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William H. Seward

Therefore, states are equal in natural rights.

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But I deny that the Constitution recognizes property in man.

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Sir, there is no Christian nation, thus free to choose as we are, which would establish slavery.

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But there is a higher law than the Constitution, which regulates our authority over the domain, and devotes it to the same noble purposes.

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I submit, on the other hand, most respectfully, that the Constitution not merely does not affirm that principle, but, on the contrary, altogether excludes it.

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The United States are a political state, or organized society, whose end is government, for the security, welfare, and happiness of all who live under its protection.

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It is the maintenance of slavery by law in a state, not parallels of latitude, that makes its a southern state; and the absence of this, that makes it a northern state.

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I deem it established, then, that the Constitution does not recognize property in man, but leaves that question, as between the states, to the law of nature and of nations.

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I speak on due consideration because Britain, France, and Mexico, have abolished slavery, and all other European states are preparing to abolish it as speedily as they can.

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The right to have a slave implies the right in some one to make the slave; that right must be equal and mutual, and this would resolve society into a state of perpetual war.

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