Ingersoll Day, which falls on the 11th of August every year, celebrates the life of the political orator Robert G Ingersoll. A brilliant philosopher, Ingersoll advocated for free speech and thought, and was among the most well-known thinkers of his day. In the year he celebrated his birthday, we’re planning to engage in some free-thinking that we can call our own. Won’t you join us?


Robert G. Ingersoll was born in Dresden, New York, to an abolitionist preacher father. Little information is available about his mom other than that she died during the time Ingersoll was a young man. His father’s beliefs meant the family had to move around frequently. Ingersoll was not a child with any formal education, however, he was accepted to law school and the Illinois Bar in 1854.

 In the following year, he relocated to Peoria, Illinois, and started a law firm along with his brother. From all accounts, this business was a success. He got married to Eva Parker, and they had two daughters. He also fought during his time in the American Civil War (1861 – 1865) and was appointed head of his regiment, the 11th Illinois Cavalry.

In the late 1860s, Ingersoll become a politician himself In the 1860s, he was the attorney general of attorney general in Illinois however, only once. In the early days, the ideologies were different for Democrats, and Republicans were shifted in this period. As a result, even though Robert was initially a Democrat at the beginning of his life He later shifted to a Republican due to his opposing slavery.

His power on the stage was acknowledged when he made the nominating speech to fellow Republican Candidate James G. Blaine. Although the nomination went to a different member of the party the speech received a lot of attention.

When he moved from Washington D.C., he started a new law firm that was also very prosperous. He also started working on lectures, giving speeches on freethought, reason, and freedom for nearly an entire quarter century. 

The most well-known of his lectures was “Why I am an Agnostic,” “Some Mistakes of Moses,” and “Individuality.” He would be able to gain attention as well as criticism because of his views on slavery, religion, as well as the rights of women to vote. He criticized religious leaders and regarded many of them as friends, and was known to be friendly to those from opposing parties who held the same progressive beliefs as the other.
He was also friends of American writer H.L. Mencken along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a pioneer of the women’s rights movement. He was known as the “Great Agnostic,” and was among the most notable freethinkers and lecturers in the nineteenth century.


1833Robert Ingersoll Is Born

He was born on the 11th of August in Dresden, New York.

Late 1860sJoining Office

Ingersoll is elected Attorney General for Illinois.

1876The Great Convention Speech

Ingersoll delivers the speech that was used to nominate James G. Blaine at the Republican Convention; a most popular line from the speech has earned Ingersoll the title of “The Plumed Knight.’

2005Ingersoll’s Work is Re-Published

Steerforth Press releases a popular version of the work of Ingersoll that is reviewed by Pulitzer Prize winner and Music critic Tim Page.


What did Robert Ingersoll Do?

It had been an American politician and orator who was described as the ‘great Agnostic. He believed in scientific arguments over all others.

Who came up with the phrase “We rise by lifting others”?

American politician and orator Robert Ingersoll is the person behind this quote.

Is Robert Ingersoll an abolitionist?

Ingersoll’s father, John Ingersoll, was an abolitionist-sympathizing Congregationalist preacher. Ingersoll however, infamously opposed slavery and even taught lectures on this issue.


  1. Find out what he had to say his ideas on a variety of subjects can be found in numerous books, while his lectures and writings are accessible online too. Take a few minutes to read about the thoughts of a person who was born in a different era thought and discover the way his ideas can influence our current thinking.
  2. Visit the museum of his father. In particular, the museum was constructed in his hometown which is Dresden, New York. It is known as”the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum The museum is a showcase of his brilliance, creativity, and the role that Ingersoll played in shaping the history of our time.
  3. Increase awareness of Ingersoll A man of this caliber — in the present and with the courage to speak out about his views deserves to be recognized and you could be the perfect one to do the job. Share with people your knowledge concerning Robert Ingersoll, share his writings, and bring some of your friends for a visit to the museum he founded.


  1. America’s most popular and successful oratorNumerous websites have him listed as the most famous 19th-century actor and well-known orator.
  2. He was paid the huge dollar Ingersoll received as much as $3,500 for a single lecture during the peak of his fame.
  3. A former political leaderIngersoll’s strong opinions deterred his Republican administration from nominating him to any position or position he wanted.
  4. His beliefs did not change. The crowd would gather near his home and ask for him to change his mind He never changed his position.
  5. He made Mark Twain a friend In 1879, well-known author, Twain, wrote “the organ of human speech was played by a master,” after listening to Ingersoll’s lecture in Chicago.


  1. We will learn more about IngersollIngersoll was, from all accounts, an excellent person. He was an advocate of the equality of African Americans, women’s suffrage, and even D.C. voting rights. He was believed to have a great influence on his generation during the Golden Age of Reason that took place within the U.S. in the mid-19th century, and it is easy to understand the reason.
  2. We can take lessons from his writingsIngersoll’s words are relevant even in the present. For example: “Happiness is the only good thing. The best way to feel happy is to make other people feel happy as well. The best time to be content is right now. The best place to be happy is right now.” It’s tough to deny this belief.
  3. The world we live in As people of the contemporary age, we could gain knowledge from another modern man from an earlier time. By understanding him and his thoughts and his thoughts, we can understand the complexities of the world we live in now.

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