Abraham Lincoln (18091865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897.
be decided with reference to the Territories. My own opinion on that law point is well known. It is shown by my votes and speeches in Congress. But be it as it may, the question was an abstract question, inviting no practical results, and whether slavery shall exist or shall not exist in any State or Territory, will depend upon whether the people are for or against it, and whichever way they shall decide it in any Territory or in any State, will be entirely satisfactory to me.
But I must now bestow a few words upon Mr. Lincolns main objection to the Dred Scott decision. He is not going to submit to it. Not that he is going to make war upon it with force of arms. But he is going to appeal and reverse it in some way; he cannot tell us how. I reckon not by a writ of error, because I do not know where he would prosecute that, except before an Abolition Society. And when he appeals, he does not exactly tell us to whom he will appeal, except it be the Republican party, and I have yet to learn that the Republican party, under the Constitution, has judicial powers; but he is going to appeal from it and reverse it, either by an Act of Congress, or by turning out the judges, or in some other way. And Why? Because he says that that decision deprives the negro of the benefits of that clause of the Constitution of the United States which entitles the citizens of each State to all the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States. Well, it is very true that the decision does have that effect. By deciding that a negro is not a citizen, of course it denies to him the rights and privileges awarded to citizens of the United States. It is this that Mr. Lincoln will not submit to. Why? For the palpable reason that he wishes to confer upon the negro all the rights, privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States. I will not quarrel with Mr. Lincoln for his views on that subject. I have no doubt he is conscientious in them. I have not the slightest idea but that he conscientiously believes that a negro ought to enjoy and exercise all the rights and privileges given to white men; but I do not agree with him, and hence I cannot concur with him. I believe that this Government of ours was founded on the white basis. I believe that it was established by white men; by men of European birth, or descended of European races, for the benefit of white men and their posterity in all time to come. I do not believe