Lincoln and His Wife's
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fascinating exhibit documents Abraham Lincoln’s four visits to Lexington and how they impacted the President that he was to become. This exhibit is in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s
Bicentennial Celebration and will run thought Oct 2010.
Abraham Lincoln’s first visit to Lexington on August 25, 1841, was a lark. During a visit to his good friend Joshua Speed at his Farmington plantation near Louisville, Lincoln learned that Speed was having difficulty courting Fanny Henning because of her overly-devoted uncle John Williamson. According to William Townsend, in his book Lincoln and the Bluegrass, Speed “took Lincoln on the cars to Lexington―his first visit here―in order to have an excuse to drop in again that evening on his way back home.”
When they arrived at Uncle John’s plantation, Lincoln engaged the older man in a political discussion and “the two young people were permitted to enjoy a rare, uninterrupted evening which went far toward their early engagement.”
The adventure did have a serious outcome, as it resulted in Lincoln rekindling his romance with Mary Todd. They were married November 4, 1842.
1846, Abraham Lincoln was elected a congressman from Illinois.
Election laws what they were at the time, he would not be sworn
in until late 1847. On October 25, 1847, he and Mary
Todd Lincoln and their two sons, Bob and Willie, left Springfield
for Washington, via Lexington. They took a stagecoach to Saint
Louis, a steamboat to Louisville, and disembarked at the Lexington
train station early in November.
For the next three weeks, Lincoln immersed himself in his wife’s hometown. The most significant event that occurred in Lexington during this visit was a major speech given by Henry Clay, Speaker of the House and national leader of the Whig Party. The speech, which was co-sponsored by Robert Todd and lasted two and one-half hours, denounced the Mexican War as “unnecessary
and of offensive aggression.”