Monday, August 1, 2011

Abraham Lincoln In Louisville, Kentucky

"Abraham Lincoln, The Prairie Years, Volume I, by Carl Sandburg, related Abraham Lincoln's 1841 visit with his friend, Joshua Speed, at the home of Speeds' mother (Lucy Gilmer Fry Speed*, granddaughter of Dr. Thomas Walker) in Louisville, Kentucky.  Lincoln observed the  plantation life of slaves; what impact did this visit have in shaping Lincoln's view of slavery?  *Lucy Speed's gift to Lincoln is explained here

The year of Lincoln's visit to the Speed Plantation (Farmington) did not start out well:

After Abraham Lincoln's and Mary Todd's broken engagement (their wedding was originally scheduled for January 1, 1841).

"In 1840 Lincoln and Mary Todd were engaged to be married.  Ninian W. Edwards and his wife had argued she was throwing herself away; it wasn't a match; she and Lincoln came form different classes of society." [Sandburg book]

The Louisville visit in August 1841:

"The legislature adjourned.  Josh Speed was selling his store and going back to his folks in Kentucky.  Lincoln in a struggle to come back traveled to Louisville in August and staying with Speed some three weeks shared talk and counsel with that rare friend."

Lincoln's friend, Joshua Fry Speed [Jim's photo of KY Heritage Marker]

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