Lunch and Learn: Abraham Lincoln and the founding of the Republican Party presented by Bill Kemp

Thu Feb 8 12:10:00 2018

Abraham Lincoln and the founding of the Illinois Republican Party

One could make a strong case that the single most important event in local history—at least from a national perspective—was Abraham Lincoln’s May 29, 1856 keynote address at the “State Convention of the Anti-Nebraska Party.” Delegates to convention were there to oppose the Kansas-Nebraska Act and its threat to spread slavery into heretofore free northern territories. They would soon shed the rather ungainly “Anti-Nebraska” label and assume the name that the political party still carries today—Republican. What role did Lincoln play in organizing this new anti-slavery party? And why was his keynote address later dubbed the “Lost Speech?” Is what Lincoln said that evening really lost? Speaker Bill Kemp will answer these questions and more!

This story and many more are featured in Bill’s new edition of “Pages from the Past. The book can be purchased in the gift shop for $10 plus tax.

Exhibit-related Program


  • Occurred Thursday, February 8th, 2018 @ 12:10 pm – 12:40 pm


Jeff Woodard

200 North Main Street
Bloomington, IL 61701

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