As a Senator I am opposed to duelling. As Ben. Wade, I recognize the code.
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 unaware how unpopular on this floor are the sentiments I am about to advocate.
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.
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.
I am amazed at the facility with which some men follow in the wake of slavery.
I may fall here in the Senate chamber, but I will. never make any compromise with any such men.
Sir, I am no sycophant or worshipper of power anywhere.
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.
The humiliation of the North is complete and overwhelming.
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