lincoln will advance the interests of Illinois better than I can; that he will sustain her honor and her dignity higher than it has been in my power to do; that your interests, and the interests of your children, require his election instead of mine, it is your duty to give him your support. If, on the contrary, you think that my adherence to these great fundamental principles upon which our Government is founded is the true mode of sustaining the peace and harmony of the country, and maintaining the perpetuity of the Republic, I then ask you to stand by me in the efforts I have made to that end.
And this brings me to the consideration of the two points at issue between Mr. Lincoln and myself. The Republican Convention, when it assembled at Springfield, did me and the country the honor of indicating the man who was to be their standard-bearer, and the embodiment of their principles, in this State.