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1858 Illinois Republican Convention

Place: Springfield, Illinois

The 1858 Illinois Republican Convention was the first state convention of the Republican Party in Illinois. On April 22, 1858, the Republican State Central Committee, by virtue of authority vested in it by the 1856 Anti-Nebraska Convention in Bloomington, called on the various counties to select delegates to meet in convention at the State House in Springfield. The primary purpose of the gathering was to select candidates for state treasurer and superintendent of public instruction and to further develop the Republican organization in the state. Delegates gathered at the hall of the Illinois House of Representatives nominated candidates for these two positions and adopted an anti-slavery platform similar to that adopted at the 1856 Ant-Nebraska Convention. Delegates also unanimously adopted a resolution nominating Abraham Lincoln as its candidate to supplant Stephen A. Douglas as U.S. Senator from Illinois. The convention is perhaps best known for Lincoln's acceptance speech--popularly known as the "House Divided" speech.

Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:457-66; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 17 June 1858, 2:2-6.