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Lincoln the Legislator Bust by Borglum
Lincoln the Legislator, U.S. Capitol
© Abraham Lincoln Online

Lincoln Pre-Presidential Political Links

In 1832, Lincoln published his first known political announcement in the Sangamo Journal. He lost this race for the Illinois legislature, but 28 years later was elected president. His political career still makes fascinating reading, especially his speeches starting in 1854.


  • Books about Lincoln's Pre-Presidential Political Career*
  • Nineteenth Century Lincoln-Related Publications (Making of America)
  • The Young Eagle Author Interview*

    Debates of 1858

  • Debate Scrapbook (Library of Congress)
  • Debating Douglas on the National Stage (Lincoln/Net)
  • Lincoln, Douglas and Their Historic Debates (Gilder Lehrman)
  • Lincoln and Douglas at Bryant Cottage (Bement, Illinois)
  • Lincoln and Douglas in Debate*
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate Podcasts (Knox College)
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates (Lincoln/Net)
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates (Lincoln-Douglas Society)
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate Sites (Illinois in the Civil War)
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates Remembered (Smithsonian)


  • Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman as Representative Americans (Yale University)
  • A House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln (Chicago Historical Society/Gilder Lehrman Institute)
  • Dred Scott Case (Washington University)
  • Lincoln and Abolitionism (History Now)
  • Lincoln: Campaign Manager and Orator in 1840 (ALA)
  • Lincoln's Visit to Kansas (Kansas State Historical Society)
  • Lincoln/Net (Northern Illinois University)
  • Mr. Lincoln and the Founders (The Lincoln Institute)
  • Mr. Lincoln and Freedom (The Lincoln Institute)
  • Mr. Lincoln and Friends (The Lincoln Institute)
  • The Time of the Lincolns (PBS)


  • Lincoln at Cooper Union (History Now)
  • Lincoln in Decatur (Re:Decatur)
  • Lincoln in Decatur, Illinois (DACBV)
  • Lincoln in Decatur and Macon County (MCHM)
  • Lincoln in Galena, Illinois*
  • Lincoln in Jersey City (City of Jersey City)
  • Lincoln in Spencer County (pdf from USI)
  • Mr. Lincoln and New York (The Lincoln Institute)
  • Old State Capitol Building, Illinois*
  • Old State Capitol Photo Tour*
  • U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.*
  • U.S. Capitol Photo Tour*
  • Vandalia Statehouse (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency)

    Selected Speeches and Writings

  • 1860 Nomination Acceptance Letter (Library of Congress)
  • Address in Independence Hall, 1861*
  • Addresses to the New Jersey Senate/General Assembly, 1861*
  • Autobiographies of 1858-60*
  • Cooper Union Address, 1860*
  • Eulogy on Henry Clay, 1852*
  • House Divided Speech, June 16, 1858*
  • Letter to Allen N. Ford, 1846*
  • Letter to Henry Pierce, 1859*
  • Letter to George Robertson, 1855*
  • Letter to Joshua Speed, 1855*
  • Letter to Lyman Trumbull, 1860*
  • Letter to Grace Bedell, 1860*
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates (NIU)
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates (University of Michigan)
  • Lyceum Address, 1838*
  • The Papers of Abraham Lincoln (IHPA et al)

    *Indicates pages created by Abraham Lincoln Online

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