Date Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2020

Presenter: Lew Miller

The election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 was the most consequential choice ever made by the American people, precipitating the bloodiest war in our nation’s history. Yet six months beforehand few Americans had ever heard of him. In this program, local historian Lew Miller will discuss the sudden rise of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency. How did this unknown former congressman pull off such a great upset? What events led southerners to the brink of secession? Lincoln was a brilliant politician but his rise to the presidency could not have happened without both mistakes by his rivals for the Republican nomination and circumstances beyond his control. The story of how he became president involves powerful personalities, a nation in crisis, and a few chance events.

“Why Not Run Me?” is a quote from Lincoln as he sat listening to his fellow Illinois Republicans discussing who was the best possible presidential candidate for the party and not hearing his name even mentioned by his colleagues.

Due to current coronavirus restrictions the Delaware Public Archives has moved its popular First Saturday program series to an on-line format. Please note that this event is not occurring at The Delaware Public Archives. This was prerecorded for your safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be available on YouTube to view. Also, please make sure to Subscribe to see our future uploads.


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