Abraham Lincoln, relatively unknown nationally at the time, gave the keynote speech at the Illinois Republican Convention in 1858. The speech stirred such a controversy that newspapers across the nation such as the New Orleans Delta picked up the story. The Delta, a Democratic publication, sarcastically labeled Lincoln an “unshorn Sampson” and blasted Republican papers, such as the Chicago Times, labeling their support of Lincoln “blasphemy.” According to the Delta, the convention displayed the “Black Republicans” intent to organize a united, sweeping movement that anti-slavery supporters hoped would culminate with victory in the 1860 presidential election. (By David Park)
“New Orleans Delta on the Illinois Republican Convention,” Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, July 5, 1858, p. 2: 6.
Chicago Press and Tribune
New Orleans Delta on the Illinois Republican Convention
Don Sailer, Dickinson College