I have always believed, heretofore, in the doctrines of the Declaration of Independence, that all men are born free and equal; but of late it appears that some men are born slaves, and I regret that they are not black, so all the world might know them.
I am not unconscious of the persuasive power exerted by these considerations to drag men along in the current; but I am not at liberty to travel that road.
But, sir, I shall take the path of duty and shall not swerve from it.
I know how easy it is for some minds to glide along with the current of popular opinion, where influence, respectability, and all those motives which tend to seduce the human heart are brought to bear.
To morrow, I believe, is to be an eclipse of the sun, and I think it perfectly meet and proper that the sun in the heavens, and the glory of the Republic should both go into obscurity and darkness together.
As a Senator I am opposed to duelling. As Ben. Wade, I recognize the code.
Sir, I am no sycophant or worshipper of power anywhere.
You can never conquer us, we will die first.
The humiliation of the North is complete and overwhelming.
I may fall here in the Senate chamber, but I will. never make any compromise with any such men.
I do not pretend to know precisely what is on foot there; but I think it pretty evident that there is a very free communication between that country and this body, and unless I am greatly mistaken, I see the dwarfish medium by which that communication is kept up.
Sometimes it leads me even to hesitate whether I am strictly correct in my idea that all men are born to equal rights, for their conduct seems to me to contravene the doctrine.
We certainly cannot have any further political connection with the Whigs of the South; they have rendered such connection impossible. An impassable gulf separates us, and must here-after separate us.
I am amazed at the facility with which some men follow in the wake of slavery.
I am not unaware how unpopular on this floor are the sentiments I am about to advocate.
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