"FOR THE FIRST TIME LINCOLN HAD PUBLICLY DENOUNCED A DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT… FORESHADOWED THE APPROACH HE WOULD TAKE DURING THE SENATE DEBATES WITH DOUGLAS": RARE FIRST EDITION OF LINCOLN'S JUNE 16, 1857 SPEECH… IN REPLY TO JUDGE DOUGLAS, WITH FIRST EDITION OF DOUGLAS' JUNE 12 SPEECH ON DRED SCOTT
LINCOLN, Abraham. Speech of the Hon. Abram [sic] Lincoln, In Reply to Judge Douglas. Delivered in Representatives' Hall, Springfield, Illinois, June 26th, 1857. WITH: DOUGLAS, Stephen A. Kansas, Utah, and the Dred Scott Decision. Remarks… Delivered in the State House at Springfield, Illinois, on 12th of June, 1857. [Springfield, Illinois: 1857]. Two items. Single folio sheet folded, untrimmed, uncut; pp. -7 ; single folio sheet folded, uncut; pp. 1-8. $17,500.
First separate printing of Lincoln's bold 1857 Speech, delivered two weeks after Stephen A. Douglas' provocative address on Dred Scott (included here), very rare together in original folio first printings, with Lincoln’s breakthrough Speech a clear assertion of the Declaration’s "all men are created equal" as a "maxim for a free society… and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere," leading up to his famous “House Divided” speech.
Lincoln was in the audience when Douglas delivered his June 12, 1857 speech. which is included herein with Lincoln's powerful response in his Speech of June 26. Douglas had briefly touched on Utah's territorial status and slavery in Kansas, before focusing on the recent Dred Scott decision and asserting that those critical of it were "'enemies of the Constitution.'" Douglas echoed Chief Justice Taney by stating "that 'negroes were regarded as an inferior race, who, in all ages, and in every part of the globe… had shown themselves incapable of government'" (Simon, Lincoln, 135-6). For months Lincoln had been silent about Dred Scott but Douglas' words "provoked him to speak. He only did so, however, after he had meticulously prepared a rebuttal… for two weeks after Douglas' address, Lincoln spent his days in the library." When he stepped up to deliver this Speech on the evening of June 26, he was "carrying an armload of legal volumes." After countering Douglas on Utah and Kansas, Lincoln swiftly turned to Dred Scott—"the Supreme Court's first invalidation of a major federal law" (Fehrenbacher, Dred Scott, 4). "Responding to claims made by Douglas and Taney that the authors of the Declaration did not intend to include Blacks when they wrote that 'all men are created equal,'" Lincoln asserted "the Declaration's authors 'intended to include all men, but they… did not mean to say that all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments or social capacity.'" To Lincoln, the founders instead changed history by declaring how all men were equal in "certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" (Zarefsky, Consistency and Change, 25).
With this profoundly important Speech, "for the first time, Lincoln had publicly denounced a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court and, more particularly, a majority opinion of Chief Justice Taney on the issue of race" (Simon, 138-39). David Herbert Donald notes Lincoln's forceful reaction to Dred Scott marked a significant turning point in his views on constitutional issues: "never again did he give deference to the ruling of the Supreme Court" (Lincoln, 201). In one of this Speech's most decisive arguments, Lincoln states: "I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects… they did not at once, or ever afterwards, actually place all white people on an equality with one another" (original emphasis). To Lincoln, Taney and Douglas did "violence to the plain unmistakable language of the Declaration." He contended the founders' statement of "inalienable rights… meant to set up a standard maxim for a free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all… augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere." Lincoln's carefully reasoned position, "at once moral and pragmatic,… foreshadowed the approach he would take during the Senate debates with Douglas" and proved a foundation for his presidency (Zarefsky, 26). Delivered almost a year before his famous House Divided speech, this Speech "contains some of the most memorable passages in his writing." It clearly reveals, even at this early point in his path toward the presidency, Lincoln's rhetorical brilliance and his apparently effortless ability to infuse "great poetic significance… into the political matter of the pre-Civil War epoch" (Basler, 19). Lincoln's Speech: first issue of this first separate printing, with Lincoln's first name misspelled; Monaghan records a similar later printing, with Lincoln's name spelled correctly in the title. Printed in double-column format. The Illinois State Journal advertised copies of the speech for sale, while at least two papers (Illinois State Chronicle and Clinton Central Transcript) printed the text in full. (Lincoln) Eberstadt 165:356. Byrd 2715. Monaghan 9. Graff 2494.
Text very fresh, Lincoln with two leaves separated at foldline not affecting text. Rare together, about-fine.