Ramblings & ephemera

Lincoln’s 1st political speech

From Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: Fort Sumter to Perryville (23):

[Lincoln’s] first speech was made at a country auction. Twenty-three years old, he stood on a box, wearing a frayed straw hat, a calico shirt, and pantaloons held up by a single-strap suspender. As he was about to speak, a fight broke out in the crowd. Lincoln stepped down, broke up the fight, then stepped back onto the box.

“Gentlemen and fellow citizens,” he said, “I presume you all know who I am: I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by many friends to become a candidate for the legislature. My policies are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank. I am in favor of the internal-improvements system and a high protective tariff. These are my sentiments and political principles. If elected I shall be thankful; and if not, it will be all the same.”

Election day he ran eighth in a field of thirteen …

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