You Can't Fool the People

 In the summer of 1858, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas began to campaign for the Senate seats from Illinois that was to lead to the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates.  The Republicans' initial strategy called for Lincoln to follow Douglas around Illinois, with each candidate addressing the crowds individually...  

Posters all over DeWitt County announced that Douglas would arrive on the morning train.  A small group was present when the 5:00 A.M. train pulled in without Douglas.  A group of two or three hundred persons (two-thirds of them Republicans, a local paper noted), along with a band ready to play and with a flag to unfurl, met the 7:00 A.M. train.  However, Lincoln, not Douglas, emerged to great cheering.  Lincoln lingered on, working the growing crowd as they waited for Douglas's appearance, which did not come until 4:00 P.M.  Douglas, with our even acknowledging the crowd, went straight to a waiting carriage and drove to the fairgrounds a mile southwest of Clinton to give his speech...  

"You can fool all the people part of the time and part of the people all the time, but you can not fool all the people all the time."  Although scholars disagreed, the people of Clinton vouched for this Lincoln utterance, as did reporters from the Chicago Tribune and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle...

Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits tell the stories of Lincoln’s life and times in Illinois.  Each wayside exhibit tells a unique Lincoln story and a local story.  Many of the waysides share little known stories about Lincoln and the individuals he interacted with.  There are over 260 Looking for Lincoln waysides in the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.    

Visitor Information

Address: East Side Sq. Clinton, Illinois 61727


Phone Number: 217-935-3364