Tuesday, June 16, 2015



Springfield, Illinois (JFK+50) Abraham Lincoln* gave his famous House Divided  speech to a thousand delegates at the close of the Illinois State Republican Convention 157 years ago today, June 16, 1858, here in Springfield.

Mr. Lincoln said...

"I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.  I do not expect the Union to be dissolved--I do not expect the house to fall--but I do expect it will cease to be divided.  It will become all one thing or all the other.

Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward til it shall become lawful in all the States.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.  This government cannot remain half-slave and half-free."

 The future Republican President of the United States warned that the nation was just "one (Supreme Court) decision away" from slavery becoming the law of the land.

Abraham Lincoln concluded his speech with this promise...

"We shall not fail--if we stand firm.  Sooner or later the victory is sure to come."

*Abraham Lincoln lost his bid to unseat Senator Douglas in the general election.  The final vote in the Illinois Legislature was 54 to 46 in favor of Douglas.  In 1860, however, Lincoln would get another chance against Douglas, this time for the Presidency of the United States.


"Life and Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 4," ed. Marion Mills Miller,

Abraham Lincoln in 1860
Photo by Matthew Brady