Learning Lincoln On-line
FROM-- SET SIX, CIVIL WAR STUDIES
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates-- The Alton Debate
The Seventh and Last Joint Debate, at Alton, Illinois, October 15, 1858
"Selected quotations" or
SAD-- Mr. Lincoln and I have addressed the people in large numbers in many of the central counties, and in my speeches I held closely to these three propositions--controverting his proposition that this union could not exist as our fathers made it, divided into free and slave states--controverting his proposition of a crusade against the Supreme Court on the Dred Scott decision and controverting his proposition that the Declaration of Independence included and meant negroes as well as white men, when it declared all men to be created equal.
AL-- That is the real issue! An issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Douglas and myself shall be silent. These are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, "You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it." No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.
Each debate would start with a speech, and then reply, and finally a reply. Go to Bartleby.com to read the complete text: