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iticians loved him for many things for his course in the Mexican War, and in the annexation of Texas; for his opposition to the Wilmot Proviso; for his speeches on the Compromise measures, and his subsequent gallant bearing when assailed by the turbulent populace of Chicago; for his aid in the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and for his repeated vindications of that measure before the people. No Northern public man, since the commencement of the anti-slavery agitation, has been so steadily and efficiently the friend of the South. It was only when sternly adhering to his reading of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, he refused to stultify himself by accepting the monstrous construction of that measure given to it by ultra Southern men, that he began to lose their confidence. From that hour all his sacrifices and services in their behalf were studiously forgotten. Their compliments were exchanged for curses, their praises for proscriptions; and it is a melancholy comment upon the boasted intelligence of the Southern people, that so many thousands permitted themselves to desert the great leader, only because that leader would not himself desert the truth and degrade his manhood. [Great applause.] Much has been said by heated partisans in regard to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. It is alleged, on the one hand, that we should have had no Republican party, and on the other, that if he had adhered to that Compromise the Union itself would have stood the shock of battle and of time. But, however men may differ, when they come to discuss this portion of the record of our departed friend, all must agree that the agitation which followed the enactment of the Kansas-Nebraska bill led to the exposure of the plans of the Disunionists, and enabled the American people to realize that these plans had been many years in course of preparation. If Judge Douglas, following the lead of these men, had accepted their construction of that measure, then the condemnation heaped upon him would have been just; but when, with heroic fortitude and persistence, he maintained the principle he avowed when discussing the measure itself before it became a law, and, rather than yield it, endured the unparalleled persecution of the Administration of Mr. Buchanan; and when he demanded its recognition and reëndorsement by the National Convention of which he was the nominee in 1860, he gave the highest evidence of his patriotism and his sincerity. In the last Congress of the United States an unconscious tribute was paid to his character by the enactment of three territorial bills in which the doctrine of non-intervention with slavery in the Territories—the vital spirit of the Kansas-Nebraska bill—was recognized by the decided vote of both Houses.
And how did he bear himself when his former familiars and friends in the South turned from him, first with displeasure, and afterwards with indignation and scorn? Did he respond to their criminations? Did he retaliate their misrepresentations? No. Put forward as the regular Democratic candidate for President in 1860, he took the field to save them from the fate which has since overtaken them. Denounced by his assailants as afraid to advocate his opinions in the Slave States, he boldly threw himself among the Southern people, and challenged universal admiration by the dignity, the candor, and the eloquence of his arguments. His replies to the celebrated Norfolk questions were the index of his whole canvass in that never-to-be-forgotten year. Applauded by the Republicans and the Northern Democrats as an extraordinary exhibition of moral courage, and execrated by the Disunionists as a deliberate defiance of their threats, he never abandoned the high position thus assumed, but maintained his onward march. Beginning at Norfolk in August, and pursuing his way through North Carolina, returning to Virginia, thence to Maryland, and so through Pennsylvania, at every point greeted by thousands, and approached by servile politicians who attempted to turn him from his text and to seduce him from his duty; yet he invariably spoke the same language and advocated the same doctrine. It was not for the South alone, but for the country, that he pleaded. [Applause.] As an evidence of his singular unselfishness, I am authorized to relate an incident by one who accompanied him through all these trying scenes. He never had full confidence in the probability of his election to the Presidency, but he was buoyed up by the faith that was in him, strengthened by the consciousness that if he did not live to enjoy the fruits of his labors, others would do so; and he seemed to be happy in the reflection that he was laboring not for himself, but for the peace, the prosperity, the perpetuity of the Republic. On the morning after the State elections in Pennsylvania and Indiana, in October of this same year, 1860, while at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he received a despatch from the Associated Press, based upon an editorial of my own, announcing that both these States had declared in favor of the Republican party. His friend advised him to pause in his journey, suggesting the long route before them, the labor, and, indeed, the peril of the experiment, and reminding him that his health might fail him before he reached the close of his canvass. His reply is worthy of preservation. “No,” he said, “ Lincoln is the next President of the United States. I have no hope and no destiny before me, but to do my best to save the Union from overthrow. Now, let us turn our course to the South.” [Applause.] And to the South they went. The history of that tour is yet to be written. Every step of his progress was watched with solicitude and surprise by the Northern people of all parties. Although invited by such men as Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, and John Forsyth, of Alabama, then professing to be his warmest friends, admonitions were thrown out that he would not be permitted to speak in the Slave States, and more than one of the Southern journals invoked the spirit of the mob to put him down. But he was not to be deterred or delayed. He was not to be put down by human power. Leaving Chicago, he passed successively through the States of Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, travelling and speaking night and day, and returned through Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia. Wherever he appeared thousands greeted him, and although invectives were plenty and threats hurled at him from the crowds, armed men watching each other, ready to break into open violence for and against him, he maintained the even tenor of his way. He reached the city of Mobile the evening before the Presidential election, and addressed an immense meeting of the people, carrying the district, as the result announced the night after showed, by the force of his logic and the courage of his character. In all this tour, not content with appealing to the masses from the hustings, he invoked his friends in private life to stand fast by the flag, appealed to the editors friendly to him to keep up the good fight, and never rested, not even after the election of Mr. Lincoln was ascertained, when he addressed the people of New Orleans, until he was prostrated by disease. [Applause.] It is related that after his speech at New Orleans a splendid silk banner was unfurled, bearing an accurate likeness of Douglas, inscribed with the words “Our choice in 1864.” I forbear referring in detail to those who assisted in the welcome of this illustrious patriot during his memorable mission to the Slave States, and who have since fallen from his standard, and are now engaged in the parricidal attempt of destroying that Union in whose behalf he labored so heroically. I have never doubted, that during this campaign the seeds of the fatal disease that finally carried him off were planted in his constitution. He had passed through almost inconceivable dangers, accidents by flood and field, and on one occasion came near losing his life by what was supposed to be the act of an enemy who attempted to throw the train which carried him and his family from the track. He survived them all to return to Washington. Is it any wonder that in his celebrated passage with the Disunion candidate for the Presidency, during the special session of April, in this year, that with all this experience in his own recollection and the recollection of the country, he should say that there was no cause for this rebellion against the Government; that all the demands of the South had been practically conceded in recent legislation, and that the Republicans had yielded all that the Southern extremists had insisted upon ? [Applause.] And you will observe that no one was more earnest for peace than Mr. Douglas at this period. An ordinary man would have felt the insults and the ingratitude of the Southern politicians, but Douglas, when President Lincoln's inaugural was announced, gave it such a construction as proved his own earnest desire to prevent a collision. Here again he displayed his singular sagacity and boldness; for while the Republican leaders were uncertain how to treat the first Message of the President, he put himself forward, and with an ingenuity and an audacity, too, that attracted general observation, insisted that Mr. Lincoln's policy was that of an amicable adjustment of our national differences. [Applause.] The secret is to be found in his earnest desire to save the people of the South from their leaders—in other words, to keep the Union together, and, as it were, to appeal to the men specially interested in the prosperity of the new Administration, to adopt the same course. It was only when Sumpter fell ; it was only when he perceived that all the amicable proffers of the Administration had been coldly rejected by the conspirators against our country's honor; it was only when these conspirators