Honest Abe and N.H.




It’s been 150 years since he visited — time to celebrate.It was February 29, 1860, when Abraham Lincoln stepped off the train in Exeter. He had come to see his son, Robert Todd, who was studying at Phillips Exeter Academy. By the time he left, though, his time in New Hampshire would become much more — a giant step on the path to the presidency.

Along with the visit to Bob, as Lincoln called his son, he had speeches set up in Exeter, Dover, Concord and Manchester — all part of his plan to get eastern audiences familiar with him and his political platform, especially his stand against the expansion of slavery. Just days earlier in New York City, he had delivered his now-famous Cooper Union speech on that topic, a speech said to have “made Lincoln president.”

But there are those who say Lincoln’s visit to New Hampshire was also critical in that quest. Richard Schubart, a Bates-Russell Distinquished Faculty Professor at Phillips Exeter, is one of them: “When Lincoln gave his talks in New Hampshire, he electrified the crowds with his stand on slavery and the sheer power of his words. That attracted more audiences and critical financial support out of the East.” Plus, Schubart says, the N.H. delegation to the convention played a leading role in swinging the nomination to Lincoln. The state was second to vote on the first ballot and its enthusiastic support of Lincoln started an unstoppable bandwagon.

Exeter, which still looks much as it did in Lincoln’s day, will hold a sesquicentennial celebration of the Lincoln visit on March 6. It starts with walking tours of Lincoln-related spots and a talk by Schubart and Mike Pride, who recently updated and reintroduced the 1929 book, “Abraham Lincoln in New Hampshire.”

The day ends with a band concert of Civil War music using Civil War-era instruments and a re-enactment of Lincoln’s rousing March 3 speech at the Exeter Town Hall by well-known Lincoln presenter, Steve Wood.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. New Hampshire's 2013 Top Doctors
    Check out the list of NH's Top Doctors and Leading Physicians.
  2. Winter Fun on the Lakes
    Our iconic summer destinations — the Lakes Region and Lake Winnipesaukee in particular —...
  3. The Man Who Mapped NH's White Mountains
    Bradford Washburn — renowned explorer, pioneering cartographer and mountain photographer —...
  4. Zach Harvey the Man Behind the Bitcoin ATM
    Manchester, NH's Zach Harvey, along with his brother Josh, created the company Lamassu, which...
  5. Q&As with Five of 2015's Top Doctors
    Q&As with five of the Top Doctors from the 2015 Top Doctors Poll.
  6. Arts in the North Country
    Head up north and you might expect wilderness and solitude in lieu of culture and community....
  7. 25 Tips for Good-for-you Dining Out
    Many local restaurants have added healthier versions of appetizer and menu favorites. A few have...
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags