About Dayton

By lincolnsocietyof

The city of Dayton was founded in 1796 by a group of just 12 settlers who decided to start a settlement along the Great Miami River where its three tributaries met. Since then, the city has grown to over 140,000 people as of 2017, and it is now a thriving hub of business and community life. Dayton is the state of Ohio’s sixth-largest city.

In 1859, when Abraham Lincoln came to town, Dayton was still a fairly new city, having only received its official city charter in 1841. It was connected to Cincinnati by a major road, which helped spur the development of industry and investment in the city. Lincoln’s speech on the old courthouse’s steps was a highlight of the campaign season when he came to town.  read more

About Abraham Lincoln

By lincolnsocietyof

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and arguably the greatest leader this country has ever had. He led the country through the perilous years of the Civil War, ended slavery, preserved the union, and sacrificed everything to do so. 

Lincoln was born the son of poor farmers in rural Kentucky, in his family’s log cabin. He moved to Illinois, where he studied and began to practice law. He married Mary Todd Lincoln, and they had three children.

Over the course of his public and professional life, Lincoln experienced a series of failures that would have rattled a lesser man. He lost several elections and had periods of financial struggle, but he was also a brilliant wordsmith who famously sparred with Stephen A. Douglas in the well-known Lincoln-Douglas debates and earned a reputation for his clarity of thinking, sound research, and eloquence.  read more


By lincolnsocietyof

We regularly hold events to commemorate Lincoln’s 1859 speech here in Dayton and to celebrate his legacy more generally. Those events include speeches and presentations, reenactments, commemorative demonstrations, and other events. For more on upcoming events, please contact us. 

As part of our commemorative events, we are firm in emphasizing that slavery was the cause of the Civil War, that slavery was an evil that had to be eradicated, and that nearly everybody alive at the time benefited somehow from the institution, even those who lived in the North. We believe it is crucial that history be looked at with clear eyes and no sentimentality. We invite you to join us in our mission of preserving Lincoln’s legacy through honest, forthright discussion and scholarship. read more