Re-creating a history of the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, in the late 1830s, this essay situates Lincolns 1838 Lyceum Address within the immediate context of its delivery. Then, by comparing the published text of Lincolns lecture with lectures delivered by two other Springfield lawyers at the same venue in 1838 and 1839, the essay argues for a revised understanding of Lincolns Lyceum Address as it relates to his political development, his psychological state, and his compositional practices.

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