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

Speech at Monticello, Illinois [1]

July 29, 1858

LINCOLN proceeded on his way to Monticello, some of us bearing him company, the Judge returning on his proper route. A meeting was at once organized to hear him speak. He mounted in the court house square and thence spoke for about half an hour. He would not speak then, he would, however, read the correspondence with the Judge, together with the reply he was going to send the Judge, all of which he did. Then he went on to answer the Judge; he commenced his Springfield speech, and thereupon he asserted that he did not desire negro equality in all things, he only wanted that the words of the Declaration of Independence should be applied, to wit: ``That all men are created free and equal,'' which latter remark, taken in connection with the two closing paragraphs of his Chicago speech, according to my understanding, gave the lie direct to his first assertion. He then very abruptly came to a close by remarking that he would bring his friend Judge TRUMBULL to answer Mr. DOUGLAS.

Annotation

[1]   Missouri Republican, August 1, 1858. This fragmentary and politically biased report is the only one available which indicates the content of the speech. According to the correspondent of the Republican, Lincoln met Douglas on the way to the railway station as Douglas was leaving following his speech earlier in the afternoon. Having a draft and a final copy of his reply to Douglas' letter of July 24 in his pocket, Lincoln offered to compare them and hand Douglas his reply at once. Upon Douglas' declining to wait, Lincoln retained the letter until he returned to Springfield later that night.