March 10, 1860 is the date that Republican candidate for President, Abraham Lincoln came to Bridgeport.
It was a Saturday night that Lincoln came to Bridgeport to give a speech. Four days earlier, Lincoln had given a speech in New Haven which was described as “an impassioned political speech against slavery.”
Lincoln was scheduled to give his talk at 7 p.m. in Washington Hall downtown. According to a small notice in the newspaper, Lincoln’s speech would “commence precisely at 7 o’clock, as he is obliged to leave on the Express train at 9:07 pm.”
The speech was planned to be given at Washington Hall, which was a lecture room in the Fairfield County Courthouse (now known as McLevy Hall). A report appeared later in the paper that said, “a great crowd attended at Washington Hall on Saturday evening to hear the Honorable Mr. Lincoln of Illinois. No special means had been used to ensure a large attendance and no posters were got out.”
Lincoln arrived on the train when Wheeler and Wilson’s band played, and around 100 members of the Republican Committee greeted him. More residents went to Washington Hall and it was packed as Abraham Lincoln spoke for two hours, giving much the same speech he had given in New Haven days before.
The Daily Standard described Lincoln as a “tall, bony, angular, big jointed figure with a great towering head and very expressive countenance. His eye satisfies you at once that there is brain…intellectual power in the man, and this is the secret of his success.”
The crowd followed Abraham Lincoln to the train and applauded and cheered as he left.
Somewhere on his route in Bridgeport that day, Kentucky born Abraham Lincoln ate his first plate of New England fried oysters.