Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Speech at Bloomington, Illinois [1]

May 28, 1856

In the evening a meeting was held in front of Pike House, and several speeches were made. The speakers were Lincoln, Washburne, Palmer, Swett, Lovejoy and Wentworth.

Lincoln led off; said he didn't expect to make a speech then; that he had prepared himself for one, but 'twas not suitable at that time; but that after awhile he would make them a most excellent one. Notwithstanding, he kept on speaking, told his old story about the fence (meaning Missouri restriction) being torn down and the cattle eating up the crops, then talked about the outrages in Kansas; said a man couldn't think, dream or breathe of a free state there, butPage  341 what he was kicked, cuffed, shot down and hung; he then got very pathetic over poor Delahay and Tom Shoemaker. [2] By the way, Mr. Register, I wonder if any one in this community knows Delahay and Shoemaker; if so we pass them and also Lincoln's speech, and come next to that of Washburne, which was celebrated only for the vehement and uproarious manner with which it was delivered.

Annotation

[1]   Illinois State Register, May 31, 1856.

[2]   Mark W. Delahay's newspaper office at Leavenworth, Kansas, had been destroyed by pro-slavery men in October 1855. Thomas C. Shoemaker, a freesoiler formerly of Springfield, Illinois, had been appointed receiver of the Land Office for Kansas in 1855 and was removed from office in October, 1856. He was killed at Leavenworth in a barroom brawl growing out of a political argument in April, 1857.