Thursday, August 20, 2009

An Unknown from Illinois

On August 20, 1858, a beardless 49 year-old former one-term congressman named Abraham Lincoln met Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas in the first of seven three-hour debates. Douglas had a strong voice while Lincoln’s was high pitched and tended to squeak, but Lincoln was almost a foot taller. Lincoln spoke out against the profitable institution of slavery. He lost the first debate and the Senatorial election, but he became a national figure. Abraham Lincoln appears nine times in A Book of Ages, growing up, teaching himself to read with borrowed books, failing as a businessman. Among the interesting and ironic details are the contents of his pockets when he died.

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