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19th-century orator linked to the Sauk Valley

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 10:53 a.m. CDT

The "Freedom Forum" quotation on the Telegraph's May 3 Opinion page is by the Sauk Valley's own Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899).

Robert's father, the Rev. John Ingersoll, lived and preached in the Amboy area for 2 years when Robert was about 15 years old, according to the book "Recollections of the Pioneers of Lee County," originally published in 1893 by the Lee County Columbian Club and reprinted in 1974.

"Years afterwards, when the notoriety of Robert G. Ingersoll first reached Amboy, his old schoolmates here were surprised to learn that it was the veritable Bob, of the old log school house." (From page 119 of the 1974 reprinting.)

Whether one considers Robert Ingersoll a champion of free thought or a notorious blasphemer, his reputation as a great orator is well deserved.

Look up some of his pithy quotations on the Internet. Whether you agree with them or not, they will make you think.

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