« 上一頁繼續 »
was interrupted, he gathered new force from the cruelty of the attempt to disconcert him, and, rising to his full height, he described with glowing eloquence what freedom had done for him, what it did for any man, and showed how slavery debased and dragged down black and white together; and he asked if it were not natural that he should hate slavery and continue to agitate the question of its final extinction. “Yes,” said he, “we will speak for freedom and against slavery as long as the Constitution of our country guarantees free speech, until everywhere on this broad land the sun shall shine and the rain shall fall and the wind shall blow upon no man that goes forth to unrequited toil.”
The virulence of the campaign was excessive. In default of arguments with which to overthrow the Republicans, the proslavery party resorted to the most offensive epithets and phrases to hurl at the opposition. Frémont had once headed an expedition to California across the great American plains, and he and his party suffered incredible hardships. He had opened the first trial across the continent, through the then trackless wilderness. His admiring and his enthusiastic followers now called him the “Pathfinder.” To them he was a gallant hero. The opposition party called him “a mule-eating Black Republican,” and his party was known as the “Woolly-Horse” party, on account of some tales of a woolly horse having been found by the explorers. The election resulted as Lincoln had privately predicted that it would, in the election of James Buchanan. The last fight for freedom had begun,
and the returns showed that every slave State but one had voted for the Democratic candidate. The total number of electoral votes for Buchanan was 174, the following slave States having voted for him: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia. The free States for Buchanan were: California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. The free States voting for Frémont were: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin; a total of 114 votes against Buchanan's 174. Maryland, a slave State, cast its electoral vote of eight for Fillmore. Thus Buchanan had the votes of fourteen slave States and five free States; Frémont, the votes of eleven free States; and Fillmore, that of one slave State. Reckoning up the number of voters in all the States, we find that Buchanan had, all told, 1,838,169 votes, Frémont had 1,341,264, and Fillmore had 874,534. In Illinois, Bissell, the Republican candidate for governor, was elected, although the electoral vote of the State was given to Buchanan.
Meanwhile, the fight between freedom and slavery still went on in Kansas. The proslavery men, by denying the right of suffrage to the free-State men, managed to elect a Legislature, which assembled at Lecompton, and which was known as “the bogus Legislature.” A State constitution was also framed, with the legalization of slavery in it, as a matter of course, The free-State men refused to recognize the
legality of any of these doings, or to participate in the mock elections. They called a mass-meeting of the actual settlers, elected delegates to a constitutional convention, which assembled at Topeka and framed a constitution excluding slavery from the Territory. Thenceforth politicians were known as “Lecompton” or “Anti-Lecompton,” as they favored or opposed the proposition to admit slavery into Kansas. The Topeka Constitution was submitted to the people and almost unanimously adopted. The people next proceeded to elect officers under the free-State constitution. The Topeka Constitution was the work of the real people of Kansas, marshalled in numbers. The Lecompton Constitution was voted for by a mere handful of the persons nominally resident in the Territory. Both of these instruments were sent to Washington for the approval of Congress. Robert J. Walker, who had been appointed governor of the Territory by President Buchanan, made haste to go to Washington to protest against the acceptance of the Lecompton Constitution, as he knew it to be false and fraudulent as an exposition of the sentiments and wishes of the people of the Territory. Before he reached the national capital, the President had recommended Congress to accept the Lecompton Constitution. The free-State officers, acting under the Topeka Constitution, were declared guilty of treason and were arrested and lodged in jail. The Legislature was dispersed by the regular army of the United States, acting under the orders of the President. Kansas was to be dragooned into accepting slavery as a State.
LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS.
The Famous Contest for the Senatorship-A Battle of Giants-Doug
las and Lincoln Compared—Two Self-made Men–Lincoln's Autobiography-A Series of Famous Debates—The Country Intent on the Struggle-A Great Lesson in American Politics.
ONCE more were Lincoln and Douglas to be
pitted against each other. In 1858, the senatorial term of Douglas was drawing to a close. He desired to be re-elected and to have the indorsement of the people of Illinois. Seeing how the Lecompton Constitution had been lawlessly framed, and realizing that slavery thus forced upon Kansas had already made hosts of converts to the Republican party, he had begun to differ, personally, with the President. He soon, by his votes in the Senate, showed that he was opposed to the Lecompton Constitution. It was inconsistent for him to labor against that which his own Kansas-Nebraska Bill had made possible. But this he did, and not a few Republicans in the Eastern States thought that he would hereafter be with them. They advised that the Illinois Republicans should vote for him. He was now an Anti-Lecompton Democrat, as the phrase went; he was sure, so they thought, for freedom as against slavery. The Republicans of Illinois knew Douglas better. They refused to trust him, and when their convention
met, June 16, 1858, they declared that Abraham Lincoln was their first and only choice for the United States Senate to fill the vacancy about to be created by the expiration of Mr. Douglas's term of office. The Anti-Lecompton Democrats of the State, two months before, had similarly nominated Douglas to succeed himself.
Lincoln realized that this was to be a mighty struggle. None better than he understood and appreciated the great abilities and craftiness of Douglas. None better than he knew how tender the people of Illinois yet were on the subject of human slavery, half afraid of the stale epithet of "Abolitionist.” He framed his speech to the convention that had nominated him, putting into it his final platform, the platform from which he was to speak to the people during the coming canvass.
The men who were to choose a senator-himself or Douglas -were not yet chosen, except a few in the upper house, who held over from the previous year. It was to the people who elected senators and representatives in the Legislature that he and Douglas were to appeal. Lincoln read the manuscript of his speech to his partner, Mr. W. H. Herndon. That gentleman was somewhat dismayed by the very first paragraph. It was almost an indorsement of the old antislavery doctrine of disunion; for in it was the since-famous declaration: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free." Mr. Herndon said this was all true; but he was doubtful if it was discreet to say so at that time.