Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Annotation

[1]   Sangamo Journal, February 3, 1838. Preceding the address as printed in the Journal, appears the following notice:

Young Men's Lyceum,

Springfield, Jan. 27 1837 [1838].

``Resolved, That the thanks of this Lyceum be presented to A. Lincoln, Esq. for the Lecture delivered by him this evening, and that he be solicited to furnish a copy for publication.''

Attest; JAS H. MATHENY, SEC'Y.

The date 1837, as given in the resolution of thanks, is obviously a typographical error. The Young Men's Lyceum was organized in 1833 by a group which included Simeon Francis, John T. Stuart, and Dan Stone. It did not thrive, however, until the autumn of 1836. For the next few years it was one of the leading forces in the cultural activity of Springfield.

[2]   Illegible portions of the text are bracketed as given by Nicolay and Hay.

[3]   Dwelling as he does on the horrors of lynch law in Mississippi and Missouri, Lincoln may seem remiss in ignoring, save for this phrase, the lynching at Alton, Illinois, on November 7, 1837, of the abolitionist editor Elijah Parish Lovejoy. It is somewhat too obvious and naive to assume that Lincoln was being politic in avoiding reference to an episode so recent and so vivid in the recollection of his audience. Rather it seems possible that he chose a subtler way of pricking the conscience of his audience than by direct denunciation. Members of the Lyceum who listened to Lincoln without sensing the specter of Lovejoy in their midst must have been obtuse indeed.