Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 3.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Speech at Council Bluffs, Iowa [1]

August 13, 1859

Abe Lincoln on the Slope.

The people of this city were edified, last Saturday evening, by a speech from Hon. ABE LINCOLN, of Illinois. He apologized very handsomely for appearing before an Iowa audience during a Campaign in which he was not interested. He then, with many excuses and a lengthy explanation, as if conscious of the nauseous nature of that Black Republican nostrum, announced his intention to speak about the ``eternal Negro,'' to use his own language, and entered into a lengthy and ingenious analysis of the Nigger question, impressing upon his hearers that it was the only question to be agitated until finally settled. He carefully avoided coming directly to the extreme ground occupied by him in his canvass against Douglas, yet the doctrines which he preached, carried out to their legitimate results, amount to precisely the same thing. He was decidedly opposed to any fusion or coalition of the Republican party with the opposition of the South, and clearly proved the correctness of his ground, in point of policy. They must retain their sectional organization and sectional character, and continue to wage their sectional warfare by slavery agitation; but if the opposition South would accede to their views and adopt their doctrines, he was willing to run for president in 1860, a Southern man with Northern principles, or in other words, with Abolition proclivities. His speech was in the character of an exhortation to the Republican party, but was in reality as good a speech as could have been made for the interest of the Democracy. He was listened to with much attention, for his Waterloo defeat by Douglas has magnified him into quite a lion here.

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[1]   Council Bluffs Bugle, August 17, 1859. Although from a Democratic paper, this is the most complete report available. Accompanied by Ozias M. Hatch, Lincoln made the trip to Council Bluffs to examine land owned by Norman B. Judd, which Judd deeded to Lincoln November 11, 1859, as security for a $3,000 debt. After his arrival in the city, Lincoln accepted an invitation to speak.