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Abraham Lincoln Campaign Pamphlet
Transcript of Washburne's 1860 Speech

Washburne, Elihu His Personal History Public Record…Pamphlet

 Delivered in the U.S. House of Representatives
May 29th, 1860


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Washburne, Hon. E.B. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, HIS PERSONAL HISTORY AND PUBLIC RECORD. SPEECH OF…, OF ILLINOIS.  Delivered in the U.S. House of Representatives, May 29th, 1860.(Wash.: 1860.) 8p., unbound pamphlet.  [M-87; Wesson “Campaign Lives of Abraham Lincoln, 1860” #4]

Beginning with Tom Paine’s Common Sense, which altered the course of early U. S. history, pamphlets have played a crucial role in American history.  Pamphlet literature has been the medium through which people have expressed their opinions and feelings on contemporary affairs. Quick, easy and cheap to produce, they were an important tool communicating with voters. They were a large part of the mass media of the day.

We’ll let this pamphlet speak for itself, our comments in the parenthesis:

“This (biographical speech), in subject matter the most meritorious of the campaign lives of 1860, was drawn partly (from a Chicago newspaper article), but principally from the author’s own intimate knowledge of Lincoln’s career. A warm friend of Lincoln, and a shrewd politician…, Washburne saw no danger of political repercussions in the story of the sheriff’s sale,” where Lincoln was compelled to sell his surveying instruments at auction.

V.g., uncut.  Scarce.

Elihu Washburne (1816-1887)

 Elihu Washburne was a Galena, IL attorney, American politican and diplomat. Politically active, Washburne served as a delegate to Whig conventions, but by the mid 1850s he was a member of the newly formed Republican party. A party he and his three brothers helped establish. An avid supporter of Abraham Lincoln’s unsuccessful bid for the Senate in 1858, Washburne devoted his “whole soul and energies” to Lincoln’s campaign for the presidency in 1860. He advised Lincoln before and after the election and kept him abreast of political developments in Illinois and Washington, D.C.

A strong advocate of Lincoln’s war policy, Washburne was responsible for fellow Galena resident Ulysses S. Grant’s promotions in the Union Army , and protected him from critics in Washington and in the field. Washburne was Grant’s advocate in Congress throughout the war, and their friendship and association lasted through Grant’s two terms as president.