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but that at the South the question is between the negro and the crocodile; that it is a mere matter of policy; that there is a perfect right according to interest to do just as you please—when this is done, where this doctrine prevails, the miners and sappers will have formed public opinion for the slave trade. . .

Public opinion in this country is everything. In a nation like ours this popular sovereignty and squatter sovereignty have already wrought a change in the public mind to the extent I have stated. There is no man in this crowd who can contradict it. Now, if you are opposed to slavery honestly, as much as anybody, I ask you to note that fact, and the like of which is to follow, to be plastered on layer after layer, until very soon you are prepared to deal with the negro everywhere as with the brute. If public sentiment has not been debauched already to this point, a new turn of the screw in that direction is all that is wanting; and this is constantly being done by the teachers of this insidious popular sovereignty. You need but one or two turns further until your minds, now ripening under these teachings, will be ready for all these things; and you will receive and support, or submit to, the slave trade revived with all its horrors, a slave code enforced in our Territories, and a new Dred Scott decision to bring slavery up into the very heart of the free North.

This Government is expressly charged with the duty of providing for the general welfare. We believe that the spreading out and perpetuity of the institution of slavery impairs the general welfare. We believe nay, we know, that this is the only thing that has ever threatened the perpetuity of the Union itself. . .

I say we must not interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists, because the Constitution forbids it, and the general welfare does not require us to do so. We must not withhold an efficient fugitiveslave law, because the Constitution requires us, as I understand it, not to withhold such a law. But we must prevent the outspreading of the institution, because neither the Constitution nor the general welfare requires

CHAP. X.

Lincoln, Columbus Speech, Sept. 16, 1859.

Debates, pp. 243-54.

СНАР. Х.

us to extend it. We must prevent the revival of the African slave trade, and the enacting by Congress of a Territorial slave code. We must prevent each of these things being done by either congresses or courts. The Cincinnati people of these United States are the rightful masters of both congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.

Lincoln,

Speech, Sept. 17, 1859. Debates, pp. 267-8.

Parsons

and others

to Lincoln,

Dec. 7, 1859

Debates, preface.

The Ohio Republicans gained a decided success at the October election. Ascribing this result in a large measure to the influence of Lincoln's speeches, the State Executive Committee resolved to publish in cheap book form the full Illinois joint debates and the two Ohio addresses, to serve as campaign material for the ensuing year. "We regard them," wrote the committee to Lincoln, "as luminous and triumphant expositions of the doctrines of the Republican party, successfully vindicated from the aspersions of its foes, and calculated to make a document of great practical service to the Republican party in the approaching Presidential contest."

Lincoln, thanking them for the flattering terms of their request, explained in his reply: "The copies I send you, are as reported and printed by the respective friends of Senator Douglas and myself at the time- that is, his by his friends, and mine by mine. It would be an unwarrantable liberty for us to change a word or a letter in his, and the changes I have made in mine, you perLincoln to ceive, are verbal only, and very few in number. I and others, wish the reprint to be precisely as the copies I 1859. Ibid. send, without any comment whatever."

Parsons

Dec. 19,

The enterprise proved a success beyond the most sanguine expectations. A Columbus firm under

took the publication, itself assuming all pecuniary CHAP. X. risk. Three large editions were sold directly to the public, without any aid from or any purchase by the committee-the third edition containing the announcement that up to that date, June 16, 1860, thirty thousand copies had already been circulated.1

1 The preface to this third edition contains a letter from Douglas, alleging that injustice had been done him because, "the original reports as published in the Chicago Times,' although intended to be fair and just, were necessarily imperfect, and in some respects erroneous"; charging at the same time that Lincoln's speeches had been revised, corrected, and improved.* To this the publishers replied: "The speeches of Mr. Lincoln were never revised, corrected,

or improved' in the sense you
use those words. Remarks by the
crowd which were not responded
to, and the reporters' insertions of
'cheers,''great applause,' and so
forth, which received no answer
or comment from the speaker,
were by our direction omitted, as
well from Mr. Lincoln's speeches
as yours, as we thought their per-
petuation in book form would be
in bad taste, and were in no man-
ner pertinent to, or a part of, the
speech." And the publishers add
a list of their corrections.

* Douglas to Follet, Foster & Co., June 9, 1860. Debates, third edition, preface.

+ Follet, Foster & Co. to Douglas, June 16, 1860. Ibid.

CHAP. XI.

TH

CHAPTER XI

HARPER'S FERRY

HERE now occurred another strange event which, if it had been specially designed as a climax for the series of great political sensations since 1852, could scarcely have been more dramatic. This was John Brown's invasion of Harper's Ferry in order to create a slave insurrection. We can only understand the transaction as far as we can understand the man, and both remain somewhat enigmatical.

Of Puritan descent, John Brown was born in Connecticut in the year 1800. When he was five years old, the family moved to Ohio, at that time a comparative wilderness. Here he grew up a strong, vigorous boy of the woods. His father taught him the tanner's trade; but a restless disposition drove him to frequent changes of scene and effort when he grew to manhood. He attempted surveying. He became a divinity student. He tried farming and tanning in Pennsylvania, and tanning and speculating in real estate in Ohio. Cattle-dealing was his next venture; from this to sheep-raising; and by a natural transition to the business of a wool-factor in Massachusetts. This not succeeding, he made a trip to Europe. Re

turning, he accepted from Gerrit Smith a tract of CHAP. XI. mountain land in the Adirondacks, where he proposed to found and foster colonies of free negroes. This undertaking proved abortive, like all his others, and he once more went back to the wool business in Ohio.

Twice married, nineteen children had been born to him, of whom eleven were living when, in 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska bill plunged the country into the heat of political strife. Four of his sons moved away to the new Territory in the first rush of emigrants; several others went later. When the Border-Ruffian hostilities broke out, John Brown followed, with money and arms contributed in the North. With his sons as a nucleus, he gathered a little band of fifteen to twenty adventurers, and soon made his name a terror in the lawless guerrilla warfare of the day. His fighting was of the prevailing type, justifiable, if at all, only on the score of defensive retaliation, and some of his acts were as criminal and atrocious as the worst of those

committed by the Border Ruffians.1 His losses, one son murdered, another wounded to the death,

1 On the night of May 24-25, 1856, five pro-slavery men living on Pottawatomie Creek, in Kansas, were mysteriously and brutally assassinated. The relatives and friends of the deceased charged John Brown and his band with these murders, which the relatives and friends of Brown persistently denied. His latest biographer, however, unreservedly admits his guilt: "For some reason he [John Brown] chose not to strike a blow himself; and this is what Salmon Brown meant when he declared

that his father was not a par-
ticipator in the deed.' It was a
very narrow interpretation of the
word 'participator' which would
permit such a denial; but it was
no doubt honestly made, although
for the purpose of disguising
what John Brown's real agency
in the matter was. He was, in
fact, the originator and per-
former of these executions, al-
though the hands that dealt the
wounds were those of others."-
Frank B. Sanborn, "Life and
Letters of John Brown," pp.
263-4.

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