In a speech at Springfield, Lincoln draws this picture: —”In those days our Declaration of Independence was held sacred by all, and thought to include all; but now, to aid in making the bondage of the negro universal and eternal, it is assailed, sneered at, construed, hawked at, and torn, till, if its framers could rise fromtheir graves, they could not recognize it.
All the powers of the earth seem rapidly combining against him. Mammon is after him; ambition follows; philosophy follows; and the theology of the day is fast joining the cry. They have him in his prison-house ; they havesearched his person and left no prying instrument with him.
One after another, they have closed the heavy iron doors upon him; and now they have him, as it were, bolted in, with a lock of a hundred keys, which can never be unlocked without the consent of every key; the keys in the hands of a hundred different men, and they scattered to a hundred different and distant places; and they stand musing as to what invention, in all the dominions of mind and matter, can be produced to make the impossibility of his escape more complete than it is.”