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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: April 2013

8 - Portion of a Speech at Edwardsville, Illinois

Summary

In this speech in the 1858 senatorial campaign, Lincoln goes on the offensive against Douglas and the Dred Scott decision of the preceding year. He draws a sharp contrast between Douglas’s professed indifference to the expansion of slavery and his own view that “slavery [is] a moral, social and political wrong.” To allow the extension of this wrong – as the Kansas–Nebraska Act (1854) and the Dred Scott decision (1857) do – is to aid and abet evil.

I have been requested to give a concise statement, as I understand it, of the difference between the Democratic and the Republican parties on the leading issues of this campaign. The question has just been put to me by a gentleman whom I do not know. I do not even know whether he is a friend of mine or a supporter of Judge Douglas in this contest; nor does that make any difference. His question is a pertinent one and, though it has not been asked me anywhere in the State before, I am very glad that my attention has been called to it to-day. Lest I should forget it, I will give you my answer before proceeding with the line of argument I had marked out for this discussion.

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Lincoln
  • Online ISBN: 9781139034784
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139034784
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