Finding His Voice
Compelled by conscience to attack both the Kansas-Nebraska Act and its principal author and defender, Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Abraham Lincoln found his true voice. In Peoria, he spoke immediately after Douglas, who was touring Illinois to defend the Kansas-Nebraska Act. From that moment on, abolitionists, Free-Soilers, and members of the new Republican Party began to think of Lincoln as their spokesman. Drafted in 1855 to run for the U.S. Senate, Lincoln began with a majority vote in the legislature in a very complicated contest, but could not reach the necessary number of votes to secure his election.
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