Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 452 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02.
universal and eternal, it is assailed, and sneered at, and construed and hawked at, and torn, till if its framers could rise from their graves they could not at all recognize it.  All the powers of earth seem rapidly combining against him.  Mammon is after him, ambition follows, philosophy follows, and the theology of the day is fast joining the cry.  They have him in his prison house, they have searched his person and left no prying instrument with him.  One after another they have closed the heavy iron doors upon him; and now they have him, as it were, bolted in with a lock of a hundred keys, which can never be unlocked without the concurrence of every key; the keys in the hands of a hundred different men, and they scattered to a hundred different and distant places; and they stand musing as to what invention, in all the dominions of mind and matter, can he produced to make the impossibility of his escape more complete than it is....
There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people at the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races; and Judge Douglas evidently is basing his chief hope upon the chances of his being able to appropriate the benefit of this disgust to himself.  If he can by much drumming and repeating fasten the odium of that idea upon his adversaries, he thinks he can struggle through the storm.  He therefore clings to this hope as a drowning man to the last plank.  He makes an occasion for lugging it in, from the opposition to the Dred Scott decision.  He finds the Republicans insisting that the Declaration of Independence includes all men, black as well as white, and forthwith he boldly denies that it includes negroes at all, and proceeds to argue gravely that all who contend it does, do so only because they want to vote, and eat, and sleep, and marry with negroes.  He will have it that they cannot be consistent else.  Now I protest against the counterfeit logic which concludes that because I do not want a black woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife.  I need not have her for either.  I can just leave her alone.  In some respects she certainly is not my equal; but in her natural right to eat the bread she earns with her own hands, without asking leave of any one else, she is my equal and the equal of all others.
Chief-Justice Taney, in his opinion in the Dred Scott case, admits that the language of the Declaration is broad enough to include the whole human family; but he and Judge Douglas argue that the authors of that instrument did not intend to include negroes, by the fact that they did not at once actually place them on an equality with the whites.  Now this grave argument comes to just nothing at all by the other fact that they did not at once or ever afterwards actually place all white people on an equality with one another.  And this is the staple argument of both the Chief-Justice and the Senator, for doing this obvious violence
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Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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