about_supporter_MarkTwain… the supremest combination of words that was ever put together since the world began” and added “Bob Ingersoll’s music will sing through my memory always as the divinest that ever enchanted my ears… Except for my daughters, I have not grieved for any death as I have grieved for his. His was a great and beautiful spirit, he was a man – all man, from his crown to his footsoles. My reverence for him was deep and genuine.









about_supporter_Thomas_Edison[He] had all the attributes of a perfect man, and, in my opinion, no finer personality ever existed.







about_supporter_Charles_Spalding_Thomas[His] character was as nearly perfect as it is possible for the character of mortal man to be … none sweeter or nobler had ever blessed the world…the example of his life was of more value to posterity than all the sermons that were ever written on the doctrine of original sin.








about_supporter_Clarence_S_DarrowRobert G. Ingersoll was a great man, a wonderful intellect, a great soul of matchless courage, one of the great men of the earth – and yet we have no right to bow down to his memory simply because he was great. . . . Great orators, great lawyers often use their gifts lawyers for a most unholy cause. We pay a tribute of love and respect to Robert Ingersoll because he used his matchless powers for the good of man.





about_supporter_Eugene_V._Debs[His] name is in the pantheon of the world. More than any other man who ever lived he destroyed religious superstition. . . He was the Shakespeare of oratory – the greatest that the world has ever known…Twenty-one years later he wrote Ingersoll’s granddaughter: I was the friend of your immortal grandfather and I loved him truly… the name of Ingersoll is revered in our home, worshipped by us all, and the date of birth is holy in our calendar.


[Debs ran for President five times on the Socialist ticket, last in 1920. He and Ingersoll were poles apart on economic policy.]

about_supporter_George_Bernard_Shaw_1936Shaw [asked] me to tell him all that I knew about Ingersoll…he told me Ingersoll had exercised an influence upon him probably greater than that of any other man. – Joseph Lewis










about_supporter_Elizabeth_StantonI’ve heard the greatest orators of this century – O’Connell, Gladstone, John Bright, Spurgeon, James, Stopford Brooks, Wendell Phillips, Henry Ward Beecher, Webster, Clay and the stirring eloquence of our anti-slavery orators – but none of them ever equaled Robert Ingersoll in his highest flights.

I heard Mr. Ingersoll many years ago in Chicago. The hall seated 5,000 people; every inch of standing-room was also occupied; aisles and platform crowded to overflowing. He held that vast audience for three hours so completely entranced that when he left the platform no one moved, until suddenly, with loud cheers and applause, they recalled him.

He returned smiling and said: ‘I’m glad you called me back, as I have something more to say. Can you stand another half-hour?’ ‘Yes: an hour, two hours, all night,’ was shouted from various parts of the house; and he talked on until midnight, with unabated vigor, to the delight of his audience.

This was the greatest triumph of oratory I had ever witnessed. It was the first time he delivered his matchless speech, ‘The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child.

I have heard the greatest orators of this century in England and America; O’Connell in his palmiest days . . . Gladstone and John Bright in the House of Commons; Spurgeon, James and Stopford Brooks, in their respective pulpits; our own Wendell Phillips, Henry Ward Beecher, and Webster and Clay, on great occasions; the stirring eloquence of our anti-slavery orators, both in Congress and on the platform, but none of them ever equaled Robert Ingersoll in his highest flights.



There was logic even in his laughter. He passed the cup of mirth, and in its sparkling foam were found the gems of unanswerable truth.

Every variety of power was in this orator, – logic and poetry, humor and imagination, simplicity and dramatic art, moral and boundless sympathy. . . The effect on the people was indescribable. The large theatre was crowed from pit to dome. The people were carried from plaudits of his argument to loud laughter at his humorous sentences, and his flexible voice carried the sympathies of the assembly with it, at times moving them to tears by his pathos.”

The country, was full of incidents and anecdotes relating to these marvelous lectures. I knew that he was leading an insurrection of human hearts against the inhumanities of the Bible and the cruelties of dogmatic propagandism.

. . . That no other orator or speaker of the nineteenth century addressed as many people as Ingersoll is very probable. That none other uniformly made such deep and lasting impressions is more than probable – it is historically certain.

. . . Still, it was charged by some that he was not profound; but I have observed that the charge was invariably made by superficial people. As a matter of fact, with all his wit, humor, raillery, persiflage, he was the profoundest logician that ever appealed to the intellect of an American audience.

There was logic even in his laughter. He passed the cup of mirth, and in its sparkling foam were found the gems of unanswerable truth.


about_supporter_Hamlin_Garland[Conway’s many literary and intellectual friends included Charles Dickens, Robert Browning, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Lyell, and Charles Darwin.]

He bantered us, challenged us, electrified us . . . At times his eloquence held us silent as images and some witty turn, some humorous phrase brought roars of applause. At times we cheered almost every sentence, like delegates at a political convention, At other moments we rose in our seats and yelled. There was something hypnotic in his rhythm and phrasing. His power over his auditors was absolute.