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Young Men's Lyceum

City: Springfield

County: Sangamon

State: IL

It is unknown when and why the Young Men's Lyceum came into existence. The first mention of the organization was on November 21, 1835, when the Sangamo Journal announced proceedings of a meeting where the group passed resolutions lamenting the death of John Hay, Jr., one of its members who died on November 20. Edmund G. Johns was identified as the president and Noah W. Matheny as secretary. On December 19, the Sangamo Journal first announced a meeting of the Lyceum, to be held on December 21. The Young Men's Lyceum joined the Springfield Lyceum, organized in 1833, as a forum for lectures, debates, and other cultural activities. The Springfield Lyceum ceased meeting in 1836, and from 1836 to its dissolution in 1842, the Young Men's Lyceum provided the main outlet for public debate among Springfield's politicians and intellectuals.

Thomas F. Schwartz, "The Springfield Lyceums and Lincoln's 1838 Speech," Illinois Historical Journal 83 (Spring 1990), 45-48; Sangamo Journal 7 December 1833, 3:5; 21 November 1835, 3:2; 19 December 1835, 3:2.