Norwich prepares to celebrate historic visit by Lincoln

From the Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, Conn.):

It’s widely accepted among historians that Abraham Lincoln’s speeches in Norwich 150 years ago helped him clinch the 1860 Republican presidential nomination.

But they were not what Lincoln intended when the former Illinois congressman came East.

Rodney O. Davis, co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., said Lincoln planned only to give his soon-to-be famous Cooper Union address in New York, and to visit his son, Robert, in New Hampshire.

“But once people discovered he was going to be in the neighborhood, Republicans in a number of communities in the Northeast wanted very much to hear what he had to say,” Davis said. “He agreed to do it, but he was embarrassed, as he had only prepared one speech.”

The speech in Norwich, like ones in Hartford, New Haven and other stops, were variants of the Cooper Union address.