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Vandalia in Fayette County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

First Protest Against Slavery

1837

 
 
First Protest Against Slavery Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
1. First Protest Against Slavery Marker
Inscription.
At the beginning of Lincoln's second term as a state representative, several southern legislatures were concerned that the Federal Government would abolish slavery in the District of Columbia. Most of the members of the Illinois Legislature shared this concern. Many Illinois residents in the early 1800's - or their ancestors - came to Illinois from the slave states of Kentucky and Tennessee. In January 1837 the Illinois Legislature adopted a resolution that condemned abolition societies. It resolved that the right of property in slaves was sacred to the slave-holding states according to the Federal Constitution, and that they could not be deprived of that right without their consent.

It further resolved that the General Government could not abolish slavery in the District of Columbia without the consent of the citizens. And, finally, it resolved that the Governor be requested to transmit a copy of the resolution to the States of Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, New York, and Connecticut.

If there was any issue that defined the life of Abraham Lincoln, it was the divisive issue of slavery. His response to the war and the abolition of slavery would elevate him to his status as one of the greatest leaders of this country and the world. His first official public stand on the issue of slavery took place on
First Protest Against Slavery Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
2. First Protest Against Slavery Marker
Old State Capitol in background
March 3, 1837 in Vandalia, in the Capitol that you see before you. While Illinois was technically a free state, slaves were still held here after statehood. They were bound as indentured servants with indentures lasting as long as 99 years. These arrangements were not like the indentures by which many Europeans gained passage to the United States. Slaveholders included many prominent state officials, including Ninian Edwards and Shadrach Bond, the former territorial governor and first governor of the state.

Dan Stone and Abraham Lincoln entered the above protest in the record on March 3, 1837. This document marks Lincoln's first formal protest against slavery. While this protest might seem lukewarm, it would have appeared quite controversial at the time. Being anti-slavery in Illinois was not popular, even though Illinois was technically a free state. On November 7, 1837, Elijah Lovejoy would be killed by a pro-slavery mob in Alton because of his anti-slavery views.
 
Erected 2008 by Looking For Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location. 38° 57.662′ N, 89° 5.67′ W. Marker is in Vandalia, Illinois, in Fayette County. Marker is on 4th Street near
First Protest Against Slavery Text on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Printed in Legislative Record, March 3, 1837
3. First Protest Against Slavery Text on Marker
Courtesty of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Gallatin Street, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is on the west lawn of the Old State Capitol. Marker is in this post office area: Vandalia IL 62471, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cumberland Road (a few steps from this marker); Madonna of the Trail (a few steps from this marker); Second State Capitol (within shouting distance of this marker); First Elective Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Where Did Lincoln Stay? (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln and the "Long Nine" (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Charters Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Third State Capitol (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Vandalia.
 
Also see . . .
1. Looking For Lincoln Story Trail. (Submitted on May 15, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Lincoln's Protest Against Slavery. (Submitted on May 15, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansPoliticsSettlements & Settlers
 
Will on First Protest Against Slavery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shadrach Bond, April 7, 1832
4. Will on First Protest Against Slavery Marker
[Caption reads] Will of Shadrach Bond dated April 7, 1832. In Article eight he leaves negroes (slaves) to his daughter and to his wife.
First Protest Against Slavery Rubbing Medallion image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
5. First Protest Against Slavery Rubbing Medallion
Looking For Lincoln Story Trail Logo image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
6. Looking For Lincoln Story Trail Logo
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,002 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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