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POLITICAL DEBATES

BETWEEN

LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS.

SPEECH OF HON. ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

At Springfield, June 17, 1858.

[The following speech was delivered at Springfield, 111., at the close of the Republican State Convention held at that time and place, and by which Convention Mr. Lincoln had been named as their candidate for United States Senator. Mr. Douglas was not present.]

Mr. President And Gentlemen Of The Convention: If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South.

Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

Let any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination—piece of machinery, so to speak—compounded of the Nebraska doctrine and the Dred Scott decision. Let him consider, not only what work the machinery

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