Abraham's First Political Speech (of importance)
Geneology Trails by Otto R.
In June or July of 1830, right after moving into Illinois, a 22 year
old Lincoln would go bare-foot into the downtown area of the new
square in Decatur (Macon County) Illinois. John Hanks and others
witnessed this speech by the young Lincoln. It has been said by
Hanks and others that the subject of Abraham's speech was
improvements and furthering the use of the Sangamon as a route of
travel for Illinois. Two other politicians were in Decatur to give
their on versions of politics in Illinois.
Go Here to read about this first "stump" speech.
Excerpts from Lincoln Digitization Project at
by Dr. R.D. Monroe
. . . In 1832 Lincoln put his popularity in his adopted hometown to
the test, running for the Illinois General Assembly. He declared his
candidacy in a March,1832 statement in which he pledged to support
internal improvements and education. The young Lincoln proclaimed
that his ambition was to be "truly esteemed of my fellow men," and
he closed on a characteristically lugubrious note. Lincoln pledged
to do his utmost to repay the voters' favor if they conferred it
upon him, "But if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to
keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with
disappointments to be very much chagrined." He would not get
elected in this election.
. . . in 1834, Lincoln, age 24 runs and wins a seat in the Illinois
General Assembly as a member of the Whig Party. In December of
1834, he meets the Democrat, Stephen Douglas. [Lincoln's
personality and speaking ability helped to win votes and support.]
. . . Lincoln soon demonstrated his wit and humor again. When the
legislature mistakenly appointed a man to a surveyor post that was
filled, Lincoln suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that the redundant
appointment stand so that no action would be necessary should the
incumbent surveyor conclude to die. He became a favorite for his
agile mind, though he was more follower than leader at this stage of
his political career. Appointed to twelve special committees,
Lincoln drafted bills and resolutions for his fellow Whigs, and was
elected to a second term in 1836.
. . . Lincoln's life on the farm (rail splitting and hard field
work) held no attraction to him. [Ironically his father did not like
or trust politicians, lawyers and surveyors--these were all his own
son's professions]. Politically, too, Lincoln had rejected the
Jeffersonian vision of an ever-expanding agrarian idyll composed of
virtuous subsistence farmers. Lincoln believed, like many Whigs, in
the prospect of developing the country's existing space, its'
industry and its transportation network, rather than continuing to
acquire new territory.