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Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Douglas Bloomington Speech (Guelzo, 2008)

Scholarship

Allen C. Guelzo, Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008), 85.

Douglas had no objection to turning this “natural equality” doctrine into another misstep for Lincoln, on top of the House Divided speech. The senator was due in Springfield for the Democratic state committee meeting on the seventeenth, but he took his time getting there, chuffing down the Illinois Central, stopping to speak in Joliet and Bloomington, and luridly playing up Lincoln and “Negro equality.” Along the tracks, “all the stations were crowded to see Douglas.” At Bridgeport, immigrant Irish track workers “quit their work to cheer the senator as the train swept by,” and in Bloomington, he stopped to wave the race card in a speech on the steps of the McLean county courthouse to two thousand people. It was mostly a rerun of his Chicago speech, in which Douglas “declared himself the champion of popular sovereignty” and “indorsed…the Dred Scott decision.” But he now also “harped upon ‘Amalgamation,’ ‘Negro Equality,’ ‘a war of the sections’” for two and three-quarter hours.
How to Cite This Page: "Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Douglas Bloomington Speech (Guelzo, 2008)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/16722.