On March 9, 1832, came the boldest and most important paper he [Lincoln] had ever written, telling the public he was stepping into politics as a candidate for the legislature of the State of Illinois. The Sangamo Journal at Springfield printed it and it was issued as a handbill. There was in it the tone of a young man a little bashful about what he was doing- and yet unafraid of his ideas and his platform, ready to debate them in any corner. A railroad for the service of New Salem would cost too high; her one hope was steamboat traffic; therefore he favored all possible improvement of the Sangamon River; "if elected, any measure in the legislature having this for its object, which may appear judicious, will meet my approbation, and shall receive my support." He came out strong for education, books, religion, morality. "That every man may receive at least, a moderate education, and thereby be enabled to read the histories of his own and other countries, by which he may duly appreciate the value of our free institutions, appears to be an object of vital importance, even on this account alone, to say nothing of the advantages and satisfaction to be derived from all being able to read the scriptures and other works, both of a religious and moral nature, for themselves." Thus, for the benefit of any who might have heard otherwise, the young politician showed himself as favoring books, schools, churches, the Scriptures, religion, morality.
- from pages 58-59, Abraham Lincoln- the Prairie Years