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

Speech of Bloomington, Illinois [1]

May 29, 1856

Abraham Lincoln, of Sangamon, came upon the platform amid deafening applause. He enumerated the pressing reasons of the present movement. He was here ready to fuse with anyone who would unite with him to oppose slave power; spoke of the bugbear disunion which was so vaguely threatened. It was to be remembered that the Union must be preserved in the purity of its principles as well as in the integrity of its territorial parts. It must be ``Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.'' The sentiment in favor of white slavery now prevailed in all the slave state papers, except those of Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri and Maryland. Such was the progress of the National Democracy. Douglas once claimed against him that Democracy favored more than his principles, the individual rights of man. Was it not strange that he must stand there now to defend those rights against their former eulogist? The Black Democracy were endeavoring to cite Henry Clay to reconcile old Whigs to their doctrine, and repaid them with the very cheap compliment of National Whigs.


[1]   Alton Weekly Courier, June 5, 1856. This brief report is the only contemporary account of the so-called ``Lost Speech'' delivered at the Bloomington convention. The lengthy reconstruction made by Henry C. Whitney in 1896, which has appeared in other collections of Lincoln's writings and speeches, is not, in the opinion of the editors, worthy of serious consideration.