In the summer of eighteen fifty-eight,two candidates campaigned across the state of Illinois for a seat in the United States Senate.That seat belonged to Stephen Douglas from the Democratic Party.He was seeking re-election.His opponent was a lawyer from the newly established Republican Party.His name was Abraham Lincoln.This week in our series,Frank Oliver and Larry West tell us about this campaign of statewide but also national importance.Abraham Lincoln proposed that he and Stephen Douglas hold several debates.The rules for each debate would be the same.One man would speak for an hour.His opponent would speak for an hour and a half.Then the first man would speak for half an hour to close the debate.Douglas agreed.There were seven debates in all.They were held in towns throughout Illinois.In some places,there was great interest in what the two candidates had to say.Thousands of people attended.
Douglas was a short,heavy man.One reporter said he looked like a fierce bulldog.Douglas's friends and supporters called him"the little giant."Lincoln was just the opposite.He was very tall and thin,with long arms and legs.His clothes did not fit well.And he had a plain face,one which many thought was ugly.He looked more like a simple farmer than a candidate for the United States Senate.The Lincoln-Douglas debates covered party politics and the future of the nation.But everything the two men discussed was tied to one issue:slavery.Douglas spoke first at the first debate.He questioned a statement made in one of Lincoln's campaign speeches.Lincoln had said that the United States could not continue to permit slavery in some areas,while banning it in others.He said the Union could not stand so divided.It must either permit slavery everywhere--or nowhere.Douglas did not agree.He noted that the country had been half-slave and half-free for seventy years.Why then,he asked,should it not continue to exist that way.The United States was a big country.What was best for one part might not be best for another.
道格拉斯是一个矮小而沉重的人。一位记者说他看起来像一只凶猛的斗牛犬。道格拉斯的朋友和支持者称他为 “小巨人”，林肯正好相反。他又高又瘦，胳膊和腿都很长。他的衣服不合身。他有一张素净的脸，许多人认为这张脸很丑。与其说他是美国参议院的候选人，倒不如说他是个单纯的农民。林肯-道格拉斯的辩论涉及政党政治和国家的未来。但两人所讨论的一切都与一个问题有关：奴隶制。道格拉斯在第一次辩论中首先发言。他质疑林肯在一次竞选演说中所作的声明。林肯曾说，美国不能在某些地区继续允许奴隶制，而在其他地区则禁止奴隶制。他说工会不能忍受如此分裂。它要么允许奴隶制无处不在，要么不允许奴隶制无处不在。道格拉斯不同意。他指出，这个国家 70 年来一直是半奴隶半自由的。他问，为什么不继续这样下去呢？美国是一个大国。对一方来说最好的东西对另一方来说可能不是最好的。
Then Douglas questioned Lincoln's statement on the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision.Lincoln had said he opposed the decision,because it did not permit Negroes to enjoy the rights of citizenship.Douglas said he believed the decision was correct.He said it was clear that the government had been made by white men,for white men.He said he opposed Negro citizenship."I do not accept the Negro as my equal,"Douglas said."And I deny that he is my brother.However,"he said,"this does not mean I believe that Negroes should be slaves.Negroes should enjoy every possible right that does not threaten the safety of the society in which they live.""Every state and territory must decide for itself what these rights will be.Illinois decided that Negroes will not be citizens,but that it will protect their life,property,and civil rights.It keeps from Negroes only political rights,and refuses to make Negroes equal to white men.That policy satisfies me,"Douglas said."And,it satisfies the Democratic Party."
接着道格拉斯质疑林肯对最高法院德雷德斯科特裁决的陈述。林肯说他反对这项决定，因为它不允许黑人享有公民权。道格拉斯说他相信这个决定是正确的。他说，很明显，政府是由白人组成的，为了白人。他说他反对黑人公民身份。”“我不接受黑人与我平等，” 道格拉斯说我否认他是我哥哥。然而，“他说，” 这并不意味着我认为黑人应该成为奴隶。黑人应享有一切可能的权利，而这些权利不应威胁到他们所生活的社会的安全。”“每个国家和领土都必须自行决定这些权利将是什么。伊利诺伊州决定黑人不再是公民，而是保护他们的生命、财产和公民权利。它只保留黑人的政治权利，拒绝使黑人与白人平等。道格拉斯说：“这项政策令我满意。” 而且，这让民主党感到满意。”