“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Quincy in Adams County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Search for Equality

Search for Equality Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
1. Search for Equality Marker
"Who shall say, I am the superior, and you are the inferior?" asked Lincoln in July 1858. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates focused on slavery. During the October 13th Quincy debate Lincoln affirmed: " the right to eat the bread without leave of anybody else which his own hands earns, he is my equal and the equal of every other man." As President, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and advocated voting rights for African-Americans who fought for the Union. By the standard of his era his views on racial equality, evolving over time, were progressive and changed American attitudes and culture. Lincoln endorsed women having the right to vote in 1836, a dozen years before the outset of the women's suffrage movement. In the 1850's he told a young woman who wanted to vote, "I believe you will vote, before you are much older than I." Lincoln's thirty-year friendship with Quincy's Eliza Caldwell Browning exemplifies his view of women as equals. They share an intellectual vigor and respect for one another's ideas. Lincoln championed equality, believing that everyone was entitled to equal rights and protection under the Constitution.

The home of Dr. Richard Eells, an abolitionist, symbolizes the key issue addressed by Lincoln and Douglas during their Quincy Debate. Built in 1835, it is the

Search for Equality Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
2. Search for Equality Marker
oldest brick house in Quincy and is a documented Underground Railroad station. It is located four blocks from the Mississippi River and was within sight of the debate. Ironically, Eells, who in April 1843 was convicted by Judge Stephen Douglas of helping a slave escape, was a distant cousin of Lincoln.

Hundreds of slaves escaped across the Mississippi River from the slave state of Missouri to Quincy by way of the Underground Railroad. In 1839 sixty-five members chartered the Adams County Anti-Slavery Society, the first in Illinois. Credited with assisting more than 200 slaves, Dr. Richard Eells was caught helping a fugitive. Charlie, escape. Eells was bound over for trial by Justice of the Peace Henry Asbury in 1842. Circuit Court Judge Stephen A. Douglas of Quincy convicted Eells, fining him $400 for harboring a runaway slave. Eells became president of the Illinois Anti-Slavery Party in 1843 and a candidate for the Liberty Party in the 1844 presidential election. Although he died before his case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, Eell's attorney, including William Seward and Salmon Chase---future members of President Lincoln's cabinet---carried his case through the nation's highest Court, though to an unfavorable verdict.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 55.87′ N, 91° 24.57′ W. Marker is in Quincy, Illinois, in Adams County. Marker is on 4th Street. Click for map. Marker is in an alley between Maine and Jersey Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Quincy IL 62301, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Stephen A. Douglas in Quincy (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Mormons in Quincy (about 300 feet away); A Quincy "Copperhead" (about 400 feet away); Lincoln's Friend Johnston (about 500 feet away); Political Campaigning in 1858 (about 600 feet away); Lincoln-Douglas Debate (about 600 feet away); Lorado Taft (1860 - 1936) (about 600 feet away); Lincoln's Honored Friend (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Quincy.
Categories. Abolition & Underground RR

Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 370 times since then and 94 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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