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Writings of Abraham Lincoln, the — Volume 3: the Lincoln-Douglas debates by Abraham Lincoln
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THE WRITINGS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Volume Three

CONSTITUTIONAL EDITION



THE LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES I

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DEBATES of LINCOLN WITH DOUGLAS
In the Senatorial Campaign of 1858 in Illinois
SPEECH AT SPRINGFIELD, JUNE 17, 1858



[The following speech was delivered at Springfield, Ill., 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