Abraham Lincoln, Public Speaker by Waldo W. Braden

By Waldo W. Braden

Booklet by way of Braden, Waldo W.

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His acceptance of the invitation did not seem to have obvious political implications beyond allowing him an opportunity to make new friends. After reaching Milwaukee, Lincoln added three extemporaneous political speeches to his schedule. Welcoming exposure, he may have hoped all along for such requests. The evening following his state fair lecture he talked at Newhall House, and though Wisconsin newspapers gave him valuable coverage, no report of this talk has survived. The next afternoon, following a long buggy ride, he spoke for two hours at Beloit and again in the evening in Janesville.

Lincoln-Douglas Debates. 23. Carl Schurz, "Reminiscences of a Long Life," McClure's Magazine, XXVIII (January, 1907), 25?. 25 ABRAHAM LINCOLN, PUBLIC SPEAKER that hosted the debates—Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, Galesburg, Quincy, and Alton. People came on foot and horseback, in wagons and carriages, by riverboats and excursion trains. Some were members of delegations from nearby cities and even the adjoining states of Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri. Partisan reporters exaggerated the events, as well as their estimates of the size of the crowds, suggesting as many as 12,000 to 20,000 people.

His friend Mark W Delahay, of Leavenworth, and Daniel W Wilder, editor of the Elwood, Kansas, Free Press, had convinced Lincoln to brave winter travel for two scheduled major speeches. Journeying by rail from Springfield to Quincy, and from there taking the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad to Saint Joseph, Missouri (over 206 miles), Lincoln spent the night of December 1 at Elwood, where the local Republicans persuaded him to favor them with an impromptu talk in the dining room of the Great Western Hotel.

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