1 min read
Posted on 02.21.06
  • 1 min read
  • Posted on 02.21.06

Big Picture photographer Mike DeFilippo offers elsewhere on this site a portrait of Lynne Jackson, the great-great granddaughter of Dred Scott. The picture sent me back to my collection of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches.

In an 1857 speech in Springfield (a year before his electrifying “A House Divided” address) Lincoln outlined his opposition to Douglas’s assertion that the Dred Scott decision was the final word on the subject of slavery:

If this important decision had been made by the unanimous concurrence of the judges, and without any apparent partisan bias, and in accordance with legal public expectation, and with the steady practice of the departments throughout our history, and had been in no part, based on assumed historical facts which are not really true; or, if wanting in some of these, it had been before the court more than once, and had there been affirmed and re-affirmed through a course of years, it then might be, perhaps would be, factious, nay, even revolutionary, to not acquiesce in it as a precedent. But when, as it is true we find it wanting in all these claims to the public confidence, it is not resistance, it is not factious, it is not even disrespectful, to treat it as not having yet quite established a settled doctrine for the country.
They don’t make Republicans like they used to.