Abraham Lincoln (18091865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897.
think that is the inevitable conclusion. I do not doubt Mr. Lincolns conscientious conviction on the subject, and I do not doubt that he will carry out that doctrine if he ever has the power; but I resist it because I am utterly opposed to any political amalgamation or any other amalgamation on this continent. We are witnessing the result of giving civil and political rights to inferior races in Mexico, in Central America, in South America, and in the West India Islands. Those young men who went from here to Mexico, to fight the battles of their country in the Mexican war, can tell you the fruits of negro equality with the white man. They will tell you that the result of that equality is social amalgamation, demoralization, and degradation, below the capacity for self-government.
My friends, if we wish to preserve this Government we must maintain it on the basis on which it was established, to wit: the white basis. We must preserve the purity of the race not only in our politics but in our domestic relations. We must then preserve the sovereignty of the States, and we must maintain the Federal Union by preserving the Federal Constitution inviolate. Let us do that, and our Union will not only be perpetual but may extend until it shall spread over the entire continent.
Fellow-citizens, I have already detained you too long. I have exhausted myself and wearied you, and owe you an apology for the desultory manner in which I have discussed these topics. I will have an opportunity of addressing you again before the November election comes off. I come to you to appeal to your judgment as American citizens, to take your verdict of approval or disapproval upon the discharge of my public duty and my principles as compared with those of Mr. Lincoln. If you conscientiously believe that his principles are more in harmony with the feelings of the American people and the interests and honor of the Republic, elect him. If, on the contrary, you believe that my principles are more consistent with those great principles upon which our fathers framed this Government, then I shall ask you to so express your opinion at the polls. I am aware that it is a bitter and severe contest, but I do not doubt what the decision of the people of Illinois will be. I do not anticipate any personal collision between Mr. Lincoln and myself. You all know that I am an amiable, good-natured man, and I take