Lincoln, a lawyer, mastered facts, sifted principles, and spoke plainly. Among his extended speeches, his speech at the Cooper Institute in 1859 is my favorite.
In the Cooper Union address, line by line, precept by precept,
In the immediate aftermath of the speech, a small scandal threatened.
It was alleged that
Imagine that! Fifty seven hundred dollars paid in order to host, and to hear from, an attorney not then leading in polling inside his own political party. Second-, even third-tier, colleges and universities could afford such a speaker. But with such a discount rate, such a speaker would likely have been priced out as insufficiently lucrative to be managed by any self-respecting speakers’ bureau, according to this post from Nick Morgan.