Lincoln's Speech

On June 10, 1848, Congressman Abraham Lincoln traveled to Wilmington, Delaware, for the purpose of addressing a meeting of members of the Whig political party. He was accompanied by Delaware Representative John W. Houston and two other members of Congress, who were returning to Washington from the Whig National Convention that had chosen Zachary Taylor as the party's presidential nominee. The future President and his colleagues delivered their remarks from a balcony at the east end of the Fourth Street Market House, a complex of buildings which stood in the center of 4th Street between Orange and Market. Introduced as the "Lone Star of Illinois," Mr. Lincoln was greeted with great enthusiasm by those in attendance. In a speech that was praised as "eloquent and patriotic," he extolled the principles of the Whig party and the virtue of its candidates. This was his only documented visit to the First State. After serving one term in Congress, he left public office to return to his law practice in Illinois. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States.

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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Katie Hall at (302) 744-5036 or via email at

LOCATION: 4th and Market

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