Abraham Lincoln, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 338 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, Volume I.
to accept the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution, with the douceur of a land grant, or to reject it.  If they accepted it, the State was to be admitted at once; if they rejected it, they were not to be admitted until the population should reach the number which was required for electing a member to the House of Representatives.  At present the population was far short of this number, and therefore rejection involved a long delay in acquiring statehood.  Douglas very justly assailed the unfairness of a proposal by which an anti-slavery vote was thus doubly and very severely handicapped; but the bill was passed by both Houses of Congress and was signed by the President.  The Kansans, however, by an enormous majority,[74] rejected the bribes of land and statehood in connection with slavery.  For his action concerning the Lecompton Constitution and the “English bill” Douglas afterward took much credit to himself.

Such was the stage of advancement of the slavery conflict in the country, and such the position of Douglas in national and in state politics, when there took place that great campaign in Illinois which made him again senator in 1858, and made Lincoln President in 1860.


[61] For a striking comparison of the condition of the South with that of the North in 1850, see von Holst’s Const.  Hist. of U.S. v. 567-586.

[62] December, 1845.

[63] For a description of Douglas’s state of mind, see N. and H. i. 345-351, quoting original authorities.

[64] N. and H. i. 388.

[65] Thus when John Adams first landed in Europe, and was asked whether he was “the great Mr. Adams,” he said:  No, the great Mr. Adams was his cousin, Samuel Adams of Boston.

[66] For a fair and discriminating estimate of Buchanan, see Blaine, Twenty Years in Congress, vol. i. ch. x., especially pp. 239-241.

[67] Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, all for Fremont; Maryland for Fillmore.

[68] Tennessee and Kentucky.

[69] Dred Scott, plff. in error, vs. Sandford, Sup.  Ct. of U.S.  Dec.  Term, 1856, 19 Howard, 393.  After the conclusion of this case Scott was given his freedom by his master.

[70] Ante, pp. 94, 95.

[71] August 24, 1855; Holland, 145.

[72] For a good sketch of Douglas, see Elaine, Twenty Years of Congress, i. 144.

[73] This doctrine was set forth by Douglas in a speech at Springfield, Ill., June 12, 1857.  A fortnight later, June 26, at the same place, Lincoln answered this speech.  N. and H. ii. 85-89.

[74] By 11,300 against 1,788, August 2, 1858.  Kansas was admitted as a State at the close of January, 1861, after many of the Southern States had already seceded.


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