Nonfiction > Abraham Lincoln > Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas > Page 85
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Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).  Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas  1897.
 
Page 85
 
 
  Now, Mr. Lincoln says that he will not enter into Kentucky to abolish slavery there, but that all he will do is to fight slavery in Kentucky from Illinois. He will not go over there to set fire to the match. I do not think he would. Mr. Lincoln is a very prudent man. He would not deem it wise to go over into Kentucky to stir up this strife, but he would do it from this side of the river. Permit me to inquire whether the wrong, the outrage of interference by one State with the local concerns of another, is worse when you actually invade them than it would be if you carried on the warfare from another State? For the purpose of illustration, suppose the British Government should plant a battery on the Niagara River opposite Buffalo and throw their shells over into Buffalo, where they should explode and blow up the houses and destroy the town. We call the British Government to an account, and they say, in the language of Mr. Lincoln, we did not enter into the limits of the United States to interfere with you; we planted the battery on our own soil, and had a right to shoot from our own soil, and if our shells and balls fell in Buffalo and killed your inhabitants, why, it is your lookout, not ours. Thus, Mr. Lincoln is going to plant his Abolition batteries all along the banks of the Ohio River, and throw his shells into Virginia and Kentucky and into Missouri, and blow up the institution of slavery, and when we arraign him for his unjust interference with the institutions of the other States, he says, “Why, I never did enter into Kentucky to interfere with her; I do not propose to do it; I only propose to take care of my own head by keeping on this side of the river, out of harm’s way.” But yet, he says he is going to persevere in this system of sectional warfare, and I have no doubt he is sincere in what he says. He says that the existence of the Union depends upon his success in firing into these slave States until he exterminates them. He says that unless he shall play his batteries successfully, so as to abolish slavery in every one of the States, that the Union shall be dissolved; and he says that a dissolution of the Union would be a terrible calamity. Of course it would. We are all friends of the Union. We all believe—I do—that our lives, our liberties, our hopes in the future depend upon the preservation and perpetuity of this glorious Union. I believe that the hopes of the friends of
 

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