I have always hated slavery, I think as much as any Abolitionist. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world -- enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites -- causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty -- criticising [sic] the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own. Let them be no more included in our religious sympathies or denominational statistics than are the dogs in our streets, the swine in our pens, or the utensils in our dwellings. As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. Dan Stone, Man above all institutions! I wish to return Judge Douglas my profound thanks for his public annunciation here to-day, to be put on record, that his system of policy in regard to the institution of slavery contemplates that it shall last forever. The reason why the South rules, and the North falls prostrate in servile terror, is simply this: with the South, the preservation of slavery is paramount to all other considerations above party success, denominational unity, pecuniary interest, legal integrity, and constitutional obligation. (VIII, 403), 413 S. 8th Street Civil Rights and Conflict in the United States: Selected Speeches. Living or dying, defeated or victorious, be it ours to exclaim, "No compromise with slavery! The following protest was presented to the House, which was read and ordered to be spread on the journals, to wit: I say now, however, as I have all the while said, that on the territorial question -- that is, the question of extending slavery under the national auspices, -- I am inflexible. Before you move to the next page, read the speeches by Harper and Truth. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. If slavery did not now exist amongst them, they would not introduce it. July 10, 1858: Speech at Chicago, Illinois. His words were so well delivered and inspiring, he was encouraged to become an anti-slavery lecturer. I think Slavery is wrong, morally, and politically. What next? I think I would not hold one in slavery, at any rate; yet the point is not clear enough for me to denounce people upon. If the slaves are not men; if they do not possess human instincts, passions, faculties, and powers; if they are below accountability, and devoid of reason; if for them there is no hope of immortality, no God, no heaven, no hell; if, in short, they are what the slave code declares them to be, rightly "deemed, sold, taken, reputed and adjudged in law to be chattels personal in the hands of their owners and possessors, and their executors, administrators and assigns, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever"; then, undeniably, I am mad, and can no longer discriminate between a man and a beast. Retrieved November 12, 2020, from https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/185/civil-rights-and-conflict-in-the-united-states-selected-speeches/5061/no-compromise-with-the-evil-of-slavery-speech-1854/. In this fragment, he countered the arguments that slavery was justified based on color and intellect. (III, 460), September 17, 1859: Fragment on Free Labor I also acknowledge your rights and my obligations, under the constitution, in regard to your slaves. You say A. is white, and B. is black. (II, 255-256), In a letter to his friend Joshua Speed, Lincoln freely expressed his hatred of slavery but he did not recommend immediate emancipation. The supremacy of God over the whole earth!". I suppose it may long exist, and perhaps the best way for it to come to an end peaceably is for it to exist for a length of time. I have been an Old Line Whig. What then? More than that; when the fathers of the government cut off the source of slavery by the abolition of the slave trade, and adopted a system of restricting it from the new Territories where it had not existed, I maintain that they placed it where they understood, and all sensible men understood, it was in the course of ultimate extinction; and when Judge Douglas asks me why it cannot continue as our fathers made it, I ask him why he and his friends could not let it remain as our fathers made it? If, practically falsifying its heaven-attested principles, this nation denounces me for refusing to imitate its example, then, adhering all the more tenaciously to those principles, I will not cease to rebuke it for its guilty inconsistency. I can not but hate [the declared indifference for slavery's spread]. 1854. Who would you assume their audience to be? Not to cherish these feelings would be recreancy to principle. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution. I do not know how to espouse freedom and slavery together. That such necessity does not exist in the teritories[sic], where slavery is not present. At the age of 28, while serving in the Illinois General Assembly, Lincoln made one of his first public declarations against slavery. (II, 222), October 16, 1854: Speech at Peoria, Illinois, Lincoln, in a speech at Peoria, attacked slavery on the grounds that its existence within the United States made American democracy appear hyprocritical in the eyes of the world. I confess I hate to see the poor creatures hunted down, and caught, and carried back to their stripes, and unrewarded toils; but I bite my lip and keep quiet. We know, Southern men declare that their slaves are better off than hired laborers amongst us. During the fifth debate, Lincoln claimed that slavery ran counter to American democratic principles because the Declaration of Independence's phrase - "all men are created equal" applied to African-Americans. There is no permanent class of hired laborers amongst us. Springfield, IL My own feelings will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not. Before you move to the next page, read the speeches by Harper and Truth. But, in that case, away with the horrible incongruity of giving them oral instruction, of teaching them the catechism, of recognizing them as suitably qualified to be members of Christian churches, of extending to them the ordinance of baptism, and admitting them to the communion table, and enumerating many of them as belonging to the household of faith! In this speech at Chicago, Lincoln reiterated his hatred of slavery and also his belief that it should not be touched where it then existed. I have always hated it, but I have always been quiet about it until this new era of the introduction of the Nebraska Bill began. In four of them I have expressly disclaimed all intention to bring about social and political equality between the white and black races, and, in all the rest, I have done the same thing by clear implication.
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