determine under the principle of home rule or "popular sovereignty." By this course he brought upon himself the denunciation and abuse of all northern people who opposed the further extension of slave territory.
Immediately upon the adjournment of Congress in August, 1854, Douglas started for Illinois to defend himself before his constituents. Before leaving Washington, he said: "I shall be assailed by demagogues and fanatics there, without stint or moderation. Every opprobrious epithet will be applied to me. I shall probably be hung in effigy in many places. This proceeding may end my political career. But, acting under the sense of duty which animates me, I am prepared to make the sacrifice." He reached Chicago September 2d, and took the rostrum in his own defense at a meeting which he caused to be announced for the following evening. The result may be learned from the newspapers of the day, by reading extracts from writers both favorable and hostile to him.
[Illinois Journal, Springfield, September 8, 1854]
The Chicago Tribune mentions the following among the occurrences of Friday afternoon:
The flags of all the shipping in port were displayed at half-mast, shortly after noon and remained there during the remainder of the day. At a quarter past six the bells of the city commenced to toll, and commenced to fill the air with their mournful tones for more than an hour. The city wore an air of mourning for the disgrace which her senator was seeking to impose upon her, and which her citizens have determined to resent at any cost.
[Chicago Times, September 4, 1854]
THE MEETING LAST NIGHT
During the whole of yesterday, the expected meeting of last night was the universal topic of conversation. Crowds of visitors arrived by the special trains from the surrounding cities and towns, even from as far as Detroit and St. Louis, attracted by the announcement that Judge Douglas was to address his constituents.