Illinois Sen. Stephen Douglas created a national crisis by legislation, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which permitted the expansion of slavery in the United States. Slavery was the defining characteristic of half of the United States in 1856. it was accepted in the Constitution, but its spread had been stopped through the Missouri Compromise in 1820. Many people though that opening the Kansas and Nebraska territories to slavery would result in a country dominated by slavery. In late May 1856, Illinoisans who despised that act gathered at a political convention, here at Major's Hall. Their intent was to collectively oppose the expansion of slavery through political action. The result was the formation of a new political party.The speech Lincoln gave here in Major's Hall became known in the twentieth century as "The Lost Speech." No reliable text of that speech exists. Whatever he said, the disparate political elements who made up the convention were satisfied with it. The speech was a unifier. The Chicago Press reported, "Abraham Lincoln...made the speech of the occasion....Mr. Lincoln must write it out and let it go before all the people. For an hour and a half he held the assemblage spell-bound by the power of his argument, the intense irony of his invective and the deep earnestness and fervid brilliance of his eloquence. When he concluded, the audience sprang to their feet, and cheer after cheer told how deeply that hearts had been touched and their souls warmed up to a generous enthusiasm.
|Series||This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 12:48am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16T E 331090 N 4482793|
|Decimal Degrees||40.47866667, -88.99271667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 40° 28.72', W 88° 59.563'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||40° 28' 43.20" N, 88° 59' 33.78" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 101-199 E Front St, Bloomington IL 61701, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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