Abraham Lincoln (18091865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897.
stump, and their judicial conduct reviewed in town meetings and caucuses; whenever the independence and integrity of the judiciary shall be tampered with to the extent of rendering them partial, blind and suppliant tools, what security will you have for your rights and your liberties? I therefore take issue with Mr. Lincoln directly in regard to this warfare upon the Supreme Court of the United States. I accept the decision of that Court as it was pronounced. Whatever my individual opinions may be, I, as a good citizen, am bound by the laws of the land, as the Legislature makes them, as the Court expounds them, and as the executive officers administer them. I am bound by our Constitution as our fathers made it, and as it is our duty to support it. I am bound, as a good citizen, to sustain the constituted authorities, and to resist, discourage, and beat down, by all lawful and peaceful means, all attempts at exciting mobs, or violence, or any other revolutionary proceedings against the Constitution and the constituted authorities of the country.
Mr. Lincoln is alarmed for fear that, under the Dred Scott decision, slavery will go into all the Territories of the United States. All I have to say is that, with or without that decision, slavery will go just where the people want it, and not one inch further. You have had experience upon that subject in the case of Kansas. You have been told by the Republican party that, from 1854, when the Kansas-Nebraska bill passed, down to last winter, that slavery was sustained and supported in Kansas by the laws of what they called a bogus Legislature. And how many slaves were there in the Territory at the end of last winter? Not as many at the end of that period as there were on the day the Kansas-Nebraska bill passed. There was quite a number of slaves in Kansas, taken there under the Missouri Compromise, and in spite of it, before the Kansas-Nebraska bill passed; and now it is asserted that there are not as many there as there were before the passage of the bill, notwithstanding that they had local laws sustaining and encouraging it, enacted, as the Republicans say, by a bogus Legislature, imposed upon Kansas by an invasion from Missouri. Why has not slavery obtained a foothold in Kansas under these circumstances? Simply because there was a majority of her people opposed to slavery, and every slaveholder knew that if he took his slaves there, the moment