I just finished reading Lincoln At Cooper Union by noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Holzer manages to take the occasion of the Cooper Union speech and show how all the surrounding events such as the iconic Brady portrait taken of Lincoln the same day propelled Lincoln to the presidency. Not only that but Holzer makes it all very interesting as well. Lincoln came to New York City at the end of February, 1860 as a prairie politician best known for his debates with Stephen Douglas during the Illinois Senate race in 1858. He left the Northeast two weeks later as a serious contender for the Republican nomination. And Lincoln did not make another speech until his First Inaugural. A little different type of presidential campaign than what we are subjected to these days.