Recollection by Horace White, Quincy Debate, October 13, 1858

Source citation
Horace White, The Lincoln and Douglas Debates: An Address Before the Chicago Historical Society, February 17, 1914 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1914), 26-27.
Type
Book
Date Certainty
Exact
Transcriber
Adapted by David Park, Dickinson College
Transcription date
The following transcript has been adapted from The Lincoln and Douglas Debates: An Address Before the Chicago Historical Society, February 17, 1914 (1914).

The next meeting was at Quincy, October 13. Here Mr. Lincoln had the opening and he employed it in showing what were the true issues of the campaign. The fundamental difference between parties arose from the fact that domestic slavery existed in the land and that it was a disturbing element, leading to controversy between persons who thought that slavery was wrong and others who did not think it wrong. Those who thought it was evil and a disturbing element and a breeder of controversy were bound to use their influence and their votes in such ways as to prevent it from increasing and overspreading new territories and thereby becoming more harmful and disturbing than before. He enlarged upon this theme, constructing a masterly argument in support of the Republican party, which was then only two years old, and had taken part hi only one presidential contest. He did not, however, indulge in any offensive language toward the southern people. His allusions to them were generally in terms implying that they were the product and the victims of a bad social system, not the architects and designers of it.

When Douglas made his reply he said that if we would all mind our own business and let our neighbors alone this Republic could exist forever divided into free and slave states; which gave Lincoln the opportunity to thank him for his public announcement that his political theories contemplated that slavery should last forever.

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