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President Abraham Lincoln spoke briefly at South Park Presbyterian Church

South Park Presbyterian Church still stands across Lincoln Park in Newark.
South Park Presbyterian Church still stands across Lincoln Park in Newark.
Lucy Santos

In 1861, crowds drew together to hear President Abraham Lincoln, also know as the “Great Emancipator,” speak at the steps of South Park Presbyterian Church in Newark. It would be the only chance that the people would have to witness this remarkable moment in history, an event that they would tell their children and grandchildren about. What President Lincoln said in his short speech at South Park Presbyterian Church still remains a mystery. After President Lincoln addressed the public, Mayor Bigelow, who was the 12th Mayor of Newark, gave a speech. He had the honor of meeting and welcoming one of our greatest presidents to Newark.

South Park Presbyterian Church, a church with a Greek design, is a historical treasure. John Welsh built South Park Presbyterian Church in February 1855 at a cost of $27,000. Across Lincoln Park, the church still stands today, but it is derelict. There is a sign in front of South Park Presbyterian Church that states that the New Jersey Historical Society plans to restore this historical site to its former beauty in the future.