The Little Giant

In an 1857 speech that Lincoln attended, Senator Stephen A. Douglas reiterated his confidence in popular sovereignty. He then addressed Dred Scott v. Sandford, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “Negroes” did not have the right to sue and that residence in a free territory did not entitle slaves to freedom. Douglas claimed that Republicans, which he also called the “Abolition Party,” would “instantly emancipate and set at liberty every slave in each state of this Union.” He warned of racial mixing that would result from declaring blacks and whites equal under the law.