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Taken early in 1857 by Alex. Hesler, of Chicago. By permission and courtesy of

the S. S. McClure Company.

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COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION. JOHN H. BURNHAM. GEORGE P. DAVIS. EZRA M. PRINCE.

Copyrighted 1930.

PREFACE.

A

BRAHAM LINCOLN has become the civic ideal of

his native land, and is fast becoining the ideal of the self-governing, the democracy of all lands, the in

carnation in the political world of the highest ideals of our common christianity. The most momentous event in his life was the convention at Major's hall, Bloomington, Ill., May 29, 1856. There he formally, definitely broke with the old order of things, and became the master spirit in a new organization which was destined not only to destroy slavery and remove that great obstacle to our national progress, but, in other respects, to make a most profound and lasting impress upon our state and national life.

The McLean County Historical Society is composed of members of different political parties who naturally differ as to the wisdom of the policies of the Republican party, but their importance is questioned by no one. It is, there. fore, a proper subject for historical research, and it is eminently fit that the historical society of the county where that convention was held, where its master spirit was so well known and so loved, and whose citizens were so potent a factor in his nomination for the presidency, should commemorate an event of such supreme public importance.

Mr. Lincoln was the inspirer, the soul of this convention. On that occasion he delivered the great speech of

. his life, not only rising to the loftiest heights of impassioned eloquence, but with the prophetic insight of the seer

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