Abraham Lincoln, Public Speaker by Waldo W. Braden

By Waldo W. Braden

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On the basis of a detailed, county-by-county analysis of the 1856 voting, it is evident that he concentrated much more than previously on key counties in central Illinois. By November, he had spoken in thirty-nine of Illinois' one hundred counties (Douglas had appeared in fifty-seven). "16 When Douglas appeared at the Tremont House in Chicago on July 9, Lincoln was there to listen and to reply the following night. Lincoln listened intently to Douglas on July 16 in Bloomington and on July 17 in Atlanta, and gave a second reply on the evening of Douglas' fourth address, on July 17 in Springfield.

In the presidential canvass of 1856, he spoke probably fifty times, and during his 1858 bid for Douglas' Senate seat, he addressed over sixty audiences in a four-month period. After his nomination for the presidency, Lincoln altered his rhetorical strategy. He became a reluctant speaker, cautious about what he said, never again to campaign, and seldom to advance "doctrinal points" in a speech. Consistent with the customary practice of presidential candidates, he let surrogates speak for him in 1860 and refused to discuss personally the party platform or to amplify his position on current issues.

V, 450; VII, 394; IV, 220. 45 ABRAHAM LINCOLN, PUBLIC SPEAKER 4, 1862, at Frederick, Maryland; two on a three-day trip to Gettysburg; one on April 18, 1864, at the Sanitary Commission Fair in Baltimore; and four on June 16, 1864, at the Central Sanitary Fair in Philadelphia. " Many political figures at such a moment would have resorted to an oratorical flourish, but not Lincoln. After he had praised the Sanitary Commission for its activities, he shifted attention to the prospect of General Ulysses S.

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