In 1836, at the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield, Illinois, a 28-year-old lawyer named Abraham Lincoln delivered one of his finest addresses.
Lincoln condemned the sharp increase of mobs in America, which had exploded in number as the debate over slavery and regional animosity intensified.
“Accounts of outrages committed by mobs, form the every-day news of the times,” Lincoln said.
Many of these mobs had turned violent and subverted the law. They were undermining free government.