“Mr. Lincoln’s Speech,” Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, July 12, 1858, p. 1: 1.
Chicago Press and Tribune
Mr. Lincoln’s Speech
Don Sailer, Dickinson College
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
Mr. Lincoln’s Speech.
We print Mr. LINCOLN’s speech of Saturday evening in full. As our readers know, it is an unstudied and unpremeditated effort. The presence of its author in the city at this time was accidental; the probability that it would be demanded by his friends that he should reply to Senator DOUGLAS was not dreamed of until he found his position grossly misstated. But hurried and imperfect as his preparation for a lengthy and important effort must have been, we can point to the speech itself, as signal evidence of Mr. LINCOLN’s thorough and appreciative acquaintance with the facts of the country’s political history, his devotion to the Republican cause, his eminent ability as a controversialist and his sterling worth and honesty as a citizen and a state-man. More than that we point to it as a clear comprehensive and overwhelming refutation of the sophistries and charlatanisms with which Senator DOUGLAS had, only twenty-four hours before, enveloped the questions discussed and the momentous consequences involved. Plain in form of expression, in fact, characteristically idiomatic in its construction, without a trace of rhetorical display for effect, with no appeals to the passions or prejudices of his hearers, - it is a clear exposition of political truth – an epitome of the policy of his party – a sovereign prescription in its recommendations and suggestions for the disorders of the times! We can proudly compare its honest and indisputable statements of fact – its legitimate and logical deductions therefrom [there from] – its candid review of the opinions of his opponents, with the equivocations, subterfuges, concealments, misstatements, bad logic and bad manners of the Senator. We shall show our confidence in the superiority of Mr. LINCOLN’s speech – whether considered as an oratorical effort or as a document for political effect – by printing the two speeches side by side in the WEEKLY PRESS AND TRIBUNE, and trusting the judgment of their merits to the thirty thousand readers to whom that sheet will be carried. In the meantime, we commend the words of our next Senator to the careful consideration of all into whose hands this paper may fall.