The Lost Speech

The Lost Speech (HM12YJ)

Location: Bloomington, IL 61701 McLean County
Country: United States of America

N 40° 28.72', W 88° 59.563'

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Inscription
Horace Greeley's New York Tribune reported on the Bloomington convention for its national readership: "It was most emphatically a convention of the people, where all classes, opinions and shades of belief were represented—-but all inspired with one common resolve to resist further aggressions of the slave power to the bitter end." The "shades of belief" were broad. The old Whig Party had collapsed. New movements focused on single topics. Here in Bloomington abolitionists, gradual emancipationists, nativists, and immigrants joined in opposition to the expansion of slavery. From this wide and fractious group, Lincoln fashioned a new political party, the Republican Party. He said, while debating Douglas, "I have supposed myself since the organization of the Republican party at Bloomington... bound as a party man." Democrats also saw the convention as driven by the slave issue. Their party newspaper, the Springfield Illinois State Register, summarized the proceedings: "They go the entire colored platform...They put the whole black creed in the ring. Nobody will call in question the sable orthodoxy of these thugs, amalgamationists and amalgamated thugs."

Photo
Foremost in the minds of those gathered at Major's Hall on May 29, 1856 was the fact of slavery. Writers in local newspapers would exclaim about slaves that, 'They are as white as you or I! Rosa, the slave girl pictured here, illustrates that fact. Taken in 1863, this photograph was sold in Central Illinois to raise funds in support of just-freed slave children in New Orleans.

While the convention was in session, the nativist Know-Nothings and the supporters of the Kansas settlers held their own meetings in town. The anti-immigrant nativists gathered as the Temple of Honor, a fraternal lodge. They spoke on temperance, a trait not common to the thousands of Germans and Irish who were settling in Illinois. Mayor Franklin Price of Bloomington, who presided undoubtedly wore his Temple of Honor regalia, as seen on the right. Gov. Reeder, at the left, had finished his term as governor of guerrilla war-torn "Bloody Kansas." He escaped Kansas disguised as a woodchopper, recreated in this period photo. In Bloomington, he described the horrors of Kansas, including the sacking of Lawrence.

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Details
HM NumberHM12YJ
Tags
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 11:53am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 331090 N 4482793
Decimal Degrees40.47866667, -88.99271667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 28.72', W 88° 59.563'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 28' 43.20" N, 88° 59' 33.78" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)309
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101-199 E Front St, Bloomington IL 61701, US
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