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

Speech at Decatur, Illinois [1]

February 22, 1856

Mr. Oglesby [2] was then loudly called for. Mr. O. made a number of witty remarks and concluded by toasting Mr. Abram Lincoln as the warm and consistent friend of Illinois, and our next candidate for the U. S. Senate. (Prolonged applause.)

Mr. Lincoln arose and said the latter part of that sentiment I am in favor of. (Laughter) Mr. L. said, that he was very much in the position of the man who was attacked by a robber, demanding his money, when he answered, ``my dear fellow, I have no money, but if you will go with me to the light, I will give you my note;'' and, resumed Mr. L., if you will let me off, I will give you my note. (Laughter, and loud cries of go on.) Mr. Lincoln then proceeded to address the assemblage for some half hour, in his usual masterly manner, frequently interrupted by the cheers of his hearers.

In reply to a complimentary toast, Mr. L. addressed the assembled guests for half an hour in his happiest vein. In the course of his remarks he expressed his hearty concurrence in the resolutions adopted by the Convention, [3] and his willingness to buckle on his armor for the approaching contest with the Pierce party.


[1]   Decatur State Chronicle, February 28, 1856, and Peoria Weekly Republican, February 29, 1856. The occasion was a dinner concluding the Anti-Nebraska Editors' Convention at Decatur.

[2]   Richard J. Oglesby of Decatur.

[3]   Among other things, the resolutions adopted by the convention called for securing ``to Kansas and Nebraska the legal guaranty against slavery of which they were deprived at the cost of the violation of the plighted faith of the nation,'' and declared against Know-Nothingism, and in favor of ``liberty of conscience as well as political freedom.''