Item #67636 SPARTA DEMOCRAT-EXTRA [Caption title]. Abraham LINCOLN.


Sparta, [IL]: Friday, January 15, 1841. Single sheet. 34 x 26 cm. [2] pp., text printed in three columns on both sides. Sheet very browned, foxed, small piece (blank) gone from an upper corner. The Sparta Democrat was a successor to the Columbus Herald, the first newspaper (1838) published in the town, but the name of the town was changed, hence on May 8, 1840 it became the Sparta Democrat. The Democratic ticket, Van Buren for President, and Thomas H. Benton for Vice President, "(Subject to the decision of a N. Convention)," is printed at the head of the first column, along with the "Congressional Ticket For August Next. For Representative in Congress, John Reynolds." Reynolds was Governor of Illinois during the Black Hawk War and subsequently elected a member of Congress. The Sparta Democrat was conducted by John E. Dietrich from 1840 to 1843. The exigencies of publishing on the frontier are indicated by the opening paragraph here: "In consequence of not having an opportunity to get paper from St. Louis, this week, we could only issue an extra as promised in our last." The paper's content is devoted almost entirely to political news, mostly pertaining to Illinois, but including short articles reprinted from national papers. The principal piece here, occupying nearly half of the first page, is a letter written by Benton to the editor of the Cincinnati Advocate. The second page here contains this tidbit: "The eyes (I's) have it," as Lincoln said when he jumped out of the window, and got his eyes full of sand." The squib refers to an incident that took place in the Illinois legislature a month earlier (December 5, 1840): The only way the Whigs could keep the legislature in session was by absenting themselves, so that there was no quorum. They left Lincoln, together with one or two of his trusted lieutenants, to watch the proceedings and to demand roll calls when the Democrats tried to adjourn. The session dragged on into the evening.... Several Democrats rose from their sickbeds to help form a quorum. Rattled, Lincoln and his aides lost their heads and voted on the next roll call. Then, still hoping to block adjournment, they unsuccessfully tried to get out of the locked door. When the sergeant at arms rebuffed them, they jumped out the first-story window.-David H. Donald, Lincoln (1995). The only issues of Sparta Democrat located are at University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana, but it isn't clear whether this one is among them. OCLC appears to record only microform copies. Item #67636

Price: $600.00

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