Nonfiction > Abraham Lincoln > Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas > Page 82
Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).  Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas  1897.
Page 82
the passage of the Nebraska bill, the Dred Scott decision and the extension of slavery—a scheme of political tricksters, composed of Chief Justice Taney and his eight associates, two Presidents of the United States, and one Senator of Illinois. If Mr. Lincoln deems me a conspirator of that kind, all I have to say is that I do not think so badly of the President of the United States, and the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest judicial tribunal on earth, as to believe that they were capable in their action and decision of entering into political intrigues for partisan purposes. I therefore shall only notice those parts of Mr. Lincoln’s speech, in which he lays down his platform of principles, and tells you what he intends to do if he is elected to the Senate of the United States.  10
  [An old gentleman here rose on the platform and said: “Be particular now, Judge, be particular.”]  11
  Mr. DOUGLAS: My venerable friend here says that he will be gratified if I will be particular, and in order that I may be so, I will read the language of Mr. Lincoln as reported by himself and published to the country. Mr. Lincoln lays down his main proposition in these words:
          ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe this Union cannot endure permanently half free and half slave. I do not expect the Union will be dissolved, I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it to cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.
  Mr. Lincoln does not think this Union can continue to exist composed of half slave and half free States; they must all be free or all slave. I do not doubt that this is Mr. Lincoln’s conscientious conviction. I do not doubt that he thinks it is the highest duty of every patriotic citizen to preserve this glorious Union, and to adopt these measures as necessary to its preservation. He tells you that the only mode to preserve the Union is to make all the States free or all slave. It must be the one or it must be the other. Now that being essential, in his estimation, to the preservation of this glorious Union, how is he going to accomplish it? He says that he wants to go to the Senate in order to carry out this favorite patriotic policy of his, of making all the States free, so that the house shall no longer


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