In November 1847, when the Mexican War was in full progress, Henry Clay delivered one of the strongest anti-war speeches ever delivered by a leading American politican. Clay was seeking his fourth nomination for the presidency, but he pressed on, saying “war unhinges society.”

The speech was not a popular one. It probably cost Clay the nomination.

Yet, in the audience, listening to every word, was a young admirer, the newly elected congressman from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln.

Source: America’s Great Debate by Fergus M. Bordewich