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When Did Lincoln First Express Presidential Ambitions?

Originally published under Ask Mr. History. Published Online: May 20, 2014 
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At approximately what age did Abraham Lincoln first express Presidential ambitions?

—Dennis

? ? ?

Dear Dennis,

Whatever was on Abraham Lincoln's mind previously, the first time he is known to have mentioned presidential aspirations was after his speech before New York Republicans at Cooper Union on February 27, 1860, during which those who heard him referred to him as awkward and even ugly looking, but gave an extraordinary impression of intellect and oratorical skill. Asked by someone afterward if he might have presidential aspirations, he remarked "The taste is in my mouth a little."

It became more than a taste at the Illinois Republican State Convention on May 9-10, when a growing following of influential Republicans seriously put Lincoln up for consideration. The rest, as they say…

Sincerely,

 

Jon Guttman
Research Director
Weider History Group
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