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Lincoln’s Purple Period, Or, We’re Glad He Got It Out Of His System

May 2024
1min read

Abraham Lincoln is generally considered to have been the best writer of all our Presidents. But like any other writer, it took him a while to get there. As an example, we offer the following excerpt from remarks he delivered to the Illinois House of Representatives on December 26, 1839, a speech that derived its emotional character from the dire conviction that Van Buren Democrats might ultimately bring ruin to the Republic. In his conclusion, the thirty-year-old Whig became nearly unhinged:

 

Abraham Lincoln is generally considered to have been the best writer of all our Presidents. But like any other writer, it took him a while to get there. As an example, we offer the following excerpt from remarks he delivered to the Illinois House of Representatives on December 26, 1839, a speech that derived its emotional character from the dire conviction that Van Buren Democrats might ultimately bring ruin to the Republic. In his conclusion, the thirty-year-old Whig became nearly unhinged:

“I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption, in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful velocity over the whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green spot or living thing, while on its bosom are riding like demons on the waves of Hell, the imps of that evil spirit, and fiendishly taunting all those who dare resist its destroying course, with the hopelessness of their effort ; and knowing this, I cannot deny that all may be swept away. Broken by it, I, too, may be; bow to it I never will. The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me. If ever I feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not wholly unworthy of its Almighty Architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country, deserted by all the world beside, and I standing up boldly and alone and hurling defiance at her victorious oppressors....”

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