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Word Count: 3,219
Mr President and Gentlemen of the Convention If we could first know where we are and whither we are tending we could then better judge what to do and how to do it We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation Under the operation of that policy that agitation has not only not ceased but has constantly augmented In my opinion it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed A house divided against itself cannot stand I believe this Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided It will become all one thing or all the other Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike
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