Sunday, December 26, 2021

Ah, history.........................

      Abrahman Lincoln was nervous, the floor of the U. S. House of Representatives int eh 1840s was not a particularly pleasant place to give a speech—especially the first major effort of a freshman congressman's career.  The chamber was designed to resemble the Roman Pantheon, framed by marble pillars and crimson drapes, but it reminded more than one visitor of an unruly schoolhouse.  Members kicked their heels up on the mahogany desks, hollered at the speaker, rustled newspapers, puffed on cigars, and spat tobacco juice on the filthy carpet.  The noise, amplified by a cavernous, sixty-foot ceiling, remined one visitor of "a hundred swarms of bees."  One of Lincoln's fellow Illinoisans complained that he "would prefer speaking in a pig pen with 500 hogs squealing", or talking "to a mob when a fight is going on" than trying to keep the attention of his colleagues.  It was, he recalled, "the most stupid place generally I was ever it."

-Kevin Peraino,  Lincoln In The World:  The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power

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