Back to top

Campaign Statement, Abraham Lincoln, New Salem, Illinois, March 9, 1832

Abraham Lincoln, circa 1846, detail
Abraham Lincoln was twenty-three-years-old and working as a clerk in a store in the small village of New Salem, Illinois (situated about 20 miles north of Springfield along the Sangamo or Sangamon River) when he announced himself in 1832 as a candidate for the Illinois state house of representatives. Lincoln competed against twelve other candidates for four at-large seats. He finished eighth in the August election, falling short of victory by only about 150 votes. His well-crafted campaign statement from March, which detailed his policy positions on issues such as river improvements, may have contributed to what was a reasonably strong showing for someone who had only been living in the district for less than a year. (By Matthew Pinsker)


How to Cite This Page: "Campaign Statement, Abraham Lincoln, New Salem, Illinois, March 9, 1832," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,