Abraham Lincoln (18091865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897.
were created equal, and hence that Great Britain had no right to deprive them of their political and religious privileges; but the signers of that paper did not intend to include the Indian or the negro in that declaration; for if they had would they not have been bound to abolish slavery in every State and Colony from that day? Remember, too, that at the time the Declaration was put forth, every one of the thirteen colonies was a slaveholding colony; every man who signed that Declaration represented slaveholding constituents. Did those signers mean by that act to charge themselves, and all their constituents with having violated the law of God, in holding the negro in an inferior condition to the white man? And yet, if they included negroes in that term, they were bound, as conscientious men, that day and that hour, not only to have abolished slavery throughout the land, but to have conferred political rights and privileges on the negro, and elevated him to an equality with the white man. [They did not do it.] I know they did not do it, and the very fact that they did not shows that they did not understand the language they used to include any but the white race. Did they mean to say that the Indian, on this continent, was created equal to the white man, and that he was endowed by the Almighty with inalienable rightsrights so sacred that they could not be taken away by any Constitution or law that man could pass? Why, their whole action toward the Indian showed that they never dreamed that they were bound to put him on an equality. I am not only opposed to negro equality, but I am opposed to Indian equality. I am opposed to putting the coolies, now importing into this country, on an equality with us, or putting the Chinese or any inferior race on an equality with us. I hold that the white race, the European race, I care not whether Irish, German, French, Scotch, English, or to what nation they belong, so they are the white race, to be our equals. And I am for placing them, as our fathers did, on an equality with us. Emigrants from Europe, and their descendants, constitute the people of the United States. The Declaration of Independence only included the white people of the United States. The Constitution of the United States was framed by the white people, it ought to be administered by them, leaving each State to make such regulations concerning the negro as it chooses, allowing him political rights or