Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lincoln Visited Morganfield 1840

According to an article in the Evansville Press on Sunday, 26 April 1936, the only political speech Abraham Lincoln made in Kentucky was back in 1840, when Tyler and Harrison were running for President. Remember the slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler too?"

Lincoln, who was doing some political stumping in southern Illinois, was called upon to cross the river and speak in Union County, Kentucky. Most of the county turned out to hear his speech. As with most political gatherings, entertainment was provided too. When a cannon was exploded in Lincoln's honor, something went wrong and George Riddle, who was in charge of entertainment, was injured. It is said that later, during the War Between the States, Riddle, who had been captured, wrote Lincoln, saying "I entertained you in 1840. I can't say I like your brand of entertainment as well." Lincoln pardoned him.

George Riddle, who was born in 1802, is said to have been the first person born within what later became the city limits of Morganfield. This, of course, was before Union County was formed out of Henderson County.

Uncle Bob Heath, who lived in what is now Crittenden County, recalled the political rally at Morganfield. According to his recollections, printed in the 21 May 1908 issue of the Crittenden Record-Press, " ... it was one of the jolliest times of his life, a log cabin with coon skins nailed on its walls, was rolled around on wheels, while hard cider was dispensed generously."

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