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.