Located on the North Plaza (Broad Street)
The Ohio Bicentennial Commission, the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, and the Ohio Historical Society created this marker in 2003 to commemorate the history of Abraham Lincoln's presidential campaign speech in Columbus. He spoke on the East side of the Statehouse on September 16, 1859.
LINCOLN AT THE STATEHOUSE
"This slavery element is a durable element of discord among us... we shall probably not have perfect peace in this country with it until it either masters the free principle in our government, or is mastered by the free principle."
On September 16, 1859, Abraham Lincoln addressed a small crowd from the east terrace of the Statehouse. In his first Ohio speech, Lincoln repeated his conviction that "a house divided against itself cannot stand" and took issue with Democrat Stephen Douglas' concept of "popular sovereignty." Published and widely circulated as an addendum to the Lincoln- Douglas Debates, Lincoln's Columbus speech helped stake a firm position for the Republican Party in the 1860 presidential campaign that followed. Lincoln twice returned to Columbus: once on February 13, 1861 to address a joint session of the legislature prior to his inauguration, and one last time, on April 29, 1865. From 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Lincoln's body lay in state in the Rotunda as 50,000 mourners filed through the Statehouse to pay their respects.
THE OHIO BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
CAPITOL SQUARE REVIEW AND ADVISORY BOARD
THE OHIO HISTORICAL SOCIETY