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Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Facts for the people

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02956 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: Springfield, Illinois Type: Pamphlet Date: 1858 Pagination: 24 p. ; 22.3 x 15.8 cm.

Summary of Content: Contains the following documents: "Speech of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, delivered in Springfield, Saturday evening, July 17, 1858;" "Great Speech of Senator Trumbull, on the Issues of the Day, Delivered in Chicago, Saturday, August 7, 1858;" "Douglas' Chicago Speech vs. his Freeport Speech: Dred Scott Swallowed in Chicago and Thrown Up in Freeport-What the Supreme Court Says-What President Buchanan Says-The Little Dodger Cornered and Caught;" "What the Southern Papers Say: The Louisville Journal on Douglas and Lincoln-Opinion of the Home Organ of Henry Clay;" "The Political Record of Stephen A. Douglas;" and several small speeches and editorial pieces printed on the front and back covers. 24 pages with printed front and back covers; printed at the Daily Journal Office, Springfield.

Background Information: For four months in 1858, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas crisscrossed Illinois, traveling nearly 10,000 miles and participating in seven face-to-face debates before crowds of up to 15,000. During the course of the ...debates, Lincoln and Douglas presented two sharply contrasting views of the problem of slavery. Douglas argued that slavery was a dying institution that had reached its natural limits and could not thrive where climate and soil were inhospitable. He asserted that the problem of slavery could be resolved if it was treated as a local problem. Lincoln, on the other hand, regarded slavery as a dynamic, expansionist institution, hungry for new territory. He argued that if Northerners allowed slavery to spread unchecked, slave owners would make slavery a national institution and would reduce all laborers, white as well as black, to a state of virtual slavery.
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Full Transcript: Lincoln on the "Ultimate Extinction" of Slavery,
Extract from Mr. Lincoln's Jonesboro speech, delivered September 15, 1858:
While I am upon this subject, I will make some answers briefly to certain propositions ...that Judge Douglas has put. He says, "Why can't this Union endure permanently, half slave and half free?" I have said that I supposed it could not, and I will try, before this new audience, to give briefly some of the reasons for entertaining that opinion. Another form of the question is, "Why can't we let it stand as our fathers placed it?" That is the exact difficulty between us. I say that Judge Douglas and his friends have changed them from the position in which our fathers originally placed it. I say in the way our fathers originally left the slavery question, the institution was in the course of ultimate extinction, and the public mind rested in the belief that it was in the course of ultimate extinction. I say when this government was first established it was the policy of its founders to prohibit the spread of slavery into the new territories of the United States, where it had not existed. But Judge Douglas and his friends have broken up that policy and placed it upon a new basis by which it is become national and perpetual. ALL I HAVE ASKED OR DESIRED ANYWHERE IS, THAT IT SHOULD BE PLACED BACK AGAIN UPON THE BASIS THAT THE FATHERS OF OUR GOVERNMENT ORIGINALLY PLACED IT UPON. I have no doubt that it would become extinct, for all time to come, if we but re-adopted the policy of the fathers by restricting it to the limits it has already covered--restricting it from the new territories."

Lincoln stands on the Old Whig Platform
The following are Douglas' Questions and Lincoln's Answers at Freeport:
Question 1. "I desire to know whether Lincoln today stands as he did in 1854 in favor of the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave law?"
Answer I do not now, nor ever did, stand in favor of the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave law.
Q. 2 "I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to-day, as he did in 1854, against the admission of any more slave States into the Union, even if the people want them?"
A. I do not now, nor ever did, stand pledged against the admission of any more slave States into the Union.
Q. 3 "I want to know whether he stands pledged against the admission of a new State into the Union, with such a Constitution as the people of that State may see fit to make."
A. I do not stand pledged against the admission of a new State into the Union, with such a Constitution as the people of that State may see fit to make.
Q. 4 "I want to know whether he stands to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia?"
A. I do not stand to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.
Q. 5 "I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to the prohibition of the slave trade between the different States."
A. I do not stand pledged to the prohibition of the slave trade between the different states.
Q. 6 "I desire to know whether he stands pledged to prohibit slavery in all the Territories of the United States, North as well as South of the Missouri Compromise line."
A. I am impliedly, if not expressly, pledged to a belief in the right and duty of Congress to prohibit slavery in all the United States Territories."
Q. 7 "I desire him to answer whether he is opposed to the acquisition of any new Territory unless slavery is first prohibited therein."
A. I am not generally opposed to honest acquisition of territory; and, in any given case. I would, or would not,oppose such acquisition accordingly as I might think such acquisitionwould or would not agitate the slavery question among ourselves.
Mr. Lincoln stands on the Old Whig Platform, with Clay and Webster.
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People: Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Trumbull, Lyman, 1813-1896
Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: PresidentPoliticsElectionDred ScottSupreme CourtAfrican American HistorySlaveryJournalism

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

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