Abraham Lincoln’s Enduring Connection with Decatur, Illinois
Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s greatest presidents, had a fascinating connection with the small city of Decatur in central Illinois. While many people know about Lincoln’s association with Illinois, his enduring link to Decatur remains largely misunderstood. In this article, we will separate fact from fiction and explore the powerful connections Lincoln had with the city.
Early Life in Decatur
Lincoln’s early life in Decatur is what helped to establish his connection with the city. For a time, he worked as a lawyer in the area, handling various legal cases for clients. However, his connection to Decatur is not limited to his legal work in the area.
Political Scene in Decatur
One of the most enduring connections that Lincoln had with Decatur was his involvement in the political scene in the city. In fact, it was in Decatur that he first gained national attention as a politician when he gave his famous “House Divided” speech.
The “House Divided” speech was delivered on June 16, 1858, at the Illinois Republican Convention held in Decatur. At that time, Lincoln was running for the United States Senate against Stephen A. Douglas. In his speech, he spoke about the division that existed in America at the time over the issue of slavery. He famously declared, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Personal Connection to the City
Another connection that Lincoln had with Decatur was his relationship with the city’s residents. He was known for being friendly and approachable, and he took the time to talk to residents and listen to their concerns. Lincoln also had other personal connections to Decatur. For example, he had a personal friend in Decatur named Samuel C. Parks. The two men were said to have been friends since childhood, and Parks was even a member of Lincoln’s funeral escort when the president passed away in 1865.
Myths and Misconceptions
Despite the many connections that Lincoln had with Decatur, there are also several myths and misconceptions about his relationship with the city. For example, some people believe that he lived in Decatur for several years, but this is not true. While he did work as a lawyer in the area, he did not live in the city for an extended period.
Another common myth is that Lincoln owned property in Decatur. This is also false. While he did own property in several other parts of Illinois, he did not own property in Decatur.
A statue of Lincoln stands tall in Decatur’s Central Park, and several historic sites in the city are associated with his life. His “House Divided” speech in Decatur is a testament to his leadership and his commitment to ending slavery in America. And his personal connections to the city demonstrate his humanity and his approachability as a leader. Lincoln’s connection to Decatur is an important part of his life story, and it remains a source of pride for the city today.