Abraham Lincoln’s “Lost Speech” was delivered on May 29, 1856, in Bloomington, Illinois. Tradition states that the text was lost because Lincoln’s powerful oration mesmerized every person in attendance. Reporters laid down their pencils, forgetting to take notes. In 2006 a fragment of the Lost Speech was found in the archives of a Baptist church in Bloomington. Through a distant cousin, I obtained it:

“A monarch provides security; it is comforting to bow to a Sire. But our nation was born of another wish. We are all part-kings here. If you bow to one man, you must bow to all…”

–Sparrow lives in the quiet hamlet of Phoenicia, in the Catskill Mountains. He is slowly listening to Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” on his record player. Sparrow also contributes regularly to The Sun.