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crudeness of the mental make-up of Douglas, who will stand in history, almost with Calhoun, as a marplot against the peace of the Union.
Davis offered a bill to issue to any state or territory, on application, arms made at the United States armories on payment of an amount sufficient to replace by manufacture the arms issued, which had in the light of coming events a sufficiently ugly look to cause a united Republican vote in the negative.1
William H. Seward was with one consent regarded by the South as the coming nominee of the Republican party; his nomination was looked forward to with double bitterness throughout the section, because of the boldness of his expressions on slavery in and out of Congress, and Governor Letcher, of Virginia, gave form to the almost universal sentiment of the South in his message of 1860 to the legislature of Virginia: "The idea of permitting such a man to have the control and direction of the army and navy of the United States, and the appointment of high judicial and executive officers, postmasters included, cannot be entertained by the South for a moment."
The southern leaders recognized that the presidential contest of 1860 would under any circum‐ stances be close, and dangerously so in the divided state of the Democratic party. For while Douglas was looked upon by the Democracy of the North as certain to be its next candidate, he had been dis
1 Cong. Globe, 36 Cong., 1 Sess., 1352.
carded by the South through the very action by which he had hoped to ingratiate himself with the southerners. His abrogation of the Missouri Compromise at the time of the passage of the KansasNebraska bill was in line with southern views; but when squatter sovereignty failed to make Kansas a slave territory, Douglas and his doctrine became to the South anathema.
To bring out this internal division of the party, Jefferson Davis, February 2 and March 1, 1860, submitted a series of resolutions, the first and second of which were substantially the state - sovereignty doctrine of Calhoun; the third affirmed it to be the duty of the Senate, “which represents the states in their sovereign capacity," to resist all attempts to discriminate as to persons or property in the territories; the fourth attacked Douglas's Freeport Doctrine by declaring that "neither Congress nor a territorial legislature, by direct or indirect legislation, has the power to annul or impair the constitutional right of any citizen, to take his slave property into the common territories and there hold and enjoy the same while the territorial condition remained"; the fifth made it the duty of Congress to supply remedies, if adequate protection should not otherwise be afforded; the sixth provided that the inhabitants of a territory, when admitted as a state, might decide whether to have slavery or not; the seventh demanded that the constitutional provision as to fugitive slaves, and
the laws made to secure its execution should be honestly and faithfully observed and maintained by all; and that all acts of individuals or state legislatures to defeat or nullify these were "hostile in character, subversive of the constitution and revolutionary in effect." 1
These reso1ions abandoned all theories of "noninterference” and of popular sovereignty in favor of the startling proposition that slavery was the normal and constitutional status in every territory, and that Congress must protect that status. The views were not new to Davis's mind; he had stated them broadly July 12, 1848, in a speech upon the Oregon bill, when he "denied that there was any power in Congress or in the people of the territory to interrupt the slave system," and "asserted it to be the duty of the United States to protect the property of a slave-owner during the transit from one state to another," views at the time the more remarkable inasmuch as, when secretary of war in 1854, he cordially assented to Douglas's squattersovereignty views and aided in advancing them. Davis's resolutions were, however, now offered in effect as the platform of the southern wing of the Democratic party, and Douglas was given to understand that he must stand on this ground or lose the support of the South, which had come to view his doctrine as a bar against the admission or
1 Cong. Globe, 36 Cong., 1 Sess., 658, 935
2 Ibid., 30 Cong., 1 Sess., 927.
establishment of slavery in any territory as effectual as the Wilmot proviso.1
While the two foremost representatives of the Democratic party, Douglas and Davis, were thus at sword's point, two Republicans of unequal prominence made nearly at the same moment speeches which attracted the attention of the country. The one expected, with almost the certainty of receiving it, the Republican candidacy for president; the other but a year since had been disappointed in the only hope of high political station which he seems to have really held out to himself-the seat in the Senate so long held by Douglas. The possibility of being president but slowly dawned in Lincoln's mind. But he had stepped into greatness, and was carried far on the road to fame, by his debate with Douglas in 1858.
These speeches were speedily published and had a wide circulation. Their truth, fairness, and logic made Lincoln a marked man in the thoughtful minds of the East as well as among the populace of . the West, many thousands of whom he had faced from the platform. He was called upon during 1859 for speeches and addresses in several of the western states-in Kansas, in Wisconsin, in Ohio: and it is not strange that he should have received an invitation from the Young Men's Central Republican Union of New York City to come east.
1 Speech of Iverson, of Georgia, January 9, 1860, Cong. Globe, 36 Cong., I Sess., 380.
speech in response, at the Cooper Institute, February 27, 1860, before a brilliant and intellectual audience, was a marked and, if we could trace all the threads of politics, perhaps a momentous event. His text was the understanding of those who framed the Constitution as to the power of the Federal government to control slavery in the territories. No better or more powerful presentation of the subject, it may be said none so good or powerful, has been made; and it deserved the praise of Greeley as being "the very best political address to which I ever listened—and I have heard some of Webster's grandest."1 Lincoln in his final sentence cpitomized the principles which were later to give him strength in a period of stress such as seldom falls to man: "Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.” 2
A marked feature of Lincoln's speeches throughout is the frequency with which he speaks of the United States as a “nation." It illustrates the fact that the West, the child itself of the Federal government, had become permeated with the idea of nationality, distinct from that of an easily broken association which had become so dear to the mind of the South.
Seward spoke in the Senate but two days later, February 29. His political prominence, the philos
'Century Magazine, XX., 373 (July, 1891).
2 Lincoln, Works (ed. of 1898), I., 599-612. See above, p. 3.